As a child my world grew leaps and bounds as I immersed myself into books. I hid myself in pages of orphaned girls, mysteries of years ago, animals and animation of all kinds. As a child I would write puppet shows and perform them for younger friends. As a young aunt I would make up stories for my nieces and nephews. As a first year teacher I wrote my first children's book. My see my words published and beautifully illustrated one day, Lord willing. For now, I will self-publish the stories that I write for my own precious four children as I do what I can to help their imaginations soar through a world of wonderful words.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Grandmama’s Kitchen: Sausage Biscuits

Today I was missing home.  I love the Fall and Thanksgiving.  Memories of the wonderful smells that arose from the kitchen.  I posted as my status on facebook that I was missing my grandmother’s fried apple pies that are apart of my favorite Fall memories.  A dialogue started between some friends, my sister and I. Joking, I typed that I should write a book titled Grandmama’s Kitchen.  Then in a really long round about way I was reminded of the biscuits my grandmother use to make me when I would visit her on the weekends.  And then the story came......

Grandmama’s Kitchen:
Sausage Biscuits

            I could smell the sausage sizzling in the kitchen before I ever opened my eyes.  I lingered just a few minutes enjoying the thick high bed. The soft sheets and heavy comforter hid me in the room where my father slept when he was a boy.  I loved weekends at Grandmama’s house which were matched by no other.  Not being able to wait another moment, I hopped out of bed and skipped down the short hall, past my grandaddy’s chair that sat in the den like the throne of a king. Entering the kitchen I put my arms around Grandmama’s thick waist.
            “Morning! Smells yummy.  Are they ready yet?”
            “Good morning. Nope.  Get the cheese and mustard.”  My grandmother motioned with her head toward the refrigerator. 
            After I obeyed her request, I skirted back into the den. Past my grandfather’s leather chair, avoiding the kick of his foot intended for my behind, straight to the bar that separated the two rooms.  I sat on a stool that allowed me to be face to face with my grandmother.  The stovetop and the sizzling sausage were sandwiched between us. 
            Grandmama took a silver spoon in one hand and a can of biscuits in the other.  She pressed the back of the spoon to the can and…  POP!  She handed me the open can and a cookie sheet. As I lined the biscuits she began slicing the block of cheddar cheese. 
            “Finished!” I exclaimed and handed the cookie sheet to Grandmama.  She placed the biscuits in the preheated oven and turned her attention to the sausage. She flipped them over then turned down the heat on the skillet. 
            “Do you want to finish slicing the cheese?” Grandmama asked, picking up her coffee cup and taking a sip.
            “Will you fix me some coffee while I do?” I half-jokingly asked.
            With a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye she handed me the cutting board with the block of cheese.  Then she handed me the knife with the handle pointing my way so I could safely take it from her. 
            “Be careful.” She told me as she reached in the cupboard for a coffee cup. She poured a small amount of coffee, a bit larger amount of milk, and then added two heaping spoonfuls of sugar. I finished the slicing and we traded off, she taking the cheese and I the milk with coffee! 
            The timer on the oven went off signaling that the biscuits were finished.  The smell of the butter made my mouth water with anticipation of my favorite breakfast food.  My grandmother took a plate and placed two biscuits on it.  She used a fork to pry the top from the bottom, allowing the steam hidden inside the dough to escape.  She placed a brown circle piece of sausage on the bottom slice of the biscuits. Next she added a slice of cheese on top of the sausage. Picking up the yellow bottle she drizzled mustard on top of the cheese. Finally she closed up the masterpiece with the top of the biscuit. 
            “Here you go.” She said as she handed me the plate.  Unlike the cookie sheet with biscuits or the cutting board with cheese, I would NOT be handing my plate back to her. Well, not until I had devoured every last drop of my sausage with mustard and cheese biscuits anyway. 

sausage patties:
canned biscuits:
block of cheddar cheese

You will also need:
A skillet - to cook the sausage.
A cookie sheet – to bake the biscuits
A knife (or cheese slicer) – to slice the cheese

Directions: Make sure you ask your mom or dad, or better yet your grandmother, to help!
1.    1. Cook the sausage according to directions on package.  
2.    2. Line your biscuits on a cookie sheet and bake according to directions on can.  Don’t forget to pre-heat your oven.
3.    3. Slice thin layers of cheddar cheese.  Be careful!
4.    4. When biscuits are done, remove from oven and let sit for just a minute.
5.    5. Split the biscuit in half. Insert a fork in the side of the biscuit and pry the top from the bottom.
6.    6. Place a cooked piece of sausage on the bottom side.
7.    7. Add a slice of cheese onto of the sausage.
8.    8. Drizzle mustard on the cheese.
9.    9. Put the top of the biscuit in place.

