4.08.2010

2010 Ultimate Blog Party!

Ultimate Blog Party 2010

Welcome fellow blog party participants!

I heard about the 2010 Ultimate Blog Party just a few days ago and decided to give it a whirl even though I'm still not exactly sure how it works. :^) But I always welcome opportunities to write, and knowing new people might be coming here all week should provide good motivation to write more - just as knowing I'll have house guests motivates me to bring out the fresh towels! Over the next week, I also hope to find a few like-minded blogging friends - from both reading and being read. And, of course, winning a prize wouldn't hurt either. :^)


So, by way of introduction, I present my

TOP TEN TIDBITS ABOUT TINA!
I am:
10. a cat-lover.
Currently, we have three cats: Clawde, Sweater, and Sparkle, but I've had many dozens of cats since I made my first acquaintance with a feline - my buddy, Bear - when I was 11. During my secondary school years, I lived in the country, and we didn't believe in spending money to spay and neuter cats. So I knew upwards of 30 individual kitties at a time - some tame and some almost feral, but I named every single one. In my adult life, the most I've ever owned at one time was seven, but my husband has made me pinky-swear that we'll always have at least one (which I guess makes him a cat-lover, too!);

9. a social networker. I took the techno-plunge about 18 months ago, joining Facebook and The Homeschool Lounge and starting two blogs all in the course of a week. I'm home a lot (more on that in a minute), which I love - but it also means I don't get lots of regular, "real-life" interaction with other adults. Social networking doesn't replace the face-to-face, of course, but it's been a great tool for me - and I've met some incredible people I'd never otherwise have the pleasure of knowing;

8. health-conscious. I don't always make the wisest choices yet, but being healthy and fit is important to me. A "great week" in that arena means consistently "eating clean" and making it to the Y five or six times;

7. a musician. I've been a singer for as long as I can remember, crooning along with Tammy Wynette or Donny & Marie as a kid or making up (much to my brother's chagrin!) my own little ditties on long car trips. And then I picked up the French horn in fifth grade and the trumpet in ninth. I haven't played either horn with any consistency for a few years, but now I'm back to singing - this time on my church's worship team;

6. a writer. As do so many, I dream of one day penning "the great American novel," and perhaps I will. At this point, I instead have the start of a novelization of King Lear on paper and the roots of some children's books and a memoir รก la The Glass Castle in my head. And I write regularly for two venues: The ChatterBee (a website for users of the All About Spelling curriculum and other language arts aficionados) and Celebrate Kids, Inc. (a wonderful ministry for which I serve as staff writer). You can read my Celebrate Kids archives by clicking here;

5. an advocate. One of my favorite quotes comes from Maggie Kuhn, an early 20th century activist, who said, "Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind - even if your voice shakes." Finding my voice has been a bit of a journey, but now that I have it, I certainly make use of it for any cause in which I believe! Of course, I want to add "in love" to the "speak your mind" phrase because that's the key element to any form of advocacy...but getting that concept to be a natural part of how I behave is a work in progress (!);

4. a teacher. For nine years before I had children of my own, I taught in public secondary schools in my city; my students were immigrant kids from Thailand, Laos, and Latin America, and my job was to help them learn English. But I've known for years that my focus would shift if I were blessed with children, and so I left the classroom when my older daughter was born without one backwards glance of regret. I was my daughters' early childhood teacher and have also provided childcare services for other people's infants and preschoolers since I've been home. And now I am the girls' primary educator in our homeschool, an endeavor we plan to continue all the way through to their high school graduations;

3. a mom. God has blessed me with three daughters, two of whom (Rachel and Abigail) I am privileged to be raising with His help and by His grace. The other, Anna Vivian, was called home to Heaven before she was even born, but she is no less my daughter than her younger sisters. Anna would be 11 this spring; Rachel and Abigail will soon be, respectively, nine and eight. They are my "Irish twins," having been born as they were less than one year apart...which is a whole story in and of itself! And, simply put, they are my heart;

2. a wife. I've been married for over 20 years to the man I met my very first day on campus where we attended college. I often joke that our marriage is a sign of God's sense of humor - because we're so very different from each other in many ways. But, more accurately, we're a sign of His faithfulness. Because - no matter what - we're committed to each other and to our marriage, and that tenacity can only come from God;

1. a Christ-follower. Numbers 10 through two really list in ascending order the main roles I "play" in life - all important to some degree (some obviously much more so than others), but none (even being a wife and mother) the real essence of who I am. That honor rather belongs to my position as a dearly-loved adopted child of God. Of course, that's not through anything I've done; instead, it's a gift I've been given by Him after simply being willing to place my faith in Jesus (Ephesians 2.8-9). And it's certainly not something at which I'm "perfect" - not by a long-shot! But that's the point of the title of this blog. I am - indeed - BEING MADE NEW each and every day...involved in the process of being conformed into Christ-likeness. That's something with which I'm not always comfortable and whose end-product won't be fully evident until I see Jesus face to face. But it's the journey I love being on nonetheless.





