Monday, February 20, 2017

Encouraging the gift of giving

Part of our family culture  is to make gifts for each other for Christmas and birthdays as well as for any other special occasion.

This tradition started really when we were first married and as is usual birthdays and Christmas came around on a regular basis. As Stephen was still a student and I worked casually we did not have a lot of money and so the cheapest way to give gifts was to make them.

It was not until some time later that I realised the worth that is in a hand made gift- the giving of your self in thinking of the person and what they like and then investing the time into creating the gift to be given.

As such we have continued on with the making of cards and gifts and I am thrilled to see our younger ones carrying on this tradition.
We happen to have a most beautiful selection of true old fashioned roses that have a truly full fragrance to them. They make the most delicious Rose Petal Jam and candied roses for special occasions.

I have also dried them for herbal teas and pot-pourri  and so it was not surprising and also a little exciting and sweet to see Trahaearn collecting a basket one day and ask for his 'lefties' to go and cut some flowers to make a gift for his sister.
Once he started to collect the flowers he soon had another partner in crime to help him.
I think he and Arwen spent quite a while outside enjoying the time together selecting the flowers they deemed perfect to add to the collection to be given as a token of love.
I have been using my new dehydrator quite a lot lately and while the old one does not work at all I kept the old racks for 'natural'air drying.'

These were perfect for this little project and they were able to put the racks where they could see blossoms drying and still be involved int eh creating process.

Such a quick and simple gift.
A beautiful gift from nature.
A gift from the heart- given with true love and from their own hands.
What more can you ask for?

Blessings to you and your homes,

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Looking for some fun things to do on St Valentine's Day???

Buy Now
Are you looking for fun family activities?
Well, if you are looking for fun activities to do together for St Valentines Day I am sure you will find some  great activities to do in my new e-book .

The book has decorating ideas to make and keep for future celebrations of St Valentine's Day.
There are special foods to cook, colouring for children, a word search, crossword puzzle, card game to play and a ready made banner to cut out and put up straight away.
All this plus information about St Valentine and more for only $14.99 AUD.

I hope you will consider purchasing this labour of love 💗

Blessings to you and your homes,

Sunday, February 12, 2017

A Little Bit of Learning.......

 I have found that earning is often shunted in to categories by just about everyone.
Clearly we have the standard 'school learning' then we have 'home learning' and within those groups we have many differing categories that we all identify with.

In fact I know I try to incorporate various 'subjects' together to cover what I am trying to present to the children. It makes it more real and enjoyable I believe in this format.

The more I have 'lived' a home education lifestyle with our family, the more I find we are really 'living this life'.
So much of what we do is incorporated into daily living that it's often impossible to tell where 'home education starts and living' starts.
In the last year we have especially grown in the area of Homesteading for a better word. This is a part of our daily routine and while sometimes we can have a few complainers about the chores that come with this, there have been many educational advantages as well.

For aren't we preparing our children for the real world, where they have to go out and live. They need to be able to recognise work as a ethic to be valued-something I think that is sorely missing in many of today's youth.
What better way than to recognise that all people need food, shelter,  basic sanitation and quality of life.
I mean really isn't' that why people go to work, to provide those things for themselves and their families?

We have branched out in our 'Homesteading' this past year. We have focused a lot on the animals we can grow to provide food and small opportunities for selling or barter.

We also have created an orchard this year, all in pots though until we find our final homestead. I have only in the past been interested in the typical stone fruits and European fruits we are familiar with, but with our interest in foraging for food  we have added quite a few native edibles that are so interesting to see and use.

Reading is and has always been a  huge part of our home learning.  I will admit I have been lax in insisting our younger children have 'assigned reading' so  this year I am trying to implement this again with them.
The choices are probably not going to be what the older children had but the insistence of 1 hour of assigned reading per day will be.

Again reading aloud is a much loved part of our learning and to get us started this year we will be adding these books to our daily routine. Sometimes it is hard to not just choose a  book because I had such fun reading it to the older ones. which also means trying to read to the younger crowd interesting. 
Introducing new books to our 'home learning' while trying to share those old treasured favourites can be a difficult decision for us all - especially as the older ones try to share their favourites with the younger ones.
Self Sufficiency is essentially part of what we are trying to achieve and to that end we were extremely pleased with our efforts to finally get to eat 'bunny bits' as we called them.
We have been raising meat rabbits for a good part of the year and while they can be prolific that diseases they can contract can entirely wipe out all the work you have put into it.

So again that allows us and the children real opportunities to see that hard work does not always produce the results you are looking for- life lessons that are so important in this world that expects things for nothing or even just because we have  poured our hearts and souls into it.
There is something about being able to cook on the barbie that seems like a rite of passage to me. Mind you in our family there are a few who can actually cook and some who we try to keep from inflicting charcoal on us all.

Looking at this from a real life perspective though it is also about being open to allowing children to grow in skills and responsibilities that help them achieve their own goals and ambitions while still allowing them the opportunity to  be children.
Therefore  this year will indeed be a great year of learning not only for the children but also for the rest of us as we grow and learn along side them.

Our Wilderness School will continue to be a major part of our lives as we continue to learn about our environment and how to successfully live in it, both in being able to provide food, shelter, and other real life living for the prosperity of our family and to being able to have members of our family to contribute to the community and the good of our world.

Buy Now
And now a  small reminder that I have my St Valentine's Day eBook ready for Sale - only $14:99 AUD and $11:83 USD
Please consider buying  this for your family before the coming feast day.
It has some lovely traditions to start with your family. Also decorating, colouring pages, recipes and activities to do together to bring more meaning to your St Valentine's Day

Blessings to you and your homes,

Saturday, February 11, 2017

It's so old Fashioned!!

