Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thankful Thursday: 10 Things I'm Thankful for Today

I just thought this was absolutely beautiful... We should all take a time out to sit back and reflect on the things we HAVE, rather than what we often focus on - what we don't have. Sometimes those few moments of reflection, can improve our outlook drastically! :)

Thankful Thursday: 10 Things I'm Thankful for Today

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Can we bring back what's dead?

Such a silly thought, but I'm blogging today because I found something oddly inspiring about what I thought was a pitiful excuse for a Poinsettia on my movie stand. A few days ago, I was certain my poor plant had died. I cleaned out the crunchy old leaves and gave it a drink of water, just out of pure curiosity. Sure enough this morning, I see a bunch of beautiful new leaves sprouting...

Life shows itself renewing, even in the ugliest, most dismal of places.

This thing literally looked like death had taken over. The stems were shriveled and brown, like sprawling arms, reaching out to welcome in the dark. The dirt looked crumbly, dry, and was lacking anything that looked like a plant could survive in it. Even the foil wrapper and bow on the pot looked like the leftovers from a Christmas holiday several years ago, faded and worn...  When I lifted the pot, it was so light, that I was certain the roots had to have completely disappeared and I knew it was completely dried out. But, I thought, maybe there could be a smidgeon of life left in it.

And with that splash of water and just a moment's worth of TLC, here it sits - blooming again.

This same scenario is also true of life in general; when all hope is lost, a simple moment of effort, a little TLC, and a splash of generosity, can bring back life to a seemingly "dead" situation. Look around you; do you see anything that could use a bit of attention? Get out your shovel and turn on your faucet! Sow goodness all around you, and goodness will fill your life. Two minutes out of our day can make all the difference, in your garden, or in someone else's. ~*

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Backyard Safari Expeditions

Update from the Not-So-Plains of Kansas :)

Attention all parents with outdoors-loving children:  Have you checked out Backyard Safari products yet? You have to take a look! These are a definite must-have for any backyard loving, expedition hosting, digging in the dirt kiddo. :)

First and foremeost, please take a look for yourself. Their website is bright, fun, creative and colorful; packed with loads of products and descriptions for everything; and their customer service department ranks at the top of my list!

My six and eight year olds are absolutely in LOVE with these products. (and one is a girl, one a boy) We started our collection about two years ago with the Toad/Frog Habitat. My kids spent the entire summer housing a variety of bugs, frogs, butterflies, and anything else they could cram inside of this little box. I don't think I've ever seen them get so much use out of one toy! We eventually started adding to our stock, with the Critter Shack (a small, vented bug-house), the binoculars, the magnifying glass, and the list keeps going. We've had these for quite some time now, and they are all still in great shape. Backyard Safari toys are durable, and definitely worth their price, which might I also add, is not too shabby!

We are now even more excited with the launch of their new "Patch Program," which I had the pleasure of speaking directly with Summit Toys about. It's very similar to how the Boy Scouts work; completing missions to earn badges, and working on an honor system. We now have the Expedition Walking Stick, the new Laser Bug Vacuum, the Bird Watching Field Binoc set, and the Base Camp gear - all of which come with a patch, and a list of missions that need to be completed before the kids can earn their badge. Of course our weather has not cooperated with us on getting out to use these items yet, but they are getting tested as we speak, indoors.

Here's the link for details on the "Patch Program" we are having fun with:

My son is sitting in our window, with his Cargo Vest on, watching for birds with his new binoculars. He has a table set up with his lantern, bug vacuum and extra capsules, and is using the bird calls. I hope we don't start our afternoon with flocks of geese or warblers flying into our front window! :)

A big THANK YOU to Summit Toys, and to Backyard Safari for creating such a wonderful group of products, to encourage my children to PLAY OUTSIDE, be active, be creative, and most of all, HAVE FUN!

For those of you that are more into the video side of things, or would like to show your children, please check out the Backyard Safari Channel on YouTube!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The first Blogger post....

Wow! Could their possibly be any more blog-advertisements-spots-pages-websites-advice-links-feeds to choose from? Deciding where to start a new blogging adventure gave new meaning to the word "confused"  today. After wading through the dangerous waters of the blogging world, I've landed here. Wish me luck on this adventure... I have so much to learn!

Welcome to "The Not-So-Plains" of Kansas ~ my culmination of projects, my crock-pot stew, or simply my page of scatter-brained ideas and ventures, with splashes of my adorable children and my family included. Thank you, first and foremost, from the bottom of my heart, for taking time to read my thoughts, follow me, and share parts of your lives with my family and I.  We hope that you will enjoy reading our posts, as much as we enjoy reading yours!

From Kansas, have a not-so-plain day!  :)