Tag Archives: Spin Cycle

Light Pollution {Spin Cycle}

We were stopped at a red light. The soccer fields next to me were dark, but I could the lights of the planes lining up to land at O’Hare Airport. Every time I see the twinkling of those artificial stars, I’m in awe. To think that hundreds of people are up in the sky, traveling here for business or pleasure or are just coming home, is amazing.

Straight ahead of us are all the lights of Lutheran General Hospital, with the cross shining at the tip-top of the building. My children were born there. The parking ramp is also glowing. I can even see a huge house across the field that is decorated with an abundance of Christmas lights.

I’m surrounded by artificial lights. As I sit in the car, Ed is in the driver’s seat waiting for the red light to turn green. I look up at the sky, wondering if I’ll see any stars. I don’t. Is it because of the clouds, or because the bright lights are shining too loudly to see any stars?

I’ve been to places where the lights don’t shine so bright. Where you can look up and see the stars in a dark night sky without the halo of the city ruining the view. Where I can see the Milky Way and it really does look like spilled milk. Where I can imagine Abraham being truly awestruck when his God told him his offspring would number the stars.

I’ve made my children stare into that space, that milky, twinkling space full of stars. We were at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and it was way past the girls’ bedtime. But I kept them up anyway. We stood in the middle of the courtyard by our cabin, tilted our heads back and simply gazed at the stars.

Back home, I teach them the rhyme: Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight. I wish I may, I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight. We strain our eyes to see that first star after the sun sets and twilight descends on the city.

The wishing star is very difficult to spot. We’ll try again tomorrow.

Grand Canyon morning

What did you write this week? It’s Free Choice week on The Spin Cycle–link up your blog post here!

Spin Cycle at Second Blooming

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Forget-Me-Not {Spin Cycle}

I’ve always wanted Lily and Emmy to have cousins the same age as they are. They do have two older cousins on Ed’s side, but they are quite a bit older and really, not that fun to play with. They are more interested in sleeping when they come home for a visit. My siblings don’t have any kids, and are unlikely to. My cousin, however, has children that are about the same age. We try to get the kids together as often as we can to see each other, but since we live a couple of states away from each other, this doesn’t happen as often as we’d like!

Here, in their own words, are Lily (10) and Emmy (7) telling you about their second cousins.

Hi, I’m Lily and I like spending time with my family members.  Especially with my cousins Laura, and Mary. The problem is that I don’t usually get to see them. I only get to see them once a year!

When we see each other we play with stuffed animals, go to the beach, explore out side, tell scary stories and many other things. We have so much fun together. Every time we see each other we play every chance we  get. It is hard to stop.

The rest of the year I miss them so much. Laura and I write letters to each other. Emmy, my sister writes letters to Mary and Laura too. I like doing this. It makes me feel like I get to see her more.We also send each other small things to help each other remember them by. I still don’t get to communicate with Mary that much. Even though Laura tells me how she is.

I am always thinking about what we will do the next time we see each other.I always wait for that day and I always will. I think they probably feel the same way I do.  I know they miss me as much as I miss them. It is nice to have good family members even when I don’t see them much.

Forget me not

I love my cousins but I don’t get to see them a lot. I get to write to my cousins but still I don’t get to see them in person. It isn’t fair! I only see them once in a year! It feels like throwing away your favorite thing when it was perfect! By Emmy

Lily and Emmy say it much better than I ever could! Hopefully we’ll see Laura and Mary (along with their mom and dad) next summer!

Did you write your own Forget-me-not Spin? Link it up here! Be sure to visit other Spinners!

Spin Cycle at Second Blooming

Copy and paste the code in the box to add some Spin Cycle bling to your post! (On some blogs, you will need to delete the quote marks and replace them with regular quote marks. Or just grab the Spin Cycle code from my right sidebar.)

I usually send a Spin Cycle reminder on Wednesday; if you’d like to receive my newsletter, enter your email here!




Halloween Show ‘n Tell 2014 {Spin Cycle}

I knew it was going to be cold on Halloween this year. But I didn’t expect to wake up to snow!

snowy Halloween

Earlier in the week it had been quite a bit warmer, which was wonderful for the annual Pumpkin Patch at Lily and Emmy’s school. Kids can decorate pumpkins (but not carve them) and bring them to school for a contest. Well, it used to be a contest, but this year it was just a pumpkin show. As we were bringing our pumpkins to school, one of the moms we ran into told me she was glad she only had a couple more years of decorating pumpkins. She and her husband had stayed up late painting her daughter’s pumpkin!

I just give each kid a pumpkin and some paint, and tell them they’re on their own. It works for them.

