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Honoring Veterans

Veterans Day was Sunday and many of us are taking today off in honor of veterans - those who have put their lives on the line for our country.  Most of us know a veteran, our father, brother, family member or friend, and we hear their stories and can’t possibly relate to what they have experienced for us.  Then there’s those who have lost their lives or have lost a loved one for OUR freedom and for OUR future.

How do we teach this to our children?  How do we help them understand the purpose of Veteran’s Day?  To them it’s a parade of soldiers and waving flags and BBQ’s with family.  How do we teach them that it is a day of Gratitude?  A day of honoring and saying thank you to those for putting their lives on the line for us.  There are stories that are told and pictures in albums, but what better way to help a children learn than by reading.

Here are a few of my favorite military children’s books, with short excerpts, to help young readers understand the purpose of Veteran’s Day.  Great classroom books and stories for home.  Click on the book if you’re interested in ordering.

Joe Biden’s wife, Jill, tells a story through a child’s eyes of what family life is like when a parent is at war across the world.

Written by the son of a career officer, this book explores the branches of the Armed Services and speaks from the heart about the honor, privileges and sacrifices of military families everywhere.  With an underlying message of courage and commitment that every child can relate to, the book will be especially meaningful to those whose parents, siblings or other relatives serving in the Armed Forces.

A letter from Dad, who is deployed in the Middle East, prompts the young narrator to muse on what his father is going through and how he represents a better breed of superhero.

Amanda understands her dad is making the world a better place, but it doesn’t make his deployment any easier.  As Amanda wishes for her dad to enjoy good meals, make new friends, and return safely, the little tree comes to life with yellow ribbons of hope.

Chris Demarest’s dynamic alphabet book honors the men and women who have served, are serving, or will serve in our armed forces — and will thoroughly engage young readers and adults.

We ordered Alpha Bravo Charlie and Maddie’s grandpa can’t wait to have her sit on his lap, read to her, and tell his stories of being in the Air Force during Vietnam, when we visit him in CA next month.

God Bless the Military for all they have done and continue to do! May we remember all those who fought in wars today and always, so that we may stay safe and be a country with freedom!

Do you have a family member who has served in the military or has been drafted?  How do you teach your children the importance of Veteran’s Day?  Would love to hear about it and hear your personal story.

Olympics Start Tomorrow!

 

 

How have you been getting ready for the London Olympics?  We might not be Olympic training around here, but we have certainly been keeping a close eye on who to watch!  One of our favorite Olympic sports to watch is swimming, so we will definitely be front and center when Lochte and Phelps are racing neck to neck.  Yesterday, I was watching an interview with Lochte and he definitely swims to his own paddle!  He will be exciting to see!  And, of course, I will also be cheering on my fellow female swimmer, Missy Franklin in all seven events.  Will she break another world record for women?  I hope so, Go Missy!  We are also huge gymnast fans around here.  My husband has a lot of gymnasts on his side of the family.  So without a doubt, we will be watching and rooting for Jordyn Wieber with her already 13 medals and who was crowned the World All Around champion last year.  Exciting!!

Maddie has been getting ready for her first Olympics by reading Olympig by Victoria Jamieson.  Well, more like, mommy reading as Maddie points and grabs the pages.  Olympig is a good story for kids to learn about determination and motivation.  Children learn about not giving up when the odds are against them, and having a goal and working towards it.  I’ve also been reading to Maddie a classic London story book.  It’s too advanced for her now, but I retell the story in a shorter and more simplified way, as she follows along looking at the colorful illustrations.  She seems to really enjoy it!

Something I like to do is give Maddie books for notable times in her life, such as trips, random holidays, special events, and write a personal note to her on the inside cover.  It’s an inexpensive keepsake and a book is something that will keep on giving.  Hopefully, when she pulls This is London by Miroslav Sasek off the shelf years from now, it will be a reminder of where she was during her first Summer Olympics, and it might just be a little keepsake for mommy as well :)

Do you plan on watching the Olympics?  If so, what event are you most excited about?  I would love to hear about it.

Until next ride,

Amy

Needing Some Humor?

