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.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Gigi and the Pork Chop

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

Gigi was a family cat. Her family loved her a lot even when she got into big trouble. Her family had a mom and dad and two girls, 9 year old Mary and 5 year old Audra. One day, Audra and Mary were helping their mom and dad make pork chops. They started to make the pork chops. Then, they found out one of the  pork chops had gone bad. They threw it in the garbage, and they ate pasta instead.

Later after they ate, they where all bored and did not know what to do. Finally, out of nowhere, Audra suggested "We should play the board game trouble".

"Okay." they all agreed. They went upstairs and started to play. Meanwhile back in the kitchen, Gigi had her eye on  the pork chop in the garbage. She was sitting on the floor across the room from the garbage  which was in sitting a bag on the counter. It was waiting to be taken out because it was garbage night. Gigi jumped up on the kitchen table to get a better view. Then, she jumped off the table and lunged for the garbage.

She was about to get into the garbage, but she slipped and fell onto the floor.  The loud crash brought the whole family running. They all came down and saw Gigi on the floor. They went over to make sure she was okay.  "Are you okay, Gigi?" asked Audra worriedly.

Mommy went over and checked to make sure she was okay. "Don't worry. She seems okay."

"You should be more careful, Gigi. You can get hurt." warned Mary.

The family went back upstairs to continue their game. Gigi stayed in the kitchen. She continued to eye the pork chop. She got up on the table and tried to reach the pork chop again. This time she climbed up on the chair and tried to jump up from there. The chair wasn't close enough so she slipped to the ground. This time she did not make such a loud noise when she fell so the family didn't come running.

Gigi wasn't about to give up. She saw the step stool in the corner and tried to jump from that onto the counter.  It was too far away, and she couldn't reach the counter from there.

Just then, Mary came down to fill her water bottle at the water cooler. When Gigi heard the noise. She hid under the dining room table and acted innocent. As Mary walked by the dining room and saw Gigi, she gushed, "Oh, Gigi! You're so cute! I love you!" She ran over and started to pet Gigi for a little bit. Then, she gave Gigi a kiss and went back upstairs.

As soon as Mary disappeared up the stairs, Gigi ran back into the kitchen. She began eyeing the garbage bag again. She was determined to get that pork chop. She jumped onto the table. She stuck out her paw and tried to grab the garbage bag from the table, but she couldn't reach it. She leaned a little forward and tried again. She still couldn't reach it. She tried one more time. The next thing she knew she was hanging by her back paws off the table. She meowed sadly.

Audra heard the sad meowing, and she came running down. She found Gigi hanging from the table. "Silly girl." she laughed. She picked up Gigi and put her on the ground. "Be careful." she told Gigi. She went back upstairs.

Gigi still wanted that pork chop. She wasn't about to give up for anything. She decided to try the chair again. She jumped from the table to the chair. That time, Gigi just  jumped up and fell on the floor again. It didn't make a loud noise though.

Gigi still did not want to give up. She tried the step stool again. It was still too far away.  When she jumped, she just landed right back on the step stool.

Gigi was starting to think she would never get that pork chop. She jumped off the step stool and lay down on the floor.

Just then the phone started ringing loudly. It startled Gigi so much that she jumped up in fright. She landed on the chair. The chair flew back into the counter from the force of Gigi's jump. It hit the counter so hard. The garbage started falling out of the garbage bag. The bag and all the garbage fell onto the floor.

Gigi jumped down from the chair. She grabbed the pork chop off the floor. She was so happy she had finally gotten it. She started to eat it.

By now, the family had finished playing their game and wanted to have some dessert. They came downstairs and went in the kitchen.  They saw Gigi with the pork chop in her mouth and the big mess on the floor.

"What did you do?" exclaimed Mary.

"Bad, Gigi."  declared Mom.

"Oh Gigi." sighed Audra.

"Gigi." Dad said sadly shaking his head.

They all went over and cleaned up the mess.

