Now, it's not the children's book that I'm still hoping to find a publisher for; it's something else. My friend Brenda sent me a link a few weeks ago about getting paid to write articles on the internet. I did a lot of research on the subject, and I finally found a website that I felt comfortable with. There are a lot out there, but not all of them "felt" either reputable to me or that I might be a good fit for. I was also leery of sites that accepted just any article from any person.

Anyway, I finally applied for a job with one website, but I was extremely nervous because they gave me five different mini writing assignments during the application part. Many people, well, many of you all have complimented my writing style, but it is something completely different to send my work to a professional editor hoping that it is good enough to get me a job. My tummy was a mess!

I screamed so loudly when I read my acceptance letter late at night last week, that I woke Jeremy up, and he popped up from his pillow punching, ready to defend me from anything. (My Hero!)

For the last several days, I've been attending some online classes to become oriented with the website, it's goals, the article guidelines and what-not. Then I accepted my first writing assignment and began researching the information for the article I would be writing. It's a lot more work than I expected, but I'm really enjoying the feeling of having my brain in gear again.

I finally had all of my research finished and organized, and I was ready to write my first article. I've been having trouble with my computer lately (I think it's been ever since I upgraded to Internet Explorer 9), and I just knew my computer would freeze again while I typed. It's been freezing every few hours, and I lose whatever I'm working on -- horribleness! I determined to save after every paragraph, this time. (I usually forget to save, and my only redemption are the autosave features on many websites.)

Imagine with me my horror when I found that there was no save button AND no autosave feature at my new site. !!!!! So, I needed to work as quickly as possible. The synapses in my gray matter were firing quickly and creatively. It felt so good to WRITE!

And then it happened. My mouse quit moving, my computer quit responding. I was over halfway through, and all those hyperlinks I had put in...I went into mourning even before the computer had finished its reboot. I knew it would all be lost. There was just one chance! If only the site had somehow, miraculously kept the information somewhere.

I logged back on, hoping. Hoping. HOPING.

No. It was gone.

And now my computer is too.

(Just kidding.)

I finally submitted my first article around 1:15 am last night, and I waited and waited for the verdict from my editor. I wasn't sure how he would respond, either by calling me, or emailing me, or if he thought my article was good enough, would he just post it on the website? I've been checking email and the website ALL. DAY.

And just now, The Email came. I saw his name in the Sender line, and my heart stopped beating. It really did. (I am actually typing this post while I am dead.)

(You should probably print it and keep it somewhere safe since it is a medical miracle and will be very valuable someday.)

He said, and I quote (because I am not above bragging), "Congratulations on posting your first article as the Ft. Wayne Family Recreation Examiner! I had a chance to review it, and I thought it was excellent - a solid read with a nice mix of information and insight."


Can you believe it?! He liked it!!!! In fact, he published it! Hooray!!!!

I am SO EXCITED! (Did you notice?)

So now, I am off to the website to see if I can find my article. I'll probably attach a link here so you can read it too, if you want. It's geared towards people who live near me, and it's informative rather than interesting, so all of you far away people won't get much out of it, but I think the number of clicks or reads I get affects my paycheck, so feel free to click away.

In fact, I'll go get that link now, and put it up here. (I like bigger paychecks!) :-)

This is my website

This is my first ever article(!) Memorial Day Weekend 2011: Ft. Wayne's guide to budget-friendly family fun
And I apparently am not.

Today, the girls and I were cleaning up the toy room. We're preparing for a big garage sale on June 16-18 (if you're in my town, come out and buy something from us, please!)

In order to encourage the girls to quit goofing off, and in an effort to possibly instill a great work ethic into my children while they are still young, I decided that instead of firmly reminding them to keep working, I would use some sort of psychology on them. (See, the fact that I have no idea what sort of psychology I was using should have been a clue to me that I'm not licensed in this stuff.)

I looked at my playing daughters and with a joyful expression and gratefulness in my voice, I said, "Girls, you know what I am so happy about? I am so glad that I have girls who like to work hard and do a great job cleaning. That just makes me so glad!"

Without looking up from her play, Liberty offered a logical option, "We could also just tell you a joke to make you glad, Mommy."
So, I mentioned that I've been keeping a log of my daily activities, and I thought you'd enjoy this glimpse into one of my days and my attempts to get things done around the house.

