We went to visit my older sister, Jennifer, and her family over April vacation. It's always an adventure when we go there - Jennifer has a lot of energy and it's fun to hang out with family. We celebrated my 36th birthday there (with little fanfare, as it should be at 36...). One of the nature highlights was a walk down the hill to Little River, which runs through their back yard.

There were consumer highlights as well. For one, I found the Preserve toothbrushes at Jennifer's Target on sale for $1.84 a toothbrush, which I consider very reasonable. Secondly, we took a trip to Trader Joe's and I stocked up big-time on all kinds of neat things. They also sell the toothbrushes but they cost a little more. I bought lots of shampoos and soap and of course the condiments and grain mixes I miss so much. I love Trader Joe's! I find it so crazy that they are owned by the same company that owns Aldi, because the stores are so different in character.

Next weekend we'll get together again to witness the marriage ceremony of Emily, our younger sister, to Harry. Jennifer and I have both been working on some painted table decorations and I will post a photo when they're done. We're excited for the wedding!

I had posted about taking Erma to the vet because she's losing weight again. She's down to her lowest weight in years - eleven and a half pounds. The doctor reminds me that she's still overweight, and certainly not starving, but I like to remind him that a sudden drop in body weight is not something to be ignored. After lots of bloodwork and some extra fluids, I found out that Erma continues to be as healthy as a kitten and she's most likely just old and feeling ignored. Poor Erma. She's curled up next to me on the lap quilt as I write this. She's a sweet girl.

My Healthy Planet, Healthy Child class met last night. Our discussion topic was about children and creativity, a topic very close to my heart. If I had to sum up the discussion in one sentence (okay, maybe more...), I would say that we took away the idea that creativity is defined by more than just the arts. It's about wanting to learn, being curious, and thinking without limits. And parents can nurture creativity by, among other things, providing lots of unstructured time - some of it quiet, some not - and by taking time to truly interact with our children, to listen more than talk, to answer questions, and to make an effort to find out even more answers together.

We talked a lot about how to have unstructured time in this structured world. How to simplify life enough to live in the moment some of the time. By the number of magazine and web article devoted to this topic, I know we're not the only people wondering how to do this. We didn't come up with any answers, but it was nice to see how we all try to do it. The bottom line is that we can't do it all, and something has to give. If we can first define our values and what is important to us, it's easier to put the emphasis on the important things rather than decide what needs less attention.

It's a big topic...


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About Me

My name is Jillian. I started this blog as a way to experiment with my camera and it's a become a nice little spot where I enjoy spending time. I'm a mother to 6 and 4 year old daughters, wife to a cool computer guy, and mama to a cuddly cat. We enjoy eating local, organic food; managing several food allergies; homeschooling with love; spending time in nature; and we love to take time each day to be creative. You can also find me over at From Scratch Club from time to time. Welcome!