Suzi Beech and Family

This blog is about my family and my trials and tribulations as a work-from-home mom of twins.

Back to school…finally! September 14, 2009

back-to-school

I have to say that, although I love my children dearly, I could not wait for school to start again!  We had a wonderful summer full of parties, swimming, camps and vacations.  While all that togetherness was great, it was a LOT of togetherness!

I am lucky that I own my own business and can set my own schedule.  At the beginning of summer I tried to schedule work in the early mornings, late nights and when the kids weren’t home.  Just a few days into it and I was tired and crabby and realizing that they sure were home an awful lot!  After stressing myself out about what I wasn’t getting done, I rethought things.  I realized that this could be one of the last years they consider me cool enough to be seen with and fun to hang out with.  I decided, for better or worse,  to take most of the summer off and spend it with them while they’d still have me.  It went well, for the most part.  We had our battles of wills and our sibling clashes, but I don’t regret a minute of it!

Now that they’re back in school (big-time 3rd graders this year), I can get back into the swing of working again.  It’s really quiet a relief!  My mom used to tell me that going to work was easy, it was staying home that was hard.  I finally understand what she was talking about!

In the back-to-school spirit, I have also taken some classes on time management and productivity.   My first order of business is to set-up a daily schedule and block my time in 60 minute increments.  From there, I’m going to build it out into a weekly schedule.  I like order and predictability.  That’s just how I am.  I know there are people who prefer to fly by the seat of their pants, but not me.  So, I’m off to begin building my schedule for the hours between 8 and 2:30, Monday through Friday.  I’ll be sure to set aside blocks of time to keep my blog up to date, as well.  I know I have a lot of summer pictures and videos that you’re just dying to see, so I’ll get them all posted very soon!

Advertisements
 

It’s only the 2nd day of summer vacation…really?! June 16, 2009

Filed under: Personal Stuff,Working from home — Suzi Beech @ 2:17 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Today is the second day of summer vacation.  OMG!  Two days in and I’m going a little crazy already.  I’m sure Philip and I will work out some kind of schedule…at least we’d better.  I only have one of my kids home right now (and he has a friend here, keeping him busy) but it feels like everytime I sit down with the computer, somebody needs something:  food, towel, band-aids, the dog needs out, the cat needs in… Oh, you’re thinking “what on Earth

Recording in progress

Recording in progress

are they doing over there!”  The boys are outside.  They were playing with water squirters and got soaked, so I threw some towels and a can of root beer out onto the patio, told them to stay outside until they were dry, grabbed my computer and headed upstairs.  I even made myself a home-made “keep out or else” kind of sign…Not two minutes after my sign was hung was there some yelling at the door.  “Band-aid, we need a band-aid.”  Really? Already?  You guys were just sitting there!  I got up to make sure Philip was on top of it and I wasn’t needed.  He was.  Phew.  Back to the computer.  About 15 minutes has passed.  Gus’ friend was picked up, right on time, by his mom.  Gus has knocked on the door (right next to my neat sign) twice already.  The first time I told him to read the sign and take any requests downstairs to his dad.  He said, “Ok.”  Not five minutes later, he was back, knocking at the door again.  Ah.  It was an urgent announcement that the towel his friend was using will be returned to me later.  That’s a relief!  It’s a good thing I’m not really recording anything!  Is it really only the second day of Summer vacation?

 

The final week of school…my kids are almost done with 2nd grade! June 9, 2009

My monkeys at Field Day

My monkeys at Field Day

My twins are in their final week of 2nd grade. I know it’s true but I’m having a hard time believing it. I told Ruby at least three times yesterday, “Today is your last Monday of second grade, ever!” She was totally unimpressed and reminded me I’d already told her that. Well, forgive me for being a sentimental Mommy. Each year seems to be going by faster than the last!

I spent this morning at their school as a volunteer for “Field Day.” Field Day is where their whole school (Kindergarten through 2nd grades in the morning and 3rd through 5th grades in the afternoon) spend time outside, playing games and running around. It’s school-wide controlled chaos.

I was stationed at the obstacle course. I had two 5th-grade girls running the show, I was only there in a supervisory role. It was pretty incredible to witness the differences in all the grades. The little kindergarten students tripped over the hurdles, knocked down the cones, fell through the hula-hoops and laughed and laughed. They were all about having fun and didn’t take the whole thing very seriously.

I could tell the 1st graders were beginning to become a little self-conscious, but they were still willing to cheer-on their teammates in loud voices. When one of them would knock over a hurdle, they’d try to stop and “fix” it or right a fallen cone. They were more about doing things “right” than quickly.

Ruby & Miss Chamberlain

Ruby & Miss Chamberlain

The 2nd graders were having fun, but were definitely more self-conscious and a lot more competitive. The boys were all about making the best time, even if it meant they skipped obstacles or plowed right through them and they’d call for their time before they reached the finish line. The girls were very careful to clear each hurdle, zig and zag properly through each cone and cross the finish line, whether they were going fast or not. They were all about completing each task “properly.”

The 5th grade girls were excellent coaches and I really got to hang back and drink my coffee (lovingly supplied by the PTO…thank you!!) and cheer for all my little friends.

There was 45 minutes between completing all the Field Day activities and going back outside for a school-wide picnic lunch. I rushed home, packed myself a lunch (the two cereal bars and sleeve of Ritz I’d thrown in my backpack before leaving the house at 7:45 didn’t seem very appealing, after all!) and drove back to school in time to set-up our picnic blanket before the kids swarmed out.

Gus at Field Day 09

Gus at Field Day 09

It was a glorious, June afternoon by Oregon standards. Warm, but not hot, breezy not windy, with the temperature in the low to mid-70s. I got both my kids and a bunch of their friends to sit on my blanket with me to eat our lunches. I don’t know how many more years they’ll want to sit with “Mom” but I sure am glad they do now! After lunch and a few pictures, they were ushered back into class and I returned home…back to work.

I am sad my babies are growing up so fast. Three more days of 2nd grade, they’ll turn 8 next month, then a couple of months until the start of 3rd grade! Where has the time gone?

I am so very happy that I’ve changed my life so that I can earn a living while working from home around my kids’ schedules. I missed so many of their events and activities when I was working as a restaurant manager. If only I’d known then what I know now about network marketing, I would’ve saved myself a lot of stress and heartache. In either case, I am grateful for what I have now and am happy to lead the life I do!

 

I missed working over the weekend! June 1, 2009

View over the pond

View over the pond

I went camping with my daughter’s Girl Scout troop last weekend. It was a ton of fun, but exhausting. Imagine wrangling 12, 2nd grade girls into doing anything, let alone doing things like cleaning a campsite, and you’ll have a good idea of what I’m talking about. I think it was a great experience, not just for the girls, but for myself, my troop co-leader and the mom that came with us. I felt that I was able to bond with the adults and the girls more than I have in the past.

We worked on several great projects including creating bird feeders out of pine cones and solar ovens out of pizza boxes.

Solar Ovens cooking s'mores

Solar Ovens cooking s'mores

I learned to make something called “gimp” (aka lanyard, aka boondoggle) which are neat woven things made out of plastic lace. My co-leader is a master. I only aspire to become as good at it as she is, but I’m a beginner and am pleased that I was able to figure it out at all! (Anyone needing a 3″ long gimp key chain, you just let me know! I’ve made quite a few already!!)

Gimp keychains

Gimp keychains & link to instructions

Ruby practicing gimp

Ruby practicing gimp

The cell phone reception at camp was spotty, at best. Every once in a while, I would walk into an area with good reception and my phone would start downloading all my various messages. Bleep, bleep, bleep! The girls all thought it was very funny that my phone would randomly start chirping. The other two adults probably thought it was annoying! To me, it was an awesome reminder that work was being done, even though I was off camping. I don’t think I have ever had a job that continued to produce for me even when I wasn’t actively working on it. It is a very liberating feeling, let me tell you! I have gone from slaving away at a restaurant management job to working from home at a job that’s fun AND truly does continue working even when I’m not!
I know there are a lot of people who are skeptical about network marketing, but I am a believer. I know that what I am involved in is legitimate and rewarding, both personally (I meet great, supportive people and become friends with them!), and financially. Even though I was having a terrific time camping, I missed work! That’s a first for me! I hope the rest of you out there are as satisfied with what you’re doing as I am. I am truly lucky!

 

The Top 5 Things I’m Thankful for this Memorial Day Weekend May 23, 2009

Kicking the weekend off with a splash!

Kicking the weekend off with a splash!

1.  First and foremost, I’m thankful that I overcame years of infertility and was given the gift of my children.  It was a long, difficult battle, but we took it on and were victorious.

2.  I am thankful for my husband, who stands by my decisions and remains supportive and encouraging, in good times and bad times.

3.  I am thankful for friends who inspire me to be better.  People who offer ideas and opportunities I wouldn’t have found on my own.

4.  I am thankful for having the opportunity to take chances in life.  Things might not have always worked out as planned, but nothing ventured, nothing gained.

5.  I am thankful for living in this era.  It is wonderful to be able to connect on a global level  with so many people with so many differing viewpoints and strategies.

