Thursday, October 29, 2009

Our Halloween Baby - Home Waterbirth

During the evening of October 30, 2003, Jennifer went into labor with baby #3, ecstatic that the baby would be born on Halloween!

Ara Wilson Cerda Tan (we call him Wilson or Wil) was born gently into a warm waterbirthing tub at home, unassisted, after 4.5 hours of labor. The birth was peaceful, powerful and pleasurable! Pure bliss....

Ara: Armenian Great-grandfather's middle name, "king"
Wilson: English Great-great-grandfather's surname, "protector"
Cerda: Filipino Grandmother's surname, "handsome"
Tan: Father's Chinese surname

We utilized yoga, meditation, acupressure, aromatherapy and flower essences. The warm water was amazing, too! Daddy sat outside the tub, Grandma and big brother Ricky sat nearby on the bed, and big sister Joey sat in the waterbirthing tub, sharing a raspberry leaf tea popsicle with Mommy. Wilson was welcomed into the world with the hushed, excited tones of his loving family in a warm, happy, familiar environment. He didn't cry, but looked at us with his glorious little eyes. An exquisite birth....

Happy 6th Birthday to our Halloween baby!

Wilson's Song (played on flute and harp)

Once, there was a baby
Inside of me
He danced with such glee

We named him Ara Wilson
Because he's a king
Protected by thee

Now, he's about to be born
As night turns to morn
He is water-lorn

Magic abounds
As the fairies and frogs
All leap up
At the sound of the horn

Now, there is a child
A brother and son
He can jump and he can run

His gifts and talents are many
He plays with a smile
And flies towards the sun

Once, he was my babe
Bright as the day
A pleasure in the bay
Magic abounds
As the fairies and frogs
All kneel down
To sleep as he lay
The stories of his birth, as told by Jennifer, Ricky and Joey, may be found in issue #12 of The Mother magazine.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Swaps and Exchanges

A wonderful way to add to your nature tables and homeschooling supplies is by joining swaps and exchanges!
Participating is a nice way to teach children how to give and receive and to learn about other places in the world where people live. It is also an opportunity to work on creating a new seasonal table together.
Here are just a few of our recent forays into the world of swaps. Some are items that we created for the swap, and some pictures show items that we received....
Bits of Goodness Spring Nature Table Swap

Ravelry Gnome Exchange (our exchange partner was from Denmark!)

Bits of Goodness Summer Nature Table Swap
Bits of Goodness Flower Children Swap (Joey spun the yarn and Mommy crocheted them)

Bits of Goodness Autumn Nature Table Swap

Bits of Goodness Fairy Swap

Bits of Goodness Treasure Bag (Biome) Swap

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Winter Garden

Our summer veggies are waning...just a few tomatoes and some peppers left. Now, it's time to start enjoying our winter gardens!

With biodynamic seeds from Steiner College bookstore, and organic seeds from Smith & Hawken, we have created three beds filled with:

Savoy Lettuce, Spinach, Chard, Beets, Golden Beets, Scallions, Parsley, Romaine Lettuce, Bok Choy, Carrots, Kale, Leeks, Cabbage, Arugula, Fava Beans....

Well, at least those are the seeds that we planted! We'll see what actually comes up. So far, some are doing well, and some have not come up at all. It's tricky here near Sacramento where one day it can reach 100 degrees, and another day be in the 30's at night in Sept. Now that October is here, we are hopeful for cooler temperatures to nurture our baby seedlings! Some creature ate 4 heads of lettuce the other night and left some type of prints around...hmmm, wonder what it was? The raccoons and wild turkeys are known to dig, and we don't see any signs of deer....

The kids help prepare the layers of soil, plant the seeds, weed, and harvest the veggies. We've found some interesting worms and centipedes in the soil! This interesting stick bug was crawling around in the hay...looks just like hay!

Since the lovely greens are not their most favorites to eat, we make "vruit" about every other day. Our vruit ensures that we are all getting the amazing nutrients from the fresh, raw veggies on a regular basis! If we don't have a key ingredient in our own garden, we will purchase biodynamic veggies from Sacramento Waldorf down the street, or organic ones from Trader Joe's or a farmer's market.

Here is our current vruit recipe (quantities vary, depending on what is available). We run everything through our juicer machine, mix with a whisk, and then drink it right away!

* Leaves or bunches of lettuce, chard, beet greens, kale
* Sprigs of parsely
* 1-2 red or golden beets
* 3-4 carrots
* 3-4 apples
* Fresh squeeze 3-5 oranges, or add organic orange juice


We are placing some of our special crystals in the gardens, welcoming the energies of the earth and the fairies to help us out (couldn't hurt, right?...makes for fun stories with the kids). Next on our list is for Mommy to take a Biodynamic gardening classes at the college. We also are learning how to compost!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Vote for our Felted Acorns on Etsy!

Our felted acorns are featured in Etsy's favorite autumn decor contest right now! Please vote for us (look for the felted acorns from Syrendell):

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Language Arts in the Dell

Some glimpses into our Language Arts so far this year....
Writing out our favorite recipes

Playing "I Spy" with the Waldorf Alphabet Book

Making moving picture books
Exploring two letters each week using Earthschooling curriculum and Enki fairy tales.

Writing letters in cornmeal

Raking patterns in the sandbox

Watching mommy act out a fairy tale each week (Persuasive essay follow-up to Briar Rose)

Spanish, French, Tagalog words, phrases and songs

Verses and movement to the book/cards LMNOP

Reading and writing poems, stories, verses

Memorizing tongue twisters and reciting them aloud

Greek and Latin word roots

Form drawing

Writing plays (and acting, too!)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Facebook Fan Page

We now have a Fan Page on Facebook! If you have a Facebook account, search on "Syrendell". Come and be a fan!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

What We Do For 1st Grade Math

Some of the recent projects that we have done for 1st grade math....

Math Gnomes (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division with groups of "jewels")

Drawing Numbers in the Sand

Exploring Number "8" (needlefelting spiders, weaving yarn/stick webs)

Counting by 1's, 2's, 3's, and More on the Circle Board

Needlefelting Circle Shapes onto Crowns

Knitting (counting stitches, rows)

Counting Shells and Sorting by Size, Shape, Color

Drawing Shapes to Match Numbers (sides, points, faces)

Sea Snail "Eating" the Pearls...Mermaid Counting Sea Glass

Drawing Numerals and Related Shapes in the Main Lesson Book

Mommy's Crocheted Afghan has 63 Squares...That's 7 rows of 9!

Finding and Drawing Items that Match the "Number of the Week"

We also use all of our senses...what does a number look, taste, feel, smell and sound like (we got this idea from our Earthschooling membership--more info on that website about ordering). ----Math is fun!