Sunday, January 31, 2010

Knitted Scarf- finished!

Just in time for our winter weekend in N. Charlotte! We spent the weekend with family and to our great delight we got over 4 inches of snow! Some of you may be rolling your eyes reading this, but where we live it only snows every 10 my girls had a real sledding experience!

And, while all that winter fun was happening, I made some hot chocolate and finished this lovely scarf. It is made using hot pink Baby Alpaca, so soft... Here is the pattern and I am so happy to tell you I am a real novice knitter and this was quite an easy pattern and looks impressive. ;)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Check out my Interview on Hip Mountain Mama!

I was interviewed on Suzy's great "Hip Mountain Mama" blog! Also, we are doing 2 giveaway's for the Waldorf Connection's upcoming series!

..."The Waldorf philosophy has always intrigued me and is something we incorporate into our daily life. When I first heard about Waldorf Education I decided to do some research to learn more. I read books, read information on line, and asked friends about it. It was a bit overwhelming at first, but over time we have learned a lot about it and find it to be a very natural way of life for us.

Donna, from the Waldorf Connection, had a similar situation and decided to make the process of learning much easier for other parents. She has created FREE Tele Seminar Workshops where anyone can learn and ask questions about Waldorf Education...." read the rest HERE

Suzy has some great eco-friendly ideas and even a contest leading up to Earth Day. Check her out!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Paper Snowflakes

I saw a post recently about making these wonderful 3-D paper snowflakes.

Here is the tutorial. It was very easy (just read the initial cutting directions ;)
We made 2 huge flakes that are hanging in our school room. We may do a few smaller ones to compliment them. Have fun!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Winter Books

I pulled out our winter books from our storage box. I keep the seasonal and special holidays ones in their and rotate throughout the year. We have our favorites.. This one is mine.

Check out my review at Amazon...

Friday, January 22, 2010

Homemade Butter

 I saw a lovely recipe in Organic Gardening magazine and today seemed like a good day to make some home-made creamy butter.

I was surprised how simple this is! Start to finish it took about 35 minutes, and would be less the next time since I know what to do. The only ingredients are organic whipping cream. I used 1 pint, but 1 quart will make 1 lb of butter.

Pour cream into mixing bowl and turn on hand-mixer. You will need to mix for 10-15 minutes so get your kids help!

Mixture goes through several stages. First, like whipped cream then like stiff peaks.

Finally it breaks down into cottage-cheese looking
blobs. The butter will stiffen and you will see it getting wet. When it clumps and watery milk pools form in the bottom, turn off mixer.

Using a rubber spatula, press butter to squeeze out "butter milk". Carefully pour out as much as possible. It will not be thick like the kind you buy, but can be used to bake or drink. Now "wash" the butter with ice water. Pour 1/2 cup ice water over the butter and keep pressing it against the side of the bowl. Repeat this several times until the water runs fairly clear. This will stop the butter from spoiling and it firms it up .Make sure water is ice cold.

Continue kneading butter and squeezing liquid out. I used my hands in the end and patted it and squeezed.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hey Mommy! I'm reading!

This week we started our Introduction to Vowels block. King Equals handed the girls each 5 keys that will open the doors to learning. Monday we opened the first door with the Key marked "I"..a special light being appeared with the angelic sound "Ahhh" -A. I told the story of the Magic Spindle. (OM fairy tales book)

The girls drew A and a and we discovered several sounds for A (long & short).

Later that morning, on our nature walk I introduced some word families for the short sound A. 3 letters- Map, Car, Cat, Sat, etc.. They spelled each one correctly with no problems! I was running out of words to think of :)
Tuesday we reviewed our story, drew a picture and added the summary sentence.

At the library that afternoon, I talked to our wonderful children's librarian about "word families". She suggested the Bob Books! Of course..I have heard many Waldorf moms talk about these. She gave me two sets, one for each of my girls. They are very small books on a silver ring. Book 1 was perfect for them. Mat. Mat sat. Mat sat on Cat...

