Sunday, December 30, 2007

Moving Meditation

Someone commented to me today, "I don't know how you do so many things!" I have two responses that I would really like to share with this friend and with anyone who feels overwhelmed in their life or anyone who would like just a little bit more joy and efficiency in their day:

1. Remember that what you see of anyone online has a bit of illusion in it. I don't want to create the false impression that I am a "super-mom". It may appear that people online accomplish a lot because they only post their accomplishments online. This is the nature of life online. I don't think you all want to see a video of me sleeping in until noon or hear about how I spent two hours petting my cat!

2. As a mother, teacher, healer, friend, cook, cleaner and much more we all have so many "jobs" that it seems to leave little time for getting our work done and even less time for meditation and reflection.

I was inspired years ago by the Turkish (Sufi) or Buddhist method of meditation which involves making every moment of your life an opportunity for reflection, joy, meditation and enrichment rather than specifying a certain time to "meditate". I learned this method by example, first when I met one of my mentors in 1994 and then, again, when I visited Turkey in 1998.

I was first interested in this way of life because I was very frustrated by some of the chores I was doing every day and I was impressed by other people I saw who seemed to find such joy in these chores - even washing dishes!

What surprised me was that the more I practiced this way of living, the more efficient I became and the more work I was able to do each day - as a mother, teacher, healer, and much more.

You can find some written inspiration for this method in the books, "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle and "Shelter for the Spirit" by Thomas Moore. Hmmm...if anyone knows of any females who have written on this topic please tell me so I can include them too!

My favorite quote from "Shelter for the Spirit" is:

"Sometimes I still whine about chores. Cleaning is boring, repetetive, mindless, unappreciated, physically demmanding, sexually sterotyped and socially undervalued. In this state of noredom, reception and mindlessness however, we can be receptive to the divinity within us. Similarly, being called to an activity that is demanding, sterotyping and undervalued, can be used as an opportunity to gain hummility. It can bring us face-to-face with the mytic’s paradox: We are dust and we are divine."

And remember what Shakespere said, "Action is eloquence".

By living fully in each moment and experiencing each moment as divine you will find more joy in your life and you will also find that you get more done without even trying!

I hope that someone else will be inspired by this thought as I was years changed my life.

Blessings & Health,

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I felted my pet cat's fur yesterday!

Dear Parents,

So what does one do with their fingers when they have been knitting like mad for a month and suddenly one day they have a break with nothing to do with their hands?

Well, I ended up felting my pet cat's fur. It was sort of an accident, really. She saw that my lap was free (this cat follows me aroud like I am the Pied Piper and waits for me to sit down) a lot yesterday so she got petted A LOT. Finally I decided to switch to the little cat brush we have. So I brushed an brushed an removed some hair and had this little pile of cat hair. I was talking to a friend at the time and didn't want to get up and throw it away so I held it in my hands for a while and started messing with it...pretty soon it started to take on a felted texture. So I thought...hey - perhaps I could make something out of I made a little skirt for a doll.

Encouraged I made some hair for the doll and then a little baby dragon. Ran out of hair then. We have a nice white bunny and I tried to get some hair from her (I was having fun by this time) but she didn't want to be petted so...

Anyway, this was really easy. All I did was roll the hair around in my fingers for a while until it started to come together like felt. Before it was too stiff I started shaping it into what I wanted. I didn't use any needles. So I guess this would be "finger felting?" is there a such thing?


Blessings & Health,

Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND
Mother to Mosi, 13: Suni, 11: Sofi, 9
Natural Healing Online at:
Visual Resources for Waldorf Parents at:
Waldorf Lessons Plans at:

BLOGs about Waldorf, Healing & Humor at: (Frugal Natural Healing and Living) (Waldorf Home Schooling Inspirations) (Healing Humor) (Inspirational Thoughts) (A BLOG about my crazy car and charity work)

Response to "Letter from Santa"

I wanted to share with you all the response I received from my children when they received their "letter from Santa" in their stocking this morning (you can read it at: )

I was a bit worried. I took a long time writing out the letter from the link above in long hand and I took great care to make it very neat and unlike my own handwriting. As I wrote it on parchment style paper I added bits and modified bits according to the letters the children had written to Santa. Then I rolled the letter up, put a bit of yarn around it and put it in the stockings with their toys.

