Saturday, August 27, 2011

Posting from Alaska

Anchors Away, Alaska here I come.

Vacations can be the best time although I have had my share of questionable trips. Our family is taking a cruise, my first ever, to Alaska for ten days. I have all kinds of dreams of writing articles, finding bear, seeing moose, watching whales, and catching up on my summer reading projects including doing book reviews.

I will post any great family destinations I come across during our trip and hopefully be able to offer some incredible pictures. My sister began planning this trip  to give my mom something to look forward to after my dad passed away. It has been three years in the planning and almost impossible to believe it is time to sail. More importantly, impossible to believe my dad has been gone 3 years.

The point of this introduction into my family vacation is this. Family relationships are the most important relationships in this lifetime. Whether they are good or bad, they help make you who you are. As parents, you want to be aware of how you relate to your family and extended relatives because your children are watching and learning how to form those same relationships. They will mimic everything you do in ways you may not even be aware as they grow and form their own family relationships. So, that being said, here are a few tips to make relationships stronger.
  • Be kind in words and deeds
  • Forgive others even when you cannot forget
  • Don't hold onto a painful past, rather choose to let it go
  • Show compassion for others
  • Dare to enjoy
  • Make everyday special.
  • Don't wait for tomorrow to tell those you love how you feel
And take a fun day, week, or month if you can to relax and spend time with those you love. Those memories cannot be replaced so go make a memory with your kids, your siblings, your parents, or someone else you love. Life is precious and as the Christian song reminds us, we are only one phone call from our knees. Enjoy.

Friday, August 26, 2011

SAVE This DATE and Set Your DVR for 8/27/11 Summer is almost over but here is another great family movie to enjoy together. Saturday August 27th at 8/7cst. Pop the popcorn, turn down the lights, grab a seat. This movie is for everyone in the family.

Summer is coming to an end, but Family Movie Night is Back with another great movie!!!

A Walk In My Shoes

Ever judge someone just by looking at them? Of course, we've all made snap judgments about people. But what if we really got to know them? How would our opinions change? And what if we were forced to become them... how would the shoes fit then? Stressed-out high school teacher Trish Fahey can't understand her students' lack of effort and why their parents don't seem to care. This is especially true of Justin Kremer, a popular, skateboard-loving, basketball star who is underperforming in her class. Trish has him suspended from the team and quickly chalks up the situation as a case of bad parenting. This perspective dramatically changes when Trish meets Molly, a mysterious stranger intent on helping her see things differently. When Trish wrecks her car, Molly is there as Trish wakes to find herself living the life of Cindy Kremer, the woman she has personally judged and criticized. Trish discovers that there is often more to the story and learns a powerful lesson that affects everyone she interacts with. Her husband, her daughter, the ex-Marine next door... No one is left unchanged.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Family Movie Night Returns August 27th and September 3rd

Two great movies are coming to NBC on August 27th and September 3rd. The advantages to these movie nights are:

  • Family friendly movies that you are not afraid for your children to see
  • Family time in the comfort of your home saves time and gas
  • Relaxing
  • Conversation starters for you and your kids
  • Inexpensive safe and enjoyable entertainment
Who can ask for anything more than that? Tune in tomorrow for a preview of the family movie scheduled for August 27th. It looks to be another good movie sponsored by Moms4familyTV.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Book Review: Life Is Not a Candy Store.....

Life Is Not a Candy Store, It's the Way to the Candy Store

Author: Tal Yanai

Publisher: Bat-El Publishing


ISBN 13: 978-0-9832025-0-9

This book is filled with small snippets of wisdom and guide points to a successful and good life choices. It offers the reader many activities and thought provoking ideas to point to new directions and purposes for this life. It is warm, honest, and inspirational with out being preachy or condescending in tone.

It is fun, hopeful, honest, and gives the reader a solid foundation for making life's decisions. The book is small and easy to read with language that any teen can grasp making it a good choice when teens are trying to find answers to some of life's difficult questions. After reading this, teens will begin to find the answers they seek by looking honestly at themselves.

