Monday, December 26, 2016

My Life is Over!

I thought we would never get finished with Christmas dinner. But finally we all gathered in the living room.

"Okay, Chloe, you be Santa Claus and pass out the gifts," Momma said.

"Gladly." I piled gifts in front of Momma, Daddy, MeMe, PopPop, and even Mr. and Mrs. Brooks. I pushed the presents with my name on them together and plunked down next to them in the floor.

We took turns opening gifts until all were unwrapped. I was still curious. The large box I had spied out in the blue room upstairs wasn't anywhere to be seen.

Momma and Daddy stood. Maybe this was it. They probably couldn't wrap such a large box. I couldn't sit still. Whatever could it be?

"We have one remaining gift to let you all in on," Daddy said. He looked at Momma.

Momma smiled.

I started to stand up but waited when Momma started to speak.

"Some of you know part of this gift. I'm happy to announce that we will have an addition to our family in the spring. And we've just found out that it will be a baby boy."

MeMe and PopPop jumped up. Mr. and Mrs. Brooks joined them. They were hugging and shaking hands. I couldn't move.

"Chloe, honey, what do you think? You'll have a little brother." Momma looked at me.

"My life is over! A baby is taking my place."

Daddy knelt next to me and patted my back. "No, not taking your place. No one could do that. You'll be a big sister."

"You're sure it's a boy?"

Momma nodded. "Yes, it's a boy."

It was starting to make sense. The room across the hall painted blue. A boy color. "What will I do with a boy?"

MeMe clasped her hands in front of her chest and smiled. "You'll be a big helper and teach him things."

Momma motioned to the group. "Come on upstairs and see the room. It's coming together."

Everyone hurried behind Momma. I stood up and dragged my feet up the stairs. The group disappeared into the blue room. Immediately MeMe and Mrs. Brooks talked excitedly at the same time. I rounded the corner just in time to see Daddy scoot the big box out and reveal what was inside. A crib.

I held a hand on my forehead and shook my head. Ugh. This is really happening. I don't think I'm ready for this. 


Why do you think Chloe isn't excited about having a baby brother?

What would you say to make her feel better or encourage her?

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Christmas Sneaking

Now that I'm out of school for Christmas Break, me and Momma are busy cleaning and baking. I got a big thumbs up from Momma and Daddy for cleaning my room.

"Chloe, let's have some soup before we start making sugar cookies," Momma said.

"Okay. Can I have potato?"

"Of course." Momma smiled.

We both sat on a stool with our bowls of soup. Steam floated up. I scooped up a bite and blew on it.

The front door opened. "Hey, it's me," Daddy's voice called.

But Daddy didn't come right into the kitchen. Where was he? Momma just hopped down and pulled another bowl from the cabinet. She filled it with creamy soup and sat it next to me with another spoon.

Finally Daddy jogged into the room and kissed Momma on the forehead. He sat down next to me and winked. "Hey, how's my girls?"

"We're getting ready to make cookies, right Momma?"

Momma nodded. "Yep. We have to have decorated Christmas cookies."

"I wonder if Mr. Brooks likes sugar cookies like he does chocolate chip." Daddy chuckled.

"Well, I like sugar cookies, but I like chocolate chip a little more. I bet Mr. Brooks is like me. We agree on those kinds of things." I looked at Momma. "But don't worry, Momma, I will eat the sugar cookies too. The most fun is decorating them."

"I understand. I'm really glad that MeMe and PopPop are coming here. And that we can have Mr. and Mrs. Brooks and Sara join us too. It'll be fun to celebrate here in our home." Momma rubbed her hands together. "And make things a little easier."

"Make what things easier?"

Momma shook her head. "Oh, nothing."

Daddy wiped his mouth with a napkin. "Mm, I came home at just the right time. Thanks for the soup. Now I have to get back to the office. I'll see you two later." He started out of the kitchen but turned around. "Since I'm going to miss this baking expedition, save me a broken one to try, will you?" His eyebrows raised.

Momma crossed her arms. "We'll think about it."

Me and Momma made two big batches of sugar cookies. Some had sprinkles and some had icing and sprinkles.

Momma swiped her hand across her forehead. "Whew, I'm plum give out." She laughed. "I sound like PopPop."

I nodded.

"You should probably go upstairs and wash your hands." She tweaked my nose. "You might want to check your cheek and chin too. Think you've got some evidence there."

"Be right back. I'll help you put the cookies in the big container."

I raced up the stairs and flipped on the bathroom light. I giggled. Momma was right. My cheek had white powder on it, and my chin had dried icing. I washed my hands and then grabbed a washcloth.

As I started out, the door to the bedroom across from mine closed. I stepped back and peeked around the corner. The door opened again and Daddy moved into the hallway and eased the door shut. He hurried off down the stairs.

Curiouser. Momma and Daddy had been in and out of that room. I would just take a little look. I tiptoed to the door and grasped the knob. I turned it slowly and slid it open. I ducked inside.

The paint smell was almost gone. I wonder why they keep closing the door? A white rocking chair was in the far corner of the room. A long box leaned against the wall next to me. It came to my shoulders. What could be in such a big box? And why were they still closing the door? They seemed to be sneaking things in.