By the way, the top three prizes I'm interested in winning are blog makeovers (because, after seeing so many wonderful-looking sites, I'm experiencing a bit of "blog envy!"):
1. INTL # 11, offered by Simply Fabulous Blogger Templates
2. INTL #16, offered by Premades for a Purpose
3. INTL #8, offered by Mary Hess Designs


I also would be blessed by any of the following, all gift cards:
US #11, US #31, US #32, US #52, US #55, US #73, US #74, US #87, US #95, US #107, US #112, USC # 3, USC #8, USC #15, USC #25, USC #32, USC #36, USC #37, USC #39, USC #40, USC #44


In closing, I want to share a bit of wisdom about this amazing but potentially-overwhelming UBP...which is actually a suggestion from Robin over at PENSIEVE, #104. If you're like me, you want to visit as many UBP blogs as you can...and you want to do it this week while the party is still going on (so no one feels neglected, lol!). Yet, we all have real lives, too - and, in fact, our real lives are all plenty busy! So Robin suggests focusing your attention on the blogs that end in the same number as your UBP number. Thus, my number is #225, and so I'm going to put my attention toward hitting all the blogs that end in 5. Along the way, I'll stop elsewhere if I see a title that draws me in, and I'll go back to others (maybe the 0's in my case to keep it divisible by 5, lol?) after that. I am, by nature, an organizer (and my husband's not inaccurate nickname for me is "Rou-Tina!") so a plan of attack appeals to me. Maybe it will you, too. :^)

90 comments:

donna_m_webb said...

Hi Tina! This is my first Ultimate Blog Party, and you are my first blog to visit today! You have a very full and I would say satisfying life, awesome! I look forward to visiting more with you!

Safe Home Happy Mom said...

Happy Ultimate Blog Party!!! Following you from Safe Home Happy Mom blog. You can also follow my blog at www.safehomehappymom.com

Jo's Health Corner said...

Hi Tina,
You are such a good writer! What a great life you have living in the country, singing and writing. My daughter is a cat person ever since she was about a year old. She used pretend she was a kitty, and once she got older she became the Super Kitty with super powers.

Enjoy your blog party!

Wendy said...

Dear Tina,
Hello from a fellow Christ-follower! I am here from the UBP. I enjoyed reading about "you" 10 through 1. I am also a Homeschooler, and always will consider myself one, though my "children" are 24 and 20:) I think you would like my blog and there are things there for SAHMs and Homeschoolers, because that's who I write for primarily, though I love meeting people from all walks and places-- (the blog actually belongs to the Lord, however). I look forward to getting to know you better!
Please come over and visit me at www.faithfultojesus.blogspot.com
I'm hosting my very first Blog Contest with prizes all week--come and enter!
Blessings,
Wendy
Faith's Firm Foundation

Rachel said...

Love reading about your home teacher for tots preschool! It sounds fascinating! Found you through THL - glad you are in our "homeschooling preschoolers" group!

Momma Such said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog party!

Have a great weekend! :)

blueviolet said...

Hi! I'm visiting back from the UBP10! You sure wear a lot of hats and all of them sound wonderful!

carma said...

Enjoyed reading your 10 things. I'm most impressed with being an 'advocate' there are a lot of things I feel strongly about but have yet to get involved...I hope you do get to one day write that novel.

thanks for stopping by my place...party on!

Xenia said...

Thank you so much for stopping by, I love meeting so many great people from the UBP! I hope you have a great time visiting!

Confessions Of A Homeschooler said...

Hi! Thanks for stopping by for the UBP10, I love finding new homeschooling moms online, what a great resource! Hope you have a fun "Party"!

Lauralee Moss said...

Hello and thanks for coming over to my blog earlier. That is why I like this party--I am so happy to meet people with such common interests. I am following you now and I hope we get time to chat.

Debbie said...

Hi Tina, thank you for visiting my blog. I too am a Christian, homeschooler, and even a member of the Homeschool Lounge. I am now even a follower of your blog. I look forward to getting to know you a little bit more. Have fun with the UBH throughout the rest of the week.

redeemed diva said...

Dropping in from the blog party! Wow!What a great way to present yourself...a top ten. Great idea. I felt like I got to know you and I want to come back

bigguysmama said...

