This kids blog gets more traffic than all of my other blogs, and I have quite a few. 😉 So, I took the hint. I wrote and illustrated my first children’s book.
Allow me to introduce Lilly. She is the star of my new kid’s ebook, just published, called Lilly’s Colorful Spots.
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 her colorful spots. I’m hoping to hook kids everywhere with the love of Lilly.
My real passion is to produce a series of moral stories for kids, featuring 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 like 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.
If you buy the book, only $2.99, I’d be so thankful if you would leave a review, on the website you purchased it from. 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! 🙂
May God bless the investment you make by reading stories to your kids. I have included a link … BELOW to the bookstore links you can find Lilly’s Colorful Spots.
Little Joe loved being the youngest kid, well most of the time he did. For one thing, he did not have to do as many chores as Emily and Molly. He didn’t have to go to school, or do homework and he got to play most of the day. Even though he was free to explore and have fun he was also learning to be, what Mama calls, responsible.
Little Joe was learning how to make his bed, pick up his toys after playing and brush his teeth after eating. He was learning how to do the dishes and mama said he was getting real good at it.
His favorite thing to do each day was to play with Timmy. Timmy was little Joe’s neighbor and his best friend too. His mommy allowed Little Joe to play with Timmy whenever he wanted to.
Even though Little Joe was always allowed to play with Timmy he had to stay in his yard at all times. That is one of the things, about being the youngest kid, little Joe did not like. Molly and Emily could cross the street whenever they wanted to, why couldn’t he?
One day when Timmy and Little Joe were playing ball outside, the ball rolled across the street. Little Joe knew that he could not leave the yard but he was so tempted. It would only take a split second to grab the ball and bring it back to the yard. Before he knew it his little legs were running as fast as they could. He wanted to get that ball and bring it back before anyone saw him.
Just as he was about to run into the street he heard a loud SCREECH and as he looked left he saw a big white car swerve so close to him he thought he was going to be hit.
Uncle Joe came running from behind the garage and yelled, “Little Joe, are you okay?” But Little Joe could not speak and he could not move.
Just then Mama came out the door. Her pretty face looked terrified. “Little Joe, get out of the street Right Now!” she ordered.
Little Joe backed up until he felt the safety of the curb. He stepped up on the curb as his legs went weak. Suddenly he was on the ground. Little Joe pulled his legs up close to his body, dropped his head to his knees and wrapped his hands behind his neck. Hot tears welled up in his eyes. His legs and his whole body started shaking. He was afraid to look up. “If only I could go back and call for Uncle Joe to get the ball for me,” he thought.
When Little Joe looked up Uncle Joe was standing next to him and Mama was waving at the big white car. Uncle Joe spoke softly, “Little Joe, are you okay?”
Little Joe shook his head yes and then he began to cry loudly. “I’m so sorry Uncle Joe.” Just then Mama came walking up to Little Joe. There was fear in Mama’s eyes. Little Joe whimpered, “I almost got killed, Mama !”
Uncle Joe bent down and rubbed Little Joe’s head. “Come on Wee Man, get up, you’re safe now.“As little Joe stood to his feet he said, “Why do I always disobey the rules, Uncle Joe? I know the rules but I just don’t want to obey them.”
Uncle Joe’s face got serious and that far away look washed over him. “Well, Wee Man, ever since the beginning of time people have had a problem with rules. Every person wants to do things their own way, nobody really wants to obey the rules. It’s only when we understand that God gave us rules to protect us, not hurt us, that we begin to see why we must obey the rules.”
Little Joe looked up at Mama as a tear slipped from his eye. “Mama, I’m sorry I disobeyed you. Sometimes I think rules are dumb but I know that you give me rules to protect me, just like God gives me rules to protect me. Will you forgive me, Mama?”
Mama’s face softened and the corners of her mouth turned up as her eyes twinkled. “Yes, Wee man, I do forgive you.” Mama wrapped her arms around Little Joe as she picked him up and twirled him around two times. Little Joe loved his Mama and he was so sorry he disobeyed and frightened her.
Little Joe was beginning to understand why Mama and Papa said the rules in the Summerfield family must be obeyed. If a rule is broken, there is alway a consequence. “Mama, what is my consequence?” asked Little Joe.
Mama held Little Joe’s hand and looked directly into his eyes, “What do you think your consequence should be?” she asked
Little Joe hung his head and thought about it. “Well Mama, I think I should go to bed without supper and I should be grounded to the house for a whole month.”
