Sunday, November 11, 2012

Gratitude: A Million Times Over

VETERAN'S DAY: A Million Reasons for GRATITUDE

My heart is very full today. 
Veteran's Day means so much in our family. 

Let me just start off by sharing that our son-in-law, Scott  (pictured above in an earlier photo from my collection) has just arrived home from the desert around the world. His body armor, boots and sand fatigues are now safely in the mid-west again. He has returned to those who love him.


We know as an extended family the impact of having a loved one in a war zone repeatedly. We know the impact on his loving wife and children. We know the sacrifice. We feel it up close and personal. It takes a toll. We are over joyed at his safe return. 

Mettle 5 on the Day that Daddy Deployed Most Recently 
It is amazing that technology has arrived at the point where they could 'Skype' together on trick-or-treat evening and share costumes, face-paint and enthusiasm together around the globe..... but trust me. That's not the same thing as  being there and participating in the biggest night of the year for young ones. Thank you Scott. Thank you Sarah. And thank you to all of the Scotts and Sarahs that serve. 

Here's the quilt where Scott is arriving home, just in time for Thanksgiving, that is near the conclusion of my book, "Red, White and Blue." It was Sarah's idea for me to make a fabric version of him in uniform. 

Quilt Illustration for "Red, White and Blue" by Debbie Clement

My own hubby served four years of active duty in the Navy aboard the USS John F. Kennedy air craft carrier in the mediterranean during the Viet Nam era. My other son-in-law, Zac is in the Navy and permanently stationed in Anapolis for his contribution. I'm so proud of all of 'my' men. 

Spend even a few minutes pondering those who have contributed to the service and protection of all that we hold dear. If you have a veteran as a neighbor extend an extra kindness. If you have a neighbor with a deployed spouse -- ask if you can stop and pick up a gallon of milk. Small acts of gratitude go a l-o-n-g way. Acknowledgement. Consideration. Support. 

photo of: Patriotic Response for Veteran's Day via RainbowsWithinReach

Last week I had an article with a couple of dozen patriotic art projects for children to create. Go there and get inspired by acts of patriotism from hands teenie and small. Teach the children in your life about respect and honor. 

Yes. I have a million reasons to be thankful today. With NAEYC in Atlanta this year, we were just a hop, skip and jump from my family in Augusta. I'm so fortunate to have both of my parents at the helm -- offering support and encouragement on my endeavors. We're in the front yard of my sister's home and my dear brother-in-law on crutches, due to recent surgery, snapped the picture safely, despite all of our concerns. YEAH for family. 

From Left-to-Right: Hubby/Navy Man Allen, moi, My Mommy, Sister Rebecca (collaborator on my book "Tall Giraffe" and Daddy
Did mention that I have a million reasons to be grateful? I am now a GREAT-aunt. My sister above is now "Nana" to a bundle-of-blessings. This joyous arrival is for my niece Kelly and her amazing hubby Ramon. As some of you may be aware, Kelly, is the photographer behind many of the giraffe photos that adorn my second picture book, "Tall Giraffe." 

Kelly has battled down her own cancer-demon not too very long ago: thyroid cancer. So this sweet arrival is joy upon joy, upon JOY!!! 

Because of our freedom -- I get to do what I LUV and enjoy. I get to travel easily and with delight. I get to spend time with motivated educators around this country and around the world. Here are my recent fanclub officers in Montomery, Texas after my all day seminar. These brilliant wonders worked hard to bring me to their champions of children. HUGS, dearsies. 

I have a million reasons to be thankful: 
I get to spend time with energetic students and we have THE.MOST.FUN!!!!!!

I have a million reasons to be thankful: 
I have just surpassed a million page-views here at rainbow central. 

That's reason to celebrate for certain. 
I must think of something fitting!! 

If you're looking for an 'instant' idea to continue your Veteran's Day observance with your students..... I have an instant, digital download of my song "Red, White and Blue" in Mp3 format, along with its sign language chart in pdf version. It's suitable for 'performance' and easily taught due to it's simple, repetitious lyrics. 
"Red, White and Blue" Patriotic Song for Digital Download
Mp3 Version
Go check it out at Teachers Pay Teachers. I just this minute put it on sale at 20% off -- to help motivate any last minute shoppers. 

Pre-K, Kindergarten, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth -

I have an entire collection of ideas over at Pinterest to support your patriotic displays and projects. There are 451 ideas pinned for your inspiration, so click right here to get to that pin board filled with ideas. 

-- Debbie -- 

I just added this article to the linky over at: A Year of Firsts. 
The truth is many of these million bits of gratitude are in direct relationship to my joining the larger world of edu-bloggers and having their support in my efforts. 

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!

Thanks for your support! I am so appreciative of your pins!
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