Wednesday, October 7, 2015

to market, to market

This fall, my kids are participating in something new. Our midweek farmer's market has started a kids market. Kids are encourage to make and sell their creations. It is such a fabulous idea! 

Each week there are a handful of tables selling baked goods, artwork, duct tape creations, sculpty magnets and jewelry, sewn napkins, and more. My kids and their friends have fun thinking up projects to make, learning about marketing, pricing, customer service, and displays. They do all the work, from production to set up. I am there as back up and a resource but have fully handed the responsibility over to them. The motivation of making some cash has brought out their grit and entrepreneurship.

Honestly, it is a bit slow now because it is still so hot. But come cooler weather, I hope they are swimming in customers. 

Does your local farmer's market have something similar? If not, I have a feeling most would be receptive to the idea.

Monday, October 5, 2015

{project} stuffed memories

In the fall session of Journal Jam we have been drawing, painting and writing about our stuffed animals. This activity is the perfect project for a family art night.

Ask each kid (and adult) to bring a stuffed animal that they have had a long time and really treasure to the table. We drew ours with pencil, outlined with a Sharpie marker and then water colored. Kids can share their memories orally, dictate to an adult or write them down themselves.

Looking closely at sentimental objects slows down time and offers a restorative meditation to everyone at the table. And the finished product will be cherished and adored down the road.

Be sure to share a link in the comments if you do this. I would love to see your journal entries.

Friday, October 2, 2015


It seems like every October we study biology or something creepy with our homeschool co op. Last year we dissected sea creatures and buried (and a month later dug up!) fish.

This year we are studying bones. There are lots of cool bone decorations and one of the easiest things ever is to grab some skeletons from the dollar store - 3D or wall hanging and label them.

We watched this Crash Course video on the skeletal system by Hank Green, played a little Skeletons in the Closet, and then labeled these guys.

It was a fun review of the major bones of the body and we now have some creepy decorations to get us in the mood for Halloween!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

{challenge} october :: a month of memory

The wellness/creative challenge for October is..... to create a month of memory. In honor of Day of Dead which I am having fun exploring via Merrick Weaver and her awesome online lab, Decluttering for the Dead, I thought a month of writing down, sharing and digging into our memories could be really fun.

Here is how it will work: each day in the Mama Scout Laboratory for Creative Living FB group, I will post a simple prompt that you can take to your journal or use as a conversational starting point.

You can share your memories in the group as well as any interesting and fun ways you have come across to mark and memorialize the adventures of your life.

Are you in?

Just make sure you are in the Fb group, grab a journal and get ready to go (back).

(food) pumpkin smoothies

We can not get enough of the pumpkin smoothies we make every fall. They are healthy, filling and make everyone think they are getting a special treat, which they are!

Here is a sort of recipe for a big blenderful (you can freeze leftovers as popsicles):

2 bananas - the riper the better
big TBS of honey or maple syrup (adjust based on your sweetness needs)
a whole can of organic pumpkin puree
milk (cow, coconut, almond, rice...) to cover the blade (adjust for thickness)
ice to the top (or you can use frozen bananas for a thicker smoothie)
pumpin spice to your liking (we like a lot)

candied ginger
almond meal
chia seeds
unsweetened coconut
chocolate chips (why not?)

That's it! Experiment and come up with your favorite version!

Monday, September 28, 2015

the wonder society :: a makers + thinkers collective for kids and parents

After watching and falling in love with Caine's Arcade and making lots of cardboard games,  I decided to start a local chapter of the Imagination Foundation

We have already started and I thought I would share what we do in our meetings in this space. Hopefully, it will inspire or encourage other parent groups to start similar clubs. 

As we homeschool, I am not affiliated with a school. My group is filled with homeschool and school kids. We meet bimonthly at a local artist's (and kindred spirit's) gallery. In the future, we might meet at parks or even the library. 

Meetings are held late Sunday afternoons from 3-5, with a potluck afterwards. 

For each meeting, we have a show and tell table, a quick fire design or improv challenge, and then spend the majority of the time working on the lesson or theme of the day. 
Our first quick challenge broke the group into teams. Each team was given 30 index cards and a roll of tape. They were charged with building a structure as high as possible. It was fascinating to see the different building styles and techniques. We shared and talked about each group's structure.

Then we moved on to a take apart and rebuild party. I had filled up my van with old electronics donated by friends and neighbors. Participants also brought expired can openers, vacuum cleaners and baby monitors. Each family brought screwdrivers and whatever other tools they thought would be helpful. We avoided monitors and parent involvement kept an eye on any potential dangers. In fact, some of the parents had as much fun taking apart and the kids did.
We spent all our remaining time taking apart. Kids were allowed to take home whatever pieces they wanted to rebuild at home. Some kids might hot glue components into creatures or if they are knowledgeable, use the pieces to build little robots or other apparatuses. 

And then we snacked, played piano, wrestled and ran and chatted. 

It was a great time of exploring and hanging out with friends. My goal is that each meeting is easy to plan and open ended, allowing for the kids to learn new design and building skills as they explore. This meeting certainly met my expectations. 

Upcoming meetings will have us working with cardboard, Ozobots, creating better world inventions and doing community art. Follow along on the blog and let me know if you have your own makers group!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

{giveaway} Decluttering for the Dead

My good friend and rebel Merrick Weaver is offering what might be the coolest class ever this fall. It is called Decluttering for the Dead and combines her loves of minimalism, Day of the Dead and Latin American Culture. It starts this week and I can not wait! 

You can read more about awesome Merrick and her offering below and even win a spot! Read to the end to find out how!

Tell us what you have been doing this summer.

This summer was spectacularly low key. We swam. Did some gardening. I got a massive wart from digging in the dirt and cured it with over-the-counter wart stuff. That seemed like a huge win.

We played. Slept. Most days, we didn’t go very far from our backyard. We spent some time up in the mountains. My kids are five and two. They moved into the same room together, so the expected shenanigans ensued. 

They’re happy to be nesting together and in cahoots. My parents hang out in Colorado during the summer, so it's grandparent time, and my sister had her first baby last week. She lives in Denver, too, with her man. So there was a baby shower and anticipating and making room for a new person. We got to see my brother, his lady and their daughter a couple of times which is super fun because they live in Dallas. They are expecting a baby in January. And there will be five cousins, ages five and under. 

We’re in that tiny person phase, so things are slow and steady. It seems like someone is always eating. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, repeat. There were also popsicles. And lemonade. I introduced the kids to Slurpees and that may have been my biggest parenting mistake to date.

Tell me about your experience with online classes and how did you decide to start offering your own online classes.

I went to the Mamascout School of Online Labs. Your classes blew the lid off my world a few years ago. It took me two years to fully get my groove, but the time spent priming the pump paid off big time during the last Dream Lab. My first Dream Lab made me realize my house was too big a shit show to actual dream about anything, so I got to tidying in April 2014. That turned into the Great Weaver Purge of 2014-15 (which is about 10% from being finished). I got so jacked up about decluttering and tried every method. I also don’t like doing things alone so I started secret Facebook “book club” so my friends could provide moral support. We don’t actually read books. I’m terrible at book clubs. Way too much pressure. At the end of last spring’s Dream Lab, I was ready to write an eCourse about minimalism and tidying and you told me I should do it because people were wanting it. And when Mamascout says “Jump!”, you say, “How high?”  My friend Axé named the first class Sprang Cleanin’ and we were off. 

Right now my friend Heather and I are doing a free fall decluttering series we’re calling Challenge by Choice. If anyone wants to sign up, they can sign up. The whole thing is really bizarre, because my background is in women’s, reproductive, and perinatal health. And now I’m giving talks on minimalism. 

Your next online class is called Decluttering for the Dead. What is this class all about? Who is this class for?

Decluttering for the Dead is for anyone who really enjoys talking about death and also wants to acquire a few basic Latin American craft skills. So, basically, everyone.

Day of the Dead/El Día de los Muertos is a traditional Mexican holiday. Fall is my favorite time of year. You’ve got Autumn Equinox, Halloween, Day of the Dead, my birthday, Thanksgiving, and then go right into the winter holidays. It’s a like a two-month party. I want to kick off the season right. I’ve had some new awarenesses during the Great Weaver Purge of 2014-15. 1) You can’t take it with you when you’re gone. (Seems to me that decluttering is a preparation for death. And if that doesn’t make you want to sign up for this class, then I’m out of marketing ideas.) 2) The whole purpose of letting go of the physical things that don’t serve us is to make room for what’s important. Carving out a small space to remember, talk about, and honor the people I love who have died is important to me. I want my children to be more comfortable talking about death. I want to be more comfortable talking about death. It reminds us how to live.

This isn’t a class just for families, although I’ll include age-appropriate activities for all living humans. There will be project ideas for people of every age, with actual pictures of my mediocre sugar skulls and shoe box altars. It isn’t about being pretty; it’s about being real. I’ll get into the history of the holiday and it’s sacred meaning. I also like the idea of marking Day of the Dead as an entry point to create the space in our homes that we need to enjoy the rest of the holidays with our living friends and family.

Will I learn to make sugar skulls in this class?

Yes. Like a boss.

What's rocking your world right now? Books, music, film, ideas? Tell us about something cool that we don't already know about!

Sir Fartsalot Hunts the Booger  is the best thing that ever happened to our family. We built a Little Free Library this summer (so glad I remembered, it was the most major project we endeavored and now we don’t look like lazy, Slurpee-drinking, napping weirdos who don’t do anything), and it’s been really amazing to watch our neighborhood get excited about it. If you've been wanting a Little Free Library in your 'hood, I really recommend doing it. If there's one already there, support it! Sir Fartsalot showed up there one day, and we never looked back.

Want to win a spot? Just head over to the FB page, Mama Scout Laboratory for Creative Living and leave a message on the pinned thread about your ancestors. Who do you want to honor and why. We will pick a winner by the end of the weekend. 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...