Severing Ties with Tate Publishing

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I don’t know if any of you have heard but Tate Publishing has officially closed their doors as of January 17th, 2017 after 17 years of business. Read more about the closing here.  While this was a shock and a disappointment to not only myself but all of the authors, musicians, illustrators and employees of Tate Publishing at this time. However we are a hardy stock and will persevere in the face of this setback.

Moving Forward.

I have been unhappy with Tate Publishing for a while so, I have in fact been sending manuscripts to literary agents across the country in hopes to be represented by one of them and go the traditional publishing house route.

I plan on to keep writing and to get my books republished again somewhere.

Thank you all for your support during this transition time.

~Kristen

SNOW is a 4 Letter Word

I live in Ohio and snow is inevitable here. Usually we get a few flurries before Christmas not much sticks at that point since the ground is still pretty warm or wet really. However after January 1st all bets are off and snow will stick and accumulate which to be honest isn’t the problem its the ice that comes with it that tends to be the problem.

Just like the team up north (*ichigan for you none OSU Buckeye fans), snow is a 4 letter word that I really don’t want to hear about. Even though Z can not stop talking about going sledding and throwing snowballs at his siblings, making snowman with real coal eyes and a carrot nose.

Yes I like it when the ground is covered and everything looks clean, white and beautiful, I mean if it is going to be cold there might as well be snow on the ground right?
Not so much when the roads are covered and I have to go somewhere and it is yucky out, usually I will just cancel what I am doing and stay home if it isn’t an emergency or important appointment.

Oh dear I better get K to stop making snowflakes to hang on the windows. I love the snowflake tutorial linked.

Until Next Time,
~Kristen

Toys, toys, so many toys

A child’s toy is a wonderful thing, that is until you step on it in the middle of the night on your way to the bathroom in dark house. My husband used to laugh at me when I would use the flash light app on my phone to light my way across the house to the bathroom, that is until he stepped on a Lego Duplo for the first time. Now I laugh at him and myself when we accidentally step on one of those living room land mines.

“Well why don’t you make your kids clean them up every evening?”  Actually I do but occasionally my 15 month old like to play with a few and leaves them laying about or they are lurking underneath a misplaced blanket or dropped shirt since my boys are still embracing the naked baby stage whenever they are home.  It also doesn’t help that my sweet mother in law bought them 5 yes 5 bags of 98 pieces of an off brand of Lego Duplos for Christmas last year so we have Duplo’s for days over here. If you check out this Blog post, I decoupaged a vintage suitcase for my kids just to hold them all.

So to battle this never ending battle of Duplo’s I won’t be buying any for my children this year mostly because they have so many toys I really don’t want to add to the mayhem that is my playroom/office. Thankfully my children are very good about going through their toys with my a couple times a year and sorting into 3 piles. 1. Keep. 2. Donate. 3. Put away for later and of course the trash pile where broken, missing, stupid toys go. This does help battle the siege of toys but not enough to make me want to buy oodles of toys for nothing other than to collect dust.

The war is never ceasing but I will win this battle of the toys even if it maims me.

~Kristen

The Nut House

Autumn has arrived and with it the changing of the leaves, every day I look towards the woods and I see more and more color peeking out at me. Vibrant reds, oranges and yellow all peak out from around chunks of green and brown.

Autumn also brings my squirrels out in full force as gather all the nuts from my yard, walnut, chestnuts, hickory and butternuts. Although they save the butternuts for last since they are their least favorite nut to eat. I wish they gathered them first as the butternut tree is beside my garage and the nuts fall on to the roof and roll off which sounds like someone roller skating down my bathroom roof.  Plus they land on my walkway and if you step on one you might slip and fall as they are odd shape. In the state of Ohio butternut trees are on the endangered list so cutting this large tree down is illegal so I await the day it either dies or falls over and I don’t have to worry about stepping on anymore nuts. The downside of losing said butternut tree is that the leaves shade my office window from the sun, otherwise the sun shines bright in my eyes while I attempt to work at my computer. So really there isn’t a win to this fight against my butternut tree.

~Kristen

How I turned the TV OFF

How do you become the most hated mom during the summer?
Turn the TV OFF.

Yep I said it, turn the TV off. Back in May I made the decision to turn the TV off unless it was
A. Raining
B. Snowing
C. Super Cold Outside
D. Dark.
Those were the guidelines to watching TV in my house and I think I will continue that decision throughout the rest of the year. Will it be hard when I am trying to teach my eldest 5th grade math equations? Yes, because I will be the first to admit I’ve used my TV as a babysitter for my other children, even if it is only 10 feet away from our school desks in the next room in the past. I want to create a learning environment not glued to the TV environment.

What I have found during the last few months about my children;

They have wonderful imaginations, they are creative, they are adventurous and they fight less as well as well as being happier healthier children. It is OK for your children to be bored, it sparks their creativity and imaginations. We have battled boredom with books, spending time at the library, going swimming, to the park, playing on our really long slip’n slide, riding their bikes in the driveway, I may have also suggested weeding the garden is a boredom killer.

Have I stuck to this rule completely? Nope, on occasion there are days we will sit and watch TV all day usually because one of us is sick, we have battled summer colds, the croup and a stomach bug this summer. But like every rule there are exceptions and that is OK too.

