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Work-at-home mom: take a deep breath and Do Life Different as you allow these devotions for work-at-home moms to fill the vacuum of your needy heart in the chaos of your busy world.
 
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Nov
04

Life Long Learnin’

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Brad Washburn, Do the Dad Thing bloggerSo, I’m old now.

And I’ve been trying to do the fitness thing and stave off ‘feeeeeling’ old.  I get up in the morning and do yoga (what could also be considered ‘stretching’) and I try to go to the gym several times a week.

 In the past I’ve also tried jogging periodically.  However jogging poses two major problems:

#1:  I hate running.  Ok, yes, so I was a track athlete in High School.  But that was sprinting.  Sprinting is fun and has the real-life application of keeping you safe from alien abduction.  Long distance running or fitness jogging is an extreme method of torture.

#2:  I’ll be jogging along and hating jogging along.  I’m nearing the point where I’m thinking, “I’m just going to walk for a bit” and then suddenly, my high school track coach, Mr. Lightfoot, is standing up ahead along the road with a clipboard in hand.  He emphatically throws it on the ground and shouts, “Dag-gonnit Washburn, FINISH THE RACE!”

 And of course I dig deep and finish jogging at a dead sprint.

(then I’m in a great deal of pain for several days and vow to never run again . . . until the next time).

 So jogging for health isn’t my thing — Sorry Mr. Lightfoot.

 But,

 Mr. Lightfoot also was the High School weightlifting coach.  (and the Senior Social Studies Teacher  . . . which actually is another unrelated story of how he convinced the whole class the Christopher Columbus’ middle name was “Rosco” . . but I digress)

Largely because of his inspiration, I’d get up at 5:30 am to go to lift weights.  In Sr. year, I actually took ‘Bodybuilding’ as an elective.

 And That.  That stuck with me much better than trying to run along backroads.  Actually if you look at it either way, whether he is yelling at me in my pain induced visions while jogging or in the inspiration to hit the gym several times a week, the impact that Mr. Lightfoot made on me for lifelong fitness, has been . . . lifelong.

 I currently have two teenage boys that used to come with me to the gym on a regular basis.  They surpassed my abilities a long time ago (remember I said that I am old), so they’d rather go separately from me.  But they still go.  I’m hoping they continue going lifelong.

There are many disciplines that dads could pass on to hopefully achieve ‘lifelong’ status for our kids.  I hear many parents putting their kids into sports, or piano lessons, or dance — and none of those are inherently bad.

 But there are some disciplines and skills that need to be introduced toward them becoming activities your kids choose for doing their whole life.

 Like

 Bible reading:  Seriously, this is an activity that is more important even than fitness or knowing chess.  Many people come to me each month and make the comment, “I wish God would talk to me.”

Umm.  He did.

Teach your kids to read the Bible on a REGULAR basis.  For lifelong habit of reading the Bible, you can’t just know it’s important — adults that read the Bible do it every day or the same day every week.  Make Bible Reading Lifelong (MBRL is my election slogan).

 Praying: is a little easier to create a lifelong habit.  Pray with your kids before bed, before meals, and before anything important.

The other day my youngest son lost his wallet at the movie theatre.  We looked, visited, and called periodically for a week.  I thought it was long gone.

We were in the area and he asked if we could swing by the theatre again and see if they found it.  We did again.  The manager went away to a back room to check ‘lost-and-found;’ again.

As we were waiting, my son spontaneously started praying.  “Jesus, please let him find my wallet.”

The manager came back.  Not only did he have the wallet, but he said, “I checked the lost and found again and it wasn’t there.  But then, I just decided to check and see if someone put it on one of the storeroom shelves and it was there.” Read More→

Oct
29

PR and Marketing Takes Time – Let’s Break it Down

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I love this time of year because it’s so much about reflections, the good and the bad!  Seems everyone is in the let’s go full steam ahead to reach those end of the year goals (at least until mid November when then it’s let’s enjoy the holidays and go gangbusters come the first of the year. Am I right?)  But with reflections also comes the opportunity to break down your business and see where you are.  Since I do PR and marketing for myself and clients, this year I broke down time because honestly, it’s one of our most valuable assets.  Here are some thoughts that I hope you will find beneficial.

