March 14, 2019
Waxing Half Moon
Lake Lagunitas

This day was sunny, warm and delightful. All week it has been RAIN CLOTHES FREE!!  A new experience 🙂 !!

We continued with our story of Sean O’Hoolohan and Mrs. O’Malley.  Today however, WE actually made butter. This started in the bus. But first, their “bus passes” today were picture cards of plants. After that, and as we were driving, I was beginning the process of using our Butter Churn to go up and down and up and down and up and down to make butter!  They saw the color it was, white,  as it got poured in. They felt what it was like to pump the churn. When we got there they all helped make the butter, feel what it was like as it got harder and harder to move that wooden churn and then eat a bit of the whipping cream. Some liked it but others did not as they are used to whipping cream being very sweet.

At circle Ruby kept working on the butter. She decided that she could do this EVERY DAY!!  The cream part lasted a long time and I thought maybe, we just would not be successful but, WE WERE!! and, just like in the story, we got to eat fresh baked bread and fresh made “golden” butter.  It was a hit!!

The children enjoyed their natural places that they usually play there and then, after circle, Josie and Theo cleaned up the snack area so very well, Ellie, during circle, was a grand Weather watcher, and then, we made our way to find the turtles!

Up the big hill we went.  The water was pouring down the spill way. Ellie had remembered the time that we walked across a part at the top but she didn’t think we could do it now. We checked it out and, she was right!  the waters were pouring over and we would not be able to do such crossing.

On the way up this big hill all the children held sticks in a horizontal fashion and helped each other up the hill.  We then, after checking out the top of the spill way, as mentioned, we went down the path and then walked very, very quietly to make sure we did not disturbe the turtles.  They did rather well with this. About half the turtles DID stay on their log.

During lunch we all sat in a row so that we could watch the turtles.  And, the boys set up the girls back packs and the girls set up the boys.  Then, after lunch the boys became IMMERSED!!! in building forts and such between two rocks.  They worked together for a very long time building.  And the girls were busy with Ruby and I building rock mounds, rock circles and Josie figured out, as she looked at the rock circle, how to actually make the labryinth that we went to and she has been to many times before.

This was a fine and beauty filled day.

March 13, 2019
Waxing Moon
Roy’s Redwoods

Addie was absent, and very missed by Beau!!! 🙂

SPRING!!  It was here by way of little flowers, crickets, butterflies, and WARM SUN shinning upon us.  There has been a new policy with Roy’s Redwoods that all schools must plan a year in advance when they will come there.  So, this was the day scheduled. We don’t always go because we are scheduled yet, we thought it would be fun to see it again. We know that it is much colder there which is why we do not go much during the winter but, it would be so fun we thought and it was warm outside of the trees.

But, OH DEAR, we were wrong!!!  Jackie Frost showed himself all along the trail. The leaves on the ground were edged with his snowy glow presence and our nose and toes, as one of our song states, were truly “nipped!”
So, after we walked to our Redwood Grove spot, we had circle, bounced on the bouncy tree, explored inside the big “Cathedral” put on gloves, coats et al. and then decided, to FIND SUN!!

Backpacks on and off we went, toward the light shinning outside the undercover of grand trees and wrens alarming.

The children came upon a little stream and in there was a worm. How lovingly and curiously, they examined, explored, and delighted in this new friend.  And, then, we continued on our journey.

All along our hike up the big hill with big mud sections to figure out how to get through, little creeklets, tracks, teeny bugs and then THE LIGHT OF DAY, they laughed and had such a grand time on this little walk/adventure.

We found a deer trail that led us up a hill to the top where we could see beyond the tops of the trees.
They found purple, yellow, and red colored flowers and delighted.  At first they just all sat down appearing to not know exactly what to do in this un manicured and slopped place.  At the beginning of the day they had talked about making homes like the three little pigs. I saw a Coyote Bush with dead twigs and old branches and went down there to begin making a little Piggie house. And so the gathering and building began for the day.

They found two rocks near each other that became the perfect structure to put a grass roof upon. So, they all worked together to build this little home. But then, OH NO!  they thought covering ME with all this grass was the best thing in the world.  We ran around the hill and then they wound up having a rolling down the hill party.  Rolling and rolling.  The boys found their way into a circle where they went round and round and fell, laughed and laughed, got up and round and round they went then fell, laughed and laughed and did it over and over again!!

We finally went to lunch where we sat in a straight line this time as we were indeed on a slop.  After that the whole group went, on their own, to play at building their house again.  All accept Gideon who was happily still eating. I stayed with him.  We were called down to where they were. When we got there they were all quite quiet as Ruby had a beautiful Butterfly upon her hand. Ellery was next to her with such joy and everyone seemed delighted with this treasure but then, OFF IT FLEW!  and back to play they went.

