Sensory Spelling and Modeling Beeswax

We’ve really been jumping all over the place here.  I don’t know about you.

Even though I had the curriculum all ironed out, I just never know what will happen as I start a new school year.

Isaiah is a person. And as a person his likes and dislikes change. What works for him changes. And to be honest, I don’t do well with change.

And so I went back to what I know works, and we started a Waldorf spelling block. I’m adding it in twice a week. We have never done “spelling” per se so I am starting from the beginning with the first 100 of the High Utility 500 words.

And since this is Waldorf,

waldorf spelling

 

The beauty of Waldorf is they did Sensory work, before Sensory was cool.

We pulled out the box of modeling beeswax.

I have to say I really missed the modeling beeswax, and I didn’t realize how much until we started using it.

You can’t get anymore sensory integrated than having to wait patiently as the beeswax warms in your hands, as it warms you begin to smell that light comforting smell that is uniquely beeswax. Slowly you begin rolling it in your hands, it warms more and becomes more and more malleable until it’s ready to use.

The whole process is so integrated with the senses that it has a very calming effect. The key is getting your child there.

Isaiah is impatient. And at first refused to take the time to grab a lump and let it warm up.

So I grabbed a lump and worked on it as I walked around the room.

When I came back I found him working carefully on his own beeswax project. Even he couldn’t resist that feeling. It also speaks to just doing it, and waiting for your child to follow. Don’t press, just do.

 

Working in beeswax is completely unique and inviting. It responds so well to your directions. Even the artistically challenged can make something look like what they (I) want.

spelling modeling beeswax waldorf

 

The road became clear to me when yesterday I asked him to spell “the” as we were driving home from his allergy shots.

His response? “We don’t do spelling mom.” and then after some negotiating “th”.

I found this odd, I know he can read that word just fine. But clearly the idea of spelling was foreign to him. You have to start somewhere, right? Immediately I realized Waldorf’s method of learning to spell was going to be the right answer for us.

So today, I handed him my warmed up red and asked him to spell “of.”spelling with modeling beeswax

At first he resisted, but then he formed the letters carefully and put them in front of me.

We continued through the first 9 words of the first 100. And amazingly, even though he couldn’t spell them as we drove down the street, he had no problem modeling them out of beeswax.

Score 1 for Waldorf, or more like 100!

Of course I am nothing if not a crazy, whatever method works for you, homeschooling mom. And so this happened too.

spelling modeling beeswax unschooling

 

Here are some tips for Waldorf – Sensory Spelling.

Modeling Beeswax, slowly warm and then form the words.

Write the words in whatever handwriting your child enjoys using colored pencils or beeswax crayons, and then walk to the other side of the room and write it again, either the same way or a different way.

Then on his way back to you, have him walk the letters of the word he’s spelling.

Make it fun, encourage him, do it with him if he’s being resistant.

I know everything there is to know about a child who won’t do it “because.” He doesn’t need a reason to say no, me asking is usually enough. So be gentle, do it yourself at first if you need to.

I am very confident this will work for your reluctant speller!

working with modeling beeswax

 

Please feel free to ask any questions or share your ideas for sensory spelling!

signature.homeschool

 

What is a Main Lesson Book Anyway? Do I Need One?

 

main lesson books do i need

I don’t like rules.

When I started with Waldorf Homeschooling I kept hearing Main Lesson book, Main Lesson Book, Main Lesson Book.

Do this in your Math Main Lesson Book, do this in your Science Main Lesson Book and do this in your Literature Main Lesson Book. (Don’t even get me started on Form Drawing)

Listen lady, that’s too much for me to remember; let alone have, or spend money on, because my kid is a drawing fiend and I can’t say, “Hey! No! Don’t draw in that one, draw in this one!” That doesn’t seem very Waldorfy to me.

