Saturday, December 31, 2011

Frogs in prayer

Wouldn't you love to know the inner workings of your child's mind sometimes? I walked past the playroom to discover rows and rows of frogs in earnest prayer.

The work of my littlest chicken. Wouldn't you like to see the endless potential in everything you touch?

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Another post??

Ok, so the number of posts in only a couple of days is rather high, but who can resist these gorgeous flowers??

They were begging me to photograph them.

I could hear them.

Look at my gloriously curly edges, this one said.


This is my third attempt at growing a Frangipani tree. Keeping it in a pot and not watering very often seems to have worked for me, as it has been alive for 2 years now and is flowering like crazy this Summer! (So exciting when the plants stay alive, eh?!)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Trying out the new camera

I think I need lessons, really. But I'm still having fun! I think I've just about photographed every bug and flower in the garden today....

The end of the snake

We suspected that we had a snake living in our garden over the last year. He finally came out to sun himself today. Jack (the dog) was on the ball and kept him rounded up. My response was "Stay there - I'm getting the camera!". Don's was slightly different, "Stay there, I'm getting the hoe!" I managed to snap a few quick photos before the aforementioned hoe put period to the snake.

Needless to say, we are very thankful to have a dog!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Season's Greetings!

Merry Christmas to all!

We have had a lovely time here, reflecting on God's gift to us, and enjoying time with family.


... I have a new camera! :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Summer, is that you?

I think Summer might have finally arrived. Not that I'm complaining, mind. It's just been a little weird to have the Christmas tree up at the same time as wearing a jumper.... But there's no fear of wearing a jumper today.

Our frangipani tree is blooming, and there's all sorts of interesting empty nests to view.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The joy of rolling ink stamps

My littlest chicken found the rolling animal print stamps this morning. I'm just beginning to discover just how much she is enjoying them. Chicken no.1 is complaining that her book lists now have echidna prints on them. And little chicken is currently discovering how the beautiful prints all over the dining room floor now need to be cleaned off. These quiet, busy children, I tell you - they get a lot of practice cleaning things up! At least ink comes off the tiles quite easily. The books she ate as a toddler weren't quiet so easily fixed....

Meanwhile, Christmas is fast approaching. At least, the calendar is telling me that, but it hasn't quite sunk into my brain yet. All this rain and cool weather has tricked my brain into thinking it's still months away yet. When I think back on memories of Christmas as a child I fondly remember curling up in some cozy nook with some junk food and a good book. Ahhhh, childhood. I just can't get away with that same level of anti-social behavior anymore! Or the same level of junk food... Maybe I should start exercising now in preparation.....

Thursday, November 24, 2011

More loveliness

This time oldest sister is brushing and doing the hair of her little sister. Makes my heart warm!. :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Scenes of colouring

These two are not only colouring the same picture, but sharing the same chair. Oh, so sweet!

And this beautiful scene was captured first thing in the morning. The children occupying themselves before their parents make the effort to stumble out of bed.... Ahhh. :)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

We did nothing today

I find it interesting that when a friend or grandparent comes in the door and asks the children what they have learnt in 'school' today, the answer is often "nothing, really, except a page of maths". (Why is it always on a day when we haven't done much 'formal' schooling??) I roll my eyes and think of all the 'nothing' that they did today.

My eldest daughter did another puzzle (1000 piece); read a book (which led to a spontaneous discussion about WWII); created a complicated game with lots of drawing, cards, and other features, then tested it out on her siblings; got lots of fresh air and exercise on the trampoline and swings; created a drama performance or game on the trampoline; organised or baked something; created a Lego structure (often with an ancient Rome/Greek theme at the moment).

My son (after getting himself dressed, breakfasted, and jobs done before anyone else was up in the morning) delved into one of his favourite non-fiction books for a while then later came and told me the difference between one type of ant and other; spent time breaking apart rocks then came to show me how some were flaky, some were layered, some hard, some soft; made lots of Lego cars; played a dozen word games with his little sister (which involves teaching her how to read); drew a picture for his mother.

Littlest chicken at least has lots to say - about all the games outside, what she watered and planted with mummy, what she made with the play-dough, what babies she put to bed where and what ailments they are suffering from...

So yeah, lots of 'nothing' done here today.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The puzzle of the mind

A fascinating glimpse into the mind of my eldest daughter.

She has been sorting and organising things for as long as I can remember.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Spring & Mulberries

I love this weather. All our school books are dragged outside. Maths is done in between pondering the dragonflies and listening to the birds. There's mulberry stains on all the children's clothes and fingers, and there's mulberry pie for dinner. Yum-o!

Friday, August 26, 2011

The life and habits of green insects

This little fella was caught in our kitchen tonight. We sat him (or her?) on the table during dinner so we could watch it's funny antics. I won't tell you how much milk was spilled in the process... We decided this particular green insect is very vain, as it would take a few steps then stop to groom. Those antennae must need a lot of care!

