Thursday, July 22, 2010

My blog has a NEW HOME!

I've moved over to www.amillionboxes.com .  Please check it out and let me know what you think!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Ten Things to Pack When staying in a Vacation Rental

Top Ten {Tuesday} 

I love the Top Ten Tuesday because I seriously love me some lists.  Head on over to the lovely Amanda's blog at www.ohamanda.com and check out some more of the fun lists!! Even better than that?  Come up with your own top ten!! Just be sure to link up at Amanda's so everyone can find you!  My list is Ten Things to pack when you are staying in a vacation rental.  We have done this a lot as an extended family and found a few things that really can make a difference in your stay.  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Monday Mingle 7/5/2010


Holy Cow!  With all the 4th of July hoopla, I almost forgot that today was Monday which means, MONDAY MINGLE TIME!!!  I love the Monday Mingle, big thanks to Jennifer at www.eightymphmom.com for hosting.  If you want to join in, put up your own vlog and go to her site and link up.  Every week a lot of fun people do the Monday Mingle and it's a great way to get to know some of your fellow vloggers/bloggers.  Hope you all have a great week!

Fourth of July Fireworks

My family has had a love/hate relationship with fireworks ever since our children came along.  I love fireworks, love to watch them and ooh and aah.  My children, on the other hand, have abhorred fireworks for a long time.  When we go to Disney World we still find places outside of the park to watch the fireworks so the kids won't complain.    I keep waiting for them to get old enough to appreciate them.  Part of the problem comes with the "fire" part of the equation.  They have not been "play with fire" kind of kids.  We have a fireplace and have fires all winter and neither of my children will light the fire.  They don't even like to light birthday candles!!  Last year my son got braver and started lighting some of the small fireworks that we buy for the Fourth.  This year my daughter asked if she could light some of the fireworks. 


I think we're over the fireworks aversion!  I hope you all had a great weekend.  Thanks to all who have served or are serving our great nation to protect our freedom!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Life is always changing.

For around the past twenty years I have worked with young people.  Before I was married I was a Youth Director for a Presbyterian church, and after I married a fellow Youth Director I happily became a volunteer.  The churches we served jokingly referred to getting two for the price of one, but I relished my role as volunteer.  I didn't have to worry about scheduling, budgeting or any of the nitty gritty details, I was just called to love the young people.  How lucky is that?

Unfortunately, the time comes when you have to say goodbye.  The time comes to move on.  For the last couple of years our last church has been having a difficult time.  It is a good church with great people.  A long time pastor left and since then, they have been trying to figure out who they are as a church.  While we still believe in, and love this church, it became a very difficult place to work.  Last August my husband resigned his position.  It was time to say goodbye. 

For the previous twenty years, we have been taking young people to a youth conference in Montreat, NC.  My husband and I both attended these conferences as young people and have been a part of them ever since, serving as leadership and support staff for the conferences.  This year we attended as "house parents" for my very great friend's youth group from Wasatch Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City, Utah.  For most of the week I felt like I was cheating on my last youth group.  I stayed on the edges of the Wasatch group even though they welcomed us in completely. 

I posted a facebook status that said it felt like I was ripping off an enormous bandaid.   Some of my incredibly sweet friends posted lovely things that were very flattering about the impact we have had on young people, but one other gesture struck me to my core.  One person "liked" my status update.  This person had been a 14 year old in my youth group with the first group I took as an adult.   That one little click of her mouse reminded me how blessed I have been.  I have gotten to know so many amazing young people and their families.  I will be volunteering again with another youth group.  It will be different but that's okay.  For all of those young people I have been blessed to know, we will ALWAYS love you and we will always be praying for you and hoping for you. 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wordless Wednesday 6/16/10 Why I love North Carolina

On Friday,  I was on a sandbar with my children and assorted cousins.

Saturday I got in my car, drove a few hours and I was here.
I love calling North Carolina Home

 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Reasons Chaperoning Teens is NOT a vacation

Top Ten {Tuesday} 


Many thanks to Amanda of www.ohamanda.com for hosting the Top Ten Tuesday every week.  Visit her site to see all of the top tens for the week.  They usually cover a variety of subjects and are very fun!  My Top Ten Tuesday is the top ten Reasons Chaperoning Teens is NOT a vacation.  I have spent the last twenty years working with young people and I love them.  I love every minute I spend with them but trips really cannot be called vacations!

When I go on vacation,
  1. I have two children, not fifteen.
  2. I do not do plumbing repairs
  3. I sleep
  4. I do not have to worry about who is crushing on who
  5. I am able to make my own schedule
  6. I am not a wardrobe mistress, able to make repairs and supervise choices
  7. I am not a walking drug store, dispensing everything from advil to feminine products
  8. I get more than 10 minutes to shower
  9. I don't get to know a group of young people and be reminded again how intelligent and thoughtful this generation is
  10. I don't have my heart moved by watching their faith, their care for each other, and for our world.
This list is made for the number of people who ask me upon returning from a youth trip, "How was your vacation?"  I LOVE chaperoning young people but it cannot be mistaken for a vacation.  With great thanks to the lovely Wasatch Presbyterian Church youth group from Salt Lake City, Utah for allowing me to spend time with them this week!

Monday Mingle 6/15/10


This is my very late Monday Mingle!  I am chaperoning a group of young people in the mountains of North Carolina.  Not only is there no internet, there is very little cell phone service so I am in withdrawal.
Thanks as always to Jennifer of www.eightymphmom.com for hosting the Monday Mingle.  Please go to her site and check out the great mingles!








Sunday, June 6, 2010

Feeding Hungry Children

With only two more days of school left, my kids are about to jump out of their skins because they are so ready for summer.  For 26,000 children in our area, summer means more than freedom from homework.  For those children, summer means not knowing if there is going to be enough to eat.  During the school year, these children are able to get lunch and sometimes breakfast for free.  When school is out, they are still hungry, and still need to eat.  On Thursday I was able to attend a social media mixer that was sponsored by an organization doing everything they can to meet the needs of the hungry in our area, the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina.  For all of my friends from this area, you really should know about the work they do.

In our little section of southeastern North Carolina, there are 26,000 children who don't get enough to eat.  That number is staggering to me.  I tried to think of it visually.  We have four fairly large high schools in our county.  If you filled each of their athletic stadiums to capacity with these children (no parents, teacher, volunteers, JUST the kids) the stadiums could not hold the number of children who can't count on having enough to eat.  I almost can't comprehend it. 

Thankfully, the Food Bank is doing everything they can to reach these children.  As an organization, "the Food Bank is rated in the top 10 in food distribution out of more than 200 food banks in the United States."  In their budget, 97% donated goes to food and food programs, with 3% going to administration and fundraising.  That is a great ratio!  "For every dollar donated, the Food Bank is able to distribute generally EIGHT dollars worth of food, or provide FOUR meals." If you donate money to the food bank, your dollars will go very far, but money isn't the only way to donate.  They need and welcome volunteers, no matter your age or skills.

