Sunday, February 28, 2016

Cousin Caroline

Kayla Wallace could not wait to meet her cousin,  Caroline. She and Caroline were the same age. They had never met because Caroline lived in California and Kayla lived in New York City. Now, they were finally going to meet because Caroline was coming to New York for a visit.

Kayla was very excited to meet her cousin. Every day, she would ask eagerly "Mommy when is cousin Caroline coming?" Every day, she looked at the at her Mom hoping it would be the day her Mom would say Caroline was coming. Every day, it wasn't and Kayla was disappointed.  She thought the day would never arrive.

"Soon enough the day will be here and Kayla will come." Mommy assured Kayla. Kayla didn't believe her.

Finally, the day arrived. Kayla was so excited. Kayla went with Mommy and Daddy to the airport to pick Caroline up. "Hi!" she greeted Caroline warmly and happily when Caroline's plane landed, and they picked her up. "I'm Kayla. I'm your cousin. I'm so happy to meet you," She threw her arms around Caroline and hugged her. Caroline barely hugged her back, and it wasn't in a friendly manner.

When they got to the car, Caroline said, "It's kind of small, isn't it?" Kayla just stared at her. She couldn't believe how rude Caroline was.  All the way home, she was even ruder. All she did was talk about how much better everything was in California.

When they got home, Daddy showed Caroline to the guest room. Mommy pulled Kayla aside. "Don't worry." she told Kayla. "She's probably just homesick. She'll warm up to us." Kayla hoped so.

However, that afternoon things didn't get any better. Caroline didn't like any of the food they had for lunch. At first, she didn't want to play with Kayla at all and then when she did, she only wanted to be bossy and be in charge and play whatever she wanted to play. For the first time ever in her life, Kayla was actually happy for it to be bedtime. She hoped maybe the next day would be better.

In the morning, when they woke up, Kayla said cheerfully. "Good morning, Caroline. How did you sleep?"

"Lousy." replied Caroline. "You have the most uncomfortable beds in the world. I hardly slept at all.  Now,  I'm tired and my back hurts."

"Well, then why don't you take a nap." suggested Kayla through gritted teeth. She suddenly wished for nothing more than for Caroline to go back to bed or better yet to go away altogether. With most people, she would think they could go back to sleep and wake up on the right side of the bed, but she doubted that would happen with Caroline.

Of course, Caroline didn't go back to bed and she was just as unbearable as she had been the day before. "When is Caroline leaving?" Kayla asked Mommy when they were alone.

"She''ll be here another few days." answered Mommy.

Kayla frowned unhappily. She was hoping that Mommy was going to say Caroline was leaving tomorrow. She didn't care if Caroline was her cousin. She couldn't stand another day of that rude horrible girl.

"Just be nice." Mommy told her as if reading Kayla's mind. "She'll be gone soon."

"Okay, Mommy. I'll try." promised Kayla. She didn't know how she was going to stand it though.

The days dragged slowly by. Things didn't get any better. Caroline was as rude and horrible as ever. They were the longest and worst days of Kayla's life.

Finally, it was time to take Caroline to the airport. They put Caroline's luggage in the car, and they all piled in. Just like on the way home from the airport, on the way to the airport, Caroline talked about how much better California was than New York even more so now that she had actually spent some time in New York.

'She'll be gone soon. She'll be gone soon.' Kayla kept telling herself. It was the only thing that got her through the long car ride.

When they got to the airport, this time, Daddy was going to Caroline inside, Mommy and Kayla were going to wait outside. "Goodbye, Caroline." Mommy said as they got out of the car. "Thanks for coming to visit us." Kayla wasn't going to say anything but Mommy gave her a stern  look.

"Goodbye, Caroline." added Kayla in as friendly a manner as she could manage.

Caroline just looked at them and gave a sort of half wave which for her was probably the equivalent of a smile. Then, she and Daddy got her bags, and they went into the terminal.

"Do you know, Mommy," announced Kayla. "I was really excited and happy for Caroline to come and visit me, but I'm even more happy now that she's leaving."

Now, that Caroline  was gone even Mommy couldn't help smiling about it. "She's really something, isn't she?" declared Mommy.

"She sure is." agreed Kayla.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Pia Wants a Party

Pia Zborowski couldn't wait to turn 10. "I'll be double digits and everything!" she excitedly told anyone who would listen. She was sure that turning 10 must be worthy of a party - a surprise party even. She was so sure that she convinced herself that there was going to be a surprise party for her.

"How are Mommy and Daddy coming along with planning my party?" she asked her older sister Piper one afternoon.

Piper looked up from the book she'd been reading. "What?" she said in confusion.

"It's okay. You can tell me." Pia assured her. "I won't tell them you told."

"What?" repeated Piper even more confused.

Pia smiled happily. "Oh, that's okay. I get it. You're playing dumb." She skipped off gleefully convinced as much as ever that there was going to be a party for her.

Piper shook her head and went back to her book.

At dinnertime when Pia was helping Mommy set the table she informed Mommy, "I really like pink lots and lots of pink."

"Okay." replied Mommy looking at Pia strangely. She gave Pia a quizzical look. She had no idea what Pia was hinting at.

Pia smiled at Mommy. Mommy was so good at pretending she had no idea what Pia was talking about.

When she was with her father, Pia made a face. "Do you think this is a good look of surprise? Or do you think this is a better one?" She made a different face.

"Are we playing charades?" asked Daddy.

Pia burst out laughing. She never realized what good actors her family all were before. Pretending was so much fun. She was almost sorry her birthday was coming to spoil the game.

Finally, the day of Pia's birthday came.  She put on her best pink dress and carefully styled her hair in a French braid .  She stayed in her room until the doorbell rang. Then, she went downstairs but very slowly so as not to let on that she knew about the party.

When she got to the bottom of the stairs, nobody was there. Pia looked around in confusion.  Then, she saw Piper. "Who was at the door?" she asked Piper.

"The mailman." replied Piper.

Pia grinned at Piper. If her family wanted to keep the game going a little bit longer that was okay with her.

Piper shrugged and went into the kitchen. She couldn't understand why her little sister was acting so weird lately.

Pia followed Piper into the kitchen. That must be where all the guests were hiding. However, when they got to the kitchen there was nobody there either. Piper went to the refrigerator and took out a water bottle. "Do you want one?" she asked Pia.

Pia shook her head no. She was really confused now. Her family was really taking this pretending thing too far. Where was her party? Where were her guests? "Where are Mommy and Daddy?" she asked Piper finally.

"I think they're in the den." replied Piper pointing in that direction.

Pia instantly brightened up again. That must be where the party was. She headed in that direction. "Don't you want to come with me?" she asked Piper over her shoulder.

"No, thanks." replied Piper.

Pia gave her sister a look of confusion. Didn't Piper want to be a party of Pia's party?  Maybe, Piper was jealous or something. Pia shrugged and went into the den.

Mommy and Daddy were there alright but they were by themselves.  Daddy was watching TV and Mommy was talking on the phone.  "Oh, Pia!" she exclaimed when Pia walked into the room. "Happy Birthday! Come take the phone. There's someone who wants to wish you a Happy Birthday."

Pia took the phone from her mother. It was Grandma. "Hi Grandma." Pia said sadly into the phone.

"What's the matter?" inquired Grandma. "Aren't you having a good birthday?"

