Wednesday, July 28, 2010

No- Sew Ballerina Tutu - Green Crafts for Kids

My friend Michelle on Squidoo, lensmaster a_willow, is a frugal creative mom with a young daughter. She reminds me of my own daughters quite a bit.

Michelle  recently posted a simple but brilliant recycling craft project  -  how to make a ballet tutu from plastic shopping bags. I sent the idea along to my daughter Bekah, who knits shopping bags from those nasty plastic sacks - she can save the idea for her wee one (as soon as Anya's walking and dancing, that is).

Find more Toys for Toddlers ideas here

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Unschooling - Dayna Martin

A few decades ago  we explored the idea of pulling our child (the only one at the time) out of public school and becoming part of the Milford Free School. If we had the resources then that are available today, I would have definitely gone with non-public education.

At that time (mid-1970s), alternate education plans needed approval by the state of NH and the local community school board.  We decided to keep our daughter in the public system but to make sure she got plenty of additional opportunities for learning in an unstructured manner. When her sister came along a couple years later we needed two incomes, but we ensured that our day care provider followed the same philosophy. Both girls did well in school as well as with their independent learning experiences, so I think we gave them the best of both options available within our means.

Today, many forms of alternative education including alternative public school curricula, home school arrangements, cyber-schools and unschooling have been endorsed and even embraced by the worldwide community of parents and educators. Hooray!

Here's a brief interview of Dayna Martin of Madison, NH - her family of 4 gets a great unschooling experience at home from Dayna and her husband Joe. I wonder how my grandkids would enjoy the unschooling experience? I know I would have loved it ... both as a child and as a parent!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Are You Rushing Through Life?

How often in your daily life do you need to catch your breath - to slow down, take time to consider the beauty around you or just take in your surroundings?

In my mid-forties I was completely enveloped and controlled by the events in my life, so much so that I felt as though I had no life ... and I made a drastic but wonderful career change that I have never regretted. I left my high tech job, went back to school and finished a long-delayed degree program, and learned to use my computer to create art and market my work. I make new friends online through the communities I've joined on Facebook and Squidoo.

I no longer commute for an hour each way through horrendous traffic at 80mph to work at a job in another state. My chest isn't tight; my heart beat is slower; I don't get migraine headaches; I have time to knit, sew; try my hand at new crafts and cook - really cook - again.

Fifteen years later, I don't rush to the airport several times a week to catch a yet another flight to a far-away state or foreign country. I don't need to agonize over uncomfortable ethical decisions that conflict with personal values. I am free of office politics, the pursuit of a bigger paycheck and the never-ending career treadmill that seemed like a grindstone for the grim reaper.

I work for myself; I do what I love; I take time to take time, every single day. And I earn more money than I ever did before when I worked for someone else ... but that's really secondary to having my life back.

Are You Rushing Through Life?

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy July 4th!

We're having an all-American 4th of July weekend - we went to a Reading Phillies baseball game last night and enjoyed a bang-up free fireworks show after the R-Phils victory over the Altoona Curve.

Our US flag is flying ... Let Freedom Ring!

Holla Holla by Two From The Zoo

Holla Holla by Two From The Zoo

Melanie and Sean ...