Friday, November 8, 2013

an afternoon as a fairy bird...

(all photos by the talented Heather Hackney)

 a few weeks ago, the girls were asked to become real Fairy Birds, just like the little girls in the new book, "Fairy Birds: Fairy Godmothers in Training" by twin sisters Heather Fujikawa and Heidi Andrews.  From the minute the girls cracked their book open, they were in fairy heaven.  Between the stunning illustrations by Simini Blocker and the darling story of little fairies receiving their pink feather, our girls were entranced.  We are big book readers in our house, but I have yet to find a children's book with such a great message- and one that is so easily received!

Thanks to the idea of "Givie Hearts" (little confetti heart pieces you can sprinkle around as you give and serve others) our girls have taken to being kind and serving everyone they meet.

For their afternoon as Fairy Birds, our girls decided they would paint pictures and deliver them to their great grandparents- Big Poppa Ed and Grandma Pat.  They took their time (notice Maddie's tongue out in almost every picture:) and selected just the right colors, stickers and an enormous amount of glitter to make their masterpieces.  Gracie was almost jumping out of her seat to take them to Grandma Pat!  I loved watching them march up to her door and carefully lay their art down so they could ring the bell.  I have to preface this by saying that Matthew's Grandma Pat is one of the most wonderful women I have ever met.  She is kind, beautiful and so sweet with kids.  We couldn't have picked anyone better!  The girls were tickled with her reaction to the paintings.  Gracie has asked reminded me several times that Grandma Pat thinks she is an EXCELLENT artist!

I adore the girls reaction to this book.  It has practically started a new movement in our house.  I am reminding the girls often to be sweet Fairy Birds as they interact with each other and their friends.  The message has resonated with all of us and we've felt a different spirit in our home and we've focused on giving and serving.

Heather and Heidi asked if I'd do a little interview with the girls- I am so happy I have their answers written down to look back on years from now!

What are their ages?
Gracie Belle is 4 and Maddie Mae is 2 1/2, they are 18 months apart.

Why do you want to be a fairy bird?
Gracie- Fairy Birds are AMAZING!  And they have WINGS!  I will be such an AHHH-MAZING fairy bird!  And we make everyone happy because we'll give all the givie hearts away.  Do you have an envelope?  Let's send some to Grammie and Poppa!
Maddie- I want to be a fairy too!  I need the givie hearts to send to my dad, my mom, my Grammie, my Poppa.  To everyone!

If you could dream up the most special thing to make for someone what would it be?
Gracie- cookies with sprinkles, and I could make a box and put special surprises in it, especially pixie dust.  I would decorate it with glitter.  And then paint a picture of me with them.
Maddie- My picture too!

What do you like to give to your mom/dad? Do you like to make/do special things together to give to your mom/dad?
Gracie- my Mom LOVES when I give her sugars (Lindsey- we call kisses sugars:) and when I help her with the chores that only big girls can do.  Moo is too little to do things like hold scissors, climb on the counter and stir her mac and cheese (Lindsey- I'm not sure I've ever asked her to do those things:).  My Dad likes when I put his shoes away.  My Dad and I take Lucy, our dog, outside to play together.  AND we go on DAAAATE NIGHTS (said in a very high pitched squeal!)  We go on a date together and it makes my Mom and Dad happy!  And I listen, A LOT better than Moo does sometimes!
Maddie- I give them sugars, I paint pictures, I let Lucy out of her kennel, I put my clothes in the laundry.  

What special things do you like to do for Lucy?
Gracie- I got a dog for my birthday!  Her name is Lucy and she is so silly.  I take her out to go potty and chase her when she doesn't come.  I help her get in the bath and brush her hair, but she doesn't like if I blow-dry her hair.  I feed her everyday and I give her water and treats.  She loves me so much.  But I don't like that she tries to eat my Fairy Bird wings!!!
Maddie- I share my goldfish with Lucy and I let her out of her kennel when she is sad.  I don't clean up her poop because it is gross.

What do you like to do/give to one another?
Gracie- When Moo is sad I always share my blanket with her or I find her a stuffed animal.  I let Maddie play with me when Jett comes over so she's happy.  We like to tease each other and play hide and seek and ring around the rosie.  At school if Moo is sad I will find her and give her a sister hug and a sister sugar.  We love to jump on our beds and have races, but I always win.  We share our givie hearts.  I like to share my paint brushes with her and I show her how to wash her brushes in the water.  We are always buddies!
Maddie- I always share my toys with her!  And I will give her sugars.  And I give her my blanket.

What special things does Maddie do for you?
Gracie- She is so silly!  We just love each other.

How do you feel inside when she gives/helps you?
Gracie- My heart feels so happy, and I want to jump up and down.  I love it!

What special things does Gracie do for you?
Maddie- Gracie helps me if I am sad.  And she helps me go potty and she gets me snacks from the pantry.

