Adventures Of A Fluffy, White “Blankie”

There once was a beautiful, soft, fluffy, snow white blanket.

It was given to a baby, just 2 months old.

The baby gave the blanket so much love.

Baby held it close to her.

Baby loved to softly caress and sniff her blanket.

Baby kept her blanket by her side every moment of the day and night.

Soon Baby gave the beautiful blanket a name…Blankie.


One day, Mommy took the Baby shopping.  

Of course, Blankie came along as well.

While Mommy shopped, Baby fell asleep in her stroller.

Mommy continued walking throughout the big store, never noticing that Blankie had fallen out of the stroller.

After visiting a few other stores, Mommy returned to the car, only to find that Blankie was missing!

Baby (who was now 6 months old), was still asleep and did not notice that Blankie was missing.

Mommy re-traced her steps, throughout the stores, but never found Blankie.

When Baby awakened in the car, the first thing she asked for was, “Blankie?”

Mommy (heart breaking), pretended not to hear Baby but hurried back home to pick up her older daughter, Missy, who would help find Baby a new, fluffy, white blanket.

Both Mommy, Missy, and Baby drove to various stores in search of an identical blanket.

After driving to 3 different stores, an identical blanket was finally found!

 Mommy silently opened the package and gave the new blanket to the Baby, hoping Baby would not notice it was different.

“BLANKIE!”, baby shouted!


A grateful Mommy, Missy, and Baby returned home!


When Baby was a bit older, Blankie (#2), fell out of the car as Mommy and Baby were going to work.

Again, Mommy failed to notice that Blankie was not in the stroller.

When the lady at the day care called to ask if Mommy had Blankie, of course, Mommy’s heart broke again.

Mommy hurried out to retrace her steps, to find Blankie.

Blankie was not there.

Mommy began to think that it may be time to let go of Blankie, and simply remember it as a former best blanket.

About 1 hour after giving up the search, Mommy got a call from the front office.

Someone had found a “white” blanket in the parking lot.

They all remembered that Baby had a blanket just like that one and wanted to know if it belonged to her!

Blankie had returned again!

When Baby was about 14 months, the family went on a long road trip.

The first stop was at a Holiday Inn, in Louisiana.

Baby and Blankie slept together in a crib that night.

When the family was getting ready to leave that morning, Blankie was hiding among all the white sheets on the bed.

Rushed and in a hurry, the family left and did not notice Blankie was missing–again!

As the family was leaving the State of Louisiana, Baby began calling for Blankie.

After a search of the car, the family realized that Blankie may have stayed behind in the hotel.

Mommy called the Holiday Inn and asked if a white blanket had been found in room 234.

After several transfers, the Housekeeping Department came on the line.

They had Mommy describe the blanket.

The woman in Housekeeping said, “Yes, we found your blanket on the bed.  We will hold it for you until you come back through.”

Mommy told Baby that Blankie liked the hotel so much, it decided to wait for her there.

Although not too happy about not having Blankie, Baby was happy knowing that we would be picking it up on the way home.

And so we did.  

Many years later, Blankie is still with “Baby”(who is no longer a baby).

Blankie is no longer a fluffy, white blanket.

It is gray, tattered and torn.

It is, however, and always will be, loved and treasured by “Baby”, and her whole family.

©Cecilia Buckner,




What? No more school supplies?

My daughter’s preparing to enter her final semester at college.  Although we are anticipating her graduation with excitement, it is also a bittersweet time of life.
Gone are the “first day of school photos”, long gone are the “meet the teacher” events, and gone are the back to school shopping days.
This morning we went out together to shop for school supplies.   As we walked along aisles filled with school supplies, I was taken back to seeing her as a little girl eagerly looking at all the “cool” stuff for school.  I remember her eyes lighting up when looking through the shiny covers on spiral notebooks, or the big box of crayons with the sharpener on the back of the box!

Instead, today she is very specific in her selections—a 3 count package of black pens, a planner, and 4 plain spiral notebooks (one per class).  Sorry, but what fun is that?  She walked right past all the cute, colorful erasers, the boxes of markers, and the boxes of 24 count crayons!  Not even the zippered pencil cases got too much attention!

