Saturday, August 29, 2009

Butter-making fun

As promised, some pics of a butter-making session :)
I thought that i can buy 250gr a week of milk cream and make butter for the week instead of buying it, we don't use a lot of butter, so that amount it's enough to butter bread, season pasta or cook something special. It's not to save money. It's not because it's healthier ( milk-cream is anyways store-bought, we don't have cows to milk or know anybody owing cows for fresh cream ). It's because i love making it with my hands. It's because i want to teach the kids something more, and different. It's because i want to set an example for my kids, that a more simple and plain life is possible, everywhere in everytime if you're ready to listen the call in your heart. But well, talked too much as usual. Here the pics :)

Have a blessed Sunday !

Friday, August 28, 2009

Che giorno è

This morning i decided to make some more structured activity for the kids. Inspired from a finnish magazine i made them realize small posters about the day of the week, the month, the season and the weather. They had to watercolour, cut, glue, write and tell out loud, Gaia had to do the last two in Finnish since we decided for a second language for her to study. Once they all finished they could use watercolours for a free drawing while i was reading them the first Harry Potter (this will be the first book we'll read this school year ) ponting out difficult words and such. When we finished i went upstairs to fix lunch only to find out it was ALMOST 3:00 PM !!!!!! We worked for hours without noticing, i couldn't believe it !
Well, after lunch we headed back downstairs and kids started writing with my inks and nibs and had some fun again. Then as every friday, we have a special family night. The kids take turns in hosting the 'soireè' choosing the dinner ( usually fried junk food - just for on night and i take care of cooking it of course ). Today for example was Seba's day. He chose a movie, had to clean the living room, set the table in a 'fast-food' kind of way, and then serve the others. Everybody else usually take some coins and 'pay' for the dinner. I was quite pleased of this added bonus Gaia and Seba planned for tonight. We hardly ever buy fruit juices now, but in the last weeks the two of them menaged to have me buy 4 small bottles. Well befor starting cooking the dinner they asked for our centrifuge, and with my help they made fruit juice ( apple, peach,pear) and poured it in the bottles pretending they had store-bought juices, so each of them could also ask a 'soft drink' with the dinner :) i'm so proud of them :))
Anyways the day was good and i look forward tomorrow, to read a bit more, watercolour and use inks :) Some pics from today and my best wish for a lovely weekend with your loved ones !
May God bless you all.

The four posters together

Leo's one, just to see the details

Gaia's one in Finnish language

Seba and his dinner, ready to serve us

My chair ( for Mom )

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Today we had planned to go to Ikea. Well we went out at 11:00 and after 10 minutes drive we already found ourselves stuck in the traffic. We assumed there should be a car incident somewhere, and after 40 minutes and maybe 1 km furhter here there was the crash. Incredibly our mood was still good and high, it helped a lot that the road goes near this field and there were several people horseback riding wildly and we watched them in amazent. After the crash we only took 20 minutes to arrive the store, but once inside we realized it was very crowded. We took the number at the kids-area, number 54 and they were at 22. Still our mood was ok, we kept the number and headed for the restaurant. There was a long queue, but right in that moment they opened another line and we were the second family there. We ate, went to the toilet and calmly went back checking the number in case we got luck, but expecting to need another number....instead ... TA-DAAAA they were at number 53 ! And called us 2 minutes later, so the kids had their fun and we could have one hour of uninterrupted conversation.
Well this was something we really needed. I pointed to papaF that everything happened at the right time. And since we are in a situation in our life in which we can only wait and see i told him i am sure also in our *general* life everything will happen at the right time. I've never been a person of faith, instead i find myself now witnessing how SomeOne is really and continuosly taking care of us and our needs not when we shoertmindedly would want things to happen, but when it's the right moment for them to happen . Thank God.

Il fico non germoglia più,
le vigne non danno più uva,
gli ulivi non producono niente.
I campi non forniscono raccolto,
le greggi scompaiono dai recinti,
i buoi dalle stalle.
Ma io trovo la mia gioia nel Signore,
sono felice perché Dio è il mio salvatore.
Dio, il Signore, è la mia forza,
egli rende i miei piedi agili
come quelli delle cerve,
mi fa camminare sulle vette dei monti.
(dal libro di Abacuc)

Maybe i'm getting more naive instead of wiser. Maybe i'm just giving up the idea that we're made only of this world and for this world. Anyways i find peace thinking that i'm in good Hands instead of thinking everything is going down the drain.

