Thursday, March 29, 2012

Talented Young Writer Kaleela Thompson

 Children's Book by Kaleela Thompson
Have you ever been truly inspired to just be better? To reach for a goal beyond the ordinary.  This is what I experienced during a visit at a butterfly garden back in September.  This was no ordinary visit but one with a purpose.  I wanted my daughters to meet an aspiring young author in hopes that her motivation, determination, and positive attitude would be something they could glean from.  Needless to say I was not disappointed but inspired myself to reach for something higher, after meeting 12-year old Kaleela Thompson of Hampton, VA.  Kaleela is not only a brilliant young student but at 12 years of age she is a published author, speaker, blog radio host, website designer, and last but not least butterfly expert.  We took the hour and an half long drive to Hampton to one of Kaleela's book signings to see first hand how this young lady took her love of butterflies and transformed it into a wonderful children's book.  So great is her book that she is one of only 12 authors to be invited to the state conference for the Virginia Association of Early Childhood Education in March 2012.

Kids Posing With Their New Friend Kaleela

During our visit Kaleela took my oldest daughter on a tour of her butterfly garden.  She graciously explained the life cycle of her butterflies while patiently listening to the questions of my awe inspired 7 year old.  All in all we probably spent at least 1 hour outside with Kaleela and her mother discussing butterflies, Kaleela's book, her Kid Gardner's Club, and a whole list of other topics.  Her mother was extremely gracious and shared Kaleela's enthusiasm for butterflies and literacy.  My daughter was truly inspired and has taken up an interest in drawing butterflies.  Also, we left the garden that day with two caterpillars and 2 parsley plants for both of my daughters to observe.  It was truly and awesome day.
Back at home with our new catipillers and parsley plants

I could go on and on but would like to encourage you to visit Kaleela's Facebook page.  Also below is a link where you will find information about ordering her book entitled, "Oh Where Oh Where is my Swallowtail?" In this book you journey with Kaleela as she explores her backyard garden in search for her beloved Swallowtail butterfly.  Along the way she encounters some unexpected backyard friends.  This is an excellent first reader that comes with a bookmark with common sight words as well as a read along audio CD.  This would be the perfect gift for any young reader.

Purchase Kaleela's Book from Barnes and Noble at the following link:

or from Eggleston Services:

Here is an article from the Daily Press about Kaleela Thompson, her book, and love for butterflies:

Join Kaleela on Facebook: Join on Facebook

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Recipe Links

Below are some of my tried and true recipes.  Enjoy!

Easy Kid Friendly Flax Seed Pancakes
Spinach Breakfast Smoothies
Go To Granola

Soups and Stews
Delicious Minestrone Soup
Creamy Vegetable Soup

Homemade Chicken Pot-Pie

Mouthwatering Homemade Biscuits

Christa's Hot Cocoa

Strawberry Jam

Home Management Links

Below are a list of links that provide recipes, menus, lists, and other tools I use when managing my home.  Hope you enjoy.

Menu Planning Pages:
Weekly Menu Plan Template - Blank
(this prints well and can be placed on your refrigerator for everyone to see)