If you get, GIVE.


One of my absolute favorite traditions is buying a full Thanksgiving meal (turkey included!) and donating it to the local food bank through the Thanks-4-Giving food drive hosted by Mix 103.3 radio station with my husband and stepdaughter.
Our Thanksgiving meal we purchased and donated to the Thanks-4-Giving food drive
Madeline and Bear handing over our Thanksgiving meal donation
Since I love doing this with my family, I decided to expand it and do it with my classroom this year. We organized an agency-wide food drive. The kids made and hung up signs and collected food for the food bank for the first few weeks of November. When the day rolled around, we took a field trip to drop off multiple bags and 4 huge boxes of food to the local Thanks-4-Giving food drive.

Signage made by the kids
A few of the boxes/bags we donated - never did get a picture of everything together!

I also decided to do the Operation Christmas Child with my students this year. For those of you not familiar, Operation Christmas Child is the program where you stuff a shoebox of little toys, novelty items, hygiene items, etc. and they then go to areas of the world where the children can use them. An additional component (it's through Samaritan's Purse) to bringing the shoeboxes is that Samaritan's Purse also sends members to spread the word of Christ when they drop the shoeboxes.
While I personally am not a believer, I do still believe in their mission of doing good and spreading hope. I also believe in giving my students the opportunity to learn and practice faith (or not, if they choose so), so this fits that belief of mine as well. Anyways- ramble over.

We purchased items for boxes, and each student in my class made one. I did one, as well and my aide, Danielle. My stepdaughter wanted to participate too, so she made one at home that I brought in to donate with our class boxes. In all, we were able to purchase and donate 8 stuffed to the brim boxes. Here's a peek at what a few of the boxes looked like:

This experience was incredibly enjoyable for all of us. The kids had a great time shopping and they really liked putting the boxes together. It also seemed to really hit them that there are many children who are less fortunate than they are (which is a hard concept for any kid, let alone my students- kids who have had a rough deck dealt to them). We also got the tracking labels for the boxes, so we are excited to see where are boxes will be going and we will follow them!

Giving is such a rewarding feeling. I give for the pure reason of kindness. I don't give because because I think I need too or that a God is telling me to. I give because it feels good and because I can. Passing on the love of giving is a gift I want to give to all my students- and one little action at a time is how I plan to do that.

So, here's two examples of giving that we did this month. (well technically three since I donated to the food drive two times)

Have you given lately?

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Checking In

Well hello, blogosphere. It's been awhile.
Things are busy, as always. Like I said, this time of year is notoriously busy.

I have been reading though! November was a decent month, I read a few books.

I finished Madeleine Roux's Asylum and jumped right in to Sanctum. I loved them both. I also read The Scarlets, an Asylum novella. I was wait-listed for Catacomb at the library, so I didn't get to finish the series in November. (My hold just came in last night though, so I will be finishing Catacomb soon!). I've really enjoyed this series so far. I also finished The Bone Artists last night, which is another novella in the series.

I finished Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - I've been reading it with my students. We started Prisoner of Azkaban and they're really enjoying it. I am doing the free range readalong with The Estella Society for the Harry Potter reread... I'll be finishing Prisoner of Azkaban and wrapping up the series on my own in December.

I also got my first Book of the Month box! Woohoo! (I won a subscription during Dewey's Readathon) I picked Barbara the Slut by Lauren Holmes - and it was GREAT. I laughed so hard while reading this one. The short little vignettes were awesome- it was like reading a collection of mini character profiles.

Aside from reading, we've just had a busy month. We had our annual cousin cookie baking day! We do this every year and always have a very fun time. We bake, make crafts, decorate cookies, play, eat, and just have a fun family day. Bear and I hosted this year, so we had a packed house!


Thanksgiving has come and gone. We had a wonderful day! This was the first year Barrett was able to get the holiday off in the past few, so it was extra nice to have him and Madeline with me once again.

My good friends, Sue and John got married the day after Thanksgiving too. Their wedding was a beautiful fall affair, filled with great food and fun! Sue looked stunning, and John was handsome! I am so glad to have shared in their day.

How did November wrap up for all of you?

November Stats:
Books finished in November: 5
Pages read in November: 1,137
Blog posts in November: 1
Bookish IG posts in November: 10

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow