Tuesday, January 16, 2018

My Doris-es: A Slice of Life

I'm blessed to have two.  Doris-es. 
Read here to learn more about what that means. 
After I read this post, I've decided, I'm just going to name my Tribe?  Doris. 

The friendships are years old.  Before children, if there was such a thing.  One entered my life when I was wandering with one foot out the door of my church, feeling isolated after a food allergy diagnosis for my youngest. 

We have seen: (Not an exhaustive list...)

  • marriages
  • babies
  • houses.
  • more babies
  • more houses
  • aging parents
  • jobs
  • no jobs
  • new jobs
  • growing kids
  • kids who do things that aren't in the books
  • babies
  • medical things that only a tribe would show up for 
  • hard things.  We do those.  
And here's what I know about these ladies:

At any given time they are there to speak truth and love to me.  (And the world.  But I'm so blessed, they share it with me.)  I remember sitting at my table, again with one foot out the door of the church, and a Doris holding my hand and saying, "This hurt isn't what God wants for His people.  He is Not rejoicing in this."  That statement kept me in the door honestly.  Why?  Because I felt treasured at that moment.  Not only by God, but by His People.  

And the other one?  Reminded me once that I don't say Yes to everything, because other people have gifts too.  So save your Yes's for things you are truly gifted for.  That encouragement is given to lots of people, and shared freely.  She's also a story teller, and reminds me that God's people aren't always pious and quiet.  Sometimes they wear overalls to church, dress up as Santa, swear a little, and laugh a little too loudly-if there is such a thing.  

My Doris-es also are constantly reaching out to those who might not be seen, who need their story told, who just need a friend.  These ladies love Jesus so much, they can't help but love others too.  

I'm so glad they love me too.  


Sunday, January 14, 2018

A Teacher Needs to Eat

Image result for food images

So last week, I talked a lot about what I was doing at lunch time.  

Dinner is important too!  I do meal plan our dinners, because let's be honest, if I didn't, we'd eat out all.the.time.  

You'll hear me reference Wildtree a lot in this post.   A little reminder, I don't sell it.  I'm not getting paid or anything to write about it.  I just love it and it's helped us a lot to keep dinner moving forward!  

First of all, I usually consider Monday the first night of my week.  But I want to write a bit about tonight.  

This is brown rice with chicken and Wildtree Thai Chili Sauce.  

The chicken was prepped and in our freezer.  I pulled it out and baked it at 375 for about 45 minutes.  

We had some brown rice, and so we just made that up and put the chicken and the rice into a bowl.  The chili sauce was a mostly sweet with a little spicy.  Everyone here ate it up!  
Image result for wildtree thai chili sauce

So onto the rest of this week:

Monday:  Wildtree again!  I'm making a Beef Goulash with Egg Free Wide Noodles.  (Chicken for the one with a beef allergy.)

Tuesday:  We are going out.  Honor band is about 40 minutes south of here after school.  

Wednesday:  Pasta Bar!  I make the noodles.  I keep them plain.  I heat up red sauce, organic Alfredo sauce, meatballs, chicken tenders.  I also get out the Parmesan cheese.  I put all these in bowls in a buffet style on our counter and everyone builds a plate that works for them.  This is great for accommodating food allergies and preferences.  
A side note:  Lord Have Mercy with the diet resolutions.  For the first time ever, I went to the store to buy turkey meatballs and they were out!  When you are done buying them please let me know!  Thanks.  Hugs and kisses from a  Food Allergy Mama.  (Who doesn't like to break her routine!)

Thursday:  Homemade Lunchables.  Sliced Deli meat, a cheese tray, snack crackers, fresh veggies, sliced fruit, some chips and candy for fun.  Why?  Because Thursday is another drive all over the metro day.  This day we'll be coming from the north.  Homemade lunchables are set up just like a pasta bar!  We put the choices on the counter and each person can choose based on allergies and preferences.  

Friday:  Always Pizza Night.  One is always cheese.  The other one rotates, but is usually pepperoni.  

