Category Archives: life

You’re More Powerful than You Think!

When you think of someone who is powerful, who comes to mind?  Is it the President?  The CEO of a major company?  The pastor of your church?  Oprah?  What characteristics does one have to possess in order to be described with the adjective powerful?Power

I had the opportunity to attend church with a dear friend of mine today.  The pastor preached about influence.  He reminded the congregation about how easily our lives can be influenced.  In contrast, he informed us of the power that we have to influence others.  He quoted a shocking statistic in his sermon:  “The average person influences approximately 10,000 people in his lifetime.”

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Ten thousand?  That’s a lot of people!  I’m pretty sure that I don’t even know 10,000 people.  In fact, I’m a couple of hundred people shy of having a mere 1,000 Facebook friends!  So, how in the world can I influence that many people?  I barely have the time to get all of my tasks done in a day, so how do I have the time to influence 10,000 people?

The fact of the matter is that we influence people when we don’t even know that we’re doing it.  We influence people by our relationships, the way we dress, what we eat, what we say, and our facial expressions, just to name a few.  When I began to think about the opportunities that I have to influence others, these were the first few to enter my mind:

-as a mom

-my position as a teacher

-coaching cheerleaders

-as a youth advisor at church

-as a friend

-shopping in the store

-blogging

-singing in the choir at church

-tutoring after school

And those are just the first few things that came to mind.  Wow, I am way more powerful than I thought.  I bet you are, too!  Take a minute and think about the power that you have to influence someone’s life.  Actively thinking about it will help you to make good decisions and to be the person that you want others to be.  Take advantage (in a positive way) of the power that you have been given to make this world a better place!

How Lucky Am I?

When I started this blog post, I vowed not to spend too much time talking about teaching.  Sorry.  Teaching is what came upon my thoughts today so it is what I chose to write about.  Did teaching come to my mind because I’m dreading the end of my summer?  Is it because I’m thinking of all the planning that I need to do in order to prepare for the upcoming school year?  Maybe it’s because I’m wondering how in the world I’m going to fit a full-time job into my already busy life?  TBH, it is because I was thinking how lucky I am to be amongst those who are blessed enough to call themselves a teacher. 

My journey to becoming a teacher is an interesting one.  I grew up, as most little girls do, playing school with my dolls, cousins, and friends.  Up until the age of 15, if someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, the answer was always, “a teacher.”   But somehow, I got off track and decided to pursue a degree in Business.  It only took a few semesters for me to figure out that the School of Business was NOT the place for me.  It just didn’t seem to be a natural fit.  So, I waltzed over to the College of Liberal Arts and changed my major to English.  

I can still hear the supportive, yet hesitant tone in my mother’s voice when I informed her that I was changing my major to English.  It’s probably similar to the tone that college students hear when they tell their parents that they are majoring in Art or Dance.  Nonetheless, I was determined to get a degree in English, but I was equally determined that I would NOT be a teacher. 

Silly me.  What was I thinking?  How could I not see that teaching is the coolest job ever.  My career has definitely taken the scenic routine to it’s current location.  I’ve worked as a secretary, a teacher, a college instructor, a technical writer, and a proposal coordinator.  I can say with confidence that I have been the most successful as a teacher. 

Teaching is the job in which I feel most comfortable. I love that each school year brings with it a clean slate and a new opportunity for me to get it right.  I’m faced with a new group of students, new ideas, new strategies, and new goals.  I meet new teachers, new students, and new parents.  I work tirelessly to educate students in the content area as well as in character education.  I count the minutes to the end of the day, the days to the end of the week, the weeks to end of the month, and the months to the end of the year.  Then, in the blink of an eye, it’s over.  And I get to start all over again! How lucky am I?

Dressing a “tween” for back-to-school

As much as I hate to admit it, it’s time to start preparing for back-to-school.  I have two children, a boy and a girl, both in the “tween” stage of life.  Luckily, my son is care-free and will wear whatever I purchase for him without complaint.  He’s not into fancy smancy name brands or the hottest looks.  He’s prefers shorts, t-shirts, and flops or sneakers (depending on the weather), making shopping for him a cinch for me!

