Archive for the ‘Adventure’ Category

Welcome to my home!  Grab your cup of tea or coffee and sit with me a moment.  I want to share with you our recent adventures!  When I am done I want to hear how you are as well.  Without connection to others, sharing and storytelling, what would life be like?

In case you couldn’t remember I am currently teaching Waldorf Inspired First and Third Grade, along with our little nursling.  In Third Grade not only are we learning all about the Old Testament and Jewish Festivals, but we are also studying Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  Farmer Boy is about a little boy named Almanzo when he was nine years old and is beautifully paired with the nine year change our oldest child is moving through.  If you want more developmental information about the nine year change, please visit my friend Carrie over at The Parenting Passageway.  I hope to speak on developmental change from my perspective in the future on Nurturing Spirit.

With much gratitude, family affectionately known as The Gramps treated us to Conner Prairie, just outside of Indianapolis, Indiana.  An interactive history park, set in 1836 and 1865.  So off we went to learn and experience together.  Upon entering the welcome center a college student from Wisconsin approached us and asked if my oldest son and I would wear a microphone as we moved around the exhibit Create.Connect.  She asked us some questions afterwards about the exhibit she helped to create, in exchange for an ice cream coupon.  Click on the link above to learn more about the exhibit.  It’s worth some of your time I promise.  However, the day was getting hotter by the minute, so we were a tad anxious to get on outside.

We headed on over to the Civil War area first, because it was the farthest walk. We entered into the Civil War area across a covered bridge, with Civil War banners and bayonet slices through Abraham Lincoln banners.  I believe this park is top notch.  Clean and accurate.  The actors really take their jobs seriously. Parents with little bitty kids take note.  Some of the interactive aspects in this area are loud, with yelling, horses neighing, pots and pans hitting the ground and video.  If you have children with sensory issues, please check it out first, or avoid altogether.  One little girl was crying because she was scared, and to her it was a very real.  The park is great for older children who can understand.  We did not take our little babe into those exhibits.  The park is quality and worth admission, and theses actors and scenarios gave us a lot to ponder over.  Upon returning home we are going to take a tangent into the life of a freed slave girl to try and understand the many aspects of this era, while reading this book by the Dear America series.

We looked ahead and decided we wanted to attend the funeral re-enactment, so off we went to Prairietown, after a delicious picnic lunch prepared by The Gramps.  There was a funeral procession to the grave site dug that morning by the town folk.  The coffin was made by the woodworker at the park, and will be buried permanently.  We sang Amazing Grace and the Preacher read the bible verse we all know from Proverbs 31.  We weren’t afraid to allow our children to see this aspect of the parks interactive history, because death is a part of the circle of life.  Death is hard.  I know because I am selfish and it is hard for me to release those I love most back to the spirit world, when it’s their time to go.  But that is for me to learn to cope and teach my littles and this process has helped Awaken me to this life and my soul purpose.

Prairetown is my favorite and I really enjoyed each and every single building and the people.  I had great conversations about the cooking, the animals ( oh my gosh, the piglets were so cute!), the work – like carding and spinning, which you can DO yourself right there!  The Blacksmith was spectacular and made a nail right before our eyes.  The Store.  The Inn.  Don’t let me forget to mention your child can play a part in the town!  Spin the wheel or choose yourself a part.  Town Healer, Deputy, Merchant and so on.

We have been reading Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and when I saw the two baby oxen in their yokes at Conner Prairie I immediately went to the picture in my mind of the book.  Almanzo has two of his own oxen to train from babies, so the park was really bringing the book to life for us.

Well, I should leave the rest of the park for you and your family.  We really hope to return, as we did spend 10 am to 5 pm, enjoying everything we could.  If you want to see a plethora of pictures, visit me @healingoneself on Instagram, where I share our daily homeschool life in pictures.  And let me say homeschooling has given me the opportunity to really bring Language Arts and Math to life.  I feel Blessed and I want the universe to know I am grateful.

Learning about the Old Testament, Norse Mytholgy, Buddhism and other cultures and religions helps us to build our tolerance of others, and better understand God.  It is antiquity, and I know it will shape and temper us into whole beings.  I appreciate having more opportunities to learn along side our children, because as it turns out they are teaching me.  And it is easy to see how “worth” taking the boys places like this are by the days-on-end of play and reenactment outside I have been watching.  Thank you for visiting with us.

