Why the Tree of Life?


Article About Enki

The Global Intelligencer has the first of a two-part article this month about Enki Education. It gives a pretty good Enki-in-a-nutshell. I'll be curious to see his follow-up article.


A Sampler

... of things that can happen while you are vomiting into the kitchen sink:

-your two year old could climb the toilet, open the child-locked bathroom cabinet, find the toothpaste, climb back down and proceed to put globs of it on your own toothbrush, lick and swallow, rinse and repeat. You will find out about this because you later notice daddy's toothpaste in 'toy timeout' and wonder outloud how it got there. Your five year old will explain. And he put it there for safety.

-an entire stick of chapstick could be rolled out, and a quarter of it will be eaten... presumably since you can't find the missing chunk, and the two year old is non-committal in his answers.

-the bathroom sink faucet could be turned on and allowed to run as bubble soap is added until the bottle is empty.

-The cat's food might be added to the pets' water by the fistful, and then all of it will be dumped onto the floor. You will have just given the pets a fresh, full bowl of water.

-Christmas tree ornaments from your husband's childhood or given to your children by relatives might be systematically taken apart. Sequins might be removed from your tree skirt, one by one.

-Photos might be removed from the photo ribbon board and folded into quarters and then fed through the slots of the dining room chairs, along with any book dust covers that happen to still be intact.

-a whole roll of toilet paper might be dropped in the toilet. And fished out and put back on the counter.


Adventure Circle

Update: K has been balking at doing "Frogs", and yesterday he kept saying he wanted to visit the fairies (something from another circle), so I added fairies in and he happily did "Frogs". See below for revised version.

It has been really nice to be feeling well enough to get back to our normal rhythm. The boys are much more settled throughout the day. It was such an amazing difference to see. Both boys were fussier and clingier and otherwise uncoorperative the first couple of weeks we were on our own again and trying to figure out where we left off.

One of the things I think the boys had really been missing were our (mostly) daily walks around the block and adventure circle right after. I finally updated our circle, and it has been nice to get back to it.

Here's what this six weeks looks like:

We come in from our walk, and I hum, "Come Follow", while we take off shoes and hang up coats. Then we start singing "Come Follow" three times while skipping around the room. Then we stop, and I say, 'It was early in the morning (while we stretch our arms up like we're waking up), and we decided to go explore the forest with the fairies. Then we sing "Wake Up". Then I say, 'Let's ride our pony out to the middle of the forest.' We walk over to the playstands and look in at our 'pony'. 'Oh,' I say, 'what's wrong? It looks like she needs new shoes.' Then we do "My Little Pony". 'Come on, let's get on our ponies,' we say, and we gallop throughout the house riding to the middle of the forest. Then we feel the wind picking up, and it blows harder and harder until it blows us off our ponies and we do "Winds". Then we land on the forest floor. 'Look! The fairies found us.' Then we see frogs all around us. 'The fairies want us to ride the frogs with them. They ride them like horses. But we're too big. Sigh. Wait! They're sprinkling us with fairy dust [sprinkle all three of us, D runs away], and we are getting smaller and smaller until we are fairy size! Now we can ride the frogs.' And we do "Frogs", and then we notice the squirrels and do "Squirrels" as if we are riding them, too. Finally, we have been in the forest so long that it is starting to get dark, but we don't have our pony and we are so small. But the fairies sprinkle us with fairy dust again until we're bigger. Also, our pony has already made it safely home without us. How do we get home? The fairies magick us back. And we end with "Owls". And on to our Enki storytime. (Which was "The Turnip" last week *and this week because the boys aren't ready to move on, which is good because I hadn't picked anything else out yet).


Keep Christ Out of Christmas

... and in our hearts instead, a Friend said to me this weekend during a discussion. Not many Quaker Christmas stories out there, but I found this one: Candles in the Window.


Happy 5th Birthday, K!

