July 21, 2014

Week of the Great-Grandmother

Week of the Great-GrandmotherWeek of the Great-Grandmother
There’s so much that happens in the sidelines as mamas. When our children are still sleeping, or looking in the other direction, there are so many decisions to be made and burdens to be carried that their little shoulders don’t need to know about yet. Blogging is no different, friends. Of course you know that there is always much that happens beyond the edges of the photograph, and these photographs are no different. What you see, and what I want to remember, is smiling children and a smiling great-grandmother. 

This is my grandmother, one of the most influential rocks of my foundation. A product of the Great Depression, she was the first one to teach me to never throw anything away, without looking at it once (maybe even twice or three times) for potential usefulness. Decades before our culture adopted such words as “recycling” or “upcycling.” She was the one to teach me that a woman’s hands don’t need to be polished to be beautiful- that they’re meant to be covered with dirt or ice cream, engaged in the important business of raising a family. She was one of the few who didn't think I was losing my mind when I wanted to pursue an art degree, long before education became a part of the equation. “Well, you’ll figure out something to do with it,” she said, her belief in me unwavering. 

And recently, almost two months after her stroke, it was my turn to return that belief. She came to stay with us for eight days a few weeks ago, her mind fluctuating between sharp & funny to the riddled & frustrated confusion that accompanies her vascular dementia. She's been staying with my parents, and it was a chance to give them a vacation by themselves. There were definitely hard moments, harder than I was even prepared for, but there were also wonderful moments when she was definitely present with us, enjoying this time together. And it was my decision throughout our week, to capitalize on those positive moments. To hold onto my unwavering belief of who I know her to be, rather than let the dementia convince me otherwise. Not so different than parenting, I think. As we seek out the best of our children, and choose to believe (over & over again) in that potential instead of the momentary setbacks along the way. And the grace to begin each day anew with the ones we love, and with ourselves too. 

Wishing you a grace-filled start to your week!

July 9, 2014

Nature Bubble Wands

So many of our creations are born out of necessity! Since we've been making our own bubble solution (recipe to follow below), I've stopped purchasing those little plastic bottles with their handy wands. While I often find our old wands around the yard, it was rare to find as many as we needed when we needed them. So I decided to figure out a sustainable way to replenish our dwindling supply- and make more (quickly!) as needed. Sticks are never in short supply around here, so I was happy when I came up with this functional, easy design.
Nature Bubble Wands

June 27, 2014

Parts of a Butterfly Dice Game

Hi friends! I'm guest posting over at A Mom With a Lesson Plan today. If you've never visited Jillian's site before, it's a treasure. So many great ideas. We're sharing our Butterfly Dice Game, which has been a fun- and Easy- way for Isia & Billy to learn the different parts of a butterfly. There's a free printable too, please go check it out! (Just click below)

*Find more Creative Learning Ideas on our Google+Facebook Pinterest pages.
Thanks for visiting!

June 23, 2014

Summer Solstice


Summer solstice was Saturday, although we've been feeling its presence for a few weeks now. These warm days, and the impending arrival of this creature in my belly this fall, have been keeping us busy. I've debated whether we should do a summer bucket list like last year, and decided not to. I want to live fully into these days- these last months with this belly and just these two kids- without a formal list right now. I'm excited for the changes to come, but am realizing quickly that our days will never look the same again. And I want to cherish them, list-free, while they last. 

I have a head full of lists anyways right now, and it's nice to be able to use my time with the kids to step away from them. So instead of planning our days around a bucket list, I'm going to be focusing on how I want the day to feel instead. Do they (or pregnant me) need a restful day? An active day? A sentimental, memory-making day with a special trip? Slowing down and listening even closer to what we each need is how I want to spend our summer. Of course, a few days at the beach never hurt either (wink). 

Wishing you a beautiful start to your summer!