Dec 22, 2009

December Adventures

A visit from Nutty the squirrel. Nutty joins us almost every breakfast and has become quite tame.

The kids graduated their Kindergarten Co-op in December. We shared a final story and thanked our friends for the amazing experience that we were blessed to be a part of. Many tears were shed (by mom) to leave what we have worked hard to build for well over a year. We knew Teilee was ready for the next stage, and it was time to find a way to provide that for her. To celebrate the occasion (and bring a smile to moms face) we had a night out on the town, beginning with a surprise carriage ride.
Teilee got to help guide the lovely Juliet who neighed throughout downtown to Teilee's delight.

Of course we then had to eat out at our favorite dinning spot, La Luz. Lots of gluten free options, kid friendly menu, not bad prices, and well.... it is just plain delicious.
We finished off the night with some ice cream and then some ice skating. Teilee is a blast to watch, such zeal and fearlessness on the ice. Landis is cautions but well balanced and it will be no time at all before he refuses to hold our hands.

Impromptu math lesson given by Teilee. You never know when a teaching moment will strike.

Our winter table.
Honoring the Advent: Each week we lit a new candle and added a new element (ex: The first week shells and bones, the second week evergreen boughs, the third week animal figures, etc...). On Christmas we lit the final center candle.

We added a new verse each Sunday to be spoken while lighting a candle.

The first light of Advent is the light of stones.
Stones that live in crystals, seashells, and bones.

The second light of Advent is the light of plants.
Roots, stem, leaf, flower and fruit by whom we live and grow.

The third light of Advent is the light of beasts.
Animals of the farm, field, forest, air, and sea.
All await the birth in greatest and in least.

The fourth light of Advent is the light of humankind.
The light of love, the light of thought, to give and to understand.

Throughout the rest of the week we shared this verse.

Spirit of the East, spirit of air, of morning and springtime: Be with us as the sun rises, in times of beginning, times of planting. Inspire us with the fresh breath of courage as we go forth into new adventures.

Spirit of the South, spirit of fire, of noontime and summer: Be with us through the heat of the day and help us to be ever growing. Warm us with strength and energy for the work that awaits us.
Spirit of the West, spirit of water, of evening and autumn: Be with us as the sun sets and help us to enjoy a rich harvest.

Spirit of the North, spirit of earth, of nighttime and winter: Be with us in the darkness, in the time of gestation. Ground us in the wisdom of the changing seasons as we celebrate the spiraling journey of our lives.
Our kindergarten co-op put together an advent spiral. Each family contributed something for the occasion and helped to make it a beautiful experience. Each child and parent took a reflective walk through the spiral. I did not get a great picture of the event but is was spectacular. It was dark and quiet, we all sang while each person took a turn and walked a huge spiral of evergreen boughs to the center and back out. Each person carried an apple candle into the center and lit it, then randomly selected an angel card to have, and finally made the journey back through the spiral placing the lit apple candle around the edge to light the next person's way. It is amazing how accurate each angel card was for each person and truly remarkable how reflective and soulful the whole experience was.
Lighting a Candle
Deep in the ground of the human soul,
Of victory assured,
The Spirit-Sun is living,
All through the winter of the inner life
The faithful heart divines it.
Rudolf Steiner

Making cinnamon ornaments.
Enjoying the frozen stream in our Cottonwood Creek.

St. Nicholas Day.

The kids were both awake early and were very very quiet. I caught the kids hand in hand walking into the living room, softly and sneakily peering around the corner at their shoes near the door. Wondering if leaving them out the night before had paid off.
It did!

Making snowflakes. We learned a new messy trick this year. If you glue on salt, the snowflakes glitter in the sun. We hung these above our nature table and will enjoy them throughout the winter.
No ice skates necessary on our frozen river.

