How Rain Came to be Nature’s Glitter by Lillian Darnell

February 2 2018:

She’s writing again! Look what I just received in my inbox … I LOVE this one!! I predict there will be future books for Lillian. xoxo

“How Rain Came to be Nature’s Glitter”

Once long ago, there lived Raine and her friend Storm who lived happily in their home. One day, Raine and Storm saw an advertisement that read, “Mother Nature is looking for weather assistants. Please visit Mother Nature at 8989 Snowy Sun Lane about the job. ”

“Should we visit Mother Nature about the job?”, said Raine to Storm. “Yes, we should. I just hope that Mother Nature is paying a good price”, said Storm.

So, Raine and Storm walked over to Mother Nature’s home. When Raine and Storm got there, here’s the people they saw Hailey, Thunder, Lightning, and Sunny all waiting for Mother Nature to open the door.

Just as Raine and Storm arrived, Mother Nature opened her door and her eyes widened in surprise. “My goodness, I didn’t expect so many people to show up. Well, I guess I better get started,” exclaimed Mother Nature.

Fortunately, Raine and Storm were first to head inside Mother Nature’s home. Mother Nature had white marble pillars arching high over their head, a large winding staircase leading to the meeting room, and a gorgeous chandelier overhead.

As soon as Raine and Storm reached ….

Go here to

How Rain Came To Be Nature’s Glitter

**We are awaiting the second order of Lillian’s debut book! That’s right! We’ve only got 1 left from the first shipment. Go here to learn more about “Where Would You Fly” … Thank you to everyone!!

Swim Day and Oranges and Betty Boop

January 22 2018:

Homeschool swim day!!!

So thankful to those who have arranged this!! Northern Nevada Home Schools!!! xoxo

Carson Valley Swim Center 1.23.18 #1 Carson Valley Swim Center 1.23.18 #2 Carson Valley Swim Center 1.23.18 #3 Carson Valley Swim Center 1.23.18 #4

January 25 2018:

Who else loves a good and juicy orange??? One of my favorite fruits at this time of year. Love them so much I’ve been known to eat three in one day!!! Yum!!! 🍊 👅… xoxoxo

Orange 1.25.18

After I posted this on facebook, a friend posted this about the color orange:

“Orange is the color of creativity and sexuality. The color Orange is the color of joy, enthusiasm and creativity and promotes a general sense of wellness. Orange stones increase and aid personal power, self-esteem and confidence.”

And I say, “This is great!!” I have to admit I find eating an orange incredibly sensual! HA! This description is perfect … Joy and Enthusiasm too!! xoxo


January 26 2018:

And last night after the wonderful Chay Drol Healing Ceremony in South Lake Tahoe with the Gaden Shartse Monks, I just had to stop and ask Betty Boop, “Girl, aren’t you cold?” And, she replied, “Naw honey. I’ve got an internal fire that keeps me warm year ’round!” Wheeee!! xoxo

Camilla with Betty Boop 1.26.18 #1

Best Time for a Post Office Trip and Let’s Go Swimming

December 14 2017:

The best time to make a post office trip: 10:30 at night! One Biggest Little Photographer book on the way to Virginia!! Have fun Mr. Minifigure man!

We also found out how many times we can drive around the round-a-bout before feeling dizzy. Four. That’s it!

TLC Trip to Post Office 12.14.17 #1 TLC Trip to Post Office 12.14.17 #2

TLC Trip to Post Office 12.14.17 #3

December 15 2017:

Homeschool swimming day at Carson Valley Swim Center! Thomas is having a great time! What a fun place and a beautiful drive to get here too. Lillian opted for some quiet alone time as it’s kind of overwhelming in here.

Thomas Swimming 12.15.17 #1 Thomas Swimming 12.15.17 #2 Thomas Swimming 12.15.17 #3

Book Musings: The Amazing Discoveries of Ibn Sina

November 18 2017:

The Amazing Discoveries of Ibn Sina

Beautifully illustrated story of Ibn Sina, a genius of the Islamic Golden Age (c.622-c.1258). We learned he was a polymath, distinguished by his historically crucial contributions in the medical field.

His famous work, The Canon of Medicine, has made his name live through the centuries. He wrote hundreds of books on subjects including architecture, mathematics, philosophy, music, chemistry, education, medicine and meteorology.

GREAT book and it was wonderful discovering Ibn Sina!

The Amazing Discoveries of Ibn Sina Book 2017

If You Could Go Back In Time

November 7 2017:

At dinner Thomas asked, “If you could go back in time and spend time with someone, who would you choose?”

While I was thinking of what to say, he shared his answer. He would go back to when Hitler was a kid and encourage him to attend art school.

