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Winter Walk

Sing a song on winter

Frost is in the air.

Sing a song of winter

There’s snowflakes everywhere.

Sing a song of winter

Hear the bells chime.

Can you think of anything as fine as wintertime.

Come along on a winter walk!

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Happy Snow!

 

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Books…The Hard Desicions

Oh, how I do love books! I think they are one of my most favorite things in the world. When I am not busy, caring for children, cooking, cleaning, homeschooling, spending time outside, sewing, or crafting I am reading ūüôā I love many kinds of books but I have a special place in my heart for children’s books. That is why the kids books have been the hardest part of my simplifying journey. After emptying the book closet I looked at the huge pile of books and wondered, can you have too many books? I have to say my mind had a hard time answering that question, I mean really how can you have too many books! But then I began to think about books from when I was little and one book jumped right out at me.

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My¬†Treasury¬†of Rhymes is a book that my Grandma Violet would read to me and my sisters when we were at her house. She did not have many children’s books from what I can remember but this one I remember well. These pictures and rhymes run through my head to this day. This book is special. We read this book so many times that even as an adult I coan see Curly Locks sitting on her cushion to sew a fine seam and Wynken, Blynken, and Nod sailing off in¬†their¬†wooden shoe. So what made this book so special that I can remember it as an adult? I know, it is because I heard it over and over again, because the pictures are beautiful, because the language is rich,¬†because¬†my Grandma Violet read it too me.

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I want my children to read as many books as pleases them but I also want the books that we own to be special. So after all of that thinking and looking at a big pile of books I made a list. This list helped me figure out what kind of books I wanted to own so that we could weed out the not special books that clutter up the closet.

 

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For a book to be special:

1. It must be a story we all want to read over and over again.

2. If there are pictures they must be beautiful.

3. The language must be rich and the story line/rhymes/poems timeless.

4. They must be something I would want to pass on to my grandchildren.

 

After I made my list I went through the books with the kids and we found the special books. Many fit this all of these categories but many did not so I also made a secondary list for books that were good but not quite special.

For a book to be good:

1. It must be a story we all want to read over and over again.

2. The pictures must be beautiful.

 

These books include easy reader books like the Piggie and Gerald, book that are good now but I wouldn’t save for the grandchildren like The Hippo-Not-Amus, anything Aurthur, and The Magic Tree House Series, and of course non-fiction books as well.

After going through all of the books, picking only the good and special books, I made categories to organize them. I made seasonal groups to bring a certain amount of books out at a time so no one gets overwhelmed  This way that small pile of books can be read over and over again during a season and then they can be put away to make room for a new set of books. The non seasonal books were put on three shelves in small groups to make them easy to look through.

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I put the chapter books and books we are not quiet ready for in Killians closet and I put a group of books aimed more for Delaney in her closet.

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So I did it. I got rid of books and it feels good. The books we want to read are front and center. Now, I wonder which books will be on each kids speical list when they grow up, hmmmm.

 

p.s. The book My Treasury of Rhymes was given to me by my Grandma Violet when Killian was two. I had always wanted the book but never said anything and she gave it to me as a surprise. Now the book is even more special than before and I tell my kids about it whenever we read that book together. That kind of specialness is something I want to pass on to my kids.

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Eight Years Old

Eight years ago at 10:50pm on Chirstmas Eve our Killian Woodrow was born. He was the most precious thing I had ever seen. He is always an adventure and has taught me many things about life and myself. I am ready for another year of adventure. Happy Birthday Killian!

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Eight

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Seven

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Six

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Five

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Four

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Three

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Two

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One

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Happy Birthday!

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This Moment…The Tree

Every year our family goes to cut down our Christmas tree. I know this is a moment they will always remember.

There have been sunny time, snowy times, rainy times, windy time, and this year it was just kind of cloudy.

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Off to find a tree.

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The search continues.

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Trees, trees everywhere and none that are just right.

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She likes them all.

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Found it!

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Time to cut it down.

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Awww ūüôā

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Just a bit too tall.

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A lot of sap! Next time gloves.

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Tree’s up, with lights on.

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Decorate.

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Merry Christmas!

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Winter Wonderland…aka My Yard

We had a good snow here in Central Wisconsin yesterday and it finally feels like winter. Hooray! Now lets hope it stays.

Here are some scenes from my yard, which is where we spent almost the whole day ūüôā

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Little snowy dried flowers.

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Huge snowy pine trees.

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Snowy path in the trees.

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Sledding and snow boarding fun on the small hill Killian and Justin made this morning. It will get bigger as the season goes on.

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Oh boy!

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So fun!

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The biggest best snowman! This guy is taller than Justin, wow!

