Love Is …

My children have learned the value of money. They both have things they want to buy, and are seeking jobs to earn cash. Asher claims this is 600 spikey balls, worth a penny each (because I hate them littering my yard). Lucas is presently sweeping and mopp

  • Seattle with my love—three glorious days away from home.
  • Grandmas who babysit my boys for free so I can meet my deadlines.
  • Dry Cucumber Soda.
  • Great summertime piano progress!
  • Giving away our handmade (and mama-made) treasures to younger children, who might just enjoy some of them.
  • Knowing my little niece is just down the street, attending a Waldorf in-home preschool that Lucas went to when he was little.
  • Watching my 12-year-old lace up his fancy new kicks and go running in preparation for the fall cross country season.
  • Joining in with a bunch of friendly, eager people from our Class of 2020 to do yard work for some beloved grandparents, who kindly bought the work day at our school fundraising auction—especially watching these rising seventh-graders hard at work pruning, shoveling gravel, and carrying heavy things.
  • Kayaking with my loves. (We need to build two skegs!)
  • Boys who wake up in the morning and play chess.
  • Beautiful, fresh-laid eggs, even if during the summer my boys don’t want to eat them.
  • Seeing old friends embrace change with camaraderie, grace, and style even while they are sad, and wishing them every happiness.
  • Handsome boys who spent the summer learning new skills, such as emptying and loading the dishwasher, and embracing (mostly) additional chores and household responsibilities to help Daddy and me.
  • Watching my boys come to understand money in a new way, realize that to have some of the things they want they must earn money and pay for these things themselves, and then actively seek jobs to earn this money (such as picking up liquidambar “spikey balls” and washing cars). They are negotiating when to spend hard-earned money and when to save. This is valuable stuff!
  • My new clothes dryer. Hallelujah for such inventions!
  • A boy who practices math during the summer with equanimity because his mama tells him to.
  • Trying to be patient with our drought, trying to use less water, trying not to cry because of dying plants, lawn, and shrubs.
  • Friends who say yes when I text them that I must get out of the house right now! Please meet me!
  • Friends who invite my children to play. You make the long summertime fun for them and I am so grateful!
  • Friends who work tirelessly to realize a shared dream. Thank you.
  • My dad’s friend George’s gorgeous, delicious tomatoes—but even better, the friendship that he and my dad share.
  • Making new friends online who do amazing things, capture spectacular moments, and share their talent with the world. I enjoy seeing their art very much.
  • Wondering what the future will bring, being patient in not knowing all answers, and trusting.

Such progress this summer!  I'm proud of my son. #summer #boys #12yearold #seventhgrade #piano #learning









Advent and St. Nicholas E-Book on Sale

Advent & Saint Nichoals Festival E-Book

Well, here it is, Advent already. I’m not too great at marketing, but this is to let you know that my co-author Eileen and I are having a sale on our Advent and St. Nicholas Festival E-Book until December 7,2013. The sale price is $9.99—half off the regular price of $19.99.

It offers poems, stories, songs, crafts, and many special ways that families, schools, or childcare professionals can celebrate the whole month of December with children.

A measured, calm approach to the winter holidays gives children time to dream, live into the stories of their faith and the season, and count the days of Advent. Children can savor the passing of time with peaceful, delicious anticipation and gentle, useful activity, rather than experience the holiday as a single, frenzied, blowout day that is over all too soon. A peaceful Advent full of simple pleasures and togetherness is what they’ll remember later, not the package-ripping and specific, expensive gifts. We wrote this e-book with the intent of helping families create a thoughtful, heartfelt approach to the holidays, with less rushing commercialism and more togetherness time.

Advent Mosaic 10 x 3

This mosaic is a peek at what’s in our Advent and St. Nicholas Festival E-Book. Click on the title  or any of these photos to be taken to the full description of the e-book contents and place to buy it, on the Little Acorn Learning store. Many thanks for reading this far, and for spreading the word to anyone who might be interested in our offering.

Blessings of the season on you and your loved ones!

Review: Naturally Fun Parties for Kids

Review: Naturally Fun Parties for Kids

I was tickled to be asked to review Anni Daulter and Heather Fontenot’s new book, Naturally Fun Parties for Kids. Alas, I should have done so in a more timely fashion, as the book released earlier this year. But hopefully late is better than never. I’ve paged through this book dozens of times and I think it’s marvelous. Every time I pick it up I light upon a brilliant idea that hadn’t ever occurred to me before.

Daulter’s and Fontenot’s book is all about throwing parties with kid-friendly themes. As a huge fan of parties in general and, really, ANY excuse to dress up, I can totally relate. We all need celebrations and we all need to exercise our creativity muscles. This book is just the ticket to show what’s possible, with a little ingenuity, patience, and planning. A party for children doesn’t have to glorify a licensed media character! The book is organized into seasons and the authors provides three awesome party ideas per season. My favorites are the Summer Solstice Beach party, the Winter Solstice Party, the Forest Fairy Dress-up Party (Oh, to have girls!), and the Knights and Dragon Quest party.

