Saturday, September 17, 2011

My favorite things

Just like Oprah, I am often asked what my favorite things currently are.  So, people, in answer to the hundreds of curious humans and animals, here we go (drum roll)

My Favorite Things!

 I recently gave up coffee and all things delicious.  Or so I thought!  I decided to try this herbal coffee, assuming it was disgusting.  Well folks, it's not.  In fact, it is yummy yummy yummy!  It is like coffee with a hint of chocolate, and I add soy milk creamer(only soy milk creamer, almond and coconut milk did not add the same bit of over the top creamy deliciousness) and whew-hew, the coffee habit was kicked! When I crave a cuppa, I brew some of this herbal coffee, and get none of the jittery sweaty shaky acidic reaction I used to get when I drank coffee.  What do I breaw it in, you all ask?  well...
My french press individual coffee cup thingy cup.  Just put a scoop of herbal coffee (or real coffee for you jitter bugs) and pour hot water in,  wait, wait wait, now press and drink.  I actually pour it into a beautiful mug, but when I was on the go go go, I just took it and ran.  love this.

These little gems are mini muffins made with bananas, oat and almond flour, and sweetened with decident coconut syrup.  I make them small, because I want to eat a lot. That reason might not make sense to you, but it does to me.

and last, this.  Need I say more?  

Friday, September 16, 2011

Friday Foto

A single photo, no description

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Playroom Re-purposed

Recently I did something that made my husband nervous...I changed our dining room into a playroom/classroom.  You see, he is the designer in our household.  When we decorate our home, he is the one who has a strong feeling for how things should look and where things should go, and the purpose of a room.  But, one day while he was at work, I moved the dining room table out, and changed the purpose of the room.  We never used the dining room anyway, we ALWAYS eat in the kitchen.  I cant stand a room that is never used.  And now, it is always used. Plus, it cost no money, everything here we already owned.

science study
 People talk a lot about re-purposing things; clothing, furniture, yarn; I re-purposed a room.

easel for painting
In the Montessori and Reggio classroom, the environment is set up for the children to be able to chose what they want to do.  All the materials they need are there, and they are taught how to get things out, and put the materials away when they are done.   I cannot always be right there to help pour the paint or get the box down from a shelf for building blocks etc.  So, everything that is out in this room is ready for use.  My children know where the paint is, and how to carefully pour it- and how to clean it up (they hate dirty brushes, and love to clean them and watch the water turn colors...)

colorful blocks, play silks
 In the Waldorf classroom, open-ended toys are stressed, allowing the child to use their imagination to create the experience.  These toys are about the child, not about the toy...

crystals, rocks, and bones for studying
What to do with all the treasures we bring home from nature walks?  Admire them, catagorize them, learn their names and features, draw them in our nature study books.

reading space

Everyone likes to sit here and listen to the fish tank purr while they look at books borrowed from the library.  The children are in charge of the fish too, they feed them and clean the tank.

writing letters
Thanks to the awesome Playful Learning Blog and book, I created a letter writing box for my kids.  They always want to send letters to friends, but we never have everything together.  Well, now we do!

Of course, we need a yoga mat and a few yoga book and games because I love yoga, and so do my kids!
art/writing table
This is an old table I hacked the legs off of and it became a desk.  In the drawers are art supplies, so it works nicely to hide what otherwise looks like clutter.
In the end, my husband was not very upset, and even liked my re-purposing!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


I have some beautiful organic cotton yarn,(Lion brand, from Joanns! was surprised to find it there, but needed it quick! so bought it up) and knitted a baby blanket for my son with it.  I got almost done, and decided I hated it.  So...
I'll keep the picture to remember what an ugly blanket it almost was

Off it came.  My son was very sad, but I didn't want something as precious as a blanket, and something that would hopefully be around a long time, to be this ugly.  So it had to be done.

And I started again.  I have no problem starting projects.  No problem even ripping out stitches.
The new blanket, 1/3 of the way finished.

I think I will finish this project before he turns 9.
Don't you wish you could do this more often with life?  Start again, with no evidence of the ugly past?  Get almost through something, then see it for what it is, and have a do-over if you don't like it?
Dash wishes I would hurry up and finish!  He is such a funny guy...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Harvest Moon

I put some beautiful herbs (rose petals, rose hips, sage, lemon balm) into a large glass jar, filled it with water, 

And let it sit out in the moon light.
In the morning, it looked like this...

We added some honey, and sipped it all day, drinking in the tea that was made while we were sleeping, brewed by the light of the harvest moon.


The Harvest moon was Sept. 12, which means the Sept. equinox is almost here.  This is taken from another web site (see link), and I am using it to help explain the equinox to my kids.  They find it so interesting (and so do I)

The September Equinox Explained

The September equinox occurs at 09:04 (or 9:04am) Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) on September 23, 2011. It is also referred to as the autumnal or fall equinox in the northern hemisphere, as well as the spring or vernal equinox in the southern hemisphere (not to be confused with the March equinox). This is due to the seasonal contrasts between both hemispheres throughout the year.
The equinox will occur in the evening of September 22, 2010, for locations on US Eastern Daylight Time or further west. To find the September equinox date in other time zones or other years, please use the Seasons Calculator.
Illustration image
This illustration, which shows an example of the September equinox, is not to scale.

What happens during the September equinox?

The sun crosses the celestial equator and moves southward in the northern hemisphere during the September equinox. The location on the earth where the sun is directly overhead at solar noon is known as the subsolar point. The subsolar point occurs on the equator during the September equinox and March equinox. At that time, the earth’s axis of rotation is perpendicular to the line connecting the centers of the earth and the sun. This is the time when many people believe that the earth experiences 12 hours of day and night. However, this is not exactly the case.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

How to talk to kids about 9/11

I went to the library to find some kids books on 9/11.  This subject needed some explaining in our home.  We now live so close to DC, and so many people were talking about it, including Mama and Papa.  The kids didn't understand it.  Books are such a good way to get a conversation going on their level.  I also wanted to go a bit deeper with the older two, explaining more of the world view at the time, and not just focusing on the day of and the twin towers.

 I think for a lot of Americans, this was a time of loss in so many ways.  For me, it was a loss of security and innocence.  I am heartbroken for all those people who were killed, and those who lost friends and family.  I had night mares about being in a plane you knew was  being taken down.  And EVERY TIME one of my family members flies, I remember those phone calls placed from the plane to loved ones back on the ground.  I pray my phone never ever rings with a call like that.  I would say the attack affected me quite deeply.  And still does.  So, how do I talk to my children about this?

 These are three boys who love gun play (despite my efforts to stop it!) and find bombs exciting (although they don't really see them as destroying anything, just as a big boom, like a fire work). So, do I talk about the violence and death? They don't understand death.  They have never known someone die.  They don't get that guns and bombs hurt, it is all to abstract for them. ( Like the stock market is for me.)

 I think I will join the country in celebrating the heros.  I think I will talk about those helped.   I will talk about the rescue dogs, the firefighters, and police, and the ordinary person who helped.
And, I will talk about building peace, and becoming a person who makes good decisions. I didn't find any books on 9/11 at the library, (although I know there are some,)  But, I did find this book;

Let there be Peace by Jeremy Brooks

And this one; 

Becoming Me by Martin Boroson
I want the lesson coming out of 9/11 can be one of building peace and joining together as family and community, and not about the terrorist.  The boys don't know this, but we also decided not to go the the National's game and out to brunch in Arlington today, because of threats around the area.  We are going to just stay home and have family time.  I think it is a good day to hold family close and be grateful.