Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Are You a Fishful Thinker??

I've seen the Goldfish thingy on more than one blog, but never really paid a lot of attention. Then today I got my weekly dose of Mommy Track'd and there it was again. So, I decided to check it out in my free time. :-)

I am now an Ambassador or Fishful Thinking through Repnation. There are incentives that can be earned by helping to drive up the web traffic (so please feel free to clink on the link to the right)

But also, I like the message that they are trying to spread "...to raise confident children who have the tools to successfully overcome obstacles, thrive in the face of adversity and reach their goals."

There are five ingredients of Fishful Thinking: optimism, Emotional Awareness, Goal Setting/Hope, Resilience and Empowerment. As I learn more about this program I will be sure to share my knowledge with you.

Tonight I'm going to start by doing a "Happiness Scavenger Hunt" with my kids. This is done by creating a list of simple, pleasureable items or exeperiences and then devoting 30-60 minutes daily to doing things on the list. I can't wait. Both for them and for me.

And tomorrow, I will be starting something else new and wonderful. I can't wait to share it with you all!

Monday, March 30, 2009

New Blogs

I've started two new blogs lately. One is purely fun/funny. The other is a place for me to flex my creative photography muscles. Please stop by and check them out.

This Blog is following the adventures of Springfield Bunny.

This blog is a photo blog.

I'm also looking for a new template for this blog because there are a few things I want to include, but I don't want you to have to scroll down for a mile to see everything. If you have any suggestions, let me know.

Mom Select and a Sneak Peek

Here's a fun opportunity. The target audience is limited, but if you are in the areas they are looking for, please feel free to participate.

MomSelect is looking for moms and kids to test out an awesome online experience for kids. By taking part in this program, your kids will be given free access to a new kids' website, not yet available to the public. Focused on the animal kingdom, this online game is not only entertaining but teaches positive lessons about nature and cooperation. Moms will feel comfortable with the safe and secure nature of the online world and the educational aspect of the activities, while kids will love rescuing and caring for the baby animals they encounter during their gameplay.

If your child would be interested in being part of the first group of kids to experience this exciting website, we'll send you a unique access code. The code will be valid during the entire site sneak peek testing period (approximately 4 weeks) and your child will be given special benefits and access within the site. After testing out the site, we ask that you fill out a brief online survey with your thoughts regarding the site. Your feedback, along with the thoughts of your children, will directly impact the final product launch.

And as a thank you for your insights, we'll be holding a drawing among survey respondents - 3 lucky moms and their kids will each win a $50 Target gift card! By participating in the sneak peek testing program, we ask that you: • Visit the site with your child to get a sense of the website • Encourage your child to play as much as possible during the sneak peek testing period • Fill out the online survey within the requested time period*

To be eligible for this program, you must have at least one child in the 7-12 age range and live in or near one of the following geographic locations:
Greater NY Area (NJ, PA, CT)
Southern CA
Washington DC

If you are interested in participating in this sneak peek testing program, please click on the link below to register.

The sneak peek codes will be sent out the week of April 6th. If you have any questions, please send an email to Amy at amy@bsmmedia.com with the subject line "Sneak Peek Testing".

I will say that I have emailed Amy a couple of times and she has gotten back to me almost immediately every time.

Friday, March 27, 2009

neurologist, allergist, cardiologist...Oh, my!

Lyric had her 9th grade physical today. I also brought in the medical forms needed for the New York trip. As the doctor is talking to her, asking her the normal/random questions, she is slightly concerned because Lyric says she always gets dizzy when she runs (like in gym class). Dizzy then it's hard to breath. Dr. R says that if it was hard to breath then dizzy, we would chalk it up to "exercise induced asthma", which Lyric was diagnosed with years ago. Since the dizziness comes first, she's referring us to a cardiologist. She also won't sign off on the medical forms until the cardiologist says it's okay.

