Friday, March 30, 2012

Five Little Easter Rabbits

Five little Easter rabbits
Hold up five fingers
Sitting by the door,
One hopped away, and then there were four.
Bend down one finger.

Hop, hop, hop, hop,
Clap on each hop.
See how they run!
Hop, hop, hop, hop,
Clap on each hop
They think it is great fun!

Four little Easter rabbits
Hold up four fingers
Under a tree,

One hopped away, and then there were three.

Bend down one finger

Hop, hop, hop, hop,
Clap on each hop.
See how they run!

Hop, hop, hop, hop,

Clap on each hop
They think it is great fun!

Three little Easter rabbits
Hold up three fingers
Looking at you,

One hopped away, and then there were two.

Bend down one finger

Hop, hop, hop, hop,
Clap on each hop.
See how they run!

Hop, hop, hop, hop,

Clap on each hop
They think it is great fun!

Two little Easter rabbits
Hold up two fingers.
Resting in the sun,
One hopped away, and there was one.
Bend down one finger.

Hop, hop, hop, hop,
Clap on each hop.
See how they run!
Hop, hop, hop, hop,
Clap on each hop
They think it is great fun!

One little Easter rabbit
Left all alone,
He hopped away, and there were none.
Hand behind back.

Hop, hop, hop, hop!
Clap on each hop.
All gone away!

Hop, hop, hop, hop!
Clap on each hop
They'll come back some day.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Finding Grace in Retreat

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.*

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.
The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Story for Springtime

Eostre, the Goddess of Springtime, was bringing Spring to the land when she happened upon a young girl who was weeping in the forest. The girl had found a bird who had frozen to death in the snow. Taking pity on her, Eostre went to the girl to bring the bird back to life but Eostre could not save the bird's wings so she turned the bird into a rabbit instead.

Having once been a bird, the rabbit retained its ability to lay eggs and every Spring thereon the rabbit would lay eggs in all the bright colors of Spring as a thank you to the goddess Eostre for saving its life.

And that is the story of the Easter Bunny and the tradition of why we decorate eggs in bright colors. Eostre was the Goddess of Springtime and fertility hence the further symbolism of rabbits (procreation), eggs (fertility) and chocolate (aphrodisiac).

Monday, March 19, 2012

Day and Night Divided

Today is the Spring Solstice, otherwise known as the Vernal Equinox. The day is said to bring us equal portions of both day and night. So on this day, earth is considered to be truly in balance. Are we?

A very simple and beautiful way to celebrate the return of the Sun is to create transparencies out of card stock and colored tissue paper. The light shining through the cut outs is a beautiful symbol of the return of the Sun and reminds us of our own light within that can shine through to the outer world through our being.
Simply draw and then carefully cut out your design, attach tissue paper to the backing with tape and place your creation in front of a strong light. You may even like to attach it to a window so the sunlight can shine through it during the day. This is a wonderful activity to do with children and they come out quite beautiful. They can be kept very simple with just stars, moons or suns or you can get a bit more involved with your project.

Here is an old Native American Legend you can share with the children on how Day and Night were divided:

After the world was made, some of the animals wanted the day to last all of the time. Others preferred that it be night all of the time. They quarreled about this and cold not come to an agreement. After awhile they decided to hold a meeting and they asked the great Bear to preside as the judge.

The Bear proposed that they vote to have night all the time but the Ground Squirrel said out loud "Wait! I see that the Raccoon has rings on his tail divided equally, first a dark color and then a light color. I think day and night should also be divided equally like the rings on the Raccoon's tail."

The other animals were very impressed with the wisdom of the Ground Squirrel and they quickly voted for his plan and divided day and night just like the dark and light rings on the Racoon's tail, succeeding each other in regular order.

The Great Bear was furious! He was so upset with the Ground Squirrel for taking over his position that he thrust out his paw and scratched the Ground Squirrel's back with his sharp claws. This is why all of the descendants of that Ground Squirrel now forever have thirteen stripes on their backs.