I am also thankful that you are here reading this.  I hope we can connect in the future to share our joys and sorrows, successes and failures. I hope you have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend!

 

How to Find the Right Business Opportunity for You May 18, 2009

A bit of information for you!

A bit of information for you!

Times are tough for many right now.  You may have been laid off or fired from your current job.  Your company may have closed or cut your hours.  Your friends and relatives might be out of work or struggling.  You may be trying to save for retirement or college for your kids.  There are as many reasons for wanting to work for yourself and be your own boss as there are opportunities out there.  I’m going to outline a few steps for you to help you get started in finding a business opportunity that will suit you best.

Start with your interests.  Make a list of businesses you think you would like to own.  Face it, if it’s not a business you could see yourself enjoying, then you probably won’t stick with it once your initial enthusiasm wears off.  Do you like to work on your own or with people?  Do you want to work online from home or do you want to go to an office or other location?  Would you like to learn something new or utilize a skill-set you already posses?

Define your goals.  Do you want to work part-time or do you plan on dedicating yourself to your new business full-time.  Do you intend to earn a six-figure income or are you interested in making a little extra cash.  Do you have money to invest or will you be working on a shoestring budget?  Will you have large chunks of time you can dedicate to your new business or do you plan on working in small snippets of time, when you can?

Research, research, research.  Look for potential opportunities and ideas by utilizing search engines such as Google and Yahoo.  Talk to friends and neighbors, relatives and coworkers.  Network!  Make sure everyone within earshot of you knows you are open to listening to opportunities and are actively looking for a new venture to involve yourself in.  You never know who might have the inside scoop on something or have an idea that you haven’t thought of.  Talk to other business owners, especially those in fields you are considering.  Make sure to ask them about any hidden pitfalls, expenses or obstacles they’d with they’d known about when they were making their ownership decisions.

Be savvy.  Working for yourself is still working.  Owning a business is very fulfilling, but also a lot of pressure.  As someone once told me, “If you treat your business like a hobby, you will pay for it like a hobby.  If you treat it like a business, it will pay you like a business owner.”

 

Why Does Everything Take So Long aka What Did I Really do Today? May 15, 2009

Filed under: Personal Stuff,Working from home — Suzi Beech @ 8:53 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Maybe it’s just me, but time sure does seem to fly by.  Each and every day I sit down with my list of things I would like to accomplish.  Each and every day I start out accomplishing a little bit of something and then:  the phone rings; the laundry needs folding; the litter boxes needs cleaning; the dog needs walking; the kids need to be picked up from school;  and on and on.  I have my schedule, I have my list of things to do, but time goes so quickly!  Am I trying to do too much?  Am I not managing my time effectively?

Then again, why would something like creating and posting an ad take precedence over spending time with my kids on the playground on a beautiful afternoon?  Why should I sacrifice making a delicious dinner for one more article written.  Isn’t one of the greatest bonuses and joys of being ones own boss the flexibility of schedule and prioritizing ones tasks?  Instead of beating myself up for the things I didn’t cross of my “to do” list  today, I’m going to create a list of what I did do.  Here goes, in no particular order:

1.  I checked and replied to emails

2.  I checked all my posts, articles, listings, and leads and made the appropriate phone calls and follow-ups

3.  I talked to my mom on the phone, like I do almost every day

4.  I got my kids fed, dressed and off to school

5.  I picked-up the kids from school and took them, with friends, to the playground

6.  My daughter, dog  and I walked to the store, went shopping for a birthday party and visited the library

7.  I put away two full baskets of folded laundry

8.  I cleaned the litter boxes and took out the trash

9.  I got a wounded bird away from the cat using a broom and dustpan

10.  I wrote two articles, chatted with friends and mentors on Skype and listened to several training seminars

11.  I picked up the poor dead bird from the yard and put him in his final resting place

12.  I made a delicious dinner where all the food groups were represented

13.  I watched a family favorite television show with the husband and kids

14.  I am now posting to my blog while my husband and kids play basketball in the front yard

15.  I will read to the kids before they go to bed

16.  I read and re-read my marketing plan, guidelines and training modules

17.  After putting the kids to bed, I will check email, articles and forums, post where appropriate, follow-up where needed and chat with friends on Skype, Facebook and Twitter.

18.  Eventually, I will go to bed and read (currently “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”) before falling asleep

19.  In the morning, I will wake up and do it all again, only with slight variations for weekend activities:  acting class instead of school; birthday party instead of playground; four meals instead of three.

Looking at my list, it appears I actually did accomplish something today.  I worked at my business and I spent quality time with my family.  Some days are more laden with work and some with family.  The beauty of it all is that it’s a balance, my balance, and it works for me, my family and those we love.  That’s the point, right?