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Archive for the ‘Miss. Caterpillar’s Storytime’ Category

Wanna Hear something Marvelous?


One of my closest friends had a baby boy!

Meet Simon.

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Brooke and I met in college, and though she lives in St. Louis we still keep in touch.
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(Glitter on my eyes in the lower right picture, naturally).

We both share a love of Children’s Literature and once had grand plans to co-author together. Maybe one day… I don’t ever say never.

She is the one who wrote the story of Melissa that I shared here:

Anyways, for her Baby Shower (which I missed) she asked guests to contribute our favorite Childhood book in lieu of a gift so Simon can have a phat library.

How fun!

Of course I picked my favorite Eric Carle.

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I kind-of really want that stuffed caterpillar.

I also got one of my favorites from the Dr.
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This is one of my favorite lines…..
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This book is might be my #1 favorite for so many reasons.
Anyone ever read it?
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and a Cutie Patootie card that I have to share.

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Doesn’t just looking at that make you smile?
Speaking of smiles.. I couldn’t stop all afternoon.

Hanging out with Brooke and her little guy was so much fun I am sure I will have a smile hangover for the rest of the week.

There really is nothing more magical or marvelous than a baby.

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  • What are some of your favorite Children’s books from Childhood or ones you love now?

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If you didn’t grow up watching Sesame Street or if it’s been a while and your memory is foggy this probably won’t make a lot of sense.

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But say you’re like me – a devoted fan of the show which, I believe, was one of the most groundbreaking things to EVER happen on television. Sesame Street…where do I begin?…let’s just say Sesame Street had a profound impact on society, education, children’s programming, family entertainment, celebrity PR, public broadcasting….etc.

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Let’s not get too analytical here because – well, then my brains would start to show and I don’t do that on my blog. LOL. Really I just want to write about a think I thunk yesterday about Bert and Ernie (and, no, I’m not going there).

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Bert and Ernie are dynamically opposing characters. The dudes couldn’t be more different. Burt is rational, orderly and structured. He likes mundane things like news radio, bottle-cap collecting, watching pigeons, lentil soup and making the bed. He is quick to get angry and frustrated. Especially around Ernie.

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Ernie is arguably the more winsome of the two . He’s frivolous and playful. He likes to joke around and play games. He likes his rubber duck, jelly beans and eating cookies in bed. He’s simple-minded and often learns a lot from Burt, who does exhibit patience with Ernie most of the time. Ernie, in exchange, doesn’t mind Bert’s sometimes irritable and grumpy demeanor.

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Burt and Ernie are roommates and the best of friends (and again -not going there). They get along. They accept each other. They appreciate each other. They make peanut butter sandwiches together. They argue. They laugh. They love each other!

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They see ALL the bits and pieces of each other. They see their strengths, their weaknesses, their beautifuls and their uglys. Everything. They know the person for who they are.

A person is really more than just a SUM of their parts. It’s something beyond that. Their parts fit together and melt, compliment and detract in far more complicated way than simple math.

The negatives do not diminish the positives.

You know what I mean?
I think we should all be like Bert and Ernie.

I guess that’s what I’m saying. LOL. Brilliant.

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I’d like to share something about myself.

When I talk about this, I know it sounds ridiculous or comes across as flighty, naive, or fake.  It’s not. No joke. I have analyzed the sparkle out of this and it’s not stemming from some therapy mumbo jumbo childhood place either. And no, I’m not extrasupernice! or a push-over. This is just me.


I have never hated or really even disliked anyone in my life.

I have this obstinate inability to dislike anyone. What I’m saying is – I pretty much love everybody.  Yup.

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When I feel like I might dislike someone (which has happened three times in my my life, two were professional colleagues of mine), I get extremely uncomfortable because it feels foreign. It’s also confusing because I simultaneously find my heart accepting them just as they are- the good and the bad. It’s like I understand and the “good” counts for a lot.