I didn’t even know what to say after that. Selfishly, I had been thinking Buddha, Jesus, or Gandhi simply to be amongst their energies.

So incredibly grateful for having Thomas be a part of my life … xoxo

Date Day with Thomas April 2017 4.26.17 #1

Volunteering at Humane Society – Slow and Gentle

November 3 2017:

It was Humane Society volunteer day! Thomas got to sit with Angel. He knows she can be grumpy about having her napping interrupted. So, he moves slowly and so gently gives her loving. I’m so relieved to see her still here when we come. So many beauties.

Volunteering at Humane Society 11.3.17 #1 Volunteering at Humane Society 11.3.17 #2 Volunteering at Humane Society 11.3.17 #3 Volunteering at Humane Society 11.3.17 #4 Volunteering at Humane Society 11.3.17 #5

Grateful for Real Food With No Artificial Flavors or Dyes and Chance Encounters and Friends

November 1 2017:

Today was grocery day. I am incredibly grateful for real food free of artificial flavors, dyes, and other non-food stuffs. Seriously. Beyond words. And I’m grateful for days when I come home with bags of this beautiful, nature (and farmer) provided bounty! Ahhhhhh ….. xoxo

I have a knack for remembering details and prices when it comes to grocery shopping. Plus, we have many items that I buy on a consistent basis. Also, I am one of those people you see reading the ingredient labels of everything! So, I know if the same or similar item is cheaper or on sale at one of the stores I shop.

Here are the stores: Trader Joe’s for most things … No artificial flavors or dyes in anything .. Although there is corn syrup in some candies (just not high fructose corn syrup). Trader Joe’s seems to have the cheapest organic prices (of the places I shop).

One other item I look for on the packaging at TJ’s is for prepared foods. They seem to have so many that are for microwave cooking and I don’t use a microwave for reheating or cooking. I bought an item once that ONLY had microwave instructions! I improvised and got it cooked; but, now I make sure there are stove or oven directions too. Currently, November 2, 2017, Trader Joe’s organic fresh cranberries are cheaper than Whole Foods.

Whole Foods for other items. Same thing. No artificial flavors or dyes in anything. Some candies have corn syrup but not high fructose corn syrup. We’ll have to see if standards say the same now that Amazon has bought them.

Raleys has a vegan cheese I like so I go there for that and usually get lucky with it being on sale!

I’ve tried Sprouts, but so far I’m not liking it like TJ’s and WF. They have items with artificial flavors and dyes so have to be more diligent with reading labels. Right now their organic russet potatoes are cheaper than TJ’s, but, I didn’t like the flavor or texture or something about it. I do like their Health & Beauty section. Good selection of items. I LOVE the Great Basin Food Co-op downtown but it’s more of a drive.

I’ve been reading labels and memorizing prices for nearly 10 years now! Plus, I have noticed that some prices have increased in the last couple of months after having been the same for years!

November 2 2017:

While volunteering at the library yesterday, Lillian and I ran into the vice-principal from her elementary days. I recognized her but couldn’t remember why I knew her.

She absolutely remembered us and Thomas too! She was so extremely excited to see Lillian volunteering and shelving books. And even more excited when I told her about the upcoming book!

She brought up how she remembers our IEP meetings and how well prepared I always was for them. Lillian’s therapists and resource teacher always commented the same. I owe being ready for that first meeting to Catherine Via Burzio who directed me to the exact resources I needed.

I stayed up past midnight for several nights reading all of it and knew that it all came down to how things were worded. From then on, I just made sure I used words how they wanted them to be used to match regulations.

It went great until fourth grade. That’s when it all fell apart and I decided to make use of other options. I am SO incredibly grateful that IEP is no longer something I have to prepare for or be concerned with.

November 3 2017:

Love this memory from five years ago Kimberly Phipps-Nichol!! It’s been about ten years since we first met! I’m so blessed by your love and am so incredibly happy for your joy, happiness, and success! xoxo

November 3 2012: Today I am grateful that you and I met in 2007 and became friends. I am thankful for you and our beautiful friendship. As we count down the one week left before you make your move to Houston, please know I feel so awesomely blessed for our closeness. I will miss you dearly …. Yet, I know this will be an amazing part of your journey and an exciting adventure!!! I TREASURE the connection we have my sweet friend … See you in a few hours for your going away party!!! (Picture from December 2011)

Kimberly and Camilla 2011


Touching Moments Volunteering – Human Society

October 27 2017:

It was volunteer day!! Thomas is in love with Angel. She’s 15 years old and she’s in kidney failure. Her placard says she does not like to be disturbed when napping; which is all she does at this point.

