Sunday, August 30, 2009

Our first week of school . . .

Our first week of school was fun and hard! :( It is REALLY difficult to go from the fun and lack of routine of summer to the routine of school. During the summer, especially when all our cousins were visiting, we broke all of my rules! There were DVD's playing more often than I want to say, my girls were not eating as healthily as I like, and we ran all over the place with no kind of routine. I am glad we could start off our school year with a field trip and that we could have our rainbow bridge ceremony, but all the other days were pretty tough! (And the fact that our local mountains are on fire didn't help!) I'm totally going slow, and EASING into things, but no matter how slow we're going, it has been hard for the girls to adjust from too much freedom to a schedule. While having our circle times (where we do our calendar, sing songs, hear a story, etc,) the girls have been grumpy, and even have fought with each other! When we sit down to do our work, they've also been grumpy at each other and are not patient when the other makes any noise. I am praying I can get these bumps worked out, and that I can have the strength to be a nice and patient mommy/teacher! One huge blessing is that Ceci still naps and we get her to sleep for our school time. All I can say is, wish me luck!!

One thing that I am super-grateful for is that both my big girls are REALLY GOOD readers. We went to the library on Friday and checked out LOTS of books. Bella has already gone through the first two Fairy Chronicles books since, (3 days!) and Lala has been reading "Little Chick," "Amelia Bedelia" and many, many other books. They could read all day! And their writing is coming along very nicely as well.

We are using a combination of Christopherus and A Little Garden Flower curriculum again this year. I LOVE both of them so much! Both are very user-friendly and take the mystery out of Waldorf.

I wish I could post more on what we do for school, but it seems I barely have the energy to just DO the school! I think I just have to stick to the highlights of life on this blog. I will try to put more. As I said before, wish me luck!! Or better, remember me in your prayers!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A visit from Ximen and Chad

Today we were visited by our good friends, Ximen and her husband Chad. Ximen was one of my companions when I served my mission in Spain back in '93 & '94. We had THE BEST time together as companions and became very good friends and have remained good friends ever since. She now has the most beautiful family-- I loved getting to spend time with her two little boys, Ezra and August.

Because there were horrible fires going on in our area, we met them at Grandma Ginny's house in Hermosa Beach. We had hamburgers, potato salad, and honey lemonade for lunch. Later we all went out to the beach where we played at a park and then in the sand. Ximen and I got to sit and talk and catch up with each other. We had some yummy watermelon too. It was so wonderful to see my Ximena! Thank you for coming out to visit us, my friend!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Our Rainbow Bridge Ceremony

We had the sweetest beginning-of-school ceremony with our Waldorf home school group! We had it at the beautiful Valley View park in La Cresenta. In many Waldorf Schools, they have a rainbow bridge ceremony for the children leaving kindergarten and entering first grade. So we celebrated our children who are entering first grade this year which included my Olivia. Our ceremony was wonderful! My friend Lucy worked VERY HARD planning this--she is amazing. We started by singing "Come follow me."

Come follow, follow, follow, follow, follow, follow me.
Wither shall I follow, follow, follow, Wither shall I follow, follow thee?
To the green wood, to the green wood, to the green wood, follow me!

While singing this, we formed into a circle. We then said our verse:

Down is the Earth
Up is the Sky
Here are my friends
And here am I

Then we sang:

Make new friends, but keep the old.
One is silver, the other is gold.
A circle is round, it has no end.
That's how long, I want to be your friend.

We then had all the children that are second grade or above hold our "Rainbow Bridge" which was made of two rainbow-dyed silk cloths tied together. Claudia helped the first graders form a line and when it was their turn, she handed them a sunflower and sent them to go under the bridge. All of us mothers of the first graders waited at the end of the rainbow bridge and sang:

"Welcome, first graders, croon, croon, welcome, (insert child's name), croon, croon.
The birds they have flown to greet the morn and the children have come to the room, room."
We sang this to each child and said their name when it was their turn to go under the bridge. It was very special!

Welcome Olivia!

Then, we moms of the first graders walked to an area set up for a story. We lit a candle and each took turns reading a part of the story to the children. After the story we each presented a little necklace to our children. Asher got a dragon and Olivia, Izze, Tilly, and Isabella got heart pendants.

We then walked over to another part of the park where a spiral had been set up by Lucy's husband, Flavio. All the kids, oldest to youngest got to walk the spiral. When they got to the center, there was a little gift for them in a basket. Even Ceci and I walked the spiral. Bella and Olivia got star candle holders with a beeswax candle, and Ceci got a rose quartz stone in a pouch. After the spiral, we enjoyed a delicious potluck together. It was such a wonderful day!

