Tuesday, December 29, 2015


Meredith Scott was brave.  That was clear.  She wasn't afraid of loud noises. She didn't run away from mice or other creatures. She was definitely braver than all of the other girls she knew.  She was sure that she was braver than any of the boys she knew as well. Of course, none of the other kids believed that. She was only a girl, after all. How could she possibly be braver than any of the boys? "You're a liar, Meredith," the other kids told her. "You're not braver than a boy."

Meredith was invited to a birthday party for a girl in her class named Lenore Triplett. The birthday party was going to be a scavenger hunt. The hunt would be taking place in the big woods. The guests were paired up in boy/girl pairs. "Boys by themselves are too aggressive." explained Lenore "girls by themselves are too silly." She thought boy/girl pairs would provide the perfect balance.

"Hmm!" mumbled Meredith. "What do I need to be paired up with some stupid boy for? I can do just  fine by myself." She took advantage of the fact that Lenore wasn't very good at math and had invited an uneven number of boys and girls to the party and set out on her own.

They headed into the woods. They began collecting specimens that matched those on the sheet of paper Lenore had handed them at the beginning of the party. They had only been in the woods a few minutes when they heard a noise. It was a very squeaky noise.

"What's that?" asked one of the girls frightenedly grabbing on to her partner.

"A ghost." teased one of the boys.

"Really?" asked the frightened girl.

Meredith glared at the boy. "Don't worry." she said to the girl. "He's just teasing you. There's nothing to be scared of."

 Just than a little chipmunk skittered across the path and disappeared into the other side of the woods.  The boys laughed and chased after the chipmunk. The girls oohed and aahed over how cute it was. The girl who been frightened blushed in embarrassment.

Meredith just shook her head. "It's only a tiny chipmunk." she said. She continued walking through the woods. The other kids fell in step behind her.

A little while later they heard another noise. This time it was a little louder than the first. The girls all exchanged nervous looks but nobody wanted to say anything because of what happened the last time. The boys smiled eagerly excited to see what type of wild life they would be encountering now. Meredith just shook her head and kept walking.

Just then a gray and white badger crossed their path. All of the girls except Meredith went screaming out of the woods. The boys laughed both at the badger and the pack of screaming girls. Meredith just shook her head again. "It's just a little badger." she said.

Meredith and the boys continued on the scavenger hunt by themselves. None of the other girls returned to the woods.  The boys noisily talked to each other as they walked along . Meredith quietly went about collecting specimens by herself.

Soon, there was another even louder noise. It was a kind of growling. Even the brave boys began nervously looking at one another and wondering what it could be. Meredith stood still and listened carefully, but her face showed no emotion.

Up ahead a short distance, they saw a big black bear. The boys bravery completely disappeared and they took off quickly running as fast as they could out of the woods.

Meredith was no dummy. She did not want to have an encounter with a bear either.  She went running out of the woods as fast she could too.

As they were all quickly running out of the woods, one of the boys suddenly tripped over a log and thudded to the ground. He immediately attempted to get up, but then quickly fell back to the ground again wincing in pain. "Help! Somebody help me, please!" he begged practically in tears as he had no desire to be eaten by a bear. None of the other boys even turned around. They just continued speeding out of the woods as fast as their legs could carry them. Only Meredith stopped and turned around. She quickly ran back to the boy . She gave him a hand and helped him up. She helped him limp out of the woods as quickly as they could go which was just ahead of the bear.

After they escaped from the woods, the whole group of boys and girls was reassembled a short distance away. It was determined that everyone was alive and in one piece and relatively unhurt except for the one boy's ankle. It was also determined that because of the bear the rest of the hunt would be cancelled. Instead, they all just went back to Lenore's house for party refreshments.

"You are very brave, Meredith." Lenore told her as they sat comfortably in Lenore's backyard eating birthday cake.  Meredith just shrugged.

"Meredith is the bravest." declared another of the girls.

"Even braver than the boys." added a third girl.

Of course, not even any of the boys could argue with that.

Even though everyone had fun at Lenore's house, and the refreshments were tasty. Lenore was kind of disappointed that her scavenger hunt hadn't gone as planned. "Can't we try to have a scavenger hunt again another day?" she begged her mother.

"Another scavenger hunt?" repeated her mother worriedly. "Well, okay." she agreed finally after a few minutes of Lenore staring at her with big sad puppy dog eyes. "Maybe, we can try it again in a different location."

"Next time, I want to be paired up with Meredith!" exclaimed all of the boys at once.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Faye Marie Takes a Fall

Faye Marie Saldano was out in the front yard playing in the dirt. Her big brother, Eddie was throwing a baseball around. He threw it in the air and caught it and threw it in the air and caught it over and over again. "Look out, Faye Marie!" he shouted as the ball skittered away from him and headed toward his sister.

In a split second, Faye Marie lunged out of the way, but in the process she tripped over a tree branch that was lying on the ground and fell over just as the ball sailed by inches from her head. She quickly grabbed her foot and started howling in pain.

"Aw! Faye Marie!" exclaimed Eddie. "The ball didn't even hit you."

Faye Marie looked up and glared at her brother through her tears just as all the commotion brought Mommy rushing out of the house.

"What's the matter?" Mommy asked worriedly looking from one of her children to the other for an answer.

"I fell." sobbed Faye Marie.  She didn't mention anything about the wayward baseball.

Eddie sighed in relief hopeful that there was no way their Mom could blame him for this.

"Eddie," reprimanded their mother. "Why weren't you watching your sister more carefully?"The look she gave him told him that there was no use even arguing with her and trying to convince her that he wasn't at fault.

"Sorry, ma." he replied quickly bowing his head down and staring at the ground.

Mommy quickly turned her attention to Faye Marie. "What's the matter, baby?" she gushed sweetly. "What hurts you?"

Faye Marie pointed to her left foot. Mommy gently lifted Faye Marie's foot and examined it carefully. It wasn't swollen, but it was very red. "I don't think it's broken or anything." announced Mommy. "Why don't you come in the house and put some ice on it?" she suggested. She helped Faye Marie into the house and carefully settled her on the couch with a bag of ice on her foot.

"Mommy, I'm cold." whined Faye Marie.

Mommy quickly got her a yellow woolen blanket and put it around her.

"Mommy, it still hurts." complained Faye Marie after a few minutes with the ice on her foot.

Mommy put on the TV to distract Faye Marie from the pain of her injury."You just let me know if you need anything else, my sweet baby." Mommy told her.

Eddie, who by now had come back into the house as well, rolled his eyes.

"Mommy, " called Faye Marie. "Can I have some hot chocolate?"

"Sure baby." promised Mommy. She went in the kitchen to make some.

"Can I have some too?" asked Eddie.

Mommy reached into the cabinet and pulled out the box of Swiss Miss hot chocolate. There was only one packet left. "I'm sorry. I don't have enough." she said to Eddie. She quickly made some for Faye Marie and brought it to her on the couch.

When she was finished Faye Marie called Mommy to come and take her glass and get her some cookies.  Eddie rolled his eyes again.

The rest of the day, Faye Marie rested on the couch as Mommy fussed over her, fetching things for her and changing channels for her and constantly asking if she was feeling any better. Of course, the answer was always no.

When Daddy came home, he started fussing over Faye Marie too. He actually sat and played a board game with her before dinner, and that was something that never happened. Usually Dad wanted to relax before dinner. They even let Faye Marie eat her dinner from a little tray table on the couch in front of the TV instead of coming to the kitchen table.

Eddie frowned jealously. "You know, I hurt my leg at baseball practice the other day." he announced suddenly as Mommy was carrying Faye Marie's dessert out to her.

"Oh." said Daddy curiously "and, you're just mentioning it now? I guess it doesn't hurt that much."

"I think it's a slow developing injury," explained Eddie. "the kind that gets worse as time goes on."

"Just take a long hot bath, and you'll be fine." Mommy assured him  overhearing Eddie and Daddy's conversation as she re-entered the kitchen.

Eddie frowned even deeper. That was not the answer he was hoping to hear. He was hoping to get just a little bit of all that attention Faye Marie was receiving.

At bedtime, Daddy carried Faye Marie up the stairs to her room. Mommy carefully helped her put on her pajamas. They didn't even make her stand up to brush her teeth or put her dirty clothes in the hamper. They just gently tucked her bed and kissed her and told her they hoped she felt better in the morning.

The next morning, Mommy was making eggs for breakfast when she was surprised to see Faye Marie come limping into the kitchen. "What's wrong?" she asked worriedly.

"My foot still hurts." explained Faye Marie wincing in pain and grabbing her right foot.

Mommy couldn't help smiling at Faye Marie. "Then why were  you limping on your other foot and why are you holding your other foot?" asked Mommy.

"Oh." whispered Faye Marie quickly putting her foot down and  sliding into her chair. She quickly stopped acting like she was in any pain.

Now, it was Eddie's turn to smile. He was glad everything would be back to normal now.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Cat and Hanukkah Mouse

Christmas Cat and Hanukkah  Mouse were arguing over whose holiday was better. "We get presents for eight nights." said Hanukkah Mouse.

"We get a whole bunch of presents at once." said Christmas Cat.

"We light candles and say prayers." said Hanukkah Mouse.

