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Archive for January, 2015

There have been a lot of posts going around on the internet lately about young girls dressing modestly.  Mostly I feel dressing modestly is not a terrible thing, and all people have a right to dress how they want.  This is not the case in other countries where women do not have any or many rights though.  But here in the Western world much of anything goes it seems.  In the past, I have spent my time wearing bikinis and crop tops.  I do see the body as a gift.  A temple.  A holy place that houses my spirit.  Am I a bit different now as a woman than I was as a child? Yes. I have riden the wave of confidence and shame.

Mostly, I want to address what it is like for me to raise boys, to meditate on the sacred masculine and the sacred feminine in these times we are living.  After I began having children, boys in particular it became apparent that I have a huge responsibility.  I have chosen to look at history, to listen to the Ancestors and to learn from many cultures.  To me this is the proper way to assess the world that we live in today.  I do not Just want to take from that which is around me, because I know full well there is so much more out there.  I want to be Awake and live multi-dimensionally.

It has taken me some time to learn about the power I possess as a woman, and to learn about sacred union, men and boys and family culture.  What I will not teach my boys is that girls and how they dress are stumbling blocks for their soul and development.  Do I love what the stores are selling to young girls and women.  No, I do not.  If I had a girl child would I dress her in the clothes that these popular stores are selling.  No.  This is in line with how I dress my boys.  I prefer non-brand or non-logo clothing.  Do I believe in self-expression.  Yes, I do.  I allow for freedom, but I am also a guide and protector of my children’s senses till they have developed their thinking brains more fully.

Here is what I will teach my boys.  I will teach them they have the power within them for all things.  I will teach them that the way a woman or a girl dresses is not a stumbling block for their behavior and how they may treat women.  I do not believe Jesus created women as stumbling blocks for men. And if you do not know what I mean about stumbling blocks, I mean lust.  We all have lust in us, at the basest parts of our souls.  At the most primitive, Kundalini depths lust lies.  It is in teaching my boys to raise that vibration from low and baser vibrations to higher soulful love will they understand their power.  There are different types of love, but this is not a post for that topic.

Teaching our young men and women that Christ or G-d thinks these things about them is taking their power away.  Too many times I have been in spiritual communities where I have been taught things and I allowed those teachings to drain my power.  I gave my Power away.  By power I mean my medicine.  My gifts. Gifts and wisdom I bring to this world that G-d endowed me with when I passed from the Spirit realm to this physical world.

I will not allow my children to grow up to misunderstand and I will also leave a place for wonder and for them to form their own thoughts.  It is not religion that I have a problem with, it is the language and interpreters that are miscommunicating to The People.  I Love and embrace many cultures.  I learn from the many cultures a more whole perspective.  It was through the Native American tradition that I came to better understand many things, we are living on Turtle Island after all.  The Ancestors that dwelled on these lands were indigenous, civilized, loving, respectful people.  I do chose however to walk the walk of the Christian model and to teach my children this language as well and those ways.  It is nice to have a model to help us form the formless that comes from within us, and to also have some time to take the form and allow it to flow formlessly. Transformation.  Transmutation.  I feel it and I can see it, there are pictures in my heart.

There is such a practice as Prayerful Parenting.  Am I a Master at Prayerful Parenting?  No, not even close.  Do I pray on my knees often and then open myself up to what comes?  A lot.  Am I prayerful while I am living the mundane life that we are walking day-to-day.  I do try to keep it in mind and heart.  When I wash dishes, when I am changing the baby’s diaper, when I am engaging on Facebook with friends or my home school community.  Prayerful Living has helped to guide me through the Great Mystery of home educating my children.  As hard and rewarding as it is I Love teaching my boys at home.  And I believe they love it too. Do we have fights, yell, miscommunicate?  Yes, it does happen.  But, I am positive it also happens to many other families walking all the other different paths.

My path is raising boys.  Three of them.  They are beautiful, unique, clever, introverted, extroverted, sensory seeking, sensory avoiding, creative, loud, dirty, loving, wild and quiet.  They are exactly what this world needs. They came here in this time and so did I because we were needed.  I will not teach my boys what it takes to avoid lust and that it is a girls fault if he has lusty thoughts.  No, I will teach him that his power comes from within, where G-d lives.  I will not take his power away from him.  I will be with him, guide him and love him fiercely.

