Grateful greetings…day #18

Trudging through the dreary, rainy Monday weather to the mailbox today in my yard Wellies, a ray of sunshine emerged in the form of a handwritten card…a Thanksgiving card…with glitter and sparkle to boot!

Since I could write my own name, I’ve traditionally sent greeting cards, notes, and letters to family and friends.  With close friends, we send “just because” notes or funny cards because all of us can use a surprising boost now and then.  Even as a classroom teacher, my students and I wrote individuals letters each week to mail to family, friends, legislators, and others to not only practice letter writing, but work together in keeping alive a dying art form (and yes, St. M., we always paid the postage on these…not sorry).  Several of my students still correspond with me in writing all these years later too!

I know; I know…social media, texting, and emails should suffice and have become acceptable norms.  I’m guilty of this too. My momma and both grandmothers are most likely rolling over in their eternal resting places just thinking about “social media” as an acceptable form of anything, especially in place of “the luxury of a handwritten note or letter to someone you love, respect, or admire…”  ~Granny B and Brenda B Folsom~  The southern steel magnolias in my family were correct:  “a handwritten treasure is a gift in itself.”  I’m not just talking about writing those important thank-you notes either.  Precious time and written thoughts simply shared from the heart helps make new friends or tend to long-time friends while gratefully sending a jolt of JOY into another person’s world.  Let’s face it, our mailboxes are depressingly full of bills, ads, political endorsements, and more.  Spying a handwritten card or letter is the FIRST thing to tear open and savor when found! What a quick way to turn a frown upside down!  🙂

So…who will you choose to share a handwritten card, note, or letter with during the next week?  

Here’s hoping the mailbox you choose to overflow with personal flair fills yours in kind in the coming week.  🙂

Sentimental thoughts…

Is there anything more exciting to a child than this season of love, peace, JOY, and goodwill?  Carols are playing in classrooms during workstation time, learners are sharing creative ideas and writings, classroom leaders are engaging students in all manner of clever activities, and everyone coming into the front office is smiling more these days.  Capturing all the sights, sounds, scents, and sentiments of Christmas can be a daunting task (and even overwhelming for some).  Finding ways to express the reason for the season can be so powerful that it becomes challenging to express the story well.  One young writer today was having no trouble though…

A young writing friend stopped me during walkabout to share card1his homemade card (completed in the card workstation yesterday).  His choice of colors and textures intrigued me.  While his words were personally heartfelt and filled with love for the recipient of this beautiful card, he made the comment, “You know…I hope someone sends me a card like this sometime; I’ll keep it forever!”  We talked about Christmas cards and why then mean so much to others who receive them.

As is our LME tradition, I begin each morning in December with a Christmas question-of-the-day, so today is dedicated to my young writing friend who asked me:  “What was the greatest Christmas Card you remember receiving from a friend or family member?”  Here’s hoping you send someone a special greeting card this holiday…the impact may be more than simply sentimental!

Note:  Speaking of sentiments, we greatly appreciate all the Angel Tree participation and assistance you are giving to the LME Angel Tree Project!  Please remember all items are due back to our caring counselor, Mrs. Stanley, this week. 


XOXO . . . It’s Valentine’s Day here at LME . . . a day filled with HEARTy learning opportunities for all!  In first grade, we found these friends were sharing what they love in the writing center and then singing a poem called “I Love…” 



They also enJOYed working challenging math problems with special manipulatives during math centers (better check those backpacks for all manner of items when you get home tonight; you never know what may show up!).

Our Head Start friends shared their amazing work from centers today by creating artful notes and cards for their families.  Giovani practices writing his letters during center time.




It is always insightful to visit with young learners about the meaning of customs in our society.  For instance, a first grade friend shared with me, “Mrs. Van, did you know Valentine’s Day started because a kind man cared about others?”  🙂  Another learner chimed in to share, “Yeah, and children wrote him notes ‘to my Valentine’ thanking him for his ‘passion’ (compassion) and stuff.”  🙂  Another child wrote these words in a card to me today:  “Mrs. Van, The ‘love day’ is finally here and you remind me of St. Valentine; he was a man with many friends for he was brave and kind.  Lots of children wrote him notes and letters they loved to send, then a holiday was named for their very special friend. Thanks! XOXO”  🙂  How clever is this writer and what JOY her words brought to my soul!   I reminded everyone this morning during morning message:  “I hope you choose to show your love to others every single day (and not just on Valentine’s Day)!”  Here’s hoping you choose to share the love as well . . . thanks for sharing your learners with us everyday!  XOXO  🙂