It’s Getting Cooler

23 Oct

FallIf you live in central AZ, you know the joy that comes over your whole being when the first signs of fall actually appear on your outdoor thermometer. (This picture was actually taken in Kansas…I love the fall colors.) I’m sure it is the same reaction that anyone in our northern states has when spring arrives.  I know that many states can have over 100 degree temperatures, but not for as many days in a row as we can have.

Unlike our northern neighbors, that tend to spend more time inside in the winter, we on the other hand, spend most of the summer inside.  With the onset of fall, everyone dusts off their bikes and hiking shoes with the vigor of a hungry bear after a long hibernation.

So like many of my fellow Arizonans, I have started filling up my calendar with as many events as possible to make up for lost time.  I am always open to suggestions as well, so if you know about a fun event in the Phoenix area, please share!

So far I have:

October 23rd- School Visit at Banner Academy in Tempe

October 23rd & 24th- Book Signing at Sydney’s Café & Market at Tempe Market Place

Friday from 4-7pm (Story time-5pm)

Saturday from 12-5pm (Story time-2pm)

November 14th- Gilbert Art Walk in Downtown Gilbert

9-1pm by Water Tower

November 20th-21st- Candy Cane Lane Craft Boutique & Holiday Market

First Baptist Tempe- 4525 S. Mc Clintock Dr. Tempe, AZ 85282

Friday from 4-8pm

Saturday from 9-3pm

December 5th– Red Mountain Library Children’s Book Event Mesa, AZ

1-4pm

January 16th-  Gilbert Art Walk in Downtown Gilbert

February 20th- Gilbert Art Walk in Downtown Gilbert

March 19th- Gilbert Art Walk in Downtown Gilbert

We cannot wait to share our books, and love for story telling at all of these events. I’m hoping we will be adding more events to this list soon.  If any of you can come to one of these activities, be sure to drop me a note so we can make sure to look for you.

Yeah, for cooler weather!

Our Food Journey

6 Apr

My family has definitely had a food journey the last couple of years.  In 2013, it began when I partnered with Charles Mattocks to write Diabetes and Healthy Eating.  I always knew that a healthy diet and exercise was very important.  I would have to say19 that I never spent very much time thinking about it, until I started to write that story.

My family didn’t have a lot of money when I was young so not only did we not eat out very often, but our budget did not allow for extras like soda, chips or ice cream.  As I look back, this was almost a blessing.  I grew up with very few snacks at my disposable so to this day I don’t snack very much during the day.  The byproduct of this now is that I don’t struggle with an unhealthy weight.

Recently my family has faced a new food challenge.  My son has struggled with ADHD sense he was diagnosed at age six.  Because we don’t believe in filling our son with drugs to solve every problem, we have sought a variety of other methods to help him.  At first, I homeschooled him for many years so that he could learn with few distractions and get the attention he needed.  I also started running regularly with him to help channel his energy so he could focus better in his studies.

Now that he is older and in school he has started to face challenges again with his ADHD.  Because of this, we started to look for new natural remedies that could help him.  This led us to read about the work of Dr. Amen.

This is why we are now on a new journey.  My son has been on the new diet for four weeks and we are happy to report that we are seeing some positive results that even his teacher has commented about.

All this back-ground information is to explain that during this food journey starting in 2013, I have become so amazed at America’s food obsession with junk.  I mean really!  Now that I am forced to read every food label before I can feed my son, I can’t help but sit in shock at what I find.

Not only that, but I have also become more aware of what we feed our children in general.  The obesity rate in American children is ridiculous.  But we only have ourselves to blame.  What have we taught them to eat?   What have we given them to eat?

We reward them with food, we teach them to celebrate with food, we allow them to eat when they are bored, and eat what makes them happy even if it might not be good for them.  Just sit for a moment and watch families around you at restaurants and look at what is on the plates of their children all in the name of: “My child is a picky eater, or that is what they wanted.”

I guess that is the sad part of my food journey.  I find that a lot of people don’t want to change their lifestyle or teach a better one to their children.  Why do you think the commercials advertise that, “This pill will allow you to lose weight and not change your diet at all.”

