Wednesday, April 13, 2011

it's idol season again!!!!

Oh my oh my oh my...who do you vote for this Idol season? I am absolutely crazy about JAMES this year! I'm think I must be a closet rock freak or something. I don't even like metal, but whatever he sang tonight, I'll take some more of that! I hope everyone else is liking him as much as I am.

But then there is Jacob. That voice, my goodness! He's amazing. Sheer brilliance, a voice crafted by a genius God! And I love, love his character. Beautiful.

And then we have Casey. Casey, cool Casey. He just does his own thing, all the way to the extreme. He's quirky, crazy, and I would buy his music today.

And Lauren is my favorite girl, since Naima was eliminated. She had so much spirit and heart, but Lauren has been one of my favorites from the start.

Haley seems very shallow to me...she has the package, she flaunts it, she milks out that sex appeal thing as far as it will go. She does have a nice voice, but it's inconsistent at times, and I always feel like she's putting on a persona that she thinks people will like. She could go home tomorrow, and I wouldn't give a fig to see her again. For me, she's forgettable.

Now I know that all the Stefano and Scotty lovers will hate me for this, but they'll be fine without winning this, so they could go anytime, too. Sorry Charlie. No cigar for me.

Who's left? Oh, Paul. He's got that raspy Rod Stewart voice, and I'm sure he's a nice guy, but the last one standing? I very much doubt he'll be there. I do enjoy watching him perform...he looks like a giant leprecaun sometimes, the way he bounces around the stage. Mr. Happy.

I don't think there was a BAD singer in the top 12 this year, but I do think there are a few very good singers. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Starting a Micro-Business, For Teens

This is a great book! As I was going through it, I was thinking to myself that I wish I would have had this book when I was a teenager! There are so many good bits of information in here.

It's a well-thought out process, broken down into tiny mini steps, and lots of critical questions are listed as you go through it. These make you think about the little details that can suddenly turn into major obstacles very quickly if they are not addressed. There is lots of thinking outside the box going on here. It has even given me some food for thought!

With unemployment rates high, the teen population is finding it harder and harder to find work. Adults are competing for the same minimum wage jobs. But there’s an alternative—starting a micro business. What is a micro business? It is a very small, one-person business that you can start easily and quickly with what you already know or own. No money needed, low risk and no debt!

Students can spend as much time running a micro business as they wish and can even close it down during busy times. The best advantage for teens to own a micro business is that it not only brings in extra cash (often more than imagined), but students end up learning a great deal about business, money and themselves. It may lead to an entrepreneurial life or at the very least, prepare students for higher learning opportunities.

Starting a Micro Business will help teenagers earn money while learning how to start their own business. A micro business is simple to start, usually home-based, low risk, educational and easy for a busy student to run. This book offers ideas, a business plan, starting with no debt, pitfalls to avoid and resources to get a teenager started making money running their own micro business.

Carol Topp, CPA, advises teenage business owners though her Micro Business for Teens book series. Carol’s day job is accountant to business owners, and she enjoys teaching teenagers to succeed beyond their dreams. Students appreciate how she shares what they need to know in clear and helpful lessons. Her website is

Spring Cleaning: A Time For a Teenager to Make Money, by Carol Topp

Here are some ideas for a micro business a teenager can start this spring:

House cleaning: Offer to tackle large jobs like washing windows, moving furniture, etc. Many people are grateful for a young, strong teenager to help them with heavy lifting. What is easy for you might be very difficult for them, especially if they are an older person.

Routine house cleaning: Some customers need regular house cleaning and may hire you on a weekly or monthly basis. Don't wait for them to ask: offer to come weekly or twice a month and see what they say.

Attic cleaning: Offer to help people do a job that they put off, such as cleaning an attic.

Garage cleaning: A big job that can earn you big bucks!

Yard cleanup: Offer to trim bushes, pull weeds, plant flowers and spread mulch to spruce up a yard.

Car and van cleaning: People spend a lot of time in their automobiles and their cars and vans need frequent cleaning. Melissa gladly paid to get her van cleaned inside and out every week because her four children could really make a mess in it. You can make some cash by offering to clean a van inside and out.

Organize. Organize a house, playroom or garage. Charge the customer for any bins, tubs and labels that you purchase for them and then add on the value of your time. Take before and after photos to use on your advertising fliers.

Declutter: Do you love HGTV shows on organization? You might be able to find someone to hire you to declutter their house like you see on TV.

