SOL: What Was That?

July 7, 2015

The day was beautiful. The kittens were getting use to their new environment. Mama Sasha, proud of her little brood, watched from her perch. I was finishing some dishes, looking on to their fun. A surprise caused me to take action, along with Mama. Who knew I would happen upon such a surprise?

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“Little ones, stay clear of the shed today. Something smells suspicious there. Stay on this side of the walkway. I do NOT want to see you near the shed!”

This is fun. Can you find me?

This is fun. Can you find me?

Mama Sasha was watching over her three little ones. "Children, listen to Grandpa Kip."

Mama Sasha was watching over her three little ones. “Children, listen to Grandpa Kip.

"OK, Mama. We are just having fun with Uncle Moo."

“OK, Mama. We are just having fun with Uncle Moo.”

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Hey, where did you go, Cubbie?

Hey, where did you go, Cubbie?

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“I hear something. Is that you, Pip?”

What was that???

“What was that??? It’s not me.”

A raccoon! Looking out my window, its head popped out of from under the shed. No wonder Kip gave the warning.

A raccoon! Looking out my window, its head popped out of from under the shed. No wonder Kip gave the warning.

Good bye, raccoon! The kittens were surprised and so was I.

Good bye, raccoon! The kittens were surprised and so was I.


Celebrating My Summer Week with Pictures!

July 5, 2015
I helped my mom on Monday. She is still weak, but gaining strength. Faithful, their 120 lb. German Shepherd, was happy for extra company. He is true to his name!

I helped my mom on Monday. She is still weak, but gaining strength. Faithful, their 120 lb. German Shepherd, was happy for extra company. He is true to his name!

After grocery shopping, Moo cheered me on as I packed the pantry. Curiosity!

After grocery shopping, Moo cheered me on as I packed the pantry. Curiosity!

Youth group fun at my sister-in-law's home. In the summer, youth group rotates to the homes for summer fun and food. Slip and slide this night with s'mores after a devotional. I was delighted to help.

Youth group fun at my sister-in-law’s home. In the summer, youth group rotates to the homes for summer fun and food. Slip and slide this night with s’mores after a devotional. I was delighted to help.

Attending the SouthBend Cubs where Wesley interns. We had superb seats behind home plate. Wes was nearby in the tunnel ready to take care of official business.

Attending the SouthBend Cubs where Wesley interns. We had superb seats behind home plate. Wes was nearby in the tunnel ready to take care of official business.

Kitten fun! They have been on the porch and just introduced to the outside. Mama was watching over them as they romped around. Delightful!

Kitten fun! They have been on the porch and just introduced to the outside. Mama was watching over them as they romped around. Delightful!

Smiling at pictures of my relatives (my mom's two younger sisters in this photo) on Facebook. Thankful for being able to keep in touch over hundreds of miles!

Smiling at pictures of my relatives (my mom’s two younger sisters in this photo) on Facebook. Thankful for being able to keep in touch over hundreds of miles!

July 4th fun!

July 4th fun!


Story

June 23, 2015

Story. The past seven days has been filled with delicious stories, stories that warm and encourage. Posts and pictures from friends make me smile. Texts bring laughter and support. Story has held me together.

Stories shared at the hospital of days long past, of young hearts and hard work. Grandpa shared many with us.

Stories shared at the hospital of days long past, of young hearts and hard work. Grandpa shared many with us.

Stories shared at lunch at AllWrite!!! From blogging to in person - delightful.

Stories shared at lunch at AllWrite!!! From blogging to in person – delightful.

My friend shared a story of her granddaughter, the surprise who has brought joy.

My friend shared a story of her granddaughter, the surprise who has brought joy.

Kim created minders to write our stories. Each story is our own.

Kim created reminders to write our stories. Each story is our own.

Summer school ended Thursday. Stories were shared daily to encourage reading for the remainder of the year.

Summer school ended Thursday. Stories were shared daily to encourage reading for the remainder of the year.


June {Celebrations}

June 13, 2015

Books cover my table. This is a celebration. Reading them. Touching the pages. Lingering over illustrations. Choices. I wrestle with what which books to share. Many tug at my heart, but I do not always know if they will touch my audience, if I will have time for them all. Beginning with my favorites, the stories I share will grab the hearts of many.  I will have more books than time, so I will prioritize. Working on the presentation brings celebration to my heart.