Later that night, when Audra was lying in bed ready to go to sleep. Gigi walked in the room and climbed in to the bed. She lay down at the end of the bed. Audra leaned down to kiss her. "Goodnight." she whispered leaning in. As she leaned a little closer, she saw that Gigi had something in her mouth. She leaned even closer to see what it was. Audra realized that somehow Gigi had gotten the pork chop back and had it in her mouth again. "Oh Gigi." she declared. "Your're such a silly little cat." She took the pork chop away and gave Gigi a toy to chew on instead.  She threw the pork chop in the garbage in her room and went to bed.

Gigi had no interest in the toy. She started eyeing the pork chop in the garbage.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Mommy's Little Elves

"But, mommy..." whined Ellery Shumaker. "We are playing a game." Her older sister, Elissa nodded in agreement.

Mommy shook her head. "It's bed time now, and this room is mess." Mommy unhappily glanced around the room. There were toys everywhere all over the floor, on the bed, half hanging out of the closet. "Tomorrow I want this room cleaned." she announced.

"But, mommy." protested Elissa. "There is too much to clean up."

"It is your room. You two made the mess. You are going to clean it." insisted Mommy. She sighed. It had been a long day. She still had a lot more to do, and she was tired.  She yawned sleepily.

"You should got to bed too, Mommy." declared Elissa.

"Yeah." added Ellery. "You're tired, mommy. You're yawning."

Mommy wearily smiled at the two girls. "It's nice of you two to worry about me, but I have more work to do. Unfortunately the house doesn't straighten itself up."  She directed the girls to get their pajamas on and brush their teeth then quickly ushered them into  their beds.

"Goodnight, Mommy."  they chorused as Mommy left the room.

Mommy went downstairs and started to finish cleaning up, but a little bit later she was just too tired and came up to go to bed.

As she heard, Mommy's door shut, Elissa tiptoed across the floor and poked her little sister. "Ellery, are you up?" she asked in a loud whisper.

"I am now." replied Ellery miserably opening her eyes and glaring at her sister.

"Mommy's really tired. We have to help her." insisted Elissa.

"I'm really tired too." declared Ellery.  She rolled over and closed her eyes.

Elissa poked her again. "Don't you want to help, Mommy?"

"Can't we do it tomorrow?" begged Ellery.

"No." insisted Elissa. "Then, it won't be a surprise. Come on." she urged her little sister.

Ellery sleepily got out of bed. The two girls tiptoed down the stairs. They straightened up the living room. First they put all the pillows neatly back  on the couch. They folded up the throw blankets as neatly as they could. They collected and threw out the garbage that was scattered around. They put any of their toys that had been left out away.

When they finished, they went quietly back upstairs. They quickly and quietly cleaned their own room.  Then, they went back to bed. They were so tired they immediately fell asleep.

The next morning, Mommy woke up before either of the girls. That was usual.  "Wake up, sleepyheads!" she called cheerfully as she came in and opened the drapes and let the sunshine in the windows.  "Wow!" she added noticing she hadn't tripped over any toys for once. "This room looks awfully clean. Do you happen to know anything about that?" she asked looking from one girl to the other.

"No, Mommy." answered Elissa as she got up and got out of bed. "Maybe, it was elves or something."

"Elves?" repeated Mommy.

"Yes, elves." declared Ellery as she got up too.

When they got ready and went downstairs and Mommy saw the living room, she asked "More elves?"

"Must be." replied Elissa as Ellery nodded vigorously in agreement.

That night after Mommy went to bed, Elissa woke her little sister once more. "Let's help, Mommy again."

"Okay." agreed Ellery.

They went downstairs but Mommy had already straightened up. They decided to put  out breakfast. They put out bowls, spoons, and napkins and filled the bowls with cereal which they got by standing on a chair next to the kitchen cabinets.

When Mommy and the two girls came down the next morning, and Mommy saw everything laid out on the table, she smiled. "The elves strike again." she stated.

"I guess." replied Elissa pretending not to know anything about it."

"Me too." added Ellery.

"All we need is milk." declared Mommy as she went to the refrigerator and took it out.

For several more days, whenever Mommy came down in the morning, a surprise greeted her: a room was straightened up, breakfast was laid out on the table, the dishwasher was emptied or some other chore was done. Every time she asked Elissa and Ellery about it, they insisted it must have been elves.

