Sowing Seeds

Growing writers, growing teachers, growing myself.

Must Haves?


I’m worried I may have a future shopaholic on my hands.  Karisa has discovered QVC and she loves to watch it. She’s mesmerized by every product and believes that we need them all.  So far, she thinks we need to order:

 a leaf blower

 a power washer

 scubby mitts

 outlets that rotate

 a ceramic pig that holds your pots and pans scrubbie

lights that turn on as you approach them

an iron with over 400 microsteam holes

utensils that hook onto the edge of your pans to prevent them from sliding in

a purse caddy for organizing all your stuff (and for easy transfer to another bag)

a sliding/rotating spice rack

Oh boy. She’s in first grade! What is she going to be like when she’s 16? At least she’s practical!

Saving Today


My one and only is growing way too fast. She’s seven. Seven! Thinking about her growing up, becoming a teenager, a young adult, a woman, makes me catch my breath. I so often want to freeze time, to preserve what is now.  

I’ve been known to beg her, “Can you please stop growing?”

I’m always met with her all-knowing smile, “Mama, you know I can’t stop.”

“I know. It’s just that you’re my favorite girl in the whole world.”

“You’re my favorite mama.”

We have this conversation all the time.  While I have found immense joy in each of milestone and stage of life, I have also become very sentimental about graduating from the previous stage.  I want to bottle up a moment, memorize her giggle, remember the funny things she says.

I know I can’t stop her from growing. I know that I will continue to be in awe of her as grows. I know that I will continue to be sentimental.

And so I write about her. I freeze time. I preserve the now.

The Gift


She was full of chatter about her day as she flung open the door, kicked off her shoes, and tossed her backpack onto the chair. “And then Rosa and I got to go with Mrs. Myers to practice The Stinky Cheese Man. We’re going to read it like a play with Haley and Trevor. I get to be the narrator and the girl.” She handed me her coat to hang on a hanger. I closed the closet door as she made a beeline to the fridge.

“We’re out of yogurt, Honey,” I called to her as I began sorting the mail at the table.  “There’s an applesauce cup in the pantry.”

“Oh good, because I am so hungry for a snack.” She joined me at the table with applesauce in one hand and a spoon in the other. She scooted out the chair and plopped down.  Carefully, she peeled the lid off the cup so that the applesauce wouldn’t splatter.  “Mama, guess what,” she said as she licked the lid.

“Hm?” I ripped an envelope in half and tossed in on the junk-mail pile.

“Today on the bus, there was a boy with cookies and he was giving them out to some kids.” She shoveled a big scoop of applesauce into her mouth.

“I didn’t think you were supposed to eat on the bus,” I replied absentmindedly.  The phone bill went onto the to-be-filed pile.

“I didn’t eat any. But I almost did.”

“Oh really? Why is that?”

“Well, the kid wouldn’t give one to Carter.”

I looked up from the billing statement in my hand. “You mean Carter from your class?” Karisa nodded her reply.  Carter, a little boy with special needs, has been in her class for the last two years. Last year, he cried all the time and struggled with social cues. Karisa has gushed often about what a great year he’s having this year. I slid into the seat across the table. “Go on,” I prompted.

“He was giving out cookies to kids but when Carter asked for one, he got really mean and said, ‘YOU can’t have one!’ It wasn’t nice at all.” She tried catching applesauce dripping from the underside of her spoon with her tongue.  “So, I asked him if I could have a cookie.”

“You don’t even like cookies.”

“I know, but I was hoping he’d give me one.”

“Were you going to eat it?”

“No way. I just hoped he would give ME the cookie, and then I could give it to Carter. He’s so mean to Carter all the time. And for no reason. Carter can’t help it he cries sometimes. He just wanted a cookie and that big boy was giving them out. It wasn’t fair to not give one to Carter.” 

My heart warmed. I smiled. “Did he give you a cookie?”

She shook her head and frowned. “But that’s ok. I didn’t want it. I just wanted it for Carter.” She pushed back her chair, gathering up the foil lid and the empty cup.  I caught her hand, gave it a squeeze, and pulled her around the table to me for a big hug.

“You know what, Pun’kin?.  It can take a lot of courage to stand up for others like that. I’m really proud of you. You were being a good friend to Carter, and that’s a gift that will last a lot longer than a cookie.”

She looked up at me and smiled, and my heart overflowed with love for this girl.


The Twirl Factor


This morning, shopping for an Easter dress with my seven year old, I learned that a dress must meet specific requirements before being deemed the perfect Easter dress.

It cannot have an ugly pattern, it cannot be overly yellow or green, it cannot have an asymmetric design (specifically: one shoulder with a ruffled cap sleeve and the other shoulder with a strap), and it cannot be itchy.  Polka dots are acceptable but are not preferred.

 Instead, the perfect Easter dress must have some sort of combination of:







It must be pink, or blue, or purple, or pink and blue and purple. The dress must be able to perform an acceptable curtsy.

The MOST IMPORTANT thing to consider when selecting the Easter dress, however, is the twirl.  One can be flexible with the aformentioned requirements as long as the dress has a good twirl.  The quality of the twirl has the power to move a beautiful dress from the “love it” hook to the “back on the rack” hook or vice versa.  Likewise, after narrowing the selection field from 12 dresses to 2, if all frill and frou-frou qualities are considered equal, the ultimate deciding factor is the twirl.  It make take trying on the top two dresses more than once and taking them for a spin or two in order to compare twirls. It make take a while to determine which twirl is better, but be patient with the process.

A girl cannot have a dress that does not have a good twirl.


The Power of Prayer


Karisa is my first and last child. I am so incredibly blessed by being her mom and am thankful every day that I get to love and care for her.  Because she is my only child, I am very aware that all of her “firsts” are also our “lasts.” My mama’s heart, then, becomes very sentimental about the passing of each stage.

When she was just a little Peek-a-Bug, I cherished her unwavering belief that kisses healed all boo-boos. I remember thinking how sad I would be for the moment when I would kiss a boo-boo and she would realize that it still hurt.  Or worse, the moment when she would not even want a kiss on the bumped head or scraped knee.  I’ve noticed this transpiring bit by bit over the last year. Sometimes she wants kisses, sometimes she doesn’t. That’s hard. Something else has been happening, though, that lifts my heart and makes this transition easier: she is discovering the power of prayer.

Now, instead of crawling into my arms and presenting a boo-boo for a kiss, she crawls into my arms (sometimes) and asks, “Can you pray for it?”  We snuggle up, I lay my hands on her hurt leg or achy tummy, and pray for healing. 

Instilling a strong faith in Christ is a priority to me when it comes to parenting. I pray that my husband and I are equipping Karisa with the foundation she needs to keep her rooted in faith as she encounters all the twists and turns and hardships life brings. I sometimes doubt our abilities to provide her with all the spiritual leadership she needs, but we must be doing something right, because she has no doubts that prayer works.

I love it that she not only seeks prayer for her hurts, but that she also has the strong desire to lift others up in prayer.  She nightly prays for whoever was absent from school, for the librarian who lost her voice, for the stranger that was in the ambulance.  The other day as the nightly news was breaking for commercial, she asked, “Mommy, why do they always tell us about bad things like accidents and stuff?”

“Well, I guess they think people need to know what is going on in the world,” I replied.

“I think it’s because the News People want us to know so that we can pray for them,” she responded with certainty.

My heart is overjoyed.

Writing Day


Today was a Snow Day–I mean a Writing Day.

I’ve spent my day on the couch, laptop perched on my lap, pecking away at my keyboard, drafting emails and documents, and now, my SOL post. 

Next to me, my sweet girl has also been perched, tucked under her hot pink lap-desk, drafting a story.  Today, she chose to write her own version of “The Sky is Falling.”

 As soon as she finished her draft, she moved on to revising her piece, inserting details and changing some of her word choices.  She was thoughtful about this process, taking the time to read and reread her story. She worked to keep the structure of the traditional tale in tact, while making her characters and details her own.

Once she was satisfied with her story, she pulled out a purple marker and looked at her spelling and mechanics. She wanted everything to be perfect before she began publishing.

Observing my daughter independently and eagerly work through this process has been very rewarding.  I know she’s seven and growing as a writer, but seeing her mind at work is awesome and never gets old.  Today, she was focusing on making her writing descriptive and keeping a balance between dialogue and action or description.  She was very aware when her story was becoming too heavy with talking. 

Karisa is an observant reader and I see her trying to use techniques that she has borrowed from other writers: lifting a line from another book, tweaking it and turning it into dialogue because she like how it sounded in the original book; placing emphasis on a word using all capital letters; using more than one adjective to describe a noun; using quotations marks.

I think the most exciting this is that when she finishes this piece, she has plans in the works for her next books: non-fiction books about giraffes, chameleons, and dolphins .  Already, she has a list of questions she wants to research.  Karisa hopes that some day she will have books in the library for others to read. Whether she does or not, I’m so pleased that she sees herself as a writer. 

