Friday, February 27, 2009

Book Review

When Your Pet Dies
Author: Victoria Ryan and R.W. Alley
December 2003
Elf- Help Book for kids

What do you say when your family pet dies? How do you help your child to understand?

The loss of the family pet may be the first exposure a child has to death, pain, and loss. It may be your best opportunity to discuss your family values and beliefs regarding death and dying with your child.

When Your Pet Dies is a good place to start. It is an easy to understand text with cartoon type illustrations that can easily be read aloud with your child. Older children can read the text alone and ask questions or discuss feelings about loss with an adult later.

The book is part of the Elf-book Help Series for Kids. These books are written to assist parents and kids in dealing with serious issues of death, dying, and loss. They can be found at your local bookstores, online at or by clicking on the Primitive spirt resources link on this blog or at your local library.

Check it out.

Friday, February 20, 2009

New Magazine for Girls.....

Just wanted to let parents and girls know that a brand new Christian magazine for girls will be coming out in April 2009.
Check out the blog at for all the details. Make comments and get a chance to win prizes for the next few weeks before the magazine debut.
It promises to be exciting with articles on fashion, relationships, skin care, and above all else Jesus. What could be better than that? There is no better time than this to get the word out to girls of all ages on how to depend on God when things in this world seem so dismal.
Subscriptions are reasonable and you can get the details on the blog. Let me know what you think.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Book review

Gideon's Gift

author: Karen Kingsbury


Publisher: Warner Books

I am reading a variety of books for a class I am taking and randomly chose a few Christian novels by authors I admire for my reading this week.

Gideon's Gift was by far the best surprise in my sack of books this week and many of you may have already read it. It is centered around a Christmas theme of a Christmas miracle but I think can be read any time of year for that all over good feeling we need to get through the year.

And although I didn't know it when I brought the book home, the child in the story has Leukemia and is in need of a bone marrow transplant. This one fits right in with my passions for kids who are ill and Christ's love for them, and everything else I want to share on this blog.

Karen Kingsbury is a fabulous fiction writer of Christian fiction, and many of her stories are about real life issues we all run into now and again. This book is no different, and lets the reader deep into the feelings of the parents of a child who is seriously ill and who have to entertain the thought of death.

The book is a quick read, I started last evening and finished this morning, and my eyes are still misty. The book is warm, loving, inspiring, and makes you want to do something for someone else right this minute.

Pick up a copy at your library or purchase one from the book store. It is a book that could be read over again, for sure. It is a positive remembrance of what one small deed can do for another. Check it out. And visit to see what else this great author has in store.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Grandma's hands.....

I received this in an email from another close friend, however it had a picture of hands.... all ages of hands from baby hands to elderly hands and everything in between. Unfortunately the picture wouldn't copy but the story did, and it is worth the read. Happy Sunday.

Grandma's Hands- author unknown

Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn't move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands. When I sat down beside her she didn't acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK

Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head and looked at me and smiled. 'Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking,' she said in a clear voice strong. 'I didn't mean to disturb you, grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK,' I explained to her.

'Have you ever looked at your hands,' she asked. 'I mean really looked at your hands?'I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.

Grandma smiled and related this story: 'Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life. 'They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor.

They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots. They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war.

They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents. 'They have been dirty, scraped and raw , swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn daughter. Decorated with my wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special.'

They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn't understand. They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works real well these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer. '

These hands are the mark of where I've been and the ruggedness of life. But more importantly it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my hands He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ.'

I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God reached out and took my grandma's hands and led her home. When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and husband I think of grandma. I know she has been stroked and caressed and held by the hands of God. I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face.

When you receive this, say a prayer for the person who sent it to you, and watch God's answer to prayer work in your life. Let's continue praying for one another. Passing this on to anyone you consider a friend will bless you both. Passing this on to one not yet considered a friend is something Christ would do. -- Author Unknown

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's day and love like there is no tomorrow

I think working in a pediatric intensive care unit warps my thinking sometimes, but for me Valentine's Day is a little over- rated.

  • It should be about love, loving, and loving again, and you don't need to spend money to do that.

This flower bouquet was sent to me by email by a writer friend whose work I admire, and whose encouraging words have helped me with my own writing. I share this bouquet with all of you and encourage you to reach out to love someone else.

I am thinking about the parents and families who have lost a loved one and whose loss is so deep that no amount of chocolate, diamonds, or flowers will make a difference to them, even on Valentine's Day. In our unit we have lost 5 children this week, and two have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. These families will always associate Valentine's Week with these sad times.

