Friday, October 06, 2006
Firstly here is the bean-sunflower house with lots of bean seedlings and some sunflower ones! Next is the potager. Please comment on how well Hannah arranged the bricks. I think she did a great job!! Things are slowly growing here.
Then here are the tubs against the new rooms. Note the ones Toby painted in the middle. They are in full sun for most of the day.
I couldn’t resist posting the cinerarias before they reach the end of their flowering. I remember in New Zealand how these grew as perennials and practically as weeds too! Lastly a peek through dappled shade at the washing on our hottish day.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Monday, October 02, 2006
Clive and I went on a gardening expedition yesterday and we found borage!! I am so excited with all the herbs in our potager. We have chocolate mint, apple mint and mint julep growing in the shade.we have several kinds of basil(including a liquorice variety), oreganum and marjoram. Parsley, tarragon, tansy and lemon balm are dotted around. And I still have the lemon verbena to plant. The garden now boasts two rows of baby carrots, a number of bush tomatoes, silverbeet, lettuce and capcicum. French marigolds edge the sunniest end and there are blue salvia in the shade. I hope its not too overcrowded but to begin with this intensive planting should help to keep down the weeds.mind you I like weeds sometimes...we got several mysterious bracica seedlings in our sweetpeas a while back. I just left them to bloom and their delicate grey-green leaf and yellow flowers seem to blend in well with all else that is growing around them.
When Caleb gets back from Tasmania I will add photos of the garden. I asked him :"is it as cold as New Zealand"
"does it look a bit like New Zealand bush where you are"
"a bit... if you can imagine New Zealand bush but australian trees"
"is it green and beautiful"
"oh yes, definately!!" I've cautioned him to take lots and lots of photos!
Friday, September 22, 2006
The bags are packed, food carton full of “non-green” treats!, 6 sleeping bags sit waiting expectantly, it is 5 am on Tuesday morning and time to wake the two youngest, slip them in their car seats and we’re off. Have we got the pillow cases? Did someone remember the sun block, insect repellent!! As I gather up the last minute details I slip a special readaloud in my bag.
Last night before the boys went to sleep they listened to Glen Close reading Patricia Mac Lachlan’s “Sarah Plain and Tall.” The older five all remember when we read it together. They had kept gravitating last night to the “littles” bedroom on some important errand “don’t you remember this part” “she reads it very well don’t you think mum, very true to the book” (!). In my bag I put the sequel to last nights tape “Skylark”.
We always seem to take a family readaloud on holidays and they always seem to suit the particular holiday we are on. Last year when we went to Aldinga, a beach suburb not far from Adelaide, we took “Pinky Pye” by Eleanor Estes. The book is set during a holiday and sand and water predominate. We didn’t pick the book especially it’s just the way it worked out. And “Skylark” this time was no exception.
There is a nation wide drought affecting Australia and in the north of South Australia how could we help but identify with the prairie drought in our readaloud. As we stopped at different places we saw all the creek beds dry, people told us about their wells empty. One old woman commented on the city people who squandered water in showers until she told them to stop “for mercy’s sake”. And at night dad discreetly wiped his eye as we read of Caleb’s water glass on the fencepost.
And so we came home. Only a mini holiday this time not quite three days. But we are melded together now, united as a family once more. Dad had been away for nine weeks previous and we oh so needed this family retreat. The bags are unpacked. The third load of washing is going through the washer, piles of “essentials” have been packed away and a mountain of dirt has been bathed off two small boys!! We open our book. Just before the fourteenth chapter Lachlan says,” now would be a good place to stop, don’t you think mum” (he always chose when to stop reading on holiday and that same phrase was always used). But this time there is an urgency in his saying and we all know why. Stop now mum don’t lets finish just yet, lets stay on holiday one moment longer, we might see another snake, hold another sleepy lizard or treasure hunt for copper, please leave us where we are there’s magic in a holiday we aren’t quite ready to let go of and there’s magic in the knowing what we think will happen in the ending of this book though we don’t want to go there yet. We all pause for a moment and then Hannah reminds us of the wonderful home readaloud by Hilda van Stockum “Francie on the Run” that we have to read in “ordinary time”. We all let out a sigh and with relief and anticipation for the morrow our holiday story is finished.
Monday, August 28, 2006
We are starting our garden unit.
So far we have mostly done lots of reading.
The boys have become fascinated with bees. We enjoyed reading about them in “The Wonderland of Nature” by Nuri Mass. The boys sketched and labeled diagrams of bees in their nature diaries. Lachlan’s was purple and yellow. Toby painted a duck and a chicken on two tubs and these are against the wall of the new rooms full of mushroom compost. We have planted bush tomatoes in them. Did you know you can re-plant the root end of your spring onions? We have ours planted in these tubs in front of the tomato bushes. The boys have also designed and built with Clive a bean/sunflower house. We are hoping for great results in this. They are so looking forward to sleeping out in their house. Maybe some holy water might help the seeds they planted to sprout. Next to the sunflower house, where the trampoline used to be we have made a mini potager.
