A Thank You Letter from a Student

faviconI’ve taken my role as an educator seriously whether working closing with children in public school settings, graduate level students, or with my own daughter.


It makes my heart glad realizing students not only accomplish and master targeted curricular goals and objectives, but when students take time reaching out to teachers/professors thanking them for marked services, it makes me realize my work has value, and my students are achieving expected standards.


Below, I’m sharing a letter received from one of my graduate level students who’s aspiring to become a public school administrator. This student was enrolled in “The Classroom Teacher as a Researcher” course I taught during summer 2014.


This notice came by way of an email, but I certainly had not expected it. It was indeed a lovely surprise.


Dr. Vasquez,

 I just wanted to give you an update on my research. I was able to use most of the paper I submitted to you. However, I updated it to fit my research tutee and made the changes you suggested. I am so happy to let you know that my first three chapters have been submitted and accepted without any recommendations for changes.
I want to thank you for your supervision and guidance to reach this point!
(student name was here)

Bullying Statistics 2014

teacherOctober is Anti-Bullying month, and yet the statistics are still alarming.


Check out the latest bullying statistics at the website below!




With so much in the media about bullying, you’d think there would be a drastic decline by now.


Please visit my Pinterest Boards where you will find various books, materials/resources, videos and messages from a host of authors who pledge their time and energy in efforts to help end bullying — http://pinterest.com/booksthatsow/


If you know of families who are dealing with bullying issues, you may also want to peruse my Pinterest Boards for Diversity materials and tools, or take a look at the links found on my website.  Diversity activities can be useful with ending bullying. You must also remember Self-affirmation and Self-fulfilling Prophecy activities which may help build empowerment within children. Empowerment skills will help esteem levels of both the bully and the bully-ee in positive, productive ways.


Please do all that you can in your communities, schools, and workplaces to help put an end to this dreadful pandemic called bullying.


When Your Boss is the Bully

Photo   Yes, the bible is right!

I Peter 2:18-25   Servants, be submissive to your masters with all fear, not only to the good and gentle, but also to the harsh. 19 For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. 21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.


If we have faith, I certainly realize we can’t be double-minded and/or take matters into our own hands, but we must defend ourselves just long as we keep things in perspective, act calm and humble ourselves.


If, however, you find yourselves having to defend what is just and right, and if you have been unjustly portrayed as someone else, or lied upon, you may want to follow these steps:

  • Join a Union (you may need to speak to the legal team of your organization)
  • Let your boss realize you feel harassed. By doing so, they may “back off” for fear they are “getting in over their heads”
  • Whenever you meet with your boss behind closed doors, you may want to take a witness with you. Most people will not want any part of being your witness, but ensure them they do not have to say a word
  • If you cannot take a witness, take a tape recorder with you. Follow the law of your state if you choose to do this, however. In Texas, all one has to do is announce and/or alert the other party they are being taped. It isn’t wise to record someone without their knowledge.
  • Keep a journal, log, or notebook of all interventions, or conversations with your boss
  • Invest in dividers/tabs for your notebook. Have sections for the following: verbal interactions emails, and any written correspondences. Note dates, times, settings and any witnesses.
  • Keep two sets of your journal, log or notebook. The one kept at work may suddenly come up missing
  • Keep any and all records. You’d be surprised how emails will end up supporting you. NEVER get anything via verbal correspondence. Your boss will deny telling you anything.
  • Never share your thoughts, and/or actions with ANYONE. You’d be surprised who your friends are NOT during times like these.
  • Smile lots. Never let your boss realize they’re making you feel uncomfortable
  • Never insubordinate yourself.
  • Follow all rules and remain on your P’s and Q’s – Dot your I’s and cross your T’s. Your boss will look for ANYTHING to “ruffle your feathers” and cause you to lose your job.
  • Pray lots! God’s intervention is AWESOME!


Note: Your boss will do a great job of alienating you, so be prepared for becoming a loner. Even those who feel your boss is wrong will not want to associate with you for fear the same thing may happen to them – Sad, but true.


Note: Your boss is human and will fall short at times. When he/she keeps copies of their mishaps, make a copy of it and/or obtain (whatever it is) for your records.


At this point, your boss will be happy to “back off.” Your boss must treat, and give you the same respect as the other team members in your department. For example: If they give one team member flex time, you must be given flex time.

