Friday, February 29, 2008

God's hand in my life

Some people may wonder whether or not a post with the above title belongs on a blog about a parenting style. For me, God goes hand in hand with my parenting. In fact, I hope that he influences every part of my parenting. I have been hoping to write this post all week, but today is the first time that my thoughts are coherent enough to really write anything understandable.

On Sunday, I had a lovely time at church. When we got to Sacrament meeting, Jackie asked to go sit with an older couple in the branch (whom she calls Papa and Grandma with their surname.) Then, Ben went to sleep within the first 15 minutes, so I got to listen to the talks! Listening to those talks was a special gift to me right now. The speaker was talking on this talk by President Henry B. Eyring. It gave me the thought that I need to be more grateful in my life. President Eyring started talking about how he learned to write things down, and he started writing how he could see "the hand of God" in his life. This blog is sort of my journal. There are written posts that I haven't published because they're only for my personal journal. However, at the bottom of each post, I am going to write how I've seen the hand of God in my life. I hope that it will help me be more grateful for my blessings and change my focus so that I will also become a better mom.

I've seen God's hand in my life this week by the fact that he put Rob and I so close to Rob's parents, and they've been so wonderful helping us through all this illness.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sick, sick also, and sick too

My chlidren's and my name could all be changed to sick this week. It seems that sick defines us almost completely. The only thing that would define us more is to call us Flu bugs. We spend 90% of our days laying in bed, getting out only to forage for fliuds and medicine. My MIL has been great. We've been living at Grandma's since Tuesday morning. Thanks Grandma! However, I feel bad for Grandma having to help so much with the kiddos, so either tonight or tomorrow night, we'll move back home.

Tonight is the Virtual Book Club over at Melissa's blog, so come on over and have a great discussion with us about Boomsday! 8:30 CST! I'm looking forward to it. Only a little over three hours from now! :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hump Day Hmm February 27, 2008

This week's Hump Day Hmm over at Julie's Using My Words blog this week is to evaluate assertiveness and gender politics in the workplace, relationships, educational environments, or where ever else they come into play. I think that women and men are wired differently for a reason. I think that there is automatically a difference between women and men when we're born. Women are built to nurture their children, in general, and men are built to go be bread winners. That said, I think that both genders are intelligent. I get so FRUSTRATED when I go fill out paper work at a doctor's office or a hospital and I put "homemaker" as my job description. I completely fill out my husband's work information, and it seems obvious to me that he'll pay for the visit. However, when I go to turn in my paperwork at the desk, I inevitably get a look from the receptionist that says, "a homemaker? Yuck." It's even worse when the person makes a comment such as, "You stay home, who will pay for this visit. " Or even worse, "You stay home, don't you know that you're supposed to contribute to society?" Do stay-at-home Dad's get this type of treatment? Or is it even worse for them.

The problem is that, as with the homemaker thing, people seem to assume that just because I'm a woman, I must be stupid. Rob is now frustrated with me because I have started making him make all the appointments for the cars. When I call up there, they're rude, and sometimes, they still call him to check to see if I can bring it up there. When he calls, they're not exactly cordial, but at least they skip the middle step. They certainly don't call me to check. Am I above my station just because I'm smart enough to take the car in for an oil check every 3,000 miles? I think that it's only happened once that we called up a repairman over to our house, and he HASN'T called Rob to make sure something's really broken. I LOVE the air conditioning man. He didn't think I was stupid. In fact, he thought I was smart enough that he signed his 25 year old daughter up for violin lessons with me for a year. I think that it is different when I'm assertive than when Rob is assertive. People are nicer to him about being assertive, but I'm going to continue to be assertive anyway.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Fun Run

