Counselor's Corner

by Mrs. O

PurposeFull Practice: Gratitude, Lesson 3


Dear McKinley Family,

As the holidays come upon us, I challenge you (myself included) to purposefully be on the lookout for gratitude in both yourself and others. Once you have identified it, take some time to reflect and relish in it. For instance, my middle son Davin (26 years old) came home to visit and hunt with his father this past weekend. The first thing he said to me, after giving me a huge bear hug, was- "I'm so glad that you decorated the house for Christmas mom. It looks really great!" He then asked me if we were going to stay home for Christmas, or travel- and clearly added that his preference is to stay home. When I asked him why, he said that there is "nothing better" than waking up Christmas morning in our home. The only other place that is comparable, according to him, was his grandma's and grandpa's home in Cameron Park.

On this same evening, after watching "Home Alone 2" with my boys (Davin and Grayson who is 20), I retired to my bedroom. My sons followed me back to my room, visited with me for a few minutes, and tucked me in with hugs and kisses (funny how the roles have reversed). The next morning, I woke up and had some quiet time sipping coffee, thinking about the evening and Davin's words, and relishing in the love that I felt from my boys the prior evening. My conclusions from that morning's pondering- To say that I am grateful for my sons, and their ability to notice and appreciate the simple things in life, is an understatement. I am also so very grateful that my children are loving and kind, and that I have been blessed with the gift of motherhood. Taking time to cherish them, and the fullness of my heart because of them, doubled my joy. Honestly, I do the same thing when I listen to your children speak of loving their families, friends, school staff, and pets- they already understand the value of connection and living beings.

As we move into this busy holiday season, I hope the magic and simplicity of connection fills your homes and hearts, and rejuvenates you. To get you started, I've included some family resources and upcoming events (see Creating Time to Connect -below); and of course, a few resources about gratitude.

Warmly and gratefully yours,

Mrs. O (Ormachea)

McKinley School Counselor

Overview of Resources:

*Community Resources and Upcoming Events

1. Definition of Gratitude.

2. Video- The Science of Gratitude- in case you missed it last week.

3. Gratitude Journal- A great way to connect with your family and start a healthy and

purposeful practice.

4. Two Read Alouds, Two Guided Dance Videos (fun/play = connection), and Three Mindful

Practices (these are super helpful if you have had a busy or stressful day, but I love doing

them anytime).

5. Links to Parent Resource Letters (English and Spanish) re Gratitude.

6. Our McKinley Schoolwide Expectations Chant- I'm going to start handing out Duck Bucks

to students who have it memorized.

Family Connect and Create Day

Saturday, Jan. 8th, 10am

1045 Sycamore Street

Gridley, CA

Create a Family Vision Board with Principal Kemmis and other School Staff

and Rejuvenate and Reset with Breathwork/Mindfulness offered by Jaime Crow (details below).

Please RSVP at:

Creating Time to Connect

A Special Thank You to Our Wonderful Coffee Connection Parents (Mrs. Diana Velasquez, Ms. Justine Speegl, and Mrs. BreAnn Boyd); for Suggesting Many of the Above Family Resources and Ideas and Being Part of Our McKinley Family.

1. Definition of Gratitude

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2. Video- The Science of Gratitude

3. Family Gratitude Journal

This would be a fun and meaningful way to document your family's gratitude over the holidays. It might even become a family tradition.
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4. Two Read Alouds, Two Guided Dance Alongs, and 3 Mindfulness Practices

5. Links to Parent Resource Letter: Gratitude (in English and Spanish)

6. Our McKinley School Expectation Chant

Make sure to ask your student to teach you the arm movements that go with our chant. <3
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