Tuesday, October 28, 2008

VACOC Monthly Guest Expert Teleseminar Series:

How to NOT Undersell Yourself in a Down Economy

DATE: Thursday, November 20, 2008
TIME: 5pm PST / 6pm MST / 7pm CST / 8pm EST
DURATION: 60 minutes (call in 10 min. early to secure your seat)

WHO SHOULD ATTEND? This class is open to all Virtual Assistants, small/boutique business owners, solo professionals, solopreneurs and independent professionals. Invite your business buddies! If you know some folks who would like to attend, feel free to copy and paste the contents on this page, and post invitations on the forums, listservs and groups you participate in.

Mikelann Valterra, Director of the Women's Earning InstituteHas the economy got you down? Do you worry you won't earn enough, but you find yourself giving away free time and discounting your services in other ways? Author Mikelann Valterra, directory of the Women's Earning Institute, focuses on empowering women to earn their worth—even in a down economy.

In this powerful teleclass, Mikelann explores the psychology of why even successful business women undersell themselves and what to do about it. Women who "underearn" deal with complex emotional issues around making money. Mikelann will look at the emotional and financial cost of discounting yourself and your services, and the message you convey when you suppress your fees. She will talk about how to protect your time as well as what people really want to buy from you. She will also explore the hard notion that not everyone should be able to afford you and how this translates when the economy is down. Lastly, she'll discuss ways to feel great charging your full fee.


  • How and why women under-price themselves;

  • How getting in touch with "resentment" can make you more money;

  • How to avoid discounting yourself;

  • How to protect your time;

  • How to charge your full fee and feel great about it!

... and much, much more!

Be sure to register today to reserve your spot and get your burning questions answered!


About Mikelann Valterra

Mikelann Valterra is the founder and director of the Women's Earning Institute and the author of the book, "Why Women Earn Less: How to Make What You're Really Worth," and the workbook, "How to Set and Raise Your Rates." As a specialist in earning issues, she speaks and consults widely on how to overcome self-sabotaging beliefs about money. From KOMO News 4 to the Washington Post, she talks about transforming one's relationship to money, and how women can earn at their potential. To subscribe to the free monthly "Earn Your Worth" e-newsletter, go to http://www.womenearning.com.

Until next time,

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A Fun Game of Tag

Colleen over at CMJ Office tagged me with this and I thought it would be fun to share. Thanks Colleen!

So, here’s my info for the tag.

10 Years Ago, I was…..

  1. Taking care of a newborn (my fourth).
  2. Operating my own home daycare.
  3. Only in my mid thirties.
  4. A lot slimmer than I am now.

5 Things on Today’s To-Do List……

  1. Work on transcription project.
  2. Do the Meals on Wheels route.
  3. Get laundry done.
  4. Work more on revamping my website.
  5. Get costumes ready for Halloween.

5 Snacks I Enjoy……

  1. Anything chocolate
  2. Sunflower seeds
  3. Pretzels
  4. Popcorn
  5. Jordan Almonds

5 Places I have Lived….

  1. Kincheloe AFB, MI
  2. Kokomo, Ind
  3. Clark AFB, Philippines
  4. Minot AFB, ND
  5. Beaverton, MI

5 Jobs I have had…..

  1. Nurse Aide Coop in a hospital
  2. Secretary at a print shop
  3. Daycare owner
  4. Legal assistant
  5. Office manager at a law firm

Bloggers I’m Tagging….

  1. Dawn over at The Egghead Blog
  2. Christine over at Christine Wade's Blog Group
  3. Cheryl over at CH Enterprises
  4. Danielle over at The Gritty VA
I could only think of four bloggers, so that's all I've tagged, but you can tag as many as you want!

Until next time,

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Monday, October 27, 2008

New post from the VACOC

Join the VACOC Kiva Lending Team and Help Alleviate Poverty

You, too, can be a philanthropist!

The VACOC now has its own micro-lending team on Kiva and YOU are invited to join us in the fight against poverty. It's free to join and you can make a loan at any time to help a fellow entrepreneur out anywhere in the world. It's good karma and you are repaid 100% in full when the load is paid off.

Here's how it works:

Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique enterpreneurs in the developing world. You can lend as little as $25 to a specific low-income entrepreneur in the developing world (hey, $25 is a WHOLE LOTTA MONEY in those areas). You choose who to lend to—whether that's a baker in Afghanistan, a goat herder in Uganda, a farmer in Peru, a restaurateur in Cambodia, or a tailor in Iraq—and as they repay the loan, you get your money back.

If you join the VACOC lending team of Virtual Assistants, you'll be joining forces with one of the most respected Virtual Assistant associations out there and working with us to alleviate poverty. Once you're a part of the team, you can choose to have a future loan on Kiva "count" towards our team's impact. The loan is still yours, and repayments still come to you, but you can also choose to have the loan show up in our team's collective portfolio, so the team's overall impact will grow.

Anyone is welcome to join our team. I hope you'll join! To sign up (it takes like one minute!), visit: http://www.kiva.org/community/viewTeam?team_id=2197

(post written by Danielle Keister, VACOC founder)

Until next time,

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Using a VA to delegate

I saw this great article on Twitter and thought it would be something great to pass along. Enjoy!

How to Delegate: Why Are You Doing Everything Yourself?

Until next time,

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Friday, August 29, 2008

4h banquet follow up

I promised to tell you about the speech at our last banquet, so here goes. It was a very nice speech, but it was not as motivating as the two other speeches we heard the two nights prior. The speaker was a 4h parent and also one of the auctioneers, so he is very involved but he just didn't have the same effect on me as the other two speakers. I don't know, maybe it was just me. But I do know that we have started putting money away for next year's auctions. Some change here, a dollar there, it adds up pretty quickly. We just might get those broilers!

Until next time,

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Facebook confirmation

I'm trying to get my blog into the feed reader on Facebook but can't do that without having 15 or more readers. So please use this URL - http://apps.new.facebook.com/blognetworks/blogpage.php?blogid=34612 - to join my blog network and get me up to 15 readers. Thanks!

Until next time,

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

4h banquets

Well, we've got two 4h banquets down and one still to go. We've had the small animal and horse and still have the livestock to go.

Thursday night was the small animal banquet. It was very nice and the guest speaker made some very good points in his speech. He is a parent who is also a buyer. He talked about how if each one of the people who were at the banquet just put away one dollar a week, then there would be a ton of new buyers so that when it's 11:30 at night and the auction is still going on, there will still be buyers there. This year, when it came down to the last kids, everyone was already gone. I felt terrible, but as I was working the auction, there was nothing I could do about it. One of the girls in my club actually pulled the rest of her animals out and decided not to sell them since there were no people there! So this next year I am going to invest my husband's help and have him sit out there as a buyer and bid on the end animals. Not that we need any more mind you, we have a farm full, but we will do it for the kids. We'll buy some broilers, they are good eating!

Last night was the horse banquet and again, there was a very nice speech made. The president of the horse association asked for a show of hands from all the kids who had already sent out their thank you cards. Nine kids raised their hands. She put those nine in a line, handed out envelopes, and in one of them was a $50 bill! In the other eight there was a $1 bill. She did this, as a business owner, as an incentive for the kids to get their thank yous out to their sponsors. She told a story of how one year they went to the livestock auction, purchased a steer, and never received a thank you from the child they bought it from. Never received the picture, nothing. They have never been back as a buyer since and she stated it would take a whole lot to get her to buy again.

Now tonight is the livestock banquet. We will see what type of speech is made there. I will let you know!

Until next time,

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fun new browser

I have just found about this fun new browser, Flock and boy is it neat!  It has a little sidebar where you can have all your social network sites up and see what everyone is doing. 

Right now I have my twitter and facebook sites up there.  It updates it for you and you can post right from the sidebar.  I LOVE it!

