Friday, December 6, 2013
The Crunchy Pagan Mom Blog will be getting a little winter cleaning performed on it over the next couple of days. If you notice that things appear a little wonky at first, don't worry, I'm probably futzing with it (or breaking it, somehow).
I'm doing this because I noticed a few issues with the blog. Some of my backlinks are broken, a few of my affiliate links have changed, and just other random goofiness.
To be honest, I really hate the tedious stuff. I'm not fond of putting up links, or any of that random necessary blog work. Of course, this is why things get a little wonky. I get lazy and let links and such go out-of-date. :(
Oh well, maybe one day I'll manage to stay on top of it all!
Anywhoodles, you can always follow me on Facebook to stay up-to-date on whatever is going on with the blog. Especially if I do manage to somehow break the blog...
As always, thank you guys so much for reading my little blog. I hope y'all are all still enjoying it and having fun.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
This is part 2 of my series "A Waldorf-Pagan Inspired Parenting and Homeschool Philosophy".
From the ages of 6 months to 15 months, your little one begins learning and exploring the world around them. They become so fascinated with the world around them, that they can't wait to get up and begin exploring it.
|Our kitchen altar.|
Something that is incredibly important during these ages is to rely on your child's queues, your own instincts, and your intuition. This is the age range in which society will begin to bash you for what you believe in and how you raise your child.
If you are constantly being told by family and friends that you should stop breastfeeding because your child has reached 6 months (Apparently a magical age when your child needs to suddenly no longer rely on you. Perhaps they'll even go out and get a job by 8 months if you wean them even earlier!). Instead, rely on your body and your baby's queues. If you and baby want to continue breastfeed, then by all means, give that kid some boobie! Breastfeeding is perfectly healthy (and even normal in nearly every continent BUT North America) well past the age of 6 months. Some people even breastfeed on up to 3 to 5 years. Just go with what your baby wants and go with what you're comfortable and happy doing.
It is a very normal, natural, and Pagan thing to breastfeed. Of course, if you cannot breastfeed or don't feel it's right for you, that's okay too! Just go with what works best for you and your child.
It is also during the ages of 6 months to 15 months that your child's personality will really begin to shine! Some children (like both of mine) are born with lots of personality. Big A was a very boisterous and happy baby. He loved to giggle and he loved to be cuddles; still does! Little a came out very serious, but with a clever sense of humor. She is pretty happy with just chilling out and cuddling up against someone. But when she wants to be put down, buddy, you had best put her down! During this time, just observe your little one's personality. It is so amazing to watch them exhibit their personalities at such young ages.
(This part doesn't exactly follow the Waldorf Philosophy) During this time, Viking Man and I would read to Big A, a lot. We didn't necessarily read directly to him, though. Often times it would be us simply reading-out-loud what we were interested in reading. By about 12 months old, Big A began bringing us books that he wanted us to read to him. We always read to him when he brings us a book. Now that he's almost 2 years old, he cannot read but he loves to pretend like he's reading to Little a. Personally, I feel that if you demonstrate a love for reading, your children will pick up on it and will want to read themselves.
Big A never wore shoes until he was 12 months old. He began to walk at 6 months, but we rarely ever went anywhere that wasn't safe for him to walk barefooted (with socks). Even today, at 2 years old, I can count how many times Big A has worn shoes on my fingers. He doesn't enjoy wearing shoes and we don't force him to wear them. The only time I ever encourage him to wear shoes is if we're going hiking; in which case, I know the rocks that we climb are a little jagged and can hurt his feet. It is important that children (and adults) are able to feel the energy that Mother Gaia emits. Our bodies need it to balance everything out.
If you do want your children to wear shoes, make sure they are breathable, light, and are not tight around their growing feet. The tightness of shoes, like tennis shoes, are very restricting and can hinder the constant growing process your little one's feet are going through. I recommend buying shoes from someone like Ozark Mountain Mama. Her shoes are made with recycled, organic fibers and are great for growing feet.
|Little a and Big A cosleeping.|
I also made all of Big A's baby food so that I knew exactly what was going into my child's meals. My husband and I feel that our Pagan path also en-tales us living a healthy lifestyle. We eat whole, organic, and locally grown foods and try to pass on our love for good food down to our children. We want our foods to be as close to how Demeter and Gaia grew them.
When we read to Big A, we read a great many stories on fairy tales, legends, and myths. Waldorf encourages reading these kinds of stories to help lay a moral/ethical foundation for little ones. This works out great because Viking Man and I always intended on our children knowing these stories due to our religious beliefs.
