Monday, December 27, 2010

Our Christmas Tree

I thought you might like to see how our tree looked this year. We used the same decorations back in 2008 and decided to do so again this year. The purple and green make such a pretty tree. I hope you like our angel on top in her green robe.
While going through my boxes of decorations in the garage earlier before we decorated the tree, I was pleasantly surprised to come across a carefully wrapped item that brought tears to my eyes. Inside the wrapping was the old, hand carved metal star that my dad had made years ago that we used as the topper for our tree. It's glitter had long ago diminished but still clung to the metal. The hand fashioned clip on the back was still strong and sure. Holding it in my hand I could feel the love we shared from the Christmases long ago when I was small as we stood looking at and praising the beauty of the tree. The star was always there reminding us what the holiday was really all about. Every now and then the light in the room would reach the glitter and it would sparkle holding us in awe at the beauty.
My parents eventually stopped using the star, but lucky for me, I was the one to choose it as a memento when they passed.
I'm thinking I'll do a second tree in 2011 and use that star making the tree with the multicolored lights so the star can sparkle anew and hold my family in it's spell. I may even use all the ornaments from my childhood and my childrens to make it a generational tree. One thing for sure is I have almost a year to work on it. Merry Christmas to all of you.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Our Parents!

The picture on the left is the closest one we can find of my parents shortly after they were married. My mom was 21 and my dad only 19 years old.
The picture on the right was taken in celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary. How different they look.
These are the parents that taught us how to be the people we are today. My dad was a painter all his life. My mom was a stay-at-home-mom until my twin and I were in our second year of high school when she went to work in one of the local factories.
They took us to church and instilled in us our faith, how to be parents, what a loving home was all about, being a family and respecting each other. Love was the most important element in our home. There were six children and we all knew we were loved by both of our parents. We had rules to obey, chores to do, bedtimes to be observed and homework done nightly. We always had the evening meal together and it made for a cohesive family unit.
You will find stories about our lives in our book, "Kaleidoscope Memories:Childhood Stories That Celebrate Family Life". I hope you'll read more posting in this blog and then pick up one of our books and share in our stories. It is our desire that by reading our stories you will remember some of your precious memories and want to share them with your family, friends, or the world.
I wanted you to see the beautiful people who were our parents and know a little more about them. I hope you've enjoyed this posting.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Pumpkin Patch

Everyone looked forward to third grade because our field trip was to the pumpkin patch. During October we studied about pumpkins in school. We read books about pumpkins, did arithmetic word problems that included pumpkins, wrote stories about pumpkins, and even drew pictures of pumpkins for Art class. We knew everything we thought we'd ever need to know about pumpkins.
Mrs. selmi's family ran the pumpkin patch. It was just about a quarter of a mile from the school so the whole class would walk there. We knew we had to be extra good on that trip.
"All right class, today is pumpkin day," Mrs. Selmi said, and everyone shouted with joy.
"When we get there each of you will pick out a pumpkin for yourself. Remember, you must pick one that you can carry back to school, then later to home. So don't get the biggest one you see," she said, looking at the boys in the class.
The pumpkins were piled high in the front yard and spread out in a circle. Everyone just stood there and stared at the huge pile. Some of the workers told us again the many facts of how the pumpkins grew. But all we wanted to do was find one to take home. We tried to lift different sized pumpkins and if they were too heavy they were returned to the pile. Most of the students found a pumpkin they could carry and were chatting with others in the class. However, some boys still thought they could carry larger pumpkins and chose them.
Mrs. Selmi saw them struggling to carry the pumpkins and said, "Boys, I think you'd better choose one just a bit smaller. Let me help you find some." Each boy reluctantly put down his large pumpkin and began searching for one that the teacher would accept. After a short search they all found pumpkins that passed Mrs. Selmi's approval. They were happy because theirs were still bigger than most of the others in the class.
When we returned to school, Mrs. Selmi talked again about pumpkins. She told us we could have our moms bake the seeds for us to eat or have pumpkin bread or pie made from the pumpkin. I'm sure we weren't thinking of eating them but about the faces we would carve on them.
Our field trip was a success and it turned out to be a good day in school. When we arrived at home we proudly showed our parents the pumpkins we chose. Our older brothers and sisters had already seen them and passed judgment as to whether they were worth carving or not. But Mom and Dad thought they were nice. We drew faces on them and with the help of our older siblings cut them out. It was a wonderful third grade field trip and a great Halloween as well.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Delightful Journey - Review

