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
I initially wrote this post on March 8, 2018 on International Woman’s Day. I highly suggest reading a bit of the history of this day, as chronicled from the United Nations, here. It is a day to protest, march, rally, join together, celebrate, pay tribute, remember, and look forward. On this specific date, I reflected on all of this, on the current political and social climate for women, on the future I hope to shape for my daughter, and if I am doing my part as a woman. Yet, I ended the day reflecting mostly on my breastfeeding journey. Here’s why, and where it led me.
Disclaimer: I feel like I have to apologize for my breastfeeding photo, but then I catch myself, wondering “But, why?” and deciding “Isn’t that part of the point?” Breastfeeding is natural, beautiful, and not sexual. I am woman, hear me roar!
Continue reading Breastfeeding Tears (And my IWD Revelation)
I’m a sucker for mushy stories about love, pregnancy, or babies. In my Twins post about Facing the Facts, I reference a bit of my own shock (and hubby’s) when first aware that we were having twins. But here’s the whole story.
Continue reading Our Twin Pregnancy Story
“I don’t want to be generous,” he said as we stood in a Target aisle full of toys.
“I know, love. Being generous is hard…”
“It’s TOO hard mommy,” he interjected.
“… but it will make other people SO happy.”
“It will make other people so happy?” he said with puzzled big brown eyes, head tilted to the side.
Continue reading A Toddler’s Lesson on Generosity
As teachers, sometimes our hands are tied by school or district policies when it comes to exposing our little learners to cultural or religious holidays. I was always glad to be allowed to teach holidays, as long as these were taught in an all-inclusive way that made children aware of the diverse ways and days people celebrate but didn’t promote one over another.
Continue reading 5 Books that Teach Generosity
We have made it to my favorite time of the year: The Christmas and Advent season! I recognize and respect the diversity of holidays and ways people celebrate them, but for me, it’s Christmas and there are a lot of family Christmas traditions that make me all warm and gooey inside.
Continue reading Be Kind Because You’re Decent: A Rant about Santa and Elves
As promised in Teaching Gratitude, here are some recommendations for 15 books that help accomplish just that. I spent some quality time making this list and book descriptions as useful as possible. (I hope you find it SUPER useful!) In my opinion, recommended target ages are helpful but VERY flexible, and they’ll often differ from source to source. (I cited the range I most agree with.) The books on this list can be used year-round, not solely at Thanksgiving time.
Happy reading and teaching gratitude!
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (Ages 5-8 per Scholastic)
Honestly, this book is great for all ages, as it can lead to some pretty deep reflection and conversations. I’ve also read it with great success to Pre-K students to celebrate Earth Day and discuss gratitude for and stewardship of our planet and environment.
Check out the 1973 animated short film of The Giving Tree with soothing narration from the author himself. There are some controversial interpretations of this book (which for fun, I encourage you to look into), so pre-read it and be prepared to guide the conversation in the direction that you want. Available in multiple languages, called El arbol generso in Spanish.
The Thankful Book by Todd Parr (Ages 3-6 per B&N)
A little something for everyone, but mommas will love this one: “I am thankful for walks because they are special times for just you and me.” Aw. Let me go for a walk with my kids now and cry.
Continue reading 15 Children’s Books that Teach Gratitude
November is here. Along with the holiday music and all the planning we busy ourselves with (who is hosting what and when, coordinating adorable outfits, travel plans, conniving to get people the most perfect gifts, food shopping, gift buying…is your head spinning like a dreidel yet?!?), November causes us to pause and reflect on all we are grateful for. As parents and educators, our thoughts also turn to being intentional with how we model and teach gratitude to our children.
Of course, children won’t learn to be grateful from one day, week, or even month of thanksgiving, but we can use this time to reflect on what we are doing right, what we might do better, and put some of our ideas into action.
Continue reading Teaching Gratitude