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“Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.” ~Buddha

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Children are brilliant.  I must preface with that, because as a teacher and parent I receive most of my inspiration from two sources.  Children and nature.  Aside from mySelf, those are two direct links with the divine.  Right now is the planning and dreaming phase of the cycle.  I get a little conversational with our children right now about what is to come. They need the preparation.  They need the warm up to understanding and learning.  It’s a gentle lifting of the veil one might say.

In 5th grade, we are going to learn some ancient cultures and forms of spirituality, which in my macro view expands tolerance, consciousness, compassion, and brings greater understanding of what has happened, mistakes by humanity and all. These bits of character seed into the next generation that will be coming into maturity to steward the planet. What Will they do? How Will they be? What will they eventually leave here for posterity?

The form on the window is the symbol for the sacral chakra.  It’s my inspiration at the moment. After conversating with my 10 year old earlier this week, he walked over to the window and blew his hot breath, drawing the symbol for the throat chakra.  In that moment, I was reminded of my delicate blessed position. My job is big, and it spans time and space.  I am in gratitude, and deep down I know I better get up everyday and work hard.  This planning, this dreaming, this assisstance to help Awaken these beautiful souls is an honor.  This, this is part of my process.  My art.  Life is art and ceremony, and in all seriousness and humor we must dance and weave.

So this morning I will do the sacred dance, in our home, inside of myself, and in my notebooks.  I need to Be more than I need to Know.  Now is when that Knowing churns within me, a turbine of hoped for grace rising into manifestation. My heart is a filter.  My voice is a filter. They are tools. Last and most importantly, my hands.  My hands are my tools for Loving, Teaching and Giving. What Will I do?

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Winter.  Rounding out the year.  I have a moment to sit, still myself, and breathe the deepest breath of the year.  We can even loosen up a little bit.  The time I have had since Christmas has been busy, like most, but I am also taking the time to reorganize, dust, purge, and slowly open my eyes up to a new time for us next year.  But first I want to re-cap the past couple months as we finished entering our stories and teachings into our Main Lesson Books for Fourth and Second.

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We did a lot of nature scavenging, and I had dirty floors constantly.  Such is life, and the season in which I am in.

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Here’s our collection of nature to send to our Nature Pal in California.  We dipped some nature in beeswax, painted a wood apple, made beeswax tea lights, and sent a little mouse finger puppet along.  We also had a bird seed gift wrapped as a pumpkin to give too.

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The light of day began to dim, and so we made our lanterns and walked with friends.

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Music filled our ears, as Little Fox, Second Grade, practiced and accomplished his semester recital.

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We warmed our hands with handwork.  Little Eagle, 4th grade, sewed mama a little needle book. This was a craft from September Happy Hedgehog.  I try to pace our handwork, so it stays enjoyable.

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Little Fox begged to make outfits for our Lantern Carriers.

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There was nothing more enjoyable than getting out into the woods with my family for a weekend. We visited Natural Bridge State Park and Red River Gorge, Geological Area.  My buzzword for the year was Connect, and there is no better place than nature.

We are currently alternating rest with work.  I have begun to tackle that urge to clear and clean, organize, and dream.  We are having an unusual late fall and early winter, with lots of rain and warm days.  I can’t help but appreciate how mild the season has been, which can be a help to us this year.  No snow yet.

Here comes 2016!!

