December 23, 2011

Blessed Yule!

Hoping everyone has a wonderful Soltice!

We are celebrating ours all over the place this year, due to work and family stuff.  Wednesday night we had our big Yule dinner and invited over family to join us.  Saturday we will be going out to watch the sunrise and write messages in the sand to the sun.

The kids have been very understanding.  We almost never miss the actual soltice.  We know it's important to celebrate and do our ritual even if it's not on the exact day.  Looking forward to better planning and the ability to celebrate on the soltice, because I can just feel it in the air.

~Earthy Mom

December 16, 2011

He finally gets it

My seven year-old is finally gets that we celebrate Yule and the rest of our family celebrates Christmas.  I know it's not that big of a deal that they confuse and merge the two together.  Because reallyboth holidays are about spending time with family and friends.  My parents even

October 17, 2011

DIY Napkin rings

I made the decision to go with cloth napkins!  Of course I did have the problem that my kids would argue about which napkin belonged to which person.  So we decided to make some napkin rings. 

October 14, 2011

Paper -vs- Cloth

I've been playing with the idea of switching to cloth napkins.  My mother just recently made the switch and I thought "good for her!"  And of course I was slightly jealous that my mother was being more "green" than me (for a change). 
Then I started thinking, could I make cloth work? 

October 8, 2011


You're probably asking yourselves, "Where has Earthy Mom been?  Did she fall off the earth?"

I've been busy working.  That's right folks, I now have two part-time jobs.  No more staying home, blogging, facebooking, and/or gaming all day around house work.  I have to go to work now, everyday.  I love my new job.  The hours are almost perfect, because I work in a school.  I'm home shortly after the kids get home.  I have the same days off as the kids and summer too.  Of course this leaves me with significantly less time on my hands to do all the fun stuff from my stay at home days. 

I'm trying to re-evaluate life.

Before I had all the time in the world to take care of the home, the kids, and fun for me.  Now I'm prioritizing kids and home and then time with my hubby.  After school it's homework, dinner, and running kids to activities.  Both boys play soccer.  All three of them are in scouts.  So we run almost every night of the week.  My hubby and I like to relax on the couch together, after all the kids are in bed, watching some tv before bed.  I'm still trying to figure out when I can get my blogging and facebook time in.  (Lets not even mention, that since Irene our internet signal has been seriously lacking.)  I'm planning to blog some on the weekends (like now) and maybe even at my other job, when things are slow.  So we'll see how it all works out and fits into my new life.

I'm not gone, just busy.  I'm certainly not going to stop blogging, because I love it.  I love writing and sharing.  It helps me relax.  It makes me happy.  And as we all know a happy, relaxed mom is a better mom.

~Earthy Mom

September 15, 2011

You Gave Me Wings

A poem about me written by my oldest daughter.  She gave this to me as part of my Yule present last year.

You gave me wings and helped me fly.
Your soul flutters through my veins,
am I yours and you are mine.

September 14, 2011


I suffer from frequent migraines.  Over the past six months though, it's become worse.  One to two a week and nothing was helping with the pain.  I did just recently get a prescription from my doctor that thank the Gods helps.

Lights, sounds, intensify the pain.  I feel like my head is going to literally explode. 

September 11, 2011

Thinking back, 10 years ago

I was in bed sleeping.  I worked third shift.  My daughter was at preschool and my, not yet a year old, son was at his baby sitter's house.   The phone rang.

September 5, 2011

Baking, Baking, Baking

My daughter Loves to bake.  So now that we have power back, we've been on a baking spree.  In fact we may have gone a little crazy.
I've been planning to make zucchini bread out of our several very large zucchinis.  Ladybug took over and made us two very yummy zucchinis breads.  She also looked through our cook book

September 1, 2011

Thank you Irene

It's been a long five days.  We've had no power and no hot water.  What we do have though is wonderful family and friends.  My family has a well, so our amazing neighbors hooked us up to their city water.  In turn we hooked their fridge up to our generator.  I have had so many offers from friends who have power, to come over.  It's times like these that make you really cherish the people in your life.

August 22, 2011

Chores, Nobody likes them but they need to be done

One of the things I've been working on is having the kids help out with the household chores.  I almost always had them help when I worked full time outside the home.  But for some reason (probably cause I can be a bit of a control freak) kids chores have slacked.  I been feeling increasingly overwhelmed with the amount of work it takes to run our household, keep the house looking decent, and have some kind of order.  Several months ago I redid the chore chart. 

August 19, 2011

The Loss of a pet

Death is never easy.  Dillweed lived a long and very loved life.  For the past year he has been fighting mouth cancer.  It's been very difficult to see him continue to get worse.  Rationally we know that this was best for him, but in our hearts we didn't want to let him go.