To end this a pic of the kids when we got back home, Gaia wanted to share with her brothers and sister the little something she got from our trip today : the smallest, cutest tea set for dolls made in real pottery :

Have a lovely life dear people out there !

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Homeschooling : points of view

I spent the morning and the early afternoon organizing our 'homeschool closet'. I put all the books and tools and odd stuff i plan\hope\want to use during this school year in there and i'm quite satisfied with it. Even if homeschooling might be a short adventure of one year or two ( depending where we're gonna move kids might gonna go back in school at some point ) i'm sure we'll enjoy it at the fullest and i want to keep all the 'fun' stuff stored and organized that way from now on :)
Then in the evening while we were outside, some of us cleaning the kitchen garden and some of us (me !) planting in the small vases the winter vegetables, we run into two more homeschool science tools :))))) a beehive ( we have plenty plenty of them, it can get even a bit dangerous at time ) and our faithful grasshopper, the little thing as been living in our garden for around a week now and we kinda enjoy its presence ( even tho i think i'd might faint if the little fellow would jump on me .... ) ....
Have a wonderful and blessed rest of the week you all lovely people ! And don't forget to drop a little note if you feel like !

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Hello all ! I'm sorry i have no evidence so far of what i'm gonna write about but i'll try to fullfill this 'gap' as soon as possible. Saturday i gave it a try on making butter. This is something totally new to me, even more then growing a garden :) but my little farmer Leo is so interested in everything made 'old ways' it gives me one more reason to learn about a more simple life back to our roots. So with the lovely help of the West ladies saturday morning i sat on my almost-rocking-chair shaking this jar filled with milk cream ( i bought the one usually used to make whipped cream ). And i've been shaking and shaking and shaking for half an hour when i realized something was different, i gave the jar a look and what do i see ? A 'ball' of yellowish butter ! I coudn't believe my eyes ! I went running to the kids showing them the just made home made butter and we all got really really excited laughing about it.
Then of course we had to try it... excellent ! You can't really compare with the store bought one ! It's so creamy, with this delicate milk taste, wonderful, and with the buttermilk i could finally try one more Amish recipe 'Buttermilk cookies' : GREAT!!!
I know i know i get over excited with this little things, but sure they make me feel so so loved. I realized if i just let my heart and spirit lead me i find out i've been given all the right skills to live in this world. I only needed to give up all the 'ideas' about how i should or should not live in order to be a modern and liberated woman and follow my heart and listen to my children to find a real treasure God gave us, the world around us, the nature, the work of our hands. Next time i promise i'll take pics of our buttermaking session !

Have a blessed and lovely week you all !

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back home !

So here we are. We came back yesterday, but only now i can find sometime to come here.Our little holiday went well, we had fun, had some life lesson, we visited nice places and in general enjoyed our family in a more friendly environment. Coming back was hard becasue this is really a place we don't belong. I was happy to get back at my houseworks and garden and everyday life, that i really love, but so so upset to be here in this place again. I so so hope my preyers will become true at some point and we will sell here, but still i realize that this time of wait is fruitful anyways, we are learning so much and putting all our life in the right perspective and our priorities as well. I feel like now i have a more clear vision of the right path to walk for our family, a vision i didn't have only few months ago so i have faith everything will happen at the right moment for us. Today i had a new kind of feeling. I felt as a whole. I could put together all the different sides of my being and enjoyed the feeling of living the life i wanted, made of so many different colours and shadows. I hope to have this feeling more often. As for the last ten days i have some pics to show,hope you'll enjoy. Now we're moving a bit things around at home to start the homeschooling adventure. It's so so great, i've always felt so bad when the kids had to go back to school, and now finally this won't happen. Thank you God.
I wish you all happiness and faith and joy in your life.

In the woods, walks, slides, making friends ( four legged and two legged, but i won't post the pics of the 'two legged ones' since i didn't ask permission to their parents ) finding interesting and huge worms, building 'loghomes'

He was looking as an angel isn't it ?

