Key words to start reading

If you have a toddler or little one that is just starting off on the journey towards reading check out the research study published by Jonathon Solity. Although he supports phonic skills he points out that the sooner children start recognizing key words that are used over and over in literature the sooner they will start reading.

I made a set of flash cards to help my son on his reading journey, and realized I had added quite a few “difficult” words that are not necessarily repeated in texts so often. The 100 key words shared in the article are repeated over 50% of the time and make up the majority of his books!

100 Key Words

When do I leave my day job?

I am at a bit of a crossroads and still trying to sort some things out in my personal life in terms of careers. I know I can do so much with my own business alongside my supportive husband: utilize my skills into creating something lasting for my children, focus 110% on health products, formulate my own team, expand, grow, and most importantly set my own workload and hours so I can always be there for my children.

Leaving my day job, which I have already started to drift away from with my part-time schedule has given me the freedom I have needed to taste success in a whole different field – an area that has been formulated and customized to fit my skills and talents.

The fact that I have yet to get myself organized for the new school year is a telling sign that I have never been closer to jumping ship and focusing on my own business. I love organizing, multi tasking, setting schedules, entering data, problem solving, marketing, networking, testing new products …

Before I make any rash decisions, even though I have tested the market and seen the ups and downs, I still have to be absolutely sure and do a bit more soul searching. Maybe I drop down to one course and that is it?

I know many have been at this point … trying to decide what to do and when to move on to something new… here are some articles/ blog posts I have been referring to…

10 Questions to Ask Before Quitting Your Day Job

Can you Afford to Quit Your Day Job

A 15-Year Study of 5000 Entrepreneurs Finally Answers the Question

4 Ways to Know It’s Time to Quit Your Day Job and Launch Your Company

Why You Shouldn’t Quit Your Job to Start a Business

Conversations at the dinner table…

Conversations at the dinner table:

Me: Why is your shark 🦈 sitting at the table?

Son: I think it’s cute.

Me: You think this shark is cute?

Son: 😂 Yes!

Me: What else do you think is cute?

Son: Mommy is cute, daddy is cute, but daddy is actually cuter! My hands are cute, my food is cute …

Daughter: Can we play a game?

Me: During dinner? I want you to focus on your food.

Daughter: No this game is called “No talking at the dinner table!”

Me: I like the sound of this game.

Son (referring to the Chilliwack corn stalls in the summer): I don’t want to eat this corn, I only like the fresh jubilee corn 🌾

Daughter: 😂 you are out you talked!!!

Son: So are you! 🤣🤣

Me: Sweetie, you want to be as strong and muscular like Hulk right?

Son: Yes!!!!

Me: Well finish your corn I can see your muscles getting stronger with every bite!

Son: Of course I will eat my corn – I’m not silly!!

Daughter: Daddy won – he didn’t say anything!!

Me (thinking to myself) … need to define what “cute” is because clearly this shark is …

Hustle & hard work

Hustle and hard work … something I teach my kids will get them places as they grow older … never too early to start.

My daughter set up her last batch of girl guide cookies as a display at our store but she was disappointed she would not get to talk to everyone personally. So she asked for permission if she could be there selling and talking to customers Monday morning … and I said absolutely … NOT. School first selling product second. But proud of her dedication!

Working out

Sunday morning workout buddy …

Son: Mom can I work with you in the office?

Me: Sure come on over

I set up some writing for my son. A little while later…

Son: Mom I’m all finished my work!

Me: Awesome now what do you want to do?

Son: Go on the elliptical … time to exercise!

Me: Wonderful, I’ll take a 10 min break too.

Half an hour later … didn’t know where the time went!

Take away: Keep your fitness equipment and playlist close by and workouts can easily be squeezed into your day! 🎶

Gingerbread House Kit

The pre-built gingerbread house kit from Costco is such a great activity for the kids.

Basically you take the pre-built house out of the box and start decorating! My children had a blast decorating their first official house all by themselves. I did not have to worry about the sides of the house falling down or helping to stabilize anything since everything was set to go.

A couple of things to keep in mind:

  1. We used an extra Betty Crocker whipped cream tub/ white icing tub to completely cover the house in frosting.
  2. We saved the original cardboard box to transport the gingerbread house to our home mess free!

The kit is very reasonably priced at $9.99 while similar kits are $15-$20 at Save-On-Foods and Safeway.

Kid Kraft Kitchen

The Kid Kraft Grand Gourmet Corner Kitchen is one of the best play kitchen out there for many reason. This is an all-in-one versatile wooden kitchen for children.

The kitchen is equipped with a fridge, freezer, microwave, oven, stove, washer/dryer, and several storage areas.

Some cute extras are curtains, a sink, pots, pan, utensils, pot holders, a cell phone, and chalk board.