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Welcome to Nurturing Spirit.  My name is Nichole and I am a 36 year old mother of three boys.  I live in rural Kentucky, on four acres of sacred pasture.  We have mostly homeschooled and enjoy learning in an environment that takes us all into consideration.  Light, touch, feel, hear, smell…it all matters to us.  Being present and meeting myself where I am is prevelant to all of us walking in a good way.  Atmosphere is conducive to learning.  We all have filters and storylines, but somehow you’ve led yourself to this blog post.  If you are new to homeschooling I want to say to you, save yourself.  Save yourself from worry.  Invoke your Maker and Angels to guide you.  Have faith.  Don’t worry, each day if you wake and engage your will and rhythm you will make it to the end of the day and you might just feel a sense of purpose, accomplishment and contentment.  If you are not new to this lifestyle I’ll say it’s possible you understand the spiritual mundane.  Or maybe you haven’t made the connection yet.  God is present in every moment.  Or that is what I choose to believe.  So if that is the case, then I am being guided and I do not need to worry.  It’s me here in this earthly experience gathering materials to make a birthday crown.  It’s creator coming through to make a chalk drawing of a fairy tale.  It’s Nichole who nurses the baby and breathes and listens to the sounds of the house.  This is where I am.  Right now.

Some of my dreams, I have a few, are being illuminated to me by the dew on the web of life, by the light of the moon.  I want to learn to storytell.  I want to become one who draws.  I want to knit our own wash rags.  I want to become a Master Teacher to my children.  I want the days to carry me with the momentum of my own sweat and struggle and stretch and happiness.  For me to do this I invoke the medicine of turtle.  Slow and steady.  It’s ok. Don’t worry.  Today make your soup Woman.  Wash your sheets.  Feed and play with the baby.  Love your man.  Grab a moment to read a chapter of the book your are studying Mama.  Be right there with your priorities.  Time has changed so much since I became a Mother.  Do your work now for later also.  Plant those seeds when it’s the season to do so.  Tend each day those dream seeds.  Harvest and Rest.  Then spring forth again.

Meet yourself where you are in life.

Give yourself permission to do things in a good way.  Find the path of peace.  Work hard everyday, rest well, eat enough and love deeply.  Make connections.  Hug often.  Light candles for your meals.  See the changes of those trees each year and how they change and grow.  Then look in the mirror occasionally and See yourself do the same.

I came to waldorf more fully when my kids were entering Kindy, although I had the seed planted in my heart a few years earlier.  You see?  So it is new for me to have a newborn with all the thoughts and considerations of this lifestyle and more mature, healed Self.  Things in many ways are easier, and there are new challenges.  I know I have been doing the work.  I meet myself everyday.  Each day I give new permission to Be who I am and that is settling.  Grounding.  Accepting.

The future seems exciting and full of possibility.  Reality is sometimes different from how I imagine things going, but I hold so much love for my family and my path, that Gratitude prevails.  I believe in being postive.  I believe in intention.  I believe we manifest what we think over and over.  I belive in comedy!

Well, for now I am happy to be writing.  That is where I am meeting myself on this good day, with my baby straddled across my lap trying to delete my draft.  I’ve got to do this for myself.  Occasionally paint pictures of my life with words and feeling.  It’s who I am.  It is who Creator wants to reflect to you.

What is your Creation story?

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Let’s play a game like the Ancestors.  Obwisana is a children’s game out of Ghana, which encourages cooperation, movement, oral dexterity and even accuracy.  Cooperators use stones and move them from hand to hand, getting faster and faster.

Let’s take [it] a little farther.  We can be farmer’s of the heart as Rumi says, and remove the stones from our hearts field.  I will help you.  Go with me to the field, it’s a short walk.  I have water.  Close your eyes, and  sing with me.  See your heart.  See the field.  Walk the rows you have tilled over time.  Feel the dirt on your feet.  Sense it.  Look for the stones.  Pick up the stone and speak to it,

“I am going to move you, like the wind moves me.”