We don't always have the most current equipment. We wait patiently for the day when we can own a nice sled, snowshoes, skies, ice skates, snowboards, snow boots for mom and dad, another pair of snowpants for mom and dad (we do get tired of picking who gets to be dry each trip out), etc.... However, we are so incredibly grateful for everything we have and everything we have access too. We are warm with coats and hats and gloves, we are gifted with the ability to buy a few experiences this year, we are blessed with a beautiful place to live where we have fun out our back door. We were able to do so much more this year and we have enjoyed every single moment!

On the Solstice we sang songs, played outside, and honored our feathered friends. We made our traditional bird seed ornaments to hang on our tree outside. This will be an activity that we will continue in January.

Of course a few trees needed to be climbed as well.

We took the kids to a dance performance downtown. We got to watch our favorite 15 year old in her first ballet performance and were spell bound by the experience. I am hoping to expose the kids to more and more and more arts in 2010. See, another blessing!!
Teilee became very ill a few weeks before Christmas and well into January. She ruptured two ear drums and we have worked hard to heal her. To help her immune system we limited her intake of sugar (no candy canes) and limited the amount and vigor of physical activity that she took part in. After Christmas we took some time to sled with friends. Our park has great kid appropriate hills, and she was feeling well enough to go out. So.........
Go Teilee Go!!
Teilee and her friend Morgan took off on their own over and over and over again. What a fearless twosome.
That's all, and that's enough. I still have Christmas to post!!
Hope your December was as wonderful as ours.

Dec 15, 2009

Need name ideas

Calling all Imaginations!!! I need your creative juices. I am not only in need of a new blog name but also a business name. I would like the two of them to be intertwined somehow. They don't have to be the same name but I am looking at finding a way to at least link them.

Here is the business: Natural solid wood kids toys such as: Waldorf Kitchens, shoe racks (to dry boots on), fridges, small figures, dryers, etc......
We are wanting anyone interested in natural kids toys, waldorf education, hand crafted products, local products, family business (everyone is involved) be able to find us and be interested in what we are offering! Nick is incredibly skilled and these items are also marketable as heirloom and art pieces.

My new blog I intend to focus on our homeschooling Waldorf experience and the things we do at home with the children.

Here are a few name ideas we have come up with so far:

Imagination Playground
Crabby Lion Toys (From our Horoscopes: Landis is a Leo, and the rest of us are Cancers)
Rainbow Bridge Woodworking
Willow Woodworking
BW Woodworking

Clearly we are struggling. I just can't find anything suitable. My primary goal is to find a business name first. I am sure something can be created for the blog from that.
I would love to hear any ideas you might have!

Nov 2, 2009

Changing My Blog

I am going to be starting a new blog. One that doesn't make me feel so frantic! Art imitates life and life imitates art. I am tired of being crazy and busy. I am looking for ideas for a blog title that exudes peace, Waldorf homeschooling, art, mothering, family, creativity, music, etc.....along those lines. The best of our world and not the crazy business. Something marketable as I may have found a way for us to combine our home businesses, their potential websites, and my blog into a money making venture. Hummm...........Blossoming Garden, Nature Nest, The Learning Tree,........ideas?

Just a warning: What follows is a prime example of why my title must change from Crazy Busy to Calm Peaceful. If you make it through this blog you will earn my respects, but please don't venture forth into the depths of my list if you are hoping to not disrupt your own calm, peaceful state of being;)

This week I have been losing it! So completely overwhelmed with all I have.
1) Homeschooling- Our break was this week from KinderMoon and I didn't accomplish at all what I needed to in order to reenter our rotation this week. Our home rhythm collapsed with our busy schedules and our children are desperately needing their mother to find her calm and peace. I must get back to fulfilling their schooling needs first and everything else second! After talking with other homeschooling moms I know that this is a normal part of the process and I just have to get back on track.

2) Home- We began moving our office and the kids room around and it is still trashed more than a month later!! There is more work in there than I know what to do with and I still can't find my calendar so I am constantly missing events, birthdays, and other commitments. Teilee has been in gymnastics for 5 weeks and has made 2 of those days. One day she missed due to illness but the other 2 were because I just FORGOT!!