I recommend this book for teens. It is a good foundation for moving forward and choosing the right path. Adults can also benefit by going back to the basic right way to choose actions. It is a solid resource. Visit the author's website at for more information.

Visit Tal on the next stop on his book tour at

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Book Review: J-Boys by Author Shogo Oketani


Author: Shogo Oketani

Publisher: Stone Bridge Press

ISBN: 978-1-933330-92-1

Middle grade readers ages 8-12

From the Media Release: It is the mid-1060's just after the Japan Olympics and nine-year old Kazuo dreams of being a track star. This is a bittersweet novel depicting a year in the life of a boy with dreams, universal concerns about fitting in and escaping the past ( in this case World War II and the lingering devastation) and growing up.

My view: This is a wonderful story of the life of a boy with the same dreams as young boys today though it is from years past. Today's youth have the same dreams, goals, worries about fitting in, and a different war with it's consequences. The story is fascinating as it gives readers a view of what life in the post war era was like and how it parallels today's world. It is a collection of short stories that are linked together by the characters.  Children will find the text easy to read, captivating, and interesting as it tells of economic growth, weaves Japanese history with American pop culture, and is all around entertaining.

I highly recommend the book. It would make a good book to work on as a class project because it brings so many parts of history to light which could lead to great discussions about cultural diversity and sameness. I like it because it appeals to boys and reluctant readers. Kudos to the author.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Inexpensive Tips for Room Make Overs for Kids

School is starting or about to start for most students and fall is upon us. What better time to spruce up for the holidays? Kids may want their rooms redone to go along with the start of a new school year but you maybe thinking about the expense of it all. Here are a couple of tips for making a room make over that don't break the bank.

Consider painting the room a different color. Paint is the least expensive part of a make- over and a new bright color is inspiring. 

My granddaughter grew from a princess room in first grade to wanting a "big" girl room in second grade. My daughter took what was in the room and just painted it colors that looked more "big girl" and kept all the same furniture and accessories. She just added color. One gallon of the primary color, two pints of contrasting colors, new bed in a bag with sheets and comforter to match ( 39.99 because of the back to college sales) and an area rug. The majority of the cost was time. Total for the room was less than 200.00 and could have been less depending on the price you pay for paint. It took her a weekend to complete.

Other ideas:

1. Rearrange the room and place the bed on a different wall. A different view point can make all the difference and it is free.

2. Sort and throw out or donate toys and games that have missing pieces or children have outgrown. Games and books in good shape can be donated to shelters, after school programs, or churches. Less can be more by adding more space or an roomier feel. Decreasing clutter will make a room look larger and will entice the child to want to be there to sleep, rest, or study.

3. Older children need a place to study so set up an area in the corner with a flat surface for writing and a desk light. Desk lamps can be found for less than $10.00 at this time of year because of all the students returning to college and the sales that entice them.

4. Have  the siblings change rooms. I had five siblings growing up and little money for make overs but if we wanted a real change, we would change rooms with each other. It cost nothing except the time and effort to move the beds and the dressers and it was fun to rearrange closets and clothes. Another opportunity to throw out, sort out, or give away.

5. Don't forget garage sales for finding great used furniture. This is an inexpensive way to find a desk, chair, or dresser for a children's room. Remember, those things that look rough may just need a coat of paint.

Paint, a new throw pillow for the bed, a bright desk accessory, a desk lamp, a new arrangement for the room, and a good cleaning and sorting helps each child to feel empowered to start the new school year off right. Working together will allow the child to take ownership of their room too so nagging for them to "clean their room" may be a saying of the past. Enjoy.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Summer Brain Drain and Kids

