The Sly One



“Ahh!  Great job!” Rex said to his sister.

Shelly beamed. “Thanks! I worked hard on it.”

“Its amazing how you captured the details so well!

Shelly looked at Rex with shock on her face, ” You sure are full of compliments today, did Trish call you back or something? Going on a date tonight?”

Rex grinned, ” Yes, we are going out tonight, but that’s not the reason for me being nice. Can’t I be nice to my wonderful sister for no reason?”

“Well yeah, but … excuse me if I am a little shocked.”  Sally got up and put her arm around him, “You really can be a cool brother sometimes.”

Rex got a twinkle in his eye as he said, “Of course I am cool, you are so lucky to have the coolest brother in town!”

Laughing, Sally patted his back, “Don’t let your head swell too big brother, I may need to flatten it with a hat.”

“Sally! Are you up there, I need you to come help me in the kitchen please.”

“Coming Mom!” Sally said, as she started walking down the hall. She then heard Rex’s voice behind her yell out.

“Hey Mom, you need to come up and see Sally’s awesome self portrait that she just painted.”

Turning around Sally made a face with arrows darting out of her eyes, at him, as he quickly ran into his room laughing and locking the door.

Sally rolled her eyes, brothers, she thought, Men! What is one to do! Hmm…she was sure she would think of something, as a sly smile crept across her face.

Smiles and things that make you go Hmmm…!


This weekend we picked this sand dollar up to make a craft. We couldn’t help but laugh and be perplexed when we noticed the Warning printed on the back of the packaging. “Not meant for Children 14 years or younger.”   Seriously, 14 years??? I never realized that sand dollars were dangerous.

What warnings have  you read on packages and products that have caused you to wonder?

What things make you go “Hmmm….”  Share in the comments below!

And if you need a smile, here are some signs that will hopefully bring one! (brought to you by Pinterest)


e84460a1a5cba312c2a05eea5c0b1f01                          485a83b19d8405742115593b7b21877a


Power of Words

Words can mean so much and I am not talking about the big, elaborate ones. I am referring to simple words .. words from the heart. They really are powerful and we all walk around with that power in our grasp every second of the day. Who will be touched by your words today?

Writing words for a story is fun, to see the story come more and more alive right in front of you. Working on “The Odessa Chronicles” was quite the adventure, as Colin and I saw the personalities of the characters emerge.  We didn’t expect them to grab hold of our hearts the way they did, stirring our hearts with emotion.  The power of words is strong.

My Mom shared words with me this past weekend that stirred my heart and I wanted to pass it on. A friend of hers that she hadn’t seen in a while stopped her in the grocery store. Her face was shining and she was all excited. She proceeded to tell my Mom about how much she loved “The Odessa Chronicles” , how fun the characters are and how she so wants Colin and I to write a sequel. That she has enjoyed the book so much that she read it the whole way through twice now!

Those words didn’t take long for her to say, but oh the the power that was in them. They made my heart soar! We have said that “The Odessa Chronicles” is for children of all ages, and she has proved the truth behind that.

When I shared about the “little giant” in my blog post yesterday, I was talking about one of our youngest fans of “The Odessa Chronicles.” He may be little, but his words have  touched the hearts of Colin and I over and over again! Jaxon is his favorite character and he has excitedly told us about his love for our book many times. His sincerity comes through and he is just so sweet as he has thanked us for writing. Words have power.

Now we have heard from one of our oldest fans. She may be 80 years old, but my Mom said how her eyes just danced when sharing about her love for the book.

“For children of all ages”, it definitely is! You are never too old to let your imagination go and to take a visit to Moonbeam Farm!

Don’t take my word for it, take it from the the lady with the dancing eyes!


The Dragon Cure

Jinx stared at the crossword puzzle in his book. He was trying to pass time by working on it,  but it wasn’t helping, he couldn’t concentrate. He had only figured out 3 words so far. “Yes”, that word was easy, for what other word was the opposite of “No.  “Dynamic” was a little trickier to come up with, and then there was “Jackalope”, that was a fun one. He was well acquainted with Jackalopes. The other words though were proving more difficult.  He had no idea of what started with a R, had a P in the middle and ended with a T! He closed the book and turned to Jangle.

“Jangle, don’t you think he should be coming out soon?” asked Jinx.

Jangle put down the book he was reading. “I sure hope so, for I have read this same paragraph 3x now, just can’t stop worrying about him. He really looked pale, don’t you think?”

Jinx nodded his head and they sat watching the door. Within a few minutes it opened up and Dr. Doodly  walked out with a smile.

He walked over to Jinx and Jangle and spoke, ” Dinosauris is feeling bad, but its nothing that can’t be cured.

Jinx and Jangle sighed with relief and smiled. “That is great! We knew you could fix him up! You have the magic touch Dr.Doodly”. they said.

“Well, actually I didn’t cure him, you two are the answer to that! Thank you so much for volunteering to take Dinosauris on a little trip. I know I can always count on the two of you.”

