Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Goal Evalutation and Goal Setting

Well, I missed posting a few days this month.  Totally forgot about posting yesterday!  I thought about it when I went to bed but it was already after midnight so I didn't bother to try to post.  That's really the only day that I didn't post willingly.  The other day or two that I missed was because of the blogger problems.  Soo...while I didn't actually accomplish my goal of posting every day in May, I technically only missed posting one day when I could have posted, so that's not bad.

Time to think of a new goal.  I like having something to work towards.  I've been doing great posting daily to my 365 Days of Children's Books blog for 5 months now!  I'm pleased about that but I'd really like to do more with this blog.  I'm not satisfied with the nothing posts that I've been doing this month.  I need to work on having posts that are actually worth posting.  That may mean posting less so that I spend more time preparing the posts.  Hmmmmm...going to have to give that some thought.

That's what's on my mind tonight.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Budgets are Biblical

Proverbs 10:4 "He who has a slack hand becomes poor, But the hand of the diligent makes rich."

That's what's on my mind tonight.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

It doesn't take long to become spoiled

Last month I had over 2000 visits at my 365 Days of Children's Books Blog.  The last couple of months before that I was averaging about 1000 visits a month and was thrilled with that.  I was shocked to have 1000 visits before last month was even half way through and hoped, but doubted, that I would hit 2000 and was thrilled when I did.  This month I was once again excited to hit 1000 visits around the half way point and was pretty confident that I would hit 2000 visits again, but traffic has been slow the last week or so and I'm starting to think I might not hit the 2000 mark.

Funny how I was so happy and content with 1000 visits a month until I hit 2000 visits a month, and now I am disappointed at the thought of not getting 2000 visits this month.

It sure doesn't take long to become spoiled.

That's what's on my mind tonight.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Good reading material

I got my hands on Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover book. Really enjoying it!  Learning lots.

That's what's on my mind tonight.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My girl is growing up

Last year she needed me to help her get into the swing at the playground and she needed me to push her. Today she didn't need me at all. It was a bittersweet moment.

That's what's on my mind tonight.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Home selling hassles

An appraiser is coming to appraise the house tomorrow. I plan to not be around. I hate this process.

That's what's on my mind tonight.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fun New Blog by a Newfoundland Author

Tina Chaulk has started a new blog, Never Eat a Dinosaur, to share ridiculous things she says to her children, and she invites the rest of us to join in the fun by sharing our own "Never Eat a Dinosaur" moments.  During the month of May she is running a Never Eat a Dinosaur contest in which the winner will receive a $50 electronic gift certificate.  The winner will be randomly selected using Random.org and there are lots of simple ways to get your name in for the draw.  Be sure to check out the contest page for details.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Newfoundlander on Top Chef Canada

I am so proud of Todd, the Newfoundlander on Top Chef Canada. He is really doing us proud. Way to go Todd!

That's what's on my mind at the moment.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Living with poor Internet coverage

I don't know how people live with poor Internet coverage. Well, actually it's poor cell coverage more so than poor Internet coverage. I've been at my eldest son's house the last two nights and he doesn't have an Internet connection here. There is also very poor cell service. It comes and goes and drives me crazy! I can't wait to get back to good coverage.

That's what's on my mind today.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Just get it done!

I just spent quite some time starting a post and then erasing it and then starting again and erasing again, and so on. That's bad enough when I'm wring from my laptop but even worse when I'm working from my phone. Sure wish I'd done this earlier today when I could have used my laptop. But I didn't and now I'm stuck having to use the phone and having the dual frustration of using the phone and not knowing what to write. I give up! This is as good as it gets today. I think my brain took the day off

That's what's on mind at the moment.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Most Important Question

Have you heard that the Rapture is happening tomorrow, May 21, 2011?  That is the claim of a group that runs the WeCanKnow Website.

I think they are right - partly.  The rapture may happen tomorrow. Then again, it may not. I do believe that it will happen some day, that is the part I think they are right about.

I think the most important question for us is not "When will the Rapture happen?" but "What is my personal relationship with God?"

That's what's on my mind today.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It is important to read carefully

Second post for today but I had to share a post I just posted on my wordpress blog - Skimming Google Reader Causes Confusion.

