Showing posts with label Snow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Snow. Show all posts

Saturday, January 25, 2014

At Last!






At long last King Winter paid us a frosty visit and left us with a few inches of lovely snow. It's a rare treat here to have snow period, but as it stands (4 days later) we still have some! The temperatures here have been very frigid and windy- which is not something we are used to. However we've still made it outside everyday this week- go Waldorf and my stubbornness- even if only for a little while. On the first day it snowed, we were out for five hours total. Let's just say I am one tired Mama. 

On the school front we have been having fun with the snow and birds. We painted snowflakes and made lots of snow cream. We also made the birds some millet treats the day it snowed (because Deirdre was so worried about them). One book that we're really enjoying right now is Susan Jeffers' rendition of Robert Frost's poem "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening". It is just a beautifully illustrated book period, not to mention Frost's poem is one of my personal favorites. I am using it to introduce the kids to poetry and how to experience stillness in nature and our lives. "Be Still" is one of our seasonal verses as well, so it fits in well. We even all painted our versions of 'stillness' together. I am loving our art times all together (not just them with me hovering). 








Last weekend on our Saturday hike we got to do some birdwatching and saw a male and female pileated woodpecker! The kids were thrilled. It was a lovely hike. So beautiful and peaceful. Halfway through the hike it randomly started to snow. We all just stood there in silence with big grins on our faces. It was truly magical. 



Male

Female

Other than that we have spent lots of time indoors. Since I set up our artelier, the kids have been making ample use of it. Many afternoons, while Jonas and Brynna are napping, all Deirdre will do is quietly make art for 2 1/2 hours. This is what she did just today! I am really impressed with the doll crown and paper cut outs she's been doing. 








So all in all we've been having fun. Thank you all again for the support and continued concern and love. Your emails and messages really brighten my day! Life is good and I feel like we're in a good place despite the many gray areas looming in our future or my life. Oddly enough for me (since I am very black & white as well as a super planner) I am OK with that. Incredibly, happily, peacefully OK with it in fact. I have felt this past week very much at peace, calm, and warm. Kinda like a week long surf session. My mind keeps trying to talk me out of feeling this way, but I have just been ignoring it (which is not easy to do). I guess I also feel a bit free and empowered to deal with some of the junk in my life, grow from it, and revisit what it is I am doing and want to do. It's led to some great realizations (things I sadly died to long ago) as well as fun rabbit holes. Plus it can't hurt to take a long hard look at all the ugly bits, right? :)

Until next time!
Love & Light,

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Snow Play...well sorta!




 


So after my last post I tailored my monthly plans a bit. If you're new, I have written a few posts about how we 'do' our Waldorf homeschooling (I think at this point we end up being more like Waldorf unschoolers though). This year I wrote my own curriculum of sorts. You can find more about it here. While I am sure that we'll get snow at some point (we keep just missing it but not the frigid temps), I am going to stick with it this month and combine it with February's theme, winter animals. Not only does it make my life easier but there are so many rabbits holes to go down. Arctic animals, migration, hibernation vs. turgor, survival, winter fairy tales, weather, what makes it cold, ect.

Our larger science theme for Winter is birds. All Autumn we focused on trees and I am happy to say that we can walk anywhere in our neighborhood and tell you all about every tree. It's neat now that when we drive places, even though the foliage is gone- the kids can point out different trees just by their shape. By far though my kids love willow and beech trees the best. Anywho, I'll share more about birds later on but we got 2 new feeders, a guide, and window feeder, and a bird log- so we're ready! I LOVE our window feeder. Our local cardinal couple love it too, so it's nice to sit with them and eat breakfast together. They don't seem to mind us bouncing around inside either :)

So in keeping with snow, we are making our own snow today with the kits above. I also made a little sensory bin for the kids to play with and some 'snow' dough. It was a big hit today. So much so, they dragged their new fairytale cottage down to make the ice palace from "The Story of the Snow Children". Two years ago I made peg people to go along with the book, you can how to do it here. It amazes me how well they've held up and how much the kids both still love to play with them.

Our nature table and house are now fully in January mode. I continue to struggle to do chalkboard drawings though, ha! I was never good at drawing, but thankfully my audience it forgiving. Hopefully Deirdre will surpass me soon and can take over, ha!

I also on a whim got to take some really lovely photos of the kids during lunch today. Their eyes are starting to turn from blue to green (Deirdre's are already green like mine and my brother). It was a sweet surprise. On the downside, my paperwhites are beginning to die. Alas, Christmas really is over!








Until Next Time,

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wintering







This winter has been quite a mixed bag for us. Last year, here in the coastal plains of Virginia, we had quite a few good snows. From early December to late February, we consistently had cold weather and a nice smattering of snow. Having as much snow as we did last year was actually quite rare. I've lived in Virginia my whole life and I have to say that it was probably the most snow in recent years (with 2004-2005 being the 2nd biggest snow year I can remember). 

However, it seems that regardless at least once a year growing up we got one nice snow that you could play in for a day or two before it melted. 

Not so this year. 

Coming up on the end of February, we have yet to get a real snow that has covered the ground and stayed put for at least 24 hours, much to the chagrin of my children and I

To make matters worse, God Bless Waldorf, but in homeschool we studied  snow, winter, animals in the winter, and hibernating for a month on and off-without any snow to speak of! My poor kids would wake up daily asking, "is today the day we will get some snow"?

So after much frustration on both of our parts, Craig and I decided that we'd go and seek out some snow, albeit man-made, at a local ski resort. It was about a 3 hour trip and we made great time. The kids played nicely in the back of the car and I have to say I was very proud of them. 

The set-up of Wintergreen was very family friendly. We took the kids to the child fun park, called "Ridgely's". In it there is snow tubing for young kids, a snow carousel, sledding, snowshoeing, snowball making stations, a little play area, and a tee-pee with a fire pit to warm up by. The parking for the fun park was right next to the area, so I was able to dress the kids in their snow clothes in the lot (I had them ride up in the car in their long underwear). 

It was not expensive either for a day trip. Yes, the driving could have been bad, but for us it wasn't. The kids played their little hearts out once we got there and then napped on the way home. We got home in time for dinner and some playtime. All in all, it was perfect for us. As long as I have the kid's favorite books, snacks, and lovies in the car- they don't mind a long ride once in awhile. 

I think the funniest part of the trip was that on the way home from Charlottesville to Richmond, it poured down snowing, Haha! Oh but it gets even better, by the time we got home- it was just rain! Needless to day I felt totally justified in taking the trip. 

Plus Craig and I had a blast too! I think this will have to be a yearly, if not monthly, wintertime trip next year. 

Sometimes I really wish we lived somewhere where the seasons were a bit milder and normalized. But until then, I guess I will just have to seek out Old Man Winter. 

So if you have missed winter this year and want some snow fun, check out your local ski resort! The rates are very low this time of year and some do have special areas just for little kids. I also think taking little adventures with your kids as a family away from home, it a good thing and quite doable even with little kids. I have been pleasantly surprised by our experiences with a 2 and 4 year old. :) 

Until next time, 
Nicole 

Brother and Sister snowtubing together! 

About a 1/4 of the park!