Saturday, February 25, 2017

What? The Kid's Here?

"Chloe, when is your little brother supposed to be here?" McKenzie said as we were packing our backpacks at the end of the day.

"Momma said it would be about four more weeks. I don't know that I'm ready." I rolled my eyes.

Mrs. Taylor's phone rang. "Yes, okay. I'll send her right down." She hung up the phone. "Chloe, you need to take all your things and go down to the office. Mrs. Church is picking you up today."

"Mrs. Church?"

"Yes, honey. Now go on down to the office."

I shrugged. My feet fast-walked down the hall. What was going on?

Mrs. Church stood in the hall outside the office with Brooklyn. "Hey, Chloe. You're going home with us." Mrs. Church bent closer to me. "It seems your baby brother decided to come early."


Mrs. Church nodded. "Sometimes babies do that." She motioned for me to follow. "But that's all right. You can just come home with Brooklyn."

The idea of being with my friend from church didn't sound too bad. I hopped into the back of the car and buckled my seatbelt. But I thought about Momma.

Mrs. Church glanced back at me as she drove out of the school parking lot. "Brooklyn's daddy has to work late tonight, so we can have a girls' Friday night."

Brooklyn clapped her hands. "Yeah. How about we make pizza and watch a movie?"

I nodded. "That does sound like fun." My voice didn't sound excited.

"Don't worry about your momma. I talked to her and your daddy, and she is doing fine. Little Peyton came around lunch time. They're both doing well. We should be able to go see them tomorrow at the hospital." Mrs. Church waved her finger. "I almost forgot. I stopped by your house, and your MeMe had gotten some clothes together for you. They're at our house. So we're all set!"

I did have a fun night at Brooklyn's house. After breakfast I gathered all of my things. I wiggled in my seat during the drive to the hospital.

"Are you okay, Chloe?" Brooklyn said.

"I'm a little bit shaky. I don't know how I feel about having a brother."

Mrs. Church pulled into a parking space at the hospital and turned around. "Things are going to be different. Your parents will have to give your brother lots of attention at first. But they'll do their best to give you attention too. You can help by bringing them things they may need."

"What will I do with him?"

"Well, it will be a while before he can play with you. He'll just need mom and dad for a while." She opened her car door. "Come on. Let's go meet Peyton and see your mom and dad."

I slid slowly out of the car. Brooklyn grabbed my hand and held it all the way into the hospital and up the elevator. Too bad I hadn't gotten a big sister like her. But nobody asked me. I sighed.

We walked quietly into Momma's room. She was propped up in bed, holding a small bundle of blankets.

"Chloe, sweetie, come meet your new little brother." Momma smiled.

I eased around to the side of the bed and stood on my tippy toes. A tiny face was all that showed. His eyes were closed. He had the tiniest nose. All of the sudden his mouth opened into a big O yawn and then closed.

Daddy patted my shoulder. "What do you think of your new brother?"

I shrugged. "Well, he's little."

MeMe laughed. "That he is. I got you something."

I whirled around. I could always count on MeMe.

She slipped a shirt over my head and stepped back. "Perfect."

I looked down, trying to see what was written on the front.

"It says: I'm the Big Sister." MeMe winked at me.

Oh, brother!

Why do you think Chloe was nervous about meeting her new brother?

What do you think will happen when Momma and Peyton come home?

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Tutoring and Treehouse

"Momma, I'm gonna go to Sara's house now. She's helping me with my math."

"Okay, honey. Be back for supper," Momma called from the kitchen.

I trotted down the front steps and across the road to Sara's house. At school I had to call her Miss Smith, but she said I could still call her Sara other times. I knocked on the door.

Sara whisked open the door. "Well hello there. Ready for some math magic?" She smiled.

"I hope you have some magic for me. Not sure I'm gonna get it any other way."

"Nonsense. You just need practice."

She closed the door and I followed her to the kitchen table.

"Now, the key to learning two digit addition with regrouping is not to panic when you don't get it the first time." Sara nodded.

I puffed my cheeks full of air and blew it out. "How about if you don't get it the second or third time? We've been working on this all week." I plunked my elbows on the table and plopped my chin on my hands.

Sara giggled. "You'll get it."

We worked for almost an hour. I had gotten the last two problems right without Sara's help.

"See? You're getting it."

"But what if it all runs out of my brain tonight? That has happened before."

"Then we'll put it back in until it stays." Sara hopped up. "Come here. I want to show you something I discovered before you go home."

I followed her out to the back yard. She stopped and pointed up into a big tree.

My mouth flew open. "A treehouse!"

Sara nodded and her eyes got real big. "Yep. I didn't notice it until the other day. Come on. I'll show you."

We climbed the wooden ladder steps.

Sara sat down on the edge and motioned inside. "I think all it needs is a good sweep out."

I looked inside. "How wonderful!"

"Maybe you could help me clean it up a bit. I'd let you play in it."

"That would be great. Like a clubhouse." I hugged her.

"I guess you better get going. Your momma will need you home for supper."

I moved slowly toward the ladder.

"Don't worry. You can come back any time."

I grinned at her. I rushed back into her house and gathered my stuff. "Thanks for the help and for showing me the treehouse."

"You're welcome. See you tomorrow at school." Sara winked.

"Right, Miss Smith." I giggled.

I shot across the street and through the front door. "Momma, Daddy, you won't believe what Sara just showed me."

They were both in the kitchen. When I walked through the doorway, Daddy looked my way. "We're about ready for supper. Wash your hands."

I huffed but turned around and raced to the bathroom. I washed my hands and then dashed back to the dining table and slid into my chair. "So, did you hear what I said?"

"Dear, we need to ask our blessing," Momma said.

I bowed my head. After Daddy said amen, I started to speak but was stopped by Momma talking. "I'm thinking that I like Peyton. You know, mine and Chloe's names would start with C's and your name and Peyton's would start with P's."

I rolled my eyes. They were talking about the kid again.

"What do you think about Peyton?" Daddy asked me.

I shrugged. "Guess we have to call him something." Kid worked for me.

Momma smiled and clapped her hands. "I think it's perfect. Peyton it is."

I gave up on telling them about the treehouse. That's okay. It could be mine and Sara's secret. 

Chloe is having a hard time with two digit addition with regrouping. What is something you have had trouble learning? What advice would you give Chloe on learning something hard?

Have you ever felt a little ignored like Chloe did? How did you feel? How do you think Chloe feels?

Friday, February 10, 2017

Look What's Arrived!

No, it's not Chloe little brother yet. But her second book is out - The Adventures of Chloe Ann Parker - First Grade. Just in time for Valentine's Day!

And if you didn't have the opportunity to read Chloe's first adventure, The Adventures of Chloe Ann Parker - Kindergarten, you can get it for free on Kindle on February 14th and 15th.

Here's the fabulous cover:

Chloe Ann Parker heads off to first grade but must face it without her best friend. She discovers exactly what it means to keep your nose out of other people’s business when she attempts to do some matchmaking. Chloe also learns some valuable lessons about friendship, self-control, and bullies as well as what it means to be a bucket filler in this first grade adventure.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

With my folder in the right place on the front desk, I hurried over to Mrs. Taylor. I opened my mouth and flicked my wiggly tooth with my tongue. "Mrs. Taylor, could I go see Mrs. Watkins?"

Mrs. Taylor nodded. "I do believe that tooth is more than ready to come out. Go ahead."

I walked quickly to the office. As I rounded the corner into the nurse's office, I stuck out my chin and wiggled the tooth for her. She chuckled and pointed. "Mrs. Watkins is right there at her desk."

Mrs. Watkins twirled her rolling chair around. "Hey, Chloe. What's up?"

"Look." I punched the tooth with my tongue. "My friends said you were an expert tooth puller."

Mrs. Watkins giggled. "I have pulled quite a few." She snatched a tissue from the box on her desk. "Now let me see." The tissue covered the tooth.

I shut my eyes tight and held my breath.

"What are you doing?"

My eyes popped open. "I'm getting ready in case it hurts." I could barely talk with her fingers in my mouth.

She sat back and grinned.

"What's the matter? Isn't it ready yet?"

"Sure was." She opened her hand and there was my tooth.

"Wow. You really are a professional. I didn't feel a thing."

Mrs. Watkins stood. "Come on. Let's get you a necklace to put it in." She plopped the tooth into the little tooth-shaped box and put the string around my neck. "There you go."

"Thanks, Mrs. Watkins." I hugged her and hurried back to class.

When I walked into the classroom, I held up the little box. Jill smiled and nodded. Emalie gave me a thumbs-up.

"Class, let's take our spelling pretest." Mrs. Taylor stood.

I bit my lip and pulled out my paper.

"Upon. The first word is upon."

I did my best to listen to each sound and write it down. I struggled with the words should and dribble. Then I strained my ears to get the two dictation sentences down just right, double checking for capital letters and periods.

"Remember to take these spelling tests home and practice the words, especially those you missed. And don't forget your decodable reader. We're going for fluency. No robot reading."

I didn't mind the spelling and reading part. But later when we did math, I about chewed my lip off. Numbers weren't my friend.

I shoved my folder into my backpack and zipped it up.

"Hey, Chloe, don't forget about putting your tooth under your pillow tonight. You know, the tooth fairy." Emalie's eyes widened.

"I won't forget. I'll let you know what I get."

I rushed through the door and into the kitchen. "Momma, look!"

Momma turned around from the stove. "Did you finally lose that tooth?" She propped her fists on the hips.

"Sure did. Mrs. Watkins did it. I didn't even feel it. Can I go show Mr. and Mrs. Brooks. Then I'll have to bring it back and make sure it gets put under my pillow tonight."

Momma nodded. "And honey, will you see what Mrs. Brooks might have to make your Valentine's box for school?"

"Okay." I rushed out the back door and across the yard.

Mr. Brooks stood on the back deck, holding Rosy's leash.

"Mr. Brooks!"

His head jerked up. "Chloe, what's up with my favorite first grader?"

I ran up the steps and held up my necklace. "I lost that tooth." I opened my mouth and stuck my tongue through the hole.

"You certainly did."

"Could I show Mrs. Brooks?"

"Sure. Go on in."

I shoved the door open. Mrs. Brooks stood at the kitchen counter. "Good afternoon, Chloe. How was first grade today?"

"I lost a tooth!"

"Oh my, now that is a big deal."

"Oh and Momma wanted me to ask you if you had something for me to use to make my Valentine's box for school."

Mr. Brooks slipped in with Rosy and slid the leash off the dog's neck. The little white dog rushed over and jumped up on me. I patted her head.

Mrs. Brooks clapped her hands together and held them at her chin. "I've got it. Honey, would you get that empty coffee can I have in the closet over there. I just knew I was saving it for something."

Mr. Brooks pulled out a big round can with a plastic lid. "This what you want?"

"Yes. That should make a fine Valentine's box for all of the cards you will get at school." Mrs. Brooks nodded. "I've got exactly what we need to cover it, white contact paper, and then you can decorate it with hearts and stickers. Whatever you want."

I nodded. "I knew you were the perfect person to ask about this, Mrs. Brooks. You're just like Mrs. Watkins. You're a professional!"

Why did Chloe hold her breath and squeeze her eyes shut?

What does Chloe mean about Mrs. Watkins and Mrs. Brooks being professionals?

Do you know someone who seems to be very smart about certain things? Who is it and what are they smart about?