Saturday, December 8, 2007

Going Green we've already started to go green on a lot of things. But there are somany out there that have not. Just wanted to share a few things I've found recently that will hopefully convince lots of you that are not to go green now. Whether global warming is true or not reducing consumption (and in turn reducing waste) is important to the future of our planet. I mean check out this article about the floating island of TRASH that is TWICE THE SIZE OF TEXAS floating in the pacific. I really thought the person who told me about it was kidding and then I started searching online. They are not is really there.

We can change things though!

Check out this great video and website. It is 20 mins long but worth watching.

Talks about how the consumer system as it is can not last and things we need to do to change.

There are so many little changes we can make in our lives. Start with grocery shopping...something as little as bringing your own bags with you. Lots of stores even pay you to do it. But don't go out and buy new bags. Look probably have TONS of bags at home that you don't use that could be used for groceries. Or pick some up at a thrift store. And that is the next easy step to take...stop buying everything new. Shop at thrift stores, goodwill, salvation army, flea markets, and want ads for used items that you might need. They will be just as good, cheaper and wont have to reuse the resources needed to create the new product. And the last easy step I will recommend is recycling. Every town recycles at least cans, glass, some plastics and newspaper. So, recycle what you can! Reduce, reuse, recycle!!

And if you want more ideas let me know.

First Major Snow

Just wanted to share a few pictures from our first major snow storm. It started on Monday December 3rd and snowed all day Monday & Tuesday stopped for a while on Wednesday & then snowed again Wednesday night for a bit and then last night pretty heavy again for a few hours (got maybe another inch or so). In total we have close to 18-24 inches I would say. There is a LOT of snow on the ground. The unfortunate thing is it is not sticky at all and Aiden is desperate to make a snowman!

And here is a picture of our flock of Turkey's! This is an apple tree down at the bottom of the paddock that they congregate under daily. Lots of apples buried under the snow. Check out the few that are up in the tree!

St. Nicholas Day

We celebrated St. Nicholas Day on December 6th. The boys put out one of their shoes (they actually decided that they wanted to use their snow boots! LOL!) with the hope that St. Nick would leave them a small treat. I had wanted to put a little piece of chocolate that was wrapped in a santa wrapper but I forgot to get them. But we did have these really cute toys that we had bought for Christmas that we thought would be fun for them. Here is a link with more about St. Nicholas
The toy with the red tag on it is called a hooey stick. It's kind of funny and Aiden just LOVES it. We also got little wooden whistles for the boys and they both are enjoying those as well.

Bennett had to finish his banana before he could play with his toys!
And here is Aiden working his hooey stick. You can see his mouth and can tell he is saying hooey. It was so fun to do with the kids and even though there were only a few small gifts they were thrilled!


I've been using a lot of Waldorf inspired ideas with the boys recently. I just LOVE how they focus on nature and the reduce, reuse & recycle philosophy. One of the things they find important is celebrating different festivals and having strong family traditions. One of the traditions we decided to start this year was to celebrate Advent. We created this cute advent calendar using wrapping paper and string. Aiden gets to take off one per day and it had an activity that we will do that day. It might have a gift to go along with it (i.e we will give them their ornament on the day we decorate the tree,etc.) Aiden is loving it...although we haven't stuck with the activity of the day every day. Example yesterday was supposed to be a cookie baking day & we never got around to doing it because the errands we needed to run took longer than planned. We will keep at it. I also saw this Excellent idea on another blog to wrap up a Christmas/Winter title for each day of Advent and open one to read every day. LOVE IT!! And you can wrap old books but throw a few new titles in to the mix also. We are going to try this next year.

We are also doing the Advent calendar that Erik's mother gave us for the boys. I found a really cool book at the library that has one part of a story to be read every night of Advent. It's called the Advent Storybook, by Antonie Schneider. Aiden opens the window for the calendar for that day and then we read the corresponding part of the story. We then usually pick one other Christmas/Winter title to read before bed also.

We are also doing the Advent wreath. It looks so lovely on the kitchen table! As you will notice in the pictures I am short a candle. They only had 2 purple candles so I need to go pick up another purple candle today. If you want to learn more about Advent and the meaning behind the wreath and candle colors, etc. take a look at this website.

And here is Aiden lighting the first candle on December 2nd. You cannot tell from this photo (cause Erik used the flash) but we turned all the lights out in the dining room and I lit the candle for Aiden in the living room and we walked into a totally dark room and lit the candle on the table. We then said the following verse:
Winter is dark, yet each tiny spark, brightens the way, to Christmas Day.
Shine little light, and show us the way, to the bright light of Christmas Day.
It was really very lovely and the boys both enjoyed it.

We have many other plans to celebrate during the holiday season. It is a great way to really enjoy the meaning of the season instead of just focusing on the gift giving of Christmas day. We plan to adopt a family/child up here in the area so that will be part of our advent calendar activity and we also plan to make lots of hand made gifts for people so that will be in there as well. Stay tuned for future posts so that we can share our goings on!

Snowman Cupcakes

We were at the grocery store the other day and on the day old rack they had the most adorable snowman cupcakes. I wish I had thought to snap a shot of them before we ate them. Here are a few pictures of Bennett eating his. Don't you love how he has decided to put his face down to take bites instead of using his fork! LOL!!

Uncle Tim's Birthday Present

Uncle Tim ordered something called Tents & Tunnels for the boys for their birthdays back in July. Well, I guess it was really popular because it only came in just before Thanksgiving. So, we were able to pick it up while we were down for Thanksgiving. I set it up for the boys when we got home and they LOVED it. Had so much fun climbing through the tunnels. It didn't stay up for long as it takes up the ENTIRE living room. We are going to need to rotate out a few toys upstairs I think & possibly put it up up there. Here are a few pictures.