Christmas stage 2.

Thankyou everyone who took the time to leave such encouraging, understanding, helpful and thoughtful comments on my last post.  I was very touched by the desire to help and so I thank you all with all my heart. 

It was very re-assuring to see I'm not actually the Chrismas Grinch and that many of us simple living folk have the similar feelings we are either working to overcome, or have had to overcome in the past.

A little fence and repair to this little garden again!! The cheeky dogs, this recycled fencing wire from the front ought to fix it....hopefully! 

I'm sorry I didnt reply to them all.  I have read them and re-read them and have been pondering many elements.  They have been marinating in my mind but I saw them, and was very greatful for them. 

So, where am I now? 

Well firstly I should have clarified *we* dont have trouble with the gift giving to our children.  We tend to go with "something to wear, something to read, something you want and something you need." 

So the boys are getting from us:
Wear:  PJ's
Read: (still deciding)
Want: childrens Opinel pocket knife, Henry I'm not quite decided upon, a marble run?
Need: Cotton Sleeping bags

Stockings will include marbels, chocolate, socks, jocks, and something special for each child - William will get a few polished stones for his collection, Henry a little owl finger puppet, Gus I havent decided yet.  The PJ's and the books are usually in the stocking too. 

Its the excess that comes in which we have no control that concerns me.  But I do believe we have started a new tradition with one set of Grandparents happy about giving zoo passes!  Woo hoo!

As far as Christmas day goes.....Well we have been having many discussions about this.  Its not just up to me to say "no".  We are a family and the decision of how we celebrate christmas must be a united one between Grant and I.  We have however now decided that every couple of years we will have start to have Christmas at our own home.  This is a huge change for us and one I am greatly relieved about.    People are welcome to join us if they like, but we wont be doing all the travelling, and we will get to start new traditions with our children.

Apparently "Jimmy" needs a ninja outfit...hmm....

This year we are going to hold our own "Pre- Chistmas day"  at home.  Just our family.  Buy beautiful seafood, light candles, go to church Sunday morning, maybe go to the beach, and give the boys a small hand made gift each, just to make it a little "magic"  William needs a new libray bag and I have the material sitting there, Angus would love a Ninja outfit for his waldorf doll, and I will either applique a cat on a tee-shirt for Henry or make his Waldorf doll an Ninja outfit too.  This special day will be a week or two before Christmas, nothing too fancy, But Im really looking forward to it.  I feel more "at peace".

There is a Christmas pagent on this Friday in a town not far from us they will enjoy, and I think taking the time to simply "be" is perhaps going to be the most important thing.  I tend to get tied up in the "do-ing" of everything around here that has to be done, that I forget to just "be" at the moment. 

I listened to "Matilda" by Roahl Dahl today in full by audiable, I love a good kids book.  and it got me thinking how little reading I have been doing latly. Gosh I miss it.  It dawned on me I have not been caring for myself as well as usual.  Which means I was going into the Christmas season with an emty tank, after a long hard year no wonder I was feeling tired and flat and dis-heartened.

One of our favorite things are Audible - audio books.  The first month is free and awesome for road trips or quiet nights. 

The Christmas tree will go up this weekend, which will be nice.  So we need to do a light toy de-clutter and a bit of a spring clean in the lounge. 

Much love,
Emma
xx

  

9

Christmas...

Well there is no denying it, Christmas is fast approaching. 

I'm going to be honest.  I'm struggling these days with Christmas.  I'm struggling to find the joy. 


We are bombarded with questions of "what can we get the kids?"  and my insides scream "nothing!" Its just more crap to pick up and they genuinly have enough of everything.  In fact, they have more then enough.  So I rake my brain trying to think of something suitable, that is going to last, that they actually want, thats not going to break in the first week, that they will love.  I try to put away my cynasism and make it special for them.
 
Family wants us to be with them over Christmas - at their houses.....which means as usual we have to travel several hours.  We will never be able to make everyone happy.

We have to buy gifts for everyone and if I'm completly honest "gifts" are my absoloute lowest love language.  It's not my thing, Im not worried about material posessions, I want for nothing, and know in reality those in my life want for little also.  So whats the point of spending lots on stuff that is going to sit around in others homes?  You know?  I could give that money to charity.....But I do give gifts because I love my family and I understand that gift giving is important to them.

We are just so privledged, and Christmas is all to often a time of over indulgance and gluttony.  Such a stark contrast to so much of the world. 

I used to LOVE Christmas when I was a kid.  It was completly magic with all the cousins gathered around, special food, laughter and and abundance of love.  I'm not sure what happened to make me cynical.  Perhaps because "Christ" is often missing from "Christmas" in our family circles, which pains me more then I would like to admit.....But then again he was never there in my family circles when I grew up either. 

Perhaps because I feel we are expected to fit in with everyone else, and even when we do our best we are bound to leave someone dissapointed.  Which I hate.  Im not sure what stole my joy, I suspect a combination of things. 

But Im going to be honest, Christmas has lost its magic for me, and quite frankly Im not sure how to find it again. 

I put on a smile, we play the music, I do the gifts, we do the miles and we do our best.  But for me, the truth is that it's hollow these days.  I crave a deeper Christmas, something that stirs my heart and my imagination again, something that brings back just a sprinkle of the child like wonder I used to love so much.  Though Im not sure how to get there, which saddens me. 
 
How do you keep the Christmas magic?

Much love,
Emma
xx   
31

A quick weekend away.

