Unplugging

A few nights ago I lay in bed; water in the creek rushing by outside, my babe asleep beside me after boobing to sleep, I could hear Scott’s voice as he read stories to the children by campfire, and I began to write by torchlight.
I wrote of my thoughts, for myself, and my words took me to a thought I’ve had many a time before; of removing myself from social media, and for an as yet unknown amount of time, discontinuing my blog.
This time my thoughts took me to a decision I could not turn back from. And so, I am for now, going to stop posting on my blog, and I am going to remove myself from facebook and instagram.
I have thoroughly appreciated the personal and homeschooling communities that have supported me and have been a source of friendship and comradery since beginning this journey. Social media has been a way for me to gather information and educate myself about subjects close to my heart, and I have truly loved seeing what all the lovely families I follow, or are friends with, do throughout their homeschooling or unschooling days. I have learnt much and been inspired by many.
Writing and photography are a joy to to me. I find both very cathartic and thoroughly enjoy the process of recording my family’s journey. I have also found writing my blog to be an extremely helpful way to organize myself for the process of homeschooling registration.
But at this time; with the presence and energy I bring to the online stage, I feel I need to step back and unplug. I need to be free of the commitments of maintaining my blog, facebook page, and instagram posts.
Now when I write I will be writing for myself. Even though I aim to portray myself in the most honest way I can it has always concerned me in the back of my mind that I may change the way I record things, even if only in the slightest way, because I want people to perceive me in a particular way.
Now when I take photos I will be taking them for myself. I will not need to have any concerns if they are good enough or appropriate for sharing online. And I will feel a release of not needing to capture ‘every’ special moment (seriously, every moment is special, so this is impossible!) and create a visual representation of our journey all the time.
Recording and journaling our unschooling life is a passion for me but certainly the value of my words and photos is not diminished if they are not  shared or seen by anyone else.
I have met and maintained some lovely friendships with beautiful, likeminded people through sharing our homeschooling life online. It is hard to let go of something I have worked on for years now but at this point of our adventure, as we travel around Australia, I need to be present in the now (a state I have been striving to attain and maintain for several years), energetically available and grounded in the Earth as we tread her beautiful soils and become more intimate with our land and waters, and give my whole being to my gorgeous family.
Importantly, I have always had a concern about the healthfulness of sharing one’s life with such an enormous community. The nature of instantaneous sharing and receiving feedback within a community in which the people, on the whole, do not interact in the ‘real’ world or have not formed authentic relationships, can not to me be truly nourishing. There are of course wonderful positives of being able to share with such a wide audience and it’s a very useful tool to raise awareness. I hope that I have, even if it’s only in a miniscule amount, helped to raise awareness about the wonders of the things I feel most passionate about; homeschooling and natural parenting, homebirth, and our beautiful Earth.
I also believe that with the change in our culture from one of close knit family communities who help and support each other, to one in which parents can be and feel completely isolated, that online communities are a way to gain much needed support.
So, in ending, I wanted to say thank you to all of you who have come by and bothered to stick around and read any of my posts, I hope it was worthwhile!
We will be continuing to trundle northward and will be crossing over the border into QLD  in the next week! (Very excited!!) I have started writing a journal (with pen and paper!), and have taken out my SLR camera again. I want to pursue photography in more depth and Anusha is very interested in doing that with me. I think at some point, perhaps when we return to Tas, I will continue with my blog, writing retrospectively of our life on the road, but at this point I can’t see social media enticing me again.
If any of you lovelies would like to get in touch, please drop me a line at dls.lonna@gmail.com it would be a pleasure to hear from you!

image

Blessings and sunshine to you all xx

A Simple Day for Our Bub

Last night; the night before Zubin’s birthday, I said the birthday verse to my beautiful bubba (the same waldorfy verse I have said to Elki and Anusha for years) as we lay in bed. He was looking up at me with his little mouth open (his way of kissing) as I recited the words, kissing him between each line (my heart melting just a bit!)
Today we celebrated Zubin’s first birthday. We kept it simple; focussing on the things he enjoys and gifting him mostly handmade toys.

image

Anusha had been getting very excited about her little brother’s special day and was the first awake ready to give Zubin her gift; a secondhand trike we bought from an op-shop.

image

We gave him loads of love, kisses and cuddles; Elki proudly hugging his now one year old brother.

image

The morning sun shone with a beautiful warmth,

image

A glorious day to spend outside.

image

Yesterday he surprised us by easily clambering up the slide, now one of his favourite things to do.

image

We spent a lot of time at the playground,

image

And a lot of time sitting around on the grass as Zubi played with his new toys.

image

Tree blocks made by Scott, beach rocks and shells collected by Elki,

image

And a Waldorf inspired fern baby made by me.

image

A simple day devoted to our little fella.

image

I spent moments of the day remembering this time one year ago; his amazing birth and a magical day with my family.

image

Some of the day was also devoted to one of his favourite things; eating!

image

His birthday treat; family made chocolate date and apricot logs.

image

He couldn’t wait to get his hands on them!

image

There was more time spent at the playground, a walk with me around the lake, and lots of playing in the sunshine.

image

And here he is at twenty to five; exactly one year old, waving to his Dadda. Blessed we are to have this adorable little soul in our lives 💖

Tunnel of Stars | Gardens of Stone National Park

Today we went on an adventure to a glow worm tunnel!

image

The drive from Lithgow took us along 30km of fairly unpleasant rough and bumpy gravel and dirt road, for the most part through plantation, but led us to the very beautiful Gardens of Stone National Park and walking track to the glow worm tunnel.

image

Our doggy, in a particularly sooking mood would not allow us to leave him alone. So Elki, upon his own insistence, stayed with him in his father’s place, not wanting his dog to be sad, or Scott to miss out.

image

The walking track wound through invigorating forest,

image

surrounded by ancient rocks and stone cliff sides,

image
and arrived at the fern veiled tunnel entrance;

image
the tunnel of an old rail.

image

With head torches on, we ventured in, light quickly disappearing, leaving us in darkness and revealing the magical lights!

image

The lights in the tunnel akin to stars in a night sky delighted us all. Anusha mystified by there beauty as she skipped and jumped from rock to rock along the wet tunnel floor.
On observing the worms under a red light we found they do indeed glow from their bums!

image

As the light at the end of the tunnel emerged the tiny stars receded,

image

And we were greeted by a grove of green.

image

We weren’t sure which end of the tunnel was more beautiful.

image

After a short exploration we headed back through the tunnel, marvelling again at the lovely glowing lights, finding one cluster of worms in the shape of a capital E (E for my dear boy Elki looking after his doggy ❤), and Anusha counting the doorways cut into the tunnel rock wall.

image

Amongst the amazing cliff faces we spied secretive caves.

image

One of which Anusha had found on the walk in when I had been carrying Zubin in the ergo. Now that Scott held him she was able to show me her ‘amazing!’ find at the bottom of a short but steep and slippery path.

image

It was truly amazing and even more so after we saw a bat! It flew around us as we excitedly squealed, Anusha exclaiming, “it came this close to my face!”

image

She couldn’t wait to tell her Dad (who had gone on ahead telling us to take our time) and Elki as we walked the last of the track, noticing the beautiful colours of rock along the way.

image

We found happy boys back at the car; Zubin having loved the walk on his Dad’s shoulder, Elki not minding at all his quiet time of reading and playing games on his phone, and of course Laska having had company while he waited.
I had missed my boy on the walk and we all agreed we would return before leaving the area as Elki just has to see the awesome tunnel of stars.

