FiveMinuteFriday: Speak


I love words, yet I am sometimes afraid to use them.  I don’t want my words to hurt others or create conflict. Sometimes, I am afraid to speak.  James warns us to watch our tongue.  An uncontrolled tongue can be a nasty thing.  He encourages us to speak from the heart.  When I do speak, I forget to speak from the heart.  A lot.  The culture says we should speak our mind.  The Bible says we should use our words to lift others up.  Yet it also talks about speaking to those who are doing wrong or sinned against you.  The Bible doesn’t say to shy away from conflict, and yet, I do.  I don’t want my words to hurt others.  I don’t want my words to divide.  I don’t want my words to keep others from knowing Jesus and having a relationship with Him.  So, most of the time, I am afraid to speak.  You wouldn’t think that if you knew me.  You would think I am the sort of person who is happy to speak her mind.  But I’m not.  I swallow my words instead of speaking them.


Thank you, Kate, at for the hosting the FiveMinuteFriday.



Eclipse Glasses

A couple of weeks ago

“Erin, have you seen the glasses I bought for the Solar Eclipse?”


“I don’t know where they are.”

“I don’t either.”

Last week

“I’ve unpacked all my boxes and I still can’t find the glasses for the Eclipse.  Are they in any of your stuff?”

“Nope.  But I’m not done unpacking my boxes either.  I’m sure they are in one of the many boxes out in the garage.  Don’ worry.  They’ll show up.”

Yesterday at 4:00 p.m.

“Did you hear about what happened in Springfield at the Hy-Vee yesterday?”Hyvee glasses

“Yeah, actually Mom called.  Dad has decided he wants to see the Eclipse now, and she has been looking for glasses.  He called around and Hy-Vee said they were getting in 12,000 pairs.  She went over this morning to get some on the way to the office, and the line was out the door and around the building.  That’s crazy!  She told Dad he could watch it on tv.”

“I wish I knew what happened to ours.  I know we had extra pairs.  If we could find them, you could send them our extras.”

“I’m sure they are out in a box in the garage.  You’ve looked all through the office?  They aren’t in any of the drawers or in the armoire?”

“Nope.  Not there.”

Yesterday around 5:45 p.m.

“I looked through all the boxes out in the garage.  They aren’t there.  Are you sure they aren’t downstairs?”

“I looked through everything down there. They aren’t there.”

“I know I looked around downstairs this weekend, too, and I didn’t see them.  I don’t know where they ran off to.  Maybe we should think about getting more?  Let me go take one more look.”

I ruffle through drawers.

I ruffle through papers.

I open cabinets.

I open the armoire.

I glimpse red and white stripes just peeking out underneath a screen protector package.20170817_101121 A smile spreads across my face. As Scott comes around the corner,  I slide my fingertips underneath the screen protector package.

“What are you doing?”

“Ah-ha! Found them!” I say.  Beaming, I wave the glasses in front of his face.

“What?  Where?  You just put those there.”

I start laughing.  “Did not.”

“Did to.  Look me in the eye and tell me you just found them there.”

I try, but I can’t.  I’m laughing too hard.

“See, you can’t even tell me without laughing.”

Why does this make me laugh so?  I try to say it again, but I’m laughing even harder now. He shakes his head at me and my uncontrollable laughter.

“Well, at least we found them.”

This Morning

I laugh as I address an envelope to Dad.


Last Night of Summer

Cicadas sing.
Basketballs bounce and swish through the net.
Dogs chase tennis balls up and down the street
Teenagers call out to one another, laughing, joking.
Sunlight fades.
Evening grows dark.
Still they linger on the driveway with friends.
Lines are drawn with chalk for Four Square.
The game begins.
No one wants to say "Goodbye" tonight.
No one wants to say "Goodbye" to summer.

Last Night of Summer

Cicadas sing.
Basketballs bounce and swish through the net.
Dogs chase tennis balls up and down the street
Teenagers call out to one another, laughing, joking.
Sunlight fades.
Evening grows dark.
Still they linger on the driveway with friends.
Lines are drawn with chalk for Four Square.
The game begins.
No one wants to say "Goodbye" tonight.
No one wants to say "Goodbye" to summer.

Monday Night Treasure


This summer we put our house on the market.  Before we could put it on the market, we had to “declutter”.  (Basically, that meant packing up a ton of my books, craft supplies, professional books, clothes, and yarn. The boys just had to basically pack up their drums and hide some guitars.)  The house did not sell.  Now I get to unpack it all.  Joy!