A delightful journey into the hearts and minds of three authors, who write about their home lives, in the form of creative non-fiction/memoir. It is a narrative filled with love, loyalty, and growing up in a small town. Six siblings and their parents, relatives and friends experience different events from routine days, elaborating on daily incidences in life, and family holidays at the Stees family home.

Cindy retells her feelings of failure of not being able to play Jacks, but learns gratitude towards her Aunt's patience in teaching her how to play. She also learns a lesson on overcoming her fears in one situation, when faced with a greater danger. Vicky learns about teamwork and competition, as well as the sheer joy when rolling barrels, when she and her siblings, and neighborhood children create a rolling game. She also tells a lesson on how other's misfortunes can be a learning experience for us without us going through it ourselves. Jenny has a lesson in loyalty when her dilemma of helping her twin sister with classwork creates a confrontation with the "meanest teacher."

These stories are not merely memories of the stories themselves, but of what is learned by children when they interact in a family setting, with their parents, throughout the community, and the institutions we all have to visit and deal with one time or another. Family life, in the various day to day experiences and which endear the readers heart's, remind us of our own childhood memories and events that made us who we are in the midst of our own family dynamics, and how we were taught to understand the larger world in the microcosm of the family unit.

The book is seperated into 7 chapters of rembrances, such as School Days, Family Pets, Playtime, Eating Times, Special Moments, Childhood Fears and Miscellaneous incidences that make us wiser, kinder, more understanding, and appreciative of those with whom we grew up and come to know and love.

Cindy and Jenny are twins and the youngest of the six. Vicky, is the next older, and Gwen is the oldest of the girls. Gabe is the eldest of the brothers and Kel, is the younger brother. All these siblings partake in these wonderful instances, through the memories of the three authors.

This is an excellent book to read in family events, holidays, or just to your children at bedtime. It is also a helpful book to initiate games from the book, set up a family plan of organized space and preference, and it will surely delight one's whole attitude about the validity of family and home life, especially what it means to your children while they are growing up.

L. Nolan-Ruiz, Founder/Creator
International Books Cafe'

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Book Trailer Coming Soon!

I've received a pre-publication copy of the book trailer for Kaleidoscope Memories that will be available soon. A couple of editing issues remain but will be finished shortly. I hope you will stop back and take a look at it.
Please scroll down and read the various postings on this blog, get familiar with the authors and a couple of the stories posted here. Then click on the left and hear one author read a few stories from the book. Hopefully you'll enjoy the book enough to purchase it. If you do, you can click on the book cover to purchase it from the publisher. Enjoy and thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

New Book!

The authors are gathering their stories together for the second book in the Kaleidoscope Memories stories. They leave Yeowardville and move to the country and attend a two-room country school. The kaleidoscope is turning in their lives and their adventures will make you laugh, be thoughtful about your past and possibly cause you to think you just might want to write your own stories down for your family or the world to read.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Meet the Author -- Cindy Stees Oldham

Cindy Stees Oldham has been writing fiction, nonfiction, and doing freelance writing publications for over fifteen years.
Mrs. Oldham has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Administration. Throughout her life she has been in leadership positions within her church, in the political arena, for a national writers organization, and nonprofit government programs.
She lives in the Central Florida area with her husband and is surrounded by her daughter, son, daughter-in-law, and grandson.
You may contact her at

