Wednesday, 30 December 2009

New Year Goals

This time of year resonates with me. A fresh start, a new year, whole new possibilities...

In November I joined Melisa's group Be A Beacon. It really has changed the way I think in unexpected ways. I am finding it very helpful in my personal life & in my life with the Lord (the two are very much one & the same...)

So, inspired by the Be A Beacon programme, I have just one New Year's goal -

To differentiate in Prayer & meditation between essentials & non-essentials

This is the first of Steiner's Six Exercises.

This exercise has helped me so much. For me, it transforms from the inside out, whereas before, my 'simplification' I think has been more 'outside in'

Does that make any sense???

I know I will fall short of perfection...& being a perfectionist, this is tough for me to deal with...but spending time with God, praying & meditating on what truly matters brings me to ponder that there is no place for perfectionism in my life, anyway. - It is a non-essential.

Psalm 63

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;
To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.
Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.
Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:
When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.
Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.
My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.
But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes.
But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.

I would love to hear of your own new year goals - please let me know your thoughts...

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

January Plans

As I mentioned in my last post, there will be no school for the first week of January.
Despite the fact that I have my plans all neatly written out, I have a bit of a panic at this time of year - a vague sense of ' I dont know what I am doing!' I think it relates to us having had the whole of December off regular 'school' - although we maintain circle time, we switch to baking, gift making & card making.
So back to school in January is somewhat of a shock!
I spent time this morning reading over my plans for January & printing out our circle time hymn, verses & songs to put in my little 'Verses Book" that I carry around.
I also planned out what I would like to achieve during our holiday - yes, even our holiday time has structure. I find it works best this way, otherwise the temptation of the television is too much!

Here is my list:

Daily walks in the woods - During school time, our daily walks take us to a local park - which is very pretty - but on days with no school, we have more time to wander that little bit further into the woodland.

"French Day" - We are learning French, so it will be super to cook a traditional French meal for Dinner. We can decorate the table with French flags the girls have coloured & toast our meals 'à la française' - À votre santé : )

Blackboard Fun - the girls can be let loose with chalks on Mummy's blackboard - this is truly an honor!

Play Games We have some lovely games & puzzles A morning spent palying them together with no other tasks will be a lot of fun!

Face Paints I shall strip the girls & let them at each other with face paints : )
A lovely warm sudsy bath will follow : )

An afternoon curled up on the sofa with books & hot chocolate no further explaination needed : )

I hope to be able to take some time this week to work on our second grade plans for September.......but that is another post altogether : )

January Circle Time

We will be taking off the first week in January.
Here is our circle time for the rest of the month:


We three kings of Orient are

Bearing gifts we traverse afar

Field and fountain, moor and mountain

Following yonder star

O Star of wonder, star of night

Star with royal beauty bright

Westward leading, still proceeding

Guide us to thy Perfect Light


Matthew 2:11

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.


Now that winter's come to stay
all the trees are bare.
Little birds must fly away
To find their food elsewhere.

Little seeds lie hidden
In the dark brow earth,
Waiting until bidden
To rise above the earth.

(winter - Wynnstones)

Finger Play:

Softly, Softly, through the darkness ('patter' fingers)
Snow is falling
Sharply, sharply, in the meadows (cup ear)
Lambs are calling
Coldly, coldly, all around me (cuddle self)
Winds are blowing.
Brighly, brightly, up above me ('twinkle' fingers)
Stars are glowing

(winter - Wynnstones)


On the wind of January, down flits the snow.
Traveling from the frozen north
Cold as it can blow.

(winter - Wynnstones)

Math Facts:

counting 1-100 & 100-1
Skip counting 2's 3's 4's & 5's

(I think we will most likely just learn the first line verse of this song)

© 2003 Alain Le Lait

Bonjour, bonjour 

Comment ça va?

Bonjour, bonjour

Trés bien, merci
Je suis content d’être ici

Avec tous mes petits amis

Bonjour, bonjour

Comment ça va?

Merci, merci

Merci d’être ici

Merci, merci

Aimez-vous cette chanson?

J’éspère que je suis dans le ton

Merci, merci

Merci d’être ici

Hello, hello

How are you?

Hello, hello

Very well, thank you
I am happy to be here
With all my little friends

Hello, hello
How are you?

Thank you, thank you

For being here

Thank you, thank you

Listen up

Do you like this song?

I hope that I am in tune

Thank you, thank you

For being here 


Mary Had A Little Lamb

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Merry Christmas

I think life will be a little too busy to blog again before Christmas, so I want to wish you all a

Very Merry Christmas!

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

Lynn xxxxxx

Monday, 21 December 2009


The beginning of winter in the Northern Hemisphere
The winter solstice marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year. The sun appears at its lowest point in the sky, therefore it crosses the sky in the quickest time which makes this the shortest day of the year. Its noontime elevation appears to be the same for several days before and after the solstice, hence the origin of the word solstice; which comes from Latin solstitium, from sol, "sun" and -stitium, "a stoppage." Following the winter solstice, the days begin to grow longer and the nights shorter.
Sunshine makes the seasons
You can see the reason for these changes using a globe for the earth & a torch for the sun.
Put a sticker on the place where you live on the globe. Turn the globe so that the north pole is tilted away from the torch. Turn the globe all the way around & you will see that the sticker is in the light only a short time.The northern half of the earth has short days & long nights. Sunlight does not fall on the north pole. The north pole has its long winter night. It is winter & it is cold.
Keep the globe tilted in the same direction & go partway around the torch. Now the light falls on both polls. It is springtime in the north. Days are getting longer. Without changing the direction of the globe, move until you are halfway around the torch from where you started. Soon the North Pole will be tilted toward the light. It is summer. As you spin the globe, the sticker is in the light longer than it is in the dark. The northern half of the earth has long days & short nights. The North Pole has its long summer day. It is summer & it is warm. Keep moving around the torch. Remember, keep the axis of the globe pointing in the same direction. You’ll see that once again light falls on both the North pole & the South Pole of the globe. It is autumn in the north. The days are getting shorter & cooler too. Keep moving until you come back to winter.

