Monday, December 21, 2015

Celebrate the Winter Solstice and Win a Free E-Book By Sharing Your Ideas!

The Winter Solstice is here and I love looking back on some of the beautiful ways we have celebrated this special equinox as well as many of the beautiful ideas included in our winter e-books at Little Acorn Learning.

Over the upcoming months, the sun will climb higher, our days will become longer and filled with more warmth.  The solstice is a wonderful time to try to slow down and be more mindful of what is going on both in the world around you as well as deep inside of you.  This is something I really need to focus on in my own life as well.

There are beautiful poems, stories and books you can share with the children during this magical festival.  Some of my favorite books to share are:

       

Here are some of my old favorites to help you celebrate this special time.  There are many more beautiful ideas, recipes, songs, books, meditations and more in our winter books on our website as well as on our blog.

Make a Winter Nature Table (as explained in our Winter Festivals E-Book)
Photo by Sara Wilson
Winter Garland (as in the December 5 Day Guide and on our blog):


Solstice Spinners (detailed instructions in our Winter Festivals E-Book):




Make a Yule Log (in our December Enrichment Guide):



Roast Chestnuts


Bake Sun Bread (December 5 Day Guide):



Make Solstice Crowns (Winter Festivals E-Book):

Photo by Sara Wilson
Make a Solstice Wish (King Winter E-Book):


Make Cinnamon Cocoa (December Enrichment Guide):

Photo by Kristine Brown
Snow Candles


What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate this beautiful festival?

Post your idea in comments and we will pick a random winner tomorrow evening the 22nd to win a free winter e-book of their choice from Little Acorn Learning!

Be sure to check back here as we will announce the winner on our blog!

Solstice Blessings xoxo






Thursday, December 3, 2015

Saying Goodbye to Stoli

This past week we had to say goodbye to Stoli... our puppy who followed me around every moment of the day and sat by my side through all of it, good and bad, for the last 14 years.
The house is emptier now. His spot next to my bed and where I sit in the living room is empty. I still brace myself before coming home because it's so hard not to have him greet me with excitement like he always did. I wish someone would have warned me about that.. it was the hardest the first time. I know it seems silly to be this upset over an animal but him and I had a special connection and it's hard to let him go.

It's amazing to me how much love we have for the animals we share our lives with. They give such unconditional love and comfort. I wish humans could be the same way.
At the end, he was suffering in many ways - one of the most difficult ways was night time dementia.  Not only was I getting woken up caring for him every 15-20 minutes but he was confused and upset and doing things that were strange and unlike him.  It was upsetting to me and I think also to him. I feel he was afraid.  

The funny thing is that the first night he was gone, I should have been able to get a good night sleep for the first night in months... but I couldn't sleep a wink without him by my side.
Time heals and I know it will get easier but I miss my boy and I'm so sad to not be able to share more of this life with him.
We said our goodbyes and there will be a void that no other animal can fill - it's his alone. I fed him his favorite forbidden food, pistachio nuts, and we had a gentle vet come to the house to put him to sleep. 
Before he left, I clipped some of his fur to keep when I miss him and just want to touch him again. I know it seems silly or maybe over-the-top and I'm sure a lot of people think I'm crazy... but it helps me. 
 
I keep trying to visualize him here like he used to be so I don't forget... but even with only a few days without him, it slips from you a bit. It's hard to keep the picture in your head just right. I'm grateful for photos to help with that.  (don't worry he's only sleeping in the next photo)...
So, time goes forward and life keeps moving. I keep thinking where has he gone? I try to hold onto faith that there is something more for all of us after this life. It goes by all too soon.