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The Ultimate Blog Party 2009 - Blog Hopping Review

I stayed up late so I could get my blogs (and their URLs) added to the list earlier this year. I wanted my blogs to be near the beginning of the list since last year I was listed way past 1,000. My girlfriend, Teresa, and I were IMing each other and having trouble accessing the 5 Minutes for Mom site at Midnight. Bummer! After waiting one hour for the post to show up at 5MFM, we both grew anxious and tired. Just as we gave up and said good-night the site was up and running.

I was lucky and my blogs were listed at:
35. All Things Cherished
75. 365 Days of Memories
88. 365 Days of Christmas
98. 365 Days of Organization

Whoo hoo! I was so excited to get all four blogs listed in the top 100, I couldn't sleep for hours. : )

My goal was to post at least at half of the blogs listed by midnight the first day of the Ultimate Blog Party. At midnight, the number was 808 blogs. I did not make my goal, but in two weeks time I seriously made a valiant effort but as you know life takes precedence. As of today, I have made it to 332 blogs out of 1,562 (the final number at midnight of the last day of the party) and posted at most of them. Sadly, there were many blogs with no party posts, some blogs that were businesses only, some blogs that had disappeared (due to lack of a proper ISP address), and some blogs with duplicate (and triplicate) entries. I did not count the blogs -- approx. 20 -- that I visited from links from other blogs.

One of the best things about this year's party was I won a prize. See my post titled All Things Cherished is Updated.

One of the other best things about this year's party was the many comments I received this year at all of my blogs: All Things Cherished received 140 comments. 365 Days of Memories received 52 comments. 365 Days of Christmas received 45 comments. 365 Days of Organization received 52 comments. Whoo hoo!

Blogs Worth Visiting Again (in alphabetical order):

4 Little Men & Girly Twins

Autism Interrupted

Brea's Mommy

Divine Chaos

Farm Home Life

Full Nest

Her Media

I Am a Money Magnet

Just Jingle

Life On The Roof

Make Life Delicious

Making Memories

Marta's Meanderings

Modern Media Mom

Moms By Heart

Muddy Boots

My Creative Adventure

My Sweet Babboo

Ordinary is Amazing

Scoring Deals

She Wants to Be Organized Everyday

Something About Parenting

Sunshine 4 Teachers

The Attitude of My Heart

The Italian Bella Diaries

I have enjoyed your blogs and have grown to become a regular reader. I may not often post but I do enjoy your posts, blogs, and inspiration. Thanks. Please help yourself to the I Linky Love You award on my sidebar and add it to your blog. See you around the blogosphere.


Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

"One cruel night, Meggie's father reads aloud from Inkheart, and an evil ruler named Capricorn escapes the boundaries of the book, landing in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie's in the middle of the kind of adventure she thought only took place in fairy tales. Somehow she must master the magic that has conjured up this nightmare. Can she change the course of the story that has changed her life forever?"

A wonderfully embroidered fairy tale. This story will delight readers who like an exciting plot with larger-than-life characters. I was disappointed in how long it took to get the story "started". This book, while engaging, could be told in half the amount of pages. Funke likes her imaginative and skillful adjectives.

Rating (1, lowest; 5 highest): 4.5

Small Talk Six #3

List six animals (domestic, wild, or exotic) you think would be fun to own as pets.
  1. Chimpanzee
  2. Penguin
  3. Koala
  4. Orangutan
  5. Seahorse
  6. Dolphin
Check out the ideas at Mom Dot.

Simply Healthy #4

Laughter works with your body toward good health. When you laugh, your muscles relax, and a stress hormone reduces, making you feel better overall.

Thought of the Day - 4/18/09

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.
~~ Mark Twain ~~

Sing to Me Saturday #6

Say What You Mean to Say by John Mayer

Take out of your wasted honor
Every little best frustration
Take out all your so called problems
Better put them in quotations

Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say

Walkin like a one man army
Fightin with the shadows in your head
Living out the same old moment
Knowing you’d be better off instead
If you could only

Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say
Say what you need to say

Have no fear for giving in
Have no fear for getting older
You better know that in the end its better to say to much
Than to never to say what you need to say again

Even if your hands are shaking
And your faith is broken
Even as the eyes are closing
Do it with a heart wide open

Say what you need to say

Please join me in celebrating songs that touch your heart. Add the link to your post to Mr. Linky below.

