Saturday, February 28, 2009

Going Green isn't a new concept.

As I drove to the store today, I started thinking about the concept of Going Green. I made sure that I put my fabric shopping bags in the car so that I could avoid receiving more plastic bags. I hate those plastics bags, because the stores put 2 to 4 items in each bag and then after only buying 25 items I end up with 10 plastic bags. Then I have to carry ten bags in the house and store 10 plastic bags that I don't need. I keep the bags because they can be useful, but I must have several hundred bags.

I've had a few talks about this Green concept with my mother and the concept isn't new. I grew up in a Green Home, and my mother grew-up in an Ultra Green Home. My mother grew-up in a home where nothing was wasted and everything was saved, because it could be useful later. This is most likely why my mom and her siblings are pack rats. Looking back at my childhood, some of the best crafts and toys that I created came from what most people would consider trash today.

When I was a child, a paper bag (they didn't have the plastic bags at the grocery stores way back then), a butter bowl, newspapers, catalogs/magazines, and any box from a kleenex box to a large cardboard box was a treasure. I remember being excited about an empty kleenex box, because it had a lot of uses, my favorite was a Barbie Car, but it could be a guitar with a few rubberbands, and was great for storing Crayons, and turning it over and drawing stove coils. See many of my toys were GREEN. The butterbowls were great for storing small things in (barbie shoes and Fisher Price Little People) and using them as bug houses. I loved catching bugs, mainly ladybugs, or fireflies and all I had to do was poke holes in the lid and put some grass in the bowl. A paper bag was a main need for most paper crafts, and Magazines and Catalogs had terrific pictures for collages. I even learned how to make a small Christmas Tree from a Readers Digest.

My mom used many of the same items for household uses. Butterbowls and jars were used for storage of food and small house hold items. She still has a few small Parkey butterbowls around the house from 1970 something and if you open them they will have things like rubberbands, paperclips, buttons, and small toys.

How green was my mother. She used Cloth Diapers, reused all the items listed in the prior paragraphs, had her own vegetable garden when she could, sewed and repaired clothes. We walked to the store when we could, and recycled bottles,cans and newspapers. She even reused baby food jars, if I dug around in her basement I'm sure I could find one from the 1960s. Can you believe that my parents weren't hippies? They are conservatives and lived Green. Green isn't a hippy concept, it's a conservative one that was used by conservatives and our fore fathers for hundreds of years. If you go into any middleclass conservatives home, who is over the age of 50 you'll find that they have been Green since birth.

I've been lazy like many Americans, and I've been throwing away perfectly good things. That behavior is going to change. I'm going to teach my girls how to make what looks like trash into toys and craft projects. I'm going to wash and keep many of my plastic containers, and I'll reuse bags and avoid getting the plastic bags by using fabric bags. Jeff may not be happy with my storage of clutter, but I'll hide it in the basement. Plus he'll need a plastic container or paperbag and then he'll appreciate my clutter for a moment. I've lived Green compared to most people and I've saved some of these items, just not to the extreme that my mother had.

I can proudly say that I was raised Green and have lived a fairly Green life! That statement will confuse most people born after 1980, they think Green is this terrific new trend, concept, lifesyle that has only been around for a few years. All you 20 something kiddos that want to be Green have a talk with your Grandparents and they can give you a ton of ideas on reusing items that are normally just concidered trash. I can't forget about my dad, he had about 20 uses for a coffee can! I'm sure that I can find a coffee can from 1970 something in his basement or garage. The Green concept is an American Tradition, that was lost for 20 years, but is back so "GO GREEN"!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Molly the Good Dog

She is a good dog, she listens well, plays with the girls well, she rarely barks, and she is very loving. She has done something twice now, that was out of Character for her. She has chewed a hole in her Nylon Kennel. Both times we were at dance class, so we were gone for 2 1/2 hours. The first time she greeted Jeff at the door then a week later I came home and she was at the door again. Both times she chew through the Kennel. Her punishment was to sleep in the garage for 2 nights, which she hated, but stayed quiet. She hates the garbage can, so she had to spend time with it in the Garage too.

Last night I decided to let her sleep in my room, without the kennel. I was nervous because she is only a 6 month old high energy puppy. Puppies are distructive and chew on everything! Correct? What antics would she get into while I was sleeping? I placed a blanket on the floor near my bed with a chew bone and toy. I shut the bedroom door and told her to go night night. She looked at the blanket and her toys and gave me a stare and ran to the door. She thought that she had to go to the kennel down stairs. I decided that it doesn't matter if she sleeps on the blanket or the floor, so I went to sleep. She woke me up around 1 1/2 hours later with a sniff on my arm. I thought to myself should I let her out side to go potty, then I decided no she is use to not going all night. So did I wake up to a wet area on the carpet? NO! She is a good dog. I told her to go back to sleep and that is what she did. She woke me up with a sniff around 6:20, I had my alarm clock set for 6:30, so I looked around the room and everything was good.

She may of chewed through the kennel, but that is it, other than that she has been a good dog. Molly is a good girl ; )

Trail Running with Emelie

We went Trail Running on Friday on the Appalachian Trail. It was a nice afternoon around 48 degrees and sunny. The 1st mile is down hill, so it was easy and fun for both of us. Emelie tripped on a rock, but she got back up and continued to run. We stopped at a small camping/shelter area just to check it out. Hopefully when the girls get a little older we can go hiking and spend the night at one of the shelters along the trail. We continued to run for another 1/2 mile before we turned around to head back. Emelie charged the rocky hills on that 1/2 mile with a lot of energy, but was looking very tired by the time we turned around. She did well until we were about 3/4 of a mile out from the car. It was uphill the last mile of the run, so we did some speed walking. She ran over 2 miles with the stop at the camping area. She was very proud of herself which she should be since she is only 8 years old.

The Trail Run inspired me a little and I'm looking at maybe doing a few Trail Runs this summer and maybe even a Ultra Trail Run. I'm trying to convince Jeff into doing the Umstead 100 in North Carolina in 2010 with me. We would only do the 50 mile run.

I plan to take Emelie weekly on a trail run if the weather is good. I'm not going to take her any farther than 4 miles until next summer. Hopefully she wants to continue to run with me because I love spending the time with her.

I'll keep blogging about all our running adventures, and maybe I'll get Susie running a mile or two soon.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Socializing kids

Socializing! Why is this important to so many parents. This is the main reason organizations like the NEA and NPTA use to convince Americans that homeschooling is bad.

As a good parent you should have control over who your children are socializing with when it comes to any environment. Look at all the pressures kids have to deal with in the public schools due to the social atmosphere. They must look and dress the way their peers feel is correct, or they are made to feel they aren't worthy of friendship. They are labeled by their school peers on their academic success, they become an airhead, nerd or tard. This is what socialization in our government ran schools force on our kids. The saddest thing is most parents that place their kids in public schools don't see the negative effect of socialization.

It surprised me a couple of years ago when we lived in Kansas, how snotty women treated me when I told them that Emelie wasn't in Pre-kindergarten. Serveral women at Emelie's Gymnastics class inquired about where Emelie was taking Pre-K. I told them that with a BS degree in Business I'm more than qualified to teach my own kids, so I'm preparing my daughter for Kindergarten. What is their biggest concern about me teaching my own kid? "Socialization" How will she interact with kids in Kindergarten since she isn't in preschool? Of course I'm rolling my eyes at this point and thinking these are women like many Americans brainwashed by our government and the NEA. This is how our society thinks, socializing and being loved by all is very important. Having a ton of friends makes you important.

How do I want my kids to Socialize? I want them to pick their friends wisely. I want them to understand that it isn't the number of friends that makes you important. It is how you live a good responsible, loving life that makes you important. Having friends that are good souls that love you and aren't concerned about what you look like is important. I want them to meet their friends at activities they attend, such as dance class, church, and homeschool activities.

Emelie was lucky and spent 2 years in Catholic School and most of the kids were very well behaved and respectful of each other. Public School here in Virginia was shocking, and very lacking in discipline. She is only 8 years old, still needs guidance in what is right or wrong. If she socializes with kids that knowingly misbehave, then she will do the same because she wants those kids to accept her. This is why socialization is bad in the public schools. Good kids are influenced by the kids lacking discipline in school and at home. At this point in my kids lives I will chose who they will socialize with and not the government. It isn't important that they socialize with 25 kids at a time, but one or two kids that I chose will due.

I wasn't very social as a kid and I'm not very social as an adult, but I'm very happy. I'm miserable in large groups of people, so being social doesn't equal happiness. Matter of fact many people dealing with depression feel depressed because of relationships with others. Could this be because they mentally believe that they need lots of friends to be happy? They can't truly be themselves, because they have to live up their friends expectations? Socialization can be harmful and maybe it will be the downfall of our society. Think about it!

I'll add a couple of links in the future about socialization and homeschooling. I'm sure this won't be my only blog about this subject.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

New Life in Virginia

This is the beginning of a new life for all of us. Our new life started in August 2008, when my husband retired from the Army. We have dealt with many changes over the past 6 months. Moved to Virginia, bought a house, started home schooling our oldest daughter, and welcomed a new family member Molly (Border Collie and Australian Shepherd mix puppy).

Run, Jump, Leap is how we want to live our lives. We want to truly appreciate everything good that life offers. We want to live life with our family values and morals as a focus for our girls. Having God in their lives is a main focus and part of the homeschooling. I will homeschool both girls in July, because the public schools don't offer the excellence in education that my children deserve. With us on our new journey in life is Molly. She was special from the day we received her and the girls have a dog to love. Molly has just as much energy as my family, so it will be a joy to have her with us as we run, jump, and leap through life together.