August 11, 2011

Going DEET free!

I am a bug magnet, if it bites or stings, it finds me.  Not only am I a magnet, but I'm highly sensitive to bug bites, I get Huge welts.  This pretty much means I have to wear bug spray when I'm outdoors.  I've never been a big fan of DEET

August 10, 2011

Celebrating Lammas

Just like almost everything in our hectic lives, we celebrated Lammas late.  (It's even taken me over a week to finish this post.)  But that is ok.  I've learned to accept that fact and move on.  What's most important is that we celebrated and enjoyed two awesome days together as a family.  (part of our family was gone one day)
The kids and I made spiral cookies.  I really enjoy baking with my kids.  It's one of the few times when I slow down and let go of the control. 
Everybody gets to read the recipe, measure out ingredients, pour ingredients into the bowl, and st
 ir/mix everything together.  And lets not forget about the best part licking the spoons!  We chatted

August 2, 2011

Is God Real...

A debate by children ages seven to twelve.

The debaters:
Potato - my seven year old son
A - my eight year old cousin.  Her Grandpa is very involved with his Church.
J - my nine year old cousin.  They're family is mostly Sunday Christians.
Monkey - my ten year old son.
B - my twelve year old cousin and J's brother.
Ladybug - my thirteen year old daughter.  She's very outspoken about being Pagan.

There were many raised voices the other morning at our campsite.  For a while I just stayed in my tent to listen, until the "debate" became heated enough that I felt I should step in.

July 18, 2011

July Garden Update

We replanted at the beginning of June.  Instead of starting again from seeds, we cheated and bought plants.  I felt it would be easier and the children would be see the garden growing right away.  It's been fun going out with the kids to check on the garden's progress.  They loved seeing how big the plants are growing.  And when we saw the first signs that veggies were growing they exploded with excitement!  I'll admit that sometimes I am the one most excited about the garden.  

July 16, 2011

Thoughts on Faith

What is Faith?
The dictionary tells us Faith is
1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
3. belief in god or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.

July 7, 2011

Feeling like the evil stepmother

Lately Duckling has been taking things that don't belong to her and lying about it.  Both from people at our house and her mom's house.  It's frustrating to deal with.  Especially since I finally got Monkey to stop doing that a few years ago.

So here's where the evil stepmom part comes in.

June 28, 2011

Independence too soon?

Now that summer vacation has started my older children are wanting to go out places with their friends and alone.  We are fortunate that the beach, library, playground, and skate park are all two miles or less from our house.  The beach has life guards, the library has librarians, and the skate park is right next to the police station, so all of these places are pretty safe.  Not to mention the girls have cell phones

June 19, 2011

So Proud of me(us)!

I just need to brag a little bit. 
My husband and I went out with some couple friends to the bar my cousin DJ's at.  This bar happens to be one of the few in our state that allow smoking.  We thought "no problem none of our friends smoke."  But we forgot one of the wife's does.  I'm so proud of us, for not giving in to temptation every time she lit up!  It was tough and I don't know if I could have done it alone.  So very thankful my husband was there and we could support each other.

June 17, 2011

Day 5

I'm finally doing it!  After months and years of talking about quitting, the time has finally come. 

This is my coming out party!

It's been a very long and very short five days.  I know that makes no sense, something can't be long and short at the same time.  It's like I've got two me's each pulling in a different direction, the "Yeah! I'm a non-smoker me" and the "Nicotine addict me".  So yeah I actually have two perspectives on what the last five days have been like.

Yeah! I'm a non-smoker:
It feels great not to be a slave to the nicotine.  My clothes, breath, car, and everything else I touch doesn't stink anymore.  I love looking at my bank account now.  In fact I check it several times a day.  For one I don't see lots of "little" charges everyday for a pack of cigarettes.  The other nice part is I actually have money in my account; I might not have to completely scrape by this month.  I wish I could say I feel healthier, but I've been sick for the past week, and I think I have the quitting cough now too.  I am also getting so much more work done around the house now that I don't have to constantly stop to smoke.

Nicotine addict:
Day one was no problem, it almost never is.  In fact day two went pretty well also.  It was day three when I started feeling like a junkie who needs their fix.  Everything reminded me of a cigarette, Everything.  For the past few days I've been between feelings of agitation and melancholy.  I keep trying to remind myself of all the good things, but the addict needs it's fix.

Either my family hasn't noticed or they're just not talking about it.  I don't want to bring it up for fear of jinxing myself.  I've been trying to stay busy, to keep the "nicotine addict" at bay.  I must admit that even just writing about not smoking, makes me want to smoke.  Thankfully my husband is quitting with me.  We don't talk about it, but it helps to know that we're in it together.

