A Tea Party

February 28, 2014 § Leave a comment

Lily’s seventh birthday rolled around this week. I had a wild idea to invite the whole class and their parents to our place for a huge social get-to-know-you/birthday. But….with many family birthdays in two weeks in our extended family, and a market to prepare for, that idea is on hold for a month or so.

Instead, I arranged a tea party for Lily after school on her actual birth day. She loves tea, and she loves my mother’s homemade scones, so the tea party idea, simple and sweet, was perfect.

I raided my mum’s cupboards for fine china. I borrowed her scone recipe. And I bought pink flowers too.

The afternoon was a huge success:

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Happy Birthday Lily, my beautiful eldest daughter.

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Late Summer Daze

February 20, 2014 § 1 Comment

Here in Sydney we are experiencing some late summer days….humid weather, sometimes cool evenings, and occasional downpour of rain as well. The carefree summer is well and truly past, and it is time to knuckle down for the year.

Some of us here in the Heartman household are still adjusting to the school routine, even though it is almost the end of week three. I confess I am struggling too….not having changed my bedtime yet to accommodate earlier rising, and still learning to manage the ‘routine’.

I am currently completing my last issue as Editor of Birthings, the Sydney homebirth magazine. To help myself through the fiddly editing parts, I snuck off the the local shopping centre for some dumplings and iced tea. There is something oddly comforting about sitting in a bustling foodcourt, busy in a world of homebirthing.

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Late summer is a bit of a transition time for me, partly due to the weather changing just that little bit, but also because it is my birthday soon. I don’t do New Years’ resolutions, or even celebrate the turning of the calendar to a new year. Instead my birthday year is the cycle I live by, letting go of things in the run up, and making plans to create new things in the month after, and I’ve got so many plans for this next year!

One project I have already begun is a women’s craft group. Our first meeting was Valentine’s Day, and I chose this project from the Living Crafts blog in honor.

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Only a few more days to finish the magazine, ready to begin new things. I can’t wait to share them with you all!

New Beginnings: Take 2.

February 10, 2014 § Leave a comment

It makes me laugh the way that life can move so swiftly sometimes. The way things fall into place once we move out of the way.

Move out of the way. That was my wish upon leaving my boy, looking vulnerable and suddenly very young, at his new school for his first day. I barely made it around the corner before the tears began in earnest, knowing I had to step back and let him face this new experience alone.

After days of journalling and grieving for the difficulties I experienced as a teenager at high school, I was left with a deep feeling of compassion for William as he marched on alone into his future.

He lasted one day. He knew straight away the new school would not work for him. I understood completely that feeling, and yet wanted him to give it more time.

Nothing about the new school had felt really right, but I had convinced myself that my ‘issues’ were clouding my judgement (and they were for a time). Convinced myself it was just the culture shock from what we had known before.

I have a good friend who sometimes asks the question ‘what would you love to happen?’.

After one day at that new school (which seemed to have lovely teachers and a great vibe) William was very clear about what he would love. And that was to return to his old Steiner school.

We had made it clear that we wouldn’t continue homeschooling: I need to focus on paid work and we couldn’t shake the feeling of not being able to provide enough, or facilitate enough to meet William’s academic needs. But the Steiner school felt out of the question too due to financial constraints.

That night I asked myself: What would you love to happen? The answer was instant, unequivocal. For William to go to a school where he feels respected and happy.

I accepted the answer, and I let it go. I let it float up to God in a red balloon in my mind.

And then I moved out of the way.

Through a series of small miracles William is now attending his old school again. On his first day back he received a rock star welcome as his friends rushed around him, clapping him on the back and whooping with joy to see him. I had tears again, but for a different reason. I couldn’t deny the feeling that he was home.

It hasn’t been completely easy: after eight months at home, following his own routine and interests, it has indeed been a culture shock to be getting up early again. And there is some kind of why do I have to go to school at all? attitude going on.

I feel confident these niggles will fade out over time. Something has been put right with our little part of the universe: it is so easy having all the children at the same school. It supports our family life and our values. Our ten year old, who had struggled at school himself since William left, is happier again.  The girls feel protected in a way, knowing their two brothers are close by.

Sol and I both agree that we all had to ‘go there’ and face that potential pathway. William, Sol, and I have all learnt valuable lessons from this time. Sol and I have had the chance to let go of some baggage we didn’t need to carry anymore. And we have all found some new appreciation for all we do have, for our community and for those that support us.

The girls: on the threshold of their first day.

The girls: on the threshold of their first day.

Japanese Gardens

February 2, 2014 § Leave a comment

Out in the heart of suburban Western Sydney, there is a little oasis. As part of our stay-cation in Sydney in January, I visited the Japanese Gardens with my children last week.  Lots of photo opportunities ( I am without a camera at the moment, so please excuse my dodgy-old-phone photos), one Jehovah’s witness and one wet toddler later…..

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