Tender Sapling

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Celebrating Mama: Ideas + Encouragement

BBMaternity13-KSBMT1In the spirit of helping you mamas and those supporting you to carve out some special time and ways to take care of you, here are some simple ways to celebrate mama this weekend (Sunday, May 12 is Mother’s Day in the U.S.):

* Check out 5 fun DIY ideas to make Mother’s Day special

* Enjoy this poem about the magic mamas bring to the world

* Browse these gift ideas for mamas and use coupon code ANNIV20 at checkout to get 20% off your entire purchase through the month of May

Here’s sending a supportive hug and high-five out to all you awesome mamas!


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Tender Sapling’s Best of 2013: Top posts from the year

IMG_0221We hope you have all been enjoying the end of 2013 – pausing to spend needed time with family & friends, rest, eat, reflect, and so on.  We sure have (and thus haven’t been blogging much lately)!

As we bid 2013 farewell, we thought it’d be fun to review the top ten visited posts from 2013 on the Tender Sapling blog. These don’t include all our favorites, but are the ones that attracted the most readers. If you missed one, here’s a chance to catch up.

Happy reading!

1)   Homemade Yogurt Grows Good Cultures + Character too!

2)   May Day Fun: Dandelion Soup Recipe

3)   Gratitude Giveaway – What Are You Thankful For?

4)   Acorn Wisdom: A Gem Worth Passing Down the Generations (This one was included on the Moments a Day list of 100 Kids Activities to Build Character.)

5)   Mama – Magic in the World

6)   Japan: Cultural Reading Adventures + Fun Food and Crafts for Kids

7)   Take-off to Norway: Explore the Land of the Midnight Sun

8)   Migrate to Mongolia: A Tender Sapling Travelers Cultural Adventure – Part 2 (Prayer Wheels)

9)   Migrate to Mongolia: A Tender Sapling Travelers Cultural Adventure – Part 3 (Food)

10)   Sunshine Award – Not Just a Chain Letter (?)

Thanks so much for reading along this last year. We appreciate your visiting and love your comments! See you in 2014!


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Sandy’s Gift: A Chance to Explore Sustainability, Soul-growin’ and Fun with Your Kids

If you are reading this before Hurricane Sandy has cleared your path and you have power and a safe, dry roof over your head, let me wish you smooth sailing through the storm and its aftermath. If you are not so lucky, please know that millions of people across the world are praying for your safety. Regardless of whether you live in the affected area or have power, this post is for you.

However you slice this storm’s prediction, it’s serious. Sunday evening’s news not only included announcements for local schools closings, but the incredibly rare pre-storm cancellation of classes at the University of Virginia (my husband’s employer and the site of our first meeting some twenty years ago). I went to bed thinking how severe the storm’s punch would be if the National Weather Service’s 11 p.m. statement warned anyone not all ready for a prolonged power outage to haul your tushy out to the store to complete any last storm prep a.s.a.p. And all this in an area predicted to get only 1-3 inches of rain (update: now 2-6, and possibly snow too) – a ton less than the 8-10 inches expected in the storm center’s path. (Of course, the wind factor here is supposed to be close to the highest speeds for this storm.)

The last thing I thought I’d do this morning is write a blog post. But I woke before the kids and heard the swirl of questions rise up from the still of my subconscious. Do we have enough water and batteries? Is this storm really the largest in a quarter century to hit the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the United States? How long might we all be without power?

My personal questions shifted into the multitude of anticipated questions from my little ones’ young minds. Why can’t we play with the flashlight in our fort? Why can’t I go biking right now? Why can I see my breath inside? Why can’t I feel my toes? Why does this dinner look like canned dog food?

Storm-time fun, kid-style: Biking in the a foot of snow! (Jan 2010)

And that’s when I realized what a huge opportunity Sandy is for teaching a range of life lessons to our little ones (and ourselves, right?). While no one knows for sure the impact that Sandy will have on an estimated 50-60 million human lives – people from all corners of the earth in America’s great melting pot of the I-95 corridor and hundreds of miles around, by all accounts it’s going to be historically significant. Continue reading