Sunday, December 09, 2012

The comedy of my life

I was just in the bathroom and heard from the living room:

Tyren: Dad?
Adam: If you ask me for my phone again, I'm going to scream.
Tyren: *mumbled something I couldn't hear*
Adam: AAAAAAAAAAAHHH!! (in as high pitched a scream as he's capable of)
*Raucous laughter from both children*

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Feeling really inspired

I listen to business podcasts EVERY DAY. No joke. Gawd it makes me feel so inspired! I know I've yet to accomplish what I'm striving for: financial stability for our family. But I am learning more every day, and I truly believe that we will get there and that all I'm learning from listening to so many fabulous podcasts and experts that host and are interviewed on them regularly truly helps me internalize all this great info.

I can literally feel myself changing.

I honestly feel like I get a little wiser every day and I'm that much closer to finding whatever it is that will enable our family to finally be financially free.

I turn 42 on Sunday and I'll be damned if I'll be in this same financial situation in 10 or 20 more years. I am NOT going to reach the final decades of my life and wonder where time went and what the hell I was thinking by not preparing for that time in my life.

No, I am GOING to do better with my life and as such, help make a better future for us AND help my husband, who is busting his butt to support us financially all the time.

I know he keeps telling me to focus on my job, which is educating and caring for our kids and he'll handle the income...and I love him for that...For being such a fabulous provider. But I know I can also make a difference in our lives as far as our income. There was a time when I did bring in over $500/month...and that doesn't seem like much but it truly made a huge difference! But unfortunately, advertisers have dropped like flies in recent years and I'm beginning to see that that really isn't the best direction to go anyway...so I am pursuing another direction now that is really exciting me currently!

No idea where it will lead, but it's something I've learned from listening to all these podcasts: smart, passive income. Do the work once and glean the money for years. And it's a product that I already have built-in marketing for via our podcast. Win-win!

Also fulfills one of the rules I learned recently: make money from something you're already doing.


AND I'm following another thing I just learned this week that really struck a chord for me: make the product FIRST, while you are on fire for the idea. Vs putting all energy into website, domain name, graphics, etc (something I'm known for)....do all that stuff AFTER creating the product...because this energy will wane and that stuff will be easier to do w/o this initial fire. And the existence of the product will help to provide fuel when this energy fades.

I love it when I learn something so simple, that just really resonates with me.


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Friday, November 02, 2012

I have a dream

OK now I have that song from the end of Mama Mia in my head. *sigh*

But seriously, I've had this dream for some time now...that I am going to come up with an idea that will eventually make enough money that I can help our family out in a significant way. That the day will come when I am bringing in the equivalent of a full-time income, from my home businesses. Maybe even an excellent paying full-time income.

The time will come when I won't have to wait months or years before replacing items of clothing (usually undergarments! ARGH!) that badly need replacing. The time will come when we can immediately fix things around the house that are broken as soon as they break. The time will come when we will be able to pick out and purchase our own furniture NEW (vs very appreciated hand-me-downs). The time will come when all of our electronics in the house will actually work because if they don't we'll fix them or replace them. The time will come when I will have more than a handful of dishes that are un-cracked. The time will come when I can pay to have someone do the deep cleaning in my house that just simply never happens now. The time will come when I will be able to pay for classes for my children like art and music...maybe even some day camps they are interested in. (They've never been to any camp ever.) The time will come when we will be able to finish the remodel of our house. The time will come when we'll be able to replace all the single pane 1950s crank windows in our house (and sliding glass doors) with dual pane and actually have a reasonable electric bill. The time will come when I can finally have the nasty carpet in our house torn up and the wooden floors sanded and treated (once I'm able to convince Adam, that is.) The time will come when I can actually own clothing that I like. Every piece. Colorful and fun and comfy that I feel GOOD in. The time will come when I'll finally be able to get the things done to the backyard that I've been dreaming of (new patio, covered area, bike path, etc...) The time will come when we can pay back all our debt. All of it. The time will come when every one of us will have good health insurance. The time will come when we will be able to afford to regularly travel. Wherever we want to go! Even international! The time will come when we will be able to rent a cabin in the mountains and a beach house on the shore, whenever we like. The time will come when I can finally get a laptop computer and find time to go to Starbuck's and do work on my websites in peaceful Mommy time. The time will come when I can afford new podcast equipment that will greatly improve our sound quality. The time will come when there will be so very many wonderful things that we will finally be able to do.

I know this time will come.

I listen to a lot of podcasts....inspirational and educational. Teaching me about how to improve my businesses and websites and such. They make me feel like this is actually an attainable goal that I have in mind. This financial stability. That I CAN do this, and I can do this while still being able to stay home and educate my kids the way I want them educated.

