Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award ~ Thank You!

The amazing Sally over at FairyDust Teaching and Annette at Seasons of Joy have each awarded me with a Stylish Blogger Award.  Thank you both for thinking of me.

The rules of acceptance:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award. 
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 10-15 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

Seven things about me:

1.    I am adopted and found my birthmother twenty some years ago. 
2.    I have lived on islands and by the sea for much of my life and love to scuba dive, the underwater world fascinates and soothes me.
3.    I  am a gypsy at heart. (Maybe we are gypsy at heart sisters Sally?) I've lived all over the planet and love to explore and meet people and taste the food they eat and see how they birth babies.
4.    I gave birth to one child at 44 weeks and another at 32 weeks and did kangaroo care.
5.    I was a philosophy major in college until I discovered Wome's Studies, then I went on to become a Midwife.
6.    I love to cook and grow food, especially for people I love.
7.    I love San Francisco and my all time favorite job was working at Cafe Liliane, it was a magical time, full of warmth and delicious too..
8. I like to push limits...I am adding one.... okay two....I have this vision of a birth and breakfast sort of place, where CNMs and CPMs work together and families come to give birth and be nourished, complete with gardens and farm animals and families

Now for the blogs I am passing this on to. This is really hard, there are so many fine blogs out there. Here is my selection, in no particular order:

Flowing with My Ducklings Emily's beautiful photos of her children accompanies  authentic reflection, craft making, and the process of parenting with head, heart and hands.

Free Flowing Ways  Kelly's blog is lovely and inspiring. with lots of connection to nature, nature rhythms in her family's homelearning.

Spinspirations  Kelly, above, of Free Flowing Ways and Dawn just started this spinners circle. It is so cozy, warm, beautiful and inspiring.

Carried Family ~Sarah's blog is an authentic exploration of life with children, lots of nature and warmth with her beautiful family.

The Artist, The Mom Angela's blog is full of reflection and humor and her beautiful family and handwork. She Tweets too.

Busha Full Of Grace  Busha (Marianne) 's blog explores many questions and inspires with brilliance and creativity and honesty.

Love in the Suburbs  Sara's beautiful blog is rich with family life, good writing and gorgeous photographs.

Ancient Hearth Jen's blog is beautiful with a look at Waldorf homeschooling and such an inspiration for us all on so many levels, even with the dogs. Her site is also full of generosly shared  resources and links.

The Sun With Loving Light Sandi is a homeschooling mom in California who asks and explores some big questions as well as shares her journey with readers.

Straw into Gold Christine Natale is a gifted storyteller and Waldorf kindergarten teacher who has been generously sharing her brilliant work for years. 

Bending Birches ~ Rebecca is the mom of a toddler, who shares beautiful photos and reflections of her journey into parenting and Waldorf education and caring for the children of others.

It wouldn't seem right without some food focused blogs:

La Tartine Gourmnd explores life as a French mom who loves food, french, good food and reflections on mothering and life and  gorgeous photographs. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Valentines Week

We are celebrating Valentine's Day all week long with more Valentines making, some mischevious Valentine's deliveries, warm tea with fancy china, some baking and some sweet red beets in our greens. We were touched by the secret valentine, who leaves hearts on doors,  this year:

 Sweet heart scones, tea and fruity whipped cream recipes are over at the monthly guide pages. The cupcakes with fluffy frosting recipe is over there too and on Scrumptious Smidgeon...

Here's a little ditty for your nine year old friends,
 it might be adapted, let's try this for a three year old:

Valentine, O Valentine
I'll be your love and you'll be with me, 
We'll care for each other,
 Fiddle dee dee 
And in ninety years, we'll be ninety three.
(oh well..yes it is silly)

Here's the official version:

Valentine, O Valentine
I'll be your love and you'll be mine.
We'll care for each other, 
rain or shine,
And in 90 years we'll be 99.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Valentine's Day Gifts

Oh will you be my Valentine, my Valentine, my Valentine,
Oh will you be my Valentine and wear my big rose heart?
Oh yes, I'll be your Valentine, your Valentine, your Valentine
Oh yes, I'll be your Valentine and wear your big rose heart!
(sung to the tune of the "Oh do you know the Muffin man?")

Valentine's Day brings a breaking with the contraction of winter, a stirring of life filled hope for Spring with lambs preparing to give birth and birds seeking mates for their springtime nests. The birds are singing here despite the deep snow. The depth of matter being penetrated by spirit shifts to a stirring, towards a flowing out of the Cosmic breath. Mother Earth is awakening at the surface even though she has been busy deep down in the earth :

Little dwarves so short and strong
Heavy footed march along
Every head is straight and proud
Every step is firm and loud

Pick and hammer each must hold
Deep in earth to mine the gold
Carefully flung o'er each one's back
Hangs a little empty sack

When their hard day's work is done
Home again they march as one
Full sacks make a heavy load
As they tramp along the road

Singing oh so merrily:

Crack, crack
The rocks we hack
Quake, quake the mountains shake
Bang, bang
Our hammers clang
In caverns old
We seek the gold

Valentine's is a day of fun and a day of whimsy. Children often love to make Valentines for each other. I remember making mailboxes in first grade, of cardboard boxes, paper bags, lace, ribbon and construction paper, for our Valentines. Remember the smell of the glue served up on the corner of a used torn up sheet of paper with a wooden ruler?

