Friday, 20 June 2008

Magic Porridge!

We had magic porridge for breakfast today. It's made by the fairies, dont you know!

Thursday, 19 June 2008

More on our journals....

After much thought, I decided upon the use for the pretty journal I made....this involved the use of two more journals, however :)

My plan is that we will use the pretty patterned journal as a 'gratitude journal'. A record of our thanks to God for His goodness. I hope to raise children who live in a real relationship with Christ, & this appears to be another way in which I can encourage this. I also know this will be a great spiritual discipline for focus on answered prayers & such.
The other two journals? Well, they have been put into service as I read this book:

The Gift Of Family Writing by Jill Novak

what an inspiring book! I would recommend everyone to read this book as soon as they can. Jill is wonderfully inspiring as to how to get your children to record their memories, their life stories. But this is so much more.
So, our new bed time routine involves, cuddling up on mummy & daddy;s bed & I write into the children's journals something they would like to remember from their day. They love this! They tell me the story, & I write it into their journals (they have one each) E has been drawing into her book too.

Then, we think back over the day & make an entry into our gratitude journal.
I cannot praise Jill enough for this wonderful book. Here is an article from her website

Record Your Life Stories as They Happen!
By Jill Novak
Just think of all the experiences you and your children have shared together: everyday moments, special times, or life lessons tailor-made by God—irreplaceable stories that you thought you would never forget. Yet life rushes by like a reel of film on a movie projector, thousands of unique experiences in a blur. Precious few will be remembered unless they are viewed in slow motion. Family writing slows the motion.
Like the genealogies of the Bible, words beget words and stories beget stories. Before you know it, you’re recording the ordinary moments of your day, and something extraordinary happens—you and your children become writers! The gift of words and the means of expressing them flow from the heart of God to all of your children. When you teach them to capture their thoughts, feelings, and perceptions on paper, you enable them to remember; and in remembering your family members are bonded to each other and the Lord in a more profound way.
Families are constantly changing. Children grow up and leave childish things behind. As time goes by, the memory of your home life with them fades. It doesn't have to be this way, though. Your family's life stories and unique spiritual heritage can be preserved through The Gift of Family Writing.

Remembering the Past
Every family has at least one member who can remember—as if it were yesterday—events that happened in the family when he or she was a child. My husband Robert (the only boy among three sisters) is the storyteller in his family. Most of his accounts are about the family farm and fishing trips in Canada. Our children were raised on these stories and value them as part of their heritage. When our family moved to a farm in 1999, new “farm stories” began to take shape. I recorded them in a journal, knowing we would forget these experiences if I didn't write them down. My husband’s love of storytelling had rubbed off on me.
Gradually I was drawn to read books about recording your life stories and writing from the heart. Geared toward adults, these books focused on writing memoirs or life stories for your children and grandchildren. As I read, a thought arose in my mind: Why aren't we recording our children's life stories as they happen? We're with them all the time. What wouldn't any of us give to read—in our own words—the accounts of people, places, or things that mattered to us when we were young? How much easier it would be for our children to write their life stories now, while they're still fresh on their minds!
I began to really listen to my children. I was amazed to hear how many words they used to describe their experiences, and surprised at how naturally they expressed themselves. The younger ones only needed me to write their stories down. A bond formed that wasn’t there before; I was hearing the hearts of my children through the words of their experience.

Recording Your Life Stories
You may not have thought about recording your life stories together as a family. I know I hadn’t. I’m amazed that it never occurred to me to have my two oldest children narrate their daily experiences to me when they were younger. I didn’t realize that we could write about all the wonderful things we’ve done together as a family or that I could preserve my spiritual walk so my children and grandchildren would know the awesome God we serve. One thing I’ve learned, though, it’s never too late to journal your life stories. As long as you live and breathe there will be plenty of experiences to preserve on paper.

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Our Family journal

Whilst I was making the new Nature Journals, I decided it would be a great idea to start a family journal.
I have not quite decided the path this book will take..I have a few ideas floating around in my head... I need to ponder this book :)

Our Nature Journals


Last year we E used a combination of an A4 ring binder & a sketchbook for nature study. The binder is stuffed with photos, sketches, print-outs etc. So it is with slight trepidation that I have chosen just sketchbooks for this year. However, we can run with it & see how they work out. All us girls have a new notebook :) For E & R, they choose pictures from 'country living' magazine to cover their books. (this is a great magazine for the nature lover-it has such wonderful photography) For my own journal I used some scrapbook paper I had on hand. I then added sparkly stickers to add the girls names to their journals. I have covered the books in contact paper to protect the covers from rain showers & such.
We shall continue to use our current books until september, then we shall start to use our new books. New year-new books ;)

Making mini books

A while back, I began to make mini books for the girls. These have been a great hit! They are very easy to make, simply take a rectangle of coloured cardstock & some sheets of white paper (cut a tiny bit smaller than the cardstock. This way they wont stick out of the cover when the book is closed) Fold in half, to make the spine of the book. (you may wish to go over the crease with a bone folder) Then either stitch or staple together.
We store ours in a glazed pot along with a tub of coloured pencils on our dresser. The accesibility means they are often used, rather than forgotten about. R's books contain joyful scribbles & pictures of family & pets, whilst E's books have become theme books, in which she follows a thread of interest in each individual book. Her current book is her "Bee Book"
Right, off to 'cook up another batch' ;)

Saturday, 14 June 2008

My baby... no longer a baby. She has her first wobbly tooth!

