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Posts Tagged ‘seasons’

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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Our Little Bear bundled up and walked a big circuit today.  This is one of the first times he hasn’t had to be pulled, pushed or carried.  A new season of movement! A season of feeling his feet on the land and looking up at the sky, the trees, and the winged ones in new awareness.

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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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It is very hard to believe that we are coming to a close with Waldorf Third Grade curriculum, The Old Testament, Form Drawing, Math and reviewing the four processes, especially making sure we know multiplication and then divide really well.  Jewish Festivals.  Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Building and woodworking.  Choir and a chance to perform for church. Movement, always movement.  Crafting, some sewing and knitting. And acquiring fluency with reading, as well as cursive.

Waldorf is an interesting and inspiring curriculum to follow.  I have learned before Waldorf that Spirit is in the mundane, but Waldorf and the rhythm required helped my will to solidify this aspect.  I do read some Rudolph Steiner and respect his writings, but I also utilize my G-d given intuition to guide our children, when it comes to what I am to teach them.  As a teacher I must guard my words and the mediations of my heart, as it says in Psalms 19:14, for it is our children that will inherit the earth.

As a parent I must guard our children’s senses.  There are actually 12 senses. Touch, life, self-movement, balance, smell, taste, vision, temperature, hearing, language, the conceptual and the ego senses.  Some of these senses are inner and some are outer.

Touch, is the internal response to contact with the outside world. Life, this sense is the internal feeling of well-being and being alive. Movement is being inwardly aware of the way the body parts move in relationship to each other. Balance, this sense orients us to the world with respect to up, down, right and left. Smell is the sense that allows one to come with the outside world via odors carried by the air.  Taste is a deeper connection with the outside world in which flavors are directly sampled.  Sight is the sense that takes in the exterior images of the outside world.  Warmth, with this sense we are directly aware of the warmth of another body.  Hearing, this sense can tell us more about the inner structure of an object than sight. When an object resonates, we learn about its deep structure from the sound we hear.  Speech.  The sense of speech, word or tone, which is the hearing that involves meaningful words.  Thought refers to the deeper sense of entering the being speaking through their words.  Ego, this is the sense of ego or I, which enables us to turn our thinking towards the being of another and behold their I, their unique individuality directly.

Here are two links to provide you with deeper learning.  I used the chart in the first link to bring you the 12 senses in an organized manner.

http://www.waldorfhomeschoolers.com/twelve-senses

http://theparentingpassageway.com/2009/06/22/the-twelve-senses/

To remain aware of all these senses within oneself, as well as meditating on these senses for our children takes a lot of work.  It takes my inner work and time management.  This past week was a long and hard week.  At the beginning of the week our beloved pet friend, Kiva, who was almost 17 years old, dropped her robe. She ran across the rainbow bridge and I could see her smiling, looking back and running hard and fast to the pasture in the sky.  We have dealt with that grief of burying a friend this week and honoring her the best way we know how.

One of our children also began violin this week.  We had choir, Cub Scouts and the children went with Papa Bear to the wood shop.  I am always preaching balance at home, so much so it probably gets on everyone’s nerves when I have to say “no” often, so that we do not overdo.

Well, this week we overdid.  My middle guy woke up this morning with the responsibility of going to an early church service and having to speak a short passage, the Cub Scout Promise.  He had the passage down, but to culminate the week his front two middle teeth fell out last night.  What changes this child has seen recently! And this child needed more sleep to process all that he has seen, heard, felt and sensed this week.  I was not able to bring this balance to him and this morning he was showing it.  I felt so bad for him as he was so tired, but had to keep his responsibility to his Pack and Den.  It was my responsibility, and his dads to protect him.  I promise to do better next time that we have such a hard and long week.  Children are half our size, four or five times younger and cannot endure what we adults endure.  We all must remember this as parents.  It is okay to learn, stretch ourselves and grow, but we have limits and boundaries for a reason.

