Eviction Notice

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Dear “Nemo”,

I hope you’ve enjoyed your 9 months stay at your current rental premise. This is to remind you that your lease will be expiring on the 8/1/2017 and you shall be evicted after that.

You officially still have a few more weeks to go, but I just wanted to let you know that I have another place set up, waiting for you when this lease is up. Seeing that you’ve been a really good tenant, I will gladly waive all charges for any damages you’ve caused to the current premise – water leakage, wear and tear from your late night partying, extra energy consumption, storage, etc.

Just remember to pack and take all your belongings with you as you will not be able to return to the current premise after you leave.

If possible, kindly give me one day’s notice so that I can prepare your new home for you in advance. If it makes it easier for you, I (and a few helpers) will be more than willing to help you move closer to the end of lease date.

Thank you for choosing to stay at “Mom’s 24/7 Air BnB”. I hope you have had good memories during your stay here. Take care and enjoy your next journey!

 

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Crossing the Rainbow Bridge

They say every school is the same. But I’m here to tell you they’re not. Waldorf stresses on the importance of childhood that it is impossible for outsiders to understand, unless you’re part of the Waldorf family.

Today, we got to experience a ceremony that celebrates Little Miss 5’s birth. The story that was told today, The Rainbow Bridge story, was absolutely beautiful. It is a blessing to be able to sit through the story of self worth, love, joy, and the pure sacredness of a child’s birth.

Once upon a time there was a Little Angel who was up in the heavens and she was very happy there. She looked at the beautiful colours and listened to the lovely music, and that was where she belonged. But one day the clouds parted in heaven and she saw the beautiful green earth below with all the people happily playing and working and she suddenly longed to go there and see what it was like. She saw all the rainbow colours of the earth, She saw butterflies visiting flowers and birds flying in the air. They seemed to be beckoning her. She saw fish swimming in the sea and all the different plants that covered the earth. She saw children climbing trees running and jumping in the meadows and walking through sand and leaves. It was all so beautiful!

So she said to her Big Angel, ‘Please, may I go down to earth now?” But her Big Angel looked at her and said, “No, it is too soon. You must wait a little while yet”. So the child went and was happy and soon forgot about the earth. Then one day again she saw a glimpse of the earth through the clouds again. She saw mother and fathers doing their work. She saw bakers and engineers and writers and farmers. She saw mothers and fathers loving their
children. Then she saw a beautiful mother with love and longing in her heart for a child and she asked her angel now, “May I go to her?”

The Big Angel said, “Soon, but you must prepare to go through the House of the Sun, the Stars, and the Moon, and over the Rainbow Bridge before you can go over to Earth.”

So with determination, the little Angel went to the House of the Sun, where she was given the gift of courage, which was placed under her heart. Next she went to the House of the Stars, where she was given the gift of Wisdom, which were placed under the soles of her feet. Lastly, she went to the House of the Moon, where she was given the gift of twinkle in her eyes, so that she might always see the humour in life.

Nearing the Rainbow Bridge, the Big Angel said to the Little Angel, “The gifts you have received from the Sun, the Stars and the Moon will help you with the work you have chosen to do on the Earth. Now you are ready.”

So the Little Angel travelled over the Rainbow Bridge that stretched forth from heaven to earth, and straight into the strong loving arms of her earth Mommy and Daddy.

She opened her eyes, and mesmerised everyone around her. It was then she received her first gift on earth, the gift of her name – Leann, which ironically means Angel, or one of sheer perfection.

There are many versions to this story. But this is the closest that I could remember from today.

How many of us have had such meaningful birthday celebrations at school? I know I didn’t. I know my husband didn’t. But I’m glad our children will be able to experience one of the best childhood there is on earth through their school, and that is to be surrounded by pure love and people who truly appreciate them as they are.

 

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Starting the day with a smile

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Or maybe not. LOL

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How gorgeous is this cake?