"You have to pray to get presents?" asked Christmas Cat. "We just wake up and they are just there under the tree."

"Yeah, from some jolly fat man." laughed Hanukkah Mouse. "Ours come from our Moms and Dads."

"We have Christmas cookies." said Christmas Cat.

"We have potato latkes." replied Hanukkah Mouse.

"Well, I'd rather eat cookies than potatoes." answered Christmas Cat.

"Hanukkah colors are blue and white." said Hanukkah Mouse.

"Christmas colors are red and green." replied Christmas Cat.

"Do those colors even go together?" asked Hanukkah Mouse.

"We have Santa Claus." said Christmas Cat.

"We have Judah Macabee." replied Hanukkah Mouse.

"Everybody knows Santa Claus." replied Christmas Cat. "How many people know that guy?"

"We light menorahs and spin dreidels." said Hannukah Mouse.

"We decorate our houses with  colored  lights and trim Christmas trees." replied Christmas Cat.

"Trim?" replied  Hanukkah Mouse. "Why put them up if you are just going to cut them down?"

"We don't cut them down. We decorate them with tinsel and ornaments." said Christmas Cat.

"We have songs." said Hanukkah Mouse.

"Not as many as we have." replied Christmas Cat.

"True." admitted  Hanukkah Mouse.

"And we have a special name for them." added Christmas Cat. "We call them Christmas Carols."

"Carol?" said Hanukkah Mouse, "Isn't that a girl's name? Are only girls allowed to sing them?"

"Anyone can sing a Christmas Carol " said Christmas Cat. "We go door to door and sing them."

"Isn't that kind of dangerous?" asked Hanukkah Mouse.

"We don't have to go in people's house." replied Christmas Cat.

"That's a relief." sighed Hanukkah Mouse.

"We get off from school for Christmas." said Christmas Cat.

"We sometimes get off for Hanukkah." replied Hanukkah Mouse, "but it sometimes easier when we don't because we are so busy that the day goes faster and the next night of Hanukkah seems to come quicker."

"We don't have to wait for a next night." said Christmas Cat. "Once Christmas comes it's here."

"What about the song The Twelve Nights of Christmas?" asked Hanukkah Mouse.

"That's just a song." said Christmas Cat.

"Oh." said Hanukkah Mouse.

"Did you really make a little driedel out of clay? " asked Christmas Cat.

"No." replied Hanukkah Mouse."but I am sure some people really do."

"Hmm." said Christmas Cat.

"Hmm, what?" asked Hanukkah Mouse.

"Your holiday sounds fun." admitted Christmas Cat.

"Yours does too." replied Hanukkah Mouse. "I'd like to put up decorations and trim a Christmas tree."

"And I like to light a menorah and spin a dreidel." said Christmas Cat.

"Why don't you come to my house for Hanukkah?" suggested Hanukkah Mouse.

"Why thanks. I'd love to," answered Christmas Cat. "and, why don't you come over to my house for Christmas?"

"I'd love to." replied Hanukkah Mouse.

"Do you know what's better than two holidays celebrated separately?" asked Christmas Cat.

"What?" asked Hanukkah Mouse.

"Two celebrating two holidays together." replied Christmas Cat.

"Without a doubt." said Hanukkah Mouse, "I'll see you for Christmas."

"And, I'll see you for Hanukkah." replied Christmas Cat.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

It's Not Easy Being Twins

Today's story is not only for my daughter but by my daughter.

Lillian and Addison Banks were 10 year old twins. They where always fighting but, they did love each other. "Mom, can we go to the mall?" asked Lillian.

"Sorry, Lillian. Addison asked me if we can go to Taco Bell, Payless, Nordstorms, and Macy's. replied Mommy.

"But mom, all of those stores can be found in the mall. Why can't we just go to the mall?" begged Lillian.

"You can't because I already asked!" stated Addison

"Addison, you always get what you want, It's not fair. I never get anything!" complained Lillian.

Later that day... 

"What do you girls want for dinner?" asked Mommy.

"Can we have bagels, please mom?" asked Addison hopefully.

"No mom, Can we have macaroni?" asked Lillian 

"Why don't we get a pizza? suggested mommy

"I guess that will be good.I do love pizza." agreed Addison

"I love pizza too."  stated Lillian

"Great! We'll order a pizza." said Mom

After dinner, they decided to go to the park.

"I'll race you to the top of the monkey bars!" blurted out Addison

"Okay, but be ready to lose!" advised Lillian. 

When they got to the top, they started to fight about who really got to the top first. "I got to the top first." said Addison.

"No I did!" argued Lillian. Lillian lightly pushed Addison. Addison lightly pushed Lillian back. Lillian did it again but a little harder this time. Addison did the same. Once again, Lillian pushed Addison, She only meant to push Addison a tiny bit harder, but she accidentally pushed too hard. Addison went flying off the monkey bars.

"Ow! Ow! Ow!" yelled Addison in pain. Lillian came running down the monkey bars. Mommy came running from the bench she was sitting on.

Mommy picked up Addison and carried her into the car. They went right to the hospital to make sure that Addison did not  have any broken bones.

"You have a broken arm." said the doctor.

The doctor put  gave Addison's arm in a cast. Then, they went home.

"I'm so so sorry I did't know that would happen." said Lillian sadly.

"It is okay. I know you did't mean it." replied Addison.

"From now on, I will be way more careful and nice to you." said Lillian.

"I will too." agreed Addison

"I'm glad to see you girls getting along." said Mommy.

From then on, Lillian and Addison kept their promise. They where both nicer to each other and more careful of each other. But, they were still twins, so they sometimes still did fight, but not nearly as much as they did before.

Monday, December 21, 2015


Brandi Whalen was the little sister. Brooke was the big sister. Brandi hated being the the little sister. She couldn't wait to be older. She wanted to do the things that Brooke did. She wanted to have the things that Brooke had. She wanted to go the places that Brooke went.

Brooke had her own phone. She talked on it at all hours of the day and night. When she was wasn't talking on her phone she would be texting, playing games or watching YouTube on it. Brandi wanted a phone. "Can I have a phone?" she asked Mommy and Daddy.

"When your older." they replied.

Brandi sighed. "When will I be older?" she wondered unhappily.

Brooke got to wear makeup. Brandi wanted to wear make up. She couldn't wait to have colorful eyes and lips and rosy looking checks. She wanted to paint her nails pretty colors too. Brooke looked so pretty with all her make up on. Brandi wanted to look pretty too."Can I wear makeup?" she asked Mommy eagerly.

"When you're older." replied Mommy.

Brandi sighed. "When will I be older?" she wondered unhappily.

Brooke had a driver's license. She had a little red used car that she drove around in with all her friends. They went shopping. They went to to the beach. They went to the movies. Brandi wanted to go too. "Can you take me shopping?" she asked Brooke hopefully

"Forget it, squirt." replied Brooke frowning,

"Can you take me to the beach?" inquired Brandi wishfully.

"No way, kiddo." replied Brooke shaking her head.

"Can you take me to the movies?" begged Brandi.

Brooke didn't reply. She just gave Brandi an angry glare. It was a glare that told Brandi there was no way that Brooke was going to take Brandi anywhere, and she better just leave Brooke alone.

"When can I get a car?" Brandi asked Daddy.

Daddy laughed at Brandi's eagerness. "You don't even have a driver's license." he reminded her.

"When can I get a driver's license?" asked Brandi eagerly.

"When you're older." replied Daddy.

Brandi frowned. "When am I going to be older?" she wondered miserably.

The next week, Brooke got grounded for coming in late, and she wasn't allowed to use her phone. She  had an allergic reaction to some make-up she'd been wearing and she developed an angry pink rash on her face. She didn't have time to drive in her car with her friends because she was too busy running errands for Mom and Dad. She was miserable. "What are you looking at?" she glared angrily when she saw caught Brooke giving her a pitying look. "Just wait until you're older."

"That's okay," replied Brandi. "I'm good." and she suddenly found she wasn't in a hurry to be older at all.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

A Surprise for Sammi

Today's story is not only for my daughter, but by my daughter.

Sammi Hannigan was not an ordinary 10 year old. She was special. Unlike most kids her age, she would do anything to accomplish a goal. More then anything she wanted a kitten and a puppy. Unlike most kids, she was saving up her allowance money.

"SURPRISE." yelled Mommy and Daddy as Sammi walked downstairs. "Happy birthday!"  cried Mommy.

"Thanks mommy." replied Sammi.

"Ready for your presents?" asked Mommy

"Okay." agreed Sammi. As Sammi opened the present, she wondered what it could be. Maybe, it was  the stuffed cheetah she looked at  at Target or the clothes she liked at Kohl.  Maybe it was even the hamster she looked at when they were at Petco. The box had holes. Sammi thought it was broken. When Sammi opened the box, something jumped out. It was too fast to see what it was. It startled her so much that she jumped, but she quickly realized what her present was. It was a tiny calico cat with orange spots and a tiny pomeranian puppy. "I will name my cat Callie and my puppy Missy." said Sammi. Time went by so fast that Sammi didn't even realize it was time for bed.