Progression, not Grade Level

I'm still enjoying the Schoolhouse Expo.  Great sessions today so far with Kim Kautzer and Molly Green.  Kim  talked to us about the importance of helping our children learn to write well and gave us lots of great tips and information.  Molly talked about the importance of teaching our children to be fiscally fit.  I got some great tips from both presenters.

My favorite thought so far today has been one from Kim Kautzer when she said that we ought not to concern ourselves with what grade level our child is working at but we ought to be concerned with whether they are showing progression in their learning.  Great advice!

That's what's on my mind at the moment.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Yikes! I almost forgot!

I was just getting ready to head to bed and I suddenly realized I haven't posted here today.  This will definitely not be anything interesting or well put together.  Simply a hurried post so that I will actually have a post for today.  Isn't that horrible?  Is it really worth it?  I'm not so sure.

I don't think I could have picked a crazier, more busy month to decide to post here every day.  What with renovations for the upcoming move, preparations for the upcoming homeschool conference, trying to take in as much as I can of the Schoolhouse Expo on line conference, and then of course there's the normal everyday stuff of being a housewife and homeschooling mom.  Really makes for some crazy days.  Not sure why I decided to pick this month to try to get into the regular routine of posting here every day.

That's what on my mind at the moment.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Enjoying the Schoolhouse Expo!

Though it makes for some crazy days, I really enjoy the Schoolhouse Expo.  My fingers have been flying taking notes and at one point today my little one asked me if I was talking to my friend because I was audibly agreeing with the speaker about some point.  Little One is no stranger to talking to people on Skype so she thought I was having a two way conversation.  She can't wrap her head around the fact that I can hear them but they can't hear me.  Thankfully she was pretty good today about keeping herself occupied so I could take in most of the sessions.

There were so many great sessions today!  I really enjoyed Susan Wise Bauer's session on teaching writing.  Though the session was geared towards teaching writing at the highschool level, I still gleaned things from it to use with little one now.  Got lots of great ideas to use with Little One in Marie Rippel's session on teaching spelling and also in Carol Barnier's session on learning styles.  Such great speakers!

My brain is rather addled trying to take it all in and I'm looking forward to going over the notes and handouts later to get more from them.  I'd love to write more about it but sleep is calling and tomorrow's another busy day.

That's what's on my mind tonight.

Monday, May 16, 2011

What a day!

Been dealing with a little one that is not feeling number one and I've been trying to take in as much of the Schoolhouse Expo as I could so I'm feeling a little worn and torn at the moment.  I'm off to cuddle with my little one for a bit.  I might not make it back so I have to get my post for today in while I can.

That's what's on my mind at the moment..

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Tomorrow is the first day...

...of the Schoolhouse Expo!  I can't wait!  I sure hope I can get DH to keep little one occupied so that I can give the sessions my full attention.

I was checking out the door prizes for the event the other day.  What a lot of stuff!  I was lucky enough to win three prizes last year!  It was pretty exciting.  I love how they do the door prizes.  At the beginning of each session they post a link to a form for you to fill in with your name and email address.  Once you submit it your name goes in for the draw for the door prize for the session.  Also, after sessions sometimes they do special prize quizzes.  They ask questions about the session or the speaker or about Schoolhouse products and you have to answer in the chat box of the session.  Before the give the question they say that the "nth" person to answer will win and if you're lucky enough to answer at the right time you win.  I actually won one of my prizes that way last year.  It's so much fun!

One of the door prizes that I'm particularly interested in this year is the Visual World Geography.  I've never heard of it before and it sounds very interesting to me.  There's other prizes that caught my eye too and I will be spending more time checking them out when I get the chance.

If you were smart and got your ticket to the expo already, you are one of the lucky ones because the live sessions are sold out!  If you have your ticket, don't forget to sign on for the sessions so that you will get a chance for the prizes.

If you missed the chance to get a ticket to the live expo you are not totally out of luck.  You can still purchase the Expo to Go.  Unfortunately that doesn't give you a chance at the door prizes but you do get some free gifts with your purchase. It's also still worth your time to check out the door prizes.  You just might find something that interests you and might be something you'd like to purchase for your homeschool.

That's what's on my mind tonight.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Missing posts and my resulting adventures.

