JMO and His Branding – jmoswalt

JMO recently decided to move to Now he can officially say he is jmoswalt across the board (Twitter, email, Facebook, and website). He has put a lot of time and energy into the new blog pulling in all the lessons he’s learned from making his previous blogs, the CARPOOL website, this blog, and the skills he has picked up in his new career path at Schipul. I have learned more than I knew could be known about the blogging world from JMO and a lot about putting yourself out there and not being afraid to fail.

Anyway, check out JMO’s site. Look how his posts are now one per page. Look at the bottom of each post there are related posts suggestions. Look how you can click any link in the old blog and it will bring you to the new blog. Look how you can choose text or video or choose the title of any previous post from a master index. Look how my boyfriend rocks, what can yours do?

Side note: The picture above is a perfect example on how I’m continuing to fail so I can learn to be good. Picture editing interests me. But alas, I know how to do very little with the software. I have been frustrated with pictures not turning out as I hoped. Look above for me, please be witness my attempt, I promise to produce better soon.

P.S. It is impossible to speak of JMO without including 348239040234 links -the number may be an exaggeration

They are letting me come back on Monday.

Tomorrow I start my second week as a Special Education Aide. It seems like my cubicle life was ages ago and I’m very grateful for the opportunity. I get to work with a resource teacher and learn from her (and she is pretty fabulous I must say). And let’s face it, if I had tried to be the teacher, since I have no experience I would more than likely fall flat on my face. This line of work has been more satisfying in one week than two years in corporate America were.

Things that rock:

1. Kids think I’m cool for some reason

2. I get to figure out simpler ways to show a child a lesson, one on one

3. I sit in on different grade levels, different subjects, I have an opportunity to witness teaching styles of many teachers with many subjcts

4. Packing a lunch. After eating “to go” orders for two year, having some cheese and crackers and a side of fruit makes me smile

5. Kids do what I say. Kids I don’t even know do what I say, BECAUSE I AM AN ADULT – who knew?

6. My school’s mascot is Sharks

7. Since I’m not actually the teacher (YET) I get to leave at 3:3o

P.S. A big THANKS to April and her mom for the glorious “connections”

Vela Pree Kids

Last week I hung out with Devin and Christian a bit. Sandra has done good by these ones. One day was hard work, I can’t even begin to comprehend how it would be to hang out with these kiddos everyday. Sandra Vela Pree is a spectacular mother.

Pree Babies

The Jackson's Come to Town

This weekend the Jackson family (Tranee, David and Grey) came to visit me. Below is a photo of Grey and his hot mom, Tranee.

Tranee and Grey

We took Grey to see the butterflies at the Houston Natural Science Museum. We used a few of the free coupons JMO and I got from our CARPOOL Gala basket (we still have quite a few left too!), which is always exciting to feel like you got a bargain on something you actually want to do. The butterfly house has a lot of hands on activities that are great for little ones. Grey enjoyed looking at the cockroaches and tarantulas in cages. I enjoyed taking pictures and hoping that a butterfly would choose me to land on, one did not choose me.

Me and Grey
Grey and David

After the museum we swung by the Chocolate Bar, I regret not taking a picture of Grey eating chocolate. We consumed some glorious cake and got a few other treats as well. We went home and then Grey and I dropped mommy and daddy off at Reliant to see George Strait. Mr. and Mrs. Jackson looked pretty adorable and I thoroughly enjoyed having their kid to myself.

Tranee and David

Grey and I went swimming, ate fruit, and watched Bob the Builder. Then my date for the evening conked out about 8:00PM. I was disappointed he didn’t want to stay away to entertain ME longer.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting to spend a little time with the Jackson’s, I don’t get to see them as often as I would like. I suppose this now means I have to start planning my next trip to Fort Hood to visit them.

The Sweet Potato Queens

I just finished The Sweet Potato Queens, by Jill Connor Browne. I got the audio book last week at the library because I needed something for the road. I didn’t have anything on my hold list, so I had to browse. Browsing is something I no longer do at the library. Someone tells me about something they adored and I put it on the list. I see something that catches my eye at the book store, I write down the title, and then put it on my list. I get a Wowbrary newsletter of all the new exciting things they have, something catches my eye on this list, and then I add it to my list. All in all, the library is the best system there ever was. When it is my turn for a list item, I swing on my branch (which I adore) and pick it up and get started. If you don’t have a library card, you are missing out.

But I digress, I had to browse for a book. I was reading the backs of audio books (because I had a car ride ahead of me) and this little old lady told me The Sweet Potato Queens was a hoot and a half. So I was sold.

Although I’m not really from anywhere, I do believe I have a big streak of Southern Woman in me, so I adored this book from the start. Then when I was telling my momma about the book on the phone and I glanced at the box, I realized that the main character was the author. I had thought it was a hilarious tale of a woman from Jackson, Mississippi. Apparently Jill Connor Browne is the woman and her tales were absolutely hilarious that I had just assumed fiction. Although there is fiction in it, it is based on her and her fellow Queens. The book starts that she just knew when she was in the womb, that SHE WAS A QUEEN. Every year the Queens march in the Jackson St. Patrick’s Day parade and there are now 6,000 chapters around the world. I am enamored with the Queens and am sad to be done with their story. Jill reads the book herself, the library has a few copies, please read it and then call me to discuss your love.

Jill Connor Brown

“Do not ever give a Queen a home appliance as a gift. Period. The end. Now, an exception can be made in the event she just happens to mention in passing that she wishes she had, say, a full Viking kitchen, and then she goes out of town for a few days; and when she comes back, her entire kitchen is renovated with fabulous Viking appliances. She will be touched. On the other hand, if it is her birthday and you, all on your own, select, purchase, and present her with a Crock Pot, well, you are over.”

– Jill Conner Browne, The Sweet Potato Queen’s Book of Love

Leah Gets Older

Today is Leah’s 24th birthday! Below you can see her in her signature awkward pose picture. This pose tells the tale of being somewhere she would rather not be or that she is trying to fool the viewer with her elusive awkwardness. I have other Leah in awkward pose pictures, but she actually looks lovely in this one, and it is her birthday.

Leah's Awkward Pose

In our time of friendship Leah has made me a Queen Latifah trading card, pretended we were part of the sisterhood of the travelling pants, probably consumed 10 gallons of queso with me, travelled around the great country of Mexico with me, consumed a truckload of diet cokes with me with sides of chocolate cake, invited me to be her date at her brother’s wedding reception and lived with me for the past year. There is more of course, but I would need more awkward pictures of her to illustrate. I’m lucky to have someone so fun be my friend. Happy Birthday Leah!

Consumption of Queso and Cake