Monday, November 16, 2009

Planning for Summer Solstice

This year we are toning down on Christmas even more. For the last few years we have minimised on the commercial aspects of the Season and we never did the santa thing (though we've taught DD about St Nicholas) anyway.

For the past two years we have followed the Season of the Year and matched our homeschooling and lifestyle activities to them. Down here on the South Coast we get four definite Seasons which makes it easy really.

So, as Spring is coming to an end I've pulled out our books, Seven Times the Sun by Shea Darian and Earthwise by Carol Petrash, which I picked up from I also find Sunwyse by Roxanne T. Bodsworth and Circle Round by Starhawk, Diane Baker and Ann Hill, useful resources.

For us Summer is about the beach, harvesting stonefruit and berries, eating and playing with friends and family. We get clear sunny days and spend most of our daylight hours outside in the garden.

We will collect shells, flowers and interesting rocks for our Seasonal Table. We have already planted a heap of seeds, which we will watch grow to maturity, including sunflowers of course. The image of Summer.

We made a batch of strawberry jam yesterday and preserving and drying will continue right through to Autumn.

DragonGirl would like to try some basket weaving and make a wigwam. I would like to make a wreath woven with grasses and vines from the yard and decorated with flowers and ribbons. And we'll get the clay out and make some Sun images.

We've picked a tree to decorate out in the yard and we'll make the decorations from things we find over the next couple of weeks. I thought we might try again for the Garden Party and perhaps decorating the tree would be a good activity for the kids to do.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Learning new things

I've only got a few more weeks left of the Creative Journalling course I'm doing. It's been great to learn new things, explore new mediums and do some favourites too. We get to paint, glue, cut, dye, collage and many more things.

Last term we collected and exchanged paper napkins. Some of the designs you can get are amazing and I've often thought that they look too lovely to use.

I chose 3 different napkins and then made a design, highlighting it with gold paint.

I love having 3hrs a week that is entirely for me. DragonGirl and Boo are being taken care of and I get to sit and create to my heart's content.
Homeschooling suits us all and I enjoy having the time with the kids but it's nice to have a break too. While J-Boy was visiting, he found the constant noise and company a little too much. I was a meany and didn't let him watch much tv (because I didn't want the kids watching it with him) and in the end he resorted to playing lego with earplugs in!

One of the best things about home educating is that we get to set our own timetable (or not set one as the case may be) and that means trips to the beach that we otherwise wouldn't get.

While J-Boy was here we went out the dinner and he got all dressed up. This one's for you Mum...
You could smile more darling, you have a gorgeous smile.

I found this next picture on my camera while I was loading them onto the computer. Corby took it while I was away.

On his soapbox? :)
Last week was all about socialising for us. We had visitors every day and of course enjoyed every minute of it!
This week is all about gardening. I picked up 8 new fruit trees on Friday - they were at wholesale prices through a friend which is why I got so many. Two apricots, two apples (heritage red and green), a peach, a green plum and two pears. I just need to find spots for them now. I am thinking 3 out the front in the mandala garden, 3 in the middle section and 2 right out the back.
And the mulch arrives tomorrow, ready to spread out on all the gardens. I am going to focus on the front and the ones down the very back of the yard.
Spring time is busy in the garden.
Sewing and crafting has cranked up a notch too in our household. I organised my work space which has made things easier. It's so great having the granny flat to work in. I've got orders to get out and of course christmas is coming.
We don't really celebrate 'christmas' as such but we give gifts and feast together with friends. For us it is a celebration of Summer, growth and harvest, the beach and endless entertaining.

The patio roof is up!

I am so happy that it's finally done!
We were hoping to get it done when we first moved in, nearly 12mths ago. (Can you believe it's nearly 12mths already!) It will be so great to have it ready for Summer.
We are now working on the floor. Corby and Boo have been shovelling out the dirt ready to put the river sand down.

Then we'll lay the pavers. Correction - then I'll lay the pavers. You know how it is around here...

The roof of the old sunroom has found a new home. We've kept the wall panels to make other things with. Like the chicken coup (which is an ongoing saga) or the glass house. And the windows will go back in at the end of the patio.

Speaking of glass houses, I've upgraded my seedling shelf
It's getting warmer in the day time, so I roll the door up but it's handy for at night. I've got tomatoes, corn, pumpkin, rockmelon, watermelon, lettuce, beans, capsicum and a few other things in there.
A lot of them can be planted straight in the ground but it's still a little cold and the ants and rats tend to eat them. This way, the seedlings get a good head start.
I got the majority of my seeds from Diggers this year and the germination rate has been really high. I'll definitely buy from them again.
I got my first litre of worm juice out of the new worm farm today. I diluted it and put it on the newest plants and the citrus trees out the front.
I mentioned it to a friend on the phone and she hestitantly said, 'you don't drink it do you?' I laughed so much! Apparently my green smoothies and weed eating have got her worried...
Today I've been planting parsley, tansy, marshmallow, wormwood and a few other herbs from the local nursery. The nursery is such a great resource to have nearby and I often call in to ask questions or just wander around.
The garden has totally transformed from when we first moved in.