Holiday Traditions

7 Dec

Here in America, and in many parts of the world we have officially entered the Holiday Season.  We have Thanksgiving & Chanukah (boy it came early this year) under our belt now, and are looking forward to Christmas and New Years just around the corner.

One thing I have learned during this season is that traditions don’t have to always be big, expensive or numerous to be important to us.  They can be little things like reading a certain book, making special food, calling a family member or friend, shopping at your favorite store, or going to a special place.

Last year's Anniversary

Last year’s Anniversary

I look around me at this time of year and I am reminded of the many extremes we can encounter in life.  Some families aren’t much of a family at all.  In fact many individuals find more joy with friends than being reminded of strained family relationships. Then you have the family gatherings that are so extensive that it requires a good year of planning just to accommodate everyone.  Both can be just as special in their own ways.

Whether you are one extreme or the other, or maybe just somewhere in the middle, we still find ourselves longing to do certain things as we enter this time of year.  In the spirit of the season I think it would be really fun to hear some of YOUR traditions. Let me get things started by sharing just a few of my family traditions.

We love Christmas movies in our house.  In fact, we have an unwritten rule that no one can watch a Christmas movie until after Thanksgiving.  Then the only movies you can watch are Christmas movies. We have been adding to our collection for years.  Our library is now pretty extensive. The movie watching is always kicked off with the decorating of the house.  The lights go up and the tree and trimmings come out. 

We do love to bake, but depending on the schedule of things, sometimes priorities adjust in this area. The only mandatory item that gets made every year is my Mom’s sugar cookies.  I have to specify that it has to be my Mom’s recipe because it is actually pretty different than most. These are rolled out very thin and are not frosted but sprinkled with sugar instead. Love them!

Going to Christmas Eve service, making several Christmas-light tours through the city, (Oh!) and celebrating our Wedding Anniversary are a few more traditions that we hold dear, but enough about us!  Now it is your turn!  What do you do this time of year?  It doesn’t have to be grand or exciting sounding, it just has to be important to you.

I can’t wait to hear what you have to share!


Mark Your Calendars

11 Sep
Meet Pearl

Meet Pearl

Way back in February I posted a blog telling you about a new book project for our Mommy, Tell Me a Story book series called Mommy, Tell Me a Story about a Fish. Well I am happy to announce that the text and art-work was submitted to our publisher today and a release date has finally been set for October 7, 2013.

Our original desire was to complete this book by mid-summer, but things were delayed when we were asked to start work on our recent July release…Diabetes and Healthy Eating.

We are so excited to share this new story with your little ones.  As usual my husband did an amazing job on the art-work. He far exceeded my expectations.

In this new adventure you will travel underwater to a lovely coral reef and meet a little pink fish named Pearl.  She struggles with a shark named Clark that loves to torment her every day on the way to and from school about her fins that curl.  Everyone knows that fins shouldn’t curl.  Pearl not only learns in this story why and how she is special, but in the end Clark is no longer the tormentor but a new friend.

I know you will want to add this to your collection of Mommy, Tell Me a Story books so be sure to mark your calendars for October 7th.



9 Sep
Time with Grandpa

Time with Grandpa

Well, my son just started 5th grade! “Where did the time go? Before you know it he’s going to be all grown-up!”  What parent hasn’t said this once or twice?

I even remember my Grandma referring to my dad and his sisters as “You kids.” My brother and I always found this very funny.  We would respond, “Does that make us babies then?” My grandma would just smile and say, “You’re the little kids, and they are the big kids.”

Now that I am a parent and a little older I totally get this.  I guess I have also come to realize that in some ways we are always kids.  What makes a kid a kid?  The dictionary defines kid: a child or young person.  I may not be a child anymore, but the likelihood that I am always going to be younger than someone else, until God takes me home, is pretty high.

I remember when my son was very little he asked when he was going to be older than his big brothers.  Needless to say, he was not happy when he found out that they were always going to be older than him even when he became a grown-up.

As children we look to the older people around us to guide and direct us to adulthood.  Why then do we suddenly stop this once we arrive? People haven’t stopped being older than us have they?

