Those gentle lessons

1 June 2011
I had a busy morning yesterday and ran out of time to post here. I spent the day at the neighbourhood centre, presented a Frugal Home workshop in the morning and did a grant submission in the afternoon. Today we'll have Kerry, Sunny and Jamie here and after we all have lunch together, Kerry and Sunny will have some alone time together and Hanno and I will look after Jamie.

 Corn and barley bread rolls.

As well as having the family here, today will bring another wonderful event. The first pages of my book arrive in the mail.  "First pages" is the book after being typeset, so I'll see how it's been set out on the pages.  It's very exciting and I'll be able to share it will Hanno, Kerry and Sunny. The rest of the day will be tidying up around the house, some knitting and late in the afternoon, with Jamie, we'll flash back to the 1980s when we had babies in our home.

Back in those days when I had two babies just twelve months apart I was busy washing nappies, feeding and trying to keep up.  I expect this experience to be much calmer because that is how we are now. In the midst of all that work in their first few years, my babies taught me that being calm and maintaining a peaceful home paid off in many ways. I just love knowing there will be another baby born into our family soon and if we are asked to look after both babies so close in age, it will be just like those early days of Shane and Kerry. I think I might like that.

I am really enjoying being a grandma and on those days when I hold Jamie in my arms, I am reminded of the responsibility of all of us to raise children well. One of the things I love about the way we live now is our choice to do whatever we choose to do each day. If I could choose anything today, even those outlandish things that people often choose - like winning the lottery or flying to Paris, I would still be here today, holding my grandson close and cherishing those few precious hours we will have with him.

There is so much I hope to teach Jamie. Today will be the first time I'll walk with him in the garden, the first time I'll feed him and the first time I will read to him. Yes, I have baby books here already. :- ) This will be the beginning of a great adventure for the three of us - Hanno, Jamie and me. I sometimes think of what sort of world Jamie and his soon to be born cousin will grow up in. It scares me to think of it and knowing how much change has happened in my lifetime, I wonder what changes they will see. But here in our home, here in our backyard, where rainforest forms a half circle to embrace us, a creek flows by and a quiet one lane road leads to our front door, we will show these boys the joys of gardening, chooks, birds and worms, and so many other delights. We'll teach them how to plant a tree, to sow a seed and how to hold a chicken. I don't know how many major changes these boys will see in their lives, but I know this with absolute certainty, if they can grow food and raise chickens they will have the skills to live well.  Those gentle lessons begin today.


  1. I love this post. I look so forward to grandbabies, as I have loved raising my children(three now adults) and I imagine like you wrote how calm and enjoyable it will be. There is no other thing I would rather have, than the time I have spent as a mother, and the years ahead of me when I cross over to the next incredible stage of my life.


  2. I can just see the love in every word. Those children are to be cherished that is for sure. Have a good evening with your little fellow.

  3. What sweet and gentle intentions are shaping your plans! Jamie is very blessed. One day he will realize just how much.

  4. This post gets me thinking of my grandmom 92, and (rip) grand dad. i remeber spending almost every weekend at there home. my grandma and i would bake cookies and she would show me how to plant and take care of the flowers and how to make strawberry jelly, and there wasn't a weekend that i dint leave without some sort of project that my granddad and i had mad in his wood shop. Today my grandma is still kicking it like you and me, and the memories of my grandpa's hard work and dedication and love will always be here... thanks for stirring up these great memories. I hope you have fun with the grandkid .

  5. You sound like a very happy Grandmother. There is so many gentle lessons you will be able to teach them for sure. Enjoy the memories they revive of your own children. It is wonderful to be able to have this. B

  6. It will be nice that the two of them will be born close together. My two boys were born just months apart from the cousins, my brother girls.
    Nothing planned it just happend with both of them.

  7. What a lucky little boy he is x x

  8. Rhonda, may I suggest a couple books to add to your "Grandma Library"? =) One is called Oxcart Man by Donald Hall. It is a GEM. =) The other is "Play with Me" by Marie Hall Ets. I happened upon both in a thrift store BEFORE having Abigail.

    Thank you for writing a lovely blog ... I so enjoy reading it. =)


  9. What a gift you can give these children. Our parents have been a huge and positive influence in the lives of our three children. In fact the two grandmothers (our fathers have passed) are on a mission trip with two of our children as I type. Teaching them to care for others and so much more.

    I enjoyed this post so much.
    Congratulations on the progress of your book.

