About Kristin Wheeler

Kristin Wheeler is a stay-at-home mom of a 7 year old daughter and 4 year old son. She was previously a teacher for 8 years (in Virginia, Oklahoma, and California). She taught elementary and middle school, with a focus in technology. Kristin received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and her Master's in Middle School Education from George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. Her husband is a professor at The University of Rhode Island.

5 Things I Love During The Holidays

I always try and think about things I like to do with my two kids during the holidays.  I want them to love the holidays as much as I do!  My parents made the holidays so special for us growing up and I want to do the same for my kids.  Here are five things I love to do with my kids during the holidays:

1.  Decorate the Tree and the House Together

We always set-up the tree the day after Thanksgiving.  It’s become a family tradition of ours.  It started when we got our Elf on the Shelf book.  The story talks about the Elf, ours is named Chuck, coming out the day after Thanksgiving.  We decided we would set-up the tree and put Chuck in the tree to start his magic.  It’s so much fun, and the kids really look forward to “the day AFTER Thanksgiving.”  They also LOVE putting the decorations on the tree and decorating with lights outside.  Such a joyous time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Bake Cookies Together

I am the baker of the family and my hubby is the cook (as many of you probably already know).  I really love to make my “special” chocolate chip cookies and holiday sugar cookies!  I got this really cool cookie press from Pampered Chef that I use to shoot cookies out of!  The kids think it’s so funny to use this and the cookies come out great!  I love baking during the holidays and the kids LOVE to join in!  I think I need to host another Pampered Chef party soon here in RI!  They have so many wonderful hostess specials and I LOVE the stuff I get from them!  Also, check out MamaLuvsBooks soon where we will have a giveaway for the Pampered Chef cookie press!!  You can make your own holiday cookies with your kids!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.  Go to Shows Together

We LOVE shows!!!  We started taking my daughter when she was two years old and have been going ever since!  We saw Go Diego Go Live (an AWESOME show!), and I couldn’t believe how much she loved it and watched the entire show!  We have been to Dora, Barney, Thomas, The Nutcracker, Zillion Bubble Show, and much more!  This year we are going to Disney On Ice at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence.  The kids can’t wait!  I am doing a giveaway on my personal site, MamaLuvsBooks, so if you want a chance to win a 4-Pack of Tickets to the show in Providence, please click on my site and enter!  The winner gets a choice of any showtime.  Hope you win and hope to see you there!  We will be there having a BLAST!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.  See Family During the Holidays

I LOVE to see family during the holidays.  We are the only ones from both sides of the family that moved away from the DC area, so whenever we get a chance to see family I love it.  The past few years we have rented a beach house and all stayed together for a week during the holidays.  With the growing family and multiple babies it is getting a bit harder to do.  This year my brother and his family are coming to visit in RI and so is my husband’s sister’s family.  I can’t wait to see everyone!  Holidays are about being with family!!!

5.  Find Something Charitable for the Kids to Get Involved With

I really like the idea of showing my kids that there is more to the holidays than just “getting presents.”  I want them to focus on being generous and loving to others and learn the real spirit of the holidays.  I would love to help out with my daughter at the Sharing Locker, a group in town the helps provide people with their essential needs.  My son is a bit young for this.  Last year we also helped with the Adopt-A-Family Program in town where you get wish lists from families that can’t afford to purchase everything on their own.  It’s nice to know you are getting something that someone really wants, and it’s such a nice feeling helping out others that need it.  I want my kids to learn to WANT to do this.

Happy Holidays Everyone!!!  What are your favorite things to do during the holidays?

Kristin Wheeler

The Right Place at the Right Time

My parents always seem to be in the right place at the right time when I really need them.  It seems to happen by coincidence or by some other miraculous way.  Here is a time when they happened to be there for me when I really needed it.

My parents were visiting for the birth of my second child.  They came to help out with my 2 1/2 year old daughter (at the time), and they came in from DC as we were living in Peoria, IL at the time.  They were great at helping out and taking care of things at home.  In any case, things were moving along smoothly.  I had a normal delivery and I was headed home a few days after the birth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About two days after being home I started to get sharp pains in the middle of my stomach.  My husband said to take a warm bath (that’s the cure-all in his family for ailments), but even after the bath I felt terrible.  My parents and husband told me to call my OB just in case it had something to with the delivery.

