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A Veteran’s Day Tribute to My Uncle Mike

I haven’t really posted about this, because my Uncle Mike doesn’t like to brag about all the great things he does, but today I have to because it’s important. I hope he doesn’t mind.

My Uncle Mike is really special to me because he’s one of my favorite uncles. He is my dad’s brother, and he is also my Godfather too. He’s really funny and he’s sort of like my dad because he likes to goof around a lot with me. He gives the BEST HUGS. They are REALLY TIGHT and you can’t breathe when he gives them.

I miss him right now because he was deployed to Iraq on Labor Day.

My cousins Ethan and Nolan and my Aunt Vicki must miss him like crazy. I think they are really strong, because I don’t know what I’d do if my dad got sent over there.

Yesterday, I got an email from him. Here is a surprising part of it:

The weather in Iraq is a lot different from home that’s for sure. When I got here it was 120 or a little hotter every day. Since the end of October it has cooled off. Most days it is around 90 degrees. Now at night time it is in the 50’s or 60’s  you won’t believe this, I had to have aunt Vicki send me my long johns!  I need them to wear to bed! When you live in the heat for a couple of months, 60 degrees is cold.

I can’t imagine it being that hot!

Anyway, I can’t wait for my Uncle Mike to get home, and I’m thinking of him today because it’s Veteran’s Day. I hope he will see this post, and I’m also hoping that if you are reading, you will leave him some good luck wishes in my comments section.

I want to make him smile, because I know he misses being home. I also want him to know that lots of people appreciate him. I don’t like this war, but I am so proud of my Uncle Mike.


Working Together 2 Make a Difference With Sarah!

Sarah H. is one of my friends from my writing studio. We spent a week together this summer doing all sorts of creative writing (that’s a picture of us writing together on her blog)! We get to see each other during the year too, because studio goes year round. She blogs to get feedback on her writing, and she’s already written a novel! Sarah is also a reporter for NeXt, which is awesome.

Recently, she joined Working Together 2 Make a Difference. This is a ning where teachers and students can show the world all the good things that they are doing to make a difference. My mom and Mrs. Luca from Australia are moderating it so it is safe. I like it because even though it’s nice to get such great comments from everyone, I really want to be a part of what everyone else is doing to make a difference. Sarah has started blogging about that and now lots of people are starting to join this ning too. This is exciting! Mr. Will Richardson just wrote an article for Educational Leadership, and in it, he mentioned my blog and how it’s important for me to begin connecting to other people too. I’m hoping that the ning will grow over time and this will happen, and I’m very thankful for my mom and Mrs. Luca’s help with this too. I hope some day my school will do something with this too.

What is really impressive is that Sarah encouraged her school to join the ning all on her own. She is a great role model and super person. I feel lucky to know her.

Please think about joining Working Together 2 Make a Difference if you are a teacher too! Sarah and I and lots of other kids like doing things like this, and we can learn a lot together too while helping other people.

Love That Teacher


Love That Teacher
(inspired by Sharon Creech’s Jack)

Love that teacher
Like a canvas loves its artist
I said I love that teacher like a canvas love its artist!
Love the colors in the afternoon
Love the colors of knowledge.

Special thanks to Love That Dog

This is a picture of me walking to school, that I altered on Dumpr.net make your own here!


(inspired by William Carlos Williams’ Poem and Sharon Creech’s Hate that Cat)

As they
counted the

People who
hoped watched

One then two
two-sixty then two-sixty one

dreams were

If you have written something about how yesterday made a difference to you, please let us know by leaving a comment with your link! Or share it below!

The White Checked Curtain


Photo by The Schneider Clan on FlickR


So much depends upon

the white curtain

Checked with

red and blue

That gives us


To help us listen

to our own hearts.

Inspired By: Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech and Red Wheelbarrow  by William Carlos Williams.

Read more about the changes on my blog in the post below!

November 4, 2008: TIME FOR CHANGE!!!

Now we’re coming to the end of 2008, and I have been thinking about the year ahead. I have decided that I want my readers to visit and want to come back. In order to make my blog more interesting for everybody (including me), I will be changing the style of my posts starting TODAY!