Keeping with the H family tradition of week long birthdays, K had several parties to celebrates turning five, or at least present openings. Thank goodness for the one-gift rule! On the Sunday before his birthday, we had a few of his friends over to play, eat mini pizzas and cake, and drink lemonade. On his actual birthday, he opened his presents from us and from D, and then we had a family dinner at Romeo's (his choice) with my extended family in from out of town for Thanksgiving, followed by opening presents from Mamma and Grandad and the Simons. He received another couple presents on the Friday after Thanksgiving from his great-grandparents and Aunt B. Then, when we went to Waxahachie to visit E's family, he got to open his present from Grammy and Grandpa. Oh, I forgot, Uncle T gave him his first present on Saturday. But, it was really nice to have them all spread out this way. K. was really able to focus on each gift and really enjoy each one without flitting to the next thing.

His favorite present was a digital camera made for kids, and I think he has taken about a million pictures and short movies. He even took it to my last midwife appointment and has been known to sleep with it. He and I together will have to post his favorites shots soon.

The day after his last birthday, K declared he wanted a 'train' cake for his next birthday. He's stood by that decision the whole year. He didn't want me to make it, which I could handle, and he wanted it to be chocolate with white icing and a train on top. Okie dokie. While we were at the bakery, he saw sparklers in the shape of letters, so we bought his name's worth, and burned K on his birthday. I know he pictured them actually burning on his cake, inside the house, but we had to compromise and stick them in the ground outside. Besides the cake, I think it was the highlight of the party.



I had gotten used to the idea of three boys ever since the twins-check sonogram that I had when I was 14 weeks. Our OB friend thought she saw a boy, but she wouldn't commit. E swore he saw a boy, too, so he was even more shocked. I figured it was a boy, too. Everybody else was so convinced!

We had my 20 week sonogram today, and it clearly showed a GIRL! K knew all along. We had told him it was probably a boy, but he wouldn't listen. He was emphatic. So, if you need a baby predictor, K's got connections somehow and with someone in the know.

So now, I have to completely change my thinking. It was exciting and unsettling at the same time. I had hoped for a girl, but had let go of that. I had begun imagining three boys yelling and screaming and jumping off the furniture, and me saying things like, "See! This is why we can't have nice things!"

Now that I've gotten what I wished for... what are we going to do with a girl?? I felt completely prepared for another boy, but we're entering a whole new territory here. I'm not particularly good a being a girl myself. There are all sorts of girly things I should care about, but don't. At least one of her aunts is going to have to live nearby. That's just how it's going to have to be.

But, yes, we are super excited. And scared. And thinking about the new sections of stores I get to explore now. :)


Parenting for Adulthood

I've never read an article that more closely resembles what we are striving for in our homelife. Susan Tannehill is a Quaker homeschooling mom and addresses many of the questions Evan and I have been thinking about over the past year. Her article can be found in this month's issue of Friends Journal

Sounding Out

K has started sounding out signs as we're driving down the road. Most of the time, he seems to be just guessing based on his knowledge of the business we're passing, but there have been several times lately that he has 'read' some that I was pretty sure he didn't know before. But he has definitely started having an interest in letter sounds and blending, and this has sprung up all on its own. It's fun to see.

He has also started the annoying habit of correcting me when we are reading if I skip a word or replace a word by accident.


Great Place to Eat

Wish this ad would show in the U.S.!


Pregnancy Update

It's been a long six or so weeks, but I am finally starting to feel a little bit better. It was apparently wishful thinking on my part that I wouldn't have any morning sickness this time. Luckily, my mother and mother-in-law have been able to come and help out with the boys so that I could just sleep and work on not throwing up. I don't know what I would have done without them. I met a woman Sunday who had nineteen weeks of sickness with both her pregnancies. I'm counting my blessings.

At one point during the worst of my nausea, I emailed an OB friend asking what my options were on helping me to feel better. One factor to check for was twins, so she let me go down to her office during her lunch break for a quick sonogram. No twins, but very likely a boy. I'm talking Evan into the name Roken Daniel.

In other news, we have decided to have a homebirth, and that decision was made kind of official today since I picked up my records from my OB's office to deliver to my new midwife. We have our first appointment with her this Thursday. Her name is Michele Fitzgerald. I'm excited and feel like we are in great hands.


A Little Big

And why wasn't he that happy and content when he actually used it?


Haircut... Finally.