Meet the Author -- Jenny Stees

Jenny Stees started her writing career working on Medieval novels, but frequently branches into other genres.
Ms. Stees has a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and has taught countless students since 1994. Her fourth grade classes have inspired her to create a line of children's books that occasionally features her pet poodle. A resident of Central Florida for over twenty years, she held the position of Editor for a political newsletter, and taught religious education within her church. She is a member of Who's Who of America's Teachers for 2005. You can contact her at

Meet The Author -- Vicky Stees Ennis

Vicky Ennis was happy to join her two sisters in the venture of writing some of their early childhood memories.
Mrs. Ennis attended Bible College studying religious and church leadership. Throughout her life she has held positions of leadership within her church.
Vicky and husband, Cliff, still live in their hometown in northwestern Illinois, spending their winters in Alabama and Florida. They are the parents of four children and ten grandchildren. She enjoys staying home writing, doing needlework, and being around her family. You can contact her at

Friday, April 16, 2010

Our Parents - George & Edith

This is one of many pictures we have of our parents from the 1950's. I think it shows the times very well. Our Dad was an interior/exterior painter all his life. He eventually started his own business and was successful at it for many years. He later turned the business over to one of our brothers and went to work painting for one of the hospitals in the area. That's where he was until he retired.
Our Mom was a stay-at-home mother for many years. I guess during our early years. She didn't go to work anywhere outside the home until my twin sister and I were in our second year of high school. She went to work at a local factory and worked until she retired sometime in her mid to late sixties.
They are the reason we wanted to write and share our childhood memories with everyone. We had good times growing up and shared our lives with their siblings and families. Our Dad came from a family of eight children and our Mom came from a family with nine children. So there were lots and lots of cousins for us to play with. We recently counted that we had 52 first cousins at one time. So we always had someone to play with if our siblings were busy. Family was very important to our parents. We spent time together learning as a family and that gave us the blueprint we took and developed our families from.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Review of Kaleidoscope Memories!

"As I read Kaleidoscope Memories: Childhood Stories That Celebrate Family Life, I couldn't help but think that these authors were surely paying it backwards by collecting and sharing their childhood stories. So many people take life a day at a time never allowing the sweet memories of yesterday to come forward, linger a bit, and fill them up. Not so in this reading journey.

Author Cindy Oldham and her sibling co-authors, transport the reader to simpler times where innocents and child-like wonderment abound. Through many stories of school, pets, childhood fears, and other golden mements, the reader will be coaxed gently into relaxing and remembering their own youthfulness.

As I read the chapter, 'The Path To Lego Town', the simple analogy that life can be exciting as we make it and that the possibilities are limitless, was not wasted on this reader. Sometimes it takes seeing it, and living it through a child's eyes to bring this truth home again.

School days, drive-in movies, traditional home-cooked meals we all learned to hate (i.e. liver and onions) and stories like, 'Napping With Mama', will bring a sigh and a smile to any reader's face; and maybe even tug at the heartstrings for buried memories of their own. It was a nice journey; and pleasing. Truly it was about two of the most important things in the world - family...and love."
Reviewed by: Georgia Richardson, author, humorist

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Our Publisher

If you'd like to know more about our publisher - Tide Dancer Publications - click on the Facebook icon to the left and check out their FB page.
Then you can take some time and visit their website at Read about their authors on the Authors page and read about the books Tide Dancer Publications has for your enjoyment. They are a new innovative company that provides 'personalized publishing for today's author.'
They work one-on-one with each new person helping them accomplish their goals and dreams for their writing careers. If you are interested in or need help writing or working on your manuscript, we have a writers group that is by invitation only, so leave an email requesting information and we'll get back to you to add you to the group.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Want Another Edition of KM?

The authors are penning the second book in the Kaleidoscope Memories Series. We are hoping that it will be completed this year and ready for publication next year. It is about a time when we lived in the rural countryside and attended a small two room school. There are stories about the happenings in the school and also about our family times at a house my Aunt used to call the "Long Branch" after the saloon in the TV show Gunsmoke.
It has lots of laughter, sweetness and family times in the stories. Keep checking back for more information on the next book.