24 September 2012

what actually happened...


We had very little sleep.
Tiny Owlet had a sore tummy.
She needed lots of extra cuddles all day long.
We woke late. I didn't have time to exercise. 
Little Owlet got distracted when getting dressed. As usual. She wore pyjamas all day.
She built a dolls house out of some of the boxes we have lying around for Spiral Garden.
She didn't stop all morning.
Big Owlet continued along with her Minecraft obsession. 
She played with a friend for a few hours, then planned out what else she'd like to do. On Minecraft.
Then she drew a self portrait. As a Minecraft character. 
Tiny Owlet continued along with her 'going to the toilet' obsession.
We're not allowed to call it a toilet. She prefers "loo". 
She finally napped after the 86th loo visit. 
All the toys managed to be on the lounge room floor at the same time, for a portion of the day.
I took it as an opportunity to de-clutter. 
There's now a large pile of stuff by the front door, on it's way out. 
Tiny Owlet found an egg in the chook house. She carried it inside triumphantly to show her sisters. 
There was no flour for bread making. Or bread for lunch. 
We had a platter for lunch, instead of dinner as I had planned. 
The washing piled up as the hail came down. 
There was no afternoon tea... but the platter just kept getting replenished.
The house looked like a bomb site when Huz arrived home. 
The smaller two owlets discovered the face paint while Huz and Big Owlet were at scouts.
I had tiger stripes on my cheeks, to match the owlets. 
Tiny Owlet learnt about pins and needles in her legs.
Bath time happened while I de-cluttered the bathroom cabinet. At dinnertime. 
Dinner happened late.
I forgot to light the fire.
We didn't read a book today. 
The Owlets crashed out, exhausted after a long, quiet, fun filled day at home.
Huz and I are decompressing as quickly as possible, enjoying each other's company and the quiet. And chocolate. We'll be in bed much later than we should be...

Even the best of intentions can be thwarted sometimes. Usually the best way to enjoy a day like that is to puddle along with it and so puddle we did. The Owlets had a great day. And stuff did get done, despite the haphazard, unpredictable nature of it all...  The aforementioned rhythm is a little way off. But I have figured out that de-cluttering and simplification in ALL aspects of my life are what I'm needing right now. I can't expect days to flow if there's unnecessary stuff in the way. It just makes it harder to enjoy the simple beauty of a day that rolls along all by itself... I need to let go of some of that stuff that holds me down if I'm ever going to feel like I can swim through these days, or flow with them, rather than sink under their weight. That's what this year has been about for me. I'm getting there... Baby steps.

Have you been de-cluttering lately? 
Does extra stuff weigh you down? 
Do you flow with days that turn out very differently to how you imagined? 
Or do you work to stick to the plan?

unschool monday :: rhythm revisited


I've been trying to sit down and sort out where we're all at, but life just seems to be moving at such a pace that it's nearly October and my plans to get my head around and instil some kind of rhythm for our little family seem to have been thwarted by it all... We've been getting up and just going with the day for a long time, and it is fantastic to do that, as Shae pointed out so beautifully last week. But as a permanent state of being, spontaneity doesn't help with Mt. Washmore. It doesn't always ensure that each of my Owlets is heard. And it doesn't always mean that we make the most of every day. Some days are just hard. And not at all effortless (Cybele, I'm looking at you ;)). I have a feeling that once organisation happens, mindfulness will follow... But perhaps it is the other way around? At any rate, the days this year where we have followed some sort of basic flow for the day, and everyone has understood it, are often the easiest.


I'm feeling like our days are starting to form some natural rhythm of their own now that Tiny is bigger... I just need to inch one step ahead and start beating the drum a little louder and more steadily.


Why Rhythm?

Because we hate routine. We like our days to flow, but we'd rather that it become second nature. Something we don't have to think about. Something that is always there, setting the day's pace, while we dance to the beat of our own drums.


Rhythm is good for our little family and ensures everyone's voices are heard. It reminds me to pause. It makes time for all the things to happen. And it sets a clear, seamless boundary for when it's time to flow on to something else.


I'm hoping it will help keep my head clear. I'm hoping it will help us enjoy quiet moments more, rather than worrying about all the shoulds... I'm hoping it will help us just. slow. down...

I'm hoping to begin afresh this week. Wish me luck. xx

Thanks for reading along with Unschool Monday. If you have a question, ask away! I'm happy to try and answer here next time. If you feel like linking up, it'd be lovely to have you on board and see how unschooling happens at your nest. xx

19 September 2012

the afternoon shift...


I'm still struggling to find a way to organise our days into some regular kind of rhythm. I've been meaning to since the beginning of last summer... The days just seem to get away from me before I can think about it and the order that I'd like is overwhelmed by the chaos. And then the evenings take on a busy hum of their own and so there's nothing for it but to get up and approach the day as it comes... Thank goodness for unschooling, because I'm fairly sure that I'd fail miserably at setting any kind of curriculum-based learning right now.

