Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Bucket List

Through hike the AT
Travel slowly with my kids
Play guitar, well
Sing and play in a band
Write a book
Take beautiful photographs
Travel the world
Start a farm
Have a large garden
Know how to use plants medicinally
Learn to speak a language well, and use it in that country
Teach yoga to others
Help others with my talents
Make beautiful jewelry
Travel by bike...somewhere beautiful, and take my time
I want to be an artist...painting or drawing
Woodworking---building, carving
Make beautiful pottery
Learn to surf
Scuba dive and see something cool (and a little scary)
Unschool my kids

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Simple and Meaningful Christmas

I feel like I learn a little more with each passing Christmas. More so this year, since our focus has been so strongly on learning to live a simpler and more meaningful life. 

Besides avoiding the usual pitfalls of mindless materialism, I have also simplified our own expectations.  We all sat down and made a list of; the top crafts we wanted to make, the top movies we wanted to watch, the cookies we wanted to make, etc.

Most years I want to do a million things, sew, build, bake, etc, but in the end I get overwhelmed and accomplish almost nothing! I'm happy to say I successfully did everything on my list...partly due to the list, and partly due to the fact that I'm not a perfectionist. (as you will see)

For instance, I made our Christmas card, but then decided not to send them.  I've never been good at actually getting things printed, put in envelopes and brought to the post office. So...instead I posted it on Facebook. Yes, I know it's not the same...but I've come to see my flaws (like not sending cards) as an extension of my personality (well meaning, but ultimately lazy)...and I'm ok with that.

Another of our projects was to make a gingerbread houseboat from scratch (that looked exactly like ours).  But as I was standing in the store with $30 worth of KitKats (for the cedar siding) I realized in the end it was cheaper and simpler to buy two kits and let the kids have free reign over them.  The kids were so overjoyed that they had their own (and no rules) that it truly could not have worked out better.

For friends and teachers we were going to make paper poinsettia bouquets for gifts, but the book we get from the library with the flower template was already checked out.  So...we made these packages instead; a homemade Yelloweye rockfish ornament (our favorite local fish), and a paper holly garland (Pin-spired, of course). Wrapped up in brightly colored homemade envelopes, we were pretty happy with the outcome of these homemade gifts for teachers and friends. (The kids especially liked the Harry Potter-esque "wax" seal.)

(I kept one holly garland for myself!)

Somehow we also managed to build a loft bed for Laurel, a new shelf in the living room AND finish up some of the painting projects that were hanging over our heads.  Plus we made a stop motion animation Christmas card for our families. And I had some leftover time to embroider some wrapping paper and play some chess.

Not only did simplifying Christmas make the holidays more enjoyable, and help me get all the projects done...I did MORE than I had planned.  This is literally crazy.  LITERALLY.  Who is this family?  I don't recognize them.

Have a simple and meaningful holiday season!

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