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Children and Animals

On our (itty bitty) farmette we have 2 Old English Southdown Babydoll sheep, 18 chickens plus one rooster, 3 muscovy duck hens, 2 angora rabbits and a little rabbit of unknown breed that is just as sweet as sugar. These wonderful animals supply us with farm fresh eggs daily and the most beautiful fiber for spinning and knitting. And in return, we feed them and house them and protect them and care for all their needs.
Keeping livestock, or any animal for that matter, is a big responsibility. They depend on us, on a daily basis, to ensure all their very basic needs are met. It is such a beautiful, mutually beneficial relationship and not one to be taken lightly. It’s also a wonderful way to teach children  about responsibility, healthy interdependent relationships, giving of oneself and also provides a great learning tool for understanding where the things we use really come from. Wool is not just brightly colored yarn that Mama buys from the store for knitting toys and woolens. It comes from sheep. Sheep that eagerly come running for treats whenever anyone even glances their way. Sheep that Mama sheared that wool from with her own two hands.

And eggs aren’t made by people or machines, lined up and waiting to be bought on grocery shelves. Eggs come from chickens and they come from ducks. Ducks that hide their eggs away and hiss if you try to take them. From chickens that like watermelon and, if you happen to walk into the hen house or barn at just the right moment, you can wait for and watch lay those eggs right before your very eyes. And when you scoop them up after the hen walks away, they’re dark brown and so warm.

The main gathering area for our animals is directly behind our house and you can hear the rooster crowing in the morning and hear the sheep, bleating for one another, come on now! We have a rule, people do not eat before our animals have been cared for. So, after my girls and I are up and dressed in the morning we all head outside.

The girls very eagerly help with chores, filling water tubs, feeding rabbits and chickens, ensuring the sheep have fresh hay and collecting eggs. It takes just a bit longer when they help, but it’s so worth it to have them involved. Such joy it brings them to interact with and care for our animals.

It isn’t practical for everyone to have a barn yard in their backyard. We are very blessed to be able to have such a close relationship with them. But, perhaps your family has a cat or dog your child can help care for. Even very young children can help scoop food into a bowl and then are overjoyed to watch the animal eagerly eat what they provided. They can also help groom some pets with a soft brush and gentle hands. Local farms are also a wonderful way to show children the origin of things we all use but frequently take for granted.

When approached with love and respect, human/animal relationships can be so beautiful and rewarding. Let’s not forget to teach our children this, as well. Through them we can witness a generation that treats animals with respect and dignity, instead of a means to an end.

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What I’m Loving This Week


Chanterelle MUSHROO…

$16.90

Felt Animal – Tiny …

$9.50

Cedar Tree Branch B…

$4.95

Bamboo Velour Lovey…

$15.00

Waldorf Play Silk W…

$22.50

Kneeling Fairy – Pa…

$9.50

Waldorf Doll 12 inc…

$112.25

Handcarved Wee Wood…

$15.00

Beeswax Heart with …

$10.00

Waldorf baby doll…..

$55.00

The Village Well / …

$43.00

Up-cycled Wool Tree…

$22.00

Set of 6 Hand Turne…

$42.00

Baby Rattle – woode…

$19.00

Organic Waldorf Hea…

$140.00

Knottie baby sleepe…

$44.00

♥This space

♥This costume idea

Watercolors on the go

Wheat rolls… makes me want to bake something warm and chewy.

♥What a fun idea!

♥I’m beginning to think pumpkin-y thoughts

♥And apples, too

This family is fantastic and so inspiring

 

Hope you are all having a beautiful Sunday!

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Girls Love Dinosaurs

My middle daughter loves dinosaurs. She loves cars and trucks and playing the boy parts in pretend play. She plays rough and growls to show what a big, scary dinosaur she can be. She also likes to wear ‘boy clothes’… shirts with bugs and cars and, of course, dinosaurs.

Not every day. Some days she is a fairy or a princess. Some days she likes to put on her frilliest, pinkest dress and be ‘girly’. Some days she absolutely won’t wear the bug shirt because she “doesn’t want to dress boyish!”. Some days she feels torn about what she likes and I would say, even feels bad about being a little different than some other girls she knows, or somehow thinks girls should be. I really don’t know where this comes from. I encourage my children (three girls) to try out any type of toy or style of clothing they may like, trying my hardest to ensure they aren’t getting any gender stereotypes from me. I suppose, though, try as I might, that these stereotypes are going to sooner or later leak in somewhere. Obviously they have, perhaps from playing with friends or her cousins who live just next door.
So, how do I protect my children from these stereotypes? How do I give them an environment where they can make up there own minds about who they are and what they like and who they want to be?

This is no easy question.. or, perhaps if it is you can fill me in. Our society is saturated with gender stereotypes (among many others). Girls like this and behave this way and dress that way, same for boys. We get uncomfortable when those lines are blurred. I know parents who are afraid to let their little boys play with baby dolls. What is this fear?! Who determines these roles?Well, I for one won’t. My little girl can play with dinosaurs and trucks and baby dolls and fairy wands til her heart’s content. It is not for me to decide who she is or what she likes or who she will be. When she becomes upset that someone might tease her if she wears her bug shirt, I remind her, it’s not ‘boy clothes’, it’s Zoe’s clothes.

 

For more on the topic of children and gender stereotypes, check out this series of articles by Lori, of Beneath the Rowan Tree.

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What I’m Loving This Week

♥ I’m thinking woodland tea party (thanks for pinning this one, Lori!)

♥ Make your own lavender bug repellent/bite soother spray

♥ Love this idea for organizing rubber boots

♥ You can make your own chalkboard paint in any color! I didn’t know that… so cool.

♥ So much autumn goodness from our team. Are you ready for it?

