Friday, May 18, 2012

OKC Thunder - Beard like Harden Craft hyperlinks

BEARD LIKE HARDEN! (If you haven't seen the funny Maroon5 spoof, click here to watch!)

In honor of OKC's game tonight we might need to get crafty in the Hartnsoul House. Here's what I'm thinking. And the 2nd option looks like it takes about 2 minutes total. Sweet. 

How to make fake beards! Sewing machine one:

Simpler, non-sewing machine option:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bonus Thursday: Clean slate addicts

Today's Bonus Thursday has a little to do with where I left off on Tuesday's post about porn. I actually wrote today's post quite a while ago, not in regards to porn, but things I had been meditating on in my own life. I hope you can dig this. Even if you aren't into faith, the concept of a clean slate is sometimes overrated. Our glorious human texture could never be as flat as a clean slate, and I was only just then starting to see the beauty in the "layered look" we humans can't help but achieving as we grow.

Clean slate addicts

We are often too quick to scrap everything. We are clean-slate addicts. But God doesn't scrap us, He redeems us. What in my life needs redemption? What needs revamping, repairing, overhauling, repurposing? God prunes more often than He razes. He's sent only one flood, but infinite rainbows. He doesn't have ADD with me. What He's set out to do, He doesn't forget a few minutes after starting. He is faithful to complete what He's started in me.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bonus Thursday: "If you're searching..."

I've had a little girl who's not breathing very well with all this spring pollen in the air, and completely missed the Bonus Thursday concept until 11:00 pm on Wednesday! But never fear. Here's a little "IMHO" from my iNotes that might hit you just right, or might not... It's OK. After my baby begins breathing better, I promise to give better attention to you, Bonus Thursday!!! :) Peace & Love, all!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

App Rec + Running rocks. I mean, so far anyway.

I got this 5K Runner app and started Week 1, Day 1 on Sunday. It tracks everything for you, scores your completed runs as "WINS" (love that!) and only requires three runs a week.

You can play your own iTunes as you run, and it interrupts periodically to tell you to start running, to slow down to a walk, to start running again, walk again, and when to cool down. It increases the run time and decreases the walk time gradually so that you run more and more over a period of 8 weeks, and by the end can supposedly do a 5K.

  • It asks you to start on the first week, rather than skip to week 2 or 3, even if you can run longer than 1 minute at a time.
  • It encourages you to allow your muscles to rest on your days off.
  • It only takes 30-35 minutes, 3 times a week.
  • You can repeat a week if you feel to fatigued by the next week's pace.

  • It leads to a healthier heart and a stronger body.
  • It is a fabulous stress relief.
  • It boosts endorphins so you feel better.
  • It helps regulate your blood sugar.
  • It makes you sleep better.

  • Running is pretty trendy right now.
  • It's fun to tweet things like "Only ran 4.5 miles today, but it was good to loosen up my muscles." and "What am I supposed to do with all these 5K t-shirts?" and "I just don't get why people crave french fries."
  • It makes your butt smaller.
  • It helps you escape in the event of a Zombie attack.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Operation Positive Feedback (Project 2 of 2)


I hope this last week has found you happily pursuing seniors to talk to because of last week's AARP CHALLENGE. (Click here to read it if you haven't it already!) Big shout-out to Nichole Carrabbia for thinking specifically of it as she went to talk with a senior on her latest grocery run. I am sure plenty of you took the challenge, but none of the rest of you reported so much time on task, so for this, I declare Nichole the WINNER of the AARP CHALLENGE. Your certificate is in the mail, girlfriend! ....or not....


This is my son, getting excellent customer service
with a wonderful pilot who spent a little extra time
to show him all the machinery he, being a science
kid, is so interested in! Thank you Southwest!
As promised, I have a second challenge for you!

If I were to ask you to tell me about horrid customer service, I bet you could probably tell me a doozy, right? I know I have several great ones to pull out of my back pocket when a bad-story-off goes down. (Have you ever been in that type of competitive conversation? It starts with one bad story and ends with a score of "You think THAT's bad.....")

At any rate, my theory is, we probably receive spectacular customer service as often as we receive horrible help. Follow with me here. Truthfully, it is easier to play blame-dominoes than recognize a positive sequence.

Here's an example. You go to the dentist on your lunch break.

Flow chart: You have a horrible experience at the dentist. You go back to work an hour late, one gum still bleeding, a throbbing jaw and a headache. You forget to check your voicemail. When you finally remember, an hour before quitting time, someone important really needed you, and now you've got to scramble to get everything they need on time. You call them. They yell at you. You ignore a phone call from home on your cell because you're getting yelled at right then. Your boss gets involved. You end up staying an hour later to finish up, and you still don't know what you missed at home. By the end of the night, you say to yourself, "I'm going to write a letter to the dentist and let her know what a horrible new hygienist she hired!"

