My House is Me

“My house is me and I am
it. My house is where I like
to be and it looks like all my
dreams.”  –Mr. Plumbean

my house is meI taught First Grade…forever. One of the favorite ways to kick off the school year was with a week of color experiences. On “orange day” I would always read “The Big Orange Splot” by Daniel Pinkwater. In it, Mr. Plumbean has a house and yard that don’t blend in on his “neat street”. Day by day, neighbors come to his house and leave to create their own dream house. Following the reading, we would talk about all the things we would include in the house of OUR dreams. 6-year-olds included lots of slides, pools, TVs, and game rooms. 

This activity always made me a bit nervous. Continue reading

Matching Not Required

matching not required

This is me at 4 years old. Yeah, I can still sleep pretty much anywhere, anytime…

It seems that lately, I am so tired at the end of the day that I often get into bed–clothes on.  I have a new day job that is really intense. when I get home, I shower, do my hair, put on a pinch of makeup, and go take care of dinner. So when I say that I get in bed fully clothed, that means socks and a bra also.

But life has not always been so crazy. Continue reading

Red Tray Diet

I have been a yoyo dieter. Throughout my life, my weight has gone up and down and up and down. Not dramatically really. Most people probably would say that I’ve weighed about the same throughout my life. As an adult, my high and low weights have differed by about 35 pounds or so.

But I know when I feel good. I know when my clothes fit and when I feel good in my skin. But that doesn’t mean that I’ve never struggled with body image or dieting. Continue reading

Early Bird Wannabe

early bird wannabe

Here are the grandmas on a “work weekend”. It’s probably around midnight. See one grandma is snoozing and the other is waiting for the party to begin!

In college, my mom and two grandmas would come up to Eau Claire and help decorate my dorm room or apartment. Inevitably, we would chat for a while, go out to eat, and begin working on our 10 pm. I would begin to fade at about 1:00 am, and mom was just hitting her stride. Continue reading

The Snow Police

snow police

Kadon and Luka are excited about the snow–2009.

When I first started teaching, one of the first purchases I needed was a warm winter coat and snow pants for recess duty. Kids are all running around and warm, but the adults are just standing there–watching, protecting…policing. 

I think it is interesting how snow brings out the joy and excitement in children. One good snowfall and they are all rolling snowmen and trying to throw snowballs (without getting caught). Continue reading

Christmas Adulting

One big drawback of being an adult is that I am the one responsible for the setup and clean-up of celebrations and events.

Christmas Adulting

I think this is Luka’s decorated gingerbread house.

As a child, I looked forward to Christmas–the music, the sugar cookies, Santa, family gatherings, and presents. But now…I’m the one who makes the cookies, invites the guests, buys the gifts, decorates…

Oh yes, the decorations.

When I was little, I loved having a Christmas tree. I loved the smell of the real thing. Our tree had all sorts of decorations and big colorful lights. Mom would put up the tree about a week before Christmas and then keep it up forever. (We have more recently witnessed the tree make it past “3 Kings Day” to see St. Patrick’s Day!) Continue reading

It’s a Wonderful Life


It's a Wonderful Life“You’ve been given a great gift, George, a chance to see what the world would be like without you.”

This is what the guardian angel, Clarence, says after revealing an alternative reality to George.

I love movies that give a glimpse into how our choices (or in the case of this great Christmas movie) and our very existence change the future for ourselves and others who we touch. Continue reading

The First Leon (Noel backwards)

When we lived on Cherokee Rd. we were the first house built in the area. Our house was on a  curved road surrounded by fields. In December, mom would pick me and Chelle up from Grandma’s in December. We would drive around town looking at the lights and decorations. We would arrive home after dark. She would pull up the driveway and as the garage door slowly opened, it was my job to get the mail.

This sounds so easy.

It wasn’t. Continue reading

She Can Do It all

She Can Do It All

This job list is from when I was about 11 years old.

Saturday mornings were for cleaning when I was a child. Mom worked in the morning and then went grocery shopping. Michelle and I were left at home to get our chores done.

I remember that my responsibilities not only included making my bed and cleaning my room, scrubbing sinks, and toilets, and vacuuming the house but also motivating my sister to get her jobs done as well.

THAT was the challenge! Continue reading