Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Upcoming Events

Here are a few upcoming events that I many of you can attend!

Celebrate Roanoke!
The Book Carriage & Coffee Shop
304 N. Oak
Roanoke, Texas 76262
3:30pm - 5:30pm
The festival is all day -- I will be at the Book Carriage from the times above
Come on out for GREAT FOOD and FUN to the
Visit their FB page for more information

Saginaw High School
Rough Rider Bazaar & Craft Show
800 N. Blue Mound Road
Saginaw, TX 76131
9am - 4pm


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Trinity GAP Pet Fair

Today - September 21, 2013, Muffin and I, packed up our gear and headed to Euless, TX to the Trinity GAP Club's Pet Fair ... last year it rained the entire event -- this year it was beautiful outside; a wonderful 80 degrees and sunny! Perfect Pet Fair weather!

Many vendors were present ... from the Girl Scouts booth that featured Glamour Shots with your pet, to other Rescue Clubs, to pet scarves and collars, microchipping (which Muffin experienced today!), vaccinations and the ever famous - Trinity Gap Garage Sale!

We met many, many people and Muffin was lucky enough to be petted by a little BOY who NEVER petted a dog before because he is scared of them! But his mom was watching Muffin's behavior and said she was impressed because she was so good with children and was so calm! I am proud that the first dog he ever petted was Muffin!
Muffin checking out the crowd!
Look in his little backpack!
It is his NEW PUPPY!!!!
How adorable is this!!!!!!!!!!!
The things you see at a PET FAIR!
Muffin looking super sweet!!!
My mom makes PUPPY quilts .... sold 4 of them today!
If you're interested in a puppy couch quilt ....
I love how well behaved Muffin is ....
she can stay on her blanket with many
distractions happening around her!!!!
She is a wonderful PUP!
This little guy got adopted
He is actually just flopped over sleeping!
So exhausted from looking cute all
morning that when they adopted him
Muffin and I
We had a wonderful day at the
Trinity GAP Pet Fair!
Please check out the TRINITY GAP CLUB on Facebook
if you are looking to adopt a pet and are located
in the Euless, TX area

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Trip to Stephenville ...

Today I packed up my book things, left the house at 5:45am and headed to Stephenville, TX for the 2013 Central Texas Child Care Conference, which was hosted by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Tarleton State University. I met many Child Care providers who purchased books and talked with me about hosting book events ... I was so busy talking with participants that I forgot to take pictures of my table and the event!

But ... I did take some pictures of my travels. Stephenville, TX is about 70 miles South of Fort Worth and I have never been to this town. I jumped on Hwy 377 and basically had the road to myself -- I love driving along in the early morning hours on a less traveled road in Texas - it gives me time to think and recharge myself ... seeing the world awaken is also always glorious to me. When I was getting close to Stephenville, I stopped on the side of the road to take this shot ... I also wanted to stretch out my back a bit, because it was hurting ... NO OTHER CARS for as far as the eye can see! The light you see was from some building pretty far away.

Just as daylight hit and I drove into Stephenville, I saw this beautiful house that is a renovation project for the city ... you may see an old, broken windowed, and run down property -- but I see a gorgeous piece of history and would LOVE that wrap around porch and would love filling it with antique furniture!

This house would make a beautiful Bed & Breakfast!

Another thing I love about driving to a new place in the dark ... is driving home in the daylight and seeing things that I missed on the way! I had been to Granbury before but I never made the jaunt from Granbury to Stephenville .... This sign DEFINITELY PEAKED my interest. So I made a U-turn and pulled into the parking lot and made my way to .... the BOOK yard!

