"Most mothers are instinctive philosophers."
~Harriet Beecher Stowe
Pretty little butterfly enjoying a flower on my walk.
You might be wondering what could possibly be wrong for a Mother's Day celebration with your children and spouse? Well this is being written from two different hearts point of view. Grab a cup of tea, bottle of water, glass of wine or a cup of coffee if you are a night bird. Get comfy with your blanket and start reading.
Today was a pretty amazing Mother's Day for me. I got to sleep in this morning to a little after 7 am. Normally I am up first thing in the morning. The option to sleep in a little bit was great. Then it was a delicious breakfast of French toast made by Chloe with our own farm raised eggs and milk from our goats.
When the tummies were all full, it was time for chores. Outside some of them went (Donald and the kiddos) while the Jazzaroo stayed inside with me. A whirlwind of activity happened around the house. Outfits were double checked that we had everything. Tights, shoes, shorts, t-shirts, hair bows, oh my! (Missing one hair bow that went MIA at Expo time.) Showers were quickly ran through and hairs were done. Everyone loaded up in the car. We are off to the last part of this year's dance adventure at Julie's Dance Studio, LLC. Wish each of them luck!
After the littles danced their numbers in the recital we then went to Phillip's Diner for a mixed bag celebration, Mother's Day and the success of another dance year. The food was delicious and we were all stuffed afterwards. Each little one used their manners and were so polite. They talked and joked together. Conversed with the waitress. It is amazing how wonderful they are. As I watched them laugh and smile and glow, my eyes teared up. These are my babies.
After dinner we headed home. Everyone changed and it was time to go out to the barn and get the chores done for the night. Which of course meant also playing with the baby goats. What a great way to end the day. :)
The only thing that would have made this day better was to spend time with my oldest daughter and see her smiling face. Kaitlynn did send me a Happy Mother's Day text. Understandable due to the fact she had to work. Devion joked with me. He is a goofy kid. All my children are loved with all my heart. My day was not bad. The flip side of this is in part 2 .
I hope you all had a blessed Mother's Day with your loved ones.
"The Goddess does not rule the world; She is the world. Manifest in each of us, She can be known internally by every individual, in all her magnificent diversity."
Be Free & Be Wild ~Chloe
My spirit feels free when my bare feet touch the ground. The wind lifting my hair and swirling it about my face. It tells me that life has many directions to go. I will stand to fight for what I think is right. There is no backing down. My heart loves and burns fiercely.
When this song crossed my ears, it was like a missing piece that clicked right into place. Instantly I was running through the fields and wood paths again of my youth. Found myself sitting on my favorite big rock in my hiding spot not far from home. The birds sang all around me, the pussy willows swayed in the breeze, and the creek let out it's trickling laugh.
What more could a girl have asked for living in such a beautiful, natural woodland that spoke openly? Not much of anything that is for sure. Though I thought I needed more and have lost that part of me over the years. Now I am finding my way back. The years that have gone by there is no getting them back. Going forward, my faith is being restored. I am finding me again. Opening my arms wide and letting the Goddess whisper to me. My ears, eyes, heart, soul, and mind are open. Please enjoy the song below and give Wyndreth some love. Listen to it a few times. I did. Light and love!
by: Wyndreth Berginsdottir
I am my mother's savage daughter, the one who runs barefoot cursing sharp stones.
I am my mother's savage daughter, I will not cut my hair, I will not lower my voice.
My mother's child is a savage,
She looks for her omens in the colors of stones,
In the faces of cats, in the fall of feathers,
In the dancing of fire and the curve of old bones.
My mother's child dances in darkness,
And sings heathen songs by the light of the moon,
And watches the stars and renames the planets,
And dreams she can reach them with a song and a broom.
My mother's child curses too loud and too often,
My mother's child laughs too hard and too long,
And howls at the moon and sleeps in ditches,
And clumsily raises her voice in this song.
Now we all are brought forth out of darkness and water,
Brought into this world through blood and through pain,
And deep in our bones, the old songs are wakened,
So sing them with voices of thunder and rain.
(Repeat as new chorus three times, below)
We are our mother's savage daughters,
The ones who run barefoot cursing sharp stones.
We are our mother's savage daughters,
We will not cut our hair,
We will not lower our...(x2) voice (last time).
Full Moon, October 2011
"Anything, everything, can be learned if you can just get yourself in a little patch of real ground, real nature, real wood, real anything … and just sit still and watch."
