BigBoy's bigday!

Happy 6th Birthday BigBoy!!
My little man is six today.  Six years ago I became a mom.  Six years ago my life completely changed. Six years ago, he rocked my world.  Some evidence of my photo trip down memory lane....


My intent.

I've been tossing about this concept of living intentionally and what that means.  What do I want? How do I want to go about it?  Well, I'm ready. Kinda. 

Change is in the air.  I can feel the energy.  Last Saturday was a perfect sunshiney day.  BigBoy was literally out all. day. long.  I was all busy batch cooking, major cleaning, and busting out Sassy's warm weather clothes from storage, and feeling totally fired up.  I had no idea what was going on but I was running with it!

I later realized that last weekend was the First Day of Spring and we were smack in the middle of the Spring Equinox. Ahh.  Sometimes Nature will beckon you and you have no choice but to just go with the flow.

I feel in rhythm and pretty balanced, but totally overwhelmed at how fast things are coming at me.  Overwhelmed with lists, overwhelmed with ideas and overwhelmed with the possibilities.  Spring reminds us that it's time change, whether we want to or not.  It also occurred to me that this is actually a better time to make resolutions or think about life changes, rather than January 1st. Dead of winter, hibernation, eating warm soup and baked yummies.  None of that screams Time to Make Major Life Changes, does it?   So it makes sense that many cultures/religions use this time to mark the New Year/Rebirth/Renewal.  It seems like the right time to consider Living Intentionally and what my intents actually are.

By writing this post, I'm also making my Intent known.  This has always been an integral part of my blog.  (Back in the day I documented everything I ate. everyday.)  Say it out loud, or in writing, and make your intentions known.  Make it public. Make it happen.  A lot like my Manifestation Board, which if you remember that far back, most of the "wants" actually happened!  So here goes.  I'm going to start with core values and build from there.

. I will purge more, streamline and de-stuff our lives to get rid of clutter.  I will also be more aware of what is coming into our home. Needs vs. Wants. This will also apply to our budget and spending. I really like this statement, though I am eons away from it.... "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”  I will also continue to hold family time sacred.  Our time, together as a family, comes first and other events will be scheduled around it to ensure our family calendar is as simple as possible with lots of down time.

Strengthen.  I want to have a strong healthy body, strong mind and strong, solid relationships.  I will make exercise a regular habit. I will use my brain to read and write more.  I will enrich my current relationships and continue to form new ones. I will also encourage my family to do the same.

Nourish. I will nourish my body by eating cleaner, seasonal, organic food and provide my family with healthy nutritious meals.  What I don't grow, I will try to purchase locally. I will nourish my spirit by making time to pursue my interests and explore outside activities within our community.  I will nourish my soul by regularly attending church services and celebrating life events/holidays that are incorporate our religion, culture, where we live and our place in Nature.

Enjoy. I will stop to soak in the moments. Enjoy the fruits of my laborEnjoy my family, our lives together and everything this crazy world offers me.  We will fill our home with joy and laughterAnd dance parties.

So there you go.  Documentation.

If you want to do something similar, I highly recommend it.  I got inspired by Tsh at simplemom.net and this post on core values.  These are things that have all been swimming around in my head and it feels good to just have it down on "paper."  I know I'm missing a few things, but that's okay.  This will probably be an ongoing project.  My next step is create a family mission statement.  Once again, simplemom.net has some great info here.  You can also check out this page on Stephen Covey's site here.  Or just google personal/family mission statement.

If you want to join me, please do!  What are your core values? You can make your documentation in my comments if you want or on FB.



Quick drive-by post to let you all know I'm still alive and kickin.  The Dog has been doing a whole lot of nuthin.  And she is just in love with the weather.  Aren't we all?  I on the other hand, have been running amok.  Sassy has officially given up her nap, but is crashing early-- hooray!  BigBoy's birthday party is this weekend and of course, BigDaddy's schedule is jammed packed with meetings and appointments all week. of course.  I keep thinking I will be able to post tomorrow, but tomorrow ends far too quickly.  Sassy and I are hitting the streets in the Big City looking for all things "Arrgy" during any free time we have.  Next week we will, hopefully, be back to our regularly scheduled program.


Kinda Crafty: starting seeds

It almost looks like I'm starting a new feature doesn't it??  But if you know me, you know that lunzy does not = crafty.  ever.  I don't like crafts.  I'm not artistic.  I'm not patient.  Not a great combination when you are discussing "crafting".  I like to get down and dirty and get it over with.  But every so often I like to indulge my kids. who, of course, love doing art projects and anything crafty.  It's at these moments in my life that I really wish we lived near my mom, the Queen of Crafts.

Last week was GAWGEOUS and we were outside almost everyday. loved, loved, loved it.  It finally felt like Spring was right around the corner.  We saw Robins all over the place.  The snow has finally melted from Snowpocalypse and we have grass.  new, young, fresh, green grass! and wild onions. and crocuses and the start of tulips and daffodils. and lots of chirping birds. and buds on the trees. you get the picture.  I'm excited. and we are OUTSIDE.

So I'm feelin' it. I can actually see my raised garden bed again.  Sass is able to dig for her beloved wormies -- we told her they've been sleeping all winter in the frozen ground. The Mini-Lords of the Flies are out in full force.  Life is good.  We're all smiles with rosy, sun-kissed cheeks.

But then we were hit with a Flood Watch over the weekend. of course.  We decided to make the most of it and since MamaBear can't hide in the closet with Tequila when BigDaddy is out of town, we did crafty things.  But useful crafty things.  We started seeds for our garden.  Hopefully, as one never knows the outcome of projects when an almost 6 y.o. and 3 y.o. are involved.

It was really painfully easy.  I saved some cardboard egg cartons in my Munchkins' use-for-whatever-you-want box (cardboard tubes, paper towel rolls, plastic trays, scrape pieces of things) and I found this great idea for using toilet paper rolls to make starter seed eco-pots.  We ran to the store for Starter Seed Mix (5 bucks) and the Munchkins and I picked out what we wanted to plant.  Sassy wanted sunflowers and other pretty plants (more flowers), BigBoy picked radishes, carrots and watermelons (what he planted last year) and I chose some herbs and flowers.  We also still had some seeds left over from last year.  Are they still good? who knows.  This was all about the act of DOING.  Get them excited about gardening again.  Becoming part of the Nature process.  At the store, a  very sweet Mennonite woman informed me that it was waaaay to early for watermelons.  Thanks, but I just want them excited about picking out seeds.  Plus there are always a gazillion more seeds than we ever need, so we can do more later. yah, there were SEVEN watermelon seeds.  But at a buck a pack, is it that big of a deal if they don't turn out?

So we have our soil, our containers, a plastic tray to set them in, some water and our seeds.  I also put the soil and water in large yogurt containers and had the kids use spoons.  Make the activity last longer and was easier for them to handle.  I made a chart of what we were planting where, but BigBoy and I got our mixed up and I double seeded some by mistake.

The kids keep walking over to the seeds to check them out.  Are they growing yet???  uh, no, we just planted them 5 minutes ago....  But I like that they will be able to scope seeds out up close and personal.  They can look at them whenever they want and see every little detail in the seedlings, once we have some.   I'm praying some of the plants make it until we can plant them in the garden/flower beds.  I really, really pulling for the watermelons.  Something about proving a "real gardener" wrong.

Here are some great links I found over the weekend while looking for seed starting information.  Google really is my BFF. (sorry MG)

www.kidsgardening.org overall great info for gardening with kids
Plants kids love
fairy gardens This would be super fun and a great way to incorporate fairy stories into the garden. so cute!
Garden structures I would love to do this THIS year.  I think the kids would LOVE it, but I'm not handy. sigh.
Butterfly gardens
The Great Sunflower Project- I found out about this last year, after the fact, of course. but had it on my mental to-do list ever since.  We found the right variety, Lemon Queen right at good ol' WallyWorld.


Brain candy.

I haven't forgotten about my personal homework.  I'm working on it, but really want to take my time.  Until then we have been enjoying this fabulous little appetizer of Spring. The sunshine, any sunshine, is such a treat.  We're happy, excited, ready for the days.

BigBoy is such an Outside Kid.  He would rather be outside playing than just about anything else.  Sassy? Not so much.  She's pretty content doing just about anything, anywhere, at any time.  Don't get me wrong, she loves to be outside, but doesn't absolutely CRAVE it.  NEED it, like BB.  He's busy. all.the.time. Unless he's cuddling with Mama. He needs to get busy outside. a lot. create his world of people and things with leaves and sticks and whatever else he finds-- with or without his friends.  And he can do it for hours on end.

I'm loving my latest read Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder.  It's about how we've really lost our connection with nature, how natural spaces are disappearing from our home environments and how kids needs unstructured outdoor play.  We are so fortunate to live in the Kinda Country.  We have fantastic neighbors AND a large, mostly fence-less yard, connected to other non-fenced yards.  next to a horse pasture. and the Mini Lords of the Flies gather the second it's warm enough to play.  I love that my kids have this as their playground.

And that we can go about two miles to this fabulous natural park.

And that we live in the Shenandoah Valley, surrounded by this.

I've never been a Nature Girl, quite the opposite growing up in suburban Los Angeles.  A world that is segmented into more private, protected spaces than you can shake a stick at. I never in a million years would have thought we would have ended up here, surrounded by a whole lotta nature, but I wouldn't change a thing.

But back to the book.  It's a fantastic read.  A great follow-up to Free-Range Kids.  One of my Intents is to read more.  Not necessarily parenting/ kid related books, but lots of different styles for ME, for my interests and enjoyment.  My Twilight Experience really reminded me how much I love, and miss, reading for pleasure. Though I may not devour 600+ pages in a day about unstructured, natural playing, it's great having some brain candy.

So what kind of brain candy do you have going on?  Are you trying to pick up a book more often? What are you reading?


My soundtrack

I had a mental post going, actually a few, but then Monday became a very industrious and fun-filled day.

I worked out.  Yes, you read that correctly. Jillian and I started up our love affair again with The 30 Day Shred.  Last year I had just started rockin' my Shred Action and the Great Flood of 2009 hit our basement.  My working out seemed to lay stagnant along with the water.  So I dusted off Mr. Snarky (our wii fit) and Jillian.  I must  be a glutton for pain and humility.  But I got that out of the way in the spirit of Eating The Frog early in the day.

Sass and I had lots of batch cooking and food prepping to do for the week.  I cooked some dry pintos, made hummus from garbanzos from the freezer, made hard boiled eggs, baked two loaves of wheat sandwich bread, browned 2 pounds of ground turkey and we started a double batch of brownies!  And then BigDaddy came home and created major havoc on our industrious day.  God love him!

He brought up the song Double Dutch for some reason with Sass.  And then, because technology can make it so, Double Dutch Bus is thumping from the laptop speakers.  Meeeeemories.

This song reminds me of being around 10 and listening to my mom's K-tel "Dancer" tape-- a compilation of disco songs. I loved it more than life itself.  I played it over and over and over. and over. I had created dance routines to most of the songs.  Double Dutch Bus was on it.  And so was Celebration by Kool and The Gang.  These were the first songs that I played because I wanted to hear them, not because my parents were listening to them.  Me.  Celebration continues to be one of my most favorite songs in the whole wide music world.  It was our recessional song for our wedding. No lie. Yet another reason why I love this man. 

I would never claim to be a "Music Person."  I have an ipod I never use. I never know the artists names of songs I like. unless you count Laurie Berkner, which I don't. I don't have a genre per se, I like what I like. and it's really a mishmash of things.

But BigDaddy started to play other songs on youtube and we were off!  ooooh! remember this one??  okay, my turn!  Okay, I have another one! In typical lunzy form, I could sing most of the words, though badly, but I couldn't guess a single band name.  But the songs.  The music. The memories.  I did have those.

Buffalo Gals- My cousin had the record, probably the 12" mix and played it on my Mexican grandma's record player.  Not any old record player, but a record CABINET, full blow piece.of.furniture.  It was nice.  really, really, nice. Then my cousin started to scratch the record, DJ Rapper style, as we do-se-doed in the "nice" living room.  You know, the one that only company uses. filled with glass breakables.  and the Nice record player.  did I mention that?  I have no idea what this poor woman thought about a couple of crazy 5th graders dancing around to this "music" and scratching a perfectly nice new record.  Only in America, right?  I think she yelled something to us in Spanish, but I had no idea what she was saying and my cousin probably pretended he couldn't hear her (he was my interpreter.)  So we kept on do-se-doeing.

Soft Cell's Tained Love- I listened to this on the Mighty 690.  Yes, folks that would be AM radio.  Same cousin and I would call in and request this song all the time.  AM Radio.  'nuff said.

The Specials Message to you Rudy- Jr. High and my sweet boyfriend, Mike.  He loved Ska music and introduced me to something I never heard coming out of my parents cassette/8-track player.  He was in band, a trumpet player, and even gave me the mouthpiece to his trumpet, I think his first one? I still have it somewhere... The creepers. The black and white checkers. A totally different world. I loved listening to The Specials. My parents had no idea what the heck I was listening to. Which made it even sweeter.  I started to listen to the radio all the time. and bought record albums. and I watched videos on Video One with Richard Blade on KTLA.  We didn't have cable at that point.

I became part of the New Wave music movement.  I was a child of the '70s, but a teenager of the '80s.  Sadly, BigDaddy was a Hesher -a Metal Head with long hair and lots of earrings.  We don't exactly hold the same songs dear.  He did however have a friend that was a New Wave fan.  Thanks Jorge!  So he is pretty familiar with my favorites.  I fell in love with Depeche Mode, Madness, Violent Femmes, The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Clash and Big Audio Dynamite, Echo & the Bunnymen, Psychedelic Furs, OMD, The Specials, New Order, Erasure, Oingo Boingo, The Smiths, Pet Shop Boys.... KROQ.  MY music.

Music weaves itself in and our out of lives.  School dances (White Lines) Or being heartbroken and listening to "our song,", adding further torture. (Groovy Kind of Love) Or singing with friends on the way to the beach on Ditch Day. (Joy and Pain) Or hanging out in the back of the school bus with friends reciting lyrics. (West End Girls) Or driving around on a summer night just 'cause (Dr. Feelgood) Or hearing the same song over and over during practice for a competition routine. (Groove is in the Heart) Or post-football game parties (Blister In the Sun)  It makes it feel like yesterday.

It was fun going down memory lane via youtube.  Sass shook her groove thang, of course.  And we had quite the dance party going on.  I wonder what the munchkins will have on their memory list.  I have lots of Beatles and Disco on mine from the early years.  But we tend to listen to a lot of Latin music (Salsa and Jazz), pop,  and rock (courtesey of the resident Head Banger) with kid choices of Gene Loves Jezebel and Beyonce thrown into the mix.   We are currently creating their personal soundtracks.  What makes The List?  What will be "their parents' music"?   I can't wait to hear it!

Tell me what's on your soundtrack and why?


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