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Making a Family Home by Shannon Honeybloom. Interview and Free Giveaway!

I became a fan of Shannon Honeybloom as soon as I first laid eyes on her beautiful book, Making a Family Home. Not only was I thrilled with its beautiful photographs and ideas on how families of young children can create a more beautiful, nurturing and rhythmic home life, but I was also amazed to learn how much Shannon and I have in common!

Not only do Shannon and I share backgrounds as actors, but we also have both authored books, gone to NYU, lived in Brooklyn, and received an M.S. in Waldorf Early Childhood Education from Sunbridge College in Spring Valley, NY. What are the chances? Though we have never met in person, Shannon feels like a soul sister to me (albeit a younger sister!).

Over the course of the past year, we’ve enjoyed a series of lovely e-mail exchanges. I told Shannon how much I wish her book had been available while I was teaching Waldorf Parent/Child classes. I would have liked to put a copy in the hands of every parent in my class. So naturally I was thrilled when Shannon offered a copy Making a Family Home as a giveaway to readers of Moon Child. I also thought it would be a great opportunity to introduce you to Shannon and get to know her a little better.

Making a Family Home

Shannon Honeybloom, Author of Making a Family Home

SARAH: You know that I am a big fan of your book Making a Family Home. Can you tell us what led you to write it?

SHANNON: When my first child was born, it was a really crazy time for me.  As any new parent knows, one’s world is instantly transformed when baby arrives! I was thrilled to be a mother, but I really had no idea about what it meant to be a mother and to raise children. I started to think about motherhood, caring for a family, and making a family home.  I realized that a happy, healthy home is so important for children, and gives them a strong foundation for their future success and happiness.

Those thoughts and concerns, that early confusion, and also exploring early childhood education and homemaking in a graduate program setting, all provided the spark for Making a Family Home.

SARAH: Can you tell us a little bit about your family and the rhythm of your days?

SHANNON: I have three children–two sons, ages 7 and 9, and a 4-year-old daughter.    They are all in school now, so that provides the big daily rhythm for us, and we tuck in other routines around it.

We wake in the mornings, and to make things easy and smooth, we have already picked out their clothes the night before.  After breakfast (something like pancakes, or on busier days, cereal with toast and fruit) we head off for school.

After school we try to keep extra activities to a minimum and really allow the children to play. Childhood is fleeting and the most important thing children can do is play freely.  Of course, we do have some scheduled activities. My older son loves to play golf, so we have a golf lesson, or a game now and then; and we have swimming lessons in the warmer months.

After dinner, the children get ready for bed.  Our bedtime routine is well established–we light a candle, read a book, say a verse, sing a lullaby, and lights out.  When days are busy and crazy, I treasure that quiet moment in the evening with my children.

SARAH: What effect do you think a child’s environment has on her behavior and sense of well-being?

SHANNON: Everything affects all of us, but children’s senses are especially sensitive to their environment.  Noise, temperature, color, texture, light, and smell all affect us in some way.  Creating a nurturing space for children is about paying attention to how the senses are affected in each moment.  If the television is blaring, if the colors and shapes are hard and garish, if the temperature is frigid, then all those things make us feel and act in certain ways.

If, on the other hand, a room is comfortable, relaxed, and quiet; if the light is gentle, the colors harmonious, and the furniture soft; then that affects us in a certain way, too.  We can bring consciousness to our homemaking in order to create a healthy environment for our children.

If we feel comfortable in our bodies, if our senses are nourished, if we are filled with a sense of well-being, then we are free to pursue our life’s work, whatever that may be!

SARAH: I’ve met many parents who express a desire to transform their home from a place of disorganized chaos to a more nurturing, rhythmic and peaceful environment. The task can seem daunting and overwhelming, and parents often don’t know where to begin. Are there three simple actions you can recommend to take as first steps?

  • Declutter/Simplify. Release stuff from your life and from your schedule, too.  Making a nurturing home is ultimately about nurturing the relationships in the home, it’s not about all the stuff you can buy.  Focus on the people in the home and not on the stuff.
  • Simplifying life goes hand-in-hand with de-cluttering. Try to simplify things just a little bit.  It’s hard these days–there is so much to do!  Try and cut back a little, and instead of always being on the run; stop, slow down and spend time with the people you love.
  • Unplug. Resisting the constant temptation of email, the computer, and cell phone is definitely a challenge for me, but the constant chatter of all these machines is not helpful if one is trying to live in the moment.  I try to find time to really unplug from these gadgets and simply be in the moment with the people I love.  Being with someone–a child or an adult–and showing interest in him or her, is a way to demonstrate your love. But if your interest and attention are always being pulled away by electronic gadgetry, then that is a loss.
  • Love. Which brings me to my last tip, love.  Making a nurturing home for your family is one way to express your love for them.

