Train Up A Child Challenge: MLK Day of Service

Our MLK Day of Service (and also our January project for our Train Up A Child challenge) was to spread some multicultural literacy love. This week, I'm participating in Multicultural Children's Book Day (check back tomorrow for our book review and kids' activities!). Inspired by what I've learned from sharing in that event, Yaya and I took to our local bookstore to pick up books about Martin Luther King, Jr. and multiculturalism to share. I explained to Yaya that we were going to … [Read more...]

Project Gratitude Week 1: A Thank You Note for the President.

Last week I announced our New Year's resolution to send a thank you note each week for the year 2014. Last week, Yaya worked on her thank you note stationary. She created a pattern with her oil pastels that we had turned into stationary, and printed enough cards to last us for the year. Today they came in the mail -- and she was THRILLED to see her art work turned into a professional looking notecard! I asked her who she would like to write her first thank you note this week. I told her it … [Read more...]

New Year’s Resolutions.

Do you make New Year's Resolutions? I kind of do. Since I'm running my first half marathon this summer, one of my resolutions is to run more. This seems only logical. I'm also vowing to live more in the present -- less time on social media and the computer and more time just living fully. I've been thinking a lot about a resolution that would incorporate my kids a bit more -- and one that would help us all to grow. It finally came to me as I sat with Yaya, helping her spell words for … [Read more...]

Blog Feature and a Year in Review.

I'm honored to tell you that my post about musical activities inspired by the Nutcracker was featured on Family Fun Friday -- chosen from over 200 links shared! Be sure to check out their weekly linkup, filled with fantastic posts from so a great variety of bloggers!A YEAR IN REVIEW:I see these on blogs now and then at the end of the year -- and thought it would be fun to do one here -- especially since 2013 has been a BIG year for our family!JANUARY:I packed Joel's bags for Congo, and got … [Read more...]

Season of Giving: Roundup of Week 2

Have you been keeping up with the Season of Giving: 31 Days of Spreading Joy? Here's a roundup of the activities from Week 2: On Monday, my friend Mia shared a beautiful -- and humorous -- post about raising cheerful givers, sharing the service activities she and her daughters are participating in this month to spread joy. On Tuesday, KC EDventures shared twelve fantastic ideas for volunteering as a family over the holidays. On Wednesday, The Pleasantest Thing provided a children's … [Read more...]

Train Up A Child Challenge: An Advent Calendar to Spread Joy

I'm super excited to be participating in a blog hop this month called Season of Giving: 31 Days of Spreading Joy. Our Train Up A Child project this month is an Advent calendar, of sorts. In years past, I've done the typical piece-of-chocolate-a-day Advent calendars, but I've never loved the idea of them. Plus, it's kind of annoying to be always bargaining with your preschooler about whether or not 7:30 am is too early for chocolate or remind her constantly that she can only have ONE piece of … [Read more...]

Shop for a Cause!

Last year, as our world was opened through adoption, we began to learn about so many wonderful organizations doing truly amazing things to help people rise above poverty. As we did our shopping for Christmas gifts, it suddenly became very important to us to figure out presents that did more than just provide the receiver with a new shiny object. We sought to purchase gifts that supported adoptive families or vulnerable children. This year, we're hoping to do the same. My 4-year-old and I had … [Read more...]

Blog Makeover and My Top 10 Favorite Blogs.

Welcome to my new/old blog. My blog has outgrown Weebly and I've been thinking for awhile that I needed to switch to a Wordpress hosted site. Since I am NOT tech-savvy AT ALL, I basically copied and pasted 128 of my 200 posts from the past year-and-a-half, and then switched the domain over to Wordpress. Unfortunately, this means I lost all of my comments and pictures from old posts -- but I'll work on gradually restoring pictures to my most popular posts! All right, with all that mundane stuff … [Read more...]

Train Up A Child Month 5: A Recital for Charity

 I'm really excited to tell you about this month's Train Up A Child project, which has actually been in the works since August. Those of you who read my blog regularly or know me in real life know that I'm a piano teacher. I teach 33 students, mostly in a group lesson setting, and I am madly in love with my job and my students.Reason #5,304 that I love where I live is that the community is passionate about volunteering and giving back. We have a beloved local charity provides therapeutic … [Read more...]

Train Up A Child Month 4: Craft Bags for a Children’s Hospital

So this month's inspiration for our service project came from our dear next-door neighbor, who I predict might become my daughter's mother-in-law one day, once Yaya gets over the idea of marrying her brother (our neighbor has three handsome boys, one of whom became Yaya's best friend after she wooed him through the fence with her baritone rendition of "Edelweiss"). Anyways, our neighbor was telling us about how she had recently collected items for a children's hospital. Since Montana isn't home … [Read more...]