D was in desperate need of a haircut. Not only was it getting very long, he was not letting us wash it either. We made several aborted trips to the barber and the special kids' cuts place in Toys R Us. We left in tears every time; well, him, not me. Finally, on the way home from dinner one evening, D told me that he was having to "hold up his hairs so that he could see." I asked him if he wanted a haircut, and he said yes. I just happened to be passing the barber's at that very moment, so I swung into the parking lot. CLOSED. 15 minutes earlier. Dag nabbit! On the way home, K and I talked the haircut up and D was very eager to go try again in the morning. So, there we were, first thing in the morning, but he nearly started crying the moment we walked in the door. He did get a sucker, though. K, too. And we left, again, with no haircut. We had become quite a joke to all the barbers over the last several months. On the way home, the boys wanted to eat their suckers, but I told them they had to wait. Then I had a brilliant idea! "D, would you like to eat your sucker while *mommy* cuts your hair?" "Uh-huh." Ok, then, strike while the iron's hot. When we got home, I told him to keep his sucker wrapped, then I strapped him into his booster seat, told him to keep his sucker wrapped, tied a tea towel around him, told him to keep his sucker wrapped, got the clippers, told both boys that they could now have their suckers, and got to work. He actually sat very well for me, but I worked as fast as I could. I went for efficient. I thought it turned out pretty good. At least it is easier to wash, and there's less room for lice.

Making Friends

We went to the Ft. Worth Zoo with Grammy and Grandpa in early July. One of the first things we saw was this little bonobo. He was about D's size, and he really took a liking to K. He tried to share a bite of his celery with K through the glass, and even seemed to want him to groom him because he backed-up in front of K as close as he could. I know my vet brother-in-law will tease me for anthropomorphizing, but he sure seemed to recognize the boys as children like himself and wanted to make friends.


Happy News

We're pleased to announce that we are expecting the pending arrival of P3, aka Peanut the 3rd, aka a little brother or sister for K and D. According to Dr. Google, my due date is April 11, 2008. We go to see my OB this Thursday to "confirm", but since I was dry heaving into the sink just this morning, I think it is safe to make an announcement. We're all really excited, especially D and K. K has requested a girl and likes the name Mikkel. Mikkel is one of the names we are considering if it is a boy, but K sees no inconsistencies with that. Mikkel Larson Røken was my Norwegian great-grandfather. K and D's names have come from E's great-grandfather, so it's time for something from my side. :) Røken would be a good boy's name, too. I'm liking A Rose for a girl, but E hasn't weighed in on that yet.

I'm actually not as nauseated this time around, and I haven't actually thrown up, yet, which is great, but I am more exhausted than I have ever been with a pregnancy. I could sleep all day and go to bed at night, no problem.


D's Imagination

I have a pair of fairy wings that I wore last Halloween when we went trick'r treating with the boys. D asked me to put them on recently, and then said, "Fly, Mommy, fly!" So, I obliged and started skipping around the room. "NOOO! FLY, Mommy!" He made it very clear that I was supposed to be flying, that the wings were really supposed to make me fly. It was a little disappointing, I think.

We also have a small, toy airplane, and on this same day, D was holding it and said, "Mommy, help me get in [the airplane]. How do I start this?" I asked, "Do you want to get in the airplane? Do you want to fly in the airplane?" "Uh-huh."


"Can you help me get my jacket holder on?"
Translation: Can you help me get my hood on?

"Don't for get your sippy cup, Mommy!"
Translation: "Don't forget your water bottle, Mommy!"

Any time we talk about Miami with K (Evan and I both went to the University of Miami), K calls it 'Your-ami'. For example, if I say, 'When we were in Miami...' K will usually repeat back what we said as a question, but with his understanding of possessive pronouns, as something like, 'When you were in Your-ami...?'
'Right, Your-ami'
'Right.... Your-ami'


I found this old photo in my drafts. It's from June '06. D is sleeping tonight in the shirt K is wearing in the picture.



Home Education Magazine had a great article this month titled, Strengthening Families Through Homeschooling.


No Ears

We were visiting some homeschooling friend's goats last week. The particular breed that they have are called La Mancha and they appear to have no ears. Anyway, D was petting them and said, "Goats forgot put ears on."