Flow chart: You have a fine experience at the dentist. You go back to work on time and tell the funny thing the new dental hygienist told you just as three coworkers are coming in. Everyone has a big laugh as they return to their desks. Feeling great about the afternoon, you check your voicemail to hear a request for help from someone important. It requires a few files from a coworker, who quickly gets it back to you, still laughing at your joke. You get everything put together and on time, and by the time it's faxed over, the person tells you what a hero you are, and thank you! A phone call from home rings on your cell. You answer to discover a friend from out of town has called, and everyone is already planning to meet up later in the night. By the end of the night, you say to yourself, "I'm so happy with my job, and it was wonderful to get to catch up with old friends."

It's easy to see that the bad scenario snowballed because of the new dental hygenist. But it's hard to see that the good scenario went well because of her. Put another way, when things go poorly, it's easy to fix blame, but when things go well, it's easy to take credit. "This day was great because I'm a great employee and great friend," not "That new dental hygienist really made my day!"

So my second and final Bonus Thursday Challenge is this: Be aware of who is being spectacular! Find someone who did a great job, and TELL THE BOSS ON THEM! At very minimum, you need to find a supervisor and speak your mind. But all the better if you find the company website and email feedback to their supervisor, or mail a letter of praise.

Listen. If all we ever do is complain about the bad, but never praise the good, it's our own fault that great people don't get promoted. Most promotions come from within a company. And don't you think it's time good people had good things happen to them? Have we become so punitive that we only want the bad to be punished?

About a year ago, my favorite check-out guy, Orlando, was so consistently fabulous that after being in his line half a dozen times, I had to tell his supervisor. Soon after, Orlando disappeared. I was so sad to see him gone. Until I realized he hadn't disappeared but instead was wearing supervisor tags and walking around the store as management.

So now it's your turn. Go tell on someone!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Recipe for You

I suppose this blog post would be categorized under "to do" and "ideas." Something I really enjoy doing is writing out a recipe for people. It's a creative way to show bits about yourself people might not know, and is also a thoughtful way to describe your children or your friends. You can get super crafty with it and put it on a recipe card, or do scrap book pages with pictures of your kids in aprons cooking stuff, and a recipe for them on the other page. I wrote out a recipe for my best friend for her birthday once. At any rate, enough talk, get to the examples. Here is a recipe for me:

How to Make a Jen Hartnsoul

In a large family pot, add together:
1 paternal root of Hippy
1 maternal root of Woman-Power Party-Girl.

Cover in prayer and simmer for 9 months. (This will infuse an earthy, environmentalist flavor and a social fizz to later ingredients.)

Gradually add in:
2 parts Bible Stories
2 parts Music

Fold in a generous helping of Nutty Family Members.
Do NOT add tenderizer—the heart is already tender enough.
Do NOT add bitterness—it's been tried, and you almost have to scrap the whole recipe to get the taste out.

1 part adventure
1 part loyalty

Layer with love and support of finest quality Husband.
Sprinkle with the laughter of two Ornery Children.
Add a pinch of Sass and a dash of Middle School Humor.

Goes well dipped in the following sauces: Philosophy, English, Art, and Creativity.
Best served in coffee houses, concerts or museum cafes. NOT a country dish.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bonus Thursday: Operation AARP! (Project 1 of 2)

Happy Bonus Thursday!

Yesterday my kids and I were out shopping, and my daughter said hi to an older lady who was maybe only 75 or so. The lady smiled so warmly, and after saying hi back, happily observed, "Every time I wear pink when we're out, people talk to me."

Don't you love this picture of my grandma and late grandpa?
It broke my heart. Simply saying hi constitutes as talking to her? I have heard this increasingly: After you reach a certain age, you become invisible. And what I've heard after that is it's not even that people don't talk to you, they don't even look at you. You aren't even there. But the fact that this sweet woman has been ignored enough to make connections with exactly what sequence occurs the times she does have a person  say hi to her? Honestly, rip my heart out.

My kids and I went on to chat for just a few minutes with her and her husband. The time it took out of our schedule was well worth it to me. I would gladly trade a few minutes of my life to invest in the smiles of people twice my age! They have been where I am and then lived my entire lifetime again.

My husband and I try to teach our kids that our input is legit because we've been their age before. But it applies to us as much as to the kids. I could stand to learn a lot from the octogenarians we encountered yesterday, and model right thinking when my kids see me honoring the elderly.

It is important to give dignity, respect, and validity to the people—all people—we encounter, and to that end I am issuing a simple little challenge: This next week, do whatever it takes to make eye contact and say extra words to at least 3 seniors.

Listen, this is not one of those missions where I'm hoping somebody will make best buddies or find their long-lost mentor with a 90 year old. The challenge is simple and the object is simple. Make eye contact and say an extra sentence to 3 people who fit the AARP age requirement. You'll make their day.

Thank you and have fun! Ready? GO!


Jen, what do you mean, "extra words" or "extra sentence"? Here are a few ideas:
  • Sunshine is beautiful today, isn't it?
  • What a pretty color sweater.
  • Your hat says Navy, did you serve? My cousin did too. Thank you for your service, sir.
  • Don't these apples look delicious? or Have you tried these?
  • Can I help you get that?

PS—Did you catch the (Project 1 of 2) in the title? Good eye! Wonder what Project 2 of 2 is? Have to wait till next Bonus Thursday to find out!