Sunday, May 24, 2015

Blessings + Praise Report! THE most incredible week: EV!ER!


#BLESSED #GRATEFUL #FORTUNATE! #INCREDIBLE 

This has been an incredible week, truly one for the books! One for the blog! It has been one moment for the highlight reel after another. Superlatives. Dreams coming true -- right before my very eyes! 

On Monday I returned to St. Paul in Westerville, OH. I have made an annual visit for at least the last decade! Good friends. Always a highlight of the year. This year's visit was amazing in every way -- except that my camera had a mind of its own and there are so few images to share. This is a first and thank goodness I had my phone charged! 


Look at this amazing Kinder-graph! 
Every month, a different one of my original songs introduced. 
And just before my May arrival, the kinders voted on their favorite! 

It was a close run-off between "Red, White and Blue" and "Calamity Sam"
but the Kinders chose SAM as the winner for this school year!
So humbling to see my participation for an entire year!
HALLELUJAH 

I've seen many schools have wrapped up for the year,
but just in case you are still in learning mode, 
these two songs are ready for you in digital download.


No sooner had I caught my breath from my kinder-fun, 
it was on further north to the Lorain County JVS {Joint Vocation School.} 

How amazing to be the FINAL TWO HOURS of the senior year, 
for these upcoming ECE professionals. 
***From Kinders-to-Seniors in the blink of an eye. 

Their amazing teacher had written the grant, that in addition to our spending time together, every one of the 45 students received some of my materials! What a great way to start a professional library! I LUV when folks plan ahead and everyone benefits.
HALLELUJAH!



To say that we had some quality interaction barely touches the level of enthusiasm of our time together! So happy to have new followers on Instagram. This is our equivalent of the Ellen 'us-ie' posted on Twitter not that long ago. 

No sooner did we get checked into our RESORT room in anticipation of OAEYC, than I got the news that Maria over at KinderCraze had published her article of our time together earlier this month. Having the opportunity to be the focus of Maria's insight and generous talent when it comes to photography is a certain highlight! 

A school visit and performance from the one and only Debbie Clement



A school visit and performance from the one and only Debbie Clement

HURRY right over to her blog article, where we are giving away my first two books.
It is a very simple process to enter to win. 
I will be certain to sign and personalize the books for the winner! 
Here's a peek as we compare my original quilt to the illustration within 
"You're Wonderful."  

A school visit and performance from the one and only Debbie Clement

Thank you Maria, that in the midst of your final wedding plans, 
you took the time to highlight our time together. 
I know that I will add new fans as a result of your kindness. 
HALLELUJAH!

Then it was full speed ahead to OAEYC!
It was a challenge to fall asleep: my heart was so full of gratitude. 
It was such a thrill to open my eyes and see my Mentor-Mimi!



Do you think it is possible that she's just had her 80th birthday? 
The woman is a veritable power house of inspiration! 
Having her hugs and support means the world. 
So thrilling that we could both be on the stage for #OAEYC2015.


The entire three days of OAEYC was a blur of joy and happiness.
It was like "old-home-days" from dawn till dusk. 
The first day was spent in the booth meeting dear friends old and new. 

I had the opportunity to peek in on the BIG stage 
in preparation for my BIG DAY!
It has been my dream since I started my rainbow-travels
to have an opportunity to take the BIG stage at OAEYC.


A mere 18.9 years later? 
MY DREAM COMES TO FRUITION! 
THE BIG STAGE! 
Tech support! 
My mentor AND a sign language interpreter!
Be still my heart! 

       

   

The reason that I have all of these great photos (and a gazillion more) is that our daughter Sarah was there to capture the whole thing! I am so tickled to relive the fun through her lens. Just as soon as I was all done the two of us celebrated by jumping into the ball pit! 
HALLELUJAH!



So an update on the so-proud-of Sarah-Story! 

You may have seen the update where she earned the Younique incentive trip to Jamaica. 
While she was helping hold down the fort in my booth, she received the unofficial news that the corporate office at Younique is going to reach out to her to be a speaker at their upcoming national convention! 

