Two EASY Teacher Gifts – Oh My!

I have zero recollection of my mother or father preparing a teacher gift.

I have zero recollection of bringing one in to my classroom.

I would like to think this trend of giving teachers gifts explodes even more so than it has in the past ten years!

Please comment below what gifts you gave/ or are giving your kids’ teachers this year.
Or, if you are an administrator, what did you do for your teachers?

Anyway, we gift books.  It’s what we do.  Now this year we are moving – again – so that’s been a challenge to get my act together… well, not going to lie, it is in years we AREN’T moving, too!

But having homeschooled for a teeny bit of time, I do know the effort that goes in to breathing life into your childrens’ academic lives, while keeping your head on straight!

And that was just with THREE children!

Anyway, if you gift books, and you would like to have this printable (4 tags on one sheet, to save paper, natch!), please be my guest.   You may download it at the end of the article!
Copy of rBOOKS ARE READ APPLES ARE TOO I'M SO GLAD I SPENT THIS YEAR WITH YOU

It’s going to be so much fun to help my friends put together teacher appreciation gifts, and now with these tags, they will feel confident presenting these books.

Are you looking for a teacher appreciation book or item?  Try this link which categorizes children’s books by ages – a super quick way to get books you need for the teachers in your life!: https://b4108.myubam.com/c/30/age-levels

Here’s another idea, too!  This is the Box of Awesome and wow – I don’t know of any teacher who wouldn’t give you a huge hug for this gift!

Box of Awesome

Box of Awesome! Who’s Awesome? YOU’RE AWESOME!

Perfect for any parent, too – I plan on getting mine to have available this summer for rewarding my kids all summer long.

Yes, I reward my kids in the summer.

Because, hello – SURVIVAL!?

Purchase yours here: https://b4108.myubam.com/p/7707/box-of-awesome

Alright friend, thanks for reading – here’s your free printable for those teacher book gifts.

No tricks: just enjoy!  Here’s the link to the PDF:

BOOKS ARE READ APPLES ARE TOO I’M SO GLAD I SPENT THIS YEAR WITH YOU (1)

And Happy Reading!


Do You Have Bad Mom Syndrome?

I wonder if too many of us have “Bad Mom Syndrome.”
No, it’s not from watching the movie.  Actually it might be featured there, but I haven’t watched it since I don’t need access to even more wacko ideas.

Ha! Just trying to keep it together here.

But because you are probably short on time, as a mom,  I’ll get right to it: it’s that place of constant guilt.  The imagination that you are a bad mom for juggling different things instead of having hyper focus ALL. THE. TIME.

 

timelapse and greyscale photography of woman

Photo by Luanna Cabral on Pexels.com

You Are Not a Bad Mom

Juggling lots of different things does not make you a bad mom.
In fact juggling was probably created for us to manage, expressly because we manage so many different things, well.

Repeat after me:

You are not a bad mom for working.
You are not bad at work because of your focus as a mom.
———
You’re not alone.  The struggle is real.
———
In a past career in the military, I saw many friends have to choose, one or the other. In my units, I saw zero examples of a woman making it work.  
What? I’m being honest.
So when MY time came to choose, I told myself, I could stay in and be an example, or I could get out.
I always envisioned myself as a pioneer, but at that time I couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t be the example. I got out of the military. 
For me, for my tiny family, the choice was clear – but many of my friends, working in and outside the home, still struggle daily with this pull. And I sometimes do, too.

photo of a woman thinking

Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

Early Beginnings

I feel like this guilt starts early.  We live in a culture that is geared toward “either/or.” Early on in life, we are asked this question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and it’s so limiting.

Like we can only be or do one thing!

It limits God. It also limits His time.

It limits us to think we are only productive only AFTER – after we’ve grown up, or after something else is accomplished… why?

It’s madness to think that not finishing everything we juggle is a sign of a bad mom!  You can relax! You were made for many things. 


It’s my belief that this seemingly harmless elementary school question limits us as a culture.  It certainly causes confusion among parents searching for “their one thing.”
girls on desk looking at notebook

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Rewording Life

So I rephrase that question, from “What do you want to be when you grow up?” to
“What are you called to be or do RIGHT NOW?”
 
You can ask that of children and they know their contribution matters NOW.
You can ask that of grown adults who feel that any career change is a midlife crisis.

In this question, change is free to be change: it can be a natural movement instead.
 
You are free to pull from your past experience to build upon your future.
 