Thanks to the passions of the owlets, our days do seem to be taking on a rhythm of their own design and I'm following and muddling along with that most days... Big Owlet has taken it upon herself to focus her afternoons (and sometimes mornings) on a passion that she is building independently. She plays minecraft most days, with her friends on Skype, and together they help each other find their way. She's absorbed in the kind of peer-based learning and socialising that she occasionally craves, while the rest of us bubble and buzz around her.


Little Owlet takes the opportunity to have her voice heard a little louder and we make things. Simple things and often things off the top of my head that Big Owlet has done, but are new to Little Owlet. She loves making them and especially making them with me, as I do her.


Tiny Owlet isn't quite so enthused and takes on a creativity and independence of her own most days... Often covered in strawberry juice and standing naked on the table we create on, she approaches things in a more deconstructive way. I focus on keeping the deconstruction to her own artwork, if I can, and that's how we muddle through our afternoons...


How about you? 
Are you pretty organised?
Do you have time to think about it? 
Do you muddle through the days like me? xx

17 September 2012

unschool monday :: pubschooling

Icecream sundaes at the pub #onathursday #hangingout

When I was an owlet, my sister and I would hang out at the pub with Dad on a Sunday afternoon. We'd chat to people, hear some stories, learn how to pour drinks, play carpet bowls or maybe pool, have a go on the bingo machine... It was kinda fun and quite different to our weekday world. We learnt about all sorts of new things and had a fantastic time.

Last week we went visiting. Friends of ours have just moved onto a houseboat and we were excited to visit! The houseboat is situated in the water just below one of our favourite pubs. It has a fantastic position, a cosy, warm fire and a pool table. And ice cream sundaes. Owlet lunch.

And then the barman gave them a drawing lesson #pubschooling

We chatted with a regular about boats and his days as a paramedic, listened to the juke box, turned off the jukebox, and played pool. With very flexible rules. Then the barman came over to clear away our bowls and noticed that our friend liked Captain America. What ensued was an entertaining conversation about the Hulk and an impromptu drawing lesson. My owlets, and my friend's owlet are all very keen on drawing, and a little partial to superheroes right now, so they were entranced.

Engrossed in learning how to draw the hulk #hulk #pubschooling

I love observing how mentors emerge for the owlets in unexpected places. They learn everywhere and all the time, of course, but every now and then people will offer to share some knowledge with them. People are always so willing to share what they know, especially with children, and when you see that, the concept of facilitating your child's learning journey is far less daunting. It's just a matter of spending time in different places, talking to people, taking time, slowing down... And opening your world a little to the people around you. You never know what skill they might have to share! Yay team!

Thanks for reading along with Unschool Monday. If you have a question for me, or one of the other participants on the linkup, ask away! I'm happy to try and answer here next time. If you feel like linking up, it'd be lovely to have you on board and see how unschooling happens at your nest. xx

16 September 2012

sunday snippets

Loving Breakfast Choke.    (pic by @owletmama)
Sewing! This garden skirt will be hitting the shop soon @spiralgarden
Oh come on! Two against one is not fair!
Happy little ray of sunshine all gift wrapped and on its way out into the world #giftwrapping #spiralgarden
My 1,000th photo. Thanks for sticking around!
Churros is SERIOUS business. #spanishdonuts
Lone Cone.
Good morning little owlet #loveher #myview  #cosleeping

{sunday snippets} A collection of photos from your week.  No need for words.  Let the picture tell your story. Joining in with {tinniegirl} 

15 September 2012


For now... We've been making space for our Garden to grow. This weekend is all about making as much as we can to add to our shop, so I'm sewing and assembling some Owlet favourites.

An organised work space has been vital to getting orders out faster and finding all the bits and pieces I need for sewing. Huz has been rather awesome taking on much of the daytime parenting this weekend. So far it's been pretty productive!

Best of all, we have a mini-showroom, should peeps want to shop by appointment. There's a spot for everything. And we finally put the cot to good use! The sides make fantastic fabric storage. Visible, accessible and out of the way. Now on with creating!

13 September 2012

Mini mei tai revisited

My creation

The most popular post I've written here is a tutorial to make mei tai doll carriers. When I made that tutorial, Little owlet was almost two and loved carrying her baby on her back... Now Tiny is almost two, the mini mei tai has been dragged out and is a mainstay of Tiny's wardrobe. Some days it's the only thing she wears. She's also very insistent that she spends time on my back in my mei tai carrier. It's a thing right now. She sees how awesome babywearing is. Snuggly and practical all at once. I love that modelling that for her has made it normal.

Anyhoo, I thought I'd post some new pics and share the tutorial again, as I never got terrific photos of Little Owlet wearing her babies. And I'm planning to whip up some mini mei tais for Spiral Garden tomorrow. So, if you feel like a project, there's a pattern to follow, and if you'd rather buy something ready made, there will be an option for that too. Your owlets could have a carrier just like Tiny's. Happy owlets everywhere!

10 September 2012

unschool monday :: abundance


This week we ate from our garden. One cauliflower that fed us for a week. We spent a day or two in our garden, reconnecting with nature, making new plans. We played, dug, mowed, climbed trees, sat in the sun. We spent time rather than money and life was simple, full and good.