PR Takes Time – One of the biggest lessons I learned in 2019 is just how much time it takes to do PR Right.  Last year I started really taking note of that time and I was truly amazed.  For example, one of my tasks is finding the right topics for my clients to write on.  We have great success in getting articles accepted because of this.  But it’s so much more than just hey let’s write on this topic this month.   I review major publications to see what’s current and newsworthy.  I review their keywords and topics of my clients to see what’s happening there. And I also review what my client is up to.  If they have a new program or are focusing on something, I try and take that into consideration.  I also like to offer them options.  So instead of just giving them one idea, I normally have several for them to choose from.  And although it takes time, it’s so worth it because we normally see success with the articles they choose.

Preparing Media Databases – Cision makes it really easy to prepare databases for editors and the right media connections for newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, blogs, etc.  However, once I have the database of all those awesome media contacts, I need to go through them and fine tune it.  That requires deleting all those doubles that I might have in other databases, deleting  those that even though the topic is on point, it’s not a good fit for our pitch, etc.  That takes time.  The results speak for themselves when I’m done doing this and have killer databases, but again, it’s not just here you go – send away.

Proofing & Editing – I’m really good at proofing and editing as that’s part of what I’ve done for the past 34 years in business.  However, to make sure our articles, pitches, press releases, social media updates, etc. are stellar, it takes time to proof and make sure I didn’t miss anything.  And we all know the old saying that we are just too close to it to see things.  That is so true.  There have been times I’ve read something a dozen times and then still find a typo and it just kills me!  (Okay, I might be somewhat of a perfectionists!) To help with this, I have found secrets that work.  These are really nothing new, but they help me considerably.  For example, my main one is reading it from the end to the beginning or reading it a paragraph at a time from the end.  The reason this works is you aren’t anticipating what’s next. Also, triple checking the links to make sure they work. Even if I did that recently every time I send out a pitch or publish a press release to a new database or editor, I check on the links. Read More→

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Oct
08

5 Inspirations for a Career in Social Work

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Social work is both a demanding and rewarding vocation. It is a career that offers diversity and an opportunity to make notable differences in people’s lives. These 5 American individuals have made notable contributions to and impacts upon the social sector and may inspire your career progression into social work.

How you could become a pioneer of the future

You are now able to obtain a social work online degree that can prepare you for a role in areas such as social services, policy analysis, or within health agencies and better position you to implement change and improve lives. Like the people you are about to learn about, it could be you who is next to deliver significant transformations within the social care sector.

William C. Pugh (1921-1989)

Pugh’s 35-year career in social work had a significant impact in Alabama. He established and executed a number of social services programs for the citizens of Alabama, including a legal service program for the under-privileged and both a day care and advocacy program for those with developmental incapacities. In addition to this, he also contributed to the development in academia within the University of Alabama. 

He later became a Director of AGAPE, an agency committed to supporting children and families with a number of social issues, such as marriage counselling and adoption matters. Perhaps his most significant legacy was as a discoverer of talent and mentor to numerous social work professionals, many of whom continue to carry out high levels of care to the Alabama community.

Jane Addams (1860-1935)

Addams was a pioneer of social working in America and was the first ever American woman to be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. She is considered to be the founder of US social work as a profession and had significant political influences.

Jane recognized the connection between governmental services, such as schooling and sanitation, and the role of women within the household at the time. This connection formed a valid argument for women to secure the vote, influence services that would enable families to be better supported, and better improve and support their communities.

