May 6, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!!! Enjoy every precious moment!

Ethan choosing the most interesting vegetables while shopping at a local Farmer's Market for a special dinner for Mom!

Happy Spring!! I'm wishing a very Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there! Every time that I hug my little boy, snuggle with him and read a book, hear him say “Mommy I love you” and experience so many other beautiful moments reminds me of how precious life is…how precious children are…and I am truly grateful for this abundant source of my happiness.

Time goes by so fast. It feels like just yesterday, I was holding him in my arms just a few weeks old...anticipating each new day to watch him grow. Now at 5 1/2 years old, he still loves to sit on my lap but he's getting too heavy to pick up! It brought tears to my eyes when I said to him " have grown so much! I think you are now too big for me to carry!" and he replied, "Don't worry Mama, I can still hold your hand!" So sweet!

I love celebrating Mother's Day with my little boy. It is a wonderful time for reflecting on all the wonderful moments I've had as a mom and for remembering to take time everyday to enjoy the precious things in life.

So, how do we spend Mother's Day? No big dinners/brunches at a fancy restaurant or elaborate gifts...just some simple time together. In fact, one of my favorite Mother's Day memories was sitting outside in our our pajamas early Mother's Day morning...blowing bubbles when Ethan was 2 1/2. His idea as a gift for me! Loved it! When he was 3 1/2, we went on a wonderful hike in Vermont with a picnic lunch. And last year Ethan was so proud to cook a special dinner for his Mama (with help from Dad of course!). In addition to cooking, he happily set the table and gathered flowers from our yard for a little vase.

This year we are headed on our first camping trip (with a group of families from our local arboretum)! We'll learn how to pull in a seine net, cook dinner on the beach, go on a night hike, and get up early to watch the sun rise! It is certain to be tons of fun and filled with many precious moments!

Here is my wish for all of you: Savor each moment. Do something special together....go for a walk...draw a a a book. It's all about the moments together: exploring, learning, loving, sharing. And I am absolutely the happiest Mom in the world! Sending lots of love to you and your family on Mother's Day!

Feb 13, 2011

Have a Heart! Making Recycled Valentine’s Day Cards

Approximately 1 billion cards are sent for Valentine’s Day worldwide. That’s a lot of paper! And a lot of paper means a lot of trees! So we’ve been trying in our house to cut down on how much new paper we purchase. When I received the note from school that the children n Ethan’s class would be exchanging Valentine’s Day cards, I dug into the boxes of old paper (old cards, notebooks, invitations, announcements, etc.) that I’ve saved to find something that could be used to make recycled Valentine’s Day cards. And I found baby themed thank you notes from when Ethan was born. Beautifully designed and printed by a dear friend’s daughter. We sent soooo many of these cards out and we still have some left. I have a few tucked into Ethan's baby book and found an extra 20 that were perfect for Ethan to use to make Valentine’s Day cards.

Ethan’s baby thank you notes:

So I cut the cards in half and revised the note on the back to read “Original Recycled Design by Ethan Bloom”.

The back of Ethan’s recycled Valentine’s Day cards:

With paper in hand, Ethan was ready to create!

Ethan used Stockmar block crayons and eco-fingerpaints to decorate his recycled Valentine’s Card creations. He drew a heart in red crayon on the front of each of the cards using his crayons (I love the Stockmar crayons…they are made of beeswax, seem to last forever, are easy for little hands to hold, and the colors are lovely!).

Next, Ethan used eco-fingerpaint to paint each of the hearts.

Painting the first heart:

Ethan chose the “beet” color (the small, dark tiny dots are from the handmade paper not the paint):

I have to tell you that this set of fingerpaints is awesome. The paint is a powder paint handmade with flour, cornstarch, natural and organic fruit, plant and vegetable extracts from beets, spinach, paprika, carrots, purple sweet potato, red cabbage, blueberries and tomatoes. It comes in 5 individual jars. To activate the paint, you use a 1:1 ratio of water to powder. Each jar (when mixed with water) can make 30 ounces of paint. Can’t beat that! No dried out paints! The jars fit into an easy to store cylinder made of recycled post consumer cardboard. And these paints make the most beautiful natural colors. Ethan LOVED getting his fingers into this paint!

Cool Eco-Fingerpaints:

Individual jar of powdered fingerpaint:

Colors included in the Eco-fingerpaint Set:

This is the first time Ethan has drawn hearts and the range of uniquely shaped hearts was adorable! (Kinda look like kidney beans don't they?)

Ethan’s Valentine’s Day Cards drying:

After the fingerpaint dried, Ethan signed his name in red crayon on each of the cards.

Ethan’s signature:

Don’t you just love how children write their names when they are first learning to write? The backwards letters, the extra lines on letters like “E”, running out of space, etc.

Here is one of my favorites, the “goes around” signature:

And the sideways signature:

We put each Valentine into an envelope and Ethan sealed it with a heart sticker!

Sealed with a heart:

Ethan's completed recycled Valentine!!:

I just love to see what Ethan can create and the enthusiasm that he has for making new things. And he is always so proud when he finishes a project! The Recycled Valentine’s Day cards were such a fun project and NO GUILT for buying more paper!

So, have a heart and save some trees by saving old cards, notebooks, and envelopes and transforming them into new creations!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!