We spent yesterday with some dear friends - our first official farm visitors - sledding, drinking tea, and eating good food. They headed home as the sun went down and we decided that popcorn and almond butter apples were in order. For dinner. (Our answer to pizza or take-out night I suppose.)
With all that extra time we decided to make a disastrous mess out of our kitchen anyway. And make art! Together.
We wanted our piece to be part art and part manifestation board.
Acrylic paint, a big canvas (a board would do), some old calenders, books, and catalogs - and lots and lots of glitter and Mod Podge got us rolling. We worked for hours, laughing and cooperating side by side.
Our shared vision (aside for having fun and making something pretty) was to focus on our farm and the life we're setting out to create here.
A new year. A new home. An new era.
Lupine wanted lots of flowers, Pete was all about warmth, honey bees and lavender, I was seeking images of closeness, family, and community, and Sage focused on images of kids out in nature.
When it was finished we all just knew.
And this morning when we woke everyone gathered around it, beaming at what we made.
Family art. No rules. Just cooperation and creativity.
I highly recommend it.
Happy New Year to you and your families!
Today I'm over on Simple Homeschool with a post for everyone (homeschoolers, schoolers, parents or kid-less).
How would your life be different in 2013 if gratitude was your mantra? I'm sharing five creative, simple projects to do just that.
My post, Skimming the Cream: Five Family Projects to Cultivate Gratitude is here. I think you're going to love this.
Hello sweet friends.
I think it is time. For a few days of quiet, out in the forest.
The kids are dreaming of "stump shooting", leaf collages, and apple picking. I'm dreaming of knitting, drawing, and just being in the silence. Okay, and the apple picking.
We'll bring along our math and writing work, but mostly we'll just rest and be. That feels like a good way to embrace this changing season, doesn't it?
I have a few favorite re-posts to share with you over the coming days that I pulled from the archives. I think you'll enjoy each one. One post is culinary, one wild medicinal, one halloween costume-y, and one creative inspiration.
Enjoy each one, be it old or new to you.
I'll be back before you miss me.
Each season brings its lessons.
Some are easy to learn, others are so difficult.
This summer has been a summer of early goodbyes. I've held off on talking about it here because I'm still sorting through the many "whys" and the shame, the guilt, the feelings of failure, the sadness.
Within two short weeks of each other we said unexpected goodbyes to Moonstone our angora rabbit, Smudge our barn kitty, and Mortimer our mouse.
And death - especially death that feels untimely - is hard to explain to children. It's even hard to explain to ourselves.
My view of death is not one of an ending, but rather a transition to another form. So when we grieve I suppose we're mostly grieving for ourselves - not the one we've said goodbye to.
All the same, I wish things were different. I wish we still had these friends with us, shining their light on our days.
And I am reminded to be grateful each day for Jasper and Olive, for Spike, for our chickens, for family.
We did our best with what we knew, and still we lost these friends. Sometimes it happens that way. As we look ahead to farming now I realize that we'll need to be ready for untimely goodbyes now and again.
Becasue that's nature. Life leads to death. And not always when you expect it.
We love you Moonstone, Smudge, and Mortimer. And we miss you so.
Nine days in the city. Nine full, busy, wonderful days.
We went back to Milwaukee last week to visit my family and help my mom with cooking, cleaning, and laundry while she recuperated from knee surgery. To break up the time (and keep from driving my mom crazy with too much togetherness) we planned one special adventure each day.
A festival with my sister. A day in downtown Milwaukee. The library. The museum. Swimming. Dinner with dear friends.
And filling the week with lots of free time and one activity each day was a just-right balance. No overstim, no cabin fever. Perfection.
Our non-outing time was spent in the suburbs enjoying my parents quiet yard and quiet house. (Well, quiet until we arrived anyway.)
Last night there was a message from my mom on our answering machine. "My house is too quiet and too tidy. And I'm lonely." I guess the week was good for her too.
And as always, coming home the very best part of going away. We returned with our pockets full of pebbles, our car trunk full of treasures and our hearts full of stories. And we were met at the door with Papa hugs, puppy kisses, and fresh chicken eggs. What could be better than that?
Oh my. It's so good to be home.
P.S. The burgundy shoes I'm wearing in the three photos above are my lovely Aurora shoes. Handmade in the US and amazingly comfortable. Sustainable, family-owned, foot-healthy, re-soleable, and sweat-shop free. What's not to love?
I have no less than five friends expecting a baby or snuggling up with a fresh sweet newborn at this very moment. Five beautiful mamas (and supportive papas) spreading baby fever far and wide.
In the past four years I have written some relevant posts for new parents that are a bit buried in the archives.
I thought it would be helpful to round them up and put them all in one place so that you can use them yourself or share them with friends.
Helpful Clean links for new parents:
New Baby Checklist A no-frills list of what you really need for baby.
Honoring Motherhood: The Blessingway A meaningful alternative to the ubiquitous baby shower.
What is a Meal Wheel? Get your best friend on the task of organizing a meal wheel for your family, or organize one in your own community. Meal wheels are transformational.
What I Did Not Know: Reflections on Motherhood This is the closest thing I ever had to a viral post. It clearly hit close to home for many parents.
Your Words: Thoughts for New Parents Your thoughts and advice to new parents. Thank you for what you shared.
Peaceful Parenting A series of posts to inspire more connection-based, non-violent parenting.
Child-Led Weaning One approach to weaning your child.
Safe Co-Sleeping My thoughts (and a few great links) to help you bed-share safely with your little ones.
Co-Sleeping, Night-Waking, and Growing-Up And this post - a bit of perspective when you haven't slept in days...
There is No Label for What You Do On rejecting labels and ebracing authenticity in parenting.
Ina Mae's Guide to Childbirth Ina Mae is an inspiration. This book is a must-read for expectant parents.
Birthing from Within Preparing you emotionally and spiritually for birth.
Your Best Birth This I have not read but I have bought it for friends hoping for VBAC births. Looks wonderful.
A Child is Born This book rocked our science-geek minds when we were expecting Sage. A photographic week-by-week view of developing baby. Amazing.
The Baby Book By Dr. Sears. I'm so grateful that I had this book when Sage was small.
The No-Cry Sleep Solution Another worthwhile read as you navigate night-time parenting.
Sign With Your Baby Simple baby signs reduce frustration and increases communication between you and your little one.
Diaper Free! The Gentle Wisdom of Natural Infant Hygiene We did it. We loved it. I can't imagine doing it any other way. Truly. It was life-changing.
How about you? What would you add to these lists? Links to other blogs, books, or websites are welcome!
Welcome! I'm glad you stopped by. While I love to share, all text and images are © Rachel Jepson Wolf 2008-2013 . Thank you for respecting my work and this copyright. Feel free to link in to any posts from your blog, Pinterest or other social media, but please do not copy text or images from this website without my permission. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.