Author Archives: esralston

Thinking about Difficult Topics

Wow, February just flew by! It has been a wet, rainy month here. My writing has gone into hibernation!  My storytelling class just ended and I am feeling a bit bereft – – we had a great, supportive group. I’m determined … Continue reading

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Storytelling for Change

For the last 5 weeks I have been taking an online class through Acumen and the Ariel Group, called “Storytelling for Change.” The main task of the course is to tell a brief 1-2 minute personal story that frames the … Continue reading

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Spread the Love! Collect food for the Food Driving Box Campaign

    February is the month of love! Here’s a cool idea to whet your appetite for spreading the love!

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My Daughter Plans a Coming of Age Ceremony

Recently, I noticed Shiori, the Japanese student who has been living with us since September as part of a homestay program for college students, seemed a little sad.  Shiori attends the University of Washington and is in an international studies … Continue reading

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Philanthropy for Kids: Nurturing a Giving Family

I’ve been wondering about how to explore the concept of philanthropy with my kids. I realize that such a large concept feels sort of intangible. In one of my early blog posts, I explore the definition of philanthropy. But I now … Continue reading

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What Is It Like to be Hungry?

I’ve never gone hungry before. Sure, I mean, I’ve fasted and skipped a meal here and there and felt pretty hungry during those times, but I have never had to worry about where my next meal is coming from. I’ve … Continue reading

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Just Do It! Be an Artist Now!

Saw this great TED talk by Young-ha Kim, a South Korean writer, about not letting anything stop you from being an artist. He spoke of parents who played Legos with their kids, even after the kid has lost interest, and the parents … Continue reading

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Birthday Dreams for All: Providing Birthday Parties for Children of Struggling Families

Happy New Year! Here is my first Parentmap post of 2014. I love the idea of volunteers coming together to pull off a party for kids whose families can’t afford this luxury. Now that 2014 is off to a good … Continue reading

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Experiencing Another Culture Without Leaving Home

If you have ever thought about hosting someone from another country in your home, this article I wrote might convince you it’s a great idea. It’s not for everyone, but it has been a fun experience for me and my … Continue reading

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Finding Joy in the Simple Things

This morning, in the car on the way to school, we were stopped at a light at an intersection just off the highway that is usually frequented by low-income or homeless people selling the newspaper, Real Change. They buy the … Continue reading

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