Monday, December 7, 2009

St. Nicholas Day 2009

We've had such a lovely weekend!

On Saturday evening we joined many friends in clebrating the first snow of the year. Well, we didn't know it would snow, but it was absolutely wonderful to be outdoors, around a crackling fire, feeling the frosty, fat flakes on our faces. I love this time of year.

On sunday, St. Nicholas visited our house, spreading his generous spirit to the smallest members of our family.

In the morning these slippers were full of clementine, chocolate coins and a golden walnut for each child. The kids were happy to dive into a breakfast of chocolate and oranges...that sounds good to me too!

Anyone else celebrate this year?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Generousity and Kindness: St. Nicholas Day

Although we are not a very religious family we've decided to have a low-key celebration of St. Nicholas Day this year. Jacob has been very interested in Santa and all the myths, tales and different perspectives about who this man is/was.

In preparation for St. Nicholas Day, we are reading one story per night here. This has sparked some great conversations while reading! Jacob, sitting back finger-knitting, asks questions and makes connections between today's "Santa" and this saint. He seems really at peace while I'm reading and the stories make perfect sense to him. There's a lot of discussions about angels, heaven, and God going on around here..and I'm a bit out of my element!

On Saturday night the children will leave a shoe out full of hay or carrots for St. Nicholas' donkey and in the morning they will awake to find treats and goodies. I'm still working on what exactly they will find, though. So far, clementines, chocolate coins and a "golden" walnut with a tiny gift inside. I haven't been terribly organized about this...but it's our first year so we're learning.

Since it IS Wednesday, I'll add a little bit about my WIP (work-in-progress). I'm working on a baby blanket for a dear friend who is expecting a sweet baby girl any day now and knitting a sweater for Kaiya's naked-but-loved doll I made her. We are also thinking about adding long hair to the doll...and somehow covering her rear as well as her top!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Coming Up for Air

Whew! We've had a lovely and beautiful summer, though it wasn't at all how I imagined it would be (of course).

I've been on hiatus as our lives have been a bit too full to post about but I have derived such inspiration and pleasure from the blogs of other mamas. I almost feel as if I could spend all day catching up with these wonderful corners of the internet...but there is so much more to do.

I'm not aplogizing for the long vacation from blogging. My strengths and talents have been sorely needed elsewhere and that's okay. I do find such comfort in writing here that I feel like it's time to come back and make this my own little corner. So here I am.

To me, a post is never quite complete without a picture but today this little message will suffice. Photos used to be a lot harder for me as I was working with an old digital camera whose screen had gone out. There was a bit of suspense, though, when uploading photos. You just never knew what you were going to get. A little like life. There is nothing predictable here! Now I've been graciously blessed with a brand new camera for my birthday and I'm so excited to capture our moments and share them (or not... :)) with you here.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Shhhh...It's a Secret (for 2 more days)

My baby is turning two in two days and I've just finished her first doll. This just happens to be my first doll too...well, the first I've created anyway.

I'm way too taken with myself and I just had to share the finished piece. I know K is going to love her and I love that she was made by me for my daughter. So special.

I wonder what her name will be?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Happy Birthday!

Our Papa is turning a year older. Happy Birthday, Josh. May your day be exactly how you wish it and may your year be full!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Learning and Growing

Even though I've had a child in toddlerhood before, it always amazes me how quickly they learn and grow up.

The other day I was washing dishes and the kids were playing on the living room floor. Kaiya was especially quiet and so I turned to see what she was up to and this is what I saw.

She laid this all out by herself (brother was outside) and I have to admit I was impressed by her instinctual knack for symmetry. So, naturally, I took more pictures!

She eventually moved the top block there to the right side of the structure. They say that babies love symmetrical faces so maybe this is something that comes naturally to kids. I think it's neat the way she laid it out, as if there was no thought involved at all. Later, she lined up our wooden window dowels largest to smallest.

Maybe she's more Montessori than Waldorf?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

If I Had All the Money in the World

This is where my kids would go to school. Part farm/part Waldorf school in Port Hadlock, Washington.

