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10 Things #2to1Conf Attendees Should Know About Me

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In a few days, I’ll head to Virginia to attend my first-ever blogging conference. I’m nervous, excited, and a bit overwhelmed at the idea of driving six hours to a conference like none I’ve attended before, to be surrounded by people I don’t know, and doing something that still feels really new to me. Should be an adventure…
I came across Stephanie’s post today, and thought I’d share a little about myself and link up with her at Bowmania and Angie’s Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings, while getting to know fellow attendees a little better.

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

Here goes…

10. I’m pretty much always late. For everything. Ummm… you probably already figured that one out as I’m linking to Angie’s Top Ten TUESDAY and it’s Wednesday… {My best friend just spit her coffee all over her keyboard as she read this statement… STOP LAUGHING, Laura!} Really, I try… I have the best of intentions… I set the alarm early, lay everything out the night before – even if we’re not leaving until late in the afternoon – and plan for all contingencies. Nothing works. I’m somehow genetically flawed. The “get there on time” gene just did not form properly. I’m sorry in advance…

9. I am addicted to coffee. I. Really. Need. It. I really enjoy my morning {and afternoon… and evening} coffee. The warmth of the mug, the yummy cream, the smell… And, uh, I’m not the easiest person in the world to talk to until I’ve had a few cups cup. I’ll try to smile as I stumble into the morning sessions.

8. I’m a little bit of a perfectionist, which often gets in the way of me doing things. I think about what I want to do, research it, research some more, and then a tiny bit more, and finally {maybe} give it a try. Which brings me to the next thing you should know…

7. The act of blogging is really new to me… and still a little intimidating. I’ve planned to start a blog for years {and I mean years}, and read TONS… many of yours, fellow attendees and speakers. And I thought about what I wanted mine to look like, what I could write about, how it should be set up, and just continued to overwhelm myself.
And so I tabled it… again and again until I finally just DID IT. I just wrote a post. And then another… and another… until finally, after four months, I feel like I’m starting to get the hang of it. There are still many things I’d like to figure out – like making my own custom background and buttons, social networking icons, getting the “pin it” button beneath some of my pictures, etc. But, I’m having so much fun with the blog itself, I’m finally allowing myself to figure some of it out along the way. Maybe I’m growing up…

6. Twitter still confuses the heck out of me. I’ve tried to join in on Twitter parties, but get really confused as I attempt to follow along. And tweeting… retweeting… bit.ly… and everything else. What do I say? How do I say it? Seriously… If you’ve read even a little bit on this blog you probably know I can’t say anything in two words that I can say in twenty-five. Maybe one of you will take pity on me and teach me what I need to know next weekend. Please?

5. In new situations, I can be a little shy. Once I get to know a few people, I tend to get over it, but unfortunately conferences don’t always last long enough for me to warm up. I often leave things like this feeling like I wish there had been just one more day; I was finally talking… If you see a short brunette {with recent highlights added} just sitting there scribbling away in a notebook, please feel free to drag me into a conversation. I can be fun to be around…

4. I write. A lot. Books, blogs, reviews, education stuff, magazine articles, journals, lists, notes, and whatever else crosses my mind. You’ll probably see me with a notebook and colored pens. {I really like my pens…}
In the last six years ago, I’ve published 7 books for teachers, 7 for kids, and have written countless resource manuals, textbook chapters, worksheets, test items, board games, centers, and experiments.
My newest book—Free Resources for Elementary Teachers—just came out this month! I’m really excited about it as it represents 2 years of research and compilation, and the end result is beautiful. My publisher did a fabulous job, and the book ended up being over 240 pages, organized by subject-area, jammed with things teachers (and homeschoolers) can get for free. I also included a chapter of great homeschooling blogs and another with wonderful teacher blogs.
{If you ask, I’d probably get over my shyness and show you a copy…}

3. Homeschooling my kids was never, ever, a thought that occurred to me. In fact, if you’d asked me 15 years ago, I would have said that I didn’t want to stay home with my kids, either.
Looking back on my years as a mom, it’s amazing how God prepared me. I loved teaching, and {think} I was pretty good at it. Within the ten years I taught public school, I had been nominated for the Disney Creativity in Teaching Award, led local staff development programs, sat on many district-level committees and wrote/revised curriculum. I presented at local, state, and national conferences and conventions, and was always looking for ways to make myself a better teacher.
After a semester of working towards a master’s degree in reading specialization, I felt called to switched to gifted education. I swore I’d teach third grade forever if I could, but as soon as I delved into my coursework, I knew I wanted to work with gifted kids, and sought a new job as a gifted specialist…
Fast forward through some pregnancy struggles, illnesses, and eventually school and classroom difficulties for my twice-exceptional {gifted/ADHD} son, and the speed at which my highly gifted four year old learns {1st grade level} and I’m a homeschooling momma to gifted kiddos. God certainly knows…

2. I am basically a happy person… through the good and bad {even when a colleague told me it was unnatural for me to be smiling while I went through chemotherapy}, I can usually find something to be grateful for. God has blessed me tremendously…

  • I have an amazing husband who believes in – and supports me – enough to encourage me to start a freelancing career, them homeschool, then blog, then… who knows what next? Well, I am considering a naturalist certification program with field excursions to the Amazon and possibly the Serengeti through… okay, we can talk about that another time.
  • I have super-smart, super-sweet {most of the time} kids who love God and each other… and genuinely like each other, too.
  • I have amazing friends: talented, beautiful, kind, compassionate, and there exactly when you need them…
  • I have a loving God who always provides the grace I always seem to need.

1. I am really excited about this conference. It seems like a dream… blogging, homeschooling, God… all in one place with lots of others who think about and love the same things.
I am praying hard that I am open to everything, and that I allow God to lead me sessions, people, and groups I need in my life. I am also praying that He works on all of the other attendees and speakers, and helps them get over fears, apprehensions, and shows them His abundant grace and love as he leads them to what & who they are there to meet.
I am looking forward to meeting you…

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Colleen