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Finally! This winter has dragged on for me for so many reasons - the cold being one of them, of course. We would get a taste of warm weather and then a snowstorm, over and over again and it is really hard to handle when it is that freezing bitter cold that numbs you both physically and mentally. I'm trying not to get too excited but today I went for a walk and was so happy to see flowers blooming all around my neighborhood. Can it really be Spring?
I have not even thought about my garden this year. No plan, no seeds indoors.. nothing. And the dandelions are popping up along with other flowers which means the ground is ready to plant. I will have to direct sow my seeds this year and hope everything grows.
I've been walking and exercising a lot lately. In addition to spin class which I love, I recently got a FitBit and have been competing with some other (crazy) competitive people like myself. And, I've been walking everywhere to try to win... around my dining room table ten times, around the neighborhood, at my children's sports practices - you name it. I feel like Forrest Gump (minus the running part). Today Keira walked with me while Maia practiced lacrosse...
I love the little messages I get from Mother Earth when I walk and look closely. Today this heart rock right in my path...
At the shore this pretty sand dollar:
Walking is good therapy. On the beach, I looked behind me to see my footsteps leading me to where I am.
Then when I looked ahead of me there was untouched sand, ready for me to decide which footprints to leave on it. For now, I'll just take in the view and stand still.
Here is a story about little earthworms that you can share with the children:
After a long and soaking rain, the Earthworms came out of their burrows, or rather, they came part way out, for each Earthworm put out half of his body, and, as there were many of them and they lived near to each other, they could easily visit without leaving their own homes. Two of these long, slimy people were talking, when a Potato Bug strolled by. "You poor things," said he, "what a wretched life you must lead. Spending one's days in the dark earth must be very dreary."
"Dreary!" exclaimed one of the Earthworms, "it is delightful. The earth is a snug and soft home. It is warm in cold weather and cool in warm weather. There are no winds to trouble us, and no sun to scorch us."
"But," said the Potato Bug, "it must be very dull. Now, out in the grass, one finds beautiful flowers, and so many families of friends."
"And down here," answered the Worm," we have the roots. Some are brown and woody, like those of the trees, and some are white and slender and soft. They creep and twine, until it is like passing through a forest to go among them. And then, there are the seeds. Such busy times as there are in the ground in spring-time! Each tiny seed awakens and begins to grow. Its roots must strike downward, and its stalk upward toward the light. Sometimes the seeds are buried in the earth with the root end up, and then they have a great time getting twisted around and ready to grow."
"Still, after the plants are all growing and have their heads in the air, you must miss them." "We have the roots always," said the Worm. "And then, when the summer is over, the plants have done their work, helping to make the world beautiful and raise their seed babies, and they wither and droop to the earth again, and little by little the sun and the frost and the rain help them to melt back into the earth. The earth is the beginning and the end of plants."
"Do you ever meet the meadow people in it?" asked the Potato Bug. "Many of them live here as babies," said the Worm. "The May Beetles, the Grasshoppers, the great Humming-bird Moths, and many others spend their babyhood here, all wrapped in eggs or cocoons. Then, when they are strong enough, and their legs and wings are grown, they push their way out and begin their work. It is their getting-ready time, down here in the dark. And then, there are the stones, and they are so old and queer. I am often glad that I am not a stone, for to have to lie still must be hard to bear. Yet I have heard that they did not always lie so, and that some of the very pebbles around us tossed and rolled and ground for years in the bed of a river, and that some of them were rubbed and broken off of great rocks. Perhaps they are glad now to just lie and rest."
"Truly," said the Potato Bug," you have a pleasant home, but give me the sunshine and fresh air, my six legs, and my striped wings, and you are welcome to it all." "You are welcome to them all," answered the Worms, "We are contented with smooth and shining bodies, with which we can bore and wriggle our way through the soft, brown earth. We like our task of keeping the earth right for the plants, and we will work and rest happily here."
The Potato Bug went his way, and said to his brothers, "What do you think? I have been talking with Earthworms who would not be Potato Bugs if they could." And they all shook their heads in wonder, for they thought that to be Potato Bugs was the grandest and happiest thing in the world.
Today in the Little Acorn Learning Caregiver's Calendar, the daily activity is to take your children on a Listening Walk. What a nice activity to do with children of all ages the day before Earth Day!
What is a Listening Walk?
There are many fun ways to do this.
You can make a list of things that your children may hear and have them check it off like a scavenger hunt
What did you hear?
A dog barking
You can give your child a pad and colored pencils or crayons, go for a silent walk while listening and ask them to sit quietly at the end and draw the things they hear around them.
At the end of your walk, have the children sit in one place as still as can be and close their eyes. Tell them to try their hardest to not make a movement or a sound and only breathe calmly and listen to what is around them. These little lessons in meditation and mindfulness will be very helpful to them as they grow up.
Here are some sweet books you can read with the children before you go for your walk:
I'm not sure how the day has come that Keira has turned 14. I remember when she was inside of me and the day I walked into the home I'm living in now... looking at each room, considering.. and thinking "Yes, we will live here together - this house will work. It will be a nice place to raise this baby."
This baby who is now 14 years old. This baby who has brought so much joy into my life.
I've lived here with her for 14 years and the memories we have all created cannot fit into one scrapbook, one blog or a memoir. It feels both like a lifetime and a blink of an eye at the same time if you can imagine that.
I am filled with pride and gratitude but also fear. The years go by faster now that I'm older... and 14 years will go by faster than they did before.
So I hold onto today and the moments with my girls. I breathe them in deep, I smell their hair, I truly listen when they speak to me, I hug them whenever I can, I stop myself from yelling or being unkind and I remember that every moment I have a choice. I can choose to make this moment matter and I can choose how I share it with them. And so can you.
Happy 14 Years to Keira. My Sweet, Gentle, Nurturing Daughter. My Friend and My Helper.
This year we planted our own Easter Basket Grass. The girls soaked the Rye Berries overnight and then planted them in their baskets. The grass is already coming up pretty good and they are so excited. We will leave our empty baskets out for the Easter Bunny this weekend and he will fill it up and hide it. Then he leaves a Easter Egg hunt filled with clues that lead to the baskets. This is a really fun and easy tradition to start with your family and the grass grows amazingly quick. The girls love looking each day to see how tall it has grown and there's something really sweet about natural grass rather than the plastic kind.
Oh and tomorrow is the LAST day of the Spring Sale at Little Acorn Learning! Hurry up and get some wonderful e-books at 25% off!