Mama patted Little Joe’s head gently as she bent down beside him. “Wee man, I think you have punished yourself pretty hard all by yourself. I believe you learned an important lesson today. I’ve decided to give you grace.”
“What do you mean Mama? What does grace mean?” said Little Joe.
Looking up into the trees, Mama took a moment to think, as if she might find the right words falling like the leaves around her. “What I mean when I say Grace is that I will not give you a consequence this time, even though you deserve one.”
“Really Mama! No Consequence!” Little Joe said as he looked at his mama in amazement.
“Really Little Joe, no consequence at all!” answered Mama
Just then Timmy, who had been watching the whole thing, ran up to Little Joe and fell into his arms. He gave his friend a full bear hug and as he tucked his face into Little Joe’s shoulder he said, “You coulda got killed, Little Joe! You coulda got killed!! I am so glad you didn’t! You are so lucky!”
Mama laughed softly as she reached out to ruffle Timmy’s hair. “Timmy, I’d say Little Joe was protected, not lucky.” Timmy’s face turned red because Mama always made his face turn red.
Little Joe gave Timmy a friendly punch on the arm, grabbed the ball, and said, come on Buddy let’s play ball!
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 right now. 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 school. Mama told Emily it was important to have a heart of forgiveness.
“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, “Cooper must be hurting 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 Emly.
Mama laughed softly as her mouth turned to 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.
“First of all, understand that you have a choice. You can 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.
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.
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 right now like mama taught me to forgive. I give Miley to you Jesus … and now I will be free 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 play house.”
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, “mmmm” and “oooh,” in order 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 were welcomed to stay and play. 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 are done.”“Great!” replied Emily, “See you after lunch.”
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 was bent 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 turns 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.
In Chapter three of Emily’s Little Life, Emily will be spending her Happy Saturday with her friends Miley, Katie, and Sara.
The girls will experience some trouble in this chapter when one of them tries to take over and be the boss. Emily takes a stand that results in one of the girls getting mad and stomping home.
It is Emily’s favorite day and she doesn’t want anything or anyone to spoil it. What will she say to help her friends to turn away from bad feelings and back to play?
Now that Emily’s chores were done, and mama approved, she ran out the door feeling like a bird set free from its cage. She was hit by the brightness of the sun. “Wow, it’s really bright out here!” she thought. Emily squinted her eyes tightly and stood still while her eyes adjusted.
The sky was filled with big, fluffy, white clouds that were scattered here and there. “That one looks like an elephant,” Emily observed as she studied one of the clouds. Standing in the rays of the sun, Emily closed her eyes and bent her head back so she could feel the warmth on her face. “I love it! it is a perfect day for play.”
Emily’s Friend Miley
Emily’s friend Miley lived across the street. Miley was Emily’s age but she did n’t go to school with Emily. Miley went to a private school.
Miley was taller than Emily and she wore glasses. Emily thought the glasses made her look smart. She had short, dark brown hair that poofed out in the back. Miley said her hairstyle was called a Bob. Emily thought it was a peculiar name considering Miley was a girl.
Emily liked to play with Miley, most of the time, but sometimes she didn’t. It was usually fun to play with Miley but sometimes, she was difficult. Miley always wanted to be the boss and tell people what to do. Emily liked to be the boss too but Papa taught her that she could not always be in charge. He explained that when you only think about what you want, without thinking about what others want, you are being selfish. Emily figured Miley had not yet learned that it was selfish to try to be the boss all the time.
Emily shared her little life with Miley from time to time and today she decided was one of those times. Emily didn’t always need a playmate, she was quite content to play in her own little world but sometimes it was fun to bring someone into it with her.
MUFFIN PUTS ON A SHOW
As Emily walked toward Miley’s house she heard Muffin barking wildly. It didn’t take much to get Muffin going, especially when someone came to Miley’s door.
When Muffin’s fur wasn’t combed she looked just like the mop Mama used to wash the kitchen floor. It was hard to see Muffins eyes because her unruly, floppy, fur covered them. In spite of the fact that her eyes were covered she romped through the house, like a crazy messy mop, as fast as she could go. Muffin put on a show, for Emily, that was so comical and her antics never failed to send her into fits of laughter.
