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?