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Today I wanted to take the time out to articulate part of our journey, and how I use name medicine to guide us. What is in a name? We have our born day names. My name is Nichole, meaning Victorious Heart. My heart eye leads me. It’s as if the name is all the chakras unified in the heart. A name is medicine, and it is a journey towards oneself.

We have a family name medicine. The Wolf Pack. Loyal, leaders, tightly knit, respectful of each other’s roles. Enduring, patient, loving, playful. Family medicine.

Our homeschool name is Eagle Tree. I developed the name as my children began guiding me towards schooling at home, the place of liberation and free learning. I have spent time with many Elders. My own grandparents were a fixture in my young life, and as I grew, more Elders appeared. I was ready. One great teaching I learned is the teaching of time and space, the teaching of the Long Vision, and the dance that is done on the journey.

A name is medicine, and I chose Eagle Tree. My boys are eaglets perched in our family tree. Not only are my husband and I the tree, the roots, the foundation and the Tenders of the family flame, we are the eagle parents as well. We are holding space for the Long Vision. The Spirit of the turtle taught me this wisdom. Slow and steady, no rush. It’s the archetype of Grandmother. And so I found Grandmother Nichole, across time and space and she has helped Nichole the Maiden step into the shoes of Nichole the Mother. And now Grandmother Nichole has helped me step once again through the portal of the eclipses. I am in a new place, within the Long Vision. Ironically, the turtle could give me this wisdom, because turtle lives within the eagle. Eagles pick turtles up off the ground carry them high up, drop them, crack them open and eat them. So the Spirit of the turtle lives within the Spirit of the Eagle. As do we All live within the Collective Conscious. We are One. And we always and forever have the ability to understand one another.

Over time, since the birth of Eagle Tree School, I have been helping my boys learn to Trust the Long, Keen Vision. The Greater Good of our journey. The place where there is No Rushing. Only Presence. It’s messy in reality, because that is the lower energy of the 3rd dimension (we really spend more time in the 5th), where we must live out our Vision. It’s the Higher Realm which is our guide, our council, and from where we “bring down” the energy and spiritualize matter.

Because we are and are not fully in control, sometimes things align differently than we hope. But that’s because our higher self can See clearer. Like the Eagle. We are more like mice some days. Our face, nose and eyes to the ground, living among the details. Those dreadful, distracting details. We must live between the worlds when we can to find a balance. Not always so close to the ground. Not always so high up above our real lives. But right in the middle, being the divine light body we truly are, directing our higher and lower consciousness.

Endurance is what our lower selves learn, and patience. We learn to dance the journey, and persevere. Our higher selves want to taste the sensory of this world. The dirt, the sex, the food, the love, the loneliness, the blood of natural pain, time even. There is so much to understand within the realm of Love. There is a Long Vision.

What is in a name? A great deal of medicine. A wonderful story. Wisdom.

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Moving to a new state has our school cycle Shifting. For 7 years we started a new school year in the spring, but this past year it all shifted to fall. Little Eagle began 7th grade, Little Fox began 5th and Little Bear began Kindy for the 4/5 year old.

Our older boys began Waldorfish Geometry for their respective grades. Fall 2017, and all of 2018 was the first year we began using online teaching resources. First, with Waldorfish Weekly Art. Next, I purchased Waldorfish Geometry, Festival Art and First Grade Watercolors. It has been a blessing with (almost) two middle schoolers. Having that time, while they are in class to work with my littlest guy has really helped me as a teacher to give balanced time to each of them. I will have these resources for life, so Little Bear will benefit when the time comes. When you combine Art, Handwork and main teaching subjects like Math it creates a multi-dimensional learning opportunity. Little Fox is embroidering a geometric bear to build his will with handwork, and bring more dimension to his Freehand Geometry. I’ll post more on handwork later.

Both older boys do daily math, journaling prompts and we have developed their Planners to accommodate us as a whole. I spend several hours each weekend writing in their school work for the week, some prayer ideas, meditations and encouragement. This process has helped us flow through the week, and it is helping the boys become self-starters. Check out my Stories on IG weekly to see glimpses into this new routine. I may do a blog post on this topic. Several moms have asked about my process.

Little Eagle began his apprenticeship in the wood shop this year! He goes Monday and Friday mornings. He helps with Coydog Studio projects and also helped build his own bed. It’s almost done! I’ll do a post on it when it’s finished.

Homeschool Gym and Strength Training began in September. The older boys love it. We have a family membership at the Y. Little Bear and I get in the pool, where I aquacise and he plays with friends. I hit up the hot tub and a few minutes in the dry heat sauna, which brings me weekly peace. I began this routine last fall/winter to keep up my mental health in our new northern climate. It has been a blessing.

