SOLC14: The Voice

March 14, 2016

Monday nights, you can hear laughter, cheers and loud “Ohhhs” coming from the TV room. My husband and I do not always have the same taste in shows. He loves watching sports. I have plenty to do so TV isn’t a priority, unless it’s The Black List. We love that show. Suspenseful, passionate, adventurous.

The Voice is fun. We love the banter between the coaches and laugh. We usually record the show and fast forward the commercials. TV isn’t usually something I write about, but in the moment of watching Adam and Blake, Rick and I laugh and comment back. In a weird way, these moments bond us together. Tim joins in as well, something for the three of us. The Voice brings out our opinions, stories and best ever, laughter – our family voice.

SOLC12: 60

March 12, 2016

It’s 60 degrees.

Birds are singing.

Sun is shining.

Snow slides away.

It’s 60 degrees.

Love it!

SOLC11: Waiting

March 11, 2016

As a reading interventionist working in kindergarten, first, and second grade, my daily teaching requires persistence and patience. Progress is often slow. I wish I could speed up their learning, but when the moments sparkle, I become excited. My heart races and inside I am jumping up and down. I cheer with the kids, give high fives, fist bumps, and sometimes a “whoohoo”!

I have a couple of kids who I can’t get too excited with. They would clam up, so I usually just smile. One little girl stole my heart the first time she hugged me out of the blue. S is unique. When she came last year, she wouldn’t speak to anyone. Then, she began to whisper to friends. Interventions were put in place and we waited. One day as I returned my interactive writing group to their class, she hugged my legs tight. No smile. No words. Just a hug.

This year, she smiles at me. She hugs me. She shares stories. All in whispers.

Daily working with her, I wait on her. She is gaining decoding skills, but her processing is almost double the time of other first graders. I just have to wait. She doesn’t ask for help and we are working on that. Wait time is hard for me, but it provides her with enough time to be the champion of her learning.

I am waiting. I am waiting to hear her real voice.


SOLC9: Rule

March 9, 2016

“I hate that rule!” he yelled, arms folded and face scrunched up. “That’s stupid and everyone is trying to get me in trouble!”

I listened and nodded, motioning for him to follow me. This first grader struggles.

At the beginning of the year, the outbursts happened several times during the day and there was no relationship. Today, he was mad but willing. He yelled, but know I understand. Fewer words needed to be spoken at this moment, but much was being thought. What happened this time? What does he really mean? How can we get him calmed down and back to class? How can he understand school is about everybody, not just him? What happened last night? How can I help him detach the two?

He walked with feet stomping and a kick or two on the lockers. Frustrated. Time never goes quickly in these situations. It seemed to take forever to get to my room, but at least he was walking. We’ve been through this before.

Thirty minutes later, tears, Kleenex, more yelling, more crying, head down. Quiet. Time. Face calm. We talked. I listened. He understood. Apology ready, we headed back. Quick hug and he went settled in to his desk.

I’m a reading interventionist. I teach kids to recognize sounds and how those sounds create words. That process takes time and is rewarding.

I’m a teacher. I teach kids to get along, follow rules, apologize. I’m safe. I parent. I smile. I care.

Tomorrow, he may melt down again. But he may laugh and read and sneak a quick hug. That process takes time and is definitely rewarding.

SOLC8: Hugs

March 8, 2016

“Hi Mrs. Gensch,” a young voice calls, hand waving furiously down the hall. I smile and return the wave. Students are coming into the school, some moving so quickly down the hallway I wonder if their feet touch the floor. Why the hurry? Others mingle around talking to friends.  I continue on to my way, thinking through the last minute items to be completed, my attention not focused on any one place as my legs automatically walk me to my room.

Thwaup! Something has attached itself to my leg. Looking down out of my gaze, my surprise turns to a smile. Two little arms are wrapped tight around me. “Good morning,” the head says looking up at me. I smile. Forget the to do list. This moment is for savoring. “Are you taking me today?” the little one says. I smile and nod in reply. “I will see you this afternoon.” With a wave, she skips off to her kindergarten room.

Best start to the morning!

SOLC7: Laundry

March 7, 2016


Five jeans, three leggings, one pair of legs on the move.

Blue favorite shirt, two sweaters, wrap her up in comfort.

Fashion blouse, cute striped T-shirt, somethings new.

Socks – seven pairs, six singles, where are the missing ones?

One suitcase, three bags, hamper full of clean clothes, cosmetics and purse.

Two shopping trips, evening talks, tens days passed fast.

Snacks. Keys. Hugs.

Four flights of stairs, three roommates, Tweets, and 1000 laughs.

Laundry will come home again and so will her stories.

Elizabeth hanging out with her roommate and friend at the men's basketball game. Go Lancers!

Elizabeth hanging out with her roommate and friend at the men’s basketball game. Go Lancers!

SOLC6: Newborn

March 6, 2016

My niece is visiting her parents this weekend. We spent the evening with them last night and then had the privilege of having them sit in front of us during church this morning. Tori had her first child two months ago and made the trip to be here. I havent’ seen Tori in  three years, communicating through Facebook and Instagram mostly. It was a deligth watching  mom and grandma snuggle with Kellen during the service. The innocence, precious life, potential and unconditional love wrapped around this little one.

My sister-in-law adoring her grandson. Look at all of his hair!

My sister-in-law adoring her grandson. Look at all of his hair! 

Snuggling close. So innocent and sweet!

Snuggling close. So innocent and sweet!

Three generations bound in love!

Three generations bound in love!

Melts my heart! I enjoyed snuggling him in my arms last night. Memories of my own flooded my mind and my smile spread.

Melts my heart! I enjoyed snuggling him in my arms last night. Memories of my own flooded my mind and my smile spread.