Monday, June 30, 2008

Berry Surprise

This morning we woke up at home after being away for three days and after not looking at the garden much for a month because it has been raining for a month - and we had a wonderful surprise! There was a bumper crop of blackberries and black raspberries in our backyard!!!

That is what I love about NOT grooming our garden too much. It is like an adventure back there. We take out the worst weeds and we mow the lawn, but other than that we leave it wild and we never know what will come up each year! We also have some wild garlic coming up near the house and of course - tons of wild mint! I am so excited!

And what a welcome for my daughter! She has been in the desert all year where nothing grows and the first thing she noticed upon coming back to America was that A: It is GREEN! And B: It SMELLS like America! (hmm...I didn't know we had a smell LOL!)

Now we are off to eat blackberries with yogurt for breakfast. Yum!

Blessings & Health,


Monday, June 23, 2008

Organization Magic

(I WISH I had a before picture! Imagine the floor strewed with stuff and the bed was a loft bed but we cut off the legs and there were about 20 stuffed animals on the bed, etc...etc...)

You have probably figured out by now that I LOVE organizing things. But as I always say in my seminars on organization: "Organization is a point of balance you come back to but life is always changing. It is impossible to be organized all the time."

As I looked at my house two months ago this certainly looked very true to me. My organized house that usually took a brief run-though to clean, and usually looked in order was looking like a tornado hit it. And it wasn't that is was never organized. It was often organized...but it took a lot of work to get it to that point again every few days.

Something had to be done. So I looked into the first rule of organization. Did everything have a place and was everything in its place? It turns out part of the problem was that not everything had a place or the place was too small or not convenient so a lot of the things that were laying around were "homeless". And somehow homeless items always seem to invite company so...the cycle had begun.

So I looked at the things that did not have a home and realized that many of them we did not even use that often. So I went to the second rule of organization - do I have things that need to be thrown out? It turns out this was our main problem. And this is the hardest problem to solve because it involves taking everything out of drawers, shelves and rooms and putting back only what is still used and sorting the rest.

So we started the project. I thought it would take a week but it dragged on for 6 weeks. What kept me going was that I had a goal in mind and although there were boxes all over it was being done in an "organized" manner.

What we did was this:

1. We tackled five rooms at once - livingroom, art room, Suni's room, Mosi's room and Sofi's room. All these rooms were joined by a common hallway (or if not joined, at least near the hallway). I placed the boxes there.

2. I provided an endless supply of boxes with labels - garbage, Goodwill or charity clothing (each box was labelled with sizes so they were organized according to boy, girl and size), Ebay items, memory box items (old photos and art projects to keep), art supplies from bedrooms (so we could integrate them with the art room), and various other boxes as the topics came up. At one point we even had a box for memory album things because the kids had been working on them in their rooms and left supplies in there instead of the art room.

3. We dumped everything section-by-section in each room into the middle of the floor and the children and I sorted it all together (everyone did their own stuff and then I did a final sort after they sorted...because some things ended up in the wrong boxes LOL). We had boxes piled in the livingroom for 6 weeks. My friends were starting to give me strange looks and my kids were embarrassed to invite anyone over. I started wondering if I had made a BIG mistake!

4. Finally one day all the boxes were sorted. We had 40 boxes of things to go to Ebay, Goodwill, friends or storage. I put the boxes in the garage to deliver/sort later and we all re-claimed our space.

That was 5 weeks ago. Since then some major changes have shown up in our lives and they look like they are here to stay (after 40 days of something you can assume it is here to stay unless you work to change it...that is an old adage that runs true for many things)! Of course, I KNOW that having too much stuff causes clutter and makes it hard to clean, but I didn't realize the depths to which that goes (having moved so much in the past 20 years I never lived anywhere long enough to gather that much clutter) until I saw the change in myself and children.

Without the overload of extra stuff the following changes have happened:

1. Sofi, who has never had a clean room in 9 years suddenly is obsessed with keeping her room clean. Because she does not have an overload of stuff (but still plenty - whew!) she is able to clean her entire room in about 15 minutes which makes the time span more manageable for her. After she has things straightened up she has taken to 'redecorating" and moving things around - having fun with her new space.

2. Suni, who has always been organized, but has had trouble keeping things in place the past year, has had a meticulous room for the past 5 weeks. He reduced everything he owns to one shelf and 4 bins that fit under the bed and is quite happy.