Now open up and insert your marvelous masterpiece into your mouth!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Always Faithful

Living miles away from family and friends can get lonely. Sometimes a phone call, an e-mail or a letter does wonders to ease that loneliness. A smile easily comes to my mouth when I log on and I see a note from my sister or nephew or niece.  The phone rings and when I answer it’s my mother or mother-in-law on the other line.  The flip of that is the sadness on the days when no e-mails come, no comments are made on my facebook page or blog, when the phone doesn’t ring.  
Is that what God feels when He whispers, speaks calmly, yells or screams and yet receives no response from us. When weeks go by with out reading His lines, paragraphs, letters and books.  How do I make Him feel when I get too busy and wrapped up in my day to take a minute to respond to a note He has written me or a whisper I have heard from Him?

 Always Faithful

I whisper, you don’t respond
I speak calmly, you don’t respond
I yell, you don’t respond
I scream, still no response

I write a simple line, you don’t respond
I write a paragraph, you don’t respond
I write a letter, you don’t respond
I write a book, still no response

I close my mouth
I lay down my pen
I give up
I know I can’t win

He whispers, do I respond?
He speaks calmly, do I respond?
He yells, do I respond?
He screams, do I respond?

He writes a line, do I respond?
He writes a paragraph, do I respond?
He writes a letter, do I respond?
He writes a book, do I respond?

He never closes His mouth
He never lays down His pen
He is always faithful
Until the very end

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ellie Loves Shoes

Ellie is currently the youngest member of Team Honduras.  She is the cutest year and a half year old toddler.  I am having so much fun watching her - it brings so many memories from when the twins were little.  Ellie loves shoes!  She is constantly putting them on and off.  Trying on any shoe that is available.  The other day we were all at the beach/pool together and she was entertained for a long time just trading out from my flip flops to Siah's crocks to her sisters sandals.  It brought a smile to my lips as I started saying, "Ellie love shoes. Big shoes, small shoes, blue shoes, red shoes."  Her mother and I laughed, "What a great kid's book!" So here attempt to write about Ellie and her shoes!

Ellie Loves Shoes
Ellie is playing in the living room.  Her mother says to her, "Ellie, it's time to go outside and play." Ellie runs to her room for her blue flip flops. Ellie loves shoes!

Ellie is playing outside. Her mother says to her, "Ellie, get in your stroller and let's go for a walk to the park." Ellie runs back inside to find another pair of shoes.  She trades her blue flip flops for her yellow tennis shoes. Ellie loves shoes!

Ellie is playing at the park and steps in mud. Her mother says to her "Ellie, your shoes are all dirty. Time to go home. Ellie digs through the bottom of her stroller and finds another pair of shoes.  She trades her yellow tennis shoes for her green sandals. Ellie loves shoes!

Ellie is in the stroller on her way back home. Her mother says to her "Ellie, we're home. Time for a nap." Ellie climbs out of her stroller and goes inside to her room to find another pair of shoes. She trades her green sandals for her red bedroom slippers. Ellie loves shoes!

Ellie climbs in her bed and falls fast asleep. Ellie dreams. What does Ellie dream about? Ellie dreams about blue flip flops, yellow tennis shoes, green sandals and red bedroom slippers.

Ellie is sleeping in her bed. Her mother says to her, "Ellie, it's time to wake up and go to ballet practice." Ellie climbs out of bed and goes to her closet to find another pair of shoes. She trades her red bedroom slippers for her pink ballet shoes . Ellie loves shoes!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Today I Am Thankful For......

We took the kids on an outing the other day.  "THIS is the best day of my life!"  My response - "Can you remember this on the days when you DON'T like your day?" often do I remember the good gifts of my Father on the  days I have been in a 'blah' mood.  Something that I can get into easily if I let myself.  So I decided to sit down and think about what I have to be thankful for.  The following is what flowed out of my fingers.  

Today I Am Thankful For......

Sunshine, cool mountain breezes and blue skies
southern hash-browns, turkey bacon and toast
four active kids dreaming of apple pies
my husband whom I love the most.

Fields of green grass
covered with tiny yellow flowers
not littered with tons of trash
lingering evidence of nourishing showers.

Of all of these
none compares
to The Creator of trees
and His Son whom He shares.