SARAH: What are you doing with your life right now? (Besides the important job of parenting!) Are you finding time to pursue acting?

SHANNON: I try to find time to write and act.  I have some really exciting acting projects right now; one is an independent film that is shooting in July.  What I do artistically nourishes me, and in turn, helps me to nourish my family.

SARAH: How do you juggle your various activities and keep balance in your life?

SHANNON: It’s not always easy, but I try.  I think just being aware of the importance of balance is a great start.  When things get crazy and hectic, I try to step back and slow down.  Right now I am enjoying yoga and that helps me to breathe and find a moment of peace amid life’s chaos.

SARAH: Is there anything new you’re working on? What is the best way for readers to keep abreast of your work?

SHANNON: I have some writing projects that I am working on in addition to the film project that I mentioned earlier.

SARAH: Thank you so much, Shannon, for sharing your time with us and for the wonderful gift of creating Making a Family Home!

Shannon Honeybloom

Win a Free Copy of Making a Family Home!

For a chance to win a free copy of Making a Family Home, simply leave a comment before Monday, July 12 at 8 a.m. EST, at which time I will close the comments and select a winner at random from all the entries received.

For a multiple chances to win, please spread the word about this giveaway! Blog about it, Tweet about it, or share it on Facebook. Leave additional comments noting each action taken.

The Giveaway is open to all, but a winner outside of the continental U.S will be responsible for shipping charges.

Lots of luck!

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  • Reply Lisa July 7, 2010 at 10:29 am

    I was wishing you would ask about advice when clutter feels overwhelming, and you did! Thank you.

  • Reply Roxy July 7, 2010 at 10:29 am

    This book looks absolutely fabulous! What a neat peek into the author’s life. Thanks for the opportunity!

  • Reply rae July 7, 2010 at 10:37 am

    this book looks pretty wonderful! thanks for teh opportunity! 😉

  • Reply Maggie July 7, 2010 at 10:48 am

    This book looks very inspiring and the statements Shannon made about simplifying ones life are so true, we have been working on this since about a year now and it made a huge difference in our family life.
    Now I just need to find a way of calming myself down inwardly and restraining my inner perfectionist.

  • Reply Cindie July 7, 2010 at 11:16 am

    What a great resource. Thanks for making this available to a lucky mom!

  • Reply Cindie July 7, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Thank you for bringing this beautiful book to us. I love to keep learning. De-cluttering is something I really need to work on ~ continuously!

  • Reply Amy July 7, 2010 at 11:18 am

    What a wonderful and much needed book. I am so grateful for all you let us know about Sarah! I will be telling people at Lullaby Link about this great work.

  • Reply Hallie July 7, 2010 at 11:23 am

    This book sounds like just what I need! We are about to move into a new home and I hope to leave the clutter of our last house in the past! Thanks for the chance to win it!

  • Reply Hallie July 7, 2010 at 11:26 am

    I told all my facebook friends about it too!

  • Reply Eillene July 7, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I have been eyeing this book for a while! What a wonderful giveaway! Thanks!

  • Reply Jennifer July 7, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I’ve been wanting this book since I first saw it on my Amazon “recommended” list. Hope I win!!! :)

  • Reply Jennifer July 7, 2010 at 12:07 pm

    I just shared a link to the giveaway on Facebook. :)

  • Reply Jennifer July 7, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I just shared a link to the giveaway on Facebook. :)

  • Reply Jennifer July 7, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Just shared the giveaway links on my blog:

  • Reply Jennifer July 7, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    Just shared the giveaway links on my blog:

  • Reply Katie R July 7, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    This was a great interview–thanks for sharing! I have heard wonderful things about this fabulous book.

  • Reply Katie R July 7, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I shared a link on Facebook!

  • Reply Katie R July 7, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I shared a link on Facebook!

  • Reply erin rae July 7, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    This looks wonderful! With a chaotic toddler, I’m actively trying to bring more calm and rhythm to our home.

  • Reply Susan July 7, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    I could use some info on uncluttering and making our home more peaceful.

