Why the Tree of Life?


AWHS Halloween Party

We just got home from the Austin Waldorf Homeschoolers' Halloween Party. Oh, what fun! Lots of yummy potluck dishes, fun games like ring toss on witches hats, pin the nose on the pumpkin, feel the icky yucky thing in the box, and even a fortune teller.

Everyone was in costume and eager to participate. Kirven's favorite game had to be throwing darts at balloons.

It was such a sweet party. Most of the prizes were little trinkets; only a few pieces of candy (which unfortunately (for me) melted in my pocket). Dunagan won a tiny, glass sun, which you can't see very well.

And Kirven won a couple of teeny tiny pumpkins and minuscule spell books. Kirven questioned why the 'spell books' were blank, and I told him that he would have to know the secret magic word for the spells to appear. All spell books are enchanted this way.

The older homeschoolers' drama class did the witches' scene from Macbeth around a glowing, steaming cauldron, and a couple of other children recited spooky poems. After that, and with the darkness, most of the children went running off into the woods with the dads jumping out from trees to scare them. Dunagan ran off with his friend Annie to be scared by the dads, but eventually joined Kirven by the fire circle to throw sticks into the fire. Ayla was right there with them, throwing in handfuls of hay and scaring her mama in a not so fun way.

Eventually, even though the boys were having the time of their lives, Ayla really and truly gave out and needed to be put to bed, so we sadly made our way home. Thanks very much to our hosts, Margaret and family! We can't wait for next year!


Rodrigo y Gabriela

I took the boys to the Rodrigo y Gabriela concert Tuesday night at Stubb's. (This is a perk of homeschooling. Yeah, they were out way past bedtime, but it was a special thing, and we could sleep in the next morning and still get our schoolwork done!) Rodrigo and Gabriela were as awesome, if not more awesome, in concert than on their cds. And the funny thing is, I'm not big on live music, but this is one group where if I hadn't had the boys with me, I would have been down front dancing the whole time. We stayed afterward hoping to meet them, but they didn't come out. There were a couple of other little kids at the concert, which surprised me a little, but they actually looked like homeschoolers, too. There's just a homeschool vibe sometimes. Evan had tickets to go with us, but ended up being sent to Germany on business. We were sad Daddy couldn't get to enjoy the music with us. Our friend Chris was able to go, and he snapped this picture of us with his phone. This is about the time the boys were getting bored and ready to go home. Rodgab didn't end up playing until close to 9pm, so their attention span was a little used up "waiting patiently." But they had a good time overall. And I would definitely like to go back with Evan just the two of us when they're back in town.


Snout Butterflies

Did anyone else see the swarming snout butterflies? They're not very colorful, but they are sweet, little brown things, and they were all over our backyard this afternoon; dozens and dozens of them. It was a BEAUTIFUL day to be outside catching butterflies.

Update: I'm feeling a lot better; Ayla, not so much. Her poor tush is diaper-rashed from the antibiotic. But I think her ear infections are getting better. It's always hard to tell with a toddler.


Back in Bed

Instead of getting back to schoolwork this morning, Evan packed me off to see the doctor, while he took Ayla and Dunagan in to see the pediatrician. I have a secondary infection (acute bronchial infection), and Ayla has a double ear infection. Drugs all around, and we're to keep a close eye on Ayla, Tamiflu on hand. Dunagan was all clear. So, that's where we are. Still sick.


Little Falcon

Our first story last week was Little Falcon. It introduces the letters 'G' and 'M'. Each story has a repeating verse, which becomes part of the storywork during the following days. We practiced reading the verse together many times during the 2nd and 3rd days, and we have been working kinesthetically with the verse during circle using Eurythmy gestures for the letter sounds. I found a little blackboard through Paper, Scissors, Stone, which is proving to be very handy. I just set it up in our window next to our work table. The window latches work fine as holders, and it allows Kirven to work on eye tracking when he is writing out the verse in his Good Book.

The day after reading Little Falcon, we recalled the story together, and then I led him in drawing the picture above. Mine is below, and you can see the hidden letters G (in the gate) and M (in the mountains). Kirven asked me if it was a G as I was drawing it, and I just said, 'hmm, we'll have to find out tomorrow,' but he didn't notice the M. It was a little more subtle, and he was surprised by it the next day when we worked on revealing the hidden pictures.

And Dunagan's latest silky crayon drawing is below. These crayons are terribly messy, and Dunagan ended up taking them all apart (breaking them), so they were all thrown in the trash at the end of drawing time. I wasn't sad to see them go. I used to love them, and they are still fun to draw with, but Dunagan likes to experience them tactilely, and I need a break. I spend too much time cleaning his side of the table (and chair and floor and body)! We'll get some more sometime; I just need a few months.