I called my OB and she asked me a few questions.  It wasn’t until she asked if I was nauseas that it became more serious.  I said, “No, not at all.  In fact I am not hungry at all.  I’ve haven’t had much to eat in a couple of days.  I just have no appetite.”  She said to go into the ER immediately.  I got a bit nervous and it was almost midnight.  I had a newborn at home that was a few days old and would NOT take the bottle at all, and my young daughter was fast asleep.  My dad said he would drive me to the hospital so my husband could stay and tend to the kids.

I got there, did some tests, and found out that even though the pain was not on my side I needed an appendectomy ASAP.  My dad was tired, so I told him to go home and help  there.  I knew my husband would be up most of the night with our newborn, feeding him with a small tube along his finger.  Other than breastfeeding, that was the only way to feed him.

I went into surgery at 4:30am.  Everything went well, but it was strange being right back in the same hospital that I had just spent days in.  My parents were there to help my husband with bringing our newborn back and forth to the hospital.  I would feed him when he was there and then pump for them to take some milk home.  They also helped with my daughter and it was just a blessing they happened to be there.

Another time when they were visiting in Peoria we ended up in the ER again.  My son, daughter, and I all picked up a vicious virus and could not stop throwing up.  My husband was not in town and they were super helpful during that terrible time as well.

I am lucky to have such wonderful and helpful parents.  They are coming to visit us in Rhode Island this Thanksgiving.  I hope we have a fabulous and uneventful time together with no trips to the ER!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you have family that is there for you when you need it?  What time were they the most helpful?

 

Kristin Wheeler

Holiday Gift Idea for the Kids! *GIVEAWAY included*

As the stores are starting to have holiday music playing and setting up decorations, I ask myself what am I going to get the kids this year? Of course I asked my kids what they wanted and they responded with a resounding “HEXBUGS!” chant.  They just really love these little robotic bugs.  I thought when I bought some for them last year that they would get bored with them and I would find them under their beds.  This has not been the case for us.  They really LOVE them and take care of them.

My kids are 7 and 4, and they both love these bugs.  My daughter has a travel case where she keeps her Nano bugs.  She organizes them and lines them up.  Both kids get very creative when playing with them.  They play school with them (bug students), they race them, and they play house/family with them (bugs are the mom/dad/kid).

Recently we got the Hexbug Inchworm.  Hexbug sells Inchworms, Spiders, Crabs, Ants, and Larva that are a bit different from the Nano bugs.  The Inchworm is a remote control bug that inches along forward and backward, side-to-side, and spins around.  The kids LOVE it!  It is now the leader of their Nano bugs.

 

For the GIVEAWAY, Hexbug is nice enough to donate one Hexbug Nano to a lucky winner!  If your kids do not have a Hexbug yet, you MUST enter and try and win one!  They will LOVE it!  If you do have some, you know that kids always want more to add to their collection!  ENTER the Rafflecopter at MamaLuvsBooks for your chance to WIN!  The more entires you do the more chance you will have to WIN!  CLICK HERE TO ENTER!!!

Kristin Wheeler

Picky Eater Solutions (Giveaway included!)

As you read in my previous article, I wanted to check out the book “The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution” by Elizabeth Pantley.  I have been having an awful time dealing with my 4-year old son and his eating habits.  He has been increasingly getting worse too!  He seems to always ask for sweets, and when I offer him a healthier food instead he just doesn’t eat.  I feel like this kid is either starving or eating junk.  I have been feeling extreme guilt from this as well.  Everyone wants to be the best parents they can be, and when your child is continually asking for food that is not healthy, it makes you feel like a failure as a parent.

I just finished reading “The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution” by, Elizabeth Pantley.  It is seriously one of the best informational parenting books I’ve read in a long time.  A big THANK YOU to Elizabeth Pantley for making me feel better and to give me strategies to deal with picky eaters.  It was nice to hear that I am not alone, and that my child and I are both “normal.”  There are many other parents out there that are dealing with my same issues, feel my same guilt, and it was nice to learn that a lot of it could be a natural instinct for my son to gravitate towards these sweeter foods (although apparently it didn’t help that I craved sweets and indulged while pregnant with him).  Here are my favorite things about “The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution”:

1.  The book gives you some background at why kids can be picky eaters.

2.  The book helps you to understand if your child is a typical picky eater or something more serious.

3.  The book gives you facts about eating and about foods with listed solutions.

4.  The book describes the “fundamental four” when dealing with picky eaters: Attitude, Environment, Amounts, and Rules.

5.  The “Rules” section is great!  It lists the rule, if you should break it or keep it, and tips about the rule.

6.  The book has tricks and tips to get picky eaters to eat!  Here’s the one I am trying this week (as my son is addicted to PB&J):

“Begin by replacing one slice of bread with whole wheat, keeping the other slice white.  Place the sandwich on the plate with the white bread on top.  Over time, experiment with replacing both pieces of white bread with whole wheat bread.” Pantley then goes on to explain replacing the peanut butter and jelly portions with healthier alternatives.  Such a great idea and a slow transition that will be easier for the kids.

