Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween spider webs

I always like to check my email (and rss feeds) in the mornings as most things arrive overnight (being in Australia and all :) Well, I was so inspired by Laura at My Montessori Journey and this post that as soon as breakfast was finished I put this tray together!:

White paint on a plate + a melon scooper + a little rubber ball (it's the same colour as the scooper so a bit hard to see in this photo. Laura used a marble which would be good but since we didn't have any I went with rubber) + a shaker of silver glitter + a container with a piece of black card inside.

Place the ball into the paint using the scooper and turn the plate around until the ball is covered and then scoop it out...

... and into the container on top of the black paper where you roll the ball around until you have created your very own spider web!

A generous sprinkle of glitter.

And finally, attach a plastic spider with 'blu-tak' ( I took the photo of the tray set up before I tracked down the spiders, but they were on the tray too).

With extra white paint and black paper left we did a few extensions - different coloured glitter and using a skewer to write with. Lots of fun! All of the credit to Laura - her blog is soooooo good and her classroom parents must adore her :)

Watermelon Juice. Yum!

T came home with a 12 kilogram Watermelon earlier in the week! Yippee!! The kids are watermelon-crazy but it sure does help if you don't have anything else in the fridge ;)

So, this morning I thought it would be fun to get out the juicer!

I was so impressed - the boys quickly agreed on their own jobs. I cut up the watermelon, Lovely put it into the juicer & Hug pressed it down. Previously Lovely has just watched so this is his first time to be fully involved. 

Juice guys in action. Love the focus!

Voila! Watermelon and lemon juice. Yummmm :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Some days

Oh somedays...
Some days are easier than others :)
and, some days are harder :(

or - even - some *moments* are easier and some are harder ;)

yesterday was such a dream - the boys were so joyful and polite and we had lots of fun doing simple things and having friends to visit.

today - was actually a lot of fun - with some real fun treats thrown in (mainly 2 big sessions at the new indoor kids "world" and some extra yummy things to eat) but thrown in the middle of that was a mighty t.a.n.t.r.u.m (it was Lovely, not me, I should add -  though I *was* on the brink! ;) 
a full hour and fifteen minutes of screaming. 

Sweet Lord. I thought I was going to lose my mind. 

The funny thing is that yesterday I was having such a blissful time that I was thinking about next year and second-guessing our plans in preference for actually *doing* the homeschool thing. I felt so in the groove. And for that hour and fifteen minutes of ear-bleeding today I felt so lost and hopeless. 

Ah, motherhood. It sure ain't always easy, is it?!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hanging with daddy

Another city, another bubbler :)

Listening to daddy at the radio studio

Lunch at the Botanical Gardens

Friends :) a skink and a baby water dragon frolic together on the rocks.

Crossing Dragon Bridge.

Yum, a chocolate (cacao) tree.

There were thousands of Water Dragon's - including this friendly fellow who was under our table when we sat down!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Montessori and Steiner

Well, Hug has been accepted into the local Waldorf Steiner school for next year! We had been waiting for a while to hear so it was good news... and a little bit of a crazy twist for a Montessori mama! ;)

I have so much to say about Montessori and Steiner and the combination and juxtaposition of both so I must find the time to bring these ideas together.

Lovely will start at Hug's old Montessori preschool next year as well so I will have a child in each program! Lovely will also go to a Steiner playgroup each week and I will be doing some Montessori at home with Hug. I guess I'm hoping for the best from both worlds :)

Of course it isn't my ideal situation - or, rather - it's not what I would have imagined choosing but the more I read and think about it the more I dig it. There is very little (that I've found online) about combining both methods but I actually feel like they're the ying and yang of the same whole (wholistic education) but more about that in a future post...

So, I've been pondering the idea of changing my blog title for a while - Maybe, to "Adventures of a RAINBOW mama" with rainbow being the combination of multiple approaches but I do love the Montessori title I have now & I *am* inclined to do much more Montessori inspired stuff myself... that's more *me*. 

Does anyone out there have an opinion? 