Pia sighed deeply. "It's okay." she said. "It's just that I thought that turning 10 was worthy of a party."

"Why of course it is!" replied Grandma enthusiastically.

"I'm glad you think so." Pia told her. "Nobody else seems to think so." She finished speaking with Grandma and handed the phone back to her mother. Then, she left the room.

A few minutes later, Mommy and Daddy called her back. They were going to be going to Grandma's for dinner. Pia brightened up a little bit but not that much. She always loved to see Grandma, but it wasn't like having a party.

At Grandma's house, Mommy and Daddy and Piper let Pia go in first because she was the birthday girl.  As soon as she walked in she saw her Aunts and Uncles and all her cousins. "Surprise!" they all yelled.  Pia smiled but she noticed that none of her relatives looked like they were dressed for a party. They all looked like they'd arrive in hurry wearing whatever they happened to have on.

Pia smiled at Grandma. "You set this up!" she said accusingly but she said it in a happy way.

Grandma smiled back. "I think a girl turning double digits deserves a party."

"Thanks, Grandma. I love you." declared Pia.

"I love you too, my big ten year old granddaughter." replied Grandma.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Billy the Bully

Trisha, Tressa, and Traci Bridgeman were sisters. Trisha was the oldest. Tressa was in the middle. Traci was the youngest.  The three of them were as close as three sisters could be. They hardly every even fought.

The girls were in their kitchen one afternoon. Trisha and Tressa were doing there homework. Traci, being the youngest, didn't have as much homework as the others so she had already finished her homework.  She was staring out the window.

Suddenly, they heard the tinkling of a bell coming from the front of the house. Traci ran to the other side of the house and looked out. "It's the ice cream man!" she screamed.  She ran back to her sister's. "Let's get some ice cream!" she urged excitedly.

"We're doing our homework." Trisha reminded her.

"You go and ask Mommy for some money and get us all some ice cream." suggested Tressa.

"Okay!" exclaimed Traci. She ran up to ask Mommy for some money for the ice cream man. Then, she hurried outside to get them all some ice cream.  By now, the ice cream man was all the way down the block. That meant Traci was going to pass by that mean bully, Billy Grubbs house. She held her breath and passed by the house as quickly as she could.  She sighed with relief when she got passed the house, and there was no sign of Billy.

She reached the ice cream man and stood on line and bought three chocolate ice cream bars. She quickly turned and headed back home.

She had only gotten a few steps when a loud noise from behind her startled her. "Hey!" exclaimed a scarily familiar voice.  "Who goes there?" asked Billy jumping out in front of her. Traci didn't say anything. "I said who goes there?" Billy shouted in an even louder scarier voice.

"Traci Bridgeman." replied Traci in a tiny frightened voice.

"Well, Traci did you know that you can't pass by my house without paying the toll?" he informed her.

"The toll?" asked Traci nervously. "But, I don't have any money on me. I spent it on ice cream."

"Ice cream?" exclaimed Billy gleefully. "Let me see." He grabbed the three ice cream bars out of Traci's hands. He quickly opened up one of the packages and started eating it. "This will do." he said with his mouth still half full of ice cream. "You may pass." he waved his arm in front of her to indicate that she should go by.

"But..." replied Traci trying really hard not to burst into tears.

"Go! Go!" said Billy.

Traci quickly ran off toward home. As soon as she reached her house, she ran inside.

"Where's the ice cream?" asked Tressa noticing her empty hands.

Traci immediately burst into tears.

"What's the matter, honey?" asked Trisha sweetly. She put her arm around her little sister.
"It's okay." she said. "Don't worry about the ice cream. Just tell us what happened."

Between gasping sobs, Traci told them the whole story.

"That Billy Grubbs!" exclaimed Tressa angrily. "Tomorrow I'll get the ice cream, and I'll take care of it."

"Just be careful." Trisha warned.

"Don't worry." replied Tressa bravely. "I'm not a little kid."

The next day when the ice cream man came around. Traci stayed in the house with Trisha, and Tressa went out to get them all ice cream.  Tressa made it to the ice cream truck without seeing a sign of Billy even when she passed his house. "This is a piece of cake." she thought.

On her way back suddenly she heard a noise behind her. The noise startled her, but she wasn't really afraid.  She quickly turned around. "Hello, Billy." she said unhappily but still without fear.

"Who goes there?" Billy yelled at Tressa.

"It's me, Tressa Bridgeman." she replied. "And, I'm not giving you my ice cream."

"Then, how are you going to pay the toll?" he asked. He looked her up and down and spied the ice cream bars in her hands. His eyes lit up. "That will do." he said. He reached for the ice cream, but Tressa moved it away. "Hey!" he exclaimed angrily.

"I'm not giving you my ice cream, Billy." she told him.

"Oh yeah?" he replied getting even angrier. He shoved her really hard and she fell to the ground dropping the wrapped ice cream bars . Billy scooped them up. "Your toll's paid. You can go." he said glaring at her."

Tressa sat on the ground stunned. She didn't know which hurt more her scrapped up knee from her fall or her pride. Finally, she brushed herself off and headed toward home.

"What happened?" asked Trisha when Tressa got home without any ice cream.

"Did Billy scare you too?" asked Traci. "Did he make you give him the ice cream."

"No." replied  Tressa madly. "He made me angry and pushed me. Then, he stolen our ice cream."

Now, it was Trisha's turn to get angry. "Enough is enough." she announced. "Tomorrow we'll all go and get ice cream, and I'll take care of this."

The next day the three of them went out to get ice cream. Once again, they never saw Billy on the way there. Once again on the way home, suddenly there he was. "Who goes there?" he asked jumping out in front of them.

Traci quickly ran over to Tressa in fright. She would have run over to Trisha, but Trisha was no where to be seen.  Tressa looked around too, and she didn't see Trisha anywhere either.

"It's Traci and Tressa Bridgeman. We are aren't paying any toll, and we aren't giving you our ice cream." Tressa declared angrily. At that moment, she wasn't who sure who she was more mad at Billy or Trisha. Trisha was some big hotshot acting like she was going to take care of it, and then the moment Billy showed up she disappeared.

Suddenly something or someone gave Billy a hard shove from behind, and he fell onto the pavement. Traci and Tressa quickly turned around to see who or what it was. It was Trisha. Tressa immediately felt guilty for thinking badly of  Trisha.

"That was for my sisters!" Trisha shouted at Billy. "You are not going to take their ice cream any more. You are not going to scare them. You are not going to shove them. You are not going to bother them at all. Do you understand?"

Billy sat up and opened his mouth to protest. Trisha loomed over him and continued glaring at him. She was a lot bigger than he was.

 "Okay." he gulped in small scared voice.

Treesa and Traci couldn't help smiling both at  Billy's misery and at pride in their sister.

"And you are not going to bother my sisters again even when I'm not there." added Trisha. "Or else, I will find you, do you understand?"

Billy gulped and nodded.

"Now, your toll is paid." Trisha told him. "You can go."

"But .. I ... live here." Billy stammered.

"Then, go inside" said Trisha.

Billy hurriedly ran inside.

Tressa and Traci burst out laughing. "Oh Trisha, you're the best." said Tressa.

"You're the bravest." added  Traci.