I must admit being a non-smoker has had it's ups and downs, but I think I'm going to enjoy this life style.

~Earthy Mom

June 15, 2011

Reusing junk

My dad is a collector of junk.  He likes to save everything, so our yard is full of stuff.  You can look out the window and see old barbecue grills, lawn mowers, metal scraps, plywood, decorative stone, etc.  I had three fire place grates just sitting outside my door.  I decided since he's never going to actually use any of the stuff he's saving "just in case we need it", that I would start reusing it.

fire grates before

my new flower garden
I just finished turning two those fireplace grates into beautiful planters.  I cleared out an area just to the left of my walkway.  Since they are obviously grates, I needed to come up with something to line them so the dirt didn't fall through.  Next stop the store, where I picked up a peva/coco liner ($5.96) and some flowers to plant.  The liners wasn't as wide as my grates, so I slid some flat rocks behind it to fill in the gap.  I already had potting soil left over from our Ostara celebrations.  The kids helped me pick out some flowers to plant.  We decide to go with annuals, since we weren't sure if perennials would make it through the winter in a raised bed.  I'll be looking into that for next year, since it would be nice to have our flowers come back every year.  The entire project cost me about $15.  And the best part is I don't have to look at those ugly fire grates any more.  Next year the kids want to paint the grates before we replant.  They think it will look prettier.

my birthday frogs

Since I now have the time to garden, the kids decided I needed garden decorations for my birthday!  I LOVE frogs.  Don't know what it is, but they are just so adorable.  My new garden decorations are some very lovely frogs.  A few years ago we had to dig up our yard, so we happen to have some slabs of concrete laying around.  I had my dad help me move one of them next to my new planter so my frogs could have a home.  This is still a work in progress.  I want to transplant some moss onto the concrete.  Thankfully my parents have a neighbor (at their summer campground) who has done this with her garden.  As soon as I get a chance to drive out there, I'm going to ask for her help.

beginnings of an altar

My final project, at least until I come up with some more ideas, is an outdoor altar.  I've always wanted an outdoor altar, but I didn't have any idea where or how I was going to make one.  Today all that just fell into place, while I was looking for something else to plant in.  I found my dad's pile of concrete bricks and a slab of decorative stone.  Put slab of stone on top of two bricks and you end up with a nice looking flat surface.  Yeah now we have our own outdoor altar.  It's definitely still a work in progress, but I'm hoping to put it to use next week during the Solstice.  The stone just gives me a good earthy feeling.

~Your Earthy Mom

June 14, 2011

More than a label

Several weeks ago I posted about my "labeled" kids.  I shared about each one and the challenges we face as a family.  I've been thinking it's time to share how they are all more than a label.  They are my blessings and bring great joy to my life.

My daughter, the ladybug, is a very kind, caring, and empathetic young lady.  I honestly think all her anxieties and struggles have helped her to understand where many of her peers are coming from.  She is fiercely protective of her friends, especially if another child is teasing them.  She comforts others who are in need.  For the last two years, Ladybug has asked for food donations, for those in need, instead of gifts for her birthday.  I am often amazed at the young woman she is becoming.

My oldest son, the monkey, is also very kind, helpful, and loving.  He joined his school's mentoring program at the beginning of the school year.  Currently he is mentoring a younger student who also has ADHD.  He is always quick to help younger children when they are struggling.  Monkey is also always ready with a hug or a kind word to anyone who is feeling sad.  I am so proud of his nurturing ways.

At seven my youngest son, the potato, is still growing into the person he will become.  He is a goofball and loves to make you smile.  He also really looks up to his brother and tries to follow Monkey's example.  Potato is a cuddler, he'll climb right up and snuggle in next to you.

These are the things I try to remind myself of when we are having one of "Those" days.  It helps me to focus on the joys they bring into my life.  We take each day as it comes, the good and the bad.  I tell them how much they are loved and how proud they should be of themselves.  Sometimes I mess up, especially when I'm having a bad day myself.  Then I go back and apologize for the hurt I may have caused them.  I'm thankful I can be a part of their growing process.  I'm even thankful for their "labels", because each child is unique and their experiences help mold them into the person they are becoming.

~Your Earthy Mom

June 7, 2011

Yard Sale for a cause

About two weeks ago, over the weekend we held our second annual Relay for Life Yard sale.  My family been participating in Relay for Life since my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer fifteen years ago.  This event is very important to my whole family and friends.  We named our team after my Pop, Happy Chappy.  He was diagnosed with cancer and lost his battle, when I was young.  Since then my family has been touch by cancer in many ways.  My Mother, Grandma, and mother in-law are all cancer survivors.  Our team of family and friends all walk in memory of those we lost and to honor those we are blessed to still have in our lives.