And don’t tell me only your best work can go in your main lesson book, because I am the child of a narcissist and when you say those things I feel the micromanager wake up inside me, and it says “The child must only put his best work in the main lesson book.” (in a scary voice) And by best, I mean best.

Back when he was in first grade I tried, that was before I realized it was okay for me to think outside the box, I was still trying to conform.

It was a nightmare. Yes, a nightmare. Don’t tell me I am exaggerating, because I most certainly am not.

My son is a drawing machine, if you don’t belive me check out this video. I cannot EVER tell him he can only draw on one page, or he needs to draw this picture just like me. Nor would I want him to. But I tried and it was bad….

Not to mention the fact that organization does not come easy to me.

So what is the solution you ask? The best one EVER. 100 page sketch books! For those of you who like to use drawing and creativity as part of your curriculum go to Michael’s when sketch books are buy one get one free. Like right now. And do what I do.

main lesson book or sketch book

Grab the first one and write the start date on it. Ours stays on our home school table, and by home school table I mean coffee table, with the box of colored pencils next to it. Whenever it’s time to draw he opens his sketch book and gets going. And if he wants to draw later in the day, he takes the same sketchbook and keeps going.

I know some Waldorf people will not be happy with this set-up, I’m not sure why. I think most might be relieved.

My understanding about the point of Main Lesson books was that all of your child’s work would be in one place and you or he, could go back and look at all of it. With Main Lesson books that’s a subject by subject deal, and if you run out of pages, then what?  I know that when you’re working on the alphabet you want to look back to yesterday, but if you are using the block system, then most likely all of your alphabet pictures will be grouped together anyway.

When you use a sketch book all of the lessons are in one book and when you run out of pages you just start a new one, and lessons continue. At the end of the year you have maybe two full sketch books, and ten years from now that will be much less cumbersome than dragging out 8 main lesson books, no?

main lesson books do I need

The First Day of Our Homeschool Rhythm

It’s not always easy to practice what you preach.

I put up a good fight, and tried to keep our rhythm this summer. Somewhere in the middle of July, it became a free for all. So of course I was concerned as we geared up for Day one.

No need.

Our day started Sunday night. I read him a Folk Tale called The Fox’s Snack before we went to bed.

He wanted more. Traditionally, in the summer, I’ll read forever. This time I said nope, it’s bed time and we’ll talk more about it tomorrow.

In the morning I let him sleep until he woke up.

Once he was up, uncrabby, dressed and snuggled on the sofa, I handed him his sketch book and colored pencils and said “I’m going to make you breakfast, while I do that can you tell me the story about the Fox that we read last night? And while you’re telling me, can you draw it too?” (of course this is me being tricky because he loves to draw as he tells a story)

His retelling was phenomenal, he retold it with his own twist! In the end the Fox steals a train!

Since his twist was so much fun, we decided our cursive sentence would be “The fox stole the train.” I wrote out the sentence and he traced it. Then I let him just play around with cursive for a while.

learning cursive waldorf

Also trying to explain why you can’t write cursive from bottom to top.

Then I read him a chapter of Charlotte’s Web (Trophy Newbery), and he read me Scholastic Reader Level 2: Inside a House That is Haunted.

in breath

In Breath

It was time for a break, and I told him to go play a little.

When he came back we were ready to review some math. We use Math U See, he really loves math and although we started with traditional Waldorf Gnome math, after a while that was too abstract for his very literal mind. And frankly, I find gnome math confusing.

 

Our next block was Science; I asked him if he wanted a break and he said no. At this point in his life it is fairly obvious to me when he needs an “out breath” or time to burn off some energy. He said he would rather keep going.

So we worked on learning about the Earth’s rotation around the sun using the old-fashioned method of balloon around a lamp. It was cool, we had a lot of fun, and afterwards Isaiah made a few balloon inventions and played while I did some chores.

out breath

Out Breath

Our day was over by 1:30, (we didn’t start until 10) and in there we took a mini walk to see some construction, he played on his scooter, had some tea, climbed a wall and had lunch.

