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Hearts for Ana – A Project for Sandy Hook

Hearts for Ana – A Project for Sandy Hook

One of the beautiful children who was murdered at the Sandy Hook tragedy was due for heart surgery at Boston Children’s. As a “heart mom” (my daughter had open heart surgery at three months old), I can only imagine the roller coaster of emotion they went through to have so much hope and then to lose their baby to such random, awful violence. If, like us, you had been planning to make snowflakes for Sandy … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Charity

New Year’s Interviews with Your Children

New Year’s Interviews with Your Children

Our children change so much every year and I wish I could bottle up a little of this precious time with them. Despite my compulsive documenting through photographs and notes, the days fly by. One fun tradition is to interview the children every year at New Year’s. I think I originally saw this idea from Amy at TeachMama.com. I asked the kids about their favorite color, their favorite activities, their favorite memories, and more. I also … Read entire article »

Filed under: All Ages, Featured, Intrapersonal, Winter

Elevate the Arts with American Girl of the Year, Saige Copeland — An Interview with Author Jessie Haas

Elevate the Arts with American Girl of the Year, Saige Copeland — An Interview with Author Jessie Haas

In Saige, the first book for the American Girl of the Year for 2013, Saige Copeland, author Jessie Haas shares an inspiring story about a young girl who loves painting and takes a stand for keeping the arts in her school. In the first book, Saige grows as an artist and as an equestrian, makes a new friend, develops a more mature relationship with a life-long friend, takes on new responsibilities, and helps save the arts … Read entire article »

Filed under: 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 9-11 (Elementary), 9-12 (Middle Grades), Art, Featured, History and Culture

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

From our family to yours: Happy Holidays! What can I say? The end of the year has been trying for our family but so much more so for other families in our region. We have each other and our memories we are building together. Each year since our eldest was two, we have included a family portrait she has drawn on our New Year’s card. Though I wasn’t sure anything could beat the floating baby inside Mommy … Read entire article »

Filed under: Me, Winter

Organizing a Sing-a-Long to Spread the Cheer

Organizing a Sing-a-Long to Spread the Cheer

This past weekend, we brought some Christmas Cheer to a local home for the elderly. We have been visiting since my two eldest were 3 and 1.5 and we caroled with a play group. That first year, my daughter asked if she could play piano. We didn’t have her music so she just played “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Every year since then she has wanted to go back, this time with Christmas carol sheet … Read entire article »

Filed under: Charity, Featured, Interpersonal, Music, Musical, Performing Arts and Theater

Thank You, Guidecraft and Klutz, for Helping Kids Affected by Hurricane Sandy

Thank You, Guidecraft and Klutz, for Helping Kids Affected by Hurricane Sandy

I want to take a moment to thank Klutz and Guidecraft for bringing Christmas to some of the children devastated by Hurricane Sandy on Long Island. Many of these families lost everything in the storm. A toy at Christmas is a little bit of hope–it is the gift of caring to the parents and a sign to the children that things will, eventually, be normal again. We had a drive with my daughter’s Daisy scouts to … Read entire article »

Filed under: Charity

Explaining the Inexplicable to Children

Explaining the Inexplicable to Children

I have no explanation for the horror of last week. Personally, I am hoping to not share what happened in Newtown with my very young children, ages 6, 4, and 1.5. I know that others disagree but, given my children’s reactions to other recent events in our own lives and community, I feel this is what is best for my family. Honesty is not the same as full disclosure. If you are making this same decision, I … Read entire article »

Filed under: Crises

Rudolph and Friends: A Reindeer Footprint Craft

Rudolph and Friends: A Reindeer Footprint Craft

Holly, a friend of mine, posted this family reindeer footprint craft and was kind enough to allow me to share it with you. Isn’t it adorable? If you are looking for a Christmas or winter craft to do this weekend, just get out your paints and feet and you’ll have a sweet reindeer keepsake–you can even include Rudolph. Materials: brown, black, and red paint white paper frame (optional) Directions: 1. Paint a foot of each family member with brown paint and … Read entire article »

Filed under: 1-2 (Toddler), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, History and Culture, Winter

The Twelve Days of Christmas Picture Books

The Twelve Days of Christmas Picture Books

One of my favorite monthly rituals is opening our boxes of seasonal and holiday books and bringing out these classic stories. December is the time for Christmas decorations and our collection of Christmas picture books. Each year we add new treasures to our library and get reacquainted with old friends. It is always fun to see which books capture the children’s interest the most this year and to share our favorites with the baby.   The Twelve … Read entire article »

Filed under: 3-5 (Preschool), 3-5 (Preschool), 5-6 (Kindergarten), 5-6 (Kindergartners), 6-8 (Early Elementary), 6-8 (Early Elementary), Featured, History and Culture

Call for Submissions: Crafting Hope After the Hurricane

Call for Submissions: Crafting Hope After the Hurricane

As I have shared with you, Hurricane Sandy was a disaster for much of the Tri-State area. There are people living in homes with giant holes, molding walls, and ruined furniture–or camping out next to their homes. These areas are still without power. Many of these areas are working-class neighborhoods. Places with hardworking families that were “getting by” before the storm but now have lost everything they had built. However, we will get by…with a little … Read entire article »

Filed under: Charity, Me