"Time for bed Sammi." reminded Mom. That night, Sammi saw a giant shadow coming closer and closer to her. Then, the shadow jumped up on her. It was just Callie and Missy. The next morning, Sammi was having a play date with her best friend, Lizzie. Sammi opened the door to leave.

"Wait! I forgot my pictures of Callie and Missy. I want to show them to Lizzie." Sammi declared. She ran upstairs to get them, but she didn't realize that she forgot to close the front door. Before she got back, when no one was looking, Missy ran out.

"Are you ready, Sammi?" Mommy asked.

"Yes" replied Sammi. When Sammi got home, she was ready to feed Callie and Missy. She went to her room where she last saw them. Callie was sitting on her bed,but Missy was gone "Mommy I can't find Missy!"

"Don't worry. I"ll help you look." offered Mommy.

"Thanks Mommy." Sammi answered They looked everywhere in the house. By the time they were done,  it was Sammi's bedtime.

"Time for bed." Mommy said.

"But we have not found Missy yet!" exclaimed Sammi,

"We will look outside the house tomorrow. "promised Mommy.

"Fine"  agreed Sammi. That night neither Sammi nor Callie could sleep. They both missed Missy so much. 

"Wake up, Sammi." whispered Mommy.

"Is it time to look for Missy?" Sammi asked hopefully.

"Not yet. First it's time for breakfast".

"Okay." Sammi said disappointedly. That was not like Sammi. Sammi loved breakfast. It was her favorite meal.

"Don't forget to feed  Callie, Sammi"  reminded Mommy.

"I won't." Sammi  said. She didn't even touch her breakfast.  Callie didn't touch her food ether. Finally, it was time to look for Missy. They did not have much luck with that. 

Days went by with no sign of Missy anywhere. Sammi and Callie just lay in bed all day doing nothing. They were too sad to do anything else. 

One day, Daddy was going to work. "Goodbye Sammi." he told her.

"Bye, Daddy."  Sammi replied.

Later that day, when Daddy got home, he called. "Sammi! I have surprise for you!"

Sammi started to come down the staircase. The second she saw, Daddy had Missy, she and Callie both ran down the rest of the way .

"Where did you find her?"  Sammi asked

"On my way home from work." answered Daddy.

"She must have ran out when I went to get the pictures" said Sammi. "From now on, I will never leave the door open or at least I'll try not to."  Sammi said with a smile.

photo credits
photo credit 1: Calico Kitten approx. 6 weeks via photopin (license)
photo credit 2:  Pomeranian via photopin (license)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

I Can Do That!

Ayla Summers was five years old. Her little sister Airlea was just a baby. Ayla could do everything that Airlea could do and even more. So why was everybody so endlessly fascinated by what Airlea could do? Ayla just couldn't understand it.

"Look!" declared Mommy excitedly. "Airlea is smiling."

Ayla frowned. 'You call that a smile?' thought Ayla. "I can smile!" she said out loud displaying a wide toothy grin. Nobody noticed. They were too busy fussing over Airlea.

Just then, Grandma arrived. Airlea just barely moved her hand a little bit. "Oh, Airlea!" gushed Grandma happily. "Are you waving at me?"

Ayla shook her head sadly. 'You can call that a wave?' she thought. "I can wave!" she said out loud. She raised her hand high in the air and waved vigorously.  Nobody paid attention. They were too busy fussing over Airlea.

They went in the house. Mommy had made lunch. Everyone sat down at the table to eat and Mommy passed out the plates full of food. Airlea started babbling something in her baby language.

"Airlea!." Daddy exclaimed enthusiastically. "Are you talking to us?"

Ayla rolled her eyes. 'Those aren't even words.' she thought. "I can talk!" she said. "My name is Ayla Summers. I am five years old. ..."  Ayla went on and on talking. Nobody noticed. They were too busy fussing over Airlea. So Ayla talked more and got louder.

Finally. she got so loud that they had to notice. Mom turned and looked at Ayla. Ayla smiled proudly and continued talking, but Mommy frowned. "Ayla," she scolded. "Stop talking so much and eat your lunch before it gets cold."

Ayla shrank down in her chair. Suddenly, she didn't feel much like talking. She didn't feel much like eating either. She didn't feel much like doing anything.

"What's the matter?" Grandma asked Ayla worriedly. "I thought grilled cheese was your favorite." she said pointing to the uneaten sandwich on Ayla's plate

Ayla just shrugged, but didn't say anything. She stared at her plate but didn't make a move to eat. She just looked  over at Airlea. Mommy and Daddy were still fussing over her.

"Airlea," trilled Mommy in a singsong voice. "Are you eating?"

Ayla kicked her chair and frowned. " I can eat!" she said, but she didn't take a bite of her sandwich or even pick it up. She was too sad to eat. She just wanted someone to notice her.

"Ayla," replied Grandma with a smile and a laugh. "Why, of course, you can eat!" Ayla looked up at Grandma surprised that someone had finally noticed her. She just stared but didn't say anything.

"Of course, you can eat." Grandma repeated. "Where do you think Airlea learned it from?" Ayla shrugged her shoulders to indicate she had no idea. "From you." replied Grandma. "From her big sister. Where do you think she learns how to do everything she knows how to do?"

"From me?" asked Ayla uncertainly.

"That's right! exclaimed Grandma nodding. "She learns everything from her big sister."

"She does?" asked Ayla.

Grandma nodded again. "Of course, she does."

"I must be a good big sister." stated Ayla with a mixture of pride and surprise.

"You must be," agreed Grandma.

Suddenly, Ayla felt  much better. She happily hugged Grandma tightly. "I love you." she whispered. That was something Airlea couldn't do Ayla realized. Airlea couldn't say "I love you." 'Maybe, someday, I'll teach her that too thought.' Ayla. She smiled at her little sister. Then, she picked up her sandwich and began to eat her lunch.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Jackie and the Jack-O-Lantern

Today's post is not only for my daughter but by my daughter

Jackie was a 6 year old little girl. She was excited because it was almost Halloween.  She was going to make a Jack-O- Lantern later that day. 

"Good morning!" declared Mommy as she woke up Jackie.

"Can I make my Jack- O-Lantern now?!" shouted Jackie excitedly.

"Not yet Jackie maybe after breakfast." answered Mommy.

"Okay mommy. replied Jackie sadly." Jackie gulped down her food as fast she could without choking on it. "I'm done eating. Now, can I carve my pumpkin?" asked Jackie hopefully.

"Wait until I finish eating. While you wait, you can draw what you want on your pumpkin on a paper. That way when I am ready to carve it for you I know what to make on it." suggested Mommy.

"Okay mommy." Jackie shrugged sadly. It only took mommy a couple more minutes to finish eating but to Jackie it seemed like hours.

"Okay, Jackie, I'm ready to carve your pumpkin." said Mommy

"Finally!" replied Jackie happily. She made a happy pumpkin not a scary pumpkin. When mommy finished the pumpkin, Jackie looked at it like something was wrong. Mommy was worried  that she had done the carving wrong.

"Is something wrong with the pumpkin? Did I not carve it the way you wanted it, Jackie?" Mommy asked worriedly.

"No, mommy,  it is not that. You carved it just the way I wanted it. The carving looks perfect. I can just tell that something is missing. It still needs something." Jackie said

"Do you know what it needs?" asked mommy

"Not yet mommy." answered Jackie "Wait!,  I got it!" she said excitedly as she ran up to her room. She came back with her butterfly costume from her very first Halloween. She had  kept it all these years. She ran to the kitchen where mommy was sitting with the pumpkin. She put the costume on the pumpkin. "It is still missing something."  she said disappointedly. Jackie ran back  up to her room and came back with a princess crown. She put the crown on the pumpkin. "Perfect." she said.

"How cute!"  You and your pumpkin are both being butterfly princesses." replied Mommy.

"Next year, we can be brides!" Jackie declared enthusiastically, "and, the year after that we can be angels, and the next year we can be 50s girls and the year after that ...

Mommy laughed as Jackie continued to eagerly plan future Halloweens.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Chandler's Tale

This is a tale, new to the world, and I can tell you for sure, it's unlike anything you've ever heard. For this tale, is about Chandler, who has witnessed the world in a way very different than you.

Thud! I landed gracefully on a soft beige couch. It was my favorite place to sit because the sun hit me in all the right places. "No, no," my sister, Laurie exclaimed, "I need to sit there. You sit on the floor."

She was much bigger than me and scooted me right out of my spot. I growled. I didn't push her off the couch. But I didn't feel like fighting so I trudged off to the kitchen.

Once there, I caught a whiff of something delicious and jumped up to see what it was, but of course I was too small. I usually was. If only I was bigger. "Oh well," I thought, heading over to my little bowl.

It didn't look very appetizing but it was better than nothing so I dug in. Halfway through, I realized I should save some for later since I usually got hungry in the afternoon, so I drank some water and headed for the dining room to take a nap.

When I woke up again, it seemed much later and nobody seemed to be around. "Perfect," I thought.

That meant that, for once, I could take a bath without someone barging in. It was so embarrassing the way they would come in while I was cleaning myself and talk about how adorable it was.

Then, they would just kiss me and move on. It had always bothered me that I had so much more hair than them. They all felt so smooth.

