Archives for November 2013

In November

Author:  Cynthia Rylant
Illustrator:  Jill Kastner


There is a wonderful lesson to be learned in this story – and it just happens to be the very first sentence.

In November, the earth in growing quiet.

imagesWhy do I say that is a wonderful lesson?  Perhaps because once November arrives, we begin to fill our days with an abundance of planning, fretting, shopping, baking, and generally overlooking the precious and meaningful reasons for why we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas.  This gently written story with its peaceful illustrations has a way of bringing a smile to  your heart.  As you gaze at the forest creatures preparing for winter, the farmyard cats curling up in the corners of the barn,  you’ll surely snuggle closer to your little readers.


Food is better in November than any other time of year.

Oh! Can’t you smell it? Oranges, pumpkin pies, cinnamon,  and apple cider!  What a special time it is when families travel far just to share a meal with one another and give thanks for all of our many blessings.

This is a perfect read aloud to share this season with those you love.  Curl up and enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of this special time of year!

Mary Byrne Kline

1. Can you name a bird that flies south in winter? Can you name a bird that stays?

2. Where did the bees go for the winter?

3. Name 3 things you are thankful for.


Change their Perspective

photo-3One of the desires of my heart is to have my children grasp how important it is to be a part of something bigger than them. To participate in the greater good. To reach out of their comfort zones to love on people and join God in the work He is doing. It is nothing that can be forced, but something that must be modeled.

Last year, a friend of our family’s called to ask if we wanted to help their family make Thanksgiving dinner for a local shelter. We were thrilled to have the opportunity and happily agreed. Our two families shared the duties of making various dishes. We were able to help serve the meal and even sit down with families in the shelter and share Thanksgiving dinner together.

As many of you know, with small children this can be a challenge so we were able to find a sitter for our youngest boys (1 and 3) and took our 5, 13, and 15 year old daughters with us. My mom was in town and helped us cook as well as serve. I was so thankful she could be a part!

Watching my girls interact with the children there, made my heart swell with love and adoration for them. My older two jumped right in while my five year old had some difficulty adjusting. She was able to participate after watching her big sister’s example.

We left there after breaking bread with people who didn’t look like us or live like us and our perspective had changed. We were no longer consumed with whether or not we should make pumpkin pie or sweet potato pie. The petty things of our day had all taken a back seat to what was fresh on our minds. These beautiful people whom God had not forgotten and whom we had the blessing of serving Thanksgiving dinner to had helped us focus on what really matters.

One of the names of God I love so much is El Roi. He is the God who sees. That Thanksgiving day, God helped remind me that He sees, knows, and loves people who may feel so alone on a holiday. And I pray our children will remember that day as a moment where their eyes were opened to how God wants to use them to bring hope and love to everyone they come in contact with.

Is there a way you can include your children in reaching out this Thanksgiving to someone in need? Have you felt the spirit nudging you to find a place to serve? Be brave and step into it! You will create a legacy moment for your family for years to come!

My Favorite Gifts #3


Melissa & Doug’s Shopping Cart

IMG_7821This shopping cart is a favorite!  Actually, I’ve already purchased two of these: one for each of the homes where my grandchildren live.  You see, I started out with 2 grandsons and we all know that children love to push things, especially if they can also fill them with treasures.   Now for little girls, this is an easy purchase..a stroller, most of which are pink.  But nothing for little boys who also love to push around collected treasures.

Then one day I walked into a children’s shop and spotted this shopping cart, turned to my husband and said, “I’m not even looking at the price tag.  It’s mine.”  Something I have never said to my husband, but I was simply in love with this cart.  It is extremely well made and exactly what I wanted for my boys (and future girls) – I just didn’t know that it existed.  We loved throwing it into the back of the car and taking it when we went grocery shopping with grandbabies.   It’s an adorable site; seeing a little one pushing this child-sized cart down the aisles.




That was four years ago and it is still a favorite toy today.   The best price I found was on (see below) for $49.00.  Be sure to look around for an even better price.  It’s $69 on the Melissa and Doug site, but perhaps they will run a sale before Christmas.  You won’t be disappointed.

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My Treasure …


Today … I am thankful.  Thankful for hugs and kisses.  Thankful that God fulfilled my lifelong dream of being a mommy.  Thankful that all of my children are still alive. Thankful that I have the opportunity everyday to tell them that I love them and that they are treasures to my heart.

~ Do your children know how thankful you are for them?~
~ Do they know that they are your greatest treasure? ~
~ Do they know you will love them ALWAYS? ~

The amazing thing that I have learned as a mom is that even when I forget to let them know those things ~ they often remind me how thankful they are for me and how much they love me.  Let’s purpose together to not miss any moments to be thankful for the gift we have of each other.  I pray that this song will be a blessing to your heart and that your treasures will remember that you will love them …ALWAYS.


My Treasure

Jodi Ries