Article written by Julie of This Cosy Life


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Organizing With Baskets

In our home we use baskets as an essential storage system. I find they’re not only useful but also bring a sense of beauty to something as mundane as organization. I wanted to share a few of the different ways we use them.

To hold toys and play silks. We keep a few in the main living area, as well as my girls bedroom. I think having them in different rooms and having different baskets for different types of toys teaches my children that everything has a place and also invites spontaneous play more so than grouping all toys in the children’s bedroom or playroom.

Holding books. Once again we use separate baskets for different types of books. One to hold my youngest daughter’s board books and another for our seasonal books.

In the kitchen/dining area. This is one of my favorites, I just love it’s shape and seeing all the clean napkins, folded and ready for use.

Holding yarn. As an avid knitter I have many baskets of yarn.

More yarn…

A collecting spot for clean diapers. Keeps them easily assessable and at the ready.

Near the door, holding seasonal items. Sun hats when it’s warm out and woolies when it’s cold.

This one I keep in the kitchen, by the sink. It holds things I use in the kitchen but aren’t food related. Lanolin for wool diaper covers, wool wash for the same,beeswax for various projects… needs to be melted in the kitchen. I also keep the jar we use for water when we paint and a small bottle of lavender essential oil that I like to add to my homemade all-purpose cleaner.

A basket kept on the table, ready for spur of the moment drawing and coloring. I think it’s rather important that my children’s things are easily assessable to them. Baskets are invaluable for organizing their things where they can easily reach them and still blend well with the rest of the home.

And when all else fails, we hang them from the ceiling! These organize various craft supplies and hang in my office/workroom.

I would love to hear/see how you use baskets to bring order to your home.

Article written by Julie of This Cosy Life.

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What I’m Loving This Week



Cedar – Upcycled Wo…

$98.00


waldorf doll clothe…

$29.50


Wooden Book – Natur…

$22.00


Spike the Little He…

$22.00


Waldorf Gnome Pod N…

$15.00


Wooden Toy- Waldorf…

$48.00


Playsilk and Wooden…

$22.50


Mobile or Wreath Au…

$30.00


Moss Green Linen Ri…

$50.00


Waldorf Toy Organic…

$27.50


Oak Gnome and Mushr…

$15.90


Evergreen Play Time…

$10.00


Needle felted Forwa…

$38.00


Open Top Box Hauler

$80.00


Light Green Window …

$11.00
Link

Needle Felted class="gl_link"Play …

$40.00

Etsy treasury created by Adolina

And for what I’m loving this week…

This fabulous A-Frame tent tutorial. I know my girls could spend all day every day in one of these.

♥I’m tucking this idea away for the holidays.

Weaving felt danish hearts.

♥Love these natural hooks!

♥A 21 part Youtube series on kangaroo joeys developing in the pouch, plus the birth. I can’t wait to show this one to my girls. It’s amazing!

I hope you’re all having a beautiful Sunday!

Article written by Julie of This Cosy Life

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Summer Days

Summer beckons to us, old and young, to come out and play. Currently, my girls and I haven’t been out nearly as much as we would like, as, often we are overcome with the heat and retreat back indoors.

When we do venture out, we’re usually in search of water. The creek, only about a quarter of a mile from our house, is a favorite spot. These are the days of summer. Heat broken by the rushing, sparkling water. Mud squishing between our toes. We make mud pies, catch water bugs and build rock villages.

We splash, we get soaked and bask in the cool breeze that comes over the water.

There is such an energy that comes with summer, the long days, everything growing like crazy, new adventures around every corner.

Soon the summer days will be drawing to a close, though, children will be going back to school, my own eldest daughter will begin her first home school year. And as the days grow shorter we begin our inward journey.

But, right now, for this last little bit, we will enjoy outside adventures, dipping our toes in the creek, campfires and playing in the sun.

Article written by Julie of This Cosy Life

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Knitting a Treasure Bag

My children love picking up little things they find; cast offs, coins, shells, pebbles, insect wings. They like to have a place to put all of these wonderful little treasures they find and I’ll bet your children (or a child you know) does, too. So, if you’re handy with knitting needles why don’t you whip up this little pouch for them? It’s a super quick and easy knit. It also makes a perfect bag for holding games such as jacks or tic tac toe.

Supplies

Worsted weight yarn (a small amount, maybe some you have left over from a large project) in one to two colors

A set of four double pointed needles US size 7 (4.5mm)

US size G (4mm) crochet hook

A yarn needle


Abbreviations

kf&b- knit into front and back of each st to increase

k2tog- knit 2 st together

Knitting the Bag

Cast on 3 st.

Knit each st front and back, distributing evenly over 3 needles.

Rnd 1: kf&b all st

Rnd 2: kf&b the first and last st on each needle

Repeat rnd 2 til you have 16 st on each needle. (48)

Knit all st in stockinette (knit all rnds) for 24 rnds.

If you like, you can alternate colors through this part, knitting 2 rnds of each color at a time, 12 rnds each.

Now we will knit the draw string holes.

*K2, yo, k2tog* Repeat** to end of rnd.

Knit 3 more rnds and cast off. Weave in all ends.

To make the drawstrings

If you knit the bag solid, use the second color to make the strings. If you striped your bag, you can make one string of each color.

With your crochet hook chain 100, making it kind of taut. Make 2.

Using your yarn needle, weave one chain in and out of the holes. Tie the ends together when they come out of the last holes. Weave in the ends. Weave the other string in, in the same way. Once they are tied and ends are woven in pull each string in the opposite direction, cinching the bag closed.

Now, give it to someone special and let them fill it up with all sorts of treasures!

Questions? Email me at thiscosylife@yahoo.com or visit me online at This Cosy Life.

This pattern is intended for personal use only.

Article written by Julie of This Cosy Life