It is very important, during this time, that you stick with a rhythm, as was outlined in Part 1.
When your child is able to sit up and play with manipulatives, encourage them to learn through play. Create a learning environment for them. Waldorf encourages you to not purchase plastic, meaningless toys for your child to play with. Instead, invest in balls for them to learn to throw, wooden blocks, legos for them to build with, and art supplies for them to craft (play doh, finger paint, etc.).
Continue to try to avoid television, loud music, and any other forms of stimuli that can be too much for the little one's senses.
Waldorf encourages foreign language studies from a very early age. Instead of forcing our children to learn from curriculums, Viking Man and I teach our children foreign languages through conversation. Viking Man is fluent in Russian and I in Spanish. Viking Man will speak to our kids in Russian, and I will speak to them in Spanish. We don't do this all the time. Usually it's just when one of us is alone with the kids. When Viking Man and I are together, we speak English. Clearly this doesn't work for those who don't speak a foreign language. If this option doesn't work for you, Rosetta Stone has a homeschool curriculum that I have heard very positive reviews on. You can find a link to the Rosetta Stone homeschool curriculum here.
|Viking Man & Big A enjoying some outdoor play.|
Outdoor play is highly encouraged in Waldorf for all ages, but especially when children are 6 months to 15
months. This is the age when children need to be feeling the grass in their hands, playing with leaves, and touching all of the wonderful textures Mother Gaia adorns herself in.
During this age, children learn very heavily through their sense of touch. Encourage them to touch objects out in nature. Take them out as often as you can. Even take them out during the different seasons. They'll learn through their senses how the earth changes throughout the year.
So now that I've given you a general overview, here's a quick checklist to keep in mind for the ages of 6 months to 15 months:
- Lots of nature/outdoor time.
- Cosleeping, breastfeeding, and babywearing.
- Conversational foreign language learned through hearing adults speak.
- Learn to use their sense of touch by feeling new textures regularly (leaves, grass, fleece, skin, etc.).
- Participate in rituals, sabbats, and other activities with family.
- Avoid television, loud music, and other things that can cause sensory overload.
If you would like more information on Waldorf, homeschooling, or Paganism, you can check out my Pinterest page here.
I also write a toddler homeschooling blog called The Frugal Hippie Housewife. It can be found here.
Don't forget to check back for more updates on the rest of this series!
What are ways that you incorporate Waldorf and Paganism into your day?
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
I've had a few people ask if there are any other places on the internets that they can find me at. Since there was more than one person asking, I figured I would just go ahead and write up a quick little post telling all you lovely Witches where all I can be found.
I have a Facebook page specifically for The Crunchy Pagan Mom Blog. On that page, I share my latest articles, post Q&A's, occasional pictures, affiliate links, and sometimes just rant a little. That page can be found here.
You can also follow (or add me, if you like) my personal Facebook page. I will sometimes share articles from other sites I write for, as well as posts on home birthing and other crunchy things that interest me. Oh, and I also like to rant a lot on there. You can find the link to my Facebook page here. I do ask that if you intend on adding me as a friend, that you message me first telling me that you are a blog follower.
I also have a Twitter account. Twitter is where I share EVERYTHING that I write about from all across the web. I also promote fellow writers' posts, share interesting stories, post breastfeeding pictures, and rant. You can find a link to my Twitter page here.
If Pinterest is more of your taste (or addiction, in my case), then you can find my Pinterest page here. On my Pinterest, I pin posts on homeschooling, babywearing, naughty waistline foods, and more.
Basically, you will find lots of ranting, crunchy mama goodness, and freelance writing posts on all of my sites.
I check Facebook frequently throughout the day, but my real addiction is Twitter. So if you really want to stay up-to-date on all of my rants (because they're totally interesting!), then you probably will want to check out my Twitter page.
Friday, November 29, 2013
That was my first introduction to freedom - spiritually and physically.
|Mine and Viking Man's 1st picture together.|
I lived with those two friends for about 9 months. During that time, I launched my freelance writing career,
began dating Viking Man (the man I'm married to today), and really began to do some deep soul searching.
Viking Man practiced (still does) Native American Spirituality. At first, I found it absurd. I mean, come on, the dude communed with animals! Such a weirdo... Or so I thought. He was pretty cute in his Navy uniform, so I kept dating him, even though I found his religion to be a little wonky.
During our courting, I began to realize just how peaceful his religion was. He also seemed to be at peace with himself. For someone who had a very abusive childhood, just to wind up in a very abusive marriage, peace was something I craved deeply.
