Happy Birthday, Dear MJ! (Birthday Letter #6)

Each year, my “intentional” gift for my children on their birthdays is a letter of love and reflection. My little “sunshine boy” turns 6 today, April 2nd, 2013! My Dearest 6-Year-Old! You turn 6 today, and I am not feeling as nostalgic as usual this year. Perhaps it’s because I am enjoying you so much […]

Easter Egg Questions: A Dozen Talking Tips for your Family Meal

When I was going through the old plastic eggs today, putting little candies and stickers in, I found something from a couple of Easters back – little scribbled notes that reminded me or a great idea! For many years in our family, we had a tradition of sharing Easter lunch with some dear family friends […]

Connect with your Family at EASTER: A Spring BUNNY poem!

I had a blast doing these fun rhymes with my students at school this week! From babies through 5-year-olds, they each exeperience them at their own level, and get something different out of them. They loved meeting my sweet, soft bunny puppet, nuzzling him, giving him hugs and kisses and pats. The little ones practiced […]

Got IDEAS? Got Kids with IDEAS?

Do you have an awesome idea? A little seed just waiting to grow and sprout and bloom this season or next? Here at Blissdom Conference, Author Jon Acuff spoke about harnessing our creative powers with “The 3 Stages of Every Awesome Idea”: Imagine Capture Execute I know the session was meant to help us with our […]

“Good Things” from Spring Break: Part 2!

This past weekend the kids and I continued our tradition of “family camping” (though Daddy had to stay back to work this time). No, don’t think too highly of me – I did not take them by myself! I went with my parents and some friends. AND my wonderful father had everything set up for […]

Family TREE Play! Quick, Easy, Fun game…

  Enjoying a beautiful day outside with your kids today? Have 5 minutes to spare at the park or soccer field before you load up the car? Have some favorite trees in your yard? Take a few minutes sometime this week to play a favorite “Manders” family nature game. Get some exercise, build brain and […]

My Mission and Favorite CONNECTION posts

My mission in all my work – writing, teaching, parenting, speaking at seminars – is to help children and families to build and strengthen brain and family connections. The good news is that this is SIMPLE when you are intentional  enough to SLOW down and make a meaningful moment. Our main job as caregivers and nurturers […]

“Love Your Neighbor as Yourself”, in story and song…

For the month of February, the month of LOVE, I try to hammer this quote into my childrens’ heads though rhyme and repetition. To me, it is THE biggest lesson in the Bible, and the most important one to teach. I found this reflection in my journal from 2 years ago about it.   Hard […]