Sunday, December 29, 2013

Can I Phone a Friend?

Celia Humbert was bored. She went looking for her older sister, Gordanna. As usual, Gordanna was on the phone. "Do you mind?" Gordanna exclaimed angrily as Celia approached. She practically slammed the door in Celia's voice. For lack of anything better to do, Celia hung around outside her sister's door. She put her ear to the door and listened to Gordanna's half of the conversation. Gordanna laughed into the phone. Celia was jealous. She couldn't wait until she was old enough to call her friends and spend hours on the phone with them too just like Gordanna.

"What are you doing, Celia?" asked Mommy as she walked by holding a load of laundry.

"Nothing, mama." said Celia quickly moving away from her sister's door. She followed her mother off down the hall. When Mommy put the laundry down on her bed, Celia sat down beside it. "Celia!" exclaimed Mommy giving her an unhappy look. Celia bounced off the bed and landed in front of the wooden night table. She starred at  the cordless phone lying on the table.  She thought about how much she wished she was old enough to spend hours on the phone like Gordanna and sighed heavily.

"What's the matter, sweetie?" asked her mother with concern.

"Nothing." replied Celia. Her mother gave her a look that said she knew something was going on. Celia sighed again. She never could keep anything from her mother. "When am I going to be old enough to talk on the phone with my friends like Gordanna does?"she asked finally.

Mommy smiled. "Don't be in such a rush to grow up." she said. "It'll happen before you know it.

Celia frowned. That wasn't much of an answer. She wanted to grow up now. She went off into her own room and picked up her little pink toy princess phone from out of her toy box.  She pushed a bunch of buttons and then, put the phone to her ear. "Why,  Hello Maryellen." she said into the phone "It's me, Celia."  Maryellen was her pretend friend. After a minute or two, she got bored. Real friends were better than pretend friends and real phone conversations were better than pretend ones too. It was no fun just talking to herself. She frowned and disappointedly threw the phone back into her toy box. She wanted to phone a friend for real.

Celia went back to her mother's room. Mommy smiled when Celia entered the room. "Are you feeling better?" Mommy asked cheerfully.

"I want to talk on the phone with my friends like Gordanna does!" insisted Celia. "Can I? Can I please call Bianca?" she begged. Bianca Tate was her best friend. They'd grown up together since they were babies.

Mommy still didn't think Celia was old enough to talk on the phone with her friends. "Maybe, when you're a little bit older." she said.

Celia frowned and wandered off unhappily.

Every day, after that, she asked her mother. "Am I old enough now?"

Her mother constantly put her off until one day, she finally wore her mother down. "Okay." she said as Celia was sitting down to lunch  and asking for the hundredth time when she could call Bianca on the phone. "after lunch, you can call Bianca."

"Yeah!" cried Celia excitedly. She gulped down her milk and practically swallowed her peanut butter and jelly sandwich whole. As soon as she was done, she jumped out of her seat. "I'm ready now, Mommy." she said.

She went into the living room and sat down on the couch. She made herself comfortable. Mommy helped her dial Bianca's number. The phone rang twice and was picked up by Bianca's mother. "Hello, Mrs. Tate." Celia said politely into the phone. "Is Bianca there?" Mommy nodded approvingly at Celia's polite manner.

After a minute or two Bianca came to the phone. "Hello?" she said.

"Hello, Bianca. It's me, Celia."

"Oh hello, Celia. How are you?"

"I'm fine." answered Celia. "How are you?"

"I'm fine too." replied Bianca.

After that, Celia didn't say anything. Seconds went by and then minutes. Still, Celia did not say a word. Mommy couldn't believe Bianca was doing that much talking. She was usually quite a shy and quiet little girl. Mommy put her ear near the phone. She didn't hear anything. Apparently, Bianca wasn't talking either. It was just dead silence. Celia was so happy though and so proud of herself. She sat there with the phone to her ear not saying anything and not hearing anything but with a huge wide smile on her face. Mommy couldn't help smiling too.

Just then, Gordanna stormed into the room. "Who's on the phone?" she asked accusingly as though the phone were her private posession.

"What happened to your cell phone?" asked Mommy.

"It needs a charge." replied Gordanna. She looked around and saw Celia on the phone and looked at her mother in surprise. Then, she waited a minute or two impatiently stamping her foot. "Is she really talking or what?" asked Gordanna angrily when Celia still hadn't said anything.  She went over to Celia and leaned over and put her ear near the phone. There was  still no sound coming from the other end of the phone either. "Mom!" she whined. "She is not even having a conversation!"

Celia gave her a nasty look. "Do you mind?" she hissed in a whisper. It was something Gordanna had often said to her.

"I think it's time to say goodbye." said Mommy.

Celia gave her mother disappointed look, but did as she was told. "Goodbye, Bianca." she said into the phone.

"Goodbye." replied Bianca.

"It's about time." exclaimed Gordanna instantly grabbing for the phone as soon as it slipped out of Celia's fingers.

"How long was I on the phone, Mommy?" asked Celia.

"For about ten minutes." replied Mommy.

"Next time, I am going to be on for twenty minutes." declared Celia.

"Next time, you might try talking." said Gordanna.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Lost Puppy

It was mid December. Dulcie Wilcox and her mom and her older sister, Diandra were out shopping in the middle of the holiday rush. The mall was packed. Dulcie had never seen so many people or heard so much noise. She was scared, and she was tired. She held tightly to her favorite stuffed puppy Spot.

Dulcie had Spot since she was 2 years old. Grandma and Grandpa gave it to her for her birthday. She loved the little brown fluffy dog from the moment she saw him. "Doggy Spot!" she exclaimed excitedly as soon as she opened the brightly wrapped package and saw him.

"Spot?" replied Diandra opening her eyes wide in surprise. "That dog doesn't have a Spot on it."

"Spot!" repeated Dulcie stubbornly. Spot it was and Spot it stayed. From that moment on Spot was Dulcie's favorite toy. She slept with him every night, and she took him everywhere with her.

Now,  it was 2 years later, and Spot was still Dulcie's favorite toy. She didn't care that by now his brown color was faded and he was missing one eye. She still took him everywhere and slept with him every night. She wouldn't even let Mommy have him long enough to fix his eye. She barely let Mommy keep him long enough to wash him but when the smell of him became to strong, Mommy insisted on it.

Dulcie felt like she was surrounded by giants. She looked up and found herself  lost in a sea of strangers. She opened her mouth to cry. Just then, Diandra yanked her out of the crowd. "Come on." she said. "You're going to get lost." Diandra picked up Dulcie and took her to their mother who was standing by the mall entrance. Dulcie was so relieved to see her mother that she burst into tears anyway.

"It's alright, baby." Mommy soothed gently as she eased Dulcie out of Diandra's arms and into her own. "We're going home now." She carried Dulcie in one arm and a bunch of packages in the other and headed out of the mall. Diandra followed closely behind with her arms full of packages as well.

At the car, Mommy buckled Dulcie into her car seat. She was so tired from the ordeal of being at the mall that she immediately fell asleep. She awoke as they pulled up in their own driveway and started looking around worriedly. "Spot!" she cried. "Mommy where is Spot?"

"Help her please." Mommy said to Diandra as Mommy herself was busy carrying packages in the house.

Diandra sighed unhappily. She hated that stupid spotless dog and the last thing she wanted to do was help look for it. Nevertheless, she did as she was told and started searching the back seat of the car. The stuffed puppy was nowhere to be found. Next, she searched the trunk. It wasn't there either. She searched around the car in case it fell out when they were unloading but still no stuffed puppy.

She went in the house. Dulcie stood by the door eagerly awaiting the return of her toy. She frowned when she saw Diandra's empty hands. "Where's Spot?" she asked anxiously.

Diandra shrugged. "I couldn't find him anywhere."

A huge tear rolled down Dulcie's face, followed by another and then another until she was full blown crying.  She ran off to find her mother. She continued crying all the way. "Mommy! Mommy!" she cried sadly. "I need Spot."

"Where's Spot?" Mommy asked Diandra.

"Lost." she replied. "I couldn't find him anywhere."

Mommy sighed and nervously put her hand to her cheek. This was not good. This was not good at all. Even when she washed Spot, Dulcie stood by the washing machine and waited for him to come out. She didn't know how they were going to get by with him missing. "We'll go back to the mall and look for him tomorrow."

"Spot! Spot!" exclaimed Dulcie painfully. She wouldn't stop crying so finally Mommy loaded them all back in the car and headed back to the mall. At the mall, they retraced their steps. This time it was even worse. The mall was even more crowded. They were all tired. Mommy and Diandra took turns carrying a crying Dulcie. When they were finished, they were completely wiped out with nothing to show for it. They still hadn't found Spot.

Mommy loaded them all back into the car, and they headed home. Dulcie cried all the way home. It broke Mommy's heart. Even, Diandra actually felt bad for her sister by now.

When they got home, Mommy gave Dulcie a bath. She put on Dulcie's pajamas. She tucked Dulcie into bed with a kiss. All the while Dulcie continued to cry.

Diandra felt even worse. She wanted to do something for her sister. She offered to let Dulcie sleep with any of her stuffed animals, but Dulcie didn't want to. Diandra decided to go outside and look one more time.  She was just about to come in the house when she spied a brown fluffy ear sticking out of the rosebushes next to the front steps.  She went over and looked more closely. Sure, enough it was Spot.  He must have fallen out of one of the packages when they came in the house. Diandra  picked him up, dusted him off, and carried him excitedly into the house. "Dulcie!" she cried rushing into the house.

"Sh!" said Mommy appearing at the top of the steps. "I finally got her to go to sleep." She smiled when she saw that Diandra was carrying Spot. She let Diandra sneak into Dulcie's room and stick Spot in her arms. Dulcie's stirred and opened her eyes for a minute. "Spot." she whispered happily hugging him tightly to her before closing her eyes again. Mommy and Diandra smiled.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Who Will Play With Pippa?

It was a lazy Sunday afternoon and Pippa Mitchell was bored. She wanted somebody to play with her. She went in to her big sister, Darla's room and flopped herself down on the edge of her sister's bed. Amelia as usual was on the phone. "Amelia, will you play with me?" Pippa asked hopefully making her best wide eyed pouty lipped puppy dog face. Surely, even Amelia wouldn't be able to resist that.

"Pippa!" hissed Darla angrily pointing toward the door. "Can't you see I'm on the phone?!"

Pippa slowly dragged herself out of her sister's room and off to find somebody else.  She found her brother,  Grayson in the den watching TV. "Play with me Gray." she pleaded plopping herself into her brother's lap. Grayson let her stay in his lap but he didn't take his eyes off the TV.  "What are you watching?" asked Pippa cheerfully.

"Car Auctions." replied Grayson.

"Car Auction?" repeated Pippa in horror as if he had said he was watching a scary monster show or something.

"Yes." said Grayson. "Look at that!" he exclaimed excitedly pointing to the screen. There was a car on the screen that looked to Pippa like any old red  car. "It's a classic 67 Mustang!" explained Grayson.

"Oh." replied Pippa quietly sliding out of her brother's lap and slipping out of the room. 'A show about cars? How boring' she thought to herself. She was already bored. She didn't need help with that.

She went into the kitchen. Her Mom was sitting at the table with a stack of cookbooks. "Mommy, will you play with me please?" begged Pippa leaning over her.

"Not now, honey." said Mommy. "I'm looking for something to make for Grandma's birthday dinner this weekend."

"I'll help." offered Pippa excitedly. She flopped into a chair and started looking through cookbooks too. "How about this?" she asked eagerly pointing to a recipe for macaroni and cheese.

Mommy gave Pippa a half smile. "Macaroni and cheese is your favorite meal not Grandma's." Pippa smiled back. She closed the cookbook she'd been looking at, put it in a pile of books,  and picked up another."Pippa, please." said Mommy looking up again from the book she'd been looking at. She had a not very happy expression  on her face. "You are mixing up the piles." she said to Pippa. "Why don't you go find something to do?"

Pippa stuck her lower lip out in a pout and slowly dragged herself out of the room. 'If I had something to do I'd be doing it.' she thought miserably.

She went to find her Dad. She found him out in the garage sawing wood. "Hi Daddy." she greeted him warmly. "Will you play with me?"

"Sorry, kitten." he replied. "I'm building shelves for Darla's room."

"Can I help?" asked Pippa eagerly. "I'm a good helper."

"I know you are, kitten. " replied Daddy, "but I'm working with tools, and I don't want you to get hurt. Go on and play." He ushered Pippa away from his workspace.

'He thinks I'm a baby.' thought Pippa angrily. She went back into the house. She took out  her Monopoly  game and began moving the pieces around the board. Soon, Darla came in. "I'll play." she said sitting down beside her sister.

"What happened to the phone?" asked Pippa. "Did you have a doctor remove it from your ear?"

"Very funny." replied Darla not really finding it funny at all. She started dealing out the money.

Just then Grayson walked by. "Deal me in." he said coming in the room and sitting on the floor beside them.

"What happened to your car auction?" asked Pippa.

"It's over." he replied.

Mommy came up the stairs and came to see what they were all doing in Pippa's room. She sat down and decided to play too. "Did you find a recipe?' asked Pippa.

Mommy nodded. "I decided to make Shepard's Pie." she said. "It's Grandma's favorite."

Daddy poked his head in the room. "Is there room for one more?" he asked.

"How are the shelves coming, Daddy?" asked Pippa.

"I will need to get some more nails tomorrow." replied Daddy. He sat down between Mommy and Pippa.

"Hmm." said Pippi thoughtfully. "Nobody wanted to play with me before. You all were busy. Now suddenly you're not busy and everybody wants to play?" She frowned  at her family and then she quickly smiled. "I'm okay with that." she said. "Let's play!"

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Rhianna Learns to Read

Rhianna Dupre was 4 years old. Her sister, Jacinda was 8. Rhianna adored her older sister. She wanted to be just like her. Jacinda loved to read. "I read a whole chapter book." she said proudly to Grandma one afternoon when Grandma was visiting.

"Good for you!" exclaimed Grandma hugging her and giving her a smudgy lipsticky kiss."I'm so glad that you like to read. We'll have to take you to the bookstore and get you some new books."

Jacinda smiled happily as she wiped the lipstick stain off her cheek. "Thanks, Grandma," she said truly grateful. She loved books, and she was always happy for the opportunity to get more.

"I want to get a book too!" cried Rhianna jealously. "I can read too!"

"No, you can't." replied Jacinda shaking her head.

"Yes, I can." said Rhianna angrily stamping her feet.

"Then, why don't you read for us?" asked Jacinda. She went into Rhianna's room and grabbed a book. She handed it to Rhianna. It was Clifford the Big Red Dog. "Here," she said, "why don't you read this? It's one of your favorites." She looked at Rhianna as if she were going to burst into laughter at any minute.

Rhianna glared at her sister as she reluctantly took the book. She flipped the book open and  silently prayed for the words on the page to pop into her brain.  She starred at the book for a minute and pretended she was concentrating. Then, she began reciting the words as best as she could remember them.

"Those aren't the really words!" exclaimed Jacinda in an I-told-you-so voice. "I told you you can't read."

"Don't worry." Grandma said to Rhianna. "You''ll learn to read before you know it, and you'll be reading as well as your sister."

That didn't make Rhianna feel any better. She wanted to read now.

For the next week, at every opportunity Rhianna begged to be read Clifford the Big Red Dog. Mommy read it to her. Daddy read it to her. Jacinda read it to her. Grandma read it to her. Even Jacinda's friend read it to her.

On Friday when Grandma came again, Rhianna ran over to her. "Grandma! Grandma!" she exclaimed excitedly, "I can really read now!"

Jacinda still didn't believe it. She came over to listen too.

They all sat down on the big comfy living room couch. Rhianna opened the book and began reading. She read the whole book word for word and then closed it and smiled proudly at Grandma.

"Why Rhianna! I'm so proud of you!" exclaimed Grandma hugging Rhianna. Rhianna's eyes sparkled and her smile lit up her whole face.

Jacinda was still doubtful. Something did not seem quite right. She went up to Rhianna's room and grabbed another book. She handed it to Rhianna. It was The Cat in the Hat. It was another of Rhianna's favorites.

Rhianna sighed. She reluctantly took the book and opened it. She slowly began to recite from the story as best as she could remember it.

"Aha!" exclaimed Jacinda. "I knew you weren't really reading! You memorized that other book from hearing it so much." She flitted off out of the room happy to have been proven right.

Rhianna started to cry. Grandma tried to comfort her. "There, there, sweetie." said Grandma gently patting her on the back. "Don't worry. You'll learn to read before you know it."

That did not make Rhianna feel one tiny bit better. "But I don't want to read soon!" she cried. "I want to read now!"

"Then, you shall." said Grandma. She opened the book and pointed to a word. "What word is this?" she asked.

Rhianna gave Grandma an angry look. Now, Grandma was being mean too. She knew Rhianna couldn't really read.

"What letter is this?" Grandma asked pointing to an M.

"m." replied Rhianna.

"What sounds does M make?"asked Grandma.

"mmm." replied Rhianna. Grandma nodded.

"What letter is this?" asked Grandma pointing to another letter.

"e." said  Rhianna. Grandma nodded again.

"What sounds does that make?"

"e."

"Now put them together and what do you get? " said Grandma.

"m e." said Rhianna pronouncing the letters separately, "m e." she said again. "me." she said finally. "me!" she repeated excitedly. "Grandma!" she exclaimed happily. "I read a word!"

"Yes, you did." said Grandma hugging her. "I'm proud of you."

"Teach me more!" begged Rhianna. "Teach me more! Teach me to read!" They sat down on the couch and Grandma worked on teaching Rhianna to read.

After that, every afternoon, when Rhianna came home from preschool,  but Jacinda was still in school, Grandma came over. She and Rhianna worked on Rhianna's reading.

Finally, one day Rhianna was ready. "Jacinda," she said. "I'm going to read a story. Do you want to listen?"

Jacinda couldn't help smiling. "Sure. I'll listen." she replied. 'Here we go again.' She thought.

Rhianna opened Clifford the Big Red Dog. She read it from cover to cover. Then, she closed the book smiling proudly.

It seemed like Rhianna was really reading but Jacinda didn't believe it. After all, she had memorized Clifford the Big Red Dog before. She went into Rhianna's room and took out another book. It was a Dora the Explorer book. Rhianna would never have memorized that. She hated Dora. She only had the book because she got it for a birthday present. "Read this!" demanded Jacinda handing it to her sister.

Rhianna didn't seem worried at all. She took the book, calmly opened it,  and began reading. When she finished it, she closed it and looked up at her sister and gave her an I-told-you-so smile.

Jacinda was amazed. Her eyes opened as wide as two chocolate chip cookies. "You really can read." she said with surprise.

"Yes I can!" said Rhianna.

Monday, November 18, 2013

I'm Gonna Marry Jake Jones

Carlie Bufford had a fancy blue velvet  dress with white satin sleeves. She had inheirted it from her older sister, Calista. Calista had worn it when she was flower girl in a wedding when she was Carlie's age. Now Calista was 11 and Carlie was 5. Carlie loved her blue dress but Mommy would never let her wear it. Carlie was always begging and begging. "Can I wear my pretty blue dress, Mommy?" she asked yet again as she was getting read for a birthday party one day.

"Oh sweetie." Mommy said sadly as she didn't like to have to disappoint her daughter. "That dress is kind of fancy. I don't really think it's appropriate for a birthday party at Build-A-Bear."

"Oh!" pouted Carlie. "I'll never get to wear it!"

"Don't worry squirt." teased  Calista. "Maybe, someday you'll get invited to a wedding."

Carlie glared at her sister, but an idea was planted in her head. She just kept thinking about weddings. A wedding would be a  the perfect place to wear her pretty dress. She couldn't exactly just find somebody to get married and invite her to their wedding though. She would just have to get married herself. It was the only way she was going to get wear her dress.

"I'm getting married." Carlie announced  suddenly at dinner that night.

"Yes.  I'm sure you will some day. "replied Mommy, "and so will Calista."

"Yes," agreed Daddy. "A long time from now."

"No daddy." she replied. "No, I'm going to get married now."

"In the middle of dinner?" asked Daddy.

Calista burst out laughing. Mommy gave her a warning look, and Calista buried her face in her napkin to stop herself but she still  couldn't stop smiling.

"Not right now." admitted Carlie, "but soon." She glared at her sister who was still smiling behind her napkin.

"Why do you need to get married now?" asked Mommy. "You have plenty of years before you need to think about things like that. Why don't you just enjoy being young for now?"

"I don't want to be old." said Carlie frowning. "I just want to get married. I need to get married!"

"You need to get married?" repeated Mommy. She looked very confused and so did Daddy. Calista just thought it was funny. She burst out laughing again.