He helped me learn how to meditate and practice proper breathing to help with my panic attacks. I used to have a panic attack atleast once a week, now I can't even remember the last time I've had one since he taught me meditation and breathing.
Together, he and I also began researching spirit guides. Shortly after this, I went on a vision quest. I discovered my power animals (yes, you can have more than one) and began to grow spiritually. I discovered, through all of this, that I was much stronger than I had ever perceived. I had simply lacked an empowering existence up until that point.
|I probably took about a dozen of these before I believed them...|
Viking Man and I found out I was pregnant. My divorce from my first husband hadn't gone through yet (he dragged things out, big time!) and Viking Man and I had hoped to take things a lot slower than where they were going. I had also been told years prior by several doctors that I couldn't have children due to back injuries, so being pregnant came as a total shock.
Somehow, Viking Man and I survived through this time. We had our beautiful baby boy (Big A), my divorce finally went through, and our little family was finally complete. During this time I also began researching Paganism in-depth and discovered that it was far larger than what Viking Man practiced. It was during Big A's pregnancy that I began following the Greek Pantheon.
However, despite all of this, something was still missing. I still felt very weak. Granted, I didn't feel nearly as powerless as I had before meeting Viking Man, but something was still missing.
Big A's birth had left much to be desired. We went with the traditional hospital route. We were young, pregnant, and scared, and just did what everyone told us to do. Looking back now, I cannot believe we allowed so many people to run us over, but we needed the experience to help us learn from it.
|Big A while he was in the NICU|
With Big A's birth, they did everything BUT a c-section. Big A was rushed to the NICU, which we never
received a definitive answer as to why that happened. They kept him for 7 days; never really telling us why they "had" to keep him, just that they wanted to observe him. We later found out that that particular hospital was notorious for doing that to perfectly healthy full-term babies.
During the laboring process, the nurse I had yelled at me constantly. She told me that I wasn't doing good enough, why didn't I know how to push, and what was taking me so long... Yes, the woman literally said all of that! I was crying, not because of the pain of labor, but because of how harsh she was to me. Also, she did most of this while sitting in a chair playing on her phone.
After Big A was born, I was left all alone. Viking Man had rushed after our child, trying to figure out why they were rushing him to the NICU. Two hours passed before Viking Man returned. No one else had come to see me, not a nurse, a doctor, or anyone. He helped clean me up, brought me something to eat (I hadn't eaten in over 30 hours), and just held me.
We had given birth to a perfectly healthy baby boy, and yet, I felt as if I had been abused and discarded along the side of the road. It was then and there that Viking Man and I decided we would never have another birth experience like that ever again.
When we finally made it home from the hospital, I began reading everything I could on birth. This is really when the crunchy side began to take place. I was introduced to Attachment Parenting and my life has never been the same.
8 months after having Big A, I was pregnant again. It was a little sooner than we had anticipated, but we were happy. This time, we were going to do things differently. We hired a midwife, never had an ultrasound performed, relied on our intuition and our midwife's check ups, and tried to have the most empowering pregnancy we could possibly have.
Several friends and family members stopped talking to me. They couldn't believe that I would go to such a drastic measure after all of the "issues" we had with Big A's birth. Viking Man and I just kept on. It was so hard trying to stick with what we believed in, but we did it.
|About an hour after Little a was born. Big A was one proud brother!|
In August of 2013, I gave birth to Little A. I only labored for 2 hours. Her birth was beautiful. I roared as my body naturally pushed her out. My sister described it being like a lion's roar. I was laughing when she
Not once during her labor did I become scared or think that I couldn't do it. I knew I could do it. I knew that my body could do it. I knew that she could do it. My birth altar was near me, I was constantly muttering birth affirmations in my head, occasional prayers to the gods, and my family watched on as Little a made her entrance.
|Babywearing Little a|
Since Little a's birth, I have become so very passionate about birth. I have also become even more passionate about living a crunchy lifestyle. I am very passionate about babywearing, homeschooling/unschooling, herbalism, co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, toxic-free living, and so much
more. I want to share my knowledge of all of these things that I am so very passionate about, so that perhaps, if someone else is needing empowerment, they can find it by trusting their body and their instincts.
Sunday, November 24, 2013
This is the first installment to my series titled, “A Waldorf-Pagan Parenting and Homeschooling Series”. In this first installment, I will cover how my Pagan family and I follow a Waldorf philosophy, even from as early as birth!
