Today, I’m sharing my newly published children’s book because it’s almost Christmas time.🎄 The Christmas edition of the Love Lilly Series is called Lilly’s Colorful Lights. Lilly is a delightful eight-year-old who will capture your child’s heart. Here a bit about the story … Lilly loves Christmas! She takes you on a fun-filled adventure which soon becomes a mystery. As Lilly waits for the mystery to unfold she is reminded of the heart of Christmas.
This children’s book is actually a type of forerunner. I published this story first because it really grabs kids attention. I’ve witnessed my children get caught up in the mystery behind Lilly’s ever-changing colorful spots. I’m hoping to hook kids everywhere with the love of Lilly. 🙂
My real passion is to produce a series of books on moral stories for kids. The topics are designed to build character qualities like kindness, integrity, loyalty etc. The stories will be the type you find on this blog.
Lilly’s Colorful Spots is a story I told my children when they were little. They asked me to tell them the story over and over and over again. They LOVED it.
I tested the story on my Grandchildren, ages 4 – 12. I wasn’t sure the oldest ones would get into it but I was surprised, they laughed and lit up with each new revelation. Even my teens laughed and smiled BIG when I told the story to the little ones. They LOVE it too!
To illustrate the book, I did a photo shoot with my youngest granddaughter, Brooklyn Rose. Brooklyn’s cartooned pictures are used throughout the book. I am sure her sweet little face will endear children everywhere.
The ebook is only $3.99. I like the paperback better because kids like to carry books around and browse them after they hear the story. The paperback is $7.99.
I would be ever so thankful if you would leave a review, on Amazon.com after reading the book to your kids. Your review will help my book get discovered.
I would also LOVE to hear how your kids and/or grandkids responded to Lilly and her Colorful Spots! 🙂 Please leave your comments here.
May God bless the investment you make by reading stories to your kids. I have included a link … where you can find Lilly’s Colorful Spots.
Meet the Summerfield’s is an introduction to Emily’s Little Life. In this chapter, you will catch a glimpse into the heart of each member of the Summerfield family.
The Summerfield family lives in the small town of Greenberry. This family is well-known for their friendly smiles, kindness, and busy lives. If you pass one of the Summerfield’s, on the street, you can count on a cheerful smile and a warm, hello.
The Summerfield house sits on three acres of beautiful grassy land. The big, white house has a large, welcoming porch that wraps all around the front of it. There are colorful rocking chairs spread all across the porch which seem to call out, “Come, sit awhile and enjoy the family.” When you visit the Summerfield’s, it seems like time stands still. Everything that goes on, at the Summerfield’s, is more exciting than anywhere else.
Love for people and Love of God
The Summerfield’s are known for their love for people and their love of God. On any given Sunday morning, the family can be seen walking hand in hand, walking to Greenberry Community Church.
Some of the Summerfield kids skip, some hop and others just stroll thoughtfully. As they talk amongst themselves, smiles light up their faces. Sometimes the family melts into fits of laughter which echoes happily through the streets.
Most everyone who knows the Summerfield family wished they were a Summerfield. If you play at their house, Mama and Papa Summerfield take you in as one of their own. The doors of the Summerfield house are always open, especially to the neighborhood kids.
Papa Summerfield Loves Kids
Six people live in the Summerfield house. Papa Summerfield, the Dad, is tall with a head full of dark curly hair. After work each day he heads for the big porch with an energetic jig and an expectant smile on his face.
Papa Summerfield loves kids and he always has time for the kids on the block. When one of them wants help with a problem, Papa listens attentively and helps as best he can. When he plays basketball with the kids, Papa plays harder than any of the kids.
Most say that Papa lets them win. He is not like most Dads who are always busy with so much to do. No, he is like a big kid, except when he needs to be grown up. When a kid acts up or is rude or disrespectful, they can count on seeing the adult side of him.
The neighborhood kids like it when Papa Summerfield ruffles their hair and pats them on the back saying, “Atta boy” or “Atta girl.”
Mama Summerfield Beautiful and Kind
Mama Summerfield is beautiful and kind. There is always laughter in her eyes and a curling up at the sides of her lips. Her long blonde hair sparkles in the sunshine.
No one can ever remember Mama Summerfield getting mad. That does not mean Mama Summerfield doesn’t give the kids a-talkin’ to if they misbehave. If a kid is selfish, rude or ornery, Mama Summerfield stops everything and takes that little squirt aside to impart a little wisdom.
After a Mama Summerfield talk, no can be mad at her because her eyes go from stern to soft and sparkling in a split second. The kids all love all love Mama Summerfield, and she loves them right back. Laughter, hugs, cookies, and a listening ear is what Mama’s brings to the neighborhood kids on her Front Porch
Little Emily Is Mysterious
The star of our story, Emily, is nine years old. Her family and friends affectionately call her Emmy. Her hair is bright red and blends perfectly with the crimson freckles that dance across her nose. Every day Mama puts Emily’s hair into a ponytail, pigtails or braids. But by the end of the day, there is no evidence that Mama carefully worked to make Emily’s hair appear neat and in order.
As Emily’s day goes by Mama’s styling skills get destroyed. Bits of Emily’s hair come loose and blow wildly in the wind. I guess hair is not something that matters to Emily but playing, running, skipping and laughing with her friends is what really matters.
Emily has a lot of spunk, and she knows how to stand up for herself and for her friend’s too. If somebody is mean to a kid, Emily fearlessly challenges the bully and protects her charge. The thing is, bullies back down when Emily gets through talking to them.
Emily is a little mysterious too. Sometimes, it seems she gets lost in her own, little world. She is always thinking, thinking, thinking! You never know what is going on inside that red head of hers unless she chooses to tell you.
Molly Rises Above Most Other Kids
Molly is the oldest kid in the Summerfield family. She is eleven years old and pretty like her mama but her long dark hair is thick and black like her Papa’s.
Her unusual large gray eyes along with her rich dark hair make Molly look sort of like an Egyptian princess.
Molly is one of those girls who rises above most others kids. She is courteous to everybody at all times.
Molly sees the best in people and does not choose favorites, so guess what? Everybody likes Molly, except for the kids in clicks who get mad because she won’t join their group.
Molly won’t be part of a group that excludes other kids pretending like no one else exists. Nope, Molly, will not join them; it is mean to ignore some kids thinking you are better than them.
Little Joe is Adored by All
Little Joe is the youngest member of the Summerfield family. His Papa calls him Wee Man. He is six years old and has bright red hair just like Emily’s.
He too has freckles spattered across his nose. Mama Summerfield calls his freckles angel kisses. Little Joe’s eyes are twinkly and bright blue; they seem to smile whenever his mouth turns up on the sides.
Little Joe is always ready with hugs for anyone who opens their arms to him. He is very animated when he plays with his toy cars making those horrible, loud, boy noises like brummm and Urrrrrrrrrk, Pshhhhhhhhhh as he plays with his cars and crashes them together.
When Papa wrestles with him, the two of them fill the whole house with laughter and fun.
Little Joe is adored by all even though he can be annoying to his sisters, they just can’t help loving the baby of the family.
Viet Nam War Vet, Uncle Joe
Uncle Joe is Papa Summerfield’s Favorite brother. Little Joe, was named in honor of his Uncle. Uncle Joe has a walking stick, and he wears a patch over one eye. Most of the time, Uncle Joe wears a black hat with the word Vietnam running across the brim of the cap.
Uncle Joe is tall like Papa Summerfield, but his hair is bright red. He has ginormous freckles splashed all over his face.
Sometimes Uncle Joe’s eyes look far away but at other times he’s right there whistling, singing or wrapping a kid in one of his big bear hugs.
Uncle Joe is a Vietnam Vet and though he rarely talks about his life in Vietnam; the kids know he is proud that he served his country.
Somebody said Uncle Joe got hit when a grenade blew up right in front of him. Papa says Jesus is the one who saved Uncle Joe’s life and brought him back home to the family.
