Friday, August 30, 2013

Autumn Good Morning, Summer Good Night












Yellow the bracken, golden the sheaves.
Rosy the apple, crimson the leaves.
Mist on the hillside, clouds grey and white,
Autumn good morning, summer good night.

~Our verse for September


We've been busy here the past week and half. Happily we began our school year last week. It was a bit early but we are planning on going out of town with our family next week so I wanted to have a bit of flexibility in whether we do school on vacation. 

Our circle time theme this month- which for us is September- will is apples. Stories about them, songs, verses, Johnny Appleseed, and a bit of how they grow and what they're used for. We also will overarchingly be talking about Autumn and saying goodbye to Summer. Our puppet "Squirrely" is helping us do that and is the center of many of our stories and plays about apples and Autumn.

During the 3rd week of the month we'll take a break form Apples to celebrate Michaelmas. I am so excited for it this year. Jonas is really into dragons, so I am sure he'll be rapt with attention for it all.

Later this week I will go into more detail on how our circle times flow and I use them in our daily rhythm. They really are the linchpin of my teaching. 

We use puppets a lot and books. Sometimes I read them, sometime I tell my own version of them and sometimes the kids retell their version of the story and act it out. 

I hope this finds all of you well! Thank you for all the toe love. It's healing- slowly- but I do feel much better. I also am so glad that you all liked my home school planning calender. I hope it is helpful! I will get back on in the morning to answer your questions about it. 

PS: Linking up with Linda at http://www.naturalsuburbia.com/ this week! 

Until then!
Blessings,



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

::Right Now & Homeschool Planning::








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! 

Right now I am...

...wishing we were still phone and internet free on vacation in Hatteras. While I love this place and our home, it was divine to be so untethered for a week. Also on our first day home, I broke my right pinky toe in 2 places and now have to wear a boot for 8 weeks. OUCH!
...planning our home school year. I am almost done and there is still more to be done along the way but I feel good about where I am right now. I finished our home school year calender- pictured above. It's a nice visual reminder of our overall yearly rhythm using watercolor paper and folding it into the 12 months.
...digging up my summer garden and getting a late start on my Autumn garden. I hope I still do have time to get it right! Bring on the broccoli, spinach, and potatoes!
...pondering our school room this year. I just finished reading "Playful Learning" by Mariah Bruehl and am loving her Reggio Emilia 'atelier' station.
...trying to not buy more school supplies than I really need. It's hard. The good thing is that most of the supplies I need are art ones and the ones I bought last year- Stockmar crayons, paints, and Lyra colored pencils- have all held up super well and I don't need to get new ones!
...learning to finger knit. I can knit fine but I've never finger knitted. And I need to teach Deirdre this year, so here I go!
...drinking lots of coffee. I feel as if I have lots to do. I know I don't. But it feels like a mountain. Coffee for me is like giving me a rope to help me climb that mountain!
...thanking the Lord for our lovely family time together. Sometimes I get all tangled up in the 'stuff' I need to do instead of looking back on our vacation and just praising him for our sweet moments together.

Thank You. 

Until next time,

Friday, August 9, 2013

{this moment}

A Friday ritual birthed by Soulemama


A single photo - few words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.



If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.


Blackberry picking in the mountains




Sunday, August 4, 2013

Family Time :: Holding onto Both the Good and the Bad










Sometimes, some days, are just beautiful. 
They might have though beginnings, they might be heavy days. But they're still beautiful. 
A moment here, a smile there, a gift in between those times helps center me. 
It helps to slow me down. 
It allows me to recenter myself on the long narrative of my life and what I am doing here, versus being caught up in the little heavy moments-which are fleeting at best. 
Not to escape the hard parts of my life, rather to hold them in both hands and acknowledge the good with the bad. 
This blog, this place, these photos helps me to hold onto the good. 
They allow to me to come to this place during the bad and see both when I need it the most. 
I've had a few tough bouts this week and last. Going to the beach with the kids and Craig helped me to recenter.
So as I look back on those moments and share them here with you, I felt led to write about what goes thorough my head when I look at them versus what we did at the beach. 
It was a lovely time. A bright spot in that day. 
And I thank the Lord for sending me that gift in the midst of darkness. 


Blessings,

Friday, August 2, 2013

{this moment}



A Friday ritual birthed by Soulemama

A single photo - few words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.



If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Brynna was just so happy that I let her splash away!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Our Lammas Lady and Festival

Our Lammas lady made by Armadillo Dreams

Lammas Verse

Bless the growing of the grain,
Bless the falling of the rain,
Bless the flower and fruit and tree,
Bless the sun that shines down on me!

Taken from All Year Round

Our story book for the month of August

Our Festival Table

Our circle time books for all of August 

Our Lammas Verse

Our circle time for today

Making Wheat dolls

Jonas preferred to make 2 wheat trees for his train tracks! 

Deirdre's wheat dolly! 


Using the cut off stems to make a picture and drawing on the wheat stalks

This is the best bread to make with kids! 

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! 
Today we celebrated our first Lammas! Lammas was one of the last festivals I have incorporated into our yearly rhythm. For the past 2 out of 3 summers, we've been moving in August so I really had no time to do one before now. 

I love harvest time and Lammas seemed pretty natural for us to celebrate. Our garden is bursting and we spent the last month picking tons of our own fruit and berries. We've been canning and baking up a storm. It just fits in so well. 

So to celebrate we made wheat dolls using yarn, wheat, raffia, felt, and glue. We also made a harvest loaf- which was very easy and fun- it just took various step through the morning to do.

We also had a special circle time and festival table set up. We talked about being thankful to God for our bounty and I told them about how Lammas was celebrated before we could just go to the grocery store for our bread! It was a neat way to start of August. So for this month, even though Lammas is over tomorrow, we will be talking about harvests as well as reading 'The Sun Egg'. Our Lammas lady will be going on little adventures with us and we learn more about how farmers harvest their crops and how we use that food in different ways. 

I hope you all had a lovely day too! Do you celebrate Lammas? If so I;d love to hear how you do it!

Harvest Blessings,



Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Crafting Waldorf Daily Color and Grain Gnomes (Plus a Tutorial)













We've been quite busy here this week! It seems like we've been bogged down with chores and the like, with a few good play dates thrown in there! Last week the kids and I traveled a bit, to Charlottesville (to pick peaches) and Dumfries (to visit my best friend). So I am a bit, how do I sat it?- oh yes- EXHAUSTED.

In a about a week and a half, we will all go on vacation to Hatteras North Carolina too. I am very excited, but as many of you know vacation with little ones is also work. Work to pack and ready the house as well as work when we get there. But I consider it good fun work. 

When I get tired and boxy, I find it very therapeutic to work on a craft project. This project has been bouncing around in my head for some time now. I have been meaning to incorporate more Waldorf rhythm in out lives the more we learn about Steiner's daily grains and colors. With the new school year only a month or so away for us, I thought it might be a good idea to get together some more materials that we'll be using- like these gnomes!

I plan on using these little guys on the children's breakfast and snack table. Each morning I will have the pull out and set in the center the gnome of the day. I plan on using the grains in their breakfasts and snacks- or if it's bread baking day then we'll use a recipe that includes the grain of that day. I wrote a tutorial for them as well below so you can make your own! 

I find Steiner's ideas on grains and diet as well as bio-dynamic farming fascinating! I could go into more of that here but Carrie at Parenting Passageway has done a better job at not only explaining Steiner's grains but also how she uses them as well as her thoughts surrounding gluten and diet. 

I would also like to temper this with a bit of advice for those new to Waldorf. Don't feel as if you have to begin to do the grains/colors/rhythm/ect all at once. I have know about grains and colors for awhile now and it's something I have been building up to gradually.  At first I stared incorporating more of the grains into my recipes and diet. I did not grow up in a family of healthy eaters. I must confess that I had no idea what barley and millet were until 3 years ago- among many other things! I was raised on fast food. So have heart! This has been a fun journey for me. I am learning to love cooking and baking more and more thanks to Waldorf. It warms my heart to know that my children will have lots of memories of cooking with me in our kitchen.


Now here is the tutorial!


These little guys were very easy to make. No stitching. My daughter helped me paint them. I painted and wood burned the lettering. I used fabric and hot glue for the hats. We collected the acorn caps ourselves.  

So here are the steps on how to make these little guys!

Materials Needed:
I included links to the supplies I use and where you can get them. I have also found wooden peg dolls and pots at AC Moore and Michaels. A few weeks ago I even saw some thicker wool felt there. However when possible I love to support smaller businesses on ETSY. I also have had a hard time finding a natural non toxic fabric glue- but now I found one!
  • 7 small wooden peg dolls 
  • 7 small wooden pots 
  • Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, and white wool felt 
  • Fabric glue 
  • 7 medium sized acorn caps 
    • We got our own but if you happen to not live near an oak tree you can get caps on ETSY here
  • A wooden burning tool
  • Beeswax polish or Shellac (optional)
  • Watercolor paints
    • I highly recommend either stockmar or lyra paints, which are a lot more affordable. All other watercolors I have tried when crafting pale in comparison. 


Directions: 

1. Collect 7 small wood peg dolls and 7 wood pots. 
  • You can get these at your local craft store or on ETSY. Make sure to get the little pegs dolls, not the regular or large size. 


2. Break out your watercolor paints and paint 6 gnomes and 6 pots each one the color of the rainbow (ROYGBV). 

3. 1 gnome should be left blank (for white!). 

4. (optional)  Seal your gnomes and pots with with beeswax polish or  finish them with shellac.
  • I used shellac since I like them to shine a bit. Shellac is non-toxic and natural. 

5. Using the base of one of your pots as template, cut 7 felt circle using all you colors. 



6. Set out all your 7 gnomes, pots, felt circle, and acorn caps. 
  • The gnomes and pots should be dry an finished at this point.



7. Glue your acorn cap to the center of the felt circle. Then dap some glue onto the top of your gnome's head and place the felt circle and cap on top of his head. 
  • It should be like a glue sandwich: Acorn cap-glue-felt circle-glue-gnome's head.
8. Repeat this step with all 7 gnomes. 


9. Once they are all dry, paint and/or wood burn the days of the week onto your gnome's body. I just used the abbreviations. 


10. Then paint or wood burn the coordinating grains on to the gnome's pot. For the white pot, I left it natural and added glitter to it and then sealed it with shellac. 
  • Feel free to paint it white if you have white paint. I only have stockmar at home right now so I didn't have white on hand, ha! 


Sunday-White- Wheat
Monday- Purple- Rice
Tuesday-Red-Barley
Wednesday- Yellow-Millet
Thursday- Orange- Rye
Friday- Green- Oat
Saturday- Blue- Corn

11. Then enjoy them! As you can see they're easy and your child of almost any age can help. Those are the crafts I love the best. 

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! 

~~~

If you would like to find more recipe using these grains I highly recommend the The Waldorf Kindergarten Snack Book.
  Also check out Carrie's article above

Also if you make these little guys, please come back and share your creations with me! I would love to share them on my blog or if you already do grains and daily colors, I'd love to know how you incorporate them into your home and rhythm!

Until next time!
Love and Light,