Emily prepared herself to greet Muffin as she knocked on Miley’s front door. When Miley opened the door Muffin jumped up on Emily as if to exclaim, “Finally, you came to play with me!” Muffin barked and danced happily jumping up on Emily over and over again. Her tail was wagging like it was on fire. Emily laughed as she bent down to hug her neck. In return, Emily received slobbery kisses all over her face.
Emily backed away as Muffin continued with her show by spinning and dancing around in circles on her back legs. Miley and Emily laughed as they watched Muffin show-off. As Emily was caught up in Muffin’s escapade, Miley glanced over at Emily and smiled affectionately. “I’m so happy Emily came to my house, Emily is the kindest girl I know and she’s fun to play with too.”
As Muffin tore through the house on another mission Emily asked, “Hey Miley do you want to come out and play with me?” “Sure” answered Miley, “I’ll go ask my mom and grab a jacket.” As Miley took off toward the kitchen Emily hollered after her, “You won’t need a jacket, the sun is out and it is getting hot!”
Miley quickly asked her Mom she if she could play with Emily. Mom told Miley it was fine but to play in Emily’s yard or their own year. Molly said, “Okay Mom, we’ll be at Emily’s,” and off she ran to grab Emily’s hand to head out for an adventure.
THE SUN FOLLOWS ME
As the two girls crossed the street Miley was chattering away “How about we play house? I’ll be the Mom and you can be my little girl.” Miley smiled happily as she looked at Emily, only to discover that her friend had that familiar glazed-over look in her eyes. The stare meant Emily was in her own little world. Miley felt her cheeks get hot. She knew Emily did not hear a word she said.
“Emily!” Miley scolded, “I’m talking to you!” Emily, as if in deep thought responded, “Miley have you noticed that everywhere I go the sun follows me?” Miley wrinkled up her face in confusion, “What do you mean?” she chided. “Look,” explained Emily as she pointed to the sun, “When I walk this way, the sun follows me and when I turn, the sun turns with me.”
THE MORE THE MERRIER
Just when Miley was about to tell Emily that the Sun most certainly does not follow her, the Anderson sisters, Katie, and Sara, came running up to them. “Hi guys,” Sara called out, “Can we play with you today?”
Emily quickly answered the girls question before Miley had a chance to say anything, “Yes, of course, you can play with us, the more the merrier,” that’s what mama always said.
Emily thought the sisters were so cute. Sara was 6 years old and she had blonde hair that sometimes looked orange when the sun shined on it. Her big blue eyes were the color of the sky. When she was afraid or excited she had the habit of twisting her hands over and over. Sara was shy but Emily could always get her to talk and forget about being afraid. Her sister Katie was 8 years old. Katie’s hair was straight and very long. The color of her hair was a brown but it changed, like magic, when the sun shined on it. It had sparkling shades of red, yellow and brown.
Emily found it interesting to watch Katie’s green eyes because they were curious and an unusual shade, almost the same color as an emerald. Emily thought of Katie as Sara’s other Mother because she was always close-by making sure people were nice to her sister.
Katie and Sara’s mom taught them from home. Emily liked how polite and considerate both girls were. They were a lot like their Mom who reminded Emily of her own dear Mama.
Who is the Boss?
The girls all ran to Emily’s playhouse. Their hair was flying in the wind. All of the girls wore happy smiles on their faces. As Katie was about to go in the playhouse Miley yelled, “Hey, wait a minute, take your shoes off before going in the house!” Katie stopped and sighed deeply before taking her shoes off.
Once all the girls were inside Miley started to tell them her plan. “Okay, girls! We are going to play house today. I am the Mom and all of you,” She said while pointing to each one, “will be my daughters.”
Emily studied Katie and Sara, who were looking at each other as if to say, “Here we go again.” Emily decided someone had to stand up to Miley. She turned to face Miley and said, “Miley you can’t always be the boss.” She took a deep breath and continued, “There are four of us playing together, we can take turns being the boss or maybe we can talk about what we ALL want to do.”
Miley’s face turned red and her eyes darkened. She glared at Emily, “Well!” said Miley with a huff, “If you don’t want to play house and be the daughters then I am going home!” The sisters never said a word. They looked at Emily to see what she would say. Emily shrugged her shoulders and said, “Okay Miley, if you want to go home, it’s your choice.” When Miley realized that they were not going to let her be the boss she turned around and stomped out of the playhouse hollering out, “FINE, I know when I’m not wanted!”