I'm becoming increasingly interested in Waldorf methods for our family. At first, I just loved the natural elements of the lifestyle. I liked that children's toys looked more like pieces of art. We've been loving playsilks since before I knew they were 'Waldorfy'.

More than the objects though I like how connected every living thing is. Right now, I'm struggling with all of the 'screen time' in our life. I feel like the people I love most are too often unavailable. Not unavailable physically because they are sitting right there, but rather unavailable emotionally and socially. I am looking forward to the summer months home with Jake and Kaiya as much for the vacation from work as for the reconnection with each other and the earth.

I think that the Waldorf schooling method would fit Jake very well. He's such a free spirit. He is becoming more and more rational which also fits with Waldorf. After all, he did just get four new adult teeth!
If it were up to me and I had the money to do it, Jake would be making himself a home in the community of that school on the farm. For now though, we make our home in the public school he attends and I have to say that they are amazingly good with him and there is a very positive vibe throughout the building. I just wish for him to be in the optimal place for him...not second best.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Found It!!

I have been on a quest to find Living Crafts magazine for weeks now. I have asked the kind folks at Border's, Barnes and Noble, and two (count them 2!) Jo-Ann Fabrics....

What does a girl have to do to get a little handmade love around here?

Well, apparently she has to visit Michael's, which she didn't even know existed over here anymore.
Thank you to the kind lady who hadn't the faintest idea what I was talking about and somehow pointed me in the right direction anyway. I was so excited when I glimpsed that shiny cover beckoning me from the front of the store. It was right there all along. I was truly like a kid in a candy store.
Know I just need to actually get some crafting done instead of surfing around their website checking out Rosie Hippo and The Wooden Wagon...and A Child's Dream.....
Hey, it's okay because I know some kids with birthdays coming up!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Now THIS is More Like It!

Finally! A real 'Spring' day!

The sun was out today and it found us working in the yard, consuming popsicles, and wearing shorter pants.

Putting a yard together from scratch is both very satisfying and extremely hard work. Our yard is all clay and in order to get things to grow in it we are going to have to do some heavy-duty overhauling. We're working on putting in raised beds and filling the lake that appears during a hard rain. The lake is really more of a moat that our builders so kindly left us to deal with.

Working side by side in our little patch of earth feels incredible. We talk and laugh. The kids come and go, digging and pretending to plant things. The property is about the size of a postage stamp, but it belongs to us. It is our postage stamp.

Kaiya and Jake had a great time searching for Easter eggs with Nana.

Kaiya's understanding of the premise of egg hunting has some room for fine-tuning. After obtaining one, shiny, glorious egg...she was done. She posed for pictures with her egg and saw no need to further her search for more. This concept was enforced by the other toddlers who readily shared their bounty with her. No need to hunt when the prizes fall right into your basket.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Spring Is Here!

You know, I'm really glad I didn't post this on the first day of Spring as I had intended. Because, as neighbors and friends snowed here on April 1st! We woke up to a light dusting of the white stuff and it continued to snow through the morning and into the afternoon.

It was just Mother Nature's little April Fool's joke with some help from King Winter as Jake pointed out. Perfect timing, Nature. It has snowed more this year than any year I can remember in the past. Although, I did find a photograph from March 28th of last year showing my car covered in white as I stepped out of a nearby school after it had let out. So, there's that.

We are filling our days with projects and trying not to let the rain ruin outdoor plans (can anyone say the best mudpies EVER?). We felted some Easter eggs the other day, but they did not turn out nearly as nicely as WaldorfMama'! She does such beautiful work. We are taking the kids to a fun Easter hunt tomorrow. I'll post pics as sson as we get home!

Love to all!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Slowing Down...

It's Spring Break for the kids and for myself so we are slowing our pace a little, sleeping in later, and enjoying a lot more time in togetherness.

Yesterday was the first day around here that really felt like Spring. We visited a local park and soaked in the sun and the cool, instead of cold, air. K enjoyed splashing in a mud puddle under the swings and was quite wet before we left. This is her first long trip to a park since at this time last year she was still crawling. She loved it, as I knew she would.

I'm working on a little spring cleaning to help our declutter project. As we get closer to what we want this house to feel like I realize that we have that much more work ahead of us! There will be lots of painting to be done and work both inside and outside the house as we plant our gardens and build the remaining side to our fence. If there are any takers on a labor exchange, just let me know!

