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Archive for December, 2009

We planned our party and finished up all the loose ends we had begun. (Next time you are throwing some kind of event at your home, remind your Peace Traveler that they know all that goes into a celebration, and enlist their assistance!) We tidied up, put out ornaments, finished our solstice necklaces for family members and friends, and set up our learning community space to accommodate many people. Then we had a special snack up by the decorated tree, and went through the Christmas Alphabet—a special book with origami like 3D paper “pictures” for each of the letters.

Books We Read:

Christmas Magic by Michael Garland

The Christmas Alphabet by Robert Sabuda

Try your hand at making some simple pop ups this holiday season. Here is a link to the authors site where he teaches you some simple techniques.

Here is a sample of his work- Robert Sabuda’s pop up Christmas Tree


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Today we made wrapping paper with stamps and ink and wrapped presents for our families and friends. We will bring home the gifts on the 18th for giving during the break.

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Today we visited our elder friend, Ruth Craft. We had lunch together, had our morning circle (in the afternoon!), and then read a couple of Christmas stories. Each of us had prepared a little something for her, and it was fun to give and then receive her warm smile and sweet words.

We have been awaiting the return of our friend Zoe who was in Sedona, Arizona at the 7th Meeting of the Indigenous  Grandmothers. She and her mom, Tony(a), were stuck in a snow storm for three days in Flagstaff, but managed to find a book store, a coffee shop, and a grocery store within walking distance.

Here is Zoe in Flagstaff

To learn more about the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers (Peace Travelers) check out their site here. There are lots of pictures of their travels around the globe as their work on actualizing their dreams…

The Grandmothers Mission Statement

WE, THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF THIRTEEN INDIGENOUS GRANDMOTHERS,represent a global alliance of prayer, education and healing for our Mother Earth, all Her inhabitants, all the children, and for the next seven generations to come. We are deeply concerned with the unprecedented destruction of our Mother Earth and the destruction of indigenous ways of life. We believe the teachings of our ancestors will light our way through an uncertain future. We look to further our vision through the realization of projects that protect our diverse cultures: lands, medicines, language and ceremonial ways of prayer and through projects that educate and nurture our children.

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More winter workshop activities for gifts for our families. Friends are having fun sledding and pretending to be Inuits hunting in the snow covered tundras.

Books We Read:

The Mouse Before Christmas by Michael Garland

The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett

More Jan Brett goodness! Here is what she looks like (picture taken from her amazon page)

And also Zoe’s favorite link from her site

How to Draw a Dolphin

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Winter Workshop:

We are making tags for gifts, angels to put on the tree, and watercolor autumn leave portraits using our beeswax and special papers. We are also making bookmarks for our family members.

As we read and discuss Ballel, her family, and her village, we talk about all the things that we have in this community. Senegalese children make their own toys out of paper clips, wires, wood, or any other materials they can get their hands on. Toys are not something that is found in each and every home, not to mention many toys! Senegalese schools are not as established as our American public school system (albeit our tremendous, and children go to school part time to allow for teachers who teach the whole of huge land areas. We had an important discussion about how grateful children are for the opportunity to go to school. They look forward to school, learning from teachers,

Books We Read:

The Mitten adapted and retold by Jan Brett

Redbird at Rockefeller Center by Peter Maloney and Felicia Zekauskas

Thought I would add the link here incase you did not already know about the FABULOUS site of the author Jan Brett

Lots of coloring pages and fun activities. Here is one of my favorite. It is a link to making a mural of the Three Snow Bears her adaption of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears with a Inuit feel. There is even an Inusuk to color!

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Today we began our winter workshop. This is a time that we prepare for the all the festivals that celebrate the light in our lives. We are working on making crafty gifts for the members of our family with natural material and homespun ideas for the friends to give to parents and family members. We are also beginning our travels to Senegal on the western coast of Africa. We have been discussing the equator,  and the Poles, and their significance in the weather of the countries that we “visit.”

We read the story of Ballel: A Child of Sengal. She is a seven year old who lives with her extended family in a home of brick of mortar, and is one of the privileged that has running water in her home. We spoke of her days in school, the work that she does with family members, and how she and her brothers play in their neighborhood.

We dipped leaves in bees wax, and began our first of many small projects. We had a hike in the woods and observed how much we can now see as all the leaves have landed at our feet!

We have heard from our friend Zoe, who is in route to Sedona, Arizona to attend the 7th Gathering of the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. So far, they have journeyed from Massachusetts through Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.

We are in touch via phone and e-mail, and will look forward to hearing about the teachings and experiences of Zoe and her Mom at this amazing world conference.

Books We Read:

Ballel: A Child of Sengal by Alain Gioanni


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