One other way to give is by donating needed items.  Their most needed itimes include
  • canned stews
  • soups
  • canned tuna
  • canned ravioli
  • canned fruits and vegetables
  • rice
  • cereal
You can find a complete list and more information at wilmington.foodbankcenc.org  .

There is one more fun way to help out in our area.  On Saturday, June 19, from 11am to 2pm the Food Bank is sponsoring a Kid's Carnival at the Mayfaire Event Field.  There will be jump castles, magic shows, musicians, face painters, and the first 500 people in attendance will get a mini-sundae from Coldstone Creamery! (YUM!) Bring your kids out to have fun, and please take a minute to learn about the great work the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina is doing.

I am so thankful that I get to enjoy sandwiches on the beach, grilling out, homemade ice cream, fresh corn, and ice cold watermelon.  I am also thankful for the reminder that not everyone has that luxury. 

all quotes from Food Bank CENC information. 

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Husband is a better Mom

Kidding, sort of.  I have been knocked down with an upper respiratory infection since Saturday.  I had a fever and still have an obnoxious cough, plus the medicine they have given me seems to make my stomach upset.  Whiny enough for ya?  It's small potatoes compared to what some of my friends are dealing with, but it still sends the family routine into a frenzy.  I am thankful that my husband is very hands on.  When he realized I was down for the count on Saturday, he sent me to my room and took care of the laundry.  (it was an especially good day in husband land)  He was able to accomplish an incredible amount in much less time than it usually takes me.
I should be happy, right?  No, I was sick and thoroughly depressed that he was better at my job than I am.  How on earth could he get so much done?  So I tried to take an objective look around the house. (shuffling around in my bathrobe) Guess what?  Every room in the house is neater than my side of our bedroom is.  And don't even get me started on my desk.  Is this because I am the messiest person in the house?  (twenty years ago this would have been true!)  No, it's because I help everyone else get their stuff cleaned up, then I don't want to deal with my own stuff.  It doesn't make sense that I help my daughter clean her room instead of taking care of mine.  I realize that I should be able to do it all, but I am not that woman.  Thankfully my husband knew he wasn't marrying that woman.
Now I have to come up with a new mental cleaning schedule, and my stuff will be closer to the top of the list.  I might even have to write it down on actual paper for a couple of weeks until I get in the habit.  I know I'm not the only one who deals with this.  I don't have to come first, but I have to not always put my stuff off til the last (when I am inevitably tired of cleaning).  What about y'all? Anyone have a schedule they use? 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Top Ten Moments from my last Walt Disney World trip

Last weekend I was able to escape from my daily life for a getaway to Disney World with my husband.  Our primary reason for going was the D23 Flowers and Fireworks event which was incredible.   When I got home I helped proctor for the end of grade tests at my daughter's elementary school.  3 days later I came down with a terrible upper respiratory infection!  I share this just in case there is anything too bizarre in the video~I was editing under the influence of cough syrup.  I had a blast making it, but I am still figuring out the software options so I apologize if it's too crazy!  Big thanks to Amanda at www.ohamanda.com for hosting the Top Ten {Tuesday} every week.  Go to her site to find some other great top tens about all kinds of things!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Disney World, Again?

And my delighted reply is, YEP!  I love Walt Disney World and thankfully my husband has acquired the same feeling.  We go whenever we can, which recently has been frequently.  We went last summer with the kids and had a great trip.  John and I were able to go for a quick trip for a D23- the community for Disney fans event at the Food and Wine Festival.  We returned over Halloween weekend (which is also my husband's birthday weekend!).  I thought we were done for a while, but then the opportunity for the Disney Social Media Moms event arose.  Who is going to turn that down? 

Now we, just my husband and I, are returning for another D23 event.  We have a great friend who stays with our kids.  How do we get away with leaving them at home?  This time it's simple.  The event we are attending is called "Flowers and Fireworks".  My kids do not appreciate fireworks.  I wish they did because I love fireworks so much, but we usually end up watching them outside the park.  They whined once when we told them we were going, but all it took was the mention of fireworks and they were fine.

The last D23 event we attended was amazing so I am looking forward to what this one is going to bring!  I will be trying to update so check back in if you want to hear about it!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Mingle 5/10/10

It's Monday Mingle time!  It's sponsored every week by Jennifer at www.eightymphmom.com, she posts three questions for everyone to answer.  The mingle is a great way to get more comfortable with vlogging and it's a great way to get to know other bloggers.  Thanks Jennifer for hosting!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Tuna and Jello?

In the course of my great adventure helping my parents sort through my late grandmother's belongings, we sometimes feel like archeologists.  Recently I found a Woman's Day magazine from January 1965 and flipped through it fascinated with how different some things are and how some things are still the same.  This Jello ad caught my eye.

That's right, tuna salad in mixed vegetable flavored jello.  Just in case the type is too small for you to see, let me show it to you closer up.

  I have heard complaints from people about their moms fixing tuna casserole too often during their childhood, but this was brand new to me.  Tuna, boiled eggs, olives, Italian dressing, and Jello.  I want to know who pitched that recipe to the Jello folks.  What brilliant chef decided that all tuna salad needed to give it that special touch~wrap it in Jello! I am intrigued and repulsed at the same time.  So, no, I don't recommend this as a special Mother's Day recipe.  Sorry if I grossed anyone out, I'll try to make up for it tomorrow by posting my favorite chocolate pound cake recipe! 

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Scaredy Cat Chronicles

    Along with confronting my fears about horses, I had the chance to face another fear this week.  My parents have a house in the mountains of North Carolina. (just happy to be related) It's the best of both worlds since we live at the beach and have access to this beautiful home in the mountains.  The house is in a small valley that has a small town, a college and a conference center.  In the summer, the conference center is bustling with activity and people are everywhere.  Every other season but summer and it feels deserted.  Their house is on a gravel road with 3 other houses but theirs' is set apart enough that you feel totally alone.  