"Yes. I need to get married so I can wear my blue dress." explained Carlie.

Mommy nodded thoughtfully. "I see." she said as she suddenly understood what this was all about. "So who are you going to marry?"

Carlie shrugged. She hadn't thought about that yet.

"How about Kenny Harris?" suggested Calista with a smile. Kenny was their next door neighbor. He had dark brown hair and brown eyes. He was always teasing Carlie. "I think he has a crush on you."

Carlie turned up her nose in disgust. "I hate him he's mean. I would never marry him."

"Then what about Tad Murphy?" suggested Calista. Mommy gave her a look again. Calista was having entirely too much fun with this.

"Tad Murphy?" said Carlie shaking her head. Tad Murphy was in her class.He was cute. He had light brown hair and green eyes. He was nice too but he was really quiet. He hardly talked to anybody especially not the girls in the class. She didn't think she would marry Tad Murphy. She shook her head.

"I know!" exclaimed Calista. "How about Jake Jones?"

"Jake Jones?" said Carlie, but this time she said it with interest. Jake was also a boy in her glass.  He was cute too. He had red hair and green eyes. He was pretty nice to Carlie too. He was her friend. "Yes." she said. "I"m going to marry Jake Jones."

"Does Jake know your going to marry him?" asked Daddy.

Carlie wasn't worried about that now that she had decided. "I'll tell him." she said confidently. She couldn't wait for school the next day so she could tell Jake that she planned to marry him. She just knew he would be pleased that she had chosen him.

The next afternoon after school, Calista smiled when she saw her little sister get off the bus. "So how did it go?' she asked gleefully as Carlie and Mommy stepped into the house.

Carlie smiled happily. "It went good." she said. "I asked Jake if he wanted to marry me and he said okay because I have a Wii."

"Ah yes, a Wii. What every man looks for in a wife." teased Calista. Carlie ignored her. She was so happy she was going to get to wear her blue dress. She couldn't wait to marry Jake.

"How are the wedding plans coming?" asked Calista  the next day after school. Carlie gave her a look of disgust. "I'm not going to marry Jake Jones anymore." she said. "I hate Jake Jones. He is not my friend anymore. He only wants to hang around with Misty Gordon now. She is getting a Wii U.  I'm gonna marry Tad  Murphy instead. He already has a  Wii U."

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Busby Takes a Bath

Chelsea Emerson loved cats. She loved them more than anything. She was always begging her Mom and Dad for a cat of her own. "One day." they would promise, but Chelsea didn't think that one day would ever come. She was wrong.

They were out one day for a mysterious drive. It was mysterious only to Chelsea. Mom and Dad knew exactly where they were going but they wouldn't tell Chelsea. Finally after about an hour of driving, they pulled up in front of the animal shelter, Chelsea's mouth flew open and her eyes opened wide. "Is today the day?" she asked excitedly.

"Today is the day." replied Mommy smiling brightly at her eager daughter.

Chelsea hurried out of the car and practically ran into the building. Mommy and Daddy could barely keep up. When they all got in the building and were taken to the area where the cats were, there were cats and kittens of every size, shape and color. Chelsea was completely overwhelmed. She walked up and down the rows of cages and couldn't decide which cat to pick. Finally after she had walked back and forth several times, she heard a particularly sad mewing sound as she passed one of the cages. Chelsea went right up to the cage where the sound was coming from. Inside were 4 little gray kittens.  One of them came up to the front of the cage and mewed softly. "It's okay little, kitty." Chelsea assured the kitten. The little kitten licked Chelsea's finger. Chelsea couldn't help smiling. "This is the one!" she said happily pointing to the little kitten that had licked her finger. "This is the kitten for me."

"Are you sure?" asked Mommy and Daddy. Chelsea nodded. Mommy and Daddy filled out the necessary paperwork. In the car on the way home, Chelsea sat with  the little kitten in its carrier on her lap. The kitten was a little bit frightened. He had never been in a carrier or ridden in a car before.  He mewed scaredly.   "Don't worry little kitten. " Chelsea assured him. "I am going to take you home with me, I'm going to take care of you, and I'm going to call you, Busby." she said as she reached into the carrier and petted him.

When they got home and went in the house, Chelsea took Busby to her room and let him out of the box. He started running around the room as fast as his little legs could carry him. He was so excited to be out of a cage and out of a box and free. Chelsea sat on her floor and watched her little kitten run in excited circles around her. Finally after a few minutes of running around, Busby was completely tired out. He climbed up in Chelsea's lap and went to sleep. From that moment on, Busby was Chelsea's baby, and he was totally devoted to her.

Every day, Busby followed Chelsea around. Every night, he slept in her bed. Whenever, she went away to school or anywhere else, Busby rubbed up against her legs and meowed and purred excitedly as soon as she got back. Even if Chelsea was home, and Busby just couldn't  see her, he would cry so sadly until he saw her face again.

One evening Chelsea was getting ready for her bath. Busby was sleeping on her bed. Chelsea took her towel and her pajamas and went into the bathroom quietly so as not to disturb him. As soon as she left, Busby was startled by a noise and woke up. He looked around for Chelsea and when he didn't see her he started to cry. He wandered around looking for her. When he found the door to the bathroom slightly opened, he pushed his way in. He still didn't see Chelsea, so he started mewing sadly again. Chelsea's heart broke for her poor little kitten. "I'm right here, sweetie." she said poking her head out from behind the flowered curtain. Busby was so excited to see her. He hurried over to the tub. By then, Chelsea had disappeared back behind the curtain again where Busby couldn't see her. He started crying again. "I'm right here." repeated Chelsea but this time she didn't poke her head out. Busby hurried to the sound of her voice. He came right to the edge of the tub and then climbed up and peeked behind the curtain. When he saw Chelsea, he got so excited, he leaned over and fell right into the tub next to her. Chelsea laughed. "Do you need a bath too, Busby?" she asked. Busby, however didn't think it was so funny. In fact, he was horrified to suddenly find himself submerged in the water. He didn't like water. He didn't like it at all. He quickly scrambled out of the tub and shook himself off. He still loved Chelsea as much as ever, and he still liked to follow her around, but from then on he never got that close to the bathtub again.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

What's in a Name?

Mae Johnson hated her name. She thought it was the stupidest most boring name in the world. One day, she decided she'd had enough of it, and she just wasn't going to answer to it anymore. "I'm not going to be Mae anymore." She told her Mommy at breakfast. "From now on call me Alisandre." Mommy smiled but didn't really think that Mae was serious.

At lunch time, Mommy called out "Mae! It's time for lunch!" There was no answer and nobody came running. Again, she called out "Mae! Please come to lunch now!" Finally, she called out "Alisandre!" In two seconds Mae was at her seat at the table ready for lunch. Mommy just shook her head.

The next day when Mae came down to breakfast. Mommy said "Good morning, Mae." thinking that surely by now Mae must be back to herself. Mae shook her head. She wasn't ready to go back to that old boring name. "Alisandre?" asked Mommy uncertainly.

Mae shook her head. "I don't want that old stuffy name." she said shaking her head. "I'm changing my name to Calliope. From now on call me Calliope."

"Calliope." repeated Mommy frowning.

"Yes." said Mae. "Calliope Johnson that's me. Doesn't that just sound wonderful?" she asked dreamily. It was everything she could possibly want in a name.

"Eat your breakfast, Calliope Johnson." replied Mommy shaking her head .

By lunch time, Mae was already bored with Calliope. "After all," as she explained to Mommy, "a name with that much music in it can give a person a headache just hearing it all the time. I have decided to call myself Willamina because Willamina is a wonderful name."

Mommy just nodded her head but didn't say anything. She thought Mae was a wonderful name.

When Daddy came home from work and saw Mae, he said "How's my little Maebug?"

"Daddy!" exclaimed Mae. "I am not little. I am not a bug, and I am not Mae."

"You're not Mae?" said Daddy. "Then, who are you and what have you done with my Maebug?" Daddy asked smiling as he lifted Mae up into his arms.

"Seriously, Daddy." replied Mae squirming out of Daddy's arms. "Mae is a boring name. I am not Mae anymore. From now on my name is Katrinka."

"Why would you want to call yourself Katrinka when you already have a beautiful name like Mae?" asked Daddy.

Mae wrinkled her nose and shook her head. "Daddy, " she said "Mae is not a beautiful name! Katrinka is a beautiful name! Mae is a boring name. It is not special at all. It's just boring!"

"Your mother, and I think Mae is a beautiful name. We think it is the most special beautiful name in the world and that is why we gave it to our beautiful special daughter."

"You did?" asked Mae in surprise.

"We did." said Daddy. "We went through tons and tons of name books, and we could not find a name that we thought was more beautiful or special than Mae."

 Just then, Mommy came in from the kitchen were she had been preparing dinner. "Go get washed up, Katrinka." she said. "It is still Katrinka, isn't it?"

Mae shook her head. "No, mommy." she said. "I'm Mae, and I am always going to be Mae."

"I'm glad." said Mommy.

"Me too." said Mae.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Petra Loves Peanut Butter

Petra Gunderson loved peanut butter. She could eat it every day. She could eat it for every meal. She never wanted to eat anything else.

At breakfast time, her mother said, "Why don't you have some eggs?"

"I'll have a peanut butter pancakes." replied Petra.

"Why don't you at least try some chocolate chip pancakes?" suggested her father.

Petra shook her head no. "I'll have peanut butter pancakes." she repeated.

Mommy and Daddy looked at each other and shook their heads. Mommy made Petra her peanut butter pancakes.

For lunch, Petra requested a peanut butter sandwhich.

Mommy and Daddy tried to convince Petra to eat something else. Petra did not want crunchy chicken nuggets. She did not want a juicy roast beef sandwiches. She did not want creamy tomato soup. She only wanted a peanut butter sandwich.

Mommy and Daddy finally gave up trying to convince Petra to eat something else. Mommy made Petra a peanut butter sandwich. Petra quickly ate it and requested another.

For dinner, at first Petra wanted another peanut butter sandwich. When Mommy and Daddy urged her to have something different, she decided to have a peanut butter burger instead. "Are you sure?" asked Mommy. It sounded really strange to Mommy. Petra noddded so Mommy made it for her. Petra loved it and ate every bite.

After that she still ate peanut butter for every meal, but she ate more variations of it. Aside from peanut butter pancakes, peanut butter sandwhiches, and peanut butter burgers, there were peanut butter muffins, peanut butter bagels, and peanut butter chicken. There were peanut butter snacks and peanut butter desserts too: peanut butter crackers, peanut butter cookies and peanut butter pie. The accompanying foods varied, but there was always peanut butter. Petra absolutely refused to eat anything else.

