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Giving Tuesday is an international day of giving that takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving which falls on November 29th this year. It’s a day where people across the world come together to make gifts to organizations that mean something to them. The great thing about Giving Tuesday is that anyone can participate—whether you give $1 or $100 or $1000, your donations support organizations that make an impact. This means that YOU are making a direct impact on the causes that matter to you.

#givingtuesday

How Can You Participate?

1.  Give a donation to a worth cause or charity. Here are a few if you need some ideas:

Healthy Schools Campaign is an amazing organization who’s mission is to ensure that all children have access to healthy school environments where they can learn and thrive.

To find out more about Healthy Schools Campaign, visit https://healthyschoolscampaign.org/.

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The Daughter Project is a sustainable and asset-based approach to the prevention of girl child trafficking and systematic abuse that specifically targets cultural values driving abuse, neglect and exploitation. “Trafficking in humans is considered one of the fastest growing criminal activities in the world today. It is now estimated to be a $32 billion industry, affecting 161 countries worldwide.” It’s heartbreaking that our children are being exploited in this manner. The Daughter Project is making a difference but they need the funds to keep extending the help these sweet girls need.

To find out more about The Daughter Project, visit http://www.daughterproject.org/.

No Kid Hungry is a campaign working to end childhood hunger in America by connecting kids in need with nutritious food and teaching families how to cook healthy, affordable meals. One in 5 children in the US struggles with hunger, your donation would help No Kid Hungry surround kids with healthy food where they live, learn and play.

For more information about No Kid Hungry, visit https://www.nokidhungry.org/.

There are many local, national and international organizations that help children, families, the environment… if you’re able, plan to help one of them this year during Giving Tuesday. We are stronger when we work together and when all of us are healthy, happy and safe.

2.  Give by buying gifts that give back. There are many companies that give back when a purchase is made. Tom’s, for example, helps a person in need each time one of their products is sold. Take a look at your holiday shopping list and see if you could help others while buying your gifts this year.

3.  Give of your time. Many times, giving of yourself is even more helpful than money for some organizations. Look around your local community and sign up to volunteer at your local school, church, charity or food bank. Or call your local blood bank and set up a time to give blood. Rake a neighbor’s yard. Shovel snow down the sidewalk of your entire block. Bake cookies for your mailman.

Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.  ~Roy T. Bennett

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I was extremely honored to be asked recently to be a part of Sheaffer Pen’s #LifeStories campaign. Sheaffer Pen’s and I go way back. In middle school, I really became interested in calligraphy and hand lettering. My uncle, an amazing artist, gave me a Sheaffer Calligraphy Set to get me started. He was such an inspiration and I miss him dearly (he died when he was only 38 years old). So Sheaffer Pen has since been a reminder to me of him and his talent.

Sheaffer Pen #lifestories

Christopher was also asked to be a feature in the campaign. I’m so proud of him and the way he has completely immersed himself into talk radio for all the right reasons. He opens his heart and mind to his listeners every day and he does it with humor, intelligence and respect.

Sheaffer Pen #lifestories

This was another one of my favorite Sheaffer Pen #LifeStories, Mindy Lockard, The Gracious Girl. Mindy is an amazing woman who lives and breathes gracious living at it’s most authentic.

Sheaffer Pen, #lifestories

For more of Sheaffer Pen’s #LifeStores, check out their site at http://sheaffer.com/, Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/Sheaffer_Page and Instagram at https://instagram.com/sheafferpen/.

 

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It’s been waaay too long since my last post! My life has been turned upside down and I’m still trying to catch my breath.

So here’s a quick update:

Right before Christmas 2014, Christopher (husband of My Green Side) was flown to California for a job interview with a radio station in a market significantly higher than the Fargo radio market. They loved him and, while we were in Wisconsin at my family’s farm for Christmas, the negotiations began.