7.  There is a list of healthier alternatives for food that is not-so-healthy.  Pantley says not to use words like fat and junk food.  She says it’s best to state things positively to kids about food, such as “Once you are finished with your healthy meal you may have a dessert” instead of “No junk food until you eat that healthy food.”

8.  LOVE “The Experts’ Favorites” section at the back of the book!  It has wonderful recipes for kid-friendly healthy meals.  Yes, there are even yummy desserts!!!

This book is my new GO-TO parenting book!  I will be keeping it in the kitchen to refer back to!  I will also be setting a good example to my kids by eating healthy and having all of us sit down together at the table for meals.  It’s a hard thing to do with our hectic schedule, but Pantley emphasizes how helpful this is for healthy eating.  We will try our best!  Kids learn from parents!

You can get a copy as well.  It’s a must have for any parent who is dealing with a picky eater (and there are more out there dealing with this issue than I even realized).  Here’s how to get a copy:

1.  WIN this awesome book in my giveaway!  The author, Elizabeth Pantley, will send you a signed copy of this book that was just published this month!  The more you do on the Rafflecopter below the more chances you will have to win!  CLICK HERE to go to the Rafflecopter and WIN!

2.  Order “The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution” on Amazon!  It’s on sale right now and a fabulous deal!!!

Happy reading!!!  After you finish, please let me know what you think of the book as well!


Kristin Wheeler

Too Young to Die

I found out last night that a former 4th grade student of mine passed away this week.  I had just seen her post on Facebook the previous week about loving her friends and family.  Of course I “liked” the post, but had no idea I would not be seeing her around on Facebook anymore.  Her name was Kylie, and she was one of the sweetest girls I ever taught.  I remember her getting sick the year I taught her as well.  She ended up at the hospital for about a week and I remember taking her work and a stuffed teddy bear.  This week she was back in that same hospital at age 18, a freshman in college.  This time she did not make it back home, but passed away due to complications of pneumonia.

(Kylie on the left around the age I taught her)

I was in shock when I saw the post come through yesterday of people tagging her in candlelight vigil pictures (her name spelled out in candles with a beautiful picture of her in the center).  I didn’t know what to make of it at first since I had just seen her post on Facebook days before.  Why were they tagging her in pictures and having a picture of her surrounded by candles?  I went to her main Facebook page and got some answers.  She passed away at the hospital in Norman, OK on Wednesday.  I saw some posts from other former teachers, and one in particular from a high school teacher that mentioned she had been sick and hospitalized while in high school as well.  I was in shock, saddened, and confused all at the same time.  I could this happen to a bright, beautiful, young girl with her life in front of her.  She was so sweet and caring.  How does this happen?

I was thinking back a funeral my husband attended a few years back of a co-worker whose son died of Leukemia at the age of six.  Why?  What did that little boy do to deserve that?  I thought of my good friend whose sister just lost her baby daughter at 39 weeks.  Her room was set-up, clothes were ready to be taken to the hospital, there was so much hope for a new life into this world.  Why?  Why did she not have a chance to enter this world?  What’s the reason?

Unfortunately, there are no answers as to why.  Nobody did anything.  Nobody deserved anything.  There is no rhyme or reason of why people are taken at different ages and for different reasons.  This is where your beliefs come into play.  What do you believe?  Even if you are religious and believe in God it can be a hard concept to wrap your mind around.  I asked my mom last night, “What do you think Heaven looks like?  Do you believe in a Heaven?”  She said she did and that she believed it was the most beautiful place surrounded by no pain, but only by love.  She said she spoke with a friend about reading the book “90 Minutes in Heaven,” and that her friend claimed to have a similar near death experience.  She said to my mother, “Don’t ever be afraid to die.  It’s beautiful.  It’s comforting.  It was the best thing I have ever experienced.  I saw my loved ones who had passed on.  I saw the tunnel and the light.  I am not afraid to die when the time comes.”