Friday, October 17, 2008

Jelly oranges

I can't take credit for these beautiful crreatures. My lovely friend made them for her daughters 5th birthday to her own mothers recipe - she grew up with them! Apparently they are quite easy... you just clean out some orange halves and fill them with different coloured jelly mixes. When they're set you slice each half into 4 and serve!

Lovely was a fan! Here he is with his beautiful long locks. Awww... Since I took this photo he had his first haircut (T was sick of everyone thinking he was a girl :) and I still can't get used to it. I loved his hair and I must say that it will be a long while before I cut it again!


Our enthusiasm for bubblers continues!

I can't believe how many shapes and sizes and styles they come in but my boys are excited to try 'em all :)

Gardening with Scissors

Okay, so I'm sure there are special tools for this & that it probably isn't the best for the scissors but Lovely has been really enjoying cutting the dead-heads off the daisies!

I managed to get a huge amount of gardening done across 2 separate days while he either did this job, raked up my garden-waste with the kids rake or dug in the garden bed with his bucket and spade.

But, this daisy business is the best & totally Montessori because there are so many things that can be learnt:

+ recognising which flowers need to be cut off (is it a bud or a flower or is it old now?)
+ using the scissors with purpose
+ holding the stem to steady the daisy and cutting down low with precision
+ carrying the scissors correctly
+ cutting the fresh flowers for the house (which could extend to choosing a vase & filling it also)
+ conversations about lifecycles

I'm sure there are a lot of ideas I haven't even considered yet... plus, the garden looks so much better for it. Yippee!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Living a simple life :)

On the back of my last post I wanted to list a few of the things that we're actively doing here in our house at the moment. We're basically working under the banner of 'simplifying' and this is T's  'Simplicity Now List' (of things we've done in the last week) that he jotted down tonight:

+ Email program off laptop (so that he can focus on his writing)
+ Half of the shed purged and simplified 
   (We threw out + gave away a LOT of things we had just cluttering up our space)
+ Signed up for VOIP to cut our phone expenses
+ Lowered our broadband plan
+ Prioritised buying organic, fresh foods
+ Googled "Frugal Vegetarian Organic Healthy food"! There are some amazing resources out there! Today I discovered a whole hew world of blogs dedicated to frugal eating and living.
+ Committed to shopping at the local Farmers Markets (we are lucky to have a great one) and just do the supermarket shop once a month rather than weekly (wish me luck with this!)

Are you making any changes towards a simpler life? What are you doing? I'd love to hear.

{ image: Stained glass at the National Library}

Blog Action Day 2008: POVERTY

So, I just stumbled upon the fact that it's blog action day. Living in a 'lucky country' I don't have to deal with poverty on a daily basis. I have *some* money to buy good things for my family, even if it's not a lot by some people's standards it will always be a lot by most of the world's.

But I want to make a conscious effort to minimise our negative impact on the world. I don't want the poor people who *are* living in poverty in this world to be slaving in sweatshops or working with dangerous materials or being treated badly so that I can buy some cheap junky thing that I use once and then throw out. 

I wanna buy free-trade goods and buy local and buy organic and buy second-hand...

Maria Montessori believed in the potential for world peace through the healthy education of our children and I quote:
"The child is much more spiritually elevated than is usually supposed. He often suffers, not from too much work, but from work that is unworthy of him"
So too our civilized culture provides our children with many *things* that are unworthy of them. So much junky tv & junky food and stores and stores and stores of junky toys. And more often than not this on the back of people living in poverty, somewhere else on this mighty planet. They suffer and paradoxically our children suffer too.

Each small decision that we make as a family towards living consciously and ethically will impact upon our children and hopefully imprint them with compassion and consideration and the ability to think before they "consume"; be it food or media or *stuff*.

That was my rant... I shouldn't get on the computer at night (but it's my only opportunity :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Yup, we have been away again! Muchos apologies for not blogging. We've been getting all Eckhart Tolle & simplifying our lives and our possessions and not been too tied to the computer since our return! Am grabbing this opportunity to post *something* and will endevour to add more soon. I haope everyone is happy out there in the universe :)

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