Showing posts with label advent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label advent. Show all posts

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Saint Nicholas' Day



Nicholas, St. Nicholas, come to us today, Ride upon your white horse from far, far away. Bring us golden treasure, Fill our hearts with love, Ready for the Christ Child coming from above. Nicholas, St. Nicholas, come to us today, Ride upon your white horse from far, far away.


Good Day Friends! 

Saint Nicholas just finished visiting our house today. Addy, our advent gnome, has been helping us the past 2 days to get ready for him. On the 2nd day of advent we made cookies for him and his white horse. On the 3rd day we made letters for him as well as prepared our shoes for him and set them outside. 

I know that the 6th is traditionally Saint Nicholas' feast day, but the children will be with their father on the 6th and they were worried he would miss their house since they weren't home. I informed them to fear not, that he'd come a few days early this year. 

This year Saint Nicholas brought them all their oranges, gold coins, and sweets. They also got a small wooden pet toy set- a kitty, a rabbit, and a dog. Each pet came with a little food dish and house. Their pets are going to live in their farm house. 

Here are our celebrations from years past:
2012:
I did not blog it but here are our photos of it! 



So here are some photos of our past few days and advent fun. Most of our fun times are had at night after I get off work, so apologize for the poor photos. But that is the reality for the full time working mom gig I suppose. I don't mind however. Life is good. It is calm and seeped in love. Now more than ever I get to focus on quality versus quantity. And the few hours we have work and school free each day are definitely quality ridden. I just cannot get over how amazing keeping our Waldorf rhythm has been through this life transition. I am just a blessed lady. 

As we adjust and slow down more and more, I am able to add back in things into our lives that we had to set to the side. One of those things being more planned craft time. Most of our craft time has been free form based around our artelier using loose parts. I'd like to bring back our water color day, our wax day, and our bread day- after work. I also have more time with the children on the weekends, so I want to plan more day trips. 

But for now, this is beautiful and bright. 

May the patron saint of sailors and children shine God's love and light upon you! 


Day 2
Cookie baking! Sometimes I don't have time to change our of my colonial clothes before we do craft and dinner time! 
Day 3
Writing letters

Finding their shoes filled!

They we're so excited!! 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Our New Advent

Our gingerbread house
Addy our advent gnome


Hello Dear Online Village!

It has been quite a long time since I last visited this place. I have missed this... the peace that I get while reflecting and writing about my day. But sometimes, absence is necessary. Since I wrote last in April, our little lives have changed happily quite a bit. 

I am now working full time and have been since late May for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation as an Orientation Interpreter. After some soul searching and patience, I found the right job for us. A job that allows me to have regular work hours, good benefits, stability- but one that also allows me to be emotional present at the end of the day. A job that I don't have to bring work home with me and I can go back to my favorite job, that of being a mother. The best part of my job? It combines two of my passions, history and teaching- minus the grading and paperwork. If you ever happen to be in colonial Williamsburg, stop by and say hello! I don't think I can gush enough about how blessed I feel to have the job that I have. 

The little ones are now in school part-time and Deirdre is in first grade. They all love their schools and teachers. I am so blessed at the amazing schools we were given here. And while it wasn't my plan or desire fro them to go to public school or for me to work full time away from them, this has proven to be an easy transition and they're thriving immensely. I think they are doing so well due to all the time I did spend at home with them. Our rhythm hasn't changed when we are home and Waldorf has set them all up to do well in school, and they each are excelling. My gratitude for Waldorf never ceases to end. It works. And boy does keeping the same rhythm help. 

In addition to the new job, we also have a new house! Another benefit to working of CWF is that we can rent their homes. The kids, their godmother, and I were lucky enough to get one of the homes and it just so happens to be one of CW's 88 original buildings, the Seymour Powell Tenement. I still cannot get over how neat it is every day when I come home to this house that was built in 1753. The history major inside of me is constantly geeking out. Not to mention, but the house has a hidden staircase and doorways, so the kids LOVE it. Did I also mention that we have woods in the backyard and we live walking distance form the historic area? Be still my heart. 