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Mousekin’s Golden House

In the woods there are many small trees, and many tall trees that reach to grow tall in the deep shade. There are low growing bushes with berries and seeds that pop and roll about the forest floor. Beneath them all are tiny paths that only mice can see. One moonlit night, Mousekin followed one of those paths to one of his homes in a hollow log. Right in the middle of that very small path, Mousekin saw something that Someone had thrown away when Halloween was over. He hid behind a log, perhaps it was dangerous! Mousekin had never see a jack o’ lantern in all his mouse days. He wriggled his nose furiously at the strange smell. He was so excited that he drummed his tiny paw on the hollow log. Mousekin was so excited about the pumpkin that he did not watch for danger with his bright shoe-button eyes. Nor did he turn his shoe button ears to the wind to listen for birds, for owls and hawks and other creatures who wait to catch a white foot mouse. Suddenly as Mousekin took a second turn around the smiling face, a hungry owl swooped toward him. But before the bird could even blink his eyes, Mousekin jumped straight into the jack o’ lanterns mouth. Once inside he looked about. He was in a beautiful golden room! Just the right size for a little mouse. From one of the top windows in his room, Mousekin could see the owl sulking in an evergreen tree. The first rays Of the morning sun shone in behind the owl. Night was over and it was time for Mousekin to go to sleep. Mousekin felt safe inside the Sturdy walls of his golden house. He did not even waken until evening when the katydids began to argue. “Katydid, Katydid!” After he stretched and Cleaned his white undercoat, he began to explore his new home, scurrying in one window and out another. Now Mousekin was alert to all the Sounds of the woods when evening came. He heard a rustle in the bayberry bush, and a soft step on the dry leaves. He knew it was… the cat. Just as the cat was about to spring, Mousekin dove into the pumpkin and began to houseclean. Out of all the windows he threw bits of candle and pumpkin seeds. The cat jumped! But not for Mousekin! He jumped straight up and then he ran as fast as he could to get away from the big, round face with the terrible teeth. The cat would never take that path through the woods again! The days grew shorter and the nights longer. Mousekin worked each night to fill his house with things to keep him warm and comfortable in his new home. He split grasses with his razor sharp teeth, and wove the long slender threads around and around. He made many trips through the woods to find soft things to line his nest. Little feathers dropped by a bird in flight, thistle down and milkweed that grew in the clearing. While Mousekin was busy gnawing and nibbling, and doing all the things that mice do, he still found time to watch the animals that passed by his golden house. One very chilly evening, a box turtle plodded by. He never looked up or down, but moved like a toy being pulled to a pond at the edge of the wood to some tangled tree root beneath the ground where he would sleep away the winter months. But when the Turtle reached the jack o’ lantern, he stopped in his tracks, and he streeeetched his neck to see if what he saw was true. Just then, Mousekin popped his head out of one of his windows. And then… The box turtle lost no time in turning around and heading once again for the tangled root beneath the ground near the pond at edge of the wood. Most of the birds had gone to warmer lands, only the feeble bird was left in the thistle. The wind blew hard now, and scooping up piles of hundreds of leaves and scattering them about like brightly winged birds. One day, the freebie called to Mousekin, “come south with me, come right away! Your house will never do. The wind will blow, the snow will snow, and chill you through and through!” The little mouse whistled a high and soft “goodbye!” He would not leave his golden house. A chipmunk hurried by, his mouth so full of nuts he Could hardly speak! “Come with me, beneath the ground, that house will never do. The wind will blow, the snow will snow and chill you through and through!” Mousekin scrambled up his golden house and slipped through a tiny opening at the top. He slid down the feathery stairway to the warm, soft lining below. Mousekin curled up, tucked his tiny feet behind him, wrapped his loooong tail around some milkweed down and pulled it closely around him, and fell fast asleep. Little by little, and bit by bit, something began to happen to the jack o’lantern. It began to close its eyes in the frosty air. It shut its mouth against the cold wind. The next day, the gray sky opened, and great white flakes fell upon the sleeping pumpkin. Inside, Mousekin was curled up into a tiny fur ball. He was safe, and warm, and fast asleep in his golden house.

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Song:
Mousekin the little mouse, lived in a golden house
Mousekin found a jack o’lantern by a tree.
He thought, “this could be a house for me.”
It kept him safe from an owl and a cat.
And he lived very happily after that.
Mousekin the little mouse, lived in a golden house
Winter was coming, the leaves were falling down
The turtle made a winter home under the ground
The bird told Mousekin his house would never do
And chipmunk said the wind would chill him through and through
Mousekin the little mouse, lived in a golden house
Mousekin crawled inside his golden house
Jack o’lantern closed his eyes and closed his mouth
Then winter came and the snow was deep.
And Mousekin was safe and sound asleep.
Mousekin the little mouse, lived a golden house.

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A friend of mine translated this story for me from the you tube video.  If you are going to watch the Mousekin story, then skip to minute 2:12.  All the children had a blast.  The party schedule was Play + Eat, Story + Painting a pumpkin, and Cake + Gratitude.  It was a big party for a little 2 year old, but most of the people who came were from our homeschool group, and then grandparents.  I didn’t give him a special party for his first birthday, or really a Blessingway, so I put extra energy into this sweet party.  All kids went home with a homemade paper bag, decorated with pumpkins and gourds, a tiny bottle of bubbles, a mouse finger puppet, a pumpkin made out of tissue paper and floral tape (filled with birdseed for a bird blessing), and their painted pumpkin (small gourds technically).  We had a lot of food set out and it all just made me So happy to serve and feel the Abundance of the fall season.  We have worked so hard over the past 3 years.  It felt important to have a Harvest party, centered around honoring Cedar.  We were extra grateful for gorgeous fall weather.  Pictured below are chalkboard drawings by Raysun Frost.

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Here’s a lovely picture at the end of the day.  My sweet boy taking a ride in his wagon, with a friend.

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Hi friends!

Life is busy!  Busier than we have ever experienced.  With our own small business and three boys time can fly if we don’t watch it.  I love living out in the country, with less distraction, because it gives me the opportunity to slow it all down and live life as quality as possible.  Slow living has gotten a little harder this year as we now have two older boys with one interest each.  Our oldest has resumed drama class, which will come with extra practices around the time of the play. Our middle guy plays violin going on 8 months.  To be a student of Ms. Amy, one has to attend group violin lessons and private individual lessons.  We are okay with this, because the group lessons are a lot of fun.  Group is only every other Monday, so that works for us.  Private lessons are weekly.  Drama is weekly. Thankfully, both of those lessons fall on the same day, so we visit my mother, nephew and niece in between drama and violin.  However, we do have to drive to two different cities to make this all happen.  It is what it is.  The people and teachers we need to see are where we have to drive.  It’s not always convenient.

