Category Archives: Blogging

Time….

The big kids are in school, Dragon is in her room napping, and Nala is doing the same. What do I chose to do with this precious quiet time. I am attempting to catch up on a paper project that has been in the works for months. Printing out my blog and putting it in paper format to have for Dragon. My own version of her baby book.

I started writing the blog for different reasons, but then ended up with focusing on our family and the adoption process. It became a documentation of our wait and journey to China. However, once we were home and settling in, the craziness of life overwhelmed me and writing was pushed back behind everything else that needed to get done.

I only realize this now, as I work out the challenges of printing my posts, how therapeutic the act of writing is.  Sharing the ups and downs and getting feedback, helped me through some very difficult day, but also some joyous ones.  As I wait for the printer to respond to commands,  I sit and reread certain ones and remember…

So here it goes… I need to get back. If not for therapeutic reasons, just for the fact that I can go back and remember.

 

 

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Dragon is now two and half.  Newly purchased ballet shoes are for her first dance class that starts this week.  Not sure if I am ready for two dancers in the house, but both girls are excited.  Ms.A is twelve and in seventh grade.  Enjoying life to the fullest.  Throwing herself into a very busy dance class schedule and competition.  Mr.D is seven and in first grade.  Loving the everyday school schedule, so much different than kindergarten.  He is approaching black belt in TKD, scary thought, and trying out fall soccer.

Time…. It really does fly by!

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Filed under adoption, Blogging

Keep the family safe!

I read a daily blog called China Adopt Talk. It tells of any rumors of matching, gives predictions of time lines, speaks of concerns parents might encounter, and adoption related topics. Well, one of the recent post was keeping your family technology safe. Not per say with the equipment we use, but how we put our information out for all to view. She, the Rumor Queen, explained how she kept her family safe and how information could be gathered from you without your knowing.

This made me look at how I was handling my information. Let me put a disclaimer out that I have only been doing this “technology thing” for about a year. It all started with Hubby upgrading my college flip cell phone (used for emergencies only, 19$ monthly plan) to an iPhone 4.

Why such a high upgrade you ask…. This single phone was able to replace my flip video camera, small purse digital camera, and cell phone. I was also able to put all my contacts and our family calendar that links to the “cloud”, so no more carrying around my Franklin Planner. Plus it does a lot more amazing things, but I’ll save that for a later blog.

My purse is a lot lighter now.

Back to the security subject….I am on facebook and I post regularly. I keep my security settings high, but that doesn’t mean anything. First off, I have learned never to post a “before” thing. I only post after the fact.

I had a great day at the zoo with the kids. VS Can’t wait to spend the day at the zoo.

Second, I never post a picture of another child or adult without specifically asking permission. The same goes for tagging a picture. It bothers me when I see my kids on someone’s page or tagged on photos that I didn’t agree to. I have been known to remove the tag or photo, but who knows who has already seen it.

I had recently a business page linked to my personal page, but I found the security lacking and was not sure of who could access this. Photos of my planters were getting “liked” by people I didn’t know and were not my “friends”. This lead me to disabling that business page. I am currently questioning the whole Facebook thing, but it enables me to keep all my friends informed about what we are doing. Kind of a double edge sword.

Now moving on to my website My Little Green Thumb, I have taken it down. I saw how dangerous it was to connect the business website to the blog. Mind you, the blog’s original purpose was to talk about plants, but as we see I like to talk about a bunch more than just plants. I had my full name, contact information, location, and a business license. All thing required to run an Internet business. It scared me when I googled my name and found everything out in the open. I then did the same kind of search for each of the kids. Mr. D is good, but he had not been involved in things. Ms. A was quite different. There she was on my computer search. She was linked to scout events that got in the paper, dance competitions, and some school class list posted not by the school, but by room moms. That was worrisome. It makes me rethink the waivers we sign for photo releases.

I make a point in not using their names, specific places, and try to keep things generic. I actually make a point of never using anyone’s name when I blog. I was even told I should never show my children’s faces. However, the whole point of blogging, is to document their lives and the things they do. Out of town family can keep up with what’s going on and see how they grow. I am so busy, that being able to post our family doings helps me remember them and leaves no one out of the loop. There is such a fine line that you must tread and sometimes I am clearly off of it.