A few years ago the house flooded from a split hose on the washing machine, and it wasn't found for days.  The house had a lot of damage, but my mom chose to see it as an opportunity to change some things around.  (she loves to remodel)  The work was completed and I was in town for a meeting, but staying at the conference center because the house is too darn big for one person.  After our meetings one night, four of my friends and I snuck away to the house so they could see all the work that had been done.  It didn't start well, one in our party thought she saw a light on which was suspicious.  After laughing at my paranoia, another of my friends charged in and stopped immediately because a door on the back side of the house was wide open!!  At this point, I was ready to either run for the car or call the police.  I was voted down, 3-2.  The other girl that voted with me, we made sure we stayed in the middle of everyone.  We were neither the first nor the last to enter a room.  We've seen enough horror movies to know that the stragglers are among the first to go!  We finished the tour and left without further incident.  The next day I drove home, and after I got home my mom called me, I thought to ask me how the house looked.  Instead, she was telling me that the police had just called her because they had caught some people who had evidently robbed several houses in this small valley and they confessed to taking things from my parents' house!  They were interrupted but came back, got a few things, but were spooked again.  When the police went to the house, everything was packed up to go.  They were going to clean everything out, dishes were on the counter, pictures off the wall, area rugs rolled up.  Not at all how it looked when I left.  It was with a certain amount of perverse glee that I sent the email to my friends to tell them my survival instincts were right on the money!

So flash back to the present.  My mom needs to check on the house because the summer season is approaching and there are a few small jobs that need to be done.  We drove up and started to get settled in the house.  I picked up the phone and it was dead.  Uh-oh.  Not a big deal, right? We have cell phones!  Who even needs a land line anymore?  Except their house is where cell service goes to die.  If you lean off the corner of the deck, you might be able to grab enough of a signal to make a call.  I used this strategy to report the problem with the phone line.  I laughed as I repeated myself louder and louder as if my volume could overcome the signal breaking up.   Here we were, the two of us, in this big remote house with no means of communicating with the outside world.  Ack.  The rational adult in me says that this is a safe area with low crime, the previous break in was truly a fluke, AND they never would have gone in a house that was occupied.  The not-so-rational scaredy cat in me shouted "RUN!"

Guess which side won?  The rational one.  I know, right, it totally surprised me too.  I settled into bed that night and went over my rational arguments for safety, prayed, read my book for a few minutes and drifted off to sleep.   I feel amazing for having overcome another fear related situation but don't expect me to be jumping out of planes any time soon! 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Who are you gonna be?

As my kids are getting older I start to think about what they are going to do "when they grow up."  I wonder what direction they will go in.  I have one extreme introvert and one extreme extrovert, opposite ends of the scale.  It's interesting to watch them grow and see what behaviors they grow out of and what they grow into!  We have always talked about "being the people God has called us to be."  What is that going to mean for them?  Who are they called to be?

I have a good friend, in their mid/late thirties, (for clarity's sake, we'll call them the gender neutral Pat) and just recently Pat's parents told them they thought Pat had chosen the wrong career path and outlined all the mistakes Pat was making.  I was dumbfounded.  I know that you can go too far down the road of preserving someone's self esteem, but for goodness sakes, don't go too far in the other direction!  Why not point out what Pat does in life that is good?  Why not make helpful suggestions so Pat can learn and grow?  What is served by only trashing Pat's path?

Pat's situation reminded me that we have a chance to guide our children, but a time comes when we have to let them make their own choices.  Sometimes we will not agree with those choices, but once they are adults, we have to find a way to support them.  (of course as long as their choices are not illegal or destructive or harmful to themselves or others).   I want my children to know that when I say I will love them no matter what, it doesn't mean I will love them only if they are making the choices I want them to make.  I want them to choose a path that will be satisfying to them.  I want them to like and be proud of what they do.   

Frequently in our family, if we are arguing, we take a moment to remind each other that we are on the same team.  It's a funny analogy because we aren't an exceptionally athletic family.  BUT, we have to remember that we love each other and support each other because we are a family.  It doesn't end when they grow up.  They will grow up and they will grow away, but we will always be a family and we will always be a team!

Friday, April 16, 2010

On Conquering Fears

I am hot and sweaty and tired and gross and really should be in a shower right now.  (how's that for a sentence?)  I just gave a horse a bath.  Specifically, this horse.
This is "Country Come to Town" or, Country.  He is big and old and acts like a dog following you around.  He is my mother's horse and his skin has been itchy, he needed a bath, and someone needed to do it.  Have I mentioned that I have always loved horses but been terrified of them up close?  I think they are beautiful, but they are so darn big.  My brother and sister had riding lessons when we were kids, but by the time I was old enough they were bored with it.  My mom had grown up on a farm but had not had a horse for 45(?) years when she got Country.  My husband worked with horses at a camp in Colorado.  My sister-in-law rides, two of my sister's kids ride, my daughter loves to ride, I am surrounded by it.

My daughter started acting a little hesitant around the horses recently.  I do not want my scaredy cat ways to be picked up by my children.  So I resolved to get more comfortable with the horses.  Country is a great horse for this experiment because he is so gentle.  Little by little I have been increasing my confidence with him.  Today, by myself, I went in the pasture to get him, put his halter on, led him through the barn and hooked him up outside where I gave him an oatmeal bath followed by a medicated bath for his skin.  Do you know the problem with giving a horse an oatmeal bath?  They really like the smell of the oatmeal.  Country kept trying to get into the bucket and kept trying to steal the sponge.

So I DID IT!  I bathed the horse, turned him back out into the pasture and put everything up.  Then I practically skipped home.  I have such a feeling of accomplishment.  It's like a huge box has been checked off.  I had to sit down and write when I got home.  (after I washed my hands, of course!)  So now I need to take a shower, and possibly a nap! Then I will think about what to conquer next!

**Update** Today, I had to hold Country's head while the Vet cleaned his teeth!!!!  Combine a fear of horses and a fear of dentistry and I was weak at the knees.  The tool the Vet uses was actually on a power drill!!  but I survived yet again, (and I thought giving the horse a bath was a big deal, phew!)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday



My dad and I at the Hobby Greenhouse Plant Sale, one of my favorite things with one of my favorite guys!  Wordless Wednesday link ups can be found here! Go check some of the other great photos!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Funny Stories

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

All this week I am enjoying the Ultimate Blog Party hosted by www.5minutesformom.com but it's somewhat stressful to know what to post.  I am incredibly thankful for an "incident" this weekend that gave me a funny story to tell.  Check it out!

Sunday Ultimate Blog Party from Amy Hodges on Vimeo.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ultimate Blog Party

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Right now, at www.5minutesformom.com is (sound the trumpets) THE ULTIMATE BLOG PARTY!!!  Susan and Janice are buckets of fun and they host this awesome week of blog celebration!  There are prizes to be won and blogs to be discovered so please go to their site and check it out.  I did a vlog to introduce myself, and I will be updating with which cool prizes I would love from the party.  Hope you are all having a great start to your weekend!

Ultimate Blog Party take two from Amy Hodges on Vimeo.

