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{sols} tick tock

Slice of Life hosted at the Two Writing Teachers Join in and share a slice of your life.


I'm still trying to figure it out.  {Tick. Tock.}

I know there is no magic schedule or formula.

But, how do you do it all?  Balance everything in life?  {Tick. Tock.}

I'm just trying to be the best mom and wife and teacher ...

Time for home and school.
Time for reading.
Time for writing.
Time to just be in the moment.
Time for you.  And you.  And you.
{Tick. Tock.}

Time for just me.
Time for reading the Bible.
Time for exercise.
Time for blog reading.
Time for Twitter, Pinterest, You-Name-It.
{Tick. Tock.}

Time for planning.
Time for PD growing.
Time for fun.
Time for slowing down.
Time for to-do lists.
{Tick. Tock.}

Time for cleaning.
Time for organizing.
Time for laundry.
Time for grocery shopping.
Time for just-for-fun shopping.
{Tick. Tock.}

Time for browsing.
Time for talking.
Time for sleeping.
Time for enjoying the company of friends.
Time for praying.
{Tick. Tock.}

I understand there is a…

{sols} the big baby

Slice of Life hosted at the Two Writing Teachers Join in and share a slice of your life.
First it was moaning.  Then the chills.  A trip to the bathroom.  More moaning with a little whining.

"Ask Daddy if he's a big baby," I told the girls.

"What?!? Daddy is a baby?" P. repeated with a laugh.

"Ask him when he comes down," I replied.

Yep.  My hubby is sick.

You would have thought the world stopped turning.  Or, at least, that is what he wanted us to believe.  Instead, I did what I thought was right.

"Stay.  Away." I told him.  "We love you, but don't come near us."

"Daddy, Mommy said you were a big baby," M. emphatically told Daddy, which as you know wasn't quite what I said.

"Oh, I see how it is," Daddy said softly, turning away.  His world didn't stop turning.  He wanted to be babied.  And I wasn't playing his game.

"Sorry.  I just don't want anyone else to get sick.  Go rest in the base…

{sols} ella arrives

Slice of Life hosted at the Two Writing Teachers Join in and share a slice of your life.

We were away for five days over the Thanksgiving holiday.  Enjoying time with my parents.  Warmer temperatures.  Lots of rest and relaxation away from all the busyness of life at home.

But that meant for a crazy busy Sunday afternoon after we returned home.

Unpack the car.  Sort.  Unpack the bags.  Put away.  Start laundry.   Repeat until complete.

And then I remembered that Monday was December first.  The day our elf was due to arrive.

Add that to the to do list.

A quick trip to the grocery store with the girls for what I planned on "only the essentials".  We ended up with more, so we were offered help out.  I had never accepted help before, but with a full cart and two little shoppers, we needed an extra cart and the assistance.

"That would be wonderful. Thank you," I replied.
"What's he doing, Momma?" P. asked.
"Why is he getting another cart?" M. won…

{sols} giving 100 thanks

Slice of Life hosted at the Two Writing Teachers Join in and share a slice of your life.


Over a month ago, I received this personal invitational tweet:


Yes, a little challenge.  I'm not one for a blogging challenge.  I apologize to anyone who has offered up a challenge in the past and I miserably failed by doing nothing.

This was one little challenge that I wanted to do ... it just took the right time to complete it.  This little challenge was to share 100 that I am grateful forand right now felt like the right time to share my list.  Thank you, Terje, for your little challenge.

Here it goes ... 100 things I am thankful for.  Right now.  In this moment.  In no particular order.

My GodMy hubbyMy two beautiful daughtersMy Mom and DadMy brother and sister-in-lawMy church small groupMy friendsMy PLN via #twt #sol #twitter #pinterestColleagues and educators that keep me thinkingSmartphone (and I thought I really didn't need it)Crystal Light Ice TeaHat and glovesRain on the sound mach…

{sol} not too early ... right?

Slice of Life hosted at the Two Writing Teachers Join in and share a slice of your life.


We did it.

We took our girls and we went.

I never intended to do this.  It was not predetermined or planned.

It just kinda-sorta-happened.  All on a whim.



Yep.  We saw Santa.  And his reindeer.  Before Thanksgiving.

I know, I can't believe it either!  I am one to celebrate the holiday that is coming and not any earlier.  I love Thanksgiving, so we celebrate being thankful.  And this last weekend, we rushed by it all and saw Santa.

The good news?  It was free.  I snapped a few cute photographs.  Now we can avoid the busy mall and the overpriced photo with a crying child trying to get away from this big man in a funny red suit because we waited and sweated in our fancy dresses for hours...

And the conversation overheard on Santa's lap was priceless:

Santa:  And what would you like for Christmas this year?
M:  Um ... a trampoline. (By the way, this is the first we heard about this!)
P (leane…

{sol} something is different

Slice of Life hosted at the Two Writing Teachers Join in and share a slice of your life.


I can't quite put my finger on what is different this school year.

I'm busy with home and with school.  Always something new happening.  Always trying to keep up.  Always not quite meeting my own expectations.   Giving and giving and giving of myself and my time and my energy.

Then tonight I read Dana's slice about the tightrope -- the pulls of being a mom and being a teacher and all we can keep doing is put one foot in front of the other.

Our lives are so full and there is so much to be thankful for every single day.  And yet, it's hard.  I struggle.  I want the best for everyone, for everything, for everywhere.  Balancing on that tightrope.

Then tonight I read my mom's slice about her mission trip to Guatemala-- so promising in a world I know nothing about nor could I fathom the struggles of life beyond what I know.

I'm busy all day long.  I'm accomplishing what I need …

{sol} let it fall

Slice of Life hosted at the Two Writing Teachers Join in and share a slice of your life.


It was the most magnificent fall weekend. Sunshine. Blue skies. Seventy (!) degrees. Orange.  Red.  Yellow. Lots and lOts and loTs of leaves. Raking and piling and raking and piling. Ready for one-two-three jumping!   Singing loudly  "Let it  f        a    l                 l ..." It was the most magnificent fall weekend.

{sol} flashing lights

Slice of Life hosted at the Two Writing Teachers Join in and share a slice of your life.

It happened like that.  Not slowly.  Not gradually.  It just happened.  I was completely blindsided.

The blinking bright lights caught their eyes first.  They were immediately mesmerized.

As we were getting situated into the double cart, one of my four and a half year olds asked, "Momma, can we go over that way?"

Reindeer and snowmen.  Trees and icicles.  Flashing lights and decorations.  Yep, Christmas.  We were surrounded by Christmas.  In October.  Just like that.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas .... during the Christmas season!

And along with all the decor ... T.O.Y.S.  Every aisle thereafter was filled with different games, dolls, gadgets, and toys, followed by, "Ohhh!  Ahhh!  Look!  Look!"  and the never ending, "I want ... I want ... I want ..."

We don't buy toys just to buy toys (of course, there are always times of exceptions -- just not today), s…

{sols} excuses

Slice of Life hosted at the Two Writing Teachers Join in and share a slice of your life.


Another week goes by ...
I have plenty of excuses for not writing. Or even wanting to write.
I'm tired and it's late -- I just don't feel it.
I've been testing and scoring  and grouping.
I had two late nights connecting with families at goal setting conferences.
I took one daughter back to the doctor with yet another ear infection.
It's raining and yucky and not creating that right writing mood.
I just don't feel it. It's late and I'm tired.
There are plenty more excuses for not writing. Or even wanting to write.
Another week goes by ...

{sols} a write night out

Slice of Life hosted at the Two Writing Teachers Join in and share a slice of your life.


After the school bells rings, I quickly get organized and I'm off to start my other full time job of being a mom.  I can honestly say there are not too many nights that I get out or do what I want to do.  However, last night I took the evening off.

I didn't even hesitate when I received the invitation.  I checked the calendar and then signed up.  Put the date in our shared family calendar with the note:  Jon pick up girls!

Even after a long day of teaching, I was ready to go and learn and laugh with a teacher of writing legend.  I attended a local Illinois Reading Council conference featuring Ralph Fletcher.

Ralph shared his core beliefs, writing tips, mentor texts, love of prose, and the idea that nonfiction writing can be playful and non-formulaic.  He shared the power of story and words.  He quoted his mentors and other writing legends: Donald Graves, Donald Murray, Katie Wood Ray, and G…

{sols} accountability

Slice of Life hosted at the Two Writing Teachers Join in and share a slice of your life.

"Are you still writing in your ten year journal?" Chris asked innocently.

Quiet pause.

I shook my head.

"Oh, I didn't mean anything by it.  I was just curious ..."  She replied trying to cover my silence.

"No, no.  It's fine.  Last year, I made it until like August and then life got busy and I just stopped.   I started again at the new year and I made it to like June."

That night I dug through the stack of books on my nightstand.  I found my 10 year journal that I started in 2012 at the very bottom.  I was curious as to when life got too busy for writing a brief three or four sentences a day.  I flipped through the blank pages.

March.

The last time I wrote in my journal this year was in March.  The month when I wrote every single day right here.  And I couldn't write a few lines in my journal?

Quite ironic.

So, with a little accountability, I jumped back in…

{sols} a good busy

Slice of Life hosted at the Two Writing Teachers Join in and share a slice of your life.
9:44 pm
I know my mom and dad are waiting to read this.

You see, we touch base quite often.  (But probably not as often as my mom hopes.)  Email, phone calls, texts, and yes, slices.

Tick tock.  Tick tock.  As this Tuesday moves ahead, they are probably wondering why I haven't written yet.

9:46 pm
I am, Mom and Dad.  I'm here.  I'm finally writing.  Life is just extra busy this time of year.  When school begins again, so does every other activity, sport, and extracurricular.

There was a trip this weekend to the apple orchard.  Two words:  Honey. Crisp. Yum.  But did you also know that a trip to the apple orchard cost just under $75 for a family of four.  I continued to tell myself it was for the experience ... and memories.  I can't put a price on that.

And there was a trip to the doctor too.  M.'s cold eventually turned into an ear infection.  Two nights of complaining and I made…

{sols} seeds of writing

Slice of Life hosted at the Two Writing Teachers Join in and share a slice of your life.


Seeds of writing possibilities await as I cannot settle on a story to share.
Attending the Garth Brooks opening night concert in Chicago The September storm that whipped through the northwest suburbs Trees ripped, branches rested on power lines, leaves scattered Twenty hours of power loss and the gain of imagination play A lantern lit peanut butter and honey sandwich dinner A cold and cough means up in the middle of the night Holding, caring, loving with all the patience required Rushing and late, trying to get out the door in a hurry Yelling and then feeling the guilt because she doesn't feel well Frightened to learn about this new virus Wondering if she has this one and praying for her health Too tired after five days of a busy life to cultivate an idea 
Each possibility a story to share,  but today they sit and wait as seeds of writing.