Have you experienced everything on your summer “to do” list?  Maybe you need a trip to the beach or a hike in the mountains to feel like you enjoyed your summer vacation to the fullest extent.  Or perhaps you are someone who needs to go fishing or rent a house in the woods.  Whatever it is that tickles your fancy, most families on a school year calendar have an individual activity or trip that makes summer feel complete so that they can feel rested and ready to tackle a new school year. 
Some education advocates are calling for a longer school year and doing away with the summer vacation time in order to improve academic standings.  The argument is to avoid what some feel is the summer “brain drain” and suggest that students lose valuable lessons taught in the school year during the summer recess.  This academic loss is coupled with the need to get students back on task at the beginning of the following school year before any new learning can commence. 
This is not just a debate of learning and skills retained, but a topic of logistics as well.  There are some parts of the country that simply don’t have schools that are equipped to handle housing students and staff during what can be sweltering summer weather.  An Op Ed piece in an East Coast newspaper recently was touting the benefits of not having a summer break and stating all sorts of theories and statistics to cite the benefits of a twelve-month-school-year.  A simply worded letter of response stated that if students are becoming ill from the heat in the first weeks of June, what kind of learning would take place during the summer months, pointing out that their part of the country had buckled under a week of 100-plus degrees in July. 
On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are those who favor the familiar approach of bursting out of the doors when the last school bell rings and switching gears to turn the focus to building sand castles, riding bikes and playing catch.  The summer-vacation-supporters say that without a sense of ending a school year it robs students, those who are struggling and excelling, of a sense of completion, which in turn, gives the feel of a fresh start for the following school year. 
Whether your school year begins when the calendar says August, or you are a September back-to-school family, best wishes for a happy and productive 2011-2012 school year!
Be well, 

Alice Knisley Matthias
Education Writer

Book Review: Patti Pelican and The Gulf Oil Spill

Patti Pelican and The Gulf Oil Spill

Author: Lynda Wurster Deniger

ISBN: 978-0-9831744-0-0


HIS Publishing- March 2011

School is back in session and the Gulf oil spills from 2010 may have vanished from the memories of some school children but author Lynda Wurster Deniger has written a book that keeps children interested in the past.

Patti Pelican and The Gulf Oil Spill is the second book in the Salty Seas Series by this author and it is well worth the reading time. Teachers and parents alike will love the truth of the story as it recounts the events and the details of those who came to the aid of the animals in this tragic event. It goes beyond cleaning a few feathers and digs deeper into the how friends can come to help those in need.

This book is a great addition to any classroom as teachers and students discuss the environment and environmental concerns. It gives children a good understanding of the world outside their neighborhoods and how they can make a difference when someone is in need. The author along with the illustrator, Paulette Ferguson, have given the reader the facts about the plight of the birds who were oiled, captured, and cleaned. It is a positive educational tool to help children understand the effects on the environment when toxins or spills occur.

If you would like more information  visit  Books like this and talented authors who present the stories help us to never forget events that impact our world.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Book Review: Rise Above- A 90 Day Devotional

Soul Surfer A 90 Day Devotional

Author: Bethany Hamilton with Doris Rikkers

ISBN: 9780310725671

March 2011

Juvenile Nonfiction/ Christian/ Prayer

From the press release: In Rise Above, a book of devotions, teen surfing star Bethany Hamilton shares with young girls her courage and enthusiasm for God, inspiring them to face life head on and stand strong in their faith.

My View:  Rise Above is inspiring and encouraging for young girls in a world that bombards them with false ideas about what it is that is important. The media tends to have young girls thinking that they need the newest fashions, the skinniest bodies, and the cutest boys to be successful in school and with friends. Author Bethany Hamilton sets it straight with her devotions and biblical principles for being successful today.

Readers will enjoy the 90 day devotional. It is easy to read using language that young girls will understand. It also gives answers to "Did You Know" questions that young girls have as well as "Chatting With God" conversation tips. This is a book that girls will refer to over and over again for inspiration, courage, and encouragement as they grow into the young women God has planned them to be.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Book Review: Soul Surfer- Ask Bethany

Soul Surfer: Ask Bethany

Author: Bethany Hamilton with Doris Rikkers

Released in conjunction with Soul Surfer film

March 2011

ISBN: 97680310725688

This book is a must for young girls going into middle school and high school. Bethany has taken the hundreds of questions she received from emails and fan letters and composed a great question and answer book for girls.

The film is based on how Bethany was surfing, attacked by a shark, lost an arm, and survived the trauma. But the movie and this book is much more than surviving a trauma. It is about how to live.

Questions that Bethany tackles for the reader are related to surfing, friendship, and faith. Bethany offers the reader concrete answers to how she herself survived and how faith got her through.

Bethany answers questions about the pain of the shark attack, how she was able to stay calm, and how she was able to master the recovery but she also answers questions personal to the reader. " I want to be an athlete, what advice can you give?" or "Do you have daily devotions?" or " I got a surf board for Christmas but my sister says I am a loser and will never be good."

Ask Bethany tackles all the tough questions that young girls may want to ask and she gives Biblical principles for her answers. Parents can be sure the books are wholesome and offer sound advice to the reader. Although it appears that the book is targeted to girls, boys may also benefit from some of the questions about surfing, attitude, and perseverance.

This is an easy to read book that readers will refer to over and over again. It is always good when the author is someone that readers, and in this case young teens, can relate to. I recommend this book and the others in the series as well. Bethany is a winner in more ways than surviving a shark attack. She is a real heroine.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Will a Horse be the Right Pet for Your Child?

Children love horses. That is a fact. Most parents are asked at some point if their child can have a horse no matter where you call home.What do you need to know when deciding on a horse for a family pet? Here are some things to think about when your child asks for a horse.

Fact: A horse can make a wonderful pet. If your child is old enough to read and research books in the library, have your child find some basic horse care books and study what it takes to care for these animals. Armed with this research, sit down and think about these 5 questions before commiting to a horse.

1. Where will the horse be kept? City dwellers often have a horse but this requires boarding the animal at a local stable. How far is your home located from a stable? The cost to board a horse may run from 150.00 dollars a month up to 800.00 dollars a month depending on your state, the type of boarding facility, and the time and attention your horse will get from the stable employees. Will the horse be stalled or let out to graze? Who will pay for the horse's vet bills if sick or injured at the facility? How often does the vet come to the stable? All of these questions and answers may add to the monthly expense.

If you have acreage and a barn, do you have fencing up or will that be an expense? Do you have pasture or will you still need to purchase hay? Consider where your horse will be kept and if now is the time to become a horse owner.

2. How much time does the family have to devote to the ownership and care of a horse? Is the child who wants the horse old enough to care for the animal without adult assistance or will it require an adult to be there for morning and night care. Is the horse to be a show horse or a family pet? Showing horses requires much time and practice as well as extended attention to the animal. Consider the purpose of a horse as a pet for your child.

3. What is involved in the care of a horse? Your child should know from reading about basic care that a horse must be brushed, hooves must be cleaned, stalls must be mucked out frequently, and that the horse needs clean fresh water daily. The horse should also be fed twice a day to keep it healthy and free from colic. Family members must understand the care required before commiting to a horse as a pet. Horses love attention too, and human contact is a must to keep your horse from developing bad habits.

4. What is the financial responsibility for owning a horse? Hay can be 2.00 dollars a bale up to 7.00 a bale depending on what kind of growing season the hay farmer has had during the past months. A horse may go through a bale of hay a day or every other day if no pasture is available.

Bagged feed can run 12.00 - 22.00 dollars for approximately 50 pounds and that would be a weekly or bi-weekly cost. Vet bills, the initial cost of the horse, and quarterly worming medicine and vaccines is also an added expense, as is the boarding fees.

5. Now the best part, the benefits of owning a horse. Horses are by far the sweetest and most loving animals available if you have the time to spend developing that relationship. Horses love and nuzzle beyond words and as a horse owner, I can say they are worth the cost to me. But for most families who don't live on acreage, a horse may not be the best pet for your child. And keep in mind, horses can be dangerous as well. Young children must be supervised.

Alternatives to horse ownership could include taking riding lessons at a local stable. Older children and teens may consider volunteering at a stable to learn more about the care of horses. Another place to consider volunteering for teens may be horse rescue barns. Most states have farmers and horse owners who work with rescued horses. Many times they are in need of volunteers to groom horses and clean stalls for the rescued animals.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Debut Author Tal Yanai on Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network show: Stories for Children –August 15, 2011

For Immediate Release
Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network Show: Stories for Children with hosts VS Grenier, Kris Quinn Christopherson and Irene Roth will be chatting with debut Tal Yanai about his book, Life Is Not a Candy Store: It’s the Way to the Candy Store on August 15, 2011.