Then I realize my “dislike” was really just me getting angry or something. The feeling fades quickly. I don’t do anything or have to get over it it just…goes away. That’s another thing.

I’m incapable of staying angry. I also cannot – cannot even comprehend how to begin to– hold a grudge. I have no idea what that even feels like.

There. That was a little piece of my soul I shared with you.

Anyways – Back to Bert and Ernie.

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I think this little number says it best:

SUNG:
Ernie: But though I don’t always like everything
Bert: That I like
Both: Still I like you
Bert: Though I’m not too crazy about your rubber duckie
Ernie: Though I don’t love pigeons
Both: Still we’re awfully lucky
‘Cause I like you

  • Sesame Street fan? What’s one thing Sesame Street taught you?

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It’s story time.

One of my best friends, Brooke, wrote a children’s book for me in college. Nothing published, just a little gift for me. Because.

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*Melissa’s my name, Missy a nickname, I answer to both.

I cherish it. Not because it’s about me, but because it shows how much she knows me. She pretty much sums it up (well, it’s a little over the top but it’s kiddie lit).

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For me, It’s the story of how beautiful a genuine friendship is. The beauty in connecting with someone who knows you through and through, and values every bit.

The inscription:

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Remember you have the beauty that is the essence of life and all that is natural. Even the bee, who is sometimes misunderstood because of it’s sting, is a marvel of nature that spreads cheer, happiness and love.

*Melissa is the Greek word for “honeybee.” Also? Brooke and I are both just hippies at heart.

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*I’m a genuinely friendly girl, it’ s who I am. My “honey’s” not sweet all the time (ask my mom!). I’m human. Plus, that would be annoying. And fake.

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*Stupid eating disorder. It ain’t over… Don’t ever say never. 

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Love you, Brookie!

When the hey-now are we gonna get started on that book of ours?

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And remember our greeting card series? Oh! And remember…….

Tell me about a special friend you have. How well do they know the real you? When did you realize?

 

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Gather around boyfriends and girlfriends…settle down and grab a seat. Criss cross applesauce.Shhh….inside voices.

It’s time for a story. Today’s share?

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Interpreted by Miss. Caterpillar

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That would be me.

We have to learn a whole lot of stuff during our lives. Growing up, we had to master skills that now come naturally to us. Like walking and talking. And making cereal.

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But even when we’re grown, life continues to require us to learn. Sometimes we learn things that aren’t good for us. Bad habits like spending too much, having a short temper, smoking or eating too much.

We find ourselves flat on our backs.

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Sometimes we have to re-learn skills that should be natural to us but aren’t — like how to do life without a vice. IMG_0019

There are people to help us get on our feet, books to read and support meetings to attend, prayer to be done. But even God wants us to succeed on our own so we are stronger.

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Ultimately we’re on our own.

Change takes a lot of practice. We find ourselves flat on our backs again.

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And again.

Loved ones can encourage us, but they can’t do it for us. Even though we know better, we continue to do the things we don’t want to do. We’re clumsy.

But we’re not defeated. We try again. And again.

One day something’s going to click.

We’ll find the motivation we need – even if it means being scared shirtless. You go bankrupt, your marriage falls apart, your health deteriorates. Your motivation to change becomes stronger than the will to stay the same. 

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Something will click, I have faith. Sooner or later…

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We nail the landing. Score a perfect 10 and take home the Gold.

That victory will be worth all the time spent on our backs wondering how the heck we’re gonna get it right. Amen?

You can learn a lot from a beetle.

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  • What’s one change you’ve made that you’re proud of?
  • Is there something in your life you are being clumsy about?

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Gather around boyfriends and girlfriends…settle down and grab a seat. Criss cross applesauce. Shhh….inside voices.

It’s time for a story. Today’s share?

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Interpreted by Miss. Caterpillar

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That would be me.

Ever feel like you’re walking around with a big “elephant in the room”?

