View From My House

View From My House

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Art, Flowers and Butterflies

First is Raven's People drawing, followed by Monika's drawing, directly below is Kai's African landscape (we've been discussing various habitats), and Kai's Panda Bear.

Below is Dante's Tiger, Fish and Elephant Nose Fish:

Here are the Butterlies! In order descending, Raven, Kai, Dante and Labyrinth:

Here we have some flowers, in descending order: Raven, Monika, Kai, Dante and Labyrinth.

In short, our week has been wrecked with the havoc of Flagyl. I ended up being allergic, while the first half of the week was fraught with symptoms similar to being glutened, I then woke up with an extreme break out of hives. Needless to say there was less study going on than I'd would have liked, but this was a known possibility that at least tummy upsets would prevent much in the way of lessons. What I can say is we've finished Private Life of Plants and have moved on to Life In Cold Blood. We've checked out Turtles/Tortoises so far. The children have been doing a lot of art, as well as some lessons. We've been gardening too. So it hasn't been a complete write off and their in home carer has to put up with their extreme grumpiness/fragileness/unwellness due to the Flagyl while I catch up with study, blog and scrap!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Pizza Night & Mary Mary Quite Contrary

Snow Peas and Potentially just Peas
Bok Choy/Kale/Cauliflower Seedlings
Pizza- Not GF
I'll come clean. Twice a week we have a lovely woman come in and take care of all the children, with the exception of one at a time. That was today, and always Mondays and Fridays. This is important to relax, get things done without them. Its the day I get to do some uninterrupted scrapping or painting or uni work. Well, in all fairness we could do without it, and have done, but its nice to have the break and have the government pay the woman a small fortune. She gets $23 per hour each child, she claims about 8 hours a day. She is an artist who'll be showing her work in a commercial gallery next month, so her hours will actually be 8 hours next month.
So today Andrew and I took Dante shopping for shoes, got our shopping and pizza supplies. We got to Ziggy's Small Goods because nearly all of their meats are GF. We got us some Cabonosi and Chorizo for our pizza tonight, we had left over chicken too so it made it kind of special. The kids love Pizza Night because it means movies and fun. Usually happens on a Friday night but last Friday Andrew took me on a date to the Castle where we both enjoyed their Surf'n'Turf which meant I got to tast Hollandaise Sauce for the first time (inherently GF). I'm going to teach me how to make that!
Anyways, so we also brought more cow 'products' for our lovely garden. We'll get that into the garden tomorrow. Now, officially broke. Doesn't really matter because of the meds we're on we'll all be sick for the next week anyway.
As for how our garden grows, as you can see our seedlings are happy and healthy little guys, I'm happy!
Happy Gardening!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Garden of Earthly Delights... take 8

Still trying! And it ties in so nicely with learning about plants, thank you Sir Attenborough!

So this is the next step, and it is a big one! I've been a bit reluctant and a bit short of dosh to begin. Reluctance born from wishing I could just build a house and garden in the bush... but even if it just does us a short while here is our first garden bed!

This garden has a layer of cardboard (barrier to weeds - and will be great rotting away down there), a layer of premium soil, layer of pea straw, a layer horse manure, another layer of the premium soil, a thinner layer of chicken manure, finished off with another layer of soil. Going to go get some more of the cow stuff tomorrow as it wasn't enough to fill the whole bed. This was my birthday/mother's day big gift. (And the seedlings, of course).
There is also the plants of course, my Tomatoes and Basil are loving it at the moment, insulated with polystyrene and lucerne hay (and Dante thought they were dead). They flowered recently. Not at all sure what that means (except for what little I know from them needing to be fertalised by another plant with help from a pollinator). I don't really know and can't find it on the net so if anyone will please tell me?
The Bananna Plant is growing tall! Reluctant to let it put down permanent roots (still hopeful we will get some miracle/ home loan for a bush block build) but yeah, its good for a few years in the pot then it will need a more permanent home. But maybe it will be clonable?
Then there is the new addition, the black berry cane. I have raspberry cane ready to be gotten - my Mum's a gardener too and has got some lovely canes that are too much for her patch so YAY! Thanks Mum!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Private Life of Plants, Gardening & Art

We got crafty and made a bouquet of flowers, complete with pollinators - naturally!!! The children drew about 5 flowers each and replicated the one they decided was the best to "create" a flower for our little craft bouquet. It ended up being really lovely. Dante and Labyrinth both decided to do blue/purple bells, Kai did a rainbow and Raven did a pink flower and a sunflower on the same stem. Monika and I took the easy option of grabbing one of my flowers from my scrapping stash for hers, but she did the sticking on and the drawing of the leaves. They did it in great detail the older ones obviously more than the younger (as we learnt in a previous lesson about the male/female parts of a flower, so the anther (which is full of pollen) is on Labyrinth, and Dante has put in his stigma/style parts and Kai has included the ovary.