They had FREE books in a bin on that table in the front and I picked up a 1950's Webster's Dictionary and a really cool Horizon Art Book. I went inside and found a ton of paperback books all neatly stacked on shelves and a woman who came out and apologized for being dirty but she was digging thru boxes of books to put out on the shelves! I told her I was a Kinder teacher and asked where the children's books were - she only SELLS children's books on-line she told me ... but directed me to 4 bins of kids books that were FREE! So I parked myself on the floor and looked through each and everyone one!
I found some really cool books I can put in my library at school and also a book called Puppets
U.S.A. - Texas that is full of folktales, art and crafts from Texas (very timely since we are beginning our lessons on Texas next week!)
And all my books were FREE! I did put a few dollars in the Friends of the Library Donation bucket and the owner told me to stop by anytime ... she said she puts new children's books out about every other day!
This is the town where the Book yard was located ... many of the stores were boarded up, but many are being renovated ... I love small towns like this! I love the architecture and I'm glad to see this small town is coming back to life!
Along the way I saw some beautiful ranches -- across the railroad tracks was a huge horse farm!
This house and 31 acres are for sale ...
I don't think I sold enough books today to purchase this ....
oh well -- maybe someday!!!!!!
Another thing I love about ranches is the GRAND entrance ways they have ... I saw many cool ones on this journey, but there was lots more traffic and some of the entrances come up so quickly that I didn't have time to stop and be safe .... but .... I did stop for this one ... thought it was cute!
This property had another entrance farther down .... and it was super cool -- and had bigger L's but it was on a curve and felt it wasn't safe to stop! I'd love to see their house!!!!!
So, I continued on my journey ... as I was nearing Granbury I saw a garage sale sign so I figured I'd stop and check it out!
This family was wonderful! I purchased a brand new Candyland game, a bead bracelet kit, a bunch of puzzles, a wooden A,B,C puzzle, and a matching A,B,C card game all for 5 bucks ... while I was checking the A,B,C card game to see if all the letters were there, this sweet little girl helped me. We discovered the game is missing K ... it's okay - I think I can put FAKE pieces in there!  lol!!!!
I asked her what grade she's in and she told me first -- her mom wanted my name and contact info and said if they find the piece they'll get it to me ... I was in a good mood and since Josslyn helped me look through the cards, I gave her a Went Out To Get a Donut book! By the time I was leaving she was sitting in the chair reading it!  The smile on her face MADE MY DAY!
Going to book events in new areas are really fun for me and I love when I have extra time to stop and smell the flowers or in this case ... get some FREE books and see a smile on a first graders face!
Thanks for taking the time to see some of the sites I saw today on my journey to Stephenville!  
Just a reminder ... if you have not done so, could you please take a moment to VOTE for the in The Author's Show Contest -- please click the link below to go to the voting page

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


I have entered the 2013/2014 Edition of
"50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading"

I am in the Finalists Phase ... and voting ends November 1, 2013

If you click on the following link:  AUTHOR's SHOW Contest
You will be directed to The Author's Show Contest Page ... Find my name (they are in alphabetical order) -- Eckroat, Laura W. -- If you click on my name you'll be able to read my essay.  

The LINK to vote is at the BOTTOM of the page ... at the end of the AUTHOR's LIST! 

Thanks for your VOTE!!!  I appreciate your support!!!!!!


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Gaining a son ...

OR ... Losing a daughter?

I hope I have not lost her - though sometimes now she seems a million miles away. It is very hard to wrap my head around the fact that she is 20, in college, and now married! All these things make me extremely happy, but why then do I long for the days of bringing her home from the hospital in a BLIZZARD in Denver, or pushing her in her Little Tykes car in Georgia, or watching her make her first SNOW BLOB in Massachusetts and seeing her face light up the first time she put on her very own pointe shoes and fighting with her while she was learning how to drive ... I'm happy and sad all at the same time -- it is really quite hard. All those memories ... it truly was A Simpler Time! But time marches on and I will have many new memories -- Texas Ashley memories and Ashley and Forrest memories -- wherever life may take them.

The first time I saw or heard about Forrest ... this is what I saw .... yes ... this is Forrest -- my new son-in-law! Forrest making a silly face for the camera - just like Ashley usually does! He appeared in Ashley's 100 days of moving photos on FB three years ago ... and they became fast friends. I heard Forrest this and Forrest that ... I figured they may be more than friends ... but she insisted they were friends. Muffin absolutely adores him ... and I know Forrest adores Muffin!

They became an official FB couple on October 31, 2010; they have been through good times and bad. They have had fights and have made up. They have been to proms and have done the BIG MUM exchange for the Boswell HS Homecoming ! (which really is a BIG DEAL in TEXAS!). They have supported each other through some tough family issues and have had to say good-bye to each other .... when she left for college and he left for Navy boot camp and then again a few days after they got married. They have laughed and cried together .... and they love each other unconditionally. They sometimes Facetime each other and don't say a word -- just knowing the other is there helps them be apart. They now will need to be supportive as each works towards a goal that will make them stronger as a couple -- she's a Sophomore studying Elementary Education at UNT and he's a Machinist Mate stationed on the USS Eisenhower in Virginia.

And now ... they have taken the next step in their lives .... They became husband and wife on August 14, 2013. So ... I have NOT lost a daughter -- I have gained a son and am very proud of both of them!

Opening a Wedding Card
Getting ready
on his iPhone ... a great moment!
 Exchanging Rings
I was so touched when Ashley came to me and asked if she could wear the dress I wore when Steven and I renewed our Wedding Vows. Ashley re-designed the dress, had it altered, and it looked gorgeous. She also wore my shoes that I wore when I got married ... I did not realize that those things meant a lot to Ashley ... one night I cried myself to sleep because I was so touched that she wanted to use these things on her special day. It really meant the world to me, more than she can even imagine. She also has my mom's wedding engagement ring along with a beautiful diamond band that Forrest picked out for her ... My mom was so happy that they could use it and feels that it will bring them MANY years of happiness!! It was great to get her blessing for the ring. I hated that it was sitting in my jewel box.
I love hand pictures
  they are exchanging rings

Me, Ashley, Forrest & Steven
This is one of my favorite pictures.
The restaurant was so festive and they look so
 Their rings
 Steven also designed her bouquet -- just as he did mine when we got
married -- he knows Ashley loves red/white roses and with the
blue ribbon - it was PERFECT!
The cake was designed by The Flour Shop Bakery
in Highland Village and was designed to match
her bouquet ... it was REALLY GOOD!
I hope they are this happy always!
They promised not to squish cake
especially so Forrest's Blues wouldn't get
icing on them
I remember his 18th birthday party
my HOUSE had ICING all over the place!
Husband and wife!
Taking some cake ... for their very short
Yes .... I started this post with a similar picture!
They are truly meant for each other
I love them both very much
Even though ... taking pictures of them is quite difficult at times.
Forrest & Ashley Joe Fowler
August 14, 2013

Sunday, September 1, 2013

My students need your help!

Hi Facebook, Web & Twitter Friends:
This year, I am teaching Kindergarten -- this classroom was added so there are limited supplies for my kiddos. For those of you who know how passionate I am about teaching, I want to make sure my students have the materials they need to succeed. So I've created a classroom project request at, an award-winning charity. If you know me, you know I love books--my project focuses on getting some GREAT picture books, Scholastic magazines, and a REAL bookshelf for my Kindergarten Classroom. I know my students will love having access to some wonderful authors, like Eric Carle and be able to take their Scholastic Magazines home to share with their families!

I'm asking for donations of any size to help my kids. For the next week, any donation you make to my project will be doubled (up to $100). If you are unable to donate, but you know anyone who is passionate about education, please pass this along. Your donation will brighten my students' school year, and you'll get photos and thank you notes from our class.

Here's my classroom request:
Have Students - Need Books

 To have your donation matched dollar for dollar, enter the match code INSPIRE on the payment screen. This awesome match offer lasts through September 8, 2013.

My students and I greatly appreciate your support.
Thank you all for your support!!!!!
 Laura Eckroat  ; )