7 Quick Takes: Ask Me Anything Edition

7 Quick Takes

With the quarter starting for me this week, I’ve had a couple “get to know you” questions that have gotten asked by my instructor in addition to some questions people have asked me. πŸ™‚

— 1 —

What do you like to do when you are not working or studying? SLEEP! πŸ™‚ I also read too much, blog, hit the beach with Daniel (which I did today), search for the best iced vanilla lattΓ© with whole milk (the current winner: Diedrich Espresso), and crochet.

— 2 —

How does your online class work? It uses a learning management system called Canvas that is similar to Moodle or Blackboard. I login to the site using my school email address and click on the class on which I want to work at that moment. There’s usually a clickable copy of the syllabus and a list of learning modules and I click on one of them to do it. My instructors can create quizzes and tests online which I have until 11:59 p.m. on the due date to take and I can turn work in as well by uploading it to the site. There is almost always a discussion board on which we have to post and frequently, several of the assignments call for us to post something (and sometimes link a file) and then reply to two other classmates’ posts. (We can reply to as many people as we want usually.)

For my Microsoft Office classes, my school has used SNAP for evaluations but thankfully, they are moving away from it because it was a piece of crap last year — it crashed my laptop on a regular basis so I’d have to go do evaluations on the computers in two of the labs on campus in case something happened. I think the worst time was during my Excel/Access class when one of the Access skills exercises crashed 4 of the computers in the lab and then crashed my instructor’s office computer three times! She finally just opened up Access and told me to do some random things so she could give me the points.

— 3 —

Why did you choose Accounting? When I was working at the import brokerage in Montana from 2007 to 2010, they couldn’t find enough work for me to do within my job description so they asked our billing lead if she had anything I could do to help her. She had me help with some of her USDA vet bills twice a week and I found that to be kind of fun. When I had to find another job when I moved to southern California in 2010, most of the admin assistant ones wanted A/R or A/P (accounts receivable or accounts payable) experience and I didn’t know that the vet bills counted. When I moved up to Washington last year, Mom offered to pay for me to take a couple classes and I decided to take Practical Accounting and Excel/Access… and I fell in love.

— 4 —

What goes in your beach bag? I usually have… spare clothes for Daniel/me, Coppertone Waterbabies sunscreen, my Epi-Pen (I’m allergic to bee stings and most beaches here have a yellowjacket problem), my inhaler/spacer, children’s Benadryl (in case I get stung, it’s easier to get Benadryl down in liquid form), towels, talcum powder (yes… the Johnson & Johnson stuff that they think causes ovarian cancer — I don’t use it in my pelvic region and it’s one of the few things that gets sand off quickly which is important when you have sensory issues like mine and Daniel’s), a book, and sand toys for the kid.

— 5 —

Why don’t you homeschool Daniel? This is kind of an interesting one to get asked this week because Kelly wrote about sending Teddy and Fulton to public school!

Short answer: Because I have absolutely no desire to so!

Long answer: Kiddo needs someone to school him who understands how to reach him and help him learn in ways that I am not trained to do. All of his primary teachers have Master’s degrees in Education specializing in special education (and rare conditions, in the case of one of them) and have done their teaching hours with kiddos on the spectrum. Additionally, he gets speech/occupational/physical therapy at school and has the chance to be around other kids… which would totally NOT happen if I was homeschooling him because I’m so incredibly introverted and up until recently, kiddo couldn’t sit through a library program or well… anything except maybe AYSO VIP soccer (and I am not soccer mom material). It’s honestly a better fit for him and I’m a happier mama when I get that time to myself while he is in school.

— 6 —

How do you do school and take care of Daniel? I’m lucky enough that I can fit my classes “on the ground” into the hours when Daniel is at school. There have been a handful of times when he’s been sick or on school vacations when my mom hasn’t been able to watch him so I’ll usually just get notes from a classmate on those days. (Thankfully, I didn’t have to miss any quiz days in Accounting this year because those are quizzes I can’t make up, though she drops our three lowest scores so I’d be able to toss a couple of the ones I’d miss.)

As far as homework goes, kiddo LOVES his tablet so I would usually work on things either during his school day or in the evenings when he would be on his tablet or asleep. I plan online tests around his school schedule and when he’s asleep. On weekends, he has the ability to play independently so I’ll usually curl up with my laptop and any appropriate books while I keep an ear out for him.

— 7 —

What recommendations do you have for teaching kids about the church year? This is not my strength so I recommend you check out Jessica Snell’s list of resources, Kendra @ Catholic All Year, and my friend Jenna’s book, The Lazy Liturgical. Given that I run with bloggers who do this legitimately well, I can’t think of anyone else that would be recommended more highly than these three. (Oh yes, Jessica actually edited a series of books on this as well.)

