INTRODUCTION to Emily’s Little Life

MEET THE SUMMERFIELD’S

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. The Summerfield’s are kind, caring and fun. If you pass one of the family 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 around the front of it.  There are colorful rocking chairs spread all across the porch. The chairs 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 seems more exciting than anywhere else.

Love for people and Love of God

The Summerfield’s respect people and they love God. On Sunday mornings, the family walks hand in hand, on the road to Greenberry Community Church.

Some skip, some hop and others stroll.  As they talk amongst themselves, smiles light up their faces.  Sometimes, the family melts into fits of laughter, echoing merrily 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 focuses and helps as best he can. When he plays basketball with the kids, Papa plays harder than any of the kids.

Most of the kids think Papa lets them win.  He is not like most Dads who are too busy with so much to do.  No, he is like a big kid unless he needs to be the authority. When a kid is disrespectful, acts up or sasses, 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 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-talking 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 move from stern to soft and sparkling in a split second.  The kids love Mama Summerfield, and she loves them right back.  Laughter, hugs, cookies, and a listening ear is what Mama brings to the neighborhood kids.

The Mystery of Little Emily

The star of our story, Emily, is nine years old. Her family and friends 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 worked to make Emily’s hair look pretty and neat.

As Emily’s day flies by, Mama’s styling skills get destroyed.  Bits of Emily’s hair fall loose and blow wildly in the wind. Hair is not something that matters to Emily but playing, running, skipping and laughing with her friends 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 challenges the bully and protects her charge. The thing is, bullies back down when Emily gets through confronting them.

Emily is a bit of a mystery. 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 tells 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 like an Egyptian princess.

Molly is one of those girls who rises above most other 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; One of her sayings is, “It is mean to ignore some kids while 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 golden hair.

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 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.

Everyone adores little Joe even though he annoys and pesters his sisters. They just can’t stay mad at the baby of the family.

Viet Nam War Vet, Uncle Joe

Uncle Joe is Papa Summerfield’s Favorite brother. They named little Joe in honor of his uncle.  Uncle Joe has a walking stick, and 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, but his hair is bright red.  He has enormous freckles splashed all over his face.

Sometimes Uncle Joe seems far away but 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. The kids are proud of Uncle Joe too.

Somebody said Uncle Joe got a 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 kid forgets and blurts something out about the war, the rest of them hold their breath and cringe as pain escapes from Uncle Joe’s eyes.

Uncle Joe never says a word but 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 1

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 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.

RESPONSIBILITY – Can Emily Be Happy When She Has to Do Chores?

EMMY’S FAVORITE DAY

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 didn’t 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 would sneak out 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 love to play, but you must remember there are chores to do and as your Mama, my job is 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 see the chore chart hanging on the wall. Her bedroom was the first room on the chart. She studied the chores for her bedroom and set off toward her room.

She began by making her bed. Emily pulled the top sheet over the bottom sheet until centered on the bed. She tucked the corners of the top sheet under the mattress and placed her pillow at the head of the bed.

Next, she picked up the end of her pink and green comforter and fluffed it in the air. On the last shake, she threw it over the bed and it landed neatly, amazing! She pulled the quilt toward the foot of the bed. She smoothed out the wrinkles and stood back to admire her work.

Happiness skipped across her heart, as it always did when Emily did an excellent job. Next, Emily picked up the toys and books on the floor. She placed her books on the bookshelf and arranged them.

Emily's Doll2
Emily’s Doll with Red hair & freckles

Picking up her toys, she spotted her favorite doll. “Come here Melinda,” she murmured as she reached for her. Emily was only 3 years old when Mama and Papa gave Melinda to her for Christmas. Opening her present, she gasped as her eyes fell on an adorable, soft doll who looked like her. She even had red hair and freckles. Emily named her doll after her cousin who also had red hair and freckles. Melinda was her favorite playmate and the one who knew all her secrets.

Before placing Melinda toward the end of the bookshelf, Emily hugged her close and kissed her on the top of her head. “Now our room is tidy and clean, enjoy your day, Melinda!” Emily smiled as her eyes scanned the room. She grabbed Berry, her teddy bear and Scotty, her stuffed puppy and tucked them on either side of Melinda.

The last thing on her list was to pick up the clothes on the floor. She gathered the clothes and 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

Chores and Responsibility

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 showed her how to squirt just enough cleaner into the sink to clear it of yuck and dirt. While the cleaner was working, mama instructed Emily to let it set. Emily grabbed a soft cloth from the cupboard and sprayed a bit of cleaner on it.  She rubbed the faucet with the cloth until it sparkled.

Next, she f0und the scrubber under the sink.  Emily scrubbed hard being careful to scour every inch of the sink.  When she was certain she cleaned every bit of dirt, she rinsed the sink. Emmy was careful not to splash when she rinsed the sink.

The sink was clean and sparkly. Looking up from the sink and into the mirror she saw the dirt.  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 over the splatters and smudges until they 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

Bear Hugs

Satisfied with her work, Emily took off running toward the door. As she ran she called back, “Mama, 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 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. “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, I am not a baby anymore!” 

Following Mama to the bedroom, she stopped and watched mama’s eyes as they surveyed the room. Mama smiled, “Great job Emily, I like how neatly you made your bed.” Emily was pleased  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, she 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.”

SELFISHNESS – Will Selfishness Spoil Little Emily’s Day?

Taking a Stand Against Selfishness

In Chapter three of Emily’s Little Life, we learn that Emily is going to spend her Happy Saturday with her friends Miley, Katie, and Sara.

The girls will experience some trouble in this chapter. One of them will try to take over and be the boss.  Emily takes a stand against selfishness.  One of the girls get mad and stomps 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 turn away from bad feelings and back to play? Will Selfishness Spoil Little Emily’s Day?

Play Day

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! Emily squinted and stood still while her eyes adjusted.

The sky was filled with fluffy, white clouds. As Emily studied the clouds, one of them caught her attention. That one looks like an elephant. Standing in the rays, Emily closed her eyes and bent her head back to feel the warmth on her face.  I love it! It is a perfect day for play.

Miley

Emily’s friend Miley lived across the street. Miley was Emily’s age but she didn’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 weird name considering Miley was a girl.

Emily liked to play with Miley but sometimes she didn’t.  Every time Emily and her friends played with Miley she tried to take over and tell everyone what to do. Emily liked to be the boss too but Papa told her that she could not always be in charge. He explained that when you only think about what you want, it is selfish. Emily figured no one taught Miley about selfishness.

Emily shared her little life with Miley from time to time and today was one of those times.

Muffin Puts On a Show

Molly’s Dog Muffins

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 like the mop Mama used to wash the kitchen floor.  It was hard to see Muffins eyes, her unruly fur covered them.  In spite of the fact that her eyes were covered, she romped through the house as fast as her little legs could go. Muffin put on a show for Emily. Muffin never failed to send Emily into fits of laughter.

Emily prepared to greet Muffin. She knocked on Miley’s front door. When Miley opened the door Muffin jumped on Emily as if to say, Finally, you came to play with me!” Muffin barked and danced while jumping on Emily over and over again.  Her tail was wagging like it was on fire. Emily laughed and bent down to hug her neck.  In return, Emily received slobbery kisses.

Emily backed away from Muffin. But Muffin continued her show by spinning 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.  

When Muffin tore through the house on another mission Emily asked, Hey, Miley do you want to come out and play with me?” “Sure, I’ll go ask my mom and grab a jacket.”  As Miley took off toward the kitchen Emily hollered, You won’t need a jacket, the sun is out and it is getting  hot!”

Miley asked her Mom she if she could play with Emily.  Her Mom, “Sure, Miley, but stay in either our yard or Emily’s okay?” “Okay Mom, we’ll be at Emily’s,” and off she ran to grab Emily’s hand and 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. But Emily had that familiar glazed-over look in her eyes. The stare meant Emily was in her own little world thinking her own little thoughts.  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 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?”

Before Miley could answer, Emily addressed the girls, “Yes, of course, you can play with us, the more the merrier.”

Emily thought the sisters were so cute. Sara was 6 years old. Her baby-fine blonde hair fell softly and framed her angelic face. Her big blue eyes, the color of the sky, were serious as they studied you.  When she was afraid or excited she had the habit of twisting her hands over and over.  Though Sara was shy Emily had a way of getting 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 chestnut brown. Emily found it interesting to watch Katie’s green eyes because they held curiosity and were an unusual shade, like the color of an emerald.  Emily thought of Katie as Sara’s other Mother because she kept Sara close, making sure people were nice to her.

Katie and Sara’s mom taught them from home.  Emily liked how polite and considerate both girls were.  The girls were a lot like their Mom who reminded Emily of her own dear Mama.

Who is the Boss?

After Emily welcomed the Anderson girls to join them, they all ran to Emily’s playhouse. Their hair, flying in the wind and happy smiles covering each face made quite the picture. But, as Katie approached 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. Sara looked at Emily as if to say, Who’s the Boss?

Once all the girls were inside Miley told 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, 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!”