Earth Day is Everyday

earth day

Today is Earth Day. One of my favorite days. It reminds us to stop what we are doing and celebrate our world and all of creation.

But we need not have a special day on the calendar to remind us.

Around here, we like to live as if everyday is Earth Day. Everyday we seek to notice the beauty on this Earth – to climb her trees, to explore her creeks, lakes, rivers, and ponds.

To watch the tiniest of ants to the biggest of animals do what they were created to do.

We watched a really amazing special on PBS the other day. (We don’t have cable TV anymore – but this was at a relatives’) It was all about Beavers. How they hear the sound of rushing water and it causes them to be alerted to start creating a dam.

Their instinct tells them what to do. And when they are finished with their day and night engineering, the water levels rise, and they keep the ecosystem running smoothly.

They even can make deserts that were completely dry heal and hold water again. There is something really beautiful about their story and how they help hold the ecosystem together by creating these amazing structures – adding strength to the river bottom and securing their future in the land.

We each can do our part – no matter how small – to keep our Earth’s ecosystem running properly. We can recycle, reduce our consumption and spending, repurpose, teach our children to care for the Earth, and generally take sustainable actions to heal the land.

Every little bit helps.

If you want to read more about saving our Earth – check out The Story of Stuff. It’s eye-opening.

the story of stuff

And this post I reposted from Holistic Moms Network back in 2009 talks about some ways we can help save the Earth.

I hope you take some time today to go exploring out in nature with your children. Discover a new place locally to get outdoors. Have fun and be grateful for the beauty of nature – today, and always!


*If you like:

simple living,


getting outdoors with your family,


holistic living,

holistic mothering,




family fitness,

bike riding,

cooking over an open fire,

slow food,

local and real food,




DIY projects,

natural living, and

green living –

then you’ll LOVE this new project I’m starting.

I’ll be sending out emails, photos, videos, and more with great places to adventure, explore, and see with your children, and lots of great ideas to live the simple life you yearn for.

Want to be included? Sign up here!

Leave a comment below after you sign up listing some topics you’d like me to explore or naming your favorite outdoor adventure location! Thank you!



{FREE GIVEAWAY: we choose virtues kids cards & poster!!}

Why Choose Virtues

Let’s be honest, instilling virtues in kids is hard work. But can it be fun too? We think so. In fact, there’s no better way to learn. So We Choose Virtues brings memorable catchphrases, endearing characters, and just plain fun to simply inspire character that lasts. It’s the best choice you can make for the kids in your life.

Proverbs 22:6 says “Train a child in the way he should go,

and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

We Choose Virtues is a great system that you can incorporate into your home bible study and help illustrate and teach your children what virtues are and what character is.


We Choose Virtues was created by Heather McMillan, out of her love for children and her desire to see them reach their personal potential.  As a preschool teacher and a children’s pastor, it concerned her how often she came across children whose lack of self control, honesty and perseverance was almost debilitating.  How could they succeed in life without the skills that come from good character?


We Choose Virtues offers a great assortment of products and we were lucky enough to get one of their brand new products called Virtue Clue Cards.

Included in a plastic carrying pouch with a velcro button closure, are 13 brightly decorated cards.  These cards are the perfect size to fit in a purse and take with you wherever you go.  They feature The Virtue Kids, their names, the Virtue catchphrase and antonyms, and on the back a “You can do it” challenge.

The virtues included are:  Attentive, Content, Gentle, Obedient, Diligent, Forgiving, Honest, Kind, Helpful, Patient, Perseverant, and Self-Controlled.

In addition to the cards, we also received the Family Character Assessment and Kids Memory Verses,  Bible Heroes, and Truths, which are both FREE on their website…so make sure you go and check those out!!

We received  The Teacher’s Virtue Cards for families and the The Kids Virtue Poster.

The The Teacher’s Virtue Cards for families comes with 12 Faith-based Parenting Character Cards.


The virtues included are:  Attentive, Content, Gentle, Obedient, Diligent, Forgiving, Honest, Kind, Helpful, Patient, Perseverant, and Self-Controlled. And the cards say “I am…Attentive” to reinforce the value when the child says it.

There is a brief story about the characters (Kids of Virtueville) like Oboe Joe (OK, whatever you say, I will obey, right away) who plays his oboe under the direction of his conductor. He obediently plays his oboe in the marching band.

  • There are “teachable moments” questions to start a discussion in your family about the depth of the virtue and character trait and how it applies to life and situations.
  • There is a Memory Scripture Verse and a
  • Virtue User Challenge which the family can try to complete tasks related to the virtue.

This is a fantastic tool to use in you family to teach your kids about values, virtues, character traits and about living godly lives.I highly recommend this  product! It is perfect for single mothers like me who want to raise their child(ren) in a godly way, with values, virtues and character.

My son and I have so much fun with the activities and he know what the words mean, and we enjoy the silly games and tasks on the back of the card after we have read the story. Get a set of these cards for your family for lots of fun, learning, and laughter! 🙂

And the Poster is a great reference tool to use on the fridge or on your child’s bedroom wall or door to make the lessons even more memorable!


Kids Virtue Poster $14.99

Hang this up on your refrigerator or at the front of your class so you can refer to this complete list of all the Virtues, their Catchphrases and Antonyms several times a day! Inspire virtue and manage behavior at once. This piece of our system is a MUST HAVE and the new THICKER quality will help it last!

Finding the best Virtues tools to fit your needs is super easy!

They offer products designed for Public School and Private SchoolFamily, Kids ChurchHomeschool, and even tools for Youth Mentors.

The system is available in both Community (without Scripture) and Faith-Based (with Scripture) versions.

…Simply Inspire Character that Lasts!

Get 15% off your purchase of any of these great products NOW when you use my REFERRAL LINK.


And to ENTER TO WIN!!!

We Choose Virtues is giving away

1 FREE set of The Teacher’s Virtue Cards for Families and

 The Kids Virtue Poster  to one lucky reader!

That’s an almost $50 dollar valued prize!!!

***Just leave a comment on this post telling what virtue means to you and how this giveaway will bless your family. And be sure to include your email so the winner can be contacted and receive their prize!

The winner will be chosen at random on May 31th, 2012. Good luck and I hope We Choose Virtues and the kits that Heather offers will bless a multitude of families. God Bless you! 🙂

Instilling virtues and values into our children is a hefty task, but with God and scripture as our guide, we can make it fun, easy, memorable and a wonderful experience for our families!

Deuteronomy 6:6-7(NIV)

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

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{kindness giveaway: kindnotes}

I’m going to start doing a weekly kindness giveaway. If you make a product that speaks to this theme, with encouraging words, affirmations, positive, uplifting thoughts, prayers, scripture, or Christian items, please email me at if you are interested in participating in the next giveaway!

My first kindness giveaway comes from KindNotes.

KindNotes™ is a container of messages enclosed in mini decorative envelopes to be opened each day. Whether it’s a fond memory, words of inspiration, love or thanks, these notes will send a smile to the recipient.

You may choose from a variety of collections or add your personal touch by customizing your KindNotes in 5 quick and easy steps with an interactive wizard, selecting the container, filling, ribbon, envelope design, and message options (A. Choose from our library of more than 400 messages; B. Request blank papers*; C. Request your personalized messages to be handwritten for you).

Each order is completely assembled and put together according to the customization so that you don’t have to do a thing, from your messages being folded and stuffed into each envelope to their very presentation inside the container. *If requesting blank papers, we make sure everything is put together except for the blank papers so you can easily fill them out and insert them into the envelopes when you’re ready.

KindNotes has been said by many to be a unique gift that is expressive and meaningful, suitable for any occasion and especially for those who have everything. It’s also a great way to express your feelings to someone in your life whom you have a hard time telling in person.

As a family-owned business, we make sure that each handmade jar of KindNotes™ is created with the utmost care so that each day begins with a little inspiration. Our products are made with the best quality materials and are finely crafted.

Please be sure to come back often as all our designs are limited editions and we will continue to expand our offerings, from container styles and envelope designs, to embellishments and messages.

Thank you for letting us be a part of your celebrations.
People out there are beginning each day with a smile and just thinking of that makes our day!

This is a pretty, thoughtful gift from the heart. When you open the jar you see that it is filled with precious little, teeny-tiny envelopes with mini love notes inside! They’re perfect gifts for anyone & EVERYONE since they are fully customizable with beautiful presentation!

Keeping the jar on their desk, they will be able to pick one card out a day and have a positive daily reminder of your love. You can personalize each note with your own message. Or you can choose from the library of over 400 messages.

This gift will hold a sentimental value that will last forever….a truly meaningful gift that shows how much you care…


***KindNotes is graciously giving away 1 FREE KindNotes jar (up to a $45.00 value) in which the winner will have the option to customize to one lucky Cloud9 Design reader! Yay!

This would be a PERFECT grad gift, Father’s Day gift, Mother’s Day, kid’s gift, birthday gift, Anniversary gift, Thinking of You gift,or an unbelievably touching gift for those who are hospitalized, pregnant moms-to-be, the person who has everything, people facing trials or difficult times, soldiers overseas, baby shower gifts, wedding gifts, for teachers, friends, the possibilities are endless…You could probably create a unique, heartfelt gift jar for each person you know. Then they can open one note each day to receive 31 days of loving messages from you that let them know just how special they are!

Here’s the details:

In order to win, they ask that you simply visit their website: & visit their blog: & share these 2 sites with your friends and family!

Plus you must answer this question in your comment below (extra entry if you tweet about this giveaway – include @cloud9design in your tweet):

“What is one way in which you are kind to others?”

Please leave your NAME, and EMAIL in your comment so we can contact you if you are the chosen winner!!

Contest runs until May 18th. Winner announced shortly after. Best of luck to you guys! 🙂

Spread the love. Be kind.

{etsy find: happy mother’s day card}

Handmade Paper goods on Etsy – Happy mother’s day letterpress greeting card. yellows and purples. bamboo paper. lined envelope. C417T by smockpaper.{$4.00}