Tip of the Day #1

Tip of the day for Photography

Morganroth Photography

So I’m embarking on a new journey with my marketing plan. For so long I’ve been going against the grain of things, especially when it comes to photography. I fought digital long and hard, in fact I still do and shoot film from time to time. Mostly a hobby and for fine art now. I fought long and hard against using post production main stream tools like anything Adobe! Once I embraced Adobe I fought against presets and templates! Now I embrace them! I am even starting to embrace social media and smart phone photography. The point is I want to be current for my beautiful and wonderful clients! I want to be tech savvy and on your level! Truth be told I’ve learned a lot from my client feedback surveys and reviews which I appreciate that you took the time to do for me!

I know many may have…

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Graduation is getting closer

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My ‪#‎honorcords‬ came today!!!! It’s getting real! ‪#‎graduation14‬ ‪#‎pcbears‬ ‪#‎phoenixcollege‬ ‪#‎grad‬ ‪#‎aasphotography‬ ‪#‎itsabouttime‬ ‪#‎ptk‬ So stinking excited! I can’t wait! 7pm @ Phx College Holgon Football field May 9th ‪#‎happybirthdaytome‬ Just waiting on my cap, gown and tassel.

Gallery Shows & Updates

Updates on my Photography Work.

Morganroth Photography

Some Big happenings going on with Morganroth Photography right now, and you DON’T want to miss them!

 

“Desolation” a personal photo-journalistic approach to details of every day life in the aftermath of the biggest fire catastrophe since 1933 that claimed the lives of 19 of our bravest Hotshot Heroes from Prescott on July 30, 2013; is currently on display at the MonOrchid Gallery inside their solo exhibition gallery called the Bokeh Gallery. You can Get directions and information about MonOrchid and the Shade project here on their facebook page: MonOrchid Gallery. The images on print display tell the story about items, that we use almost every day, but never pay too much attention to them; such as in “Spun Out” you will see in a pile of ashes the only thing left is the casting outside of a ceiling fan, and in “Hells Kitchen” you see that the…

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Sexual Education has gone TOO FAR in schools.

Sexual Education in Schools have GONE TOO FAR!

The Above link ^^^ is NOT the way to teach Sexual Education.

Dear Public Schools, or any school for that matter that teaches Sexual Education:

It is NOT your place to teach sexual education in the first place. Although I can appreciate the initiative here in taking steps to reduce teen pregnancy and sexual issues, due to the lack of initiative of some parents, I can not agree with, nor abide by this sort of teaching. Although I do not take issue with the class itself, nor the school/districts initiative to educate societies children about sexual education, and the ramifications of underage, per-marital sex, I do take an issue with you doing it in an under handily, sneaky and conniving way.

When I was a youngster and went through sexual education at my elementary school, they sent home packets to our parents via snail mail, because lets face it, if you give a child something to give to their parents, they likely wont unless it’s something they really want; what child really wants to sit through sexual education? These packets were sent home WEEKS in advance, with clear dates, times, subjects/sections being taught and by whom they were being taught by. There was a permission slip that the parents had to sign stating that their child could or could not partake in the sexual education class, and furthermore they had to initial each section, stating it was okay their child go through that section. We were removed from the sections that our parents/guardians did not agree with to another classroom until that section was complete. THAT is the proper way to go about sexual education with regards to the parents. NOT just doing it, and posting public posters around the school’s campus for all to see.

SOME parents, such as myself feel that sexuality, sexual education, and sexual desires are things to be taught and discussed from Mother/Father to their child, not the schools responsibility. I for one would be with holding my child from said program. Additionally there are some terminology guidelines you should take into concern with the parents. SOME parents such as myself do not agree with the terminology being presented. You do not do any justice for the proactive parents such as my husband and myself.

You greatly over stepped your line on this one. This is simply UNACCEPTABLE on your behalf to teach a sensitive subject without parental consent, and materials sent to the parents well in advance. This further only complicates issues parents have with schools. Just to be clear, if this had been my child, or my child’s school, I would be taking what ever legal action I can, and definitely be pulling my child from that school, not to mention I would have it on every social and news media I could get it on.

You need to radically re-think how you are presenting these issues, and teaching. This is not appropriate teaching behaviors.

 

Sincerely,

One Ticked off Mommy!

How to get your Bill Companies to do their job!

So, dealing with Southwest gas today, I got to thinking that I NEEDED to write a post on how I personally deal with getting things done.

1) I’m a very VERY busy women. As stated in other posts, I wear many hats, that keep me busy most if not all of the time. I’m a wife, home maker, mommy, student, teacher, and career business women. I simply don’t have the time, nor the patience to deal with companies that lag at doing their job.

2) I have schedules to keep, time frames to stay on top of, and I keep them all juggled fairly well, and I don’t need an unnecessary kink in the system.

3) No one, and I do mean NO ONE messes with a hugely pregnant women who has two little ones; a toddler and pre-schooler. When my bills are paid, I expect my things to work, and not just work, but work properly. You better believe I will be proactive and persistent in fixing the issues.

So, how do I deal with these companies when there is an issue? Especially since I am very proactive about things, I keep things well oiled and maintained, and I have a system to make sure all of the bills are taken care of; in essence my bills are always paid.

1) When I call, if I’m doing something other than the basic changes, or bill payment, I almost always just give them the info they ask for, tell them VERY briefly my issue, and then request a supervisor immediately. What I’ve learned is that, no matter HOW much or HOW little information you give them, the first person you speak to, can never do anything to fix your issues if it’s outside of the basic things as mentioned previously. MOST times the second “supervisor” (which I know from working in call centers, is not always a supervisor, they are floor leads) can fix the issues, on the very rare occasion, they can not. You sort of have to know what your issue is, and kind of know how the companies work, in order to get to the right person. Minor issues above the basic changes and bill pay, these floor leads can correct. Major issues, you will just have to briefly explain the issue again, and ask for a higher supervisor. That third person (third time is the charm, right?) can almost ALWAYS fix what ever issues you are having.