They have so many prizes for the Ultimate Blog Party, I would love to win a 3 day 2 night stay from Holiday Inn Main Gate East in Kissimmee, FL or the Be My Guest certificate ($250 value) for one lucky winner, (2 night stay for a family of four) at any Hilton Garden Inn.  (both of those are also from bloggin2noggin , FOLLOW HER!)  Can you tell my family likes to travel??
 We also love all things Disney so the Disney Mickey 5-in-1 Tasty Baker by Pop Art looks like a whole lot of fun!!  (from poparttoaster find hysterical toaster and other kitchen gear with them!)
I also love prizes US101, US7, USC49, USC15, USC37, US112, US104, US72 or anything for a mom with a tween and a teen! 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Tumbleweeds

Let me introduce you to Sandy. 

DSCN1358

Sandy is our sweet Pembroke Welsh Corgi.  She is the second Corgi I have owned so I knew what I was getting into.  Specifically, hair.  Lots and lots of hair.  So much hair that frequency of vacuuming does not cut down on the dog hair tumbleweeds that drift through my house.  Enter the defurminator.

DSCN1344

The defurminator is a shedding tool.  We live in southeast NC so we don't have to worry about pulling out too much of her undercoat.  She is left with more than enough hair, but the defurminator cuts down on the hair that breaks loose in the house.  It is a process that we have to do every week.

DSCN1349

Sandy fortunately tolerates the whole process very well.  She actually enjoys it for the first few minutes.
Then she tries to run away!

DSCN1355
At the end of the day we are left with a happy dog!

DSCN1366

and hairy pants!
hairy pants

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Signs of Spring

We all have little things that make us feel like spring is really here.  It might be flowers blooming, warming temperatures, seasonal allergies, or something completely different.  One of my favorite signs of spring is the annual plant sale at our local arboretum.  The Master Gardener program has an enormous plant sale with a large variety of plants.  There are some good deals to be found and the plants are high quality.  The picture below is a small sampling of what I will be planting this weekend!




As you look as these plants, I ask you to pay respects because at least 50% of them will not make it.  I am a notorious plant killer.  Everything my parents touch grows, but I did not inherit that gene.  My husband is learning to grow more plants and therefore is beginning to save them from my curse.  What is your favorite, hard to kill plant?  Does it grow in the southeast?  Let me know, I would love to lose my plant killer rep!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pack Rats, Procrastinators and Comic Books

I've said it before and I'll say it again.  I come from a long line of pack rats.  We are good at it.  We can justify why we NEED to keep things.  You never know when you might NEED that whatchamacallit.  Problem is, if we need the whatchamacallit, we probably wouldn't be able to find it, and would go out and buy a new and improved whatchamacallit, then we would need to save the old whatchamacallit because they don't make them like that anymore.  (I wasn't kidding when I said I was good at this) 
So I am a pack rat and a procrastinator.  I have gotten my house in better shape, but my guest room and my garage are haunting me.  Molly Gold, of www.gomominc.com would cry if she saw these rooms.  I know that I need to work on them, but then the procrastinator kicks in.  Do you want to know the best way to procrastinate dealing with your junk?  Deal with another person's junk!!!  Yesterday, instead of taking care of my own house, I went to help at my parents' house.  I am going to help them finish sorting through all of my late Grandmother's things.  It is a monumental task because she saved EVERYTHING!  I found bank statements from 1950.  1950. not a typo friends.  
Which leads me to my great discovery! COMIC BOOKS!  I found some amazing comic books from the 1940's and 1950's.  Incredible stuff, from Red Ryder to Vault of Horror!  Frankly, the covers of the Vault of Horror comics were pretty scary!  Today, between other computer activities I am checking to see if these comic books are worth anything.   My parents have agreed to sell them if they are! Hallelujah! Progress!  Even if they are only worth $5.00 it's better than putting them in recycling!  So I am making a dent at their house, now if I can motivate myself in my own house!  Any great ideas?


Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Mingle!



Big thanks to Jennifer at www.eightyMPHmom.com because I have been LOVING the Monday Mingle!  She hosts every Monday and puts up three questions for everyone to answer.  If you decide to Mingle, be sure to go to her site to link up, and check out all the other great people Mingling!

Monday Mingle 3/22/10 from Amy Hodges on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Milestones

Egads.  Today, I am the mother of a teenager.  The handsome devil below is now THIRTEEN YEARS OLD!!!!  How in the heck does that happen?  He, of course, would be mortified to know I had posted this picture, but since he doesn't check in at the ole blog I think I am safe.  Not to mention the fact that he is now taller than me with brown locks, therefore unrecognizable today.  One part of my heart hates to see him grow up and away, but that's the deal.  I am proud of who he is becoming and enjoy how our relationship is different now that he's growing up.  And I am glad that he still wants his mom to make his favorite cake for his birthday. (Do we ever grow out of that?) So I am off to bake, Coca Cola cake anyone?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Yay, Monday Mingle Time!




This is my second week taking part in the Monday Mingle Vlog series with Jennifer of www.eightymphmom.com This has been a lot of fun and I have found some great new blogs to follow!  Right now, Jennifer has a "Leap into Spring" event going on at her website, be sure to check it out.  Jennifer hosts the Mingle every Monday and asks people 3 questions to answer on video.  My responses are below!
Hooray, I think I got it to work on Vimeo, let me know if it's funky!!
I hope you are all having a great start to your week.  Tomorrow I am heading to Raleigh, NC for the Smart Mom Solutions Road Show.  I will be reporting all the goings on so be sure to check back! 





Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday Funday

Ok, sort of funday.  I have been under the weather for a while now.  It seems like I just get rid of one thing when another one pounces.  I am finally starting to feel better, and it's spring, which makes me want to tackle a whole bunch of projects.  We have had a much longer run of cold weather here than usual.  The forsythia bushes in my yard have just started blooming and I think it's the latest they have ever bloomed.  I was seriously thinking I had seasonal affective disorder because I hadn't seen the sun in so long.  Now that the sun has come out I feel energized.  We were able to be outside today and walk and ride bikes.  I could have stayed outside all day because it's nicer outside than inside. 
All of this leads me to organization.  I blogged a long time ago about wanting to get my house in better order.  Has it happened? Nope.  It would be very easy to give up right now.  I could pretend I never wrote the first blog entry because it is waaayyy down the page.  It does feel like I am in a battle I just can't win.  BUT!  I am not going to let this defeat me.  I have to be able to do this, if not for myself then for my family.  I don't want my kids to grow up thinking the amount of clutter in our home is okay.  It isn't dangerously dirty, no one would be calling Child Services.  It's hygienic but cluttered.  This week I am going to try to do 30 minutes every day.  Hopefully I will do more, but at least 30 minutes.  I'll post again about this on Friday and let you know.  If you have any great ideas or suggestions about organizing please leave them in the comments!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday

I have been having a very hard time knowing what to write, which is why I am participating in so many round-ups right now. (well, that, and this is fun!)  A couple of weeks ago my day to day life changed again.  For the past three years I have been working part time for a local toy store.  It was a great part time job to have.  I was informed that I was being moved off the schedule and onto the on-call list.  There are a lot of things that I would love to say, but A.) that wouldn't be fair, and B.) that isn't what I want my blog to be about.  I firmly believe that I need to put as much good into the world as I can.  I'm not saying I'm not going to vent, but I don't think this is the place for that.  I've struggled about what to write because I want to choose good things to focus on.  This weekend while in bed with a cold and a fever(having a major pity party for myself), I was watching Bridget Jones Diary on television.   There is a pivotal moment when Bridget gives up on Hugh Grant and tries to break bad habits and lists what she chooses in life(one of the first things she chooses is vodka~shout out to vodka mom!)

Photobucket

So with thanks to Amanda of www.ohamanda.com who hosts Top Ten Tuesdays, here is my top ten of what I choose:

1. I choose God, my family, and then work.
2. I choose to put as much love into the world as I can
3. I choose to laugh so much that my sides ache
4. I choose to cry until there is nothing left
5. I choose to encourage my children to love who they are
6. I choose to be as healthy as I can, no matter what the scale says
7. I choose to play, even when it makes me thoroughly uncool
8. I choose television (I can't lie)
9. I choose music
10. I choose to dance. 

So that's my top ten for today.  If you want to play along, go to Amanda's site and link up!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday Mingle

 
This week I am taking part in the Monday Mingle Vlog series with Jennifer of www.eightymphmom.com
Jennifer hosts the Mingle every Monday and asks people 3 questions to answer on video.  My responses are below!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Truthful Tuesday

Confessions from a Working Mom
I love the question posed this week on Truthful Tuesdays at Confessions from a Working Mom.  How did you tell DH (or your family) you were pregnant?  How did they know this was a great story?  We had been married for 6 months when someone asked us the fateful question, "Have you thought about when you want to have kids?" Not even if, WHEN we wanted to have kids.  WHEN.  My response was the same as it had been since we had gotten married, we wanted to be married at least two years before we talked about kids.  This time, when I gave my response, my husband looked at me and said "Shouldn't you be saying we are going to talk about it in a year and a half, we have been married for 6 months now."  I shushed him right up and went back to my two year stand by answer.
Fast forward a month.  I was 4 hours away helping with the leadership track at a youth event.  I was going to be there for 2 weeks and he was going to come up when he could.  I was EXHAUSTED.  You always stay up way too late at these things, so that wasn't too surprising.  A friend joined me midway through and we were up late one night and she was griping that she was feeling bloated because she was late, and she wanted to just start already.  I did a little mental math and realized that I was late too.  I didn't say anything to anyone because I was sure it was nothing.  The next day at my very first chance I ran to the drug store and bought a pregnancy test.  (a box of two actually) I hoofed it up the million stairs to my room and proceeded to do the test.  I know, I know, you are supposed to do it first thing in the morning, I had two tests on purpose.  I am not exactly patient so I looked at the test after about 30 seconds instead of the required two minutes.  Two pink lines.  What the heck? TWO PINK LINES? is that pregnant or not pregnant, HOLY CRAP, that's pregnant!!!
Remember, my husband is 4 hours away.  He wasn't supposed to come up for 2 more days and I did not see how I was going to last, even though I couldn't bring myself to tell him on the phone.  Then the unexpected happened.  In July a hurricane was threatening the coast.  We usually only get those threats in August and September.  Work was cancelled for him so he was coming up early.  This is the only time in my life I have been glad to live in a hurricane prone area.  He spent the next day battening down the hatches then drove up very late to be with me.  I had 2 very good friends I had confided in and we were discussing how to tell him.  I was terrified.  We had both said we wanted kids, but hadn't really discussed the nitty gritty of it all.  We came up with 2 ways for me to tell him.  First, Coca Cola was doing their Red Hot Summer promotion so we pried the top out of a bottle cap and custom made one that said we had won a baby, and second, my friends drew an elaborate tattoo on my belly that said "Baby" and pointed to my belly button.
My husband, who had worked his rear end off all day, and driven all night, got in around 2am.  He sweetly tried to sneak in quietly.  I sat up and turned on every light, blinking madly trying to be awake and not scare him.  He thought I had lost my mind.  I gave him the Coke and said "Look, we won something!"  He reluctantly took the bottle and looked at the cap.  He looked at me.  I showed him the tattoo.  He passed out.  No, kidding.  It took his brain a few minutes to catch up, and then he was wonderful.  We spent several days shell shocked, but then he said the very best thing.  He said that he was glad it happened that way because it would've been hard to know when the "right time" was.  He was exactly right.
So what's your story?? 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cancer and God

I just found out that another family I love is dealing with cancer.  
For those of you who don't know me in real life, I have spent most of my adult life being an advisor to young people at church.  I am a  Presbyterian flavored Christian.  I worked as a youth director before I got married to my youth director husband.  I relished the move to volunteer status, or in theological matters, maybe I should say amateur status.  Because I have worked for churches, some people think I have answers, BIG answers to BIG questions.  I don't. 
I struggle with things I don't understand.  I don't get the pain and suffering in our world when I believe in such a benevolent God.  Cancer is at the top of the list of things I don't understand.  Cancer doesn't discriminate.  All races, genders and ages are affected.  The best I can do goes like this.  There are things in our world that are just not of God.  I do not believe that God chooses who gets cancer.  I do not believe that God punishes, or my very favorite, tries to teach someone by giving them cancer.  I do not believe (with all love and respect to Mother Teresa) that certain people or families get cancer because God knows they "can handle it".  Cancer is one of those unknowns in our lives that we are not going to understand.  We aren't going to know why or how. 
I do believe that God's heart breaks right along with ours when we are suffering.  I believe that God is there, sometimes when no one else is.  I believe that God works through amazing and often unexpected people to help and comfort us.  I believe that no matter how mad we get at God, God still loves us with a love that is beyond comprehension.
I wish that I could end here.  There is one more question that I have to address any time I think about God and cancer.  Why do some people get better and some don't?  I wish I knew the answer to this question.  The medical answer is it depends on what kind of cancer, how far it has spread, and frankly, how much time and money have been spent on that particular cancer.  The best faith-based answer I know of right now comes from the mother of a little girl dying of cancer.  You can find it here, but I will warn you, don't click on it unless you are ok with crying.  
So no, I don't have answers.  I know what I believe and I have to close this post with a plea and a promise.  My plea today, if you are given the opportunity to support efforts to cure cancer, please do so however you are able, whether it is with your time or your money.  My promise today and every day is that God is with us in all of this.  I hope you feel God's incredible presence in your life, no matter where or what you are experiencing. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ugh, Uggs are Ugly

I know they're ugly.  I had written them off the first time they came around, so their resurgence a couple of years ago didn't bother me too much.  I did like my young friend Bryce's Carolina blue ones, even though I'm a fan of NC State.  But they're ugly.  and clunky.  and they look like they would be hot (my feet are always hot.)  and my size 9 feet don't need to look any bigger.  AND they're expensive. Nope, no Uggs for me, no way, no how.

And then someone bought me a pair.  Holy soft warm insoles Batman!  The seductive lure of these soft, warm, comfy boots during one of our coldest yuckiest winters on record was irresistible. I have restricted them to mostly at home wear.  My feet were not happy with that decision and have snuck the uggs out for morning drop-off at school and a couple of breakfast dates.  I even debated about taking them on my recent trip to Disney World.  Florida, right?  My feet were so grateful for those boots after long days at meetings and ventures to the parks.  (not to mention the unseasonably cool weather that week, too).

So no, Uggs had nothing to do with this post.  No product provided or review requested.  My toes are just so happy I felt compelled to write and tell you how they wore down my resistance.  My suggestion, get a pair.  My better suggestion, find someone to buy you a pair.  Your toes will thank you!


Thanks to Linda Sellers at www.lindasellers.com for sharing her great buttons!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Disney Experience

In addition to the fabulous speakers that we heard at Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, we had several other fun events. Disney was celebrating volunteer families as a part of their focus on volunteerism in 2010. On Thursday morning we attended a media event where they unveiled the world's largest canned food structure, certified by Guinness Book. There were volunteer families representing all 50 states at the event.

As the volunteer families were walking in, someone caught my eye. Sue, who lives not 5 minutes from my house, and her family were the volunteer family being recognized from North Carolina! Holla! They have always been a civic-minded family so it was exciting to share this celebration with them.  The canned food structure was incredible. The Disney Parks Blog has great photos, and even a time-lapse video showing the structure being built. 

For the rest of the afternoon there were volunteer opportunities in Epcot.  Health kits were assembled for Haiti, trees were planted with Disney's Friends for Change, and the canned food structure was disassembled and the food packed up so it could be distributed to Florida shelters and soup kitchens.  I love that Disney doesn't just talk about volunteering but they are trying to offer families ways to start.  Several Disney Channel stars participated in planting trees with Friends for Change.  I love this initiative because it's directed at kids and tries to show them the big impact small changes can make. 

Thursday night we joined the volunteer families and other media for an amazing dinner and concert.  Our dinner was prepared by Chef Robert Irvine and the Dinner Impossible crew from Food Network.  The food was so creative in dish and in presentation.  The episode is supposed to air sometime in April, I'll be sure to let you know so you can tune in!  After dinner, there was a concert starting with music from All Star Weekend.  Another thing I love about Disney is they give new young artists exposure.  After All Star Weekend, we were treated to Joe Jonas and Demi Lovato singing.  They introduced a new song for Friends for Change, "Make a Wave".  The song will be coming out in March.  My true excitement Thursday night was who I shared a table with.  My husband and I  sat down and were waiting to explore the food tables when another couple joined us.  My husband will tell you that I will talk to a door, so of course I started a conversation.  She turned out to be Deborah Way, a Senior Editor at Family Fun magazine.  Let me say it again.  FAMILY FUN MAGAZINE!!  I cannot even begin to tell you how many times Family Fun has saved me with fun ideas of things to do.  We have used their ideas not only with our family but with various groups at our church.  I was a complete fangirl and gushed all over her.  She and her companion were thankfully very gracious.  The last thing we did that night was sit down and enjoy the nightime spectacular, "Illuminations, Reflections of Earth".   Illuminations has a message about how we are all connected which is especially poignant when you are attending a social media celebration.

After our day of speakers on Friday, the Social Media Moms Celebration had a closing party.  They took us by bus to the back of Hollywood Studios.  We had a dinner set up at the Backlot Express quick service restaurant.  They also had a dance floor with a dj, but I was having too much fun talking to other moms to dance.  After we had all had our fill, we were led over to the Toy Story Midway Mania ride.  We were allowed to ride as many times as we wanted.  This ride has been crazy popular since it's opening, so it was a thrill to ride it with no line.  We only rode it twice because I thought my arm might fall off it was so tired.  It was a fun way to close our celebration.

While some of our events were media related, and not intended to teach us about social media, there was something to learn.  It is no secret that I love all things Disney.  One of the reasons I love going to Walt Disney World is because of the Disney difference.  Disney pays attention to EVERY detail, even the smallest of the small detail, that no one may ever see.  Disney is all about telling the story and living the story.  That's what we are doing in social media with our own stories.  We can learn from Disney about telling our story with attention to detail, and attention to heart.

I am grateful to have attended this conference, and thank everyone who helped put it together.  I have put up just a few pictures on Flickr, you can find them here.  My next post I am going to wrap up what I have learned about social media conferences!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration

Wednesday, February 10- Saturday, February 13, 2010 I was honored to attend the first Disney Social Media Moms Celebration.  I had registered for another conference the first weekend of February to learn more about this blogging world I was entering.  I happened to see a tweet from Maria Bailey , @momtalkradio, that said if you would like information about this celebration to email.  I sent an email not really expecting a reply because I am a newcomer.  I was surprised to receive an invitation and as I looked at the details, I knew I wanted to attend.  It is no secret that I am a huge Disney fan, but I was so interested to hear the speakers, Guy Kawasaki, Maxine Clark, and Chris Brogan.  It was the perfect combination for me, Disney and learning about something I love. (I have been a social media addict enthusiast for a long time)

In the interest of time I am hitting highlights.  In this post I am going to hit the highlights of the Social Media Moms Celebration, and later I'll tell you about the larger experience at Disney.  We had a breakfast Thursday morning at the American Adventure with Guy Kawasaki.   I sat at a table in that beautiful building thinking how great it was to be a part of this slice of America.  The time with Guy was well spent. He shared his theories for optimizing Twitter as a tool.  I think that people appreciate directness and if we are going to commit to marketing our brands, we have to be direct.  It gets weird because for most of us in that room, we ARE our brands.

Our next workshops were on Friday at the Contemporary Resort.  It felt like there was pixie dust in the air all day.  That feeling might have come from our first speaker, Maxine Clark, the founder of Build a Bear Workshop.  She was amazing.  She completely understands community and has sought to provide it for her customers and her employees.  Maxine is a role model for entrepreneurs everywhere.  She wrote in her blog about her experience with the celebration, you can find it here http://maxineclark.wordpress.com/.  Maxine was followed by Marissa Jaret Winokur.  Marissa opened in the role of Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray on Broadway.  She won a Tony for the role, and while she left the show, she went back 6 years later to close the show.  She has had several television roles.  Marissa is height challenged, and she is curvier than most women you see on television.  She shared very honestly about her struggles in the entertainment industry.  She was easy to relate to as a working mom.  After a great lunch, we had a surprise guest, Kathy Ireland.  Folks, Kathy Ireland is smoking hot.  She has built an empire and she emphasizes that faith and family have to come first.  She encouraged us all to make dates with our kids so that they all get special time.  She encouraged us all to follow our dreams and work hard.  She brought a great energy to the room!  Our last speaker was Chris Brogan.  Believe the hype people.  He gets social media at it's core.  It is all about relationship and he demonstrated it beautifully for us.  I am all about the love and Chris Brogan showed us the connections with relationship, community, and love.  If we are involved in social media without that trifecta, we are hollow, and people do not want to connect with hollow. 

I learned so much, but this celebration was so much more than workshops.  Next post I'll share the rest!

Why I had to stop vlogging from the celebration!




I had some technical difficulties, I need to head over to www.simplevloggingtips.com pronto because Jendi is a master of the form.  For now, it posted, HOORAY!  I have more posts upcoming about the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration.  Yes, I said posts.  So much happened in such a short time I am going to have to break it up.  And yes, I got some laundry done(my least favorite chore) so that after the kids go to bed I can get back to the blog (my favorite, YAY)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Disney Social Media Moms Celebration



I am going to try to post a video response every day so please check by! A huge thank you to everyone involved in putting this together, so much goes into an event like this.   My site is so new that I don't even have a disclosure policy up, so here goes.  I purchased this trip at a greatly reduced rate, however any and all opinions expressed are mine.  I will always be honest in my opinions.

Quick Follow Up To Blissdom Post!

There is so much more to say about Blissdom but most of it will have to wait until after I get home from Disney World. (see my upcoming post for that story!)  I read my last post again and realized it sounds like we sat in a circle and did each others' hair and nails, and sang Kumbaya.  No friends, that was not the case.  Yes, everyone that I encountered was friendly and kind, but we didn't have any drum circles going.  There were groups of women who had forged close connections through their online relationships, and they were eager to spend face to face time with those friends.  My point is that even though there were groups, they made room for others.  They tolerated interruptions for introductions with grace, and answered questions and engaged, even though they were excited about the time they had with friends.  From the most experienced to the least, everyone was encouraging and there was a solidarity about this strange online world we find ourselves in.  My point is that even though you have a group that you are so excited to be with, taking the time for a stranger (or a newbie) can make all the difference in the world!  The women at Blissdom did this well, and I want to thank Alli Worthington, Barbara Jones, and Paula Bruno for setting such a great tone for the conference.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The Myth of the grown up Mean Girl

Our world conspires to make us believe that women do not support each other.  The myth begins in reality.  The worlds of middle and high schools are filled with "queen bees" and "mean girls" and the "misfits" who are deemed targets.  We are led to believe that this behavior continues into adulthood.  We are led to believe that women are more interested in tearing each other down and criticizing each others' fashion choices.  I want to tell you all that if you believe that is the way the world operates, it might be time to find a new group of women.

I am currently attending Blissdom 2010, a blogging conference.  I am new to the blogging world and was very nervous about attending my first conference.  I am just figuring out what to focus on in this blog.  I haven't written regularly in years and my writing shows that.  I don't know the language these women speak.  What I have found here surprised me.  I have found interpreters.  I have found women ready to share the wealth of knowledge they possess.  I have found women encouraging each other to tell their stories.  I have found women who want to see other women succeed.  I have found women forging communities in new ways.  It is educational, challenging, and incredibly encouraging.

I was afraid of not being accepted here.  A large group of women is intimidating.  However, instead of harsh critics I have discovered a nurturing community of women.  They are here to learn and to encourage everyone to develop and refine their unique voice.  I am excited to add my voice to theirs; tshirt, jeans, and all!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Twitter 101

This post is for all of my non-techie friends who have not discovered the wonders of Twitter.  The opening page at Twitter.com reads "share and discover what's happening right now, anywhere in the world," and "popular topics by the minute, day, and week."  Twitter requires that everyone post in 140 characters or less so information is delivered in short "tweets."  Where Facebook has walls, news feeds, photo albums and applications, Twitter is what's happening right now.  They are in competition as different types of social media, but I think they complement each other.

If you want to check it out, go to Twitter.com and there will be a search bar.  There are some nuances of searching on Twitter that you should know about.  Everything is shortened.  American Idol becomes americanidol or even better, idol. When people want to have a conversation on Twitter, they add the subject of the conversation to each one of their tweets with a hashtag.  (Have I lost you yet?)  A hashtag is a different name for the number sign so hashtag= #.  If I wanted to search for what people were saying about American Idol, I would search for #idol.  I am going to a conference soon, so to follow what people are saying about it, I search for #Blissdom.  Immediately after the earthquake in Haiti you could search #haiti and get up to the minute reports about what was happening.


Who is doing all of this tweeting?  Anybody, anywhere.  On the left of each tweet will be the person's profile photo, and every tweet will start with their twitter handle.  All twitter handles start with @.  My handle is @tsandjmom.  Since I have an account on twitter (anyone can, go get one!), I can follow other twitter users.  What that means is when I sign on, the tweets of everyone I follow show up on my page.  Your page is also known as your twitter stream, and it does move as quickly as a mountain stream.  I love the television show survivor so I follow @Jeff_Probst, the host of survivor, and he tweeted about @TheRealBuzz, Buzz Aldrin so now I am following him.  Seriously, Buzz Aldrin, how weird is that!?!  Since I have become more serious about blogging, I have been finding and following all kinds of awesome bloggers.  I need to have a post just for them because there are so many.  There is even @1stcot, the First Church of Twitter where they have a worship service online every Sunday.  You can find tweets about whatever your interests are!  My one caveat is that because this is anyone/anywhere tweeting you can find some very questionable and offensive things, so search carefully.

That my friends is Twitter 101.  Welcome to the Twitterverse!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

American Idol, Avril, Really?

I needed more than the 140 characters twitter gives me to talk about Idol this morning.  I am wondering what irritated Avril Lavigne the most about Idol contestant Jim Ranger?  Was it the fact that he is a worship pastor or that he has a lovely family that made her think he couldn't handle life as a recording artist? To give her a little bit of credit, hopefully she thought that he already had a lot going on and didn't need to add anything.  I loved his voice and while he isn't young and hot, this is the show that brought us Elliot Yamin and Chris Sligh, and let us not forget Clay Aiken.  Avril was just a disappointment as a judge.  I thought she might be feisty and was bummed that she acted like a bored child in the footage they showed us.  Thank goodness Katy Perry was there for the second day because she brought some life to the judges' table. 
My patience is wearing thin with the audition rounds.  Yet again they treat us to trainwreck after trainwreck.  It gets to the point that yes, I can look away.  I'll just dvr it and fast forward through most of the show.  Hopefully Hollywood week is coming soon, I can't wait to see what happens when Ellen joins the party!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Facebook Question, Should I comment on my child's page?

