Sunday, December 5, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
|Ostheimer St Martin and the Beggar|
So what does this ancient Saint mean for us in our world today, and what can he teach us? And how can we celebrate this with our children? And is it meaningful to children in Australia?
St Martin was a fourth-century Roman soldier in southern France, who made a spontaneous charitable gesture when he shared his cloak with a beggar outside the city of Tours. His subsequent dream in which the beggar appeared to him as Christ on high was the decisive event in his life. Afterwards Martin tried to make peace instead of war and was granted a discharge from the army. After a period of solitary contemplation Martin founded a monastery in France – one of the first Christian monasteries – which included a library of the very best of Greek and Roman philosophical texts. At his death, his popularity was so large that as his coffin was carried by the river for the funeral, people flocked to the banks carrying lanterns (which is guess is how the association with the lantern walk came about).
Martinmas comes just over 40 days before Christmas. In religious customs the number 40 has always been associated with a time of preparation. There are 40 days of Lent leading to Easter. It is the perfect time therefore to begin discussion and sharing as a family in preparation for Advent and Christmas. The story of St Martin can teach children the value of giving and caring for others, and for creating peace in our world.
I have been reflecting this evening that this year as my two girls are growing older they are very much ready to step into the "giving" aspect of Christmas. The young child is full of the "magic" of Christmas, the anticipation, the excitement of receiving the gifts from Santa Claus, which is part of the joy and wonder of childhood today. But perhaps for the older child it can be a time of greater maturity (as well as enjoying some magic still!) and of thinking what can be "given", not just in material things, but from our hearts and souls.
...for us I think St Martin's day will become the "turning towards Christmas", the time we will begin to think of what we can make for those we love, what we can clear out and giveaway in terms of those possessions we no longer need or use.
I would love to hear how your family celebrates your special festivals and days, so please feel free to share...
These lovely books have been an inspiration to me over the years...
Festivals with Children
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Little Lochie's mum just sent this gorgeous photo to us, she says: "
I would lay Lochie down like this on his tummny for his naps as he seemed to sleep really really well this way. His older brother, Mitchell, who was 2 1/2 at this time, would come and quietly surround him with his favourite toys. Anamalz remain a favourite with both of them." I like the little zebra in the background too, and the stripy pants - what a sweet photo.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
In the meantime I have so enjoyed reading your comments about your favourite schoolyard games. Thank you so much to everyone who contibuted here and on Facebook. Like a couple of you I too played Jacks. My Dad would save the knuckle bones from the lamb roast and then dye them with food colouring! And, I have to admit to playing kiss chasy too, although no kissing did ever occur at our school either :-).
These lucky three were drawn out of the hat, I know your little ones will all have alot of fun with your Kinderkram skipping ropes. Please email me your address details so we can pop them in the mail to you.
Carolyn from over at Seed
Jem from Mummy Jembelina
And the very creative Messy Fish
Thursday, June 3, 2010
As I know so many of you will bemoan, increasingly our children are becoming more and more passive in their daily activities with lots of time spent in the car driving to and from school, not to mention sitting in front of the TV, computer or Playstation. I am often asked how can I get my children/grandchildren off the computer (not just teenagers either, children as young as kinder age.)
Cast yourself back to your childhood days? What was your favourite outdoor game? Marbles? Hopscotch? Skipping? If we introduce our children to these games they will love them just as we did, childhood is timeless in that sense, it is just a matter of providing the right ingredients.
There is so much more to simple childhood games than meet the eye. Learning how to skip for instance is not only a great way to warm up on a cold winter’s morning, it is also great for fitness, learning how to count, and assists children to develop balance, spatial awareness and co-ordination. In Steiner schools the children skip as part of their morning routine – learning rhymes, maths and rhythm in the process.
Remember the old skipping rhymes? Here are a couple I hear around our house at the moment:
Miss Mary Mack, Mack, Mack
All dressed in black, black, black
With silver buttons, buttons, buttons
All down her back, back, back
She asked her mother, mother, mother
For fifty cents, cents, cents
To see the elephant, elephant, elephant
Jump the fence, fence fence
They jumped so high, high, high
They touched the sky, sky, sky
And didn't come back, back, back
Till the fourth of July, July, July
I'm a little Dutch girl, Dressed in blue.
Here are the things I like to do
Salute to the captain, Bow to the queen,
Turn by back
On the submarine.
I can do the tap dance,
I can do the split
I can do the holka polka
Just like this.
To celebrate the onset of winter we are giving a way three Kinderkram skipping ropes – one to each of three families. Handpainted in Germany they are a really good quality rope – the rope that is well weighted (a light weight plastic rope will not turn properly and make your child frustrated), and we think they are really gorgeous too!!! Sorry, you have to be in Australia to enter.
To enter just share with us (in comments) your favourite schoolyard game.
Winners will be announced on 20th June, just in time for Midwinter.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
I am so looking forward to having more energy and being able to be more present in each moment of the day, and to ensuring I find time to nourish my children (who inspired this journey in the first place) and myself!