2) My example currently would be with my gas company. My bill is paid, and the heater was not working. I called yesterday and after a two hour ordeal, they finally sent some whack tech out, who either didn’t care, wouldn’t do anything, or was just lazy. He didn’t fix the issue. By the time I got to call back, they said they couldn’t send anyone back out until Friday. (Mind you they charged me $15 to send a tech out to fix the issue, that wasn’t fixed.) Well, I was completely upset by that time, and had other issues I needed to face at that moment, so I said I’d be calling back. Which I did; today. When I called back I finally got to that third person, the real “Supervisor” and got an expedited “medical” reason to get a tech out today, right now. I’m hugely pregnant, and my two little ones are sick; I made sure to say they were a pre-schooler and toddler. I even made sure to tell them that both of my little ones were sick. Yes, believe it or not, the age of children and their condition, will light a fire under these companies behinds. Especially when  you explain that you can’t even make them feel better because you have a gas water heater, not electric. So that’s my second tip really, TELL THEM YOUR CHILDREN’S AGES and IF THEY ARE SICK! This is a case when “over share” will get done what you need done. She TRIED to charge me another $15. When I CALMLY explained to her that I was already charged yesterday for this, that it was not fair to charge me again, seeing as the guy didn’t fix the issue, nor did he enter my house, or was willing to do so to check on the issue, she promptly waived that fee. The one fee, okay, I mind that less, but you wont be charging me twice for the same issue, when it wasn’t taken care of the first time.

The gas guy got out here finally, and very promptly I might add, and it was a broken switch, the pilot switch to be exact. Yes, they do break, even on their own, (I’m not a gas professional, I don’t know how they work, that’s not my job. I just know how to maintain my stuff, and when they are working/not working.) In either case, he fixed it in less than 20 mins, and got on his way. My heater was working again, and I had hot water finally.

3) BE CALM! You get more bee’s with honey than you do with vinegar. Being rude, mean, nasty, and just down right applauding, wont get you anywhere, nor get anything you need done. I have learned to be calm, and low key, truthful, and direct. This seems to get the best responses. Don’t LIE to them, and don’t over exaggerate, don’t be “chipper” either; just be calm, and pleasant. I used to get so over aggregated, and you could hear the panic almost in my voice, and it never got things done, then one day I just decided to start directing them with a calm and pleasant approach, and this greatly improved getting things done for me.

4) BE FIRM! You can be firm while being calm and pleasant, you don’t have to be firm and rude. I’ve only had to call and make payment arrangements on bills a few times, and the times I have had to do that, they have always wanted me to pay what I knew I couldn’t, or on a day I knew would not happen. For example, I had to call my cell phone company once, and my bill was like $100 bucks, I totally just forgot to pay it, not a big deal, it happens sometimes, and luckily for me I’ve been a customer with them since 2008. However, they always start off with saying you have to pay x amount, then you simple state, “I’m sorry I can really only pay this amount or on this day. I have to have money for gas to get to work/school, and food. Will this amount work?” KNOW ahead of time exactly WHEN you can pay and HOW much you can pay, and stick to it. They will always haggle it down two more times before they will ultimately accept your offer. Just be nice, and keep it calm, but be firm; in the sense of standing by your offer. These companies want your money and will take it any way they can, even if it means waiting a little longer for it. Like I said, I don’t need to do that often, very rare occasions I do need to do that, because hey, I’m human, I slip sometimes and forget.

5) BE PERSISTENT! Don’t take “no” from the first person you speak to as the final solution. Refer to tip number one, remember that most times, the first person you speak to, can’t do what you need them to do. Often times it’s the second or third “supervisor” you speak to that will get it taken care of.

6) TAKE CHARGE! Yes, take charge, you pay them every month, and you expect your services to work properly. Take charge, don’t let them have the power just because they are the bill company, YOU PAY THEM! Sometimes a gentle and subtle reminder that YOU PAY them, not the other way around will help move things along. I always like to throw in “yes my bill was paid on x day, my new bill just came out/will come out on x day and I already have bill pay set up to pay on x day.” That shows them you are on top of it. Sometimes I throw in a little extra like, “I’m paying you for my gas so I can have heat during the winter and hot water, I can’t give my sick children a hot bath because the gas is not working. My bill is paid, so I really need my services to be working properly. After all it is why I pay you every month and on time.” ON an even rarer occasion I have had to get a little more “rougher”. I do have a background and connections with local media, and will say, okay, I guess I’ll have to call so and so with so and so news and tell them that you are leaving a third trimester pregnant women and her sick toddler and pre-schooler without gas for heat and hot water when our bill is paid for almost a week.” THEY Do not want that bad PR. Trust me they don’t. Although I have that connection, I suspect MOST of you know how to contact the news stations to submit stories, emergency stories, and things like “3 on your side” etc. If push comes to shove, don’t be afraid to throw that out. Be TACTFUL, calm, and firm about it. There is NO need to be rude or nasty about it.

7) BE PROACTIVE! Don’t just wait for them to do their job, constantly call them to keep them doing their job. Ask for an ETA (Estimated time of arrival) ask for the tech’s name, ask where you stand on their daily work orders. Gather as MUCH information as you can, and be sure to write this down, along with anyone’s names you have spoken to. Make sure to include dates and times you called. (If you have a cell you can always re check your call history, but just write it down for good measure.) You will NOT believe how many times I’ve called to deal with issues, and the rep did not appropriately or accurately note the account. THEY CAN pull call logs, provided you have the correct date, time, person you spoke to, and the number you called from. They CAN and WILL pull that call and listen to it. This works to your benefit!!! Trust me!

