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."


"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.