But, when Thomas sat next to her she slowly stood on frail and wobbly legs and sat next to him. He wants to bring her home for cat hospice so she has a home before crossing the Rainbow Bridge. 💜😭

And then there was Molly. I sat down and was petting another cat when Molly, the black cat pictured, slowly emerged from the cat house where she was sleeping. She walked over to me, jumped in my lap, and curled up next to my chest. She’s 10 years old and is under vet care right now. Not sure what’s up with her.

She seriously kept hugging me and staring into my eyes. She even put her paw on my chin while looking up at me a couple of times. Then, she curled up in my lap. Her placard says she’s shy and takes a while to warm up to someone. Um, wow!

I radiated as much love as possible from my hands and heart to her heart. Hope it stays with her til our next visit. She was hard to put down. 😭💜

The other cat pictured is Coco. Isn’t she a beauty??

Volunteer Nevada Humane Society 10.27.17 #1 Volunteer Nevada Humane Society 10.27.17 #2 Volunteer Nevada Humane Society 10.27.17 #3 Volunteer Nevada Humane Society 10.27.17 #4 Volunteer Nevada Humane Society 10.27.17 #5

Let Them Follow Their Curiosity


October 17 2014:

I subbed today at High Desert Montessori in lower elementary (1st-3rd grade) where they were completing the Caine’s Arcade Cardboard Box Challenge – An event arranged, organized and lead by a 3rd grader named Thomas Darnell. He approached his teacher, gathered all the information, put together fliers, and went to all the other lower el classrooms to let them know about it. And, spent a lot of time yesterday helping other kids make their creations.

Today he helped clean up the gigantic mess from all the fun. I absolutely support whatever education style is best for each child and I’m a HUGE believer in the Maria Montessori method. It works for both of my kids. One who lags a bit behind and one who is pretty far advanced.

from the below article … “A number of the innovative entrepreneurs also went to Montessori schools, where they learned to follow their curiosity,” Mr. Gregersen said. “To paraphrase the famous Apple ad campaign, innovators not only learned early on to think different, they act different (and even talk different).”

**Update** November 8 2017: Both Thomas and Lillian are homeschooled now. This is Thomas’ second year and I’ve lost count for Lillian … Our current method is unschooling, child led schooling, interest based learning … it has many names.

Thomas attended HDMS for 1st – 4th grade and it was the perfect fit for him! During his 4th grade year I sensed it was time for something different to allow him to stay connected to his soul purpose and not be distracted by conformity.

Lillian attended HDMS for 2 and 1/2 years. At that point, she made it clear that she needed something different. And, I listened …

Eclipse and Staying Here and Jello Bed and Tent Bedroom and Field Trip

August 21 2017:

So beautiful, peaceful, and incredibly quiet. Got a great picture of …. nothing, really …. Ha! My attempt at taking a photo through Lillian’s eclipse glasses while also wearing my eclipse glasses. xoxoxo

Eclipse 8.21.17 #1 Eclipse 8.21.17 #2 Eclipse 8.21.17 #3

August 24 2017:

Has anyone tried moving a queen size tempurpedic bed? It’s like wrestling with and trying to move a 200 pound block of jello … with handles. Oh my gosh!

Due to the decision below, I wanted to give Thomas his own space. So we spent four hours after dinner last night moving and shifting packed boxes and other furniture so that he could have his own “room”. It’s a room within a room! Thomas and I had a heck of a time moving my queen bed out so we could put up the tent for him.

I made a decision yesterday afternoon after receiving news yesterday morning that would allow us to stay where we are. I canceled the moving truck for last night and the storage unit. Since the unit we’re in now had not been rented yet, the office was okay with me saying, “Oops! Never mind!” They have been great.

Staying here is the path of least resistance and that suits me.

It’s clear the time has not yet arrived for us to leave this place. Every “perceived option” did not work out and there were many dead ends. Thirty – forty people all trying to get one place, waiting lists, difficulties finding a reasonably priced storage unit, no u-haul trucks of ANY size, anywhere near Reno, beginning today and through 9.3 due to Burning Man.

So, we’ll stay here and hopefully move into a different unit at some point; being that we’re all packed and ready to go somewhere! And, we will begin preparing more solidly for the next adventure for Team TLC. I’ll share more later as it’s been a wild ride for sure.

There must be a reason for us staying here. I will simply trust that it will be revealed in time.

Thomas Tent in Bedroom 8.24.17

August 24 2017:

Field trip day!!! Drove to Incline Village Library. This library and South Valleys library are our two favorites!

Bonus Farmers Market set up when came out. Fresh tomatoes, Concord grapes, peaches, and nectarines. Yum!!!

Another bonus! The amazing views on the drive back down Mt. Rose. WOW!!!

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