Posts Tagged ‘New Years’

Grumpy Face

Well I finally got more pictures up. It only took me forever! So I decided since I haven’t done it yet, I’m gonna add links to all my photo albums on Facebook (since it’s the only way for sure that you’ll get to see a bunch of pictures. I’d like to add them on here, but it takes too long!). I’ll probably also make a sidebar widget with the links, but not right now. So enjoy the pictures 😉

Pictures Pictures Everywhere


Growing Up

New Set

Carter and Cupcakes

Carter Drayke

First Day of School

We Go Out

Paddle Boating

More Pictures

The Kids in Summer

Beach Day and Exercise

Big Family Outing

Fun at the Fountain

Picnic at the Ponds

Westerner Parade 2009

Westerner Parade 2009, Pt. 2

Recent Pictures

Transformers 2 – 2009

Day of Camping – Landscapes

Day of Camping

Happy Birthday Patty

My Little Photographers

My Little Photographers, Pt. 2

Newer Pictures of the Kids


Christmas 2008

New Years 2009

The Three Terrors

    What I Learnt:

    What is an Elevator Pitch?

    “An elevator pitch is an overview of an idea for a product, service, or project. The name reflects the fact that an elevator pitch can be delivered in the time span of an elevator ride (for example, thirty seconds or 100-150 words).”

    This is either going to be really easy or really hard. At least it’s 150 words as opposed to 150 characters – the approximate length of a Twitter update (a tweet?!?). I tend to have a pretty difficult time keeping it under that on one or two day-to-day things, let alone a blog full of information over a span of time consisting of more than 48 hours!!!!

    On the other hand, if you think about it in the length of an elevator ride, I think that I talk fast enough that I could relay all the information that I needed to about the blog to get someone to read it. Like I said, it’s going to either be really easy or really hard. If only it really were as simple as “A blog about a 23-year-old, stay-at-home Mom of four”.

    QUESTIONS: (Please leave me your comments!!)

    1. Have you ever tried to write an elevator pitch?
    2. Do you Twitter (or whatever they call it)?
    3. What do you think of my simple “about this blog” sentence?
    4. Do you like my Elevator Pitch?

    Why it’s smart for a Blogger to use:

    • One of the most important reasons to do this exercise is that to develop an elevator pitch YOU as a blogger have thought through and crystallised in your mind what your blog is about.

    If you’re fuzzy on what your blog is about it’s unlikely that anyone else will have much of an idea either.

    This one is a little bit difficult. I mean, I know my blog is about my life as a 23-year-old, stay-at-home Mom of four. I know my blog covers the boring and yet vast categories of my life. From the four kids and the happenings in their life, to the lack of money, to my hopes and dreams for the future and some of the stuff I like to do creatively. The blog is alot like a website, in the sense that it’s a one-stop-shop for everything that is a part of my life.

    It’s a little hard to narrow it down into 150 words, though it would be even harder with the Twitter issue. At least I know what it’s about. Hopefully I can pinpoint it in 150 words for other people to know what it’s about 😉

    Quotes Are From

    31DBBBProblogger’s 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge

    • Once you’ve got one it is brilliant for communicating what your blog is about to readers (both the ones you already have and potential ones), other bloggers, potential partners, media/journalists, advertisers and even to friends and family members who might not get what you’re doing.

    Did anyone else just get totally excited reading this last quote? I’ve always loved when people wanted to read my journals. One of my favourite memories is my Mom and I sitting there reading my journals from when I was 14 when I first moved into my house. We laughed, we cried, we got into an arguement. It was great fun!

    So to think that with the internet, there’s a potential audience of millions to laugh, cry and get into an argument with me, I couldn’t be more excited. It excites me to think about having readers. I’m excited and nervous and jittery. Connecting with other bloggers, nervous about that.

    Today’s Task

    Take some time out today to develop an elevator pitch for your blog. If you’ve already got one take a few minutes to review and refine it.

    Questions and Answers Rant:

    Q: Does your blog solve a problem or need?

    A: Yes and No. If you’re need is to sit around listen to me rant about my life, then yes it solves a need. If you have a problem with the fact that you simply don’t have enough people already ranting at you, then yes my blog solves a problem. Otherwise, no…

    Q: Define your audience

    • Who is your blog for?
    • Who are you attempting to attract?
    • Are you trying to target a specific demographic?

    A: My blog is mostly for me. I created it so that I would have a venue to do what it is that I’m best at, and that’s rant. And by ranting, I don’t mean bickering and nagging and getting all up in your grill. I just mean that I tend to carry on, I tend to rant. In writing this, I’m hoping to attract anyone who feels like listening to me.

    I don’t really have a target demographic. I want teenagers who are having sex to read this, teenagers who have never considered having kids reading this. I want Moms and Dads of all ages, shapes and sizes reading about the struggles and the triumphs of parenting. I want Grandparents and felines and single people and all people, to read my blog.

    My Elevator Pitch

    It’s a work-in-progress. Comments are more than welcome!

    Problogger suggests making a short version and a long version of your elevator pitch.

    Short Version:

    The Rantings of a Tortured Mind – The trials and tribulations of a 23-year-old, stay-at-home Mom of four.

    While I managed to do it with only 21 words!!! And I’d like to let everyone know that I was able to write it as a Twitter update (a tweet?!?), with 33 characters to spare. Woo hoo!!

    I feel like I’m leaving myself open to alot of stereotyping and negativity from the short version of my elevator pitch. And I can’t decide for the life of me if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I also feel like it hardly describes what The Rantings are about. If anything, it’s almost a misrepresentation of what The Rantings are. Or maybe it’s not, I can’t decide. Maybe this will help us:

    Long Version:

    The Rantings of a Tortured Mind is a blog/website that is maintained and written by me, Valerie Rayne, a 23-year-old, stay-at-home Mom of four whose passions are her kids, her music and her sexuality. The Rantings cover many aspects of my life, from my 5-year-old, 3-year-old, 2-year-old and 2-month-old to songs and stories that I have written to my wants and desires for my life (which will hopefully make me feel accountable to start putting my life into order – the way I want it!).

    I guess in a way it gets my point across, but are you still left a little confused? Does it make you want to read the blog more or less? Any comments or suggestions are appreciated.

    Even though, in seven minutes, it will be January 1st, it’s “Not The 1st Yet”. And even when the clock strikes twelve and it is officially the 1st, I will be in denial and it won’t become the 1st until tomorrow morning, after I wake up. Why is this relevant, you ask. Why does it matter?

    I’ve come across two different online 31-day blogging challenges. One of My Goals for 2010 (a sort of New Years’ Resolution, if you will) is to participate in both of these challenges at the same time beginning January 1st, 2010 (even though it is technically now today, I’m not starting until tomorrow ;))

    The first challenge I happened upon was

    (National Blog Posting Month)

    NaBloPoMo is for “People who want to set the habit of blogging by doing it everyday for a month, including weekends, can come here for moral support, inspiration, and the camaraderie that only marathon blogging can provide.”

    Not only is NaBloPoMo a great reason to blog everyday (it makes me want to be accountable to my goal, great motivation!), but it’s also great for finding a variety of blogs and letting other people discover your blog.

    Tomorrow is my official start day, and I’m hoping I’ll be able to make the 31-day stretch. It’s been a couple of years since I wrote something everyday. Wish me luck!!

    Then I happened across Probloggers

    31-Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge

    As some of you may know, though alot of you may not, I’m coming back from a few years hiatus on blogging. It seems brand new to me. You can do alot more in the blogging world now, than you could back when I had The Old Rantings. I figured this would be a wonderful opportunity to learn.

    Another reason I decided to go for this particular challenge is because I have some goals when it comes to blogging, such as how many readers I’d like to have and how many people I’d like subscribing to the mailing list (learn more). I’m betting that I’ll learn a whole heck of alot.

    I’ve already begun receiving my daily tasks, and have a basic idea of how the next week or so will go in terms of “absolute daily posts”. So hopefully I’ll learn lots, and post everyday.

    Has anyone else participated in either of these challenges? What other challenges do you know of like this? Leave me a comment, or send me an e-mail and let me know.

    Look forward to tomorrow for my first 31DBBB/NaBloPoMo post! It’s all about Writing an Elevator Pitch.

    This is one of the things that I absolutely love about blogging or journalling. My mind goes completely wild and I can’t stop thinking. I think a thousand things. It’s even better now than it used to be.

    When I was going through all the depression in my last blog, or when I used to journal, my thoughts would often keep me up at night. I’d be thinking of all the things I wanted to do, all the things I hadn’t done, blah… Now that I’ve got the depression under control to a larger degree, I’m actually still able to sleep even though my mind is running all over the place.

    I signed up for Probloggers “31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge“, and while I haven’t begun any of the tasks yet, I have been reading the heck out of as many as articles as I can in my day. From doing that, not only am I coming up with a bunch of ideas for this blog and The Other Rantings, but I’m also coming up with a million and one questions.

    I also, as some of you may know, have signed up for NaBloPoMo, so starting January 1st (or at least that’s the plan so far), I’m gonna be blogging everday and completing taks on the Problogger Challenge. The other thing that I’m wanting to do, because I think it will just activate my creativity that much more, is participating in Memes. I’m still learning more about these, so I don’t want to set this one in stone or anything. I’ve only read a little bit about these and only had time to look into a couple of them, but it sounds like something fun and that would give me motivation to keep coming back to this blog.

    All of this is part of one of my goals. I don’t necessarily desire to make money or claim fame through my blog (though it would be an added bonus), but I do think that I have something of value to say and I hope that people want to read what I have to say. I’m jealous of all these other bloggers who have dedicated readers and fans/followers and I want a piece of that pie.

    It’s also more of a personal thing for me too. I used to journal every single day, without even meaning to. It was just that I always had something to say and I’ve always been better at expressing myself by writing than I ever have been verbally. My Mom used to always tell me, as a kid, to think before I spoke. Writing gives me the opportunity to think things over, and then I can re-read it before I let anyone else hear or see it. I don’t know exactly what I stopped writing, but I miss it. I feel like I need to write to be happy and I have the desire to do it everday and share it with the world.

    I made myself a Time Inventory sheet today. Starting tomorrow, I’m going to track all my activities (to the best of my ability), so that I can take stock of what I spend my day doing and what types of patterns I tend to follow. Again all part of a much bigger goal. I want to create a schedule or general outline of how each day of the week will go. When The Boyfriend will sleep if he ends up staying on graveyards, when and what days the kids will be taking baths, what cleaning needs to be done and when, my computer time. To be able to complete alot of the other goals that I have in life, I need to create some sort of timeline of events, so to speak, so that I stay motivated. Or at least that’s the hope of it all…

    I’m excited about the New Year, I really am. Quitting smoking was one of the best things ever. Both The Boyfriend and I have officially cheated, and even though we weren’t with each other, oddly it was on the same day. We each had one smoke, him in the morning before he left work and I had mine in the middle of the afternoon when he was sleeping. I hated every second of it. My tongue kept tingling and my throat automatically hurt. Even though mine was a menthol (and I normally don’t hate the taste), it just tasted weird. It didn’t taste at all like I remember smoking tasting. Today, Alfie was smoking next to me, and the smell was literally burning my nostrils. It just gets grosser and grosser as time goes by.

    I feel like without smoking, I can accomplish so much more. Now the only thing that needs to change about life is The Boyfriend’s work schedule and my cleaning schedule. Without smoking, I already feel healthier, so taking care of my health is naturally becoming easier. I’m pretty sure that once I start stretching, my body will start feeling better. I blame smoking alot for my lack of motivation over the years, and therefore my lack of… well, movement!

    The Boyfriend bought me a 5 lb dumbell, so I’ve been lifting that everyday. To the average person, that’s probably a pretty light weight. To me, it feels so heavy and I struggle to lift it more than 6 or 7 times. My main move right now is 10 bicep curls, but this is mostly just screwing around. Once we’re into the New Years, and I start working on all my other goals, I plan to start “working out” on a regular basis with a regular routine.

    I can’t believe I haven’t even talked about this yet!! My kids finally made it home. They got back last night, and we opened our gifts as soon as they got home. We had a pizza night which the kids loved, especially being that they each got their own can of Iced Tea. It was a really good first night back, I almost forgot how noisy 4 kids in 1 room can be!!

    Today was also a pretty successful day with the kids. Kaeidyn helped out alot with Carter today, which was really good when it came to dinner time and the pre-dinner dishes. Kenzie did good not playing a ton of games today, so that also made me happy. Keirnan is going through this squealy, whiny thing right now, so that tends to be a little stressful, and I try my best to calmly tell him to quiet down. He normally just replies with a “No”, but I’m hoping eventually he’ll just listen.

    I’m hoping tomorrow, I’ll have as much energy as I seem to have right now. Prior to getting on the computer, I was feeling tired and burnt out. Now that I’m here, I feel energetic and hyper. Again, I think it’s just that my mind starts racing when I can type it all out. Which I can do at approximately 120 wpm, so that tells you how fast my thoughts are going…

    Does anyone else blog or journal everyday? What’s your reason?

    Pictures of Family

    Merry Christmas

    Well, three out of four of the kids, officially leave today. At 2:50 PM, their step-grandma will be here to pick them up and whisk them off to the bus station, where they’ll be on a bus with Alfie and his brother out to Fort Saskatchewan. In this weather, the bus ride to Edmonton will probably be at least 2 hours. Then if “Nanana” (what the kids call Alfie’s Mom)  drives back to Fort Sasketchewan this could be the longest car trip they’ve ever been on.

    I told Kaeidyn she had to call me as soon as they got to Nanana’s, luckily she’s learnt her phone number and recited it to me today without pause. She’s been working on the phone number for about a month, and she’s been doing pretty good. The 403 was easy for her and so was the 755, the last four numbers were taking her quite a long time though. She’d get them all in there, but jumbled up. Today, she just spurted it all out. I’m hoping she’ll still remember after her trip, because it makes her feel good when she gets to dial the number. I’m gonna have to remind Alfie that she gets to dial…

    So since everyone but The Boyfriend, Carter and I are leaving, as well as the fact that The Boyfriend works Christmas Eve night and Christmas Day night, my plans for Christmas are non-existent. I guess for the most part, I’ll probably sleep. Which will be nice since we’ve all suffered a bit of a 24 hour cold/flu.

    I was thinking a little bit this morning about New Years’ Resolutions. Now I’m not one to normally make New Years’ Resolutions, as I’m not usually very motivated to do much of anything. Recently though, The Boyfriend and I both quit smoking. I had been smoking since meeting Alfie, six years ago. I’ve never had the desire to quit, but a couple weeks ago, we had no transportation and the store wouldn’t take the change that we had. We had no choice but to go without smokes. It was suprisingly easier than I had thought.

    After going the whole day without smokes, I said that we would just stay quit. We’ve been going off forever about how much money we would save if we quit smoking ($300 a week – don’t ask me how we were spending that much. And definetely don’t ask me how we were spending that much and still affording to pay rent and get groceries, because I seriously don’t know. On paper, it doesn’t work out…), and in the two and a half weeks that we’ve been done for, we’ve saved a pretty penny. Though the only way it’s really noticeable to us is that we still have $20 that normally would be gone, and today would be a day of panic.

    So since I view myself as “done smoking”, I figure I had some sort of motivation for doing that. Then this morning, Kaeidyn and I were talking about what was happening with them going out of town and what I would do while they were gone. I told her I’d probably sleep and clean and that when she got home from Nanana’s, she’d have to help me keep the kitchen clean (as that’s the hardest part, next to laundry, for me to keep clean). That started me thinking about all the things I want to do in the New Year.

    I’ve always said, if I quit smoking, I’d have a reason to start caring about my health. As long as I was smoking, there was no point to worry about my health, because any problems that I might of had, would be to some degree, a result of the smoking. Now that I consider myself “done smoking”, I can start caring about my health, because there’s a point.

    Now while I don’t think I need to lose any weight whatsoever, I would like to tone what I do have. Again, don’t ask me how, but after four kids and having my last one only two months ago (tomorrow is Carter’s “birthday”), I only weigh 136 lbs and I still fit into my size 7 jeans (not that I wear them that often, because I choose comfort over style – for now…). Some days are better than others too. Like today is a good look day, after having my sickness all day yesterday, and not being able to eat anything more than a piece of toast, my stomach is all flat today. That’s what I want, I want a flat stomach and strong arms – my arms being the absolute weakest part on my body. Kaeidyn and Kenzie can lift heavier things than I can!

    This is my big issue though. I don’t want to start exercising as long as my eating is as bad as it is. I’m a junk-food junkie. I love things that are deep-fried, and not even good for you things. My freezer is normally more loaded than my fridge, and alot of it isn’t exactly the healthiest stuff in the world. The only vegetable I eat on a regular basis is canned corn. I eat fruits maybe once a year, and I only drink milk when it’s added into other things, like cereal or ice cream, and even then, I eat those things maybe three times a year. I feel like if I exercised with what I ate now, my whole body would become exhausted, and I would probably get dehydrated. Especially when you take into account that the only beverage I drink is Sprite, and prior to that the only beverage I drank was Pepsi – for the last six years…

    I want to start with one and then go to the other. I don’t want to start eating healthier and being more active all at the same time. Especially after just quitting smoking. In my head, I could totally do it. In reality, I’d probably end up in the hospital. So now I have to figure out how to work it. It will probably be an After New Years Resolution. Anyone else have After New Years Resolutions?

    My only New Years Resolution, and this is only so far, this could easily change, is that I want to start blogging everyday. When I first started thinking about beginning to blog again, I roamed the internet looking at other people’s blogs to see what kind of content they were putting on it. Then in one of my Google searches, I stumbled across National Blog Posting Month:

    National Blog Posting Month is the epicenter of daily blogging! People who want to set the habit of blogging by doing it every day for a month, including weekends, can come here for moral support, inspiration, and the camaraderie that only marathon blogging can provide.

    So I’ve signed up, and my New Years Resolution is to start blogging everday for a month starting January 1st – and then if I can do the first month, I want to extend it to every month. I wonder if that would be cool or annoying, from both mine and the readers perspective. My other New Years Resolution is to do my dishes once a day, everday! I’ll definetely keep you updated on how it all goes!