Supposedly even the pictures you post have some sort of code that tells the location. Really?…

So with this elevated concern about safety I will be much more careful about details in my post. Our family trips and adoption trip will be posted after the fact. Along with anything the kids do.

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Filed under Blogging, Family

The Versatile Blogger Award

After some research and some quiet time to devote to this post….here it is.

Thank you Sue (Mac’s girl) from THE NATURE OF THINGS for giving me my first award.  The Versatile Blogger Award.  I would have never thought that my posts would interest anyone other than my family members, but as I write, there are currently 46 people who actually don’t mind reading about the adventures of My Little Green Thumbs.  I would like to thank all of you for coming along on this crazy ride that I call my life.

When you receive this award you have four things that are required of you.

1) Thank the one who nominated you and link them…..Thanks Sue, you are the best.  Everyone should check out her beautiful photography, its just amazing what can be found in nature.

2) Nominate 15 fellow bloggers…..I’ll start with six nominations, with nine to come at a later date.

1.  Living The High(land) Life Charlotte lives in Scotland and writes about life with her two girls, husband, and slew of animals.

2.  crazyantelope Sara has three boys.  She tells of the challenges of working full time, being a mom, and parenting a child who has been diagnosed with ADHD & Autism.

3.  Gardening in the Lines  Erin is a mom from Canada who blogs about the beautiful world of designing a garden.

4.  Bassas Blog  Bassa is a Caucasian Shepherd living in Tbilisi, Georgia.  He loves to share his opinion and pictures of the things he sees in his environment.

5.  that cynking  feeling  A working mom whose goal is to document the life of her newly diagnosed Autistic son.

6.  An Everyday Story  A mom from Australia and her approach to home teaching her children the Montessori way.

3) Tell them that they have been nominated…..I’ll try my best.  I guess I’ll just place a comment in the most recent post they have written.

4) Tell 7 things about yourself…..O.K. that’s easy.

1. I can speak English, Flemish, & French.

2.  I have dyslexia, with no phonetic skills at all.  Thank you spell check!

3.  I do most of my blogging from my iPhone.

4.  In high school I ran the 300 yard hurdles and lettered varsity.  Not because I was any good, just because no one else would do it.

5.  My Hubby is my older brother’s high school friend.

6.  I would love to own and drive a Jeep Wrangler.

7.  I got my first tattoo this fall at the age of 37.

Thanks again and congrats to those wonderful blogs out there!

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Rainy Day with books

It’s a rainy day today. Kind of cold and damp. A day that I don’t feel like doing anything but curling up with a blanket and a book. I love reading. I could spend hours just sitting and reading, neglecting all the things that need to get done. I’ll read anything and everything presented to me. I will even suffer through a bad book, hoping for it to get better. I can’t get myself to give up and not complete a book that I started. If an author spent all that time to write their book and work to get it published, I feel I should give it a complete chance. There have been many occasions that my theory was proved wrong, but others have surprised me. Such as……

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This series was a difficult read. It took forever to get involved with the characters and plot. The topic was quite intense and not my normal choice, but overall an interesting read after suffering though the first several hundred pages.

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After seeing the musical Wicked, I was introduced to this series. A great interpretation of the other side of fairy tales. Very imaginative and creative of the author. I had to read them all once I started the series.

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Hubby picked the TWILIGHT series up for me two winters ago when I was feeling under the weather. I was never into vampires and such, but my opinion has changed. It was a fun read with romance and conflict. I was excited about the movies, but was let down. Those movies never seem to capture what the book tells.

Ms. A is a crazy a ferocious reader. She has long passed her grade level and has been reading books from the teen section for several years now. Although I allow her to choose her material, I also read it to make sure we are still in the age appropriate level. She has introduced me to some great series meant for kids, but fun reads for adults. Reading and sharing books with each other has become “our” thing to do together.

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I just finished…

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Really enjoyed the books. I was able to read them all within a week and couldn’t put them down. I found it way to intense for kids and I even question if teenagers should read this series without a discussion group to follow up with. The movie was very violent. It stayed mostly true to the book, but was missing the whole social commentary that the book focused on.

I currently am reading…

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All thanks to my in laws for a birthday gift card to my local book store…THANKS AGAIN! No one in our house will turn down a trip to the bookstore. This is an interesting series involving dragons and magical creatures and the battle between good and evil. So far I have enjoyed this fun read.

As you can see my selections are all over the place. I use to follow Oprah’s book club just because I didn’t know where to start looking when I entered the library. All those choices can be a bit overwhelming. I now usually look at the best seller list or anything that has won an award. Don’t get me wrong, we spend a lot of time in the library, but Ms. A and I do love to buy books to keep at home. I often find her in bed, under the covers with a flashlight and a book, instead of sleeping. I can’t get mad at that. She will have two or three books going at one time. I use to question her about that reading method, but she was able to tell me the story line and details to each one. Go figure.

Mr. D is a whole different story. He is just starting to show some interest in books. He loves to be read to and will sit down with any book containing animals. He now was a firm grasp on all his letters and sounds. I think this will be the summer he figures out that those letters on the page can open some wonderful doors.

I think I better get back to my book!

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Filed under Blogging, Books, Family

Today I am older.

Today is my 38th birthday…..sigh…..

Birthdays aren’t a big deal for me. I try to make them special for the kids. I try to make the entire day special for them. For weeks I plan and prepare to make their parties fun and exactly what they want. I spend a lot of time thinking and researching the perfect gift. I put lots of effort and thought into their birthdays.

Now my birthday is a whole other matter. I don’t plan anything or attempt to do anything.  If something does happen, it’s because someone else took charge.  It’s not that I don’t want to celebrate getting older. It’s that I have had so many birthdays that I don’t think it’s such a big deal anymore. I don’t consider myself old, yet I am not young either. I am “in between.” I don’t have any grey hair, but I do have wrinkles. I am not sure what category to put myself in.

When I am at a preschool function with Mr. D I feel like an old mom. I’ll be one of the oldest when Baby J hits that scene. When I am doing my winter job working on the local ski patrol, I feel young in comparison to my more experienced co workers. I guess it all depends on the place and situation.

So now that I am 38….Let me reflect on what I have accomplished during my years on this Earth.

I was able to get a college degree in three and a half years and master’s degree at night while working full time. I was able to get a job right out of school and I worked myself up to head teacher of my department. I was highly respected in my field of special education and was honored in supervising student teachers. I ran a successful class and I think I made a positive impact on some great kids. Sadly, I saw several of my students go to prison and one pass away (these aren’t the best memories, but memories that need to be remembered).

Happily, I got married to my perfect Hubby. I became a foster mom to a special little boy. I was blessed in being a mom to my two lovies! I have learned to be patient while waiting five years and still waiting to complete an adoption of our soon to be youngest daughter. I helped build and design a house that fits our families wants. I advocated for all of Mr. D and his special needs. Most importantly, I tried to be the best stay at home mom, the most challenging task yet!

I volunteered at the local nursing home in attempts to teach a knitting class. I volunteered as an aide at Sunday School to an autistic child so that he could do his 1st communion. I spent countless hours in the school helping out Ms. A’s classroom. I painfully tried to run a scout troop for two years. I rescued a racing greyhound and then an elderly dog from a military family that was deployed. And currently, I train and volunteer at the local ski resort as a first responder on the hill.

Lastly, I am trying to start and run a business and keep current with technology.

Looking at my list, I feel that I have done something with my 38 years, but I am sure there is a lot more in store for me to accomplish.

Thanks so much for reading and following me on my journey. There is always something going on in my life with my family. It may not always be big and important, but it’s usually something funny. Lucky for you, I’ll make sure I write about it.

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Getting back on the Wagon

Catchy title, yes? …. Wonder what I am going to ramble on and on about this time….Sorry to disappoint, but I am “getting back on my wagon of responsibilities.”……Hoping for something juicier to read about, let me tell you I would love too, but I am saving all that stuff for my memoirs.

So I haven’t updated or done any work on my website or my store page www.mylittlegreenthumb.com. It was one of my New Year’s Goals and I had given myself a deadline of MLK day. Well, that has come and past and now we are celebrating President’s Day, so I thought this would be a good time to focus on it. Like a lot of things that I have assigned deadlines for, I see the date go by with no progress done on them. I am not sure what is going on in my head, but something is not right. I normally am so good about deadlines and completing projects. It must be all the pop I am consuming. (That resolution went out the window quite some time ago.)

