I Love You to the Moon

I Love You to the Moon
Being a Mother is the greatest blessing of my life ~

Sunday, December 22, 2013

My Inspiration for Writing

Good morning all!

Today is the day the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it!! What a beautiful day!

I wanted to share with you from my heart. July 3, 2006 was the greatest day of my life! God gave me the desire of my heart, and that desire was my baby boy, Caleb.

My husband and I have been married for 17 years now, but for the first 12 years we were not successful in getting pregnant. Yes, it was very disappointing especially when everyone around me was getting pregnant. The disappointment started to turn into frustration which I was not liking at all. So, at that point in my life I knew I had to lay it all at the Lord's feet. Once I laid my cares down at the foot of the cross, in that moment, I knew in my heart that God was not going to forsake my dream of being a mother.

In 2005 my husband and I started checking into foreign adoption, but we didn't tell anyone yet. We truly thought we would be adopting a baby from Korea. Unbeknownst to us...the Lord had other plans! We had finished all of the piles of paperwork, interviews and such needed for adoption. Now, we just had to save up the final (large) amount of money needed for the Korean adoption – which we knew would take a while. Well, towards the end of June 2006 we received a phone call about a domestic adoption. Mind you, we were not on any list here in America to adopt! God, being the BIG God He is, orchestrated the entire miracle of Caleb all on His own. From the time we received that amazing phone call – around June 22, 2006 – and the day Caleb was born was just 12 days! That's crazy and unheard of! But God did it! He gave me and my husband the greatest gift of our lives!

This whole story couldn't be more amazing, and I have only told you a very small part. I will save that for future blogs.

My purpose for telling you is this: Caleb is my inspiration for writing children's books. I could not even express in words how much I love my son, and how thankful I am to God for his gift of my precious baby boy.

“I Love You to the Moon” came straight from my heart. It started out as a little rhyme that I would say to Caleb before bedtime, and suddenly it became the poetic lullaby that it is now. It blessed both Caleb and me so much that I realized I wanted to share it with others in hopes that it would bless them as well.

Every child is a gift from God, no matter how they come into the family.

I have so much more to tell about my wonderful son, but you are going to have to wait!

Blessings to you – and tell someone you love them today!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hi friends!  This is the cover of my 3rd children's book coming out this Spring of 2014!!  I am so excited!! The illustrations are being done right now by - Amy Rottinger.  She's AMAZING!  Can't wait!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

November - Adoption Month ~

As I put my sweet baby boy to bed this evening, I was thanking the Lord for Caleb's precious little life, and what a blessing he is to me.  I was also giving thanks to the Lord for his birth mother who chose LIFE for Caleb, and chose me to be his mother.  For that I will always be grateful.  I can't imagine my life without him.

I wrote my very first poem July 2, 1999 called "To You Oh Lord." I was sitting in my car during my lunch hour praying for my baby (mind you...there was no talk about adoption at this point in my life) I felt at that moment I needed a pen and paper so I could write down what my heart was feeling. So I did, and this is what I wrote.  ( this was my hearts cry to the Lord ) -

I humbly bow right now, before Your holy throne,
and offer up a heartfelt prayer, for a child of my own.
Oh, to look upon his glorious face, and into his blue eyes.
To give a sweet kiss upon his lips, and place his hands in mine.
I'd rock him in my arms of love until he fell asleep.
I'd hold him closely to my heart, and pray he sleeps in peace.
My voice will sing praises unto Your wonderful name,
thanking you Lord, for this precious child, this gift you freely gave.
Don't worry Lord, I won't forget to dedicate his life to you,
for you are the one, who gave me my son,
so now, I give him to you.

That was my prayer and hearts cry to the Lord for my baby.  I didn't know where my baby was going to come from, but I knew my baby was in my heart.  I needed to be still and wait upon the Lord for an answer. I wrote this poem July 2, 1999 and 7 years later to the day ( July 2, 2006 ) Caleb's birth mother went into labor with him! God is good and he does hear our prayers.

Caleb is now 7 years old and all boy!  He loves - Soccer, Swimming and Baseball.  Caleb has a big heart! He enjoys giving to others.  He is kind and compassionate towards people.  Caleb is doing very well in school. He is in first grade and learning all kinds of wonderful things.  It has been a wonderful 7 years watching Caleb grow up.  Every stage of his life has been a blessing to me.  I will continue to enjoy every moment of Caleb's journey in this life.

Children are such a blessing and a GIFT from God.  My heart smiles every day because Caleb is in it! :-)

Many Blessings,

Melissa ~

Author of - I Love You to the Moon / Charlie's Gingerbread House

Friday, September 13, 2013

Hi friends!

I wanted to let you know that I  have a book signing on September 20, 2013 at Barnes & Noble in Fairlawn, Ohio from 6 -9 p.m.  Both of my books will be available.  I Love You to the Moon and Charlie's Gingerbread House.  Come on out and say hello!  Love to see ya ~

Book: Pirates on the Farm

Author: Denette Fretz

Illustrator: Gene Barretta

Publisher: Zondervan / Zonderkidz

ISBN: 978-0-310-72348-6

USD: $12.99

Rating: *****

Galatians 5:14 - For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Galatians 6:9 - Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Romans 15:2 - Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.

Pirates on the Farm is a great book for children ages 4-8.  This book is designed to help children understand to 'love your neighbor as yourself.'  I like what the Author, Denette Fretz, says in the back of this book - "As you diligently plant and water, may God cause your child to grow."

Meet the crew of Pirates on the Farm: Captain Greybeard, Ratty, Jolly Roger, Stretch, Pooch, and Digger.  These crazy characters have decided to purchase a farm in a southern community, and live next door to a family of four.  The mother was horrified, but the dad was not.  He saw an opportunity to help the buccaneers. Dad gave the farmers a hand in planting seeds, milking cows, sheering sheep, riding horses and harvesting corn because they didn't know a thing about farming.

The Pirates on the Farm also lacked in social skills.  They would go to church, a store, a Christmas pageant or enroll in school, but it would always end up in some kind of disaster. Damages ensued and needed to be paid, but the farmers had no more money.  They spent it all on their farm.  What were they going to do?  The kind, neighborly mother paid the farmers debt.

Mother now invites the farmers over for dinner every Saturday night.  She and her family have shown love to the Pirates on the Farm. By doing this they have become good friends.  The farmers are now more civilized at dinner and they have become successful farmers!

I like what the author, Denette, said -  "When you plant love it grows."

In the back of this book there is a page written to parents from the author, Denette.



Thursday, July 18, 2013

Book available in hardcover!

My book is now available in HARDCOVER!
So EXCITING!!  Help me spread the good news!

New ISBN # for hardcover - 978-1-61244-205-1
Can be ordered on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Halo Publishing and many more online bookstores!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Book Review - Wonderfully Made

Book - Wonderfully Made

Author - Joyce Meyer

Illustrator - Mary Sullivan

Publisher - Zondervan / Zonderkidz

ISBN - 978-0-310-72353-0

USD - $15.99

Rating - *****

Ages - 4-7

Psalm 139:14 - I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Another picture book well done by author, Joyce Meyer.

Wonderfully Made is about a talent show at the Everyday Zoo that Hayley, Harley, Pouch, Squirt, Mr. Turtellini, and Boyd (and more) want to be a part of.  Hayley Hippo is watching all of her friends practicing some kind of talent, whether it be...singing, dancing, telling jokes or playing an instrument.  Hayley Hippo is struggling to find just the right thing that she is good at and she's becoming discouraged.  Hayley begins to think that maybe God forgot about her.  You know what?  God does not forget about us!  We all have special talents.  We just need to dig deep within ourselves to find it. That's what Hayley is trying to do.  Let's see what happens.  Hayley went to see what some of her other friends were doing and found Squirt the Seal doing amazing things with a ball, so Hayley started taking pictures of this.  Moving on, Hayley saw Boyd and Harley doing magic tricks.  She wanted to try too, but...it wasn't her thing.  Miss Bimble was singing and Miss Monkey was doing acrobatics.  Still not Hayley's talent. Sarge was doing shadow puppets.  Midge and Pidge were ice skating.  Hayley thought she'd try too, but she fell down. Her  bag opened up, and out came all the pictures that Hayley took all day long of her friends and their talent.  Hayley began to think (with the help of her friends) that her talent was right under her nose.  She finally realized that God gave her the gift of taking pictures!

We all are unique.  We all are made in God's image.  We all have special gifts that God gave us.  Let's be proud of who we are.  Celebrate YOU! You are worth celebrating!  Because you are fearfully and 'Wonderfully Made.'


Melissa Staehli ~

Author of - I Love You to the Moon & Charlie's Gingerbread House

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Title- Field of Peace

Author – Joyce Meyer

Illustrator - Mary Sullivan

Publisher - Zondervan / Zonderkidz

ISBN - 978-0-310-72318-9

USD - $15.99

Rating :  * * * * *      

Here are a few verses regarding peace -

Psalm 29:11 - The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.

Isaiah 26:3 - You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.

2 Thessalonians 3:16 - Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.

When you find yourself doing the right thing, it makes you feel good inside; at peace with your decision.  My 6 year old son, Caleb, has been taught at a very early age, to always make sure to do the right thing even when your friends are not.  Having peace in your life is so very important.

In Field of Peace, Joyce has a lot of the same comical characters as in her previous book – Every Which Way to Pray.  Boyd the giraffe, Arnold the armadillo, and the Umpire are the new characters.  Boyd really enjoys playing baseball and really wants to win the championship, but there is one problem… during one of their games, Arnold the armadillo had a bee on his nose and missed hitting the ball.  He got scared and rolled himself into a ball, and they lost the game. Boyd the giraffe was upset at the loss. The final game was coming up and Boyd showed up early to the field. Coach moved the game someplace else and told Boyd to stay here and tell the others, so he did.  But…Boyd left early on purpose, choosing not to tell Arnold so they could win the game. How do you think Boyd was feeling inside?  Do you think he made the wrong decision?  Do you think he was feeling peaceful inside? or miserable?  You’re right, miserable! Boyd knew he didn’t make the right decision and confessed it to his team. Boyd was so upset with himself he ran off the field to go and get Arnold. Well, Arnold was now up to bat and the ball came whizzing by and he got scared again.  What do you think Arnold did?  Yup, he rolled into a ball. But…as he was rolling into a ball, he actually hit the ball and rolled himself right to the home plate where he was safe!  Yay, for Arnold!  The Wilds won the championship!  I am so glad that Boyd made the right decision for himself and the team.

It pays to always do the right thing no matter what!  It’s a win, win.

This book was written for children ages 4-7.  I recommend this delightful book because of the important lesson it teaches.  Peace!

This is my own honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation of any kind for my review.


Melissa Staehli ~

My books – I Love You to the Moon & Charlie’s Gingerbread House

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

VeggieTales Bible NIrV

Title:  The VeggieTales Bible, NIrV

Publisher:  Zondervan / Zonderkidz

ISBN:  9780310722540

USD:  $27.99

Rating:  * * * * *

The VeggieTales Bible, NIrV is a good quality Bible for young readers ages 6-9.  Having said that, I feel that kids who are 6 may need a little guidance from their parents, and kids older than age 9 would really enjoy this bible as well.

The cover of this Bible is very vibrant with colors of red, green, blue and white.  Very appealing to the eye. Inside you will find:

*VeggieTales Stories - There are 32 colorful pages that tell 8 different VeggieTales stories, such as:  Babysitter in DeNile; The Ballad of Little Joe; David and the Giant Pickle; Esther, the Girl Who Became Queen; Rack, Shack and Benny; The Story of Jonah; The Story of Flibber-O-Loo; and An Easter Carol.  Stories told VeggieTale style.

*Book Introduction - I like this idea because it gives the kids an idea of what they will be learning in that particular book of the Bible.

*Index to Veggie Values - There are 39 'Veggie Values' for kids to look up that are in the back of this Bible on page 1307.  To name a few - Be a good friend, Trust God, God made you special.  All of these Veggie Values also have 3-6 scripture verses so the kids can learn more on how to be patient, or how to be kind etc...

*Remember This -  Is specifically designed for the kids to be able to learn over 100 verses and commit them to memory and keep in their hearts.  I like that.

*Dictionary -  Starts on page 1313 and goes from A-Z.  The kids will find words like - Covenant, Faithful, Cherubim or Anointed - that will help them understand the word and what it means.  This is a great tool.

This VeggieTales Bible, NIrV is a perfect way to start and end each, and every day.

This is my own honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation of any kind for my review.


Melissa Staehli ~

My books - I Love You to the Moon & Charlie's Gingerbread House

Monday, March 11, 2013

Springtime brings new life ~

Psalm 104:12 - The birds of the air nest by the waters; they sing among the branches.

Song of Solomon 2:12 - The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;

Matthew 6:26 - Look at the birds.  They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them.  And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are?

Springtime is just around the corner!  I am already hearing the birds chirping and playing in the rain puddles.  I love this time of year because new life will be arriving all around us.  The trees will have their colorful leaves displaying their beauty among the heavens.  Flowers of red, yellow, pink and white will be ready to display their fresh, fragrant scent, of absolute delight.  New life is so beautiful!

