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“Be the Change!”

I pretty much like every single thing about this wonderful story from the Ottawa Citizen newspaper, that comes to us just in time for back-to-school. Joe Drexler is my kind of hero. It’s a story of courage and kindness and one where kindness persevered over the bullies! He is making a difference. Hooray! Parents, you might want to check out how to bring this program to your child’s school as well. It sounds really special and powerful. As Joe reminds all of us, “Be the Change.” Enjoy!

Making kindness contagious in Ottawa schools

Joe Drexler is behind an organization called Be The Game and Kind Every Time, which is dedicated to making a difference in children¹s lives. He is collaborating with St. Laurent Centre on a kindness campaign and will appear in the mall Aug. 23.
Joe Drexler is behind an organization called Be The Game and Kind Every Time, which is dedicated to making a difference in children¹s lives. He is collaborating with St. Laurent Centre on a kindness campaign and will appear in the mall Aug. 23.

Joe Drexler said he’ll never forget the day when he refused to go to school after a bully threatened to take his steel-toed boots and kick his teeth in.

“There wasn’t a day that went by for three years that I didn’t get pushed down, spat at, kicked, pushed from behind, punched, put in a headlock, or get my head mashed against the wall in the bathroom.”

After years of being picked on, he had enough, but his father challenged him to apologize to his tormentor, which had him “shaking like a tree in the wind.”

One day after leaving school, Drexler said his bully was waiting for him around the corner, but instead of running home like he did every single day, he confronted his bully. But what he said next stunned his friends.

“I’m sorry if I’ve ever hurt you or made you upset, I never wanted to do that. He looked at me and said, ‘um, um, um I’m sorry, too,’ ” Drexler said.

After that day the bullying stopped and Drexler vowed to never let anyone bully him, “if they did, I would deal with it head on with kindness.”

Now, he’s challenging others to do the same to help end bullying and promote kindness with a two-week event at the St. Laurent Centre. There will be random acts of kindness in the mall, a pledge wall and a contest to find the kindest person in Ottawa. It will also act as a fundraiser for Drexler’s program Kind Every Time, which takes place throughout the school year. The kindness event, which runs until Aug. 30, hopes to make kindness contagious amongst students as they prepare to go back to school in September. Drexler, a father of four who lives in Toronto and is the founder of Be The Change, will attend an event at the mall on Aug. 23 at 1 p.m.

Carrie Irvine, marketing director for St. Laurent, came up with the idea after wanting to do something that promotes a positive message for families and kids as they get ready for back to school.

“I was inspired by Joe’s Kind Every Time movement and how he motivates people with his enthusiasm and passion for the cause. It’s important for me as a parent to know there are leaders making kids feel strong and empowered,” Irvine said.

“It’s so important to have a refresher. It’s so important to start on a positive note,” said Drexler, 41, who admits that schools are having problems tackling the issue of bullying and that’s where he thinks he can help.

No one wakes up in the morning and thinks ‘I’m going to be a bully,’ but most of the time children don’t know that they’re doing it.

He said the bullying had become so relentless that it was destroying his self-confidence and it was affecting his grades. “I just felt sad, I felt dark, I felt alone because nobody was sticking up for me.”

“I got to think deep down they probably knew, but like most parents they didn’t know what to do,” said Drexler, who frequently made excuses after coming home with ripped shirts and a black eye.

“When was bullied I could run home lock the door and I’m safe, nobody else could hurt me. Today, kids can run home lock the door, but then they are being tormented online.”

He’s trying to make long-lasting change in schools by building character and compassion in students. He added that bullying is a learned behaviour and it can be difficult to pinpoint where it starts.

“What we try to do is de-program that and re-program them with positivity, kindness, empathy and compassion. We’re seeing amazing transformation, especially with the kids who have been isolated and feel like they’ve been pushed down and stomped on.

“If we focus our thoughts on kindness and not hate or bullying, then we will slowly see a transition and that’s exactly what’s happened,” he said.


Two things on kindness – my very favorite topic!


Swinging by with a couple of very quick things on kindness today. First a preview of a great quote from Sandra from the next book The Santanapping. In this scene, she is being interviewed by Beatrice Carol the World Wide News reporter about whether kindness really matters or not. Oh Beatrice.


And the second is to share this photo of what one lucky ducky person kind enough to sign up for the Nice List will win this weekend! I am really excited about this gift I get to send to one of you featuring a Kindness Rocks! mug and burlap tote bag. It’s not too late for you to get your chance at it. Anyone who signs up today will entered to win! And no need for sad faces if you miss out on this one, we’ll have fun drawings every single month for people on the Nice List. You know, cause your nice and kind and kindness rocks! 

Update! Oh Christmas crackers! Today is August 17 NOT August 24! I’m a whole week ahead! My moment of being crackers means you still have a whole week to spread the news on the giveaway and for kindness lovers to sign up! :)

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

A Big Ole Haboob and a Happy Dance


When the dark clouds that folded in around Sandra and Em in book two came along and they disappeared in them, I’m wondering if the clouds looked like this dramatic photo!


My sister and brother-in-law took these photos from their home in Eastern Washington State yesterday as this foreboding  dust cloud came at them quickly! While other areas of the country experience these giant dust storms – called haboobs (what a crazy fun word!) – this is the first time I’ve ever heard of one in our part of the country. Within minutes of this photo, they posted one of complete darkness. The kind where you get see your hand in front of you! That is freaky! Cool, but freaky! What do you think? Anyone else ever been through something like this? Wowzaa.