Great Resources for Homeschool Families

The Erskine Family has asked it's readers to get out the news about the homeschooling resource that is available today.

This is a great resource to introduce some first-time visitors to the Homeschool Freebie Of The Day site.

They are excited because they ended up with FOUR wonderful resources
all related to Paul Revere and the history surrounding his midnight ride.

Here's the complete rundown:

  1. Listen My Children (MP3 audio) - Great half hour audio story about
    Revere's long life and influence, including the events of that fateful night, as originally dramatized on the radio program "Cavalcade of America," in December, 1952.
  2. "Listen My Children" Listening Guide (PDF booklet) - This is a wonderful PDF discussion guide with background information and questions to accompany the above audio program.
  3. Paul Revere's Ride (MP3 audio) - A wonderful dramatic performance of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's classic poem, "Paul Revere's Ride" as performed by Frederic March. If your kids have never heard it, they are missing out on one of the quintessential American poems.
  4. Art Study Lesson - A neat PDF art study lesson focusing on paintings & sculptures depicting Paul Revere (as well as the Minutemen), courtesy of Yes You Can! Publications. This is lots of fun and a great way to combine history with art appreciation & hands-on activities to boot.

ALL of these resources will be featured on our site today (Friday) and through the entire weekend.

Thought of the Day - 4/17/09

The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and their destination.
~~ John Schaar ~~

All Things Cherished is Updated

Have you noticed? I got a blog overhaul.

I was extremely excited and surprised to hear from Pamela and the 5 Minutes for Mom team during the Ultimate Blog Party. I won prize INTL 28, a Sassy Frass blog design.

I got a new custom header with matching background, revamped columns, a button you can grab, five buttons for my sidebar, and a signature button. Whoo hoo!

Melanie from Sassy Chic Designs was pleasant, patient, and professional.

I'm so excited about the new look of the blog. What do you think? Please be kind, though.

Since Melanie did such a super job on my blog I wanted to introduce her to you, my readers.

Melanie, a wife, mother, and employee. She enjoys blogging, photography, scrapbooking, sewing, cooking, and, of course, sassing blogs. Melanie had so much fun learning how to make her blog unique to reflect her distinctive personality that she now will help you do the same; hence Sassy Chic Designs. Melanie says,"Your blog is your home online and you have your house decorated, right?, so let's get your blog decorated."


Save the Internet

When we log onto the Internet, we take a lot for granted. We assume we'll be able to access any Web site we want, whenever we want, at the fastest speed, whether it's a corporate or mom-and-pop site. We assume that we can use any service we like -- watching online video, listening to podcasts, sending instant messages -- anytime we choose.

What makes all these assumptions possible is Network Neutrality.

Network Neutrality -- or "Net Neutrality" for short -- is the guiding principle that preserves the free and open Internet. Put simply, Net Neutrality means no discrimination. Net Neutrality prevents Internet providers from blocking, speeding up or slowing down Web content based on its source, ownership or destination.

Who wants to get rid of Net Neutrality?

The nation's largest telephone and cable companies -- including AT&T, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner -- want to be Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow and which won't load at all.

But as a consequence of a 2005 decision by the Federal Communications Commission, Net Neutrality -- the foundation of the free and open Internet -- was put in jeopardy. Now cable and phone company lobbyists are pushing to block legislation that would reinstate Net Neutrality.

Writing Net Neutrality into law would preserve the freedoms we currently enjoy on the Internet. For all their talk about "deregulation," the cable and telephone giants don't want real competition. They want special rules written in their favor.

Learn how to tell apart the myths from the realities in this report, Network Neutrality: Fact vs. Fiction.

Who's part of the Coalition?

The Save the Internet coalition is made up of hundreds of groups from across the political spectrum that are concerned about maintaining a free and open Internet. No corporation or political party funds our efforts. We simply agree to a statement of principles in support of Internet freedom.
The coalition is being coordinated by Free Press, a national, nonpartisan organization focused on media reform and Internet policy issues.