My attempt to post here every day in the month of May was thwarted by bloggers unexpected troubles.  Late in the evening on the 12th I tried to log in to do my daily post but was greeted with a page that said there was trouble in blogger land.  I wish I had thought about taking a screen shot of the page, but I didn't.  I was bummed.  I kept trying to get in to no avail.  Even the next day I couldn't get in.

Panic struck! What was I going to do?  I needed to blog!

I needed to blog not only for this blog but also for my 365 Days of Children's Books Blog.  I've been making daily posts there since the first of the new year.  Luckily I had managed to post my daily post there on the 12th before bloggers trouble started so I was safe for that day but I couldn't miss a day.  I had to do something!

Then I had an idea.  I headed over to wordpress.  I knew that I had started a wordpress blog a long time ago but I couldn't remember the name of it or how to get into it so I decided to just sign up for a new blog.  My main concern was my Children's books blog so I set that one up first.  I got a blog set up there with the same name no problem.  Then I figured I may as well set one up for my jabberings too.  That's when I found out what my old wordpress blog was called.

I tried to set up a blog at wordpress with the same title as this blog only to find that I had already done that many years ago, before I started this one actually.  That one, however, I had set up specifically to share about my journeys through the Bible.  I only lasted there a couple of month.  I stopped posting there when I started this blog.  I wish I could get back into that blog but I can't yet discovered how to access it.  I haven't entirely given up hope though.  If I do manage to access it I may revive it in some form.  We'll see.

Because I couldn't get a blog with the address I wanted and I really wanted to make a post so as not to miss a day and blogger was still down, so I set up a new blog with a slightly different name - Jacqueline Jabbers.  That's where you'll find my post for the 13th.

I thought about moving that post over here, and I may still do that yet, haven't quite decided, but I'm leaving it there for now.  Nothing exciting about the post it just talks about my need to blog and why I had to start a new blog over there.

I had thought about double posting to the blog there and here, and doing the same with my children's books blog in both places, but I wasn't sure if that would be a good thing to do or not so I asked some people that I thought would know.  They advised me against it so I'm going to follow there advice and not double post.  Now, however, I have to decide what I'm going to do with the blogs over a wordpress.  I do want to learn how to use wordpress, partly because I just love learning new things and partly so that when someone asks me about it I can help them.  I've had people ask me about wordpress before but I couldn't help.  I'd like to be able to.  I figure there's nothing wrong with learning how to use both platforms, but I have to figure out what exactly I want to use those blogs for.  I have some ideas so we'll see what happens.

That's what's on my mind today

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Homeschoolers and socialization

Why is it that people automatically assume that if you are homeschooling your kids are going to miss out socially and turn out to be social misfits?  I know an awful lot of homeschoolers who prove the exact opposite.  They are some of the most social and well adjusted people that I know!  Sure, there probably are some homeschoolers that struggle socially, but there are also public schooled children that struggle socially.  A lot of the time it's personality, not schooling, that causes the struggles.

That's what's on my mind tonight.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Roller Coaster of Life

Life has it's ups and downs.

I was disappointed yesterday to receive an email from the editor of our local paper, The Nor'Wester, saying that he had to cancel my column to help free up funds to hire a summer student.  I had been doing a weekly column highlighting children's books written by Newfoundland authors.  He invited me to contact him again when the summer is over.

I was excited today to have James Rumford visit my 365 Days of Children's Books blog and leave a comment on my post about his great book Calabash Cat and his Amazing Journey.

It doesn't take much to get me down - and it doesn't take much to get me back up again.  Such is the roller coaster of life.

That's what's on my mind tonight.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Just one week away...

....seven more days...until Schoolhouse Expo!  Yeah!  I can't wait!

That's what's on my mind at the moment.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Mommy Memories

I don't know why but I've been having lots of mommy memories lately.  I'm privileged to be the mom of four wonderful children, three of whom have grown into wonderful adults, and one that still has a way to go but thinks she's there already at just 5.  :)  The last few days I've been thinking back to the baby and toddler days of each of my children.  I've found myself sitting with a goofy grin on a lot as I remember all the precious moments.  My heart is warmed.  Sure there were bad times, but the good far outweighed the bad.  I am so blessed.