HALLELUJAH! 

When I tell you that she is a duck to water with this company, 
I kid you not! 

Right now. 
For May, there's a 'manager's incentive' being offered. 
The company is giving a $500 cash bonus for elite GREEN status. 

In Sarah's world right now a $500 'BONUS' is like winning the lottery!
Only this is not through luck, but effort. 
She hasn't earned it yet, but she is well on her way, 
with a week left. 


She applied my make up and the big experiment was to use the new Younique Lip Stain! 
It lasted at least five hours from her application. 
It's kinda like painting it on. 

I have opened a 'new' Younique party on Facebook. 

*I am wearing "Sultry" lip stain!
Every purchase through my party eeks Sarah closer toward her lottery bonus.  


Thank you for all of your continued support and encouragement as we navigate through turbulent waters. 
Our goal is to keep our heads up + focus on all the good!  

This week has had only one day of utter 'testing' and six days of glorious celebration. 
HALLELUJAH!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Colossal Community Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Grade


Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders


SUPERLATIVES! Exclamations! SUPERLATIVES!
As a visiting author-illustrator making school visits, I have seen some pretty amazing displays over the last two decades. I am prone to using superlatives. In every day conversation. Seriously, folks. I have seen THE most incredible display of community collaborative work, ever! EPIC doesn't even get us into the right ballpark. 

Last week I concluded my travels with my third visit to the Seven Hills school in Cincinnati. I have been fortunate to work with their Early Childhood teachers each time. Starting off with their wee-wittle teenies and their parents, then the preschool and culminating with their Kinders. Visiting a school that places a priority on the arts is thrilling for this old Art teacher. I have written about my previous visits numerous times.

Nothing prepared me for my 'hostess' eagerness to take me into their 'big-kids' building adjacent to where I had visited each trip. She said that the first graders had created a visit-to-Italy. I've been to Italy. What could be better. So we crossed the driveway, went upstairs and behold! The entire hallway. Both sides. Floor to ceiling. Collaboration.

I give you the GRAND CANAL of VENICE! First grade style.

Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders

I couldn't resist digging into my photos from my beloved weekend in Venice.
{{{YES! VENICE ITALY!!!}}} 
I am thrilled to relive our great European school-visit tour. 
All over again! 
ENJOY!!!


Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders

Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders



Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders

Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders



Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders

Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders


Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders

Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders

A few details that I think I have correct from my tour-guide, Julie. 
Every year for the last nine years, the entire first grade team has focused their study on a specific country. 
They have yet to revisit a country.
So yes. This is their first trip to Italy.
As you can imagine, 
this effort spanned several months of study and creation.


Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders


Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders


Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders


Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders


Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders

Yes. Venice affords LOTS of opportunity for shopping. 
Here's the only picture of shoes that I took in Italy..... 
yes, because of the polka dots. 
No. I didn't purchase them. 
They didn't fit. 


Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders

Look at this collection of Venetian GLASS! 

Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders


And now for the final and amazing three dimension detail. 
Yes. Venice is a city of foot bridges. 
Here's my collage of some favorites. 


DRUMROLLLLLLLLLL. 
I give you THE bridge. 
The RIALTO Bridge. 
Spanning the Grand Canal. 

Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders

What prompts this level of awesomeness? 
Epic awesomeness? 
What prompts teachers to this level of inspiration? 
How long will these six and seven year olds remember this experience. 

How many of them have added VENICE to the top of their bucket list?
How soon can I get back? 

photo of: Three Picture Books by Debbie Clement of Rainbows Within Reach

I have been the recipient of teacher-zeal.
I have been showered with teacher-excellence.
My blog is a record of that focus and enthusiasm. 
I have had numerous occasions where teachers have directed their students to respond to my work. 

Check out these two colossal community collaborations.
Each in response to my picture books. 






I have each of these two songs in digital download format at Teachers Pay Teachers. 


Would you be willing to pin from this amazing article. 

Colossal Community ARTS Collaboration: Venice through the Eyes of First Graders

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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