~ Lauren Hutton
Snow painting with a homemade snow recipe.
Life is crazy, busy, frustrating, gleeful, sometimes sorrowful, enlightening, loving, creative and so much more. Now that I described some of the base feelings to it. Let's just say, sometimes it is overwhelming.
Two weeks ago, I fell while ice skating and got a concussion. Of course this happens right in the midst of a home we are swapping rooms around and going through many years of acquired "stuff". Stuff and loud noises gets my anxiety up. Yes, I am aware that we have five young children at home that we are homeschooling and one of our older children still home. Not to mention a small petting zoo of different animals.
With that being said there is probably enough laundry to use a 50 load laundry detergent bottle and keep me folding for 24 hours. It doesn't help that our two littlest mischief monsters, Jazlyn and Sophie change their clothes at least a weeks worth in one day. Way to be a team player, girls. Socks are still being found sprouting all over the yard. That must be the true sign of Spring.
This morning, during my cup of coffee I decided to scroll a little through Pinterest while the house was still quiet with the wee ones sleeping. Once they are all up it is game on! First load of laundry was already started and I had my cup of bulletproof coffee ready to go.
As soon as I opened my Pinterest home page a pin POPPED right out to me. It was one that was titled "The Three Day School Week, How to Homeschool...". Now, we have been homeschooling a little over a year. Sometimes things get a little crazy and off track in one or two of the categories of life. This isn't to any fault of one person or another. Just a very diversified family make up.
What I found interesting in Mary's post at Simply Be Wild & Free is that they use a 3 day home school schedule. This doesn't mean that there isn't learning all away around the week, just in different areas of their daily schedule. Currently, this is something I think we will be working on incorporating. Something needs to be giving on this teeter totter of back and forth for balancing life, kids, home, schooling, hubby time, and most importantly, MYSELF. You can't pour from an empty cup as the saying goes.
This is going to take a trial period to see if it works for our family. The three days will be filled with core subjects and learning. Then there will be a day of field trips, maybe a co-op, library, zoos, parks, etc. There are some mommas that want to get together at the Children's Museum and I am all in for that. The last day is one that when I read from her blog post and was like an instant "YES". It is a day for me. (Mostly. Except all the little ones are still with me.) But more of a free play, catch up for them, errands, doctor appointments, grocery shopping. This would be great so we can have some more down time on the weekends and Monday night after dance (which is sadly winding down for this year).
A more maintainable schedule is needed in our home. Once the two littlest princesses are done with their work, they cause quite the distraction for their two brothers. Plus not to mention destroy our home and their wardrobe in the process. *Sigh* It is work in progress.
Quite a few people have said it would be easier to send them back to school. Noting how much free time I would have on my hands. I seem to have this ability to fill my plate at the buffet of life. Cutting out what I feel is right in my heart is not one of them though. On that note it can take a couple years to get a smooth homeschooling routine down and find one that works for your family. I will not let myself get discouraged. Ok! Maybe a little at times but then you get back up and march on. We have come so far in this amount of time already.
After looking at Mary's schedule I realized there was somethings we were missing. One aspect was using my resources for field trips. We have a few amazing libraries around us. In the last couple of weeks we became aware of some of the programs they offer. Plus there is a free nature center 45 minutes from home, and we are members of the North Country Children's Museum. The NCCM offers classes and activities at different times on top of their free play and explore areas. On days at the NCCM, we could go to the library and get an hour or so in of volunteer work at the Potsdam Animal Shelter. That is a lot of learning for one day.
The "me" time will be on Friday of course. Everyone needs that at the end of the week. Just a time to unwind, take a breath, and take care of all those things that only get half done during the week. This is needed because some days I feel very frazzled. Again, no fault of anyone's. It is just a bit of my personality. Last week alone we had four different appointments scattered on different days. These days were three right in a row. Had me spinning like a top, around, round, round, round. Now that really isn't need in anyone's life.
The weekends we do slide a lesson in here or there if we need a make up day. This doesn't happen all the time. A great time to do a few chores as a family for quick tidying up. I like Mary's idea of "family history" as our children don't know a lot about their family. The downside of being adopted. Cuddles, snuggles, and spending time with one another in many ways. The last part would be Sunday. Attending church isn't something that we have done in many years now. Faith is important to us. It needs to added to our children's lives, too. Donald will be responsible for the Christian side, Roman Catholic and reading the bible and verses with them. I will be responsible for the Pagan aspect. Nature, the connection to it, the sun, and the moon, and those traditions. As they get older each will be allowed to choose their faith that they are most connected with. This is their decision and won't be forced on them. Knowledge of other religions that they connect with will be given.
