Monday, November 24, 2014

Morning, Noon, and Night

Playing along with Mothering With Mindfulness ..
Three little windows into our day.
4:am (wee hours of the morning)
Shine on!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Nature Tables

I started making nature tables... ohhhh about 16 years ago or so. My sister was just beginning homeschooling with my nephew and we were all learning about Waldorf for the first time. I was instantly charmed with it all, but have an extra special place for nature tables.
The other day I found this lovely tree at an antique store. Next year we are moving the nature table to a small shelf for space and choking hazard reasons. This tree is perfect. The boughs come off in winter (see our pretty winter one above), flowers go in the branches in spring,  the boughs will go back on for summer, and I will paint one side in reds, oranges, and golds for Autumn. My sister asked if I would post about this one. I was going to wait but this is the perfect opportunity to tell you about a wonderful new blog devoted entirely to Nature tables....
About a month ago I received an email from a lovely woman named Rachel who was starting a beautiful blog devoted entirely to nature tables. If you have a lovely (clear, and in focus) picture you would like to share of your nature table please consider sending it to her. Or if you just want to admire other pretty tables here is the link
Have a blessed weekend and Shine on. 

This Moment

A Friday ritual. A single photo-no words- capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."SouleMama". 
I never want to forget this age in my son's life. I opened our utensil drawer this morning to make breakfast and this is what I found :D 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Simple Knitted Dish Cloths

This past year I fell in love with knitted/crochet dish cloths (a friend of mine calls them sink doilies, and that just makes me smile). If you are looking for a nice gift idea add these to your list. They scrub well, are fairly simple to make, last longer than a sponge, look nicer, and can be thrown into the washing machine and washed when dirty... Just try to do that with a kitchen sponge and make it last.. I dare you (grin).  This little bundle is a gift for a neighbor friend. I am no master knitter, but I'm sure the dishes wont judge. 
 I used Sugar and Cream brand yarn and size US 9 5.5 mm wood needles.
Cast on 35 stitches
Rows 1-5  work in seed stitch (k1,p1) x 17, K1
Rows 5-45 continue working in seed stitch for the first 5 stitches to create an edge. Then work in Stockinette stitch for the body finishing with the last 5 stitches in seed stitch.
Rows 46-50 Seed stitch as rows 1-5. Bind-off loosely in seed stitch so you don't distort the edge. Block lightly and weave in ends. 
I found the pattern for the snowflake (Here)
Thanks for reading and
Shine on!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Breakfast Muffins

Do you have a picky eater? I do, and to top it off he is also allergic to casein and gluten intolerant, Oye! Today I'm sharing my sneaky Breakfast Muffin Recipe over on my food blog. This is one way to get protein, vegetables, and fruits into my boy. 
How do they taste? A bit like banana bread, but not as sweet.I think this picture tells how Panda feels about them. Do you have a picky eater? A lot of allergies in the family? What tricks do you have up your sleeve?

Friday, November 14, 2014

This Moment

A Friday ritual. A single photo-no words- capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."SouleMama". 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dear Son

  Dear Son,
 It's been almost 3 months since we said goodbye to Grandmmama. I thought I was doing ok.. And then the first snow fell. I sat up half the night and well into the morning crying into a pillow. You see, there is a phone call I wait for every year. Grandmamma would always call the morning after the first snowfall (and usually every snow fall after that at least 5 times a day). But this time there was no call and it was missed. The holidays are coming. Every year Grandmamma would work herself into a fit just to make things perfect. It got so bad that one year we had a family intervention and told her she could not make her own pie crust any more because it caused so much frustration.
I wonder if she knows now that memories were made during the preparations and not during the actual meal. It seems that Mum had one more lesson for me to learn and now I pass it on to you.  I love you my darling son. Shine on,
Love, Mum~