So there it is.  A Menu to feed a teacher and her Family.  Stay tuned next week for updates on successes!  


Saturday, January 13, 2018

Celebrate Link Up: An idea of a Bigger Table.

DRAFT -- Steph unequivocally unkind

Okay, so it's been 24 hours since the sh1thole remark.  I just can't even stay quiet anymore.  And I'm probably going to wind and turn a lot in this piece.  And here's why:

John 1:46- Can anything Good come out of Nazareth?  
Spoiler:  That's where Jesus was from.  Nazareth was small, there was A Lot of political unrest in the area when Jesus was young.  

This verse just sits on my heart when I think about the potential of people and how beautiful they are.  The end.  

But there is more:

Before this remark, I had neighbors on my heart.  Specifically women.  But after yesterday's remark, the idea of all people are swirling in my heart really.  

It started with a chance meeting at a restaurant with another lady from church.  (Okay!  It was a pub!  I like a good Cider!  So did Martin Luther! )  We greeted each other and began to ask each other about this new place that we were in.  

Then we mentioned another place we wanted to try, but hadn't been to yet.  It has gloriously long tables that look kind of like this:

Wooden Table by bpcomp

Then we went about our night.  But as I was sitting among our friends, I couldn't help but wonder:
We should all be connecting in this moment.  We should have chairs pulled up around the table and we should be getting to know each other. 

I bothered her in church that Sunday.  I told her we needed to get women together that don't know each other, so we can start forming friendships and offering support at the community level.  

So, now I'm dreaming and celebrating my gloriously long table that doesn't really exist yet.  I'm celebrating the women and neighbors who don't feel like they are being seen or being heard.  

I know lots of leaders talk about getting people around tables so their voices can be heard. This isn't a new idea by any means.   I guess I'm dreaming more of connecting so our communities can be impacted.  At the grassroots level.  

I'm not sure how that goes.  You bring a friend and I'll bring a friend?  We just meet for lunch and go from there?  I have no idea.  But I know I have to try.  Even if it reaches one woman, one neighbor  with friendship and support if they need it, then we've accomplished a goal.  

Will it work?  I have no idea. 
But I have to try.  
Let's Celebrate Humans and Possibility.  


Friday, January 12, 2018


Image result for currently writing prompt

Thinking:  What to say politically.  
Enjoying:  Popcorn that my 9 year old made.  
Feeling:  Swirly.
Wearing:  Jogger pants and a running shirt.  
Needing:  A massage.
Wanting:  My puppy to lie down.
Listening:  to some jazz music.
Making:  A plan for the weekend
Eating:  Popcorn and M&M's.  
Drinking:  Hot Tea.  Lemon Flavored

Thursday, January 11, 2018

SayHi. An App You Must Have.

Do you know about this app?  I think it is a Must for All of us.  And I want to tell you about it.    

A Bit About How it works:

1.  You can download the app for free.  

2.  Once you open the app, you can choose the language that you want to communicate in.  Here's a screen shot of how I used it today:

See the microphone in green?  There is drop down menu that you can choose other languages from.  I have a dear friend who is from Panama, and she practiced using the app with me before I started using it with other friends.  She assured me that the translation is done well for the most part.  

3.  It's so easy.  I use the English side to communicate my message, and the app translates my message into Spanish.  (Which is the only language I need to consider this year.)  Just tap on the microphone and begin speaking.  You can also hold the microphone down for 1-2 seconds and it will allow you to type your message as well.  

4.  I also screen shot and text messages as needed.  I sent this one today for our snow day! 

I am thinking of two times this year when I wished I was more fluent in Spanish.  (I'm practicing, but just not there yet!)  One was I couldn't communicate what I needed to about a child!  It turned out to be okay.   But not being able to effectively communicate with the family was so stressful!  I knew I had to do something different.  