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My daughter, on the other hand, is the ultimate fashionista.  She loves all things girly and can’t wait to get her hands on the newest and hottest fashions.  So, back-to-school shopping for her can be a little tricky.  I love helping her find hot styles for great prices.  So, before we head out to take advantage of some tax-free savings, we decided to do a little web browsing as to reduce the number of eye rolls and arguments that we might have while out shopping!

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So, here are some of her favorite back-to-school items:

Rare Editions Girls 7-16 Hi Low Dress

One Step Up Girls 7-16 Printed Crepe Button Down Blouse

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My Michelle Girls 7-16 High-Low Hem Top

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YMI Girls 7-16 Floral Printed Skinny Jean

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Well, now that we’ve spent time looking for things that fit her “style”, I’ll go mentally prepare for the fact that her mind will have completely changed by the time we get to the mall.

What styles are your tweenaged girls begging for this fall?

Sticks and Stones

Sticks and stones may break my bones…you know the rest, right?  How many times have you heard that saying?  Countless times, I’m sure.  But, have you ever really stopped to think about it?  WORDS will never hurt me.  Words will NEVER hurt me.  Words will never hurt ME.  No matter how many ways I spin it, the fact still remains:  words can hurt.

The other night, I was at church talking to a friend about our kids and how they are growing up so fast.  Both of us were able to think back on hurtful things that people said to us when we were in middle and high school.  We also talked about how our children come to us when someone says or does hurtful things to them.  I hesitantly admitted that I find myself using that same old tired phrase with my children in attempts of helping them bounce back from the pain caused by someone’s careless mishandling of words.  When in fact I should be honest with them.  Instead of trying to make them pretend that words mean words are not hurtful, I should be teaching them to cope with the pain caused by hurtful words and action.  So, the next time one of my children comes to me and lets me know that they have been hurt by someone’s words, here’s my advice to them:

1. Don’t take it personally.   Hurt feelings are a part of life.  Everyone experiences hurt from time to time.

2.  Express your hurt feelings.  Keeping your feelings bottled up is not the correct way to deal with them.

3.  Let it go!  We are not defined by other people’s opinions.

4.  End it.  The”Pay it Forward” concept is great when it comes to everything EXCEPT saying mean things.  You know how it feels when someone says something hurtful to you, so make a vow to let it end with you.  Don’t say mean things to or about other people.

What piece of advice would you give to someone who is hurting because of something that someone has said?

 

 

Friday Five/Fourth Friday Edition

Once again, it’s the final Friday of a summer month.  That means we’re getting closer to school starting back we still have a few weeks of fun left before school starts!  It was hard to narrow down my Friday Five list this week.  This was an action-packed week full of fun and excitement. Well, here we go:

Friday Five

1.  Cheerleading:  I put my pom poms on the shelf back in 1997 after being selected UCA All-Star, serving two years as captain of the Varsity squad, and having six memorable seasons as a WHS Cheerleader.   This week, I started my new position as Jr. High Cheer Coach, and I’m really excited about it.  Please know, I am smart enough to know that my cheerleader days are over.  But, it’s nice to see these girls who have the same passion for the sport as I did 16 years ago.

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2.  Football:  I’m an avid lover of football.  I LOVE my Auburn Tigers and it’s difficult to tear me away from the TV on Saturdays in the Fall.  But, I’m feeling some kind of way about football now that my son is playing his first season of football.  Despite what I thought, he’s loving the sport, so I guess I’ll just have to learn how to enjoy football while watching the game through my fingers!  (It’s different when one of the boys on the field is your own…)

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3.  Family:  Normally during the summer, I am inundated with things to do.  This summer, I vowed to take it easy and spend time with my family.  It’s the best decision I’ve ever made.  I’ve enjoyed waking up and seeing my husband off to work (and then quickly jumping back into bed to try to grasp hold of any little sleep that may be left inside of me) and spending time with my children (when they weren’t busy asking to go to a friend’s house or having a friend come over).

Family4.  Dance:  Soon, I’ll be headed to the beach for Fire & Ice National Talent Competition.  My daughter’s dance team has had a great dance season and I’m ready to close it out with some wins at nationals this week!

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photo by Coeybella Artistry

and the BEST part of nationals is that it’s being held at….

5.  THE BEACH: My favorite place in the whole wide world is the beach.  I love relaxing and being care free. I love hearing children (mine and others) playing in the sand.  I love hearing the crash of waves as  they retire on the shore.  I love getting lost in a good book without the disturbance of the television and other things.  I love admiring yet another of God’s most amazing creations.