What can I do to help?

If you are interested in Saving the Internet, write about it on your blog, then link to Mr. Linky below by using the permalink to your post.

Save the Internet: Click here

Thought of the Day - 4/16/09

It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get.
~~ Morarji Desai ~~

Yes, it may take longer than you expected to find true love or close on that new condominium, but remember, great things come to those who wait. Be patient and avoid negativity along the way

Works for Me Wednesday #16

For some great FREE resources check out the Homeschool Freebie of the Day site.

You can get a new free download every Monday through Friday to add to your homeschool &/or private library.

If you join the Homeschool Freebies Alert Email List you will get an advanced notice so that you will remember to get your download on the respective day.

Some recent resources include:
The House You Live In
Hand Sewing Lessons
Birdwatching for Beginners
Great Time Management Tips for Your Kids
Time Saving Tips for Busy Parents and Families

Check it out at

To get more household tips, organizational ideas, and much more go to We are THAT Family.

Bloggers Unite

Bloggers Unite is an attempt to harness the power of the blogosphere to make the world a better place. By asking bloggers to write about a particular subject, a single voice can be joined with thousands to help make a difference.

How To Participate

  1. Find or create an event that you are passionate about.
  2. Add a badge to your blog and help spread the word.
  3. On the day of the event, write a blog post.
  4. Share your post with the Bloggers Unite community.

I am a member of Bloggers Unite and hope you will join me.

National Mom's Nite Out

Thursday, May 7, 2009
Everywhere, USA

National Mom’s Nite Out is the first nationally organized celebration of motherhood. Intended to bring together today’s moms, physically and virtually, National Mom’s Nite Out will unite over 150 social media groups, companies, local playgroups, mommy bloggers, and mother social networks in giving moms a well deserved night off.

National Mom's Nite Out: the Ultimate Celebration of Motherhood

Thought of the Day - 4/15/09

Just do what you do best.

If you had to pick the one thing that you do best, what would it be? Perhaps you’re a chef extraordinaire, have an eye for style and design or plan parties like a pro. Tap into your talents this weekend, and who knows? You may decide you want to cook for a living, enroll in interior design school, or start your own event-planning company.

What do you do best? Tell us in the comments.

Business Blogging

Blogging in the last few years have become more and more popular. In fact, it is now a common household term. Most everyone with a computer now has a blog, irregardless if they are business people, work at home people, or even the stay at home moms. If you haven’t jumped into blogging, here are a few reasons why you should start blogging now.

If you haven’t noticed, blogs are a great communication tool. If you blog about your business, your blog will most likely have posts that focus on your business but, that doesn’t mean you can’t let your hair down a little. It’s quite alright to post about your personal life sometimes. You don’t have to go into detail - just enough for your readers to be able to relate to you.

Blogging allows you to let your “voice” be heard. Your readers will get to know you a bit more and you will be able to form a relationship with them. Soon, you will have some kind of interactivity with your readers especially when you allow them to comment on your blog. When possible, reply back to the comments. The back and forth bantering and conversation-style writing will keep your readers coming back for more.

You can use your blog as a way to figure out what your readers want from you. Ask them to leave you suggestions or questions about your business. You can even use these as the beginning of a new blog post/discussion. When you address questions from readers and you provide them with the answers they are looking for, you instantly promote yourself as an expert in your field. Soon, your readers and visitors will develop trust in you and your opinions.

Trust is a wonderful thing. The more people trust you, the more they will use and recommend your product/s. People only do business with people they know and trust. Blogging allows you to give your readers a sneak peek into your life and how you work.

If you already have a traditional website, blogging is an awesome way to promote your website. Blog about articles that are in your website - blog only a snippet of the article - like a teaser and add a link to the complete article in your website. This is an easy way to get incoming links to your existing site in your blog posts.

Blogs are also an excellent way to enhance your writing skills. Blog entries do not have to be very long.

Review Your Values

Blog Gone Stale?