One morning, Petra woke up and sat down at the table for breakfast. "Here are your peanut butter pancakes" said Mommy cheerfully placing a plate in front of Petra. Petra frowned. "What's the matter?" asked her mother. "Do you want peanut butter pancakes or peanut butter toast instead?" she asked. Petra shook her head no. "Are you feeling alright then?" asked Mommy. She felt Petra's head. Petra pushed her hand away and shook her head. She didn't feel sick. "Then what's the matter?" asked Mommy.

"I don't want peanut butter anything." replied Petra finally.

"You don't?" said Mommy in surprise. She quickly helped herself to a seat before she fell over from the shock."You don't want peanut butter anything?" she repeated to make sure she'd actually heard right.

"No, I don't." said Petra.

Mommy just stared at Petra. She was just too shocked to say anything.

"I'm sick of peanut butter."

Mommy couldn't help smiling. She never thought she would hear those words coming out of Petra's mouth. This was a happy day indeed. "What would you like?" she asked.

Petra thought about it for a minute, and then she said excitedly. "I know. I'll have pancakes with jelly."

"Coming right up." said Mommy equally excitedly. She was so happy that Petra was giving up on only eating peanut butter foods. There were so many other great foods for Petra to try.

For lunch, Petra wanted a jelly sandwich. For snack she wanted a jelly donut. For dinner, she wanted jelly dogs.

"Are you going to have jelly with every meal now?" asked Mommy as she was making Petra's jelly stuffed French toast the next morning.

Petra smiled. "I just love jelly." she said. "It's my favorite food."

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Paige Absolutely Hates Peas

Paige Wheatley hated peas. She hated them with a passion. Whenever her mother served them, she would push them around on her plate and never eat them.

"No dessert, if you don't eat your peas." her mother told her.

Paige scooped up her peas on her spoon. She put the spoon to her mouth. But no! She couldn't do it. She quickly dropped the spoon back to the plate.

"Paige!" exclaimed her mother as some of the peas trickled on to the floor. She stooped down to pick them up and throw them in the garbage. She glared at Paige. Paige knew better than that.

Janie page's older sister snickered. "Peas are delicious." she declared as she shoveled a spoonful into her mouth.

"But they're green!" said Paige disgustedly.

"So is honeydew, and you like that." pointed out Janie.

Paige starred at the plate of peas for minute. They were green and looked bumpy and there were so many of them. They did not look sweet at all. She looked back at her sister and shook her head. Janie had to be lying. These things could not possibly be sweet.

"They're small." she said finally.

"So are you." pointed out  Janie.

Paige glared at her sister.

"Alright that's enough. " said Daddy. "Finish your dinner. Mom made a delicious chocolate cake for dessert."

 Chocolate cake! Paige's mouthwatered just thinking about it. Chocolate cake  was her absolute favorite. She stared back down at her peas. Those evil peas were all that was standing between  her and sweet delicious chocolate cake.

"Remember," said Mommy as if she were reading Paige's mind. "No cake if you don't eat your peas."

Paige glared at the peas. 'What evil, evil little vegetables!' she thought. She closed her eyes tightly hoping the peas would just go away. Unfortunately, when she opened them again, those peas were still there sitting on her plate as if they were staring at her. She sighed.

By now, Mommy and Daddy and Janie were finished eating;. They cleared the dishes and waited impatiently for Paige to finish too.

Paige looked up at Mommy and Daddy and especially Janie's unhappy face. Then, she looked down at the plate of peas again. She just couldn't do it. She just couldn't.

After a while, Janie asked "Are we going to sit here all night?"

"Paige?" asked Daddy. "Are you going to eat those peas?" Paige was silent. Daddy took her silence as a no. "Let's have dessert." Daddy said to Mom.

Paige smiled happily. She had won! She faced those evils peas and beat them.

Mommy got plates and forks. Daddy cut slices of cake. One. Two. Three. Three slices of cake. One for Mommy, one for Daddy and one for Janie. None for Paige. Paige groaned in disappointment.

"Delicious!" sighed Janie happily biting into a chocolately slice of cake. She smiled at Paige. Paige glared back.

"You have noone to blame but yourself for not having any cake." said Mommy as she and Daddy also bit into their slices of cake.

They finished and quickly. Janie cleared the dishes. Daddy rinsed them. Mommy put them in the dishwasher. The only thing left on the table was Paige's plate of peas.

"This is your last chance." said Mommy as Daddy and Janie exited the kitchen. "Are you going to eat your peas or not?"

Paige unhappily looked at her plate of peas. Then, she looked back up at her mother. "Can I still have cake?"

"Yes." replied her mother, "but this is your last chance. We can't sit in this kitchen all night. I have things to do and so do you."

Paige sighed. She slowly very slowly put some peas on her spoon. She slowly very slowly put the spoon in her mouth. She slowly very slowly took a teeny tiny bite of peas. It was so tiny that she barely tasted a thing. She took a slightly bigger bite. Wait! Could it be? She took an even bigger bite. Yes! It could. The peas were sweet. They were tasty. In fact, they were really good. Paige smiled happily and gobbled down the rest of the peas.

When she finished, Mommy cleared her plate and sliced her a piece of cake. "Now, that wasn't so bad, was it?" said Mommy.

Paige shook her head no.

"Peas are not so bad after all, are they?" said Mommy.

Paige shook her head no again. "Can we have them again tomorrow?!" she asked eagerly.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Liora the Liar

Liora Sanders was lonely. She had just moved to a new town, and she didn't have any friends yet. She watched all the other kids having a good time and playing together on the playground, and she was filled with jealousy. She wanted to make some new friends and make them quickly.

Liora approached two girls in her class, Patsy Nicoletti and Grace Mero. They were sitting on a bench and chattering and giggling and just generally having a good time."Hi."she said cheerfully. "I am Liora Sanders." The two girls just kept on chattering and giggling to themselves and didn't even seem to notice Liora. "I just moved here." said Liora. Patsy and Grace still ignored her. "I have 17 pets" said Liora.

Patsy and Grace immediately stopped talking. "What? they said unsure whether to believe Liora or not.

"I have 2 dogs, 3 cats, 4 hamsters, 5 fish, a guinea pig, a bird, and a goat named Billa. My Dad got Billa when made his last movie. We just got so attached to her that they let us keep her."

Patsy and Grace's eyes practically bulged out of their heads. "You have a goat?" asked Patsy.

"Your Dad's a movie star?" asked Grace.

Liora nodded her head. "Yes, " she said to Patsy. "That's why we moved here because you can't really keep a goat in a penthouse apartment. Our new house is so big we have plenty of room for all our animals." To Grace she said. "My Dad's been in over 20 movies. My Mom used to be an actress too, but she stopped when she had me because she didn't want me to be raised by nannies and housekeepers."

"Has your Dad been in anything I would have seen?" asked Grace.

Liora shook her head. "I doubt  it, " she said "unless you go to a lot of R rated movies. He is going to be making his first PG rated movie soon though and Zac Efron and Miranda Cosgrove are playing his kids."

The two girls eyes practically bulged out of their heads again. "Zach Efron?" said Patsy. She closed her eyes dreamily and sighed.

"Miranda Cosgrove?" added Grace jealoulsy. "I just loved her in i-Carly.

Liora quickly put her hand to her mouth.  "Oh." she said worriedly through her fingers. "I wasn't supposed to say anything. My father doesn't want people hanging around the house and asking him to get Zac and Miranda's autograph's and stuff."

Grace and Patsy frowned. They had been planning to do just that. "Your probably lying anyway." said Grace.

"Yeah." agreed Patsy."Why should we believe you?"

The next day Liora brought in a picture of herself. In the picture she was standing next to a brown and white goat. "This is Billa." she said.

Grace and Patsy's eyes opened as wide as two saucers and their jaws dropped. They didn't know what to say. "Do you want to be our friend?" Grace asked finally as Patsy nodded in agreement.

Liora smiled eagerly. "I would love that. I would really love that." she replied truthfully.

After that the three girls were inseparable. They played together every day at recess. Grace and Patsy kept asking Liora when they could come to her house and see all her animals, but Liora kept putting them off. "We are still getting the house organized from moving and my mother doesn't want company." she explained one day. "My Dad was filming late last night, and he is going to be sleeping all day." she said another.

One day in school, they were having a party for the 100th day. Liora was surprised and horrified to find out that one of the parents that would be helping out that day was her mother. "Are you surprised to see me?" asked her mother cheerfully. Liora was surprised but not happy. She frowned deeply. Her mother didn't seem to notice. "You always wanted me to volunteer at your school, but I couldn't so I took a vacation day today so I could come in." explained her mother. Liora shook her head sadly. That had been in her old school when she was with her old friends.

Before she could stop them, Patsy and Grace excitedly came over to Liora and her mother. "Hi!" they greeted Liora's mother warmly. "I'm Patsy." said Patsy.

"I'm Grace." added Grace.

"It's so nice to meet you." replied Liora's mother. "I have heard so much about you."

"We are glad to meet you too."they said. They immediately started peppering her with questions.

"What's it like living with a goat?" asked Patsy.

"Do you miss making movies?" asked Grace.

"What!?" asked Liora's mother. She looked at Liora. Liora said nothing. She just looked away.

"Don't you have a pet goat?" asked Patsy.

"Didn't you used to be a movie star?" asked Grace.

Liora's mother smiled. "Very funny." she said. "Is this some kind of joke?" she asked Liora, but Liora didn't answer. She didn't even look at her mother. 

Patsy and Grace did not look amused. In fact, they looked downright angry. They looked at Liora. Then, they looked back at her mother.  "Liora told us you have 17 pets including a goat." said Patsy angrily as she realized Liora had been lying to them all along."

"Yeah, and she said her Dad was a movie star, and you used to be one too." added Grace equally as angrily.

The two girls glared at Liora. Her mother looked at her too but with confusion "Liora?" asked her mother. She still didn't quite know what was going on.

Liora bit her lip to keep from crying. "I just wanted you to like me." she said to Grace and Patsy. "I just wanted to have friends."

"But you lied to us."  said Patsy as Grace nodded vigorously. "Do you really have any pets at all?

"We do have two dogs." said Liora's mother.

"I like dogs." said Grace.

"My husband is a pilot, and I work in an art gallery." added Liora's mother.

"Wow," replied Patsy. "I have never even been on an airplane."