I don't want to be rich. I'm not interested in fancy things. I just want the basics, and maybe in some things a step above basic. Nothing fancy or gold plated or bling-bling...I just want to be able to live in a way that means I'm not wanting all the time for the basics.

We're not poor. We do not fall below the poverty line. I know there are many many more that are worse off than us. But I hear this on podcasts all the time...that its not wrong to want more. That its not wrong to want to be able to have enough money to really enjoy life. Because its very true that you do need money for this. To be able to have less stress and more joy, there is a certain level of money needed. This is just a fact of life in America. You don't need mountains of money, but you do need to be able to know that you can get what you need. Right now we do without quite a lot. Its not the end of the world but it is tiresome and often stressful.

I know most of America is going through the same. I know we're not alone. I know we're lucky that my husband has a job, even if its not enough income to cover everything. Its still a job.

But I am damned determined to make sure that we don't always have to live with the stress level that is so often rampant in this house. I know that if I just keep trying, I will eventually find something that will be successful enough to earn the money we need to be able to do the things mentioned above.

Not buy a fancy mansion or sports car or expensive watch or jewelry. Not interested in any of that. Just want to cover the basics better. Much better. And really top of the list for me is to be able to take my kids traveling. All over the world. Starting with California, but eventually branching out to national and international travel. I saw the world as a child. I lived all over the world as a child. The least I can do for my kids is take them to see some of the stuff I've seen. I want that for them VERY BAD. And I'm GOING to make it happen. Somehow. Someday. Before they're grown. I have to.

So I'm going to keep working on these websites of mine. I'm going to keep pursuing ideas I have. Something's bound to work eventually!

On top of all the above, I really would love to someday figure out a way to run a business that I can then help other moms to stay home and work at home with their kids like I am. I would love to be able to offer a way for other families the financial freedom that I will someday have. There's so many work-at-home scams...I have to be able to find some way to create a business that can provide viable scam-free opportunities for other moms like me.

Someday! In the meantime, my first step towards financial freedom is to sell MommyChats.com. Come check out the auction here and spread the word.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

The Birthday Fairy

I just realized (HOW is this possible??) that I’ve never written in great detail about this very special tradition we have in our family that started when Maeven was 2  (in 2002). The Birthday Fairy!

Shortly before Maeven’s 2nd birthday I learned about the Birthday Fairy. I explained to Maeven (as best as I could to a toddler) that Mommy just learned about this fairy that comes to children’s homes  (only children! No grownups, sadly) on their birthday, if you invite her to come. Since we didn’t know about her the year before, she hadn’t come for her first birthday…and most people don’t know about about the Birthday Fairy so most kids don’t get to have her come. But since we learned and invited her, she began coming to our family in 2002.

The Birthday Fairy helps make a child’s birthday extra special. She decorates the doorway of the child’s bedroom (in our case, our family bedroom…at least until the child moves to her/his own room) with streamers and sometimes balloons…and also decorates all down the hallway leading to the kitchen, where she decorates the doorway to the kitchen with more streamers (and sometimes balloons) and the area over the kitchen table and especially the birthday child’s chair. She also leaves a small present and a birthday message.

Here’s some examples of the fairy’s decorations over the years:

Something we discovered pretty early on is that The Birthday Fairy was really good at knowing what our theme for the year’s party would be, and would find our already purchased decorations (sometimes we deliberately left them out…but often we’d forget and she’d still find them!) and she’d decorate with appropriate colors and decorations. Example in the album above was the construction party for Tyren’s 3rd birthday. Notice all the yellow and black d├ęcor and construction vehicle and caution tape! Brilliant! This is a great help since usually the party is just days after the actual birthday, so the fairy does much of the decorating for us! Thanks Birthday Fairy!!

Over the years, I’ve capture many of these festivities…but apparently I haven’t captured them all, since I just went looking and was alarmed to not have pics of The Birthday Fairy’s visit every year! Oh well, I am sure its all on video…I just am not always good at taking pics when I’m not yet fully awake.

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Here’s some memories from over the years…

The first year, Maeven received a special birthday crown and cape from the fairy, which she proudly wore all day long!

This was also the first year of her discovering fairy dust ALL OVER THE HOUSE!! Yes, wherever the fairy flies and decorates, there are little sparkles left sprinkled! At 2, Maeven was just enthralled by this, and I have some adorable video footage of her discovering it and hearing my explanation. I believe I have similar footage of Tyren around the same age, with Maeven explaining the dust to him. I’ll have to dig it up at some point.

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For Tyren’s first birthday the fairy brought him this darling 1st birthday cap.

 

 


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Sometimes the fairy just brings random items she knows the child would like…like the year she brought Maeven a blanket sleeper, felt crown, and fairy wand.

 

 

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And sometimes the fairy brings gifts that go great with the theme of the birthday party…Like the year of Tyren’s construction birthday party, the fairy brought him a cool homemade toolbelt , hard hat with his name on it and goggles (which all went great with the tool set and tool bench he got from Mommy and Daddy!)

