Monthly Archives: March 2010

What You’re Doing Matters

“…And I have to love you this fiercely:  So that you can feel it even after you leave for school, or even while you are asleep, or even after your childhood becomes a memory.”

Have you seen this video essay about motherhood for the Mom2.0 Summit?

It’s worth the 2 1/2 minutes.  🙂

The words:

WHAT I WOULD TELL HER:  (If I knew what to say.)

You are a miracle.

And I have to love you this fiercely:  So that you can feel it even after you leave for school, or even while you are asleep, or even after your childhood becomes a memory.

You’ll forget all this when you grow up.  But it’s okay.

Being a mother means having your heart broken.

And it means loving and losing and falling apart and coming back together.

And it’s the best there is.  And also, sometimes, the worst.

Sometimes you won’t have anyone to talk to.

Sometimes you’ll wonder if you’ve forgotten who you are.

But you must remember this:  What you’re doing matters.

And you have to be brave with your life so that others can be brave with theirs.

The truth is, being a woman is a gift.  Tenderness is a gift.  Intimacy is a gift.  And nurturing the good in this world is a nothing short of a privilege.

That’s why I have to love you this way.  So I can give what I have to you.  So that you can carry it in your body and pass it on.

I have watched you sleep.  I’ve kissed you a million times.  And I know something that you don’t, yet:

You are writing the story of your only life every single minute of every day.

And my greatest hope for you, sweet child, is that I can teach you how to write a good one.

by Katherine Center



Filed under neat stuff elsewhere, quotes, the big stuff, videos

Pregnant With Cancer?

ChemoMama has started a blog telling her story of fighting breast cancer and continuing with her pregnancy at her new blog, Pregnant With Cancer.  I had no idea that there were chemo drugs that were safe for pregnant women.  Head over to read her story if you want to know more and also to see a very adorable little girl.  🙂

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Little Things

I just stumbled on this old photo buried on Flickr and it made me smile.

Normally, if an old van pulled up across the street and someone started taking pictures you’d probably think your cover was blown, but we know the newspaper editor of our tiny town so I kept blowing and the kids kept playing.

The kids were delighted the next Wednesday to see their picture in the paper.  We have also had a particularly fabulous snowman, several visits with Santa and quite a few play performances memorialized in the paper.  There are advantages to living in a town so small that they still print the “news” of who went visiting whom on Sunday afternoon.  😉

Have you blown bubbles lately?  We’ve painted and planted and pruned and wandered this week, but I still haven’t gotten to the bubbles.  They always make us smile so they’re definitely on the to-do list for this week.


Filed under happy stuff

10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Monday!

Here’s a few ways to make some simple fun with your kidlings this week….

1. Sign up for the Super Secret Stashbusting Challenge.  Even better, put a bunch of your old art supplies and doo-dads in a box and issue a similar craft challenge for your kiddos yourself.

2.  Have a technology free day.  Turn off the computer and TV, don’t answer the phone and spend all day playing, reading, catching up on tasks around the house and generally spending time together.

3.  Do some resist paintings on newspaper.

4.  Buy or make a blank book and start a family cookbook.  Make up a new recipe for it each week together.  Some good simple dishes include smoothies, soups and jazzed up grilled sandwiches.  Encourage the kids to think up really fabulous names for each recipe.

5.  Blow bubbles!  All sorts.  With all sorts of wands.  Spring just calls for bubble blowing, I think.  If you really want to make the day special, take the kids to a park near a busy road and have them blow bubbles at rush hour.  We’ve done this and it was so neat seeing all those cranky commuters suddenly bursting into grins as bubbles blew by.  🙂

6.  If you have a photography buff, head out together with a camera for each of you and look for beautiful things to photograph.

7.  Do shadow puppets on the wall.

8.  Whether you took part in Earth Hour or  not, try it again with the kids another night.  Our kids had so much fun singing songs by candlelight (we checked out a giant family songbook from the library just for the occasion), playing hide-and-seek in the dark and watching the candles that they’ve asked to do it more often.

9.  Go hunting for some nice walking sticks and take them home and paint them.

10.  Go get some postcards (or make your own!) and send them to Satori.

Have a magical week!


Filed under Ways to make today magical

Saltdough Vases and Planters

These are brilliant!

These salt dough vases are built around glass containers from the recycling bin, making them waterproof, completely customizable and virtually free.

And they’re just too cute.  Kids could have a ball doing this!

Head on over to Alpha Mom for the instructions.

Happy Sunday!