That's what's on my mind today.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Money Matters

Recently a friend of mine started talking about Dave Ramsey and Dan Miller and their thoughts on money and life matters. I had heard about Dave Ramsey before from some online blogs but didn't know much about him.  I hadn't heard about Dan Miller before.  I liked a lot of what my friend was telling me about them so I decided to do some research.  I discovered that they both had podcasts available through iTunes so I have been faithfully listening to Dave Ramsey and Dan Miller for a couple of weeks now.

I think my husband thought I was crazy for listening to them at first.  Correction, I know he thought I was crazy.  He thought that before I started listening to them, but that's beside the point.  He's been on holidays the last two weeks and he's been doing some work on our house so he's been subjected to hearing some of the podcasts whether he liked it or not.  I'm glad it worked out that way.  He got to listen in without me asking him to and without having to actually admit that he has been listening in.

We've been married over 20 years and have never seen eye to eye on money matters, or most anything else, truthfully, but I think our money problems have been the worst of it. I am not a spender at all. I've been wanting to get a handle on our money for 20 years, but we can't seem to work together on it at all.  Over those 20 years there have been two distinct times, about 10 years apart, when I remember seriously trying to work at getting a handle on our financial situation but failing miserably because he wasn't with the program at all and wasn't interested in working at it.  I couldn't do it alone.  I quit.  It hasn't been a fun 20 years.

Tonight I listened as he talked about money matters for about an hour with the friend that first got me interested in Dave Ramsey and Dan Miller.  Is there hope for the future?  I sure hope so.

That's what's on my mind tonight.

Friday, May 06, 2011

It's Conference season!

All across Canada, and the United States too I think, there are homeschool conferences happening.  I'm reading about it all through my friends blogs and facebook pages.

I spent some time today working on some things for our provincial homeschool conference which is coming up June 17 & 18.  I love this time because it means I get to see homeschoolers from across our province.  We are a very small and spread out homeschool group and I think this time to get together is so important.

I'm also looking forward to the Schoolhouse Expo online homeschool conference which starts May 16, just 11 days away!  I love that conference because I get to connect with an even bigger group of homeschoolers and they are from all around the world!

That's what's on my mind today.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Teaching opportunities just pop up

Today while reading with my little one I noticed that the title of the section of the book we were reading was written with alliteration.  We had started another book earlier in the week that also had alliteration in the division titles for the book and I had pointed out to her the fact that the words in the different section all started with the same letter and we chatted about it for a while and had some fun saying them.  When I noticed it again today I decided to introduce her to the word alliteration.  She's only 5 but she loves new words so I figured I'd give her another one.  Today I reminded her of the alliteration in the other book and we chatted about it and had some fun again.  I don't expect her to totally grasp the idea or remember the special name for it yet but she may just surprise me next time we come across it.

I love taking advantage of natural learning moments like that.  I wish that I had taken the initiative to journal about all the times it's happened to us.  She's learned so much that didn't come from planned out teaching lessons.  Actually, the few teaching lessons that I've planned out for her have turned out anything but stellar. It's these natural learning moments that have really boosted her knowledge.  

I wouldn't have known anything about these moments if it wasn't for homeschooling.  I was a teacher in the public school system before I started homeschooling my children.  I thought that learning could only take place in a very structured environment with a very well laid out plan.  Man had I missed the boat!  I'm so glad that I've discovered how natural and enjoyable learning and teaching can be.

That's what's on my mind today.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

How do I want to record the books I've read?

I've been struggling with how I want to go about keeping a record of the books I read.

I love to read, but I don't always get the time to read that I'd like.  I have a 5 year old that I'm trying to homeschool and a house I try to keep in order.  Add to that the fact that I have a husband that hates to read and thinks reading is a waste of time so I try my best not to read too much when he's around.  Doesn't leave me with much time left to read.  I do, however, squeeze it in whenever I can.

A few days ago I actually set up a Reading Log page on my blog and made a list of the books I could remember that I've read, or started, so far this year.  I'm debating with myself as to whether to leave it at that or do more.  Should I do a blog post about each book giving a short synopsis of the book and my thoughts on it and then link that post to the book title in the list or should I add that information to the Reading Log page somehow?  I can't seem to make up my mind, and in the mean time I'm doing nothing.

