Monday, January 20, 2014

Martin Luther King Day

One simple word.
Anyone can do this.

“Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968);
minister, civil rights activist

I find that when I serve others I get this total feeling in me that makes me feel very good.  Sometimes I wonder if we think that serving others means a lot of extra time, energy and effort on our part.  But it doesn't have to.  I have found that it is little things.  Just being thoughtful and seeing what others need and seeing how I can help meet that need.  It might be a smile. A listening ear.  Empathizing with them.  Sharing a meal or giving them a ride. Taking care of someone's child for them.  Scooping a sidewalk or just lending a hand.
There are so many role models who have gone on before us that we can learn from MLK is one of them.  
Martin Luther King did so much that we can learn from.  One word descriptions that I hope make us think about how we live our lives and what are we doing to make a difference.
I found a place where there are numerous quotes of MLK's.  They are all headed by one word.  They inspire me.  They make me think and they challenge me.  Please check them out by clicking here.  I hope you will be inspired too.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Julia Cook Rocks S-O Elementary for the 5th time!

Julia was back again to share her newest books and we did it up in style. Since this was her 5th visit to our school we decided to do a little extra. All of our classrooms decorated their doors with a theme of one of her books. I couldn't decide which book to go with since I use all of them. So, I wrote letters to "Kid Counselor" from the person featured in most of her books telling their problem and asking for help.  Of course as a counselor I can easily help these kids because of Julia's books.

Here is Julia standing at my door of letters.

Here is the letter I wrote to Julia thanking her for all her books.

Here are letters from "Eli" from the Can in Cancer book which features our very own 3rd grader, Eli.  It was great to have Julia share "their" book with the students.  STAY STRONG ELI!

We started off our day with an assembly with our 2nd to 4th graders.  To welcome Julia, I presented a gift to her, which was a song I wrote including "stuff" about a number of her books.  Working on getting that made into a YouTube video for all of you to enjoy.

Julia was a HIT!  to say the least.  She even shared with our 5th and 6th graders in the middle school which they loved because they grew up hearing her books during my time in the classroom with them in elementary.
I want to now take you on a tour of our elementary so you can see all the cool doors!
Mrs. Elser's door to the gym and PE classes based on the book My Mom Thinks She's My Volleyball Coach But She's Not.

Mrs. Runia's class had fun showing how their volcano mouth's can sometimes cause a problem.

Mrs. Wedge's 4th grade class told how they have been good friends based on the book 
Making Friendship is an Art.

Mrs. Strandberg's 4th graders shared other things to do than play video games after reading
But It's Just A Game.

Mrs. VanderVeen's Class shared about the Bully B.E.A.N.S. book.

Mrs. Thole's class enjoyed learning about worrying from Wilma Jean the Worry Machine.

Miss Diekevers Soda Pop Head

Julia being a VERB! for Mrs. Schuller's 3rd graders.

Mrs. Helmers 2nd grade class with their Worries for Wilma Jean!

Mrs. Miedema's class took a look at teasing with The Tease Monster.

Mrs. Hansen's class told when they were afraid to Drop.

Mrs. Heyn's got all wrapped up in Bubble Wrap.

Mrs. Jurgens class told about their Volcano Mouths.

Mrs. Ochsendorf's class shared that Friendship is an Art.

Mrs. Tutje's class made a memory tree with Snowflakes.

Mrs. DeJong and Mrs. Mertes classes teamed up to do a friendship bulletin board.

Mrs. Roseberry's class shared their Tattle Tongues.

Mrs. Bevers class told about listening to your good side if you have Sticky Fingers.

Miss Heidi's class is full of cute little boogers--we hope that is the only kind.

Well, that is our hall tour of doors.  It sure was fun to have Julia visit again.  
We were very fortunate to hear her read her newest book which will be released soon on BRAGGING.
Wonder what we will do for the 6th visit she makes?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Spoonful of Sweetness Book Blog Tour!

I feel so special today because I have been asked to share a NEW BOOK!!!!
I tend to be a book-aholic and L.O.V.E. it when I find a new one to read.  Author Maria Dismondy has shared her latest book which is out this week.  Spoonful of Sweetness and other delicious manners is a great little board book with a big message to share with the little kiddos.  Besides all of our fussing over little ones, reading books to them is a MUST.  Well, Maria has come up with a real winner once again.
She has chosen 6 words, very important words I might add, that get those who hear this book read to them used to some important character words.  In my opinion, people who show manners are also exhibiting good character.  The words she chose to focus on are:
I'm not sure which is my favorite because they are all so important.   Maria gives a simple example for each one of these words....things that we want to see our little ones do.
Holding this book in my hands brought me back to the days when I would sit and read little board books to my girls.  That has been 18 years ago.....and the amazing thing is these words are still important for my oldest daughter as she prepares to leave for college!  So, I couldn't help but sit my girls down (too big for my lap) and share the book with them.
What is the best thing to give new babies?  A book of course.  What a great way to encourage literacy and with this one start them on the road to "delicious manners".

If you would like a chance to win a copy Maria's new book, just leave a comment.  I will contact a winner on Monday, January 20 and Maria will send you an autographed copy!

Be sure to check out this book and other awesome books by Maria at her website,

Some additional Maria Info:
Maria Dismondy is a #1best-selling children's book author, former teacher, and highly sought-after speaker. Spoonful of Sweetness is her 5th children's book.
Maria has a passion for spreading an anti-bullying message and making a difference in her writing, public speaking, blogging and charity work. She lives in southeastern Michigan with her husband and children.