Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Happy Hanukkah - Helping Others

The Chanukah decorations are all out inside our home. The lights are ready to be lit tonight on the first night of the holiday.  The table is adorned with menorahs both old and new, passed down from loved ones and bought along the way, a slew of dreidels to spin and play games with, and arts and crafts projects to create and enthuse, as we begin to celebrate.

Getting this all set up has become a favorite pastime for Sarah and me each year. She gets so excited when I bring out the bin with our growing collection of old and new keepsakes, and traditions for her to see and follow.

We have a new addition to family holiday and traditions. His name is George -- a.k.a.  Mr. G.  He’s our mensch who came on a bench and who has been appearing and disappearing all around our home making us all smile. George can be held and hugged. We encourage it.  He watches out for us but not to see whether we are good or bad. Instead, he is just there to be part of our family tradition. He brings an element of fun and surprise to the holiday. Just the other day he was up to no good, as you can see here, and hanging around. He also likes to eat a lot. He recently got stuck in the bread box and the refrigerator door. 

As parents, it's our job to help guide our children, especially as far as teaching them about religion and spiritual beliefs. Therefore, when Hanukkah comes around for us, especially as my daughter starts to gain a better understanding of this holiday, it seems as if more needs to be done on my part, and her daddy’s, to help her see its true value and meaning, especially beyond the gifts and glitz and commercialization around us.

I admit that I often go a bit over on presents. However, one thing is true, I never lose sight of doing what we can to help others. And, that selfless act of kindness is what I continue to teach Sarah day in and day out.

Last year, Sarah agreed to give up one night of her presents and to pick something out to donate to a child in need through the Toys for Tots program. This year, when that discussion came up through a friend helping out a specific family in need, Sarah decided that she wanted to give up not just one but instead, two nights of her gifts, for a boy and a girl. Together we picked out the gifts that we donated. I am so proud of Sarah and feel that it’s never too early to teach our children to give back and help others. In Hebrew, this is Tzedakah, helping others.

So, as the lights burn starting over the next eight nights, dreidels spin, fried food being eaten, and time is spent with loved ones, let's be reminded of the efforts made in our history to create the freedom we now experience today. And, let's celebrate with the lights of the candles as they flicker and be reminiscent of what has been done for us, and what we need to do moving forward to help others.

Eight days and eight nights
The candles flicker and glow
Freedom and giving

Happy Chanukah
Festival of shining lights
Pray, sing, eat, play, drink

Happy Chanukah
Thanks Macabees for freedom
Tzedakah, help others

Happy Hanukkah
Time with friends and family
Festival of lights

Menorah, candles
Holiday of lights goes on

Smiles all around
Watching kids open presents
Happy Hanukkah

Hugging children tight
Thanking G-d for their presence
Life's most precious gift

Happy Chanukah to you and yours!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Happy Jewish New Year - Helping Kids to Believe

Sarah's love for the holiday
shines through in her drawing.
It made me smile knowing that my
teachings are resonating with her.
To all of you, my faithful readers, and your loved ones who celebrate the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah -- L' Shanah Tovah -- Happy New Year.

I wish you and your families a prosperous, happy, and healthy new year filled with renewal and forgiveness and the great start to many things grand.

The start of Rosh Hashanah is my favorite time of the year.  What I most love about this holiday is that it's like a restart button. You look at the past year of life and reflect on what you did, what you said, who you hurt literally and figuratively, what you did for your community, and the way you treated yourself.

The latter is often an offense many of us commit. I am indeed guilty.

We often hear the phrase that we must love ourselves before we can love others fully. This couldn't be more true. While we may not love everything about ourselves it is this time of year to forgive ourselves for being so hard on ourselves and give ourselves a break.

This is a lesson that regardless of religion should be taught to children so that they can grow up with confidence.

I know all too well that it is easy to be hard on oneself. However, in order to admit, then forgive and move past it, you will always be stuck. We are human. We may not love everything about ourselves, but we can certainly be nicer to ourselves.

While many look at the World's New Year in January as the time for reflection and new beginnings, as Jewish people that time is now for us.

From a previous blog post on Mommy's Point of View I said, "It is a significant time dedicated to reflection, thoughts for change, memories of the past personally and historically, and commitment and plans for fresh starts personally, professionally, and in local, national and global communities. It's also a time for family gatherings, special meals and sweet tasting foods, especially apples and honey to celebrate this joyous New Year."