"Liora's been on planes since she was a baby." said her mother. Liora nodded but didn't say anything.

Patsy looked at Liora. "Your're life is still pretty cool even if you don't have 15 pets and movie stars for parents." she said.

"Yeah." added Grace. "Why did you have to lie about it?"

"I really wanted you to like me."

"We would have liked you better if you didn't lie to us."

"I'm sorry." Liora said sincerely. "Can I have another chance?" she added quietly.

"Well you were pretty fun to hang around with." admitted Grace, "And I would like to meet your dogs."

"And I'd love to hear about all your airplane trips." added Patsy.

"But you can't ever lie to us again." insisted Grace as Patsy nodded.

"I won't I promise." agreed Liora.

"Wait a minute!" exclaimed Patsy.

"What?" asked Liora worriedly.

"What about that picture of you and the goat?" asked Patsy.

"Oh yeah." said Grace eagerly waiting for Liora's explanation.

"Oh that." replied Liora. "That was taken when my family went on a trip to farm." she explained.

"That's right." said Liora's mother knowing just what picture they were talking about. "Right after that picture was taken the goat tried to eat Liora's hair."

The mental picture of Liora with a goat eating her hair made Patsy and Grace burst out laughing. They smiled at Liora. Liora smiled back and laughed right along with them.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Sunny and the Slippers

Savannah Gilroy awoke to the sound of her mother calling her to breakfast. Her new puppy Sunny lay curled up by her side. Savannah smiled and stretched and got out of bed. She put on her favorite yellow robe and looked around for her matching yellow fluffy slippers. She finally found them next to her closet door all chewed up. "Sunny!" she said but she said it with a smile.

Savannah  went downstairs in her bare feet.  Sunny padded after her. "Mommy!"said Savannah. "Sunny chewed up my slippers." Savannah wasn't angry though. She kind of thought it was cute and adorable.

Mommy wasn't really angry either. "We'll get you a new pair." she said matter-of-factly.

The next day, Mommy and Savannah went shopping. They got Savannah a new pair of slippers. They were yellow too with a big purple flower on them. Savannah put them under her bed.

The next morning when Savannah awoke and got ready to go downstairs, her slippers weren't under her bed anymore. They were in the middle of the room. They were all chewed up and the flowers were ripped right off. This time, she did not think it was so cute. "Sunny!" she said disappointedly. Sunny licked her hand. Savannah frowned.

Mommy did not think it was so cute this time either. "We'll get you another pair of slippers." she promised Savannah, but she frowned at Sunny. Sunny licked Mommy's hand. Mommy frowned even more.

Savannah got a new pair of slippers. These were pink with little pink bows across the front. She put them in her closet, but when she woke up in the morning, somehow they were chewed up too. This was getting to be too much. "Sunny!" she said angrily. Sunny got frightened and hid under the bed. Savannah felt guilty and took her out from under the bed, but Savannah was still mad. "You're a bad dog." she told Sunny, but she did not say it loudly.

Mommy was mad too. She looked sternly at Sunny and shook her finger. "Bad dog, Sunny, bad dog." she said. "We'll get you another pair of slippers." she said to Savannah.

Savannah got a pair of rainbow stripped slippers. Then, a pair with little flowers all over them. That was followed by a fuffy purple pair and then a pair that was shaped like big white  bunnies. Sunny chewed through each and every one.

Savannah didn't know what to do anymore. Neither did Mommy. She was tired of buying Savannah slippers, but she kept doing it anyway.

Mommy and Savannah went shopping once again for slippers. This time Savannah had trouble finding a pair she liked. They went to just about every store in the mall. "How about these?" suggested Mommy  finally to a plain gray pair in Sears.

Savannah wrinkled her nose in disgust. "Those are ugly!"" she said. "They are so plain."

Mommy sighed. She was tired of shopping for slippers. She was tired of shopping for them that day and tired of shopping for them in general. "Savannah." she said sternly."Let's just get these slippers and go home please. Enough already."

Now, it was Savannah's turn to sigh. She knew just by the tone of her mother's voice that she was getting the slippers, and there was no use arguing. It probably didn't matter anyway. She wouldn't have them that long. Sunny was only going to chew them up.

However, the next morning, when Savannah woke up, the ugly slippers were fine. They were right where she left them and hadn't even been chewed up a bit. She figured maybe Sunny hadn't been feeling well or she was tired or had an off night. The next night Sunny didn't chew up the slippers. She didn't the night after that or the night after that either.

"You see that Mommy." said Savannah. "I told you those slippers are ugly. Even the dog thinks those slippers are ugly. Can I get rid of them, please?"

Mommy shook her head. "Of course, not." replied Mommy. "We spent money on those. Besides, we finally found a pair of slippers that we can keep away from that dog."

Savannah sighed disappointedly. "Why did I have to get a dog that has good taste in clothes!" she groaned.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Bethany and the Big Girl Bed

Bethany Price was 3 years old, and she was getting too big for her crib. Mommy and Daddy surprised her with a big bed. "Bethany," they said to her cheerfully. "This is your new bed."

Bethany looked at the new bed. It had flowered sheets and a big purple blanket. Bethany loved flowers and she loved purple, but she didn't love the big girl bed. She stared at it angrily for a few minutes wondering what had happened to her old bed. Then, she looked back at her Mommy and Daddy and shook her head. "No." she said "NOT MY BED!" She looked all over for her crib but Daddy had  already taken it down. She pointed to the space where the crib belonged and started to cry.

"Don't you like your new bed?" asked Mommy.

Bethany didn't answer. She pointed to the big bed and said "Not my bed!" and continued to cry.

"You are big girl now, Bethany, and you are so lucky." said Daddy.

"Yes." agreed Mommy. "You are lucky to have such a nice new big girl bed to sleep in".

Bethany shook her head no and pointed to the new bed. "NOT MY BED!" she repeated.She began crying again. She cried and carried on so much that finally Daddy had to put the crib back together.

Bethany instantly relaxed once the crib was assembled again in her room. "My bed." she said happily pointing to it.  She even went over and hugged it.

For  a week, Mommy and Daddy tried to transition her to the new bed. The put her to bed at night in the big girl bed. After Mommy and Daddy left, Bethany would get the step stool from the bathroom, Every morning, when Mommy and Daddy woke up, she would be back in the crib.

Finally,  Daddy brought Bethany home a new Dora doll. Dora was Bethany's favorite show.

"Dora!" exclaimed Bethany excitedly grabbing for the doll.

"Dora wants to sleep with you." said Daddy.

"Would you like to sleep with Dora?" asked Mommy.

Bethany's head bobbed up and down happily. "I sleep with Dora." she said.

"Dora is a big girl. " explained Daddy.

"So if you want to sleep with Dora you have to sleep in a big girl bed." added Mommy.

Bethany nodded. She hugged the Dora doll to her. That night for the first time, she went right to bed in her new bed without a fuss.

The next morning, when Mommy and Daddy woke up, Bethany was still in the bed, but Dora was in the crib. Mommy and Daddy were surprised. "Why is Dora in the crib?" they asked.

"Dora's a baby. Bethany's a big girl." replied Bethany proudly.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Curious Calla

Calla Worthington was a very curious girl. She wanted to know everything about everything. Sometimes she asked questions. However, when she felt she needed to she took matters into her own hands. That was what got her into trouble.

Mommy woke up one morning bright and early or so she thought  it was bright and early. She walked into Calla's room to wake her up. Calla, however, had already been up for hours. She sat on her bed on top of her flowered  comforter completely surrounded by the white fluffy stuffing from her formerly stuffed and now stuff less animals. "Calla!" exclaimed Mommy surveying the mess.

"Hi, Mommy." said Calla bright and cheerfully. "I wanted to see what was inside my animals and if it was all the same."

Mommy just shook her head. She and Calla set about cleaning up the mess and  then went down for breakfast. "Calla, " said Mommy. "You go in the other room and watch TV while I make breakfast." Calla nodded and trotted into the den to watch TV. "And don't take the insides out of anything!" her mother called after her.

It was quiet for a few minutes except for the sounds of the morning cartoons coming from the TV. Mommy sighed in relief and started to make breakfast. Suddenly, a loud crash came from the direction of the den. Mommy quickly moved the eggs to an unlit burner on the stove so they wouldn't get overdone and hurried to see what happened. "Calla, are you alright?" she asked worriedly.

Calla sat in the middle of the room surrounded by books. "I'm fine, Mommy." she replied. "I just wanted to see how many books it would take to reach the ceiling."

Mommy frowned. "I'm glad your okay, but please put the books away now and come have breakfast."

By the time, Calla finished it was time to eat so for the moment she couldn't get into any more trouble.

After breakfast, Mommy thought it would be best if Calla went outside for a while. "Why don't you go play in the backyard?" she suggested.

"Okay." agreed Calla. She stepped out the backdoor into the fenced in yard.

"And don't take the insides ouf anything or stack anything up!" Mommy called after her.

It was peaceful for a while. Mommy decided to start a stew for dinner. She looked everywhere for her favorite big pot, but she couldn't find it. Finally, she opened the backdoor and called out to Calla. "Have you seen my big pot?" she asked.

Calla said nothing but stared at the ground. Mommy came outside and went over to Calla. She looked down and saw her big pot entirely filled with dirt. "Calla!" she angrily.

"I'm sorry Mommy, but I wanted to see how much dirt would fill it."

Mommy shook her head in disappointment in Calla. "I know you are curious about things, but you musn't touch things that don't belong to you."

"Okay, Mommy." said Calla genuinely sorry. She didn't mean to cause so much trouble but she just needed to know things.

Mommy brought Calla into the house and cleaned her up. By then, it was lunch time. She brought Calla into the den and sat her on the couch and gave her some picture books. "Sit here for while and look at these while I make lunch. Don't take the insides out of anything. Don't stack anything. Don't fill anything. In fact, don't get off the couch."

"Okay, Mommy." agreed Calla.

Mommy went in the other room and started to make lunch when she heard Calla frantically calling her.

"Mommy, mommy!" called Calla sounding as if she were going to burst into tears at any minute.

Mommy ran into the other room as quickly as she could. "What is it baby?" she asked worriedly.

"Mommy!" cried Calla. "There is a button up my nose."

Mommy was afraid to ask but she did anyway. "Calla, how did a button get up your nose?"

"I took it off my shirt, and I put it there because I wanted to see what would happen, but now I can't get it out." admitted Calla in a panic.