With my oldest, Big A (22 months old now), my husband and I didn’t really begin following a Waldorf philosophy until he was around 3 months old. He was breastfed, slept with us, and worn in a Bjorn (don’t buy one) by Viking Man, but we really had no clue what we were doing. Viking Man and I were just kind of winging it and hoping we could manage to be decent parents.
When Big A was around 3 months, we were introduced to the concept of Attachment Parenting and fell in love! It was also during that time that a veteran homeschooling parent introduced us to Waldorf. We were immediately intrigued.
Slowly, we began combining our love for Attachment Parenting, our Pagan religion, and a Waldorf education to Big A’s (and our) lives. All I can say is that the growth in mine and Viking Man’s lives was astronomical, let alone the positive influence it had on Big A.
Through Waldorf, our religion, and Attachment Parenting, we have learned (and are still learning) patience, no physical discipline, gentle parenting, the health benefits of being crunchy, and so much more.
|A med-free home birth|
For those of you interested in how to combine Waldorf and Paganism together during the infant stage, here are a few highlights of what my husband and I have done with our two children:
- Follow the methods of Mother Gaia. She feeds us, nurtures us, comforts us, and is always there for us. In this same manner, raise your child.
- We personally believe that the most natural ways to give
birth are, indeed, the best ways. With Little a, I had a completely natural
birth, in water, in the comfort of my own home. I never took any sort of
medication (other than herbs) the entire pregnancy, labor, and after birth. I
never had an ultrasound or Doppler screening (for more on the dangers of such
devices, visit this site). Personally, I believe that many of the interventions
performed at hospitals can hinder the natural birthing process. Please note, I am not a doctor, so this is
entirely my opinion. All that being said, there is definitely a time and a
place for hospitals and interventions, but rarely is birth one of those times. My
conviction for home and natural births is due, in part, to my religious
Big A breastfeeding
- A Waldorf principle that I strongly agree with during the infant stage is to not make the baby the center of your universe. It is so hard not to make the baby the center of your universe. I mean, the kid was literally inside of you for 9+months! How can you suddenly not have your entire world wrapped around it? What I’m saying is not to detach yourself from your child. What I’m saying is to remember that there are other people in your life that also mean something to you, including yourself!
- Talking to a baby directly, in adult speak, is not going to get you anywhere. The baby isn’t going to suddenly begin speaking to you. Instead of speaking to the baby like you would an adult, sing to the child or make noises that the child can imitate. These sounds are the foundation for your child’s linguistic abilities. The baby will begin learning how to speak through listening to you converse with others.
- No shoes? No problem! Little feet are not meant to be shoe bound. In fact, children really should not be in shoes until they are walking, and even then, they should be worn rarely. Little feet (and big people feet) are meant to touch the ground. They are meant to touch Mother Gaia and to feel her warmth and love radiate throughout their bodies. This energy that she radiates helps to balance us and helps our bodies to operate properly. To learn more about the ideas and science behind Earthing (grounding your body with the earth), check out this link.
- Children absorb everything; they’re like little sponges. Be very careful with how much your expose them to, especially when it comes to stimulation. This concept is especially important when it comes to infants. Try to avoid television, loud and constant music (occasional, soft music is okay), frequent shopping trips, frequent car rides, constant touching from people other than parents and siblings, and anything else that can overload their senses.
- Women and newborns used to not leave their homes for around
40 days after the birth. Obviously this isn’t an option for some women, but the
idea should still be the same; try to stay at home as long as
An intervention-free pregnancy
- After the baby is born, try to keep guests to a minimum the first few weeks. Try to make the only interaction that the baby has the first few weeks be with family members that they will be living with. If guests do come over, ask them to help with household chores, not with holding the baby. It is so important that mommy and baby spend as much skin-on-skin time as they possibly can during these early weeks.
- Foreign language studies are very important within Waldorf. If you intend on your children knowing a foreign language or two, begin working on it as soon as they’re born. Don’t speak to them directly in the foreign language very often, but speak the foreign language to others when your little one can hear it. My Little a frequently hears Spanish and Russian, along with English, spoken in our home. We don’t speak to her directly in these languages, but she hears us speaking them when my husband and I talk to her brother, or to relatives.
- Frequent reading is very important with Waldorf, but not necessarily at an early age. Occasionally I will read a children’s book directly to Little a, but usually she sits in my lap, along with her brother, while I read the story more for him. I will also, sometimes, read out loud what I am currently reading. A way that my husband and I try to incorporate Paganism into their lives is by reading the legends of the deities or stories from Native American tribes to them.