Tal Yanai was not happy with his reality as a child and teen. What he was creating in his life was not in alignment with what he wanted in his heart or what he knew and deeply felt was possible. In tenth grade, he was diagnosed with dyslexia, which explained his learning difficulties but it did little to ease his frustration with himself and his everyday struggles.

Today, Tal teaches Hebrew and Judaic Studies in Temple Beth Hillel in the San Fernando Valley as he continues his quest to explore the meaning of soul and achieve his full potential as a spiritual teacher.

In a world driven by instant gratification comes a gem of a book full of wisdom, couched in simple language and written from the heart. Life Is Not a Candy Store: It’s the Way to the Candy Store by Tal Yanai invites teens to engage in both the critical process of self-reflection and the experience of connecting with the larger world.

Yanai encourages teens to become more aware of how their actions affects themselves and others. By exposing them to the simple truths of spirituality, and the beauty and love of a higher power. Yanai hopes readers will find new direction and purpose in a world filled with instant everything.

Come listen live to Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network show: Stories for Children at on August 15, 2011 when author Tal Yanai chats with the hosts about his book, writing, his life experiences and more.  

The show will air live at 2pm EST on August 15, 2011. You can tune in at the World of Ink Network site at You can listen/call in at (714) 242-5259. (Note: if you can’t make the show, you can listen on demand at the same link.)

You can find out more about Tal Yanai, his book Life Is Not a Candy Store and his World of Ink Author/Book Tour at There will be giveaways, reviews, interviews, guest posts and more. Make sure to stop by and interact with Tal Yanai and the hosts at the different stops by leaving comments and/or questions. Yanai will be checking in throughout the tour and is offering an additional giveaway for those who leave comments throughout the tour.

To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit Stories for Children Publishing at:

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Book Review: Saltwater Taffy

Saltwater Taffy

Author: Eric DelaBarre

Illustrator: R.C. Nason

ISBN: 10-0972357807

Middle grade/YA

This book was fun, and that is an important quality for getting middle grade students to read. It is set in the  sea side town of Port Townsend, Washington. Five friends find and follow a treasure map which leads them on a adventure with odd and quirky characters including pirates.

Characters that are discovered on this path to finding the treasure include a one-legged junkyard man, a town bully, and even a creepy old man. Never fear, the adventure is fun, maybe a tad scary at times, and weaves baseball, treasure, and mishaps along the way to learning valuable life lessons for the five friends.

The text is easy to read for students and includes wonderful illustrations throughout that serve to enhance the storyline. It draws the reader into the story from the first page and that interest lasts until the very last paragraph.

 Eric DelaBarre has done a great job with this book and I think the targeted reader will agree.  Visit for more information about this charming story.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Great Book for Kids: Book Review for Not Fat Because I Wanna Be

Not Fat Because I Wanna Be                                 

Author: LaNiyah Bailey and Latoya White

Illustrated by: Laura Perez Ricaud

Published by: Camp Pope Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-461006763


This is a wonderful easy reader chapter book written by 6 year old LaNiya Bailey based on experiences and feelings that she has dealt with in her young life because of medical issues. It is an honest chapter by chapter dialog about teasing, bullying, tears, and what it is like to be different from the the fictional character, Jess's point of view.

The character experiences lack of friends, mean taunting, and teasing because of being bigger ( the kids called her fat) than her classmates. Even encouragement from the president's wife doesn't help because the character eats healthy, exercises, and has loving family support. It points out how what shows on the outside is not what a person is really like on the inside.

This author has done a fabulous job of telling it like it is from a child's point of view. It is a heartwarming and positive book that will encourage other children who are dealing with being different. But it will also open the eyes of children who may see themselves as the one who does the teasing.

I loved this book. It was honest, sincere, hopeful yet sad. The sad part is the truth, that our young people are being teased and taunted by other peers and that is so hard on self esteem. This book points out how children can have another point of view by seeing what it is like for the character. The author has done a great job relating real life for the reader. Wonderful job.