As a Jewish people, we commit to resolutions, but don't call them resolutions. For example, wanting to lose weight, quit smoking or start exercising are important life-altering behavioral changes, but on this holiday our commitments run deeper and involve change that centers on righting the wrongs we have done to others, and to ourselves, and to establish new paths for growth, change and Jewish learning moving forward. It's as if we get to the meaning behind how we feel, the anger we have against ourselves and others, and the emotional and physical commitment to make a change."

Therefore, it is my job to look in the mirror to be honest with myself, be happy for whom I am and who I have become, and to be the parent I am and wish to be, and to love me. It is also time for change all around us. It could be getting more involved in your community, making a new friend, apologizing to someone for how they have been treated, or asking yourself for forgiveness and starting anew.

As parents we have a great responsibility to help our children to understand what it means to believe including traditions, values, and history to help them start on the path to their own spiritual connection.

I look forward to continuing the education with my daughter on the traditions I grew up with and those I have come to love and appreciate and own in my adulthood, and creating new memories with her to have for years to come.

I wish you a sweet and joyous new year, prosperity, love, happiness and, most importantly, good health.

Happy New Year. L'Shanah Tovah.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Not Tolerating Bullying and Loving Oneself

A few weeks ago while my daughter was at the pool getting ready for a swim lesson she said to me, "Mommy, you want to know who I love the most in our entire family?"  She said, "me" referring to herself.

Listening to my child tell me something that is not an easy lesson to teach that she understood warmed my heart. It made me see that I am doing all that I can to show her the way and to help her love who she is and to help her to find herself through passions, relationships and more.

It's important to remind our kids that in order for them to love others and to be loved they must learn to love themselves.

We try so hard to protect our children from bullies, mean-spirited individuals and obstacles that will come their way. While we cannot be there to defend them and protect them all the time, all we can do is help them to build confidence in themselves to hopefully stand up and be proud and to just walk away with their head held high.

I know that this is all very easy to say. But, having been on the receiving end of what is now being called bullying and not always feeling so good about myself when I was a kid, you can bet I am going to arm my child with the tools to help her be confident and to love herself, when there are haters and others who may want to knock her down.

When I was younger, the word bullying didn't really exist. We used to call it "getting picked on."  But, with the latter it was seen as a single act versus a behavior that happened one too many times.

When my sister and I were kids and went to a sleep away camp for years, we were called names by kids, and by some counselors, for having a chin that was a bit too big for our faces. We were called "chinsters." I also had a scar on my chin, a few inches in size, and was also called scar face. As a kid, you can only imagine how that could hurt ones feelings. My sister, not sure how, was able to take it in stride and just ignore it. I, on the other hand, more insecure, wasn't as brave. My feelings were hurt often. As a result, I think it was hard to love myself when I wasn't feeling love around me.

To add to all of this, it didn't help that kids in my bunk at camp who I thought were my friends, also took my favorite stuffed animal (right insert) and throw him outside on the ground at night for me to find him with yet another tear the next day.  Let's just say that I couldn't wait to get home every summer where safety awaited me and my friends and family that did care welcomed me with open arms.

As you can see I still have this stuffed animal (picture right) with its many, many, many stitches of thread sewn by the camp nurse. He is a constant reminder of my past vulnerabilities and the strength and confidence I have developed.

I couldn't make sense of my summers at camp with the constant name calling and "being picked on" as I didn't at all have that experience at any of my schools or in my circle of friends.

One friend from that camp many years ago, who knows who she is, loved me for me and chose not to listen to others and not make fun of me. She chose to appreciate and like me because I was a good person with a big heart, and we are still friends to this day.

I kept silent for too many years, not saying anything about how I really felt all those summers. When I finally told my mom, in my 20s, she cried and was so sad that I had held it in for so long not saying or doing anything. I was hurt but also embarrassed that I could let it happen and for so long, not having the confidence to stand up for myself. Only now, well over 30 years later in the eyes of my daughter, do I feel confident enough to say that I was bullied and that I chose to stand up for myself and those I love encourage her to do the same and share with me whatever she is feeling and experiencing so I can support her.

Sarah and I have actually done quite a bit of role playing when there have been instances in which a kid hurt her feelings or she wanted to stand up to a kid who was not being nice to her.

Kids can be mean and start out very young impacting our children's feelings. We also have to be very careful about the fine line between those that are mean and acts of bullying.

It's no wonder today that I am more confident than I have ever been and more conscious of the people I surround myself with. I no longer tolerate people who are mean to me or to those who I love, and am more aware of those kids in my daughter's circle with this awareness.

