about

Welcome
What a journey it is to meander down this road of mothering and life.

I am blessed to be the mother of two children, both boys. I have been care giver to many little children and their families over the years. I live with my family in Northern New England where we share our days with a large wooly dog, two boonie cats, hens and chicks and ducks, and spend a good deal of time out of doors, in the gardens, by the water, in the mountains under the stars. I love to cook the food that we grow or find close to home. We are blessed to live in a rural community with small farms  carefully tended by farmers who are committed to healthy practices and healthy community. We hear cattle bellow and occasionally see American eagles flying around, not far from their nesting place.

This is the longest I have lived away from the sea even though we make regular pilgrimages to the ocean.

I was a Philosophy and Women's Studies double major in College. I lived in Paris when I was young. I have always loved whole and fresh food. I have been attracted to the healing properties of plants since I was a child. I did research on women and female body image in Turkey and was fascinated by the beauty and complexity of life in a country that straddles eastern and western culture. Then I became a midwife. I was called to be a midwife. I knew in my bones that my life would involve nature's mysteries, rhythms, wonder and the growth and development and healthy pursuit of being human, individually and in community with others.

Somehow, although I never consciously intended for it or sought it out, I have found myself surrounded by children at every age and in every place I live. What follows is a little piece of my story from when I became I mother.

Seventeen years ago, shortly after my first child was born, I stepped out of my midwifery practice, packed up our old Maine farmhouse with my most treasured possessions: chef's knife, pots and pans, cutting board, favorite books, toys, clothing, furniture and two wooly dogs, not knowing how they would fare in the heat of the equatorial tropics.

We found tenants to rent the house and I left my childhood home of Maine and set off around the world as a new mother, to join my husband, who had gone ahead of us, to live on the remote island of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia, halfway around the world. Hawai'i became our midpoint, our point of leaving and returning to a more developed and faster world. The cars looked so big and so new. People had so much stuff and everything seemed new.

Island life ran on island time: slow and relaxed with plenty of time to digest life's trials, tribulations and joys. Island life was family friendly and many hands were always available to pitch in and help with cleaning up after a party or setting up swings for the children, someone was always available and willing to help. It seemed like everyone was wanting to celebrate too with lots of outdoor parties and time in and on the water, making visits to islands on the surrounding reef or venturing a little farther for a weekend on an atoll with no electricity, just the night lights of stars and moon.

I knew from my explorations into Waldorf/Steiner education as a philosophy major, visits to Waldorf schools, and friends with older children in Waldorf schools, that I wanted a Waldorf education for my child. When we got to the island and settled into visits, plays and parties with other families, I inquired of other ex-pat moms if they knew of Waldorf education. My neighbor Pat had a copy of You Are Your Child's First Teacher and we shared our passion about this approach to mothering.

Two years later, we moved to another island and there at the end of our very first playgroup, a mom asked me if I had heard of Waldorf education, because a small group of moms wanted to start a Waldorf Play group and she wondered if I might be interested. I was jubilant. I joined.

We began meeting weekly for free play, circle, bread baking and a story. We began a study group that grew to include teachers. We learned how to pronounce Anthroposophy. We celebrated together and our children grew over the years. We shared our joys and challenges of mothering and living far away from our extended families.

As the children grew older, I began offering a second day for the 4 and 5 year olds to come to my house without their moms (though moms were welcome) and have a Waldorf morning with free play, circle, painting and story.

Eventually the younger playgroup shifted to my house. It was usually nannies and children. Over time the nannies and I shared many conversations about caring for children, often comparing their lives in the Philippines to their experience of life with North Americans and Australian ex-pats.

We made bread on Thursdays with the little ones and painted on Wednesday, Mercury's day of transformation, with the older group.

Our group numbered around twelve families and sometimes extended to twenty. We celebrated festivals together and learned to make beautiful flower crowns and May Pole toppings for our May Day celebration. We had lantern walks and Advent spirals.

I returned home to New England one summer and attended a workshop on Play in the Kindergarten with Joan Almon at the Rudolf Steiner Institute. This was to change my life.

I returned to the island and we began a kindergarten.


The following year we left the island and moved to yet another island, Palau. We knew we were going to stay for one year only so we made that a year of swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving and outrigger canoe racing, camping, picnics and fun. We homeschooled on the beach and had a little hut for our classroom.

We returned to New England and chose a community with an established Waldorf school. I applied for a job in the kindergarten and was hired. I left when my second child was born and have stayed home with him ever since. {We are Waldorf homeschooling fifth grade and my eighteen year old is back from the Kroka Expedition Ecuador Semester , stepping into the world of college classes and stepping out of the nest.}

When he began toddling, I began a nursery program in my home. It was open three mornings a week. Over the years, as moms slowly went back to work and my son grew, the Morning Garden grew to four days, with an afterschool pick up, and an end of day pick up. I also expanded to include a mixed age group of children.

Over the years I have attended many trainings, workshops and conferences and have had the very good fortune of observing and being supported by brilliant, generous, loving and inspiring mentors. I am so grateful for their presence in my life. I'm also grateful for the friendships that have emerged along the way.

The online community was my anchor to Waldorf education in the 1990's when we lived so far away from any schools. Over the years I have watched it grow and grow with a booming interest in Waldorf education and with homeschooling families go through al the grades. I am loving the friendships and connections I am making here.

I serve on the Board of Directors of LifeWays North America and am pleased to work with an organization that supports children and families through the rhythm of life all across this great continent. I am very excited for the future of Waldorf/Steiner work in the home.

I serve on the Birth to Three Task Force for the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America, also known as WECAN.

I am on sabbatical from The Children's Garden and find myself drawn towards work with adults, in supporting parents, teachers and childcare providers, through courses and consultation on various elements of early childhood, including play, daily, weekly and seasonal rhythm, discipline, curriculum planning and implementation, child development, storytelling, circle time, parenting and classroom challenges, thus the birth of Celebrating the Rhythm of Life with Children monthly program,  here.

I offer live and online Courses on:
    establishing healthy home rhythms 
    parenting as a path of inner development
    discipline 
    inner work 
    fostering imaginative play
    planning the year 
    storytelling 
    the speech we bring to children 
    child development 
    protection and nourishment of the senses 
    firing the Imagination 
    festivals

I offer homeschool consulting and parent coaching on:
    homeschool planning
    main lesson and block rotation planning
    setting up a homeschool day
    establishing healthy home rhythms
    creating spaces that support imaginative play
    stages of child development
    helping a child find his or her way into play
    how to support boys in a world that does not
    why gun play is not to be unexpected and what to do about it
    Simplicity Parenting ( I am a certified group leader)
    soothing anxious, nervous and restless children
    harmonious daily life with toddlers from an attachment parenting perspective
    creative discipline


   













   
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