Lastly, I have met the most amazing, kind, and brilliant people in the past few months. My new church Bruton, which is just amazing. Basically, I have found a new voluntary family. People who chose to be in my life and stand by me not because they feel obligated to do so, but because they want to do so. While in no way do they replace my blood family or my ladies, it has been a huge affirmation to meet them all in this place. I am where I should be.

This phase of my life hasn't been without darkness or hardship. It will always be there in some capacity I suppose. But it is nice to know, I no longer have to be apart of that or associate with it. That my life is separate. My soul is free. I never knew how bright life could be except through my children. It's nice for my whole life to be bright again, as it should have always been. And for once, I get to plan a real future and not just be forced to meander by daily with no long term vision. 

So here we are, celebrating our new advent in a new place. Addy, our advent gnome, is out and about leaving fun notes and activities for the kids. Aunt and Uncle J bought the children advent bible verse calendars which we began tonight. For our first day, we made a gingerbread house and hung our stockings. Addy also left the children 3 chocolate coins. Tomorrow we'll get out our advent ring and decorate more. This advent is going to be so so much fun!! 

So dear friends, I'll leave you all now. I think this update is enough to get you all up to speed on our lives. It's my goal to be in this place more now that our lives have hit their happy calm. Enjoy the photos and please share what you're doing this advent! 



Our stockings!

The bible verse advent calenders

Jonas found Addy

They loved Addy and his note!



Clearly for Brynna chocolate was the best part!


Monday, December 9, 2013

The Second Week of Advent :: Plant Kingdom


The second week of Advent is the light of plants-
Plants that reach up to the sun and breezes that dance. 









This holiday season is just chugging along. The days are long gone in my life when it seemed like Christmas took FOREVER to get here. Now it is a blink and then BAM... it's New Years already! Maybe after my children leave home, it will slow back down- but probably not! I don't mind really. I just am trying to be more intentional about slowing down and being engaged with the kids versus doing lots of 'things' and becoming harried. My children really amplify my joy during this season. My days with them are brighter and being able to see the world with new eyes as they do is oh so precious. 

This week in order to celebrate the plant kingdom, we're decking the halls with our greenery and planting plants!(You can read more about how Waldorf schools and families celebrate the Advent season here and here). We planted paperwhites and amaryllis yesterday, and we also hung up our fresh wreath, mistletoe, and pine roping. It actually smells like Christmas. We've already have a multitude of plants books to read this week since we spent the Autumn studying trees. Mainly I am going to focus on evergreens and tell them the story of how and why we started celebrating with Christmas trees. 

Lastly, yesterday also happened to be Deirdre's 6th birthday. Since last December she has requested a Fox party. So fox party it was. It rained, so we had to have the party indoors but boy was it fun. I will post more on that later. Our dear friends the Luptons gifted Deirdre their game Wildcraft. I have wanted to get this game for a long time but the cost held me back. We're all so excited to play it this week and it will fit in perfectly with our plant kingdom theme, so thank you!!

I hope this find you all well. Thank you for all the well wishes. I am feeling much better physically and emotionally. Your love and support warms my heart!









Love & Light,

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The First Week of Advent :: Geode Ornaments








We're really enjoying our first week of Advent here. I think the kids are going to become rock enthusiasts, which would be fine by me! When I was a tad older than Deirdre, I LOVED rocks. My adopted uncle was a geologist and he gave me safety google and a rock hammer for my birthday. I then set about breaking open any and every rock I could find, as well as toting my collection everywhere. Let's just say I am loving this week too!

Today to keep with our Advent theme (the first week is the mineral kingdom) we broke open a geode- and learned about them too. It was fun to ask the kids what they thought might be inside and to have them guess how geodes were made.

