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The Secret to Middle School Algebra

The Secret to Middle School Algebra

Back to school season is one of my favorite times of year. Not only do I get to shop for new clothes, pens, and pencils, I get to watch my wonderful boys grow up. (I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that getting them out of the house after a long, hot summer is also a plus!) This year, Timothy, my youngest son, is taking a big step into middle school. In Alabama, middle school starts at 5th grade – which seems so young to me! Middle school means so many new things:

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Signs of Summer

Signs of Summer

This summer, I’ve spent a lot of time on the road, chauffeuring my daughters to and from summer camps. My time on the open highway inspired me to devote the next few posts to the Signs of the Summer. We’ll look at some of the classic signs of the highway and answer a few questions. First, let’s look at the blue highway exit signs. Called interstate logo signs or specific service signs, we often think of them as the signs for gas, food and lodging. But did you know that they also promote other

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Hoping (and Hunting) for Diamonds

Hoping (and Hunting) for Diamonds

I went diamond mining. To answer your first questions, no, I did not find a Hope Diamond-sized rock. If I had, well…today’s blog may have been a little late while I extended my mini-vacation. Luckily, my favorite niece, my friend, and I didn’t have to go all the way to Africa to try our hand at diamond mining. Our adventure took us to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. The park is built on an old volcanic crater that produces actual diamonds. For only ten bucks, you get a day pass to

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Surviving the Charger Wars

Surviving the Charger Wars

Does your household know about the Charger Wars? No, it’s not the next big summer blockbuster movie franchise – the Charger Wars are the ongoing battles at my house over cell phone chargers. It might be the same in your household – each person has the charger that came with their phone, a travel charger, an extra charger for vacation, the replacement charger that was purchased when they forgot the travel charger on vacation…and yet, somehow, no one can every find a charger when they need one! The wars part comes in when a

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I Got a New (90 Pound) Puppy!

I Got a New (90 Pound) Puppy!

Maybe it’s because my boys are all becoming young (nearly grown) men, but I’ve been wanting a new ‘baby’ around the house for a few years. When a friend recently sent me the link to a rescue facility seeking adoptive parents for a gorgeous, full-blooded Great Dane puppy, my maternal instincts kicked right in. It was love at first sight. And I became obsessed; I knew Carly belonged with us. Then, I almost got my heart broken. When I called to inquire, Two by Two Rescue informed me that Carly had just been claimed

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Bikers Versus Drivers and the Biggest Job in 29 States

Bikers Versus Drivers and the Biggest Job in 29 States

We’ve talked before about the potential rise of self-driving trucks. Are they safe? Do they work? But the biggest question about the rise of the self-driving truck is literally big – truck drivers are one of the largest contingents of workers in the US. The trucking and logistics industry employs 7.9 million people in the United States – with 3.5 million Americans listing their job as professional truck driver. To put that statistic in perspective, take a look at this map, courtesy of NPR: That’s right – ‘truck driver’ is the most common job

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Why I Disagree with This 4-Year-Old Girl

Why I Disagree with This 4-Year-Old Girl

See that little girl down below? Her name is Hadley. And, although she may be cute, we’re going to have to disagree on a very important issue. You see, Hadley wouldn’t wish her Paw-Paw (grandfather) a Happy Father’s Day because “he wasn’t her daddy”. Her staunch refusal to recognize a very important male role model in her life landed her a guest appearance on the NBC show hosted by Steve Harvey, Little Big Shots. What little Hadley doesn’t yet understand is that biology has nothing to do with being a great dad. I didn’t

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Dispatches from Summer Camp

Dispatches from Summer Camp

Camp. It’s a rite of passage for many youth, and this year, my eldest daughter, Emily, will be going to two sleep-away ‘camps’ for the first time ever. I’ve written before about her love of singing and musical theater. This summer, Emily will have the opportunity to participate in two programs – one at The University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem; the other, Broadway Artists Alliance in New York City. She’ll be at the first program in Winston-Salem for a few weeks, rooming with her best friend in a campus

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Desk Sweet Desk

Desk Sweet Desk

Ah, vacation. The very word inspires thoughts of hammocks on the beach, quiet days by the river, or the family fun of amusement parks. That is, when everything goes right. Maybe it’s all of those old TV commercials about traveler’s cheques, but vacation time also seems like prime time for something to go wrong. After all, the first part of vacation involves travel, and as we all know, travel often goes wrong. From missed flights to missing luggage to a flat tire on a road trip, travel doesn’t take prisoners when things go wrong.

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The Best Summertime Diet

The Best Summertime Diet

Tomorrow marks the first of June, which means that summertime is on the horizon. And this summer, I’ve decided to go on a diet. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not about to put down my hot dogs, hamburgers, or potato salad! Instead, I’m going to try what the experts call “a social media diet” for a more stress-free summer. Social media can be a great place to find pet videos, funny jokes, or opinions about the week’s biggest television drama, but there’s also a lot of junk. And just like with real food,

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