I am not saying that wisdom always comes with age, but the chances certainly go up.  There will always be a percentage of the population that refuses to gain wisdom from any situation.  Then again, I am still saddened when I see seniors being neglected or mistreated when they have so much to still teach and contribute to our lives.  I am equally saddened when I see a senior believing that they have nothing to offer the world any longer.

They have something that cannot be purchased for any amount of money, learned at any school, or inherited through any blood line. Good or bad, successful or unsuccessful they will always have something that you don’t. They have experience!  Don’t let that experience go to waste.  Let’s make sure we pass it along because some day our children will be all grown-up and they will need to do the same.

Make spending time with the seniors in your life a priority for you and your children today. Before you know it they will be all grown-up and you don’t want to find yourself asking “Where did the time go?”

So Much Happening

3 Jul

Little Mar

I’ve been so bad about keeping up with my blogging, but for good reason. We have been very busy with several new projects so I have many exciting things to tell everyone about.

 The first big news is that in just two days, July 4th, not only are we celebrating the United States’ birthday but this is also the launching date for our new book Diabetes and Healthy Eating co/authored with Celebrity Chef Charles Mattocks.

 We are working so hard to spread the word so that we can reach as many children as possible with this incredibly important lesson about diabetes.  This book not only helps children with diabetes to understand their condition and how eating healthy benefits them, but it also helps children all over the world understand how important eating healthy is for the prevention of diabetes as well. Be sure to check out the book’s new website @ to learn more details!

 Dave has also started again on our next Mommy, Tell Me a Story book.  In order to get the book on diabetes done on time we had to delay getting Mommy, Tell Me a Story about a Fish completed.  We are still very excited about getting this done. Dave’s art work is looking wonderful as usual.  I should have some fun drawings to share very soon!  Details about this book are in previous blog posts.

 I also have even more news to share.  I have started another book series!  After starting the Mommy, Tell Me a Story series just over a year ago I have had many people ask me if any of my stories would deal with my own disability or related disabilities with children in wheelchairs.  Well to be honest, I really hadn’t thought about it until it was brought to my attention and this got my imagination rolling.

 This is how Prinna Marie Goes Dancing came about. Prinna is just like many little girls. She likes to play dress-up, play with her dolls, have tea parties and, yes, go dancing at far-away balls, in far-away lands where fairies dance in magic castles. I want children to see that just because Prinna is in a wheelchair doesn’t really make her any different than what any other little girl may be like. She will do things differently, but that doesn’t stop her imagination or her dreams.

 I have also been given the privilege of taking on a new illustrator for this project.  To be honest, I love my husband’s work as an illustrator, but this book needed a woman’s touch.  Explaining to Dave what a proper “Fairy Ball” should look like would be fair to difficult. Bless his heart, he would have tried, but the art work in Mommy, Tell Me a Story about a Fish is already pushing the limits of his feminine side.  Trust me when I say that he is relieved to not have to take on this task.

 My dear friend Theresa Higby is a lovely artist and I am so excited to show the world her amazing talent. It really is rather funny watching us talk over the sketches that she has done.  The two of us start acting like we are five again.  With all the… “Oh, yes, that dress is perfect”…or “That is so cute”…and “I love the bunnies!” 

 All my other books have shown the side of me that grew up with a brother, played sports and now have four boys.  This book gives you a peek into the other side that loves lace, pink, cute animals and dressing-up on occasion.

 Theresa and I should be ready to publish Prinna Marie Goes Dancing by the first of the year 2014.  We just can’t wait to share all these incredible projects with your precious little ones!


           Mommy, Tell Me a Story book series…imagination inspired through color and rhyme

It’s Coming!

18 May

ImageMeet Little Mar


Wow!  Time is flying by so fast.  It feels like it was just yesterday that I got an e-mail from Celebrity Chef Charles Mattocks suggesting a partnership in the development of a children’s book about diabetes. Now we are only a little over a month away from the book’s release, Diabetes & Healthy Eating, on July 4th.

 We are so excited about the potential of this book to help children all over the world cope with this difficult disease.  The more I talk to people about this book the more it solidifies how important this project is to the diabetic community.

 The average parent is trying to teach their child so many things: how to tie their shoes, how to keep their room clean, how to play nice with others.  If you are a parent you know that the list is almost endless. If you have a child with any kind of health issue, this task just becomes all the more difficult.