8) PLEASE & THANK YOU, go a LONG way! Sad to say that I have to actually say this, but I have seen MANY MANY people not use this! I just can’t believe how many people will not say Please and Thank you. Trust me, it will take you further and get more done if you use please and thank you.

9) ANSWER their questions genuinely. If they ask you how your day is going, or what the weather is like, then answer them with a truthful reply and genuine reply. They are just simply trying to pleasant and cut the dead air while they work their magic. It makes them feel more comfortable with you, and sympathetic to you, and will thus further get you where you want to be.

10) BE PREPARED! SOMETIMES, no matter how much you followed these tips, you will very occasionally get a road block. Sometimes you may need to be prepared to pay a bit more, or pay on a day you don’t want to, or wait until a later time to get a tech out to fix your issues. SOMETIMES, so if you have followed every tip, and you are still getting a road block, still be prepared to offer a tad more, different date, or later time. It’s called compromise. You want them to compromise with you, so be willing to give a tad bit at the end.

I hope this helps! Bottom line is, make sure your bill companies do their job and work for you, especially if you are paying your bills on time! Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and take the initiative!

Be PROACTIVE, The hat of Mother/Student what they won’t tell you…..

As mothers we like to be prepared, well, most mothers do anyways. When our children are little we like to make sure that there are ALWAYS plenty of diapers and sippy cups in the diaper bag, and of course an extra change of clothing for your preschooler in case he has an accident. You know that on the days you ultimately forget to put in extra’s, is the days you need them. Never any other time when you are prepared, always just that ONE day you spaced it. It’s some sort of “cosmic” rule, if you are prepared you wont need it, but if you try and cut corners to save time, or effort you will ultimately need it.

Makes sense that this is the same philosophy that a mommy who is also a College student will use. To always be prepared and proactive about things. After all, we are already busy being mothers, and wives, now we are adding the responsibility of college in the mix. How do you “balance” it all is a harsh reality for some. Some decide to give up, while others wait until their children are in school themselves.

I didn’t want to wait that long, one reason is because I want to be completely done with MY education once my children are school age, that way I can be the “involved” PTA, Football, Band, etc Mommy that I have always pictured myself being. I want to have my career set in motion when they start school so I can get off work in time to pick them up from school, and HELP them succeed in their education, and extra circulars. For me the only way to do this is, to finish my education while they are still little’s. This leads to MANY sleep deprived nights, but hey, I’m going to be up breast feeding an infant, and checking on my potty training toddler, and making sure my potty trained preschooler got up to go potty anyways, why not do something productive during that time, say like read a chapter or two from my homework?

The BIGGEST complaint I hear often from women who wear the multiple hats of wife, mother, and student is, they can’t fit in the time. I’ll agree, it’s hard when you have split priorities. Don’t let anyone fool you, it is a split on priorities. At times it does feel like I’m in the middle of the fight of two best friends from my favorite drama tv show, Grey’s Anatomy. To be completely honest, I whole hardheartedly agree with both Dr. Christina Yang, and Dr. Meredith Grey; although they oppose each others point of views. How do you balance it? How do you get to have your cake and eat it too? I guess this is where I tend to side with Dr Grey more on the issue. Sure, I may wear the hat of mommy, but that doesn’t mean I’m ANY less qualified for my dreams, or making said dreams come to reality. In fact, my children MAKE me that much more determined to get those dreams in hand. Slowly, yes slowly, but surely, these dreams are coming to be more tangible day by day. I’ve already accomplished two this past year alone! Finish my degree at the CC, and get into my first SOLO show! This is the momentum that is lighting my way!

So, HOW do I do it? Simple really, on the first day of classes, I take every class syllabus along with my student day planner and I plug and chug in due dates for assignments, tests, quizes, and projects. Then I determine WHAT DAY I will be devoted to that class for course work and homework. Much like what I do with my housework. Below is an example:

Monday’s: Clean the Kitchen, Global Sociology Class Coursework/Homework.

Tuesday’s: Clean the bathrooms, Media Psychology Coursework/Homework.

Wednesday’s: Clean Living room, Journalism Coursework/Homework.

Thursday’s: Clean bedrooms upstairs, Spanish Coursework/Homework.

Friday’s: Laundry (if it’s already done I do towels, blankets, sheets, linen, etc.) History Coursework/Homework.

Saturday’s: Special projects, catchup or get ahead in any class. (Monthly deep cleaning chores, once a month).

Sunday’s: Church, Back yard/front yard, catchup or get ahead in any class.

I started the Queen of Clean’s daily cleaning routine, and it has cut down on the amount of housework I have to do, the only things I do daily is clean the dishes as I go as I’m still cooking and immediately after we eat, and take the garbage out. The kids help with their chores like picking up their rooms, make their beds, and clean up their play area before nap/bed time every day. I only spend a total of 30 mins cleaning a day! Which means MORE time with the kiddios and doing coursework/homework. I figured out that this SAME sort of routine HELPS me stay on top of my college coursework/homework.

Now I just don’t “plug” and “chug” just any class on any day. After I have put in my student planner assignment/quiz/test/project due dates, I look to see what class typically has the same due date for things. For example, my Soc class this semester typically has things due on Monday nights at midnight. So it makes sense to do my coursework/homework a WEEK PRIOR to it’s due date, that way IF I need to finish or catchup I have ample time to do so. I can either finish on days that my other classes have no work to be done, or on my two catchup/get ahead days (Which are before the due dates.) This method has worked for me since starting back at school in 2010. For bigger projects I make sure to give myself two-three weeks of working time.

As you can see, schedules and lists work for this family, work for me. My children even have a schedule and it keeps them happy.

Monday’s: Park time

Tuesday’s: Special outing OR music day if we don’t go out.

Wednesday’s: Library reading time with the Librarian

Thursday’s: Arts and Crafts day

Friday’s: Hang out with friends day (my best friend and her kids typically come over Friday nights when they are out of school/off work.)

Saturday’s: They get a say in what we do, most often it’s our dedicated family day to do fun things like festivals, fairs, etc. It’s their day to spend lots of time with daddy.

Sunday’s: Church and again they often get a say in what we do this day after nap. Sometimes we play games that day.

This works for us, because we get to all do what we want to do. Schedules are a HUGE way of life here in this house hold. We knew once we brought our oldest home from the hospital that it would be our way of life. WE have not deviated from our schedules and routines and this has made life easier with our boys. They know when dinner is, and often get hungry when dinner is ready to be served, they know that bath time is at 7pm nightly, they know that we read a devotional with them at 730pm, and bed time is at 8pm nightly. There are some times, special times, that we deviate slightly, but mostly this is the daily schedule, and they live by it, it works for them, and for us; for the entire family.

I say that, because for some families out there, and some mommies, this may or may not work for you. Lists and schedules may be hard for you to follow through with, and that could potentially set you up to fail; I wouldn’t want that. Take my schedules and lists as a MERE suggestion. Adapt it, modify it to FIT your family needs. This is simply ground work for you to work with, if you chose to.

I give you all of this info, to come back to the preparedness part that we as mommies like to be. Now I will get to the “meat” so to speak of my post. I’ve learned some things during my journey last semester and this semester leaving my comfortable Phoenix Community College behind me and entering into Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School, that NO one, and I do mean NO ONE will tell you until it’s TIME to jump through that hoop. Below is a list of things I would have done differently IF someone HAD told me about these issues, and quirks beforehand.

1) When applying for your entry into a University, I would just automatically go back to my high school and send my transcripts to admissions and my immunizations records straight to the universities health department. (Most, if not all Universities have a health department that require and deal with the immunizations records, and you may need to call them to get info about where and how to send that information. They put a “Immunizations” hold on you which makes it impossible to do anything else you need to, like aid, scholarships, enrollment, etc if there is that hold on it. All universities require this at some point, so save yourself the headache and do it when you apply.) Admissions NEVER told me to NOT send it to them when I sent my HS transcripts, they said I HAD to send them, however they just wont tell you it may have to go to the special health department, because they don’t forward that record to them.

2) Just PAY your app fee the second you submit your application. Don’t wait, just pay it. It’s another “hold” that prevents and delay’s you from being able to do anything until it is lifted.

3) When applying, just send your current official transcript from you CC (if you are a transfer student). Yes it’s $5, and yes you will have to pay another $5 to send in a final transcript once your final grades have posted, however, the time, and headache it will save is worth that extra $5. SOMETIMES you can get “lucky” and your CC will have days/times that they run a special where they will send your official transcripts as is of that moment to your potential university for free. I suggest doing it. Even if it’s mid semester and seems odd. The why to do this reason? Simple, it takes TIME for your university to accept you, then accept you into your program/school, and takes a little longer to transcribe your transfer credits into the program, and remove holds that prevent you from taking your upper division classes, that things like ENG101/102 or MAT may be a pre-req for. Then you are stuck WAITING for them to upload it into their equivalent of ASU’s “DARS System.” If you send your transcripts as if when applying they can get that done ahead of time, and then you will have less issues enrolling into classes, such as Philosophy, etc (which is requirement in nearly every program.) TRUST ME, this will save you massive amounts of headaches, and prevents you from entering into the “late registration” period where you are charged for registering late because of this hold.

4) Get in touch with your Academic Adviser, and set up a meet and greet. (I actually did this, and it has worked to my benefit!) If you have this meet and greet and get to know one another, then they are able to help better/faster because of said relationship established, if you wait until after your program starts, then you are stuck waiting out until their schedule is free to schedule you in for a visit. Make sure to grab their email to email questions, concerns, and issues. MOST issues they can take care of via email. Yes, you will have to contact your program/school to figure out who your Academic Adviser will be. MOST Schools within the University have their own Academic Adviser’s and typically go by last name. To clarify I go to Arizona State University, and attend Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. My Academic Adviser is not ASU’s, he is from WCJMC. Cronkite (WCJMC) is my program/school INSIDE ASU itself. So if you are in the Nursing program, go through that school within the university to get your Academic Adviser, and likewise if you are in the Teaching program/school.

5) START 6 months out! (Seriously it can take that long to process your transfer, aid/scholarship reports, transfer credit reports, admittance, remove holds, etc. If you can’t start 6 months out, at the very least start 3 months out, and be proactive daily. Don’t be afraid to CALL Admissions, advising, Aid dept every other day for updates, or to help “push” things along. Don’t just SIT there and hope they will get it done before it needs to be done. I say this because it helps facilitate getting into the classes you need promptly before they fill up, and to avoid paying a late registration fee.