Little Bear has been listening to weekly stories of Sam the gnome, which is a two year container story by Waldorf Essentials. We have Circle Time beforehand, which includes singing, call and response, movement opportunity like jump rope, Simon Says and similar ideas, which I glean from Joyful Movement by Christopherus. I also have a Pinterest board called Movement, Games and Sensory, which is very helpful as well. Occasionally we join a local nature group connected to Little River Wetlands Project once a month.

I am very excited to attend a local event in February, with my little guy. Anna from Kid Lit Crafts develops modestly priced activities for little ones, themed around books. Her tag line is “Where Beautiful Children’s Books Inspire Family Creativity.” February will be our first event. I’ll report back on IG about our time, and perhaps here.

For those interested in our move from Kentucky to Indiana, we are finally moving on with renovating the house. The shop is not fully done, but that will take time. We will get new windows in the entire house sometime this winter, and eventually all new siding. My husband has pulled out the entire mechanical closet and cleaned it, and traced all the plumbing. He will be replacing parts here and there, and we will add a few new plumbing lines as we demo and shift the laundry room to the other side of the house, creating a mud room combo. This past summer we planted lilac bushes, peonies, pink naked ladies, irises and such from my mothers home in Kentucky.

Thanks for reading along.

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Hi friends. We took a nice break, back when we were feeling a little burned out. Then we picked our work back up and completed 6th and 4th grade, plus drew our preschooler more and more into our rhythmic space. Everyone has really grown. My heart is full seeing my handsome boys shine before my eyes.

We are still doing a couple hours of school a few days a week. I call it Summer School Lite. The oldest, Little Eagle, goes to the wood shop three mornings a week, and practices living math, communications, and working wood, beginning with the most humble tasks. He is also doing the Geology/Mineralogy/Astronomy block. We are just getting started there, using the Charles Kovacs book, and the Waldorf Rocks and Mineral guide, by Meredith Floyd Preston.

My middle guy, Little Fox, is finishing up the Human and Animal block. He just completed the bear, a trunk animal. We decided to write a poem, instead of a summary, for this assignment. He also did a little bit of Freehand Geometry, by drawing a geometric bear with angles. I love how we create our own Main Lesson books. Little Fox finished off his poem with bear prints.

Math is always happening. I’m that mom:teacher. I love maths. Not until I began to study math the waldorf way, did I understand that math is sacred and beautiful. So we will have some daily practice in what the boys learned, in 4th and 6th, over the summer. Measurement, fractions, the four processes, Geometry, and decimals.

This week we are preparing to send one child to church camp, back in KY, and another to grandma camp, also in KY. I am staying home, in Indiana, with our 4 year old, and really giving him some special attention.

My hopes for the summer are to camp on our country property as often as possible, hit up the pool a couple times a week, and alternate going to the zoo, botanical gardens, art museum, and science center. We have cousins coming in July for a couple weeks. They have normally lived abroad, but moved back to the states at Christmas, so we will see them a little more.

I am looking forward to beginning 1st grade wet-on-wet watercolor painting, with Waldorfish. There are 12 lessons that promise to demystify the colors, set-up and verses. I have experience with wet-on-wet over the years, but I hope to deepen my study this summer, so I can prepare to teach 1st grade again, when Little Bear turns 7.

I also purchased Painting through the Festivals by Waldorfish, and I am so excited to again deepen our experience during our favorite holy days.

Years ago, back on my childhood Kentucky Farm, my relationship with the plant and animal kingdom began. In my 20’s and 30’s I deepened my knowledge of herbs, learning to formulate medicine from plants, create soaps, salves, tinctures, hair rinses and pretty much anything our family needed. As time went on, we studied the plants through art, like watercolor painting and drawing. I began our boys with nature journaling, around age 5, so we have been slow and steadily building our wisdom of plant identification. We studied animals and the human in 4th, plants in 5th, and played games, like Wildcraft. Handwork, like embroidery and needle felting nature has really created dimension within our studies.

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Since moving, I have reinvigorated my desire for learning about the plant kingdom. I have begun foraging locally, throughout the seasons, and recently have become obsessed with cut and foraged flowers. I have always put together rustic bouquets, but I may be ready now for growing my garden, and expanding my skills with creating those lovely bouquets. We’ve always had a small children’s garden, with culinary herbs and medicinal perineals, but I believe it’s time to expand and learn in my 40’s.  I have visions of a small cut garden, and dreams of dinner parties, styling out the table and eating and drinking with our new community.

What will you be up to this summer?

Slide on over to Instagram and check out my posts and Stories @nurturing_spirit

Also, if you are planning this summer, I’ve curated preschool and most of the grades over on Pinterest. Feel free to scroll around when the day is too hot, with a cold glass of lemonade at your side.