What will happen in the future?  Will my boys grow up perfectly and not make mistakes?  No and yes.  They are perfectly imperfect as am I.  And I wish I knew all of this when I was struggling to raise two boys 21 months apart years ago.  I did not realize I was an introvert by nature those few years ago, or that might have helped me in my daily journey.  Nor did I know I was an empath, or highly sensitive.  Nor did I know about temperaments.  Nor did I know much about the brain and the body and how it is all So connected.  But I do now.  I don’t know it all, and never will.  I just know my Path.  I know I spent much of my time alone, cursing myself, or living like a melancholic.  It was easier for me to point out all of my personal mistakes in parenting, even though I didn’t know any better, than it was to point out to myself that I was a good, and loving mother.  It is Much harder to love ourselves and to love each other than it is to let go of the all the hard and messy relations in life.

I know now that Mother/Father G-d has plans for me as he/she has had all along. It is easy to be distracted in this modern world, and busy, or extroverted is honored a little more than slow living.  But, for now we try our best to live a little slower, more intentional.  We fail though on a daily basis, but this brings us closer to each other, it teaches us unconditional love, it helps us understand our higher potential.

So I will say it a different way here. To say that girls or women are dressing in a way that is a stumbling block for boys and men is to say that males do not need to do their inner work and that it is the outer world that determines all. No, I do not think so.  This belief is taking their power away.  It is saying, no you don’t need to do your inner work first.  It is saying others are responsible for your actions.  That is Not how the world works.  It is time we take our power and responsiblity back as parents and teach our boys they also have the same power.  We can be weak as humans and I do believe I need G-d, but G-d is within me.  It is up to me to meet with G-d as often as I can and honestly I do not believe I am separate from G-d ever.  I believe the spiritual and the physical realms co-exist.

Source Loves Us.  Sources does not intend for us to be stumbling blocks for each other, but this outer experience happens all the time.  For example, have I allowed media to get in the way of me parenting, perhaps and yes.  Should I get off this blog and go be with my children.  Maybe.  Do I need to write and express myself to feed my soul?  Yes I do.  Not because I am feeding my Ego, as I have been told by people I trust, but to contribute my form of art to The People.  Even though it may only reach 40 people.  Numbers do not matter.

Planting seeds in others hearts is work for G-d, not me.  When things outside of myself tend to get in the way a little more than I care to admit, I hear the quiet whisperings of Creator beckon me to a place.  A place of peace. A place I have created while living and that was created before I came along, Within myself.  This “place” is where I swim in Love.  It is a place where I am nurtured, and then I take that nurturing and give it to others.  We all have what we need.  But sometimes we need to give it away to others as well, because our cup is full.  There is balance here.  The giving and the receiving. The Elders call it Reciprocity.

I will not tell you all my spiritual name, nor will I tell you my children’s or husbands spiritual name, although I use nicknames on the blog.  But I will tell you my middle given name I go by.  Nichole.  This name is no coincidence.  It means Victorious Heart.  There was a time in Ceremony a few years ago that I felt and saw G-d cleanse my heart and drop one tear on me.  I felt that tear from G-d and what an honor it was to receive.  My heart was replaced then. Renewed.  I allowed my self to step more fully into my heart, and to honor why we have Ego to begin with as well, because I also believe the Ego is greatly misunderstood.

Despite what others think, I am teachable.  So if you have something for me, I will listen.  I am not set on this view forever.  Some new truth may alter or shine light where there is darkness.  I am open.

So to tie up all these threads into a garment I want to say thank you for following this story.  I need to get off of here and get back to raising boys. There is Gratitude and Trust that I am being led.  I am writing this for myself and for whoever decides to read it.  It is an offering that I leave on the table.  If this offering speaks to you, please take it as a gift.  If it does not speak to you, then leave it for someone else.

 

 

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Recently, a lovely lady I know shared a recipe for Amaranth Crackers on Facebook. I thought it would be a fun venture to bake them. First I had to seek out the seed, which evidentally is easy to grow in Kentucky, but I purchased ours in the bulk section at Whole Foods.  I paid under $2 for a ball jars worth, probably around a pound.

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First, I followed the directions to the recipe.  One part Amaranth to two parts water. Cook it up for at least 20 minutes on medium heat.  I actually cooked it a little longer.  Then, let it cool.  Little Bear and I took a nap to pass the time and rest from our big day.  When I woke, Little Bear was still asleep so I sneaked out to the kitchen and patted out the crackers.  Unfortunatley, I added a little too much salt. Otherwise they baked up nicely 20 minutes or so later. We will try this again another day.  I am glad we tried.  Here they are!

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So it goes, the seasons of the year.  Winter seemed like it would never come. The cycling of moderately warm with one week of frigid temperatures that drove everyone indoors and to the comfort of their hearth.  Then, back warm again. Friday night the snow poured down with 4-6 inches of perfect powder in Central Kentucky.  Enough for the children to jump and do the happy dance, bundle up and head to the big hills for sledding.

While they were gone Little Bear and I stayed in and happily made a slow cooker white chili and a small batch of amaranth crackers.  I’ll show you that recipe in the next post, super easy!  Meanwhile we played and ate, had baths and napped, then on to planning for the week ahead.  I love it when I get that much-needed quiet time to reflect upon each of my children and to bring them what they need each day and each week.  Prayerful parenting.  We are finishing up Third and First grade on a year round schedule. For Third Grade our Language Arts is The Old Testament, Pearl S. Buck version and Jewish Festivals.  In Third we review all the four processes, but really spend some time with divide, so that we are ready for fractions in the next grade.  First Grade is Grimm’s Fairy Tales, letters, word families and numbers, as well as the introduction to the four processes.  All grades we continue Form Drawing, and art serves a big role if you can imagine.  Movement is also one of the top priorities with children as well.  Getting that body going gets that brain going and learning becomes a part of the whole.

Meanwhile, I am reviewing Fourth Grade to teach Eagle Boy. Norse Myths, Viking life, a Man and Animal block, grammar and Fractions.  It is my plan for Eagle Boy to also do more woodworking, carving and tool making, as in perhaps making a knife.  We will probably order the blade, but perhaps we can work something out with our neighbor The Blacksmith.  Winter is the time I plan and dream for the children, the family and the new year to come. Spring is when the seeds are planted, but really around Candlemas.  Summer is when we tend those seeds.  Fall is a time to harvest, and clean up from the year. Then, we cycle around to Winter again.  With Little Fox, I will teach Second Grade (my second time around) and we will cover Saints and Fables for Language Arts, the four processes more in-depth, especially the multiplication table.  He is really growing and learning.  Cub Scouts is a new venture for him and I couldn’t be happier.  Both big boys will continue choir, after a summer break.

But on my mind and on the schedule after Papa Bear finishes with Kentucky Crafted in March, is getting the chicken coop yard redone.  I have redesigned the yard in my mind and will give the details to the boys and Papa, but it is up to them to do the work.  I hope to save some of the chicken wire we have and just clip it loose.  Then, we need to reframe the yard to be as tall as an adult. The short yard we had is just not practical, and I wasn’t happy with it the first time around.  Not to mention there were several holes in places where predators stole and killed our girls.  Raccoons, foxes and such.  I saw a fox by the mailbox one day, and we have seen raccoon tracks over near the coop as well.  Our kitty huntress even brought in a stinky, musky adolescent weasel last year, dead, and in my basement, ew.

So above is a picture of the Hatchery’s catalog of breeds.  Many to choose from, including turkey’s, guineas, ducks, peafowl and more.  I think we will get some standard heritage breeds, perhaps some exotic or rare breeds and a few Guinea’s. I would like to build a box out at the coop for the littles.  We had kept them in our basement before, but I am over that convenience.  It makes more sense to have them out at the coop, safe, warm and contained.  I told the men and boys of the clan though, we won’t see a delivery till the coop yard is finished, so I hope they get to it and work hard.  I know Eagle Boy wants the return of chickie’s, and Little Fox does too.

I am sorry to impart this information on you, but you should know.  I ordered some babies and anticipated their arrival last Spring.  Lo’ they never came and I was quite upset, even though they did ship.  Somehow they were lost, and to me that means dead.  I was sent another shipment, and worried to pieces. They came safe and sound, but I want you to know this is a possibility. Evidentially it happens, but hopefully not often.

What are your plans and dreams for the year ahead?  What about the next couple years, any ideas?  I think it is important to hold them in your heart a bit and dream on it.  If certain things won’t serve you, discard them.  Until next time, sweet dreams.

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Welcome.

Leading up to this post we have discussed rhythm, simplifying, and slowing down. Today’s post is about menu planning.  Menu planning takes time to transition into, but once you slow down and set aside time, you won’t know what you did without it.  For Christmas this year I got a lovely planner from my mother in law. Nothing goes in this planner except for the menu for each day. Separately I keep a small notebook for grocery lists.  I date the top of each page, and make my list. When making my list I categorize by section in the grocery.  So I start off with veggies, meats, grains/pastas, dairy/cheese and frozen section.  You might even eat healthier or differently than we do, but this is just a sample of the past two weeks, based on our budget.  We don’t always eat this much meat either, it depends on the budget or our health.  Also factored in are lunches for papa, which vary from ours.  He packs his lunch based on leftovers and I always try to keep sandwich supplies and fruit available.  He like wraps, with salad and maybe meat.  We rarely eat out together as a family, so this menu is three meals a day plus one to two snack times.

