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.


Heather B. said...

love your photos. the last one looks like our bed in the morning. people piled on top of one another!!!

Andi said...


We will definitely miss this someday!

Ani said...

Your family is so beautiful. I am emotional today, but still- I have tears in my eyes reading and seeing the pics of the sweet world that you create together, the four of you. I think I see a few advent ideas that may have stemmed from my celebration last year that Sharon attended...Angel cards...or maybe you just happened upon the same idea that I did. It's nice to see. I love the stars hanging from the chandelier. I always pinned golden stars to a hanging silk, but that is way cooler! I missed having a spiral with others this year. I loved the directional elements that you incorporated. Nice pagan touch. I like to blend anthroposophy and Wicca for my life. I've done the cinnamon dough before. I forgot about it this year. It smells so good and is really fun. Wow- I can't believe you aren't doing the co-op anymore. What a change. Wish I could spend time with your far away.

Andi said...

We miss you too Ani! Been thinking about you alot lately and trying to work up the nerve to call. (I hate talking on the phone).

So you know, we used a ton of your ideas from the advent spiral. I kept all the info that you had sent me from the previous year, Sharon contact Susan for the music, and we made it happen. Wish we could of had your expertise. The stars we used to place the candles on in the spiral and of course I didn't want to just throw them away afterward.

It has been a huge change. My body is recovering from all the work and exhaustion from the co-op. The kids are doing fine, but I am sure they are needing more child interaction then they are getting now.

Miss you and wish we could just hang out and sing.

My new umberella!