Last week we had to juggle staff at the shop unexpectedly, which ment we got a 3 day weekend!  What a treat. 
So we quickly packed up the old van, grabbed some basic supplies and went down to a beautiful town and lovely beach front caravan park at Moonta Bay, Which is about 1.5hrs away from us.   

We saw some local sights, we got back in sync as a family, we went to bed early, we gazed at the ocean.  Pure bliss. 

Much love,
Emma
xx 

The dog that thinks he is a person...AKA Ronnie

How's the serentiy?...

My mini chef cooking breakfast.



We went on a fantastic train ride and enjoyed the local museum very much, it was beautifully set up.



The old copper mines...




16

A weekend natter.

You know those perfect spring days?  Where the sun is shining, the birds are singing and the weather is just right? 

Well today is one of those days.  One of those days that makes mothering look easy. 

We have spent much of it in the garden, my floors are filthy from little muddy boots wandering in and out of my kitchen, ha!  But it is far too nice a day to clean them or even care for that matter. 

We have just been pottering about on random jobs.  Nothing too strenuous, stopping for regular cuppas and a natter.  The boys have been finding all kinds of interesting project to amuse themselves with.  There has been bug collecting and identifying, fire making, hole digging, cubby building and playing with the various animals that come up to say hello. 

This kind of play is my very favorite kind.  Few toys, no guidance.  Only imagination and what ever they can find at hand.  It's interesting, screen free, natural, simple, and it's the stuff happy, calm childhoods are made of I reckon.  Sure its messy, and muddy, and creates extra work for me in cleaning.  But it is oh-so good for them.  In body, mind and spirit.  Its good for me to watch them in the fresh air.  To listen to them chatter to each other.  Learning how to negotiate, to lead, to create.

For me it is days like this that we strive for.  They are not fancy, or glamerous.  They are quiet.  Humble.  This is the reason we try to live simply, to live slowly and consciously.  Because in the space of home, important activities are done, values are formed, relationships strengthened.  Peace found.    

The joy and happiness of the day is not found "outside" in the world, behind expensive days spent buying stuff for the kids.  It is here, where we are, with what we have, and what we already hold in our own hands and hearts.  This is the kind of love, contentedness that is going to last.  Because it is not reliant on something we have consumed to make us happy.  The media would have us believe happiness is in buying fancy toys and expensive "childrens" activities, and whilst it may be fun for a while, its short lived.  The good stuff comes from within, from them.  Whe we give them time, space, freedom and nature I truly believe we help to teach them that they are enough, just as they are.  What an important lesson to know in this big, crazy, loud world.  

The bonus is that everyone will sleep well tonight!


We have an abundance of lemons at the moment.  This lot are going to be made into lemon cordial and lemon butter.

 The boys have been finding pet snails about the place.  Hours of amusement!

I transplanted some herbs that were being strangled out in my raised garden bed - but they need protection from little feet.   So here is our DIY solution.  Perhaos not the prettiest fence around but its free! 

Our hollyhocks are in full bloom.  Just stunning.

The boys have been making themselves a little camp fire.  I might have to dig out some marshmellos for them!

I was sick of looking at Grants messy bug shed and so he whacked up some mesh we had lying around, planted a couple of Jasmine I bought a while back and we transplanted from of these lillies.  The edging is recycled bricks from the piles we have here.  We need to bring in some peastraw now.  Im hoping to get a load from a local farmer soon. 

I hope every one is having a lovely weekend!
Much love,
Emma
xx
16

persistance and consistancy.

Sometimes either on my blog or in my life people ask how we do it all.  Renovate, own a business, study, work, raise children etc.

I'm not special, nor even particularly good with time management.

This is what it often looks like....


Working on an assignment, late at night with a small child sleeping next to me. 

 It means not watching T.V. at night when my husband is. 

 It means saying "no" to things for the sake of sleep and sanity.

 It means hobbies get put on hold.  It sometimes means an excess dose of Mama guilt.

But for me, I think it comes down to if I really, truly want to do something or to learn something I will work out a way to make room for it.  It might take time for that space to be found in my life.  I might have to wait for the next season....It might mean putting something down so I can pick something up.  Sometimes an old season needs to end for a new season to begin.

But there are many things in life that don’t take that much time to try.  Like making laundry liquid, or learning how to make soap.  Meal planning and shopping for simple but nourishing family dinners.  Buying a few big pots and planting a herb garden.  These things are all small and affordable jobs in the scheme of things.  All too often we simply make them to be bigger than they are in our minds, and we procrastinate. 


We might get disheartened because our work doesn't look like the pictures we see on Pinterest.  But that’s ok.  It doesn’t have too!  We are only able to create the lives we want by firstly making the time to change, having the courage to actually do it, and the persistence to keep going when it gets challenging. 



But when we make these small changes, they add up.  Slowly and steadily.  Eventually if we make enough of these changes we will look back, and our lives will look dramatically different.  As we learn new skills our confidence grows, as we let go of what weighs us down we grow happier.  Suddenly our life looks in line with the things we value.  It looks like us.  It reflects our own values, dreams and personal story. 



Knitting is my new hobby.  I have always wanted to be able to knit beautiful jumpers, to read a pattern.  Today, I’m completely hopeless at it.  My tension is uneven; I have no idea how to unpick it to mend an error.  But I will persist and plod along.  Because I reckon all good things in life take time and effort.  There is beauty in a slow journey.  But the joy when you produce something that resembles your goal?  Nothing beats that feeling! 

Much love,
Emma

xx   


    


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