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Archive for the ‘Enchantment’ Category

I have come to learn alot about intuitive teaching and learning.  Of course, there is MUCH for me to learn, when mixing with Community.  In my sacred container, called home, we are safe and warm and happy and well fed, with breezes coming through the windows.  There is plenty of room for us to unfold.  In these moments we are able to learn.  Many, many times for children, from birth to around seven years old, we find ourselves as parents repeating our actions and words to the little people.  Parents are advised to have much patience and support in these years, as it can set the tone for the next 7 year cycle of the childs life.  Do not take many things young children say personal, but listen to them.  Make sure they have plenty of rest and a moderation of playing, laughing, imitating, imagining, nature and spirituality.  Actually, give me a dose of that too.  Ebb and flow.

Once children reach around 7 years of age, or in the transitioning time beforehand, they will begin to really test their owns theories in life.  They will begin to be more Self ~ Conscious.  Aware.  Becoming more self-aware means more analytical time.  Less time will be spent in Wonder.  So as a parent and a guardian of the little ones I find protecting these Early Years a large task of mine.  The only way for me to do it, is to give my children space, so I can Witness and watch Creator at work.  They are to be taught and guided in the Ways of your Walk, but most imortantly given the space, so that we may surround them with teachable moments in love and compassion.  Just as the Ancestors surround us every day, and if we are listening, we receive teachable moments and messages.  Let us mend the sacred hoop beginning with our children.

Aho.

Resource~Article

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Becoming a storyteller has found interest in my heart.  I have built a steady rhythm within my family~home.  Within this rhythm, space has been built for stories.  Stories can become part of daily ritual, as well as apart of any adventure.  Providing yourself with practice is the only way to learn.  Pick short stories to start.  Tell your kids the story on a Monday, and watercolor a scene from the story.  Re-tell the story the next day, or Wednesday (depending on the age) and bake bread.  You could even shape the bread to be something other than a loaf.  A letter of the week.  F is for Fish.  We read McElligots Pool, by Dr. Seuss, with fish for supporting characters.  The next time re-tell the story and do some modeling.  We have been using playdough for several years, and other doughs or modeling clay.  Recently we have gotten into beeswax modeling.  The wax melts and shapes in your hand, and the aroma is very uplifting.  Molding the beeswax strengthens the kids hands and prepares them for hand writing.  Kids need movement of the body to fuel learning.  I Witness this daily.  Doing these activites mentioned strengthen the memory experience, and the story goes along with it.  We will eventually add more structured (albeit loosely) theater play.  We have many props and fabrics for costuming.

Please take a look below at Marsha Johnson’s beautiful insight on becoming a storyteller, through rhythm.  Below is a picture of a beautiful Pendleton blanket that I have had my eye on;  maybe some day after much practice storytelling, I can receive this blanket.  Mrs. Marsha Johnson can be found below on Waldorfeducators yahoo group. 

Many younger parents today have difficulty with memory, this is most likely related to the arhythmic lifestyle of the past few decades, when it is the steady strong rhythm of life’s days, weeks, months, seasons, years, community, that build and strengthen our memory body (etheric or life body which is freed in the 7th year for use in memory and academic lessons…).

So you must begin to memorize and practice. Each day, for example, at a certain time, say 7 am, do some innocent activity, this does not need to be significant, just steady each day, say at 7 am, you will clap three times.

This can be at any time during the day.

If you forget, well, do it when you remember. And try again tomorrow.

Strengthen and grow your memory body in this way, for say, a period of 1 year perhaps. Yes, for 365 days, you can clap 3 times at 7 am or 12 noon or 6 pm or whenever you decide.

At the end of this period, we can speak again of this task and see how your memory is coming along. Also many other interesting things may happen along that tiny journey….

