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.