I'm going to go play around with it and watch the welcome video so that I can get it figured out but I think that this is going to be my internet browser from now on.

Until next time.


Blogged with the Flock Browser

Monday, August 11, 2008

Relay for Life

This past weekend was Gladwin County's Annual Relay for Life event. My family participates in this event because we have had cancer touch our lives numerous times.

My grandmother was only 63 when she died of brain cancer. My father in law was 69 when he died of multiple myeloma. My sister in law's mother has just been diagnosed with cancer again - almost 5 years ago she had breast cancer that they thought was cured. Now it's in her liver, bones, and who knows where else. And I was 27 when I was diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Now, I don't say that to try and make myself out to be some big hero, but to say this. I don't feel like I should be included in the list of survivors. Yes, I had cancer, but all it took for me to be cured of it was surgery. They found it early. I didn't have to have radiation. I didn't have to have chemo. I only had to go to my OB/GYN every three months for a check up for a couple of years, then every six months for a couple of years, and now it's every year. To look at me, you would never even know that anything was wrong or had been wrong. I'm not scarred, I'm not missing parts, I'm just me. So when the people on my team put my name in as a survivor and I got all the goodies that survivors get - a special dinner, a t-shirt, a hat or visor, a survivor sash, everything, I felt like someone who shouldn't be there. When we did the survivor lap I tried to get off the track but since I had on a purple shirt, I was urged to get back on and walk that "victory lap". People all around the track were clapping and cheering as we walked and I felt so unworthy!

I tried to tell my family but didn't have the words and still don't. And when I think of it, even now, I cry. I just kept thinking to myself - "Those people that are out there are fighting for their very lives!! This dreaded disease has taken over their bodies and they are fighting for their very life!! I didn't have to do that, so why am I out here. I feel like such a fraud."

My mother and husband both told me that I was just one of the lucky ones - that if they hadn't caught it early I could "be six feet under" as my husband so delicately put it. And my mom keeps telling me that "it was a big deal." My kids couldn't understand why, when I was making luminaria bags for other people, I wouldn't make one for myself. And I couldn't explain it to them.

So to all those people who really had to fight for their very life, I applaud and cheer you and I will just keep relaying - hoping that my small effort will help eradicate this disease forever!

Until next time,


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Thursday, August 7, 2008

VA Survey press release

Virtual Assistants flock to participate in the 2008 Virtual Assistant Industry Survey

Frustrated by inaccurate media portrayals and industry outsiders miseducating their marketplace, Virtual Assistants head in droves to partake in the third annual Virtual Assistant Industry Survey.


Contact: Denise Shears

Phone: 888.439.4845

Email: denise@shearsvirtual.com

Website: http://www.shearsvirtual.com

Beaverton, Michigan, August 7, 2008—Virtual Assistants are fed up. They've had it with inaccurate media portrayals and reporters who don't get the facts right. They're sick of exploitive industry outsiders who don't understand the Virtual Assistance business misinforming their marketplace. They're tired of constantly having to explain the difference between an employee and an independent service provider. And they're having their say about it all by participating in this year's third annual Virtual Assistant Industry Survey.

Every August marks the time of year when Virtual Assistants can contribute to the statistics and body of knowledge that is improving the industry's understanding of itself and the education of its market. Sponsored by the Virtual Assistance Chamber of Commerce, over 10,000 Virtual Assistants from around the globe are invited to participate. Created by Virtual Assistants (the folks who know the industry best!), the Virtual Assistant Industry Survey is the most comprehensive and in-depth survey in the Virtual Assistant profession. With 101 questions, the survey includes detailed cross-sectional data that represents every area of the industry. It offers unprecedented information about individual and business demographics, market data, and services. Other survey topics include:

  • Education, experience and credentials
  • Employees and subcontractors
  • Clients and target markets
  • Hours and services
  • Pricing and income
  • Training and continuing education
  • Marketing and networking
  • Success, profitability and entrepreneurship
  • Standards, Ethics and Educating the Public

Denise Shears, a Virtual Legal Assistant in Michigan, and owner of Shears Virtual Advantage at http://www.shearsvirtual.com, made haste to be included in the survey. “I participated because I believe that the business industry needs to be informed correctly as to just what a Virtual Assistant is and what we do for our clients. This survey will help to show that VA’s are not just fly by night businesses run by stay-at-home moms, but that we are also business owners who have upper level administrative experience in our past and who truly enjoy helping clients succeed.”, states Denise Shears.