Our goal as parents is to love our children as hard as we can and to teach them to love and be loved and to be kind to others, to work diligently and to strive for what matters most to them. We must encourage them to surround themselves with others who care about them too and that it's not about how many friends we have but the ones that matter who love us for us.

Here's to supporting our children and guiding them to make good choices, even though we know there will be some bad choices along the way and people to bring them down. We need to help them to stand on their own, be confident, be respectful of others, and above all, learn to love and appreciate themselves. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Last Day of Kindergarten

Today is Sarah's last day of Kindergarten. She doesn't seem to be fazed by it, but for me this is a huge milestone. As I write this I have a huge lump in my throat and feel tears coming on.

Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled and happy to see my daughter grow and thrive. It has been so much fun watching her learn to read and write sentences, and achieve in more ways than I could have ever imagined. But, knowing that I will not be going through this again makes it hard and I just want to hold on to this feeling just a little while longer.

I never really affected by school ending for Sarah in the past as her summer program was at her preschool and she was staying in the same place. For her it didn't seem different as the people were the same too.

This year is different. I feel it alright.

There have been so many new firsts for Sarah, and Daniel and I as her parents. Not only did she start a new school for Kindergarten, but now Sarah will be going to camp with her school friends for a true camp experience.

This is a BIG DEAL!!! This is all indeed A BIG DEAL!!!

I am just so glad that I followed an idea that a friend of my had with getting the Dr. Seuss Book, Oh the Places You'll Go and having Sarah's teachers signing it since preschool, with the plans for us to give it to her when she graduates High School...as a personal year book.

Oh the places that Sarah will go is skies the limit. I am just so proud of her and we have such a great canvas in her to work with. She is so loving and compassionate yet nutty and rambunctious. She keeps Daniel and I on our toes.

I look forward to all the future adventures we will have together with Sarah and the journeys she will experience on her own. Watching her grow up and being her mom has been my life's greatest pleasure. The reward for me is being her parent and having the opportunity to experience life through her eyes. Oh the joys, and sometimes sorrows, we experience together I wouldn't change for the world.

This next chapter in our lives, in Sarah's life, will be exciting and amazing and challenging. I look forward to each step we take together as a family and as we watch her flourish and develop into her own.

This year of school done
Kindergarten is no more
Ready for first grade

She is growing up
My baby is a big girl
Learning and soaring

So proud of Sarah
She's my life's greatest reward
Watching her grow up

Letting her go free
So very hard to let go
watching her flourish

School's out, summer's here
Together time will be fun
Rest before school year

My baby is growing up and my heart hurts, but in a good way. I love who she is and who she is becoming.  My life is complete because she's in it. Being her mom, and being a parent, have been so rewarding, challenging, educational and amazing all rolled into one.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sharing Thanks this Memorial Day

Sarah Begun original (circa. Flag 2014)
While many of us may be off from work today possibly going to a barbecue, going to the beach, taking advantage of shopping sales, or resting and relaxing with family and friends, it is most important for us to take time to reflect to remember and thank the millions of men and women who have risked their lives to protect our country, which helped to give us the freedom we have today, and every day moving forward. 
Lest we not forget, the men and women who continue to go to war and combat and who train tirelessly away from their families and friends to.

So before, in between, and after today's festivities, let's take time to remember with sadness, and pride, as Americans, the many souls who sacrificed their lives and continue to do so every day, and veterans who dedicated and continue to dedicate their time, energy, and attention for the love of their country, to help fight for our freedom.

Words of thanks go to all the men and women who commit themselves to protect our country, and for those especially who lost their lives in the war for freedom.

A special shout out to all of Sarah's grandfathers and Great Uncle who participated in wars doing various jobs from medic to enemy lines battle to keep our country protected and safe. And, even when the war was not won we know the effort to try was hard and intense.

My heart also goes out to the children, both young and old, whose lives were and still are impacted by their parent's bravery to fight for our country, and especially the time they have away from them in order to do so.  

Credit: H.D.B Photography
(a.k.a. Sarah's awesome Uncle Harold)
Today, let's memorialize, and honor, all who risked a great deal for our United States of America. Here are some special haiku I wrote, a drawing made by Sarah and a beautiful photo by Sarah's G-dfather and Uncle who lost a different battle -- to cancer. Let us commemorate and remember the commitment of so many and share our thanks and appreciation.