Suddenly, I gasped. Christmas presents. That had to be it. I knew I had better stop snooping before I got into trouble. I peeked out the door. No one. I closed it softly and headed downstairs.

What kind of present could be in a big box like that? A big girl bicycle? Probably too big for that. The parts for a treehouse?

I wanted to squeal. Now I really couldn't wait for whatever surprise was hidden in that blue room. Only a few more days and I'd know.


Do you feel curious at Christmas? What do you feel curious about?

Chloe is convinced that the big box is something for her. What do you think? Do you think the box is a gift for her? If not, what do you think it is?

Monday, December 12, 2016

Chloe's Big Day!

Tuesday is an exciting day for Chloe. We're having a big book launch for her first book, The Adventures of Chloe Ann Parker - Kindergarten. All her school friends will join in the celebration.

Mrs. Mowery is thrilled to be able to share with everyone about how Chloe's book came to be written and that her adventures will continue here on this blog and in future books.

Saturday, December 10, 2016


Time ticked closer and closer to P.E. Most of the time I liked going to the gym and doing what Mr. Parrott had planned. But lately, I didn't much care for the kicking game we were playing.

"Okay, class, let's head to the gym for P.E. class." Mrs. Taylor stood at the door waiting for us to line up.

I trudged to a spot at the end of the line and groaned.

Belinda glanced at me. "What's wrong? Are you sick?"

I nodded. "Kinda. I really don't like what we're doing in P.E."

"Aw, come on. It's just kicking a soccer ball and running," Leonardo said.

"That's easy for you to say. You can kick the ball really good. I just can't do it."

The line moved and soon we were running our laps around the gym. After our exercises at homebase, we listened as Mr. Parrott explained the game again and assigned partners.

McKenzie raised her hand. "Mr. Parrott, can I have Chloe as my partner?"

Mr. Parrott shrugged. "I suppose so."

McKenzie ran up beside me.

"McKenzie, don't you remember that I'm no good at this game? You should get another partner." I crossed my arms.

"Nope, I want you as my partner."

When it was our turn, McKenzie ran much slower than I knew she could. That allowed me to get some points.

"Thanks for helping me out."

"It's okay. You would help me if I needed it." She smiled. "And anyway, with a little more practice, you'll be able to kick better."


Later when I hopped into the backseat of Momma's car, I told her all about what McKenzie had done for me.

"That's nice, dear."

That's nice, dear? "Momma, did you hear me?"

"I'm sorry. I'm a little distracted."

Very curious. 

"I need to warn you that there's a man painting the room across from yours."

Sure enough when we arrived home, a man from our church was painting the walls blue. Bleck. I would have picked pink. Pink is much more beautifuller than blue. The smell was strong.

"Momma, can I go read with Mrs. Brooks? That paint stinks." I waved my hand in front of my nose.

"Sure, honey. I'll make sure the window is opened in there and the door is closed. Those fumes won't be healthy for me. Or ... anybody ... I mean."

"Okay, Momma."

As I walked across the back yard to Mrs. Brooks' house, I couldn't help thinking something curious was going on with Momma. She hadn't been acting in a my momma kind of way. I would keep my eyes and ears open. Kinda like solving a mystery.


Chloe isn't good at kicking the soccer ball. Is there anything you have found that you aren't quite good at? What is it?

What could Chloe do to improve her kicking? McKenzie suggests she practice.

What could you do to improve at something you aren't quite good at?

Why does Chloe say that she will keep her eyes and ears open?

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Reading Challenge

"Class, don't forget you need your thirty books read by the time we leave for Christmas Break. We have just two more weeks," Mrs. Taylor said. "Let's line up for lunch."

"Oh boy. I hope I get my books read by that time," I whispered to Emalie.

"Didn't you get to read over the Thanksgiving Holiday? I read several." Emalie nodded.

"Well, my momma was a little sick during Thanksgiving. She said we were going to keep it low key." I shrugged. "I've got to get caught up. I don't want to miss the celebration."

"You're a good reader, right?" Angela patted my shoulder.

"I guess. I still need some help on some words though."

Ryan followed behind me in line. "You can find some way to get them done. You have good ideas."

I glanced back and smiled at Ryan. "Thanks."


Right at the end of the day, I was called to the office. My hands trembled a little. But I couldn't think of anything I had done wrong.

I peeked through the window into the office, standing on my tip toes. "Someone called me down here?"

The pretty lady with dark hair smiled. "Are you Chloe Parker?"


She leaned through the window closer. "Your momma just called to say that Mr. and Mrs. Brooks will pick you up from school today."

"Oh, okay." Why would Momma not pick me up herself?

"And your momma said not to worry. She forgot about an appointment."

I nodded slowly.

"It's all right. The Brooks have your card tag, so you'll be called like normal."

"Thanks." I turned and walked back to class.

Strange. Momma never usually forgets stuff. And especially doesn't have someone else pick me up just like that. 

My name was called and I trotted out to Mr. Brooks' car. Mrs. Brooks waved and motioned to the back seat. I slid in.

Mr. Brooks turned around. "Hey, Chloe. This is a special treat to pick you up."

"It is?"

"Yep, and your friend just had to come and ride along," Mrs. Brooks said.

Suddenly, a ball of white fluff hopped over the front seat and into my lap.