And a final note on piggy flu around here. I'm still the only one who's been sick. We had a slow day at home today. I feel like I'm pregnant. I can't do too much without feeling like I need to lie down on the couch for a minute. The main difference, though, is that I know I can push through the fatigue, and it won't kill me, meaning, I won't paid dearly for it later in not being able to get out of bed or vomiting--- as was the case in pregnancy. I love being able to push through to get things done again.

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Thank you, everyone, for your get well wishes. The kids are still well, and Evan is still well. I don't think we'll be out of the woods until Friday or so with them. I'm not really clear on the incubation period. I am feeling much better. I was able to warm up dinner this evening, do dishes and pickup, and now, I'm about to turn my attention to the mountain of clean clothes piled in my bedroom. I'm feeling weak, but I'm taking it slow.

We're just going to have a couple of quiet days at home before we try to get back to stories and storywork. Maybe we'll go get ourselves chocolate shakes that I have been craving all this time.



My fever is back to 103, and I'm coughing more and a little wheezy. It's 'cause I blogged that I was better, Evan said.

And Kirven had a croupy cough tonight, Ayla was extra fussy going down to sleep.

And a five year old girl in Austin just died from H1N1. No words. Scared. And weepy for that mom and family.

Going to go watch a dvd of The Office with Evan to think about nothing having to do with the flu.


I started running a high fever Tuesday night, and it has just broken today. That meant that schoolwork ground to a screeching halt. Evan was able to take the boys through circle Wednesday morning (an unforseen benefit of working from an mp3 playlist!--- which I'll post more about later; it's been a lifesaver) and morning lessons (with me guiding Kirven from my bed to find and write the hidden letters from our Little Falcon drawings-- pictures soon). My parents were able to come mid-morning (thank goodness for extended family in town--thanks Mom & Dad!) so that Evan could head to work. Kirven did his practice work after quiet time, and my mother read a chapter to us all from Thimble Summer in the afternoon. I was glad that we were able to complete the story cycle we were in the middle of, and we'll just push our next story, Jumping Mouse and the letter J, as well as the other activities we had planned, to the beginning of next week.

Thursday and Friday have been more unstructured, but the kids have been good and very helpful while I've been sick.

I'm expecting everyone to get sick, and we're concerned that I've had H1N1. What does that mean for Ayla and Dunagan? Kirven is a little older, but he has asthma and may still be sensitive to egg (egg is involved in creating the flu vaccine). Do we get them the vaccine? Do we risk as serious vaccine reaction with Kirven? Do we risk respiratory problems if he gets the virus? We've got the same reservations about the vaccine as every other parent in the country. Is it too late anyway since they have been exposed to me (assuming that's what I've had--- I have all the symptoms). Hopefully, if Evan gets sick, he gets sick soon because he leaves for Germany at the end of next week.

So, I'm in bed recouping; everyone else is still fine and healthy. Hopefully, everyone stays that way!


Duchess Autumn

We did a led drawing for Duchess Autumn today. Kirven followed me pretty closely, and then he added the wind that makes the leaves dance (all the red swirls) on his own.

Dunagan's-- doin' his own thing.

My drawing from which Kirven was working.

And we also did our first form drawing, which is a preparation for handwriting. We walked a line and a curve out in the culdesac three mornings in a row, after our short walk to get the blood moving and right before we went in for circle. Today, I asked Kirven to draw on our little chalkboard what we had walked. He did that several times, and then he drew them with his finger in a pan full of sand. He liked that part the best. Then he drew them in yellow crayon in his Good Book. Finally, he did his best form in the color of his choice (blue) and colored the background yellow to hide his previous tries. This form was a snap for him.

This was our wonderfully smooth morning.

And then Ayla slipped going up the steps of the playscape and knocked a bottom tooth loose! Blood everywhere!

I immediately got on the phone with our dentist (who is in Oak Hill-- SOUTH Austin for all you non-Austinites), and they promised to squeeze us in. The boys were very good and very helpful, and we got in the car in record time. And we got to Oak Hill in record time and without a ticket. It was all very exciting-- a full-on emergency.

The verdict is: wait and see. Her tooth may or may not have broken completely off. We tried to get an x-ray, but we might as well have been wrestling an alligator. Hopefully, we can keep her from pulling it out herself, and it will heal itself. She is on a soft food-only diet, so my baby who has made it through babyhood with no baby food just had her first strained stew for dinner. And she didn't like it! She looked at me like I had to be kidding. And then she dumped her water in it. Because she can only have a lidless cup and no sippy cup...she shouldn't suck...bad for the tooth. She seems to be nursing ok, suprisingly enough.

Except for the loose tooth, it was a good day.