Building a child’s dreams…one book at a time

Do you remember your first book?  I remember the feel of turning each page…the joy of discovery…  That joy comes back as I watch  my 4-year old grandson lean forward in anticipation of what I’ll read on the next page, his face fully concentrating on each word… imagining what’s next…. Do you remember?   And, OH,  I remember the thrill of Nancy Drew mysteries, couldn’t wait to read the next page, yet not wanting the book to end.  What if I didn’t have books for my mother and father to read to me; what if I had not learned to read… to explore the world of imagination through books?  What a loss that would have been!

The Rotary Club of Stockton has set their heart on ensuring each and every child in Stockton has an opportunity to experience what we were blessed to experience…..and their goal:  put a book in every child’s hands.  In the spring of 2011, Ann Johnston, Mayor of Stockton at the time, brought together a group of community agencies, including the Stockton Rotary, to form Read to Me, Stockton, joining other sponsors of Dolly Parton’s “Imagination Library”, giving each registered child a book a month.  Proceeds from last Saturday night’s Rotary Boots & Bales crazy-fun night brought more little ones closer to receiving their own book – each and every month for 5 years!

This blog post is dedicated to those generous, committed, and fun individuals who supported this event.

To kick up the festive party spirit Saturday night for all those amazing Stocktonians, we brought in 175 sunflowers.  and oh – did they shine!


Bet ya never had 175 sunflowers spend the night in your house?

 You could almost hear them singing!



 I got to take these little babies and decorate over 40 tables, fun for me!


Some found homes in mason jars

Giant-sunflowers-ready-for-arrangingand the big happy ones were tucked into our weathered barnwood planters with our yard’s hydrangeas and a few purple echinops.

  Just look at them on the tables!.


bandana-napkin-foldThe committee chose folded light blue bandanas for the table napkins

Doesn’t the dinner menu look cute tucked into the folds? – ok not cute – how about awesome!

It took me about 4 napkins to remember the different folds, but I did it.

 Easy as bbq’ing ribs!

 long-horn-bullAnd no All American BBQ should be without their own long horn steer, complete with boas!

The-Farmhouse-BrooksideWhat a beautiful setting at The Farmhouse on Deer Park Drive

Tablescape-blue-bandanasTables-set-and-readySeriously, was I talking AGAIN!?

 I think I was saying,”Hurry up, it’s a 100 degrees out here!”

 or was it, ‘I need a cold beer!”

Hmmm, I think maybe both…


Just waiting for the sun to settle down so we could pour some champagne

Can you tell I’m enamored with these rustic boxes!

 Check them out with a variety of cactus…nice huh!


I found the greatest vase with bark covering and just had to try it out

at the Rotary Dinner entry table

What do you think?

Arrangement-in-Bark-VaseHelp me out here, I need an adjective  other than ‘cool’ or ‘cute’ or ‘awesome’!

In addition to some amazing live auction items, there was a silent auction

We’re talking coveting type stuff here!

My small contribution – Vintage Brunch for 4

I tucked in some homemade honey-cinnamon butter to melt over homemade scones

while sipped a calming cup of tea in a vintage tea cup.

That adorable coffee cup looking container actually is filled with a yummy apple pie scone mix;

YES – I said apple pie!!;  you can find them at Home Thyme on the Mile


I was inspired by Nelly at  Vintage Home to make a lavender sachet with lace.

You’ll love her original romantic creations!

Thank you for sharing your time with me!

I know it was a longer blog than usual, but

just think, next time you settle down with a good book you don’t want to end,

there’s a young child out there starting her/his adventure with books because of Rotary..

and of course – Dolly Parton

Happy reading, Carol

3 thoughts on “Building a child’s dreams…one book at a time

  1. Carol, love your creativity, your photos, and your writing! Chock full of information! Really enjoy your giftedness! All your time spent is so worth it and appreciated! Blessings, Doug’s mom


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