Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Great Opportunity for Busy Moms

I am so excited about the opportunity to connect with Audrey Cupo. She is a professional organizer who specializes in residential organizing. She focuses her business on helping busy moms and women entrepreneurs learn how to get and stay organized.

She’s been busy not only writing newsletters, blogs and articles on the subject of getting organized, she has produced a line of products called U Can Do It which were specially created to help busy moms.

Now, she has put together an exciting, new coaching program for busy moms called "Living A More Organized Life".

With this program, you will learn how to follow a proven step-by-step method to tackle and accomplish any project, be prepared for every special event, plan vacations and family time, make back to school a breeze, and learn how to relax and enjoy the holiday season by having step-by-step ways to do gift-giving, decorating, large family dinners/parties and overnight guests.

I will be holding a free tele-conference on Wednesday, January 6, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time), where I will introduce Audrey to those of you who sign up and give you the opportunity to meet her. You will love what she has to offer! This information can be helpful to your friends so let them know about it too.

Don’t be one of those busy moms who misses out on the opportunity to learn how to live a more organized life! Sign up today at so you can participate in this free tele-conference.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

December - A Time for Reflection

One of the things I look to do at the end of each year is review what the year has been about and see if I can find what I have learned. Usually there are many lessons, the question is have I learned anything. I have been particularly reflective this year. Then I looked at my planning calendar which I used to plan out my business year and saw the theme which said: "Change: Embrace change and recognize that life is in constant motion. When boundaries are seen as opportunities, the world becomes a limitless place." For the record, no one was cited for that quote on my calendar.

I suddenly realized that this year my theme has been Embrace Change. My office moved, my son was diagnosed with major food allergies which required a whole new way of eating, we decided to homeschool our boys and my business focus is in transition to accommodate our new lifestyle. I have to admit there have been times during this year where I have felt paralyzed by the enormity of the changes. Any one change is enough to add stress, yet I had many major changes.

So what have I learned, hmm. I have learned
  • it is okay to grieve what was,
  • it is okay feel afraid,
  • it is okay to ask for help,
  • it is okay to fall apart for a little while,
  • it is okay to take your time to heal,
  • it is okay to take your time to work through the changes, and
  • I don't have to have all the answers today. I make one decision at a time and then I look for the next right thing to do.

It has been an interesting journey, and one I could not have done without the help of my family, friends, coaches, business associates and most of all my God who has given me strength and a peace that surpasses all understanding during a time when I needed some peace. Here is a great quote that helps keep me on track when change hits me in the face. I hope it encourages you.

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.
Maria Robinson

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

You Can Feel It In The Air

I woke up this morning to the reality that it is December 1st! This is not bad news, just a fact. I felt it in the air that is brisk and filled with energy. I felt as my boys are starting to catch the excitement of the media that Christmas is around the corner. There is something different about this year though, we are homeschooling.

I think what I like best about that is the flexibility of our schedule. We work hard but on our terms. We are getting ready to study the Westward Bound expansion which includes the Alamo and the Gold Rush. Tom and David cannot wait. There are lots of exciting stories to read and facts to learn. We are also preparing for the holidays which includes a new chapter, making our own Christmas presents. We fill our days with reading, playing and sharing.

I think my favorite gift this year is the opportunity to work my boys. I love them, and they really love being homeschooled. I hope your holidays are a blessed as mine. May your days be filled with peace and may you never forget the reason for the season.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Change, cha cha changes . . .

All right, I am one who likes to go with the flow and roll with the punches. I would even say that I have spent a great deal of my life flying by the seat of my pants, but this is starting to get a bit crazy. In the last three months I have had a child diagnosed with serious food allergies, decided to home school the boys to help him through the healing process, changed the focus of my business and moved my office home. I have got to admit I am a bit overwhelmed by all the changes that are happening at the same time. It feels like I just start to catch my breath from one change when another seems to appear.

I find myself feeling off kilter and out of sync and I am wondering how to get back in sync. I will admit that I love homeschooling and our new lifestyle rocks. I truly wish I had done it sooner. Now I am putting it out to my God and the universe, I need a sign that I am on the right path and I am doing the right things. I am looking for encouragement on many levels.

