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 ...

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wabbits and woks ...

Cosmos called to me this morning, 'Da-lella, I want to cuddle a wabbit as he walked towards the guine pig house.  He caught himself as he walked in and with a little self correcting grumble said, 'Ah..ahh...I want to cuddle a cubby-pig please.'

'Cubby pig' feeding time with Cosmos

Anna meeting Alessia .. Milana's little sister 

Milana came along with a little egg in her hand today that she wanted to collect her rocks in.  She was dedicated to this for a good part of the morning.  Every new patch of dirt she'd tip out the old rocks and put in some new ones.  She was so focused and intent, checking every little stone and deciding which one to keep.  Eventually she ended up with her little egg full of elder flowers to take home with her ...

Cosmos picked up some rocks this morning, 'woks' they were getting called.  He had one in his hand when  duck came along for a peek and a peck.  Anna noticed this happening, watched for a moment and then joined in.  Cosmos and Anna stood there handing feeding the ducks rocks for a while.  They'd pick one up, the duck would take it, chomp for a bit, drop it and come in for another.  Cosmos ran a commentary, 'Come on duck, have some more.'  Anna was delighted being so up close and personal with the ducks.  Daisy was totally entertained by the whole thing and turned round in a mouth full of jumble at one point to let me know what she was seeing.

Daisy and Cosmos played on the picnic benches together and both discovered you could poke things through the cracks.  They found a pen and a straw and spent ages posting these things back and forth to each other amidst lots of laughter.  Very cute and very funny.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fluid friendship ...

I (Carly) care to share about the dynamics of play today as I have been discussing this with parents lately.

We seemed to have many configurations in play today which I think is great. It allows many different aspects of each of the children to come out according to who they are playing with.

Luke and Taj love playing together and seem to find it a little tricky to let others in to their games, but with much encouragement and also allowing the boys to bond we found our way today. I noticed that once the boys allowed others in, it was often a case of no one really wanting to play that game anway. 

More of the configurations were Taj, Luke and Ella… Luke Ella and Eden… Archie, Eden and Ella… Archie, Taj and Luke and so on... and a question like “Are you my friend?” to each other here and there, really checking out if play felt ok.

The most beautiful part of the day was seeing by the end of the day all five were so into playing altogether. It really showed me that being with them in this fluid way had really allowed them all naturally come to feel like it was wonderful to actually have everyone playing the same game. Maybe that it was even a possibility!

Here are some moments for you to share in below…

Lay down your weapons ...

In amongst some beautiful play today for Frankie, Mika, Oliver, Samson and Kornelius; Frankie came running to me and almost landed in my lap.  'What's up Frankie?' I asked.

'Dere playing shooting,' she said as she held up her hand like a gun and made a noise to match.  I looked over, and saw Oliver, Samson and Kornelius; the boys had all just picked up sticks and leant over a log and started a game where they were shooting things.

They were just caught up in the moment and playing their game ... yet Frankie really didn't like it. 

What to do in those moments so that it doesn't become a lecture about guns or interruption to play that makes things feel bad and wrong for the children ... ?

I looked at Frankie and asked, 'Are you scared Frankie?'  She snuggled into me and said, 'Yes'.

I suggested to Frankie that she tell the boys how she felt.  I called to them to make it easy for her to do so, 'Hey, Kornelius, Samason, Oliver, Frankie wants to tell you something ...'

... ... and she did.
They all looked at me and then at Frankie and the minute Kornelius looked into Frankies face and saw how she was, he melted and said, 'Oh .. I'll put mine down.'

Samson and Oliver followed suit.  Frankie looked at the boys and said, 'Thankyou'.

A moments quiet still peace.

'Hey', called Samson, 'let's be super heroes instead.' 

Instant bouyancy and off the three boys went.  'Astro Boy', 'Kornelius' and 'Sarah' (as Oliver chose for his superhero name) ... happy super heroes at play and one little Frankie feeling safe and cared about by her friends. 

Mika took Frankies hands at this point and together the two girls danced.  Mika had watched the whole thing happen and was full of joy when Frankie felt safe ... the two girls are really enjoying each other and expressing a lot of love and care for each other.

