Saturday, May 25, 2013

Selfless Teacher Uses Her Body to Shield Students During the Oklahoma Tornado

At ONCEkids we are celebrators of mothers who show their selflessness each and everyday through their heroic actions, but we also celebrate the educators of the precious children mothers work so hard to protect. Teachers also step up and are willing to sacrifice everything, even their lives, during hardships, as teachers during the Sandy Hook shooting clearly demonstrated. Another teacher who most recently showed the selflessness teachers have when it comes to their students, is Anna Canaday.

As a recent tornado tore its way through an elementary school in Moore, Oklahoma, Canaday, along with colleague Jessica Simonds, led their terrified students into the hall and had them get down on their knees against the wall and cover their heads. She recalls how she told them it was going to be alright and was loudly praying, but as the tornado raged above the school, it looked like Canaday was going to have to establish a new plan of action. 

Canaday and Simonds grabbed all the children, huddled them together, and used their own bodies as shields as the school came crashing down on top of them. As the roof of the school collapsed on to her body, Canaday prayed aloud saying "Just take me instead because they're the babies." Among the terrified children was Canaday's own daughter, five-year-old Kali. 

After the debris had stopped crumbling around them, neighbors rushed to free the two teacher and small children from underneath the piles of wreckage, which included a car. 

Thanks to these two courageous teachers, the extent of the injuries of the children they shielded were a few scratches and busted eardrums. Canaday reports that she was not the brave one that day, but the children were the ones who acted courageously as they were organized and excellent listeners, despite their inevitable fear. 

When being called a hero, Canaday says she is not a hero but just a teacher and a mother who was doing her job and putting the most important thing first, the safety of her students and of her own daughter. 

To learn more about Modern Moms and The Mom Code, please visit ONCEKids Publishing websiteFacebook and Twitter

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

ONCEkids Celebrates Heroic Moms (Part Three of Three)

As mentioned previously, we are extending our heroic mothers series from Mother's Day through the end of May, because one day is simply not enough to even begin to explain all that our mothers do for us. 

There are dozens of stories out there, all equally touching and inspiring, of mothers who sacrificed everything, sometimes even their lives, for the sake of their children. In dedication of the heroic mothers everywhere, we have selected just a small handful of these countless women and decided to tell their stories.

To learn more about Modern Moms and The Mom Code, please visit ONCEKids Publishing websiteFacebook and Twitter

Our list continues with Sharrie Shelton Duncan. While on vacation in Positano, Italy, Duncan and her 12-year-old son, Shane, were standing on a pier admiring the waves when a freak wave washed up, knocking them off their feet. Witnesses recall how Duncan was able to lift her son and push him up to rescuers before being swept away in the current that eventually took her life. She will forever  be remembered as a hero who put her son's life and safety before her own.

Our last mom, Erika Zeeman, jumped into action when she and her husband, along with their young daughter, stopped at a gas station near their home in Hercules, South Africa. As they pulled up to the gas station, they were unaware of the robbery that was in progress, until five men, armed with 9 mm handguns and an AK47, stormed out of the store.

Zeeman's husband, Piet Zeeman- who is also a police officer, immediately pursued the fleeing robbers. As he was chasing them, one of them turned around and began to fire into the Zeeman's family car, aiming directly at their toddler, Demi, who was sitting in the backseat. Seeing this, Erika launched across the seat, shielding her daughter with her own body. Erika was shot five times in the back while protecting Demi, but after being rushed into surgery and having the bullets removed, she miraculously survived and it is thanks to her heroic act that Demi was kept alive and unharmed. 

Has your family received a NookKindle or iPad this year?  Find Fujimini Adventure Series award-winning books here.  Great family-friendly gifts.

Remember to tell your mom everyday how much she means to you because, as these stories prove, they truly will do anything, even risk or give up their own life, to keep you out of harms way. 

Here at ONCEkids, every mother is a hero. Comment below and tell us how your mother is yours!

Monday, May 20, 2013

ONCEkids Continues to Celebrate Heroic Mothers (Part Two of Three)

After gathering a list of mothers, whose stories prove so inspiring they cannot go untold, we have decided to extend our Mother's day heroes series through the end of May. One day is simply not enough to acknowledge the infinite rewards and challenges that come with being a mother. In our eyes, every mother is a hero. 

