Thursday, September 29, 2011

Waldorf Seasons: Michaelmas Festival

Though I have become more interested in Waldorf education over the years, I have admittedly glossed over the Michaelmas seasonal celebration in the Waldorf tradition.

I came across this really simple and informative article on The Magic Onions, and I am finding myself on board with Michaelmas (it always starts wee with me).

Why, because I believe children process the major themes of life through stories and celebrations, and this one seems pretty potent.

"Saint Michael is the archangel responsible for hurling Lucifer from Heaven...This equinox marks the beginning of darker days.  Since Michael is a herald of light, he is thought of as a protector during this time."

The way it has become expressed to children is the story of George slaying a dragon, which is adapted for children of different ages.  

Melissa recommends, Saint George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges and Trina Schart Hyman and Saint George and the Dragon by Geraldine McCaughrean and Nicki Palin.

Crafts, dragon bread and dramatic plays all easily accompany this celebration as well, to the Michaelmas Festival!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ema, Aba & Mishpokhe

Holidays have always been a delightful way to tell "time"with my daughter.  Mudi has been given the gift of exposure to several religions, which makes the year even more prolific.

Apples and honey, books and festive songs help us celebrate Roshashana.  The Shofar Calls to Us, a board book by Katherine Janus Kahn, and the songs of Cindy Paley have been invaluable for imbuing the meaning, culture and history of this time of year.

Happy Roshashana, Le Shana Tova!

Owls, foxes and skunks!

Autumn and Me! Family Class, Hollywood Hills, CA

A unique parent-and-me class (nannies and grannies too!) where will enjoy and explore Autumn together.
There will be messy nature play, crafting, pumpkin hunts, gnomes and at the final class we will meet some of nature's favorite woodland creatures (with a professional facilitator): owls, foxes, skunks and more.
Sundays 10AM, October 23rd-November 13th
for details :)

Friday, September 23, 2011

{This Moment} A Friday Ritual

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
 A simple, special, extraordinary moment. 
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Apple Cake and Autumn

Apple Sprites and  Pot Giveaway! at This Cosy Life

We love Autumn!  This year Mudi's class is studying apples, last year was pumpkins.  At home we recently read the beautifully illustrated story, The Apple Cake, by Nienke Van Hichtum. 

What a great way to take a trip to a simpler quieter place.  

The Apple Cake offers a wonderful moral of faith and doing good for goodness' sake without adding any provocative elements of fear or danger.  Included is also the recipe for baking an apple cake, which makes the story even richer.

We have also been telling our own stories through the wordless book, Autumn, by Gerda Muller.   At first, my excited-to-be-reading-on-her-own seven year-old was disappointed there were no words, however, we are both finding much stimulation, excitement and delight creating our own.  

We can feel the (best) weather in every detail of our original story, and actually there would be no room on the page.

And I am aware that Fall has not officially started yes.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

"You can observe a lot just by watching." Yogi Berra

I have heard it said and know to be true that children grow best with adults who continue to work on their own personal progress and growth.  

I do best, especially in my work with parents and children, when I observe without judgement.  

I am transformed by the idea tonight (from an old Hawkins lecture): framing creates reality.  How we (choose to) see something is how we experience it.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Murky Water Play Today Hooray

A couple of moments from murky water play today, everyone! in the pool--oh, it's dirty, yaaaaaay!!!

{This Moment} A Friday Ritual

(Can't help it--words!) she didn't want to be in that carseat, she was 'plainin pretty good...

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
 A simple, special, extraordinary moment. 
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Please feel free to add your moment.

Monday, September 12, 2011

October Classes Are Enrolling, Playgroup Los Angeles

So happy it is nearly Fall, my favorite.  

October mommy-and-me classes are now enrolling at Playgroup Los Angeles.  

Please visit the site for details about these baby and toddler classes:

There is a limited time discount for early registration.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Playgroup Playsilks!

Seven years have passed, babyhood has swiftly become childhood.  I love my little seven year-old.

And at such a time in her childhood, I am so grateful to begin and savor babyhood once more.

I am so fulfilled that my mommy-and-me playgroup crafts and dances with postnatal grace among the nursing, eating, discussing, cooing, crying and spitting-up.  

We dyed playsilks this week, and it is so nice to create what will become a treasured keepsake, a sense memory one day, of the fleeting time when our children were babies.  

My seven year-old has taught me that one day these silks will become the roof of a fort, mermaid tail, or a fairy's cape.  Today they are a teething toy, peek-a-boo game, and a colorful cave, a wormhole into a quiet world for just baby and me.

I Heart Wool Felters!

"it comes naturally as breathing"

Daria is an artist and mother of 3 who lives in Israel.  She has a great talent for felt, and is giving away one of her pieces on Natural Kids Blog.  You can read an interview with her there and comment for a chance to win the giveaway!

Friday, September 9, 2011

{This Moment} A Friday Ritual

Can't help it (words): first time sitting, we turned around for a second and this is what we found!

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
 A simple, special, extraordinary moment. 
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Please feel free to add your moment.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Meltdown Monday Giveaway at This Cosy Life

This Fairy Witch is by Lemka at Fairy Forest Crafts and is the Meltdown Monday Giveaway at This Cosy Life

My seven year-old is definitely the Halloween-in-July type (all year round really) so this Halloween sprite will definitely become an annual treasure!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

I Didn't Do Any of That

At a certain point today, 

I had been so taken over with feelings that I had to force a pause to insert that the facts of the (then) present moment into my thinking (I was sitting in my yard with my (blissful!) baby.)  

~And instantly I travelled back into my (then) present moment, and it turned out, funny enough, I was looking right at this the whole time I was away fretting:

Mother Nature pointed out to me right then, not to worry about my fears.

Rainbows Have Nothing to Hide

I wish I had seen the double rainbow today, but I am so happy that my brother did (obviously Hollywood, nevertheless the rainbows are real):

I love you Reggie.

Friday, September 2, 2011

{This Moment} A Friday Ritual

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.
 A simple, special, extraordinary moment. 
A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Please feel free to add your moment.

In Praise of Mud: A Little Dirt Won't Hurt

As next Thursday approaches, I am beginning to prepare for There Will Be Mud: Water Play with Me!.  I am plotting the logistics, and I am mostly hoping my yard does not turn into a mudpit--the mud must be contained!

I am tickled to have stumbled upon this enlightening article from the National Wildlife Federation, "It’s in the dirt!"   

It seems that in addition to the developmental benefits of playing with water and soil, the exposure to good bacteria in soil, Mycobacterium vaccae, triggers the release of seratonin, which is known to make us relaxed and improve brain function.

Bottom line for me, it turns out, those parents who let their kids eat a little dirt aren't crazy at all (yes!), and they've got a bunch of relaxed and smart kids to show for it.