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 ...

Sunday, July 31, 2011

A closure on fridays ...

What a beautiful last day we all had together. A usual Friday at the farm for this group that just felt extra special.

Our day was one that consisted of lots of mud, lots of dawdling and lots of fun!
We visited the two day old piglets and also fed Flame the Horse and Mickey the donkey. Our furthest destination, was saying hello to all the pregnant sheep at the very back of the farm. We did pat the sheep, but what was way more fun for these guys, was playing in the water filled bath tub which is there for the sheep to drink from. This led to lots of splashing and giggling.

We ended the day with a really lovely picnic with all the parents. Thank you to all families for coming and your contributions. It felt lovely to be all together and celebrating all that has been so wonderful.I know most of the children are continuing on a Tuesday and Freya is in the wings for something on Friday. I wish all children well. They have blessed me with their big hearts and some wonderful lessons.

I appreciate all that farm has been and will miss the children dearly.






Wednesdays with Carly come to a close ...

The sun blessed us today for our last Wednesday together. Ella is away in Switzerland and Archie away on holidays and Eden we said goodbye to a little time ago.  This left Henri, Taj and Luke to share the ending and farewell.  Taj and Henri were actually having their first farm day together as normally these two boys alternate weeks.




What a wonderful ending it was.  The three boys together made a great little dynamic and they seemed to bond quite quickly. With no surprise, we spent a lot of the day playing super hero games and building things. My favourite thing we built, was a slide with a plank of wood under the Peppercorn tree. The boys took it in turns to slide down the plank of wood and then chase each other around the tree. There was lots of laughter and a few squeals, all expected.

We had a very beautiful lunch altogether. Vicki (Luke’s mum), packed some popcorn for us all to share which we did in a cubby house that we made under the picnic table. We also had a treat today from the CafĂ©. I suggested hot chocolates but the boys insisted on Ginger bread men instead.

It was fun to have a treat on our last day together.

After lunch I lay down the blanket and sat on it. Luke yelled out, ‘Stacks on Carly! Look out Carly.’ Suddenly, I had three boys charging at me giggling and yes, they all jumped on top of me. We played this rumbly tumbly game for quite some time. It felt like a nice intimate moment with the three boys and I got loads of cuddles.

I have grown very fond of all the children in this group and will miss them dearly. Saying goodbye wasn’t easy. Thank you to the parents for blessing me with the company of your beautiful children on Wednesdays. I wish all three boys well as they venture off until there is space on days that suit.  I also wish Archie who joins the Tuesday group and Ella who joins the Wednesday group a continued wonderful time at the farm .

Thursday, July 28, 2011

'Cop-corn' and a 'cup of dollars' ...

From Collages
It seems it's almost like a toungue twister for two year olds.  Daisy wanted to know what I had in a paper bag today and she was convinced it was 'Cop-corn'  (turned out it was a sandwich ... a bit disappointing for a girl expecting  something else.   I smiled as she said, 'Cop-corn', it's a common turn of phrase for little folk and I had visuals of police eating corn on the cob in my minds eye.  

A while later playing a game, Daisy walked away from Milana and Cosmos, busy looking for something.  I asked what she was looking for and she said, 'Some money.'   Milana called out, 'Just get a cup of dollars Daisy,' so I could see it was part of the game.  The discussion so cute as a 'couple of dollars' to their ears had become expressed as a 'cup of dollars'. 

'Here's a cup of dollars Daisy?' 

'I got my cup of dollars.'

... all I could do was smile.

Blue skies, sunshine, love and food ...

Yesterday was a glorious day ... the bluest of skies and warmest of sunshine which we filled ourselves up with all day long.  It felt soo..oo..oo good.

Earlier in the day when we were all in the guinea pig house for cuddles. Kornelius was watching the guinea pigs eat and announce, 'I hungry.' He then had a look of deep contemplation on his face and turned to me and said with great certainty. 'Ah-neya, my sister said I can have my bickies first, not my sandwich, not my fruit.'

