Natural Suburbia Sponsor Giveaway from Waldorf Essentials

Today I would like to introduce you to our featured sponsor, Melisa from Waldorf Essentials, I first met Melisa when we embarked on a Waldorf education for our children a few years ago. We enjoy her lovely curriculum and how wonderful that Melisa has always been available to answer any questions and guide us on our way… She has such a generous heart…

Here is Melisa’s story;

Our business started almost by accident. I had been working with families off and on and I had just given birth to Super Sam (that’s what we call him, he’s now almost 6) I would often get emails asking for guidance and I had these wonderful notes I had taken from my years of teaching our children. I had intended first to write a story book for first grade, using the family that I have in my first grade container story.  I was so inspired by the work of Eric Fairman and our story came from my work with his.  He gave his blessing to us to use it as a springboard and he also wrote the foreword in our first grade book. But that’s jumping ahead. So I had the inspiration for that story when I was single.  Then I met Erik and we blended together and life got in the way for a good 18 months.  When I sat down to write, I was in the place of working on kindergarten with my oldest daughter who was 5 at the time.  I wrote the kindergarten with the lovely stories from Susan Whitehead in mind.  I had used them for each of my children and they absolutely loved them.  I never knew they would become so hard to find over the years.  Our second edition kindergarten, that we have available now through our Thinking Feeling Willing program has nearly all original story content, written by me.  The first book sold like mad, we had people begging us each day to write the grades so that is where we started.  That seems so long ago, yet yesterday at the same time.   We are now on our second editions and we are adding so much more content, more Steiner, more support, more main lesson pictures, more HOW & WHY… the second editions have become a part of who I became over the last six years.
 

Balancing business and family and homeschooling is not an easy road!  For the first year, I wrote in the wee hours of the morning, taught school and filled orders, all while Erik worked full time at a local newspaper as a reporter. He would come home and edit at night. We were growing like mad but we were so challenged as a family, I had to stand back and make some choices. Erik had the opportunity to leave his job and work at home full time so we took it and haven’t looked back.  That doesn’t mean we haven’t had rough times, but we have worked together to make it through.  Our balance comes from the decisions we made in those early months of him being home.  He has duties he completes for our business (filming, editing, production of discs, a lot of our tech work and much more) and I wanted to be sure that I was always the main one homeschooling.  Over the years he has taken over a few subjects (upper grades mathematics, some sciences & writing) and when he does, we plan the lesson blocks together.  These days, in addition to my early mornings 5 days a week, I also work one full day each week.  This full day is Erik’s with the children.  He loves it!  They all start with a trip to the library and then usually the museum or park or something fun with me popping in for meals with them. Our big kids are BIG now and they help a lot.  Waldorf Essentials IS a family effort.  Our children love the freedom our business brings.  They get all silly when we send our work across the world and rush to find it on the map.  They still don’t understand why people want to talk to me – you know I give the children my advice for free… they aren’t always as willing to listen as are other moms!  I am still the one that plans the lessons, I am still the one that is right there working with our children.  I am so blessed to have little ones so I can do it again!
 
We have actually been working to refine who we are lately.  For a while, I tended to be just a mom that was writing.  I know that I am not that person anymore.  Over the years my knowledge of Steiner, parenting and development has strengthened and I know that I am working to provide a bridge for families coming to this education. I know that in the beginning we were compared a lot to the larger curricula companies and that made me uncomfortable – NOW… I know we have so much more behind what we do.  We are every bit as strong as the big guys, families just have to take a chance with us. I think our strengths are that we Understand Steiner.  We Understand Homeschooling. We Understand Marriages & Partnerships.  We Understand Families. We work with the intent to help any family that desires it – no matter what their income.  Our Thinking Feeling Willing program has a large number of scholarship participants.  We give freely of our time and even our curriculum for families in need.  We work with helping families understand the Essential parts of Waldorf FIRST. Understand the How and more importantly the Why… then enjoy the pretty.
 

My aspirations… to grow healthy, happy children that go on to live healthy happy lives.  I have so enjoyed seeing the fruits of our labor with our older children.  Travel the world…that would be nice too… in a few years.
Recharging!  I love to travel with my family.  As unappetizing as traveling across the country with seven people in one car can sound, I LOVE IT!  We love to go to the beach and drive up the California coast. Those are big recharges.  Little recharges include a sweet knitting pattern for Sariah, yummy wool yarn and a weekend of sitting on my fanny.  I am pretty easy to please!
Lately I have come face to face with my own dragons… ‘poo’ I suppose for all my Beacon fans. While I have spent the last ten years working on myself in one way or another, and the last five really working to step away from my ‘poo’, there are still things within myself that I think I will be striving to tame during the duration of my life.  Just yesterday, my teenage son was working on the internet looking something up for school and he did a web search for our business. He was curious and is a little fascinated by the power of Google. He found a lot of really positive things, but a couple negative things too. As I saw the look on his face and the realization that not everyone loved his mom, I realized that I knew just how he felt. We talked about focusing on the people that do love us.  I explained to him, just 13 years old, that Mom can’t please everyone. My challenge is not feeling hurt when someone speaks out about us and doesn’t bring their concerns directly to me.  I am so easy to work with and work to be kind, but I know that not everyone comes from the same place of wanting peace that I do.  I know so many are hurting.  I pray daily for those that would love to see us falter. Being in business can be hard sometimes – some people expect that we don’t have feelings, but we aren’t Amazon.com. We love what we do – I find so much joy in the joy and happiness of the families we work with.  
I want moms to know that I am their biggest cheerleader!  I know mothering and homeschooling can be a hard path.  It helps to have someone to lean on. I want moms to know that I plan my months, weeks, days just like they do.  I have bad days.  I have nights that I stay up way too late and struggle to get out of bed in the morning. I have children with sleep issues and a baby that throws me for a loop.  I have teens that do wacky things that I don’t expect. I have an ex husband that isn’t always agreeable. I haven’t always gotten along with my mother in law (I do with my current one.)  I know what it is like to go years without a babysitter. I know what it is like to have family that doesn’t honor your dietary needs (or wants!)  I walk this road everyday with you.  I want you to know that I am really this nice, LOL, I strive to keep my tongue in check, I want my children to have only the best parts of me.  What I want you to know about my family is that each day, often by name, we pray for and humbly thank the Heavens for the families that shop with us and use our work. It is because of this energetic exchange that I can give what I do. For that, I am eternally thankful.
 
Melisa is offering a wonderful and very generous giveaway (above photo):
Everyone that signs up for our newsletter & blog updates will get our free inner work eBook “Treasures from My Path”
For anyone that spends $30 in our shop OR signs up for Thinking Feeling Willing (at any level, even monthly) will be entered for the giveaway.
Melisa is offering this lovely giveaway in the picture above, a yummy skein of Lornas Laces DK weight yarn and this cute wool child sized back pack.  The winner will also get a $15 gift certificate for our store. 
To enter, please leave a comment in this post.

Congratulations to:

Thank you for the chance! Simply wonderful.
To earn extra entries please:
– Share this giveaway on Facebook
– Tweet about it on Twitter
– Blog about it on your blog
– If you sign up for Melisa’s Thinking Feeling Willing program, please leave a comment to let me know and and you will have another entry for the giveaway.
**and don’t forget to leave a comment here each time you share about this giveaway to get your extra entries**
The giveaway will close on Tuesday the 24th of April and the winner will be announced here in this post.
PS if you are a Google Reader, please click on the Natural Suburbia heading link on your email to go to this actual blog post and leave a comment here, email entries cannot be counted by the Random Generator, they need to be left in this post:)
Melisa, thank you so much for sharing your journey and thoughts with us here today…
Warmly Linda
For sponsorship enquiries you can contact me at lindadawkins@mweb.co.za
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73 Responses to Natural Suburbia Sponsor Giveaway from Waldorf Essentials

  1. ziezo April 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your story and the generous give away!

  2. A Little Handmade April 21, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    Lovely giveaway! I love this family, as I am part of their yahoo group, and it is so evident, their commitment to their work and helping others.

  3. woolies April 21, 2012 at 3:59 pm #

    Thank you for the chance! Simply wonderful.

  4. gypsy.junk April 21, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

    thanks for the giveaway!

  5. Mama Gone Green April 21, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    Thanks for the lovely giveaway!!

  6. Marie April 21, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    That´s such a wonderful story. Thank you for the giveaway.

  7. Marie April 21, 2012 at 4:55 pm #

    I shared this giveaway on FB

  8. Marie April 21, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    I shared the giveaway on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Marie1441/status/193714985745129475

  9. Tanya April 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    What a wonderful giveaway!! Thank you so much for the chance.