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I just finished visiting Amber Hellewell’s blog, Hearth Magic – She is looking for magic, and she had a brilliant thought, in her latest post The Curse of the Main Lesson Book (MLB). It actually reminded me of several things Julie, from Bravewriter has said recently. Ok, I am going to say it. We have Main Lesson Book burnout. It may be more than burnout. We moved this year, as I have mentioned in recent posts. We have kept up as many lessons as we can on certain days of the week, dedicated to Main Lesson studies. But, my main goal is to stay essential, and reach the child in any creative way I can.

This past year with moving I will admit some of my burdens and stresses have been on the unknown. How this move will turn out? Will the boys eventually go to public school? And many more personal questions. There are wonderful things happening and being revealed to us each week, but we have been carrying other invisible burdens that have affected our daily lives. For one, we are All changing, and how we express ourselves is changing. This isn’t a burden, it’s actually a gift, but the change is taxing. We need more rest. We need to honor ourselves more in this part of the journey. Here’s how I really feel at the moment.

 

 

How well will I learn this lesson at the moment? Will I receive it? How open will I be in allowing myself to transform in the chrysalis, and how much will it hurt emerging through to the other side? Will I recognize myself? Is it me stepping toward my Truth and Real Self. I do believe that is part of it. As a teacher, mama, visionary, woman, warrior, healer, I recognize there is deep healing going on. In the Waldorf pedagogy, one begins to recognize head, hearts and hands as a healing philosophy. It’s a vehicle for healing. That’s what I love about it. The ultimate lesson for us is learning to create, manifest, dream and make those dreams real. Love, forgiveness, compassion, grace all happen to be part of the healing and manifesting.

I have always tried to honor my boys, when it comes to their gifts and challenges. But, lately this past year our struggle has been with the Main Lesson Book. Keeping up with it so rigorously is very stressful. Partly because of our temperaments. Partly because I need to find a process which allows the true writer within us to emerge. Our process needs to change right now. We need to enter into the intuitive writer within ourselves. If I do not do this right now for myself and our children, I pass the portal-the gateway that is being offered to us, and ceremoniously reflected (mirrored) to us in our struggles. Like Amber says of her oldest child, he loves retelling her the stories with excitement. And, he loves drawing his own stories. We each have our gifts, but this way is best for him at the moment. I honor Amber for Seeing this in her child.

My children have their strengths and vulnerabilities. One of my guys is a valiant storyteller and artist. He can write stories, but has struggled and grown, because he is unafraid to make mistakes, or to fail. One of my guys is much more reserved in his storytelling and writing. He has a rich inner world though. Part of my trickster-teacher-mama inner-work and guidance must figure out a way to get him to write fluidly, without overthinking the perfectionism, the mechanical. It makes a person frozen, and we have to figure out a way to unfreeze and allow that water to flow. I believe beginning grammar and mechanics too early will hinder some temperaments. Children need to be unafraid to write, without the distraction. I mean how many of you want to write a blog post/a book, but never start for fear of All the Things. Something I keep hearing over and over in many circles, and whispers in my ear, Journal. Journaling can be the gateway. It’s intuitive. Blogging is my way of journaling and communicating. Why, because I have a need within me to do so, and I want to share and serve my community in a way related to the Arts.

 

 

I added the above meditation for you and me. I can really Feel that many of you are experiencing an open third eye at this time, but it’s the throat chakra that is needing the clearing. Perhaps the throat chakra of our school, Eagle Tree needs clearing as well. Our school is an organism, and I at times must meditate, pray, and get out of my own way. This is what the Teacher does. Importantly, this is what Humans must do. Get out of our own way. I want to give you a practical list below on ways you can get out of your own way right now, and open up your throat chakra. Your communication chakra for yourself, and for the organism that is your homeschool and family!

1.Use your voice, or as my littlest one has recently been saying “boice.” Synchronicity. Over the past couple weeks my little guy has just been repeating or saying out loud the word “boice.” He is contemplating his own voice. Our voices. The yelling voices. The whispering voices. The singing voices. The storytelling voices. Use your voice in a fresh, creative way. Sing, chant, hum or whistle. Chant in the shower, whistle as you do your chores, hum to yourself as you cook. Use your pipes!

2. Use your mouth in other ways. Scream! It’s fun. Laugh! Yawn. Kiss. Groan. Sigh. Stick your tongue out far in Lion Pose.

3. Pick up a musical instrument. A kazoo. A flute. A harmonica!

4. Play some music! If playing a musical instrument is not your thing, crank some tunes next time you are cooking, gardening, running, driving or hanging out. Sing-along. Listen to whatever you enjoy!

5. Clean Food. I follow the tarot, because I believe it is a unique way to follow my intuition through artistic renderings of the archetypes. One has been popping up for me lately and that is Clean Food. It is meant for our whole family. Recently, loads of happy mail came from my mom and Amazon. A gluten-free artisan bread recipe book. I have seen examples of my friends success with it on IG. The Medical Medium book has had synchronicity in aiding the throat chakra/thyroid area. I am using Anthony Williams protocol, as a nice guide for healing the body all the way, deep, deep down to our tiny little cells and tissues. I’m aiming to transform. The butterfly will be here soon.