Some people think that the words fun run are an oxymoron. I, on the other hand, think that running really can be fun. Today, I ran my first 5K since Ben was born. The city was hosting a local race to support the American Cancer Society in the Relay for Life. I had a blast! The race started at 8:00 am. It was in my neighborhood, so I got up at 7:00 and got ready to run. I walked down there just in time to register and stand around for a couple minutes. Then, I walked to the back of the line at the starting line because I knew that I wasn't in very great shape. I wasn't considering myself a "serious runner." The horn blew, and I started running. As I watched the people in front of me start to spread out, I wondered if I could really make it, but I kept my mind tough and ran. I focused on my stride and my arms and made it up the first big hill. Right at the top of the hill, standing in our driveway was my family, including my Mom-In-Law, and my best friend's family. They cheered for us. At that point, I took off my sweater and threw it on the driveway. Jackie said, "Oh no mom! You dropped your sweater!" I laughed at that, and it made the last bit of the first mile and the entire second mile better. About half way through the second mile, we ran past my house again! Jackie yelled great for me, and Rob took some pictures. I am not planning on posting them on here though. My short hair is in pig tails, and I really look like a dork. The dorky look is entirely fine with me, but I don't want it plastered all over the internet. Coming down the last hill, I started catching two people, and I felt like I wasn't going to make it, but I'd come so far! I knew that I could make it just the last half mile. The problem is that the worst hill in the race was up through the last half mile. I pumped my arms and told the people next to me that we could do it. (I don't have a clue who they are, but that's the way of a good 5K.) Then, I rounded the last bend, and there were the cones for the finish line. All of a sudden, I had enough energy to run faster to the finish line. I made it!

As soon as I crossed the finish line, I still had more to do. I had promised Jackie that she could do the one mile run with me. I walked the three quarters of a mile back home. Rob and I hurried to load the kids into the car, and we drove back to the starting line of the race. Then we all registered for the 1 mile fun run, and Jackie walked and ran the entire mile. Rob, Jackie, Ben and I all did the fun run together! I was great to do that as a family. After the one mile run, we waited for the awards to be given out. I was shocked to hear my name called as the winner of my age division! YIPEE! I got a beautiful thermos with the name of the race written on it.

This is a picture of Jackie and I with our prizes! Since writing the above, my sister asked me to post a picture of the prizes, so here it is. I got the CUTE thermos for winning my age division, and both Jackie and I got the T-shirts for participating in the races. Jackie also got some Playdough for participating. She is very proud of herself for having "won" it. I'm proud of her, too! She really did a great job today. I can't wait to run another one!

Sometime next week, the race results will be posted on for anyone who is interested.

Friday, February 22, 2008

101 Things about me

Melissa (Taking What is Left) asked why I didn't do a 100 Things about me for my 100th post. The answer is two fold. I wanted to do the Hump Day Hmm instead, and I also decided to do a 101 Things about Me instead.