“Whoa! Wait a minute…When did we say…”

The Dr interrupted. ” I will ask Santa to give you off work for the next 3 days. Sound good? ”

Jinx and Jangle looked at each other, adventures were fun, and they were always up for one, so why not! They smiled and said, ” We will do anything to help our friend, sure we will go.”

“Wonderful!” It shouldn’t take you that long to get there. In fact you could probably still make it there today, if you left right away. I will go tell Santa Any questions?”

“Well yeah, where exactly are we taking Dinosauris  and what is wrong with him? they asked.

The Dr  chuckled, “Yes, I guess you do need to know that, I was getting ahead of myself. Dinosaris just needs some cheering up. He is very glad that you all brought him to the North Pole, but he is feeling antsy, needs some adventure. I know just the thing to cheer him up, but I thought it would be nice if his friends would accompany him. I want to send you all to visit the little giant!”

“A giant!” Jinx and Jangle both said in unison.

“No need to fear, he is a little giant.” replied the Dr. ” He is little in size, but he has a giant heart and he is wonderful at spreading smiles.”

Jinx and Jangle were visibly relieved to hear that. They were getting excited now. Sounded like this little giant would be a fun person to meet.

It didn’t take much time for them to get ready. Dinosauris had a little more color in his face, he was already getting happier. Eager to go on an adventure with Jinx and Jangle.

Everyone gathered around to see them off. They were glad that Dinosauris was a little happier, he was special to all of them. They hoped that this little adventure would be the perfect cure for him, that he wouldn’t be a gloomy dragon anymore dragging his tail behind him.

They were flying through the sky and Jinx and Jangle were feeling pretty content. Nothing like just sitting back and enjoying the ride!

As Dr.Dooly had said, in didn’t take them too long to get to their destination. Dinosauris landed and they slid off his back looking around. Wasn’t a whole lot to see, didn’t look like anyone was around, but they had seen the sign. A simple sign that read , “The Home of the Little Giant!”

Jinx and Jangle decided to stretch their legs and go on a little walk. Perhaps they would find the “Little Giant”. Dinosauris wanted to rest, since he had done all the work, while Jinx and Jangle just enjoyed the ride.  They said they would be sure to bring the “Little Giant” to him if they found him.

“Well, it feels like we have been walking for awhile and we haven’t seen any signs of a little giant.” Jinx said.

“Perhaps we should go back to check on Dinosauris, and we could have some supper. I am getting rather hungry.”  said Jangle.

Jinx agreed and they started heading back.

After they were walking a little ways, Jinx stopped, “Jangle, did you hear that?”

“Hear what?”

“Ssh! Just listen.” said Jinx.

They both stood very still and then the sound came again.

“Wow!Am I hearing what I think I am hearing?”

Jinx grinned, “I believe so, the sound of a dragon laughing is pretty distinct! Hurry, lets go!”

They ran the rest of the way and were shocked to see that Dinosauris wasn’t alone. There was a little boy standing with him. They were both laughing so hard, that tears were in their eyes.

Neither of them could speak when Jinx and Jangle first got there.

Finally Dinosauris caught his breath and said, “HI guys! So glad you made it back! I want to introduce you to my little friend. His name is Benjamin.”

Jinx and Jangle shook his hand as they smiled at the boy whose face just beamed with happiness.

Jinx and Jangle looked at each other and then back at him. ” Do you happen to be the little giant?”

“I sure am! So glad you all came to visit me, we are going to have so much fun together!”

Jinx and Jangle looked at Dinosauris smiling and they didn’t doubt for a second that the next 3 days surely would be a a fun adventure!

They all gathered in a circle to eat the wonderful picnic supper that Chef Salvo had packed.  He made plenty, and Benjamin had  juice boxes that he shared with them all  plus very tasty donuts for all of them. He was so sweet.

As they ate Benjamin continued to regale them with stories of his adventures with his best buddies Jellybean, the rabbit and Jaxon, the one and only Jackalope. The louder Dinosauris would laugh the louder Benjamin would laugh. Jinx and Jangle couldn’t help but join in, it made them so happy to see their friend happy once again!

Benjamin kept giving Dinosauris tight neck buster hugs around the neck and Dinosauris just loved it. Hugs always felt good!

There was no doubt, sharing happiness and laughter with a new friend was a wonderful cure !




Love knows no distance


“Oh this spot is perfect! So glad you brought me here.”  Cara squeezed Troy’s hand.

Troy put his arm around her and they walked across the bridge, finding a place under a tree to spread their checkered blanket for their picnic.

The aroma of the fried chicken coming from the basket that Tara carried, was making Troy hungrier by the minute. His mouth was watering by the time Cara pulled out the fried chicken and handed it to him. She had also included her wonderful corn bread muffins and pumpkin pie. His taste buds were doing the dance of joy!

“Thank you for being such a wonderful cook. Everything tasted great.” Troy said, as he finished off a second piece of pie.  ” I can’t wait until we are married and I can eat your cooking every day! I think I may gain 20 pounds though from it.”

Cara laughed, “I am glad you enjoyed it, looks like you must have worked up quite the appetite. Sitting on a train must be hard work”, she teased, with a twinkle in her eye.

