Monday, January 31, 2011

Some Great Blogging Tips

I'm so excited! 

Now, don't get me wrong, I learned a lot, and took many pages of notes at Blissdom, but as I said, Caylie and I quickly realized that we were in a world that we knew VERY little about!  :)  While I have lots of food for thought, many of the things that I was hearing, are still WAY beyond where I am in blogging at this point.

Which brings me to Meghan!

Meghan is one of the great girls that I had breakfast with on Saturday morning, and as I began to check out her site, I was excited to discover that she has written several great, easy to understand, BEGINNER tutorials, and bits of advice on blogging...all in one place!

Of course, the tutorials are just the icing on the cake...all of the stuff on her blog is great!  Homeschooling, faith and homemaking are her focuses.

If you are interested in improving your blog (or just want to discover a fun new blog to follow), check her out!!

Look on her top bar, under "extras", then click on "tutorials", then "blog tutorials".  Easy.

You'll be glad you did!

Do you have any great blogging tips or sites to share?

Writing the Waves,

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Back From Blissdom

Caylie and I returned yesterday from our fun trip to the Blissdom conference in Nashville.

When we got there, started talking to other bloggers, and attending the sessions, we quickly realized that although we have both been blogging for a while, there is sooo much that we didn't/don't know!

We were able to meet many helpful, more experienced bloggers, have lots of good mother/daughter time, and we actually came back knowing quite a bit more about this fun world of blogging!

Caylie suggested that we take a picture of ourselves each morning before heading out of our room.  Although I really, really, really dislike having my picture taken, I decided to throw caution to the wind, and go with it!

I'm crazy like that!

Michelle Branch was the entertainment for Thursday evening.  

On Friday, we were treated to a nice lunch.  

We were at the table with these sweet bloggers...(from left to right) Cha Cha from, Lisa from, and Kellie from  

On Friday night, we were treated to Chris Mann and then Crystal Bowersox!  Both were just great!  I especially loved hearing Crystal!

Of course I forgot my camera that night...and wouldn't you know...we were close enough to the stage to have gotten great pictures, but'll just have to take my word for it!

Dang it!

Anyway, last but definitely not least, before heading home on Saturday morning, we enjoyed a great breakfast at Cracker Barrel with this fun bunch of bloggers!

Left side (front to back)...Meghan from, Sami from, Alicia from, Christina from, and of course my sweet Caylie from

Right side (front to back)...Michelle from, Lindsey from, me, and then Jenny from

It was a special treat to get to sit and visit with such sweet, honest women, that love the Lord, and really desire to not only live out that faith in their everyday lives, but also want to allow their faith to be revealed to readers through their blogs. Several of these girls are using their blogs for the specific purpose of encouraging others to grow in their faith.

Quite a few of these gals were homeschoolers...and a couple will even be speaking at the 2012 homeschool bloggers conference in Washington D.C. (The 2:1 Conference).

Such a neat group of girls!

It was an encouraging morning, and a great way to end our Blissdom experience!

Writing the Waves,

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

We Made It...By The Skin Of Our Teeth!

Well, last night, Caylie and I arrived in Nashville for the Blissdom conference.

To say that it was a stressful trip would be an understatement, but thankfully we made it safely, despite the very difficult drive. 

My poor vision, combined with driving at night, combined with heavy, blowing snow = NOT fun!  

At one point, I was so tempted to just stop the car in the middle of the road, and have myself a good cry, but I made myself keep driving, and driving, and driving

Finally, around 11pm, we arrived at the hotel.  I wanted to get out and kiss the ground, but it was too cold, and I was too tired, and wouldn't have been able to get back up! 

Caylie then told me that during the drive, she had been so afraid that I was going to throw up in my own lap from the stress, that she was trying to figure out how she would quickly get into the driver's seat to take over! 

Yeah, it was that bad.


Now we are all settled into our room at the beautiful Opryland Hotel.  We have picked up our name tags, gotten our swag bags full of fun little treats, and are excited to head to the first event in a couple of hours.  :)

I am so excited about all of the new things that we will learn in the next couple of days!  Can't wait!

Writing the Waves,

Monday, January 17, 2011


The latest buzz around our house is that Caylie and I are planning to go to the Blissdom blogging conference next week!!!

We both have blogs, enjoy recording the events of our lives...(she's more consistent than me!), and are interested in learning more about blogging.

I had never considered going to a blogging conference, but when I started hearing about the Blissdom conference, it looked kind of interesting, and I mentioned it to Corey.

Corey has always encouraged me to learn more about blogging, and our family loves to be able to look back and read the posts that both Caylie and I write.

