our creative thermometer

deb and i are creative people. if there’s a project that needs to be done, then it has to be done with creativity and WOW. when we were in Little Rock this past summer they had some kids of staff members come share their experience in moving to Little Rock and their adjustment to life …

just write

you know you’re a writer when you’re staring at a blank page with “writer’s block.” people who aren’t writers don’t even put a blank page before them.

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i’ve got several topics that i’ve thought about writing a blog post about such as: “I love you in Russian”, life journaling, my recent fast of twitter/facebook, and conversing with the comments from my recent post about giving-debt-income.

but i don’t feel like writing about any of those right now. sorry if you were expecting more.

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the 120 club

i hereby propose the inception of the “120-club”. what is it? i’m glad you asked. 🙂

to become a member of the 120-club your sole requirement is to write a minimum of 120 posts to your blog a year. that’s it. this works out to 10 posts a month, which i don’t think is unattainable or unrealistic. for some of you reading this that add to your blog on a daily basis, 10 posts a month seems kinda low. for the rest of us who would like to write more often but have really been slacking off since we joined twitter (or some other excuse like having more kids, etc) then 10 posts a month will be an effort. but it’s an effort i think we’ll feel good about doing when the year’s over.

there’s no requirement on how long the posts need to be, or if they include or exclude video or photographic posts. simply that you add content to your blog on a consistent basis.

it’s not a contest of who can write the most. it doesn’t matter if you write 10 per month to get to 120, or if you just wait till next december and cram all 120 posts during your Christmas vacation. as long as you achieve 120 by the end of the year, you’re in the 120-club. of course you can write more if you’d like, but you can start your own “club” for any number higher than 120.

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blog traffic

i recently got an email from a friend asking about how to increase traffic to his blog, my response to him is what follows:

How do I get my blog more action i.e. visits?

simple answer: let people know you have one and keep them coming back by having content they want to read about.

what that means is include your blog site address in your email signature as seen below. when you write a new blog post, let people who follow you on twitter or facebook know about it. (and so you may also want to get more people to follow you on twitter and/or facebook, including people you don’t know but seem to have similar interests.

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This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship

so if you follow me on Twitter then you already know Deb and I’s big news… we got our iPhones today!!! so how did these turn of events happen? we were already planning on getting them this tuesday, but circumstances changed when (through my constant talking about it) our pastor decided it was time for …

confessions of an undisciplined writer

i’ve been slacking in my discipline to write on this blog.  i’m sorry and hope to make it up this weekend. which of course may be the time my readers are least able come to the site b/c of 3 day weekend plans.  oh, well you’ll have plenty to enjoy when life gets back to …

this is what the Laras call camping

the girls had their last day of school today. i drove them to school and then had the great idea of going and getting churros (a mexican pastry – cinnimon stick). then i went back to the school to give the girls one before school started. i knew that the first thing they do is go to breakfast and then go out to the play field. i figured they would have eaten while i drove to get the churros and would be out on the play field by the time i got back. so since i work at a school i knew the “right” way of doing things would be to go to the front office ask them to send a note for my kids and then they’d come to the office and i could give them their churros. but i also know since i work at a school that “recess time” is the worst time to try to find a kid since there’s so many of them running around. so i thought it would be just as easy for me to try to locate them by sitting in my car looking out onto the field. but honestly, the parking lot doesn’t have the best view of the playground so i went to a “back alley” parking spot behind the school playground and just parked, looking for my daughters. in my mind this whole process would take maybe 3-4 minutes and i’d spot them, call them over, hand them a churro, and look like the best dad in the world on the last day of school. instead i sat there for 15 minutes or so scanning back and forth trying to distinguish them from all the other girls on the playground wearing pink sweaters. i began to wonder if maybe they were just taking their sweet time eating breakfast and wouldn’t come out before the first bell. and maybe they were just cold and were standing by the building where there was less wind, and where i couldn’t really see them. finally one of the “duty” teachers sent out a guy (i think he was a janitor- since he was dressed in a grey shirt uniform) to my car to see who this stalker was. i explained what i was doing, he wasn’t really sure whether to believe me or not. for all he knew i was some pedophile trying to lure sweet innocent children into his car on the last day of school with mexican cinnamon stick pastries! … oh well, that’s that and now it’s behind us. our initial summer plans have changed. since monday we’ve been planning on going to seattle tomorrow (wednesday). we were going to leave around 8am and then meet the guy i’m buying my Macbook Pro from at around 11.30. then on the way home we were planning on going camping at Cooper Lake near Cle Elum. well, that was at least until this afternoon when it was still raining, cloudy, and COLD. we decided that maybe this wasn’t the best time to go camping. it wasn’t really the cold that was keeping us away (contrary to what my mother might think – we do know how to keep the kids warm in cold weather, even the babies). it was the fact that it was raining so much. we have a tarp to lay down under our tent but our tent is bigger than the tent and we didn’t want to chance waking up in a puddle. we’ve got more plans to go camping later this summer anyways, so we’ll just wait. but now we’re leaving at 6am to be to seattle around 9-9.30 to meet one of deb’s old drama directors (bruce and debbie woolsey) who now live in seattle. debbie’s home alone right now because bruce and their 3 boys went to disneyland. so deb and our girls are going to spend the morning at debbie’s house. i’ll go meet “the guy” at the south seattle costco around 11. then i’ll probably head to the Apple Store to buy a new case for my computer and play with the new iPhone. 🙂 then i’ll go back to the woolsey’s house and we’re gonna hang out till we can go to our hotel. can i tell you? we scored a great price on a hotel via hotwire.com . if you’ve never used the site it’s AWESOME. you tell it where you want to go, the dates, and then it gives you a list of prices of hotel and their “star” rating. the only thing is they don’t tell you the name of the hotel until you’ve booked. they don’t tell you the address, so if you have to be within walking distance of some convention center or something it might not be a good site to book your stay. but otherwise they do tell you what neighborhood the hotel’s in so you (with a map) so you can get generally close to where you want to be. anyways we picked a “3 star” hotel in the pike place market neighborhood for $109+ tax ($130 total), put in our info, clicked submit and waited for the name of our hotel. the Crowne Plaza – Downtown Seattle . i went to their website and tried to book a room for the same dates and type of room. their “discount” price was $237+ tax ($273.97 total!!). we saved over $140 with this site. and by the looks of the pictures on the web, it’s a really, really, really nice hotel. we’re gonna feel like kings and queens and princesses tomorrow!