Word Search - No More Gunk

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Topsy Turvy Word Search

Word Search using words found in the picture book Topsy Turvy Land. Have fun!

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Word Search - Bradybug

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Illustrator, Kit Grady's Blog: Kit Grady Creations: BRADYBUG

No More Gunk & OUCH! Sunburn Crossword Puzzle

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Click HERE for answers.

Topsy Turvy Moment with Ellie Braun-Haley

We've all had moments when our life, career, or writing journey turned topsy turvy. Things change - many times for the better, although it might not seem so at the time.

Today my guest is Ellie Braun-Haley. Let's read about her life-changing and touching moment she shared when I asked, "Have you had a time in your life, career, or writing journey where everything turned ‘topsy turvy’?"

The day my world turned upside down was a day when everything felt "off" and I could not understand why it felt that way. I was away in another city for a day and when I returned home, my 17-year-old son was not home. He had been away for the day competing but he should have been back. The "off" feeling grew stronger and I felt like the world was ending. Everything was weird and my feeling of panic increased.

When the police came to my door, I could not accept the news they handed me. "Please don't tell me my son is dead. Just take me to him. He's really in the hospital and he's going to be all right."

But they would not take me to him and he was not all right. He had been killed on his way to compete. All that day when I was feeling out of sorts, it was because my world, as I knew it, no longer existed. Jason was gone!

I was very close to my son and when he died in a vehicle accident at the tender age of 17, I thought I would never see him again nor hear his voice, but I was wrong in my assumption. Life often holds more for us than we could ever imagine, and God in His wisdom, gives us opportunities we need to heal us and to move forward.

It was God who helped put my world back together again. My Heavenly Father led me, comforted me, and sent others to help me find my way back to harmony. God used this new time in my life to introduce me to things I had never even dreamed of. He walked with me and helped me to "see" again, but with a new perspective. And God introduced me to hundreds of people who talked to me and shared wondrous stories, stories that I recorded and eventually published in a book.

Five years after Jason's death God gave me something else I desperately ached for. Jason, of course was never far from my thoughts and one day, the pain of missing my son returned so abruptly I broke down, sobbing. Between huge gulps, I spoke to God in prayer, begging Him to give me a dream where I could once more see my tall, beautiful, blond-haired son. I pleaded. I begged. I cried. “It is very easy for you, God. This is so simple. Please, please give me this dream. I miss him so much. All I ask for is a hug. That’s easy for you, just one hug in a dream.” I cried on and begged as if my life depended upon this one thing. In those five years since his death, I had dreams every night, but not once had Jason been in any dream. I ached with a mother’s heart, yearning to see my son, to hold him, if only in a dream.

God answered my prayers and I indeed got my dream. Strangely though in my dream, Jason was not the tall 17-year-old son. He was much younger – he might have been seven years old. In the dream, I was chastising him for something he had done. I said, “Jason, don't do that. Do you want to get killed?"

And this little blue-eyed boy, my son, looked at me and spoke the most compelling words he ever uttered, “But Mom, death isn't forever."

I awoke and immediately felt upset. I thought, “Five years without a dream and now I don't even get a hug!”

Then as I became more fully awake, it dawned on me I had just been given something far better. Jason had returned to me as a child to comfort me. My son had given me words that have filled me with hope again and again ever since that night. Any time I ache for reassurance and comfort, I need only recall that one sentence from Jason, “But mom, death isn’t forever.”

My topsy turvy world had righted itself, with help from God!

Thank you, Ellie, for sharing your Topsy Turvy Moment. Be sure to check out her web site for more stories.

St. Patrick's Day Hidden Picture Puzzle/Coloring Page

A special treat! A hidden picture puzzle for St. Patrick's Day by Liz Ball. To order books with her hidden picture puzzles or other books (like Topsy Turvy Land!) from Hidden Pictures Publishing, click HERE. Enjoy!

*Click on the picture, then print! It will print out full size ready to be colored. If that doesn't work with your printer, right click on the picture, and then 'save picture as...' and then you can print it out using your photo program.

Would you like to know more about St. Patrick? Click HERE to visit to read all about him.

Topsy Turvy Moment with Lisa Simmons

Greasing%20the%20SkidsWe've all had moments when our life, career, or writing journey turned topsy turvy. Things change - many times for the better, although it might not seem so at the time.

