Two Tough Words

How strange – right behind the grouping of family pictures in the front room was a wadded pile of shiny candy kiss wrappers. I tossed them out without much thought. Later, while bending to pick something up, I noticed a similar silver slew of wrappers under the sofa.  Hm-m-m, what was going on? After finding a third metallic mess semi-hidden behind a lamp, I mentally began to put the pieces together. My festive bowl of candy kisses had been full before our grandkids had visited on Sunday. Now it held but two. I casually mentioned it to our daughter-in-law, who, after being mortified, had to agree with me that for being only 5 and 3, the boys had been quite ingenious in their hiding technique.

That evening her confrontation was met with swift denials. “We didn’t eat the candy!” ” We didn’t hide any wrappers!”  Kriss wisely knew that a forced apology wouldn’t be worth much. Her patience was rewarded, for soon after tucking in the candy culprits, they came tiptoeing down the hall, pouring out their hearts. “Oh, Mama, we sneaked Button’s (aka me-grandma) candy. I’m sorry!” “I’m sorry, too!” What sweet relief once they’d spoken those two tough words.  However, there was still one more apology to be made…

Rather than my back door being opened with a bang and a shout of “Hi, Button, we’re here!”, two mute, wide-eyed, close to tears little boys came shuffling into my kitchen.  One look at them and I almost teared up! “How would you boys like to listen to a story?”  Their eyes lit up; we piled onto the sofa, and Tumford the Terrible by Nancy Tillman opened up a time of healing and laughter.  Once my dear little ones heard how Tumford the cat overcame his difficulty in saying “I’m sorry,” they understood how important those two tough words are – both to say and to hear.

February is often the time for celebrating love.  As I reflect on what that entails, I can’t help but think of how much deeper any relationship is once those involved have been able to say the all important words, “I’m sorry”.  Did you think I was going to say, “I love you”?   Of course we want to hear that from our spouse and long for the day our children say it, but how  precious when we have situations in which those we love come to us and are able to sincerely say, “I’m sorry”.  Those are difficult words – none of us like to apologize. And yet when those words are spoken, perhaps that is when we feel the most loved. Trust is restored. It’s been several years since those two little boys hid candy kiss wrappers around my house.  They’re almost as tall as I am now. I still buy them candy kisses and tease them about what they did and we have a good “Tummy” laugh together.

Mary Kline (aka “Button”)
Twitter:  @SOC_Fireflies
Facebook Page: Fireflies
Sign-up – “Like” – Share it – Fireflies!

Create your own Valentines!



to download a free Valentine’s booklet from Family Fun magazine
with complete instructions on making the following:

Mice to Know You!

Animal Attraction

Plane Awesome

Treat Transmitters

Jolly Lollies

Have a Ball

Give a Hoot

Catch of the Day

Winter Book List

Here’s our recommended winter-themed books for 2017.   For the next 6 weeks we will share ideas including our Heritage 2 Legacy prompts, all based on ideas that come from these books.   We’ve created a one page flyer for you to download, printout, and take to your local library, so you can select your favorites and join us in creating sense of wonder moments in your classroom and home.  There is also another list of these book titles with descriptions on our Heritage 2 Legacy page, along with precious Chasing Fireflies’ booklists.   It’s located under SIX.

Did we miss one of your favorite winter-themed books?
Please share below so that we can add it to future lists!





Gift #1: Family “Go Fish”

Here’s an idea we shared that we shared a few years ago that is one of our top 3 posts of all times in terms of responses.  I thought I’d roll it out again in case you needed at last minute gift that is sure to be a hit!   I need to update my set – my babies are growing up!


We are excited to share our top 5 Christmas gifts to make and give this year.   These gifts will help to “create family legacy moments that encourage children to communicate with confidence and view the world with a sense of wonder“.

Here is #1, Family Go Fish for game night!
deck with ribbon

Why Go Fish Family Cards?  We don’t live near our grandchildren and even though both my daughter and daughter-in-law do an incredible job of keeping us current in their lives via texting and Skype, I am always looking for ways to strengthen family connections.   That’s why I love the idea of creating a family Go Fish game.  I included great-grandparents, aunts,  cousins, and more in our card stack so that our young game players would be exposed to images and names of extended family members.  I want my grandchildren to recognize their  “village”.   I want them to know that even though we live from CA to DC , this family loves and cares about them.  I’m certain that our Go Fish Cards will be a treasured memory – a legacy moment – as we all grow older.


