Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Joyfilled Holiday

We have had a beautiful few weeks here. So many crafts and life lessons, seasonal treats, spiritual growth, new babies ( yay, baby Rhys is finally here!).
With all these wonders to take in and learn from, I feel excited to share thoughts and photos- and also a little swept away in my rhythm.  The advent garland has been so wonderful, as it has kept me on task and the children entertained. I just move the marker and do what I had planned on that day and low, it looks as if Christmas Eve is a few days a way and I am actually on schedule!
So for the time being, I'm gonna let the rhythm carry me and look forward to sharing all our projects in those quite days between Christmas and New Years. I am also looking forward to spending a lot of time with the new bundle, can't wait to spend some hours with that boy!

Monday, December 13, 2010

St. Lucia day

December 13th has always been a celebration in our home as it is the Papa of the house's birthday. So when planning our St. Lucia celebration we blended the traditional swedish traditions with our family birthday traditions. It made perfect sense to continue with the early morning coffee and sweets. Lyra on the other hand, did not like the idea of candles on her head, even unlit ones. So we left these off. I made her a crown of boxwood ( something we do every year around this time) and she wore it while carrying a tray of coffee and cookies with one of our lanterns from martinmas. This year we have studied more about people who have celebrated St. Lucia day, than St. Lucia.  Next year, I'd like us to make some sweet rolls for the girls to serve daddy in the morning.

And here are some other festivities we've been up to  .    .    .

Sunday, December 12, 2010

advent circles of our own

Blessed we are to have a little circle of people who share our daily lives, our hopes for our families, and a deep and true love. Friendship is just not a strong enough word to encompass the way I feel about these women and their families.  I confessed one day that I had wanted to give two of them a gift of advent circles for christmas this year, but could not think of a way to make or afford them.  Mariah solved this problem with the simple idea that three of our families would go in together. Mariah and I would give to January's family, January and Mariah to mine, January and I to Mariah's.
Now, our advent circles are a little different then the traditional but they encompass the needs of our families and are all exactly the same. Over the years we will all add and change them, but the basic circle will always be the same- an heirloom for our families and a symbol of our undying friendship.
This is the first year that I have had a whole advent season planned for my family. I have fully enjoyed the whole experience from planning an event to seeing the excitement on my children's faces.
This is the song we have been singing while lighting our candles. It's a slight adaption on a traditional pagan yule song, and it does indeed bring me comfort and joy.

God bless you merry gentlefolk, let nothing you dismay,
Remember that the sun returns, upon the solstice day,
The growing dark has ended now, and spring is on its way,
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.

The winters worst still lies ahead, fierce tempest, snow and rain,
Beneath the blanket on the ground, the spark of life remains!
The sun's warm rays caress the seeds, to raise life's song again!
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy,
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.

Within the blessed apple lies, the promise of the queen
For from this pentacle shall rise, the orchards fresh and green,
The earth shall blossom once again, the air be sweet and clean,
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy.

Friday, December 3, 2010

360 moons ( give or take)

Earlier this week Lyra asked us how many months old she was. And January and I helped her figure this out in her head. To us and our nature based life, her question about her age in months became her age in moons. Well my birthday is today so of course we did me too, and found that I was 360moons old.  It sounds very romantic and wise so I think I'll keep it.  I have no issues with turning thirty. My husband and all my friends are older than me, for one. But secondly, I like growing up. I alway have. I don't mind getting older, as long as I don't get old before my time. Which I currently do not feel in danger of.  I look forward to the day of white hair ( I do hope to get my grandma's pure white locks), in their time. I have spent my whole life waiting for this lifetime. All my hopes and dreams were for these early adult years. I had goals and dreams and they have been fulfilled with more joy than I had hope for.
In my early twenties, as a new mother and wife- things were not going exactly as I had imagined. I had a sick baby, a very stressed husband, a negative balance in the checking account and a lot of confusion.  How could this be going so wrong? Well, I just flat out refused to give all the joy I had waited for over to worry and heartache.  This would not be stolen from me, and especially not BY me. I found yoga. I actually didn't find yoga so much as start a regular practice. And from that practice, I found the whole world I had been looking for. I found other people who believed in themselves and nature. I found cloth diapers.  I found CSAs and farmers markets. I found beautiful friends. I found my true self and permission to be happy despite unsettling things in the world or my life.  I found that my husband was more wonderful than I had let him be.  I found all the problems in my life were my own making. And over the years, I tended the path, and practiced, and meditated. And so here on my thirtieth birthday, I sit a real, full grown woman.  I am no longer in a rush to get here. I am no longer in a rush at all. I am ready to linger over all the future days.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Advent Garland