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

The Simple Woman’s Daybook: July 4, 2017

For Today… July 4, 2017

Simple Woman's Daybook

Looking out my window… sunny and in the mid to high 70’s here. It’s 10 degrees warmer in San Jose and 20 degrees warmer in Claremont, making me thankful that I’m not in either place!

I am thinking… about my class that starts tomorrow. I just printed out my syllabus and the due dates page.

I am thankful… that my favorite farm shop had a couple apple pies for today and that the owner’s daughter set one aside for me. I normally hate pie but their pies are AMAZING.

One of my favorite things… A/C. It’s actually nice out but my room is on the second floor so I’d be pretty hot without it.

I am wearing… an Old Navy flag shirt and black capris from Kohl’s.

I am creating… this blog post. πŸ™‚

I am listening to… classical music coming up from the family room downstairs.

I am hoping… I can get through outlining the Business English book this summer. I really want to challenge the class!

I am learning… about aspects of interpersonal communication.

In my kitchen… hot dogs and salad for dinner tonight with apple pie for dessert.

In the school room… Daniel has one more week until extended school year (ESY) starts.

Post Script… this is painful but worth reading.

Shared Quote… “You don’t always have a complete set of options.” I don’t remember why she said it or what the issue was but I’ve parroted these words from my wise friend Eileen a bunch of times.

A moment from my day… Many of my friends have shared this image on Facebook today…

Treason Day

Closing Notes: Here are the rules for displaying the flag today.

Hosted by The Simple Woman.

7 Quick Takes: Lazy Summer Night Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Memories. All of the memories and pictures of me putting my bedroom furniture together are coming up in my “On This Day” feature on Facebook. When I shared one of the pictures, I commented that my mom had to hide the flame thrower for a couple days because IKEA does not drill holes correctly and I managed to hammer a nail into my fingers… TWICE. (This was about the time my mom created a list of errands for me to do BY MYSELF because I think she was afraid of the words I might teach Daniel. (Little does she know that Daniel has heard ALL of those words before while driving with me in Sacramento traffic.)

— 2 —

Molly Bears. Someone on one of my favorite subreddits talked about Molly Bears and how they’ve helped her heal. Could y’all please go check them out and maybe make a donation? Thanks.

— 3 —

Nice kitty… Because the world needs more cat stories and cat memes.

— 4 —

We all scream for ice cream! I really want to try this ice cream recipe. It seems pretty simple and something I could do with the kid.

— 5 —

Mystery recommendation. Someone recommended this author to me and I’m passing it on in case any of you are mystery lovers.

— 6 —

Prerequisite faith link. Just so you know, I don’t want a celebration of life when I die. Instead, I want a burial service.

— 7 —

Summer “schedules”. Kelly has some help for you. She’s cool that way.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Refugee Takes, School, and Choral Evensong

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Refugee take #1. The French are suggesting that we use “Da’esh” instead of ISIS. This is why. It actually makes sense.

— 2 —

Refugee take #2. Not all Muslims agree with Da’esh. (The vast, vast majority find them despicable.) The closest Muslims to what they believe are the Wahhabis who control things in Saudi Arabia. This piece explains why. It’s also why Saudi Arabia has not taken any refugees thus far — they don’t take Christians (the country is officially 100% Muslim and those who convert to something else face death) and it’s a Sunni Muslim theocracy so any Shi’a Muslims are out of luck.

— 3 —

Refugee take #3. I have seen some pretty foul behavior from my fellow Christians over the whole refugee issue in talking about how we should not welcome refugees to the USA and this is one of those times when I actually *AM* calling out people in my own life for their behavior. (I’m usually pretty reserved, but not on this subject.) Jamie the Very Worst Missionary actually has a pretty good take on all of this. Ditto with Ryan Dueck.

I think my friend Sarah of Fumbling toward Grace put it best when she quoted something she had read at the beginning of the refugee crisis (and she would like me to clarify that she can’t remember who said it):

“We don’t help refugees because they are Christian. We help refugees because we are Christian.” (emphasis mine)

— 4 —

Refugee take #4. To maybe shut a few people up and remove the complete atmosphere of unfounded fear that seems to be pervasive, here is what *ACTUALLY* happens with refugees and immigration from an *ACTUAL* immigration attorney.

Now can the fearmongering stop?

— 5 —

The school sitch. Daniel *FINALLY* started school up here this week. He was a little nervous on Monday (his first day) but when he saw the toys, he looked at me and said “bye!” which was my cue to leave. He seems to like his class, his teachers, his aides, and his therapists thus far and I’m hoping it remains a good school and a good program for him.