3) Secretarial Job- Still working on September's workload and will probably get October's within the next week. Here is the way I earn money (and need to do this) and I can't manage to get that commitment handled. It is always less than 5 hours a month.

4) Childcare Job- I have an entire system designed to maintain accurate records of when I work and how much I am owed. Have missed a few days and have had to ask the mother of the child I watch for that info. She is a dear friend of mine and I love her child but this is also a business! This is another way I earn money and I am having a hard time record keeping. I am hoping to have a more routine schedule but as of right now it is usually just here and there watching. It has been challenging to fit my kids schedule and homeschooling needs around.

5) Choir- Am thinking of giving this up.....too much on my plate!!! Weekly practices are becoming too much, the childcare situation is stressful, and added performances are added stress. Had a recent performance a few days before the garage sale (mentioned in the next one). This one was at a benefit dinner for my good friend (who the garage sale was also for). This performance was relaxed but of course there are always extra practices and I always get nervous!!

6) Recent Benefit Garage Sale- Recently threw this huge (HUGE) sale a week ago on Sunday (raised lots of money) and am still cleaning up. I am really hoping this is a huge reason why I feel so overwhelmed. Whether it is because the friend I was helping out has moved and I am sad or just that I was sooooooo busy planning, picking up donations, arranging, pricing, sorting, etc.......I am hoping that now that this is over my life will calm down a little. Not to mention that on Sat., the day before the sale, I became ill again and so did Landis. Took Landis to the ER at 2:30 am on Sunday because he was struggling to breath. Took Teilee to a friends house so I could join Daddy and Landis at the hospital. Sent Nick home at 5:00 to start setting up the garage sale only it was snowing so he couldn't start until 6:30. Garage sale started at 8:00. We didn't have any volunteers arrive until around noon that day. We managed but man was the deck stacked against us. Landis gets croup often and we usually can manage with our home remedies but this time it just got out of control. He was really tired the next day but otherwise was feeling great. Mom and Dad were tired too;)

7) Halloween- Had one major costume to make, finished it at 6:00 went Trick or Treating at 7:00 pm on Halloween! Also had Landis' costume to make adjustments to so that it would fit him, but we were lucky enough to borrow it.

8) Extracurricular Activities (needed to keep me sane)- Have had a few get togethers with friends but have also missed quite a few because I was busy!! Keep trying to schedule in one because I desperately need the mother to mother, friend to friend chatting to provide me some emotional peace.

9) Illness- have been sick for something like 6 out of 8 weeks. Had some illness at the end of summer and then it all went downhill after I hosted our kindergarten co-op, KinderMoon, on day one of my two day week. I am still dealing with laryngitis and a sinus infection. I have to work on my diet and exercise and am hoping that will help!

10) Days of the week- We have found ourselves out of the house (morning, afternoons, and many evenings) with commitments Mon, Wed, Thurs, Friday, and often Sat. and Sun. That leaves Tuesdays to cram in all errands, play dates, and any at home time that we need.

11) Life- Garden prep, yard work, fixing house, cars breaking down, money running out, job interviews for Nick, Holiday preparing, gift making, organizing, pumpkin carving, trip taking to the zoo and pumpkin patch, trying to have friends over, singing, discipline issues, cats, dishes, cleaning, starting new woodworking business, volunteering for Raintree Community School, mortgage, taxes, friends b-days, pot lucks, baking, sewing, knitting...........

I think I am tired from reading this and typing this and those are the main points I could think of at 1:00 in the morning. I kinda wanna live in denial about everything that has been on my plate. I am sure it is normal to get overloaded, it is a good reminder to unload and reduce! My life is full of love and laughter and fun and I don't want to give any of that up!!

I am needing a fresh start, a new calm, focused persona and a new blog. I am wanting to breath in the moments and not pant! This has to be my last ever Crazy Busy entry. I will use this blog until I have time to set up a new one but am ready for a change into something that resembles what I strive to have in my life!