New Pace

...as in slower. After having lots of time to really focus on our family during the conference, I came back home to realize that we were really stretched too thin. The boys and I were doing something every day of the week. K is only 4 and a half! I'm not even sure how our week evolved to be that busy. I've always nodded in agreement when people talk about how children need lots of time at home and space/time to play. But I think part of why we were doing something every day was that I wanted that adult interaction; another part was because I wanted to form some social ties early for the boys in the local homeschooling community. I wanted to make sure they had friends and weren't lonely because they were homeschooled. I wanted homeschooling to be the norm in their world. But after the conference where I saw the difference between 4, 5, 6, and 7 year olds, and preceded by a long conversation with my mother the week before, I no longer feel like the clock is ticking. In all honesty, the friends I chose for them now may or may not be the friends they choose for themselves at age 7, when they really begin to want to socialize. And as my mother said, "When I was four, I only went to the grocery store." And you know, when I was four, I only went to the grocery store, too, really. So, why am I pushing, especially when it has always been a push, and the only one having a good time is me? The boys have always done much better one on one with another family, so that is what we are going to do: just invite friends over to play on a regular basis.

So! We are no longer doing Monday Friends, we are no longer going to the library story time (although we'll visit the library in the afternoon once a month), Enki co-op is on hold, and we will not be doing Eurythmy on Fridays with the Waldorf Homeschooling group. We *will be going to the grocery store on Wednesdays. But if a full-blown online grocery delivery service ever stays in business long enough for me to find them, you can bet we aren't going to the grocery store either.

Our mornings are now completely free. We haven't gone anywhere in the last week, and it has been great. And we have the afternoons for adventures, maybe an errand, maybe visiting friends or family. We even had friends over today that we hadn't seen in months.

Photos-Enki Conference

Inside our cabin; we had an entire half to ourselves and shared the community bath at the back with another family. Notice the bunk beds. Also notice the stacks of extra mattresses? Good thing we had those. They were great crash pads for jumps from the 'airplane'.

Our view from our cabin porch.

Painting 'Color Dancers' (wet-on-wet watercolor). This day we did Kindergarten painting, and D happened to need some mommy time at the same time. But he really enjoyed getting to paint with me.

The beach. D's favorite place. If they had brought a pillow and blanket, he would have spent the night here. K is holding a mussel that had been found in the sand.

Daddy Long Legs

K going down the zip line, top speed and tucked.

D, too, with a little help from another mom (Polly).

D playing with the wood blocks.

K's shirt is on the left, D's on the right. K loves his, D will not come with in 3 feet of his.

Here's one of the dads, Mark, starting our solstice fire with a bow-drill.

This is one of the candles the older children made for Summer Solstice and that we floated on the lake at sunset.

We met in the chapel for our sessions. The children were free to come in to touch base with the moms. D didn't really need to come in much until the very last day or so.


Enki Conference

[Pictures coming soon, I promise! Chief Apprentice Photographer K helped out, and we ended up with around 1110 photos. Needless to say, there is a lot of culling that needs to happen, but we will have pictures up soon.]

We're back from the Enki Conference (or Enki Camp as K is calling it). Wow, how to put it all in a nutshell?? I learned so much, and K really blossomed in ways he hasn't before. D had a blast with so much physical freedom (he could leave the building without us having to worry about him immediately), and E got to spend lots of time just him and the boys. Neither of the boys wanted to leave come Friday, particularly K; and he is ready to go back next year. I certainly hope we can make it an annual trip!

We were at a beautiful Greek Orthodox camp in Contoocook, New Hampshire. Part of me is ready to move up there right now. It was hard to leave the 70 degree weather.

The conference was broken up into two parts: a workshop and then the homeschooling conference itself. We had Saturday off in the middle for exploring the area (and doing laundry!).