"Rosy." I petted her as best I could with her body twitching with excitement.

"Rosy doesn't get to ride in the car much. You've provided her a special treat too." Mr. Brooks chuckled.

Rosy licked my face and hands all the way to the Brooks' house.

Mr. Brooks pulled into the driveway and twisted his head to look at me. "You get to stay with us for a little while until your momma gets back. She's going to pick you up here."

"Okay." I said the word slowly.

"No need to worry, she's fine. And I have the perfect after school snack." Mrs. Brooks jumped out of the car like she was much younger. But I had noticed she was completely different since marrying Mr. Brooks. Momma said the two were good for each other.

I followed Mrs. Smith into her kitchen, though the sweet aroma of chocolate caught me as soon as we walked into the house. "Mmm, something sure does smell chocolately good."

Mrs. Brooks grinned. "Our snack. Freshly made chocolate chip cookies."

"How did you know that was my favorite?"

Mrs. Brooks tilted her head. "Well, I might have asked your momma. And Mr. Brooks is quite fond of chocolate chip cookies himself."

Mr. Brooks rubbed his hands together and licked his lips. "Yeah, let me at them."

I giggled.

Me and Mr. Brooks sat down at the kitchen table, and Mrs. Brooks brought over a plate of cookies and two glasses of chocolate milk.

I looked at Mr. Brooks. "Do you like chocolate milk too?"

His fuzzy eyebrows popped up. "Is there any other kind." He grinned wide again and his teeth were smeared with chocolate.

Mrs. Brooks joined us at the table. "Chloe, do you have any homework?"

"Well, the only thing is this reading challenge. I'm a little behind on that. I have to have thirty books read by the last day before Christmas break or I won't be able to go to the celebration. Momma hasn't felt like helping me much this time."

Mrs. Brooks' eyes widened. "Why, that's no problem. We can solve that."

"I don't have any books with me."

Mrs. Brooks held up her hand. "Not a problem. Finish up and I'll show you."

After our chocolately snack, Mrs. Brooks led the way into a room down the hall. She stepped inside and waved her arm. "Need books? Take your pick."

I walked slowly into the room. Three walls had shelves from the floor all the way to the ceiling. The shelves were full of books. "Wow. You have your own library."

Mrs. Brooks chuckled. "Sorta. I just couldn't part with all of my books from when I taught school. Now they'll come in handy for you." She shuffled to the middle wall. "Here's the ones that should be right on your level."

I couldn't move. I still couldn't believe how many books she had.

"Whatcha waiting for?" Mr. Brooks sat down in a puffy chair. "Let's get to reading."

I nodded and skipped over to the shelf.

Mrs. Brooks pointed out a section. "You like dogs and animals. You should start here."

I slid out one book. The cover had a spotted dog on it. Mrs. Brooks waved me over to the couch she was now sitting on.

I crawled up next to her and opened the book. As I read, she nodded. When I had trouble with a word, she helped me sound it out.

By the time Momma arrived to pick me up, we had filled in ten books on my bookmark.

I gathered my things. Then I hugged both Mr. Brooks and Mrs. Brooks. "Thank you for picking me up and the cookies." I winked. "And thank you for helping with my reading challenge."

Mrs. Brooks looked at Momma and then me. "If it's all right with your momma, why don't you come back in the afternoons when you can. You know I have enough books."

"Momma, can I? She has a whole library. And she knows how to help me with the hard words. Please, could I come back?"

Momma smoothed my hair. "If they don't mind?"

"No. We love having her," Mr. Brooks said. "And I shouldn't eat all those chocolate chip cookies by myself."

"I don't mind helping you with that too." I smiled real big.


Chloe ended up getting help with her reading challenge from a place she didn't expect. Have you ever gotten help with something from a place or a person you didn't expect?

Chloe's momma says that Mr. and Mrs. Brooks are good for each other. What do you think she means? How are they good for each other?

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Thankful For's Starting Early

Daddy walked into my room and started tucking me in to bed. Momma usually did that. But I didn’t mind Daddy doing it.
“So what did you and Momma do today?”
Daddy’s head jerked up like he was surprised but then he just smiled. “We had a couple of errands.” He eased down onto the bed. “Momma was feeling a little tired. I hope you don’t mind if I tuck you in and say prayers with you tonight.”
“Of course not, Daddy. But I do hope Momma is all right.”
“Oh, yeah. She’s fine.” He grinned. “Did you have a good time at MeMe and PopPop’s?”
“Yes. I love going to visit them.”
“They love that too. We’ll get more time with them next week for Thanksgiving. Now you settle in and rest well, my sweet girl.” He prayed and kissed my forehead.
I snuggled under my comforter. Thanksgiving was for being thankful. I was thankful for Momma and Daddy. And for Meme and PopPop. I couldn’t forget Mr. and Mrs. Brooks next door and Sara across the street. At this rate, I would still be listing my “thankful for’s” through the two days of school and straight into Thanksgiving Day itself.

Start a list of your "thankful for's" right now. See how long your list becomes. 

Friday, November 18, 2016

How About A Little Fun?

Before sharing the next part of Chloe's adventure, how about we have a little fun?

If you have The Adventures of Chloe Ann Parker - Kindergarten, would you email me a picture of your little reader with it?