I wonder if this lack of follow through is a side effect of my mommyhood. Its the only logical explanation for this “so out of character” behavior I am exhibiting. As a mom, I have so many things to keep track of that are no longer really pertaining to me. The whole family’s schedule of events, meetings, activities, assignments, and obligations are all orchestrated by me. I am constantly referring to my color coded schedules to make sure nothing is missed or overlooked. With the kids getting older, more things seem to be piled on. I always felt that it would become easier when they became more independent. I was sadly mistaken. The simple things like getting dressed, eating, bathing, and toileting are easier. They are replaced with driving places, supplying things, and lots of time management. This leads to all my personal responsibilities going on the back burner. Updating the website can be put off. Where as laundry and grocery shopping can not.

Well, I decided to do something about this. Get back on track and get things done. My SIL contacted me after my post on Funerals, Succulents, & Bigfoot and said if I was serious about My Little Green Thumb she would help. She came by on Sunday and we went to work. Oh, did I mention that It just happens that she has experience in the floral industry running a shop, being a designer, and being a rep for a huge distributor. How could I go wrong with this help.

The first thing we did was make up some samples for her to go around to a selective number of shops who might be interested in this style of planters. We talked about the huge new trend in weddings is succulents and that could be a whole new avenue to look at.

Hubby then took the two “distractions” away to visit Oma and we girls fired up the computer and got to work. My site is through Go Daddy. At the time it was a one stop shop and if I had to do it over, I most likely would not have used them. But what is done is done and being the optimist, I signed up for a five year contract.

I literally forgot how to manage and work on the site. There was a lot of F—— around, but I was able to get some basic things done. The first thing was to put prices up and better contact info. I then completely took one page down “Little Thoughtful Gifts” and changed that into a page that focused on custom planters. I got stuck on the uploading of pictures, a few more expletives were said, but I managed to get a few pictures up.

I was able to get the web pages done, but I am not pleased with the picture quality. I need to read up on how to stage my planters and work on lighting them correctly. The shots I’ve taken outside are so much better than the ones indoor, however, that’s not an option with the current weather. I’ll need to mull over how to solve this issue. Possibly fabricate some kind of light box to stage them in.

Overall, the website looks presentable, so I turned my attention to the store. ARGGGG….after figuring out the taxes, shipping charges, getting pictures to products, and setting it up to be user friendly, I thought I was done. Nope….I needed to set up a PayPal account and link it up to my shop. Simple enough, right?…..not so much…..I had to link it to my bank account and get approved.

Where am I standing after spending an entire day on “getting back on the wagon.”

1. I have a presentable website that just needs a little work on photos.
2. I have a store ready to go, just waiting on bank approval from PayPal.
3. I have a new business relationship with my SIL.
4. I have a very neglected family in need of mommy.

Who would have thought that I didn’t even have an email address two years ago and I had no clue about the Internet. Look at me now, I am a huge apple fan with a desktop, iPad, and iPhone and I am even on Facebook. As my dear Shopping Buddy would say “You’ve got your big girl panties on now!”

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Filed under Blogging, Plants, small business

Little Globes

I found these little globes that were meant for candles. They are about four inches and have a flat bottom so they can actually sit on a shelf, but I prefer to hang them. I had planted twenty globes for my holiday shows and these five are what remained. They are quite difficult to plant. It invovles some chopsticks and delicate hands. The first in which I have no skills in and the second in which I genetically don’t contain. They are time consuming to create and must be done in the dead of night, so no little ears are burned with the vulgarity that spews from my mouth with frustration.

(I just impressed myself with that descriptive sentence. I may become a  blogger after all.)

Back to the subject at hand….I have one large rolling rack in the greenhouse that just contains planters that are made up. Hubby goes down and helps himself whenever he is in need of a gift for a coworker or client. He uses it as his own personal store, which it kind of is, since he finances the whole thing.

Anyhow……I just couldn’t bear putting these cute little treasures on the “rack”, so in the house they came.  I am limited in my “safe” plant space. Nala does enjoy chewing on foliage and is very ball driven. She can reach anything on counters and my sunroom looks like a jungle. Solution….some bent paper clips (classy right?) and ribbon pulled from the famous “craft closet.”

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These little treasures are currently hanging from my kitchen light fixture. Safe and sound!

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Filed under Blogging, Plants, small business