Chili and Chilly – What’s your answer?

My son, who is in 3rd grade, and I were working on colorful adjectives as part of his school work today.

Which is the stronger adjective?  Cold Chilly

“Mommy, why is chili not chilly?”

That was followed by:

“Let’s start a blog called Kory’s Questions. And I can post my questions. And people can answer our questions. And we can pay the best answer $10,000.”

Okay. So I’m not paying the best answer $10,000, but how would you answer his question?

Why is chili not chilly?


Even though I didn’t think I’d have time, I’m finding myself participating in the Slice of Life March challenge through Two Writing Teachers.  Jump over to their site to find inspiring writers and teachers sharing a slice of their day.



Brainstorming and Heroes


Who is your hero?  Tell why that person is your hero.

My 8-year-old son is participating in an online writing class over the next two weeks.  The session is focusing on “Writing to a Prompt.”    The prompt happens to be about your hero.  The first lesson is on brainstorming.  I got a glimpse of his brainstorming list after his class.


Mommy.  Mommy is a hero because she cooks.

Daddy. Daddy is a hero because he makes money.

God. God is a hero because he made me.

God is a real hero. He does everything.


My heart melted at all three. And also chuckled that I am a hero because I cook.  I’ve come along way from turkey sandwiches and Ramen Noodles in college.

Of course when I asked him about his hero homework for tomorrow, he said, “Oh I forgot to list Steve from Minecraft and Spiderman.  My (online) teacher said I can list make-believe heroes too.”

Tomorrow he has to tell his (online) teacher which hero will be his focus for his paper.

Which one does he want to write about?

Steve from Minecraft. Although he hasn’t mentioned yet why Steve is his hero.

It’s okay. At least I made his brainstorming list. 🙂


Who is your hero?  And why?


I’m attempting to post on Tuesdays as part of the weekly Slice of Life over at Two Writing Teachers.

Laundry Day (Literally) Stinks

Two bags of clothes sit in my garage.

I wish they were going to friends or a collection box or a donation center.

They will go in the trash.

I don’t check pockets when I do laundry.

My mom never checked pockets either.

I have washed (and dried) toys, pagers, money, wallets, coins, wrappers, crayons, chapstick.

I washed three fish oil tablets left in my sweatshirt pocket – along with a vitamin d capsule and a multivitamin.

Fish oil is supposed to help my skin glow, my body better function, my muscles not ache.

It was not supposed to ruin my clothes.

Washed fish oil horridly smells like: FISH that has gone bad.

I rewashed, rewashed in bleach, covered in baking soda, soaked in vinegar, rewashed.

Nothing could remove the smell.

My son’s favorite science center t-shirt – gone.

One of my son’s Spiderman sock from Christmas – ruined.

My sweatshirt – destroyed.

Random socks, little pairs of underwear, little pairs of jeans.

My husband’s workout sweatshirt.

All are wet and sitting in tied bags in my garage.

I wait to put them in the outside garbage can.

They smell like fish.

I don’t want to attract the cats that wander in the court.

I should have checked the pockets.

Better yet, I should have taken my fish oil right away.

This laundry day literally STINKS!


I’m  attempting to post every Tuesday as part of the weekly Slice of Life over at Two Writing Teachers.

Three hours to write

How do I balance it all?  Sometimes I ask that of myself.  Today I realized one of the systems I have in place.

Not only am I a wife, a (wanna be) athlete, and a freelance writer and editor. I am also a homeschooling mama.  We homeschool for many reasons, which I won’t go into today.

But today I realized how I can make it all work (successfully).  We use an online/virtual charter school as our method of homeschooling.  Basically what this means is that my son has a “real” teacher he has to interact with throughout the week.  His curriculum is already scheduled without my extra work.  His materials are sent every August in boxes.  All I have to do is review, prep and teach. And the best part:  he has online required classes, which it is really cool to watch him work his way around the computer in his classes – the skills he learns!

Today I need to work on a story due later this week.  I need to make phone calls. I need to learn about people. I need to prepare to be able to write tonight after my house is silent.

And the reason I love the way we homeschool. Today my son interacts with his teacher and his scheduled online classes. Tomorrow he interacts with his teacher and his scheduled online classes.

Three hours today. Three hours tomorrow. Three hours for me to focus on what I need to do to be a better me while making him a better him.


I’m  attempting to post every Tuesday as part of the weekly Slice of Life over at Two Writing Teachers.

Finding inspiration in what you can’t blog

I stare at the blank screen.  I’ve been waiting all week for inspiration for this post.  I can’t find it.