"Thousands of writers, reporters, and journalists have access to the Virtual Assistant Industry Survey. It gives them all the information they need to write the articles and profiles that more accurately portray our profession and educate our marketplace. That's why it is so very important that every Virtual Assistant take a moment to participate," stresses Danielle Keister, founder of the Virtual Assistance Chamber of Commerce.

The 2008 Virtual Assistant Industry Survey is open to all professional Virtual Assistants. A copy of the 2008 Virtual Assistant Industry Survey Report will be provided at no charge to every participating Virtual Assistant at the end of the survey period. Virtual Assistants can participate by visiting http://www.virtualassistantnetworking.com/survey.htm

ABOUT THE VACOC: The Virtual Assistance Chamber of Commerce is a professional association committed to empowering business-minded Virtual Assistants to grow smarter, more successful practices and providing business owners with free tools and resources to connect with reputable, qualified Virtual Assistant professionals. To learn more about Virtual Assistance and its professional providers, visit the VACOC website at http://www.virtualassistantnetworking.com

2008 Virtual Assistant Industry Survey

It's officially here, the 2008 Virtual Assistant Industry Survey over at the VACOC. Here's more info courtesy of Danielle Keister, founder of VACOC, via her blog.

Get Thee to the 2008 Virtual Assistant Industry Survey

Adsurvey The 2008 Virtual Assistant Industry Survey is underway and if you are a Virtual Assistant, you are personally invited and encouraged to participate!

Every August marks the time of year when Virtual Assistants can contribute to the statistics and body of knowledge that is improving the industry's understanding of itself and the education of its market. Sponsored by the Virtual Assistance Chamber of Commerce, over 10,000 Virtual Assistants from around the world are invited to participate.

Created by Virtual Assistants (the folks who know the industry best!), the Virtual Assistant Industry Survey is the most comprehensive and in-depth survey in the Virtual Assistant profession. With 101 questions, the survey includes detailed cross-sectional data that offers unprecedented information about individual and business demographics, market data and services. Other survey topics include:

  • Education, experience and credentials
  • Employees and subcontractors
  • Clients and target markets
  • Hours and services
  • Pricing and income
  • Training and continuing education
  • Marketing and networking
  • Success, profitability and entrepreneurship
  • Standards, Ethics and Educating the Public

This year's survey focuses on how the media portrays our industry, what they're getting wrong and what they're getting right, our qualification standards and the issues that give a black-eye to the profession. Our collective voices can be heard and have a very real impact on properly educating those who work with us and write about us. That's why it's so very important that each and every Virtual Assistant take a moment to participate, be counted and have their say.

The 2008 Virtual Assistant Industry Survey is open to all professional Virtual Assistants. A copy of the 2008 Virtual Assistant Industry Survey Report will be provided at no charge to every participating Virtual Assistant at the end of the survey period August 31.

You Can Help Spread the Word!

By participating, each and every one of us makes a difference in shaping our industry. You can help us in the effort of giving every Virtual Assistant a voice by helping spread the word. Hey, it's a great excuse for a blog, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace or LinkedIn post, and if you belong to other Virtual Assistant forums and listservs, please tell everyone you can.

Feel free to copy and paste text and graphics as you like from any of these sources:

Office Press Release:

Gritty VA Blog Post:

Survey Page:

Until next time.


Friday, August 1, 2008

Awesome e-book

Okay. As most everyone knows, I have had a Virtual Legal Assistant business since May 2006. The other day I was proofreading a new e-book that Danielle Keister, the founder of the VACOC, was putting out. It's entitled Understanding Your Value: How to Craft Your Own Unique Value Proposition and Cash In on Value-Billing Methodologies.

Well, I was going along, proofing this book, just like I had agreed to, when all of a sudden I found myself actually reading it! This book is awesome. It so totally changed the way I thought about what I do and how I present it, that I went right in to my website and reworded my entire payment page! I can't say enough about this book. I am printing it out and going to go through the steps she suggests to get my mind, and business, in the right place to grow exponentially.

So, I recommend this book for each and every VA that is out there, whether your business is just beginning or you're a seasoned veteran. You can't go wrong with it, and who knows, you may just learn a thing or two! :-)

Until next time.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Winding down

Well, our crazy days of summer are finally winding down. All camps are over, as are all vacations. The only thing we have left to get through are two birthday parties. My son will be 14 on Aug. 1, and my daughter will be 7 on the 10th. So, I am gearing up for those.

My son wants to invite a few friends over and camp out in the back 40. I'm not too sure I trust a bunch of 14 year old boys to not get too mischievous and do something that they ought not do. So, we will have to see about that one.

My daughter, on the other hand, wants to have a pool party. That is well within reason. I just have to get the invitations, get them addressed and sent out within the next week and viola - her wish granted! :-D

In between planning those two parties, I am also trying to get our homeschool schedule set for next year. We are going to have Grammar, Bible, Math, Reading, Science, and hopefully Latin (I still have to get that curriculum). We are going to be doing more notebooking this year than we did last so hopefully the girls will enjoy it as well.

I'm also trying to fit work into this crazy life of mine. It's been a bit slow for a month or so (thank goodness) but now it can start ramping up once again.

Until next time.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Back from camp!

Well, we made it through church camp, are home and totally exhausted! We had an awesome time up there and did lots of fun things. The weather cooperated fully, we only had rain one day, cold one night, and the rest of the time sunny and warm. Considering we were in Gaylord, MI, that is quite an accomplishment, even in July! :)

So now I am going through the mountain of clothes that the three of us wore that week, plus, add the clothes that hubby and sons wore, and I have quite the laundry to do! I also have to make sure that I have all my 13 year old son's clothes, as he is leaving for camp next week. So I have to wash everything he owns and get him all packed up, while still leaving him clothes to wear this week.

I also am going through the hundreds of emails that I got while I was gone!! I knew that I got spam, but I didn't realize exactly how much until I wasn't able to get on and delete them for a whole week. Talk about time consuming. Let's hope that there are some legitimate business inquiries buried somewhere in all of them. :D

Anyway, it was a great time but I'm really glad to be home and in my own bed again.

Until next time.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Kids, gotta love 'em

So, my 10 year old daughter leaves for church camp on Monday. This is her third year going and both years previous to this, I have towed our camper up, taken her little sister with me, and stayed the week up there working in the mini mall. This year, with gas prices the way they are, plus the fact that our 13 yo son made the All Star team in baseball and it's district finals week, we decided that it just wasn't going to work. We told her on Monday and she had done nothing but cry every night. I had already told our pastor's wife that they would need to try and find someone else to work the mini mall and explained to her why, so it was decided - not going.

Then yesterday I get handed this card/letter, from my daughter. She takes off upstairs and leaves me to read it all alone. The first thing I notice when I open it up is $20 that she got for her birthday last week. So I commence reading. My daughter is begging me in this letter to please go work the mini mall this year - she can't imagine anyone else sitting in that chair but me and she thought I really enjoyed working there! Well, let me tell you, by the time I got to the end of this letter, I was bawling my eyes out. So, guess where I am going to be next week?!