Now for the stories, you must read them first. For at least 3 nights in a row, just before sleeping. Take those stories and go into your sleep life with these tales, and by the 3 day, after the 3 nights, you will be able to tell that story. It will be there, living in you like that brilliant blue center of the warm candle flame…it is be inside you now, like an organ in your very center, that you can draw on and enjoy the process, too, as it passes out again into the world of spoken language, of sounds and tones, with hues and shades of colors and lives, that story will be in your very warm breath of life, as you tell your most precious children, these significant tales.

In this way, it becomes alive again! This is why some stories are like literal food, nourishing body and soul, past and future, healing illness and dysharmony, stories can carry deep magic and deep meaning, if told in this way.

Some stories are like cotton candy, hardly worth the effort to take into one self, they pass through with meaningless impact, and simply in a sense steal away time and space in our worlds…..

We must learn to recognize a good ‘story’ in the way we learn to know what good bread is….what is good soup….what is fresh water….clean air….clear thinking….balanced colors….. composition of self and other, awareness of what we are giving to the children and to ourselves at the same time.

This is the LEAST TRIVIAL work we will do. We plant the seeds of the future with our stories and their content will carry the children and humanity far into the future, streaming onwards in all direction, for those who listen nearby, invisiable, for those who snuggle warm selves into us, for those yet born, those who hover nearby, choosing the right time, the right place, the right family.

We use stories as medicine, friends, and this is why you need to make it one of your top priorities: memorize and learn the stories of the Waldorf Way, the critical pieces of knowledge, the golden keys that will unlock the Gate of Humankind and allow to flow forth, the River of Shalom.

Practice. Don’t look back, keep your face to the sun, and practice….begin with what you can do and be open to change. Sometimes stories take on a life of their own and that may be just what is needed. I have had times when I tell a story and the next day the children tell me new parts I did not say, and this story grew in them and took them into further details and I am glad.

I hope this helps. You can do it, I know you can.

Think in pictures and let go of your ‘intellect’. Tell the story from your heart self, not the head self.

Mrs M

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Recently I did a Stirring of the Seeds post.  I thought this verse of spring would be a nice follow up.  By the way, our seeds are sprouting, inward and outward.  How are yours doing?  Are you tending your intentions?

 

In the heart of a seed

Buried ever so deep

A dear little plant

Lay fast asleep

 

“Wake” said the sun

And come to the light

“Wake” said the voices

Of raindrops so bright

 

The little plant heard

And pushed through the soil to see

What wonders and beauty

Of the world might there be

 

(Source for Verse:  Donna Simmons, Christopherus Joyful Movement )

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I promised a post on reverence, and this is not it!  Ha!  But, I thought some of you deserved an explanation on us women talking about our Moon times.  In one of my education yahoo groups, fertility was brought up and this loverly description explains it all.  You’ll never look at the moon, and a woman the same.  Thank you womankind!  Thank you Grandmother Moon!  See, if we look at nature, we are mirrors of its cycles.

 

She explained how a woman’s body goes through each of the our seasons of the year in one month, with each week of our cycle representing a season.  In our “spring” cycle, or fertile week,  we have our moist and wet terrain (cervicle fluid is more abundant and a bit sticky like egg white).   Body temperatures are warming up, just as the season brings wamer weather.  This is the season when we have such creative potential, and we can harness this to bring forth either babies or IDEAS.  I loved the way she explained that sense of a rush of power that we may feel hormonally, and of consciously thinking of how to be at our creative peak if we are not using it for a physical creation.

 

In our “summer” season, the week following our cycle, our body temperatures are higher (a woman can use waking body temperatures to help determine her reproductive health), and our cervix, which actually lowers and rises a bit within our body, is “higher” just as the sun gets so very high in the sky during summer.  It is also a “dryer” time both outside, and our bodies have less cervical secretion.  Emotionally, summer is our even phase.  Enjoy this week and the emotional stability it brings!

 

Now comes autumn, the stormy weather!  This is a time when we must support our stormy emotions, and fortify ourselves for the winter ahead.

