Raccoon Clan

Every Thursday morning we wake up and drive across the breathtaking Colorado meadows into the foothills.

We pass our favorite horse...

...and soon we arrive at the place where children run free.

...where they find confidence and appreciation for God's creation.

It's Raccoon Clan!

Raccoon Clan is one of the programs available through "Her Feet On The Earth", a non-profit with a "vision to help raise young people who are ready to meet life's challenges and be of service in the world: youth who have a positive sense of themselves as young women and men; who know what their gifts are; feel deeply connected with nature; have strong community support; and are full of resilience and vitality."

So what does Bella do at Raccoon Clan? She explores the mysteries and wonders of nature. She wanders along the stream banks. She searches for good things to eat. She makes tracks, plays games in the field and shares stories.

Each week she has new adventures and nourishes her connection with nature by learning about the animals, birds, plants and trees around her and learns important skills to help her feel at home in nature, such as fire making, navigation, shelter building, archery, and more. (paraphrased from HFOTE)

We drop her off at 9:00 a.m. and pick her up at 3:00 p.m. There is a tipi on the land and so much beauty to explore. Lorene and Mary are fantastic with all of the kids and so mindful about what they are teaching.

I have noticed such a difference in her level of independence and how she interacts with others...and she LOVES her new friends there. She talks about going all week and loves packing her lunch for the big day. As you can see from the photo below...she's pretty excited about it.

We are thrilled to have found this program and hope to continue in it for a long time.


I Want To Make Stuff

I'm kind of obsessed with the idea of repurposing clothing, particularly T-shirts. I say obsessed with the IDEA because I don't actually ever DO any of this said repurposing. But that's about to change. We got this book. And we like to look at the pretty pictures. And as soon as I locate a sewing machine, Bella and I all will be all over this!

Until then, I give you...my friend Christine. She is hilarious. And she's crafty. Check out this short and sweet video, where she combines all of her superhero skills to make a rad t-shirt.

What Counts?

When we were in San Francisco, I picked up the May 2008 edition of Common Ground magazine and found this interesting list of stats compiled by Jenny Rough. I found them really interesting and in some cases quite crazy (like the 2nd one!). They will make you think.

1.4 million Americans who suffer from hoarding or clutter.

80 Percentage of things Americans own that they never use.

300 Million Number of shoes thrown into landfills in the U.S. each year (donate them to www.giveshoes.org instead).

11 Percentage of retired personal computers that were recycled in 2001 (visit www.techsoup.com for info on donating computer hardware).

75 Percent of employed people of recycle at home (yet only 49 percent recycle at work).

5 Number of items needed for "zen-cleansing" (baking soda, borax, lemon, salt, and white vinegar).

25 Percent more headaches experienced by pregnant women who use air fresheners and aerosol cans at home.

92 Billion Number of plastic bags grocery stores and pharmacies go through each year (San Francisco was the first U.S. city to ban large grocery stores and pharmacies from using them).

Sources: treehugger.com, soles4souls.org, techsoup.org, Rastad USA survey, The Humble Art of Zen-Cleansing, New Scientist, Newsweek.