109. Playfully Touching Lives

I love my job!  Today I ran Family Math Games — a program where I have a bunch of board games and card games for all ages that promote math skills.  I only ask that at least one parent plays with the kids.  The program was my idea, and today I had 41 people in that room happily playing games — parents and kids playing together.

This fills my heart with happiness.  Once upon a time, I taught college math.  Then, so many of the students saw me as their adversary, since I wrote and graded the tests.  This way of teaching is so much more wonderful!

And my job is filled with things like this.  On Monday, I’m going to attempt to teach kids Scratch programming — but I’m planning to do so just by letting them mess around with it, play.

On Wednesday, Tech Shop is coming for a Computer Deconstruction program.  They’re going to bring tools and old computers, and the kids will take them apart and find out what’s inside.  It was from attending this program that I was brave enough to take a screwdriver to my film scanner — and I actually fixed it!  During that program, it’s so much fun to see the kids’ curiosity and confidence increase as they go.

And storytimes are about learning through fun, too.  Listening to stories lays the groundwork for learning to read — and it’s completely fun, not painful at all.

Can you tell?  I so love my job.  Because I get to touch lives by encouraging kids to play!

I am truly blessed!



102. Family Math Games

I’m proud of our Family Math Games program at the library, because it was my idea to make lots of games available to families, one Saturday a month, and ask only that at least one parent plays with their kids.

And it just makes me happy when it works!

Today I had ten different groups of parents and children playing together.  The kids were learning, and everyone was having fun.

Few things make me happier than hearing a parent teach their kid a concept playfully and lovingly.  I heard kids practicing counting and strategy.  I saw a little girl happily driving a pink car to grandma’s house using shape cards.  I saw older kids helping younger kids figure something out.

Their smiling faces when they brought a game back and looked for a new one made my day.

It was beautiful and reminded me that I really do have an awesome job.

It also reminded me of when our family used to regularly play Monopoly Jr. together after dinner most evenings.  It was so fun to get to see a roomful of other families having that same experience.

And it was slightly sweeter because my youngest is about to move out and start his adult life on the other side of the country.  This is a good thing — He has grown up and is spreading his wings.  But it makes me happy that I can take something our family did that was great for our young kids and spread it to other families.  Even the ones who already would be playing games with their kids have new games here to try out.


88. Dominion with my Son

Lately, I’ve been busy, and my son and I haven’t played too many games together.

Then, on Easter, we taught my friend’s family how to play Dominion.

And today Dominion Adventures arrived!

It’s an expansion set (We have all 9 other sets.), and Tim ordered it for me as an early birthday present.  He’s hoping to get a job before my birthday and move out, and wants to have plenty of time to play it with me.

And it’s awesome!

And it was tremendously fun to set my to-do list aside and play a couple games with my son.

83. Games!

Friday nights, I usually go to a group that plays Eurogames.  So much fun!

Last night I only played two — an old favorite, Dominion, and a new really interesting game called Evolution.  But week after week, I get to play a wide variety of games with people who are really good at it and enjoy it as much as I do.

After my youngest went off to college, it dawned on me that I’d always counted on family to have people to play games with.  And suddenly, there was no one at all in my home but me!

After some persuading, my co-worker got me going to a Saturday afternoon group, and eventually I was invited to the Friday night group.  I now have another group that often plays Dominion on Sundays, and usually play a game with that same co-worker during our dinner break on Thursdays — so I have lots of opportunities to play games in my life.

And normally, when I drive home at night after gaming, I can’t help but think how happy that makes me.  I don’t know what it is about me that so much likes playing games, but I definitely do.  And I get to have that in my life!  I am blessed.

67. ALA Midwinter Meeting

Last weekend I got to go to ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston!e

The first $500 toward the cost was paid by a scholarship from the Friends of George Mason Regional Library for staff to go to training.  I’m very grateful!

At the conference I learned lots of things, met fascinating authors, got to attend the Youth Media Awards, and sent home 101 books!

I was so blessed to be able to go!

50. My Oregon Trip


I just got back from a wonderful trip to Oregon.

I like to make this blog about *present* blessings, but I was not able to do much posting on my trip.  So I will first be thankful for the whole trip, that I was able to go and had a wonderful time.  My subsequent posts will get into specifics.

Overall — I got to take a week off work and go to Portland.  The excuse was a Young Adult Library Services Association Symposium.  But I stayed before and after the symposium to see various loved family members.

And it was a simply wonderful week.

47. Cleaning Up After Only Myself

I think I need to remind myself of some of the perks of living alone!

And Saturday night I did a housecleaning — and it was so easy!  And it’s just not going to get dirty very fast!  And I have so much time for more interesting things!  And I don’t have to clean up any disgusting Man-Mess.  (Yes, a husband and kids are worth it — but there’s always a good side!  Just reminding myself.)  Other people’s messes are always a little harder to tolerate than your own.  And I simply don’t have to deal with that for this season in my life.

45. Committee Work

So — It’s kind of a funny thing.  I got on ALSC’s Grants Administration Committee as a way of doing my time in hopes I’d be considered a good candidate for the Newbery Committee some day.  After two years on the Children and Technology Committee, I did two years on the Grants Administration Committee — and this year I’m committee chair.

The funny thing?  I’m really enjoying it.  Yes, it is tough to evaluate the different applications.  (Fortunately, it’s not all up to me.  We’ve got a committee for that.)  But hearing what people are doing in their libraries helps make me excited about being a librarian.  And touching the lives of children.

And now I get to help generous people give money to help that happen for other librarians in other libraries.  And that’s a blessing.