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Archive for the ‘Frugal’ Category

August paid off with planning, and our rest, travel and play enriched us enough to focus daily on our tasks for the past month and a half. We began our new school year, as year rounders back in April. So when September hit, we were beginning the final stretch after a break. I make sure we are learning with in and out breaths, developing the best process for our heads, hearts and hands. That is how we came naturally to schooling this way. Intuition, meditation, prayer, focus, intent, manifestation.

Deepening our painting skills, we have learned a bit about Botany, with the Charles Kovac book. Geography skills have been expanded through music lessons, stories, and real life experience. I have learned more about the Old Testament stories by taking them in to my Soul and teaching, which has in turn helped me to become a more multi-dimensional teacher. It helps that I used one set of resources the first time I taught 3rd, and another set of resources this second time around. Waldorf Essentials has always been my lamp post though! 5th grade has taken us to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece and into the lap of Buddha. Teaching 3rd and 5th at the same time has its teacher incentives, when subjects become intermingled. In other words, I have begun to deepen my own personal web of life. Everything is interrelated.

Our handwork rhythm has deepened and that makes me proud. Needle Point (with yarn) and Embroider (with thread/floss) has enriched our Souls using our Hands. Freehand Geometry is taking shape through a few Waldorf resources and I am having fun presenting the sacredness of the universe through Math, to my little learner. I intend to join the embroidering world and math in the next cycle of my teaching. I have a great recommendation for a book assisting with this, on my IG account. Also, please take a look at my personal embroider work project, which is stitch by stitch prayers for the Standing Rock Reservation against the Dakota Access Pipeline #nodapl  –  It is a pattern by @cozyblue, called Full Circle. This can be found #WIP style on IG.

Another one of my little learners will play in his 5th Suzuki violin recital in a couple weeks, And he is blossoming in our Cooking Class. So many good things. My littlest learner is unfolding beautifully in our Waldorfy prek circle, at my home church. The Circle Time was taken on by our Children’s Minister, in which we are so grateful. Once a week for an hour and a half we get together with 5/6 other families to sing, sign, hear stories, do crafts, move, shake and laugh. We come as we are, 2 to 4 years of age, at the moment. So many good things are evolving for the Wolf Pack, and Eagle Tree Homeschool. Teaching 3 age levels at the same time is a challenge, but with self care, time management, organization and Love as the centerpiece, it can be done.

If you are interested in speaking with me about my experience with Waldorf Essentials, I am now a (TFW) Thinking, Feeling, Willing Leader. Please comment below or contact me healingoneself@gmail.com. TFW is a blessing and gives you access to organized, essential mama lessons. Not only will Melisa hold your hand, if you are willing to do the inner work, but I will be nearby local, in Kentucky. It helps to have community.

Follow me over on IG @nurturing_spirit  for daily Waldorfy goodness.

If I have already referred you to Melisa and WE and you would like to be added to my secret Facebook group, just message me. I will add you. I plan to post videos, links to songs I sing for Circle Time or the Seasons and personal wisdom on homeschooling, mothering, marriage, and being self-employed (see www.coydogstudios.com and on IG @coydog~studios).

I also have a secret Facebook group for Handwork, if you wish to message me, I will add you there as well.

I have also organized homeschooling resources and other lifestyle pursuits over on Pinterest.

We have been using Waldorf Essentials curriculum for a number of years. I have taught both Kindy through Third twice, as well as Fourth and Fifth once through. I have had the honor to hold space for the preschool years three times, with my three sons, ages 11, 9 and now 3. Join me, if you wish and I will do my best to guide you as I can. Life is a journey, and we can take it day by day together.

 

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Snow day!  A day we have been given permission by nature to S_L_O_W down and do things peacefully.  We were inspired to make a chicken avocado soup, with this bread for dinner! Full bellies will sleep warm and cozy tonight.  Prayers for two sick boys.

Photo by Little Eagle.

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My husband spent some time yesterday hooking up the rabbit hutch.  It’s more like a nice condo. This picture is a little blurry, but you can see he put a window in so the rabbits can say hello to each other.  They are both in tact and we aren’t wanting to breed at the moment.

We will have to buy one more water bottle that heats through the winter, because the water will freeze here in KY.  The only thing left to do is board up the outside. Right now all the sides are off for summer breezes (using chicken wire).   All we do is screw wood over top of it and remove it depending on the season.  We make sure to bring the rabbits in the kitchen on super cold days and socialize with them, any day.  They hop around while we do school, which entertains the baby.