For His mercy and grace
for His wisdom from above
to Him I raise my hands in this place
and thank Him for eternal love.

I am content where I am
for this is where He desires
His little lamb
He guards from fires.

For what will you be thankful for today?
Food, shelter, clothing?
Family, friends, sunshine in May?
Hands of loved ones holding?

Today I am thankful for
to whom belongs all praise honor and glory for all things

Join me?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Luscious Limeade - Is Your Tongue Dry?

The weather is finally feeling like Spring!  With the transition to warmer weather I got to thinking about all the great limeade that we made and drank when we lived in Mexico.   Here is another article that I had to write for my writing course - inspired of course from hot-Mexican days!


            What do you like to drink when your tongue gets so dry that it sticks to the top of your mouth just as if you’ve eaten a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on white bread?  A tall glass of milk?  A cold juice box straight from the fridge?  A glass of ice water so cold it makes your hand numb when you hold it?   What about some limeade?
Limeade is just like lemonade only it is made with small green limes rather than lemons. Limes grow on small bushy trees in the most southern parts of the United States, Mexico, Central America, and South America. Limes can’t grow where it gets cold.  They need lots of sunshine and warm weather.  When the weather gets too cold it kills the lime trees.
            A key lime is the smallest type of lime in the lime family, about the size of a ping-pong ball.  Both the skin and the flesh are greenish-yellow in color, and it is very juicy.  Perfect for making juice!   Key limes not only make great juice, but they are also very good for your body?  They are packed full of vitamin c, like lemons and oranges, which helps your body fight off colds and other germs.  Do you like being sick?  I didn’t think so.  So, make sure that you drink lots of limeade and keep your body full of vitamin c!
            Why don’t you ask your dad or mom if you can make fresh squeezed limeade?  It may be easier and cheaper to buy a premix package and just mix it with water and sugar, but it’s more fun to make it fresh!  And, because you get greater amounts of vitamins and nutrients from eating or drinking fresh fruits it is the healthy thing to do.   Here is a great recipe to help your body fight germs and keep your tongue wet!

You will need:
  • 11/2 cups of juice from key limes
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 gallon of water or 16 cups
  • Hand held Lime juicer/ Citrus juicer
  • Sharp knife
  • 1 gallon pitcher
What to do:
1.  Wash the limes and ask an adult to help you cut each one in half.
2.  Juice all your limes into a measuring cup.
3.  Mix your sugar with 1 cup of boiling water until it is dissolved. 
4.  Add lime juice and sugar mixture in a gallon pitcher.
5.  Add the remaining 15 cups of cold water to the top and stir.
6.  Pour over ice into a glass and drink up!

Now, imagine yourself on a hot summer day.  Is your tongue dry?  Pour yourself a cool, cold-fighting glass of limeade and enjoy! Ahhh…!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Time for T

One of my writing assignments was a non-fictional piece.  Here's what I wrote.  Even thought it was written for older elementary / pre-teen age group I think it applies to all.  I know it does for me as I spend WAY to much time on the computer.  Several months ago I had to take a break from facebook when my daughter came home from school and her first words to me were, "you're always on facebook."  Maybe I should take another sabbatical :D !

Time for T
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise.” Ephesians 5:15-16 NIV
What are some of your most favorite things to do? Type on the computer? Talk on the phone? Text? Think about what you do everyday and write down three of your most favorite:
  1. ______________________________________
  1. ______________________________________
  1. ______________________________________
If I asked you what being a good steward is could you tell me?  Would you say that it is being responsible with money or things?  Well, you would be right.  But, do you know that you can be a good steward of your time as well. Yep, you sure can!  Time is something that God gave you.  Ephesians 5:15 tells us to “be careful, then, how we live—not as unwise but as wise.”  You are wise when you are careful with your time.  
Janie came home from school.  She was tired! Her teachers had made her work hard and she had a lot of homework.  She threw her heavy book bag on the floor, grabbed a bag of chips, fell onto the overstuffed couch and turned the TV on.  That’s where she sat until it was time for dinner, time for a shower and then time for bed.  Oh no! What about the homework? 
Sam came home from school.  He was tired! His teachers had made him work hard and he had a lot of homework.  He took his book bag to his room, took a 20 minute nap, got up and ate an apple and then went outside to toss a football with his friends.  After dinner he did his homework, took a shower and went to bed. 
Who are you more like? Janie or Sam. Like the rest of us you probably fall somewhere in the middle.  Is it wrong to eat chips and watch tv? No.  Is it always possible to take a nap, eat healthy and get exercise? Nope - probably not.  It all goes back to the amount of a healthy or non-healthy stewardship of our time.
How can you be a good steward with your time?  How can you be careful how you live? Here are a few examples:
  • Don’t hit the snooze button on the alarm – get up instead and spend those extra 5-10 minutes with God.  
  • Spend less time in front of the TV and more time with family and friends.   
  • Limit your time on the computer.  There’s a lot of junk out there that is unwise.
Write down three of your own ideas here:
  1. ____________________________________________
  1. ____________________________________________
  1. ____________________________________________