A Few of their Favourite Pieces | The National Gallery & Museum

image

We’ve spent a few days near Canberra recently and over two days took the children to the National Gallery and Museum.
We were all very impressed with the art gallery and spent a relaxed afternoon wandering through the galleries and exhibitions.
After filling our bellies in the sculpture garden and admiring the sculptures (particularly the slit drums) we entered the gallery, starting with the Indian and East Asian gallery.
I thought I’d take a few photos of some of the children’s favourite pieces….

image

The Indian and East Asian gallery was Elki’s favourite in all of the NGA. He loved so many pieces, exclaiming over many of the ‘archaeological finds’; his fascination with archeology rekindled. This throne was a particular favourite.

image

Anusha loved this statue. We read through its explanation a couple of times and she showed me the parts she liked best; the jewelled waist and chest.

image

Waterlilies by Monet was a favourite of Elki’s. He chose it not realising it was by Monet, whose paintings we have on the walls at home. He then showed me another painting he really liked before noticing it was also a Monet!

image

Another piece Elki liked was this by Frank Stella,

image

And he absolutely loved this Astronaut Refugee.

image

As we strolled through the Aboriginal gallery Anusha found this one amazing,

image

and she showed me two favourites; this one,

image

and this one.

image

This was Elkis favourite of the Aboriginal paintings.

image

We first noticed this awesome didgeridoo garden from above and as we walked through the children chose their favourites.
This one Anusha’s,

image

And this one Elki’s.

image

We left the main gallery to find the Contemporary gallery; the children interested in an exhibition there. Anusha loved the music we could here floating over the lake from the Carillon tower.

image

The exhibition in the contemporary gallery was amazing! Elki and Anusha were enthralled by recreation of The Last Supper made completely from salt,

image

And the intriguing glowing uranium chandeliers!

image

Anusha found it was not only the chandeliers that glowed,

image

and we were all fascinated by the intricacies and details in the food of the banquet.

image

The children were able to feel some of the pieces of food, amazed that it was just salt!
Ken and Julia Yonetani’s exhibit was a favourite for all of us.

image

The next day found us at the NMA. The gallery we spent the most time in was that of a temporary exhibition called Encounters; an exhibit of Aboriginal history. Elki is always most fascinated by the Aboriginal weapons and tools; particularly liking this shield and club.

image

Anusha is more often drawn to the jewellery, adornment, and craftwork; this feather necklace a favourite.

image

Undoubtedly though, the children definitely got the most enjoyment from the Kspace. Here they were able to design their own robots, which they then used in a computer game to complete tasks in a particular time in history.
Coincidentally, the first time they played I joined in, and we were taken back to the 1980s protest of the damming of the Franklin river in Tasmania!

image

Zubin had a turn at being a robot with his Dad too, it was too cute not to capture!
Elki and Anusha played again later after we had wandered the rest of the museum; and then we headed back to camp and some downtime after our two full days.

Sharing and Learning Mabon

This morning the children and I prepared for our Mabon ritual.
It was one of those really lovely, flowing mornings in which we shared our interest and one thing flowed to the next.

image

I started writing down notes for our ritual; (inspired by a Mabon ritual from an issue of Pooka Pages, an online magazine for pagan families) Anusha helping me, and Elki asking about pagan gods, goddesses, and magick.
Anusha discovered she could download the magazine on her tablet and copied a picture of a Mabon pentacle and wrote her name in runes.

image

Elki also downloaded an issue, writing his name in runes, and creating some runes with some of his beach rocks. He then downloaded an issue of Pagan Moonbeams; another online magazine with a section for teenagers.
We started talking about altars and making a portable one each for travelling,

image

and then Elki began making a temporary altar using his drawing book. Anusha also made one, and then we continued with our preparations.
Elki and I talked more about magick, runes, and crystals. He asked if I knew of a crystal for protection and after I encouraged him to look it up, he found the quartz to be of help and made a simple pouch to hang a rose quartz around his neck.

image

Anusha found a twig needed for a wand and headed into the tent to decorate it, and then after lunch we painted symbols for the directions and elements together.

image

Anusha created our Mabon pentacle and symbol using coloured pencils, and we collected the last things needed for our altar.

image

Our Mabon feast was to be pumpkin and almond tortellini, followed by apple pudding. Scott prepared the pumpkin filling, and then the children and I made the pasta dough,

image

and folded the tortellini.

image

In the early evening we set up our altar and practised the ritual whilst Scott prepared dessert.

image

We then came together for our Mabon feast; some delicious apple pan fried cakes an extra delight made with left over pudding mixture!
To share my love of Earth and paganism with the children, and for them to respond with such interest, curiosity, and eagerness to be involved was such a natural and flowing way for us all to learn, and incorporated many different ways and opportunities for Elki and Anusha to follow what captured their imaginations the most.
Mabon blessings to all 🍄🍂🍎🍇

Elki’s Birth Story | 14 Years Later

Elki; 14 years ago on the last day of February and summer, 2002, your father and I visited the birth centre at Flinders medical centre for what would be our last appointment before your birth.
I was 41 weeks and 4 days pregnant. The midwife was getting concerned about the length of my pregnancy and advised me to have my waters broken to stimulate your birth. She even mentioned casually that if this did not stimulate labor you may need to be born by cesarean. I was very upset by her insensitivity; determined to have a natural birth, and looking back now as a more confident and knowledgeable mama, I would have told her what I thought, that you were not ready, you and I were perfectly healthy, there was no need to stimulate your birth, and I am not having my waters broken….
But I was young and more fearful, and you were my world. So, at about 4pm I had my membranes broken and your father and I went back home hopeful that soon you would begin to make your journey to us.
And you did…..
At about 9pm that night I felt the first cramp, the very beginning of contractions. At first these were occasional and easy to bear for several hours. I remember your Dad and I went to bed to try and get some rest and at a point the contractions began to get stronger and too uncomfortable; bed no longer an option.
We wanted to wait for as long as possible before going into the birth centre, and at around 1:30am on the 1st of March, we decided to go. Your father rang Noni and Pop; they were taking us to the hospital and staying for your birth.
We arrived at the birth centre at 2am; I was taken from the emergency area to our room in a wheelchair. The room was like a spacious hotel room with a double bed, small kitchen, lounges, bath, and bathroom with a shower and toilet.
I settled in, pacing and walking around the room and hallways of the maternity ward; breathing through each contraction. The contractions were steadily becoming stronger and more intense, and closer together.
A midwife was there popping into the room occasionally to see how I was going and to check on me.
As the contractions became more intense I had a long shower; enjoying the relief and warmth the water gave. I was unsure how I was coping; I didn’t know how much more painful the contractions would become and if I was going to be able to cope with them. But I had the support of your amazing father and your Noni assured me I was going really well.
I had brought incense and music to put on whilst I was in labor with you, and at one point your father lit an incense for me but I promptly told him to put it out, the smell making me feel sick. I don’t remember the music ever being played, my mind too focussed on breathing through each contraction.
As the hours past the contractions became closer and closer together. I was nearing when I would begin to birth you. The midwife on duty left and another took her place. She came and checked on me and I remember needing to lay on my back for this and it being very uncomfortable.
After this came the point of labor that I remember most vividly, and I later realised that I was going through transition. I remember feeling a loss of control and fear; not knowing how I could possibly get through this! As each contraction came I did not know what to do; there didn’t seem to be any position in which I could bear the intensity.
It was then the midwife suggested I try the bath. I stripped off my clothing and climbed in but as soon as I lowered myself into the water I knew that I had to get out! I needed solid earth under me and you were coming now!
Your Dad and the midwife helped me out of the bath and over to the bed where I knelt with my knees on the floor, leaning over the bed with my elbows, holding your fathers hands as he supported me from the bed.
The urge to push was uncontrollable and the immense pressure as your head came down my birth canal enormous. But it was only two or three contractions before your head crowned; the midwife guiding me. I squeezed your Dad’s hands, his strength and love giving me the strength I needed, and pushed, it was painful and burned but you were so close.
And then with one more contraction and push your tiny body flowed like a wave from my body; you were born! It was the most amazing, relieving, beautiful feeling in the whole world, and that I had ever experienced, and then the midwife passed you to me, your Dad exclaimed, “it’s a boy!” and I held you; my glorious, so small, crying little baby boy!
What an amazing surprise, I had never felt such joy before as when I saw and held you for the first time.
You were born at 6:08am, on the 1st of March 2002. You weighed only 2.59kg or 5 pounds,12 ounces but you were so alert, healthy and perfect. Your skin looked to big for you and oh so delicate, and you were so soft. We named you not long after, your little face telling us to choose Elki.
We snuggled in bed and you had your first feed,