Definitely a birthday to remember…

 

 

Reblog: A day in the life of a Waldorf kid

The Waldorf playgroup on Thursdays morning at West Coast Steiner School starts off like this…
A small playground in the school yard
All classroon signs are beautifully handmade or drawn
We are greeted with a different scent every week – lavender, rose, etc…
All toys are made from natural materials such as wood, logs, ceramics…
Wooden instruments…
Wool and knitted soft toys…
cloth and handmade dolls…
Parents who attend playgroup are required to bring a piece of fruit each to cut them up and share it during morning tea
Playgroup is not only a place to play, but a place to bond and get lots of cuddles
How cool is this little guy’s toenails? LOL
One of our favourite moments of the day, bread making!
Our lovely Playgroup Coordinator, who’s been absolutely amazing at guiding us through playgroup with the Waldorf philosophy
Each parent is also given a task to do for the day
It’s a tradition to light a candle to give thanks…
Morning tea time outside the class garden. Table and stools all made out of wooden logs. How awesome and nature friendly!
Our share of fruits for morning tea… yums!
Little NAPB enjoying her fruits “kampung” style! 😉
 Mommy R & Little R
Thank you for being such an inspiration to me to want to be a super mom
Kids get to take part in daily chores to their interest and abilities
All in all, the Waldorf playgroup is an ideal place for parents to grow together with their children, it’s about connecting with your child as a whole. It’s very cosy and family orientated, compared to a Montessori playgroup, where independent play is more encouraged. Waldorf keeps the children’s mind opened and promotes willingness to learn through their own initiatives, which is what I’m hoping for Big Warrior. We’re already seeing some positive changes in Big Warrior’s attitude towards socialising, hopefully she will continue to blossom and flourish as time goes by.
*This was written in 2014. Fast forward 2016, Big Warrior’s been with the Waldorf School for almost 2 years. And the difference we’ve seen in her is just amazing. She may not be learning her ABCs and 123s in school at the moment, and won’t be till she’s in Year 1, but the little things that been cultivated into her as a person is undeniably valuable. Learning to share her load with house chores, being a team player, showing kindness and empathy, reaping the harvest that she helped sow, etc… these are things that the common public education do not put emphasis on. However, these are the important building block of being a successful human being. I’ve never pushed her to learn academically, but even without me (or the school) teaching her, she’s already well-versed with her alphabets and can count up to 30, which to me is a big surprise because she did her own learning through listening and observing.
I will be forever grateful to have stumble upon a Waldorf Steiner school for my children. My only hope now is that they will cherish their blessings being a Waldorf child and growing up without unnecessary social pressure.
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Reblog: A Wonderful Family Getaway: Lilly Pilly Cottage Farm Stay @Gidgegannup, Western Australia

I can’t believe it’s been 2 years since we’ve been to Lilly Pilly! We’re seriously missing this little quaint cottage, and fingers crossed we’ll be able to make another trip there before Nemo is born. Anyway, here’s a recap from our wonderful experience there is 2014.
Nestled in a secluded farmland among towering Jarrah trees, the Lilly Pilly Cottage embodies the spirit of an ultimate Australian Bushland experience.
This homely, fully self contained little cottage has three comfortable cozy bedrooms, catering up to eight people. Since there were only five of us (one being a toddler), we had plenty of extra space to, well, waste. It’s a pity that in the midst of all the excitement, I actually forgot to take pictures of the rooms, but I did manage to take one of the lounge, which is equipped with a fireplace! How awesome is that?
Within the hundred-acre land, only thirty-five acre is utilised as a farm, an organic vineyard and two cottages; the rest of the sixty-five acres are kept in its natural form of Australian bushland. In the farm you will find a flock of sheep, some horses, cows, alpacas, and chickens. Patrons are encouraged to join in during feeding time every morning and evening. That particular activity quickly became Little Miss NAPB’s favourite time at the farm getaway.

 

 

 

 

 

“This is how you feed the chickens, daddy!”

Say “ahhhhhhhh”

 

“You gotta open your mouth before eating, Baa Baa Sheep”

Poor Baa Baa Sheep getting impatient while Little Miss Perfectionist attempts to sort out the hay, LOL

Such a proud moment for us that Little Miss NAPB was brave enough to be in such proximity with the animals

Being the farmhand of the day also meant that Little Miss NAPB had to help out with raking and transferring of the haystack prior to feeding the cow and bull.
A huff and a puff… Stacking the hay sure is hard work!