So, in the past 6 months we've been to see the neurologist (who says migraines), the allergist (who says the test came back normal but to avoid fish since Lyric has had reactions to that in the past) and now the cardiologist. She has basically had a headache since last June. Some days are better than others, but she says she does hurt everyday. If the cardiologist says that her heart has somehow been causing this headaches, I would be so glad to finally have an answer, but also upset that it has taken us this long. If he says everything is okay, then we still have to deal with the headaches (or trying to get rid of them).

If it ain't one kid, it's another!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It's All Good....

You might think that "it's all good" means that I got a good grade on my test and will be continuing with Chemistry and still looking for the end result of that RN program. Sorry, readers, you would be wrong.

"It's all good" means that I got a crap grade, and there is no way to pull the overall grade to a C. I will be dropping the class and changing my plan. But it's okay. Really. I'm okay with it. I fell a little bit relieved. While I was sitting in class last night I actually had a mini panic attack that I would actually pass the test. Is that awful!?? I had pretty much come to terms with the need to drop.

Good news: Lyric got into Starlight. She's part of the female emsemble in "David, the King" which is an original musical written by the same people who wrote "Jonah, A New Testament Yarn". If you are in the Northern Illinois, Southern Wisconsin area, you should check it out. Me being in school means I can help Fisher with getting her back and forth to practices. (IE- doing all the driving! LOL)

And I still have a couple of other options for continuing school. So this doesn't mean that I'm out completely and forever. It just means that I've taken a detour. I'm going to take a few days to adjust and then focus on what I really want to do. And make a plan towards that goal.

P.S. Don't forget about the CD swap. I'd love to see all of my followers participate.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tonight Is The Night...

We get our chem tests back. If I didn't get a good grade (ie- pass) I will be dropping the class. Not only that, I think I've decided to quit school. When Fisher and I made the decision three years ago, I didn't know it was going to be so hard or take so long or be so many hoops to jump through to get to the final result.

Lyric is going to be in high school next year, she's going to be busy. Jazz is getting busier all the time too. And there is nothing worse than "mommy, why do you have to go to school?" everytime I leave for class.

There are a couple of other certificate type things I'm interested in: phlebotomy (Lyric would die if she knew I wanted to poke people) and EKG tech. I'm going to keep my eye out for the continuing education class schedule. It should be out in August and that gives me time to figure things out.

Fisher is okay with whatever. He said as long as we have each other, nothing else matters. Yup, that's right. That's why I married him. He knows the right thing to say when I'm about at my wits end.

And I'm not saying that if I got an acceptance letter, I would turn it down, but two out of the three programs require this chem class. So, we'll see how it goes. I'd say pray for me, but really, I believe it will be as it is intended. Good things will happen.

I'll also give you the info on my new blogs. If you can find them, and leave a comment, before I actually post the link, there may be a prize involved!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mixed CD Swap

I was doing my daily blog troll and found this . Okay, actually I was checking all my friends blogs. Anyway, it made me decide to do a CD swap. and the good news is- you can play along!

Here's what you have to do:

1) leave a comment that you want to play (easy enough!) between now and Friday
2)On Saturday I will put all names into some sort of randomnator and you will be assigned somebody to send a mixed CD to.
3)the CD should contain at least 10 and no more than 14 songs. You can do a theme CD (ex: love songs, friend songs, songs that make you smile, etc) or they can be truly random (This is Random Thoughts after all). I can see my CD having AC/DC and Allison Kraus and Rick Springfield. :-)
4) Here's the hardest part of the whole thing- The CD needs to be sent to it's recipient by April 17. That gives you three weeks people! You can do it. (and I'm only saying this because I just sent a CD to somebody that I was supposed to send in December, so I mostly had to make myself accountable.)
5) after you recieve your CD, blog about it and link back.

I will let everybody know on or before Monday, March 30 who they will send their CD to. I hope everybody will play along. I expect it will be fun!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I've Been Thinking....

those of you that know me well, know that that can be a very scary thing :-) I"ve been thinking about a couple of new things for the blog.

