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A Box of Matches

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match[A short disclaimer: today’s blog will do more with parenting than marriage.]

So, what’s my title mean you ask? Well, I was going to entitled it “Matches as an Incentive for Your Teenager” or “How to Motivate Your Teen.” As you may recall, I have one teenage son still in my house. He likes to think of “my” house as “his and his alone,” if you get my meaning. He has become quite independent these days, which is something we intentionally tried to teach both our sons. As a side note, our oldest son recently told us, “I don’t think you taught us much really…or I don’t remember much” when I asked them what they think we tried to teach them! That was quite humbling to say the least! My husband and I looked at each other and agreed, ‘we have failed as parents!’. We all laughed though, so their words didn’t sting too much. Then my oldest said, “Well, at least you taught us to be independent and take care of ourselves”. All is not lost it seems!

So, back to the matches. My son has overtaken our living room. HIS stuff is ALL over the room: clothes on couch, 4 pairs of shoes around his desk {which is next to the couch, or I mean, MY couch}. Backpack is usually on the adjacent loveseat, along with his computer. Various papers {which he doesn’t always give me} strewed around OUR living room. I think you get the picture. It has been an ongoing battle. Until today. I only wish I would have thought of this earlier! Enjoy dear reader the rest of the story:

Me: “Pick up ALL YOUR stuff & put it in YOUR room!.”

Him: “I will later…I don’t have time.”

Me: “Then maybe I’ll just light them on fire.” {I proceeded to go into the kitchen, grab the box of matches, light one, and started for the pile of clothes on the couch}.

Him: “What are you doing mom!?”

Me: “I bought those clothes, you don’t care about them, so I’m setting them on fire”. {As I move towards the couch, said in my nonchalantly but firm voice. My poker, dead serious, don’t-think-I’m-not-going-to-do-this look on my face. Read More→


When child number one threw a fit in the grocery store one day, screaming at the top of her lungs in this very public place, I was so embarrassed. I’d witnessed a scene like that before I had children, and I swore my kids would never do that. Since becoming a mom, I’ve found myself in all kinds of situations I never thought I’d be in.

When the kids didn’t sleep much, I found myself beyond weary. When they didn’t potty train as quickly as other kids their age, I was discouraged. When they grew older and began to have a mind of their own, I found myself exhausted from the conflict.

I’m less patient than I thought I’d be. I weigh more than I want to. My children are more strong-willed than I expected. My kitchen counter seems to always be a mess. At times, my marriage isn’t the “happily ever after” I dreamed it would be.

Inside I think thoughts like: I don’t measure up. I’m failing as a mom. My kids don’t act like her kids. My house doesn’t look like her house. My body doesn’t look like her body. My husband doesn’t help like her husband does. What is wrong with me?

Have you ever felt that way? Have you wondered what is wrong with you, with your family, with your kids?

The truth is that nothing is wrong with you or your family–or me and my family. We are all normal. Our frustrations are normal. Our disappointments are normal. Our struggles are normal.

When you and I compare our insides to other women’s outsides, we always come out short. We’re comparing our struggles to their masks. Read More→

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Brian Ellsworth

jill-new14abcWork-at-home moms face many different challenges. From learning to accept help when needed, to building confidence in ourselves, to remembering the reasons why we chose to work from home. Below is the first in a series of tips to help work-at-home moms in the simplest of ways – the ABC’s.

A = Adjustments. A work at home mom must expect the unexpected. She must be prepared to adjust her schedule at any given moment for any number of reasons – a sick child, a backed up drain, or an upset client. A mom who learns to welcome these moments as a chance to show love to her family and concern for her clients will be ahead of the game in the end. Approach these “interruptions” with a great attitude and see what a difference it makes.

B = Better. Works at Home Moms have to be on top of their game. To run a business as well as manage a household takes determination and scheduling. You may not feel like you have a schedule, but take a look at your day/week and see how you are spending your time. Next, think about what you can do better, what you can delegate and what would be better off removed from your schedule to allow you to spend your time in a better manner.

C = Confidence. You wouldn’t be a work at home mom without it. Take time to celebrate each success no matter how minute it may seem. Each success will help grow your confidence and turn you into a savvier businesswoman.

D = Dry – Don’t let things dry up. Keep content fresh, offer new products and services whenever possible. This will keep you motivated and keep customer returning.

E = Effort – Don’t kid yourself. It takes a TON of effort to make a home-based business successful. Don’t give up with thing get rough. Keep plugging away – it will pay off

F = Feisty – Every work at home mom has to be at least a tad bit feisty. :) Stand up for your business when need be – don’t be afraid to say no when necessary.