Those words were comforting to me but confusing as well.  I am a person who likes to see to believe, and with religion it is more about faith than evidence.  I do believe in God and a Heaven.  I guess I just need to have stronger faith in that faith.  It’s hard to imagine that with young ones dying at such a young age that there is some purpose in their death, but I guess we must leave that up to something or someone greater to decide.  The most we can do as mortal individuals is to take life and cherish it when we have it.  Pay attention to the beautiful things in your life, cherish your children and family members, help others and take care of your community, know what is important in your life and what is not worth worrying about.  I am guilty of letting small things get me upset.  Unimportant things.  I think everyone can be.  When I think of these young souls it helps me to cherish what I have here on the Earth now.  Go hug your kids, leave the dishes dirty for a day, spend time outside in nature, be with your family.  Live your life to the fullest each and every day!  Know what is important and focus on all you have in your life.

Kylie’s last Facebook posts said:

Kylie Johnston If I have you on my Facebook you are on there for a reason. You have either taught me a lesson, been there when I needed a friend, given me advice, or taught me patience. For whatever the reason, I am glad that we are friends. I love all of you.· October 6 at 1:15pm via mobile ·

Kylie Johnston Thanks everyone for your love, support, and prayers. I am beiginning to feel better and I appreciate the kind words.· October 7 at 10:07pm via mobile ·

Kylie Johnston BOOOOOOOMER!!!!! · October 8 at 2:46pm via mobile · (Kylie was an OU fan!)

Kylie Johnston Really sick. Listening to the rain, watching lifetime movies, and eating soup. Happy Saturday everyone.· October 8 at 6:48pm via mobile ·

Kylie Johnston So sick I can barely lift my head off my pillow. Thank you mother nature for the beautiful rain that I plan to fall asleep listening to. · October 9 at 8:15pmvia mobile ·

Kylie Johnston Delete Facebook or not? Such a hard decision! · October 11 at 12:08am via mobile (So many are glad now that she decided to leave her page so they can visit her and talk to her there!)

* Kylie passed away at 2am on October 12th.  It’s fitting that her funeral is held on the “Sweetest Day,” as Kylie was such a sweet and caring person.

(Kylie’s Facebook profile picture)

Kylie:  Rest in peace sweet girl.  You are in a good place without ailments.  I pray for you and for your family.  May their hearts heal from the emptiness they must feel without you.  You were a bright light on this Earth and you left such special memories for everyone that knew you.  Rest well.  Your Teacher, Mrs. Wheeler

(One of her Senior pictures)
* Have you lost a loved one at a young age?  How do you deal with the pain of losing someone so young?

 

Kristin Wheeler

Fall Fashion: Flaunt Milan Handbag Giveaway!

Are you ready for the fall season?  Here are some extra special accessories that will liven up your fall wardrobe!  Designer, Faith Nicole, is my former 4th grade student from when I was a teacher in Norman, Oklahoma!  She is now a freshman at the University of Oklahoma in Norman pursuing her degree in International Business.

She started her business while in high school at age 16 after making some doodles on the back of a fashion magazine creating her own looks.  I am so proud of her and her accomplishments at such a young age!  Faith has stores carrying her products both nationwide and worldwide.  I know you will LOVE what she has to offer!  She carries accessories like handbags, wallets, tablet cases, jewelry boxes, frames, keychains, and much more!  Please check out her site at Flaunt Fashion!

This giveaway is for a Milan style fall handbag.  The winner can choose either pink or black.  Fill out the Rafflecopter at MamaLuvsBooks to enter.  The more you fill out the more chances you will have to WIN!  Good luck!

Here are your choices of handbags:


Kristin Wheeler

Women Are Supposed to Cook, Right?

I’ve been married 10 years, I have two kids, but I am not a good cook.  I should be though, right?  If you are a wife and a mom you should cook.  That’s what I’ve always thought growing up.  It probably doesn’t help that my husband is a great cook.  He cooks and I clean.  I must admit, I clean well.  I like to clean.  It’s sick I know.  My friends call me Monica from the TV show Friends.

Anyway, I do want to cook more and cook better.  I just don’t know where to start.  I see these other women writing weekly shopping lists and planning out menus.  The only thing I ever really cook besides Mac N Cheese is anything you can throw in a Crock-Pot.  I have a recipe book for my Crock-Pot, so I can find ingredients and throw them together and push start.  I can do that!  And it tastes great when it’s done.  That’s the extent of my cooking though.

What menus are these women planning?  How are they so organized that they have coupons for each item?  I can’t even bring myself to use the FREE Soy Milk coupon that keeps printing out at Stop-N-Shop.  I suck at using coupons.  I wish I could be more like these awesome homemakers, but I just don’t know where to start???  Help anyone???

Please give me some tips!  I also want us to start eating healthier!  I picked up some yummy veggies at a local farm yesterday, and my husband (of course) made an awesome vegetable stir-fry with brown rice, so that was good.  We don’t always eat that healthy, though.  I try and have a fruit, veggie, and main meal for my kids each night, but it’s hard.  They also usually fight me on the veggies and leave them on their plates!  Any tips for that?

I just got a book called “The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution: Gentle Ways to Encourage Your Child to Eat – and Eat Healthy” by, Elizabeth Pantley.  I will let you know how it helps me and all about the book once I am done!  It should be a start and helpful for me!

I think it probably just comes down to making cooking a priority.  I may not ever be as talented as my husband who can just see ingredients and create his own dish, but I know I can follow directions/recipes if I really want to.  I do love to bake!  I bake cakes, cookies, muffins, etc., so I know how to follow directions correctly.  I just don’t cook.  Cooking is different than baking.

I guess it’s just easier being lazy sometimes.  It’s easier throwing a frozen lasagna in the oven than making it from scratch.  I will put my mind to it and try harder.  I think I will make it a point to cook at least 3 meals this week from fresh ingredients.  Post some easy recipes for me if you have any!  Thanks!

* Do you feel pressure to be a good cook because you’re a woman?

Kristin Wheeler

When a Mother Snaps

I keep reading all these articles in our Rhode Island paper about the Camden Fry murder case. It happened just a few miles down the road from me. Yes, it happened here, in tiny Rhode Island, but it’s a story that’s all too familiar around the country….a mom, struggling with her own depression, commits an unthinkable crime.  In this case, Kimberly Fry is accused of strangling her own daughter, 8-year-old Camden.  It is so scary for me to even imagine that. We all remember Andrea Yates,  from Texas, who drowned all five of her children one-by-one in the bath tub at home. She was apparently suffering from postpartum depression.

Andrea Yates and the 5 kids she killed

Camden Fry was a bright-eyed girl who would be in class today with her friends in North Kingstown, RI. Instead, police say, fed up over arguments involving bathing, Kimberly Fry wrestled the young girl to the ground, covering her nose and mouth so she would be quiet. Too quiet. That was the last breath Camden Fry ever took. We’re told Camden did have ADHD and would have fits of crying and kicking on occasion.  Parents need to make sure they are educated about how to deal with their rage and to walk away or get help from others when they can’t handle a situation.  I know in this situation things were probably more extreme; someone who goes as far as killing in my opinion must have some sort of mental breakdown or illness.

Camden Fry, 8-years old when killed

Police say, that fateful night, Kimberly Fry, also dragged her limp and lifeless daughter to bed, laid her on her side, pulled the covers up over her, and then tucked her stuffed animal under her arm. Fry’s attorney says the death was accidental.   Camden’s dad, Timothy Fry, was playing hockey in Cranston. He peeked in on his daughter sleeping, and then checked on his wife asleep as well. In the morning he noticed his daughter was not up in time and went to find her in bed. She had obviously been dead for hours. Timothy called the police, woke-up his wife, and was in complete shock.  Prosecutors say the night of the crime, Kimberly tried to commit suicide taking a potent cocktail of painkillers and anti-depressants.  Kimberly Fry has pleaded not guilty to second degree murder. Her trial continues, this week, in Rhode Island.

Kimberly Fry, accused of murdering her daughter

While researching how moms can actually lose control and turn to murder, I found some very interesting information. First of all 30% of murdered children are killed by their own mothers. Also, here are characteristics that these mothers seems to have in common (information found at MomLogic):

Some of the issues involved with these moms include mental illness, isolation, anger, and fear. They also have poor coping skills to handle stress and may have little emotional support from family or friends.

What has been found is that moms who murder usually fall into one of the following categories:

Altruism: These women believe their children are suffering or are in some type of pain and they believe killing them will put them out of their misery. These moms usually are severely depressed.

Psychosis: These moms suffer from schizophrenia or another psychotic disease such as postpartum depression with psychotic features. They often hear voices telling them to kill their children.

Unwanted Children: This mom doesn’t want her children. They are inconvenient to her lifestyle. These moms usually have narcissistic or borderline personality disorders.

Maltreatment: This is the most common category. These mothers kill their children in the course of abuse without the intention of murder.

Revenge: These moms want to punish the father by taking away what she believes to be the most important thing to him: his kids.

Obviously all of these characteristics involve people that must be very mentally ill. I think kids need to be removed from homes that have parents with extreme mental issues, or,  at least, the situation needs to be very closely monitored by others. Many times the spouse is aware their partner has mental issues, but never thinks it will lead to murder. Timothy Fry knew his wife was depressed and on medications. He testified he even heard her say life would be easier without their daughter around. People need to be aware of signs and get help for the moms that are in trouble. If help is not found for a sick mom, it could result in the death of a child.

Here are more stories of moms who have killed their children, as well as resources to help those who might need it.  Let’s all work together in our communities to spot moms who need help.

Here is a link to the Camden Fry Memorial Fund, set-up by father Tim Fry to honor his daughter.

Kristin Wheeler

Alex and Ani Jewelry: A Rhode Island Gem

I recently visited my local Alex and Ani store in Newport, RI.  It is a beautiful store with so many different types of jewelry to choose from.  Alex and Ani also have a store in East Greenwich, RI right up the street from me.  I am lucky to have many of these stores nearby, as the designer happens to be a local Rhode Islander.  This jewelry can be bought nationwide though.  Check out the Alex and Ani site to see where you can find a store, or to order some of this wonderful jewelry on-line!

As I write for different on-line sites, I actually reviewed Alex and Ani and have a GIVEAWAY for a wonderful piece of their jewelry.  Check it out at GalTime to enter the giveaway!

Pictures from the Newport, RI store (see the beautiful jewelry, that happens to be eco-friendly, for yourself):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* What do you think of Alex and Ani jewelry?  Do you like the idea of beautifying yourself and being environmentally responsible all at once?

Kristin Wheeler

What Were You Doing September 11th, 2001?

It’s always strange how a tragic event can sear into your mind exactly what you were doing at a particular time.  In some cases people even remember what they were wearing and what smells were around them.  On any other given day, you probably would not even think about what you were doing at 9am EST on 9/11/01.

I remember my mom telling me that she was in a biology class in college when the announcements were made over the loud speaker that JFK had been shot.  I remember coming out of a ride at Disney World with my family and my dad saying,”Look kids!  There’s the shuttle take-off.  Wait, that doesn’t look right.”  Then back in the hotel room we saw everything unfold up close with the Challenger explosion on TV.  I was at a picnic with friends when we heard about Princess Diana’s car crash and death.  A TV was brought out on the lawn to watch the events.

So, where were you on September 11th, 2001?  Well, I was a teacher in Oklahoma, and strangely enough I was at a science in-service with other teachers learning about our science kits on “flight.”  We were making paper airplanes an using different amounts of papers clips and other items as weights to see if it changed our planes flight paths and/or distances.  Teachers had to attend these 1/2 day in-services for every different science kit before teaching them to students.

As we were being told to see who could fly their plane the farthest and who could hit the wall on the other side of the room, the principal came in to the library and stared at us lined up with our airplanes.  Her face looked panicked.  She said, “I wasn’t sure if I should disturb the in-service or not, but anyone that has friends or family in NYC or DC might want to know that some tragic events are happening.”  My heart sank.  I felt sick.  Yes, my entire family and husband’s family happened to be in the DC area where we both grew up.  I knew my sister was scheduled that morning to have an interview in Crystal City near downtown DC.

I raised my hand.  Other teachers looked around too.  Learning about this science kit was no longer important.  Everyone wanted to know what was going on.  The principal decided to just bring in a TV to watch the coverage of the events.  We were still supposed to be doing what we needed, but everyone was too upset to continue.  Once the TV stated that, “America was definitely under attack,” we were released to go home early to try and get in touch with our loved ones.

When I walked into my apartment where my husband was sitting and watching the coverage, he told me the towers had just fallen.  We watched it over and over again on the news.  We tried to contact people back home, but with the number of calls going around we were unable to connect for a long time.  We finally found out everyone we knew happened to be safe.  That was a relief to hear, but we were both in shock and felt sorrow for those who were directly affected by people losing their lives.  At this point we both realized that life as we knew it would be changing forever.

What were you going September 11th, 2001?  Share below in the comment box.  I’m sure you remember!

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Kristin Wheeler