Friday, 20 March 2009

Spring Equinox

Today we started celebrating the spring equinox (Ostara) by making some lovely spring biscuits in the shape of bunnies, butterflies and chicks.

Will be making some flowers to decorate the house this afternoon when Phoebe wakes. Lots of lovely spring activities to come.

Have a lovely day everyone!

Monday, 16 March 2009

A Sunny Weekend in the Garden

Rhubarb starting to peek through! Exciting!

Phoebe helped Daddy to dig.

She also loved throwing mud into a bucket of water.

Going in for bedtime.

On Sunday - helping to prepare the beds.

The most heard phrases this weekend were:

Phoebe: "Daddy! I found something!"
Daddy: "What is it Phoebe?"
Phoebe: "Mud! I found mud!"

"Mummy, scary bider on slide. Shoo bider."

"I love mud."

Repurposed Jumper

I decided to make some time for crafting this weekend.

This is an old jumper which has shrunk up a bit and is now a tad too short to wear.

Using instructions found here on Claire's blog I made Phoebe a pair of trousers.

Please ignore my beginner's wonky green stitching. Doh! Knew i should have made the effort to spool up (?) some brown thread.

I also used her instructions here to make two pixie hats with the rest of the jumper. There was very little left.

Phoebe won't wear them at the moment :( so i had to settle with using Mona as a model.

Here are a couple of pictures of the trousers in action.

Thanks Claire for the great tutorials. :)

Home Ed Group

On Friday Phoebe and I went along to our local Home Education group to meet some people and see what it was like. The session was in a playcentre with a good size outside area to run about in. Phoebe enjoyed meeting the other children who I think ranged from about 10 months to 12 years. There were lots of really friendly and like minded people for me to chat to as well. The session was called 'Big Paint' and was lots of fun.

Phoebe enjoyed doing some painting and printing with different objects.

The main activity was soaking teabags in runny paint and then throwing them onto giant sheets of paper. Phoebe joined in with this for a bit but was put off when a teabag landed on her arm. lol. She loved watching though and enthusiastically shouting "SPLAT!" when they landed.

This activity really appealed to some of the children and a handful were there for ages, picking them up, resoaking them and throwing them over and over again. It was lovely to watch, and also quite funny when it turned into a bit of a game at the end as some children went to pick up the teabags and others continued throwing... a bit like teabag paintballing!

We really enjoyed the group and are hoping to go back again in a fortnight for a baking session. I know Phoebe will enjoy it - she didn't want to leave!

A few pictures of what we've been up to

Phoebe enjoying reading a back issue of The Mother magazine. She so loves looking at all the pictures and seeing other natural parenting families.

Scones made by Daddy this weekend.

Daddy perusing his Home Farmer.

Changing Jennifer Dolly's nappy.

Wet on wet watercolour painting.

Learning to spin.

Pom pom animals. Here is the chick we made for our nature table.

The rest of the animals were made completely by Phoebe - she imagined and created them herself and I only had to hold them still while she stuck the bits on.

This is a red cat and a blue dog.

Here is her baby goat.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Mmm Food!

Just making a note of a few recipes I want to try soon.

Homemade Cakey Oreos

Black Bean Chilli

Baked Donuts

Eggplant (Aubergine) Parmesan

Lemon Scones

Asparagus Pesto Lasagne

WHO Bread

Super Fudgy Brownies

General Tao's Tofu

Beetroot and Apple Crumble

Fennel and Tomato Bake


Lemon Cup Custard

Broccoli Calzone

Oh, and i now want an ice cream maker (peach sorbet, espresso and kahlua ice cream, berry frozen yoghurt mmmm) and a vita-mix style high speed blender... and a slow cooker... and a magi-mix. Hehehe.

Had fun browsing for these reipces at Tastespotting but i also love Epicurious. If you haven't seen these sites yet go look! You'll love them!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009


Here are a couple of videos Grandpa filmed when they came to stay the other weekend.
Thank you. :-)

Monday, 9 March 2009

Decisions, decisions...