And each of your roles has built you for your next purpose.

barefoot beach blur break

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Moving Forward Beyond Bad Mom Syndrome

May I give you some hope: when you’re doing what you’re called to do, paid or not, from the home, from a computer, or in a brick & mortar workplace, EVERY role you play makes you better at EVERY thing else you do.
————————
I’d love to hear from you. 
I’m making a huge assumption here, but what has been your struggle?

To Purge or Not to Purge? That is the Konmari Question.

The Netflix TV show “Tidying Up” with Marie Kondo is taking the nation by storm.

This woman’s gentle, joyful method of tidying up has shop-happy Americans cleaning up their acts one trash bag at a time.

Marie Kondo’s show demonstrates her using the Konmari method (a name she made up based on her first and last name, but I say kudos!) to several families in need of help.  She arrives, with a massive sweet smile and sweet intention. She helps the family to see what they DO have – love, a safe home, family – and then gets to work training them to get rid of what they do NOT need.

Yet, when it comes to books, several book-advocates draw the line.

Turning a Page on Marie Kondo

In a recent episode, books were on her chopping block.  And that lit up a firestorm (which I suppose is better than a, he-hem, bonfire).

Ron Charles of the Washington Post boldly declared books were off limits in his piece called “Keep Your Tidy, Spark-Joy Hands off my Book Piles, Marie Kondo.”  Now typically, titles are no more than 6 words, but I suppose that to demonstrate he is so adamantly against purging books, he splurged on words themselves.

I was so taken by his article I made this graphic to remember its bite.

Ron Charles, books, konmari, Marie Kondo, Tidying Up

Another article from The Guardian was titled, “Why We Gain from Keeping Books – and Why It Doesn’t Need to Be Joy.” The author, Anakana Schofield begs readers to see Marie Kondo’s method as an insidious way to discourage reading.

In a flat refusal of Marie’s trending joy-centered purging, Schofield explains why books should be exempt: “Literature does not exist only to provoke feelings of happiness or to placate us with its pleasure; art should also challenge and perturb us” (The Guardian, Schofield, 2019).

Sirens At Work Unbinding Culture

And it’s this statement which blew my eyes open to the reality that not every scourge against reading in our day has to be among the bonfire likes of “Fahrenheit 451.”  To be sure, Ray Bradbury’s book has helped us to train our eyes to see the threat to culture to come in the form of a police state and outright censorship.

The First Siren

But the threat evermore becomes one of beauty, a siren that beckons.  For the last 10 years, it’s been the onslaught and expectation of being entertained at every moment by bright lights flickering on portable screens (I know many people benefit from reading books on screens – that comment is not addressed to you).  A flashy screen is hard to resist. Endless games, apps…

Which – commercial break – is why I make these for my kids.  They love crossing off the boxes as they complete 20 minutes.  Here’s one for winter! My daughter reminds me I am to share it with you here!  For a PDF version, click on the download box – you’ll start to get news and deals in your email box if so!  I want you to have the very best 😉

usborne (7)

The Second Siren

Getting back to the issue at hand, another threat to culture lately has been the trend toward emulating home-decor-perfection.  Bookshelves are messy?  Turn the bindings backward so all you see are pages. Or, simply take most of the books off the shelves to show 3 at a time with a plant and a mirror.  After all, aren’t books just for show?

Just think of all the fun conversations we are missing out on by keeping titles hidden.

The Third Siren

And then we have this most recent siren – the one of simplicity.  Make no mistake, this trend is important to heed, especially in America.  Nothing has had a better effect on my mental health and cleaning schedule like downsizing our home!

But like Charles and Schofield, I draw the line at books.  I feel it’s a threat to an open mind.  Who can resist having an impossibly sweet organizer whisper “you don’t need anything that doesn’t make you happy” in my ear when all those challenges to my thoughts, embodied in titles and pictures, and sometimes cringe-worthy reads, have indeed made me who I am today.

In fact, I can’t imagine a more superficial threading of books on my shelf than whether it gives me joy.

Roy Charles, Washington Post, konmari method, marie kondo, books

Indeed, if I could quote the artful Schofield one last time, “Unread books are imagined reading futures, not an indication of failure.”

See your shelves for what they are: your imagination’s future.

And Marie Kondo, I thank YOU.


Alaska Cruise for Free? Yes, Please.

The second week of June, our company, Usborne Books & More, announced an incentive trip to Alaska!  This is a FREE seven day cruise with stopovers in Vancouver – which I’m super excited about, as that’s where I honeymooned!

