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This blog is all about all the things that make me up. I am a Mother, I am a Pagan Witch, I am a Wife, I am a homemaker, I am a student, I am Spiritual, I am a Teacher, I am Liberal Hippie, I am a Voter, and I am extremely opinionated! Plan to see it all! If you don't like what you see, feel free to leave! However, chances are, if you stick around, you'll find more to love than hate!


Friday, May 24, 2013

Pagan Books For Kids

Since most of us did not grow up Pagan, raising our own children Pagan can present some challenges. While we all had children's versions of common myths, it takes some seeking to find Pagan Myths for Kids. And learning ways to adapt Sabbat, Esbat and other aspects of our Pagan paths to fit the needs of our children. Thankfully, there is help out there.

First, there are a growing number of books, perfect for encouraging your family to explore their path together.

The Earth Child's Handbook Series

There are two physical books in this series, but smaller downloadable versions are sometimes available through their Facebook page.  All of which are wonderful!  They have everything from recipes and crafts, to "busy work" like word searches.

Make sure to follow them on Facebook too, so you can get all the free downloads as they come available!

Circle Round

This is, I think, the most recommended book title of this kind. I personally keep my copy right next to my bed. It really has everything you need, and written with small children in mind. The mythology is written in a way that makes it presentable for children and the craft projects can easily be adapted to any age or skill level.

The Simple Sabbat
I guess I'm bias on this one because I am a HUGE fan of Flora Peterson. But it really is a wonderful book. It's easy to read, short and to the point, with crafts, rituals and activities for each Sabbat.

Growing Up Pagan

I do not have a copy of this title, nor have I had the chance to review one for myself. However, between the book description (A children's workbook designed for Pagan families! Chock-full of puzzles, games, mythology, beautiful illustrations, and Pagan symbols, this workbook teaches the basic Wiccan belief system.) and the comments from those do have it, I would say it's a good option for Wiccan or Wiccan-ish Families to check out.

Pagan Parenting

Unlike many of the other books here, this title is not for children, but meant to be a guide for parents who are feeling at a loss when it comes to raising their children in a Magickal or Pagan tradition and focuses on Spiritual development from infancy through adolescence.

Everyday Magick

It's clear that this author is not just a witch, she's a mom! This book is wonderful for families! Poems, Activities and Ideas on finding the magick in all sorts of situations. This title encourages fun, creativity and imagination. A beautiful addition!

Raising Witches

This is another book I have not had a great amount of time to read through. However, I have had the chance to skim it. From what I say it had some great ideas on rites and rituals from pregnancy to adolescence as well as ideas on discussing issues that arise for all parents - just from a Wiccan angle.

Pagan Degrees For Children

These books, from what I an tell, are designed to guide children, from ages 5-18 through three "degrees" of their path. The system is set up like a "scout" group would be with merit badges and projects.

One thing I would note here too, is that these books are not packed full of mythology or history, instead the encourage that the student/child do their own research and exploration.

A Witch's Primer

I love this book! It's written in "text book" form and there are no pictures, which to me, is the only downfall.  But chapters are short and easy to understand, and each is ended with a "test" to help the student (or teacher/mentor) to track their progress. Subjects include Esbats & Sabbats, Tools, Elements, Herbs, Rituals, History, Pantheons and SO MUCH MORE!

The Pagan Family

Unlike many of the books listed here which are meant solely for children or as a parental guide, this book was writen as a general guide for the entire family. It's full of great ways to incorporate your faith in to every day celebrations, like birthdays and weddings, as well as Sabbats and Esbats and even ideas on every day magick that the entire family can enjoy!

My First Little Workbook of Wicca

This book is good for the youngest among us. But I would say anyone above 7 or 8 is probably to old.  It's full of coloring pages and songs written to match the tunes of songs they already know (or that most kids know). But if your children are two old, it won't keep their attention.

Let's Talk About Series

I haven't gotten the chance to completely read these titles. However, from what I can tell, they do an okay job at answering some of the more "normal" questions that kids have and help kids understand things a little better. But they aren't great for younger kids.

Kid's Herb Book

 This isn't really a "Pagan Kids' Book" but it NEEDS to be included in all Pagan Family Libraries! It's a wonderful way to introduce your children to the world of herbs!  Coloring Pages, Recipes, Chants, and Activities will teach your children all about common herbs, gardening.  herbal remedies and SO MUCH MORE! This book is perfect for families of mixed faith or who don't want to teach their children faith, but who wish to include them in a natural lifestyle.  

This list is only a small portion of what I have found out there and does not include the many books full of mythology and/or stories meant to inspire.  I have been building a Listmania List for Pagan Children's books. If you're looking for more titles, make sure to check it out!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

14 Things You Can Be Making From Home

I think there are more than likely lots of families out there who would like to start doing things from scratch and simply don't know how. I know I am like that. I feel like I am trying to make everything from scratch, but I just don't know where to start and I often find myself not knowing what I'm doing...

While this isn't a real "how to" guide, it's a simply list of things that you can start with. I haven't mastered all the things on this list, but my next goal is to do so. And while I don't use the recipes she offers, for those things that I do do, this will give me a short list of things to play around with and master before going on to the next step...  Changing how you live is a series of small steps! So here's you next few steps!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Are You Watching Polygamy USA?

Over the weekend I started watching Polygamy USA on National Geographic Channel. I have always been a fan of Plural Families and would love for my own husband to find a second wife. I am a firm believer that there is no limit to the human's ability to love. We are pack animals and we flourish best in groups. Although I am NOT in a plural marriage and my own husband has no interest in starting one, it is something I that I have done my part to support.  I am a firm believer that Plural marriages should be legal, and the idea of arresting, fining or even inprisoning someone simply because they have more love in their life than someone else, is utterly rediculous.

Now, I am NOT one of these people that believe Plural Marriages are somehow "Perfect." I completely understand that there is a good bit of issues in many Plural Marriages - as there are in "conventional" marriages. However, I feel that the majority of people out there see Plural marriage as flawed simply because they do not understand it. And while I am NOT in agreement with many of the other beliefs of this strict Mormon Christian community, I am thankful to see modern media opening eyes to this lifestyle. In the past I have taken part in petitions and letter writing chaplains to both current and past government officials, about this issue. And I am hoping that shows like this will allow more people to become accepting and open to the idea which will eventually change the laws and allow people to live the way they feel is right.

I encourage everyone to take a look at this program. Even if you only watch a single episode, it's very much worth it to get a look in to someone else's reality. Especially when it's an issue that could eventually create more equality and acceptance for an entire group of people - from all backgrounds and faiths, not just Mormons do Plural Marriage People!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Teaching Kids to Go Green over the Summer

I've recently been thinking more and more about ways that I can teach my children to be more green. Right now, concentrating on being "Green" is mom's job. But my kids are really getting to the age where they need to start to learn the trade!

Some things, the kids are already doing without knowing they're being "green." But in the case that your kids aren't doing these things, I'm going to share some of the ideas.

1. Turn off the water when you're brushing!
2. Showers, not baths - although the two little ones do still have baths from time to time.
3. Garden! - Okay, so my baby kills more than she grows, in fact, most of what I planted this year, she has killed already. But the older two love to garden and watch things grow! And they love eating foods they grew themselves!
4. Take off your shoes when you come in the house!  -  This one may not seem to be "green" but taking your shoes off when you enter a home helps to stop the spread of dirt, fungus, molds and even fecal mater in to and around your home. Resulting in a healthier environment AND less of a need to use cleaners and energy sucking air cleaners!
5. Use both sides of the paper. - Okay, this is one we aren't perfect at. I tend to get fed up with the mess and just toss things, but we do have a drawer full of papers that were printed on one side. Most of them are letters from the school, worksheets, tests and/or other letters we've gotten in the mail.
6. Donate old/used toys & clothes to charity. - My kids don't quite understand the point of charity yet. But the point is that they understand that their old things are going to other people, and not in the trash!
7. Recycle - Yeah, we're not so good at this one either. The only way to recycle around here is to drive your paper to a big open bin behind a building on the other end of town or drive 20 min to recycle Aluminum - and it literally takes us a year to fill a trash bag with Aluminum, because I'm allergic & don't use it. So we just have the random soda can. But again, it's not about being perfect, just trying.

Now, moving beyond the things that we already do - or try to do - I wanna talk about all the things that we are going to start doing together...

1. Learning to Wildcraft! - Wildcrafting is the practice of finding eatable (and otherwise useable) plants out side and around the area you live in - Parks, your yard and local woods are great places to find great stuff to gather & use!
2. Going Veg! - The commercial meat industry is just horrid. While I'm not planning on going full time vegan. I am planning on going vegan or vegetarian for breakfast, lunch and at least one of our two daily snacks. Involving children in the process of choosing and making healthy food is a great way to get them on board with eating it!
3. Turning it OFF! - My husband would never go for electricity free time. BUT, he works 4 days a week at least. So every day that he's gone, for an hour a day, we are planning to turn off all the electricity we can. Obviously I can't unplug the freezer in 100* weather, but the idea is to use less. SO, off with the TV's, off with the games, and off with the lights. When it's a nice day, we'll use this time (at least) to head outside. It may get more interesting on rainy days, but hey, that's a part of the game.
4. Library Time! - We rarely go to the library. Mostly because our local library is horrid! But my kids LOVE books. So I will be making an attempt to make a weekly trip for books each week this summer. Using the library for movies, games and books rather than buying them helps to save money and resources!
5. Making Your Own - I make my own cleaners, personal products, cosmetics, fragrances, and so on. But so far, my kids have been completely ignorant of the process or the reasons why mommy does these things.We will be making lots of kid friendly (and kid relevant) things this summer including finger paints, clay, chalk, bubbles and more... Great stuff!

What ideas do you have for teaching kids to be green? I'd love to hear them!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Make Ahead Oatmeal Smoothies

I'm not a fan of smoothies in general. I've just never really had one that actually tasted good. BUT, I love oatmeal, so I'm thinking this is something I will LOVE!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Brown Rice Veggie Stir-Fry

I am trying desperately to get healthy here. So I'm working on eating Vegan - or at the very least vegetarian - and non-processed foods for Breakfast & Lunch, Monday thru Friday. And I'm doing my best to ensure that at least 50% of everything I eat for dinner is Fruit or Veggie.

One of the ways I'm doing this is finding foods that I can make large batches of relatively cheaply, and then freeze them in smaller portions so I can just heat & eat later. Not everything does so well this way, but I've found that most rice & veggie dishes do.

This one is delish! Easy to make! And freezes well. Plus, even with all the veggies, you can usually make 3 or 4 portions (depending on how many servings each) at a relatively low price. If you grow your own food, you can make it even cheaper.

Then just toss your frozen portion with a little water in to a Wok or Skillet and heat to serve. It's that simple. Lunch - or Dinner - in seconds!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Homemade Liquid SoapNuts Laundry Detergent

I talked before about how much I love EcoNuts for my laundry. Unfortunately though, those little bags that come with them, are more than not, lost among the chaos of my home. But that's okay, because there is another way to use them. Make a liquid detergent, instead of using the nuts! It's really not as hard as it sounds either...

Now, for the record, they DO sell a liquid version, but as usual, I prefer to make my own. It's cheaper for one, and I can control the quality of everything that goes in to it.

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