A Look At A Book 12

Not So Tall For Six written by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrated by Frank W. Dormer is a wonderfull book about being brave and smart and big at heart.

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Meet Kylie Bell, the not-so-tallest one in the first grade. She might be small but she never lets size get her down. Nope. Kylie Bell is brave.

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When that bully-boy Rusty Jacks slithers around her like a half-starved rattlesnake, what is Kylie Bell to do? Can she keep hold of her courage, not to mention her good manners

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Take a fresh and funny look at bravery in this heartwarming book

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As a child author Dianna Hutts Aston was afraid of clowns, ducks and oral reports. Since then she has learned that no one is born with courage. As Kylie Bell finds out, courage takes practice.

Illustrator Frank W. Dormer says he is not afraid of anything. Well, maybe he’s afraid of rickets. And scurvy. He overcomes his fears by sitting in the sun with a tall glass of orange juice.

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What are you afraid of and how do you overcome your fears?

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That’s Funny!

A sense of humor can be a gift from God. It can also be taught. Almost every baby I’ve ever met had some sense of the funny and the silly.

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Being playful certainly helps develop that sense of whimsy. When my grandson Mac was about nine months old, he was sitting in his highchair with his sippy cup. He set the cup on the tray and carefully pushed it forward with a twinkle in his eye. I saw this and carefully pushed the cup back. Mac laughed with his whole body and then with one finger, pushed the cup toward me. We played this wonderful game for about ten minutes, pushing the sippy cup back and forth, laughing the entire time.

Believe me – children understand humor!

As kids get older, their sense of humor changes. Granddaughter Marie is deep into Knock-Knock jokes.  What is even funnier is when she forgets the punch line of one joke and goes straight into the next one. Hysterical!

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Then, of course, there is the period every child goes through when potty jokes and body parts are the funniest things going. Mostly this period is tolerated by adults rather than encouraged. But sometimes, I have to admit, the jokes can be funny and I can’t help but laugh.

Seeing the funny side of life is the best way to get through a day. The sillier, the better really. I can’t imagine a day in my life without laughter. Who could get through a good day, much less a bad day without some fun and joy? Not me, that’s for sure.

Letting children see you laugh and enjoy the little things around you is the best example ever. They learn more by what you do than by what you say. So I recommend you do both – talk about humor and demonstrate it.

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Decide each day to see the humor in the world, laugh at the silly things and enjoy the whimsical.

Decide each day to be the best example of good humor to others, especially the little ones.

Decide each day to encourage the children to laugh and embrace their own unique sense of the humorous.

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Decide each day to be happy!

Walls Can Make A Home

A house is made of all the structural parts of a building – the floors, the roof, the doors, the windows and the walls. Walls are vital to holding a building up and separating the rooms according to their function. Walls can be of all sizes, tall or short. plain or fancy, connected or independent. They simply have to do their job to be called walls of a house.

Walls of a home are something else entirely. Granted, they have their function and hold up the ceilings, but they are so much more. Used properly, they can add life and beauty to each room and therefore to the family that lives in the rooms.

I believe in decorating walls with meaningful colors and art. Each wall should be its own little vignette of the love and history of the family. I’d love to show all you Sweeties how I have translated my feelings for family and heritage onto my walls.

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Welcome to my entryway. It is full of my favorite colors, blue and white and some of my favorite things.

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In my world there can’t be enough blue and white!!!!

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Many of these plates remind me of trips taken and vacations enjoyed.

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Next is the dining room with a wall of china which I have mostly inherited. 

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Isn’t it grand and imposing? All of these dishes are dear to me and precious for different reasons.

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Some of these pieces are almost 100 years old and could never be replaced.

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Another wall of the dining room is covered with a very old mirror from my aunt and pieces of needlework from several people in my family. It is unique, to say the least!

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The large crocheted collar was a special Christmas gift from my daughter when she was in collage.

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I also have a collection of thimbles in the dining room. (Can you tell I do not like bare walls?) Many of these have been given to me as gifts over the years by friends and family. And they are very easy to carry as souvenirs. 

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Some of my favorites are, of course, the blue and white ones.

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The living room has only this sweet little corner of a wall. It holds a piece of needlework done by a friend who has since died and a piece done by me. There is a poem given to me by my oldest friend (known her since 6th grade) and a saying I dearly love about family.

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This warms my heart!

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By the back door I have Welsh love spoons and cross stitch that changes with each month.

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I love old granite ware and have it in every corner of the kitchen and breakfast area. Some of these pieces are from my husband’s aunt.

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Even the laundry room is filled with old granite ware. Most of these pieces and the enamel sign came from my husband’s aunt.

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More of the laundry room.

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The guest bathroom is very vintage style, so the walls are covered with everything old I could find. Including rug beaters and slates.

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Some old graters and a wire basket for towel storage.

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In the master bedroom, next to the blue and white quilt is the wall of more thimbles and two white dresses with white threadwork.

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A closeup of the beautiful dress and the wonderful handwork. 

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Even the walls of my sewing room have been decorated. No wall should be bare in my world!

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The wreath is made of sewing notions from my grandmother. And my collection of laces are wound on old commercial spools.

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My thread is kept in an old type drawer. I love reusing old things in a new way.

So don’t let your walls be unused. Tell your story. Decorate the vertical spaces of your home. Use all the parts of your unique home to show your love of family, friends, hospitality. 

Cardboard Boxes

My grandmother had them. My mother had them. I have them. You have them. Cardboard boxes. Not the ones with old tires or clothes the wrong size, but those with childhood drawings, toys, baby clothes and photos inside.

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We all save moments of our loved ones’ time on Earth, in cardboard boxes. They become the receptacles for badges, awards, trophies, honors and honorable mentions. All of the special drawings, macaroni pictures, wire sculptures and finger paintings are lovingly put up, for us to view in later years and remember the sweet feelings and love of the time.

When I visited my mother, I would enjoy getting into those old boxes and reliving those precious memories of my past. So much of my youth was captured and saved in recycled boxes for me to revisit on my treks home. My mother loved to reminisce about those moments with me. too.

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We shared great times over coffee, cookies and those tattered old boxes. We relived school events, birthdays, Christmases and Girl Scout trips. All kinds of bits and pieces of my life brought back memories and shared times. We would talk, laugh and cry, all in one afternoon. It was magical!

Now I have my own cardboard memory boxes, full of moments from my childrens’ youth. Those special photos, baby clothes made by Nana, loved toys and two tiny Baptismal candles.

When my children (and grandchildren) come to visit we walk down memory lane in our own way. We open our boxes and revisit times at church camp, Cinnamon our dog, several pet cats, family vacations and three different moves.

Isn’t it amazing that we all should keep some of our most precious possessions in such flimsy containers? Cardboard boxes can appear so temporary, so easily degradable and yet hold such irreplaceable souvenirs. They hold the memories of life itself.

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Cardboard boxes are not really boxes after all. They are treasure chests. They hold the treasures of lives spent in our company, the memories of ones we love and cherish, the reminders of babyhood and youth. Guard your cardboard boxes well! Many of them have fragile contents!