One of my favorite ornaments. Made by Missy

Christmas 2014

It became very clear, very quickly that the Gabriel Family was going to be making a move. Soon the contract was signed, family and friends were told and arrangements were made. If I missed sending a personal note to anyone, I apologize! In my defense, it was a whirlwind trying to get everything done and moved. I wanted to make sure the girls saw everyone they wanted to see before we left so I am beyond thankful that we were able to spend time with a lot of our extended family during Christmas. And, frankly, I’m still getting used to the idea that we’re actually living in California!

CG studio shot

Christopher’s last day on the air at WDAY AM 970 and the girls last day of school in Fargo was January 9th. We then commenced saying goodbyes to dear friends, neighbors, our favorite babysitter, classmates, teachers, doctors… I have tears in my eyes now as I remember all the people I love and miss in that part of the world.

The Hotel Donaldson, Fargo

The moving truck arrived and, on January 16th, we were on our way from Fargo to Fresno. We drove the 2,000 miles to give the girls a chance to see parts of our beautiful country that they had never seen before. The weather was incredible and our mini-vacation was so much fun. Seeing sights like the Rocky Mountains through their eyes is an experience I will always treasure.

Fargo to Fresno mug

Fargo to Fresno mug in NebraskaA frozen waterfall in the Rocky Mountains

 

 

 

On January 22nd, Christopher was on air for the first broadcast of The Christopher Gabriel Program in Fresno, California. On the following Monday the girls started at their new school. The people at their school are lovely and as an added bonus, we are close enough to walk.

Since we’ve been in California, we’ve made multiple trips to the Sierra Nevada’s and Shaver Lake, Monterey and Carmel, Yosemite, Disneyland and gorgeous areas within our own community. We feel extremely blessed to be here and hope to be a positive addition to this area.

Carmel-by-the-Sea

Words can’t express how proud I am of Christopher and how he manages to bring his intelligence, sense of humor and humanity to his program each and every day. I hope that talk radio everywhere looks at his model and learns that anyone can scream and yell but it takes a real professional to let everyone be heard with respect and civility. We will never get anything worthwhile done in our homes, in our school or in our government unless we learn to really listen to each other and be respectful no matter which side of an issue you are on. Didn’t we all learn to treat each other the way we want to be treated?

I continue to write for 1800Recycling.com but will not be on Christopher’s program for a Simple Tips for Green Living segment (at least not until we’re all completely settled into our new normal). I am excited to discover what God has in store for this new chapter in my life.

Our neighbor's palm tree

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it ~Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

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Before I even opened the book, NEW SLOW CITY: Living Simply in the World’s Fastest City by William Powers, I New Slow City by William Powerswas completely taken by it’s cover. The cover’s illustrator, Kyle Pierce, captures the essence of the book with the incredibly beautiful monarch butterflies that appear to be serenely looking out onto the city.

About the book:

Burned-out after years of doing development work around the world, William Powers spent a season in a 12-foot-by-12-foot cabin off the grid in North Carolina, as recounted in his award-winning memoir Twelve by Twelve. Could he live a similarly minimalist life in the heart of New York City? To find out, Powers and his wife jettisoned 80 percent of their stuff, left their 2,000-square-foot Queens townhouse, and moved into a 350-square-foot “micro-apartment” in Greenwich Village. Downshifting to a two-day workweek, Powers explores the viability of Slow Food and Slow Money, technology fasts and urban sanctuaries. Discovering a colorful cast of New Yorkers attempting to resist the culture of Total Work, Powers offers an inspiring exploration for anyone trying to make urban life more people- and planet-friendly.

I highly recommend this book! I felt myself throughout trying to envision ways that I could slow down in my own life. Having lived in New York and worked in the city, I was so inspired by how the Powers were able to live simply and intentionally in a city with a million distractions.

