Saturday, June 17, 2006

Vacation Time

I am happy to say that my family and I are going to be gone on vacation next week. Unlike my husband, I am not hiring a guest blogger to keep my blog updated! I will be excited to report on my blog next week to let you know how our vacation went.

We are very excited. We don't take many vacations. In fact, about one week per summer is the extent of it.

I completed my Hair, Skin and Nails e-book yesterday. I have to tell all of you amazing writers out there, you are truly incredible. Writing that book gave me a whole new appreciation for my husband's researching and writing skills. It is not easy! It is time consuming, requires sustained attention and effort, and mentally (and physically) draining. I didn't appreciate those facts until I started going through the process of doing it myself.

I learned a lot of great information through my research, especially the homemade beauty product recipes I found. It's truly remarkable to me that you can use many of the items you have in your own home to create such products as hairspray, shampoo, body scrub, hair and facial masks, lotions, and bath solutions.

If you read my previous entry I discussed the uses of honey in beauty care products. My husband and I are thinking of ways to expand that topic and create it into a joint venture.

It's a good thing he's easy to work with because I have a feeling he's going to keep me busy this summer with his ideas and projects. So far he has!

Well, off we go to the East coast to relax, enjoy the weather and unwind from hardworking days. Happy writing!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

"Honey, I'm Home and I've Had a Hard Day"

Thanks, Shania, for letting me use your catchy tune as my blog entry title. However, my reasoning has nothing to do with you!

I am halfway through writing my e-book about hair, skin and nails. I am learning an awesome amount of new information that I simply didn't know before. My favorite subject so far are the amazing number of beauty products and remedies that can be found or made right at home, using the simplest of ingredients.

The most fascinating of all of these are the various home uses for honey. You can make honey bath, lotions, moisturizing masks, and cleansing scrub. You can also dab honey onto minor skin burns to help alleviate pain. There is also some ongoing research about eventually using honey in sunscreen, as its use is effective against UV rays.

These bits of information are truly remarkable to me! I plan on trying each of these honey products before the summer is through. The first one I'm going to try is the honey bath. You add 1/4 cup of honey to your bath water and it is supposed to leave your skin silky and fragnant!

Bees are the unsung heroes of the insect world. They work so hard they make the rest of us look like lazy slobs, no matter how hard and long we work! They produce honey as a career and we are the happy consumers. Yet, they get a bad rap. I admit, I am afraid of bees (mostly wasps, but I run from bees, too). They say that bees are not out to get people and will only sting if scared or provoked. But still I don't trust them. There is something about their ability to fly toward me at top speed and place their little stingers in me without notice that scares me to no end!

But they really don't deserve their infamous reputation. I admit that. I admit that I even admire them a little bit. They are born with one objective in mind-"must make honey, must make honey". How nice would that be to be born with our own instinctive solitary objective that everything we do leads up to. "I must teach kids, I must teach kids" wasn't my inborn mantra, but I found my career of choice nonetheless.

If you're interested in relaxing at home after a hard day's work, think about the life of a worker bee and then enjoy the fruits of their labor with a honey bath. Let me know what you think of it! When I try it, I'll pass my opinion on as well!

Monday, June 12, 2006

My Daddy, My Hero

I went to Omaha this weekend to visit my Dad, sister and nephew. It was a pleasant trip and I was sad to see it end. I don't see my family as much as I'd like to, so when I do get to visit them, it is extra important that our time together is valuable. We celebrated father's day for my Dad a week early since we will be leaving on our extended vacation next week.

My dad has uncomplicated tastes and simply requested Godfather's Pizza for his Father's day supper. We happily obliged him (especially since Godfather's pizza is one of my favorites as well).

My Dad has always been my hero. He raised four kids on his own (my mom died when I was five and the stepmom that lasted for five years is another topic entirely). Dad has had a tough life and some really tough breaks. His wife died, leaving him with four children to care for. He remarried into a disaster. Now he lives alone and prefers it that way. He is scared of entering into another relationship and I don't blame him, butI do hope he finds love again one day. But if he doesn't, I still think he will okay.

He is an extremely hard worker. He has worked with his hands as a meat cutter since he was a teenager. As he entered his fifties he discovered another talent with which to use his hands- ceramics. My flannel-shirt and jeans wearing, meat-cutting, cigarette smoking, silent but strong type Dad, creates some of the most beautifully painted ceramic pieces I've ever laid my eyes on. I never ever would have guessed that he had this talent- I don't think he would have either.

