Santa Claus getting adventurous…

Santa Claus getting adventurous…

Santa seems to have been steered off-course.

Or is he in search of something?

What’s missing?

If you had access to our devoted friend via cell phone, what three questions would you ask him? Write up a quick conversation you might have with him.

If it helps, use the script format:


July 2021 MLL Requests

July 2021 MLL Requests

To potential writers: This is just an experiment.
For about a year, I’ve been sending letters to folks via
Every month, that site posts requests from people who would like to see a loved one showered with letters of support.
These are the requests for July, 2021.
A teacher might want to pick and choose from these requests, based on suitability for the age of their students and on topics raised in the descriptions.
Anyway, I’m writing this from another software program and jetting it out straight to Let’s see how it turns out.


Image by Mediamodifier from Pixabay 

Logan is a kind and generous person who is celebrating her 20th birthday on August 1st! Her foster mom shared this with us:

“Logan is so much more than “just a foster kid,” which many, many people just write her off as being just another number or statistic. She works two jobs, is about to move into her first apartment by herself, is a cat mom to two gorgeous little fur babies. Even though she has all these things going for her, she’s run into bad luck. She has all these great things going for her and is still held back by those dark thoughts of depression, anxiety, and lack of motivation to continue. I fall into the category of “mom” where she thinks I’m supposed to say all the good things. She will need some encouragement from more than just me. She’s doing a great job and she should know that there are more cheerleaders to help cheer her on. Please help me in celebrating Logan, her second decade on this Earth, and all of her achievements!”

Grab your pens and let’s celebrate Logan!

Logan’s bundle
℅ Ashliegh B.
271 Sanderson Road
Milton, VT 05468

Denise is described by her sister as “an absolutely amazing, wonderful, and loving person.” However, life has not been easy. She shares more of her sister’s story below:

“We may have had two parents growing up, but all they did was fight all the time. Because of this, my sister and I both suffer from serious depression and anxiety that stemmed from our childhood. We also have horrible luck in relationships because of the fear of ending up like our mother, stuck in a loveless marriage with no way out.

My sister is 40 years old and single with no kids which really depresses her a lot of the time because she’s always wanted a child. She would make an amazing mother and I hate that she missed out on that. I have a son who she treats just like her own, and it upsets me to know that she won’t ever have that for herself.

When our father had a stroke and was unable to communicate properly with us, she went back to school to become a speech pathologist. She absolutely loved her job, but during the pandemic, she was relocated to the ER to take people’s temperatures and she hated seeing her department dwindle to nothing and people dying because of Covid. She signed on to become a traveling speech pathologist. Eventually, this led to her being depressed even more because most of her positions were in long-term care facilities. She watched so many people pass away and become depressed because their loved ones could no longer visit them, or she had to leave them after three months. She really created a bond with these people and now she’s unsure of what she wants to do with her life. She thinks she’s made a decision but she is still feeling kind of lost.”

Gather around, and let’s send Denise love and let her know how amazing she is.

Denise’s bundle
℅ Robin S.
5304 Buckhead Road
Smoaks, SC 29481

Betty is a strong woman going through a hard time. Her daughter shared part of her story with us:

“Currently, my mother Betty is going through a divorce after 18 years of marriage. During that time, she was mentally and emotionally abused. My mom can no longer make a decision as simple as the color of her nail polish because for so long, her husband told her she was wrong and made all of the decisions for her, regardless of what she wanted or needed. She cannot even express her feelings anymore because for so long she had to bottle them inside. Mom had to move from the home she’s lived in for the past 18 years to now floating between me and my three sisters until the divorce is final and she can get her own place. She didn’t even get to bring her truck with her. She is starting over from scratch. My mom has forgotten her worth and that she is strong. She is suffering from a laundry list of health issues stemming from being severely depressed. There are so many uncertainties for her but I want her to be reminded that she is worthy and that everything is going to be alright in the end. Moving on is scary but she is going to be ok with just a little help and encouragement.”

Round up the stationary and let’s help remind Betty how amazing she is.

Betty’s bundle
℅ Julie D.
3000 Greendridge Drive Apt# 1610
Houston, TX 77057

Tony is in the middle of a hard time in his life. His friend shared part of Tony’s story:

“Tony is going through a lot. He had to self-isolate because his parents are at high risk for Covid. He is also struggling with finding a job. He was laid off from his position of nine years because of the pandemic closing down his work, and every job he tries for never gets back to him. He is also being forced to move from his home into a new location with his parents sometime this year because they can no longer afford the home they have been living in. To make matters worse, the new home is small and high up. Tony fears that he will be fighting his acrophobia every day he lives there because he is some ten stories up in a high-rise building and has lots of windows.

Tony also doesn’t know why his best friends are not talking to him, and he misses them much. He has tried to call, message, text, and write to his friends, but only one has ever responded. He knows them for seven or more years and doesn’t know if it is something he did or said or if they’re just too busy. He told me once a lot of times he cries himself to sleep and doesn’t get much sleep because he doesn’t know what to do with all these problems he is facing and dealing with. The year 2021 has been worse for him than last year, and I worry about him because he is in a dark place.

