Archive for the 'Cedar Valley Heart' Category

Aug 20 2011

Let’s Get Ready For Back to Basics & Cedar Valley Publishing!

As many of my avid followers to this blog have come to realize, I have been getting back to the basics of life by taking some much needed time to recharge, rebalance and get back to making my family my number one priority.  Being a solo mom entrepreneur for the last 8+ years has meant many sacrifices especially for my husband and kids, now ages 12 and 10.  By taking some time off and putting our family first I am truly thanking them for being the best family on the planet for allowing me to follow all my hopes and dreams! 

Kids are so smart!  They saw that I had become a workaholic!  They challenged me that I had become addicted to checking my emails and all my favorite social media sites, especially Facebook and Twitter and sadly they were so right.  Truthfully, I was spending 18 hour days in our home office trying to get through my 500+ daily emails, all my social media posts and trying to keep this blog going daily and it was starting to take its toll!  I wasn’t as happy as I knew I deserved to be!! 

Now that my kids have entered the world of cell phones and social media, I am glad that I went cold turkey to set an example in our house that phones and Facebook have a place in our lives but they need to be in used in moderation.  I didn’t want to be one of those parents who goes to their child’s sporting event but spends the entire time on their phone or blackberry!  I must admit that I rarely did that!  Instead, I was guilty of being tied day and night to my email, Facebook and twitter! 

Are you addicted to your cell phone, Facebook or Twitter page?  Tell us your story!

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Sep 25 2009

Let’s get ready to show your kids your love:

  1. Tell your child everyday that you love them!
  2. Hug and kiss your child in the morning and at night!
  3. Have open-ended conversations with your child each and every day!
  4. Read together!
  5. Laugh together!
  6. Play together!
  7. Be together!

14 responses so far

Sep 11 2009

Let’s get ready to never forget 911!

I was in bed, 8 years ago with Heidi, 2 and nursing Megan, 2 months old, when Mike called with the 911 news!  I was heart broken, dazed and so sad for all those families and friends that had just been touched by evil.  May we never forget!

11 responses so far

Aug 27 2009

How to Get Hooked on Reading by Stacey Kannenberg

I will never forget the day I was finally hooked on reading. I was blessed by the presence of my friend Mary Isham one day in 9th grade.

Yes, you read it right. It took me until 9th grade to finally love reading. I wasn’t a born a reader, nor was a child-bookworm.

Even my school librarian knew I dreaded school assignments that forced me to check out books and report on a particular subject—or any subject at all. I was not a struggling reader, but I never found an interest to read anything beyond my homework assignments; which had too much reading in and of itself.

So, back to that glorious day in 9th grade…

I was walking into the school library and noticed my friend Mary Isham having an animated conversation, mostly to herself, as she openly expressed her concerns with the librarian. She was a cute and bubbly girl, dressed in her cheerleading outfit for the big game that night and seemed to be having some sort of problem.

I walked closer and overheard Mary tragically exclaim, “I can’t bear to part with it, I just can’t, you know.  I can’t stand the thought of it being put back on the shelf and no one reading it – I have checked it out three times and have read it over and over for weeks and the thought of it all alone waiting for someone to read it makes me sad.”  Mary spots me walking in and gushes, “Stacey save me!  This is such a great book and I have to turn it in today and I hate to see it sitting on the shelf alone, please, please take it and check it out…it is such a great book.”

I remember her words vividly.

That was it! 

I couldn’t believe that someone could love a book so much that she was having such a dramatic scene about returning it to the library,

So, I figured it must be good, right?  As pleaded, I took the book and checked it out.  I went home, rushed to my room, and opened its first page. I was hooked!

I even missed the football game that night.

When it was time to return it, I checked out another Victoria Holt romance book and the librarian smiled as to say something about that being a life changing event for me.

I didn’t appreciate it until now. Yes, being hooked on reading became a life-changing event for me.

Thank you Mary Isham!

What’s your favorite book? What title can cause you to get dramatic and overly-animated?

Well, whatever book it is, please introduce that book to your child, friend, family member or co-worker.

You never know, it might be a life-changing event for them too!

Copyright 2007-2009 – Stacey Kannenberg, Cedar Valley Publishing, Author of Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten! and Let’s Get Ready For First Grade!

Care to share your favorite book with us?  What about a favorite author or series?  Reading can be a wonderful life-altering experience; the right book can be the key that unlocks the door.

94 responses so far

Jul 03 2009

Let’s Get Ready to Celebrate America’s 233rd Birthday!

July 4th is the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.   This date has been set forth, throughout history, as the day that America gained independence from Great Britain.

Throughout the years, it has come to be known as the day of family, picnics and fireworks.  Fried chicken with potato salad, parades and American flags waving proudly in our skys.


