Autumn Snaps, 2021

Being woken every morning, incredibly early, by a hyperactive puppy can be a bit of a shock to the system! But rising earlier than normal, even in these dark November mornings, definitely has it’s advantages…After the initial reluctance to get out of my cosy bed, pull on my clothes, coat and wellington boots and head out the front door, I find myself rewarded with a park that’s practically empty and bathed in soft, morning light.

The pale light of morning breaks through the trees…

All is peaceful and still, apart from the occasional squawking of the Crows and Magpies, who flit and flap about, foraging for seeds and berries. Industrious Squirrels scamper around me, burying their hoards before winter sets in. Darkness gives way to dawn. The stream gurgles. The fresh air invigorates. The senses slowly awaken, drinking in God’s handiwork and silently giving thanks for this fresh start, for this beautiful, breath-taking, brand new day.

Before the rush begins, there is a narrow window of time. Time to think. To breathe. To ponder. To pray.

Blink, and it is gone – never to be recovered.

So instead of complaining, I’m learning to embrace these early morning outings. In fact, they are becoming quite a gift!

All Kinds of Antics

Hi friends, it’s me again, Amber!

This is a picture of me pulling my ‘butter wouldn’t melt in my mouth’ face. I’ve been practicing this face a lot lately. Why?

Because this face gets me out of whole heaps of trouble. Yep. I might be little, but I am BIG trouble! Trouble with a capital ‘T’!

Take the other day for instance. Mum was minding her own business, doing some gardening. I really wanted to help. So I decided to dead-head a few of her favourite flowers. I snapped off a whole head of Hydrangea, and shredded up her prize Sedums.

Next I tried to help with the washing….Mum put the washing in the machine – and I dragged it out again and just sat on it.

What a good and helpful little doggie I am!

And of course, when Emily plays with the sand, I have to play too! Only I like to get right inside the sand-pit. Oooh, that sandy stuff really tickles my snozzle and makes me sneeze! Mum just loves my paw-prints all over her clean floor!

And I just can’t help it – I really love to chew things. Toys, shoes – anything I can get my teeth on. What’s so wrong with that?

It’s a good job I’m such a cutie pie, don’t you think? But just to be on the safe side, I think I’d better keep practicing that face!

Stay tuned for more of my pawsome adventures. x

The Pup With The Yellow Collar

Here’s a little snippet from a Picture Book series I’m currently working on. Can you tell who inspired it?

Once, there were ten tumbling, bumbling, honey-coloured puppies, who needed a forever home. None of the puppies yet had names. Instead, they each wore a different coloured collar, so that people could tell which one of them was which.

At first they were small and snuggly and cosy and dozy. But every day, they grew!

They wobbled and wiggled.

They toppled and tumbled.

They nuzzled and nibbled.

Until soon, they were big enough to chase and race around the garden.

One day, a nice family came to adopt a puppy of their very own. All of the puppies were unique and special so it was very difficult to choose.

Some were big.

Some were small.

Some were sleepy.

One was sassy!

But the pup with yellow collar was funny, licky, snuggly and sweet….

Pebble on the Beach

Last summer, as I was walking around Seagrove Bay on the Isle of Wight, I happened upon the brightly painted pebble that you can see pictured above. It had been left on the beach – quite deliberately – to bring a smile to whoever was fortunate enough to find it. Wasn’t I the lucky one? And what a sweet, sweet idea! An idea worth sharing, I thought, hence the poem below. And when I return to Seagrove Bay, I shall paint a pebble and leave it for someone else to find!

I found this pebble on the beach,
Quite by chance, the other day,
Painted brightly,
Just for fun,
And hidden there along the way.

I saw this pebble lying there,
Whilst walking round the shingly bay,
Coincidence?
A random chance?
A gift to make another's day.

I'll keep this pebble from the beach,
Because it always makes me smile,
Reminding me
That joy is free,
And kindness always so worthwhile.






 

A Spider’s Skill!

How doth the little spider be,
A Master of Geometry?
Oh tell me, tell me, if you know,
Where did she learn to weave quite so?
Please tell me little Spider friend,
How many hours did you spend
Creating such a sight to see,
Such skillful lines of symmetry?
Concentric frame,
Installed at night,
A work of art,
By morning light!



This poem (and lots more) has been kindly published by: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/a-spiders-skill

Autumn Glory

Photo by Irina Iriser on Pexels.com
It's Autumn once more,
What a sight to behold,
Streets lined with crimson
And laden with gold,
Moon like a saucer,
Days getting shorter,
As summer lays down
To make way for the cold.

Warm woolen knits,
Crackling fires,
Wild geese take flight
Over pink sunset skies,
Off with a flap of migratory wings,
The earth gives birth,
Creation sings!

Season of beauty,
Nature's last fling,
Before winter makes bare
And the earth sleeps til' Spring,
Emblazoned in scarlet,
You take your last breath,
Your most glorious hour,
Was found at your death.


To read lots more Autumn Poems, visit https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/autumn-glory
 

Amber’s Adventures – Settling In

Hellooooo!

It’s so good to meet you!

I’m Amber, an eight-week-old Fox Red Labrador Retriever. I thought you might like to read about some of my adventures from time to time.

Yesterday, the most paw-some thing happened…

I got adopted by my new family!

This is me with my new mum and dad. Just look at their happy faces! I like happy faces. I especially like to lick them. Mum has almost the same colour hair as me – what a great way to accessorize!