One of the benefits of trying to create and make produce at home is the sheer joy it gives as I am preparing it.

I have seriously always preferred to prepare things by hand. I have a few  electrical appliances  but I rarely  use them. Probably the only one I use regularly is my blender. We love making smoothies and they are a regular part of our meals,

But I guess I just have something for good old fashioned manual labour 😊

For years, well all my life really,  I have dreamt of a herd of Jersey cows and the joy of milking them and drinking the milk, churning butter and making cheese.

Along with that I have always wanted an old fashioned butter churn, You know those ones you see, the beautiful wooden ones I read about in books.

So finally after giving up that dream of churning in  that beautiful churn I decided I would rather have the opportunity to hand churn with this  lovely churn rather than not churn at all.

So we have enjoyed making butter with our little butter churn, the children all line up and keep begging for a turn. It's like when I bring out our  hand grain mill or oat roller, I have everyone wanting to have a turn and not always very patiently.

So now this  little gadget is another item in our homesteading adventure. One I am sure we will get great pleasure from for many years.

Blessings to you and your homes,

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

It's Birthday Time!!

It's been quite a while since I have shared a birthday and I am reminded often by the children why Have I not done 'My Birthday Post'

So here is our Miss Arwen's 8th Birthday
The most decorated part of a birthday in our home is the breakfast table.
After the birthday child has gone to bed we all 'whizz' around decorating the breakfast table, wrapping presents, decorating the seasons table and putting out the stars for the birthday child to walk down stairs to the seasons table in the morning.
 A very excited birthday girl was up early to get a good start on the day.
 It is all ready and waiting for Miss Arwen to arrive
After the hand-made cards are given it is time for the Birthday bag to be opened.
Each child is allowed to make a list of what they would like for their birthday and we try to provide gifts from the list.

 Breakfast is always the birthday child's choice too and we have started to have some interesting choices for this lately.

Arwen wanted Peach and Pies with whipped cream this year.
 I had to run into town for a couple of things and because of the VERY early start our birthday girl fell asleep within 5 mins of being in the car 😊
 "The Sweet Shop Cake" is a family tradition. Each of the  girls has had this except Myffwyn now. Each year the other girls try to convince Myffy and Arwen to have this cake and finally this year Arwen agreed.
It is incredibly hard to stop cream from melting on a cake in an Australian summer and this day was very hot and humid. So although I had planned on making this cake earlier in the day, I a glad I didn't because it would have been a complete disaster by dinner time.
After a long day it is time to blow out the candles and have a sleepover with her special friend who had spent the day at our house.

Buy Now
And now a  small reminder that I have my St Valentine's Day eBook ready for Sale - only $14:99 AUD and $11:83 USD
Please consider buying  this for your family.
It has some lovely traditions to start with your family. Also colouring pages, recipes and activities to do together to bring more meaning to your St Valentine's Day

Blessings to you and your homes,

Monday, February 6, 2017

My Valentine's Day e-book is now for sale

Buy Now

Finally I have done it!
With the help of my family I have managed to put together my first e-book.
Hopefully this e-book will be the first in a continuing series - well that is our plan anyway.

This book - "A Cherished Hearts Valentine's Day" contains over 50 pages of content: including crafts to make, games to play, pictures to colour and information all for only $14.99 AUD.

I wish to thank all those friends who over the  years who have encouraged me to do this as well and I hope you will consider purchasing this labour of love 💗

Blessings to you and your homes,

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Welcome back and some Feast Day Celebrations

Well.... Hello long lost blog Readers,
No, I know you weren't lost, it was me 😉

The times they have been a-changing in our home. Nothing drastic (well some of it has been) but really its just the fact that life moves on, people grow, interests develop and our family life tends to reflect that. The end results have meant not much energy to invest here. Hopefully that will all be water under the bridge and we can become good friends again.

Maybe now that we are starting back to our 'scheduled' learning for the year I may be able to be more in this space and share what is happening in our lives.

The first week of a learning year is always an easy start with three feast days in a row.
St Brigid, Candlemas and St Blaise.

Naturally we celebrated in regular style for us with good food, good reading and activities as well as sharing St Brigid with a special guest.

We really do go all out for St Brigid- after all she is an Irish Saint and well we are of Irish ancestry. What else can we say!
Oh we did this year after reading more about her take St Brigid as our patron saint of our Homestead as she is patron saint of many farm activities 😊

This year we even churned some butter in the hand butter churner I received for Christmas. The kids loved taking turns at it and with that help it was done in no time.
 Next up is Candlemas and although not as big as St Brigid it certainly does get due attention.
 those amazing cupcakes in the first picture. They are actually meant to look like old fashioned candle holder with candle in it. You know the ones you carry up to bed with you. I think they are pretty darn cute.
 Each year we have our floating candles and doves  and have them lit while we do our reading and colouring.
This year on all three days we had a very, very involved little boy. He was quite pedantic about his colouring pages and towards the end of the week was a little testy about his ability. Not Mr Perfect - oh no!!
St Blaise was our final Feast day and the only edible activity we had were these licorice covered chocolate, which were supposed to represent the crossed candles of St Blaise.

Finally after these very 'light' filled liturgical days I think the children will be quite ready for some very 'boring regular' lessons on Monday.

Thank you for dropping by and visiting with us again.
We hope to be better company this year 💗

Blessings to you and your homes,


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