Thursday, August 18, 2011

Back to school time!

last year, I had one child who would come home with his lunch UNTOUCHED. As in, he didnt even eat one bite.  I would go get him at four o'clock from school, and he was so mean and angry he would throw a tantrum on the way to the car.  He was 9 by the way...  This year, I plan to avoid this problem by getting him a better lunch box.  As all mothers do, i internalized this problem and believed it was my fault he didn't eat, because i just didn't pack a beautiful enough lunch.  There are brilliant ads that support my theory, and say that if only I would create a beautiful lunch, then my kids would eat healthier and we would be a happier family.
That's my baby in the blue eating with his pre-school friends.

soooo...I am in the market for a very expensive lunch box, with a lid that comes off, and everything is in its place, all my child has to do it eat, not fuss with a place mat or opening containers...

Unfortunately, I have three kids, and want one for each.  They are about 40 bucks each. 40 x 3 = 120, right? (i'm not the best at math) soooo...For the first week of school, I will have blown my entire lunch budget on lunch boxes, not food.  Sorry kids.

summer rewind

We took a trip this summer, as I said in an earlier post, to an island called Mustique, in the Caribbean.  We stayed at my mother-in-laws house, which was designed beautifully and modern and zen.  My father-in-law came there for a visit too, and he and his wife (yes, he is re-married, and his wife and her daughter and son-in-law and two children all came too!  A big dysfunctional family gathering) stayed in a house that was rather different from my mother-in-laws...

Both houses are beautiful, and so peaceful.  I love the details and design.  I am so grateful for this vacation, and for time to spend with my husbands side of the family (and with my hard-working husband).  Below is Papa with Atticus.
 The Uncle's play with their nephews and nieces
 Elias learns to dive!

This is most of the family.  Yes, that is not a group of random people taking up the whole pool, they are all related.  As you can see, this big family knows how to have a good time!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Education's new paradigm

May there reign here spirit-strength in love;
May there work here spirit-light in goodness;
Born from certainty of heart,
And from steadfastness of soul,
So that we may bring to young human beings
Bodily strength for work,
Inwardness of soul,
Clarity of spirit.
May this place be consecrated to such a task;
May young minds and hearts here find
Servers of the light, endowed with strength,
Who will guard and cherish them.

Back in Nashville, School is starting for my old school, Linden Waldorf.  I have many friends who work there and take there kids there.  I think I am finally over my falling out with them (a story for another day), and really remember all the great stuff about the school.  One of the things I love, is the teachers would begin each day gathering together and holding hands in a circle, and say this verse.  I love the last part, and it always brought tears to my eyes, to think of teachers guarding and cherishing young hearts and minds.  Such a different way of approaching teaching than most teachers who have been made to think children are all the same and have the same needs and should learn the same thing at the same time...

I was drawn to Montessori for this reason; Each child can learn what he/she needs, when they are ready to learn it.  There is no pre-set date or age for a child to learn a subject, all the materials are there, in the room, for the child when they are ready.  The teacher is ready to teach when the child is ready, not the other way around...

What I love about Waldorf, the art and play, combined with the Montessori philosophy, that each child will learn when they are ready, set up a pretty decent educational paradigm. Still not perfect, but better than most traditional schools. 

There is a guy, Ken Robinson who describes my educational philosophy perfectly.  He has given TED talks, and written books, and is also on youtube.  Here is a link to one of the best; 

hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

In the Kitchen; end of summer

It has been a hot summer, so I've been throwing together a lot of no-bake treats...

these lovely little gem Popsicle molds are the perfect size for boys just back from a bike ride.  We filled them with berries and yogurt and it only took a few hours to freeze (one little boy kept checking for us, about every twenty minutes)  The other molds were too big, and I would find half a pop left while the busy boy was back on his bike. This size is perfect. And, they can have two if they want more!

We also had popcorn.  Even though we have popcorn a lot, it still feels like a treat! Its cheap and easy, and anything they don't eat can be saved for the next day lunch box or afternoon snack.

Lastly, the oldest child LOVES puffed rice treats. And, since summer is almost over, we made a batch
This plate is empty now...

Monday, August 15, 2011


Written by Mama from the point of view of Elias, age 9.

At lunch today, my little brothers are annoying.  Dash just kept saying "bees Knees";
"Hello, I'm Mr. Bees Knees, do you like the bees knees? I like the bees knees"
And Atticus would not use utensils  to eat, he just poked his fingers in his rice and licked what ever stick.  Then he burped really loud.
I told Dash to be quiet, and he stuck put his tongue and blew it at me.
I made a mad face at him, and he said, "Now you really look like the bees knees!"
That made Atticus laugh so hard he started crying, and tears ran down his face.
I tried to eat and ignore them, but then I got the giggles too.  We were laughing so hard, no one was eating.  Mom had already sat down, eaten, and gotten up and was cleaning her plate.  I think she wanted to get out of there.
Atticus was now lapping rice from the palm of his hand.
"Do you know if there is a 'Worlds largest poop museum?'" Dash asked
"Did you know there is a museum with the worlds oldest ham?" I asked
At that moment, Atticus and Dash ran out of the room, chasing each other.  Loud screaming could be heard in every room of the house.  Chance, the dog, started to bark and chase them too.  I was left, to finish my lunch in peace.    

So I thought. Dash and Atticus came running back in, after mom told them to go sit down until they had eaten all the food from their plate.   They both had a Hot Wheels car in their hand, and decided to drive them all around the table.  Dash got sweet potato pie on his car, and Atticus drove his car through his salad.  Dash, who was in his swim suit, dropped half his pie onto his suit, then onto the floor.  "Oh well," he said, "I can just run outside and wash off in the hose after lunch".  Chance came over and cleaned up what was on the floor.
I finished, and got up.  I cleaned my plate and left it in the sink, because the dishwasher was still full of clean dishes.  I got the Hot Wheels tracks, and went outside to build a track onto the slip and slide.  

My brothers finished eating and then had to sit in time out for ten minutes.  While they did that, I raced cars down the awesome track I just made.  It was hooked to the garden fence, and took a long slop down, then it stretched a few feet on the ground before ending on the wet slippery plastic of the slip and slide.  The cars kept going until they slid into the pool part of the slip and slide.