Tag Archive | Children

Summertime by Vicki Batman

From Christina: I’m pleased to have Vicki Batman here today to share a few thoughts about summertime.  It’s always a pleasure to visit with her.



by Vicki Batman

Summertime–fun days!

When my kids began school, I would count the days like this:

  • Labor Day
  • Halloween
  • Thanksgiving
  • Holiday break
  • Presidents Day
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Spring Break
  • School is out.


Summer Pic


As a little girl, my family went on some great vacations–Gulf of Mexico and Galveston Island, Florida, California. And I wanted those experiences for my children, too. Trips to visit family members, Washington D.C., New York City, and Colorado.

Sometimes, we moms don’t know what things we’ve taught our kids will stick. I took mine to the art museums. I loved going and only had a one opportunity when I was a child. I determined that wouldn’t happen to mine.

Statue of LibertySo we were on vacation in New York City. We’d planned age appropriate Broadway shows, a trip to the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island, the exhibition Art of the Motorcycle at the Guggenheim.

But I had to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and if I really wanted to go, I had to take the boys. I’d mapped out that visit so they wouldn’t be bored. First, the arms and Armaments; then, the Egyptian stuff; finally, we passed though to another area and skimmed by the Impressionist exhibit.

Money PicThat’s when I heard, “Look, Mom, a…”




I had to stop and take that in. Wow, they remembered.

Time marches on. The kids are grown, and we don’t have the same kind of vacations. Whenever I’m vacationing in NYC, I go to the Met by myself, pass through the Impressionists and think, “Look, Mom, a Monet.”

Maybe I’ve done my mom job well.


About Vicki:

Vicki BatmanLike some of her characters, award-winning author, Vicki Batman has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general “do anything gal” at a financial services firm–the list is endless.

 Writing for several years, she has completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories to TRUE LOVE, TRUE ROMANCE, TRUE CONFESSIONS, NOBLE ROMANCE PUBLISHING, LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS, MUSEITUP PUBLISHING, and THE WILD ROSE PRESS.

She is a member of RWA and several writing groups and chapters. In 2004, she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. DARA awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010.

 Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking “What if??”


Father’s Day Ideas by A J Best

From Christina: Next weekend we’ll be celebrating Father’s Day. My husband already has his present — the old weed-eater broke, so I convinced him he needed a new one.  Of course, I’ll give him a lovely card, too, along with a special treat. Cream puffs. He loves them. 

Author A J Best is here today to share a few ideas to help you make your Father’s Day special.


Father’s Day Ideas

by A J Best

Father’s Day is just around the corner. My relationship with my father was never one where I made something for him, or even bought him something. And now that I’m getting older and I see how I want my kids to treat their father, it saddens me that I don’t have the experience to help them make something spectacular for their dad. And knowing their dad, spectacular meant that they remembered Father’s Day to begin with.

So, without the worldly experience behind me I did what any normal human would do, I Googled it. I think I found the perfect thing for at least the 10 year old to do. Check this out:

Father's Day


I borrowed the picture and the idea from this blog: A Day In My Life.

She really does have some great ideas. Even if you don’t have the best relationship with your dad, I suggest using tips from others to make sure your kids have memories to share with theirs.


A J Best is a frequent contributor to Time for Love.  Visit her at her blog: A J Best Writes.

Winter Chill – Delicious Chili by A J Best

From Christina: Bet you didn’t know that today is National Chili Day! I wouldn’t have known it either if my buddy A J Best hadn’t sent me a calendar listing lots of little known holidays and celebrations.  She’s a delightful friend, one who’s always willing to share. One cold winter’s morning, as we chatted online about food and recipes, she shared a simple, but delicious recipe for — wait for it — CHILI!  So, when I scanned the list of February’s “special days” and saw National Chili Day, I quickly asked AJ if she’d share the recipe again with Time for Love readers.

Winter Chill – Delicious Chili

By A J Best

Winter. It’s supposed to be pristine, white, sparkly and beautiful. Children are supposed to be outside playing Norman Rockwellesque, all happy and smiling. But if winter where you are is anything like winter where I am is, it’s a little grey and dreary. Here in the middle of the middle of nowhere, it’s <expletive removed> cold!


Winter Image from Tami


 So, what does a homebody do when it’s miserably cold and the family is stuck in front of the TV/computer? She makes chili! Come into my kitchen and I’ll show you how to make chili the easy way. You’ll be back in front of the fire cuddled with a book in no time.

 Super Simple Chili Recipe

1 pound ground meat (turkey, venison, beef, etc.)

2 cans beans (dark/light red kidney, black beans, etc.)

1 large can of diced tomatoes

1 jar salsa (in any heat level you choose, we go mild because of the kids)

Brown ground meat. If it’s a fattier type meat, drain grease. Open cans with can openers, open jar with hands. Pour cans, undrained, into pot. Pour salsa into pot. Stir. Eat.

* * * *

Really, it’s that easy. No muss no fuss.

I’d love to know what comfort foods you make when it’s just too bloody cold to go outside. Leave the recipe, I’d love to try it.

Winter Reflections by Beverly Ovalle

From Christina: It’s been a cold, cold winter here in the midwest. Today’s guest author, Bev Ovalle, knows all about cold — and she takes it in stride. She’s here to share a few reflections on the season as well as some fantastic family photos. Enjoy!

Winter Reflections

by Beverly Ovalle

Winter has always been a season I’ve enjoyed.  Growing up in the Midwest, outdoor winter fun was always a feature.   Every winter sent us out to the pond to ice skate when I was growing up.  I may not have been great at it, but even today I still grab my skates and head out to the rink on the lake.  Snow ball fights and sledding were a daily feature whenever my brothers and I didn’t have school.  I learned the hard way not to sit at the front of a toboggan.  I was run over more than once when I fell off!  Okay, it took me a while to learn that.  I can be an incredibly slow learner!

