Friday, May 14, 2010

Decorating with stuff you have...

Here is a site, Tattered Angels, that shows how we can make pompom flowers using stuff laying around - tissue paper, (or you could use old sewing patterns), some string and of course some Tattered Angels Mist for colour.

http://mytatteredangels.com/blog/?page_id=667

Birthday Update

So the big day has come and gone - Ben's 5th birthday party. It was the usual stuff: food, friends, family, fun, chaos, cake, and candy.
There were no decorations... except the poster that our 8 year old colored for our 5 year old and stuck to the outside of the front door. The place didn't look festive from a streamers, balloons, and confetti point of view. And I am okay with that. I do wish I had put a little more thought into it though because I am sure I could have come up with something.
Ben asked about decorations and I told him about the transistory nature of them and the waste they produce. He was thoughtful for a moment and then said, 'well, maybe next time we could make reusable decorations.' I will tell you my friends that I almost cried! He GETS it!! At 5 years old - a fairly egotistical age that thrives on routines and traditions and longs to belong... saw past all that and was able to problem solve in such a creative way - to meet the needs of not only our challenge, but the environmental needs, AS WELL AS tweeking the traditions a bit to still conform with what we as a society has deemed appropriate for a party. I was blown away; Blown away at his creativity, and stunned for me not thinking of it sooner.

So we didn't have decorations this year for Ben, but we are going to start thinking of some great decorations that we can make once and use for all our birthday celebrations and start a tradition of our own; A tradition of longevity, items with memory and family time while doing it.
What I love most about this journey so far, is how creative we get to be! But without a doubt the best pay off is our main intention being fulfilled - the kids are GETTING it!! Our children, all of our children, are so resilient at this age, and no one is more creative than them! Perhaps BP should ask the kids how to solve the oil problem in the gulf, or world hunger, or what to do about our landfills.

Friday, May 7, 2010

cake and presents and decorations... OH MY!!

It has been a while since I last updated the blog. Not much has been happening to be honest :)
But Tomorrow is a different story! It is Ben's 5th birthday party! I will admit right up front that I haven't, unfortunately, put a lot of thought into it :( Maybe it is because I can't believe he is 5. But most of it is because I am trying to figure out how to honour Ben, have fun and still fit into societal norms. I think what we deem as a 'party' could use an overhaul though. Balloons, hats, signs, banners, table cloths, trinket goodie bags and on and on... I LOVE to decorate, make pretty, and show off my creativity as much as the next mom... but I am becoming more conscious of the amount of resources it takes to make a party look good for a couple hours. Last year we strung crepe paper up in the trees and on our old boat (if you can call it a boat... it is more like a bathtub toy by the time it hits the water!) because Ben was having a 'Fishing' themed birthday party. We by no means went over board, but once it was over, there was the giant wad of crepe paper. Of course we recycled it, but now that I have invested a little more heavily into exploring waste reduction, and resource sustainability I cringe at the thought of decorating now. I know. I know. Trust me, I know, that it is moderation in all things... and I am in no way suggesting we take the fun and beauty out of things,but I have also started to ask, 'what does it really mean to honour someone? How can we show them that we honour them, without dishonouring something else?
I don't know the answer for our family yet. But we are trying something new tomorrow and we will see how WE like it, how the kids feel, and if the parents are putoff by the lack of 'stuff' or refreshed that maybe the pressure to make the greatest party 'ever' has been taken off.
Expect an update on how this all turns out....