As we get ready to celebrate July 4th tomorrow, please hold the thoughts and prayers of those who have, throughout history, fought to preserve freedom for America.  The men and women everywhere who hold their passion for these United States of America so close to their hearts that they are willing to give everything, including their lives, to uphold the standards and words that were written down and witnessed by our forefathers 233 years ago.

Help your children understand that the party isn’t just about the fun, family and fireworks. 

It’s about freedom for all.

And, with tears in my eyes, I will proudly stand to recite The Pledge of Allegiance….and sing The Star Spangled Banner so that I, too, may show how thankful my family and I are – to be free.

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Jun 03 2009

Let’s Get Ready For the Last Day of School!

Last Day of School

“You’re a very special person,

And I wanted you to know,

How much I enjoyed being your teacher,

How fast the year did go!

Please come back to visit me,

As through the grades you grow,

Try hard to learn all that you can,

There is so much to know!

The one thing I tried to teach you, to last your whole life through,

Is to know that you are SPECIAL,

There is no one else like you!

Author Unknown

Here are a few items to help you remember to celebrate you and your successes:

  • Toothpick – to remind you to pick out the good qualities in others.
  • Rubber Band – to remind you to be flexible, things might not always go the way you want, but it will work out.
  • Band Aid – to remind you to heal hurt feelings, yours or someone else’s.
  • Pencil – to remind you to list your blessings every day.
  • Eraser – to remind you that everyone makes mistakes, and it’s O.K.
  • Chewing Gum – to remind you to stick with it and you can accomplish anything!
  • Mint – to remind you that you are worth a “mint”.

Then, I shake their hands, tell them one or two quick words of encouragement, and wish them a happy and safe summer vacation.  Hoping that all of you have had a very successful school year. 

‘Talk to each other, support each other, take care of each other.

The above was seen at  Mr. Marjan Glavac author, editor, teacher FR-EE subscription to How To Make A Difference Newsletter  ‘There are no boundaries for the journeys of the mind.’

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Apr 17 2009

Let’s Get Ready To Volunteer at School!

It’s nearing the end of school and you know what that means don’t you?  Field Trips!!  What a great opportunity to volunteer as a chaperone.  Not only do you look like a hero in the eyes of your child, but you get to know your child’s classmates as well.  Remember, your child is less likely to be bullied in school if you personally take the time to get to know each child in your child’s class.  Mike and I love field trip time, and try to make as many of the trips as we can.  We have been to the zoo, the museum, the apple orchard, the pumpkin patch, the dairy farm, the corn maze, the animal safari and so much more.  Each trip has been an amazing experience with wonderful stories to share – and I not only get to share them with my daughters, but with the parents of the other children who weren’t able to attend.  

Last week, Mike and I were in charge of four kids (out of 57) from our school at the Milwaukee Public Museum.  Mike was with one of the girls, revisiting the butterfly exhibit and I had Megan and the two boys looking at insects…when the fire alarm went off.  We could smell smoke and could hear the fire trucks coming.  I am so proud of how all the kids stayed calm as we exited the building and waited patiently outside until we were given the “all clear” sign to return.  Thankfully, it wasn’t anything serious and no damage was done.  We were so happy that the weather was a mild 55 degree day with sunny skies while we outside waiting.  In April, one never knows what kind of weather we will have in Milwaukee! 

Now that the Museum Trip is done we are looking forward to the River Walk and the Zoo for Megan and Field Day with Heidi and Megan.  I love Field Day!!  At our school, Field Day, is an entire day spent outside doing active circuits like: duck-duck-goose, tug-of-war, sack races, bean bag toss, etc. 

Ask your school if you will be having a Field Day and get involved.  It’s a great way to meet other parents and teachers from your school.

Happy Volunteering!

One response so far

Mar 06 2009

Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten Roundup!

Education needs to change, and it needs to start at preschool and Kindergarten Roundup.  Kindergarten Roundup is happening all cross the country in February.  Schools say that they are testing our children at Kindergarten Roundup.  They are not testing Kindergarten concepts but are testing fine motor skills to determine if there are any learning issues, but parents are not aware of that!! Kindergarten roundup is where parents should be told about the Kindergarten assessment testing on the Kindergarten curriculum during the first few weeks of school in fall. 

This is not happening!  WHY?