LAST WEEK>>>

MONDAY
Breakie- eggs and toast.
Lunch- baked potatoes and salad.
Dinner- grass-fed beef tacos with lettuce, tomatoes, onion, green peppers.

TUESDAY
Breakie- waffles/peanut butter and fruit/yogurt.
Lunch- homemade pizza pockets.
Dinner- salmon, cous cous and steamed veggies.

WEDNESDAY
Breakie- oatmeal and fruit.
Lunch- tomato Soup and peanut butter sandwiches.
Dinner- dinner at church!

THURSDAY
Breakie- Honey Almond Flax (protein and fiber )cereal and fruit/yogurt.
Lunch- sandwiches and pretzels.
Dinner- pasta, marinara and ricotta cheese combo (like lasagna) baked.

FRIDAY (Grocery day)
Breakie- out, on the go.
Lunch- Applegate beef hot dogs and chips.
Dinner- baked potatoes, steamed veggies, spinach and artichoke dip homemade.

SATURDAY
Breakie- oatmeal, fruit/yogurt.
Lunch- sandwiches, pretzels, fruit, peanuts (on the go or in dad’s art studio).
Dinner- herb-crusted chicken (boneless, skinless thighs), broccoli salad, leftover potatoes.

SUNDAY
Breakie- eggs, fruit/yogurt, toast.
Lunch- sandwiches, pita chips and leftover artichoke dip.
Dinner- veggie quesidillas, corn and black bean mix with avocado and sweet potato fries.

 

SNACKS
Snacks throughout the week vary on what is available.
The baby nurses, has crackers, fig newtons, apple slices, bananas, applesauce and such.  The big boys love peanuts, sunflower seeds, seaweed with teryaki flavor, apple slices, leftovers, frozen fruit bars if we have them, pretzels, pumpkin seeds, and fermented foods, like pickles, carrots, sauerkraut (thank you Anna).  We also take a shot of green juice, by Bolthouse, Green Goodness.  We also take Juice Plus, which we are almost out of a long-held supply.  I take New Chapter Prenatal, with whole food and herbs because I still nurse.  I am aware New Chapter was bought up by Proctor and Gamble.  I am not sure where or what I will change to next.  Papa also takes Zyflamed, which is an herbal supplement for inflammation.  Zyflamed is new to us and I hope it works.  We also take Green Pastures FCLO (fermented cod liver oil) that I encapsulate for skin, hair, teeth, nails, and gut.  Mostly papa and Eagle Boy takes FCLO based on their particular constitution.  On top of all this we drink water, almond milk (sweet and unsweetened) and occasionally dark chocolate almond milk.  Our cow milk consumption has been very little since the November.  No sodas.  Occasionally orange juice, but mostly I have the boys peel and eat oranges instead.  I drink a little coffee at breakie and tea time, which is usually around 4pm. Also, we purchase non-GMO Beechnut brand baby food for Little Bear, when he cannot eat our table food.  I used to make baby super food, but teaching two grades and having a little one again…well, it’s a compromise I am willing to make at the moment.

 

WEEK BEFORE>>>

MONDAY (errand and shopping day, irregular schedule new experiment)
Breakie- waffles/peanut butter, fruit/yogurt.
Lunch- lunch out and about.
Dinner- roasted whole chicken, steamed cauliflower and broccoli, cous cous and peanut butter cookies for River’s 8th birthday (that is what he wanted!!)

TUESDAY
Breakie- bagel, cream cheese and fruit.
Lunch- sandwiches, Applegate turkey, cheese, sourdough bread and chips.
Dinner- leftover chicken made into chicken salad on sourdough bread, with avocado, tomatoes, basil, and white beans.

WEDNESDAY
Breakie- green juice, apple slices, cheese and crackers.
Lunch- homemade pizza tortillas with leftover chicken mix from the day before.
Dinner- bison meatloaf, black beans and rice, steamed broccoli and cauliflower or salad.
(Church cancelled due to freezing temperatures).

THURSDAY
Breakie- waffles/peanut butter and fruit/yogurt.
Lunch- ravioli with marinara sauce.
Dinner- leftovers out of the fridge and pantry from the week, to clear out and make room for shopping day on Friday.

FRIDAY (Grocery day)
Breakie- oatmeal and fruit.
Lunch- lunch out and about, on the go.
Dinner- eggs, asparagus, roasted potatoes.

SATURDAY
Breakie- Honey Almond Flax (protein and fiber) cereal and fruit.
Lunch- lunch out with dad at the shop.
Dinner- grass-fed beef wraps with veggies.

