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.

The Falling Stars


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…

Michaelmas – Saint Michael a…

What Color is Your Dragon- M…

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


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.”

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)


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.

Revolting Children

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revolting children

We are revolting children…
Living in revolting times.
We sing revolting songs
Using revolting rhymes.
We’ll be revolting children,
‘Til our revolting’s done,
And we’ll have the Trunchbull bolting.
We’re revolting!



Stuck in traffic, trying to get Katie to choir rehearsal while competing with the rest of the city of Pittsburgh who were on their way to the Pen’s Stanley Cup victory parade, we had an interesting chat about the meaning of Matilda’s “Revolting Children.”

Spotlight on... Molly!

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Oh, Molly. What can I say about Molly? Often , half joking, I say that Molly is just like me if I had even fewer filters and no moral compass. But really, she’s  a lot like me. It’s ridiculous.

Mommy and Molly

As a baby, Molly was super serious. In fact, it became a bit of a Facebook joke. People were surprised when a picture of Molly smiling made an appearance!

Serious MollyShe’s a super happy girl now though. Molly loves her big sister and reading.

Molly and Katie

Her best friend is still her twin brother, Matthew.

Molly preschool

Spotlight on... Matthew

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It’s hard to know what to say say about Matthew. When people used to ask (as people do when you have more than two children) when you’re going to stop procreating, I used to say “Oh, you know, when God gives us an easy one.” And then God sent me Matty… and, for good measure and to keep me on my toes, threw in Molly as well. Ha, ha, ha… good one, God!

Matthew in a Tree


Ere frost-flower and snow-blossom faded and fell, 
       and the splendor of winter had passed out of sight,
The ways of the woodlands were fairer and stranger 
       than dreams that fulfill us in sleep with delight;
The breath of the mouths of the winds had hardened on tree-tops 
       and branches that glittered and swayed
Such wonders and glories of blossom like snow 
       or of frost that outlightens all flowers till it fade
That the sea was not lovelier than here was the land, 
       nor the night than the day, nor the day than the night,
Nor the winter sublimer with storm than the spring: 
       such mirth had the madness and might in thee made,
March, master of winds, bright minstrel and marshal of storms
        that enkindle the season they smite.
-  Algernon C. Swinburne, March, An Ode