And in other news, guess what this author finally did? Finished her edits in time to send them off to her copy editor! Oh yeah! Oh happy, happy, joy, joy  dance under the full super moon yeah! Now she’ll go through it, pick up the things I missed, I’ll get it back, make those changes and send it off to Amazon. That’s still a month away but I’m dreamin’ already of the day. Next on my list is finding out if you’re on my list. [Read more...]

Northwest Light Show


In the South Pole Santa books, one of the evening treats is when all of the Northern Lights elves get together and light up the skies with their glorious light show. Here in the Pacific Northwest this time of year though, right about sunset many evenings, I think we could give those elves a run for their money!

Facebook pages around here went crazy with sunset photos one night recently because the colors were so dang fabulous. This was one of my favorites.

Oh Oh Oh! — jingle



My Little Pony Party! Giddy Up!


What’s the next best thing to Christmas morning if you’re a kid? Why your birthday of course!

Every child on the planet should have such a wonderful “village” as the kids in my family do. Yesterday that “band of villagers” came out to celebrate our little Savanna turning five. She has moved from talking dragons at all times into loving all things My Little Pony these days and got a pony party for her birthday!


It was marvelous! I’ll just start right off with the fact that the pony party included REAL ponies dressed up like My Little Ponies! Those little ponies came out and Savanna went wild! She was sooooo excited.  The ponies were there for a little more than an hour and I think Savanna rode them the whole time. Most of the other kids chose saddle up and enjoy the ponies too but, at this party anyhow, the girls all seemed much braver then the boys proved to be. Giddy-up! [Read more...]

Happy Happy Joy Joy Dance!

Did you happen to hear a giant whooshing sound around 11 pm West Coast time USA a couple of days ago by chance? You can probably be sure that was me, sitting back in my chair, breathing a giant breath of relief, happy as an elf on Christmas Eve about finishing my second draft on the third book! Hooray! I am so excited. It took a lot of help from my exceptional book coach, Breezy, but she pushed and pulled, whipped on me and it all came together with even a little bit of time to spare. Here’s what we know so far:

  • It’s had a name change and gone from the working title of “The Rescue” to the new title of “The Santanapping.” Being Santanapped is like being kidnapped only they take a Santa.
  • The book is at 54 chapters and 76,464 words. The biggest book so far.
  • All your favorite characters are back and you’ll be meeting some nice – and not so nice! – new ones.
  • Tina Fischer Mitchell, the artist who makes my magical covers is busy coming up with something fabulous for it.

Next up, my super-duper, lovely band of volunteer readers give it a [Read more...]

Battling the “I wants!”

Today I bring you wondrous photos from other places on this wonderful world wide web! The giver of ideas and brilliance, inspiration and fun! Like kids at Christmas, I have the “I wants” today! :)



First up are fabulous photos of Antarctic. These three stunning pics come from Robert Swan and the 2041 Facebook site. Robert Swan leads up the drive to keep Antarctica free from drilling and other development by any nation after the world treaty expires in 2041. He and his group spend time [Read more...]

A Gift From me to Fabulous You!


Happy Joy in July everyone!

And a warm welcome to any of you who might be new and swinging by the site for the first time. I’ve been having so  much fun this month with the Joy in July theme. It seems Christmas in July is far more “practiced” then I realized. QVC has been featuring Christmas items all month on its channel, Hallmark, of course, and the ABC Family Channel both had their annual runs of Christmas movies in July and then I saw that some of the online games you can play changed their themes for the month to Christmas as well. I’m all for Christmas magic sneaking in here and there all year round.

Next, thank you to all of you who have so kindly signed up for my new monthly enewsletter! I’m excited about having this new opportunity to chat on kindness and magic and girl power and well, all around, fun! I plan [Read more...]

Joy in July tip!


Lot more fun tips on

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle

Get on the Nice List!


Oh Oh Oh! It’s time to celebrate! Do you see anything new around here by chance? Like the new, large, green colored, opt-in box at the top of the page?!?

I’m getting more and more organized and legitimized around here all the time and with some help from some friends – love you Wendy Reese, Wendy Pariss and Jennifer Blanchard – I have some new features!

I am sooooo hoping you will choose to sign up on the “Nice List” above. Once you do, you’ll get access to a fun little set of some freebees that Sandra and I have put together for you. Then, once a month, you’ll get an enewsletter delivered right to your inbox with ideas and reports on kindness and spreading magic year round to help make our world a happier and joyous place. Plus, as an added bonus, you’ll get to read the first couple of chapters of the next book way before it becomes available to everyone else and there’s loads going on! :) It would be my true honor to have you on the list.

A few other updates you’ll notice around the site here:

  • Under the “Fun Extra’s” button above you can now find pdf versions of most the extras that you can print out for fun.
  • Wendy Pariss drew us the cutest elf coloring sheet! It’s getting added to our Fun Extra’s page. Moms with young children, this new extra is for you!
  • The review list has been updated! Thank you soooooo much to all of you who have taken the time to review one or the other or both books (:) ) and spread the news of Sandra’s adventures. For anyone who has read and enjoyed one of the adventures, I would welcome your review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or sent as a note just to me. They always make my day!

Thank you for being fabulous and spreading the joy of Christmas and kindness year round! It is a wonderful thing to have friends cheering you on and loving Sandra and her friends. And before you go, don’t forget to put your name on the Nice List – ‘cause you don’t want to end up on either Santas’ naughty list! :)

Oh Oh Oh! – jingle