Showing posts with label blackberry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blackberry. Show all posts

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Family Time :: The Norfolk Botanical Gardens





My husband works interesting hours and days since he is in the restaurant business. It is how it has always been since we've been married, so I am used to it now. It also is one of the bigger reasons why we home school. A normal shift for him goes from about 2 pm from anywhere to 11 pm or 2 am (depending on the season). His days off usually are Mondays and Tuesdays but this summer we've been blessed enough to also get him most of Wednesdays too. If the kids we're in school or even pre-school, they not get to see him very much since he works night shifts and isn't off evenings. But I digress! 

It's made for an interesting social life for us but we make it work. Our other couple friends have more 9-5 jobs. But the one happy benefit is that we get lots of time together. He also is able to be a part of the kid's home schooling. We try to devote one day each week to going out somewhere with the kids. Then once a month we try to go somewhere extra special, like cherry picking. 


This past week we all packed up and headed to the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. My Grandmother's house- and my mother's and father's childhood homes- are super close to the gardens. I went there a few times as a child but was wholly unimpressed. But a few years back we went again with Craig's family and man had it changed! It is seriously is a Waldorf homeschoolers dream land. They have a dirt factory, sand mountain, water play area, edible garden, Tee-pee village, desert village, farm play area, butterfly house, and enchanted forest. I am sure there is more and that those names aren't the correct ones, but you get my drift!! 

Our monthly theme is berry picking and we were able to pick and eat a few blackberries while we were there in their edible garden as well as plant some seeds, among many other things! 

What did you all get to do this week? How do you work in family time together? I'd love to know!

Love and light,
Nicole

PS: Don't forget to enter my $75 Nova Natural giveaway. I am extending the entry deadline until Sunday at midnight! A few working Mamas emailed me and asked about an extension since they don't get to use the computer much during the week. I am happy to do so! 





Eating lunch next to the worms in the compost bin!! 



Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Blueberries for Sal :: July Circle Time





I hope you all had a lovely weekend. We sure did! The kids and I headed down to Virginia Beach, my hometown, to spend some time with my mother and brother at the beach. We all had a great time and came home happy and tired! I however got too much sun, but that's old news. I'm casper and my kids well they're well bronzed year round. Oy! 

 I digress though... (the sun must have gotten to me). Today we started back up with circle time after a week long break while Craig's grandparents were in town for the 4th. Like I mentioned in my last post, our monthly theme is berry picking and our main book is Peter in Blueberryland. Last month's theme was oceans and Curious Fish was our main book. However I also like to add in a few related stories. Sometimes I read them, other times I act them out with puppets of dolls. For this story I blended in Sal, form the book Blueberries for Sal, with the blueberry and blackberry gnomes we have. 

Our Sal was the little blue peg person. 
When Sal first got to the berry patch all but one bush was hidden. The berry gnomes had hidden it with their magic to see if she would gently pick the bush gently and be kind to it. After the gnomes saw that Sal was a kind hearted girl, all the other bushes magically appeared! Sal was able to pick as many berries as her basket would hold.

After we finished that little play I then read 'Blueberries for Sal'. I think my favorite part was when we got to the end and Sal and her mother were canning, Jonas cried out "WE DO THAT MOMMY". Yes Jonas, yes we do. 

Ah I love our little lives, even on the tired grumpy days. This is why I blog. This is why I keep this place positive. Because my dear friends today was overall not the best of our days. But thinking back to our sweet circle time. To Brynna's first painting. To Jonas' sweet and excited outburst. Well it really puts everything into perspective. It affirms why we do this. It keeps me focused on the larger work at hand rather than the rough patches on the way. 

Well dear friends, I hope your Mondays were lovely!! I will be back tomorrow with a giveaway. 

What are you up to this month? Do you have any favorite berry books? how do you do circle time? Also why do you blog, if you do?

Love and light,
Nicole

Also Our $75 Nova Natural giveaway is still going on until 7/19!
Don't forget to enter!







Linking up this week with Frontier DreamsMagic OnionsNatural Suburbia, and Crafty Moms Share and a few others! Please check out my 'where I party' page! 









Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bud the Blackberry Gnome





With Virginia's berry picking season upon our doorstep, I received some much needed crafting inspiration. I am happy to introduce to you all, Bud, our blackberry gnome. His job, according to my 4 year old daughter Deirdre, is to guard the berries from 'pesky animals' whom 'take more than their share of the blackberries'. He also keeps the 'unfriendly insects' at bay- as well as 'helps the berries ripen up just right'. 


I made him using 50/50 wool felt. I find that using blends is easier to embroider, after using 100% wool felt for awhile. His blackberry hat was made using french knots. His cloak and outfit were made using Wee Folk's pattern and a running blanket stitch. 






The blueberry bush and cherry tree behind him were made by myself last summer. If you're interested in how I did it, I wrote an article for Rhythm of the Home magazine detailing the process. Bud now resides on our Spring/Summer nature table. I plan on also making him some other berry friends to keep him company! If you'd like to read about our blackberry picking trip last year you can find it here


Summer is still officially a month away, however we are having days up into the nineties already. With a tiny baby, I am finding it hard to enjoy the outdoors as much since she can't wear bug spray or sunscreen yet. But I am making do. I set up our back yard porch (which is just a large paved area surrounded by our plum tree and fairy gardens) so that my older kids can play out there alone. 


Now when I say alone, they're really not alone. They just think they are! I am actually right next to them, since our living room sliding glass and screen door opens up right out onto the porch.  I can and hear them as if they were in the next room, yet they're outside. I have a mud kitchen, wading pool, chalk, art supplies, trucks, a table and chairs, our fairy garden, and some riding toys all out there for them. And once Brynna is asleep, I then set her in a cradle near the door inside, so I can hear her, and then join Deirdre and Jonas outdoors. Let's just say this set up has been a hit on both ends. Now they don't have to wait for me to stop nursing to go outside. 


Plus I think that this little bit of perceived independence helps build their confidence and let's them play a bit more freely. Jonas and Deirdre have been working out their sibling squabbles more on their own out there too, which is nice. 






I will post some photos of our porch soon, behind the star is a glimpse. I lost my camera for a few days but I've found it again, yippee! Oh and yes, we've been making Waldorf window stars over here. Deirdre and I are addicted! 


I also am starting up my craft for the 'Bits of Goodness' Wizardry World themed swap I joined. Thank you Kelly over at Happy Whimsical Hearts for introducing me to this group. I am making 5 wooden Hungarian Horn-tail dragons and 5 golden eggs, as inspired by the Harry Potter series. I hope they turn out well. 


Until next time, 
Nicole 


Daily Verse or Quote:

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.


– Matthew 18:2-3 (NIV)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blackberry Picking

We have been busy these past two days. Sadly my husband's work schedule is pretty crazy and unreliable right now. Since he works night shifts we usually spend our days together as a family. He also never has the weekend off, so our weekend usually is on Monday and Tuesday (his usual days off). But since his restaurant has doubled in size after its renovation- without hiring more staff to compensate- he and his fellow employees are having to working a lot. Last week also two people called in sick during the day last minute, so he had to go in and work doubles. Truly I am grateful for his job and his wonderful boss Julia, but I will be happy when this period is over. I am struggling with getting all my housework done and poor baby Jonas is teething again, which means I get even less done. Ah well that is ok. One day at a time. My blessings are plentiful and the Lord will give us all extra strength and peace. 


On a happy note, he did get Monday off this week and we were able to go to my hometown Virginia Beach for some blackberry picking (click on the link to see the farm's website that we went to)! The berries were just in season and delicious. We are now in the process of making schnapps, preserves, and cobbler. So much fun! 















At any rate, I will try my best to return to this space as frequently as I have been, but forgive if I lapse. We all know how life happens! 


Daily Verse or Quote: "Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate kindness and compassion." -- His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from "Kindness, Clarity, and Insight" by Snow Lion Publications.

I cannot help laughing in this photo. The chick has imprinted on me and now follows me around everywhere.  In this photo she hopped up onto my lap and climbed up me while I was blogging. Then she nestled down and fell asleep on my shoulder. Precious! Still no name yet!