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moon child blog

Family, Gratitude, Waldorf Education

Reverence and Gratitude: The Power of Verses for Children

 

Dear Friends,

Has it really been more than three months since I last posted here at Moon Child? Yikes!

Where have I been?

We had a very busy holiday season at Bella Luna Toys in November and December. My staff and I were putting all our time and energy in fulfilling holiday orders. We are grateful to so many of you for your support and being part of Bella Luna’s growth. I hope your holidays were filled with joy and love!

January brought our yearly task of end-of-year inventory, then I took a much-needed vacation to southern California to visit family and friends, and to see my son William who is a freshman at USC.

In February, I traveled to New York City for the NY Toy Fair, where I was excited to discover a bunch of wonderful new natural toys to introduce in 2014. Some have already made an appearance at Bella Luna Toys, so be sure to check out our What’s New? page if you haven’t recently.

The new year also brought the hiring of a new full-time staff member. Amy Sabaka, whom I’ve known ever since my son William and Amy’s daughter Rachel started first grade together at the Ashwood Waldorf School, is now our customer service manager at Bella Luna Toys. Amy was a kindergarten assistant at Ashwood for a number of years and has had a long relationship with Waldorf education, both as a parent and a teacher.

The next time you call Bella Luna Toys, it is likely that Amy will answer the phone. Be sure to say hi!

But now, with the help of Amy and our fantastic operations manager, Rob Wilson, my time is being freed up to get back to the work I love most—blogging, producing my “Sunday With Sarah” video series, and discovering beautiful new toys and products for families to introduce at Bella Luna Toys.

So now that spring is almost here, I am back—refreshed and renewed, and looking forward to reconnecting with you!

Here’s a new “Sunday With Sarah” video for you.

This week’s video is on on the power of verses in transitioning through the day, and for cultivating a sense of reverence and gratitude in young children. I hope you enjoy it!

With love,

 

Here are the verses shared in the video:

CANDLE LIGHTING

Fire spirit, fire sprite
Share with us your golden light
Come for us our candle light!

MEALTIME BLESSING (Can be spoken or sung)

Earth, who gave to us this food
Sun, who made it ripe and good
Dearest earth and dearest sun,
We’ll not forget what you have done.

Blessings on our mealtime and on each other!

REST TIME/BEDTIME VERSE

Now the sun has gone to bed
The stars are shining overhead
In their nests the birds all sleep
Into their homes the snails will creep
Children now no more will roam
It’s rest time (bedtime) now and we’re safe in our home.

Does your family incorporate verses at home? At what times of day? Please share your favorite verses with us here!

 

 

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Winter in Maine - Bella Luna Toys
bella luna toys

A New Year at Bella Luna Toys

HAPPY 2012!

When I became the new owner of Bella Luna Toys in 2009, my vision was not just to operate a retail website, but also to share my experience and expertise as a teacher, mother, and author on topics such as child development, play, and parenting.

To that end, I created Moon Child in order to communicate with our customers, and to connect with parents of young children seeking a different, more natural way of raising their children.

I envisioned the toy store as a small home-based business, and a way to bring in some income to help support the work I am passionate about – writing and sharing my love of Waldorf education.

Everything was going nicely, all according to plan. For about a year.

WHAT HAPPENED?

Thanks to the support of so many of you, Bella Luna Toys grew. And Grew. And GREW!

By early 2011, it was clear that we had outgrown the confines of the small barn next to my home here in Maine from which I was operating, and, even with my family’s help, I found myself trying to do at least three full-time jobs.

It was exciting seeing the business grow, but writing began to take a backseat to the day-to-day operation of Bella Luna Toys. By the spring I knew that it was time to make some big decisions.

Last April, Bella Luna Toys moved out of our cozy little barn at home and into a real warehouse in the nearby coastal town of Rockland, Maine (recently voted one of America’s coolest small towns), where we can walk to Main St. for lunch, and feel the ocean breeze.

Here, we have a spacious shipping area, I have my own office, and we and lots of room to grow. My husband Max, a writer, is very happy to have his home office back to himself where he can again compose his thoughts in peace, and not find himself covered with packing peanuts at the end of the day!

I also realized I needed more help. During the course of the past year, I hired my three “Shipping Fairies” – Liz, Jessie, and Sarah – all of whom did an AMAZING job keeping up with an extraordinary number of Christmas orders last month.

Now Sarah Reilly has become my full-time, Right-Hand Angel (some might call her a “manager”), in order to free up my time to the things that I love most: writing for the blog, discovering unique new natural toys for children, promoting the importance of play, and sharing my love of Waldorf education. (We hope that two Sarah’s won’t be too confusing for our customers.)

So my resolution for the New Year is to post more frequently, and to engage more fully with all of you.

In addition, we have some pretty big plans for Bella Luna Toys in 2012, which marks the 10th birthday of the company! We will have more giveaways, and some very special announcements during our 10th anniversary year. If you’re not subscribed already, be sure sign up for our newsletter so that you’re among the first to hear!

Thanks to those of you who have been a part of Bella Luna Toys’ growth this past year. We are filled with gratitude for your support and many kind words. We wouldn’t be here without you.

Wishing you and your families many blessings in 2012!

Warmly,

 

What changes did 2011 bring you and your families? What are your hopes and dreams for the coming year?

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Gratitude, Inspiration

Thankful New Year!

I’ve done away with new year’s resolutions and adopted instead affirmations for the new year. Unlike resolutions, affirmations cannot be broken.

Among my affirmations: “I feel gratitude for all the people who bless my life.” While I feel gratitude on a daily basis for my family, friends, co-workers, and the children and families whose lives have intersected with mine, I don’t think I’ve always shared and expressed my feelings of gratitude as well as I might.

This morning I learned from NPR about the book 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of  Daily Gratitude Changed my Life by John Kralik, a lawyer who decided to write one thank you note a day for a year—to family, friends, co-workers, even to the barista at his local Starbucks.

Feeling inspired, I immediately ordered a copy of the book which I can’t wait to read. How could a life not be profoundly changed by this experience? While I am not resolving to write 365 notes this year (because if I missed a day, I would feel inclined to beat myself up rather than feel good about the 364 that I did write), I do affirm that “I share words of gratitude with the people who bless my life.” When I have a thought of gratitude toward someone, I will let them know and put more of those thoughts into writing.

And that includes all of you who have taken the time to read this blog and have shared your own words of gratitude and gentle support here over the past year. Wishing you and your families a bright new dawn and every blessing for the year ahead!

What are your affirmations for the year ahead?  I’d love to hear them!

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