She also co-founded Hull House, which later became renowned as one of the most famed settlement houses in the USA. Drawing in an array of prominent figure heads, driving support, and providing a voice for those in the greatest need, Hull House studied and campaigned for improvement in:

  • Midwifery
  • Over-crowding
  • Truancy
  • Substance abuse
  • Child and working women welfare services
  • Housing

Ida B. Wells (1862-1931)

Wells was a significant figure-head for the progressive movement and fought relentlessly for gender and racial equality. She was a founding member of a number of associations centering around the right to vote for and the inclusion of African-American women as well as equality for all Americans. 

As an established journalist, she was the first to record the lynching of African-American people and was a leader for many anti-lynching campaigns. She worked alongside Jane Addams in opposition to segregation in schools in Chicago and helped establish settlements for migrating African-Americans heading to the South. She is now commemorated in the Ida B. Wells-Barnett museum in Mississippi, which is a hub for African-American history.

Alfred Neumann (1910-2002)

Neumann was an advocate for the Jewish population during his 30+ year career in social services. He worked in Denver, New York, Cleveland, Ohio, and Minnesota among others within Jewish Social Service organizations to improve family and child services, including adoption, counselling, immigration, and rehabilitation. This included the implementation of vocational and psychological screening and workshops. He consulted with other agencies to assist in the resettlement of those seeking refuge due to persecution, war, and natural disasters, for example, and provide comprehensive support and counselling to allow them to deal with the individual and family problems they were suffering from. 

In addition to this, he also consulted the Office of Economic Opportunity at a senior level, training in administration and resource management in order to better utilize volunteers. He was also a pioneer in the reorganization of the Jewish Family and Children’s Service social service and family counselling programs in Colorado. He was awarded for his substantial contributions in Colorado, and this ultimately resulted in the 30th of June 1982 being dubbed “Dr. Alfred M. Neumann Day” by the Governor of Colorado! Read More→

Categories : Articles, Jill's Blog
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Oct
03

Choosing a Name for Your Work From Home Business

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Choosing a name for a work at home business can be difficult. In fact, choosing a name for any business can be, as once it is chosen, you can’t go back. You want something that sounds right for the type of work you do, isn’t already taken, and is unique. This can take some thinking about, and it isn’t something that can simply be done overnight. If you are starting a work at home business, here is how you can go about choosing a name. 

Standing Out

Work from home businesses are becoming more popular, and this means more than ever you need to choose a name that will make you stand out from the crowd. Perhaps this is going to be something that will make people laugh, or perhaps you just want this to be something simple so that people will understand straight away from your business name what it is that you do. Some people prefer to use their last name and what their business is, while others decide to take the risk and use something quirky. This comes down to your personality and your willingness to attempt a quirkier name. 

You also need to consider the future too, for example, you may want to name your business “Smith’s Wedding Photography” but what if in a few months you broaden that horizon and start doing other events and parties? This would mean changing your business name, so think very carefully about how you may want to expand in the future. 

Ask for Opinions

Once you have chosen a few ideas, ask for opinions. You may be very biased if you came up with the name yourself and it may be that you didn’t notice a flaw in the name. Asking a range of people including friends, family and even strangers means you will get a good idea of whether the name could work or not. If you want the name to be simple and want those who hear it to know exactly what your business is, ask them and see if they can guess. If they can, you’ve hit the nail on the head and can move onto step three. 

Legalities

Once you have chosen a name or two that you like, it is time to check if the business name has already been taken, as well as how you want your business to run. 

There are many forms of businesses out there including sole proprietorship and LLC, so you must first choose what you want your business to run as. You can then use an online search tool to determine if your name has already been used. For example, if you live in Oregon you can use a state-specific business registry search to ensure that your business name is legal to use. 

Choosing a great name is just the start for your work from home business. Once you have chosen the perfect name, you can begin to build everything from your website to your logo.

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Sep
30

Living Life As a Mad Mom – Hope and Help For Angry Moms

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I know firsthand was life as an angry mom is like. I spent almost two years trying to control my temper and failing miserably. It took a confrontation with someone close to me for me to really take a good, hard look in the mirror and realize that the problem was bigger than me. My anger was out of control. I had turned into someone that I didn’t recognize and my family was suffering because of it.

Living Life As a Mad Mom - Hope and Help For Angry Moms, by Jill HartSoon after that confrontation, my kids and I were in the doctor’s office because one of them was sick. After the check-up, as the doctor was getting ready to go I mentioned to him briefly that I’d been struggling with anger. I remember saying, “I’m not sad or depressed. Just really angry…all the time.” Having known us for quite a while (in fact he delivered my son), he gave me a prescription for an anti-depressant and wanted me to try it to see if it helped. I really wanted it to help. I wanted to be a good mom, a loving mom, and at the moment I felt an ogre.

Fast-forward a couple of years. I was no longer taking the anti-depressants and the anger was still an issue. One day, during an appointment with a med-student (I had gone in because my hands were swollen), she decided to check my thyroid levels because of some other symptoms that I described such as weight gain and exhaustion. It turned out that things that I assumed were part of a mom’s normal life (what mom isn’t over-tired? and many of us are still carrying around a little ‘baby fat’, right?) were actually a medical issue with my thyroid. I’m thrilled to tell you that after a year of treatment, I’m on my way to being “normal” again and the anger is no longer an issue. Read More→

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Sep
23

It’s Hard for Me to Conceal a Giggle

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Rev. James Snyder, Out to Pastor bloggerThroughout life, I have discovered many challenges. Some I have handled fairly well and others have handled me pretty badly.

Smile Post-itThat is what makes life so interesting. Every day there is a challenge to face and every day there is a victory to win.

Recently, the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I celebrated our 48th wedding anniversary. I would not be truthful if I did not admit that those 48 years have been rather challenging. Not so much in a negative way, but each challenge carried with it a life lesson.

At the end of these 48 years, I must confess my wife knows more about me then I know about myself, or her for that matter. How she has come to these conclusions, I do not know.

But, to be honest I do not know very much about myself compared to what she knows.

Not wasting those 48 years, I never contradict my wife on anything. Even, if I think she may be wrong about something.

There are spouses that try to correct their spouse when talking to other people. I am so thankful that while I am speaking to someone my wife will correct me so the person I am talking to has the facts.

After all, she knows more about me and my experiences than I do. I am not contesting that one iota. Why should I?

The biggest secret to a successful marriage is going along rather than being confrontational. It does not matter to me if she corrects me; I’ve come to appreciate that.

After all, I get so many things wrong these days. I cannot remember birthdays, anniversaries or special occasions. It’s not because I’m getting older because when I was younger, I had the same problem.

If I were not married, I probably would not remember my own birthday.

Thinking about this the other day a thought danced into my mind. If I wanted to be right all the time, why in the world did I get married? A married couple is to work together and it seems that we have the ideal connection in this regard.

I remember when I wore a younger man’s suit; I nonchalantly corrected my wife about a certain thing that happened when she got the day of the week wrong.

“Don’t you remember, Honey,” I interrupted her, “it was on a Wednesday not a Thursday.”

She gave me one of “those looks” and said, “Maybe it was a Thursday.”

That look alone was enough to graduate me from being the corrector of her conversation to being the quiet agreeable guy. Through the years, I discovered being agreeable is a great deal of blessings and I enjoyed each one of those blessings.

One thing I have a real difficulty and that is, not giggling.

I may be affected with giggle-itis, which is far as I know has no cure. Of course, when I start giggling it is very difficult for me to stop.

The only temporary cure I have found is when I start to giggle, I take a deep breath and then think of broccoli. If anything sobers me up and even makes me a little bit angry it is this vegetable. Read More→

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Sep
16

Dad the Fashion Guru

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Brad Washburn, Do the Dad Thing bloggerI’m taking a total departure from some of my usual topics to focus on something that is a big ingredient in being an interactive Dad AND something that has surprisingly become ‘close to my heart.’

Being a fashion Guru.

First of all, to clarify:  I’m colorblind.  So if I can enter the fashion realm as a Dad, then you DEFINITELY can.  I’m not so good at matching clothes.  In fact, when I was in college dating this hot girl that ended up becoming my wife; I’d put on some clothes and ask my roommates if I was matching.

“Yup.”

“Yeah, you look great.”

“Lookin’ good.”

 . . . so you can probably imagine my lack of surprise when I’d meetup with my girlfriend and she’d say, “Good God, what are you wearing?!  That doesn’t match at all.”

My roommates didn’t often have ‘my back’ in the fashion department.

But after I had kids, and after those kids started caring about what they wore . . . I needed to connect with them with my limited fashion abilities.

When the boys were younger, they’d throw on anything that was available and comfortable, which I’d still advocate as some of the main goals of fashion.  They’d make any strange combination of outfits ‘cool’ because they had the confidence of not caring.  But, as they grew older, they started caring.  So they wanted to ‘match’ and ‘wear shoes’ (we lived in Florida), and buy brand names.

I didn’t want to be one of those ‘fuddy-duddy’ Dads, that didn’t understand style or the fashion dynamics of kids, because how you look is a BIG DEAL to preteens/teens.   To connect with them, I had to learn fashion.

Below is a list of things that helped me and things I tried.  There were failures of course; these are the wins that I can share on this topic.  What about you?  You can probably see color and have some good ideas to share as well.  Drop me an e-mail or comment.

Oh, and before I do the list.  You’re probably wondering what the Biblical or Spiritual tie-in is for anything regarding fashion.  Usually I have a quick Bible answer for questions, even if it’s a corny Bible joke, but in this case I had to do some research.

[Brad surfs the net with his theology hat on]

 . . .  well, actually the Bible doesn’t have a lot of positive to say about adornment or clothes or looks being important.  In fact, there is a lot of the opposite.  BUT, in doing the research I discovered that the negative part about fashion, adornment, and looks, is that they shouldn’t become a focus to detract you from what’s really important.

So, don’t let that happen.  Keep your focus on what’s important in life.

I did find a plethora (a.k.a. ‘a bunch’) of information about how much God cares about creating beauty and aesthetics on the Earth.  It seems like God is the ultimate fashion designer.  God even made the first clothes (read Genesis) out of leaves – I’ve never seen that done, even on Project Runway.  Here is an example of how much attention God gives to creating beauty upon the Earth . . . almost like tailoring the best outfits for us.

Psalm 104

Praise the Lord, my soul.

Lord my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.

The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
he stretches out the heavens like a tent
    and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
. . .

He set the earth on its foundations;
it can never be moved.
You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.

I also found some pretty good articles related to the God/Fashion topic:

https://www.beliefnet.com/entertainment/jesus-christ-fashion-icon.aspx

https://lifeloveandgod.com/god/is-it-okay-to-love-fashion/

Ok, now back to the list of practical Dad fashion tips.  Don’t forget to e-mail me or comment with your own:

Retro is always good:  You grew up in an era that will cycle into being ‘cool’ at some point.  I grew up in the 80’s and Stranger ThingsDark, and popular sitcoms highlight some of the fashion that is now becoming popular again.  Thank God that some things never came back in style as far as hairstyles like the mullet or the 5ft-tall Aquanet tower of hair that some of my female friends had.  But clothes; clothes come back to popularity.  Fashion from 10 years in the past can always be used as a retro fashion statement.

Use the terms:  Find out what joggers are.  And jeggers.  And jorgers.—ok, I made that last one up.  But find out what your kids are calling rolling their jeans legs, or what a ‘snapback’ is, or how Gucci plays a role in fashion.  Also, learn how to pronounce ‘Gucci’ correctly.

Shape is important.  Boys are shooting for the overall shape of a ‘T’ and girls are trying to look like the general shape of a number ‘8.’  So, give any feedback or insight on the clothes that do well with bringing out your kids’ qualities. Read More→

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