7:40 - Get up
7:50 - Girls up: morning fun time together
8:00 - Spend time with God
8:15 - Stretch for the day (part of my healthy life-style)
8:30 - Feed the girls breakfast
8:40 - Get dressed
8:47 - Realize I did not get car seats out of the van (Jeremy has been driving my van to work because he sprained his ankle and can no longer operate the clutch pedal on his manual truck.)
8:49 - Call Meagan to brainstorm zoo options (we were planning to go the zoo together)
8:53 - Call Jeremy to see if trading vehicles is an option
9:01 - Call Meagan to back out of zoo trip
9:03 - Help Mercy get dressed
9:21 - Discuss with Liberty the idea of getting dressed, decide to let her play in her pajamas for a while longer

The girls are now riding their bikes around in circles inside the garage.

9:24 - Sit down to update daily log
9:33 - Eat breakfast: one whole wheat toast with butter, one granola bar (flax almond honey), two cups of water
9:44 - Hear garage door going up; tell Liberty that if she wants to play outside, she HAS to wear clothing.
9:46 - Supervise Liberty dressing herself. Help with shoes. Supervise Mercy putting her own socks on. Help with shoes.

10:03 - Both girls outside, time to clean living room

  • Instruct girls outside not to swim in the giant mud puddle. Back to cleaning living room.

  • Neighbor Meagan stops by to talk. Back to cleaning living room.

  • Go outside to help Mercy with her stuck tricycle and decide to also bring trash can back from the street. Back to cleaning living room.

  • Go outside to record girls riding bikes together (they were too cute not to record them). Back to cleaning living room.

  • Go outside to give girls picnic snack: raisins, bananas, water. Back to cleaning living room.

10:52 - Living room finally finished, start cleaning dining room

  • Hear Mercy crying, go outside to see what's wrong. Provide new cup of water to replace her spilled water. Mercy comes inside. Back to cleaning dining room.

  • Stop Mercy from coloring on my important paperwork; set her up in the toy room with crayons. Back to cleaning dining room.

  • Liberty comes inside to throw away her banana peel. She decides she wants to color, too.

  • Mercy stops coloring to help me clean. Back to cleaning dining room.

11:19 - Dining room finally finished (except for chairs that I left in a train formation in the living room for Mercy to play with)

11:20 - Go see the picture Liberty has colored. Testify loudly of its wonderfulness.

11:23 - Snack time for Mommy: organic Greek yogurt, strawberries, one cup water

  • Neighbor Dick comes over to chat

12:00 - Lunch time: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cantaloupe, pretzels

12:18 - Begin cleaning kitchen island

12:21 - Hear girls talking to our mailman Mark; go outside to join the conversation
12:25 - Deliver misdirected mail to our neighbor Melissa
12:30 - Open and read letter from friend Amy
12:36 - Start to call Amy, realize I haven't looked up our movie time yet, log onto computer to look up movie times
12:47 - Call Amy

12:56 - Change Mercy's diaper

1:02 - Receive phone call from Ginny just to chat

1:10 - Get shoes and socks back on the girls so we can walk around the pond.
1:14 - Remember to gather egg hunt receipts so that I can turn them in to the neighborhood association treasurer on our way home from the walk
1:15 - Go for walk
1:40 - Stop off at treasurer's house and end up talking for a while
2:03 - Start walking again

2:48 - Find a baby turtle!
2:52 - Take her home and put her in Hugs' and Kisses' old fish bowl
2:55 - Fill the bowl with mud, rocks, plants and water
3:02 - Convince the girls to leave the turtle and go to Rest Time in their room

3:03 - My snack time: walnuts, almonds, cranberries, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds

3:06 - Finish cleaning kitchen island
3:10 - Straighten garage and front yard
3:17 - Clean rest of kitchen, do dishes, empty, refill and start dishwasher (that starting part, I'm particularly proud of because I usually forget it), plan for supper, set table, take out garbage
4:03 - Sort coupons, sort mail, catch up on emails
4:45 - Put chicken into oven
4:51 - Work on ladies' newsletter Sisterhood Sentinel

5:07 - Girls wake up
5:09 - Check on the turtle
5:12 - Small snack: one stick of string cheese
5:27 - Girls go outside; TURTLE LOST! Short search and rescue party begins

5:35 - We give up. Mercy goes to the park in our backyard; Liberty wails on the front porch over her lost turtle; I go inside to finish cooking supper

5:55 - Receive phone call from Jeremy to tell me to eat supper without him, he's running late getting home because a train is stopped on the tracks, and he loves me :-)

6:03 - Call girls in to wash up for supper
6:12 - Eat supper
6:23 - DADDY'S HOME!!!!!! HOORAY!!!!!
6:45 - Supper over; search for Lollipop Rainbow (the turtle) begins again

6:57 - Daddy is our hero! He finds Lollipop Rainbow! (She had buried herself in the mud at the bottom of the bowl.)