1. I'm a mom
2. Twice over
3. I believe in Christ
4. I agree with most of the attachment parenting ideals
5. I enjoy Elimination Communicating with my children
6. I view ECing as more of a communication than potty training
7. I teach piano lessons
8. I teach violin lessons
9. I majored in percussion for three and a half years
10. But I finished in Criminal Justice instead
11. I handle tantrums well.
12. My main goal in life is to be happy
13. My favorite instrument to play is the marimba
14. My favorite possession is probably my scriptures
15. My husband is my best friend
16. Even whem my kids are sleeping at night now, I can't
17. English is my only language
18. I don't like any of the presidential candidates left in the race
19. I do like the idea of the Fair Tax
20. IKEA is my favorite store
21. I love to run
22. Cross Country is my favorite sport to watch
23. I love cheesy romantic fiction
24. I only have twenty-four teeth.
25. But all of my front ones.
26. One of my goals is to become a La Leche League leader
27. I am hoping I can then start a La Leche group here.
28. I am growing an addiction to blogging.
29. I live for naptime and bedtime
30. I used to dispise Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata
31. Now I love it.
32. I have to favorite piano pieces: Alla Turka by Mozart and Serenade by Shubert
33. Almost every day, I look forward to tomorrow. (This is big for me.)
34. I don't really mind hurricane season.
35. I love my relationship with my in-laws
36. I have a wonderful one with my side of the family, too
37. And my husband does, too!!!
38. I don't like humidity
39. I grew up at 7,000 feet above sea level
40. Now I live less than 500 feet above sea level
41. Although I live in the south, I'm a western girl at heart
42. It still bugs me when people say "Yes, ma'am."
43. I say "Yes ma'am" to other people
44. I don't feel like a hypocrite about "Yes, ma'am"
46. I think that people have to adapt to the social etiquite when they are in different places. Try to be nice to others how they expect it.
47. People still say, "Ya ain't from 'round here are ya?" to me.
48. I believe in voting
49. I believe in others voting, even it it isn't for my candidate
50. I love the way Jackie prays.
51. I feel sort of guilty for weaning Ben
52. Every day, I wonder, "Am I doing this right?"
53. I love to read
54. When I was little, I wanted to grow up and be a boy
55. I was still bitter that I couldn't when I was 21
56. Sometimes I'm still bitter that I'm a girl
57. Being a mom more than makes up for not getting to be a daddy
58. I have a strong conscience
59. I work to always obey set rules
60. I like to be creative
61. I have two websites.
62.Ellie Bellie Baby
63.Specialty Toddler Bedding
64.I share Ellie Bellie with one of my Best friends.
65.I started them to fund my crafts.
66.And because of an idea another friend had.
67.One of my dreams is to go to law school.
68.But for now I'm raising my kids.
69. My Dad was born in Mexico.
70. But he's not really a Mexican.
71. Though my husband enjoys telling people he is sometimes.
72. Mostly people who complain too much about "them [beep] Mexicans."
73. Both of my dad's parents were born in Mexico, too.
74. But they weren't really Mexican, either.
75. I'm the youngest of nine children.
76. I have three sisters.
77. And five brothers.
78. I love them all dearly.
79. One of my favorite jokes is: there are three kinds of people in this world.
80. Those who can count.
81. And those who can't.
82. I have one other favorite joke.
83. What did the snail say when he rode on the turtle's back? Wheee!!
84. I don't always pick up on other people's jokes.
85 . I love puns.
86. I have twenty-five nieces and nephews
87. Twenty-three on my side
88. Two on my husband's side
89. I love photography
90. I have been the main photographer at a wedding
91. I have also gotten more of my photos into a man's campaign literature than the governor's photographer
92. I am opinionated
93. Sometimes sharing my opinions gets me into trouble
94. I love to debate
95. Disagreement can be a good thing
96. Fighting cannot
97. I think that life is all about attitude
98. I met my husband online
99. We were just playing Yahoo pool
100. Ammon is my favorite boy's name
101. My husband won't ever let me use it

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hump Day Hmmm. . . February 20, 2008

This is my 100'th post! Feel free to do the happy dance with me if you'd like.

Over at Julie's Using My Words blog, this week's Hump Day Hmm post is: "Topic for this week: How and When Do You Use Your Words...Social Scenarios"

I have reacted in different ways to several of the scenarios that Julie provided. However, instead of actually writing out a scenario where my friends were hosting a party, and I was not invited and my different reactions to that when it has happened several times, I am setting a goal on how to react in the future.

In the past, I have used a very agressive technique. ( defines agressive as pushy or negaitve.) Instead, I have decided to be assertive. (Definition from of assertive is confidently agressive, self assured; positive.) I can speak up but do it in a positive fashion. For instance, in the past, when my friends have hosted a party and "conveniently" forgotten to invite me, I have reacted with hurtful, impassioned speaches about how they must really not be my friend and asked why they were rude enough to try not to include everyone.

In the future, (although I have pretty much come out of contact with the people who were like that) when I find myself or my kids uninvited to a party, and my friends are talking about it around me, I'll just say, "I guess my invitation must have gotten lost in the mail. What was I supposed to bring again?" It's an assertive way without trying to hurt anyone's feelings. If they say, "Well, there's just not room enough to invite everyone," then I'll say, OK, I can deal with that. I probably just won't be hanging out with those people much any more.

As for sticky customer service situations, I am going to state my position without acting angry. Something I have learned the hard way in the recent past is that acting angry hardly ever, if ever gets good results. However, when I'm calm, but I stick to my guns and quietly don't back down, the desired things happens, and I walk away feeling that justice wins again.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My beautiful family!

Over and over again, I see Rob, and I'm amazed at how wonderfully he acts around his children. I am also so grateful to have such beautiful, wonderful kids and such a happy family.

Here is a picture of Rob with the kids that I took on my cell phone. (Where is the real camera when all these cute things are happening?)