Continue following LaNiyah Bailey on August 13th :

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Blog Jog Day Winner!

Blog Jog Day was this past Sunday, August 7th. And I don't know about everyone else, but I enjoyed reading the comments left at our blogs and visiting many of the interesting blogs on the jog.

For those visitors who left a comment at either this blog or our other two blog sites had their name entered into a drawing for two books.

Today the winning names were drawn from all the entries. Here is the winner from the Families Matter blog job giveaway.

Chelle Cordero

Congratulations and thanks to everyone who visited the Families Matter on Blog Jog Day!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Back to School Ideas for Sharing

Back to school... It can be a happy time, stressful time, and overall financial drain in today's economy. While the news fills our living rooms with pictures of hunger and poverty abroad, it is true that it is happening in our own backyards as well. Here are a few ideas on how to share with those in your community that may be in need.

  • If your budget allows, when you find glue, crayons, rulers, or other school supplies that are less than a dollar or buy one and get one free, do it. Put the least expensive items in a box and donate specifically to your child's teacher for those in the class who may be in need. Many in the community may be embarrassed to state their need but the classroom teacher will be the first to know when a student has no supplies.
  • Donate your child's gently used or outgrown clothing to a church thrift shop or shelter where it can be distributed to families in need. More and more families are unemployed and money is tight. These same parents still want to dress their children in clean and proper fitting clothing with some style. Maybe you could start a program in your area if there is not one available.
  • Hold a coat drive at your church or school. With winter approaching, families may be in need of proper attire for their kids to ward off the winter cold. Again, parents are embarrassed and afraid or ashamed to ask for what they may need so be creative in getting your message out.
  • Snack moms always seem to run out of good healthy ideas for kids snacks. Try bringing in a bag of oranges, apples, or plums for snacking. It is sad but true that some kids are unfamiliar with having fresh fruits available on a regular basis because of the expense.
  • Share your time. Volunteer to tutor students, teach them a craft, or work with reading groups. Most teachers, librarians, or pastors can help guide you to those who need your time.
  • Bring in one or two items to your local food pantry. Make that a regular part of your contribution to your community. These are great times for some but there are many many others who are struggling and rely on the food pantries for their meals.
  • Offer to share babysitting, carpooling, or other parenting tasks for those parents who are struggling with after school child care. Childcare may be expensive in many areas forcing parents to leave children home alone. If your child has a friend that is home alone after school, maybe you can offer free after school care and friendship once a week helping with homework, a meal, or other need.
Working together in your community is a gratifying experience. Schools, churches, and food pantries or shelters are always looking for volunteers. If you don't have extra money to donate, use your talents in other ways to help someone who may be struggling. You will be showing your children a great example of caring with your contibutions and you never know who you may bless in the process.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Back to School Fun

The summer sun is still beating hot in most places, but the reality is that school is just around the corner. Make school planning a family event. Here are a few tips to make the last weeks of summer less stressful and more fun.
1. Plan one last trip to the beach, pool, water park, or zoo. It doesn't have to be expensive but it needs to be fun and stress free. Kids need to see parents having fun too so for just one day, RELAX.

2. Plan for immunizations and physicals well ahead of the first day of school. That allows time to get them completed but it also allows for a day or two of not feeling well after having that painful injection.

3. Try giving each child a monetary limit or allowance for school supplies and/or clothing. Make the amount appropriate for the age of the child and their ability to choose wisely. If each child has a say in some of the purchases, there is less drama and stress and fewer arguments.

4. Plan ahead and talk about lunch ideas. Start looking for quick sack lunch ideas, snacks, and new foods to include. If your child wants to take hot lunch, make a lunch jar or envelop for that extra cash so there is no panic on Monday mornings when lunch money is needed or someone has a change of heart.

5. Practice reading or doing simple math with your child as a means to start conversations. Ask what they like to read, visit the library or book store, play number games while doing errands, or other simple age appropriate games and include writing. This gets your child back into thinking about words and numbers and begins refreshing what they already know.

