Tag Archives: Montessori


dad 1955When I was little, I remember climbing on a chair to stand beside dad and watch him make the dressing and stuff the turkey. Later, i stood beside him at the kitchen sink, cutting and dicing, as he taught me how to make his yummy dressing. It wasn’t fancy – no oysters, no cornmeal – just bread (and if you didn’t have enough bread, add some crackers), eggs, salt, pepper, parsley, onions (but not in all of it since big brother didn’t like onions), worcestershire sauce (I don’t think he made anything without that) and turkey broth. If it was cold enough (and it usually was) we would put the aluminum foiled turkey on the screened in front porch until we popped it in the oven the next day.

It is a special memory that surfaces everytime I get a turkey ready for Thanksgiving. A memory of a story-telling father passing on his tradition. A funny mother drifting in and out of the kitchen. With l laughter and love breathing a life-force around us all. There is not a day I am not thankful for these memories.

saiya thanksgiving gift 2015Today, my Granddaughter gave me a Thanksgiving scarf that she made all by herself. She learned to finger crochet sometime this past month at the her 1st grade Montesorri. (needless to say – this is my kind of school). Tonight it is wrapped around the amaryllis bulb that I bought from her school fundraiser (can’t escape school fundraisers no matter where you go) and tomorrow, I will wear it with thanksgiving in my heart for this new memor

God is good all the time. Sometimes, it is hard to realize it when pain tries to blockfather Douglas Bazi our senses. I read the proclaimation by President George Washington on October 3, 1789, a letter written by Edward Winslow in 1621 about the first Thanksgiving feaste and the times before it. I watched a video about Father Douglas an Iragi priest who has been tortured by ISIS for his belief in Jesus Christ. That he is alive is a miracle in itself. That he is still proclaiming and living in Irag ministering his church is another. Both walked through much harder challenges than I could even imagine. Both proclaim the goodness and love of God. Their humble Thanksgiving breathes life into my own journey.

So as we wrap up November 25, 2015, I am thankful for all these things and all the things to come. Blessings!Be! and Happy Thanksgiving 2015.amaryllis_red_for_web

“Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
Go. Washington”


images (1)When you get that early morning call from the daughter, you know it is going to mean one of two things. One – they need a babysitter because a) someone is sick, b) the babysitter canceled, c) school was canceled due to ice/flu/etc… or two – they need something to be done because they forgot. Today it was the latter. Since the family has been under attack by the latest flu/ear infection bug, meds were forgotten in the morning rush and grandma needed to come to the rescue. (BTW – grandmas love this when they have nothing else on their agenda – oh what the heck – grandmas love this even when they have something planned) Any excuse to see the Grands is a treat.

The special attraction (for me) was getting to go to their school, Willow Oak Montessori. Maria Montesorri’s educational mission makes sense to me. I loved teaching at the OSU nursery school where we used many of her techniques, so getting to go to the Montessori school was not a dreaded chore, by any means. As expected, there was interaction, laughter, talking. One teacher sitting at a table helping three students with a math worksheet, two students talking together as they worked on math at a center, one student and teacher crawling along the floor measuring, two others on the floor working on math puzzles with another teacher, another student sitting alone looking at book with a smile on her face. The Grand didn’t even noticed I had arrived – in fact, none of the kids paid any attention to my entrance. Luckily, the third teacher (who had been crawling on the floor and had purple hair, no less) got the Grand’s attention and the forgotten meds, a quick hug involving arms and legs tightly wrapped around me, and all is back to normal.

Actually, as I was driving home thinking about how I wish all schools were like images (2)this, my mind rotated (as it is prone to do) to this thing we call life. We are all in a “Montessori” school. Each of us going about our missions. Some of us sitting on the floor “puzzling” over some task, Some of us working with the teacher. Some of us standing with a friend, talking over our ideas and sorting out life. Some of us sitting by ourselves. Some of us crawling, just trying to get to the end or “measureing” how long this journey will take.

“His mother called his name Jabez, saying, ‘Because I bore him in pain.’ Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, ‘Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!’ So God granted him what he requested.” – 1 Chron 4:9-10 NKJV

Jabez went to a Montessori school, too. He went about his life in his own way. His mother named him Jabez because of the pain he had caused her. Jabez decided (with his free will) to try to never cause pain to anyone else. He strengthened his resolve by asking God to help him in this test, and God granted him what he requested. God didn’t create us for blind adoration. He set his children in a “Montessori Garden” gave them free will and walked with them. When they didn’t pass one test, He continued to let them seek more wisdom in their own way, sent plenty of teachers to point the way, sent His Son to remind them of how they should live – love – laugh, and lovingly,He continues to offer to teach them more when they fail a test with grace and mercy. At the Grands’ school, they have a birthday celebration called, “Walk around the Sun” to celebrate the child’s passage into a new year of life. Metaphors are great teaching tools. Couldn’t ask for a better school than that, could we?

(Google images)willow oak