Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hospitality - What Does It Mean To You?

Hospitality: what does it mean to you?

I have heard that hospitality is opening our homes and meeting the needs of those who come in. Sometimes we want to provide extra-special attention in the form of food or beverage, chocolate mints on the pillows, hot cider simmering, fragrant candles burning, or a bowl of fruit on a bedside table.

But the most important ingredient in hospitality is the welcoming heart. It's that spirit that pulls guests from the front door to the dinner table, even if the only items on the menu are soup and bread. It's the genuine smile accompanying the words, "Make yourself at home!"

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Time Management - Reading List

My great-grandmother used to say, "Life is what happens when you make other plans."

Last week was one of those weeks for me. 

After the election, all I could think about was cleaning the house. I put the TV away (no more pundits postulating about candidates) and avoided the computer. I dusted things that hadn't seen any Pledge for a long time. I vacuumed everything in sight. (The cats should be glad they were put outside before the vacuuming fiesta began.) I uncluttered the corners and the closet. (I found some things.)

But I didn't blog about Hospitality, as I had originally planned to do.

Perhaps I need to read about Time Management?

If you want to join me, here are some suggested titles. I haven't read them yet, but I am certainly going to look them up!

Monday, November 5, 2012

This Week - Hospitality

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines Hospitality as "generous and friendly treatment of visitors and guests."

As we enter the holiday season, many of us are preparing to be hospitable. The rest of us will be the gracious recipients. How many of you are hosting the Thanksgiving meal? How many are already planning the Christmas get-togethers?

As we think about Hospitality, I'd like to collect and share some ideas for all of us to use in our homes. I will post some suggestions for family time and field trips that can help introduce the theme to kids. And we will share some recipes and books at the end of the week that might give us a creative boost as we plan.

So, check back in tomorrow. In the meantime, think about some ideas you might be able to share with us. We would love to see your comments.

Thanks for reading the blog!


Friday, October 26, 2012

Aviation-Themed Books

Library day! 

Each week, we want to share some suggestions for your reading list based on the topic of the week.  We try to select books for every age level.

Since this week’s topic is Aviation, these book selections have aviation, pilots, or air travel as part of their theme.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Field Trips - The Zoo

They were brothers, twins, born the same month and year that our son, Peter, was born. Our Peter was born in a hospital in Texas. The twins were born in a Zoo in Pittsburg, PA.  They were Kodiak bears.

The twins came to the Indianapolis Zoo in 1988, just after we relocated to Indy, ourselves. So what would you do if you found out that a Zoo animal was your age or your kid’s age? I know what we did. We bonded with those bears.  After that, the highlight of every Zoo trip was visiting the enclosure for Peter’s birthday buds.

Zoos. We love them. Where else can you receive top notch, outside-the-box education disguised as fun? And this is the best time of year to visit a Zoo. In cooler weather the animals are perkier. The crowds are fewer. But you can still find great stories that will stick with you forever and give you a new appreciation for the creatures that share our world.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Field Trips - Autumn Walks


Autumn is my favorite season.  There’s the excitement of new school books, the crispness of cool air, and the festive, confetti-like quality of falling leaves.  Have you ever noticed how much autumn sounds like awesome?

               Some of our favorite field trips happen in autumn, too.  For an art/science combo, our Number One favorite is The Walk Around The Block.  This tradition was established when the kids were in preschool.  It involved giving the kids plastic sandwich bags to stuff full with pretty fall leaves.  At home, the leaves were ironed between pieces of waxed paper, framed with construction paper, and hung in the windows where they glowed in the light of the setting sun.

               As our search became more sophisticated, we moved out to local parks and state recreation areas.  Surrounded by leaf color at its peak, discussions on topics like botany, photography, or the color wheel took on new freshness. 

               Before you go out, investigate!  Ask questions, like: why do leaves change color?  What makes a good snapshot?  What colors complement the oranges, reds, and yellows of autumn?

               Locate parks and recreation areas near your home.  Check out their trail maps, entry fees, hours, and parking.  Note any park festivals you would like to attend – or avoid.  See if any naturalists offer onsite walking tours.  Get on your walking shoes and go.     

The Walk Around The Block?  Anytime!  Be sure to bring the bags for the colored leaves, acorns, and other treasures the kids might find.

You might find yourself saying autumn is awesome, too.