Take some time for t today: time to be thankful, time to train yourself to be careful and wise and time to take time to be with the One who gave you your time.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Runaway Captain

A few years ago John encouraged me to take a writing course; as if I had nothing else to do.  I had been talking about if for a long time and so I took the plunge and applied to The Institute of Children's Literature.  Part of the application was submitting a fictional writing piece.  Below is that work inspired by the horse we owned until I was six.  Captain was a beautiful horse that I still miss to this day. 

The Runaway Captain

Captain was my yellow palomino horse.  In my young eyes he stood a hundred feet tall.  His breath was hot on my face.  His large nostrils flared as he snorted.  He ran with the speed of a whole pack of wild horses.
I remember running barefoot in the soft green grass to meet him at the tall electric fence that kept him prisoner to the wide pasture.  I remember feeding him juicy red apples, and pouring ice cold 7-Up into my small palms for him to drink.  I remember sitting on his tall back, with his full mane in my hands and letting him take me wherever he wanted to go.
I woke up one fall morning to an orange sun rising up over our old brown barn.  I went out to give Captain his daily bucket of grain.  As I came near the tall fence I noticed that the gate was wide open and my horse was nowhere in sight!  I ran to the house, my eyes full of tears, screaming for my mom to help.
My mother gathered up my sisters and me, a bucket of feed, and a rope.  We headed down the long gravel road that ran in front of our house in search of my runaway Captain.  A little way down the road we spotted a flowing yellow tail.  As we got closer my older sister got out of the car, bucket in one hand and the rope behind her back in the other hand.  She walked slowly and quietly toward Captain.  He looked at us with a sparkle in his eyes.  Then in one quick motion he turned and sprinted off, his thick mane flowing in the wind! 
After a minute or two he stopped, turned, and waited for us.  As we approached him he again looked at us with a beautiful sparkle in his big dark eyes.  I looked back and smiled.  He allowed my sister to almost get close enough to slip the rope over his head, and then once again he ran off with a spring in each step.
My mother was the first to say what I already knew, “Captain is playing a game with us! Let’s go home and get ready for school, that horse will come home when he gets hungry.”  I didn’t want to go home; I didn’t want to get ready for school; I didn’t want the game to be over. 
I went to school that day but thought only of my horse running around without me.  As soon as I was back at home I kicked off my shoes and ran barefooted through the grass to the electric fence.  My runaway captain had returned and was anxiously waiting for a juicy apple and a cold 7-Up.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

If I Were a Lost Crayon

This is my latest work.  The other day Evan was searching for his crayon and kept repeating over and over what is now the title, "If I were a lost crayon where would I be?"  With a smile on my face I watched him hunt all over.  Then I picked up my computer and began to write.  Enjoy the following inspired by my 6 year old little man.

