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    Birthday Blessings

    Friday night, we had the privilege of hosting a birthday party for a very special six-year-old.  Hosting birthday parties is always the highlight of our week, and this party was no exception. Amy Broker first contacted us about having a birthday party for her son, John, explaining that he had been adopted through foster care.  After gathering a bit of information, we offered to host his party for free and the date was set. During the party, while John was running and playing with family and friends, I had the opportunity to hear his incredible adoption story.  I don’t know about you, but adoption stories unfailingly touch the deepest parts…

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    Back to School Blues

    It’s Monday morning.  Only, it’s not just any Monday morning.  It’s THAT Monday morning. It’s the first day of school. Every Facebook post you see shows a child, dressed in new clothes and shoes, holding a chalkboard sign. You see memes with moms drinking mimosas after putting their little ones on the bus, and you just don’t understand why they are so joyful, when all you feel is emptiness.   You want to be excited about your children being in school, but you are feeling unimportant and “less than.” You have hours of time alone, that, just last week, was spent making snacks and taking trips to the park. You worry…

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    Guys & Dolls

    We change our items regularly. We want every visit here to be a new and different experience for our guests.  One thing that we’ve insisted on having here from the beginning is dolls. We’ve had life-sized baby dolls. We usually have a doll house full of peg dolls.  Right now, we have Barbies and Kens. Whatever kinds of dolls we have here, one thing we never call them is “girl toys.” There have been times that we’ve heard mothers say to their sons, “if your dad saw you playing with those doll babies, he’d have a fit.”  Do boys need dolls? This is not surprising to hear from parents who…

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    Positive Words Leave Lasting Positive Results

    Earlier this week, I was watching a child playing with MEGA BLOCKS in our Sprouts area.  She was very carefully adding one block, admiring her work and deciding which piece would be next.  These moments are what we strive for every single day. We get excited when we see our visitors using their imaginations. Our mission is to foster a lifelong love of learning through play, so naturally, an engaged child validates our work here. The Hardest Question to Hear After a few minutes of putting together what looked like a car or a spaceship, she looked up at her aunt and asked the question that we never want to…