And some random shots of the cottage’s surrounding…

The organic vineyard
 
Overall we had an awesome and memorable experience at the cottage, and would absolutely love to return again. But perhaps not till sometime later in the future. It’s not exactly cheap at roughly AUD$550 for a two night stay, but I guess if the accommodation was shared between two to three families, it would definitely be worth it. Of course, if you were to stay for a week, the price per night would be much cheaper as well.

Thank you, Farmer Ray, for your generous hospitality. We will definitely meet again!
And thank you Goong Goong and Popo for the treat to this amazing getaway!
Lilly Pilly Cottage
Gidgegannup, Western Australia

Love Your Family Challenge: My little “Nemo”, my shining star

This may come as a surprise to many of you, as we’ve managed to keep it under wraps for the past few months. I guess fate has it that it’s time to share the good news. We were planning for a third baby, but didn’t expect it to happen THAT quickly. Nevertheless, it came as a pleasant surprise.

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Even before it’s birth, “Nemo” (a nickname given by Big Warrior) has already became the family’s shining star, guiding us to greater heights in life. This is the year where daddy will be embarking on a new business venture, mommy will be given more parenting responsibilities, and both the girls will be upgrading from one sibling-hood level to another. It will be an exciting journey ahead for all of us. 

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As if chasing 2 monkeys around isn’t enough fun, I must have been mad (or drunk, or drugged) to agree to a 3rd one. LOL. I’ve never in my life imagined myself having 3 kids, but it somehow happened, and surprisingly, I wouldn’t change it for anything. 🙂 Even though they drive me up the wall at times, they melt my heart and touch my soul most of the time.  

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With the universe (husband), a moon (Big Warrior), a sun (Little Warrior) and a star (“Nemo”) by my side, I think it’s safe to say that my life is officially complete. Hopefully people will stop asking me if I plan to have another one. So I’ll say it again, “Nemo” marks the completion of our little family of 5. Unless of course something unplanned happens…. :p

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 What do you think? Are you team Mustache or team Pouty Lips? 🙂

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Love Your Family Challenge: My Second Daughter, my sun

Unlike my eldest who is calm and easy, this little munchkin is a ball of energy and sunshine. She is the one I go to in time of stress and when I need some “soul lifting”. Always smiley and cheerful, one look at her and all my troubles melt away.

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My little warrior has always been an independent, happy-go-lucky and easy baby. She was born under water via water birth, so the whole birth process was very gentle and calming. I’m not sure if it’s coincidental, but compared to Big Warrior’s first month as a baby where it was filled with cries and discomfort (due to stiff neck and some not-so-gentle physiotherapy, not to mention the inexperienced parents trying to adhere to silly parenting books), Little Warrior mainly nursed and slept peacefully through the first year. She was always smiley and giggly. Her trademark sunshine smile melts hearts wherever she goes.

I’m blessed that both my daughters adore each other. Little Warrior looks up to Big Warrior and constantly wants to follow her every step. As a result, this cheeky little bubba began walking at 9 months of age, all because she wanted to chase and follow her big sister around.

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I don’t know what I did to deserve such wonderful and amazing children, but I must have done something right. I can only hope that I can be the mother that they deserve.

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How can you not go “awwww” with this face?

I love you, my little sunshine. May you grow up happy and healthy always.

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Love Your Family Challenge: My Eldest Daughter, my moon

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There’s never been a day where I don’t count my blessing that Big Warrior is my daughter. Since the day she was born, she has consistently brought joy and love to the family.

Like the moon, she is calm and reserved by nature. Whenever the day gets overwhelming and fast-paced, all I have to do is to be in the presence of my eldest and my stress level decreases almost immediately. When I get too far ahead of myself, she helps keep me grounded and brings me back to planet earth. She brings much needed peace to my life, something that I love so much about her. As her father puts it, she is like an antidote to our stressful lives.

Having said all that, our parent-daughter journey was not an easy one. She was never the typical child. She wasn’t those bubbly giggly babies, she never really smiled. She had fears. A LOT of fears. Like, she had a fear meeting strangers, she feared the bath, she feared being away from the boobs, she feared anything that involved touching her head, etc. It was never an easy journey trying to appease the public perception that babies should be passed around, or that babies loved “peekaboo” games. I had to endure criticism from people, including some family members, that my child isn’t well taught or that my parenting skills were questionable. As a first time mom, simple criticism like that strikes hard. But luckily, with the ever supporting husband, I pulled through. Fast forward 4 years and the help of alternative healing, she’s now a strong, happy and cheerful child.

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I’m forever grateful that she is my firstborn, because she turned a new mother who doubted her parenting skills, into a strong confident lioness who is unafraid to protect her cubs in anyway possible.

Thank you for being my daughter, and thank you for being such a wonderful 姐姐 to your little sister. I will do my best to make your growing years as happy and positive as possible.

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I’m no Tiger Mom, and that’s okay

This particular article below was taken from Jacq SunYoga’s Facebook page:

 

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Parents, do read this.

My third son Jack has Sensory Integration Disorder, which is on the autistic spectrum. He went to a school that pushed him to go to University, though I fought with the head of sixth form on many occasions, telling him that Jack went to school for the socialisation and sports, not damn A’s. Anyway, Jack was influenced and wanted to go to University (because everyone else was).

I tried to make everything as smooth as possible for Jack. During exams, I made sure he had good breakfast, I made sure there was petrol in his car, I made sure he knew what he was supposed to revise, and I made sure he knew the time and date of every exam.

He scraped enough grades to get into a second rate University back in the UK.

And guess what? Because I was not there for his first year finals exam, he missed a crucial paper. And then he went on a downward spiral after missing one paper. To stay on the course, he would have to repeat the whole first year again. He dropped out, demoralised.

I had to spend a year rebuilding him and put him back on track. Today, he works for the Haywards Group and earns a six figure salary doing a job he loves without the degree that his school pushed him into just so that the school looks good on the league table. I unfortunately played my part and became a helicopter parent in Jack’s case.

Helicopter parenting does not work. Because what happens when you stop? And when will you stop? When your child is 18? 21? 25?

My 16 year old should’ve been in an exam this morning but we last saw her on the football pitch at 9.30am. Maybe in her infinite wisdom she has decided not to sit the paper. Who knows but she.

If you want to see Jack’s work, go to this website. He is the one who does the house designs.

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Reading Jacq’s post on education prompted me to jot down my own feelings toward this subject.

 

Many people ask me why in the world would I put my children into Waldorf, my answer is simple. Mainstream education interferes with their learning. I’m no Tiger Mom, my children don’t need to know their ABCs by age 3, nor do they need to know programming by age 8. They only need to know the joys of learning, without social and peer pressure.

 

Why not let them be children? Let them climb trees, walk on balance beams, draw with a stick on the sand, or water the garden. There’s always something interesting to learn from these simple activities – watching that praying mantis camouflage among the leaves, putting your hands out can help balancing easier on a small plank, a shorter stick is easier to draw with than a ultra long stick, water helps the plant grow, etc.

 

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Learning doesn’t have to come from books. Learning comes from the heart, it comes from what you see, hear and feel around you. There’s always something to learn about anything, anyone, and anywhere.

 

I came from a typical “mainstream” life. That includes schooling, social life, and well, life. But I won’t talk about social life and life in this post, I’ll leave that for another day. I went to mainstream education, had tuition (thankfully not all the time), studied enough to pass through all my subjects. Key word here being studied. Because quite frankly, I never really understood what I was studying. It wasn’t a requisite. I wasn’t encouraged to make sense of it, I was only programmed to memorise what I’m suppose to “learn” in order to pass my exams. It was peer pressure that I went on to Science Stream, because you were considered “smart” if you were in it. Once my exams were over, I would literally forget about them. Looking back, what was the point of learning my algebra, history, geography really? It’s something I never understood.

 

It is because of my own educational experience that has led me to parent my kids differently, to show them that there is a different route in life that they could take. They need to know that there is always a choice when it comes to life. Mainstream schooling doesn’t allow that. There is no choice. You either excel or you fail, and the ones in between just get through life doing what they hate, but don’t have the courage to pursue what they are truly passionate about.