Caleb and I love all the little critters that live outside in nature, especially the squirrels and the birds!  We enjoy making treats for them, so we thought we would share our simple critter recipes with you. 

Bird recipe - Grab a carrot or 1 celery stalk and cover it evenly with crunchy or smooth peanut butter.  Roll it in bird seed. Add some fruit or veggies too! Yum!

Squirrel recipe -  Gather some pine cones and attach strings for hanging. Mix two cups of peanut butter (warm it in the microwave to soften it) with two cups of birdseed; smear the mixture onto the pine cones.  Hang the pine cones where the squirrels can reach them.  They will love it!

Sit back and enjoy watching them eat their sweet treat ~


Melissa ~

My book (s) - I Love You to the Moon   &  Charlie's Gingerbread House

Visit - Christian Children's Authors

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Book Review ~

Author – Joyce Meyer

Illustrator – Mary Sullivan

Publisher – Zondervan / Zonderkidz

ISBN – 978-0-310-72317-2

USD – $15.99

Rating –  :) :) :) :) :)    

Here are just a few verses regarding prayer:

1 Chronicles 16:11- Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually.

Psalms 145:18 – The LORD is near to all them that call on him, to all that call on him in truth.

1 Thessalonians 5:17 - Pray without ceasing.

Have you ever wondered how people can feel close to God?  Do you have to be a rainbow in the sky or a bird flying by to be close to God?  The answer is absolutely, NO!  Prayer is not as hard as you may think it is.

Every Which Way to Pray is a delightful book that simply explains to children how easy it is to pray to God from anywhere you are.  Hayley and Harley are the adorable hippos that are trying to figure out how to pray.  They think there are rules to praying, but comical friends of theirs – Miss Bimble the sheep Librarian and a pelican named Pouch (along with many other cute characters) are helping the hippos understand that you can pray from anywhere you are, and it’s just fine with God.  You can pray on a playground; on a bus; in a car; in a tree; or on a train.  You can pray while kneeling, standing or dancing!  God can hear you wherever you are and whatever you are doing.  You can say your prayer in your head or loud and proud, so to speak!  God just wants to hear from you (us).  Joyce puts it very clearly – You talk.  You listen.  You praise.  You thank.  Just like you would with a friend.

This is a great book for children ages 4-7.  Very cute an colorful pictures with adorable comical characters that your child will love!  I highly recommend this book for young readers.

This is my own honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation of any kind for my review.


Melissa Staehli ~

Visit me at – Christian Children's Authors (website)

My books - I Love You to the Moon / Charlie's Gingerbread House

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Book review – Faithgirlz! Whatever.
Posted on January 8, 2013 by Melissa Staehli

Faithgirlz!  Whatever:  Livin’ the True, Noble and Totally Excellent Life

Author:  Allia Zobel Nolan

ISBN:  978-0-310-72534-3

USD:  6.99

Reviewed By:  Melissa Staehli

Rating: * * * * *      

In a day and age where every girl is rolling their eyes and saying this one word we all have heard a million times before…whatever!  The author, Allia, takes that sarcastic word and turns it into a word that you will want your girls to become.  A girl (s) who is ready to live a life that’s more than…whatever!

This book is based on the scripture Philipians 4:8-13 - Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable; if anything is excellent or praiseworthy; think about such things.

I really love this book!  It’s a 90 day devotional for girls 9 and up.  I actually have been reading this book to my young 6 year old son, Caleb, because I believe he can learn from the stories and lessons talked about in this book as well.  It may be a bit over his head, but I try and pull out the important things that I think he will remember.  Caleb has already memorized Philipians 4:8-13.  All of us could benefit by applying this scripture into our everyday living.

I took this ‘Whatever’ book to my sons private school and began reading it to some young girls in the aftercare program.  One little girl in particular became very interested in every chapter I would read to her and she would write down every bible verse that Allia spoke about.  This little girl is 8 years old, and is open to filling her head and heart with these everyday virtues taken straight from Philipians 4:8-13.

Every chapter of this wonderful devotional book starts out with a different scripture that goes along with the story and lesson.  The chapters are only a page and a half long, and at the end of every chapter Allia has a little recap for the girls – Food for Thought, Second Thoughts, Divine Thoughts  ~

Allia has really done an outstanding job with this book!  It’s simple, yet very impactful. Every youth group would benefit from having this book in their church.  I couldn’t put it down!

This is my own honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation of any kind for my review.

Melissa Staehli ~

Author of – I Love You to the Moon / Charlie’s Gingerbread House