Trisha just shrugged. To her, it was already over, and she didn't want to talk about it anymore. "Let's go home and eat our ice cream." she told them

"Ice cream!" exclaimed Tressa and Traci together, and they followed their big sister down the street toward home.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Something for Skyla

Trudi Voorhees was so excited. She had earned $10.00 from her first babysitting job. She had watched the cute little girl next door for an hour while her mother ran some errands. Now, Trudi and Mom and Trudi's little sister, Skyla were heading to the store. Mom had to pick up some things she needed and Trudi wanted to spend her money. She couldn't wait.

"You're lucky." sighed Skyla. "I wish I had money."

"When you're older you can earn your own money too." replied Trudi proudly. She clutched her wallet tightly in her hand and smiled thinking about the the possibilities  of what she might buy.

As soon as they arrived at the store and entered the building, Skyla hurried over to a display of fluffy stuffed animals. "I want this!" she demanded holding up a furry black and white dalmatian puppy. Mommy ignored Skyla and took out the shopping list and began looking over it. "Please!" Skyla begged tugging on her mother's arm.

"Not today." replied Mommy gently pushing Skyla's hand away. "Come on let's go I have some things to get." She scooped Skyla up and put her in a shopping cart. To Trudi, she said "We'll meet you by the front of the store in a half an hour. Will that be enough time for you?"

Trudi nodded happily. She was only half listening anyway. In her mind, she was already happily spending her money.

"I wish I had money." Skyla mumbled unhappily as Mommy wheeled her away.

Trudi went to the make-up department. She picked up some glittery nail polish and looked at it. Then, she put it down and picked up a package of fruit flavored lip gloss. Then, she eyed a palette of pretty eye shadow colors. Everything in the department looked so great. She couldn't decide what she wanted to buy. She wished she had enough money for all of it, but she didn't.  She stood there for few minutes trying to decide but she couldn't. She decided to try a different department instead. Maybe, there would be something there that stood out for her there.

She wandered over  to the hair accessories department. She saw multi-colored hairbands. She saw glittery barrettes. She saw headbands of every size. There were just too many choices. She still couldn't decide what she wanted. Nothing stood out to her more than anything else.

Next, she went over to the clothing department. She didn't really have enough money for anything much there so she decided to skip it. She continued on over to the book section and then the music section. She was just so overwhelmed with the choices of books to read and music listen to that she couldn't choose anything in either of those sections either.

She looked at her watch. It was getting late. It would be time to meet Mom and Skyla soon. She decided to go back to the front of the store and then, quickly go through the whole store one more time to make sure she didn't miss anything. Maybe, that would help her decide what she wanted.

On her way to the front of the store, she passed the stuffed animal display that Skyla had been looking at. She picked up the little black and white dalmatian puppy that Skyla had loved. She remembered the way Sklya's whole face lit up when she saw it and how excited she'd been when she picked it up.

Just then, she caught a quick of glimpse of the time on her watch again. She had hardly any time left. She better get what she wanted, pay, and go meet Mom and Skyla. Mom didn't like to be kept waiting.

"What did you get?" asked Skyla excitedly but also a little jealously when Trudi approached them clutching her package tightly a few minutes later. She ran over to Trudi and tried to peek in the bag.

"You'll see." Trudi laughed at Skyla's eagerness and gently pulled the bag away from her little sister.

"It's probably something stupid like make-up anyway." declared Skyla turning away and pretending she was no longer interested.

"Oh, you'll like it." Trudi assured her.

"I will?" replied Skyla excitedly. "Show it to me!" she demanded.

"Skyla!" warned Mom. She would not tolerate rude behavior.

"I mean, please show it too me." replied Skyla with exaggerated sweetness.

"In the car." replied Trudi.

Skyla sighed unhappily. She did not like to wait. Patience wasn't her thing.

When they finally got to the car, got in, and put their seat belts on Skyla quickly turned to Trudi. "Now, can you show me"? she asked bursting with curiosity.

"Tada!" cried Trudi. She reached into the bag and pulled out the little stuffed dalmatian puppy.

"Hey!" exclaimed Skyla angrily. " I wanted that!" She angrily glared at Trudi for getting it and than at their mother for not getting it for Skyla.

Trudi laughed. "It's for you, silly." she said to Skyla.

"For me?" asked Skyla in a mix of excitement and confusion.

"Yes for you. I saw how much you wanted it, and there wasn't anything I really wanted."

"Thank you, Trudi. Thank you!" Skyla gushed happily. She reached across her seat and tried to hug Trudi on the other side of the car without getting out of her seatbelt but she couldn't really reach. "I love you you're the best sister in the whole world."

"Yes" laughed Trudi "Until the next time you get mad at me."

Skyla nodded in agreement. "Yes, but for now. You're  in the best sister in the  whole world." she said.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

When People Are Away

Dog was just like any other dog. He walked on four legs. He barked. Sometimes, he even growled. He wagged his tail. He liked chasing balls and eating bones.

Cat was just like any other cat. She walked on four legs as well. She purred. She meowed. Sometimes, she even hissed. She liked playing with string and drinking milk.

That was the way they were when the family was around. However, when the family was away, it was a different story. When the family was away everything changed.

Suddenly Dog and Cat could stand on their hind legs. They could talk to each other (and they even got along). They could plan a whole party and invite all their friends to it. Dogs and Cats don't need as much notice to attend a party as people do so their friends could be ready at a moment's notice.

Their parties would always be pot luck. Every dog and cat that attended would have to bring some food, or dog or cat treats or a bone or catnip or something. That way there would always be enough for everyone without Dog and Cat having to completely use up their supply. If they kept running out of food, treats, bones, and stuff, the family would surely get suspicious.

There were a few times, they almost got caught. The party got so loud and out of hand that even with their superior hearing, they almost didn't hear the sound of the car pulling up in the driveway. There had been times when they forgot to put something back where it had been before the family left.

"That's strange." a family member would say when they got home. "I don't remember that being there." They would never even suspect that Dog or Cat or one of their friends had purposely moved it during the course of a party.

Sometimes, Dog kept to himself because he was waiting for the family to leave so they could have a party. Sometimes, Cat was aloof for the same reason. When they were like this, the family just thought it was what dogs and cats naturally were like. They never suspected it was because they wanted the family to leave so they could have a party.

It wasn't that Dog and Cat didn't love their human family. They did, in fact, very much. However, they loved their friends too and wanted to spend time with them.

Dog and Cat's parties were legendary. Other dogs and cats came from miles around just to attend one of their parties There were only two rules at one of Dog and Cat's parties. The first rule was no humans allowed. The second rule was don't leave any reason for humans to suspect that there had ever been a party in the first place.

Dog and Cat had several parties a week. Everything went great. None of the humans suspected a thing.

Then, it happened. One day, the littlest human asked. "Do you think the dog and cat have parties when we're away?"

Dog and Cat froze for a moment. Then, they secretly stole a glance at each other. Was this the end of their party life? Did their humans know what went on when they were not around?

"No silly!" replied the older human child. "Dogs and cats don't have parties."

"What do you think?" the little one asked the mother and father.

"I think they are too busy sleeping and waiting for us to come home." replied the mother.

"And what would they do at their parties anyway?" asked the father.

Dog and Cat were flooded with relief. They snuck another glance at each other. This time a happy glance.

The littlest one hurried over to Dog and Cat. "Oh you  poor things! You must be so bored and lonely when we're not here."