6.Help children pick what favorite clothes still fit, which ones need to be donated to charity, and what can be handed down. In today's economy it is a great time to help children understand that reusing, recycling, and keeping what works is financially more realistic. A few new things instead of an entire wardrobe will work as long as the clothing is clean, fits appropriately, and is in great shape. Avoid clothing that is too small, in poor condition, or is stained so your child will not be embarrased.

Take these last few days and weeks of summer to get organized and ready for a healthy and happy school year. By planning ahead it helps the budget and makes the transition back to a school routine smooth. The school years fly by all too fast so make good memories with your school aged children and take time to enjoy. 

Blog Jog Day (8-7-2011)

Welcome to Blog Jog Day! Please enjoy my site then click over to Patricia Rasey, Author at to see what the next Blog has to offer! 
Blog Jog Day is a one-day event where Bloggers have joined together for a blogging rally. We all post on the same day with each post leading to the next Blog, and so on full circle. That’s it!  

Lost in the links? You can always go back to the main Blog Jog Day Blog at and find a new link to jog from. Thank you for stopping by my site!

Special Blog Jog Giveaway!
Leave a comment about something you learned from this blog with your safe email (example: vsgrenier AT storiesforchildrenpublishing DOT com) and you'll be entered to win these two books.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Family Movie Night Returns

Movie Night.....Saturday, August 6th at 8/7Cst. on NBC.

Make a Date to Watch with Your Family!

Who is Simon Miller? World Premiere THIS Saturday,

August 6th at 8/7c on NBC

Gather your family to watch this fast-paced international spy thriller that centers on one family's quest to find their father. When Simon goes missing, the Miller family is shocked to learn that their unassuming dad is actually a secret agent leading covert operations overseas.......

We'd love for you to help us spread the word to your friends, family or organization members. Please share the Family Movie Night message via email, blog, Facebook or Twitter to help ensure quality, family TV is here to stay!

Stories for Children Publishing supports Family Movie Night! Who is Simon Miller? is an international spy thriller for the whole family! You won't want to miss it on Saturday, August 6th at 8/7c on NBC!"

Pop that popcorn, grab a snack, find a comfy seat and enjoy the movie and the time with your family!

For more information: is affiliated with the producers of the content discussed on this website.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Interview with Author LaNiyah Bailey

LaNiyah Bailey is a 6‐year‐old author with a message for children like her – just because you are bigger than other kid, that doesn’t mean that people have the right to bully you.

In her debut book, Not FAT Because I Wanna Be, LaNiyah details the struggle of Jessica, a fictional girl who has an underlying medical issue that causes her to gain weight. Bullied by her peers, Jessica learns to accept her body and eventually opens up about her condition to her classmates.

LaNiyah is not only speaking to other children through her book, but has become an
advocate for anti‐bullying organizations.

With a message that words can hurt and that not all weight gain is due to an unhealthy lifestyle, LaNiyah hopes her book will enlighten and entertain her young readers.

I just wish this book can help other kids like me...and I wish it can help people see that [even though] you might be big that you are not unhealthy or… a monster like people may make you feel.”

Tell us a little bit about your background and how you became an author.

LaNiyah: Well, I am a six year, kindergartner from Chicago who loves being a kid. I became an author when I told my mom that I wanted to write a book to help me feel better about myself because I was getting teased and bullied a lot at daycare and other places.

Tell us about your current book. Give a short summary; tell us about your publisher, and also how you got the idea for this book.

LaNiyah: My new book is called “Not fat because I wanna be,” and it’s a book about a girl named Jessica who went through a lot of the same things as I did with getting teased and bullied because of her weight. All the kids teased her but didn’t know that she wasn’t big because she was unhealthy but, because of medical reasons. Then finally, Jessica decided that enough was enough and stood up to the teasers and bullies.  My mom (LaToya White) published my book online and then her and my dad (Songo Bailey) had them printed out for sale on my website. My mother just created my own publishing company called Bright Girl publishing and now my book goes through it.

What is a typical writing day like for you?

LaNiyah: Well, this was my first time writing a book. It wasn’t that hard because I just told my mommy what I wanted in the book and she did the rest.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

LaNiyah: I enjoy writing because it’s fun to get your feelings out and it makes you feel a lot better about yourself and your problems.