To future employees…

Anyone planning on applying for ANY job this summer please read my post from an employer’s standpoint.
I posted an ad for one 30 hr position at one of our pharmacies and received over 30 applications in just 24 hours. As I was going through some of the applications I made a few key observations which I want to share.
As an employer to future employees, please follow proper email etiquette when responding. Any emails that are not addressed properly or have irregular fonts or are sloppy and careless are immediately discarded. If you do not have the proper qualifications your application is also discarded.
Time is money 💰 If it takes time for me to make sense of your application and what you are trying to convey – you are not going to make the cut and your application is on its way to the recycle ♻️ bin.
If you write “have an excellent work ethic” then I 110% expect for you to be punctual, respectful, meet project deadlines, adhere to the work place rules and regulations, and have a positive, friendly attitude.
Also, handling of money requires knowledge of math and knowing the difference between nickels, dimes, quarters and so on. So I expect you to know how to add and subtract quickly and correctly (a skills test may be given during the interview).
Do not write things that are not true. I make sure that all employees are placed on a probationary period, where if they do not perform as expected, their position will be terminated after the probationary period – this is to ensure we have the best fit for our company to serve our customers with the best possible care we can provide.
Also be aware there will be a criminal record check and other tests may be required (such as a math skills test, practical measuring of liquids, and reading values to correct precision) to ensure you are a fit for the position.

At the end of the day, be truthful, be forthcoming, and be yourself. The last thing I need is to find out you are phone shy/ customer shy and do not want to talk to anyone when clearly this position involves lots of interactions with people!

An interview is a two way street: you are seeing if you can fit with the company and the employer is trying to see if you are a good fit within the company. The end goal is  to have both parties want to work with each other for a win-win situation. By giving your employer specific examples you are able to paint a better more wholesome picture of who you are and what you are capable of.

Good luck with your job search and hopefully you will keep some of these things in mind!

Long awaited biopsy … and the tears

For the past ten months I have been living with uncertainty about the state of my body. This uncertainty (for those that just joined the discussion) has been due to the fact that I have been losing my voice for longer and longer periods of time, and I have a hard time gaining the weight that I lost after adapting to a more gluten free, dairy free diet due to a lifestyle change.

After going to various doctors, specialists/ surgeons, and having multiple ultrasounds done to track the shape and size of these bumps and lumps found in my neck region I finally had a biopsy scheduled mid-August. A biopsy is a procedure guided with a 3D ultrasound (in my case) where a specialist takes a long needle and collects some cell samples. The cells are examined for irregularities and then determined cancerous or not.
So in May of this year I once again hit a low point as I lost my voice again (allergies?) and had an appointment with my vocal therapist. She investigated and took pictures of my cords and was alarmed they were inflamed. She actually did not want to offer any conclusions so directed me back to my specialist. Luckily, I already had an appointment booked with him the following week (and didn’t have to wait for months to see him). When I saw my specialist, he used a scope to peer inside my nose and throat and immediately put me on some nasal steroids. Meanwhile, he scheduled me for another ultrasound and put a rush on my biopsy procedure.

The fact that he rushed the biopsy had me worried and thinking a hundred things. So the day finally came when I got a call from the Jim Pattison Outpatient centre with my new appointment date, early June. I was nervous and scared, but relieved that finally I would have some conclusive results.

On the day of my biopsy, I went to work as normal and taught a class of chemistry. My mind however was in so many places. My appointment was scheduled during my “spare” blocks and then I had a meeting after school. I was thinking – would I have the energy to go back to work and explain to my students the bandage on my neck?

My husband and my son were both with me on the day of my biopsy. As I changed into the blue gown and put my clothes in the complimentary plastic bag I teared up. Then I pulled myself together and sat in the private waiting area beside my son and husband. My son briefly noticed my change of clothes then moved on to something else that had caught his eye, a lady with a cast on her leg walking with crutches. While he was investigating I started to lose control, tears everywhere and was almost hyperventilating. I just could not keep it together. With my son facing the other direction, I tried hard to pull myself together and wipe away the tears, but he turned around and saw me. I managed to smile at him while madly brushing my tears and praying they would just evaporate (and leave the salt behind – no maybe not). But he was now leaning in to see the spectacle in front of him – his mom in tears?! “Supermom” … indestructible mom … fix everything up mom … in tears … wait … stop the universe … freeze time … mom in tears?!

Then he started talking to me about random things and he eventually asked about my tears. I found myself explaining why people have tears and the scientific and nonscientifc reason behind tears. He seemed satisfied with my explanation and we hugged – me holding him extra tight just a little bit longer.

Finally, I was called in and was prepped for my biopsy. I had the procedure thoroughly explained and signed on a couple dotted lines. At last the radiologist came and along with the nurses positioned me for the ultrasound. While he was conducting the ultrasound he made some small talk and eventually he told me to wipe the cold gel off my neck and sit up as he wanted to talk. I sat up and he said there was no reason for him to perform the biopsy and he never wanted to see me again… I was confused and starting to get dizzy … and he explained  as long as the lymph nodes in my throat area decrease in size after they swell (due to trauma, infection, allergies etc) that is completely normal.

So I hopped off the examining table, gave the doctor and nurses huge hugs, changed out of my gown, and ran to my husband and son!! This time I had tears in my eyes as I scooped up my son … he saw them … and the huge smile on my face … and he knew what kind of tears they were!