Reflections On Expiration Dates

To everything, there is a season ... 

these freshly-cut flowers were planted and grown
for this beautiful Mother's Day bouquet
but, after they've served their purpose,
to celebrate our Mom and let her know that she is loved,
they will start to 
dry up, 
turn brown, 
and fade away.
That's how life works; 
everything has an expiration date.

So today, as I think about expiration dates,
it's time to thank you, dear readers, for
sticking with me at The Corner on Character
for the five years that I've spent 
and growing with you through my reflections.
Today's post is #1318.
Nothing really special about that number, 
except that evidently I've had a lot to say
and a lot of resources to share.
Some of the links have expired already;
please accept my apologies for those.

I started this journey five years ago, as our daughter was graduating from HS and leaving the nest for her five-year Architecture program, so it seems to fit that I'd feel the pull to retire from blogging just as she graduates from UT.

Doors open ... 
and then they close.
Expiration dates make room for born-on dates
because endings spark new beginnings.

So today, I'm grateful, 
that you have come along with me
during this season of online reflection.
Thank you for your kind comments over the years.
Thank you for your affirmations during the happy 
and support during the sad.
Thank you for connecting and sharing life with me.

It has been so much fun to create content that I thought
readers like you might enjoy, and I'm going to miss thinking,
I can blog about this!
But right now feels like a good time to move on,
like my blogging expiration date has arrived,
so I'm signing off.
With no regrets.

I invite you to go back through those
thirteen hundred and eighteen posts now and again
for some inspiration or motivation.
Who knows? You just may hear or feel something again
{or for the first time} just when you need it the most.

I still plan to update my Books That Teach list
as I come across new titles that you simply must check out.

I'll also keep up my book's FB page and my Pinterest pagesso feel free to check in with me there. I always love hearing what you're up to.

If you want to meet up in real life,
come to one of my workshops or keynotes,
or schedule a school visit in Texas at Bales Intermediate.
If you're interested in hosting a character training,
shoot me an email or give me a call.
I'm super excited about an upcoming Montana trip to connect with a certain counselor
who wrote my blog's all-time most popular guest post: Empathy in a (Shoe) Box.

To everything, there is a season;
may you be blessed as you bless.


PPBF: But It's Not My Fault

Happy PPBF. Today, a responsibility gold mine.

Title: But It's Not My Fault
Author: Julia Cook
Illustrator: Anita DuFalla
Publisher: Boys Town Press
Date: March 23, 2015
Suitable for: ages 5-8
Themes: responsibility, ownership, choices
Realistic Fiction
Brief synopsis: Noodle gets in trouble for stuff that he's sure is not his fault. Will he learn the difference between fault and responsibility?
Opening page: 
My name is Norman David Edwards ... but everybody calls me Noodle.   

Check out the book's page {here}.
Read an author interview about the book {here}.
Download this freebie activity from Jennifer Tracy at TpT.
Here's a bookmark template to reinforce the lesson. 
Watch the book's trailer:

Why I like this book: Julia Cook books are so real because, as a former teacher and school counselor and a current mom and grandmother, she's been in our shoes. They deal with real-world issues, which she tackles head on with authenticity, transparency, and grace. In this treasure, Julia spotlights responsibility, choices and consequences; Noodle's story helps teach a life skill that every child can benefit from experiencing, reflecting upon, reviewing and practicing over and over again.

Try one or both of these little ditties:

Before trying this one, talk about stakeholders, the people who have a stake in our decisions, who care about, are involved in or will be affected by our choices. Let students brainstorm a list of all of their stakeholders and talk about why these people really make their every decision even more important.

How might you use this text to make a school-to-home connection? The Assistant Principal over at Robinson Elementary actually sends it home following office referrals so that families can work together to help their children be accountable and take responsibility for their choices.

For this and other PPBF titles today, visit Susanna's blog next.


Increase The Dose

It's Mental Health Month and my guest post over at Free Spirit Press focuses on a mind, body, spirit three-pronged approach to mental health and wellness. 

Click the graphic to go read the post.
What are your go-to strategies to maximize your mental health?

One huge thing for me after the trauma of that head-on collision was finding things to be thankful for, blessings in the burden. Did you know that gratitude can tack on up to seven years of life? Gratitude creates such a win-win because it blesses the giver and the recipient

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week 2016, so I set out to thank our school staff by putting these little sticky-note pads together for them today.

It made my heart happy to spread a little sunshine.

Yesterday I was blessed by the invitation to give a one-hour keynote about grace at the women's renewal retreat at our church. Committee members made one of these for each of us. Don't you love this? Grace. 

To close today, a few reflections to ponder from my research and presentation.

For more from Craig Denison, visit 

Photo credit: Amy Homa
Photo credit: Jennifer Runde
So I ask you the same question I posed to retreat participants:
How will you increase the dose this week?