Sunday, August 31, 2014

In the ninth year...

castle play katydid katydid our first katydid sighting! our friends are coming!! playdough wet felting (and yes that is corn you see) um, yep, we have random corn growing by our patio. The birds must have dropped a seed there but the girls want it to grow to feed to the animals. playdough playdough K IMG_5463

"In the ninth year the child actually experiences a total transformation of his being, which points to a significant transformation of his soul-life and to a significant transformation of his experience of the bodily-physical"
                                                                                                                                     - Rudolf Steiner

These past couple of weeks have been turbulent my friends, quite turbulent indeed. I do believe we are neck deep in the nine year change. We have seen glimpses of it here and there over the past year or so but now I think it has officially moved in. You know those days when you have to walk away from your child because emotions are so high you are afraid of what you may say? On Saturday I had to do that three times with one of my girls  *ahem* and it was still early in the morning. I felt like my sweet, sensitive and compassionate child was lost. I vented and blew it way out of proportion to my friends and thankfully they encouraged me and reminded me that this phase is a huge milestone and it won't last forever. That was exactly what I needed (Thank you, friends!) 

Once I had felt that I cooled down long enough, we had a talk and then I asked her to be my "sous-Mama" (like sous-chef) the rest of the day. Basically she just stuck with me and helped me out with whatever I was doing. She loved it. We reconnected and rebuilt the strength we both needed to conquer another day. We ended the day working with our hands to really help sort through it. My girl worked on some wet felting while I made a new batch of play dough. I decided to add a few drops of lavender essential oil as well as some drops of peace & calming essential oil blend (more on these oils here) to help them relax more.  Little L was the first to discover the play dough and the girls shortly afterwards. They spent a couple of hours working with it and peace was restored in our household.
Sunday was smooth sailing but I know we will still have trials ahead of us. I am trying to remember to stop and connect much more often and to remind myself that no matter how hard I think it is on me and the rest of the family, it's one hundred times harder on her and she needs even more love and support to get through it.
On a slightly comical note - When my friend came to visit us in the spring she brought with her two books that Waldorf teachers use for understanding the nine year change. They are Encountering the Self, transformation & destiny in the ninth year, and I am Different from You, how children experience themselves & the world in the middle of childhood. I am very sad to say that I haven't read them yet. I was going through a rough spell with my girl during that time but then it seemed to go away so I let myself fall behind. Now I am kicking myself, of course, and have the books on my nightstand to start reading tonight. I need all the help, wisdom, understanding and support I can get, so I can pass it down to her.

Speaking of that friend, they are coming for a short visit on the way back from a long trip very soon. The children and I have been planning things to do for while they are here. One thing we decided that they would need after such a long trip is a big home cooked family meal - think Thanksgiving type food. We can't wait!

As for the random castle photograph - I have been doing a lot better with rotating the children's toys but somehow or other their castle set had been packed away for a couple of years. I found it again digging through boxes in the garage and got it out. Little L had never seen it before and with this big dragon phase he is currently in, I bet you can guess how excited he was to play with it all.

p.s. - I forgot to add that you can also color your play dough if you wish, I was just in a hurry with this batch so we kept it plain. Next time I might add some Joy essential oil blend, too. You know, to help keep the crabbies at bay.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Worth the wait {and a cookie recipe}

vegan goldfish crackers! need i say more?! vegan goldfish crackers!!! Shark goldfish cracker Shark! You know we just had to do it. yum!
Last week I let Little L in on a secret - I had plans to make us some vegan goldfish crackers. Of course, as soon as he heard my secret he wanted to make them right then, but I informed him that I had just ordered the fish cookie cutter the day before so it would be a few days before we could do it. He was disappointed but vowed to check the mail every day until it came. So every day we would walk to the mail box (it's in the middle of our neighborhood) to see if it came, and every day we would leave empty handed. That is until just the other day. When Little L saw the padded envelope in our box he started jumping up and down and giggling hysterically. It finally came! This meant dropping everything and baking some crackers straight away. We used a recipe I found here. They were really quite simple and fast to make. The only problem was that my children ate them as fast as I could bake them. I only had a partially filled jar to photograph. That, too, was devoured right after I snapped the pic. They asked me to triple the recipe next time. I have a feeling that will be very soon. I think that means they were worth the wait! If you are vegan or avoiding dairy I implore you to run to your pantry now and make some! We already had all of the ingredients on hand (minus the special cutter!)our favorite sweet! snack book
And since we are on the topic of delicious snacks, I thought I would share my family's favorite go-to recipe for when we are craving a sweet. It's a recipe we adapted from The Waldorf Kindergarten Snack Book. I would have these on hand at all times if possible, but again they are devoured within a day or two.

Almond Butter Cookies

1 cup almond butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 - 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup earth balance soy free margarine
jam of your choice (we like the Trader Joes Organic sugar-free strawberry jam)

This recipe makes about 24 or so.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream margarine and almond butter together by hand or in your mixer. Stir in maple syrup. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then add them to the wet ingredients. Mix until combined.
The dough should look something like this: our favorite sweet recipe Roll the dough into small balls (about a tablespoon or less) and place on a cookie sheet. You can leave them as they are and just have plain almond butter cookies (C's favorite way) or press the center of the balls with your thumb and then fill the thumbprints with jam. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool and enjoy! We love them with a cup of hot tea.
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