Although, it was nice that they loved me even though I was different. My family was great that way. The only thing I didn't like was that it seemed as if none of them understood me.

Well, that and the fact that they were always picking me up, or hugging me tightly so I could barely breathe. The worst were the kisses. I hated the kisses.

Didn't they realize that I was a guy and I needed my space? I had a reputation to keep.

But, all of that was nothing compared to the good parts of my family. They fed me, and gave me shelter, and toys. But most importantly they loved me through thick and thin. No matter how much trouble I caused.

Anyway, after I finished my bath I decided to explore. I always enjoyed an adventure. As I walked past the things that I saw everyday, something new caught my eye.

Where the closed screen door usually was, there was an open clearing. Behind it, a small creature hopped around.

It was like nothing I'd ever seen before. I needed to get closer.

I took a quick look around the house to make sure no one was watching, and then dashed outside after the small thing.

I chased it around and around until finally it was out of sight. "Well," I thought, "Time to go back home."

Looking around, I realized that I didn't know where that was. I was lost, and extremely scared. I missed my mother. I missed my father. I even missed Laurie, although I was still annoyed about the couch.(Older sisters could be very bossy and controlling.)

I heard a noise and jumped into the air. Then, I took off running. Past bushes, past houses, past trees. I needed to get home.

Suddenly, I heard a voice booming, "Chandler! Chandler, where are you?"

It was my father! I rushed toward him and he scooped me into his arms. Mom and Laurie were right behind him.

They carried me home, the whole way talking about how worried they had been.

I hadn't meant to worry them. I was just trying to explore. But they seemed happy just to have me back.

"Chandler, please don't run off again like that," mom exclaimed.

"Yeah, we don't know what we'd do without our favorite little kitten," Laurie added.

Oh yeah, did I mention I'm a cat?

Mom, dad, and Laurie all hugged and kissed me over and over, but this time I didn't mind.

I guess my life was pretty great. Maybe I didn't have to leave the house to find adventure.

For now, I was good right where I was.


Friday, July 3, 2015

Cats for Chloe

Today's story is by Mom and Aurella

Chloe Naylor had one wish. She wished that she would someday get a cat. One day, her Mom came in to her room. "Chloe," she said. "Your Dad and I have been thinking, and we decided that you can get a cat."

"Really, mom!" exclaimed Chloe excitedly. She couldn't believe it was really true.

Mom nodded. "Tomorrow, when Dad gets home from work, we will go to the pet shelter." her Mom said as she walked out of Chloe's room.

Chloe was so happy and excited she could hardly get through the day. She kept looking at the clock and the day dragged on really slowly, That night, Chloe even went to bed without an argument.  She hardly slept though.

The next day, she could barely get through the school day. When she got home, she did her homework. Then, she still had two hours and forty five minutes until her Dad got home from work. She did not know what to do with herself. She kept looking at the clock and wishing the time to go by faster.

Finally, it was time. The minute she heard Dad's car pull into the driveway, she ran outside. "Let's go! Let's go!" she screamed happily. She hurried into the car and put on her seat belt. "Hurry up, Mom!" she shouted as Mom came slowly out the door. Dad laughed at Chloe's eagerness.

The drive to the shelter was only about a half hour. It seemed like hours to Chloe, Finally, they were there. She eagerly jumped out of the car and hurried inside. Mom and Dad could barely keep up with her.

When she was taken into the room with the cats for adoption, she walked back and forth for a few minutes. At last, she saw a cat sitting with her kittens. They were so cute! Chloe went over to them. "Aw!" she gushed. "I want these."

Dad shook his head. "Remember, we said you can get only one cat."

Chloe frowned. She really wished she could get them all. She decided to get the littlest one. She felt like it needed her the most. It was a girl kitten. All six kittens were girls. "I'm going to call her Whiskers." decided Chloe.

Mom and Dad filled out the adoption paperwork, On the way home, they stopped and got food and all the cat supplies they would need.

Mom and Dad were surprised at what a good job Chloe did of taking care of Whiskers. Ever morning, she fed the little kitten. At least twice a day, she scooped the litter box. She gave Whiskers lots of love and attention. She bought cat toys with her allowance money each week. She even helped Dad change the litter.

After a few months, Mom and Dad told Chloe they had a big surprise for her. Chloe couldn't imagine what it was, Her eyes opened wide with excitement.

Then, Chloe realized Whiskers was missing. Whiskers had been by her side a minute ago.

"Let's go in the basement." suggested Mom. "That's where the surprise is waiting."

"But, what about Whiskers? I can't find her."  asked Chloe worriedly looking around.

"I think I have an idea where Whiskers is." Dad assured her. "Just come with us." They led her into the basement.

When they got down to the bottom of the basement steps, there was Whiskers happily sitting with her mother and her five kitty sisters. "What are they doing here?" asked Chloe in confusion."

"We are so proud of the way you have been taking care of Whiskers that we decided to adopt the whole family." Mom and Dad explained.

Chloe's whole face lit up. "Really?" she asked. It seemed like a dream.

Mom and Dad nodded. "Really." they replied.

Chloe jumped up and hugged them both excitedly. "Thank you! Thank you!" she exclaimed. It was the best day ever.

photo credits:
photo credit:1 Buster, 2001 via photopin (license)
photo credit:2 p√©trouchka & raskolnikov via photopin (license)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Carissa Takes Care

Carissa woke up to the sound of her baby sister, Cora crying. The crying just seemed to go on and on. Carissa tried burying her head under her pillow, but the loud noise didn't stop. Carissa wondered where Mommy was. She dragged herself out of bed and went down the hall to Mommy's room.

Mommy was lying in bed still sleeping. That wasn't like Mommy. Carissa went over to the bed and looked her mother over carefully. Mommy didn't look too good. She was kind of pale.  "Are you okay? Mommy?" whispered Carissa.

Mommy woke up and opened her eyes and groaned weakly. "Are you okay?" repeated Carissa. Mommy shook her head no. Carissa touched Mommy's head with her hand like she'd seen Mommy do to her and Cora many times. Mommy's head was really hot. "You're sick, Mommy." declared Carissa. "You better lie down." She helped Mommy lie back down on the bed and tucked the covers around her.

After Mommy was all tucked back in bed, Carissa went to Cora's room and got her out of bed. She got some cereal and poured it  into a bowl for Cora. She poured one for herself too. They ate the cereal plain because Carissa wasn't allowed to pour the milk. They ate sitting on the family room couch and watching TV. They usually weren't allowed to eat in the family room or watch TV when they ate, but Carissa didn't think Mommy would mind just this one time. Carissa wasn't allowed to put Cora in her highchair and the TV kept Cora busy so she didn't ask for Mommy.

"Juice!" exclaimed Cora loudly when she finished her cereal.

"Shh!" warned Carissa. "You'll wake up, Mommy!"

"Mommy!" exclaimed Cora suddenly missing her mother. "Mommy,'" she repeated. She toddled toward the stairs.

"Mommy's not feeling well, Cora." Carissa told her. She quickly ushered Cora into the kitchen. "Let's get juice." she said.

Cora didn't really understand about Mommy being sick, but she got sidetracked by the prospect of getting the juice she wanted. She forgot all about going to find Mommy and happily sipped the juice Carissa handed her.

After they ate, Carissa played with Cora and took care of her all morning. Then, she made them both sandwiches for lunch and gave them each another juice boxes.They ate in front of the TV  again.

After lunch, Cora sleepily rubbed her eyes. She slumped against Carissa tiredly. "I think it's time for a nap." declared Carissa.

As soon as she heard the word "nap", Cora jumped out of her seat and started running away. "No nap!" she called loudly running off.

"Shh!" Carissa said in a loud whisper. She didn't want Cora to wake up Mommy. She quickly chased after Cora. She finally caught up to Cora and grabbed her hand and led her up the stairs.

Cora pouted at the sight of her bed. "How about we lie down together?" suggested Carissa. Cora instantly brightened. They lay down on the bed together. Cora sighed contently. She closed her eyes and soon drifted off to sleep. Carissa quietly slipped out of the bed and went to check on Mommy.

Mommy opened her eyes as Carissa entered the room. She tried to get up, but she was weak and she still looked pale. "Don't get up, Mommy." insisted Carissa. "You just lie down and rest."

"Cora," cried Mommy worriedly as she tried to get out of bed again.

"Cora's fine." Carissa assured her. "I gave her breakfast and lunch, and now she is taking a nap."

Mommy looked quizzically at Carissa. She could barely get Cora to take a nap. She didn't understand how Carissa could have done it.

Carissa laughed. "I have my ways." she said mysteriously. She smiled at Mommy and Mommy smiled back weakly.

"Are you hungry?" Carissa asked. Mommy shook her head no. "Are you thirsty?" asked Carissa. When Mommy nodded, Carissa went into the bathroom and got her some water.

"Thank you." Mommy replied when Carissa handed it to her. She drank the whole cup of water and then, Carissa got her some more.

"Now, you rest." insisted Carissa when Mommy had finished drinking. She helped Mommy tuck herself back under the covers.  Mommy closed her eyes and was soon sleeping again. Carissa gently kissed Mommy just like Mommy always did to her when she was sick. Then, she went to find something to do until Cora woke up.

