Saturday, July 20, 2013

Ups and Downs...let's not focus on the downs!

Goodness, things haven't been all happy and rosy in the Classroom Free household.  A few of us have had a horrid cold-like virus thing going on and it really made life a struggle.   Then I had a small 'friendship' issue with someone out of the blue which knocked me back somewhat, and on top of that I literally fell flat on my back with a huge bump when I slipped on a toy truck.  I banged the back of my head on the door as I fell and oh my goodness, I don't think I've ever felt pain like it (and yes, I have birthed naturally 5 times).  All I could think was that I was alone with the children and they needed me - Taisia was stood right next to me when it happened.

Fortunately all was ok and no treatment was needed.  I took the day as easy as possible - well, as easy as any mama of 5 with goat and chicken housing to clean out and numerous animals to feed and water can do - but I'm now fine.

It's been dreadfully hot though.  I've been busy first thing in the morning trying to get all the animals chores done before the heat hits, and then doing the minimum work throughout the day, storing up the chores until the cooler evening arrives.  Some days I admit to really struggling.  The goats have been spending a lot of time in their shelters and finding shade under the trees, and the chickens have been standing with wings outstretched in the shade to cool off.  None are showing any ill-effects of being too hot though thankfully and as long as they have access to clean refreshed water throughout the day they seem to be fine.

So what have the children been doing whilst the sun has been shining?  In short there has been a lot of reading, a lot of game playing, a lot of role-plays, pool dipping and resting.

This is the longer version...

Taisia has been taking full advantage of our quiet location and discovered that running naked around the place is rather exhilarating.  I have to admit to being quietly envious of her ability to 'show all'.  This morning she stood on the balcony looking over the back land, completely unclothed, breeze blowing her hair like part of some sort of fashion shoot, and she looked sooooo happy and more importantly for me at the moment, cool.  I know I shouldn't be jealous of my two year old, but you know, just for that minute, I was.  Her energy levels don't appear to have been too affected by the heat unlike the rest of us, although there has been the odd bit of this going on at random moments...

She is filling her days with puzzles, games, hama-beads, painting and drawing, counting, books, singing, dancing, animal love, and mama and daddy cuddles, along with looking darn cute - just as any soon to be three year old days should be spent.

"I'm putting my own sock monkey together mama!"

Chelsea has been getting back into doing a bit of art stuff which is nice to see...

As well as re-discovering her love of baking which is great for her and of course scrumptious for us.  Apple Crumble with clotted cream is just delicious!  Chelsea has been spending a bit of her time reading plenty of books and researching charity adventures overseas.  She's a little unsure of what path she wishes to follow in life at the moment and is looking at all the options available to her (and a few dream ones that you just never know...).

Tiegan has been reading...again and again and again.  She really have a wide ranging taste in books and enjoys both fiction and non-fiction titles.  One of her favourites of the moment is about Chicken Keeping. She really is becoming quite the font of all knowledge with regards to the feathered things.  Along with Joseph, Tiegan is the one that takes on a very active role with the animals on a daily basis.  She will be the one that I often find sneaking up behind me first thing in the morning as I feed the goats and chickens and let out the animals that have free-roam of the place.  We refer to her as the 'chicken lady' as she will happily (and very easily) pick up the chooks if necessary and deal with any issues.  She is the same with the goats.  I can very much picture her having a smallholding or farm when she is older, she adores the life we have here and gains so much from it.

Joseph has been re-developing his interest in the World Wars of late and lots of book reading and documentary watching has stemmed because of it.  He is also becoming more politically aware which has made for some interesting discussions around the dinner table.  Guitar practice has also been a main focus which I'm pleased about.  I love it that he has something of his own to do, something that doesn't involve the others.  All too often the younger siblings will want to be involved in what the older ones are doing and I know that can lead to a little frustration.  

Callum has developed an interest in the Solar System.  For his 8th birthday recently we bought him a basic telescope and he loves it.  I wanted to see if there would be a hint of an interest in using it before forking out the money for a much better bit of kit, and it looks as if there is more than a hint so that's something to add to the wish list.

Of course, enjoying the heat of the day wouldn't be complete without a splash in a pool.  We have to be careful which type we buy as the inflatable ones wouldn't last half a day with our animals investigating it.  Instead we chose one of the pools that has rigid sides held open by the water once filled - an educational discussion in itself.

It soon became apparent that we didn't need the usual yellow rubber ducks for our water play...

Sharing the pool with real-live ones is soooo much more fun!

Isn't it experiences such as these that childhood memories are made of?

I often forget by the end of the day just exactly what has gone on.  Some days it feels like maybe not a lot of what some people would view as 'education' has taken place.  But as I begin 'operation clean up' and work through the contents of what was that morning an empty table,  I am reminded that actually quite a lot of diverse busyness has taken place...

And that is why I love this life :)


  1. I love that you include the few downs as it feels more real when you share these as well as the many amazing ups.

  2. fantastic to see you so settled and doing well. loving the real ducks in the pool. does your little one have any advice for successfully introducing a new bird to a current small flock. we are hoping to adopt a rescue chicken and todays meeting ended in a fight :-(