I had really wanted to get this post up before the 1st. Not only because it is the start of December, but because I wanted a nice foot forward as I hoped to be making some new friends with the winter ROTH edition. But as fate, or family life would have it, that did not happen. I had been planing this garland for some time, many, many others have influenced it.  Much gratitude to all you  talented women and your inspiration.
I took out the felt last weekend and before I could start the project, it disappeared. Really it did. We looked every where and then today at the last moment- it was found! In the puppy's toy bin. So the crafting began.

                     Lyra helped trace the stars and trees in pencil. I used a pen on the darker colors.

And I let her take pictures.

I let the girls cut out some stars to make fingerknit crowns. And they let me do the rest of the cutting. We do so many projects together. I just wanted this one for my own.

After they were asleep I cut out the events of the next month on little postage labels.

Cut little slits and strung them on some twine.

So there will be this surprise in the morning.  I have noticed that my oldest learns best when things are hung around our home. And I wanted them to see and anticipate what was coming in the way of celebration. Now she can read them each morning and we can move the little marker and count the days till Christmas.

Wishing joy to you and your families this season.

Winter edition of Rhythm of the Home

The much anticipated winter edition of Rhythm of the Home comes out today and I am very honored to be a contributor.  Just the opening page fills me with excitement, there is so much beauty there. And I know that Rhythm of the Home, keeps all of us connected, reminding us that there are other families living simple and beautiful lives.There are many exciting articles, crafts and ideas for us to browse through. I can't wait!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Circle the week of November 29th

St. Nicholas Verse

Upon his snow white steed
With wind and lightning speed
St. Nicholas leaves the sky
And comes a-riding by
Illustration from Santa Claus Comes to Americaby Singer & Baldridge, 1942
The little hare hops nigh
And lifts his nose up high
The stag with pointing horn
Leaps over bush and thorn
And all the creatures dear
Are drawing quickly near
Before St. Nicholas bow
Their little heads so low
And we will learn a tune
Of sun and star and moon
And sing our happy lay
Sing on St. Nicholas Day!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


This morning as I rolled my pies with the other early risers in my house, I was so filled with gratitude for the spirit of celebration that has become a way of life.  Yes, it did take focus and years of self-work, but now joy is a natural part of life.  This pies are an example of that celebration
for the farmers that produce of food
for the skills I learned from my mother and grandma
for the people I have to feed and love
for the home that lives and breaths around me
for the joy I find in being me
wife, mother, teacher, friend, lover, daughter, my true, true self.
As I rolled these with my grandma's rolling pin, I could feel her hands on mine, hear her words.  I am thankful for all those generations of men and women who worked so hard before me, that I may have a life I love.

 Happy Thanksgiving, 
may your hearts and bellies be full.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


January has mentioned that she misses my posting the circle time rhythm and songs. I realized that without the weekly rhythm of posting them, I'm not very good at journaling all our fun. So here are some notes from the month of November. And I promise to be a better record keeper, starting right after Thanksgiving.

For the month of November 
Lyra has been learning Native American Fables. She also is reading some animal fables on her own and working on multiplication. We are reading The Diary of Remember Patience Whipple, by Kathryn Laskey, as our bedtime reading. It is a journal of a young girl on her way to America and during the settlement of Plymouth. This historical fiction is providing us with lots of opportunities to understand the sacrifices made by previous generations. We also are learning a lot about the geography and ecology of the eastern shore back then.  This of course ties in with all those beautiful animal fables, and our science and social studies lessons.

