Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Your never too old for a slumber party

Well, I don’t even remember last week, but this weekend’s activities revolved primarily around a fantabulous slumber party had by my family and another that we are close with. Our kids are exactly the same ages and I must say that at times like this, you can see the reasons that communal living can be great. Extra parents to parent and extra kids to entertain one another is a happiness not to be taken for granted. Note the picture above of Ms. Z anxiously awaiting the arrival of her friends. She started waiting VERY early (there was much excitement about the coming party of slumber).

I would post oodles of pictures but A…I didn’t take that many and B…most of the ones I did take include the children of other parents (and I don’t post pics of other people’s kids unless I ask first).

I can, however, show you the results of one very exciting pumpkin carving extravaganza!

The kids helped with the ooey gooey stuff and designed their pumpkin faces on paper, then the parents did the carving. And we roasted pumpkin seeds, which I have never done before. They are yum!

And here is a random recipe. This is a brown rice salad from Martha Stewart. IT IS GOOD! And really easy. And even better the next day. Just a tip, I added the spinach to the hot rice and it kind of wilted it up, which I found delightful.

Peace and love and lots of candy!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

It all happened so fast...

This weekend we had a big church retreat, so there wasn't so much in the way of time for the craftiness/leisure. My children, however, never cease to amaze me with their creativity.

Take for example Miss Z's newest art piece which I have named "Sun- a multimedia extravaganza of items reclaimed from Mommy's craft room"

Then of course, there is the original stylings of Miss Tiny. Underpants on the outside is so now.

As to things happening quickly...A family can come into a house and in the time it takes the parents to take off their shoes, little girls can do this:

They managed to run into the kitchen, get out the bag of corn flour and create a dust storm that we are still dealing with. I REALLY wanted to be ticked off and parenty, but instead I laughed. And then Miss Tiny got Corn flour in her eyes and it all became a tragedy as quickly as it had started in the first place. Even our new pup was "christened".

Life is NEVER boring.

By the way, I just read about this place on MayaMade.


They have recycled art kits for kids and they are only $5.00! How cool is that? Even the packaging they come in is recycled. I am thinking Christmas gifts. It has all the cache of purchasing something new (but without the guilt). Oh yeah.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rockin Out the Thriftiness

Few more book reviews:

Simple Living Guide and Less is More

I find that with a lot of these guides, the specific information isn’t so useful to me as much as the general motivation these books give me. I have to admit that in so many ways I am far from Simple, but I do want to live more consciously and more lightly on the earth. And I want to capture what the people in these books feel- a sense of contentment and purpose. The peace that comes from a life well-lived. And I really like the emphasis on home and family that is central to the Simple Living community.

So I liked these two books. I can’t tell you specifically what I liked about them, but they are a part of the fact that I have been keeping on my current path.

(sorry for the blurry pic)

Raising Unselfish Children in a Self-Absorbed World

Hmmmm….This book was a sort of yes, sort of no for me. I liked the bible-based ideas this author has to offer advice to parents, but I don’t like her “Dr. Laura” style of delivery. And I found that a lot of the stories about her own parenting adventures sounded more like email forwards meant to make you go "awwww" than pictures of real life. The stories probably are, but just didn’t seem true. The author also seemed a bit self-righteous for my taste, but I think that goes back to the whole “Dr. Laura” thing. It was worth reading but kind of annoyed me while I was doing it. Does that make sense?

And here is THE MAJOR HAUL...

The Hubz needed almost everything in the way of clothes. All his pants have holes. Many of his shirts have seen better days. I was surprised and delighted that he was willing to accompany me to my favorite thrift store to restock his wardrobe. LOOK AT ALL THE STUFF WE GOT!!! We spent $157.00 for all of this. Besides the fact that I am now committed to buying used, where else could you get so much for so little?

List of items in THE MAJOR HAUL:

1 pair of awesome navy flat boots for me

9 men’s button shirts (short and long sleeved)

4 t-shirts (to send to my niece for a birthday present along with instructions on how to make recycled t-shirt necklaces)

3 pairs of men’s shorts

1 pair of men’s swim trunks

7 girl’s shirts

5 girl’s dresses

1 girl’s skirt

1 pair girl’s pants

1 pair girl’s jeans

3 pairs men’s jeans

3 girl’s jackets

3 pairs men’s pants

1 woman’s wool suit

2 woman’s dresses

1 toddler jacket

That is 46 items and it averages out to around $3.40 per item. We would usually spend $157.00 just on the three pairs of jeans when I took William to the mall. Shopping with him is not a fun affair. He doesn’t really like it and he can be picky. We managed to knock all of this out in one store with kids in tow. We did want to die a little when we were done, but it was so worth it.

This Sunday at church, it dawned on me that my whole family was wearing thrifted clothing. William had on a pair of jeans and one of the shirts he got this weekend. I was wearing a thrifted skirt and blouse. Zelda was wearing her z dress that was upcycled from a thrifted woman’s dress. And Lu’s outfit is kind of an interesting story. I was in a thrift store and pushing her in the stroller. One of the volunteers at the store walked up to me and said, “We don’t carry children’s clothing but this stuff was just donated. Would you like to have it?” It was some precious stuff, including what Lu had on at church. I was so proud. Go used! You can be stylish and be a bit of a clothes horse and still make good choices for the earth. Woo Hoo!!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

What is this moisture that is falling from the sky?

Here are some more books I have been reading and other type stuff I wish to share.

Plain and Simple is a short book and an easy read. If you are looking for something nice to read, but don’t feel like you have a lot of time or attention to devote, this book is a great way to get you started thinking about simplicity and what it means. The book is really about a woman who becomes intrigued by the Amish way of life. She spends some time living with a couple of Amish families and it has a profound effect on her. This book makes me want to learn more about the Amish. I don’t want to BECOME Amish (I do like my electricity), but the emphasis they have on community and resourcefulness, not to mention the fact that their daily lives are so deeply intertwined with their faith is beautiful to me.

I really liked this book. It is funny and thoughtful. The author is Jewish and admittedly more of an agnostic than anything else, but he seeks to be sincere in a pursuit of faith for one year by living VERY literally by the words of the Bible (New Testament and Old Testament). This makes for some pretty hilarious stories. If you don’t know it, there are a lot of crazy rules in the Bible- particularly in the Old Testament. I especially love the way this guy’s wife handles things… like the times when her husband can’t touch her or anything she touches because she is unclean. Read it. Lots of fun and informative to boot.

A friend of mine read this book and it really helped her home life when she implemented some of the core ideas that the book offers. So I was inspired. It took me forever to get this book at the library because it was perpetually on hold by other people, so it must be popular. Let’s just say that after I read this book, I took 9 (that is right, 9) bags of toys to Goodwill and it doesn’t even look like we made a dent. I wish I could get the grandparents to read this book. It really makes you think.

It's raining in Southern California...whaaaat? Miss Z enjoyed playing in the rain. That rain coat is way to small for her, but it was her dad's when he was a tyke and she loves to wear it.

Our art project for this weekend was decorating an empty diaper box with magazines and art from school. It took forever! The three-dimensional object on the front of the box is the empty glue bottle wrapped in paper. Miss Z insisted that this be included. I accept any and all craft ideas. Particularly if you have uses for school art. We have A LOT of that.

I can almost smell the candy corn......