I will keep you posted as I travel down this path.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Building Community at Lightning Speed

I just wanted to share with a recent revelation I shared with my clients. You see besides being a homeschooling mom, I am a marketing coach. I usually tell people I am a mom who has a business. They understand that my kids come first. When I started to seriously consider the homeschooling concept, I was skeptical and wanted some reassurance that I would not hurt my children in the process. I did what I do best, I went to my support group on the world wide web. I was surprised to see how many mom's are like me; they are entrepreneurs and homeschooling moms. I suddenly felt empowered and really researched it with a belief that I could do it.

Today is September 15th and I feel a "peace that surpasses all understanding." Honestly after only three weeks of serious homeschooling I am impressed. Here is what I think helped me take the leap: I prayed without ceasing, I got quiet and listened for answers (very hard for me to do) and then I started to reach out and ask for direction. It was not hard to do, I just logged onto Facebook and within minutes I had replies. I have great friends.

Within a month of opening this door I was fully involved and knew there was no turning back. The beauty is with the internet and the advent of social networking, you can have answers to any question within minutes.

If there is anything holding you back, follow the three steps I outlined above and get busy. Don't wait for all the stars to line up, line them up yourself. You can do it and you do not have to do it alone. I am sure there is someone out there to help you.

Friday, September 11, 2009

What does spaghetti sauce have to do with it?

I find inspiration in many places. Recently, I stumbled on a rich array of videos on many topics. The one I want to share with you today is a presentation made by Malcolm Gladwell who discusses the psychology of marketing by way of spaghetti sauce. In this clip entitled What we can learn from spaghetti sauce Malcolm explains how we went from marketing what we wanted to market to the masses by creating focus groups with leading questions to asking consumers to try many varieties of options to see which best suited their tastes. At first it is not clear how this is so significant, and as you watch this entertaining clip (about 19 minutes), you begin to understand the significance of this one revelation. Enjoy the clip and let me know what you think.

So what does this have to do with children? I am glad you asked. What if we offered more options and let our kids choose what they want? What do we normally do, we ask questions like: would you please go and get dressed? What we want is our child to get dressed; the problem lies when they answer the question in a way we don't want. So you ask the above question and they say "I don't want to." Now we are backed into a corner and this now becomes a confrontation. What if we became more resourceful and planned a little better. Then we could say: Which would like to do first, get dressed or have a snack? Then let them do both successfully.

Yes I know that seems like a lot of work, but if we can get into the habit of empowering our kids to make good choices, I believe they will rise to the occasion. Just a thought from this homeschooling-business mom.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

How to make God Laugh . . .

Tell him your plan! Yes, this has been the year I have realized that I need to truly understand what it means to surrender. It took a very difficult summer with lots of doctor visits, lab work and major medical expenses to realize that God has a different plan for me and my family. At first I fought the plan, spent time in denial. Then I realized it was time and I gave into it. An amazing thing happened. As I truly started to let go and give in to God's leading for my life. The peace that surpasses all understanding was released in me. Also, people have fallen upon my path to help me down this new road. I feel content, energized even though I am completely out of my comfort zone.
It reminds me of a song where there main chorus is Life is Hard, But God is good. So true! Today I am grateful for learning to trust and to try to work on my ability to surrender and be obedient. I know it will take time, but I am in it for the long haul so I am just enjoying the ride.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

What to eat?

It is official, David is intolerant to whey and gluten. Argh!!! At first this seemed overwhelming. That lasted about 10 mins. Then I looked at the cost vs benefits and realized it is what it is and we will get through it. Now I am on a mission to have fun, find great food and somehow maintain a food budget that does not require me mortgaging my house to feed my family. Wish me luck.

Just an update, David has been milk free for three weeks and gluten free for four days. He is doing great. He focuses on what he can have not what he can't. We shop together and he gets excited each time we find something he can eat. Today we found oreo type cookies and pretzels. I am not sure it is wishful thinking or really happening, but I think he seems calmer and the circles under his eyes are almost gone. I think it is working. Yeah!!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Time . . . How To Quantify

Recently I became painfully aware that there is a difference in the term time. There is quantity time and quality time and my question today is how do you quantify time? My youngest son, one of the joys of my life, is having impulse control issues; argh I hate labels. Well anyway, when I was talking to a friend about my issues and concerns she said maybe I need to spend more time with my son. To that I said, "I spend more time than most parents do, what did she mean?" Hence came the term quality time.