I think that I should be expressing my gratitude for life and for my blessings every day. Today I'm sharing that gratitude.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Boomsday: A book review

Melissa over at Taking What is Left is having a book club on February 28th at 8:30 CST. The book is Boomsday by Christopher Buckley. It is availble on Amazon, and I could not find it at Barnes and Noble or Books-A-Million (see a previous post.) I decided I needed it almost immediately so that I could have time to read the book. I found it here.

It was an interesting book. It takes the blogging world and throws it into the world of politics. Cassandra Devine is a blogger who realizes that the nation is in trouble. The Baby Boomers are all retiring, and Social Security can go bankrupt. To stop this from happening, Congress just passed a law that makes people under 30 pay an extra tax to fund Social Security. Horrified, Cassandra (Cass) blogs about rallying against the baby boomers. The book begins with Cass axiously waiting for her father to arrive home from work. She holds an envelope with an acceptance to Yale in her hands, and she can't wait to share it with her father. By some means, she ends up going into the military first, and then that throws Cass into a series of events. This book is full of laughs as the page turns, but it's liberally peppered with swearing (especially the "f word.) There is also some sex in it, but it is not at all explicit. Therefore, I probably won't read another of his books, but it is full of fodder for a good political discussion, so I can't wait for the discussion night!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Some mistakes are the best!

This afternoon, Rob asked, "What do you want for dinner?" I said, "I don't know what I want for dinner, but funnel cakes sound good for a snack."

For Christmas, Rob got me a Funnel Cake Making Kit. We had so much fun with the mix that came with it, and we have eaten many happy funnel cakes. Yesterday I wanted to make funnel cakes, but we were out of mix, so I pulled out the Bisquick. I heard through the grapevine that some people use the waffle recipe on the box to make funnel cakes. I tried it, and it was way too thick. I poured in another half cup of milk. Then it was way to thin. Next, I poured in some more Bisquick. Then, it was too thick. At that point, I gave up on the funnel cakes. I just plopped some pools of the batter in the frying pan. They were some YUMMY scones. We had never made scones in our house before, and these turned out great! I hope that I can replicate them and make them again. They may become a special treat type of dinner. Hooray!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

And the Winner Is. . .

A while back, I started a photo and essay contest for a beautiful quilt. I gave myself two votes, and then I used the poll as well. The winner of the blog contest is Katie from Eberling Adventures. Thanks to everyone who voted or read the essays. Katie, I'll get in touch with you personally to find out what you want to do! Thanks all.

Friday, February 15, 2008

My Precious Brick and Mortar becoming obsolete.

Melissa over at Taking What is Left is having a Virtual Book Club. The conversation will be live, and I think it will be fun. Hop over there and check it out. The book is called Boomsday by Christopher Buckley, and I went to Tallahassee last night to get it. I walked confidently into Barnes and Noble, and walked over to the section where his books should be. There were many of his books. However Boomsday was not there. I thought that maybe since it just came out last year it would be on display somewhere, so I went to talk to the customer service representative. She smiled at me and stated that the paperback edition is coming out in may, so they haven't ordered any more hard bound copies. Would I like to order one? No? OK, have a good day.

If I wanted to order a book and wait a week for it to get here, Amazon is ready when I am, and the shipping is cheaper than the gas to and from Tallahassee. I thought, well, if Barnes and Noble doesn't have it, then maybe Books-A-Million will have it. Books-A-Million was on the way back anyway, so we stopped by on our way home. They gave me the same story. They can order the book for me, and I can come back to pick it up in a week. I could order the book used from Amazon for $3.65 plus shipping, and the shipping charges are cheaper than the three gallons of gas it takes to get to and from Tallahassee in our minivan.

I order online all the time, but sometimes, I want to walk into the store and see and touch an object before I buy it. The pictures just aren't the same. It's like in the fast food restaurants where they have pictures of their food on the wall menu, and you think, "Yummy, that looks good," so you order that food, and it comes out in real life form of a shriveled looking hamburger with some greasy fries. Pictures just aren't always the same. Comp USA and Best Buy are good stores to peruse, but even they will sometimes tell you, "Oh, we have that on display only, you have to order that online." So, I have to spend $9 in gas and the hour and a half it takes to get to Tallahassee and back just to look at what I might want to buy. Then, I have to order it online and pay shipping charges as well. Whatever happened to walking into the store, buying something for a good deal, and walking out being able to use it.

