Puppy Love

uploadupload

Play with me!upload

uploadProud Knight of Gondor

upload

In early July we brought this little fellow home with us to foster. It was a trial run, to see how bad my allergies would be around him. My boys were so patient about this idea—that it might not work out for us to have him in our home. After three weeks we decided to keep him. Then we argued over his name for another solid week.

Pippin, is what we finally settled on, short for Peregrin Took. He was found wandering alone beside a busy street in Sacramento, near a field and a park, on a 100+ degree day on June 25. The 12-year-old son of our dear friends found him and they brought him home to nurse him back to health. We’re so glad he was rescued.

Pippin is sweet and cuddly, feisty and playful. He’s brought Solstice into more youthful play each day. They get along well, although Solstice misses being the only dog, I think. He is a little jealous of Pippin. But he’s also getting more treats than ever before, as we try to train Pippin.

Pippin’s learning to go potty outside, which is getting better but we still have accidents. He sits beautifully on command. We’re now working on come. I would like to teach him not to jump at me and bite or claw at my skirts. I would like him to learn to sit patiently while I’m preparing his three meals a day. I would love for him to do all his business outside.

The boys are really smitten with him. As am I.

Welcome to the family, Pippin!

 

Just So

Red, white, and blue

upload

Fresh blueberry pie with raspberries

upload

Independence Day! = Friends, new puppies, antics, swimming, relaxing, meeting people, fireworks, neighbors, barbecued pork ribs, corn on the cob, cucs (a family specialty), rum and tonics, fresh blueberry pie, love, a bit of risk, and a whole lot of chill.

Blessed.

Jumping into Summertime

upload

It’s here! Glorious Summer is here! Actually, we are now starting our second week of the boys’ summer vacation. These are days full of lovely things, like swimming and day camps,

upload

School buddies at camp.

Perfect moment at pond's edge

nature walks with friends,

upload

and family,

upload

upload

swimming pool horsing around,

2015-06-12 09.16.09

a few runs at our river parkway, which I try to accomplish mostly in the shady areas,

♡

upload

some gaming with Daddy and neighborhood friends, both D&D and LOADS of Magic the Gathering,

2015-05-30 09.40.03

and this. Lucas has been in a junior lifeguard camp (with three friends from school) for the last two weeks at Folsom Lake. This photo is from the tryouts day. I’ve been BLESSED by another mom, an angel who is doing most of the driving to and from camp, and so I only have photos from tryouts. The kids have been trained in CPR and choking rescue, gone river rafting, practiced water rescues, and I don’t even know what else! Their days are full of physical conditioning—running, core exercises, push ups, swimming—and these kids come home TIRED and sore. It’s great! We’re packing enormous lunches and liters of water every day to keep Lucas fueled and hydrated.

My harpies woke me up this morning in the wee hours. I started thinking about all the usual worries, and then a new one struck: This week, Tuesday through Thursday, late, Lucas is going to Santa Cruz to do open-water lifeguard training and to compete in a lifeguard competition. He is going along with our dear friends because Ian and I cannot go with him. It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and we’re very happy he gets to go. However, last night I started worrying about my little son in the great big ocean without my being nearby. I started spinning on that: What if something happens to him?!

Then I realized he would be surrounded by pro lifeguards, and I went back to sleep.

Asher is doing a day camp with some buddies at Effie Yeaw Nature Center, which is a jewel in the middle of our city. From 9 to noon for ten days, he gets to do crafts, hike, learn about wild creatures, our local ecosystem, go fishing, go rafting, and more. Lucas did this camp when he was younger and it was wonderful. It really helps that two of Asher’s buddies (Star Destroyer and Blackout) are doing this with him. Asher’s nickname is Shadow Sting. How cute is that?

Last week, Ian and I got to see Eddie Izzard’s Force Majeur show. It was deliciously funny and I laughed until I felt amazing!

