Saturday, December 10, 2011

Ashley Made the Front Page!

The Windham newspaper ran an article about Ashley and her Blessing Bracelets.

Ashley's grandmother (in CA) makes the bracelets and sends them to Ashley to sell since Grandma really has no way to sell them herself. She calls them "Blessing Bracelets" in memory of her late brother, Edward C. Goetschel, Jr. (who died at the young age of 47). He was a chef and left no kids or wife to honor him. His passion for food was the inspiration for donating the money to a food bank. Grandma is also a recipient of a local food bank in CA and the Blessing Bracelets is her way of "giving back".

We ask for a donation of $3 for the bracelets. The first day she started selling them at church she sold all the bracelets she had in one day and made $40 for the food bank.

At our first visit to the food bank, she was able to donate $50. She really enjoyed her visit to the food bank and really wants to go back and volunteer. We made arrangements for her to help out on December 16th. She will bringing more money to donate when she goes to volunteer on the 16th.

Read the entire article "8 year-old runs own fundraiser to benefit Gray Food Pantry":

Friday, July 23, 2010

Open Farm Day

The 21st annual Maine Open Farm Day will be held on Sunday July 25,2010, as more than 100 Maine farms across the state open their doors to the public.

Ashley will be visiting a few farms to see what farm life is all about. She is looking forward to watching farm activities and demonstrations from milking to felting; pet farm animals, picking berries, touring barns and going on a hay ride.

There will be farm-raised products for sale, displays to see and samples to taste. Oh what fun!

Click here to find a downloadable document that lists all participating farms

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Kids Workshops at Home Depot

Ashley absolutely loves the the kids workshops at Home Depot!

These workshops offer useful projects including the creation of toolboxes, fire trucks and mail organizers, as well as more educational projects, such as a window birdhouse, bughouse or Declaration of Independence frame kit.

The workshops teach children do-it-yourself skills and tool safety, while at the same time helping to instill a sense of accomplishment. Plus, it is a fun time for quality one-on-one time for parents with their children. Not to mention, the items make great home-made gifts!

In addition to the project kit, each child receives a kid-sized orange apron (similar to The Home Depot associates' aprons) and an achievement pin. Ashley loves collecting them!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Spreading Kindness

Recently we were at a petting zoo at a local fair where Ashley was feeding the baby animals. As she raced back from the 25-cent grain dispenser with another handful of grain, she noticed a little girl that didn't have any grain to feed the animals. The little girl pleaded to her mother, "Please Mommy, why can't I have some grain to feed the animals". "Honey, we have no money to buy grain", the mother explained to the disappointed child.

Without hesitation, Ashley walked up to the mother and asked if it would be okay if she shared some of her grain with the little girl. Touched by her gesture, the mother agreed. The little girl beamed with excitement as Ashley gave the entire handful of grain to the little girl.

The mother was so touched. She turned to me and told me what Ashley had just done. Of course, I had already seen the act of kindness that my daughter had just demonstrated. I walked over to her and hugged her and told her that she made me very proud.

This wonderful demonstration of kindness inspired me to teach a special lesson at Sunday School on how we treat other people and the amazing difference paying it forward can make. I asked each of the children to draw a picture of something kind that they have done for another person. I also challenged them to look for opportunities this week to spread kindness.

We created a display on the wall for everyone to see entitled, "Spreading Kindness - Our Kids Are Making a Difference too". Each week we will continue to put the pictures up on the wall for everyone to see.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Building a Fairy House

Along the coast of Maine, there is an island that you can go walking on that has fairy houses in the woods along the walking path. Recently we went for a walk on the island looking for fairy houses. As we walked, we saw an occassional fairy house here and there. We gather special items along the way so that we could build our own fairy house... bark, sticks, rocks, acorns and flowers.

Finally we came to a clearing in the woods, where we found dozens and dozens of fairy houses, every shape and size. It was such an amzing sight! They were built with all different types of materials. Some were in the trees, others on the ground, some near bushes, some at the base of a tree. They were spread through out the tall pine trees as far as the eye could see. It was incredible!

We found a fallen log with a hollowed out section that made a perfect protected spot for our little fairy house. We propped sticks together and covered them with large peices of bark. Ashley gathered leaves, seaweed and a shell to fill acorns with and created a table and sitting stone for the fairies. We also made a little circle of rocks with nicely stacked sticks for a little fire ring. We finshed off our fairy house by lining the outer edges with flowers in hopes that the fairies would find it welcoming.

What a great way to spend one of the last days of summer!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Learning About Ladybugs

Ashley learned all about ladybugs when we bought a tub of them to release in our yard. We bought them at a local greenhouse.

Ladybugs are actually predators that feed on a variety of insects including aphids, moth eggs, mites, scales, thrips, leafhoppers, mealybugs and other slow-moving insects.