Memorial Day
Today, time to remember
Lives of many lost

To all men, women
Thank you for protecting us
Forever in debt

Thanks to those of you
Risking your lives to protect

For red, white, and blue
Colors continue to sore
Time to remember

You're special people
With the biggest hearts of all
Thanks, infinity

To all the men and women
You mean a great deal

Much love and appreciation to all of you, men and women, and moms and dads, and everyone who dedicates their lives to protect our country. You are a special kind of people, selfless human beings who are looked at in the highest regard, for all that you do, sacrifice, and continue to risk each and every day, and we thank you to infinity.

You are forever in our hearts and we at Mommy’s Point of View want to say THANK YOU!!!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Jackson’s Story of Life with MPS

I met a mom, Carrie Dunn, recently at our children’s parent teacher association (PTA) meeting. She stood up to talk about her son Jackson’s health and an event the school was hosting to help to raise awareness for the cause.
Jackson (on the left) was diagnosed with a disease called Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS). It is a genetic lysosomal storage disease (LSD) that impacts 1 in 25,000 births and is caused by the body’s inability to use specific enzymes to break down and recycle materials in cells.
While the disease may not be apparent at birth, signs and symptoms develop with age as more cells become damaged by the build-up of cell materials. Jackson was diagnosed at the age of three.
There are numerous types of LSDs and the disease differs from patient to patient and symptoms vary in severity. In most cases a child receives a recessive gene from each parent.
For Jackson, he has MPS II, also known as Hunter Syndrome, and it is so rare that it effects 1 in 100,000 males. This form of the disease is also severe, progressing and life limiting.
Affected individuals will MPS may experience brain disability, cloudy corneas, short stature, stiff joins, incontinence, speech and hearing impairment, chronic runny nose, hernia, heart disease, hyperactivity, depression, pain and a dramatically shortened life span.
While there is no cure for MPS or related diseases, medical advancements are making great strides in helping to manage the disease symptoms. Currently there are enzyme replacements on the market and gene therapy, among other options. Bone marrow transplantation has also been considered successful for many; however few MPS patients qualify for this high-risk procedure.
My heart goes out to Carrie, Jackson and their entire family, and the many families coping with this life-threatening disease.
Carrie has a “Courage Page” on the website of The National MPS Society where she chronicles Jackson’s experience while also fundraising to support medical costs for her son, and towards future research. Jackson is currently on an enzyme replacement therapy to help with symptom management and disease complications.
Please join Mommy's Point of View, and others, as we help to elevate awareness for this disease and to support Jackson and his family. Donations are always welcome. Every little bit of attention and funding goes a long way.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Arts and Crafts with Nature

The weather is getting warmer and being outside when the sun is shining is a great time to take a stroll with the kids to explore and have fun with nature.

A few years ago, I decided to do just this when Sarah and her classmates were encouraged to volunteer and develop a poster or diorama around one or more books as part of a reading series with the Barbara Bush Reading Foundation. There was a contest for a chance to win some amazing and celebrated books and CDs on tape, for finalists from each school and then the final winner.

In thinking about some of her favorite books, Sarah decided she wanted to focus specifically on The Three Billy Goats Gruff. 

First, we sat down and discussed what she wanted the poster to look like.  Sarah did a diorama the year prior for another activity and decided to try the poster approach this time around.  We pulled out a yellow lined legal pad of paper with pencils and started to draw as we discussed and planned ahead.

As we were talking about items she wanted to use and include, I encouraged her to consider some things in nature that could help with telling this story visually.

She loved the idea and grabbed a bag and her coat, and out we went. 

We strolled outside and down the block and Sarah started to quickly pick up branches, which would later become the planks of the bridge that goats would try to get across.  We then came across some pebbles and rocks that were not part of any one's landscaping and Sarah selected the ones she liked most and placed them into the bag. These stones would help to show what the land looked like, dull and sad, before the goats would seek out greener pastures for food.  We also stumbled across some odd mossy looking things that fell from the tree above and gathered those curious to know what we could do with them, and to see if they would last and not dry out. Fortunately, they lasted and would become part of the new, lush surroundings that the goats fed on.

Once we were home and at the table, Sarah emptied her bag to study her findings. At the age of four she didn't have the thought process to see how they would all play out together, but with the blueprint we created, I could guide her while she placed everything on the poster.

Knowing that this project was happening and Sarah was still thinking her ideas through on what to do, I decided to take some pictures of goats during a visit we took to a local farm where a number of goats lived. Knowing that there were three goats in the story, I made sure to capture images of three goats of different shapes, sizes and colors to represent each in the book.