One is a weekly guest. Other blogs do it, and I did have a very nice guest this week, so I thought I could start it as a semi-regular feature. But I don't want it to be a typical "Why did you start your blog/what advice would you give new bloggers" guest spot, so I have to think on that one a little bit more. Maybe I need a Thinking Chair Like this .

The other thing I've been throwing around is a photo blog. I know that my photos wouldn't be as good as some of these but it would still be fun. Everything always seems to be themed and sometimes the randomness of the world is fun. Of course, it would be called Random Photos or something like that.

and the last thing I've been thinking about is school. Do I want to continue?! The hoops you have to jump through to maybe get into a nursing program are crazy. and in the mean time, I'm losing out on things with the family. I missed Lyric's performance at school this week because of school. it's just one performance, but next year she will be in high school and I want to watch her enjoy those year and really get to see her bloom into a wonderful young woman. So, I think instead of pushing so hard and trying to get into "ANY" program, I'm going to focus on the closest one and see what happens. There are other options and maybe it's okay that I'm just a wife, mother, girl scout leader, First aid instructor, secretary and friend.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Today is the day that I have my guest. If you didn't figure out who it was, the above photo is your clue. The interview below is the answer. Jack Kilborn is also known as JA Konrath (author of Whiskey Sour, Rusty Nail, Cherry Bomb and more) AFRAID is coming out this month and JA (Joe) is doing a blog tour to help promote it. I want to send out a huge thank you to Joe for agreeing to stop by. I wonder if it has anything to do with the beers I promised him after the interview?!?

Amy: Joe, welcome to Random Thoughts! Obviously this isn't a typical writer's blog. I'm glad that you could make time to stop by during your busy blog tour. You must be exhausted.

Joe: Happy St. Patty's Day! Thanks for having me. I'm far from exhausted. I am, however, pretty relaxed. On March 17th, the bars all open at 9am, and it's a tradition to have beer and eggs with my buddies. Not beer+eggs together; the beer and eggs stay separated, but they
are consumed at the same time. More beer than eggs. Green beer, of course. There's a Dr. Seuss book in there somewhere.

Amy: Being that you are my first ever guest, I wanted to come up with some deeply thought provoking questions. What is your favorite Rick Springfield song?

Joe: Jessie's Girl. I mean, where can I find a woman like that?

Amy: I'm just kidding. I know that you are way too busy writing books to entertain me and don't have time for music. Speaking of your books, what made you decide to do this blog tour (besides promoting AFRAID?)

Joe: I did it to promote Afraid. :)

Also, I love experiments, and have done many as an author. It's hard to judge what works, as far as self-promotion goes. This is a chance to watch my stats, hear feedback, and figure out if this blog touring thing really helps to sell books. Or not.

So far, my blog traffic has gone up, my backlist sales on Amazon have gone up, and I'm getting a lot of email and meeting a lot of new people.

So it seems to be, at this point, a smart thing to have done.

The sites I visit are also reporting increased traffic and comments, so this is a mutually beneficial experiment.

Amy: Why do you feel that it's important for writers to help each other out like this? Isn't writing and publishing a little "dog eat dog"?

Joe: Not at all. My fans can be your fans. It's never an either/or choice. If someone enjoys books, chances are their favorite authors don't write them quick enough, so they're always on the lookout for new material to read. No authors are in competition with each other.

This is an extremely difficult business to break into, and it's even harder to stay published than it is to get published in the first place. There is nothing but benefits in helping each other. Trading links, sharing advice, networking to find out who is editing anthologies, which agents are good or bad--it all makes this biz a little bit easier.

Amy: Do you find that you are doing more, less, or about the same amount of self promotion now that you did with your first book?

Joe: I'm always promoting. It's part of the business. Name recognition and brand awareness require ongoing attention to maintain, and extra attention to grow.

For each book, I work with my publisher on various campaigns, and we've tried many things. Conventional and unconventional book tours. Mass mailings. Contests and events. This blog tour is just the latest idea in a never-ending cycle of ideas.

