|Publisher:||Morgan James Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||8.70(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.40(d)|
|Age Range:||7 - 12 Years|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
I Am Loved
"You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection."
My sister, Elyssa, and I are both artists. We have always loved to paint, and because of our passion our mom encouraged us to start an art business named WhollyART. Through our art, we teach concepts like fairness, confidence, affection and choice. We have explored each of these ideas throughout the process of creating works that reflect them. We have always loved participating in art fairs; at some shows, we have even won awards and sold some of our paintings. It is fun to make money and get prizes for doing what you love most!
One day, we were at an art fair at Arts Fifth Avenue in Fort Worth, Texas, where we hoped to sell our artwork. We were admiring our masterpieces when I suddenly asked my sister, "Which one do you think is better, mine or yours?" Elyssa quickly responded, "I think mine is better." I disagreed; I thought my painting was better! We ended up arguing about why we thought each one was better and about why "yours" hadn't sold yet.
After a few minutes of arguing, we decided to ask our mom for her opinion. She answered simply, "I love BOTH of them! They are both special and unique in their own way! I love you both the same, and I will never have a favorite!" Elyssa and I both said "I am sorry" to each other. Then we hugged and started saying good things about each other's work.
This experience taught us that we should not brag or compare ourselves to each other because we all have different talents, and God wants us to focus on what we do have instead of what we don't. We each have our own special talents.
You are like no other person in the whole world! Did you know that no two people are the same? You are special and beautiful no matter the color of your skin, eyes or hair. It does not matter if you are small, medium or large. Nothing about you is a mistake; you were made exactly how you are because your destiny is unique!
No matter what you look like, you are wonderful the way you are! If you are yourself, you will stand out and others will look up to you because you love yourself. No matter what you like or dislike, you are exactly how you are supposed to be. Always think about how you are loved, and you will feel even more love come into your heart.
Keep In Mind: Instead of striving to fit in, be proud to stand out!
3 Ways You Can Love Yourself More
* Stand in front of a mirror every day and say to yourself: "I am loved, I matter, I love myself!"
* Pay a compliment to someone at least once a day. When you appreciate others, you will be able to appreciate yourself more.
* Find an empty jar (we believe in repurposing!) and name it your Thought Tracker. Whenever you think a negative thought about yourself, write it on a piece of paper and put it in the jar. From time to time, ask a trusted adult to help you burn the pieces of paper to release all that negativity.
Now it's your turn!
3 Ways I Will Love Myself More
I Take Care of Me
"Your body is a temple, but only if you treat it as one."
— Astrid Alauda
My sister Elisha has long straight hair. I've always had shorter, curly locks, which can be hard to manage. One night before my bedtime, my mom asked me to take a shower and wash my hair. So all by myself, I detangled my curls by combing my hair after I made sure the shampoo was all rinsed out. I put on nice smelling lotions, cleaned my ears, brushed my teeth and put away my clothes. I felt very good about myself. Not only was my family proud of me, but I was proud of myself, too. Best of all, I felt that God was proud of me!
You can find many ways to take care of yourself. When you take care of yourself, your spirit feels great and you can do better at other tasks. If you take care of yourself, other people will follow your example. Besides taking care of yourself by showering and proper grooming, you can also take care of your clothing, toys, books and even your shoes. Every day when you wake up, you can stretch to get all the tiredness out. You can dress appropriately in clothes that cover your shoulders, knees and stomach. In addition, you should always do your part in keeping your home clean by picking up your room and putting things back where they belong.
Other ways of practicing self-care include eating healthy foods (even Brussels sprouts and broccoli!), exercising (sit-ups, jumping rope, etc.) and feeding your brain good information (like reading a book about manners instead of a fairy tale).
You can take care of yourself by yourself! When you do things by yourself, it makes you feel good about yourself. This is called self-confidence. Don't worry about always making someone else happy. Take care of yourself because you love your body and want to make yourself happy!
We feel good when we do things that matter, like taking care of ourselves and leaving the not-so-important things for another time. When you need to get a job done but you don't want to do it and decide to do it later, it is called procrastination. This is a trap to avoid because you will never do what you put off!
Life might seem like it will last a long time, but you only have one life to live here on earth. You should want to make the most of it. Even the small things you do count!
Keep In Mind: When you take care of yourself first, then you are able to take care of others.
3 Ways You Can Take Care of Yourself
* Say to yourself every day: "When I take care of myself, I feel better about me!"
* Make a list of the things you need to do to take care of yourself every day and hang it in your bathroom. This will be a reminder to take care of your body.
* Choose good snacks no matter where you are so you can feel happy and healthy. Even if you don't like a food, you can always find ways to make it taste good, like dipping carrots in peanut butter instead of ranch dressing. Yum!
Now it's your turn!
3 Ways I Will Take Care of Me
I Choose Well
"To live is to choose. But to choose well, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go and why you want to get there."