Hannah very carefully put in the bricks.(she thinks all these new gardens smack of “homely clutter”; a thing her 15yo sensibility can’t abide, but she is courageously entering in to the spirit of things!!).
We have so far planted in it cucumber (to grow up the veranda post!), more bush tomatoes, statice(next to the tomatoes to confuse the pests), dragon’s tongue bean(bush beans of a purple variety…we loved the name!), columbine(a new one for us, but they sounded as if they were meant for a potager, hollyhock(because they are great flowers to make fairy people with amongst other things!), and some lettuce. We are still thinking what to plant in the shady half. With our heat in summer I still think some things could grow there even if not as well as if they received their usual allotment of sun… we will experiment. We will add pictures as our garden develops. Normally our garden is dormant over summer because it gets so hot . We are all wanting this family effort to work out. Especially as Grandma will be here for Christmas! Finally our pigeon is laying a second lot of eggs. Great place to choose birds! Now we definitely won’t be finishing the verandah roof for a while. Ah well everything is growing and blooming in the Cromb garden at the moment, even Mary has to cope with a zealous shawl of nasturtiums. It’s true what they say isn’t it, to be close to nature is to be close to God.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Thursday, June 29, 2006
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Everyone has been making shrines at our place! Here are two that Masters 4+9 made for the Sacred Heart. And here is our altar with their shrines on it and our family picture for the Sacred Heart. Feeling a little bleary eyed as got up at 6am to attend Mass with oldest son.(having not gone to bed before 12.30am talking to him the previous night). Then dh arrives home at 10.30pm tonight,yippe! It’s been over 5 weeks with him away, it will be so so nice to have him home for a week, before he’s off again for 6 weeks or more at Alice springs. Master4 said to him on the phone a few nights ago”I do miss you so dad!”
But how about this, he’s returning on the feast that celebrates the greatness of God’s heart! Perfect timing..God’s timing!
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
these are some samples from ds4 + ds9's notebooks. I haven't posted them in any particular order and I am still learning how to upload pictures to a blog, so there is probably a way to make them look neater which I haven't figured out yet! I couldn't resist adding the mis-spelled tiwst, it just seemed to fit the way I think St Aloysius Gonza would have wanted it to! The page the boys enjoyed doing the most was the mosaic for the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ
It started with making Easter Vigil Notebooks during Lent. Next for May we made a notebook focusing on Our Lady, now in June we have a red folder which encloses our notebooking pages. Even Master 4 is keenly involved as evidenced after their violin concert on Sunday."Mum do you have a favourite shape?" Mr. Mature(9ys)"That's silly, how can you have a favourite shape?!" Master 4" Well I do and its a triangle, because it has 3 sides and there are three persons in God, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and that's why the triangle will always be my favouritist shape SO THERE!" (said with a particularly unpious facial expression !) Still all this aside we all seem to be benefiting from this start to the day.we've even "tagged" something else on to it, and now before we begin and straight after chores we pray the Angelus.(ds just turned 17 included!)
I love autumn! The bare branches of deciduous trees are like part of a living sculpture, the autumn leaves that crunch beneath your feet, the frost that stiffens the grass like hairspray and the little "surprises" of colour that greet you when you stroll amongst the gardens. I always feel more prayerful in the autumn; its a season that lends itself more to reflection, taking time out. it hints at the promises of the more"sensational(!) seasons to come. By in large it is a very gentle season. It makes me realise that no matter what I do/don't do God's love for me is constant, unchanging; it will always be.
Today as I weeded and planted and watered and then strolled I found at the very end of my walk some tiny iris blooming amongst the fallen leaves. What a beautiful reminder of the work God will accomplish in us as we turn ourselves more and more over to Him. A gentle encouragement from our Everlasting Father!
Monday, June 19, 2006
A boy and his bike should never be parted!! that's got to be a line in a song somewhere! Master 9 has taken to a bike without trainer wheels so easily, its been such fun to watch! For a boy with some major coordination issues this one has been a piece of cake! He would happily bike anywhere/anytime; not so easy to do with a timid 5yo with trainer wheels in tow but we get there. we are rediscovering the linear park and the bonus is mum is getting fitter too! T. has also taken to writing poetry(the love of a bike does that?!!). Here is his most recent:
Walk , walk, walk upon your merry way,
Walk, walk, walk all day.
To the cats you see upon your way,
Don't say move, or go away,
Just politely say"Oh shoo!"
even if they do go"Boo hoo!"!
Thursday, June 08, 2006
Without prayer I could not work for even half an hour. I get my strength from God through prayer.
Meditations by Padre Pio -
Let us become saints so that after having been together on earth we will be together forever in heaven.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Saturday, May 13, 2006
All for Jesus through Mary!