image

image

your Dad had his first hold of his precious boy,

image

image

and it was just amazing.
During that morning I remember after about an hour I birthed your placenta, having been given oxytocin to stimulate it’s birth. A doctor came to check on you and gave you the apgar test. If you had been any smaller they would have wanted to take you to the maternity ward for monitoring, I couldn’t imagine being apart from you for even a second! But thankfully you scored very high on the test and the doctor was not concerned.
We bathed you, which you did not appreciate at all,

image

image

I had a shower, and we dressed you and kept you warm.

image

image

We rested and slept together, you in my arms all the time,

image

And you had your first visits from family, including your Nanny and Poppy.
At about 3pm on your birth day we took you home; so happy and bewildered by the arrival of our first, sweet baby.

image

I began my life as your mama, now 14 years ago. Since that first day you have thrived; gaining your birth weight and more by the end of your first week,

image

And always approaching life with exuberance, vibrance, loving energy, and a heart of sweetness.

image

💖

The Ocean Our Classroom at Pettmans Beach

Last week we spent our days on a stretch of 90 mile beach called Pettmans beach; nearby Lakes Entrance.
It was a sand filled, water immersed week of camping; the children’s afternoons occupied by swimming, playing, and exploring this truly beautiful area.

image

Zubin loves the beach and was fascinated by the feel and taste of the shells and sand.

image

There was a sand bank along the shore which changed slightly each day with the coming and going of the tide. I loved to watch Zubin as he deftly climbed down; turning around at the top to safely clamber down backwards, feet first. Climbing back up was a little harder but after several attempts he triumphantly succeeded.

image

He spent hours of the afternoons and evenings in our arms and on his Dad’s shoulders as we strolled along the shore,

image

curiously observing and taking in the beautiful surroundings,

image

and sleeping in the Ergo with the sounds of waves to lull him,

image

and my footsteps to rock him.

image

And he played; his brother and sister his playmates, the ocean’s offerings his toys.

image

Anusha immersed herself in beach life. The sand dunes her adventure playground.

image

The sand and sun her sanctuary and warmth when the water became too cold,

image

and providing her with hours of fun as she built fairy castles, tunnels, and trenches.

image

At first Anusha was unable to swim as the waves were too rough and a trench on the shoreline too deep, but after discovering the low tide in the afternoons she excitedly took to the water.

image

At times she needed the help of her big brother,

image

But as the week passed by she grew more and more confident and swam more in the sea than she has ever before. Having an amazing time and never wanting to leave.

image

Elki took to the ocean with his love of swimming and enthusiasm for adventure.

image

He found the water irresistible,

image

the waves providing hours of thrill and challenge,

image

and the inspiration for imaginative play as he battled powerful enemies.

image

Elki’s love of crystals and Earth treasures was ignited further by the plentiful and beautiful trove of rocks and shells along the beach. Most days a new find was added to his collection and he excitedly collected these special rocks with his sister to give to Zubin on his approaching birthday.

image

The stunning sunsets most evenings were colourful and magical,

image

and food for our eyes

image

and spirits.

image

I found the ocean a refreshing and inspiring delight for my whole being; my afternoons spent with my feet in the invigorating water, listening to the rhythm of the ocean and my children’s playful enjoyment.

image

And an exciting surprise for all of us was catching glimpses on several days of two stunning Lace Monitors! A true highlight of the week.

image

I was constantly amazed by the beauty of Pettmans beach, and surprised that we often had it all to ourselves! Thank you to this most special part of Australia for being our classroom for a week ❤