My Favorite Gifts – Giving, Receiving and Connecting

I like this cycle.

One gives.

One receives.

One thanks.

One smiles.

Repeat. Remember.

I love the feel good moments. Can you tell?

My mom and I love to go to garage sales for several reasons. One week she was visiting and we stopped by a friendly sale and I recognized a friend I had met years ago, briefly, and we reconnected. I love meeting people out and about our community. She used to be a kindergarten teacher and she was clearing out some of her book collection.

It was serendipity as my sister just began her teaching career and is a kindergarten teacher and could use nearly new supplies for her classroom. Mom and I looked through all the covers and my friend helped us pick out some of her favorites and we filled a crate to give to my sister, all for $10.  One new book would cost $10 and I was so happy to have a nice collection to share with her students. My friend was happy to nearly give away her books to a good cause and to support a teacher sister. And my sister was so excited to receive these gifts.

Today I received a thank you poster in the mail signed and decorated by her kindergarten class and it touched my heart. 

Saying thank you is powerful and brings us full circle to the giving and receiving and thanking cycle that creates joy and happiness for all involved.

We can make a positive change in this world by participating – by giving, by receiving, by thanking and enjoying one another and our gifts and our time.


Thank you my friend for giving us your books.

Thank you my mama for buying and bringing the books home with you and delivering them to my sister.

Thank you, my sister, for being a good role model and teaching your students the powerful process of giving and sharing thanks.

Life is good!!



Day 78 – Things We Learned in Kindergarten


I have so many things to share, that I don’t know where to begin. First, I want to thank you for reading my blog and being a part of my little life.  I’m learning that so many of you are actually enjoying my blog by the things you say privately to me, or by the messages and comments you share and I’m in awe.  We’re all connected – I love that.

So my days are busy as you can imagine and probably no busier than yours. We’re all busy – no matter where we are or what we’re dealing with and we fill the time. The only thing that has changed for me is that I’m now more efficient and don’t make any excuses for being tired, or thinking that I don’t have time. I make so many things fit into one day, that it’s really weird… maybe there’s a secret there, I don’t know. And I’m happy and don’t feel stressed, which is weird. How does that work? I don’t understand it, but I’m not complaining.

I’ll share a little run down of one day, today, in case you’re interested:

– Woke up at 5 am and forced my self to stay in bed and not check my email until 6 am. I was waiting for RC to let us know if we got the house or not. GOOD NEWS!! WE DID!!  One big burden off my chest. J and I have been scanning and searching day and night and we picked one and hope we like it. We haven’t actually seen it yet, but trusted the pictures and maps and RC’s recommendation. We’ll see it soon enough and I’m sure it’ll be great. It’s big and has room for guests and lots of natural light – what’s not to complain about that?  

– 7 am – Helped with lunches and getting the kids ready and off to school, with 2 separate drop offs

– 8:30 am – Dropped off the hand written place cards for the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon and chatted with Yaya  during our morning 15+ minute call (I’m going to miss these!!)

– 8:45 – Drove across town to take a Yoga class – I hurt my back last week playing tennis and learned that my old body needs to really stretch before and after an activity – I don’t like this aspect of aging, but sure loved Yoga

10:30 – Shopped for new clothes for my growing middle child who couldn’t fit into anything this morning. She grew over night! 

11:30 – Picked up Bunditinis from Nothing Bundt Cakes for the Teacher Luncheon today – they are so good!  

11:45 – Stopped by school to drop off the cakes and to chat with and appreciate the excellent Ponderosa School Teachers. They are amazing and giving and loving. I love them!

12:30 – Went home to shower and pick up a little bit!

1:00 – Back to school to help clean up and share some leftovers; Early dismissal!

2:30 – Pick up CJ and his friend from Middle School

3:00 – Cook dinner with Charlie and chat with the kids about their day; start homework

3:45 – Run to Costco for a couple things with J

4:15 – Home in record time! Wow – I like this efficiency thing

5:00 – Have a friend over for JC and feed them both dinner and try to get FaceTIme on both their phones so they can chat when we move. Enjoy the kids doing their art projects and playing with each other.

6:00 – Attend the wonderful PTA awards ceremony and enjoy hearing all the amazing stories of the volunteers who give so much! Congratulations especially to Brenda Jew, Emily Dodson, John and Kathi Gibb, Jenny Maehara, Elizabeth Stavis, Mrs. Wolk,  Meg Jackson, Helen Chae, Kristin Farnham, and Laurel Ross!  We have the most amazing community that just really gets life. Congrats to you all.

6:30 – Classroom celebrations – visited both JC’s and JJ’s classrooms, taking in all their work and chatting with their teachers and enjoying their accomplishments. Such a proud mama! We also squeezed in a few minutes to visit some past teachers.  We love you Mrs. Ross, Ms. Dodson, Mrs. Riley, and Mrs. Meltzer. We didn’t get to see Ms. Maehara again, but did get to congratulate her on her award.


(This was the highlight of my day. This is my wife’s daughter’s art work up on the board in Mrs. Riley’s class. Mrs. Riley was CJ’s kindergarten teacher and we stopped in to thank her again and reminisce. I had tears in my eyes when I read it and felt like it was just there for me. But how would she know? She must just know… and maybe it has nothing to do with me, but I know she’s already planning her visit to come see us in Holland and she knows where she’s gonna sleep. I love her. I lover her so much.)

7:20 pm – Dropped the kids off at home before my next meeting. They are old enough to be home alone. Isn’t that weird? They are responsible little people and take care of each other. I am lucky.  Picked up my friend and headed to my PEO meeting at the Nearly New Shop, where we had fun finding treasures!


(Did you guys ever have one of these gross and fun “toys”?  I just had to buy it (and wash it) to share with my kids and Shellee.  We both had these when we were little and stored our gum there during our naps! We liked seeing the pile get higher and higher. Eeeww… Gross… hahahaha!) Kids got a laugh out of it too.

9:00 pm – Home to be with my kiddos and letting them stay up late to watch the Final Episode of the Voice. You only live once, and if I ask them to be flexible, don’t I have to be flexible once in awhile too? They are SOO happy, and it’s a nice reward for them behaving so well while I was away. And it’s so cute to hear them giggling while I’m enjoying writing my blog with a glass of wine.

10:00 – Time to go see Lady Antebellum with the kids on the VOICE and get us all to bed.

Life is good!  Enjoy every little moment my friends.

With love and gratitude that you’re still reading!  Good night.