confidence · poetry · slice of life

Reshaping a Year

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Our next year

was reshaped

in 12 short hours and

in 3 little words.
We have love

because we have each other.

We have faith

because we have a strong plan.

We have hope

because we have fought tough battles

and have won


Our next year

will be different

from the one we envisioned–

but we have


and faith

and hope.

The only other thing we need

is some chocolate

to hide in the cabinets

to perk us up

on days when

love and faith and hope

don’t feel like enough.

confidence · food · slice of life · Waldorf Education

Izzy’s Oatmeal

“I want oatmeal!” Isabelle declared this morning.

“Okay, that works for me,” I replied.

“Nah Elma oatmeal, Bahb oatmeal!” (Translation: Not Elmo’s oatmeal, Bob’s oatmeal.)

That’s right. She put me on notice, knowing what I’d try to do to save time. She didn’t want the Earth’s Best instant oatmeal that features Elmo on the box. She wanted to make her oatmeal from scratch using old fashioned rolled oats from Bob’s Red Mill. And, no, you didn’t miss anything. She’s still three.

Ever since the first day of school this year, Isabelle has helped her teacher make the oatmeal from scratch. In fact, she will no longer eat instant oatmeal! (Perhaps it’s because she knows just how good the stove-top version of oatmeal tastes.)

I gathered the ingredients we’d need, got my Vine ready, set Isabelle up in her play kitchen, and let her get the oatmeal started.  Here’s how it’s done:

Izzy’s Oatmeal (adapted from Ms. Jackie, her teacher)


  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Organic Regular Rolled Oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp. fine crystal salt
  • ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • maple syrup (to serve)


  1. Combine oats and water in a medium saucepan. Stir.
  2. Stir-in salt.
  3. Shake in as much cinnamon as your heart desires. Stir.
  4. Add butter.
  5. Stir in the raisins now. (Yes, now! Do not add them later. Adding them now will make them nice and plump!)
  6. Allow the mixture to soak for 1 – 2 minutes.
  7. Hand off to mommy.
  8. Bring to a boil on stove.
  9. Simmer for 10 minutes on low heat.
  10. Remove from burner.
  11. Portion into bowls and allow to cool.
  12. Add maple syrup to serve.

confidence · OBSERVATIONS · writing

Her First Letter

My in-laws drove down to Pennsylvania to watch Isabelle while my husband and I spent the weekend in Annapolis.  Until this weekend, we had only been away from her a total of four nights (i.e., at the same time) since she was born. Therefore, going away for two nights felt huge to us. However, we deserved some time away. Besides, we knew Isabelle would enjoy having special grandparent time as much as her grandparents would love having her to themselves for the entire weekend.

20130929-171744.jpgWe got home at two o’clock this afternoon.  On the kitchen island were a few crafts Isabelle made at the Carlisle Street Fair they took her to yesterday.  However, what caught my attention, more than the clothespin doll she made, was the letter she “wrote” to us.  Apparently Isabelle saw a pen and wanted to scribble with it. My mother-in-law gave her the pen and a blank piece of paper and let her write.  Then she added the words Dear Mommy and Daddy, and Love, Izzy to the page.

No big deal, right? It was just some scribbles, right?

Wrong. It was a big deal. Here’s why.

Isabelle woke up from her nap at 4 p.m. My husband and I spent a few minutes with her upstairs and then we came downstairs. We found ourselves in the kitchen. I grabbed the sheet of yellow paper and said, “I saw you wrote us a letter.”

Isabelle’s face lit up. She grinned with her entire face and shook her head, “Yes!”

“Thank you.  I loved your letter. It was so special.”

She beamed.

Even though she hadn’t written any words, Isabelle thought she wrote a letter.  And she did.  Her letter was received.  I responded to it.  That means her audience received her message.  And, my oh my… she was proud of herself.