I would love to see pictures of Chloe's readers enjoying her new book. Just send those pictures to Please indicate in the body of the email if I may share the picture on my Facebook and this blog.

Thanks. I can't wait to see Chloe's fans.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

MeMe and PopPop

“Chloe Ann Parker,” the teacher called.
I jumped up and shimmied into my backpack straps. I had to slow my feet. No need to get in trouble for running. But I was excited that MeMe was picking me up from school today. Momma and Daddy had to go somewhere. Probably a boring meeting.
I hopped up into MeMe’s back seat.
“There’s my girl.” MeMe smiled. “Buckle up and we’ll be on our way.”
MeMe always called me ‘my girl.’ I wondered if maybe she forgot my real name. That didn’t matter because MeMe always remembered my favorite things.
“How was school today?”
“Fine. But I kept thinking about going to your house. Where’s PopPop?”
“Oh, he’s playing golf with his buddies. I’m sure he’ll come wandering home when supper rolls around.” She chuckled.
As soon as we got to MeMe’s house, we headed straight for the kitchen.
“How about a fresh apple muffin? Made them fresh today.”
“Yes, please.” I plunked into a chair at the table. My mouth watered just thinking about MeMe’s muffins.
“There you go.” MeMe joined me at the table. “Now, what kind of homework do we have to tackle before our Chinese checkers tournament begins?”
“I have a math page to finish and a book to read.” I bit into the muffin. “Mmm, yummy.” I gulped my chocolate milk and swallowed. “Sorry. Shouldn’t talk with my mouth full.”
I plopped the last bite of muffin in my mouth, finished my milk, and wiped my mouth with the napkin. My math page was completed lickety-split. MeMe checked it.
“Can I read you this book? We have to record it on this bookmark. You’ll have to put your inishu … inichals. I always forget that word. You know, the letters for your name.”
“Initials?” Meme’s eyebrows popped up.
“Yeah, that’s it.”  
When my homework was finished, we had just enough time for a couple of rounds of Chinese checkers. MeMe won the first game, but I won the next one.
MeMe clapped her hands together. “Best clean this up and get supper going. Guess what we’re having.”
“Your breaded chicken tenders, mashed potatoes, and green beans.”
“Yep. Your favorites. And you know what’s for dessert, right?”
“Chocolate chip cookies!”
“You got it.” She nodded.
Just as we started to sit down to eat, PopPop came in. I jumped up to give him a hug. “Now who’s this big girl? Some stranger who wandered in off the street? Can’t be my little Chloe bug.” He laughed. It sounded like Santa Claus.
“Yep, it’s me, PopPop.”
“Well now, you just will not stop your growing.” He stroked his chin.
“Come on, you two. Let’s eat before this gets cold. Don’t much care for cold taters.” MeMe motioned toward our chairs.
PopPop prayed. Not much talking happened until we all wiped our mouths. PopPop rubbed his belly. “Have mercy, I’m full as a tick on a dog.”
PopPop hobbled into the den. Me and MeMe carried the dishes to the sink. I liked to help with the dishes. MeMe washed the dishes the good old fashion way. That was what she said. She had no use for a new-fangled dishwasher. That was what hands were for.
I dragged a chair from the table to the sink and pushed up my sleeves. On the second plate some soap splatted out onto the floor. “Sorry, MeMe.”
“It don’t hurt nothing. The soapy water will just make my floors cleaner.”
We finished up and joined PopPop in the den. He had the TV on one of his favorite shows, Lawrence Welk. “They don’t make good quality shows like this anymore.” His head started to bobble.
MeMe elbowed me. “Seems PopPop can’t quite make it through his favorite show.”
“What?” He shook his head and cleared his throat. “I’m just checking my eyelids for holes.”
I giggled.
The doorbell rang and MeMe scurried to answer it. She came back around the corner with Momma and Daddy.
PopPop stood up. “Lord, we’ve had to give this little girl such whoopings for being so bad.” He laughed again just like Santa Claus.
“I can imagine,” Daddy said.
“Thank you, Mom and Dad. I hope she didn’t eat you out of house and home.” Momma grinned at me.
“Sakes alive, no. If I can feed your father, I can feed a little girl.”
We all walked to the front door and out onto the porch.
Momma patted my back. “Honey, why don’t you go ahead and get in the car with Daddy. I’ll be right there.”
I shrugged. “Okay. Thanks MeMe and PopPop.” I hugged them both then raced to the car.
After strapping in, I watched as Momma talked and then MeMe clapped her hands and grabbed Momma in a big hug. Then PopPop hugged them both.  

Do you have grandparents or someone you like to spend time with? Describe them.

Chloe likes how her MeMe always remembers her favorite things. What are some things you like about your grandparents or person you spend time with? 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Pause for a Special Announcement

Chloe has her own chapter book out!

This book is all about her move right in the middle of kindergarten. It includes her antics from this blog with all kinds of other details added into the story.

Here's the link to the e-book version and the print version on Amazon.

Chloe's e-book and print book

Happy Reading!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Be a Buddy Not a Bully

Momma pulled the car up in line and stopped. "Have a good day. I'll see you after school."

I pushed open my door and grabbed my backpack. "Okay, Momma." I closed the door and hopped onto the sidewalk.

"What kind of super hero are you?" A big boy turned around near the steps. "I don't think they allow babies with tutus to be super heroes."

"Come here, Chloe. Walk with me." Brooklyn, a friend from church, held out her hand.

I grasped her hand and we walked into school together.

Brooklyn stopped inside the gym and looked at me. "Don't pay any attention to that boy."

I nodded and found my section, spotting some friends from Mrs. Taylor's room.

Later after reading time, I asked Mrs. Taylor to go to the bathroom. As soon as I rounded the corner, there was the mean boy again. I walked faster.

"Well, if it isn't little baby wannabe hero."

How did he know I would be here right now? I rushed into the girl's restroom. I took my time, hoping he would be gone before I came out. I eased around to the sinks, washed my hands, and ripped off a paper towel.

"That you? I don't think you're very brave without all of your little friends. I heard about the Fall Festival. How you scared my friend."

I tossed my towel into the garbage can and walked as fast as I could back to Mrs. Taylor's room.

"What's wrong, Chloe?" Amy smiled.

"Well, there's this ... A mean boy bothered me when I came in this morning, and he was just at the bathroom when I was."

Efren walked closer. "What did he say?"

"He was making fun of my super hero shirt. Then at the bathroom just now he said I wasn't very brave without you all and that he heard that we scared his friend at the Fall Festival." My hands felt a little shaky.

"Sounds like he doesn't remember this week is Be a Buddy Not a Bully week," Weston said.

"The first time I ignored him and this time I walked away. That's some of what we have learned. I hope it works."

Our class filed into the cafeteria. I grabbed a tray and slid it along the line, picking up my food. When I arrived at the register, there was the mean boy across from me. He narrowed his eyes at me and gave me a really mean look.

I turned my attention to punching in my lunch number.

He finished his number at the same time and carried his tray right beside of me. "I don't think you understand. I don't like it when people do stuff to my friends. I feel I should get back at you for that."

I stopped and looked him right in the eyes. "Stop bullying me!" I spun around and marched to my table. I plunked my tray down and let out a big breath.

Brooklyn passed by on the way to her assigned table. "Are you okay? Did he pick on you again?"

I nodded. "Two times. But this time I told him to stop bullying me."

Brooklyn smiled. "Good job."

I slowly ate my lunch, but my mind kept thinking about how close that mean boy sat to me in the afternoon while I waited for Momma to come. What would happen then?

All day long my stomach felt funny. Mrs. Taylor kept getting my attention and asking if I felt okay.

The time had come to line up to go home. I followed the others down the hallway, shuffling my feet. Maybe the mean boy went home early. Or maybe he wouldn't be there today.

As I neared the spot where I sat to wait for Momma every day, there he was, sitting on the other side of the hall. he looked at me and suddenly twisted his body in the other direction.

How did that happen? Had I scared him away during lunch?

Brooklyn bent down in front of me. "Hey, don't worry about him anymore." She nodded toward the mean boy. "I told our teacher that he had been bullying you, and she told him if she even saw him look your way, he was in trouble." She patted my back. "So don't worry about him."

"Thanks Brooklyn."

"You're welcome. It's okay to tell a teacher if someone keeps bullying you. Remember that."

"I will."

I told Momma all about it in the car ride on the way home.

"I am certainly glad you have good friends to help you like that." She stopped in the driveway and turned to look at me. "And you always know you can come to me and tell me anything. I don't want you to have to deal with bullies like that."

"I know, Momma. I don't know why someone would want to be a bully. You can have more friends if you're nice."

"You're right about that."

"There's still four more days in the Be a Buddy Not a Bully week. Maybe that mean boy can learn to be a buddy this week."

Momma smiled. "Maybe."

What ways did Chloe deal with her bully?

Brooklyn was an older friend who saw what was happening and didn't just ignore it. She helped. What might you do to help a friend who is being bullied?

If you are being bullied, tell someone - a teacher, your parents.

Chloe is right: You can have more friends if you're nice.

Friday, October 21, 2016

A Backyard Wedding

Momma helped me into my new dark red dress for the wedding. I thought it was neat that Mrs. Smith and Mr. Brooks were going to get married in her back yard. The one big tree there was changing colors for fall and really pretty. Sara had worked all day yesterday making an arch for them to stand under with Daddy.

Momma, Daddy, and me crossed our back yard into Mrs. Smith’s. I held on to my basket filled with fall leaves to drop.

Mr. Brooks walked down the steps of the porch and waved. “Hey. Let me introduce you to my nephew, Mark.”

Daddy shook hands. “Nice to meet you.”

Mark leaned over. “And you must be Chloe.”

“Yeah, how’d you know?”

“My uncle has told me about you.”

I shook his hand.

“We’re ready to start.” Sara peeked her head out the back door and whispered loudly.

Daddy waved his hand in front of him. “Shall we?”

Daddy, Mr. Brooks, and Mark strolled down toward the arch and stopped, turning around.

Momma gave me a gentle shove. I walked slowly, tossing the leaves from my basket and stopped next to Daddy.

Sara walked slowly down the porch steps in her dark red dress like mine. She looked pretty. Her hair was on top of her head with little white flowers in it. She ended up beside me.