Lily and her vampire bat pumpkin

Lily and her vampire bat pumpkin

Emmy and her witch

Emmy and her witch

On Halloween, I sent them to school in their costumes, another new policy at our school. Everything I did that day was Halloween-y. First was the Halloween party at my preschool, which was a huge success thanks to our awesome parent volunteers. After work, I went to Lily and Emmy’s school for their Halloween parade. It was so cold outside that the parade had to be in the gym. The kids went to their classrooms for their Halloween parties, and then had an early dismissal. Finally, it was time for the main event of the day; trick-or-treating!

pinkie pie and bat

Oh. my. word. So. much. candy!

I’m still helping my kids eat their Milky Ways and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups! How was your Halloween? Link up your Halloween recaps here!

Spin Cycle at Second Blooming

Copy and paste the code in the box to add some Spin Cycle bling to your post! (On some blogs, you will need to delete the quote marks and replace them with regular quote marks. Or just grab the Spin Cycle code from my right sidebar.)


Masks {Spin Cycle}

As a preschool teacher, I have to dress up in a costume on Halloween. As a preschool teacher, I don’t wear a mask with my costume on Halloween. Why not? Because the little ones I teach would freak out if their teacher appeared as someone different! A mask would hide my familiar face, and preschoolers need to see a familiar face when they come to school. Not wearing a mask is fine with me; it’s hard to breathe or see with a mask on. Wearing a mask makes me all claustrophobic.

Emmy Bunny Hat

Masks can also give you a sense of freedom, however. I’ve always wanted to go to a masquerade ball. The movies always make it look so romantic. To dance with a partner who wears a mask, have him fall in love with you, and then he turns out to be the prince. *sigh*

A figurative mask can be also freeing. Take a mask like this blog, for instance. When I began it, I thought I was invisible behind my blog and my fake name. I could write whatever I wanted and no one would know it was me. I once wrote a post about someone who wasn’t playing nice. I told the story in my favor, of course. I was in the right and she was in the wrong.

This mask of mine, however, proved to be weak. Too many people knew that I wrote this blog. Terrified that this person would somehow stumble onto my blog, I deleted the post. As far as I know, she never read my words, but I became scared of hurting someone if I wrote my feelings publicly. Sometimes I write whole blog posts in my head but never write them down just for that reason. And that, my friends, can make my blog quite safe and boring when I hide my true opinions. That’s a mask of a different kind, isn’t it?

Masks are complicated, more complicated than they seem at first. Do you wear a mask?

Take a look at some of the great posts about masks that these wonderful bloggers have written!

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At the Gym {Spin Cycle}

Just down the street from us, next to the Dunkin’ Donuts, is a new gym. Ed and I decided that we needed some motivation to exercise, and paying for a gym membership is good motivation for both of us. We’re both so “frugal” that if we spend money on something, we’re going to use it. We’re trying to make exercise a habit; a good habit. I stop by the gym right after teaching my little preschool class.

When I’m at the gym, the manager always has a cheerful hello for me as I walk in. I step into the bathroom to change (no locker rooms) and then it’s out to the treadmill to walk. Usually I have my choice of machines, but when there is someone else walking on a treadmill, I’m always careful to leave a treadmill as a buffer in-between me and the other exerciser.

About a week ago, an older woman was on the treadmill. I kept that buffer in-between me and her. It didn’t stop me from noticing her brilliant red hair or her blue velour sweatsuit, however. I started my workout.

The gym has very fancy, new treadmills with TV screens built into them. She was having trouble changing the channel. I knew it was only a matter of time before she asked me for help. I started to speed walk. Unfortunately, treadmills don’t move.

Do you watch The Big Bang Theory? Remember how Howard’s mother talks? With a loud, nasally voice? Then you can image how she sounded when she asked me, “Do you know how to change the channel?”

I acted very out of breath, like I was working very hard. “No,” I said. “Sorry!” I’m not very accommodating. But I was also telling the truth. I don’t watch TV while I’m on the treadmill.

She pressed more buttons on the remote as her walking slowed. For an old lady, she had been working up a sweat, which was impressive.

All of a sudden she yelled, “Help! Help!”

Remember Howard’s mother?

I looked at her, then looked around to the room to see if anyone heard her. A personal trainer fiddled with some weight equipment and pretended to be busy.

“Help!” she called again.

The gym manager came over to help. “I don’t want to watch this channel any more!” she nasally said. “My movie is over and I don’t watch to watch this show!” The manager was as sweet as could be, and helped her change the channel. She exercised for about five more minutes and then stepped off the treadmill.

I was able to finish my workout in peace and quiet at the gym. That night, I had a good story to tell the girls and Ed. I was sure to use my best impression of the red-haired lady at the gym.

“Help! Help! I can’t change the channel!”

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