Monthly Archives: May 2010

End of First Grade Reflection

Today was my daughter’s end of year celebration. They put on a show with poetry recitations, silly songs and puns. It was so sweet and the kids worked so hard and it showed. They were presented with their end of year first grade certificate and made writing books that is a priceless collection of her writing from the start of the year to the finish.

My daughter has grown so much this year. I can’t believe she turns 7 in July and will be going into 2nd grade. I am so proud of her and am amazed at how much she has grown this year.

Her teacher put a letter in the end of the book and it made me cry. It is a wonderful poem and I wanted to share. I am very glad she will have the same teacher next year at Chattahoochee Elementary! Mrs. Mitchell is a wonderful teacher and we look forward to another fun year. I was searching online for the poem and found a touching blog post that eloquently captures my feelings as a parent watching my child grow up.

Dear Parents,

I give you back your child, the same child you confidently entrusted to my care last fall. I give her back heavier, inches taller, months wiser, more responsible, and more mature than she was then.

Although she would have attained her growth in spite of me, it has been my pleasure and privilege to watch her personality unfold day by day and marvel at this splendid miracle of development.

I give her back reluctantly, for having spent nine months together in the narrow confines of a crowded classroom, we have grown close, have become a part of each other, and we shall always retain a little of each other.

Ten years from now if we meet on the street, your child and I, a light will shine to our eyes, a smile to our lips, and we shall feel the bond of understanding once more, this bond we feel today.

We have lived, loved, laughed, played, studied, learned, and enriched our lives together this year. I wish it could go on indefinitely, but give her back I must. Take care of her, for she is precious.

Remember that I shall always be interested in your child and her destiny, wherever she goes, whatever she does, whoever she becomes. Her joys and sorrows I’ll be happy to share.

I shall always be her friend.

–Author Unknown

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Job Search Tips in a Down Economy

It is a tough market out there. How will you stand out from the high numbers of job applicants? Find a way – differentiate. Here is what one smart fellow did to get attention.

Here are some job search and resume writing tips and statistics from the GADOL:

How people are finding their jobs:

Internet search – 3% jobs found here
Company web sites – 8% (and rising)
Newspapers – 5%
Staffing agencies, recruiters, libraries, churches, etc. – 15%
GDOL – 1%
Networking – 80% of jobs filled are NEVER advertised. (Wow.)

So where should you spend most of your time on a job search?

Resume Writing

Write for the HR Manager
– 9 out of 10 resumes don’t pass the first screener
– Put specific job at the top of the resume – customize each one
– Include keywords (industry, skills, qualifications, attitude)

Recommended books:

  1. 101 Best Resumes to Sell Yourself
  2. 2500 Keywords to Get you Hired
  3. e-Resumes – The Best Way to Work the Internet

Survey – HR Managers look for

  • Job skills – 15%
  • Teamwork – 20%
  • Attitude – 65%

Resume Tips

  • Don’t use improper email address for contact information (hotmama at hotmail.com)
  • Bold number and email address
  • Customize title of resume to job you are applying for at top center of page just under contact information
  • Just list jobs in the last 10-15 years unless it’s relevant to the job you apply for
  • Don’t put your year of graduation

Job search and other tips:

Indeed.com – aggregate job search engine (use different keywords for job titles)
11 Alive job search
Order 250 free business cards from VistaPrint and just pay shipping.
Network with everyone you are in contact with.
Write thank you cards – get a pack at the Dollar Store.
Get a memory stick and keep resume and work samples on it.

Other sites I have found while searching:

Jobfox.com – list resume free, show full profile, get text messages when company looks at your listing
Visualcv.com – list resume and portfolio, share through social media
Linkedin – online resume and networking site
Twitter search – search for jobs using keywords like “sales manager” on Twitter
Social mention – social media search engine – search sites for jobs and set up alerts

See my original job search post here – Laid off? Job looking shaky? Now what do you do? 5 Tips to Build Your Network Right Now.

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Madeline in her TV Kart watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse at Kroger. Wow.

The times they are a changin’

Sent from my iPhone

Food Allergy Awareness Week – Respect Every Bite

As a mom of a peanut and egg-allergic three year old daughter, I have learned so much about food allergies and the challenges it creates. Through my daughter’s grace, I have learned to accept the things I cannot control and to deal with things one day at a time. She is my sweet little girl and I worry about keeping her protected every day. We are learning together to read the labels, ask questions and be vigilant with food. We carry around an epi-pen and benedryl and it is an accepted accessory now, just like my purse. We talk to her teachers, friends’ parents, caregivers, and anyone else that we cross paths with and make sure they know about her allergies. We ask questions and research restaurants and places before we travel. Every meal is a concern, which is why we must respect every bite..

The most surprising thing I learned was how little the general public was aware of the implications of cross-contamination. A food product might not have peanuts in it but may have been processed in a plant that handles peanuts. That is a big deal for those of us with food allergies. The scary thing is that food manufacturers do not have to have the “may contain” statement so if it is not on the package, you have to call and find out.

My sweet daughter before she was diagnosed with food allergies.

In honor of Food Allergy Awareness Week, I am including some links to local Atlanta groups, the Atlanta Food Allergy Walk this Fall as well as peanut free snack ideas for the classroom and food allergy associations. Kids with Food Allergies has also announced a Faces of Food Allergies campaign that encourages kids to get involved. Add your picture to the photo gallery and spread the word to educate our schools and the entire community to respect every bite.

Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network – sign up for email allergy alerts

Atlanta FAAN Food Allergy Walk 10/2/10

Food Allergy Kids of Atlanta – new nonprofit! Yeah!

Yahoo Group Atlanta Families with Food Allergies

Ask About My Peanut Allergy – Bo’s Food List (always read the labels as it may change) Safe snack ideas

Respect Every Bite, Because Every Bite Matters – great post by Smiling Green Mom about Food Allergy Awareness Week, resources

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10 Things I Wish Someone Told Me 10 Years Ago · LifeReboot.com

A friend posted this on his Facebook status. This is a great read and sound advice for all. It puts everything in perspective in life and would be great for all graduates to read as graduation approaches! I am going to start a list of my own.
Another great read and gift idea for graduates? Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss. and the Success poem attributed to R. W. Emerson:
“To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.”

Stop and Smell the Flowers.

For years I would drive by a sunflower field on my way to work. Every year when they were in bloom I would make a mental note that I would stop and pick some sunflowers. After the fifth year, my family finally went and picked the sunflowers. We had a ball and the flowers brightened the house for weeks. We are going to visit again this year and are creating a tradition.

Why do we put off things that will make us happy? Are we too busy to stop and smell the flowers? What are you putting off that would bring a smile to your face today?


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Remember to Say Thank You.

Always remember to say thank you. After Christmas, I had my daughter create a picture and I scanned it and made a thank you card with a picture of the girls as well as the crayon drawing. The family loved it and commented about it.

A few years ago I was working for an online ecommerce company and was struggling with getting some graphics created. A colleague stepped in to help me out and he created the graphic. I sent him a Hallmark ecard as a thank you. He later told me that no one had ever thanked him like that and he was so happy. I had thought about not sending one – thinking it might seem hokey to him, but after hearing that I was glad that I did.

In business, you can simply verbally thank an employee for a job well done, send an ecard to a vendor or partner or run a campaign and thank your customers. It is a simple thing that you can do for a cheap price and believe it or not, makes a world of difference!