Archive for December 2013

Words of Wisdom for the New Year

December 26, 2013

At this time of year when many of us look back at our accomplishments and failures, these words of wisdom offer simple things we can do to become better people in the New Year.

Listen – no interrupting, no eye-rolling, no planning your response.

Send a note to someone to say you’re thinking of them.

Show your love. Hugs, kisses, and a gentle touch are perfect.

Make someone’s day. Give them a compliment.

Be sensitive to the needs of others as well as your own.

Remember the power of prayer for yourself and others.

Do a favor for someone. It says you care.

Laugh at yourself and with others. It heals the body and soul.

Smile. It’s contagious!

Be positive. It’s uplifting.

Make yourself the best you can be in 2014. Happy New Year, Everyone!

(Adapted from 10 Free Gifts for Christmas – author unknown)


The Important Thing

December 19, 2013

At this time of year when priorities can easily become confused, a certain book comes to mind. I’ve mentioned this book before, but it’s a classic and deserves to be mentioned again.

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The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown has been around for over fifty years, and it still hasn’t lost its charm. The illustrations by Leonard Weisgard are a combination of bright colors and black and white drawings that compliment Brown’s rhythmic text. It’s a perfect book to share with a child. It celebrates the importance of the world around us − the simple things. When the book ends, the story need not end. You can continue by telling about the things you think are important. It’s fun. Give it a try.

With Christmas just around the corner, here’s my important thing.

The important thing about Christmas is the presence of love. It’s a time for family and friends, a time to share, and a time to laugh. But the important thing about Christmas is the presence of love.

What’s your important thing?

That One Inch

December 12, 2013

Our house vomits Christmas! It’s in-your-face. There are snowflakes,


candles, garland, bows,

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a Christmas village,

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snowmen, lights,

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and more trees.

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I seriously considered cutting back on the decorations this year. Then we found out the “newlyweds” will be home for Christmas, and they’re looking forward to the whole shebang!

In order to get the just-right Christmas look, things need to be put away before the Christmas elves can begin. Storage proves to be a challenge, and retrieving everything after Christmas proves to be an even bigger challenge! (Now where did I put that?) Things go down the stairs to the basement. Other things come up the stairs. Up and down, up and down. It’s a Christmas workout!

For about a week, our house is in upheaval as we slowly decorate. The clutter makes me a crazy woman, but I mostly manage to keep it together because I know when we’re finished we’ll revel in a job well done.

There is just one thing that pushes us over the edge. It’s the final placement of the big Christmas tree. In my world, it has to be perfectly placed. My husband calls it “that one inch.” It’s true. No matter where the tree ends up, it seems that it needs to be adjusted – just a bit. As my husband and I survey what we have accomplished, he is ready to declare it finished and relax. When I suggest he get back down on the floor and pull the tree a little bit to the right, or maybe a little to the left, or maybe a little bit forward or backward – that’s when he loses it. You’d think after all these years he’d be used to my quirks. I guess that’s what keeps this marriage going. It’s that one inch! And that one inch makes for a perfect tree!


Here’s a great book about a Christmas tree that would be very difficult to move “that one inch.” The Carpenter’s Gift:  A Christmas Tale About The Rockefeller Center Tree written by  David Rubel and illustrated by Jim LaMarche, Random House, 2011.

Check Out This Library

December 5, 2013

Mr. Lemoncello’s library is an architectural feat. It has all the bells and whistles anyone could ever imagine. It will keep you amazed and entertained for days on end unless you’re in a race to get out of the library to win the grand prize.

What is this I’m blabbing about? It’s Chris Grabenstein‘s book, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.


Kyle Keeley is one of twelve students chosen to attend an invitation-only lock-in on opening night of the town’s new library. Mr. Lemoncello, a famous game maker, has created a library beyond your wildest dreams and challenged his young guests to solve a very complicated set of puzzles and clues and be the first to discover how to get out of the building. Knowing how to use the Dewey Decimal System, recognizing quotes from well-known books and references to authors, being able to figure out pieces of a rebus, and learning how to trust one another and work as a team all come into play as the students vie for the big prize.

There is something new and exciting to discover in every room.  If you like mind games and challenges, this book is for you. And if that’s not enough, the author included one more puzzle in the book that wasn’t in the story, but the clue how to find it is there. Are you up for the challenge?

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