6) ONCE you have been admitted into the University, you need to actually go down there for three major things. The first thing is to get your Student ID, because MOST universities use this ID for access into your classrooms, technology lab, library (in person or online), it has your student ID number which you will have to memorize, and they ask for it every single time you are down there taking care of business. Second thing is, if you are getting aid, or scholarships go to their financial aid office, and see how they handle your aid, do they send you a card, check, or do you need to set up direct deposit with your bank? Do they offer a bank for their students with benefits your current bank does not? You’ll need to look into this. I have found that CC’s go through Citi Bank to pay out scholarships/aid, while universities use their own bank (which is a nationally accredited bank, for example, ASU uses MidFirst bank.) Thirdly you will need to find and locate the book store, admissions/registrar office, and the layout of your campus. Luckily for me I do not attend ASU’s Main campus, I attend the Downtown/Online and West campus. Most larger State Universities will have multiple campuses, especially in larger metro areas. Your smaller state campuses, or private Universities don’t typically have multiple campuses. Either case, you will want to know how to navigate through the campuses you will be attending. Once you have your schedule, in hand, you will need to visit the cashiers office to find out your parking options. Your days of free parking at the CC are over! =/ UNLESS they have shuttles, etc. Luckily for me, my CC allows alumni to still use their parking lots with special stickers and take the University shuttle from the CC to the University. Parking permits for the University are NOT CHEAP. I would first suggest decide how far you are actually willing to walk. The further away the parking lot/space, the cheaper your parking permit will be. My parking permit for the best parking lot at the Downtown Campus is $450/semester. Thats $900/year. The Worst case scenario parking lot is four blocks away (almost two miles) and is $150/semester. (That’s the downtown campus, so yes it’s more expensive, I don’t know about prices for the other campuses.) My classes at ASU West are online this semester and so I do not need a parking permit for ASU west at this time. HOWEVER, I was told that ASU west parking permits were cheaper and had a shuttle from ASU west to ASU Downtown. So that’s another option to consider. Point is, you will be paying for parking, no matter what. Our CC’s spoiled us with free parking!

7) Start familiarizing yourself with you student portal. It’s almost always different than what you are used to, and they tend to call things by different names. For example PC called it our Academic Advising Transcript, meanwhile the SAME thing is called the “DARS” report at ASU. It’s essentially the same thing, slightly different view and name, but ultimately they both tell us what classes we have taken towards our degree, what classes we still need to take, and what classes we are currently in. It’s your progress report. Also many universities have a “profile” page, in which Students, Staff and Faculty can look you up on. Make sure you fill this out completely, because SOME instructors do use this to check to see what their students are like. It’s there whether you want it to be or not, so just get it filled out. You don’t want to look lazy.

8) SET your minor as soon as you know what it is (this should go without saying for your major as well, if you haven’t already done so.) That way that college/school can admit you and cut the red tape before you need to enroll into those classes. For example, my Major is Journalism/Mass Com. which is at WCJMC at ASU downtown, meanwhile my minors are Psy and Soc which is at ASU Letters and Arts at ASU West. I had to be admitted into BOTH schools after I was admitted into ASU itself. They each had to pull my “DARS” report and cut the red tape for me to freely enroll into my classes. Your Academic Adviser will have to set your minor in most cases.

9) FIND the honors college if you intend to be an honors student once admitted and start that application, and pay. They have certain class requirements and you’ll want to get on top of that immediately.

10) GET INVOLVED! I know, we are busy moms, and we can’t even think of spending more time on school, however, CHOSE ONE thing and get involved with it. Start with a small role, and gradually add to it, but just get involved. This provides networking, where you can trade books with friends, peers, etc. I only have to buy ONE book this semester, because of this. I have traded a few books with my peers, even some with my husband, who is also in college and vise versa. No body wants to spend money on books, and many are willing to make changes. GREAT money saving opportunity by simply getting involved.

11) If you come across words you have to look up or do not know, I highly suggest keeping a log of these words and finding a way to use them in your daily life. Building that vocabulary is essential. =) I still do it, although I have a pretty extensive vocabulary. I suggest doing this for your Foreign language classes as well.

12) Nearly everything you will need to do can be done online. Universities are HUGE with self motivation. The key to your success is learning how to navigate online on your universities page. School officials, school offices, instructors will all point you to find it online, and encourage that prior to calling/asking them. Might as well get used to it in this tech savvy age. I swear they should be giving us tech degrees in conjunction with our degrees when we are done. This has been especially difficult for myself, because I’m not as tech savvy as my peers. I did not grow up with cell phones, or the internet. Those things were very basic and came much later in life for me. I’m starting to catch up, via crash course!

13) Finally, just take your placement exams as soon as they will allow you to do so. This also prevents enrollment issues. Such exams will be languages (ENG if you have not completed those, COM, social sciences, and Foreign languages), MAT, and specialized areas of interest, which you will need to ask your adviser about.

This is just a small list of “hoops” you will have to jump through, and get on top of, and I hope it helps. As I go through my program I will further add to this I’m sure, because it always seems like as soon as I jump through 5 hoops there are 10 more waiting for me on the other side. Even though this is my second semester at ASU, it’s my first full time schedule at ASU, because I was finishing up at PC last semester. SO, I’m still learning.

BE PROACTIVE is all I can say, I’ve given you some things that the universities wont tell you about until the hold is on your student account, but ultimately it’s up to you.

I hope this helps! Let me know if I can clarify anything for you!

Straw, Sticks, or Bricks?

Nearly the moment shock wore off that we were expecting our first child, my instant thought was to education. What could I do now, and in the future until school age to not only prepare my child, and future children for education, but give them the best education we can.

I know, odd right? Not too many parents actually think about that the moment the two lines appear on the stick. I did, and I still do. Most start to plan for a baby, getting baby items, checking things off of their needs and wants list. Don’t get me wrong, I had my pregnant hormonal times of I NEED to get these things to get them checked off of our needs/wants list! Every mother goes through it, it’s sort of like a right of passage, so to speak.

Education is big with me. I fully believe that a child’s best chance at life is education. Let me back that up a bit though. Everything starts at home with the parents first and foremost. The parents set the ground work, and the structure. They set the expectations and rules. They start to teach their child at an early age, don’t do this, you can do that, don’t touch this, this is why, etc. We teach our children without even realize we are teaching them! Just wait until they start picking up words and become these little sponges and regurgitate EVERY little thing yous say! Don’t believe me, well you would have LOVED to see my face, when my son lovingly told my in laws that “Mommies and daddies play time is at night after we go night night.” Yep….. Hubby was teasing me about giving him some loving that night, and you betcha, my son heard it, and repeated it, not to mention, he thought it was cute, and appropriate to start saying, “give me some loving.” Yes, innocent, and cute, but if it weren’t for him being so young, could TOTALLY be taken the wrong way.