My birthday was last week, and although we went out to eat together, and Corey had some beautiful flowers delivered to the house, I guess he had not given me what he considered "my real birthday gift", so he and Caylie came to me last night, and handed me a hand written "certificate". It said that as a late birthday gift, he was sending Caylie and me to Blissdom together!

I was surprised, and speechless!

He knew that I would start coming up with reasons why it wasn't practical, etc., etc., and so he had already written things like, "Not An Option!", "Kids Are Taken Care Of", and "You ARE Doing It" on the paper!

He knows me well...

Caylie and I are both excited to get to go and learn more about blogging, and spend some quality girl time together with others that share the same interest!

But I'm nervous too!


Writing the Waves,

Saturday, January 15, 2011

OK...So I'm A Little Late Posting Our Fall Pictures....

One day in November, we went to a park to shoot some pictures for our Christmas cards. 

I didn't get my hopes up.

 It was a very last minute kind of thing, and kind of thrown broad daylight...with a less than cooperative four year old! 

Sooo...I bribed him with ice cream if he would cooperate...

...and it worked pretty well!

Christian is old enough now that I don't have to bribe him to cooperate...

...but he thought that he

might as well get some ice cream...

ya know...since Carson was getting some...

Can't believe how much my big guy has

grown up in one short year!

Melt this mommy's heart...

My sweet, precious Caylie.

Beautiful on the outside,

but most importantly...on the inside.

Can't believe that she is 17 now.

 Time flies way too fast...

Oh, how I love these kids...

...and they love each other too

...most of the time anyway!

Counting my blessings.

Loving the little things.

And laughing along the way!

So, there ya have it...

another Christmas card to help remember these 

treasured times!

Writing the Waves,

Friday, January 14, 2011

Great Meal Planning Resource!

A couple of months ago, I discovered a great site to streamline our dinner planning process!  It is called, and I have been loving it!

What hooked me into giving it a try was that since Caylie now has to eat gluten free, and I had no clue where to begin, e-mealz had a gluten free meal plan!  (They have plans for several diets...Weight Watchers, Diabetic, etc.)

Not only did I have a weekly meal plan laid out for me, but also the grocery list that is needed!  I can choose whether I want the list to be made for Wal-Mart shopping (taking into account the specials of that week!!!), or if I will be shopping at another grocery store.

For $1.25 a week, I just print out the menu, and the grocery list, and I'm good to go!  

We have been using a system of putting stars by each meal that we make from the printed out menus.  Meals that we definitely want to make again get 4 stars, and the ones that our family may not have loved quite as much, get fewer stars.  

Check it out!  It just might make your life a little bit easier!  

Writing the Waves,

Linking up at...


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011!

Last night, as with last year, we rang in the new year with the Harrod crew, at their house.

Unfortunately, as often happens, I didn't have my camera, so maybe I will eventually post some of the pictures that Teresa took!  :)

Teresa and I had decided that we would wear our loungy clothes so that we would be comfortable all night, and then ready to plop into bed as soon as things wound up!  Loved that!

We made sure that there would be no lack of snacks for the night.  We had taco soup, chips, party sandwiches, sausage stuffed mushrooms, a fruit tray, cake balls, snack mix, and last but NOT least...Teresa had made me my own special treat.  She knows me, and how I love snacking on Goldfish, so she gave me a cute Christmas container that held 1/2 plain goldfish, and 1/2 goldfish that she had hand dipped in chocolate as a special treat for me!

Is that a sweet friend or what!?!  I love that girl!

We ate ourselves silly while we played games, and laughed.  At times, we had to yell to hear each other over the roar of  our kids, but that's the way it goes when you have 6 sons and 1 daughter doing their thing all around the house!

Caylie was at a 12 HOUR worship event at our church, or it would have been 2 daughters...but at 17, she's not too rowdy these days anyway!  (The youth group got together at 7pm, and had a prayer and worship time as they brought in the new year. They literally stayed awake, and did not wind things up until 7am!)

Carson and Rachel had a wonderful time playing together.  Carson popped the question to Rachel...and  Rachel said yes! Ha! We won't hold them to it since 4 is a little on the young side for life-long commitments, but it sure was precious!

We all counted down and cheered in the new year as we watched the celebration in New York City on TV, and then it was time to head home.

Drew came over and spent the night with Christian.

They still had enough energy left to start a movie, but the rest of us were just interested in crawling into our beds...even Carson!

Love our fun tradition with special friends!

Happy New Year!

Writing the Waves,

Design by Deluxe Designs