giovedì 25 giugno 2015

Home is where you park it.

Traveling, or better, being on the road is one of the favourite activities (or way of living ) of my family. The first time we traveled abroad with the children has been 13 years ago. We came to Finland for the first time (by plane ) with a three years old, two one year old twins and pregnant with our fourth baby. It sure has been an hectic vacation, but fun and exciting indeed. The following year we became more brave. One four years old, two two years old and a newborn. And we didn't only stay in hotel in the city centre, but we rented an old VW and headed to the countryside and then a friend borrowed us his apartement in town.
Two years later we traveled for the first time by car, from Italy to Finland, and lived in Helsinki for few months. Long story short, our travels became such an important part of our life that on 2010 we bought our first caravan and lived on the road for 3 months straight, visiting almost all Europe.

 First day in our first caravan

 And the following year with a bigger caravan ( the one that we still have ) we traveled again for four months, up to NordCap.

Our actual caravan

On 2011 we moved here in Finland, and traveling  happens at least once a year to go  to Italy and back to Finland. And here we are, on sunday evening we will be leaving for a new adventure.
Two ferries, from Finland to Sweden and from Sweden to Germany, and then the neverending road unfolding in front of us.
As a (mainly) unschooling mama, traveling has been one of the biggest sources of learning for my children and the best curriculum. While traveling they learned to read  ( by themselves ), to count, to read numbers. They learned about the geography, the flags, the currencies of many countries. The form of governement and the products and typical foods. They had hints of the history of Europe, ancient and contemporary.Traveling ignited they will to learn english. And they learned to know and appreciate people. Different people, same heart. Home is where your heart is. Learning is where life is.
Here my own words about our first experiences of 'roadschooling' from my old blog 

 '' Last year in april ( on year 2010 ) we left our more then comfortable suburban home for the unknown. Actually we were leaving for Finland, and we couldn't imagine how longer and interesting that joureny would have been. So while taking care of boxes, traveling plans and rental homes we started unschooling. I left the kids free to manage their days, just proposing them interesting activities in the garden or letting them help us with the move. Once in Finland, in may, I felt it was too late for formal schooling so we kept just crafting, exploring and unschooling all the way.
Then our life took another turn. Long story short, we came back to Italy in July and we bought a very old motorhome ( out faithful Elnagh Magnum 560 ) and decided to travel from Rome to the south of Spain and then once there we went all the way back through France, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Finland. We got aquainted with the idea of roadschoolig, as we call it. It is not really unschooling, it's more like soaking in the place we're visiting, knowing people, talking and listening people, telling our story and learning other people's stories, and watching around, the nature, the monuments, the animals ... whatever, and trying to learn about them, not because we have to, and not even because we want to, but because we're part of it, like getting to know your own body, made of all the wonders of the world....Call it relax. Call it faith. I know they will learn what's right for them.
So when we decided to leave again in june we were ready to jump again in the exciting waters of unschooling. We traveled from Rome up to North Cape and back, visiting Germany, Finland,Norway,Sweden,Danemark. The kids kept learning, and asking, and knowing people, listening stories, getting to know different lives, and kept using their skills, reading, writing, studying, talking in english just naturally.''

Of course I know it's not a choice suitable or possible for everyone. But in my opinion so often parent are afraid to engage in traveling with young ones, and this is a mistake. I remember how difficult and hard it was to travel with 4 tiny beings, and how fun and easy is now, travel with four travel companions and a little one fully concentrate in learning. How wonderful it is, as a parent, to see my children confidently walking in the ferry, grocery shopping in sweden, looking for their favourite treat in Norway, and looking forward to some good pasta in our beloved Italy.
Well, very long post to tell you all goodbye for a while. I will try to be active on Instagram and to make few updates here in the blog. We will be back at the beginning of august with so many stories to tell.
 Have a wonderful month of july !

lunedì 22 giugno 2015

A stroll in the garden

I love so much our walk in the garden. I am so pleased to say that many people come and visit with me during our weekly stroll and I want to thank all of you for your support.
That's why I'm a bit sad to say that for the next 4 or 5 weeks I won't be able to show you around my garden because next sunday ( the 28th ) we will leave for Italy. I will keep updating the blog and Instagram ( probably not so often ) but of course I'l be few thousand of kilometres away from here. But well, let's take a careful look at the garden today, and in little more than one month we will see how much it has changed.... Grab your gardening shoes, and follow me !!!

 Peas and carrots are growing so well, greenbeans are struggling a bit, this year we're having a very cold, cloudy and rainy summer...

Potatoes are growing ! And yes I need to get rid of all those weeds, hopefully it will stop rain in the next days .

Spinach are slowly coming. Few carrots too, but many plants have died in the colder days.
( we had days with a temps around 10C degree ... )

Gooseberries and strawberries are growing so well ! I hope to still find them when I'll be back !

Onions are a joy ! And the sawdust mulching is preventing the weeds ! Hooray !!!

 More strawberries and herbs\garlic patch ! Have you ever tried garlic leaves ? I did today, finely chopped few centimetres and added to the salad with parsley ... GREAT !!!!

Few picture from the greenhouse, rucola,sunflower, spring onions, tomatoes and cucumbers. All of them are struggling in spite of being in the greenhouse, is definetly too cold ...

Wild flowers galore !! I still can't get used to the abundance of wild flowers we have, they constantly change from week to week. Such a joy !