I had to laugh.  Often when we sit and picnic we talk about our food and where it comes from and what it does for you and how it feels to eat.  I encourage the children to eat the most wholesome of their lunches first and talk with them about how it's important to eat food that will build our bodies, keep us strong, give us energy and that our treats are for pleasure and good when we are full of healthy things first.

I also find that the children open their lunches and it's like all of a sudden all the mums or dads and all the love that has gone into the lunches is there with us too ... and we bathe in it.

I've found, 'I'm hungry' can mean many things.  It can mean, 'I need a change of scene', 'I'm not feeling part of things', 'I need a hug or more connection' ... and of course it can mean, 'I'm actually hungry and need to eat' ... and it can mean, 'I know there is my favourite cake in my lunch box and I want it now!'

Kornelius had it all sussed and even came up with a great source of wisdom and authority to back up his need for treat style sustenance ... his big sister Agnes.

Later in the day, we were all having a conversation about things you eat for dinner.

I asked Samson what his favourite dinner was.  He said, 'Sometimes my Mum cooks and sometimes my Dad cooks.'  As if to say, how do I choose when what I eat is made by me two most favourite grown ups ever.  Asking that is like asking me to pick whether I love mum more than dad or vice  versa!

Kornlius offered, 'My dad doesn't cook.'

Samson considered from his perspective and replied, 'That's no good.'

To which Kornelius added, 'Yeah, my dad's not good.'

Wondering where we were headed ... he added after a still moment, 'That's why my mum cooks.' ... with a big smile.

So he was letting us know, that common sense prevails, when dad's no good in the kitchen, accept it and know, it's great that mum is.

Midway through our conversation about dinner, Oli piped up and offered, 'Did you know that mowers cut grass, it keeps it soft.'

Now as left field as that sounds, Oli LOVES whipper snippers, mowers, cement mixers, fire trucks ... and has a passionate fascination with how they work and what they are for.  As he listened to the conversation about food and love ... in he came with his great loves ... and they are for him, far more interesting than food.

Mean while, Frankie was munching away and Oli offered, 'Is Pepper coming today? I love Pepper.'  obviously having enjoyed a recent visit by Frankies big sister Pepper.

To which Frankie answered, 'Its' Pepper-torn, Pepper-torn Autumn Taylor and I'm Frankie-Belle and my mum tooks noodles and my dad tooks rice.' 

How's that for a mouth full of things that matter ... all offered and followed by a Frankie smile ... now if you haven't had one of those ... everything about Frankie gets rosie and beams when she smiles.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dakota, Jyra and Ted ...

Oh ... it's a stingray

Cosmos came back from his sun, sand and surf holiday in W.A. and it was great to see him.

He walked through the barn in the morning and picked up a little wooden boomerang left from NAIDOC day, looked at it, moved it around in a flow and then said to himself, 'Oh ... it's a stingray,' like he was recognising through his holiday experience and glad it somehow was there at the farm too.

He also tried Alessia's hat on at one point ... what a beautiful little boy!

Great fit ... how do I look?

He then amused us all when he decided he liked his own hat better and put it on over the top of Alessia's

Later in the morning when we were all visiting the toilets and needing to wash hands, Cosmos was taking in all the changes ... new toilets, new taps, new soap dispenser ... he watched me getting soap for the other children and when it was his turn to get some help said, 'Da-lella sauce ... sauce please?'  Very cute.

Anna had some very funny and brave moments with us too.  We all went in to the goat paddock early in the morning, all sludgy near the gate and the goats milling round on the grass.  Everyone huddled near me while they warmed up to the size of the goats and Anna just strode off into the middle of the goat herd without a concern.  She was in sheer delight, patting and watching them and laughing loud and hearty.  She was such a gift to the other children as her joy and hearty pleasure is what warmed the rest of the gang up!

She then led the way with her enthusiasm to feed the goats, which she did blade of grass by blade of grass.  This is such a beautiful thing to see, a child wanting to feed an animal, picking a blade of grass with their little hands and then patiently trying to feed a goat such a tiny morsel.