As a new mother over 10 years ago we were living in Boone, NC.  I was very isolated, but kept another little boy similar to my son’s age.  Close to his first birthday we moved back to KY and found out we had our second son on the way. We were definitely isolated after the birth of Little Fox.  Country living was our choice.  I didn’t know tons of people, even though Central KY was my hometown area.  Everybody had moved, changed, had their own kids and such.  Eventually, I found out about homeschooling.  I had NEVER heard of homeschooling before then.  I am convinced my Little Fox brought with him the spiritual energy I NEEDED to figure that path was going to be ours. I did tons of research.  TOO MUCH.  I fell down a few rabbit holes with my eagerness to learn. Eventually, I got out of my head and came into my body.  I became Present.  Then, I found Waldorf. My path was aligning with my higher purpose.  I did spend time growing and learning through becoming a doula, then a death midwife for a bit and into a spiritual midwife.  As time went on though I kept purification at the forefront of living.  Purifying our space, our home, purifying my thoughts and intentions. Everything Always came back to me being a mama.  A teacher.  Our children’s first teacher.

I had a lot of doubts.  Especially when the boys became school aged, around 5. Somehow I held us. I held the space.  It felt more right and more like our path of peace to stay home with them, than it did to send them off.  I didn’t know how hard it was going to be.  I don’t think Creator intends for us to Know these things ahead of time for good reason, but to put each foot one in front of the other. This path is all about inner work.  I surrender daily!  I have days where I yell more than I should, because I didn’t get enough sleep.  Mostly I go to sleep and wake when the kid do.

I have days where I used to doubt the fact that I needed to be home teaching our boys, but not anymore. Without a doubt, and beyond the judgement of others, I know this is where I belong.  No one can teach our children better than me.  I have dedicated the last 10 years of my life to becoming the teacher I am.  Bit by bit.

We are 22 weeks into our school year.  Math has started and Norse Myths for 4th are complete!!  We have a couple more entries in the MLB (Main Lesson Book – Portfolio for each subject) to discuss, but otherwise we have heard the stories. Handwork has been woodworking and toolmaking.  Little Wolf has made knives, with wood and metal blades, axes and swords.  Every other Friday he goes with Papa Bear to the wood shop and learns so much.  Papa still works, but Little Wolf goes out with him on calls with clients and hangs around the shop.  It has been the best thing for us all.

Now, we are getting into fractions.  I have enjoyed putting the lessons on the board and Little Wolf is building his confidence up around our beginning work. We are using Key To Fractions, based on a recommendation by some other Waldorf mama’s. I know it will get harder soon, and that will challenge him, but that is a part of it.  We have finally reached a place in our schooling where we can look back and reflect.  Little Wolf can look back at his MLB’s and see how learning is a process. Bit by bit. We must build the foundation for his future, but it is done Now. Each day. Things were difficult in the beginning, because my guy is a choleric and he’s precocious.  He’s mature and immature at the same time.  He is awakened in so many ways compared to his peers, but he is still 10.  It became imperative that I must protect him.  He’s so smart, and acts like he can handle so much, but he needs me to be his sacred container.  His home.  When you parent a child that is choleric (fire-y) you must be like the earth.  I act as his container. I am earth and stone that exists around his fire-y spirit.  I get burned.  It’s hard parenting. But I hold steady and firm.  He knows it too.  No matter what we come up against he knows I love him unconditionally.  Also, the element of water is very helpful to us.  So, baths or swimming time help balance us out.

Little Wolf is coming along with reading.  I had him read his latest book to me yesterday, Robin’s Country by Monica Furlong.  It’s the biggest book he has read. He’s a little slow, but I think the words are big.  And, we have had some learning difficulties early-on that slowed us down.  BUT, that is okay.  Progress is being made, day by day.  Patience happens when opportunity is provided (usually by Creator!!)

Little Fox!  I can’t say how much he has grown.  He is a playful and kind kit.  He loves violin.  He loves going to the shop with Papa.  He’s doing well in school. Great penmanship, patience and a sharp mind.  In fact, he is more in his mind than not.  But, I have worked hard to get him movement and into his body to balance that out.  He reminds me of me in many ways.  Every morning he walks the baby out to feed the French Angora rabbit.  He is SO good with the baby. Both big boys are good with Little Bear.  They feed Ayla Bear, who is now 14 years old, and our Elder dog in case you didn’t know.  Dyna the cat gets fed, then we do this all over again in the evening.  I have been doing this with the boys ever since they were 5 and 3.  Before that Papa bear or I did it on our own for the most part.  We had chickens till last year, but they were consumed by predators.  I hope to get more as soon as my husband can repair the coop.  We need to rebuild the coop yard area and work to make it safer for the chickies.  We had some design flaws to begin with, but it all worked for 5 years.  Nature happens.