Milwaukee Public Schools has a billion dollar budget and spent $20 million dollars on consultants last year.  That money is not filtering into the classroom.  I could walk into any classroom at MPS and ask the students what is wrong with education and I am sure they would nail it. I asked my second- and fourth-grader that same question about their public school in Random Lake, WI and here is what they said:

  1. Mom, in fourth-grade, we only get one recess for 20 minutes…and they wonder why we are obese.  Note: Our school just received a huge grant to combat childhood obesity at our school.
  2. It was 60 degrees outside last week, and on that day, our elementary principal made an announcement that if you did not wear your heavy winter jacket with hats and gloves you would be allowed to play outside but had to stay against the wall outside.  My kids had to stand against the wall because I put them in a shirt with a heavy long sleeved sweatshirt under a sleeveless down jacket, no hat or gloves.  I personally did not wear a jacket that day because it was 60.  My kids were not allowed to run around on that day and half of their classmates had to stand against the wall because their parents dressed them inappropriately for the weather.  Are you kidding me?  It was 60!
  3. Mom, we only have 10 minutes to eat.  This is a problem that comes up during my workshops.  Many teachers and parents complain that we have a problem with our allotted time for school lunch.  Note to educators, it takes 10-15 minutes to get through the line, leaving only 10 minutes to eat and that is simply not long enough and think of all the food that is being wasted!!!
  4. State testing begins in third-grade.  My daughter tells me in fourth-grade, for the entire month of October she is talking a test twice a day.  No one ever goes through the test with her to tell her if her answer is right or wrong.  So, she wants to know how these tests help her learn, especially since they ask the same question over and over and she isn’t sure if she is answering it correctly over and over.  If she takes a spelling test, she gets the answers back so she learns from her mistake!  Her question is, how is she learning from all these tests?  Good question, Heidi!  Mom does not know the answer!  Do you?
  5. In Wisconsin, we have Sage Funding, meaning schools get money from the state to guarantee that we have a 15-to-1 student/teacher ratio.  Unfortunately, the money was given to schools but schools were not enforcing the sage requirements until last year.  Might this be happening in Illinois?
  6. Education will never change until we start empowering parents and kids into the process.  Case Study:  Harvard, Illinois, Washington Elementary School.  I did a presentation last year to 40 families of which 38 could NOT speak English.  With the help of one of their bilingual Kindergarten teachers, we shared with the kids and the parents what they would need to know for Kindergarten and the school could see a definite improvement in this group.  Some of these families even joined the PTO and became active in their school.  If you teach a child to wear their seat belt they will teach everyone or remind mom when she is not wearing it to buckle up – so if you teach a child what they need to know, like their shapes and colors or count to 100, they will keep reminding their to parents over and over that they need to practice!!  It’s about empowering parents, kids and teachers to all work together to embrace education!

Education needs to change and this story needs to be told! Please share it with all your friends.  How would you change education?

6 responses so far

Jan 15 2009

Let’s Get Ready to End Hunger in America

“Operation No Kid Hungry” is a campaign to raise funds to help end childhood hunger and encourage Americans to hold food drives within their own communities.  This campaign responds to President-elect Obama’s call to action for corporations to serve our nation’s communities and builds on his commitment to end childhood hunger by 2015.

To coincide with Martin Luther King Day and a national day of community service on Monday, January 19th, Share Our Strength in partnership with AT&T is offering two ways for your readers to participate in “Operation No Kid Hungry”:

  1. Donating $5 to Share Our Strength by text messaging “SHARE” to 20222. AT&T will match all text donations up to $100,000.
  2. Holding food drives within their communities beginning Monday, January 19th, which is Martin Luther King Day and a national day of community service.

For more information or to learn about ways that you can help, please visit:

2 responses so far

Nov 24 2008

Let’s Get Ready to Help a Friend Adopt!

This letter is from a dear friend of mine – and I am proud to say that I donated to such a worthy cause.  One more opportunity for a forever family for a child that will be loved beyond words:

Eric and I have been presented with the opportunity to adopt a baby boy that no one wants because of his racial heritage and because he has been exposed to drugs in utero.  He is due in 3 months.  The adoption fee and birthmother expenses add up to $25,000 and we need help in order to adopt this child.  We are asking our community to support us in our “One Dollar for One Life” campaign.  If 25,000 people would donate just $1 to this cause then this child would have a forever family at last.  We have until January 15, 2009 to raise the funds.  We would like to ask for your help by spreading the word about this campaign.  If you, or anyone you know, would like to donate to this adoption, we are asking that all donations be sent directly to ABBA Adoption at 4608 Colvert Road, Little Rock, Arkansas 72223.  Please include “Eric and Leslie Hutsler” in a note or on the memo line (if sending a check) so the agency knows which account it’s for.  You are welcome to call me at 479-799-9484 or my husband, Eric, at 479-283-7182 for more information about this adoption.  You are also welcome to contact Kandi Cox, the director at ABBA Adoption to verify this information.  We are standing in faith and believing that if we all do a little, we can accomplish a lot.  With God ALL things are possible.  God bless you and thank you for your support.

Just wanted to take a moment to let you know that the word about this adoption campaign is getting out!  We have people from Maine to California (literally) working to help us spread the word.  We even have people in Australia helping us!  So, to everyone who has forwarded emails and passed out flyers – THANK YOU!!!  Our accounts at ABBA Adoption and Grace Haven are officially open.  We also have a new PayPal account set up at our new website.  Please feel free to forward this website to your friends and family.  The web address is
In Christ’s Love,  
Leslie Hutsler

13 responses so far

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