<![CDATA[Perfect Worde - In Retrospect... ]]>Tue, 08 Dec 2015 11:45:25 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[End of 2015...]]>Tue, 08 Dec 2015 15:48:39 GMThttp://perfectworde.weebly.com/in-retrospect/end-of-2015
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 

2015 has left us incredibly fast, but when you're as old as I am.  Life tends to melt away too much, too soon!   I was reviewing some things on my blogs, realizing that if I hurry I could actually have posted 2 blog posting within the same year.

This past year has brought many changes.  I've personally changed jobs twice, my husband has re-entered the workforce again, and the school year is proving quite a challenge for my 9 year old, as we prepare to enter middle school next year.   Many continuous changes.  I've recently begun reading actively again.  And I've created a Perfect Worde Podcast over at PodBean

The Podcast is a discussion of the books I'm reading and also comparing them to their movie counterparts.  It's not great, but I feel that with each podcast...the discussion is bound to get better.  Practice makes perfect, right? 

<![CDATA[Turning down the Right path]]>Mon, 08 Jun 2015 02:20:55 GMThttp://perfectworde.weebly.com/in-retrospect/turning-down-the-right-pathI've warned you from the very beginning that I never claimed to be a good blog writer.  You can look at the dates of the post to know how ever present I am in the blog world.  Well, I'm hoping all that is about the change.  I've unlocked a door within myself where I've been held hostage for the past two years (and even longer for that matter). 

For the past two years, I have been stuck in a horrible depression, funk of sorts.   Nothing in my life was making happy albeit family, career.  I felt like I was staring at a list of things I wanted and needed to accomplish but couldn't due to my severe lack of motivation.  I was unhealthy physically and mentally.

Recently, in April 2015, that all started to charged with I focused on my physical healthiness.  I've currently lost a total of 33lbs, and am feeling legitimately like a new person.  It's almost a miracle.   But it's also sad, that I had to wait this long to recover for a lifetime of being someone who I wasn't destined to be in the first people.  But as the old saying goes...whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.

<![CDATA[Why hasn't In Retrospect developed a Readership?]]>Wed, 11 Sep 2013 19:32:17 GMThttp://perfectworde.weebly.com/in-retrospect/why-hasnt-in-retrospect-developed-a-readershipWell, it looks like I gotta take the time to ask some hard questions regarding the sole purpose of my personal blogging, and of running the Perfect Worde website.  Initially, this website started in 2010 while I completing my Bachelor's degree.  I needed an online portfolio, and Weebly was the easiest and free thing for me to use in order to compile my literary work to display online for my teacher.  Well, shortly after the website went into disarray cause I had not logged in and used in over 2 years.  Once I graduated, I figured... hmm a website... I could do that.

Plus, I need a way to continue and practice my hand in the craft of writing.  My mindset currently is generally very broad-minded lacking a narrow focus, which may be the bulk of the issue of why there is no readership for this blog.

Some while after I started updating and maintaining this website, I started a new, more focused blog-- now entitled A Writer's BlogIt's taken awhile, but I think there might be a small readership developing over there.  I think the main reason why is that the blog's purpose center around my specific journey in developing myself voice as a writer.  Most of the blogs are about things revolving about topics in writing, and recently I've started seeking outside help by inviting other writers and authors to do guest blogs, and interviews about their latest published works.

It's created a small buzz here and there after begging countless number of times for folks to read my entries via social media. 

My conclusion is simply this.... this blog doesn't have a solid theme to it.  Most of the entries are family-based or parenting-based.  I think the other blog is more successful because it focuses on one single theme or idea rather than sporadic notions of this or that.

In the coming months, don't be surprised if this blog disappears from Perfect Worde.  I would rather add more blogs that tailor to specific ideas, if that will increase Perfect Worde's readership. 

I welcome everyone's thoughts in comments below.

<![CDATA[Back to School Woes: Are you struggling with your child's return to school?]]>Fri, 09 Aug 2013 17:50:35 GMThttp://perfectworde.weebly.com/in-retrospect/back-to-school-woes-are-you-struggling-with-your-childs-return-to-schoolHere's a personal recap of my school-bound child: 2nd Quarter of Kindergarten, we bought a home and moved into a new, but familiar school district.  My daughter was adjusting from living in a household with 3 other children to becoming an only child.  Academically, she did not struggle, but socially was a HUGE adjustment which continued in 1st grade with a vengeance.  Our experiences with 1st grade were an absolute nightmare.  Again, my daughter proved to be a VERY capable academic student, but socially, emotionally, and at time behaviorally I thought I was going to have to visit the family therapist. She did participate in a short weekly program where she got to eat with the social worker and discuss how she was feeling, and some coping mechanisms.

Now, the school district has completed renovations on the elementary school which now houses an early childhood and K-1 wing, on top of grades 2-4.  I feel like my daughter is now heading towards another year of adjustment because she will be in a brand new school building.  I'm hoping that since she will know most of the kids in the building, it won't make it as daunting as it was coming into a new school as a stranger.

Parenting just posted an article providing a "A Guide to Every Grade" and this is what it had to say about 2nd grade. I highly recommend visiting www.parenting.com and signing up for their email newsletter.  I put in my daughter's birth date, so they know to send me age-appropriate information.  I have found some great tips, articles, and other information to help ease my worries.   Click Read more to find out what the article had to say about 2nd grader...

Second Grade

In second grade, a child becomes a student. By now, children should have a strong grip on all the rudimentary skills of learning, from reading and writing to arithmetic. With evident pride in what they know, second-graders are among the most eager learners to be found. They tend to be attached to the literal and concrete, and begin to pay attention to the world around them and expect to have some input and control. But they are still marvelously open to new experiences, and they have an appetite for stories, poetry, music, and other arts-oriented activities.

What to Expect

1. Reading. The emphasis this year moves from reading as "decoding" (being able to convert letters into sounds; combining the sounds into words) to reading for understanding. (Second-graders, however, still love being read to, so teachers should provide regular story time.)

2. Real homework. Though not generally time-consuming, second-grade homework usually becomes regular, perhaps 15 to 20 minutes a night. It is a good grade to begin a homework routine: Decide on the time and place homework gets done and see that your child stays with it as much as her schedule permits.

3. Uh-oh: Spelling! In most schools, second grade marks the beginning of the spelling curriculum. There may be textbooks, photocopied lists, tests, or some combination of these, all in the interest of introducing children to the idea that spelling does matter after all.

4. Math as a subject. If not before, this is the year that math becomes a formal subject of instruction (best taught in the morning when children are more alert). Math moves beyond counting into more complex addition and subtraction, simple fractions, measurement, and problem solving.

5. Journalizing. Second grade is a big journal year. Children write about everything that happens to them, and in the process create one of the most adorable and enduring documents of their school careers.

6. Outside experiences. While your child may already have a history of extracurricular activities, in second grade she may, suddenly, begin to express her own ideas about what she would like to be doing outside of school.

Watch Out for:

Excessive self-criticism. A second-grader will notice how his friends and peers do things and compare his own abilities. He may need help putting self-criticism in perspective and not judging himself too harshly.

Lack of concentration. Children who still have trouble sitting still and listening will begin to have trouble achieving at a high level.

Slow readers, redux. As the year passes the halfway point, if your child is still struggling with reading, it may be time to confer with the teacher.

Read more: http://www.parenting.com/article/a-guide-to-every-grade-21354353?page=0%2C0

Are you struggling with getting your child ready to return to school?  Please comment below with your concerns, or share some personal tips on how your family adjusts to the changes each year.

<![CDATA[Continuing Compassion Series - Awaiting a letter from Africa]]>Wed, 24 Apr 2013 15:01:54 GMThttp://perfectworde.weebly.com/in-retrospect/continuing-compassion-awaiting-a-letter-from-africaPicture
Remember when I announced my 2013 adventure with Compassion International?  If not, go back and read my blog about the newest member of our family - Corresponding in Africa.

I have been continuously sending Felicite letters through the online portal that Compassion provides us Correspondence parents.  I'm happy to say that we received our first letter back several weeks ago. 

She had written in her native language French, so the letter was translated to English.  I have to admit, the letter seemed to be a bit disjointed.  But I can only imagine that was due mostly to the writing prompts she was given and the translation done somewhere unknown.

Reading through her first letter was definitely a family event.  She even included a picture for us, since one of our letters sent had a picture drawn from Mallory. 

Mallory was quick to point out that the picture was not as the label indicated, but I had to take it as a teaching moment that everyone is different with different levels and abilities.

All in all, I hope to get maybe 1 or 2 more letters from her this year regardless of the numerous letters or good wishes and encouragement I send to her.   Right now, the Honor Society Tau Theta from my Alma Mater is currently doing their good works in Burkina Faso for a few weeks.  I wonder if they'll meet her on the street and not realize that I've been in touch with her.   It's funny how small this world really is.