I had tingles when I read your #1 item about you. Loved learning about you! I can't wait to go back to your homepage after this comment n start following you! Already love your writing.

~Mimi @ Woven by Words
http://wovenbywords.blogspot.com/2010/04/ultimate-blog-party-5-minutes-for-mom.html

Plowlady said...

Dropping by from UBP -- loved cruising through your blog!

Tiaras said...

hello and so very nice to meet you, thanks for the visit - that was such a lovely post to read on this UBP party!

The Local Cook said...

love your values. I too love cats, eat clean, and am interested in advocacy. Hope you're enjoying the party!

Jen said...

This is my first blog party. I'm having a lot of fun and reading a lot of interesting blogs. I enjoyed your blog. Blessings!

Susieqtpies said...

Toot Tootin' the #UBP10 Party Horn!!!

I'm your newest fan!!! We also homeschool!!

Have a great party!

http://bit.ly/SusieQTpieFB

@Susieqtpies
at Scraps of Life http://cafescrapper-scrapsoflife.blogspot.com

Christi said...

Hi! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I'm a fellow Christ-follower! :) Loved your top ten list - it was a great way to get to know you better. Have a blessed rest of the weekend!

Beverly said...

Hi Tina,
Thanks for stopping by! I really enjoyed reading your party post. I will be back to read more. Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier! Hope you enjoy the rest of the party.

Tree said...

Hi there!! Stopping by to party with you from UBP! You sound very blessed, and I'm sure your hubby, your girls and your daughter in heaven are very proud of you! :)

I'm following you with both of my blogs and thanks for following me!

I would also love to invite you to join us at our new Mommies Faves Mom Bloggers Network as well! :)

Now back to the party, have fun!!

Comfort Joy Designs said...

Happy UBP 2010!

Tarasview said...

so nice to meet you! I loved your list- great idea:) Happy blog partying!

Tara's View of the World $150 WaySpa.com Giveaway

Jen @ One Moms World said...

Thank you so much for stopping by my UBP! You done great with your post and so happy to meet you. Looking forward to more of your posts. Have a great weekend.

Kristen said...

I loved your list!! You are so right...it's because of HIM and HIM alone! ;-D

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Maybe my favorite blog
I have been to today...Became a follower and want to get to know you better...Fabulous design.........Party hopping and having a blast.....so many great blogs....I have a Fun $100 Gift Basket to give away and all it takes a comment.
I am number....294 and 295.....Stop by and see me at either blog...Happy Saturday!

Teresa
http://teresa-grammygirlfriend.blogspot.com
http://grammyababychangeseverything.blogspot.com/

Annie said...

Wow, I love this list! I love to sing but not many people like hearing it LOL I too am a writer and my mother keeps nagging me to start sending my children's stories into publishers but I just don't have time.

And yes, social networking is such a blessing for me too. In real life I don't get a whole lot of adult interaction besides DH and one other friend. On thursdays I get to see a few other moms for an hour playdate, and then church. But online I really bond with other mothers that are just like me and I love it!

Have a great weekend!

Linda said...

I enjoyed reading over your tidbits. We have much in common. I homeschool my boys and have graduated one of them. I'm not a singer though. :) Thanks for stopping by.

Staci said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your girls are just precious!

LindsayDianne said...

Everyone should be able to, at some point or other in their life, stand up tall and straight for what they believe is right. It's good to see so many things that make you such a strong and incredible woman, and thank you for being so open to sharing those things. You have a beautiful family. :)

TDM Wendy said...

We have a lot in common- I love Jesus, cats (but not 30 cats at once!), writing and health/fitness.
Thanks for stopping by "Tales from the Motherhood and Confessions of a Former Childhood Actress!"

Christine said...

Hey, thanks for stopping by my blog for the party! I’m following you now so I hope to learn more about you and your blog soon. Your family is beautiful too! http://intheknowgiveaways.blogspot.com

Mrs. Marine said...

Thanks for stopping by my party! Nice to meet you! Great "Party"! Hope your having fun at the UBP, I know I am!

Muthering Heights said...

Hi there! Thank you for coming by today! :)

Enjoy the party!!

Merry said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I hope you are having a great UBP! You sound like you have your hands full!

preschooljoy said...

An advocate, huh? That's an area I'm seeking to "find my voice in" as you did...how did you go about it? North Korea is my big issue, but I feel lost on how to start. Looking forward to following your blog and learning!

Jackie Walters - Personal Finance said...

Hi Tina,

Thanks for stopping by my blog. You too and be financially free. It takes discipline and intensity. Let me know if I can help. Visit my blog @ www.jackierwalters.blogspot.com for updates.

Nolie said...