The excursion trips are sure to be amazing too.  I’m counting on kayaking, exploring first nation culture in Alaska, and simply keeping my eyes open for bears, whales, and moose!

earn a trip to alaska

I’m so excited to earn this WITH my teammates, too.  You see, anyone who joins, ANY TIME, can start earning this trip!  You don’t need seniority or anything special to earn it – just a work ethic and the desire to share the books and this business!

Most of my business includes encouraging and equipping others with the tools they need to succeed.  It is my delight to do this. The books are awesome, we all know Usborne books rock – but the people this business attracts?  Even BETTER, can you believe it?!

alaskan cruise team pic

If this is something you’re thinking of working toward, let’s join forces.  I promise you that only good can come from working your business!  Check out these bonuses:
– commission
– free books
– a home-based business with flexibility
– kids steeped in the books of THEIR choice
– high quality training
– FRIENDSHIPS you won’t expect and had no idea you needed.

I’m not trying to sound trite by saying friendships.  That is hands down the best benefit of this business and I wish someone had blown through my pride years ago to show me the potential there.

The cool part is, we are all connected via our trainings and our group pages, so we connect quite often on lots of different levels, not just the business!

wonder women cape convention 2018

PLUS, we get to see each other every year when we go to convention, and some times I get to see my friends three times a year, depending on leadership conferences and our beach training!

Yeah, I said BEACH training!!!

team leader beach retreat new consultant mindset

Oh my friend, there is so much I could talk your ear off about, and it seems strange to say it – but ALASKA could just be your BEGINNING!!!

Adventure is in every book – but I’m here to tell you, it’s also in every book business.

Contact me here and we’ll start the conversation!~

Happy Reading!
Wendy

If you already know you are ready to start, let’s go!  Start by clicking here.

Look!  We even get a coloring sheet tracker so our family can keep up with us as we earn our points to ALASKA!  I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!  In fact, you need to download your own READING tracker on my tab here on the page!  Tons of benefits to coloring as you READ, friends!

coloring sheet alaska cruise


The Fort Bragg Fisher House Needs Help

Recently, the Fort Bragg Fisher House reached out to the community stating that there were needs.  The Fisher House at Fort Bragg helps over 100 famlies each year.  But their bookcases are looking worn, and could look better and be equipped better to help those families.

I saw this list of needs, and because last year our fundraiser and book raiser for them was so successful, I asked if I could provide that help again.  Technically they are not allowed to say yes or no – so I thought, I will work toward this goal because I know my network is AMAZING; indeed, last year, we raised $300 in NEW books for those kids!  Want to try to bless them that way again?

1

The Fisher House provides help to over 100 families yearly, as they wait for their soldiers to heal at the nearby Womack Army Hospital.  Their facility is incredible.  Handicap accessible, kitchen ready for many families, a beautiful setting and even an enclosed back yard full of toys for children.

 

However, as we well know, books that are read well need to be updated and replaced.  So, to provide help and stories to the families at the Ft Bragg Fisher House, I am launching our book drive.  It is easy and simple.  You can become involved by doing one of two things:

1) Go to https://tinyurl.com/FBfisherhouse and select one, two, or even 20 books from the list you’d like to donate.  Choose “SHIP WITH ORGANIZATION” at checkout and the books ship free!  I’ll send you a huge thank you, and if you are a business, I’ll give you a shout out on social media!

2) Copy and paste this message on your social media sites because EVERY BOOK HELPS:

The Ft Bragg Fisher House takes care of more than 100 soldiers’ families each year.  Now they’re asking for our help!  You can help by selecting any books from this list and having them sent to the Fisher House free of charge. Simply click here and select “SHIP WITH ORGANIZATION” for free shipping directly to the home! https://tinyurl.com/FBfisherhouse

I’d love to wrap this up for them by August 15.  Please please please help us get the word out.  These soldiers’ families deserve the very best.  It is my intention to give them the very best in children’s stories – books that last longer than most – and send them love in the quality of gifts they will receive.

Thank you for supporting our soldiers!

Happy Reading,
Wendy

P. S. Here’s the direct link to “My Mommy is a Hero” : https://b4108.myubam.com/p/6977/my-mommy-is-a-hero
Here’s the direct link to “My Daddy is a Hero” : https://b4108.myubam.com/p/6976/my-daddy-is-a-hero