Showing posts from December, 2016

One Word Resolution

It's time to create a list of resolutions for the new year of 2017. Wooo-hooo! If you are like me, you have made the same old resolutions every year for probably your whole adult life. They include: exercise more, eat less junk food, lose weight, and be happier. Am I right? About five years ago, I started reading books written by Gretchen Rubin. She has emerged as one of the most thought provoking and influential writers on habits and happiness. She has written, among other things, The Happiness Project, Happier at Home, and Better Than Before.   I recommend them all, as they are good reads and not overly "preachy" like some "self-help" books. Last year as I was reading her blog, she was talking about making resolutions. Now hold onto your hat because she didn't have a list of resolutions, she had one word !  I was like whaaat? Now that was something I could buy into. How easy is that to only have a one-word resolution for the whole year? As it turns

A Routine Thing

Bumpy and I recently returned from a trip to New Jersey to visit with our daughters, son-in-law, and granddaughter. We had an early Christmas visit, complete with baking cookies, watching Christmas movies, playing games, exchanging gifts and even snow! Bumpy, Anna, and Nana While we had a wonderful time, it was also nice to return home and resume the normal routines associated with everyday life! As I thought about how getting back into my routine was comforting, I also thought about how during this very busy time of the year, it is sometimes difficult for grown ups to keep the family routines going and it can be an especially confusing and tiring time for little ones. An article by Oliver Burkeman written for the guardian, contained information about daily routines of some of history's most creative minds.  For example, Benjamin Franklin spent his mornings naked, Georgia O'Keeffe and Ernest Hemingway were both extremely early risers, and Tchaikovsky believed he h

Retirement, Simple Living and Me: Things That Are Making Me Jolly

Tis' the season to be jolly! Here are a few things that are making me jolly this week. Baking cookies: Making them for family and friends! The newest member of our "pack":  Ringo Starr came to live with us on Thanksgiving week-end! This simple holiday centerpiece: These simple decorations: "Mousemas Tree" A tiny collection of Santas This photo from a Christmas past: And this Nativity set to remind me just exactly what Christmas is all about! What's making you jolly this holiday season? That's it for now.. Check back later!

All I Want for Christmas Are Open-Ended Materials: Said No Child Ever

Ah, the smell of Christmas trees, the warmth of hot chocolate, and commercial after commercial for more and more battery operated toys is upon us!  It's the season for "I want, I want, I want" to echo throughout homes and classrooms. It's also time to make those ubiquitous paper Christmas stockings using glitter and cotton balls, but that's already been discussed in another blog post, as you may recall. I wonder how many parents of young children and teachers of young children are hearing, "You know, I think I would just like to use my imagination more and get a big stack of open-ended materials to play with this Christmas. Forget the Zoomer Chimp, the Nerf N Strike Drone Blaster, the Dance and Move Bow Wow, and the PlayStation  to name a few and just get me some good old wooden blocks and a set of markers." In this post, I want to "enlighten" parents and teachers about open-ended materials and play, so let's begin with a definition of