Archive for November, 2008

One Home, Many Hopes

November 14, 2008 @ 7:55 am | Filed under:

Lifted in toto from Scott’s blog (Scott’s pal DT’s brother is one of the people behind this project):

This is a campaign called “One Home Many Hopes,” organized to ask people to consider donating $10 in an effort to raise $20,000 in 30 days.

”One Home Many Hopes” is a charity Jon Tapper, who owns a public relations firm in Boston called Melwood Global, helped put together last year after a good friend of his was moved to action by the poverty he saw in Mtwapa, Kenya.

In short, there is an orphanage, Mudzini Kwetu, which takes care of 35 girls, all of whom were rescued from the Mtwapa streets, where they searched through trash piles for food. Mudzini Kwetu not only gives these girls a home they didn’t previously have, it has also given them a childhood.

So the gist is that we’re trying to raise a lot of money—$20,000—in tiny donations by November 23. People can become a part of it by visiting to make a donation, as well as telling friends, families and colleagues about the effort.

They can also visit One Home, Many Hopes to learn more about this amazing organization.

There is absolutely no overhead for this charity—every last penny you give you will go directly to the girls.

Thanks to everyone who considers participating.

Thursday Links

November 13, 2008 @ 8:58 pm | Filed under:

Wednesday Links

November 12, 2008 @ 7:45 pm | Filed under:

Special ’Livery

November 12, 2008 @ 8:20 am | Filed under: ,

Have you ever pre-ordered a book and then forgotten you’ve done so? And then months later you get the shipping notice, and it’s like a little piece of Christmas in your in-box? That’s what happened to me the other day when a certain online book retailer notified me that my copy of Alicia Paulson’s long-awaited Stitched in Time: Memory Keeping Projects to Sew and Share was on its way. It’ll be here today. (You may know Alicia from her delightful blog, Posie Gets Cozy, which was the very first handcrafts blog I ever subscribed to.)

Hurry on over, Mr. UPS Man; we can’t wait to get cozy with this book! (Good thing I got all caught up on my Cybils reading yesterday. I can’t peruse any more nominees until the next batch of library holds comes in, or until another nice fat packet arrives from a publisher. Which may well be today. We’ve been keeping Mr. UPS Man hopping lately. And may I just say he is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet? One day he brought us a bag of clementines from his neighbor’s tree—he said he’d been given so many he couldn’t eat them all and he thought maybe my kids would enjoy them. Don’t think I’m unaware this is all Rilla’s doing: she charms him daily with her warm reception as he jogs up our driveway with packages stacked high. “Hi dere! You ’liver dat for me?”)

Picture Book Spotlight: Jumpy Jack & Googily

November 11, 2008 @ 8:41 am | Filed under: , ,

Jumpy Jack and Googily by Meg Rosoff and Sophie Blackall. Henry Holt & Co.

What a charmer this picture book is. Scores very high on the giggle-meter with my gang. Jumpy Jack is a snail of the most nervous sort. As lovably neurotic anthropo-morphizations go, Jack’s right up there with Piglet, friend of Pooh. Fortunately, Jumpy Jack has his best friend Googily to put his mind to rest when the monster-worries creep in. Jack fears monsters are lurking at every turn—monsters with big round eyes and sharp teeth and lolling tongues and possibly even creepy bowler hats. Googily—he’s the amiable fellow in blue you see there—is a little puzzled by Jack’s boogieman complex, but he’s always happy to help soothe his pal’s fears by taking a peek into the corners Jack’s sure are hiding fearsome monsters.

In the end, we find that Googily has a fear of his own—and apparently with better reason than Jumpy Jack! The surprise ending elicited belly laughs from my seven- and two-year-olds.

I really love this sweet and simple picture book. It’s fresh and funny, and the art is enchanting, and the text holds up well to numerous re-readings, which is a quality I very much watch for in a young picture book. If I’m going to have to read it aloud five times a day, it’s got to be readable.