Today was truly a most gorgeous day on so many levels.  It is so very, very evident that they are getting closer to 4.  They are waking up like flowers in spring. They are more social, verbal, expressive with their emotions/likes/dislikes. They are now entering the world of being so much more aware of their own gender.  Their bodies can do so much more. They just show signs of being more awake and a bit less of that classic three year old dreamy state.  And this lovely group continues, even in the midst of these changes, to be sweet, fun, kind, playful, alive and present.

We packed up to go back to the bus and down the big hill they went.  We got to the muddy part and they all learned how to navigate with and around that very well.  When we came to the open trail towards the bus there were a lot of big holes in the ground. They found a really large one and they all got in it and came out like the Root Children waking up and walking into Spring. They went in and out of that several times before they could find their way back to the bus.

Sienna was delighted that she went into the water with her “water shoes” even though “they do get wet inside,” she said.  Nelly was, again, SOOO Happy throughout the day and on this day she asked for Ruby and I to hold her hand and help her up and down the big hill. Usually she says “I can do it myself!”  And now, she has matured to where to can  feel good about asking for help as well as know when she can do something herself.  Another healthy mile stone to celebrate with joy.  Ellery found her self with mud on her boots and disliking this very much.  Ruby helped find ways to clean her hands and boots in the clear stream. She was content.   Beau was tired at one point and just gave himself a 5 min. power rest and then was back in business/play:)   Nathan finally had a snack that he liked and ate it all up, Graham crackers and he too was more open to Ruby and I with greater eye contact.  More evidence of growth and natural maturity. Gideon is able to speak his words with greater clarity. He too has a more mature aliveness as does Rohin.  Rohin is getting more able to withstand the “tumble bumbles” and rough housing nature that goes on with the boys.  He has been working with this quite diligently for awhile.  He now takes his time, you can see him pondering his choices to play with them or not and then, HE JUMPS IN and delights in the fun they are having.

A day of coming out of the cold, into light, warmth, color and growth.

 

March 8, 2019
Waxing Crescent Moon
Lake Lagunitas

 

As soon as we hopped off of Juniper Rose at Lake Lagunitas, the children immediately spotted newts in the deep puddles and creek by our parking spot. We then headed to the sunny meadow by our climbing tree. All the children were checking on their favorite spots, and Raccoon Mom Margot made sure the Raccoon Home was ready for her family.

Ruby and Miles played a game of throwing small rocks through a looped branch, working on aim and accuracy. While Siena helped me set up the mats for snack, she spotted another sign of spring – tall purple flowers! We are so excited by all the telltale signs of warmer weather on its way!

At snack time we all got to enjoy a sweet treat brought by Violet, the birthday girl! I told the story of star (and moon) child Violet and her adventures leading up to turning 5 and we wished on all her adventures yet to come.

Grandmother North and Grandfather South played all day and we got sprinkles of rain, and warm sun, and some chilly cloud cover, and then sunshine back and forth! We played a game too, with lots of back and forth running! Each child chose a secret animal to become and Ruby would call out different attributes of the animal and if it applied to their animal they would run and try not to get tagged. We played many rounds of being local animals, fantastical animals and imaginary animals. We were foxes, deer, unicorns, bobcats and more.

We adventured a different way around the lake today up the trail to the stone steps. On our walk, Charlie and Siena would turn into rocks right on the trail so I had to knock on them and say, “Knock knock, rock! Please join me on my walk!” for them to magically come alive and continue on. Rohan was on a search for turtles in the sunshine near the lake.

We got to a lovely spot and found a wonderful tree to explore, the roots were upended and the branches were in the water so we got to climb on top of the root ball and also walk out over the water on the trunk. There was a heron sitting near the water and we held very still just like it so we could get a closer look.

The tree trunk became a highway of crawling and walking and scooting around branches and each other. The children practiced their balance and climbing skills and we found that all the children could fit (along with me) atop the roots!

We had a listening lunch where we tried to keep our voices whispery, or off, to better hear the sounds of springtime around us. We heard Woodpecker calling, our own munching, the breeze in the trees, some mysterious bird song, and our friends’ whispers. Blake and I created a small town with rock towers, stick borders, acorn boats, lichen trees, leaf umbrellas and acorn cap homes.

We had a silly walk and run back to Juniper Rose to share our gratitudes for sunshine (and sprinkles,) a big log to climb, the heron and newts! We even looked for more signs of spring on our ride back to Peri Park.

 

Siena’s sign of Spring!

 

our little nature town