What is the most difficult part of writing?

LaNiyah: The hard part is that I was afraid that people may not like what I wrote about and think that it’s not good enough.

Why do you like working with children and teens?

LaNiyah: I like working with kids because I’m six and they are young too so, it’s easier and fun to talk to them.

Do you make school visits or do speaking engagements? If so, please describe a typical presentation.

LaNiyah: Yes I do. My mom and dad come with me most of the time. A normal presentation is about 15 minutes. First, I have to focus and pray. My mom starts it off and then she introduces me.  I talk about why I wrote the book and how we go the book out and we talk about bullying and what happens when a child is bullied. We offer our ideas and support. We then read our favorite parts from the book and then we allow the audience to ask us questions. That’s it. We are working on a long presentation now.

Do you have a website? If so, please give the URL. If not, where can readers go online to learn more about your book(s) and to order?

LaNiyah: Yes, my website is

What are you working on right now?

LaNiyah: Right now, I am on summer break, so we are working hard on promoting the book. We go places and just pass the book out to kids that we see for free, so they can tell more people about it. I want to go to different schools and children’s hospitals to talk to kids and read my book. 

What is your best tip for aspiring authors?

LaNiyah: I would say, never be afraid to tell your story and make sure you have fun while doing it.

What advice would you give children and teens as they prepare for life?

LaNiyah: My mother can answer this because, I am only six. (chuckles)

LaToya White – Mom: Well, the advice I would give children and teens as they prepare for life is to be yourself, be true to yourself, don’t follow anyone be a leader. Stay focused on your education because without an education you cannot go anywhere in life. Treat people the way you would like to be treated and never judge a book by its cover. If you do those things, you are guaranteed self-happiness.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readership?

LaNiyah: Yes, I would like to tell everyone that bullying is not cool, it makes people sad and it makes some people commit suicide. This is really sad to hear about. If you are being bullied, please don’t be afraid to tell a grown up or if you are the bully think about how you would feel if it were done to you? Then I hope that would make them stop.

Thank you very much to Families Matter for having us here today. We would like everyone to get a copy of the book and to come to my website to leave their comments and stories. It is:

                  Her book tells more than a story about size. It shows what it means to be bullied.

This is an author you want to meet and a story all children need to read. This girl has more insight than some adults and she demonstrates that with her book. Visit her website at for more information. Look for  a complete review here on Aug 7th.

Book Giveaway!
·         Join the Book Lovers Blog Hop. (One entry)
     ·         Follow the World of Ink Tours and leave a comment per tour blog stop. (must leave a real comment about the author, tour or book. Saying “this is cool” or “I love your book” will not count.) Make sure to include your safe email so we can contact you if you are the winner. Example: vsgrenier AT storiesforchildrenpublishing DOT com. (One bonus entry per blog stop)
·         Ask a question per World of Ink Tour blog stop. (One bonus entry per tour blog stop)

You can find out more about LaNiyah Bailey, her book and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at There will be giveaways, reviews, interviews, guest posts and more. Make sure to stop by and interact with LaNiyah and her mother, and the hosts at the different stops by leaving comments and/or questions. LaNiyah will be checking in throughout the tour and is offering an additional giveaway for those who leave comments throughout the tour.

In addition, come listen to Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network show: Stories for Children at The hosts VS Grenier, Kris Quinn Chirstopherson and Irene Roth will be chatting with LaNiyah and her mother about NOT FAT Because I Wanne Be, being a youth writer, publishing a book and her experiences along with tips on how to deal with bullies.

The show will be live August 29, 2011 at 8pm EST. You can tune in at the World of Ink Network site at You can listen/call in at (714) 242-5259. (Note: if you can’t make the show, you can listen on demand at the same link.)

LaNiyah Bailey's Next Stop will be on August 6th at American Chronicle


*Stories for Children Publishing, LLC. (SFC) and its divisions do not receive any compensation for product reviews beyond a sample and/or limited access to a paid website. SFC donates all books sent for review to a charitable organization. SFC may do a contest or giveaway of samples we receive.