Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Healthy Breakfast & Snack ~ Encourage Healthy Eating

A while back I did a post about Stoplight Eating and teaching your kids how to eat in a healthy manner. This means that they need to be able to tell if a food is a Great Food, an OK Food, or a Once In a While Food. This recipe is perfect for several reasons:

1) It's LOADED with healthy foods that kids love - Raisins, Apples, Nuts and Carrots
2) There are lots of foods for younger kids to dump in - they can help you and you help them count out how many cups, teaspoons, stirs, etc it takes to add each ingredient.
3) It's perfect for any meal - but especially for breakfast. It's portable and kids can grab it on the go. Also, grownups really like them too! 

morning glory muffins
Morning Glory Muffins
Makes 12-18 (depending on how big you make 'em)

Bowl 1:
I use the 1/2 white 1/2 wheat flour that's available now - so I just do 2 cups flour.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup regular flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 Teaspoons baking soda
2 Teaspoons cinnamon
Whisk together

Bowl 2: (I used 1 cup oil as I didn't have applesauce) Combine & stir into dry mix.
3/4 cup egg substitute (or 3 eggs)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup applesauce
2 Teaspoons vanilla

Bowl 3: (Pre-prep this to save time). Stir into batter and stir to combine. Add nuts to top after filling muffin tins 2/3's full.
2 cups chopped apples
1/2 cup raisins
3/4 cup grated carrots

2 Tablespoons chopped pecans or walnuts - or you could do rolled oats and sprinkle those on top.

Oven 350 degrees, bake 35 minutes. Bake till tops are springy to the touch. After baking, cool 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack and then cool completely.  Do not burn or over bake.

Enjoy! I found this recipe online somewhere - don't ask me where. =D Thanks whoever shared it!


Nutrition: the Red, Yellow & Green Stoplight method

Here is a repost of a post I did on my "old" blog Family Literacy and You. That blog is no longer active and I thought some of you might find this interesting. Enjoy!


Eat Healthy , Feel Great

by Dr William Sears, MD

This book is written for children and explains the concept of making wise nutritional choices.  He uses an easily understandable concept of green-, yellow-, and red-light foods – “traffic light eating.” In the book, he explains that foods that make you think better, give you more energy to play, and make you grow stronger are green-light foods; just as a green light means “go”, you can go ahead and eat all you want of the green-light foods.


Green Light Foods  are High-nutrition, low-fat, low- or moderate-calorie foods kids can eat often: celery, carrots, broccoli, apples, low-fat yogurt, multigrain pretzels.

Yellow-light foods are okay to eat sometimes, but they won’t make you feel as great as green-light foods will.  Yellow Light Foods are Nutritious but higher-fat or calorie foods that must be eaten in moderation: meats, enriched breads and pasta, full-fat cheese.

Red means stop.  Red-light foods don’t do anything to help your body – they can hurt your body and make you feel too full to eat any of your green-light foods.  These foods have no nutritional value, like cookies and candy, that you should save for special treats.
Traffic Light Eating
This book also discusses the importance of water, different vitamins and nutrients found in foods, how colors can tell you a lot about foods and it offers up a few simple recipe ideas. The book also comes with a chart that you can post in your kitchen that illustrates the red-, yellow-, and green-light concept as a reminder.
The book goes on to discuss ingredients in foods that make them taste good or look good but are bad for you, such as food dyes, hydrogenated oil, preservatives, sugar, and white flower.
Here are some examples of traffic light eating:
Green-light foods:
Yellow-light foods:
Red-light foods:
fruits and vegetables
(*without harmful additives)
hot dogs (most)
vegetable oils (flax and olive)
*pies and cakes
nitrate-containing meats and cold cuts
*white bread
packaged foods w/hydrogenated oils
organic dairy products
pre-packaged foods (lunchables)
whole grains and sprouted grains
*cookies, pastries
*frozen yogurt
punches/drinks w/ added coloring
fish or meat and poultry (no nitrates)
fruit drinks
fast foods fried in hydrogenated oils
homemade soups
*canned soups
cereals w/ dyes & hydrog. oils
soy products, tofu (Non-GMO)
cotton candy
eggs (cage-free/no hormones)
healthy treats (not hydrogenated)
fast foods (some)
crushed ice drinks and
 diet sodas

How to encourage your kids to eat more Fruits and Vegetables
1.  Have fruit washed and easily available.  Cut up veggies and have them ready to eat.
2.  Use fruit for a sweet snack.
3.  Send fruit as a snack in packed lunches.
4.  Serve fruit and vegetables as a snack at home.
5.  Serve salads first at dinnertime, when kids are hungriest.
6.  Try new fruits and vegetables, don't assume your kids don't like them.
     Sometimes kids need to be exposed to new foods up to 14 times before they'll eat it!
7.  Model eating nutritiously - if your kids SEE you eating, it's likely they will too!