This time, Mommy was too worried to think about being angry. "Don't worry , baby." she said. "We'll take care of that." She hurried Calla into the car and took her to the emergency room where they carefully removed the button.  As they were leaving, the nurse tried to hand the button back to Mommy, but Mommy shook her head no. She never wanted to see that button again.

In the car on the way home, Calla asked, "Do you hate me, mommy?"

"Good heavens! No! Of course, I don't hate you. What would make your think that?" asked Mommy.

"I'm a  lot of trouble." replied Calla.

"Well, yes." admitted Mommy. "Sometimes, you are but that doesn't mean I don't love you. I know you are curious about things, but you have to learn to ask before you do things."

"Okay, Mommy." Calla agreed happily in relief that after all the trouble she caused her Mommy still loved her. And after that sometimes, she did ask before she did things, but not always.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Maisy and Daddy and the Big Mess

It was  a rainy day and Maisy Delano was bored. She was tired of playing alone. She went looking for something to do and found Daddy sitting on the big brown couch watching car shows. "Daddy, play with me." she begged.

"Not now, sweetie." said Daddy never taking his eyes off of the TV.

"Daddy, play with me!" said Maisy a little bit louder this time.

However, this time Daddy was so busy watching TV that he didn't even say anything.

Clearly being bossy wasn't going to work. She was going to have to try something different. She climbed up on his lap, tilted her head on his shoulder, looked up at him with her big brown eyes and said sweetly. "Please daddy."

Daddy melted. "Okay." he said. "Maybe for a little while just until Mommy gets back from the store."

He followed Maisy up to her room. Maisy took out her Candyland game. "Let's play Daddy." she said. They played 2 games of Candy Land in a row. Maisy won both.

In the middle of the third game. Masy got tired of the game. She left the board and all the pieces on her floor and went to her closet "Let's color," she said starting to take out her coloring books and crayons.

"Shouldn't we put away the Candy Land game away first?" suggested Daddy.

Maisy shook her head. "Color." she said handing Daddy a green crayon and pointing to a page in her coloring book. Daddy colored. Maisy colored too.

After about ten minutes, Maisy was bored again. "What should we do now?" she asked.

"Why don't we clean up the crayons and coloring books and the Candyland game." suggested Daddy.

"No that's boring." said Maisy. "Let's play Teddy Bear tea party." She got about ten stuffed animals out of  her closet and gave half to Daddy. They set all the animals up at her little table and set out toy dishes to serve them on.

By the time they finished setting up, Maisy was bored of that too.  "Let's read books." she decided. She started to pull a stack of books off  of her red wooden book shelves.

"Here is something to do." suggested Daddy. "Let's clean up the Teddy bears, and the dishes, and the coloring book, and the crayons and the game. That will be really fun."

Maisy looked at him as if he had suddenly grown two heads. "Daddy, " she said finally, "that wouldn't be fun at all.  She proceeded to take books off her bookshelf . After she had pulled about ten books off of the shelf. She sat down on Daddy's lap and put the pile on the floor next to them. "Read!" she commanded.

After Daddy had read about half the books, they heard the noise of Mommy's car pulling up in the driveway. The front door opened. Then, they heard Mommy's footsteps on the stairs. Mommy popped her head in Maisy's room looking for them. "Oh my!" she exclaimed when she saw the toys and the books and coloring books and crayons and the game scattered all around Maisy's room.

Maisy frowned and pointed her finger accusingly at Daddy. "Daddy made a  mess in my room!" she said.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Zani Wants to Go to the Zoo

Zani Walters loved animals. She loved animals of every kind. More than anything she wanted to go to the zoo. She begged and begged but somehow Mommy and Daddy never found time to take her to the zoo.

One morning, Zani sat at the breakfast table. One minute, she was sitting there quietly eating her pancakes. The next minute, she started roaring like a lion.

"Zani!" exclaimed her mother. "Why on earth are you making that racket? What's gotten into you?"

"I'm a lion." explained Zani. "If I can't see a lion, I have to be a lion."

"Well, please don't be one at the kitchen table." replied Mommy.

After breakfast, Zani went into the living room. Instead of turning on the TV or playing with one of her toys, she started jumping around the room and making monkey noises.

"Zani!" said Mommy poking her head into the room.

"I'm a monkey, mommy." Zani told her as she continued jumping around.

"Why are you a a monkey?"

"Because if I can't see a monkey. I have to be a monkey."

"Well, please don't be a monkey in the living room." said Mommy.

Zani gave her a mother an unhappy look and went up to her room. For about a 1/2 hour it was quiet and then, there was a loud crash. Mommy rushed  up the stairs and hurried into Zani's room. "Are you okay?" she asked worriedly. Zani nodded. She was sitting on her bed, and she did look perfectly fine.

Just then, Mommy saw the big blue ceramic pieces of  broken lamp on the floor. She frowned at Zani. "How did that happen?" she asked.

"I broke it with my elephant trunk."

"So now you're an elephant?"

Zani nodded. "If I can't see an elephant I have to be an elephant."

"Well, please try to be more careful with your trunk." said Mommy.

At lunch, Zani repeated everything Mommy said.

"What can of sandwich would you like?" asked Mommy.

"What kind of sandwich would you like?" repeated Zani.

"Zani!"" said Mommy.

"Zani!" repeated Zani.

"Stop it now, Zani." said Mommy in her angry voice.

Zani knew better than to keep repeating things. "But mommy."  she replied. "I'm a parrot. If ..."

"Yes, I know." cut in Mommy before Zani could finish."If you can't see a parrot you have to be a parrot."

Zani nodded.

At dinner time, before Zani could become another animal, Mommy had surprise for her. "Tomorrow, Daddy and I are going to take you to the zoo." she promised. 

"Oh Mommy!" cried Zani excitedly. "How did you ever know that is where I most wanted to go?".

"A little bird told me" replied Mommy "and an elephant and a monkey and a lion."

Monday, August 26, 2013

Waiting for Annabelle's Birthday

Annabelle Upton was 5 years old, but she was about to turn six. For her birthday, she was going to have a completely princess party. They would have princess cups and princess plates, and princess decorations. Even the guests were going to dress up like princesses with sparkly tiaras on their heads. Annabelle couldn't wait.

On Thursday, Annabelle woke up bright and early in the morning. It was so early that the sun was just barely peeking its head out over the clouds. She ran excitedly into her Mommy and Daddy's room. Mommy and Daddy were lying in bed snoring away. Annabelle climbed up next to Mommy and poked her in the side. "Mommy! Mommy!" she said excitedly. "Today's my birthday! When is my party?"

Mommy tiredly opened her eyes. When she was able to focus them, she looked at the clock. It read 5:00 in the morning. "Annabelle, " said Mommy quite unhappily. "It is 5:00 in the morning, and today is not your birthday."

"Go back to sleep." added Daddy as he opened his eyes for a minute and saw Annabelle.

Annabelle sadly shuffled back to her room.

On Friday morning, Annabelle woke up early again. This time she waited in her room for a while before she went into her parents room. It was 7:00 in the morning. Mommy was still sleeping, but Daddy was awake and getting dressed.

"Daddy!" called Annabelle excitedly throwing herself into his arms.

"Good morning, Princess." replied Daddy gently putting her down and picking up his tie and starting to put it on.

"Good morning, Daddy." said Annabelle cheefully. "Today is my birthday, and I am going to have a princess party.

Daddy shook his head  no.

"I'm not going to have a princess party?" asked Annabelle sadly. All this time, she had been waiting for nothing. She wanted to cry.

"Yes, you are going to have a princess party." replied Daddy, "but not today. Today is not your birthday."

"Oh." said Annabelle with a mix of relieve and disappointment. She was so happy she was still having a party. She was so sad that her birthday was taking so long to get here.

On Saturday, Annabelle woke up a little later. She waited in her room for a while and then went looking for Mom and Dad, but couldn't find them. Instead, she found Grandma.

"Grandma?" she said in surprise. "What are you doing here? Where are Mommy and Daddy?"

Grandma smiled and kissed Annabelle leaving a smudge of lipstick across her cheek. "Would I miss my favorite granddaughter's birthday?" she asked. "Your mom and Dad went to pick up some things for your party." she added.

Annabelle's face lip up. "Today is the day!" she cried excitedly. "Today is my birthday!"

Grandma shook her head no. "Not today." she replied. "I came early to help out." she explained.

"Oh." replied Annabelle disappointedly as all the happiness instantly flew out of her.

The next morning when Annabelle woke up, she was going to get out of bed, but she decided not to. She didn't want to be disappointed again. She was sure her birthday was never going to get here. She lay in bed staring at the purple and yellow flowers on her bedroom wallpaper.

Soon Mommy came in. "Good morning, Annabelle." she said cheerfully opening the drapes. "Aren't you going to get up? What are you waiting for?" asked Mommy.

"Is today my birthday?" Annabelle asked hopefully. Mommy nodded. "Finally!" exclaimed Annabelle as she hurried out of bed.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Yara's Yellow Dress

When Yara Detweiler turned 4 years old, her grandmother gave her a bright yellow dress for her birthday. Yellow was Yara's favorite color. Her dress was as bright as the sun. Yara thought it was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. "Oh thank you!, Grandma!" she gushed excitedly.

"Your very welcome, my dear." replied Grandma as Yara hugged her.

"Gee could that thing be any brighter?" asked Yara's older sister, Udela. Udela was 9. She thought it was the ugliest thing she had ever seen. She couldn't understand why anyone would ever want to wear bright yellow anyway.

Their mother gave Udela a warning look. "It's Yara's birthday." Mother reminded her. Udela instantly shutup although she still thought the dress was ugly.

Yara, however, loved her new dress. She could hardly sleep that night because she couldn't wait to wake up the next day and wear her new dress.  She was so excited that she woke up in the night and put on her new dress and went back to sleep in it.

The next morning, Mommy smiled at Yara. "My you look beautiful in your new dress." she said. Yara beamed back at her. She spun around in her pretty dress.

Udela rolled her eyes. She just hoped they weren't going anywhere today. She wanted to get through the day without any of her friends seeing them.

Yara slept in her dress again. The next day, she wanted to wear it again. "Please, mommy." she begged. "It doesn't have any dirt on it." she insisted twirling around in it in front of her mother and showing her.

"But you've been wearing it for two days." replied Mommy with concern.

"That's disgusting!" piped in Udela. Mommy gave her a look, and she instantly shut up.

Yara kept begging and pleading to wear the dress. She made puppy dog eyes at Mommy and sad puffy lips. "Please, please, please!" she said.

Finally, Mom agreed on two conditions. "You have to let me wash it first, and no more sleeping in it." she insisted.

