Showing posts with label Shrove Tuesday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shrove Tuesday. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Happy Thought


A Happy Thought

The world is so full
of a number of things, 
I'm sure we should all
be happy as kings.

-Robert Louis Stevenson from "A Child's Garden of Verses"




I have taken a bit of a respite from this place. Honestly, not for any reason in particular! I have just been so busy and alternatively our lives have been changing so much. We have been trying to figure out a new family rhythm. 

With Deirdre now in school, our days look different. Now with my return to work soon, as well as having a temporary job on the weekends, it has been a bit up and down. However, we still have been making the most of it and figuring out all of these changes together. Us four, we're a little team to be sure. It has amazed me how well they all have been doing through this. It is a blessing for sure. All of them are growing in news ways. And it has reminded me of what an honor and privilege it is to be their mother. 

Mostly, I find myself filled with divine gratitude. Gratitude for having my children in my life. Gratitude for my family, who has loved us so well through this. Gratitude for my friends, whom are also my family and who I get to raise my children alongside with. Gratitude for my education, which at times I have taken for granted. And gratitude for Waldorf, because that lynchpin in our lives has helped keep me steady- and my mothering steady- which in turn has helped me love my children well. It almost seems like a buffer of sorts, a sense of stability in my home. I can't quite name it. But it is there. 

I also continue to be in awe of the beauty that surrounds us. Maybe I appreciate it more now or maybe I see it more clearly, but I feel like someone has turned up the saturation in my eyes. Life is just brighter

My children have not been the only ones who have been growing. I have too. For once, in a long time, I have had time for myself. I have been doing things for just me. Beautiful yet simple things. And that feels good. My soul feels refreshed and I have a renewed sense of purpose, that I thought I died to a long time ago. It feels good to be alive again in that way. Which all brings me back to gratitude for the people the universe has conspired to put in my life and help me rekindle that. 

So I will leave you all now with a bit of 'catch up' for what we've been up to. We've celebrated 2 birthdays, MANY festivals, taken trips, and had lots of beach and crafting fun. Enjoy my sweet friends. And I will be back soon. 



Brynna is getting so so big! She loves to play at the Yorktown battlefields. 
Secret Places


Jonas turned 4! 


Brynna turned 2! 

Worm trap made by Jonas. 

Yorktown Pirate Day




Easter Eggs :) 

The start of  our garden! 


Yorktown Beach! 
Our trip to Richmond to visit Link and her family as well as the VMFA

Shrove Tuesday
Imbolc pots! 

Green for Spring! 

Day trip to Surry to their Farm Museum. 
One of our last days homeschooling. 
PS: Linking up for the lovely Nicole at Frontier Dreams for KCCO

Love and Light,

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Lenten Journey: The Joys of Keeping a Lenten Garden


We follow Lent to follow Him
A time of sacrifice and prayer
We give up something we desire
That His example we might share.
-Excerpt from a Lenten poem by Elena dal Friuli




My family has been on our Waldorf journey now for three years this coming Spring. Since then, we've added a new member to the family and started homeschooling our eldest. At times it saddens me that I did not have a guiding philosophy in mind for my eldest’s early years, but thankfully now we do (and she doesn't seem to know the difference). This means that our family traditions are not really traditions yet at this point. They’re new and evolving as we incorporate various festivals into our yearly rhythm. One new tradition, going on its second year in our home, is having a Spring Lenten garden.

Last March after I went outside to cut some of my wild daffodils to bring inside, I sat down and read a bit of All Year Round by Lifeways. This book has become an indispensable resource as a Waldorf Homeschooling teacher and I highly recommend it. At any rate, its section on Spring had a bit on Lenten Gardens. I had never heard of this before and I was intrigued! What a special way to teach children about Lent- a topic that most young ones can rarely grasp.

My husband and I are both Christians and both celebrated Lent growing up. Usually, at least for me, we gave up a luxury for the 40 days of Lent. While this practice should have held some significance for me- it did not. It wasn't until this past year while doing the Lenten Garden with my daughter and son, did I really reflect on what the Lent’s true significance was for me personally as a Christian.

The beauty of the Lenten garden is that it can be used in anyone’s home, regardless of what they believe. Just to reflect on the coming of Spring and the many blessings we have daily that seem to slip by without us knowing would be a welcome tradition in many homes. The possibilities are endless. I treasured being able to stop and pause with my children and it’s a practice that I feel I could never do too much.

So below are the practical ways in which we used our garden and how we made it. It can be tinkered with endlessly to suit your family’s beliefs and climate. I wholeheartedly encourage you to take the time to pause and reflect the unfolding of Spring with your families. In the hard dark days that come from time to time while raising young ones, those still moments serve as a beacons of light for me to guide me out from within.

Supplies:
A tray or platter
Moss
Sandy Dirt
Spray bottle
Two large rocks and a handful of medium ones
A small bowl or container lid filled with water (to be a little pond)
Plastic wrap
Dish towel
Purple playsilk or cloth
Fresh flowers in a vase
A sheep figure
Various spring animal figures to decorate your garden scene



All the supplies I used for our garden last year I found around my house. I found an old wicker serving tray that I seemed to never use and I went to work. After laying down a terry cloth towel and plastic wrap to protect the bottom of the tray, I layered on the dirt, moss, rocks, water tray, and stones. Once they were all set in place, I added some Spring figures that we had on hand from our Woodland Fantasies farm set and a wooden mushroom I painted. Then I hung a purple mini playsilk behind the tray and added the freshly cut flowers from my yard.

Each day the children and I gathered near the garden after breakfast and moved the lamb to slowly towards the two stones on the far side representing the tomb. On Shrove Tuesday, the the first day that we did the garden, each of the children chose a toy to give up for Lent and set it near the garden. We recited our Lent verse daily when we moved the lamb and read the story of Easter by Patricia Pingry. On Good Friday we hung cross and black silk in the garden and then on Easter morning I rolled away the two little stones and had an angel there.  This tradition sealed its permanence in our family that morning after my daughter emphatically shouted, “He really is risen”! The look on their faces when they saw the angel was priceless.

All in all, The garden was a great tool in talking about all the themes of Easter, Lent, and Spring. It continues to amaze me that in the process of teaching my children, I have learned- and even re-learned- so much about life and my faith. I hope in the years to come that this ‘new’ tradition for us becomes a fond childhood memory for my children and yours.