Today I’m sharing a general atrium update as well as a floral arranging work!
Before beginning this journey I journaled:
What would happen if we made an atrium at home? In my Montessori readings, I feel the call.
Of course it’s unrealistic to expect a home with five wild things to always be a place of peace.
It feels like crazytown over here. I hear myself shout, “I said NO!” How original. Brad will return from work to a grumpy wife, who fails to smile at the beauty of three children climbing about her.
It’s obvious that the yelling must be the first to go.
But the loud happy noise—the dance parties, jumping on the bed, and all that rambunctious crazy fun—that will stay.
We could create a space in our home that is physically set aside. Our atrium at home.
Two challenges will be to dedicate planning time and create space mentally. To shift from my should-dos and want-tos to prepare an environment for our children to develop their personal relationship with God.
One month in, there's a visible change in our home. I still struggle with that last point of dedicating time to planning and preparation, but there is palpable peace and joy in the chaos. God is really present here!
What I'm working on
- We began spending time in the atrium everyday, but I wasn’t prepared. We will spend time in the atrium just once a week until we are in a good rhythm and can add in more days.
- Guiding Ronan and Evey together given their different needs/ development.
- Praying, praying, praying! Reading, reading, reading! Studying, preparing, trying, failing!
This blog isn't about arrival. It's just a record of our journey.
(The books that rocked my world this year.)
My favorite resources
I keep this record on no authority other than my duty as Mother. We’re not attempting anything new here. We implement directly from the writings of Maria Montesorri, Sofia Cavalletti, and Gianna Gobbi. Here are a few books that have me highlighting, exclamation point marking, and underlining in. They've changed the way I mother and know God.
- The Child in the Church, Maria Montesorri
- The Absorbent Mind, Maria Montesorri
- CGS publications for Level 1, by Gianna Gobbi and Sofia Cavalletti
Gianna Gobbi in “Listening to God with Children” actually writes on home atriums. She writes,
“Atriums are sometimes created in unusual places and with chance furnishings…. Oftentimes, atriums have begun in homes until space could be made available in the church. The atrium will reflect the conditions and characteristics of the place, the culture, the economic and social capacities of the group that organizes it.”
This reassures me that this work is best for our family in these years of life in a remote mountain town.
Floral arranging is a practical work that uses common household materials.
We’ve arranged flowers before but it’s not the same as standing before the kitchen counter and bopping around to Imagine Dragons. In the atrium it’s different.
- Fresh flowers
- Beautiful vase
- Vessel for pouring
- Small funnel
- Children’s scissors
- Towel (to clean spills)
- Mat or tray
Prayer first, always. Then I make sure I have all of the needed materials by moving through the work myself.
In the Atrium
As always, we begin our time in the atrium with the Word. Then Ronan and Evey have space and silence for meditation.
Before modeling, we consider where and when we see flowers, God’s creation, and showing our love for others. I shared about how “Dad, when we dated—before we even knew you—would bring Mom flowers at the airport. He still does today.”
I model everything first (e.g., rolling out the mat, gathering the materials, filling the vase, trimming the flowers, etc.).
Right away, Evey wants a turn! She carefully pours, measures, cuts and arranges the flowers on her own. Ronan is VERY interested in pouring, and he focuses on this at a small table. (He’s also interested in the Sign of the Cross and the Holy Water font. It’s not hard to recognize the connection there!)
When Evey is finished, she places the flowers beside our Mary statue and asks for alone time. I leave the room to help Ronan change his shirt (because he’s a little wet) as she stands before our prayer table singing the “Gloria.” She makes it her own in a remix with the “Hail Mary.”
Then she puts things back in their place and skips over to tell me all about it.
- The flower stems were too thick—next time I will have flowers that are easier to cut.
- We’re using our yoga mat for now, and I need to present rolling the mat again. We also need a smaller, more practical mat.