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

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Worst of Times

I lie to my children that everything will be alright.  What isn't a lie is that we will protect them, that they will be safe and that it's now our pleasure to be a friend to the mistreated and to stand up for them where we can.

When I confess here that things won't be okay, I'm not being dramatic.  We weren't moving fast enough before on the climate crisis, and now we have someone who moves to take us backwards.  It reminds me of the DNC staffer yelling at Donna Brazile that while the latter will die of old age, the former will likely die because of climate change.  It's to acknowledge the painful truth that I will probably never be a grandmother and certainly wouldn't be a great grandmother.

Hate crimes are higher than after 9/11.  Muslim registries bandied about, massive deportations, fringe racists in all the top positions.  He won't divest himself of his assets, and there are huge conflicts of interest already present there and in his appointment of Flynn (as regards Turkey most especially).  He brags about sexual assault.  He doesn't seems to know how to handle foreign officials, and he follows no protocols in place legally for transition.  He can't honestly meet any of his responsibilities and has perpetually ripped of clients/contractors/students (Trump U).  He spends all his time tweeting and doesn't understand ANYTHING about governing.

To bring faith and hope to the fore is to skip too quickly past this.  In fact, we have no idea if our faiths tell us the truth at all.  What we do know is right here, right now.  We know that we're destroying our only home and our only guaranteed lives.  And our children's lives.

The same key brings abortion up for me since I know evangelical Christians all around me voted for the man-child for this issue.  Obviously anyone discerning knows he's not a Christian and isn't concerned about babies.  Mike Pence is sincere but in the scariest ways.  (Check out "The Family" or "C Street" if you want to understand the dangers present with him and the Christian right!)

If we are pro-life, perhaps it is wise to consider protecting the planet: you know, ALL of life?  If you have to choose between those two, it really is a no-brainer.

So I have truly distanced myself from the white evangelical church completely now.  I'm not sure I even want to be known as a Christian at all.  It's their greed and lust for power that got us here, and that is the Church's history in general.  (It's the one thing Jesus got super pissed off about too.)

Everyday this man's mark gets worse.  Every person he appoints, every little tacky/illegal action he seems to take.  We're in for a long haul though, even though millions voted for someone else.

The holiday meal tables will hopefully be free of related conversation. I'm doing my best in that arena.  Most of my loved ones elected Orange Hitler.

And then...

Love Warrior

So I finally read this one--it  has been so popular among voices I usually trust for good reading material.  And boy were they right!  I think this is the most honest a thing as I have ever read.  The conclusions gell with other great literature on resiliency, love, emotions, spirit etc.  Certain passages would be quite relevant to my Neufeld Intensive so it even coheres with developmentalist/depth psych.  No quotes should be included here--I just can't spoil one moment for you.  If I thought all my loved ones would enjoy or could handle this level of honesty, I'd just hand them out!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Making Sense of Thanksgiving

It's not a big thing, but we'd like the remainder of Fall especially (as we approach Thanksgiving) to shift to more outdoor time and awareness.  Sometimes it's hard to know how to focus around Harvest.  It's not the shift/closing of Halloween, and it's not the bounty of Christmas.  It is a quiet, peaceful time to let go and be grateful though.  Being outside gives so many opportunities for both.

For example, the girls went to Fall Fling at a camp we love.  They are tired but loved it.  They even spent the night!  We weren't sure they'd be up for that, but they loved that part too.  The camp offers beautiful opportunities like these at various points during the year.  They are now anxious for Summer Camp when it comes.


We joined Bluebird Hill Homestead's Earth Warrior Online Nature Club.  I'd love ideas for discussions and things to look for outside.  Heidi Huebner's work is beautiful.  I so hope she'll offer online her personal permaculture webinar again--was soooooo good!  Her ideas are how I make sense of the balances in my life right now.

We went up to the mountains mid-October to enjoy the beauties of Fall also.  We did as much outdoors as we had time for--stopped along the mountain too.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Before the Flood (free through Mon)

Raving about documentaries is what I DO!  This one is the best yet as regards our climate situation.  As UN Peace Ambassador for the Environment, Leonardo  DiCaprio had awesome opportunities to see the effects of Climate Change up close at the farthest reaches of our globe (and even beyond!).  The filming and information is superb, and there is actually hope contained in this information.

The part where they're in India looking at American consumption (one person consuming at home) as opposed to the average person from different nations is astonishing!

Watch it for free through Nov 7th!  (Check out the soundtrack--awesome music!)