 At the top of this list are issues with food.  Ask any parent that has a child with food allergies or diabetes, and you will realize the amount of stress that comes with monitoring what they eat on a constant basis. Simple events like birthday parties, classroom celebrations or just eating out can become very difficult to handle. Today with so many children dealing with obesity, food is no longer becoming just a topic for these health challenges, but for all children.

 What child wants to be lectured about diet, exercise or nutrition?  No child that I know.  In fact I don’t know many adults that want that either.  This is why the idea of this book began.  How can we teach young children about these difficult issues in a fun and friendly way that will keep their attention and educate at the same time? 

 Children with diabetes and their families face such a difficult road ahead of them.  Unlike allergies that can diminish some with age or medication, Juvenile Diabetes is a life-long journey that can end very badly if not taken seriously.

 It is our prayer that this book can be a tool in making this life challenge a little easier for these little ones to face.  But we need your help to spread the word.  This book can help no one if they don’t know about it.  Please pass the information about this book to any doctors, educators, or parents that can share this with a young child that might be able to benefit from it.    

 You can pre-order this book or just learn more about Charles Mattocks and his quest to help the diabetic world by going to or the direct book website @


Charles Mattocks, “The Celebrity Chef” and International Diabetes

25 Apr

Charles Mattocks, “The Celebrity Chef” and International Diabetes Spokesperson, Team up with Popular Children’s Book Author on New Book which Teaches Children About Diabetes and Healthy Eating

Front Cover.25

Phoenix, Arizona – RICHER Press announced today a July 4, 2013 release date for a new book written by Charles Mattocks, the celebrity chef, best selling author and Emmy nominated actor and Kristi Grimm, the author of the popular “Mommy, Tell Me a Story” Children’s book series.

According to Earl Cobb, RICHER Press co-publisher,  DIABETES AND HEALTHY EATING, is a unique, colorful and well-crafted children’s book. It is wonderfully illustrated by Kristi’s husband and business partner, Dave Grimm and passionately influenced by Mr. Mattocks commitment to be a voice and a force for serious change in diabetes health, world-wide.”

“Our staff worked closely with both authors to develop a concept, storyline and layout which would create a book that would entertain and educate both young children and their family members. I honestly feel that our goal was achieved.”

The book’s release and global distribution will coincide with many summer and fall community health & wellness activities leading up to the World Diabetes Day on November 14th. The release also supports the launch of Mr. Mattocks’ National Diabetes Testing Tour. CNN will accompany and record Charles’ humanitarian pursuit to test one million Americans for diabetes.


DIABETES AND HEALTHY EATING is what happens when the potentially frightening subject of children’s diabetes is approached with the right mix of truths, compelling rhyme, cooking activities and fun.

Through 42 pages of storyline, special recipes, coloring pages and a glossary of “memory” words, young children will learn how the foods they already know and recognize play a role in helping them control their diabetes.  DIABETES AND HEALTHY EATING combines young children’s love of cooking with the proven learning tool of rhyming to gently guide the book’s main character through the process of getting answers to questions about his diagnosis of diabetes. Children with diabetes will embrace the friendly, inquisitive and furry bear named Charlie B. Marley, who likes to be called Little Mar. Since Chef Mattocks is the nephew of the late reggae singer and star, Bob Marley, the Marley name is a quiet tribute to his uncle. In the story, Little Mar loves cooking and wants to be a chef someday. When his Mom tells him that a really cool chef will visit his school, Little Mar is interested. But Little Mar gets excited when his Mom shares that the chef has diabetes too. Little Mar has lots of questions in his head about his diabetes and the foods he is now supposed to eat, so he plans to ask the chef for help.  DIABETES AND HEALTHY EATING answers a child’s typical questions about food, sugar intake, exercise and healthy eating in relation to his or her diabetes. The special recipes, coloring pages and glossary of memory words extends the learning and engages children in the critical process of learning about diabetes.


