Thursday, August 29, 2013

Starting Holiday Traditions

Tis the season when many retail stores are switching their seasonal sections from Back to School to Halloween!  While on my break, I took some time to check out some of the Halloween cards, directed at kids, and it got my gears a turnin.

I think, when the kids are old enough and if they still make Halloween cards (course I could just make them myself), that I'm going to start the tradition of giving each kid a card with themed stickers inside.  I think it will be nice and fun.  Halloween is my favorite day of the year, and Samhain is my favorite sabbat.  I tend to separate the two, Halloween being more about fun and with friends and the children, Samhain being more about the spiritual side, like honoring our Ancestors and celebrating the Last Harvest. 

We can have Halloween parties, costumes, arts & crafts, and Trick or Treat, but then we can also have simple Samhain rituals like decorating the family altar, changing the seasonal shrine, going to farmer's markets and making a seasonal feast from our bounty to celebrate the harvest, giving offerings to the Spirits, remembering our ancestors and learning about certain ones, visiting and tending to their graves, and a host of other ideas.

So far, Halloween/Samhain is the only sabbat that's concrete in my mind, concerning traditions.  This year, Lycan will be joining us on our annual Apple and Pumpkin Picking trip.  I'm looking forward to it.

Still figuring out the Winter Solstice.  Here are some family traditions I'm going to carry over, as well as new ideas:
  • I like the idea of the kids getting 4 gifts: "Something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read" (pinterest find).  Before we were just going to do 1-2 gifts.  
  • Probably no Santa.  I want to tie in my husband's faith, which probably means either Odin or Freya as the gift giver.  I still need to do the research on that one, I've heard either or and I want to be sure.
  • Decorating the tree.  At first, I wasn't going to have a tree, but then I figured that a lit up tree around that time of year is pretty much a universal symbol. 
  • Making Ornaments and other decorations
  • Making edible ornaments for the wildlife.  
  • Baking goodies and treats for us, family get togethers, and as gifts.  I want to instill the art of making/baking gifts, instead of the importance of how much something costs. 

Spring is a time for dyeing eggs and other Easter-like traditions that I did as a kid.  Traditions that I'm carrying other, that have nothing to do with Christianity.  They were just fun, spring themed, kid oriented activities.  Traditions that I'm going to continue, only in the name of Spring!  Except no Easter Bunny. 

I don't celebrate Imbolc and May Day has a slightly different theme for me.  Kid wise, I was thinking of May Day involving the usual Maypoles, but also May Baskets, and hearts.  Like of like Valentine's Day, seeing as many Pagans hold May Day, or Beltane, as the marriage of the Goddess and the God.  Hearts, love potions, butterflies, flowers, ribbons, growth, gardening, etc.  For me, it's more about the official signs of Spring.  Greenery, rain, flowers, baby animals, etc. (Pinterest has to be for some of this inspiration, when I've been making my sabbat boards).  Spring Equinox is the egg, may Day is the chick.  Both are about abundance and fertility in body, mind, and spirit. 

We also don't celebrate Thanksgiving (out of respect for our Cherokee, Choctaw, and Shawnee ancestors), however many traditions from Thanksgiving have also been carried over for the Fall Equinox (Second Harvest):
  • The Thankful Kernel.  It's a corn kernel that's passed around the table.  Each person says what they're thankful for when it's their turn, then they pass it on.  At the end of the meal, the kernel is buried.
  • Turkey dinner.  
  • Snapping the wishbone.
  • The Cornucopia.

Well, that's what I got so far.  Are there any special traditions, new or old, that you've done with your children concerning the holidays/sabbats?

~)O(~

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Small Steps Towards Community

Sigh, I need a spiritual boost.  Lately I've been wanting to find a study group, a coven, a center, a temple, or even a church that's friendly to Pagans.  I've searched Witchvox looking for leads, but either I come up with nothing, the coven or group is Wiccan specific, the study group has fallen flat, or the temple/center is located out in the middle of Nowhere!

I'm having zero luck!

I just want a supportive community, where I can grow spiritually, but in a friendly environment where I'm not constantly being judged by someone for not being a part of their faith.  Nor do I want someone's else deity shoved down my throat.  I want a place that I can bring my children to, so that they can grow with other kids, sharing in their own discoveries.  I just want a community!  

I tried "Spiritual Centers" but so far, the only ones popping up are Christian-centered.  I tried "Spiritual Communities" and got something about Reiki Centers.  Somewhat close, but not quite.  Then, I found The Columbus Witches Meetup Group.  I don't know how active it is, but it's worth a look.

So I remembered something I saw from one of the FB groups I follow--this article--something about Universal Unitarians, and decided to search in my local area.  Well I found one such church: First Unitarian Universalist Church. I've been checking out their site and I'm following them on FB, just trying to learn more about them and their message.  They say they're open to all spiritual walks of life, but I dunno, I'm still nervous.  It'd be fine if it were just me being rejected and possible judged by supposed "tolerant" and "accepting" people (I'm used to it), but it's another thing that I want to involve my family.  Especially my son.