A song to sing:
Down with darkness, up with light,
Up with sunshine, down with night,
Each of us is one small light.
But together we shine bright.

Go away darkest, blackest night.
Go away, give way to light.

A spiral Walk

In the woodlands or garden, lay out a path, spiraling inwards. Moss & greenery can edge the path & a tall candle in the centre of the spiral. Beautiful stones & rocks can be set in the greenery & stars of gold card line the pathway.

The celebration can begin with a reading of John 8:12

Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Carol singing follows. During the singing, each child approaches the entrance of the spiral path to receive a white candle (or tealight) in a shiny red apple, which they carry toward the centre of the spiral. (Little ones shepherded by a parent or older child) From the centre candle, they take light for their own candle & then proceede outwards, very carefuly until they find a gold star on which to place their own apple & candle.
When all the children have walked the path, serve solstice fairy cakes(see below), star sugar cookies & warm pear juice, or mulled apple jiuce. They may keep their apple candle to relight & re-kindle the memories of a special walk.

Solstice Fairy Cakes:

We ice half a batch of fairy cakes with white chocolate & half with milk chocolate: white representing the (returning) light and milk symbolizing the (retreating) dark.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Winter Wonderland

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening,
In the lane, snow is glistening
A beautiful sight,
We're happy tonight.
Walking in a winter wonderland.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Of Snowmen, Sausage Rolls, Stollen & Sewing

The snow came down even heavier today & was much enjoyed by my girls.
Aided by Daddy, they made a tiny snowman named Luke.

Daddy picked the Holly berries for his eyes & buttons : )

Two very proud girls!

Here you see him sporting a bow tie!

At this point the girls came in & had a warming lunch - home made potato & leek soup & warm apple juice. Quiet time was abandoned in honor of this special day & whilst Rosie came to help in the kitchen, Elianna went outside to play with her snowman. Her you can see 'Princess Leah' that she made to keep Luke company ; )

Rosie & I busied ourselves in the kitchen, baking our usual 'Saturday Loaves'. We also made some Sausage Rolls to freeze ahead, ready for Christmas & a loaf of seasonal Stollen as a special treat for tomorrow's breakfast.

A tired & cold Elianna joined us for our weekly 'Pizza & movie night' & disaster struck - down came the rain - cold & bitter.
Luke & Leah were offered protection:

But, we had to face the fact that rain does not bode well for those of snow origin...

My poor, poor girl. Her heart truly broken. My girls are always tucked up in their beds by 7pm - tonight, Rosie went alone & Elianna & I cosied up on my bed - she with her spinning, I with my knitting. We chatted & cried &, eventually, laughed.
Then I remembered the wee surprise I had tucked away as a Christmas gift Girls' Best Book of Knitting, Sewing, and Embroidery by Virginie Desmoulins

This is a lovely little book that I would encourage you to take a look at, if you have daughters who are interested in crafting.
I made my excuses & nipped off to retrieve the book from its hiding place. Oh, you should have seen the smiles & the curiosity when I presented the book to my daughter!
The cover of the book actually has a cardboard Dolly that you 'pop out' of the cover - & lots of lovely ideas inside the book for making clothes for her, along with many other wonderful embroidery, knitting & sewing projects.

At 9pm a very tired, but much more peaceful Elianna went to bed, taking with her the new book. As i kissed her goodnight, she asked to have the lamp left on, so she could browse the book for a while before she went to sleep. It is so wonderful to connect with my child over a shared hobby. I love the times we knit, spin, sew & craft together.

It is good for the soul.

Goodnight & wishing you sweet, creative dreams : )

Friday, 18 December 2009

Snowy Day...

Outside, the snow provides opportunities for old-fashioned family entertainment.

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Isaiah 1:18

Things to do

Build a snowman
Make snow angels
Have a snowball fight
Make paper snowflakes
A Snow Day Tea
Soup & Sandwhiches

White Hot Chocolate
• 4 cups whole milk
• 4 cups half-and-half
• 1 pound white chocolate, chopped
• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
• 8 to 10 vanilla beans
In a saucepan on medium heat, heat the milk and half-and-half to just below the simmering point. Remove the pan from the heat and add the white chocolate. When the chocolate is melted, add the vanilla and whisk vigorously. Reheat very gently and serve with a vanilla bean stirrer in each cup.
(Serves 8-10. From The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook)

Snow Ice cream
1 cup of milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla & 1/2 cup of sugar. Beat well untill frothy. Place mixture in a bowl & add enough clean, fresh snow until the liquid is completely absorbed by the snow. This delicious concoction will have the consistency of sherbert.


Snow Is Falling by Franklin M. Branley,
Snowflake Bentley by Jaqueline Briggs Martin,
Ken Libbrecht's Field Guide to Snowflakes by Kenneth G. Libbrecht,
First Snow in the Woods by Carl R. Sams and Jean Stoick.