Time to Vote in the Edublog Awards

It was exciting to see my friend Darren's post today about the announcing of the 2007 Edublog Awards. He had the honor of telling me that Cool Cat Teacher is a finalist for best teacher blog this year and that the Horizon Project is a finalist for best wiki! (I'm not sure why I didn't get an e-mail from Josie, but I sent a quick message thanking her and included a description of my blog.) It is also exciting that TechLearning has been nominated for best group blog.

Congratulations to all of the finalists! It is great company that I'm allowed to keep! I hope you'll review the nominations and vote! You'll also find some great reading in there for your RSS reader!

Why it means so much to me!
This nomination means a lot because it means that there are some of you out there who like my blog! (I have a personal policy to NEVER nominate myself for an award.)

Blogging in the Trenches of Life
As I'm sitting here watching a JV basketball game (we're winning 39-12) and consider the ups and downs of life. I have three kids, two of whom have learning disabilities and two are in middle school... it is often tough to keep blogging when you're teaching a child to read and helping another one cope!

And yet, when something really exciting happens, who do I want to tell? You!

I remember when I had my second reader! (The first one was me!) It was on December 1st, 2005 (I later changed the date of the blog post to December 9th without knowing what I was doing!) that I first began blogging and in less than two years, I've been blessed with so many new people to inspire me and help me be a better teacher.

I feel like the poster child for the newcomer
I always say that I'm a "poster child" for the beginner and it is true. I'm a latecomer to the ballgame but so glad that I finally joined in! I'm proof that someone who knows nothing and no one can join in this technology revolution and not be too late.

But really, a blog is a conversation and you have made this blog what it is!

You've commented. (Mike Hetherington was my first.) You've encouraged me! You've kept me blogging when I really wanted to quit!!

You twittered me when my grandmother passed away this summer and you have encouraged me this fall as we've been struggling with my son suffering the taunts of bullies. When Julie and I had a silly little dream to collaborate across the world, you stepped in to judge Flat Classroom 2006, Horizon 2007, and Flat Classroom 2007. You made those what they have become!

The name Cool Cat Teacher was coined by my own students.

The blog Cool Cat Teacher was made and sustained with your encouragement. It was feed by the organism called the edublogosphere.

Whatever happens in this award, the meaning is this... when we connect, we all win. If you've gotten encouragement out of my blog, I'm so happy that my wins (and losses) can be to your benefit. But honestly, I wouldn't be around to comment if you hadn't gotten me through some really tough times. The good Lord has used you to encourage me through the darkest valleys of my life... and even one in which I'm walking right now.

A Six Week Hiatus from Wow2
I'm saddened to tell you that I'm having to take a six week hiatus from the Women of Web 2 show, but plan to come back in January.

It is about keeping my family first... and my children need me... and maybe some of you out there need to read the thoughts that I write here and often cry over. Writing on this blog is truly an emotional, soul baring experience for me. For on these electronic pages, you see the bits and bytes that make up my flesh and blood.

I just want you all to know that I'm grateful. It is easy to look and see numbers, but I see each and individual person and to take part of your busy life to stop over here, read, and often comment... that is the greatest reward you give to me.

It is not about the change in our pocket but about the lives we change.

Thank you friends! I am very grateful for what you've made me!

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