Saturday, December 24, 2016

How-to-have-a-happy-holiday Guide

First of all; cut out all normal activities, like homeschooling, work, etc., and just go with the holiday flow. What? You need to eat, so you have to work...darn, us too! So, where to start?

Go cut down a tree, pick the day it starts to snow and no one really wants to go except Mama, because you will HAVE A BLAST! :

 Attend the Christmas program at church; Valentine narrator

 Gael, in the choir:

Gather with Waldorf homeschoolers in a friend's barn for a Solstice Spiral. The photos are on my husband's phone, but imagine, if you will:

It's quiet and dark. a hundred feet of pine boughs form a spiral on the floor of the barn, stars scattered here and there, awaiting their flame. The children go one by one, through the maze to light their candle, held in an apple from the one at the center of the spiral.

Here is the view of the falling snow from the window of the passvie house of simplify, live, love: where we held the event:

Trim the tree:

Celebrate the birthdays...Thierry, age undisclosed:

Cate, twenty years old: we went to visit her, between finals, to bring cake and take her out for lunch.

Travel through another wintery storm, across the bridge to a friend's birthday at the pizza parlor and roller-skate rink; go ahead; skate!, then park and take a midnight walk to see how the Mississippi likes to crunch itself up into laugh lines:

Homeschooling looked a lot like a nice, long break where "child-centered education" was every single day. And making our hearts and homes ready for Christmas, in the spirit of Advent, became my priority.

When asked, early December, what he would like to do today, Gael's immediate response? Make elephant toothpaste again, with even more food coloring involved this time:

Attend a family work party for Daddy, kids invited to test the merchandise:

       Get together with friends to welcome in the light again after the longest night of the year:

       Breathe in the peace of the season and bask in the joy in your own favorite spots in your home:

Happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year to you!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

No Shave November? Who's Got Time?!!!

Instead of writing a novel or growing a beard, our month of November into December is full of happenings and joy. Here is a how-to guide: start off the season with a great Thanksgiving meal, with as much as your family (and their dogs) and as many friends as you can gather. Normally, we would also have had my sister and her family (evil Black Friday takes her away from us now by beginning on Thursday) and some neighbors and stray people far from home; China, Africa, India, Ohio...

 Next, let your little brother do the dishes:
 And watch (or don't watch) him take pictures when NO ONE is looking:

Then continue by celebrating all of the birthdays, friends and family alike, in November:
(Elizabeth, godmother of Charles, at a surprise party chez us):

 There were kids everywhere, here in the school/playroom:

Valentine turns 15:

Attend the parade, of course! Bring your own thermoses of hot cocoa and coffee, and end up in the local newspaper because you were brave enough to venture out in the cold and wind for it:

One week later, host family and friends for a post-run-meal after a freezing cold run in December for a good cause; the Jingle Run for the Arthritis Foundation:

Don't forget to hang your stockings for St.Nicholas!

Make a gingerbread house, and an old-fashioned wreath:

Next up: Go find the perfect tree, in the SNOW!