After we broke it open we also read about them in our library book. We got three big pieces and a bunch of small ones from our geode. We used two smaller pieces to make geode ornaments for our tree. I tried to keep in simple so we used our Jolly markers to color two wood disks and then glued the geode on. Then I drilled a hole for ribbon on the top of each disk and viola- onto the tree each one went.

In preparation for next week, the plant kingdom, we added some more greenery to the house from our woods. I even finished decorating and Deirdre helped me set out Oma's Noel collection. It really feels like Christmas now.







Love & Light,

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Little Bit of Advent and Crafty Advice

Daily Verse or Quote: 
“The soul should always stand ajar. Ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.” 
- Emily Dickinson

Our Winter Nature Table 

My Glass Nativity


Things are really beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here! We've had most of our decorations up since the day after Thanksgiving but much fine tuning has been going on this week. 

We do have a nice advent tradition- going on three years strong! I have a small pocket calendar for each day of this month that I fill with candy and a slip of paper for either a present, craft, or trip each day. We also read a different story each day as well. I do not use the same crafts each year but the trips have been staying the same. I have a good mix in there. 

Today we made clay ornaments. You can find the directions on how to make them here. I love that you can pick your own shapes and paint them as well. My kids loved this craft. We used acrylic paint and a mod podge shimmer  seal to make sure that they last. I also suggest using lots of corn starch to roll them on. Another bonus is that these are totally non toxic. Jonas ate a bunch and well the corn starch and baking soda won't hurt him in the least. 

Someone asked me about this recently. In order to get extra crafts done during the holidays, or really any day with young kids, I have a few suggestions-

1. Plan ahead. Pre assemble during nap time all the needed supplies, pre-measured if necessary. I store my supplies in a plastic tub so that once we are done it all goes in the tub and away. This prevents them from getting into it and I then don't stress over not having a clear table. If you need to re-organize your supplies, wait until later. It will wait for you safely in the tub until then. 

2. Make clean up easy. Use a drop cloth and then just bundle up the mess for clean up after dinner. I use an old plastic table cloth for this. Keep baby wipes handy for cleaning up quick messes. Oh and just strip your kids down or use and old t-shirt. We have designated paint shirts here. 

3. Make a crock pot dinner. I tend to craft after naptime with my kids on non co-op days. My husband works nights, so it is just me and them. In order to have time to eat I make an easy crock pot meal that night. I put it in in the morning or during nap so that it will be ready about the time we finish crafting. This book is awesome for dinner ideas: Fix it and Forget it

4. Make the craft with them. I always enjoy myself more and engage better if I paint along with them. I have no big expectation for what I do but it keeps me from being tempted to do something else instead of spending time with them and their craft. 

5. Let go. Since we crafted tonight, I have yet to do my dishes and fold my laundry. Oh well. It can wait. We had a great time. We made memories, and tomorrow when we won't be crafting so I can catch up. 
If being creative with your kids is a priority, and I believe it should be in what ever form you choose, then you need to put it first and make time for it. If you don't then it probably won't happen.

6. Forgive yourself.  Please remember, it is also fine if something unexpected comes up and you need to postpone the project. Life happens too. Mother guilt is evil and totally self inflicted. Rise above it. You will get around to doing something fun once life calms down. Your kids will be fine in the meantime.  Just remember this extra preparation that you need to do when they're little, will end. Once they're older- they can and will want to do this on their own. Embrace and enjoy the craziness! 


So there you have it! Enjoy and I hope you get some crafting done. Pleas feel free to comment and share a link to some of your crafts you all have been doing. I love to see them and get new ideas!!! 


Advent Calendar 

My Noels! 

More table 

Ostheimer 

Co-op Christmas tree, soon to be decorated!  
Winter seasonal ring 

My hearth 

More Noels 

Crafting!!! 


Mid-sentence talking about her green ornament. 

Jonas is intense about painting. I love it! 

Ta-da!