Thirty Days of Thanksgiving - Day 29

Today, I had a chance to just hang with my family.  My sister and aunt went out for tea in the morning at a little Tea Room in my hometown. Yes, I was surprised that my small hometown has a Tea Room.  Pasadena has about six or eight of them, so, I am spoiled.  I am not sure that there are even that many in the whole state of Connecticut (trust me, we googled them and couldn't find that many), and one of them is in our tiny town.

I, also, had a chance to go out for pizza with everyone to my favorite place (Ernie's in New Haven).  I tried to get there back in July but they are a small family business and were closed for the two weeks I was home.  I decided tonight that I could literally give up pizza if I could have it every time I cam home. California doesn't know what it is missing.

So, I am thankful for family even if at times they drive you crazy.  I am thankful for the burnt roof of my mouth from that oh too hot first bite of pizza.  I am thankful for the chance to extend my trip east to hang with my family even for a few days. 

..and in honor of Picture Book Month, here is my recommendation:

by Melissa Stewart; Illustrated by Constance R. Bergum
Peachtree Publishers (2009)

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving - Day 28

Thanksgiving is an emotional time for many.  Most of our lives do not look like a Norman Rockwell painting or play out like a Hallmark movie.  Our families and relationships are often complicated and messy.  Some people are missing the presence of a special family member who died over the past year.  Others have loved ones in the military or living too far away to come home for the holiday.

This was my first Thanksgiving with my parents in 22 years. I knew going into it there would be emotions for me for many reasons that I won't go into here.  However, I worked hard to stay in the moment and to appreciate my family and too recognize that much can change all too quickly if I do not take the time to celebrate what I have.  And for all of that, I do celebrate and show my appreciation.

While I was playing on-line, I came across some quotes about gratitude and thought I would share them with you.  Click on the link below to read them all.

...and in honor of Picture Book Month, here is my Thanksgiving Day recommendation:

Thank You, Sarah: The Woman Who Saved Thanksgiving
by Laurie Halse Anderson; Illustrated by Matt Faulkner
Simon & Schuster (2005)

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving - Days 24, 25, 26, and 27

It appears that I have gotten really, really behind with these posts but I have good excuses.  And I am very thankful for so much.

On Sunday, November 24th (Day 24), I met up with several former roommates, their husbands, and a few other friends from when I lived in Amherst.  We met in Waltham, Massachusetts for dinner.  It was so nice to see them.  Some I haven't seen in 10 or 12 years, and a few others I haven't seen in 20 years.  Those friends will always hold a very special place in my heart no matter how infrequent we see each other. 

On Monday, November 25th (Day 25), I enjoyed the first day of ALAN.  Hanging with Nerdy Book Club friends and listening to authors - how much better can life get.  I wrapped up the day having dinner with Beth Shaum and Kellie Celia from Walden Pond Press.  I am thankful for how books have brought me into contact with some very wonderful people.

On Tuesday, November 26th (Day 26),  I celebrated my final day at NCTE/ALAN.  It was sad to say bye to all those wonderful people, but I was excited to move on to my next leg of the journey.  After renting a car, I spent 5+ hours on the road driving from Boston to my parents' home in Connecticut. Traffic was extremely slow, and the weather wasn't great, but I was thankful for safe travel, a good audiobook, rain and not ice and snow.

And that brings us to today, Wednesday, November 27th (Day 27), I spent the day with my family and preparing for Thanksgiving.

And for all of these things, I am very grateful.

...and in honor of Picture Book Month, here is my recommendation:

by  Diane Mayr; Illustrations by Laura Rader
Walker Books for Young Children (2007)

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving - Day 23

When I was in my undergraduate teacher training program, years ago, at Keene State College in New Hampshire, I really had no sense at how many wonderful educators were coming out of New England.  Individuals who would go on to influence generations of teachers with their work.  On Friday morning, I attended a breakfast hosted by Heinemann Publishers which paid tribute to the work of Donald Graves, and his influence in the area of teaching children to write.  Penny Kittle, Tom Newkirk, and Lucy Caulkins were a few of the individuals who spoke about Graves' influence on them as teachers. 

Today, I had a chance to attend a session presented by Nancie Atwell, and Linda Rief.  As I listened to these two powerful educators, I sat in awe at how truly a rich history New England has of producing phenomenal educators.  I am feeling very grateful to have had a chance these past few days to listen to just a few who have made a significant impact on the teaching of reading and writing in the past 30+ years.

...and in honor of Picture Book Month and children's writing, here is my recommendation:

by Abby Hanlon
Marshall Cavendish (August 2012)

Thirty Days of Thanksgiving - Days 20, 21 and 22

Yes, I have gotten behind.  I will blame travel and NCTE.  So here is what I am thankful for... travels from Los Angeles to Boston.

...opportunities to be re-energized by all of the great conversations here at NCTE. presentation that went well and we received positive feedback. 

...the Heinemann Breakfast that was a tribute to Don Graves.

...making new friends, meeting tweeps for the first time (Cathy Mere, Deb Frazier, Gigi McAllister, Holly Mueller, and so many more), reconnecting with tweeps I have met before (Jen Vincent, Beth S., Donalyn, Paul, Colby, Katherine, Cindi, Teresa, Cynthia and so many more), .

...meeting so many wonderful authors and illustrators - some I have known (Dan Santat, Jenni Holms, Kirby Larson, Peter Brown, Beck McDowell, Christina Diaz Gonzalez, Mitali Perkins) and some that I met for the very first time (Matt de la Peña, Louise Borden, Gae Polisner, Lynda Mullay Hunt, Martha Brockenbrough, Erin Downing Soderberg, and I am certain I am missing more).

And for all of this and more, I am thankful.