Saturday, September 28, 2013

Marietta Reads! - A Beautiful Saturday in the Park

The past several weeks I have been living in survival mode. The weekends have been solely used as a time to try and unearth myself from a mountainous pile of dirty clothing and somehow make the house clean enough to live in. Which, this is why today was so great. What a gorgeous day here in Metro-Atlanta! We went downtown to play at an awesome playground with some great friends first thing this morning. After lots of trips down the slide, we headed home. A short nap later, we drove over to Marietta Square to check out the Marietta Reads! annual kick-off event. This event provides a variety of literacy resources, a book fair, adorable book characters, and lots of fun activities for the kids. This is such a great event for families!

Here is just a glimpse of our afternoon...
The book fair is really heaps of boxes of books that are free! Yes, these are old, worn, well-loved books that have been donated so that they might find another reader.
My oldest is showing my little Miss J a couple of books we might just bring home.
An adorable Freshman at Marietta High read my little Miss J a book while I helped my oldest made a special bookmark.
Decorating bookmarks is serious work.
A Beautiful Saturday in Glover Park in Marietta Square.
So much to see and do!
My oldest LOVED the dancing.
The lovely "loot" my girls picked out from the free book fair.

We had fun reading through all the books we brought home today. I think my favorite out of the pile the girls brought home was Roald Dahl's The Giraffe and The Pelly and Me. (We actually did not have this Roald Dahl book.) There were lots of giggles tonight reading that book, mostly because my oldest was tickled she got to say the word Damn while reading about 10 different ways.

And I will leave you with the final line from that book because it is awesome:
"No book ever ends
When it’s full of your friends
The Giraffe and the Pelly and me."- Roald Dahl

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

To My Dearest Little Women- A Letter to My Daughters

 To My Dearest Little Women,

"Oh, the places you'll go!" "Oh, the THINKS you can Think!" My dear sweet girls, your lives are just getting started out, but please listen closely...

Remember what Shel Silverstein so magically wrote- Anything can be. 

My hope is that the two of you will build a better world than the one we live in today. Lately, I have been so overcome with all the sadness on the news. I am trying my hardest to protect you from the shootings, the violence, and the destruction by censoring what you see or hear on the TV. I know that someday I will no longer be able to protect you from all the bad news of the world, but at least for now, I can try to prepare you for what lies ahead with the books that line the shelves of our bookcases and are scattered all over our floors. My hope is that these books will nurture your minds the same way that books nurtured Matilda's mind.

When the moment comes that I can no longer protect you, I fear there will be terribly gruesome and horrible news that you will hear. And in those daunting moments when you cannot believe such horrible thing could ever happen, please think back on those nights we read the BFG by Roald Dahl.

You both may only be little girls right now, but Sophie was only a little girl when she found a way to rally the Queen and her nation to capture all those frightsome giants. Be like Sophie in this world and stand up to the giants, as frightful as it may be at times.

Study hard in school and read as much as you can, but always remember that your actions and choices will be what defines the person you will become. Make sure you use your abilities always for good- to help others, to help your community, and to help your world.

Making a meaningful life is hard. It takes a lot of hard work. And while most days will be filled with incredible happiness and joy, there will be days filled with unbearable sadness. When this happens to me, I always remember what Antoine de Saint-Exupery said in his book The Little Prince, "Tu sais...quand on est tellment triste on aime les couchers de soleil..." which translates into, "You see, one loves the sunset when one is so sad.” Find something that warms your heart and eases the sadness, and use that something to keep you going through those troubled times. Listen to your heart, because it will guide you in a way that your eyes and brain never could back towards happiness. 

Once you anchor your ship with your heart, try your hardest to keep good thoughts. Those thoughts will be the true measure of your beauty.

I hope that those good thoughts begin with fond memories of your childhood. While, I may fuss over your messy room or tell you to sit still at the dinner table, please know that I am doing my best to be a cheerful, patient, and loving parent. Frankly, I will not promise to be never be sick or tired, but I will never let being sick or tired prevent me from helping you in a time of need.  But, most importantly, I hope you look back and can say we had fun.

I may not always step in and tell you when you are heading in the wrong direction or are about to make a mistake, but know that I am always watching and waiting in the wings if you need me to catch you if you fall.

Embrace life to the fullest, even if it brings heartache. Head into the storm bravely, and always prepared for whatever may be thrown your way. It is at those moments that the wind will carry you across the sea to safety and you will find out what life is really all about.

My sweet Wild Things, I want life for you both to be a Wild Rumpus that brings incredible joy and takes you to the place where the Wild Things are or wherever it is you dream of going. And when you are ready to leave our house I will say...Please Don't Go...

As hard as it will be, I will let you go out and spread your wings. But, please always remember if you ever get lost, you can always go back to those children's books that guided you as you grew.

 And know matter how far you roam, you can always sail back to your home and supper will be waiting for you...and it will still be hot.


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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Decatur Book Festival 2013

We had a fabulous time this year at the 2013 Decatur Book Festival! We went Saturday morning for the Children's Book Parade, led by children's book author and illustrator Jerry Pinkney. Participants were encouraged to dress as their favorite children's book characters. Miss M and I decided that it would be great to have Little Miss J go as the Very Hungry Caterpillar and Miss M as the beautiful butterfly from Eric Carles' book The Very Hungry Caterpillar. My oldest and I made the costumes together, and it was great mother daughter bonding time. 

Here are some of our memories from the day...
The audience at the Children's Stage waiting for Jerry Pinkney

Jerry Pinkney reading from one of his books.

(Miss M loved that Mr. Pinkney told the crowd that his dad let him draw on the wall when he was a kid and when the wall got filled up with drawings they would repaint it to start all over.)
Little Miss J decided to sit on the street and get some reading in while waiting for her big sister to get her face painted.

So many things to see and do at the Festival

We fell in love with the Mr. Muller and Mirabelle. We got the whole set of the board books about Mirabelle.
What was even better was we got Mr. Muller and Mirabelle to sign the books. 

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