Welcome ...
This blog has been created to allow family and friends to share in and become part of the experience of 'Down at the Farm'.
Enjoy the children, their love for each other and their open hearted wonder and excitement.
Over time you will get to know the farm through their eyes and will see how they spend their day with each other in a very rich, organic way.
Each vignette is a snapshot in time. Follow from one to another, then on to more and you can share in our unfoldment and journey.
Enjoy your visit ...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Mac, Gabriella, Darcy and Charlie ...

And the day was July 16th, the gang with Carly ...

Today was a sweet day with Gabriella and Mac, especially playing in the horse coral .. .. many different games were played, some together and some not!

Gabriella made up a game where Mac was the cook and she was 'the maker'.

"Mat you be da toot, and I'll be the maker and I'm donna mate some tanberry serio for us."

They also played in their cars and Gabriella took us to the gym!

... then ... as we were all playing and running around, Mac just quietly started moving around the drums. At first I thought he was just enjoying the rolling action of them, but to my amazement, I got to see, he was strategically placing them so they formed a very uniform shape. This quite  blew me away as Mac for those of you who don't know is 15 months old, in this life time anyway.
Once he had finished, he stood back, quietly observed his accomplished mission, and then of he went to the next game, no fuss made.

Take a peek at the slide show or photos to see this ...

... ... we move on to July 23rd ..

Well welcome back Darcy and Charlie, how wonderful to have four in the group again!

We had a day full of imagination brought in by Darcy, it was so much fun!

We went around the farm going down secret paths, under low bridges with a fence in the middle that we had to use our magical powers and special keys to unlock these fences!

...we saw ducks in the ocean and made a cake with the lemons.

Darcy told me how to make it...
" You put a funny face at the top, a funny face at the bottom and a funny face in the middle, and that's how you make it."

Charlie said : "You could put free or four or forty-seven funny faces on... ...ha ha ha ha ha," laughing at his own sense of humour.

... ...and by the way, we did see some animals today though mainly played great games!

The last game we played after playing hide and seek for ages, was a game Darcy and Charlie were knights, Gabriella was a pirate and Mac was.. .. ..a baby.. ..Nothing like blending imaginations to come up with a mix.

It was a great day over all. I look forward to this group becoming closer as the weeks go on and they all get to know one another more and more!

Farm 16.07.10 and 23.07.10c

Mermaid magic, dinosaurs and shadows ...

The last two weeks in have seen some beautiful Winter weather down at the farm ...

The mornings have been crisp and the sun glinting through the trees and making everything feel magical. It's also been really muddy underfoot and with gumboots on my gang have been enjoying the muddy ground so much!

This last Wednesday found the whole group playing dinosaurs for most of the day!

There was much stomping in puddles , making of 'dino - door' houses by Luke and making and collecting the 'dindo' eggs by Natalie.

It was beautiful to see the whole group at play creating dino land.

During the play, Lola decided to turn into a magic mermaid so that she could turn into anything....."I can turn into a dinosaur...watch me!".

Monique, having been splashed by some mud from some excited dinosaurs, decided that she would try some of that mermaid magic to see if it would help her dirty clothes situation...

"Magic magic come to me, change myself and make me a mermaid"......"and then I'll change myself and into my tracksuit and that will be good!"

..and it did in fact work, because not long after that she was changed into her dry clean tracksuit!

We were all really enjoying the afternoon sun and played with our long shadows on the ground. They were perfect for making great animal shapes but mostly it was just exciting to see how long they were!

Luke so joyous about his shadow and kept pointing at it saying to me, "thats my yadow, thats my yadow!'.....so gorgeous!

Farm 14.07.10 and 21.07.10k

Wings in the air, potatoes on the ground ...

In a moment in the stables waiting to see if George would come in with his story, Magnus picked up some hay and said, 'Look 'ella, a 'M'!'  Looking very pleased with himself. 

In his hand was a bent straw of hay that to my eyes looked like a big number 7.

I looked at Magnus's little face and said, 'Is that M for you Magnus?'  Thinking, 'No matter it looks like a 7 I think he is proudly telling me he knows his name starts with M.

He put the hay down by his side, eye balled me and said with, 'No.oo.  I'n not 'M', I'n free!'  with all his frustration rolled up with his love .. .. as if to say, 'How could you think that? .. .. have you already forgotten the most important thing about my life right now, is that I turned 'free' last Monday!'

Happy birthday Magnus!

Daisy is a constant source of inspiration with her ingenious take on life.

At one point in the morning we crossed the back paddock and George and Magnus had taken to run across to the sand.  Both pleased about how the could run. Jock ambled along behind and Daisy walked and bumbled next to me in a running commmentary about how she couldn't run.  'Oh, yook Aya, I can't.  I tired.  My yegs can't.' 

All of a sudden she stopped, gave a little surprised 'Oh' to herself.  Wiggled her hands and looked at them, stretched her arms out at her sides and high, flapped her arms, smiled and said, 'Oh, yook I have wings.  I can fly'  and off she went, arms flapping most gracefully as she flew on her way to catch up with the boys.

What a great way to overcome knowing that you can't run!

Almost there, she stopped, bent down and said, 'Yook Aya, a 'tato.' and sure enough she had a potato in her hand. 

Daisy was wrapped with this and continued on talking about her 'tato.

Meanwhile the boys had climbed on to the mounting stand for horse rides and were happily creating a game. 

Daisy climbed up potato in hand saying, 'Yook, yook, I got a 'tato.'

Getting no replies with her general announcement, she started to talk to each boy in person, 'Yook, Jockie, yook, I got a 'tato.' 

She took a step towards Magnus with her hand outstretched and potato held for him to see. 

Magnus was absorbed in his game and not hearing Daisy at all. 

At the same moment she spoke, he turned to say something to Jock and his back was instantly turned to Daisy's face.  Without time to take in that she was approaching his back, Daisy said, 'Yook Maggie, yook a 'tato.' Daisy was now so close, Magnus suddenly heard her, turned to her without seeing what she had in her hand and said, 'I'n not a 'tato Daisy, I'n a pirate.'

Magnus, George and Jock by the river ..

Daisy cow milking
Magnus too ...

Conflict resolution Daisy style .. ..

.. .. we all played in the horse corral in the sand and at one point, Jock and George were in a stand off both wanting to do different things with the same piece of pipe they had. 

Daisy noticed the flow of their play had stopped and all of a sudden, started to take long strides towards them looking suspiciously like a mini version of me!  This I had to see ..

As she got closer she stopped and looked at the two boys saying, 'What's going on you two?'

Yes this was a mini me moment ..

Meanwhile Magnus, popped his head up from his game and said to me with enormous concern, 'I need to go to Daisy' and he walked over and stood alongside her like a silent sentinel, keeper of peace and wanting to find out too what was happening.

This was all so subtle as the stand off between Jock and George was no more than the two of them losing the flow of their play and standing on opposite sides of the pipe, telling each other no to every idea presented.

In response to Daisy's question,
George and Jock turned to her and both told her in gobble-de-gook at the same time what was happening.
She listened turning earnestly from one to the other, then tilted her little head and said, 'Oh .. .. oh' a few times with an air of deep understanding and care accompanying each sound ..

(can I claim that as a mini me moment .. ?   Ok .. pure Daisy it was) ..

Then she takes a breath and with all knowing in her voice she says, 'Doodness me ...'
and in that instant Daisy love filled the air.
Magnus lost the crease in his brow and George and Jock both picked up the pipe together and continued to play.

How sublimely tuned in to each other with enormous sensitivity and love.

Those simple words, 'Doodness me ...' carried on a wave of love that we could all feel .. .. and that wave being the great fix needed.

Persistent George ..

Meet George ...

Early friday morning when everyone arrived in the barn, he quietly went to the box of story books and looked at them for quite a while as goodbyes to mums and hellos to the farm were said.

He came to me with a book under his arm and quietly asked to have the story read.  At the same time, Magnus and Jock weren't so sure about saying goodbye to mum and Jock had a moment of some distress.


The children together are always mind bogglingly patient with each other when some one is upset and in need ... ...all they need to know to find patience, is just what is happening.

I told them and  asked if we could go down the back paddock as I felt it would help Jock feel ok, heading down there is a bit like leaving the madding world behind.  So off we went.  All the while, me away of George with his book under his arm.

Once we'd walked through the garden and gone out into the open space that is the back paddock, Jock wrapped round me like a little bear, snuggled in and feeling fine, George asked again for his story.

I suggested we go sit in the stables.  I knew they'd been set up for the impending lamb births, fresh hay and bales in each pen to create the most gorgeously inviting nests for the mamma sheep.

We all went inside and snuggled in, the children loving the whole feel of where we'd gone.

I sat down and both Magnus and Jock landed in my lap with Daisy smooching alongside and George stopped at the door.

I asked him, 'George do you want to come in so we can all look at this story you found?'

George replied, 'No.'

I asked why, he said, 'There's horses in there,' peering round the corner.

I reassured him there was only us and he insisted very quietly that we go to back to the other stables, (the front barn) and read.

The next 15 minutes were spent in conversation with George, everyone asking him to come in and stay and see what it's like.  Each of the children asking him to bring his story and telling him how much they would love to hear it. 

Daisy bounced up at one point and said, 'I get him..' .. and off she went to see if he'd come with her.

Finally I said, 'I'm just going to have to get up and go to see what's up for George.' 

As I stood up, George walked away and by the time I got to the stable door some 5 paces away, he'd toddled off to the back paddock gate.