To any woman, it is not even a question whether they would protect their children's lives over their own. These next two women proved this to be true when they put their own lives in danger to protect what mattered most, their children.

Last year 36-year-old Stephanie Decker took her children to the basement seeking shelter from a tornado that was ripping its way through their home of Henryville, Indiana. As the two floors above began to collapse around them, Decker wrapped her children in a blanket and used her own body to shield them from the falling debris. This act of heroism resulted in the loss of both Decker's legs when the debris crushed her legs, as well as multiple rib fractures and a collapsed lung. 

Decker's own mother says that because of Decker's unwavering strength, determination, and resilient personality, she had no doubts she would make it through the extensive surgeries and eventually walk again

In honor of her inspiring act, Decker was given the chance to walk arm-in-arm through the oval office with President Obama, using her prosthetic legs. During her darkest hours, her children and husband are there to help her fight  through the pain and serve as a reminder that they are here today because of her

Has your family received a NookKindle or iPad this year?  Find Fujimini Adventure Series award-winning books here.  Great family-friendly gifts.

It is every parents nightmare to hear that their child is unwell, and it is even worse to hear that they are not getting better. So when Vanessa Negrete was told that her 1-year-old daughter could not wait long enough for the next donor liver, she decided to take matters into her own hands

Since she was a perfect match and her daughter's life was in danger, she donated part of her own liver to her sick baby. 

This resulted in her becoming Arizona's first ever adult-to-child living donor liver transplant, as well as saving her baby's life

To learn more about Modern Moms and The Mom Code, please visit ONCEKids Publishing websiteFacebook and Twitter

Sunday, May 12, 2013

ONCEkids Honors Heroic Mothers for Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day from ONCEkids! Mother's day is dedicated to all the women out there who have put in so much time and energy to fulfill the job of motherhood, without a doubt the hardest- and most rewarding- job in the world. Mother's day is the perfect day to just set aside some extra time to tell our moms how much they mean to us and how much they do for us, no matter how old we get.

Every mother is a hero and to remind us each of that on this special day, here are the stories of five inspiring women who made the ultimate sacrifices for their children. 

Get your tissues ready, because the first woman on our list of heroic mothers is part of a heart-wrenching story that is so moving, you may find yourself reduced to tears. Anyone who is a mother knows that they would trade their life for their child's, but the first woman on our list actually did when she knowingly gave up her own life to save the life of her daughter. 

Stacie Crimm had always longed to be a mother but was told she would never be able to have a child. So when, at age 41, she became pregnant she was overjoyed. Not long after this joyful news, she received the life-changing diagnosis of neck cancer

After hearing of this tragedy, she made the decision to refuse chemotherapy, despite the aggressive tumor growing in her brain, in order to save her unborn child. She was barely hanging on when doctors did an emergency c-section to save the 2-pound, 1 ounce baby girl, which Crimm named Dottie Mae. 

Although the end of her life was near, doctors and nurses told a desperate Crimm it would be impossible for her to see her child, who was in intensive care. It was thanks to two kind-hearted nurses that Crimm's dying wish was finally able to be fulfilled. Tiny Dottie was brought into her room and laid on Crimm's chest. The mother and daughter shared one beautiful moment that Crimm's brother, Randy, says he will never forget. She held her daughter just once before passing away. After Crimm's death, Randy kept his promise to his sister and took home the healthy 5-pound Dottie, whose father is not known, to live with his wife and four children. 

Has your family received a NookKindle or iPad this year?  Find Fujimini Adventure Series award-winning books here.  Great family-friendly gifts.

Our next heroic mother sacrificed her own eyesight to save the eyesight of two of her daughters. Monique Zimmerman-Stein was diagnosed with the rare disorder, Stickler's Syndrome, that attacks your eyesight.

She was then given the opportunity to preserve the last of her vision through a treatment plan that included a series of costly injections. However, two of her daughters had inherited the genetic disorder, making it also possible for them to lose their vision.

