November 23, 2011


I brought a stump inside for the children at my Nest. I didn't have a real purpose in mind, but I thought perhaps they would use it  to *cook* on or use with the assorted animals. 

Instead, they had other plans.
It became a canvas for colored chalk.

I was taken by surprise when I first saw it and gasped inwardly. But what's the big deal! It's only chalk. And the stump IS for the children.

It reminds us all to *look to the Children. . they know what to do*. 
We just need to be there to provide the environment, love them, and keep them free from harm.

happy day!

October 31, 2011


Round about the cauldron go;
In the poison’d entrails throw.   
Toad, that under cold stone    
Days and nights hast thirty one   
Swelter’d venom sleeping got,   
Boil thou first i’ the charmed pot.   

     Double, double toil and trouble; 
     Fire burn and cauldron bubble.   

Fillet of a fenny snake,   
In the cauldron boil and bake;   
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,   
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog,   
Adder’s fork, and blind-worm’s sting,   
Lizard’s leg, and howlet’s wing,   
For a charm of powerful trouble, 
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.   

     Double, double toil and trouble;   
     Fire burn and cauldron bubble.  

Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf,   
Witches’ mummy, maw and gulf  
Of the ravin’d salt-sea shark,  
Root of hemlock digg’d i’ the dark,  
Liver of blaspheming Jew,   
Gall of goat, and slips of yew  
Sliver’d in the moon’s eclipse,  
Nose of Turk, and Tartar’s lips,  
Finger of birth-strangled babe   
Ditch-deliver’d by a drab,  
Make the gruel thick and slab:  
Add thereto a tiger’s chaudron,  
For the ingredients of our cauldron.

     Double, double toil and trouble;   
     Fire burn and cauldron bubble. 

from MacBeth by William Shakespeare
         Act IV Scene 1 Round the cauldron go

happy day! happy Halloween!

October 7, 2011


A moment that touches my heart. 
Inspiration from Soulemama

happy day!

October 5, 2011


~ balancing ~

                                happy day!

October 3, 2011


A quote for Monday . . .
"See [your children] as absolutely BRILLIANT.
In every situation.
If they don't *seem* especially brilliant in a certain situation, assume they are trying their best to figure it out. Be their guide, their partner, their facilitator, their friend."
~Kelly Lovejoy

happy day!

September 30, 2011


A moment that touches my heart. 
Inspiration from Soulemama

happy day!

September 27, 2011


Do you have Pokeweed growing at your house? 

 The plant is poisonous to humans, from its roots to the leaves and berries.
Did you know it is only in the very early spring, that the very young shoots are edible? 
But you need to know exactly where the pokeweed grew to be able to identify the new growth. You will notice the hollow dried stalks turned white and bent over from the winter and the new shoots will be emerging right there. If you are not 100% sure, never never eat it.

We love watching the transformation of this perennial plant. It can reach 10 feet tall and leaves can be 12 inches long. The stems starts out green and turns a gorgeous magenta color, 
The berry cluster starts as white flowers then green to dark purple berries.
Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)
Even though the plant is poisonous, with awareness and caution, children CAN come in contact with this plant. Tell them all about the plant and why they shouldn't touch it. When children know the reasons why, it all makes sense to them.

Pokeweed is a value to wildlife and quite attractive in the landscape. It would be a shame to rip it out in fear of its poisonous aspect. 

Pokeweed berries are an important food source for wild life. American Robin, Northern Mockingbird, Mourning Dove, Gray Catbird, Eastern Bluebird, Northern Cardinal, Great-crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Eastern Phoebe, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, European Starling, Brown Thrasher, Cedar Waxwing, Red Fox, Virginia Opossum, Raccoon, and White-footed Mouse all eat the berries.

We drew the plant in our nature journals. It was fun coloring the bright colors of the stems and leaves.

Then . . .we donned disposable gloves, picked the leaves, scrunched them and made designs on paper. The berries were the best part, we squished them and drew with them noticing which berries made the brightest color.

Some other fun activities with Pokeweed: 

  • make dye from the berries and dye wool roving, yarn or muslin
  • make ink from the dye and write with a quill pen. It is said they wrote the Declaration of Independence with Pokeweed ink. 

happy day!

September 26, 2011


A quote for Monday . . .
Before you act, listen.
Before you react, think.
Before you spend, earn.
Before you criticize, wait.
Before you pray, forgive.
Before you quit, try.

 ~Ernest Hemingway

happy day!

September 22, 2011


We are all connected.

Children of all ages love to play this. 
It's a fun way to share your thoughts, especially if you are shy, because everyone is looking at the web construction and not necessarily staring at you while you speak. 
It's a fun get to know you game.

  • Gather in a circle. 
  • Decide what to talk about or just go with the flow.
  • Grab a ball of yarn. 
  • Hold the yarn tight with one hand and throw the ball of yarn to another person. 
  • That person holding the yarn speaks, holds the yarn tight and throws the ball to someone else. 
  • Repeat over and over and over.

It is also an opportunity to talk about connections between a community of people...the circle of living...the web of life.

You can also get silly, or invent your own activities, when everyone is finished sharing.

            Try it! 
I guarantee the children will want to speak more often!

happy day!

September 21, 2011

September 20, 2011


 Dreamcatchers can remind us of our dreams as well as chase the bad ones away.  
We made dreamcatchers using natural items; the grapevines we collected and feathers from our hens. 

~grapevine ( or any other vine)
~ a bucket of water to soak the grapevine if it's too stiff
~hemp twine
~wooden beads and markers to decorate them

~feathers ( you can also get them from a craft store or make them from cardstock and embellish them.

Start by forming a circle with the grapevine. You can soak it in water to make it more pliable.
 Weave in and out until secure
Decorate wooden beads with markers.
Tie hemp and weave around and across the circle.
Add a bead here and there and tie a knot to keep beads in place.

The children chose to weave their own form. 
 (Directions here for traditional weave)

 Tie on feathers and hang them from the bottom or sides.

    Each one is unique. . . just like each child.

"While dreamcatchers originated in the Ojibwa Nation, during the Pan-Indian Movement of the 1960s and 1970s they were adopted by Native Americans of a number of different nations. Some consider the dream catcher a symbol of unity among the various Indian Nations, and a general symbol of identification with Native American or First Nations cultures. However, other Native Americans have come to see dream catchers as over-commercialized. Non-Indians have also used the dreamcatcher for their own purposes, sometimes New Age in nature."  from Wikipedia
                   happy day! happy dreams!

September 19, 2011


A quote for Monday. . . 
"i want to THINK again of DANGEROUS and NOBLE THINGS.i want to be LIGHT and FROLICSOME. i want to be IMPROBABLE, BEAUTIFUL and afraid of NOTHING as though i had WINGS "   ~mary oliver

                    happy day!

September 17, 2011


The best education a child can have is in the outdoors -
exploring . . . discovering. . .observing. 

And Mother Nature provides it all.

Sometimes it's enough to just sit and be . . .with all your senses.

Nature helps children develop powers of observation and creativity and instills a sense of peace and being at one with the world              
~Wm Crane

happy day!