When Cora woke up, Carissa went  and got them a snack of cheese bites and crackers. Then, she played with Cora for the rest of the afternoon.

Finally, Daddy arrived home from work. "Daddy!" Cora exclaimed excitedly.

Daddy picked her up and kissed her. "Pumpkin!" he said. It was his special name for Cora. He set her down and went over to Carissa and kissed her too. "Hello, Princess." he greeted her. Princess was his special name for Carissa.

"Hi, daddy." she replied.

"Where's Mommy?" inquired Daddy.

"Mommy sick." declared Cora.

Daddy's eyebrows raised. He looked at Carissa as if to ask if it was true. Carissa nodded as if to confirm what Cora had already said. "Who's taking care of you two?" asked Daddy.

"I am Daddy." replied Carissa. "I made us breakfast, and lunch. I got Cora to take a nap. I got us a snack. I played with Cora. I even took care of Mommy too."  she announced proudly.

Daddy smiled. He was proud of Carissa too. "You're a good girl." he said kissing her. "Now, it's my turn to take care of you. How about after I check on Mommy, I make us all some burgers for dinner?"

Carissa nodded happily. Burgers were her favorite and she was really hungry. It had been a long day. Carissa was proud of the way she had taken care of Cora and Mommy while Mommy was sick, but she was awfully glad Daddy was home to take care of them all now.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

A Day With Grandma

Azalea Brennan excitedly woke up bright and early in the morning and put on one of her favorite dresses. It was pink and purple and had flowers on it.

"You're going to wear that?" asked her mother entering the room. "Isn't it a little fancy for lunch and a movie?"

Azalea shook her head vigorously. "No!" she insisted. "It isn't too fancy. It's my special day with Grandma, and I want to look nice."

Mommy smiled at Azalea. "You really love your Grandma, don't you."

Azalea bobbed her head up and down  as if to say yes.

Just then, the doorbell rang. "Grandma!" Azalea shouted eagerly. She bounded down the steps and opened the door. "Grandma!" she exclaimed throwing herself excitedly into her Grandmother's arms and practically knocking her over.

Grandma laughed at Azalea's excitement. "Hello, my beautiful granddaughter." she stated. "Don't you look lovely in your gorgeous dress."

Azalea gave Mommy an I-told-you-so look. Mommy smiled.

"Shall we go?" asked Grandma. Azalea nodded. She quickly kissed her mother on the cheek and headed out to the car.

In the car, Grandma turned on the radio. She and Azalea sang along to all the songs on the radio. It wasn't an oldie's station either. Grandma knew and liked current singers just as well as she knew and liked singers from her era. She just didn't like rap.

Whenever Azalea stopped singing, Grandma would ask "What's the matter? You don't know this song?" and she would change the station. She also changed the station when they didn't like the song.

"Grandma!" exclaimed Azalea happily after one particularly exuberant round of singing. "You are the coolest!"

Grandma smiled and laughed. "That's me." she replied "Grandma Cool." Azalea smiled and laughed too.

Finally, they arrived at the restaurant. They went in and were quickly shown to a table. After they ordered their food, Grandma turned over her paper placemat, "You be X's." she declared drawing a tic tac tac toe board. They played tic tac toe until they had each won several games. Then, they drew pictures and played word games. When they ran out of room on Grandma's placement, they turned over Azalea's and used hers.

"Grandma," sighed Azalea contently. "You're the most fun."

Grandma nodded. "That's me." she said. "Fun Grandma."

After lunch, they went to the movies, while they waited for the movie to begin, Grandma told Azalea stories. She told her stories about when she was a little girl. She told Azalea stories about her travels. Grandma had been all over the world. Azalea just loved hearing Grandma's stories.

"Grandma." declared Azalea. "You're the best storyteller."

Grandma smiled. "That's me." she agreed. "The storytelling Grandma."

All too soon the day was over, and it was time for Grandma to take Azalea home. Azalea sighed unhappily. She did not want the day to end.

"Thank you so much for spending such a wonderful day with me." stated Grandma when she dropped  Azalea off at her house.

"Thank you, Grandma." replied Azalea. She hugged Grandma tightly. "I love you." she said. "You're the best Grandma in the world."

This time, Grandma didn't say anything. She just hugged Azalea back and smiled.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

At Nikki's House

Delila Scanlan was so excited. She had just had her first sleepover at her best friend, Nikki Acosta's house. The next day she just could not stop talking about it.

At breakfast, when Mommy was making bacon and eggs for the family, Delila said. "At Nikki's house. They don't sit down together to eat breakfast. They just get to pick out there own mini box of whatever kind  of cereal they want, and they don't even have to sit at the table to eat it."

"Hmm." replied Mommy as she scooped eggs on to Delila's plate. "Eat your breakfast."

After breakfast, Delila went up to her room. She was really eager to finish the book she was reading. It was really good, and she was almost done with it.

Just when she opened her book and took it out and started reading, her little sister, Demi entered their shared room. She took out her Barbie dolls and began playing with them loudly. Delila glared at her. "At Nikki's house, she doesn't have to share a room!" she announced angrily.

"Nikki has a brother." replied Demi glaring right back at her sister. She went back to playing with her dolls as loudly as ever.

Delila sighed and slammed her book shut. She hurried out of the room and went to find something to do until lunch time. By 11:30, she was bored and hungry. She went to find her mother. "Mom, can we eat lunch?" she begged when she finally found her mother in the laundry room.

Mommy glanced down at her wristwatch. "It's only 11:30." she replied. "We'll eat in a little while."

"But I'm hungry." whined Delila. "At Nikki's house, they don't have to wait until noon to eat lunch, and they are allowed to eat their lunch in front of the TV."

"Oh, is that so." replied her mother. She went back to sorting the laundry.

Finally, it was lunch time, Delila and Demi sat at the kitchen table and Mom served them sandwiches, chips, and milk. "At Nikki's house, her mother cuts the crust off the bread." stated Delila.

"You've always liked the crust, and you've never asked for it to be cut off." pointed out her mother. Demi chuckled. Delila gave her an angry stare.

For the rest of the day, at every opportunity Delila continued to point out how different things were at Nikki's house. That night, Mommy and Daddy and Delila and Demi all piled into Mommy and Daddy's bed with a bowl of popcorn to watch a movie.  "At Nikki's house,  everyone is always doing there own thing. They don't sit down and watch movies together. " Delila told them. "I'm glad I don't live at Nikki's house." she declared.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Best Place to Be

One morning Zelina Bell's mother took her to the park. It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining brightly. The weather was just perfect not too hot and not too cold.

Zelina was so excited. She had never been to this park before. It was brand-new and had just opened.  Zelina ran excitedly looking over the park while her mother sat down on a dark green bench.  There were bright yellow swings. There were long red seesaws. There was a giant red yellow and blue climber with slides and tunnels and poles. Zelina didn't know what to go on first.  Finally, she decided to go on the swings.

 Zelina played for about an hour. Her mother sat and watched her. Then, Zelina got hungry. She hadn't eaten breakfast because she'd been too excited to come to the park. Mommy took an old checkered blanket  and a wooden picnic basket out of the trunk of the car. She spread the blanket out on the grass and opened the basket. The basket was filled with muffins. Zelina picked a big chocolate chip one and began eating. It was delicious - ooey gooey chocolatey. "Yum!" she exclaimed happily.

Afterwards, Zelina really needed a drink. "I'm thirsty." she told her mother.

"Oh I almost forgot." replied Mommy. She went to the car and took out a little blue cooler. She put it on the blanket and Zelina opened it up. It was filled with juice boxes. Zelina selected an apple juice and smiled warmly at her mother. "You think of everything." she declared. Mommy smiled back.

After they finished eating, they packed up their picnic and put the basket and cooler back in the car. Mommy was going to put the blanket back in the car too, but Zelina stopped her. "No, don't put it away yet, please." she begged.

Mommy left the blanket on the ground. Zelina was about to lay down on it, but Mommy abruptly shook her head no. "Don't do that." she insisted. "There's crumbs."

Zelina helped her mother pick up the blanket and shake the crumbs off. Then, she lay down in the middle of it and looked up at the sky staring at the clouds and trying to decide what shapes they looked like. "There's a giant bunny rabbit." she stated pointing to one. "And there's a flower." she added pointing to another.  Mommy smiled and took out her book and began to read.

"Mommy, do you know what?" asked Zelina after a while. Mommy shook her head to indicate that she didn't know what. "This is the best to be!" declared Zelina happily.

They stayed in the park a little while longer than it started to get hot. Zelina started sweating and she couldn't get cool enough. She kept going to the water fountain and drinking huge gulps of water and then splashing some on her face.

Finally, Mom said. "Let's go." They got in the car and drove to the mall.

"Ah!" exclaimed Zelina in relief as they walked into the mall and felt the cool of the air conditioning. They walked around for a while. Zelina excitedly pointed to her favorite stores. "There's the Disney store!" she declared. "There's Build A Bear! There's Claires!" They walked around some more and Mommy bought Zelina a pair of earrings from Claires and a couple new shirts from one of the department stores.

Then, it was lunch time. They went to the food court and got some burgers from Wendys. "Do you know what Mommy?" asked Zelina with a mouth full of food.