— 6 —

Choral Evensong. We have a new rector at my church in San Jose and she is a fan of choral evensong so we’re doing it for the Thanksgiving service next Tuesday night. If you’re in the area, let me know and I’ll give you the details!

— 7 —

Gary Haugen’s TED talk. Fifteen years ago, I heard Gary Haugen of International Justice Mission speak at Urbana 2000. It changed my life and the way I look at a lot of the world. (You can watch it here.) He’s done a TED talk. Go watch it! Do it now!

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Mining My Links Collection and a Post-Season Baseball Take

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Very interesting. My priest’s husband shared this article on Facebook and I thought it was worth sharing. If Oklahoma City can lose a million pounds, what is stopping other cities with at-risk health populations from doing the same?

— 2 —

#MedicatedAndMighty Because there is no shame in me taking antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds to keep myself healthy and I am not alone.

Me and my meds.

— 3 —

Impressed. I don’t know who shared the Fat Girl Running blog with me; but dang it, y’all need to go read it and give Mirna some love. She is freaking amazing!

— 4 —

Holy frivolous lawsuits, Batman! Did you hear about the woman who sued her 12 year old nephew for $127,000 because he was overly effusive in greeting her when he was 8 and accidentally knocked her down and broke her wrist? I mean, he injured her so badly that this “severely disrupted her life in Manhattan” and she was at a party the week before where couldn’t hold her hors d’ouevres plate. Yeah… I’m thinking she’s childless because HE WAS 8 YEARS OLD!!!!!

— 5 —

Prerequisite baseball take. The Mets play the Dodgers tonight in LA to determine who gets to go on and face the Cubs. Go Mets! #BeatLA (Bummed that the Cards were knocked out by the Cubs but I’ll live.)

— 6 —

Calvinism humor. Jessica posted this link to a page about the warning signs of adult onset Calvinism. This is totally tongue-in-cheek and scarily reminds me of some people I knew in college!

— 7 —

IKEA contest. I saw this IKEA contest in my email and wanted to share. I’m probably going to enter a recipe my dad made for my mom when they were dating. (They’ve been married for 43 years.)

— Bonus —

Link-toberfest: Week 3. Kelly’s bonus question this week is: “Who is your favorite blogger that you discovered through Quick Takes?” She shared me as hers and she is definitely mine — as she said, we’ve bonded over the struggles of special needs parenting, I love her off-the-wall sense of humor, and the fact that she doesn’t gloss over the good and bad in her life. She is very truly the definition of “authentic”. I also am pretty sure that there isn’t a place that can contain all the AWESOME if the two of us get a chance to meet. πŸ™‚

Some others who make my favorites list are… Kathleen (another mama who I defer to when it comes to parenting a kiddo with special needs), Jeanne, Angie, Thomas (not blogging these days as being the dad of twins occupies his spare time), Emily, Kate, Jessica (a fellow CofE person and southern Californian), Beth Anne, Mandi, Bonnie, Jennifer (I prayed Joshua home), Marie, Bobbi, and so many others. My Bloglovin overflows on Friday because of Quick Takes! πŸ™‚

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Crowdsourced Content

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

What I’m doing and why I’m doing it. Daniel is off school for the next month and now that we’re back from my parents’ house, I’ve got him pretty much all day. My mother-in-law has stepped up and helped *A LOT* this week because I’m fighting stomach issues (which is meaning that I’m feeling more run down than usual and am napping a lot) but today, I had him pretty much all day so writing this post with insightful Quick Takes was just not going to happen.

So… I decided to take a page from Kelly of This Ain’t The Lyceum and crowdsource some content. I had three people give me questions that I’ll answer (and I’ll put one person’s two part question into two Quick Takes) and then I’ll give you two things I saw online that amused me. Sound like a plan?

— 2 —

From Kelly of This Ain’t The Lyceum: Your feelings on Klondike bars? Absolutely neutral. I don’t think I’ve eaten one in years so I honestly can’t say what I would or wouldn’t do for one.

— 3 —

From Beth Anne of Beth Anne’s Best: In honor of your 15 years of blogging, what site did you start blogging on? I started out hand-coding a web journal on Peacefulwaters.Org, my own domain, in July 2000 and used Microsoft Front Page to generate some of it. (I’ve been doing website stuff for 18 years so this wasn’t that weird.)

— 4 —

From Beth Anne of Beth Anne’s Best: What sites have you used over the years? This is actually the second part of the question and I split it up because her question could honestly have been a post of its own. I did the hand-coding for a year and then did Livejournal for a bit, tried Grey Matter a few times, used Moveable Type for a few months, and then switched to WordPress’ predecessor b2. I fully switched over to WordPress in 2004.