Farmer Boy, by Laura Ingalls Wilder has been one perfect book to help us in the 9 year change process.  Almanzo provided some insight to the changes one sees in our child throughout the year, and the growth, will and responsibility that ensues.  My oldest has really come a long, long way this solar cycle.  We vision these changes for our child, we assist, but the work is truly up to them.  I could not be more proud of Eagle Boy.  He has grown with his building skills, skills I have always seen within him, and spends some time with dad at the wood shop, one to one and a half days a week on average.  I can’t say how Good this is for him to be with a masculine authority figure enough.

At the start of the year we had chickens and a tom turkey, as well as a female turkey on a clutch.  By the end of fall all was lost, so we will be starting over this spring.  We do still have and love our French Angora bunny.  She has a lovely bunny condo near our basement, packed with straw for warmth.  We feed her timothy hay, pellet food, applewood sticks and pine cones, sunflower seeds, banana peels and plenty of water.  We have also collected some of her hair, and plan to do something with it, but no ideas as of yet.  It seems as though bun bun will be on a cycle of 90 days with shearing.  We welcome her up in our kitchen most days to hop around and visit.  And we purchased a nice round pen for outside days and plenty of hop time.  Occasionally, I allow Eagle Boy to walk her around on a bunny leash, which is a sight.

Jewish Festivals and Judaism was a large portion of the teachings this year as well. The Old Testament is the Christian Model and perspective of the Hebrew people. However, the Jewish people themselves follow The 5 Books of Moses, also known as the Torah.  Nevi’im, which is the book of the Prophets, and the remaining writings are known as the Ketuvim.  When asked to sum up the essence of Torah, Rabbi Hillel famously responds, “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole Torah; all the rest is commentary. Now go and study (Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 31a).”  The Golden Rule is at heart a Universal Ethic.  Here is a link to take you into a further study of the many faiths and their way of speaking the Golden Rule, Living Reciprocity.  We did not delve into the Hebrew Bible, but we know there is a difference between the Christian model of the Old Testament though.  And that is a start.

Looking deeper into the Jewish festivals we used many books suggested by our local Jewish Community Center.  Also the book Jewish Festivals, by Drucker and Patz.  I also found my private online Waldorf community of Jewish people and non-Jewish people extremely helpful in schooling me on the facts and the emotions these festivals bring to family life.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to learn and study deeper many faiths and to bring these faiths to our children, so that we may have tolerance, understanding and compassion for our fellow brothers and sisters.

Form drawing has been a very pleasant element in our schooling for several years and I continue to use Christopherus Form Drawing and Waldorf Essentials to aid us in crossing the midline and bringing focus to our week.  Especially on Monday’s!! After speaking with our eye doctor two years ago and recently again this year, Form Drawing has really helped to strengthen the eyes and help with convergence. We are proof!

Reading!  I knew that we had some work to do this past year with reading, but we buckled down and got to it.  Daily reading is so important.  Taking the time to snuggle up and practice is really a pursuit of the will, especially if your child does not come to it easily.  I loved reading A LOT, so I had to have patience with my older guy who loves reading too, but only in his own time and only what he wants to read.  I did really want to nurture and respect his coming to reading in his own time, but I could also tell as a part of his will development, he needed me to help him stay focused.  Sanguine and choleric in nature, we needed that impressed into our rhythm.  I did allow him to read what he wanted, but occasionally we ran out of books that he liked and had to just read what we had on the shelf.  Although in Fourth Grade I intend to go to the library a little more with him and learn some Library Science, researching skills and the checking out of books that will enable him to continue strengthening his fluency, as well as comprehension and book reports.

Cursive has finally taken a front seat with Eagle Boy’s summaries and slows him down a bit, which is needed for his soul development.  Verses, and summaries for the Old Testament stories and Jewish Festival teachings have held priority the last half of Third Grade with cursive.  He proudly enters these into his Main Lesson Book.

Movement never leaves our sphere for learning.  The boys take hikes regularly, jumping on the trampoline, and having a lot of fun building in our backyard. We have a lot of wood that Papa Bear could not use or store at his new wood shop, so the boys have had a daily access to Some tools and this wood. Papa Bear made a small structure on a large fallen limb from Grandfather Tree, as a fort.  The boys also have access to fire building with permission. Over time Eagle Boy has collected knives as tools, not toys, and this has been a huge teaching in itself.  One aspect to this past cycle that really turned us upside down was getting sick several times in late fall and early winter.  For about 2 months we were pretty down and out, and have had to make up some schooling recently, so that everyone can be prepared for this next cycle.  But we enjoy learning, so it is okay.  Although, this down time really got us out of our rhythm of Movement, in comparison to our normal routines.  We are slowly bouncing back and are very grateful for our health.