“I am going to mine you from my heart, and I will make an altar of you.”

Let’s transform this field into a lush garden, and it will bear seeds for a new generation.


altar of your heart

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In 2012, I set a personal goal to visit as many farms, parks and nature preserves as were presented to me.  So far we have seen the following places.  Live Education and day trips to parks and farms has been a great introduction to Geography.

Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve, in Goshen, KY. 

Berheim Forest in Bardstown, KY. 

Gallrein Farms in Shelbyville, KY. 

Cedar Fire Farm, Frankfort, KY.

 Ayer’s Orchard in Owenton, KY.

Blackacre Homestead in Louisville, KY.

Salato Center, Frankfort, KY.

Red River Gorge, Wolfe/Powell County, KY. (W and dad made this trip)

Sugarbush Maple Syrup Farm, Salem, Indiana.

E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park, Louisville, KY.

Lincoln Birth Place, Knob Creek, KY.

Taylorsville Lake, Taylorsville, KY.

Lake Monroe, Bloomington, IN.

We also visited a bunch of parks in and around Seattle, Washington, this past July.  Too many to name today.

We intend to visit Foxhollow Farm sometime soon in Crestwood, KY.  Perhaps Hazelfield Farms in Wheatley, KY.  And, Josephine Sculpture Park, Frankfort, KY.

If for some reason you went with me to a farm or park and I have forgotten, which happens, please remind me and I will edit this post.  If you have any suggestions for beautiful places to go, let me know.  So far we have tromped through all the seasons of the year and intend to keep on going.  I hope to see you there.  Where have you been on your adventures?

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Thanks for joining me here in the studio.  This month we are taking a close look at the Michealmas Festival.  The story of St. George and the Dragon, and Archangel Michael.  With my Margaret Hodges book, St. George and the Dragon to inspire us, we made felt banners as visual imagery.

If you are wondering where I got the large felt, it is actually a Christmas tree skirt.  My mom picked it up at Michael’s on deep discount.  I had no idea what I was saving it for, but now I know.  The white felt is embedded with glitter, which bounces light nicely.  I made three banner flags.  One for the kitchen as you see.  One hanging on the boys bedroom door, and a small one for our nature table.  I got the fantastic verse below from my homeschool consultant and the Thinking, Feeling, Willing program, through Waldorf Essentials.

Brave Saint Michael is my guide
As free and fearless forth I ride
With courage of Saint George of old
I dare to fight fierce dragons bold.


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September is a month where our Waldorf-inspired curriculum teaches us to explore and enjoy a festival called Michaelmas.  Archangel Michael, if you recall, cast Lucifer out of Heaven.  Well, Archangel Michael also had an earthly counterpart, St. George of Merry England.  George was known for battling and slaying dragons.  The story reflects our inner dragons or fears and is a wonderful teaching, especially to children who are going thru “the change” as it is affectionately called.  We each have light and dark within us.  We must battle our darkness at times and learn to honor and integrate within.  All month long we are doing activities and crafts building up to the festival.  We promise to take you on the journey. 

Here is a book I have brought forward this week by Margaret Hodges.  St. George and the Dragon.  The book is filled with beautiful illustrations and has given me great ideas, as I will be sewing and crafting to decorate our home for this aspect of our education.

After reading the story the boys were inspired to dress up and play St. George and the Dragon.  W and R will also have their opportunity this month to make a wooden sword and sheild.  The sword and sheild are a part of more handwork us parent-teachers are integrating into our children’s education, beginning with planning and drawing, cutting, sanding and painting. We are hoping the sense of pride in making objects by hand will teach respect and gratitude.  Handwork will strengthen the boys hands and fingers to assist them in drawing and writing in these early grades.  Gross motor to fine motor.  First here is a picture or two of W and R pretending to have a shield (R crossing his arms), and W with his sword (bamboo stick).  The red cape and felt crown are from W’s birthday another year, but we will modify this outfit to make a knight’s outfit.  R wants to be a Prince.  We thought a warrior and a prince were very fitting. 

 Tomorrow I will be in the Studio creating felt banners and flags of St. George’s Sheild in relation to the imagery for the month.  Stay tuned as we continue on this enchanting adventure.