Run Out of Ideas? Help Is Here and It's FREE

Here's the problem with blogging. Thinking up what to blog about daily is exhausting. Researching, developing activities, planning posts takes up a lot of time. As if that isn't bad enough, when doing your research, it is so easy to get sucked up into other peoples' blogs and not accomplishing anything at the end of the day.

Blog Energizer can help. We find stuff for you to blog about. All you have to do is pick them up.

Tuesday Toot #10

As I continue with my struggle to toot my own horn . . .

This week's toot . . .

  1. I have been taking all of my pills for one week straight. I was on 17 different kinds of medications but within the past few weeks I finally got it narrowed down to 8 pills (up to 24 doses, though). Having a pill organizer helps tremendously.
  2. I got my cards sent for the "I Love Being Carded" Card Swap.
  3. I'm still doing my hand exercises that my Occupational Therapist wants me to do.
  4. I created a chart for two of my children to use for an anger chart. Nothing fancy but it will work for the purpose I need it to work.
  5. I finished all the Easter decorations before Easter.

To join this meme go to Mommy Community.

Unconscious Mutterings #6

Nina says... and I think...

Animal :: My lovable Chihuahua.
Temporary :: Insanity. Being the single mother of 3, I feel I reach the insanity level often. : )
Moan :: Groan.
Rapid :: REM (rapid eye movement).
That’s for me to say :: A phrase you don't like to hear from your parents. Almost as bad as "Because I said so."
City :: Butler, PA.
Bumper :: Cars.
Eclipse :: Shadow.
Problematic :: Children.
If :: "If only" thoughts are a waste of time, but we all do it.

What do YOU think? Go to Subliminal to participate?

Thought of the Day - 4/14/09

If you want to be a winner, hang around with winners.
~~ Christopher D. Furman ~~

Top Ten Tuesday - Reasons I Love My Son

This week, on Thursday, my son celebrates his 11th birthday, so in honor of his first decade being over . . . and beginning the next decade . . .

I love Cameron because . . .

  1. I love his laugh, it bubbles out in an infectious wholehearted way.
  2. I love his big hugs he gives me every morning.
  3. I love his big beautiful blue eyes.
  4. I love how protective you are of your sister, especially if she is sad.
  5. I love how you often check on me while you are playing, running to whatever room I am in saying, "Hi, mom."
  6. I love how you say "I love you" every night before you go to sleep.
  7. I love how you sing so heartfully even though you don't know the words.
  8. I love the love and affection you show to your sister every night with a great big bear hug with a little silliness thrown in.
  9. I love how you tell jokes that only you understand and be totally amused by your own silliness.
  10. I love your wonderfully beautifully cute smile.

To join others and read their list of tens, go to Amanda's blog.

Love, Doubt, and Thumbs

He told me he loved me. I listened with only half an ear. The rest of my attention strayed. Perhaps our family values were different. Perhaps our religious values were different. Perhaps . . . I was using anything that came along to divert my thoughts from exactly the questions I should be carefully thinking over. Trying to solve the puzzle of my son's mental health issues is more savory to me than the conundrum my own life had become.

I should be happy, right? He said he loves me. But it was not from whom I expected or wanted it from.

I have made mistakes in the past. No doubt I am going to make a lot more. The trouble came with making choices that felt so right or so good while they were in progress. I gave my eldest son up for adoption 20 years ago and it still felt like the right choice. So why lately does it hurt so much?

With being "down for the count" for over 48 hours due to shots received in my right shoulder, I have had too much time to think, and then my mind rambles. I have been looking deep inside myself trying to discover who I am.

I am still searching for me but I do know that I am an independent, single mother who still needs love and still craves sucking her thumb when not feeling well.

Adventure Is As Near As Stepping Out Your Front Door

Blogging Tips #1 - Tracking Your Blog in the Blogosphere

Are you curious who reads you? Do you want to know more about the people who link to you? Are you curious if someone is writing about the things you’ve said?

Bloggers love feedback. Whether it’s comments or emails, knowing that someone else out there was touched in some way by our writing gives us fuel to continue blogging. So how do you track what others are saying about you? What if there exists a whole group of fans who link to you, talk about you, but don’t send emails or leave comments?