We just got our first big freeze yesterday.  Jack Frost is here to stay.

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March has come in like a lion with a huge snowstorm bringing more than a foot of snow, and now the spring thaw has begun 10 days into the month.  Rain has been pouring down all day, the yard is flooded as the earth cannot swallow up the water fast enough.

We put a new bird feeder up on the outside of our living room window, during the snow storm.  It has been such a treat to watch woodpeckers, cardinals, blue jays and all the pretty birds that cohabitate in our yard, but a little more up close and personal.  We have always been avid bird watchers, journaling about what we see, blogging about what we observe and pondering over their cycle with the seasons.

Little Eagle has a big birthday coming up.  He is hitting the double digits.  We were so inspired by our bird friends that we decided to make bird seed ornaments as birthday favors.  Little Eagle will give them out to friends at church, and cousins. We are not having a formal birthday party with his friends this year, because he had a big one last year.  We decided as a family that each child gets to rotate having a big party.  Each child gets a big party once every two years, until Cedar is older, then it will be every three years to include him.  The amount of money, planning and time is taken into account, otherwise we gather as a family.

I got a recipe for bird seed ornaments off of Pinterest.  There are many more recipes to choose from, if this one doesn’t suit you.

3/4 cup flour
1 pack of gelatin
3 tbsp corn syrup
1/2 cup water
4 cups of bird seed

Make sure you spray the cookie cutters with cooking spray.  This is imperative. I did a test batch and basically ruined the shapes, because they did not pop out of the cutter easily.  Then I laid them out on wax paper on a cookie sheet.  The recipe makes about 8 ornaments.  So far I have made 17 successful ornaments. The rest I will use here at the house.

Mixing up bird seed for ornaments

When it was all mixed together I packed a handfull into the cutter and pressed from both sides filling it all in.  Then I placed it on the wax paper and pressed the top down.  With the test batch I used a straw to make holes in the ornaments for string, but decided not to do that with the other batches.  I will take embroider floss or hemp and just wrap them to hang.
ornament molds and curing
Here is a picture of the ornaments curing.  The shamrock is delicate and won’t make it, so I added it to our home stash.  The Easter egg, bunny, butterfly, flower and star works out.  If you are in a pinch use ball jar lids!

To make tags I used a unique paint brush and made a pretty design on watercolor paper, both sides.  Next I cut out shapes, punched holes and wrote “Little Eagle turns 10!”  This will slide right on the string to hang them.

This craft takes a little planning and doing, very little money and it is a great sensory experience packing the cookie cutters with bird seed.  You get to take a sneek peak early, because this mama has to plan with all the busyness of spring. Enjoy.

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Hi friends and family!  We made it to the Maple Syrup Festival.  The first day was a bit icy, slushy and a little muddy, but all in all fun.  We always break out long johns and mud or snow boots and go with it.  February is known for its cabin fever frenzy in the homschool world, so we embrace this little festival as a means for breaking free from the fever.  Aside from a couple big jugs of Maple Syrup (grade A and B), as gifts from The Gramps, we took home this lovely log slice, with a maple leaf branded on the side.  It makes a beautiful addition to our seasonal nature table.

Woodburned Maple LeafUpon arriving at the festival our boys were all excited about perusing the tents and buildings, so they could wonder over any knives that fit their budget.  They left with a few treasures in their pockets, spent with saved money.  After we shopped for a bit we headed to the main syrup processing building, where we ate lunch. Thankfully, there was a large table open for all of us, four adults, and three children. Any child under 5 eats pancakes or waffles free, so Little Bear gobbled up his fair share.  Here is the view from our table below.

IMG_6030It was so nice seeing familiar faces. Parents, Grandparents and little ones.  We cross cut sawed the log above. There were hatchets to throw.  Maybe we missed it before, but they had a fantastic old-fashioned merry go round, made of one large log, upright in the middle, seats and ropes.  Two young men pushed the children sitting in the seats, as the rope twisted around and round the middle upright log. Then, as they were let go, the seats whirled gracefully around.  Amish people gave rides on their lovely wagons and beautiful horses. Homemade wine samples. Woven rugs for sale.  Hand thrown pottery.  Teas and coffees.  And a little music with fiddles, banjos and guitars.  Plenty to do!

color books and activity booksJust before we left I noticed books were 75% off, so for $1 a piece I bought each of my big boys a coloring book and activity book.  Little Fox loves doing mazes, and brain gym games, as well as coloring, so this was perfect.  Little Eagle, the oldest said he wasn’t interested in them, so I will just save them for Little Bear in a few years.  The website www.lmsugarbush.com has curriculum for homeschoolers, so check out the link. Here is a link to free coloring pages.