Sometimes the best opportunities we have for learning and enjoying life happen when we just slow right down. We connect with each other and the world around us and everything seems clearer. Questions and conversation flow and our lives feel very full. In a week where I lost my wallet and our single-income budget was stretched to it's limit, simple abundance was a welcome change.


The change of season almost always brings with it the urge to remember to slow down and enjoy nature. Spring brings with it re-connections with friends and a long out-breath after a long winter hibernation... It's not so much that we haven't seen friends over the winter, but suddenly, this week, our social calendar is full. Full of new and old friends, and the promise of a spring and summer full of fun.


I bumped into a woman I've known for a few years, when we were at the library on Friday. Our owlets were at kindergarten together in what feels like another lifetime. She's a teacher, and so finds our unschooling life rather fascinating. She's always a little sceptical of this abundance we seem to talk of. Many people are. I suspect that most people think we sit around the table all day, books open, learning stuff. It seems like a very austere way of living and learning when it is so different from what you know. I answered the usual questions...

"Yes, we are still home educating."
"No, we don't have school holidays."
"Yes, the owlets are happy."


And then this last question, asked, leaning in, with a concerned look towards big owlet, who had run off to play chess with a friend...

"But don't they miss their peers? Don't they miss spending time with friends?"

I gestured towards the other children in the library. All except her own children were home educated. "These are our friends and the owlets' peers. They are all home educated. We spend time together most weeks..."

"Oh". She picked her jaw up off the floor and may have had her stereotypical view of home education altered at that time. Or she may not. But what she noticed, as did I in that moment, is that our life is full, happy, challenging, interesting, busy and abundant in more ways than one. Whether at home together, just playing in the garden, or out and about with friends, it is full and rich and exciting. And for that I am very glad.
Thanks for reading along with Unschool Monday. If you have a question for me, or one of the other participants on the linkup, ask away! I'm happy to try and answer here next time. If you feel like linking up, it'd be lovely to have you on board and see how unschooling happens at your nest. xx

9 September 2012

sunday snippets

Young Jedi. #trampoline #noodles
Last night. First scrabble game for the 9-year old. #scrabble #spelling #unschooling
We've been playing with our new face paint pencils today. My little one put a windy landscape on my cheek... To match the weather #windy #facepaint #spiralgarden
They painted on me.
Snuggling into each other #cosleeping #owlets #lovethem
Found Sounds. (she serenaded me yesterday while I vacuumed)
Little owlet says goodnight. xx
Cold Glow. #horse #cinderella #riding
Stormy Mountain. #thismorning

{sunday snippets} A collection of photos from your week.  No need for words.  Let the picture tell your story. Joining in with {tinniegirl} 

8 September 2012

chaos and the kitchen sink


Life in our nest seems to have found a happy kind of jumbled chaos. The kind of chaos one would expect with three owlets home all day and a mama and papa working every spare minute on their new lovely adventure. There is seldom time to scratch and we are working every day to try and find some order, flow and rhythm to our days. I can deal with the chaos being there, I accept it, but too much and my head is jumbled. I can't think to create or hold a concise conversation, or blog... *note the long week of bloggy silence here*... There is always love and lots of fun in our nest, but somehow, these days, there is always a tiny bit of chaos... It may or may not come mostly in the form of two toddler kittens and one Tiny Owlet...

This week, we've managed to get things done by making use of the kitchen sink. The realisation came the day after it took me five hours to clean our small art supply cupboard and Huz arrived home to an explosion of art materials in the dining room, crayon all over the couch and texta all over the baby. Some days, in order to get things done, I need an extra set of hands, or a delightful distraction for Tiny. Water is always my go-to when chaos takes hold.

I remember when my sister bathed in the kitchen sink. I remember when Big Owlet bathed in the kitchen sink and the joy that came from splashing in the room that is heart of our home... I'm super glad that our new kitchen sink is huge enough that Tiny can bathe in there for a while to come. Because gosh it's great to have a moment to pause the Tiny whirlwind, but delight in her delight at the same time!

This month I'm about making lists.
I'm about clearing my head.
I'm about sorting a gentle family rhythm that works for us.
I'm about spring cleaning... the house, and myself.
I'm about setting aside some more time to dream... I haven't read a book in about two years.
I'm about finishing some projects that aren't business related.
I'm about making time for friends again.
I'm about remembering to send gifts.
I'm about remembering...

I'm incredibly ambitious. I may need to hire an au pair, or give up sleep... I've moved on from lamenting the absence of nearby family, or a village in my neighbourhood. I've given up wishing that society was designed in such a way that we were more supported in our choices. I've stopped wishing for a slower pace of life and I'm at the realisation that it's just time to roll up my sleeves and work hard.

But I'm also realising that I'm not super human, so just making a chip at the lists will be enough. My reality involves children at home all day, and they require me to be with them, connected, working alongside them. And that's a full-time job in itself. One thing each day will be ok. And if I can find simple ways to get things sorted, while delighting in the gorgeous, simple stuff like baths in the kitchen, I reckon I'll be half way there...

How do you cope with chaos in your home? Do you embrace it? 
Do you have support, or do you have to just get on with things?
How do you keep a clear head amongst the day to day lovely jumble of life?