With the photos printed out and the nature elements we found together, it was time to put the project together.

Since Sarah was still learning how to write, I wrote out the title in block letters at the top and she  colored them in however she wanted to.  Then, we went to our blueprint and drew out a mountain.  On the left side would be the dry lands with no food available for the goats.  On the right side would be the plush greens they would travel too.  In the middle of the poster was the bridge that was armed by a mean troll.

Sarah and I had so much fun working on this project together and building in elements from nature.  It was important to me that Sarah have a heavy hand in the creation of this so she learned that her voice and participation are incredibly important, and that this is part of her learning. 

Thanks to nature not only did Sarah create a really fun project that she played a big part in, it helped her to appreciate what nature has to offer and help her to express her ideas. The great news is that Sarah's project was chosen as a finalist for her school and she went on to win five new books for her home library.

All in all, this was a joyous experience and one I encourage parents to experience with their children.  You will be amazed at what you can find in nature that can provide inspiration, motivation and excitement. 

How has nature inspired you to create? 

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Getting Crafty with Kids: Sarah's Creations

Last night Sarah was busy at work creating. She walked into my office with such pride on her face and showed me clothes that she had made for her stuffed animals out of colorful construction paper. Apparently, she first tried to make a paper lantern and when that didn't work out she found another use for her creation and transformed it into something completely different.

Ironically, earlier in the day unbeknownst to Sarah, a young girl was featured in the news as being an intuitive designer using paper to make gowns, mimicking those from award shows worn by celebrities.

There is no coincidence here, but it's pretty cool.

It's amazing how our children can just put their mind to something and be untainted in their thinking when they put their mind to something they want to do. 

Sarah could have easily ripped up that piece of paper and started all over again from scratch. Instead, she chose not to waste the paper find another creative use for it.

I am so proud of Sarah in remembering the importance of recycling, which we often talk about, and that her active imagination churned out something fun and unique. She was so happy with her result and I couldn't help but be excited with her on her accomplishment.

Children have an ability to see things with such purity because they don't have too much experience with negativity and they aren't as impacted by the "coloring inside the lines" mentality at such a young age, unless guided otherwise. 

It is a joy to watch children and their thought processes. It reminds me of the times when Sarah was a baby and toddler exploring her way with arts and crafts with me trying to guide her.  I realized that as much as I wanted to control what she was doing, filling in the empty space that bothered me and not her, seeing in my mind what was right versus wrong, I had to let her find her own path and know that there is no right or wrong in art.

So long as no one gets hurt and the paint, markers and art supplies don't land on the furniture there is freedom in creation and we need to stand back and let our children explore and try without our sometimes judging influence.

As someone who enjoys arts and crafts, it makes me smile seeing Sarah develop and create innovations based on her visions and thinking. Sometimes she amazes me with what she comes up with. I think many times had I influenced her thought process what she would have come up with would have been completely different.  It's wonderful to witness the stirring inside her developing mind.

It's important to provide our children with the tools to learn and grow; however we must let them try on their own, as what they may create may be well beyond our sometimes tainted thoughts of what we think should and shouldn't be.

There is so much we want to control in this world. When it comes to our kids we just need to let them be free.  With that freedom comes fun and confidence.

I decided tonight to tell Sarah about the little girl that made the clothes with paper and also showed her some of the designs. She was intrigued and amazed.  Instantly she thought, "I want to try that," said Sarah. So, as I put the final touches on this blog post, she is now with paper in hand and tape galore creating away.  I can't wait to see what she makes all on her own.

Inspiration comes from all around us.  Let's continue to encourage and motivate our kids and expose them to the world around us to explore, and try, and fail, and have fun all on their own, with our support.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Childhood Aging Disease Progeria: Laura's Story

Earlier this month, 17-year-old Sam Berns, who many knew as a spirited and gutsy kid who was full of life, passed away from complications of a premature, rare and accelerated aging disease called Progeria.

Some may remember Sam from an HBO documentary he was featured in called "Life According to Sam," which documented his life living with the disease.  He also spoke at a conference in October 2013 sharing personal stories and experiences all while inspiring and encouraging others to live life to the fullest.

Sam proved that despite life’s obstacles, if there was something he wanted to do or be, he was going to do it and not let the disease be his limitation.

