古希に喜ばれるプレゼントとは?

A gift that is pleasing to seventy years of age celebration?

母が古希を迎えるにあたって、私たち子どもたちがお祝いについて話し合いを始めたのが母親のお誕生日の3か月前でした。
古希について調べてみると、昔は70歳まで存命することは非常に稀だったため、古希のお祝いというものができたということを知りました。そしてその古希のシンボルカラーは紫で、陰陽五行で紫は色の最高位にあたるということもわかりました。私たち兄弟を常に温かく見守って育ててくれた母には感謝の気持ちでいっぱいです。今でも孫たちの面倒をよく見てくれて私たちをサポートし続けてくれています。そんな母に喜んでもらえるお祝いがしたいと兄弟の気持ちは一致していました。プレゼントは、みんなでお金を出し合って贈ることにしました。
紫がシンボルカラーということなので、紫の何かにしようと考えて、バックにすることにしました。歳をとっても女性は綺麗なもの、おしゃれなものを持つことはうれしいことであり、きっと喜んでもらえると思いました。みんなちょっと頑張った金額をそれぞれ出し合い、普段は買えないような高級ブランドのバックを購入しました。派手すぎず、地味過ぎない綺麗なラベンダー色のバックは、優しい雰囲気の母にぴったりだと思いました。
当日は、母の好きな中華料理の個室を予約し、子どもたち孫たちが勢ぞろいして母を迎えました。孫たちからのお祝いは花束です。5人の孫がそれぞれお小遣いで、おばあちゃんにあげたい色の花束を用意しました。小さな5つのかわいい花束に母は涙ぐんで喜んでいました。私たちもそれぞれ心を込めた手紙を書いてバックのプレゼントとともに渡しました。、箱を開けた時の母のびっくりした顔は忘れられません。そこから満面の笑みになり、なんて素敵なバックなのと大喜びでした。喜んでくれて私たちも本当にうれしかったです。使うのがもったいないと言いながらも、益々オシャレに気をつかうようになり、きれいな洋服を着てそのバックを持ってよく出かけていきます。その姿を見ると、前よりも若返ったのではと思うほどです。
古希の贈り物は、気持ちがこもっていれば何でも喜んでくれると思いますが、母親にはやはり女性としてうれしいものを贈るのがいいと思います。年齢をいくつ重ねても女性としての感性は持ち続けているものです。目で見て綺麗なもの、身に付けて美しくなるものは女性の永遠の憧れであるんだなと、母の古希を通して改めて感じました。
楽しく幸せな母の古希を無事迎えられて良かったです。

Martinmas ? Lantern Walk

Watercolor painting to make their lanterns

Watercolor painting to make their lanterns

The children gathered together under the warm California skies with brushes and paint to watercolor paint their lanterns.

Each children bringing forth their creations

Each children bringing forth their creations

Reds and yellows were used to illuminate their paper so the beautiful candlelight will shine more intensely.

The little artist delicately frames her painting

The little artist delicately frames her painting

Interesting shades emerged as the reds and yellows danced together.

The painting was stained with oil and then folded many times

The painting was stained with oil and then folded many times

Oil was washed over these paintings to make it translucent for the candlelight to glow through. Once dried the children folded their paper many times creating different angles.

The lines were drawn on the inside

The lines were drawn on the inside

We have had German volunteers working on our farm this season so they taught the children some German lantern songs for the walk.

The glowing lantern!

The glowing lantern!

Soft wire was inserted to the top part of the lantern and then joined in the center to attach a bamboo stick. The lantern hung gently in front of them as they walked.

The lantern walk

The lantern walk

A festive celebration it was! The parents of Spirit Mountain made delicious healthy soups and the guests brought artisan bread and/or apple cider.

We all joined together to form a large circle as the little school blessed the dinner. Blankets were laid out on the lawn and meals were enjoyed. As the sun sank behind the golden hills all the pretty the lanterns were lit. A sweet melody was sung by the children as we walked the farm paths. We all had a glorious time!

Thank you Lori, and all the children, for this wonderful festival.

Photos from Michaelmas

St. George and the people

St. George and the people

Two weeks before Michaelmas, this intimate little group of children from Spirit Mountain School made their new home on our farm. Several children participated in the play including the boys.

Our children have mostly been unschooled, with a Waldorf inspiration. We did a little lesson here and there but their learning has always been on and around the farm. With the arrival of the twins I have had little time to guide their learning so decided that a tutor might be needed. While searching around we came across Spirit Mountain school. They were looking for a new location and we offered the cottage in our home. They have settled in beautifully. Their teacher has enjoyed working in a Waldorf teaching environment and provides fun and creative days for the children. They are loving it and so am I.

The King and Villagers

The King and Villagers

It was Sasha and Sania’s very first play and they performed beautifully.

St. George fights the Dragon

St. George fights the Dragon

Sasha was St. George and so proud of his part as he fights the Dragon.

Bowing at the end of play

Bowing at the end of play

The finale!

Tug of War

Tug of War

Feats and courage of strength were displayed by many of the challenging games we had for the children. The children were to pass through the dragon swamp by stepping from log to log. We had a monkey swing and a slack line which crossed over hot lava. Balancing beams and the trampoline were fun. Tug of war was the most humorous of all feats and many went home with blisters on their hands.

The dragon bread the children made

The dragon bread the children made

We all feasted on their fierce dragon bread and enjoyed a healthful potluck brought by all the families who visited. It was a lovely day.

Apple Harvest

Apple Orchard

Apple Orchard

Looking out our living room window and across the pond, we have a beautiful view of the apples orchard. Cheeky squirrels scurry up the branches to steal the fruit and hoard it in their holes for their winter meal.

 

A basket full of apples

A basket full of apples

The children all gathered their baskets and set out to harvest some apples. The farm had been neglected for many years. Now that we have bought it a bit of love, good care and compost should bring the sweet juiciness back into these little fuji apples.

Many of our apples have been eaten by birds and squirrels but at least they left us some.

 

I picked it

I picked it

Sprightly the children nimbly climbed into the trees to pluck each apple from a branch. The ladder was used for those high up on skinny branches.

 

Belle flying high

Belle flying high

As high as the palms.

 

Little Chloe munching away

Little Chloe munching away

Sweet Chloe likes the little apples that fit so perfectly in her delicate hands.

Rosie fuji

Rosie fuji

A touch of sweetness.

Sania and Misae with their basket full

Sania and Misae with their basket full

The children happy with their basketful of apples.

 

Autumn Table

Autumn Table

The children at Spirit Mountain School had as much fun as the squirrels during the harvest season. We all enjoyed apple desserts and juices. They spent an afternoon peeling, slicing and coring the remaining apples and hung them to dry which made delicious treats!

They have been busy crafting little autumn fairies for their Autumn table. They visited and explored our neighbors ranch to gather pinecones as they have many pine trees lining the pathways to make these sweet little fairies. Magic Onions has a wonderful autumn fairy tutorial to follow should you wish to make some.

A day on the farm in CA

Lillies

Lillies

The lilies began to flower after we moved onto the farm, showing their radiant colors.

Children’s play house beyond the airstream

Children’s play house beyond the airstream

We have not renovated the warehouse where the airstream will sleep in the future but for now it looks pretty alongside the garden.

 

Morning mist over our pond

Morning mist over our pond

I couldn’t resist walking out into the garden on such an early misty morning.

 

Trying out their pony carriage

Trying out their pony carriage

Taking baby brother out for a pony ride.

 

Mesmerized by slippery slimy slugs!

Mesmerized by slippery slimy slugs!

How the boys love to watch little creatures in their natural environment.

 

Our big babies!

Our big babies!

“Gitane”, pronounced with a j, means gypsy in French, the name we’ve given to this beautiful long maned Haflinger Pony. We are hoping to carriage ride her in the future.

 

The grass is always greener on the other side

The grass is always greener on the other side

Our other Haflinger pony, they found their way into the garden but not anymore we had the fence put up.

Loving the water

Loving the water

Summer splashing.

After France….California

Four months in France was a nice change for us but we soon felt it was not the place for us to call home.

 

Morro Bay, California

Morro Bay, California

Golden California was calling us…

We were looking for a drier climate for ourselves and our horses after a sometimes overbearing hot and humid climate of the Dominican Republic.

 

Canoeing to the Sand Dunes

Canoeing to the Sand Dunes

We are renting a little house on the bay facing Morro Bay and its famous rock. It is a little cold due to the Pacific influence but it is temporary until we move onto our new farm. After months of searching, we might have finally found it.

 

Sailing their boat in the Bay

Sailing their boat in the Bay

The boys love to sail their boats in the bay. Sania has a keen interest in making boats, he has made a few which I will post soon.

 

Dylan Snuggling with Papa

Dylan Snuggling with Papa

Our morning walks to get the twins sleepy for their nap time.

Sunny day at Avila Beach

Sunny day at Avila Beach

Spring is here and we are enjoying some sunny beach days in a nearby cove called Avila Beach.

Time has gone speedily by and my precious twins are almost 11 months.

Forts and Dwellings

Some of you may have seen these photos on my facebook page but I like them so much I could not resist to include them in my boys journal.

Every boy loves the story of Robin Hood. We recently read it and the boys have been making forts and hideaways!

Leaves to Camoflauge their hideaway

Leaves to Camoflauge their hideaway

Can you see the puppy inside?