 One of our team's fundraising events is an annual yard sale.  We gather up all the toys, clothes, household items, and anything else that we don't need or use anymore to sell.  All the profits from the yard sale go to our team's total money raised.

This year my sister, husband, a couple of our friends, and I got together to work the yard sale.  My father in-law just moved up here and had many items that won't fit in his new home, so he donated it to our yard sale.  Since we have very little weekend time during the school year, we decided to hold a second yard sale during the summer.

Stop by our Team's site to help us fight cancer.

~Your Earthy Mom

June 3, 2011


So I will start out this post with saying usually I try to keep my writing upbeat and motivational.  However I do write to express myself and my feelings.  Guilt is what I'm feeling now.

Here's a little of the back story to my guilt.
    I had a great job at the Post Office, delivering mail part time.  They pay was great and the hours were pretty good too.  My husband and I like to hike and letterbox and on one of those trips I fell and injured my shoulder.  Unfortunately my injury left me unable to perform my job consistently.  We made the decision for me to quit working, because my body's well being was more important than the money we would lose.  I don't regret the decision.  It's given me the opportunity to be home more with my children.  And that's a dream I never thought would come true.  My dad is recently recovering from an extended stay in the hospital.  And my parents have moved my 94 year old grandma in with them.  Needless to say my mom is a really busy lady.  Right now we are very tight on money.  I know that money doesn't buy happiness, but it does pay the bills.
    My husband has been looking for a second job, and yesterday he found one.  I feel so guilty that he will be working two jobs and missing out on family time, while I'm home with our family.  I wish that I could go out and work, but we run into a childcare issue.  Ladybug is old enough to watch the boys, but they don't always get along well.  (really what siblings do)  Not to mention every time talk of me working comes up, my poor mom nearly has a heart attack.  With the summer fast approaching, we have decided that I should continue to stay home (for now).
    I just doesn't feel right that I get to enjoy family time, while my husband is working so hard to support us all.  I wish I could enjoy how amazingly lucky I am, but right now I just feel guilty.

~Your Earthy Mom

June 2, 2011

Children, Book of Shadows ideas

As a family we have a family Book of Shadows.  We keep our favorite Sabbat's stories, recipes, and traditions in it.  Each of my children have their own binder with age appropriate pages.  I make or print pictures to color, crosswords, word searches for them.  Also I'll add information I think they'll like or learn something from.  I try and keep these fun and low key.  My boys (being younger) really have alot of fun coloring, doing activities, and reading with me.  My daughter (a teenager) at this point isn't as interested in the "fun stuff", so I've had to get more creative.

Several weeks ago I was reading a post by Mrs. B that really peeked my interest.  She has a BOS that she passes back and forth with her child.  I knew right away that my Ladybug would love the idea of us sharing a notebook full of information.  We just started at the beginning of this week, so it definitely still a work in progress.  She even asked me this morning "Mommy, when are you going to write in our book again?"  (And yes my teen actually still calls me Mommy)  It was just too sweet.  I'll have to post again once we get things more solid. 

Several months ago, Ladybug borrowed my book To Ride a Silver Broomstick, by Silver RavenWolf.  I was curious how her reading was going, since she hadn't been asking very many questions lately.  She informed me that, this past month of school she's been very busy and hasn't had time to read anything that isn't school work.  I can't even begin to tell you how pleased I am that she puts her school work first!  But I'm also kind of sad that she hasn't had time to pursue other things.  We chatted and came up with a plan.  School will be over in two and a half weeks, with lots of free time in the summer.  We are going to start the book from the beginning together.  Writing and sharing our thoughts about what we're reading.  I'm looking forward to this special time Ladybug and I have carved out of the day for each other.  With the size of our family, sometimes she and my stepdaughter get looked over too often.  I think it's because they are growing into independent young women, who don't want their parents hovering.

~Your Earthy Mom

May 27, 2011

Garden Update

Well it seems that our first attempt at growing a garden hasn't started off to well.  All of our veggies died.  *crying*  We were however very successful at growing weeds.  I do have several thoughts on the demise of our garden.
  1. The weather wasn't ready yet.  I'm pretty sure that we put our veggies in the ground to early.  Even though it wasn't freezing out, it still did get pretty chilly at night.  My garden growing cousin has confirmed this theory for me.
  2. We didn't have good enough dirt.  Being first time gardeners, we just used any old dirt figuring it didn't matter.  In retrospect I think our dirt didn't have enough nutrients to help our plants grow.  Thankfully my neighbor has some great fertilizer, that they use on their garden, they're willing to share.
  3. I left right after the veggies went into the ground.  My dad was in charge of the garden while my husband and I were on our honeymoon.  I'm pretty sure that he took really good care of our plants, but I wasn't there to know how things were growing (or not growing)
Now that the rain has finally stopped.  (We've had a week and a half of rain)  I have been able to go out and weed the garden.  The weather is finally warm enough for our new seedlings.  Yes we planted more seeds inside to transplant outside.  So here in the next week or so we will try again.  Here's to us being persistent.  Think I may even say a little prayer over our plants to help them grow and thrive.