Pep Talk

IsabellaAs our children journey back to school this year, let us not forget to give them a huge hug while assuring them we are their best advocates, and spokespersons just long as they follow school rules, respect themselves and others, and follow the laws of the land.


I believe in my heart of hearts if we instill in our children there are rules to be followed, perhaps our children can and will avoid adverse issues unawares.


Our children must also learn empathy and care for one another. They must learn to work hard for the things they need, and desire. If so, they will surely become proud of themselves and their goods.


When our children are not with us, but in the trusting hands of school officials, we must allow our children to soar while becoming responsible citizens in our society who will one day be charged with making decisions in our stead.


Remind our children to choose their company wisely, not become followers but leaders. Let us remind them if it doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t right. Tell our children it is okay to move themselves out, or away from situations that aren’t good for their well-being.


When peer pressure lurks their way, it is okay to stand tall and say “no.”


Tell children to “keep their heads to the grind” meaning – listen to your teachers, get organized and remain that way.  Remain studious, ask questions and get their assignments completed in timely fashions.


Let us give our children a “pep talk” today and throughout the school year, and let us pray for their safety, strength, and positive growth in right directions.


Cherrye S. Vasquez, Ph.D.

Books That Sow: Strength, Character & Diversity, DBA


Photos within Your Blog Posts: Do You Own Them?

I’m told adding pictures to our blog posts increases the likelihood that people will remain on our website pages much longer than they would if we have posts without pictures.  After studying my Google Analytics, I believe there’s some validity to this statement. At least, it certainly proves to be true for me.


I might add, whenever I’m on another blogger’s site, the pictures add to my curiosity. I gain more insight from the posts, and depending on the topic, I learn more about the author and/or contributor of the posts. For me, I also collect a small sense of connection as I delve more into the author’s world and perspective of their topical messages.


Since I purchased a nice Canon camera a few years back and now own a pretty fancy Samsung Galaxy Note 3, I find myself capturing pictures of all sorts. One never knows when some of the shots may prove useful in one way, or another for my posts.


I’m especially aggressive about this task due to an article I read a few months back. One blogger used a photo within her post that someone else shot.  Somehow, the owner happened upon the blog post and saw their photo used within the author’s blog, and the unimaginable occurred. The blogger was sued and had to pay the owner of the photo a handsome fee. A simple, “I’m sorry. I had no idea I did anything illegal. I didn’t mean any harm.” just didn’t do.


As an author who loves to include photos within my blog posts, I thought, Oh no! I never want this sort of thing to happen to me, so I stopped using photos that aren’t mine, including photos from Ficklr, which I have been told was safe to use. Now, I’m about the business of making my own collage of photos just for my blogging task. If I’ve taken the photos myself, I own the photos, right? Just long as I’m not taking pictures of someone’s child without their permission, I should be okay, at least I hope so.


Just today while visiting my Mom, I thought to take a picture of her new watermelon patch, a small spot she captured in her back yard for growing her very own watermelon. Whoever thought? At least I never at had inkling my Mom would ever do this. This was especially interesting to me for two reasons: (1) My Mom usually keeps a very neat and well-manicured lawn (as you can see this small area isn’t very pretty) (2) I’ve never seen anything like this before in my life — a real watermelon patch growing by my very own Mom right in her backyard, or any place for that matter.


My Mom’s Small Watermelon Patch


This one is the length of my hand.


This one is about the length of my foot (size 71/2).


Although I’m taking many different photos for the purpose of fulfilling this one goal, I’m truly enjoying myself and love how my collage of photos is developing.


I hope you will come back again soon to read more of my blog posts, and enjoy more of my very own shots that I’ll include to spice thing up a bit.


Photo   Oh and by the way, here is side view photo of my beautiful Mom.  This shot was taken last winter as she shopped at a furniture store. Perhaps I’ll capture one of her later on fiddling around in her watermelon patch.




A Grieving Dog

Going on trips with my family is so much fun! The excitement leading up to the days, packing and talking about what we might “get into” once we reach our destination only adds to the fun and anticipation, but what about our dear pets?  Once we reach our destination, do we think about our furry friends left behind with strangers (or in my most recent case my sister) between our fun and laughter?


Photo   Photo   Photo  Photo

For me, preparing vacations is a grueling task because I worry about the pets. I begin thinking about who will take care of all three of them. The cats: Chase and Patch and our dog: Floppy. I’m not as worried about Chase and Patch as much as I am Floppy, however. Any time we’ve had the Vet to board Floppy he wouldn’t eat and is miserably unhappy. I mean, going without food for 5 nights at a time worries me. It was reported by the Vet he actually did this about 3 years ago when we journeyed to Florida for a Disney World trip. It doesn’t seem to matter that the cats are placed near him for familiarity, or that he brings along his favorite toys or snacks, and as far as I know is taken care of quite well, the outcome is always the same.


Well, on our most recent trip to Corpus Christi/South Padre Island (only gone two nights, mind you) I just couldn’t bear to board him, so I asked my sister to “camp out” at our house and take care of our pets since she is very comfortable and familiar with all three pets, but especially Floppy since she helped us crate him. Since my husband and I both worked at the time he came into our lives and of course my daughter was quite young and is school-aged, my sister came in at noon each day for several weeks. She ensured that he “did his business” fed him quite well (giving him special treats along the way), played and loved on him. She literally spoiled him. He gets very excited when she comes over to visit, so she was the perfect person to care for him in our absence. When I contacted my sister, she was happy to take on the role as our pet’s caretaker for two nights, plus she had the entire house to herself, and was welcome to anything she saw and/or needed, so we were all satisfied and relieved. We were set, right?


Upon our return, I was shocked to learn from my sister Floppy was actually in misery most of the time. She actually watched him walk from room to room appearing to look for us, but at least he did eat while in her care. She fed him lots of cheese and deli meats between meals ):


I have noticed however, even after being home one full week, I can’t turn for Floppy. I’ve almost tripped over his little body three times because he is my new shadow. He walks behind me all day long no matter where I go and he wants to sit in my lap all day. At times when I look down he’s peering up at me, and whenever I’m at the computer or kitchen table he’s nestled next to my feet. My husband and daughter have noticed his actions, too. I suppose our dear dog thought we’d left him for good. Poor baby! I’ve had to reassure him all week long that’ll never happen as much as I am able.


I suppose pets are very sensitive and grieve just as we do. I’ve spent time this week letting him realize that he is just as important to me and I am to him.


Here is my big boy now:  He’s finally getting back to his normal self.

A Marketing Plan That Just Might Work This Time

Book TrailerLately, I’ve spent time pondering with an attempt for determining the best way to market my books because as all authors realize, writing the book is the easiest part. Then, comes the marketing. What a trip! And I almost mean this literally. I’ve tried one avenue after another, spent lots of time, effort and money on one plan or another. I realize spending time with one well-thought-out plan is strategically fundamental for gauging value and worth of an approach, but patience is a virtue. We each want instant gratification, exposure and most of all book sales.


Spending time learning what others have done and/or are doing is worth it all right, but what works for some may not work for others, so I’ve continued to read, and search until with the help of others, I’ve lucked upon something I think may work this time.


Here is what I mean:

Targeted audiences: It is highly important for authors to take valued time identifying their targeted audiences. This doesn’t only mean who, but where. Demographics are equally important in this marketing affair. This means authors must know what cities/states to send their marketing information. This all depends on the author’s platform topics. For example, my platform topics center on Diversity and Bullying issues, so I had to research cities who are accepting of multicultural awareness, multiracial/biracial children and family unions, and the like.


In addition, what I’ve learned from a trusted source here lately is less is best, but less doesn’t mean skimpy. Less means putting power within the packaging and streamlining with as much ‘bang” as possible, so instead of stuffing my envelopes with “everything but the kitchen sink” I’ve minimized with these three essential forms.


(1) Cover Letter

Within my cover letter I talk about my platform topics and why I do what I do. This gives the reader an idea of what drives me and my writing. My cover letter is addressed like this:

C/o Managers/Administrators

This way, I have only one cover letter and I don’t have to navigate between too many forms.


(2) Introduction to the Book

Although I’ve authored more than one book, I take turns sending out information on each book. This way, I’m focused on one book giving it its due credence, love and attention. Who knows, if the viewer is interested, they’ll take a look at my website and order my other books.

I have one of these for each of my children’s books.


(3) About the Author

Here, I tell the viewer about ME. Believe it or not, readers are extremely curious about the writer of books they read. I not only talk about my credentials, but I give them a small glimpse into my personal life, and move on to a small spill about my passion for storyline of my work (books)

I only need one Author Bio for all books, right?



By only including these three forms, it also saves on postage, doesn’t take a lot of the viewer’s time, and helps me remain succinct and organized in my planning.


So, Who Receives my Envelopes?


Blue Ribbon Schools

Principals or Counselors




Lead Librarians

Toy Stores (on occasion)


Additional Note:

Each city/state has all four entities, so you’ll have a wealth of people to send your marketing information to.


Will It Work?

Now, let’s see how this plan of action works. I’ll keep you posted on my FB and Twitter pages. I hope we’re friends so you’ll be able to see my updates and progress. I remain positive, upbeat and hopeful about this strategic marketing plan.



Fatherhood: What Does it Really Mean? – Author, Philippe Matthews, Tells Us

Four Fathers book coverWhat does the word father mean to you? What qualities does a great father possess? Does bringing a child into this world constitute such a noble name?


Well, according to author Philippe Matthews, being crowned a father means so much more than that.


Take a closer look at the synopsis of Matthew’s newly released book: My Four Fathers: Personal Virtual Interviews with the World’s Greatest Motivators Who Inspired a Fatherless Son!”



Growing up without a father to guide you throughout the trials and tribulations of life is surely a difficult experience. However, this doesn’t mean that you couldn’t find other father figures who can guide you and mold you into the person you want to become. They could be a teacher you have in school, your neighbor or even an uncle.


This is what “My Four Fathers: personal Virtual Interviews with the World’s Greatest Motivators Who Inspired a Fatherless Son!” is all about. It’s all about finding a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s about not having to be depressed over not having a real-life father to guide you and support you. Rather, the book shows you that you can find inspiration and call certain figures your father even if they aren’t a member of your immediate family.


My Four Fathers is filled with interviews featuring four of the most recognized motivational speakers in the whole world. In the book, you’ll find conversations with Zig Ziglar, Les Brown, Brian Tracy and Dr. Denis Waitley.


Through this book, you will find that inspiration can come from anyone. And in this case, it came from four motivational speakers who served as a guiding light for a young man who grew up without a father. This book shows that the power of positive reinforcement received by fatherless children throughout their formative years can help them transform their lives for the better. Whether you’re a fatherless son or a daddyless daughter, you will find wisdom in this book that will inspire you to beat the odds. It will show you that no matter how dire your circumstances are, you can manage through all of it and become someone who didn’t let adversity affect who they want to be.

It shows that life can be impacted in so many good ways through powerful words uttered by men who have made the lives of others so much better.

 ~Author Philippe Matthews


I must admit I loved this book and the purpose behind it so strongly I rendered it a 5 star review. Take a closer look!  http://amzn.to/1lna01D


To learn more about author, Philippe Matthews:

Philippe “SHOCK” Matthews
Host: The Philippe Matthews Show (TV, Radio, Blog)


Meet My Main Character



(A new manuscript in the making)


I’d like to thank Micki Peluso, author of …. And the Whippoorwill Sang, for inviting me to participate in the blog tour. Please visit Micki’s BlogSpot at: A Writer’s Journey http://www.mallie1025.blogspot.com/


I’ve been asked to respond to the following questions about My Main Character in a Work in Progress.


1.      What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

My main character’s name is Addie Jane. She is a fictional little girl.


2.      When and where is the story set?

The story is set in a small, rural neighborhood. Addie Jane spends lots of time at her dear Aunt Sadie Mae’s house hanging on the window sill.


3.      What should we know about him/her?

Addie Jane is a very smart and determined little girl who believes in doing things for herself. She is a self-starter and is a wonderful problem-solver.


4.      What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?

Addie Jane wants so badly to take piano lessons from her dear Aunt Sadie Mae, but the problem is she isn’t very tall. She has short arms and legs due to a medical condition (I don’t want to give too many spoilers here.)

Because of her medical condition, it is very difficult for Addie Jane to reach the piano keys, and her dear Aunt Sadie Mae’s piano is grand all right.


5.      What is the personal goal of the character?

Addie Jane has always figured out things because she is a problem solver, but this time she is baffled. How will she make her dream come true and not upset her mother?


