Spring is Coming

Spring it is coming, is coming, is coming.

Spring it is coming, with flowers and rain.

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping.

Spring, it is coming with flowers and rain.

-this is a song/movement verse that I created to usher in the first bits of Springtime

It is obvious that Spring is on her way.  The air is getting a bit warmer, the birds are chirping a bit louder…heck, I am even starting to have worms creep into my laundry room after a rain storm.  She is on her way.  Breathe her in deeply, let her surround your being…..exhale her slowly and see the life of your breath fill the space around you and others….She is here waiting on the doorstep…just as the seeds of peas, radishes, beans, and lettuce seeds that we  have started in the past two weeks are waiting.  They are all waiting for the rain, the sun, the nourishment of the soil…

In class, this has become more than obvious…the coming of Spring.  Not creeping in ever so slowly…but instead…like a spring rainstorm that comes out of nowhere.  It’s persistent, and creates a yucky mess while it lingers.  The good news though is that it dries up quickly and you are left with lots of little flecks of green…a lot of new growth, new life, new development…this rings so true when speaking of the past couple of weeks in class.  

Like a troop of busy little birds, the children in class have been no where close to stopping.  Well, except for right around snack time or lunch.  These two times have again become the favorite parts of the day by just about every child (and myself).  Recently we have made everything from pancakes to pizza to what has become Our classroom bread (that we bake every Wednesday and eat every Thursday)… the Flax Seed Whole Wheat Loaf.  The recipe follows…..

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Flax Seed Whole Wheat Bread

2 lb loaf

1 1/2c    water

3T            oil

1/4c       honey

2 2/3c   unbleached bread flour

1 1/3c    whole wheat flour

1/3c       milled flax (substituted for 1/3c dry milk…the mille flax makes the bread sooo much yummier!)

2 1/2T   flax seed (although I tend to add A LOT more of whole flax seeds—I even let the children decorate the dough with flax seeds during our bread modeling time)

1 1/4T    gluten

1 1/2t     salt

2 1/4t     one packet of yeast

Combine ingredients—with hands or mixer—cover and set in a sunny window until the dough has doubled in size…then gently turn out a few times and place in a greased loaf pan.  Bake at 325-350 degrees for as long as it takes (usually an hour and a half; but will depend tremendously on the oven you are working with) to have a brown crust.   You may also use this recipe in a bread maker!

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A lot of other great things have been moving, shifting, growing….but I will save that for another post at another time.

I hope all is well in your world….and that the beginnings of Spring are starting to creep into your life ever so slowly.

With Many Blessings of the coming Season,

Michelle

“O, the kind, loving Frost Fairies!”

“They flew to the trees and decked every bough with leaves of lace.  They covered every plant in the garden, even the weeds and grasses, with their wonderful feathery blossoms.”

-Alice J. Patterson; “The Outlook”

photo courtesy of Asheville Citizen Times

It has been a very warm and cozy week here at home….and I am hopeful that it has been in your homes as well!   We are looking very forward to being back in class next week…..but what a delight to us all to have been treated with such generosity by these Frost Fairies! 

With much ❤ to you and yours,

Michelle

New Year, Familiar Light

Jack Frost is very small

I am sure he’s out today.

And he’s busy pinching me

When I go out to play.

Jack Frost, he pinched my fingers,

Jack Frost, he pinched my toes.

So I ran into the house and I shut the door,

And that little Jack Frost couldn’t pinch me anymore.

-M.T.  Schunemann

 

It is official.  The Second Semester of the School Year is underway.  Things had been very quiet around Grow with Me for a few weeks (3 weeks, 4 days to be exact) since dimissing on December 9th for Holiday Break.  I had been longing to get back to the classroom with all of the children as there are just so many things to do!  We have begun a new year—2011—but a lot of familiarity is still held in our classroom for our Kindergarten children.

This Semester started on January 4th and was ushered in with a lot of sun and warmth (it was balmy compared the all of the snow and frigid weather that we had during the Holidays).  We had three new faces join us on the first day back and I am amazed at how quickly everyone has fallen into rhythm.  We revisted the verses and songs that we left off with during the last week of school in December and I was so excited that everyone had remembered the words and movement over the break! 

This week our theme was Jack Frost and the older children focused on the letter “J”…we spent our days building snowmen with our beeswax, cutting out snowflakes for our windows, watercoloring with blue (which is the color of the Jack Frost clouds I have been told), making cranberry orange muffins, rolling Flax Whole Wheat Bread  Dough into snowmen, Jack Frost clouds, and the letter “J” and then baking it all for a nice yummy snack!  I told and illustrated the old folktale of “Why the Evergreen Trees Keep Their Leaves” on the chalkboard with the children retelling it to each other on Thursday.

There are many, many things to come this Semester…it’s a new, yet familiar, start.  So many things remain the same…but, just as the outside world has been renewed with gaining light and life…we have been as well.  Here’s to a wonderful start to the New Year…may you and yours find growth within your own life light!   

Cheers,

Michelle

P.S.  For those that might be curious, here is the recipe that we used in class this week…

Cranberry Orange Muffins (family recipe)

preheat oven to 400 degrees (you will bake for 15-20 minutes)

2c            flour

3/4c       sugar

1t             baking powder

1/2t        baking soda

1/2t       salt

1c           cranberries

1             egg

3/4c     orange juice

1/4c     oil

1t           orange rind

 

 

 

It’s almost Winter!

Brrr……..

The little winds they whisper,
They whisper as they pass.
They tell their tiny secrets to the flowers and the grass.
The big winds go a buffeting and blustering about.
The little winds they whisper,
But the BIG WINDS SHOUT!
~M T Schunemann

The children in class have thoroughly enjoyed this verse during circle time over the past couple of weeks. It’s amazing to me that a few months have already passed since the start of the school year. It seems like the first day of school was just here!

Our Kindergarten class has been very busy with everything from baking pies, muffins, breads to making gnomes, shields, wands, clove oranges to visiting Sky Top Orchards, Hickory Nut Gap Farm, Looking Glass Creamery to attending the local Michaelmas festival to having our own potlucks, lantern walks, etc. PHEW!

It’s been busy in our classroom…the settling in to our classroom rhythms during the first month or so, rekindling and creating new friendships, free play, watercoloring, coloring, seasonal crafts, festivals, & field trips.

It’s been a busy season in our classroom just as it has in the outside world with birds migrating, squirrels and chipmunks scurrying about to gather their winters meals, leaves tumbling, skies darkening.

But just as the outside world has started to get a bit quieter…just as the outside world has started to slow down and retreat inwards for the pending winter…the children in class have as well.

During this season of retreating inward I would like to remind you of the light that which will carry us
through the darker days ahead. There are many things—large and small that
will hold the light for our class through the next few months and I am looking forward to it with delight….

Here’s to cherishing and celebrating every moment of light in the upcoming season!

Warmly,
Michelle
(Kindergarten Teacher at GWM)

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