Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

I have had a much needed holiday from blogging, reducing my online time to a minimum. I have missed it but with work and homeschool and everything else, I cannot find the time. This photo is from our trip to Santa Barbara over Thanksgiving holiday. It was a lovely time and I hope to share more photos at some point! Sending warmest holiday wishes to all our family and friends out there! May it be a joyful season for you!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Autumn Musings

How I love my handwork classes! The children are so eager and joyful in their work. Here is the first and second grade basket.  Sometimes I hear the children whispering their verse as they knit. Many children make up their own verses as well!

And here is my third and fourth graders' basket. They are making the beautiful sewing books from Linda's pattern at Rhythms of the Home. I wanted to begin with knitting this year, since some students have not learned it before. Being a first year, combined grade school I have adjusted the handwork curriculum to meet the needs of the class.

Life has been so very busy and I have set down my camera for a time. It feels good to rest this interest as I know that it enlivens my ability to experience what is in front of me and see more clearly. The SE Womens' Herbal Conference was delightful, especially with my dear friend, Lindsley who came from CA to attend. Mia joined the young women's circle with her beloved teacher and mentor, Lena. One highlight was standing one evening at Lake Eden, stars and moon shining overhead, bonfire bright and women drumming and singing prayer to Mother Earth and seeing a glorious shooting star as it soars overhead. It was breathtaking. Another highlight was learning from the plants with herbalist and wise woman Suki Roth, the teacher who is the main reason that I attend SEWHC year after year. I hope some day to spend more time learning from her, she is extraordinary.

With gratitude and Autumnal blessings to all! 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Arrival of Autumn

Oh, how quickly autumn has arrived! It has been a while since I have found the time to post photos. Here are a few from the first days of school. The children love the tradition of the Schultüte.This was inspired  by my mom's memories of entering first grade in Germany, before her family emigrated.  We don't reserve the tradition for the first day of first grade, but rather a special treat for the start of each year. It is nice to have a tradition that brings the kids so much joy at the start of a new year. 

Azalea Mountain is such a beautiful school community. The children share in verses and song every day, and the nature immersion day at Sacred Mountain Sanctuary is really special. I am loving my dear handwork students! It has been a joy! Tomorrow we celebrate Michaelmas and the felted dragon from last year makes his appearance in yet another puppet play. This year is the tale of the apple pie dragon told by Ms. Kate. Jasper made a gorgeous golden sword at school with Mr. Scott and Ms. Becca, as well as a golden cape, dyed with goldenrod at his sweet Kindergarten, Little Round Schoolhouse. All the children have been singing beautiful Michaelmas songs taught by Ms. Allen, the lovely music teacher at Azalea Mountain. Mia and I are currently studying history of ancient Greece and will soon move into a Geometry block.

I have been meaning to share the beautiful photos that Lenka Hattaway took for our family. Can I tell you how long it has been since I got a photo of  the whole family, or even David and me? I don't even remember when  that has happened! Lenka is wonderfully talented, please visit her lovely website and blog here! Thank you so much, Lenka!

 Autumn Equinox and Michaelmas Blessings to all!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Summertime Goodness

This summer is zipping by. We have one last trip to Oregon, leaving tomorrow on a 5am flight! Now is my chance to share some bits and pieces of what we have been doing around here. Peaches have been a major theme in the past week. It all began with an almond peach cobbler that Mia made from one of my favorite cookbooks, San Francisco Flavors. She baked it for the Azalea Mountain potluck and got tons of complements on it. Yum, it was delicious. Next came Vivienne's peach tart from my other favorite cookbook, Clotilde's Chocolate and Zucchini. And this was divine! So very yummy and we got to share it with Grammy and Granddaddy when they visited. Then there was the peach ice cream, that I got inspired to make for the annual Rennicks' ice cream social. I made a peach ginger (winning the award of most sensuous flavor) and a peach thyme, both recipes are from The Ultimate Ice Cream book. Very interesting flavors. I really liked the thyme.

Vivienne making french toast, a favorite weekend breakfast.

Jasper was having a blast learning how to wind a skein on my new Amish swift. He was quite a help, as I started to wind skeins from four pounds of wool. Thankfully, the other seven pounds were already in skeins. Which leads to the next images, the start of my plant dye adventures. I was so impressed by the process at my handwork training that I committed myself to making plant dyed wool for the children of Azalea Mountain. (Did I mention that I will be teaching handwork this year?)