So, to answer your question, I'm pretty much always working my butt off, no matter the book.
The question always arises: Can an author make a difference in their own sales? After all, if you look at just about every bestselling author in the history of books, very few have done as much promotion as I have, yet they sell in much bigger numbers.

The publisher is the one that decides on the advertising and marketing budget, on how big the print run is, on how hard they're going to push a book. Publishers can always do more than writers. But books still sell one at a time. Every time you, as an author, do something that leads to a sale, it helps. Maybe your efforts can't compete with a publishing sales rep who manages to get your books into Wal-Mart, but an author's efforts, both tangible and intangible, do help.

It comes down to whether or not you think your efforts are worth the time and money you spend on them. That depends on your goals.

My goal is to sell as many books as possible. That means taking some control over the situation, not leaving my fate completely up to my publisher.

Luck plays a huge part in success. But persistent people seem to get luckier.

Amy: I have to comment on Sheila( tequila-for-sheila). Has her replacement been paid for yet? How's that working out?

Joe:I did finally buy Leela, her replacement. She's not quite paid for, but the donations are still trickling in. BTW, my wife isn't allowed to touch Leela.

All authors need a GPS. We should all be visiting bookstores, meeting booksellers, signing stock and/or suggesting orders. A GPS makes finding these bookstores easier.

Booksellers consider a signed book a sold book. Signed books can still be returned, but they have a better chance of selling. Not only is a signature added value for the buyer, but signed books areusually displayed face out, which brings more attention to them.

Amy: Well, I'd like to thank Joe for stopping by but we have to go now because I promised him a beer!

Joe: Thanks! I'm about ready for another round of eggs as well. While I'm indulging in dairy foods and alcohol, I encourage all of your readers to buy my very scary horror novel, Afraid, written under my pen name, Jack Kilborn. If you like scary, you'll like Afraid. I promise. :)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Awards and winners speeches....

I'd like to thank Swoozie and Annie for the awards they nicely bestowed on me. It happened over the weekend and I tend to be away from the 'net on Saturday and Sunday, so what nice surprise to find them today.

First, Swoozie gave me the Kreativ Blogger award.

The rules as it were for this are to list 7 things you love and 7 bloggers you love. Don't forget to tag them and let them know they received an award.

7 Things I Love:

*sitting by the lake with a good book
*not having to get up in the morning
*when my family is smiling

*time alone with hubby
*spending time with good friends
*a really good chai tea
*hearing my kids laugh

7 Bloggers I Love:

Candid carrie






Momma Mia

The other award I received was the lemonade Award from Annie.

Here are the rules for the award:

1) Put the logo on your blog or post.
2) Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great attitude or gratitude.

3) Link to your nominees within your post.
4) Let the nominees know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5) Share the love and link to the person from who you received your award.

I'm bestowing this upon the seven bloggers listed above. If you aren't listed and are reading this (duh) then you are invited to take an "extra copy" for your blog because I am gratful that you stopped by! Just comment and let me know that you did so I can come check it out.

Don't forget, tomorrow I'm having a guest. I had a great time doing the interview. I hope you enjoy what my guest has to say.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Winners and more....

Happy Friday, everybody! I'm super excited to announce the winners of my spring fling giveaways. It was a crazy busy day, but so much fun with so many wonderful things given away around the blogosphere.

#1- "A Woman's Place" by Barbara Delinsky goes to Lynn (the link to her life is over there to the right)
#2 - "The Carpenter's Lady" By Barbara Delinksy goes to Capperson .
#3- The pack of my favorite pens goes to Hollie

#4- the two pack of lotion goes to Tamara B (I can't find a blog link for her, just email)

Congrats to all the winners! I'll be packaging everything up this weekend and getting it out to you.

Last night we had the opportunity (Had, took same difference) to go to an indoor waterpark. Yes, it was a school night, yes the kids stayed up late, but my sister in law and her kiddos are in town from Texas and hubby is trying to plan as many get togethers as possible. Why do I tell you this?? No, it's not to make you jealous (even though I know you are). it's because since we were gone, I had to tape my shows. Thursday night is my must see TV.

