Sunday, July 20, 2014

Fairy Gardening

Lillian (and I) have taken to Fairy Gardening this year.  It is a series of pots sitting in the shade on the brick steps of the house.  There is a bedroom, a kitchen, and a garage so far.  We've spent the season collecting and making items to grow the fairy community.

I made a spider for her out of beads and wire.  Remarkably easy to do.  I saw the idea at our farmer's market one weekend.  Thank you nice lady who's idea I poached.

Butterfly Rides
 Grammy's gift of modeling clay came in good use to make multicolored stepping stones, signs, a bird house, mini bird bath, and a little white bunny who is camera shy.
Friends of the Fairies

Firefly Bath

Fairy Garden Forest

 Bunny among the creeping jenny.
Frog in the geraniums

Butterfly in the Strawberry Patch

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Gathering at the Strawberry Patch

We lucked out with lovely weather this morning and picked several buckets full.  We ate several buckets full too, I'm pretty sure, but they didn't weigh the kids before or after.  Slushies were fantastic, and a cool picnic lunch on the porch when we were done.  I really enjoy the Fruit and Berry Patch location, and they have something to pick nearly all of the grow-season.
Soon to be incoming kindergartners

Eating strawberries is hard work!

What do strawberries need to grow?
Rain, Sun, Bees, Dirt, Thunderstorms, Turnips, and Songs.
...or something to that effect.

Cool picnic lunch and fresh fruit slushies

Freezer full of Strawb's awaiting future smoothies.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Lighthouse Tea and Coffee

A few of us enjoyed the new Lighthouse Tea and Coffee shop at the Dixie Lee Farmer's Market Saturday morning.  I would like to encourage this place to be a rolling venue for our group, as interest goes.  Indoor, outdoor seating.  An extremely good (and bottomless) cup of coffee for $2, fair trade tea and coffee.  I can be there many Saturdays, and even if I'm not, we can use the email list to announce if you're likely to be there.  There's also nothing upsetting about a warm mug in solitude if by chance you find yourself the only one to arrive.

This week, we met at 8:00 (they open at 7:30) and my husband and kids came to join me around 9:30 to do some produce shopping....and fresh baked goodness.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

First Watch

A group of us enjoyed a carafe of coffee and some extremely delicious breakfast plates at First Watch in Turkey Creek.  Being the first day of the Dixie Lee Farmer's Market, the topic gravitated towards what we do as families to instill a sense of "green" or awareness of where our food comes from with our kids.  There are classmates that may not know that turkey comes from somewhere before or outside of the grocery store.  I personally insist that my kids know that there are farmers and farmland involved. This sentiment seemed to be shared at the table.

Here were some ideas:

  • Behaving with habits that are "green" are likely the most influential.  Rather than talking about a garden, growing one, or growing something in pots.
  • Conversation at meal times about where the food may have come from, and whom was involved in getting it to the table (including the chef).
  • Taking kids to the farmer's market, if that's important to you.
  • Visit U-pick places.
  • Compost kitchen and yard scraps, if that is appealing to you.  Most of us at the table had tried and been marginally successful, but open to learning more about it.
  • Talking about how garbage is a flower and a flower is garbage.  Composting helps with this, to visualize that with the beauty and impermanence of a flower is also the decomposition and dirt of the ground, and visa versa.
Please share other ideas you may have about how you behave like or teach "green" within your family.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Link to: Parents Struggle with Boundaries

Oh My, this is SO pertinent.  -Cathy
3 Common Reasons Parents Struggle with Boundaries

The Loaded Plate

On Thursday March 20th, the Mindful Parenting group gathered for the second time since inception.  This time the topic was around family and meal times.

We started off asking ourselves what's important to each of us at meal time.
Then, we thought about our own unique struggles at meal time.
We completed the topic by both challenging our ideals, and discussing creative ideas.

The dinner meal seemed to come to mind most often in the discussion.  Family time, calming ritual, helping out, share time, food diversity and nutrition, were consistent important topics among the group.  So much more than just food in the belly!

We found that many of our meal time struggles were not all that unique: rushing, crying, can't sit still (adults or children), messes, not eating, waste, and not calm at all.  There is some logic to be applied in that trying the same things over and over and expecting different results, is crazy!

Different ideas that came up to try:

  • Prayer jar (or gratuitous statements) as a ritual to bring the family to the table.
  • Decide your family approach for eating variety.  One option was to offer a variety of food, but not apply pressure beyond encouragement to try the items.  One option was to require the child to taste one bite of each different item, but not apply pressure to eat all of the plate.  Another, to offer only the dinner plate food from dinner time through the evening, but no pressure to sit and eat.  And possibly, a solution around food tasting/eating that varied depending on the meal, or trying different approaches to see what works with individual children.
  • "Pancake Pancake" ...   
  • Try, try again, patience, perseverance.  
  • Recognize eating choices and behaviors as phases  
  • Model the behavior you wish to teach.  (doh!)

The discussion was fruitful and constructive.  It was not exhaustive, but it jumped rapidly to the topics that seemed most relevant to those who were attending.

A blog post on a similar topic was written recently by Janet Lansbury

The next gathering will perhaps take the venue of a backyard grill.  However, the third week of April is around Easter, where many of us will be unavailable.  The date of the next gathering is TBD.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Brigid Schulte author of Overwhelmed

NPR interview with Brigid Schulte, author of Overwhelmed Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time shares research and personal experience about being overwhelmed in the integrated world of employee, parent, spouse, self and internal assumptions.  My husband and I both enjoyed listening to this segment related to mindful parenting.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Topics on My Mind

We started last month with some introductions, which will continue as time lapses, and a topic on self-compassion.  Let's make a road map of ideas for future discussions, or electronic threads.  To get the list started, here are some ideas I came up with or have heard from you about:

  • The Loaded Dinner Plate - The toil of consumption, behavior, and expectations (March 20th)
  • Morning Routines - And teaching our bodies to get going.
  • Family Mission - (workshop?) Starting to define our individually unique missions as families, and setting the path through awareness.
  • Child Wholeness - Approaching others from a place where they are whole, worthy, capable, and autonomous.
  • The art of Seeking to Understand first
  • Anger Management - There, I said it.  Tactical tool box for teaching and self-management.
  • Family Traditions - (workshop) What is a tradition and what's the role.
  • Kiddie Yoga - and other calming tools.
  • Spirituality in our Lives - value, purpose and approaches
  • Controller vs Consultant - parent mindset
  • Family Nutritional values "beets" Brussel sprouts
  • Philanthropy
  • Self-Image
Post in the Comments below some additional ideas that come to your mind, or pick a few from above that catch your attention!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Mindful-Parenting Kicks Off

I'm am excited to to make this post on so many levels!

The 'Mindful Parenting Gathering' idea kicked off as a group on Thursday Februrary 20th at Brixx Pizza with Erin, Cathy, Tara, Danielle, Polina, and Abby.

Cultivate a community of families that challenge themselves with parenting from a place of diligence, mindfulness, and human imperfection.  A format to provide each other with support, ideas, and activities throughout our everyday efforts.

Run / Walk / Hike / Ride trips
Parenting-In-Numbers a.k.a. play dates

Moms and/or dads

What's Next:
eCommunication - announced shortly.
Next Night-Out is scheduled for Thursday March 20th at 8:00 with a location TBD (not trivial night at Brixx, woops).