 

Winter, the time of our cycle, leaves us with our coolest waking body temperatures and this shift calls us to remember to bring a sweater or extra layer as we will be more prone to feeling cold.  All of the snow/precipitation of winter is mirrored in our loss of fluid (menstruation).  It is a time of “hibernation”; to really take it easy and nurture ourselves.  Normally I don’t eat too much meat but I like to treat myself to an organic grassfed bit of steak during this time for the extra iron and grateful acknowledgement of the cycle of death and life.

 

I hope this explanation is as empowering to you as it was to me!  I felt like a micro-cosm of Mother Earth and truly understand myself and am able to support myself using this picture.  I recommend the book “The Garden of Fertility” for supporting information.

 

Becca

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Gung Hay Fat Choy everyone! (Wishing you happiness and fortune in your new year!)  I want to give you a link right off the bat.  Have your speakers and volume ready.  http://www.nancymusic.com/Gunghayplay.htm  
You will hear a song about Chinese New Year!   The song is perfectly calm and went right along with all the creative processes we were taking part in. 

When I first meditated on doing a block about Chinese New Year, my first instincts were to enter into the immediate Now.  I began cleaning my home.  I began sweeping out the old, and making room for the new.  We went through our clothes.  We went through our kitchen cabinets.  We went through our supplies, art and food.  Somehow I found myself living this process.  Then, I got to take a trip to San Antonio and really let go.  I thank Creator for arranging all this for me.

Upon returning we picked up our children.  They had spent the first couple days of February in a blizzard, up north, with Grandma.  My goal was to pick them up and ground in to our home.  Warmth, baking, soft music, aromatherapy, warm baths and beeswax candle dipping.  Transitioning from travel with children I have come to realized is an art form.  Especially if you are homeschooling.  And, even more so if you are presenting life to your children holistically.

The Story of the Chinese Zodiac (prints one page)

http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/the_story_of_the_Chinese_zodiac.pdf

Here is a coloring page to go with the story.

http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/chinese_zodiac_story_coloring_page.htm

Anything Chinese New Year here.  Look for the Rabbit though.

http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/chinese_new_year_coloring.htm

I had fun watercoloring a silhouette of the rabbit, along with the sign for double happiness.  I did notice Wolfsion writing on our foggy kitchen storm door the chinese symbol for Happiness.  He was inspired by a stone sculpture we have.  And, we made a paper chain of red and purple.  Here is a picture of us dipping the beeswax candles together.  Dad captured the moment.

I don’t know if you can see what I can see, but there’s magic in this picture.  The magic of the candle making in the background.  The secret, the chemistry.  And in the front, River is just full of Light.  Filled with magic.

Ok, I can show you the candles now.  We are so proud of our discoveries.  I mean aren’t we bringing light to our lives?  The cool thing about all of this is being creative and happy with the mundane.  That aspect of the journey is very hard.  It is the only way to joy though, because it is a part.

Our faithful bookmobile lady also brought us the book Chinese New Year~Cultural Holidays, by Katie Marsico.  I most like the circular illustration of the moon phases.  We discussed the celebration beginning on the new moon, and ending on the full moon.  Wolfsion has already expressed the moon phases in his drawings and sketches.

To explain, I use a soft approach with this information.  The kids have been around the wheel a few times, but they are slowly waking up.  At this point, I work with their observation aspect in a soft way.  I don’t delve too too deep yet.  However, they come to me with very deep and simple findings.  Today we painted each others faces after nap time.  For Samantha she was the perfect bunny-girl.  A super hero.  And River was doing his bunny hop.  Which makes me happy and I note his movement development.  Joyful Movement is the name of a curriculum resource I have by Christophorus.  I have just began to peek inside and really integrate more movement to assist with developement.  Everytime there is new movement or strength, there is an immediate transferrence to their waking up…the brain.  It is amazing being a Witness in this human pathway.  Ok, so here’s some little bunnies.  They are far happier than they look, they are only in fear of smearing their paint.  Ayla Bear, our beautiful black dog licked Samantha’s paint right off!