The workshop was called 'Rousing Intuition'. Basically, we focused on learning the basic techniques of mindful meditation and Tonglen meditation, and studied some of the different typologies regarding temperaments and learning styles. All of these are to be used as tools to help us be fully present with our families, to see things more clearly and as judgment-free as possible. Shelley blogged well about it over on Along the Crooked Path (she has some nice pictures of the camp, too). By looking more deeply at ourselves and by understanding more about ourselves, the hope is that we will keep from overlaying ourselves onto our children. When challenges arise, being more aware will help us as parents and teachers to respond rather than react. I actually hadn't been all that interested in the workshop when we signed up for the conference, but since we were coming from so far away, it didn't make sense not to do it too. But boy, am I glad I took that workshop! It turned out to be far more important and far more integral to the Enki approach (heck, to parenting or life as a human being in general; I'm not exaggerating) than I understood initially. It was eye-opening because I discovered facets of myself that I didn't realize were so strong, and I also, more importantly, realized that while it is of utmost importance (really central) to remain curious about our children and what makes them tick, we should never relax in the idea that we have them all figured out. I think I actually thought that was possible. If I just read the right books, I would have all the right answers. Nope, it doesn't work that way; and in my heart, I knew that was true, but I didn't know how else to be the best parent I could be. So, even though I may still be tempted by putting labels on my children (X personality children respond best to Y parenting), I would be misleading myself at best, and causing harm to my children at worst.

The second half, the conference, is much easier to explain! Beth took us through many of the activities that I will be doing with the boys, and she focused on the individual subjects. We looked at what the heart of each subject really is and how best to present them to our children. We did a lot of movement, song and verse work; saw how foreign language is woven in, got to paint, listened to stories and worked out math activities. And lots more! In a nutshell, I feel a lot more confident about what I am doing, and I got to have a glimpse of the road ahead (1st-3rd), and I am still pleased. I went to the conference prepared to be disillusioned (because this was my big fear), but I feel even more strongly that we are on the right path than I did two weeks ago. It is all really quite amazing how it pulls so many threads together. It's more work than any other approach on the market, I'll grant that, but it is also not pretending to give me a recipe to follow. They have a blueprint, but I definitely have to put in the time, care and effort to bring it to life in our family. And, it is the only approach that I have found that takes the whole family into account as a priority, not as an afterthought. It is not child-led, or parent-led. It is family-led; and E and even our extended family are as much a part of the process as I am and the boys are. So, I am feeling happy and inspired, and not overwhelmed. (When I start to think about adding in the possibility of a newborn, then I get overwhelmed, so we are not thinking about that tonight. Though there was one mom there who has 12 children. If she can do Enki, I sure ought to be able to do it with two!)

On the boys' front, they had a wonderful time. K joined in most of the activities toward the end of the week rather than being a watcher on the side. He started out the week refusing to do the zip line if any other children were around, but toward the end of the conference, he was right up there in line with the rest of them, several time in a row. Wow! and YAY! He also really took to the woodworking, so I think we will be incorporating that sooner than I thought. D took to the beach so much that he refused to leave every time they went down there. Both D and K loved the zip line they had set up on a hill between two trees, and E and I are both trying to figure out how to put one up in our yard. We may have to move.

Our summer solstice celebration is worth mentioning. It was really quite beautiful. We had a singing of fun songs after dinner in the dining hall , and then we all headed up to the firepit. One of the dads, Mark, is a naturalist and had brought his bow-drill for firemaking. While we all sang 'Rise Up O Flame!', he made fire. It was fascinating to watch! Then we took a candle down to the beach and lit more candles (that the older children had made) and set them afloat in the lake.

At the end of our time at Enki Camp, I think we were all sad to go. We were missing our own beds, but we were still having a wonderful time. We have met so many nice families and felt such a sense of community!



We went to Rockport Beach this weekend with some friends who were celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary. They invited everyone down who had been in their wedding party. We all had a really great time. K is ready to go back again sometime this summer. The beach was very family-friendly. We all stayed in separate cottages at the Little Bay Club. Their swimming pool was really neat. It had lots of levels and waterfalls that the boys could walk around and explore. At the beach, K had lots of fun surfing, and D co-opted every waterbottle he could for squirting into the sand.

Do schools today kill creativity?


Enki Co-op: What's working. what's not

We have five weeks of Thursday morning co-op meetings under our belt. All in all, it's been a lot of fun, but there are definitely some kinks to work out. Everything starts out great. The kids love chopping up the vegetables and getting our soup going first thing. We've been using sharp, little paring knives, but I have my eye on some vegetable choppers from Montessori Services. We have had a couple of cuts, and D put the blade in his mouth just this morning when I stepped away to get a bandaid for another child. We are very good about supervising all the knives, but those moments happen. So, I think the choppers would work better.

