Saturday, October 18, 2014

Three Ghost Friends @ Monroe's Orchard!

I am writing this feeling a little sad that I won't be heading to Monroe's Orchard today for their Apple Festival. Monroe's Orchard hosted their Apple Festival the last three Saturdays. I had the opportunity to read and share my Three Ghost Friends books with many families while enjoying the delicious apple cider!!

I went through all the photos and picked my favorite ones to share.

My Three Ghost Friends reading hat!
I thought this pumpkin was perfect! The books are pretty cool too!
The first Saturday was gorgeous; warm and sunny! My whole family was there to help me sell books!
I love reading Three Ghost Friends: Learn About Shapes to a large group. 
I was so grateful for the opportunity to share my books with so many people. A huge thank you to Sue and Roger Monroe for inviting me!
The second Saturday was quite different; cold and cloudy. I have to thank my daughter for toughing it out all day with me!
Ice fell from the sky when we were setting up our tent. 
Despite the cold and ice families still came to the Apple Festival.  I loved seeing the creativity of the children that came out. A zombie, princess, and spider ghost! (Click here to download the activity sheet!)
The weather was much better for the third Saturday. I had a wonderful spot next to the pumpkin patch to read my Three Ghost Friends books.
In this photo I am reading Three Ghost Friends: Learn About the ABCs - Halloween Edition.
I had such a great time at Monroe's Orchard. I met so many happy and enthusiastic families! Thank you to everyone for supporting me!

My THREE GHOST FRIENDS books available as eBooks and paperbacks on Amazon.com and iTunes. They are great for children 3-6 years of age!




Thursday, October 9, 2014

NEW! FREE Printable Halloween Cards!

My son and I made two new Three Ghost Friends Halloween cards for you!  Please print and share these FREE Halloween cards with your friends and family.

Click here to download the BOOBERRY PIE Halloween Card.

Click here to download the MOUSTACHE-BOOSTACHE Halloween Card.


Did you like these cards? Click here for 5 more FREE cards!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Ghost Finger Puppets - FREE HALLOWEEN PRINTABLE






Enjoy these FREE ghost finger puppet printables.  Print on heavy white paper and cut out the dotted-finger holes.  Each printable includes MAKE YOUR OWN ghosts too!



These ghost finger puppets were made by my son! Fun times!

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD 
CLICK TO DOWNLOAD
Use these finger puppets to act out the THREE GHOST FRIENDS books available as eBooks and paperbacks on Amazon.com and iTunes:


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ghost Crackers and Black Bean Soup Recipe



I declared to my family that we were going to eat lots of soup this year -- chili, chicken noodle, cauliflower, black bean and broccoli and cheese. I want to make them all!

Black bean soup was the first soup on my list and being that it is almost Halloween time I wondered if I could put a seasonal twist on our recipe.


I started with our favorite quick black bean soup recipe and a new homemade cracker recipe. I prepared the soup and the cracker dough exactly to the recipe provided in both of the links. We modified the steps of the cracker recipe when it was time to roll out the dough and cut out the crackers. Check out the photos below.
I had my little helper in the kitchen with me.
She checked to make sure I did a good job cutting in the butter.
She worked really hard at kneading the dough.
The dough had to rest for 10 minutes so we read my THREE GHOST FRIENDS books while we waited!
My daughter worked the pasta maker to roll out the dough. 
The dough was thin enough to almost see through.
To cut out a ghost shape for the crackers I used a tulip cookie cutter.
I used a knife to cut off the stem.
A straw was used to cut out eyes.
All the ghost crackers were arranged on a cookie sheet. Only 6 minutes in the oven at 450 degrees was needed to fully bake the crackers.
This was first batch! Yummy!
My older children arrived home from school and immediately asked to join in the fun!
My son got creative with his eyes. He made some ghosts with "googily eyes" and some had mouths too!
Add the ghost crackers to your favorite soup for Halloween!
I didn't have a chance to count how many crackers the recipe made.  My kids devoured them!
Please check out my Three Ghost Friends books for your children for Halloween time. They are perfect for children 3 - 5 years of age! Available on Amazon for Kindle and paperback versions.  Also available on iTunes.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Small Moments

A couple of weeks ago, I visited three first grade classrooms to talk about how I wrote and illustrated my Three Ghost Friends books. I found out that two of the classrooms were piloting a new writing program that encourages students to write about the "small moments" in their life.