Some of Dr William Sears articles YOU might be interested in:

1. Four Benefits of a Brainy Breakfast

2. Make “Happy Meals”
3. Does your child have "NDD"?



Monday, August 20, 2012

Speech & the young child

I haven't talked much about my new endeavor but I thought I'd post something that I've noticed with my new little gal. Her name is Sierra and she just turned 3. She is so very smart, picks things up super quick and you can tell her mom/dad have worked with her a lot.

I don't know much regarding if they talk to her a lot or if everyone just "translates" what she wants and is trying to say but her speech is very difficult to understand. She's very soft spoken and at times her speech can be clear but the majority of the time it's very garbled or mumbled and I'm really struggling to understand her. I don't want her to become self-conscious or more shy than she already is and I don't want her to quit trying to explain to me what she's talking about - so I reached out to Carrie Manchester of Carrie's Speech Corner for some suggestions. I thought some of you might be interested in her suggestions. 


Carrie - I wanted to ask you if you have any suggestions on "games" or activities that I can do with my 3 year old. Her speech is very garbled and unclear and she mumbles a lot. Her sisters speech is very clear - but Sierra needs some encouragement to enunciate when speaking. I don't want it to be a pressure for her - just something to encourage her and I'd just like to understand most of what she's saying. Thoughts?

We are going to be starting preschool activities next week and we read stories throughout the day. I have a tendency to enunciate with kids as I speak - so I'm already doing that.

Answer: (I'm going to break it into bullets)
  • That's great that you enunciate b/c that would be my first suggestion.
  • Model a slower rate of speech as well. It's also helpful to draw attention to your mouth while speaking. I can email you a handout on "Touch Cues" to show children how sounds are made. 
  • You could also try syllable or word tapping/clapping to make her more mindful of segments and decrease the "garbled" quality. 
  • It's a controversial topic, but you could try oral motor exercises with her as well to increase strength of mouth muscles. I did a post a week or two ago on an apple tree oral motor activity
  • You could use bubbles, whistles, thin straws for her drinks, imitating tongue movements in a mirror, chewy foods that provide resistance (e.g., starburst candies, licorice ropes), and even sour foods (sour patch kids, candy sprays). 
As far as speech/language related activities, pretty much anything can be turned into a speech/language activity! Just keep playing with her, doing arts and crafts, and even doing some of the activities you see on speech and education blogs. When you do, model slow, clear speech and use the touch cues. Try to stay on her eye level and encourage her to imitate. Hope that helps!

Here are a few sites mentioned that work with speech ideas (I haven't looked into everything thoroughly - but you might look them up for ideas):
I'll try to come back and let you know how our little adventure goes. 

Tina 'the book lady'

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Steps4Kids - Learn to Draw DVD

drawing dvd
Steps 4 Kids to Draw DVD
Age 4+

The Steps4Kids crew has done it again. This time they released a DVD that shows kids step by step how to draw over 40 different items. The first time I had it I had an hour of peace & quiet which was wonderful. Each of my 2 kids (Jake 9) and (Lizy 6) were able to draw at their own pace, at age level and according to their own ability. It was hilarious to see both heads looking up and then down, up and down over and over as they watched the video - and it was wonderful that for once they weren't arguing over it the whole time.

The video has several different segments where the kids learn to draw several things in a category - Jake & Lizy's favorite were the animals. One of the nicest features of the DVD is that each category can be played as a segment or you can do each drawing individually so kids can keep up and go at their own pace.

There is almost 90 minutes of video that teaches children how to draw shapes, animals, people and things.