Anyway, Little Fox has completed his Language Arts – Saints and Fables.  We are still talking about some of the Saints though, like Michaelmas, which is today!  We had celebration around it, learned verses, wrote in our MLB’s, made recipes, and heard the St. George and the Dragon story. Even though I had told this story before it is amazing how they hear it with new ears each year. Little Fox loved fables, and so did I as a child.  We are now focusing on math, and the four processes.  Both boys did math review during their circle time each day when we were heavily focused on Language Arts, but now Math is our Main Lesson.

Today we did several story problems. I love that we are tackling reading and math at the same time for this.  When Little Fox reviews I have him toss a bean bag with Little Wolf and they say the multiplication table.  Then, Little Fox calls out division flashcards with Little Wolf for review.  They actually love it.  I do intend to check a book out of the library, so that we can find some more math games though.  Games should be a fun way to keep the practice going.  We are not worksheet people around here.  I write and draw a lot on the board and the boys take the notes down in their practice books.  Then, the last day of the week they translate that into their MLB’s.  The lesson there is to take the notes down correctly, so I must check to see they do.  Little Fox is reading pretty well.  I am pleased.  He read all the Bob books, and a pack of Clifford books.  Now we are reading My First Little House books.  Deer in the Woods now, and The County Fair next.  All in right-timing with the season.  We have some Little Bear books and those will come next.  Little Fox is still knitting, and has to finish up a wash cloth for Grandma’s birthday soon.

Modeling beeswax has not been something we have followed through with as much.  At first it was harder to manipulate, but when our body warms the wax cool things can be made.  Both boys created St. George knights and other characters from our stories.  I am tempted to make a batch myself, but we shall see if time allows, or if it is more conducive to buy.  It is definitely expensive.  I have plenty of beeswax if I can make the time though.

We are not doing much painting at the moment.  Earlier in the year we did a block, about 8 weeks, based around medicinal plants.  We enjoyed Herb Fairy stories and then finding the plants out in our environment.  I try to point out the plants in all stages year round if possible.  We have done this with the trees as well.  Dover has great coloring books for trees, medicinal plants, mushrooms, birds, etc.  We have several of them.  In the front or back of the book there are colored examples for each plant/tree/mushroom.  I also belong to plant identification, insect identification, mushroom ID, and Arachnid Facebook groups. I learn so much daily!

Geography teachings are ongoing.  History teachings happen through stories in our Language Arts, but also through our books we read outside of “school,” as well as Geography.  Writing lessons happen within Language Arts, not separately from our stories.  When the boys hear a story they draw, then summarize it in their own words.  This is where we identify nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, punctuation, contractions, compound words and so on.

Form drawing continues and has gotten harder and more complex.  4th grade knot drawings are very cool.  Our most recent forms have been the serpent and crow. 2nd grade forms are running forms at the moment, and Little Fox is improving his skills.  I have proved that Form Drawing has strengthened their brain and eye muscles.  This year at the eye doctor we were informed my oldest is completely recovered from a convergence issue.  The doctor could not tell he had any issues at all. Knitting is another remedy, but Little Wolf has had less patience for knitting.  He loves drawing and other crossing midline activities though! And when given the opportunity he is not ashamed to tell others he can knit.

Waldorf is great because of the depth through which each subject is taught.  This education is very dimensional.  I look online at other curriculums and it all seems so boring.  So flat.  Without spirit.  Without feeling at all really.  Our education is so infused with art that feeds the soul.  I know my boys do not know any other way of learning, but I sure hope they appreciate it.  I know I do.

Lastly, the time came to receive a new puppy.  This is something Papa Bear and I had to meditate on.  For a long while after Kiva died I was going through a process where I just didn’t want any new animals.  I didn’t want the responsibility, or the heartbreak.  Then, one day in August I just felt it was time. Occasionally I would do an internet search.  Finally, I found our potential pup. We knew it would be “right” if she was available, but not for two weeks after we found her. We were going to travel out-of-town and needed the two weeks to prepare. Thankfully, she was held for us.  We had to provide pictures of our home area and living conditions, which I had never had to do before. And, it was an unusual circumstance when we picked her up, but we have slowly found over the last couple weeks that she is indeed a perfect fit for us.  Eva Two Socks.  That’s her name.  She’s black like Ayla, but thinner like Kiva had been.  She just went to the vet today and all is well.  The boys have been very active with her training. We outlined our expectations beforehand.  She is potty trained! She is sweet!  And when we aren’t looking, her and Ayla play.  Ayla is getting her chance as an Alpha after all these years.

Gratitude and Blessings to you and yours this Harvest season!

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I knew I would eventually write this post about the sacred masculine.  How could I not!?  I live with four males.  When my husband and I decided to have children neither one of us really cared what gender we had, just health.  After we had two boys I thought it would be nice to have a girl, but was okay with a boy.  After all we already had the set up and knew how to parent boys.  And so it happened our third boy came.

I meditate often on boys, my boys, yang.  I dream and wonder how it is that I came to be One Who Prepares them.  One Who Holds energy for them.  Growing up we had neighbors, three brothers.  I spent practically everyday I could with them.  In school and including college I mostly had male roommates.  It was just that way.  I had no idea, but I believe I was being prepared to care for a tribe of boys.  Mud slinging, rough housing, loud, energetic, gentle, sweet, caring, quiet boys.

We have been transitioning energetically out of a time known as Solar Masculine, into a time known as Solar Feminine and Lunar Masculine.  Our times are known as the New Earth. Energetically things are balancing out.  Women are finding their voice and standing in their power. Men are becoming more respected for how gentle they are finding power in holding energy.  What I mean is they are coming into a place of peace within themselves.  Preservation not destruction is in their sphere of thoughts.  Creating.

In America we are experiencing devastation to the land and our bodies because of monoculture farming and pesticides. But grass roots are evident and small farms are popping up.  Farmer’s Markets are very trendy and gaining popularity each year.  Men and women are finding themselves abandoning the american dream as we knew it for life in the country, or even urban living with gardens and chickens. Sustainability. We are the change we wish to see as it has been quoted by Ghandi. People who never touched dirt in their life are setting up small plots in their yards and planting seeds, watering and tending and finding a nice little harvest.  Folks are tired of being sick and dealing with outdated institutions that really just want to make money off of us.  Illness care makes money, healthcare does not.

Switching gears I want to talk about Sacred Union.  The inner marriage of duality. Duality is separation.  When those energies marry there is oneness.  Just as two people marry and become one, we have the inner energies uniting.  At the very core of the universe there is no separation, however it is my belief to better understand this concept we must come to earth and then make our way back to Oneness. It is a cycle. A circle.  We leave Oneness to come here, and then we immediately begin to return that that Oneness.  Along the way, during our journey we live within the duality, we struggle, there’s a pulling.  Spirituality is meant to be a Path to achieve balance and mastery.  To ascend.  To be multi-dimensional. To exist in many dimensions at once.  To better understand our nature and our planet, our universe.  Macro and micro.  Compassion.  Tolerance. Consciouness happens in waves and individuals come to earth to assist with these collective conscious awakenings.  Like seeds we are planted all over.  And like seeds, we take root.  It may rain, and we may struggle against the wind, but eventually something grows out of it.

Honor and reverence.  I believe these traits are growing out of our boys.  Honor for women and their personal power and what women can contribute.  I have had to spend a lot of time purifying within this life.  My heart and mind are new. When I married I had no idea what would happen.  I didn’t know how many children I wanted, so we started with one.  I didn’t know anything about homeschool, but we followed our hearts.  I had to fight doubt and learn to Trust. This may sound wierd to many, but it is completely natural to me, I have taken a lot of advice from Grandmother Nichole.  My future self.  The healer and teacher within travels across time and space, becoming multi-dimensional, and Sees what needs to be seen.  Creator comes to me symbolically.  Some people call it synchronicity. Shapeshifting, Creator visits us within the many forms of creation.  Through study, trust and the Unseen we learn wisdom.  We become Wisdom Keepers. Holding space and energy and even time for posterity.

Our tribe has manifested our particular heaven on earth.  It looks like a little cottage in the country.  It looks like our own business where creativity reigns.  A legacy.  Hard foundational work. We are giants and our children will stand on our shoulders.  It’s all grass roots.  There are many ways all of this can be done, and there are plenty of folks out there to help.  Some start with current institutions rebuking them.  Some, like us are starting at ground level and building new structures, new foundations.  I know my boys are builders.  Walkers of this path. I don’t fully know yet what they will do, but the seed is in their hearts. I hope the sacred container (home) in which they are living and learning is nourishing enough and free enough for them to unfold in the way Creator wishes it.  It all starts with family culture.  It took me some time to figure this out.  I love helping my community, so my time is best spent at home with our children and working from the inside out.  It’s how I Serve.

Maybe this made sense, maybe it’s confusing.  Either way I want you to know that it is my sincerest hope and prayer that what we are doing here in our home is reverent.  It is for the community.  My little life is doing something big. I meditate on that often…what am I doing, what am I contributing. Once I go to dust I will live on and on and on, and that makes me eternal.

My prayer here today and always is for all the little boys, all the teenagers, all the young men and all the adult men.  I pray you find peace in your heart.  I pray you are not misguided and distracted from Source.  I pray you unfold according to the seed that was planted in your heart.  I pray that if your home was not warm, that you find that warmth yourself or in new relationships.  I pray for your brokenness as I have prayed for mine.  I pray for our men to heal and stand in their power as reverent.  I pray men understand proper use of power. I pray for the healers and teachers. I pray you honor your women or the women in your lives. I pray for your inner marriage and integration. I pray for Mother Earth. I pray that I really don’t know anything and that God will just take care of it all.

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Maybe it is the moon outside of my bedroom window that’s keeping me awake. Maybe I had too much coffee earlier.  Maybe God had a message for me and needed me half asleep, half awake. Maybe I was inspired by reading links and posts scrolling endlessly on Facebook (it happens!)  But as I laid in bed tonight I felt a change come over me.

