Friday, July 30, 2010

My Birthday Celebrations

In childhood, we yearn to be grown-ups. In old age, we yearn to be kids. It just seems that all would be wonderful if we didn't have to celebrate our birthdays in chronological order. ~Robert Brault



My birthday flower blossomed for me in full spendour as I anticipated here,

gifts from my cherubs, presented to me while still naked after my shower
(excitement and anticipation absolutely cannot be quelled and postponed),

a sneak peek at our morning's activities enjoyed with our homeschool group,

Align Center
followed by an afternoon of sunshine, blossom and natter in the park with new friends,

Ess picked me oodles and oodles of soursobs making at least two enormous bunches,


I returned home to more flowers from my very Generous Gentleman.
He knows what makes my heart sing.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Morialta Falls Conservation Park

You must not know too much, or be too precise or scientific about birds and trees and flowers and water-craft; a certain free margin, and even vagueness - perhaps ignorance, credulity - helps your enjoyment of these things... ~Walt Whitman, Specimen Days, "Birds - And a Caution"

The things we love:

peace, tranquility, being outdoors,


marvelling at the wonders of nature.

We wondered how the extended branches' weight was supported. This tree is enormous and the branches are growing almost horizontally. The pull of gravity must be huge,
yet still they stand.



the wonder of blackboys growing atop rocky outcrops in tiny patches of minimal soil,

enjoying the playful antics of the birdlife, Eastern Rosellas splashing in the creek,

and rainbow lorikeets high in the eucalypts

spotting ducks in the flowing creeks and watching the delight of our little girls,


the green of this one's beak is quite striking,

watching magpies warble as they call to each other,

and listening to the sounds of nature in the fall of water.

video
video

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

One Foggy Morning in July

we wandered outside wondering just exactly what fog felt like,
it intrigued us of course, as we never quite reached it,
fog can be funny like that can't it!

we played long jump in a grassy clearing

watched the dew collect in moist patches on our shoes

admired dewdrops all over our Golden Diosma

and found our first daffodil budding

also covered in dew

waiting to greet us.

Daffodils are my birthday flower.
(At least in my mind they are.)

My mother tells me of how they were blossoming in our front lawn
as she brought me home from hospital.
My birthday is only a week away so we'll see how many are blooming for us then.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dolls of Japan


Reach for Heaven

We enjoyed viewing over 70 traditional handcrafted Japanese Dolls which were on exhibition to encourage arts and cultural exchange between Australia and Japan. It is a national touring exhibition so you may be able to see it wherever you are if you keep your eye out for it. It closes here on 22 July and I am not sure where it is then headed. More details here.

These are just a few of our favourites. The titles of those we remember are in italics.


Little Girl

Little Girl

There is no doubt in my mind that these wonderful dolls are works of art. They are certainly revered much more highly in Japanese culture than in our own. We marvelled at the beauty of, and the story behind, each piece and found it intriguing to imagine the artisans carving, sculpting and creating each of these beautiful works.


This Kokeshi Doll is just so so pretty, the carved flowers adorable.
We'll call her Blossom - not sure of her real name.


:: such elegance ::


Koto


Passing Time
:: reminding me of myself and my Ess ::


We are exploring the tale of Momotarosan in Kindermusik studies at the moment so it was fabulous to see him depicted in this way.


Peach Boy
I think this might be him - the little peach baby.


Tag
Children playing chasey or tag. The child who is it is trying to tag the last one in the line.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Japanese Cultural Day

If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.
~Japanese Proverb

We were fortunate to participate in a Japanese Cultural Day held in a nice peaceful environment. There were not crowds of people around which resulted in us being able to enjoy each activity without having to wait in queues and struggling to see.

Enjoy here a glimpse of some of what the day had to offer us.

:: trying on kimono ::

:: participating in a tea ceremony ::

:: listening to the Koto with a flute ::

video


:: listening to the Shakuhachi flute ::


:: having our names written in Japanese characters ::

This morning we have a commenced little unit study based around the lovely book below, A Pair of Red Clogs, by Masako Matsuno which is set in Japan.

A Pair of Red Clogs

Already we have had so much fun learning more about Japan, their flag, the country's location, a weather-telling game for children, differences in culture around the dining table, elaborate hairstyles, dressing up in dressing gown kimono with our hair in plaits, pretending our crocs are clogs and playing the weather-telling game.



The girls also surprised me with some of their own origami, their own design. We enjoyed making some simple pieces yesterday with an older Japanese instructor and her Australian teacher offsider so it was lovely to see them being creative with paper today. They made hats, fish, wormies and another special creation of my little Eee's.

Tomorrow I might give you a peak at some of our favourite dolls from the Dolls of Japan Exhibition. Would you like that?

If anyone knows of any lovely Japanese literature I should be exposing my 6 and nearly 3 year old to, please do share. Another we have enjoyed is One Leaf Rides the Wind, a counting book by Celeste Davidson Mannis. Great for little Eee.

