Staggering Statistics!

According to the 2013 “Nation’s Report Card,” just 42 percent of fourth-graders and 35 percent of eighth-graders scored at or above the proficient level in math.  Worse yet, only 35 percent of fourth-graders and 36 percent of eighth-graders scored proficiently in reading.   These are the findings of the most recent study by the National […]

An Island for Misfit Toys!

Remember the Island of Misfit Toys?  All those toys wanted was a child to love them.  Well, Second Chance Toys brings that part of Rudolph’s story to life — really!   No stranger to volunteerism and community service, teenage founder Sasha Lipton, during a drive with her mom in the summer of 2006, noticed many […]

YMCA helps fill the gap in early literacy!

The achievement gap in literacy begins before a child starts school.  It’s crucial that parents and caregivers understand that.  Sadly, poverty is a major disadvantage for children, with studies showing vast and gaping differences in kindergarten readiness skills in children from lower-income families.  The hard truth is that many of these children will never catch […]

The Early Literacy Crisis It’s heartbreaking to realize that our world is so often such an unfair place.  That some children are born to parents who are actively involved in their lives and provide the stimulating, loving, and nurturing environment which they need to thrive, while other children are born into poverty and almost certain to fail… in […]

Dream Big!

There’s something truly beautiful about the pure, undiluted ambition of our children and teens. They see the world in a fashion untainted by waning confidences, self-doubt and self-imposed limits. And when we acknowledge this, we arrive at the fundamental truth that we, as fully matured adults, can learn something from our budding boys and girls […]

All grown up…

Yesterday was the end of an era in the Jones household.  Branson and I went back-to-school shopping…. for the last time [sniff, sniff, very sad face].  He’s a senior this year!!!!  My baby, the 4th and last of my beautiful boys, is grown up.  Actually, it was just clothes shopping.  In high school, the excitement […]

Our Forever Heroes

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”  Winston Churchill   That’s the quotation underneath Scott Norris’ picture on his memorial program.  He and 3 other fallen Hot Shots were laid to rest this weekend.  I read  about all of them in the newspaper and stared in disbelief at each of […]

Contraction Action

Does your child know what a contraction is?  I went to school in Albany, New York, and I learned about these in elementary school.  Wow, that was many years ago!  I’ve (I have) set forth several contractions below for examples with the combined two words in parentheses.   I think it’s (it is) so important […]

School’s Out …. for Summer!

Alice Cooper’s lyrics are resounding in my head!!  “No more pencils, no more books….”   You know summer is officially here when the last day of school arrives.  The kids are ecstatic; the moms not so much…  If you’re wondering how to fill all those blistery summer days, keep the kiddos smiling, avoid the boredom […]

Happy Teacher’s Week

Good evening, everyone!  I’ve been really busy on some very exciting things that are coming in the near future but I wanted to give a big shout-out to all you amazing teachers out there.  Although my boys are older now, I’m still so grateful to the incredibly caring teachers who touched their lives in such […]

Happy May Day!

Seriously, I can’t believe it’s May 1st already!  One-third of 2013 is gone.  Hey, TIME – you really need to slow down…   So what comes to mind for May — flowers of course!  And I have lots right in my front yard.  On this beautiful spring morning I spent a little time on our […]

Meet My Family

I’d like to start by saying I’ve been visiting some of the amazing and very creative mommy blogs out there and, man, do I have a lot of catching up to do!!  There’s a limitless wealth of knowledge, information, and resources out there and it’s just a great time to be a mom and connect […]

Funny How Things Work Out

Begin: to come into existence; to originate.  (I love the dictionary!)  So where did Alphabet Anatomy begin?  Glad you asked.   I’ve been blessed with 4 very talented and handsome sons whom I love with all my heart.  Of course I do!!  Like most moms, I helped my sons learn their letters before kindergarten and […]

Love you forever, Dad….

I don’t want to wait for heaven.  I want you back right now.  Coffee’s on, Dad.   JOHN (JACK) EDWARD TUNNY November 10, 1934 – March 24, 2013   Honor is defined by integrity, courage, character, and truthfulness, all things highly esteemed by my Dad.  His mom was a meticulous housekeeper who required that he […]

Evolving Easter Baskets

I just realized only eleven days until Easter — March 31st.  It’s early this year.  I’m wondering if kids ever outgrow Easter baskets, specifically my kids, who are no longer “kids” but four big, tall young men — 17, 22, 24 and 27.  When the boys were little, it was easy to add action figures […]

Welcome to Hospice

My father doesn’t like it here.  It’s a very nice place with a big beautiful kitchen and french doors in every bedroom that open to a private patio so the fresh air and sunlight can stream through.  There are 2 sitting areas for families, one with books and magazines and the other with a T.V., […]


It’s Monday and the start of a brand new week.  For my family, this is a very sad week.  My father was moved to Hospice yesterday with Stage 4 cancer, a dreadful and insidious disease that is slowly and painfully taking him away from us.  Actually, it moved very quickly in destroying his body once […]

This is it!

Yes, this is it!  My very first book fair with Alphabet Anatomy.  Not only a fair, but a “festival” — the Tucson Festival of Books — a celebration!  And when it comes to books, there are certainly a lot of things to celebrate.   Books educate and entertain us, take us to far-off magical places, […]