Happy Spring to all!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Full Moon

Wow! I wish I had a chance to take a photo of the moon in the morning on my way to work; it is big and gorgeous. And right now it is hanging out with the Olympics just looking yellow and beautiful against the contrast of the snowy mountains.

This moon has shocked me two mornings in a row now. I drive around a corner and there it is. I think life is like that too. Lots of everyday things that make you go 'wow' when you least expect them.

Jacob is becoming a fantastic reader. And, although I know this on a day-to-day basis, sometimes it still manages to catch me off guard. Today we were visiting my chiropractor and Jake brought along his paperback edition of Junie B. Jones. He proceeded to keep his sister entertained with a good story while I had my adjustment. Little things like this just blow me away. The chiro thought it was remarkable too!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Out of the Fog

I've been absent for too long in Blogland! I'd love to say that there is some kind of excellent reason for this departure -- but there isn't. I've just been busy with children, family, friends, and work.

Yea, work! I did get hired on at the agency I love so much. It is a position that is very new to me. Usually, I'm the teacher-type (that's what my degree says, anyway) but this time I decided to take a path into family health and nutrition and I'm purely excited about it. I think it also fits into my plans and goals for the next several years such as gaining my CBE/doula certifications and beginning the work of assisting women and families as the bring little ones into the world. Maybe someday I'll go a bit further and become a Licensed Midwife. Only time will tell.

Oh! Right now the dreaded flu lives at our house. So far, Jake has been in bed for four days eating little and drinking water only because his mother asks so nicely. I think he's made a turn for the better tonight, though. He began eating of his own free will. He requested sausage piadinis (from Starb*cks, eh) so I made my own poor-mama's version with crescent rolls and turkey sausage, egg, and cheese. They really are delicious and very unhealthy....but this is his first meal in days so junk is allowed. It sounds like Papa Bear may be next with this bug...cross your fingers that he is not! I am drinking tea with echinacea and astragalus like it's going out of style.

I guess we have not escaped this winter without a round or two with the virus that shall not be named!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

Well, the new year is upon us along with its resolutions and sparkling new-ness. I, for one, am excited to be at a crossroads. Technically, I'm currently unemployed and, due to a minor fender-bender, I may be unemployable. Totally scary. The job I had (a great, perfect-fit-for-me job that I'm sorely missing right now) was reduced (to, um, nothing) by the state. The Department of Early Learning gave back all the money for this new program with no idea of when it may be reinstated. Sigh.

So, I applied for another (much lower paying) position within the same organization (because I love it there) and fully expect that this will work out. But for now? Yeah, I'm unemployed. And with my back and neck all kinked up I may end up with light duty which my potential (and former) employer may not be comfortable with.

In spite of this situation, I am finding some things that are making me very happy. One, I may be able to finish my birth doula and child birth educator certifications this year! With our ample tax returns I plan to invest in this line of work that will make me oh-so-happy. I see it as a great opportunity to diversify and do something that I already enjoy, helping mamas and papas on their journey.
Two, my dearest friend, C, has moved backed to the Northwest, surprising and delighting me very much! Let's just say, that girl can keep a secret like no other. I'm so excited to have her back...I'm planning all the very usual and mundane things we can do together that will feel new simply because she's there.

I'm also looking forward to a few resolutions. I actaully dislike resolution-making. I think that's it's often to rigid and then it isn't followed out and then you feel like you failed. Blech. So I took the few days before the new year and assessed what I wanted, not to accomplish but to gain, in this year. My plan is to declutter our house and make it feel more like a home. My friend, E, has a great home that always feels inviting no matter if she was expecting company or not. It isn't a page out of a magazine it is just friendly and warm. That's a great goal...and I get something that I want from meeting it. Another goal is to spend little and save a lot. I want to start using coupons (gasp!) and making every cent work for us. I'm participating in the monthly No-Spend Challenges here.

I have great hopes for this little year. With a new national leader, a few new certifications, and looking forward to a new job, this year will be awesome. I can't wait to share it with good friends and cherished family.

Have a Happy New Year!