Monday, October 27, 2008

Holiday Traditions

This is the theme for the November Unschoolers Blog Carnival. I love the carnivals, and the topics are always wonderful. It is finding time to create the post. I usually put it off, thinking of things to write until it is too late. Not this month. I don't know if I have any pictures, will have to look but here are some of our traditions.

1. We make wish bread, as a family before the winter solstice. To make the bread I use a regular bread dough, that is a little sweeter than normal (just add more honey). Let it rise once, then we get together and form the dough into balls. With each ball we make a wish, we can choose to share our wishes out loud or keep them to ourselves. Then we roll the balls in sugar and cinnamon and put them into a bundt pan, sprinkle the top with the remaining S&C and let it rise once more before baking.
2. We go up on the roof right before sunrise of the winter solstice, and watch the sun come up over the mountains, welcoming the sun. Then we come down, start a nice fire in the fireplace and eat our wish bread with some tea or hot chocolate. YUM.

3. Another traditions is on Christmas, we always make pizza for lunch. We have tried the big Christmas dinner before, but it just isn't for us. We don't have any family around to share in the moment. Our lives are just not focused on food, and we are vegetarians so no ham, roast or turkey for us. Instead we cook what we love. Jackson (dh) and I make pizza, while the boys play and enjoy their day, we all love pizza.

4. Also on Christmas we have a fire in the fireplace and once we let that fire burn out, we save the last log from the fire and use it to start next years fire. It carries all the wonderful times from year to year. It sits outside our home so every time we come and go we see the log and think of all the smiles and happiness of Christmas.

hmmmm we have so many traditions like that. We have our advent calendar, and our advent wreath. We make ornaments every year. Our tree is simple, just tiny lights and our ornaments. The angel on the top was from my family. When my parents both crossed over, I kept the angel from their tree and it lights the way every year on ours now. Jackson and the boys make a gingerbread house, well not from scratch, from a kit. We totally enjoy making cookies throughout the season (well year round really...LOL).

OK that is enough tradition sharing for this year, have a happy season.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Sunrise-Sunset

I finally uploaded the photos from our trip to the Florida Keys what....three weeks ago....seems like it has been longer than that. It is a sunset photo from Key West. Ohhhh wish I was back on vacation....ahhh...

Oh and here is one a little later, with my boys.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hiking Wilson Creek-Harper Falls

This past Wednesday was another of our monthly hiking days. We hiked Wilson Creek-Harper Falls. Even though I am not in the "best" physical shape, LOL, I still love these hikes. We hike mostly easy-moderate trails. My goal is the easier ones. And this was the third of our hikes and it was beautiful. A wonderful hike in Pisgah National Forest before we reached the waterfall that was our destination. It provides a time of connection with my boys as well as the physical benefit to my body. While hiking the boys, especially Phillip, will go from hiking and talking/exploring with their friends to holding hands and hiking/chatting with me. So nice to be able to share these moments of peace and wonder with them. And of course we live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains so we have all the hiking we can possibly want, and we meet some really interesting people along the way.

We had a nice picnic at the conclusion of the hike and headed home to share the details with dad/dh.
For the next couple of months we are moving a little bit south, as it is getting colder here. But for now we are enjoying the beautiful fall scenery. Next month the leaves should be at there peak. How awesome is that to be able to watch the changing of seasons.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


OK back on track and another wonderful sunset from the beautiful Big Island of Hawaii. These photos were from Kilauea Volcano at Volcano National Park.

Amazing how different the photos are from the ones I took at the coast.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Drive Home

We just arrived home early this morning. 17 hours of driving from Key West to North Carolina. It was a wonderful vacation. I could tell the boys were ready to be home. We tried to be sure they have all the comforts they need for the ride. They are fabulous travelers. They had their DVD players, movies, Ds and games, books, drawing pads, snacks, water, pillows, stuffed animals etc. As we were pulling out of Key West, after breakfast, Phil was getting a little anxious and started saying "I am bored". That can mean almost anything for Phil. Can mean he is tired, needs to get out and move around, needs to rest or just wants to be home and is not excited about the drive. So we both listed options for entertainment including playing a game with me or his brother. Nothing was appealing, and he just kept repeating he was bored. I validated his feelings, and we talked a little. Didn't seem to help. We were still driving, well Jackson was, I was chatting with Phil. Phil just seemed at an end, like there was this stumbling block to moving forward with the return trip. So I just popped up and said, "what if we found stopped at Walmart so you could get a little lego or something 'new' to work on for part of the ride?"

He didn't say yes or no, but suddenly his mood changed dramatically, he started talking with his brother about a game they want to create, he got out his ds and actually asked if the next time we stop for gas if I would help him find a movie to watch. Sure I can help with that any time. I think just him knowing there were other options NOT in the car, was a path to help him move around the obstacle in his way. He didn't necessarily need that option in the moment but just knowing it existed allowed him to move forward and engage in other things. Suddenly there was not this unsurmountaible boulder in the way.

And about 8 hours down the road he asked if it were still possible to find a Walmart. Of course (even though I really do not like Walmart, they do have a great selection of legos), if that is what he needs in the moment we will do whatever we can to help him. And we found a Walmart, and a lego and hours of enjoyment, and a nice ride home.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

More Hiking

We really enjoyed the last hike so decided to go hiking again today. Today it was Table Rock. Nice hike straight up!! The view was awesome as you could see into the gorge and all around. Would be even more beautiful in a few more weeks when the leaves are all bright fall colors. The boys had a wonderful time. I think this outdoor activity is just what they were wanting but didn't know it. Once I grasped the shift in my head it has all seemed to fall into place. There was a time when we just couldn't go hiking easily. With one of me and two toddlers it was impossible. And we were busier with the homeschool group as they got older, so we dropped off the hiking, without even really realizing it. But they are getting older. And this is just perfect for who we are now.

And we are really enjoying it!!