Sep 20, 2009

Friendly Faeries

It is amazing how often the kids dive into the dress up clothes when someone is over. Princess, faerie, pirate, cook, and angel are all universal kid games. Some friends prefer to play puppy more than pirate and to each their own. Teilee tends to try only to play dinosaur and it has been great expanding her enjoyment of some different repertoire.
Teilee had her friend Shamaiah over to play. Shamaiah loves to play princess or faerie. The last time she was over we ran out of time to venture to our Cottonwood Creek. A short jaunt down our greenbelt and you will arrive to a small weedy, grassy area with a huge cottonwood tree and a small creek running through.
This time I swore to the girls (who are good at getting promises out of me) that we would go. They donned their most appropriate attire and insisted on a few baskets to gather trinkets with, and we were off. Leave Landis in his nap and Daddy at home this was a girls adventure!

We found some lovely fishing sticks and began catching blue gill, trout, catfish, sunfish, big mouth bass, crappie. Then the ever elusive dogfish (that barked), catfish (that meowed, and cowfish (that mooed). Of course we practiced catch and release on a few. Some went into our fish basket for later dining.

We had a wonderful time, this is our little oasis. Quiet, somewhat secluded, and hidden. This was a great photo opportunity as well. The dark haired princess and the golden tresses of the faerie.

Trudging through the trees. This is one cottonwood tree with branches descending both sides of the path.

We love having our friends to play, it is always an adventure!!

Shamaia is catching the Andi fish with her stick.

For the next visit she has made me promise we will bake cookies! Who am I to say no?

Water Play

I have some great pictures of some great experiences from this summer.

We have always ventured to this spot along the Spring Creek Trail. It is an educational art piece about the water cycle and we found it to be a quiet, secluded, refuge within our town. Little did we know that it held a fabulous surprise. One warm afternoon we were enjoying a picnic upon the stone structure when a few young boys came riding up. We were surprised that children of their age (around 10) would come here to play. As we were talking with them one child went and pushed what seemed to be a part of the artwork and low and behold water began spraying from the now evident fountain. The whole display suddenly made sense and we were quite embarrassed that we had not figured it out. We came back a bit more often to play in our own private water park.

The life cycle is described on the walls of this half moon shaped feature. At the end of the description is this fabulous structure. The water spills down and creates a pool where no doubt creatures gather to drink.

The button is difficult to push which is great for conserving water in a fountain such as this, but also makes it quite easy to surprise spray an unsuspecting relaxed daddy. :)

Teilee has absolutely no fear of the water and loves the spray. Landis would prefer to float dandelion seeds and sticks down the tile, rather than experience a single drop of water. If you look you will see the results of his dandelion water parade.

What a beautiful place, and no doubt it will be one of our all time favorite places to visit in the heat of summer.

Aug 30, 2009

Judgment is quick, understanding is hard work

We don't like hearing about another's plight, we only want to hear how they overcame it. There is an extraordinary value in just listening to the suffering, that is underrated in our self serving society. We hear misery, sadness, frustration, difficulty and we expect the solution to follow. Ask the next homeless person you meet how they are, and I dare you to not tell your self how it could never be you (he/she made bad choices, should do this, shouldn't do this, is mentally challenged, etc....). Then ask your friend how they are....

Teilee's Blog

I thought it might be easiest to share this here. Teilee has started her own blog which she designed and named Creative Little. She wanted to have a voice in all that we do, and to share what is most important to her. It has been an exciting journey for me to hear what she has to say and I love that now you can too! She is working on her next post and likes to check in regularly to see who has commented and what they have said. It is another thing for me to keep up with but is a pure joy for me to watch her experience the best of our technology. It also provides me a way to show Teilee the rules of internet and how to use it wisely! Enjoy Teilee's voice.

