Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Tables Have Turned

Have you ever heard of a nature table?  I hadn't either, until I started reading about Waldorf and Charlotte Mason education methodologies. 
What is it, you may ask?  It is an area where things are brought in from outside to reflect the changes of the seasons. Things on the nature table are meant to be gently played with and inspected by the children of the house and let them explore the wonders of God's creation as it changes throughout the year.

I have been holding off on incorporating a nature table at our house, as I was concerned with little hands breaking things, little ones choking on things, and honestly, what others may say.  I've really only seen it done in one other house.  And I must admit, I always look at it with longing...I realized that Jenn, our nanny was already doing a nature table if she knew it or not.  On the outside table one day last week, there was an assortment of black walnuts, leaves, sticks, and chicken feathers.  I asked her what it was, and Pyper said, "Mommy, these are my treasures!"  While outside, Jenn had the little ones pick up things on their adventures that interested them and put them on the table.  She told them they were treasures.  How true.  I realized I needed to change my perspective.  We have the perfect table to dedicate to God's treasures.  I'm looking forward to starting it. 

 My friend, Brandy, has been incorporating a nature table into their family's rhythm and home for quite some time.  I hope she doesn't mind me stealing showcasing her autumn table.  I did try calling her to ask permission, but she didn't answer.  I think she makes the prettiest ones.

This is a pretty winter table.  I might use a white play silk to cover the table since we live in an area with snow. If you live in an area without snow, you could use a light tan one, or even a piece or burlap to reflect the brown that most of the earth is as it goes through winter. We might have a bulb in a jar that we are 'forcing' and it is still dormant, but ready to spring forth with life soon. We could have some pine cones that fell from the tree out back, as well as a vase full of evergreen boughs. We could have some pebbles that we found on our walk, and arrange them in a path shape that leads up to a little house we made of bark that fell off a tree. We could have angels out of wool, or even use wool on the 'ground' of our scene to look like snow. We could have a ball of yarn that we are going to knit into mittens, with the work in progress. Which reminds me, I would LOVE to learn to knit!!!  We could have a mirror on the ground to look like a pond that has turned into ice, and we could prop up a branch that has no leaves on it to reflect all the trees that have gone dormant for the winter.

 I really like this Spring table and how it incorporates books with a Spring time theme.  I think I will do the same, as Pyper loves books and narrating what she "reads" in the pictures. 

A nice summer table.  Your creativity can really take off as you explore the different items you could display for each season.  I think if you had a beach vacation, perhaps you could collect sea shells, save some sand, maybe add a live hermit crab, and add a favorite mermaid to the table to make your vacation last longer. 

Do you think you'll start a nature table?  I am.  I can't wait!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

It was GRAND!

 We had such an outpouring abundance of love and support from our family and friends for our Grand Opening Party at the pharmacy last weekend.  Things are only getting better, too.  So, for all of you out there that helped, came and played, ate, and laughed with us, "Thank you!"

 My dad worked at the snow cone machine.  It was the greatest success of all.  The kids (and adults!) were lined up for snow cones!

 Jenn worked her booty off that day and that whole week.  We would be lost without her.  She is such a great nanny to our girls, and now she has even insisted on mowing our grass!  I think it's because she couldn't stand the way I did it!  ha!

 I love my Mother in law, Sharon.  The food was a huge success because of her!

 My amazing mom.  She really helped me stay calm (or as calm as to be expected) and watched the kids.  She's my rock. 

 Fauna whispering sweet nothings into Joshua's ear...

 My big 1 year old, Itty. 

 Pyper SO enjoyed the bouncy house

 Jay was the winner of the 39" TV

Our sweet Willow enjoying her Barbi

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

One Year Ago...

Our sweet Raegan Ellis was born.  Our lives were changed by this easy going, loves to be held/worn, ginger baby.  Her smile will light up a room and warm your heart, and her big blue eyes captivate you.  Happy Birthday, Itty.  May all your dreams come true.  Ours have.  

Friday, September 7, 2012

Climbing Up...

I was making breakfast the other morning and the girls got REALLY quiet.  You know you're in trouble when you can't hear your kids.  So, I came into the music room, and found this:

Itty has now discovered the stairs.  She hasn't actually climbed up further than this one, but only because I haven't allowed her to.  Pyper was very encouraging to her little sister.  I can't believe Itty will be 1 next week!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

A Sneak Peek!

The shelves are being stocked...

The canes are up.  I love the hot pink one.  When I'm an old Grannie, I want one like that.  

5 generations of Dickinson's on the wall by the waiting area.

Flora and Fauna, our new mascots are happy on top of their cage.  

A view from the waiting area.  The 50" TV will showcase many Virginia Tech football games and of course the news.

The drugs are on the shelves...

 One of our computer systems that will act as the register as well.

If you're in the area, we'd love to have you visit our new store!  We open on September 10!!!  Whew!  The journey has just begun!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Who's Your Daddy???

The baby chicks are now about 5 weeks old.  Remember when they were itty like this?  Fannie and Barry are growing like weeds, and their ever-protective momma, Ida Mae, has taught them to free range.  Fannie is a girl, and I'm pretty sure Barry is a roo.  I am quite attached to them, and contemplate daily what I'll do with 2 roos.  Only time will tell.

 They eat some corn from the garden...

 Crockpot looks over their work, making sure his flock gets enough of the good stuff.

Notice how orange and brown Fannie and Barry are?  It's because Ida is not their biological mother.  Mable, our RIR hen is, and I suspect, Hawk, is their father.  My friend Sheri took Hawk home to watch over her flock.  That's one of the many things I love about chickens.  Their ability to not give a hoot about biology, but to adopt babies, pellets and even adults into their flock as though they were blood.  Ida has taken care of these little ones as though she laid them herself.  It's truly an example to live by and to practice.  Not looking at the exterior package to determine worth.  I love that.  See, chickens can teach you quite a bit about unconditional, color blind love.