::Meditatio:: itself has existed in pretty much unbroken form since 2003 when I switched to b2 and has been hosted on Grace-Filled.Net since 2005. I’ve imported all of the hand-coded stuff, the Livejournal entries, and one of the Grey Matter sections. I still need to import about 6 months or so of Grey Matter and Moveable Type which unfortunately has to be done by hand and it requires a working CD-ROM… which I currently do not have. (Laptops don’t like falling on hardwood floors. It’s under warranty but that would involve sending it to HP for weeks at a time.)

— 5 —

From Jen (@Jentoinfinity): How many people have you met IRL from blogging? You can name them if you want or just a number. This is kind of a weird question because I’ve known some of my blogging friends since before they had blogs, as in the case of my BFF Rebecca who was my maid-of honor, is Daniel’s godmother, and whom I have known for 20+ years. As far as fellow people I’ve met because of my blog, I’d say 3? I met Ellen of Stranger in a Strange Land in 2002, Dawn of ladydusk in 2003, and Chris of Father Christopher (and formerly of SomethingUnderstood.Org) in 2004.

Related to this, I think one of the stranger things that has happened was standing in the receiving line at a church in Ponoka, Alberta where Jon was interviewing for an associate pastor position in 2009 and having someone come up to me and tell me that they love my blog. It turns out that they were talking about my Blogathon site but it gave me a shock for a few days because I keep pretty quiet about my real name on here.

**UPDATE** I also met Kym back in 2011. Sorry for missing you in my count!

— 6 —

Something for which I really respect Sen. Lindsey Graham. So some of you might have seen the news about this yesterday:

This was Senator Graham’s response:

Stay classy, Senator!

— 7 —

Finally, some lovely music. Here’s one of my favorite videos from The Piano Guys:

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Thank God It’s Almost Friday!

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Because I *TOTALLY* want to start a battle on here today! Seriously, who has natural births these days? It’s, like, so primitive of people. [/snark]

BabyCenter: Why no one should ever throw shade at c-sections

Seriously, I hope y’all can have the birth experience you want and if you didn’t for whatever reason, it doesn’t make you any less of a mama. So please, for the love of all things holy, stop whining about how c-sections are so crappy and unnecessary and going off on how natural birth is *SO* much superior. My c-section was the best birth experience possible: mama lived and baby lived. End of story.

— 2 —

If you send a mom an email… Angie of The Jammie Girl had a delightful post about what happens if you send a mom an email. (It’s a parody of If You Give A Mouse A Cookie.)

— 3 —

Getting Ella some wheels. There has been some crowdsourcing this week to try and get a sport wheelchair for the daughter of blogger Rebecca Frech. Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Texas has been being buttheaded about approving an appropriate wheelchair for Ella and so some bloggers decided to do something about it. Since Rebecca gave up cursing for Lent, people created an online swear jar for the purpose of raising the $$$$ for Ella’s chair. Blue Cross/Blue Shield has since relented (after a brief Twitter campaign) and is working with Rebecca but if you’d like to help out, you can go here.

Kelly of This Ain’t The Lyceum put together a positively *LOVELY* video on the subject (being more than familiar with “negotiating” these things):

— 4 —

Update on the Lenten disciplines. I seriously almost cried yesterday morning because I had a late night on Tuesday night while working on taxes and had to be at Daniel’s school at 8 to meet with the school psychologist about some IEP-related things before heading to Bible study. A can of Coke would have been *REALLY* useful… but I promised Jesus not to consume any until April 5th at midnight. *grumbles* Instead, I stopped at the $tarbux inside one of the local grocery stores and got my iced vanilla lattΓ© with whole milk.

The offering up of my day on behalf of someone else has been a blessing as it’s allowing me to try and do something to benefit others even if I don’t have the time and resources to do it in person.

— 5 —

Good customer service. I had to go to Staples on Monday for a new “binder of fun” because the one I use for education was getting too full. When I was checking out, I was having to get my debit card out one-handed because my other hand was holding on to Daniel. The assistant manager took it upon herself to talk to him and try to entertain him while I was doing this. I thanked her for this and she told me that when I come in, he will always be treated like a person.

If you’re in the La Verne area, please go patronize them. πŸ™‚

— 6 —

Plans for my 35th birthday. I turn 35 years old on May 19th and I decided to do a Promise Walk for Preeclampsia instead of getting a mid-life crisis tattoo. Details (and my SUPER-SECRET last name) are here.

And yes, I am *TOTALLY* taking a page from Kelly on this one. πŸ˜‰

— 7 —

Love. As I was leaving Bible study on Wednesday, one of the women called after me that she hadn’t received her hug. Given that this woman is 94 years old and reminds me so incredibly much of my grandma, I definitely raced back to hug her. She kissed my cheek and told me that she loved me.

My day was totally made. πŸ™‚

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.