Early evening is the best time to release ladybugs. So, we waited until dusk to release them into their new home.

Now we are anxious for them start doing their job!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Opening Night for Oklahoma

Opening night for Ashley's first play, Oklahoma, was last week!

It was truly amazing to see Ashley perform in front of audience! During rehearsals she did very well. She always remembered her cues and was always where she needed to be. But once she got in front of an audience, she took it to a whole new level. She was so animated and reacted to the lines of other characters with such energy and enthusiasm! Her facial expressions were incredible. It was as if she had been doing this for years!

The rehearsals have been a wonderful experience for her. She has learned so much about what goes into a play production... costumes, set design, make-up, dress rehearsal, being backstage and, of course, opening night.

Ashley was so excited to perform in front of an audience. She was nervous and excited. But, she did fabulous. After each show, she had people telling her that she stole the show whenever she was on stage.

It has truly been a wonderful experience!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ashley's First Play

Several weeks ago Ashley auditioned at a local theater for her first play, Oklahoma. She got up on stage and sang her solo and did a great job. Then she went through the dance audition with all the adults and teenagers and kept up quite well.

A few weeks later we got the news that she had been cast as the youngest member of the "towns people" (which is what she had auditioned for). When she found out, she was excited, yet nervous, to go to rehearsals. But after the first night, she decided that she really likes rehearsals. She loves being on stage and is so disappointed every time rehearsal is over!

What a great experience for her and a wonderful way to build her confidence of being on stage!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fun Butterfly Craft

We have been planning fun crafts for Ashley's Fairy Birthday party and found a great butterfly craft that is easy to do!

You will need:

~ Scissors

~ Ruler

~ Scrapbook paper

~ Pipe cleaners


1. For each butterfly, cut two 2 1/2-inch squares from scrapbook paper. Trim the left and right sides of the squares to round them, as shown.

2. Accordion-fold each of the squares to create two sets of wings.

3. For the butterfly's body, cut a pipe cleaner in half. Fold one of the halves into a V-shape, as shown, and twist the ends together a few times just above the bend to create an abdomen (it should be about an inch long).

4. Sandwich both sets of wings between the pipe cleaner ends above the abdomen, and twist the ends a couple more times to hold them snugly in place.

5. Use your fingers to pull the wings open a bit, and then curl the tips of the pipe cleaner to shape antennae.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Heart-Warming Experience

A little over a week ago we met a family that was facing the possibility of being homeless. They had experienced some difficult times and couldn't seem to get "a break". The father is currently out of work and the mother is disabled. The children are 18 months and 10 years old.

We knew that I could help them. First, we helped them find an affordable place to live. Then the next Sunday, we stood up in church and asked for help. The family had next to nothing. They had no furniture, no beds to sleep on, no table to eat at, no couch to sit on and no television to watch. So, we asked my congregation friends for "any household items that you are no longer using".

We received an overwhelming response! Some people went shopping for the family and bought them some basic household items. Some people chipped in money. Some people brought in household items that they were no longer using.

We had people calling me that weren't even from my church. They had heard about the family from members of my church. We had one person contact me and invite me to walk through an estate that they needed to empty and simply told me to "take whatever they need".

When we brought over the first truck load of items, the 10 year old girl was so excited! She went running into the apartment to get her mother.

When we walked into the empty apartment, it didn't even look like they had moved in yet (and yet they had). By the time we left, the apartment looked a little more like home. We were able to provide them with dressers and beds, a couch, a television, linens, dishes, kitchen appliances, books, pots and pans and much, much more.

It was truly one of the most heart-warming experiences we have had in a long time. It is amazing what a difference we can make in someone's life when everybody just chips in a little.

It truly is a good life!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ashley Meets a Real Author

One of our local libraries recently sponsored a special "Shape Capers" event with a local Maine author/illustrator, Cathryn Falwell.

"Shape Capers" is one of Falwell’s children’s books. The event included a treasure hunt crafts, games, movement, music making, and all kinds of fun activities focused on "shape making fun".

Ashley had a great time participating in all of the activities. But, she was especially excited about meeting the lady who actually wrote children’s books that we have at home.

Of course, Cathryn Falwell signed one of Ashley’s books with a personalized little note to her. Ashley was thrilled!

Falwell's books are all written with a lesson in mind… counting, telling time, perseverance, team work, dealing with new siblings, etc. The illustrations in her books are wonderful - they all done in cut-paper collage. We have really enjoyed her books.

Be sure to check out her website. She also has some fun activities for kids (which are also included in each of her books).

Monday, March 30, 2009

Please Vote For Us!!!

We need your votes!!!

Every week 60 different artisans face off in 12 different categories in the Artisans Challenge to see who has the best handmade item.

Our very own "Delicate Purple Flowers" book clip from our online store is in the challenge!

Please vote before April 6th!!!

Go to Blockhead Radio to vote today!