Garage sales: Advertise, organize and run a garage sale for your neighbors. Get several neighbors to participate together and really earn the bucks!

eBay sales: Offer to sell your neighbors' stuff on eBay and take a cut for yourself. Combine the decluttering, garage sale and eBay tasks into a full package to help your customers profit from their excess stuff. (This is an excerpt from Carol's article. Full article available at

Comment on this post before April 22 to get your name into a drawing for all four of Carol Topp's books shown below! It's that easy.

Monday, April 4, 2011

dream a little dream...

I have kids who do the strangest things in their sleep. I used to think they get it from their dad. LOL. Love to share the credit, there. He used to argue with people (who were awake) while he was sleeping, and he was very good at it. He could probably have convinced them that the sky was really green, not blue.

Anytime I heard a ruckus in the boys' room at night, I'd fly out of bed because chances were, Lewis was up to something in his sleep. He tried to fight his way out of the bedroom window once. Or he'd walk into the closet thinking it was a door. He got up at two in the morning once and started to get ready for school. Looked like he was wide awake. Chased him back to bed, and he was asleep just like that!

Once he stole John's covers in the middle of the night, and had a death grip on them when John tried to take them back. They were having a tug of war when we went in there, back and forth, and then Lewis rolled over on the blanket to keep a better grip on it. I think I almost peed a little because I was laughing so hard. John didn't think it was very funny. He was just cold!

I don't go to quite that extreme. However, I do apparently say the strangest things when I'm just falling asleep. One time I fell asleep as my honey and I were talking, and out of the blue, I guess I said to him ominously, "There's trouble at the meat market!"

"There's ... what??" he said disbelievingly. "Have you lost your mind?"

"There's trouble at the meat market!" I repeated.

"Well..." he said, playing along, "what kind of trouble?"

A pause, then, "The sausages aren't linking!!"

Wow. What do you say to that? LOL.

Well, add something new to that list of weird things to do in your sleep: sleep-photography. Yeah. Add that to my list.

My honey is an artist, and he is usually in the process of painting a picture, or two or three. We were talking about one of his current pieces last night before I went to bed and what he wanted to do with it next. I remember dreaming that something bad was going to happen to it, and I needed to take pictures of it so it wouldn't be lost forever. We could at least have the memories, you know? I don't know what was going to happen...some random stalker was going to flash through the room and leave a trail of spray paint on it???

The next thing I remember is standing up with a camera in my hand, taking pictures of this painting! I vaguely remember getting up, but when I realized what I was doing, I was a little confused. So I put the camera back down and went back to bed. I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow again. So crazy! I'm going to have to go back and look at the pictures I took and see if any of them even turned out.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

april showers bring...

...babies! We have two grandbabies scheduled to arrive on the Stork Express this month. Woot woot! One is to a first-time mama, and one to an old hand at this...this is number three for her. One of them is expecting a girl, and one is expecting a boy. Oh, baby, baby, baby! LOL. I love this.

I simply can't get enough of that new-baby, fresh-from-God smell, and the little secret smiles that come and go with a flash, and the bemused stares of these wrinkled little peanuts as they look around with what must be absolute wonder, seeing bright lights after being so long in the dark.

I have the privilege to be invited to one of the births. I know not everyone is comfortable with it, but whenever I can, I like to be there. This one will be another C-section. I was at the other two births, both C-section, and I'm looking forward to being there for this one. It is simply amazing!

Watching a baby be born simply brings you right into the presence of God. It's a miracle, every time! I never get tired of it.

It will be a refreshing change from my workday routine. I feel like I've been cooped up in a box all winter, coming to work in the dark, leaving in the dark, and spending my days in the office. I have to go walk by the windows on my lunch hour, just to remind myself that there is a sun out there.

Today, I heard the cedar waxwings in the trees. We have a number of crabapple trees, and every spring and fall, the cedar waxwings appear and hang around for about a week or so, refueling and resting before they continue on their migration flight.

The first year I remember seeing them is the year my honey had his first heart attack. He was in the hospital, and I was leaving for the hospital to go visit him. I was a little scared, a little sad, and here were these little sweet things, covering the trees, cheeping their little hearts out. It was so unexpected, and so delightful, that it changed my whole day.

We watch for them every year, now...the harbingers of the changing of the seasons. Lovely little critters! Here's a couple shots that my honey took a couple of years ago. (I haven't gotten in camera range yet this year.) I love their little bandit eyes and their pretty yellow bellies.

Listen here to their cheerful singing. If that doesn't put a smile on your face and make you think of spring, I don't know what will!

Have a great week!