Then Mrs. Smith stepped out onto her porch and smiled.


Momma narrowed her eyes and put her finger to her lips.

“Sorry,” I whispered.

But I had never seen Mrs. Smith look so pretty. She wore a white lacy dress and her hair wasn’t in curlers. No fluffy pink bathrobe today. She joined us under the little arch.

Daddy said all of the words he had to and had them repeat things. Then he said, “Now you may kiss the bride.”

I wrinkled my nose and looked the other way. “Ew.”

Sara and Mark giggled.

I looked up at Sara. “Is it safe to look now?”

Sara nodded.

I turned back around. “Now where’s the cake?”

Mr. Brooks looked at me. “I’m taking my new bride out to dinner at her favorite place.”

“So there’s no cake? That’s the best part of weddings!”

“Didn’t quite have time to do all of that sort of thing with a reception and cake and all,” the new Mrs. Brooks said.

“You didn’t?”

“Not at my age.” She laughed and put her hand through Mr. Brooks’ offered elbow.

Mark poked out his elbow toward Sara. “Shall we? How about we grab some dinner ourselves?”

Sara chuckled and her face turned pink. “Okay.” Her eyelashes fluttered like butterflies.

“Hey, Momma, do you think those two might become boyfriend and girlfriend?”

Momma jammed her fists on her hips. “Chloe Ann Parker.”

“I know. Don’t poke my nose in their business.” I rolled my eyes. But they were cute together.

Why did Chloe say, "Wow," when she saw Mrs. Smith? 

Do you think Chloe has learned her lesson to stay out of other people's business? Why or why not? 

Saturday, October 15, 2016

What's Going On?

Now I had a whole week before I would go back to school. Normally Momma and Daddy liked to go away for Fall Break, but this year things just didn’t work out.

I sat up in my bed. Noises like car doors slamming made me curious. I hopped up and trotted down stairs.

“Hey Sweetie, how about some of your favorite chocolate cereal?” Momma said.

“Sure.” I jumped up onto the kitchen stool. “I keep hearing car doors or something outside.” I scratched my head.

“Oh, Mrs. Smith and Mr. Brooks are having a yard sale.”

“They’re selling their yards?” How in the world did that work?

Momma chuckled. “No, they have things they want to get rid of, so they set them on their lawn and people come by and buy them.”

“Like what kind of things?”

Momma shrugged. “Like furniture and dishes. Stuff like that.”

“Well, why don’t they need them anymore?”

“Um, well, they just don’t.” Momma flipped around to the sink. “When you’re finished, get dressed, and we’ll go see if they need any help.”

“Okay.” I finished the rest of my cereal and drank down the milk that was left.


Momma held my hand as we crossed the side yard into Mrs. Smith’s front lawn. Mrs. Smith and Mr. Brooks sat at a small table set up on the driveway. Several people milled around.

“Chloe, I haven’t seen you in a while,” Sara, Mrs. Smith’s daughter, hugged me.

“Are you helping your momma?”

“Yep, sure am.” She knelt in front of me. “I hear that you are still making sure Rosy gets her exercise.”
I nodded.

“Well, pretty soon, I’ll be living right across street. It will be fun to see you more often.” Sara pointed toward Mr. Brooks’ house.

“You’re moving in with Mr. Brooks?”

Momma patted my shoulder. “We haven’t told Chloe about all of this yet.”

Sara stood up. “Oops, sorry.”

“That’s all right. It’s time we let her in on it.”

My head was bouncing between Momma and Sara. Finally, I crossed my arms. “What is going on?”

“Honey, this week Mrs. Smith and Mr. Brooks are getting married. Mr. Brooks will move into Mrs. Smith’s house and Sara is moving into Mr. Brooks’ house. Sara needs a place to live here because she is doing her student teaching.”

I know my face looked shocked because my mouth fell open and I had to cover it with my hand.

Sara winked and smiled. “So what do you think?”

“That sounds amazing.”

“And here’s another thing I’m stoked about. I’m going to be at your school.” Sara’s eyes bulged.


Sara nodded.

“Chloe. Hey Chloe,” Mrs. Smith called. She waved her hand, motioning me over.

I ran beside her and was immediately greeted with a wet tongue lick on my hand. I squatted and petted Rosy’s head.

“Do you think you could take Rosy to the back yard and exercise her a little early today? She is really bored and quite fidgety,” Mrs. Smith said.

“Sure.” I took the leash but stopped. “I’m really happy about you and Mr. Brooks getting married and Sara moving here.”

“Thank you, Chloe.” Mrs. Smith smiled. She actually smiled at me.

“Of course, I tried to show you that you should go together and be boyfriend and girlfriend. I guess you had to figure it out yourself.” I shrugged.

Mr. Brooks chuckled. “That we did. But we do thank you for caring.”

“Any time.” I looked down at Rosy. “Come on, girl. Let’s play.”

Why do you think they didn't tell Chloe sooner about Mrs. Smith and Mr. Brooks getting married?

What do you think about what Chloe learned about Mrs. Smith and Mr. Brooks getting married and Sara moving in across the street?  

Saturday, October 8, 2016

It Doesn't Pay to Tease

As me and Momma walked into the school gym, I couldn't believe all of the games and people everywhere. Another mommy stopped Momma and they were talking. I just looked around, deciding what might be fun to try.

