Planet Explorers

As i was writing my recap of the late months of 2010 i realized there were quite a few detailed posts i missed in all the hubub of November and December.  Back in November the boys and i went with our friends and their three kids to the planetarium.  We had never been before and it was a huge hit with all the kids, ranging from 2 to 7!  Henry and the girls went to a star show with Cullen and Henry while Silas and Walker explored, made a kite, and put together a craft that explored how the earth rotates and is alternately in day and night.  The latter was extremely useful to me-- a very visual person that just never "got" the why of night and day. 

Short digression.  One thing i looked forward to when dreaming about the babies in my belly was learning afresh along with them.  My goal was around ditching all my hang-ups and failings that i experienced with math the first time around and learning with a fresh clean slate.  Of course the learning hasn't stopped with math and definitely not with formal things like math or science.  But as the boys progress in their schooling, it is pretty amazing to learn things with an open mind.  I'm working on encouraging all of us to seek answers together, and follow the boys lead, rather than jumping to answer the things i know (or think i know.)  Not that all answers are bad but i've been trying to work in a lot more "i wonder..." responses when i'm asked "why....?"

The boys enjoyed the more staid aspects of the museum plenty, but they went nuts over the "Planet Explorers" part of the museum.  They got to put on space gear including flight jackets, backpacks, and hats, launch and dock a space shuttle, drive a moon buggy around the moon and scoop-up space rocks, and drive rovers around the space of planet X.  I think another visit will be in order, and i also think i'm going to work on sewing a space suit for Silas, who sure was loathe to return that flight jacket...


Welcoming Winter 2010

 We've welcomed winter with festivities and family and lots of fun. Now we're settling in to the season-- but i'm not ready to see all the christmas lights come down just yet.  This was the first year we formally celebrated the winter calendar by observing the "advent spiral" that many waldorf families use to count-down to the solstice.  Each night we lit a candle (one the first week, two the second, and on), and said a verse focused on which part of the earth we were celebrating-- rocks, plants, animals and humans.  The boys loved the candles and Silas in particular thrived on the ritual.  Although there were nights sibling bickering continued throughout.

We enjoyed an awesome thanksgiving week which included 3 days of solo crafting and elving time for me, and then a 4-day weekend with the entire family. We loved spending thanksgiving itself with our good friends-- friends we've celebrated almost every thanksgiving for the 9+ years we've lived in Chicago. Pretty amazing to gather together now that there are 5 children where there were none. It doesn't hurt that they can all play together in the basement for a good 20+ minutes without intervention.

I spent the month of December working through all the gifts i decided to make this year. I have to say that it was tons of fun, even though i've discovered that zippers are not my forte. I'll try to share some of the projects i tackled in a future post.

We celebrated the week of Christmas with both JT and i's family and enjoyed our first christmas with JT as an official cook. Someone asked me if JT's cooking has improved since cooking school and while i would say that technically he's definitely better, he has always cooked delicious food. What has changed is his ability to manage a kitchen, a meal, and kitchen clean-up. What used to turn into a harried "all hands-on deck" for the big meals has become a pretty orderly day of cooking. I think JT even took a nap this year before the big meal.

As we celebrated New Years with friends in Michigan, we had a super fun time to toast the year and even some quiet time for me to reflect on how it was not easy but we did make the transition to a family consuming less, producing more, and not all operating on a 9-5 schedule.  Plus there was tons of sledding (the first day at least) and a huge kids room for all the big uns to have a sleep-over in!