Dog and Cat snuck a third glance at each other. They were both thinking the same thing. Oh! If only the human family knew what went on when they were gone!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Little

When Joslyn woke up bright and early one morning for school, her little sister Makena was fast asleep in her bed.  Makena had a habit of sneaking into Joslyn's room in the middle of the night and curling up with her. Makena looked so cozy all curled up in Joslyn's bed under Joslyn's pink fluffy blanket. It was so unfair,  Joslyn thought as she shivered in the cold air of the early morning that wasn't even light yet. "I wish I were little." thought Joslyn jealously.

There was a flash of bright light and Joslyn fainted. When she woke up, suddenly she didn't feel quite as tall as she was before. Her clothes seemed to be a lot bigger too. They were literally falling off her. She wanted to sit down on the bed for a minute to figure out what had happened, but she couldn't reach it. "Mommy!" she shrieked and when Mommy didn't come right away she hurried into Mommy's room as fast as her little legs would carry her.

"What is it?" demanded Mommy angrily as she was awakened from a deep sleep by the sound of Joslyn's loud feet as she marched into the room. "Why are you screaming at this hour of the morning? You'll wake the neighbors."

"Look at me!" cried Joslyn unhappily. Her voice sounded really young and squeaky.

"Where are you, and what's wrong with your voice? " asked Mommy. "This is no time for games."

"Look down here!" replied Joslyn tugging at her Mother's nightgown. Her mother looked down at her side and saw Joslyn. Her mouth flew open, but no words came out. Then, suddenly tears came to Mommy's eyes. "It's kind of cute." she said. "It reminds me of when you were a little girl."

"But I'm not ..." and Joslyn finally realized her wish had been granted, and she was little again, and she didn't have to go to school. She stopped protesting and smiled happily.

"Oh, if you think you're not going to have to go to school because you're little, you're wrong. You can go to preschool with Makena." replied Mommy reading her mind.

As if she had heard her name, at precisely that moment, Makena tiredly strolled in. "Oh boy!" she exclaimed excitedly upon seeing Joslyn. "You're just my size. We can play together and go to school together and be best friends." she gushed excitedly without taking a breath.

"Oh Joy." replied Joslyn very sarcastically.

"Joslyn!" rebuked her mother sharply. "Makena." she added to Joslyn's little sister. "Go and get some clothes for Joslyn to wear."

Joslyn hung her head down. She couldn't bear the thought of wearing clothes borrowed from her younger sister even if she, Joslyn,  mostly was unrecognizable.

"You know having to wear Makena's clothes is not  the end of it." Mommy told her. "It's only the beginning. You won't be able to ride on your ten -speed bike or ride anything but the kiddie rides when we go to the amusement park on Saturday. You'll have to stay on the little kids side of the playground...."

"Stop!" screamed Joslyn.  She realized she really hadn't thought this little thing through very much "I don't want to be little again any more." She closed her eyes and waited for the flash to make her big again, but nothing happened.

"I wish I were big again." she said but still nothing happened. She was afraid whatever magic there had been was gone, and now she was stuck being little forever. Well, she might not be little forever, but she would have to go through growing up all over again at least the part to get her where she had been before she wished to be little,  The thought gave her a headache, and she began to cry. "I don't want to be little! I don't want to be little!"

"Joslyn!" screamed Makena loudly in her sister's ear. "You woke me up."

Joslyn opened her eyes and realized she was in her own bed. She carefully slid her legs to the floor happy to find out she could reach it,. Her clothes seemed to be fitting nicely.  She looked at herself in the mirror. She was just like she remembered being. She must have dreamt that she'd gotten little. She was so relieved that whatever it was seemed to be over. "I'm big." she said happily admiring her reflection.

"Hmph." replied  Makena. "I wish I were big!"

"Oh no!" exclaimed Joslyn. "Don't ever say that. Trust me, you don't want to wish to be something that you're not."

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Snow Day

Jody Grisham groaned as her alarm clock went off. It was time to get up and get ready for school. She was about to roll over and go back to sleep when out of the corner of her eye she saw her mother enter her room. "Just five more minutes. Please, ma!" she begged.

"Don't rush. School's cancelled." Mom informed Jody. "It 's been snowing since last night. They've called a snow day."

Jody was suddenly filled with a burst of energy. She hurried to the window and pulled back the curtain. Sure enough the ground and road were completely covered with a thick blanket of white snow.  "Yay!" exclaimed Jody.  She quickly got dressed in a heavy yellow sweater, purple snow pants and black boots and got ready to go out in the snow.

"Where are you going?" asked Mommy. "A minute ago you could barely get out of bed."

Jody grinned. "Yeah," she replied, "but that was before I knew there was no school today."

Just then, the doorbell rang. "Now who can that be in this weather?" Mommy wondered out loud.
She went down to answer the door while Jody finished getting ready. A few seconds later, she called up the stairs. "Jody! Kaelyn's here!" Kaelyn Brice was Jody's best friend. She lived just up the street.

Jody quickly hurried downstairs. "Hi!" she greeted Kaelyn excitedly. "I was just going to come get you."

"Come outside!" urged Kaelyn. "Let's not waste a minute!" Jody and Kaelyn both loved the snow. They had loved it since they were little. They loved it so much that their mothers used to call them snow babies.

Jody hurried outside. "What are we going to do first?" asked Jody.

"Let's go sledding." suggested Kaelyn.

They went into the garage and took out Jody's big red sled. Then, they headed to the big hill at the end of their block. They took turns sledding down the hill until they got too tired and too cold, Then, they headed back to Jody's house for a break.

By then, it was lunch time, and Jody's mother had hot tomato soup and warm grilled cheese sandwiches for them. It was just what their cold bellies needed. "Thanks, Mom." said Jody gratefully.

"Yeah, thanks, Mrs. Grisham." added Kaelyn.

"Did you too have enough snow and cold for one day?" teased Jody's mother.

"No!" exclaimed both girls at once.

Jody's mother laughed.

After the girls had been fed and warmed up and their clothes had been dried. They bundled up and headed back out again. "What are we going to do now?" asked Jody.

"Let's build a snowman." decided Kaelyn.

They began rolling together a big ball of snow for the bottom of the snowman. When they finished making their snowman Jody went inside and got a hat and scarf for him and a carrot for his nose. "Well hello, Mr. Frosty." Jody greeted their creation when they were done.

"I think Mr. Frosty needs a wife." declared Kaelyn.  They build a lady snowman. Then, before they knew it they had build a whole family of snowmen; Mr. Frosty, his wife, and their two snow children.

Afterwards, they were cold and went inside to warm up again. This time Jody's mother served them cookies and hot chocolate.  "Now, did you have your fill of the ice, cold and snow?" she asked as she served their food and drinks. Both girls shook their head no.

The girls warmed up and dried off and headed out again. This time they build a snow fort and had a snowball fight. By the time, they were done it was starting to get dark. "Jody!" called her mother from the doorway. "Kaelyn's mother called. It is time for her to go home, and it's time for you to come in."

Jody and Kaelyn exchanged disappointed looks as Kaelyn headed off toward home. Jody headed in the house.  "So did you have enough of the snow for a while?" her Mom asked her.

Jody shook her head vigorously. "Oh no!" she exclaimed. "I wish every day could be a snow day!"

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Special Valentine

Ellie Maddox was so excited. It was almost Valentine's Day.  She could not wait to go and get supplies for making Valentine's Day cards for everyone. "Mommy can we go to the store now?!" Ellie asked hopefully.  "I want to get Valentine's Day card supplies!

