I read this post awhile back and tucked the idea away for our Thanksgiving holiday week off from school.
Thanksgiving may be an American holiday, but I thought this tree of gratitude appropriate for anyone this time of year as we enter the holiday season. Actually, holiday or not, this tree could grace the home any time of year in function of the season.
I love the project for so many reasons: it’s for anyone; I did not purchase anything but gathered from outside and inside; ev added the word grateful to her vocabulary; the tree is dynamic always open for new ornaments or tickets of thanks, never quite finished.
We’ve left a vase of tickets ready for all guests who pass through our home to share their thanks.
As summer’s end nears, we are preparing to dig into another year of work. Avoiding hype and minding function here are a few items I have found necessary as ev prepares to rejoin her classmates.
- Comfy, ok if spoiled clothing: check out thredup, an online gently used clothing site. If you don’t already receive hand-me-downs from friends and family, this is a nice way to recycle clothing. I found some brands I like in great condition.
- Comfortable shoes: If you live in a warm climate like we do, you might find these super cute Bensimon sneakers the perfect pair of summer closed-toe shoes. I like the lightweight, thin canvas upper and the sturdy but flexible rubber sole. This is the second time I have purchased Bensimon sneakers for ev. Funny enough, I nearly returned the first pair for how unattractive I found them upon opening. Aren’t they cute on though!
- Lunchbox materials Kidskonserve is my go to for the lunchbox. I like how the lunch bags are made from recycled plastics and stainless steel speaks for itself.
Bensimon Star Sneakers
I hope you find these products as useful as I do. I’d love to hear your back to school essentials.
My sister often cooks this clever version of fried egg and suggested I prepare the dish for ev. And I am quite happy she mentioned so as ev just loves the whole deal.
In fact, I believe she would eat this for breakfast every morning if I never made pancakes!
I’m quite sure there are many ways to call this fried egg, but toad works just fine for us.
Today, I shared this recipe with a friend so here I’ll share with all of my friends!
This pasta dish is ev’s favorite. If I remember right, she brought it as school lunch for three consecutive weeks. At which point, she told me she didn’t like “mac ‘n cheese” anymore. Really, maybe you are just a bit tired of it!
In any case, this is such a simple recipe, there’s really no need to make the boxed stuff. I’m pretty sure I use the same effort with this quick recipe as I would the box. This has to be the simplest Italian dish I know. In fact, the Romans like to say if your wife serves this pasta she was up to no domestic good all day! Can I say simple one more time!
Of utmost importance, however, is the cheese. You must use Parmigiano Reggiano. No other will do.
- pasta (save some water when you drain)
- Parmigiano Reggiano
Cook the pasta, drain, and save the water. Stir in the butter, the Parmigiano and a splash of pasta water. You’ll know how much to use.
our lunch’s leftover
I am a big believer in using what is available. Don’t get me wrong, one stroll through the mega arts and crafts stores will entice me to fill a basket in no time. But it’s much more satisfying to use your imagination and to reuse the things otherwise destined for the bin; don’t you agree?
I suppose since The Three Little Pigs is one of ev’s summer movie favorites, she decided this milk carton could be their house. I’m pretty happy with the house, although I’m not so sure about our little pigs and especially our wolf which looks more like a bat!
I guess it’s really easy to get caught up in educating our children, filling them up,making them smart. I feel relieved when I’m reminded of the simple needs children have and of the inner drive they possess that pushes them to grow without our input. It’s comforting to think of my job as a support and a guide rather than a creator or developer.
One of the fundamental needs of children is a role in their environment. A place and a belonging fosters dignity.
So when I share activities like this one, I hope you understand that they came from little ev and not my premeditated efforts to do “educational activities” or to create an “early reader” or to give her an “advantage”. How shallow would my personal efforts compare to that vital drive she has been endowed by Mother Nature.
This “activity” in fact wasn’t an activity at all.
After one year, yes one whole year, of me writing the grocery list at the Saturday morning breakfast table and inviting ev’s input, she has decided to have her own list, even to write it. I suppose a year ago I could have attempted to fill her up with all my wonderful knowledge on how to sound out words, how to make columns and how to check off. I could have really insisted. I wonder if today she would have so joyously asked me to spell the words as she recorded them. I wonder if she would have felt dignity in her role to help fill the pantry had I enlightened her as to how it should be done.
I wonder if it’s usually easier for me to impart my knowledge than it is to have patience as she unfolds herself.
If I am aware on this one point, I have been grossly blinded by myself on so many others. I hope with all of ev’s unfoldings I can muster the humility to guide rather than to create.
In earnest endeavor to buy those new dress-up heels she saw at a friend’s house, ev has been counting her pennies. As if her dress-up trunk isn’t full enough, I’ve held my tongue and looked at the bright side. Let’s sort the coins from your piggy bank, five Hello Kitty wallets, and even the family coin stash, bare as it may be!
In the end, this has turned into a wonderful sorting, matching and naming coin project. We have even concocted a polish solution for the pennies to shine them up!