 

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I’m no helicopter parent either. Because if I was, Big Warrior wouldn’t be attending Waldorf, where she gets to jump on muddy puddles, plant gardens, climb trees, bake bread, and draw on the pavement with chalks. I’d be too worried about the dirt, the height, the lack of academia. But I’m not, so we’re good. Soon, Little Warrior will follow suit. I want them to enjoy the process of learning, to know that there’s more to learning than just text books. They learn how plants grow by actually witnessing the growth process from seedling to plant because they were the ones who dug the hole and placed the seed in to the ground. They learn how they reap what they sow. They learn that it’s okay to share their harvest, because they have the necessary skills and knowledge to source and grow more. They learn that it’s not the end of the world if there’s no TV or iPads, because Waldorf children are not encouraged to have any gadget or technology time during Kindy and Primary years. The earliest they can use a computer for their home work is when they reach high school. As a result of all these, my children are never dependent on technology to keep them entertained (they do get to watch movies on the weekends but they never demand for it), and they can be just as happy just playing in the garden looking for dandelions. For that, I’m forever grateful.

 

 

I get that I’m no tiger mom, and that’s okay. I don’t seem to have that urge to push my kids academically at this point (or ever, but we’ll see). I’m not so much of a helicopter parent as well, and that’s also okay. I let them fall, cry and pick themselves up, because the world isn’t always sunshine and rainbows and they need to understand that. I’d like to think I’m somewhere in between, somewhat of a lazy parent. LOL. I let them figure out how to entertain themselves when I’m busy, but I also try to spend time with them when I can. We co-sleep because I’m too lazy to sleep train them, and because I believe that they will eventually move out into their own room in due time. I still breastfeed my 18 month old because I’m lazy to wean her. I let them eat by themselves even though my Little Warrior still makes a mess most days because I’m too lazy to chase her around to feed her.

 

Being a lazy mom is tiring, and adhering to Waldorf teachings can make it even more tiring, because I can’t rely on the idiot box to babysit my kids. But this combo works for me, and the results are so worth it. My girls are happy, and that’s the most important. They are blossoming in their own way, and they are doing it beautifully.

 

Having said all that, as tiger parents, helicopter parents, lazy parents, we all just want what’s best for our children. If it feels right to you, and your children are thriving, then you’re on the right track. Have faith in your judgement and your parental instinct. After all, it is our human instincts that have allowed our species to survive for so many years.

 

 

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The Mother’s Day I was hoping for

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!

 

I’ve been slacking in the updates department, but I reckon that the blog deserves an update on this special day.

 

I woke up today not expecting anything, really. Because really, my everyday life isn’t so bad that I had to wish for something to only get it during special occasions. But I was silently hoping for, I don’t know, maybe just some peaceful moments alone where I could put my feet up and read my book? Or maybe some breakfast in bed? Or just a whole day lazing in bed doing nothing? You know, a day where I don’t have to nag at the 2 little monsters running around the house, a day where I don’t have to crack my brain (or what’s left of it) to find the answers to Big Warrior’s questions about life and what not. lol.

 

However, in reality, I woke up to 4 not-so-tiny-anymore arms around me and a snoring husband in bed. Ah, life is so blissful… not. As I was contemplating waking up to prepare breakfast for the household, Little Warrior opened her eyes… and smile. Darn those motherly hormones, who would have thought one could be willed to do anything with just a simple smile in the morning?

 

We chatted for a while, her blabbing really, and me asking her what she wants to eat and telling her about what today is. She then decided to sit up and pointed at the other 2 sleeping beauties and proceeded to wake them up. Little did I know that the husband was actually semi-awaked, observing us through his tiny slit of groggy eyes. He smiled when I looked his way, and wished me Happy Mother’s Day and told me he’s going to cook me breakfast. I looked at him, happy that he was trying to start the day off doing something special for me. I didn’t need any superficial gifts, I could have gotten whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and he knew that (thanks to Gary Chapman’s 5 Languages of Love, we managed to identify what clicks for us). Mine were words of affirmation, acts of services and physical touch. A simple greeting, an offer to prepare brekky, and a hug would have been just what I needed.

 

So after brushing my teeth, I headed out to the kitchen to be greeted by this, and a hug. My 3 love languages officially checked for the day. ❤

 

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It might not seem special to anyone, because it’s really just scrambled eggs, but it was special to me. You see, my husband makes the yummiest scrambled eggs in the whole wide world. And this time, he was trying to make it into a shape that resembled a rose (he admitted to checking out a few youtube channels yesterday night lol), how sweet is that? ❤ ❤ ❤  Darn wifey hormones, oh wait, is there even such a thing as wifey hormones? Gah.