At the end of the week, Mommy came down and the house was just as she had left it the night before. Nothing was straightened up. There was no breakfast laid out on the table. Everything was just the same as it had been. Mommy couldn't help smiling. Her little elves must have been exhausted after a week of getting up in the night and working so hard. She went upstairs and checked on them and gently kissed each of them on the head as they lay sleeping.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I Want To Be You

Gianna Piper adored her older sister, Graziella. Graziella was smart and pretty and popular. Gianna followed Graziella around and copied what she did and said. Eventually, Gianna decided that wasn't enough. She didn't just want to be like Grazeilla, she literally wanted to be her sister. Instead of just following Graziella around and copying what she did and said, Gianna started following her sister around with a notebook taking notes.

It was driving Graziella crazy. No matter where she went, her little sister was there with that stupid notebook of hers. When Graziella was walking down the hall, she could feel someone behind her looking at her. It was creepy almost like being stalked. She turned around quickly, and of course, there was Gianna with a great big smile on her face. "Hi." she said cheerfully as if it were normal to be following another person around taking notes on them. After all, Graziella was sure the notes were about her. What else could they be about that would make it necessary for Gianna to follow her around?

"What are you doing?" asked Graziella accusingly. "Why are you following me around, and why are you taking notes? Are you spying on me?"

Gianna looked her sister as if Graziella were the crazy one. "Of course, I'm not spying on you." she declared acting hurt that Graziella would even think of accusing her of such a thing. "If I was, I wouldn't be a very good spy if all I did was follow you around out in the open where you can see me."

"Then, what are you doing?" Graziella asked again.

Gianna smiled brightly at her sister maybe even a little too brightly  as if it should be obvious to Graziella what she was doing. "I'm taking notes on you." she explained.

Graziella was more confused than ever. She looked at Gianna as if she were certifiably insane.
"Why are you taking notes on me?" Graziella asked unsure even as she said it that she really wanted to know the answer.

"Someday, I'm gonna be you." declared Gianna as though the answer should have been obvious all along.

"What?" replied Graziella shaking her head. This was just getting crazier and crazier. "You can't be another person."

"Sure I can." insisted Gianna.

"Okay, let's say for a minute that you could be me." conceded Graziella. "Even though of course, the very idea is ridiculous and you can't. But, let's just say for a minute you could. When are you going to be me?"

"When I get a little older."

"Who will I be when you're me?"

Gianna was silent for a minute. She bit her lip and thought hard. Then, she smiled as an idea came to her. "You'll be George Clooney." she declared.

"There's already a George Clooney." pointed out Graziella.

"That's okay. You're going to be him." insisted Gianna.

"I don't want to be George Clooney." replied Graziella equally as insistently.

"It doesn't matter. " declared Gianna stubbornly. "You're going to be George Clooney.

Graziella just shook her head sadly. "You're crazy." she said. Still shaking her head, she went out of the room.

For a few more days, Gianna continued to follow Graziella around with a notebook. It was incredibly annoying.

Sometimes, Gianna even asked questions. That was even more annoying. "What flavor ice cream are you eating?"  Gianna asked or "Where did you get that shirt? I want to know where to shop when I'm you." Usually, Graziella just looked at Gianna like she was crazy and didn't bother answering.

Finally, one day Graziella had enough. She'd had a hard day at school, she had a lot of homework, and she was really tired. Gianna following her around with that notebook of hers asking a billion questions did not help Graziella's mood at all. "Will you just stop following me around!" she screamed at her little sister.

Gianna who had been about to ask her sister another question was stunned into silence. For several minutes, she didn't even move. She just glared at Graziella. Then, finally she shook her head and left the room.

For the rest of the day, wherever Graziella went there was no sign of Gianna. At first, Graziella was relieved to not have anyone following her around any more. Then, she felt guilty for yelling at her little sister. She went to find Gianna and apologize.

She finally found Gianna in the family room. Gianna was sitting on the couch watching TV. The notebook was in her lap, and she was taking notes as she watched.

Graziella smiled at her. "Hey," she greeted her sister cheerfully. "What are you doing?" she said, but she said it nicely not like she was accusing Gianna of anything.

Gianna looked up and glared at her sister, but she didn't say anything.

"How can you be taking notes on me if I'm not even in the room?" Graziella teased.

"I'm not taking notes on you." replied Gianna.

"Why not I thought you wanted to be me?

Gianna didn't say anything.

"I'm really sorry." said Graziella and she genuinely meant it. She hugged her little sister. "I love you."

"Okay." said Gianna hugging her back. "I love you too."

"I'm going upstairs " announced Graziella. "Do you want to come? Maybe, we can play a game?"

"No." said Gianna. "I have to stay and take notes."

"How are you going to take notes if I'm not there."

"I'm not going to be you anymore."

"You're not?"C

Gianna shook her head. "No, I'm not " she verified. "Now, I'm going to be Doc McStuffins."

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Melly and Mischa

Melora Dopler hated her name. Mostly only various older relatives and her teachers called her that anyway. Everyone else called her Melly. Melly lived with her Mom and Dad and her twin brother, Mischa in a town that was crazy about baseball. That was okay with Melly. She loved baseball.

Mischa, on the other hand, didn't like baseball. In fact, he didn't like sports at all. He was more interested in photography. He would much rather have a camera in his hand than a bat or a racket or anything similar. 

Every year in the Dopler's hometown, there was a  great big town picnic for the 4th of July. It was a day filled with food and fun. Everyone loved it. They waited all year for it. One of the highlights of the celebration was a big baseball game. Traditionally, only the boys in the town played  in the game. It was a tradition that Melly thought was stupid. "Why can't I play in the game too?" she protested to anyone who would listen. "I'm a better baseball player than most of the boys in this town." She truly was. She could run faster, hit harder and catch better than almost all of the boys, and on a really good day she was better than the rest of them too.

Still, the townspeople would not break tradition and let her play in the 4th of July game. "Those boys are just jealous because I'm so much better than them." she declared bitterly.

Her brother felt just the opposite. "You're lucky you don't have to play." he told her. He hated to play in the game. His instinct wasn't to catch a ball; it was to run away from it. Every year, he usually faked some injury to get out of playing.

"No, your lucky you get to play." insisted Melly."I wish I was you."

"No, I wish I was you and no one expected me to play." replied her brother. "I am running out of illnesses and injuries to pretend to have. Do you think anyone will believe me if I come up with a sudden case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever?"

"That's it!" exclaimed Melly.

"It was a joke, Melly." her brother informed her.

"No, I don't mean about you getting Rocky Mountain spotted fever." she told him. "I mean about me being you and you being me. Let's trade places."

"How are we going to do that?" asked Mischa.

"Don't worry." Melly assured him.

'Oh no' thought Mischa. Melly's plans didn't always work out that well.

The day of the game of the game Melly dressed in her brother's clothes. She pinned her long brown hair up and tucked it under her cap. She took her earrings out of her ear and wore no jewelry.

Mischa was dressed like Melly. He wore a dress and a big floppy hat. He was not happy about it either and did not see how it was any better than him being forced to play in the game.

"Don't worry." Melly assured him. "You'll never have to play in the game again or wear a dress after this." she promised.

When Melly took the field with the other boys in the town whose side she'd been put on.  Her crush, Shane Leahy moaned in disppointment. "Oh man. Do we have to have him on our team?" When he was told that they would indeed have to have Mischa on their team because every boy in town had a right to play in the game, he shouted practially in Melly's ear. "You do know the object is to catch the ball and not run away from it, Dopler." Melly gaved him an angry look. but didn't talk to him for fear of blowing her cover.

The game started Melly was at her best. She had the most hits and the most runs. The other kids didn't even come close. She even hit the game winning run. When the game was over even Shane came over to congratulate her. "I apologize Dopler." he said sincerely. "I don't know what you've been doing over the past year, but you're actually a good baseball player now. You don't play like a girl at all anymore."

His pronouncement made Melly's blood boil. She threw off her cap and quickly let her hair down. Everyone was stunned. Whereas a minute ago, the field and bleachers had been full of noise, now there was complete silence.  |

Then, one person stood up and applauded and then another and another until the sound of clapping filled the entire stadium. Melly blushed. She didn't do it for glory. She just wanted to play baseball.