Many students were brave enough to share with me a "small moment" that inspired their writing.  I heard stories about wiggly teeth while getting ready for school, flips off the swings and falling down, long car rides in the car, caring for animals on their farm, and more.

I encouraged the students to keep writing about their "small moments" because their experiences are important and other children would love to read their stories.

I love the idea of "small moments"! I shared with the students that there were "small moments" that inspired each of my Three Ghost Friends books too!

I was writing other stories at the time my youngest son became obsessed with Halloween. He loved walking the neighborhood looking for pumpkins and decorations.  Ghosts became one of his favorite Halloween characters with thanks to the book Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler (a ghost helps the skeleton get rid of his hiccups).  My son would ask me to draw ghosts for him -- even many months after Halloween was over. The picture above is from my writing journal with ghosts and pumpkins he asked me to draw.  I would usually ask, "Do you want me to draw a happy ghost or a MEAN ghost?"  He would almost always want me to draw a happy ghost.
One day after returning from my oldest son's preschool I was carrying my supplies from the lesson I taught and my youngest son.  I dropped the supplies (luckily I didn't drop my son!). After seeing the markers and paper my son asked me to draw him a ghost.  I picked up a blue marker and drew a blue ghost and proceeded to draw other colored ghosts.  This "small moment" was the beginning of Three Ghost Friends: Learn About Colors. (The picture above is a recreation of the "small moment".)
The "small moment" for Three Ghost Friends: Learn About Opposites happened while I was designing how the Three Ghost Friends would look for Three Ghost Friends: Learn About Colors.  While making the faces I thought about HAPPY and SAD ghosts. I thought that an opposites book would be fun to make.
One day, my youngest son and I were drawing with window markers. I was drawing shapes and he asked me to draw ghosts. I drew ghost faces on the shapes that I drew. This was the "small moment" that lead to Three Ghost Friends: Learn About Shapes.  I remember drawing a ghost traveling through a playground tunnel to become a circle. This initial idea changed into have the Three Ghost Friends play hide-and-seek to change into shapes.  (The picture above is a recreation of the "small moment".)
My best friend from grade school called me one day and told me that he had an idea for the next Three Ghost Friends book. He said, "You need to write a Halloween book and have the Three Ghost Friends dress up as ghosts for Halloween."  This "small moment" inspired me to write Three Ghost Friends: Learn About the ABCs - Halloween Edition.

To all the students I met:  THANK YOU for your questions, comments, and enthusiasm! I had a great time reading my books to you!  KEEP WRITING about your small moments!  You all have great ideas! Enjoy your summer!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sports Ghosts.....A GENIUS IDEA from a first grader!


A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting two first grade classrooms at Craddock Elementary School. I visited one classroom on Wednesday and then returned on Friday to visit the second classroom.  Upon returning to the school on Friday, the teacher from the first classroom gave me a piece a paper from one of her students.
Front Side
Back Side
The first paragraph begins, "I have a great idea for your next book." (I couldn't wait to read more!)

The next sentence jumped right into a story about three ghosts that "sign up" to play sports.  One ghost decides to play hockey, another ghost decides to play basketball, and the last ghost decides to play soccer.  Unfortunately, each ghost turns into something while they are playing their sport -- the hockey player ghost turns into a puck, the basketball player ghost turns into a basketball, and the soccer player ghost turns into a soccer ball.  Luckily, a few boys save the day and turn the ghosts back to "normal"!

What a genius idea!! I loved it.

The student's story has been sitting on my desk since the day I received it. I didn't know exactly how I should respond. Tonight, I had a few extra moments and I decided to try to illustrate parts of the story using the THREE GHOST FRIENDS.  I decided this was the best way I could say "Thank you!" to the student for making my day.

Introducing SPORTS GHOSTS!