SOLC: Just Like When She Was Little

March 18, 2015

My blog was silent last night. Not on purpose though. I had good intentions of writing. Words played in my mind throughout the day. Blogs were read and comments were given.

Eliz.selfieThe afternoon began with Wesley debuting his first start as a pitcher. He normally plays the role of reliever on his college team, so Wesley was definitely excited. Tim had basketball awards night in shirt and tie, shined shoes and black pants. Home again and shared stories with my hubby. I finally settled, ready to write and Elizabeth came home after leading her girls’ group. One story led to another. “You won’t guess who came in to the Dairy Queen last night?” and she proceeded to share about “the boys” who came in unexpectedly.

One idea led to another. Time ticked by. I noticed the clock, but tried to forget it. When it comes to my teenagers and their initiative to talk, I forcefully stop thinking and listen . Elizabeth kept talking and talking and talking. Story. Story. Story. I felt like the insurance commercial as a memory of a little girl prolonging her bed time popped into my head. It never failed; her stories charmed me then and now.

Honestly, I’m glad I missed posting. I wouldn’t have traded her talk for anything. Priceless.

SOLC: Generation Transfer

March 24, 2012

join the Slice of Life Challenge at

The below slice is one I captured in my notebook a month ago. It was a special bonding moment. Moments ago, we just returned from the hospital where my father-in-law is. He is awaiting a pace maker on Monday. My kids cherish their grandpa, even when he is gruff around the edges.My eyes look into our living room as my ears are listening intently. It’s not the image I want to retain, but the conversation. Wisdom is being passed down from one generation to the next. These are the moments that make hosting my father-in-law special to our family; he has been living with us for five years.

Dad G may be a little wobbly with a sore back, diabetes and missing toes, but his mind is a wealth of knowledge. My husband often asks his father for advice on topics connected with electricity or maintenance (or cars, economics, remodeling, history, etc). Dad G’s words are a transfer of wisdom.

Today, my husband is talking with his father as our youngest looks on. Each are sharing their opinions and thoughts regarding a favorite topic of interest – guns. I’m not even sure of how the conversation started, but I quickly retrieved my notebook to capture the moment.

Dad G was an avid hunter as a teenager and knows specialty guns. He also served in the Korean War. My husband was talking about one type of gun and its uses, and Dad G would connect that gun to an experience he had. Our youngest was mesmerized. He sat and listened intently, asking questions for a thirst of knowledge. He would nod and interject complimentary comments throughout this discussion. Sixty-seven years span between our son and his grandfather, but at this moment, the eighty year old and thirteen year old are connected. His grandfatherly stories and knowledge are being transferred to his son and grandson, cherishing the moment for years to come.

Even before I’m done typing, the three males have gone to other tasks. They may not hold this discussion as monumental, but I see the lasting benefits. It is these moments, these conversations, these generational transfers that enrich and shape our lives forever.

SOL: Want Your Notebook?

September 13, 2011

My children are learning that I like to capture funny comments and stories in my writer’s notebook. When my daughter had her friends over, my shorthand couldn’t keep up with the hilarious conversation they were having. My notebook holds some great snippets of laughter.

Recently, my oldest son had several friends over. As I was fixing snacks in the other room, one of the teens began an elaborate story about his previous night’s dream of being a wedding planner, something totally off for his personality.  As he began to share one bizarre, elaborate detail after another, the group interjected their ideas. The story grew and grew and grew.

My youngest son came into the room, looked at me chuckling and said, “Hey mom, do you want your notebook?”

September 11th: A Day to Remember

September 11, 2011

Rembering this tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacked,  I appreciated Stacey Shubitz’s reflections on Two Writing Teachers. I remember where I was the day America was attacked. My heart was shocked, angered, concerned.

Today has been a day of reflection. The date “September 11th” fills my heart with mixed feelings. Today is my youngest son’s 13th birthday. He’s full of energy and excitement and embraces this day as something special. He has compassion for others and does not forget to honor those who served on his birthday ten years ago. He’s mindful of others, and I believe this day has touched his heart.

I have several books I share to help children connect with this memorable day. I posted about Fireboat:  the Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey by Maira Kalman in 2009. People made the decision to get involved, do their part, and intervened during a crisis.

I had planned to post the book 14 Cows for America by Carman Agra Deedy in detail, but due to my dad being in the hospital this week, time slipped away. I highly recommend reading the book to you students this week. Our country united during this time and we need to remind our future generation how necessary compassion is to keeping a great nation. Carman shares how others had compassion for a hurting nation. It will allow your students the opportunity for discussion on what they can do for others in need.

SOL: Brain or Feet Tired

September 6, 2011

My oldest son started working at a restaurant as a host this past week. He’s able to go to school for three hours in the morning and then work. During his training he’s been working four hours.

One day, his manager asked him to work nine hours. “No problem,” he said.

When he came home, he changed into casual clothes and plopped on the couch. “I’m so tiiirred,” he said.

“Do your feet hurt?” I inquired.

“No, my head. I’m tired from saying with a smile, ‘Hello! Welcome to Applebee’s. How is your day going?’ ‘Wonderful. I hope you enjoy your dinner.’ Or the occasional customer who was forlorn,”Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. Well I hope you will find your dinner enjoyable.’ over and over and over again for nine hours. My brain is tired.”

I chuckled. Who would have thought being nice would wear a person out so much?

SOL: Dinner Conversation

May 17, 2011

Our family enjoys being together. Supper time is more about hearing each others stories than eating.  Some nights I wonder how we go from one subject to another.

My daughter shared about a class review game. They have been studying the Holocaust and WWII. She was sharing how a peer didn’t seem to get the most obvious answer.

My son responded, “What color of hair does she have?” to which Eliz just rolled her eyes. (She’s sandy blonde and her brothers don’t let her forget it.) My daughter’s eyes were wide with animation, going on with how the boy team seemed to get the easiest questions because of the lack of knowledge on the girl’s team.

That comment sprung a thought from my father-in-law. “You know the lady on ‘Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?’ couldn’t answer a question tonight. The host asked a first grade question about the solar system. If I would have been on the show, I would have asked him to prove that it was a first grade question. It wasn’t any first grade question. Who in the world would know that?” I agreed, but had to squelch a chuckle as my father-in-law would be so bold.

My husband then shared a story about work. We were laughing.   Then because our youngest had shared anything, my husband asked, “So what happened to you today?” which led to a conversation about a backyard football game he had the pleasure of being a part of.

We had a great dinner … conversation. 🙂

SOL: a Wheelchair to the Rescue

May 3, 2011

My youngest son twisted his ankle on Friday. Although sore, he went to baseball practice for two hours on Saturday. While at practice, a helmet-first-slide into his stone-wall-catch caused a large bruise on his shin. His foot hurt more as he limped into the house.

On Sunday, baseball beckoned him again. This time, the running created a “pop” in his foot. His foot swelled. By Monday morning, he could barely put any pressure on it. After x-rays, the doctor pronounced he has a serious sprain in his foot – and no running for the week.

Heading to school on crutches today, the pain bothered him. The school nurse is a friend, so I emailed later in the day. Her reply made me chuckle. “His arms were getting sore, so I loaned him the wheelchair. He seems to be doing fine. Tim has 3 or 4 pretty girls wheeling him around and carrying his books.”

The wheelchair came to his rescue.  It eased his pain.  Tim’s already thinking that he needs to use the wheelchair again tomorrow. Besides, how could he resist the female attention?

My Sunshine of Happiness

April 12, 2011

Slice of Life

My fourteen-year-old daughter is beautiful. She is confident and able to speak up for herself. She cares for people and is a helper to many.  She is… my sunshine of happiness.

One day, she secretly gave me a small trophy labeled: “Best Laugh and Smile Award”. She wrote a note along with it that hangs next to my desk. My Elizabeth warms my heart and makes me proud. Here is what she wrote:

Dear Mom,

I don’t want you to go bezerk when I say this, but I love you! You do everything for us and most of the time we don’t thank you! All of my friends say that you’re really cool. I say they are crazy, but really, you are!


Something that makes me smile each day!

SOL 28: The 38 Degree Game

March 28, 2011

Why am I still cold?” my husband just asked me.

“Because we sat outside for over two hours and froze tonight,” I replied.

We definitely love our son. Wes had his first baseball game. The sky was a beautiful clear blue. The sun was shining. Was that beauty ever deceiving! The temperature was 38 degrees with some wind. Brrrrrr. I haven’t taken my sweatshirt off yet.  Our toes froze wrapped up in a blanket.

I had packed hot water bottles in a small cooler, heated up the heat packs, and hoped Wesley could stay warm in between innings.  Did you know those 8 hour hot patches for a back really do help keep fingers warm?  Wesley puts one in his back pants pocket. In between pitches, I kept noticing him slip his hand in his pocket. One of his teammates came over holding a hot pack. “These are awesome. I’m getting one for Wednesday’s game.”

Wednesday, oh, I hope it’s warmer. I love my son, but I would prefer to love him in  warmer weather.



SOL 3: Boys and Revenge

March 3, 2011

Last night, my seventeen year-old son shared a moment in his day. Wes is great at telling stories and adds much detail with body animation for support. So when Wes said, “Guess what happened today?” with a mischievous excitement in his voice, I knew the story was going to be good.

“I got hit by a pear in the back of my head during lunch today,” Wes said with a scowl on his face. “When I checked with Mr. P, the vice principal and lunch monitor, about who did it, he told me. Mr. P asked if he needed to get involved. I told him, No, that it was okay.”

At this point I looked at Wes with disbelief. Okay? Right. My shoulders tensed some.  What did he do? Thoughts of horror spoke in my mind, while my face just kept listening. Now the kid, S, that hit my son, is on Wes’s wrestling team. They are classmates. Friends -well that depends on the context of the situation.

“I kept that pear in my bag until the end of the day.  It was nice and mushy and perfect. I waited outside until S came out. Then, I threw it. ” (My eyes became the size of baseballs at what was going to be said next,  for my son is a varsity pitcher).

“Just as the pear left my hands, S turned his head and the pear hit him smack on the cheek – exploding mushy stuff all over. It was sooooo cool.” (OK, my motherly-heart was now beating faster. I feared what was next.)

Wes continued.  “I then told him that he better think twice about hitting me in the head.  I tossed him the towel I had and said, ‘Clean up your face’ and  added, ‘Are we cool?'”  (My thoughts raced again.  Cool? Are you kidding me? You just beaned a kid in the face and one that has a temper.)

“S paused and then said,’Yeah we’re cool. That was a good one.’    So that was my day.”

I sat silent, motionless, letting it sink in,… and then let out my breath. Boys and their revenge.