Saturday, January 14, 2006

I Won Wednesday's Carnival of Homeschool Prize

I was so thrilled to have been told that I won Wednesday's drawing for $15 worth of books from! I've placed my order this morning, selected several different children books, for boys and girls, varies ages and will be donating the books to our local Boys and Girls Club.

I hope you can set aside some time to visit The Carnival of Homeschool today. Just please be aware that there's a lot of information so consider several short visits. And don't forget to enter the contest!

Persuasive Essay by Marcus Berry

Each month Marcus attends a writing workshop for eighth graders, who are enrolled in his Independent Study Program. December's topic was Persuasive Essay writing. Marcus had to do research, rewrites and his final draft. My husband and I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as we did

I have concerns about the television scheduling. It seems I have noticed lately on television broadcasting an increasing amount of shows with sexual content in them. Programs such as ABC's 'Hope and Faith', which shows the character Faith in stiletto heels, and a low-cut nurses outfit, the first day of work at a dental office. And other incidents, such as the Janet Jackson breast baring event, during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show. The Super Bowl event, I feel is a family event, which many children were present during that time.

Here are suggestions on how to protect children. First of all I think the network should place more accurate age ratings for the shows that have a lot of sexual content. Then move more mature programs to a later time slot. To fill the gaps in the schedule the networks could fill in these times with more wholesome family orientated shows.

Many companies and businesses have conducted surveys to see how much sexual content is broadcasted, such as the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser officials found that 70% of telfound that 70% of television shows included sexual content. That large number of our society cannot ignore. Finding appropriate shows that the family can all watch can be very difficult considering that 91% of comedy shows are inappropriate, 87% of dramas, and 41% of reality programs all have sexual content in them.

I hope that the television programmers will recognize that there are many children, who watch TV all day. I hope my concerns will make an impact on your opinions on what they are broadcasting.

Marcus Berry
Eighth Grade

Friday, January 13, 2006

Homeschool Talk Radio Show - January 9 week

Listen to this week's show special guests Fran Hamilton and Connie McIntyre of as they share information about a very special writing contest available to homeschool children. It's an exciting project that I know you'll want to take part in!

Also, this week's question is "What have you done this week to help some in your community?" To answer just call 1-866-492-857 and enter extension #5850.

Our response to this week's question is that I recently won some books in a contest and are donating them to my local Boys and Girls Club.

Dr. Laura Subscriber News - Podcasting Will Be Available Starting January 16

Dr. Laura Family Members have been requesting podcasting and now it's available! If you're a Streamlink Subscriber, starting January 16, podcasting will be available for free.

If you're interested in becoming a Streamlink Subscriber, visit the Dr. Laura website for more information.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

January is National Oatmeal Month !

I posted this information at 'Marcus and Me', my blog at I thought it would be great to share here too.********************************
January is National Oatmeal Month! Why not visit the Quaker Oats website, the oatmeal experts, for healthy diet tips, recipes, and the Oat IQ. Test your Oat IQ and you could be the winner of the a free Quaker Oats Favorite Family Recipe Cookbook.

Click here for more information. Now, go eat your oatmeal!

Tone of Voice Tells It All

For those of us who are in the customer service and sales virtual world, we must recognize the importance of the tone of voice that we use.

Your tone of voice is very important when dealing with customers over the phone. For you, the company and the product that you represent the proper use of your proper tone is paramount, and could make all the difference between selling successful and missing your opportunity for sales.

One suggestion is to have a mirror nearby so you can see your facial expressions, while on the call. Another is to have a family protrait or homemade art from your little ones. This always has a tendency to put a smile on my face and that encourages me to project a positive tone on the phone.

Also, keep in mind that just because you're repeating a phrase for the one hundredth time, your customer may be hearing it for the first time.

Have you ever taken the time to listened to your own voice? Try to be objective, you may discover flaws in the way you project words and phrases. For instance, after 20 years of working in call centers, I have to tell you that I still do not like to listen to my voice. I had to sit through several monitoring and coaching sessions, in my day. But, I have to say, it's a great learning tool for improving your tone of voice.

Are you talking too fast? Are you speaking clearly? Do you inflect power words? Example: "I can help you." versus "I can help you." The second phrase projects confidence to your customer that they called the right place. A suggestion to help you accomplish this task is to use a tape record or audio file and microphone and practice a sample script. Have a spouse or friend listen to it without you being there and him critique your performance. Ask the person to be honest and to rely their impressions of your speech. You're looking for things that you're doing well but also those you need to improve upon. This should be done at least twice a month.

In my early years, as a Customer Service Rep, I was having a problem with speaking too fast. To help me slow down, my husband suggested that I became a 'Read A Loud' volunteer, at our son's public school. I was to read a book, in front of 25 elementary students! I spent several evening practicing with my husband and son as my audience. By the time I showed up at the school I was ready. Besides being a great cause I had learned to slow down, inflect and see for myself how important tone of voice is.

So look forward to every call with enthusiasm...with a smile!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Stop By 'Marcus and Me' at

Today, at 'Marcus and Me' blog, I posted information about the Pillsbury Bake-Off 2006 contest. You can vote for the recipe that you think is the best and enter the America's Favorite Recipes Sweepstakes. Visit our blog for more info.

At 'Marcus and Me' you'll find posts regarding family, kid and teen activities, news and contests. There's links to my favorites sites too.

The is a fun and warm community. You'll find homeschoolers and home based learners blogging about their experiences, family, work and life. So please stop by for a visit!

Quilted Northern Ultra Trade Up Everyday Contest

For the chance to win an every day luxury, enter the Quilted Northern Ultra Trade Up Everyday™ sweepstakes. You could be a winner every day! See the official rules for details.
Click here to enter.

While you're there visit the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation site for information about their upcoming
events and more.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

This Week on 'Scrappers Talk Radio' - January 9

Vera speaks with Dawn Steghall, Faithfully, about faithbooking. Dawn explains what Faithbooking is all about, how she got her business started and provides different tips to help us with all of your Faithbooking needs from ideas to scripture.

Visit Dawn's website for resources and to sign up for her Ezine.

Click here to listen or download the show to your MP3 Player.

January is National Book Month !

Like I need an excuse to read. I love reading and I hope that you have instill that love in your children. With email and the Internet, there's still nothing like a hardcover book. Ah, the smell of the a new book, the feel you get when run your hand over the cover. Okay, enough of that.

Stop by your local public libraries this month. Many are having special events to mark National Book Month. Bookstores in your communities are another great source. Many are having visiting authors, kid activities and other events.

How about your homeschool group doing something special? This could be a book swap event, read-a-louds, puppet shows, well, I'm sure you get the idea.

I'm going to cut this short because today is my day off and I'm off to the library!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Country Bunny Bath & Body Customer Specials - Valentine's Gift Set

Treat yourself or someone special to a Valentine’s gift straight from the heart. Set includes Chocolate Mint Massage Bar, Oil-Free Massage Gel, 2 Shea Bath Bombs and 3 Lavender & Eucalyptus shower gel packets for $28.50 plus shipping, handling and state tax.

Visit the website to browse my online store or to place an order.

Mom Writers Talk Radio - It's Contest Time

Now that Mom Writer’s Talk Radio has been on the air for a few months, Alana and Paula would love to hear what you think about the show.

Send the ladies your thoughts and suggestions, and you will be entered to win one of two autographed copies of Shirley Jump’s Her Frog’s Prince!

Send your name and suggestions to

The winners will be announced here on January 27, 2006.

Remember you can download the show to your MP3 player or listen 24 hours a day because it's Internet Talk Radio! Click here to visit the website and listen to the show!

Dream House Giveaway 2006 - HGTV

January 1 through February 17, 2006 enter the 'Dream House Giveaway 2006'. You can tour the home. Watch the 'Dream House' special online. Click here to enter. And good luck!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

'Naomi's New Hope' - TV Show on Hallmark Channel

I'm a big believer in alternative treatments. Mediation, pray, imagine therapy and more, I am able to face my day with a positive attitude. My pain doesn't manage me, I can manage my pain.

I also love Naomi Judd's approach to her chronic condition and life. Hallmark Channel has blessed us with 'Naomi's New Hope'. This show will be on Sunday mornings with repeats during the week. Naomi will have friends and special guests, discussing faith, values and spirituality and alternative approaches to treating illness.

As I approach today, one quote that Ms. Judd made will stay with me today. "Solitude is a refreshment for the soul." I plan on spending some time mediating. It really helps me face the rest of my day. I can actually feel the stress and anxiety wash off of me.

So, take some time for you, a cup of decaffinated tea or coffee and get aquainted with Naomi Judd. I'll be viewing right there with you.

Marcus' Magazine Pick for January - 'Ignite Your Faith'

Stop my blog at (Marcus and Me) and read today's post about Marcus' response to 'Ignite Your Faith'. In the meantime, visit 'Ignite Your Faith' magazine at Christianity and read more about this teen magazine. It's style, articles, and pictures will definitely appeal to your teen too. While you're there sign up to receive a FREE trial issue.

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