We plan to use our syrup wisely this year, so that we don’t run out months in advance.  Do you think we will use up a gallon?  It is definitely possible if we cook with it And eat it on pancakes and waffles.  Thanks for joining me here on my blog. I want to leave you with a picture of my husband and I.  It is special for me to get a picture with him, as we both work so hard and take care of the kids, so getting in a picture together is rare.  Mwah Papa Bear!

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Today is Ash Wednesday, and it has been snowing!  There are already piles of snow outside of my door and I have been homebound since Sunday.  It was slick this morning and my husband got the 4×4 stuck long enough to miss a couple hours of work.  We usually go to Wednesday Evening Fellowship for Children’s Choir, dinner and a service, but everything is cancelled.  I am sad about missing today’s service, because it is Ash Wednesday and I felt the need to have a more reverent experience with our community.  However, it gave us opportunity to bring that reverence into our experience at home.

When we gathered for the morning at the table I smudged the children’s foreheads with white sage ash, because that is all we had on hand.  Early on I began weaving a little bracelet of purple hemp cotton to remind us of what we wish to achieve.

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In the weeks leading up to Lent Creator began to whisper to me what things our family needed to grow.  On my homeschool path there are exercises for each day of the week to help guide us to walk in a good way.  They are called Steiner exercises, by Rudolph Steiner.  Here is the exercise I chose to acknowledge and have us work through as a family, specifically for Lent.

 

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(usually for Monday)

Only serious, meaningful speech must leave the lips of those who strive for higher development.

All talk for the sake of talking – to pass time, for example – is harmful.

Avoid the usual sort of conversation that involves jumbled, simultaneous cross-talk.

This does not mean you should cut yourself off from interacting with others.

Especially in such interactions with others, your speech should gradually become increasingly meaningful.

 

We aren’t giving something up this lent so much as hoping to gain higher development.  To help us there are several exercises we will utilize, because we humans need a lot of help, without shame.  We have a special candle that was gifted to us made of beeswax.  The exercise is called Silent Candle.  When we light this particular candle, we become Silent, several times each day.  The exercise is intuitive, and important to practice because during the time of preparation I hope to quiet myself.  It is hard to ((hear)) Creator speak when we are noisy inside and out.

Silent Candle

To signify our movement toward a quieter 40 days I had my oldest boy write ALLELUJAH in cursive on a piece of purple construction paper and decorate it, then tie it with twine in a scroll.  We placed it on our Seasonal table to sit till Easter when we can unroll it and proclaim ALLELUJAH, HE HAS RISEN!

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We added a purple silk to signify the liturgical season, along with our Icon post card of Jesus and Mother Mary, and our recent Saint Brigid cross and doll.  We have a few rocks and stones, as well as a robin’s egg and two real quail eggs gifted to me. I cooked the yolks, but emptied them by making a pin hole and blowing them out. The egg being a symbol for Easter and what is to come.

This season is important to me as a year-round home schooling mama, because it is a time to prepare for our new beginnings.  Just as we Remember Jesus and the 12 stations of the cross, we also walk our own path.  We prepare to be reborn, and begin a new year.  In my time of quieting down I am deep into reading my curriculum and meditating on my children and what they need for this upcoming year of learning. Winter is a time for Planning and Dreaming.  It just seems right, so it is lovely to coincide with my school planning.

We are always in a fluctuating state of giving and receiving around here.  We take time to rest and receive and we take time to give to others.  During this time we will be doing little things to uplift each other.  Our homeschool consultant calls chores “home blessings,” which I like because when we do for our family, it is good for the whole.  A blessing indeed.  We will take time to choose from a small bowl of laminted blessing cards a couple times a day to bless our family and practice giving.  Lent is not so much about being “religious” to me as it is a time to practice developing ourselves and seeking to walk this earth in a good way.  There is no better way than giving, which is an outward of expression of the fullness we feel inside, because G-d has filled our cup.

Here’s my Pinterest Lent board if you need inspiration.  If you would like all the Steiner exercises of the week, then see my Pinterest board, Planning, Cleaning and Organizing.

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