We Serve Too! Changes Ownership, Welcome ;SB Gems Publishing!

February 19, 2014

I would like to introduce you to the new owner of We Serve Too! Sandra Bramble has opened SB-Gems Publishing and has the know-how and the connections to take these great books to the next level.  Paula and I are proud and pleased to hand the reins over to her.

Seasons come and go in life and this one has now turned toward retirement for Paula and I , allowing something new to stand instead. This buyout has been of Gods hand, and we stand amazed at the perfection of a plan that began years ago at the yellow ribbon event, when we met Sandra for the first time. Sandra has the heart it will take for the Military, as she has spent her life in the trenches with Military Families. She knows the ins and outs of social networking that Paula and I could never wrap our heads around, but that are essential in today’s marketplace. Best of all ,Sandra loves the books, and sees the worth and purpose behind them as they encourage Military children to embrace the honor due them, as they serve beside their parents, enduring long separations as their parents defend our nation.

Sandra, we salute you in this new endeavor, and if you are a friend of ours from over the years, we encourage you to support and encourage Sandra just as you have done so many times for us. We will be staying available for SB-Gems Publishing in any way we can, so this is not goodbye, just a welcome and positive change for us all.

Off we go, a new adventure!!

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November: Month of the Military Family Sale!! $5.00 Books,75% off!!!

October 31, 2013
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$5 Books in November! 75% Discount!
 
Don’t miss this deal! It starts tomorrow!
 
To celebrate Month of the Military Family, Paula and I are offering $5 books  in November (and through Christmas.) This is a 75% discount and we’ve never offered it before and may never again!!
 
Don’t miss this opportunity to get the entire 4-book series, You can get this deal two ways:
1.)Order through our website www.weservetoo.com (and Complete Book), a free dog tag is included in the 5.00 price
Or
2.)Order through our Amazon Storefront here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/browse.html?ie=UTF8&marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&me=A58WUWLMWJ8OP  and get the books where you may be eligible to use your free shipping option.
 A Big thank you to all our Military Families, we honor your sacrifices made for all of us!

Are Children’s Picture Books Relevant in the E-book Era?

October 27, 2013

Well, I have try and write again about why those old fashioned cardboard and paper books still hold a fascination for me. Maybe I am as old fashioned as they are, but there are things to be said for old things :) .

I know that the kids love Kindle and I-pad and I- phone and I -don’t know what else, and that the book industry is finding itself with lots of former bookstores sporting signs that say ” building for lease”. That said, I think that children’s books that are dog eared, with a n errant crayon mark or two and a page folded over are still something special.

Taking a child up on your knee on a snowy day, snuggling close and slowly talking about the picture of the snowman and discussing the possibility of actually pulling on boots and mittens later and making one, just seems to be better on something not emanating artificial light.

I am not against the new, just against the take over, and the possible loss of the old completely. I know that kids now have an ever widening availability of good things to read, and that there are many reasons that the new is winning out, like the characters can spin and move and even be part of a game as you read a story.I pretty sure if I was a child I would think that was pretty cool too.

I like the fact that my drawings leave something to the imagination of a child, and that it can’t come off the page making a noise except that which a child might make himself. I also like that the parent of a young child has no choice but to be involved in the reading, since now even the smallest child can make the new one work all by himself.

I like it that the pictures are quiet, if something needs a bit of time to ponder, or a question comes into a little mind and everything can so easily stop and wait until and answer can be thought out.

Well, Paula and I have some great hardback , full color children’s books. These come complete with a dog tag if bought from our website. For the month of November, the month of the Military Family, our We Serve Too! hardback books, normally 14.95 books will be for sale for only 5.00 each! If you want a great book, or maybe the whole series at that price, come and visit us here at https://www.weservetoo.com/ . I will write again before then to give you all the details!child reading weservetoo! OWAH

We Serve Too! What are these books really about?

October 3, 2013

What are the We Serve Too! series of books really about?  Shannon, a young Military wife and mother, spoke our exact mission and desire as we started out on this journey nearly 10 years ago. She talks about the way children react to the books and how being with other Military children gets them talking .

Thank you Shannon, for sharing the way our books impacted you, and sharing that Little Patriots Embraced was there to help as you dealt with two young sons needing encouragement while their Dad was away from home. That you used the prayer for Daddy as you Skyped as a family, touches our hearts in a special way .