I could See myself Broken.  Darkness.  Wounded.  In many ways, over time I have received wounds from various experiences that left me sore, hurt, angry, resentful, sad, stronger, frightened, cynical, doubtful…God was working on me in these times.

I recently took a Facebook break, from May till now.  I felt Creator talking to me. Oneness was asking me to Listen.  Deep listen.  Part of that listening was Shifting. Purification.  Disconnecting – Reconnecting. Emptying. Emptying so much to the point of confusion.  Recently when I came out of my deep listening period I couldn’t figure out what I had gone through, or what I had learned. What had I been doing?  What was I listening for?  I mean surely after months of listening I had to have something profound to say or feel!  Nothing.  I couldn’t say.  I wasn’t sure, at all, because I am not really in control.  I am to a degree in control of my choices, but if I am open enough and vulnerable enough I knew that Creator was really in charge.

Then it happened.  I could See. The light of this very moon illuminated all of me. I was broken.  An empty vessel.  I laid there breathing deeply.  In the vision my body turned over and my arms were stretched wide, and my chest was So Open. My heart was So visible.  All the holes and cracks in my brokeness were there to be seen.  I have prayed to God in the past week or two more in Awareness than I ever have over the entire summer.  I begged God for help.  God was working on me in the deepest of ways.  Slowly Oneness opened itself up to me.  A beautiful gold liquid poured forth from above and began to fill me up.  All the cracks were filled with an essence so rich, so pure.  All the dark places in my life were illuminated so brightly that I could See my Wholeness!  God lives in me.  And God fills me up when I am empty, but then if I am vulnerable enough that essence pours out of me into the lives of those around me.  It is part of my Gifts.  My brokeness and the parts of me that are tender and gold.  I am repaired.  I am forgiven, and I forgive and that is my greatest gift to myself and others.

Can I honor myself.  Can I be vulnerable.  Can I be broken and whole at the same time.  Can I live this life with my chest wide open knowing that life breaks me, that love breaks me and fills me up.  The Oneness knows my strength better than me.  As I fell in love with my husband and as we added each child to our nest God knew.  God knew that love would tear me open and fill me up even more.

I have memories of my childhood.  I have children now.  So much time has passed and so much more will pass before I leave this earth.  I was given the Vision by a healer once that I lived to old age and I was surrounded and loved by many.  My children and grandchildren.  My husband.  Love had torn me open. Brokeness had torn me open.  But I was always filled back up by that pure liquid gold.  That essence that I cannot truly name.  The nameless.

This life is good.  It has been hard and riddled with confusion and doubts, lonliness…heartache so huge.  Loss.  I have had great teachers come my way in many forms.  Nature.  Elders.  Friends. My husband. Our children.  Oh, so so so much our children.  I am surrounded by teachers.  If I take deep breaths I am teachable most days.

You can take my word for it that right now our Maker, whatever form, has something to teach us.  I feel that in the next few days as the Super Moon approaches, it will light up parts of us that have been so dark for so long.  We can choose to look and embrace.  We can choose to see what diamonds have been made by that tightly held fist in the darkness.  The brightness is sometimes so painful that we turn our heads away, but I beg you to look and hold your gaze.

Be open, despite the brokeness, because we may just get filled up and See the Wholeness. The Integration.  I feel so whole right now in this moment, more so than anytime since I was born, a wee babe.  All along I was Whole though, I just couldn’t see it.  I looked for my wholeness in the reflection of other people’s faces and glances.  Mirrors.  My husband has known his Wholeness all along, despite his struggles throughout life.  I know it is why I love him So much.  I have always wished to balance myself and to be as humble as him.  But my game with myself and the world was protection.  Walls.  I went from a little girl to a straight Warrior.  One Who Stands In Her Power, but with walls.  So my life hasn’t always been open, full circle, reciprocal.  Maybe in some cases speaking my truth has been warranted.  Well, I am sure it has.  But it is okay to just Be too, because I am already Whole. I am already and always filled with gold, in all the cracks and brokeness.

No matter what Vision I have for myself, Oneness knows what I most need.  My Ego is actually my ally.  It guides me, as a Contrary.  As a human on this dense plane, earth, we actually need our Egos. Not the Ego of Ego=tistical-ness.  But the I.  I Am.  Being-ness.  Broken down I am nothing and everything.  I am alive and I am dying.  Cyclically.

Right now we are approaching Harvest.  Spiritually it is just as significant as the harvest of my garden.  I planned and dreamed last winter like any farmer would, farmer of the heart, like Rumi says.  In Spring I was planting seeds.  This summer I tended and deep listened. August has been such a time of preparation too. Preparing for harvest.  It is near. And some of us are already seeing the harvest come in.  I see pictures on Facebook of baskets filled up.  I am not even fully sure what all this means, my harvest.  I haven’t held the bounty in my hands long enough.  I haven’t had time to wash things off and taste it.  I’ll try to keep my door open to share with you though.  I’ll try.  It’s part of my promise to Trust, in my brokeness and in my healing and in my Wholeness.

Aho.