Since we own a farm Sundays of course will have barn work in it and anything needed to take care of the farm. It will be our goal not to have any other kind of work than that if we can help it. Family is important and so is taking in a little R & R.
Once busy, the littles do amazing. They are attentive, creative, thirsty for knowledge, and work hard. Each one beams when they are praised. Extremely smart and show us that on most days. Sometimes in ways that might not be as favorable. Isn't that the way with most kids.
I apologize for such a long post. Before anyone asks, our children are socialized with their siblings, adults, our family members, the family we choose ("Our Tribe"), and any other people they come into contact with. They play well with children of all ages. Only issues is between siblings, that is to be expected. Donald and I have the support of our loved ones. Our school is pretty amazing in our decision. Truly, we wish that it was same story from other schools. The religion choices we make might not be everyone's cup of tea. That doesn't matter. Our lives, our home, and our family. Will posted and do an update on how this is working for us in our homeschooling and life journey. Please take the time to go the post that started this long one of mine. Blessed be! ~Kimberly~
"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other."
Christmas is always a whirlwind of festivities. This year was no different. We had to pick our tree and cut it down. Many festivities of being with family we were born into and family we choice. There was tons of laughing, sharing, hugs, and warm hearts just by being together. Oh, and there were cookies, too!
We normally do a ten gift under the tree and ten stocking stuffers. This year we changed a little bit. The kiddos got something they wanted, needed, to wear, to read, to make, to eat, and it was just enough. They were not overwhelm. Plus one new added toy. Less packaging, wrapping, and waste for toys they want for five minutes and than toss aside.
Us with the littles.
One of our big and the 5 littles.
Our book ends, Kaitlynn and Sophie.
The love of my life and the other half that makes me whole.
The joy that was on the childrens' faces as they unwrapped their gifts was wonderful. The fact that they didn't get a ton of toys didn't phase them at all. Devion got all of his little siblings bath items that they can use and their own caddies. Kaitlynn searched for Dungeons & Dragon books for them and added their own set of dice. The gift that Donald and I received from our dear friends, Melissa and Joseph Bellinger. It means a lot to us and we can't wait to get a photo in it to hang up.
There are so many more photographs that were taken. We haven't gone through them all yet. The ones here showcase our home and our full hearts. Blessed be to you all.
"I feel like it’s always about embracing what it is that you think is wrong with you. It’s often times your greatest ‘flaw’ which actually forays into what is also your greatest strength."
What can I ask for of 2019? This year is actually going to be easier. I have decided that this year is for me. It seems weird or strange to say, however, I am going to be courting myself. Finding myself again and falling in love with my inner persona. It is about time that my mind and heart meet up and remind me that I am good enough. That the soul, body, and heart are in a steady commitment and they need to bond to make a healthy and happy individual.
It is going to be hard to get back some of the individual I was so many years ago. The waist line might not come back. The hairline might not either for that fact. However, none of that truly matters as long as I work slowly towards it. Off came the fitbit and I am not using Myfitnesspal as I was obsessed with it. Time to go to pen and paper and pick better habits.
Resolutions are hard. These are going to be called goals instead.
Just Me being Me!
It is a start. Not perfect, but who wants to be. I know that I don't. Just want to be quirky and me. Blessed be all of you amazing people.
“What! Would you so soon put out, with worldly hands, the light I give?”
~The Ghost of Christmas Past, Scrooge, Charles Dickens
It never, ever fails when it comes to the holiday times. The grand plans that bounce around in my mind get bigger and bigger each year. I make a list and write it down on paper saying this is what "WILL" get done. Then adding one more thing to the list with a smile and a complete it by saying "I got this".
It starts with planning the Christmas card photograph. I always do these myself. This year the bright idea was going to be an Ugly Christmas sweater craft and than photographs will all nine of us together. One child has moved out and works insane hours, and we haven't had time to get the sweaters or design them. (And I don't want to pay $20 a sweater that we wear once.) That idea was scrapped and we used the beautiful family photos that we had taken by Gina Johnson Photography this fall. (You can see the family photograph on our R.A.O.K blog post.) The first part of the fail for the holidays or so I feel like it is. Second part would be not mailing them out due to I need to find our address book. *sigh*
The next part is the Christmas tree. Still don't have one. Not even one little evergreen bough. We cut down our tree and then bring it home from Bear Dance Christmas Tree Farm. There is something to be said about the smell of a real tree. We are aware that you can get those scented sticks for the tree, but it isn't the same. We will get one this weekend. Promise! (I hope.)
