Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sweden in May
This is Sweden in May. It is the prettiest time in Skåne. I had to show you right now. I am doing the mega blog catch up and looking at my blog covered in winter pictures is deceptive and depressing. I must tell you how pretty it is here right now! So no matter that I am writing the easter post in drafts, let me fast forward to let you know it is green and alive here.
The Swedish flag, in Canola and Sky
The House in March from the Road
The same view two months later, in May, all lush and full of life.
The Liliac hedge
The view in our yard from the swings to the hammock
The view towards the trampoline in May
The Canopy on the walk near our house
Our Rhubarb and Apple Tree
Apple Blossoms in my Yard
At the university in Lund
So many Tulips

Hawthorn flower
So many dandelion wishes!

But the thing about Swedish spring flowers, is they are over as soon as they start. A brief and brilliant beauty. Leaving you wishing for more.
The Waldorf School
A big part of this spring has been the Waldorf school. SwedeGirl is on her third year at this play school, and it was SwedeBaby's first year. I hoped to have her settled in by the time the baby came, and it worked great. At the end of pregnancy it was icy, dark, and gloomy out and I wanted to curl up and hibernate. The kids went off almost daily to school to play, sing, be fed, and go outside with someone who could bend over more easily than I to get their boots on. After the baby came, their attendence helped keep them busy and entertained while I laid in bed nursing and recovering. This worked very well. The children got to play, I got to gestate.

The 6 year old can climb up the big tree

The two year old does well on this nifty branch climbing structure.
They mostly just do free play, but they do do a few projects at the school for the 4-7 year olds. They planted plants, made soap, colored, and made wet felted balls this spring.

Spring Grass for Easter
Each Wednesday they pack a lunch and go on a walk, and have a picnic lunch out in one of the nearby wild areas.
The little kids eat at the picnic tables on the playground when it is not wet out.

The day goes like this:
8:00am- School Opens, Oatmeal Breakfast served until 8:45am
8:30- Free Play Indoors, teacher may be working on a craft or project the children can help with.
10:00- Circle Time. Little ones do finger plays and songs, the older ones do games and songs.
10:30- Tea Time. Children get warm herbal tea in teacups, rice cakes, skorpa (hard toasted bread- crackers), knackebröd (like swedish bread like wasa crackers), with butter or sesame paste.
10:45- Outdoor Playtime.
11:30- Lunch Time. Organic Vegetarian lunch prepared by school cook and served at the classroom dining table. On Wednesday the go out for picnic wit ha lunch packed from home.
12:00- For Little children, nap time. They nap in pram style strollers lined with sheep skins. For older children, it is quiet time- they lie on sheep skins and are told a story. After the picnic outing in the winter, the children get warm foot baths and foot massages with lavender oil.
1:30 - Snack Time. Fil (fermented milk like kefor), Proviva (fruit soup with cultures), something baked by the school cook, or fruit.
2:00 - Free Play outdoors, teachers may be doing work in the garden or yard the children can help with
4:00 - School closes for the day.

SwedeGirl carried this chicken around the whole day
The old hen house is a play house now
The kids love the chickens, and pick eggs and feed them
The new hen house was designed and built by the 8th graders as a class project.
The play ground, SwedeBabys class room is in the building in the background.
My Kids love lots of just Sand box time
The school leaves out boards, wooden pallets, old cable spools, buckets, wheel barrows, shovels, garden tools and cutlery the kids use for all kinds of things.
They make pretend soup and soap
Sunny Sandbox time!
This is their best friend, my girls share a playground so they usually play together, and this little girl is almost always at their side.
Wooden boards make a balance beam.
The rope swing
SwedeBaby's classroom

A little kitchen
A farm
The adjoining classroom
The shared eating area
Dress up time!
There is a very deliberate and spiritually grounded method to everything in a Waldorf school. To learn more about Waldorf -Steiner Education, you can read a short summary about it here or read these original sources- lectures from Rudolph Steiner, the philosopher who founded Waldorf Education.
Getting Outside in the Early Spring
April 17th, waffles on the porch!
Initiating the porch in the spring time is a huge deal! It is wonderful when it becomes warm enough to eat outside. When we can open up our house, our world expands three fold. We have a fenced yard and we can leave the doors open and let the kids run in and out. The front and back yards are like new rooms to expand out into. And with the ice gone we return to 'street play'- things like chalk, stroller walks, and bike riding. And the neighbors who we have not seen all winter are out in the sun, playing and tending their yards, and the kids have friends to go see.

The first street chalk of the year!
A neighborhood walk, the nearby field we get snowballs from in the winter and wildflowers later in spring.
A stroller walk, parked next to the big pines for a nap
The baby swing, after the ice and snow but before the leaves return.
Digging in the potato beds and collecting yard waster in wheel barrows are fun spring activities
A little bird house in your soul
The hammock before the leaves
Now they are old enough to go out and play as sister playmates!
The 'fort' in the pines, a bed tent...
SwedeGirl made a sign declaring the fort her club house and invited the neighborhood kids over to play. We have two little girl neighbors the same age as SwedeGirl,one has a little brother, and we have a same age boy cousin living three doors up the street. It is wonderful to have playmates right next door!
Swingset fun in the backyard with the neighbor kids!
And solo ninja climbing.
Biking at the neighbor's house
SwedeBaby is in on the biking now she is 2!
With her sisters help it is even more fun.
Spring meant a return to bouncing
And SwedeBaby is a bouncer now too, by now she is very good and knows how to hold her own with the big kids on the trampoline as well.
A return to outdoor life was so welcome!!