It was a great day.

 

A few other mentionables. We have implemented a chore a day chart. He was pretty headstrong about that, I was headstronger.

He is also going to cook one meal a week, a simple meal, and of course I will be his sous chef.

We bought new colored pencils and sketch books to start our year off. We love these things Koh-I-Noor Progresso Woodless Colored Pencils 24 Color Set he wore his last set down to nubs. We stick them in a pencil-case and it goes with us wherever we go.

 

How is your homeschool prep going? Any exciting plans?

How Your Daily Rhythm Affects Your Child’s Behavior

I don’t know how many of you know about Waldorf education, there’s plenty to read about on my site if you don’t.

Until six years ago, I had no idea.  It seemed oddly more like being a Jehovah’s Witness, than a homeschooling method, in my mind.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Making the choice to home school my son was not an easy one in light of the stellar school system we live in and my academically focused family.  Yet it was a decision that was not optional for me. Once I understood Waldorf, knowing that it would be the method to my madness so to speak, I knew I could do no harm.

Don’t worry, I am not suggesting that if you have a child with Sensory Processing Disorder you should home school.  (Although if you are curious, please ask)  What this post is about is how bringing some Waldorf methods and ideas in to your home could make all the difference in the world to you and your child.

It’s about Rhythm. Rhythm affects your child’s behavior more than you realize.

Read any Waldorf blog, website, book or text and you cannot escape that word.  However, it took me about 2 years to grasp the meaning of rhythm and what that meant to me and my family.  I am hoping to pass this on to you, as a lay person, in just one post. Tell me how I do.

How many of you have noticed how much better your child does during a structured day, then a free-for-all day?

When I say free-for-all, I include running errands, visiting family, things that disrupt a normal flow.  You may actually notice it in the reverse so to speak.  You may say, wow, today went really well, and when you look back you can see a pattern to your day.

Any basic parenting book will tell you that a child, from a young age, needs a schedule.  They need to know what to expect, and when to expect it.  From meals, to bedtime, to play, to sleep; the more they know, the more well-adjusted they are.

I believe this is even more true for special needs kids, like mine, who has Sensory Processing Disorder.  These kids are thrown more than any others when they are forced into a life of unpredictability; and to them, almost anything different is unpredictable.  Miss a meal, or a snack, change a nap time or miss a loved class and you better watch it.

This idea of having a set schedule is basically Waldorf’s idea of Rhythm.  However when Waldorf speaks of Rhythm, they include not only the idea of a schedule, but the needs of the whole child.  The child’s need for movement, for up times and down times.  Times to use their minds, times to use their bodies and times to use their hands.  In Waldorf terms this is described is “in breaths” and “out breaths”.  So do that for me.  Take a deep breath in, and a deep breath out.  Now think of that.  When you take that deep breath in, imagine quietly taking in a story, or sitting quietly and drawing.  When you release that deep breath think of running in the yard, playing hopscotch or singing songs that involve finger play or hand movements.  Your in breath is introspective time, time to be quiet, to think, to create.  Your out breath is releasing time, time to be free, to play games, to laugh and sing.

In order for a child to feel balanced, the child must have both of these things, and they must have them as an in and out pattern throughout the day.

rhythm affects behavior in breath

If your child is in school, you have very little control over that, unless you have an IEP you can manipulate.  But for the most part, I think they experience it in the form of class time vs.  recess, lunch and PE.  Maybe also music and art if those things are offered at your school.  Still, there are so many things you can do at home to facilitate that experience.  And once again, here’s where I call on you mom’s to put your kids first and make some changes about what you do when they are around.

Try to save the errands for when there are no kids home or when you can leave them with dad, another family member or a friend.  If that’s not a choice, pick a specific day that is errand day.  Keep all errands to that time and day so that it is an expected part of your rhythm.  Try to never take them out hungry, and also to give them plenty of free play time before you leave for your errands.

Please, do not over schedule your child.  You are not helping anyone by having your child in multiple activities throughout the week.  All you are doing is stressing yourself, and your child.  The best place for a child to learn and be nurtured is at home.  Think about what your motivation is.  Are all the other kids in his school doing it?  Does this other mom you respect think its a good idea?  Are you just looking for some more time alone?  If you add rhythm to the picture, I think that last point will be moot.

rhythm helps behavior

This is my suggestion for a healthy home rhythm.  Depending on how your child comes home from school: is it a bus ride?  Or is it walking with plenty of romping and fun on the way home?

If it is a bus ride, go for some free play right when they get home.  Set a timer, this is to remind you when to rein them in, not as an alarm signalling the end of fun.
At that point guide them to their homework, make it fun, think of ways to encourage them to come to their work space.
Try these things:
Sing their name instead of screaming it.
Ask them to be a certain animal on their way to a special place.
Or be as elaborate as using a little verse to get their attention.  This is one I love:

Dip Dip Dip
My blue ship
Sails along the water
Like a cup and saucer
Dip dip steady:
I am ready!!!

If your child has a fun romp on the way home, I suggest straight to homework, with a snack of course 🙂  And then they can have free play when done, until dinner.

If there is an inordinate amount of homework, please make sure they have some time to play or run before dinner, or dinner may not be as enjoyable as you like.  This goes for both scenarios.  If we need to get back to homework after dinner make the transition gentle so you can preserve that feeling of taking an in breath.

After dinner, keep things quiet and low-key.  The time leading up to bed time should be peaceful and calm.  You may know how I feel about media right now, I say very little, if no screen time before bed, and definitely no video games!  Also, I cannot stress enough the need for a bedtime routine.  This is when we go to bed every night, and this is how we do it.  Whether it’s a bath and a story, some milk and a story, whatever is your ritual.  It should remain the same night after night.  And it should be quiet, not animated. This will help your child sleep, this will comfort your child, this will be the backbone of their childhood.  Of course there are always special situations, just stick to this as closely as you can.

Weekends can be hard, they are hard. So trying to create a weekend rhythm would probably be a great idea.  Look at how your typical day runs now, and see if you can’t make it more predictable.  We always wake up at 7, we have breakfast, we do some chores around the house (please include your child in the chores!  more later on that), we have some play time.  Maybe now we have a snack?  If you need to run short errands on the weekend this might be the time to do it, right after snack and before lunch.  Then consider some sort of structured project for your child, a craft, reading a story (alone or with you), coloring.  Then lunch.  If you need more time to do errands, do them now, after lunch.  No one is hungry, they’ve had a fulfilling and centering morning and will probably behave so much better!  If you can get away with no errands, or certainly not on both Saturday and Sunday, continue some sort of pattern into the afternoon.  I strongly recommend a rest time after lunch, even if it’s just quiet time in their rooms.  I know we haven’t napped in 3 years, but now I read to my son, lying in bed, and gauge how he feels.  Does he seem sleepy?  Do I?  I go from there.  Be the example, we all need a rest sometime during the day.  After rest time, their can be more free play.  Try not to be the “entertainer”.  If your child has trouble playing on his/her own.  Consider taking some favorite toys and setting up a scene.  Then lead your child to that scene, maybe tell a little story about it, and let them run with it.  It may take a couple of tries, but believe me, it works!  Then let’s go for an afternoon snack.  Maybe some more structured activity, or coloring, or here’s an idea!  Helping mom cook!  Prep work, table setting, straightening, working together as a family!  My son loves to make menus.  So we discuss the meal and he draws pictures of the items with check boxes next to them, to distribute at the meal.  And then we come full circle, it’s bed time again!

