We all live very complex and stressful lives. We have to balance our family lives, our work lives, our school lives, our outside activities, etc. We spend too much time dwelling on the past. As well as way too much time worrying about the future and what might happen. I challenge you to make a […]
FL thunderstorms and lightening are frightening. Last night we experienced it first had as a bolt of lightening and ginormous clap of thunder hit at the same time plunging us into darkness. After we picked ourselves up off the floor, changed our pants (lol) we discovered our entire block was out. Jon found the top of the Street light across the street in our yard, gigantic pieces of glass from the globe everywhere and the post base basically shattered with blocks of concrete blown into the street! The transformer next door was mushroomed with oil seeping out. So here we were at midnight standing in the rain with no lights, no a.c. drinking an evening libation with our neighbors and mulling over the power of that storm. Who ever said life is boring?
It’s been a dream of mine forever to see a space launch. So on Sunday we were planning to go to Cape Canaveral to watch the Space X launch. What a perfect way to end our anniversary/birthday celebration week! Due to mechanical issues it got scrubbed from Sunday to Wednesday. Plan B kicked into place and on Wednesday we packed up the car with our chairs, snacks, drinks, and the 4 of us. Off we headed to our adventure- Disney Springs first for lunch, over to Cocoa Beach and Rn Jon and the launch at 6:34. It rained, and cleared, and rained and cleared and as the sun came out on the beach and we stood their with our binoculars and cameras…. it got scrubbed with 30 sec. Left in the countdown! Dang! But, we had a blast anyway. So a space launch is still on our FL to do list!
A while back I was looking into various ways to bring just a little bit of extra income into our household. Considering the fact that Jon was getting ready to “retire” out of an organized congregation but still active in our mission work and Waterside Community I really wanted something that I could do whenever and wherever. I tried on-line juries, but nothing ever really came of them. Then I ran across something called usability testing. If you aren’t familiar with what usability testing is it is a way that companies will see how easy something is to use by testing it with real users. As part of a panel I will receive a test with screener questions. If I qualify to accept the test I will be asked to complete tasks either on my computer, laptop, phone or tablet all while speaking my thoughts out loud. Sometimes it may be a live test but most of the time it is a test that will then be uploaded and reviewed by the researcher. The purpose is to see where I as a tester may have encountered problems, experience confusion, how easy or difficult the site was to use, etc.
I love being part of a panel of testers. I will admit I’m not going to get rich doing this but it does bring a little bit of extra “pin” money into our household and gives me a chance to try out some new website prototypes. I’ve run across some very interesting websites through my testing!
So, which usability sites do I use? For the past several years I’ve mainly used UserTesting. Not too long ago I signed up for Intellizoom. Just recently I’ve become a tester for Userfeel and Userlytics. I either receive an e-mail inviting me to do a screener test or I keep my eye on the website during the day to see what tests are being offered.
So if you’re looking for a little bit something extra on your own free time, whenever and wherever I’d invite you to check these out!
Thoughts of my immigrant ancestors have been running through my mind lately, especially with everything that is going on in our country at this time. I think about my Irish ancestors and how when I was growing up it wasn’t a good thing to be a descendant of someone from Ireland. My great grandfather was from Ireland and it was just something my Grandma didn’t talk about. We all knew that we were Scotch/Irish on my dad’s side and English on my mom’s. But to get my Grandma to really talk about the immigration of her family to the United States was a road we just didn’t go down. I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland that was heavily Eastern European. I knew more about Hungarian or Polish food and culture than I did my own culture. Cleveland is a melting pot and it was embraced by the people living there. It wasn’t until we were living in Wisconsin and almost 100% of our church was from Norway that I learned the importance of really knowing where you come from and how to embrace it. The pride in their heritage and the ethnicity was incredible. It was something that was celebrated and lived everyday. Not something to be ashamed of as I felt as a part Irish lass. I became more aware of my heritage and wanted to know more. When our son had the opportunity to study in Ireland we were so excited to visit the country where my Great-Grandfather came from. I started digging into what I could find out about my Grandma’s family, which was a very difficult task when the particulars of births, deaths, date of immigration were unknown. It was at that time that I regretted and wished I had pressed my Grandma more to find out more about her family. I wish we had learned to celebrate our heritage as the people of our church did. But, it was too late as my Grandma was no longer with us and all those memories and information were never discovered. I am saddened that she was embarrassed to talk about being Irish.
We live in a country that was built on immigrants. If it weren’t for my great grandparents on both side coming to the US or Canada (my Scottish grands immigrated to PEI) I wouldn’t be here today. We have the opportunity to embrace and learn about so many different cultures that make us who we all are. Each one different, but the same in some way. So I guess my bottom line is that we should all be proud of where we come from. Don’t be ashamed or intimidated by the “go back where you came from”. Well, wait a minute! I did kind of go back to where I came from when I visited Ireland and I’m so grateful and thankful that I’ve had that chance not once but several times. It’s the homeland where I instantly felt a connection. . So, I guess maybe we could take the “go back where you came from” and turn it into a positive phrase by ignoring the hateful meaning behind it and turning it into a time to really discover where we came from and who we really are!
Tomorrow we head out for our 3rd mission trip to Cuba. We’ll be working with about 15 churches throughout the country, some that we’ve worked with before but most of them newly formed house churches. We love this time together with the people as they bless us and continue to show us in what it means to be a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ. In the midst of so many challenges to their everyday living they never waver, their faith grows stronger and they continue to make disciples, who make disciples, who make disciples!
God Is Amazing!