Then I make the ornaments by a theme for the Christmas tree. This year is Devion's year to pick and he surprise picked Video Games. I have the material for the ornaments, however haven't started a single one. There is still time. We got two weeks. Oye! (Who comes up with these bright ideas?) Yeah, please don't answer that one.
Last minute gifts need to be finished up. Wrapping them all pretty and perfect. I was going to make the nice cotton reusable bags that my dear tribe member, Sara makes. Except that means stopping at the fabric store, buying the fabric, thread, ribbon. Digging the sewing machine out that I have used only one time. Scrap that for this year and start early for next year. We did purchase wrapping paper right after the holidays that I forgot about. Win. Win.
Don't forget the class gifts, teachers (we still have dance and co-op), the mailman, garbage man, and the littles we like to do something for. The R.A.O.K. we have been working on. Other things that I might not be thinking about right at this moment.
I might or might not be starting to get a little bit cranky pants right now. The pressure is on and I am tough on myself to make it perfect. Making it magical for the littles. Giving is something I like to do and I love to see the smiles on peoples faces. Wanting to spend time with those I love. Annoyed beyond get go that I don't have our home all organized and ready to go for the season.
Kaitlynn's Tiny Dancer
Now this is what I need to remind myself. The holidays are not about the gifts but the time spent together as family and friends. If you don't get the cards out until after Christmas, that is alright. Your loved ones love you and want to see you more than one more thing in their lives (I got gifts anyways). Two batches of cookies are better than none. The ornaments to be added to the front of the tree.... Shhhh Don't look in the back.
Just remind myself that I did not fail. Over reaching is something that I need to work on. The littles will love what they receive and spending time with us. As for the home, it took 25 years to accumulate everything. It will take more than a few days to get rid of it.
Do you feel the extra weight of the holidays? What is the one thing that you would want done the most? Blessings to all of you.
“...freshly cut Christmas trees smelling of stars and snow and pine resin - inhale deeply and fill your soul with wintry night...”
~ John Geddes, A Familiar Rain
We haven't yet gone to cut down our Christmas tree. This will be the third year that we have done this together as a new family tradition. There is just something to be said about the real Christmas trees. They smell amazing. There is no storing after the holidays. We don't use tinsel or sprays on it. The tree is appreciated by the goats after the holidays. It is actually an amazing help in keeping worms at bay. We get our trees from Bear Dance Tree Farm. Very friendly family and it is located right around the corner from our home which means getting the tree is quick.
Super Sid is getting a little impatient with us. Can you tell by his hint? He really would love to be smelling some evergreens about now. The naughty, creativity he got into during the night.
The littles LOVE play-do and we go through quite a bit of it. So Super Sid decided that he would create a homemade play-do recipe that smells like a forest. Sneaky little bugger got into my essential oils while I slept. The surveillance cameras took these still shots of him caught in the act.
*Note it was really late when this was being made. The mixture was sticking to my hands, I mean Super Sid's hands, so more flour was added. I hear laughter that sounded hysterical coming from the kitchen. So much for trying not to wake anyone up. Then the different colored sections were molded into trees and wrapped with clear wrap. Put aside with their labels telling what tree they represent.
Which tree do we choice?
There were five different essential oils used, Pine (Pinus sylvestris) by Young Living, Idaho Blue Spruce (Picea pungens) by YL, Blue Cypress (Callitris intratropica) by YL, Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) by YL, and Peru Balsam (Myroxylon balsamum) by Plant Therapy. These oils all provide an amazing sent that is pleasant as the children play.
You can order Plant Therapy directly. Young Living has a great selection of oils, too. Click on either companies names and it will take you to their pages to find out more about essential oils. They have so many purposes.
Essential oils for the trees.
Super Sid created this beautiful card for the littles. Has everyone seen those fun glitter markers? The ones where you are writing and the glitter just flows from them. The Dollar Tree has them in four colors, two in each package. SCORE! Yes I am glitter happy. Plus I love pens, markers, and notebooks. Almost obsessively. These made my day. Of course, Super Sid likes them too. I guess that I can share.