 

To be very honest, it would have been a major challenge if he needed to come up with something every special occasion. He already cooks half the nights in a week, he’s the breadwinner of the house, he helps me with the kids every day, he lets me buy whatever I fancy (to our budget of course) even when it’s not Mother’s Days or birthdays. So really, I’ve been lucky to have been showered with love most days of my married life. Thank you hubby, I know I don’t say it often enough.

 

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The day proceeded as usual, with an extra small treat in the evening. A specially prepared Young & Living Peace & Calming infused bath by the hubs, while he took care of the kids’ bath and sleep time. He even found time to help finish off my left over laundry. ❤

 

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Today was perfect. Even though it wasn’t much far off from our usual routine, because I still had to nag the kids to pack away their toys, tell them to be nice to each other, prepare dinner, do the laundry… But it was still perfect. Plus, Big Warrior has been going on with her current phase of “Mommy-ah! *waits for me to look at her direction* I love you!” the whole day, so it was kinda sweet. Annoyingly funny, but sweet. I know I don’t show it enough as well, but my little darling rascals, if you ever get to read this post 10 years down the road, know that even though mommy might seem mean at times, I still do love you very very much.

 

 

Now the kids are sleeping, and I walk into the room thinking, what was I really hoping for on Mother’s Day? And then I realised, the most ideal Mother’s Day, would actually to have a day like every other, where I get to spend the day (and night) with my beautiful family, because deep down, that’s all that really matters.

 

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Have a blessed Easter, everyone!

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Big Warrior proudly holding her gigantic Easter egg painting, and her Easter egg basket, complete with a hand-made chick and an egg. I can’t even begin to express how thankful I am that she’s attending a Waldorf school. The educators there make everything so meaningful and precious. They take the time to explain to the children the meaning and origins of Easter. It’s not about egg hunting, or chocolate bunnies, their school is never superficial in that sense. It’s about rebirth and new life. So instead of making the kids go on an egg hunt, they plant new seeds and bulbs around their school yard, and give blessings on new life. Each new plant carries new life from within, and slowly and steadily, it grows onto full blossoms in Spring. Doesn’t that sound much more meaningful than just gobbling down chocolate eggs?

And then there are the yummy hot cross buns, a symbol that represents the rock which was rolled across the opening of the cave in which Christ’s body was laid. The recipe for the buns are essentially Sultanas mixed into a bread dough, which relays the bread and wine aspect of the Last Supper. I’m not a Christian, nor am I a religious person, so I’ve always known Easter to be just a day for chocolate binging. LOL. But now knowing what I know, even I can begin to appreciate the beautiful meaning behind Easter.

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If anyone is keen on making some hot cross bun, here’s a recipe from Collette Leenman.

HOT CROSS BUNS

1 teaspoon dry yeast

1 cup slightly warm milk

1 beaten egg

1 teaspoon mixed spice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 cups fine wholemeal flour

50g butter

50g brown sugar

1 cup sultanas

Stir the yeast into the milk and add the egg and 2 tablespoon flour. Mix together and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave in a warm place for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, rub butter into the flour and mix in the sugar, spices and sultanas. Combine this with the yeast mixture and knead well, adding a little more flour if necessary to form a soft dough. Leave in warm place, covered with a damp tea towel for an hour.

Grease an oven tray and divide dough up into buns to place on tray. Leave room between each as they should nearly double in size when baked. Leave for another 10 minutes in a warm place. Make crosses on buns using a white flour and cold water mixture of thick glue consistency, which can be applied with an icing forcer. Bake at 190 degrees C for 15-20 minutes. While still hot, brush with a glaze made from 2 tablespoons of white sugar dissolved in 2 tablespoon boiling water. These buns are best eaten hot.

Overall, it was a wonderful long weekend for us. We’re grateful for friends who’ve made effort to keep us entertained and fed while Duke’s away for work. They’ve helped keep me sane for longer. 🙂

And not forgetting a picture of Little Warrior (gotta be fair, hey), waiting patiently outside my shower while I took a quick buffalo rinse. I must say she did look quite comfortable there, don’t you think? LOL.

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Ahhh, what can I say, I’m blessed to have such wonderful children to keep me entertained.

 

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