Thank you for stopping by my party. Hope you are having a great time and finding wonderful new blogs to follow. Feel free to come visit again sometime.

HSUper Parents said...

Hi and nice to meet you! Thanks for visiting. Wow, you're pretty talented - singer, musician, writer, teacher. Happy UBP10!
http://hsuperparents.blogspot.com

Amy LeForge said...

Rou-Tina! That's fantastic!! I'll be smiling about that one all day. I wish my boys would let a routine or two stick. Maybe someday.

Glad you stopped by my UBP post, it's great to meet you!

Michelle said...

We have a few things in common; Christ follower, wife, mom & cat-lover. Although I did not start out being a cat lover. My first love was dogs, but I never could properly train them, so I gave that dream up. I still love a good dog story & think they are so cute & cuddly.
My hubby has always been a cat lover. We now have 3 cats (K.K., Smokey & Mr. M'Now)Smokey loves to sleep with us and he is big, furry and cuddly.
My hubby plays the guitar. We (our sons & I)actually get serenaded by one type or the other every night. He owns several, and several different types.
Would love to have you visit sometime.

*UBP 2010*

Jaimie said...

Great idea - on how to read the UBP posts (there are so many), and also loved your top 10 so that we can get to know you better! Loved visiting and thanks for visiting my blog too!

It Feels Like Chaos said...

Great top 10! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Miss Fit said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! HAppy UBP2010! Indeed we have lots in common. Nice to meet you!

Jennifer Sikora said...

Hey Tina! I had no clue you had a blog! Thanks for following me and I am doing the same to you!

Christy said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. What an interesting teaching experience you must have had teaching English!

Christine said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog from UBP10! Loved reading about you through your top 10 and will stop back to pick up tips on teacher my little ones!

Liz said...

You stopped by my blog, and now I'm checking out yours. Seems we have a few things in common. I like cats, but I've only had 4 at one time. Currently I have 2 cats and 1 dog. I also played French horn from 4th - 11th grade. Haven't picked it up much since being out of school, though. It was good meeting you at the UBP10.

yonca said...

Nice to meet you Tina! Following your blog via UBP! Hope to see you around my blog sometime:) Have a wonderful day!

Marina@EBMR said...

Awww Tina...I love 1,2 and 3....so beautiful! ...and you are the first person I know who plays the french horn!!

Hope you are having fun at the UBP 2010....what a lot of party goers...am slowly crawling through the list!

http://energizerbunnysmommyreports.blogspot.com/2010/04/namaste-to-all-whove-hopped-over-from.html

Maggie said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. I loved reading about you! Sounds like your writing will have many experiences to draw from in your life.

Mama Llama said...

thanks for visiting! Your UBP post was great and I felt like a I got to know you so well! And a great suggestion on how to visit the posts!

Carrie said...

Thanks for dropping by my blog- I love your post! What a great way to introduce yourself, I felt like I really got to know you.

Mozer said...

Hey Tina! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your pic. is familiar so I must have come across you on other homeschool boards (homeschool share?)I'm on the Homeschool Lounge too, but don't post there often. Glad to read more about you!

Cheryl said...

How nice to meet you. Doing your Top Ten Tidbits was a great idea!

Jana (sidetrack'd) said...

You did a great job of introducing yourself and sharing your passion for your family and God. Thanks for stopping by Sidetrack'd. Enjoy the UBP!

pam said...

Great to get to know you! I loved your intro...enjoy the rest of the party.

Emily said...

Hi Tina! Thanks for coming by my blog. I am now following you! I'm going to try visiting more blogs today - the week has been crazy and I haven't visited as many at UBP as I should try to. Can't wait to read your blog!
Emily
http://strobelshappenings.blogspot.com/2010/04/blog-party.html#comments

Candace said...

Hello! Thanks for stopping by my blog, it's nice to meet so many other homeschoolers!! :)

Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said...

Visiting back from the UBP - thanks so much for stopping by my party post and it's wonderful to meet you! :)

Mommafo said...

Hi!! I'm glad you stopped by my blog, and I'm glad to meet you! :) I'm a singer too, not professionally, although I did once upon a time :) Your girls are precious-- they could almost pass as twins :) Talk to you again soon! :)

Cascia said...

Just stopping by from the UBP at Five Minutes for Mom. I can't believe it is the last day! You have a great site. I would love it if you visited my blog and left me a comment! I'm looking forward to reading more and getting to know you better.

Cascia
The Healthy Moms
http://www.thehealthymoms.net/2010/04/welcome-to-healthy-moms-blog-party.html

joeandbridge said...