How do you feel inside when she gives/helps you?
Maddie- Happy!

How would you describe Maddie and Gracie and how they give to each other and others?
Lindsey- I have been amazed at our girls capacity to love and give to those around them.  Strangers and friends alike, they never hesitate to smile, wave or share a story.  Just today I was in our front yard chatting with an older neighbor who lives alone.  Moments later I see Gracie and Maddie running out of the house with a sugar cookie to share with the neighbor.  Gracie was almost too thrilled to talk- she just grinned from ear to ear!  

Maddie is a little more shy than Gracie, but Maddie comes out of her shell anytime she is around Gracie.  She thinks Gracie is pretty amazing and is often calling, "Gracie, come here!" throughout the house.  Maddie is a tease and an absolute blast to be around.  She is playful and clever and happy to go along with the flow.  She is our most sensitive spirit, and often, it's Gracie who she turns to for comfort.  She loves to be held and will give you any amount of cuddles and kisses that you ask for.  She is simple and unwavering and easy to please.  We can't help but squeeze her all day long!

Gracie is a bit more complex than Maddie, but equally as joyful.  Blessed with an insane amount of energy, this girl can go and go and go.  The thing I love about Gracie is her excitement for anything and everything.  It is contagious!  She can make the most mundane activity seem AMAZING (her most favorite word!) and help all those around her to feel the same way.  She is very thoughtful, especially as she discovers the ins and outs of making friends at school.  She asks about her family and friends daily and rarely goes to bed without facetime-ing her Grammie and Poppa to sing them songs.  Since receiving her givie hearts, she has spread them throughout our neighborhood.  She's dropped some on porches of friends, handed a few to neighbors and delivered them at school.  She took her Fairy Bird wings into class for show and tell and shared all about giving and how it makes her heart happy.  

How are you inspired by how the girls give to others and how they give to each other?
Lindsey- Being sisters is all our girls have ever known.  Gracie was just 19 months old when Maddie was born.  As they've grown they have forged an unbreakable bond, different than we share with them as parents.  These girls are each other's favorite companion and must trusted ally.  Gracie is Maddie's supreme protector and Maddie is Gracie's calming influence.  When one is down, the other is right there to give a hand.  As the girls got in the car one day after school I listened to Maddie tell Gracie that a particular little boy in her class was being mean to her.  Immediately Gracie reached over and took her hand and said, "what did he do to my moo moo baby?"  Every afternoon as the girls cuddle up on the couch for a bit of quiet time, I hear Gracie yell to me that she doesn't have her blanket.  Maddie follows with, "here Gracie, I will share with you!"  They are affectionate and open and so quick to forgive.  I feel blessed that Gracie has so taken to sharing and giving as she is such an influencer over Maddie.  I can see Maddie watching Gracie and mimicking her every move.  While sometimes that ends with her stranded on top of a counter or sneaking some chocolate chips, it also ends with Maddie seeing how fun and exciting it can be to give!  And while arguing does happen, I try to stay out of it as I'm guaranteed they'll get distracted pretty quick and I'll hear giggling in the next couple minutes.  They've discovered that they're better buddies than enemies- and really, it's so much more entertaining to find mischief together than solo!  I have learned that asking where my sweet Fairy Birds are is the fastest way to get them to cheer up or get along!

Gracie and Maddie are sensitive and aware with a huge capacity to love.  I'm sometimes in awe when I think of their little world- they are surrounded by an enormous amount of love and great examples of giving- thanks to so many kind, generous and thoughtful family and friends.  I am eternally grateful that some of those examples have rubbed off on them as they've demonstrated far more patience, tenderness and love that I feel just Matthew and I could teach them.  Their sweet spirits and lively personalities are constant reminders to be a little more gentle, a little more thoughtful and and much more positive with myself and those around me.  I'm grateful to know that they will always have each other and share in their sweet bond as sisters.  I hope as they continue to grow so will their love of giving and their understanding of the huge impact they can make on the lives of those around them.  

I want to thank Heather and Heidi for their incredible book.  They have put together an amazing tool to teach our girls about the joy of giving and serving others.  I can't tell you the difference we've felt in our house over the last week as we've found new ways to make giving fun.  We will continue to rely on their message to teach the girls!

You can learn more about Fairy Birds and the whole movement here.  You can find more information, read their blog and even purchase your own set of Fairy Bird wings!  They have a darling video and lots of ideas on how to encourage your kids to give!

And lastly, the girls darling tutus are from Wunway, you can find Gracie's here and Maddie's here


  1. hey nice post mehn. I love your style of blogging here. The way you writes reminds me of an equally interesting post that I read some time ago on Daniel Uyi's blog: How Does Being A Good Man Affects Your Level Of Success .
    keep up the good work.


  2. Sweetest post ever! I think we need to interview these little fairies for Mini!