Tag Archives: sister

#SOL16: ROME!


Where does writing inspiration come from?  Today it came from this quote in my inbox from my sister via the priest leading our trip to Rome at the end of August for the canonization of Mother Teresa. To learn more about Mother Teresa, you can check out this link.

Mother Teresa

What does this quote mean to you?

If you are reading closely you do notice the difference between the bold words and the italics. I have a couple weeks YET to learn more about Mother Teresa before joining about two million friends at the Vatican for the celebration!

What should we plan to see besides our tours?  

My research is starting with these top 10 FREE things to do and see in Rome.  I’m not buying a book – a real paper book at this stage.  I’m sure that I will download something about Vatican City and the churches in Rome.  Our guides will be amazing but I also like to have some background information to fully appreciate the historical significance!

And in the meantime,

it’s back to packing

for a trip to Rome

with:

Mom,

Two younger brothers,

One younger sister,

An aunt and uncle (Mom’s brother!)

A trip of a lifetime!

Vatican.jpg

Thanks, Mom!

As she returns for her second visit, five years later!

Screenshot 2016-08-08 21.07.57

What family travel story do you have? (or will you have)?

slice of life 2016

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

 

 

 

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#SOL16: Joyful Tears


Stifling back a sob, I wiped the tears slowly dripping down my cheeks with my head down. Afraid to make eye contact. Literally in fear of seeing 413 women surrounding me in tears. Seeing it would make it more real.  Certain that the tears would become a river leading to the turf in Kinnick Stadium if I actually saw how many others were also crying.  I could hear sniffles, nose-blowing and out-loud crying.  Superimposed over our anguish was the joyful and vibrant voice of eleven year old Christopher Turnis, Honorary Captain for the Iowa Ladies Football Academy.

Christopher totally rocked his time with the microphone.  Funny. Articulate. A young man  who currently has a feeding tube in order to survive, who has already had one kidney transplant and YET has endured over 40 surgeries and 1000 nights in the hospital who stood in front of an audience to thank his family at home and his family at the U of I Children’s Hospital and Clinics for all their support because he’s never “done anything the easy way”.

It was truly a blessing that we met Christopher at the end of the day.  It was an emotional roller coaster as his mother was the next speaker for the record-breaking crowd in Kinnick’s south end zone before Mary Ferentz announced that the participants had raised over $346,614.  The top prize went to a participant who had raised $8,000 herself.

So what do women really do at a seven hour football camp?

The agenda went something like this . . .

Register

Tours and Instructional Presentations (2 hours):  All – American Room, Weight and Conditioning Room, and Team Room

Lunch at Kinnick

Choices:  Tours of Locker Rooms, Practice the “SWARM”, pictures with the coaches and players, visit with other participants, testing individual  skills and checks on sunscreen and hydration built in.

Introductions:  Coaches and Teams

Drills: Rotations through blocking, passing, footwork, defense, fumble recovery, meeting with special teams . . .

Speeches by Coach Ferentz, Christopher, his mother, and Mary Ferentz

And highlights look like this . . .

The line outside to “ENTER” in order to register when the doors opened!

one Iowa

The positive vibes and signage everywhere!  The intentionality of the daily care of the Iowa Hawkeye football players! (signs in the weight room)

And the infamous visitors’ lockerroom inside Kinnick.

Such an icky, icky pink . . .

And then inside the Home locker room (these walls are not pink – odd tint in the picture)

The players and their own mothers who were part of the day’s activities.

eight Iowa

This picture was special as Coach and I chatted about our gandsons named “John” (mine would be eight months older)!

nine Iowa

And, in fact this was our last family photo with Coach after the 2014 win at Indiana that heralded our family expansion.

Evan Julie and Coach

Former standout Mark Weisman, also from 2014, back with the Hawkeyes this summer.

ten Iowa

And one picture with QB CJ Beathard

eleven iowa

It was an amazing day with valiant young men who treated us all like royalty.  Kind, thoughtful, teachers for the day who inspired us with their growth mindset and fun-loving attitudes.

It was a day to make memories and to consider how it feels to be a novice absorbing new learning in a field full of experts.

“Was that out, cut, and ?”

“Or left over right, cut, and ?”

Thanks to my generous sister!    With her sponsorship and donation, it was a privilege to attend and learn with 413 others at the Iowa Ladies Football Academy.

Interested in learning more?

Check out these sites.

My Wife Plays Football with the Hawkeyes

Iowa Ladies Football Academy

Hawkeye Players Cut Short Vacation for a Good Cause

challenge

How have you challenged yourself to try to learn something new?  What did you learn about yourself?  How do you continue to “put yourself in the learner’s shoes”?

slice of life 2016

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.  Thank you for this weekly forum!

 

Joyful is my #OLW!

 

#SOL16: A Favor


It began with an email. Late Sunday evening, an email in my inbox with the subject, “Five pound favor, please.” I was on the receiving end of chuckles from colleagues every time I recounted the story. Was it not believable? Was it too far from the norm?

And then the box arrived. A perfect cube. Two foot by two foot by two foot. Except for its size, totally inconspicuous in a normal, brown cardboard box. Two layers of packing bubbles hid the goods. Oh, no the corner of the bag was open! White and teal orbs peeked out from around the bag. Fortunately for me the box had arrived early. I had some leisure time to study the size and shape. How would it be best to repack this package for its safe trip to Florida?

On the day of the flight I had my typical early morning pre-dawn arrival at the Des Moines International  Airport. My boarding pass and ID were verified in the TSA pre-check line. Easy peasey! No waiting!  My phone was in the bowl. My two carry-on bags were on the conveyor belt as I strolled through the scanner. No hands over head. No stopping to hold a pose. The line was moving quickly, quietly, efficiently! And then the line slowed. The man in front of me had his carry-on bag inspected by hand. I saw the location of his bag as my items slowly emerged on the conveyor belt. Phone, check. Computer bag, check. I held my breath. Oh, no, the turquoise carry-on bag was pulled off the line to be inspected.

Darn it. All because of my favor. I wish I could have seen how indistinguishable that item looked in the top of my bag. A Thermos lunch bag cooler, five pounds of teal and white candies inside, carefully cocooned in two layers of bubble wrap to keep them from crumbling and occupying approximately one-third of the space in my carry-on bag.

Have you ever wondered about which candy is most popular?  The Mars company claims its M&Ms® are the most popular chocolate candy in the world.  The coated candies were created in the 1930s in order to add a chocolate candy to soldiers’ meals that would not melt. How are they made?  The candies begin as liquid chocolate poured into tiny molds. They are then “tumbled” to make the chocolate center smooth and rounded. After they harden, a liquid chocolate and corn syrup coating is sprayed on them. Multiple coats. Multiple drying times. The color is the very last coat that is applied. You can read more about how M&Ms® are made here. Additional factoids about M&Ms® can be found through google searches. I wondered how many M&Ms® were in my five pound package? At one point, I had around 2500 M&Ms® in my possession.

My favor, requested by my favorite younger sister, was to deliver five pounds of teal and white M&Ms® for my favorite oldest Florida nephew’s graduation party.  The company would not ship them in May to Davie, Florida because of the fear of melting. So after a 1500 mile special delivery trip, here is what the hand stamped M&Ms® looked like and why a TSA screener in Iowa is still asking his peers, “Did you know that M&Ms®  could be printed with a picture on them and all kinds of other sayings?”

Neel m and m

Have you had personalized M&Ms®?  Did you ever wonder about their creation? Or their delivery to their final destination?  What stories could your M&Ms® tell?

slice of life 2016

Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Dana, Deb, Kathleen, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.  Thank you for this weekly forum!

 *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *  *

Visual structures of this draft of the essay above based on my current understanding of Chapter 3:  The Journey is Everything.

7 paragraphs

  • The favor – 5 paragraphs
  • M&Ms® – 1 paragraph
  • Questions for readers – 1 paragraph

7 paragraphs

  • Introduction to the favor – 1
  • The story- 3 paragraphs
  • M&Ms® – 1
  • The specifics of the  favor – 1
  • Picture
  • Questions for readers – 1

 

7 paragraphs

  • The mystery – 2 paragraphs
  • DSM airport story (the mystery continues) – 2 paragraphs
  • M&Ms® – 1
  • The  favor revealed (including picture) – 1
  • Questions for readers – 1

 

7 paragraphs

  • The Favor
  • Hint
  • Mini-story – hint (2 paragraphs)
  • M&Ms®
  • Explicit reveal (with picture)
  • Involve reader with questions

How would you map the structure?

#SOL14 – Gratitude


success and happiness

How do you define success and happiness?

Two great posts recently include this from Kate and Maggie and this from Anna Gratz Cockerille.

As a “Slicer”. . .

I want to express my gratitude to the Two Writing Teacher blog and bloggers.  After meeting and hearing from five of them at #NCTE14, I am even more impressed with their prolific blogging, slicing, and “regular working lives”.  As with everyone, there is the need to be cautious and not burn oneself out in an attempt to do EVERYTHING!  I am very grateful for this supportive space to read, write and reflect!

As a “Blogger” . . . 

I want to express my gratitude to all those who follow my blog,  read my posts, and especially for those who comment.  I really appreciate knowing which ideas or words captured your thinking as you read my blog posts. We are all busy so I am very grateful for the extra time that you take to not only read but also to stop and comment!

