Monday, March 21, 2011

Peanut Butter and Jelly Speeches: Can You Spare Some Advice?

I sat at a crossroads this weekend.

My mind has been spinning
questioning myself,

And so I ask for your help,
for it is you who knows.

You come here and visit me
an often one-sided conversation
unless you very sweetly leave a comment.
I do try to visit you at your blogs,
especially if you comment a few times
making me remember to get over to you.
(My ability to remember is fast waning.) 
Your comments have been so amazing!
Thank you.
I feel so privileged
and a bit scared.

I remember my first speech class at college.
I thought I would faint.
My mouth was so dry,
my eyes wet with the tears that were ready to spill out,
and then the guy ahead of me got up and did his speech.

We were to do one of our first speeches explaining how to do something.
He did his,
with a perfectly straight and serious face,
on "How to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich."

I don't think I'd laughed that hard 
since my nervous feet had hit the college campus grounds.
He made us all roar,
and I don't think I ever thanked him for making speech class achievable to me.

Thank you, Chad.

Life is full of daunting challenges
that are actually small steps taken with courage...
often helped along by a dose of laughter. 

Blogging has been AMAZING to me. 
I have met sooo many incredible people
learned so much
been motivated to do so many projects that have sat waiting for me 
to get the gumption to do them.

You have motivated me.
(Of course, I don't know that my Farmer likes the sudden
onslaught of crafting fares that have crept into the kitchen
and office,
and basement.

Yes, dear Farmer,
I am going to clean them up
just as soon as I finish here.

I promise,
or at least,
I promise to remove most of them).

I have had so many house projects that needed to be done
and they are getting done now.
This is one of the first times in my life that I am making things just especially for my house,
besides when we moved in and HAD to.

Before now, everything I made was to sell
or for gifts;
and that's great too.

But I feel like I'm at a crossroads.

What are my goals in blogging.
Do you have goals?
Yes, I absolutely LOVE to write.
I love that I can share stories and pictures on here for family
and friends who I don't get to see.
My sister started a blog a year before I did,
and I loved her blog because I felt so much more apart of her daily life.

That's a TREASURE when you live 4 hours away.

My little sister got married in May
and I knew that blogging would make her still feel apart of my kids lives
even though she is clear across the country now.
So I have all these reasons for blogging in my mind.
And I wonder.

Am I putting too many categories together?
Do I need to be more organized?

I see many of you have personal blogs
and then your main blog.
Here comes some blatant honesty.

I would like to get where I can do some advertising
(things that I, in good conscience, could advertise,) 
and make just a little bit of money by blogging.

Honestly, I don't want a lot.
I just think maybe if I try so I can help bring in a little extra income,
pay the groceries for one week,
okay, even if it's just a gallon of milk,
to make it worth my time.
I've been reading Blogging With Amy's blog
and it motivates me to want to feel like I'm contributing to our household,
but I don't want to get too wrapped up.

I'm a wife and a mom first of all
and a Christian most.

But even the Proverbs 31 woman brought a nice income to her husband.
She was wise with the use of her time.

Regardless, I love blogging.
It is my relief, helps me laugh at things,
or focus things more clearly when the dust has settled.
It is my written coffee at the end of the day
when the kids have gone to sleep.

And when I need to get away and peer into somebody else's life
your blogs are my printed chocolate.

Oh, there are days when I am completely empty on what to write,
but that is usually immediately followed by a day where 5 subject matters
demand center stage.

I am so thankful for you,
my reader.
I am surprised that you come here so often,
Sue and Michaele;
you have been here and commented on me
and encouraged me almost from the beginning,
and I love both of your blogs.

Your goats milk soap that I won in your giveaway, Michaele,
(If anybody wants some wonderful goats milk soap,
she has a great selection and makes it herself!)

I know many of you read my blog
and tell me personally.
I blush because I think it's really kind of you
and that you take the time to do so is,
really neat.

I don't expect everyone I know to read this.
Really.  I know you all have lives!
You probably wonder how I have time to write.
(I wonder that too, sometimes).

Anyhow, the fact is,
I get most of my views on this blog from my craft/painting posts.
I do get people asking me about some of my healthy writings as well.
Should I make a separate blog just for my craft/painting stuff?
Or should I just leave things as they are?
Would you rather just visit for the crafts
and if you want to know the workings of my brain drop in over here?

Or am I jumping the gun?
I do have other goals in my life:
I've wanted to write kids' books since I could pick up a crayon.
I have just not pursued it at this point because
I'm too busy at this moment trying to get these house projects done first.
I know I need to make time
because there are only so many somedays to a lifetime.
So, dear reader,
wonderful blogging friends,
take out your typing scalpels
and let it rip.

I want your opinion,
(Please, don't feel like you need to butter me up;
really, I'm on a diet,
and I know if you are here,
you are taking the time to show you care).
Am I too wordy,
too long of posts?
Too often?
Too much variety: narrow it down to certain areas?
Split off my personal blog from the painting? 
Can you give me any suggestions? 

Truth is valuable to me.
It is the heat that makes the bread rise.

Most of all,
I want blogging to not be a waste of time,
not yours,
not mine.
I want to feel like I am offering something.
I want you to come here
and feel like I have given you something for taking the time to stop
whatever it is you were going to do,
just to listen to my speech...

even if my speeches are often not so grandiose.

After all, sometimes the best speeches aren't the most knowledgeable;
sometimes the most helpful speeches come in the form of
"How to make a peanut and butter jelly sandwich."

(If you prefer to post anonymously, I have changed my settings so that you may do so for this post.)
  Thank you!


  1. Let me be the first to comment. I do not think that I have ever commented on your blog. I have followed your sister's blog since the first day she started it, and I found you through her. (Her husband was a teacher of mine in high school.) There are only 3 blogs that I read daily, and yours (and Tammy's) is one of them. I have your blog bookmarked with a special button at the top of my browser so I can find you easily and frequently. I read your blog because I am interested in you and how you live your life and raise your children, and your painting and art and whatever else you decide to blog about is a part of you and your life. I have never found one of your blogs to be boring, and even though I am not artistic at all, I love to see what you are doing and think that maybe I could do it, too, in my own way. If you decide to advertise on your blog, I would be fine with that. It would be a good way for you to possibly make some extra $, and why not share what you think is good with other people. The best way to find the best stuff is through word of mouth and personal referrals. I know I am too wordy here, but I have never found you too wordy in your posts, and you and Tammy have inspired me to write my own blog for, like you said so well, my written coffee at the end of the day, and in hopes that perhaps I can inspire or minister to someone who happens along my blog like Tammy and you have ministered to me. I would love to have you visit my blog, too, and let me know what you think. I have only been up for about 2 months, and still feeling my way through it, but I would value your opinion.
    Sorry I wrote too much, but I tend to do that and even reading back through it, I want/need to say it all, so here it is!

  2. The only words that come to my mind are these:

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

    I love your blog just as it is, which is why I am a regular visitor. And I enjoy seeing and reading about all the parts of your life. You're already doing a great job here.


  3. I'm a new follower, and I like it just the way it is! I, personally like the variety! My blog is sort of the same way. Someday, if I have more time & money to craft constantly, I might add a crafting only blog... Someday...

  4. Tonya,
    My vote is that you keep your blog the way you have it. I love the randomness of the posts, one day about your kids, the other day about your crafts, and the next about some healthy alternatives. Your blog inspires my to post more.
    ~Anna Davis~

  5. I am relatively new to your blog, ran across a link on FB back in February and fell in love with it! I enjoy seeing your crafty stuff and your day to day stuff as well. Your blog is one I find myself coming back to often. My opinion is that its great the way it is. Its not tedious, as some become when its always the same topic day in and day out. I enjoy blogs that have a bit of variety.

  6. Thank you, Sue. You always say things so well. :) And that's really sweet to hear from you, Mama Bear. I will head over to your blog and enjoy getting to meet you this evening, when things slow down. :)
    Thank you, Julie. I appreciate what you had to say, and totally understand the crafting more...someday! :)
    Anna, I didn't know you had a blog. Is it by invitation only b/c I don't see it under your profile. Thank you for your sweet comment. Levi loves going to your class, by the way. :)

  7. Thank you also, Sheree. :) It's nice to meet you! It looks like I missed your comment by a minute. :) I appreciate all your helpful advice.

  8. I LOVE your blog JUST THE WAY IT IS. I love that you are real. I love that you share your life with us. I LOVE that you don't ALWAYS AND ONLY talk about one thing - - - like crafts or cooking, or decor, or tablescaping.

    There are ALREADY too many blogs that only talk about one thing.

    I skip most of their posts.

    I come HERE every time I see your title in my follow list - - - because you are real, and you are real fun.

    Keep it up.

    I have ONE goal at my blog - - - my sole goal is to make people spit and snort when they read.


  9. One more thing - - - I taught speech one year on the high school level and I say BRAVO to your friend Chad! How creative.

    Reminds me of the time one of my cousins wrote a "How to" essay on "How to Pick Your Nose."

    Also - - - how do I get to your sister's blog????

    Oooops - - - I GUESS that was 3 more things.

  10. I TOTALLy agree with everyone's comments. Keep it as it is! I don't paint so if you went with just painting, I wouldn't find it as interesting (well, that's a lie, I'd still find interesting b/c its YOU)... but you know what I mean. I love the variety and it being YOU. Keep it the same, girl! It's fun visiting every chance I can with you!
    Maybe add some more adds to make money, but blogs that have oodles of them tend to look like one big ad and no real substance and I click away from it!

  11. What did you do your speech on that day? How did it go?

  12. Tonya, I LOVE reading your blog!! They are so creative and well written. I am actually bummed when there isn't a new post to read, (although I do understand why.) Keep up the great work. As far as ads go, I wouldn't mind them, I love hearing about new things from someone I trust!
    Love ya!

  13. I think your blog is lovely how it is, I am a new
    follower and I enjoy your blog, today's blog was great the bit on the prov 31 women was good,this
    is one of My heart gem's from God.

    Love&Blessing's From Carol

  14. Well said. I think your blog is amazing. I have been reading some of your posts, and yes you have a lot to offer.

  15. I love your blog just the way it is. I feel like through your blog I get to know you just a little bit. I love seeing your little ones, I enjoy seeing the things you make. Keep it the way it is! hugs

    PS when I try to reply to you from you visiting my blog it is always a no reply email. Please fix this as I would love to respond to your sweet comments! Have a great one!

  16. I love your blog just the way it is! Your honesty is so refreshing! Your writing is amazing! When you get around to those children's books, I want them!! Hoping you'll do it before mine are grown, but if you wait hopefully God will provide grandchildren who would adore them!!

  17. Please don't change your blog. I agree with the other that the variety keeps it very interesting. As your friend, I have always enjoyed your writing....especially the college letters....since I never experienced that life. You always have fascinated me with your creativity in both writing and crafts. I also have learned by watching you, as I know you can tell from my blog:) You're a great teacher:)

  18. I love your blog just the way it is! I stop by as often as possible but don't often comment. I love hearing about your family and your house and your artwork!


I love your comments!