There is not a day at the farm with the children that isn't full to the brim with blessings.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bummy wabbits and Bomb fires

The Witches Garden ...

From Collages
To make you smile ...

Kornelius came along today wearing a very cute little grey hat with ears on it.  Mouse ears to my eyes, bear ears at a push.   He took it off in the guinea pig house and when he noticed, he asked me, 'Ah-nella, where's my hat with bummy wabbit ears?'

At the end of the day when we collected our gear in the barn and headed for the front gate, Oli notice the fire on in the barn and started chanting, 'A bomb fire, a bomb fire, a bomb fire ... ' as he walked out.

The Children ...

The Vege Garden ...

From Collages

Mika and Eden ...

It wasn't that long ago that two little people came along to the farm for their first visit.  Peas in a pod, Mika and her twin brother Eden.   A little unit together, very in love with each other, and the play they'd create in each others company.

... and individually so unique, both with a lot to offer and give ...

Mika has left her mark on all the hearts of the little gang she shared the day with. Those deep dark eyes peering out at the world have been eyes we've all looked out to see.

Frankie-Belle would often arrive with a smile, take everything in, look at me and then  asking, 'Is Mika coming?' as if even with everything good at the farm, it wasn't quite right until she knew whether or not she'd see her little friend.

Mika's heartsong to me seems one where imaginative play allows her to share her sense of beauty and love with all.

The Witches Garden was where she first touched us all deeply with her spirit in this way.   Placing leaves and gumnuts and twigs like jewels to us all look beautiful.

She'd sing and soon everyone would join her and her sense of humour would splish splash around all day in quirky ways too.

Mika thank you for letting us into your world while being part of the world at the farm.

Eden got to know the farm with Carly and her gang.

In Carly's words ... It has been wonderful to watch Eden grow. I have witnessed his courage in learning to spend time away from Mika.  I have seen how wonderful it has been for him to experience his own group of friends and what life is like being away from his family. He has been a wonderful addition to or Wednesday group.  I feel each of those kids touch one another deeply, so he will be remembered in each of our hearts.

The farm days have come to an end  for Mika and Eden and it's time now to say goodbye.

Thank you for blessing us with your individually unique ways and blessing us too with what you share together.  We will miss each of you and both of you and wish you well in your next adventures ...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Getting older has it's hazards ...

Harvey came to visit last week.

During the day when the children were all talking about how old they were, Harvey turned to me and said, 'Danella, how old are you?'

I replied, 'Have a guess Harvey.'

He looked me up and down and deeply considered for a moment and then announced with a sense of recognition and sastisfaction, '40.'

'No Harvey, more than 40.'


'No, it's more than 42.'


I shook my head ...

'Hmm .. mm 44?' enjoying the challenge and doing really well with numbers.

'Not even 44 Harvey, I'm older than that.  You need a bigger number.'

I was partly curious and fascinated to see what Harvey's number concept was.  Young children often draw on what they know in proportion to life when it comes to number sense.  So when things are big or old, they say the biggest number they know or have heard of to share their recognition of the proportion of difference.  Sort of like, 'I know you are way bigger and a lot older than me, so I will give you the biggest number I know of.'  When he first announced '40', it was with a real sense of satisfaction of having really considered with what he knows.  He knows how old his parents are and had that to gauage and sum me up against (by the way Anna and Dominic, I know I look older than 40 and older than both of you!).  I was wondering where our little guess would take us ... 

The bigger number Harvey came up with was, '80?'

'That's a way bigger number Harvey, good on you, it's too big for me though.  I'm not 80. Do you know something smaller.'

'60?'  Harvey was revelling in this by now.

'No, 60 is too big for how old I am.'  Harvey looked a bit daunted.  'If you go back to 44 and try to go on from there Harvey you'll be able to guess.  You are doing so well.'