Aug 3, 2009

Still Wheeling it

My poor son has what is most likely a sprained wrist. We are keeping a close eye to make sure that he is improving and that there aren't any other more serious issues. After a trip to the doctor we are pretty sure that he does not have a fracture. We may take him in again tomorrow for another round of x-rays just to make sure. It is just one of those things that happens, I had his hand while he was standing then he went floppy. His entire weight was on the wrist of the hand that I still had a hold of and bam he was injured. It is physically painful for a mother to watch her child in their pain but to cause the injury is an unexplained kind of hurt. Of course he is not a fan of the brace we force him to wear when he is likely to re injure himself. (Even telling him that his cousin wishes he had a 'robot arm' too hasn't helped.) None of this has slowed him down and he has relished in the extra attention (Teilee is getting jealous). I must balance my emotions with his need for normalcy but, 'my poor baby has a hurt arm'!!
As of Wednesday of this week he is fully recovered. We knew immediately after the first somersault of the day that he was okay.;)

This last week (July 27th-Aug. 1st) we were fortunate to have Papa come stay with us from Monday night on. He had meetings most of the days but was able to join us at breakfast and in the evening. Wednesday was Landis' birthday. We biked down to a free performance of some Grimms fairy tales and had quite the adventurous return trip in pouring rain. (Maybe pounding slamming rain is more accurate.) We topped of the evening with the blowing out of candles in Landis' birthday rice crispy treats Then Grandma Lee joined us on Thursday evening.
Friday my parents brought the kiddos to my Singing Sisters practice and were able to experience our almost performance ready set. I then had a meeting for Raintree Community School that afternoon to put the final touches on the planning for our silent auction. Then in the evening Teilee and Daddy left to take Teilee to Walking With the Dinosaurs (it was originally supposed to be a mommy daughter experience but it was Daddy's turn for a date and Mommy was really busy)! I came down with a migraine (the worst ever) and went to bed. Granma Lee and Pap took Landis grocery shopping in our other vehicle (with the newly working fuel pump).

Nick and Teilee ventured to Denver in the Suburban. The suburban has a busted key cylinder and we had made do for the last week just not turning the key off entirely and locking the doors with an extra set. On the occasion that you forget and turn the key entirely off you will spend anywhere from 15 min-1 hour trying to get it back on. Well, Nick stopped to get gas and whoops, he was stranded for about 30 mins. Right as he had got the burb started, Papa and Grandma Lee called. They were at the store (with Landis) when the key to unlock the doors had broken off in the trunk lock. Now they were stranded. Thank goodness for great neighbors. I called my friend/neighbor Rebecca and she drove down to the store to bring our extra set of keys. Then I went back to bed.

Saturday we were supposed to celebrate Landis' birthday with cake, gifts, etc... After losing my Friday evening to that migraine I was scrambling to get everything together for the auction (including myself). We had a mini celebration complete with a gifted moon pie cake (thanks Rebecca) for Landis and ice cream for the rest of us. Landis opened up his gifts from Grandma Lee and Papa, Rebecca, and Teilee. We have yet to have his entire birthday celebration but maybe soon.

I left late afternoon, right after Grandma Lee and Papa departed for the airport, to help with set up of the auction. The event started at 6:00 and we were just finishing when people started ariving. Then my choir began to assemble outside for the remaining moments before our set. We performed for 30 mins and I have to say that I think we did a great job! What an event, we even had someone bid on a timeshare vacation in Hawaii for $5000. We had a great night with some great performances and raised some money for our school.

Really all this busy craziness is typical of my life (hence the title of my blog) but I have to say it was great to have mom and dad experience some of it. We often set aside a lot of what we are doing to fully enjoy our visitors. We were not able to do that this time and it made for a bit of a frantic vacation for them, but was great for us to have help with the kids while trying to juggle our lives. I wish I could say I am recovering but this week has been just as busy as the last. This summer seems to be filled with an abundance of time consuming events and projects. I am actually looking forward to winter, or at least looking forward to what I perceive will be more time!

My new umberella!