Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Happiness Project: Week 3

:: Our last days in Florida ::

If you want to jump on the "Happiness Bandwagon", go over to leigh vs. laundry and share your happiness.

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Friday, September 24, 2010

This Moment: Underwater Love

This is a special moment from the past week that I want to stop, savor and enjoy. If you want to see other moments being shared this morning, go over to SouleMama.
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

In My Kitchen: This week

(This recipe was adapted  from my cookbook "Living, Loving, and Cooking with my Daughter")
3 C Quinoa
1/4 C Butter, melted
1/4 C melted coconut oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 C raw honey or real maple syrup (or stevia to taste)
1 T sea salt
2 t ground cinnamon
1 C coconut sprinkles or freeze dried fine coconut
4 C chopped crispy nuts (cashews, pecans and almonds or whatever you like)
1 C raisins
4 T Ground Chia seeds

Directions:Soak quinoa in water and lemon juice over night or up to 24 hours 
changing the water every 6 hours. In the morning 
strain it and give it a good washing in fresh water
 4 or 5 times. Cook quinoa in water per directions on bag. Add the shredded 
coconut after it finishes cooking. Preheat oven to 180°F.
Into the Quinoa, mix butter, coconut oil, stevia or real maple
syrup, salt, coconut, cinnamon and chia meal. 
Spread thin on cookie sheets and bake until
hours or until dry and crisp. (alternately, put in food
dehydrator). Add crispy nuts and/ or
raisins. Store in airtight container.

Serve with raw cow or goat milk and add stevia,
raw honey or maple syrup to taste.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Happiness Project: Week 2

Sheer joy playing in a fountain that we just happened upon on a walk through Coco village.


If you want to jump on the "Happiness Bandwagon", go over to leigh vs. laundry and share your happiness.
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Monday, September 20, 2010

Connecting with my History: Naturally Dad

(This post is written by my husband John. We can just call him "Naturally Dad".)

Spending time with my Grandmother this past month has been wonderful.  Seeing her face light up when she sees the kids  is priceless.  I didn't know what to expect and am so happy that we took this trip so the kids could really get to know their Great Grandmother... and me to connect with my grandmother.  I'm seeing what a loving, sweet, playful person she is.  Yesterday we took her outside in the yard behind the Autumn House and  I told her to sit down on this "perfect little wooden chair".  I helped her to sit and she looked up with a grin and said, "Hard as a log though".  Another day I asked her if Pilot had hurt her when he jumped on her lap and scrambled up to give her kisses and hugs and she stopped walking and pretended to shrivel up in fear and sarcastically started saying how awful and terrible it was.  We all had a big laugh.  It has been really fun watching her joke around while playing ball with the kids and seeing her eat every single bite of a mountain of ice cream. She is full of warmth and love and it just pours out from the moment we see her until the moment we say goodbye each day.  

As I connect with my history, I am awakening parts of myself. Flipping through old photos with my Grandmother, seeing the moments of her life in these books while listening to her sing her favorite songs to us  is amazing. In some ways it feels like I am meeting her for the first time. Me as a father now with my children, I am relating in a different way. Even though she has trouble with her memory at almost 90 years old, she is in some ways, more open and able to share herself with me then before. She lives in the moment and seems to really be able to see the joy in everything which is a wonderful lesson to all of us.

But my favorite times are spent just holding her hand or putting my arm around her and feeling the warmth and love between us. 
-John, "Naturally Dad"

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

A year in Art: Jetta's Art Book

(part of the 30-minute Mom Blog at Steady Mom)
If your children are like mine, you must have thousands of pieces of art work that you can't seem to throw away but don't have wall space for. I have a great idea for you to be able to honor the artist in your child without  having to build more storage to house all the precious pieces of art that your little artists create.

