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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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Here’s a peak at what we got into the first couple weeks of February. Making candles came first right at Candlemas. Candlemas is the time of year where we make as many candles as possible and bless them for the year. There is something special about this ritual that is like no other. We have alway Loved to use beeswax candles, lighting them for school and during meals. It never gets old. This year we made little votive candles with xoxo’s, hearts, cupid hearts with arrows, and even one with a bunny. Red, pink and white. It really was the first time that I have cut out shapes and letters from pressed beeswax to decorate the outside of the candles. So, even after years of homeschooling and living within the realm of Waldorf — I still found something new to do.

Next up I began embroidering the little heart pouch pictured above. I have found one of my favorite types of handwork is indeed embroidery. My grandmother taught me around the ages of 7-9 years old. I would sit and embroider little birds and flowers on hankerchiefs and pillow cases, while we watched Little House on the Prairie. I will always hold those memories dear.

Lastly, we made our little gnome couple. It was the first time I had made a peg person with hair, so again each year and each season I am spiraling forward and creating dimension in the handwork I do. There’s something comforting about that. Knowing each day, and each season that what I do not accomplish or get done, I can always work towards the next year.

Well, my time as Happy Hedgehog Brand Rep has come to an end. The three months went by pretty quickly, and it I am so blessed to have had the opportunity. Thank you for following along on my posts here and on IG.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours. I love celebrating love and gratitude. It doesn’t matter if society dedicates one day, as the commercial holiday. Love is definitely meant to be celebrated.

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

Slow educating.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Slow eating.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meet yourself where you are in life.

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

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

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

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

What is your Creation story?

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