The red powder is cochineal. Apparently, it is very rare these days and is valued at the price of gold. I felt lucky to find a natural dye kit that still carries it. Below is the Madder root (right) and alkanet (left). I also used henna, coreopsis from my garden, logwood, cutch, and indigo.

Ah, the beauty! Takes my breath away!

Vivienne with her joyful harvest. We sometimes bake with plantain seeds. Which brings us to the next theme. When Grandpa came to visit last year, the kids got into picking the grapes and Grandpa showed them how to mash and boil them to make grape juice. This year, they took up the project on their own and made delicious grape juice to sell at a stand in the front yard.

And today, Mia decided that she wanted to make neck pillows for the air plane, so we chose cozy fabrics and made up a design. Then we stuffed them with sheeps wool. The kids got silly when Jasper realized that the pillow made a very silly little-bo-peep hat.

Another busy day and now that I am packed and ready to travel, off to bed I must go!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

More Learning...

It has been my quest this summer to renew my own education and continue to support my growth and development as a mother, teacher, artist and striving human. I am so excited about the online course that Dr. Rick Tan is offering, called Five Spheres of Waldorf Education. For me, it will be a wonderful extension to the coursework at Rudolf Steiner College. Setting aside time to deepen my understanding and engage myself in this work feels right.  I have been a long time reader of  the waldorf way and the Tan family's blog, Syrendell. I am continually inspired by the wealth of creativity and information that they share. If you are interested in finding out more, here are some details below!

Five Spheres of Waldorf Education ECourse

through Little Acorn Learning
Instructor: Dr. Rick Tan
Five Week ECourse Begins August 15th and Runs for 5 Weeks


5 Full Weeks of lessons, videos and assignments!

The Five Spheres of Waldorf education encapsulates the sweeping themes of this educational movement: Self, Relationships, Balance, Rhythm, and Course. In the five-week seminar offered at Little Acorn Learning, Dr. Rick Tan will discuss one sphere per week and the relevant topics in anthroposophy and Waldorf that are connected with the sphere.

Dr. Rick Tan is an artist, musician, and graphic designer. He was a homeschooling parent and currently is the seventh grade teacher at Davis Waldorf  School.

Week 1
The Self Sphere:
The topic of Anthroposophy as the human being’s inner striving to understand oneself will be reviewed. Here, the many natures of the Self: ego, astral, etheric, and physical bodies will be discussed

 Week 2
The Relationships Sphere:
We will touch on the synergy of our connections with each other.

Week 3:

The Balance Sphere:
This week will present us with a foundation for the three fold social order, and the three fold human being as thinker, feeler, doer.

Week 4:

The Rhythm Sphere:
We will cover the four-part main lesson, and the four temperaments: choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic, and melancholic.

Week 5:

The Course Sphere:
This lesson will touch on the curriculum of Waldorf education.

To Enroll in this Exciting ECourse, Visit Little Acorn Learning HERE for More Details

I look forward to sharing what all I have been up to and what I will be doing with my training soon!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Handwork training

I just returned from a two week handwork training at Rudolf Steiner College in Caliornia. It was challenging to be away from my family for such a long time, but so wonderful in many ways. We got to plant dye wool and silks, knitted and crocheted through the grades 1-3 and attended a wonderful variety of classes. It was a very rich experience for me. My sweet sister even came down with her beau to spend the weekend in San Franciso. We headed for Muir Woods and the Sausalito farmer's market, then back to classes. I spent my birthday on a red-eye flight home, and was greeted at the airport the following morning with five bouquets of flowers and a welcome home banner! I love my sweet family. More photos to come.

Beautiful flow form in the Rudolf Steiner College Biodynamic Garden

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


It is often the simple things that capture my eye, and bring joy to my day. I just have a few images to share that I have enjoyed witnessing lately. These are glimses into the glorious season of summer. "Simple" is a theme that I feel called to work on right now. I feel that the clutter of things can also really effect my thinking and take too much time away from my days. I am working on letting go of more things so that I can enjoy life! I would love to hear your experiences and suggestions in this effort as well. One place that I am beginning, is reading Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne.