Tag Archives: parenting

Parenting in Harmony

8 Sep

school harmony mural honor circle

“Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children.”—Sitting Bull (one of the quotes on the Honor Circle in the courtyard of our new middle school)

This summer I started reading a favorite series from my childhood to my daughter, the Little House books. She knew we had Native American ancestry far back in our blood, so lines like “The only good Indian is a dead Indian” were challenging to navigate, to say the least, as were the books’ assumptions about settlement rights. (The children’s picture book The Buffalo Are Back provided a lot of great social and environmental context, which helped.)

Ultimately though, reading the Little House books has been a good thing for us to do together. It’s created a lot of dialogue about our ever-changing country, race issues, our ongoing cultural stew, what we’ve done right, and areas where we still have a long way to go.

With those conversations fresh in my mind, along with our country’s percolating nationality issues, we found ourselves at the ribbon cutting of her future middle school this week. The event featured a tribal blessing Continue reading

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WOW! Writer’s Digest Review of The Denim Jungle

1 Dec

Writers Digest Self Published Book Awards

I am absolutely floored by this review of The Denim Jungle I just received from the 24th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Books Awards.

And it couldn’t come at a better time. Last week was the one-year anniversary of finally having my book (MY book!) in my hands, and tomorrow is the sixth anniversary of losing Sue, who inspired me to make it. To say it’s a bittersweet time of year would be a profound understatement.

I miss you, Sue. Thank you for being you. Thank you for motivating me (and so many others) to imagine and commit and create. Thank you for giving me this connection to you. But most of all, thank you for helping me be the kind of mom who can show her kids that dreams can be made reality with hard work and heart.

24th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards
Entry Title: The Denim Jungle
Category: Children’s Picture books

Books are evaluated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “needs improvement” and 5 meaning “outstanding.”

  • Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 5
  • Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 5
  • Production Quality and Cover Design: 5
  • Plot and Story Appeal: 5
  • Character Appeal and Development: 5
  • Voice and Writing Style: 5

Judge’s Commentary

Visually stunning and engaging, designed for multiple reads that will reveal new details each time. Author has put a lot of excellent thought and work into designing this book with multimedia elements, creating visually pleasing pages to delight the young reader and older reader alike. Author scores with a terrific premise Continue reading

Favorite Read-Aloud Picture Books

9 Jun

Bedtime Reading The Denim JungleOne of the great joys of parenting (for me) is reading books aloud to my kids. It’s fun for us all and good for them, too.

I remember long drives to Grandma’s house when I was a kid, my mom reading chapter books from the front passenger seat. Little House, Charlotte’s Web, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

My kids (five and two) are still a bit young for chapter books, but I read picture books to them nightly. Increasingly, my eldest reads books to us, too, which adds its own joy.

I wonder when our read-aloud days will end? I’d like to say hopefully never, but I don’t want to be the creepy mom in the Love You Forever book.

Here are a few of our current favorites. I’ve started a Pinterest board of Great Read-Aloud Picture Books, too, where I’ll continue to add favorites.

Happy reading together! Continue reading

12 Days of Christmas Thankfulness: Day 5

29 Dec

 

Szaba Von MomMy birthday (the big 4-0!) has added an extra patina of sentimentality and reflection to this holiday.

In honor of this milestone—punctuated by finally unlocking the “author” achievement—I’ve assembled my own 12 days of Christmas* Thankfulness.

Day 1: Cathy Taylor
Day 2: Sue LaGow
Day 3: Ryan Hylland
Day 4: Jackie Phillips

Day 5: Szaba and Von
Day 6: Shanon Lyon
Day 7: Kerry Colburn
Day 8: Debbie Reber
Day 9: Peter Orullian

Day 10: Christa Charter
Day 11: Steam Crow
Day 12: 1986 State Fair Judging Panel

Continue reading

Hey Parents: Be More Selfish

4 Aug

Vashon ViewParents have a conundrum. For every moment we spend doing our own thing, it feels inversely connected to our family’s care. We are the nurtures, the caregivers. If we’re caring for ourselves, isn’t that less time (and money) spent caring for our kids?

We’re programmed to think it comes down to selfishness or selflessness. And have you read any Mother’s Day cards lately? A vast majority of them worship at the pedestal of the almighty selfless.

But we can (and should) rewrite that script. Because it’s simply not true.

As the American Psychological Association’s site states, Continue reading

You Can Do More Than You Think You Can

14 Jul
Clouds Jump Rainbow

© Horia Varlan, Flickr Creative Commons

Since I’ve traveled with kids a decent amount, people often ask me for tips.

My most frequent advice is:

You can do more than you think you can.

The same holds true with many things in life actually. Continue reading

Look With Your Real Eyes

2 Jun

scrabble tilesReady to play a game? Keep your eyes firmly planted on the screen. Then (without looking around) read the following question, close your eyes, and answer it:  Continue reading