Filed under neat stuff elsewhere

Why I Love Teacher Tom

I’ve been following Teacher Tom’s blog for a little while now.  Teacher Tom is a preschool teacher who gives me all sorts of wonderful ideas, especially for making outside spaces child-friendly.  He also just has a wonderful love of children that I enjoy reading.

But today’s post on his blog perfectly sums up why I adore him.

He was inspired by these blocks (so am I!) and decided to try to make some with his students.

Now anybody who’s been around the internet block a time or two knows that when most folks are inspired by projects for children online, they try to recreate them to absolute perfection, and then document the steps in 25 photoshopped, frame-worthy pictures.  The final result usually belongs in a high end Etsy shop or an art gallery.

It also tends to look like it requires so much trouble, so much artistic skill, so many expensive supplies and so much time that I just forget about it and get out the playdough.

This is how Teacher Tom recreated the project with his kids.

And more.  Glorious messes galore.

And the final bit, that made me smile like mad?  Just as I was thinking “I wonder what special paint he used and if he’s coating it with varnish,” he mentioned it was plain old tempera paint… and it rained that night and it probably all washed off so “I guess we’ll just have to do it again.”

And you know what, I’ve done THAT craft!  The kids do love it.  We did it on big rocks and cement border stones, but they had a blast (me too, actually!).  And it did wash off, and we did do it again.

I have scrap wood in the back yard and I have lots of tempera paint.  I know some kiddos who would love to make that pile into some fabulous, tacky, gloppy, beautiful, colorful, perfect blocks.

Thank you, Teacher Tom, for crafting for the kids.


Filed under neat stuff elsewhere

Save Our Living Earth & a Freebie

Have you seen this stop animation video by kids?  This was made by four classes of fifth graders at an international school in Brussels.  What an amazing project!

Also, today only — Friday — this African animal math app for wireless devices is being offered for free for families.  We have no wireless devices except old fashioned types so we can’t use it, but it looks neat!

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Filed under neat stuff elsewhere, videos

Yarn Eggs!

Here’s a craft we first tried when my girls were tiny and I plan to try again this week.  These fun eggs make wonderful springtime decorations.

Grown-up help is required and they are a little more work than they might appear and can be more than a bit messy. They’re great fun though!

You’ll need:

  • balloons
  • different colors of yarn or embroidery floss
  • glue
  • large paintbrush

1. Blow up the balloon and tie a length of yarn to the top to hang it while you work on it.

2. Mix the glue with some water to make a thinner glue. Use the paintbrush to cover the whole balloon with glue.

3. Wrap the yarn around the balloon, either by winding it around in closely spaced rows from top to bottom or by doing random loops over and over it.

4. Paint some more glue on top of the yarn and then wrap another length of yarn around again. Repeat until the balloon is mostly covered with thread. (Ours were loosely covered and very delicate when finished. You might want to cover yours more.) Be sure there aren’t big gaps anywhere (especially at the top or bottom).

5. Hang the balloon to dry overnight. When dry, pop the balloon and gently pull it out. It’ll probably slowly deflate and the kids can have fun peeling it off the inside of the yarn egg.

6. Either hang the finished eggs from the ceiling or use as a table decoration or put in a giant bowl. These are really colorful and fun when they’re finished.

*** Note: You can also use liquid starch instead of glue.

*** Alternate directions:
Dip the yarn in watery glue and then wrap.
Use plain string (lots) and then paint and sprinkle with glitter when dry.

Happy Thursday!

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Filed under crafts

I Love…

Good friends…

Signs of spring…


Foolishness   😉

Dress up…

Deep thoughts…

Plants from friends across the country…


What’s making you smile lately?

Happy Wednesday!


Filed under happy stuff

Making Grapevine Wreaths and Crowns


The other day, I mentioned that Victoria has been making grapevine crowns and wreaths and that she wants to leave some as decorations along a state park path. 

Someone asked how to make the wreaths so here’s the super simple instructions.

Sorry I don’t have step by step pictures, but these are pictures I just happened to take on Sunday.


  1. Cut some lengths of any long vine or thin, supple branches.  The ones we used for the wreaths above were dogwood (for the crown) and Virginia Creeper vine (for the mini wreath or bracelet).
  2. Bend them into a circle shape, starting at one end, of whatever size you want.  As you bend, weave the ends around and loop them a few times to keep them together.
  3. Tuck the end into the wreath.

TIP:  Make the wreaths right away after you cut the vines or branches, or they’ll dry out and become too brittle to weave easily.

It’s really simple!  I literally gave Victoria 10 seconds of instructions and a pair of shears and she was at it.  Today Annalee joined in the fun and taught herself in the back yard, too.

Have fun!  Happy Tuesday!


Filed under activities, crafts