The "shapes" section shows how to draw a circle, square, triangle, rhombus/diamond heart, cube & star. Each shape uses colored graphics to help children learn to identify the shapes as well!
You will also find these sections: 

  • Animals - on the farm, in the house, in the water or at the zoo (20 total). 
  • People - draw 5 faces, learn to draw profiles and how to draw basic clothing.
  • Things - learn to draw a bike, car, flowers and more!
Each section (Animals, People, Shapes & Things) has an "all play" feature that enables viewers to play several demonstrations at once but you can also select each item individually to practice your favorite.

It has already received several well deserved awards including the Creative Child's Magazine "DVD of the Year" award and "Seal of Excellence".

You can purchase a copy of the Drawing video HERE for $24.99. Steps4Kids has offered GivingNSharing's readers a 30% discount code - blogn30 - this code is valid through August 2012 and you do need a $10 minimum order.

Be sure to follow Steps4Kids on Facebook and find out about new products and specials they have available!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Summer Book Club Wk 6: Go-for-Gold Gymnasts series!

I believe this is going to be our last Summer Book Club book - next week we will start our August Author Showcases - so there will be more reviews & giveaways to share as well as hopefully a couple of great author Q&A's.

In two weeks we will be featuring the Suzies Shoesies series - a story about a young girls with magic time traveling shoes. We'll learn about strong women who make a difference in history, solve some mysteries and more! Stay tuned!

~ Review & Giveaway

I can't think of a series of books that is more timely for the Summer Book Club than the NEW Middle Grade Series: Go-For-Gold Gymnasts by 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist Dominique Moceanu and co-author Alicia Thompson!

Go For Gold Gymnasts (series)
by Dominique Moceanu and Alicia Thompson

Product DetailsBook 1: Winning Team 
$5.99 (paperback)  $4.99 (Kindle)
Twelve-year-old Brittany Lee Morgan is the best. Or, at least she was at her gymnastics training gym in Ohio. But when her family moves to Texas for a world-class facility, Britt must prove to her new teammates that she deserves to be an elite gymnast. Read Chapter 1

My Thoughts:
This book opens with Britt heading off to her first gymnastics class at a new Gym - she doesn't know anyone, is 1 of 2 Elite Gymnasts and doesn't know what to expect. Throw in a mom that isn't active in cheering her on and has her own "thing" going on and you have a very interesting book.

Straight forward and very easy to read I found myself sympathizing with Britt even as she puts her foot in her mouth and even though she didn't mean to push the other girls away with her plain speaking ways (read that as a bit of a "know it all") and you've got a girl who's having a hard time making friends and joining in a threesome of girls who already are friends, have plans and don't like her at all. Especially when Britt asks about another girl who she thinks has a eating disorder during a game of Truth & Dare.

Very good book. I highly recommend it for the 5th grade set on up. It's a great way to open up conversations on eating disorders and how to handle it if you think a friend might have a problem. It's also a great book to discuss making friends and keeping them. This would also be a GREAT book for a mother daughter book club or for small group discussion.
Product DetailsBook 2: Balancing Act 
$5.99 (paperback
Just in time for the 2012 Summer Olymics, the second book in the fliptastic new gymnast series is the perfect companion for any girl who dreams of going for the gold! Attending competitions is an expense Noelle's family can't afford, but she doesn't want to give up her dream of a medal at the Junior National Championships. How will she balance her family, her teammates, and her drive to win the gold? Read Chapter 1

My Thoughts:
This is a story of a family who makes sacrifices to help their child achieve her dream - to go to the olympics and become the best. Her family has mortgaged their home to help pay for her tuition - but when competition comes up Noelle worries about telling her parents she needs more money to go, new leotards and more. That is a lot of stress on a 12 year old girl.

One of the things I really like about this series of books is how the girls learn to lean on , support each other and encourage each other. It opens with an obvious rift down the center of the team but you continue to see their bond form and then strengthen. Another treat is seeing how each girl focuses on their skills and works hard to achieve their dreams. This isn't a series of "wimpy" kids with a sugar coated ending. Also, the author has lived through the experience of reaching for gold and shares the ups and downs and the real life stresses that all the girls undergo as they work toward their goal.

Product DetailsProduct Details

Book 3: Reaching High
$5.99 (paperback)  $4.99 (Kindle)
Jessie might be the quiet girl on the team, but she's a power-house on the vault. She's tired of her teammates underestimating her, and she's finally ready to show them what she's made of. Get ready for Jessie to follow her dreams and finally becoming an Elite Gymnast.

Book 4: Unexpected Twist 
$5.99 (paperback)  
In the final book of The Go-for-Gold Gymnasts series, Christina, the diva of the team, has an unexpected twist coming her way—a hurt heel! She's the reigning queen of the floor event, but how is she going to compete now?

Purchase all 3 for $17.97 & these books are eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $25 & they are also eligible for the 4 for 3 promotion! (just click on any of the links above to order the set)

OK - we got the nitty gritty out of the way - on to the giveaway! This week and next you & your kids have the opportunity to WIN the FULL set of the Go-For-Gold Gymnasts series! That's right! Are you ready?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 4, 2012 ~ Review & Giveaway

~ Book Review & Giveaway

Journal Buddies: Journals for Boys & Girls
by Jill Schoenberg
ISBN & purchasing links for Amazon:
(Boys)  978-0976862321 $16.95
(Girls)  978-0976862307 $16.95
Middle Grades, 9+
Children should be comfortable writing and able to use their thinking skills with some prompting.

What is journaling? Journaling is sharing our thoughts by writing, drawing, painting, pasting & using other creative ways of expressing ourselves. 

We all know that during the summer it's so important for kids to be reading and working on their math skills - but it's also important to add activities to encourage writing and that's where Journal Buddies: Journals for Boys & Girls come in!

made-in-aviary.png  on Aviary

I received a Boy's Journal to use with Jake this summer that not only works on his writing and comprehension skills but it also builds on his self esteem by having him choose a new friend each week that will encourage him through shared journaling. This is an activity that works when he and his buddy of the week  (mom, dad, best friend, teacher, grandparents, babysitter - he can have a new buddy each week or keep the same one throughout the whole book) share strong qualities & characteristics that each of them have. 

Each journal has 4 parts to it:
~ Words of advise and helpful reminders each day. 
~ A section where kids and their buddies share strong qualities, characteristics, traits and special talents each of them have - like patience, compassion, the ability to hit a ball into the outfield or stand up to a bully.
~ Each day there is a focus word of the day. These words encourage reflection, exploration and discussion. You can draw, write, talk about your thoughts - it's up to you!
~ There are many blank pages where kids can draw, paint, write, paste photo's, tickets, brochures, etc - this is a place for creative expression! Each book has several pages of creative journaling ideas to give you ideas and help you have FUN sharing your thoughts, dreams and desires.

Download a Sample:    Girls     Boys

My thoughts:
The neat thing about Journal Buddies is that your child will be participating in a journal process that encourages them to learn from others, to understand that they are a unique creation made by God and encourages them to express themselves in many different creative ways. You'll also notice that this is an Open Journal - you will see what your child writes and how they are feeling and they will see your thoughts and feelings also. It's open communication on paper.

Jake is 9 1/2 and he's really starting to become comfortable with reading and he also has a big heart and concern for others. He was in summer school all of June and I didn't give him the journal until July thinking it would be something we could do together. He really liked working with a partner and talking about the strengths of his friends and encouraging them. He also liked all of the different ideas for journaling and many of them he had never considered (and neither had I for that matter). I will say, Jake has ADHD and it's really hard for him to sit for any length of time and of course with it being summer he'd rather be outdoors playing. 

I would suggest with a child who is really active you might want to introduce it during the school year when they are already accustomed to a schedule of some kind. Don't make it homework - perhaps use it as part of your bedtime ritual - Encourage them to do it at some point throughout the day (perhaps after suppertime but before their favorite show is on TV or perhaps make it a family habit to turn off the TV at 8 pm and use that time of preparing for bed as a time to read, prepare for the next day &  journal a little and then at bedtime lie down together and talk about how their day went, about the friend and what they wrote about in their journal. Make it low key - not a "homework" type activity. 

Be sure to sign up for the newsletter - it is chock full of creative ideas for home and the classroom. (Click here)
I spent a little time on and there is an amazing variety of ways that parents & teachers can help their children grow. There are journaling prompts, Creative Writing Activities, Story Starters, and more!

