* Puppets galore!

Check out this awesome nonprofit organization, Puppet Show Inc. Founded by Kathie Guild, long-time guidance counselor and puppeteer extraordinaire, Puppet Show provides a wealth of opportunities for social-emotional learning, creativity, puppet creation, and family interactions. In fact, these are the kinds of activities promoted by Katherine Reynolds Lewis in her book, “The Good News About Bad Behavior.” Spending quality family time is key to improving behavior. Consider this kind of engaging community event instead of screen time. If you live in Orange, Durham, or Chatham counties in North Carolina, you won’t want to miss out on a performance.

Cilick here to watch a short video of kids enjoying shows and creating take-home puppets

Puppet Show is special for many reasons, one being that it provides free, unique opportunities for kids in communities who are typically don’t have access to performances with such strong social learning and literacy.

As a board member of this nonprofit and a long-time teacher of social skills and literacy, I can guarantee that this is a worthwhile endeavor reaching hundreds of children each year!

When you shop at AmazonSmile, Amazon donates .5% to Puppet Show Incorporated!
smile.amazon.com/ch/82-2538357.

* Would You Like a Reblog? Leave a Link

This is an intriguing way to expand your readership. It’s given me a chance to explore a much wider range of blogs. Have you tried this out?

Dream Big, Dream Often

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It has been a while since I have done this, but with a new year comes new posts.  If you would like me to reblog your post YOU must do 2 simple things:

  1.  Reblog this thread post to your readers
  2. Then leave a link to your post in the comments.  Please keep in mind I only reblog Blog posts.  I do not promote non-blog links or blogs who are selling wares.

Tit for tat, you reblog my post, I reblog yours.  It might take a few days, but eventually I will get to your link…promise.  🙂

Danny

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* More on the good news about misbehavior

I am still processing the excellent book, “The Good News About Bad Behavior,” by Katherine Reynolds Lewis. Lewis describes four types of parenting styles (and I like to think of them as teaching styles, too): authoritative, authoritarian, indulgent, and uninvolved.

If you are a parent or teacher, which style best describes you? Do you use punishment and rewards to control your kids? Do you try to be their best friend? Are you distant or spend most of your time at work or away? Are you mostly concerned about “covering the material” without connecting emotionally?

Lewis argues that an authoritative parenting style is most effective. Could you be described as a calm adult who holds kids responsible but allows them to learn from mistakes? Do you refrain from criticizing while allowing kids to experience natural consequences?

One important takeaway from examining parenting styles is that it’s okay to be our imperfect selves. When upset, we are more likely to regress to the type of parenting style we experienced, which may have been authoritarian or indulgent. If we are honest with kids, admitting that we messed up or missed what they needed, we teach them that we can learn from mistakes- and so can they. We are modeling a healthy response to imperfection.

Notice that communicating about problems is key to effective parenting and teaching. More on that next!

Courtship vs. Dating: The Breakdown

Great points from an awesome blogger! He covers it ALL.

A Thomas Point of View

I believe that we have confused courtship with dating…

Dating is what most people in the American culture do. Courtship is what most people in the American culture aspire to do, but conform to dating because either they don’t know how to court, they realize dating is easier, or they have been socialized and conditioned to find their mate one way, not the other.

Please stop using the word, “courtship” when you are actually speaking about dating.

What is Courtship?

Courtship is a mutual partnership, a journey together with the intended purpose of marriage (from the beginning). Courtship is intentional and purposeful.

Courtship is focus on marriage (or lifelong companionship). This happens from the door, not months down the road.

Men get antsy when the “M” word is mentioned. Why? A man that is intentional with a woman won’t get nervous at the sound of the word, “marriage.” In courtship…

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* Death by paint chip

Preparing to paint the family room has become a full-time occupation for me and my dearest teaching widower. It may lead to murder because I am sick of trying to decide what looks best and have no sense of color, anyway. Family, friends, and anyone who dares to enter our house are quizzed on their preferences, too. I think I saw my widower chatting with the UPS driver.

My dearest widower is offering a prize to the reader who can identify the paint color “Modern History” in the photo below. I think he likes that color best for our walls, but that’s a perpetually changing preference. Not sure what the prize is, but let me know if you can find it and I’ll do something for you. Maybe I’ll paint your family room.

We’re matching rocks or trees or something.