And before saying goodby for a while a little treat for all of you living in more southern places. A picture I took yeasterday when finally the rain stopped ( to start again today ... ). The sun was shining still very high in the sky ... and it was almost 10pm ( 22:00)... midsummer in the north ....

I want to wish you all a very nice summer dear friends, our stroll in the garden will start again in august.

sabato 20 giugno 2015

Happy Midsummer

Today it's officially summer. Here in Finland it doesn't look like summer at all. But still let's hope to have a good one :)

mercoledì 17 giugno 2015

Happy birthday Leo and Seba

Today my twin boys Leonardo and Sebastiano turned 13 !
They were born 5 weeks earlier and the smallest was 2,3kg at his lowest.
I can't believe now they're taller than me.
I love them deeply.
Sometime they drive me crazy
and one moment later I'm in awe of their maturity.
of their gentle soul, innocence and irony.
Life with them is great.

Jimmy's joy is contagious

Minecraft cake

My men

martedì 16 giugno 2015

A stroll in the garden

After one week off, here we are again for a relaxing stroll in the garden. The weather is rather cold, windy and rainy so a lot of my vegetables are not growing ( I have tomatos, pepperoni, cucumbers and salad in a small greenhouse, but it's not enough ) but anyways I'm satisfied of the look of my garden this summer ... so off we go ...

As you can see in the pictures, spinach, carrots and peas are growing quite well, 
greenbeans are struggling, still alive but not very lively so to say.
Potatoes have been put down late, so I guess it's kinda normal that they're not growing yet. Rhubarb is gorgeous, has blossomed so beautifully, but I can't remember if I'm supposed to cut the flower at some point or not. I haven't until now because of the great amount of bees, so I thought it was better to keep the bee restaurant open for a while more, but if you have any insight about, please share it with me !
Strawberries, onions and gooseberries are the ones thriving better in this year's climate, as you can see. But what it's really incredible right now it's the trees. They're all blooming and I wish I could make you smell them too other than seeing them. It's just a piece of heaven on earth, believe me.
Well, wish me and my garden some more sun and warmth, and see you next week !

lunedì 15 giugno 2015

Yesterday and today. Happy birthday James William !

 This was the announcement PapaF made three years ago:

James William today turned three.
 I can't believe time is flying so fast. Today was celebration day.
James is such a joy. He is so small, our baby, but yet it seems like he has been with us forever. There was really a life without him ? Nobody of us can believe it.
But today was a special day also for another reason.
 13 years ago I entered in labour for my twin boys.
 But this is a story for another day ....

giovedì 11 giugno 2015

Not only a word

I've been silent for a few days, but for a very good reason : for the first time in almost four years we had guests from Italy. Truth to be told my mother usually comes once a year, but beside her we never had the pleasure to have relatives here. So when one of my brothers in law told us that him and his wife were coming here to visit us, well excitement and joy grew and grew until last friday when they arrived. It has been a short but joyful and emotional time together (they left yesterday's very early morning ). Something very new for all of us and especially important for my children, our rather lonely situation here put a very heavy toll on them and feeling loved and cherished from someone else other than me was very needed indeed. I come from a very small family, only child of a single mother. I know loneliness very well, I know the feeling of craving for attentions very well, and knowing that my children experience the same feeling is rather heartbreaking. I know, they're five and we try to be very close to each other, but as they say 'you need a village to grow a child' and we always missed our tribe. The few days spent together gave us a glimpse of what it looks like not being alone, and it is beautiful. All of us feared the farewell, but incredibly we don't feel really sad, the love and joy we shared filled us and knowing that FAMILY it's not only a word gave us strenght.

 Dear friends, now please, go and hug your spouse, your children or grab the phone and give your old folks a call.
 Family it's not just a word.

martedì 2 giugno 2015

A stroll in the garden

Here we are again for our weekly stroll in my garden. Today I'm pretty satisfied, this evening I worked really hard for more than three hours digging and planting and mulching and finally enjoying the result. I can say that finally the garden is ready ( beside the salads beds, which I'll put down at the beginning of august when we will be back from Italy ) and now it's time to care and wait and enjoy :)
Before starting today's walk, here the link of the three previous stroll we had here, and here, and here. And now just grab you gardening shoes and follow me ...

 Finally my herbs bed is ready. Garlic on front and back, onion on the side and basil, sage, cilantro and thyme.

 Strawberries in the barbeque are growing and so our little 'snail' garden

Gooseberries bushes are luscious

 The strawberries in the big bed are growing and are full of blossoming buds. Can't wait to taste the first strawberries !!!

I mulched the onion bed using sawdust. The local wood store( which happens to be just few hundreds metres away ) has huge quantity of sawdust and you can take it for free, so we indulged eheheh.

Rhubarb is blooming as well and it's already huge and beautiful.

On the other side of the garden the peas and greenbeans bed ...

And spinach and carrots

And from this picture you can notice another new addition : I put down the potatoes today (and mulched with sawdust again )

It was meant to be a square, but the shape it's a bit more ... fanciful....

Wild flowers galore !!!!

And also today we finished our walk. I was thinking, it would be nice if someone might fancy to join me in this adventure. Maybe you don't have a big garden but only vases on the balcony, or maybe you have a big and serious farm or a homestead to support your family. Whatever it is, I'd love to come for a 'walk',so please if you feel like, just leave a link in the comments and I'll come and visit with great pleasure.

Have a wonderful week !