February 8, 2019
Waxing Crescent Moon
Wendolyn’s Meadow

With the weather forecast predicting lots of cold rain, we headed to a new location; Wendolyn’s Meadow! Before program, Ruby, Wendolyn and I prepared by putting up a canopy for rain protection and gathering some special things for the day. Blake and Charlie were absent today and they were missed.

We started the day off by playing and exploring in Peri park. The creek is so much higher than it was in Fall when we dipped our bare feet in it. We played chase and hide and used long sticks to pull items from the water. We found many pieces of broken pottery and tried to fit them together like a puzzle. After our Peri park play we headed to Juniper Rose for a short ride to a new place.

Upon arrival, we had many things to unload from Juniper Rose and the children made multiple trips to the canopy and back to the bus carrying all sorts of supplies for the day. We had buckets for sitting on, bags of tasty snack items, fire-making supplies (just in case,) and other helpful items.

It was already snack time so we set up one of our surprises: the camp stove! We cooked up some delicious hot oatmeal and while it cooked, I shared some tea to keep us warm as we waited. When the oatmeal was ready, we mixed in some honey and topped it with cashews and raisins. It was a warm and yummy treat on a cold day, and some children even had 2 bowls!

There were many large logs near the meadow, some were even taller than the children and we all had so much fun climbing on, around, and under them. The logs became the Raccoon Home for the day. We went on an adventure to find a swing that Ruby told us about, and along the way we had some magical encounters with some amazing animals. First, we met 3 chickens in a coop and had a brief conversation with them and admired their decorated space. Then, in the meadow, we saw four deer and Siena reminded us to continue quietly on our fox feet so we would not scare the deer.

We found the swing and helped to push each other. Ruby challenged us with a mystery plant we could smell but not see and then we went on a search to find our mystery flower. It was yellow and white and had a strong smell, and Margot found it! Later, Siena was the Pinecone Queen and we were all loyal members of her Queendom and brought pinecones to her throne.

On our way back to the canopy for lunch, we saw the deer family again and then pretended to be chickens to surprise Ruby and Margot. By this time it had started raining and we were very grateful for the cover over our lunches. We could hear the Rain Children tapping on the canopy and could see them making the grass dance. After lunch we played our buckets like drums and sang songs to the Rain Children.

At the end of the day, all of the children helped to bring supplies back to the bus and then cuddled under blankets to share our daily gratitude. We shared everything that was wonderful from our day and sent lots of love to Blake and Charlie, too.

 

Our picture of the day featuring: deer, oatmeal, logs, friends, flowers, rain, a swing, and LOVE!

Feb. 7, 2019
Lake Lagunitas
Waxing Moon

Ruby and Ellie were home sick today 🙁   We sent them love and well wishes.

This was a grand day for the children as well as myself. Thank you all for supporting them in showing up with their best selves/working together selves, as, that is exactly what they did!  Truly, the day was smooth and easy. I was reminded of how I worked for the first ten years of Tender Tracks, me and 6 children.  It is best, for many reasons, to have two, yet there is such a beauty with one adult. One of the main reasons is that we all HAVE to stay together!  If someone wants to go further away than my eye or range we must bring the whole group together to either accommodate that or, not.  There just HAS to be a lot more working together and, that is what happened.  They all stayed in one area.  The boys delighted in their magic Redwood home world and the girls up above nearer to me or playing with the boys in and out of their world.

When we got there they all instantly DID work and play together. Oh of course, they had their usual own little games yet the over all picture was, playing together, in and out.  The boys had more emotional struggles today.  Theo and Holden were closer than the usual Holden and Eamon. Today, Eamon’s feelings got more hurt.  Theo got to learn more about asking for what he wants, like a stick, and WAITING until it was his turn, hence some of the challenges. Holden, was figuring out what his true desires were in the midst of his two friends and wanting to be ok with their affection, or something like this.  Phew, being little and learning those weird things called feelings inside are challenging and, how to be social is just plain and simply the WORK OF THE YOUNG ONES!!   As always, they were valiant and beautiful as they ebbed and flowed and grew.  An example: Eamon came to me so very sad that Theo called him, some kind of a name. I came over and shared what Eamon shared with me to Theo and said, “Something happened for you to call him that.”  Holden chimed in and said, “He punched me in the stomach.” ( and, I must say, it did not sound so true. You know the body language and pulling back of the words when they aren’t really true?)  Eamon instantly said, with tears in his eyes, ” I did not.”  I just stayed with the fact that something happened that each one of them didn’t like and now we get to share what we do want without hurting our friends feelings.  Then, Theo said, with a very kind heart, “I’m sorry Eamon.” He then said that he threw Eamon’s stick down below. I said, with ease, he now needed to make right what he did wrong so go get it and give it back to Eamon. He did, and they were all content and back together.  And, another PHEW moment happened and then passed !

But, let me go back to the beginning of the day when we got on the bus.
Luna started with missing Dad and soooo looking forward to coming home and going bike riding with “My whole family!!!” Uma was happy, Josie met us up there, and Theo, Eamon and Holden were their usual goofy, happy selves.  I brought in the same game we did on Tuesday morning yet put less stuffed animals in the bag for them to feel and guess. We did the same process, each one closing their eyes and feeling to see if their hands could tell what animal they were feeling.  They were not able to do that yet they were able to go deeper into what they felt: soft, hard, rough, etc.

We then made our way to the lakes. From there they all helped bring what we needed up to our spot.
Story today played off of things that were happening on Tuesday. Therefore, I told, my nature version, of the Three Little Pigs.  And with that, later on the girls wound up making straw and twig houses.

The highlights of the day:  They all gathered together after circle and worked on smoothing down their brooms with a special bees wax cream.  They got the hard beeswax and warmed it up with their hands rubbing it all along the staff of their broom and then, off they went.

