2016

Station Square Pirate

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When you have six children, finding one on one time can be tricky. Some weeks it seems like the best we can do are car rides when taking the children from one activity to another. This is one reason why I have tried to be very intentional about planning “dates” with my children each month.

I used to be very fastidious about going from oldest to youngest. Sometimes it’s a big date– a trip to a movie, a fancy dinner– and other times, it’s much less planned– running errands together or going for a walk in the park or grabbing at fifty cent ice cream cone at McDonalds.

The Apple Cake

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Books and applesWe’ve been starting off our book times with a little apple rhyme. Fingerplays are brilliant because they engage everyone from itty bitty babies who love to watch your hands move and listen to the rhyme and cadence of your voice, to toddlers who can begin to imitate and thus engage in the drama of the moment, to preschoolers and kindergarteners, who have a hang of the rhyme and rhythm of the whole thing and enjoy presenting it in its entirety as experts.

Shooting Stars

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So many, many thanks to Christine for allowing me to share her lovely story, The Shooting Stars, with my blog readers. The twins and I loved this story. You can purchase the story here. Christine is also currently working with Natalya Yeshchenko on absolutely gorgeous watercolor illustrations, two of which I’ve included in this post.

Shooting Stars

Once upon a time, at the very end of summer, three little stars looked down upon the earth and they became very distressed, for a change was taking place below them.

apples and fairy

I have two Michaelmas posts to get up yet. Christine Natale very graciously granted me permission to share her Michaelmas story about the falling stars that the twins and I have loved so much, and I also have our Michaelmas star bread recipe and story to share. It wasn’t a picture perfect typical Michaelmas, but in an effort to fight my continued battle against perfectionism, I’m sharing it with you anyway, warts and all.

I’ve decided I need a little structure as I get back into blogging, and have come up with some themes to take me up through Advent. I’m not going to reveal them all at once, but this week our theme is…

The Falling Stars

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As I’ve shared here before, Star Money or The Falling Stars by the Brothers Grimm is one of my all-time favorite fairy tales. I think much of it has to do with the fact that, when I was a child, I came across Eugen Sopko’s beautifully illustrated picture book The Falling Stars at the Lancaster County Library’s Children’s Room.

The Falling Stars

But just in case you can’t get your hands on the picture book, I’ll share the story here as well. It’s short, but lovely.

I was super excited to head over to Etsy and make a new treasury just like I used to years ago. I love the treasury tools for supporting and encouraging other small businesses, and enjoy sharing the treasures I discover with you. Then I found out they’re getting rid of the treasury option in October, and I was very sad. Ah well… But for now!

 

‘Michaelmas Treasures’ by annettemarie

Some treasures to celebrate courage, bravery, and dragon-slaying!


Baby dragon doll waldorf toy…
$6

Michaelmas – Saint Michael a…
$27.5

What Color is Your Dragon- M…
$8

Wool Felt Craft Kit-Knight-P…
$30
What to do with Michaelmas?

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Even before the divorce, Michaelmas was a bit of a challenge for me. How could such an oft overlooked celebration be so overstuffed with meaning as it was in our family? There was secular Michaelmas, the saint’s day celebration of St. Michael casting Satan from Heaven, and on top of that, it was both Nicholas’s birthday AND Michael’s name day! It was almost too much.

And now, all my wee ones will be in school on this day. It becomes a bit of a temptation to throw up my hands and say “What’s the point of even trying to celebrate? It’s not like anyone even thinks of Michaelmas anymore anyway.”

In *My* Book Basket

(And by “book basket,” I mean “big pile of books next to my bed,” LOL!)

This is what I’m reading right now:

books

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 revolutionary strategies to nurture your child’s developing mind by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph. D.
This book combines my love of the theoretical and the practical, as well as taking a holistic approach to both brain and emotional development. I’m also a sucker for 12 easy steps. I found this in the Little Free Library outside the twins’ school and have found it super helpful in my dealings with all my kids.

Peace Collage

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We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe, and are connected with each other to form one whole unity. ~Maria Montessori

This year I have six children in three different schools. The oldest three are all at the local public arts magnet, one as a vocal major in the middle school, one as a vocal major in the high school, and one is a senior (!!!!) cellist in the instrumental department. The two youngest are at a local public charter school that has a strong arts focus. While I am not crazy about charter schools, I also struggled because our local neighborhood school has become progressively more and more focused on state testing and punitive discipline than actual education. I was happy to have the twins out of it, but was worried because Daniel had two more years there.

My Will's Fiery Energy

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  O Nature, your maternal life
I bear within the essence of my will.
And my will’s fiery energy
Shall steel my spirit striving,
That sense of self springs forth from it.
~Calendar of the Soul, 26th Week (Sept 17-24)

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Every week the Calendar of the Soul reading pops up in my in box– you can read it online weekly here (although the page is kind of messed up) or use this site to sign up for the COTS mailing list– and this week’s verse seemed to coincide particularly well with my newfound resolve to start up the blog again.