  10. stacygunter@hotmail.com April 21, 2012 at 5:03 pm #

    awesome giveaway. as waldorf inspired homeschoolers, we so appreciate her work!

  11. katioucha April 21, 2012 at 5:25 pm #

    Very touched by this sharing. That’s why I work with melisa, and have a project for her, my gift for her gift. I can testimony how heartful she is, and she is always good advice. Sorry for my english, I’m only a french mother for five children. Thanks to you Mama4earths, your work is wonderful even if I can’t for now buy some. Your free patterns are great help for me. Thank you, both!

  12. Danga Rach April 21, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    Wow great article. Love reading how parents get started. =)

  13. Kimberly Vervain April 21, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    Wonderful to read how Little Garden Flower started. I love TFW. Also, love Mamma4earth. Both amazing businesses run by homeschooling families! Great giveaway too.

  14. Suzie April 21, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

    Wonderful giveaway. I love being connected to new creative people!

    justsuzie_s at hotmail dot com

  15. Mama Nature April 21, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    This is my first entry! I plan to share this on my blog as well! Thank you for the opportunity!

  16. Mama Nature April 21, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

    I believe this is my second entry? My first was a comment-but now I’ve signed up for the news letter! I’m loving this sponsor!

  17. Anonymous April 21, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

    lovely yarn & adorable backpack. thanks for the giveaway. nancywalters44@hotmail.com

  18. Mama Nature April 21, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    I’m not sure my first entry went thro? I was using an app on IPhone? But I don’t wanna miss an entry!

  19. Kami Vince April 21, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    I shared on Facebook! We love Waldorf Essentials!

  20. Amanda April 21, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    Thanks so much for the giveaway! I am in love with that backpack, how sweet.

  21. Peppermint Mocha Mama April 21, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

    What an amazing story – thank you so much for sharing it with me. You are an inspiring person, that’s for sure. Thank you so much for the gracious gifts, they are most precious.

  22. bee*in*the*balm April 21, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    fingers crossed!

  23. Melissa B April 21, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    Thanks for the introduction to Waldorf Essentials!
    melissamberry@hotmail.com

  24. Melissa B April 21, 2012 at 10:41 pm #

    I just signed up for their newsletter, too. Looking forward to it.
    melissamberry@hotmail.com

  25. Anonymous April 21, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

    Shared on FB! I’m already a happy member of e TFW program, and can’t speak highly enough of it!
    Jenny Sokalski

  26. Kristin April 21, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

    We love having Melisa as our consultant! Her TFW program is AMAZING! I have grown so much with her help. Thank you for helping to spread the word about Waldorf Essentials. Melisa and her family are truely a blessing to us all. Thank you for the lovely giveaway!

    kristinlmbrt@yahoo.com

  27. DaffodilAngel April 22, 2012 at 12:32 am #

    Thanks for the opportunity. The giveaways look beautiful and I loved reading the story, I’ve signed up for newsletters.

  28. Kim Corrigan-Oliver April 22, 2012 at 12:44 am #

    What a lovely giveaway!

  29. Julie April 22, 2012 at 2:03 am #

    What a great interview. Thanks for the chance!

  30. Julie April 22, 2012 at 2:04 am #

    I shared this on Facebook.

  31. Julie April 22, 2012 at 2:06 am #

    Shared on Twitter!

  32. Kim Kennedy April 22, 2012 at 3:43 am #

    what a wonderful story about the evolution of your business and lives. thanks for sharing and for offering such a nice giveaway. off to post on facebook too.
    Kim

  33. Fairy Tale Ending April 22, 2012 at 4:42 am #

    Incredible, amazing story. Thanks for sharing and for your generosity for possibly winning these gifts.

  34. Tanya M April 22, 2012 at 6:08 am #

    Thank you for the giveaway!

  35. Tanya M April 22, 2012 at 6:09 am #

    I just shared on Facebook as Tanya Rubezhov.

  36. Tanya M April 22, 2012 at 6:19 am #

    I just blogged about this awesome giveaway.
    http://tasik77.livejournal.com/28541.html

  37. Amber April 22, 2012 at 6:40 am #

    What a generous giveaway! And thank you for sharing your story! What a blessing!!! XO

  38. SolDucky April 22, 2012 at 7:04 am #

    loved reading her story! Thanks.
    soluckyducky at gmail dot com

  39. Family News April 22, 2012 at 9:30 am #

    Such sweet comments! Thank you all. Love and blessings to you! ~ Melisa Nielsen

  40. Verena April 22, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    Wow what a beatyfull givaway, I love the colors and the backpack is so cute with that big wooden button and the lovely, not too bright colors. I’d love to win that for our DD. Not to mention the wool, my fingers are alreaddy itching 😉
    Verena

  41. Sheril April 22, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    I am new to Waldorf so I am glad to have found Waldorf Essentials. The backpack and yarn are lovely. Thanks for the giveaway.

