The other day I was cleaning up after lunch and Steven Curtis Chapman's song "Cinderella" came on the radio. This song tells the story of a father dancing with his daughter at different stages of her life. It reminds me that my children will grow up quickly and we should take time to enjoy them at every stage, because we know that soon this stage will be gone.

Well, I was not having one of those "enjoying them" moments. They were pulling dishes back out of the dishwasher, tugging at my skirt hem, screaming about this and that, and generally driving me crazy. We've all been there.

But hearing this song inspired me. I wiped my hands and decided to take time to dance with my boys there in the kitchen. I took Patriot's-3yr hands and began to lead him in a waltz around the room. Against his resistance, I tried to spin him and twirl with him. He freaked out and refused to cooperate.

"He used to love to dance with me," I remembered. "Maybe he's just too old now. I'll try with Azlan-1yr."

So I took Azlan's hands and tried to waltz with him. He, of course, followed his brother's lead and would have nothing to do with it. So my feelings got a little hurt and I asked them why they wouldn't dance with Mommy.

Patriot responded, "We'll dance with you Mommy, but that's not how you dance. You should dance like this." And he proceeded to breakdance on my kitchen rug. He was spinning and kicking. I think he might have even done the inchworm at one point. After a few moments, Azlan joined in and they were both cavorting around my kitchen. Looked like if I was going to dance with my boys, it would have to be a breakdance instead of a waltz. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, so we breakdanced through Steven Curtis Chapman's beautiful "Cinderella."

I think boys are really different than girls. And I think we're going to limit how much "So You Think You Can Dance?" we'll let the boys watch next season.
I have met so many moms lately who are struggling with the balance of meeting their children's needs as a stay-at-home mom while also making necessary contributions to their family budget. I guess with rising gas and grocery prices, and many people in my circle of friends working to pay off debt, we're all starting to feel the pinch in our pocketbooks.

Mary Kay is offering a career opportunity this month that cannot be beat, and I'd like to tell you about it. Now, I know this isn't a Mary Kay blog, it's a mom blog. But I have found something that works for me and my family, and I want to share it in case it might work for someone else.

First, let me tell you some of my favorite benefits of my Mary Kay business:
  • The company teaches that our priorities should be God first, family second, and career third. My training even includes quiet time ideas and time management skills to ensure that my time is spent in my priorities. I know some churches that don't even encourage their staff this way -- much less businesses!
  • We're not just in the cosmetic business, we're in the people business. That means we strive to provide "Golden Rule" customer service. (Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you.) I am never asked to "sell" someone on something they don't want. My job is to provide each woman with the tools to help her become the best she can be. Often those tools go beyond skincare and cosmetics to prayer and encouragement!
  • Because I am an Independent Contractor with Mary Kay, I am my own boss. I determine when I work, how much I sell, and when I'd like to advance in the company. The company offers excellent training (they've been doing this for 45 years and have learned a few things!) but doesn't require anything of me or limit me. Now, if I want to drive a pink Cadillac, there are certain things I have to do to earn it, but I can move as quickly or as slowly as I want toward that goal.
There is a ton more I could tell you about this opportunity, but I don't want this post to be too long. Go to my web site to learn more about our company and products. If you've never had a Mary Kay facial, let me know and we'll schedule one (if you're not local, I'll try to hook you up with a local consultant).

Here's the incredible deal Mary Kay is offering this month: When you sign your contract in the month of August and pay your $100 start up fee (which gives you all of the product and materials you need to do your first 30 faces), and then place an initial qualifying product order with the company (product you're selling to your customers) in August or September , you'll receive a $100 rebate check!

If you can get excited about seeing positive change in your life; If you could think of a way to spend an extra $$ each week; If you desire more time with your loved one's while helping others as well; Please consider this Mary Kay opportunity. Check out Matt's blog to get a husband's perspective on this career. Then contact me and I'll fill in all the details.

I didn't think I needed an Apple iPhone. I'm not a high-powered executive who needs to be "plugged in" all the time. I'm not a giggly teenager who needed to text "OMG!" to her "BFF" every twenty minutes. I'm not a tech geek who needs to have the latest thing just because it's the latest thing.

However, Matt let me goof around with his phone and I realized it really could be useful. So when the iPhone 3G came out last month, I used some of my Mary Kay earnings and bought one for Matt, and I took his hand-me-down.

I've now had my iPhone for a month and I LOVE it.

Like so many of you, I wear a lot of hats and this phone is useful in each of my roles.

As a mom, I love that I can download YouTube videos on my phone. This means that while we're waiting in the world's longest line at the grocery store, I can entertain the children with Sesame Street or Veggie Tales videos. I can also download age-appropriate games on my phone, so we can play match games or draw pictures while we sit in the doctor's waiting room. And I don't have to lug around a giant bag of stuff to entertain the kids.

As a wife, I love that I can text or e-mail Matt anytime, anywhere. And it's cool to be able to Google from my phone, so we can settle arguments about "who sings this song?" quickly and accurately.

As a Bible Study leader, I love that I've downloaded the application YouVersion, which allows me to carry the entire Bible on my phone. I can search verses or keywords, switch back and forth between versions, and even sort through commentary about particular verses. This application also gives me a daily Bible reading each day.

As a Mary Kay Consultant, I love that I've downloaded my customer list on my phone. So, with just a couple of clicks, I can have any customer's phone number, address, and directions to her address from my current location. Yes, my phone tracks where I am (similar to a GPS, but not as good -- the 3G actually has GPS). I can also check e-mails and my personal web site no matter where I am, so I can stay in communication with my customers. Plus, since my phone is also an iPod, I can download training MP3s and inspirational songs and listen to them anytime.

As me (like I get "me" time!), I love the application eBooks. I have to admit this was the application I was most skeptical about, but I really love it. eBooks is a web site that sells electronic books. You set up a Bookshelf and then purchase books to add to your Bookshelf. My phone connects to that Bookshelf and downloads my purchased books. Books still cost $5-$25 each, but they stay on your Bookshelf even after you've read them. I thought I'd miss holding a book and turning pages, but this mimics page-turning and the practicality of not needing a physical book is wonderful.

This is what I love about my iPhone after about a month. They are always coming out with new applications, so I'm sure I'll find even more stuff to love about it. With Christmas just a few months away (ugh! it pains me a little to type that), I'd recommend Moms look into asking for one. You won't regret it.
Yesterday I was in the bathroom getting ready for the day and had left both boys watching TV on our bed. I heard some rustling around and then I heard something that struck fear in my heart:

Patriot-3yr. quietly saying to Azlan-1 yr. "If we whisper, she can't hear us!"

They have learned to conspire against me. I'm in big trouble now.