The power of letting your friends know how you feel.  The wonder of being heard and cared about.

Spontaneous, hearfelt and a wonder to witness ... and peace prevailed for all.

On a wavelength ...

I have a gem of a story that I feel deserves sharing.  I feel it shines a light on the deeper wisdom and insight, there to be nurtured within a child.

Last wednesday night Cosmos was in my dreams.  The detail illuded me in the light of day.  The feeling didn't though and that was that Cosmos was there with me and we were really communicating with each other for the whole dream.  Not a lot being said, yet connection definitely happening and strong.

The next morning I pulled two oracle cards for inspiration for my day.  One I shared with friends where it felt really relevant and the other I saw as an omen for me.  It was the bat card from Jamie Sams, medicine cards,  symbol of rebirth.

Later in the morning in the middle of our play Cosmos looked right into my face and said, 'There's bats danella,' ... ... he stopped and looked around and said, '... bat's.'

At that point, I'd hadn't shared the card I'd pulled with anyone.  There'd been no mention of bats in conversation that morning, nor in any thread of talk or play over time between the children Cosmos is with.

Throughout the morning, perhaps three of four times, Cosoms spoke to me of bats.  He was always up close and personal and it would seemingly come out of the blue.  At one point as we sat in front of the open fire place in the barn, on a blanket eating. He looked into the fire place and again said, 'Bats, there's bats.'  I asked him, 'Where are the bats Cosmos?'  He looked at me and the fire place and said, 'In the cave.' 

This is part of the medicine card teaching, the symbology of the bat in the cave as a symbol of rebirth.

No information had been openly shared about bats, no conversation had been had within Cosmos's hearing, yet hear he was deeply intuiting and tapping into something to do with me.

Later in conversation with Stuart, his dad and Julie, his mum, it came up that they felt he was on a wavelength with me.

I had already experienced how deeply.

To me children are on a wavelength of feeling, seeing, intuiting and perceiving life that is deeper and richer and more connected to the spirit of life than most of us realise.

The whole farm experience honors expression of this and the importance of being able to connect and be with our children more than anything else.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Plum tuckered out ...

Last week Archie found a great place to rest for a while ...

An important part of the farm experience is the comfort the children get to find with the animals.  It happens in their own time, very naturally and in their own way.  Sharing their love, appreciation and enjoyment of our creature friends is a blessing.  These photos of Archie capture a sense of that so beautifully ...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Walking backwards ...

A walk to the stables at the start of the day was the plan... On the way, we found ourselves playing hide and seek in the flower garden for quite some time. The laughter in each of the kids was enough to make anyone burst with joy, so happy with such simplicity. We ran, we hid we found one another and we laughed! My heart was filled with happiness and feeling how grateful I am to spend time with these five children each week.

We then finally made our way down to the stables and spent some time in there out of the rain. Danella’s group joined us and we all played together in our houses (each stall) ... making cakes and visiting each other. It’s good for our gang to all have another five children to interact with and get to know!

The next moment was quite a mighty effort and very funny to watch. We left the stables and headed up to the barn to have a picnic. Frieda started walking through the flower garden backwards and Mac was watching with intrigue.  He decided to do it too. Well this took a mighty long time but they both, with their little legs, walked the whole way backwards, Mac sometimes getting a bit confused and taking a couple of steps forward till he realised and he’d laugh at himself and start walking backwards again. It was so very cute and funny to witness.

Beautiful moments were definitely had throughout the day. I will share these moments in the slide show below ...

Light as a feather

Today I had the privilege to witness something which made my heart sing.

Ted and Magnus playing a spontaneous and very simple, beautiful game together and sharing a lot of love and enthusiasm while doing it.

We were all up playing under the big Peppercorn tree at the end of the morning when Magnus picked up a feather.  He walked over to show me and this immediately got Ted's attention. 

Magnus is full hearted and generous in the way he relates and as he told me about his feather, Ted's eyes sparkled.  It's like he was listening to the best news in the world from a kindred spirit.