I called my husband, talked to him about it, he said go ahead. I called my son (who had stayed at a friends house the night before) talked to him about it and he said "That's okay mom, it's only baseball and I know how Stasia is." Well, that made me cry even harder, because he was so gracious about it, even though it's a big deal. I think he was okay with it because he gets to stay with his Nana who spoils him absolutely rotten! I then called my pastor's wife and asked if the mini mall position was still open (because if it wasn't, I wasn't going), and it was. So I told her to count me and Lindsey in, we would be there on Monday!

The best part (I think), is that our children's pastor and his wife are going to take their camper up with them on Sunday, get it all set up for Lindsey and I, then I am going to drive the church van with 10 elementary age kids in it 2 1/2 hours away to camp. So we won't have to worry about the gas or getting our camper up there. When I told Anastasia about us going, I thought she was going to squeeze my head off she hugged me so tightly. And then she called and told her brother that she was going to do his chores for a whole month for not minding if I miss his games!

So anyway, I will be leaving around 6:30 Monday morning and getting back some time Friday afternoon and in between I will be spending time with my 6 year old and 100 some kids between the ages of 8 and 13!

Don'tcha just love em?!

Until next time,


Monday, June 23, 2008

Back from fair and I'm exhausted

Hey everyone - I'm back from fair week! It was wonderful, and all my kids did great. I of course am totally exhausted, but it was fun.

This was my 17 year old son's first year and he definitely wants to do it again next year. He got "A" ribbons (top award) for his photography project and he did well money wise when he sold his pig and chickens at the auctions.

My 13 year old son, third year 4h'er, got a trophy for best pen of broiler chickens (third year in a row), as well as a trophy for best single broiler (2nd year). For those of you who aren't into 4h or farming, broilers are those big white chickens that grow so fast that their feet and legs can't keep up with them and you butcher them after they are about 12 weeks old. His pig weighed in at 285, but that was only because we put it on a diet at the end of May (they couldn't weigh over 300). My son had to walk him twice a day, and we cut his feed back to about half of what he was getting in the beginning. Let me tell you, by the time we went to fair this pig was ornery!!! :-) He too did well money wise at the auctions.

My 9 year old daughter, third year 4h'er, first year as a non cloverbud (which meant that her accomplishments would actually have points attached) did awesome in showing her pony. She took first place (and got a trophy) in horse showmanship in her age class, then she took first place in overall horse showmanship for her age class. That meant that she had to do overall showmanship for fair - she had to show a horse (not hers), a pig (again not hers), a sheep, and a steer. Out of four kids in her age class for that, she took fourth, but we thought that was awesome for her first year, especially when you consider how many kids in 4h that she beat out for that fourth place ribbon! :-) She also got a trophy for Reserve High Point in barrel racing, and one for Reserve High Point for Western Pleasure. For those who don't know, Reserve means second place in her age class. She also took second place with her Fancy Bantam chicken and was in the running to be chosen to go down to the Michigan State Fair (she lost out to a boy who is in his teens and never been picked). She wound up getting 11 ribbons and 3 trophies and did just fine at the auctions.

Finally our 6 year old, second year 4h'er, got her Cloverbud participation ribbons for showing her rabbit and chicken. Next year she will be old enough to show a horse with me leading her around the arena. She can't wait until she can move up to the "walk, trot, canter" age bracket, which is where her sister is this year. She isn't able to sell any of her animals until she is nine, but she is waiting anxiously for that.

Anyway, between getting up at 5:30 or 6 a.m. and then going to bed between 11:30 and 12 at night, sleeping in a camper in a double bed with my girls when I am used to a king size, and walking miles and miles each day, I was more than ready to come home and get into my own bed last night. The upside to all the walking was that I lost some unwanted poundage!!! :-D


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Internet joys.

So, today we have this huge line of thunderstorms go through - lightning flashing, thunder crashing - the whole nine yards. I figure I'd better get the computer turned off and unplugged before we lose power (which happens quite often in our rural community). I'm at the computer using the mouse, when this huge lightning/thunder strike shakes the whole house, and blue sparks come from somewhere in the vicinity of the computer tower. I scream and jump out of my chair, because I remember some TV program that I watched where a lady got electrocuted through the computer, and I don' t want it to happen to me! Finally get the computer shut down, get the surge protectors unplugged from the wall and leave everything alone.

