More Treasury Fun

When was the last time you got a whole lotta fancy on a frugalista’s budget? Right now you can gift your favorite young reader with a double dose of Fancy Nancy treasuries without breaking the bank. Best-selling author Jane O’Connor teams up with ultra-talented illustrator Robin Preiss Glasser to once again take youngsters on a resplendent ride to Fancyville. At the helm of the grandiose getaway is the one and only Fancy Nancy.  The girl with the vibrant vocabulary and whimsical wardrobe is back in Fancy Nancy Storybook Treasury.  The sturdy hardcover book features six stupendous stories filled with teachable … Continue reading

Sweaters That Will Make You Cry

  Can a sweater make you cry? Oh yes. Yes it can. You may think that this is about the annual search for the ugliest Christmas sweater. It is not. This is about the lovely story of Loes Veenstra. Since 1955, she kept busy knitting over 500 sweaters, which she stored in her apartment. A woman named Chris Meindertsma discovered the sweater collection. She wrote a book featuring the sweaters, which document many eras of sweater knitting. The sweaters will also be featured in a display about life in Rotterdam. Yes. So why am I crying? It’s because of this … Continue reading

Writing a Family Tree Book

There are several reasons that you may want to write a family tree book. You may want to include the stories you’ve learned about your ancestors while researching your family tree. You may also know that it would be a nice item to pass down to future generations. You could write a family tree book by simply creating a document in a word processing program on your computer and doing it yourself. This is very simple to do. Using your preferred word processing program, create a new document. If you wish, you can add clipart or photographs within the document. … Continue reading

All about ‘The Night Before Christmas’

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse… (This image comes from the Project Gutenberg archives. This is an image that has come from a book or document for which the American copyright has expired and this image is in the public domain in the United States and possibly other countries.) Most of us are very familiar with the poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” but you may not know very much about it. First of all, no one is really sure who wrote it. It is usually attributed … Continue reading

Using Stories to Help you Parent

For centuries, tribes of people have used stories as a way of teaching values, sharing history and information, and even teaching children about the world around them and the role they are expected to play in it. As a parent, we too can use stories to help us to guide and teach our children and stories can also be a way of injecting some fun and humor into your parenting. While you can find children’s books about just about any and every topic that might come up in your household—and books can be a great way to introduce ideas and … Continue reading

The Way You Tell Your Family Stories May Change

Stories change. As our perception and our life experiences change and change us, the way we look back and see what has happened to us is changed as well. When we are in the midst of a difficult separation or divorce, or have just been through a traumatic loss–we may tell our family story one way, while year’s later, the story takes on a bit of a different patina. This is healthy and typical and can be a sign that you are moving through stages and growing. Think back over any romance or friendship or even a job you have … Continue reading

The Step-Parent Fairy Tale

I would like to go on record as saying this is all really my opinion–I’m not trying to pick on step-parents or step-families or even movies and books–BUT, I’ve just about had it with movies and stories that depict a benevolent person coming in and “saving” the single parent family. Let me explain… There seems to be this myth perpetuated in our modern pop culture–it’s not the mean and nasty, evil step-parent myth, but the story line goes something like this: poor, struggling single parent and miserable children stumbling along, then handsome/beautiful suitor comes along who is eager to get … Continue reading

Summer Activity—Writing a Family Biography

I wrote yesterday about how to go about collecting stories from grandparents—or how to encourage our kids to get their grandparents to talk to them about history and such. Last night, while talking with my oldest daughter, we were remembering a writing project we did one summer as a family where we worked on writing down some of those stories and writing up a family biography. I thought it might be a good project to share here for other parents who are looking for a good family project as the “boring days” of summer set it… Kids love to hear … Continue reading

The “Joke” Stage

The other day, I heard two young children talking on the bus—they were taking turns telling each other jokes that they appeared to be making up on the spot. While I didn’t exactly understand the humor behind each joke they told, they certainly were tickled with themselves and each other and it reminded me of when my own children were going through the “joke” stage. It was all about trying to make up and tell silly and amusing jokes. Story-telling and jokes become great fun for children around the time they enter elementary school. 5-8 year-olds are prime members of … Continue reading

How the Stars Got Into the Sky

Have you heard the tales of the Native American trickster, Coyote? Sometimes Coyote is a helper and sometimes he is not, but he is always interesting. This is a tale of Coyote and how the stars got into the sky. A long time ago, when the world was young, there were no stars in the sky. The sky above was like a thick, blue blanket — the only light was the moon. A mystical man who could make things from fire thought it would be a very good idea to place shining balls of fire into the sky to make … Continue reading