To teach is to touch a life forever.

I found out this morning that one of my professors from college passed away last Friday. Most of the time, and for most professors, this would have just been sad news, but not for this professor. Mr. Hennessy was no ordinary college writing professor, not to me or any number of other students.

I went to SUNY Oneonta originally for Broadcast Journalism, which morphed and changed many times over 4 years, but twice I was fortunate to have Mr. Hennessy as a teacher, Composition 100 and Composition 200 (the red folder with my essays and notes still sits right above my desk).

His was my favorite class, he was my favorite teacher. 

I’ve often said that I didn’t learn how to write properly until I was in college, until I was in his class. He took so much time to go over drafts with us, to work out kinks, explain how things could be better, and question you and what you were trying to say and why. His door was always open, and he was only a phone call away.

There was so much to love about him. He was witty and had quite the sense of humor. But the best part was that he was also of Irish lineage.

I remember how excited he was when I asked him to write my letter of recommendation to study at University College Cork in Ireland. Of course, they had to be sealed, so I never did know what that letter said. But I do know how thrilled he was that I was going to get to visit our beloved Ireland.

There was one times, as a freshman, that I ended up having to take my 8 year old sister with me to class. He was more than welcoming to have her there. Ten minutes into the lecture he stopped everything, because something that had never happened in class had happened, was happening…there was a student who was actually paying attention, my sister.

I’m so glad that I saw him in Hannaford this past summer, that I was able to tell him about the past 14 years and how much he meant to me.

The part that has stuck with me over the past 14 years, since I last had Mr. Hennessy, was that he was the first person (besides my mother) to really believe in me and tell me I was a writer. He was the person who brought me alongside him, showing me how to wield my words in the best way: “Jessica, I can see your name in the by-line someday”.

Other than this little place online, it hasn’t happened yet, but someday and you can bet Denis Hennessy’s name will be in the acknowledgments. Thank you Mr. Hennessy, for being such a wonderful teacher, a friend, and an upstanding Irishman.

 

 

Our Favorite Books for Thanksgiving

Last year I posted about our favorite Autumn books, with the caveat that I was also going to share our favorite Thanksgiving books, very soon. Well…a year later I’m doing just that. Sorry: Life happens.

I heavily ordered from the library last year, with the recommendations of ReadAloudRevival.com; It was wonderful! Next to Christmas books, Thanksgiving books are my very close second. The librarians were even impressed with the books that I had found, and always wonder how I manage to find such fantastic books!

I tried to keep this list separate from those that we enjoy about Autumn, because while the two are very similar, this list of books is those books that point us to God, being thankful, and the history behind Thanksgiving.

*This post does contain affiliate links: Please read my Disclosure Policy here.

Bold-Italic—Loved for Illustrations and Words
Bold—Loved for Illustrations
Italic—Loved for Words

Our favorite books for Thanksgiving…

 

History and Faith

Thank You, Sarah: The Woman that Saved Thanksgiving by Laurie Halse Anderson  (Author),‎ Matt Faulkner  (Illustrator)

Thanksgiving – A Harvest Celebration by Julia Stiegemeyer

The Pilgrims First Thanksgiving by Ann McGovern

God Gave Us Thankful Hearts by Lisa Tawn-Bergren

Give Thanks to the Lord by Karma Wilson

Giving Thanks: Poems, Prayers, and Praise Songs of Thanksgiving by Katherine Paterson

Our Favorite Books for Thanksgiving

Funny

Cranberry Thanksgiving by Wende and Harry Devlin

Sharing the Bread – An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving Story by Pat Zietlow Miller

Bear Says Thanks by Karma Wilson

Thanksgiving is Here by Diane Goode

A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting

Our Favorite Books for Thanksgiving

Seasonal Changes

In November by Cynthia Rylant

Sleep Tight Farm by Eugenie Doyle (Author),‎ Becca Stadtlander (Illustrator)

Traditions

Thanksgiving in the Woods by Phyllis Alsdurf

Berenstain Bears Give Thanks

Berenstain Bears Thanksgiving Blessings

 

DO YOU HAVE SOME THANKSGIVING FAVORITES?
WHAT BOOKS DO YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN ENJOY READing in the weeks and days leading up to Thanksgiving?

