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 ...

Monday, July 23, 2012

On the hunt ...

Today Jesse, Molly, Clara and Charlie began getting to know each other with a little chat started by Jesse.  Once all the children stood together, Jesse looked at them and said, 'I'm Jesse and I'm three.'

What an icebreaker.

We soon heard about how old everyone was, how good Charlies dinosaur birthday cake was when he turned three, what everyone's name was, how great birthdays are ... and with all the important info on the table at the start of the day ... it felt good to start off on our day.

We firstly went to hunt out where Boss was.   He's the newest little farm cat.   A few months old and not looking like a baby anymore, though still very kittenish in his play.

We found him in the garden and caught up with him as he stalked the duck weed in an old bath tub.

Boss showed little interest in us, though I could see he had one eye on us ... maybe wanting us to follow him and play.  Which we did for a bit, then headed into the back paddock to just take in the day.   

Mud puddles, sand play and a big walk followed ... on the hunt this time to find horses.   Along the way we found the goats instead and they were such a delight, that we forgot about the horses and continued on our journey ... playing and climbing and exploring for ages.

We picnicked and eventually found our way down into the vege garden where the step on the tool shed seemed a pretty good place to rest.

Molly holding court ...

... then everyone noticing me ...

Charlie almost jumped out of his skin when he saw this dandelion flower all ready for a good blow ...

Jesse thought that was a pretty fine thing to try too..

We found some gorgeous sunshine to sit in for a while ..

Molly and Charlie looking all earnest as they sat for a moment and thought about what to do next ... turned out it was to be pancake making!  As fast as I could get them in the pan, Jesse would gobble them up and this had everyone in stitches.

After lots more play and fun, we ended our day in the guinea pig house where cuddles with little furry friends.  This was a big hit all round.   I've heard already, that Charlie has gone and let mum Tamie know he's ready for a guinea pig at home.  No surprise that as Charlie was totally enamoured with the experience and Jesse had the giggles as his little guinea pig kept wriggling.  Jesse was convinced it was tickling him.

Jesse and Nibbles

Molly and Munchie

Charlie and Snuggle Pot

Clara and Cuddle Pie ... tenderly feeding her little friend.

... as it turns out, what we found on our hunt was ... a very good day for all.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Abseiling and rescue time ...

I love the spontaneity of children entering a space and immediately a world opens up for them.   

On friday morning, down near the stables, the children told me they wanted to go 'There' ...

Not sure, where we were headed, I asked, 'Where are we going?'

'There, there' .. came the reply and I saw one little hand on Ari pointing to a little place near a fence that they all climbed up to.

Soon Ari noticed a rope near by.  All the children immediately got really delighted by the scrawny bit of hay bale tie that was on the fence.   Now in the land of 'There' ... was a rope.

Yoshi immediately set about to get hauled up by Ari ... and together they made a mighty effort for that ...

Frieda on the other hand set off to do a little abseil ...

All the while Olivia was right nearby with me, more interested in the sheep and the puddles than she was in the rope adventure.

A little further on in the day, Ted was convinced that he couldn't climb the Peppercorn tree by himself.   I've seen him really be courageous and bold climbing things in the last week ... and was feeling pretty sure he was just thinking he couldn't because he hadn't yet experienced that he can.

I encouraged him to have a go and while he wasn't sure he'd get there ... he decided to at least try ... so long as I was standing close to lend a hand if needed.

Lo and behold, surprise surprise ... Ted made it up into the Peppercorn tree all by himself and he was P.L.E.A.S.E.D as pleased could be ...

Hey I did it, I did it myself!!

Whoa .. didn't think I could, am I really up here now?

Yep, sure am ... and it feels great!

Suddenly Ted was his own superhero.

Hi Luca ..

Hmm .. well look who's come to join us on thursdays .. it's Luca.

I think it took about five minutes for him to feel right at home with us. 

Knowing Anna helped, so he started the day following in her footsteps ...

Then after milling with the crowd in the mud puddles, Luca was happy to be there with us all ...

Poking around in the dirt was fun ...

I got a feeling things are going to feel good for us all with Luca along to play.

He is already really welcome and has landed in great company ... look forward to sharing more of what unfolds, now that you are in the mix.

The rest of the gang were certainly happy and full of embrace.

Sam and Sonny enjoyed each others company and had fun hanging out under the picnic table ...

Sonny came by for a chat and soon the conversation turned to eyes.   Sonny and I had a chat about what each others eyes looked like.   When Sonny asked if he could see his, it was easy to oblige with a camera in hand ...

Which of course led to more ...

When Alessia said, 'Show me! Where's my eye?'  I obliged once more and showed her ...

Then when things got really up close and personal.  I showed Alessia and said, 'What's this Alessia?'   She looked and pondered and gave a little hmmm .. then in totally animated Alessia Style, she told me with passionate expression, 'It's a forest and ... (looking in a little more deeply) ... it's very, very, dark!'

A while later, she told me a very long and windy story about her grandparents, Nonna and Nonno.   I did my marathon best to understand and when I got lost on the third turn,  I said, 'What's that you're telling me about Nonna and Nonno Alessia? I don't quite understand.'   She sighed at my lack of comprehension and then looked me in the eyes and said, 'danella, Nonna is in love with Nonno.'  

Oh..oh...ohhh ... how sweet. 

I'm sure Roberta and Lou would love to know that Alessia is already telling the world a great love story and it's all about them!

Friday, July 13, 2012

You're awesome Ted .. and Ari loves you heaps

Ted and Ari were playing near a hollow stump when Ted started to build with bits of sticks and tan bark.   He was very focused and intent with each piece he added.   Ari was really taken and sat on the other side of the stump and watched ... mostly just bathing Ted with silent love and appreciation, the whole time this was taking place. 

 Ted narrated what he was doing for a little bit.   Ari asked the odd question and said a little too.   Mostly though, this was the most beautiful expression of care and friendship.  Ari had so much room in his heart for Ted to create and build while he just sat with him in appreciation and love.  Ted was feeling it and it was like food for the creative process he was in ... it seemed it just felt so much more special being witnessed and appreciated.  In the end, both boys joyous and triumphant.

Anyone want the recipe ...

When we found our way down into the Witch's Garden on thursday morning, the children had the most beautiful time together.   They were all really happy ... and really enjoying each other ... and their play was morphing from one thing to another with the greatest of ease.

At one point, Anna got fairly quiet and was off to the side in a bush.   She seemed happy and engaged in something and I let her be for ages ... when I went over to see what she was up to ... just to check a little closer that all was well in her corner of the world, I asked, 'What are you up to Anna?'  She looked up from her task in the grass and leaves and said, 'I'm making joy.'

A little while later she came close and said, 'This is for you danella.'  As I looked and recieved her handful of leaves and grass and bits, she looked at me and said, 'It's some joy for you.'

How gorgeous is that?!!

This pic was a while after the joy making.  Anna and Sam were playing together and Anna got quite mesmerised by the grass ... it was almost shimmering with aliveness and softness and looked totally inviting.  She sort of just fell into it and lay back for a while ... in the lush softness looking like she had just arrived in heaven.

Sometimes the simple things ...

Whenever there is a big event in the back paddock, the farm staff let the paddock rest for a bit.  The earth needs time to needs time to recover from the cast of thousands that usually attend and stomp their feet all over the place.   With the Solstice bonfire and markets and lots of rain lately, the land has had a hard time drying out and bouncing back.   Last week a particularly soggy patch got a lift from a digger ... it scraped off a layer of very soggy earth and spread it out a little to help the paddock dry out.

When Anna, Sam, Sonny and Alessia wandered down on thursday morning and saw the change, they all thought they'd discovered something amazing.   A narrow tract of fresh turned soil that hadn't been there before.  Everyone exclaimed, 'MUD!!' ... only to discover it wasn't quite ... more like soft, very moist earth   This wasn't a problem at all.

The children were something else.  They wandered over, took a look, walked on it, jumped on it, sat in it, ran across it, picked it up, poked at it ... then were joined by Boss the kitten who pounced and played with the children ... and more.   

For over an hour and 15mins, this little tract of land was a new land discovered.  The multitude of things the children all found to do was ingenius.

It was all at once, simple and yet profound as they 'got to know' this new place that had arrived before them.   One simple freshly made tract of dirt.

What is this place?  Alessia, Anna, Sam and Sonny walking the land and curious.

Sam and Sonny and Boss

Sonny just taking it all in

Sonny and Sam got a bit of a long jump thing happening.  They decided to run and jump and see if they could get to the other side.   It was a huge amount of fun and great personal challenge.  They also quickly forgot the original intent was to get to the other side ... and the running and taking a flying leap was just plain old heaps of fun.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

So much wonder and joy in the garden ..

On friday morning while Frieda, Yoshi and Olivia warmed up, the three of them bounced with joy for a bit and I commented, 'You're like three little jumping frogs.'

Yoshi looked at his hands and jumped and said, 'No, like kangaroos.'  Which got more giggles going ... and more bouncing too.

We then had the most glorious time in the garden.   We were the only ones there and the whole place ... was lush and green and abundant. 

 As we sunk into just being there, it was like the children became saturated with the life force they were immeresed in... and at bursting point ... out popped Boss, the new little farm kitten.  He was all curious and lively and ripe for some playmates.   The children had so.oo much fun.  Boss kept slipping under things and behind things and they all decided he was playing hide and seek with them.  Frieda calling, 'Coming where ever we see you.'

The nasturtium leaves were covered in dew drops, a wonderland of twinkly jewels on green.  Yoshi picked one and held it up, looking at what he was doing and saying, 'Oh it's a.hm..brella.'  Immediately Olivia and Frieda got themselves one .. Yoshi handing me one too and off they went under their brollies for a stroll through the garden.

We soon found a compost bin full with coal from the recent bonfire.   'A mountain', announced Frieda as she climbed up for a look ... soon followed by Olivia and then Yoshi.  This mountain was great.  It was made of black dusty bit,s that crunched and you could draw with them and make things with ... this garden was a treasure trove of wonder beyond our wildest dreams.  There was just so much fun to be had.

We even slowed down enough to notice all the little things, like the apple blossoms peeking through already.

... and later in the day, after a visit to the loo ... we found the sink was full of bubbles.   Now that was another moment of wonder and joy, bubbles, bubbles, bubbles.  Pretty obvious what we did there ..?  That's right, we played with them.

We all had such a good day.