I do have to admit that it was SUPER-HOT today, (103?) and unfortunately a bad fire started yesterday in Azusa. So by the time we got home, we were exhausted from the heat and the smokey air!! But this did not take away from the loveliness of our ceremony.

By the way, these flowers that I brought for our table are zinnias from our garden! Last April, we planted a bunch of mystery seeds from a packet called "bee friendly mix." Aren't they so pretty?!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Our First Day of School!!

We had an awesome first day of school! I stayed up very late the night before cleaning up and organizing our school room (it had been a guest room for a lot of the summer!) I made cards and prepared little gifts to welcome each of my big girls to the 1st and 3rd grade! I had gotten them some new Stockmar crayons and some wraps to store them in. It was really fun to try to make the day special! The girls loved their new crayons and wraps. We had a circle time where we sang some songs and then I told them a detailed story about 3 little girls who were very big helpers and very good listeners and therefore learned all the things that they needed to each day when they did school with their mommy. :)

Luckily for us, Craig did not have to work today! So we got to spend our first day of school with him, too! We decided we would have a picnic and go to the Museum of Natural History for the day. We wanted our first day to be fun! We visited the chicks at the Science Center and then the butterflies at the Butterfly Pavilion. We also walked around the museum, the rose garden and the beautiful fountain. It was such a nice day!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Walk with Grandma

Our summer has been so busy, we have hardly seen much of Grandma Ginny. She came over to watch the girls for us yesterday while we went to the temple and we are so glad she could spend today with us! We LOVE Grandma!

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Today Craig and I got to go on a date. It was soooooooooooo nice!! We really needed some quality peaceful time together. Craig worked all this past week in meetings and I've been cleaning and putting everything away from our camping trip while also preparing myself for school to start THIS coming Monday! So we needed some more "vacation!" (Especially a little time away from the girls, which we rarely get.) So Grandma watched the kids for us so that we could go to lunch and then the Temple. We went to our very favorite-- Inn of the Seventh Ray in Topanga. I think I've been wanting to go here ever since my birthday in June! We had the most beautiful table, right at the creek in a little booth underneath an umbrella. We watched several butterflies go back and forth in the creek, it was so uplifting and peaceful. And I can hardly express how DELICIOUS everything was! We shared the most wonderful (all natural) buffalo burger, a steak sandwich, sweet potato chips and potato salad. Then we had the most amazing desserts that I just had to post them. Going out to lunch here was like a mini-vacation. We then got to go to a session at the Temple which was of course, very peaceful and uplifting. We even started a fast because we are trying so hard to be ready for the new school year!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Some swim parties!

The past couple days we had some friends over to swim. We only have THIS week left of summer because we start school this coming Monday, the 24th! So on Tuesday we had some home schooling friends over and on Wednesday we had some church friends over. I think my girls are so blessed to have a pool and that we can invite friends over to swim! We really had a wonderful time both days and we are so grateful for our good friends!!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tristan's Birthday!

Today was Tristan's Birthday party!! She is now a big 4 year-old. We had a wonderful time being with Brieanne and Eric and their family. They barbecued hamburgers and corn which were so yummy! We gave her one of our favorite books, "A Hut in the Forrest." What a fun afternoon we had!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Leaving San Simeon & Cambria & Hanging out in SLO

Today was the last day of our vacation! :( We were sad, but it's always nice to get back to regular life and a routine so we were ready. We packed up our tent and all our things and went and said one last goodbye to the San Simeon beach, the pebbles, the flowers, the ducks at the creek, and our campsite.

We then went into Cambria, back to Linn's Easy as Pie to get some more of the quiche we had the other day for breakfast. It was sooooo good, we all wanted some more! We then decided to go up to Linn's Fruit Bin where we heard we could get a freshly-baked Ollalieberry pie and ice cream. It was soooooooooo delicious!! These pies are made locally with very few ingredients and low sugar. You can really taste the berries! It was also a really cute place with a little shop and a pretty creek in the back where the girls ran around.

We then headed over to San Luis Obispo where we wandered around checking out the cute shops (two bead stores!) and the pretty area around the mission. SLO is such an adorable town. They were having lots of live music again tonight-- we saw a rockabilly band and some others. We ended by having dinner at the Natural Cafe-- yummy food. Then it was time to head back home!! I have to admit, it's always nice to sleep in your own bed after tent camping!!