Monthly Archives: February 2019

Tell Your Story – Write Your Own Path

Far too often we see the mountain as the struggle and not the journey.  We allow the steep struggle uphill to blind our path and cloud our goals. The journey should shape us but not stop us.

Our stories of struggles and victories are waiting to be told.  Who better than to tell our stories than us? Far too often we let our stories be told for us. We let unknown authors write our paths. The world turns, and we turn with it.

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Story writer, Adam Braun, shares his story in The Promise of a Pencil, which began when traveling as a college student to India. He asked a begging boy on the street what he wanted most.  The boy told Braun that he wanted a pencil. From there, Braun has changed his path and the lives of many others.  Pencils of Promise has since built more than two hundred schools all over the world.  Braun shares his story and path to help others to be inspired, ignite their own passion, and find their ways.

Some of Adam’s inspirational excerpts…

For anyone going through a restless period in life, looking to make a change but not sure how, start with an ambitious but attainable goal. I set out to build just one school. Only after I realized that it was possible and how much of a difference it made in the life of others did I focus on enabling anyone else to have the same experience too. The key is to think big and then take small, incremental steps forward day by day.

Start by changing the subjects of your daily conversation from the life you are living to the life you aspire to create. By speaking the language of the person you seek to become, you will soon find yourself immersed in the conversations that make you most come alive. You’ll sense the energy you emit attracting similar energy from others. Your conversations will lead to opportunities, which will become actions, which will become footprints for good.

But you can’t keep saying, “I’ll get started tomorrow.” The world has far too many problems, and you are way too smart and capable to not tackle them.  Your time is now.

As humans we are natural storytellers. We weave narrative into nearly every relationship  we build and value. …Regardless of age or status, if you’re not satisfied with the path you’re on, it’s time to rewrite your future. Your life should be a story you are excited to tell.

It requires strength of imagination. It relies on that ability we each possess to suspend belief in the restraints of today to enable the possibilities of tomorrow. Most of all…each morning that we make a choice to bring positive or negatively into the world, and that with every single person there lies an extraordinary story waiting to unfold.  (p.249-251)

Stop. Pick up your pencil and have the courage to share it with others. Write your own story. Find your own path. Let your imagination guide your way. You are your best storyteller of you. Write your path. Today.

BLOG TODAY is Your Day

Thanks, Adam Braun, for sharing your story – your change. It all begins with a pencil.

Braun, A. (2014). The promise of a pencil: How an ordinary person can create extraordinary change. New York, NY: Scribner.

Stay Calm & Write On to Change On!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V. 

The Houses that Built Us

Blog Paw Patrol

My hubby and I had the enjoyment of taking our two middle grandchildren to the Paw Patrol Live! The Great Pirate Adventure last Wednesday in Sioux Falls, SD. What a fun, interactive show it was. I think grandma and grandpa had just as much fun (if not more) as the kids did, waving our Jolly Rogers and yelling “PIRATE PARROT” every time we’d spot that sneaky little bird. It was 85-minutes of adventure that kept our eyes on the stage.

After the show was over, we let the 3 and 4 year old choose where they’d like to have lunch. Of course they picked McDonald’s. 😉🍟🍔

Blog McDonalds

I share this little story because later that evening, sitting by the fireplace, my husband and I began to share memories of when we were younger. He said he could count on one hand how many times he had been to McDonald’s as a kid. For me, it was never. And off we went down memory lane sharing many interesting facts about the homes that built us.

I think my favorite story of his was about where his childhood home came from. His mom and dad moved an old country school house onto their home place and added a basement, a kitchen, and remodeled inside. My mother-in-law was a school teacher back in the early 50’s, married in the 50’s to a gentleman with the last name of Schoolmeester, then went back to teaching after her 6th child left home.

So…think about that. It just makes my heart smile. 😍 My beautiful, God-loving mother-in-law was a school teacher living in an old country school house whose last name was Schoolmeester. That was a whole lot of schools right there. I adored her.

Blog Wilma

One more story my hubby shared that I found intriguing was his bedroom was on the third floor of that old country school house, and it was cold up there. He liked the fact that his bedroom had a clothes shoot in it. He would head to the basement, open the clothes shoot down there so the heat from the wood burning stove would meander up to his bedroom.

Our homes we grew up in have helped shape who we are today. I’m sure you’ve started to think of many memories from your home. Maybe some good and maybe some not so good.

I’d like to share an activity I’ve used in my Children’s Literature course to allow my teacher candidates the opportunity to share memories of their homes, and how those homes have shaped them into who they are today as a future teacher.

Blog House that Jack Built

After reading a favorite Little Golden Book classic called The House that Jack Built, I ask my students to flip around the last two words in the title and fill in the blank with their name: The House that Built ____________. As best as they can, they rewrite the story using the same format as the book, sharing with us about the house that built them into the person they are now.

Even though this can be a challenging assignment for college kids, I believe it is one that elementary children could be successful with. Their success will depend on OUR delivery of the assignment. 😊👍

Take a few moments today and enjoy memories of the house that built you. And, if you ever get a chance to go to Paw Patrol Live! The Great Pirate Adventure it is worth every minute!!! Argh…⚓😊

Blog Paw Patrol Fun

Stay Calm & Remember!
Profs Dr. Wendy. & Dr. V.

Grandma…You Have Blue Teeth 😳

Blog Dentist Animal

My granddaughter and I were playing with her dolls the other day. She said something silly which triggered a good ole belly laugh in me.  Though she started out laughing with me, she stopped and just looked at me with this serious look on her face. I quit giggling to ask her if she was okay. Very concerned she whispered, “Grandma, you have blue teeth.”

Tooth be told…😆 I got a little concerned. You know how your mind starts to go through scenarios and gets all twisted up like spaghetti? I thought…did I drink something blue? Did I suck on something blue? Did I chew something blue? And…as quickly as those thoughts flew into my mind, they soared right back out. I knew. I knew what she saw.

I am from the ‘olden days.’ Back when we had cavities, our teeth were filled with silver. UGH!!! Well…after about 45 years of that silver taking up long term residency in my tooth, it has stained the whole tooth and it’s a gross gray. My granddaughter saw blue. 🤦‍

Being the elementary teacher that I am, I used this opportunity as a teachable moment. How much this 4-year old little girl grasped about cavities and silver and how lucky she is because fillings are now white is questionable. But, I went into full teacher mode and she got the full lesson on taking care of her teeth. Floss as much as you can! Brush twice a day. Visit the dentist, sweet girl. Poor thing…all she wanted to do was play dolls. 🤷‍

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. The American Dental Association’s slogan for 2019 is “Brush and clean in between to build a healthy smile.” Back when I was teaching 3rd graders, the school nurse always came into my classroom during February and my students got to chew on red tablets. They certainly got a kick out of it, and thought it was funny to show off their red-toothed smile! Do they still do that? The ADA offers activity sheets on dental health regardless if your school nurse comes in or not. Click here to check them out. If The Dentist Were An Animal written by Rachel Grider and illustrated by Summer Morrison is a cute book to read with your students. There are many dental health children’s books to choose from. Check out google for other titles.

I brush at least twice a day, floss at least twice a day, and irrigate twice a day. Plus, I’m fortunate to get to visit the dentist every six months. At my age, I’m doing everything in my power to keep my teeth. Want to join me? Let’s take care of our teeth together…even if they are blue. 😉 Happy National Children’s Dental Health Month.

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Photo credit: American Dental Association

Stay Calm & Brush, Floss, Irrigate!
Profs Dr. Wendy. & Dr. V.