Normally, I probably wouldn't even know that the brick and mortar stores didn't carry my books because I would have ordered from Amazon anyway. When I don't care how long the book takes to get here, that's how I do it. In the end, I ordered an ebook and I'm going to attempt to read it on my computer. Wish me luck, and I'll write a review to tell you all how it was.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My Favorite

Happy Valentines Day! Thanks to Rob, I thought about the option of changing the look of my blog. I like this much better than the last one. Thanks for helping me learn how to do it, Rob!

I decided that since it was my contest, I should still post what would be my entry if it were anyone else's contest.

I have many favorites in life, but I'm going to write about my favorite person. My husband is my very best friend. I love him. He's kind, thoughtful, fun to be around, and he's really smart. When we started chatting, we talked about some of my favorite things. He started telling me about an interesting book he'd just finished. I went to the library and picked it up to read it. I couldn't put it down, and the last page ended before the next day. The next night, we discussed the book in detail, and through that discussion, we were able to learn how much more we had in common.

My wonderful husband has helped me through some of my toughest times. Anytime I can't help but cry, he holds me. When I had my miscarriage, he held my hand through it and always worked to help me know that it wasn't my fault. Even though I'm not a very good housekeeper, I don't have to worry about him coming home and asking what I did all day. He knows that I'm keeping his children happy and that's more important than our home. I love my husband, and he truly is my best, favorite friend.

I chose this picture because his love is evident, and one of his best qualities is that he is a wonderful daddy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hump Day Hmm, February 13 2008

I am rapidly becoming a blogging addict, and the Hump Day Hmm over at has become a major factor in that.

This week's hump day hmm is whether or not other people should be fodder for blogs. For me, blogging is sort of like a journal. Only the posts that I would keep most private aren't posted. My everyday happenings and the people I come into contact with are part of my life. I feel that people are the most important thing. If we can't blog about people (not in a gossip sort of way, but a positive sort of way) then there is nothing truly of value to blog about. If we blog about politics, we are automatically blogging about other people. The people running for politics are automatically fodder for a political blog. If we are blogging about our home life, then the people in the home and the people around us automatically become fodder for the blog.

That said, we ought to try to respect others' privacy at the same time. If someone doesn't want to be mentioned, we could quite easily say something like, "My friend, or someone I know" to keep them out of problems with identity theft and such. However, in the end, the world is a world about people, run by people, and nothing happens in the world without affecting people. If we have a blog without any person's happenings besides our own, it becomes a very narrow point of view.

Who will fight for me?

Having become addicted to talk radio sometime within the last year, (Let's just say that I now understand why Daddy used to keep the radio on in the kitchen with the am station playing while he cooked.) I have been listening to Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Mark Levin almost every time I get in the car, and I retreived my old stereo from the garage and put it my music room, so I could keep the radio tuned to 100.7 FM out of Tallahassee. Last night, on the Mark Levin show, someone commented on France, ( and today, more than ever, things just clicked for me.

Universal health care would cost money. Our country is already over spending, so how would we fund universal health care? Senators Obama Clinton would fund it by getting out of the war. Just cut the military. We cut the military while people think more and more medical items are necessary, so medical care costs rise, so we cut the military some more. The cycle is vicious. Here is where France comes in. France has universal health care. They gave up their strong military values a LONG time ago. But when France got themselves into trouble, who fought for them? Who finished the world wars? The United States. The United States has been the world police ever since.

When we hear Mrs. Hillary Clinton and Mr. Barack Obama's speeches we hear how much they're going to change things. Yes. They will change things, but at what expense? When we write into legislation that we'll bring the soldiers home on a certain date, we're writing a poster board sized party invitation to the terrorists. Hey, we're stopping funding our military on January 21, 2009 because we've decided that universal health care is more important! Come get us.

When we stop funding the military for universal health care, and the terrorists come, who will fight for the United States. Right now, I'm more than happy to pay the military families for their insurance and for their salaries. But when we fire them for universal health care, who will fight for me?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Contest over, deciding on winners

The contest end date has come to an end, and I received several truly lovely entries. They were great to read, too. I love reading about people's favorite things and all the entries helped me to feel SO GREAT! Here are the two entries that I like best.