The ground work you set at home, is the structure they take to school with them. The school you send to them, is what completes the structure. Which piggy are you going to be like? The one that builds the rest of the structure from Hay, Straw or Brick? I don’t know about you, but Hay and Straw fall down, and crumble. Sure they can be re-built, and maybe even chose to use different materials the second, third, fourth, etc time around. However, why  not start them off strong to begin with? Why NOT start with brick? Will it cost more? Um, yes, yes it will. Will it be harder to assemble? Most certainly it will. Will it take more time, absolutely! There lies the problem! Some parents, don’t want to, or say they can’t/don’t have the time to set them up with brick from the beginning. A lifestyle is more important for some.

I agonized over that very thing when we found out we were expecting our oldest son. I cried many times, had many sleepless nights. I hated myself for doing and not doing. I was miserable. Why? I wanted to set them up with brick, but brick takes money (mostly), and yet it doesn’t. I was faced with a decision, to work outside of the home, and let others care for them, while I made enough money to cover day care costs and maybe have some extra? (Certainly not enough for a better education or a private one for that matter.) Or do I stay home, and build that foundation, until they were school aged and I could work at least part time to help pay for that better education, that brick?

Sounds like my decision should have been easy, right? Nope, it wasn’t. I factored in what was best for my child and future children, but I didn’t factor in what was best for ME yet. I’m a highly motivated person, a go getter, I have a great college education, yet thanks to the economy tank in 2008, I’ll never be able to use that degree, I could if I wanted to now, however, I don’t want to put my life in harms way, possibly taking the mother away from my children. I had a great career, and was going somewhere fast, climbing up that ladder. I’m a very independent women! I love my independence, I love my freedom, and I love providing! So for me, leaving the working field, made me feel as if I would be losing a part of me, losing my independence, and losing my say on how to spend money. This was something I did not want to give up. I had a VERY difficult time giving this up, and making my decision final.

Eventually it became clear to me, that for now, I’d leave the work field to build that foundation with my children, and trust God, and ultimately trust my husband, another person to provide for me; when I have been providing for myself since I was 15 years old. It has been a VERY difficult road for me. During which time I have used to go back to school to get into a career I love, and can do while being an involved mommy once my children are school aged.

Leaving the work field was temporarily, not permanent, it was a gateway to something bigger and better, an is enabling me to be that mommy I want to be, the involved mommy, the one that attends PTA meetings, helps with school carnivals, attends meet the teacher nights, brings baked goods to school on their birthdays, attends football games and band performances, etc.

So once I was “okay” with that, and getting more and more content with it, I have been able to refocus my attention on the type of education to provide for my children. There is no doubt about it, and there is no way around it, schools are under performing these days due to budget cut backs, and the lack of funding, in relation to under paid and under qualified/educated teachers.

I start the foundation at home, and schools/teachers they continue the work I do. I want my children to go to a school that shares the same values, the same hard work, the same amount of dedication. That will tell me when one of my boys is being a fool at school, or failing. I don’t agree with this “no child left behind” shenanigans. If my child is failing to get a concept, or subject, I WANT, no, I NEED to know this so I can take appropriate measures to rectify it. In addition to that, a school MUST have the extra circulars like sports, PE, Art, Music, special interest clubs, because that is what makes children well rounded. They are JUST as important in the social and real world as math, reading, writing, history, etc.

Budget cuts, and funding cuts have forced schools to dissolve these programs. They no longer exist in many schools, and the schools that do offer them, they are poorly funded, and poorly guided. We have math teachers who have no interest in swing club basically baby sitting the club for a mere few more cents on their check. When I was in school, we had teachers who had HIGH interest in the clubs, and made every effort to make the clubs shine and be productive, and they were handsomely rewarded. They are not today. Sad, but true. Public schools don’t have the funding. Sadly this is why I will be going back to work once my children are all school aged. I will have to pay a privately funded school to send them to to get all of this. Where they are rigorously encouraged to be better, do better, and accomplish. Where they will have the opportunities and chances to perform in after school activities/programs such as the above mentioned. Where school officials will contact me, to let me know of issues that we can rectify together.

Yes, I’m laying brick for their foundation and their structure, because it wont topple over as easily, the big bad wolf can’t blow it down. Is it going to cost me? Yes, it will likely cost me a fortune in money to send them there, and cost me a great deal of time, to help them during their studies, and activities, however, in the end, worth every drop of time and money when I get to look on three little boys who grew up to be three great independent, well mannered, well rounded respectful men.

I’m not trying to put down public schools, or those who send their children to public schools. I’m not putting down public school teachers. I’m simply stating that in this day and age, due to budget and funding cutbacks, I simply want more of my children’s educations than what they have to offer right now. Until the public school system can fix these issues, I will pay out the nose and do what ever it takes for a better education.

So, straw, sticks, or brick? How is your child’s education stacking up?

Our First taker on the Consequence Jar

We have pretty much ran through the gamete with our boys in regards to behavioral consequences and disciplines. Everything ranging from warnings, talks, corner time, timeout time, spanking, removing them from the room, taking things away, etc. So I spent the last few days SCOURING the internet, namely pintrest for “Creative Consequences” for the boys.