Tony has also been writing a lot. He has written letters that are going out to different people. He is trying to find work and find advice, but gets very little or no return. He is also trying very hard to get a book out that he started to write back in 2005. He hopes that it will come out sometime this year. That is the only thing that is keeping him running these days. Tony is known to drop puns and jokes with friends, cosplay, go to cons and renaissance festivals, and hang out with friends.”

Tony needs some advice and encouragement. Let’s write to show him that there is hope for him and his future.

Tony’s bundle
℅ Hector N.
1211 Crystal Lake Road East
Burnsville, MN 55306

Gaby is caught in the craziness of life. Her childhood best friend shares part of that story with us:

“In terms of her personality, Gaby is one of the most joyous people I happen to know. She always comes across as relaxed and carefree. She enjoys talking to other people and getting to know their lives. Her interests include experimenting with make-up on her YouTube channel and listening to and watching spooky stories. She also draws on Instagram and has recently started making food-themed earrings out of clay on Etsy. Gaby is someone who I consider my most trusted friend. She’s the only close female friend I had growing up, and I credit her for helping me grow into a mature adult.

Despite her sunny personality, over the years of our friendship, I’ve learned that she struggles with loneliness. The pandemic has hit her hard emotionally, in that she’s had less of an opportunity to see friends (including myself) in person, and her social circle physically moved farther and farther away to where she’s located.

She recently quit her job because of feeling disrespected by her boss, and she’s felt adrift in terms of her future for a while now. Since high school she has wanted to work in law enforcement but college has been a stressful experience for her, lately the biggest struggle has been her grades in a required mathematics course. She’s still unsure as to what she really wants her major to be, feeling like she should have graduated already and is just playing catch-up with all of her friends.

Gaby is an intelligent and thoughtful person, though her lack of self-esteem has exacerbated in the past few years, making it harder for her to feel confident in her own abilities. Every time I see her, I get the sense that she’s feeling more and more depressed, though she’s not always open about it. What I think Gaby would like to hear most of all is from people who are willing to share about their lonely college experiences, who were unsure about life in their 20s, and most of all things they did in order to help them mend their anxiety and depression.”

Grab your pens, pick your stationery, find your stamps and let’s send some words of encouragement to Gaby!

Letters are welcome in English and Spanish

Gaby’s bundle
℅ Peter H.
3734 Portsmouth Circle North
Stockton, CA 95219


3 word quotes

3 word quotes

How do you call three word quotes?
Three words sayings, three words phrases?
Here is my top 120. Which are your favorites? Join the discussion and leave a comment below!

    1. three-word-quotes-2021-03-22-09-49.jpgAct as if
    2. Act without expectation
    3. All is well
    4. Allow for delays
    5. Always be honest
    6. Always be yourself
    7. Always deliver quality
    8. Ask powerful questions
    9. Audit your metrics
    10. Audit your mistakes
    11. Based on results
    12. Be constantly curious
    13. Be here now
    14. Be the change
    15. Be the communication
    16. Believe in yourself
    17. Believe you can
    18. Brainstorm alternative ideas
    19. Branding is essential
    20. Build for scalability
    21. Build quality relationships
    22. Build redundancy procedures
    23. Build strategic partnerships
    24. Cash is king
    25. Cashflow is queen
    26. Celebrate all success
    27. Change is good
    28. Citius, Altius, Fortius (Faster, Higher, Stronger)
    29. Clear the air
    30. Commit or quit
    31. Communicate with clarity
    32. Compare creates despair
    33. Competition fuels growth
    34. Congruency builds credibility
    35. Connection builds trust
    36. Contrast creates captivation
    37. Dare to suck
    38. Do it now
    39. Do your best
    40. Dreams come true
    41. Drill your skills
    42. Embrace Carpe Diem
    43. Embrace constant change
    44. Emotions create relatability
    45. Energy draws attention
    46. Enforce consequences rigorously
    47. Exceptional makes memorable
    48. Exclusivity adds value
    49. Focus and win
    50. Focus vs. scattered
    51. Friends are treasures
    52. Get over it
    53. Grace under pressure
    54. Go for it
    55. Handle breakdowns immediately
    56. Happiness is Choice
    57. Health is wealth
    58. Hope trumps all
    59. I’m determined
    60. Identify key milestones
    61. It is possible
    62. Judgement free zone
    63. Just be awesome
    64. Keep it cool
    65. Keep information flowing
    66. Keep it simple
    67. Keep morale high
    68. Knowledge is power
    69. Laughter is best
    70. Leaders are early
    71. Learn from yesterday
    72. Let it go
    73. Laughter is medicine
    74. Life is awesome
    75. Life is beautiful
    76. Life won’t wait
    77. Live life daily
    78. Live, love, laugh
    79. Live your potential
    80. Love endures delay
    81. Love is everything
    82. Manage your reputation
    83. Manage your resistance
    84. Manage resources effectively
    85. Massive motions mesmerize
    86. Mastery abhors mediocrity
    87. Model the masters
    88. Money amplifies emotions
    89. Monitor budgets regularly
    90. Never give up
    91. Never look back
    92. Next big feat?
    93. Nothing is Impossible
    94. Nurture your best
    95. Participation equals value
    96. Passion is enrolling
    97. People complicate everything
    98. Perfectionism stalls progress
    99. Practice makes permanent
    100. Prioritize all tasks
    101. Polish your weaknesses
    102. Raise your vibration
    103. Reduce your overheads
    104. Remember to Live
    105. Reward high performance
    106. Seize the day
    107. Set clear targets
    108. Sexy is confidence
    109. Share the wealth
    110. Share your vision
    111. Speak the truth
    112. Success is yours
    113. Teamwork dream work
    114. This will pass
    115. Time heals everything
    116. Track all progress
    117. Train your team
    118. Trust the process
    119. Value your time
    120. Yes you can
The Next Page Entry 67: In the deep end…continued…and continued some more