I am posting the video here, it is really what our books are about:

These books are about family, about loving and missing and joyful reunion. They are about talking with children, and parents having a chance to learn that they are allowed to express feelings too, you don’t have to be strong every minute.  These books are about children learning to cope with life, in a positive way, and feeling honor and courage in being a child who’s parents serve this country. Alot to ask of a children’s picture book, but we are thrilled that that, and more, is what our books are about.

 

A Deployment Goodbye Gift

June 19, 2013

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I just wanted to draw your attention to the newest changes on our website!

 

https://www.weservetoo.com/We Serve Too! A Child’s Deployment Book, read in its entirety to you by Kathleen, just for you! (scroll down a bit)

 

https://www.weservetoo.com/Color_Sing_Create.html Deployment Goodbye Gift, a new song by Paula Johnson. Honestly, I was in on the writing of this song, ( as in being the first to hear it) and the first time, I knew it would be something really special. Then, Paula had a good friend and musician have her children sing it, and I could not keep the tears from leaking. I cried through the whole thing. It’s sweetness and bittersweeness touched my heart, and I know touches other hearts as well. I personally love the voices of children singing just about anything, but this one, with the lyrics so meaningful for the children we love and work for, is just a special experience.

We hope that you are finding the summer a time of joy with family and friends and that you are enjoying each one of these sunny warm days while they are here. It all goes so fast, so breathe the early morning freshness, the smell of suntan lotion, BBQ grills, and chlorine at the pool. Enjoy the taste of cool watermelon, and an ice cream cone or two. Take the kids out after dark to see the shining stars (we take a ride in the wagon around the neighborhood) . We pray for you some summer joys, and would love to hear from you about what you think about our books, songs or other resources for your Military Family.

Our Apologies to the U.S.M.C. !

May 11, 2013

It was brought to our attention by a kind blogger, Kristine,  at USMCLife, that we had an error on our sticker pack cover on the website for We Serve Too! A Child’s Deployment Book.  The cover said ” a Marine Corpsman must obey”! Imagine Paula and I finding out that a Marine Corpsman is not a Marine, but a Navy Sailor assigned to a Marine Unit! Well, that is out civilian showing! Please accept our apologies from these two grandmas,who only have Army experience and know that we support all of you out there who are defending us…Thank you! The corrected cover is below.

We also are aware that for some reason, our website will not accept pins, so we are working on that trying to make it possible to pin our books and resources to Pinterest…we all love Pinterest!

Thank you Kristine, and we hope to have things squared away soon!

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Calling all Friends of We Serve Too!

April 29, 2013

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Dear friends of Military Kids and friends of We Serve Too! 
It’s been nealy 6 years since our first book was published and each year we have added to our series. Now we have 4 hardback books, 1 coloring book and 1 activity book!
We have sold thousands of books, and given away thousands more to encourage the little hearts of our littlest heroes.

Things are changing for us and we have decided to sell through our website and our book distributor as usual, but now our books are also available on Amazon.com.
So what is our request? We humbly ask this favor from our friends:  would be so kind as to search Amazon for each of our books?  (yes it has come to this: it’s all about algorithms!To help you search, here are the exact titles to look for:
  • We Serve Too!–A child’s deployment book
  • We Serve Too!–A child’s reunion book
  • We Serve Too!–The Homecoming Box
  • We Serve Too!–Little Daisy’s Worst/Best Day
  • We Serve Too!–Military ABCs coloring book
  • We Serve Too!–Around the World-Afghanistan

If you have a lot of time to kill 

  • you can also search for them by our names:
    • Paula J Johnson
    • Kathleen Edick
  • or by subject:
    • deployment book for kids
    • reunion book for kids
    • sustainment  book for kids
    • relocation or moving  book for kids
    • books for military kids
    • Military coloring book
    • kids book on Afghanistan
    • etc.
When you find us, click on the title and even consider putting us on your wish list or in your cart. (Of course we would be ok with any sales, too!)
 Finally, we need some good and honest comments, too, from those of you who have read and used any of our books
We appreciate any help in making our books more visible for Military folks searching for help for the kids.
We need to let you know that the free dog tag that comes with every book ordered from our website or our book distributor will not be available with orders through Amazon (we can’t make that work with Amazon, at least not yet.) Dog tags can be purchased through our book distributor: Complete Book and Media, and if you are ordering bulk quantities, you want to call them at 1-800-986-1775 for the best discounts . Amazon is another avenue to make the books more available to a wider audience. Only our good friends will know that you need to order directly from us to get the dog tags (aren’t you lucky?)
We thank you our dear friends.
With warm regards,
 Paula and Kathleen
Kathleen Edick and Paula Johnson
(970) 396-0156 and (970) 454-2050 or (970) 381-0139
We Serve Too! TM “Honor and Courage for Military Kids”
www.weservetoo.com
Wee the People Publishing, LLC

The History of a Child

January 29, 2013

History. For some this word whispers dusty  memories of stuffy classrooms and boring discussions about people we never knew and truth be told, we did not care much about. Today I have been thinking about the history of a child, and the importance of that.