I came across the “naughty” and “nice” jars. Basically the “naughty” jar, that I have renamed in our house to the “Inappropriate behavior consequence” jar has creative consequences they pull randomly from and fulfill. I have chosen easy monitored tasks and chores they can do. I didn’t go with writing apology letters, giving hugs, etc because they are not old enough at this time to understand that, but they do understand being taken to do a task they may not like nor want to do and kept from playing and having fun. It seems to grab their attention, most especially my oldest. The “nice” jar, that I have renamed in our house to the “Appropriate Behavior rewards” jar has fun rewards they can earn for demonstrating good behavior (based off of the ill behaviors observed lately, so just being nice wont cut it, if they don’t hit when brother steals a toy away, then they can have a reward.) These are extra special things they would not normally get.

Tonight we had our first contender for the consequence jar. My oldest, Jay, who is 3.5 years old, said he was still hungry and wanted more, I said okay, and looked at his plate. I said, well you will have to eat the last few bites of your green beans before I get you more. He yelled at me, “NO mama, I will not eat that, I want more of this.” Then he decided that he was going to start throwing his green beans. There were three big no no’s here in this one little moment, he told me no, he yelled at me, and he threw something. I should have made him pick three consequences to do, however seeing that this is the “first” offense I only made him chose one, and told him in the future it would be three consequences for each behavior that was inappropriate. We talked while he carried out his consequence, and we talked some more after as to why he had to chose a consequence and what behaviors lead to getting this consequence. That it wasn’t to punish him, it was to take away something he wanted, ie: playing and having fun. That mommy and daddy would be taking free time, play time away for chore time if these behaviors kept up. He did apologize and we left it with a kiss and a hug. He told daddy that he would not be doing that again. I think it got his attention, so, so far it’s a success.

Less stress on me, chores will get done that I don’t have to do, just be there to help facilitate and supervise. He did a surprisingly good job cleaning his tub tonight. When we got back down stairs I asked him if he was still hungry and wanted to now finish his green beans to have more pineapple, and he said yes. He finished his green beans and got more pineapple. He was a happy camper after that.

I’m not ready to call this a complete success as of yet, but it’s a great start, and hopefully it will work with both boys!!! These are “extra” chores above and beyond their daily and weekly chores they must do. Yes my children even at 3.5 years old and 20 months have chores, simple easy ones, like make their beds, clean up their rooms after night time and nap time, clean up their toys before nap and night time, brush their teeth, clear their tables, and put away their dirty laundry. I feel it’s never too young to start. I’m hoping this will help in the future, when they get older and wont have to be told what to do as much. Right now, they pretty much know that when I say lets get ready for bed/nap they start picking up their toys. I don’t have to supervise that as much, just go in the play room and help them pick up the straggler toys.

Yes there are bible verses above where the jars sit. On the wall behind the jars are Bible verses. For the consequence jar it’s Ephesians 6:1-3, “Children obey your parents.” And for the rewards jar it’s Galations 5:22, “The fruit of the spirit is…..”

 

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I’m offically the worlds WORST mom. =/

I feel like having a crying tantrum with my 3.5 year old as well. =/

My mom passed away July 7th, 2012. Last Christmas was our first Christmas without her. This is our second Christmas without her, and it’s not any easier, on me. I didn’t know it was affecting my son.

He knew nana, went to live in Heaven with God and the Angels. That she couldn’t visit us last Christmas. (That’s the only way we could explain to him last Christmas why she wasn’t there, and why only papa Mike and Aunt Star had come.) He seemed fine with it, and it seemed as if he forgotten everything when papa Mike showed up with the Christmas gifts on Christmas eve.

Well, today as I’m getting him ready to lay down for a nap, he asked if he and brother could have a cookie. I told him that when he wakes up from his nap then he can have one. I made a HUGE mistake, and asked him if he was excited to have papa Mike and Aunt Star come over to start Christmas with us tomorrow. He got really excited and said yes he was, and said that he couldn’t wait to see papa Mike, Aunt Star and nana D. =/

I tried really hard to choke back my tears, and told him that he needed to remember that Nana D isn’t able to come here for Christmas, that she’s up in Heaven with the Angels, great paw paw and Aunt Dawn. But, she would be watching us from heaven and sending us her love.

OH, was that a MISTAKE! He started crying, like I ripped the head off of his fave snuggle toy, and yelling at me that I was lying to him. He wouldn’t calm down for anything. Finally I was able to rock him and get him to calm down and he fell asleep in my lap.

I can’t stop crying. I’ve done all of the Christmas traditions my mom had always done, I’ve done all of the Christmas crafts I could find, and been so busy preparing for Christmas, this has been my way of sort of dealing with not having my mom here, that I didn’t even seem to notice that my baby was hurting! It didn’t seem like an issue last Christmas!!!

I guess I should have seen this coming, we have been talking about all the Christmas things we were doing and how nana would do them with me, and he sees all of her pictures on the walls. He even got the honor of putting her memorial picture Christmas ornament on the tree this year. I thought that if I talked about her, and what we used to do when she was here, that it would be a great way to keep her memory alive for my boys. It so backfired on me, and now I feel like the worlds WORST mom!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I don’t know how to fix this!!!! I’m terrified of when he wakes up, and what to say, or if I should even say anything at all! Worst I’m terrified now of how he’s going to react when papa Mike and Aunt Star get here tomorrow. =/

How can I comfort him? How can I explain to my little man that nana D just can’t be here with us. My heart is breaking so bad, and all I want to do is crawl up in a little ball, and cry with him. I may have ruined Christmas for my son. =/

We are ALL sinners

Even homosexuals are standing with Phil.

It’s to stop the LGBT MOVEMENT from crying and whining because someone has a different set of beliefs, values and practices.

#BoycottAETV

The above is taken from Facebook:

It’s no secret that I am Christian, and I own my faith, yes faith, not religion. I was born into religion, when I questioned too hard I was asked to leave. Obviously religion did not work for me; faith does. A lot of Christians still have a difficult time separating religion, man made ordinances, from faith, God directed ordinances; so obviously non Christians would a difficult time in seeing the difference as well. That’s not what this blog is about today, perhaps another time, however today it’s about something a little different, but the same concept.

