Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Farewell, Jan Berenstain

This week we lost one of our own and it's a big loss for all of us. Jan Berenstain who wrote 300 books with her husband, Stan Berenstain passed away on Friday.
Children's authors don't always become household names, but the Berenstain Bears books were read daily at my house when the kids were little. These little books with the adorable pictures taught valuable lessons and helped reinforce the lessons I taught my children about manners, how to behave, how to treat others, and sharing.
Michael Berenstain worked with his mother and will continue the line of Berenstain Bears books. Stan and Jan will live on through their books and I will continue reading them to my future grandchildren.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Ok, I'm going to come right out and say it. I've spoken to others who feel the same way. What's the point of Twitter? I look at my account and see a bunch of people desperate for the lime light and each tweet seems to say, "Look at me! Look at me!"

The more people you follow, the more tweets you get each day. My eyes glaze over just looking at it all. I'm trying to follow people who might have something valid or useful to say, but there is so much "stuff" it's hard to find the one tweet that I'd really care to read.

Can someone convince me otherwise?

Monday, February 20, 2012

John and Abigail Adams

John Adams was an American statesman before he became the 2nd President of the United States. As with many of our founding fathers, he spent a great deal of time away from his family, traveling between America, Europe and England, in order to establish America as a free country.

He knew if they were not successful in their attempt to separate this country from England, their very lives would be at stake. Yet he and the other statesmen risked it all for freedom. His sacrifices have benefited each and every American today.

John and his wife Abigail wrote letters to each other while he was away. In their letters, they expressed the importance of the work he was doing, as well as their love for each other.

Abigail wrote to John:

“Dearest John, It feels as though we have spent a far greater portion of our marriage apart, than together. Strange how the sun rises and sets whether you be at my side or not. But in this cause we build a future – it is our legacy – freedom is the best gift we can impart to our children. We shall fight for the rights of men and women, and shall prevail against those who would deny us this agency. I possess no doubt, that with God on our side, we shall have no need to fear what mortal men can do.”

John’s response to her was:

“My Dear Abigail, It is hard indeed to be apart. The price we pay is dear – I marvel that our family remains intact and strong despite this grievous distance, and we both know the dire consequence we will face if we are unsuccessful in our endeavors – but this good work is ours to do – for in our sacrifice we lay the foundation of a nation that will endow all men with equality and the ability to reach their greatest potential – and fill the measure of their creation!”

If they had not been successful in their quest for freedom, they would have been tried for treason. The punnishment for treason was to be hanged, drawn, and quartered with their body parts being sent in different directions. There was no room for error, so they put their full and complete trust in the Almighty to see them through, and as Abigail said, with God on their side, they had no fear for what mortal men could do.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Bulletproof George

Bulletproof George

George Washington was a young Lieutenant during the French and Indian war. At one point, his regiment fought a two hour battle with the Indians in a field in Pennsylvania. They were wearing the British red coats at that time and the soldiers lined up shoulder to shoulder with their muskets, and began marching toward the Indians in the typical battle form of the day. All the officers, including Lt. Washington, were on horseback. The Indians began shooting and aimed for the officers first.

When Washington's horse was shot beneath him, he got on another horse and continued the fight. The second horse was shot beneath him as well. Still, he remained. The ground all around was covered with dead soldiers and all the other officers were killed. Washington stood alone, his red coat daring them to shoot him.

Finally the Indian Chief commanded his warriors to stop firing. “This one is under special protection of the Great Spirit.” He said.

One Warrior said, “I had seventeen clear shots at this man… and I could not bring him to the ground. This man was not born to be killed by a bullet.”

When the fighting was over, Washington looked down at his coat. There were four holes in the cloth. He pulled it off and examined the skin underneath the bullet holes. There was not a single scratch on his skin.

In 1775, fifteen years later, Washington was chosen to be the Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. It didn’t seem right to accept a salary from an army that barely could feed its soldiers, so he declined their generous offer of pay. Before his commission began, he went to the field where he'd fought with the Indians.

The Chief who he’d fought against, came to pay his respects. He said, “I am a chief and ruler over my tribes. My influence extends to the waters of the great lakes and to the far Blue Mountains. I have traveled a long and weary path that I might see the young warrior of the great battle. It was on the day when the white man's blood mixed with the streams of our forest that I first beheld this chief. I called to my young men and said, ‘mark yon tall and daring warrior? He is not of the red-coat tribe--he hath an Indian's wisdom, and his warriors fight as we do—he himself is alone and exposed. Quick, let your aim be certain, and he dies.’ Our rifles were leveled, rifles which, but for you, knew not how to miss. Twas all in vain. A power mightier far than we, shielded you. Seeing you were under the special guardianship of the Great Spirit, we immediately ceased to fire at you. I am old and soon shall be gathered to the great council fire of my fathers in the land of shades, but ere I go, there is something bids me speak in the voice of prophecy. Listen! The Great Spirit protects that man.” He pointed toward Washington, “and guides his destinies--he will become the chief of nations, and a people yet unborn will hail him as the founder of a mighty empire. I am come to pay homage to the man who is the particular favorite of Heaven, and who can never die in battle.”

George Washington stood a head taller than most men and was a formidable figure in his uniform and epaulettes. His demeanor and stature gave him an instant air of authority, though he was a humble man.

If you'd like to learn more about the father of our country, I recommend reading 1776, by David McCullough.

Foundation of a Nation

Last night I attended a Lincoln Day Dinner at the governor's mansion. The event was centered around stories in the play I wrote entitled Foundation of a Nation. As you can imagine, it was a gala that I'll remember for a long time with food, stories, music, the ROTC color guard, and lots of socializing. I'm honored to have the recognition of my work and for the appreciation that people have shown. As I've mentioned before, they are stories that used to be in school text books, but aren't any longer. This is the good stuff.

If educators want to light a fire under students and ignite their interest in History, these stories would do the trick. I'll be passing them on to my children so they know them, and posting them here so you can read them as well.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Information Overload

We all want to stay on the cutting edge of our business, but have you noticed that there is so much information out there it becomes overwhelming? Whose information should we pay attention to? How do we maximize our time? I don't know about you, but I don't have time to read fifteen articles a day. Besides writing, I have a busy life to take care of and just want to cut to the chase.

Check out today's article on A-List Blog Marketing entitled: Overwhelmed with Blog Marketing Input? 7 Places to Prioritize Your Output