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Passion: Why should you develop it?

When I was a little girl, my passion was horses and riding. Fortunately, I grew up at a beautiful riding school called Sweetbrier. For me, it was a place where dreams come true. It was magical. In my case, when I wasn’t walking at nearly four-years-old, my dad took me to a specialist. Everything changed when the doctor announced I’d never walk. I still remember my dad strongly voicing his disapproval. (He told the doctor where he could go with that opinion) With that, Daddy scooped me up and stormed out of the office. What happened next?  Daddy said the doctor was flat-out wrong. Daddy decided instantly to change the course of my life. He said, “I’m going to teach you to ride and you’ll be f...
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New beginnings: amazing

What if your little brother had Down Syndrome and only knew “about twelve words?” Would you feel there was no way you could improve his vocabulary? Apparently, Lydia Gray had another idea of how she could help her little brother, Bo, who is twenty-five months old. What dis she do? She sang “You Are My Sunshine” to him. What happened next is the most amazing part. Lydia remembered every word her baby brother knows came from a song.  After just a few minutes of playing the the song, Bo learned “happy,” “gray,” “dear” and “away.”  Lydia made a video singing and playing her guitar to Bo. Be sure to check it out here: Share if you like. It’s downright adorable. You’ll see that every day is an opp...
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Family: Anthony Berry

Have you ever wondered what it would be like not to have a family? Suppose you grew up in foster care and never missed having a family until you met someone special.   Anthony  has been in foster care since he was nine-years-old. Now he’s sixteen and well aware most children are not adopted when they are teenagers. But things changed for Anthony when he met is English teacher, Bennie Berry.  She described him as a “model student.” Anthony felt such a bond with Bennie that he asked her to adopt him after he’d been in her class for only two months. Did Bennie say yes? Not exactly, but she did say if Anthony completed “A certain assignment, she’d consider it.” After Anthony finished his assignm...
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children’s books: horses and helping others

As you may know I love writing children’s books. Each book focuses on good character like kindness, friendship, sharing, or helping others. My goal is to show children to follow their dreams. I did and the best part was beating the odds. Whether you love children’s books, horses, or something else, it’s wonderful to have a caring nature. If you love uplifting real-life stories featuring children, you’ll enjoy meeting  Andrea Ramirez. She earned the Student  of the Week honor at The John Hancock Magnet School in Utah. What makes Andrea stand out? She loves helping others. For example, when Andrea learned a student in her school would lose her hair after cancer treatments, Andrea instantly dec...
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Pony: How to polish him

When you were little did you dream of owning a pony?  I loved ponies, but luckily for me, I grew up at a riding school in Connecticut. Thinking of my first pony makes me smile. His name was Little Man. He was brown and fuzzy, but quite naughty. Little Man was a calm, lazy fellow. On the bright side, I never had to worry that he’d get excited and gallop away. He did have one odd habit though. He liked to sleep when I was riding him. He’d lie down with me on his back. But finally, I learned to watch out when he started walking slower and slower. Then I’d give him a kick to make him keep walking; problem solved. Let’s say you want to groom your pony. What would you do? First, you’d use a curry ...
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High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center: Meet Amazing Melissa

Today I’m sharing my thoughts on an incredible riding center called High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center in Old Lyme, Connecticut. Are you familiar with therapeutic riding? Did you know riding helps children and adults with numerous disabilities such as; autism, cerebral palsy, and even blindness. I’d like to introduce you to a young lady who rode at High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center for many years. She’s totally blind. Isn’t that incredible? I watched the video about Melissa’s experiences at High Hopes Farm. Her beautiful position, and skills will amaze you. In the video, Melissa explains she began riding at “About four-years-old.” She states riding appealed most to her because of the”Fr...
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Therapy horses: Healing powers


Deanie and Do All picture from “My Life at Sweetbrier” You may have heard about therapy dogs, but what about therapy horses?   Do you know what their job is? They help children to have fun and experience the thrills of riding.  Not only that, but riding horses improves their motor skills and muscle strength. Today I read about a brother and sister who ride at an equine therapy center. Their parents remarked about how much riding has helped their children. In fact, their son is in a wheelchair, but he loves riding horses. It has built his confidence and self-esteem while he’s having fun relating to his horse. If you have a child with a disability, it’s a great idea to support a therapeutic ri...
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kid’s books: pioneer

What would you do if you were the first ever to do something? Would you feel like a pioneer? Maybe Mikayla Holmgren feels that way because she’s the first young lady to have Down’s syndrome and compete for Miss America. Isn’t that remarkable? Perhaps Mikayla will write good kid’s books to explain her experience. Mikayla won two awards during the pageant. One was The Spirit of the USA award, while the other is the Director’s Award. She received a standing ovation when her name was announced. What does Mikayla think? “”I’m just really excited, it’s out in the world and people are going to know about this,” Holmgren said in April. “I want to do this, on my own and I’m really, really proud of my...
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Kid’s books: bullies

These days bullying is all too common in schools.  Little eight-year-old Sophia Spencer knows about bullying because she loves bugs. Sophia likes walking around school with one of her bug friends on her shoulder. But her classmates didn’t understand the attraction to bugs. If I knew Sophia, I’d have suggested some kid’s books dealing with bullying, such as my book, Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog. “The youngster had been teased for how much she loved bugs.” When she played with grasshoppers, the other second graders at her elementary school called her “weird.” Sophia’s Mom, Nicole, became concerned about the bullying at school. What could she do to help? Nicole  sent a letter  to the E...
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children’s books: Interview with author, Melissa Johns- part 3


  Hi everyone, today we have the pleasure of welcoming back authors of several children’s books, Melissa-Sue John and her daughters, Olivia and Alyssa. “Do you think you’d like to be an author when you grow up? Alyssa: I want to be an author. My mom thinks I am very artistic, so who knows? I’m so pleased to hear you’re using your talents, Alyssa and Olivia. I helped my dad in our business too. Melissa-Sue, do you have any projects you’re working on right now? Right now, I am helping other children authors get their books published. But I have a list of STEAM topics I want to complete in the future. It’s exciting you’re helping other children who are authors to develop their talents. It’s gre...
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children’s books: Interview with children’s author Melissa John-part 2


Welcome back everyone. This is part 2 of my interview with amazing children’s author, Melissa-Sue John and her daughters, Alyssa and Olivia. I think it’s wonderful that your children are involved with your children’s  books. You can all share ideas together. It must be such fun.  Tell us how you help your mom? Olivia: I like telling her about my experiences with acting and modeling. I help my mom by giving her ideas and suggestions Alyssa: I help with editing and providing suggestions to make the book more age appropriate and relatable. My mom is a professor so sometimes she uses words that are too advanced for the age group we are serving. It’s so exciting you’re an actress and model, Olivi...
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Children’s books: working together-part 1


Hi everyone, Today we have the great pleasure of talking with  Professor Melissa-Sue John.  This is the first part of her interview. The second part will be posted soon. You’re going to love all she has to share with us. Thank you so much for chatting with me today, Melissa-Sue. I’m thrilled to have you and to discuss your wonderful  children’s books. Did you always want to be an author? Melissa-Sue: No. I just wanted to be a professor because I loved to teach. Then by the end of graduate school, I felt the desire to aspire to be a published author. I drafted several novels but never finished any. I’ve read and reviewed one of your books. You are most gifted.   Melissa-Sue John            Ca...
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kid’s books: Big dreams

When you read kid’s books are you impressed by children who have big dreams and go after them? I know I am. I love to see children who have goals and work toward them. Little eleven-year-old Frank Giaccio is one of those. How do I know? Frank has a lawn mowing business so he wrote to President Trump saying he’d love to help mow the lawn at the White House someday. In fact, Frank wrote  it would be “his honor” to mow the White House lawn.  He even enclosed a copy of the menu of his services along with the letter. At the time he wrote the letter, Frank was only ten- years-old. Imagine how excited Frank felt when the president invited him to do exactly that. Press secretary Sarah Sanders tweete...
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kid’s books: great advice