Happy Snow Day ūüôā

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Thanksgiving

The year has turned it’s circle

The seasons come and go

The harvest is all gathered in 

The chilly north winds blow

Orchards have shared their treasures

The fields their yellow grain

So open wide the doorway

Thanksgiving’s come again

Here is our seasonal wreath with¬†everyone’s¬†hand print¬†turkeys.

Delaney helping cut up the apples for the stuffing.

A little bit of wine. Yes I am using a jelly jar for a glass ūüôā

Turkey’s done! Justin grilled the turkey and it was delicious.

Time to carve.

The kids set the table earlier in the day. Our tradition is for everyone to write something they are thankful for on their name cards. Then we hang them on our thanksgiving branch with the ones from previous years.

Liam was thankful for root beer.

Having fun!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

I ho

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Playthings

“The greatest scientists are¬†artists¬†as well.

Imagination is more important than knowledge.

Knowledge is limited. Imagination circles the world.”

~Albert Einstein

In our house many of our children’s playthings are¬†versatile. They play with blocks, play silks, sticks and wool. We do have some things that are more specific such as dolls, a train set, a marble run, and others. But this summer I made a big change in our kids play kitchen area. There was lots of nice wooden and crocheted play food but the kids were not excited about it. So I took out most of the play food and replaced them with baskets of acorns, rocks, pine cones and shells. Believe it or not, the kids were hooked. Now the kitchen is used everyday and the natural objects are used for kitchen play and more. We use those found objects on our story table, in Delaney’s doll area, for crafting, and collecting, mixing, and sorting. I read this¬†great article¬†on early childhood play that explains how incomplete ¬†toys, like blocks, sticks, and blankets will not only keep your child occupied but improve¬†their¬†creativity.

The educator Rudolf Steiner says that, as the muscles of the hand grow strong through use, so is the brain exercised by toys that require the child to complete them in the imagination. Children strengthen their minds by imagining what an object represents! Awesome!

 

Here is our children’s kitchen area, crayon drawings and all.

One picnic basket of a few select food pieces.

Shells Killian brought  back from Florida. They have been used as spoons, bowls, crackers, and a bridge on the story table.

An assortment of play items used for food play, decorating the house, props for the story table, and sorting. We also have great grandma Violet’s rotary phone. The kids love it!

A meal made by Delaney and Liam.

 

I hope giving my kids room to be creative, things to be creative with, and time to imagine they can go into the world some day and do something great.

“Imagination is the beginning of creation.

You imagine what you desire

You will what you imagine, 

and at last, you create what you will.”

~George Bernard Shaw

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Snow!

Nothing like snow to get everyone outside by 7:15 in the morning!

Get ready for snowballs.

Liam left his bike out over night.

Riding through the trees. Those strider bikes go anywhere!

Even the doggie with an ear infection likes the snow.

Duck!

Happy snow ūüôā

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Happy Halloween

BOO!

It is Halloween and their goblins about! This morning we woke up to ghosties in the pumpkin patch. Willow witch and Pumpkin witch were surprised to find them floating around the garden. These little ghosties were found at Wee Folk Art and were very simple to make.

Yesterday evening we did our annual pumpkin carving.

This year we got out the power tools. Look at the determination on Liam’s face!

Here are the finished products. Yes the third one says “Da Bears”.

 

Superhero stance for sure ūüôā

 

What a scary vampire!

Happy Halloween!

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Story Table

At our house we tell a lot of stories. We do this by telling stories out loud, using a puppet theater, acting them out, and using our story table. The story table is our favorite way to tell stories and after the story is told, all are able to play out the story again or create new stories. The month of October we are using a story from Juniper Tree Puppetry about little Willow Witch. Juniper Tree Puppetry has a wonderful newsletter that sends out a story each month for you to use. We told the original story the first day and then added on to it through the month.

The story starts with Willow Witch in her pumpkin patch. She wishes for a baby and finds one behind the biggest pumpkin. She names her Pumpkin Witch. Soon Pumpkin Witch is a little girl and learning from her mother. The trees and pumpkins were found at Wee Folk Art, which has lots of seasonal crafts and patterns for free.

Later in the story we find out Willow Witch is a healer and goes¬†throughout¬†the forest collecting herbs, berries, and spices to heal the animals and people of the forest. She heals a squirrel, an owl, and a mother’s little child. Both witches enjoy healing others and soon little Pumpkin Witch will help a little animal sick and alone on Halloween night.

Delaney made a story too. It was a lovely story that had a raft ride, flying pumpkins, and a good night song.

A visitor is coming to pick a pumpkin to bring home for Halloween.

The audience.

And after the story it turns into a lunch table, yum acorn soup with pine cone biscuits and rock stew.

The story table has many uses for imagination and fun.

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