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Oh yeah….I also love eating great seafood, hanging out at cool spots, and shopping!  (shh…)

There’s my week in a nutshell.  I’m ready to enjoy the weekend!  Enjoy yours.

My Favorite iPhone Apps

I absolutely LOVE my iPhone.  So much so that I’ll turn around and go back home if I discover that I’ve forgotten to toss it in my purse.  This relationship is real, albeit one-sided.  The phone is always giving me what I need and I’m always right there waiting to receive the awesomeness that it always supplies.  If loving my iPhone is wrong, I don’t want to be right.  I’ve been on the iPhone bandwagon since the first generation.  I’m a bit tardy at taking the plunge to the iPhone 5, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before I upgrade.  (I’m still a little salty about Apple changing the charger ports on it’s newest iPhone.  Upgrading my phone will mean upgrading chargers and docks and everything…)

My love for my iPhone made it impossible for me to resist Alabama Women Bloggers’ invitation to link up with their “Talk Appy to Me” Tech Tuesday post.  I couldn’t wait to unveil my absolute favorite iPhone apps.  Well, without further ado, here they are:

Facebook – I LOVE having this amazing social network at my fingertips.  I can check statuses, send messages, add new friends, send birthday wishes, and more with the help of this great app.  Definitely one of my favorites.

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Twitter:  Another of my favorite social networks easily assessible through an app.  This is another app that I use on a regular basis.

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Cozi:  I’ve blogged about this great app before.  The Cozi app allows me to keep up with everything that I have to do.  Additionally, my family can add their activities and instantly, our calendars are connected!  I love being able to see who has a meeting, practice, or an event all at a glance.  Cozi doesn’t stop there.  I’m able to add shopping lists, plan meals, and take notes.  I don’t know how my family stayed organized before Cozi!

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You Version Bible App: Incorporating daily Bible reading into my life is so much easier with this great Bible app.  You Version makes it easy to read daily verses, write notes, view videos, or participate in reading plans.  You Version allows me to set up reminders, which is very helpful when I embarrassingly forget to take time for God’s word.  You Version helps keep me accountable to reading the word every day.

Youversion logo

WordPress:  This app recently became one of my favorites.  I started blogging in late May.  I discovered this app in June!  It is awesome.  I can write and edit blog posts, read my favorite blogs, and check the my blog stats!  I love being able to blog on the go with the WordPress app!

wordpress app

ebay:  I love finding great deals on ebay.  The ebay app makes it easy for me to browse and shop anytime.

ebay app

Rhapsody:  I love music.  I love apps.  So what’s better than a music app?  Nothing!  Rhapsody lets me listen old favorites as well as the newest releases from all genres of music!

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Well, those are a few of my favorites.  To find out what apps other women bloggers in Alabama are loving, click the picture below.  Before you go, don’t forget to share with me some of your favorite apps.  I’m always looking for more!

ALABAMA WOMEN BLOGGERS

I Stand Corrected

This week has been a busy one for me.  So busy, that I’ve only blogged once this week!  My long-awaited graduation day is rapidly approaching and one of the requirements is an electronic portfolio.  The aforementioned portfolio is to consist of my responses, reflections, and artifacts proving thorough understanding of all of the objectives that have been taught in all of the courses that I’ve taken for this thirty-three hour educational specialist’s degree.  Keep in mind that I’ve been working towards this Teacher Leader degree for a little over a year and that in addition to pursuing this degree I’ve also been a wife, mother, teacher (high school and junior college), dance mom, basketball mom, tutor, you get my drift…

 

I’m a self-professed Superwoman and sometimes I think that I take on extra tasks just to see if I can outdo myself.  Seriously, I don’t think I’ve uttered the word “no” in so long that my lips and tongue may not even know how to form the shape needed to successfully say the word.

Yesterday, I excitedly pressed the submit button to turn in my portfolio to my advisor!  Boom! A whole week early!  Superwoman has done it again!!  Time to celebrate!  Then, just as my toe was pointed, lifted, and headed into the right grapevine to begin the electric slide, I heard the buzz of my iPhone indicating that I had received an email.