Then, everyone goes off and plays; usually very well. Though, one of the kinks is that when we have co-op at our house, K becomes a wild child. Something is overwhelming him: excitement, jealousy, being four and a half years old, hunger, I don't know what. Perhaps a neutral location would work better, something homey, perhaps at a church? A place with a kitchenette would be nice.

We've also found that we need to have a snack before circle, so we have incorporated a fruit salad beforehand. Food we seem to be good at! The soup and bread turned out exceptionally good today, and the actual eating of the meal when smoothly for the most part. But circle was another story.

We need to memorize all the songs and verses and movements in circle. The Enki guides recommend this, but we thought we could get away with one of us reading/singing on the sideline and the other leading the movements. We just aren't holding their attention. They all begin to wander off as we're stumbling along, and we completely lost everyone today. Part of the problem, too, must be attributed to my oldest child who was lying in the middle of the floor for most of circle and trying to grab everyone's legs. But we plugged along anyway until it was just us moms. Happily, the six year old daughter of my friend came back into the room when we had reached the time for the nature story (King Summer- prose version), and she sat, apparently happy to listen, through the whole reading. Of course, then we had lunch (more food!), which went more smoothly.

Pickup/saying bye is also going well. I am picking out 'Simple Gifts' by ear on the recorder to signal pickup time, so that is coming along, but definitely still needs some work. Unfortunately, I can play it almost perfectly at home , but squeak horribly when it really matters. I've been playing 'Golden in the Garden' to call everyone to circle, and I have that down much better (though I bizarrely completely forgot one note today and had to give up on it, even though I really have it down pat). Sheesh. Then, after pickup, we have a fairy heart chime that the children can make a wish on after they have put their shoes on and right before they head out the door. This has really helped with that transition. They all love shaking 'her' to tickle her and make her laugh.

So, the most important part of the morning still needs lots of work. Perhaps the majority of our children are just too young? Though D was much more interested in circle this morning than K! Well, it's a work in progress...


Hamster Dance


Early Sunday morning, just as the sun was coming up, D woke up to the pouring rain. Usually he wants to snuggle and nurse in bed for awhile, but he was up and out of bed and announcing that he was going to "watch raining from the door." So, off he toddled to the back sliding glass door. The rest of us continued to doze. Finally, D came back to our bedroom window and stood there quietly watching for a long time, and then he said, "The sidewalk is sliding!" His image made me smile.


Happy 2nd Birthday, D!

We celebrated D's 2nd birthday this past Saturday. His actual birthday was on the 22nd. We just had a family party this year; dinner at Romeo's (spaghetti!) and then back home for cake and presents. D, believe it or not, asked for a rabbit cake for his birthday. I thought it turned out pretty well:

Birthday hats for everyone!
Singing and blowing out the candles.
We gave D a truck, and K gave D an elevator to go with it. D also received clothes, a pretend doctor's kit and a sprinkler toy for the yard.
We had a bunch of sparklers left over from my brother's wedding, and everyone had a lot of fun playing with those.

T writing his name in sparkler. I think E said he used an 8 second exposure. Neat, huh?

Happy Birthday, D! We love you!


All On His Own

About a month ago, K called us into the study very excited because he said he had written a word on the filing cabinet. This is what he had:

"What does it say?" we asked him. "Zebra!"

Puppies or People?


Chicken Hunting

As we were eating sausage tonight, K asked, "How many chickens do you think the hunters caught for this sausage?"



K was stuffy-headed a couple days ago. As he was sitting on the bed, trying to blow in and out of his nose, he said, "Mom, my left nozzle isn't blowing."



Just a great picture of D.


Daisies Don't Work

Last week's science experiment was putting carnations in food-colored water and watching the petals slowly take on the color. Unfortunately, we couldn't find carnations. Can you believe it? Isn't that the grocery stores' best seller? Not ours, apparently. Well, we thought, daisies are white; they'll probably work just as well. Nope. Nope. Nope. We even had eight different colors, including *neon*! But they all stayed white, white, white. So... next time, carnations.

Amazing Grace

Believe it or not, the boys are giving a didgeridoo-version of 'Amazing Grace', something E has always hummed deeply to them to get them to go to sleep. Their rendition wasn't so much deep as it was LOUD.

My Birthday

I had a great 31st birthday this past Monday. My family was in town, and we went to my favorite Italian restaurant for dinner and back to our house for cake and ice cream. E found some 'Nada Moo' soy ice cream for K and the cake was vegan. D accompanied everyone on the harmonica singing me 'Happy Birthday'.

K Swinging D


Enki Co-op

A friend (who is also doing Enki) and I have decided to form an Enki co-op starting this May. We've been meeting once a month to plan what we are going to do, and I am really excited about how things are coming together. We're going to meet every Thursday at 9:30am, alternating each other's homes. Each child will bring a vegetable to put in our soup that we will have for lunch, and they will get to chop it up themselves first thing when they arrive and put it in the broth to cook while we play. We're also going to have fresh bread (blessings from a bread machine!). After they chop up their vegetables, they'll play outside for awhile. When it is time for circle, I'm going to play a song to call them on the recorder, and then we'll sing and do fingerplays and tell a nature story. We're going to tell the same nature story for three weeks in a row. Then we will close the circle time and have lunch!

Every fourth Thursday of the month, we are going to go on a nature walk. We plan on visiting three different trails in a season, and then returning to them in the following seasons in order to see how they change.

Right now, it is just the two of us, but we're hoping to find a least a couple of other Enki families in our area and age group to join us.


Planning Session

I just finished a big planning session. I have 13 weeks of plans! If I have activities actually planned out in advance, we do them. If I try to wing it, we don't do anything, and the boys start going stir crazy by 4:30pm. So, this is what our week looks like:

Monday morning- Monday Friends
Tuesday morning-Storytime at the Waldorf store or Library
afternoon- Craft
Wednesday morning- Grocery day
afternoon- Baking
Thursday morning- Free noonday classical concert downtown or library
afternoon- Science/nature activity
Friday morning- Eurythmy class (maybe)
afternoon- Music & Movement (including French and Spanish songs)

We're trying to make it out for a walk every morning, though for some reason, we just haven't been making it very often the last couple of weeks. I think it is because we still haven't gotten used to daylight savings (scourge to all parents of young children). The boys still have lots of free time to play, but I am feeling a little too busy. I wonder what should go?

But I have a nice little set of plans for spring, and we can at least have something to choose from for the next couple of months or so.


Old Picture

D has a little bit of pneumonia this week, so we missed Monday Friends today. He's napping right now, but K is awake, and we still wanted to blog today, since Monday is our official blogging day. We had fun looking through old pictures, and we found one that we had never posted before. This picture is from December at the Waldorf Winter Fair. K and I are decorating a beeswax candle. He is warming the little squares of wax between his hands, and then we are decorating the candle with them. Then K rolled it in glitter. We burned our little candle everyday until it was gone. Beeswax smells really nice!

P.S. Further info on D: He also has an ear infection, so we are starting a short round of antibiotics today. We caught the pneumonia early, so that is good. We know what it is like to not catch it early.


Zilker Train

We went to Zilker Park today with Monday Friends and rode the Zilker Zephyr. D, K, I. and G. all squeezed into one train seat. D wanted nothing to do with my seat, much less my lap. I did end up moving D to the inside, and K kept his arm around him the whole time, and he stayed seated the whole time (didn't want to risk not being included with the big kids, I guess).

After the train ride, we headed down to the creek to feed the ducks, but found big, eager geese instead. The kids had no problem leaving once all the birdseed was gone. It was a little intimidating. We went back up to the playscape to play a little and have a picnic. We stayed until 1pm; pretty late for us to be out, and D fell asleep on the way home.

Explore UT

We went to Explore UT this past Saturday. It is a campus-wide open house for the community. There were thousands of people there, and all sorts of things to do and see in each of the departments. We spent all day there, and the boys were exhausted at the end of it.

(I can never get my captions to line up with my pictures... Lexi, how do you do yours?)

We saw dancers at the Children's International Festival, a trebuchet throwing waterballoons at the Engineering building, lots of things being frozen with liquid nitrogen, A T-Rex ground shaker machine, built towers with lots of big wood blocks at the Architecture building, and made Anansi spiders (from African storytelling) back at the Children's Festival.... and lots, lots more. All in all, a good day. We finished it off with ice cream.