My first Black Friday outing and I spent it at Book World! It was a fun morning, especially considering my little helper, Christina, my eldest daughter. She did a great job passing out Hershey’s kisses and bookmarks! My favorite signing events are when I’m able to share them with family. Thanks, Christina!
I was so honored to attend the Moonbeam Awards Ceremony this evening. An enormous thanks to Jim Barnes and his passion for children’s literacy, and to the Jenkins group who coordinated the event. Another big thanks to my parents who drove the many hours to experience it along with me. Here are a couple pictures of the evening in which I was named a Moonbeam Gold Medalist.
(left: my dad | middle: Jim Barnes | right: my parents)
The right two photos are compliments of Photography by Scarlett
It was a beautiful sunny day for the festival goers in Traverse City this Saturday. I spent the day in the City Opera House with my faithful mother at my side. Story times and crafts were offered throughout the day, and an extremely talented group of children performed song and dance routines. It was a joy getting to know the other remarkable exhibitors, and speaking to grandparents, parents, and children. All to celebrate literacy! A memorable experience in which I was so thankful to participate!
Concordia College Homecoming! It was an honor to be asked back to my alma mater for a book signing, where I was introduced to two other Concordia authors. Heather Somski (left) serves as an adjunct professor for Concordia and Melanie Hoffert (right) is a fellow alumna. A stroll through campus topped it off – oh, the memories! It was great to be back, and I’m sorry that I’ll miss the Cobber Fun Run tomorrow morning . . . next time!
This weekend was filled with the fun and festivities of Oakes’ Irrigation Days. My children enjoyed a few carnival rides and I enjoyed my time at Sweets ‘n’ Stories for a book signing. What a fun place to be, surrounded by great books, ice cream and other delectable treats! We arrived just in time to see their life-sized Splat the Cat for storytime. Heather, you run an amazing store and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to spend an afternoon with you and all those who came! Thank you!
It’s a beautiful Mother’s Day weekend and I was happy to spend part of my day at BookWorld for a book signing. This was my second time at this location and so I must give Dolly a special thanks for inviting me back. It is always a pleasure coming back and seeing her big smile! She runs a welcoming store environment with a great collection of books alongside fun stuffed animals for the kids. It was a great weekend, and I wish everyone a Happy Mother’s Day!
This year was my first year volunteering for the Junior Great Books program. The program’s goal is to advance social justice through literacy by encouraging critical thinking and establishing a democratic setting where there is participation by all. Simply put, the students come prepared to discuss a story and to consider many different levels within it while maintaining respect for one another’s opinions.
I spent the last nine weeks with these amazing students chosen for the program. They impressed me time and time again and we also shared some great laughs. The stories we covered were: The Dream Weaver, Jean Labadies’s Big Black Dog, Caporushes, The Upside-Down Boy, The Green Man, The Ugly Duckling, and The Mousewife. My personal favorite was The Mousewife!
Great job, Students! Now go impact the world!
“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.”
– Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis
God certainly has a way of intersecting lives and opening doors! My recent search for a graphic designer not only landed me an amazing woman with a whole lot of creative talent, she also happens to have a big heart for children and moms! Stephanie Tvrdik felt led by the Lord to start a MOPS (Mothers Of PreSchoolers) group several years back and has been offering her time and talents to support mothers ever since. Last week I received a call from her asking if I’d be interested in being their guest speaker and today I had the privilege of doing so! A big thank you, Steph, for the invitation and thank you to all the moms who provided such a warm welcome! I’ve uploaded a video they made the day I was there. MOPS is an international organization, so if you are interested in finding or beginning a group near you then I would encourage you to contact them!
It’s been an exciting couple of days spent visiting Zion Lutheran School. I have to say how impressed I am with how respectful and knowledgeable the students are. In the preschool classes, I posed the question to the students, “What are some ways that God shows us He loves us?” It was marvelous to sit back and hear their responses. I heard everything from God giving us things we need, to giving us the Bible, to dying on the cross and taking away our sins. My favorite may have been one little girl’s answer that “He gave us His body and His blood” . . . now that’s a future theologian right there! A big thank you to the staff for entrusting me with these precious minds during my visit!
Today may not have been an author event, but it was even more special to me because I was able to visit my daughter’s classroom and celebrate literacy with her and her classmates! Since it is “I Love to Read” month, guests were welcomed to visit the class and read a couple of their favorite books! The first book I read was “Bubble Gum, Bubble Gum” by Lisa Wheeler because of its fun, upbeat rhythm, silly train of events, and its well-constructed rhyme. I ended with “A Visitor for Bear” by Bonny Becker which is a fantastic read-aloud with lots of expression both in word choice and illustration. Both absolutely wonderful books that everyone should check out!
I have to say that my scenery was spectacular today! Grand Arbor is a beautiful place, full of friendly people that I was so honored to meet. I hope there will be some very happy grandchildren and great-grandchildren when they receive my book as a gift. Thank you, Carli, for opening Grand Arbor’s doors to me!
My first book signing at Cherry Street Books in Alexandria, Minnesota! I met two other amazing local authors, Kathy Ortloff and Don Houseman. Both of their works are an inspiration and their enthusiasm was contagious. Such a pleasure! A big Thank You to Kathleen Pohlig who invited all of us into her store. She’s a treasure to our community and certainly knows how to run a happenin’ bookstore.
What a fun day at New Testament Christian School! My first session with the younger students was peppered with all sorts of amazing questions. And I always love feedback from them as well. With each class I ask which page is their favorite. Thus far, the winter page with the boy and his sled dogs seems to be the winner! Thank you, Mrs. Holmquist, for leading the students in prayer over me and the book. I am truly grateful for your blessing. The older students were also full of thoughtful questions and greatly encouraging to me. Wherever God takes you in life, I pray again that you will “work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord not men” (Colossians 3:23). You’ll make a BIG impact!
Today I had the privilege of meeting students from Northside Christian School in Blaine, MN. This school struck me by its loving and welcoming spirit. It was an honor spending time with the younger classes reading my debut book, My Kiss Won’t Miss, for story time and witnessing their creativity in coloring pages from the book. And I can’t thank the older classes enough. After I shared the process of book writing and publishing, they took the time to pray for me and my family’s travels back home. Due to road conditions, a two-hour drive ended up taking five! Winter storm in early November? I guess I shouldn’t be surprised! 🙂