Thursday, October 27, 2011

Relevant '11: Friday

The Relevant Conference: Bringing the World Hope through Social Media
Well bloggers, it was a long day on the road to Relevant '11...

Last night after youth group, I had the new RealCare baby simulator home with us for the night to test out before my childcare students go home with them next week. Let's just say we don't have children and besides when my hubby is sick, I'm not used to being woken up at 3am, much less by crying! SO I started tired...

Then I had a full day of school including planning for 3rd block since I had a field trip in the afternoon and planning for tomorrow's sub while I'm at Relevant. Thankfully while I was at school my sweet sweet husband came and filled up my empty tank, pumped up my leaky front tire, and left me a frappuccino and kit kat with a sweet note for me when I left school otherwise who knows when I would've gotten to Relevant.

I was on the road after fighting buses to get on the interstate, then I arrived at around 6pm (registration was till 4, dinner started at 5) but to my delight dinner was not over! And though I was so nervous to walk into a room of over 300 women, the table I sat at LaDonna, Stefanie, and many other sweet, kind, and friendly women made me feel a bit more at home.

The keynote speaker after our meal was Tsh Oxenreider from SimpleMom and she was inspiring. She talked about finding yourself in your element, where passion meets skills, both God-given, which leaves you in a place where you are delighting in the will of God.

"Your blog is only as good as your marriage"

"To provide for our family so we are free to serve"

She talked about a blog being income or being outreach... either is great!

And best of all, she had us imagine heaven with our laptops and a PSL (yes, she went there! loveher!) and showing Jesus our blogs, does it bring Him pleasure, does it glorify him no matter the topic, whether it is in the faith-based or secular blogging world.

I love that Tsh creates an atmosphere where all are welcome to her blog, she doesn't reject comments, but allows them and loves on the people who visit whether they are for or against God. This model of living is something I'm familiar with, but for blogging? I never thought about it that way... what amazing insight. Thanks Tsh for sharing with us!

Then we had the beach bash, a hang out session with Starbucks coffee (hence how I am still awake despite the long hours today) and Neapolitan cupcakes. I was completely overwhelmed! I found a few other women feeling the same and met some amazing women with moving and inspiring stories of grace and mercy. I met Mandy, Sarah, Natalie, and many others. I saw Crystal@MoneySavingMom and Courtney@WomenLivingWell but was too nervous to meet them, hopefully tomorrow I will have enough courage, but I didn't want to interupt the time they were spending getting to know other bloggers.

I'm off to bed, but I can't wait until tomorrow!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ultimate Blog Bash 2011

Courtney @WomenLivingWell who will be speaking at the Relevant Conference in Harrisburg, PA this weekend is hosting a Blog Bash over the next 4 days during Relevant. Today is the first day...

from courtney:
"Here’s how it works:

For 4 days straight, my blog is one HUGE link-up party! I LOVE a party and meeting new people!

First, write a blog post telling us about yourself – show a picture of your desk where you blog from, what your view is like out your window, your family, your pets, your inspiration behind your blog, or where you have your quiet time! Then link up under all the categories that apply to your blog and visit a few of the others who linked up! You can find the code to the Button on the side bar – please include the Blog Bash Button in your post so others can find us here and join the fun!"

So here I go...

I'm a teacher in Northern Virginia. I blog intermittently (when I'm not bogged down by grading, conferences, and testing) about faith, running, frugality, and cooking. I love the Lord, love to bake, and love extreme couponing. Taking photos of my recent deals is a favorite of mine.

Like I said I'm a teacher and I teach Family and Consumer Sciences Education (formerly Home Ec) so I have courses like Nutrition and Wellness, Intro to Culinary Arts, Intro to Child Care, and Independent Living. I am encourgaed to be able to teach homemaking skills to high schoolers in a public school, while it does have it's challenges, I have the potential to make a big impact. While I struggle to have to "keep my bible hidden"as it says in the new Brandon Heath song, I find that God still provides me ways to reach out in faith to my students. Being my husband's helper in running our youth group at church (where many of the students go to my school) has been a great opportunity for this.

I just had my 1 year wedding anniversary to my amazing husband, Brandon. He recently finished his bachelor's and is now in full time ministry as an associate pastor. So now I'm a pastor's wife, which is never a place I'd ever have imagined to be, but one that the Lord has led us to, and blessed us in.

Here is a picture of my desk at school from which I blog from sometimes before or after school if the inspiration strikes. I also sometimes blog from my desk at home, which is.... in our dining room. We moved the office out of the spare bedroom of our top floor apartment when my parents gave us a bed to use in there. It's a little crazy in there and most often I take the laptop and curl up on the couch in our living room to blog with a nice coffee drink.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Relevant '11

Well this weekend I am headed out to the Relevant Blogging Conference. I'm hoping to get some help on issues like writing regularly, sticking to a schedule and things like that. I am so excited to meet up with Crystal from MoneySavingMom and to hopefully meet Courtney from WomenLivingWell. These are bloggers who I follow and if you haven't read their blogs before, you need to click on those links and head over there now!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Making Your Home a Haven Fall Challenge

Courtney over @WomenLivingWell is again running the Making Your Home a Haven Fall Challenge.

This challenge will run through the month of October.

This week's challenge is this:
Go buy an extra large candle and light a candle everyday in your home. I will be starting mine in the morning! But you can start yours at dinner time. Do what makes sense for your family. I will be placing mine in the kitchen – the main hub of my home. Each time the candle catches your eye, say a prayer for peace in your home.

I participated in this challenge last year and I loved lighting the candle each day. My husband and I both love candles, the smell, the sight, everything, so in anticipation of dong this again I bought a big old Yankee Candle when they were BOGO free at Hallmark. My scent this fall is Autumn Wreath, they seem to last much longer than the generic candles and burn more. I also splurged a bit and went to Bath and Body Works and picked up some fall wall flowers like cinnamon sugared donuts, leaves, apple crumble, pumpkin caramel latte, and creamy pumpkin, along with a few candles. The cinnamon sugared donut is in now and smells impeccable.

I put our candle on our dining room table which this year is more decorated than last year and helps our home to feel more cozy through the seasons.

Praying for something daily can have a big impact for such a small thing. It is in the back of our minds if we are praying it daily, it reminds us to choose peace. As wives (and mothers) we have a great deal of influence when it comes to the tone of our homes. Will we choose peace, or choose anger, frustration, stress, blame, or whatever else feels good in the moment. I am striving to choose peace no matter how crazy our home is this time of year. Small time-outs, small simple reminders like pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin cookies, homemade applesauce, and a yummy-smelling candle.

What will you do to choose peace in your household this fall? How will you make your home haven?