Religion will harshly rebuke any sin, some to the greatest lengths. Faith, well it teaches us something different, doesn’t it? We are called to LOVE the sinner and REBUKE the sin. Although you wont find one single verse in the bible that states it as I have, you will find the bible does tell us to rebuke the sin, but to love the sinner, it’s a matter of simply understanding the bible. I don’t have enough time, energy, or even space in one little blog to go about teaching someone how to simply understand the bible. I will try my best to give a small synopsis though. The closest you will come to finding what I have stated in the Bible is in Romans, more specific Romans 5:8, Romans 2:1-4, and Romans 12:9. Although I much prefer the Amplified version, I’ll post an easier version to read, The Good News Translation.

5 Now that we have been put right with God through faith, we have[a] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. He has brought us by faith into this experience of God’s grace, in which we now live. And so we boast[b] of the hope we have of sharing God’s glory! We also boast[c] of our troubles, because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance brings God’s approval, and his approval creates hope. This hope does not disappoint us, for God has poured out his love into our hearts by means of the Holy Spirit, who is God’s gift to us.

For when we were still helpless, Christ died for the wicked at the time that God chose. It is a difficult thing for someone to die for a righteous person. It may even be that someone might dare to die for a good person. 8 But God has shown us how much he loves us—it was while we were still sinners that Christ died for us! By his blood[d] we are now put right with God; how much more, then, will we be saved by him from God’s anger! 10 We were God’s enemies, but he made us his friends through the death of his Son. Now that we are God’s friends, how much more will we be saved by Christ’s life! 11 But that is not all; we rejoice because of what God has done through our Lord Jesus Christ, who has now made us God’s friends.

2 Do you, my friend, pass judgment on others? You have no excuse at all, whoever you are. For when you judge others and then do the same things which they do, you condemn yourself.We know that God is right when he judges the people who do such things as these. But you, my friend, do those very things for which you pass judgment on others! Do you think you will escape God’s judgment? Or perhaps you despise his great kindness, tolerance, and patience. Surely you know that God is kind, because he is trying to lead you to repent.

Love must be completely sincere. Hate what is evil, hold on to what is good.

The last verse is probably one of my favorite verses ever to be told. Simply because if you go back and read the entire 12th chapter of Romans, you will read further that the only ones we should be judging is ourselves, and we should do so according to how God would judge us based on our services to God, and living to that of which we are called to be doing. This chapter in the bible has been a near and dear chapter for me through so many things in life. However, again this blog post isn’t about that currently, again, maybe another time. I just wanted to give some foundation to what I’m about to say.

While, I myself do not feel as if Phil Robertson went out and maliciously slandered an entire community as many are suggesting he did, I do feel that perhaps he was a tad bit on the harsh side. I also agree that this is a HUGE over reaction to a statement of personal belief to which he’s entitled to per the first amendment and was not at all a slander or put down to the LGBT community. Anyone who had even watched a partial of Duck Dynasty knows those boys are hard core gun loving, redneck, God fearing, outspoken Christians….. A&E/Disney knew exactly what they were doing and getting into by airing the show. I think both sides need to apologize for getting their panties in a fizzy.

In my opinion if media is okay with exposing children and families with the likes of Miley Cyrus, half naked, if not entirely naked, apparently doped up on something on stage grabbing a married mans private areas, then why the outcry over a man stating his PERSONAL beliefs? Phil didn’t put down anyone, he didn’t slander anyone, in fact if you watch or read the ENTIRETY of the interview in which this outcry comes from, then you will see that he further clarifies that.

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If you are part of the #boycottae are you also boycotting all of the sister and parent stations from Hearst Corp, like Disney, History, Biography and Lifetime? What are you boycotting exactly? Think about it for a min. What will this boycott accomplish? Like I said don’t get me wrong, I agree that Phil did nothing wrong, and I agree that this is an over reaction on the part of the stations. How far are you willing to go for this cause? What will it get you? What will it change? Will it even change anything? I honestly, and sadly do not think so, because we live in a time, and an age, that if you don’t entirely and openly accept everything mainstream, then you are banned. Simple as that. Maybe this was a coo on the stations part to drum up publicity, to say, “Oh, well, Christians we gave you, your chance, and you blew it….” Is it working? I think so, who isn’t talking about A&E and Phil from Duck Dynasty right now?

I ask you one last question, how is this Christian? Love thy neighbor. Love all. Love the sinner. Hate the sin. Is this the American way? Tolerance? LGBT community preaches tolerance….. it’s okay to have tolerance, as long as it upholds your beliefs, views and ideology I guess, but not if it differs… Did I get that right? I love my LGBT friends, but I don’t love this attitude. I don’t have to agree with or love their lifestyle to love them. It’s not for me to judge. I simply love and accept them as I’m CALLED to do by God, what’s wrong with asking for it to be reciprocated? Can the LGBT community love and accept me if I don’t agree with them, even though I do love them? What is all of this really saying?

Simple, there is no tolerance on either side, because both sides have to be right, and both have to run main stream….. can’t have two cocks in the hen house, right? Maybe this is a good time that we ALL, Christian, non Christian, LGBT, non LGBT alike all start practicing what we are preaching; Love, Acceptance, Tolerance of different beliefs? Do we have to agree? Nope, but you wont find me judging or condemning another person, that’s not my job, and not my gift in the body of Christ; I just call it as I see it. A bunch of sinners being intolerant to everyone who differs in beliefs. We all bleed red don’t we? Then we are ALL sinners, everyone of us, because we are ALL born into sin. Every single one of us.

Romans 5:12, Romans 3:23, Romans 3:10, 1 John 1:8.