“Hey, riding a train does work up an appetite! I left early this morning, those scrambled eggs I had for breakfast only lasted for so long. They served coffee on the train, but that didn’t help to fill my stomach. It was a pretty trip through the mountains, seeing the leaves changing colors, brilliant shades of orange, red, and yellow! I looked out the window and dreamed of you. I may have dozed off some too, for 5 hours is a long  ride. But the road to love is never too long!” Troy said, as he winked at Cara.

She blushed, and shook her head. “Oh Troy, maybe since it was such a long ride, I should let you nap and just go home.” She smiled and started to get up to walk away, but Troy grabbed her hand and pulled her back down beside him. “No, no, I am as rested up as I need to be. I have a whole day, before I have to return , and I want to spend every bit of it with you.”

Her hazel eyes sparkled as she snuggled closer against him.

“I can’t wait until we are married, and you don’t have to ride the train back and forth to visit me!”  Cara sighed.

“Yes, the 5 hour commute gets long, and  24 hours goes by way too fast, but we can do our best to cherish the moments. So lets make them count! ” Troy replied, as he pulled her up, ” Lets go for a walk and tonight I may just have a special surprise for you.” Troy said with a glimmer in his sparkling blue eyes.

Cara wrapped her arms around him, “Do I get a hint?”

They started walking and Troy smiled as he said, “Its a full moon tonight, and I hear that surprising things happen when its a full moon.

Cara’s heart was full, with love shining out from it. She couldn’t wait for the full moon to shine.


Sunday’s Question

Yesterday my post mentioned about a school teaching empathy and compassion, it then went on to talk about the school doing away with recognition of achievements as a way to not make the ones who didn’t win anything feel bad.

As always I enjoyed the comments that followed the post.  In one of the comments, a reader brought up about being predisposed to empathy. I had thought of that before and figured it would be a good question to ask my wonderful readers. Are some people more naturally inclined to be compassionate and empathetic?

Is it something we are born with?

I think of children I have known when working in the daycare and there definitely were those who were more quick to come to the aid of a classmate if they saw them hurt. Those who grew sad, when their classmate was sad, and others who just walked away.

I remember one little girl who showed such a caring heart. I literally had to stop reading in the middle of one story because the poor girl had tears just running down her cheeks!

It was a story about a Mama Duck with 5 baby ducks and the one duck wandered away. The little girl’s bottom lip trembled, crying over the lost ducky.

This little girl was only 2 and 1/2 years old! I would say that is an example of being born with a compassionate spirit!

You often read stories of where children have wanted to donate their money in their piggy bank to a good cause. Children that found ways to raise money for a cause that they cared about and these are young children I am talking about. Yes, you can show children how to be compassionate and have empathy but I think a lot of it naturally comes from their heart.

What do you think? Is it just like each of us being gifted in different areas of studies and some of us being music oriented, while others are very good at sports? Are there those who are more naturally gifted with a compassionate spirit?

We all can show kindness, but do you know some people that seem to have an extra big heart?



What is the Answer?

I saw an article this morning about a school that is trying to teach young children about empathy and compassion. That sounded great, it was just the one statement that I had a problem with.  In order to teach about empathy and compassion they will not be giving out any type of awards or trophies for achievements or sports events anymore.

I know decisions like this have been made for awhile now by different schools, and even though it is nothing new, it still bothers me.  What are we really teaching our children by this? Is this really the way to help them be more compassionate and empathetic? It doesn’t make sense to me, but perhaps I am missing something.

The argument I have always heard is that they don’t want to make the other children feel bad, the ones who can’t do well in sports or don’t excel in school work. I understand that, but I still don’t know if what schools are doing now is the best solution.

Every child is different, there will be ones who excel in sports, and ones like me who strike out, more than I hit! Ones who excel in music, and some in art, or something else totally different. Its OK to not be good at something, and I am not sure if that message is getting across when we decide to totally eliminate acknowledgement of winning at a sport or another accomplishment.

I think of my sisters who are very talented in art and singing. I did not get those genes, but I never felt bad because of it. My sister got straight A’s. I  preferred using more letters of the alphabet. My parents were proud of my sisters, they hung their artwork on the wall and told them how much they loved their singing. I didn’t feel less valued because of them applauding my sisters. I enjoyed listening to my sisters sing as well.

Here is the key, my confidence in myself didn’t come from things I could do, it came from just plain liking who I was.

I didn’t care about others getting awards in school or winning trophies for sports. I am not saying that I never wished that I was good at sports or could make the honor roll, but I learned to just accept that I was not cut out to be an athlete. That  certain school subjects didn’t come as easily for me, and that I much preferred reading actual words with letters in them, not trying to find out what X and y were supposed to = and  what Y to the power of 10 was!

I realize that sadly not every child comes from a loving home. Not every child has caring parents  to instill self confidence in them.  So what is the solution when it comes to sporting events and other things at school?  How do we boost self confidence and not hurt it?  Yet at the same time preparing them for the real world, where there will be things that they are going to lose at, and people that will be smarter, etc.

You heard my thoughts, now I would love to hear yours!