celebrating samhain 2014

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ancestral altarPumpkins turned jack-o-lanterns, howling winds, skeletons and skulls, ancestral chants, thinned veils and amongst other things the sweet smell of pumpkin spice candles burning! This time has grown to become one of my favorites of the year!

Samhain has come and gone. This year we didn’t do as much as last in the way of ritual surrounding the celebratory days. I had two children at the end of colds and one child teething something fierce, but we did pick a few nights of the week to sit and discuss the season, highlighting the origins of the Halloween tradition and the importance of celebrating our dead.

We checked several books out of the library discussing the topic, and below share just a couple. We particularly enjoyed the Halloween Book of Facts and Fun! And a storybook that we also enjoyed but don’t have a photo of is Halloween Night by Arden Druce. Nasir loved this book and we read it everyday for nap time!

I did very much appreciate the fact that the childrens art teacher is very much involved on a personal level with the day of the dead, and had quite a few discussions with the children about the day, including artwork.

I wanted the children to also be aware of the fact that although we celebrate our Ancestors during this time, that as part of our African culture the Ancestors are celebrated throughout the year. I remember an African shaman sharing this with me a few years ago as I sought to understand the similarities that I see flow throughout ancient traditions.

Either way it’s an awesome time as we move forward continuing and/or establishing the traditions that hold importance to us with our households.

Below are photos from Friday night, October 31st. Everyone was tired from a busy school day but gathered energies for pumpkin cleaning and carving!

cleaning our pumpkin

samhain decorations with homemade masks

The week prior to Samhain the children cut out their own masks. Niomi wanted to glue rose petals on hers, so you’ll see a few with red and yellow rose petals.

samhain skeleton

Lemuel's jack-o-lantern graces the hallway step corner

Lemuel’s jack-o-lantern graces the front hallway area.

family ancestor altar with completed jack-o-lanterns

Jack-o-lantern

tired daddy and his sleepy boys

My honey was so tired and feeling a bit under the weather. My baby boys were sleepies too hanging out next to daddy.

sweet samhain goodies

The images below were taken on November 1st Saturday afternoon. The evening was spent heating food, baking pies, and roasting pumpkin seeds. I don’t know what Niomi did, but those seeds were roasted to perfection and salted perfectly! My husband is NOT a seed eater but he enjoyed these a lot! Didn’t get a shot of them unfortunately.

Niomi at the sink washing pumpkin seeds

pumpkin seeds were washed, salted and roasted...and tasted delicious!

Niomi cleaning pumpkin seeds

Samahrah just finished cleaning the seats

Mommy and daughters!

Bathroom shot…after just doing our faces!

May your families be blessed during this season! …and thanks for stopping by to read up on our activities!

celebrating 13 years strong!

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We celebrated the earth day of our second oldest son Lemuel last week! He’s so excited to be calling himself an official “teenager” now.

Blessed 13th Earthday to our boy!

Lemuel blowing out candles

mama and her boy

Jaren

family chatter

a story time and a craft

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So mommy and her wee baby boys have been enjoying trips to the library on Thursday mornings for 3 year old story and craft hour.

These images were taken towards the end of September when our 3 year old had finally gotten over a cold bug.

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Mr. Kiro enjoyed himself by doing what he always does best, watching folks! He didn’t want to get directly involved in much of anything…just watched everyone like they were crazy.

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After about an hour or so, we grabbed some library books to check out and head home for snack and a nap!

from homeschool to public school: the morning of our first two days

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This past August, six of our oldest children made their transition to public school. Five of them are attending the same school (K-8), while our eldest is attending early college high school at Delaware State University.

The photographs below were taken the first couple of mornings of school.

lemuel, nalla, salome and samahrah

on the school bus we go

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daddy and baby Kiro (15mos.)

niomi

awaiting for the bus

Early College High School at Del State

Jaren (14yrs.) at ECHS

ECHS at Delaware State University

mom, dad and baby