The Next Page Entry 67: In the deep end…continued…and continued some more

Image by Prawny from Pixabay 

Yes, so here I am writing, as I should be, and the kids are writing as they should be and all the world makes sense. We’ll see how long that lasts.

In the meantime, it appears our custodian is not at all pleased that the kids are doing some of the room clean-up that she is supposed to be doing. Silly me, I would’ve thought she’d welcome the opportunity to slide on even more of her room-to-room duties, but I guess it got back to Mrs. Nix that the kids were using the vacuum cleaner I brought from home. 

How do I know Shaina isn’t pleased? She huffed and she puffed and she slid-slammed the trash cans into their corners after emptying them. And while  she spent at least ten more minutes in my room than she usually does, she said not one word to me. She usually tries to pry a little info (i.e. ‘dirt’) out of me, no matter how many times I’ve shown no interest in playing along with her interrogations. This time, not word one.

What can I say? Yes, I’m glad I’m letting the kids join me in the classroom earlier than before, and yes, I realize now (and should have realized beforehand) that there is a price to be paid for sidestepping a few school policies.

The Next Page Entry 66: In the deep end…continued

The Next Page Entry 66: In the deep end…continued

At least I was holding my breath…
Image by LEEROY Agency from Pixabay 

No surprise.

Mrs. Nix was not thrilled with my ‘8:00 entry’ idea.

I find it helps to just expect pushback from her, so when it comes, I’ve already worked through some of the arguments on both sides and my own general uneasiness. (As I wrote that word ‘uneasiness’, I realized that even a month ago, I would have written ‘fears’. To me, that’s progress.)

Anyway, I heard the expected ‘Why should I make an exception for you?’ and ‘Now other teachers will be asked to do the same thing.’ arguments.

I told her that Room 36 IS an exception because of its location. (I’m always tempted to revisit the sorry state of the room back in August, as well, but I rein myself in.)

And then I called up a photo of one of the wet kids from a couple of days ago.

Image by Franck Barske from Pixabay 

And then I pulled out an extra surprise–a note from Sanjay’s parents thanking me for the new policy.

(I kept their reasons to myself…something to tuck away for ‘a rainy day’, so to speak.)

Result: The exception will be granted on an interim basis.

I’ll take it.


The Next Page Entry 65: A classroom manifesto…

The Next Page Entry 65: A classroom manifesto…

I ran across this quote and loved it for the classroom.

So I made this poster.

Kind of lofty goals, yes.

But they give us so much to think about, starting with me.

I have assured the kids we can’t live up to all of these all the time, but if they give us a reason to pause and reflect, then those words are doing their job.

Pretty sure I’ll be using parts of this for journal prompts and classroom discussions as well.


The Next Page Entry 64: In the deep end…

The Next Page Entry 64: In the deep end…

So, yes, a slight exaggeration…
Photo by sydney Rae on Unsplash

Lately, some kids have knocked on my door before school starts

asking if they could retrieve a book, a lunch box, even a retainer [ick!]. And I noticed once they came in, they lingered until the bell sounded to ‘officially’ admit kids into their classrooms.

Yesterday, it was dry when I got to Room 36. 

But by the time the kids were let loose to head to the classroom, it was pouring rain. Kids soaked–not a good way for them [or me] to start the day. 

And I had an idea…take photos of the drenched kids. I didn’t tell them why, but I figured the shots might come in handy.

After journal time, I made the announcement: Room 36 kids can enter the classroom at 8:00 instead of 8:15.

And I laid the ground rules: 

If you want to enter early, just come straight to the room. No need to attract attention.

  1. Once you’re here, school work comes first. 
  2. If school work is completed, there might be classroom ‘chores’ that are completely optional.
  3. Quiet conversation is encouraged.

So yes, I should have probably checked with Mrs. Nix first, but this was one of those ‘easier to ask forgiveness than get permission’ moments. And I kept envisioning those rained-on, drowned-rat kids. 

We’ll see how this plays out…

Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash