Invitations can be exciting. When I was little, they were proof that I was accepted, had friends, welcomed. I always loved bringing home a brightly colored envelope from school for a party.

I remember when I was in 8th grade, I decided to have a Halloween party. My dad reserved the rec center, and I spent the day decorating it with my friend Bridget. I invited a lot of people from school. It was my first “big” party. I was so excited. Food, music, decorations. I had it all planned. I went home to get ready for the party and hurried back to greet my guests. Three people showed up. They were the same three people who lived on my compound. To say I was disappointed is an understatement.

That party still lingers in my mind whenever I invite people over. Who will show? Will they come?



My Secret Problem

I want to share something about me that you might not know. I have a problem. I believecouch pouch every infomercial. Every! I can be suckered into believing everything they say about their product. Why would they lie? Of course they are telling the truth!

I bought a Couch Pouch. I couldn’t get the air inside. I went outside and tried. I still couldn’t get it full. I asked Sam to try. He tried. I asked Max to try. He tried. We put it back in the box. (If you know how to blow one up, I would love your expertise!)

I have bought kitchen supplies, health products, and products for the house. There is nothing more dangerous than those nights when I can’t sleep, head out to the living room, and turn on the tv. There’s no telling what will catch my eye and wind up in my mailbox. 🙂


Text Message Joy

Several years ago I spent three years helping teachers put balanced literacy practices into place.  Our last year together was the 2015-16 school year. When you work with teachers over that length of time, you always wonder if what you taught stuck. You wonder what practices are they still doing? But without an invitation, going back was not an option.

Our office was contacted by the school for some additional help for the teachers in the district I had worked with. My schedule is full to the brim. There is no way I could go back. My director sent another trainer, LeAnn, to work with the teachers.

LeAnn and I saw each other Tuesday of this week at our fall staff meeting. We talked about the school, the work I had done there, and what she was planning on doing. She began to list several things I had not had the time bring to them. As she was talking, she mentioned she was going to talk with them about mentor sentences.

“Oh, I hope they remember we talked about mentor sentences. We spent an ENTIRE DAY looking at how to use Jeff Anderson’s Invitation progression, finding mentor sentences in books, and creating our own mentor sentences. They better remember mentor sentences! You’ll have to let me know if they do or not,” I begged.

This afternoon I received a text from LeAnn:

You will be happy to know that all grades had knowledge of and are using mentor sentences.

One simple sentence and my day was made!


Birthday Jammies

For as long as I can remember, my aunt gives me jammies for my birthday.  I LOVE my birthday jammies. Every year, I look forward to my birthday jammies. In fact, if you look in my jammy drawer, most of my jammies are birthday jammies. My aunt doesn’t buy regular jammies. She buys fancy jammies. Jammies that “when you wear them and people come over, you aren’t embarrassed to be caught in your jammies” jammies. Since I am in Springfield for staff meeting tomorrow, she and my uncle brought my birthday jammies over tonight. This year’s jammies are black and oh, so soft.  They are very sophisticated looking. Elegant even. I love my birthday jammies and the aunt who spoils me with them!

Two Nap Day

I slept well the night before. Yet I came home from church yesterday afternoon exhausted. I shouldn’t have been exhausted. The services went well. I had plenty of volunteers. There were no issues. However, I could not stop yawning. I walked in the door and went straight to bed. I slept for about twenty minutes.

After my nap and lunch, I took Sam to Kohl’s to exchange some clothes I had bought for him Friday. (I completely bought the wrong size, but we will save that conversation for a future blog post.) That adventure took about an hour and forty-five minutes. (Sam is NOT a fast shopper!) I started reading a book when we returned. I read about six pages and realized I could not keep my eyes open. I went back to bed. This time I slept for over an hour.

The lesson in Kidcrest yesterday was based on Psalm 90:12. “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” The focus was on spending our time wisely. I failed miserably! Thank goodness our God is the God of second chances.


No Broccoli?

We went to Red Lobster for dinner tonight. I ordered the salmon with a baked potato and broccoli.

“I’m sorry,” said the waiter. “There is a broccoli shortage across America and we don’t have broccoli right now.”

“What?” I thought. “A broccoli shortage? Seriously? I guess that is why I couldn’t find broccoli at Hy-Vee last week.”

“I’ll take the asparagus then, please,” I smiled and replied.

Max ordered lobster dip, Sam the lobster pizza, and Scott lobster with asparagus.

A few minutes later, the waiter returned bringing more good news.

“I’m sorry to say we only have one serving of asparagus left. Both of you ordered asparagus. Who would like to choose something else?  We have rice pilaf.”


I guess next year I need to plant broccoli with my tomatoes.


Friend Day

I spent the morning with my friend who had surgery a few weeks back. She has a long road still to go, but this morning we talked and laughed. I listened to her. She listened to me. We both listened for the crazy squirrels “attacking” her house. The morning flew by.

This afternoon, I helped another friend talk through her literacy instruction. We talked about what she had accomplished since beginning in August. We talked about where she wanted to go. We talked books and possibilities. Before we knew it, it was after 5:00.

Too often I spend my days focused on completing my to-do list. Many days my life is filled with work. Today I chose people over work. I need more days like today in my life.