Saturday, June 22, 2013

solstice celebration

You know, the thing about having a strong rhythm in one's life is that, when it comes to blogging, one keeps rhythmically blogging about the same things each year, each season and each day.  Forgive the constant repetition friends.  We've just, you know, got this rhythm going...

Once again we gathered for a small Summer Solstice celebration with some of our dear Waldorf friends.  The day was overcast but still festive and, as always, a gentle and enriching commemoration for this seasonal quarter turn.

Mostly these festivals are about the getting together and, for the children, the play!  We adults hold the inner meaning in our hearts and plan a few games and crafty crafts for the kiddos but they just enjoy the fun of it all.  So, we set the stage for joy and frolicking and also put out some Fimo oven fire clay.  (I know... it looks like cheese.  All the kids thought so too.)  The children crafted little clay suns (and various other objects) that we later turned into refrigerator magnets for them to take home and display.

Then they were out in the grass, jumping on the trampouline and fishing for shells in the pool with their toes.

While they were distracted, Green Man crept into the yard...

He spoke his now traditional verse:
"I am the Sun -
And I bear with my might
The earth by day, the earth by night.
I hold her fast, and my gifts I bestow
To everything on her, so that it may grow;
Man and stone, flower and bee
All receive their light from me.
Open thy heart, dear child, to me,
That we together one light may be."
                                                           (by Ch Morgenstern from Summer by Wynstones Press)

"With these crowns and gifts of the earth, I knight you all princes and princesses of the Summer.  Together we'll hold the sun in our hearts to light the world all year long..."

The little ones loved their shells and gorgeously warm and sunny stone orbs.

Some wore their crowns and a few sat with we grown-ups to weave some flowers into the ivy wreaths.

Of course there was a fire and a delicious pot luck feast.

And, as the season turned, we embraced the new summer rhythm of long days and warm nights, free time and unscheduled outings. 

Welcome all (at least in the northern hemisphere) to afternoons lazing in the shade and enjoying bare feet on the grass.  May the goodness and fullness of Summer fill your days.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

the last of the spring showers?

We spent most of the day inside making treats for the fairies and watching the dark, dark clouds dance a little dance overhead.  Somehow Summer preparations in 60° weather don't feel quite right.   We did make some sweet and tasty cookies and cakes though and, this time around, Naiya even delighted in fashioning that dough into a few fruity pies!

She set them out in the garden just so.

And with so many to offer, placed a few in their covered gazebo.

She made a couple of Ojo de Dios as a gift for the Queen.

And cried when Pippin sampled her beautiful display. 

I told her I thought the fairies would likely not mind sharing with all the good living things who venture into our back yard so we went inside to tidy...

And then the sky opened up and the rain began to fall.

Such is Mother Nature with her own sort of magic.
We covered the treats tables with "skylight umbrellas" and all was well.  We shall see what tomorrow brings...

midsummer's eve preparations

There's a lot of Solstice preparation going on over here today.  We woke and made the dough for mini cookies and cakes that we'll bake and decorate later to offer to the fairies who live in our back yard.  We did this last year and they seemed to really love it. 

(this is last year's offering)
 Of course Naiya loved it too. 

The recipe is very simple and for frosting I think we just used powdered sugar and food coloring:
Simple Sugar Cookies
     1 1/2 cups butter
     2 cups sugar
     4 eggs
     1 tsp vanilla
     5 cups flour
     2 tsp baking powder
     1 tsp salt
Cream the butter and sugar then add the eggs one at a time and mix.  Stir in the vanilla.  Combine the dry ingredients then add them to the sugar mixture.  Mix until well blended.  Cover and refrigerate the dough for at least an hour (or overnight).  Roll the dough out quite thinly (perhaps 1/4").  Cut by hand or with these nifty mini cookie cutters.  Depending on thickness, bake at 400° for 5 - 8 minutes.  Decorate, stack, fill and nibble as you please...

We've also just finished our newest fairie house.  This one is actually for a letterboxing gathering we're attending but leaving out treats and gifts for local fairies is a fun way to celebrate the change of season with children I think.  This house is a temporary letterboxing "box" (that will only be up for the day) and the stamp will sit inside.  We didn't originally plan it this way, but when the logbook wouldn't fit in the tiny door, we made the book the welcome mat!  (This tiny wooden house was purchased at Joann Crafts and with a glue gun, watercolor and natural goodness found in our backyard, we transformed it into its fancier camouflaged state in no time at all.)

Finally, since Green Man was such a hit at last year's Summer Solstice celebration, we're hoping for a visit from him again this year.  It's amazing what one can do with silk leaves and a glue gun...

Man, I love me a good glue gun. 

We're still running around frantic with sausages to pick up, camping supplies to sort through and some secret mama work to do...  It seems that Green Man could use some assistance in fashioning ivy crowns for the wee ones for tomorrow afternoon.

I hope all of your seasonal festivities are bringing joy and wonder for you and your wee'ns.  We're hoping Father Sun will actually make an appearance to help us celebrate the first glorious day of Summer.  Perhaps you can dance us a little dance or sing a little song to help us encourage him to visit...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

monster mouth

After that third one lost its place she woke up, looked in the mirror and came running gleefully into the bathroom where I was slowly coming to life as I splashed water on my face.
"I look like a MONSTER!!" she joyfully exclaimed.
She couldn't be happier.

The one remaining front tooth seems to have crept over to the middle (perhaps searching out its recently departed twin).  Today it's just hanging by a thread.  Not for long methinks...

Not for long.

Monday, June 10, 2013

number three

Ever seen a kid look so crazy happy with a bloody mouth?  This shot was taken about a minute after that tooth was yanked free with the help of a little corn on the cob last night.  She couldn't wait for school today to tell her classmates and teacher.  It's like there's some kind of competition going on in her kindergarten class.  I have more than once walked in and seen them with their fingers in a friends mouth trying to help them along.  One child tells me, "ALL my teeth are wiggly!"  (In reality I think none of them are and he can't bear the thought of that.)  This one of Naiya's has been loose since the beginning of the school year.  It only took 9 months to finally find its way to freedom.  Oh, the ecstasy!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

in the garden

In the Spring and Summer we spend a lot of time with Naiya in the back yard.  A lot of our afternoons are spent playing with the fairies, in the sandbox, barbecuing, enjoying meals or gardening as a family.  Naiya has her own little corners of the yard though that she has planted and maintains all by herself.

This area around her play house is filled with flowers and veggies she chose on her own.  It's a mish mash display and with all the eating of the fennel leaves and picking of the most beautiful blossoms, I'm not sure how this area will fare through the season.  (Which is, of course, totally alright, since her pleasure was its purpose from the outset.)

A pot on our table that Naiya calls her "special garden" has been dormant for months.  She told me she had planted seeds there and when they started to poke out of the soil I wasn't sure that weeds hadn't simply found a foothold in her little patch of wonder.  When they grew taller, they looked a little less weedy (but were still mysterious) and just this morning these poppies opened up.

Sometimes daddy brings plants home from work for her, because they're a little weird or especially fancy.

Inside the house we often find flies in the windowsills.  Other crawly critters meet their demise out of doors for any number of reasons and our daughter often discovers these bodies in both locales. We have tried to instill a reverence for all life (even the most pesky) in Naiya so when she asked what to do with these bodies I told her returning them to the earth might be nice.  She's had this area for years but only recently asked me to write out some markers for the tiny beings resting there.

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