What I’ve Been Reading – November 2017

What I've Been Reading November 2017

I have had some seriously varied reading the past few months! I’ve ready deep, meaningful non-fiction about motherhood, to fluff fiction about old Hollywood; and I have to say I’ve pretty much loved it all! While I haven’t read nearly as many books these past 3 months, I have managed to read something. Either way I’m still way ahead of my Reading Challenge for the year.

What I've Been Reading November 2017

 

FAVORITE FICTION BOOK

This is a tough one! It’s a really close toss-up between A Table by the Window and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. They were both really fast, enjoyable reads. ATW was great because it was the first book in a series I finished last year, and I love how the author ties in recipes to family history (not to mention the recipes are delicious). TSHEH was great too, it was old Hollywood, it was emotional and gritty, but still light enough to not leave you depressed. Both books had fantastic words that stuck with me.

FAVORITE NON-FICTION BOOK

Oh this one….near and dear to my heart, and written by a friend, {Why} Motherhood Matters was, without a doubt, my favorite non-fiction. More than likely it will be my most favorite non-fiction for the entire year. I’m not going to wax poetic about it, I already did that HERE, but read it.

THE BOOK I DIDN’T LIKE

The Notebook was HORRIBLE! I don’t feel that I had too high hopes for it, I knew what it was before reading it. I had just hoped that it was going to be BETTER than the movie (I love the movie), but it wasn’t. It left me wanting in every single way. The characters were boring, the love story was bland, there was just NOTHING to make the book worth reading. Sure, there were a few pleasant turn of words, but that was about it.

I was sad to say, A Game of Thrones didn’t thrill me either.  Again, I had such high hopes for it as I have LOVED the TV series. I seriously had to SLOG through it, I skipped pages, I glanced over things. I’m thinking that if I watched the film version of something, that I seriously won’t like the book as well…and it KILLS me to say that. That said, I did just start the second book.

 

What have you been reading?
Keep up with what I’ve been reading on GoodReads or Instagram 

(I’ve notated books I’ve read for my book club * and F or NF for Fiction and Non-Fiction).

*This post contains affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy here.

Moms, do you believe the lies?

Moms do you believe the lies?

Once again the house is trashed, the kids are fighting, and I’m just trying to keep from bursting into tears or screaming. The self-accusations start flying through my head:

Why can’t I ever get this whole mom-thing right?

Why does it feel like I’m always in survival mode?

I’m not the mom these little people deserve.

Moms, do you believe the lies? That you’re a failure; that you’re not enough; that you should just put your head down and give up because your kids would be better off if you just admitted defeat?

~*~*~*~*~*~

I’m posting over at RaisingGenerationsToday.com today; head on over there to finish reading at  http://www.raisinggenerationstoday.com/moms-believe-lies

{Why} Motherhood Matters {a Review}

Motherhood matters; plain and simple. I’ve known September McCarthy for the better part of 5 years now, and she has always been such a source of wisdom when it has come to motherhood. When she shared the book that God had put on her heart I knew, before reading a page, that it was going to be good. And it does not disappoint.

September shares about her own struggles with not only motherhood, but her path there. Despite 10 children on this earth, there was months of pain, pregnancies ending in sorrow and heartbreak, with 6 angel-babies. September has not only walked the path of motherhood, she has fallen and struggled along.

Why Motherhood Matters

I often say that my judge of a good book is how many pages are dog-eared by the time I’m done with it. Nearly every other page of {Why} Motherhood Matters is dog-eared and marked up. This book is so full of words that are a balm to every mother’s heart, no matter what season of motherhood they’re in.

The book is written in four parts, each addressing a different why of motherhood. From our feeling alone in motherhood to being intentional in motherhood and what that looks like. Each chapter is closed with a few thoughts or questions, a parenting principle, and a prayer.

If you struggle in motherhood, struggle with your parenting, with your inadequacies and your loneliness this book is hope in paperback. It won’t solve your problems, but it will help you to feel not so undone.


{Why} Motherhood Matters is available on Amazon and all other booksellers. BUT, if you place your order before September 1st there are a bunch of awesome freebies available to you, just visit WhyMotherhoodMatters.com and submit your invoice number.

*I received this ARC in response for my honest review. The opinions are my own and in no way influenced. You can read my disclosure policy here.