  • We all play outside.

  • LeRoy and Tricia and kids come over to chat, and they have to be introduced to our newest family member.

  • Sharon and Deb stop by to chat on their way around the pond, and they have to be introduced to our newest family member.

  • Liberty is beside herself with joy over Lollipop.

8:30 - Bath time for the girls
8:50 - Keys for Kids (our bedtime devotional book)
9:00 - Bedtime (otherwise known as Mommy and Daddy time!!)

9:20 - Jeremy calls his Dad, and I clean up the kitchen and dining room
9:34 - Research "How to Care for Painted Turtles" online
10:30 - Work on Sisterhood Sentinel, and then prepare for next week's Sunday School Lesson

1:06 - Go to bed (As you can see, I did not keep to my healthy bedtime schedule.)

And there you have it. I hope it amused you rather than boring you!

I've been making some changes to the way I order my days, and as a result, the blog has fallen by the wayside. That's not what I intended at all; it's just the way it happened.

It took me a while after moving from Iowa to begin putting down new roots here in Indiana. Additionally, while living in the apartment and waiting to find a home, I felt like I was dangling in a limbo zone where I could not get involved in a whole lot. In fact, Jeremy asked me not to get involved in much because he felt that he could not handle much more juggling or family responsibilities until he felt more settled.

But now: now we've moved, and not only have we moved into a wonderful house, we've also moved into a wonderful neighborhood. I feel like I am finally able to settle into life and get involved! A while ago, I began teaching the four and five year old Sunday School class at my church, then I started working on the ladies' newsletter, then my friend and I started planning an Easter Egg Hunt for our neighborhood, now we're starting a neighborhood mom's group together, and I've got plans in the works to begin a neighborhood events committee. Add onto that, the fact that I'm involved in a Wednesday night Ladies' Bible Study, a Thursday night mentoring relationship, a once-a-week soccer practice for Liberty, and a Saturday soccer game for Liberty. But you know the most wonderful part? I'm slowly making friends! Friends who want to get together, neighbors who come over just to chat with me during the day, people from church and the community who have gotten to know me and who ask me to participate in various activities, all while I'm trying to write and publish books, train my children to become Godly citizens, keep a clean house, be an awesomely sexy wife, and the list goes on.

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that this new healthy life-style I'm trying to maintain requires that I get enough sleep at night. Can you imagine? No more getting extra work done after the kids go to bed. No more reading and writing blog posts until the wee hours of the morning. Now THAT is sad! (By the way, I've lost fourteen pounds in three months, so there's definitely an upside. But I'm still very sad about not blogging, and I'm missing out on the lives of my online friends. Do you know that I regularly compose blog posts in my mind during the day for you guys [but really for me, because I just can't help it], but I have no time at night to get those thoughts onto the computer before my bedtime? 'Tis a sad, sad thing!)

Suddenly, my plate is very full, and my life is overflowing with life! My days are filled to the fullest with activity of many kinds, so full in fact, that I began feeling very down about my ability to accomplish simple tasks and to meet deadlines as they come up. I told my mentor, "I'm a failure as a person. I'm not getting anything done! What is wrong with me?"

She suggested that I keep a running log of my daily activities so that I might be able to identify a pattern and make some appropriate changes. I took her advise this week, and that is when I realized: I am not a failure! The difference between these past few months and last year is the fact that I'm finally living! The reason I am exhausted at the end of the day and unable to summon the energy to remember my post (let alone type a post) is because I am no longer sitting on my rear end all day long wishing I could get involved.

I'm so grateful for this daily logging exercise that Sherry has suggested to me, because it helped me discover the surprising fullness in my life. Of course, I can find room for improvement in how I spend my time. Writing down what I'm doing from minute to minute has helped me cut my tendency to hop from task to task without actually finishing anything - that has been a huge improvement! Now, when I get interrupted from doing the dishes by my children or my neighbors or the telephone, instead of returning to the room and starting an entirely different task, I now look at my notebook where I wrote down what time I began washing dishes, and my brain says, "Oh yeah, I was washing dishes. I need to finish that."

Can you say, "BREAK-THROUGH!"

Or maybe you should say, "There's nothing shiny over here."