"Hey, Chloe!" Jill ran over to me.

"Hi, Jill. Wow, there's a lot to do."

"Jill, Chloe." Emalie joined us. "What have y'all done so far?"

Jill tilted her head. "Well, I've played a few games."

Emalie looked at me.

"Oh, I just got here. I haven't had the chance to check out anything."

"You know there's a haunted house." Emalie's eyes got big.

"I don't really like haunted houses. They scare me." I shivered.

"What a chicken!" A tall boy called out from beside me. "Can't even handle a little haunted house?"

I bit my bottom lip because it felt like it might start to shake. Tears wanted to slide out of my eyes but I blinked hard. I didn't want the big boy to tease me any more.

Jill and Emalie both slammed their fists on their hips. "That's not very nice," Jill said.

"Yeah, don't be a bully," Emalie added.

"Whatever. She should just stay near her mommy since she's such a baby."

As the boy wandered off with one of his friends, McKenzie walked up and put her arm around my shoulders. "Don't let that mean boy bother you. You're not a baby."

"Yeah." Brayden walked up followed by Dylan and Bryson. "You know, we should teach that bully a lesson."

 "How can we do that?" Bryson shrugged.

Brayden held up one finger. "I've got an idea. Let's scare him."

"Yeah, we could wait for him at the end of the haunted house," Dylan added.

"Momma, can I go with my friends?" I asked Momma in a sweet voice.

"Okay, but come right back here."

The six of us scurried off. Brayden knew someone who was working at the haunted house. "Do you think we could borrow a couple of those scary masks?"

"Sure." The older girl handed Brayden three masks.

Brayden motioned. "This way. Follow me." He lowered his voice. In the hallway, he turned around. "Bryson, you and Dylan stand here. When you see those two bullies go into the haunted house, come tell us. Then we can be ready on the other side." His eyebrows wiggled.

The rest of us got into position at the exit of the haunted house. Brayden, Emalie, and Jill pushed the scary masks onto their faces. McKenzie stood next to me.

I quivered. "Ew, you all look creepy."

Suddenly, Bryson and Dylan came around the corner. "They're inside," they said in a loud whisper.

The black plastic curtain was pulled aside and the two boys sauntered out. Brayden, Emalie, and Jill jumped out in front of them and yelled. "Now we've got you."

The two boys' eyes bulged open and they squealed.

Brayden yanked off his mask. "Man, you two squeal like little girls."

"So since you all were scared by these masks, does that mean you're babies?" McKenzie crossed her arms over her chest.

One of the boys grinned. "Well, I have to say, you got us." He elbowed his friend.

"I do believe you owe Chloe an apology." Jill joined McKenzie in crossing her arms.

The boy turned toward me. "Look, kid, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have teased you like that. I'm no bully."

"Thanks. I'm glad you're not a bully."

The boy patted my shoulder. "But you don't have to be afraid. It's all just pretend. And you have some good friends here to go with." He and his friend walked back toward the gym.

Emalie looked at me. "So, what do ya say? Want to go through?"

"Naw, if it's okay, I'll just wait for y'all here. But don't worry. I won't be waiting to scare you at the end."

We laughed together.

I really have made some good friends. The kind that stick up for me and care about me. I smiled and waited for them at the end of the haunted house.


Has anyone ever teased you? What did the person tease you about?

Chloe said that her friends stick up for her and care about her. What does she mean that they stick up for her?

Have you ever had to stick up for your friends? Explain what happened.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Learning a Lesson

That afternoon, I rushed through my snack and worked on my homework. If my homework wasn’t finished, there was no way I could go over to Mrs. Smith’s house at five.

“Chloe, dear, are you going to walk Rosy now?” Momma said.

“I think I’ll walk her a little later. Five o’clock isn’t too late, is it?”

Momma crinkled her forehead. “That’s a little bit later than you normally play with Rosy. Why so late?”

“Well, I figured I should do my homework while I still remember what Mrs. Taylor said.”

“Is it going to take you that long?”

“Maybe.” I shrugged.

My homework did take me a long time, not because it was hard but I kept thinking about poor Mrs. Smith. Sure, she hadn’t been the nicest person to me, but she needed Rosy. She would be lonely and grumpy for sure if she didn’t have her dog.

Finally the clock ticked close to five. “Momma, I’m going to go exercise Rosy for a few minutes.”

“Don’t be too long. Your father will be home and we’ll be eating supper ourselves soon.”

“Okay, Momma.”

I walked out onto the deck and glanced over at Mrs. Smith’s house. Mr. Brooks was just going into the back door. I jumped down the steps and sprinted to Mrs. Smith’s door, knocking hard.

Mrs. Smith slid the door open. “Oh, hello Chloe. Are you here for Rosy? I was wondering if you had forgotten today.”

I breathed in and out to catch my breath from my run across the yard. “Well, you see, Mrs. Smith, I need to warn you about Mr. Brooks.”

“Oh? Whatever do you mean?”

“Mr. Brooks plans to trick you.”

“Now, Chloe, Mr. Brooks is the kindest man I know. I have a note from him to prove it.” She moved toward her counter.

“Wait. That love note isn’t from Mr. Brooks.”