They're both full of wonderful imagery and love! If you'd like to vote on your favorite out of the two, feel free to use the survey on the right. However, I will have my vote, too. So the winner will be announced on February 16, the one year anniversary of this blog!

Monday, February 11, 2008


I've gotten a forward several times. I don't know who wrote it, and I'm not sure if the people who forwarded it along to me know who really wrote it, but it's about a guy who, no matter what happens to him, states, "If I were any better, I would be twins." We can't change whatever has happened to us. We only get to decide on our attitude about it. Julie Pippert wrote a post about her little girl who went to a birthday party, and while she was there, she had a whole bunch of fun. On the way home, her daughter's balloon popped. The little girl was devistated and instantly began to hate the party. However, the mom had a wonderful, attached parent answer. Please remember the good things too.

Really, that's the difference between the pessimists and the optimists in this world. There are people who have a whole lot more happen to them, simply because life dealt them a garbage hand, than I have happen to me, but many of them are some of the most optimistic people I know. It's the optimism and hope that makes overcoming obstacles possible. If we don't believe that things can ever be good, no matter how good they get, we won't see it. We'll only see the good if we're looking for good. I know this sounds trite, and it may seem like the same thing we've heard a thousand times. However, the difference really is in whether or not we WANT to be happy. I can't make Rob happy. He gets to choose whether or not he's happy.

Abusive parents blame their kids or spouse or whomever is around for the person's bad mood. They get mad at their kids for the smallest things and then they blame their anger on their kids. Some famous words are, "You make me so mad!" However, those words are never true. Sometimes, our kids do things, and we feel anger, but our reactions are our own. I can choose to look at the situation and act out my anger, or I can choose to look at the situation and ponder about how to make it a good situation.

The catch to this is that we only get to be in control of our own lives. It is my job to try to help Jackie see the world with optimism and joy, but she is also in charge of choosing for herself. My father is and always has been an example of great optimism. I can only remember three times that my father acted angry. He ended up retiring from his job my freshman year of high school because he was sick with Parkinson's disease. However, even when he wasn't feeling well, he reacted to life with optimism. Optimism still runs strong with him although he's 78 and getting extremely tired. Someday, I want to grow up and be as optimistic as my daddy.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Just about playing the game

Sportsmanship is an integral part of parenting. We want our kids to play by the rules, both in games and in other aspects of life such as grades, jobs, or the relationships we develop with others.

Have you ever played a game with someone who always had to win? It doesn't matter whether they decide to cheat or they work the whole time at manipulating you into losing. They have to win. Games aren't fun with those types of people anymore.

I grew up as the youngest of nine children. My family was competitive but loving, too. I used to love to play games. Some of my fondest memories are of sitting around the kitchen table with a board in the middle trying to figure out which one of us should throw the dice next. I honestly don't remember winning anything but Candyland before I was 10. When we'd play Poison with the basketball in the back yard, I remember my brothers giving me a spot to hit on the pole or letting me move up to shoot, so it would be fair, but I don't ever remember my family letting me win. Even though I wouldn't win, I would go downstairs to the room my brothers shared and beg them to let me play with them. Over and over, I would ask them to play games or include me in their times of building legos into Starwars ships or football players (Ty Detmer?). At that point in my life, it was never about winning.

Later on in life, I started really caring about winning. It sort of came to a head about a year and a half ago when I was at home with my family at Christmas time. My brother, sister-in-law, husband, and I were sitting at my parents' kitchen table playing a card game. Playing games is still a common pasttime with my family although we're all grown. My brother and I got into a discussion about fairness, and (in my defense, I'd just had my son a little over two months before, and my hormones were still COMPLETELY screwed up) I lost all composure. I sprinted down the stairs and hurled myself onto the bed I was borrowing. My other sister-in-law who'd also just had a baby came in the room wondering what had happened. The story of the game tumbled out, but at that moment, I realized that it really wasn't the game that had opened my flood gates. It was the culmination of the pile up of several months, and the game was a speck on top of the straw on the camel.

