2 March, 2015  |   Comment

We made puzzles

Resourcefulness is a skill my family has always prided ourselves on. Now that I am sheparding my own family, and choosing our own values, resourcefulness comes up a lot.

Much like the plastic bag kite, this puzzle project is so easy it’s nearly embarassing.

You’ll need Avery Business Cards and markers.
Easy peasy.

Draw a picture of your favorite food, person or feeling on that business card paper.

puzzle_started

Got it all in one piece? Good.

puzzle_whole

 

Now separate the pieces. Until all our small people are good at puzzles, we write numbers on them to help with the process.

Then put them back together

puzzle_table

And grin with pride.

puzzle_complete

5 February, 2015  |   2 Comments

Hearn Family Values

Hearn Family ValuesI’m sure you’ve seen those family sign-things on Pinterest? The family rules signs?

James and I wanted a visual representation of the things we value as a family. But most weren’t right for us. Too kitchy, too Jesusy, too trite — they seemed to be filled with jokes and winks and not enough action.

So our family collaborated and distilled. We shrunk our family values into one short active word each. We shared some of the thinking behind each word below.

We Try
At least once, maybe twice but preferably three times, we try things new to us.

We Fail
Failing is a virtue. It’s learning. And since childhood is chock full of failures, we might as well celebrate the fail.

We Host
We take pride in having people over into our space. We offer drinks, food and healing love. We comfort.

We Amuse
Entertaining, engaging and enlightening. Our family values the act of amusement.

We Question
Why? Where? How?
We value the act of questioning, even when it gets us in trouble (especially when it gets us in trouble).

We Adventure
Going out into the world means we open ourselves up to risk. That risk is always worth it.

We Collaborate
We reject popular media’s biggest lie. Our best work is not done alone, it’s done with other people. We welcome collaboration, it makes us stronger.

We Create
We make connections, we make art, we make progress, we make hope.

We Share
We have enough. We have more than enough. Even when we don’t think we have enough, we can share.

We Thank
Grateful hearts are a shortcut to a happy life. We thank the people, places, animals and things that contribute to the fullness of our lives.

We Move
Our bodies are happiest when they’re moving. We move by dancing, running, skipping, galloping, hiking, swimming, paddling, waving, pushing, pulling and hugging. We value movement.

We Toot
Just like every other human in the world, we toot. And it’s pretty dang funny.

We Act
When we see something that requires action, we act. Even when it’s uncomfortable (especially when it’s uncomfortable).

Hearn Family Values - we toot too!

When developing our family values image, we asked ourselves three questions:
1. What activities do we want to do as a family?
2. What are the attributes that make our family different from other families?
3. If we made poor choices — choices that didn’t reflect what’s important to us — what would those choices look like?

Have at it! You can do it too!

6 January, 2015  |   4 Comments

Peak Tipping Point

I’m turning forty this year.
I turn forty this year.
I’m not forty yet, but
I turn forty this year.

Forty.
Lordy. Lordy.

#tbt Favorite vacation bartender.

I’m fully middle-aged. Much to polite conversation’s dismay, I do not want to live past eighty. That means that this year counts as my actual tipping point. From here on out, I’m really headed toward the end.

(And in a weird way, I’m thrilled about it.)

Recently, my favorite radio show, To The Best of our Knowledge, produced a wildly compelling five part series about death. I was thrilled/horrified.

The frank way the experts spoke about the practical [Read: We are ALL going to die and there’s a big industry looking to make it even stranger] was nothing less than a revelation.

I’m unprepared for it and yet totally welcoming of it.
You’re probably unprepared for it as well.
Unless you are, and then I want to hear all about it.

15 December, 2014  |   2 Comments

Dorothy’s Fifth Birthday Party – The Villains Party

Dorothy has never been much for big parties, so when she told me she wanted a Villains Party for her fifth birthday, I was eager to help. So was her Auntie.

Auntafee dressed the part

Dorothy dressed as Maleficent for Halloween this year. We’re learning that she is the kind of person interested in our dark sides. She is interested in every side.

The royal family says, "Hey." Thanks to @kerrygirvs for the pics!

I tried to work off of a Pinterest board of Villains party ideas but we just couldn’t seem to find all the elements that would make our Villains party right for us.

Grownups snacking and watching

It is a testimony to the adaptability of our species that this lack of a complete and total party template annoyed me.

Ha!

For crying out loud, I didn’t even USE Pinterest two years ago! Now I can’t make dinner without it!

Dorothy will own all the balloons

All this just meant was that we just had to come up with some simple ideas that worked for us.

Dorothy's Villainous Birthday Party Plan

On the menu:
Poisoned Apple Slices with Antidote Dip
Have you ever whipped together 1 package cream cheese with 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 cup brown sugar? It’s the perfect antidote for poisoned apple slices. The kids and grown-ups couldn’t get enough.

The kids also were grossed out by the green and brown goo (guacamole and hummus). Tortilla chips and veggies rounded out the menu.

Dorothy isn't sure who is eviller, Maleficent or Dorothy?

Dorothy’s cake was made by our friends from Model Bakery — the flavors were mint and chocolate and even us cake-haters couldn’t get enough.

Dorothy will own all the balloons

For the decor:
Balloons, and lots of them.
We busted our budget on balloons this year, and it was a great investment. Kids really don’t care about activities as long as there are balloons to push to the breaking point.

Dorothy will own all the balloons

We hung the bunting I made for Halloween a few years ago. Three cheers for reusable decor!

I also cut some mirror mirror frames out of foam core — the kids played with those on their own and there we had an impromptu photo booth!

Dorothy will own all the balloons

We rented a room from our city’s rec department. At $50, it was a great investment. The kids had lots of space to run around and I wasn’t chasing kids away from holiday decorations. I’d encourage you to find out if your city’s rec department has spaces available to rent.

(Since our annual holiday cocktail party was right before Dorothy’s birthday party, let’s also say our house wasn’t yet in good condition for a five year old’s birthday party. Grin.)

Auntafee and Pops

For the activities:
On my to-do list for the three weeks running up to the party I had written, “Invent Villains Games.” I just never seemed to be able to think of anything — Duck, Duck THIEF?! Capture the jewel? We’d invited them to dress up as villains, but I was stuck on an activity.

Then I talked to mom. She told me that if I threw the kids in a room with some balloons and room to run around, they’d be fine.
(Mom was right. She always is.)

Bad Guy Coloring Pages
When the kids showed up, we had a table covered with some bad guy coloring pages and crayons.That kept the monkeys focused as well as provided a space to get some quiet time when running around got a little too hectic.

Dorothy will own all the balloons

Goodie Bags
In the bag we put these sticky, slappy hands (perfect for snatching), an evil plan notebook with erasable evil plan pen, some Pirate’s Booty and Monsters Inc gummies. The slappy hands became the party’s most fun activity.

Three cheers for not coming up with an elaborate game!
Dorothy's villainous goodie bag held a sticky hand, a notebook, a pen and some Pirates Booty

Happy fifth birthday Dorothy. You continue to surprise us.

Happy birthday Dorothy!

18 November, 2014  |   1 Comment

She used to wink.

Her thumb, tho.

The autograph book came with Country Western Barbie. She had a large, flat button in her back. When you pushed it, her blue eyelid would drop over her eye.

Eventually it broke.
Or we broke it, depending.

As I keep getting older, I find myself wanting to take Country Western Barbie out for a drink.

Find out what she’s been up to.
See who she’s been winking at.

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