Like in Middle School, when everyone knew you had a crush on Josh. Everyone heard when you farted in gym class. Everyone is staring at your zits. So we thought.

Our insecurities fade dramatically as we mature (amen). But even adults experience this “elephant in the room” effect from time to time. I know I do.

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It’s easy to assume everyone knows our insecurities, our shortcomings, our mistakes, our less-thans.

Maybe you’ve gained some weight.

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Maybe you’re feeling guilty. You screwed up. You got fired from your job. You lied to a friend to avoid helping them move. You got caught gossiping.

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Maybe you had an embarrassing episode. Farted in yoga class, got a little too drunk at the office party or “replied to all” accidentally.

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Maybe you had to drop out of school or you live with your parents. You have an eating disorder. Maybe you live paycheck to paycheck and can’t afford nights out with your friends. You’re single and lonely.

You have debt. You’re in a bad relationship. Your car is dirty. Your kid misbehaves at school. You got a bad haircut. You’re wearing that outfit again.

You might think, everyone is judging you as harshly as you’re judging yourself.  

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*Intermission*

Hold on, Kids! Let’s stop for a moment. As a swimmer, I am absolutely NOT condoning peeing in the pool.

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Personally, I don’t care if you do. I’m not scared. (I’ve resigned myself to the fact I’m wading through wee in public pools). But it is definitely NOT okay. Okay? Just sayin’.

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(Speaking of Pee….this book has a lot of it.)

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The point is…..

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If people really though about others as much as we imagine, the world would be a better, more caring place. Most of us are too busy thinking about ourselves!

Your problems? Weaknesses? Mistakes? Hurts?

Chances are people would never notice.

Unless you mention it.

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When I feel down and out, I think “Get OVER yourself, girl!

There is so much more to YOU than your broken bits.

Because JESUS LOVES YOU!

Lots of people do! Missing Pieces and all.

(Yes, even you pool-pottying people.)

*Random* My neighbor just knocked on my door to return the car keys I left outside in the grass while I was reading earlier. I said, “Did you know they were mine or just figure they had to belong to the crazy space cadet in the neighborhood?” Because clearly everyone must think that. Sigh. 

  • What’s your “elephant?”
  • Anyone pool peeing people care to fess up? I dare ya! 
  • Don’t you want a Rainbow Pony Backpack?  

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Gather around boyfriends and girlfriends…settle down and grab a seat. Criss cross applesauce.

Shhh….inside voices.

It’s time for a story. Today’s share?

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“The Missing Piece” by Mr. Silverstein

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Interpreted by Miss. Caterpillar

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That would be me.

Ever felt you were missing something? Most of us have felt that something about “us” is lacking or broken. 

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We go about our lives the way we are and we may seem content.

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But somewhere along the way we decide we can be better.

Maybe we get stuck in the grass-is-greener trap, or a sadness in our lives leaves us feeling empty and flawed.

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We decide that if we change ourselves, then we can be happy. So we try different things – explore different roles. We try and find the missing puzzle piece that will make us feel better.

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We might fill the emptiness with a new relationship or hairstyle. We may shop for a new wardrobe. Maybe we dedicate our lives to our career or devote all our time to studying. Some of us explore religion; some of us explore drugs.

We may try to fill the emptiness with food, a new diet, or health regime.

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We try different things that don’t exactly fit.

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So we exchange them for the next new pursuit, every time with the promise that this will finally fix us.

We might find our “niche” and be happy for a while.

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At least we think we’re happy. Everything in our lives is running smoothly.

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Sound familiar?

(I know…right?)

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One day we realize what we’re really “missing” is our selves. The special things that make us unique.

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We realize that there was never anything “broken” about us in the first place.

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This book reminds me of this quote:

"Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you.

But if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder."     Henry David Thoreau

I hope you enjoyed it.

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Remember boys and girls, we are God’s children. We are beautiful just the way we are and he will provide us with everything we need to be complete.

  • What are some of the pieces you’ve picked up and put down in your life?

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