Children's Books

Eva Evergreen, Semi Magical Witch

Eva Evergreen has dreamed of being a witch. As her thirteenth birthday approaches, she must pass her Novice Test in order to keep her magic. If she fails the test, she will lose her magic forever. The trouble is that Eva only has a pinch of magic and it doesn’t always work as she plans. She eventually finds herself in a small town far from home and sets up a magical repair shop, hoping that will be enough to pass her test. Will she be able to help the town and earn her Novice rank?

Julie Abe takes us on a magical adventure as seen through the eyes of Eva Evergreen. Through an unlikely series of events, Eva works through challenges on her way to becoming a witch. Eva makes friends along the way, who help her and watch out for her. A journey of self discovery and leaning to believe in herself, Eva makes her way in the world.

I enjoyed reading this magical adventure and can’t wait to read the next one in the series!

Slice of Life 2020

On the Hunt

I have searched everywhere…Meijer and Target while grocery shopping. Online…Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google in general.

I could not find my way of staying calm and relaxing. With the current pandemic, there were not any puzzles to be had! Who knew so many people were into completing puzzles?

Finally, I saw an email from my local bookstore, Anderson’s. They were open and doing curb side pickup. I could call and they would help me find puzzles over the phone. An interesting concept to say the least. But, it was worth a try.

I called and spoke to the nicest lady. I told her what I was looking for in a puzzle and she went to search the shelves. She came back and described the puzzles to me. I told her that they sounded great. I then asked if there was a limit because if there wasn’t, I was looking for six puzzles for my friend and I! She went back and forth two more times before I had six puzzles that I thought would be fun to complete.

I drove to the bookstore later that morning, and parked right out front, as there was ample parking. I called and the puzzles were brought outside in a very large, green bag. She waved to me and then went back inside. I then exited my car, grabbed the bag, and was quickly on my way.

While not the conventional way to shop for puzzles, I am truly grateful. Puzzles help me stay calm and relax, a major necessity in my days. While most might not call picking up puzzles essential, I am grateful that I had the opportunity to pick up some puzzles.

Now, the question is which one to start???

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Missing You

The past few weeks have been tough for everyone. But as an adult, I feel that I can find ways to cope. What pains me is when I can’t make it better for my daughters.

Sophia has said, more than once today, that she misses her teachers and friends. And that is something that I can’t make better. She understands that there is a virus and that she can’t go to school. But she does not have a concept of time and she doesn’t understand how long this will really last.

As a mom, this pains me so much. I am trying to make everything as fun as possible and to follow her lead. I want my happy go lucky Sophia back. She is struggling even more with her outbursts. Things that have worked in the past are not working now.

So I will hug her a little more. I will be patient with her. I will follow her lead. I will pray that I can comfort her.

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Swimming

As I write today, I am listening to my girls in the bath. Today’s bath is not for the purpose of getting clean. The purpose of today’s bath is to have fun.

They walked into my bathroom with their towels and pajamas. In addition, they carried in goggles and diving toys. Yes, today’s bath time adventure was to pretend that they are swimming in a pool.

I have sat on my bed, getting various computer projects started, and listening to them. They have had so much fun diving and imagining they are on the beach. Lots of giggles and splashing have occurred. While I am sure that my bathroom is a wet mess, it is worth it to hear them giggle and enjoy each other.

The last conversation was regarding what we were having for dinner.

Izzie: I know what I want for dinner…popcorn!

Mommy: That’s not what is for dinner.

Izzie: What’s for dinner?

Mommy: Food.

Izzie: Popcorn is food!

She had me there. I may just let her have the popcorn for dinner.

Slice of Life 2020

Saturday

I used to love a Saturday where we had nothing scheduled to do. They were far and few between. We always had so many things going on, that Saturdays were rarely spent at home.

Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, all days feel like those sacred Saturdays where there is nothing to do. No place to go. No one to visit. While I craved them in the past, I am struggling this Saturday. I have had so many days at home that I want nothing more than to have to go somewhere. I know those days are still a long ways away.

I will relish in the fact that I slept in till 7:25 this morning, which is late for me. I laid in bed long enough that I enjoyed snuggles with Isabella. I laid there even longer and she went to her room, bringing back a book to read, without being asked. I will enjoy the fact that I could stay in my pajamas all morning and work on a puzzle. I will enjoy the walk Sophia and I were able to squeeze in before the rain.

But on the flip side, it is hard to face the unknown. It is hard knowing that we will wake up tomorrow, again with no place to go or no one to visit. I will continue staying home, as safety is my number one. But I do miss a little of the normalcy.