There was a time, when family history was naturally handed down. Not in boring lectures, but in the real life encounters daily, of things that matter.

My partner Paula and I have vastly different experiences with this. Paula was raised on an farm, her maternal grandmother nearby. She was immersed in family stories, lived where events of generations had taken place ,and heard adults talk of and live that history. She knows of her grandparents and how they came to America, the stories of how traditions began, and how to bake  recipes passed down by people that though she was too young to remember, were part of her..

For me it was much different. My parents divorced when I was 7. My father an Army Officer took us several places until I was set down in Denver Colorado no longer venturing from there. My mother, distracted and alone, had to work to support this young child and make a life out of the ashes. There were few opportunities to pass along history, daily survival was more important.

We never lived among the relatives, Uncles, Aunts, grandparents all lived states away. I never visited the dense woods of my mother’s childhood, or ate her cooking, since TV dinners were faster and more convenient for the two of us adrift and alone. I did later have some things that I held to, a recipe for Scotch shortbread from one side of the family and a book of a family story created by some distant Mormon relatives I have never met on the other.

It seems these days my experience is more common than Paula’s. I was thinking that many Military children are moving often, and that can open wonderful experiences for them. Moving can bring new insights and new friends. I guess the point of this blog is to get you think about how you can have both, as you raise your kids. How can you be intentional about history and passing it on to them?

 

Here are some ideas, you may like to think about

A family story box: this can be fun. Send a note to as many family members as you can. Ask them to write a story or memory that is important or funny but meaningful, memories or stories they would like to pass on to your children and have them mail or e-mail it to you. Collect these in a special box and share them with you children often. You can include recipes that are passed down, cultural items or photos, family traditions and where they came from.

A family book: There are some great websites out there,where you can find family history and then make it into a book that can be kept. You can download photos, write stories, add memories of places you are sent as a Military Family. Maybe one book for each place you go (Shuttefly has some nice ways to make books). Remember that you are history in the making! Scrapbooks are good too and may be cheaper.

Visit places where you grew up: Taking children to see grandparents and others is wonderful for them and for you. You can re-connect and show them where you lived as a child, kids love that.

Take kids to museums; especially when you are sent to a new base or post. There is history there, and now you are part of it. Give them a love of what has gone before and why things have meaning. This can later transfer into interest in your family history. Who else served in the Military? Where did the family come from and where did they settle? Are there any famous people you are related to? The history of our nation is part of the fabric of who we are, every one of us. It is your history and mine, pass it along!

Talk about family: births, deaths, adoptions, marriages, try connecting and talking about family with your kids. Giving kids a sense of other family members even when they live far away, gives them some point of connection later on. If they have heard you talk of aunt Sofia  or cousin Delbert, they will be more likely to connect when they finally meet them. Family members who have passed on are part of your child’s history, let them know how these people impacted your life and what things about them are memorable. As the mother of two adopted children I have to add that your history is their history…don’t worry about answers you do not know about birth family , pass on matter of factly what you know, but the focus is the family they now have. They are a grafted piece  fully belonging to the family they have been adopted by. You are giving them a foundation when their stone is cemented into the family wall.

Deployments and Reunions: Save e-mails, photos and remembrances of these times. Kids, if they are very young will be very interested in Daddy’s tour if Iraq ,Afghanistan, Japan or Alaska, and his place in history as a soldier. Save photos of the kids, they will love seeing what they looked like in that period of time, and how you all got through those times. Kids can find a solid place in the family, or feel blown like dandelion fuzz on a breeze, this is the importance of the history of a child. You can create that solid place no matter how many times you pick up and adventure, by being just a bit of a historian and collector on their behalf!

Here is a book to make your next move easier on the kids and open conversation for you with them. Little Daisy’s Worst/Best Day talks about moves, leaving family and finding new adventures. Acknowledging the difficulties, but introducing the positive, your little ones will love it!

Here is the link so you can take a look! https://www.weservetoo.com/bookstore_.html

 

Reunion,the Single Parent, and the Daddy Box.