Elizabeth’s open house was a success last Saturday. We celebrated her accomplishments, her memories, her friendships. We celebrated who she is – beautiful! Past and present teachers came, sharing stories that warmed my heart. Elizabeth laughed with friends, celebrating the growth they made.

Elizabeth with her former second grade teacher. Celebrating the teachers who impacted my daughter!

Elizabeth with her former second grade teacher. Celebrating the teachers who impacted my daughter!

We also celebrated thru the hard. Last week was filled with heartache and tears. A close friend from youth group drowned the eve of Elizabeth’s graduation. The news shook our household that Saturday morning and my mother’s heart broke as my children cried.

Stories is what healed. Memories where shared and simple stories soothed trouble hearts. We celebrated with the family, with the siblings, with their graduate too. We celebrated thru the hard.

Books are celebrations. Stories are celebrations. Memories are celebrations.


I Celebrate Life {Celebrations}

May 30, 2015

I celebrate …

Cheering at a South Bend Cub’s game where Wesley interns.

Completing my classroom packing for the big new-school-move.

Organizing my summer school lessons for kindergartners.

Unloading boxes and boxes and boxes of books into new bookcases at home.

Creating center pieces of sunflowers and daisies for open house.

Dining with my sister-in-law while sharing stories.

Watching adorable three-week old kittens on our porch.

I celebrate …

my daughter graduating with honor and pride.

my parents for their encouragement and support.

my husband for his love and wisdom.

my friend for her belief and steadfastness.

my sons for mowing and repairing.

my writing group for their spontaneous “Hello” and connections.

i celebrate … Thru the wonderful business of life!


Life’s Road Bumps = Success Mixed With Struggle {Celebration}

May 17, 2015

A nearby strip mall has road bumbs paralleling the entrances. The slight up/down movement annoys me. A smooth road is the preferred. My face grimaces as I ride over the bump. Obstacles. Who wants them? Not me. But I see beyond the annoyance to the purpose. Safety. Caution. Alertness. By adjusting to the road bumb, I notice more. My attention is heightened.

This year feels like it’s been filled with road bumps, some spaced closer than expected. Low energy, never-ending cycles, unknowns interrupted my days. One day at a time became my motto. Diligent, my one little word for the year, strengthened my determination. I feel like I have been plodding along having mini-successes along the way thru the road of bumpy struggles. 

Yet I smile. I haven’t blogged as much, but have notebook entries and a new presentation. Read fewer books, but have learned to tweet and be inspired thru testimonies of others. My house seems like a never-ending-revolving-door of school activities and “Mom, can you help me?” pleas from my kids, but I am cancer free.  Laundry overflows just as the last shirt is hung.  Our oldest brings college friends over and food is consumed. In an afternoon of homecoming, the straightened house is piled with belongings announcing his summer homecoming. The yard is a jungle as golf matches capture my attention. Application deadlines and essays written heighten tension, yet scholarships have been awarded. All of these things are road bumps purposefully causing me to be alert. 

In the midst of organized chaos, the success of family blooms. The nuggets of success fill my heart with passion for loving the moment. I cling to my dreams of smooth cruising roads, but realize bumps will always be there. It’s learning to adjust my speed that makes this life journey a success.


SOL: Heart Pounding

April 7, 2015

“License and registration,” she said. 

My heart started to pound. Once again, I was going through this agonizing process. There are specific rules we must follow. The Department does not budge, change her mind, or give in to an “I’m sorry” apology for not having the correct documentation. You better have your insurance card readily available as well. 

She looked at the papers, signaled as she headed to the car. I just sat, heart pounding. This was my third time. It didn’t matter. I was anxious! Would it be okay? How long was this going to take? I said a silent prayer that this ordeal would pass painlessly.

The clocked ticked away. She returned. Tim signaled me with a thumbs up and a smile. A sigh of relief expelled as my motherly heart began to slow down. 

“He passed his driving test,” she said. 

Our last child is now a licensed driver. “Mom, I think you were more nervous than I was,” Tim stated on the way home. He must have heard my heart pounding.


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