Sam was 1 per 8 million of live births that lead to this extremely rare genetic disease also known as Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome. Symptoms  of progeria resemble aspects of aging, which start very early in life and can include wrinkled skin, fragile bodies, small faces with larger heads, recessed jaws and pinched noses, limited growth and full-body hair loss. Children with progeria typically live to their mid-teens to early twenties.

While children with progeria have normal mental and motor development, it’s some of their physical and internal challenges that make it difficult managing with the disease.

Recently, I spoke with a mom of a child with progeria, Laura Penny, who knows all too well what it’s like experiencing the challenges of raising a child with this life-threatening disease.

Laura experienced a healthy pregnancy with her daughter and did not exhibit any issues until her 38-week ultrasound when doctors saw the amniotic sac wall coming apart and was forced to deliver baby Zoey right away.

It wasn’t until Zoey’s eight week check-up that abnormal symptoms were concerning for both the doctors and her parents. After numerous tests over the course of several months and visits with specialists and geneticists the diagnosis of progeria was given.

For progeria, there are no approved treatments to cure the disease or even to slow it down.

With that in mind, Zoey’s parents knew they needed to find resolve somehow and arm themselves with information, and most importantly support, from others who understood what they were going through. 

Zoey’s pediatrician Dr. Nancy Mallon in Verona, NJ directed Laura and her husband to the Progeria Research Foundation. This is where they also met and connected with Dr. Leslie Gordon and Dr. Scott Berns, Sam Bern’s parents, who started and run the organization. It was here that they started to network and meet other families going through their very experience.

For Laura's dad, John Marozzi a business man who runs his own company, he felt helpless on the sidelines watching his daughter going through this pain and struggle. With little promise in current medical advancements, John knew that money needed to be raised to put towards his granddaughter's care and treatments. With support from The Progeria Research Foundation, and countless others, he helped bring to life a group called Team Zoey.

Now, four years later, after the alarming diagnosis and fear of the unknown for their child, Laura and her husband now have an established network of supporters both friends and family, and funds being raised to help Zoey and other children with progeria. 
Zoey is a very happy, smart and boisterous child who loves to sing and play. Despite progeria, she is a funny girl who is full of life. While she does have some physical limitations she always finds her own way

of getting around. She goes to pre-school, which she loves, and balances her schedule with necessary medical appointments yet always finds time for favorite activities including arts and crafts, dancing and more.
Everyone who meets Zoey, falls in love with her.  She is a free spirit.  While she does get tired frequently, she rarely wants to sleep and is a high-energy spirit whose enthusiasm is infectious. 

Zoey’s parents were anxious to get her into a clinical trial, as they could not sit by and do so little medically while the disease took hold of their child’s life.

“We will never stop fighting for progeria. It’s tiring, it’s hard and it’s emotional,” says Laura.

In July 2013, their prayers were answered and Zoey began taking three drugs as part of a clinical trial called Triple Trial Expansion. 

In addition, Team Zoey became the New Jersey Chapter for the Progeria Research Foundation. They often hold events to raise funds to pay for Zoey's medical expenses and for other new children entering the trial.

Next week, Team Zoey is hosting a Spin for Life event on February 9. People can sign up for 30-minute time slots or spin for longer, fundraise and/or donate. To learn more about the event or take part by way of donation, please visit here.

Every little bit counts in the fight against progeria. Mommy's Point of View has already signed up with a donation. Please join us in the quest for necessary research for this disease.

Disclosure:  The company I work for, Green Room Communications, does pro bono public and media relations work to support Team Zoey and this important cause, progeria. Please know, I have not been paid to write this blog post, but want to disclose that we are in connection with the organization to support and raise much-needed awareness.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

Following our conversation with Sarah tonight, who asked about Martin Luther King Jr. she asked to decorate this picture in his memory and to share with her friends at school tomorrow. I asked her if I could share with you, and she proudly agreed.

It's moments like this that are learning opportunities to educate our children on history.  It matters for us to share Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and legacy with our children; however young they are, to keep his memory, commitment and dedication alive to pave the way for equality.

In memory of Martin Luther King Jr.

In addition, here are some Haiku I wrote to commemorate this incredible human being who was loved by many and inspiration.

Strength and endurance
Never giving up the fight
Standing for the cause

Martin Luther King
Courageous and powerful
Inspired nation

Making an impact
On the world we live today
For equality

Man of many words
Who had a fighting spirit
Big voice, equal rights

Halloween Candy for the Troops

While we all recover from over indulging in too much candy during Halloween, still the candy is in our homes staring at us willing us to...