On weekends we have a family movie night.  I try to stay with something low-key, probably older (60’s-70’s) so it doesn’t have all the flashy animation strobe like effect.  Your choice shouldn’t affect their ability to have a restful night.  Some of my favorites are Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Incredible Mr Limpet, The Cat From Outer Space, and Herbie the Love Bug (the original).  At Christmas we often indulge in the old animation/claymation Christmas specials of the 60’s and 70’s as well.  If you have any favorites that fall into these categories I would love to hear about them!

I realize now, that I really only touched the surface.  I would still love to discuss rhythm with a child who is not in school.  And certainly so much more about Waldorf.

Please, do not think that I have a perfect Rhythm in place. In my life, I am constantly growing, changing, improving, and having set backs too.  Parenting is a struggle no matter who you are, I don’t care how perfect you look on the outside.  However, if you try to implement even a little of what I’ve mentioned here, I think you will find things will get a little easier!

Here are some of my favorite Waldorf Sites, I am sure I have forgotten some, but they’ll come up again.  I’d love to hear from you!

  1. The Parenting Passageway
  2. Our Seasons of Joy
  3. Waldorf Essentials
  4. Waldorf Reviews
  5. A Waldorf Journey
  6. Why Waldorf Works
  7. Rhythm of the Home
  8. Christopherus Homeschool Resources
  9. Little Acorn
  10. Simplicity Parenting
  11. The Magic Onions

rhythm affects behavior

It’s Math His Way

IMG_0725I love my boy so much. I love him, but sometimes teaching him is H-A-R-D impossible. The funny thing is, he’s pretty good at math, he just wants to do it his way. So, on the day that we were going to work on Roman Numerals he decided to do it his way.

Sometimes I even let my brains listen through the frustration. This time it was a good thing. We had the mancala beads out to learn odds and evens (we’ll get to that soon) the little dude said “I don’t want to draw Roman Numerals, I’m going to do them like this.”
IMG_0726 IMG_0727 And then when it was time to do the drawings to go with our fable – instead he said, “No I want to draw the story of King Equal.” Well, what was I going to say? No? No sweetie, you can’t draw math stories, it’s fable time now.

Dude you go for it, draw away. “Oh, and mom, can I have the gnomes while I do it?”

“Sure honey, you can have whatever you want.”IMG_0728

Today – Sunshine and Gnomes

I realize I’ve been gone a while, and if you are coming back to say hi I certainly thank you. Our journey has had its share of ups and downs. Our struggles with rhythm, my writing schedule and the boy’s willful nature and sometimes flat-out refusal to do anything that even appears to be learning. I am often met with the sentence “I get your schemes mama, I know what you’re trying to do.”

I have decided to take a step back. To travel at the boy’s pace and at one that I can live with as well as live up to. This is not a race, I will not compare him with other children. We will learn everyday because living is learning.

Today was a good day. I woke up with a headache and dreaded the day. But when I came out to the living room the boy was already teaching himself his odds and evens using the mancala marbles. The gnomes and Sequence were standing guard and The Book Eating Boy was waiting patiently to be read. It was going to be a good day after all.

sunshine and gnomes

This Game Was Made for Waldorf, and You Too!

If ever a game was made for Waldorf it was Enchanted Forest.  I don’t think you could find a game that is more completely Waldorf than this.  The whole Game is based on Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

enchanted forest

This was wonderful, because as a homeschooling mostly Waldorf mom we had read almost all of the Grimm Fairy Tales associated with this game, and the few we hadn’t read we caught up on, to make the game more fun. This is the story of the Enchanted Forest :

“Once upon a time there lived a king, and he dwelt in a splendid castle high above the enchanted forest. His subjects could not have wished for a better king, so wise and benevolent was his rule.