Lastly, almost one year ago our family began attending my childhood church. I felt the call home and it was perfect timing with our Old Testament studies. Our boys have flourished in many ways.  They have made good friends and have come to love going to Wednesday night fellowship, eating with friends and doing crafts relating to the liturgical calendar (which is circular, not linear!)  I am pleased with this and Eagle Boy will be attending, by his own accord, a Baptism class beginning next Sunday.  Baptism will be at Easter service which will bring us full circle, as that is the first service we attended last year, where he saw his friends doused with holy water.  I love that our church sends a small bottle of this water home with the child as well. Eagle Boy initiated this process on his own, so I feel it is good timing and an excellent ceremony to end one season of his life and begin anew.

Winter is my time for planning and dreaming and we look forward to learning more in Fourth Grade about Norse Myths, Viking life, Geography and Mapmaking, Math, Reading, more Form Drawing, Grammar, Cursive, Archery, Land Management, Tool-making, and whatever Great Mystery brings us.

Hopefully, in my next post I will explore First Grade coming to a close for Little Fox and all the exciting changes and growth happening for him.  Thanks for reading this post and keeping up with us.  Now, we must take the rest of the day to rest and prepare ourselves for another week.

Here’s my Pinterest board for Third Grade if you need any extra links or visual inspiration!

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So it goes, the seasons of the year.  Winter seemed like it would never come. The cycling of moderately warm with one week of frigid temperatures that drove everyone indoors and to the comfort of their hearth.  Then, back warm again. Friday night the snow poured down with 4-6 inches of perfect powder in Central Kentucky.  Enough for the children to jump and do the happy dance, bundle up and head to the big hills for sledding.

While they were gone Little Bear and I stayed in and happily made a slow cooker white chili and a small batch of amaranth crackers.  I’ll show you that recipe in the next post, super easy!  Meanwhile we played and ate, had baths and napped, then on to planning for the week ahead.  I love it when I get that much-needed quiet time to reflect upon each of my children and to bring them what they need each day and each week.  Prayerful parenting.  We are finishing up Third and First grade on a year round schedule. For Third Grade our Language Arts is The Old Testament, Pearl S. Buck version and Jewish Festivals.  In Third we review all the four processes, but really spend some time with divide, so that we are ready for fractions in the next grade.  First Grade is Grimm’s Fairy Tales, letters, word families and numbers, as well as the introduction to the four processes.  All grades we continue Form Drawing, and art serves a big role if you can imagine.  Movement is also one of the top priorities with children as well.  Getting that body going gets that brain going and learning becomes a part of the whole.

Meanwhile, I am reviewing Fourth Grade to teach Eagle Boy. Norse Myths, Viking life, a Man and Animal block, grammar and Fractions.  It is my plan for Eagle Boy to also do more woodworking, carving and tool making, as in perhaps making a knife.  We will probably order the blade, but perhaps we can work something out with our neighbor The Blacksmith.  Winter is the time I plan and dream for the children, the family and the new year to come. Spring is when the seeds are planted, but really around Candlemas.  Summer is when we tend those seeds.  Fall is a time to harvest, and clean up from the year. Then, we cycle around to Winter again.  With Little Fox, I will teach Second Grade (my second time around) and we will cover Saints and Fables for Language Arts, the four processes more in-depth, especially the multiplication table.  He is really growing and learning.  Cub Scouts is a new venture for him and I couldn’t be happier.  Both big boys will continue choir, after a summer break.

