impossibleway: (Trillium Pin)
Easter is coming and I am more excited than I have been in some time. I guess it is because all the children are old enough to really enjoy the day and because we'll all be together this year. I haven't made much in the way of Easter gifts, but I am pleased with the little I have done. We've planted some wheat, too, and it is growing so quickly! We'll have a wonderful basket of grass on Sunday.

Egg Cards

Here are little egg cards that I made the children.  I did another one for a gift for a friend.  These came from The Children's Year, and they were fairly simple to do.  The brads are easy to find and I just started the hole with a strong needle.  They have little pictures that show in the window as you turn the circle around.

Dinner

Willow has been busy, herself, with a roll of duct tape, of all things.  No wallets for her, but microphones, cassette tapes, a tape player, and a wall phone.  She also sewed herself a satin skirt over the weekend that should make a nice slip in the years to come, and she made this sweet little Chinese-Japanese meal.

Pockets

I made these pockets, also from The Children's Year, for the children's closet.  The door is small, so the dimensions are different from the directions.  The pockets are plenty deep, though, and they are well-pleased.  It is fun to make many things in threes, and this quick project was a fun first thing for the new little old Singer that I have named "The Phoenix."

Cyclone Hat

Lastly, knitting. Always knitting. I am in a mood of forcing myself to do it lately, to keep on keeping on when I am sitting down for quiet time or the last hour before bed. That way, my yarn box will grow more empty and we will be well-prepared for the Winters to come. And hey, we always have chilly weather any time of year, if we look hard enough. This is the Cyclone Hat, a kind of test knit of the pattern. I may give it to Mike or I may keep it for myself. It's knit with some really, really old acrylic, from back when they tried to make it act more like wool.  It's soft and plentiful and free, which is all nice.

Now, it's time to craft a cleaner house so that we can do a little visiting this warm Spring evening.  For more crafting, visit Frontier Dreams.

On the Pond

Apr. 3rd, 2017 07:10 am
impossibleway: (The Little House)
In the Easter garden,
Gentle waters flow.
Birds are singing, winging, singing.
Buds their new life show.


~ Wynstones :: Spring

Knitted Ducks


Willow and I made these sweet little ducks from The Children's Year over the weekend.  I made the mama duck, of course, and I helped her stuff hers.  These may be my favorite of the knitted animals we've made, though Whiskers may tie with them.  In a similar mood, Willow named her duck Feathers.  Since they're so simple, I'll share the pattern here.

CO 20 sts and knit 24 ridges (a ridge for each 2 knit rows, so 48 rows) for the mama duck.  Bind off.  Fold in half, with the rows running parallel, and sew up, leaving the end open.  Stuff, sew up the end and make some stitches to create a tail.  CO 12 sts for the head and work 12 ridges.  Bind off and sew up similarly, pulling ther yarn to gather the end.  Stuff, and sew up the end, and then sew it onto the body.  Make a little felt bill and sew that on.  The young duck is worked in the same way.  CO 10 sts for the body and work 12 ridges.  CO 5 sts for the head and work 6 ridges.
impossibleway: (The Flower Picker)
The days are full of time outside right now.  After breakfast to before bedtime, folks are heading outside.  We're in for most meals, school time, and quiet time.  The weather really is perfect right now, the kind I always dream of for Autumn.   Rain comes every few days, it's not too hot, but you can also cool off easily.  Just so nice.

While the trees are mostly bare, all the Spring bulbs are putting on a show.  Tulips are starting to bloom and grape hyacinths are delivered to me with great regularity.  I have two vases overflowing right now, along with a full size hyacinth that Laurel picked (eek!).  It all smells so sweet.  It is a little strange to have all this blossoming life right now, several weeks ahead of what we are accustomed to, but I am trying to embrace it.  What else is there to do?

BouquetEveryone is sleeping a full eleven hours each night, and Laurel is still napping.  All the fresh air (and mud and sand) is doing wonders, I guess.  Willow has some sniffles, but they may be due to her nine year change.  I remember well the many complaints she had during the six year change, and I think this may be quite a lot like that.  A cold just a month after having had the last one is record-breaking for this at-home family.  We've got kefir and various other things to help us along, so it will pass and we'll feel thankful for the chance to slow down.