The kids know not to ask personal questions of Uncle Joe. When one of the kids forget and blurts something out about the war, the rest of us hold our breath and cringe as we watch the pain escape from Uncle Joe’s eyes.
Uncle Joe never says a word but quietly turns away and busies himself with a chore. The kids have learned to wait until Uncle Joe is in the mood to tell them about the days of war.
EMILY’S LITTLE LIFE – Chapter 2
The next chapter on Emily’s Little Life will be about Chores and Responsibilities. On a bright and sunny day, Little Emily can hardly wait to go outside and play. She’s almost out the door when Little Joe stops her in her tracks. Come along and see what happens in chapter two of Emily’s Little Life
Saturday is Emmy’s favorite day of the week. On Saturday, after doing the chores on her chore list, she is free to do whatever she wants to do. But today, the sun is shining and inviting. Can Emily have fun with chores and responsibilities?
One Saturday morning Emily was so excited to go outside that she almost forgot about her chores. I say ‘almost’ because little Joe caught her just as she was rushing out the door.
“Mama,” Little Joe yelled, “Emmy is going outside and she did not do her chores. “ Emily stopped dead in her tracks and looked back at little Joe, “Oh, little Joe,” Emily said frowning, “I might have made it outside if you had not opened your big mouth and tattled on me.”
Little Joe shrugged his shoulders and smiled innocently as Mama entered the room. “Emily dear, is it true you were going to sneakout before doing your chores?” “Well,” Emily said, “I was not really going to sneak out. I just plain forgot, mama. All I could think about was getting outside. It’s a beautiful day and you know how much I love the sunshine.”
Mama Teaches Responsibility
Mama smiled softly and Emmy noted the kindness and understanding in her eyes. Emily loved her Mama. Looking at Emily, Mama said, “Emmy, I know how you love the sunshine and that you love to play, but you must remember that there are chores to do and as your Mama, it is my job to teach you responsibility. Do you remember what that word means Emily?” Emily tried to be pleasant and answered, “Yes Mama I do. Responsibility means to do the stuff I’m supposed to do so I can grow up to take care of myself and not be lazy.” Mama shot Emily a bright smile and said, that’s right Emmy!
Completing Tasks on the Chore Chart
Emily ran to the hallway to look at the chore chart hanging on the wall. Her bedroom was the first room on the chore chart. She read the chores for her bedroom and then set her feet toward her room.
She started by making her bed. Emily pulled the top sheet over the bottom sheet until they were centered on the bed. Then she carefully tucked in the corners of the top sheet and placed her pillow at the head of the bed.
Next, she picked up the end of her pink and green quilt and fluffed it in the air. On the last shake, she landed it as close as she could to cover the whole bed. She did a pretty good job! She only had to pull the quilt a little bit down toward the foot of the bed. Now she smoothed out the wrinkles and stood back to admire her work.
A happy feeling skipped across her heart, just as it always did when Emily did an excellent job. Next, Emily picked up the toys and books that were on the floor. She placed her books on the bookshelf and arranged them all neatly.
After arranging her books she picked up her toys. The last toy Emily picked up was her favorite doll, Melinda. Melinda was a Christmas present from Mama and Papa when Emily was only 3 years old. Emily still remembered opening the present and finding an adorable, soft doll who looked just like her with red hair and freckles. She named her Melinda, after her cousin who had red hair and freckles too. Melinda was her favorite playmate and the one who knew all her secrets.
Before placing Melinda on the end of the bookshelf, Emily hugged her close and kissed her on the top of her head. After placing Melinda on the shelf she lovingly tucked her Teddy Bear named Berry and Scotty her stuffed Puppy on either side of her.
The last thing she had to do is to pick up the clothes on the floor. She gathered the clothes and hurriedly carried them to the laundry room. Now it was time to check off the boxes on the chore chart. Emily always got excited to check each chore off the list.