"Zelina !" exclaimed Mommy shaking her head disapprovingly. She did not like it when Zelina talked with her mouth full.

Zelina quickly gulped down her food. "Do you know what, Mommy?" she repeated. Mommy shook her head no. "This is the best place to be!" exclaimed Zelina. Mommy smiled.

After lunch, they left the mall and went home. When they got there, Daddy was home. He had been away on a business trip and had just gotten home. Zelina was really excited to see him. "Daddy!" she exclaimed bouncing into his arms.

"I missed you, sweetie." he declared hugging her tightly to him and giving her a kiss.

"I missed you too, Daddy." she said.  She kissed him back.

Daddy gave Mommy a kiss too. Zelina quickly closed her eyes. "I don't need to see that." she mumbled under her breath. Mommy and Daddy laughed.

Daddy put Zelina down on the ground and went into the house. Mommy and Zelina followed.  They went into the living room. Daddy sat down on the couch. Zelina scrambled up on his lap. Her mother sat next to them. Zelina smiled contentedly.  She was so happy to be at home with her family. "This is really the best place to be!" she declared.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Talisa Always Tells The Truth

Talisa Ortiz was a very nice girl or at least she'd liked to think she was.  She was smart and she was kind. Well, okay maybe she wasn't always kind. She didn't mean to be unkind, but she had to tell the truth, didn't she? From the time, she was a little girl everyone always told her not to tell a lie so she didn't. So how come  the truth was always getting her into trouble?

"How do I look?" exclaimed Talisa's older sister, Marisol excitedly as she got ready to go to a school dance.

"You look wonderful!" gushed Mommy.

"You look beautiful!" exclaimed Daddy.

Even their brother, Diego smiled and gave his sister a big thumb's up of approval.

Talisa wrinkled her nose and frowned. "The dress is kind of plain." she said, "and it makes you look a little chubby."

Marisol left the room in tears.

"Talisa!" exclaimed Daddy. As Mommy hurried after Marisol to calm her down. Diego just shook his head and frowned at his sister. He didn't like the dress either but that was just because he was a boy and didn't like dresses but he knew better than to say so.

When Marisol was finally calmed down and off to the dance. Mommy and Daddy and Diego and Talisa sat down in the living room.

"How was your day?" Daddy inquired of them.

"I got a 100 on my spelling test and on my math test!" declared Talisa proudly. She hurried to get her school papers out of her book bag to show them.

"Very good, Talisa." stated Mommy looking over the papers when Talisa handed them to her. Daddy nodded in agreement. They smiled at her, and Talisa beamed.

"What about you, Diego?" asked Mommy. "Didn't you have a test today too?"

Diego  looked as though he wanted a hole to open up in the floor and swallow him up. He was not as good of a student as his sister. He reluctantly went to get his own book bag and handed Mommy his papers.

"Oh Diego!" exclaimed Mommy looking at the papers Diego handed her. Daddy looked over Mommy's shoulder and shook his head sadly in agreement.

Talisa came up behind them and peeked at Diego's  papers too. She gasped. "Are you really that stupid or do you just not study?" she asked.

"Talisa!" exclaimed Mommy and Daddy as Diego tried to hit her, but she ducked out of his way. Mommy opened her mouth to yell at Talisa, but Talisa was saved by the ringing of the doorbell.

Daddy went to the door. Talisa and Diego quickly followed him to the door. It was the pizza delivery person. delivering the pizza they had ordered for dinner.  "He's ugly." said Talisa loudly  staring at the delivery boy "and he has a lot of pimples." she added. The delivery boy blushed bright red.

"Talisa!" exclaimed Mommy again  feeling as embarassed as the delivery boy looked.

Diego chuckled quietly in the corner. He was hoping Talisa was going to get it to make up for calling him stupid.

Daddy paid for the pizza. He took it into the kitchen. Diego followed him licking his lips hungrily.  Mommy grabbed Talisa before she could follow as well.

"Come talk to me, Talisa." Mommy said. Talisa frowned but did as she was told. Mommy led Talisa into the living room where they sat down. "Talisa," stated Mommy unhappily "You said some not very nice things today."

Talisa shrugged.

"Would you like it if somebody told you that you looked chubby, you were stupid, you were ugly, you were pimply or something like that?"

Talisa shook her head. "No, but Mommy." she replied. "All those things were the truth. Do you want me to lie?"

"No, Talisa." Mommy told her. " I don't want you to lie, but I don't want you to to always tell the truth either."

"Huh?" asked Talisa in confusion. How could she not lie and not always tell the truth either? "What do you mean, Mommy?" she asked.

"I mean sometimes you just shouldn't say anything. Just because you know something is true doesn't mean you have to say it. Some truths you should keep to yourself. You don't want to go around hurting people's feelings all the time, do you, Talisa?"

Talisa shook her head no. After all, she wasn't a mean girl or at least she didn't want to be. "Okay, Mommy." she agreed. "I'll try not to hurt people's feeling with the truth anymore."

Mommy smiled and kissed Talisa on the head. "You're a good girl." she said."and that is the truth."

Talisa smiled happily. Sometimes, the truth was a good thing.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Handsome Hunk and Beastly Girl

Bessie Labella knew she was not very pretty. Her hair was exactly the color of dirt and her eyes were exactly the color of mud. Her features didn't sit quite right on her face. Her nose was a little too big. Her eyes were a little too small. Her ears stuck out. She knew she wasn't a beauty.

It was bad enough just knowing it. Other kids made it worse. They wouldn't play with her. They teased her and taunted her. They called her "Beastly Bessie." It got so bad that eventually Bessie couldn't stand even going to school. She begged her mother and begged her mother until he mother let her stay home and be home schooled.

Bessie didn't like being home all the time. She didn't like not being with other kids. However, she knew it was better to be alone, then to be constantly harassed.

Bessie heard a loud noise in her backyard one day. She peeked out the window and saw a  cute little dog. It was small and white and fluffy and had a curly tail. "Aw!" said Bessie. She loved dogs. She loved them as much as she hated people. She went outside and brought the little dog in. She gave it food and water and let it lie on her bed.

As she sat on the bed with the little dog, Bessie saw a strange boy in her backyard. Bessie went up to the window and looked out at the boy. He didn't look familiar to her from when she'd still gone to school with the other kids. She definitely would have remembered him.  He was the handsomest boy Bessie had ever seen. He had eyes that glittered and hair that shined. His features were perfect. Nothing looked out of place on his face.

At first, Bessie couldn't stop staring at him through the window glass. Then, she got a hold of herself. Just because she didn't know him didn't mean he wasn't like the others. In fact, she was sure he was just like them and given the chance he would be just as mean.

Bessie left the dog on the bed , shut the door, and went in the other room. She opened the window a crack and called out. "You there! What are you doing in my backyard?"

"I'm sorry." replied the boy. "I'm Beau Lyon. I'm looking for my dog. He got out, and I think he ran into your yard."

"There are no dogs here and you better go away." yelled Bessie meanly as she quickly closed the window. However, she was too late the dog had already heard the sound of his master's voice and started barking.

Beau heard his dog barking and ran toward Bessie's door. He was a couple inches from the door when he tripped over a rock and fell splat on the ground. As he fell something snapped,  and he could not get up.

Bessie peeked out her window again and her mouth flew open whe she saw the boy sprawled out on her lawn. She quickly moved away from the window. When she looked again a few minutes later, he was still there. She opened the window just a little bit and called out "Go away, boy."

"I told you my name is Beau and I am not going without my dog." he called back. "Anyway, I can't go because I can't get up. "

Bessie moved away from the window. Every few seconds, she went over to it and looked out again. Then, finally, she slowly ventured out of her house. She went over to Beau, but she stood with her back to him. "What's the matter with you?" she called over her shoulder.

"Why don't you turn around and face me when you're talking to  me?" suggested Beau, but he didn't say it in a mean way.

Bessie shook her head. No! No! A thousand times no! "Why so you can make fun of me?" she replied out loud carefully keeping her face turned away from him.

"Why would I do that?" he asked.

"Why wouldn't you?" responded Bessie bitterly. "Everyone else does. Nobody likes me. They think I'm ugly. They call me Beastly Bessie."

"They don't like me either." admitted Beau. "They think I am strange." 

"You?" Bessie exclaimed in shock. "but you're beautiful."

"Looks aren't everything." he told her.

Bessie found that hard to believe. Only somebody who actually was beautiful could something like that.

"They think I'm weird because I'm different. I'd much rather sit and read a book then run around playing football or baseball or any other sport like the other boys."

"I love to read too." admitted Bessie warming up to the boy just a tiny bit for a second.

Beau asked her what she was reading and before she knew it they were having a lively discussion about books. Bessie found herself relaxing and before she knew it, she had actually turned around and was facing him. When she realized that she was, she was about to turn back around  way from him again.

"No, don't." begged Beau. He put his hand on her chin and wouldn't let her turn away.

Tears came to Bessie's eyes. Things were going so well and now that he had seen her face it would all be over. He would just think of her as Beastly Bessie just like everybody else. She waited for him to say it.