But as I said, I was a bit worried...what kid wants to be told "the truth" about Santa on Christmas morning? But I just sensed this was the right thing to do. Whew! I was right.

Sofi read me the 4-page letter twice, picking out the parts she liked best. The letter explained that Santa is an angel spirit that inspires people. But Sofi insisted that Santa had "Possessed me" last night...hmm...I think I like my version better.

But, overall, she and her brother were overjoyed with the letter. It satisfied their need to know more about Santa and transitioned them from the "stories" to the "truth" in such a smooth way. I was amazed how well it was all received. I didn't get any comments of sadness or dissapointment or anything! They were so excited to have all the extra information that was in the letter. Sofi called up two of her friends and read it to them too. She was beaming all day and could not stop talking about it.

I am sharing this with you all because I am just so happy! This was a "big event" in my childhood (which did not go well for me as a child) and was a "big event" on my parent-hood adgenda. I am just so thrilled that everything went well. It was a dream come true! (I just wish I could say the same of EVERYTHING else on my parenting adgenda!)

- Blessings & Health & Happy Holidays

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sofi's Easy Christmas Cape

Sofi went shopping with a friend of mine a few nights ago to get gifts for me and some other family members. I have to admit I was a bit worried. I don't like to set "rules" for people when they do me the great favor of taking my children out (hey, as a single mom you get desperate!) so I waited to see what would happen. Would she come home with a bag full of Polly Pockets and Hershey bars?

She surprised me. I would not have guessed in a million years what she would be buying. She saw some velvety fabric and purchased a couple yards of it. But I didn't even know that until she came out of her room wearing this gorgeous green cape secured with a golden button in the middle.

She wanted me to make another one for her doll. Her doll is very special because he older sister (13) gave it to her. So, although it is not a Waldorf doll, it has a lot of special energy in it as her older sister is living overseas this year so this doll is like a treasure to Sofi.

The fabric she had chosen was a strong velvet-like fabric that does not unravel so she had not had to "finish" the edges with any sewing. All she had to do was cut it and secure it with the button. I helped her make a smaller one for her doll and I showed her how to make a button hole for her button (we just cut in the sewing). She wore the capes and carried her doll with her all day yesterday. We got some "looks" as we were shopping - but I think most of them were smiles.

Sofi made her cape by just taking a large rectange of material and securing it with a button. All she had to do was cut the material to the right size and sew on the button. I made the doll cape by cutting the material in more of a circle and then cutting a line half-way down on one side of the circle. Then I cut a tiny button hole in one side and sewed the button on the other side. It took me about 5 minutes. The ease is in finding a fabric you do not have to sew (and in being the kind of person who can overlook a few scraggly edges to your cape).

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The Magic Thread of Life...

My children's favorite question this week is "Can we open our gifts yet?"

My answer is --- do you want to hear the story of "The Magic Thread" again?

It is such a wonderful story! A great story for patience during the Solstice, Christmas season and a great story to inspire you in leading your life in the New Year!

It is in the "Book of Virtues" by William Bennet. You can also find it online at:

Blessings & Health,

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Merry Christmas Squirrel

Fluffy Squirrel was our first guest at the wildlife Christmas tree this morning. Scroll down to see how we made the tree...
PS. Someone just e-mailed me from another list that peanut butter is bad for squirrels so to make sure the strings get hung far from squirrels. I didn't know that so I just wanted to tell everyone else too. For some reason this squirrel knew that - all he wanted was the oranges and apples. But, their advice was to hang anything with peanut butter away from the little fluffy darlings :)

Winter Snack w/Special Guests

This is now located at

Friday, December 14, 2007

Fairies Got Stockings Yesterday

Yesterday we put the finishing touches on the tree and the fairies got some Christmas stockings in their fairy house (see picture) as well. I always let the kids decorate the tree. Sofi did a great job hanging ornaments and Suni did an amazing job stringing the lights! They both decided that one of my knitted unicorns should adorn the top this year. I wonder what Santa will put in the stockings for the fairies?
That really big red present behind the tree is a super large book I found at Sam's club for $15.00 all about CATS. The pictures in the book are larger than real cats. I labelled it "To Stripey and Catnip" (our cats). It is driving the kids crazy! They keep telling me "Please tell us what is in it - we won't tell them (the cats)!"

