Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Thursday, March 19, 2020


Amidst all the "sheltering" and "distancing" precautions in answer to the Corona Virus outbreak, there seems to be the happy consequence of many families re-connecting and discovering closeness and the simple things in life.  

No sports, no schools or churches open, no eating out, no movie theaters, lots of parents working from home...we are all being forced to slow down a little and "live in the moment" as we navigate our new normal. 

Hopefully that means we aren't panicking and spending hours with the news and social media, but instead are taking time to talk, play games, pray and cook together, and read more with our families - appreciate each other, and find joy and beauty in the ordinary. 

It is not from external circumstances, but internal attitudes that sorrows and joys are born.
- St. John Chrysostom

And let's not forget those who are alone, infirm, sick, or unable to care for themselves.  They need our prayers, phone calls, cards, and letters now more than ever.  

I was reminded of this when my friend asked for prayers for her sister and niece, who are in separate care facilities and confined to their rooms.  She is trying to figure out little things she can do to help them through this difficult time of isolation.

Did you notice that today is the first day of Spring?  I think it's a great time to think about Spring-ing into Action!  I looked through my stash of Trader Joe's cards and will be sending some off to my friend's loved ones.  

Here are a few other quick ideas I came up with to help others through this time of temporary isolation. Please share yours!
  • If you have children who like to paint or draw, you could encourage them to [wash their hands well and] make cards to send out to local shut-ins. Start with your own neighbors!
  • Be a pen[computer]pal - you or your kids can send daily emails with family updates to any older family members or loved ones who are quarantined. 
  • Send a new mom, who may be feeling extra overwhelmed with being home with limited help, a pack of diapers, or a gift card, or have a meal delivered to her and her family from a nearby restaurant.
  • If you are healthy and not quarantined, check and see if your local food bank needs help packing up boxes for seniors or those in need.
  • Facetime, Skype, or send a video to a child in your life who would love to hear you read aloud a story.
  • Brighten a child's day with inexpensive activity books or little gifts you can buy online and mail (I recently ordered Star Wars Mad Libs for our grandsons and bath tub toys for our granddaughter.) Picture books, chapter books, stickers, hair bows, coloring books, and bath products are fun options.
  • Find child-friendly recipes that your kids can help out with; and then serve your family a special candle-lit dinner.
  • Send or drop off a beautiful live plant to someone.
  • Share a roll of toilet paper with someone.  I'm serious.  Not sure what the toilet paper shortage is about, but last week we nearly fell into the "uh-oh-we're-almost-out-of-TP-what-now" Category, until my husband discovered a big pack we'd forgotten we had in the garage!  I've now given rolls away to two friends, and we still have plenty.  They're relieved and I'm happy to have shared.
  • Listen to music, play the piano, scrapbook, garden, journal, read (especially the Psalms), try writing some poetry, get out and walk, have a family talent show.  Limit screen time, social media, and news.
  • Remember to SMILE - at your postman, your check-out clerk/cashier, and anyone else you come into (6 foot away) contact with. 
  • Pray. Everyday. For the whole world.

You may find my other posts helpful:

Family Read Alouds:

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