SUNDAY
Breakie- waffles/peanut butter and yogurt/fruit and also a little pick me up at church, snacks before service.
Lunch- pizza at grandma’s.
Dinner- Eggs, bacon, veggie Quiche.

 

So there you have two weeks of menu planing.  Certain products will be based on the store you use, the number in your family, and what is available.  We do have a varied menu for dinner, because I do like to cook, but this is just what we had recently.  We were able to eat for $150 each week.  I believe that is phenomenal for healthy food.  Some weeks I spend more when we need toilet paper, dishwasher tabs, or laundry detergent.

Lastly, we try to light candles each meal and say a prayer. Many days our mealtimes can be loud with three boys talking back and forth.  They are excited and love to share their discovery’s and adventures of the day.  This is hard for me sometimes because I am a sensitive mama and love quiet and peace and grace, but Creator offered up the opportunity for me to learn patience, otherwise how would I have that chance without the practice for grace.  Family really gives us a chance to learn and love.

Here is a link to one of my favorite blogs, Carrie Dendtler’s, The Parenting Passageway.  She shares 8 facets of a healthy family culture.  Enjoy, and come visit again.

 

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The path of simplicity is truly what you make of it.  To me and my family it is a road of beauty.  It is a road that is not convenient always, but who says it should be?  Simplicity is the paring down of your life to purify the energy around you and find out what truly matters.  What does matter to you?  Most people say family.

I am piggy-backing on my last post about slow living, slow eating and slow educating.  To do these things you have to take a look at your family culture. Have you written down what is important to you?  Do you have goals? Expectations?  Boundaries?  How has society influenced you?  What are you really wanting to leave your children when it is all said and done.  Lots of money and “stuff,” or memories shared?  I am sure they would appreciate money, perhaps even skills that you have taught them, but most of all values, at least to us, values are important for posterity.

There have been several occasions where our children have lived in a very cluttered home.  There was a time when I was so overwhelmed with stuff that I thought I would go mad.  Eventually I cleared out anything and everything under their beds, on the shelves and streamlined their rooms. My living room and kitchen area is simple.  Not a lot of extra decor taking up space waiting for me to dust it off.  If I don’t use it, it doesn’t belong. I have been a practical person most of my life, so this was not terribly hard for me to figure out, although it was a side effect of having children.

We teach keeping the lights off when not in use.  We teach wearing appropriate clothes to keep warm and keeping the heat turned down to a reasonable temperature.  We like to air out the house on nice days and not overuse our cooling system.  We like to be proactive and eat well instead of getting sick, but it doesn’t seem like that mattered this year with all the sickness going around, it caught us too.  But we have learned from it and worked harder to investigate gut health, eating foods that are fermented and utilizing mother nature and her bounty of healing foods and herbs.

We own a small farmhouse with almost four acres.  The simplicity of play and living has far outweighed the desire to own more.  That is not to say we have not struggled and won’t ever struggle.  We own a business, Coydog Studios, and it has not been easy.  Thankfully, because of our life before we made the transition, it wasn’t as hard a transition as it could have been.  We did have family help at times and for that I am grateful.  I support my husbands creativity, and we are proud he has recently earned a place in the Kentucky Art’s Council Directory as Architectural Artist.  In reading his bio you will see how simplicity leads over into his work and creative life as well.  In our world Spirit and the Physical realm are not separate.  It’s simple, and interwoven throughout every moment.  Ryan speaks about “sacred space” in his work and I too think of our home as Sacred Space.  Sanctuary.  I have to work harder and longer if our sacred space is cluttered and dysfunctional.

As you know we home educate.  To fullfill my duty and sacred contract I have made with Creator I cannot have an environment that has not been simplified. There are times before and after having a baby that the house may seem fuller, but to everything there is a season and I always come back around to clearing and cleaning.  Simplifying is a constant.  Simplicity takes work.  Especially in this day and age when one can buy anything.  Where there are box stores on every corner and Amazon Prime can deliver you anything within two days.

To make it possible to shop at places like Whole Foods I had to do the work and preparation.  I had to go online, make lists, mark recipes, and read tips on how to shop.  I spoke with the folks working in the grocery isles.  They were more than willing to speak to a smiling, learning face.  I have learned in the isles where we shop, on the shelving, there are stickers for all the products.  On these stickers which read the prices are other numbers and information.  On the left hand side, top, there is a number that represents price per ounce or pound.  When you are shopping and trying to decide which product you get better bang for your dollar, read those numbers.  For example, I wanted to buy crackers for Cedar to munch on.  He is 15 months old. I had the choice of buying the baby brand cracker, or the crackers that were the generic Whole Foods brand.  I got more product for less if I bought the product not geared towards babies.  It’s all about the marketing, no matter where you go, and I realize this aspect.  Also, if you have the desire to buy something by the case, you get an automatic 10% off.  This is a rare need for us.