"What's your hurry? Valentine's Day isn't for three weeks." replied Mommy.

"Please! I have a lot of cards to make, and  I want to get a head start." Ellie begged.

"Okay." agreed Mommy. "Just let me get my keys."

When they got to the store, Ellie went over to the art supplies. She looked around. There were so many choices. There were stickers. There was glitter. There were markers. There was paper. There were even papers shaped like hearts or paw prints or other things. There was so much more too. Ellie was overwhelmed.  She didn't know what to pick. She kept walking back and forth.

Finally, her Mom declared impatiently. " Hurry up and pick some stuff. We're going home. I have to make dinner."

Then, Ellie quickly picked out a bunch of everything she thought she could possibly use to make Valentine's and got ready to go.

"Are you sure you need all that?" asked her mother,

"I'm positive. I definitely need it all." she insisted.

As soon as they got home, Ellie disappeared into her room. She got busy cutting and pasting, and writing and putting everything together. She came out of her room only for dinner.

"My you're really busy." said Mommy poking her head in. Ellie just nodded. She was too busy to look up. "Are you going to be done soon?" inquired Mommy. "It's getting late. It's almost bed time."

"Not quite." replied Ellie. "I have one more special one to do."

"Who is it for?" asked Mommy.

"It's a secret." Ellie told her.

"Hmm!" said Mommy with interest. She wondered if Ellie had a crush. Her baby was growing up so fast.

Ellie shut her door. She made the biggest heart she could make. She took all her favorite stickers and used all her favorite color markers and crayons, favorite colors of glitter and all her other favorite art supplies. She wrote everything in the neatest handwriting she could possibly write it in.

When she finished, she stood back and looked over her handiwork. Something was missing. She didn't know what. She thought about it for a minute. She covered a patch on the front of the card with paint and stuck her hand on it to make a hand print. "That's it!" she exclaimed. "It's perfect."

For the next few weeks, until Valentine's Day, Mommy kept asking about the mystery card.  She was very curious to know who it was for. Ellie wouldn't tell her. She just kept saying. "You'll see."

Finally, Valentine's Day arrived. Ellie gathered all her Valentine's to take to school.  She was so excited that Valentine's Day was finally here. She couldn't wait for her classmates to see her cards.

"How did it go?" asked Mommy when Ellie got home.

"It was great fun!" replied Ellie happily showing Mommy all the Valentine's she had received.

"How did your mystery person like their card?" asked Mommy.

"I don't know." replied Ellie. Mommy looked at Ellie with confusion. Ellie ran to her room. Mommy was even more confused.

Ellie came back and handed Mommy a card. It was the special card  she had been working so hard on. Mommy opened it and it read it. It said "Happy Valentine's Day to The Best Mommy In the Whole World."

Mommy smiled proudly at Ellie. "This is the best card I ever received. " She kissed Ellie.

Then, Ellie hurried off to her room.

"Where are you going?" asked Mommy.

"To start working on my Valentine's for next year!" Ellie replied

Friday, February 12, 2016

What About the Soup?

It was late afternoon on a freezing cold February day. The air outside was frigid and the ground was caked with snow. The Weatherby house was eerily quiet. Mom was in the kitchen by herself planning dinner. "What a perfect day for soup!" she declared out loud.  She got all the ingredients to prepare some chicken soup out and placed them on the counter.

Just then, the door flew open and in stormed 9 year old Lexi in her purple snowsuit and white fluffy snow boots. She'd been out in the yard building a snowman with her friends. She marched promptly over to her mother not even thinking about the snow she was tracking all over the clean kitchen floor.

"Lexi!" exclaimed her mother pointing to Lexi's feet.

"What?" replied Lexi. "Oh." she replied apologetically seeing where her mother was pointing to. She stopped in her tracks.

"What can I do for you?" asked her mother.

"We need noses for our snowmen." explained Lexi.  "Oh perfect!" she exclaimed excitedly upon noticing the carrots on the counter. "Those carrots would be perfect!" She reached for them.

"These are for our dinner." replied her mother lifting them up and away from Lexi. "I'm making soup."

Lexi puckered her lower lip. "Oh Mommy! Please!" she begged. "You have plenty of other stuff to put in the soup."

Usually. it was Daddy who couldn't resist that sad face of Lexi's. Just this once, Mommy didn't want to be the bad guy. "Okay." she said handing the carrots to Lexi.

Lexi's face lit up. "Thank you, Mommy." she gushed running over to hug her mother.

"Lexi!" exclaimed her mother pointing to Lexi's boots.

"Sorry, Mommy." declared Lexi as she hurried out the door with the carrots.

No sooner had Lexi left when 14 year old Lucas showed up in the kitchen. "Do we have any potatoes?" he asked. "I forgot I have to do a science experiment for school."

Mom pointed to the potatoes on the counter in front of her. "These are the last ones but I was going to use them in the soup for dinner. How long have you forgotten this project for?" she asked suspiciously.

"It was assigned a month ago." Lucas admitted sheepishly. Mom gave him an angry glare. "Oh, c'mon , Mom." he said sweetly. "You don't want me to fail science." he scooped the potatoes off the counter and hurried out of the room before his mom could utter a word of protest.

Mommy sighed and went back to preparing dinner. She had only put the pot on the stove when 10 year old Lorna came running down the stairs. "Mom! she exclaimed. "We're all out of food for Flopsy." Flopsy was Lorna's little white cotton tailed bunny.

"What do you mean we're all out of food for Flopsy?" demanded Mommy. "Flopsy is your rabbit. Isn't it your job to keep track of how much food we have for her?"

Lorna hung her head down and nodded. "I thought we had more." she replied looking up again.

"We'll have to get some more rabbit food tomorrow." declared Mommy.

"But what about today?" asked Lorna. "You aren't going to make Flopsy go without dinner because of me, are you?" Lorna made sad eyes at her mother.

Mommy looked around and finally she scooped up the celery that she was going to put in the soup. "Here break this up in small pieces and give her some of it." she told Lorna.

"Thanks, Mom." replied Lorna gratefully grabbing the celery and hurrying up the stairs.

"And it's not because of those sad eyes either. It's because why should Flopsy suffer because of your mistake. You need to learn to be more responsible." Mommy called after Lorna.

Just then, Daddy arrived home. "Oh great!" he exclaimed grabbing the bread off the counter and beginning to make himself a sandwich.

"What are you doing?" asked Mommy. "I was going to make dinner."

"Sorry." said Daddy. "I have a late meeting. I have to go back to work. I have just enough time to grab a sandwich and go." He quickly made himself a ham and cheese sandwich, kissed Mommy and hurried back out the door.

"Drive carefully." she called after him.

Once Daddy was gone, Mommy looked  around at the almost empty counter and sighed. "Well, at least we still have chicken to put in the soup." she said.

Just then, the phone rang. It was Grandma calling from her house down the street. She had no food in her house . She was going to go shopping, but she couldn't get out because of the snow. "I really had a hankering to make some of my delicious chicken salad," Grandma told Mommy. "but I don't have any chicken."

Mommy sighed even deeper than before. "I'll send Lucas over with some." she replied.

"Nonsense." declared Grandma. "Just come over and give me a ride to the store and I'll get my own."