 

Summertime Inspiration

Painting Suns

Summertime is here! For many families summer is a sweet time of lazy days and icy juice pops, swimming and reading and sleeping in. My boys have a few summer camp adventures this summer, and we have a couple of camping trips planned. It’s shaping up to be a lovely time.

Right now, my coauthor, Eileen Straiton of Little Acorn Learning, and I are offering a sale on our Midsummer Festival E-Book. From now through June 30, if you buy the Midsummer Festival E-Book at the sale price of $19.99, you’ll also get the Summer Festivals Cookbook! Together these two e-books provide wonderful ideas for filling summertime with festivities, food, and delightful Waldorf-inspired crafts, songs, poems, and more. Please tell a friend!

Midsummer Festival E-Book Is Now ON SALE!

Our labor of love will bring the magic of summer into your home and help you keep celebrating throughout the season!  It is packed full of Waldorf songs, stories, verses, crafting tutorials and much more to help you celebrate Midsummer and the Summer Solstice with the children in your home, classroom, or childcare environment.

  • Read stories and fairy tales filled with sunshine to the children
  • Enjoy verses, songs, poems and fingerplays that celebrate the coming of summer
  • Learn about the history, background and symbolism of the Summer Solstice
  • Get ideas for how to create your own meaning for this special festival
  • Enjoy a Solstice feast
  • Play Solstice games
  • Make a Midsummer bonfire
  • Create simple beeswax suns with the children
  • Make a Solstice wreath for the birds
  • Design Midsummer string art sunbursts
  • Read a story of The Sun Child and create a Sun Child necklace
  • Craft a shiny garden suncatcher
  • Use a rock garden sundial to tell time in your garden
  • Make a “Catch the Sun” throw toy for your child
  • Create a paper Solstice Sun
  • Create daytime and nighttime Midsummer magic
  • Hang summer Solstice flags indoors or outdoors this season
  • Plant a Midsummer indoor herb garden
  • Craft a sun mosaic birdbath
  • Make a sunshine fairy out of wool roving and felt
  • Sew and stuff herbal dream pillows for St. John’s Eve
  • Needle-felt a summer sun wall hanging
  • Create sweet Pocket Sun Sprites for the children
  • Bake sun bread with the children
  • Go on a sun hunt
  • Make a sun mask
  • Design a sunshine banner
  • Crochet sun medallion necklaces

Here are some teaser pics from the e-book. We hope they ignite your interest and inspire you to fill your days with sweet sunshine!

mosaic681a08dd7f492074d30d638319d71c78eb0cd22f

Wishing you delicious, sweet moments all summer long!

WEAVE Walk a Mile in Her Shoes

2015-05-03 11.49.10

WEAVE is an important organization in our community that benefits women and children. The name is an acronym for Women Escaping A Violent Environment.

2015-05-03 11.49.00

2015-05-03 11.50.45

2015-05-03 12.04.39

I liked his sign

“WEAVE is the primary provider of crisis intervention services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Sacramento County.  Through its involvement in the Rescue & Restore Coalition, WEAVE also provides outreach and services for international and domestic victims of human trafficking.

“It is WEAVE’s mission to build a community that does not tolerate domestic violence and sexual assault and provides survivors with the support they need to be safe and thrive. WEAVE’s vision is a community free of violence and abuse.

“At WEAVE we believe that crisis intervention services are only part of the solution. Prevention and Education are critical in improving how our community responds to violence. WEAVE is committed to breaking the cycle of violence by educating the community to better understand the issues of domestic violence and sexual assault.”

2015-05-03 10.55.41

It’s always a challenge to know when to bring difficult topics to children. Balancing the need to educate them about problems in our society with the need to not wake children up too soon to pain and suffering and injustice is a thorny dilemma. Honestly, I think about this stuff all the time.

Our family had some good age-appropriate talks leading up to WEAVE’s Walk A Mile in Her Shoes, which took place on May 3rd. Our brother-in-law, Matt, got us involved. His family law practice, Forester Purcell, was a big sponsor of the event, and they put together a team of more than 50 men to walk in high heels as a way to raise awareness and funds to combat domestic violence and sexual assault.