One Leaf Rides the Wind: Count

**As you can see, Ess is now quite recovered and enjoying life as a little girl should. Thankyou for your care and concern.**

Friday, July 16, 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award



The rules state a recipient of the Beautiful Blogger award must:
*Add a link and a note of thanks to the person giving the award.
*Pass the award on to the most Beautiful Blogs you love.
*Share 7 things about yourself.

Thankyou Alecat of Serenades and Solace for awarding me with this award today. The last 24 hours have been rather tough ones with my Ess having an allergic reaction while we were out at the markets, little Eee performing her usual tantrums and my Generous Gentleman sharing some work news. It's not all new. However, yesterday it got to me and I spent hours awake last night worrying about things which I usually try not to let worry me as I know they are in good hands.

So worn and weary this morning, I found this award which has very much touched my heart today - thankyou.

I'd like to pass it on to some friends old and new:
Jeanne of A Peaceful Day, whose blog I recently found. She shares a wealth of information about her experiences homeschooling her daughter. She has wonderful taste for art and literature also. Her days are somewhat sad at the moment so I hope this award will cheer you a little, Jeanne. 'Your blog has been a blessing to me. I'm sure Alecat will join me with a little bit of envy that you live in the country with a lovely garden.'
Nina of Nö's Familie, who is a faithful friend, always able to offer a kind and helpful word. It is a delight to watch how she raises her two cherubs in southern Germany.
Mel of One Crafty Mumma whose creativity never fails to inspire me to start yet another project. Thanks Mel.
Millie of Needles and Haystacks, a lovely lady in Ireland who always has a lovely comment to make, a friendly smile to share and lovely sewing as well.
Sarah of The Best Days of My Life whose inspirational writing always speaks to my heart.

And 7 things about me?
:: I'm 28 weeks pregnant with my third little one.
:: I'm really enjoying the learning curve of homeschooling my girls.
:: I tend to store up my worries for a rainy day and then they all come out. Everything - large or small. I'm sure my husband thinks the rain won't stop falling from my eyes.
:: I seek beauty in the smallest and simplest of things.
:: I'm quite small, barely 5 foot tall.
:: I'd love to take my family to explore the Great Barrier Reef.
:: I love chocolate!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Wool Embroidery

Needlepoint: the delicious art of filling in holes with wool.
~Carole Berman and Jennifer Lazarus


The winds of motivation were sent to me recently from the warm summer days of southern Germany. The winds took a little while to arrive, yet today I have noticed that motivation has come. The day has been a little warmer, warm enough to sit in our front room, usually chilled by cold winds blowing down the hill. As I sat with my children, watching them play, and joining in on occasion, I noticed those warm woollen hats sitting partly made ready to be embellished with a little more wool embroidery.


At the same time I went through my stash of fabric to find some pieces for other projects I have been inspired to commence for little Eee's birthday at the end of next month. I have completed a number of things which have been waiting for me since my lack of creativity during my first trimester and also our first term of homeschooling. Such a sense of satisfaction I feel. I just hope that my surge of motivation doesn't leave me with too many more unfinished projects.


It has been nice however, to sit in the sun this morning looking out over to the hills with my hand to stitching while my girls play together. Sometimes I like to join them, however I notice how much the games change when I do. On occasion it is nice just to sit quietly and let their own creativity emerge, just between the two of them. Little Eee's playing is certainly moving from imitative play to imaginative play these days which leaves lots of room for fun and games with her big sister as they imagine scenes, reenact stories, become fairies and princesses and babes and mothers and all the games that little girls adore.

For me...just a couple of forget-me-nots to go methinks.

Thankyou Nina for your inspiration on the warm breeze.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Pere al Vino Rosso

It is, in my view, the duty of an apple to be crisp and crunchable, but a pear should have such a texture as leads to silent consumption. ~Edward Bunyard

This recipe has to be the most simple dessert I have made in a very long time.

Baked pears with a red wine sauce served with vanilla yoghurt.

My little pear of dessert lovers were keen to help make this last night so I had them washing the pears, and apples as well, and arranging them in a baking dish.

We then baked them dry for about 30 minutes before adding about ½-¾ cup red wine, some peeled lemon rind and honey. We love drizzling the warm fruit with honey and watching the lines meld together to form a glaze for the fruit. We baked them again for 30 mins or so before consuming them with a dollop of vanilla yoghurt. We use the new Jalna a2 yoghurt as we have been advised by our health practitioner that it is a healthy practice for everyone to consume some a2 protein each day as it assists in digestive wellbeing.


All credit must go to Antonio Carluccio as seen on Poh's Kitchen recently. We have adapted the recipe he offered as we prefer to consume honey rather than sugar in this household.

Our New Treasure

Lilypie Maternity tickers

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