Saturday, December 15, 2007

Happy New Year

Traditionally people celebrate the New Year by making Resolutions: “This year I’m going to lose weight!” or, “This year I’m going to stop smoking!” or you fill in the blank. We all have areas in our life we want to change and most of us start our New Year Resolution with the intent of accomplishing our resolve but never seem to accomplish the goal.

Years ago I stopped setting myself up to fail and I made one New Year Resolution I have kept, and will manage to keep for the rest of my life. I vowed to heaven and earth, “I will NEVER make another New Years Resolution!”

I’m happy to report, I’ve kept that vow and have felt liberated for so long it makes my head spin.

This isn’t to say there aren’t things in my life I don’t want to correct about myself. There are plenty, but I’ve come to the realization that I’m not perfect, nor will I ever be. And accepting that makes life easier.

One of the things I hope to accomplish this coming year is to convince my children reading is fun. Their are a lot of recourses I’ve found on the web that have helped me begin mastering this goal, and because it is computer related my kids think it’s cool.

One of the best sites we like is Storyline Online. Each book comes with comprehension-boosting activities. For example, right now The Polar Express is read by Lou Diamond Phillips, a wonderful Hollywood actor many of you remember from La Bamba, Young Guns and Young Guns II. Your children can listen to the story, discuss their favorite part, and write a poem about the holiday.

For your beginning reader, they can get help sounding out words and listen to, or read, stories and play the learning games that go along with them at Starfall.

No matter what your goal is for the coming year simply do your best to accomplish it and give yourself points for having tried. Don’t beat yourself up if you fail. Winning in anything is beginning and the old saying, “Try, try again,” is the key to success.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Wrapped In Daddies Love

Daddy’s been deployed. Will his child remember him when he comes home a year from now? Sure, you’ve got pictures scattered around the house, and you’ll be able to see him on a Web cam now and again, but do those things give your child the comfort they want from dads loving embrace?

When my cousin Kevin was called to duty to Iraq a couple of years ago as a member of the North Dakota Trailblazers National Guard Unit his wife was pregnant with their first child, and it was up in the air whether or not he would arrive home for the birth. No mater what happened he was going to miss those first smiles, first words and first everything because if he was allowed to come home he’d have to go back.

I began to wonder what I could do to help bring comfort to his wife and help the child have something of daddy to hold onto while he was away. When the idea came I was on the phone to my aunt. I had a surprise I would create from Kevin’s old clothes and growing up photos although when my aunt delivered a box of snap shots and old shirts I was amazed to find Kevin’s mother had kept his favorite hooded bath towel from childhood that MY mother had made for him years before! It was a bit worn but I only needed a corner from it and the rest of the clothing.

I made quilt blocks from the clothes and bath towel, then found scraps of material that represented Kevin. Camouflage print, American Flag and whatever else came to mind. Added in were plain white squares I used iron-on-transfers to add photos of Kevin growing up. In the center of it all I placed the words: Wrapped in daddies love.

The baby gift was a huge success at the baby shower. Kevin’s wife couldn’t bring herself to use it; displaying it on the wall of the nursery instead.

The truth is; blankets made with photos ironed on or silk-screened are going to eventually fade even if they’re never used. But I did discover a way for the baby to have a piece of daddy to hold onto and hey, if she spit-up on it the blanket could easily be tossed into the washing machine and the image would still be there; wash after wash.

A personalized photo blanket with the image of someone woven into the actual blanket doesn’t fade. The image doesn’t go away. They give children, and sometimes adults, the secure reassurance of being wrapped in the loving embrace of the one who can’t be with us.

The Internet makes creating personalized photo blankets easy and affordable. Chose a product, upload a photo and pay. It’s shipped right to your door without having to leave your house.

Check out these great Military photo blankets. It might make someone feel as though they are forever wrapped in daddies love.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Humbug Mom

Alright. I'll be honest. The Walker family might not have a Christmas tree anywhere in the house this year and I'm not sad about it in the least. Why add more work to my life? But the truth is, I've told my two wonderful children that if they can't keep the living room picked up the tree isn't going up and guess what--Yep, the stockings aren't hung; the tree isn't trimmed--thank goodness the season is really only about HIM.