I read a very interesting blog post about that just yesterday - And this donkey died because....  I'd never heard of the "medieval logic dilemma" that he describes and I thought it was pretty funny.  He used it to make a very good point.  If you are trying to make a decision and you can't make up your mind so you just don't do anything, then you are still deciding on something - your deciding to do nothing, and really that's not going to get you anywhere.

That's about where I am in trying to figure out what to do about recording the books I read - doing nothing but thinking about it.  It's soon going to be time to make a different decision and actually do something.

And that's what's on my mind today.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

What does it take to get renos completed?

I don't ever remember a time when there wasn't some kind of renovations happening in our house.  I also don't ever remember a time when a reno that was started was actually totally completed.  

We have been in the same house for over 20 years.  

We are presently in the process of fixing our house up to sell.  I actually now have a tub surround installed around the new tub that was put in about 6 years ago.  I now have doors to the kitchen cupboards that were put in about 10 years ago.  Actually, that's not totally true. The truth is that the cupboards that were put in 10 years ago have been taken down and new cupboards have been put up, but the doors actually went on at the same time.  Today I finally got a range hood installed over my stove!  It only took 20 years.  It's amazing what can get done in a house when you are about to leave it.  

So, if your house is like mine with renos in progress, just remember that they probably won't ever be completed until right before you go to sell it.


That's what's on my mind today.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Voting Day 2011 - plus other stuff

Voting Day 2011
Today is voting day for our country's 21st General Election.  I'm proud to say that I exercised my right to vote today.  I'm sad to say that I haven't always done that.  For many years I had taken my right to vote for granted.  I found the whole process confusing and pointless.  Then I started to learn more about it.  I had to learn, because I wanted to teach my children.  That's when I started getting interested in the whole political scene.  I still don't know a whole lot about it, but I know a whole lot more than I used to and I am continually trying to learn more.

This year I had the privilege of presenting an information session about the election and our electoral system to our local homeschool group.  During our last federal election I had discovered the StudentVote site, which puts off a parallel election for students under the voting age so that they will become educated about the process.  When I told our homeschool group about StudentVote this year they were excited to take part in the StudentVote program during our 21st General Election.  Because of school holidays in our province we had to hold our Student Vote earlier than most provinces so we didn't have as much time to spend learning about the whole process as we would have liked, but we still had a great time.  I created a Student Vote 2011 Zapd website on my iPhone using pictures I took with my iPhone at our StudentVote. They are seriously looking forward to the next election so that they can do this again. Hopefully these kids will be inspired and educated enough that they will never take their right to vote for granted.

Mixed Feelings about the Big World News Story
Something else making big news in our country, and many others, today is the death of Bin Laden, as reported on the CBC News site.  While I am not sad that Bin Laden is dead, I am also not celebrating his death, as many others are.

I think much like Dara, of Readily a Parent, in what she has to say in her Why I Won't Be Celebrating Bin Laden's Death post.  I can't say that I'm fearful, because my hope rests in God, but I am sad to think about what happened and what potentially could happen still.

Just Two Weeks to Expo Time!
The Old Schoolhouse Spring 2011 Expo, an online homeschool conference, starts on May 16th, just two weeks away!  I can't wait!  I really enjoyed the last Expo that I took in and I'm expecting no less from this one.  If you don't already have your ticket purchased to take in the Expo live, you are out of luck!  The tickets have sold out!  That said, however, you're not totally out of luck because you can still purchase the Expo-to-Go.  If I were you, I'd hop to it.  You seriously don't want to miss it.

And that's what on my mind today.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Can I manage to post daily?

I had made a promise to myself that during the month of May I am going to try to make at least a short post daily to this blog. As I climbed into bed a few moments ago I remembered that promise and realized I hadn't posted here today. It's a good thing I take my iPhone to bed with me. :)

It's not so easy writing my post on my iPhone so I'm going to have to work harder at remembering to get my post done before I crawl into bed. But it's nice to know that if I forget I can still post something, though it will be rather short and less polished than if I'd done it earlier

Think I'll leave it at that for tonight. Lots on my mind I'd like to share but typing on here is too bothersome. Hopefully I didn't make too many mistakes while typing this. Not only is it hard to type, it's also hard to see the small screen, especially as my eyes are wanting to close in sleep. At least I haven't failed at my goal on the first day. :)

So, that's what's on my mind at the moment and now I'm hoping to clear my
mind of all thoughts and sleep well.