Winter is a season of celebration for me.  Aside from Christmas, my son, daughter and husband have birthdays in December.  Their births were definitely a reason to celebrate as I always had wanted children.  My brothers are in November and January and my mom’s and mine are in February.  There are a number of birthdays in the family during the winter months and we love to celebrate, any reason for cake and ice cream!


It was also the season of one the worst times in my life as I miscarried when I was three months pregnant.   I eventually learned to live with it, but that still has the ability to squeeze my heart in pain, regardless that more than a decade has passed. What I remember that winter is wandering the streets in the middle of the night as it snowed.  I couldn’t sleep much for a long time.  Wandering in the dark and quiet brought me the peace I needed.


My best winter memory-other than the birth of my children- is Christmas Day a few years ago.  I came downstairs and my daughter said that my son had sent a special gift for Christmas.


When I went to unwrap it, my daughter told me the box was sitting on my gift, just lift it up.  My son was inside!  He was leaving in two weeks for his first deployment to Afghanistan.  I bawled like a baby I was so happy to see him.


Winter is a busy, busy season for me.  I work at the Post Office so it is off the charts insane.  Thank goodness most customers are pleasant and understanding of the lines.  I do my best to make sure we have as much help as possible to keep the lines flowing.  I used to carry mail and always felt like the stay puff marsh mellow man when I was all bundled up.  Lucky as slippery as it is during winter, when I fell when I was all bundled up I usually just bounced.  Snow, ice and sidewalks just don’t mix well!


Probably in self defense from the intensity of the season at work, I dislike decorating for the holidays.  Now that my children are grown, I can get away with a little tree, but my husband likes to decorate.  Unfortunately I usually have to clean it up.  I’m ruthless.  I usually have it all down my New Year’s.

Because of work I usually don’t have time for baking or preparing anything special even though I just love Christmas Cookies.  I haven’t had time for years to do more than make cookies from premade batters.  I volunteered with a children’s group at church and we always made cookies in the church basement and packaged them up for shut-ins which we handed out when we went Caroling to their homes.  It was a wonderful experience to see that happiness we brought into the lives of our elderly when a group of children came to spread Christmas cheer.

Winter here brings lots of extra work. Scraping the cars off to not just get to work, but just to get into the car!  I rarely shovel as I have my husband for that.  I have no idea of even how to turn on the snow blower.  If I have to clear snow it is with the shovel, or I call one of my son’s friends and pay them to do it.

My preferred activity is to sit inside with a hot drink; sitting in my recliner and watching the snow come down.  Too bad that is something that rarely happens.  Maybe one day.

About Beverly: 

Beverly Ovalle lives in Wisconsin with her husband of 24 years, Edmond, and two Chinese Water Dragons. Her son Nicholas is in the US Marines.  Her daughter Susannah lives nearby and is a CNA.

 Beverly has traveled around the world thanks to five years in the US Navy and has worked for the government in one capacity or another for the past 30 years. Beverly and her brothers have travelled most of the continental United States as children due to the station wagon from Hell.  Still active with veterans, she is adjutant for her local AMVETS.

 She has published two books. Dragons’ Mate with Boroughs Publishing Group came out March 2, 2013 in their Lunchbox Romance Line. Her second, Lightning Strike, was published with Secret Cravings Publishing on November 2, 2013 in Weekend Getaways.


Thoughts about Fall by Krista Ames

From Christina: So pleased to share another bit of romance from another lover of autumn. Please welcome Krista Ames to Time for Love.

Thoughts about Fall

Who doesn’t love fall ?

It’s literally my favorite season and I don’t think I always knew that.  I grew up in Indiana where we definitely had four seasons and once I became an adult, I always hated to see snow come and the need to drive in it, especially after I had kids.  Once my third child was born, we made the life altering decision to move to Florida and warm weather all the time was quite a change from what I’d been used to.  I think after a year there I finally figured out what I was missing.  There are no season changes.  There was only hot and hotter.  The fall came and went with no changing of the colors and even at Christmas there was no snow.  How weird do you think it was to be wearing shorts and a T-shirt at Christmas?  The longer we stayed there, the more I missed fall and the cooler, sweatshirt and jeans weather.

Finally after three-ish years and some tough personal issues, during the fall season I made the decision to move my children and myself back to Indiana.  It was a beautiful drive and good to be getting things back to normal.  Then I met my second husband and was so thrilled that he loved fall as much as me.  So much so that we even got married in the middle of September, outside at a state park and planned a fall themed wedding.  Every year now we make a point of taking a color tour of the north between mid-September and mid-October.

Now, we live in Northern Lower Michigan and the leaves have changed colors and mostly fallen from the trees.  I took advantage when I could and snapped tons of pictures of my kids with the fall theme.


The weather was a cool 40 degrees over the weekend as we took the kids to a fall festival.  I’m not looking forward to fall ending because the temperature will continue to drop and that white stuff will be here before I want it to.  Once it arrives, I’ll be asking myself as I do every year now, why is it that I moved from Florida?

Yep that’s right, because fall is my favorite season and it’s worth it just to have a few months of that cool and beautiful weather.  If there was a place in the states where the weather was 60ish degree sweatshirt weather year round, trust me, I’d be there !!

So how do you feel about fall?

Author Bio: Krista is a full time, stay-at-home mom. She pursues her writing career when she’s not chasing kids, cooking, or doing laundry.  Watch for her upcoming release from The Wild Rose Press, titled “Second Nature”. It’s Book One in the “Second Series”. Krista can be found online at Passion for Romance. She loves to hear from readers. You can also contact her by email, krista@kristaames.com.