Their fort

Their fort

He’s still in there. He helped with the digging, trying to catch moles.

Eucalyptus Bark Home

Eucalyptus Bark Home

A precious little house project. The base is cardboard and they stuck bark from the Eucalyptus tree to the walls and the seeds on the roof to create a bit more texture. They collected some little stones from the driveway to make their paths and embellished the rest with shells and treasures.

Beach House

Beach House

A little beach house made from bits of wood and lolly sticks.

Wheelbarrow for the garden

Wheelbarrow for the garden

How cute is this little wheelbarrow?

How cute is this little wheelbarrow

How cute is this little wheelbarrow

I wish my home could look as magical as this.

Table and bench

Table and bench

Dining table made from wood and little sculptures to ornament it.

 

Bed and Side Table

Bed and Side Table

This little bed was made from a small cardboard box, covered with blue felt.

Leather and Felt Sofa

Leather and Felt Sofa

The boys found an old leather bag and made a sofa with the leather and brown felt. The fringe of the leather bag was used to hang between a doorway. The sofa tutorial can be found here.

Their Farm

Their Farm

Fabien’s dad gave us some cases of wine for Christmas and the boys made it into a French country farm house. They gathered moss from the garden to create pastures for their horses and cows.

House from straw, decorated with rose petals

House from straw, decorated with rose petals

There is a lot of dry grass around where we are living. Perfect for making this little straw house. Scented with rose petals. Such romantic boys!

Pony Boys

Sasha with his Mitzi

Sasha with his Mitzi

These little ponies are a great part of our life bringing immense joy to our family. Our young boys are so devoted to these sweet little creatures.

Attached are two very precious videos of my children swimming and riding their ponies,, they are amazing and I’m sure you will enjoy watching them as much as I do.

Sania and Coco

Sania and Coco

Swimming in our flooded pasture

Swimming in our flooded pasture

Trotting

Trotting

Creative fun – Bamboo Raft

Sasha has been wanting to do wood crafting lately. It all seems to fall so well with Steiner’s ideas for third grade. He has been thinking up designs for a tree house, a go-cart, boats and many other things.

Sailing Raft for Moose

Sailing Raft for Moose

Fabien and the boys set out to cut some of our dried bamboo that had fallen recently. The smaller pieces were cut from one of our bamboo palms. They joined all the pieces securely by using my thin cotton yarn.

Sailing Raft for Moose

Sailing Raft for Moose

Look how beautiful it turned out. We did have a silk sail but Sania preferred it like this. A sail boat for his little moose.

Long Boarding at the Beach

Long Boarding at the Beach

It is so wonderful to be back near the beach. We missed the ocean and the refreshing salt water.

Sailing leaves down the Stream

Sailing leaves down the Stream

The children love sailing little leaf boats and twigs down our stream.

Sasha’s watercolor painting

Sasha’s watercolor painting
Sasha painted this pretty little peacock using the three primary stockmar watercolors.

Building Bridges

Building Bridges
Almost every evening the boys build train tracks or homes and bridges with their Kapla.

Mango Lassi

Mango Lassi

I can believe it has taken me so long to make this nutritional drink especially that we always have so much buttermilk left after our butter making. I first tasted this refreshing drink about 17 years ago during my backpacking trips to India. Two and half cups of mango, 1/4 cup of sugar (I used our raw honey) blend it, then blend more with 1 quart of buttermilk. Strain through a fine sieve and serve cold. It’s so delicious and very rich. The boys made some ice cream with the left overs.

Colorado Rafting and Friends

Rafting

Rafting

The rapids were not as big in Durango as they were in Buena Vista so we felt rather brave to ride with the wave. It was great fun and after that the boys said they wanted bigger waves.

A big wave

A big wave

Today we went tubing in the smaller rapids of Pagosa, that was so much fun. Since we were all in the water we didn’t have a camera to catch those comical moments. We nearly toppled a few times and boy did we laugh.

Shining Silver Fish

Shining Silver Fish

Our Shining silver fish traveling home nestled amidst the large pines. It is so nice to wake in the morning to the fresh smell of pine.

Creek in Vallecito

Creek in Vallecito

and refresh in the cool, crisp waters of this cascading creek.

Renee and her family

Renee and her family

To enjoy the company of Renee and her sweet family who we met last year and visit with once again. We celebrated sweet little Chloe’s 11th birthday.

Playing on the rocks

Playing on the rocks

The children played so beautifully together.

Sweet Children

Sweet Children

Sweet unworldliness.

Campfire songs and roasting marshmallows

Campfire songs and roasting marshmallows

A little campfire singing and roasting of marshmallows to compliment our beautiful day.

Mama with baby boy

Mama with baby boy

Cuddles with my little boys after a fresh swim in the creek.