If I Were a Lost Crayon

   Baxter Beaver wanted to color his friend Toby Toad a picture.  He wanted to color himself and his best friend playing in his backyard by the big tree. First he got paper from his paper drawer.  Then he got his color box off the shelf.  
“I’m missing the green crayon.  How can I color grass and a tree without the green? How can I color Toby Toad without the green? 
Baxter Beaver looked all through the color box.  It wasn’t there.  He looked on the high and low shelves.  It wasn’t there either. He looked in all the craft drawers.  He could not find his green crayon. He thought and he thought and he thought.  
“If I were a lost crayon where would I be?  Would I be under a bed?”
Baxter Beaver looked under his bed.  The crayon wasn’t there.  He looked under his brother’s bed.  It wasn’t there either.  He looked under his mom and dad’s bed.  He could not find his green crayon.
“If I were a lost crayon where would I be?  Would I be in the living room?”
Baxter Beaver went in the living room and looked under the sofa.  It wasn’t there. He looked under the TV. It wasn’t there either.  He looked under every chair and table.  He could not find his green crayon.
“If I were a lost crayon where would I be? Would I be in a bathroom?
Baxter Beaver went into the bathroom and looked in the tub it wasn’t there. He looked behind the toilet. It wasn’t there either. He looked under and all around the sink.  He could not find his green crayon.
“If I were a lost crayon where would I be? Would I be in the kitchen?”
Baxter Beaver went into the kitchen and looked in the refrigerator. It wasn’t there.  He looked in all the cabinets.  It wasn’t there either.  He looked in the stove, the microwave and the dishwasher. He could not find his green crayon.
Baxter Beaver sat down at the table to think.  He was tired and he was sad.  Where could his green crayon be?  While he was thinking of another place to look, he heard a knock at the door.  
“Baxter! Are ya home?”  
It was Toby Toad! He had spent all morning just looking for his green crayon.  Now Toby Toad was here and there was no time to color a picture.  And, he STILL didn’t have the green crayon.
“Hi Toby.” Baxter Beaver said sadly as his friend walked through the door and sat his backpack down. 
“Baxter.  What’s wrong?”
“I’m sad because I wanted to draw a picture of you and me together but I can’t find my green crayon. I have looked all morning.  I have looked under beds, under the sofa, the TV, tables and chairs. I have looked in the bathroom. In the tub, toilet and sink. I even looked here in the kitchen. The refrigerator, the stove, the microwave and the dishwasher! I can’t think of anywhere else to look.” Baxter Beaver sighed big and dropped his head low. 
Toby Toad’s large mouth was one big grin.  It had grown bigger and bigger with every place that Baxter Beaver had told him he looked. 
“Toby! Why are you smiling?” Baxter Beaver said as he raised his head and saw his silent friend’s smile. 
“Baxter.  Did you think to look in my backpack?” Toby Toad said slowly.
“Your backpack?  Your backpack wasn’t here!  How was I suppose to look there and why would I look there?” Baxter was really getting irritated at his friend.  Toby Toad just starred at him with that large silly grin on his face and a twinkle in his eyes.  Toby Toad motioned toward his backpack that sat by the door. That’s when Baxter Beaver remembered and he started laughing and laughing.
“I totally forgot that I loaned you my crayon yesterday!” 
Toby Toad knelt in front of his backpack and unzipped it.  He pulled out the crayon and gave it to his friend.  Then he pulled out a piece of paper.  It was a picture of  Toby Toad and Baxter Beaver playing together by a big green tree.
Baxter Beaver took the drawing and put it on the table.  Toby Toad could see him adding something to the picture.  When he was finished Baxter Beaver held the paper up for Toby Toad to see.  He had drawn a green crayon in his friend’s hand.
“If I were a green crayon where would I be? I would be in the hand of my best friend next to a big green tree!” 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

If I Had an Angry Alligator

ABC books have been used for years to teach preschoolers the foundation for reading.  They never get boring.  If you have a preschooler or teach kindergarten or pre-k then you know that there are endless uses for ABC books.  13 years ago I was a teacher.  The following book was inspired by a class project I had my students do.  I have been encouraged for years to send it off for publishing, yet...I drag my feet.  Maybe this will be the first step in seeing my words illustrated and placed into a book that will be read by kids for years to come!

If I Had an Angry Alligator

If I had an angry alligator
I would name him Angus
If I had a bashful beaver
I would name her Betty
If I had a clumsy camel
I would name him Charlie
If I had a dashing dolphin
I would name her Daphne
If I had an elegant elephant
I would name him Edgar
If I had a frightened flamingo
I would name her Fran
If I had a graceful giraffe
I would name him George
If I had a happy hippopotamus
I would name her Hannah
If I had an icky iguana
I would name him Ivan
If I had a joyful jaguar
I would name her Jackie
If I had a kind kangaroo
I would name him Kevin
If I had a loud lion
I would name her Lisa

If I had a mocking monkey
I would name him Marvin
If I had a new newt
I would name her Nancy
If I had a old octopus
I would name him Oscar
If I had a pretty pelican
I would name her Patty
If I had a quiet quail
I would name him Quincy
If I had a rowdy rooster
I would name her Roxy
If I had a sad snail
I would name him Sam
If I had a timid toad
I would name her Tammy
If I had an ugly unicorn
I would name him Uriah
If I had a vicious viper
I would name her Vera
If I had a weeping whale
I would name him Walter
If I had an eXcited x-ray fish
I would name her Xenia
If I had a yelping yak
I would name him Yale
If I had a zealous zebra
I would name her Zelda