This morning, King Equals awarded the second key and the being of light emerged with "Eeeeeh" I told the story of The Golden Key. We practiced long and short sounds for E. Then I brought out the Bob Books, not knowing what to expect.... It was truly amazing to watch them figure the words out and READ! They did so well, they wanted to go on to book 2..I let them and they were smiling from ear to ear. "I'm reading!" Brooke said.. yes, my dear, you are. ;)

I am a very proud mommy today.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Love is in the air

I am sharing this wonderful blog post from Sew Mama Sew for any crafty moms out there. I love this site, but usually only frequent it at the holidays where I get all my handmade ideas. I saw this Valentine's contest and thought some of you might be interested.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Waldorf Math- King Equals

Introducing- King Equals!
I finished embroidering him last night. I think he is really sweet. Brooke wanted an extra long cloak for him :)

I liked the look of this king here at this wonderful Etsy shop
so I sorted modeled ours after him with supplies we had. Here is the tutorial I used to create him, though I had to adjust his cape much longer and give him that rolled collar. The other four process gnomes, I will follow the tutorial exactly, all the pieces are the correct size and it is really easy. I just viewed youtube to remind me how to do a blanket stitch.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Whittling the Day away

DH got involved with some homeschooling today as he and the girls did some whittleing. After a backyard bonfire yesterday, they found an old piece of wood which Lily saud could be a fox den. Next thing I know, they have some knives and a drill and are making one!  It was such fun for them!  After, they took a large stick and whittled them down into pencils.

Friday, January 15, 2010

A glass completely empty

I hope I am not the only one who is enjoying a lovely glass of wine with DH, on a Friday early evening. The homemade lasagne is baking in the oven (made by DH) I am taking a deserved rest after a busy week.

Slowing down and having fun is something I have to make a conscious effort with. My crazy mind always has another task for me to accomplish.

It was a seasonably warm afternoon, so I took the girls to the park to meet some friends. It feels so good to be back outdoors after such a cold spell.

Anyway, to everyone else- Have a good weekend and CHEERS!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Waldorf Math- more fun with number qualities...

We have progressed on to the nummber 8/ VIII. Each day they are so excited to do the riddle and get closer to getting the 5 keys (the vowels).

I made up my own riddle for 8 today after DH and I pondered "What is 8?" last night! It was a fun way to get him involved.

I have 8 legs to carry me around
I live in corners and close to the ground
To eat, I must spin and I can jump
Don't mistake me for a small bump
- spider!

Then they drew the 8, VIII and EIGHT in the MLB with a nice picture of a spider.
I read a story from "Among the Meadow People" which I found on the Baldwin Project website and printed out for free! It was all about a little spider family and how the mother spider taught the babies (all 170 of them!) to spin webs.

I also want to share a heartwarming from Jen at Ancient Hearth, since we are doing the same Math Block!

Jen says...Thus began our first Maths Block: Quality of Numbers. I pulled from some amazing sources and slept on it for a time before we started maths:

~ Eric Fairman's "Path of Discovery"
~Kristie Burns' Earthschooling "Sixth Sense & Holistic Math: Using the Six Senses & Whole Body to Learn Math" ebook
~Marsha Johnson's "The Quality of Numbers" file in her Yahoo Group
~Barbara Dewey's "Mathematics for Waldorf Homeschoolers Grades 1-3"
~A Little Garden Flower's "A Journey Through Waldorf Math"

The night before we started, I took some paper and some glitter glues that we had in our crafting basket and I drew out the Arabic and Roman numerals from 1 - 10 (see picture above). The glitter goes beautifully with the story we are working with and we have gold, silver, rubies, and emeralds alternating in our numbers...

Then, I created a story inspired by Eric Fairman and Marsha Johnson with some tweaking to make it our own. I set up the scene on our table and covered sections with a blue silk that I would pull back as the characters moved further and further along.

It began with a young boy and girl who were romping through the lush evergreen forest one day when they spotted a frisky little hare. They decided to follow him. Every few feet the little hare stopped and turned to them, as if he was waiting for the children to here for the rest of this amazing post!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Waldorf- next stage- tooth finally lost!

