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I am a homeschooling, yarn loving, wool spinning, sustainable lifestyle striving, often failing, laughing mother of four. I am determined to learn how to do all of the things that I want to do and to teach my children how to do the same with their life. I consider failure to be the ultimate learning tool.
I finally finished a project! It's been ages and ages since I knit anything and this little sweater has been sitting on the needles for almost two years. Sad. Especially since I only had a few hours of knitting left to finish it.
(Fine! I admit....it's not finished. I didn't get the ends woven in. She was too excited to wear it to the zoo. :o) )
I am feeling energized by this completion. I think I'm ready to take up my needles again and get to work on our Christmas gifts. Everyone needs a new hat and I've had a couple of sweater requests.
Every child is a Scientist with a magnifying glass in hand.
I had the pleasure of teaching several Junior Master Naturalist classes last spring. Each day was an amazing adventure and I really enjoyed watching the children pull on their rubber boots and dig into the world around them. I found a few pictures we took one day as we began a poster that would show how an area changes with the seasons.
One of MANY caterpillars we found.
When these guys were sharing their observations I found it thrilling to note how closely they were looking at EACH thing we found.
It's one of the the things kids are good at, seeing what we don't. Slowing down. Noticing the details.
Living in the moment.
How do I decide what is important for us to study?
My job is only to point them in the right direction and then try to show them how learn more about their discovery.
Children want to KNOW. It's why they ask so many questions. Teach them how to find the answers themselves and soon they will know more about what has inspired them than everyone but the true expert.
That expert will be delighted to hear such a small person speaking intimately about their favorite subject matter.
Kissy's favorite snake friend.
Sometimes the things they love will be outside your comfort zone and that's okay. It's an opportunity for you to expand your zones. I saw an illustration recently that showed some circles that were labeled comfort zone and where the magic happens. The magic, of course, happening outside your comfort zone. I've found that to be true with snakes and spiders. Perhaps with all things creepy crawly.
I'm now able to hold a snake because I had to demonstrate to my children that there is nothing scary about them. I used to be terrified of snakes. I've learned that I can like them, and I'm grateful that I worked on that for my children. Kiska might very well turn out to be an amazing herpetologist because of it.
Or she might turn out to be a mother who doesn't have to overcome her fear of snakes to share the natural world with her children.
Once upon a time there was a beautiful little girl who loved to run and play, sing and dance, color and paint, laugh and talk, twirl and whirl, and of course the little girl LOVED to hear stories. The little girl was always happy and smiling. She was always SO happy and smiling that all the people around her couldn't help but be happy and smiling too.
The little girl had lots of friends that she loved to play with. One day the little girl got to go over to her friend's house for the afternoon. She was so excited and her friend was too! The little girl's friend couldn't wait to show her all of the wonderful things at her house. They went to the bedroom and turned on the t.v. There were so many shows to watch that the girls couldn't decide which one to watch first. So they closed their eyes and picked one.
When the show was over they ran to the kitchen to find something to eat. There was ice cream waiting for them. Ice cream with lots of yummy chocolate poured on top. When they finished their bowls they left them on the table and went in search for the Halloween candy that was stashed in the closet. With their shirt fronts full of candy they went back to the bedroom to watch the next show.
The candy was gone by the time the show was over. The girls then went into the family room and asked if they could play the video games. OF COURSE! So they played and played and played the video games. They started having a hard time getting along as the afternoon went on.
There were tears because one girl beat the other one.
There were tears because one girl laughed when the other fell down.
There were tears over which game to play.
There were tears over whose turn it was.
There were tears and tears and tears.
The mommy told the girls that it was time to find something else to play if they couldn't get along. So they stomped off to the kitchen to find something to eat. Chocolate Milk!! They poured chocolate syrup in their glasses until it was hard to tell which was the syrup and which was the milk. They decided to have a race to see who could drink their milk the fastest.
The little girl won and her friend burst into tears. The little girl got mad that her friend wasn't happy for her so she burst into tears and screamed, "I HATE YOU!!!".
There was a knock at the big front door. The little girl's mommy was here to take her home. The little girl threw herself down on the floor and started kicking and screaming. She didn't want to go home! She wanted to live with her friend and play video games and watch tv and eat ice cream and drink chocolate milk FOREVER.
Mommy could see that she'd had a very exciting day. Maybe a bit too exciting. She gathered up the little girl into her arms and carried her to the car. The little girl didn't want to go and she was screaming and crying the whole way there. Soon her mommy had her buckled into her seat with a blanket tucked around her. Mommy handed the little girl her unicorn and then shut the car door.
As the car pulled away from the curb mommy started to sing. The little girl was still crying and she cried almost the whole way home. She was angry. She was tired. She was cranky. She was crabby. Her tummy hurt. Her shoes hurt. She hated her shirt. She didn't want to go home. She didn't want to laugh. She didn't want to sing. She didn't want to play or run. She didn't want to laugh and talk. She didn't want to twirl or whirl, and she definitely DID NOT want to hear stories!
Mommy carried her into the house and shut the door. Humming quietly, mommy set the little girl down in the bathroom and started warm water running into the tub. Mommy took off the little girl's clothes and placed her into the warm water. The little girl watched the water running into the bath. She picked up the cup and started filling it with water. Mommy started washing her back with a soft cloth and some lavender soap. The small bathroom started to smell sweet and good.
Soon the tub was filled up and the little girl played with her boat and cup while mommy washed the sink and rearranged the cabinets. Mommy got the little girl's warm jammies all ready for her and placed her special towel on the sink. The little girl stood up and pushed the plug over to let the water out. She giggled when it made it's funny sucking noise. She stepped out of the tub into the warm towel that mommy had waiting for her. She started chatting about her afternoon while mommy dried her off and helped her into her jammies. The little girl took her dirty clothes to the hamper by the washer. Then she came back and turned off the bathroom light.
She went to sit on the couch with her mommy. She smiled at her mommy because now it was time to hear a story. But first mommy had a surprise for the little girl. Mommy had made her some oatmeal with butter, cream, and bit of maple syrup! She ate it all up and drank a tall glass of milk. Then she followed Mommy into the big bathroom where the special oil lives. Mommy put a drop behind both of the little girl's ears. She smelled so sweet and good.
The little girl ran and got her blanket and unicorn. Then she ran to the couch and tucked her blanket all around her. Mommy sat next to her and cuddled her up close to tell a story.
The little girl couldn't wait to hear all about it.