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Make Easter More Exciting Then Christmas

MM804onstandEaster rocks!  It’s far more exciting than Christmas, in my opinion and here’s why . . . oh, and my little boys (2 & 4 years old) agree with me.

Easter in our home is exactly what you see here in this cute little quilt:  An Easter bunny, early spring blooming flowers, coloring eggs the night before so the Easter bunny will stop by and hide them all for us to find in the morning, along with our Easter baskets filled with a few goodies.  It’s the entire family, kids and adults, getting excited about hunting to find all the eggs/baskets.  And I don’t know about your Easter bunny, but ours is quite good at hiding those eggs.  Some years it takes us all day to find that last egg.  And, if the spring is an early one and warm enough to be outside, we take all the plastic eggs and do another hunt outside – the kids love to play “Easter bunnies” for this hunt, teasing the adults to find all their hidden eggs.

It’s spring, the long cold winter is behind us (mostly) and we get teased with warmer days and sunshine.  The fun lasts all day long.  The presents are just 1 or 2 instead of many – as a parent I find this to be refreshing.  Ahhh.  Crocus flowers are usually blooming, the very first sign of spring that I’ve longed to see all winter.

My little boys are beginning to share my love love love for Easter and I love love love it.  Considering they are little sponges, it’s no wonder.  They hear me talk about Easter with all the dreaminess I’ve just told to you.  And they’ve been telling me for weeks now how they can’t wait for Easter to come.  Ahhh, I think to myself, they’ll grow up appreciating Easter as a renewing, awakening, egg hunting, crocus-blooming, spring holiday.

This may be a good time to point out that we are not a religious family in any structured sense, and that our definition of “Easter” does not involve any holy figure’s resurrection/biblical reference at all.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just not our family belief and this would not be the place to talk about those anyway.

So, whatever this glorious spring holiday means to you, I wish you a renewing, warm, sunny, crocus-blooming Easter.

~Julie

 

My Babes

Little Boys Love Big Fish

Not all of my posts need to be info or biz oriented, right?  Every now and then, I like to show peeks at how fast my little peanuts are growing, so today’s post is peekin’ at my cutie patooties.

Who thinks their kids are the cutest kids ever?  Uh, if you have kids and you didn’t raise your hand . . . well then I don’t know what to say, other than “I knew my kids are the cutest, I knew it, I knew it”.  This past weekend we took our first trip to see critters.  We took them to the Mississippi River Museum Aquarium in Dubuque, IA.

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Here are my two little angels, Lewie and Jack, standing so sweetly in front of some huge fish.  Uh yeah, did I say sweetly?  Oh, I must have mistyped because as you can clearly see, sweet isn’t exactly what I see.  I see 2 little terds who were slightly less than a handful.  But in their defense, we had spent the night in a hotel room, way out of their routine, Lewie was coming down with the flu (as we soon after realized), and none of us had more than 4 hours of sleep.  So all things considered, they were pretty darn good little squirts and they definitely enjoyed seeing all the big fish, alligator, turtles and snakes.

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And here’s one of my favorite poses that Jack has mastered.  He’ll shoot me in 15 years when he sees this, but for now I think it’s downright funny.  You go Jack, get them boogies!

 

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And you saw me mention our Aquarium trip was actually day 1 of our family flu fun.  Yes, shortly after we left the aquarium and headed for home, fevers broke out on the kids, lasted for 2 days and just when we thought we had beat the flu bug, it had one last punch which was a cough that kept you up all night long.  Here’s a picture of Lewie on one of our sick days this week .  . . . looks are deceiving because a half hour after I took this glamour shot, he clonked out for a marathon nap.  Poor babies.  I’m happy to report that after 7 fun-filled days we have conquered that nasty bug and are looking forward to warm spring days and lots of fresh air.

Well, that’s a peek at my boys.  Cute little booger pickin peanuts of mine.  They really are the cutest kids ever!

Lessons Learned in Business

When you don’t have an IT department, but need one fast

Oh my, we business owners wear a lot of hats don’t we.

MM703 COPY It’s a wonder our heads don’t crush under the weight of all the hats we’re expected to wear . . . . especially when we’re in the beginning years of our business.  I mean, we don’t have a pot full of cash to just hire the right people to fit all those hats, so we do it ourselves, or at least we try.  Sometimes we fail, other times we just squeak by, and once in a while we try on a hat and discover we like it.  Though, I admit, most of the hats I’ve worn over the years, I’d rather not have had to wear.

I want to take a moment to talk about some lessons I’ve learned in business.  Patch Abilities came into existence in 2004, after I navigated the first major fork in my path.  Thankfully, I took the right path and ended up on this fantastic journey of owning a business.  A journey I would not trade for anything.  But this journey comes with many many lessons I’ve had to learn.  Some, the hard way and some the easy way.  I believe we are all in business for one core reason, and that is to make a good living thru selling a product, service or knowledge that will better the world we live in.  That said, I am happy.  No, make that passionate, about openly sharing any lessons I’ve learned, if it will help a fellow business owner.

Now, back to the mountain of hats.  One of the hats I hate, wait, I better put it in all caps because I hate it so much. I HATE wearing the IT hat!  Call it internet technology, computer tech, whatever, but I hate it.  I don’t understand it one tiny bit and anytime I’ve tried to muddle thru it, even with the help of some IT dude on the phone, I just plain suck at it.  Yeah, I said suck because no other word describes it better than that.

So, I’m pretty sure that many of you are not IT literate folk either, so what in tarnation do we without an IT department, when we need one asap?  Well, I bought one.  Yep, bought one.  Here in our office we have 2 main computers and both of them need to be running in tippy top shape and kept safe from the crazy-loony-hackers.  To keep them safe, I trust Kaspersky.  I am not in any way affiliated with them, just use ’em and trust ’em.  Like I said, I am happy to share what I’ve learned and what I trust.

So, we have Kaspersky protection for internet, yada yada.  Well, my computer hard drive was slowly dying a month ago, as the trusty Kaspersky helper told me on the phone as she was examining my computer.  She advised me to get their Premium support which provides IT support on all of our computer systems, for a mere $169.99 (for 1 year).

Seriously?  I can have IT support at my fingertips anytime for just $169.99?!  Seriously?  I kept asking her that.  Once I got over being stunned that I could purchase unlimited IT support for less than $200 bucks, I quickly signed up.  And let me affirm that it was the best money I’ve ever spent on IT support.  They are there when we needed help setting up a new computer, when we needed to reinstall software, when we needed to add a printer.  This service rocks and I don’t have to wear the damn hat!  Woo Hoo!  I simply pick up the phone.

Buy an IT department, for less than $200.  That’s my biz lesson for today.  It’s just what I’ve learned, what works fantastic for us and what I trust.  I hope it helps you today too.