For those who don't know me, I have twin girls that turned 7 in October. They do not look anything alike, and in fact have worn different size clothes since they were 6mos old. One of my girls is very petite and physically looks younger by maybe a year. Her sister lost her first tooth about 17mos ago and has since lost 5 more.

Finally, I noticed a few weeks ago her bottom teeth shifting apart and the two middle ones loosening up. Then last week, it happened!  To her great satisfaction, her first tooth came out while biting into an apple.

Now, there is more for me to say here than just about the tooth fairy and the differences in twins.
It has to do with First grade readiness.. I have been amazed at the readiness of my veteran tooth-loser verses the one who had not lost any!  We started doing consonants in Fall, but I have been taking slowly, for this reason..over the last month things have sped up and she is really "getting it"!

Check out "Rhythms of Learning"  for an excellent explanation from Rudolf Steiner about this and the Early Grades...It is an excellent reference for how to bring the curriculum to your child.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Waldorf Number Qualities- Day 4

e started our number qualities/Roman numerals block this week. It has been such a joy!  I am following A Little Garden Flower's 1st grade curriculum. She has a container story that started back in the Fall with the introduction of the consonants. Now, it has progressed to finding the keys to unlock the gift of reading! There are 10 riddles (for 1-10) and each day they must solve the riddle to get the keys from Gnome King Equals.

Here is number 4.   Fire, water, earth and air
                              All these things we have to share.
The 4 elements. We talk about others things that are 4 (seasons!) and then we write the number 4 and also in Roman Numeral. They are having so much fun with this..I actually thought they might be way!
Then the get to draw in their MLB. I divided the paper into 4 sections and they could draw the elements anyway they wanted.

While they were drawing a read a verse about the 4 elements  from

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Waldorf Festival- Three Kings

We made our traditional Three Kings cake (maple buttermilk cake) I hid a thick round slice of carrot in the cake to be "found". (years passed we did coins, but I always felt odd about cooking a coin in my cake!)
We sang some songs about Babushka and Three Kings (The Christmas Star by Mary T-) and we read the story of Babushka from Food, Festivals and Fun!
As it runs out, Mommy found the carrot! So, I get to chose a "fun" day for us all.

Pictures and links coming soon..sorry, still recovering from a wicked head cold and I am a bit behind  :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Waldorf Math Block

So, our next school session is beginning and on to Math! I was hesitant, really quite unsure how to go about this "Math" thing..but after listening to Barbara Dewey's talk on Waldorf Math (The Waldorf Connection) in Nov. I feel like I get it!  We are beginning Number Qualities and the stories of the math gnomes.. I am using Barbara's guide as well as, Melisa Nielsen's- "A little Garden Flower's" First Grade book/math book.

Math Gnomes here we come!  I will keep you updated.. We will be making some math gnomes to help us "see" the whole-to-parts way numbers are taught in Waldorf Education.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Baking Bread

We found a real homestyle recipe in The Gooseberry Patch Farmhouse Christmas
It is Oatmeal Molasses Bread... yummy!  Sweet and even better brushed with melted butter hot out of the oven!

The recipe makes 2 loaves..

1 1/2 c. boiling water            1/2 t. sugar
1 c. long cooking oats           1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
2 T butter                             1/4 c. molasses
2 t. salt                                 approx 5 cups all purpose flour
1/4 oz yeast pack (I used 2 small ones)
3/4 c. warm water                1 T. melter butter

In a bowl, combine first 4 ingredients; cool.  In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Sprinkle with regular sugar. Add oat mixture, brown sugar, molasses, and 3 cups flour; mix well. Add enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto floured surface and knead for 6 to 8 minutes or until smooth and elastic.  Place into greased bowl; tunr once to grease top (I used olive oil) Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour. Punch down dough. Divide in half; shape into loaves and place in greased loaf pans (9x5). Cover and let rise until doubled (30-45 min) Bake at 375 for 30 to 35 min or until golden brown. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks. Brush with melted butter. Makes 2 loaves. YUM!