Harvey went from his considered guess with what he knows about life, in sequence to a point where he knew he had to draw on something else, reached for a big number, was able to go back to something smaller and not give up when he was daunted and still not with the answer.   All this was in relation to wanting to know something about me ... the depth of his interest was really touching.

... back we went, '44 hmm..mm.. 45?'

'No, closer though.'



Then what felt like an intuitive leap, '50?!'

'Yes Harvey, you got it! I'm 50.' 

Harvey made this noise that is sort of like, 'Golly, god and whoa' in one and repeated, '50' with his eyes first spinning back and then almost popping out of their sockets at the same time, '50! 50!'

I had no idea that if and when we got there, '50' would have quite that effect on Harvey.

I was fascinated and curious.

In the next instant, Harvey composed himself, looked straight into my eyes and said with an increduous voice, 'That means when you do something your mum doesn't like you have to go to your room for 50 minutes! Whoa ... that's a lot ... and ... when you have your birthday it will get to be 51!'

I cracked up, especially at the thought of my 80 year old mother sending me to my room for 50 minutes.

I asked, 'Do you sometimes have to do that at home Harv?'

'Yeah! for 5 minutes because, I'm 5 and it gets more when you get bigger!' 

I had know idea this is where we were headed and could hear that getting older with this awareness is quite the conundrum of sorts for Harvey.

... and there you have it thanks to Harvey, number in relation and proportion to what you know about life rather than as a linear concept.  

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My dad told me ...

After the mists rose on friday morning and we'd had a big play and walk in the sun across the bike path near the goats, Magnus piped and said, 'Danella, I just saw some anti-social behaviour.' My mind boggled with what I'd just heard ... Magnus coming up with this expression out of the blue, in a very earnest and serious tone while suddenly overcome with a very serious and focused stride. I asked, 'What did you see Magnus?' He said, 'Some anti-social behaviour.' I said, 'Where?' wondering what it was that he was seeing. He answered, 'See that writing on that bin over there. That's anti-social behaviour,' then puffing up with pride added, 'My dad told me that.'

Friday, July 15, 2011

Jack and Jill ...

We welcomed Frankie for her second visit this week.  I feel like she is settling in really well.

Our day started with saying hello to the baby goat, the ducks and Heather the cow, then off we went down the back of the farm, to play in the sand. It was beautiful down there with all the fog this morning. 

The kids seemed to be really happy running around and making group decisions about where to go next which was mostly short visits to places.

There was a quick visit to the Witches Garden and a quick play on the hill. There were many cute moments on that hill I must say.  Dan played Jack and Jill with each of the girls and then Mieka decided to slide down on her bottom. Together they started sliding down the dirt mound laughing away, bumping in to each other and all sorts of quirky moments.

We all had a really beautiful day with lots of friendly moments shared between each of the children.

Farewell Farrah

Well she's quite the character is Farrah ... she walks like a trooper, sings like a diva, laughs long and loud, loves large, has a twinkle in her eye, a spark in her step and ... snuggles like a little lamb ... or a big puppy depending on her mood.

Today was her last day with us ... next stop (well soon anyway), is Ing-a-lund.

Farrah has brought a large as life quality to our thursday mornings at the farm.  She loves rounding us all up for some fun and making sure we are all part of what is happening.  She loves her Mum Danielle, her Dad Matt and her brother Winston and we all know it.   Any game with some travel involved brings her lots of joy, whether it's off to the beach or off on a holiday or ... just off somewhere, Farrah loves getting everyone onboard for the journey.

You have incredible strength Farrah and a generous heart and somehow life is like your stage to perform on.  We love you and will miss you and of course wish you only the best.  Have a wonderful time in Ing-a-lund with your grandparents.  Farewell Farrah ...

Milana says goodbye

Anna says goodbye

Alessia was only just getting to know you and Cosmos would have said his goodbye if he wasn't at Ningaloo reef snorkelling and enjoying the surf.

The fire burned bright in the barn and the sky was mostly blue on the winters day we all said our goodbyes to you ...