 

 

DSCF8422DSCF8425The year of Tyren’s animal party (age 4) , the fairy brought a lion family and a cool birthday book full of animals!

 

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I don’t have great pics of every year’s fairy gifts, unfortunately, and many of the specifics have been forgotten…but the gifts are always well thought out and perfect for the child the year they are given.

Here’s a darling pic of a letter to the fairy that Maeven put in the kitchen window, in anticipation of her arrival (a few days prior to her 6 or 7th birthday, can’t remember which):

 

Sometime before Maeven’s 10th birthday she stopped believing in the Birthday Fairy (and the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny, and *gasp* Santa.) So, as happens when children stop believing, the fairy no longer comes for Maeven. And she’s ok with that. She enjoyed the fairy while she believed, and she now enjoys sharing in the joy with her brother when she continues to visit him.

Our whole family has really enjoyed, and continues to enjoy, this special birthday tradition of The Birthday Fairy…Now that you know about her, maybe you can invite her to your house too!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Did I just say that?

I posted this on Facebook, but I just realized stuff mostly just gets lost there, and I should post it here so I can find it again in the future (and laugh). This is from a couple days ago and we were just cracking up over it.
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Did I really just say, loudly, in anger: "Your feet need to stay away from her butt!"

An old email

Very weird. I just found this email (below) in the archives on my gmail account when searching for something else. Very cool to read all these details about my life 6 years ago!!
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SUBJECT: Tyren's ONE!
Date: 7/6/06

Hi everybody! I thought it was time for a family letter to everyone since Tyren is now ONE YEAR OLD! Man time flies!!

First, let me tell you what our little guy is up to these days...

Not walking yet, but he is crawling all over the place...he didn't start actually crawling until 11months, which surprised everyone because we thought he was going to be an early crawler...not Tyren. He needed to wait til he could do it right, apparently, lol! So now he's hard to keep up with...God help us when he's walking!

He also just started pulling up on everything...and is very proud of himself! Not quite cruising yet, but really looking like that might happen any time now. I'm expecting him to walk sometime in the next couple months too. Maeven didn't start til 16months, so maybe he'll be on his sister's time frame.

He is starting to sound like he's beginning to talk...nothing absolutely positively that we can say is him talking, but he does seem to say "mama" and he very clearly waves bye-bye and hello now...saying "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh" when he does it which sounds sorta like an attempt at "hi". Very cute! He also claps his hands on cue whenever he sees or hears anyone else clapping, including applause on tv! Claps and says "AAAAAAAAA" (rhymes with yay) which sounds like he's trying to say yay! Very adorable!

He's grumpy as all hell when we stay home all day, which lately we've had to alot because of the heat and housework that is piling up and needs attacking...but when we take him out and about he's such the cheery little guy. Everywhere we go people comment on how friendly and happy he is. Makes his mommy and daddy proud! :)

He's still pretty bald, although he's getting more hair...but its platinum blonde so its hard to see. So weird for me to have a blonde haired blue eyed child, but here we have him! How did this brown eyed mama end up with 2 blue eyed children? I thought brown eyes were supposed to be dominant? Well the blue-eyed daddy apparently won out. Not that I'm complaining...its just weird to me. :)  Tyren's blue eyes are a very different color than his dad and sis. Daddy has very blue eyes, dark hair...Maeven has lighter and greyish blue eyes, dark hair...and Tyren has grey/blue/hazelish darker eyes and blonde hair. And of course there's Mommy with dark hair, dark eyes...I'm the oddball. :)

Every time we see people we know everyone gives an opinion on who he resembles and everyone has different ideas on that...I've heard that the kids totally look alike, don't look at all alike, Maeven looks like Daddy, Maeven looks like Mommy, Tyren looks like Daddy, Tyren looks like Mommy...so basically, who the heck knows? LOL!  Personally, I think Maeven looks a LOT like me and Tyren is a dead ringer for Daddy. Especially if you look at baby pictures of Adam. His son has the same face as he did at the same age basically. I'll have to get some pics scanned and upload some side by side with Tyren's so everyone can see.

Oh by the way, here's Tyren's blog: www.tyrensrealm.blogspot.com  and here's Maeven's: www.maevensrealm.blogspot.  Maeven and I work on her blog from time to time and I try to update Tyren's periodically whenever there's something new he's doing. Now with our new camera we can even do little digital movies to upload! Way fun!

Now the rest of the family...Maeven is 5 and a half! Her birthday is in November and she's quite the little attitude girl these days. Talking to my friends with 5yr olds, I guess its a 5yr old thing...but man, what a surprise because she never was so sassy before! LOL! But at the same time, she's so fun and interesting to talk to. I just love the conversations I have with her! She's so bright and insightful and has a massive vocabulary for a 5yr old (at least in this proud mama's mind). She can read, but we haven't worked on it in awhile since Tyren's been such a handful...and the heat is overwhelming me so I just haven't gotten back to the lessons...but once it starts to cool off and I have the house more in order my plan is to get back into the reading lessons again. Right now we're just trying to survive the summer.

