Friday, November 4, 2016



Life can be challenging. For many of us, the world has become an uncertain place. Children are especially vulnerable to the daily bombardment of tragic news, devastating weather events, and disappointment. Social media has assured us that an unsettling event experienced halfway around the world is communicated to us in real time. Shielding children from these events has also become more difficult for parents, family, and educators.

I was inspired to write my newest book, Daisy Finds a Home, as means of showing children that while things may not always happen the way we feel they should, that there are people in our lives that can help to make life better. 

Strong and hopeful are positive words that help children make it through a difficult time.

Children can also help others by remembering that each of us wears a unique set of shoes that take us on unique paths—and all paths have their own unique potholes to navigate.  For example, a friend may seem extra grumpy. Yet, that friend may have just learned that their parent lost his/her job. A classmate may be extra quiet because their best friend moved across the country.

As this is the time of year that people focus on helping others, this is an excellent time to remind children that they can help make another person’s light shine brighter by lending a hand, speaking a kind word, or helping them with an important task. By doing so, children will learn that when a person’s light shines brighter, some of that glow is also cast upon the person that helped.

Included in this blog post are three printables for children to color, cut, and use. The first is a thank you card to share with someone that has helped the children in your life. The second is a reminder to be a friend to others. The third is just for funzies!

Reminder: the eBook version of Daisy Finds a Home will be available for a free download on November 10 and 11, 2016. This read-aloud book is great for the younger crowd—kiddos under the age of 7.

Click the link to take you to the page. The free eBook download is scheduled for November 10 and 11. Thanks.
Link to eBook on Amazon

Thursday, November 3, 2016


Can YOu Make a Whole HOle?

In the story, Pickled Pumpkin Pie: A Thanksgiving Treat, Uncle Pete definitely thinks outside the box. He has a favorite food. He is also patient and waits a long time to enjoy it.
Included in this blog post are instructions and printables to encourage your kiddos to think outside the box—or inside the crust.

So, without further delay….go ahead and have a 'HOLE LOTTA FUN!

(Reminder: The free eBook downloads will be available November 10 and 11.)
Amazing artwork by Jaime Buckley!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

November & a Month of Thanks

November—A Month of Thankfulness

Empty candy wrappers are scattered around the house.
The carved pumpkin has yet to show its age.
The deciduous trees have only recently begun their autumn fashion show.

October is barely behind us, but all eyes are facing forward—to the next two months of thankfulness, togetherness, and abundant generosity.
November is an important time to pause and reflect on the things for which we are thankful. To show my gratitude to the readers of this blog, I will post printables and free eBook reminders (with dates) throughout the month. This way, the kiddos in your life can have some fun while they are dreaming of turkey legs and pumpkin pie—while you find the time to plan and create the feast for the table.

My Thanksgiving-themed book, Pickled Pumpkin Pie, will be available for a free download on November 10th and 11th on Amazon. Jaime Buckley created the amazing artwork for this book. I am attaching three activities that are included in the printed version of the book.

Have fun and THANK YOU for reading this blog.

The link below will take you to the eBook on Amazon. The free download is scheduled for November 10 and 11, 2016.

Monday, August 8, 2016


Ah, summer vacation! What could be better? 
It has been said that August is the national vacation month for the United States. From the increased traffic on the highway, I truly believe that statement is correct. August and vacation travels are definitely a perfect combination: a great way to wind down summer fun before heading back to school.

Today's blog post combines the awesomeness of summer vacation with the excitement of the soon-to-begin school year. By combining the travel destination with math and geography activities, your little ones will be eager to share their summer travel experiences with their classmates.

I have collaborated with a very talented artist, Jaime Buckley, to create a sent of printables and activity suggestions to plot, graph, compare, and discuss summer travels. Did your kiddos have a STAY-cation? No problem. Plot the local destinations that the kiddos visited:the pool, the park, the theater, museums, etc. Combine the distances for each. Your STAY-cation might end up having the highest mileage total of all the kids in your neighborhood.

Travel the World Activities

1. Use the outline of your state, region, country, or continent to plot the distance each child traveled for their vacation. Use online resources to compute the distance traveled.

2. Use the distance traveled to compare with other children in the group. This is a great opportunity to review math concepts such a ordering numbers from least to greatest, greatest to least, calculating the average, calculating the range, etc.