6. Journal. Expressing yourself on paper is one of the most cathartic things you can do to release your inner truth. Write letters to yourself. Write letters to your children. Write notes to your spouse or partner. Write a blog. Write a book! Write out your dreams, wishes, gratitudes, desires, and inner feelings.

One thing I am going to do today is listen to an audio and then write out my business/family vision in detail. I am going to give as much detail to it as I can and cover a range of 10 years. I am taking a Visionary Business Introductory Course, via Daily Om. Journaling is one of the best ways to invite spontaneous insight, understanding and growth into our lives. It is truly a way to dig deeper. And as I have mentioned in my Instagram Stories, it is truly a time of deep ancestral healing. How are we living our truth? How are we healing across time and space? We are the ones we have been waiting for mamas. I know you have heard that before. We are great healers and teachers. Now is the time to break those karmic contracts we did not sign up for. The ways we act, the limiting beliefs, the self-loathing, the inability to Slow down and walk in beauty, as my old teacher Grandmother Jeremie would say. Let’s walk in beauty and allow our children the space they need, the occasional push they need, the creative outlets that works for each of them. It is a hard job, it is a job for creatives. But, we signed up for it. As a matter of fact, we eagerly placed ourselves here and now, for This Job.

So, weeks back we tossed off the Main Lesson Books, and began to walk the Path of Peace. Well, not all days were peaceful. There were some fights, miscommunications, misunderstandings, hormones (teen and adult), tears, some laughter, some singing, loootttsss of breathing, as much sleep as possible. Super clean food, which is Loads of work. Exhausting some days. My life is messy, hard, and challenging. I have three free-spirited boys with different learning abilities. I have my own sensitivities, challenges and demands. It doesn’t make me a worse-case for the job, because of my stressors. It makes me the perfect person for the job, if I am willing to look darkness and change in the face. I may cry. I may need more sleep. I may look like a ragged warrior or even perhaps Shield Maiden coming off the field of battle, but I have never backed down from a job. I may Shift, or change footing, but I am up for this healing life I have been called to.

How’s that for expressing my throat chakra. (cackles like a witch.)

 

Artist Unknown.

 

Artist Unknown.

 

 

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As I find myself coming to the end of one cycle with Happy Hedgehog Post as a Brand Rep, new adventures are arising for our family. Sometimes adventures happen very quickly, and the next thing you know, you are putting one foot in front of the other. For my family, we are finding that after almost 11 years (in May 2017), we are picking up roots and replanting ourselves. We have been blooming and growing in Kentucky. We married in North Carolina and had our first son, Little Eagle. Then, we moved to Kentucky and immediately got pregnant with Little Fox. About 7 years later I got pregnant with Little Bear. So most of our children’s Early Childhood, walking the Waldorf inspired path, has been in one place. Now it is time to go on a new adventure together. We are moving to Amish Country, in Northern Indiana. Life will be different. We have lived on almost 4 acres in the country for the past 11 years, but we are moving into a rental (temporarily) in town. It is a quaint town, where I can walk to yoga and the farmer’s market within 5 minutes. There is a 26 acre park right in town as well. And, grandma lives a few streets over. At some point we will move back out to the country, once we find the right place. UPDATED to add : We have found a place to live and a workshop for our family business!

Meanwhile, I have been asked by Amber at Hearth Magic to review her lovely two-part PDF download that she has listed on Etsy. Tonight I downloaded and previewed the learning guide. It is very thorough. Our journey will include reading The Hobbit one chapter at a time and doing crafts, activities and pairing that with food! I am not sure who is more excited, the kids or me!

So! Over the next couple months, as we move and settle in, I hope to post some of our adventures. Our journey. Until then, head over to Etsy and check out Amber’s listing. If anything Favorite her listing, as you stay tuned to see more of my review.

The Hobbit Family Learning Adventure Guide

 

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Good day folks! Join me over on Instagram for a GIVEAWAY of this lovely piece, called Full Circle, pattern by Cozy Blue. I want to share LIGHT and KINDNESS with this GIVEAWAY, so LIKE and TAG a friend in the COMMENTS. GIVEAWAY closes, Monday, December 26th, at 4p.m. My children will choose a winner!

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We really enjoyed the December envelope from Happy Hedgehog Post. I was pleased to finish the Snowflake baby just as the January envelope ships out to us. Have a look at a few of the pictures we took during our embroidering journey. We also made a cookie recipe similar to the one in the Post. We made so many cookies, there were plenty for the family and a whole group of Suzuki violin players.

Thanks for visiting!

 

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