The ornamental pear

Our ornamental pear tree is convinced that it's Spring, so who am I to disagree? The bees seem to be convinced too.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tiny bows and arrows

We have been busy making tiny bows and arrows here lately. We used the instructions from the Broody Hen blog (thank you!). Loads of fun!

I don't know if paddle pop sticks are different elsewhere in the world, but we ended up soaking ours for at least 24hrs, then bent them slowly over a glass jar to prevent them from snapping.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Here comes the sun

I love how a simple thing like swinging on the swings shows the children's different personalities.

My eldest girl, if I'm out there, will spend the entire time describing characters in the book she is reading. Without pause. I'm serious. And she's checking up on me too: "Are you listening, mum? What did I just say? Tell me what I just said." Otherwise she will be thinking of possibilities: what if we sit on the swings this way? What if we hold on to each other's swings? What if? Or organising the others: "you put your hand here on this swing, and you get the swings going this way.."

My boy will quietly ponder questions like: can I still leap off when I am swinging this high? How far will my shoe fly if I fling it off from this height? And generally just enjoying every moment of swinging.

My littlest one will quietly go about her own investigations. Will mum notice if I bring my soft toy outside? Will I flatten big dog if I sit on him while I swing?

And me? I'm trying to photograph small things in the grass. Go figure.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

And back to winter again...

The weather has turned chilly again, but it's raining which is wonderful. We have been doing a few indoor projects - one of which is this world map on canvas. I can't remember which blog I saw this on first, but it looked really good! In reality it's really difficult to stick the map on without any creases, and it's tricky to get it all sitting nicely when you've used cheap canvases like I have which are a little shy of square.... But it was good enough for our wall, I think. And will prevent that nasty curled corners look which all our other maps get eventually - probably from children constantly brushing past them.

The map also had an array of flags from around the world, so I decided to stick them up on some canvas too. See, I really am addicted to canvases at the moment!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Feels like Spring

It's so gorgeous and warm outside today. The windows have been flung open to let the fresh air in again. Books have been tossed aside in favour of swings and gardening. And I'm anticipating my lunch of left-over corned beef with my friend's most amazing home-made beetroot chutney, and some asparagus I just picked from the garden. Bliss...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Time flies

Where should I start? We have had the birthday run for the children. Don and I have both been on an Emmaus Walk. There's been prophetic schools, conferences... and lots of peace and quiet in amongst all that too. This last week has mostly consisted of tidying the house, so that I have the space to be creative again.

This is what I made today for a little baby girl that was born recently (I hope her mother isn't peeking at the blog!). It's from the latest Oliver & S book, and I found the bear ears too cute to pass by!

And here's some birthday shots. In order: my eldest girl turned 9, my boy turned 7, and my littlest chicken turned 5!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Little Red Riding Hood

There have been a few capes made around here lately. Good for this wave of cold weather. I picked up this remnant of red velvety material in a remnants bin and it just screamed Little Red Riding Hood at me! So here she is. The girl herself. And what's that in your basket, little girl? A lovely surprise for Granny? Oh, beetles. Of course.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I love canvas

It was chicken no.1's birthday on Saturday. Nine years old! Oh, how time flies... (I want to write about how cute and lovely she is, but I can't - I'd get in trouble...) She is still very much into puzzles. Funnily enough, she hasn't really been interested in reading much lately, unless it was a quick book she could read in 1/2 an hour. And I bought so many lovely books this year for our curriculum! (*sob*!) I was repeating lots of calming thoughts to myself about seasons of learning, etc, etc. Then she picked up Lord of the Rings to read. Ok then. The longer I do this homeschooling thing, the more I realise that when I just step back and let them direct their own learning they get a whole lot more out of it.

Chicken no.2, our boy, has discovered the Deltora Quest books now. He's a good reader too, but not really interested in sitting down and reading a book, unless it's non-fiction. He has really been enjoying this series, though, so it's on our recommended reading list for boys (and girls).

Littlest chicken and I have been painting lots of canvases. Lots. We made this butterfly art today. Very fun! She painted on sturdy paper with watercolours, then we cut it into strips and punched butterflies out of it. The leftover strips we then laminated to make bookmarks.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Strange Caterpillar

It's been an interesting week, wildlife-wise. We had a snake cross near the house. I told it where to go, let me tell you. It was quite fascinating watching how it moves, though, and seeing it's tongue flicking about.

And this bizarre looking fellow surprised Don under a leaf of a tree he was trimming back. Ouch! Long gloves might be in order for pruning!

The caterpillar reminds me strangely of a sea cucumber - our eldest chicken's new favourite animal. It's her favourite because it can shoot it's innards out... etc, etc. Gross. It's not surprising that she likes Roald Dahl books so much, is it?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Good things

We had a good day today, on Good Friday.

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5

I had some fun with paint and canvas, and the 'thankful hands' that the children wrote at church.

There's something about the colour orange at the moment - I just can't get enough of it! I'm going to try some more of these stripey canvases I think - they're so fun!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Here are some photos from the Baptism service we had in March. Very proud of these two.