I don't want to be tolerated, though.  There's still a hint of negativity in there.  I'd rather be accepted.

They say they're Liberal, largely, and well, I'm not.  Nor am I exclusively Republican or Democrat, I tend to fall in the middle of all parties.  Extreme-anything tends to annoy the crap out of me, because they're generally....mmmm, one sided.  Black or White.  No Gray.  I'm a Gray.  I can see all sides of the story, for the most part; and I can agree and disagree, but I'm not bound by a specific party.  I guess, I'm just another Moderate.  Maybe Independant?  I dunno, I don't really know the terms. I'm not big into politics.  I guess I'm kind of in a Fuck-Everything-Political every since Ohio took away my reproductive rights. 

And this branch of the UU seems to be big into Social Justice, at least their website is.  I'm all for it, but not to the degree that some people take it to.  As I call them, especially the Tumblr variety, the Social Justice League.  Blind.  Closed.  Their way or the highway.  Rude.  Arrogant.  Witch Hunters, for a better term.

Spiritually, I'm not that interested in Social Justice; for me, it can just be too political, and I'd rather not mix the two....or maybe I'm just missing the point, seeing as I am ignorant of UU and their cause.  I mean, this is my first time researching the local UU church.  Maybe it's not as cut and dry as I'm seeing?  I'm just not certain that the UU is right for me.  At least not this branch, but I'm willing to learn and give it a try. 

It's almost a shame that there aren't more temples dedicated to specific deities like in the days of olde, like Greece.  Be nice to just be able to visit a temple, a shrine, or a city dedicated to Hestia, or Vesta for that matter, with other followers.  But alas, this is the modern era.  Hestia/Vesta followers...and just Pagans in general--well, serious Pagans--are spread out, far and wide.

Alas, my search for a Pagan-ish community, that I can feel safe about involving my kids in, continues...  Too bad there's not a Spiral Scouts chapter near by?  Although maybe one will be by the time Lycan's old enough to join?

Any ideas, guys?

~)O(~

Monday, August 26, 2013

New Addition to the Family!

My nephew, Silas Cameron, was born today at 11 am:

7 lbs, 14 oz

Congrats Katey and Stephen!

Just another August birthday.  So far, we have Justin on the 24th, Silas on the 26th, and Gabrielle on the 28th.  Another Virgo.  We're hoping to have another non-August kid, lol.   Four months to not aim for are March, August, October, and December.  Too many birthdays in those months.  Most of my family is in March, including myself.  Although it would be interesting to have a girl born on mine, since I'm born on my mom's, but then, I don't know if I could handle another Aries....  Then the most of the cousins are born in August, minus the twins who're born in September.  October and December are heavy with Dave, his mom, and his brothers. 

Lycan and his cousin Gabrielle are exactly 4 months apart, her first birthday is coming up real quick.  Oughta make for interesting parties when they're all older.  Gonna have to be some cordination between parents. 

~)O(~

Sunday, August 25, 2013

On the Move!



Speaking of which, gotta go track him down!

Just explored mommy and daddy's bedroom.  And...now he's watching TMNT.  And...now he's taking a nap. 

Child is mobile!  Let me tell you what.  And he's not afraid of a little thing like a long dark hallway.  He may even crawl on down, and turn look, and smile at you, before continuing his journey into the unknown. 

And since daddy went and touched my vacuum cleaner, it's broken now.  I swear, that man is banned from ever touching one of my vacuum cleaner's again!  This is the second one he's broken.  I am not happy!  So now mommy's gotten creative with keeping the floor clean of particles that may interest baby.  I crawl around on his level, see what he sees.  What might be interesting and mouthable.  There's a lot that the vacuum misses!  Corners and crevasses one might not normally think to look.  Learning experience.  Diligence.  Constant Vigilance!  as Moody yells.

I don't know about you, but I'm tired of this thing called Summer.  I'm totally ready for and excited about Fall; my favorite season!  Got lots planned for little man, too!  This year is my step mom and BFF's 5th annual apple and pumpkin picking event.  A nice little tradition, if I don't say so myself.  And the way Lycan's going, kid's probably gonna be walking by that time.  Take out your cameras!

Plus it'll be time for his 9 month photos.  Which my step mom and dad flopped on his 6 month photos, but I'm getting the 9 month if it kills me to save up the money for it.  If I had a camera, I'd do it myself, but I don't. 

It'll be his first Halloween/Trick or Treat and Samhain.  Unfortunately for me, despite that it's my favorite time of the year, butthole daddy has already decided on what Lycan's going to be.  Without even asking me.  Annoys me to no freaking end.  Dad's going to be Hawk and Lycan's going to be Animal, two retired WWE wrestlers.  Poo.  I wanted to find him a little wolf costume, so he'd be a little werewolf

I swear, our next kid, I'm getting the first Halloween pick.  I mean, shit, I carried him for 37 weeks and gave birth.  I wrecked my body for our family, not that it was in perfect condition before hand (plus it was a difficult, emotional pregnancy).  I should get first pick.  Not to mention that I work my ass off every day!  I work for 7 hours, then come home and watch Lycan for another 9-10 hours until daddy gets off work.  I get no sleep.  Plus, I'm still expected to clean the house?  Then get my measly 3 hours of sleep, just to get up and work the graveyard shift again.  At least DAVE gets to sleep for 8 or more hours, when Lycan's asleep.  I don't have that luxury, nor do I make nearly as much as Dave.  Needless to say, I'm a teeny tiny bit pissed off about it.  Whatever.

I mean hell, he picked his god awful name, I should get first Halloween pick.  I mean, Halloween's ONLY my favorite time of the year.  Nah, it's cool though.  And I have talked to him about it.  He whined, "But I've been planning this for a while.  Besides, it's my birthday."  Mother fucker, I've been planning this since I got pregnant!  Your argument is MOOT!  That's cool, whatever.  There will be other ones, right? 

Needed to get that out of my system, apparently.  Can't bitch about it on FB.

Although Lycan'll probably be spending Samhain with his grandparents, simply because this year's going to be our 3rd anniversary.  This year's the leather/crystal/pearl anniversary?  Maybe I'll get him a new wallet, a Redwings wallet?  I mean, I actually have a job and some money to get my husband something nice this year, since I flopped in the last two.  Not to mention birthdays and Yule's.  He doesn't mind, but I do, especially since he's gotten me things....even though I've asked him not to. 

Then again, Dave's big 30th birthday party has been ruined by his little brother's hasty wedding plans.   Been with his girl since December.  Marrying her in the beginning of November.  Ah, young love.  Get this, they're only marrying because people of their church are uncomfortable with them spending so much time together.  Da hell?  Mind yer business.  I guess that's how it's done down in the Bible Belt.  Instead of being mature adults, they go and tell the church on ya.  It's just so....childish to me.  Whatever, ain't my life.  It's not even a shotgun wedding.  They're getting married out of peer pressure.  Talk about all the wrong reasons for a wedding!

Alright, enough gossip.

In other news, my SIL is due to be induced tomorrow, so sometime we'll be heading back down to West Virginia to see our new nephew, Silas Cameron.  Going to be working some candle magik when they induce her, to ensure a quick and healthy delivery.

Well, it's just about time for some breakfast for Wolfman.  Overall, I'm excited about Fall and sharing the experiences with Lycan and family. 

So, what's going on with yall?

~)O(~

Friday, August 16, 2013

Well, This Sounds Familiar


Course Nora doesn't seem too bad; not a name I would'n've chose, but, you know.  As for the other, if a parent wants to name their child 'Messiah' a judge should remain impartial, as is their job, and not interject their religious beliefs into the mix. 

How many Jesus' are there?  (hey-zeus)  So why can't a family name their son Messiah if they want?  Personally, I wouldn't name my child after a deity, but that's me.  Lots of people name their children after biblical and religious/spiritual people all the time, or give them names that have strong meanings of faith.  And yet here's this person, a judge no less, who's going to rule to have the child's first name changed because of their religious beliefs.  That's fucked up.    They should lose their job over that shit.  I know it's Tennessee, but still.  Come on.  Stop living up to the southern stereotype.

Just saying.

~)O(~

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Baby Fever? Already?!

No.  Way.

Yet?

It's kind of hard to not get in the mood with all of the preggers around me.  My cousin is pregnant (and high risk due to her age), an old high school friend is pregnant, and my SIL is due to be induced on the 26th of this month (gonna have a boy).  So yeah, I'm guilty of having baby on the brain.  Lycan's only 32 weeks old and I'm already thinking about a siblings for him.  Crazy.

My cousin and friend are due around the same time (February).

No way are we financially or mentally prepared for another kid right now!  Trying to get our finances on track and hope to have it good by the time Lycan's one-years-old, THEN we were going to start trying for number two.

But in any case, I already know how I'll break the news and gender to my family, IF my mom doesn't pick up on it first.  Lady knew I was pregnant exactly 2 weeks after my missed period last time.  I didn't even know!  So hopefully the next one can remain a secret.  Anyway, Pinterest, as usual, is a great place for ideas.

...

Pinterest is awful!  Go there for an image, end up reorganizing boards.  ::sigh::  Alright, an half hour of my life gone, back to the announcement idea:

My mom knows I like to bake, so just say that I want her to try a new flavor or something.  Have the cake be pretty normal on the outside, maybe double layer since I've been experimenting with those lately.  Regular chocolate or white icing, maybe some party sprinkles.  But on the inside, use either pink or blue icing.  Let her cut into her and see how long it takes for her to get it, kind of thing.

Or maybe cookies or pancakes or something.....

But we'll see.  Maybe I'll have a new idea by the time I'm actually preggo.

Okay, baby boy is going to be waking up soon.  Best get other things down.  But first:

Daddy's Little Slugger!

Proud momma moment:  Having my 7-month-old crawl all the way down the dark hallway, sans daddy, to wake me up.  Usher in a new era of excitement and exhaustion!

~)O(~