A couple of hours later, after the storm has blown over, I turn my computer back on and try to check my email - that is how 99% of my work is done, over the internet. Anyway, I get nothing. The email program can't find a connection, my internet won't connect to any pages, I got nothing! So I unplug everything, wait the required five minutes, plug everything back in, turn it on - nothing. I do that a few times during the afternoon, then finally call my internet provider. They tell me that yes, they did have a few glitches this afternoon, just wait a few minutes and try rebooting again. I wait 1/2 hour, reboot twice - still nothing. I call them back, they get onto my tower and tell me that nothing is showing up as being connected. They have me move wires around and all of a sudden - presto, I'm showing up again. Evidently, my tower took a hit from the lightning and it fried my router, hence the blue sparks!!! Well by this time it's after 5 p.m., but I have to go into town (8 miles away) at 6 p.m. for a 4h meeting, so the guy says he will wait for me to come in - just bring my blown router and the plug for it and he will have a new one waiting for me.

So I hurry up and get to town, go to my 4h meeting, come home, go to set up the new router and....it's different from the one I took in! So, here I am at 10 p.m., trying to figure out exactly where things should be plugged into this one, since there were no directions with it. Finally get it plugged in right, get it set up and TA-DA - I have internet once again!

Now if I could just figure out why a little bubble keeps popping up telling me that a network cable is unplugged, we'd be golden. :-)

Until next time.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Getting ready.

Well, fair time is almost upon us and we are scurrying around to get ready. We have under two weeks left until we have to camp at the fairgrounds for a week.

The kids wrote their letters to the buyers for both the small animal and the livestock auction yesterday. Let me tell you, they were not happy with having to write 12 letters (6 for each auction), they thought they should be able to type them on the computer.

We just got the last rabbit tattooed on Monday, so they are now all done. We quarantined the sick rabbit and just hope that she didn't expose the other three, and if she did that they won't get sick before fair time. It's bad enough that we have to leave the one home and the girls have to share. I don't know what we would do if any more got sick - someone just wouldn't be able to show I guess.

I am also trying to get things fixed up for transporting the chickens. We have to take them up to the fairgrounds on Saturday to get banded and the cages we got from a neighbor need to be fixed up a little bit. So my goal today is to go see exactly what we need to do to them to get them ready to carry 10 - 12 pound chickens (4 per cage)!

And, last but not least - we are trying to keep one of our pigs from going over weight. They can only weigh between 220 and 300 pounds or they can't be sold through the fair and when we weighed all three of them at the end of May, one weighed 260 already! They gain roughly 2 pounds per day and we still had 21 days til fair so if he stayed true to form, he would be over 300 by the time fair gets here. And we were worried about them not making minimum weight. So, we talked to a few people and asked their advice and were told to put him on a diet and exercise program. He literally has had to have his feed cut, and gets exercised outside the pen at least once a day! Have you ever heard of anything so silly - exercising a pig. LOL! The one good that has come out of this is that my son is getting great practice at being able to control where he wants the pig to walk, which is a great plus for being in the livestock arena doing showmanship and at the auction.

Now if only my daughter could get her horse to mind her as well.....

Until next time.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Didn't work

Well, the ClickBank thing just did not work out. There was a lot more involved than I knew about and I don't have the time for that. Between working my Virtual Legal Assistant business and homeschooling three kids, it was a lot more stress than I needed to put on myself. So, I quit.

Now I just work my business, homeschool my kids, keep my house clean (somewhat), keep the laundry done (sort of), lead our 4h group, stay active in our church, and do any and all things that moms/wives/business owners do each day! :) And let me tell you - that keeps me pretty busy.

