Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mardi gras

Aujourd'hui, c'était Mardi gras et sur des airs de fête, nous avons mangé des crêpes au chocolat comme dans la chanson :

Mardi gras, t'en fait pas,
J'te ferait des crêpes, j'te ferai des crêpes,
Mardi gras, t'en fait pas,
J'te ferai des crêpes au chocolat!

Le masque (prononcé maxce) de Mathilde

Celui de Mara

Celui de Aïsha

Et le mien

Puis on a fait quelques jeux pour l'occasion :

Hier, on a fait une peinture pour la St-Valentin (en retard, je sais, je travaille à ne pas être parfaite... c'est emmerdant pour mes lecteurs...)

Puis, on a continué la construction de l'enclos des cochons et les filles en ont profité pour se construire une plate-forme

Puis, on a aussi fait un petit sac de remise sur pied à notre amie Adélie qui a la fièvre...

Monday, February 23, 2009

The wisdom of Waldorf

The Waldorf philosophy is at the center of my life. I have read tons of books, I moderate and participate in forum discussions and live by its standards everyday. And I see my little girls blossom, and I love being at home.

Here are some great articles if you are interested in learning more:

Early learning by Donna Simmons (Donna's blog is full of great short articles that are very interesting)

The Wisdom of Waldorf by Rahima Baldwin (Rahima's website contains tons of great articles. Scroll down and look under articles and information)

Learning through imitation

Here's an excerpt from a great article by Nancy Jewell Power (Parenting in the preschool years) :

Rudolf Steiner gives us a most heartwarming thought for parents and teachers. It is not, he says, what has been brought to perfection in us that teaches the child but our striving towards higher goals. This strengthens children for life. Our destiny and that of our child are deeply entwined. We belong together. Our children come as teachers to help us realize our higher potentials.


The small child comes into our life like a fresh and capricious breeze. This wonder-filled soul comes in utter trust that we will give it what is good and true. With unconditional love and devotion it seeks to emulate us, absorbing all we bring, spoken and unspoken, deep into its being. We are like gods before it, the sun shining at the center of its universe.

Before the child we are called to stand in our truest humanity. We are asked to be all that we can be. What a responsibility! What a privilege! We can only be moved to humility and to gratitude.

Please know that the time of early childhood is brief. Let the child teach you anew the joy of discovering the wonder an beauty of the world. For you as a parent this is one of the most challenging times of life, and one of the most wonderful. Take time to enjoy the precious moments, to love your little one. The future of humanity depends on such deeds.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Bonhomme, bonhomme...

Enfin, la neige était assez collante pour faire des bonhommes cet après-midi. On avait pourtant déclaré un après-midi dans le salon au bord du feu à se coller dans le hamac et à lire des livres... mais quand JF est allé au poulailler pour chercher les oeufs, il s'est rendu compte qu'il y avait enfin de la neige à bonhommes... J'ai jamais vu mes filles s'habiller aussi vite pour aller dehors!

Le papa (baptisé Daniel en l'honneur d'un ami yukonnais)

La maman (Helen-Anne)

Et le bébé (Anick, bien sûr!)

Qu'est-ce qu'elles étaient fières de leurs bonhommes!

Et ce matin, nous sommes allés en raquette nous promener dans les champs de Shawn, le proprio des 200 acres derrière chez nous. On a eu une belle nouvelle cette semaine quand il est passé chez nous. Nous comptions lui demander si c'était possible de louer le grand pâturage près de chez nous qui lui appartient. Il nous a dit qu'il nous donnait avec plaisir le droit d'utiliser tout l'espace que nous désirions, que c'était pour ça que sa terre était conçue et que ça la mettait en valeur! Ça ne pouvait pas faire plus notre affaire! On compte utiliser la technique de rotation des pâturages inspirée de Joel Salatin.

Vue de notre maison et de la grange du bout du grand pâturage. Qu'est-ce qu'on est bien chez nous!

Et mémé a terminé le poncho de Mathilde!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mindful parenting

There are books that we read and re-read. This book is one of those for me.

Sometimes, it's just a matter of seeing with a different pair of glasses...

On a blog, someone said: It is one of those lovely books that is really more of an experience than a read, and like a beautiful hike, an experience that can seem different to you once you've grown and changed.

And my friend Carrie said: This book affects me deeply each time I read it, and each time I peel another layer of myself back in the process.

Those two affirmations are so true for me too...

I just wanted to share a couple of excerpts with you.

Mindful parenting is hard work. It means knowing ourselves inwardly, and working at the interface where our inner lives meet the lives of our children. It is particularly hard work in this era, when the culture is intruding more and more into our homes and into our children’s lives in so many new ways.

Maybe each one of us, in our own unique ways, might honor Rilke's insight that there are always infinite distances between even the closest human beings. If we truly understand and accept that, terrifying as it sometimes feels, perhaps we can choose to live in such a way that we can experience in its fullness the "wonderful living side by side" that can grow up if we use and love the distance that lets us see the other whole against the sky.

I see this as our work as parents. To do it, we need to nurture, protect, and guide our children and bring them along until they are ready to walk their own paths. We also have to be whole ourselves, each his or her own person, with a life of our own, so that when they look at us, they will be able to see our wholeness against the sky.

This is not always so easy.

On the other hand, if we can let go of our idea in such a moment of how things "should be," and embrace how they actually are with this child; in other words, if we can remember that we are the adult and that we can look inside ourselves at that very moment and find a way to act with some degree of wisdom and compassion, and in the best interest of our child-- then our emotional state and our choices of what to do will be very different, as will be the unfolding and resolution of that moment into the next. If we choose this path, she [the child] will have taught us something very important.

Exercises in Mindful Parenting, by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn

1. Try to imagine the world from your child’s point of view, purposefully letting go of your own. Do this every day for at least a few moments to remind you of who this child is and what he or she faces in the world.

2. Imagine how you appear and sound from your child’s point of view, i.e., having you as a parent today, in this moment. How might this modify how you carry yourself in your body and in space, how you speak, and what you say? How do you want to relate to your child in this moment?

3. Practice seeing your children as perfect just the way they are. See if you can stay mindful of their sovereignty from moment to moment, and work at accepting them as they are when it is hardest for you to do so.

4. Be mindful of your expectations of your children and consider whether they are truly in your child’s best interest. Also, be aware of how you communicate those expectations and how they affect your children.

5. Practice altruism, putting the needs of your children above your own whenever possible. Then see if there isn’t some common ground, where your true needs can also be met. You may be surprised at how much overlap is possible, especially if you are patient and strive for balance.

6. When you feel lost, or at a loss, remember to stand still and meditate on the whole by bringing your full attention to the situation, to your child, to yourself, to the family. In doing so, you may go beyond thinking, even good thinking, and perceive intuitively, with the whole of your being, what needs to be done. If that is not clear in any moment, maybe the best thing is to not do anything until it becomes clearer. Sometimes it is good to remain silent.

7. Try embodying silent presence. This will grow out of both formal and informal mindfulness practice over time if you attend to how you carry yourself and what you project in body, mind, and speech. Listen carefully.

8. Learn to live with tension without losing your own balance. In Zen and the Art of Archery, Herrigel describes how he was taught to stand at the point of highest tension effortlessly without shooting the arrow. At the right moment, the arrow mysteriously shoots itself. Practice moving into any moment, however difficult, without trying to change anything and without having to have a particular outcome occur. Simply bring your full awareness and presence to this moment. Practice seeing that whatever comes up is “workable” if you are willing to trust your intuition. Your child needs you to be a center of balance and trustworthiness, a reliable landmark by which he or she can take a bearing within his or her own landscape. Arrow and target need each other. They will find each other best through wise attention and patience.

9. Apologize to your child when you have betrayed a trust in even a little way. Apologies are healing. An apology demonstrates that you have thought about a situation and have come to see it more clearly, or perhaps more from your child’s point of view. But be mindful of being “sorry” too often. It loses its meaning if you are always saying it, making regret into a habit. Then it can become a way not to take responsibility for your actions. Cooking in remorse on occasion is a good meditation. Don’t shut off the stove until the meal is ready.

10. Every child is special, and every child has special needs. Each sees in an entirely unique way. Hold an image of each child in your heart. Drink in their being, wishing them well.

11. There are important times when we need to be clear and strong and unequivocal with children. Let this come as much as possible out of awareness, generosity, and discernment, rather than out of fear, self-righteousness, or the desire to control. Mindful parenting does not mean being overindulgent, neglectful, or weak; nor does it mean being rigid, domineering, and controlling.

12. The greatest gift you can give your child is your self. This means that part of your work as a parent is to keep growing in self-knowledge and awareness. This ongoing work can be furthered by making a time for quiet contemplation in whatever ways feel comfortable to us. We only have right now. Let us use it to its best advantage, for our children’s sake, and for our own.


  • Part One - The Danger & the Promise: The challenge of Parenting; What is Mindful Parenting; How Can I do This
  • Part Two - Sir Gawain and the Loathely Lady: The Story holds the key
  • Part Three - The Foundations of Mindful Parenting: Sovereignty; Empathy; Acceptance
  • Part Four - Mindfulness: A Way of Seeing;Parenting is The Full Catastrophe; Live-In Zen Masters; An Eighteen-Year Retreat; The Importance of Practice; Breathing; Practice as Cultivation;Free Within Our Thinking; Discernment Versus Judging; Formal Practice; Letters to a Young Girl Interested in Zen; The Stillness between Two Waves
  • Part Five - A Way of Being: Pregnancy; Birth; Well-Being; Nourishment; Soul Food; The Family Bed
  • Part Six - Resonances, Attunement and Presence: Resounces; Attunement; Touching; Toddlers; Time; Presence; Jack and the Beanstalk;Bedtime; Gathas and Blessings
  • Part Seven - Choices: Healing Moments; Who's the Parent; Who's the Child; Family Values; Good Consumers or Healthy Children; Body Madness and Yearning for Intimacy; Media Madness; Balance
  • Part Eight - Realities: Boys; Pond Hockey;Wilderness Camping; Softball Breaks Through the Gloom; Girls; Tatterhood -- "I will go as I am";Advocacy, assertiveness, accountability; Mindfulness in the Classtoom-- Getting to Know Yourself in School
  • Part Nine - Limits and Openings: Expectations;Surrender; Limits and Openings; Minding Our Own Business; It's Always Your Move; Branch Points
  • Part Ten - Darkness and Light: Impermance;The River of Buried Grief; Hanging by a Thread;Losing It; No Guarantees; Lost; It's Never Too Late
  • Epilogue: Seven Intentions and Twelve Exercises for Mindful Parenting; Intentionality -- Parenting as a Spiritual Discipline, Twelve Exercises for Mindful Parenting

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Une journée de repos...

Ça y est, j'ai fini mon super col avec la laine de Kathy!

J'avais apporté mon tricot avec moi au Spa des chutes de Bolton hier. Ma mère a gardé les filles tandis que JF et moi passions une journée en amoureux, qui s'est terminée à Magog avec un repas de moules et frites maison!

Même Chicca s'est reposée avec sa poupée Waldorf... Ho-hum!

Tandis que Mathilde lui lisait une histoire... En fait, comme elle n'écoutait pas, Mathilde lui a donné son livre et lui a dit de s'arranger toute seule!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Les trésors de grange

Notre grange nous a fait cadeau d'un autre beau trésor ce matin : un nid de merle d'Amérique abandonné avec un petit oeuf bleu tout gelé. Le nid est si rond et si parfait, c'est impressionant de constater tout le travail qu'accomplissent les mamans oiseaux! Cette belle découverte s'inscrit bien avec notre thème actuel des oiseaux! Il a déjà trouvé sa place sur notre table de saisons!

Avec le redoux d'aujourd'hui, nous avons fait sortir les poules. Elles ne sont pas très aventureuses... Puis, pendant que nous travaillions à sortir du bois de la grange pour préparer l'abri des cochons, Mara a eu l'idée d'aller jouer dans la cour avec Chicca... où picoraient les poules. Mais Chicca avait plutôt envie d'aller visiter le poulailler dont la porte était ouverte... Jeanne et Lilly, nos deux Chanteclerc, ont eu la frousse de leur vie! On les a retrouvé cachées dans la grange... Mara était dans tous ses états, sa mitaine encore pris dans le collier de Chicca qu'elle avait tant bien que mal tentée de retenir...
Et Chicca, elle, était perplexe et se demandait où étaient parties ses nouvelles amies...

Tout le monde a mis la main à la pâte pour vider l'abri des cochons!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Marius et Fanny : les chauds lapins

Voici Fanny, notre jolie lapine californienne!

Et son copain Marius!

Les poules ont dévoré nos restes de popcorn des guirlandes d'oiseaux!

Et voici notre première douzaine d'oeufs! Il n'y a rien comme des oeufs déparaillés pour une assurance qu'il ne s'agit pas d'une production de masse!

Et avec ces délicieux cocos, j'ai fait ces flans :

Voici la recette :

Spaghetti Squash custards

2 C steamed spaghetti squash
1/4 C butter
2 T coconut oil
4 eggs
1/4 t nutmeg
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon green stevia

Blend spaghetti squash in food processor till pureed.
Add melted oil/butter and blend.

Add spices and eggs, blend.

Grease glass/ceramic casserole dish or pie plate or ramekins. Bake for 30-40 minutes or
until it doesn't jiggle much when you reach in and shake it.

Puis, Grand-Maman Claudette a apporté un sac de surprises de St-Valentin aux filles, qui contenait entre autres choses, de jolis gants de toilette en forme de coeur assortis aux peignoirs qu'elle leur avait faits il y a quelques années! Quelle bonne idée!

Puis, aujourd'hui, ce fut une journée fort productive. On a commencé à libérer et à nettoyer l'abri à côté de la grange qui servira à accueillir nos cochons! Eh oui! Dans quelques semaines, nous irons chercher un couple de jeunes cochons Birkshire (noirs) de 5 mois!

Mathilde s'est amusée avec un vieux camion qu'elle a découvert dans la grange. Les trouvailles de grange sont de merveilleux trésors!

On a même pris la collation dans la grange!

Puis, on a exploré nos champs derrière...

Et on a fini l'avant-midi par de folles glissades sur les montagnes de neige fait par notre déneigeur sur des morceaux de boîtes de carton, comme dans le bon vieux temps!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

La St-Valentin c'est...

Une table toute rose au réveil, avec de petits cadeaux en forme de coeur...

Un joli collier confectionné par Mara et Aïsha pour Mathilde (lorsqu'elle était partie faire des courses avec papa...)

Un smoothie aux fraises et kéfir et des crêpes roses en forme de coeur (colorées au jus de bettraves)

De la peinture avec des coeurs et des oiseaux découpés dans des pommes de terre

Des gâteries pour les oiseaux et les écureuils

Des guirlandes de coeurs

Des cupcakes avec du glaçage rose (encore au jus de bettraves, bien sûr!)

Et pour maman, une journée mère-fille au Spa des chutes de Bolton!

Et avec, comme cadeau de St-Valentin de ma maman, un massage incroyable dans une yourte au bord des chutes!