"Beastly Bessie?" he said but he said it with surprise not in a mocking way. "I don't think so. I think your beautiful. Your eyes are the color of a chocolate chip and your hair is the color of  the bark of a tree. And you have a beautiful smile." he added as a huge smile spread across her face.

Beau's foot was feeling  a little bit  better so he stood up carefully. "I guess I just twisted it." he said. "It feels a lot better." he told her.

"Just be careful." Bessie told him genuinely full of concern.

"I will." he promised. "I better be starting home now. It's late." he added.

"Wait!" she cried. She quickly went in the house and let the dog out. The dog immediately went over to his master and excitedly starting bark. Beau petted his dog,

"Thanks, Bessie." Beau said. He and the dog started heading towards their home.

Bessie watched them go and sighed. She was sure she would ever see Beau again, but she was wrong. He was back the next day and the day after that. Before, she knew it they were best friends. She even let him convince her to go back to school. Her mom and dad didn't think that was such a good idea.  They didn't think that things would be any different than before, but Bessie knew it would. Things were already different. She felt as though a curse had been lifted.

"I know that it will be different because this time I have Beau. Beau is my friend, and he loves me." she assured them and  she knew it was true. "and when you have a friend who that loves you that makes all the difference in the world." she said.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Glory Gets the Giggles

Glory Travis woke up one morning with the giggles. No matter how hard she tried she just couldn't stop laughing. It took her extra long to get ready because it is hard to get dressed and brush your teeth and do all those ordinary every day things when you can't stop laughing.

"What's so funny?" asked Galya, Glory's little sister when she came in the room. She was supposed to tell Glory that Mom wanted to know when Glory was coming down to breakfast. However, she forgot when she saw Glory laughing so hard.

Glory stared into her little sister's face and tried very hard to compose herself and stop her fit of laughter. However, instead she just burst into a fresh fit of giggles.

"What is so funny?" Galya repeated begging to know. She really want to be in on the joke. She looked at her sister's face turning red with laughter and she burst into giggles too. She didn't know why they were laughing. She didn't care why they were laughing. She just wanted to be a part of it.

After a few minutes, their older brother, Daryl came up to see what was going on. "Hey," he called. "Mom wants you two down for breakfast pronto!"

Neither Glory nor Galya could answer because there were so busy shaking with the giggles.

Darryl scratched his head in confusion. He didn't notice anything funny at all. "What's is so funny?" he inquired.

That just made Glory and Galya laugh even harder. They could barely stop laughing to catch their breathe.
The site of the two of them rolling around on the floor unable to stop laughing was so amusing that Darryl forgot all about breakfast, and he started laughing too.

After another ten minutes or so, older sister, Dana stormed into the room. "What is going on?" she shouted. "We have been waiting for you guys. Mom is ready to serve breakfast." She looked around the room at each of her siblings in turn. "What in the world is so funny?" Not one of them could stop laughing long enough to tell her.

Dana gave her siblings a serious stare. That only made them laugh harder. Before, she knew it even Dana was swept away in the torrent of giggles, and she began laughing too.

By now, Dad came bounding up the stairs. "Where are all of you? " he demanded to know. "Breakfast is getting cold, and Mom is getting angry."

For some reason, this just brought a  fresh round of laughter. "I don't really think this is laughing matter." stated Dad sternly. Still, when he looked into little Galya's giggling face, he couldn't help laughing right along with her and before he knew it, he couldn't stop laughing either.

Finally, Mom came bounding up the steps. "What is going on?" she inquired angrily. "Isn't anyone coming to breakfast?" "What are you  all laughing at?" she added when she saw her hysterical family. She was not amused. She just stood shaking her head at the site of them and waiting for an answer.

Dad was the first to get control of himself and stop laughing. Of course, he had no idea what they were laughing at "Dana? Why were we all laughing?" he asked. 

Dana forced herself to swallow and stop laughing too. She didn't know what they were laughing at either. She shrugged  "Ask Darryl."

Upon hearing his name, Darryl was finally able to gain control and stop laughing too. He didn't have an answer for Mom either as to why they'd been laughing so hard and so long. "Galya?" he said thinking that she had started it and she would know what all the laughter had been about.

Galya shook the last little bit of laughter out of herself. "It wasn't me." she replied. "It was Glory. She was already laughing when I came in."

"Well, Glory?," Mom inquired just about bursting with curiosity about what could possibly be so funny.

Glory took one look at Mommy's serious expression and she too was cured of her laughing fit. "We were laughing at... She thought really hard and then finally shook her head as she suddenly could not remember what she'd been laughing at at all. All she could say was. "I forget."

Friday, February 20, 2015

Who Will Help?

Today's story is not only for my daughter but by my daughter.

Lydia Hennings was a woman with 6 kids 3 girls and 3 boys and her wonderful husband. She knew her family would help her anytime, anywhere or at least that's what she thought.

One day, Lydia decided to make chocolate chip cookies. First, she got the ingredients out. Then, she went to her son Barney. "Barney will you help me make cookies?  Lydia asked.

"Sorry, mom, I'm busy."  Barney answered  trying to get out of having to help his mom. Barney loved his mom but for one thing he was 10 years old so he thought he was too old to make cookies with  his mom. For another thing, Barney did not like helping at all. He ran off before his mom could ask what he was busy doing.

Lydia decided to ask her daughter, Maddy for help instead "Maddy come here!" she called.

"What mom?" asked Maddy as she walked down the stairs

"I was wondering if you want to help me make chocolate chip cookies." replied Lydia

"Oh sorry mom. I'm busy!"  answered Maddy as she ran off. Maddy was Barney's twin, and  she agreed that 10 year olds were too old to bake cookies with their moms. Maddy also agreed that she did not like helping that much, or at all for that matter.
Next, Lydia went to find her oldest son, Eric, for help with the cookies. Eric was 13 but he was not very responsible. "Eric!" she called

"Coming!" answered Eric "What do you need mom?" he asked as he slid down the bannister like a little kid.

"Well I was wondering if you wanted to help me make cookies. " mom replied

"Oh mom, I don't want to, and I'm busy anyway, sorry mom."  Eric declared.

"What are you busy doing honey?" asked Lydia

"I'm going to um clean my room." he said proudly.

"Oh honey I love you!"  she replied happily.

Lydia started looking for her oldest daughter, Kelsey. Kelsey was 13 like Eric but she was much more mature then he was which was something everyone knew. "Kelsey do you want to help me make cookies?" asked Lydia.

"Um.. I'm um... um..  I'm reading." she said knowing that she not only loved reading but her mom would be happy with her for reading.

"Oh honey you are such a good girl!"

Next, Lydia found her son, Peter.  Peter was 3 years old. "Peter will you help me make cookies?" asked Lydia

"Mommy, do I have to?" asked Peter.

"I guess you don't have to." Lydia replied

Lydia decided to ask her husband Nick like she should have first. Surely, he of all people would help her. Lydia ran up stairs and found her husband. "Honey will you help me make cookies?" Lydia asked

"Sorry I'm busy." he replied.

Lydia was all upset about the cookies. Then, she remembered Peter's twin Elsa, who was cute and sweet, would probably help. At this point, however, Lydia was not sure. "Elsa will you make cookies with me?" She asked the little 3 year old.

"Yes mommy!"  said Elsa excitedly jumping up and down.

"That's great! I'm glad you want to help." replied Lydia.

They started to bake the cookies. When they were done, the cookies smelled great.  Nick, Kelsey, Maddy, Peter, Eric, and Barney all came running down when the smelled the cookies.

 "What's that  good smell?" they all asked.

"Oh that's the cookies that Elsa and I baked." answered Lydia.

"Can we have some?"  asked Kelsey.

"So none of you would help me make the cookies, but now you want to eat some?" inquired Lydia.

"Yes!" replied Maddy

"Well  I guess you can all have some because Elsa and I can not eat all of them alone."

"Thanks mom!"  they replied gratefully.

"You're welcome, I guess." she replied.

They all ate the cookies,  and they were delicious! However, Lydia decided that next time she was going to tell them that if you don't help you don't get.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Steffi Goes Shopping

Steffi Ridley hated going shopping. "Do I have to come shopping with you?" she complained to her mother in a whiny voice.

"Yes, honey." replied Mommy. "There's nobody available to watch you right now, and I can't just leave you here alone."

Steffi pouted. She was sure it was going to be a long and boring afternoon at the supermarket.

"Please, be a good girl." begged Mommy. "Your baby sister is being fussy today,."  As if on cue, baby Stella began to cry. "and I need you to be my big helper." added Mommy as she lifted the baby up  into her arms and tried to comfort her.

That was all Steffi needed to hear. She loved being Mommy's big helper. She instantly brightened up. "Okay, Mommy." she agreed happily. Maybe, it wasn't going to be such a bad day after all.

Steffi helped Mommy buckle baby Stella into her car seat, and  then quickly got into her own seat. Then, they drove to the supermarket.

Once at the market. Mommy strapped the baby into the front of the shopping cart. She helped Steffi into the back.

In the supermarket, first they got to the fruit and vegetable aisle. As Mommy was gathering other fruits and vegetables, Steffi spied the baby carrots. She loved baby carrots. "Can we buy baby carrots? Please!" she begged Mommy.