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And so here you are led.  Serendipity.  If you are reading this I have a message for you.  The message was for myself as well, and so I share it with you.

 

“For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farmboy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one’s suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”

Hermann Hesse, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte

 

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I am a fan of preparation.  There is ritual in preparation and that is ceremonial to me.  Life is Ceremony.  Many people speak about praying and I believe in Walking in Prayer.  To do this one must not believe that the Spirit world is separate from the Physical world.  This is much like saying The Kingdom of Heaven is Near.  It is. Jesus was right.  And from what I have learned across cultures, time and space, many people are saying the same things.  When the Holy Spirit descends upon a person they take into them the ability to understand the many languages of the world.  At one point in time that was taken away, because of the actions of mankind.  We have to come full circle.  To come full circle means to descend from G-d and to return to G-d.  Are you home?

We are born, and descend, just like we come out usually head first from our mother’s wombs and return as Elder’s again leaving from our toes to our head back to Creator, dropping our robe.  I have spent time working as a volunteer with Hospice, 11th Hour patients.  One day I was called to a nursing home in a nearby town. When I arrived family was there with the Elder woman.  I could tell she was ready to leave this world, but her family loved her so much they anchored her down earthside.  As it became dinner time, the family decided to leave and eat.  I began my work as Creator has guided me in helping the woman to relax.  She was unconscious, but very much aware.  I felt her leave from her toes to her head.  Her Spirit drew up out of her body and left.  It was one of the most peaceful deaths I have Witnessed.  I am not particularly good at letting people go.  Actually I am quite selfish in these regards.  But, I have a gift, and Creator needed me.  It’s not always easy.  Professionally I can do this, personally I have much to learn.  It really has to do with my higher and lower selves.

Preparation.  It is almost that time.  I feel myself drawing inward.  I feel Creator asking me to quiet myself.  This is hard because a majority of my homeschool community (read: support) is online, but I feel the need to quiet there too.  I am beginning preparation now for many things.  I am preparing to teach two grades again.  I am preparing to evolve my writing and blog.

Today begins Baptism class for my oldest son.  The church makes a good point that these children and people are preparing themselves to be cleansed with Holy Water.  Washed new.  We as the congregation must prepare alongside.  I am exicted and curious at the Mysteries G-d has for us this season.

Ash Wednesday is in a few days.  I envision the palm leaves burnt and marking my forehead.  I am already marked.  I envision myself walking in my human robe quietly awaiting.  I await G-d.  Listening.  G-d is here.

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Wow, the boys are really growing up and have shown on the outside all the inner growth of the last 7 years!  Little Fox, now 8, really has gauged this for me, since we now have two older boys walking their path.  He has truly set forth on his earth path, and come into his body.  I mentioned the 12 senses on the last post and how important all of them are in raising children.  He has taught me most about how highly sensitive I truly am.  The term Highly Sensitive Person is a post in itself for another time.  Either way as a parent I came to learn more about myself through watching my children grow and mirroring, as well as reflection upon my childhood.

Before we review the year I want to mention First Grade Readiness.  This is something you can measure by a few standards.  For one, has the child lost their first milk tooth?  How are gross and fine motor skills, as well as core body strength? As a rule of thumb has the child experienced seven Easters yet? Below are a couple of links expressing this thought deeper and why we waited 7 years to start academics.  Most people outside of our family sphere did/do not quite understand why our children did not match up with mainstream, but I took this very big notion to prayer and specifically felt waiting for each child to be ripe was necessary.

Each child is so different and Waldorf allowed me to bring a balance to each child and their differences.  At first it does not appear as though our children are learning or at pace with their peers, and truly they are not.  We want a whole child.  A child who is developing evenly.  We want their body, mind and spirit to be in sync.  To mamas out there who are questioning yourselves because others are questioning you and this practice, hold steady, like an anchor on a ship in the high seas.  You know what is best, somehow this seed was planted in your heart!

http://www.waldorfhomeschoolers.com/first-grade-readiness

http://theparentingpassageway.com/2011/07/12/guest-post-on-first-grade-readiness-a-comprehensive-look-through-high-school/

http://theparentingpassageway.com/2010/04/26/readiness-for-waldorf-homeschool-first-grade/

Namely our Little Fox is a cautious fellow.  He likes to watch and observe before making his move.  But once he moves he is graceful and confident.  We waited a little past his 7th birthday to begin formal academics, and my oh my, he paced through with smiles.  I love this because school should be fun, and we had some work to do the first seven years to get him ready.  Auditory, visual and vestibular centers had to be assisted and balanced.  Movement, sensory and games had to be encouraged.  Here is my Pinterest board to give you a sense of what I look at, regardless if a child has sensory issues, in fact all children are special needs in these times when recess and art are not valued. They sure are valued here at home though!

Temperament plays a role in educating and I believe Little Fox to be much like me, melancholic and phlegmatic, but when balanced, quite all four temperaments, much like the Medicine Wheel, and Carl Jung’s Wheel, when finding our Center.  It is important though to observe your child the first seven years and meditate on their temperament and your temperament and right-relationship.  Meditating on how to bring the teachings and how to relate can make a huge difference in how your days go.

