Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Family Traditions

People often ask us where we draw inspiration from as regards our family traditions, home rhythms and small rituals.  Certainly there are many sources in addition to our own eureka moments.  A lot of the Waldorf tradition in general gives ways of marking the year and of creating simple points of connection for our family.  In that tradition, there are many precious resources.  To list a few: Seven Times the SunHeaven on Earth, All Year Round, Festivals, Family and Foods, The Birthday Book, and Amanda Soule's latest--The Rhythm of the Family.  While they no longer publish new material, there is a lot to be found at Rhythm of the Home blog.

More recently, I found a couple more! :)

Mrs. Sharp's Traditions (by Sarah Ban Breathnach) celebrates Victorian families and sensibilities, but the activities mentioned universally appeal to children in particular.  She has clever ideas for rainy days, holidays, preparation parties etc.  Because of our prior exposure, the festivals mentioned were not new to us.  (I'd still say they're novel for most folks though.)

The new find is The Book of New Family Traditions (by Meg Cox).  I'm not even finished with this one, but it deserves mention so far.  I like how she looks at even simple transitions like meals or greetings and goodbyes.  She has a ton of suggestions to knit a greater thread into our attachments.  These threads really assist greater simplicity since those rhythms are things we count on and rest in.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Moon Time

I just finished Moon Time by Lucy Pearce.
It had many issues covered about women's cycles and health--it was a pretty exhaustive touch on all areas that seem to come up.  For a while, I read things here and there about aligning our cycles to those of the moon, and this book reinforces that principle.  Many women claim that they suffer less and feel more attuned to relevant connections.

I like that this book has possibilities for women of all comfort levels in terms of honoring themselves, taking care of their needs and seeing our natural progress as quite special.  I can definitely recommend this one.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Michaelmas 2014

We had a good little feast for Michaelmas.  While we did abandon dragon bread and golden silks/capes, we have enjoyed stories and talk of bravery.  We decided to talk about how we can be brave in our lives and how we have been in the past.  Reg Down's The Most Beautiful Dragon in the Whole World was what we told at this evening's supper.

It was a beautiful day at Tallulah Gorge (where we were visiting and attended an intro to geocaching talk).  We spent very little time out on the trails, but we enjoyed the bit we did.  It is starting to feel like Autumn.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Faith Unraveled

I just finished Faith Unraveled: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask Questions by Rachel Held Evans (her blog is quite good too).
This one is quite a page turner.  For the first few chapters, I mostly nodded and smiled knowingly as I was in on so much of the lingo, so many of the Evangelical Christian concerns.  It almost felt like watching the movie Saved for me.  (Ok, maybe I'm a little snarky?)

Her path is similar to my own, and I really appreciate that the place she ends up isn't one of despair but rather of renewed hope.  She is more interested in the Community coming together to have these conversations and wander (and wonder) through the questions together than having clear answers.  Her conclusion is that you can doubt things about God without doubting God.  There's so much more to the book than this conclusion though--so many of those amazing moments when I had those tears of recognition etc.  The ending is priceless as she looks at what children really want when they ask an adult questions and how those questions should be answered (most powerfully with stories of course).

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Michaelmas Preparation: Shooting Stars

We were really taken with the wet-felted shooting stars we've seen in past years that some Waldorf families make for Michaelmas, so we made our own.  Rather than dye the wool roving this time, we purchased some with a few pertinent colors in it.  We thankfully had some ribbon that would do the trick of tails.

Eleni is already having fun throwing them to be our shooting/falling stars.  That wool really does feel fantastic.  There are other examples of ways to do these stars like here and here.  I think besides doing some dragon bread, this year we'll also dye some capes of light.

We did some purple liquid watercolors in honor of Michaelmas daisies (and blackberries, for that matter) given the season/stories for Michaelmas.  The verse is one we found that generalizes courage for our theme etc. rather than having to focus on slaying an actual dragon.  We do talk about those stories, but the central point for us is courage.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad...modified

We tried a pinterest find called Rainbow Thai Chicken Salad from Gimme Some Oven tonight.  Eric isn't wild about avocado, so I kept that to just my salad.  Also, we like lettuce and not as much cabbage so we subbed the green cabbage for romaine lettuce.  Eric also chose to do his own dressing and added tomatoes.  All in all, though, it was a hit!  It also made some leftovers for me.  Further, we had more chicken and more Asian peanut "dressing" left so I mixed them for another meat choice for another meal this week.  I should've taken a picture--sooo pretty.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Unschooling Rules

This is a short read, but it points out a lot of reasons people logically educate their own children in lieu of allowing the government to do it.  So much of it makes you think (whether you're the educator or the parent) about what kids need to flourish and develop their own thinking.  This one was under $3 on the kindle--very worthwhile.