Behind the Scenes ~ Moms on the Web

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I am an online Momma-in case you have failed to notice! I spend a large part of my free time purposefully online. I am not a random web surfer, I am always online with a purpose and pray that God will always keep my focus in this area.

Being online a lot takes up much time, and even though I enjoy it, I need to be sure I am as streamlined as possible to make the most out of every online minute! With this goal in mind, I will share some tricks I have learned and welcome you to share any tricks you have in the comments!

#1 Switch to Firefox!

Why did it take me so long to do this? Honestly I just never took the time to learn about it. I switched awhile back and got frustrated and then switched back to IE. After the recent problems between Blogger and IE, and blogs shutting down, I finally decided to give FF a try again and I am SOOOOO glad I did!

Here’s Why I love Firefox (so far)

  • Ad Ons…they are amazing, if you get the right ones and use them the right way-wow, is all I can say! Here are my favorite so far…
  • TwitterFox
  • Shareaholic…works with Evernote too, which I shared about here. You can also re-tweet blog posts with this too with one click!
  • Feedly…the new way I am reading blogs now/it is merged with my Google Reader
  • Facebook Toolbar…if you use Facebook, you’ll LOVE this!
  • Autopager…no more clicking to the next page, it auto-appears right below the one you’re on!!!
  • Smoothwheel
  • SPELL CHECK…yes my friends, spell check is everywhere with Firefox!!! This way I don’t look like such a moron leaving comments for people-since I misspell everything and often overlook it. Firefox even has spell check for that-automatically!
  • BLOGGING…blogging in Blogger with Firefox is so much better. I no longer have unwanted spaces between paragraphs, no longer need to go in and edit html to make things look right, drafts come back up looking the same as I left them instead of a million unwanted spaces. It is awesome.

#2 Join Twitter!

  • Why you ask? Because it’s fun and easy…if you have Firefox! With the Twitterfox widget, tweets show up automatically in a pop up balloon in your bottom right hand corner-you can easily keep up with people you are following without ever having to even leave the page you’re on!
  • Give it a try–follow me and see!
  • I also use Twitpic, and share photos that way. They show up as tweets if you follow me, in case you want to take a peek into my day that way! I am not a big Tweeter, but I do like to use it!
  • EDITED to add: be sure to set your profile to private if you don’t want to deal with *unwanted followers*. I keep mine open and just block them, but if this is a concern for you that you don’t want to deal with, you can adjust your settings. See my comment about this too, sorry I forgot to mention this drawback of Twitter when I first posted!

#3 Follow Blogs in a streamlined way…
Choose from one of the following (or any similar ways)

  • Bloglines, Google Reader, etc. If you don’t know what RSS is and why it is valuable to you, go here to learn more and jump on board!
  • Feedly (the awesome Firefox Ad-On)
  • Twitter…many bloggers (including me) tweet their blog posts so you can see when I have posted on any of my 3 blogs. That way you don’t have to check in at all 3 just to find out they weren’t updated!
  • Email subscriptions…many bloggers, including myself offer this as an option now. It saves you time by only going to a blog when there is a new post-or just reading it in your email.

#4 Use iGoogle (or something similar)…

iGoogle is my homepage and shows me my main online items all in one place. Here is a screen shot of my iGoogle page…
The widgets I use are: Bookmarks (top left box): I keep my top visited places on the web there for easiest and fastest access, Google Calendar (middle), Google Reader (top left): GR is *connected* to Feedly so they both show the same blogs, I can read either place, Weather (bottom left), Gmail (bottom right). I keep mine very simple, but here are MANY other widgets you can add to customize yours.

Here’s a closer look at how Google Reader/Feedly work, I created the blog categories in my Feedly and they show up like this in my Google Reader on my iGoogle page:I live by my Google Calendar…
It is color coded (Personal, husband’s calendar, bdays/anniversaries, each blog has it’s own color, coupons expiring, bills, etc.) The best part is, you can turn *off* each color coded section by clicking the little box over there on the left where they are listed. You can also print based on how you have it clicked on or off. For example, I have a blog only calendar printed, which I keep attached to my Daily Docket, I turned off the personal stuff before I printed it, so it just shows my blogs.

iGoogle is great also because you can access it anywhere, from any computer…so you always have your calendar, your top bookmarks, your gmail, your blogs, etc.

If you have any great online tips, leave them in the comments below-that’s how I learned about Evernote awhile back-from a great reader who shared about it in a comment!!!

Blown Away

I am often left speechless by comments, emails and general support from people I have never met in real life. Blogging will do that to you. I never knew that when I began, but have since learned what a blessing it is and that so many of you are truly friends and an incredible part of my life. I sit in awe of an amazing God who just knows how to bring the right people together online at the perfect time (some of you know exactly what I mean, don’t you?).