Yara readily agreed. She stayed in her pajamas all morning until her dress was ready to put on.

Every day after that all Yara wanted to wear was her beautiful yellow dress. She wouldn't wear anything else. She only took it off to take a bath, to go to sleep, or to let Mommy wash it.

Udela was horrified. "How could you let her wear that ugly thing all the time?" she complained. "Everybody has seen her in it."

"People are a lot smarter than you give them credit for." replied Mommy. "I'm sure they know that what your sister chooses to wear has nothing to do with you."

"But they'll think we are so poor that we can hardly afford to buy any clothes." replied Udela.

"I doubt that."

"But I hate that stupid dress, and I am tired of seeing Yara in it." screamed Udela.

Mommy smiled and nodded. "That's really what is bothering you, isn't it?" she said. "You don't like the dress."

"I'm just so sick of it." Udela admitted quietly. She didn't bother adding that she never really liked it all that much to begin with.

"Don't worry." Mommy assured her. "I'm sure it's just a phase. She'll grow out of it."

Days, weeks, and even a couple of months went by. Yara didn't grow out of her yellow dress phase. She still loved it. She still wanted to wear it every day. Udela still hated it but she kept her mouth shut. Even Mommy was beginning to wonder if Yara would ever get tired of it and wear something else.

Finally one day, Grandma took Yara  shopping. "We are going to get you a brand new dress." she told Yara. Yara didn't really want a new dress. Grandma kept showing her things to try on, and she kept shaking her head no. After a while, even Grandma was getting discouraged.

Then, just as they were about to leave the store, something caught Yara's eye. It was a bright orange dress with yellow flowers. Yara ran over to it. "I want this one, Grandma!" she said excitedly. They found it in Yara's size and went in the dressing room to try it on. It fit perfectly!

"You look beautiful!" gushed Grandma.

"Thank you, Grandma." replied Yara happily spinning around in the dress.

Yara didn't even want to take it off. At the register, Grandma asked them to cut the tag off so she could pay for it.

At home. Yara excitedly showed off her new dress. Mommy thought it was beautiful. Udela thought it was even uglier than the other one, but she was so happy to see Yara in different dress that she didn't say anything.

The next morning Yara came down to breakfast in her new dress again. Udela still didn't like it but she figured it was still brand-new she could get through another day of it. The day after that when Yara came down to breakfast, she was wearing the new dress yet again. Udela put her head in her hands and sighed. "Here we go again." she  thought unhappily.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Not Nora

Nora Nelson was good at getting out of doing anything. She never want to be bothered with anything. Whenever, there was something to be done, Nora did not want to be the one to do it.

When her mother asked "Who wants to help me fold  the laundry?"

Nora said. "Not me." and she ran upstairs and started playing with her toys.

Her sister, Casey ended up helping Mom, and she was not happy about it. It was not that she minded helping her mom. However, just because she was older, she did not think she should have to do the helping all the time. Folding laundry wasn't any less boring to Casey than it was to Nora.

When their father said, "Can somebody help me empty this dishwasher? " He looked right at Nora.

Nora quickly looked away. "Not me." she said as she hurriedly scrambled out of the room.She did not look back for a minute.

This time her brother, Andrew ended up doing the helping. He was tired of Nora always getting out of doing things too.

Casey and Andrew constantly complained to Mom and Dad about how unfair it was. "She may be the youngest, but she's not a baby." Casey pointed out as Andrew nodded in agreement.

Mom just smiled. She was sure things would work out. She and Daddy had a plan.

That afternoon, Mom asked "Who wants to go run errands with me?"

Nora was reading a book. "Not I." she said quickly. She buried herself in her book. She did not look up once.

Casey did not want to go either. Neither did Andrew. Mommy looked at all of them and frowned. "Why don't you all go?" she suggested.

"Okay, I'll go." said Casey although she did not seem happy about it.

"I will too." said Andrew. He did not seem any happier than Casey.

The  three of them headed out the door to run the errands. An hour later, they came back. They were all laughing. Casey and Andrew were licking lollipops. Casey's was grape and Andrew's was cherry. They looked delicious. Besides, grape and cherry were Nora's two favorite flavors.

"Where did you get the lollipops?" asked Nora jealously.

"A lady at the bank gave them to us." replied Casey.

"Is there one for me?" asked Nora hopefully.

Casey and Andrew shook their heads no.

"Why not?" pouted Nora sticking out her lower lip and lowering her eyes sadly.

"You weren't there." pointed out Andrew. "She gave them to us because we were there."

The next day, Daddy needed to pull out the weeds in the yard. When he asked for help, Nora hid out in the bathroom. "Not me." she called out from behind the closed door pretending she was busy in there. It was too hot anyway. She did not even want to go outside.

Casey and Andrew ended up having to help instead. They didn't seem happy about it at first either. However, when they turned on the garden hose to wash off, Andrew suddenly turned the hose on Casey. She got soaked. She grabbed the hose and turned it back on him. Before long, they were having a full out water fight.

Nora jealously watched from the window. Casey and Andrew were smiling and laughing and looked like they were having a ton of fun. Nora wanted to have fun too.

Mommy came over and saw Nora staring out the window. "What's the matter?" she asked when she saw Nora's sad face.

"Oh mommy." said Nora throwing herself into Mommy's arms. "I want to have fun too. I want to have fun like Casey and Andrew." she cried .

"Casey and Andrew worked hard." replied Mommy. "When you work hard you get rewarded." she added. "Maybe, it's a lollipop or maybe it's a water fight or maybe it is just the satisfaction of doing a good job. Do you think that you can work hard, Nora?" she asked.

Nora bobbed her head up and down. "Yes! Yes! Yes! I can." she insisted.

The next day when Mommy was straighening out the living room, Nora volunteered to help.  She found 75 cents under the couch cushions. "Look what I found, Mommy!" she shouted excitedly holding up her coins.

"You see that Nora." said Mommy. "Sometimes, when we work hard we literally get rewarded."

"It makes me feel good inside to help you too," admitted Nora, "because your my mommy and I love you."

"And that is a reward that comes from the inside. " replied Mommy, "and that is even better because that is a reward that cannot be used up or lost or taken away."

Friday, August 16, 2013

Don't Wake Up Mommy

It was  a bright and sunny Friday morning in July. Faline Eckert and her little sister Violet woke up practically at the crack of dawn as they usually did and went into their parents room. The golden sunlight was streaming through the window. Faline stood by the window and pushed back the curtain to get a better look at the beautiful day.

Instantly, Daddy appeared by her side. He was awake getting ready for work. "Close that!" he whispered furiously. "Mommy is sleeping. She had a rough night with baby Zuri, and she didn't get much sleep last night." Daddy kissed each of them as he went off to work.

Faline glanced at poor Mommy huddled snuggly under the big flowered quilt on her bed. "Shh! Don't wake mommy!" she whispered loudly to Violet.

"Shh! Don't wake mommy!" Violet loudly whispered back as they shuffled noisly out of the room.

Mommy eyeslids fluttered. She opened her eyes and then closed them again.

Faline and Violet went in the living room. They decided to watch TV. Faline turned it on. The sound of Saturday morning cartoons blasted at their ears. "Shh! Don't wake mommy!" Faline whispered frantically.

"Don't wake mommy!" Violet whispered back as Faline lowered the dial on the TV. It was still kind of loud though.

In Mommy's room, her eyelids fluttered. She opened her eyes and then closed them again.

After a little while of watching TV, the girls were bored. They decided to turn off the TV but they couldn't find the remote. "You had it!" Faline yelled at her sister.

"No, I didn't! You did!" Violet yelled back.

"Shh! Don't wake mommy!" Faline whispered loudly suddenly remembering.

"Shh! Don't wake mommy!" Violet loudly whispered back.

In Mommy's room once again her eyelids fluttered, and she opened her eyes and then shut them again.

The girls finally found the remote under the couch cushions. They turned off the TV and went to find a game to play. They decided to play Candy Land, but they couldn't find it. They search through all their games. Game after game was lifted up and slammed back down again until they finally found what they were looking for at the bottom of the stack. Game after game was lifted up and slammed back down once more as the two girls put the rest of the games back on the shelf.

"Shh! Don't wake mommy!" Faline whispered loudly.

"Shh! Don't wake mommy!" Violet loudly whispered.

In Mommy's room, her eyelids fluttered once more. She opened her eyes and shut them again.

Suddenly, baby Zuri stared crying. She cried and cried getting louder and louder. Faline and Violet went in the baby's room and stood by the crib.

"Shh! Baby Zuri." Faline whispered loudly. "Mommy is sleeping!"

"Shh! Baby Zuri." added Violet equally as loud.

Baby Zuri continued to cry,

This time Mommy opened her eyes, and they stayed open. She dragged herself out of bed scrambled into her slippers and robe and went into the baby's room.

"Oh, mommy," cried Faline as Mommy entered the room. "It is all Zuri's fault! Violet and I were being so quiet and letting you sleep, but baby, Zuri just wouldn't stop crying."

Violet nodded her head vigorously up and down in agreement. "Yeah!" she said.

Mommy had hardly slept at all, but she couldn't help smiling. "I love you guys." she said and she kissed each of them before lifting baby Zuri out of her crib.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Xena Plays the Xylophone

Everyone in Xena Holloway's family was musical, and she wanted to be too. They all played an instrument.  Her father played the French horn. Her mother played the mandolin. Her sister, Shelby played the saxophone. Her brother, Braden played the banjo.  Xena wanted to play an instrument too, but she didn't know which instrument to play.

She asked her father. "Daddy, what instrument should I play?"

Daddy smiled proud that Xena wanted to carry on the family musical tradition. "Why don't you play the French horn like me?" he suggested excitedly. He let her hold his horn. It was shiny and brass, but a little too big for  such a little girl as Xena to hold comfortably. She handed it back to her father.

"No thank you, daddy." said Xena. "The French horn  is the perfect instrument for you. It is not right for me. Thanks, anyway." She went off to find her mother.

Mommy was sitting at the kitchen table drinking a cup of coffee. She looked up and smiled as Xena approached. "What can I do for you. my sweet?" she asked cheerfully.

"What instrument should I play, mommy?" asked Xena.

"Why don't you play the mandolin like me?" offered Mommy. She took Xena upstairs and proudly showed Xena her mandolin. It  was beautifully carved wood. Xena plucked on the strings. It kind of hurt her fingers. She handed it back to her mother.