I will admit that I am not always present every moment I am with my boys. It is sad to say, that I have multi-tasked in their presence. Shame on me! I feel so blessed to become aware of this and to find this at a time when I can change my behavior. I can choose to be present. I can choose to focus. Here are some other ideas I have thought of to help me in this effort to be a better mom, not a super mom:

  • Get organized and plan the week in advance;
  • Do as much as I can when boys are at school or camp;
  • Get up earlier and get ready so I am not rushing when I am with them; and
  • Slow down so I can enjoy them.

I think my crock pot will become my best friend. If anyone reading this has any ideas on how to get organized and plan your day, I am open to suggestions. This does not come naturally to me. I will keep you posted.

Friday, May 22, 2009

There is a season . . .

If you have been following I have been trying to decide whether or not to home school or not. Currently my children go to a private school and after a long year I realized it was time for a change. Although in business I thrive on change, this change has been very difficult. I am still fighting a battle over the decision. I have come to one decision, that I am not ready for the home schooling option, at this time. So now I have to decide whether to stay or go.

I feel like I am living with one foot in and one foot out; very hard place to be. I am off to a meeting to gather more information that will help me with this process. Wish me luck. I will keep you posted.

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Quest Is Nearing An End

It has been a bittersweet quest to determine if I am going to homeschool or not. Besides talking to other homeschooling moms, even ones who have businesses running and homeschool at the same time, I went to a homeschool mini-convention in my area. I have read up on the different styles of homeschooling and reviewed my boys learning styles as well as my teaching style. At the same time I had the boys visit a school that has been on our radar screen for many years, a Christian school. They truly felt at home there. They were welcomed and when I came to pick them up, they were energized. Based on all the research as well as the most recent parent-teachers conference, we are definitely leaning toward the Christian school option.

I must say that I am personally disappointed. I wanted more than anything to be a homeschooling mom. But in the final analysis, I feel it is in the best interest of the boys and their mom to be in a school setting for the time being. That being said, it does not mean I might not broach this subject in the future. I am leaving my options open and I will not say "never." It is possible that once my business evolves and my boys are older, it may make sense to homeschool them at that time. Even though the quest feels done, it is only on hiatus for the time being. Thanks for following the continuing saga. The good news is whatever decision we make for the boys, I know it will be the right decision for our family.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The quest continues

Yes, I am still considering home schooling my guys. As I gently let me family and friends know that this is an option, I get many reactions, but mostly I get "What, are you crazy?" No I am not crazy. Furthermore, I feel more grounded than ever as I delve into this world. Who else can love and nurture my boys more than a mom? I am not sure where this journey is going, but I know that at the end of the road, my boys will be well educated, safe and have their self-esteem intact, which I am not seeing right now in their current school.

Wish me luck and if you are a praying person, please pray for wisdom and discernment.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Don't forget about me!

Today I had an ah ha moment. I have them a lot, but this felt a little different. I have been on overdrive lately working on many fronts. All toward a common goal, improving our lives as a family. Tonight I took time out of my busy schedule to have dinner with some friends. It was a nice dinner and we sat and talked for hours. It was amazing. I suddenly realized that I need to do that more often. My husband is great at this. He is very busy and yet faithfully he meets a friend of his for dinner two times a month. He calls it his night out with the boys. It is something he really looks forward to. Today I understand why. I will be putting something like this on my planner from now own.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Understanding My Fear

I started to feel an old pang today, the pang of fear. When it hit, I got right on the phone and called one of my trusted colleague. She was amazing and here is the quote she shared with me:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." The above speech by Nelson Mandela was originally written by Marianne Williamson who is the author of other similar material."
Wow, I understand now!! Thank you.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

To Homeschool or Not to Homeschool that is the Question . . .