- Like with Attachment Parenting, Waldorf encourages co-sleeping, babywearing, and breastfeeding. Little a (who is currently 3 months old) is worn daily. Mind you, she is not worn all day long, but if I’m going to be near something that might be overstimulating to the senses, or if she needs to nurse while I’m working, I put her in my baby wrap. Big A was worn up until he was about 7 months old. He was a large baby and he just became too heavy for me to wear. As far as co-sleeping is concerned, we have what we call a “family bed”, in which all of us sleep in it together. Big A has his own bed which is right near the family bed. Most nights he likes to sleep in his own bed, but since it has been getting colder, he has started sleeping in the family bed again. Co-sleeping allows the mother to breastfeed on demand, and it also helps increase milk supply.
- On the breastfeeding note, breasts are for nourishing your baby, use them!
- A few additional (learning activities) that I like to do
with Little a include: mirror time (set her in front of a mirror to help her
learn depth perception, as well as expression, imitation, etc).. I also
encourage her to do tummy time about 3 times a day. With tummy time, I lay her
down on a blanket in the middle
The family bed
- One Waldorf principle that I disagree with is early hatting. Waldorf typically encourages you to put a hat on your baby immediately after they are cleaned up from birth. I disagree with this 100%. Hats have their place, but that place is not immediately after birth. For more information on why hatting can be harmful to the mother-newborn bond, read articles by Carla Hartley and check out this article.
- Both Paganism and Waldorf are very health conscience and focused on being natural. If you can, opt for breastfeeding over formula, cloth diapers (or no diapers at all) over disposables, co-sleeping over crib sleeping (or separate rooms), babywearing over detachment, responding to cries over crying-it-out, healthy whole food eating from mommy so that she produces good milk, bonding over detachment, natural birth over intervened birth, no vaccinations over the vaccine cocktails, and touching Mother Gaia with bare feet over covering your feet in restrictive shoes.
All of these points do not strictly adhere to the Waldorf baby philosophies. Some of these are just what my husband and I have found to work for our family.
Also, please note that I am not a trained health care professional and that you should always consult with your doctor and do your own research before trying many of these things.
There is so much more that I could add to this article, but this has already turned into a near essay length blog post. The main points to keep in mind are to trust your instincts, follow the deities (especially the mother deities, such as Mother Gaia), and trust your body and what it is capable of.
So far, I have really come to love Waldorf. It blends well with mine and my family’s beliefs. I also love that Waldorf can begin as early as birth. You must establish a good foundation before you go about building the house. Waldorf follows this idea in that in order for your children to grow up to be intelligent, happy, and productive human beings, they must first have a sturdy foundation established.
If you’re interested in following the rest of this series, check out this link here.
What are ways that you have incorporated Paganism and Waldorf into your infant’s life?
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
I have received several comments from people asking if I could write about how to blend Paganism into Waldorf homeschooling. I’m going to do y’all one even better – I’m going to write an entire series on how I use a Waldorf-Pagan inspired homeschool and parenting philosophy from birth and beyond.
The third installment will be on toddlers.
The fourth installment will be on ages 3-7.
The fifth installment will be on ages 7-14.
And the sixth installment will be on ages 14-18.
Do realize that my oldest child is only 2 years old, so I haven’t practiced what will be listed in the 4th, 5th, and 6th installments. What I will feature on those will simply be what I am intending (hoping?) to accomplish with the kiddos when they reach those stages in their lives.
A few key things to remember about Waldorf are:
- Waldorf is not a Pagan homeschool curriculum. It is, however, quite flexible and you can blend in your own beliefs to compliment the curriculum.
- Waldorf has a heavy basis in Attachment (Crunchy) Parenting. If you have never breastfed, co-slept, home birthed, or wore your babies, you can still practice Waldorf. Although, if Attachment Parenting is not a philosophy that you agree with, the 1st installment to this series will probably not work for you.
- With Waldorf homeschooling, children do not begin any intellectual (academic) work until they are around 7 years old. Basically, before the age of 7, you can follow an unschooling method or whatever you like. Regardless of how you decide to go about teaching during these years, what is most important is that your family follows a rhythm.
- Which leads me to this: set about following a rhythm and stick with it. Begin shortly after birth, and continue until your children have moved out of the house. This does not, however, mean that you should follow a schedule. The best way that I have found to work with this is to consistently do certain activities together. For example, with Big A, every morning before we do anything else, we perform basic hygiene and get dressed for the day. We do this regardless of what we have planned for the day. Another example is that before Big A goes to bed, he brushes his teeth and combs his hair. He knows to do this every night.