6.      Is there a working title for this novel, and can we read more about it?

Yes, there is a working title for this manuscript, but it may change. For now I’ve given it this title: “Mighty Cool Difference.” I’ve also contemplated two more titles: “Mighty” and “Different, but Mighty”. Who knows? I many end up not using either of the three. I do know this: My title must be catchy enough to hold the interest of children in the age group I’m targeting for this book.


7.      When can we expect the book to be published?

It is my goal to have this book published in 2015. I’d love to have one book published a year. Of course, goals change and I realize I may have to add a few more “twists and turns” to this storyline to keep it a “page turner” for my young readers.


I’d like to invite you to learn more about two more authors, Chris Pederson and David Freeman.


Author Bio for Chris Pedersen:


Chris and her husband live in the beautiful Sierra foothills in California. With two grown


children and three grandchildren, Chris turned her career of writing technical material—


from manuals to magazine articles—into writing for children and crafting non-fiction


stories from real life. Her picture book, The Prisoner of Carrot Castle, available in a


limited print run, is an iPad interactive app with over 40,000 downloads. To find out new


books coming, visit the website http://purplecarrotbooks.com


Other published work includes: Work and Wag, about dog jobs, in Focus on the Family’s


Clubhouse Jr. Magazine, A Saving Transformation, in THE DOG NEXT DOOR by


Revell, and Get on the Right Train, in INSPIRE TRUST by Inspire Press.


In addition, since conquering cancer with diet, Chris blogs about health, her heart


passion, at Healthy Journey Café where she dishes out recipes and tips to achieve


optimum wellness.


Link to Chris’ blog:




Please meet author, David Freeman(click on the various links and become inspired)



YouTube Trailer
Amazon.com Author’s Page

Rules of Gold: http://amzn.to/NOg3im

Bullies! Where do they come from and how long will they stay?: http://amzn.to/1konGcP


Mushroom Tales

With Mushrooms by Connie Robayo & Tales by Dave Freeman


YouTube Trailer
FaceBook Author’s Page

Amazon.com Author’s Page

“Learning at Home” by Rhonda Cratty

Hello Followers and Friends!


Meet my dynamic friend, Rhonda Cratty. She has written a new book to assist busy parents with educational resources for their children. Take a look at a variety of educational resources.


Get to Know Rhonda Cratty


Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Living in Colorado I enjoy walking, hiking, and cross country skiing in the mountains. When not writing, I enjoy traveling, cooking, quilting, crocheting, and painting, I included my experiences of 30 years of public school teaching, raising children of my own, and articles written for on-line and hard copy publications -within the pages of Learning at home.


What was the most difficult part of writing your book?

Deciding what to leave out, I finally decided there would need to be a second book.


What are you working on now?

I currently am working on the second in the Learning at home series and a children’s book.


What blogs do you belong to and are they blogs that support you book. What is the address to your book? 

I am the Parenting and Education Examiner at http://www.examiner.com/parenting-and-education-in-national/rhonda-cratty. The address for my book is:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1494917203.


When did you join PnPAuthor?

I just joined PnP this spring.  Not only are they very helpful but I am starting to connect with other authors.


When did you write your first book? What lead you to do so?

I spent 30 years gathering information for my book and last year writing it.  What I learned in countless parent/teacher conferences is all parents are busy. Both working and stay at home parents want information of ways to help their children at their fingertips. So I wrote Learning at Home as a resource for all parents to find ideas, homework help, lists of books, recipes, and more.


Do give parents talking points on the topics to help them share information with their children?

Yes, for example  on October #2 I have exactly how to talk about your thinking to lead your child to higher order thinking, and then conversation starters.


Do the activities need supplies? If so do you have a supply list for the activities to make it easier for parents?

I do provide the supply lists, however…the reason for the picture on the cover is to show parents that parents can things use things they have around the house.


Is there a list of book titles with authors that parents could support the themes with?

All throughout the book are lists of books on all subjects.


When talking to parents what do you tell them is the biggest benefit of “Learning at Home”?

Learning at home by Rhonda Cratty is a new parent resource, filled with ideas to help children become the best they can be. Daily activities for family fun, that make subjects become more than pencil and paper, moving learning into everyday life.


Learning at home can be purchased in print or eBook form through Amazon.comhttps://www.createspace.com/4605718 http://www.amazon.com/dp/1494917203


Learn more about Rhonda at her website: http://famfunlearn.com/