IMG_6661 IMG_6656 IMG_6667 IMG_6668 IMG_6669 IMG_6672 IMG_6676 IMG_6651Happy New Year!

If you have visited during the past month, but encountered no new posts, thank you for taking the time to stop by. When I logged on today, I honestly couldn’t believe it had been a month since I last posted. Tempus fugit.

We finally started getting some snow around Christmas and our last storm left the magnificent beauty that you can see in the photos above. We hiked the day after the storm and couldn’t have asked for a better day to be out in the woods; the inversion (read: killer smog) had cleared, the trees were bent under the weight of the snow and the sun shone on us for the duration of our hike before disappearing behind clouds. We finished our hike with a car picnic consisting of crackers, cheese and ripe pears.

We generally have a book on audio to listen to as we motor around. Right now, we are almost at the end of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, book 4. These books keep getting better and better. I would recommend them for older children (10+) because there are a lot of vocabulary, grammar and history asides that are most entertaining when you can understand them!

I decided to choose a word for this year. I don’t remember ever doing that before. The word that popped into my head and wouldn’t leave was “authentic,” so it and I are paired for 2015. I don’t feel as though I haven’t been authentic before, I just felt like this year I wanted to reach a point where I was acting true to myself as much as possible. The definition “true to one’s own personality, spirit or character” really resonated with me. The kids and I even made vision boards this year the first week we started back to our studies. I really enjoyed seeing what they chose to put on their boards.

Teal is currently finishing up astronomers, Pintail Norse Myths, and Wigeon has had the story “Old Gnome and Jack Frost” by Suzanne Down this month. She is making an ice-picture similar to the story from items collected on our winter walks in the photo above. The pan of water had to sit outside for nearly a week until it was cold enough to freeze. Today when she put in all the grasses, berries, etc., I just popped it into the freezer so she can hang it up tomorrow.

There are so many things I’ve been wanting to write about here. I hope to be around more often. I have missed reading many of my online friends’ blogs, too, so if you see a comment from me on an old post, it’s just because I’m catching up.

As always, thank you for taking the time to drop by!

Season’s Greetings!

Hi! Oh, my! It’s been so long! This is the first day in what feels like months, that I have found a little time to sit down at the computer for a blog post. We are still here and well, though I did have an ear infection right before Thanksgiving that left me feeling run down for ten days before I figured out what was going on.IMG_6259 IMG_6264 We celebrated Martinmas with the Waldorf early years co-op I have mentioned before. At the beginning of the school year, we were able to do so much with that group. However, my older kids always felt angry at being made to attend because they were so much older than all the other children. I started to feel like it might be better for our family to spend the co-op morning out doing more serious hiking and nature exploration on our own. For now, I am feeling torn about what my membership in that group looks like . I love, love, love the mothers and children and will miss the camaraderie that group brings, but I also love getting out and really hiking with my older kids in a way that is enjoyable for them.IMG_6374 Last month, I was the very lucky winner of a beautiful skein of Mountain Girl yarn! Kim, of Mothering with Mindfulness, hosted the giveaway and when the package arrived I was blown away by the lovely yarn and packaging. It was all so wonderful! I wish I had some knitting to report, but I think that will be done after Christmas.IMG_6449 IMG_6454

IMG_6497We have done some Christmas decorating, but the tree is still bare! I took the photo of our family room the other night trying to catch the warm glow and cozy feeling I had as I looked at our tree and window stars. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t catch it because I think it was all feelings. For advent this year, we set up a nativity with twenty-four glass pebbles leading to the manger. Every day someone moves baby Jesus closer to his manger. For the past few years, our advent has been centered around the more faith-based tradition of lighting a candle every Sunday and talking about the Christ-like attribute associated with that week. The four weeks are Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace. A final candle is lit on Christmas Eve, the Christ candle. This has been a very easy, lovely and meaningful way for our family to keep our faith as the center of the season. IMG_6503 IMG_6520 I am officially the mother of teenager! Teal turned thirteen-years-old yesterday. Somehow, she managed to get a three-day celebration with a party on Friday, hanging out at the mall (!!!) with a friend on Saturday, and celebrating her real birthday on Sunday. I love her. We gathered in the family room for the story of her birth last night, my favorite birthday tradition.IMG_6488 IMG_6494Until this weekend, we haven’t had any snow! That has allowed us to be out and hiking together much longer than usual. Did you see the photo above this last one? My goodness, the way the sunlight sparkled on my three children in those few moments was positively magical. That is why the decision about participating in our co-op has been so hard. I love having a group, but I am fully in love with being outside with my children.

I hope this post finds you well, friends. Thank you for taking the time to read.