Friday, December 19, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Letter from Santa
By Kristie Burns
Note: If you repost this to other lists please include the above header as this is original copyrighted work :) Thanks!
Update from last year:
Sofi has been talking about this letter all year and refers to it often when the tooth fairy comes and the Easter Bunny, etc...she treasures the letter and keeps it on her desk and has already brought it out again this year and said to me, "Mama, remember when Santa made you put presents under the tree last year?" As if she enjoyed the fact that Santa was playing a little "joke" on me:). The response to this letter has been more overwhelming than I imagined...so I am reposting this year. She talks about so many aspects of the letter. It really fits her world-view and has been a real blessing to her!
Intro from last year:
Truly I was inspired to write this letter. I didn't even think about it. I sat down this morning and it seemed to fly off the page directly from the depths of my mind to the keyboard without any thought inbetween. Perhaps it came because it is needed at this time when my children are questioning who Santa is. I have known for a long time who Santa is, but I have been unable to put it into words until today...
This is from Santa. Not the Santa of the chimneys and reindeer, but the real Santa. I have enjoyed the stories that people have created about me over the years but I think you are old enough now to know the real story. Did you know that in some countries I don't come on Christmas day? I come on St. Nicolas Day and I fill their boots with treats. In America they changed the story to Christmas day and I fill their socks instead of boots. Some people thought it was sort of icky to fill their socks so they created really pretty socks for me to fill.
Did you know that my story started in 280 A.D. When St. Nicholas was a saint? My spirit has existed since before then, but that was when people first started calling me St. Nick. The real Saint Nicholas was greatly inspired by the spirit of giving. He wandered the countryside giving away all his wealth to poorer people. He especially treated children with kindness and helped children who needed money or gifts. After that, many people in Europe, inspired by his name St. Nick, continued to give money and gifts to people in need and to children even after the real Saint Nick was gone. I didn't officially come to America until 1861 when the Dutch brought my celebrations to New York and distributed pictures of what I "looked like". Their name for me was Sinter Klass...which Americans made into Santa Claus.
However, as I mentioned before, just because my name did not come to America before 1861, does not mean that I have not always been here. For I am the spirit and angel of giving and charity. This concept is hard for some people to understand. People have a hard time understanding ideas or spirits or angels because they cannot see them. So to make it easier they sometimes make stories or draw pictures so it is easier to understand. That is the short story of how I, the angel of giving and charity, became known with a name and a face. And that is how you probably know me. I don't really mind.
I am known by so many different names and faces that are not the "real" me, but who doesn't like a story? I find the stories very creative and wonderful and since they are each accurate in their own way I don't mind! My favorite is the one about my riding a sleigh and delivering presents all night. That is accurate in a way, for I never sleep or run out of energy so I could, in theory do that, but I do not need a sleigh to ride. There are so many angels on the earth that watch over you and protect you and we each have our own job - some protect from accidents, some teach wisdom, some are keepers of history, and we each have done our jobs since the beginning of time and will continue forever to do our jobs for angels never tire and never sleep. We don't really have names but in some books we have given ourselves names to make our stories easier to read.
It is hard for humans to understand something that they cannot see and that does not have a name! You may also be familiar with the angel of awakening childhood (the tooth fairy who guides you across the bridge from childhood to being a young lady or young man as you loose your teeth along the way), or the angel of eternal life who teaches us about the endurance of spirit and the rebirth of the soul during Easter. And what about your guardian angel? Everyone has one of those. Some of the angels don't even have names. They are eagerly awaiting the day when humankind gives THEM names too.
It is an honor to be recognized by those we serve and to be given names and stories. You mom is writing this letter for me and she may or may not remember writing it. That is how it works. I inspire people to do my work through their spirit. Sometimes this may awaken them in the middle of the night to fill a stocking and they may think they were dreaming. Sometimes they are aware of what they are doing and remember doing it. But in both cases I have been able to motivate millions of parents around the world to share my vision. And at some point everyone understands that I am the angel of giving and they also know that they must continue to work for my vision in the ways that children will understand.
I don't know what story your parents shared with you. They are all different - even in little ways. However, I do know, that whatever story your parents told you was one that they thought would touch your heart and prepare you to understand more about giving and charity and joy so that you would be able to carry on my traditions during your life as well. My vision is that all children feel a sense of wonder and awe at the power of giving.
I want people to always feel this spirit within them and to look for ways all year to give and to help others. I am honored that a day was chosen to do this, but I don't want people to forget that we should do this every day. But since humans have created a day to honor my spirit, I want all children to wake up Christmas morning and to feel so wonderful and filled with joy that they are inspired to share this joy with others. This is my gift to the world. It is simple and yet is so powerful as you can see from what is happening around you this Christmas season. Please continue to tell my stories. I enjoy them.
I sometimes come by and sit by your guardian angel and listen to them. They are beautiful stories that make who I am into pictures instead of spirit. It is almost like when a painter has a dream and then he paints it. He is not really painting the dream, because nobody can really do that, but he has made his dream into a picture. That is what it is like with my stories. Nobody can ever really understand me completely - for you are humans and I am an angel spirit. However, the more stories you create, the closer you come to understanding who and what I am. So please continue creating stories and pictures and please continue my tradition and pass it on to your children.
Please know that as your mother was inspired to write this letter one day, you will also be inspired to write a similar letter one day. You may also keep this one and pass it on. Merry Christmas! Please enjoy the gifts I have sent you through others and please pass these gifts on to the people you love. - Santa
Thursday, December 4, 2008
This post can now be found on our new blog at www.BEarthBLOG.com
Monday, December 1, 2008
This post can now be found on our new blog at: www.BEarthBLOG.com
Friday, November 28, 2008
This is now located at www.BEarthBLOG.com
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Can't wait for the next snow!
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
It is a little early for this but people enjoyed it so much last year I wanted to give everyone time to share it. As I mentioned last year - you are welcome to post this to any list or on any BLOG or do anything you want with it, as long as you keep it intact with my name and website.
Twas the Night Before Solstice
By Kristie Burns
'Twas the night before Solstice
and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring,
not even our pet mouse
Knitted wool stockings
were hung with care
In hopes that St. Nicholas
soon would be there
The children were tucked
in organic cotton sheets,
The air filter blocking
pollution from the streets.
While mama stayed up
to make handmade gifts
I co-slept with the kids
and watched auras shift.
When out in the herb garden
arose such a clatter
I sprung out of our futon
to see what was the matter!
Away to the solar panels
I flew like a flash.
They took me hours to install,
I hoped they hadn't crashed.
The crystals we'd laid out
to absorb the moonlight
Sparkled like fairydust
and blocked my sight.
When, what to my
wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh
without any reindeer.
At that moment I knew
that the little old man
Had received my last letter
so bold and so grand
Could you stop using reindeer?
Last year I wrote him,
with the note a PETA pin.
As he neared the house
in his all-wooden sleigh
I noticed it was powered
by wheatgrass and hay.
Stockmar! Fair Trade!
Don't bother landing
if the toys aren't handmade!
"Hey Arriana," I called
to my wife with chagrin,"
With that body mass
do you think he's vegetarian?"
She paused only a moment
from her crafting and said,
"One moment dear!
I'm shaping this gol-darn Waldorf doll's head!"
On our roof I strained
to hear the ole boy
But I'd recently
insulated it with soy.
So I drew in my hand
and was turning around,
When in through the front door
came St. Nick with a bound.
The Advent wreath
had caught in his hair
As I said, "Why in the world
did you enter from THERE?"
The soot in your chimney
contains poisons galore.
You should consider
the environment more.
But he was dressed in fur
from his head to his foot
So I said, "Look whose
talking about my soot!"
A bundle of felt he had
flung on his back.
"I hope you like handiwork,"
he said with a laugh.
His eyes - how they twinkled!
His dimples were treats!
His cheeks reminded me
of when I dye silk with beets.
He must be of the
choleric type I mused.
It's a good thing with
lavender the stockings I infused.
With his fur boots
he slipped on the bamboo wood floor.
I offered him Arnica and
then closed the front door.
After all that I'd paid
to the energy company this year
I didn't want one bit of
that cold air in here.
He had a broad face
and a little round belly
I asked him,
"Have you seen your naturopath lately?"
He was so chubby and plump
I worried for his health
But I laughed when I saw him
in spite of myself.
He spoke not a word,
but went straight to task,
and weaving a mask.
He knitted a pure cotton sweater
and two pairs of mittens,
Then picked up a knife
and carved 2 wood kittens.
an entire nativity scene.
With the most amazing skill
I'd ever seen!
When he sprang
from his seat on the floor and arose
I yelled, "Arianna - watch -
there he goes!"
With the unfinished doll
she was struggling to sew,
Arriana went to watch
him out the window.
And I heard him exclaim
as he drove out of sight!"
Arriana, my dear,
the stiches are too tight!"
"Miss Kristie! Look! Look! Look what my fairy left me!"
It was Morgan, my "after school daughter". Morgan comes to stay with us every day after her school dismisses from 3:00-6pm. Since my eldest daughter is away during the school year this year Morgan uses her room. So we call her "my fourth daughter".
Morgan has built a fairy house in her room just like the one Sofi has in her room. They both look forward to signs that the fairies have visited. Is something out of place in the house? Did the fairies eat the chocolate they left for them? Did the fairies spill something or leave a note? Did the fairies leave a gift?
However, I didn't realize that Morgan was as entranced by the fairy world as Sofi was, until this past week. I thought she was just building the fairy house to have fun with, and because she liked crafts. Morgan, being 12-years-old, was not waiting for the fairies too, was she?
So, Sofi's fairy continued to leave "signs" and "gifts" (at night after Morgan left so Morgan was not hurt) but Morgan's fairy didn't visit at all. I still didn't notice what was happening. When Morgan came to me and said, "Miss Kristie, my fairy is not visiting." I put in my mind that perhaps her fairy should visit soon. However, I didn't put it in my mind as a priority. Even Sofi's fairy took a week break for a while there...
So I was surprised when Morgan came running to me with some gifts in her hand saying "look what my fairy gave me!" I smiled and showed my appreciation for the gifts. I imagined that Morgan had created some gifts "from her fairy" and this was making her happy. She seemed very happy. And since the fairies were on a break anyway, I didn't think much about it. Sofi's fairy had not visited for more than a week.
The next day Morgan came to me again, "Look Miss Kristie...my fairy left me a note!"
Each day it was the same until today I suddenly wondered....
'Sofi," I said, "Do you know how I explained what happens with Santa Claus and how sometimes we are inspired by these spirits to leave gifts?"
(If you are not familiar with the letter Santa left her last year you might want to stop now and read the letter at: http://thedreamangels.blogspot.com/2007/12/letter-from-santa.html)
'Yes" replied Sofi.
"Do you think perhaps Morgan's fairy has been inspiring you?"
"Hmmmm...I don't know, " said Sofi, "If she was I wouldn't remember."
"Are you sure you are not aware of helping her at all?" I pushed a bit...
"All I remember is going into Morgan's room for no reason and then I don't remember why I was there," Sofi responded.
That was the answer I had been expecting.
I was so touched. Without a word, without a formal ceremony, Sofi had taken on the tradition of "fairy messenger". She had created elaborate notes and gifts and things for Morgan's fairy to give her for the simple reason of creating joy and wonder for Morgan. The fairies had spoken to her.
She knew, intuitively, what to do and how to do it. She knew that you must never reveal your secret - even to those that know, she knew how to be quiet about it, and do it in a careful way. And at the same time she anticipated the wait of her own fairy eagerly and with great surprise and joy - completely knowing that it was I who was the messgenger but completely "knowing" that it was not I that left the items. Somehow she had completely grasped the idea of the wonder and mystery of it all and was able to be the messenger and the believer at the same time.
We completely skipped the entire drama of "Oh my! Really? There is no Santa? There are no fairies?" and peacefully merged into the next stage of her life where she becomes the messenger for the next generation.
There are two things that made this transition so peaceful. First, we do not stop believing in our home. We believe in believing. I tell the kids - you have to PROVE it does not exist or I will believe it is real! Secondly, the gift-giving and visiting process is done by teaching us to listen to our intuition and perhaps those tiny voices that come from other places. In learning to listen to those other voices we are able to gift without deception and be open about it. And the child learns to listen to their own intuition and their own angels and spirits guiding them...and the tradition is carried on.
I cannot say I understand it completely. If I did it would certainly lose its magic. All I know is that Santa continues to leave gifts, Zarelda (the fairy) continues to leave gifts and now, a new fairy leaves gifts for Morgan. And sometimes the fairy houses are disturbed and none of us know how or why...
Blessings & Health,
Friday, November 7, 2008
We are always working together to develop workable class mantras. By workable, I mean ideas that work for everyone in the class, are understood by everyone in the class and are meaningful to what we want to accomplish. I thought I would share some of my favorite "mantras" with everyone. What are some of your favorites? If you have some favorites yourself please post them to the end of the BLOG. Thank you!
1. Mantra One: We need solutions and not problems. This is to encourage students to come up with solutions to their problems instead of complaining. It is so easy to fall into the "I don't WANT to do that activity" mode. This mantra encourages students to come up with workable solutions instead of complaining. This works well because in the process of coming up with workable solutions students are given wonderful opportunities to be creative and they are allowed to "be in the teacher's (or parent's) shoes" for a moment and experience the actual difficulty of coming up with ideas. A good example of this was two days ago a child in the enrichment class said, "I don't want to make bread again!" When it was suggested that she find a solution to this "problem" she realized that she actually did want to make bread, she just didn't want the same toppings on the bread so we found some additional selections for her and she enjoyed her bread very much!
2. Mantra Two: We need to keep the air clean too! This is a reminder that our words and attitude can pollute the air in the same way the dust or dirt can pollute a surface. If gossip ensues, or children are teasing or focusing on negative thoughts they can be encouraged to keep the air cleaner by putting happier, more peaceful thoughts into the air. This idea can be expanded on. You can have an "air cleaning" session with a sage stick and some positive thoughts said outloud by everyone or you can do a little "acting" and pretend you are wading through a thick sea of dirty air.
Repetition helps enforce the ideas so instead of repeating the ideas 500 times, the familiarity of making it a regular statement helps to reduce the need for repetition and encourages everyone to participate in the "reminding". If you were to make a different comment every time someone complained it would become confusing to the child and would create an ongoing need for the parent or teacher to repeat their ideas over and over. When you use a "mantra" it makes it easier for the child to remember.
You can also create verses, poems or songs out of these mantras, you can draw them and hang them on the wall, or include them in the Main Lesson Book.
MEMBER BLOG TOPICS THIS WEEK
(there are many more topics in previous weeks. Scroll down to previous BLOG posts to see the previous member topics)
Montessori and Waldorf Meet on a Rock
My Favorite Nature Walk Theme & Activity - Full Lesson
There were many member questions answered this week as well. These questions included: Ideas for reluctant readers, natural tick removal tips, how to deal with "selfish" behaviour, and more.
The member video this week was "How to Make a Felted Bendy Doll"
Remember - for a limited time - when you become a member at www.herbnhome.com you only pay for ONE of the services (Waldorf Channel Membership, BLOG Membership or Health and Homeschool Consulting) and you get the other two services for free!
Friday, October 31, 2008
A Story from Sofi and Mama
YUM! All ready to drink! Yah!
Oops...no! This needs more marshmallows!
Uh....where did that other marshmallow go???
Perfect! Now I can drink my hot chocolate!
By the way... I am looking for a good home. If you want to adopt me please visit me at:
Friday, October 17, 2008
Kids minds can be like fire. You add a little spark of inspiration and they flames of creativity can reach quite high just from that little spark. It always amazes me. I will often plan an entire lesson only to have it take a completely different direction when the creative drive kicks in!
Monday, October 13, 2008
This can now be found on our new blog HERE
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Posted by Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND at 9:34 AM
Friday, October 10, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
Early in the morning the dim light reveals last night's project. I got our old blocks out of storage so the girls (9 and 10) could make a rat-maze for our rat. Instead they decided to build castles and they added a couple muffins for "royal cakes". I am so excited they still like the blocks! I guess I will take them out of storage! My grandfather made haf of them...my dad gave them to me.
Someone smells the muffins and starts her rampage of distruction :)...
(Grrr...WHERE are those muffins????)
Member BLOG posts this week include:
(Join at: www.HerbnHome.com)
Snack Inspirations & Philosophy
Using a Kids' Business as a Homeschooling Lesson
(and they even earn money and practice their music for "fun"!)
Previous Posts to Members-only BLOG:
Member BLOG posts this week included:
Easy Christmas Handiwork for Cat Lovers
Map Making & Woodburning with a Story - Complete Lesson
Autumn Snack Inspirations
Mom - vs - Manager
Fantasy Party Snack Idea
Independant Learning Tips
Member Tutorials at The Waldorf Channel include:
How to Make Block Crayons
How to Make Molding Beeswax
How to Knit a Rabbit
How to Make Fairy Wings
and MUCH MORE...
Sunday, September 28, 2008
For Sunday Sharing to day I wanted to share that I just uploaded 50 new vintage books (total 164 now) to my shopping site AND some beautiful wrap-sacks (reusable and trackable gift sacks). All these things are at least half off the retail price because when I find treasures I share them with my shoppers :) Of course I kept some of the awesome wrap-sacks for myself but I purchased a lot of extras. They are a great price so if you want more than one visit soon.
Posted by Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND at 1:54 PM
Friday, September 26, 2008
As you all know we have a million acorns in our front yard (yes, even after sending out over 1000 of them to friends online). So in my quest for more acorn crafts I came across a wonderfully simple and fun craft to make with the acorns. I have to admit this kept us occupied for at least an hour - we made many of them and had a "contest" to see how many we could get to spin at the same time. These really work as well as any top I've purchased from any store and they are much more fun because you make them yourself. The kids were wide-eyed when I showed them what "magic" acorns could do! Aparently this was a popular toy many years ago because I found the instructions for this on a lot of sites.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Relocated to New BLOG at: http://earthschooling.info/thebearthinstitute/?page_id=103
Thursday, September 18, 2008
When I attended the Waldorf parent-child class with my eldest daughter (now almost 14! WOW) I immediately fell in love with the playstands. I wanted one so badly! I was so envious of my friend who had a husband who was so good at making them he even donated a couple to a new initiative! But alas, I could not afford to purchase them. Years later, when I found myself in a better financial state and able to purchase a few more hierloom toys for my children I looked back at our photo albums and realized we already had playstands! In fact, we had so many of them - we were rich in playstands! I thought I would share some pictures of some of the playstands we have had over the years...
Dining room chairs of course...
Sawed off bedstands/bed frames....
Logs and sticks...
Even small chairs...
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
This is the title of our first members-only BLOG post. You are always welcome to browse the many offerings on this free BLOG. However, to gain access to the member's BLOG you must be a member of:
http://www.earthschooling.com/ Year Member
http://www.earthschooling.com/ Lifetime Member
http://www.herbnhome.com/ Consulting Member
If you are a member you can always login to the member's BLOG by using the password gate in the right hand-column.
Blessings & Health,
Year and lifetime members of the Waldorf Enrichment School/EarthSchooling Online now have their own private BLOG! I will be posting lessons and inspirations to that BLOG for all members of the year and the lifetime program. If you are a year or lifetime member you can login to your online member page and find a link to the new BLOG there. All members of firstname.lastname@example.org also have access to this new BLOG.
You are always welcome to enjoy the free Blogger BLOG, www.TheWaldorfChannel.com and email@example.com - all free from www.EarthSchooling.com
To gain access to more features and become a member of www.EarthSchooling.com you have 4 options:
1. "Try Us Out" - you can purchase 1 month of Waldorf Enrichment and receive an E-book for that month, life-long updates, student conversation all year, verses with audio AND 2 video tutorials (each month). There are many more features all described at: www.EarthSchooling.com
2. "Monthly Member" - if you decide to continue purchasing months you can make payments on a monthly basis and gain access to each month as you pay. You only pay for each month ONCE and then you remain a member for life.
3. "Year Member" - you can purchase an entire year of Waldorf Enrichment and you remain a member FOR LIFE so you always get updates every year. You also receive all 24 video tutorials for the year, and an E-book for each month of the year. In addition you receive the E-books "Sixth Sense Math" and "A Year of Waldorf Watercolor". You have access to your own password protected page where you can download all your materials from one place. You only pay for the year once - you are then a member for life. Now, you also gain access to the NEW member's BLOG.
4. "Lifetime Member" - Lifetime members have the same benefits of year members but they ALSO receive EVERY Waldorf E-book and video I have ever published and ever will publish. This includes all videos from lectures I do around the United States. Now, lifetime members also gain access to the member's BLOG.
ANY member OR non-member who needs ongoing consulting with homeschooling or health issues can join the Health and Homeschool Forum at firstname.lastname@example.org . You can read more about this at: www.HerbnHome.com
There is a very organized search feature to this group so you can easily look up previous questions and answers. All "chat" is deleted from the list weekly so the only files remaining in the archives are the answered questions, which can then be easily searched.
Posted by Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND at 11:08 PM
Monday, September 15, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
Someone asked for close-ups of the apple-picker. There are about ten close-ups and all sorts of angles I took photos from but I didn't want to "clog up the BLOG" with pictures so they are all here:
Apple Picking Day Photos (including close ups)
Enjoy! And please tell me about your experiences if you make one and use it! My son is STILL obsessed with his. He keeps it by the bed in his room :)
Blessings & Health,
Posted by Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND at 12:17 PM
Thursday, September 11, 2008
This article can now be found on our new blog HERE.
Posted by Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND at 4:23 PM
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
This article is now located on our new blog HERE