Image  Charles Mattocks, Celebrity Chef & Worldwide Diabetes Advocate

Each career move Celebrity Chef Mattocks has made has been in keeping with his desire to touch lives in a positive way. Inspired by his uncle, the late Bob Marley, Mattocks dared to dream big. After giving a stunning performance in the title role of the Emmy nominated “The Summer of Ben Tyler” Mattocks could have continued as a successful actor. Instead this single dad decided the Hollywood lifestyle was not the best for his young son and moved across the country.

His need to create meals that were tasty, nutritious, and affordable led to his career as “The Poor Chef”. Appearances on The Today Show, Good Morning America, Martha Stewart, CNN and Dr. Oz gave him the opportunity to share what he had learned about feeding a family for less money. He became a sought after guest on local and regional radio and television stations. Once again he achieved success.

Then came devastating news. Charles Mattocks had type 2 diabetes. Reading all he could about the disease made him all too aware of how little he actually had known about diabetes. He was determined to save his life and knew he had to help others do the same.  “The Diabetic You” documentary, website, and movement came out of that determination to educate and inspire people around the world. He is doing just that. From appearances on CNN, The Today Show, Anderson Cooper, Good Morning America and scores of other TV shows and radio programs across the country, to interviews in Huffington Post, Diabetes Health, Forecast Diabetes, his regular blog on the Dr. Oz website, and more, the world is learning about Charles Mattocks’ war against diabetes. He developed a diabetic-friendly, gluten free treat called the “Charles Bar” that is in national distribution. Charles has also teamed up with Shire and is on a national RV testing tour he created that is going across the country to educate people about diabetes foot complications.

He is committed to providing free health testing for people from Orlando to Atlanta and beyond. His RV Testing Tour will appear at fairs, sporting events, malls and other venues. During a recent humanitarian trip to India, Mattocks helped test thousands for diabetes. In September he was a featured speaker at a prestigious TEDx Conference in San Francisco. A Blue ribbon champion for the International Diabetes Federation and spokesperson for the American Diabetes Association Chef Charles has just written their next cookbook. A tireless advocate for diabetics everywhere, Charles Mattocks, is determined to help stem the time of this deadly disease. Charles is also wrapping up his diabetes documentary entitled The Diabetic You and has just shot and is selling the first diabetes reality TV show entitled REVERSED. The best is yet to come as Charles is traveling the world and creating programs in other islands and countries. A voice and a force for serious change Charles will shake up the health industry. rv tour Fox news cnn tv show trailer india trailer Huffington Post

Kristi and Dave Grimm

are natives of Arizona and work as a team. Dave illustrates and Kristi writes. Kristi and Dave have been married for over eleven years. Kristi is a paraplegic from a horseback riding accident when she was 15. She is a 1993 graduate of Biola University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree. Dave has worked as a city sanitation driver for 25 years. They are a blended family and together they have four sons. Their youngest son, Dillon, can be seen in all of their books as the little boy that asks Mommy to tell him a story. Kristi comes from a very strong Christian home which is the motivation for the values that she puts in her stories.

Their books include:  Mommy, Tell Me a Story About a Car, “Mommy, Tell Me a Story About a Planeand “Mommy, Tell Me a Story About What Daddy Does.” Their newest book titled, “Mommy, Tell Me a Story About a Fish” is scheduled to be released this summer. Follow Kristi and the Mommy, Tell Me a Story team on her blog by visiting


RICHER Press is the leading publishing Imprint of Richer Life, LLC, a Peak Performance and Trade Book Publishing firm headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A. RICHER Press is a full service, specialty Trade publisher whose sole goal is to “shape thoughts and change lives for the better.” All of the books, eBooks and digital media they publish, distribute and market embrace their commitment to help maximize opportunities for personal growth and professional achievement.

To learn more visit

For more media information contact or call (602) 772-4988.

Richer Life, LLC 4600 East Washington Street, Suite 300 Phoenix, Arizona 85034

Tel: 602.772.4988| Fax: 602.772.4910 | Email: |

Kristi’s Story

17 Apr

After many of you read my blog about the miracle of my son’s birth, I am sure that some of you were wondering why I’m a paraplegic and in a wheelchair. I think that is a pretty reasonable question to ask. So it just seemed like the right time to share with you my story.