Even if you aren’t a Photo Shop expert, you can still create your own Go Fish Cards for family game night.   Begin by choosing 13 different images that represent your family.   They can be of family members or places & things that are special to your family.

  • your home, grandparent’s home
  • family pet(s)
  • favorite toy
  • scene from a family vacation
  • favorite book cover
  • favorite food item
  • the ideas are limitless – just make sure you have 13 unique images.  I used all family members for my game set.   But I’m thinking of creating three different Go Fish games:  persons, places, and things!

Option #1

  1. Decide the final size of your playing cards.  Go to your local craft store and purchase card stock that has a different design on each side.  Cut them to 3 by 5 and  round off the corners with a corner cutter.  You can certainly use basic colored card stock, but I just love these two-sided paper designs.
  2. Next, select your images and make four copies of each one.  Position four images to one sheet of photo paper and then add a text box to the bottom of each image.  Be sure to use an elementary print or cursive font depending on the age of your children.   This is a great way to introduce your young children to the visual of the family’s written names.   Not all fonts are equal – look at the small “a” to see if it is a true print font.  Check out for free elementary fonts to use.   Print Clearly or Learning Curve are the ones I like.  Notice the “a”…
  3. Cut each image  smaller than the card stock so that it will have a border around once glued to the paper.
  4. Use glue dots or glue stick to affix the image to the card stock and then laminate if desired.

Option #2

If you are comfortable using a photo editor, like Photo Shop, you can insert an image into a background design.  You might also want to design your own backs for your cards.

My first set of Go Fish cards.

1.  The first thing I did was to ask my daughter to create the image, background, and text for me.  Note to self: Sign up for a PhotoShop class asap.


2.  Next I headed to my local FedEx Kinko as my printer broke.  (So far I’m off to a great start!)   I had asked Jamie to print four images per 8.5 X 11 sheet of paper, but now I’m thinking that 6 per page might be better.  I’m not sure how many cards this size my little ones can hold in their hand.  I’ll let you know…


3.  Once I printed both sides (actually it was the nice lady at Kinkos who had pity on me), I laminated them and then cut them to size.  (Let’s just say I tried, without success, to get their paper-cutter into my purse – best thing ever!)


4.  I headed home to round the corners and once I do, I’ll be finished.  Oh – need to make a trip to Hobby Lobby to look for a cute tin to store our Family Go Fish Cards.   I think when I make my next set, I’ll start with the tin and size the cards to it!


Seriously – cutest card game and so worth the effort!  Can’t wait to gather the family around the kitchen table and GO FISH!

2 hours later… (had to update visually)

I can’t believe how much better the cards looked once I rounded off the corners.  Make a note to buy a corner puncher/cutter thing.   It’s worth it!  This would be such a unique and valued Christmas gift for children.  A little more effort than Toys R Us – but priceless.

Gift #2:  Family Storytelling 2X2 (Week of December 1st)

Deni Corbett



Cursive vs. Print font

How to Play

fish_finalGo Fish is best for 3-6 players, but it is possible for 2 to play. You need a 52 card deck, so create 13 different sets (books) of images. The dealer deals 5 cards to each player (7 each for 2 players). The remaining cards are placed face down to form a stack.

The player to dealer’s left starts. A turn consists of asking a specific player for a specific image. For example, if it is my turn I might say: ‘Jamie, please give me your “Carolines”.  The player who asks must already hold at least one card of the requested family member, so I must hold at least one “Caroline” to say this. If the player who was asked (Jamie) has “Caroline” cards, she must give all her cards of this rank to the player who asked for them. That player then gets another turn and may again ask any player for any card already held by the asker.

If the person asked does not have any cards of the named rank, they say ‘Go fish!’. The asker must then draw the top card of the undealt stack. If the drawn card is the rank asked for, the asker shows it and gets another turn. If the drawn card is not the rank asked for, the asker keeps it, but the turn now passes to the player who said ‘Go fish!’.

As soon as a player collects a book of 4 cards of the same image, this must be shown and discarded face down. The game continues until either someone has no cards left in their hand or the stack runs out. The winner is the player who then has the most books.

Join our community!
Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner