Monday, November 28, 2011

grateful for fog and things

San Francisco for Thanksgiving.  We woke up, all huddled together, studying the fog outside.   At home we rarely experience fog.  I absolutely love the humidity after living in the desert for 9 years.  My skin starts loving the extra moisture around Sacramento and by the time we hit the Bay Bridge, I feel like I'm getting a facial!

Lately I've been reading in The Heart of Learning about expansion and contraction.  Here's a little excerpt:

"Expansion and contraction are primal forces that influence every aspect of life.  They are visible in the cycle of the year, the rhythm of the day and night, and the phases of the moon.  They can be seen in the growth of the plants and the instinctive activity of wild animals.  We can observe their operation several times within the span of a minute, or watch them move gradually over the course of a lifetime."

"Learning how to work with these powerful opposing forces is important for every parent.  If we are to work effectively with our children, we must be able to understand and encompass both these polarities."

So, you see these ideas of contracting and expanding are powerful and necessary parts to rhythm that we should understand with regard to our children.  I've been spending most of my time thinking about this idea and it's been pretty eye opening.  I've been able to solve conflicts with my children just by feeling where they are and where I can direct them to.  Simply put, we either are too expanded or too much in our head and need to work toward the opposite polarity.  Pretty cool parenting tool!

Change has always been hard for me since I'm a very sensitive person.  I have to remember this during this transitional time between summer and winter (which I believe is contracting but let me know if I'm wrong!).

Back to Thanksgiving though.  We had a great time.  We spent time with family.  We ate some delicious food.  That's all that matters right?  Oh yeah, and we also took Zephyr for his first walk on the beach.  We played games like dominoes with tape cases and this fun game.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend!  I'm grateful for so many things.  It's humbling.  xo

Monday, November 14, 2011

sneaking in some sunshine

We snuck a bit of sunshine this weekend.  It's always hard getting out the door, making sure we have a snack, water, jackets and shoes for everyone.  We don't wear shoes in the house and it's the one question I always ask when we're driving away down the street, "You all have shoes right?"

This place we go to is all the way across town but the Aspens are gorgeous.  We didn't quite make it while the trees were in full autumn glory but there were a few orange and yellow leaves on the ground that Solomon collected and gently stuffed in his pockets.

We like to go here at different times of year to witness the changes.  The first thing the kids noticed was the ice that has accumulated in the creek.  It was actually a nice day and we had to peal of the layers as we hiked up the mountain.

I'd have to say that the best thing about having older kids is that when we go hiking we don't have to worry about sticking together in a tight bunch.  We go in all directions, exploring where we want.  I can stay behind and take pictures while Jonathan moves up ahead with someone.  We can even trust Eli to go ahead or fall behind.  It's so nice to be able to do that.

The kids always can find a patch of rose hips to nibble on.  These were especially sweet.

It was so nice to get outside together this weekend and steal a bit of sunshine before the cold really sets in.  I hope you all had a nice weekend!

Friday, November 11, 2011

following my heart

Our homeschooling days are always a work in progress.  We're human and we're always changing and learning something new about ourselves.   We recently made a change and I instantly felt the relief.  It's funny how I can get so hell bent on one idea.  Then my heart/head shifts and I can see how sticking it out until the end, just to finish something, isn't always the best thing.  I have this idea in my head sometimes that if I quit something then I'm a quitter.  Well, maybe I am but sometimes quitting is a good thing. 

This new change has made it possible for us to enjoy our days, find our creativity again and relax a bit into a happy learning environment.

Solomon can sit on the couch and listen to books on CD.  Amelia and I can make apple butter on a weekday. And then there are Legos all day long sometimes.

Happy Friday!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

first snow haiku

Wake up to first snow.

Unearth mittens, long underwear and snow pants.

Already melted, wait for tomorrow.