Also, we do not buy sodas, or loads of junk food.  Most of the food we eat is whole.  I do enjoy sweets upon occasion, but we have been sick this season more than any season in years, so we are eating less sugar that compromises the immune system.  If we do eat sweets I make them at home and alter the recipe with other substitutes that won’t hurt us, as much.  And as I said before I do not do a lot of purchasing in the middle section of the grocery, because I have learned to make many things.  In doing so, and in learning to cook good foods I have enabled us to shop at places like Whole Foods, where labeling is transparent. Where a family can shop and purchase non-GMO products.  And when possible we shop at Farmer’s Market, in season.

We have also learned to eat less meat.  You can still have a good meal without meat.  Your health is not determined on whether you don’t have meat on your plate, nor does every meal without meat have to be pasta.  Just take a look at my Pinterest food board and see many alternatives.

Below is another good link that I have also pinned on my food board with others sharing ways to shop at these other stores without compromising your budget, yet eating better.

http://foodformyfamily.com/menu-planning/whole-foods-menu-challenge-100-gift-card-giveaway

Fish was by far the most expensive it seemed.  Chicken and beef were doable if one prepared them in a good way and used the other parts to make things like bone broth, or leftovers for lunch the next day.  You can buy products like cous cous in the box or bulk.  If you buy cous cous in the box it is the same price as other grocery stores, and there is more variety.  Cous cous in bulk is even cheaper and there is less packaging waste for the landfill or to compost.

Something I have also noticed is the shopping carts are smaller at places like Whole Foods.  The isles are shorter, and there are less marketing ads flying around.  There is only one small isle of condiments, not a longggg isle, or two. Sometimes too many choices are just too many, and overwhelming.  We find the shopping experience at marketplaces like Whole Foods higher vibrating, and that is about worth the difference right there.  Trader Joe’s is definitely cheaper in some aspects and we have the choice to go next door and get some of the alternatives, however my friend’s husband works at Whole Foods and he says WF is competeing with some of TJ’s pricing. So, stay tuned and keep your eyes open. I still like to stop in Trader Joe’s as well though for certain things.

If you have patience or are blessed with even a bit of lawn or land you can grow a few plants to compensate the grocery bill.  I tend to grow medicinal and culinary foods most.  Community gardens are on the rise as well.  Another way we save, while having children is to breast feed 1 to 2 years and to use cloth diapers and cloth wipes.  I did make baby food for our second child, but we utilize the concept of baby led weaning now, so while we use some non-GMO brands like Beechnut, our little bear eats from our plate a lot.

Now, it may take some time to arrive at this destination.  There is more to it. Rhythm is tied to success I believe.  To keep us successful I shop the same day every week if we can help it.  We shop in the mornings, with three children who come to learn and be the next generation to make good choices.  It is also our payday, and I do errands for our business to make the short drive to a neighboring town worth it.

Feel free to comment with your own tips, or leave links to blogs or articles that may have helped you and your family budget better and still be able to purchase whole non-GMO foods.

Blessings!!

 

 

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A post has been building in me for some time.  I awoke in the middle of the night as I do sometimes inspired.  For most of my life I have lived very slowly. Growing up we had 100 blessed acres, and three families working together to nurture each other, grow food and live slower.  As I grew folks passed on and families moved away from each other, making it harder to rely and lean on each other for assistance.  Since leaving home after high school I have grown.  I have traveled.  I have opened my heart to healing and staying teachable.  For me I am not fixed in time and space.  I am changeable.  I leave myself room to change my mind as I learn new things.  But something that has not changed much is my desire to live slowly. Intentionally.  Honestly.  And I desire this for my family. Nature shows me this teaching in her seasons.  We do live in a part of the country where there are four seasons, although this winter seems mild so far.  I believe Creator placed us side by side with nature to learn cycles and the process and journey of living.  To everything there is a season the bible says.  And many other cultures feel the same way.  We have had the fortunate blessings to learn from Elders who have also told us stories to help us to understand these ways as well.  It is my intention to give you a glimpse of our family culture that works for us, but that has a lasting impact on posterity.  We care about our children’s future.  We care about our grandchildren. When my stories are told and I have passed into the earth I would like my legacy to be a lasting one.

Slow educating.

