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the rhythm of family

August 17, 2011

Amanda Soule has a new book out, co-written with her husband, Stephen Soule. The Rhythm of Family: Discovering a Sense of Wonder through the Seasons. It’s a beautiful book that any family could enjoy. There is a section for each month, each with an essay by mama reflecting on the family in that time of year, then an essay by papa from his different perspective. It’s wonderful to see how these two perspectives compliment each other. Then, in each month’s “make and do” sections are various seasonally appropriate projects and activities detailed for us to try. The projects are simple enough that anyone can make or do them and the whole family can be included, which is one of the main focuses of the book. So often, little ones can’t participate in everything our culture offers, and here are a few small ways we can be inclusive and learn to make it happen more.

Projects include: making little nature notebooks; knitting warm cowls; planting a little herb garden; baking muffins and simple directions for making a fabric drawstring bag to store them in instead of plastic (I have already made the bag…); summer smoothies; sewing a picnic roll to carry utensils and napkins on a little excursion, along with a few good ideas for a successful simple picnic with a family and much more.

The projects look fun and I can’t wait to do them all, but the essays for each month of the year are reflective and wonderful too, helping us to see the value of slowing down and enjoying our families in small changing ways from our own unique perspectives, since those chances present themselves every day.

It’s not easy to slow down and savor, and just today, we did too many things. But, when you aspire to something you are partway there. And sometimes, I remember to enjoy just sitting in the sun for a while together, or notice a three year old peeling carrots (quite expertly!) for dinner. I so appreciate this book for offering some concrete ideas to make those sweet moments happen a little more often.

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