How's Your Family Going Green?

 Here's what we've been up to...



 ...we completed the solar panels last November and had them hooked up and running through the winter already.  This spring, we're trying to get the grass to grow again and enjoying the negative electric bills.  We can easily power up the whole street!

Here's some everyday Earth Day Activities straight from the Bright Horizons website that you can do with your family...

Below are a few suggested family practices to make every day Earth Day:
  • Bike, walk, or use public transportation when possible instead of driving. 
  • Turn off lights, TVs, and other electronic equipment, when not in use. 
  • Turn off the water faucet after washing hands or while brushing teeth.
  • Reuse items as much as possible (e.g. wrap gifts in fabric scrap or recycled newspaper instead of gift wrap, pack lunches in reusable sacks and containers instead of paper or plastic).
  • Recycle cardboard, paper, and plastics. 
  • Draw, paint, and write on recycled paper (and use recycled computer paper for your printer). 
  • Use fans instead of air conditioners. 
  • Try to buy organic foods free of pesticides and chemical additives. 
  • Start a compost pile for your food scraps and lawn clippings. 
  • Make a habit of picking up any litter you see.
  • Avoid using aerosol sprays and styrofoam.
  • Reduce your overall use of plastic packaging. For example, use your own cloth bags for groceries.
  • Purchase items that are not individually wrapped.
  • Donate items that you no longer need.
  • Share items such as lawnmowers and machines that aren't needed on a regular basis.
 
Earth Day can also be an occasion to engage in family activities that are nature or ecology 
 oriented:
  • Take a nature walk: Bring a magnifying glass, an insect and plant manual, and a sketch book. See how many plants, flowers, and bugs you can identify and draw.
  • Construct nature creations: Collect a variety of outdoor items such as leaves, sticks, flowers, and rocks, and create unique art projects. 
  • Try "earth painting:" Finger paint with mud on sidewalks or paper or use non-toxic watercolors to paint river rocks. The water will wash the paint away.
  • Make pinecone birdfeeders: Cover a large pinecone with peanut butter and birdseed, hang outside your window, and enjoy the sights and sounds of the bird visitors as they feast. 
  • Clean a community area: Take your children to their favorite park, woods, or even for a stroll around your neighborhood. Pick up all the litter you can find and see who can collect the biggest bag. Take the time to explain the effects litter has on our environment. 
  • Virtually adopt an animal: Check with your local zoo or other nature-oriented organization, such as the Save the Manatee Club. Your child can look at pictures and read about his or her new "pet."
  • Create a Recycle, Reuse, Reduce collage: Use "trash" (paper scraps, labels, junk mail, and other found items) and glue to create a multimedia masterpiece. 

GO GREEN!

Below are a few suggested family practices to make every day Earth Day: 
  • Bike, walk, or use public transportation when possible instead of driving. 
  • Turn off lights, TVs, and other electronic equipment, when not in use. 
  • Turn off the water faucet after washing hands or while brushing teeth.
  • Reuse items as much as possible (e.g. wrap gifts in fabric scrap or recycled newspaper instead of gift wrap, pack lunches in reusable sacks and containers instead of paper or plastic).
  • Recycle cardboard, paper, and plastics. 
  • Draw, paint, and write on recycled paper (and use recycled computer paper for your printer). 
  • Use fans instead of air conditioners. 
  • Try to buy organic foods free of pesticides and chemical additives. 
  • Start a compost pile for your food scraps and lawn clippings. 
  • Make a habit of picking up any litter you see.
  • Avoid using aerosol sprays and styrofoam.
  • Reduce your overall use of plastic packaging. For example, use your own cloth bags for groceries.
  • Purchase items that are not individually wrapped.
  • Donate items that you no longer need.
  • Share items such as lawnmowers and machines that aren't needed on a regular basis.
Earth Day can also be an occasion to engage in family activities that are nature or ecology oriented:
  • Take a nature walk: Bring a magnifying glass, an insect and plant manual, and a sketch book. See how many plants, flowers, and bugs you can identify and draw.
  • Construct nature creations: Collect a variety of outdoor items such as leaves, sticks, flowers, and rocks, and create unique art projects. 
  • Try "earth painting:" Finger paint with mud on sidewalks or paper or use non-toxic watercolors to paint river rocks. The water will wash the paint away.
  • Make pinecone birdfeeders: Cover a large pinecone with peanut butter and birdseed, hang outside your window, and enjoy the sights and sounds of the bird visitors as they feast. 
  • Clean a community area: Take your children to their favorite park, woods, or even for a stroll around your neighborhood. Pick up all the litter you can find and see who can collect the biggest bag. Take the time to explain the effects litter has on our environment. 
  • Virtually adopt an animal: Check with your local zoo or other nature-oriented organization, such as the Save the Manatee Club. Your child can look at pictures and read about his or her new "pet."
  • Create a Recycle, Reuse, Reduce collage: Use "trash" (paper scraps, labels, junk mail, and other found items) and glue to create a multimedia masterpiece. 
- See more at: http://www.brighthorizons.com/family-resources/e-family-news/2012-earth-day-activities-for-families/#sthash.sfSNMr0Y.dpuf
Below are a few suggested family practices to make every day Earth Day: 
  • Bike, walk, or use public transportation when possible instead of driving. 
  • Turn off lights, TVs, and other electronic equipment, when not in use. 
  • Turn off the water faucet after washing hands or while brushing teeth.
  • Reuse items as much as possible (e.g. wrap gifts in fabric scrap or recycled newspaper instead of gift wrap, pack lunches in reusable sacks and containers instead of paper or plastic).
  • Recycle cardboard, paper, and plastics. 
  • Draw, paint, and write on recycled paper (and use recycled computer paper for your printer). 
  • Use fans instead of air conditioners. 
  • Try to buy organic foods free of pesticides and chemical additives. 
  • Start a compost pile for your food scraps and lawn clippings. 
  • Make a habit of picking up any litter you see.
  • Avoid using aerosol sprays and styrofoam.
  • Reduce your overall use of plastic packaging. For example, use your own cloth bags for groceries.
  • Purchase items that are not individually wrapped.
  • Donate items that you no longer need.
  • Share items such as lawnmowers and machines that aren't needed on a regular basis.
Earth Day can also be an occasion to engage in family activities that are nature or ecology oriented:
  • Take a nature walk: Bring a magnifying glass, an insect and plant manual, and a sketch book. See how many plants, flowers, and bugs you can identify and draw.
  • Construct nature creations: Collect a variety of outdoor items such as leaves, sticks, flowers, and rocks, and create unique art projects. 
  • Try "earth painting:" Finger paint with mud on sidewalks or paper or use non-toxic watercolors to paint river rocks. The water will wash the paint away.
  • Make pinecone birdfeeders: Cover a large pinecone with peanut butter and birdseed, hang outside your window, and enjoy the sights and sounds of the bird visitors as they feast. 
  • Clean a community area: Take your children to their favorite park, woods, or even for a stroll around your neighborhood. Pick up all the litter you can find and see who can collect the biggest bag. Take the time to explain the effects litter has on our environment. 
  • Virtually adopt an animal: Check with your local zoo or other nature-oriented organization, such as the Save the Manatee Club. Your child can look at pictures and read about his or her new "pet."
  • Create a Recycle, Reuse, Reduce collage: Use "trash" (paper scraps, labels, junk mail, and other found items) and glue to create a multimedia masterpiece. 
- See more at: http://www.brighthorizons.com/family-resources/e-family-news/2012-earth-day-activities-for-families/#sthash.sfSNMr0Y.dpuf

Busy Birds at Work and 'The Holy Spirit' Art Projects

These awesome art projects and activities 
are from Mother Goose Time...

 Hummingbird Art




 Bird Beak Art


Bird Puppet




Egg to Bird


Bird Memory and Mix 'n Match


****************************

 Art Projects from MGT's Experience God curriculum:  
"God is the Holy Spirit."

Jesus' Ascension Craft



Holy Spirit - 7 Gifts


 Raining Fire Headband


Trinity Triangle



Happy Easter from Dexter Kids!




Disneynature's 'Bears' - Review

Disneynature's Bears is now in theaters, just in time for Earth Day!

 "They're so, so, so cute!"
I had the opportunity to screen Bears with my 5 year-old daughter earlier this week and we both truly enjoyed it.  When I told her that we're going to see a movie about bears, she she asked "What kind of bears? What do the bears do?  Are they the Berenstain Bears?"  She obviously hasn't seen too many documentaries.  I figured this would be a great introduction.  


BEARS: In an epic story of breathtaking scale, Disneynature’s new True Life Adventure “Bears” showcases a year in the life of a bear family as two impressionable young cubs are taught life’s most important lessons. Set against a majestic Alaskan backdrop teeming with life, their journey begins as winter comes to an end and the bears emerge from hibernation to face the bitter cold. The world outside is exciting—but risky—as the cubs’ playful descent down the mountain carries with it a looming threat of avalanches. As the season changes from spring to summer, the brown bears must work hard to find food—ultimately feasting at a plentiful salmon run—while staying safe from rival male bears and predators, including an ever-present wolf pack. “Bears” captures the fast-moving action and suspense of life in one of the planet’s last great wildernesses—Alaska!  Directed by Alastair Fothergill (“Earth,” “African Cats” and “Chimpanzee”) and Keith Scholey (“African Cats”), “Bears” arrives in theaters April 18, 2014, to celebrate Earth Day. (DISNEYNATURE) This film is rated G.


There were sweet moments, there were funny moments, and there were suspenseful moments and my daughter asked questions all the way through... I did my best to answer her, but after some time, I told her just to sit and watch and we'll talk about it after the movie.  That didn't work...she kept asking!  I didn't mind though, it meant she was interested and learning.  I was a tad worried she'd have nightmares about the wolf, but so far so good.  


My favorite part was actually seeing the Alaskan scenery and staying through the credits to see some of the making of the film.


 I definitely recommend BEARS as a great family film!

Here's some great activities to get you talking about the movie and learning about bears.  
Click on the images to enlarge and print.


For the complete Educator's Guide, click HERE.

“Like” Disneynature on Facebook: Facebook.com/Disneynature

Follow Disneynature on Twitter: Twitter.com/Disneynature

Visit the website: Disney.com/Bears


The Amazing Spiderman 2 - Discussion Guide and Prizepack GIVEAWAY!!!

The Amazing Spiderman 2 comes to theaters this May and I'm sure you've got at least one person in your family that is a Marvel Comics fan!  My husband and I always enjoy the films, but our kids are a bit young for them yet.  However, at ages 3 and 5, they are definitely not too young for the film's Discussion Guide - and what an awesome discussion guide it is!


I had no idea what to expect with a discussion guide that goes along with a Blockbuster film, but this far surpassed my expectations.

Family Discussion Guide

The discussion guide for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a great resource for families to discuss a range of important themes that include the relationship between personal choices and destiny, living a life that counts, sacrificing yourself in service to others, and the nature of power. This guide will help parents start (or continue) conversations with their children that will inspire them to think outside themselves and challenge them to live lives that matter. The conversations that will result from using this guide will reveal that even the most explosive summer blockbuster can leave lasting, positive impacts on its young viewers.

About Spiderman 

We've always known that Spider-Man's most important battle has been within himself: the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man. But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2™, Peter Parker finds that a greater conflict lies ahead.


I first watched the trailer and then read through the well formatted 5-page discussion guide.  It was easy reading and really made me think about the topics being presented.  The guide uses examples from the movie to focus in on six Scripture verses/passages.  At the end of each section are a few discussion questions...like "Even though you may be young, you have powers of your own. What are they?" and "When have you tried to imitate other people's lives or choices?  Was it a good thing or bad thing?"

Our girls always eat better if we're playing a word game or telling a story at dinner, so that's when I brought up these questions.  I was pleasantly surprised by their answers and we had quite a good conversation going on.  The 5 year-old told me that she is good at reading and writing, so she can help people feel better by making them a card or reading them a book.  The 3 year-old said she is good at being helpful.  On their own, they even told me some things they think I am good at!  As for imitating other people's lives - I had just had that talk in the morning with 5 year-old as she once again asked me to do her hair like Elsa's (from Frozen).

All the questions were powerful and I definitely recommend the Discussion Guide to any family, whether a Marvel fan or not.

For your chance to WIN an e-copy (PDF) of the Amazing Spiderman 2 Discussion Guide, as well as a prizepack that includes a T-shirt, mask, and a phone case.  Just enter the rafflecopter below.  Good Luck!


Official website for the moviewww.theamazingspiderman.com/ 
#Spiderman

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification."


Best Church Rummage Sale Around!! Totally worth the stop!

www.dexterumc.org


Label Daddy - 10% Off! Just in time for camp!

With our daughters both in school now, I've realized that I need labels for everything!!  And just today, we left my daughter's coat at the library - I hope it's still there...

And not even just for things that we take out of the house, but I've ended up labeling many of the girls' personal belongings in an effort to lessen the fighting about whom the item belongs to.

As you are planning for summer camps, here's a great deal for you on labels...

Label Daddy - The number one solution for labeling your belongings! Remember to label all the clothing, sports equipment and other personal belongings your kids bring to school, camp, sports leagues, day care, and other places. Label Daddy labels keep your belongings from getting lost or mixed up with others. These labels are super durable peel-and-stick washable labels -- they're washer/dryer safe, microwave safe, dishwasher safe and UV resistant! Label Daddy labels are also fun and attractive. You design your own labels! . . . Pick from many colors, sizes and logos, including Disney and Marvel characters, MLB, NBA, and NHL team logos, other sport and fun logos, and more. Our exclusive laminated coating gives labels an extra layer of protection and is a must for camp! These labels are made in the USA and shipped directly to you worldwide.

http://www.usfamily10.labeldaddy.com

Save 10% on Label Daddy labels! - Save 10% on your entire Label Daddy order. Use code USFAMILY10 at checkout.