Fireflies: October 2011         

Oct 29, 2011

You Can Do It

by Tony Dungy

Tony Dungy, formerly a NFL player, is currently the head coach of the 2006 World Champion Indianapolis Colts. He grew up in a home encouraged by his parents to have faith and dream big!  This book is written about Tony’s younger brother, Linden, who struggled with finding his personal dream. Through a series of embarrassing mishaps at school and a painful toothache, Linden finds that God often answers our prayers in unexpected ways. At the close of the book Tony writes, “Our parents taught us to dream, but they also taught us something more important.  Whatever we dreamed about, we should tell God because He is the one that can make those plans succeed.”


Oct 25, 2011

The Moon Over Star

by Dianna Hutts Aston

Like everyone else in America on July 20, 1969, Mae’s eyes are turned skyward. The Eagle is about to make the world’s very first moon landing.  And that landing is something that will inspire young Mae to make one giant step toward all of the possibilities and dreams life has to offer.  In Mae’s words, “Gramps had looked to the moon all of his life. It told him when to plant and when to harvest. And once upon a summer’s night, it told me to dream.”  Any book illustrated by Jerry Pinkney is magnificent and this one is no exception.  Truly a remarkable book!


Oct 22, 2011

A Picture Book of Christopher Columbus

by David Adler

Who hasn’t heard “In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue”? But do we recall the hardships Columbus faced, the dangerous ocean crossings he endured? His quest for gold and spices was his life’s dream. Along with this simply written book I also recommend Christopher Columbus by Stephen Krensky and Follow the Dream by Peter Sis. It’s interesting to compare and contrast the life of Columbus as seen through different author’s eyes.  A fun activity is to hide gold chocolate coins around the house for the young “explorers” in your home to seek. Discuss with your children different scenarios of how things would be different if Columbus had reached the Indies…


Oct 6, 2011

Chalk Dust Dreams

The pupils, leaning against each other for support, stared straight ahead to their young teacher at her makeshift chalkboard. Roll call consisted of fuzzy teddy, pink dotted elephant, stuffed clown with one eye and beloved baby doll, Betsy Lee. My dream of becoming a teacher began many (!) years ago in our family basement up north, a dream which came to fruition years later. Did my mother know how dearly I cherished the boxes of chalk she bought me or words of encouragement she gave me to follow my dream? Even after I’d already wanted to be an ice skater, a cowgirl and a sunflower grower!
Young children’s minds are full of ideas and thoughts of “what they want to be when they grow up”. For most of them this will change several times – sometimes even in a week! As parents (grandparents) our responses to their choices is hopefully one of understanding.  Right now our 7 and 9 year old grandsons would love to be Lego builders or Jedi masters, our 5 year old granddaughter is an adorable (though not totally proficient) ballerina, and the 3 year old grandson is enthralled with becoming a garbage collector. He can’t wait for them to come each week! Will these be the occupations in which they spend their lives? Probably not, but if it is, then may my prayer be that this is what God has lead them to and equipped them for.  Personally, I would hate to live in a world without Legos, ballerinas or garbage men.
Rachel Faith Kline, "Teacher"
Tony Dungy’s book, You Can Do It, talks about the faith and encouragement his parents instilled in him and his brother and sisters. The theme of “trust God and dream big” is prevalent throughout the book. Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men...”  God is the giver of our dreams and the One who gives daily guidance. This book provides opportunity for you to study the lives and dreams of such godly Biblical young men like Daniel and Joseph.
As your children get dressed up for Fall Festivals, Harvest Parties or whatever you celebrate at the end of October, I hope you’ll allow them to “be what they want to be”.  I just hope that somewhere out there will be a child wearing glasses down on her nose, holding a book and a piece of chalk…just for me.