Purchase it:
You can purchase a Journal Buddy for your Son or Daughter now on Amazon for $16.95 each. Teachers can purchase them from the author direct with a quantity discount - these would be ideal for classroom & homeschool use. 

Learn more:
Newsletter (scroll down and it's on the right hand side)

Journaling, Writing Ideas, Creative Writing,  Journal Prompts, Award-Winning Girl Dairy and Boy Diary and more…

A FUN Activity:
Here is a FUN activities to do while you're waiting for your Journal Buddy to arrive:
Create your own Journal Pencils! This is a cool activity you can do for summer journaling and also as you are preparing to return to school! No other kid will have one - because they're unique, fun and totally yours! Check it out by clicking on the pictures!

 Toadstool Pencils Tutorial how can I make pencils? easy!

Jill Schoenberg has very kindly offered one of my readers a signed copy of the journal of your choice - Boy or Girl. This giveaway will start 8/5 and go until 8/12 - this journal is a great addition to a birthday gift or as a stocking stuffer! Be sure to add some of those fancy pencils you made too!

To enter - please Retweet this Tweet & enter the URL of your tweet in the box on the Rafflecopter:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was given a copy of the boys journal from and was not required to write a positive review and no money changed hands. Full disclosure is on the rafflecopter or you can find it here.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Higgs Phonics - Learn to read in 40 hours or less!

Higgs Phonics - Learn to Read in 40 Hours!

The Higgs Phonics program is an indepth Learn to Read program for children starting at around 9 years old and is appropriate for adults learning to read also. I was sent a FULL set of the Higgs Phonics program to review and look over with my 7 year old who is learning to read this summer and my 9 year old who just this year seems like he is really starting to become comfortable with his reading abilities. 

With Elizabeth I felt Volume 1 was over her head - I think it will be perfect for her in a couple of years for review and to catch up on anything she hasn't mastered. She isn't going to have the trouble her brother had learning to comfortably read on her own. 

Each of the books is very detailed and explains the lesson in a very clear manner so that children & adults will both be able to learn from the program. I particularly loved Volume 2 which goes over the rules and reasons for each letter, it's sound and why it's used the way it is in spelling and reading. It breaks down how we decode a word and the sound it makes. An example would be: 

Lesson 1: The key word is lip: 
When a vowel is followed by a consonant, the vowel is short.

The child or adult working on these rules would then go through a list of words , say them aloud, print the word and then mark the vowel "short".

Ex: man, pig, ham, bib, etc

Each book uses visual, auditory and cognitive tools to teach and help the student learn. Another thing I liked is there is a Review section in each area and the student not only reviews the words they've been working with - but the book also suggests parents or the teacher take the time to review with the student or have the student take a spelling test on those words. 

Personally - I would suggest you take each of those words and write them in a small 5x3" notebook - one word per page and review those words with the child throughout the week. Start at the beginning and flip the pages as they read, spell or use the word in a sentence. It will allow the child to work on sight words and also the various rules they are learning in the lessons. This is what I did with Lizy - it helped her build confidence in her reading and also helped her with learning new words.

Due to Jacob being in summer school much of the summer I didn't use the books as much with him as I did Lizy. The books are in color with illustrations - but the print is very small and I found with Lizy that made it difficult for her. I would think an older student wouldn't have the same problem she did.

A breakdown of the books (from the website)
Volume I Working Out With the Alphabet
A very detailed and elaborate phonics program written for people of all ages and abilities.  For use in school or in the privacy of their home. Includes alphabet letter shapes, consonant and short-long vowel sounds. A must-have for beginning readers or review. Over 300 fun packed exercises. Guaranteed to keep you busy! Fun and easy to do!

Volume 2 The Worlds Greatest Secrets
In this fun-packed and detailed phonics workbook, the Word’s Greatest Secrets are revealed. It’s filled with easy, fun exercises and lessons. Teaches little-known phonics rules and decoding skills. Guaranteed to take all the mystery out of reading 90% of all English words. Blends, diphthongs, digraphs and lots more will leave you a fluent reader. Good for all ages and abilities to improve reading and fluency quickly. Great for foreign language speakers! Over 500 skill building exercises! Very easy to use.