One of those speechless moments happened this morning when I read this on my blogging friend Tara’s blog. You may know Tara as the creator of the amazing Itty Bitty Bookworm Curriulum, I know her as an online buddy, who I have gotten to know via email, and might even get to meet in real life soon!

I am actually reviewing her wonderful curriculum right now for our upcoming 1000 Subscriber Celebration and I am VERY impressed with it. Stay tuned for more thoughts on that! In a nutshell, I think it’s great!

Tara is generously donating 10% of all sales between now and August 3, 2009 to go towards the purchase of the Redemption House!!!!

Click the image below to see what she has to offer for your tot or preschooler!!!

Thank You Tara!!!!!!

 

Distracted

I guess it’s next to impossible to stay focused when you have this looking up and cooing at you…

 

Ministry Life

Most of you know that we (my family) are missionaries in the inner city. If you didn’t, now you do!!

My wonderful husband works with recovering addicts, and heads up the entire recovery ministry at the church where we serve. Recently we acquired a property through a sheriff sale to be used as transitional housing for men who are in the pre and post stages of their recovery journey. They would live here while going through their initial detox before they enter a program, then they could come back here when they graduate from their program-to live until they get a job and secure their own place to live. We hope this house, The Redemption House will be a place that will lead many to Christ and sobriety.

We have launched a campaign to raise $40,000 to pay for the house in FULL by the August 3, 2009! If you are interested in being a part of this process, by donating any amount, large or small, will you email me or leave me a comment with your email address (either enabled via blogger or written in the comment). I will then send you a link to our personal ministry site where you can see the detailed information and read more about the house, and future ministry.

If donating isn’t something you can offer, will you please pray that the money will come in, and that the future of this house rests in the Lord’s hands? There are so many details to be worked out that don’t even concern the initial $40,000…we need this house covered in prayer in so many ways!

Thank you for being a wonderful group of people I can reach out to, my husband always thinks it is so cool that I have a ton of Christian friends I have never even met! We will never forget when so many of you covered him in prayer while he battled cancer. When we began talking about how to get the word out about this new house and ministry he immediately asked me if I could reach out to you all about it, he KNEW so many of you would join us in prayer!!! It means the world to both of us, thank you.

Update Dec. 2013 ~ the money was raised and the house is currently ready to house 6 women in recovery.  We are now praying for a house manager and finances to support the house.

 

Tot School ~ Summer Time!

~Krash is currently 37.5 months old~

I am loving my family! We have had the best weekend just hanging out together!!! We’ve really had a fun week overall. As I strive to truly enjoy the moments, I don’t always run to grab my camera, but I do go around the house at the end of the week and try to photograph the things we did for Tot School. Pictures are great, and I believe they really help share ideas, however if I ever become more concerned about my camera, I am not being truly there with Krash. Most of the learning photos you’ll see (which there aren’t too many) are missing their star ;).

Learning Toys…

We LOVE our Stacker Pegs and PegboardK had fun pounding the correct colors on our Silly Golfgame…

ABCs…

Jellyfish Jj…I made this one up for us (although I am sure someone has done this somewhere online). K really liked this project!
We continue to add to our pipe cleaner set, each time we do a new letter. For those of you wondering, I use a hot glue gun to attach the letters to the little cards. (I got the cards at a teacher supply store, I can’t find them online but I will update if I do!!).
We also add in the upper and lower case bean bag letter and play with them. This week we threw them into the box while calling out the correct letter. (my mom makes these, you can buy Alphabet Bean Bags here, they are a wonderful addition to Tot School).

Favorite Books of the week…

I thought I would try to take a picture of the *most requested* books from the week…

  1. Bug Dance
  2. Here Come the Backyardigans!
  3. Gallop!
  4. Junior’s Colors


Life School…

TONS of backyard fun on Friday and Saturday, it was wonderful!!!!!


Fireworks with Daddy…out till midnight-WOW!!!

Mommy’s Favorites…

These are from K’s 3 year old portraits, my 2 favorites…
He was trying to be like big brother in this shot, I LOVE it!!!
Here’s the rest (and the other kiddos) and this is my Bday gift I made for myself!!!!!

If you have a tot (approximately ages 1-3) at home, join in the fun and share what you’re doing with your tot! Here’s how to get started if you’re new…

If you’ve never read this: Go HERE 1st for more details- please do!!! Then if you have any ideas you’d like to share, link up your exact post to MckLinky (if you have questions about how to do that, let me know in a comment or email-links to homepages will automatically be deleted).

When you add your name(blog name) to MckLinky will you put your tot’s age (in months) after it, like this: 1+1+1=1 (36 mos)? I think this will help new readers a lot as they look for ideas for their specific aged tot!

Tweet Me from 1+1+1=1