<![CDATA[Children and Life are Expensive - How am I trying to Fix that?]]>Tue, 26 Mar 2013 20:25:52 GMThttp://perfectworde.weebly.com/in-retrospect/children-and-life-are-expensive-how-am-i-trying-to-fix-thatPicture
My current dreams right now include taking my family to Disney World in Florida, going on a Disney Cruise, going on a traditional cruise to either Alaska or back to New England and Canada, taking a Steamboat cruise along Mississippi, and traveling back to San Francisco, CA.  These are all great dreams and somewhat realistic, but they are also extremely expensive.  Now most of my dreams are all-inclusive meaning that meals and drinks (except soda or alcohol) are unlimited and plentiful during the duration of your vacation stay.  But there are other costs like travel whether it be airfare, train, or bus.  And you always have to bring a little something home to remember it by.  Cruise lines do a really GREAT job of documenting your vacation with photographs.  But these photographs are NOT free.  They cost you money.  And if I am going to make all these dreams a reality, I need money. 

Due to all the nightmares of childcare costs and scheduling, my husband is now a stay at home dad allowing to work slightly above 40 hours a week at my full-time job.  I'm also going to graduate school online part-time, so I took it upon myself to find some work from home job opportunities.  A job application I put into a company while I was still studying my undergraduate degree, actually contacted me a few weeks ago offering my a job as a academic test scorer for an education company.  The first offer was for a seasonal job conflicting with my current work schedule.  So I regretfully declined the offer.  A few days later, I received another job offer for a work from home opportunity as a academic scorer.  The training courses paid some money when you completed me, and I had the opportunity to work up to 40 hours a week during the 8 week scoring period.  Realistically, I'll be working closer to 25-30 hours because scoring will be done in the evening , and on the weekends except for Sunday.  I needed to take at least one day off right.  I start training for this position on Saturday.  I'm pretty excited about it because of having originally studied to become a secondary English teacher.

The second crazy thing I did in attempt to building up some extra money was sign up to become a Avon Independent Sales Representative.  I'll explain more in a future blog post about the company and different products and opportunities they offer.  The first thing people have said is that I'll spend more money than I'll make.  This is probably very true, but in life we have to spend money to make money regardless.  I might as well spend money promoting items that I truly believe in.  I'm not a huge make-up and cosmetic person to begin with.  But I love some of their fragrances, jewelry bath and body shower gels, lotions, deodorants.  I also was surprised at how large they've grown into selling items for men, home, and children. 

In addition to promoting things I believe in, I'd like to address the various ads that you've been seeing popping up on my website.  My Personal Favorites  was created to promote things that are near and dear to me.  But in addition, I want to highlight vendors that are affiliate with my personal interests as well. Since you all know me as a graduate student, Grammerly has become a life-saver for me when I needed some additional editing and proof-reading that even Microsoft word can't give me.  They offer a free trial, or if you see yourself using it more long-term like for your child who's away at school for 4 years... you can sign up for cheaper subscriptions.  I encourage the subscription because some functions are locked during the free trial.  So rest assured, I don't want to clutter my website with nonsense, but I am promoting companies that make sense for me and possibly for you.

<![CDATA[ My Child's Been Traumatized: Death of the Family Pet]]>Sun, 24 Feb 2013 01:56:40 GMThttp://perfectworde.weebly.com/in-retrospect/my-childs-been-traumatized-death-of-the-family-petPicture
Within child-rearing, there seems to be a natural order for things, especially experiences.  Unless, there are some extenuating circumstances, at some point or another your family becomes bigger by 1 with a family pet.  My daughter has been used to being around animals thanks to a large part of my husband being an enthusiast for exotic, allergen-free animals like reptiles, lizards, and other such pets.  Our daughters helps with the smaller tasks like refilling water bowls and bottles, while playing with some of the pets as a form of exercise for them on a daily basis. 
Many of our family pets are caged, but tame enough to come out for a romp or two to keep life from getting boring.  I personally feel that this simple fact helps the pet live longer than its predetermined life expectancy.  Recently, we considered a new role of responsibility by getting our daughter her first pet hamster.  This was going to be a bit tricky since we were pretty certain that hamsters were among the furry creatures that aggravated my husband's allergies.  So, the hamster and his cozy cage actually fit very nicely and comfortably into my daughter's open closet area away from the cold drafty window. 

The Blessings of having and caring for a Pet

We were very lucky because this angel ended up being super tame, cuddly, and loving.  My daughter gracefully took on the responsibility of letting us know when she needed more food, and water. We could even trust her to take her sweetie pie out of the cage unsupervised for intermittent play through the late afternoon and evening.  It was really a sight to behold.  So as you may have already concluded from this blog title, the angel of pet death as recently visited our home for my daughter's beloved sweetie pie. 