The End.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dee's 18th St. Patty's Day Party

This year we celebrated Dee's birthday on St. Patty's Day! What a fun holiday to celebrate a birthday on. I am mostly all Irish and growing up St. Patrick's Day was almost as big as Christmas.
I absolutely LOVE how pinterest makes it possible to find such amazingly cute ideas to plan a party. We made Shamrock Jello,
A Pot of Gold Leprechaun sign,
Irish Beef Stew, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Veggie Shepherd's Pie, a Baked Potato Bar and had SO much fun decorating the house in Green, Orange and White.
I still cannot believe I have an 18 year old daughter. If I think back to the day I gave birth, it all still seems so near. I remember how I felt, what the room looked like, who was with me.... I remember holding Dee for the very first time in awe. I can still remember her as a little baby with her 'sucky' and how absolutely beautiful she was (and still is).
And now she is an adult. Our family is 'growing up' and it makes it all so real how very short life is and how much we need to cherish the people in our lives and be good to them. My grandmother who is no longer here taught me that family is the most important thing about living... because our families are the first place that we have the ability to help change the world and I cherish mine.
I surprised Dee by having a few of her closest friends show up.
The party was a lot of work. The day before I prepped and cleaned for hours and then the event itself kept me in the kitchen most of the day. But it was so worth it.
Making memories is always worth it.
Happy St. Patty's!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

To Catch a Leprechaun

We tried to catch a leprechaun with tricks and traps,
We set it up so carefully with sticks and maps.
We tiptoed to our beds and listened for a peep,
Waiting for the sound of little leprechaun feet.
The night came on so suddenly, the next we knew
The morning sun was rising bigger as it grew.
We ran downstairs to see if we had caught the man,
We'd love him an we'd feed him as often as we can.
But as we opened up to see what he would do -
The trick was ours, he left a mess and candy too!
~ E. Straiton

Thursday, March 15, 2012

18 Years

Today is my oldest child's eighteenth birthday. I really cannot believe I have successfully raised one human being into adulthood.

I am so extremely proud of Dee. She is everything that a mother could ask for.. she is intelligent, responsible, caring, a lover of animals, giving, beautiful and has grown through both difficult and joyful times into a wonderful young woman.

In less than 6 months, she will be leaving for college. I hope I did everything I could to prepare her for the world she is about to go into on her own. I will never stop worrying, loving and mothering...I still feel as if she is my little girl and always will.

Happy Birthday Dee!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Simple Shamrock Crown

We are getting into the St. Patty's Day spirit at Little Acorn Playgarden and today we made these Simple Shamrock Crowns.

We went on a simple leaf hunt and found whatever type of green leaves we could... some were big and some were little. We didn't have much to choose from yet as our Spring hasn't entirely sprung here in CT.

So, after bringing our various shaped leaves inside, we actually used scissors to cut them into a more Shamrock Shape. Then we sewed them together to make one big Shamrock. In retrospect, I think the sewing could have been skipped and the leaves could have all be simply glued or stapled on which we did later with the rest of the crown.

We added our Shamrocks to strips of cardstock that were cut pretty :)

And spent the afternoon playing Queen of the Shamrocks and other such games!
Happy St. Patty's!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012

And the Winner Is...

Congratulations to Natalikakids from RUSSIA for winning a FREE spot in Erin Goodman's AMAZING new FunShop, Planting the Seeds which starts this Monday!

I'm so grateful for Google Translations as her comment was in Russian! Here is what she posted:

"I am
mother of three wonderful kids! I love life, children, people, nature! I love my family! I am looking for myself in this life! I like to sew dolls in the Waldorf style. Interested in Waldorf pedagogy, Vedic knowledge, and everything connected with the upbringing ofchildren."

The winner was chosen using a random number generator. Congratulations and thank you all for participating!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Homemade Stockmar Fingerpaints

So you may wonder what types of things I do instead of sorting through my dirty laundry. :) Today at Little Acorn Playgarden we made our own Stockmar Fingerpaints.
Using a simple homemade fingerpaint recipe we added beautiful Stockmar watercolor paint to achieve the colors we wanted. Here's a helpful hint... do not tell your 10 year old to go ahead and add the paint and then turn around in the kitchen or you may end up with no Stockmar paint left like me... only a small drop or two is really need but in any case...moving on..
After your fingerpaint solution is cool and in containers add your paint (a small amount not like us!) and mix, mix, mix.
Until you have your colors.
Then put on your aprons and find a bunch of little fingers..
Make rainbows with your fingers...
Sing songs about Leprechauns or not...
And paint.