I love writing in all sorts of different and exciting ways. I want to use my writing to notice others who make a difference and pay attention to the small things in my life that are meaningful. I will be writing poems and sharing pictures about these things in my posts, and I want to encourage others to do the same thing on their own blogs or in the comments section of my blog! I will also be doing service work this year, and I plan to write more creatively about this too.

Sharon Creech’s books Love That Dog and Hate That Cat inspired me to do this. Love That Dog is one of my favorite books, and today, while I was off from school, my mom took me to the bookstore to buy Hate That Cat. As we were reading it together, I got the idea to change the way I write on my blog and what I want to spend the next year doing. Sharon Creech teaches us that good writing always starts with things that are meaningful to US, even if those things seem small or unimportant. Making a difference starts this way too.

I think this is going to be a lot of fun!

Working Together 2 Make a Difference and Hints About the December Contest

This month I will be working at Working Together 2 Make a Difference, a Ning for classes to join where all of us can share what we do to make a difference and learn more about what this means from each other! Last month, Jenny Luca created this Ning, and she asked my mom and I to help. It gives all classrooms a chance to show other classes how they do charity work together and begin to get to know each other. If you are a teacher, it would be really cool if you join with your class. My friend Sarah Hanson is leading a project at Alden High School, and I know that some students from Depew Middle will be doing some work with me on this too!

This month, I’ll be working with my mom to help these classes and other local ones make their own pages on the Ning and start sharing ways that they are make a difference. My family and I will also be collecting canned food to donate to area food pantries, because their donations are low at this time of year, I think.

Many people are asking if I plan to do another contest starting December 1st (which is the one year anniversary of my blog). I am, but there are going to be some changes this year, because I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what I want to do. One new thing is that this year, I’ll be using Twitter to share the small things that I’m doing to make a difference starting on December 1st! If you have an account, please follow me at @twentyfivedays and I will follow you and then maybe we can get lots of people sharing the good things that they are doing. This will be fun and inspiring to keep up with every day during December, don’t you think?

Please Join Working Together 2 Make a Difference!

One of the greatest things about blogging and doing service work this year has been getting to know other people who care about the same things that I do. One of those people is Jenny Luca! Last year, Jenny invited me to skype into her classroom. I got to meet her students and talk with them about life in Australia. This was AMAZING.

When I started this blog, what I really hoped was that other people would want to join me in trying to make a small difference every day. When people email me or leave comments about the great stuff that they are doing, I love it. Now, Jenny and my mom and I are teaming up to invite TEACHERS AND STUDENTS to ONE place where we can all show how we are making a difference!

Working Together 2 Make a Difference is a ning. A ning is an online community. Teachers can create classroom pages, blog or post short descriptions of what they are doing to make a difference, or they can even upload video clips or pictures! I am excited to see what other students are doing from all over the world–and I’m especially excited about getting to know more people too!

Please consider joining Working Together 2 Make a Difference. All that you need to do is a small classroom service project between now and December 15th. Joining the ning is easy too! Read more about all of this here.

The Proof Positivity Blog Award


Thank you to the authors of the Proof Positivity blog for giving me this pretty award! Please visit this site an check out the starfish video that is there. It explains the meaning behind this award. It’s very cool! Thank you!!

The Expiration Date

Two days ago, it was the 25 day of September so this was the expiration date for helping animals. All in all, I raised about $50.00 by returning bottles this month. I’m going to give half of this money to the SPCA and the other half to the Ten Lives Club. These are organizations that help animals in need. Please read my comments to learn about other websites or places that help animals.

This week I am gearing up to help my new charity for October. Make sure you visit in October 1st to see what the new charity is! I’m really excited because it has to do with my friend and her little sister!


This month, I’ve gotten lots of comments. But the two that really stuck out are the ones about uPlej. There are two reasons, one, two people wrote about it and two, the people who wrote about it raved about it.

Today, I visited uPlej. I really liked how it looked and what the sidebars explained. I also liked how it told me what that person donated to.

The first thing that she donated to was the SPCA. I really liked how right next  to it, it told me how much money that she donated to the SPCA. I also liked how uPlej is like a blog, or webpage.

The reason I like the sidebar on uPlej is because it tells you how much people and their “network” have donated. A network is a group of people you know, maybe some of your friends, and other people you learn from. My readers are a part of my network, but I also have a network of people from the charities that I try to help too now. It’s cool.

My Favorite Ways

Yesterday, I wrote a post asking you to leave a comment or email me about your favorite ways to help animals. Well, I want to share some of my favorite ways to help animals with you.

One way I like to help animals is by supporting the ASPCA. I talk about it a lot because I really LOVE animals and want the best for them. I know at the SPCA is giving animals 100% of their time and effort because I get the SPCA’s newsletter that I get in the mail. The newsletter includes a membership card and a story about one new animal that they just helped. The animals are mostly dogs, but that’s okay. At the end, the newsletter asks you to support that animal. I really know what’s happening at the SPCA because of the newsletter.

Another way I like to support animals is to click my fingers on the free online donation buttons on the sites that provide them. My favorite site also supplies free mammograms and more! I also used this site during one of the other months this year.

Last, I like to support my pets, by treating them not only like pets but like part of my family.

A New Vote!

 All month, I’ve been collecting bottles and change to support animal charities like the ASPCA and the Ten Lives Club. Today I was trying to figure out how to help more when I had an idea. What if I asked you to share your favorite animal charities with me so I can write about them here? I’d like to learn more about the great ways in which you like to help animals. If you email me your ideas or leave them in the comments, I will report on it at the end of the month!

Also, if you email or leave a comment for me on how much you’ve made a difference for animals this month, I will give a twenty dollar donation to the charity of your choice if you end up being the person who has made the most difference.

Animals Are Our Pals

Over the last few years I’ve always had at least one pet. Biscuit my dog, Gabriel and Oliver my cats, or my fish.

I remember getting my dog, Biscuit. He was only four months old and was still soft. He was so small, small enough that I could hold him, if I wanted to. He slept all the way home, on my moms legs. I remember begging her to let us pet him.

And then there is Oliver, my cat. He was only three months old when we got him from the ASPCA. I got to keep him in my room for a week wile the dog got used to him. His paws were huge, his head was big and his body was TINY! But soooooo cute!

A few months later, I won a fish at the fair. Sushi lived for about a year and a month. Unfourtanately, my cat got at Sushi this summer and she dissapeared (EWWWWWWWWWWWW). I got another fish and that fish got sick, I should’ve known it was only $0.12 from a murcy tank. Now I have a spotted goldfish and his/her name is Spicy Tuna Roll.

As you can see, I love animals A TON! So, this month, I will be focusing on the ASPCA and the Ten Lives Club. I am going to do some research to find out how I can help these organizations best. I am also going to be focusing on a greyhound organization too but, I have to talk to Michelle Moore from the Compass House first. Michelle knows a lot about greyhounds because she has one and does volunteer work to help them all the time! Please keep reading to learn more about how I plan to help these organizations! I’d like to do some service work.

Also! Do you or your classmates know of an animal organization that YOU would like to support? If you do, please let me know! I will be saving my bottles again this month, and the person and class who does the most for an animal organization of your choice (or one of mine) will win a donation from me.

Books, Books and More Books!

A few days ago, I went to go pick up some books for my book drive from Knox Presbyterian Church. They gave me about 15 huge boxes fullof books that were all packed to the top!

I was really excited to see how many books they gave me! It was almost as many as I got from my street! Maybe even more.

When I went to drop off the books to the library, we had to get a library cart AND a big dolley! It was over whelming to see how many books they gave me, and it was all leftovers for a different good deed.

Also, my cousin Suzanne gave me about 20 big boxes full of books too from Rich Products. They had also been left over from a good deed. She helped have a big book sale there and all of the money went to the Make a Wish Foundation.

I think that it’s really great how we all can make a bigger difference together by doing something small by ourselves first. Suzanne and Knox Church each had their own sales for charity, and then I did a little drive on my street. Because everyone came together our library got A LOT of books.


Okay, so as you may know, my book drive was supposed to be my July charity. But because we got a late start and because the response was so HUGE, I am going to be carrying this into the end of August. We still have boxes and boxes of books in my living room to take to the library. This will be our FOURTH CAR LOAD! All together, my neighbors, Rich Products, and Knox Presbyterian Church must have donated over 1000 books to the library!!!

My new charity will start n September 1st! If you have any charities that I could use, you can contact me at twentyfivedays@gmail.com or leave me a comment in my comment box! I already have some really good ideas, including helping out animal charities and one really cool one for teachers.