All the children followed me and had heaps to say, 'Georgie's gone to the gate.'  'Come back George.' 

We all walked over to him and I heard him muttering about the story and as we got there he walked through the gate and up the path some. Far enough away so we couldn't hear what he was saying, him telling us anyway and us having to go to him.

Suddenly I realised that he was quietly and very determinedly answering all of our cajoling and questioning with his feet. 

He was literally leading us back to the start of the day so he could have his story. 

No tantrum, no tears, no fuss, just a quiet stand for what he wanted making sure we were all following him.

Quietly, very persistent.

Finally we got to the barn, George looked at me and said, 'Sit here' and we all surrendered into hearing the story with George.

Eggs, milk, angels and stars ...

Thursday morning was beautiful...
It was grey, cool and the finest most gentle mist of spray fell from the sky for a good part of the morning.  So fine and so gentle and the day was kissed with the same mood.

Five little angels enjoyed the farm in this.

We all found an egg ...

... and in the excitement of it all, Milana started talking with her hands in full flight and ... ... oops five eggs became four plus a big splat!

We also found stars ... much to Farrah and Willow's delight ...

We also found a mirror ... up on a post near the office is a round convex mirror for seeing round corners, to help when your barrow is loaded with Hay and the like and you need to know who's round the corner.

This was fascinating, just standing and looking at ourselves in it ...

Cow milking time and Ava was amazing.  She is such a gentle little girl and at the same time, shows this quiet strength and braveness for finding out about things. Nothing is too big to overcome for her own learning and curiosity ... her maturity in this for such a tot was alight for all the world to see ...

Ava sat on the milking stook for ages.

She was  mesmerized by the milk coming out of the cow's teat and holding a very long conversation with Beccy the farmer about it all.  She had her little head down almost underneath the cow to see what was going on and was very proud of her own efforts to draw milk ... Anita was on the other side of the cow with a strong flow of milk happening.  Ava would give a tweak, smile, pop her head down to see the flow Anita had happening, get up walk round the back of the cow to see who was making it happen and how they were doing it. 

She'd then come back to her stool, try again, chat more with Beccy ... and it wasn't until Ava herself was satisfied with all this that she let herself finish and come back to me.
Ava and Beccy


We also had a treat from the farm cafe ... hot drinks all round ... thank you Tessa!

Yes, thursday morning was beautiful and there is even more to see in the photos ...

farm 22.07.10

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gem drops and farewells...

So what are they, 'Gem drops' ... ... ?  Those little gems that drop out of children's mouths ...

Zoe had her last day with us. A bit part of the day was an enormous expression of love for her and her love for all of us that went on all day long.  That felt great and I don't think we could have planned or designed anything more perfect than the day as it happened.

Zoe showed enormous good grace and her capacity to receive the love we all showed was beautiful to behold... ... ...I've said it before and will say it for the last time here, 'We love you Zoe very much and will miss you.  Thankyou for being part of all our lives.' 

As Patsy the cow was being milked, Zoe was talking about having a party and inviting everyone and how much she wanted to have everyone come.  She turned and called to Pepper, "I'll send you an 'indication' to my party."

As some of the children went to walk outside the barn and see what was happening there, Zoe looked up and said, 'Hey, what about cowing?'  Which to me translated to, 'What about our visit to the cow and milking?'         

Pepper had a ball milking Patsy the cow, Farmer Bridget sat on her stool with Pepper alongside her on another and at one point, Bridget had to get up to do something. Pepper instantly slid in closer to Patsy and instead of one hand on one teat, took a teat in each hand, squeezing and looking at how she was going, she suddenly gave a little 'Hmm..mm' of approval to herself, looked at me and said, 'Well I think I'm big enough to do this like a farmer now and could even teach children how to milk.'

Omkara, opened his lunch and looked at each thing her had in deep contemplation.  He decided to start with his flat bread wraps.  After a few bites, he suddenly burst out with one arm flung wide, 'My mum is the best cooker in the world.'

Harvey also had a visitor with him, Monty the monkey from kinder.  Monty got to climb trees and wander the farm and look at the peacock and all sorts of fun, Harvey made sure of that.

Now not quite a gem drop, though definitely a gem was Pepper with the chickens.  After a wander through the vege garden we had a big hand full of green leafies from my plot that we took to feed the chickens.  If ever there was a time to be a chicken it was wednesday morn with Pepper.  She was a delight, watching her with them was like being with the goddess in a gourmet kitchen.  She talked to them, selected tidbits, laid them out like the finest of meals and the chickens loved this and loved Pepper.

Finn, Omkara and Harvey were in and out of superhero mode during their play. They had things popping out of their hands, coming out of their fingers, all sorts of powers at play. Everytime their 'power of the moment' had no effect, they would all resort to using their 'Light Savers' and before you think, 'How very ecological of them', 'Light saver' translates to 'Light Sabre'.