3. Create a bar graph representing the number of children that traveled to a particular spot.

4. Create a pictograph representing the method of travel used by each child.

5. Create a picture with the travel methods. Students can add their own picture or drawing to represent themselves.

The images and printables presented in this activity may be used for no more than one classroom or group. Credit for the artwork must be given to Jaime Buckley, artist of Pickled Pumpkin Pie by Deb Troehler.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Kickstarter, Children's Literature, & a Rainbow of Products

My new favorite web site does not instantly offer educational activities. Nor does this site offer crafting instructions. However, this site does offer the fruits of those efforts and the inspiration to do more.
The site to which I am referring is Kickstarter—and I’m hooked!

By now, anyone connected to the internet, social media, or a television has heard of the concept of crowdfunding. Kickstarter is an artist and creation-based crowdfunding web site that helps folks bring their projects to life. The site is a direct connection to the artists, authors, engineers (yes, engineers!), coders, and creators of all-things-wonderful. As each campaign begins, backers have the opportunity to experience the story behind-the-product, the inspiration, and sometimes even the frustrations faced in completing the project. I think of Kickstarter as an art fair with a twist—the venue reaching worldwide, not just a small community.

As one of my passions is children’s literature and the important message tucked inside the pages of any children's book, I have naturally spent hours exploring the many MANY children’s publishing campaigns on Kickstarter. On any given day, I have discovered book projects that focus on education—teaching youngsters anything from the alphabet to computer coding, the environment, the beauty of art—from mosaics to needle felting, and acceptance—of ourselves as well as the differences in others.

And, needless to say, my postman will be busy over the next few months delivering the final results of all of this exploration. Yes—the backers receive these products some time after the campaign ends (if the goal has been met).

So, to avoid losing the message in the words, I will simply provide the links to some of my favorite projects thus far that are still ongoing. I hope you consider checking them out.

 While these campaigns may have ended, the books may be available online.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Baxter's PAW-lor Trick with Uncle Pete

Artwork by Jaime D. Buckley
Children’s books are so much more than just books. Books provide time for togetherness with a read-aloud. Books are a strong avenue for language development. 
Books are also a springboard for educational activities.

The key is to make the activities fun and to make the activities memorable.
The characters, storyline, and theme of Pickled Pumpkin Pie by deb troehler (link) and 
Jaime D. Buckley (link) definitely provide all of the above-listed opportunities.

When I was creating the follow-up activities for the story, I kept going back to the idea of a whole pie. Soon, that morphed into a HOLE in the pie—which lead to an activity that I used to do with my students. The activity below teaches children not only the difference between circumference and area. But it also helps children expand their minds and think outside the box
—Or, more appropriately, to think INSIDE the pie crust.

At first, Baxter kept thinking about the edge of the pie—or the circumference.
However, he soon figured it out.

The images below are useful for teaching children to cut a hole large enough in a circle to climb through it.

This post was shared on Create-with-Joy. Please check them out.

This post was shared on The Squishable Baby. Please check them out.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Kickstarter Kickoff with a New Book Project

Nearly two years have passed. Where, oh where did the time go? I am sorry that this blog has not received any new posts from me for a while. I realize there are no excuses for such a long delay. However, my dear husband has been battling the Big ‘C’ and my time has been spent with him and working extra hours to help him with his much-needed time off from work. He hasn’t beaten it yet, but I’m confident he will. He’s a fighter and my bestest best friend!

I wanted to take this opportunity to share my newest project—a story and activity book for the kiddos with a Thanksgiving theme. I know that we haven’t even reached Valentine’s Day yet. However, this project was put on hold in 2014 and is begging to be released. The project will hopefully be launched by late spring.

So, without further delay, I’d like to introduce Pickled Pumpkin Pie—a story told in rhyme about a quirky uncle and the family that loves him. This story is a tribute to my dear Aunt Kitty. While she was not a lot like Uncle Pete in respect to his peculiar ways, Aunt Kitty always brought laughter and sunshine into our home with every visit. Families are what it’s all about, after all, and I wanted to find a way to thank Aunt Kitty for making my childhood fun.

For this latest book project, I teamed up with a very talented artist—Jaime D. Buckley. His comic book style was perfect for the characters of this story and I am thrilled and honored that he created the illustrations for this book. He is definitely a “Hero” to me~and to this project.

To help defray some of the costs for this book project, I have also ventured into the world of crowdfunding with a Kickstarter campaign. I discovered this great avenue for supporting projects when I backed a campaign in Baltimore, Maryland—the former home town of my father and grandfather.

Below are some sample activity pages from the print version of the book:
Artwork by Jaime D. Buckley
A Needle-felted Pumpkin Available for One of the Pledge Tiers

Below you will find the link to the project. I hope you consider making a pledge. Thank you in advance.