Learning how to start a campfire and cooking meat over it

More woods

Bagni S. Filippo, natural thermal water coming out from the rocks in the woods. Kids had so much fun here. And it was so ... weird... this is one of the first places me and PapaF visited as a young couple with no kids(yet) and now we went there as parents of 4 kids old enough to fully enjoy the place. Time goes by, but i'm so grateful for all i had in my life.

In the medieval Castle of Piancastagnaio, and the view from it. The last one is the Radicofani tower. That day we were meant to go there, but since Milla was recovering and Seba had just started fever himeself we opted for a closer place.

p.s. health problems are slowing getting better even if not solved yet. Milla Seba and me caught some kid of flu\cold during our stay in Tuscany but it seems it was just a 'regular' flu\cold and i hope we'll all get rid of it without more medicines.
p.s.2 Kitchen garden is quite ok. A bit wilder then i left it, but we got 5 more kilos of tomatoes ( now sauce) and plenty of eggplants, greenbeans, salad, pepperoni, basils and other herbs. Thank you God!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Update and bye bye for a while

Oh my, how busy i've been this week. Visit to the doctor, grocery shopping, dentist for Seba - in a hurry of course - and canning canning and more canning, sewing a new shirt for Gaia, trying to recover and .... GETTING READY TO LEAVE FOR TUSCANY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tomorrow morning we're leaving for Abbadia San Salvatore and we're staying for 10 days !!! We'll be back on 19th and i know i'll have so much to read from the lovely blogs i follow to be updated on everybody. If in the meantime you feel like leaving some notes i'd love to read them when i'm back :)
But back to the update part. It seems that i'm slowing recovering from this nasty nasty infection i got that gave me all kind of breathing problems, very very scary. I must say the fear i lived in for several days helped me to put my life in perspective again, think well to my priorities, grow in my faith, so probably some way it was what i needed, even if i hope and pray never to live this awful experience again.
As for the family, we're fine, some minor health problem for Seba, but nothing bad. I see we're getting in the homeschooling mood. The kids have started doing school work just for fun while i do my chores or cook. We're very relaxed about it at the moment, first of all i want that they start loving school ( meaning *learning* ) again. And then i must say that now i trust that everything will turn out just fine. I just know this is the right thing to do now and i only want to enjoy it now. I don't know how long it will last, depending on the path our lives will take, but NOW i know is the thing for us. As it's beautifully said in the documentary A Journey Home what we need right now is to go back home, united as a family .
And then one of my pride and joy, my garden. We're having a bountiful harvest this year thank God. I think i've already canned ( beside what we've eaten daily ) some 6 or 7 kg of tomato sauce, maybe 4 or 5 kg of eggplants, almost one kilo of pesto sauce and 4 or 5 kilos of cucumber and half kilo of greenbeans beside many herbs drying. I'm so so grateful and amazed by all this. Working the land is so beautiful i so hope this will be my future or at least a part of it. I know i'll be worried for my garden the 10 days we're gone, but we should have taken care of everything and we'll find more ripe vegetables once we'll be back.
But now let's do the images do the talking, some pics of the last week.

Our wonderful harvest, of vegetables and herbs. I can't help but feeling so grateful and provided for. Is such a warm feeling.

Some outdoor fun with water filled baloons.

Gaia and Seba wanted to clean our *pantry* (not really, just that white cabinet in which we keep our supplies ). This is just a part of the canned goods we have.

And this is just i little treat i bought ouselves when i last went doing grocery shopping. Here we use corn only as flour and it's kinda hard to find it in its natural state. So when i found corncob (? is this the right word ? ) at 69 cent i bought 2 . Kids found them so fun and nice :)

Well i think this is all. As i said we're leaving tomorrow morning and we won't have any internet over there on the mountain, so see you all ( or better read you all ;) ) in 10 days !