Trying to decide what to go to this summer. We have the following options:

Green Parent Meet Up: 22 - 25 May

HESFES: 11 to 18 July. (37ish weeks)

London Unschooling Conference: 25 July. (39 weeks)

Big Green Gathering: 29 July to 2 August. (almost 40 weeks)

The Mother Magazine Retreat: 28 August to 2 September. (newborn baby)

Would love to go to The Mother Retreat but have had to rule that out as i don't think it would be fair on Phoebe. Having to get used to a new sibling is tricky enough without the added confusion of camping - sleeping somewhere different and eating different food. I will be very sad to miss it come August though.

I think HESFES and the Unschooling Conference may be my favourite choices at the moment. I desperately want to find out more about unschooling and i know quite a few GP forum members are going to HESFES too. Hmm. Why do i have to choose!

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Go Nell!

Just had to share this article which Denise (Mama4) spotted. Great to see breastfeeding older children getting some positive press. :D

Monday, 2 March 2009

Parent Journals

I'm about to start a journal to record all the things we are doing with Phoebe and all the things she is learning on a day to day basis. I think it will be wonderful to look back on in the future and also be useful for me when planning fun activities to do in future.

I found some really inspiring posts about parent journals at Camp Creek Press: here and also here. Blue Yonder has posted about it here and even started a new blog devoted to it at Doodlebugs.

Its such an exciting idea. Kind of what i intended this blog to be but with all the detail i don't get time to post here. I know, i know, i'm terrible at updating!

Big thanks

I was extremely lucky recently to get a suprise through the post. I subscribe to The Mother magazine (which is excellent) and also belong to the yahoo group. Its a lovely supportive natural parenting group and the editor, Veronika, posts on there a lot as well as other subscribers like me. People are really helpful if you have a question or problem.

Anyway, during a discussion about full term breastfeeding I mentioned that i was really looking forward to reading Veronika's book 'The Drinks Are On Me' and was hoping to get it for my birthday. A few days later i was amazed to find a copy of it had been sent to me, and inside was inscribed "Dear Laura, Happy Birthday! Love Veronika".

I was completely blown away by her kindness and generosity. To think of sending me a copy just like that was so nice of her. I have of course emailed to say thank you, and also intend to write, but am trying to find something to send back to her. Any ideas? I should also point out that the book is published by her own company (Starflower press) and The Mother is also a self published subscriber based magazine, so it is not the case that she just has spare copies lying around (as my cynical hubby initially suggested). Just true kindness.

I have finished reading the book now and it is really really good. I learnt so much about breastfeeding and a range of other things concerning natural parenting too. I always felt sure of our choices but now i feel even more confident in myself and i feel more able to explain our way of life to others. I really love this book.

Phoebe has also really enjoyed the book - she kept pinching it to read herself and loved pointing out the pictures of children. I think it was really positive for her to see pictures of other children breastfeeding. The only thing that did concern her was the picture on the back of Veronika kneeling in her garden. She seemed to think she'd fallen over and kept saying "Oh no Mummy! Oh no!"

Veronika, if you do somehow read this - thank you so much!

I am also feeling very grateful today (and very lucky) for our ethical superstore delivery. We got a big batch of toiletries and inside were some freebies - fair trade calendars for 2009 (think we might frame some of the pictures) and a herb calendar, AND a free box of Divine hand finished milk chocolate truffles! They were getting to the end of their date so they decided to give them away. Fantastic!
Ethical superstore is really good by the way. We order from them often and the service is excellent.

Last week we...

Made teddy bear biscuits

and flowers.

This is from a couple of weeks ago. Phoebe made it for Daddy's birthday (which is on Valentine's Day). She decorated the box at our art class (Messy Monsters).

We put a bouncy heart inside. Phoebe and Daddy both love it.

We painted outside using homemade paint.

Looked at the snowdrops and crocuses (think its crocii maybe?) in next door's garden.

I made snowdrop fairies

and a crocus and primrose

for Phoebe's seasonal table.

I did some reading - more about that to follow - and Phoebe kept sneaking away with my books

to read herself.

We made suncatchers to go in our playroom window. Phoebe loved these.

Phoebe drew a very clear face all by herself - with a giant tooth!

This weekend we have had Grandma and Grandpa (Ba-ma and Bah-pa) to stay. It has been lovely but we completely forgot to take any pics. Thanks for coming to play! x