autumn days

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

May Day baskets (part one)

Our friends joined us to help make May Day baskets for our local retirement home.  Together we were able to make 64 baskets, a project we could not have done on our own.  The kids learned about doing something for others and got to spend time crafting with friends.  Now on to those flowers!

Bea working away with the May Day baskets

Hannah and Lily coloring baskets

Liam discovering the joy of pens

the May Day basket Bea made for her beloved chickens

a short reprieve for the ballet rendition of Ring Around the Rosy

a small pile of our 64 baskets

our first flowers

Leach Botanical Gardens

Today we headed out with friends to Leach Botanical Gardens.  We followed various trails hither and yon, up and down, along the swift Johnson Creek, and up through labeled trees.  Along the way, we found new plants that I can now identify.  The wall of green is coming into clearer focus with these outdoor-loving friends.  Oregon grapes were abundant and will later produce edible bitter berries.  We found a few edible yellow violets, of which two leaves provide a person with a full day's vitamin C.  We also devoured a few pink blossoms from an abundance of salmonberry bushes.

We moms wondered aloud why some of our children go all out in nature while others just want to go home to play indoors.  My best guess is personalities and personal preferences.  My kids have had the least time outdoors of the group and they moderately interact with nature.  My children and I wouldn't mind living in a yurt under a canopy of woods, climbing trees and mucking in slime.  But a hot bath is something I also enjoy.

We then discussed an article about goats eating invasive plant species and simply nibbling on natives.  (There are endless articles on the subject!)  The big question we had: Why don't the park systems rent people's goats to control invasive plants in local parks?  This would limit the chemicals used and bring some more heart to our green spaces.  We know of goats that wouldn't mind being rented out.  Something to think about.

Returning to Leach's meandering trails, one led us to a back area with climbing trees, bee hive foundations, a wonderfully mucky pond, and other areas to explore.  There was much muddy fun had by all.

happy to act out her role as an Oregon grape plant (in a nature school game)

Is there anything better than climbing trees with friends?!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

YOU are worth it!

Dearest Hannah and Liam,

I have a lot to learn.  I am the first to admit I am far from perfect.  I have come a long way to be the mother you know today, and I have so far yet to travel.  In journaling about myself as a child, I've written this letter in an attempt to fill emotional potholes and take another step forward.  I've seen myself recently repeating divisive family patterns that push you away from me.  That is the last thing I want in the world.  This letter of  love is not only intended for my own heart, but for yours as well, my two beautiful children.  I want you to feel cherished and wanted and adored as I had wanted to feel as a child. May these words and feelings keep us connected with one another.  May I repeat them to you honestly and often.  May you understand my love through my words and my actions.  

I love you.  I like you.  I want you here with me.  You're smart, beautiful, hard-workers, deep-thinkers.  You're generous, kind, thoughtful, intelligent, loving, inclusive, beautiful, creative, funny, silly, witty, wise, my most beloved people.  I am becoming a healthier person so your lives will be happier and healthier.  I am working on being a better person because YOU are worth it.  YOU are worth it.  I love you both.

With all my heart,
your mama

My two nature-loving babes are more than worth every bit of work.