We homeschool and are known to ourselves as Eagle Tree Homeschool.  I am a firm, loving, boundary keeping, sensory protecting mother of three boys.  In my heart, the eagle holds the vision, and the eagle is also a symbol of the heroes journey, a symbol of youth.  The eagle also flies close to the heavens to bring prayers and messages from The People to Creator, and back again.  We also hold the name Eagle Tree Scouts for all of our Scouting adventures, although my middle son recently joined Cub Scouts to be a part of a group with some of his friends at church. Homeschooling is not easy, I never thought it would be, but Creator led me to it.

We are Waldorf-inspired, where academics do not fully begin until around 7 years of age, when the milk teeth fall out.  During the first seven years of the child’s life we spend working with them in balancing the brain and the body.  Gross and fine motor.  Sensory issues.  And in general play-based learning.  From a neurological standpoint this works for us. Here’s a list of articles supporting our view.

http://www.whywaldorfworks.org/07_community/articles.asp

To me homeschooling is a great privelege and honor our country and state allows, and I have great counsel with Melisa Neilsen of Waldorf Essentials and many other women. Our inner work is the vital Center of success with the children.  Please go to this website to learn about how you can find more help in that way, with parenting, inner work, marriage and home educating.

I am not here to convince you of anything, but if you want more information on Waldorf, then please watch this video to help you understand further.  Home educating and Waldorf is not for everyone.

In early childhood we as parents work with the children in observing the seasons, seasonal festivals, spirituality, as well as normal daily life and skills. Slow living. Rhythm.  To us it is about the whole child.  The whole family.  The whole woman. The whole man.  The whole marriage.  All of this takes work, compromise, and we make plenty of mistakes or “learnings” as indigenous folks call it.  Not to be forgiven, but understood that this is a Part of the life process. Our children ((appear)) behind other mainstream children at first in things like reading, but quickly these practices take root and they are growing into strong sturdy trees reaching towards the sun.  It is difficult to explain and I don’t care to unless someone is genuine about listening to our chosen path.  Here is another article supporting the views of lifelong relevance.

http://www.waldorftoday.com/2011/11/daily-rhythm-at-home-and-its-lifelong-relevance-by-helle-heckmann/

To speak to our way of educating is to relate why we also eat slowly, or slowly dine.  While teaching Third Grade this year we have spent time learning the Old Testament and Jewish Festivals.  In this time I have learned about Shabbat.  A time to rest.  We do have Sabbath in Christian tradition as well, but this article really hit home and I have posted it on my Facebook page several times.

https://groundedmag.com/article/finding-rest/

Life is not easy, and we don’t always have what we think we need.  Life is uncomfortable at times, but suffering has made me stronger and I have also learned the things I think I wanted, were not even necessary for healthy, whole living.  There is so much luxury today for all of us, even compared to my childhood and my parents and grand-parents childhood.  So much has changed since the turn of the last century, 115 years before.  Cars, grocery stores, the internet, public schooling.  The opportunities are vast.  The economy relies on folks to work and stimulate consuming.  I however prefer to live simply and honestly, even if I must suffer at times.  I do not need an overly large house.  I do not need all that is trendy.  I am not entitled to have these things.  Only if I work for them and desire them should I have them.  And I hope to teach our children this as well.  We have suffered recently at the end of 2014 to make a change to our family for the greater good of us as a whole.  My husband is a man who works with his hands, who loves to build and create things and we support him.  Not only do we support him so he can support us, but it is vital for him to create as soul expression, even if it is a commission for someone else.  In the end, it is vital I stay home, as we have decided to provide slow living for our family.  It has made me stronger and more humble in the ways of the world.  I am a teacher and healer, true at heart and I enjoy what I do day to day, the spiritual mundane.  I walk in prayer and lean on Creator to help me.  I am not alone, and never have been even through my suffering days.  Our family has been a great support as well in trying times.  As hard as it was to accept help from them, I know their parents helped them tremendously and I intend on doing the same for our children.  I do help them and I will help them.  And so in the meantime it is important for us to keep or hold Space.  I hold the Center energy for the family or space.  In doing so I have to meditate on the foods we provide, among other essential for healthy intentional living.  Long term it is important to win out over obesity, disease and destruction of the environment.

Slow eating.

For some time we have shopped locally, whether at Farmer’s Market or our local grocery.  Even though I have shopped at Whole Foods before I never took the amount of time to really delve deep enough to see if I could shop there on a budget the same as our local store.  However two friends of mine swore to me it could be done.  The point was to avoid Genetically Modified Foods or GMO’s, which tear up the gut, as well as foods sprayed with Round Up.  You have other choices as well like Trader Joe’s, Earth Fare and locally there are cooperatives.  So, I set off to do my research on Pinterest (not a total time suck when you engage your will power).  I have pinned several blogs and articles on how to shop Whole Foods, grocery lists, receipes and coupons, which can be found on Whole Foods website. Here is a link to my Pinterest board where I have almost 20,000 pins and almost 2,000 followers, not that I tried.  Go ahead and take a keek, it’s up to you to do the work for your own family, tailoring style, taste, and menus.

Slowing down is not new.  Slowing down is old and our ancestors understood this concept.  Over time however we as a society have somehow found value in being busy.  Being busy means production is taking place, and that is necessary to some degree, I won’t argue that.  But, I will argue for balance.  Long term and with the long vision that I hold for our family Slowing Down is important, because babies do not keep, and neither will Mother Earth if we do not do our part. Here is an article supporting dinner time as a family.  We are not perfect and our house is quite loud at times.  Our boys do burp and fart in front of us and their immediate grandparents at times, but it is because they feel loved and comfortable and well they are boys/kids.  It’s funny and contrary and they show us that life is really not all that serious as we adults intend to make it 24/7.  Now, in front of their peers and others they tend to curb themselves and have better manners.  In fact, quite often I get compliments at the grocery, at church and elsewhere.  Still, we are not perfect and do not claim to be.  But I do claim to love them and I do claim to love Mother Earth and Creator.

http://parentandthepro.com/slowing-dinner/

Let’s reconnect here again.  Feel free to subscribe to my blog if you wish, or just check back upon occasion.  I don’t promise to write regularly, but I do promise to be honest, truthful and transparent.

Have a blessed day, the sun is shining outside and in our hearts.

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Time passes as it does and the Wolfpack has come to develop a new rhythm together.  Little Bear has added a joy to our lives that we never knew existed.  My big boys, Eagle Boy and Little Fox are so smitten with him.  They take him in under their growing wings and tails and nurture him, hug and love him.  They feed him, play with him, and carry him.  Our hearts are wide open to him.

It makes me think of the Amish saying that to love is to know suffering, but it’s worth it.  Someone I knew closely for a little while dropped their physical robe this week.  My higher self understands that death is normal and natural and that we are eternal.  My lower self is quite selfish and sad that we have to let those people go.  So, I sit in the middle with both feelings.  It has been a while since I have had to let someone close to me go.  I think of the ones around me that I have great attachments to, like my family.  Also, I am reminded of my own mortality and aging.  I don’t mind aging.  There is so much to learn.  But one day my parents will pass.  My grandparents already have lifted the veil themselves and are free in the spirit world.  They have been released.  But one day it will be me.  To ponder over that is very hard and a little uncomfortable.  I believe life is very holy, because we have breath. I believe we are holy people and have the opportunity to have the holy spirit infuse us daily.  To understand the many languages and cultures of the world, especially with the world wide web connecting us across time and space.

So in the spirit of slow-living and being intentional I give thanks to Creator.  I give thanks that I had no idea what I was doing but Creator led me.  In fact, I had enough trust and faith to listen, to walk the path.  I allowed my Self to walk backwards across time and space and heal, so that I could move forward.  And I speak in a deeper way, a way that leads one across many realms and lives.  A Way where karma is lifted, and new intentions are born.  My ancestors, or as Eagle Boy says Grancesters led the way for me, and my family served as an anchor.

I know I am hard on myself at times and have had to learn a lot about self-love.  But I will say that despite any negative self-talk I have been good about following my intution this past decade or so.  I followed my intuition when I saw my husband Strong Heart.  I knew Creator was speaking to me above the loud noises of this realm.  He is the One for me, and I am the One for him.  And then over the years I listened and heard the Song of my first son, Eagle Boy.  He sang to me and I sang to him, and then he came to be with us. Little Fox, quiet and sweet, slipped here to this earth to a family he knew he loved.  He could see us from the spiritual realm and knew we all belonged.  Then, came several years of release and growth.  I was not ready to welcome another spirit earthside until I released and purified my spirit.  But, those days of inner work came and went, and Little Bear sang his song to my heart.

So, I know all of this is worth it, even though we suffer as well when we lose someone we love.  I just hope there are many many moons filled with as much joy as the joy we know now.  I do not want to suffer, but sorrow comes anyway, because it is part of the human journey.  Until then, I will be intentional to the best of my imperfect ability to love with a heart wide open, and to be teachable. I am learning that stories are eternal.  They connect us and are even more powerful than we understand.  Stories seek me out.  I seek out stories.  We are finding each other.

Please say a prayer of celebration for the one who I knew.  She has passed, no longer suffering, but her loved ones remain with their sorrow.  We celebrate her, and we each do that in our own way.

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