As a “Tweeter” . . . 

I want to express my gratitude to my followers who RT and / or “favorite” my Tweets.  Special thanks to those who don’t moan on nights when the Twitter feed fills up during a # #T4Tchat or #TWTchat or a #TCRWP chat.  I love learning online and I am so grateful for the brilliant ideas shared!

As a “Reader of Professional Texts” . . .

2014-12-15 21.15.21

2014-12-15 21.15.44

 

I want to express my gratitude to the authors (their families), editors and publishers of these great books that were a part of my professional development during 2013-2014.  Even more importantly, I thank those who participated in the book chats and freely shared their thoughts and ideas.  I am amazed at the new things I learn every day as I read and reread these books, and I am grateful for having met these fabulous authors! (And I am so fortunate that I can “wear” evidence of my PD in the form of an autographed t-shirt!)

As a “Fra-mily” . . . 

I want to express my gratitude to those of you who may also be in all the categories above but who have become a part of my friends + family as a result of our personal face-to-face connections (often over a beverage or dinner), Twitter chats, blogs and Slices.  You range from Arizona, California, Washington, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland to Virginia, Georgia, and Louisiana.  It is an honor and a pleasure to “KNOW” you and I am grateful for the time spent with you sharing online, face-to-face, personally and professionally.

As a member of our “Literacy Team” . . .

I want to express my gratitude for those of you who are part of my regular work team.  Together we are better!   Sharing resources, information and learning helps us all grow.  A growth mindset allows us to be continually improving our own skills.  I am grateful for our collaborative nature.

As a “Sister” . . .

I want to express my gratitude to my siblings.  It’s been years since we have been under one roof for extended periods of time, but each family event provides many opportunities to share our hopes and dreams.  Sometimes we even reminisce about the past and we are at that stage where our memories may have faded but our enthusiasm remains.  I am grateful for our time together.

As a “Daughter” . . .

I want to express my gratitude to my parents.  Miss you, Dad, but think of you daily with so much love as I continue to appreciate all that I learned from you.  Mom, I’ll never master crocheting and quilting, but I love your work and still share hearts as I travel.  I especially appreciate your love and support across the years and the miles.

As a “Mom” and soon-t0-be Grandma . . .

I want to express my gratitude to you my readers who have graciously allowed me to share my stories.  I am proud of my growing family and can’t wait to share their brilliance with you!

I wish you all a happy, healthy, joyous, and fun-filled holiday season!

What’s your plan for sharing your gratitude?

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy for creating a place for us to work collaboratively.

 

#SOL14: Family Weekend FUN!



Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy for creating a place for us to work collaboratively.

It was a huge family weekend.  My youngest brother, the baby in the family, graduated summa cum laude with his BS in Business Friday night with Mom plus three siblings in attendance. We had a fabulous pre-party with food galore:  veggie and fruit pizzas, veggies and dip, sandwiches, cupcakes, pies, sweet potato cake, and a wee bit of Uncle Leo’s homemade wine.   Here’s a collection of photos from the festivities!

Wayne grad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone had read last week’s slice (Mom’s birthday post) except Mom so she read that later in the evening.  She wondered why I had left out the “riding the bull” picture.  That led me to wondering about the “Kiss the Blarney Stone” picture.  Darn, again. . . . all on an external hard drive at home – not where I am currently located.  I discovered this picture of orchids that Mom drew in a class on her Mediterranean cruise and decided to share it.  She has so much artistic talent!

Moms orchids

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday  was a fabulously great family day with our departure from Ankeny at 6:15 am for the Iowa Homecoming festivities. Drumline, Alumni Band, Hawkeye Marching Band – what a treat to see and hear so much great entertainment! And the “FUN that was had by all!  You truly can see just about anything and everything at a collegiate football game.  It was my sister’s first game sitting as a spectator in historic Kinnick Stadium, as well as niece Courtney’s first Hawkeye football game so the high-scoring first quarter and ultimate win were greatly appreciated!

homecoming game

 

 

 

 

Simple things like late lunch after the game, picking up Grandma and heading on to the next adventure occupied Saturday evening.  We watched nephew Josh’s high school band perform at marching contest at Muscatine.  What a pleasure to see and hear the pageantry that accompanies high school marching bands.  However, it was a bit nippy and the blankets to sit on and wrap up in were both greatly appreciated.

The big excitement from the weekend was skyping with my kids Friday afternoon.  It was so totally an “A-Marek-N” conversation with many people talking simultaneously and lots of laughter.  The seriousness was in this message!

Evan Julie and Coach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this one . . .

McVeigh pumpkin patch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So my final words for this weekend (courtesy of a vendor on Melrose Avenue), and I’m sticking to it . . .

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