Monday, February 23, 2015

Allowing our children to 'do it yourself'

Parenting and family life seems to come hand in hand with busyness and chaos. I like to think I live in a kind of organised chaos - my brain just often works faster than my physical (and time) capacity to get things done!

So put into that a gorgeous two year old who has found independence in dressing herself...Or a four year old who insists she can roll and cut the pie pastry herself and you have to decide how important these experiences are for your child compared with the extra time that particular task may then take! 

Miss Daisy enjoyed lining up at the cafe at the hardware store last week. I watched her as she tapped her toe, waiting for the cashier to make the man in front of her his coffee. As she tut tutted him for taking so long! *blush* And I watched on as she passed the lady her juice, followed by the money.
It actually gave me great joy to watch her do this for herself. Something that I could've rushed to do myself but by allowing her to do it she gained skills and confidence. She had to work out how to open the big fridge, carry her goods and money to the desk and line up, listen as she was called, follow the cashiers instructions and then bring her change and juice back to me at the table. And the glowing smile on her face was proof that those experiences were invaluable.

Little Peppa is really enjoying cooking. She'll request to make scones almost every day! And if she so much as hears a mixing bowl and spoon touch she's running into the kitchen and asking 'What are we making?' and 'Can I do it!?' Yes, of course you can!

Cooking is one of our favourite things to do together. And the girls are getting real good at it. They can identify so many ingredients, kitchen utensils and also orally explain the method for cooking some of their favourites! 
Cooking is fabulous because it's also how we bless our neighbours. We love to make cookies, scones or slice for delivering to our school age neighbours for afternoon tea. Or we sometimes make double dinners where we cook for ourselves and double the recipe so we can deliver dinner to a neighbour as well. (and dessert!)

Another area where the girls often take the reins is in their play and creative pursuits. Here Miss Daisy wanted to be like her Poppa and so she drew her own 'still life' drawing of the vase of flowers she picked. 
The large blue area is the water in the vase, and you can see the flowers carefully drawn above. 
For some reason she then drew the peach tree with all it's leaves over the top of it. I didn't know why. I didn't particularly think it was relevant. But she wanted to draw it there, so I didn't speak.

Then when she was done she explained to me that because the vase would go on the windowsill she drew the peach tree behind the vase because that's what's out the kitchen window! Amazing!

I want to live these moments often. To be less rushed, not to feel less rushed but to be less rushed. To allow a task to take an extra 5 minutes or an extra 15 minutes because those precious minutes are so valuable and so cherished by these beautiful children of mine!

Do you think it's important to allow children to 'do it yourself?'


Here are some great posts from some of my favourite bloggers on why allowing our children to do things for themselves is so important:

Kate from Living Loving Laughing wrote this lovely post about her daughter making her own lunches

Kate from Peaceful Parents Confident Kids wrote these great posts about

Kate from An Everyday Story has written

Kate from Picklebums wrote about

Danya from Danya Banya recently wrote this interesting post 
- should I let my daughter cut her doll's hair which is food for thought

I will add more to here as I find them but I know there are so many wonderfully written posts on this in blog land to inspire you! :)

Thursday, February 12, 2015

This space intentionally left blank due to lack of creativity in naming this post....

I have been reading some wonderful blog posts lately. Encouraging things. Exciting things. Interesting things. And I came to realise that I'm getting little bits of time in the evenings once again. I really missed the hour or so of having time just for me while we had a fussy baby in the house! Just time to read, sit on the laptop, take a bath or prepare for the next day.

It's probably been this way for a good month or so now and it's helping with everybody's sanity! Our little lion cub is sleeping SOOO much better in the daytime and sticking with his routine of waking once or twice in the night and at 5 months old I'm still happy to oblige him with a quick feed each time and pop him back into bed!

The girls and I have been keeping busy in our new kitchen! Bad blogger that I am I didn't take many before/during/after shots. I'm just not really stylish like that!! But it's really neat (in the cool way not the neat and tidy way!) And it's making life so much better having a dining table that's not on carpet and not in a separate room! Hooray for a super clever hubby who gutted, installed and revamped this space into something fabulous!


We're all easing into life with new commitments this year. Prep for Miss Daisy, preschool for Li'l Peppa and one day where the little Lion Cub and I get the day to ourselves! :) I really want to ease into an even more consistent rhythm with the girls, especially relating to morning and evening routines. Do you have a rhythm/routine that works for your family? 

Anyway, there is laundry to be folded and Valentine's Craft to be prepared for playgroup tomorrow which thanks to the promise of rain will be here tomorrow! Eeep! 
We're going to paint some cute little love bugs on stones and some other love heart themed story stones! My partner in crime just asked me if she should bring glitter... my response... I'm allergic to glitter with that many children! ;)
Are you a lover or a hater when it comes to glitter?!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Recipe:: Homemade Peach Jam

We've lived here coming up to three years in March. 
Our peach trees were well established when we moved in and with little to no maintenance we've had bumper crops every year! The waste that falls due to birds and bats is really sad. I think we'll have to look at netting them next year. And they also have a black spot which seems to be a common bacteria which we'll aim to treat early next year. 

Last year I got to the yellow peaches a bit late so we managed a few bags to friends and family and then uI picked the rest I could and made fruit leather. The white peaches seem to ripen a little later so I used them to make crumble (a few times!) and some white peach jam. 

This year the fruit seemed to all ripen at once and what wasn't being swiped by birds or bats was falling faster than I was picking! 

I did pick a few bags full for our neighbours and in the last few days managed to bring in enough yellow flesh peaches to make 10 jars of this delicious peach jam!

I made a 1kg batch then a 2kg batch so I'll give you the instructions for 1kg and you can double or triple or whatever depending on your fruit supply!

1 kg yellow peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
2 cups caster sugar
3 Tbs lemon juice

1. Bring a pot if water to the boil and prepare a bowl of iced water. 
2. Blanch peaches for 30-40 seconds then dunk in cold water. Peel. You're welcome!
3. Slice and remove stone. Chop roughly and place in large bowl with sugar and lemon juice. Sit for up to one hour 
4. Pour into large saucepan. Bring to boil. Continue to boil for 25 minutes - stirring occasionally. Stirring more often in final minutes. 
5. You can google lots of ways to tell if it's done but as I was doing that mine started going crazy and thickening! So keep watch! I mash mine roughly with a masher now!
6. Spoon into hot sterilised jars. Secure lid and turn upside down on bench. 

And there you have yummy scrummy peach jam! Soooo good!

Do you have excess fruit on your trees? What do you make???