This year I decided to make a book of the best art from the year. I dedicate one large drawer to finished art pieces that are not on display in the house. Throughout the year we fill the drawer and at the end of the year (from one birthday to the next) when the drawer is stuffed with tons of masterpieces, we go through them all and pick what will make it in the art book and what we can just throw away. Then we took pictures of all the pieces of art and uploaded them to Snapfish and created the layout for Jetta's Art Book. I just loved the way it turned out and this way I feel that we are honoring the kids as artists by valuing their hard work. Jetta loves looking through her book and and sharing it with guests who come to the house. She has already started working on next years book.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Healing with Gratitude

We decided to take a long family vacation for many reasons, but one of them was to heal from the past 2-5 years of over-working and under sleeping. After giving birth to my daughter 6 years ago, my husband and I can count the number of full nights sleep that we have had. Both my children, as wonderful as they are, are terrible sleepers and I have had trouble sleeping myself since witnessing the twin towers collapse on 9/11. After 6 years of progressively taking more and more onto our plates we finally did start to break down. I am still in the process of healing  my voice from over use and lack of sleep which has been quite a journey for me since I am a voice teacher. I have had to develop extreme patience and muster up all the positive thinking I can manage to trust that it will heal in time. I always took my voice for granted. I never imagined that it wouldn't be there for me when I needed it. So I decided to listen to my tired and achy body and make a life change. Slow Down.
First on the list, go on a long vacation to visit people we love and walk the beach and just enjoy every moment with my family. That is just what I have been doing. I can't say that I am totally healed, but I have learned a great lesson about how much is too much for me and my family.
I am spending my days with my family making things, ridding bikes, eating good food, and making sure to get my feet in the sand and feel the ocean breeze on my face. Most importantly I am remembering to feel gratitude for each moment that I have with my family on this beautiful earth .  And even though I am still up all night with my kids and may feel tired, I am happy. I am choosing to focus on the good and give attention to all that I am blessed with in my life. I am choosing to focus on what I can offer to the world. And it starts with feeling grateful to be alive just the way I am.

"Happiness is when there is no desire for something, just a gratitude for what is. Then it is not a temporary state, because as long as you have gratitude, you have happiness". Osho

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This Week in Homeschooling: What is Waldorf

What is a Waldorf Education?

Waldorf answers says that Waldorf or Rudolf Steiner education is based on the understanding of the human being as a being of body, soul and spirit. Waldorf education mirrors the basic stages of a child's development from childhood to adulthood, which in general reflects the development of humanity through history from our origin, far back in past times up to the present.

The central focus is the development of that essence in every person that is independent of external appearance, by instilling in his/her pupils an understanding of and appreciation for their background and place in the world, not primarily as members of any specific nation, ethnic group or race, but as members of humanity and world citizens.

Thus, the Waldorf kindergarten cultivates and works in support of the pre-school child's deep, inborn natural attitude, belief and trust in and basic reverence for the world as an interesting and good place to live in.

Since we are using the Waldorf method as a strong guide to our homeschooling and I feel that every aspect of life is a chance for learning and growth, we have been taking advantage of our world around us to guide our learning.

We are in Florida visiting relatives right now, so this is the perfect opportunity to explore our own history. We don't have to read about someone in a book when we can talk to them in person and learn about how they lived, what they thought about and what they loved. We added an artistic element to this live history lesson by making a family tree.

While in Florida we are learning so much about the geography and wildlife of the area. Not from reading about it, but just by spending time bird watching, taking rides through the swamps, and walking down the beach collecting treasures.

Since we are living on a golf coarse right now, I can't think of a better time to do some golfing. Every evening we walk out on the course and do a little putting.

And fishing has become a favorite pastime. Jetta is a pro and has developed such patience with it. She is using her Great Grandfathers fishing pole.

I haven't had to push any of their learning this summer, as they are so excited about the world around them and all of the wonderful things to explore, that they are the ones coming up with new ideas for games, art projects and adventures for us to enjoy. I merely have to follow along and enjoy it right along side of them and always work to provide them a peaceful natural environment so that their creativity can thrive.

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Sea Shell Wind Chimes and more!

(This post is a part of the Mom's 30 minute blog challenge at Steady Mom)
We have been finding shells at the beach every morning and have quite a collection now. Here are some of the projects we made with them yesterday. The wind chimes are my favorite. I think they will make great gifts to bring back home with us. They are very easy to make with the kids and I think they have a real wow factor.
Jetta made this cute shell bear.

John was are technical specialist. Here he is drilling all the holes in the shells using his Grandpa's drill.

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