 

Time to take a midweek break and laugh a little!  I was at the book store looking for something new to read for me and Maddie, and came across this book.  I thumbed through it and found myself in hysterics!  Something I was really needing.  As I continued to read, let loose and take time to laugh a little, I had completely forgotten about Maddie who was wandering aimlessly through the isles pulling books off the shelves.  I couldn’t help but keep reading and enjoy a little humor at the expense of all the things that irk us moms!  Then, realizing I wasn’t hearing the thud of books falling in the distance, I just knew, Maddie was up to something else.  I peeked around the corner and I was right!  She was climbing the bookshelf ladder!  I again found myself laughing, at a similar situation I had just read in this book.  Sometimes you just need a little laughter to lighten things up.

Are you a city or suburbian mom needing a little humor to lighten up your day?  If so, I’m sure you can appreciate the witty and creative comments from this author.  Click on the book if you would like to find out more or order.

Until next ride,

Amy

Coffee Anyone?

 

Today is gloomy and rainy.  What better day to head out to one of my favorite coffee shops in the city, Amy’s Bread!  No, not because it’s named Amy, but for everything else that makes grabbing a coffee in the city enjoyable.  This West Village coffee and bread hot spot has a European cozy charm with only a few intimate bistro tables, the smell of bread baking as you enter, and corner windows with perfect views for people and cabby watching, while you bite into some delicious fresh bread and sip coffee from grande mugs without handles.  Amy’s is more known for their European style breads rather than coffee, but in my opinion, they are both exceptional!  In November 2010, Dessert Professional Magazine, named Amy one of the Top 10 Best Bread Bakers in America.   Their breads can also be found in many high-end restaurants around the city, that don’t bake their own bread.  Not to mention, this corner bakery is in the heart of one of my favorite neighborhoods, the West Village.  Are you ready for some coffee, yet?  I am!  I’ll meet you there!

Each of their twist breads have unique flavors, and looking at how the breads are displayed, it’s fun just picking one out!  What should we choose today?

I tried to order something different, but couldn’t resist my favorite, Sourdough Twist With Chocolate!  So yummy!!  Always tempted to go back for seconds.  Also, no grande, just a small coffee for me today, still counting baby calories.  Got to cut somewhere, just not from my Twist!

If you’re interested in pasteries and cupcakes, I am!  Above is Amy’s dessert cookbook.  I haven’t tried any recipes yet, but might for the holidays!  Click on the image above to order or find out more from Amazon.

Where do you enjoy having your coffee or tea or whatever you fancy?  I would love to hear about it.  Have a great weekend!

Until next ride,

Amy

It’s Here! It’s Here!

We have been checking the mail for the last two years anxiously awaiting, not giving up hope, and blaming the poor mailman!  Here is an example of our evening conversations, after checking the mail, over this long awaited time…

Dean: Did it arrive Amy?

Amy:  Not today, honey…

Dean: Do you think they’ll really publish it?

Amy:  I hope so, but not sure…

Dean: Should you check on it?

Amy:  I have been…

Dean: Ok, we probably won’t recognize ourselves once it does get published, because we’ll be so old!

Amy:  Speak for yourself!  I plan on looking the same as I did on our wedding day 20 years from now!  {well, that’s what I thought before I had a baby :) }

Dean: Of course honey :)

Drum roll…trumpets please…announcement…it’s here!  Two years in the making, or two years of Amy following up so we don’t get lost in the wedding paper shuffle, is our debut in Melbourne Bride Destination!  We were hoping for a tiny spot in the corner, but to our surprise, got four pages!!  It’s an Aussie magazine, so tough to get your hands on, since they don’t mail out of Australia.  But, so cool to know we are in a magazine!  Probably my first and last time in a magazine, so I’m going to dwell in it for a while.  Here it is…take a peek…

Looking at these pictures and reading the write-up brings back so many fun and happy memories with family and friends.  I feel like I could do it all over again…

I can’t believe we have been married for two years already.  How time flies, especially with a 14 month old.  And, your calculations are correct.  Maddie blessed us shortly after we were married.  Celebrating our one year anniversary, at home, with our three week old daughter could not have made the first year of marriage more memorable.  She is truly the icing on the cake, no wedding pun intended!

Is there something you hold onto, or have, that reminds you of a special time?  I would love to hear about it.

Until next ride,

Amy

 

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