The Year of the Rabbit is our destiny this Chinese New Year.  We have a nice nature table set up with white silk fabric draped over wood chunks forming a den for our rabbits.  Wolfsion has been long friends with one rabbit, who goes by Bunny Rabbit Dance.  Well this is Bunny Rabbit Dance’s family.  We take care of them by checking their stores, and even adding a stone sculpture with the Chinese writing of Happiness.  Thanks Magic Man!  The boys great uncle gave that to us at our wedding.  I would show you a picture of this landscape, but Bunny Rabbit Dance and his family are off making tracks.  It is the wrong time of day, they aren’t home.

If you don’t mind e-books though, here’s the link. 

http://www.starfall.com/n/level-c/chinese-fables/load.htm?f

We enjoy different kinds of presentations, because our world is filled with many mediums.  In traveling, I like to expose the children to low/moderate amounts of things.  We do not over-expose tv, computers, or phones, but it very much is in this world.  I do believe I am protecting the boys senses, but also slowly opening them up to things that exist.  I can’t imagine traveling to Seattle, or Germany and the boys not having been exposed previously to any of those three categories.  Storytelling, free-play, crafts, music, baking, nature and community, with the thread of Spirit ,weave together the majority of what we are made of.

Have you ever thought you wanted one thing, but when you got there, you realized that you already possessed the truer sense of what you were searching for to begin with!?  If you like wonder, magic, dragons and faraway places then you will like the book, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.  I got it from a beautiful blog.  This lady is an awesome teacher and student of life.  There is much inspiratation here for the family in 2nd grade.  I realized after receiving this book from my AWESOME bookmobile lady, it would only be a preview for my eyes only.  The book is just not quite for Kindergartners.  I didn’t know that, but I am very glad I had the opportunity to read it myself.  Timing is everything.  I felt able to apply the story to my life in the Now.  I hope you get to read the story about Minli too.
http://ancienthearth2.blogspot.com/2011/02/chinese-new-year-year-of-rabbit.html

“D” is for Dragon.

 In our journey we also watched a video of the Lion and Dragon dance.  We give Microsoft a shout out, because Uncle Thomas works there in Seattle, and we found this video by accident.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzvmzfxx3pA&feature=related

One of the funnest things we did though was sit at a low table on pillows.  The menu was fish and rice, chopstick style.  We happened to pick the chopsticks up in San Antonio, so the boys were happily suprised…perfect timing.  We decorated our table with a bright red tablecloth in honor of the celebration.  Nian the dragon would not be stopping by for dinner, but the Ancestors would, so we left a Spirit Plate out.  Our centerpiece was a dipped beeswax taper, set in sand.  And, there you have it.  We took about 3-ish weeks to move through all of this process.  Thanks for stopping by~

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

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One day, a long, long time ago, it was very cold; winter was coming. And all the birds flew away to the warm south, to wait for the spring. But one little bird had a broken wing and could not fly. He did not know what to do. He looked all round, to see if there was any place where he could keep warm. And he saw the trees of the great forest.
“Perhaps the trees will keep me warm through the winter,” he said.
So he went to the edge of the forest, hopping and fluttering with his broken wing. The first tree he came to was a slim silver birch.
“Beautiful birch-tree,” he said, “will you let me live in your warm branches until the springtime comes?”
“Dear me!” said the birch-tree, “what a thing to ask! I have to take care of my own leaves through the winter; that is enough for me. Go away.”
The little bird hopped and fluttered with his broken wing until he came to the next tree. It was a great, big oak-tree.
“O big oak-tree,” said the little bird, “will you let me live in your warm branches until the springtime comes?”
“Dear me,” said the oak-tree, “what a thing to ask! If you stay in my branches all winter you will be eating my acorns. Go away.”
So the little bird hopped and fluttered with his broken wing till he came to the willow-tree by the edge of the brook.
“O beautiful willow-tree,” said the little bird, “will you let me live in your warm branches until the springtime comes?”
“No, indeed,” said the willow-tree; “I never speak to strangers. Go away.”
The poor little bird did not know where to go; but he hopped and fluttered along with his broken wing. Presently the spruce-tree saw him, and said, “Where are you going, little bird?”
“I do not know,” said the bird; “the trees will not let me live with them, and my wing is broken so that I cannot fly.”
“You may live on one of my branches,” said the spruce; “here is the warmest one of all.”
“But may I stay all winter?”
“Yes,” said the spruce; “I shall like to have you.”
The pine-tree stood beside the spruce, and when he saw the little bird hopping and fluttering with his broken wing, he said, “My branches are not very warm, but I can keep the wind off because I am big and strong.”
So the little bird fluttered up into the warm branch of the spruce, and the pine-tree kept the wind off his house; then the juniper-tree saw what was going on, and said that she would give the little bird his dinner all the winter, from her branches. Juniper berries are very good for little birds.
The little bird was very comfortable in his warm nest sheltered from the wind, with juniper berries to eat.
The trees at the edge of the forest remarked upon it to each other:
“I wouldn’t take care of a strange bird,” said the birch.
“I wouldn’t risk my acorns,” said the oak.
“I would not speak to strangers,” said the willow. And the three trees stood up very tall and proud.
That night the North Wind came to the woods to play. He puffed at the leaves with his icy breath, and every leaf he touched fell to the ground. He wanted to touch every leaf in the forest, for he loved to see the trees bare.
“May I touch every leaf?” he said to his father, the Frost King.
“No,” said the Frost King, “the trees which were kind to the bird with the broken wing may keep their leaves.”
So North Wind had to leave them alone, and the spruce, the pine, and the juniper-tree kept their leaves through all the winter. And they have done so ever since.

From How to Tell Stories to Children, and Some Stories to Tell , by Sara Cone Bryant

There you have your story.  We went on a couple of short hikes over the last week and scouted out a pine tree and a juniper tree.  In the boys Christmas Stocking they received a ceramic boot pot with spruce seeds, so we are on our way to germinating those.  First up we had to soak the seeds for 24 hours.  Then, we placed the seeds in a wet paper towel, in a baggy, and put them in the fridge.  I couldn’t find how long to put them in for, so I will be going back to research.  Doing this assimilates over-wintering.  Next we will take them out of the baggy and put them in a shallow container with a bit of water and wait up to 20 days for them to sprout.  I hope you enjoy our adventure!  I included the latin names of the trees on the pictures, but they are not showing up.  Here ya go again.  Eastern White Pine, Pinus Strobus L. and the Juniper~Eastern Redcedar, Juniperus virginiana.  We do not know what type of spruce we are planting, bc it came in a generic pouch.  Guess we will find out later, if it grows.  The point of this study is to help the boys learn to observe and identify trees and plants within their surrounding.  Off we go!

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Step one, find egg carton in your recycle bin.
Then, cut out the cup parts of the carton.
Trim the cups to make them mostly even on the bottom.
Paint them red!
Make sure you have all your items.
Egg carton, green yarn, bells, green and red paint and paint brushes.


Next cut out all your leaves, from the flat parts of your carton.
I bent them symetrically long-wise through the middle, to give
the leaf a real look.  Then, we got ta painting.

Once everything has dried, take a large needle and run one strand of yarn-thread through the middle of the jingle cup.  Draw the thread through the jingle bell on the bottom of the cup, and re-draw the thread through the bottom of the egg cup to the top of the egg cup.  Now you should have both ends of the yarn-thread on top.  Now, you put the needle back on the thread, and pierce 3 to 5 leaves.  Draw the leaves down to the jingle cup and arrange.  Then, tie off the top of the yarn.

There you have it.  It takes a couple of days to make, if you do it in sessions.  I seem to like coming back to my projects as time allows. 
Having several going at once. 

When one works with bells, it seems to Call to the Authentic Self. 
I decided to gift these to my mother for her tree.  The tree itself works like an antenna, and placing the bells on the tree will send the message heavenward…to the universe, calling upon the authentic Self.

Aho!

(note: picture coming soon of me and my mom)

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