What if you’re bullied in school and you want to do something to change that? Little  eleven-year-old Ciro Ortiz wondered about that for some time. But  he found a solution. He set up a table and chair in the New York City subway and gave advice to others. He charged $2. per session to share his views. Don’t you think he could write an educational kid’s book about his experiences? “It’s a good way to give back and make money,” the 11-year-old told The Post. “One recent afternoon, a couple stopped by Ciro’s card table for some marital counseling. The husband was unhappy that his wife had recently gone vegan. “I told him that she didn’t get mad at him for eating meat,” Ciro said. “She likes to...
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children’s books: A mission

How many young men do you know who make it their mission to help others? Some might write children’s books, while others could volunteer to aid those in need.  Summertime is a great time for lawn mowing, but most young people don’t enjoy that. Not so, for Rodney Smith, Jr. He’s made it his mission to help those in need by mowing their lawns, if they are unable to do it themselves. How did Rodney get the idea? One day he saw an elderly man having trouble mowing his lawn so Rodney took helped him out. Rodney felt it was “his responsibility to set up and try to help others.” What exactly did he do? He spent his summer mowing “Over 100 lawns in his area, all of which belong to” elderly people, d...
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kid’s books: amazing

Do you love kid’s books where the characters make a difference? What if one of your  fourth-grade classmates had a serious disease? What would you do to help? Owen Guertin of Carondelet Catholic School in Minneapolis, Minnesota had a disease which required complex surgery. Owen’s blood vessels in his brain were tangled. When he left school to start preparing for the surgery, his friends missed him. What could they do to help? One thing they did was to save Owen’s seat in the classroom. Who sat there? Owen’s favorite teddy bear, wearing a school uniform. Wasn’t that sweet? Still one of the students said, “Nothing was the same without Owen.” One day the teacher, Ms. Rafferty, read a story abou...
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Kid’s books: caring

Do you love kid’s books where the main character wants to make a difference to others? I do, and I tend to remember what happens in that story as well. What about nine-year-old Carl, who donated 3500 comic books to hospitalized military members. Carl loved comics so he decided they would help cheer up veterans, so he contacted The Veterans Affairs Administration about distributing the comic books. Of course, Carl didn’t have as many books as he needed so he asked his friends to contribute some of theirs. When he made his first stop at a hospital to leave off the books, he was pleased at the reception.   Carl said“They felt really grateful for the donation because all of the books would go to...
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animal stories for kids: opportunities

If you love animal stories for kids you’ll want to hear more about an amazing young lady named Kyla Sullivan. She’s twelve-years-old and she’s already accomplished so much. For example, she “received ribbons at the 2016 Pony Finals. In fact, she was the “national reserve champion in the Small Green Hunter Pony division.” Kayla won several other equestrian awards, but she also has earned honors at her middle school. Kyla had many wonderful opportunities to improve her skills as a rider. She spends winters in Florida competing in very prestigious competitions. According to her teacher, “Kyla has natural ability to adjust her riding style to any horse you put her on.” Some of you may know I gre...
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Kid’s books: Joy

Have you ever read kid’s books that bring joy into your life? These books make you smile from cover to cover.  I love reading books like that because I remember them and the messages they shared. As you may know, I love writing children’s books, which are uplifting and positive. Each one shares a special message. For example, Charlene the Star is the story of a beautiful red horse who doesn’t fit in with her friends. Her best friends, Blossom and Shy Ann, dream of becoming famous racehorses. But Charlene isn’t thrilled with racing. She finds it boring. Charlene even considers becoming a model until she learns they must diet constantly. She instantly decides even though her lovely red coat wo...
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children’s books: perseverance

What if you had a big dream but no one would give you a chance to see what you could do? I felt like that sometimes when I was little because kids wouldn’t give me a chance to play games with them because I could’t run like them. Some of my children’s books deal with the power of perseverance and setting goals. For example, Tails of Sweetbrier highlights perseverance and Charlie the Horse, setting goals. Have you heard about a young man named Jamarion Styles? He lost most of his arms, due to a rare bacterial infection he had as a baby. But Jamarion has a great attitude and a big dream. Every day he asked kids at the local community center if he could play basketball with them. Over and over ...
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