Before lunch we played a wonderful, preschools style, Red Rover, Red Rover. In this version they became different animals.  They had to run and touch my belly. If I touched their wrist then they joined me, if not, they ran back.  They ALL had SOO much fun running back and forth. Sometimes they wanted to be caught and sometimes not. The ones who were we would all huddle together and decide what animal to call forth.  They were enlivened.  We then came to lunch.

After lunch and the little challenge for the boys spoken of above, I brought out some very dry tinder. For the rest of the day they got to practice lighting a match and igniting the tinder.  Josie, Luna and Theo were the most hesitant and, each one of them found success. Can you imagine how happy they were??? Uma was delighted with her skill and apparent experience with this.  Eamon and Holden did just grand.  Holden was actually scared yet, when the match lit, he almost threw it and jumped back but, by the second try he composed him self very quickly, adjusted his fingers appropriately on the match, put it just right in the tinder bundle and POOF, fire came.  Luna and I did it together with great success and she was delighted for even attempting this.

The day flowed with them all playing together, in and out with laughter and grace.

 

 

Feb. 6, 2019
Alpine Lake
Waxing Crescent Moon

Addie and Ruby home sick and Tiana, was our substitute teacher.

The children took to Tiana very well. Her grounded, kind, and skillful ways made the day so very easy and sweet.  Not a beat skipped with her there.

Sienna, however, for the first time had a hard time coming and it took awhile for her to find her way into the bus.  Whether it was because “daddy was snow boarding” or because her eyes looked like she could be getting sick, was unknown.  She did just fine throughout the day though, towards the end, she did seem tired.  Ellery was easy peasy. She for the first time went off on her own, quite peacefully I might add, on the big rock after circle.  I went over and was with her for awhile. She didn’t show any signs of being discontent. Quite the opposite, rather peaceful. Tiana went over and was with her for awhile as well and they had a fine time!  Nelly was having so much fun with Rohin throughout the day and filled with great delight with all that we did. This is just consistent each and every week. She is so talkative now too.  At lunch time, she and Rohin went back and forth and back and forth telling stories.  They got everyone else excited about sharing stories so, one by one they all took turns sharing grand and adventurous tales of their own creations.  Gideon came this day  feigning sleep. Once in his seat though and when all had settled in out POPPED his eyes and he was right there with his usual fun and laughter. Nathan was/is, like Nelly, very consistent with his engagement and happiness and Beau, he too was himself, happy go lucky, playful and alive.

Now, from the beginning.  When we got to this bright and sunny place they went straight to the waters edge where, last time they were here, they found great logs to pull and carry. And, so they tried again!

We then came to circle and there we sang, found a great green “Lady bug”, actually a cucumber beetle.

We looked at it for the longest of time and then Rohin got scared and began to cry. Tiana, very gently, helped him to settle and I came over easy like to pick it up. The children came over to see it better and then I put it off into another spot. All was well and back to circle we came. We had snack and then I read them a book called The Child of Snow.  It was a great story to bring in what with all the snow and our days being so very cold. All the children said they had seen snow accept for Rohin.  The story also is a great precursor to Spring that is approaching.  And oh yes, we put up our weather stick and watched Brother Sister Wind play with the feather at the end of the stick. At first there was no wind to be seen or felt.  As we looked all around for evidence of any wind, what should happen, while we were NOT looking at our weather stick?? The wind came in.  We all noticed the sky and, there were NO clouds! The sky was blue, blue.  In the bus they had noticed how many were wearing blue and then we looked again.  When circle was over they went right back to the edge of the pond and were peacefully playing. It was at this time that Ellery went over to the big rock.  At different times, different groups of children went over to the rock so she was playing in and out with the others. Then Sienna got a very small cut with a very small amount of blood on it.  We found the great and mighty Plantain plant.  This plant is so very good for cuts and bee stings.  I crunched it up for the juices to come out, got a bandaid, and put it on.  A couple hours later she took the bandaid off. All was well.  Please, do google this to discover the many gifts and healing properties that it has.

English Plantain - Stock Image

At one point I was playing with Gideon, Nelly, and Rohin. They started to make nests and then nests for snakes.  Later on all of us became snakes crawling on the ground looking for little bugs and things. They found lot’s of other things then bugs and mostly, they were snakes being so close and connected to the earth.

Gideon had fallen a bit over a log and got muddy. He wasn’t physically hurt, as far as we could tell, but most assuredly not liking this so, he got in my lap and little by little his tears settled. All the while and one by one, the children came over to see how he was.  Their warm and loving smiles that they gave him were just so very beautiful.  Sienna and Ellery were playing a little game with me. It started with Sienna. She had found different kinds of sticks in the water. They could easily be broken. Then the two of them started trying to break any stick they could find. Some could be broken, and some could not. I asked that they put them on my hand and cover every part so you couldn’t see my hand. From there a game of, camouflage and completely hidden, came about. The the others came by where they piled and piled grass, mud and sticks on my hand so: hand, camouflage, hidden, WHOOOSH it away: hand, camouflage, hidden WHOOSH it away and on and on.

There were roaming groups and games and then, lunch, which you already heard about the storytelling festival we had during the time. After lunch we went on an adventure to find TURTLES. We practiced being ever so quiet walking up to them, we then went further and found painting rocks upon the ground, rocks to build with, puddles to stomp in and running, running. Rohin fell three times, Beau once, Ellery once. A sometimes painful learning to be running in rain boots on rocks ground.  “Why did I fall?” is the big question of the day.

There was some figuring out which way to get back to the bus, then singing , thank you’s, bus ride home and Tiana telling an engaging story to them all.