Today my guest is Lisa Simmons. Let's read about her life-changing moment she shared when I asked, "Have you had a time in your life, career, or writing journey where everything turned ‘topsy turvy’?"

My topsy turvy moment was a gradual one. I realize about 5 years ago when my youngest child (my only daughter) started high school that I was soon going to be out of a job... "MOM." I had been a stay-at-home mom for about 25 years and loved it, but knew that some day it would end. That time was bearing down on me like a freight train. So I began doing what I had always wanted to do, slowly at first and gradually picking up steam - writing, singing, and mentoring young moms.

Now that my daughter is a freshman in college, I'm so glad that I started early in preparing myself for "empty nest". I have enjoyed every stage of motherhood and am enjoying this one as well. You can listen to some of my "mom songs" at

Thanks, Lisa, for sharing your Topsy Turvy Moment. Be sure to check out her fun songs! 

A Real Life Hidden Picture

Almost all of my children's books have hidden pictures in them. When I saw this picture, I laughed. Tell me - how many pups are in this picture?

4 Coloring Books Giveaway

One of my Facebook friends is giving away coloring books. Debbie Meyer is a children's book illustrator and is giving away her set of 4 coloring books!

Just go to her blog at "Little Deb's Doodlings" and leave a comment to have your name put in the hat. She'll draw a winner on February 14.


Topsy Turvy Moment with Donna McDine

We've all had moments when our life, career, or writing journey turned topsy turvy. Things change - many times for the better, although it might not seem so at the time.

Today my guest is Donna McDine. Let's read about her life-changing moment when I asked, "Have you had a time in your life, career, or writing journey where everything turned ‘topsy turvy’?"

My goodness, I don’t know a person who could say 'no' to this question. As for me, the Fall/Winter of 2009 went all ‘topsy turvy.’ What began as a cold turned into a sinus infection, then bronchitis. The doctor immediately put me on antibiotics which I had an allergic reaction to and had to come off pronto. With my immune system not up to par, I then came down with the dread swine flu. I thought was sick before. Boy, was I wrong! My energy level was zapped. My body was telling to me to rest, but my head was swirling with what I wanted to accomplish to keep my writing momentum going. I foolishly struggled to partake in social networking and answering emails and then exhaustion would set in.

My husband and children stepped up to the plate and took over the household duties (which I won’t bore you with, since you all basically do the same mundane tasks), and friends helped out with the driving the girls to their extracurricular activities. Once my husband was aware of me sneaking computer time when he wasn’t home he had the girls lock the computer with a password. I know this sounds terrible, but he saved me from being my own worst enemy. It forced me to take the well needed break to focus on my health. Besides, what good would I be to anyone if I relapsed and got worse?

What I was forced to realize was my world would not stop if I didn’t work, write, etc., and that everything would be waiting for me upon my return. It took about four weeks to feel myself and another few weeks after that to get back into the groove of my life.

Even though life was ‘topsy turvy’ for awhile it all settled back into place after I got my health back in check. Three cheers for supportive family and friends! 

I'm so thankful that Donna is back to normal. She is such a wonderful part of the children's writing community and since I made the trip to St. Louis, a friend. - Donna S.

All about Donna McDine:

The Golden PathwayWritten by: Donna M. McDine
Illustrated by: K.C. Snider
PUBLISHER: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
Print ISBN 13: 978-1-61633-081-1
eBook ISBN 13: 978-1-61633-082-8

SYNOPSIS: Be transported through time to the Underground Railroad, where high-pitched screams echo each night. David’s cruel Pa always chooses the same victim. Despite the circumstances during slavery, David uncovers the courage to defy his Pa.
 Raised in a hostile environment where abuse occurs daily, David attempts to break the mold and befriends the slave, Jenkins, owned by his Pa. Fighting against extraordinary times and beliefs, David attempts to lead Jenkins to freedom with no regard for his own safety and possible consequences dealt out by his Pa.

NWFCC Publicist and Editor-in-Chief, Guardian Angel Kids
Member of SCBWI and Musing Our Children
Donna’s Website:
Write What Inspires You Blog:
The Golden Pathway Blog:

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