We’re already on our second print for the main wall (we ordered a small version to check out the colors). I like this one of Bridal Veil Falls in Yosemite because we once hiked to the top of the falls. I thought we were going to tumble to our deaths because the rocks were so slick with water and moss. We made it then, but our relationship has hit more rocky steps over these ruddy paint chips!

I’m hoping we can make a decision before I destroy all the chips. Or worse.

* The good news about misbehavior

I am thrilled with a ground-breaking book called, “The Good News About Bad Behavior,” by Katherine Reynolds Lewis. Published last April, this book presents thorough and up-to-date evidence that we are dealing with a brand new world of trouble- and hope. I’ll summarize this fascinating book across several posts, but one huge takeaway is that screen time has changed the brains and behavior of children and teens.

I was saddened and shocked to learn that by five years old, the typical kid is fastened to a screen for four and a half hours a day, which is about 40% of their waking time. This early exposure to the developing brain is NOT a good thing. This trend follows the same trajectory among teens, with the added component of social media and the anxiety that produces. Just remember, there’s bad news and good news! More to come!

* Ten Things of Thankful

I’ve been erratically posting to the Ten Things of Thankful blog for a while now, thankful that no one is keeping score!  And here is my current countdown:

1.  A restful Christmas vacation, much needed and much appreciated.

2.  Plans to repaint and redecorate our family room.  Since my dear teaching widower got to turn our living room into a home theater, I decided on a bear theme for this room. Martin Minkling and Rufus will have a new home.

3.  Some snow this winter! 

We got 4 more inches on top of this! Whee!

4.  A new puppet friend for social studies (and yes, you may ask about that).

5.  The first of a few new bear prints.  No pun intended.

From greatbigcanvas.com

6.  Relief that my dearest teaching widower and I both agreed to nix the bear eyes print below.  Caution: Extended viewing may lead to paranoia.

brown bear eyes

7.  Time to blog.  This will likely come to an end next Monday.

8.  No flu.

9.  A new REAL camera, with special thanks to Cee for her inspiration and help. I’m gonna be Cee one day!

10.  Good Karma, which is a delicious flaxseed “milk” with no added sugar and lots of protein.

* Get a flu shot?

It’s too late for me to change my mind, and my doctor is convinced this was the right decision, but I wish I hadn’t gotten a flu shot. I’ve had flu shots regularly for years and they almost always make me sick. And I still get the flu. Last year, H2N3 leveled me for a couple of months.

This time, my reaction to the shot was unusual. First, I was sort of manic and lost my already-thin social cognition. I laughed wildly about very personal topics with two receptionists at a radiology clinic. I also went shopping for school stuff after that, which could have been a financial disaster. Thankfully, a growing sense of fatigue cut my journey short. When I got home, I told my dearest teaching widower that I felt odd and he nodded kindly. Of course.

By that afternoon, I had severe chills and went to bed. My widower covered me in layers of down comforters and fetched a heating pad. I could not feel any warmth from the pad, even on its highest setting. I insisted that it was broken, but he put his hand under the covers and said, “No! It’s very hot!”

Of course, I was burning hot when I woke the next day and could not cool down. I felt feverish and achy. That evening, I started itching and felt like I’d been nibbled all over by ticks. After a few doses of Benadryl, I finally slept. I’m still itchy but overall, this wasn’t the worst experience I’ve had with the flu shot. Still….

This won’t hurt a bit!

What do you think? Are flu shots worth it? Have you experienced strange side effects or am I just weird? Maybe you shouldn’t answer that.

* My kingdom for an editor

I will not break my self-imposed rule about publically reviewing a book I cannot give 5 stars.

I’m currently reading a detective series that has a lot going for it. The plots are quite clever, they all have happy endings (4.999 stars right there), and the characters are believable. If only I could edit them for the author! Argh! My brain won’t let me glide past numerous incredible errors, perhaps because some are quite humorous. Here’s a sentence I’ve created using a few of my favorites:

As I rode into the town with its population of $7000, I gave up the reigns of my horse because I was Busched.

What? Were the books written on an iPhone? I’ve had some seriously awkward word substitutions with Siri, so I sympathize. Sort of. I was trying to find the key to our storeroom (shed) while my dear teaching widower was out of town. He has this unhappy habit of popping keys in his jacket pockets and driving off into the sunset. And yeah, I was dictating this while dr*****, too.

Me: Do you have the sh#! key?

Him: What?

Me: The sh*@ key.

Him: What?

Me: Did you put it in your pocket?

Him: What?

Me: The sh@! key! I need to spray the deer.

Him: WHAT?