When the standing ovation was over, Melly gathered up her things and got ready to go eat. Just than Shane approach her. "You played good, Melly." he told her.

"Good for a girl?" she asked.

"No, just good." he replied.

After that anybody that wanted could play in the 4th of July game. Some girls wanted too, some didn't.  Some of the girls who played were good; some weren't. It was pretty much the same with the boys. Some were good; some weren't. Nobody ever played as well as Melly though.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Ruthie Goes for a Ride

"When are you going to take me for a ride in your new car?" Ruthie Yothers asked her older brother, Adam.

Adam shrugged. His car was his pride and joy. He wasn't anxious to take his little sister for a ride in it. He had worked really hard for a landscaping company for three summers to earn enough money just to get a used car.

"I need you to get some things for me at the grocery store." Mom told Adam. "Why don't you take Ruthie along for the ride. She has been wanting to go for a ride with you." Adam rolled his eyes and shook his head no.  He did not at all want to take his little sister for a ride. However, Mom ignored him. "Put your jacket on, Ruthie." she said instead of telling Ruthie that she couldn't go.

Ruthie broke into a huge grin and ran and got her coat. Then, she followed Adam out to the car. She immediately ran over to the front passenger side door, opened it up, and jumped into the seat. When she went to slam the door, Adam stopped her. "You're too little." he said. "Get in the back." Ruthie frowned disappointedly, but she got in the backseat.

Once Adam started the car, the smile returned to Ruthie's face. She bounced excitedly up and down on her seat as her brother started the car. Adam glanced back at her through the rearview mirror. "Seatbelt, now!" he told her. Ruthie frowned but immediately put on her seat belt.

Adam turned on the radio. "Where are we going?" Ruthie shouted over it.

"To the supermarket." replied Adam temporarily turning down the radio.

"To the Shop-Rite or Stop and Shop." asked Ruthie shouting over the radio again.

Adam frowned and turned off the radio. It definitely wasn't going to be a nice peaceful ride. "Shop-rite." he replied to Ruthie's question.

Adam made a left turn. "Didn't you want to go right?" asked Ruthie as if she had any idea what she was talking about.

"No, I didn't." insisted Adam. He tried to concentrate on his driving and not how annoying his sister was being.

Ruthie busied herself singing loudly for a few minutes. After a minute or two, she asked. "What would you like me to sing, Adam." Adam didn't say anything. "Adam?" she repeated. "Adam, I asked you what you want me to sing."

"I don't want you to sing anything!" Adam finally replied angrily. "Just be quiet and let me drive."

Ruthie was insulted and sat quietly. That only lasted  for a couple of minutes, however. Then, she said. "Adam?"

"Yes, Ruthie." replied Adam trying very hard to remain calm and not yell at his little sister again.

"I think you missed a turn back there."

"No. I didn't Ruthie."

"I think you did."

"Ruthie! I am the one with the driver's license. Let me do the driving please." begged Adam.

Ruthie rolled her eyes and frowned. She looked out the window for a few minutes. Then, she looked back in the car and stared at the speedometer. "I think you're going too fast, Adam." she told him.

"I'm not going too fast." insisted Adam.

"I think you are!" declared Ruthie confidentally.

Adam slowed the car down to a snail's pace.

"Now, you're going too slow." Ruth complained.

"Ruthie!" exclaimed Adam in exasperation as he brought the car back up to regular speed.

Ruthie took something out of her pocket. It was a chocolate candy bar. She unwrapped it, shoved it in her mouth and took a bite. Adam frowned as he glanced at her through the rearview mirror again. "No eating in the car." he told her firmly.

Ruthie smiled at him. "Don't worry." she assured him. "I won't make a mess." Even as she said it, she was dropping crumbs all over the seat."

"No eating in the car!" Adam repeated angrily. Ruthie ignored him and kept right on eating her chocolate bar. "Ruthie!" Adam shouted loudly and angrily.

"Okay, okay." replied Ruthie finally. She shoved the candy bar back in her pocket as Adam made a sudden turn. "Adam, your going the wrong way again." pointed out Ruthie. She slid in her seat as they made the abrupt turn.  Suddenly, Adam's driving was scaring her a little bit. She closed her eyes.

When Ruthie opened her eyes again, the car had stopped. She saw a big familiar yellow house. It was their house. They were home again. They had never even gotten further then a couple of blocks away. "Why are we home again?" Ruthie asked in confusion. "Aren't we going to the store?"

"I'm going to the store." corrected Adam as he led her into the house. "You are staying here with Mom."

"Okay." replied Ruthie less than happily. "Thanks for the ride." she added. "I can't wait to go for a ride with you again." She instantly brightened at the thought of going for another ride with her big brother in his car blissfully unaware that Adam didn't feel the same way at all. In fact, he hurried out of the house shaking his head in horror at the thought of another ride with his sister as his passenger.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

The Girl Who Cried Cat

Yulissa Zorich woke up in the middle of the night. She was wide awake and couldn't fall back to sleep. She wanted her Mom and Dad so she hurried into their room. They were fast asleep. Yulissa got into bed with them. Just when she got herself all warm and cozy and comfortable in their bed, Daddy turned on the light. "Yulissa, he said sternly. "What are you doing in our bed?"

"I can't sleep in my room." Yulissa insisted.

"Why not?" asked Daddy.

"Well, " began Yulissa. "There's a cat in my bed." she added after a long pause.

"A cat in your bed?" repeated Daddy.

"Yes. I think it's  a horrible lion that wants to eat me." explained Yulissa.

Daddy frowned and look at Yulissa with disbelief "A horrible lion?" he replied shaking his head.

Yulissa nodded yes. "And it has terrible claws and  a great big roar."

Daddy reluctantly got out of bed. All he really wanted to do was go back to sleep, but he knew Yulissa would never leave him alone if he didn't take her back to her room himself. "Come." he ordered. "Let's go see this lion." He hurried to Yulissa's room and went in while Yulissa hung back by the door.

"Be careful, Daddy." warned Yulissa. She tiptoed into the room and quickly got behind her father.

He looked at Yulissa's bed. Then, he lifted off her purple quilt and peaked under it. Finally, he turned to Yulissa. "There are no lions in your bed." he assured her.

"Maybe it's hiding." suggested Yulissa.

Daddy opened the closet door and peaked in. "No lions here." he stated. He got down on his hands and knees and looked under the bed. "No lions under here either." he declared. "There are no lions in this room. You are perfectly safe. Now go to bed." He tucked Yulissa into bed, gave her a kiss, and went back to his own room.

Yulissa lay in her bed for a while. She still couldn't fall asleep. She still wanted Mommy and Daddy. She went back to their room. They were fast asleep. She got into bed with them again. This time, Mommy woke up. "Yulissa," she said tiredly. "Aren't you supposed to be sleeping in your own room?"

"I can't Mommy." insisted Yulissa. "There's a cat in my bed."

"A cat in your bed?" repeated Mommy.

Yulissa nodded bobbing her head up and down. "I think it's a  terrible tiger that wants to eat me ."

Mommy shook her head." A terrible tiger?" she repeated in total disbelief.

Yulissa nodded. "Yes." she said. "A terribly tiger with terrible teeth."

Mommy shook her head at Yulissa. "What would a tiger be doing in your bed?" she asked. Yulissa shrugged. Mommy frowned. She was much too tired to be playing games with Yulissa. However, she knew she would not be able to go back to sleep if she didn't take Yulissa back to her own room. Mommy reluctantly dragged herself out of bed and followed Yulissa back to her room

"There are no tigers here." declared  Mommy as they entered the room.

"Are you sure?" asked Yulissa. "You haven't checked the whole room."

Mommy frowned. All  she wanted to do was go back to her own room and her own cozy bed and go back to sleep. However, she knew she would not be able to do that until she had thoroughly checked Yulissa's room. She quickly checked the closet and then under the bed. "This is a completely tiger free room." she assured Yulissa after she had finished checking. She tucked Yulissa into bed and kissed her.

"Go to sleep." she commanded before leaving the room.

A little while later, Yulissa was in Mommy and Daddy's room again. She went over to her father. "Daddy, there is a cat in my bed." she told him.