My men turned up to walk it together. In heels.

upload

Forester Purcell team was 54 men strong

This was a crazy day for us, frankly. This two-hour WEAVE event was sandwiched between an early morning baseball game and the school’s May Day festival. The day was packed full and challenging, and totally outside normal.

upload

The truth is, this wasn’t my sons’ favorite event. A lot of grown-ups were being silly. (They’re pretty used to that, though.) The boys did have moments of fun, which it seems I didn’t really capture with my camera.

I’m very, very proud of them, of Ian, of my brother-in-law and step brothers for participating in this event. It’s visible. It’s meaningful. It’s important.

2015-05-03 11.46.07

And I am deeply grateful to all men who stand up and show young people how to be peaceful, respectful members of a society we are building together on the principles of equality, safety, and nonviolence. I am deeply grateful that my sons have such role models in their lives.

WEAVE says, “We had more 1,200 men pre-register and nearly 100 sign up the day of. We are still reviewing the tapes for final count of men but know at least 1,100 walked the walk. We will be submitting the final application to Guinness Book of World Records. Your efforts raised more than $352,000 to support survivors in our community. THANK YOU!”

I’ll say it, too. Thank you, Matt, Danny, Ian, Lucas, and Asher. Thank you, Sacramento.

Dear Asher

Dear Asher,

I know you are feeling a little sad because Lucas and I went on a trip. It’s normal to feel lonely and to miss the people you love when they are away. We will miss you and Daddy, too.

Don’t worry. We will be back on Friday evening. That’s only two sleeps, and three days away. Daddy and your grandmas will take good care of you.

Wednesday you will go to school. Grandma Sydney will pick you up at 2:20. Daddy will come and get you when he’s done with work. I bet he will read you some Hiccup.

Thursday the same thing will happen. You will go to school, Grandma Sydney will pick you up at 2:20. Daddy will get you after work.

Friday you will go to school. Grandma VoVo will pick you up after school. Daddy will get you after work, and Mommy and Lucas will be home that night, probably around dinnertime (5:00 or 6:00)!

I will call you each afternoon or evening and talk to you. And I will send you and Daddy all my love.

Please take care of Solstice for me. Please put fresh water in his water dish and give him lots of love. He might be a little lonely. Also, please take care of Daddy too. He will need extra snuggles.

I love you, Asher. I’ll be home soon. Be brave.

Mama

 

 

My Mother’s Day 2015

2015-05-10 11.32.58

My Mother’s Day started like this, with a nice relaxing time in my beautiful personal “park” that our family has lovingly created together over the years.

upload

And this emphatic! card! from Asher! which I LOVE!

upload

2015-05-10 14.02.36

My beautiful gifts from Ian and my boys: solar glass garden lights, which have LEDs in them that change colors in the night. They also gave me a mini oyster mushroom farm. They know me.

2015-05-10 17.54.29-1

We spent a little time with my parents at their place. KISS principle in effect, you know: pizza, salad, and some early-season swimming for the kiddos. It felt wonderful.

2015-05-10 18.19.56

These two!

upload

My silver is shining through, like my mama’s does. I told my sons the silver streaks in my hair were starlight kisses and wishes come true—things moms get when they have wonderful children.

upload

Ian and Dad were there too, but I didn’t shoot pics of them. It was a good, chill day, despite being a bit under the weather with a virus (which still has me feeling low two weeks after I came down with it!).

I know this kind of post is really interesting only to me. But these are happy moments in my life and capturing them buoys me up when the grind threatens to get me down. These little moments of joy and togetherness, small gestures of kindness and appreciation—they are food and oxygen that keep my heart pumping and my commitment strong. I am more in love with my little family every day.

