Sunday, April 3, 2011

Featuring My 250th Follower!

Ever since I featured my 100th follower, I decided to feature every 50th follower from now on because every blogger has a story and a life to share and I love letting others share their world with me and others!  You can read about my 150th follower and my 200th follower and now it's time to get to know my 250th follower, Kara at The Chuppies!

Kara linked up to the No Ordinary Blog Hop (NOBH) that I am co-hosting with Lynda and Anna-Marie and it was through NOBH that I first "met" Kara.

I asked Kara some questions to get to know her a little better. Below are the questions and her answers are in green.

1.  How long have you been blogging? 
Our blog has been up and running since December 12, 2008.  That would've been our daughter Selah's first birthday and I needed a place to write and process feelings after she died, but as far as blogging consistently, I've really only been blogging regularly since the beginning of February 2011.  I put myself into a self-imposed Facebook "timeout" and decided to focus more on blogging.
2.  What part of the world do you blog from? 
We're in the Portland, Oregon area (Pacific Northwest) and we love it here--mountatins, oceans, forests, high desert, lush farmland---very wet, but also very green and beautiful!
3.  How did you find my blog to become the 250th follower?
I found you through No Ordinary Blog Hop--which I want to thank you, Lynda, and Anna-Marie for hosting every month...also for taking the time to come visit my blog and leave feedback (very encouraging to a new blogger).
4.  How did you decide on the "theme" of your blog?
The "theme" of our blog has shifted over time.  From a visual standpoint--it's mostly green, which is my favorite color, but I clearly still need help with the whole layout (I'm on a slow learning curve in that arena).  As far as the content, when our daughter died from the disease Pompe in 2008, it was helpful for me to write out my feelings and thoughts.  When a child dies, there often is a hanging silence that seems to smother communication--people don't know what to say and at least with me, I didn't want to constantly bring it up--so it was hard to know when and where to share.  But the blog became a safe place for me to share and others to respond.  Over time and through God's healing, I blog less about Selah's death...but it will always have an impact on what I write.  Currently--our other 4 kiddos provide LOTS of inspiration for writing.  And as I grow as a writer and blogger, my biggest desire it keep myself real before God--to write for His approval, as He leads.
5.  How long have you been homeschooling?
We are into our second year of official homeschooling (I think most involved mamas are homeschooling, whether they know it or not).  We have one in 4th, one in 3rd, and one in 1st.  The biggest challenge-- is the one in diapers though!  Figuring out  how to keep "Miss Busy"....busy...during the homeschool hours has been a big challenge for me.
Our homeschool scenario is a bit different--the kiddos attend a school that runs M/W/F and then everyone in the whole school homeschools on T/TH.
So--I'm always a little hesitant to claim the "homeschool badge" because it is a lot of hard, but fun, but hard, but valuable, but hard work (for those of you who homeschool the full 5 days a week--I'm seriously impressed!). 
6.  Why did you decide to homeschool?
My husband and I really want to be involved in the education of our children (and it was nearly impossible for us to sufficiently keep up on their learning when all three of the big kids were gone every day, all day and then I'd have to dig through their backpacks after school to figure out what they did and did not understand). 
We also want to bring God into conversations and school work in an authentic way all throughout the day.  We don't want God compartmentalized to Sundays and church.  We want to be able to talk about Him when studying history, writing, science or whatever the subject may be.  As the number of our children has grown, we've also made a concentrated effort to avoid a hectic lifestyle--and homeschool has helped with this (though life still feels hectic to me :).  Also, in 2009 our oldest daughter was diagnosed with dyslexia and a couple other learning disabilities through a local Children's Hospital, so when it comes to her education, I need to be very involved.  She has been very successful in our current set up and I'm so thankful for the options we have through homeschool.
7.  What do you like best about blogging?
Best?  Probably the actual writing...and then that "push the publish button" when it all kind of comes together.  A close second though is meeting new friends.  I have met lots of interesting, encouraging people in the past 8 weeks and even a few kindred spirits.
8.  Do you find any challenges with maintaining a blog?  If so, what are they?
Finding balance--I'm slowly learning that I don't have to post every day and real life overrides responding to a comment.  I also want to make sure that I'm not driven or deflated by the responses of readers.  Our page views have shot up in the last 8 weeks because when you start at zero...800 in a day feels pretty exciting!  But--I don't want blogging to be about comments or page views...I want to write what God puts on my heart and leave it at that.
9.  If you had 3 wishes what would they be?
I'm going to change this to "3 superficial wishes" if that's okay? (Because it's too early in the morning to think too deeply).
#1) A full week to sleep in as late as I want, with my own nap time carved out if needed.
#2) Someone to come completely clean and organize our entire house and then a "touch up" crew that would return weekly.
#3) The ability to eat whatever I want without considering how many laps-around-the-track I just negated.
 10. Where is your favorite place to be with your family?
I really mean that. 
I think after Selah died it shifted how much I value that together time.
I hope you will stop by Kara's corner of the world and say "Hi!" over at The Chuppies.  You can read more about her and her beautiful family on her page, Who are the Chuppies?  If you have adopted children and/or have a child in Heaven, you may be especially interested in getting to know Kara better.  Kara's posts are faith-filled, inspiring and heart warming through all the triumphs and trials in her life.  I hope you will be touched as I was after visiting Kara's blog. Thank you Kara for becoming my 250th follower!  See you in blogland!