Anyhow, suddenly I got strapped into my very own car seat. At first I was all squirmy and wormy, and wriggly and giggly – but as soon as the engine started and we pulled away, I was lulled off to sleep. Good job, because it was a LONG way from Leicestershire to London. I slept the entire way, apart from when we stopped at Motorway services for a coffee break.

When we finally got to my new home, it was dark. Everything smelt strange and different. But I soon found my way around – I was beside myself at all the new things to explore.

But the very best thing of all was that there were more people with happy faces waiting to greet me! They all made such a big fuss of me. And everybody wanted to play! It was one big play fest!

Oh and by the way…I noticed there were also these two funny fur-balls, of the feline kind. But they gave me a wide berth….well, for the time being, anyway.

When it was bedtime, I settled down in my crate. I woke my mum and big sisters up a few times in the night. 1am, 3am and finally at 5:30. I just needed to know that my new family were still there.

Then….from 5:30 – 7:30am, I enjoyed a really long play with my special new friend Emily. She’s little, just like me. I like her a lot.

And then we both kind of collapsed for a little snooooozle.

I was a bit sad when some of my family members had to leave for work and school. No fair!

I can’t wait for them all to come home this evening.

I really hope you’ve enjoyed hearing about how I settled in. I will post some more ‘pup-dates’ from time to time, plus some of my very best Labrador Life Lessons – so make sure you stay tuned by subscribing!

But for now, here are some pictures…

Until next time….goodbye!

Zacchaeus





The Streets of the City were crowded that day,
The Teacher was coming, He was heading this way,
My heart leapt within at the sound of His Name,
This man who healed lepers, the blind and the lame.

But the crowds all around me were blocking my view,
And try as I might, I just couldn't push through,
(There's not much to be said for my stature - it's true,)
So I ended up right at the back of the queue.

Then ahead of the crowds, in the distance, I see,
Down the long, dusty road,
There's a Sycamore Tree,
I was desperate to see Him,
It had to be done,
I kicked up the dust and I started to run!

My robes snagged on twigs as I scrambled up high,
And I hoped against hope,
That He'd not pass me by,
Still, my heart skipped a beat when He stopped by that tree,
And He peered through the leaves, looking right up at me!

What would He say to a man such as me?
What was I doing here?
How could it be,
That this wonderful stranger should call me by name?
In that moment, I knew, I would not be the same.

The people were outraged,
He was going to eat,
At the home of Zacchaeus, the swindler, the cheat!
But whenever He spoke, all my pride fell apart,
Until something had changed in the depths of my heart.

The tears started falling, 
My heart overflowed,
I would pay it all back - every penny I owed.
I would give it all gladly,
I'd do anything,
For this wonderful man,
For this beautiful King!

The love that He showed me,
The grace that He gave,
Swept over my being,
Like wave upon wave,
What joy filled my soul,
And what gladness within,
When the Son of God cleansed me
From all of my sin.

The Story So Far

Photo by Maria Tyutina on Pexels.com

Hi! My name is Angela. I write stories and poems for both children and adults.

Around fifteen years ago, I began to take my life-long love of creative writing to a new level and started writing Picture Books.

Like in every good story, there have been plenty of obstacles along the way! It’s been fifteen years of stops and starts, highs and lows, plus a few depressing rejections in between! But, thankfully, the story isn’t over just yet.

Some of my Picture Book stories feature:

  • a noisy, guitar-playing goose
  • a squirrel who loses a treasure
  • and a loveable tortoise called Hugo.

Hopefully, one day, you’ll get to read them.

Kids, Kids, Kids!

Besides writing, I’m a busy mum to four growing kids, including a set of twins! I also work as a Child-Minder, specialising in Early Years, which gives me plenty of scope for the imagination! Our house is constantly full of children (of all ages) and there is never a dull moment!

Breaking into Print!

Back in 2015, I wondered what would happen if I combined my passion for writing with my faith. Soon after, I received my first ever YES from a publisher, when two of my short stories, ‘Pitch-Black Patch’ and ‘Hidden Blooms’ were published by Keys For Kids Ministries in their quarterly devotional.

It was so much fun, that I went on to write a few more stories, some of which include:

  • Don’t Forget the Toothpaste
  • Teacups and Trainsets
  • One Hundred Percent
  • Only God Can Do That!
  • That’s Not My Job!
  • and The Doll’s House

I’ve also contributed articles and devotionals for Unlocked, Devozine and Creation Illustrated.

To order your copy, read or listen online, visit https://www.keysforkids.org/

Learning

I love to learn all I can about the craft of writing, and have recently completed courses in Picture Book writing, plus chapter books for older readers.

I have recently discovered and joined an amazing Writer’s Group, called ‘Write For A Reason’ and I am currently working on my first kid’s Novel.

Connecting

I’m a member of the SCBWI and enjoy being involved in the writing community on Social Media. I am a firm believer in learning from and helping to encourage others along the way and love to connect with other writers and creatives.

Relaxing

When I’m not writing, chances are I’m either curled up in my favourite arm-chair, (book in one hand, cup of tea in the other), cooking up a storm for the family, or pretending to be a country singer. I’m also a bit of a novice gardener, and keen wild-life lover.

I live in London with my amazing husband, Nathan, our four kids, two Rescue Tabby Cats, and our adorable Fox Red Labrador, Amber.