- Along with rhythm, Waldorf emphasizes that you follow active time with down time. For example, if you and the kids have just returned from a very long nature walk, don’t immediately follow it with dancing. Instead, opt for a nap or reading time. If the kids and you have just cast a circle in which they’ve had to stay still for a little while, follow it up with singing and dancing.
The elements of the philosophy that I will be writing about are of my own creation. They are not strictly Waldorf, but they do contain a heavy influence from Waldorf. On that same note, what I do with the children from a religious perspective is entirely my own as well.
I follow what I like to call Shamanic Neo-Hellenic Judeo Wicca. Basically, I blend Shamanism, the Greek Pantheon, Jewitchery, and Wicca. Obviously this method would not work for everyone, so on the religious sections, you can blend in your own practice to make it work for you and your little ones.
I’m really, really hoping to have an installment a week for all of you lovely readers. Although, that really depends on how much time my two munchkins will allot me.
Thank you all for the vast number of comments I received that have helped inspire the creation of this series. I hope you all enjoy it!
Don't forget to check back to this post for links on each installment!
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
What is Samhain?
Samhain is the day in which the veil between the land of the living and the land of the dead is at its thinnest. This day is shared with a popular day known as Halloween.
This is a day that can be spent honoring the dead, as well as inspiring new beginnings.
This day also happens to be the Pagan New Year. The reason behind why Samhain is the New Year is because Samhain symbolizes life and death, past and future, old things and new beginnings.
Newcomb Family Traditions
This will actually be the first Samhain my husband has had off from work... YAY! I'm super excited!!! Usually it's just Big A and I who celebrate Samhain, but this year we have Little a AND Viking Man to celebrate with.
This year I plan on blending Samhain and Dia de los Muertos together (to read more on my typical Dia de los Muertos, click here). I'm doing this so that Viking Man will be able to be a part of our Dia de los Muertos celebration.
I plan on starting the day off by decorating our family altar. Hopefully, if it's not still raining, we'll be able to gather some fresh Autumn leaves to add to our altar. The altar will include a picture of my great grandmother, a small Cuban poster (in honor of my grandfather), and something that my husband wants on display to honor his grandfather. I also plan on spreading out cinnamon sticks, cloves, and perhaps a few more herbs that remind me of Autumn.
Once the altar is complete, I'm hoping to get some meditation in. I've been working on teaching Big A how to ground himself, and so far, he does a pretty good job. Perhaps he'll want to join in on the meditation.
When that's all completed, it's on to the baking! We're going to have sugar skull cookies with sugar icing. I don't own a skull shaped cookie cutter, so I'll have to shape them out myself. They might end up not looking very skull-like. I'm also going to bake Pan de los Muertos (Bread of the Dead). I'm going to make a cinnamon topping for mine. If it turns out well, I'll post a recipe later.
Since we're combining Samhain and Dia de los Muertos, I'm also going to include my Dia de los Muertos tradition of baking foods my ancestors baked. My great grandmother was known for her amazing cornbread and brownies, so I plan on baking both of those following her own recipes. My grandfather was a Cuban chef, so in his honor, our dinner will be Mojo-drenched pork chops with a side of black beans and rice. I need to consult with Viking Man on what exactly his grandfather liked, but I think beef stroganoff was the meal of choice in their home. If that's the case, I'll have to use ground sausage instead, because I don't have any beef.
Once all of the baking and feasting is complete, we'll light candles at around 8pm. The candles will be left lit until 10pm or midnight, depending on when the kids get tired. When they get older, I'm hoping to be able to burn candles all night long. But for right now, it's just too hard to keep a handle on Big A's temptation to touch the candles and carry them around with him.
Before I go to bed, I plan on sitting down and writing out my goals that I have for the New Year. I've already written out some of my Samhain goals, which can be found here.
On November 2nd, I plan on taking the kids to a local cemetery to pick up trash and move brush away from the tombstones. I figure this is a good way to honor the dead, as well as to honor Mother Gaia.
Samhain Activity Ideas:
- Pick up trash at a local cemetery.
- Light candles for your ancestors and leave them burning until midnight.
- Visit fallen ancestors' graves.
- Write up goals for the New Year.
- Bake traditional Samhain foods like Pan de los Muertos and Barmbrack (fruit cake).
- Bake and decorate sugar skull cookies with your kids.
- Take a long walk and enjoy the changing leaves and the fresh, cool air.
What are your Samhain plans?