Friday, September 30, 2011

{This Moment}

{This Moment} - A SouleMama Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Have a delightful weekend, friends!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

An Honor and a Privilege

Many moons ago I had the honor of being asked by this sweet girl to be her godmother.  This weekend I will have the honor of serving as the officiant at her wedding.  There are no words to adequately share how much this means to me. It truly has been an honor and a privilege to be part of her world for the past twenty years, and I cannot wait to see what the next twenty bring!  

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Driveway Artists

A beautiful day like this:
Just called for a bit of this:
"Mama! Look!  I'm an A!"
It's how we roll.  And honestly, we wouldn't have it any other way!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hide and Seek

Hide and seek has become a favorite game lately and it was such a treat to get to document how much joy this simple game brings them!

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Beginning

After much contemplation (and lots and lots of discussion) it was decided that we would purchase the kindergarten curriculum from Oak Meadow and give it a try this year. We really went back and forth on this topic for quite some time, feeling a much greater pull toward the unschooling end of the spectrum than not. Dave felt that he would really like us to have one, and I kept reminding him that a) I have a ton of stuff from my teaching days in the basement and b) I really don't want to be a slave to a curriculum. If I wanted that I would return to the classroom. Since this is a democratic family, I decided to do some research and see what I could find (and learn).  As you may know (or may have figured out by now) we are really into childhood, nature, creativity and embracing the teachable moments around here.  If I could find something that was essentially "us on paper" then we'd give it a try, and if I couldn't then we would continue doing what we've been doing (you know, the whole if it ain't broke don't fix it thing).  As soon as I laid eyes on the Oak Meadow website I was over the moon!  Their slow pace is just our style, and I love that they have an "Unschooly, Waldorfy feel" to them!  And truly, they are "us on paper"!  Fabulous!  The materials arrived on Saturday, and that night I dove right into reading through them.  Everything I read had me nodding in agreement (and yet again wishing that we had just pulled Grace out of preschool last year).  It all made total sense to me, from the way they use classic stories to teach letters (and why), to just being outside experiencing nature, to the use of art, to the way the introduction encourages parents to make these activities as natural a part of the day as possible (instead of feeling like scripted lessons).  And it was then that I knew that we had found a gem that we would be able to embrace, all the while staying true to who we are as a family of learners!
While Em napped Grace and I created the picture to go along with the story we read last night before bed (The Tale of Peter Rabbit) to help her learn the letter A.  There is nothing as delightful as using a brand new, gorgeous set of beeswax crayons.  Nothing!  We'll surely be ordering more of these!
After Em's nap and some lunch we each created a picture of our favorite part of summer.  The three of us reminisced about all the wonderful summer things we did as we created our pictures.  It was truly delightful and a wonderful way to spend this rather warm autumn day!
"Mama, I making fireworks!"
A very proud girl and her picture of the lake that she so loves!
Since it was another gorgeous day we decided a nature walk was in order.  We were hoping to find lots of acorns to bring home with us.
Heading out to the "acorn tree".
"Mama!  There are no acorns!"
This was a total surprise (and very disappointing) since the entire base of the tree had millions and millions of acorns surrounding it in June!  Guess, we'll just have to come back another day.
And since we were on a nature walk, it was only natural to use some of the things we collected in our baskets to practice making the letter A.  Which the girls decided the fairies would love to see!
Yup, Oak Meadow and us go together like peas and carrots!  Our day did not feel any different than any of our other days.  Nothing felt contrived or fake or "too schooly".  It was just right and I am thrilled! 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Soul of Sunday

To me this picture just embodied what Sundays are about.  Peace.  Contemplation.  Going at a slower pace (all while wearing your new favorite dress from your Gramma, of course.  And yes, these have been washed often)!  To share your Soul of Sunday head over to Ordinary Life Magic.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

First Day of Autumn

Yesterday in celebration of the first day of Autumn, Grace and I hung the Indian Corn on our front door and changed the nature table from summer beauty to autumn.  This was all done while Miss Emma was taking a rather long nap, hence why she did not join in the fun. During our autumn decorating Grace said to me: "Mama, I think autumn is my favorite season, but I like winter, spring and summer too!" 
Autumn Verse
Yellow the bracken,
Golden the sheaves,
Rosy the apples,
Crimson the leaves,
Mist on the hillside,
Clouds grey and white,
Autumn, good morning!
Summer, good night!

Friday, September 23, 2011

{This Moment}

{This Moment} - A SouleMama Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. Have a delightful weekend, friends!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The (Almost) Last Day of Summer

I was convinced that tomorrow was the first day of autumn until I consulted Google and learned that autumn is actually still two days away.  Needless to say, on this gorgeous late summer afternoon we headed out with our family of friends to do a little fall raspberry picking and just bask in the gloriousness that was this day.
There are no words to accurately express how fabulous this group of littles is together (amd it should be noted that this photo is missing some of the kids).  I hope that they always stay as sweet a group of friends as they are right now.  They are truly a wonderful bunch!
Off to the raspberry fields.
And the adventure was topped off with a lovely game of Duck, Duck, Goose (or Duck, Duck, Peanut Butter.  Clearly, the ltitles were ready for dinner)! 
What a glorious ending to a glorious day! In the words of Grace: "Mama, we have the best friends!"  That we do, Grace.  That we do!