We got a new floor in the kitchen this week, wood-grain vinyl.  There's hardwood underneath all that, but we'll save that job for a time when there aren't galloping children in the house.  We'll probably be ready for a full-scale refinishing of all the floors then.  It is so nice to have a new floor--one without gouge marks and floral prints (as much as I love them on fabrics).  In this way, the kitchen got a good Spring clean, since it is such a hard-working space.  Mike put up a new mailbox, too, and I've got a ceiling fan waiting to go into the kitchen. I am hopeful it will make the Summer canning much more comfortable.

There is a lot to be hopeful about these days, with Spring in the air and all the waiting garden seeds.  I'm planning on building a hugelkultur bed or two with some of the rotten wood, leaves, straw and rocks we have.  While the stars have yet to align for us to have chickens (and I'm getting stage fright), this project seems to be a good fit.  I have all the supplies ready and waiting.  If any of you have done this, let me know.  I'd love to hear.  Carrie is working on her own beds, too.

School planning has been happening, as well, the third grade year writing itself out in my mind.  Gardening and fiber crafts are surely going to be at the heart of Willow's turn.  In that way, I suppose we'll get an early start.  It's going to be new terrain, in many ways, though some things will be revisited in a new way.  Enki covers some language arts skills that I see will come up in the materials from Christopherus next year.  I do like the idea of each child having their own experience of each grade.  Roan, I think, will do more building in grade three, though time will tell.

Well, I think folks are waking up, so it's time to mix up breakfast!
impossibleway: (Movingthe Soul with Color)
Christopherus Grade ThreeAfter a long February, I find myself with a little afternoon break.  The wind is strong today, steadily around 20 mph, but it is sunny.  March  weather at its most typical.  Three months left to the school year, I am settling in and refocusing old routines, and planning a new year.  As the first big shift in our homeschooling, our Christopherus materials arrived earlier this week.  I'm reading through them and feeling pleased with what I see.  Just like our choice of Enki, this one also relied heavily on my intuition.  I spent time on the phone with both Live Education and Christopherus, getting a feel for their methods.  It felt good and comfortable to choose Christopherus as our next step, having exhausted the current Enki materials.

I'll admit that I like very much the idea of having the whole year laid out for me.  Enki did this, to some degree, but left a lot in the hands of the teacher.  While I do love being able to choose from many materials, I also find comfort in trusting that it is all put before me.  Enki was my teacher training, truly, and I am going forth in faith and freedom now.  I am so excited about third grade, practical person that I am.  A year of creation stories, native peoples, and life skills will be so fun, I think.  The way that we have handled religion has meant that Willow's steps into such stories have been gentle, which may not suit everyone.  But, for us, and for her temperament and tendencies, it has been right.  She will be ready to take hold of Bible stories at just the right time.

For now, we are still moving along with second grade.  Onto the Jewish tradition, we are reading trickster tales about a fellow named Herschele and the many times he avoids trouble (or makes his own!).  The children always enjoy these stories so much and they are welcome right now, when the weather seems just as fickle as our emotions.  We need to hear what our friend Herschele is up to for some lightness in our days.  The Baal Shem Tov is the sage we're studying this time around, and it will be completely new for all of us, excepting maybe Mike.  Our final sage will be St. Francis, which I think will please the children.  Sweet memories, these are, even when the day-to-day can be so challenging.

Trickster TaleWe spent February learning about place value and experiencing a thousand through jewel-colored base ten blocks.  Willow really enjoyed filling bowls with ten units and then bars of ten and so on.  It is interesting to me the things that children think are not exhausting or boring.  We moved on to a short block on "The Helpful Elf," the ways an "e" at the end of a word changes it into something else.  Teaching phonics has not been a strong point for me, so this was a help.  Reading is moving along for Willow--she is able to read much of what is before her, with some struggle on words that don't make much sense.  Handwriting is a challenge, but so is form drawing.  We spend some time with that each week and she is improving.

