Giving Tuesday 2021

Dearest friends and family,

I hope this finds you and yours well. For many reasons which I don’t wish to recount here, we have been through some challenging times in 2020 and 2021. As you may recall, despite keeping Story Spark closed during 2020, I maintained and deepened our mission while giving back to the Amarillo community through the Story Spark Christmas Project. With your support and generosity, we were able to provide carefully curated gift sets which included a book and related play and educational items to over 60 children from low-income families in Amarillo.

This year through the generosity of the St. Andrew’s Episcopal School community, we have collected over 120 books to date, but now it’s time to play Santa and purchase all the play and educational items that will transform each book into a more meaningful and hands-on learning experience. My hope is that you will again support this project by giving any amount you can and by spreading the news to friends and contacts who may also be able to give at this time. Thank you for helping me spread peace, love, and books! The children, their families and their teachers are so very grateful.

Visit, donate, and share the GoFundMe Page today: https://gofund.me/fbc45243 or click on the red picture above.

With much love,
Annika

“Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, a duty. It should be offered as a gift.” -Kate DiCamillo, children’s author

“Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.” -Mr. Rogers

Good Tidings: Update on the Story Spark Christmas Project

I owe every single person who donated or in some way supported the Story Spark Christmas Project a huge thanks and update on the success of our efforts.

In truth, I find myself a bit speechless and my mind starts spinning when I really think about it. So while words fail me, let’s start with the numbers.

Continue reading Good Tidings: Update on the Story Spark Christmas Project

Turning the Page on 2020

I am so proud and excited to announce a special Story Spark Christmas Project. I hope you’ll  join me in helping make the holidays extra special by spreading peace, love, and books!

Our goal: to bring books and book-based learning opportunities into the homes of economically struggling families in our community in order to make this Christmas extra special.

Our mission: In creating Story Spark , our mission was to enrich the Amarillo, TX community by bringing together families, children, and caregivers through book-based enrichment [classes] that SPARK deeper bonds, curiosity, and a love of learning. While I am unable to hold classes during these times, we can still uphold our mission and support our community by helping get books and book-based learning opportunities into the homes of families who may be struggling with finances or overall family well-being. 

Continue reading Turning the Page on 2020

Be the Change

We live in a big, beautiful world full of big, ugly problems.

Poverty. Undrinkable water. Dictators suppressing people’s voices and rights. Mass shootings. Lack of access to quality medicine or education. Loss of forests and rainforests. Irreparable damage to coral reefs and other animal habitats. Risk of mass animal extinctions. Racism. Bigotry. Terrorism.

I’m just touching the surface.

Continue reading Be the Change

Books that Celebrate our Darling Dads and Fatherhood

Isn’t June a crazy month, or is it just me? Weren’t we just celebrating our mommas and springtime? Now, BOOM, it’s June and summer!

If your children are school-age, there are a million end of year events. Then suddenly, you’re pulling your hair out trying to keep them busy. And entertained. And fed. You can’t seem to keep the fridge or pantry stocked quickly enough. The sun is up forever, so they are up forever! And, why is there so much more laundry? But, also don’t forget (even though your brain is sizzling), Father’s Day is around the corner! And the father figures in our lives definitely deserve being celebrated too! Continue reading Books that Celebrate our Darling Dads and Fatherhood

Books that Celebrate Mommas and Motherhood

On the first of May, I woke up and thought “Yay! It’s May!!! Oh! That means it’s almost Mother’s Day… Oh, no! Oh, yay!” My thoughts drifted.

First thought: What can I ever do for or give to my own mother that would come close to showing her how loved, admired, and appreciated she is… I mean aside from having my own kids, trying to raise them with similar values, and making sure they see/talk and share their cuteness with her regularly. (Best gift, ever, right?)

Continue reading Books that Celebrate Mommas and Motherhood

The Book Bug

I used to read 50+ books each year. In a bound suede journal which my grandmother gave me, I proudly kept track of the titles I had finished, a running tally of total books read in a year, and a list of books to be devoured still. My New Year’s health resolution was how many books I would strive to read that calendar year.

Continue reading The Book Bug

3 Little Pigs, Play, and a Streetsweeper

As a little girl, I remember my sisters and I tagging along occasionally in the summers as my Dad visited his classroom for various reasons we often paid no attention to. While he might be doing an inventory of equipment and compiling orders of beakers, burners, and other scientific tools, we would explore the old and often empty building, climb up and down what we thought were dramatic staircases, play school, draw on the chalkboards, etc. My memories are foggy but happy ones.

Continue reading 3 Little Pigs, Play, and a Streetsweeper

How I Became A Business Owner

It has been a good long while since my last post, but most of you know why… somehow I decided to start my own business. How did this even happen!? Sometimes my head is still spinning, and other times, it just makes perfect sense.

Continue reading How I Became A Business Owner

Halloween: DIY Room on the Broom and More Fun Ideas!

With two weeks left until Halloween, the last place I want to be is anywhere that sells Halloween costumes. I don’t need to leave the house to hear the sounds of  chaos or multiple children pleading for something they don’t need all at the same time. But don’t get me wrong, I am SUPER excited for Halloween and to share a few more costume ideas that you can make for your whole family, still in time for Halloween!

Continue reading Halloween: DIY Room on the Broom and More Fun Ideas!