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Vacationing with a Toddler

Recently we went on a road trip with Panda. We planned for many months in advance what we would bring with to keep him happy and content the whole trip without packing to much. This post is picture heavy, but I hope it helps someone else getting ready for a trip. with a toddler or small child.
1. My friend had a small ballroom that was empty. We commandeered it for a play room. Most places admittedly wont have a ballroom, but having a place planned out ahead of time as a safe place for your child to play and blow off some steam (even if it's just a corner they can call their own while away) is a great stress reliever.
2. I picked out a basket.  All of his activities and toys had to fit into the basket. Once I knew how much space was allotted I started planning what to bring.
3.  I saw a lot of people using baking trays on Pinterest for car activities. I liked that this is made of foam so if we got into an accident it would collapse around him. The Snack & Play made a table to play on, have snacks on, and had sides to keep everything from falling to the floor. There are mesh pockets on the sides that held his books and his water bottle.
4. I have no picture for this, but we used disposable diapers on this trip. We are a cloth diaper family, but the space created and the peace of mind using disposables was worth it to us. While on the road we also put a disposable swim pants over his diaper creating a double layer.
5. I packed all of his activities separately in tiny bags to keep things from getting messy. These cars were just $1. a piece. I found them at the Dollar Tree, Panda loves them. 
6. We added a small spattering of blocks. It was just enough to built a few small towers.  
7. This is a fun little magnetic fishing set I made. I chose to use a ring instead of a stick just in case Panda put it in his mouth  and we had an accident while driving. I will post more detailed instructions later.
8. I packed a bag of loose items. I also had a pair of peg people, but could not find it for the photo. Random items are always fun for tots to sort through. 
 9. Books, books, books, and more books. Keeping it seasonal.. Panda loves his books. He happily looked through them on the road on his own. I also read them on the road and daily while we were away. We could never have brought enough books for this little Panda, but it was a good selection. 
 10. This was a fun little house, finger puppets, and gel board that I made for the trip.
11.  I made these knit farm animals using a pattern in "Toy Making for Children" by  Freya Jaffke. Panda likes to hold softies when he is tired and these were just the right size for comfort toys.
12. Panda is to young to grasp the concept of a calm down bottle (directions from My Crazy Blessed Life here), but loved watching it  in the car and when we got to my friend's  house he had fun rolling down the stairs.
13. A few toys that could be thrown safely was a nice touch when we got to our destination.
 14. Color crayons and a cardboard plate. The cardboard acted as both  canvas and a hard surface for drawing on. This was revisited every day while we were away.
15. I found this farm set made by 'ALEX' on sale at a local toy store. They acted as three activities; beading, stacking (laying sideways), and could be played with as wooden animals. Panda really really loves this set. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good, small, multipurpose toy for a gift. 
16. Pom poms and a Tupperware box with a hole in it. I found this activity on Pinterest in multiple places. Panda loves to poke the pom poms into the box. This is another favorite.
17. This is anightlight that charges during the day and at night you remove the cord. It is a soft silicon toy that is safe for little hands and not so bright to be a distraction. This was great on the road at night, and in the room we were staying in.
18. Apple! This is Panda's lovey. I made her this past summer in preparation for this trip. I wanted Panda to have a car buddy. He took to her right away and the two of them are inseparable now. Apple even got a new spaceman outfit at a museum we visited while on vacation. 
All of these items fit into one small basket and proved to be just the right amount of activities for our needs.Thanks for reading. Hopefully this post has some helpful tips for someone.
Shine on!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Vacation and Halloween

Dear Son, A bit belated but here is a post about our vacation, your Auntie and my birthdays, and Halloween all rolled into one. We are home now and it's taken me a week to sit down and write this because we all came down with a nasty bug and have been cuddled up with cups of tea for the last week..
A year ago we decided to crash your Auntie's annual Halloween party way down in Kansas. They hold it every year the weekend before Halloween... This year there was a bit of a snafu, we missed the party, but got to spend a lot more time with Auntie S and Uncle L because of it. I like how things turned out.
October is a special month. Your Auntie and I share October as a birth month and I was so happy to be able to spend the time with her. You will find out sooner or later, but Auntie S and I are not sisters by blood but by heart. She and I have been dear friends since we were 12 years old. It makes me sad that she lives so far away now, but  that makes the time we get to spend together that much more special. 
Auntie S and Uncle L have a Victorian mansion, one room was either a small ball room or an overly large sun room. Whatever it once was, it IS a large well lit, empty, hard wood floored room that we commandeered as a play room while we were there. You loved having the freedom to run around and play to your hearts content without  constantly being told, "No, put that down" and, "That's not for you"! In fact, a play room is the plans for this room "one day".  I'll write more about it later, but it worked out rather well and I think we had just the right amount of activities packed. There were very few melt downs and all of them minor and mostly related to being tired.
We had so much fun that I only remembered to take a few photos. We went to a Museum, 2 Halloween parties, a pumpkin patch, a farmers market, and a lovely yarn shoppe where Auntie found a wooden pair of knitting needles that DON'T HURT my hands!!! We also had a lot of down time where you napped in a nest of pillows and blankets while I taught Auntie how to knit. Not a hard task, she used to knit a long time ago and is quick to pick up anything she does. 
It was a short but wonderful vacation.
When we got back from Kansas I had a request for a quick costume from one of the neighborhood children. I whipped it up in one day and was rather pleased with how it turned out. 
I liked it so much that I requested that when she outgrows it that it come back for your costume bin. It's so hard to find good costumes to interest boys that aren't super heroes, TV characters, or the like. 
For Halloween you were a Baby Adipose from "Dr. Who" (yep, a TV character). It was an easy costume. You had a doctor appointment in the morning and afterwards we went and picked up a train car for you in place of candy as a Halloween Treat. 
What a busy month this was for us all. While visiting is wonderful, it's good to be home writing a letter to you, and sipping a cup of tea while you nap. I love you with all my heart.
Shine on. Love,