I guess all of this is a report card, of sorts, on where we've come from in the past couple months.  In that mood, I can see Roan growing, too.  He can draw almost anything he wants now, which is a big shift from the start of the year when he made simple head and limb people.  He is happy to copy letters to make a short phrase for his pictures.  I don't ask him to do this, but I don't turn down his requests, either.  He has drawn many recurring images--trains on trestles, himself playing in the snow, himself as a cowboy,  horses, houses with woodsheds.  The ladder (or train track) is strong in his work, the single image that could capture his sixth year in its essence. I can find it carved into the wood on my sewing cabinet and it makes me smile at his mischief.  He recently duplicated a chalkboard drawing I did of a leprechaun under a rainbow by a tree house.  It is so dear to see.

Well, time to get it together around here and prepare to welcome the windswept family home.  Happy Friday!
impossibleway: (Knitting)
Whiskers

Willow learned to purl this week and made this sweet little cat from A First Book of Knitting for Children. She has her sights set on a horse for Roan's birthday in April.  And, I must confess that I have started my own kitty in some super bulky yarn. 

In the Sun

Feb. 20th, 2017 06:45 am
impossibleway: (Lazure Mama)

But now I am mostly at the window
Watching the late afternoon light.


~Billy Collins :: "On Turning Ten"

Watching Dust 2


I think this photo really captures where Willow is these days, watching dust motes in the late-day sun. There is something shifting within her, something changing, a tumble out of early childhood into this middle world where things don't feel quite right.  There was a good while where play was hard or disintegrating for her.  She wanted to join, but couldn't sink into things or struggled with conflict when she did.  The warm weather has been a help in that way--the children are spending a lot of time outside making up their own games.  I watched Willow take hold of something on the ground and give a tug over at the Roland Estate.  They spent a long time pulling wild onions and collecting many pine cones.  They were so involved in their play, they almost didn't notice as I walked by them.

I'm reading, among other things, I am Different from You, which is a book on middle childhood and the experiences children have around nine and ten.  I love the world of early childhood, who wouldn't?  But, there is more to life than things seen in a gauzy pinkness.  I still have two children there, of course, but Willow needs me in a different way.  The end of Autumn and beginning of Winter was characterized by nightmares, worry, and other oddities.  In a recent consultation, I was able to discuss her seeming fall from paradise and ways that we have coped with it.  Right on time, the third grade year will tackle this fall by grounding the child on Earth.  We're looking forward to all the gardening, spinning, dyeing, and other projects we might tackle, along with the long-awaited creation stories.

She was so sweet the other day, so full of wonder as she watched the sparkling dust.  Fairies--that's what she says they are.  I have no wish to tell her otherwise.  There are times that I think part of being a good adult is remembering what it is to be a child.
impossibleway: (Knitting)
Simple projects today.

Here's a cheery heart mobile the children and I made yesterday.  It's a a very simple one, but it fits the bill and makes the table a happier place.  The idea comes from All Year Round, though their version was more detailed, with two sided hearts.  Also, I really love those letters and numbers on the wall--the room won't be the same when we won't need them any more.  That will be another five years, at least, right?

Valentine Mobile

And here's my Easy Peasy Shawl (I wish it had another name).  Just another five inches of the lace and it will be done.  I gave it a little steam block so that it wouldn't curl up all the time.  It felt a little like I was knitting a giant rotini! I look forward to seeing it done and trying it out.

Easy Peasy Shawl

For more crafting, visit Frontier Dreams.
impossibleway: (Movingthe Soul with Color)
FablesI suppose we are at the midpoint of the school year, or just past it.  The Enki materials say that this can be a challenging time of year to bring in new subjects or tackle things the require a certain focus.  I can agree with this.  So, we've been spending time with fables.  Having never read them outside of interpretations in children's books, I was suprised how short they are.  They're not too taxing, but there are plenty, and so we've filled our January school days with them.

January has been a more flexible month for us, though we've still held tightly to our routines.  I think it's been a time of refocus, with the understanding that we all have the occasional wide swing to the outside edges of "normal."  Some stories and ideas are winners, and some are not.  I am starting to get a feel for Roan's strengths and challenges, which are quite different from Willow's.  I can see now that his version of school years may very well take up the things we left out of Willow's.  The upside of this is that we'll all be present for it all, so things should come full circle.  Or, as full as it can come with us humans involved.