The email was not one I was expecting.  Not at all.  It was a message from my advisor asking me to set up a call with her to discuss my portfolio.  Seems that it needed a little more work.  Why I initially got so upset, I’m still trying to figure that out.  When I got off the phone and truly evaluated how much time I’ve spent working on the project, I felt silly that I, even for one second, got offended.

I’m a teacher.  If I don’t know anything, I know that teachers  have the gift that tells them when students hurriedly complete assignments so as not to interfere with the other things that they have going on in their lives.  Why would I think this instance would be any different?

I stand corrected.  I stand corrected that I can slip some work by a teacher and he accept it as my best because I’ve submitted nothing but my best all semester long.  I also stand corrected in thinking that I’m Superwoman.  I’m figuring out that being a jack of all trades makes me the master of none.  At this very moment, I’m making a list.  I’m going to check it twice.  I’m erasing all the things that prohibit me from having the best life possible.

Friday after the Fourth

For me, the Fourth of July is a day to relax and enjoy the day with family.  We celebrated the day by watching fireworks at the lake.  Other than that, we did a whole lot of barbecuing and eating, just like most other families in the South.

Today, we slept in to recover from all the Independence Day fun.  Since my Internet is still not working, the kids and I drove over to Barnes and Noble so that I could submit some homework assignments.  They also picked up new books, and I must say that I was pretty impressed with their selections.  My son chose Out of My Mind and my daughter chose Trading Faces.  It only took them an hour to make their final selection.

After spending a little time reading and surfing the web in the Barnes and Noble Cafe, we came home to enjoy some leftover barbecue.  Then, I treated the kids to The Special Place Ice Cream Emporium.  If you live close to Pell City, you absolutely MUST give it a try.

I had to double check my phone to make sure that it wasn’t still July 4.  The neighbors are finishing off their last rounds of fireworks and I can still smell a hint of hickory in the air as I step out on the back porch.  It’s kind of hard to say bye bye to yesterday when the celebration continues today as well.  So, this phrase seems only fitting for today:  Happy Friday after the Fourth of July!

Time to Reevaluate How I Spend My Time…Or is it?

I woke up yesterday only to find out that my internet was not working.  After resetting the modem and router several times, I finally figured out that the problem was bigger than my simple troubleshooting abilities.  After lunch with two of my closest friends, I decided to stop antagonizing the kids (or at least that’s what they called it) and call my Internet Service Provider for assistance.

After about 45 minutes on the phone, several of which were spent listening to some pretty groovy “hold” music, my technician determined that he was going to need to perform some additional tests and that I’d have to wait 24-48 hours before they could determine the problem.  Bummer.  Major bummer.  Our whole lives revolve around the internet.  I actually think I saw a tear form in the children’s eyes when I informed them that they’d be internet-less for the remainder of the day.

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It was at that moment that I began to think, “Who are these monsters that I’ve created?”  Why are approximately 75% of the things that they do at home all internet related?  Instagram, YouTube,  Kik, Skype, Face Time, Pinterest, Snap Chat, need I say more?  My kids, and I, are always plugged in to the world wide web in some way or another.

Going one single day without the internet showed me just how big of an issue this really is.  I really need to sit down and talk to my children about limiting their time on the internet.  The best way to teach them this is to be an example, right?

Okay, I’ll do it as soon as I finish updating my blog (which requires the internet).  Well, then I have to submit my homework assignments (which also requires the internet).  Then I have to check my email (oops, internet again).

Maybe the kids are right?  Pass me a tissue.  It’s definitely time to start crying.

Super Soul Sunday

For the first time ever, I tuned into Super Soul Sunday on OWN.  I ran across the preview for the show and learned that India.Arie was going to be the guest on the show today.  Thanks to DVR, I am now enjoying learning more about my favorite neo-soul artist.  Oprah has a way of asking every question that you’ve ever wanted to know the answer to!

India and I go way back to Acoustic Soul (2001).  Her soothing vocals coupled with her meaningful lyrical content make listening worthwhile and enjoyable.  After listening to India’s songs, you feel uplifted, confident, loved, loving, and appreciative.  Definitely feel-good music.  My son has downloaded India.Arie’s latest album to my iPod.  I can’t wait to relax and listen to it in its entirety.  I know that I won’t be disappointed.

Songversation

Any India.Arie fans out there?  What are your thoughts on Songversation?

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