3. I have not had to spend more than a few moments every day straightening up the house (of course deep cleaning takes extra time) and have been astounded at this change. It seemed that for a while I was always picking up things and putting them where they belonged. What helped the most was making sure all the art supplies, crafts and scrapbooking supplies were back in ONE ROOM. So now, they all have a place and they are all together in one room. This means that instead of having colored pencils all over the house they are only "all over" one table now. And the kids have been using the craft supplies much more frequently now as well.

Now I just have to list those four boxes on Ebay....sigh...

The other 36 have already been distributed to the appropriate homes.

I hope this inspires someone else to try the same thing. It really was difficult and seeing that mess in my house for 6 weeks was "painful" but in the end the results are something I can certainly live with for a LONG time! And like I said, I have never lived long enough anywhere to acquire so much so I really didn't realize what a gigantic impact all this extra stuff had on our lives and our state of being. Not only did the space change, but the Feng Shui changed too. Our entire lives are "lighter".

If you are interested in seeing any of the organizational videos I have done you can check out the "Homeschooling" link at

Blessings & Health,


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Waldorf Mini-Conference in El Paso, TX

This can now be found at

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Price increase in 2 weeks for all Waldorf Lessons

This can now be found at

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Iowa Floods Bring out the Unicorn-on-the-cob YOUTUBE Video

Unicorn-on-the-cob (It was living in Iowa and all...)

Click to play Unicorn-on-the-cob
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Make a Smilebox scrapbook

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Even Birds Build in the "Flood Zone"

Remember the other day when I was asking myself WHY to people continue to build in flood zones? There are so many reasons we thought of but I didn't think of the most basic reason - instinct. Is there something about us that causes us to just want to stay in a familiar place no matter how dangerous it is? If we are anything like the birds that live in my Gazebo then the answer is YES! We have lived in this house for 3 summers now and this is the THIRD summer that these birds have built a nest in the gazebo roof. A cozy place...
...see the baby bird peeking out of the nest?

The only problem is that every year we find dead baby birds on the floor of the gazebo. So I was sure they would not build there AGAIN! But they did. So when Sofi and I were having our tea party this morning we decided that they needed some help. We took some scrap fabric and made a baby bird hammock! We could hear the little babies chirping as we hung it up. Hopefully they are safe now! Mama has a couple little openings she can get into. I'll check on them later and make sure mama is coming back...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Waldorf Storytelling: The Unichronicles

Our new show this week on the Waldorf Channel is now available at:

It is called "The Unichronicles" and is an example of what Waldorf Storytelling would look like if the figures could move themselves. I think I am safe in saying that this is the first animated knitted unicorn video ever made. LOL!

And it is just so DARNED CUTE! Sofi and I had so much fun making it that Sofi is already planning our next one. It took us the entire day but it was a fun day!

It is ten-minutes long but it has a surprise ending that is fun :)

SPOILER: Kimberly - don't watch this unless you want to know what your unicorns are going to look like when they arrive in a few days!

NOTE: Tizi...what do you think? Do you have any characters that want to join in next time?

Blessings & Health,

Friday, June 13, 2008

Waldorf Memories

This post can now be found on our new BLOG HERE

Falling Trees and Friday the 13th

So what is the perfect handiwork project to do when rainstorms have knocked down numerous branches in your yard and it is Friday the 13th? Right! Use a saw! Make something out of wood!

(Ok, my 11-year-olds thought that was funny LOL)...

Today we made Father's Day frames from felled trees.

First we cut a slice of tree branch...

Then we sanded the slice...

Then we cut a groove in the slice...

Then we put a piece of wood in the slice

This wood can now prop up photos and makes a nice desk frame :)

We decided to put pictures of the kids sawing the wood into the frames.

Blessings & Health,


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Time Travel

Today we visited the Living History Farms in Des Moines, Iowa here and had a wonderful time! There were only a few people there and the place is so large that we didn't run into many tourists. It made the experience even more amazing. We helped the print shop owner clean up his presses...

...the kids swept the floor in the broom making shop...
...and Sunii got to make a hook in the blacksmith's shop by fanning the coals, heating the metal, pounding the metal, cooling it in water and then drilling it...
We even visited a pharmacy from the 1800s. The kind pharmacist took down various jars from the shelf and had us smell them and guess what they were.
At the end of a couple hours we had only seen a few shops (out of perhaps 40 possible places to go) and decided to head home on the covered horse-drawn wagon. We are looking forward to visiting again. They have so many opportunities for participation that you can't possibly do everything in one day. Now I just have to figure out how to get the kids to work that hard at HOME!
Hope you are enjoying your summer days!
Blessings & Health,

Our Charity Donation to Chinese Waldorf School

Thank you to everyone who purchased E-books for the Waldorf School in China. I will be sending a check for $75.00 on our behalf to WECAN (Waldorf Early Childhood Association) this week.

Blessings & Health,

Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND
Mother to Mosi, 13, Sunii, 11, Sofi, 9
Living in Des Moines, IOWA after travelling the world :)
Enrichment Curriculum, Video Tutorials, E-books, Consulting & More
Naturopathic Healing Classes & Consulting
Knitted Herbal Healing Unicorns
Free video tutorials for crafters & homeschoolers

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Sharing our Waldorf Enrichment Day in June

We have been having such fun! I've had Waldorf Enrichment classes every day this summer so far and I could go the rest of the summer if I was not travelling! Every morning we do a "field trip" or two, then we have lunch, and then we do some crafts and/or stories and/or art projects.

My favorite field trip this week was our walk. It was gorgeous spring weather - not too hot, not too cold and not raining. Perfect - right? Well, I forgot that it had POURED the night before about ten minutes into our walk we hit a lot of mud. But the kids didn't want to go back. It was too much fun! So we walked the 30 minute walk on the bike trail all the way to Julie's house (a local artist) to see her fairy house and then we walked back. Along the way we saw so many amazing things! A walk after a big rainstorm is a completely unique experience!

We saw semi-dried mud puddles filled with really long worms that had left "worm print" patterns all over the mud with their bodies. Now how often do you see a "worm print"???? Cool! Sofi was amazed at how big the worms were - much bigger than the ones in our worm bin at home!

We saw a bunch of newly "hatched" mushrooms and I explained to the kids that they always come out like that after a rainstorm because the fairies use them as umbrellas. They are 9, 10 and 11 so they tried to tell ME that it was because mushrooms grow best in extremely moist conditions...but I know better! LOL!

And everyone got really really muddy feet so we went in search of a big rain puddle we could wash off in. An hour and a half later we arrived back home - very tired but laughing and ready for an early lunch!

Wishing you all the best rainy days :)

Blessings & Health,

Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND
Mother to Mosi, 13, Sunii, 11, Sofi, 9
Living in Des Moines, IOWA after travelling the world :)
Enrichment Curriculum, Video Tutorials, E-books, Consulting & More
Naturopathic Healing Classes & Consulting
Knitted Herbal Healing Unicorns
Free video tutorials for crafters & homeschoolers

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Cute Father's Day Verse & June has MORE stories and verses....

Papa Fishes
Norwegian Folk Song

Fishy, fishy in the brook,
Papa catch him with a hook,
Mama fry him for our sup,
Baby eat him all right up,
Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum, yum!

Of the 50 or so verses I just uploaded to June this was my favorite :) This verse is from the ages 2-3 section. There are also verses for all other age groups ages 2-12.

Bobbie asked for some more thematic stories and verses for June and I already have some in my files from past years (you do this for enough years you actually get BURIED in verses and stories) so I have been organizing them to upload to the June member's page. All June members already get 4 lesson blocks for the month and IN these lesson blocks are stories and verses. However, each lesson block has its own theme.

These new uploads will be for everyone who is a member of the June group and will include the following additional themes in the form of A LOT of VERSES and STORIES:

Father's Day
Midsummer's Night
The Sun
The Sand
Saying Goodbye

As a June member you also get to choose FOUR lesson blocks from the list below. If you have not written to me requesting your blocks please do so. But if you are busy that is also OK. You can write to me in December and I will still send you your June lesson blocks - LOL!

Choose from:
Herbal Form Drawing (NEW in July)
The Arabic Alphabet Using the Waldorf Method
Herbs for Kids - Part ONE
Herbs for Kids - Part TWO (NEW in June)
Woodworking for Kids
Woodcarving for Kids
Waldorf Watercolor Painting
Storytelling and Theater for Kids
Knitting and Weaving for Kids
Cooking with Kids
Natural Gifts Kids Can Make
The Four Elements - Earth, Wind, Water, Fire (NEW in June)
Exploring Aromatherapy (NEW in July)
Running a Business for Kids (NEW in July)
Exploring Mandalas (NEW)
Sixth Sense Math & Language Enrichment

You can sign up for June (or anything else) at:


Monday, June 2, 2008

The Arabic Alphabet - Waldorf Style

This can now be found HERE:

You know it is summer when...

Our rabbit takes up residence in front of the AC vent....

Nobody is wearing socks anymore so the cat thinks the sock basket is a new cat bed....

Zarelda the fairy moves to her summer (OUTDOOR) home...

The cats enjoy a little evening entertainment from our friendly neighborhood raccoon...

How do you know that summer is coming at your house?