Mommy was distracted because Stella was fussing again. Mommy put a pacifier in the baby's mouth and then turned her attention to Steffi. "What did you say?" she inquired.

"Carrots." stated Steffi pointing to them. Mommy nodded as if to say yes there are the carrots. Steffii took that to mean that yes she could have carrots so she reached up and grabbed a bag and threw it in the cart. Mommy was busy getting something else and didn't notice. Steffi decided one bag was not enough carrots so she added two more.

In the next aisle, while Mommy was getting toothpaste and shampoo. Steffi grabbed Mickey Mouse bandaids and  Mickey Mouse gummy vitamins. "You can never have too much Mickey." she told her baby sister who for once was being good and quiet.

In the cereal aisle, Mommy told Steffi she could pick out a cereal for herself while Mommy got one for Daddy and one for Stella. Steffi couldn't decided between Coca Pebbles, Trix, and Cookie Crisp so she threw in one of each as they went by.

They continued to make their way through the store. Along the way, every time. Mommy threw some items into the cart, Steffi threw some in too just to be helpful. Eventually, it started to get crowded in the back of the cart, and Steffi was being squished. "Mommy, can I get out and walk?" she asked.

Mommy didn't like Steffi to get out of the cart because it was easier to keep track of where Steffi was when she was in the cart. However, Mommy could see that Steffi was starting to get squished so she agreed. "Okay." she conceded, "but you stay right next to me."

Steffi nodded in agreement and smiled happily. Now, she would be able to help Mommy even more.  She put up her arms and Mommy took her out of the cart.

Just then, Stella spit the pacifier out of her mouth. Mommy leaned down to pick it up as Steffi grabbed a handful of puddings and threw them into the cart. Stella refused to take the pacifier back and continued to be fussy.

 "Don't worry I can help, Mommy!" declared Steffi. She stood up on her tiptoes and showed how high she could reach on the shelf. Mommy let Steffi pick out everything they needed that wasn't too high for her or too heavy. Each time, Mommy got distracted by the baby, Steffi added something extra or something that wasn't on the list.  Either it was something she liked or something she thought they should try or just something in a pretty package that caught her eye.

When they were in the very last aisle and almost ready to head for the checkout, Stella finally stopped fussing and fell asleep.  Mommy sighed and leaned tiredly on the cart. She was exhausted and couldn't wait to check out and go home. Not Steffi, she wished they had more shopping to do.

Mommy noticed that the cart seemed a bit heavy. She looked at her shopping  list and it didn't seem like there was that much on it. She figured that it was probably because she was so tired that the cart seemed heavier than usual.

Then, out of the corner of her eye Mommy noticed that there seemed to be an awful lot of boxes of macaroni and cheese. Macaroni and cheese wasn't even on the list. They had plenty of it at home.  "Steffi," asked Mommy. "Did you put macaroni and cheese in the cart?" asked Mommy.

Steffi nodded and smiled proudly.

"We don't need any macaroni and cheese. We have some at home."

"Oh, sorry, Mommy." replied Steffi with a slight shrug of her head. "I didn't know that."

Then, Mommy noticed the three big boxes of sugary cereal and all the pudding and a bunch of other things that they didn't need  and some that she didn't even recognize in the cart.  "Steffi?" inquired Mommy. "How many things did you put in the cart?"

"Oh, Mommy!" gushed Steffi  smiling even brighter and feeling even prouder. "I helped a lot."

Monday, February 16, 2015

Pabla Stands Up for a Friend

Pabla Sanchez and Paco Navarro knew each other since they were babies. They lived next door to each other, and they were in the same class every year. They were friends, but as they got older Paco started to develop a crush on Pabla. "Some day, you're going to be my girlfriend." he told her.

Pabla smiled and said. "Maybe." She didn't really think so though. She thought of Paco more like a brother.

Paco was sure he was right though. After all, they lived in a small town and everybody knew each other.  A lot of couples got together when they were young and eventually ended up dating and marrying. Not all of them had necessarily been together since they were babies like Pabla and Paco though.

One day a new boy moved to town.  His name was Jan Smedberg. He was Pabla and Paco's age, and he was put in their class. The new boy stood out not just because he was new and that was unusual enough, but because he was different. He was  a blond haired, blue eyed, fair skinned boy from a Swedish background in a town full of dark haired, dark eyed children mostly from a Mexican background.

Kids in the town were not used to strangers. They were wary of Jan. They were not very friendly to him. They didn't talk to him. They weren't really outwardly mean to him, at least not at first, but they didn't talk to him. They all  just whispered behind his back except for Pabla.

Pabla went up to Jan on his first day in school. "Hi." she greeted him warmly. "I'm Pabla Sanchez. Welcome to Mr. Hatten's class." She extended took her hand to him.

Jan took her hand and shook it. "I'm Jan Smedberg." he replied. "Happy to be here and glad to meet you." he replied with a smile.

After that, Jan and Pabla were good friends. She was the only one in class who spoke to him. She was the only one in class who paid attention to him at all at least in a good way.

Paco secretly watched Jan all the time. He didn't like how friendly he and Pabla were becoming. He was green with jealousy.

It wasn't hard for Paco to get the other kids in the class to turn the silent treatment they were all giving Jan into outward meanness. Paco was tough, and he was a leader in the class. Other kids followed his lead partly because they respected him and partly because they knew he could beat them up. He was one of the smartest boys in the class but also the strongest.

Instead of just talking about him behind his back, the other kids started doing things like purposely bumping into him. They would knock all the books out of his hands and then say "Oh sorry." in a voice that made it clear that they weren't really sorry at all. They would take his things and hide them and laughed when he looked all over for them. Then, suddenly whatever he had been looking for would turn up on the floor or across the room.  The teacher, Mr. Hatten never saw the kids being so mean to Jan. They were smart enough to do them when he wasn't in the room or he wasn't looking.

Paco was hoping the way they treated Jan would get to him. He was hoping Jan would breakdown and cry like a little baby.  Jan didn't, however. He was calm on the outside and sad on the inside, and he wasn't afraid.. He hoped that someday things would get better. and the other kids would accept him.

Through it all, Pabla remained Jan's friend and that's what helped him through. He knew as long as he had her friendship he could withstand just about anything.

Pabla and Jan's friendship enraged Paco. He complained to the other kids about it all the time. "What does she see in that blonde boy?!" he griped angrily to anyone who would listen.  He didn't only complain behind Pabla's back either. "Why are you hanging around with that Swedish boy?" he asked her directly in a not so friendly tone. "Don't you want to be with your own kind?"

Pabla's eyes flashed angrily at Paco. "What do you mean my own kind?" she replied in a huff. "We are all human beings aren't we? Jan is my friend." The more Paco tried to push her away from Jan. The more it cemented Jan and Pabla's friendship which, of course, only made Paco angrier.

"We have to do something about that Jan." Paco said to the to the other boys in the class at recess one day.  He decided to challenge Jan to fight. He walked up to Jan and tapped him on the shoulder. Jan turned around and was surprised to see Paco there, but he was okay with it. He was not afraid of Jan like the other kids. "Hello." he said in a friendly tone.

"You and I are going to have fight." demanded Paco in a much less friendly tone.

Jan shook his head. "Oh, I don't think so." he said. He still wasn't afraid. He just didn't want to fight. He knew it would not solve anything.

Paco tried to grab Jan. Jan pulled back out of his grasp. Paco fell back into the swingset. His head started bleeding. Someone ran to get Mr. Hatten. Mr. Hatten immediately sent someone to get the nurse. "What happened here?" inquired Mr. Hatten angrily while they waited for the nurse to arrive.

"Jan did it." replied Paco.

"Jan did it." echoed the other kids.

"Jan," Mr. Hatten warned him in a serious tone. "This is a very serious matter. You need to go the principal's office.You are definitely going to be suspended, and you may even be expelled ."

"Wait a minute, Mr. Hatten." pleaded Pabla getting in between him and Jan. "Jan didn't do it." She told Mr. Hatten what had really happened.  At first, Mr. Hatten didn't know who to believe Pabla or the other kids. However, he knew that Pabla never lied, and even though he didn't know how bad it was he knew that other kids didn't seem to get along with Jan. He knew that Paco was jealous of Jan and Pabla. He had seen the angry looks Paco gave them when they were together. He chose to believe Pabla.

The next day, however, Jan was transferred to a different class. "Why did Jan get transferred if he wasn't the one doing the bullying?" Pabla demanded angrily.

"I know that." Mr. Hatten replied calmly, "but there aren't enough classes in this school to transfer everyone else out, and we couldn't very well have a class with only two kids." he explained.

Pabla understood, but she wasn't happy about it. She wished they could have a class with only her and Jan.

Later that day, Jan found Pabla on the playground. "Hi." he greeted her warmly.

"Hi." she replied much less cheerfully. "I'm sorry about what happened."

"Don't be." insisted Jan. "Nobody has every stood up for me like that before. I really appreciate it. Besides, I really like my new class. "

Pabla smiled a little. "You do?" she stated with relief. "I'm glad."

"Yes, I do," replied Jan, "and you and I," he continued "we're still friends."

"We are?" she asked hopefully.

"We are."

"I'm glad." Pabla smiled.

"I'm glad too." Jan smiled back.