How Was Your Day, Dear?

Want to inspire your children to write?

I found these completely cute how was your day printables over at Silverbox Creative Studio. Can’t wait to print these out for my oldest two. I think my scrapper girlie girl will especially love them! Great for a journal or just to tuck into a book bag with an after school note to say mom loves you.

Courtesy of Silverbox Creative Studio

Pinned this. Don’t forget to check out my other pins!

Advertisements

The Green Thing

A good friend from church sent me this email. I thought this pretty much sums things up. I couldn’t have said it better myself! Thank you!

 The Green Thing

In the line at the supermarket, the cashier told an older woman that she
should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the
environment.

The woman apologized to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing
back in my day.”


The cashier responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not
care enough to save our environment.”

He was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soft drink bottles and beer bottles to
the shop. The store sent them back to the factory to be washed and
sterilised and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So
they really were recycled.

But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every department
store and office building. We walked to the grocery shop and didn’t climb
into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s nappies because we didn’t have the
throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling
machine burning up 240 volts — wind and solar power really did dry the
clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not
always brand-new clothing. But that old lady is right; we didn’t have the
green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room.
And the TV had a small screen not a screen the size of Western Australia.

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have
electric machines to do everything for us.

When we packaged a fragile item to send in the post, we used a wadded up old
newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn petrol just to cut the lawn.
We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we
didn’t need to go to a gym to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a water fountain or tap when we were thirsty instead of using
a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water.
We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we
replaced the rasor blades in a rasor instead of throwing away the whole
rasor just because the blade was blunt.

But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the train, tram or a bus and kids rode their bikes to
school or walked instead of turning their Mums into a 24-hour taxi service.
We had one electric outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power
a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerised gadget to receive a
signal beamed from satellites thousands of kilometers out in space in order
to find the nearest pizza place.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks
were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

Fall in the Meadow

It’s been rainy and dreary all week but the cool air is refreshing from the summer heat. Our windows are open. Our cinnamon candles are lit. And we are playing outside more. Even if it means having to clean the carpets of dragged in mud!!! Because, at the end of the day, who can resist a little girl in a red riding hood? Or grass turning burgundy wine? Or sun gold flowers dappling the countryside with the last bit of bright summer color? And then there is exploring and homemade maps…

Real Food Part One: Dinner and a Movie

Maybe some of you remember the $5 Food Challenge invitation?

Yesterday was the big day. I admit, I was a little worried. Because of time and money restraints I wasn’t able to go shopping until the day before.  But due to the generosity of friends and being able to go shopping at a new wonderful all local food store, Tomato Tomato, everything came together beautifully!

The Challenge ~ Can we eat a local, real food meal for less than the average value meal ($5 per person)? Do we have to sacrifice nutrient-dense healing food for processed, mass produced pretend food?

How did we do?

People attending: 20

Challenge Food Budget: $100

Actual Spent: $50.73

Per Person: $2.54

~ Dinner Menu ~

Herbed Arm Roast

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Buttered Green Beans

Smoked Bacon Swiss Chard Gratin

Fresh Baked Bread

Local Fresh Farm Milk

~ Dessert Menu ~

 Fall Apple Crisp with Fresh Whipped Cream

Locally Roasted Coffee: Columbia Sierra Nevada

~ Movie Snack ~

Local Stove Popped Popcorn

The biggest challenge was deciding how legalistic I was going to be about the whole event. Does every little thing have to be local? Does it all have to be organic? It is easy to fall into a trap in every ideology, whether religious or worldly, that one must adhere to strict rules and never fall off the path. But the biggest life lesson I am learning is that grace abounds and that allows flexibility and freedom while seeking the heart of an issue.

The heart of this challenge for me was two-fold. First I wanted to bring people together to share in food and good conversation. That is so key to what my family believes in. Second I wanted to offer up fodder for conversation on the food war front. We can only change things if we are making informed decisions. I was excited to share a film that would spur debate and critical thinking that we greatly need right now about our food industry.

Some of my local, real food challenges for this dinner…

I needed butter. I wanted vitamin-rich grassfed butter. There was none to be found. So I had to settle for butter at my regular grocery store and just made sure I picked the most local vendor.

I decided to go ahead and use the spices already in my cupboard…salt, pepper, garlic, etc…and not stress about whether they were local or organic.

Price Breakdown ~

Arm Roast$17.85 (3.50 x 5.10 lbs – Range West Grass Fed Beef)

Potatoes free (neighbor’s farm)

Green Beansfree (neighbor’s farm)

2 Onions$ .96 (Spring Valley Gardens)

Swiss Chardfree (own garden)

Herbsfree (own garden)

Apples$8.74 (4.5 lbs)

8 oz Smoked Bacon Cheese$4.60 (Jisa Farmstead Cheese)

Gallon Whole Milk$6.22 (Burbach – $4 credit for bringing back bottles)

Pint Cream$2.87 (Burbach – $1 credit for bringing back the bottle)

1 lb Butter$4 1lb (Highland Dairy)

Flour –  $2 for 2lbs (Grain Place Foods)

Oats $1 for 1lb (Grain Place Foods)

Popcorn$.49 for 1/3 bag ($1.49 bag – Hilger Agri Natural)

Coffee$3.00 for 1/3 bag ($9.30 16oz – locally roasted at Midwest Custom Roasting Inc.)

   

After a delicious dinner that everyone felt was much more like Thanksgiving rather than a usual evening meal, we retired to the living room to watch the controversial documentary Food Inc. The first time I watched this movie I literally walked out of the theater crying. I was already much more in the know about the food industry then most people I knew yet I was still shocked by what I saw. Having studied much more extensively about food since then, watching it this time just made me very angry. My first viewing left me wanting to change and I did make small baby steps. This viewing left me with a steely resolve that I need to get this food thing figured out for my family. We had some great conversation starting points and I think most everyone left with something to think about.

It was a great night of delicious food and even greater fellowship.

And it gave me much to talk about and share here in this virtual space. So I will be picking my own brain and hashing out thoughts throughout the next couple of weeks in a Real Food Series. Be sure to check back for more discussion and how your family can start making changes.

In the meantime, watch the movie Food Inc. Start reading (your local library is a great resource) and thinking. And check out Slow Food USA and “like” them on Facebook for real-time news stories. Let’s stop pretending that our world is fine and that we don’t need to change. Let’s start taking a real look at food and get back to eating food as God intended it to be.

Want to hear about our night? Listen to my husband on a radio podcast on in-season eating over at Judy A La Carte’s radio talk show.

Woodland Fairies

A certain pair of aunts heard me say dress up for gift ideas. Dress up conjures up cheap princess style dresses that start raveling at the seams right away and are made up of a conglomerate of synthetic fibers. Not these sisters! They have taste and class. I haven’t the faintest idea where they bought this dress but she hasn’t taken it off in over a week. (We’ve washed it several times already and holds up like a real dress!)

Little sprout didn’t want to be left out either. She just assumed that her stained linen dress was perfect princess apparel for a wooded area. And she’s right!

Thank you, sisters, for making a little girl’s life brighter this past week!

Diary-style Fictional Writers

It’s Read-Aloud Thursday again and I had nothing planned to write. In fact, I wasn’t really going to do much blogging this week. It is fall break for us here and I have been doing a lot of cleaning and organizing and very little schooling and reading. But then our darling 7 year old girl came down with the flu. And I had just happened to have picked up our library holds the day before. And there just happened to be several of Marissa Moss’s Amelia books tucked into my bag that I could share with her.

She started with Amelia’s Notebook (I believe that is the first one?) and devoured the rest over the course of two days. She loved that she had a girl version of something akin to Diary of a Wimpy Kid which her older 9 year old brother loves so much.

I had first spotted this series in a chance walk through a little gift niche store here in town on my anniversary date. I often choose books based on their covers (Superficial, yes…but I am visual. What can I say?) and happened to spot this darling book called Amelia Writes Again. I picked it up, flipped through it and immediately told myself to remember the name (easy since my husband’s nickname for me is Amelia) to request from the library when I got home.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was a whole series and requested as many as I could for her.

What is it about this diary style writing that attracts young readers? I think it may just be that they know this is especially for them. There is an inherent trust that the topics discussed will be relevant to said life and will contain NO educational-well-meaning-parent-content! They are books to escape in and enjoy exactly the stage of life they are currently going through. Even my five year old boy looks through these in anticipation of learning to read. He can’t wait to join the ranks of his older siblings in this secret right of passage.

Love, love, love these books! I just love how the books look and feel like those composition notebooks that are on sale everywhere right now. What better time to encourage your child to start their own journal? Can’t wait to get the rest of them from our local library!