So love your family today, do random acts of kindness everyday, and for the next few holidays that are man-made and commercialized, take that money and donate it to a worthy cause with a heart full of love.

Love as if there is no tomorrow... and the world will feel like a better place.

Happy Valentine's Day to all.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

And the winner is.......

It was so much fun visiting other blogs. I am going to make it part of my writing day to visit one or two of these new "friends" until I have visited and commented on all who visited my blog.

  • I hope to have some of the same from all of the visitors during One World-One Heart. And feel free to pass the blog site on to those who may really need support during an illness or loss.

Now for the winner. I printed off all of the comments and cut them into strips for a blind drawing... and the winner is Joy at

Visit Joy's blog to see what she has going on. Thanks to all who stopped by my blog as well. It was great to see so many visitors, now if we could just keep that up...wouldn't it be grand.

Happy Valentines Day to all. Have a great week end.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Types of Blood Cells

  • Blood draws are not pleasant and for kids the experience can be downright frightening.

When parents understand what the tests are for, it makes it somewhat easier to help your child through the procedure.

The first blood test most kids must have done for almost any illness is a complete blood count.

This is what the test will show.

First it will tell you how many Red Blood Cells your child has. Red blood cells make up the major part of your blood and these cells carry the oxygen to the organs and the carbon dioxide ( waste ) from organs. This tells doctors if you have enough red blood cells to keep a healthy supply of oxygen circulating. This also lets doctors know if the bone marrow is working properly.

The second most important thing the test shows is the White Blood Cell count. This is a complex set of information but the most important thing for parents to know initially is that the white blood cells show how well your child is protected from infection. White blood cells and their components are what fight bacteria. An elevated white blood cell count can indicate an infectious process going on or it can give doctors an indication of a need for more tests.

Red blood cells and White blood cells are the place to start when looking at overall health. Next, I will give you information on the components of the White blood cells and more.....

Check it out.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A site for information on pediatric health

The peanut butter scare is the newest worry for parents. After all, kids love peanut butter. is a site filled with tons of information and they have a section written by a pediatrician which addresses the newest information for parents regarding children and their health. The only thing I will warn you about is there sometimes are several clicks to get to the article you want to see. But the information is usually worth it.

Check out this site for the newest information. And if you have an interest, they offer an opportunity to be a guide as well. Those of you who want to write about a certain topic, they have many to choose from so apply and see what happens.

The pediatric site is found at you may need to type in pediatrics. The physician who writes the newsletter is Dr. Vincent Iannelli MD so type in his name and the news he writes about should come up.

Let me know what you think. As with any information regarding your child's health, always discuss concerns with your family physician. Check it out.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Interview with Author of Screwball- Keri Mikulski

Here is the interview you have been waiting for. Please welcome the author of Screwball and Changeup, Keri Mikulski.

1. My blog is for parents and kids who are dealing with a serious illness or loss, as you know, but a lot of my readers are also writers. Some are published with online business connections and some just beginning. I try to be a resource for both types of readers and I was so interested in you because you have done it all. All meaning teaching, nursing, wife, mother, and now successful published author. My question is as much for me as my readers and that is this. How does being a nurse and /or teacher influence your writing career, your story line and character development?

Terri, you write such a wonderful and necessary blog. Thanks so much for having me. Nursing is the toughest profession on the planet and I have the highest respect for nurses. I’m honored to participate in this interview.
Honestly, I never thought about if my earlier careers influence my writing, but I guess it does. SCREWBALL certainly deals with a heavy issue, parental death. And the sequel, CHANGE UP also continues to explore this issue.
The teacher in me is always interested in learning and teaching. And all my novels have little snippets of knowledge somewhere. Whether it’s facts, quotes, statistics, or something sprinkled in, I try to add some sort of teachable moment.
My newest novel, PINKED, is definitely influenced by both my personal and professional (nursing) career. I’m mum on PINKED because it’s with my agent right now and she’s about to shop it around. But, it’s high concept and I know you will love it Terri! J

2. My passion is kids and their parents dealing with real life issues, critical illnesses, divorce, relationships, and death and dying. I saw a lack of good stories for kids of all ages when I was teaching, and I see a lack when I deal with patients as well. Kids want to read about other kids in a fictional setting but with real problems. Any tips on developing characters around difficult themes like illness, death and dying,and loss? Do you work on the character first and the setting and theme later, or do you get the idea for the theme and flesh out the character later?