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Kentucky is such a beautiful place this time of year.  A late summer morning took us to a local orchard, out in the hills of Owen County.  2012 is the second year in a row we journeyed to the orchards to pick Mother Nature’s bounty and to make something of it for our bellies and pantry.  I like that we are making a tradition of apple picking with my mother and my children.  A little bit of adventure and we had a bushel of apples.

We also enjoy the book Johnny Appleseed, by Jane Yolen.  Each year during the month of September we read this lovely book, and enjoy the tradition of pairing it with our orchard trip.  Yolen’s book is poetic and filled with facts of Johnny’s life.

Today, almost a week later, my mother came over and we peeled apples upon apples with my new crank de-corer/peeler.  It is a very nice tool, and not hard to clean up.  The kids enjoyed cranking the apples and being apart of making my birthday pie.  Before we got the apples out I set up my ice cream maker and made some vanilla ice cream to pair with the pie at my birthday dinner.

In case you are wondering where we went, click here to visit Ayer’s Orchard.  The year before we really enjoyed a presentation by Larry Ayers and his wife at the Frankfort library.  The boys loved tasting a variety of apples grown at the orchard and a few ways to use apples. 

The rest of the apples we picked are carefully stored in our cool basement.  It is going be nice this winter eating local healthy apples.  As they say, an apple a day, is delicious.

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Harvest season in Kentucky is on.  We have visited one apple orchard already, and plan to visit another farm next week with play mates.  While visiting these beautiful places in our home state we have begun to weave stories.  Currently we are digging into the Four Processes of Waldorf Math.  W, who is 7 1/2 helps to spin stories about gnomes and apples.  Addition, or Plus, the Green Gnome is busy collecting and adding all the apples for the Gnome Kingdom.  Subtraction Gnome, or Blue Gnome, is busy Taking Away or Subtracting rotten apples.  Multiplication Gnome, or Yellow Gnome is the Record Keeper.  After his helpers have grouped the apples in baskets, Yellow Gnome Multiplies all the apples for the Kingdom’s records.  Divide, the Red Gnome will be in charge of Dividing the apple bounty to the Kingdom.

The Four Processes

To help with manipulatives W has sewn four gnome hats, with pouches for gemstones.  Taking a full week to sew these four hats and pouches has helped to foster a sense of worker’s pride with W.  These gemstones represent the apples in our stories, and he uses them to practice achieving the answers.  For example, when learning multiplication today we focused on the ways we can make 12.  12 = 6 x 2 and 12 = 4 x 3, 12 = 3 x 4 and 12= 2 x 6, 12 = 12 x 1 and 12 = 1 x 12.  Whole to parts.  Adding and Subtraction was pretty easy, but Multiplication is bending W’s brain a little.  I am trying to keep W knitting one row a day to allow his brain to cross the midline and stretch his sense of learning.

Sewing the Gnome hat and pouch instills a sense of worker’s pride.

I am introducing all the four processes at once to create a little freedom, although we are working one by one right now to find a deeper understanding.  Once we have finished with Divide, we will continue to spin stories in the Kingdom, allowing for each of the four Gnomes to contribute an answer to any possible story problem the + – x / run into.

Right now we are entering our math problems and word problems, such as twelve equals one times twelve into our practice book.  Soon we will draw some detailed pictures with  math problems into the Main Lesson Book, which is W’s portfolio book for first grade.

To get ourselves ready for math, we  are spending Circle Time speaking and singing verses and saying tongue twisters for oral dexterity.  More about Circle Time in another post.

In the Kingdom there are other things going on too.  Not only are the Gnomes collecting apples during Harvest Season, but the Kingdom is getting ready for the Michaelmas Festival.  Archangel Michael, St. George, the Knight and Dragons all coming up in September.  Stay tuned for a month of crafts, stories and more.

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Welcome to Nurturing Spirit.  I have taken some time away from writing to breathe and be.   I have grown, and watched my children and marriage grow.  I have watched the seasons pass and the fields and gardens around me burst with abundance.

Join me here, as I move forward into the Great Mystery.  Let’s unfold together, share ideas and create.  Nurturing the Spirit of Family through nature and rhythm.

If you would like to reference my old space, please click here.

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