The following is a primer on how to track conversations in the blogosphere.

Permalinks, Addresses and URL’s
The first thing to learn is your website URL. URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator, and is the “address” of your site on the Internet. A permalink is the the address, (or URL) of a specific blog post. When searching, learn to type in your main or homepage url to find people linking to you.

For best results in searches, skip the www.

This is the big daddy of blog search. Technorati allows you to search by url, by tags, and in a directory.

Step 1: Claim your blog. Technorati has to know you are there to track what you are doing. Claim your blog, sign in to an account, and list a bunch of keywords that people can use to find your site. There are over 6,000 Mom blogs already in Technorati, so be creative with your tags.

Step 2: URL search. Find Posts that link to you. Type the URL of your blog into the box and click search. What comes up are all of the blogs that currently link to your blog. You can rank them by freshness, or authority, and it is the most comprehensive list. Not everyone is listed, but Technorati is a great way to find out who is linking to you.

Step 3: Searching in Tags. Tags are labels that people put into their post. Wordpress and Typepad allow you to customize your site to add Technorati tags, and it is a powerful way to push your posts to a larger topic. Check out “pregnancy” as a tag or “after school snacks.” As you can see, there aren’t many posts for after school snacks (only 22,000), but it does tell you when someone last wrote about them. The more specific you are in your tags, the better chance you have of being found. Pregnancy has more than 354,000 tags so the more specific, the better.

Step 4: Search in Directory. The tags you wrote when you claimed your blog places you in categories in the directory. While a tag search looks for individual posts, a directory search looks for blog descriptions.

Google Searches
The simplest way to track your blog in Google, or any search engine, is to type This should bring up a list of all the pages cached in Google that link specifically to your website. This works fine for high ranking blogs, but it’s not complete, and doesn’t tell you a time reference.

For great ways to use Google to search out all kinds of topics, check out their cheat sheet.

Google Alerts
Log in to Google (create a personal account if you do not already have one) and create Google alerts. These emails track keywords, names, and websites you enter and forward them to you when Google first caches them Google alerts work both to tell when someone is linking to you and when they are speaking of you without a link.

Search engines all have different algorithms, so for fun, type your name and blog into different search engines to get different results:
MSN Live

There are literally hundreds of different ways to track yourself in the blogosphere. Find the sites you like best and join in the conversation.

Make Me Laugh Monday - Five Tips for Women

Five tips for women:
1. It is important that a man helps you around the house and has a job.
2. It is important that a man makes you laugh.
3. It is important to find a man you can count on and doesn't lie to you.
4. It is important that a man loves you and spoils you.
5. It is important that these four men don't know each other.

Join me in the fun and giggles of making Mondays a better day by sharing some laughs. Add your link to your Make Me Laugh Monday post to Mr. Linky below. (All links not leading directly to your post will be deleted. All posts should be funny in some way. Yes, this is up to interpretation. Ideas include riddles, comic strips, jokes, silly graphics, funny lyrics, etc.)

Thought of the Day - 4/13/09

You see things and you say 'Why?' But I dream things that never were, and I say 'Why not?'

~~ George Bernard Shaw ~~

Have you ever told yourself that you couldn’t do something? Well, why not? You may not be able to play an instrument tomorrow or speak a foreign language fluently by next week, but you can definitely start working on it. Take the time today to think about what you may have been holding yourself back from doing over the years.

What one thing have you been holding yourself back from? Tell us in the comments.

More Than Colored Eggs

Jesus is THE reason for the season!

Thought of the Day - 4/12/09

Never look down on anybody unless you're helping him up.
~~ Jesse Jackson ~~

Happy Easter!

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, who upon this day did conquer death and rise from the dead, and who lives forever more, help us never to forget Your presence is forever with us.

Help us to remember,

That you are with us in times of perplexity to guide and direct,
That you are with us in times of sorrow to comfort and console,
That you are with us in times of temptation to strengthen and inspire,
That you are with us in times of loneliness to cheer and befriend,
That you are with us even in death to bring us to the glory of Your side.

Lord in your mercy, please hear our prayer. Amen.

Christ the Lord is risen today! Hallelujah!

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