A Merry Marine Christmas

It was Christmas morning at the Yuletide Pools but there was one festive fish who was not happy.

“Coral?” Shrieked Dolly Fin. “A stocking full of coral?”

She couldn’t believe it. She had done everything imaginable to stay on the Nice List: decorated the reef with wreaths, served fishy pudding at the food tank, and even performed “Jingle Shells” at the sea-nior center.

“What’s the porpoise of trying?” She wondered as she plunked herself onto a sunken ship.

Suddenly, a submarine shot through the surf. It was glittered and golden with a glowing red light. Green letters on its side read, “Underwater Santa Sleigh- North Pole.”

Then St. Nick himself, in a bright red SCUBA suit, popped out of the submarine and swam right over to the forlorn fish. He fumbled around in his Santa sack for a moment then pulled out the one thing Dolly Fin had always wanted: a pair of glass flippers.

“Sorry about the mixup!” He said, “You weren’t on my Naughty List. You were on my Nautical List!”


A Halloween Poem!

The Candy-Napper

By Kathryn Rammell


Halloween is ending when noises from the shadows creep,

And wake you from your stone-dead sleep.

Is it the sound of old bones crunching?

Is it the sound of monsters munching?


Your trick or treat bag is torn and tattered,

Strewn across the room and scattered.

You follow trails of candy corn and wrappers

When you discover a candy-napper!


Chocolate smeared on rosy lips,

Covered in caramel and potato chips.

The culprit looks with guilty eyes,

And it’s a face you recognize…











A couple of months ago I posted on a Facebook group asking for recommendations on picture books that combine humor with beautiful illustrations. One member recommended the book FREDERICK and I was immediately drawn to it because I had just had a baby two months prior and we named him Frederick.

When I was pregnant I was not a fan of the name, but my husband kept insisting that he just KNEW that was his name. So I went with it (besides, I couldn’t think of a name I liked any better!) Fast forward two months after Fred was born I learned about this book and I immediately set off to find it.

The story FREDERICK is about a family of mice busily collecting food for winter. But one, named Frederick, looks as though he isn’t doing a single thing to help out. When his family asks him why he sits around all day he replies by saying he is collecting sun rays, colors, and words. They ignore him and continue their work. Winter comes and after some time they run out of supplies. They are cold, hungry, and discouraged. So they ask Frederick to share his supplies. He tells them to close their eyes and he reminds them of the warm sun, wonderful colors, and tells them a beautiful story about the seasons.

This year has been a really difficult one for my family and, in short, it’s been a very long winter. Then my Frederick was born. He is so peaceful and sweet and even though he doesn’t look like he’s doing much, he has brought so much joy to our home. He is my little winter mouse bringing all the warmth, color, and words into my soul. My husband was right; Frederick really is the perfect name for this little guy. ❤



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Every night my daughter and I pile books upon my bed and crawl next to each other. She snuggles up against me. I kiss her head. Then I read to her until her heart’s content. Sometimes it lasts only five minutes; usually it goes on for a half hour.

Last night, after I read to her, we said our nightly prayer. I placed her into her crib. I sang her a few songs. And as I left the room I bid her goodnight and told her I loved her. She shouted back, “G’night! Wuv you!” It’s the first time she’s told me that she loves me and my heart nearly burst.




The Balancing Act



The Balancing Act. A beautiful, fun and whimsical painting done by James Christensen. It also perfectly sums up our life and so a print of it hangs in our bedroom. The last month Stuart has worked night shifts 6 days a week for 13 hour shifts. The little time he has at home when he’s awake is spent in a mad dash of playing with the kids, hopefully squeezing in an exercise, getting ready for work, and shoveling down a plate of dinner before heading back to work. It’s a dizzying schedule that has the two of us with dark circles under our eyes. But we are happy. Sometimes it feels like that video of the sinking kayak where the couple continues to paddle along as though they aren’t up to their chins in water. But paddling on we go!



My little girl LOVES playing in any bit of water. It could be the tiniest little puddle and she’ll find it and make use of it (and to my horror probably try to lick it.) From her very first bath as a newborn to the hour-long adventures she now takes, this girl was made to be a mermaid. I wanted to capture that spirit in this watercolor of my little guppy.