Have a lovely summer everybody, enjoy your family, hug your kids and kiss their heads and don't forget your dear spouse :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Eccomi qui

Accipicchia è già agosto. E' proprio il caso di dirlo, quando c'è la salute c'è tutto. I miei problemi non si sono ancora risolta del tutto, ma lentamente miglioro. Vorrei stare bene subito, ma so che ogni cosa accade al momento opportuno, e mi rendo conto che il riposo forzato, la paura e la preoccupazione mi aiutano a riflettere, a dare prospettive ed inclinazioni diverse alla mia vita, alle mie priorità, alla mia fede.

Innanzitutto vorrei ringraziare la cara Sybille per avermi assegnato l' Honest Scrap Tag

qualche giorno fa. Grazie mille ! Prometto di tenere fede alle condizioni nei prossimi giorni :) .

Che cosa è successo ultimamente degno di nota nel nostro piccolo angolo di mondo ? Beh le piccole grandi cose di ogni giorni, ricordi futuri che nascono da piccoli quotidiani avvenimenti, senza bisogno di grandi cose, grandi spostamenti ... vediamo un pò ...

Cominciamo dal raccolto fatto nell'ultima settimana.

Due kg di pomodori da sugo maturi....

Tramutati in polpa odorosa e in seguito in conserva, per condire le nostre paste invernali, condirle di sole, di amore per la terra e per la vita, e per il lavoro umile delle mani.

E mentre si lavora alacremente nell'orto, piccolo prodigio di natura, un pomodorino caduto a terra, una pianta per ogni seme che conteneva. La vita, la spinta alla vita che trabocca letteralmente dalla terra.

Ed ancora, cosa c'è di più emozionante di un intero pasto creato con le verdure dell'orto ? Lo so lo so sono ripetitiva e forse noiosa, ma non riesco a fare a meno di commuovermi nel vedere questo prodigio, questo miracolo della vita rinnovarsi in ogni dove, seme che diventa pianta, pianta che ci dona i suoi frutti, abbondanti e bellissimi, frutti che riempiono la tavola, che ci danno gusto ed energia, che ci riempiono gli occhi con i loro colori, che appagano il tatto con le loro consistenze. Ho raccolto le prime due melanzane dell'anno. Il viola era così incredibile, me le sono rigirate fra le mani, mostrando a Gaia in estasi il miracolo del creato. E la consistenza, la pelle vellutata ... una meraviglia. Le ho tagliate a fette, cosparse di cubetti di pomodoro ( si si dell'orto ;) ) e di origano ( che lo dico a fare .... anche l'origano è nostro :) ) una mezz'ora nel forno e non resta altro da fare che essere grati per quanto abbiamo ...

E poi un piccolo amico, che per un paio di giorni ha stazionato sul nostro melo, ma abbiamo dovuto poi allontanarlo perchè il suo appettito era un pò troppo vorace per le dimensioni modeste del nostro alberello ....

E poi, Milla con il costumino da bagno nuovo, che aiuta a lavare la macchina, o meglio che canticchia volteggiando fra spruzzi d'acqua e farfalle, proprio come si addice ad una fatina ...

Ed ancora, il nostro forno solare, fatto con una scatola per la pizza e carta stagnola, che grazie al sole ci ha regalato una fragrante e gustosa piadina al prosciutto crudo e caciotta ( incredibile, il formaggio si è fuso, la piadina è diventata croccantina, funziona perfettamente, bisogna stare solo attenti a non metterlo sotto l'innaffiatore - come abbiamo fatto con il nostro primo prototipo qualche settimana fa sic ! )

E per concludere la nuova passione bislacca di Seba, i castelli di carte. Qui di seguito la foto di quello che hanno realizzato lui e PapaF ieri mattina , un lavoro certosino durato quasi un' ora.

Per finire una riflessione. Mi rendo conto che ci sono tante cose che ho sempre dato per scontato. E che invece sono un grande dono che ci è stato fatto.
L'olfatto è una di queste cose, il meraviglioso dono di poter annusare un fiore, o di scherzare per un odore non proprio ... gradevole, un dono, grande dono di cui sono immensamente grata.
E il respiro. L'aria che entra nel naso e percorre le vie aeree. Se presto attenzione riesco a seguirne il percorso fino ai bronchi, sento le particelle muoversi, rifornirmi di ossigeno. Anche di questo dono sono grata.
Buona settimana a tutti !