There is a lot of suffering that has happened in the US, and all over the world for that matter, this week and the last several months. Sometimes we forget that there is a lot of suffering that happens every day.  I am by far not the only person with a difficult story to share.  But just maybe by reading my story you will be able to face the world and all its obstacles with a little more determination, strength and hope.  I proofed this myself so please be gracious if you see a silly typo. 🙂

It is my prayer that by learning a little bit more about me, you will gain a better understanding into why I write about the topics that I do in my children’s stories.  I want to help our precious little ones to be prepared to face all the adversities that life can throw at them with the power to overcome, not succumb.

June 9th 1986.  I don’t know if you can recall what you were doing, but I do.  I had
flown to CA to see my brother’s girl friend (soon to be fiancée).  It was my birthday, and we had decided to start the day off horseback riding.  I was not an expert rider but was competent. We had ridden around the property for over an hour and had decided to
head back to the barn.  I only remember glimpses of what was soon to follow.  I distinctly remember coming a good five feet away from the large barn door opening into the horses feeding area.  I remember him walking towards it and me pulling on the reigns to try and stop him. Then I recall ducking my head to go through the doorway.

The next moment I found myself completely flat on my back in a pile of hay in a massive amount of pain, unable to feel my legs.  The most likely conclusion was that my back must have hit the door beam and dislocated my vertebra causing instant paralysis.  I must have then lost my balance and fallen from the horse to the floor…pretty reasonable conjecture.  None the less, I was now finding myself waiting for an ambulance to arrive and from here on things progressed rather quickly.

The paramedics arrived only to see a young woman with not a scratch or bruise on her body, just lying in the hay relatively calm.  I distinctly remember telling the paramedic, when asked what was wrong with me, “I am paralyzed.”  I know that I totally
shocked him because he gave me the funniest look.  I was soon put on a board and sent to the nearest hospital.  I was in a pretty rural area so I had to travel on a dirt road.
I remember not liking that part too much on a board.  But by this time all the meds were kicking-in to help with the pain I was in, and things started to get a little more blurry.

I recall telling one nurse that was trying to get the hospital gown on me that she needed to make sure nothing happened to my “guess” jeans because they were my only pair. I laugh now when I think about saying this. Only a teenager would be more worried about their jeans than being in the hospital paralyzed.  I remember telling everyone I saw that it was my birthday today, and I was turning 15.  I was also getting very annoyed that they kept asking for my address.  I know why now, but at the time I thought all these nurses really must be stupid if they had to keep asking me the same questions over and over again.

I learned at a later date that the hospital I was sent to first was too small to accommodate my injury so I was then ambulanced to another hospital.  This hospital had a doctor that could do the surgery but not the facilities to house me afterwards.  It was then decided to air-vac me to another hospital so I could be at the right facility
after surgery.

The bad news, to add to the obvious bad news, is that all this hospital hopping was eating away at my 24 hour window.  This is the amount of time that you have to fix a spinal cord injury before scar tissue forms around the area permanently blocking any nerve signals from the brain to the lower half.  By the time they got me to my final destination the surgery could not get scheduled in time, and my 24 hours was up.  Now the hurry was over and things went into slow motion.  So my accident happened on a Monday, but I didn’t have surgery until Friday.

Things continued to get worse.  I was too small for the bed.  I was too big for a child bed, but too small for an adult bed.  The bed was slated to try and immobilize the body. My head was bolted straight with large padded ovals on either side.  The idea is to keep you totally still so the bed moves for you.  It rotates your body completely sideways and then it moves back to the other side so you won’t get bed sores.  They had tried to stuff
pillows around me to keep me from moving when I went vertical.  But pillows have a bad tendency to squish.  This meant that my whole body moved several inches once gravity took hold. Then the screaming would begin.

The x-rays seemed to show a clean break, which should not have been that painful after medication.  But as anyone knows who has experienced a dislocate themselves, the pain does not let up until the pressure is gone.  Once under the knife (eight hrs total) they soon realized the problem.  My spinal cord was described to me as the consistency of a smashed banana.

Needless to say I felt a whole lot better on Friday when I awoke nine hours later.  I felt so great the next morning that I was actually able to sit up (in my stylish new back brace of course) but ha! I was sitting up.  After the sheer elation of being out of that bed and sitting up wore off, the reality of my new permanent situation started to kick in.  I was informed that the chances of me walking again were almost zero.