This is it! School supply shopping takes on a whole new look when it’s your last semester of school!
In order to help me deal with all of this, I found and purchased a super colorful notebook and pencils with “Xtra Sparkle”!
I made sure my pencils were extra sparkly!
I have no idea what I will do when she begins a “big girl job” and doesn’t even talk about school supplies any longer!  Lord, help me!

Making A Memory Real

We live in a world where we feel the need to document or record every moment of our life.  When we go on vacation, the need to record everything we do and see is increased even more.
As we were walking along the Niagara Falls, White Water Boardwalk I was continually taking pictures of the waves, the colors, the leaves, yes, even the boardwalk itself!  It was as if I had to document every sight so that I could go home and put it all in a scrapbook or photo album to view in the future.
Of course, I did stop a few times to just let it soak into my memory, but I will admit that those stops were few and far between.
As the walk was ending, after taking more photos at the end of the walkway, I came to the top of the steps and looked down at the water.  My gaze came upon a group of people standing on the bottom deck, looking out to the river.  They were a family of Amish people who seemed to be oblivious to all the tourists (myself included).  
I watched this family of 6, expecting them to be splashed by the water moving against the rocks nearby.  Then I suddenly realized something.  Not one of them was holding a phone or a camera. Not one of them was writing on paper or drawing pictures of what they were seeing.  All they were doing was simply looking at the water, the plants, the gorge, the movement and dance of the waves.  They stopped a few times and spoke with the family member who stood beside them and pointed at something they had noticed.  Something that perhaps had touched their heart or something that had caught their interest.
I’m certain that this family will long remember this experience a great deal more vividly than all of us who were so busy taking photos and trying our best to be as creative in our compositions as possible.
I learned a lesson that moment.  Contemplating and truly feeling the world around me is much more important than trying to get that perfect shot.  Taking it all in is part of the process which makes a memory become real in our hearts and mind.

First 5 Days For A Kindergarten Teacher

Remembering all our teachers out there, who are dedicated to making each school year successful for every student in their care.
Day One 
  1. Spend 2-4 hours on Pinterest getting ideas for classroom decor
  2. Visit local Teacher Store
  3. Go through 3 bags full of goodies purchased  at Target, Walmart, and Amazon
  4. Create cozy, yet productive (of course) center areas for Reading, Writing, Science, and Math
  5. Sort out books based on subject, topic, author, and condition of the book!
  6. Fill book boxes and shelves
  7. Go to Walmart (again) to purchase comfy pillows for Read-to-Self time
  8. Lay out a couple of colorful rugs
Day Two  
  1. Go to Target (again) to purchase cool stickers
  2. Stand at the doorway of room to admire…analyze…question…
  3. Re-arrange the furniture
  4. Put up Welcome to Kindergarten, bulletin boards
  5. Set up all technology
  6. Go to Half-Price Books to add to the Classroom Library (must have at least 3,000 books!)
  7. Place stickers on all new books and put in boxes
  8. Decorate classroom door with more Welcome to Kindergarten signs
Day Three    
  1. Spend 2 more hours on Pinterest looking for the perfect “First Day of School” activity
  2. Create lesson plan for the first day of school
  3. Print out 10 different sheets for the Writing Center
  4. Search cabinets for 30 minutes, looking for dice and base ten blocks
  5. Prepare Math center activity boxes for first 2 weeks
  6. Prepare Science center for first 2 weeks
  7. Prepare Home center for first 2 weeks
  8. Label EVERYTHING with all 21 student’s names!
Day Four
  1. Re-do the lesson plan for the first day of school   
  2. Laminate 68 items
  3. Cut out all 68 laminated items 
  4. Fill activity boxes with the corresponding LAMINATED cards
  5. Go outside to find rocks, leaves, dirt samples, and bugs, for Science Center
  6. Go to Walmart (again) to find items for the Home Center
  7. While at Walmart, pick up a package of AirWick Hawaiian scent air freshener
  8. Clear off teacher desk, sink counter, and any other areas needing attention
Day Five
  1.  Stand at the doorway of room to admire, analyze, and just, ACCEPT!
  2. Go to “Getting to Know You” meeting in the Library (or Cafeteria)
  3. Enjoy the breakfast someone brought for teachers
  4. Start “Data Meeting”
  5. Start “Planning Meeting”
  6. Start “Problem-Solving Meeting”
  7. Go out to lunch with friends (this will not happen again until next year, so enjoy it!)
  8. Return to the classroom to….COLLAPSE!  

100 Children’s Books


10 First Day of Kindergarten Books

 Young children are always a bit on edge when it comes to going to a new school.  Even children who have gotten used to attending “school” through a day care or other type of placement, can become nervous as the first day of Kindergarten in a big school arrives.
The best way of comforting a young child about that “first day”, is through reading good books about Kindergarten.  Of course, most K teachers will always read several books during the first week of school, but reading books with Mom or Dad prior to the big day, is always more reassuring to the child.
Here’s a list of 10 books you may want to read with your child.
All may be found on at a great price!  Just CLICK on the book!

  Ready for Kindergarten, Stinky Face?


   Froggy Goes To School


 Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse


   Llama Llama Misses Mama


   Bear’s Big Day


   Knuffle Bunny Too: The Case of Mistaken Identity


   David Gets In Trouble


   Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come!


   Planet Kindergarten


   Kindergarten ROCKS!



Happy Reading !

6 Things You Can Do To Prepare Your Child For Kindergarten

Kindergarten is without a doubt, the most amazing time in a child’s life. The growth seen from the first day of Kindergarten to the last day of Kindergarten is tremendous. Most Kindergarten students will find increased success when mom and dad are part of their learning. Prior to even beginning Kindergarten, it is important to start looking at your child’s readiness skills.
There are many ways a parent can help develop their child’s Kindergarten readiness skills. The most important, of course, is letting your child know that he/she is loved. After that, there are more basic things you can do to demonstrate to your child that learning can be fun!
Working together on activities that involve learning, yet feel just like “having fun with Mommy and Daddy” time, are the best.
As a former Kindergarten teacher, here are 6 activities I recommend all parents consider doing as they prepare their child for Kindergarten. It’s a good idea to begin these activities about 2-3 months prior to the start of school, but it’s never too late to begin.  Of course, every child is unique in their skills and abilities so be sure to take this into consideration, when beginning to work on some of these activities.
Working with YOU will lead to a more successful Kindergarten experience.
 – Practice counting to 10
  – Sing or listen to fun counting songs
  – Count while in the car
  – Count to ten as you take steps or climb up steps
 – Count everything you can think of (1-10), one by one
  – Count toy (cars, dolls, stuffed animals, etc.)
  – Count the doors in your home
  – Count forks/spoons when preparing for dinner
Practice identifying numbers 0-10
  – Play Memory Matching Game using number cards
  – Hide number cards under a table, then have child find the number you show on your card
  – Play number scramble. Call out a number and have child find it among number cards
  – Good old fashioned Flash Cards using only numbers 0-10 (you may go up to 10, if your child shows he/she is ready)
Practice saying/singing or signing the ABC song
  – Listen to a variety of ABC songs
  – Read alphabet books
  – Play with ABC puzzles
Practice identifying uppercase and lowercase letters
  – Play letter matching games
  – Play a search and find game using letters of the alphabet
  – Play simple Go Fish game using letter cards
  – Practice writing child’s first name (capitalize the first letter)
  – Have child write name in any jelly roll pan covered with a thin layer of salt or flour
  – Fill a gallon size bag with blue hair gel. Be sure to seal with postage tape, then have your child write letters over the plastic
  – Cover a table with shaving cream and have child write their name over it
  – Help child write his/her name with sidewalk chalk
Practice basic independent skills
  – Help your child wash his/her hands independently, especially after using the bathroom
  – Help your child learn how to manage their clothing after using the bathroom
  – Play “pretend” games on how to walk in line
  – Talk or read books with your child about sharing and allow time with other children in order to assist with learning to “share”
Enjoy sharing in your child’s growth in learning.