— Kofi Annan
We lived in Florida for seven years before we moved to Texas where we live now. Our mom worked at home and through her efforts, even as a single mom, she has been able to afford to take us to parks and museums. We are always going on an adventure with her! One of our favorite places to visit is Orlando because of SeaWorld, Disney World and the fun museums where we can zoom back into history. We know that most kids don't get those privileges, and we feel very blessed to spend so much time with our mom, to be home-schooled and to always be having fun.
One gorgeous sunny day, we were at Warbird Adventures at the Kissimmee Gateway Airport. We were just looking around in the gift shop, when I suddenly saw a fluffy brown teddy bear with a pilot outfit and the cutest goggles. He was the last one on the shelf!
I told my mom I wanted him. She said that she wouldn't buy him for me, but she suggested I take a picture to have a memory of him. Instead of understanding that my mom had already spent a lot of money and letting it go, I threw a temper tantrum and started crying. My mom then patiently let me choose between the bear and a helicopter ride. She warned me that I would soon outgrow the stuffed toy and assured me that I would enjoy the helicopter ride more. "Are you sure you want to get it?" she asked me. I knew I had a choice, yet I still told her, "Yes, Mommy, I'm sure I want it." I felt I had made a terrible mistake when I waited on the green bench and watched my sister and mom fly above me. I knew that I could get a teddy bear anytime but going on a helicopter ride does not happen every day. I now know that I can choose what I know is right before it is too late to ever have that choice again. Our life is made up of the choices we make, and we learn and grow through them.
We all get to choose for ourselves; nobody makes us do anything. We must not blame others for the things we do or say. We all learn from our mistakes because we realize what to do and what not to do the next time. You can start thinking about whether your choices are good for you and the people around you. To help you understand this better, there are five types of choices you can make: worse, bad, good, better and best. Instead of regretting that you've made bad choices in the past, just make sure the next time you need to make a choice, you rate it to see which type it is. You will find that you'll be making BEST choices in no time!
Everything you choose has a CONSEQUENCE — a result that you get for making a certain choice (an unpleasant result for a bad choice or a reward for a good choice). By choosing the BEST choice, you can feel good about yourself. As a bonus, good choices will inspire others to respect you more!
For example, you can choose to be safe by wearing your seat belt and not talking to strangers. Always choose the BEST choice because you care about your own happiness, as well as the happiness of others. Don't just base your choices on wanting to avoid the bad consequences or wanting to get a treat or privilege from your parents.
We have a method for making choices called S.T.O.P. In this acronym, S stands for STOP, T stands for THINK, O stands for OPTIONS and P stands for PRIORITY. First, you Stop and Think for a moment about your different choices, or Options, and about their consequences. Then you think about your Priority, or what you are dedicated to and what matters most to you. Since my sister and I are Christians, God is our top priority. This means that His commandments are important to us. When you consider your priority and think about what would help that priority grow stronger, you will be happier with your choices.
If you want to become better at choosing well, you must change your thoughts first. Your thoughts reflect your feelings, and your feelings decide what actions you should take. Your actions tell other people who you are. It is never too late to change your thoughts and make the right choices! Choose what YOU think is best for yourself and everyone involved.
When somebody tells you that you should do something, look for the reason why and what would be best for everyone, then make your choice. For example, if your cousin tells you to steal a candy bar because she thinks it would make you look "cool," think about the consequences of stealing the candy bar, how you would feel and if it would make you happy. Some possible results of stealing are going to jail, being banned from the store, not being trusted around other people's things, feeling guilty and bad about yourself, and losing privileges.
Think before you choose, act, speak and write, and you will be happier, smarter and cooler!
Keep In Mind: Remember to use the S.T.O.P. method to always choose well.
3 Ways You Can Choose Well
* Always say to yourself: "I have the power to choose. I will use this power for good!"
* Know and accept the consequences of your choices so you can decide to choose better the next time.
* Choose the BEST choice even if no one else is doing it!
Now it's your turn!
3 Ways I Will Choose Well
I Am Grateful
"Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses."
— Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr
After a very fun vacation at SeaWorld in San Antonio, we were on our way back home on a lovely Sunday evening. We love road trips, and it takes about six hours to drive from San Antonio to Dallas. We stopped at a gas station because we needed to use the restroom. Then we noticed a dog that looked like she'd had puppies. She looked like she hadn't eaten for days. Do you love dogs? We don't have pets in our home, but we love all animals!
We had nothing in our car for her to eat but apples. We rolled one to her, but she didn't even look at it, let alone eat it! Then we poured some water on a disposable plate, and she drank some of it gratefully, but she still looked very disappointed that she didn't have any food.
We usually don't shop on Sundays to keep the day holy, but we decided to make an exception. We bought her some beans, sausages, tuna and, as a special treat, some beef jerky (we are vegan, but we figured she wasn't!). Mom opened the cans and cut up the sausages for her. She ate until every last piece was gone and even came back to lick up the leftovers! We decided to name her Charity because charity means to give help, service and love to someone in need. Charity had a smile of gratitude on her face. It was wonderful to see her attitude change because of what she'd received.