This past summer, I was with my family again, and my family invited me to play. I declined and went for a walk. My wonderful brother (the same one I had been playing with at Christmas) came out and told me that he was sorry. I told him that it wasn't him. It was me. I am responsible for my own self. I didn't like the way I was playing, and until I could just enjoy the games for the games whether I won or lost, I wouldn't play. If I had to stoop to trying to make someone else lose in order to win, it wasn't worth it.

That's how I view life now. Some things just aren't worth it. If I have to try to make someone else look bad, so I can get the job, I don't want that job. I have been viewing success as an end result. If I received an A on a paper, I was successful. If I played a song in church beautifully, I was successful. Success in life isn't about the outcome. Success is about what we learn and whether or not we choose to be happy in the process. Life is all about learning and growing. Some of the best lessons are through mistakes. Disappointment comes when we set our hearts on certain outcomes instead of trying to enjoy the moment of working towards something. Just as in games, we should try to play to win. However, sometimes you win, and sometimes you don't. It's just about playing the game.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

On the ride ons

Only three days left before contest entries need to be in. So far, I have two entries and they're both great!

Ben got a ride on/push train and a ride on/push car for Christmas. (One from Santa and Jackie picked one out for him.) Both of my kids LOVE them, and the weather is beautiful. It's the perfect time to be outside. Yesterday, it was 68 degrees, and today the temperature was 69 degrees. Here are some pictures of the outside fun.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Hump Day Hmm. . . February 6, 2008

I LOVE the Hump Day Hmm. . . topics from Using My Words. This weeks topic deals with ethics in the social media world.

I feel that this topic is very important mostly because of the way the social media is abused. Look at the internet pedophiles and the con artists. Phishing scams come into my email daily, and I'm just glad I'm smart enough to hit delete. I'd rather lose something I ordered legitimately than give my money to Mr. Crazy T. Scamartist.

That said, I think that the social media venues are GREAT! I love email, instant messaging and blogging. I feel that it's a way to stay connected to people who live all the way across the country, or in some cases, great friends who live on the other side of the world. I also think that it's a way to see other people's views and become more educated by honestly looking at both sides of an issue and really deciding where I stand on that issue. These avenues to relationships with people are only great if we stay inside some sort of ethical code.

In my opinion, the first rule to the code is to respect peoples' privacy. If the person wouldn't give you permission to talk about something in real life, please don't post it on the internet. Also, if you want to post something, be careful how you use your friends' names. Some people don't want their last name plastered all over the internet because they are afraid of people stealing identities. I feel it's a valid concern. Therefore, my personal rule is that I don't post a last name unless I've seen that individual post his/her own last name.

The second rule is to fight fair. If you want to discuss things with people, that's great. Social media is a great place for people to share views, ideas, and good debates. However, please be respectful. If you disagree, that's fine. I don't know any two people who never disagree, but that's great. Disagreement is the beginning of stepping outside the box and learning. I love that part. One reason that I read other people's blogs is because they don't think exactly like I do. If they did, the reading would be boring. However, when you post a disagreement, no name calling, and remember that you are invading the blogger's space, and post your disagreement accordingly.

Since I met my husband online, this last value is important to me. Be careful how much personal info you share. Even with being extra careful, you can still find people to trust, but it is a protection to you. If you're going to order online or try to meet someone, make sure the place you're ordering is secure, or make sure you are careful about personal info over instant messaging or on your blog. That's all open to the public and bad hackers. PLEASE be careful.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Prize

In honor of my one year anniversary of hosting this blog, I am holding a Photo and Essay contest. For more information, please click here. As promised, here are some pictures of the beautiful toddler bed cap for the winner. So far, there have been no entries, but this quilt is beautiful. It is the size of a standard crib/toddler bed mattress. This is not your normal bed spread. The bottom is elasticized, and the bottom corners are specially sewn, so it fits a toddler bed mattress perfectly. Here are some pictures.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Drum Roll Please

The title has to do with the percussionist within, but honestly, this is great!

Buzz. . .

Are you anticipating great news? You should be! My new webstore is finally up and ready for business! My friend Crissy, my husband, and I are doing the business together, and it's going to be a great adventure. Feel free to head over to see my toddler bedding at Yippee! Check out the Our products page.