I've been trying more extra things this year than I did the past two.  I have more confidence with the materials, in part, and because there are just so many wonderful ideas out there.  Largely, I draw my inspiration from books and from what I think will engage the children.  Roan is dreamier, so we've done more puppet plays and I've tried my hand at telling some stories, instead of just reading them.  We've also learned a few of the Wynstones songs that go with the Grimm's tales.  We're going to learn a game from The Singing Game that acts out the story of "Briar Rose."

Willow and I are reading a few stories of Brigid this week, both of her as a saint and as a figure in Irish mythology.  I hope to have gathered more stories by the time that Laurel is in second grade.  Enki falls short in some areas on second grade, or offfers materials that are too challenging for younger ears to hear.  Editing the stories didn't seem appealing to me, and I didn't always feel a connection with them, so I shifted to Live Ed or stories I found on my own.  All that said, the Enki materials are still lively and complete.  I plan to use them for everyone.

Well, I think I've run out of words and it's time for breakfast.  We've all had a little quiet time since Laurel is sleeping in today.  Happy Thursday!
impossibleway: (Dodecahedron Lantern)
Seems we're filling nutshells lately.  The nuts went to a lovely apple crisp and we are putting fun little folks inside the empty shells.

First, we made little babies, much like the one I bought from Frost Lane years ago.  My Grandma Lois had a mouse that slept in a nutshell on her Christmas tree.  I think I should make one some time.  Our babies are still in the prototype phase, but we are pleased so far.  Roan made the one on the right and Willow did the one on the left.  They are not glued in, so that they babies may come out to play.

Walnut Babies

Inspired by Anna's sweet sledders, we made a rainbow of them today from uncracked hazelnuts, wooden beads, and more walnut shells.  I used the hot glue gun to hold them in place, though I suppose wood glue would be a more natural alternative.  The little hats are simply craft felt, cut to size and glued in place.  We're planning a nature table with these little friends enjoying the snow.

Sledders

And here's a dear little one to peep out of a seashell that I happened upon in my own little archive of trinkets.  We drilled a small hole in the shell using a hand-cranked drill (yes, really!).  The little stick is a size two knitting needle that I sacrificed (I seldom need five double points) and a wooden bead is glued on for the head.  The body and hat are a scrap of satin, also glued in place.  The instructions came from The Children's Year.  I hope to use this for our kindergarten story time--more on that later.

Gnome in the Shell

The weather has turned cool again, save for one last bit of warmth tomorrow, so we are back to wool undershirts and hats.  Here's the start of a salmony-pink hat for me, with yarn from [livejournal.com profile] beanovich, and a nearly finished Colin Vest for Laurel Mae.  I'm hoping to get it done tonight or tomorrow.  I steam blocked the bottom of the vest because I couldn't stand it curling up on me while I worked. ;-)

Hat and Vest

These colors are so fun and all these creations, ever how small, are little bits of happiness.

For more crafting, visit Frontier Dreams.
impossibleway: (Children of the Forest)
Winter showers, winter rain,
Wash the Earth all clean again!

Wash the Earth all clean again!

~Winter :: Gateways

For all the rain we didn't have last Summer, we have had it since then end of November.  I've joked that we've moved to the English countryside.  It's drizzling nearly all the time and the sun does not stick around for long.  This rain, however dull it has become, has been so necessary to get us out of the drought.  We're now just abnormally dry!  Haha!  It feels abnormally wet.  It is a good thing, though, and I am thankful for the rain.  We have been enjoying the weather as much as possible and spending lots of time in the woods.  It does wonders for brightening spirits, which I have needed a fair amount.

Picnic

We took a picnic up to The Road on Saturday.  It's on state land above Hungry Mother State Park, just goes out and quits with a fire ring and some big rocks at the end.  We walked just a little way into the woods and found this very nice rock.  I took a wool blanket to protect us from damp spots.

Waterfall

As we ate, we heard a stream nearby.  This wasn't flowing during the Autumn months.  The children really enjoyed all the little waterfalls and pools.

In the Woods

They were content to roam freely while I did my own exploring and carried the picnic supplies back to the car.  There were a few flies and bees out!

Wet Moss

Walking back, I heard a continuous dripping--it was this moss on a rock on the hillside. It is so good to see things nice and wet again. It makes me feel so much more hopeful about our garden this Summer.
impossibleway: (Elsa Beskow Christmas)
Plein Air TreeI cannot bring myself to get rid of our tree.  Sure, I was fine with taking it out of the house to free up some space, but completely away?  Not yet.  It was such a dear tree, for some reason.  A little scraggly and assymetric, as if we had chosen it from the woods.  Around here, we have such a dearth of trees that many are overgrown.  The tops are cut out and the bottoms are left to be sold to wreath makers.  This tree was full size and just so sweet.  Hauling it out onto the front porch in the falling snow and taking down the lights on the house, well, I had to let it be here just a bit longer.  There are few things I like better than Christmas lights glowing in the snow.

All that sentimentality aside, January clicks!  It's been FOUR months since I shared any! As always, forgive me if I have shared any of these before.
And with that, it's time for me to get up and tidy up the scattered outerwear around the house.  Oh!  And chocolate shortbread!

Tree in the Morning
impossibleway: (A Winter's Solstice)
New  Year's Eve


New year, new year,
What will you bring?
Laughing, weeping, sowing, reaping,
All are on the wing.


~Eileen Hutchings, as taken from The Waldorf Song Book
impossibleway: (Advent Apple)
In the Advent garden,
Dark the night below,
Earth is waiting, waiting, waiting,
For the stars to glow.

~Winter :: Wynstones


Advent Spiral 1

Advent Spiral 2

Advent Spiral 3

Advent Spiral 5

Advent Spiral 6


It was a perfect night for spiral walk--the air was cold and frosty, the wind was calm, and we were all so anxious to go. Mike captured these memories for us, along with taking care of a baby doll.
impossibleway: (Peace & Joy)
Whew!  Okay, almost.  I'm blocking the Baby Surprise Bonnet and still working on the Yellowstone Ear Warmers, but it's all so close to being done!  I've just got some short rows and some pinning to do and then I'm free!  Here are my makings from this very, very busy week.

Jack-in-the-Box

This little fellow would like to say, "Hello!"

In the Box

He makes his home in this little refurbished match box.  It's a tight fit, but he doesn't mind.  He's the Jack-in-the-Box from The Children's Year and I love him dearly.  This can be constructed quite simply.  It took around and hour and a half, but I did do a softer version of a true Waldorf doll head (that's a little big).  The face is done with mapmaking pens and some beeswax crayon.

Holy Family

And here's Roan's Holy Family, done just this morning while Laurel sat by my side at 5:15!  I made six doll heads yesterday, some for the shepherds and one king.  Those will wait for later, but I think we've already got a great start on a lovely nativity for his forthcoming stable.

Pot Holders

Don't look too closely at these pot holders, just appreciate that they are done.  I've learned a lot about sewing on bias tape, too.

Rosalie's Dress

And here's a very, very red dress for Rosalie, just like the one on the cover of The Doll Book.  I'll have to tell that story another day.  I might make some pants in a cheery print, if I get a chance, but I'm not holding my breath.

Lined Pants

Lastly, though done first, are some new lined pants for Laurel Mae.  Kids' clothes are notoriously wimpy, really, and I'm done with it.  So, I've archived the leggings and made some warm pants in corduroy, flannel, and quilting cotton.  Children wear what we put before them, so make your choices count.  Yes, I've got a clothing soap box.  It's been a long week. ;-)

For more crafting, visit Frontier Dreams.

Humankind

Dec. 19th, 2016 06:12 am
impossibleway: (Advent Apple)
The fourth light of Advent, it is the light of humankind:
The light of hope, of thoughts and deeds, the light of hand, heart, and mind.


Four Lights

It's been a long wait, and now it feels as if there is no wait at all.  I have loose ends to tie up today and tomorrow, a flurry of making to do, but I feel hopeful that I can do it.  I've had some real lows and a few highs, so perhaps the excitement is past.  I am ready for some waiting and some celebration.

Christmas Pyramid

We had a little accident last week--the wooden mantel fell off the brick on it sits on.  Gone is the oil lamp, repaired is the Christmas pyramid (whew!) and saved were the glass mushroom and my precious silhouette lamp.  The treasured clock is a little splintered around the corners, but it looks fine if you don't stare too hard.  No one was hurt in all that glassy, oily mess, and that is the best of all.

Fourth Sunday Rainbow

We saw this beautiful rainbow yesterday morning, both ends!  We've had half a dozen since Election day, of all things, reminding us that there is Someone much greater in charge of things.  This one was the best, and it brought yet more nourishing rain.  I am beginning to think the terrible drought is lifting.

Nature Table

Sunday suppers are by candlelight now.  I've tried lighting the candle after supper, but that's a time when quiet reflection is not at its best.  It is so lovely to see the lights grow each week.  I am hoping to do our Advent spiral this evening, having waited for the cold to blow out and the wind to die down.  Yesterday started at sixty degrees and ended at thirty!

Four Candles

I'm learning, this year, about things I need to do to make things better for next year. It is always that way, isn't it?  There is nothing wrong with making gifts, but I need to start much earlier, like March.  I did a lot to keep the calendar clear this year and I think that was right--we really needed time to ourselves, to work on ourselves.  The children have been playing much better lately,  and the old creativity is seen once more.  I think, of all things, I used to be vain about how well my children played and dreamed.  It was a quiet vanity, but it was there, no less.  My hope for the coming week and the Twelve Days to follow is for more joyful times and more connection.  Laurel goes to the dentist today (say a prayer for her) and the plan is for me to work on some gifts with Roan.  I think it will be just perfect.

The Spiral

Dec. 15th, 2016 06:02 am
impossibleway: (Advent Apple)
In the Advent garden,
Dark the night below,
Earth is waiting, waiting, waiting,
For the stars to glow.

~Winter :: Wynstones

Spiral CloseupWe spent our time outside after lunch yesterday, working on our Advent spiral.  This year, it's over at the Roland Estate, which seemed only fitting.  Having spent nearly all of this year looking after the place and enjoying the bounty of the small patch of land, I wanted to end with a memory.  Mike thinks that a magic fairy will swoop in and we will be able to buy the house and land, but I'm not so hopeful.  My only wish is that it will not be turned into commercial property like the stately home that stood next door.  So many mixed feelings, so many.  I don't have all the money or time or ability to take on a house and numerous outbuildings and a garage apartment with structural issues.  Anyway.

A spiral on the land that has come to mean so much to us, yes.

We used our extra Christmas tree branches, along with fresh holly, spruce cones, pine cones, spruce boughs, ivy vines, and bittersweet berries.  The grass was already covered in leaves and raking out the extras gave a nice effect. like it had been planned that way.  We still need to place a big log in the middle for the main candle, and I need to track down the stars.  I've got time, though, as it's going to be too cold today, Mike's playing a show tomorrow night and the weekend looks very rainy.  It's a spiral of found objects and Willow helped with the bulk of it.  It is nice to see this tradition taking shape and the care that she puts into it.  Even Laurel was cautioning me to be careful not to mess it up!

I don't know if we will share it with anyone this year, if anyone will bring lights and walk with us.  I've felt the strong need to simply be just us and choose not to entertain right now.  I have a secret hope that one of the grown children will be in town for Christmas, but that may be only a product of my busy, introverted mind.  I come up with all kinds of scenarious that never happen, conversations that never occur, you know.  Either way, this is a tribute to the people who made this place their home, the lights they brought with them, and the lights we carry out of the spiral of life.

Advent Spiral 2016

Beasts

Dec. 12th, 2016 05:52 am
impossibleway: (Advent Apple)
We lit our third Advent candle last night during a simple supper.  I think now that we will light the candle before the meal as a way of quieting things down, of making the meal different from all the rest in the week.  Energy has been high lately, too high for me, and it's obvious that time outside is so helpful.  It's funny to me that the forecast seems to always have our work day be warm and pleasant and our nature school time be so cold. Oh, well, I gave Willow a pair of my wool socks.  We'll make it.

Light of Beasts

It's nice to reflect on each light as the weeks pass by, to notcie each kingdom and its beauty.  I know these are not the common symbols of the Advent candles, the ones used in many churches, but they really give the waiting meaning for our family.

Advent Wreath

Here's our hanging wreath, still artificial after last year's rained needles on every meal.  We have many more years to make a natural one and I have bigger fish to fry these days.

Tidy Space

I had some time to myself yesterday afternoon.  I often spend this kind of time working on school planning, sewing, or cleaning something. I know all that sounds perfectly boring, but it is very nourishing to me.  I really, really need the time alone so that I can be a better person when I am surrounded, which is all the time.  Yesterday, I spent the time restructuring play spaces.  It is obvious that Willow has left the early years behind and cannot sink into play with Roan and Laurel quite as easily.  She can still play and certainly does, but it is different now.

With that in mind, I examined the spaces and the ways they were being used (or not used) and did some shifting.  One play stand was disassembled and tucked under our bed.  Mike repaired one section of the play frames and I got them together again.  They're once more a cozy place for one, intended for quiet time.  The play kitchen moved under the canopy, since the children love it, but haven't been experiencing it's enveloping mood very much.  I moved the bookshelf and mushroom house over by the heat vent, where Roan likes to spend his time.  The bookshelf was being used for jumping, more than anything.  Time to change that.

I've been considering writing about homeschooling as an introvert and what that means to me.  I feel like there are societal voices that go on about giving children lots of social time, or lots of extra classes and activities.  That doesn't feel like the right choice for us at this time.  Budget is a big factor there, along with the question of what running here and there really teaches children.  I'm a firm believer in doing a few things well.  It's obvious I specialize in the domestic arts, and I don't see a need to fit a mold.  Home life naturally evolves as the people there do.
impossibleway: (Willow in the Sling)
The Goblin Cobblers

By night we work, we never shirk,
With needle and thimble and thread.
The cobbler's asleep, he must not peep,
But stay tucked inside his soft bed.


~ Gateways :: Wynstones
impossibleway: (Club Moss in the Leaves)
See deep in the mountains where the wind blows wild,
There sits Holy Mary and cradles her child.
She rocks the cradle with hands so white,
she needs but a touch for the babe so light.


~ Winter :: Wynstones

Fallen Tree

We had Christmas in the forest today, on the Two Ponds Trail.

Candlelabras

The running cedar was releasing its spores in celebration and the ferns were merry in the cold air.

Christmas Ferns

We even found a few stalked puffballs on the hillside, shining their colors like the sun.

Stalked Puffballs

Our hike was a cold twenty-nine degrees and we needed to keep our faces covered. The wind is strong now, bringing a terrible chill. It's a good day to roast several pumpkins and enjoy the sun blazing into the dining room. Laurel's taking a nap, so I think I'll fold some window stars.
impossibleway: (God Jul)
Willow and Roan woke extra early yesterday morning, in anticipation of St. Nicholas Day.  Roan made certain to leave out a carrot for his donkey.  Sure enough, the gold coins were there, just like always.  I never had St. Nicholas when I was a child, so this is all fun for me, too.  The children insist that Santa Claus is a game that adults play to make children be good, but St. Nicholas coming down from heaven is absolutely real.  There are several sweet stories in the Winter Wynstones book that tell of that idea, if you are looking for some.

Slippers with Coins

The big surprise of the morning was the Christmas pyramid, the one that Roan had admired for so long.  A word of warning: don't use it when the furnace is blasting--I nearly set it on fire!  Don't tell the children.  One candle just burned down too far and scorched its base.  Otherwise, it was a moment full of wonder when the children discovered it on the darkened dining room table.

Pyramid!

And here are our school books for the next few weeks.  In the same pattern as the Enki sages, we are studying the Christmas Saints, as I like to call them.  We'll continue to let the stories sleep and then do pictures and summaries.  St. Nicholas is up first and we are reading the book by Jakob Streit, which has stories from this babyhood to his legacy.  The children are really enjoying these and there are only a few things that I may edit out as we go along.  We'll do Lucia next, using some stories from books and several from Christine Natale.  Roan will be doing fairy tales like The Elves and the Shoemaker, Mother Holle, and the Star Money, along with some of the stories from Winter.

School Plans

Our December movement circle is taken from Enki and Wynstones.  We're doing a combination of some quiet Winter movements, some shepherd action verses and songs, songs about Mother Mary, and a couple about the plants and seeds sleeping under the snow.  I am hoping we'll find some quiet afternoons to do some puppet plays using our Mary marionette and the verses we've been working on.  We'll swap shepherds for kings in early January and then move to Winter after that.  I'm more than ready for a good snow!

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