January 26, 2013

Soon our family will be welcoming home our soldier and we are so excited! He will be living and working close enough to be present for holidays, birthdays and just weekends with the We Serve Too! kids. This is new to all of us and we can’t wait! As a mother, grandmother, and someone who has worked closely with kids all my life, I have been contemplating a few things about this . I believe that We Serve Too! A Child’s Reunion Book is a great way for kids to talk through a reintegration no matter if the family is intact, divorced or supported by grandparents or other caretakers.

If you are a single parent returning from deployment , or the caretaker of children while someone has been away, here are  three  things that might be a little helpful to remember:

1.Kids are creatures of habit (actually we all are ) and what they are used to is not always easy to undo. In our Reunion book we address this, in showing that feelings get complicated . Not expecting things to go smoothly will avoid lots of hurt feelings.

2. Homecoming is wonderful…sometimes. Everyone has had lots of time to think about how great this is going to be!  No one has thought about what it will be like when a child wants to go home to the parent they have been living with when you have them for the weekend , what it will feel like when the child rejects gifts or planned activities that have been lovingly offered, or on the child’s side,what it will feel like to be disciplined by this parent they have waited so long for.

3. Take it slow. Get to know each other again. Find things that you share in common. Let kids know that though they are used to life one way, life has changed course …for the better! Let them know that you understand they miss Mommy , but you love them and you are there, they will see Mommy in a day or two (or whatever the arrangement is). Be confident, friendly and not overly empathetic. When kids know you are acting in their best interest, they begin to feel safe and accept the new arrangements. Finding things to do, like getting kids engaged in helping you make dinner, washing the car together, reading a story, will help calm the feelings and build bonds between you.

Here is one word of caution, don’t be intimidated. Don’t let kids cry and get when they want…this will create a mess beyond your imagination and honestly makes kids feel insecure and scared. They need to know that a mature adult is caring for them and they are not in charge. It is hard sometimes  being a parent who has been away, it creates undue guilt at times. If you want to read more about this, look at our free parent guide on our reunion book here:https://www.weservetoo.com/Discussion_Guides.html

As the grandma, I want to help my son as he comes back, gets an apartment , and begins to enjoy his beautiful We Serve Too! kids!

I came up with the idea of a “Daddy Box”. This  box has a few things he may not think about or know about yet: the special soap that little girl needs, the laundry soap for said little girl who is allergic to other kinds, children’s Tylenol, children’s cold medicine, a box of band aids , neosporin for any little cuts that happen, a toothbrush and favorite toothpaste for each kid, children’s shampoo. You could add maybe a few favorite foods that kids are used to, night lights, or toys that are familiar and may need to be found in both homes. If you have a young lady nearing teen years,  who will be with Dad, make sure that you provide things in case changes of life occur on his watch. I bet you could think of some other things, if you do, please let me know since I only have two more weeks to get it ready!

If you are a parent coming home, Welcome Back, and thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas Reunion and a New Year coming

January 5, 2013

Hi, I have not written anything all the Christmas season and into the first 5 days of the new year. There is a reason for that, I have been busy soaking up the joys and blessings of our first Christmas with our soldier son for quite some time.

This year, he was here , being Daddy to the We Serve Too! kids and enjoying his brothers and sister. We had a beautiful day and overnight in a downtown hotel and a wonderful meal that made us all full for many hours later.

We had so many things to be thankful for. My husband had come through a rough operation and subsequent life threatening blood clot to the lung, and that fact that we were all sitting together over dinner, all in only two weeks,  by the grace of God, made it seem as if our days were gold.

I watched soldier son, play with his kids, open a lovely painting done by his daughter to hang in his apartment that will finally be in the same state we live in! ( I had to show it off below).  After two tours in Iraq and recently a year in Afghanistan, this was a reunion we had waited for a long time.

There  will be a shift in how we live soon, the New Year coming will bring him home in ways we have not enjoyed for years. He will have more time and visits with the kids and there will be joys and struggles ahead as they learn what it means to turn reunion into regular life.

As I watched the days slip by quickly, this time, not a year but only a matter of weeks will pass until he flies back home, and I  know that this will be a new chapter for him and for us all. This Christmas will be a lovely memory of candlelight, tiny colored lights on the tree, laughter and conversations, and love we had being all together.

I know that many of you will be starting a deployment, or welcoming a reunion. Whatever the New Year brings , may you have the strength and courage to face it square and count the joys that come each day. If you need some help to explain deployment or reunion to little ones this year, please read our free discussion guides on our website https://www.weservetoo.com/Discussion_Guides.html, our books and resources are there for you, and if they help, we have done what we set out to do.

May this New Year bring you blessings ,

Kathleen and Paula