Vloggish

The best way to say it is to show it. 🙂 Here’s a short clip that tells the story of our now, and a few snippets of our Valentine’s Day cooking fun!

In other news, Bella learned how to whistle last week (..note the first sequence in the video clip), and is building her repertoire of songs. 😉

Life is pretty much a song at the moment and we are humming along!

See you next week! x

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Snow Day (Part 2)

We got another 10 centimeters of snow a few days ago. Loving the sight of it, but it is already melting.

The day it snowed, Bella enjoyed time outside, …mainly throwing snowballs! Here are a couple of pictures of her in action!

As an aside: The structure in the background (behind Bella) is an old outbuilding from about 1614. I think it was used as a barn and stable for horses way back then. We use it for our horse (…erm…car) and storage. I love the old stone structures here in France! 😍

We made it to see How to Train Your Dragon 3 and we all loved it! Beautiful scenery, gorgeous animation!

Bella has had a good week so far and we are steady on with school activities. We have plans to do a little cooking show next week. It’s going to be all pink, hearts and roses over here!

Until next time, wishing you all a big hearted, first week of February! ❤

Snow Day

We have been wishing for snow and today it finally arrived! We received a couple of lovely, white inches!

After taking a quick walk outside around the house to see the snow, it was time for the comfort of a warm fire and hot cocoa! Bella enjoyed homemade, gluten-free waffles with butter and organic maple syrup alongside her hot chocolate! This girl loves her food, and eats well. I am very grateful that she does.

Even though it was tempting to take the day off and call it an official snow day, we forged ahead and enjoyed a productive school day.

After school, I introduced Bella to knitting. I just let her watch, and observed her to see if she seemed interested. Afterward, she said she would like to try. She will start tomorrow. We will take it slow, and keep it fun.

Waldorf encourages knitting as part of its curriculum. I have read that there are positive benefits regarding the development of the brain. Perhaps it is good for the aging brain too. 😉 In any case, I am enjoying my return to knitting in order to guide Bella.

My thoughts and heart have returned to my dear grandmother who taught me how to sew, do needlepoint and embroidery work, quilt, knit, crochet, and to write stories and poetry. She also taught me how to shop ’til I drop! How I miss her! I have unfortunately lost a lot of my skills for lack of using them, but the knitting is coming back to me now that I am practicing again.

Maybe by next winter, Bella and I will have developed the knitting skills to fashion some scarves, hats and slippers for yet another cozy, dreamy, snow day.

I will remember this snow day fondly no matter what becomes of the dreams we planted in today’s book of intentions.

Shades of Waldorf

“The sun with loving light makes bright for me each day, the soul with spirit power gives strength unto my limbs. In sunlight shining clear I revere, Oh God, the strength of humankind, which thou has planted in my soul, that I may with all my might, may love to work and learn. From thee stream light and strength to thee rise love and thanks.”

Rudolf Steiner

Bella reads this passage each morning before we begin our school day. It is a prayer of sorts that fills the air with love and gratitude.

Following the reading, Bella and I do basic Eurythmy (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurythmy) movement with accompanying vowels, “a,e,i,o,u.” Each vowel holds specific energy and communicates a deeper meaning through the movement.

We are still learning about this aspect of the Waldorf curriculum. Rudolf Steiner had a strong conviction of its importance. Bella seems to love it, and therefore, we continue on.

I write about Rudolf Steiner today as I continue to feel the importance of his beliefs, and his message for both teachers and the children they influence. It is wisdom for all of humanity.

As I move through each day as Bella’s mother, friend and active caregiver, I realize that the greatest teaching / learning is actually taking place for her (..and for me) in the spaces of love, laughter and experiential lessons around and in between the formal curriculum of school work.

Rudolf Steiner wrote, “The heart of the Waldorf method is that education is an art, it must speak to the child’s experience. To educate the whole child, his heart and his will must be reached, as well as the mind.” I observe this to be so, and see how important the moments of play are, the moments of doing simple tasks, and the moments of just being.

You will not be good teachers if you focus only on what you do and not upon who you are.” These words written by Rudolf Steiner play like a beautiful refrain in my mind. They strengthen my motivation for self discovery and provide the basis for more meaningful work, and connection with Bella during our homeschool experience.

Each day, we talk about having a “happy heart.” I observe that with a happy heart, this imperfect world, shines with moments of perfection.

“In sunlight shining clear…” I see the beauty of what Rudolf Steiner saw. The gift he has given this world is immeasurable.

Even if you only embrace various shades of the Waldorf curriculum into your experience as a parent, teacher, or being, it cannot help but open up windows of insight into who you really are, and give you glimpses of otherworldly perfection.

Giving Thanks

It is the eve of Thanksgiving. All is quiet in the house except for my brain, which keeps going over the list of food I will prepare tomorrow for our feast. According to my recycled thoughts, we are well stocked and ready.

Bella and I ventured out on a morning walk in our pj’s to gather twigs and branches to paint for table decorations. I had a good time. Bella, …well, let’s just say that she did her part. She found twigs and branches. This picture says it best.