The book offers “tips and tricks for making the parties green, natural, simple, and organic in style and content.” I like the emphasis on taking inspiration from nature and keeping it simple. The authors suggest thrifting, upcycling, borrowing, and making items from scratch to make the parties doable and special.

Review: Naturally Fun Parties for Kids

The book’s photography, by Tnah and Mario Di Donato, is simply gorgeous. Do NOT take my silly snapshots as an indication of the book’s beauty. I just wanted to give a little teaser. Their photos are vivid and inspiring.

Review: Naturally Fun Parties for Kids

What is kind of fun is how much the authors’ esthetic matches my own. Several of the projects in this book are ones we have done in the past, or ones that I’ve always wanted to do with my kids. I’m particularly intrigued by the beeswax ornaments (Winter Solstice Party), the upcycled sweater aprons (Community Cooking Party), and the grapefruit sugar scrub (Natural Spa Party). But there is much more.

Review: Naturally Fun Parties for Kids

Each party comes with a project and materials list, and a timeline for getting things put together in advance of the big party day. That’s just the sort of thing people like me need! I’m often full of ideas at the too-late last minute and don’t have time to execute them. These handy lists fix that deficiency.

Review: Naturally Fun Parties for Kids

Activities are provided for each party, too: games and crafts, and even a play! And the party themes are well chosen to appeal to kids, such as pajama parties, berry picking, art, egg-dying in spring.

Review: Naturally Fun Parties for Kids

The authors also provide plenty of delicious-looking recipes and, frankly, you don’t need to throw the party to make them. Herbal tea spice cake and mushroom and onion mini crustless quiches both sound like they’ll be visiting my kitchen soon. Furthermore, the recipes are geared toward kid palates. Nothing too fussy and plenty of fun: Italian ices; black bean, corn, and cheese quesadillas; grilled flatbread pizzas; Dutch oven apple-berry cobbler, etc. Now, where the heck does one find a donut pan for baking donuts? (The Internet, I suppose.)

Those who like to do paper crafts will love all the invitation making in this book. That’s mostly not my thing, to be honest. So I’d probably skip some of that stuff. Anyone with a flare for scrapbooking and stamps and stuff will dig it.

So, if you’re looking for inspiration for celebrating with children, check out Naturally Fun Parties for Kids by Anni Daulter with Heather Fontenot.  I wonder if I could con my boys into a Forest Fairy Party? Well, maybe not that one, but definitely the Pancake P.J. Party. They’ll go for that!

Eggstraordinary Egg Eggsperiment (or Natural Egg-Dying)

This Easter was really great. I especially enjoyed the buildup to it because we did a number of crafty things that turned out beautifully. 

I’ve always loved dying Easter eggs—for my whole life it’s been one of the things that signifies Spring to me in a very concrete way, even when Easter arrives rainy and grey. This year, I decided it would be fun to dye our eggs naturally—meaning no Paws dye kits, no food coloring and vinegar concoctions. This time, we used kitchen and yard ingredients only.

* Turmeric for yellow
* Beet juice for pink
* Blueberry juice for lavender
* Red cabbage for blue
* Birch leaves/grass and assorted kitchen veggies for green
* Coffee for brown
* Onion skin juice for peachy orange 
* Vinegar

It was significantly more expensive dying the 18 eggs this way, and it took probably four times longer than a kit would have taken. But it was easily four times more fun! And we spend less than … probably $9.

Getting a good-looking green solution took a lot of work and time, and surprisingly, it did not color the eggs at all. I also assumed that coffee would easily stain the egg brown, but it didn’t. (That may be because I used the used coffee grounds instead of fresh coffee. I suddenly became frugal when it came time to use the coffee. Can you see my vices?) 

We called it “Kitchen Science” while we were doing this, and stressed to Lucas that it was all a big eggsperiment. We didn’t know how well it would work, whether we’d get nice colors, or if it would fail completely. A la “Myth Busters” we said, “Failure is always an option.” 

But if you care to scroll down to the end, you’ll see that our eggsperiment was a great success! We got lovely eggs in soft, earthy shades. They weren’t pale, as I expected. And as they aged overnight and over Easter day, they sort of changed colors, which was unexpected. Some got darker, some paler. Perhaps they oxidized? We wonder if the beet-colored pink eggs turned brownish because of iron in the juice. And weirdest of all, the blueberry-dyed, dark lavender eggs became a mottled lavender-and-orange before Easter was done. They were really cool!

At one point, when it became clear that we wouldn’t have any green eggs, I contemplated cheating and pulling out the food dye. But Ian convinced me not to, reminding me how cool it would be to have a basketful of plant-dyed eggs, and how not cool it would be to have almost all plant-dyed eggs and the green ones we cheated for. So we finished it as originally intended, and they were gorgeous!

That’s probably the longest story about eggs you’ve ever read.

  • 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.

    © 2003–2018 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