Cleaning the Kids Bathroom
Emily’s extra chore for the week was to clean the sink and mirror in the kids’ bathroom. Emily was a pro at this job. Mama taught her how to squirt just enough cleaner into the sink to get rid of yuck and dirt. While the cleaner was working, mama says to let it set, Emily took a soft cloth from the cupboard and sprayed a tiny bit of cleaner on it. She rubbed the faucet with the cloth until it sparkled.
Next, she grabbed the scrubber from under the sink. Emily scrubbed hard being careful to scour every inch of the sink. When she was sure every bit of dirt was gone, she rinsed the sink. Emmy was careful not to splash all over the place when she rinsed the sink.
The sink was clean and sparkly. Looking up from the sink and into the mirror and noticed how dirty it was. She reached under the sink grabbed the window cleaner and went to work on the mirror. First Emmy lightly sprayed the cleaner all over it. Then she rubbed her cloth vigorously, little by little the splatters and smudges disappeared. Emmy stepped back and admired her work. As she looked into the mirror her focus went to her face, as she thought,“Mama says my freckles are angel kisses … but I sure wished they weren’t so red!”
Many Hands Make Light Work
Even though cleaning was not Emily’s favorite thing to do, she always felt proud of her work. Emily learned a wise saying when she was a little kid, “Many hands make light work.” Emily was glad that she could help make the work lighter for her Mama.
Mama Checks Emily’s Work
Satisfied with her work, Emily took off running toward the door. As she ran she called back, “Momma, I’m done with my chores, I’m going to play outside now.”“Just a minute Ms. Emily,” she heard Mama call “Let me check your work.” Emily once again stopped dead in her tracks. Another failed attempt to get outside, thought Emily trying hard not to be grumpy.
Mama came around the corner and smiled at Emily, “Honey, you know the rules; after you do your chores you need to ask me to check your work … right?” “Yes Mama,” answered Emily as she was thinking, “If I always did my chores like mama taught me, she probably would not have to check them every time,” Emily told herself that from now on she was going to do her best when doing her chores; After all, she reasoned, she was not a baby anymore.
Following Mama to the bedroom, she stopped and watched mama’s eyes as they surveyed the room. Mama smiled as she said, “Great job Emily, I like how neatly you made your bed.” Emily was pleased that mama noticed; it made her feel happy inside. “Thank you, mama,” Emily replied.
Next, Mama walked down the hallway toward the bathroom. As she turned through the door and walked into the room, Mama stopped suddenly putting her hand across her eyes. “Oh My,” she exclaimed, “The light bouncing off the faucet is blinding me.” Emily giggled and said, “Oh Mama you are silly.” “Yes,” Mama agreed, “I am your silly mama, and I am glad to say you did a super job with your chores today; now out the door with you before you miss any more of this beautiful day.”
This chapter is a short story on forgiveness for children. If you are a parent trying to teach the principles of forgiveness to your child; Know that teaching with stories for kids helps your child absorb concepts. May God use this story to speak to the heart of your child.
Selfishness Spoils a Kids Day
After Miley stomped home, Emily had to figure out what to do about her friend’s temper tantrum. She did not like it when Miley tried to control everyone and everything to get her own way. Selfishness only spoiled a kids day and made everybody feel bad.
As Emily was thinking about what to do next she looked over at the girls and observed that Sara was twisting her hands and Katie was looking down, as if studying her shoes.
“I am so mad at Miley! All I want is to have fun with my friend’s, but Miley’s bossiness ruined it all!” Right in the middle of the anger, firing up in her heart, she remembered a talk she had with Mama. Emily knew she needed to calm down and do the right thing.
A Heart of Forgiveness
The talk Emmy was remembering, happened on a day she was very angry at a boy at
“Mama, I am so angry at Cooper. He makes fun of everybody! He picked on Kathy today. He laughed at her and teased her. He said, ‘You look like a beaver with those teeth,’ Kathy was in tears. He got all the kids laughing at her.”
“Oh, poor Kathy,” Mama answered, “Mean words really hurt people.” Mama paused then said, “Could it be Cooper hurting is too.”