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sofi's Holiday List - Age 8.5

Dear Parents,

I asked my children to make a Holiday list for me..there are so many holidays and birthdays coming up that I wanted to make sure I purchased them gifts they would appreciate and not just "stuff". So this is Sofi's list. HELP???!!!

1. A new CD player
2. 100$ or 300$ or 1000$
3. A Perfectly Clean Room
4. A REAL Harry Potter robe
5. Long Hair
6. A Fairy - a REAL one
7. To see Santa and his workshop
8. To become a fairy when I put any fairy dust on me
9. Mosi Mandil (her sister who is living far away right now) my WHOLE LIFE.

Healing Kool-Aid?

The first time I had a cup of cold hibiscus tea I thought it was Kool-Aid. It was in Egypt and I asked my host "Where did you get Kool-aid in Egypt?" They just gave me a strange look...

But that single memory has remained my motivation for sharing this recipe with as many people as I can. This herb is so healing and so healthy and if it tastes like Kool-aid what kid would not LOVE to drink this? And the benefits are so many!

This morning I woke up with a sore throat and a fever and immmediately made myself some of this drink. It is perfect for my condition - soothing to the throat, cools the body down (in Egypt they use it to stay cool in the summer - here I use it for fevers and for hot flashes :)), and is very high in vitamin C! This is the perfect herb to use all winter.

I made my yummy healing drink by pouring 4 cups of hot water over 4 tsp. of dried hibiscus leaves (order online, or buy at any local health food, Arab or Indian store) and then letting it sit for 15 minutes and straining it. I drank mine warm with honey but I am saving the rest to give my kids as an afterschool snack - whenever ONE person in the house is sick I always give everyone the herbs so more people don't get sick too.


Sunday, December 9, 2007

Let's Count BIRDS!

This post can now be found on our new BLOG HERE.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Easy 5-minute Doll Wardrobe

Dear Parents,

I am so excited about what Sofi and I did last night I have to share it! Sofi was asking me to take her shopping. She has money she has been saving that has been burning a hole in her pocket! She saw this wooden doll wardrobe at the store the other day (to hang doll clothing in) and she HAD to have it. It cost $50.00 and I was not so thrilled about her spending that money on a doll cabinet but I always let the kids do what they want with their allowance and learn their own lessons...sooooo...I told her - sure, we will go, just not tonight.

But Sofi is not the type to wait. So I hear her out in the dining room/woodworking/art/lesson room rummaging around. She asks me where the glue is. I hear noises....NOW I am curious! I find her trying to glue wood pieces together to make her own.

I was so impressed with her efforts I decided to help her a bit. So we thought a bit and rummaged around some more in the drawer, got out the nails and hammer (instead of glue) and came up with a doll wardrobe that was awesome and really took us only about 5-8 minutes to build!!!!

All you need are 4 pre-cut boards from the craft store, 2 screws, and a piece of bamboo (we cut from a garden stake in the garage). You don't even need to measure anything! You screw the screws into the same place on either side of two of the boards, insert the bamboo rod and you have the start. After that you just put a base and a top on and it does not matter if they fit exactly or not - they actually look cool with a little wood hanging over the side. We nailed the top and the bottom to the side with small nails. We only used a small hacksaw to cut the bamboo piece off.

In fact, you could put hooks in the side and hand scarves and hats from the side. Sofi made a couple "Hat Holders" for the top out of two old blocks with a popscicle stick nailed to them!

She LOVES this new doll wardrobe and is already wanting to make another one! Now we just have to make some nice wood hangers so it is all natural :)

Blessings & Health,


Thursday, December 6, 2007

Inspiration for New Home Schoolers

Dear Parents,
I was updating my websites tonight and found this wonderful page with many pictures of my old classroom on it. It would take you about ten links to find it from my main site so I am not sure how many of you have seen it. It has some samples of our classroom organization, crafts we did, breadmaking time, music time, etc...

You can find the photos at:


Blessings & Health,


Sunday, December 2, 2007

My Favorite Secular Seasonal Story...

This is now located at