But beyond that, I appreciate the way the plot plays with the idea that people can create monsters in their minds, terrifying specters composed of stereotypes, while being oblivious to the fact that the generalizations they are throwing around so carelessly might very well include real people they know and love.

Handcrafts Blogroll: Who’s Missing?

November 10, 2008 @ 8:10 am | Filed under: , ,

I’ve added a list of my favorite handcrafty blogs to the very bottom of the righthand sidebar. What it really is is the handcraft folder from my Google Reader—I’m sure this is very old news, but I just figured out that I could make individual folders on my Reader public, and therefore accessible via link or RSS. Nifty. One of the options available is sharing the folder as a blogroll, so: there you go!

If you’re a craft blog addict too, please check out my list and let me know of any gems I’m missing!

Saturday Links

November 8, 2008 @ 9:22 pm | Filed under:


November 7, 2008 @ 7:38 am | Filed under: ,

We have two ripe strawberries on our potted strawberry plant. It’s November. San Diego is a strange place to live after you’ve put in a couple of decades on the East Coast.

Wonderboy had an OT evaluation at the Children’s Hospital last month. I finally got the written report yesterday. It’s full of errors! I’ll have to write a list of corrections and ask for an updated report, because I don’t want inaccuracies in his file. Highly annoying.

But his IEP meeting earlier this week went wonderfully well. I think the school district finally has a read on who we are, this family of mine (especially the obnoxious, mouthy mama), and they’re meeting us where we are, now. Hooray. And oh how I love Wonderboy’s speech therapist. She really is a gem. And I’m not just saying that because yesterday she raved about the progress we’d made at home during the week and told me I should be a speech pathologist myself.

My second-favorite moment from the meeting: when, after listening to rest of the IEP team group-wrangle their statements into educationese for the Official Paperwork, I was asked to contribute the “parent goals” and I figured I’d save time by just uttering it in the IEP jargon to begin with. Moment of silence around the table, then they all burst out laughing. Me, grinning: “Did I nail it?” School district lady in charge of entering everything into the computer: “Say it again, just like that, so I can type it in.” Heh.

Favorite moment from the meeting: leaving, with my little boy’s hand in mine, and his eager voice saying, “We go home now? Go play with my tisters?”

Oh how I love that child.

On Monday, I sat down with a giant pile of picture books to read for the Cybils. Rose and Bean joined me, and we wound up sitting there for hours, reading book after book after book. Passing them around: Ooh, you’re going to love this one! (They know me well: they were right every time.) I’m going to have to write posts about some of them because there are some must-share gems in the stack. Next time you make a library run, look for Chester’s Back! by Melanie Watt. Even if you don’t have little kids. We were crying laughing, even the thirteen-year-old. Especially the thirteen-year-old. The Lucky Star and One Hen just plain made me cry. And Dinosaur vs. Bedtime? Rilla’s new Favorite Book Ever. Bet I read it six times yesterday alone. Roar!

Lilypie Expecting a baby Ticker

Picture Book Spotlight: Grace for President

November 4, 2008 @ 8:06 am | Filed under: , ,

Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by LeUyen Pham. Hyperion.

We pulled this from our Cybils to-be-read stack yesterday because of the title, and I wish I’d read it a little sooner so I could have shared it with you in time for you to hit the library before Election Day. Grace for President is an appealing story about young Grace’s presidential race—in which votes are counted Electoral College-style. The book offers a simple and easy-to-understand look at the Electoral College in action.

The race begins when Grace learns, to her astonishment, that there has never been a “girl president.” Her classmates snicker when she declares that she shall be the first, but her teacher takes her seriously and suggests a campaign for class president. Two classes, actually: her opponent is a charismatic boy from the room next door.

Their campaign is lively and, paralleling real life, somewhat all-consuming for a time. As voting day approaches, it becomes clear that the boys have an edge on the electoral map, and Grace’s rival, Thomas, seems assured of victory…but could it be that the young man representing Wyoming is a swing state?

All three of my big girls enjoyed the book—Jane and Rose for its look at how the Electoral College works, Beanie for the fun story and the charming art, especially the surprise addition to Mount Rushmore at the end.