But on my mind and on the schedule after Papa Bear finishes with Kentucky Crafted in March, is getting the chicken coop yard redone.  I have redesigned the yard in my mind and will give the details to the boys and Papa, but it is up to them to do the work.  I hope to save some of the chicken wire we have and just clip it loose.  Then, we need to reframe the yard to be as tall as an adult. The short yard we had is just not practical, and I wasn’t happy with it the first time around.  Not to mention there were several holes in places where predators stole and killed our girls.  Raccoons, foxes and such.  I saw a fox by the mailbox one day, and we have seen raccoon tracks over near the coop as well.  Our kitty huntress even brought in a stinky, musky adolescent weasel last year, dead, and in my basement, ew.

So above is a picture of the Hatchery’s catalog of breeds.  Many to choose from, including turkey’s, guineas, ducks, peafowl and more.  I think we will get some standard heritage breeds, perhaps some exotic or rare breeds and a few Guinea’s. I would like to build a box out at the coop for the littles.  We had kept them in our basement before, but I am over that convenience.  It makes more sense to have them out at the coop, safe, warm and contained.  I told the men and boys of the clan though, we won’t see a delivery till the coop yard is finished, so I hope they get to it and work hard.  I know Eagle Boy wants the return of chickie’s, and Little Fox does too.

I am sorry to impart this information on you, but you should know.  I ordered some babies and anticipated their arrival last Spring.  Lo’ they never came and I was quite upset, even though they did ship.  Somehow they were lost, and to me that means dead.  I was sent another shipment, and worried to pieces. They came safe and sound, but I want you to know this is a possibility. Evidentially it happens, but hopefully not often.

What are your plans and dreams for the year ahead?  What about the next couple years, any ideas?  I think it is important to hold them in your heart a bit and dream on it.  If certain things won’t serve you, discard them.  Until next time, sweet dreams.

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I come to you today feeling a lot grateful and a little tired.  The rain is pattering on my tin roof, the turkeys are cooing, and life just got slower~  It has been a couple weeks since a friend and I got together and laughingly made soap.  The sense of bonding over making soap for family is a sacred thing.  Women and families have done it for centuries.

In the past few weeks, I have observed nature and people participate in the hustle and bustle.  The end of summer frenzy to collect our nuts and check our stores.  The desire to attend community events, yet the inner-longing to just stay home and look within.  The grace to show our Creator our gratitude by saying so.  And the harvest of a Community, through our beautiful children.  There are so many beautiful babies around ~ And the desire to express our souls through art, which is synonymous with baby-making.

With those thoughts I bring you images of our soap making.  Ever since 1999, I have been keeping a Materia Medica.  A collection of recipes and experiments with herbs, oils and natural remedies.  My basic soap recipe comes from Country Living – Handmade Soap – Recipes for crafting soap at home.  I have gladly purchased essential oils from Creation Pharms, formerly of Boone, NC.  Mike Hulbert wrote the text for this book, and now lives in Michigan with his wife, who is an herbalist.  I have profound gratitude to Beth Jefferies Barnes, who took time out of her day to teach me to make soap, on that Ridge, back in time.

I wish my photos could truly express the richness of these experiments, but I find life is so much brighter and harder to capture.  I have only included two images.  The rest can belong to the art of your imagination.  See yourself with a friend instead.

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One begins by collecting ingredients.  This time I used coconut oil, olive oil, grape seed oil lye, water, rosemary and peppermint essential oils.  Prepare your lye and water separately and safely.  Then, set up your oils on the stove.  Have a thermometer handy to check the temperature of both set ups.  When you achieve the desired temperatures, mix together slowly and stir.  The first time I made soap, my teacher asked me to stir the entire time by hand.  You’ll be ever more grateful for the batch.  Otherwise I use a nice hand mixer, kept only with my craft supplies.  After you reach a consistency where the soap traces, pour into your molds.  I use a loaf mold made of wood by my husband.  I slip a trash bag over the mold and pour into that.  This way the mold slips right out to cure.  Have patience for 4-6 weeks.

If you find you have always wanted to make soap, say it out loud.  Say it several times.  Then, write it down.  Begin by going to your library and finding a book, or searching the internet.  Collect your resources, which you may even have in your home now.  Find a friend who might split the cost with you.  Brew some tea and be a part of this generation learning what our ancestors did, and passing it along.  Remember.  Take Part.

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