Just wanted to share a couple links that have brought me joy this week.
First, I never tire of reading Jewels' blog, Eyes of Wonder. It's an endless source of inspiration for mothering, homemaking, and simple, gracious living. And Jewels has to have one of the most loving hearts on the internet. I have to say that when I saw the (lovely) pictures of her family, I didn't expect such graciousness. I guess you can say I have not always had good experiences with people in that subculture (some of you will know what I mean). But the non-critical, loving spirit that pours forth in Jewels' writing is some of the sweetest I've ever read.
Second, I really enjoyed this post from angry chicken, not made in china. Amy has wonderful thoughts about toys, especially "Rethink what a toy is." A snippet to whet your appetite:
My fondest memories of growing up are of doing things with my parents. Not of the toys I had. Baking cookies that were in the shape of Richard Scary characters with my Mom is one of my favorite all time memories. So was any craft project I did with her. Giving kids kits, raw materials, and then the promise of a project is a great gift. Like fabric and thread with a pattern. Wood scraps and a miter box, with real tools. Pots and soil and some seeds. Tickets to a play or concert. Wrapping up cupcake mix layered in a jar with a recipe - that type of thing. I think this works better for kids older than toddlers, but toddlers need very few toys...