Thursday, July 31, 2008

Eco-friendly, Fair Trade shops in Massachusetts

When I was in New Jersey visiting Evan and Amelie's Nana, Aunt Jenn and Uncle Rob and cousin Nora, I discovered this great little fair-trade eco-market called Terra. I was completely blissed-out. :-) I just love shops where you know your purchases are helping save the Earth's resources for our children, or helping women and families in other parts of the world make a living wage. I also love crafts from other cultures. So I decided I needed to find shops that carry these kinds of things near us. My research lead me to Perfectly Natural Home in Sudbury, Crossroads Trade in Brookline, Ten Thousand Villages in Cambridge,

Friday, July 25, 2008

Why We Sing: Welcome

I love to watch programming that makes me feel hopeful that the country my children are growing up in will be a more just place someday, that celebrates *everyone's* gifts, the experiences of all of our worlds' citizens.

In June I caught Why We Sing, a PBS documentary about gay choruses. Here is what their website says about the show: "Songs often touch us where spoken words cannot, and that's one of music's great powers. Why We Sing! shows the transformative power of gay, lesbian and transgender choral music – how it uplifts, inspires and unites. By exploring the history of this 30-year-old movement, Why We Sing! traces recent gay and transgender rights struggles in America while showing how singers and music lovers from around the globe have been moved to change their worlds through song."

You can buy the DVD of this special on their website. I would recommend it for any church or other group interested in the passion of the music of these choruses.

Evan discovered sunglasses...

Evan discovered sunglasses while we were in New Jersey. He loved to put on his sunglasses. They're extra big on his eyes so he looks like Elton John. What a cool cat. listen

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Multicultural this &that, environmental blah blah...what's it all about?

Everyone who wants to raise their children to appreciate different cultures, work for peace, and protect the planet probably has very similar reasons for doing so when you get right down to it. And I don't have any illusions that what I'm about to say here is the least bit "new" or "original". It's just my take on it all.

Growing up disabled, I noticed, probably on a subconscious level, that the role models presented to me were mostly male, and mostly white, and almost 100% able bodied. I never thought about how this impacted my view of the world, or of myself. I grew up believing the world was mostly a fair, and good place. But I must have known this wasn't really the truth. I was also rooting for the underdog. My friends were mostly folks who weren't in the "mainstream". I gravitated towards people who had struggled in some way.

When I entered Wheelock College, for the first time I realized how important the "other" people in this world were. I learned about teaching children about people who had different experiences from them growing up. And I learned that life in the the Good Old US of A and its capitalist system is *anything* but fair...as much as most of us want it to be.

And I learned of all that humans do in the name of having what we want regardless of the toll it takes on the Earth. And that if we keep acting in the same old ways, this Earth won't be the same for our descendants. So when I use something over and over again in an almost obsessive way, it is because I feel I'm giving my children a gift. When I limit the number of toys I give them that are made of plastic, I'd like to believe I'm leaving them things in this world

I learned that stairs are a matter of justice. If someone uses a wheelchair and the only way into a place is up stairs, that is an injustice. It isn't just "unfortunate", it is wrong. Poverty isn't just "unfortunate"...it is a social ill we need to work tirelessly to put an end to. Reducing our consumption isn't just a yuppie trend,, it is an obligation I feel towards my children and their grandchildren so that the Earth they live on is as beautiful as the one I enjoy.

When I buy toys and other things for my children that are made by people from other cultures, it isn't just to be "en vogue". It is because I want them to have some idea of the experiences, culture, values and struggles of people in different parts of this world we all share. There is One Great Big God and She loves *every* one of us, and manifests Herself to us through countless faiths.

So these are my "lofty" thoughts of the day. Now Amelie is melting down because she's tired and needs to nurse. Later I'll probably rewrite this...it isn't nearly as eloquent sounding, or focused for that matter ;-), as I'd like.

Until then...peace.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Nana's House

Evan and Amelie both had a wonderful visit at Nana's house for Nana's birthday. Amelie walked at Nana's house for the first time, although she's been walking for a few weeks. And Evan returned to a favorite toy - a *pink* castle with a flag that makes a great trumpet sound when you take down the drawbridge.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Blowing Raspberries!

Tonight, Evan and Amelie were blowing raspberries at each other from their high chairs until they laughed each other silly! They really do enjoy each other...now if they could just hold onto that love through adolescence. ;-) listen

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Evan says thunder...and lots of other words!

Evan says, "thunder" now, when he hears thunder. After tonight's thunder storm, we ate out on the porch. After dinner, Evan brought all of the soda and juice bottles out on to the porch, and then helped Daddy bring them all back in. What a good boy! :-) listen

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Evanloves to help!

Evan is so helpful these days! When the phone rings, he brings it to me and says, "phone!". He also helps bring dishes out to the kitchen and helps us empty the dish washer. listen

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Evan loves chimes!

Evan has loved chimes for a long time. One of his first words was chimes, and he takes much enjoyment from the ones we have on our porch. I remember the first time he pointed to and names chimes *other* than the ones we have when we were out somewhere. Well *now*, he can reach up high enough to hit the little wooden thingy that hits the chimes and makes them ring!(I'll edit this post later with the name of the "thingy" so I sound smarter!;-)

Connecting with other parents...

I currently don't get much traffic on this blog, mostly because I haven't publicized it much since I haven't had time to keep it current anyway. Well, now that I am and I will be posting a lot about my children and issues related to raising children I would like to connect up with other parents who are hoping and trying to share some of the same things with their children. I eagerly hope to bring my children up in an environment that fosters an appreciation and interest in other cultures, and a passion for making our world a place where peace and justice are more prevalent. So,I'd be interested in sharing ideas and resources with any other parents (or teachers for that matter) who happen upon this page! I'm interested in books (for children and adults), music, toys, activities and practices...as well as organizations and/or websites with ideas. Feel free to email me!. listen

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I'm back at the YMCA working out!

Any busy mom who fights her weight will appreciate this. I haven't been to the Y to workout since before Evan was born. He just turned 2. And now I am finally back working the FittLinx program at the Y. (For those who don't know, it is a spiffy computer program that keeps track of how many reps you do at what weight on each machine, and calculates how much weight you lift a session, a week, and a month!) For a somewhat compulsive personality like mine ;-), this is just great! It really motivates you to keep improving.

I am sooo pleased to be doing this for myself, and I know my family will also reap the benefits because working out will make me less stressed, thereby making me friendlier ;-) - and it will get me in better shape to do more things with them!