Monday, October 31, 2011

Now



"Is it tomorrow now, Mum?"
If you have ever tried to answer that question (or a similar one) asked by a 4 year old boy, then you will understand the confused quandary we both found ourselves in. After all; 'We were going to the beach tomorrow and if it's today then we can't go to the beach.' 'When can we go to the beach then, if it is always today and never tomorrow?' 'Will we ever do all the things we are going to do tomorrow?'

Hmmmmmm.............

I just don't think he understands the concept of yesterday, today and tomorrow. But then sometimes I wonder if I do either. I often find myself predicting, worrying about and planning tomorrow, 'I don't know how I'll be organized in time.' 'Maybe I should stay home instead of going to that event tomorrow.' 'What if such and such happens?' etc. Even worse I find myself re-living the past in my mind, 'I should have done this.' 'Why did I say that.' 'They must think I'm a total loop-head now.' etc. You get the picture.

The reality hits me every now and then. I can't live tomorrow yet. Yesterday is already gone so why bother wasting my time fretting over it. All I can do is live now. NOW is all I have. Sure I can make a phone call to make amends for a misunderstanding that occurred yesterday - but I have to do that now, not continue to worry about yesterday. Sure I can make a list and be prepared for tomorrow - but that has to happen now, it doesn't help to continue stressing about what tomorrow might hold.

NOW, it's always now. Right now I can make a list, write a note to a friend or whatever, but enjoy the now and not worry and fret.

It's a truly remarkable thing, now. It's always here and waiting to be enjoyed and noticed. Living in the now takes practice. I don't know about you but my mind is so used to doing at least 5 things at once that it finds it hard to stop and just be, just enjoy the moment, be completely present, NOW. Unfortunately my children get used to asking me a question 5 times before I finally hear what they say. I think I hear them but my mind is not present, it's flown off somewhere else, and I ask them to repeat the question. Finally I realize that I have to come back to earth, here, now and listen or else I'm just not going to get it. Oh. . . it clicks, I finally understand what they are asking - just 4 times too late!


Being in the present - living in the now - making my mind aware of what I am actually doing at this very moment is so worthwhile. It creates memories. I've wondered why some events stick out so clearly in my memory and others have faded into oblivion. I really believe that the moments I'm totally present, the moments I notice what I'm doing, the moments I truly notice where I am and who I'm with, the moments I take in the smells, sounds and sights fully, are the moments I remember the best. (Oh and photos help jog the old memory on other occasions as well, thankfully.)

Although the definition of being present may indicate a physical presence is what is required. I find that I need to be aware of my mental presence. I may be there physically but mentally I'm far away. This is especially true in my role of Mother. After all there are so many mundane, repetitive tasks which just happen on autopilot and I think that's good. It makes the endless loads of washing and nappies to change just happen without me really being aware it's happening - good. But when I am changing those nappies it's all too easy to forget to notice the cute, chubby, little face smiling up at me. Or I can sit outside and watch the children riding their bikes but have no real idea of what's going on - my mind is planning dinner, organizing tomorrow's lunches and planning the emails I have to send. Then a year later I find I have very little recollection of those days, I forget what the children where like at those younger ages. I really want to capture those memories and hold them close to my heart forever so. . . .

My mission for this week is to be present. To live NOW.
How:
  • Consciously take notice of details - smell, feel, temperature, sounds etc.
  • Totally listen and notice when I'm being spoken too - or ask them to wait a moment till I can give my full attention.
  • Daily take an observation challenge - look around me and notice all the details I can as if I was taking a mental picture of something (do this with your children and it's so much fun)
  • Jot down notes to get thoughts out of my head and act on those notes when I can.
  • Look people in the eye when I'm talking to them - even my little bub.
  • Read bedtime stories with expression, rather than the I've-got-a-dozen-better-things-to-be-doing monotone.
That's a good start anyway. So join me if you will on a mission to live NOW. I think we will enjoy life more in the process as well.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thermomix Cinnamon Scrolls

Weekend Breakfast - YUM.


Don't these look so inviting? And they are so easy to make. I've made cinnamon scrolls many times before using a bread dough but decided to try this today. It's more like a scone dough instead of bread and I'm hooked. So much quicker to make and easier to roll out and the scrolls actually stayed together in a scroll. Oh and they tasted equally as good as they look!


What you need:

Dough:
300g   SR Flour
90g   Butter
150g   Milk

Filling:
60g  Butter
40g  Brown Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon

Icing:
150g White Sugar
1 1/2 Tbs Boiling Water


What to do:

Preheat oven to 200C

Dough:
Combine flour and butter - 5 seconds, speed 5
Add milk - knead dough 1 minute, 'interval' speed
Roll dough on a floured surface so it measures approx 20 x 40 cm.

