Thursday, July 11, 2013

MEET MY FRIENDS: Chateau Meddybemps!

I want to introduce you to two incredible people.  Both are passionate about Early Childhood and best practices for children.  Sharing part of their web site will entice you to check it out so you can share in the new world of technology and young children.  Sometimes in life we meet special people and my friends are special people in the lives of all children.

 Welcome to the world of Chateau Meddybemps!
The writer, illustrator, and designer of this site is Jerry Jindrich (pronounced jin'-drik). That's me. I live in the small town of Newburgh, in southwestern Indiana, with my delightful wife and good friend since first grade in Fairbanks, Alaska, Susan. Susan is responsible for all the material about learning you'll find on the site. 

Susan and I grew up in Air Force families, moving often, changing schools, seeing and appreciating different parts of the world. Somehow, we both ended up going to Auburn University.

I began my career in 1967, after earning a Bachelor's Degree in Visual Design from Auburn. I spent roughly eleven years working in educational television, advertising, and medical communications. I freelanced for five years, and finally spent twenty-three years with a major pharmaceutical/nutritional company.

When the World Wide Web was created, I oversaw that company's online presence, eventually being named the Manager, Internet Design and Development. In that role, I designed and managed its corporate and brand sites through my retirement in 2006. Since then, I have once again taken on freelance projects and am devoting considerable energy to

Susan is a graduate of Auburn's School of Education. She also has an Associate's Degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Southern Indiana and a Master's Degree in Kindergaten/Primary from Indiana State University.

Until this June, Susan was the Program Chair, Early Childhood Education, at IVY Tech Community College in Evansville, Indiana. She was named Teacher of the Year on her campus for the 2011-2012 year. Now she is teaching two courses per semester as an adjunct instructor and loving it. She uses her knowledge and talents to improve teachers' skills.

Previously, Susan spent eighteen years with Head Start, as a classroom teacher, in various managerial roles, and finally as the Director of a three-county program. She has also taught 2nd and 3rd grade in the public school system. She is one of those magical people that children instinctively trust and enjoy.

In 1995, frustrated by rejection notices and the glacially slow submission process used by children's book publishers, I launched the website to showcase my work, hoping to create something so wildly popular that publishers would come to me. I included some of my stories and a few activities to amuse young children. Before anyone publishers called (and some have, finally), it dawned on me that I could accomplish something greater. 

At the time, Susan was developing materials to help parents understand how young children learned, how there was a sequence of skills development, and how parents could take an active role in their child's education. Many parents have unrealistic expectations and this causes problems for them and for their children.

Susan and I realized we could use our website to teach parents and to give them a variety of playful learning tools to use with their children. Our site could be seen families everywhere who had access to the World Wide Web. And, due to the relatively low cost of online publishing, they could use the site for free.

So we changed the nature of On one level, our site is simply a place for children (and grown-ups) to have fun. There are original stories, amusing characters and whimsical ideas. Wordplay and humorous illustrations abound, offering visitors opportunities and reasons to smile, maybe even to laugh. But on a second level, Susan and I are building a site that quietly reflects our belief that learning is a wonder-filled experience for all ages, an experience that can be shared by children, parents and teachers. This site celebrates that belief.

We are continually adding information and activities to the site. Our goal is to promote understanding and provide useful tools. The Internet gives us an unprecedented opportunity to share this material with people around the world.

Creative Services with simplicity and style

Now that I've left the corporate world, I'm free to take on selected creative projects. While I have a broad range of skills and experience, I'm most interested in Web projects and illustration. If you need illustration or Web design/consulting services, write to me at or call me at 812-853-7693.

A Talented C

Many interactive elements appear on thanks to the talents of a terrific illustrator and designer named Suzanne Muse.
Visit Suzanne's Web site ( to learn more about her and see samples of her work for a variety of clients.

Here are links to the pages on this site that she's made more engaging by building Flash interactive modules based on my illustrations:
Come Back Often.
Building a site like this one takes time. So come back now and then to see what's new. We add new material monthly and highlight it on the Fun & Games page and usually on the What's New page.
E-Mail your questions, compliments and/or complaints to:
Or mail them to:
Chateau Meddybemps
P.O. Box 1054
Newburgh, IN 47629, U.S.A.
If you enjoy Chateau Meddybemps, share it with others. Parents who are interested in early learning can really help their children with our parenting guides and activities. Everyone enjoys a good children's story or a bit of humor now and then.
If you wish to support the site, purchase a souvenir or two from our online store. There are lots of colorful T-Shirts, coffee mugs and other products designed by Jerry and available through our partner, Teachers may be especially interested in our downloadable products and the 101 Story Starters CD-ROM. Every little bit helps!
Most of all, HAVE FUN!
Cordially yours,
Jerry and Susan Jindrich

Mary Jo Huff
Mary Jo Huff: Storytellin'

This article could be many more pages but I will introduce many of my friends as time goes along.  Take a few minutes and explore the fascinating site at and enjoy the young child connection.  That’s all until August……….enjoy summer and remember the sunshine when cold weather reenters our lives.
I am privileged to call Susan and Jerry friends and as we work on some new ideas together keep in touch ……there are NEW IDEAS getting ready to bloom.  Check my website for adventures and ideas generated from the world of STORYTELLING. 
Mary Jo Huff

Watch for new adventures from my visit to Texas and the big SPLASH conference by Frog Street.
Also if you are coming to Washington DC for NAEYC in November.......... catch a workshop ................... I am proud to announce that I have been accepted again this year and will plan new and exciting literacy connections.

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