I am one of those computer freaks, addicts, fans that was on Facebook way before my children which has created some interesting situations.  I am also asked by other parents  how to navigate this world.  My first rule is that until they are 16 they have to be my unrestricted friend on Facebook.  If you are not on Facebook and your child is, and they are under the age of 16, I would highly encourage you to create a Facebook account or find a trusted adult family member or friend to monitor your child's Facebook activity.  So my son is on Facebook.  I have had to adjust to his overly zealous initial postings, reign him in when he has pushed boundaries, and help him understand the social media world.

My hope for my son is that his online persona will accurately represent who he is. He tends to forget that even though the "live feed" page moves on and information disappears from sight, that information lives on FOREVER in wall posts and profile information.   I try very hard not to comment on his status and activity.  Sometimes I have to sign out of Facebook to resist.  I don't comment on his status more than a couple of times a month, and I try very hard to make it innocuous.  I don't, for instance, remind him to clean his room or do his homework via Facebook. (even when he becomes a fan of ""No, they can't come over, this house is a mess!" "Mom, They Dont Care..."  )  I don't ask him about the friends who post on his wall and I say a private thank-you that nothing too out of line has shown up on his wall.  I don't want to abuse the fact that he has to be my friend! I also don't tell him on Facebook how much I love and adore him, I save that embarrasment for the carpool line!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Why a blog?

Why not?  Honestly that is the best answer to that question for all of us, but I do have a few reasons.  First, I love to write and this blog will help me(force me) to sit still for a little bit and write.  Second, I have too many friends who have no idea how much is within their grasp on the internet.  This is best captured by the expression on their faces when I say that I have started a blog.  A what? The internet has made our worlds so much more accessible.  When I read blogs and tweets I realize how small and how big our world is.  The reading and commenting I have done on blogs and twitter has made my view of the world a little wider, and I hope it will for some of you, too.  Third, I do have some knowledge to pass on.  My knowledge base has three areas I am going to focus on in this blog.  I understand young people.  I love them.  One of my gifts is that I am able to relate to young people and I am so grateful.  I am not forever young and the young people that I know do not think I am forever cool (on the contrary, they grasp my geekiness) but they do know that I understand where they are.  I hope that I can shed some light on young people and their world.  My next knowledge center is about nurturing community.  We all want to belong somewhere.  For some of us that place is our family, our church, our friends, our work, and some of us don't know where we belong.  I LOVE thinking about and examining the ways we relate in community. Last my knowledge is of the nerdy variety, particularly pop culture.  If you are ever in the Cash Cab you want me with you.  I have a wealth of knowledge that is only applicable in the trivia section!  Plus, since I love trivia I find all kinds of interesting things online- movie & book reviews, commentaries on current events and life, and my very favorite, how to save money!
I know I am going to enjoy this and I hope you will too.  For those whom this is their first blog experience, there is a button at the top that says follow. Clicking on that will keep you updated about what is going on here.  I hope you'll come along for the ride.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Who Are You?



I am a child of God, a woman, a wife, a mother,a daughter, a sister, a friend, a mentor, a volunteer and a geek.  I have found I am most comfortable in my jeans and a T-shirt wearing ratty old flip flops.  I do have a pair of black flip flops that are my "church flip flops" that remain in good condition, mainly because they are only worn on Sundays.  I am a mom like all others that would like to be able to do it all, but I have thoroughly accepted that I cannot.  I have spent years as an advisor to middle and high school aged young people but am still completely unprepared for my own children to be adolescents.  I think that so much in life could be solved by responding and acting with love, and I think I need to take my own advice.  I am very good at creating and encouraging community.  Long ago I helped my husband lead recreation at several Presbyterian youth events and we have continued to serve in leadership roles at youth events.  I work two days a week at a local toy store where my job title is elf.  No joke, elf.  Things I love: laughing, Disney, music, games of all kinds, the beach, the mountains, encouraging other people.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

baby, it's cold outside

Wilmington, NC made the Weather Channel's news item for having the coldest start to the year on record. We are by no means the coldest place, but we are not prepared for this kind of cold.  I have watched the birds and squirrels fighting over the food from our feeders and slide across the unexpected coat of ice on our birdbath.  I have been so worried about our porch cat.  We have two indoor cats (Lilo and Stitch) and one wild corgi (Sandy) and one cat that shows up every so often on our porch.  Porch cat appears to be feral.  It has one ear tipped and seems to be fixed(no one has been crazy enough to try to get close enough to know.)  Porch cat only shows up when the weather is bad.  We won't see porch cat all summer long then cool weather will come and there it sits.  When I drive off to take the kids to school, Porch is sitting at the front door, staring at it.  If we see the cat we will bring it a can of food.  We won't leave any food out on the front porch unattended because we have too many other critters here.  A couple of weeks ago, before the cold snap, Porch showed up painfully thin.  I was worried that it might be sick and didn't want to expose kids or pets to anything funky.  Fortunately Porch just needed some food.  We have figured out that Porch is sleeping in the roof of my husband's workshop and wandering around to the front of the house a couple of times a day for food.  This crazy cat that used to run away from us now greets us as soon as we open the door.  We were afraid that Porch might not survive the cold weather, too many people and pets lose their lives due to extreme weather.  Thankfully the weather has started to warm up.  Now the question is how long will Porch be around?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Just call me Eggo

Name change AGAIN. I am flipping and flopping and waffling about this blog. Specifically, what to call this blog of mine. So we have a new name today. Hopefully this is it. This feels right. I live in a tshirt and jeans. I can dress up when I have to but I am at home in my tshirt, jeans, and flipflops. That is my official mom uniform. So here is where you will find me. In the words of the poetic Jed Clampett, "Y'all come back now, y'hear"

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ten for 2010

I think it's dangerous to make resolutions. I think it's dangerous to speak them and downright insane to write them down. I am enough of a procrastinator that my resolutions last from a few months to a few seconds. So let's just throw away that word. Resolution. It's gone. I am going to write my 10 goals for 2010. GOALS (not resolutions) A girls gotta have goals, right?

1. assume identity of Positive Girl as much as possible (alter ego to be explained at a later date)
2. move more
3. get house in order
4. communicate directly with friends and loved ones, not only through social networking mediums
5. cook more (too much take out last year)
6. write
7. commit to less outside of my home
8. find a church home
9. spend individual time with my family members
10. prioritize

That was a little harder than I thought it would be. Goals I am going to be working towards in 2010. I'll let you know how it goes. Remember that while "write" makes the list, it only comes in at #6 so don't be expecting daily updating or anything crazy like that.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010