Sunday, November 29, 2015

The First Light of Advent...Remaining Hopeful

 The first light of Advent,
It is the light of Stones,
Stones that live in crystals,
Seashells and our bones.
 In Waldorf Education the first light of Advent represents stones. A pretty way to recognize this at home is to decorate your advent wreath with small gems, pebbles, shells, crystals or even a photo or sample of your child’s birthstone. For wonderful ways to celebrate the beautiful time of Advent and the festival of St. Nicholas Day, be sure to check out our e-book.

Today we attended a beautiful tradition at our church and made homemade advent wreaths with other parishioners. It is an event that I wanted to attend in previous years but our schedules never allowed. I am go glad we made the decision as a family to stay at this church. Recently I considered going back to the religion of my childhood, but after beginning the transition it became very clear that what we were searching for was already right where we were. Church for us should  be a second home, a place to connect to God, a place to feel connected to our community but MOST of all, a place that welcomes us and others with open arms no matter where we are on our paths. Just as we believe Jesus does.
Our days have been full of preparing for the holiday season. It's been a time of family and warmth and I'm grateful that the holidays can pull us together like this. I was also grateful that my oldest daughter was home from college and could be a part of all of our family time.

We made paper snowflakes (nowadays they have cool templates online to make it easier!)
 We decorated our tree and I made the girls take the obligatory 'decorating the tree together' photo (don't they look so natural?)
We put up our Christmas Village. My mother-in-law gave me each and every piece to this amazing village. It takes a full afternoon to get just right but it's really worth it and the girls love it so much. They look forward to finding each familiar piece and helping me to decide how our North Pole Village should look.
They each decorated their rooms with leftover Christmas lights and their own special little tree.
And we helped one another decorate the outside of the house. Their dad did most of the work to be fair. It really looks beautiful and took all weekend to get done. 
As we have been taught, the first week of Advent is for HOPE. 

So, as we blow out our first advent candle this evening, I make a wish that all of us remain hopeful.  Hopeful for ourselves.  Hopeful for our loved ones.  And most of all, hopeful for our world.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Advent Countdown Giveaway - DAY FOUR - Caregiver's Calendar for FREE - One Day Only!

Today is Black Friday.  It's something that I do not usually participate in as I prefer to support the idea that the holidays do not have to be based around mindless shopping and consumerism.

Because I'm sensitive about this day, I wanted to offer something mindful for you rather than play into the buy-spend-purchase mentality that is surrounding us right now.

So, today's Advent Countdown Giveaway will be a copy of our Caregiver's Calendar for FREE!  

It is the 2015 Caregiver's Calendar BUT it is filled with an entire year of ideas, suggestions and special ways to be a more mindful parent or teacher with your children and can be used no matter what the day or year.  It is a value of $9.99.  Enjoy this special gift by clicking HERE!

THIS is what I prefer to find most important during the holidays... precious time and memories made with those we love.

If you enjoy this calendar, keep your eyes open for our 2016 Caregiver's Calendar which will be released soon.


Monday, November 9, 2015

Easy Martinmas Lanterns

 Martinmas Lanterns

My lantern! My lantern! 
Sun and moon and stars 
Put out all your lights 
Put out all your lights 
That my lantern can truly shine bright. 

In Germany, the custom of children carrying their lanterns into the dark and singing Martinmas songs are deep rooted.  In some areas, children go door to door in a procession with their lanterns, singing sweet little songs in return for candy. 

These easy Martinmas Lanterns taken from our Martinmas and Thanksgiving Festival E-Book can also substitute as a bedtime nightlight.  Using the battery operated lights and vellum paper make them a safe alternative to real candles.  For more fun ideas, recipes, songs, crafts, meditations and much more to help you celebrate the beautiful November festivals - be sure to grab a copy of this amazing e-book that we just released last November.


  •          mason jars
  •          vellum paper (transparent)
  •          paper cutter
  •          mason wire holders (can purchase at craft store)
  •          mason lids with design (can purchase at craft store) *optional
  •          design paper punch – or hole puncher
  •           battery operated tealights

Many of the supplies can be substituted with other items in your home.  For our lanterns, we purchased three mason jars and mason jar accessories from our local craft store.  We also used one of our favorite star punchers that we had in our crafting room.  A simple hole puncher can also be used or small x-shaped slits could be made in the vellum paper to help the light shine through. 

Begin by cutting your vellum paper to an appropriate width that will allow for it to open up within the mason jar when rolled and put inside.  Then use your hole punching tool to create punched out designs on your vellum paper. This is how the light will show through your lantern.


Let your children be the ones to punch out the holes.  They will love working to make their lantern unique and beautiful. 

When you are done, simply roll the vellum paper in a tube and slide it inside your mason jar.  The paper should be cut short enough that when it is placed inside the jar, it opens up wider to fill the circumference of the lantern.

Add your mason jar wire handle accessory and replace the top of your mason jar with your designed lid.  Place your battery operated candle inside to check how the light looks through your lantern.

Sing special songs and take your lanterns outside on a night time walk around your neighborhood or yard.  When you return, use these lanterns as a magical nightlight to bring the peace and selflessness of St. Martin into your home.