Until next time,
~Kristen

 

 

Book Review: The Tree House That Jack Built

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Last week while we were at our local library, my son Z picked “The Tree House That Jack Built” for us to read together. Let me say that this book didn’t disappoint at all, the illustrations were beautifully detailed and there were so many hidden gems in each page that it took us several minutes to go over every page.  “The Tree House That Jack built is read in the same pattern/tune as This is the House that Jack Built.

a9647800f1038cfa0d6c10b900fda0ce“Here is the Boy 
up in the tree 
where he built a house 
overlooking the sea. 
Yes. This is the tree house 
that Jack built” 

 

 

9780439853385“Of course it’s the Cat!
He jumps on the swings, 
The ladder, the birdbath.
The marvelous things 
Jack made with his tools-
it’s a wonder to see
what that clever boy Jack
Thought to build in his tree.” 

 

 

I dare say this is one book that will be added to our personal library soon.

~Kristen

Summer Has Arrived

Oh how I love summer, the warm weather, the ability to wear shorts and blind people with my ghost white legs. Playing in the creek or pool with my children, working in my vegetable and flower gardens, the list could go on and on however my favorite part is not having to shuttle my boys to preschool or teach my soon to be 5th grader for 3 1/2 glorious months.

DSC_0132My beautiful Gracie, just finished up her 4th grade year a few weeks ago. She has grown so much over the last year not just physically but has matured as well. She has been going through a lot of changes recently that includes a diagnoses for epilepsy and starting a treatment program. She has kept the faith and has handled this change with aplomb at least as much as 10 year old can.

 

 

 

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Zane and Jacob just finished up their school year in preschool. Zane was in the Pre-K class while Jacob was in the beginners class.  My husband and I decided that we are going to keep Zane in preschool another year as he will only just be 5 at the start of the next school year. Our thoughts on this that we would rather have a slightly older and more mature Kindergartner thus giving him a better start in his education.

Jacob has grown so much since he started preschool back in January,  he has a slight speech delay that he is growing out of and I believe that it is due to the wonderful teachers at the preschool and maturity.

We are all heartbroken when the news of our head preschool teacher will not be returning to our preschool in the fall due to personal reasons. So our hope is that she will find another position that will fulfill her needs as she goes.

 

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I would be remiss if I didn’t say a small bit about Abby. She turned 11 months old a few days ago and is such a charming baby. At the ripe young age of 9 months she started walking but it wasn’t until she was 10 1/2 months did it happen on a regular basis. She loves her siblings and will gladly go play with Gracie or as Abby calls her Gigi.

 

With that my summer is complete and will be enjoyed by all as we play each day.

 

~Kristen

 

Book Review: Kathryn Lasky

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The other day while browsing through the children’s section of the library I came across Kathryn Lasky books. While the name didn’t ring a bell her books were fun, well written and had great illustration. You may know of Kathryn Lasky’s series ‘Guardians of Ga’hoole’ ‘Wolves of the Beyond,’ ‘The Diaries.’ The Diaries is where I know her writing, those books are written about fictional characters always girls ages 12-16 who live during significant historic events.

51HlXXSTGJL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_ Humphrey, Albert and the Flying Machine has to be my favorite of the trio that I picked up from the library. Humphrey and Albert are brother attending a birthday party from Princess Biar Rose (who if you don’t know is also known as Sleeping Beauty) when an ugly witch puts everyone to sleep making it the most boring party ever. The boys wake up 99 years, 11 months and 3 weeks later. After trying to wake everyone up they realize the only way to do so is to kiss the princess which they weren’t willing to do. Therefore they need a prince or at least a handsome man to do it for them. After interviewing many men, the boys decide that they need an interesting man because who wants a boring one? While on their way to the next village they come across a flying machine and the inventor Daniel who built it just to fly over the thicket and see the sleeping court. After helping Daniel with a larger set of wings for his flying machine the trio sets off to the castle, where Daniel’s heart was won by the princess. This one kept my 4 year old riveted while I read it to him.

3999038 One Beetle Too Many
The Extraordinary adventures of Charles Darwin

This book covers the life of Charles Darwin from a small child to an adult, this book goes on to tell the story about how he arrived at his theory of evolution as he traveled the world and studied nature throughout his life. He didn’t write his theory until he was much older even though he came upon it while still in young. While I enjoyed this book it was a bit to long for my younger children to sit through, however it was perfect for my 4th grader.

 

 

th_1570916470 Pirate Bob is the story of a pirate named Bob whose nose ached when gold was nearby. He is friends with another pirate named Yellow Jack, he is called that because he has scurvy. The story goes on to tell us about Pirate Bob’s hopes, dreams and fears while looking for real friends who don’t just want you for your gold. This book has great illustrations.

 

 

Kathryn Lasky weaves well rounded stories that are sure to be family favorites for years to come.

 

Until Next Time,

~Kristen

Tid bits and fun

I am excited to finally have some new bookmarks. I ordered them 2 weeks ago and they arrived today. I went with this design because I wanted something that had all 3 of my books on it and I am planning on attending several preschool classes with our children’s librarian next month and I wanted something to hand out to all of the kids.

I will have these available at the book signing in St. Clairsville Ohio at the Dairy Queen on February 6th from 1-3 pm.

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Until Next Time,

~Kristen