Wednesday, November 30, 2011

art work turned head board

A couple weeks ago we did a fun project with Turnips and rutabagas. We then took the art work that was created and decoupaged a piece of wood we had hidden in our basement with it. This was the outcome. I just love it! This is a great way to use all that artwork that your kids create. I am thinking about what else I can decoupage.....maybe a bathroom cabinet, or a table. Let me know if you have any other ideas. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

the magic of wet on-wet water color painting

I have been putting off doing wet on wet water color painting for a while now. I am not sure why it seemed so hard to me. Maybe because there are so many steps you have to take to prepare for it, or because I had never done it, but after reading so many wonderful things about how important it is to the Waldorf curriculum and child development, I gave it a go. Wet on wet water color is all about experiencing color not form. We used yellow and red, as we are in autumn and seeing all the trees changing color now. After we soaked the paper and set up everything  I told the story of the trees dressing up in their party dresses and dancing in the wind. As I told the story, the paint danced on the page in front of me. It was so alive and magical. I never explained to the kids that I was painting leaves or that red and yellow make orange, I simply told the story and let them see the colors change and experience the truths of autumn and color on a heart level. The kids watched me and then got to experience the magic of the paint for themselves. I was so taken by the beauty of the experience and so happy that I had finally decided to share this with my children.  I can't believe it took me so long to try it.  To learn more about wet on wet water color painting here is a nice video. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

This Moment: family

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 , go over to SouleMama

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

a not so perfect day

I had this beautiful vision of today. Baking with the kids in preparation for Thanksgiving.  The kids and I working together in the kitchen. Smiles and laughter filling the air while sweet smells of pumpkin and apple pies building excitement for tomorrows meal. But instead of that warm holiday spirit, I had a house full of screaming children and was left to make all the  pies by myself with a crying baby in my sling. I had been up all night nursing and now no one was interested in helping me in the kitchen. I wanted to cry too.  I like being a Mom most of the time, but today was the kind of day that I really questioned why I ever thought this would be fun. Of course, as I sit here now with all 4 pies either cooling or in the oven, my house back to it's semi orderliness state and most of the chaos at bay, I can start to see a glimmer of that life I thought I had. yet.......ok......back to quiet for a minute. The sun will come out tomorrow. Right?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

my gratitude runs deep

My Grandparents: Gwendolyn & U.E. Mathis

Every year at this time I think about all the people in my life that I am grateful for and say a special prayer of gratitude for the two people who are no longer in my physical life, but still have an enormous impact on all that surrounds me, my grandparents.  It was 7 years ago that my grandmother past away, but a day doesn't go by that she and my grandfather aren't on my mind and talked about.  I imagine my grandmother's voice singing along while Jetta is playing the piano or I imagine her holding my new baby in her warm loving arms and looking at me with love and compassion. I imagine my grandfather proudly telling everyone he knows about how talented each of his great-grandchildren are and wanting to be there to teach them chess, beat them at gin rummy, or just take them to the park and talk about life. Each night Jetta and pilot still want to use great grandma Gwendolyn's silverware and feel safe in bed each night knowing that they have two special angels watching over them. 
I have been doing a lot of thinking this year about life and death as we welcomed this new person to our family. Eventually we too will have to say goodbye....for now. I have a picture of my grandmother as a little girl on my dresser in my room. She was so little and cute, just like Jetta, and had her whole life ahead of her, That moment was as real as my own childhood and now hers is over and I have children of my own. Life is so fleeting, yet each moment is never ending because it makes its imprint on you and the whole universe. 
My grandparents were two very special small stones in a great big ocean but I am still feeling the kind, soft, loving  waves they made. Those ripples will go on and on and have already been imprinted on me and my children and their children's children. More important than even genetics, these waves of kindness impact every cell in our bodies and change who we are, They shape every aspect of our lives, My heart beats to the rhythm that was created by my grandparents and past to my mother and now I see that joyful spirit living on in my children and I know that they feel it too. They have been touched and formed by the presence of these angels and I live in gratitude each day for this.

my grandmother pulling her sister

my grandfather, mother and grandmother

my Mom and me

Saturday, November 19, 2011

This Moment: a day at the park

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 , go over to SouleMama

Friday, November 18, 2011

I'm just fine

Most days I have to answer the question "How are you?" and most days I just say good or fine without really thinking about the question much. Sometimes I wonder if something is wrong with me because I don't respond with a enthusiastic "Great!" and I even get the occasional "is everything ok" look because the word "fine" seems to imply that there is something wrong. Yes, I have moments of real joy, but mostly I have a sense of feeling content with my life. It actually feels very good. I am just fine. I have spent most of my life striving for and expecting things to be great. Somehow I got the idea that if I was doing something special and extraordinary I would be happy and that happiness would bring joy to my life. I was taught that I was special and that of course meant that I needed to do something special., You know, save the world, or in my case be a "star". I remember my grandfather saying once that my voice was a gift from God and that it needed to be shared.  I thought that if I became a famous singer that I would be living up to my potential and it would make me happy. I think I had an expectation that if I wasn't feeling thrilled about every moment of my life I wasn't doing it right. I thought that being on the stage with thousands of people cheering for me or owning a successful business or making lots of money was the goal, although deep inside I longed for something completely different. I longed for family. Children. Cooking. Cats. A dog. A wonderful partner. A garden.  I started to realize my true soul desires and what  made me "happy". I started to live my life according to my heart. I started a family, a garden, adopted 3 cats and learned to cook. I am now up nursing all night, changing a million diapers, cooking and cleaning all day, completely exhausted and just fine.  I now realize that being content  is the best feeling in the world.  It is the feeling of not needing or wanting to change anything. Yes, there are many happy moments to my days, but mostly I feel just fine and I don't want to change a thing. And as for the gift that God gave me. I have found the most important audience of all. My family.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

turnips three ways

We had fun with our main lesson on Monday this week. After reading the story of The Enormous Turnip we went out into the garden to harvest our own turnips and rutabagas that the kids planted from seed a couple months ago. I was just praying that they would be big enough for us to eat.....and they were. We painted the leaves and made prints that filled the porch with fun and color and then we boiled the turnips and rutabagas and mashed them with butter and salt. We even sauteed the greens (which are high in calcium) with a leek from our garden.  I was so surprised at how tasty it all was and I have decided that I like the root mash better than mashed potatoes. This will be perfect for thanksgiving this year. While our root and green snack was cooking Jetta drew a picture and wrote some sentences from the story in her main lesson book. This was definitely a lesson to remember. It realy incorporates the whole child using the Waldorf principles of  hands heart and head.  I will try and repeat this lesson each fall season.

this blog is part of Real Food Wednesdays
Bassgiraffe's Thoughts Thursday Blog Hop

Monday, November 14, 2011

my new EMF meter

We finally got our EMF (electromagnetic field) meter last week. I have been wanting to test the house for a long time now to find out how bad our daily exposure to EMF's really is. I have been reading about EMF's for a while and we have already made some changes in the house, like turning off our router when we sleep, not putting a clock radio near our beds, only using cell phone on speaker, getting rid of the microwave, not putting laptops on laps and getting a mattress that does not contain metal. So, after testing all the appliances, walls, lights and pretty much every inch of the house, I am happy to say we are in pretty good shape.  Some places where we do have dangerous levels (3 or above) of EMF's in the house are the washer and dryer, the oven and stove top, the toaster oven, the blender, the dishwasher, the hairdryer and the electric toothbrush. We also had 2 lights that we are going to have to replace. Both were from IKEA. One was right above our dinning room table so we really have to replace that, as we spend a lot of time sitting there. To reduce our exposure to many of the EMF's from our house we just need to use these things as little as possible and be as far away fro them as possible while they are in use. We are very lucky that our power lines are underground as power line can be a major source of EMF exposure. The other really bad spot we found was in our car. The back seat was not bad which is great for the kids, but while I am in the front seat I am sitting in very high, dangerous levels. Time to get some new walking shoes. So, if you are wondering why it is so important to lower your EMF exposure here are a few articles you may want to read. In the mean time, I would suggest getting a meter to test your house. The most important rooms to test are the bedrooms and rooms you spend the most time in. My husband researched and found this meter to be one of the best to get. It is the TriField Meter Model 100XE. I am going to share my meter with all my friends and family.

(from Less EMF inc.)
After more than 25 years of intensive study, the health and safety conscious Swedish government has established a safety limit for exposure to ELF magnetic field at 2.5 mG, and VLF magnetic fields at only 0.25 mG. Although the U.S. government has been slower to act in establishing its own standards, the Swedish standard is generally accepted throughout the world. What this possibly means is that if someone consistently experiences exposure which exceeds the standard, that person could be at risk for developing health problems which can range from headaches, fatigue, and dizziness to skin rashes, miscarriage, leukemia, and cancer. In fact, numerous court cases where plaintiffs claim to have been injured by EMFs are now in progress. Even though the controversy of conflicting scientific studies persists, it seems strange that cigarettes and alcohol are packaged with warnings we already know about, and the sodium, fat, and cholesterol content of foods must appear on the labels, but NO ONE TELLS YOU THAT THE AVERAGE HAIR DRYER, VACUUM CLEANER, OR CAN OPENER 

Here are some sites you may want to check out:

Sunday, November 13, 2011

getting creative with crust

I have been having so much fun playing around with pie crust recipes. A pie crust is one of those things that keep people from making their own pies for many reasons. They are hard to get just right, they take a long time to make and it can be messy process. Now add having to make a gluten-free crust and you are looking at a much bigger job. Since I love pie so much for pretty much any meal of the day, I have been working on crusts that are fast, easy, healthy and create almost no mess. I will save my fancy "real" pie crust recipe for special occasions. For the every day pie, I have been loving my nut crust. And now I have a new favorite crust made with coconut flakes that I used with a pumpkin pie filling this week. It was so simple. Put coconut flakes, eggs, butter, vanilla,  cinnamon and stevia into the food processor and blend until incorporated and pasty. Spread in the bottom of a buttered pie pan and add your filling. Yum! (I don't have time to figure out proportions right now, but if you want them just leave a comment and I will try and get it to you.) 

this blog is part of Real Food Wednesdays

Friday, November 11, 2011

This Moment: Family shadows

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

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

math mixed with art and nature

I am really loving this 1st grade Waldorf curriculum  by Donna Simmons. We just finished a math block and enjoyed how nature and art is brought into every lesson. Each topic is taught with a story. First we gathered nuts to use for counting and then made the various math symbols out of bees wax. We made squirrels out of wax to represent addition, subtraction, multiplication and division and drew pictures from the math story next to the math equations for that day. I wish I had learned math this way growing up. It really seems to make it come alive and develop the true reasoning behind each concept. Instead of merely memorizing it, I feel like Jetta is understanding it with her hands, her heart and her mind.