Volume 3 All the Parts of Language Arts
Third in the series, All The Parts of Language Arts, teaches students about prefixes, suffixes, and combining forms. Includes lessons on dictionary skills, eight parts of speech, and punctuation. Writing & spelling traps are thoroughly explained. Meanings are given for over 80 root words, prefixes and suffixes. After completing the series, the ability to listen, analyze words, apply phonics to independent reading, comprehension, verbal expression, and fluency in reading will greatly improve. Well over 2,500 words to decode!

The Teacher's Guide:
The Teacher’s Manual is a highly detailed teaching and pacing guide written specifically for teachers and education professionals. It explains the philosophy and methodology of Higgs Phonics’ systematic approach to phonetics-based reading. The Teacher’s Manual enables the teacher to feel confident, secure and well prepared in guiding their students through each volume. It presents a road map and framework for teaching phonetic-based reading skills in a dynamic, interactive, multi-sensory environment. Students become actively engaged in the learning process, whether in class or in independent reading. The Teacher’s Manual also includes reproducible class and student evaluation forms to help educators evaluate students. This will assure that the students are reaching the progress goals of the curriculum. 

I would strongly recommend these books for children 9 years old and up. Adults will not feel they are working in a childs workbook and I personally believe they would like these books and the fact they can learn to read in 40 hours is wonderful. I also think these would be very helpful to a homeschool program or GED program.

Be sure to visit the Higgs Phonics website and learn more about the indepth research that has been conducted on the Higgs Phonics program. They share all the data and results for parents & teacher's to read too.

I was given a full set of the workbooks and the teachers guide to review on CCB. I was not required to write a positive review and no money exchanged hands.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

New Book Spotlights:

Picture of First Dot-to-Dot Animals
NEW THIS FALL:  First Dot-to-Dot Animals is a colorful counting book for young children. All pictures can be completed using the numbers 1 to 10 so these books are suitable for children who are just beginning to count and recognize numbers.  $5.99 each - be sure to put the individual pages in page protectors so you can use your book over and over again!

Download an activity page from First Dot-to-Dot Animals and let your little one discover who has little white paws.

Other Dot-to-Dot books from Usborne: (Note the blue one is a combined volume with 7 books combined) for $12.99.

Picture of First Dot-to-Dot Things That Go  Picture of Dot to Dot Book (C/V)  

Another new series I've already talked about some - but now I have an author interview and a video for you to watch regarding how the author became published. It's very interesting!

Chris Answers Questions about The Phoenix Files
How many Phoenix Files books are there going to be?

There will be six books in the series altogether: Arrival, Contact, Mutation, Underground, Fallout and Doomsday.
When are the other books coming out?

Fallout is due to be released in Australia and NZ in 2012, with Doomsday to follow in 2013.
On the Phoenix Files book covers, one character gets further and further away from the other two. Who is that?

It’s Peter – and by the end of Mutation, you should have a pretty good idea why.
Are you going to keep writing after you finish The Phoenix Files?
Absolutely! Right now, my plan is to keep writing for as long as you guys want to keep reading!
Writing & Publishing

How did you get your first book published?

My “first book” story is a bit of an unusual one. I’d always thought being a writer would be really fun, but I never thought it was something that I’d actually get to do for a living.

But a friend of mine from church, Rowan McAuley, was already a published author. She and I would quite often talk about writing, and one day she told me that her publisher was looking for new authors to help out with a series called Zac Power.

I’d never heard of the series before, but I did a bit of investigating, and then had a go at writing a Zac story of my own. I sent it to Rowan, and she passed it on to her publisher… and I assumed that would be the end of it.

But then, a couple of weeks later, the publishers got in touch and said they wanted to turn my story (“Volcanic Panic”) into an actual book! It took four or five redrafts and a whole lot of editing to get the book up to scratch, but we got there in the end. From there, I went on to write 11 more books in the series, all under the name, “H.I. Larry.”

Somewhere in the middle of all those books, I pitched the idea for The Phoenix Files to my publishers. They agreed to publish that series too – and I’ve been writing it ever since!

And that’s the thing about my story: I never “earned” this job, and I definitely haven’t done anything to deserve it. The whole thing has just been one huge gift. All that’s left is to be incredibly thankful for this amazing work that God’s given me to do, and to keep on working to create stories that are worth the time and the enthusiasm that you guys pour into them.