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!

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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.

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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.

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

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The morning sun shone with a beautiful warmth,

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A glorious day to spend outside.

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

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We spent a lot of time at the playground,

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

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

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And a Waldorf inspired fern baby made by me.

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A simple day devoted to our little fella.

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

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

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

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

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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The walking track wound through invigorating forest,

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surrounded by ancient rocks and stone cliff sides,

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and arrived at the fern veiled tunnel entrance;

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the tunnel of an old rail.

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

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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!

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

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And we were greeted by a grove of green.

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

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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.

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Amongst the amazing cliff faces we spied secretive caves.

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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.

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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!”

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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,

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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.

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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.

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

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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,

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and folded the tortellini.

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

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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 🍄🍂🍎🍇

Moments in Narrandera

Last week was spent on the river bank in Narrandera, NSW. Apart from the business of weekend water skiers we had a quiet, relaxing week and didn’t stray to far from our camp.

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Whilst making up a batch of my toasted muesli I tried Zubi on my back in the Ergo for the first time.

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Anusha thought this was too cute and had to have a turn too.

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Zubin really found his love of water and when it wasn’t too cold for him we got much relief playing in the shallows. And testing how sand tastes…..

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While watching his big bro and sis.

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Anusha is slowly learning to swim doggy paddle and becoming more confident in the water. The children even shed their inhibitions and went skinny dipping, loving the freedom and feel of the water.

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Elki completed The Lord of the Rings, which he’s been reading sporadically for a year or so. We also finished reading Animal Farm by George Orwell, with me reading about half of it to Elki and then he finishing the other half one night as he couldn’t wait to hear what happened (I was hoping this would happen!)

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And I found the time to begin exploring native plant dyeing, which I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time.

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The warm and longer evenings were perfect for evening strolls, an addition to some of our days to bring attention to our health and fitness. On our first wander Scott pulled up some bulrush for us to try……it’s really quite good, although Elki was not too impressed!

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We were gifted with some beautiful sunsets which we have been loving, something we don’t get a good view of at our home in Tas.

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I was very proud of Anusha for reading her very first book. My Dad is a board book that all of our children have loved and is the first book she has read by herself.

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She has also been really engaged by the reading block we are currently doing. We worked on this several of the days at Narrandera, very much driven by Anusha’s enthusiasm, readiness, and eagerness to be reading.

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And there was a lot of time spent in the water,

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And on the shore.

It was a great camp and a lovely week. The only criticism we had is Narrandera’s town water, it is terrible! We would gladly camp here again but next time we’d definitely bring spring water to drink!