~Your Earthy Mom

May 25, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

Honor the sacred.

Honor the Earth, our Mother.
Honor the Elders.

Honor all with whom we
share the Earth:-
Four-leggeds, two-leggeds,
winged ones,
Swimmers, crawlers,
plant and rock people.
Walk in balance and beauty.

Native American Elder

May 23, 2011

Cake Bake

We made our first Dirt cake last night.  My youngest needed to make a cake for Cub Scouts' Cake Bake auction.  All the boys make a cake, the cakes are auctioned off, and the money goes to a charity.  We decided on a Dirt cake, because it was easy enough for a seven year old to make and would be fun to make/decorate.  It was also a messy project, and what boy doesn't like making a mess!  I supervised while my husband and son worked together on the cake.  We all had lots of fun and enjoyed the special time one on one time with just the Potato.
Here's how to make your own Dirt Cake:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
3 1/2 cups milk
1 (12 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
32 ounces chocolate sandwich cookies with creme filling
1.Chop cookies very fine in food processor. The white cream will disappear.
2.Mix butter, cream cheese, and sugar in bowl.
3.In a large bowl mix milk, pudding and whipped topping together.

4.Combine pudding mixture and cream mixture together.

5.Layer in flower pot, starting with cookies then cream mixture. Repeat layers.

6.Chill until ready to serve.

7. Enjoy!

~Your Earthy Mom

May 13, 2011

Label me

I'd like to welcome you to my world of labels.

The Bug has sever anxiety, which causes her to have stomach problems.
Monkey is Extremely ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder).  When I say Extremely, I mean literally bouncing off the walls (at least when he's not on his meds).
Potato is borderline ADD, just had the doctor visit about that today.
Oh and all three of them are ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) to some degree.
And of course there is me.  I am ADD too.

So you may be asking yourself, "Why am I just putting it all out there like this, especially in this world of excessive labeling."  The answer is because, well it's completely true and because we are more than just a family of labels.  I know that it almost seems like everyone, kids to adults, are being labeled with some kind of disorder.  And I do acknowledge that there are times when doctors diagnose wrong, but not just with psychiatric disorders (my dad is living proof is misdiagnoses). 

So let me take you back thirteen years ago.

My Bug has always been a very sensitive and anxious child.  She couldn't wait to start school, but couldn't bear to have me leave her.  She was the child the teachers had to hold in a hug, while I went out the door, so Bug wouldn't chase after me.  After my first marriage, while I was on my honeymoon, Bug spent the majority of the week crying or being upset that I was gone.  As she got older she became less "clingy", but things didn't get easier.  Her anxiety causes her to be truly sick to her stomach.  The biggest cause of her anxiety now are Major life changes.  She has been seeing a therapist since she was seven.  I also admit that we use medication to help manage the anxiety.  Last year Bug decided she didn't want to take medication any more because she was doing very well, so I let her stop.  Pardon the express, but all hell broke lose.  She was having stomach problems much more frequently and the ODD was insane (and she was still in therapy).  After several months of this, Bug agreed the medication actually helped.  So we manage each day as it comes.

Before he was even born, ten years ago, Monkey was hyperactive. I'm positive he used my insides as his own personal jungle gym. As a baby, Monkey wasn't happy unless he was in motion. Once he was able to move on his own (crawling, walking/running) he didn't stop. He would climb anything he could hold onto. Thankfully he is also very coordinated and athletic. I didn't know much about how boys act, so I never knew my super active son was actually hyperactive. Kindergarten was the first time I thought maybe my son is more active than other boys. In school he would roll around the floor, be very fidgety, or look as if he wasn't paying any attention to his teacher. Monkey has been on medication since he was five. I've always insisted on the lowest dose that helps manage the ADHD. (He's been on the same dose for the past 3 years even though he's gained weight and grown.) We don't really see much of the ODD, accept in the morning and at night (times he's not on the meds) Monkey still is fidgety and he's definitely still very active. We also manage his ADHD with diet changes, lots of reminders, and trying to stay on a regular schedule.
My little Potato has always been oppositional and very distractable. With him it's a fight or a tantrum about everything. You say it's hot out, he says he's cold. Transitions often come with a tantrum, even with reminders given out. Simple tasks require repeated reminders, because he's gotten distracted. In school he's a crier if things don't go the way he wants/expects. We just recently had him tested and found that he's borderline ADD and extremely ODD. I decided that his ADD is manageable with out medication, by doing what we've been doing with him and his brother. I also got lots of helpful advice from the doctor on managing the ODD.


Here are some Tips and Tricks I've learned in the last thirteen years.
  • Routines - All kids need them. They definitely help our family. The kids know what is expected and it helps them feel like they have control.
  • Lots of Warnings - Let kids know when they will be moving from one activity to another. Example: Joey is playing with his trains. Parent "Joey in 5 minutes we will be eating dinner." then Parent "Joey in 3 minutes we will be eating dinner." then Parent "One minute we will be eating dinner." This lets the child know and helps them to remember.
  • Stand up - Fidgeting is just part of the territory. If my boys are having trouble sitting for dinner or homework time, I let them stand. The rule is if they're standing they Must stay at the table (No walking). This gives their body something to do and most of the time they stand mostly still.
  • Diet changes - There are lots of theories about different foods to help manage ADHD. The biggest diet change I've made with my kids is eliminating food dyes. I noticed a huge difference in (particularly Monkey) their hyperactivity level.
  • Unconditional Love - This is the biggest key to "managing" every day. Don't just tell your kids you love them, Show them how much they are loved. Hugs, snuggling, little notes in a lunchbox, reading together. Here are some more ideas.
  • Support groups - For your kids and you. Kids like to know they aren't the only one dealing with stuff. And for us parents it's great to have other parents to talk to and share ideas with.

Thanks for letting me share a little bit of our crazy life.

~Your Earthy Mom

May 11, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

Treat the earth well.

It was not given to you by your parents,
it was loaned to you by your children.
We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors,
we borrow it from our Children.

Ancient Indian Proverb

Wednesday Wisdom

With enough hard work and dedication dreams can become a reality.  ~Patricia Zhou

May 7, 2011

Earthy Mom vacations With Out the kids

Us on a boat in Jamestown 
The tree line is the original Jamestown Settlement
 As some of you may know, we became Mr and Mrs on Saturday April 30.  My parents' wedding present to us was the honeymoon (we are staying in their time-share) and childcare for the week.  It has been an amazing experience!  As a couple we have never vacationed with out the kids, and separately only once or twice.  The resort is beautiful.  It's like a condo and we have our own balcony.  Everything we could ask for in a place to stay.
We have walked around Jamestown, Colonial Williamsburg, and Yorktown.  I've truly enjoyed seeing these historic places and being able to take my time to look around.  It's been great to sleep in till noon or head back to the resort early just because we want to.  I have to admit though, while enjoying my adult time, whenever I saw something cool I always thought "would the kids like this?"  You see I am truly a Mom at heart.
We are at the end of our vacation.  I am sad and happy at the same time.  The time I've had here to spend just as a couple is over.  Lazy days and late nights have come to an end.  But tomorrow morning I will be home with my children, for some special Mother's day fun.

~Your Earthy Mom

April 30, 2011

Thought for today

Had to go out and do some last minute wedding shopping.  I realized this morning that I don't have any hairspray (and my mother in-law needed mousse), because I rarely do more than pull my hair up in a ponytail.  I never shop for beauty products at the store, since I shop online with a company that makes
toxin-free products.
I must confess that I am a label reader.
So here we are in the hair product aisle and I'm reading the labels of all the hairspray and mousse bottles.  Here is what's in the hairspray (Rave 4) I was asked to purchase)  I'm shocked and appalled.  Seriously, I'm going to be putting this stuff in my hair, spraying it in my house.  Who in their right mind would think of such a thing?!?
Sadly, because the wedding is tomorrow and I have No other choice, I will have to spray my head with the store bought hairspray.  I hope I won't have to use too much or be too disgusted by the thought of what I'm doing.

~Your Earthy Mom

April 27, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

You can only become truly accomplished at something you love.  Don't make money your goal.  Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off of you.
~ Maya Angelou

April 24, 2011

Gardening an Family affair

Dumping the dirt
Our family decided at Ostara to grow a garden in our backyard this year.  I haven't had a garden since I was a young teen.  This has been a great experience for us as a family.  We started with finding the right spot and arranging boards into a rectangle shape.  Even Poppy came out to help with the project.  They boys love digging up the dirt inside the garden area, to get it ready for our plants!  We have an over abundance of tomato plants started.  Also ready for planting the cucumbers and zucchinis.  In a few week the peppers my sister asked me to plant and the green beans should be ready to move outside too.  I'm hoping the kids will stay interested in gardeing and continue to help out and have fun. 
They certainly have lots of plans.
  • Monkey wants to build a fence to keep the deer out.  (Not happening this time, maybe next year)
  • Potato has informed me that "We have to pull the weeds from our garden mommy."
  • Ladybug and Duckling are looking forward to helping pick the veggies.

Ready to go!

Hope you enjoy the pictures of our labor.  And we hope to enjoy the fruits (rather veggies) or our labor later.

~Your Earthy Mom

Tiny tomatos

April 21, 2011

Raising a Vegetarian

As if raising children in the world today isn't hard enough, my oldest has recently decided she wants to be a vegetarian.  I am supportive of her choice.  And I'm very proud of her for making a life choice and sticking to it.  (It seems that I'm doing a better job at parenting than I thought.)  Of course her choice is now raising my "Mommy worry flags".  I'm concerned that she won't have a healthy balanced diet.  The rest of our family are not vegetarians, so cooking has become somewhat of a challenge.  My daughter is not the most adventurous eater when it comes to vegetables.  Thankfully she is very good about trying new foods.  My job as her mom is to make sure she is eating healthy and getting the right nutrients.  Let me tell you how thankful I am for the Internet right now.  Google is my new best friend! 

Lunch is actually the hardest meal of the day.  Ladybug sits at the nut-free table, so she can eat with her friend, who is allergic to peanuts.  So we can the Scratch PB&J sandwiches.  Let the experimenting begin.  Here are some of my daughter's favorite lunches.
  • Soy-based faux meats - She loves the "turkey" and "pepperoni".  We make sandwiches or grinders/subs
  • Tomato soup - Her absolute favorite is when we add some rice, broccoli, and corn to the soup
  • Mini bagels and cream cheese -  mini bagels make the meal a little bit fun
  • Leftovers - These often make the list.  I've gotten pretty good at making vegetarian substitutes for meals.  Good enough that she wants to have dinner for lunch.
  • Breakfast for Lunch - packing some cereal is a nice treat.
My sister came to my rescue this past week with some veggie substitutions ideas for dinners.  The big one: I haven't been able to make a good veggie gravy.  (HUGE gravy fans in my house)  On the advice from my sister (a vegetarian in High School and College) I picked up some vegetable bouillon.  I boiled it up and added about a teaspoon of flour, to thicken it.  What do you know I made a "Great tasting gravy!"  Ladybug was trying to lick the bowl.

Here are a few websites with vegetarian/vegan ideas and recipes.
Veg Kitchen
Better Health USA

Enjoy trying out some yummy veggie meals!

~Your Earthy Mom

Beltane Handfasting...

with non-pagan guests.

As some of you may know, I was recently handfasted to an amazing man.  The challenge being that we're Pagan, we wanted the ceremony and reception to capture the essence of Beltane, and most of our guests aren't Pagan.  This was made easier because most of our friends and family know (to some extent) that we're Pagan.  The day was beautiful and everything went perfectly.

We wrote our own ceremony.  One of our debates was whether or not to have our officiant say "Goddess and God".  It was important to us that our guests enjoyed the day as much as we did.  In the end we decided, what harm could come from those words.  And it was very important to have the ceremony reflect us, our beliefs, and incorporate our children.  A very special part was our family sand ceremony.
Now we will celebrate the creation of a family. The couple will first pour their sands into the vase, showing that their marriage is the foundation of this family. Their sands mix together and symbolize their bond of love and respect that can never be separated. Now as each child add their sands, we are reminded that though we are all different people, it is our individuality which adds a unique color to the tapestry of a family. Like the sands poured before it, so these sands will also mix and be unable to be separated.
We poured our dark green and blue sands.  Then each of our four children added their sand.  Bug light green, Monkey red, Duckling purple, and Potato yellow.  This was a tangible way to show how even though we are all separate and different people, together we make an inseparable family.

Belanos Table

Maypole on Var Table

 For our reception, we gave each table a God or Goddess name.  I had read somewhere (while I was working on the seating plan), that numbered tables could hurt feelings.  That was a good enough reason for us to add different Deities to the decor.  The center piece on each table was a small Maypole.  The May Poles was definitely part of the plan from day one.  What better way to celebrate a Handfasting on Beltane than with a May Pole.  I suppose if we had the time and space, it would have been lots of fun to have everyone dance around a bigger Maypole.  We did keep one to use on our home Alter. 
To make your own Maypole - Altar Maypole Centerpiece
I wanted to have a bonfire, but that wasn't possible at the location for our ceremony and reception.

All of my concerns about completely coming out to all my friends, family, and his family I didn't have anything to worry about.  Everyone enjoyed a day of celebrating, singing, and dancing.  I couldn't have asked for a better day.

My advice to any of you partially or fully in the broom closet, make the day about you and your love, don't worry too much what others may think, and enjoy your day together.

~Your Earthy Mom

To Read what my sister thought of our Handfasting.
Thanks to Victoria Chapman, Melissa Meadows, and Shana Boss-Hill for the pictures.

My bouquet

April 9, 2011

H2O Think before you Drink

Drinking water is "in", everyone is doing it.  But is anyone really thinking about the possible dangers and amount of waste created from drinking bottled water?

I've just recently jumped on water "bandwagon" because honestly I'd rather drink a coke.  I've been trying to drink more water and less soda to help with losing some weight.    At home I always drink from a glass, but when I'm running around town or hiking through the woods, I bring my bottle of water.  Naturally I started looking into the facts about bottled water.
Store-bought bottled water is a rip off. Tap water is often subject to more stringent regulation and testing than bottled water. It costs a fraction of the cost from the tap. It is cleaner, cheaper, and thus healthier. (Natural Resources Defense Council)
So the above statement seems almost obvious.  It's water. Why in the world would anyone actually want to pay for water, when you can get it out of your faucet at home for free.  The kids hate when I say that because they like everyone else are captivated by the water commercials.  So here's what we're not told about drinking bottled water.
  • 90% of the cost of bottled water is due to the bottle itself.
  • 80% of plastic bottles are not recycled.
  • Plastic bottles are among the most prevalent source of pollution found on our beaches.
  • 38 million plastic bottles go to the dump per year in America from bottled water (not including soda)
  • U.S. landfills are overflowing with 2 million tons of discarded water bottles alone. Source:
  • Bottles used to package water take over 1,000 years to bio-degrade and if incinerated, they produce toxic fumes. It is estimated that over 80% of all single-use water bottles used in the U.S. simply become "litter." Source:
  • 24 million gallons of oil are needed to produce a billion plastic bottles.
  • Plastic bottles pose a health risk. Studies have shown that chemicals called phthalates, which are known to disrupt testosterone and hormones, can leach into bottled water over time.
  • Studies have indicated that food and drinks stored in such containers—including those ubiquitous clear Nalgene water bottles hanging from just about every hiker’s backpack—can contain trace amount of Bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic chemical that interferes with the body’s natural hormonal messaging system.
  • The same studies found that repeated re-use of such bottles—which get dinged up through normal wear and tear and while being washed—increases the chance that chemicals will leak out of the tiny cracks and crevices that develop over time.
We can save the earth simply by recycling water bottles.  You can even take it one step father by purchasing a re-usable water bottle.  Stainless steel or glass would be the best options.  Check out Nubius Organics to find echo-friendly water bottles and other products.  I just purchased a stainless steel water bottle several weeks ago and I love it!

Check out these sites for more info: The Water Project  Gaiam Life

~Your Earthy Mom

April 4, 2011

Late to Spring!

Spring time is actually here!  My family just celebrated Ostara last weekend.  We have been so busy with planning our wedding that the actual date came and went.  So being flexible with these kinds of things, we planned our celebration any way.

Tomato Seeds

Cucumber and Zucchini seeds

This year we did a split two day celebration.  Saturday morning was spent eating candies and starting plants for our garden.  We are planning to make our first garden this year.  So far we have cucumbers, zucchini, and tomatoes.  The kids loved getting in the dirt and planting the seeds!

Beginnings of a garden

Cutting Blackberries for dye

Sunday we made natural egg dyes for the first time.  This project was very time consuming, kind of messy, at times frustrating, and most of all Lots of FUN!  Grownups started with doing the cutting.  Our oldest wanted to help, so we figured why not.  We showed her how to use the knife safely and let her go for it. 

Pouring the Dye

After we cooked up each dye all of the kids helped with straining and pouring into bowls and cups.

Smelling the Dye

Onion Dye

Commence the egg dyeing extravaganza!

Beet Dye

Blackberry dye

Blueberry Dye

Spinach Dye

Onion Dye
Since this was our first time making the dyes, it was kind of an experiment.  Here's what we did.
  • Fresh Blackberries - light purple - finely chop and boil in 1-2 cups of water then strain.
  • Fresh Blueberries - dark/light blue - finely chop and boil in 1-2 cups of water then strain.  (one of our favorites)
  • Fresh Spinach - very light green -  finely chop and boil in 1 cup of water then strain.  (we didn't like how this color came out)
  • Onion - golden yellow/orange - Take the skins off two onions.  finely chop them and boil in 1 cup of water then strain.  (one of our favorites)
  • Beets - light pink - We used canned beets and finely chopped.  We boiled the beets and the juice from the can.  (Next year we plan to use fresh beets if we can find them)
All in all we had a great weekend and are looking forward to watching our plants grow.  In a few weeks we should be able to move the plants outside to the garden.  Keep your eyes out for posts on how our garden is doing.
~Your Earthy Mom