This fall I will begin officially homeschooling Maeven...I finally broke down and purchased a curriculum...I know I'm fully capable of creating one myself but with this very active and very needy baby I finally realized that I should make it easier on myself and buy something so that I don't make more work for myself. At least for now...we'll see how things go later but it might be best for us to start with more guidance that a boxed curriculum entails...get us off on the right foot. I chose Enki Education (www.enkieducation.org) and am very pleased with what I've read so far. Its quite a deep, complex holistic educational philosophy...more than just a curriculum, it is a lifestyle...which is what I needed right now anyway...some guidance on creating and maintaining a rhythm to our day and our home life. If only I could find more time to read the books!

As for Mama...I'm just trying to keep sane these days...amazed at how much more work 2 children are and realizing that there just isn't enough time in a lifetime to do all the things I'd like to do...and learning to drop things. My online businesses are being put on hold or reduced. I recently hired a chat manager to help me with Mommy Chats, which is my most lucrative money making business...I've put way too much work into that to drop it so I got help instead. My Mothering Magazine sponsored chats continue to thrive and I see an increase in traffic to that site constantly! Fresno Family is easy to put on hold because I don't need to do much there these days since there's already a lot of content...and it also has an amazing amount of traffic! I do have a plan and a partner that I'm working with to make a website-in-a-box to sell to people who'd like to create a similar website in their area...sloooooooowly working on that...I am hoping that will continue to help bring more much needed extra income in. And Tina's Magic Cottage has been put on hold for now. I don't know who I was kidding (myself apparently)...I just can't launch a whole new business right now...so its on hold until something else goes. Right now my priority is my children, my husband and my house. In no particular order. LOL!  Oh and I'm now an author! www.lulu.com/tinasrealm  for those that didn't get the recent notice. Took me years to create that, but its finally done! Adam did the cover graphic for me from pics of my program when it was still operational...and it looks just fantastic!!

Adam continues plugging along at the video production business. Points out the commercials that he made everytime one comes up on tv. As usual he is doing an awesome job! (He really does great work, I'm not just saying that because I'm biased!) Working way too many hours though, in my mind...and for not enough money....but he loves his job. And it pays the bills. :)  Anyway and he continues to be a fantastic daddy! I always tell people I couldn't have gotten a better daddy if I had special ordered him! He's so great with the kids...plays with them for hours every day from the time he gets home from work til bedtime...and he does Maeven's bedtime routine because I'm tied up with Tyren. Its really wonderful to see how loving and fun he is with the children. They adore him and so do I. :)

The latest from the Scott family is that my dad has retired from 37 years in the ministry and my brother and I decided to throw him a big formal hoopla. But right now my parents and brother are in Russia. Yes, Russia! For 3 weeks (and these are the longest 3 weeks of my life, I tell ya! Don't realize how much you rely on people til their gone, of course!) they are touring Russia and working on a charity project with their church. Only one more week til their return and I am seriously counting the days! Then they come back and Dad is going to help us work on our house and relaunch his online wooden toys business.

Mom started working again, at Joanne's Fabric and Crafts store...started because they needed to save a bunch of money for the Russia trip but she loves the job so much that she's going to keep it. She demonstrates their sewing machines and embroidery machines and such...so basically she gets paid to work on sewing projects all day! Pretty good deal for her!

Tim (my brother, for those who don't know him) just got his master's degree in foreign relations and I'm not sure what his next step is...not sure he knows either actually...but he lives in San Francisco again and is, I think, very happy to finally get out of Fresno! LOL!  He was living with Mom and Dad while he worked on his master's at Fresno State but I know Fresno is SO not his kind of town, so now that he's back in SF he seems happier in that regard. His online business, Permanent Revolution Toys, continues to thrive. He makes money hand over fist, it seems! Thousands of customers! Man! I'm in the wrong business! Here's his site for those interested: http://www.permanent-revolution.com/   I think he closed the online store while he is in Russia though...so check back in a couple weeks and see what he's up to. He does an amazing job on his websites...I have a graphic designer work with me on mine because I know my strength is in content, not graphics...Tim, he's good at both!

Monday, May 28, 2012

You're always saying things wrong!

Tyren (nearly 7), in anger to his older sister who was correcting something he said (as always): "Its chiffy!! Not jiffy! You're always saying things wrong! It's thinger, not finger!!!"

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My funny daughter

Tyren: I wonder if the universe goes on forever.
Maeven: It could end...we don't know...We could be in a snow globe for all we know.
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