Magnus then walked with his feather and threw it into the air.  The wind caught it ... and carried it ... and it danced some before landing.  Both boys were ecstatic seeing this and Magnus called, 'I made my feather fly!'  Ted, who adores Magnus immediately went to ground in search of his own feather.

Soon both boys were standing in an open space on a nearby walking path, each throwing a feather to the wind and watching the beauty of their feather in flight.  There was no race, no competition no first and no last ... ... just two excited little hearts in awe of the gift of mother nature and what it did to the feather after it had left their own hands.

 ... and where were the three girls ?  Well Dakota was Taxi driving and taking Monique on a trip with Jyra bouncing around inside, outside and alongside the Taxi ...

That was until Dakota realised she needed a Maxi-Taxi ...

Magic, synchronicity and moments worth sharing

This morning down by the river, Milana was sitting on a log and inviting all the other children to come along for a drive with her.  She was enthusiastic and calling for some to sit in the front and some to sit in the back and very happy to be driving.  Anna was the most obliging of all her passengers.  Where ever Milana wanted to go sounded great to her!

After a while, she got up and started to 'magic' things.  She would put her arms out straight, focusing on where she wanted the magic to go and roll her hands saying, 'Magic, magic ... and then name whatever she wanted to change'.  At the moment she named what she wanted to change, she'd direct all her energy towards that thing, throwing her arms towards it and looking directly at it with very strong intent.

At one point, she stood looking at the 'car' and said, 'I need a boat.'  Then added, 'I'll magic one.'  She held her arms out towards the 'car', focused, waved her hands and said, 'Magic, magic, magic, magic ... ... boat.'

The instant she said the word boat, she lifted her head to a noise and right in front of her, in the very instant she spoke, appeared a man paddling a boat along the river. 

Milana took the boat in and without missing a beat, simply said, 'Oh there's my boat' as if she had totally expected it to be there and nothing less.
Very much a moment of total synchronicity and the beauty of a child's embrace of, 'As I said, so it was'

A few other gems from today ...

Cosmos looking up at a tree overhanging the fence by the river calls 'Look, look a spider'.  He insists on having a look and I pull the branch down closer for him to see.  His spider is actually a bit of tangled grass from the recent flooding caught in the leaves.  He notices it isn't a spider, shifts attention to take in some little things like tiny gum nuts next to this, gives a sigh, looks at me and says with wide eyes, 'Hmm ... peas!'

Milana talking away to us all at one point, 'When I'm longer, I'm gonna be taller.'

Anna sizing herself up with a wheelbarrow.  She was totally pleased with the freedom to stand there one hand on each handle with a real wheelbarrow.

There were a few school groups visiting for the day, 5 and 6 year olds which isn't so much bigger than the children with me, yet what a funny thing unfolded.  In the barn the 'big' kids were with a teacher in the bottom of the barn.  Our little gang walked in near the hay to see them.  This meant standing near the wire as if peering through a fence.  They all stood there and at first were met by bigger faces peering back, then they stood and watched.  Next thing little comments started.  'Look at that one.' 'She's got a hat.'  'He's funny' and suddenly the whole things felt like we were visiting a zoo enclosure and our little gang were enjoying another larger species on the other side of the fence.  Daisy and Cosmos got totally immersed in this for ages.

Cosmos and Anna wading through the long green grass ...

Daisy spent ages watching Milana rock collecting.  She'd chat about it to me, then sit and watch.  Milana was immersed, sitting in the dirt talking away to herself about each rock, lifting her head from time to time to say something to Daisy and I and filling her pockets.  She came over to show Daisy and I what she had, 'Look at my woks.'  Daisy gingerly peered in as if she wasn't quite sure what sort of thing she'd see in those pockets yet  when she did see, gave a gasp of surprise and said, 'Rocks'.  When Daisy was filled up and spilling over with taking in the experience Milana was having, she jumped up, gave a little skip looked round for a bit and chose the biggest rock she could find. She then came to me with a smile from ear to ear as if to say, 'Well I watched how it was done for a while and look what I found for myself.'

Thursday, March 24, 2011

4 cheeky monkeys

Down the back paddock we headed this morning, Kornelius, Samson, Mika, Frankie and I.