Because I do have quite of bit of “treasures” I have collected over the years, I have decided to seize this as an opportunity to see if some of my treasures should be trashed, shared with others, or returned to my stash.  Tonight as I was unpacking one of my many boxes, I came across a stuffed three-ring binder.  It looked familiar, but I couldn’t remember what was inside.  I opened the cover and started flipping through.  Symmetry paintings and drawings tumbled out.  Page after page of super heroes, cars, sports players all drawn by Sam when he was in kindergarten and first grade.  The pictures made me smile.  I remember he used to draw those pictures all the time.

I decided to sit down and enjoy the pictures.  I flipped to the beginning and was surprised to see his books.  Sheet protector after sheet protector containing books written by Sam when he was three or four.  I pulled them out one by one to enjoy them. I was in awe.  I had forgotten about his books.  How had I forgotten I had these gems?  I wanted to share one of them here with you.


The Pumpkin Patch/You can make pumpkin pie/You can make pumpkin cider/You can make pumpkin bread The End Bye Bye

These books were such a surprise for me tonight.  I am so glad I had the foresight to save them. The books reminded me of our days together when he was in preschool. I was my sons’ preschool teacher.  How fortunate I was to spend the days with them, to enjoy watching them grow and discover all they could do and the world had to offer.  They were good days.  Hard days, but good days.  (If you have never been your child’s teacher before, it is really hard.  Definitely not for the faint of heart!) It stinks that those days go by so fast.  Yet they feel endless at the same time.  I was always tired.  Always cleaning. Always busy. Always rushing.  But there were good moments, too.  Moments where we read together, talked together, created together, and wrote together. A treasure indeed.



For those of you who are unfamiliar, Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers, host a kidlit version of It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

Here is the kidlit I have read and shared with teachers this week.              

Exploding Ants:  Amazing facts about how animals adapt by Joanne Settel

 This book is full of short texts that will grab kids attention because of their graphic descriptions.  This book has great texts for quick read alouds or shared readings.

The Stranded Whale by Jane Yolen and Melanie Cataldo

Jane Yolen has written a richly layered book about three siblings who find a beached whale on their way home from school one fall evening.  This book tells a wonderful story and contains many of the Notice and Note signposts that make discussing it and its possible themes and allusions great fun.  I have read this book so many times and I still have parts I am wondering about.  And her sentences… beautiful!

Oh Yuck!  The Encyclopedia of Everything Nasty by Joy Masoff and Terry Sirrell

This is another book like Exploding Ants.  It is full of disgustingly descriptive short passages about nasty things.  The short texts are great for reading aloud, asking kids to work on visualizing with sketch to stretch activities, and for shared reading.

The Old Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant and Kathryn Brown

The main character in this book is an old woman who likes to name things.  She is lonely.  She has outlived all her friends.  She doesn’t want to outlive anything else.  And then one day, a puppy comes along.  This book will tug at your heart strings and help teachers and students to understand we read so we can be changed by what we read.

Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry and Tom Lichtenheld

Stick and Stone are both lonely until they find each other and become friends.  I love this book for its simple language and beautifully crafted pictures.  It is a great book for the beginning of the year to share with students while creating community.  This one also will tug at the heart.


They say if you want to start a new habit, get a friend to join you.  Want to lose weight? Get a pet to be your workout partner.  Want to write every day?  Get your favorite seven-year-old to start a writing club.  Yes.  You read that right.  My favorite seven-year-old has decided to start a writing club and has invited me to join.  How could I say, “No,”? Why would I even want to?

Friends have encouraged me to write more.  Professional resources and colleagues challenge me to dedicate time to writing every day.  The idea always sounds good, but I’ve never agreed — except for during the month of March Slice of Life Challenge.  Yet today, my favorite seven-year-old invites me to join her writing club and I say, “Count me in!”  No way I am missing out on this! By the way, she created rules:

Policies include:
– must write daily M-F, if you can’t make this happen from time to time, as long as you explain beforehand, it’s forgiven 
– if you miss a day, you must pay a fee (small pre-determined amount to be discussed later)
– must write for a minimum of 20min
– must share your blog site address with everyone
– start date TBD
– you’re encouraged to raze other members who don’t post

While I am nervous about the possibility of losing some money, I am thrilled she is taking this seriously and excited about writing.  So here’s to my new writing community and my favorite seven-year-old who created it.  Let’s write!