7pm Bones

8pm Gray's Anatomy

9pm ER

When we got home (at 10:15) I watched Gray's. I'll have to watch it again to catch a few things I missed, but I must say, Derek Shepherd is not on my list of favorite people right now. Okay, I get it- people died. You're a doctor. You wanted to save them. Get over it. I'm sure I've posted here before that I love Shonda Rhimes and I trust her. I just don't always like what she's doing. So, right now I'm in the "I trust her" phase, but that could change quickly.

This morning while I'm trying to get the kids to drag their tired behinds out of bed, I'm watching ER. I have one word for it "YES!" They did it and did it well. I won't say much more because there are a few things I could give away for those that haven't watched it yet. But I will say I'm glad to call myself a fan from the start. I think I'll be tracking down an seasons on DVD that I can get.

Haven't watched Bones yet. That will have to be for this weekend. But from what I read, that is heating up in more ways than one!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Swollen Lymph Nodes...

usually this just means your a little sick, but three years ago, Lyric was nearly hospitalized because her neck was swollen, she couldn't move it, and she was in severe pain. basically what they said was she had an infection and her lymph node was doing it's job, however, instead of flushing it, the lymph node was holding the infection and her neck got bigger and bigger. She missed a week of school, the high school musical that she was supposed to perform it, kept her head tilted to the side and basically was feeling like crap for 2-3 weeks.

So you can imagine the terror in her voice when I get this call.

Lyric: mom, it's me. I'm in the nurses office. I came because my neck hurts and she said I have a swollen lymph node.
Me: how bad is it? Do you want me to come get you? what did she say to do?
Lyric: she gave me a heat pack. I'm going back to class. I just thought that you would want to know. (translation- I want you to know because I'm really scared that this is going to mess up the next month of my life and I have a performance this weekend for band and next month is the musical and I don't want to miss it)
Me: okay. I'll call the doctor.

Yesterday, amidst a mess of crazy (my car door wouldn't shut, Fisher had to go to Chicago to get his sister and her kids) I did get her to the doctor. She ordered a strep screen and some blood work. Yup, blood work, needles, Lyric's worst nightmare. Dr did the strep swab and sent us to the lab for the other.

We went to the lab, dropped of the paperwork and the swab and waited. And waited. And waited. About a half an hour later, I say to my friend who drove us (hi, Kelley!) "This is what I hate. We always have to wait so long for lab stuff."

Apparently I was a bit louder than I thought because the receptionist popped up and said "ma'am they have the results in the office."

Oh, really?!? They have the results? Pretty funny because they didn't draw the blood.
Sarcastic me didn't say all that, but I wanted too. What I really said was- "She's supposed to be having blood work."

Suddenly there is a scramble. Did they miss it? Did the doctor really order it? Am I losing my mind? (all possible yeses) We get sent back to the office. I grumble at the receptionist there about the fact that she was supposed to have lab work done, I thought, but lab says they didn't have the order.

The nurse pops out and says the strep screen is negative. And then she's ready to send us on our way. Seriously!?? I ask about the lab work. She catches the doctor coming out of a room. I don't know if she didn't mark it on the order or if the lab girls really did miss it, but we were out of there about 5 mintues later. blood drawn and everything. (Which is pretty amazing because Lyric HATES needles.)

Those results came back within normal limits. The diagnosis: viral. But keep an eye on the swelling and watch for fevers, rest, fluids, and tylenol.

So, when sleeping beauty didn't want to get up today she says "Can't I just stay home? the doctor said I should rest." Nice. The doctor did not mean rest because you are not a morning person!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

And the Winner is...

Thanks to everybody who stopped by yesterday to play! I received some great suggestions for future posts. and some people are going to receive some great prizes. I think I said the winners would be announced on Friday, so I won't give away names yet. But I did go to random.org and picked the winners. I'll be getting in touch with them so I can send out the fun stuff!

