"On the way to soccer on Saturday, schlepping folding chairs and a bag of who-knows-what to occupy my toddler during the game, I asked myself the very serious question:
"What is this for?"
Not because I thought it didn't have a purpose, but because I think when I allow something to upend our lives as much as sports can, I need to have a reason.
As I watched and assistant-coached the game, I was reminded how much persistence I've seen Kevin build as he plays on the soccer field.
He's not always enthusiastic in the face of failure--he's often quick to look for someone to blame in the immediate aftermath.
But on the soccer field, he owns his mistakes, sees them as a chance for growth.
At our most recent game, he tried to score a goal, but in the frenzy of first-grade defenders, he just didn't put enough power behind the kick. I expected to hear, "There were too many defenders." Instead he shrugged--"I have to kick it harder next time." He didn't get another chance, but he stayed in the game, focused and ready, learning from his mistakes and growing as a player.
Read about Persistence in "Emily Saves the Fairies." (In case you're wondering, boys like "Emily Saves the Fairies," too.) Look for "Livia Guards the Farm," another story of Persistence, on Saturday!"
0 211 hours ago
You can’t sleep 😴, you’re sick again 😷 , your hormones are out of whack 🤪, you haven’t pooped 💩 in days, or you’ve gone too much 🚽 , you’ve had a head pain 🤕 that won’t go away, you crave sweets 🍫 , you hate how you feel, you’re so tired 💤 , you’re so bloated, it hurts to get out of bed 🛌 , you hate how you look, you’re napping again, you’re sad 😔 , you’re feeling scared or moody 😦 , you wish you had nice skin, you just want to not NEED that coffee ☕️ or diet soda 🥤 to get going, you sneeze too much 🤧 and it’s so annoying, you’ve tried so many things....
Any of this sound familiar?
It’s how so many of us used to feel too. Before we let go of our fear and just decided to make a change. 🙌
You are worth it. Taking care of yourself isn’t selfish, it’s necessary. 💕
But how could a silly pink wellness drink and a probiotic be so effective and really help all of those things? Besides doing all the research, there’s really only one way to find out. Give yourself that first - or second - chance. ❤️
2 4715 hours ago
Another great series for beginner readers. The Circle C Beginnings books are set in 1800’s California. Andi, the main character is a 6 year old in this set and is eager to experience the Wild West! She learns lessons about faith, family, and friends along the way. Perfect for horse loving kids. My daughter loves that it has horses and that Andi goes on adventures. ☺️
Susan K. Marlow has written other Circle C books that grow along with Andi. Each set has 6 books in it with the last set only having 4. Circle C Beginnings is for ages 6-9, Circle C Stepping Stones is for ages 7-10, Circle C Adventures is for ages 9-13, and Circle C Milestones is for ages 12+. Each series can be read without reading the others but my daughter wanted to start at the beginning. The author has also written a similar series for boys called Goldtown Adventures which I have reviewed before.
Have you heard of these books? I love finding new series for my kids that are both wholesome and entertaining!
5 4820 hours ago
I've known this love for three years. We were just getting to know each other when she turned seven and then I had the immense privelege of guiding her in life as her "Mommy Suz." Tonight she's one day shy of 10.
I will never usurp her mother -- I respect her far too much for that-- but instead I offer wisdom, humor and lots of love to her and her siblings. My take is that the world could use more moms, so I'm just doing my job.
One of my favorite things to do is suggest favorite books. I just assumptively check them out on their cards so maybe suggest is not a strong enough word. If they finish the books they borrowed and are bored enough, they usually pick up one of mine.
Most of the time, it's a solid choice-- like this one...she is all enthralled and giggly.
A favorite of a long time ago: The Indian in the Cupboard.
My daughter and I are both reading the first 4 books in this series at the same time so we can talk about them. They are just precious stories! If you love Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables then you will love Betsy, Tacy, and Tib. They are definitely kindred spirits. ☺️
There are 10 books in the series plus 3 more about other characters in the town. My daughter is only 8 so we are waiting until she is older to read the others. I don’t believe there is anything bad in any of them, they just get more into Betsy’s romantic interests so we will wait on those. They are all based on Maud Hart Lovelace’s real life and I love the insights and real life pictures that are at the end of my editions.
I highly recommend these for my Anne and Laura fans! If you have any other recommendations for books similar to these, I would love to hear!
Come see me at the Bay Area Book Fest! I’ll be behind the She Writes booth from 2-3:30 p.m. on Saturday May 4, but my books will be available for sale at the booth all day for only $5! That is an exclusive discount only for festival goers because I want to celebrate all things books with you. It costs money to get into certain areas of the fest, but my booth will be in the outdoors portion of the festival, which is free to the public. There’s a ton of other free stuff to do at the @baybookfest including author discussions, live music, and STEM activities for families with kids of all ages. My kids are especially stoked to meet the author of the beloved Ivy & Bean books. See us there!
3 5722 April, 2019
🧐QOTD: What is your favorite mystical creature?
A. 🐉 Dragons
B. 🧚♀️ Fairies
C. 🦄 Unicorns
D. 🧜♀️ Mermaids
🧚♂️ I love fairies! The first novel I ever wrote actually started out with the idea of fairies, because I love them so much. In that book each province had a different magical gift, and where my story took place, the people could fly. It was so much fun to write, but I still had a lot to learn. 🧚♂️ So, this beauty comes out tomorrow, and we have been loving it! The Tallest Treehouse by @ellymackay is about a couple of fairies who take on the task of creating the tallest treehouse. During the process, they run into some issues that make their task difficult. My kids love this book, and the last page especially makes them laugh, and I love books that make my kids laugh.
16 5122 April, 2019
Being on his bike brings out the best in Kevin. I see all four of the values I use in North Star Stories--compassion when he stops his ride to help a younger child. Persistence when I see him practice the same skill, over and over, even when it's not working, until it finally clicks. Courage when he tries something new for the first time, even if it makes him anxious.
Most of all, I see resilience. Nowhere else do I see him so regularly fall down, dust himself off, and get back up. He often cries if he hurt himself; he often has a moment of frustrated outburst. Then he centers himself, takes a deep breath, and gets back on the bike.
This is resilience, and I'm grateful he's so interested in a sport that gives him so many opportunities to practice it.
Showing resilience off the bike is a bigger challenge, and when we read "Ava Makes a Home" it took some discussion for him to understand that Ava's most important choice isn't when she comes up with a creative solution to her problem. It's when she stops panicking and makes a careful choice about her next step. That's the moment where resilience comes in to play, and he easily understood that she could not have been creative without first taking that pause to make a plan.
More about resilience tomorrow. Want to read about Ava? Follow the link in my bio. #northstarstories#mynorthstarstories#mynorthstar#northstarforkids#bravekids#strongkids#resilientkids#learningthroughstories#storiescanchangetheworld#readtogether#readingfamily#familyreading#positiveparentingsolutions#learningtogether#askhardquestions
Do you have an author or genre that you turn to when you want a book that you KNOW you will enjoy?
For me, anything by David Baldacci falls into that category (I love political suspense). Also in that category is Amish Christian Fiction. I love reading about the Amish-one summer we went on a vacation to Amish country and stayed on an Old Order Amish Farm. We also got to have dinner with an Amish family at their home. It was such an amazing time!
This book is number 5 in Beth Wiseman’s Daughters of the Promise series. Each book is about a different family in the same community but many of the same characters appear in each book which I love.
So....what about you? Who is an author or a genre that you turn to when you want a book that you KNOW you will enjoy?
Easter Bunny dropped off a book for this cool kid (Max and the Midknights) and he is almost finished already. It's a fight to get him in a picture these days, but thankfully, it is not a fight to get him to read. 📚
3 4421 April, 2019
"Children are made readers in the laps of their parents." -Emilie Buchwald
... This quote is framed on my bookshelf and I know it to be true❤
My son is the first kid-reader of all my stories, and nothing makes me happier than to hear him quote them back to me.
Recently we've been drawing on stories of courage--like "Lucas Goes Creative" (look for a link in my profile). One of the reasons I want to communicate this through story instead of simply talking about being courageous, is because I know my kiddo understands courage--acting even when you're scared--on an intellectual level. If you asked him, "What would you do if..." he always gives the right answer.
But in reality, when he feels stressed and overwhelmed with emotion in the moment, it can be hard to follow through. Seeing a character be unsure of themselves, have physical symptoms of nerves and uncertainty, and act anyway, that's priceless.
Kevi recently brought up Lucas when we talked about saying no to a friend. Kevi was worried the friend wouldn't like him anymore if he said "no," but he was able to see Lucas's example in action--"He felt worried that his friends wouldn't like it, but he shared anyway. And they were still friends!”
Later, when the time came, he was able to be firm in his “no” with his friend. I know it wont always be this easy, but it was really great fo see him internalize the story and feel more confident in his choice.
Story is just one of many resources we have as parents, and I'm so glad I have it!
Read Lucas Goes Creative from the link in my profile.
0 619 April, 2019
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❤️ It’s a good day, because it’s a BOOK DOMINOES DAY, hey! 🎵 I sang that in case you were wondering. I spend a lot of my life making up songs about whatever the kids and I are doing. I don’t even notice it until they sing it later, and I’m like oh no, that is a dumb song, stick to writing books.😂 Although, one time I sang a song about my baby boy eating peaches 🍑 and my niece sang that song forever like it was a top 40 hit.
❤️So yesterday some punk stole my card number and ordered off sketchy websites with my money. Luckily only $40 went through, even though they tried multiple things, and the bank will eventually get it back to me. But what a pain!
❤️I don’t understand how anyone can do that without a super guilty conscience. I’d be up all night thinking what if the people I stole money from a family who has a child in the hospital with cancer, what if now they don’t have enough money to pay rent, what if they live paycheck to paycheck and now they can’t get groceries! 😭 And then I’d get up in the middle of the night and go turn myself in, because I felt so bad. But apparently other people don’t have such a guilty conscience.
❤️Don’t worry all, I’ll survive without the $40 until they get it back to me. Plus, maybe I’ll end up saving money since I had to destroy my card and wait for another. 🤷🏻♀️ But, it’s still a pain and hurts my heart hurt, because it reminds me some people just aren’t good people. I can’t imagine life is very fulfilling for a person that lives dishonestly. #jtdominos
I read Cindy Rollins' blog several years ago. I remember making lists and putting books on Amazon wish lists, but mostly I remember falling head over heels in love with the idea of morning time. And still to this day, it is what keeps me homeschooling, what I would feel the most loss over giving up.
And the crazy part is . . . It is so simple. It's a basket of books, a kitchen table and us . . . reading, talking, laughing, memorizing, thinking.
Today we opened up 100 Great Poems and read O Captain! My Captain! by Whitman. My oldest narrated it full of boyish glee at a shipwreck. Then I told them the dates of Whitman's life and that he was writing about a person and moment from U.S. history. I said, "this time chase the meaning" and read it again. Before I finished my sons were pounding the table, exclaiming "Abraham Lincoln!!!!!" After a morning of plumbing problems and bad attitudes, it was a sweet moment ☺ Sometimes I'm afraid Instagram might give the impression that homeschooling needs to be all done in a series of beautifully arranged flatlays, artfully designed (which by the way I adore, please keep posting them). But I promise you . . . beautiful learning moments can also happen around a crumby, sticky table with a book pulled out of an old, thrift store basket.
🎅This weekend we had a very successful trip to see Santa, after a disastrous experience last year! That’s a whole other story about a sham event with a grumpy Santa who had nappy cream on his eyebrows and no mouth in his beard!! We’ve laughed a lot about it and thankfully got our refund in the end....Anyway, this year, my son(who is nearly 13) was very obliging and went along with the elves’ and Santa’s questions for his sisters’ sakes! If you celebrate Christmas, do you think there’s an ideal age to find out about Santa? What age were you or your children? What elaborate stories have you ended up telling children to keep the magic going?
This brings me on to the question of when to stop reading aloud to children. I bought this lovely Tolkien Father Christmas book about a year ago to read to my children. I haven’t got round to it yet, but maybe this Christmas. I stopped reading on a regular basis to my older children just because the youngest had a more time-consuming bedtime routine. It’s not that the big two couldn’t read for themselves, but they enjoyed that quiet time with me. The books were all carefully chosen and appropriate for older children , but I remember an acquaintance commenting that it was weird to continue the ritual. I then did some research to gauge attitudes on this subject, and found some lovely articles about people reading classics aloud among adult family members whilst on holiday. I just don’t get the chance to read regularly with the big two now, but curious as to know whether any other families keep the reading aloud magic alive?📖
Yesterday we stopped by the Little Free Library we steward and dropped of tons of books! It was almost empty, so I'm glad we had a large bag of books with us, some donated and some from our shelves. After weeks of cloudy, rainy, and even snowy weather, this week has been clear and cold, and it was refreshing to spend time at the playground, even if it was brief.
Our library is new (October) so right now we are mostly adding to it since our community is still learning that it is at this park. We are really looking forward to the warmer weather and knowing that so many children and families use this park daily.
Are you looking to install a @littlefreelibrary? Let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer them! I love seeing other posts about LFLs, especially @whatkarireads (currently buried in snow!), @theunreadshelf (we installed ours at the same time, but her weather is so much warmer!), and @karinaisreadingandwriting (I love the design of hers!). Anyone else have a Little Free Library?