Friday, November 30, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Not a creature was stirring, not even our pet mouse.
Knitted wool stockings were hung with care,
in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were tucked in organic cotton sheets,
the air filter blocking pollution from the streets.
While mama stayed up to make handmade gifts,
I co-slept with the kids and watched auras shift.
When out in the herb garden arose such a clatter
I sprung out of our futon to see what was the matter!
Away to the solar panels I flew like a flash.
They took me hours to install, I hoped they hadn't crashed.
The crystals we'd laid out to absorb the moonlight
Sparkled like fairydust and blocked my sight.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh without any reindeer.
At that moment I knew that the little old man
had received my last letter so bold and so grand:
Could you stop using reindeer? Last year I wrote him,
and enclosed with the note a PETA pin.
As he neared the house in his all-wooden sleigh
I noticed it was powered by wheatgrass and hay.
Ostheimer! Kinderkram! Stockmar! Fair Trade!
Don't bother landing if the toys aren't handmade!
"Hey Ariana," I called to her with chagrin,
"With that body mass do you think he's vegetarian?"
She paused only a moment from her crafting and said,
"One moment dear! I'm shaping this Waldorf doll's head!"
On our roof I strained to hear the ole boy,
but I'd recently insulated it with soy.
So I drew in my hand and was turning around,
when in through the front door came St. Nick with a bound.
The Advent wreath had caught in his hair
As I said, "Why in the world did you enter from THERE?"
"The soot in your chimney contains poisons galore.
You should consider the environment more."
But he was dressed in fur from his head to his foot
So I said, "Look whose talking about my soot!"
A bundle of felt he had flung on his back.
"I hope you like handiwork,"he said with a laugh.
His eyes - how they twinkled! His dimples were treats!
His cheeks reminded me of when I dye silk with beets.
He must be of the choleric type I mused.
It's a good thing with lavender the stockings I infused.
With his fur boots he slipped on the bamboo wood floor.
I offered him Arnica and then closed the front door.
After all that I'd paid to the energy company this year,
I didn't want one bit of that cold air in here.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
I asked him, "Have you seen your naturopath lately?"
He was so chubby and plump I worried for his health,
but I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to task,
needle-felting dragons and weaving a mask.
He knitted a pure cotton sweater and two pairs of mittens,
then picked up a knife and carved two wooden kittens.
He finger-knitted an entire nativity scene,
with the most amazing skill I'd ever seen!
When he sprang from his seat on the floor and arose I yelled,
"Arianna -watch - there he goes!"
With the unfinished doll she was struggling to sew,
Ariana went to watch him out the window.
And I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight!
"Ariana, my dear, the stiches are too tight!"
- Written by Kristie Burns
Friday, November 23, 2007
Also, it's customary for Saint Nicholas to leave chocolate initials in each child's shoe - here's where we're getting ours from this year:
"Don't let Love Bug eat baby Jesus."
"Give her back the angel."
"Look, the wise men fit in the covered wagon. Give me back the wise man! She put the wise man in her mouth!"
"Bean, don't call him Jees, for short. It's baby Jesus."
Ah, Joy to the World!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Thank you to all the veterans at home, abroad and those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Buy toys and clothing and gifts made by a work-at-home-mama, with love and not something made in a factory by the company that was the lowest bidder.
Buy something beautiful not something mass-produced.
Buy something worthy of the amazing, wonderful, priceless gift that is your child.
For a list of online handmade shops, visit www.buyhandmade.org
From Secular Homeschooling Magazine, Issue #1
- Please stop asking us if it's legal. If it is — and it is — it's insulting to imply that we're criminals. And if we were criminals, would we admit it?
- Learn what the words "socialize" and "socialization" mean, and use the one you really mean instead of mixing them up the way you do now. Socializing means hanging out with other people for fun. Socialization means having acquired the skills necessary to do so successfully and pleasantly. If you're talking to me and my kids, that means that we do in fact go outside now and then to visit the other human beings on the planet, and you can safely assume that we've got a decent grasp of both concepts.
- Quit interrupting my kid at her dance lesson, scout meeting, choir practice, baseball game, art class, field trip, park day, music class, 4H club, or soccer lesson to ask her if as a homeschooler she ever gets to socialize.
- Don't assume that every homeschooler you meet is homeschooling for the same reasons and in the same way as that one homeschooler you know.
- Please stop telling us horror stories about the homeschoolers you know, know of, or think you might know who ruined their lives by homeschooling. You're probably the same little bluebird of happiness whose hobby is running up to pregnant women and inducing premature labor by telling them every ghastly birth story you've ever heard. We all hate you, so please go away.
- We don't look horrified and start quizzing your kids when we hear they're in public school. Please stop drilling our children like potential oil fields to see if we're doing what you consider an adequate job of homeschooling.
- We didn't go through all the reading, learning, thinking, weighing of options, experimenting, and worrying that goes into homeschooling just to annoy you. Really. This was a deeply personal decision, tailored to the specifics of our family. Stop taking the bare fact of our being homeschoolers as either an affront or a judgment about your own educational decisions.
- Please stop questioning my competency and demanding to see my credentials. I didn't have to complete a course in catering to successfully cook dinner for my family; I don't need a degree in teaching to educate my children. If spending at least twelve years in the kind of chew-it-up-and-spit-it-out educational facility we call public school left me with so little information in my memory banks that I can't teach the basics of an elementary education to my nearest and dearest, maybe there's a reason I'm so reluctant to send my child to school.
- If my kid's only six and you ask me with a straight face how I can possibly teach him what he'd learn in school, please understand that you're calling me an idiot. Don't act shocked if I decide to respond in kind.
- Stop assuming that because the word "home" is right there in "homeschool," we never leave the house. We're the ones who go to the amusement parks, museums, and zoos in the middle of the week and in the off-season and laugh at you because you have to go on weekends and holidays when it's crowded and icky.
- Don't ask my kid if she wouldn't rather go to school unless you don't mind if I ask your kid if he wouldn't rather stay home and get some sleep now and then.
- If you can remember anything from chemistry or calculus class, you're allowed to ask how we'll teach these subjects to our kids. If you can't, thank you for the reassurance that we couldn't possibly do a worse job than your teachers did, and might even do a better one.
- Stop saying that my kid is shy, outgoing, aggressive, anxious, quiet, boisterous, argumentative, pouty, fidgety, chatty, whiny, or loud because he's homeschooled. It's not fair that all the kids who go to school can be as annoying as they want to without being branded as representative of anything but childhood.
- Stop saying, "Oh, I could never homeschool!" Even if you think it's some kind of compliment, it sounds more like you're horrified. One of these days, I won't bother disagreeing with you any more.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Ah - the power of three!
Currently, we're preparing for a Martinmas lantern walk on Friday. We're making Bean's lantern from a 24oz Ball canning jar. She's gluing on tissue paper to decorate it and, the beauty of using a canning jar is that we can wrap the wire handle around the outer ring of the lid and secure it that way. Bean picked out some snazzy coloured beads to thread onto her wire handle. She's a snazzy girl.
Tuesday is German - which Bean and I both love and we are learning SO much!! Thursday we'll be candle dipping and Friday will be our lantern walk with our new home school group. It has been cold cold cold at night and I'm glad I ordered long johns early this year! Hope you all have a wonderful week ahead!