Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Happy 4th of July... a few days late

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Now I see it

People have been telling me for several months how much Maddie looks like me but I haven't been able to see it. Today, my Dad brought over some pictures of me and my sister Tracy as babies and I can definitely see it now. What do you think, does she look like Spencer or me or a combination?









A Hot Day at the Dallas Arboretum

We went to the Dallas Arboretum with some friends from work today. Man oh man, was it hot! I did get a few cute pictures of Maddie though.

Some very baby wise friends let me know that Maddie is old enough to have a cracker now. This is a picture of her very first one. She took to it like a pro and knew exactly what to do with it.
Of course, this new skill has led to a whole new level of messiness!

We went to Houston to visit Spencer's brother and family last weekend. This is Jackson, he is about three months older than Maddie. I already know that they will be great friends.

Of course, friendship doesn't always go smoothly.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

By popular demand

I've been told to put up some more pictures of Maddie ASAP, so here you go Mom!

How to Be Adorable | eHow.com

I wrote this just for fun. Enjoy!

How to Be Adorable | eHow.com

Shared via AddThis

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Before and After

The other day I was going through some of Maddie's old clothes and I cam across her preemie outfits.  It is hard to remember that my chubby little baby was ever so tiny.  To show the contrast I made up a short slideshow of pictures from her first few months and recent pictures.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Writing Update

Somehow I think I missed April.  It just flew by and I don't know where it went.  I didn't get as much writing done, but I was able to write about 12 articles on Helium.com.  I need to make sure that I don't slack off.  My goal is to write a minimum of one article on Ehow and Helium every day.  

This is a screenshot of my ehow.com earnings.  So far I have 29 articles written and have earned about $35 on them.  I made $19.86 in April, but the cool thing is that I didn't write any new articles in April.  This is what I love about writing for the web.  The articles I write now will make me money for months to come.  I am constantly learning what kind of articles earn the best, and how to optimize them for the search engines.  Eventually, I hope to have several hundred articles which are making me a few hundred dollars a month with little additional work.

This is a screenshot from my Helium account.  I've only earned $5.63 in views, but I have earned $80.00 in upfront payments and marketplace sales.  Basically, I earn $1.50 for each article I write, plus a share of the site revenue based on my page views.  I have also sold four articles to the Marketplace for $10 each.  The marketplace is where publishers request articles on specific titles and indicate how much they are willing to pay for them and how many they are willing to buy.  I am getting a lot of experience writing for them and am building up my portfolio at the same time so I can start getting freelance work on my own.  I have two other articles I wrote for Marketplace that I haven't heard back from.  If they are selected, I'll earn another $50.

So far, my progress has been slow, but I kind of see it like a snowball.  I really think that it will keep building until it will finally become large enough for me to stay home with Maddie.

Selling Out to the Man

You may have noticed a few changes to my blog, especially the new ads for Amazon on the right hand side.  This is another step in my SAHM quest.  Basically, I get a small referral fee whenever anyone buys something after using one of my links to Amazon even if it is a different product from the one they originally clicked on.  So, in other words, if you need to buy something from Amazon, use one of my links and help a sister out!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

1st Annual Bluebonnet Pictures

In case you didn't know, I must inform you that the state flower in Texas is the Bluebonnet.  Every year, in early April, the sides of the freeways, empty fields and such are filled with beautiful blue flowers that indicate that Spring is close at hand.  It is kind of a tradition for many families to take a yearly picture of the kiddos with the bluebonnets.  Well, I don't want to be accused of not being a true Texan, so I put Maddie in her Easter dress and took her to an empty field to take her first bluebonnet pictures.  Of course, she fell asleep on the way there and I had to wake her up to take t he pictures, so she isn't smiling too much in any of them.  I think she looks pretty cute anyway.

'Twilight' series pulled from Deseret Book shelves

I'm sorry, but this is just ridiculous.  I am sure they made this decision after a few "well-meaning" busy bodies complained about the inappropriateness of a book about vampires being within a stones throw of books about prophets.  But, seriously?  Just don't read it if you don't think it is appropriate.  I mean, the Bible has way more inappropriate sex and stuff going on than Twilight does.

What do you think?

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Before and After

Shots? Three of them? Cool... umm what are shots? Are they some kind of toy? I like toys!

What just happened? I trusted you Dad!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Maddie's Trick

Pleas ignore the double chin and focus on the cutest baby in the world!

Maddie Laughing at Daddy

Spencer really is the best Daddy in the whole world. Maddie just adores him. He can always make her laugh and she loves to fall asleep in his arms as he plays video games.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Keys to a Successful Relationship

3 of 53

Keys to a Successful relationship

"I'm just no good at relationships!" It was after midnight and I was on the phone with Sarah who had just suffered a very nasty break up. To be honest, I was only half listening because this conversation was almost word for word the same as half a dozen late night phone calls over the years. I could almost mouth the phrase... 

click here to read more

PS names have been changed to protect the innocent on this one.

Qualities to look for in a neighborhood

This article was #1 for a while, but now it is #2 out of 85

Qualities to Look for in a Neighborhood

Choosing the right neighborhood to live in is not unlike choosing a future spouse. Of course you need to feel a physical attraction, but there is much more to living happily ever after than just good looks. Don't just rely on a few short visits with the Realtor in tow to know if a neighborhood is the right fit for you and your family. Instead, investigate it thoroughly. Here are some things you may want to look at before making one of the biggest commitments of your life.

You need to feel safe in your home, so it is important to know the crime rate of the neighborhood you are looking at.  To read more click here.

My 4 Step Plan to Take Over the World!

I haven't posted much on my blog in a while, but that doesn't mean I haven't been writing. As I mentioned before, I am really hoping to transition to freelance writing so that I can be at home with Maddie.

This is my four step plan
Step 1.  Build an income stream, improve my writing and build up a portfolio by writing for several entry level writing websites.
Step 2.  Once I have a portfolio built up, I will find freelance writing jobs on sites like elance.com.  This is a site that lists writing projects that writers can bid on.
Step 3.  Once I have several freelance jobs completed, I hope to get hired as a regular freelance writer for a company. That way I will have a regular income stream.
Step 4.  Either quit teaching or move to a part time position.

I am having an great time getting back into writing.  Right now I have about 23 articles written on ehow.com and 20 written on helium.com.  I have a few on Bukisa, but I don't think I am going to continue with that site.  I don't think it has as great potential as the first two.

My articles on ehow are pretty basic, but they tend to earn a steady amount of money and they are very easy to write.  Oddly enough, my best earner is on how to program a Uverse remote control (thank you Spencer for the info).

My Helium articles are the ones I am the most proud of.  Helium has a different model than ehow.  On Helium, they have set titles to which anyone can write.  Then you are ranked against the other articles in that title.  In order to get your earnings, you have to spend a few minutes each day ranking other people's articles.  It is all done anonymously so that you can't just choose your friends' articles.  You earn a small upfront payment for each article you write as well as a portion of the revenue for the site based on your page views and ad clicks.

Since I am avery competitive person, I enjoy being ranked against other people and trying to improve my articles to be at the top of each title.  I am doing really well right now.  I have written 20 articles and I average at the top 95%.  I really feel that my writing is getting better with each article that I write or revise.

I don't earn that much right now, but the cool thing is that the revenue stream is continuous.  I may earn less than a dollar each month for an article, but I will earn that dollar each month for the next several years or more.  I have written 20 articles this month.  If I can keep that up for the next 10 months, I will have 200 articles and even if each one only earns a dollar, I will be making $200 without doing any additional work.  Of course, this is just an estimate since some articles will earn more, and some will earn less.  That article on that I wrote on Uverse has already earned me $10 this month.  That is an exception, but if I can do that again, I can make some good money doing this.

If you are interested, or want some more info, let me know.  Anyone can sign up for ehow, but I will need to send you an invite for you to get onto helium.com.  I'll post some of my articles in a separate post so you can see what they are like.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Laughter is the best medicine

One of our new favorite pastimes is trying to find ways to make Maddie laugh.  Sometimes we can really get her going.  Sometimes though, we won't be doing anything at all, and she will look over at us and start cracking up.  It is really adorable.  This video is of my brother-in-law, Scott, making Maddie laugh.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My Quest to be a SAHM

As most of you know, I am still teaching High School Econ.  I actually love my job, but I would rather be home with Maddie, so I am trying to find ways to bring in additional money that will allow me to transition to being a SAHM.  If you've been to my blog lately, you may have noticed a listing of articles on the right sidebar.  I am working on writing for a few websites to see if I can eventually bring in enough money to work from home.  The writing I am doing right now isn't very lucrative, but I'm hoping to one day do some higher paying freelance work.  

Anyway, if you ever want to click on any of my articles, link to some of them from your website or forward the link to any of your friends, I would very much appreciate it.  On some of them I get paid per unique visitor, and on others I get paid on ad clicks.

Seriously... is this the cutest picture or what?

Maddie's first trip

Ok, I knew it had been awhile since I last posted, but I didn't realize it has been over a month and a half! Bad Tammy!

The funny thing is, I have had more things to blog about than ever, but less time. Go figure.

In January we took a quick trip to California so Maddie could meet her Grandpa. (To my California family and friends that I did not contact while I was there, I am very sorry but it really was a quick trip and the main reason was so Maddie could meet her Grandpa Brown who wasn't able to come out for her blessing. We should be coming back out in the next few months.)

"I can show you the world..."

"They're cousins!  Identical cousin all the way.."

Maddie Loves California

Our first plane flight ended up pretty uneventful even though Maddie had her first cold at the same time.  She loves vibration and movement, so she pretty much slept both ways. We made the obligatory trip to Disneyland while we were there.  She loved it so much, she slept the entire day.  It seemed the louder it got, the harder she slept.