Hi There! Poppin' in from UBP to be your newest google follower! Hope you can swing by my blog when you get a chance! Have a great weekend!

Bridgette Groschen
The Groschen Goblins
www.groschengoblins.com

Maria and Michelle said...

I love your top 10! Just visiting from UBP '10, feel free to swing by our blog for some peanut butter pie and to enter our giveaway! I can't wait to look around your blog some more. Have a great weekend!

~ Michelle @ FTSN

Kim said...

Hi Tina!

Thank you for stopping by! Your family is beautiful! I definitely admire all that you do! You sound like a great mom, wife, social worker....and EVERYTHING ELSE! Good Job!

Lauren said...

Thank you so much for stopping by today! :) Your family is lovely! I can't wait to get to know you a little better!

Lori... said...

Hi Tina! Jumping in over here from the UBP...thanks for visiting! I really enjoyed reading through your list. Blessings~

Sheri said...

Hi, thanks for stopping by my blog-I have to get back on the party cruise and visit the 500+ blogs I haven't hit yet-I will come back and read up on you soon! Take care.

Kirstin said...

Hi! Thanks for stopping by today. I love your blog template. I'm going to have to browse around a bit more later. Just wanted to stop in and say hi before I forgot....now off to make Sammies for my busy gang! Blessings.

Valencia said...

Thanks so much for your sweet compliments on my blog!!

MamaArcher said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! It is so good to meet you. It is always great to meet another homeschooling mom! You have a beautiful family and I hope to get to know you more in the near future!

Allison said...

Thanks so much for visiting me. Sounds like you have a busy yet wonderful life. Look forward to reading more.

Leah C said...

Hi, Tina. Thanks for stopping by during the UBP. I think we've "met" around THL too. :-)

Summers' Family said...

Thank you visiting my blog. I love reading other blogs and I am so glad I found UBP. I love meeting other moms, especially Christians and when they homeschool it's a special bonus.

glenda09 said...

Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment! I'll be following you now!!! It is nice to meet you as well!!! I don't know if you read these two posts but when you get a chance do so and let me know what you think!

http://meandmineinasmalltown.blogspot.com/2010/04/set-world-on-fire.html

http://meandmineinasmalltown.blogspot.com/2010/04/thinking.html

Shannon said...

Hi Tina-thanks for visiting my blog. I'm a cat lover,also.
I like your idea of stopping at the blogs ending in your number. There are so many I couldn't get to this week.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Hey! Thanks for stopping by my blog, tonight. Bookmarking to return after the party is over, is a great idea. I'm sure I'll be back. Nice to "meet" you.

Jackie said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I am a former teacher, too. :-)

Debbie said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I will be checking your out now. You have a nice family and a great blog.

TheRockerMom said...

I enjoyed reading about you! I'm going to poke around your blog some more (hope that's okay). Party on!

Holly said...

Lovin' your blog! Thanks for stopping by mine...look forward to reading more about you!

Jennifer said...

Nice to meet another homeschooling Mom and fellow feline-adorer. We have three: Tyler, Samuel, and Thomas. We lost our beloved Chrissy a few weeks ago. I still haven't been able to blog about her. I had her for 17 years, since she was 6 weeks and 1 1/2 pounds! She was my first baby - you'll understand, I know!

Sara @ Embracing Destiny said...

Very nice blog! I'm your new follower.

Thanks for visiting me, too!

Kathy said...

Hi Tina! Nice to 'meet' you too! I love that you and I have so many similarities! My girls are actually 17 mos apart so for about half the year they are 8 and 7 ... then one has a b-day and the other half of the year they seem to be 2 yrs apart {9 & 7}. I'm going to follow you now b/c I love seeing what other homeschool Moms do! =)
Kathy

Mamastiks said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading yours. amy

Theresa said...

Hi Tina. I tried to post yesterday but don't think it got published. Anyway thanks for visiting my blog. I enjoyed stopping by yours. You have one of my favorite scriptures on yours too...Jeremiah 29:11. Nice to meet you.
~Theresa
www.beingrefinedassilver.blogspot.com

Karen said...

Thanks for stopping by. I have enjoyed the UBP and have met a lot of new friends. I look forward to reading more.

Blessings,
Karen

Abbi said...

Hello Tina. Thanks for stopping by my blog with the party. I had lots of fun coming over here to read about you. I like your choices of names for your girls~ partly because I am an Abbigail (spelled differently) too and my older sister (who is one of my dearest friends) is Anna. I have also long liked the name Rachel as well.

I hope you have a very blessed week!

Kelly said...

Your ten tidbits was an awesome idea! I'll have to remember the suggestion about visiting other blogs for next year. Your daughters are beautiful!

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