  42. BirchLeaf Designs - Wendy and Mojo April 22, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    What an incredible journey and lovely giveaway!

  43. mindful mama April 22, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    Great story and giveaway!

  44. Unknown April 22, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    One thing missing in this individualistic society as compared to tribal is people sharing knowledge, challenges, finds, with each other. I so appreciate what you are doing and how hard you work to share. Bless you.

  45. B Hammond April 22, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

    One thing missing in this individualist society as compared to tribal societies – is the lack of people sharing knowledge, experiences, good finds, art etc. I am very impressed with all the work you do and your willingness to share it. I’m so glad I happened upon your site (through Pintrist). Keep up the good work and let your son know that if someone wants to be constructive that’s great; but we need to learn (myself included) to recognize destructive and move out of it’s path.

  46. rsteussy April 22, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

    Lovely giveaway! Thanks so much! Perfect!

  47. rsteussy April 22, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    Also shared on my facebook page! Thanks!

  48. Meaghan April 22, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    What a wonderful giveaway. I love your blog and programs offered. Please keep doing what you are doing!!

  49. Meaghan April 22, 2012 at 5:46 pm #

    I shared this on facebook. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=768148742
    Meaghan

  50. Mama Nature April 22, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    I shared this on my blog!

    http://mamanaturemama.blogspot.com/2012/04/this-is-beautiful.html

  51. Mama Nature April 22, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    I shared via pinterest! http://pinterest.com/pin/106749453637759293/

  52. withane April 22, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    Thank you. Lovely interview.

  53. Anonymous April 22, 2012 at 10:29 pm #

    Thanks for the giveaway! We love Melisa’s work around here, too. She has truly changed our family and given us a great start on our journey! Amy F amyh_1400 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  54. africanaussie April 23, 2012 at 2:11 am #

    What a wonderful story and giveaway – I have signed up for the newsletter. I home schooled my kids many years ago and they are both working on their doctorates now! I love that pink and purple wool – I just knitted a little beanie and scarf for my grand daughter – would love one in those colors.

  55. Carmen Nuland April 23, 2012 at 4:51 am #

    Cute bag!

  56. stacythemagnificentmommy April 23, 2012 at 6:21 am #

    We love Waldorf in our home!

    hancoci_s at msn dot com

  57. stacythemagnificentmommy April 23, 2012 at 6:24 am #

    facebook share
    https://www.facebook.com/CrazyGreenMommy/posts/372502712792925

    hancoci_s at msn dot com

  58. aperry April 23, 2012 at 6:31 am #

    Loved the story!! Thank you

  59. DarnYarner April 23, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    Thank you for the opportunity!

  60. Lynn Taylor Olekas April 23, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    Lovely giveaway! Thank you both Linda and Melisa for your
    inspiring work and passion!

  61. Elizabeth April 23, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

    Please enter me for a chance to win such a special giveaway. Thanks

  62. Lyssa April 23, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    What a beautiful giveaway!

  63. Lola April 23, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

    What a lovely giveaway!

  64. kim April 23, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    oooh! what a nice giveaway!

  65. Anonymous April 23, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

    I love the back-pack!!

  66. Miyuki April 23, 2012 at 9:42 pm #

    Wish you all the best. Thank you for the giveaway.

  67. cllcraft April 23, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

    I enjoyed reading about Melisa’s journey. Lovely story and giveaway. Thanks!

  68. Hallie April 24, 2012 at 2:14 am #

    What a wonderful giveaway!! Thanks for the chance to win! 🙂
    wpooh_9 at hotmail dot com

  69. Catherine April 24, 2012 at 2:17 am #

    What a wonderful story! Thanks for sharing.

  70. leslie April 24, 2012 at 3:03 am #

    What a beautiful bag and a thoughtful giveaway! I cannot believe he is 6, our babies are growing to fast!!! Leslie bush momtobushbabies@aol.com

  71. Robin April 24, 2012 at 5:41 am #

    Oh lovely! thanks! cokelush at gmail

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