Filling:
Mix all filling ingredients - 15 seconds, speed 4
Spread evenly over dough (I used a knife dipped in boiling water to make this easier)

Roll up the dough from the long side.
Cut into 3 cm pieces.
Place scrolls, with cut side up, on baking tray.
Bake for approx. 15 minutes.

Icing:
Grind Sugar - 25 seconds, speed 8
Add boiling water and mix for a couple seconds.

Drizzle icing over cooked scrolls.
Enjoy.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Homeschool Happenings

{ This Week }

Arriving back midweek from a holiday at the beach we slowly edged ourselves closer to our 'normal' family rhythm. A week spent swimming, making sandcastles and wandering with no particular agenda had inpired the creativity in us all - as such times of nothingness have a habit of doing in our family. While the holiday was fantastic and much enjoyed, we all do settle in nicely to the normality of home. Home seems to be the place we can create and allow our imaginations and creative impulses take on lives of their own as we float from one project to the next.

This week our days were filled with lots of paper, scissors, glue, paints, pencils and patterns.

- - - - - - - - -

A Montessori inspired tub was filled with colour a few weeks back. The novelty and exploration had worn thin and it hadn't been looked in for a while but I hadn't yet changed the contents of the colour tub yet. It got brought out again this week but the exploration took a totally new direction - I love seeing the children learning with their own creative imaginations like this. The children added a few paper plates, a pair of scissors and a bottle of glue to the tub and the creations (and conversations) which ensued were very 'arty'.



Alexander and I were looking through a simple Math book about shapes and patterns. The circle and square pictures inspired us all to create our own circle and square masterpieces. We cut out a pile of these shapes in a variaty of clours and sizes and added in some glue and pens. The outcome was some very cute people and a few trees. Most of these were made especially for some special people, with a lot of love!





I was a bit distracted one morning with several phone calls to make. I glanced out the office window to see this in process. The three children were using water to paint patterns on the pavers. They then experiemented with the patterns of leaves. An hour or so of simple enjoyment was had by all.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Welcome

Hi,
Welcome to my little patch of the blogosphere. I'd love you to have a cup of tea with me as I introduce myself a little.

Me 
Well, I'm a Mum to four delightful children and wife to one very amazing man. Some of my favourite pastimes are sewing, embroidering, creating with paper, reading good books, drinking fresh-brewed coffee or tea, exploring the world with my children, cuddling my baby and chatting with my friends.

There is constantly a piece of fabric, on which I am doing some embroidery or smocking, never far from my hand - I always carry my stitching bag with me, just in case. Although these days my arms are more-often-than-not delightfully full with my baby. If not then some other little hand is usually found nestled in mine. I treasure these years I have to hold these precious children close, so my stitching patiently waits for another day or a quiet moment after these little hands are all tucked away in their cosy beds at night.

My sewing table nearly always has a project on the go and my machine rarely has a day off. I'm having a lot of fun teaching my little girl how to use it in a creative way as well. We laugh and chat as we sew together creating memories for life.

I have a crazy obsession with paper and stationary and absolutely love words. Words which rhyme, words which sound silly, words which make me think, words which bring a tear to my eye, words which make us all laugh, words which are already written and words which are still floating around in my head. I did my university major in Linguistics (4 years of study) just to compound the delight I find in WORDS.

The Family
I'm married to an amazing man. He is the strength from which we all draw, the calm one when things get a bit crazy, the logical one when my mind is in a spin and the one who always has a hug when any of us need extra love and reassurance. He plays with the children, reads them stories and according to them, is the best tickle/wrestler ever.

We have the four most beautiful, gorgeous, delightful children ever! Well, maybe we are a little biased, but we are their parents and will always be their biggest fan-club. They are 15 months, 4, 6 and 9 at the moment. I'm sure you will get to know them more and more as we record our lives here.

We aim to live a fairly simple life - not necessarily quiet or boring though! Making the most of every experience and memory we create together as a family. We live in one the most beautiful places on the planet - Queensland, Australia. It is known for it's mild weather, sunshine and big, white, sandy beaches and we enjoy this to the full. Many an afternoon will find us having a picnic dinner by the water no matter whether it's summer, spring, autumn or winter.

Butterflies and Bicycles
This blog is a glimpse into our lives as we live, love and learn together as a family.  It is a way in which I can remind myself of the beauty, love and blessings around me every single day. I want it to help me remember moments, notice moments, look for moments and create moments. As I search for the joys in our lives, I find myself creating more opportunities for these moments to enter our days.
As we live our lives fully where we are and true to ourselves, it is my sincerest desire that you will find inspiration and encouragement as you share in our journey.