G = Generosity – When I fist began my business I sought advice from many successful work-at-home moms. One of the best pieces of advice I received was that what I gave to others would come back tenfold. I’ve found that to be very true. Helping others is as much a blessing to me as it is to others. Read More→

dianagomezA huge part of doing business is understanding basic human psychology. The truth is that deep down, people just want to feel valued – by their family members, their religious community, their employers… and even their beauty product retailers.

Developing a connection to your customers is easier said than done, which is why so many online businesses fail to bridge that electronic disconnect. Here are six great ways to show that your business not only values your audience as customers, but as friends as well:

1. Tell your story.

As small as your business may be, it most likely started out even smaller. People love a good rags-to-riches story, one that triumphs over challenges and ends with the little guy on top, doing what he has always been passionate about. No matter how dramatic your origin story is, customers will appreciate the insight into how things came to be. By personalizing your business’s story with a narrative, a cast of characters, and a photo or two, they will connect with it on a more human level instead of just screen-to-screen.

2. Be an expert.

If you learned everything you know today about creating gourmet pasta sauces by growing up at the side of your Italian mother, include that in the story of your
business. Building credibility is so, so important for a young company that is up against longstanding competition. This is also where you can demonstrate exactly why you are unique from the competition – none of the other guys studied hat-making in rural Ireland.

3. Share your expertise.

I’m not saying you should post your secret cupcake recipes. Most business websites today have a blog section in which they offer relevant advice. For example, in this bakery scenario, how about a blog post about the pros and cons of different baking pan materials? Even better, stretch this into a month-long series of weekly posts: metal, ceramic, and glass are featured each week, with the series culminating in the kind of pan your bakery actually uses – silicon – and why it helps your cupcakes come out oh, so perfectly fluffy. Read More→

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Donna Falangan is a ‘struggling entrepreneur turned Sales Director.’ She is finding success with a new opportunity and took some time out of her busy schedule to share it with us.  Donna has a heart to “help people find success, live up to their potential, and achieve their destiny in life.”  If she can do it, YOU CAN DO IT!  Contact her to learn more at

A little about Donna’s company: DubLi Network is the world’s largest e-commerce network marketing company, filling a huge need in the marketplace with an amazing concept.  At DuLi Network, you are in business FOR youself, but not BY yourself.  DubLi Network is a global marketing company that offers people from all walks of life the opportunity to build a career or second-income business by generating earnings from the millions of products and services that people buy every day.


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Tithing isn’t just about giving financially. As Christians we’re called to give of ourselves in other ways too. But did you know that giving can actually help your business in very real ways?

Generosity builds positive buzz for your business.
Every time you volunteer or participate in a community function in some way, you immediately get great advertising. The next time someone in the community is looking for specific services, they’re much more likely to opt for a company with a proven track record of caring. The choice between a business who is involved and gives back and one that doesn’t is an easy one. Be the first one to give of your time and talents and you’ll likely be at the forefront of everyone’s memory, too.

Community involvement builds your business’ network.
When you’re an active participant in your community, you’re better able to create, maintain and build your business network. From gaining new resources for your own business needs to adding a few other businesses to your own list of clients, getting out and getting involved can make a big difference. In big and in small business, it’s often who you know. Make sure you get to know as many people as possible. Read More→

tvWe have a terrible, incurable disease in our country called celebrititis. In my research, I have not found any cure for this. And believe me, I have searched.

Celebrities come in all sizes and shapes; sports, music, movies, TV, news reporters and even religious leaders have gotten into this game. In our culture today, nothing really happens unless some celebrity does it or says it.

There is this phenomenon out in Hollywood called the red carpet. I am not sure exactly what the red carpet is except that it is a carpet in the color red, thus The Red Carpet. And yet,  if one of these celebrities walks on this so-called red carpet, everybody wants to take a picture of them.

I cannot think of a celebrity anywhere, living or dead, that I would like a photo. If I want a photograph these days, I want it to be of my family. In my book, my family is all the celebrity I need. If I want to sit down and go through some pictures, I want it to be of my family, people that I know and love. I do not want it to be some made-up picture that has been photo-shopped by some expert.

Celebrities are just people and we need to start treating them like the people they are. Newscasters today have become celebrities in their own right or left depending on their political position. Somehow, they have tricked us into thinking because they are celebrities and they look like $1 million, that what they have to say is something I want to hear.

When I was young, I watched the Three Stooges. They could make stupid things funny. Now when they were making these stupid movies they were doing so on purpose. I laughed at them because what they did had an agenda to make me laugh. Nobody ever took what they did seriously.

Now we have the Three-Stooges-syndrome in our newsrooms today. I often wonder if they know how ridiculous they look and sound when they are touting their opinion about something going on in the world. Actually, when you think of it, they would make the Three Stooges envious.

I am tired of celebrities and I want to see something real for a change. Read More→

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