Monday, November 18, 2013

Moving Forward with Friends: A Read to Roo Reboot!

Hello friends!  Roo here, writing again after what has been an extended hiatus.  Many things have changed in our lives, forcing us to step back and get some perspective.  While we still continued to do our Read to Roo visits at school, Tina and I took a break from writing in this blog.  Tina has had a difficult time coping with the things going on, and struggled at times to keep thinking positively.  It wasn't her intention, but that began to reflect on our ambition for this blog.  Silent weeks lapsed into months.  Fortunately through reflection and the encouragement of some important people, we are stepping back up to the computer.

Read to Roo is getting a reboot!  We will be featuring new things on our Facebook page, but what we are most excited about is the introduction of our guest bloggers!  Tina aspired to make the blog a place where people could learn about many things associated with what we do...but she knew it would be hard to do alone.  That's where we were able to call upon our dream team of friends and ask for their insight.  We are pleased to say that we have a great group of people who have agreed to be on Team Roo and guest blog with us.  We have a few people who are still considering the request to write with us, but here is a little more about some friends who have already agreed to join up!

"A friend is one with whom you are comfortable, to whom you are loyal, through whom you are blessed, and for whom you are grateful."  -William Arthur Ward

We have been so fortunate in our lives to have made the friends we have these years past.  Countless happy faces greet us as we walk the hallways at school each Read to Roo day and many who have moved on to the upper grades still greet us with fond memories and warm hugs.  School staff and parents are especially kind and always make sure they tell us how much they enjoy us being there for everyone.

But even outside our school community, we have had such love and support shown to us that it is humbling.  Through our training and certification we met Tonya Wilhelm of Toledo Dog Training, who along with our little buddy Dexter made our classroom manners as polished as can be.  Tonya and Dexter became fast friends who we still love to this day!  In the R.E.A.D. community we got to know to other therapy dog teams and learn about their adventures.  Arnold Haber, children's author and longtime animal lover, became a pal of ours through R.E.A.D. connections and we are honored to know him.  His work shows just how deeply animals are rooted in his life and to us, that's tops!

Tina loves writing and was asked to be part of a (different) blogging adventure many months ago, to which she now considers very much meant to be.  Through that gathering of bloggers she was introduced to several strong, funny, talented women who she now considers to be close friends.  Lisa of Fresh Eggs Daily is a poultry pro and adores the canines in her life so dearly that they are featured in many of the photos she shares.  Tina and I love our chicken buddies, so we feel a real connection to Lisa's way of life.  Mindie from The (Mis)Adventures of a Born Again Farm Girl is a sassy, no nonsense kind of girl who is devoted fiercely to her family and her animal crew.  A conversation with Mindie is always sure to leave you laughing!  Mindie's son David may also be joining us as a young blogger.  Jennifer from 1840 Farm has been an admirer and wonderful supporter of us since we first met.  Jennifer is a mother, a book lover, an advocate for literacy and education, a collie fan (bonus points!) and a true compassionate soul.  We love her to bits and pieces and could not be more proud to call her a friend.  Jennifer's children may also be joining on our young blogger team!

Through our daily lives we have also been handed the opportunity to meet some incredible people.  Renee is a wonderful person who has a heart that beats strong for family and animals.  She is raising two amazing little girls with whom she shares her love for learning and is an active part of the humane society, organizing fundraisers, working special events or giving the animals some one-on-one attention.  Renee is such a fun, passionate person and we are thrilled to know her!  Renee's oldest daughter Rylie is also joining our young blogger team!  Lori is a book lover and parent of three children who just so happens to make animals her career!  Through her work at the veterinarian's office, Lori is able to help care for and show support for the creatures she cares so deeply about - myself included!  Our friend Belenda is a self proclaimed book-a-holic and we adore that about her!  An avid reader of all kinds of literature, she is someone Tina could talk all day with about how important reading is and the impact a wonderful story can have on your life.

When it comes to family, we have the best in the land!  From all sides we have always been given the love and support we need to keep going on.  Tina's mother-in-law Sally is a retired educator who has always loved learning and sharing that love with others.  Whether it was her students, her sons or now her grandchildren, Sally teaches those around her with an excitement and enthusiasm that is contagious!  Amanda is a cousin to Tina and someone that is just plain pawesome.  Yep!  I said it!  You name it and she does it: homeschooling, gardening, organic/natural living, big love for her animal friends.  Now you can see why she's the coolest!  Her mini-me Alyssa is also going to add her own sprinkle of cool to our young bloggers group!

Speaking of cool, how amazing are the kids in our family who support us?  Meredith (aka: my girl) has always been by my side since day one and she is the reason I do what I do.  Watching her learn to read made me want to be by the side of children who were learning, and sometimes struggling, to do the same thing.  She's still my #1 reading buddy and my very best friend forever.  Olivia, Will and Evie (aka: my kids) are Tina's niece's and nephew who give me big hugs, lots of kisses and tell me all about how nice they think I am.  Of course, I give all these things right back to them because they are just the best little friends this dog could have!  They've helped us as a therapy team through the years and I hope that they have learned a little from us too.  I cannot wait to see what "my girl and my kids" will come up with to share!

Last, but certainly not least, we have two extremely special friends we have to mention.  I am glad I am the one writing this because Tina would get all emotional and it would be very mushy around here.  These two ladies are those who Tina counts among her very best of best friends.  Lending support, sharing ideas, laughing and sometimes crying right along with her, they have shown they are deeply caring and so very selfless.  Without them, Read to Roo would be far less than it is and I know Tina's life would be as well.  The biggest collie kisses to Tonya, Tina's twin sister, and to Kate of Farmhouse 38 for your friendship and devotion.  Our lives are so much better because of you.

"Sometimes our light goes out but is blown into flame by another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light."  -Albert Schweitzer

We owe all these people great thanks.  In a time of need they have stepped up and not only helped support us, but boosted us forward.  Our light was in danger of going out but has been blown back into a bright, burning flame by them all.  We are honored to call them friends and we can't wait for you to get to know them as our guest bloggers.  Big things are in store, my friends.  Big, wonderful things.

1 comment:

  1. This is awesome Tina and Roo, you have brought happy tears to my eyes and a smile to my face :-)