By now, Mommy was just about at her last straw. "It's getting dark. The roads and sidewalks are covered with snow and it's just about dinner time. I am not coming over to take you to the store. I'll send Lucas over with some chicken."

"Well, okay." replied Grandma. "If you think that's best. I'll be waiting."

Once Mommy sent Lucas over to Grandma's with the chicken, she looked around the kitchen counter. It was completely empty. She had started with all the ingredients for a fine soup and now there was just a pot of water on the stove with nothing in it. "I guess I'll just have to make dinner with a stone." she said. Fortunately, the stone was a pizza stone, and luckily, she still had all the ingredients for pizza.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

A Room of Her Own

For as long as she could remember, Claire Danvers had shared a room with her little sister. Esme. Since Esme was only two years younger than Claire, that was pretty much most of her life. Claire was so tired of it. Esme was noisy and she left her things all over the room. She thought that just because she and Claire shared a room she had a right to butt into Claire's business. Claire's greatest wish was to have a room of her own."Please! Please!" she would constantly beg Mommy and Daddy. "Can't I have my own room?"

The answer was always the same. "You know we don't have enough room to give you your own room. We would if we could. We're sorry."

Claire didn't care that they were sorry. All she cared about what that she still had to share a room with her annoying little sister. It was just not fair!

Then, one day, Mommy and Daddy gathered Claire and Esme in the living room to talk to them. "Sit down." they told the girls.

"Uh Oh." said Claire nervously worried about what they had to say.

Esme was nervous too. She starting biting her lip. Claire took her hand. After all, she loved her sister. She just didn't want to share a room. They sat on the couch next to each other.

"Well." began Mommy once they were all seated. "We have good news and bad news or maybe just good news depending how you look at it."

"Oh?" replied Claire. She didn't feel any less worried. Neither did Esme who still didn't say anything but held Claire's hand tighter.

"We are going to be moving." explained Daddy.

"Daddy got a new job." added Mommy.

For a minute both girls, just sat on the couch too stunned to move or say anything. They had lived in this house their whole lives They didn't want to move.

"Our new house will be bigger." Mommy told them. "You will be able to have your own rooms."

Suddenly Claire could see the silver lining. She didn't care about leaving her friends or going to a new a school or anything but getting a room of her own. She jumped out of her seat excitedly. "When are we moving?" she asked.

Esme glared at Claire. She didn't see anything good about moving at all. She liked the house they lived in now. She liked the room she had now. She liked sharing a room with Claire. She looked at Claire as though she were going to cry. "Are you that happy to be getting rid of me?" she asked. "Do you hate me that much?"

"I don't hate you at all " Claire assured her. "You're my little sister. I love you. I just don't want to share a room with you anymore. I need my space." She put her arms around Esme and hugged her. Esme still did not feel better and still did not smile.

Moving day arrived. To Claire, it felt like it had taken forever. To Esme, it felt much to soon.

Claire just loved her new room. It was big. It was full of yellow her favorite color. Best of all, there was not a trace of Esme or any of her stuff in it.

Esme had to admit she liked her room too. It was equally as big as Claire's but full of  purple which was her favorite color. As soon as she went in for the first time, she arranged all of her favorite stuffed animals on her bed to make herself feel more at home.

That night, Esme was nervous about spending her first night alone in a room without Claire.

"Don't worry. It will be fine." Claire assured her. "I will be right next door."

Claire and Mommy and Daddy all tucked Esme in together just to reassure her. Esme wanted it that way. "I'll miss sharing a room with you." she whispered to Claire when they tucked her in.

Claire was so excited to go to bed in her own room that she went to bed early. As soon as she got into her bed, and turned out the light, she started to see shadows on the wall. She got out of bed and went over to the window and looked out. She was sure it was just a branch blowing in the breeze on the tree outside her window, but she still felt nervous.

Then, she stared hearing creaking noise. She nervously looked all around including in her closet and under her bed, but she didn't see anything. She got back in bed, but suddenly her room felt big and dark and scary and she missed sharing a room with Esme. Since, she was sure Esme was feeling that same way, she decided she better go and check on her little sister.

She hurried into Esme's room and over to her bed. Esme was sound asleep in her bed with stuffed animals scattered all around her. "Esme?" whispered Claire. Esme didn't budge. "Esme?" Claire whispered a little louder. Still, Esme didn't budge. "Esme!" whispered Claire loudly poking Esme awake.

"What?" exclaimed Esme groggily waking with a jolt. "What do you want?" she asked Claire angrily through half closed eyes as she half woke up and saw her sister standing by her bed.

"Don't be like that." replied Claire defensively. "I was worried about you. I know you never really wanted to have your own room. Do you want to sleep in my room? Just this once."

Esme shook her head. "No, thanks." she replied.

"No?" asked Claire in surprise. "I thought you loved sharing a room with me?"

"I did," replied Esme "But now I have my own room and I love that too. It isn't as scary as I thought it would be. Thanks for checking on me, but you can go back to your room, Claire."

"Are you sure you don't want to sleep with me?" asked Claire nervously.

Esme narrowed her eyes and studied her sister's face. She knew something was up. "Are you afraid in your new room by yourself? Are you lonely? Do you need me to come and sleep with you?" she asked.

Claire blushed furiously in embarrassment. "Oh no." she mumbled. "I just thought you might need me."

"Okay. Climb in." said Esme welcomingly. She knocked some of the stuffed animals out of the bed and made room for Claire.

"Okay." agreed Claire eagerly climbing into the bed. "but, I am doing this for you."

Esme nodded.  "I know." she replied but she knew that wasn't true at all. She secretly smiled to herself.  She was so proud to be the brave one for once.

Monday, February 8, 2016

The Search for the Super Bowl

Today's story is by my daughter and I.


Everyone was talking about the Super Bowl. Ashlyn Kershaw had no idea what they were talking about. What was the super bowl?  What color was it? Was it plain or did it have a design? How big was it?

She went into the kitchen. Her mother was putting together bowls of snacks. "Which bowl is the super bowl?" asked Ashlyn pointing to all the bowls on the counter. "Is it one of these?"

Her mother just laughed and smiled thinking Ashlyn was kidding.

"I'm serious, mommy." insisted Ashlyn. "Where is the super bowl?" She started looking around in cabinets and drawers.

"The Super Bowl isn't in our house." replied Mommy.

Just then, Daddy entered the kitchen.  He'd been setting up food and drinks on a table in the living room. "We need more soda." he told Mommy. "I'm going to make a run to Target."

"Okay." replied Mommy.

"Can I come?" asked Ashlyn eagerly. Maybe, she could find the super bowl there.

At Target, Ashlyn kept looking for bowls. There were big bowls and small bowls and medium bowls. There were bowls of all different colors and designs. There were plastic bowls and ceramic bowls and paper bowls. It was all so overwhelming. Which one was the super bowl?

Daddy didn't pick any of the bowls at all. He just got soda and went to checkout.  Ashlyn was confused.

"What's the matter, Ashlyn?" asked her Dad noticing her confusion.

"Where is the super bowl?" asked Ashlyn looking all around.

Daddy laughed. "The Super Bowl is not at Target." he replied.

They went home. Daddy went into the living room with the soda. Then, he went into the kitchen to fill the ice bucket.

Ashlyn stayed in the living room with her brother, Alex.  "Were is the super bowl?" Ashlyn asked him.