“It isn’t? It has his name on it.”

“I … well, you see … I sent you that note and one to Mr. Brooks.”

Mrs. Smith folded her arms. “Is that so?”

“I’m so sorry. I just thought that you weren’t so grumpy when he was around, so I …”

All of the sudden, Momma and Daddy walked into Mrs. Smith’s kitchen from the other side. Both Momma and Daddy’s arms were folded across their chests.

Daddy stepped forward. “Young lady, we’ve talked about poking around in other people’s business. It can get you in trouble.”

Mr. Brooks put up a hand to stop Daddy. “Mr. Parker, I did agree that we needed to teach Chloe a lesson, but she did mean well.” Mr. Brooks knelt in front of me.

“You mean you’re really not a bad guy?”

“Nope, I don’t think so.” Mr. Brooks grinned and grabbed my hand. “You were sweet to help Louise and I like that. But be careful meddling where you shouldn’t. It might backfire on you.” He chuckled.

I let out a heavy sigh. “I’m so glad you’re really not mean like that. And I guess you’re right. Some things just need to happen on their own.” I looked at Momma. “Isn’t that what you say, Momma?”

“Yep, I sure do.”

“So, I have one question.”

“What’s that?” Mr. Brooks said.

“Are you going with Mrs. Smith? Like are you boyfriend and girlfriend?” I shivered. “Kinda yucky to me but I just wondered.”

“Chloe Ann Parker!” Momma said.

“That’s okay, Mrs. Parker.” Mr. Brooks smiled. “Let’s just say that I will check the I like you box when it comes to Mrs. Smith and leave it at that.”

“Fair enough.” I nodded one big nod. “Can I play with Rosy now?”

Mrs. Smith grinned. Her cheeks looked pink. “Please do.” She fanned her face with her hand.

What did Mr. Brooks mean when he said that Chloe meant well? 

Do you think what Mr. Brooks, Mrs. Smith, Momma, and Daddy did taught Chloe a lesson? Explain your answer. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Overhearing Another Plan

Mrs. Taylor’s class filed through the lunch line. I sat down between Efren and Ryan. We have to sit boy/girl in the cafeteria since we tend to get loud.

Amy leaned around Efren. “Hey, Chloe, how did your plan work out with Mrs. Smith and Mr. Brooks?”

“So great. I think it worked. I taped the notes to their doors. Then I left Mrs. Smith’s dog, Rosy, for Mr. Brooks. I told him I didn’t have time to return her so he would have to. I rushed back to my house and spied on the two of them. When Mrs. Smith opened her door, the two of them talked and then just laughed. And you know what?”

“No, what?” Amy’s eyebrows rose.

“They went into Mrs. Smith’s house and they were laughing.”

“Sounds like you did a good job getting them together,” Efren said.

I nodded. “I’m thinking you’re right.”

I skipped through the door that afternoon, happy with myself. After dropping my backpack in its place in the kitchen, I jumped onto the stool.

Momma pushed some grapes and a drink closer to me. The doorbell rang. Momma held up one finger. “I’ll be right back.”

I wondered who that could be at this time. Suddenly, Mr. Brooks’ voice carried into the kitchen. He was saying something about Mrs. Smith. I eased off the stool and stood at the corner. Was he going to tell Momma how much he loved Mrs. Smith because of the notes?

“Mrs. Parker, I’m truly concerned for little Rosy. I mean, Mrs. Smith obviously can’t take care of her like she should. Why, she has asked Chloe to walk and exercise her. Being a former veterinarian, I think Rosy would be better off with me. I will have to trick Mrs. Smith into letting me take Rosy. Mrs. Smith did write me a note to say she likes me. I don’t think she’ll even catch on to my plan.”

What? Mr. Brooks can’t take Mrs. Smith’s dog from her. She needs Rosy.

“Whatever will you do?” Momma said.

“Tomorrow evening Mrs. Smith has asked me to supper at about five o’clock. I plan to talk to her and trick her then.”

“Mr. Brooks, you have to do what you feel is right.”

I can’t believe Momma is saying that. How can tricking poor Mrs. Smith out of her dog be the right thing?

The front door closed. I rushed back to my stool and started eating again. I could barely swallow. I had to do something to protect Mrs. Smith.

I tried my best all evening to act normal. I didn’t want Momma to know I had listened in on her conversation with Mr. Brooks. I didn’t agree with her or Mr. Brooks. Tricking Mrs. Smith was not the right thing to do.

On the playground the next day, I told my friends about what Mr. Brooks had said.

“You’ve got to do something,” Ryan said.

“Yeah, in a way, this is a little bit your fault,” said Weston.

“What? My fault?”

Amy patted my back. “You did help Mrs. Smith fall in love with Mr. Brooks.”

“But I didn’t know he wouldn’t like her back. I didn’t know he was gonna turn out to be a bad guy.”

“So, what are you going to do?” Jill spoke up.

“The only thing I can do. I’ll have to go to that supper tonight and set Mr. Brooks straight and tell Mrs. Smith the truth.” I bit my lip. “I sure hope Mrs. Smith’s feelings aren’t hurt too bad.”

Why did Weston say that this was a little bit of Chloe's fault?

If you were Chloe, what would you do?