Not with their light sabres, though pics of the boys ...

Finn, Harvey and Monty ...

Omkara with Zoe ...

At the end of the day, Harvey and Finn were looking at sap on a tree out the front.  Finn was really wanting Harvey to look and they talked about eating some and that they thought it was good to eat.  The funny thing was that the whole way along both boys were calling it Zap.  Almost had me convinced to try some.

farm 21.07.10

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A few dear moments in time .. ..

We've had the wonder of winter over the last weeks and there have been days where it's looked like this .. ..

.. .. and amongst it all dear moments .. ..

Harvey counting, with great gusto and enthsuiasm as he viewed the back paddock and got ready for take-off ...

5 .. .. 4 .. .. 2 .. .. (hesitate) .. .. thr .. . (waivering) . .. t .. (still not sure of how to fix the glitch) .. th .. (gaining composure) .. ree .. .. two .. .. yeah .. .. 1 .. .. blast off !

Thursdays gang found mud puddles.  Dakota, Willow, Ava and Winston all jumping and splashing in their gumboots.  Milana walks into the middle of the gang and lands on her bottom in the middle, 'Oh, oh' and laughs outloud.  Best thing a girl could do early on a winters morn at the farm.

Winstons song as he walked between Ava and Willow all three hand in hand, with Winston in the middle ..

Ava, Ava, love, love, love
Willow, Willow, love, love, love
Ava hold hands love, love, love
Willow hold hands love, love, love ..

Magnus walking along and feeling tired on friday, 'Nella my legs won't work', me turning to see.  'Look,' said Magnus and he wobbled them both like a little old man.

Daisy having her hair done bye Magnus and George ..

The George sitting back for his turn with Daisy .. .. don't you love the riverside salon .. ?

Dawn rounding up the troupes for a trip on a ship.  Where to? Well South America.  What for? To get a bicycle of course!

Hanging out to look at the ocean as they all sail by ...

From Collages
Five little friends on a high seas adventure ...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Finding out about Suzi's office and bumping into family ..

This morning for some time there was only Pepper and Omkara at the farm.  They had a good time egg collecting and getting the day started together and found Farmer Suzi most helpful and friendly.. .. ..even got to go inside her office and have a good look at what she was up to. 

'Hey Suzi, what have you got in your freezer?' asked Omkara.  Great place to check out on a cold winters day .. .. ..

We also ran into family .. .. Peppers family that is, well all except Andy .. .. .. look at Pepper teaching Frankie to milk with Kulja beaming her love on them both ..

Sisterly love .. Peppercorn and Frankie Belle

Harvey joined the day too ..

Our pics of the day are here .. ..
farm 14.07.10

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The very wee farmers .. ..

Carly has some very wee farmers in her group .. little Mac is only 15 months old and a mighty little soul he is.  Gabriella and Soukie both two ..

Have an eaves drop on some of what has been happening for them ..

July 2nd ..

A gentle day with only Mac and Gabriella .. We sat at our meeting spot for quite some time while Gabriella made Mac (Mat) and I some 'bretfast'.

Gabriella paused when she heard the chickens and said .. .." .. the tickens get sick when day eat lots of rooster food!"

Back to breakfast ..

Gabriella said "Sit down on your cheeears udawise I'll tate your pantates away! Ok would anybody yike some yunch? Dis is my hot powidge!"

They both played so sweetly together under the peppercorn tree for ages, Mac copying Gabriella and then just doing his own thing too!

.. .. like creating things with his little stone collection!

We also spent a lot of time in the barn due to the weather, reading books and snuggling by the fire!

Mac had so much fun with one particular book that had farm animals in it that you can slide out!

We read it possibly 30 times! Mac went through it saying " Moo, Duck, Pig, Moo,duck, pig .. .. .. looking up at me each time with his beautiful sweet smile!

July 9th .. ..

We welcomed back Soukie this week, what a delight that was. It was a girls day today, just Gabriella and Soukie, but both girls constantly asking me where Charlie and Mac were, (they are both on holidays and obviously missed by the girls).

We had a very sweet day, the girls played together beautifully. Really loving one another's company.

Soukie has created a lovely nick name for Gabriella, which is Bella! So all day it was "Bella, sit here, Bella............, where's Bella? Bella want dis stick?"

We played in the Goats house, (a little corrugated iron A-frame shelter with a floor of hay for goats to stay warm, comfy and dry in) down in the bottom paddock for possibly two hours. It was beautiful to watch the two girls interacting.

We played houses, "Who's knocking on my window?" and sitting in the house singing songs!

From Farm 09.07.10c

Soukie loved being back down at the farm and I could see on this visit, she has much love for her new found friends here. Gabriella really embraced Soukie and seemed to me she has really missed her .. ..they spent the whole day holding hands .. .. just gorgeous with each other!