"It's in California." replied Alex annoyed at being bothered. He didn't take his eyes off the TV screen.

Now, Ashlyn was really confused. California was really far away.  "How are we going to see the super bowl if it's in California?" she asked her brother.

"We're going to watch it on TV" " he declared impatiently as though it should have been obvious to Ashlyn.

"Oh." replied Ashlyn. Apparently, the super bowl was so super that you had to watch it on TV. It must be a really big bowl. She still couldn't understand why anyone would want to watch a bowl on TV anyway no matter how big it was.

Mommy and Daddy finished getting ready. A bunch of friends and family members came over for a big party. 'This must be a big cool important bowl' thought Ashlyn. 'It must be really super.'

They turned on the TV. Ashlyn kept looking for the Super Bowl but all she saw was a bunch of a guys playing football. "Where is the super bowl?" asked Ashlyn looking all over the screen and not seeing any bowls.

Alex looked at her like she was crazy. "It's right there." he said pointing to the screen.

"But that's just a football game." replied Ashlyn.

"The Super Bowl is a football game, dummy." explained Alex rudely.

Mommy gave him an angry look.

"Really?" Ashlyn asked Mommy. "The super bowl is a football game?"

"Yes, it is." replied her mother.

"That's boring." declared Ashlyn. "I'm going to find the candy bowl." Now that was a bowl she could understand, and  as far as she was concerned, it was much more super than a football game.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Twenty Year Nap

Vanessa Ripa took her schoolwork very seriously. She took it more seriously than any other girl she knew. She took it more seriously than any other kid she knew. She was always always studying and hardly ever had any time for fun.

Her parents wished she would have a more rounded life. They wished she would get out and have a little fun sometimes. "You're a smart girl, Vanessa." her mom assured her. "You always do well in school. You can get by with a little less studying."

Vanessa frowned deeply. "I do well in school because I study." she pointed out.

"We're not telling you to stop studying." replied her father. "We are just saying you don't need to study all the time. After all, you are only going to be young once you should enjoy your youth."

"Yes." agreed her mother. "You need a little balance in your life. Go out make friends have fun."

"I have Wanda. " replied Vanessa. Wanda Irvine was Vanessa's best friend.  They often studied together.

"Yes, but do you and Wanda ever do anything fun together?" asked her father.

Vanessa bit her lip and thought about it. No, they really didn't. They mostly just studied together. It wasn't that Wanda never asked Vanessa to go and do something fun with her like go to the movies or play a game or whatever. It was just that Vanessa never wanted to.

As if she knew they were talking about her, Wanda suddenly appeared at the front door. "Hi Wanda." Vanessa greeted her cheerfully opening the front door to let her in. "Are you here to study?"

Wanda shook her head. "I'm going to watch my little brother play soccer at the park. Do you want to come?"

Vanessa shook her head. "Thanks for the invite." she replied sincerely, "but I'm swamped." she waved her hand around to indicate all her school books and papers spread out around the kitchen table where she'd been sitting.

Now, it was Wanda's turn to shake her head. "But it's Saturday, and we didn't even get that much homework this weekend."

"Well, you know," said Vanessa. "I don't want to get behind."

Wanda gave Vanessa a look of pity. She just couldn't understand Vanessa at all. How could anyone possibly study that much? "I guess I'll see you around." she replied sadly. She went off still shaking her head.

Vanessa sighed. Wanda just didn't understand her. Nobody did. It wasn't enough to just do good. She wanted to do the best she possibly could. She needed to do the best she possibly could. It was the most important thing in the world to her.

Vanessa studied for a while, but then she started having trouble concentrating. She looked out the window. It was a beautiful bright and sunny day. Maybe, she would go outside. She would do her studying out there. Maybe, the change of scenery and the warm air would help her concentrate.

She took her books and went outside and sat down on the lawn. It didn't help her to focus at all. In fact, it did quite the opposite. It made her sleepy. She started drifting off and before she knew it she was fast asleep.

She woke with a start when she heard the sound of singing. The voice sounded familiar. It was Wanda. Maybe, she was coming back to study. Vanessa ran down the path to meet her.

Then, suddenly she stopped in her tracks. The girl she saw looked sort of like Wanda, but not exactly, This girl's hair was longer and blonder and her eyes were bluer. "Wanda?" asked Vanessa uncertainly.

The girl smiled. "I get that all the time." she replied. "You must be looking for my mother, Wanda. I'm Winter. Everyone says we look alike. I don't see it though." She shook her head.

Vanessa's mouth flew open but not a sound came out. How long had she slept for? She was in a state of shock. She couldn't move. She couldn't talk. She couldn't do anything.

"Are you okay?" asked Winter. "You're not having a seizure or something, are you?" She started backing away.

Vanessa quickly closed her mouth and tried to gather her composure. "No. I'm fine. I'm just surprised at how much you look like your mother. I haven't seen her for a while." she explained. 'Or at least I guess I haven't seen her for a while'. she thought.

"Do you want me to tell her you said hello?" asked Winter.

"Sure." replied Vanessa uncertainly.

Winter didn't seem to notice Vanessa's hesitation. "And you're who ?" asked Winter in a friendly manner. "Just so I know who to tell my mother said hello." she explained.

"Vanessa Ripa." replied Vanessa.

"Great!" exclaimed Winter. "It was nice meeting you, Vanessa. I'll be sure and tell my mother you said hello." She waved to Vanessa and continued in the direction she had been heading.

Vanessa shook her head. What in the world was going on? She went off to find her mother and father. Maybe, they could tell her what was going on.

When she got to her house. The door was locked. That was strange. She hadn't locked it when she came out. She rang the bell but nobody answered.

Things were getting even stranger and by now, Vanessa was really frightened. She pounded on the door shouting. "Mommy! Daddy! Let me in!"

The door opened. Vanessa was about to sigh in relief when she noticed it was neither her mother or father. It was an old man, she didn't recognize. "What do you want?" the man asked angrily. "And why are you pounding on my door?"

"Daddy?" asked Vanessa. It couldn't be? Could it?  The man gazed at her in a familiar way. Now, she was sure it was her father. How did he get so old and where was Mommy? "Daddy." Vanessa repeated "Where is mommy?"she asked.

"Now you're just being cruel." replied the man even angrier than before. "I don't have any children anymore, and I no longer have a wife either. My wife died of a broken heart twenty years ago when our daughter, Vanessa disappeared."

"But Daddy. I'm Vanessa." insisted Vanessa.

The man slammed the door in Vanessa's face. Vanessa didn't know what else to do so she started running away. She ran and ran until she couldn't run anymore, and she collapsed on the ground.

When Vanessa woke up, she was in her bed. Mommy was there sitting beside her bed. "Mommy!" she exclaimed. "You're alive!"

Mommy looked at Vanessa strangely. "Well, why wouldn't I be?" she asked worriedly.

"No reason." replied Vanessa smiling. Then, she noticed her father was there too. "Daddy, you're young!" she exclaimed.

"Well, I hope so." replied her father with a smile.

"Never mind about him." replied her mother. "How are you? You had too much sun, and you fainted. That's why we brought you in the house, and put you in your bed."

Vanessa smiled happily. That explained everything. "I'm feeling a lot better." she declared. "In fact, I think I am going to go down to the park and see if I can find Wanda at her brother's soccer game." she announced sitting up and getting out of bed.