Daddy sleepily opened one eye and then the other. "Go back to bed, Yulissa." he said drowsily when he saw her standing next to him. "There aren't any cats in your bed." He closed both his eyes, turned over and went back to sleep.

Next, Yulissa went over to Mommy. She shook Mommy and startled her awake "What!?" cried Mommy groggily opening her eyes. "Yulissa!" she sighed unhappily when she saw her daughter standing there. "What are you doing out of bed again?"she asked angrily.

"There is a cat in my bed!" insisted Yulissa.

Mommy kissed Yulissa on the head."Go back to sleep." she insisted. "There aren't any cats in your bed. It's way past your bed time, and your imagination must be playing tricks on you. Go get some sleep and you'll feel better in the morning."

"But, Mommy!" insisted Yulissa. "There really is a cat in my bed this time!"

"Yulissa!"  Mommy replied firmly giving Yulissa an angry look. "How long do you think we are going to keep playing this game? It is very late. Daddy and I are tired now, and we need to sleep and so do you. Now go back to bed."

Yulissa slowly and reluctantly went back to her room. In the middle of her bed was a fluffy black cat. It was Pip the family cat. "Pip, you're taking up my whole bed." Yulissa complained."Please move over and give me some room." she begged. The  little black cat didn't budge. Yulissa sighed. By now, she was getting really tired, and she was ready to go back to sleep. She crawled up into her bed. Pip lay right next to her. Pip felt really warm and cozy curled right up to Yulissa. Yulissa sighed dreamily. 'Maybe, it's not always so bad to have a cat in your bed.'  she thought happily as she drifted off to sleep.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Gretchen Wants to Grow Up

Gretchen Lidstrom  was a four year old girl. She couldn't wait to grow up. She wanted to be able to wear makeup. She wanted to have boyfriends. She wanted to have kids. Everything about being a grown up sounded wonderful and exciting to her.

"Mommy?" asked Gretchen. "When am I going to grow up?"

Mommy didn't hear her. She was sitting on the floor busy trying to get Gretchen's little sister, Addie's diaper changed. Addie kept trying to wiggle away. "What?" asked Mommy in a distracted way when she finally realized Gretchen was talking to her. "Can you wait a minute, honey?" she added a minute later.

"When am I going to grow up?" Gretchen repeated her question when Mommy was finished diapering Addie.

Mommy smiled. "Much sooner than you think." she replied.  Gretchen made a face. She didn't think so. She thought it was taking forever.

"It's time for your nap." Mommy said to Addie. Addie gave Mommy a big smile and quickly crawled off into the other room. Mommy went chasing after her.

Gretchen thought that maybe having kids wasn't always so great. Kids don't always listen. She was sure everything else about being a grown-up was wonderful though. She still couldn't wait to grow-up.

Gretchen went upstairs. She found her older sister, Andrea sitting at her desk. "Andrea, come and play with me." Gretchen begged.

Andrea shook her head no. "I've got a a ton of homework to do." she said pointing to the huge stack of papers and books piled on her desk.

Gretchen's eyes opened wide at the sight of it all.  She was glad she didn't have to do all that work. Maybe, homework wasn't such a great thing about getting older either. However, she was sure everything else about growing up was wonderful, and she still couldn't wait to grow up.

That night when Mommy was putting Gretchen to bed, Gretchen asked "Where is Daddy?"

"He's at work." replied Mommy.

"But it's nighttime." protested Gretchen.

Mommy nodded in agreement. "I know." she replied. "He had to work late."

"But he left early this morning, and I didn't even see him the whole day!" Gretchen reminded Mommy unhappily.

"I know, honey." replied Mommy  understandingly. "He is working on an important deal right now, and he will probably be working long hours for a few more days."

Gretchen's eyes opened wide with horror. She thought about everything she'd learn today about getting older. When you get older, your kids don't always listen to you. When you get older, you have to do a lot of homework. When you get older, you have to work long hours and spend a lot of time away from your family.

Suddenly, Gretchen burst into tears.

"What's the matter?" asked Mommy worriedly.

"I don't want to grow-up any more!" insisted Gretchen.