Oh the battle rages on. Where? In my mind and in my heart. I have always wanted to homeschool. When I had my secretarial service I actually managed a homeschool database and was thrilled to see how many families were successfully homeschooling their children. Then I had my two boys and postpartum depression. I thought then, oh my I am not meant to be home 24/7 with my two boys. That has worked for a few years. However, as my boys grow older and their experiences at school become more diverse, I am finding myself looking again at the option of homeschooling.

No I don't want to control everything they do. No I am not feeling alone and need their company. I have a full and busy day as a business owner. I love that my boys are independent, I don't want robots. The reason is that my boys are getting more than an education (reading, writing and math). They are getting some socialization that quite frankly I am not happy with.

I know from talking to successful homeschooling parents that the curriculum part of the day only takes 3 hours. The rest of the time at school tends to be fluff and filler. I now know several business owners who homeschool their children and do their business around their homeschool schedule. They have the best of both worlds. So I am again pondering what to do. I plan on doing some research so that I can make a good decision. Not one based on emotions, but on what is best for my two boys. Keep me in your prayers and thoughts as I wrestle with this one. It is big and it could be life changing.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentines with Kids

I happen to be one of the lucky ones, I have a romantic husband. In fact, he is way more romantic than me. I used to be, but something happened, could it be the kids or life. Jim and I have been together 27 years and married 22. Yes, we are goofy, we got married on Valentine's Day so it was also our Anniversary as well. Of course, since we waited to have children and they are still young, we no longer do the nights out on the town. However, that does not mean we don't thoroughly enjoy this auspicious day. We like it be a family event.

Because Valentines fell on a Saturday, a very busy day in our house, we started celebrating on Friday. I awoke to roses placed in strategic places throughout the house. Each rose had a card with a sentiment of love written on it in various languages. It was capped off with a card that held tickets for the family to see Stars on Ice. I have wanted to see that live since I was a kid (don't ask how long ago that was). When I was a kid they called it Ice Capades. That evening we took the boys out to dinner at one of our favorite family friendly restaurants. It was awesome

For Jim my demonstration of romance was not nearly as elaborate. When he came home early Saturday morning from the car shop he was greeted by a series of cards from all of us and a book by one of his favorite authors, Donald E. Westlake. Mr. Westlake had just recently passed and Jim has been trying to get more of his books for his collection. In the book was a book mark with a list of all the other Westlake books I ordered that were being shipped. He was thrilled because they are hard to find and he's been trying to find them for years.

Why am I telling you our silly, probably boring Valentine's story? Because to me it is amazing that after 22 years we can find ways to surprise and delight each other even in our busy world with busy kids. I hope this will give you hope encouragement in your world today.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Perspective - Sometimes It's Good To Keep It

I had a really bad day this week. I have to admit there were moments when I could have walked out of my home, gotten in my car and driven until I ran out of gas and started a new life there. I remember crying that night and praying for God's Grace. It was a day I just wished had never happened or I could do over. Then I went to sleep. I woke up the next day and I felt like a different person. My kids acted like different kids. I am not sure what happened.

Then I realized that kids are kids, they have good days and some not so good days. After all they stayed up for the Super Bowl for the first time in their life and had to get up early for school the next day. It has taken them a week to recover from that. As for me, well I am a living, breathing, walking hormone. It's nice to be able to have this perspective today.

I guess my point is that no matter how bad the day is going, it will get better. Life is a series of ups and downs. The key is to learn to ride the waves, gracefully if you can.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Did I fall off the planet???

As you can see it's been a long time since I posted. I have to admit, I had a dry spell. I make no excuses, I was just plain old overwhelmed by life and let it get me down. In that state my creativity was non-existent. My whole house was sick for two months. Then there were the holidays and I was still trying to keep the business running while the kids were on their extended break from school. Then school re-started but the sickness did not leave. We have had this flu, ear infection, upper respiratory infection and many other renditions of it for two months. My husband is still recovering from pneumonia. What's my point? Well, life happens.

This week I feel like I woke up and realized I have been letting outside circumstances dictate my future. No more! Today I commit to staying focused. I commit to creating an editorial schedule so I can blog on a weekly basis. I commit to living each day with the purpose of helping fulfill my dreams and purpose in life. Thank you for the reminder God. I will be true to you and I will be true to me.