Sunday, November 8, 2009


My focus this weekend has been on our family. I've noticed lately that the kids have been quite ratty, one in particular, and it's been quite exhausting and draining. We seem to all be a bit out of whack. Part of this has been since daylight savings started. But there is a definite link between the general mayhem and emotional disorder and me being so busy with studies, market, garlic etc. It has had a big impact on the general tone (and messiness) of the house too. I just haven't been as available as I normally am.

We sat around the table last night and talked about our family & how we can make things better and run more smoothly. Everyone contributed something to the list of Our Family Rules. I think it helped and the children were really enthusiastic and sweet. We talked about loving each other and how important it is to treat each other with respect and care.

Sunday suggested another list, 'things to do on school mornings'. Hopefully this will reduce the stress of getting ready for schoool and out the door. The kids also have jobs to do so we discussed why this was important and that we all need to contribute to the upkeep of the house, and our lives. Do your kids do jobs and help out?

One of our family projects is our new vegie patch. Like a lovely lasagne our no dig patch has come up looking fantastic, after many layers of soil, mulch, newspaper & compost.

Yesterday we finally started putting the seedlings in. Yay!! I'm hoping that we can reduce our supermarket shopping and eat lots from the garden. We have quite a bit of tank water from all the recent rain so that should help. Especially during this hot week and what is looking like a long, hot summer. It's exciting too as the old patch, that was really a herb and flower bed, can return to it's former glory.

One of the highlights of this weekend has been reading the Little House on the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, with Lucy.

We read from the much loved copy that my brother & I read a million times as kids. The pen marks and stains on the pages tell a story of their own. Ben & I really loved those books and they provided some sort of joyful sanctuary to us as children.

To share these books with Lucy, as I did with Charlotte, is so special. We have just come to the part where the family cross the Mississippi River & Laura thinks Jack, their faithful dog, has been left behind. It is such a touching story and so good for children, and adults, of today to see how people lived long ago. The pace of their lives, the challenges and hardships, the quiet moments of happiness - all so inspiring. They had so little and were grateful for so much.

Talking of happy things on Sunday our back shed was the perfect spot for a fantastic dance show.

As the dancers finished the adoring audience threw lilac blossom to the sound of Bravo!! Brava!!

I love watching them dance, it's so blissful and free.

So another busy but productive and happy weekend has flown by. It feels good that we are meeting the challenges of parenting in a positive way and that the children are learning and loving so well together. I'm also enjoying the change of season and being out in our garden with Mark, the kids, plants, chooks, dogs and the tiny birds that dart in and out of the hedges, chirping the day away. Hope you and yours had a lovely weekend, see you soon xo


Karen said...

Sounds like a lovely weekend.
Our girls are a bit too small to have any meaningful jobs but they like to help unpack the dishawsher and set the table for meals.
Today they both 'made' their own beds I didn't have the heart to re-do them, they were so proud of their efforts.
The list you have is excellent - I love "try not to be annoying" - after all we can only try, there are no guarantees!

Bek said...

Sounds like a great weekend to be in your family. I'm inspired! (Love the vegie patch too. I am trying to enthuse Chris about it. Baby steps)

Jodie said...

Those look like pretty good rules to me! (and I love the vege patch)

Doily said...

oh beck-a-roonie,
You had better watch out or I shall start calling you soulemamma with all this perfect family gooness! I think many are a bit out of kilter this season and standing back and taking stock is a great idea!

Tania said...

Beck, I love your end of week 'wraps'. They're always full of love or grumbles or life or successes or worries or moments of joy or snapshots or gratitude or garlic or crafty goodness or a vegie patch! But mostly they're all of the above and a whole lot more.

Pomona said...

The helpers aren't always 100% willing, but depending on how much homework, etc, I do try to instil a sense of community cooperation and contribution, and try to get them help in areas individual to their interests. I also concentrate on making them independent - so that they all learn to cook and wash. They have charge of their rooms from quite a young age, and I leave it up to them how clean or tidy they want it (within certain limits) - they have to work out what level of tidiness they are happy with for themselves. It is a long haul, but they do appreciate the fact that they can cope independently - 2 out of 3 have recently told me (in a nice way) that they are glad that I am a slack mother, who doen't run round after them because she hates housework and ironing, because it means that they have learnt to be independent and self-reliant, and know how to do things for themselves! But that's not to say there haven't been battles and sulks along the way!

Pomona x

Floss said...

Oh, well done you, Beck. It's so hard to get the balance right between responsibility and joy, but you have lots of both here!

Now, the main thing is: your lovely parcel has arrived, the bottle is not broken at all and contains the boys' top favourite mozzie-bite treatment (as well as being good for other things too, I realise). We are all absolutely delighted with the contents.

Everyone has admired and the boys have eaten two chocolate koalas - we have never seen them before. I love the heart - I'm delighted with your choice of fabric! And the Christmas cloth is just incredible, and I'm really looking forward to using it. All in all, thanks so much!

Louise said...

I love the list of rules. Whenever I feel sad that my little one is growing up, reading blogs about the joys (and trials) of older kids makes me realise that I have plenty of time left!!

So envious of the veggie patch, we live in an apartment and I am so paranoid of bub climbing up pots and falling of balcony that I have very few plants....the ones I do have are bald due to M picking all of the leaves and then "posting" them over the balcony.

Nikki Cardigan said...

While it can feel draining to know things aren't running smoothly because you have been less available, it is also such a beautiful statement of the impact, influence and importance of the mumma in a household. So often I think we can feel pressured by everything but I guess it's just that we are so critical to our families.

I love your round-table-talk and contribution by everyone. Sounds like a winning team to me.

Kate said...

I love that in times when life overtakes us and we haven't got the time to catch up in person I can still check in here and feel happy in the knowledge that things are good with you. That is a beautiful post. I think we might need to make a list of things to do before school here too.

hester said...

Your family is so gorgeous. We have a list of family rules on the wall that everyone else ignores! Very frustrating.

Your vege patch looks fantastic. What a great idea. My Dad has spent a fortune and hours of hard work building our latest vege patch and I think your way would have been much quicker and it looks great. Dog proof too which is the reason we now have two layers of pavers and a row of star pickets with chicken wire.

Eguchi Family said...

Hi Beck
We used to have a list of jobs to to do before going to school and it really helped. More than I had hoped. The kids could see that if they just got a few things done they could play to their hearts content without me banging on at them. They actually rushed to get it all done. So good luck and hope mornings are smooth and happy from now on.
PS tell your guys that Enna and Sage have to get up at six and out the door at 7.20, and they have to walk, rain hail or shine...about 1.5 kms. Love Ali

picciolo said...

that sounds like a wonderful family weekend, and your new veggie patch looks great! Love the rules too, I love kids spellings!
: )

Tricia said...

I love your no dig garden. Thats exactly how i've created some recent new garden beds. I love them - but I am just starting to see the grass grow up though the straw bales which is a bit of a pain. Next time I will put newspaper under the bales as well.

Anonymous said...

what a lovely post about your weekend and your family. I have not read Little House on the Prairie but it was definately my favourite tv show at the time it was on I never missed it

Mama Mogantosh said...

I just came across your blog - there are so many wonderful aspects to this post! I love the meeting, the kids before-school list (so sweet!), that juicy no-dig gardena and the dance session.

Looks like you're working hard there to create the good life, and from this perspective - doing an excellent job.

Thanks for the shot of inspiration.