James read the note that Super Sid left.
Below are photos of the littles playing with their scented playdo. They were having so much fun with the toys and creating different items that their imagination thought up. One of the toys that they really enjoy is the Star Wars playdo set.
Connor and James are both busy creating.
Sophie and Jazlyn were working on shapes and hair designs.
Chloe created this beautiful mermaid.
After this activity I have to ask myself why I don't make homemade playdo more often. It gives you quite a bit. The kids seem to like it just as much as the store brought stuff, if not better. There are many different recipes out there for playdo, kool-aid, peanut butter, and gingerbread just to name a few. If you have a favorite recipe that you use I would love to hear about it. Or a tip to help the dough not stick to your hands so badly when you are kneading it, please share below. Blessed be.
"Maybe we should develop a Crayola bomb as our next secret weapon. A happiness weapon. A beauty bomb. And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one. It would explode high in the air — explode softly — and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air. Floating down to earth — boxes of Crayolas. And we wouldn’t go cheap, either — not little boxes of eight. Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in. With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest. And people would smile and get a little funny look on their faces and cover the world with imagination."
The above quote does hold some inspiration. Wouldn't it be lovely if a world was covered in art. All those beautiful colors used to draw animals, flowers, and houses to list a few ideas. Lets not forget the sparkle and glitter ones, too. A little bit of shine does the mind good. I am going to look up what color umber resembles.
Taking a quick nap.
Super Sid is lying down on the job. This is only day 4. How can he be this tired already? The job isn't that hard keeping five little monkeys entertained. Oh, who am I kidding! Move over please, Super Sid. I need a nap, too.
RAINBOW is a color.
Super Sid knew the little ones love to color. Honestly, it is one of their favorite things to do. Crayons, colored pencils, markers (gasp), oh my! But it helps their budding artistic side. Works at keeping them calm, most of the time. Sometimes they have a little issue with crossing each other's pages out. Must be a new Crayola Gang thing. I love sitting and watching them spend time creating colors on a picture they way they see it. The purple dogs really are adorable.
~Today is a hot chocolate kind of day.~
Cocoa for the kiddos.
There have been some bitter days since the snow started to fall. We shiver at the idea of all that cold temperatures that are heading our way. Though, we all do agree it is beautiful to look outside at the white snow covering the ground. Super Sid thought that since winter was coming and the littles do chores and enjoy hot tea along with cocoa that they should have their own mugs.
Let's do this!
First try... Oops!
We thought about doing the permanent marker craft. However, after reading a little more the fact is it comes off in the wash after a little while. Off to the nail polish then. Sophie, James, and Jazlyn helped gather up the colors that we needed to do our project. We gave it a try with Sophie's mug first. It didn't work so well. The nail polish was semi-dry in the bottle. Most of the bottles were almost empty. The children really do enjoy manicures and pedicures.
Daddy to the rescue! He saved the day by going off to the Dollar Tree and brought some brand new nail polish for us to work with. Now we could get down to business. I created a sample one first just to make sure we have it down before the littles started theirs. Sophie's oops was cleaned with a little bit of nail polish remover. Thank you to the dear husband, Donald on picking that up too.
After reading a couple different blogs (this idea is every where on the internet), we did the following steps.
Pick your poisons.
The littles did very well. Here is some of the photos from our mug making event.
Second go around for Sophie. It looks great!
Connor's has a Superman feel to it. Cool!
James chose a very Christmas feel to his. Pretty!
Chloe's turned out to look kind of like a flower. Artsy!
Jazlyn's is AWESOME! She did great.
The finished work. The blue and silver were mine.
This was fun to do. It would be nice to know how to do some of the amazing designs that you see or get more of the "Splash" look. If you have done this, or are thinking about doing this craft, we would love to see your results. Blessed be.
"Never ride alone young cowpoke. Round up your posse and off you go."
Super Sid heard that there was gold in those hills. He decided to saddle up Petal Puff and head on out west to find out if that is true. This boy elf has some big dreams. One of them being his own ice cream shop where you get a side of ice cream with your SPRINKLES.
Sid's letter delivered by Pony Express!
Now after putting on my spectacles and reading this letter a couple times, it is under great authority that Super Sid might need to stay out of the saloons. He wrote "Dear Little Dear Children." Think he had a little too much of that boot leg.