Fall Projects
Searching for twigs to paint for our Thanksgiving table decorations. An early morning walk in our pj’s! 🙂

We then circled back to the house, got properly dressed for the day, and started painting. The twigs and branches are now a lovely gold, and will be on our table tomorrow. Here are a few more pictures to illustrate our activity.

Twigs and branches.
Twigs and branches.

We’ll share pictures of our finished table setting next week along with pictures of our Thanksgiving celebration lunch. It’s going to be quite simple, and just us turkeys this year. Since Thanksgiving is an American holiday, and therefore, not celebrated in Europe, we will not have company. Bella planned the menu, and will assist me in cooking. Looking very forward to it!

Bella has enjoyed learning about the Pilgrams, Native Americans and the first Thanksgiving celebration. She’s also enjoyed reading some very cute, and silly stories about Thanksgiving. One of her favorites is Turkey Trouble. It is full of good humor, and vegan folks must especially love it!

We had our first snow here yesterday. It has us feeling the Christmas spirit as we celebrate all we are thankful for.

20181120_084553
Snow Day!

Wishing all of you an abundantly blessed Thanksgiving, followed by stretch pants and comfy sweaters! Much love to all!

Busy as a Bee

A very quick blog post today! It is beaucoup busy for me and will be over the next few weeks!

We decided to make a wreath with our glitter painted leaves! Here’s how it turned out…

Autumn Wreath
Glitter painted leaf wreath

The wreath is now hanging on our front window alongside the bats! Yay! We got them all hung! Here’s a peek…

Autumn Wreath and Halloween Bats
Autumn Wreath and Halloween Bats

Bella has been busy as a bee making costumes for her Sylvanian Family friends. She isn’t finished, but here are a few of her amazing creations!

Mr. Carrot Rabbit
Mr. McGregor will never see me disguised as a carrot!
Sylvanian Friends Halloween!
Daddy Squirrel is dressed in his Candy Corn costume!
Skeleton Cat!
Skeleton Cat!
Sylvanian Friends Princess for Halloween!
Everyone wants to be a princess for Halloween!
Sylvanian Friends - Dracula-a-a!
Dracula-a-a!
Ho, ho, ho...Merry Halloween!
Ho, ho, ho…Merry Halloween!

We’re just a little bit excited for Halloween! More news and pictures next week!

All the Comforts of Fall

More fall crafts, fall comfort food baking, and overall good days. We enjoyed our first gathering around the fireplace a couple of nights ago. It was just the right amount of heat to take the edge off the chill in the air. It still isn’t cold enough to use our winter, pellet heat during the day. Fall is mild for now.

Today we glitter painted the fall leaves we gathered up a few days ago. Now we are trying to decide how to display them, what to do with them. We had a good time, and think that they turned out kind of pretty. What do you think? Here are several pictures of the gathering, painting, and scattering.

Morning sun...
Morning sun…
Gathering fallen leaves
Bella…triggered by the outside sounds, but gathering leaves and walking with mom.
Autumn leaves...
Autumn leaves…
Glitter painting autumn leaves...
Bella glitter painting the dried leaves…
Scattered autumn leaves
Glitter painted leaves, scattered and drying…

Bella has decided to enter a couple of coloring / art contests. Here is a picture she is submitting to Sylvanian Families. It is already a winner in my book! 🙂

Coloring Contest
Bella’s coloring contest picture!

We’ve been ambitious with our baking this week! We tried our hand at making apple turnovers! We did cheat and use pre-made, puff pastry, but I did it with a clear conscience. It is organic and much better than I could’ve made as an inexperienced pastry maker.

I made my own alterations to the recipe as I felt it asked for too much sugar. I cut the sugar in half, and it was still almost too sweet for us. The apples are very sweet all on their own. Next go round, I will simply sprinkle about a Tbsp. of sugar on the apples. I feel that will be enough sweet.

The turnovers turned out absolutely delicious! Next time, we plan to make the pastry dough from scratch. I’ve found a pretty good source for gluten free, puff pastry. If it turns out, I’ll share the recipe. Here are pictures of our baking adventure this week.

Fall Baking : Apple Turnovers
Bella staring down the apple. 🙂
Fall Baking : Apple Turnovers
All ready for the skillet!
Fall Baking : Apple Turnovers
2 Tbsp. of butter… in go the apple slices!
Fall Baking : Apple Turnovers
Cheat sheet! Bio (organic), puff pastry sheet!
Fall Baking : Apple Turnovers
The end result…delicious!

Bella is already listening to Christmas music, and making her Christmas list! She has made several Christmas cards, and some adorable Christmas pictures as well. Here’s an example.

Merry Christmas in October!
Merry Christmas in October!

I am sorry to say that our bats are still hanging around, but they are not exactly hanging where we intend them to be. So, …we cannot show you the end result today. That will be forwarded to next week’s blog.

Wishing you all the comforts of fall! See you again next week!

Sunshine through trees...
Sunshine through trees…