Food for Thought

Hello again! We are redesigning many aspects of our lives right now, and it is taking priority over a lot of other things, like this blog for instance. Still, we love sharing, and will do our best to continue posting weekly.

Bella has started new reading units, one of which is Fables. I remember really loving fables as a child, and that love is being reawakened as I listen to Bella read. She currently has an issue to say certain words, but we break out the thesaurus and use substitute words when she gets stuck. What an adventure!

Our current entertainment, aside from going to the cinema, is to watch cooking shows. One of our favorites here in France is Chefclub. Very well done! They have plenty of naughty recipes, but also some delicious, lighter, more healthy fare. Their Facebook pages are a great place to enjoy a video or two. Bella is begging me to order their cookbooks. She especially loves the sucre themed book, of course.

One of the ways we are redoing our lives is our eating. We are raising the bar as high as we can regarding quality, and where we buy. We were already doing pretty well with the foods we eat, but after doing a bit more research, I see where we can do even better. Every little bit helps! I buy fresh organic veg, meat and bread as much as I can from the farmer’s market which cuts down substantially on the less sustainable foods of the big chain markets. That’s a blog for another day. From what I see, it is a real global challenge.

I feel good about my efforts to make foods from scratch that are usually boxed, packaged and full of additives. Especially the sweets that Bella wants to have. For example, we just learned how to make homemade marshmallows. It took us a few tries before we nailed it, but the 3rd time was the charm! Here is a picture of our successful batch (..raspberry and vanilla).

What’s cool about the marshmallow thing is that you can use honey instead of refined sugar, and even sneak in some probiotic powder during the process. You just have to eat them within 3 days if you do use probiotic powder. Marshmallows tend to disappear around here very quickly, so it isn’t even an issue. Here are the links I found for making homemade marshmallows. We sort of combined the ideas of all of them and made our own delicious batch!

https://wellnessmama.com/6423/marshmallow-recipe/

https://www.mommypotamus.com/homemade-marshmallow-recipe/

Bella and I also had a bit of fun making some chocolate mousse trifles. Check ’em out below!

They were good and had just the right amount of sweet from the cookie. We used organic dark chocolate, organic cream and organic chocolate cookies in ours! Yum!

Here’s the link for the 3 Ingredient Chocolate Mousse Trifle:

Hope this blog post has given you some food for thought, and thought for food.

See you next week! x

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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

Currently Smelling the Flowers

Short post today as we’ve had a tricky week. I will post our Valentine’s Day fun next week! Meanwhile, wishing you all a Valentine’s Day well celebrated by loving yourself so that you can love others.

❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

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.

Clouds Roll In

The clouds roll in, the clouds roll out, and sometimes they overstay their welcome. Today was one of those days.

Bella was able to make it through her school work and seemed okay during lunch, but in the afternoon, there were overhanging clouds of heightened sound sensitivity, and accompanying noise (made by Bella) to let me know how she felt about it.

One of the most puzzling aspects of Bella’s sound sensitivity and autism, is the impressive amount of noise she can generate even though she cannot stand various sounds.

Something I observe is that Bella will make noise just to avoid the eventuality, or possibility of sound. She abhors unpredictable sound.

Watching her closely, assisting her through rough spots, and managing my own energy along the way. Tomorrow is another day.

In more cheerful news, Bella and I went to see a 2D animated movie last weekend called, “Pachamama.” It was artistically beautiful and Bella seemed to enjoy it.

Bella’s fairy, arts and crafts project from last week is still brightening up a little corner in our kitchen. Every time I look at it, I think of the magic I believed in as a child, and how that magic is still with me deep at heart. It is the very thing that keeps me going on days like today.

Bella’s grandmother sent us a picture of the photo of Bella that we sent her for Christmas. She has framed it beautifully and attached a little accoutrement charm to the frame that says, “love.” Oh, how Bella loves her grandma!

Love indeed. Love is where all magic is born, and where all manner of unbelievable good can be felt and experienced.

Love sustains, and bring sunshine to the heart, even on cloudy days.

Wishing you all a bright hearted week!