May Day Music

upload

On May 3, our Waldorf school celebrated May Day. It was a perfect day. Not to hot, not overcast and cool. The community turned out to celebrate the turning seasons, schoolwork in full blossom, and the soon-to-graduate eighth-grade class. It was marvelous and inspiring, as it is every year.

11164726_10152741212466583_2398131912065107986_o

(Photo by Melissa Sam Rainsford)

This year, our second graders had a part to play. They played a song on their flutes and sang, standing all in a large ring around the may pole. They were the prelude to the eighth-grade may dancers. My sweet Asher has learned to play the pentatonic flute!

2015-05-03 13.00.54

2015-05-03 12.56.34

2015-05-03 12.56.39

2015-05-03 12.56.19

upload

I’ve said this before, but these children are breathtakingly beautiful to me.

11136148_10152741211191583_538959979957117027_o

(Photo by Melissa Sam Rainsford)

11212144_10152741211541583_2719014577873873406_o

(Photo by Melissa Sam Rainsford)

upload

Second graders

They played and sang beautifully with movements to go with their songs. I’m so proud of them. You can tell some are very happy to be performing, and others hang back a bit, a little shy to be in the spotlight with the school community watching them. They are growing so fast.

11169730_10152741211956583_1227245301357014140_o

(Photo by Melissa Sam Rainsford)

Honestly, I cannot get enough of this gap-tastic smile Asher has right now. It slays me every time he flashes it. I kind of hope his new tooth never comes in.

My littlest love at May Day

I love a boy with flowers in his hair.

upload

The seventh grade played the music for the eighth-grade may dancers. Most were on soprano, alto, or tenor recorders, with one boy on tambourine and another teacher accompanying them on guitar. Lucas was fond of saying they had to play the same difficult, quick song 86 times. I try to remind Lucas that he can do all kinds of things I never learned to do. (My son plays piano, flute, recorder, and violin!) These kids are more impressive with each passing month. Next year, it will be their turn to don white clothes and flower crowns and dance! Be still my heart!

2015-05-03 12.57.38

2015-05-03 12.57.48

2015-05-03 12.57.27

Alas, I had a major camera failure and didn’t get any pictures of the beautiful dancers this year. Something is wrong with my Canon, either in the battery charging process or else the camera is draining the battery rapidly. I suspect that perhaps it’s not really off when I flip the switch to turn the camera off. I need to take it to a shop to be cleaned, checked, and repaired, but that will have to wait. (I daydream often about getting a new, better camera.) My trusty phone ran out of available space too, so, these are the shots I got. C’est la vie!

Much love to these musicians of all ages, to the dancers, to their parents, and the school community, who together support this amazing festival every year. It fills me up and makes me hopeful and happy every time I see it.

Mom

My mama on mothers day

This is my beautiful mother, Sydney. She is clever, funny, feisty, opinionated, determined, loving,  courageous, and wicked smart. She almost was a nun, but said no thanks. She speaks three languages and is currently learning Italian. She has two masters’ degrees. She took 15 years out of her career to raise me and my brother. Then she went on to teach college humanities, until retiring a year ago. She knows about art, literature, history, sociology. She is a perpetual volunteer. She writes mysteries. She has exquisite handwriting. She reads voraciously. She embraces technology but it doesn’t always hug her back. She’s read and taught The Iliad and The Odyssey something like 50 times each, and knows Dante’s hell like the back of her hand. She can tell you about Brunelleschi’s dome and Bernini and Hagia Sophia, modern art, and Asian art. She loves slapstick, forensic dramas, and all theater. She knits like a badass, and makes beautiful and useful clothing, quilts, embroidery, sweaters, hats, socks—you name it.

She is punctual, dependable, thoughtful, and profoundly generous of her time, creativity, the work of her hands, her caring, her teaching. She is a faithful friend and a lovely person who never stops learning, doing, helping, creating, and reading. I admire her and love her.