Since she would not be able to afford their treatments as well as hers, she was faced with a heartbreaking decision. It was then she decided to forego her own treatment, which would result in her becoming blind, in order to be able to scrape together enough money to pay for her two daughters' treatments and preserve their eyesight. 

The touching stories continue in ONCEkids Heroic Mothers Part 2!

And we welcome you to tell us why your mother is your hero.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

5 Unique Gift Ideas for Mother's Day

With Mother's Day is rapidly approaching, now only five days away, it is about that time where everyone is running out getting last minute gifts for Mom! I found myself brainstorming gift ideas and coming up empty. Feeling discouraged, I thought I'd do a little research. So for anyone trying to do something a little different this year, ONCEkids has put together a list of five awesome and unique present ideas for this year's Mother's Day!

1. Bath Caddy
Give your Mom the chance to unwind with a relaxing bath. This wood caddy features a book support and a holder for wine. This is the perfect way to say thanks and let her de-stress after all the hard work she has done for you as a parent!
You can find the bath caddy here at

2. Iphone or Ipad Case
If your mom has jumped on the Apple train, help her get even more trendy by getting her a new case for her new gadget!
From funny to vintage, you can find any type of Iphone and Ipad case at this website-even something your mom would like!

3. Cake Pops
If your mom has a sweet tooth,  do something a little more than your typical box of chocolates by ordering her some of Shari's Berries Handmade Fancy Cake Pops. Anyone with a soft spot for chocolate will love these fun and unbelievably rich treats. 
You can order find them here:

Has your family received a NookKindle or iPad this year?  Find Fujimini Adventure Series award-winning books here.  Great family-friendly gifts.

4. Wine Sampler
If Mom is a wine lover she will absolutely love this next gift idea! Tasting Room is a personal wine-of-the-month club that sends sample packs of six miniature bottles right to customer's doors. After trying each sampler, you can go online, rate your favorites, and Tasting Room will send a shipment of 12 regular sized bottles based on your preferences. So send your mom a sampler pack and she'll be able to rate her favorites and score 12 bottles of her own to try!
Order a sampler at

5. Michael Kors Watch
Not only is this emerald and gold watch gorgeous, but with every purchase Michael Kors will donate $25 to the United Nations World Food Programme. So this gift will not only make Mom happy, but it is helping combat world hunger at the same time!
"Watch Hunger Stop 100 Series Watch"

To learn more about Modern Moms and The Mom Code, please visit ONCEKids Publishing websiteFacebook and Twitter

Friday, May 3, 2013

ONCEkids Unsung Females Heroes (Part 4 of 5)

Nancy Lawlor from New York City proves that even the smallest gestures can make a huge difference in someone's life.

She makes our list of unsung heroes because she takes the time to collect flowers from hotels, weddings, and corporate events to give away to people in need. She has even turned this idea into a nonprofit organization, FlowerPower. She was inspired to begin this project eight years ago, sitting in the lobby of the Waldorf Astoria. She remembers how she admired the breathtaking flower displays and thinking to herself that it was such a shame that they went to waste. Like many hotels and businesses, at the end of the day the beautiful bouquets are tossed into the dumpster and replaced with new ones. 

After getting the Waldorf Astoria to get onboard, Lawlor got to work making her plan a reality. Not long after, she had successfully delivered $2,000 worth of huge pink bouquets to a New York City hospital. 

Since then, FlowerPower has delivered more than 2.5 million dollars worth of flowers to those who need it most, including rehabilitation clinics, crisis centers, and hospitals. 

Has your family received a NookKindle or iPad this year?  Find Fujimini Adventure Series award-winning books here.  Great family-friendly gifts.

When asked about her project, Lawlor says, "I've seen thousands of people transformed, all over a single bouquet of flowers that originally would have been thrown away. All it takes is one person to say yes." 

Nancy Lawlor's kindness and generosity shows that even a small act of kindness, such as a bouquet of flowers, can be enough to brighten someone's day and cheer them up during an extremely difficult time in their life. 

To learn more about Modern Moms and The Mom Code, please visit ONCEKids Publishing websiteFacebook and Twitter