"That's great!" replied her mom in a combination of relieve because Vanessa was feeling okay and happiness because she was going to do something beside study.

"What made you change your mind about going?" asked her dad curiously.

"Well, you know, " replied Vanessa. "Twenty years can go by in the blink of any eye, and I guess I wouldn't really want to spend all of that time studying."

Vanessa ran off towards the park and left her parents staring after her still wondering about her sudden change of attitude.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Little House

The Little House  was white with black shutters. It lived at the end of a block on a quiet street in a nice neighborhood. It had a nice family to live in it. There was a Mom and a Dad and three kids.

When the Mom and the Dad moved to the Little House, they didn't have any kids. There were just a young married couple settling in for their new life together. It made the Little House so happy to have them live in her rooms and take care of her.

At first the Mom and the Dad, who were not really the Mom and the Dad then because they didn't have any children, both worked. They were away a lot of the day. The Little House missed them, but she was really excited when they came home every night.

Then, the Older Brother came along, Only then he wasn't the Older Brother, he was the Baby. The Mom stayed home to take care of him. The Little House loved having the Mom and the Baby home all day. Of course, they did not stay home all day every day, but they were home a lot more than when the Mom and Dad both worked.

The Little House loved having a Baby around. She loved the sound of baby laughter. It was such a happy sound. She loved to be filled with happy sounds. She hated baby tears though. She didn't like sadness of any kind. It made her sad too.

When the Baby was about two along came, another Baby. This one was a girl, At first, she was the Little One but eventually she would become the Middle One. The Little House couldn't be happier with the new Baby. She loved to have babies around and she would like to have a nice big family living in her. The more the merrier, she truly believed.

It got a lot noisier and a lot busier in the Little House with two kids. The Little House just loved it. She wanted to be useful and she wanted her family to grow with her. She wanted them to have lots of happiness and build lots of great memories while they lived in her.

Eventually, it was time for the Big Brother to go to school. The Little House missed him but he always came home every day just like the Dad always came home from work. It was a little bit quieter without the Big Brother but not that much because the Mom and the new Baby were usually around.

Shortly, after the Big Brother started school, another baby came along. This one was another girl. She was truly the Baby because there wouldn't be another one after her. The Big Brother and the Middle Sister fought a lot but everyone adored the baby. The Little House loved her too. She loved all of the family. She didn't like it when they fought or argued or yelled. She liked it much better when they loved each other and got along with each other.

The Little House watched the children grow from little babies in their parents arms to toddlers waddling around in diapers to little kids chasing around to big kids walking around. They seemed to grow by leaps and bounds and get bigger every day. She loved watching them grow.

Finally, there came a time when the Little House seemed too little for the family. The kids were all bigger and taller and older. They took up more space. They had more things too, and they needed more room.

When they talked about moving, it made the Little House very sad. She loved her family, She didn't want them to leave her. It made the family sad to think of moving too. They loved their Little House. It was the only house the kids had known.

Still, it was time and the family had to move on. The Little House was so sad when they finally packed up their stuff and moved. She didn't think that she could ever be happy again. However, she wasn't empty for a long. Another young couple just starting their life together soon moved into the house. The Little House was so happy and excited when they moved in. She would have another family to live in her rooms and take care of her. She would have another family to watch grow. She missed her old family but they would always be a part of her as she would be a part of them, but life would go on for the Little House with her new family just as it would go on for the family in their new house.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Sophia Can't Sleep

Tomorrow was going to be an exciting day for Sophia Darrow. She would be going to see the ballet, Cinderella.  She was really excited. She knew she needed plenty of sleep so she decided to go to bed early. She quickly got her favorite purple striped pajamas on and brushed her teeth and hair. Then, she said "Good night." to her Mom and Dad kissed them each on the cheek.

"Going to bed so early?" They asked in surprise.

Sophia nodded. "I want to get plenty of sleep for my big day tomorrow." she told them happily. Mommy and Daddy smiled at Sophia's excitement.

Sophia hurried into her room. She climbed up into her bed and pulled her big fluffy pink blanket up to her chin. She shut her eyes but she just couldn't fall asleep.

After a little while, she figured maybe it was just too early for her to go to sleep because she wasn't used to it. She turned on her light, got out her book and read for a little bit. When she felt like she was starting to get tired, she put her book away and turned off the light. She crawled back under the covers.

Still sleep wouldn't come. After a half hour of trying, she opened her eyes and stared at the ceiling. She couldn't believe that didn't put her to sleep. That had to be one of the most boring things in the world to do.

She decided to count sheep. By the time she got to one hundred and she still hadn't fall asleep, she gave that up. She tried doing things that would make her brain tired like saying the alphabet backwards or doing complex math problems in her head. Those things didn't help either.

She got out of bed and went in Mommy and Daddy's room.

"What's the matter?" asked Daddy full of concern.

"Are you feeling okay?" asked Mommy worriedly.

Sophia nodded. "I'm feeling fine. I just can't sleep."

"You're probably just over excited about tomorrow." said Daddy.

"I'll make you some warm milk." Mommy told her. She led Sophia into the kitchen and heated up some milk on the stove. The thought of drinking warm milk disgusted Sophia. She hardly even liked to drink milk that had been sitting around for a few minutes at room temperature. However, she was willing to try anything. When Mom handed her the glass of warm milk, she still thought it was gross, but she drank the whole thing.

Mommy smiled and took the empty glass from Sophia and put it in the dishwasher. "There!" she said. "I'm sure you'll be sleeping in no time." She walked Sophia back to her room and tucked her in. Sophia pulled up the covers and closed her eyes again.

After another half hour of lying there and not being able to sleep again, Sophia opened her eyes and sat up again. Maybe, some soothing music would help her to sleep. She turned on the radio softly. However, the stations were playing really loud upbeat music tonight and Sophia couldn't find anything that helped her sleep.

After a while, she turned off the radio and went back to Mommy and Daddy's room. By now, they were both fast sleep even if  Sophia wasn't. 'Well at least they can sleep' she thought jealously. She quickly tiptoed back to her own room.

In her room, she got back into her bed. She tried to relax and sleep, but she just couldn't. She figured she was trying too hard. She decided to just lie in bed and think until she got tired enough to sleep. That took longer than Sophia thought it would. By the time, she finally started drifting off to sleep, it was starting to get light outside.

"Come on, honey. It's time to go." Sophia's mother's voice broke into her sleep what felt like and probably was only a few hours later. Sophia groggily dragged herself out of bed and got dressed. She practically fell asleep when she was brushing her teeth.

Mommy and Sophia got into the car to head to the Civic Center to see the ballet. Daddy wasn't going with them. He hated the ballet.

Sophia wanted to sleep in the car but she couldn't because the noise outside the car was so loud. There was loud construction going on and horns blaring and all kinds of other noise. To Sophia, it seemed much noisier than usual like she was being punished for not having slept.

Finally, they arrived at the Civic Center and went inside. Mommy bought Sophia a program, and they were quickly ushered to their seats. Soon, the auditorium was full. The orchestra started playing and the ballet started. The music was so sweet and soothing not at all like the noise of the traffic.

At the intermisson, Mommy asked Sophia. "How are you enjoying the ballet so far, honey?" Sophia didn't answer. "Sophia?" said Mommy. Sophia still didn't answer. Mommy looked at Sophia. Sophia's eyes were closed and she let out a loud snore. She was fast asleep.