21 November 2008

My Blog - My Newspaper - My Book

I started my blog after a friend mentioned to me that she was going to turn her blog into a book, that there were companies that would take your blog and print it in a book. WOW! I had now idea! That was part of the reason that I wasn't blogging yet, I new about the concept, I even know how to do web design. I had a vanity site back in the mid 90's, and in the late 90's I got paid to design a pretty extensive website.

Fastforward 10 years and 5 kids later and I knew I didn't have time to tinker around with a website, and I was only so - so about keeping my journal up to date. I had switched to a computerized journal in 2000 - alpha journal is a great little journaling program that allows you to add pictures, etc like a word processor, but it also timestamps and keeps all of my entries organized by date, and is searchable. I can even have several different journals under my username and password, so I occasionally write things down about the kids, in their own special section of my journal. I also let each of the kids use the program. They love having their own login and password, and love to type their journal, play around with the fonts, etc. It is a lot easier for me to read also, and I don't have to worry about losing their papers all over the house.

Whenever I think about this, which is rare, I worry about all the history that is lost because of the prevalance of computers, email, and the internet. I started college right about the time email address became popular, so I have very few letters from my parents, but lots of lost emails. Then there is the vanity site that I created while I was in college, what about it? Once you leave the university they erase at, so what about all that history, will archeologist be able to dig through our old hard drives and blogs to figure us out, well while researching blog books, I discovered that someone had thought of that years ago and was actually doing something about it.
I found this in a comment on Lifehackers post about blog books.
8:01 AM on Thu Mar 2 2006

Being a dinosaur from the age of paper myself (I was/am a magazine editor and book author), I might be inticed to print a nice softcover copy of my blog from time to time, just for ego-boosting browsing in my dotage. But as long as the Internet Arcive ( http://www.archive.org/ ) is active, it's really unnecessary. And like you say, the links won't work on paper. Maybe e-paper?

and guess what - check out these links. 1996 - M1997 - V1997 - B1996. Ok, so they were a little cheesy back then, we've come a long way - blogs can be so simple or complex, and so beautiful in just a few easy step. As for my website, I did create a much better one a few years later, and I do have it backed up on my personal computer.

Oh yea, I was going to tell you about turning your blog into a book. There are several companies that can download your blog, let you do a minimal amount of organization and then ship you a bound book complete with text, photos, and comments of your blog! Wow, anyone can be an author these days. There may not be book signings, and huge press runs, but just think, a book you actually wrote. I am seeing inspire, not require working here for encouraging my kids to write! Gone are the days, at least in my house, where construction paper books run supreme. Maybe it's because we are all perfectionist, or just computer junkies.



Here's a great blog post on Turning your blog into a book.

Another neat discovery onlong these lines is FEEDJOURNAL. Finally I can have a daily newspaper that isn't full of lies, misquotes, distorted truths, and depressing stories. I can actually create a newspaper that is personalized to me, and contains writing by people that I know (ok, some only virtually) on topics that are of personal interest to me. Honestly, I probably won't use this very much - but I can easily print things off for Grandma this way.

Eating with Harry Potter

My Dad started a new tradition last Fast Sunday, Ok, maybe he just modified that tradition. We have been gathering for dinner with everyone that could make it for dinner for years. Last month Dad suggested that we come up with a monthly theme for the dinner, so last month it was Chinese. The best part was, I didn't have to cook, the boys really got into it and my brother made orange chicken, and Brad made the fried rice. Dad said we was bringing the chopsticks, and he did, along with Pork and Seeds and fortune cookies. Malinda brought some sort of a dessert, called ? Another interesting think about this meal was the the kids weren't the only ones that had to try something new, and everyone actually liked most of the food. Ok, the mustard was hot, or not, depending on your tastes and the dessert was, edible, soggy biscuits cooked in coconut milk. Ok, so nobody really liked the dessert, except maybe Malinda, but we ate it and didn't complain and got to understand how it is to be a kid again.

The theme idea was a hit and we decided on England (the home of Harry Potter) for next month, and the Scandinavia Countries for the first of the year so that we can have rosettes.

I claimed the privilege of making butterbeer, because I had just heard of a couple of good butterbeer recipes on the Mormon Mom Cast which is one of my favorite podcasts. I don't know that we will be repeating treacle fudge however.

11 November 2008

Socialist Cows

With all the talk about socialism, communism and other isms during this election season I've been thinking about this quote that my Grandmother used to have on her fridge. It was the first thing that explained the difference between socialism and capitalism to me, and it was about cows.

When Grandma moved in with us her fridge was bare - and so I haven't read the quote for the past year, although I knew it was in a bag in her store room with everything else that was taken off her fridge and never put back on, I just didn't have time to go find it. Yesterday, however, Grandma asked me if I had seen her quotes that were on her fridge - we were both thinking about the same quote. Well, I finally found that bag again, and the quote on cows was missing. BUMMER! Grandma was quite disappointed, and although I was able to quickly pull up several websites that contained her quote and much more she spent the day searching for her copy - and finally found it so that she could email it to Glenn Beck.

Here's Grandma's quote

Definitions of Government
Communism: You have two cows. The goverment takes both of them adn give you part of the milk.
SOCIALISM: You have two cows. The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.
FASCISM: You have two cows. The government takes both cows and sells you the milk.
NAZISM: You have two cows. The government takes both you cows and then shoots you.
BUREAUCRACY: You have two cows. The government takes both of them, shoots one, milks the other and pours the milk down the drain.
CAPITALISM: You have two cows. You sell one of them and buy a bull.
DEMOCRACY: Everyone has two cows. A vote is taken and whatever the majority decides to do you do, and that's no bull.

Here are links to several pages with expanded versions.

World Economic Systems - Political Cows around the World

08 November 2008

Simple Scrapbook Tutorials

Hurrah! I finally found some basic scrapbooking tutorials. I was beginning to think I was going to have to write them myself, but Stacy Carlson of Gotta Pixel is now writing digital scrapbooking tutorials on Ann The Gran in her new blog titled, Digital Scrapbooking - No Glue Required.

Although Stacy is writing tutorials for Photoshop Elements, her tutorials will help you to understand other scrapbooking programs as well.

Here are links to her first 5 blogs with some great beginner tutorials.
Jump Right in, the water is warm
Patiences and Desire, The Basics of Digital Scrapbooking
How to use a Digital Scrapbook Brag Book Template
How to use a Digital Scrapbook Quick Page
How to Create a Basic Digital Scrapbook Layout

To check out the newest post to Stacy's blog click here

Thanks Stacy for your guidance and encouragement in the Digi Scrapping World.

06 November 2008

Digital Photo Organization

I learned something new about photo organization since I gave my class on Digital Scrapbooking. I am now in the process of re-doing my organization to make it even better. I was trying to help out a friend and teach her how to organize her photos and her camera automatically names the directories when it downloads photos like this "2008-11-06" This file name is read like this, "year-month-date" or 6th of November 2008. I am going one step further and labeling my directories like this "2008-11-06 Homeschool Choir". By labeling the file folders this way I can see at a glance what they contain and quickly look through the list to find Kevin's birthday party, or valentines day, but even better they are automatically put in chronological order.

This is improved over my previous organization method in that I don't have to open so many file folders (nesting file folders can get annoying) and each file folder contains the complete date information.

Another great thing is that Picasa 3 beta is out. I have been using this new and improved version and it is so much better. They've added a few more bells and whistles that I probably won't use, but they now support PNG's which are so vital to scrap bookers. Hurrah!

01 November 2008


A google search of TJED will turn up 33,000 links, these are a few that I feel are particularly useful to me.

Lets start the list with A Thomas Jefferson Education Overview.

We should also mention the books.

A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille
A Thomas Jefferson Education Home Companion by Oliver & Rachel DeMille and Diann Jeppson
Leadership Education, The Phases of Learning by Oliver & Rachel DeMille

Here are some websites -

George Wyeth College this would probably be the official site, the college founded by the author of the TJED movement.

TJEDOnline is a brand new site by Rachel and Oliver DeMille - I haven't explored it yet, but it is on my list to explore when I have some quiet time.

Tjed.org is another extensive website that again I haven't explored in awhile.

Local Groups -

There are several TJED groups in the treasure valley - this one has a group blog for their reading group, Mother's Who Know. They are also trying to get a mens reading groups going as well - their website is Statemen.

I know there is another couple of local groups - but I don't have website for them. There is a group for teenagers, and a few other reading groups, contact me if you want more info and I can try and track them down more.

The Mentoring Our Own Yahoo group is no longer an active discussion group, but there are some great resources in their files. I particularly like the 4 Phases, 7 Principles poster in the Core Phase Folder because it lays out a map for our life.