I take that back. I’ve had inspiration, but it has come in the forms of things I can’t, shouldn’t, don’t need to blog.

The small details of frustrations. The large issues of concern.  The wishes for drama-free. The confidences held.

In those moments of inspiration, I can create beautiful blog posts. Sentences that speak healing.  Words that bring comfort. Phrases that make the various situations all better.

The sentences, words and phrases don’t find their place on the blog but are mostly released elsewhere. Some are conveyed verbally. Some are sent privately.  And many just stay in my head.

Maybe someday the sentences, words and phrases will be ready, available and released to blog for others to find healing, hope and “I’m not alone.”

But now is not that time.

How is that for a very cryptic post – don’t worry – I’m fine. 😉

I’m  attempting to post every Tuesday as part of the weekly Slice of Life over at Two Writing Teachers.

On the Prairie


On the Prairie

I feel refreshed, restored, renewed

On the Prairie

I see the darkest night, the brightest sunrise, the biggest open sky

On the Prairie

I smell scared skunks, fields of fresh dirt, farms of cattle

On the Prairie

I hear the wind, familiar voices, grandpa’s polka

On the Prairie

I find healing, hope, direction

On the Prairie

I remember, reflect, dream

On the Prairie

I breathe.

Every November, my family and I pack up our van and drive 20+ hours to visit family in the Northern Plains. I cherish this time of “escape” from my normal routine.

I’m  attempting to post every Tuesday as part of the weekly Slice of Life over at Two Writing Teachers.

My coffee pot died

My coffee pot died this morning.  Well, the pot didn’t.  The whole bean grinder inside of it did.  When I pushed the on/off button, all it did was hum. It wanted to start but couldn’t.

Just yesterday, I bought a bag of whole coffee beans.  I had one remaining packet of ground coffee.  Just one to use this morning to make our daily coffee. I just had to push the “grind off” button before starting the pot.

I could shop for a new coffee pot, but I don’t have a car today.  My husband is driving my minivan.  His car is in the shop. Its battery is like my bean grinder.  It wants to start but all it does it make a low hum.

I could grind all the whole beans in a separate grinder, but I gave away my grinder. I didn’t think I needed it anymore.  I gave it back to my sister when she relocated closer to me. She gave it to me two years ago because she had too many bean grinders.  It is now at her apartment three hours away.  She may have to bring it back, but maybe she is using it now.

Sometimes, I give things away and then need them later.  Clothes. Airline tickets. Food. Coffee Grinders.  It is sometimes a pattern with me in my need desire to be generous to others.

Maybe my neighbor has a coffee bean grinder. Then I can walk over to her house or send my boys to ring her door bell. I will watch for coffee pots to go on sale. A nice one. One with a grinder that doesn’t hum.

I’m  attempting to post every Tuesday as part of the weekly Slice of Life over at Two Writing Teachers.

Second Grade Summary – Slice of Life

Every summer I try to create a little end-of-the-school-year blog post. As a virtual school/homeschool family, it can be hard to see the “positives” day in and day out. The end of the school year posts are my way of reminding myself and my son of how far he came in the previous school year.

Kory had to fill out a little form to share with his online class for their last session. Here are his responses.

– What I learned that I didn’t know before:  Vikings flick fleas out of their beards to go North.

– Favorite part of his online classes in Elluminate :  Writing on the whiteboard. Can I say I LOVE watching my son maneuver his way around his online classes.  I can only imagine where his technical astuteness will take him!

– One thing he would share:  We participated in a monthly homeschool art class at our local library.  The theme  one month was Faith Ringgold’s Tar Beach.  Here is Kory’s version of it. His is titled “Candylane.”

– Name at least one thing you hope to learn about next year:  How do people make video games.

Kory has said the silliest things this year and the deepest this past year. Some I wrote down. Some I didn’t.  I have watched him struggle with reading and begging to stop after only a couple paragraphs. I have watched him endure hours of vision therapy sessions (makes great health time credit) and vision therapy homework sessions.  I have watched his reading transform into “Can I take this book into the office with me?” “Can I take this book in the van to read?”  “Can I get another book?” “Can I read before I go to bed?”

As I reflect on the year, I think of how I will remember second grade.

I will remember a silly boy, a serious boy, a tired boy, and active boy. Baseball, gymnastics, and swimming – yes some times they all overlapped on the same day. And yes, I will plan better next year. I will remember a boy who tried new things like piano lessons and sitting at orchestra concerts.  I will remember a boy who drove me crazy when he didn’t focus. I will remember a boy who tried his hardest and never gave up.  I  will remember a boy who was so very flexible when schedules and available programs changed. I will remember a boy who cheered when he started his weekly homeschool co-op fall and spring sessions. Best. Homeschool. Decision. Ever! I will remember a boy who was sad when co-op ended for the school year. I will remember a boy who has gone on so many field trips, waited in so many lines and learned in so many “real life” situations.

I will remember that he is only finishing second grade.  He has so much in front of him.

I will remember that I’m so grateful to be a part of his daily learning because sometimes, sometimes he becomes my teacher.

I’m posting every Tuesday as part of the weekly Slice of Life over at Two Writing Teachers.

Happy Birthday – Slice of Life

Today my son turns 8!

I can hardly believe it.  I still can remember the day he was born.  I was overdue and was scheduled to be induced on a Monday. My parents from Minnesota decided to come out early. As a little back story, they weren’t able to make it for the birth or short life of our son, Aidan, so they were determined not to miss any future births of our children.

My parents unexpectedly arrived at my house on Friday evening.  Throughout the evening as we talked, I just couldn’t get comfortable.  Finally later that night, I figured out I was in labor.  My doctor wanted me to take a bath at home and relax for  a bit.  Instead, we told her we were coming directly to the hospital. I don’t think she believed I was truly in labor.

My husband rushed through red lights on our way. Since it was after midnight, the only open door into the hospital was the ER.  I don’t think the ER staff believed me that I was truly in labor. They took their sweet time. Even asked if I wanted a wheelchair.  And we slowly made our way up to the maternity floor.

I don’t think the nursing staff on that floor believed I was truly in labor.  Instead they had me get changed and asked for a urine sample, which I nicely gave.  I was hooked up to monitors and put into the bed.  My husband kept prodding the nurses to check me.  They took their sweet time.

Finally they checked me. “Oh, um, what time will the doctor be here?” The nurse who was getting the infant stuff ready asked if she could do her rounds on the other babies. “Um. I think you need to stay here,” she was told. “What time is the doctor getting here?” the first nurse asked again with a bit more force.

Yes. Finally someone believed I was truly in labor. Finally the doctor showed up. She checked me and told me to push. A full twenty to thirty minutes probably passed from when I entered the ER doors to when Kory was born. No drugs – even though I told my mother I wasn’t going to have my baby “old school.”

After Kory was born, my parents and some friends arrived. I remember our friends had made sure to stop by a local store to stock up on chips and goodies for them to have in the waiting room. We all laughed, and my dad offered to move our car that was parked in such a funny way in front of the ER doors.

At my six-week check up, my doctor said, “Well I am glad I got there in time to catch your son.”

Of all the things I have been through with having kids, I’m thankful for short labors and deliveries! I think Kory’s was around four hours looking back.  Aidan’s was six from start to finish even with being induced,  and Cade’s was about that too. Let’s just say with Cade, my doctor told me at what point during regular appointments that I should demand to go to the hospital. Don’t hate me for short labor and deliveries – it truly has been God’s way to bless me with everything else we have had to go through with pregnancies and births!

And I’m so thankful that Kory was born healthy and strong. He continues to inspire me. He continues to surprise me. He makes me laugh. He makes me cry tears of pride and fear. He makes me a better me.

I love you Kory!  Thank you for being a part of my life! And happy birthday!

I’m posting every Tuesday as part of the weekly Slice of Life over at Two Writing Teachers.

The Broken Deer – Slice of Life

I pass this deer on my daily outdoor walk.  One of his antlers is missing.  His paint is chipped. He is broken.

“Why does his owner keep him? Does she not realize he is broken?” I quietly mumbled to myself the first time I noticed the fake deer.

The second day of my walk, I checked every tree on my path to find this deer.  I couldn’t find him.

The third day, I found him.  “He is broken. He should be thrown away,” I thought to myself.  

“Wait. What do I keep that is broken?” I asked myself.

Chipped dishes sit in my cupboard. Torn towels sit in my bathrooms.  I still grieve over broken friendships I doubt will ever be repaired.  Broken promises by others bounce in my head.  Tiny holes are in some of my shirts.

Yet I hold onto all these broken things.  I’m not too different than the owner of this broken deer. I hope someday she or he will be outside when I walk pass this deer.   “Why do you keep this deer?” I can then ask them.

I will look for this deer each day I walk outside and let him remind me that I need to let go of some broken things I hold onto too tightly.

What broken things do you need to let go?

I’m posting every Tuesday as part of the weekly Slice of Life over at Two Writing Teachers.