And here is part of my Mother's Day gift. The gift of seedlings for my new garden (the garden isn't ready yet, but the seedlings are growing madly. I am growing Kale, Cauliflower, and Bok or is it Pak Choy?. I also have a little sweet basil that will be a support plant to my tomatoes. Also - an updated pic of my bananna plant.
Forgive me if there is strange things with formatting - this often happens.

And now for some art. This is Labyrinth's art. Tree with animals and a drawing of the characters (in their respective animal forms in Fruits Basket.) She recently brought a Fruits Basket comic book and has all the episodes. She loves it! She's not as capable of reading as her brothers but she has inside her an incredible imagination. She is struggling though with her issues (behavioural - her window of learning is limited and even our in home child carer agrees she would not cope in a normal school situation because of her highly emotional issues.)

Dante's Snake. Dante resists doing much writing, he takes so long to get into it and actually write anything but ends up doing a great job usually. He is reading easily at grade 5 level and loves animals, particularly reptiles/mammals/fish/amphibians.
Kai's Octoman and House. While Kai is as capable of reading as well as Dante, or is better in some cases) he is no where up there with actual writing. He does surprise me though, sometimes like yesterday when he wrote 5 reasons he should be allowed to play computer games *)

Raven's house and T-Rex.
Raven has been learning colours and numbers, and he does an awful lot of drawing. He likes being read to, playing games on the PlayStation, in particular Dora and Diego. He is so absorbant right now - wanting to learn everything he can!

Monika's drawing and a spray art Butterfly.
Monika is so keen to be a part of everything that goes on, she is just so sweet. Her vocabulary and understanding is profound at times. She can understand subtle hints as well as three step instructions, she is also obsessed by shoes at the moment. She loves putting them on and taking them off! She can also put on some clothes without help. She's also a book nerd. She'll sit there and listen to you read all the way through such books as Dr Suess's Green Eggs and Ham or a Thomas the Tank Engine book - the medium sized ones like Harold's Mail Adventure. She's 20 months old.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Secret Life of Plants, Gardening & Art

Here is the sunset I snapped from my kitchen window last night. Ahh, the REAL reason I love Tassie so much. It's magic.

Below is our indoor/outdoor gardening efforts. Yes, that is a bananna plant inside, it seems to love the light and warmth of the fishtank, there is also ferns, jasmine, spider plants and giant varieties growing inside until they are big enough to venture to the great outdoors (and hopefully we'll have enough clout to get a loan for some land of our own and build our own shangri-la. ) In the mean time we'll grow a vege garden here and our other pretty plants too. Andrew is much more obsessed about the plants that grow underwater, while I enjoy them I can't eat them or smell them so I guess I am more of a terranium plant lover myself.

Outdoors has suffered a bit. I've put the effort in and weeded the weed patch on one side, gotta do the right thing by the Jasmine though! Then I've got roses and other plants ready to get in there. I'll be layins some Lucerne down for them so they won't be suffering the frost that will be comng too soon.

As for food, our tomato plant has done its bit so we'll be putting some Lucerne around it and keeping it alive over the cooler months. We get 2 tonne of dirt delivered Friday for a big vege patch!
We've also been studying David Attenborough's Secret Life of Plants. As I mentioned before I was unsure wether the children's interests would keep perked up and how they might respond. I needn't of worried. We talked seeds yesterday with a hands on visual example of seeds around the house found in potatoes going to seed, the strawberry seeds, seeds in snow bean pods, in capsicums and sunflower seeds. They ate the strawberries and sunflower seeds and even raw peas! But they really got the 5 things a plant needs to grow... sunlight, air, food/soil, water, love. The particular episode seeds relate to is Transportation.

The top two are Labyrinth's Worm/Garden, and Hammerhead shark underwater picture. These are good examples of what she's been doing and how she's advancing. Its lovely to see her put effort and thought into things!
Dante comes next with his cut out lobster and his fish/shrimp picture. Yes that shrimp is amazingly cute that's why it made the cut. Dante is drawing lots lately!
The following two is Kai's math dinosaur picture and his man with a few outfits. He's been fluffing about with airbrushing and they have all been doing digital images using Paint lately.
We'll be teaching them photoshop during this year since they do so well with that.

And young Monika loves to be involved - she wants to be drawing just like all the big ones. Labyrinth has mis-written her name but its cute.

The main stage stealer today, though is Raven. Here we have his Vampire, and his house with Ravens, including a fruit tree and garden. As we've been doing a bit of plants/trees/seeds/gardening lately it is featuring in his art work. He's just coming along in leaps and bounds, like Monika he wants to be just like the big kids, in doing so he's just about doing on par or better work than some of his much older siblings. He's 3.
The Vampire is inspired by Labyrinth - she's much intrigued by the macarbe, zombies, vampires, skeletons and such... I love his attention to detail here so much... the sharp fangs/the claw like fingernails, nostrils and pupils!
I intend to buy lots more paper to allow him to draw lots more!