We will continue as a country to fight obesity until we decide that our food obsession must stop.  Until we learn that food should not control us, but that rather that we should control our food.

I am so proud that my eleven year old son has been able to give up gluten, artificial sugars, colors, and flavors, and dairy so that he can reach his full potential.  Not because it is easy (trust me it’s not), but because he knows that what we put inside our bodies is what our bodies become.  I hope that you can teach your children nothing less.

This is not about teaching your child about being thin or fat!  That drives me crazy.  We are all built with different bone structures and genetic tendencies.  This is about being healthy and doing so by eating the proper foods that your body really needs to function.

I know I still have a lot to learn and master in our families food journey, but I hope it has given you something to think about for your own.

What’s to Come

7 Feb

calendar picSo what in the world can be so enthralling that could possibly keep me from the wonderful land of “Blog”? Oh…everything!  Holidays, field trips, laundry, house cleaning, sickness, and writing have sucked up my time like a vacuum.  But I wanted to fill you all in on what is on the calendar for Kristi & Dave Grimm so far in 2015. By the way, what in the world happened to January?  I am quite sure that I missed it! I can’t be the only one that feels that way…can I hear an AMEN!

I announced awhile back on my fb page that I have finally broadened my playing field and have written my first children’s novel for preteens.  After months of passing the story around to friends and family to get suggestions and then having it professionally edited I am now at the stage of trying to find an agent.  Yes, you heard me.  I am going to take my first step out of the self-publishing world and see if I can survive in the domain of main-stream publishing. Yikes!  It’s a little scary to think about, but I am determined to give it my best effort.  I have already chosen a few agents to test the waters. Then again, if anyone has any suggestions of agents that are willing to give me a look-see, I would be ever so grateful.

While we wait to see if this new venture takes root I am still enjoying selling and promoting my Mommy, Tell Me a Story series.  In fact, we are already starting on the next book Mommy, Tell Me a Story about a Horse.  It has been over a year now sense we published our last book in this series so we are really excited to start adding to the collection again.

My hubby Dave took a break from illustrating my books to finish two wonderful books for a new author.  If you would like to see these two projects you can find them on amazon.com or barnsandnoble.com under author Ann Anovitz.  They are very sweet books and are definitely worth checking out.

I have also been busy planning book events for 2015.  This is my favorite part of being an author! It is my chance to meet and greet as many little ones as I can.  Just today, Dave and I spent several hours at the Gilbert Art Walk, not far from our home here in AZ, signing and selling books.  I can’t tell you how much we enjoy seeing a little boy or girl hugging one of our books as they walk away from our booth.

For my local followers, here is a list of places we will be in the next couple months:

February 27- Boulder Creek Elementary

March 7- Gilbert Art Walk

March 14- Tucson Festival of Books (Richer Life booth…Sat. & Sun. 1:30-3:30)

March 30- Desert Vista Elementary

April 11- Gilbert Global Village

We love to visit schools in the Phoenix area so if your son or daughter would like us to visit their school let me know, and I will see what we can do to make it a reality.

Well I think you are all caught up now.  I value all of my readers and hope that this blog finds you well.  I can’t wait to see what is in store for the rest of 2015!

 

 

For the Love of Uggs

18 Nov

kristis photos 001With winter on the horizon I feel that it is high time that I break by blog silence with the sharing of what has become a long standing tradition in our home that involves Ugg boots.

Let me first explain that I was a teenager in the late 80’s and started college at Biola University, a Southern CA Christian University, in the fall of 89.  I was exposed to the Ugg brand a little in high school, because AZ is so close to CA their trends seem to come to us rather quickly, but I was mostly introduced to it in College.  Almost anyone that had a love for surfing had a pair.  This, I must emphasize, included mostly guys.  For the Ugg boot was designed by a male surfer, for them to wear after getting out of the cold ocean so they had something warm to put on their feet.