Before we go much further into that, I must add that my prayer support was off the scale.  In one day alone I received more mail than the entire wing of the ICU.  My final
count was over 200 letters and cards.  My father was a computer programmer for Doubletree Hotels at the time.  Ten Doubletree Hotels sent me flowers.  There were 31 flower arrangements total.  My mother had to take pictures of them all so I could remember them later.  You can’t bring flowers into the ICU.  It was actually rather comical. She would bring in a flower arrangement and say, “Look what you just got, isn’t it beautiful?” and then leave the room.  My Uncle worked for a Christian radio station
in Tucson and he had told my story on the radio as well.  I had people praying for me and sending me letters that I didn’t even know.  Rather overwhelming for a quiet teenager.

Amongst the fan fair and flowers I was starting to wilt inside.  Three days had passed since my release from bed bondage and things started getting hard.  This is when God choose to make a big move in my life, in the form of my mother.  My mother is far from perfect.  She struggled most of my childhood with depression and suicidal tendencies.  But she does love me and loves God, and God was going to use her in a mighty way. That morning she sat by my bed and said to me, “Kristi, you can feel sorry for yourself.  You have a good reason too.  No one will hold it against you.  This is a tough thing.  Then again, people that feel sorry for themselves are not very happy.  They don’t have many friends because no one likes to be around people that feel sorry for themselves all the time.  So I guess you can be that way, or you can take what you got, and let God make something beautiful out of it.  You will have a lot more fun, you will be happier, and everyone around you will enjoy being with you.”

Yes, I know that some of your jaws have hit the floor.  This seems rather harsh.  But then again when God is talking to you, you really should lesson.  From that moment on things changed.  I knew she was right.  My own mother had been a perfect example of how depression can consume the joy out of you.

When you let God do miracles He just starts performing one right after another.  God laid on me peace the size of a football field.  My attitude was so noticeably different than everyone in the ICU that they felt it necessary to send a physiatrist to examine me.  I mean everyone else on the spinal cord injury floor was on meds for depression.  They were concerned I was in denial.  After talking to me for over a half hour I am quite sure that they didn’t know what to think of me.  I should not have been that happy.  I cannot describe the peace and joy that I felt, or still feel today, because our human finite minds really can’t comprehend it.

I could go into gory detail,after gory detail of all the events that followed this, but everything comes down to this.  God is God and I am not.  He was not asleep while all this took place.  He was not unable to take proper bed measurements. God saw fit to allow an incredibly shy insecure teenager to show just how loving, powerful and big He is.

Is it a bigger miracle to heal the body or a broken soul, emotionally and spiritually?  Jesus brought up this point once before with another paraplegic much like myself, in Luke 5:23.  Jesus says, “Which is easier, to say, ’Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ’Rise up and walk’?” The real miracle was the transformation of a soul for eternity.
God heals people from the inside out, not the other way around.

The people of the day needed to see a physical miracle to give proper claim to His deity.  I think that people today need to see more than that.  We need to see miracles that defy reason and understanding.  We live in a world so preoccupied with physical comfort and appearance.  If all our bodies looked and worked perfectly, would we be happy then?  We all know the answer.  God longs to give us His joy, but how often do we choose not to take it.  We thrash out—“Why me?  Why can’t I be like her/him?  She/he has it so easy.”  That of course is always a lie from the father of lies himself.  We all have wheelchairs.  Some are seen and others are not.  What is yours?

My accident and your issues are no different.  I cannot claim the corner of the market on suffering. I don’t want you to look at me as disabled, but enabled through Christ to do all things, and go through all things. God longs to bless your socks off!  Please don’t stand in His way by looking at your wheelchair and seeing only giant mountains to push up.  Let Him lift you up on wings like eagles so you can soar over the tops of them.

My life is not ever going to be easy.  My body will never function right on many levels, not just my legs.  Will I, and do I cry sometimes?  Absolutely!  But then God fills me up again with His joy, and I can be reminded again of all His promises.  I don’t have to keep this body because it is only a temporary shell.  Someday I’ll get to turn it in for a new one, and then I’ll fly.