For example, this past weekend: Saturday we were having a bake sale to raise money to help out with the cost of sending the kids to church camp this year. I was in charge of it so I had to coordinate 17 kids schedules, get all the food donations together, figure out where it was going to be held, keep track of who showed up and who didn't, and then work the sale from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. After that, I had a graduation open house to attend. Once I finally got home from there, we had to get showers for church the next day, and then of course my daughters wanted their hair put up into rollers. I think I finally fell into bed at midnight, only to get up at 6 the next morning to get going again!

Then on Sunday, after we got home from church and hubby got home from work, we had to weigh our pigs for fair. They can only weigh between 220 and 300 pounds and we had no idea where they were at. So we borrowed a friend's scale and crate and got them weighed. We had 21 days until fair and the largest of the three we are taking weighs 260 pounds! You figure that they gain about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds per day, so that meant that we were going to be cutting it close with him. The other two weigh 230 and 240, so we don't have so much of a concern there. But in order to keep the biggest one under weight we had to change how we feed all of them, basically put them on a maintenance diet. They are not impressed, let me tell you. Hubby's uncle owns a dairy farm, and we were giving them milk water (the leftover milk that's in the lines after the cows have been milked and you wash the lines out), so that has stopped completely. Plus we have cut the amount we feed them in quarter and started throwing old ear corn in with them. Hopefully it will work. We are going to keep an eye on them and see how it goes.

We also had to weigh our chickens Sunday. The kids all have 4 broilers that they are in a contest with and they have to be weighed each week. So, we weighed 12 chickens. They are up over 5 pounds already, so by fair time they should be just about right. My son has won best of show for 2 years in a row with his chickens and each year they weighed about 12 pounds each!

Then yesterday, we put our pool up. It's been way too cold here in Central Michigan to even think about swimming, but if we don't get it up now, it will never get warm enough to swim in! So we did that and while we were busy with that wonderful project, my daughter informs me that one of the rabbits is sick. She's wheezing and having a hard time breathing. Great! I know nothing about rabbit illnesses - they've always been well. I call the woman we bought her from, of course they're not home, it's Memorial day for crying out loud. In the meantime, my daughter is crying and all worried that her rabbit is going to die. I tell her that we just have to wait for the woman to call us back - maybe she can give us the name of a vet to take her to since I don't know if our regular vet works on rabbits and besides, I wasn't going to call on a holiday!

So, here we are today waiting to receive a phone call from the rabbit lady to see what she says about our poor wheezing bunny. I hope it's nothing serious, maybe a spring/summer cold and we just have to wait and let it pass. But who knows. We will get our school work done, I will finish up my client work for the day and then we will have to go and find baseball pants and socks for my son, who has his first game tomorrow night. And in between all this I have to find the time to do all the other things that we moms/business owners have to do, like make my Amish Friendship bread that should have been done yesterday!

Until next time.


Thursday, January 17, 2008

Still skeptical

Ok, I am still pretty skeptical about this whole clickbank thing. I haven't seen any results from my first post, but I keep thinking - it's only been a couple of days - give it time. I really want this to work so that I don't have to get a job outside the house. That would just not work with homeschooling and all the dynamics of my kids personalities. I can't hardly get them to get along while I'm there, I can't even imagine if I'm not.

So anyway, I'm going to give this about a month and see what's happening after that. Keep your fingers crossed that it works!


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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

New adventure

So, today I've started a new adventure. I've signed up with ClickBank and am trying my hand at processing rebates online. I have three months to decide if this works for me or not. If I haven't made my registration fee back within that time frame, then I can get out and get my money back. I'm pretty skeptical when it comes to things like this but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures!

I'm hoping that this will work so that I can continue to stay home with my kids yet make some extra income for our household. It would be nice to be able to purchase items for our homeschool without worrying about the expense. Since I had to quit working outside the home, things have just been getting tighter and tighter.

Another new adventure for me is this blog. I have never done this before because I don't think that people want to read about my life.....but maybe I'm wrong!

Thank you for reading about my new adventure. I will be back with updates on how it is going.


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