"No, thank you mommy." said Xena. "The mandolin is the perfect instrument for you. It is not right for me. Thanks, anyway." She went off to her find her sister, Shelby.

Shelby was in her room reading a book. "What do you want?" she asked angrily. She was in the middle of the best part of her book and didn't really want to be interupted.

Xena frowned and made sad puppy dog eyes at her sister. "I just wanted to ask you a question." she said hurtly.

Shelby felt a pang of guilt for being so mean to her little sister. "I'm sorry. What is it?" she asked,

Xena smiled. She liked it so much better when Shelby was nice to her. "What instrument should I play?" she asked her sister.

Now, it was Shelby's turn to smile. "Why don't you play the saxophone like me?" She went to the closet and took out her instrument. It was long and shiny. She handed it to Xena to check out.

Xena tried to blow into the saxophone. All she got were sore lips. No sound came out of the instrument. "The saxophone is the perfect instrument for you. It is not right for me." she handed it back to her sister and went off to find her brother, Braden.

Braden was out on the driveway shooting baskets. He stopped as Shelby approached and lifted her into the air. "Hey kiddo!" he greeted her warmly.  He and his little sister were very close and he adored her.

"What instrument should I play?" asked Xena as Braden gently placed her back down on the ground.  

"How about the Banjo?" suggested Braden.

They went into the house. He took out his banjo and showed it to her. It had a long neck and a rounded bottom. Xena plucked at the strings. She didn't like it anymore than she had liked strumming her mother's mandolin.  She shook her head. "The banjo is the perfect instrument for you. It is not for me." she handed the banjo back to Braden.

Xena felt sad. There wasn't anybody else in the family to ask for advice about what instrument to play. She went down into the basement to be by herself and think. Maybe, it would cheer her up to look through Grandma's old things. The basement was full of them. Mommy and Daddy had brought them here when Grandma moved to the retirement community.

Mommy had really wanted to get rid of Grandma's old things. "But one of the children might want them one day." Grandma had insisted. Mommy was just waiting for the right time and then she planned to get rid of most of the stuff anyway. It made Xena sad because she loved looked through Grandma's old things. She started sorting through bags of clothes and shoes.

Suddenly, in the corner she spotted an old suitcase she had never seen before. She quickly went over to it. She blew the dust off and opened it. She lifted out a small wooden xylophone. It was the most beautiful instrument Xena had ever seen. She put it down and reached back into the suitcase and found two rubber mallets. She struck the xylophone with them. It was one of the most beautiful sounds Xena had ever heard.
She smiled happily. She knew she had found it. She knew she had found the perfect instrument for her.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

So Many Dogs

Veronica Yeager was so excited because her very best friend from school, Georgia Rice was coming over for the very first time. "Come on in." she called excitedly as Georgia's car pulled up in front of her  house and Georgia stepped out of the car.

As she climbed up the wooden porch steps, Georgia spied a fluffy white face staring at her from under the steps. "How cute!" she gushed.

"Oh that's my dog, Dixie." explained Veronica.

A little while later, the girls were in the living room watching Good Luck Charlie on Disney Channel. They both agreed that it was their favorite show. They heard the sound of  a dog barking. Georgia was about to ask if that was Dixie when she heard Veronica's older brother call out to the dog "Shut up! Dumbo!"

Veronica shook her head. "My brother is so mean." she said.

'Oh thought,' Georgia. 'They must have two dogs Dixie and Dumbo.'

When they went upstairs to play in Veronica's room, Georgia saw a black tail stick out from under Veronica's Mom and Dad's bed. Veronica's Mom was lying on her bed flipping through the lastest issue of People. "Hello." she said to Veronica. "Have you met our little Poochie?" she asked noticing that Georgia was staring under the bed.

Georgia shook her head no. The dog stayed under the bed, and Georgia followed Veronica to her room. 'Three dogs?' she thought. 'Dixie, Dumbo, and Poochie.' she counted. 'That is kind of a lot.'

The two girls played some more. Before long it started to get late. It was almost dinner time. The girls were so excited that Georgia was going to be staying for dinner. "I hope you like spaghetti." Veronica's mom said to Georgia cheerfully. Georgia nodded her head. It was actually one of her favorites.

Just then they heard the sound of car pulling up in the driveway. "Daddy!" exclaimed  Veronica excitedly.

They heard the sound of  the car door opening followed by the sound of a dog barking again. "Hi Doodle." Veronica's father called out to the dog as he stepped out of the car and into the house.

Georgia shook her head and counted  -one, two, three, four - Dixie, Dumbo, Poochie, Doodle. Four dogs that was an awful lot especially to some one like her who didn't have any pets. She wondered if there were anymore.

Veronica was surprised by the strange look on her friend's face. "What's the matter?" she asked.

"It's just that I have never known anybody with so many dogs. How many do you have altogether?"

Veronica seemed even more surprised by Georgia's question. "We only have one dog." she said.

Georgia smiled. "Very funny." she said. "How many do you really have?"

"We have one." repeated Veronica.

"Oh come on. " said Georgia. "I count at least four."

"Four?"

"Yes. Dixie, Dumbo, Poochie, and Doodle."

"Oh." replied Veronica. She couldn't help smiling at her friend's confusion. "We have one dog. Her name is Dixie Doodle. I call her Dixie. My Dad calls her Doodle. My Mom calls her Poochie. My brother calls her Dumbo."

"Oh." replied Georgia. Now, she felt like the Dumbo. She looked at Veronica. Veronica looked back at her. Then, they both burst our laughing.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Summer Stays Silent

One morning Summer Bartholomew woke up. It was a bright and sunny morning. She stretched and smiled and got out of bed, but she didn't say anything. She got dressed in a pair of yellow shorts and a pink top and went downstairs, but she still didn't say anything.

"Good morning, Summer." her Mother greeted her cheerfully. "We're having pancakes for breakfast." She smiled warmly at Summer.

Pancakes was Summer's favorite breakfast. She didn't say anything though. She just smiled back at her mother but she did not reply.

Her mother looked at her normally chatty daughter with surprise. "What's the matter?" she asked. "Cat got your tongue?"

Summer continued smiling and shook her head.

Her mother shrugged and continued making breakfast. Summer remained silent. In fact, she did not say a word throughout the entire meal. When she finished eating, she quietly helped her mother clean up and then slipped out of the kitchen.

All day Summer played quietly or watched TV or read her book. All day she did not make a peep. Not at lunch. Not a dinner. Not at all. Her mother was worried. At dinner time, she asked "Are you okay, Summer?" Summer nodded. ""Are you sure you're feeling okay?" her mother asked again. Summer nodded again. Her mother didn't believe it. "Does your throat hurt?" she asked. Summer shook her head no. "Do you have larangytis?" asked her mother. Again Summer shook her head no.

Summer's mother still didn't believe she was really okay. She felt Summer's head with the back of her hand. It felt cool. She kissed Summer's head. It still felt cool. "Maybe, I should take your temperature just to be sure. " she said. Summer shook her head no.

"You would tell me if you really weren't feeling well, right?" asked Mother finally. Summer nodded. Her mother kissed her. Summer went upstairs. She silently got in her  blue striped pajama, and brushed her teeth with her Princess toothbrush and got ready for bed.

When her mother came to tuck her in for bed, she smiled and reached up and hugged her mother tightly. "Goodnight, Mommy." she said. "I love you."

"I love you too." replied her mother. She was relieved and happy to hear Summer's voice again. "What a pretty voice you have Summer," she said, "and I am so glad to hear it."

Her mother kissed her and tucked her in. Just before, her mother  left the room she turned back  to Summer and asked "Why didn't you talk at all today, Summer?"

Summer shrugged. "I just didn't have anything to say." she said.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Harriet Hits the Hay

 TODAY'S STORY IS BY  MELIA

Harriet Almahny was a 6 year old girl. She lived with her Mommy, her Daddy, her brother Jim, her sister Cadence and her Gran. Harriet hated to sleep. She dreaded 8:00 p.m. Every night she would slowly drag her feet, pout, beg, cry, and whine but she had to go to sleep anyway.

It was a warm slightly cloudy evening, Jim was getting ready to leave for a sleepover. "Bye, I'll see you guys tomorrow. Burt's mom is taking me home. See you mom, dad, Gran, Cadey, and Harriet."

Harriet rushed up and squeezed her big brother. "Bye Jimmy, I'll miss you.," she said as she looked up at him with her big blue eyes. 

Jim didn't let anyone else call him Jimmy, but he didn't mind with her. Honk! Honk! As Jim left Harriet glanced at the clock, 7:58, two minutes to bedtime. "Uhhhhhhhh, Mommy, I'm going to play dollhouse." she nervously exclaimed.

"Park it, bedtime." Mommy said.

Harriet sighed. "Mommy can't I stay up late tonight? I really wanted to play dollhouse, I just set it up. Pleeease? I'll go right to bed, I promise!" Harriet pleaded.

And then she used her secret weapon. The legendary puppy dog face. "Harriet, that doesn't work on me. Go. Daddy and I have to go to a meeting now. Gran will be right there to tuck you in. Bye. Love you." Mommy sharply replied as she kissed everyone good-bye.

Harriet trudged up the stairs. She really didn't want to go to sleep. "Graaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!" Harriet shouted.

Gran stepped into the pink flowered room and sat on the edge of Harriet's bed. What is it darling?" Gran asked wearily.

"Gran will you sit with me until I fall asleep." Harriet asked.

She knew that Gran would fall asleep soon which would make it easier for her to sneak out. A half hour later Gran was fast asleep. Harriet quietly slipped out. She snuck into Cadence's room. Cadence was awake on her laptop. "Cadey, can I play with you?" asked Harriet sweetly.

"I'm not on my laptop." Cadence exclaimed as she closed it and hid it under her blanket.

"Please Cadey. I won't tell Mommy." she slipped her hand into her big sister's.

"Fine, let's go to the playroom." she answered.

Harriet smiled and clapped her hands.

"First I have to go to the bathroom." Cadence said.

Harriet climbed into her sister's bed to wait in. It was so comfy and cozy. Harriet's eyes fluttered, then slowly closed. Then her head hit the pillow and she fell asleep. Cadence came back to find her bed taken. She found Gran in Harriet's bed so she went to sleep in Gran's room. When Mommy and Daddy got home, Daddy decided to check on everyone so he went to Cadence's room and found Harriet, then he went to Harriet's room and found Gran, finally he went to Gran's room and found Cadence. He shook his head and went to sleep. In the morning everyone woke up to find themselves in each others beds. "Well at least we found a way to get Harriet to go to sleep."