Tuesday, November 8, 2011

God's Biggest Treasures

God's Biggest Treasures, By Melissa Alani

   When Katie receives a package in the mail from her grandpa, it leads her
to on a hunt for, "God's Biggest Treasures".
Come along as Katie experiences the glory of God's
creation, the wonder of His world, and the power of
His love through the magic of a tiny magnifying glass.

  The story will teach children that even the smallest items we take for granted can be, "God's Biggest Treasures".  Take a moment outside to look around your surroundings. God created everything you see, the blades of grass that provides drips of dew for insects to drink. The colorfully flowers that create pollen for the bees to make sweet sticky honey, of which we take the pleasure of indulging in our teas and other items.

  Katie's journey will also teach the reader of God's love, by the bible verse John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son".  Katie points out that God creates items to remind of His love. While reading the story, the children will be encourage to share God's everlasting love with others.

 The young reader will learn using a magnifying glass will enhance the size of an object. Katie's adventures and knowledge from her science class informs the reader of the life cycle of a caterpillar and tadpole.

  The illustrator, Samantha Kickingbird from Tate Publishing, pours her passion of art into each turn of the page. The whimsical illustrations captures Katie's emotions and the beauty of the smallest creations our God has created. Samantha drew a little hidden treasure on each page for the children to discover as they read the story.

 The book is available for pre-realse through Tate Publishing's web-site, or you can order directly from the author.  God's Biggest Treasures, will be officially released to the stores on December 13th, 2011.  Hardback covers are available for purchase from the author.

    The author performs free readings to local schools in the following cities:
         Temecula, CA
         Murrieta, CA
         Menifee, CA
         Lake Elsinore, CA

 If you would like to order a book from the author, or are interested in booking a reading, please contact:
       Melissa Alani

   To order a copy of, God's Biggest Treasures, from the publisher click on the link below.
       Tate Publishing

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Humbling Times

The meaning of poverty according to the Merriam-Webster : The state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money material possessions.

     The  Department of Health and Human Services reports ; 2011 poverty guidelines for the 48 Contiguous States and District of Columbia, a family of four with a income of $22,350 a year, fall under the poverty lines.

   The fact the nearly 250,000 families enter into foreclosure every three months, is one of the heart breaking reasons of why there is an increase number of homeless entering into society.

   Over half of Americans live outside their means, living paycheck to paycheck.  With business and states struggling to keep their head above water, we're seeing an increase of pink-slips, cutbacks, and rising unemployment rates.  Stir all those ingredients into a large melting pot, bake for three to four months, and we have a cake of broken dreams and hardships tossed into a society that lacks mercy. 

  When you walk down the streets and see a person asking for help, or merely just siting upon the pavement with everything they own stuffed into a black trash bag; honestly, do you quickly look away or above their heads, hoping you don't make eye contact?  When Walter would walk to work as an accountant on historical DC streets, every so often he would hand someone a few coins from his pocket, but there were people that he turned a check to. 

  Then one day (like so many other Americans), Walter found himself  laid off  in a mass pool of unemployed people, all applying for the few and in-between positions that were available.  There is only so long one can hold onto shoes strings before they become frail and brake.  Walter found himself humbled and living like the people he once handed coins to.  His home, now a bench across the street from the Hoover building in Washington DC, his warmth a blue tarp and layered newspapers.

  I had the privilege meeting Walter on one of our outreach adventures.  Armed with a pack full of supplies that I offered to Walter, he kindly declined, "I am good for now sister, thank you for doing God's work and reaching out to the homeless. God always has away of providing  for me".  While I sat with Walter to hear his story , which is a echo of so many, his one and only wish was that I spread the word of how the homeless are just like everyone else.  They too have feelings.  That when we walk past, they can see us turning our checks; "We're not invisible" he announced "Yet, it is hard for people to look at our faces" .  Walter had no idea that I am a writer, that I have an outlet to spread the word, he went on pure faith that I would accommodate his wishes. As if God was telling Walter," Tell her to spread the word, and I'll have her spread the message".

  My goal is to fulfill Walter's wish and write, The Faces of the Faceless.  The journey thus far has been an eye opening experience to say the least.  The research is heartbreaking, yet when I am serving the smiles I receive refuel the need to spread the word. We are all equal, we are all God's children, we are called to have mercy. Walter's story is just one of the many stories that will be in the book.  I have a dare for each and everyone of you,  next time you walk past the person asking for help, or sitting upon the pavement, if you are unable to toss a few coins, how about a smile.  I bet you they will reply with a friendly, "God bless you".

 Hebrews 13:2 "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without  knowing it"



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Water the seed of imagination with a play garden

We plant the seed of imagination by reading to our children; water the growing seed by creating a play garden with your child. Creating the play garden will help develop their creative imagination, processing skills, motor skills, and will teach them responsibility by maintaining their garden . Turn this time into a great bonding experience by making this a family event.

First sit down with your child and plan the type of play garden your child would like to create. Our daughters love Tinker Bell, and chose to create a fairy garden using their toy figures.

Go to the local craft store, and let your child pick out a few items for them to create. With the fairy garden, our daughters created fairy houses using inexpensive wooden bird houses, moss, silk flowers, a few bird and butterflies. They enjoyed expressing their own creativity by picking out and designing their own houses.

Decided where to plant the garden, keep in mind sun/shade and amount of water the area receives. Then as a family go to the local nursery to pick out the flowers and plants. Make sure the plants are kid friendly and that they will not harm your child. Lay out the garden together with the plants and crafts. Time to dig! Allow your child to help dig the holes and tickle to roots, they will have a feeling of accomplishment by helping along with their parents.

Once the play garden is complete, teach your child how to care and maintain their garden. Our daughters take turns watering their fairy garden. 
                                   The garden will provide hours of imaginary play, enjoy!