Just Another One of the Girls

Let me introduce you to another one of us girls…her name is Emma! She is an English Springer Spaniel and we’ve had her since the moment she was born.

Emma is a bit on the shy side until she warms up to you—then she won’t let you to stop scratching her behind the ears!

Her favorite toy is a red Kong chew toy which she prefers filled with peanut butter.

Emma loves to go for long walks and always pretends to be ready for more, even if she IS tired and exhausted.

Being petted is second only to bath time!  She enjoys the entire process…yes, even the shampoo and the dryer!

Emma loves her kennel. She knows how to open the door by herself and is quick to run inside at bedtime…although always ready to run back out when it is time to go.

Emma’s ultimate pastime is loving on one of her many “blankies”.   We began buying her blankets when we noticed that she was walking around sucking on her ear.  She is quite skilled at quickly turning her head sideways until she’s able to get her ear in her mouth.  When she has her blankie, she leaves her ears alone.

We all love Emma.  She’s been a blessing to have around and I think she knows that.



Lions, and Tigers, and Bears—On A Hillside In Austin, Tx

It’s always a fun adventure when you think of something to do at the last minute and it ends up being an unexpected surprise!
My cousins Sylvia and Melinda visited Austin to attend 2 different workshops.  As we were sitting at home one afternoon trying to think of something to do, the word “theater” was mentioned.  This reminded me that there was a performance of the Wizard of Oz scheduled at our local Zilker Hillside Theatre.  All we needed was a blanket to sit on and off we went!
As we approached the theater area, the colorful blankets, umbrellas, and chairs appeared.  It was as if we had walked into a box of bright colors.  It was beautiful!
The performance was excellent!  It followed the original, except with a few lines here and there which added some humor.  It is Austin, after all—keeping it weird is what we do!
It was a fun time!
Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers!


Surprise Meeting!

Ever wonder how many relatives you have yet to meet?  Yes, we all remember all the good times we had with our cousins when we were younger.  But at some time, those same cousins had their own children, who are now grown and on their own.  Unfortunately, due to the mobile society we live in, we sometimes never get to meet those 2nd cousins.
 I recently had the chance to meet my 2nd cousin, Miranda and it was completely by accident.  I was scheduled to pick up my cousin Sylvia, at the airport.  It was a surprise to us all that Miranda happened to be on the same flight into Austin.  I was thrilled to meet Miranda, who happens to be my daughter’s age, and had the pleasure of spending an entire day with her exploring some of Austin’s unique sights.
Our adventure began at 10:00 am, as we walked along South Congress Avenue (also referred to as
SoCo), taking photos and browsing through every little shop.  I had been wanting to visit this area for a while to work on my i-Phonetography, so this was perfect timing.
 We had such a good time getting to know each other, as we walked along admiring all the Austin “weirdness”!

First stop?…The Continental Club.  This is one of the more famous spots in the Austin music scene.  Many big names have performed in this small club, such as Stevie Ray Vaughn, Joe Ely, Junior Brown, and even Robert Plant!  

 Judy In Disguise was another interesting stop.  This is where Austinites come to find the perfect costume for any occasion.  In fact, while we were there, a guy came in looking for a tuxedo “costume” for a wedding.  I wondered where his bride would be shopping for her dress–Party City perhaps?
Judy In Disguise, Austin
 We found a cute little shop called Uncommon Objects, and the name truly says it all.  In this shop, we found everything we could possibly imagine and more!  Incredible collections of antiques, fabrics, cameras, even trophy animals!  We spent a long time browsing through this fantastic wonderland of  uncommon objects!
The Tom Store has a location here, and it is a combination Tom shoe store and coffee/bar.  Not only are the shoes really great, but even the coffee and drinks help fulfill their commitment to the One For One promise throughout the world.


As we were walking, we came across this beautiful covered walkway.  As you can see, at the end were flowers and a picture frame.  We were curious and thought we’d walk to the end to see what it was.  It was a marriage proposal that had been prepared for someone.  We practically ran out of there and forgot to take a picture of the vignette he had set up.  Someone is a lucky girl….I hope she said, “Yes!”.

It was a memorable day, for sure!
And then, there was this…