But he loves it. It is his passion, his hope, his dream to some day work on his ceramics full time. Unfortunately, his life requires more monetary responsibilities than he can handle without his full time meat-cutting job. But his hope is strong, and he is not giving up on this dream. Every time the subject of his ceramics comes up, he says with conviction and determination in his eyes, "I'm not giving this up."

He has thousands of ceramic molds in a storage space which he pays rent for each month. He has everything from flower vases to 3 feet tall lions! But he works so much at his other job that he might only visit it once a month. He can only work on his paintings every now and then, when he's not too tired from his long day of work. I admire him for this. He has attempted to turn it into a business twice but neither situation worked out too well.

I admire him for having a dream and for holding onto it and believing in it. Even if he is never able to do anything with it, other than paint some pieces for his family, he has this passion for something. I think it keeps him going on those days when the work is hard and his hands hurt.

As I have become an adult, I sometimes feel that I am the one giving more of the advice and encouragement to my Dad, rather than Dad giving this to his daugher. But he gave it to me when I needed it. I am glad to repay the favor. I used to feel somewhat burdened by it-listening to him talk about how much he hates his job and how he wishes he could have more time off. I felt like I needed to help him, to somehow fix things for him. Now as I have my own family and feel more settled myself, I understand that he just needs someone to talk to and doesn't expect me to provide solutions to his problems.

My whole life, no matter what I've gone through or how long in between our conversations, when my Dad says in his calm, quiet voice that he loves me, I feel safe in this world and a little more sturdy inside. There is something about a Dad that can do that to you.

I love my Dad wholeheartedly and I am grateful for him. He is my Daddy, he is my hero.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Learning More: The Worlds of Toddlers and Blogging

This morning I took my daughter on a walk. We came home and I started to pick up the house a bit. She cried and pulled on my jeans while I was doing dishes until I finally gave in and put our swimming suits on. We got to the pool (picture a two year old with pink swimming suit and hat, holding a green beach ball in her stroller, anxiously waiting for me to unlock the pool) and we found out it was closed for maintainence.

I bent over, and gently explained to Eva that we couldn't go swimming until later. Her little face turned red and she started to cry. Broke my heart!! It really must be hard to be 2 years old. You know what you want, you know what you are about to get, but when you don't get it, you don't get to completely understand why. Toddlers are sensitive little things!

So, how do I smooth this over, I'm thinking frantically to myself. Ah, I know! Eva, should we get into the car and go somewhere else fun? She says yes, let's go into the car and have an adventure!

So we go back home and prepare for an adventure, though I'm not certain what that will entail just yet. As we change I recall the Deanna Rose Farmstead. It is an awesome place to take kids to go see some animals, playgrounds and splash in some water. Plus it's free and entirely kid-friendly.

She had a great time despite the heat. She fed the goats and sheep the little pellets that you get for a quarter, played in the water for a long time, fed more goats and then we came home. She fell asleep quickly for her nap, which I was happy about since she skipped it yesterday.

Now I have about an hour to mess around on the computer for a while which includes writing my blog entry and working on my e-book. I completed most of the introduction on my hair, skin and nails book yesterday and organized the topics.

Now I get to delve into the research! I checked a few Internet resources and there are TONS of websites and information related hair and skin, so my challenge is going to be narrowing down the information. There isn't as much about nails but I'm not too concerned. I can go on and on for pages about pedicures and manicures if need be!

I checked some other blogs yesterday, including Wendy's, who is a fan of my husband's blog. She has some awesome stuff and I can tell she is a talented writer. I can't locate her e-mail address, though, so Wendy if you're reading this, write to me. I'd love to talk about your journaling entry. My e-mail address is

I also went to the Colors on my mind blog, which was a link listed in Wendy's blog. It is a beautiful blog and I plan on reading that one often as well as Wendy's. She wrote about appreciating poetry and quoted a couple poems she enjoyed. I appreciated that because poetry is an art form that I enjoy very much myself. I enjoy reading it, but I mostly enjoy writing it.

Hopefully I can use this blog to share some of my poetry as well as information about my e-books. And when school starts up again, I'd like to be able to share some of my teaching stories as well.

I truly had no idea this blogging world existed until my husband gave me the key! It's like a whole new form of communication was just handed to me.

I look forward to learning more about the blogging world and how I can make it a productive part of my life and possibly others' lives as well.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Anniversaries and Skin Care

My husband Carson and I have officially been married for 3 years, as of yesterday! We were married at Shawnee Mission Park underneath a canopy of trees, surrounded by shimmering green shades of lush leaves and grass. It has been our tradition since then to return to our wedding site and have a picnic where we pledged our faithful love in honor or our special day.