Great questions. I’m a pantster. I literally fly by the seat of my pants regarding plot. I think about what I want the story to be about. Then, I start to develop and flesh out the characters. From there, I begin to write the story, working on the setting as I write the first draft. After a ton of revising and hard work, the story eventually comes together.
My biggest goal when writing about difficult themes is to balance emotional writing with a light, energetic voice while maintaining respect for the sensitive subject matter. The best advice is to pull from your own experiences in regards to ‘real’ issues. During SCREWBALL, a character’s mom dies suddenly. I pulled from my own experiences in relation to death and dying to pull emotions into my writing. This is also true for the PINKED subject matter. (I wish I could spill. J)

3. Tell us about your books, especially your new book Screwball. And what readers can expect from you next?
The sequel to SCREWBALL, CHANGE UP will drop this spring. I’m so excited about the six-book YA sporty series contract with Blitz Publishing. The cover for CHANGE UP is almost complete and my publisher is finalizing the proof next week. J

Here’s the gist of SCREWBALL:
Things have been sweet for fourteen-year old freshman fastpitch fanatic Ashley Clarke. She's the starting pitcher for her stress-free fourteen and under ASA team. During her time away from the diamond, she’s sprinting down the soccer field, bouncing a basketball, or hanging at the beach with her BFF, Lizzy.
But one sizzling summer day, hottie junior jock Andrew spots her at a pizza shop and Ashley's life changes forever. Meanwhile, her friend, Kate, talks her into joining the Crush, an elite sixteen and under team loaded with tough competition. Shortly after playing in her first game, Ashley finds out new Crush teammate Christy not only hates her guts, but is also determined to ruin Ashley's future for good.
Join Ashley as she struggles juggling sports, school, and a social life. Will Christy and her cronies force Ashley to quit the Crush? Or will she give it all up to spend more time with Andrew? And who's the new guy in Ashley's life complicating things?

And here’s the gist of CHANGE UP:
As sophomore summer heats up at Sunray Beach, so does Jake Cole and Ashley Clarke’s long distance relationship. But, Ashley’s overprotective cop father forbids Ashley to see Jake, causing Ashley to sneak around while sinking deeper and deeper into a smudge of lies and deceit. She begins to wonder if her parents are right about Jake when he shows up at times bruised, beaten, and hanging out with shady people.

Back on the diamond, the Cape Town Crush Softball team is doing amazing, even earning a bid to Nationals, but fellow pitcher Christy Mayer’s up to her old tricks and snags a golden opportunity to ruin Ashley’s softball future for good. Ashley and Rachel Harris, a softball superstar who joins the Crush midseason, hit it off and hang out until Ashley discovers Rachel’s secret past. In the meantime, Ashley’s BFF Lizzy hits the Sunray party scene in a major way, leaving Ashley in the dust unless she decides to join in.

Like waves modify a beach, this summer promises to be a season of change for Ashley Clarke. Will Ashley and Jake’s relationship survive sophomore summer? Is this the end of a fifteen-year friendship between Lizzy and Ashley? And what’s the deal with Rachel?

Thanks, Keri. I really appreciate your time. I think nurses have so much care and concern in their hearts that writing is another way to express it. I only hope to be able to do it half as well as you do. Congratulations on your newest book, Screwball. I will encourage all my readers to go get a copy and enjoy.

Awe.. Thanks, Terri! J

Check out her blog at and get your copies of her books for a great read.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The Lemonade Award

  • I have been awarded the When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade award for this blog by author and publisher Joy Delgado. She is an independent children's publisher of Laughing Zebra Children's Books. Her blog is at

It is exciting to know there are readers who read, enjoy, and learn from this blog.

In turn, I must nominate 10 blogs which I find useful and a great resource. If I nominate someone who has already been awarded the prize, it only reinforces the fact that your blog is awesome.

I will in turn, nominate 10 blogs. Here are my picks in no particular order......

  1. author Suzanne Lieurance
  2. -illustrator Dawn Phillips
  3. -author Donna McDine
  4. author Carma Dutra
  5. author Simon Rose
  6. -author Margot Finke
  7. author Jewel Samples
  8. - author Dorothy Massey
  9. - author Theresa Schultz
  10. - author Keri Mikulski

There are many more blogs and much more information for both parents and authors, kids and teens on the Internet. Start with these safe sites and follow other sites they list. You are in for an adventure of fun and information, especially if you are interested in writing, kids, and anything in between.