 Gine Pig, Puppy, and Giraffe Run From the Sky–by Karisa

One sunny hot summer day Gine Pig was taking a walk on the beach.  She herd a SPLASH! “Oh no the ski is falling.” sed Gine Pig.  She ran to get puppy.  Puppy was injowing his peacfl nap.  Giny Pig wakes up puppy.  “There is no time to sleep!” sed Gine Pig. “The sky is falling.”  “Uh-oh” sed puppy. “We have to go tell Giraffe!” They ran to tell giraffe.  “The sky is falling!” sed puppy.  “Lets go tell my mom.” sed giraffe.  Giraffe’s mom was knitting a skarf.  “There is no time to knit!” The sky is falling!  “Lets go take a look at the ski,” sed mother giraffe.  They looked, puppy saw a splash in the water.  A dolphin was playing. “I dident get to take my nap.” sed puppy.  “Don’t werry.” sed Gine Pig. “We can ALL take a nap.  The End.

When I Grow Up…According to Karisa


This post is for no other reason than for me to document and remember my seven year old’s dreams for her future.  I love her innocence and perspective:

When I grow up, I want to be a….

  • Swimming lessons teacher
  • Dentist
  • Nurse
  • Face-painter
  • Zookeeper
  • Teacher
  • Mommy
  • Writer (“Because I want to write lots of books and so lots of people celebrate my birthday just like they do for Dr. Seuss”)
  • Subway Maker (as in the sandwich!–“Because it’s easy and I love Subway.”)
  • Principal (“Because it’s easier than being a Subway Maker.  All you do is visit classrooms and tell kids to be nice.”)

The Trouble with Cars


Rewind to last Tuesday:  I was just driving along, singing to the radio on my morning commute to work. All was normal as I approached the stoplight at two intersecting highways. I waited through the red, singing my song, waiting for green. When the signal changed, I took my foot off the brake and my car immediately died. Right there and then.  Blocking a lane of traffic, I turned on my blinkers and began the phone calls: first work–telling them I’d be late.  Second, my husband–to be rescued. Third, my mechanic–he researched the problem over the phone.  Fourth, the tow truck–they were on the way.

Fast-forward to Thursday: My car was ready. Yeah!  It felt so good to have my own vehicle back! No more borrowing cars or depending on someone else for a ride. Boy, we are so car-dependent in the Midwest.

Fast-forward to Today: In a rush out the door after work, I worried about being late to the sitter’s to pick up my daughter. At the light, I slowed down to allow the car ahead of me to safely turn. Eyes on the light, I willed it to stay green, which it did. With my foot on the accelerator, I pushed it toward the floor to –well, accelerate! Except my car began to lose speed and power and umpf.  I drifted onto the shoulder and my vehicle died. Right then and there. I turned on my blinkers and began the phone calls: first, my mother-in-law–asking her to pick up my daughter. Second, my mechanic–he researched the problem over the phone. Third, my husband–to share my woes.  At least this time I didn’t need to be pushed out of the road! 

Looking toward Tomorrow: I hope the problems my mechanic discovers are small, inexpensive and easy to fix. I really do not want to borrow cars and ask for rides again! I wish we weren’t so dependent on cars around here!

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We Moms


I’m thinking that the tooth fairy has an easy job. She flies around all night, swoops in to leave a treasure and she gets all the glory. Sounds pretty cushy to me.

But we moms, we have it hard. We dry the tears when those loose teeth hurt during breakfast, we help brush over those wiggly teeth very carefully, and we help our nervous children build up courage to pull this stubborn teeth. And then we do the real dirty work…we PULL.

We moms then dry the tears again and shower our children with praise about how brave they were. We admire the hole. We give hugs and kisses and admire the hole again. We take pictures and text them to grandparents. We help write precious notes to the tooth fairy and watch as the notes and the source of so much angst are placed under pillows with pride. We moms tuck our children into bed and receive hugs and kisses, a toothless grin, and an endearing, “Thanks, Momma.”

I guess being Mom instead of the Tooth Fairy is a pretty darn good job. I think I’ll keep it.

The Dance


I love my husband.

I especially love him when he calls us downstairs,

Turns the music on loud

And begins to dance.


Because when the music’s goin’

And invisible instruments are being played,

And markers become microphones

Our girl begins to dance.


I observe from the couch

And begin tapping my feet,

Bopping my head

And before I know it,

I’m couch-dancing.


I love my husband

Because he brought this energy to our family

And turned us into dancing fools.


But I love him most

Because he scoops up our girl

And dances with her,

Looking upon her with a Daddy’s gaze

And she’s grinning

And giggling

And loving him.


And he’s loving her.


Picturing him dancing with her on her wedding day,

I get teary-eyed


And love this moment and the moments to come.


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