Please join Lynda, Anna-Marie and myself for April's No Ordinary Blog Hop (NOBH). You can link up any or all your posts for the entire month of April. The blogger with the most posts will be awarded a Star Blogger Award!  Click below for details!


noreen said...

Congrats Tracy on having so many bloggers! You do a fantastic job as supporting us bloggers!!

Unknown said...

Hi Tracy,

Congratulations on your 250th blogger. How so very exciting. I actually found Kara's blog today from NOBH and was really touched by her story as well as her posts. Thank you for NOBH as it is a great resource for us bloggers. I really enjoy linking up and hopping from blog to blog.

I hope you had a wonderful Sunday! I clicked a vote for you. Talk soon!

Congrats on 250 followers Tracy. Your blog is just a wonderful resource for those who find it:)
It was nice to read more about Kara and her lovely family. Voted for you today

Unknown said...

Congratulations Tracy! Thank you for the spotlight on Kara. I enjoy following her blog also.

Unknown said...

Good Morning Tracy,

I wanted to take a moment and answer your question about the book I reviewed for Tyndale.
I woud be happy to send you my copy if you would like. This story would go along great with your Roman history. If you go to the Tyndale site and sign up under the blog network. Once you do this they will place items available for you to review under your account information. You then chose which items you would like to review and then they will send the books to you. Once you finish you post a review on your blog and then link it to your account at Tyndale. They then approve your review and you get to start the whole process again. Let me know if you would like me to send Attack at the Arena to you. I am sure you and the kids will enjoy it. Talk soon. Have a great day!

Hi Tracy,
Voted for you today I just realized I missed your post on the 200th follower. Had to go back to read:) Not sure how I missed it as I stop by every day:)

Kara Chupp said...

Hi Tracy--thanks so much for taking the time to post this :)
And for all your encouragement with our blog.

Renee said...

What a great feature! I love how God uses our pain to bless others and brings good things out of dark times as he did with Kara. My only question is about the family photo--which ones are the kids? The all look so young!LOL . . .

Hi Noreen!
Great to hear from you again! Thanks so much for your visits, comments, and support!

Hi Kimberly!
Kara's blog touched me too! Her story and blog are so inspiring and I'm glad I was able to share it with others. So glad you link up to NOBH and it is fun to meet all the other bloggers through their posts! Thanks for all the book review information too :) Chat with you soon, I'm sure :)

Hi Anna-Marie,
Thank you for your continued support, visits and comments! I enjoy following all your adventures! So glad you were able to get to know Kara through my post and NOBH!

Hi Lynda,
Thank you for the congrats and glad you follow Kara's blog as well. It's a great one!

Hi Kara,
Thanks for stopping in and allowing me to "brag" about your beautiful family and blog :) Your blog and story are so inspirational and I am glad to share it with my visitors in hopes that others will be encouraged by your experiences!

Hi Renee Ann,
Your question is cute and I thought the same thing when I saw their beautiful family! :) Thanks for taking the time to stop in and get to know Kara!

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