Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hooky Day – A Mother/Daughter Tradition

With less than six weeks left of school, it's time now to start planning my annual Hooky Day with the kids.

"What is Hooky Day?" you ask (everyone does, adults and kids alike).

Hooky Day is an event where I celebrate with each of my children individually their success at school. Taken towards the end of the school year, it is a reward for their hard work and diligence, and for missing minimal classes throughout the year. Both girls are A/B students, complete and turn in their homework on time, take school seriously, and have fun!

Hooky Day started out as a day for mom and daughter to do some summer shopping, have lunch, and bond. The day has catapulted into an exciting, fun-filled, sometimes educational annual event that both mom and daughter excitedly anticipate. This year is no exception.

Older daughter and I plan to attend Edwards Houston Marq*e 23 & IMAX. The date and movie is yet to be determined, but the day will include lunch and shopping. Younger daughter and I plan to go to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, where we will see the science exhibits, as well as visit the Cockrell Butterfly Center and Wortham IMAX Theatre.

Does Hooky Day work to motivate my kids to do better in school? It's hard to say. But it does reward the girls for their efforts and provide us with quality time together that is just ours and very special. Hooky Day in the Tuttle household has fast become a mother/daughter tradition.

By the way, I didn't come up with Hooky Day on my own. I remember fondly the times my mother kept me home from school for a special day of shopping and lunch in Vincennes, Indiana.

I've heard of parents paying their kids for every A on a report card or taking them out for a special dinner. What are some of the things you've done to reward your kids for a job well done? What works for you and what doesn't? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Announcing a New Blog

In a recent post, I mentioned I was working with a colleague on a new blog, one dedicated to business professionals looking for information on initiating new business. I am pleased to announce that New Business Pipeline is officially launched.

Still in its infancy of course, I do invite you to visit. Our vision is for an interactive blog where readers can go to share and learn about effective new business development techniques, particularly as they pertain to prospect calls (I so don't like the term "cold" call).

Please let me know when you visit the site and your initial thoughts. Thank you!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Another Good Deed

Look who is stunning in her new haircut!

My youngest daughter donated a 10-inch ponytail to Locks of Love.
From their site: Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 18 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis.

My daughter is a beautiful girl - on the inside as well as the outside.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Book Review - Testimony by Anita Shreve

Testimony Testimony by Anita Shreve
rating: 2 of 5 stars

Testimony fell flat, surprisingly, as the few other books I have read by Anita Shreve I have very thoroughly enjoyed.

The story is about a teenage sex scandal in a private high school that alters the lives of everyone involved. The chapters are set up with each one changing to a different point-of-view (POV) character and each character telling their story from a distinct narrative mode; the character Ellen even tells her story in second-person narrative mode, which was interesting since it is so rare. But it didn’t work. The characters lacked depth, and I finished the story not caring about any of them.

Testimony is an easy read however, with short chapters clearly stating the POV character, making it a book effortlessly read in brief time increments. It also very clearly demonstrates the premise that a single action can cause a life to very completely change direction, as we see in the teenagers involved in the sex scandal, as well as their parents and the school headmaster.

While the story is not a riveting page-turner, I wouldn’t say it was bad either. The writing is clear, concise, and easy to follow. I give this novel 2 stars for OK.

View all my reviews.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Nine Reasons I Love to Work At Home

Here it is, and in no particular order, the top nine reasons I love to work at home (WAH).

  1. Flexibility – I can select the hours I work, within reason. I still have to work business hours for certain tasks while other activities can be done non-business hours.
  2. Availability – While my family understands and knows not to disturb "mom" when she's working, it's still comforting to know I am very quickly available in the event of an actual emergency.
  3. Time – The time I would normally have had to spend on the road getting to work is time I can actually spend working.
  4. IntrovertI'm an INFJ and the I stands for Introvert. It's not that I don't love people, I do, but socializing takes energy. I enjoy people and getting together, even at business meetings, but I am completely exhausted afterwards. I'm much more energetic when I work independently from home.
  5. Cost Savings – Lots of savings here as I don't have to spend money on a business wardrobe, gasoline for the car, or after school care. Not to mention the automobile repair savings through less wear and tear on the car.
  6. Pajamas – Or sweats, or shorts and a t-shirt, or hair in a ponytail, make-up or none – you get the picture. I don't have to dress up for work, and I can be as comfortable as I like.
  7. Convenience – At lunch, I can throw on a load of laundry, unload the dishwasher, or whatever else might need done around the house.
  8. Autonomy – There is no boss standing over my shoulder or sitting in the corner office. I am independent, self-motivated, and responsible for my success or failure.
  9. Kids – The best reason to me is that I am home when the kids are home. And although I am working, I can still monitor their activities, make sure they get their homework done, check in on them, and more.

OK, what have I missed? I need your help coming up with the tenth good reason to WAH.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Lest I Forget Friday

A variety of information and topics to share with you

Most of you probably already know, but in case you don't, the Shell Houston Open is in full swing. Held at the Redstone Golf Club – Tournament Course, many charities benefit annually from this event. This year, parents and teachers from Maplebrook Elementary school are staffing the concession booth at the 16th hole. The funds they raise will benefit the school, so stop by if you're in the area.

I'm very excited to announce that I recently signed up to participate in 31 Days to Build a Better Blog presented by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger. It's a 31 day project to improve your blog through theory and assignments, and it begins on April 6th. Fingers crossed for some exciting upcoming blog enhancements!

Which leads me to my next topic. If you are a repeat visitor to this blog, you may have noticed a different look – and that is the addition of google ads. So tell me, like 'em or leave 'em? Are they a distraction or not? If I get feedback they're bad, then they're outta here!

If you haven't visited my newly launched blog Hope and Faith, then I invite you to visit and share your thoughts on novel prologues. Do you like them or not, and why or why not? I'd like to get some lively discussion and opinions on the subject, so please feel free to share.

Stay tuned for more information about a potential new blog launch containing valuable information that will help business development professionals, particularly when it comes to cold calling. Brrr, the word itself makes some professionals shiver. I'm in talks with some folks about making this happen, and I'll keep you posted here.

Finally, on a very happy note, I am pleased to announce that despite the heavy rains and hail hurled at earth and in Texas this week, our garden fares well. We've enjoyed radish that is so much tastier than the grocery store variety, and look forward to more tasty treats soon!

Have a great weekend!