My mama has always been there for me, with love and support, even when we disagree. She still takes care of me just about every day in one way or another. I am so grateful to her. For more than I could ever say. Happy Mothers Day, Mom. You’re the best.

 

May Day Is Coming!

IMG_0941

I can’t believe I didn’t post about May Day last year! My beautiful niece (that’s the simplest title) danced in her school’s May Day celebration with her eighth-grade classmates. My little son played a part with his fellow first graders in our school’s May Day celebration, too. I must have been really busy this time last year—or overwhelmed—to have missed saying how proud I am of these young people and how truly enchanted I feel by this festival so cherished by Waldorf schools.

Well, as we head into this year’s May Day celebration, and my beloved older son’s Beltane birthday, I will conjure all the beauty of this celebration with photos from last year, 2014. Indulge me.

IMG_0977

This is my sweet T, who is the most delightfully sweet force of nature. She is wicked smart, and funny, and charming, and kind, and diabolical, and beautiful, and compassionate, and bossy, and a born leader, and I love her deeply.

IMG_1014

And I was bursting with pride at this moment.

8th grade dancers #mayday #magic #maypole #festivals #holiday #goldenvalleycharterschool #family #spring #waldorf

These are shots from Golden Valley Charter School’s May Faire, May 2014. The whole school community came out on a gorgeous morning to celebrate. All the classes wore white. They have a lovely May Queen every year in their celebration. Their graduating eighth graders dance the May Pole. It is every bit as charming in 2014 as it was in 1814. You can look up vintage May dance photos to see for yourself.

The May-Pole (Excerpt)

The May-pole is up,
Now give me the cup,
I’ll drink to the garlands around it;
But first unto those
Whose hands did compose
The glory of flowers that crown’d it.

—Robert Herrick

My lovely son #waldorf #sacramentowaldorfschool#waldorf #mayday #magic #7yearold #firstgrade

And there’s just nothing in the world like a boy you love festooned in flowers!

IMG_1073

May-Baskets

Let us take our baskets early 
   To the meadows green, 
While the wild-flowers still are pearly 
   With the dewdrops’ sheen. 

Fill them full of blossoms rosy, 
   Violets and gay 
Cowslips, every pretty posy 
   Welcoming the May. 

Then our lovely loads we’ll carry 
   Down the village street, 
On each door, with laughter merry, 
   Hang a basket sweet. 

Hey-a-day-day! It is spring now, 
   Lazy folks, awake! 
See the pretty things we bring now 
   For the May-day’s sake!

—Evaleen Stein

IMG_1080

At Sacramento Waldorf School, where my children go, the first graders shower the dancers with rose petals as they enter and exit, and decorate the field with petals.

IMG_1120

IMG_1164

(Poor kid! I made his crown too big.)

IMG_1170

I have written about this special festival before. I shared our experiences of celebrating May Day in the Waldorf kindergarten, too. That this festival comes every year doesn’t seem to diminish its beauty or freshness. That must be because these shining faces are growing and changing each year. Each year a new crop of lovely eighth graders take up their ribbons and dance their hearts out. It’s a bit of an endurance event; they work to weave and wrap the pole and an intricate, well-practiced way, practically down to the ground.

IMG_1170

IMG_1179

IMG_1211

IMG_1234

IMG_1290

IMG_1296

IMG_1252

The little ones adore the rose petal “fight” at the end. This part isn’t scripted, but they all do it every year, with gusto and giggles aplenty. Such joy and silliness! The petals fly and the the parents wildly snap photos.

Lucas is absent from these shots from last year, though he was there. The sixth grade doesn’t have a special roll to play in the May Day festival, so he could just hang out with his friends and watch. This year, however, his seventh-grade class will be playing the music for the dancers. I’m really looking forward to that!

IMG_1285

Blessings on your Beltane!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I'm Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2015 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    "Love doesn't just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new." —Ursula K. LeGuinn

  • Buy Our Festivals E-Books




  • Archives

  • Tags

  • Categories

  • Meta