  • Reply Angelina July 7, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    My childhood was a chaotic mess and am hoping to learn more about bringing a more peaceful and rhythmic life for my two active toddlers.

  • Reply sarah July 7, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Looks like a beautiful book that my family could all benefit from!

  • Reply HereWeGoAJen July 7, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    I’ve been looking for some books just like this!

  • Reply HereWeGoAJen July 7, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    I shared on Twitter.

  • Reply Brie July 7, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    Sounds like a beautiful book. I would love to get the chance to read it.

  • Reply Vanessa July 7, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    I would love to win this book, and I’ll happily pay for the postage costs as I’m overseas :-)

  • Reply Laura July 7, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    I would love to add this book to my collection on parenting and homemaking… I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

  • Reply Jo July 7, 2010 at 10:41 pm

    Crossing my fingers!

  • Reply Lou Elphick July 8, 2010 at 1:30 am

    I would just love a copy of this Shannons book. Ive been eyeing it off for awhile!

  • Reply Jenny Rebecca July 8, 2010 at 10:25 am

    This sounds like a wonderful book!

  • Reply Leiani July 8, 2010 at 10:29 am

    I love the way that reading this post has made me feel! I strive to create such a home for my three boys, aged 2, 12 & 15. I would love to read her book to discover ways to further develop a loving, warm home for my family.

  • Reply Nina July 8, 2010 at 10:41 am

    i like her idea about decluttering…i am working on that.

  • Reply Nina July 8, 2010 at 10:46 am

    I shared this on facebook

  • Reply Victoria July 8, 2010 at 11:16 am

    I love Shannon’s blog! As a former Waldorf student and kindergarten assistant who is moving this week, I plan to use many of her ideas as I work on creating my family home. Her book looks beautiful.

  • Reply Michelle July 8, 2010 at 11:32 am

    My goal is making our home a peaceful retreat, I’d love her book.

  • Reply Susan July 8, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    The book looks wonderful– thanks for a great interview!

  • Reply Susan July 8, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Great interview! Looks like a wonderful book.

  • Reply Susan July 8, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    I posted the interview to my Facebook page. :)

  • Reply stacy July 8, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    this book is so inspiring. i just finished it last week and would love a copy to share with friends. thank you!

  • Reply jennynif July 9, 2010 at 12:20 am

    love to get my hands on that book!

  • Reply Shawntanet July 9, 2010 at 3:15 am

    What a priceless giveaway! I’m crossing my fingers!!

  • Reply Shawntanet July 9, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Oh, I would LOVE this book. What a wonderful giveaway!

  • Reply lynn July 9, 2010 at 9:13 am

    This book sounds lovely! In a crazy busy world I as the mother of 2 young sons can always use such encouragement to simplify and soak up the moments of childhood! Thanks for providing such an inspiring interview and book giveaway.

  • Reply Sue July 9, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Beautiful, I love the cover.

  • Reply Naomi H July 9, 2010 at 11:08 am

    It can be so hard to find balance in all those things – for me, the computer is especially pulling. The book looks lovely and inspiring!

  • Reply Kendra @ A Sonoma Garden July 9, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    I would love to win this book! I’ve been seeing it on the internet for a while now and wanting it.

  • Reply Colleen D. July 9, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    I like her blog and would love to read her book. I am trying to make our apartment feel more like a home to our two children (ages 2 and 3 months).

  • Reply Anne July 9, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Thanks for this great giveaway! I’ve always felt it was important to make any house a “home”, especially since we moved a lot in the last years.

  • Reply Marina July 10, 2010 at 3:06 am

    I would love to have this book!!!

  • Reply mia cavalca July 10, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    while i am not a Waldorf-trained teacher, i have been fortunate over the 15 years i have been in the field of ECE to get to know and become friends with some amazing either Waldorf educators or ECE practitioners who grew up in a Waldorf setting. While my teaching philosophy is eclectic, I take a lot of inspiration from Rudolf Steiner’s ideas (nature, beautiful natural materials, rituals, just to name a few) and continue to read books that are somehow connected to Waldorf-inspired practice. Sharifa Oppenheimer’s book is one of my faves. I regularly follow Shannon’s blog and will add Moon Child to my list, for sure! Would LOVE to add Shannon’s book to my collection of resources and free is good right about now, as I have been without a job for nearly a year. (yay, for california’s budget cuts! not!)

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