Now that you understand my original understanding of the boot, you will follow why when my son was about six I bought him his first pair of imitation Uggs.  Because my son is a typical AZ boy, the minute it starts to get in the 60’s he thinks he is freezing.  He was always complaining that his feet were cold and he didn’t like taking the time to put his shoes on before running outside, just like most children.  That is when I remembered my friends from college that had Ugg boots and how much they loved the fact that you could just slip them on really quick before heading out the door.  The natural wool lining makes it so you really don’t have to wear socks if you don’t want to, so most of my friends didn’t.

Needless to say, my son loved them.  He thought they were the greatest things ever.  I could hardly get him to wear another pair of shoes.  What I didn’t realized at the time, because I was just trying to save money by not buying  the expensive original Uggs, was that the fake fur lining on the imitation pair could begin to smell so bad!  I tried everything to get rid of the smell.  It got so bad that we had to keep the boots outside because they smelled so terrible.

Well the sad day finally arrived that the boots no longer fit my son, so I had to decide what I was going to do for the next winter.  I finally decided to scrape my pennies together and buy him his first REAL Uggs and see if that would help with the odor problem.  Do bears like honey?  What a difference!  The natural sheep skin was soooo much better at keeping the stench under control.  Let me tell you, our whole family was extremely grateful!

But I have to say that another sad day arrived, after I got my son his first REAL Uggs, when he was confronted with the notion that these boots were only “girl” boots.  Well, when you are a little boy of seven the idea of wearing girl’s shoes is horrifying.  It took a great deal of explaining and website pictures to convince my son that he did not have to give up one of his favorite treasures just because the fashion market had decided to change their gender target.

Now every summer our family saves up money for his new pair of winter Uggs.  It is a huge task, at least for us, because they are not inexpensive.  Not only that, but much thought is put into what color he is going to have as well.  We have now had black (that was the first pair), brown, tan, dark green, blue and now we have graduated to red.

To be honest, I am proud that my son, now 11, wears his Uggs every winter with no care to the frequent remarks that they are a “girl’s boot”.  As we continue our tradition of putting to rest a loved and very worn-out pair of Uggs, to welcome in a fresh new pair, we want to announce to the world that your son can also enjoy, work to destroy, snuggle in the warmth, save up all summer, and does not have to be ashamed or embarrassed that he is wearing a “girl’s” boot.   You now know that they are NOT just for girls and he can wear them along side my son… just “For The love of Uggs!”

This was NOT a paid advertisement for Ugg Boots. Yes, there are other brands just as good as the Ugg brand that have a natural wool lining.  This just happens to be my son’s favorite.

Rewind

29 Mar

Image Raising our children can always involve a little bit of the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I can’t tell you how many times in a day I wish there was a rewind button that I could push.  Not only for myself as a parent but for my son as well. Remember the good old days when playing a game with friends we would say, “Do over!”

Then again, what those moments teach us is how to have compassion to those around us when they suffer from the same fate.  How many times do we hear a child or even an adult for that matter say, “Well, they did it to me first.” That is when I hear my mom’s words echo in my ears. “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

One of the joys of being an adult that still struggles with ADD tendencies is that I am still inclined to open my mouth before realizing what just came out of my mouth. The icing on the cake comes when I witness my son doing the exact same thing!  Ugh! So where is that rewind button!!! Thank goodness that is when “God’s mercies are new every morning!”

A few days ago the tables where actually turned and I came face-to-face with someone that desperately wanted a rewind button in front of them.  A child at my son’s school said something to me that he shouldn’t have said.  When I confronted him with it, I knew he knew it too. It involved something slightly unkind that he had done to my son. What it was is really not the important issue. What transpired afterwards is.

This boy and my son have had a difficult time getting along.  Now to be fair, my son has had his moments of contribution in the matter as well. None the less, after this issue was addressed with his parents a chain of events occurred that is quite precious.

The following day both my son and I received notes of apology and my son was given a gift card to McDonald’s which was paid for by the boy from money he had earned.  Step number one is complete. I was wrong, will you forgive me?

