"Hold fast to your dreams, for if dreams die life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly."
- Langston Hughes

(a $70.00 value)

How to Enter
Whether it's your home or your heart, send me an e-mail telling how you tackle clutter at your house, or how you ditch an attitude that prevents you from moving forward.

I'll post entries in future updates to encourage each us.

Box contains: from Garden to Plate book, Suede Cowhide gloves, Italian Herb window garden, Beds and Borders book, garden trowel & fork, and a 1 year subscription to your choice of Cooking Light, Taste of Home, or Mary Jane's Farm.

*** U.S. entries only please

"The glory of gardening, hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul." -- Alfred Austin

If I Had My Child to Raise Over Again

If I had my child to raise all over again,
I'd build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I'd finger-paint more, and point the finger less.
I would do less correcting and more connecting.
I'd take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my
I'd take more hikes and fly more kites.
I'd stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I would run through more fields and gaze at more
I'd do more hugging and less tugging.

The above is an excerpt from 100 Ways to Build Self-Esteem & Teach Values by Diana Loomans. To read the entire poem visit www.dianaloomans.com.

I hope you find time to nurture your own creative spirit just like you would do for a child.

"Imagination is the highest kite that one can fly."
- Lauren Bacall

Fueling Our Creative Passions

Michele - I love the question you are asking. I've needed this prodding to put to paper my quest. I'm going to try very hard this year to have a respectable flower garden and I'm going to try my hand at a vegetable garden.

Stefanie - I am really interested in cooking, so this year I want to try some new recipes, buy more cookbooks and get adventurous in the kitchen.

Kirsten - I have three children and I feel like I've lost myself in the shuffle of everyday life! I am passionate about creating beautiful jewelry. It is so soothing to sit and work quietly. I am resolving to spend a couple hours each week to take time for MYSELF to work on my craft!

Laurel - I am going to start gardening again. I really enjoy it but have moved a couple of times in the past five years and have not done much. This winter I am going to plan my garden and get ready before spring comes. I have a big tree in the front yard that I can plant flowers around. That is my one step towards gardening again. If nothing else that is what I will plan on getting done this year. Maybe a couple of tomato plants on the deck and a few containers of flowers on the patio table.

Let's Go Fly a Kite

Did you know March 31 through May 6 is National Kite Month?

I had never flown a kite and had always wanted to, so three years ago my husband bought us a kite and we went kite flying for the very first time. I had a few false starts but what fun when my kite took off and soared into the sky!

For big kids or small:
Cut a kite shape out of colored paper. Attach yarn, jute, or twine to the bottom of your kite. Tie five strips of fabric or glue colored tissue to you string. Help your child write a poem about kites.

Visit www.nationalkitemonth.org to find mazes, crossword puzzles, plans for a real kite, and much more.

Finding Time

Is there something that holds you back from pursuing your creative goals? For every activity you give yourself to, you say no to something else. Whether it's the laundry, dishes, cleaning the garage, or some other activity vying for attention, the next time you have that desire to paint, design a necklace, or tend your garden, ask yourself these three questions.

- Does that chore need to be done right this minute?

- Would it be a crisis if that job waited for an hour?

- Will it matter if it never gets done?

A few tips:

I schedule my creative time on the calendar just
like a doctor visit or any other important

If you have preschool children who don't take naps,
start them on a routine of lying down after lunch and looking
at books, or playing quietly in their room. This gives you some
alone time.

Give yourself permission to turn off your phone,
computer, television, or anything that distracts.

Parenting Wisdom from fellow Moms

Laurel - My best parenting advice is when you have a teen (13-17)
you have to be a good listener, advisor, have a good shoulder to cry on,
be a buddy, and most of all be a parent. Guidance is what they need and
crave. It's a tough world out there to our children.

Denise - I'm a mom of three boys. I think you have to lead by example and set
boundaries. Enforce the rules, but don't be so rigid they can't have fun. If there's a punishment for breaking a rule - don't back down. They'll learn from the consequences and hopefully not make that mistake again. Mistakes will happen -never let them think you don't love them just because you're disappointed in what they did wrong. Praise them for what they do right. No matter what, love them!

Dianne - The best advice I can give is to start chores early and it's definitely okay to reward them for the work. Teaching work ethics has to start early.