When things just don't seem quite Right

Sweetie Pie wasn't discovered until after my daughter got home from school the next day.  She went to the cage as always, and looked int to notice her sleeping curled up (in a disfigured kind of way) in a different than normal spot in her cage.  I can only assume that at this point; my daughter, as always, went into the cage to awaken the sleeping beauty only to realize that sweetie pie no longer responded to my daughter's gentle touch.  From the time my daughter gets home from school, and when I return from work is a 60-minute gap.  When I finally arrived home, one of the first things I do is my daily check-in with my daughter to see how school went, and find out how she's doing overall.  The first words out of her mouth, "Mom, I need to tell you something about sweetie pie and we shouldn't tell daddy!"  If there weren't any red flags, bells and whistles were going off now.  She continues to tell me that Sweetie Pie didn't wake up when she tried to play with it.  Uh oh!

"Sweetie Pie's dead, right Mom?"

How unfortunate that my child had go through this first experience with death!  After we ceremoniously wrapped her up, my daughter was a completely wreck for at least an hour.  Instead of being insensitive telling her to get over it, I thought it would be a good time for her to get in a good cry.  Although it breaks my heart to see her crying so violently, I took this as an opportunity to cuddle and hug upon my lap reassuring her that it was absolutely, 100% OK to be sad and cry when a friend we love goes to heaven.  At this point, she's only 7, and will have plenty of time to figure out the evils and hellish ways of the world. 

As a parent and caregiver, how did you deal with your child's first animal death?  Did the family fish Goldie get flushed and replaced before they found out? 

We did make the classic parenting mistake and  get another hamster (short-hair) to replace our dear Sweetie Pie.  That was a huge mistake!  The poor short-hair died 2 days later not making it out of the adjustment phase that happens from store to home.  Small pets will be on-hold for the time being.  Thankfully, my daughter wasn't too broke up about the replacement hamster, Boris!

Read an alternate published version of this blog post at Yahoo! Voices ~ JK
<![CDATA[And the Award Goes to . . . ]]>Sun, 13 Jan 2013 06:08:19 GMThttp://perfectworde.weebly.com/in-retrospect/and-the-award-goes-toLeapin' Lizards! - Annie
Happy New Year!  2013 hopes to be the year of opportunities.  America's award season has started where w crown the best of the best.  Tonight- the Golden Globe!  I've been somewhat watching and scanning the winners of the People Choice Awards and Golden Globes.  By watching, I scan my news feed for Facebook as it provides me a much quicker up to date of who's won instantaneously posting congratulatory remarks viral courtesy of the world wide web and other gems brought in by the Industrial Revolution. 

So now that I have plugged another infamous American tradition among the rich and famous, elite of our American culture.  I must tell you a story about my 6 year old daughter's upcoming adventure that will hopefully be very fruitful and take place over the next 3 years, Back in November of 2011, I received what appeared to be junk mail.  The letter/application was looking for kids interested in being discovered for Chicago land for print/TV advertisements with the possibility of extra work for movies or TV shows recorded in Chicago.  Ok, I know this is a pipe dream, and competitive area of life to venture in, but sometimes when the door opens---one must walk through.  Since it came with a self-addressed, postage paid envelope; I filled out the application not knowing if I would ever hear a response from this company.  I would assume they would get hundreds of these responses and my daughter's would get tossed aside.  But several weeks later right because Christmas and New Year's, I received a packet of information inviting my daughter in early Jan 2013 for an audition to join their agency who would represent her and groom her for the entry-level modeling career.  It would be two days after her audition before I would find out my daughter's fate. 

The time came where I called the agency during my specified time slot.  I had one caller ahead of me, and life just seem to hang in the balance as I waited in silence.  When the casting director finally came on the line, he started by saying some melodramatic, and scripted nothing about having seem so many kids, and need to chose the best and most personable to get jobs.  I thought for sure the end was in sight, but I was WRONG!  After the scripted garble, I heard the magic words-- She PASSED!  My 6 year daughter has somehow charmed the pants off of 2 casting directors over the crowded room of waiting kids and parents to move on to the next step.

We scheduled a date for orientation, and after 30 minutes of interviewing the children and monitoring their demeanor.  The agency director offered us a 3-year contract for my daughter to model with the agency.  Once her photo head shots and demo DVD are created, the agency can work on getting her into possible job opportunities. I am well aware that my child will not be guaranteed a LEAD in any type of TV show or movie.  I also understand that she is no way guaranteed to be cast in every little thing.   I think because they something in her, some sort of potential or light that I feel called to allow her the opportunity to try.   So if you found yourself in a similar situation, what would you do?

February 21, 2012  - I wanted to check in and provide an update to the original blog posting about my daughter and her potential stardom in the entertainment biz.   Recently, we just finished filming and photographing to create some VERY important elements for her portfolio, or "resume."  Being the over-achieving, continuously striving for perfection type of mom, I brought in multiple outfit choices and shoes for the director to choose from.  Although I could have easily decided what she would wear, it made more sense to allow someone with experience to pick the best outfit that more than likely afford us the opportunity to be chosen for gigs.  Mallory ended up doing three changes of clothes.  Two of them were very casual comfortable with black slacks, and two different shirts in her signature color with a blue and white 70s era patterned dress to round out the ensemble where most of her photo's came from.  We filmed a 3-minute video, which interestingly enough had some Kenny G jazz in the background of it. All in all, the session went very well.  We did get to preview the 3 min video before we left, and what astounded me the most was the realization of how rounded my daughter is from the perspective of her personality. 
<![CDATA[Continuing Compassion Series - Giving Back in 2013 - Meet Félicité!]]>Mon, 31 Dec 2012 16:00:29 GMThttp://perfectworde.weebly.com/in-retrospect/giving-back-in-2013-meet-flicit Picture
I have always wanted to adopt or sponsor a child whether from the U.S. or from abroad.  I once envisioned myself having a family of 5 children, but sure enough I only have one child, with a continuing yearning to give and give in order to model compassion and caring regardless of how moral-less our world currently is.
While studying at Olivet Nazarene University, I belonged to Tau Theta- Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society.  One of our profession advisers had spent time over in West Africa, specifically Burkina Faso working with their University.  Since participating in that fellowship and ministry, she got our chapter involved.  For two consecutive years, I help print out research for research paper topics sent to us from the professors and students of overseas university. In addition, several Chapter members went over on a summer MIA trip to personally bring over the research and devote time to help the students perfect their paper's and writing skills.  I had wanted to go, but with a young child at home... my resources were extremely limited.  But years later, I found a way to give back without it breaking my family bank.  All this requires is my time and devotion. 
I came across some information in a magazine that talked about sponsoring children, and purchasing various gifts for under-privileged families overseas all over the world.  The company is known as Compassion International.  I had been really struggling wanting to get more involved in order to connect with others globally.  My prayer had been answered because on December 13th via Facebook; Compassion International's page posted a request for correspondence sponsors.  Apparently, there were 300+ children who had been blessed with financial sponsorships, but those individuals couldn't go the extra mile by communicating with their children.  It didn't take me long to respond to the call.  I sent off my email and patiently awaited for a reply, which took some time due to individuals being on vacation during the holidays.  Our family finally gotta assigned a correspondence child who just so happens to be from Burkina Faso.  Imagine that! 

She is 14 (15 on Dec. 31st) years old from Burkina Faso, Africa. Our family has taken on the exciting task in sponsorship of this child by corresponding with her through Compassion International. We are so excited to share our world and love with her. Although we are not fully able to offer a financial sponsorship, I would like to at sometime run a couple of fundraisers to generate funds that can be sent as small gifts to her throughout the year.  If you have any suggestions or would like to help with a fundraiser... please visit the Contact page to send me a request.

<![CDATA[In Remembrance . . .]]>Tue, 18 Dec 2012 22:18:33 GMThttp://perfectworde.weebly.com/in-retrospect/in-remembrancePicture
In Remembrance of Sandy Hook Elementary!
When I first learned of the shooting claiming lives of the faculty and students of Sandy Hook elementary in Newtown, CT - there were no words to describe what I was feeling.  My mind was literally reeling thinking, what if?  My daughter is 6 going on 7 in 1st grade.  She could have easily been one of those little angels had some crazy person decided to accost her primary school. 

I was on the edge of my seat at work, impatiently awaiting the right time when I knew that I could call home and hear her voice.  Hearing her say- Hi, Momma- was as brilliant as if it were an angelic choir singing from heaven. 

Why? Why? Why?

The only thing I know for certain was that out of all the school shootings I've had the displeasure of reading about, this one hit way too close to home.  The only other time I've ever felt so torn up was when America was struck with tragedy during 9/11. Did anyone else feel that way?  Why is that?  Why will society place more importance on one mass murder scenario over another?  It's tragic when anyone's dies, isn't it?  Please share your thoughts below!

If your struggling to figure out ways to help those involved in this tragedy, Read Here

Read poetry published inspired by this horrific incident at Yahoo! Voices ~ JK