Don't forget to stop by next week. It looks like my guest will be here 3/17. Don't be afraid, it will be like a cherry bomb. But if you need to relax, you might want to try a shot ofJack Daniels. (*note to readers- there are subtle hints about the guest in this post)

if you think you know who the guest is, email me at akrueger@rhsnet.org before 3/16. I will draw a name from everybody who gets it right and you will get a special prize, but don't ask me what it is because it's so special even I don't know what it is yet)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

SITS Spring Fling and Giveaway Day (books, pens & lotion)

Hello, to all my faithful readers. Today is Spring Fling day! That means good news for you. First, go here to find out what the hoopla is all about. Then follow the directions to win something from me.

I have 4 prizes for today. 1) a paperback copy of "A Woman's Place" by Barbara Delinsky, 2) a hard cover book of "The Carpenter's Lady" by Barbara Delinsky, 3) a pack of my favorite pens (see previous post about all the crap that is in my purse!) , 4) a two pack of hand/body lotion from bath & body works.

How do you win these wonderful prizes, you ask?!? it's easy. Each prize has it's own contest, so you must post appropriately for each. What do you post? If you want to win #1- tell me what is your favorite place. #2- who is your favorite author and why? #3- what is your can't live without item? and #4 - give me an idea for an upcoming blog post.

See, it's easy. Remember each entry needs it's own post. This contest runs throughout the day today. So all posts between now and 11:59 CST will be considered. I will contact winners on Friday, March 13th!

Thanks for playing along!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Candid Carrie: Friday Foto Finish Fiesta Fallon Style 2009.03.06#links

Candid Carrie: Friday Foto Finish Fiesta Fallon Style 2009.03.06#links

PPPP- He was this close

anybody who's been around me for more than say, 5 mintues, would know that I'm a huge fan of this guy. I took this a few years ago. He was this close, people. This close to me! I don't usually have that kind of luck, so I snapped a few pix.

head on over to Candid Carrie and see who else is playing along today.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Looking forward....

Remembe awhile back I was going to play good thing/bad thing?? Well, that didn't pan out as a regular feature, but I have some good and bad stuff today.

BAD-We got our second chem tests back last night. Let's just say, chemistry is not my forte and I may need to look into other options for when I grow up. Since two nursing program entries are contingent on my passing chem, they may no longer be options. I will keep you posted.

GOOD - I'll be having a guest this month. I'm really looking forward to it. I'm not telling who, just yet, but if you are a good detective, you should be able to figure it out. I believe this will be happening around 3/17 but the contract isn't signed yet.

GOOD - After the depressing news in chem, I was super excited to check out
Candid Carrie this morning. If this stuff doesn't make coffee come out of your nose, I don't know what will. Carrie has a special brand of craziness that makes me love her more everyday. Hopefully we will meet one day and laugh over all the craziness that makes up our lives.

GOOD - Lyric is getting all A's & B's. (for her this is a bad, she'd like straight A's) But I'm so thankful. We have friends who are having terrible times with their teenagers grades, and my niece is not doing so well either. Lyric makes me proud.

GOOD - Fisher and I are both still gainfully employed. I have three brothers-in-law that are not. It's a tough time all over right now.

I had to throw a couple more good's in there because that chem thing is depressing.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

What's in your wallet...um, I mean purse

I saw this at Amy at escape to thought and thought I'd give it a try.

Take a picture of your purse and then pull out all of the junk, I mean stuff, from your purse and show it all. So here goes!

Here's my current purse, I actually changed recently, so this was a fun thing to do and see how much junk was in it already.

Here you go, clockwise: purse (duh), name badge for work, cell phone and charger, pens, girl scout checkbook, change, pile of receipts and misc paper and cookie money envelope, pencil sharpener (notice no pencils), 3 chapsticks, cough drops, sun glasses, wallet, and the other black square is a photo keychain with extra car key.

You don't think I have a pen issue, do you?!? I also have pens in my bag that I carry back and forth to work, and pens and pencils and highlighters in my school bag. This style is my current favorite- I buy them whenever I can find them.