Now some of you may have picked up on that 'I have a week off from work' line and asked yourselves, "It's the Christmas Season. How did she manage that?" I'll start by saying, it wasn't a planned vacation. Doctor's orders, and I'm waiting to under go an MRI on Monday. I may have ripped something in my knee. As long as I'm taking it easy it doesn't hurt, but standing on it for a number of hours isn't going to help matters. I guess 27 years of hairdressing is taking its toll on the old body.

Fortunately I've gotten all the gifts for the Walker side of the family wrapped and will box them up so Alan can deliver them to Susan to take to her house. (Since I don't have a tree, and these gifts won't be unwrapped here there's no point in keeping them around.) I do have a few items to pick up for my side of the family, and as long as I don't shop-'till-I-drop I should be able to finish those last gifts soon and get them into the mail.

What is nice about my being off work for a week is the fact I can continue to work on the SEO of my website. For those of you trying to do just that I suggest the Internet Based Mom's website. It's a WONDERFUL place to find help and tips. Buy reviewing their suggestions I've grown a lot in my SEO knowledge and you will too.

The photo is of my children holding the first colored photo blanket I created for them. It looks great, but I did discover the TK photo blankets are way better. If anyone reading this blog does check out the site I recommend the TK photo blankets over the PT photo blankets!

Now you know, and have a great day!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Great Times

I don't know about you but I happen to like getting together with my family for holidays. It doesn't happen often enough. My brother lives in California; our sister in Minnesota. Thankfully I have plenty of cousins close at hand to make the season fun and exciting whenever my kinsmen are unable to make it home.

This year my sister and her oldest daughter were able to travel back for the annual chow-down turkey fest. Unfortunately my brother-in-law was unable to tag along because he was told he had to work that Friday, and their youngest daughter is now living in Illinois.

Anyway, I was glad the two of them were able to brave the miles. (I say brave because one never knows in these northern states what the weather is going to do since it's unpredictable. Fortunately there hasn't been much snow and when they leave sometime today for home the roads should provide sooth sailing.)

I was also excited because with the online business I've just launched I'd made a sample blanket for the web site with my niece's picture on it. That's the photo of her and her boyfriend Cody holding it up. Brandy's reaction? "Holy. That's a big picture."

Later, I was showing my sister my business web-site and discovered something about holidays I don't like. When the phone service one is using for business goes down no one's around. At the moment when anyone dials the toll-free number they get one ring and then a busy signal and there is nothing I can do about it until sometime Monday afternoon. (It can't be sooner than that because I have to work at my real job in the morning.)

Great. I'm not thrilled, but I won't get bent out of shape over it either. Everything will be working in due time, and at least there's nothing wrong with the site itself. People can still navigate and order which is a good thing.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

In The Beginning...

"You should blog."

I looked at my friend as though she were demented. Was she kidding? I'm the mother of two formidable elementary age kids. One has PDD--that's a autism spectrum disorder list for those of you who are clueless--and the other one has her own issues. My husband was diagnosed earlier this year with Asperger Syndrome--also under the autism canopy--which brings farther stress, I work part-time and have began an online business. I take care of a cat, two hermit crabs who were alive the last time I check, and quite a few dust bunnys. I don't have time to blog.

Her shrug was slight but it was there all the same. "Sure, I know how many hats you wear. But really, you should try it. Sometimes it helps to take a few moments to reflect and clear the mind."

I told her she was free to blog all she wanted. I don't have time.

But, here I am. Blogging. Writing my thoughts when it's after eleven pm, I'm tired and now I'm the mentally challenged one because instead of being all snug in my bed I'm starting a blog.

It's not going to be a long one, that's for darn sure and the fact that tomorrow is the big after Thanksgiving sale which, by the way I REFUSE to attempt, I really do need to get some sleep.

But before I go I want to mention one thing. If you haven't picked up Josh Gorban's Christmas CD 'Noel' it's a must have. He does Silent Night as only Josh can. Perfect pitch and so wonderfully traditional that my husband didn't complain one bit that I find myself wanting to simply close my eyes when I hear him sing and allow the music to flow through me. (I guess I won't be listening to it in the car!)

So anyway, this is my first blog. I'm tired, and this is the end to the beginning.