Emily looked puzzled. “No, Mama! Cooper is not hurting, he is the one hurting kids.” Emily insisted. “Why would you say Cooper is hurting?” Emily felt defensive for her friend, Kathy.
Mama looked at Emily with her serious, kind eyes, the way she always looks when she is about to say something important. “Emily, there is a saying I want you to remember. It’s a true saying, it goes like this … Hurt people … hurt people.” Mama was quiet as she looked deep into Emily’s eyes.
Emily wiggled uncomfortably and then responded,“Well, I don’t know about that Mama but I’d like to hurt Cooper!”
Mama shook her head slightly as she said, “So Emily, how long are you going to hang on to anger?” Emily pulled her lips tight against her teeth and then opened them to say, “I don’t know Mama, I’m really mad!” Mama put her hand on Emily’s shoulder as she said, “Do you know, honey, it is dangerous to hold on to anger? We must never allow anger to feel at home in our heart’s Emily.” Mama continued, “There is something else you need to know about anger. When we allow a person’s bad behavior to control how we feel we give that person power.”
“Mama, what do you mean by power, do you mean like superhero power?” asked Emily.
Mama laughed softly as her mouth turned into a smile. “No honey, the word power, in this case, means that you give someone else permission to control how you feel.Today you gave Cooper the power to make you feel angry, so angry, in fact, that you wanted to hurt him. Emily, no one can make you angry or ruin your day unless you give them the power to do that. It is your choice, honey.”
Mama gave Emily a lot to think about. “But Mama, what do I do when I AM angry” urged Emily.
Forgiveness is a Choice
“First of all, understand that you have a choice. You can choose to be angry or you can forgive.” Emily’s eyebrows came together as she considered this. “Honey, you can hold on to a hurt and let it grow inside of you or you can release the hurt to God.” Mama continued, “When we choose to hold on to angry feelings toward anyone … there are consequences.
What kind of consequences? asked Emily.
Consequences of Holding on to Anger
Well, when you let anger stay in your heart, that feeling will not stop there. When anger is held in your heart it grows into really bad feelings like bitterness, maybe even hatred. When you allow your feelings to take you to such bad places you are actually hurting yourself.”
Emily began to understand that she did have a choice about her own feelings.
Don’t Give your Power Away
Mama took a moment to form her next words. “Emmy, when you give your power away to someone else, by NOT forgiving, it’s kind of like putting yourself behind bars and becoming a prisoner. It is even worse than that. Not only do you put yourself behind bars (as a prisoner to anger, bitterness, and hatred) but you also hand the key right over to the person who was mean or unkind. You give them control. The key is yours, Emily,” Mama said, “Don’t give it to anyone.”
Emily knew what she must do about Miley. “I will forgive Miley and let the bad feelings go and I won’t feel guilty because Miley went home.”
Emily knew it was not her fault that Miley went home. She did not make Miley choose bad behavior. Emily was NOT going to be a prisoner on this beautiful sunny day.
Who is the Boss?
Before Emily talked to the girls she released her anger and sent up a quick prayer for Miley. Emily pictured herself holding hands with Miley. As she talked to God she put Miley’s hand in Jesus’s strong hand. “Dear God,” Emmy prayed, “Miley tried to ruin our day and she hurt our feelings too. I pray for Miley and I hope you will teach her how to share and be kind. I am choosing to forgive her now like mama taught me to forgive. I give Miley to you Jesus … and now I will be free from resentment and choose to be happy. Thank you, Jesus, Amen!
Emily turned toward the girls thinking, “We’ll just start over.” “Girls, What do you want to do?” she asked. Katie said that anything was fine with her but then she paused a second before she asked, “Emmy, Who is the Boss?” Emily smiled at Katie and said, “Let’s talk about what we ALL want to do and decide together okay?”
Katie smiled back as she shook her head happily; Turning her attention to Sara Emily asked, “And you ….?” Sara thought a moment and while twisting her hands she asked, “Well, I still would like to play house, can we take turns being the mom?” “I think that is a great Idea Sara!” answered Emily enthusiastically.