  10. Gorgeous sentiments....such lucky kids and grandbabies you have to have you by their side.

  11. Lovely post! I too, absolutely adore being a Grandma. I've had many of the same worries you do, Rhonda-- What will the world be like for our grandchildren. I see many hopeful things, e.g., younger people becoming more interested in living more simply, being more compassionate. As grandparents, we can do so much to demonstrate these values.


  12. I'm looking forward to hearing how the first time went. :)

  13. Hello everyone! Thank you for your kind and interesting comments.

    Thanks Erin.

  14. This is a great post! I hope you have a wonderful afternoon with Jamie. I think your home is a wonderful place for the grandkids to come. It would be like a wonderland in many ways to a small child. I remember when I was a kid, creeks were the best ever places lol and worms, ahhhh worms!!!
    Thank you for sharing photos of your home with us, I love looking at your home, it always seems so warm and inviting, I strive to make my home look like that too.
    Have a great day Rhonda and Hanno!!!

  15. How blessed both little babies will be to grow up into such a family. Children can have such a special relationship with their grandparents. Such a thoughtful post. I know my own parents are surprised at how much they enjoy the grandparenting thing - with six now and ages ranging from six months to eight years...all from their two kids. Enjoy your grandson today xo

  16. What a wonderful day of 'first times' await you and Hanno today.

  17. Your grandchildren will be blessed to have you both in their lives~!

  18. Re Jamie - the best is yet to be - enjoy it all.

  19. Oh I lOVE how you share your thoughts Rhonda! I love that last paragraph in particular. We feel the same way about our own children. Sometimes I feel like we don't have a lot to offer them. Then I look around and see them at play together, carrying the compost bucket up to their 'friends' the chickens, discovering grubs in the backyard, trying to catch lizards and butterflies (gently) and how they love to learn together. And I think, we're doing ok. They are loved and they are living (as healthily as we can) and that's important stuff.
    Anyway, thanks again for sharing. A visit here always makes me feel so encouraged!
    Love Lusi x

  20. Oh and by the way, congrats on the bit of the book you are about to see - very exciting to see the fruits of you labour like that!
    And have a wonderful weekend with Kerry, Sunny, Jamie and Hanno.
    Lusi x

  21. Those bread rolls look lovely! (And they remind me I should get some breakfast ;-) )

    I'm sure Jamie has a fabulous grandmother!

  22. I just had to add that we are just back today (Coffs to Sydney) from our 6th grandchild being born 3 weeks ago. A boy and the 2nd in this family.
    What a delight when we first arrived, the first son ran up to my husband saying Pa Pa Pa. He is 2yrs old and after an hr. dad picked up the first born, a girl from preschool, who rushed in the door,and guess what ran straight into my arms saying grandma, grandma. You cant beat that. She is 3.
    Boys to boys, girls to girls in this family.
    We have 6 grandchildren, I would have them here in a moment. All 6,(we had 5 children)its just like going back in time and you dont forget, anything.
    I have the special job of minding the local grandchild, a 2 yr old girl, while mum and dad are at work, and I just love it.
    WELCOME to grandmotherhood its great, and a laugh a minute.

    From Chris a 1952er who loves this blog as what you do I have always done,and its nice to think its normal.

  23. Dear Rhonda & Hanno,
    Hope your days are full of joy with your beloved grandchild. I have very fond memories of my childhood with my grandparents in Scotland. They too lived on the land and filled our hearts with so much love and joy. Walks with grandad exploring the woods and Granny who made the best homemade goodies and their garden. oh yes joyful memories. No matter what sort of life the boys grow up in they will have the love of their grandparents. Have fun

  24. Hi Rhonda What a lovely post. I hope you have had a wonderful day with your family and especially that precious grandson of yours.
    I would like to thank you for the comment you left for me and say that you motivated me to write a little about our Lind Woodrow style of garden in my post today.

  25. I'll never forget the comediane and writer, Erma Bombeck, who said that when her babies were small, she'd read ANYTHING to them--even the warranty to her new she knew about the importance of reading!~~Hee hee~~The sound of a loving voice reading is so soothing....enjoy it all today!

  26. Oh Rhonda, Isn't your world a beautiful, beautiful place.
    What a wonderful new journey you are on and you are so ready for it.
    Everything is as it should be and I adore reading about it, thankyou.

  27. I just love reading your blog. The way you describe your days is the way I have always wanted and try to live. Sometimes it feels like the women teaching women skills is gone. I have no grandmother or older woman in my life to teach me the things you blog about here. Love and appreciate your work!

  28. Being a grandma is the greatest, I am glad you are in the "grandma club". P.S. Would absolutely love it if you would post your recipe for the corn barley rolls. They look scrumptious! Lana


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