Sunday, April 25, 2010

10 individual things to do for the earth

Here is a list of 10 things to do to help the earth. I think it would be cool if everyone tried to do at least 3 of these things this week. Looking at the list there is only one that is completely unrealistic, however interesting to ponder is #9. Share what you do on our blog.



1. Walk or ride a bike to your destinations.

2. Use appliances only as you need them. Turn off lights when you leave a room, for instance.

3. Buy things that can be entirely reused or recycled.

4. Start and maintain a garden.

5. Purchase products that are locally or regionally grown, mined, manufactured.

6. Adopt or mentor rather than have your own children (or more children).

7. Try to live within the average world income (about $2500 a year per person).

8. Fix something rather than throw it away.

9. Learn what politicians do for (or against) the environment, and vote accordingly. Found list on this site.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Take a few minutes for the magical moments

I peeled back the bark on the dead, fallen tree as 8 pairs of toddler eyes watched. I explained how we never hurt a tree by pulling its bark when it is alive, but this tree had been struck by lightning and was across our path. Everyone lit up when we found 5 rolly polly's or pill bugs or whatever people call them under the bark. I gently held them in my hands as they immediately rolled into little balls that looked like small berries. We found a dry spot on our path and made a circle around the small, hard balls. We waited and watched and waited and watched. Each toddler and preschooler patiently waiting. Seemingly understanding something magical was occurring. After several minutes, we saw lots of little legs wiggling out of one rolly polly. We screeched in excitement as the 5 millimeter bug showed us all his wiggly legs and flipped over to walk away. A little hand reached out to touch the bug, and kazam the bug was a little berry again. We left them alone on the trail to open up when we were no longer there. Remember, the little things are the most magical. Take time to just sit and watch it is worth it.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Almost perfect unplugged trip to Atlanta

Over spring break this year we planned a road trip to Atlanta with another family. This family is very close friends of ours and we always have a great time together. We are very respectful of the no TV at our house and the much more accessible TV at their house. When I turned to Jenny, the other mom, a week before the trip and said, I would love to write about our road trip from Chicago to Atlanta, do you think we can try to have it be an unplugged trip. She laughed and said, "No ****ing way!" Now the circumstances of this trip were to see her husband and the father of her three children ranging in age from 3-10 years old. He was working for 10 weeks in Atlanta and this was the first time they were seeing him in six weeks, so she was at her breaking point.

We all piled in the car with back packs filled with fun things to do. I was still going to do my best to see if we could entertain with old fashioned methods of play. Jenny and my husband Ron were also very into playing the ABC game, the license plate game and the medley of stuff we brought. My goal was to later write about all the wonderful things we did to keep the kids unplugged. Here is the interesting part; after 24 hours total in a car and 6 hours of breaks on our trip to and from Atlanta. We never even opened up my travel Yatzee, travel Scrabble, travel Rumique, charcoal drawing set, map games and oh so much more. Jenny did use for her three year old several great art activities she had in her arsenal.

Basically our three girls sat in the back and we are still unclear what they did, but they were close to perfect and never asked for anything. We believe now they made an entire new coded language for every potty word. A Martha is not pooping - that is what we were able to decode. They listened to a lot of music and seemingly figured out how to create dances in their seats for literally hours. They talked and talked and talked. Occasionally they would pipe in to find the next letter of the alphabet in the game Ron and Jenny were taking quite seriously in the front row.

Overall it was crazy. At the end of it all on the ride there, the three year old watched about 30 minutes of a video and at the end of the night the girls watched about an hour of a movie. On the 15 hour day back, which we did in one day, the girls seemed to create more secret codes that had them laughing the entire ride. They did not watch a minute of anything and the ride ended as we pulled up to our driveway at 11:30 PM with all our little angels asleep in the back.

What an amazing road trip!