Thursday, September 30, 2010

We Had Two Birthdays Last Month

I've been a bit lazy about taking pictures lately ... and apparently I also tend to blog much less frequently without the benefit of pictures.

So ...

I'm going to bring back a modified "picture of the day". Here's the trick ... while I'll try to take more pictures, the ones I post here won't necessarily be new. If I have a day where I left my camera at home, I can simply dip into the 10,000+ images that are currently sitting on my little hard-drive.

Today's pictures are actually from last month (see, told ya I've been lazy).

We had two birthdays in August. I took pictures at both events. But for some reason, I just never got around to processing and posting them ... until now ;-)

tinkerbell_cake_s

This first one is the cake that I got Ana for her birthday celebration. It's not polite to tell a woman's age, but I bet you can probably figure it out ;-) Ana has alway been a big Tinkerbell fan ... which as I've stated before is probably appropriate since I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up :-D

Then, about 2 weeks later ...
Jaiden_2nd_bday_s

Jaiden was only turning two (although I honestly can't remember what life was like before she came), so we didn't have a big party. But, we did get a cake, and invite a few of the neighbors over to sing Happy Birthday and eat ice cream. It's pretty cool that this is the first year she's at an age where she somewhat understood what's going on! lol, not sure who was more excited though; Jaiden or Mommy. :-)

More pictures coming soon.

Keep havin FuN!

[todd-sig]
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Small Children and The Power of Laughter



Some people look at me like I'm crazy when they learn that at 41 years old, among my Seven kids is a 2 year old, and a 5 month old.

It's not surprising. I've heard many parents openly express the thought that small children can drive you nuts.

I'm not entirely unsympathetic to the idea.

However for me, especially lately, my little ones tend to have the exact opposite effect. If anything, having young kids in the house is a bit therapeutic.

Take yesterday, for instance ...

a bit of background: We've got an inspection coming up at work, so the hours are getting longer. My brother's wedding is in a week, so we're getting ready to embark on a plane trip to Florida. And to top off an already stressful week or two, we had a couple of unexpected bills show up.

So not unexpectedly, I arrived home at about 5pm in a bit of a grumpy mood. I was ranting and raving about some silly thing ... and Ana (proving yet again why I love her) was not ranting back, but simply listening (albeit with the obligatory rolling of the eyes). At about what I would have estimated to be the halfway point or so of my little hissy fit, I happened to look in the other room and see Jaiden sitting on the couch ...

I stopped whining, walked into the living room, and announced to Jaiden that I was "the tickle monster".

We spent just about the next 5 minutes or so just laughing, giggling, and taking turns being "the monster".

I eventually walked out of the living room feeling about 200% better than I had just a few short minutes earlier.

I am so thankful that I have kids.

[todd-sig]

p.s. this is not an idea I was unaware of ... in fact, I've even written a blog post about it before ... the concept is called smile therapy
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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Home Business Does Not Always Mean Online Business

Do you Need a computer to make money from home?

This is a question I've been doing quite a bit of thinking about lately.

Now, obviously I'm sitting here right now at my computer, typing out a post about home business; so my answer has to a best be a qualified "maybe".

That being said, I've had a part-time business for well over a decade. And I really do wonder, would I actually have a bigger bank account right now if I had spend Less Time on the computer over the years?

Primarily because the business model that I chose back in 1999 is Network Marketing, I really do think that the honest answer is Yes.

You see, I'm in the "people business".

And while it's definitely been profitable to learn how to use the right key words to drive traffic to websites; enabling me to meet people from all over the country, and the world ... when you get right down to it, sitting in front of this silly little screen for hours a day, is just not the most effective way to help other people (which is really my "job description") who are trying to solve this "work at home" puzzle.

... and besides, it's also not always conducive to a happy and healthy family life. (even my two year old knows that the place you're most likely to find dad is "at the puter")

Here's the thing we sometimes forget ... the computer / the Internet is just a Tool ... it's not a business building method.

So what's the solution?

Exactly what you might think ...

Get up off the computer, and spend more time getting out, and going where the people are!

Of course, I've had a goal for a long time now of trying to spend an hour a day or less on the computer. Unfortunately, it's worked about as well as my other long-term goal of cutting back on caffeine (I love my Diet Mountain Dew).

Here's the thing though ...

I now have just over 3 years until I have to retire from the Air Force, and I really, really, really don't want to have to look for another job. Building my home business primarily on the Internet has worked moderately well over the past few years, but if I'm totally honest it's just not gotten to me to the point where I can say goodbye to the military (according to my original goal from 9 years ago, I should have been out last December ... I was in Iraq at the time instead).

So, I'm going to go back to something that I know works.

When I first started my marketing business over a decade ago, I attended weekly meetings, and almost all of my partners lived within about 10 miles of me. Not only was it a good way to make extra money ... but it was also a lot of FuN!

I spend a lot of time sitting in front of this computer, and other than when I'm playing poker, I honestly wouldn't describe most of my online time as great fun. Don't get me wrong, I love my online friends, but I also really enjoy interacting with "live" people ... I need to do more of it.

Here's something unique to our modern society that I've often pondered ...

How is it that people can have thousands of "friends" on their computer, but if you asked them to tell you the first names of the couple who lives two doors down, you'd more often than not be greeted with a blank stare?

I don't ever want that blank stare to be coming from me. I'd rather be part of the solution, than part of the problem. **thankfully I've got a very social wife ... so we really do know all of our neighbors**

But when it comes to building our home business, I now have a new goal ... and we all know that goals are more powerful when you share them publicly. So here it is ...

By June of 2011, I will have at least 10 new partners who live close enough to me that we can get together and talk, in person, at least once a week. In addition, for any of my partners who I've met (or will meet) here on the Internet, who wish to pursue the same goal, I'll commit to doing all I can to support them as they work towards sponsoring people in their local area, and starting weekly home meetings.

It's going to mean less time online ... and the time I do spend will have to be much more focused, and productive.

But don't worry, I'll still be writing here on my blog (about any topic that pops into my head) ... and since I can get facebook on my phone, I'm sure I'll still "see" most of my cool online friends every day too.

So what do you think ... am I barking up the right tree?

[todd-sig]
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