I remember anxiously awaiting that moment in the day when we were able to set up our mailboxes on our desks and go around the room and "mail" our Valentine's to each other. And then later to take time at home to sit down and go through them one by one and examine each gem.

The weeks leading up to Valentines are usually full of the Valentine making for friends and classmates, use those beautiful wet on wet watercolor paintings, take out the ribbons, lace paper doilies, snippets of paper "bits and edges" from past projects, glue and scissors.

This year we are making, by request, the woven Valentine and marble painted Valentines.

Over the years I have come up with a little dish for each child that comes out goes on the bedside table a few days before Valentine's Day. That usually involves some musing about the last year. One child has a Valentine Babouschka:

Another has a silver heart:

What matters to our children is not so much that it be silver or a certain design but that we find something special for them, imbue it with our love and return to it each year, making it a tradition through repetition.

I make them each a Valentine and leave it along with a simple gift and something chocolate and sweet in or on the heart. Last year I left these glass hearts. One year I left heart shaped musical chimes. Another year it was pink quartz hearts.

For breakfast I bake heart shaped scones, recipe is here. We have not had a regular Valentine's Day meal. This year I am going to make fondue as I am inspired by Cypress, over at Cypress Space, who shares her family's Valentine's traditions which look beautiful, delicious and fun here

If you want to make a little wool heart pendant for your child, it is simple to make one with wool felt and a ribbon. I like to tuck a lttle crystal inside like this:

This is also a simple project for a five or six year old or older to make for a friend. Pretty stones, crystals and chocolates make good surprises inside.

Attach a ribbon and it becomes a pendant:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Year of the Rabbit!

Oh my goodness! It is the New year, the Year of the Rabbit!

Thank you Pip and Sarah!

My hold on nature does not want to let go of the past. Better do some extra sweeping today!

My apolpogies.


The Year of the Rabbit!

The Year of the Rabbit began with the new moon nine hours ago and celebrations of Chinese New Year will continue for fifteen days until the Lantern Festival on the fifteenth day with parades and lanterns in communities that celebrate the new year.

I am inspired by my friend Denice to explore Chinese New Year this year as a family celebration.

Special deeds are done on certain days of Chinese New Year Celebrations.

To prepare for the new year, we begin with sweeping out the house (the old, the bad luck) to clear way for the New Year. This is a time for new clothes, new shoes (maybe we can repurpose that old red sweater into something new) and a new hair cut. A pretty bowl of tangerines, oranges and pomelos is set out for wealth and good luck. The house is decorated with Fook and Couplets.

Explanation of some of the symbols and images of Fook and Couplets for Chinese New Year here
For a Gung Hay Fat Choy (Happy New Year) song with gestures, via my friend Denice, here

We can draw couplets and hang them on our homes.

The most important aspect of the first day of Chinese New Year is the family, and that all the extended family spend time with the oldest members of the family.

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chinese New Year

"Gung Hay Fat Choy!"

In China, every girl and boy
Celebrates the New Year
in a very special way -

With fireworks and dragons,
colored red and gold -
They welcome in the new year
and chase away the old!

- Helen H. Moore

If you wish to preview Celebrating the Rhythm of Life with Children in February, a monthly guide for those with children, in exchange for some honest feedback,

please e-mail your request to


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tea Time and Gratitude

When we show reverence and gratitude by our actions, children absorb it into their bodies and they too will learn to express gratitude from deep within, for the young child, under the age of seven, learns by modelling the behavior of the adults around him and absorbing what lives within the adult. Rudolf Steiner stated, in The Education of the Child in Light of Anthroposophy:

“There are two magic words which indicate how the child enters into relation with his environment. They are: Imitation, and Example. The Greek philosopher Aristotle called man the most imitative of creatures. For no age in life is this more true than for the first stage of childhood, before the change of teeth. What goes on in his physical environment, this the child imitates, and in the process of imitation his physical organs are cast into the forms which then become permanent. ‘Physical environment’ must, however, be taken in the widest imaginable sense. It includes not only what goes on around the child in the material sense, but everything that takes place in the child’s environment — everything that can be perceived by his senses, that can work from the surrounding physical space upon the inner powers of the child. This includes all the moral or immoral actions, all the wise or foolish actions, that the child sees. "

It is not moral talk or prudent admonitions that influence the child in this sense. Rather is it what the grown-up people do visibly before his eyes.

Wash the dishes,
Wipe the dishes,
Ring the bell for tea,
Three good wishes,
Three good kisses,

Thank you for my tea!

Have a cup of tea! The guides are coming. I am manually entering your e-mail addresses for all of the test readers. Thank you all. I am so grateful for all your kind words and enthusiasm and willingness to jump in and help out.


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