Circle has been about teaching the littlests what Thanksgiving is all about.

I cannot find any notes as to where I found these poems, if you know please post for me. 

Little Pilgrim dressed in gray 
on that first Thanksgiving Day, 
Little Indian dressed in brown
came to visit Plymouth town,
They both came to eat and pray 
on that first Thanksgiving day.

Pick the corn and pick the beans, 
Pick the squash and other greens,
It is harvest time you see,
Come and share a feast with me, 
Bring your family out to play,
We'll call this Thanksgiving Day.

We've been working on our Farsi book. I have found that Lyra does very well when I hang our work that we are actually working on, about the house. Not just things we have finished. We do not have a school room, but do different types of work in different parts of the house. So work is on display everywhere.
Our cherished friend, Chiara, brought us thousands of worms from her compost to add to our bin. They are doing a beautiful job, amazing how fast they work!

                                                           Making Martinmas Lanterns.

Monday, November 8, 2010

celebrating baby and mama

This weekend we celebrated one of our favorite mamas and her new baby boy. We are all so excited to meet him, and I have to admit part of the excitement is that he is a BOY.  So many little girls, all the time, but little baby Rhys is going to have lots, and lots of little mamas.
It was so much fun planning and preparing for the celebration, in the truest sense, of love. And honoring a woman for the wonderful gifts she brings not just to her own children, but to all of our children and to us as other mamas and friends.  January has been my friend since before she was a mother, but she is not just my friend, she is my children's friend as well.
open heart, compassionate mind, patient temper- these are all things I love about you January, and you deserve every bit of light and love that reflects from all of us back to you.  But most of all, what I value, is the fact that you understand me and my girls. I can talk about my feelings or thoughts, but I need not explain them.  You give me a place to take off my coat and shoes, outside my own home.

much love always.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

fun thanksgiving

wonderful link to thanksgiving stories and songs

Lyra turns 8 in January, so I have stayed with the fairytales of first grade until now. We have progressed to a second grade work level, but stayed with the stories of first grade.  This month we are using the Thanksgiving Holiday as our entrance into the second grade literature with Native American animal fables. This is the official start to our second grade topics in language arts, science and social studies. Luckily both my girls have winter birthdays and I can adjust our school year accordingly. So Hazel will start her official kindergarten lessons in the spring of next year.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

outdoor education

Here is a link to the article I wrote for our local homeschool magazine.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Autumn projects

      Lyra has gotten all speedy with her knitting lately,
                                                       now I can hardly keep a new project ready.

This week our main lesson was for math. Here she is tossing open walnut shells on her main lesson   book, find all the equations for ten. 
We are about to start place value next week and are working to fully embody the multiples of ten, and ten in all its tenness.

                                                          recognizing symmetry in nature

                                                      wonderful spiced pumpkin soup.

splits practice for lyrical class

                                                      January's halloween sensory box

making pouches for our new block crayons
needle felted little sprite, note the bandaged fingers

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Big sis is out camping in the woods with girl scouts. Little sis, cries and misses her. Here I thought that I was going to get a little person who would be oh-so-happy to be with just me, and a me that was going to be mad anxious about my bigger one. Nope.  Turns out, I'm not worried about the elated little face I left in the woods. And turns out, also, that I was the one excited to spend time alone with my littlest love.
This morning at 8am, we picked up five beautiful cupcakes from our favorite bakery.  These cupcakes are for my step-daughter's birthday. We go to ballet, we pick up Emilee ( an hour away), we go shopping for hours, we spend quite time lounging in the house. All the time Hazel waiting patiently (she only asked cheerfully every 15minutes, when we would have cupcakes). Finally, we blew out candles so she could have hers. Oh such pure and full enjoyment. I only wish I had a video tape. Hazel has the most expressive expressions and gestures of any human I've ever meet.  I sat and watched her enjoy every single bite, without a word between us.  I never actually tasted the cupcake, but I feel as if I did, just watching her. Apparently, it was quite wonderful.

Now, which one shall I choose? And may I enjoy it as fully as my  three year old.