I was standing in a group of ladies who spoke a combination of Spanish and English among us.  As two ladies were speaking to each other in English, I watched my friend who speaks Spanish try to follow along.  I grabbed my phone and spoke a translation into the app so she could understand what was happening.   When I think about inclusiveness, and ensuring that all feel welcome, this app essentially takes away the language barrier.  It opens up the opportunity to getting to know all our neighbors.  

What other ideas do you have for this app?  


Wednesday, January 10, 2018



Okay, it's day 10 of the writing challenge.  I'm a little stuck.  So I went back to what I've read and written today so far. 

This book?  It's a great devotional.  It's thoughtful, yet accessible. 

Today, this quote from the book:

"The DNA of joy is thankfulness."  

So What am I thankful for today?


This book came from our professional lending library!  I was so happy to see it was delivered to school today.  I wasn't ready for it though.  It's a reading emergency!  I'm so excited to dig in and read it. 

Image result for hot dogs grill

The guys at school grilled hot dogs and hamburgers for lunch today.  Outside.  On the grill. 
Yum.  Yes I did leave my very healthy lunch in the lunch box and I ate the hot dog!  I'm not sorry either. 

Image result for herbalife
I saw my neighbor tonight.  A little kitchen table time is good for the soul.  Get to know some neighbors.  She also shares Herbalife with me, which I like to put in my smoothies. 

It was fun to watch Griffin find a bone to chew.  

What are you thankful for tonight?

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Strictly No Elephants and the Rules of Friendship

Two Writing Teachers are hosting Slice of Life.  Join us!

Oh.  Friends.  First of All, A Long Lost Hello.  It just happens sometimes, and I've been writing so long that it is starting to wax and wane, just like my running!

But let's get right to business, shall we?

So after the fire drill we had like 7 minutes until lunch.
"Mrs. Limback, will you read to us?"

(Mrs. Limback proceeds to happy dance inside and outside and runs to her bookshelf.)

I pull off three books and L. chooses one.
He chooses this one.

Oh.  Friends.  I had no idea.  As I'm reading this book to my people, I am getting all swirly, because there are so many life lessons in this book.  And it's beautiful.  And I'm so happy I found it, even if it took 3 years!  I kept thinking about love, life and living together as I read this book.  And for the rest of the afternoon.  And while I was on my treadmill.  

So, very humbly I share my thoughts on Friends after reading Strictly No Elephants.  Everything written in bold from here on out are Lisa's words, not mine.  Mine are not bold.  And they are a bit of a creed as I write tonight.  

That's what Friends Do, Lift Each Other Over the Cracks.  

My kid threw up.  My dog got out.  Can you feed my fish when I'm on vacation?  I need you to watch my class so I can go to the bathroom.  I'll bring you groceries that you need when you have your tooth pulled so you have some food to eat.  My baby turned 13 and I wasn't ready.

Listen.  Life happens.  It's full of cracks.  We have to lift each other over the cracks so we can continue to coax each other along.

That's What Friends Do, Brave the Scary things for you.

Now that I'm 40, I really wish that I didn't have to brave scary things.  Friends in crisis.  Friends who have lost everything.  Friends who are full of fear and anxiety.  Friends who lash out because they don't know any other way.  I just think when you start to listen to the story of the world around you, you can encounter some very scary things.  But when I've needed these friends, they have braved scary things with me.  And I hope they see I'm trying to do the same for them.  

Because that's What Friends Do, Never Leave Anyone Behind.  

There is a new place in town to eat and drink and hangout with gloriously long tables.   It hit me on Friday night.  We need to get as many neighbors around one of those tables.  And soon.  Who is being left behind in your community?  Seek them out and make sure it doesn't happen.  I grabbed a girl after dinner and said, "I dream of women getting together around this table, we need to bring our women together."  And she said she would go with me on this journey!  She's lifting and braving and going with me!  Maybe for you it's not women, but there are people in your community who need you to champion them.  Makes sure they aren't left behind.

Friends, in case you couldn't tell, I couldn't get enough of this picture book today.  Find an indie book store, or any book store and buy this one please!