We began the year with Form Drawing.  Not only did Form Drawing give us structure with using Main Lesson Books, it gave Little Fox time to practice using crayons and pencils for writing.  Not only do I believe in the soul development aspect of Form Drawing, but also the quality it has to draw us into focus on Monday mornings!  Monday’s are difficult for all to refocus, so doing an exercise first thing really helps us all realign where we are and what we are doing.

Language Arts had us visiting Grimm’s Fairy Tales, and let me tell you they work on the soul differently as a child than they do when we are adults.  As adults we bring our baggage to the stories, unless we let the stories take their time to work on our soul too.  Some people even believe they are gruesome, and perhaps they are a bit, but the things on television for children that have no soul are far more violent.  I can understand how a highly senstive mama might think twice while reading the stories beforehand, but if you approach the stories archetypally, then they are very insightful and assist growth subconsciously in the first year grade, also known as the 7 year change.  In the first grade letters are introduced to the children through a re-creation of the evolutionary pattern of language development.  The letters are drawn out in practice books and Main Lesson Books to make a picture in itself.  Like the letter M in the story Simeli Mountain is actually a part of the Mountain, and there is room left for a short summary of the story, which is beginning writing.

Math.  Arabic Numbers one through 10 are introduced along with Roman Numerals and a story.  The Four Processes are then introduced using a storyline and manipulatives. With our first son we actually used a Star Wars theme, but with Little Fox we used gnomes in a kingdom.  It was just easier to use the traditional approach with our curriculum, the story was already set up. Our curriculum teaches Whole to Parts.  For example, 10 equals 5+5, 9+1, 1+9, 10+0, 0+10, 7+3, 3+7, 5×2, 2×5, 10×1, 1×10, 11-1, 20-10, 15-5, 20/2, 40/4 and so on. During the winter we do daily math practice to keep up with what we have learned and to make it easier for entering into the next year.  Winter and reviewing is where we are right now, as well as planning and dreaming for a new start.

Daily math practice is suggested in Circle Time, which takes place when we say our opening and seasonal verses and play our games.  This is when I might encourage my older child to jump on the trampoline and say his multiplication table.  Or if we are taking a walk we may try to find straight lines and curves in nature to compliment beginning form drawing.  We still do Circle Time our with First and Third Graders together filling the time with Brain Gym activities, movement like stretching and yoga, reading, and music practice.

Waldorf Education has a curriculum for its students that reflects a pattern of evolution that is apparent in both the evolution of humanity and in the development of the human being. For the sake of the developmentally appropriate introduction of information to the young child many traditional forms of academic instruction are held back for an older age. The three stages of development in childhood are birth to seven years of age, seven to fourteen years of age, and finally fourteen to twenty-one years of age. Waldorf Education for the birth to seven stage concentrates on learning through activity (Hands), seven to fourteen through the feelings (Heart), and fourteen to twenty-one through thinking (Head).

The Head aspect we are covering with Language Arts and Math, however we introduce the Heart aspect through painting and music or song.  We have a three day rhythm where I introduce a story and the student draws the story in a practice book.  The second day the student paints the story and retells it. The third day we model the story and enter it into our Main Lesson book.  With this rhythm Little Fox came to digest the story and the teachings and make it a part of himself.  I could not believe how well he came to know the information and in a way that was filled with art and music.  Music and song entered in mostly through the festival life, like Candlemas.  We did not paint or model every single story, but occasionally we reenacted the story with peg people or action figures or even ourselves.

Handwork is introduced this year with beginning knitting.  The student is taught to cast onto needles they make themselves by sharpening then sanding the ends of a dow rod, then adorning one end if they so choose.  For Little Foxes first project we slowly and surely knitted an organic cotton wash cloth.  I paired his cloth with a bar of my soap and we gifted it to the Church Bazaar, which is a fundraiser.

Music has always been a part of our lives in some way or another but this year Little Fox stepped up his involvment by attending Children’s Choir at church. Before he had attended Music Together classes when he was little and then again with Little Bear.  Last week Little Fox began his journey with violin.  For three bars of my homemade soap we rent a violin, bow and case. We have a teacher for private and group violin lessons and it turns out she was home educated.

Another activity that was very much enjoyed this past year and begins again in March is Archery with our local 4H club.  Little Fox was in the Clover Bud section of the Archery team, which means he cannot compete till he is 9, but we are all okay with that.

I was happy to see my middle guy really blossom this year.  He is sweet and giving. The year really culminated last night when he finally lost his two front upper teeth.  He had been hanging onto those teeth for an extra amount of time which in my meditation meant he was unwilling to let go.  Birth to seven years old was comfortable and special, and he didn’t care to leave the wonder days behind.  It is all bitter sweet.  We want them to grow straight and strong into the future, but letting go is more than hard.

Thanks for reading Nurturing Spirit.  I hope you enjoyed this post and perhaps gleaned some wisdom from our year end review.  I know reflection is just as important as having lived.

 

 

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