Turning back to Katie she continued, “Katie, how would you like to be the mom first?” Katie smiled brightly, shook her head yes as she jumped up, ran to her pretend daughters and hugged them. “Okay girls, let’s playhouse.”
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Emily began their play time by looking at Sara and asking, “Mama, can we make chocolate chip cookies?” “Why, of course, sweetheart,” answered Sara in her most grown-up voice, “What type of cookies would you like to make?”
Emily thought it was adorable when Sara pretended to be a grown up because, as hard as she tried to sound like a grown-up, she still had a squeaky little girl’s voice. “I’d like chocolate chip cookies, please” answered Emily politely.
The girls played for a long time. They went grocery shopping by the big Pine Trees. They named the place, Pine’s grocery store. The girls picked up pine cones as they pretended to gather ingredients. Katie (Mama) smiled at her girls, “You girls are such BIG helpers to Mama, I don’t know what I would do without you.” Emily and Sara beamed back at Katie, they were so happy to hear her kind words.
When they got back to the playhouse the girls pretended to make the cookie dough. Sara and Emily were making a mess with the pretend flour. Some of it fell on the floor. Katie, in her serious grown-up voice, said, “Girls, girls, pay attention – look at the floor!” Both girls stopped and looked down at the imaginary flour covering the floor. Katie (Mama) told Emily to get the broom and she told Sara to grab the dustpan. She instructed Emily to sweep slowly so the flour dust didn’t fly all over the place. The girls worked together quickly and carefully. When it was all cleaned up they joined Katie to put the cookie dough on the pans.
The girl’s pretended to plop a scoop of dough, one at a time, on the cookie sheet. Next, they put the cookies in Emily’s play oven. After about five minutes the girls looked excited as they pretended to smell the cookies baking. “Oh, I can hardly wait to eat my cookie! Sara exclaimed as she jumped up and down. A few seconds later, Katie (mama) told Sara she could take the cookies out of the oven.
Sara put imaginary hot pad gloves on. Next, she opened the oven door and pulled out a tray of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Sitting them on the counter she grabbed a pretend spatula and pretend plates. She expertly served up 2 pretend chocolate chip cookies on the girl’s pretend plate. As the girls lifted their imaginary cookie to their mouths they made sounds like, “mm” and “ooh,” to express how delicious the cookies tasted. Suddenly Emily realized she was hungry.
Just then Emily’s sister Molly called for Emily. “It’s time for lunch Emmy!” Emily told the girls she had to go but they could to stay and play, if they wanted. The girls told Emily they were hungry too. Sara said, “We’ll go home and eat lunch too Emmy but we will be back as soon as we eat.”“Great!” replied Emily, “See you after lunch.”
Emily Offers Forgiveness
As Emily and Molly were walking to the house they saw Miley slowly making her way toward them. “Emily,” Miley, began with a sadness in her voice. Emmy noticed her head hanging down, “I’m sorry I was being bossy again, can we start over?”
Emily smiled big, “Of course we can Miley!” Emily said with joyful conviction. “I have to eat first and then I can play. The Anderson sisters are coming back. It will be fun to have you play with us too.” Miley let out a big breath of air as a smile of relief traveled across her face, “Oh thank you, Emily, I know I need to work on my bad behavior. I am so thankful that you forgive me so quickly.” The girls hugged each other and then Miley turned and skipped all the way back to her house.
Emily was so happy that her Mama taught her, to be quick to forgive. Jesus said whenever we pray, we need to forgive. Emmy tried to remember to think before she prayed to make sure there was no unforgiveness in her heart. Mama called it examining your heart.
Before praying Emily would ask herself if she was mad at anyone or if anyone had hurt her feelings? If she found anger or hurt in her heart, she forgave. Even though Emily would sometimes feel very angry, Mama said, just obey Jesus and forgive no matter how you feel. Emily was learning to forgive with her words in a prayer to Jesus.
Mama told Emily, “If you obey, Jesus will heal your heart and turn your anger into compassion for the person who hurt you.” Emily knew one thing for sure; She always felt so much better after she forgave people.