Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Potion Kits

For Christmas 2017, we'll include Potion Kits.  The girls really enjoy imagining things, books/movies related to fantasy ideas and hands on play.  So, here we go!
Practitioner's Pixie Book Box

Thursday, April 6, 2017

a couple of books

Hillbilly Elegy

I do like a good memoir.  This one is TERRIFIC, and it explains so much culturally in our own country.  I have a few similar roots in some of the more distant family history--I can identify with a few things he says.  But mostly, as a middle class family, it's extremely foreign.  Vance is a good communicator though so you'll feel that familiar "I'm smellin' what you're steppin' in" sense as you read.  (As a sidenote, in addition to Jeff Sharlet's reporting on religion in America and his wonderful book "The Family," this book is required reading if you want to understand part of what elected Trump.)

The Secret Life of Fat

So interesting--did you know fat is actually an organ?!  She really makes a case about all the ways fat helps/protects us, and then she works with how to keep it in balance.  She also uses the science and then personal journey experiences to get to the nitty gritty of actually losing it.

Monday, January 16, 2017

When the Body Says No

Gabor Mate's book When the Body Says No was an eye-opener.
It looks at cases and studies around how some people are more vulnerable to being stricken by life-threatening diseases due to the repression of emotion among other things. It's through self-denial and self-betrayal that we get into problems.  So much of what brings about the series of problems that contribute to immune system weakness stems from what we lack attachment-wise in our childhoods.  It made me all the more passionate about Dr. Neufeld's material and about providing emotionally for our girls.

The idea of stress is developed in the book too.  It's not the external factors we often associate with it--those daily vexations.  Surely they matter and add to our difficulties.  Still, it's the internal lack of support that attachment and being freely individuated that really makes us vulnerable.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Good for 2017

What seems good for 2017?  Resolutions abound in many areas.  I find it frustrating to attempt to do all I know to help my kids grow to their potential while balancing my needs (which fill me up to help them grow to their potential, ahhhh).  I'm sure we could make lists around so much of what I usually read.  I'm a self-help glutton for sure!  We can make lists around diet, exercise, simplicity, religion/philosophy, family connection, nature connection and preservation.

I think I'm going to work with this word "connection," regardless of how cliche it might seem.  The above vicious cycle around mothering and healthy being is tied up in it, for sure.  Simplicity is too.  If I can connect with myself (in this esoteric balance), I can move consciously (exercise), I can eat consciously (diet), I can do other right actions that help my health and general well-being.  In connecting with my people, I constantly do the good work of marriage and family.  In connection with nature, there goes millions of possible right actions for our only home, our common mother no matter race or creed.

So maybe the point is to be conscious of connection in every moment?  Maybe presence can be a connection experiment for me?

I already do this at school (and check it with healthy boundaries).  With all the data-obsessed nonsense that has become the business of education, a lot of teachers truly have to focus on why we are actually in the classroom.  (It has nothing to do with a spreadsheet, to be sure.)

I notice that my day at school flies by happily and that I face the afternoon so grateful for us all to reunite and to have some "time."  When I get home, this concept of time quickly evaporates around chores, feeding, sibling fights, quick hugs and movements and hope of sleep.

To find the presence, the conscious connection, meditation will be much more important than I have made it in its different forms (TM, yoga, dishes?).  How many times do I need to write that in my journal or type something here to render it done?

In TCM, Winter is the time of silent dreaming.  It's when the seed is beneath the earth sleeping, and we have no idea what will Spring forth later!  Winter is time to dream and to feed this year to come in a way.  What will our contribution be?

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

The Season of Giving

The girls save 20% of their allowance for charity/giving.  Each year, we decide what they care about in terms of possible recipients.  This year was super easy!

Z decided she wanted to help orphans.  We've read books and seen movies that have them, and their need really touches her.  She tells me how grateful she is to have a family etc.  She also loves Harry Potter, wants to be a writer and credits JK Rowling as her inspiration.  So, Lumos (her charity for orphans) was the obvious choice!  She has a terrific program there.

E wants to help the animals via our local Humane Society Shelter.  We've had doggies come to our yard the last couple of weekends, and we've worked with the shelter to find their owners etc.  Now that she understands what the shelter does, she wants to volunteer there (Summer maybe?) and do whatever she can to help.  She does want to adopt the animals too, but she'll have to do that once she has her own place.

As an aside, I have favorite charities our family gives to during the year.  We love St. Jude's, Sierra Club, ACLU and Conservation International.  In the past, we've also worked with Sustainable International, United Plant Savers and ASPCA.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Eat Right for Your Type

I read this one pretty quickly--very interesting ideas.  I did the reading around the types and then focused on my own blood type.  I have to admit that the basic line up of what "I should be eating" is close to my cravings or lack of cravings, personality, exercise types (what I gravitate towards).  The book helped to explain/frame all of this.  I'm wondering if I should give this way of eating a strict go or just go back to vegan eating (no sugar, oil, salt).  There's definitely some crossover, but there are fundamental differences (like nightshades, vinegar, certain grains, certain legumes, certain fruits).

Monday, November 21, 2016

Advent Ideas

We try to enjoy Advent as a full season but only do the days in December.  Also in December, we hit some holidays/highlights like St. Nicholas Day, St. Lucia Day and Winter Solstice.  
In the past, we've used calendars with opening paper doors, and we used an Advent spiral with a candle too.  
We have "baggies" with the numbers on them, but last year those even felt superfluous.  We have a little Elf with pockets named Nick the Nisse so I think we'll just stick with him for now.

Christmas movies
Nutcracker (presentation done by our local dance school)
St. Nicholas treats
Write a letter to Santa
make Xmas "craft" (felting?) 
Start Christmas Rose (a story we read each year with daily entries)
make your own Xmas story (write, illustrate)
make wrapping paper (recycle plastic caps and use them with paints on brown butcher paper)
Snowflakes (paint, glitter)
Make snowglobes (maybe?  another craft?
Put together gifts for teachers
Plan and cook dinner for family
Christmas books (library and/or from ours)
Cinnamon ornaments, dried oranges
read a Xmas story
Middle school ELF musical
salt dough ornaments
bedtime pass (stay up)
Xmas haircuts
pick where our charity money goes (which we save all year from allowance)
Go see lights
Sort and donate clothes/toys
Game night with treats
Solstice winter hike
Cookies to neighbors and firefighters
Bake/Cook for Mama D's