Step two is just around the bend in my son’s response. “Mom, wasn’t that really nice? Can I use this gift card to take him to McDonald’s?” Do you see it? Yep! That is what mercy looks like.  I was so proud of my son at that moment. Every one of us wants a rewind moment in our lives. If you are like me, I want it about once a day!!  Mercy is such a powerful tool.  This morning before school my son presented him with a handmade thank you card, and an invitation to lunch to McDonald’s (today is a half-day for them).  Suddenly the relationship between them made a 180 degree turn and off they went to play.

This concept is one of the main ideas addressed in my new book Mommy, Tell Me a Story about a Fish. The main character Pearl shows compassion to the shark that bullies her every day; because of this something amazing happens to their relationship.

If we can teach our children to show forgiveness and mercy even when it might not be fully deserved, the possibilities are endless. Will it always have a happy ending? No, but will it be more happy then sad?  I would be so bold as to say, “Yes!” This does not mean that consequences should not be given when they are required, but that open arms are always waiting at the other side. We have allowed the “do over” play to come into the game of life. So maybe not a rewind button, but maybe even better.

 

 

 

It’s Getting Close

3 Mar

ImageImageImage

I had this great New Year’s resolution that I was going to be better about blogging more in 2014 and now it is March, and I have only gotten one blog done. Ugg!  I am pretty sure I need 8 days in a week. 🙂

I am really excited to finally share some sketches from my new book coming out this summer (fingers crossed).  I already talked about it a bit in a blog I wrote several months ago. This is a brand new series about a little girl named Prinna Marie.  The first book is called Prinna Marie Goes Dancing.

This new series is definitely the byproduct of all things girly!  This is the only reason that I decided to collaborate with a new illustrator this time around.  (My husband was actually relieved.) Once you see Theresa Higby’s lovely work you will not be surprised why I couldn’t wait for her to start on this project with me.  I don’t want to share too many spoilers, but I want to share just enough for you to get a taste of how beautiful the artwork is going to be.

Prinna Marie is just like any other little girl that likes to make new friends and play pretend.  After she meets a new friend, Sophie Grace, at the park they are soon off to the Fairy’s Ball.  What little girl wouldn’t want to do that?

Like me, being in a wheelchair never stops Prinna Marie from any kind of adventure.  I guess you could say that this makes her different, but then again maybe not.  That is my goal in this series. I want to not only show disabled children that they aren’t as different from other children as they might sometimes think, but also to show able-bodied children that disabled children are just like them in all the things that really matter.  They like to make friends, play games, and go on adventures just like anyone else.

Hello, my name is Prinna Marie

won’t you come and dance with me?”

They both smiled, for they knew right away

that they would be great friends that day.

I can’t wait to share Prinna Marie Goes Dancing with you very soon!

Go Fly a Kite

15 Jan

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Telling someone to “Go fly a kite” definitely means different things in different contexts. This made me smile a bit as I was looking through some pictures from this last summer and saw one of my son flying a kite while visiting my family in Indiana.

In general we have not had a lot of luck with kite flying. Arizona is not known for being very windy and when it is, it tends to be gusty.  Those perfect kite flying days are few and far between.  I am quite sure we are not the only family that has two or three kites in their garage that have had a treacherous fate. 

What does continue amazing me though is how my son has crashed, broken and waved bon-voyage to numerous kites and yet will still eagerly come running in anticipation at another attempt when that perfect kite flying day arrives.

Now let’s really think about this. The concept of the kite is not new. In fact we can all agree that it has been around several hundred years. It takes no batteries or high tech technology to fly a simple kite.  In fact you can still make a pretty good one yourself. Now granted not everyone finds them interesting or wants to fly one, but I would venture to say that most everyone in America has tried to fly one at one time or another. Why?

Yep…you are thinking I am going to come up with some very philosophical reason for this that might have something to do with being one with nature or conquering the elements.  Maybe it does or maybe it doesn’t.  But in my mind I think it is much simpler than that.  It’s fun!

Sorry, but people just really haven’t changed all that much in the last two hundred years.  Kites were fun then, and they are fun now. Maybe kites aren’t your thing, but then again when was the last time you tried to fly one?

In this new year of 2014 when you find yourself over worked and over stressed, maybe you should take a moment and have some good old fashioned fun and “Go fly a kite!” Happy New Year everyone!