About a year ago I found out that Carson really doesn't like picnics. Yet he continues to honor this tradition, he says, because he loves me and I love picnics. He admitted that he'd rather have had our wedding at BB's Lawnside BBQ in order to have a more tasty and bug-free tradition. But alas, yesterday we sat at a picnic table on our wedding spot, ate apple pie, crackers and cheese, swatted bugs off our ankles (Carson spit out a bug that has flown into his mouth), and quietly, in our own ways, renewed our vows.

Now that our anniversary has passed and my "keeping kids busy in the summer" e-book is complete, it's time to move on to my next project. My next assignment is about "becoming a better you: ways to keep your skin, hair and nails looking their best". Carson finds it odd, but I am really excited about this task. One, I will be able to learn all kinds of interesting tips about skin, hair and nail care as I research. I'm certainly not an expert, but I plan on becoming a bit of one as I go. This is a definite bonus to writing e-books. The process of researching and writing is challenging and fun. Gaining knowledge along the way keeps my mind growing and that is a definite plus!

If any of my blog readers have some unique tips about how you keep your hair, skin and nails looking good, please share them with me. I plan on making this e-book a fun, informative collection of tricks and tips that are not necessarily found in your typical glamour magazine. I invite and appreciate your input!

As I write, my two year daughter is sitting in her stroller, Dora doll in one hand, green, woven basket with flashlight in another, waiting to go on our morning walk. So off we go!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Keeping Kids Fulfilled Throughout the Summer

The e-book I am currently wrapping up, as I mentioned in my debut post, is about ways to keep kids busy in the summer. That is the topic I was given to work with, but I chose to write it from a different angle.

As a teacher and mother, I don't feel that kids should just be kept busy. That seems like a way to say "keep them out of my hair!" I prefer to see summer activities as ways to keep kids fulfilled (or at least on the way to fulfillment.)

My slant on the topic is to embrace the time that we are given during the summer months to spend with our kids. My job as a teacher allows me to have uninterrupted time with my baby in the summer (unless I schedule in some time off for myself, which is necessary, too!) If you don't have a job that allows you the summer off, you should still have some extra time with your kids in the summer. If you don't have it, I recommend making it.

Childhood is fleeting and we need to show our kids how much there is to learn about themselves and how much there is to do in the world-even if their world right now is their own backyard or neighborhood. Summer activities can lead to a bit of their own self-discovery.

As I was researching kids' games, I found "Ghost In the Graveyard". It's like a backwards hide-and seek where the person who is "It" is the one who is chased. You play it at night and it is so scary and sometimes dangerous, running around in the dark. But so much fun. It was my absolute favorite when I was a kid!

Think back to the games you played when you were a kid and teach them to your own kids. You really don't have to do much, think too hard or spend much money to keep your kids busy or entertained during the summer.

Just make sure they are given the opportunities to try new things and to re-discover some of the things that are already in front of them. Sometimes that guidance has to come from you.

Personal Fulfillment Does Not Have to Come from Mary Kay

This is one of my three year wedding anniversary gifts from my husband! My own blog. Last night we had a conversation about personal fulfillment. I was considering becoming a Mary Kary consultant but my husband had a hard time with the idea. In his sweet and caring way, he pointed out that I could have all of the benefits that I was attracted to that came with the Mary-Kay dream, by doing something that would be more fulfilling and aligned with my talents. I was attracted to making extra money, meeting new people and looking beautiful (for half price) to top it off.

Instead of Mary-Kay, he said I could meet new people when I went back to school to pursue my master's in education. I am always beautiful in his eyes (with or without make-up, he's so precious!) And to make more money, he introduced me to the art of e-book writing.

That is why he created this blog for me. So I could have a way to inform others about the e-books that are currently in progress, and to express some of my thoughts about topics of interest in a productive way. In essence, this blog is part of my search for personal fulfillment. Thanks to my husband of nearly three years, my best friend and my love, for being so thoughtful.

I am a mother of a two year old daughter and wife of a content writer. These are my two most important titles. I am also an elementary special education teacher (I will be starting my 8th year in August). I enjoy writing but have not had much time to allot to it, being a full time mom and teacher (and wife). However, summer has arrived and my husband saw this is an opportunity for both of us. I could use my ability to write and he could get the work to me. It's really a great deal. Plus, it's fun and keeps my mind busy and sharp.

The e-book I am currently working on is about keeping kids busy in the summer. Having a child of my own and years of experience working with children, it is of great personal interest to me. So it is an enjoyable experience so far.

Of course, to get the bulk of it done, I had to send my daughter to day-care today, but hey, she benefits from being around her friends and I benefit by getting a bit of time to myself.