Many years passed and the king, feeling that he was growing old, began to worry about who should rule after him, for he had no children. However, word had often come to him of strange and wonderful treasures which were said to be hidden in the enchanted forest, and these had aroused his curiosity and now filled his heart with longing. He resolved that a search should be made for these remarkable treasures, so that they might be collected at his castle, where everyone might see them and marvel at them. No sooner had he decided on his plan than he sent heralds throughout the land to announce that whoever should find and lead him to the hiding place of three of these marvelous treasures would succeed to his throne.”

As if that wasn’t enough to make you love the game. The treasures are trees, underneath the trees lie an image of a specific fairy tale.  The image under the tree matches a card.  The object is to travel around the board to get a peek under the trees, and then to match the face-up card to the correct tree.  There are many more nuances and rules to the game, knocking people out, moving to special spots with doubles, etc. but that is the gist.  My son and I can play this game for hours.  It is really fun, and really taxes the memory of this old mama!

I would say this game is best played by boys 7 1/2 and up and girls 6 and up.  Isaiah has finally gotten over that stage where if it’s too complicated he doesn’t want to bother.  If your child doesn’t mind complicated, yet simple rules, go ahead and try it!

I get no compensation whatsoever for this by the way! I just loved this game so much and thought it was so Waldorfy, I had to share!  And if you haven’t read the Grimm Fairy Tales this is the perfect way to introduce them.  All of the tales in this game are completely age appropriate and not at all scary!

IMG_0576 IMG_0577

Holding the Space

So I never really got it. Melisa Nielsen always said let your kids do … and you be there “holding the space”.  I thought I got what she meant. I thought I got it, but I couldn’t do it.  Be there in the same area as them?  Be somewhere where they know you are?  Maybe I didn’t get it, maybe that’s why I couldn’t do it.

Finally, I believe I have figured it out.  It’s really quite simple.  And truthfully this may be something you need to experience to believe, so if you don’t want to experience it right now, no hard feelings.

This is the deal. I’m a writer/blogger, I also am involved in a family business, help a friend with a budding business, homeschool and completely run my household.  So hearing things like “hold the space” don’t translate to me.  I am figuring, if he’s occupied, I can write, catch up on some blog-love (for those of you non-bloggers that’s reaching out to bloggers you like, commenting on their posts, sharing them, etc), do some tax work, help my friend place some orders.  You know, stuff.  But I noticed that when I did those things while my son was occupied, whatever he was doing became louder, more rambunctious, dare I say more irritating?  I noticed the more I worked on my blog during the day, the worse it got, so I decided to try what I thought a Waldorf homeschooling mama might consider “holding the space”.  Since I do not knit, the two things I did were sit on the sofa and read through our curriculum, planning the weeks ahead and needle felt.  See my post on needle felting here.  Let me say, I don’t really believe in magical thinking, but well, this kind-of worked like magic.

My son doesn’t need my un-divided attention.  That’s not it, because he didn’t have it.  What he did need was something that was not sucking all of the energy out of my body.  Something that was beautiful, calm and peaceful.  I was not in front of a computer.  I didn’t even keep my cell phone by me.  I had a cup of tea, a notebook, some colored pencils (I am obsessed with colored pencils, pens and sharpies) or my felting stuff.  And you know what?  He played calmly.  He stayed focused, and when he was done he started to put things away.  Because what I didn’t mention before is if I did any of those aforementioned activities he would play indefinitely and make a complete mess.  This was different.  I was facing him, although not watching him, he knew when he was ready I would be there.

The boy busily doing his own thing.

The boy busily doing his own thing.

Folks it took me 2 years to figure this piece out.  Maybe I am a really slow learner.  Maybe it wasn’t explained just right.  But you gotta try it.  It’s worth it, and you know what? It strengthens your relationship with your child too.  You are seen as available.  Who wouldn’t want that?

So here’s the short list: Your child is involved in a constructive activity, whether it is self directed school-work, legos, painting, etc.  You, instead of busily occupying yourself to get something done in those few minutes your child is occupied, sit calmly, somewhere nearby. In that place you do something that does not engross you. Some knit, some read, I felt or read up on our curriculum.  DO NOT USE A COMPUTER OR IPAD. I know it’s hard to believe but it makes a difference.  Try it, I think you might be amazed at the results, and if you are already doing it, I would love to hear all about it!

Thank Goodness for Wool and Uggs!

Something I had been missing from our Waldorf days was our morning walks, partly because the weather got cold, and also because we had lost our way… Today was going to be my attempt to bring one more aspect of what I love back to our homeschool day.  (There are more, and I will post about that later.)  Today I decided it was about time we got outside again on a regular basis.  Well, we live not far from Chicago, so you know, it’s not warm here.  Not by a stretch.  Truth be told, I immensely dislike being cold.  Really.  I joke that I get a babysitter just so Isaiah will have someone to go outside with him.

I don’t know exactly what happened.  Maybe something inside of me was whispering, “you need to get outside too” but this morning as I was standing in the backyard with the dogs, I noticed that the air had that really refreshing quality to it.  The wind was blowing in pretty strong gusts, but it was about 30 degrees, so it wasn’t so bad.   It felt a lot like the wind was coming from the lake, which frankly just makes me want to take a deep breath and stay outside.  The sky was pretty gloomy towards the west, but I took only passing notice of it.

I came inside with the dogs, and Isaiah was his regular screaming banshee self.  I had a bit of a headache, so it was hard for me to be tolerant of his rambunctiousness this morning.  I had gently tried to explain that Mommy had a headache, that would last about 5 minutes before he started screaming again.  Now don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t just sitting there screaming, he was a pirate (I think, like I said I had a headache).  He had two swords. a rifle and a pocket-watch and was playing an elaborate imagination game.  Usually I am much more tolerant of this, I mean he was using his imagination, but given the state of my head I needed something to change.  So I said “hey, let’s go for a walk”.  He looked at me like I was crazy, he knows how much I dislike the cold.  “No, I don’t want to.”  Well I know how he operates, so I said OK, and proceeded to make some tea.  Minutes later I had to ask him to settle down again, he said “you know what? let’s go for  a walk.” Bingo!  “Can I bring my sword and my rifle?”  I agreed, anything to get him outside.  We began to really bundle up, no use being uncomfortable, this way we could take a long walk.  He decided he didn’t want to have to carry his sword and rifle, because he was going to take his bike instead.  Well, as long as he bundled up, right?

So, we were prepared to leave, we opened the door.  The minute we stepped outside the flurries started.  “It’s snowing!” Isaiah shouted excitedly.  Yes it was, well what could be nicer than a walk in the snow.  Only, by the time we got a block from our house it looked like this.

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I don’t think I’ve ever been outside, just for fun, when a full-blown blizzard has descended upon our town.  It was pretty cool.  I could have said let’s turn back, but I thought, hey, what’s the worst that can happen?   We’ll get cold?  So we kept on truckin’ Isaiah riding his bike in the deepening snow, and me walking behind him really letting myself enjoy this wonderful example of God’s beauty in nature.  By the time we were about a 1/4 mile from home, I would say visibility was down to about 50ft.  We were at the park, where there is a huge field and running track around the track.  Isaiah was riding ahead of me, and he would get far enough ahead I could barely see him, but knowing there was nowhere for him to go, I just enjoyed.  For me this was a milestone, I didn’t even rush.  In the end, we were gone for about an hour.  By the time we got home, we looked like snowmen ourselves!  We un-bundled, lit a fire in the fireplace, made some hot chocolate and relaxed to some books and a game.  It was such a wonderful way to start our day, to get som of those ants out of his pants, and to help me get re-connected.  I will continue to try and get him outside every morning, and to remind myself how much being outside is good for our souls.

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Next day, after about a foot of snow (and it’s still snowing), Isaiah riding the weighed down Arbor Vitae, like the dragon in “The Land of Long Ago” by Elsa Beskow!

 

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