On the way down Mika and Samson noticed little bare patches of dirt in the grass.  The stopped on each one and these became ponds ... until the reached a big long one which became a lake.  This was so much fun that they ran back to the beginning and did it again...and again.

Kornelius announced, 'I don't want to do that, I want to get rocks', which he did and Frankie added, 'Me too' and joined him.

We soon found ourselves in the long green grass by the river, Mika has taken to bursting into song each time we get here.  She started with Humpty Dumpty, falling off a seat into long grass as she sang ... and was soon joined by all the other children too.  She then went on to sing 5 cheeky monkeys (even though there were only 4) and as Samson joined in, he asked to be helped off with his sweater and ... there underneath on his t-shirt for all to see was ... a monkey ... looking quite cheeky too!

Soon we were joined by Carly's gang and all of a sudden a boat towing a barge with a digger on it appeared on the river.  That was quite a sight with workmen aboard included.  They used the digger to lift a tree that had fallen in the river and they chainsawed it and placed it on the barge.

We also visited the vege garden and picked some spinach which we took up to feed the chickens.  That is fun to do and gentle way for the children to find courage to get up close and personal with the chickens.  Given they are happy to come a pecking at lunch time, they can seem quite intimidating so it's always good to 'get to know them'.  Frankie especially loves to do this.

We also had some fun tree climbing and just totally enjoying playing and really becoming quite bonded today.  Frankie and Mika played together for ages in the afternoon alongside Kornelius and Samson who played together as well.  I can't tell you how sweet this was.  A case of perfect match and totally enjoyment in both cases.  I think I feel in love a bit today with this little gang of dear children.

Friday, March 18, 2011

More than words can say ...

Two tribes ...

Things are really warming up between my gang on friday and Carly's to the point where we all spent a good hour or more playing together in the sand.

It happened very naturally and spontaneously and was something to behold.  Ten little folk getting to know each other more and in a flow of play that was curious, harmonious, intelligent and fun.

The overall dynamic brought out more of the best in everyone to my eyes ... and there was room for all sorts of mix and match between the kids.  Sometimes a big gang in the sand and a few on the side having another sort of game.  Sometimes lots of individuals and a bunch in the middle, like a living mandala of free form creativity ...

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A new friend ..

Meet Anna ...

... our newest little companion for the farm on Thursdays.

She had the most wonderful first day with us, taking everything in and the easiest of little companions to have along.

Learning from the others, she made me smile.  Milana, who gets called, 'nana by Farrah, and Boo-lana by Cosmos and Ma-nana by Daisy became 'Ba-mana to Anna.  I thought  she did pretty well given she heard all the different names all morning long !

She kept asking at any point in play when someone was out of sight, where that person was, 'Where's Cosmos?'  ... when he was rolling down the hill ... 'Where's Ba-mana?' ... when she was hiding in the grass.  She had very quickly taken in who was who and that we all belonged together.

Meanwhile, everyone else was having fun !!

Cosmos is becoming quite the clown,  he was rolling in the grass and making himself laugh while doing it, then climbing up the hill, ambling on all fours.  Suddenly he noticed what he was doing and looked at me beaming and said, 'Like a monkey'.

Farrah was making sure everyone was O.K., even Anna's baby ...

Daisy and Milana had a beautiful game together in the sand ...

 ... and we all mooched over Saturday the beautiful little calf ...

At one point Milana and Cosmos discovered a baby in a pram and they couldn't get enough of it ... the baby loved the attention and Cosmos and Milana were like little love beings, mooching and cooching and smiling and stroking this little person.  Along came an older sister who told them both off (mind you the older sister was only their age).  Milana and Cosmos stood their ground with the baby watching on.  As tempers rose, I encourage Milana and Cosmos to come with me.  They did and peeked out round the barn door to see what was happening with the baby.  As soon as the older sister went in for a guinea pig cuddle, they both snuck out to resume their time with the baby, who cooed and laughed as soon as he saw them again.  They were totally besotted and very gorgeous and the baby LOVED it!

We have a fabulous mix of personalities in the little thursday gang and with Anna amongst us as company, it just got better. 

I look forward to things unfolding over the next weeks for everyone ...