An inspirational quest to slowdown, simplify, and find serenity in a supercharged city. ~Francine Jay

More about the author:

Born and raised on Long Island, William Powers has worked for over a decade in development aid and conservation in Latin America, Africa, Native North America, and Washington, DC. He is a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute and is on the adjunct faculty of New York University. A third generation New Yorker, Powers has also spent two decades exploring the American culture-of-speed and its alternatives in some fifty countries around the world. He has covered the subject in his four books and written about it in the Washington Post and the Atlantic. An expert on sustainable development, he is a freelance writer and speaker.

For more information, visit http://williampowersbooks.com/.

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I’m a big fan of Alicia at Prairie Style File. She’s thrifty, fun and smart. She’s a great writer. She’s an awesome Mom. She Prairie Style Filehas infectious energy and a gregarious smile. She’s adorable and I’m happy that we’re on this planet together! I could seriously go on and on about her but you probably get where I’m going with this. So, when she asked if I would write something for Prairie Style File, I was honored and delighted.

To read my post for Prairie Style File, visit http://prairiestylefile.com/2013/10/01/prairie-roots-co-op-a-guest-post/.

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Porter Family Adoption Sale

My girls with two of the Porter children doing an advertising blitz for the big sale!

The Porters have become very important to our family during the last few years in Fargo. They are neighbors and friends but those descriptive words do not begin to describe what this family means to us. They are on a journey to adopt a special needs baby from China.

They have three children, a dog, they homeschool, they eat a local, organic and mostly vegan diet… they are perfect. But they are perfect in a way that makes you want to do better yourself, not in a way that makes you feel imperfect.

Why am I telling you all of this, you may be asking yourself… well, this beautiful family is having a Garage/Junk Sale this week to raise funds towards the adoption process. If you’re in the Fargo Moorhead Area, please drop by and give them your support! Oh, and Missy Porter is a crafty artist so I know they’ll be some really adorable things to buy. The kids will be selling lemonade, “pony” rides and baked goods.

There will be something for everyone!

The details:

  • Wednesday, August 21st to Friday, August 23rd
  • 8am to 7pm
  • 1518 10th St S, Fargo

If you’d like to make a monetary donation, visit www.mommyslittlepeanuts.blogspot.com and click on the donate button.

 

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I have so many things to be thankful for in my life and everything begins and ends with my amazing husband and awesome little girls.

A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues. ~Cicero

To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.  ~Johannes A. Gaertner

O Lord that lends me life, Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness. ~William Shakespeare

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by Wendy Gabriel

We were at my parent’s farm this past weekend and, so we could fully appreciate the fall colors, Grandpa took us on a hay wagon ride around the farm.

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. ~Albert Camus

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. ~Stanley Horowitz

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by Wendy Gabriel

We have two garden beds in our backyard, Caleigh and Cadence designed one and the other is full of organic vegetables for us to eat. The girls decided to plant sunflowers, watermellon and cucumbers in their garden… the giant mutant sunflowers refused to allow the watermellon and cucumbers to grow and finally after growing to an enormous height, they decided to bloom. Can’t wait to roast the gigantic seeds!

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do. ~Helen Keller

 

Some of my favorite photos and photo blogs:
Twilight Earth’s Photo Sunday
Mother Nature Sunday Gallery: Beaming Flowers from Love Earth Always
Photo Terri
True to Words’ Friday Photography
Twin Cities Photo Blog

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by Wendy Gabriel

The goddess and I are spending a few days at my parents’ organic farm in Wisconsin. We have been delighted to see many signs of spring including new baby lambs, eight so far. They’re so adorable, the girls couldn’t get enough of them and they, along with their cousins, named each one… Sparkles, Lambie, Cotton Ball (I did mention Wool Ball would be more appropriate), Chuck, Snowy, Cutie Pie, Angie and Bob.

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow.
~Proverb from Guinea

Lambs from Ravencroft Farm

Lamb from Ravencroft Farm

Lambs at Ravencroft Farm
Some of my favorite photos and photo blogs:
Twilight Earth’s Photo Sunday
Mother Nature Sunday Gallery: Beaming Flowers from Love Earth Always
Photo Terri

Sam Can Shoot

Twin Cities Photo Blog

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