Archive for July 2013

Showered With Happiness

July 25, 2013

We’re still in wedding mode. This past weekend we showered our daughter, Beth. Of all the thoughtful and wonderful gifts she received, the one that stole her heart was from her future mother-in-law.

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A Boston Terrier was her favorite gift. She and her fiancé, Brian, have been researching this breed for months. It’s something they want to add to their family. The Boston Terrier given to her is very versatile. It’s not only a cuddly animal, but it’s also a purse! Collecting purses is another of Beth’s passions. Brian’s mom certainly knows our daughter!

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If you love Boston Terriers, here’s a book that Beth and Brian recommend.

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Boston Terriers written by Susan Bulanda with photographs and illustrations by Michele Earle-Bridges (Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., 2012)


WIP – Wedding In Progress

July 18, 2013

Besides reading and writing and blogging and tweeting about children’s books, I do have another life. This summer my other life has been consumed with preparations for our daughter’s wedding, which is rapidly approaching. She’s on the east coast. We’re in the middle. Distance makes for challenges, but my husband and I are no slouches. We’re in it until the last guest leaves the reception and the last check is signed.

So far I’ve learned these things about wedding planning:

Keep smiling.

No matter how old they get, your children still do not listen to you.

Money is no object from your child’s point of view.

It’s much easier to plan a wedding when you are both in the same geographical area.

Frequent and calm communication helps to clarify issues at hand.

When a request is made, don’t ask questions, just do it. It makes life easier.

Our latest assignment from east coast was to find specific pictures for a book the future bride and groom are going to create for guests to sign. These pictures were needed ASAP. What else is new?

The Requester

The Requester

So the obedient mother and father trudged down to the basement and pulled a million photo albums off the shelves and hauled them upstairs to the comfort of the living room. Divide and conquer was the motto. “The list” of required photos was at our fingertips. From birth pictures to present times, my husband and I flipped through the albums in record time. It was like looking at time-lapse photography of seeds growing to maturity. Our daughter was a beautiful flower. We were withering weeds! By the time we got through all the albums and found the designated pictures, we were spent.

We looked at the mess we had created. We agreed it was time to weed and condense albums – tomorrow. Tomorrow came and went.  The road to the basement is paved with good intentions! And those good intention albums ended up right back on the shelves. Out of sight, out of mind.

The important thing is that we completed the task at hand, and we still hold our daughter and her fiancé dear to our hearts.

What’s next on our to-do list? I’ll be sure to let you know.

Timmy Is No Failure

July 11, 2013

Failure is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. ~Sir Winston Churchill

This should be Timmy Failure’s motto. And who is Timmy Failure?

You may have heard about him. You may have read about him. You may even know him. Failure. Failure. Failure.

Yes, that’s Timmy’s last name – Failure. But Timmy Failure is no failure. He is the founder, president, and CEO of Failure, Inc. – a detective agency. That’s quite an achievement for someone who believes he’s on the right track, baby, but happens to miss his mark more often than not. He has his friends. He has his enemies. He has his nuisances. And he has his business partner, Total, a polar bear. Don’t ask why. Just read the book!


Timmy Failure is funny in a quirky way. It’s like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Dork Diaries had a head-on crash and the result was a “failure.” It’s a perfect choice for those hard-to-please readers looking for that just-right book.

 Timmy Failure Mistakes Were Made was written and artfully illustrated by Stephan Pastis, creator of Pearls Before Swine fame. Look for the next “failure,” Timmy Failure Now Look What You’ve Done, in February of 2014. How many failures can there be? I hope more.


July 4, 2013

After the Continental Congress voted to declare its independence from England, John Adams wrote a letter to his wife, Abigail, in which he said:

The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. It ought to be commemorated, as the Day of Deliverance by solemn Acts of Devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more. (The Book of Abigail and John: Selected Letters of the Adams Family, 1762-1784, Harvard University Press, 1975, 142)


July 2, 1776 was the day the Continental Congress declared its independence from England. The final written document, the Declaration of Independence, was approved and dated July 4, 1776. It was not signed until August 2, 1776.


Fly our flag, proudly!


Celebrate our freedom and independence!

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