Sweet Dreams...

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Isaiah 26:3

Friday, 13 June 2008

Our early summer nature table

We have just rearranged our nature table, removing all the leftover seed-pods & beautiful branches that have pine cones still attached. The girls picked some highly perfumed flowers yesterday, so I have put those on the table too. It has a much more summery feel.
Here is a list of goodies on our table right now...
Summer flowers
Our friendly gnomes
Flower fairies: Daisy, Rose & Buttercup
Seashells, snail shells, pebbles from the beach & our walks in the woods.
Hand-carved wooden toadstools
Branches, & a wonderful piece of bark that has 'turkey tail' fungi growing on it.
A chunk of Rose Quartz
Pretty tin butterflies & birds
A piece of moss
Our favourite seasons book, by Elsa Beskow 'Around the Year' turned to the June page.

Around the Year

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Magpie moth

Today, we discovered a Magpie Moth in our garden. Unusual, as I believe they are nocturnal. Interesting for us though, as we have had several of the Magpie Caterpillars on our currant bushes, so it was wonderful to see an adult moth. 
E, as usual spotted that it was a moth, because of the way its wings were flat, at rest. I was looking in the butterfly guide *sigh*

Baking Bread

R & I are baking bread. I make all our bread & delicious it is too.
This has got to be *the* easiest wholemeal bread & it is light as a feather, too.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Creating an art box for children

Creativity is a huge part of our lives & encouraging creativity in my little ones features high up on my list of priorities. Allowing my children to be free to explore the creative process is something I strive for. We are created in the image of God,  The greatest artist, therefore i believe the need to create is in all of us. Whether that need is squashed or fostered is another matter entirely. I would love to have a room dedicated purely to the creation of art, however, we just do not have the space. We do have a cupboard in the dining room, which, rather grandly, we call 'our art cupboard'. In there are stored our many art materials. I still felt, however, that the materials where still not readily available. We also have an old welsh dresser in our dining room. On here, you will find a ceramic bowl filled with rainbow-hued mini books & a pot of colouring pencils. The girls are free to help themselves... but I still didnt feel it was enough.
Enter the 'art boxes'
I purchased two artist's supply boxes & have had the greatest fun in selecting items to fill these boxes.
Here is the list of items I have chosen:
~Ferby coloured pencils
~ferby pencil
~Pearlised paint dabbers
~Stamp pads & ink
~Fancy-edged scissors
~offcuts of pretty papers
~Tissue papers

So, here is a box, my girls can grab, as & when they feel like creating, each one tailored subtley to their own personality. Pictured here is 5 yo's art box.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Playing dress-up

Bible study with children

Every morning the children & I study the Bible together. Here is what we do..
I begin by preparing the night before. I get as much of the breakfast ready as possible, depending on what we are going to be eating. I set the table, put out our Bible & Bible Atlas, plus the girls Bible Notebooks, coloured pencils & sketching paper.

Bible time
We are currently reading straight through our Bible. Here is a good Bible reading plan to use with children. I will read a few verses, then talk with the children about what is happening, sometimes asking E (5 yrs) to narrate the story so far. The talking really helps to 'flesh out' our study, we can relate personal experiences, thoughts etc. I eat as the children talk ;) I continue to read, until I have finished passage. I tend to break stories down into very managable chunks, so it can take a few days to get through each story. We do not read through the 'whole' Bible, as I think some stories are unsuitable for little ones.
If the girls want to say something whilst i am reading, they have to put up their hand. This saves my frustration from constant interuptions related to toast/jam/kiwi fruit & the like.

Bible Notebooks
Once we have read our portion for the day, the girls help me to clear the table, then they sit back down & draw a picture of the day's reading. I see this as a visual narration. Sometimes E will copy a title or scripture onto the page. These pictures are then filled away into their personal Bible Notebooks. 

Book of Centuries
We have just begun a Book of Centuries (a timeline in book format) so, new people & events that we read about as we study god's Word are added into the Book of Centuries, either there & then, or later in the day, as time allows.

Minimising Interuptions
The girls generally sit very nicely through Bible Study, they have a genuine interest & enjoy the time. I do remember a time when it was not so easy! Here are some ideas i found to make the time work better for us:
~Have everything we need for breakfast at the table *all at the same time* no running back to the kitchen for fruit, juice, or whatever.
~If the children wish to speak, they need to raise their hands first.
~ If needed keep a small toy on the table for little ones.
~Include little ones in the discussion.
~Encourage discussion about the story, allow them to think for themselves. Try to encourage the child to draw the moral from the story & to see God at work.
~Take things slowly, reading small amounts to begin with.
~Pray each morning before you begin for God to 'open our ears & open our hearts, to His Word'

Monday, 2 June 2008


I'm supposed to be slowly ticking off the jobs on my ever-growing to-do list. Instead, I am waiting for a batch of chocolate fairy cakes to cool, so they can be iced with lovely gooey chocolate fudge & watching my girls having fun playing horses & dogs in the garden...the perfect momment to blog :)

& the cakes?

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Rainy day's & loving the Lord

Today has been a very rainy day. In the afternoon we pulled on waterproofs & went for a run in the puddles in the track behind our house. The girls had soooo much fun running, splashing &, well, sitting ;)

I suggested they might like to have a go at making pictures in the mud. E went off to find some stones to make a picture with, whilst R got straight to work at scraping, daubing, squishing, etc. When she finished, she declared her picture 'is God'

Of course, E decided to make a picture of God, also: