Couple of weeks ago, we decided to introduce the following concept to our kids as a family ‘goal’ in a way- it’s an old motto that has been passed down from people that survived on their own ability to utilize so completely their every resource. The Chinese people are really amazing with this concept. They re-use everyting, hardly throw anything away, and ‘make do’ with what they have all the time. it’s pretty inspiring really! And of course, I think that creative things happen when you are required to work with that you have to achieve a desired end. To me, that is my MOST creative time! (scrapbooking or otherwise). i think that the overall messages of ‘fugality’ and ‘conservation’, ‘re-use’, being more grateful, and responsible have inspired the need to instill and incorporate this ‘motto’ for our family. I decided to create a sign that I could magnet to the fridge and in places that everyone would see and be reminded of our ‘goal’ many times in the day. Then I created a sheet that had this ‘motto’ printed at the top, and it was a list, where members of our family could write down their contributions to the goal. Things that they have fixed, or even taken care of; stuff that is worn out; ways they ‘make do’ or see others ‘make do’; and also things they feel like they “go without”.
So, it’s been a bit of a game. Things like re-filling water bottles, and writing on the back of scrap paper that would otherwise just be thrown away, washing zip lock bags, … I have made great efforts to eat leftovers by packing them for the kids’ lunch; and eating foods in the fridge before they go bad. The kids are enjoying spotting things that qualify for the list. A few days ago, we were driving along the road, and stopped at a light, and the boys noticed a couple guys shooting hoops. But that is all it was- a rusty hoop- no backboard, mounted to the side of a building where they must have a business- they were playing in their dress pants and regular shoes (no sweet nikes)- the kids noticed immediately that they were ‘making do’. Quincy brought home a reading book that was about a kid that liked to fix things, and then give them to his friends that needed them. I was tickled when she pointed out to me that he was ‘fixing up’.
So tonight- I am going through Q’s backpack and I could smell something foul! It was bad. I looked until I found an old, moldy banana all squooshed all over the inside of the front pocket. It was so gross, and I just didn’t want to go to the effort of cleaning it all out, and I decided to throw it away because it reeked so bad. She freaked out! she has had it since kindergarten, and loves it…but I tried to explained it to her, that it would just be stinky etc.. but she wanted to FIX IT.… so I had to pull the disgusting, moldy, rotten smooshed all over the inside pocket, banana out and wipe it all out- get all the gunk out and clean it up. I then threw the backpack in the washer and it came out good as new. I am sorry to admit that I have never washed one of my kids’ backpacks. she saw it hanging to dry and went over and hesitantly leaned over to smell it. her eyes lit up as it smelled ‘good’ and she said ‘mom, it feels so good to fix it up, and make do… don’t you think?’. and I have to admit, it does. I seriously would have chucked that backpack so fast. I am really proud of Quincy- and through little things like this, I think a huge impact can be made. I think it’s something that needs to be part of a constant reminder for me, as I strive to incorporate it into all facets of my life- and like I said, I love the satisfaction that comes from creatively re-purposing something to meet a need, rather than purchasing something new. so … I thought I would pass on my cute little sign. I made it green to match my green walls. AND … it’s ‘green’… print out the sign and post it on your fridge, or anywhere else that you or your family could use the reminder. Then if you want, you can print out the ‘list’ pdf on some lined paper and keep track of ways you fulfill the goal, or try to think of good ways to incorporate it into your life. It’s pretty cool!
Download fix_it_list.pdf Download fix_it_sign.pdf
speaking of re-purposing... i always get emails of people wanting to know when Emily has her garage sales. she is participating in her neighborhood annual garage sale... i guess it's a pretty big deal. Even my friend Liz Eaton is going to be on hand w/ some of her kits and jewelry to sell! the address is University and Sossoman in Mesa, AZ ... there should be tons of signs. i think she told me it starts at 7am. if you go by, give them BOTH a squeeze from me! i miss those girls.