We learned that we can always be grateful for anything that we are given, even if we don't like it. That is the true meaning of gratitude. No matter who you are, where you are, what time it is or how you are feeling, you can find so many things to be grateful for just by looking around you!
We can be grateful for our clothes, food and shelter, in addition to things that do not have a price tag, such as family, friends, hugs, kisses and smiles. Those are some of the greatest things you can be grateful for! Think about it — just the fact that you are alive means you have something to be grateful for!
Remember to say "thank you" whenever someone does something nice for you or when you notice something good that has already happened in your life. We can always take the time to thank the people that take care of us by doing something nice for them without expecting anything in return.
When we focus on the things we have instead of the things that we want, we can be more grateful. For example, if you are at a store grumbling about a toy you really want, you could be grateful for the toys you already have that other kids do not.
You can also be grateful for who you are, your talents and your personality. My sister and I always pray to God to thank Him for who we are. For example, if you really like a famous celebrity, but you criticize yourself because you think you are not as pretty or handsome, you can be grateful you are kind, sweet, loving and good-looking in a unique and different way.
We can also be grateful for the beauty that surrounds us by going outside every day and taking time to be in tune with nature.
A game that we made up, called the "Rainbow in the Clouds" game, will help you remember to be grateful. The clouds represent the things that seem to go wrong in life, and the rainbows represent the things you can be grateful for. You are supposed to think of a cloud and then think of a rainbow that can help you replace the cloud. You can play by yourself or with a friend.
Keep In Mind: Play the "Rainbow in the Clouds" game to remind you to be grateful!
3 Ways You Can Practice Gratitude
* Say "thank you" to someone once a day, even if it is for something small. After you do, reward yourself with a "Gratitude Dance" (a made- up silly dance you enjoy).
* Make a gratitude rock. Find a special rock and clean it. Paint "I Am Grateful," "Thank You" or "Gratitude" on it. Put it in a place you can see it often. Every time you look at it, think of something you are grateful for.
* Find a notebook or notepad, and write down three things you are grateful for every day. This will be your "Gratitude Journal." Read it whenever you are feeling sad or angry so you remember that you can still be grateful even when you have those feelings.
Now it's your turn!
3 Ways I Will Practice Gratitude
I Believe In ME
"If you keep on believing, the dreams that you wish will come true."
Our mom has always told us that we can be anything we want to be if we believe in ourselves. My sister and I wanted to start an art business because we had — and still have — a strong passion for painting. We didn't believe that kids could run a business or that we had a realistic goal to start our own. Our mom kept encouraging us, but we kept on making excuses that we didn't know how to make it happen. Finally, we decided to follow our dream and create WhollyART (with help from our mom, of course!). We have learned that when you make a choice and follow it with faith, anything can happen. When you put effort into making your dreams come true, you can really do and be anything you want!
What is your dream?
Start believing you can make your dreams come true. Make a plan, do your research and then get to work to make it happen!
Remember how I said we love all animals? We once saw a turtle on the side of the road. Our mom said, "Stop the car," and our dad hit the brakes to avoid hitting it. "Hope The Turtle," as we named her, was very hot and dry from the sun. She even had acid dried on her shell! My mom held her on the front seat, and we all said encouraging words to her while she was in our car. Our dad drove to the nearest pond where we left her so she could be safe. Whenever we walk by that pond and see the turtles, even little baby ones, we imagine that it is Hope and her family.
I tell you this story because I believe that it represents our lives. We have to believe in ourselves to cross the road, or meet our challenges, and we have to accept help when we need it, like when we helped Hope get back to the pond. We not only need to believe, we must take action and that first step for wishes to come true.
Sometimes we feel like we can't achieve our dreams because they seem so far away. But sometimes you are so close to reaching them that you just need to believe and have faith!
One of my favorite field trips when I lived in Florida was going to Thomas Edison's home and seeing his inventions. Did you know that his own teacher told him that he wasn't smart because he asked too many questions? His mom home-schooled him for this reason, and Thomas Edison became the first person to make a light bulb! It doesn't matter what anyone thinks of you ... you are smart and you can do anything you BELIEVE you can do.
When you have a dream, be patient and have DETERMINATION to achieve your dream. Keep thinking you can do it even if people tease you. They cannot change your destiny — only YOU can.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "I Love Me!"
Copyright © 2015 Elisha & Elyssa.
Excerpted by permission of Morgan James Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Debra Gano,
A Note From The Authors,
Chapter 1 I Am Loved,
Chapter 2 I Take Care of Me,
Chapter 3 I Choose Well,
Chapter 4 I Am Grateful,
Chapter 5 I Believe in Me,
Chapter 6 I Can Be More,
Chapter 7 I Give Back,
About Wholly Art,