Slice of Life 2020

Daddy’s Little Helper

Hardwood floor is going in upstairs. While I know I will love it when it is finished, it is not exactly fun while it is being installed. Walking on subfloor, getting splinters, and the loud pitter patter of feet, even little feet, has not been fun. Padding helped.

Today marked the beginning of the wood installation. I should not have been at home, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all home…together. I have not been asked to help. I have not offered to help. It is not my project and I am good with that.

If you know me, sounds can really bother me. The noise associated with the installation has not been good for me today. There is no where to go in the house to escape. My office offers a slight respite from the sound, but it is by no means quiet. Imagine being on a Zoom call with a class of fifth graders and having saws and hammers going. It is not ideal to say the least.

But, as I have been trying to focus on the positive, here it is for this project. The girls, especially Izzie, have enjoyed helping their daddy. They sort the wood and help pick out the pieces that will be put in next. And they take it very seriously, work gloves to protect their hands and headphones to block out the noise.

As I am sitting here writing, Izzie stands on the top of the stairs. “Mommy, do you know what that noise is?”

Mommy: “No, what is it?”

Izzie: “Daddy hammering because he can’t use the spline.”

Mommy: “What is spline?”

Izzie: “Hold on, I’ll show you. Spline is a piece of wood that connects wood to wood. There’s no tongue so I can’t put it in (as she shows me the wood and how it won’t go together). So we have to use spline to connect this.”

I have no idea what any of this means, but she sure does! Proud of Izzie and her daddy!

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Walk and Chalk

Today, everyone kept talking about how nice the weather was going to be and that we should get outside. While we have been doing this most days, I was excited about the possibility of warmer weather.

We finally made it out late in the afternoon and it was not all that warm. The wind made it chilly and there was no sun. But we pressed on!

Instead of a scavenger hunt on our walk, we grabbed bags of sidewalk chalk and headed out. Every so often, the girls would stop to draw and write on the path. Kindness rocks and smiley faces and people and rainbows appeared on the path. The girls shared some kindness and happiness for others to see as they were out and about.

While it wasn’t much, it was our way of spreading some happiness. These days, we will take what we can get! The news isn’t positive, but we are trying hard to stay positive and encourage our girls to spread kindness. Hope this brightens your day!

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Feel Better Mommy

I went to bed last night feeling very uneasy, and not exactly sure why. There are so many things going on right now, but nothing had changed so I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I went to bed, hoping I would feel better in the morning.

No such luck. I woke up feeling worse than the night before. As usual, I was the only one awake. I tried to fall back to sleep, but again, no such luck.

I quietly made my way downstairs and put on Good Morning America. I don’t often watch the news, but I try to when I can. So, since the girls were not awake, I decided to tune in and see what was happening. So much sadness and scariness and unknown. It did not help the anxiety.

Eventually, Jim and the girls joined me downstairs and I turned off the news. Gratefully, Jim stepped in today and helped me out. I took time to work on my puzzle. It was while I was working that Izzie said not to look at what she was doing, so I didn’t. When she finished, she handed me a drawing she had created, of me and her, saying “Feel better soon mommy.” It melted my heart. She knew that I needed something to cheer me up and she put a smile on my face.

It is so true that our children tune into our feelings and can often read us better than we can read ourselves. While the note didn’t take the anxiety away, it sure did let me know how loved I am. I have someone in my corner who truly cares for and about me.

Slice of Life 2020

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?

March 23, 2020…The start of spring break for the girls. Yes, we are on a stay at home order, but we can still go outside and enjoy the nice weather, practicing social distancing of course.

Oh wait, we awoke to snow. Cold temperatures and snow on the ground. Happy spring!

We still ventured outside to go for a walk. Our goal was to visit the bird feeder Izzie’s class made a few months ago! We were scavenger hunters, bird hunters, singers, and mathematicians, all on an hour walk. However, we never did find that elusive cardinal. Try as we might, we were not able to capture its picture.

As we headed for home, the sun began to peek out from behind the clouds. The girls were now in a hurry so they could play outside before all of the snow melted.

Once home, they quickly got themselves dressed in snow gear…all by themselves for the first time ever! Usually, it’s mom help me with this, mom help me with that. Today, not a single ask for help.

They were not out long, but they had fun and creatively built a sledding snowman. When finished, I was told to come and take a picture, which I gladly did. It was a cute snowman! Extremely wet, they finally made it back inside, when I finally was asked for help.

The snow was melted by the time we went for a second walk in the afternoon, but the snowman still stood.