Monday, December 22, 2008

Life Beyond Laundry

I am still working on sorting out how to blog in a way that would educate, encourage, and entertain. In my mind, I have finally come to the conclusion that I need to separate my personal life blogs from my health and weight loss coaching. Not everybody who cares about losing weight or restoring their health is interested in a 'day in the life of' the Shaws. Not everybody who is curious about life with a dirty dozen wants to read about my passion for improving people's quality of life. So, even though I know I can't please all the people, all the time... I have the card carrying People Pleaser Personality that does everything humanly within my power to achieve the impossible. Enter - Life Beyond Laundry. I'll be reformatting this blog soon and it will be dedicated to sharing insights I have gained (mostly through mistakes) and momentary glimpses of wisdom. Being a mom of twelve, I've had lots of opportunity to make mistakes, and try again. I am still learning that there is life beyond laundry. Mountains of laundry. My goal for the new year is to post at least once a week, even if it is just a funny story. You might even be priviledged enough to get a few glimpes of my goofy little urchins while they are keeping me from being too serious about life.
I will also be launching a new blog with the URL which will be focused on health, wellness, and weight loss. I have them linked to one another. As we enter 2009, I'd like to help make it a year to Shine... for anyone who wants to improve their quality of life. And since my plate isn't quite full enough with my own business, I decided to take the plunge and help my 13yo daughter launch her own online biz at
Tell me what you are doing differently in 2009. What are your goals? Did you make a New Year's Resolution? I look forward to reading comments.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

HP Magic Giveaway Contest

While I was visiting a friend's site, I noticed she had a joined a contest so I thought I would check it out. I was expecting to 'sign up' with my name and email address and have equal odds of winning. When I reviewed the criteria, I considered not entering. After I decided to go ahead and take the plunge (what's to lose) and began reading everyone else's posts, I contemplated what I might write about that could even come close to competing with the incredibe giving hearts of the other contestants. Not that I think I'll win, but I am posting about it all the same, because I think it is an ingenious way to encourage people to think of others ahead of themselves, and try to make the world a brighter place.
So, here's the deal: HP is offering a mega give-away, and allowing each sub-contest to be run at the discretion of the chosen bloggers who are awarding the prizes. I happened to find this one (click on the title to learn more), but apparently there are 50 simultaneous Blogger Magic Giveaways going on. http://http//

including one at and another at
One of the fun things about entering is you get to visit some really cool blogs. You might even find a few you want to follow. Each blogger sets his or her on rules. Most of them encourage you to at least tell how you would share the magic.

In the Living in Theory contest, our challenge is to write about how we impact the lives of others. I am not quite sure where to begin. As a mom of twelve, nine still living at home, I guess I could say I impact lives everyday. My hope is that through nurturing and instilling compassionate values in my children my investment will be compounded as they can far out reach me in making a difference in the world.

If you read any of my other blog posts, you'll realize that I am passionate about health. My goal, or mission statement, if you will, is to impact the lives of thousands through helping them learn more about wellness, and how to improve the quality of their lives. Nothing is more gratifiying to me than to be able to help someone recover their health, and get their live back (outside of watching my children grow up and achieve their dreams.) I am especially concerned with helping families with special needs children. Part of that drive comes from losing a son (who had a medical condition) ten years ago. I always think... "if I had known then what I know now would things have been different?" So I make it my goal for other parents to not have to ask themselves that question.

I am a MannaRelief Champion and I raise funds to sponsor children with medical challenges. The sponsorship provides Optimal Nutrition for children and helps to improve their quality of life. I also personally sponsor an orphanage through MannaRelief. A long term goal of mine is to take my family on a MannaRelief missions trip where we would actually participate in distributing product, and meeting the children. Currently I am working with a family that has two children with special needs. Both boys have seen great results and the parents would like to keep them in the program. As the economy suffers, so does charitable giving. As their champion, I am on a mission to find the funds to keep them enrolled.

How does this relate to what I would do with the HP Majic Giveaway prizes? It doesn't really, except that one of the boys who is autistic would greatly benefit from having the touchscreen computer. I would love to be able to offer it to this family for their son.

Also in my rambling blog posts is the saga of our family, and our current separation from Daddy. My wonderful husband is on the other side of the country while we are here, waiting for our house to sell. He is incredibly lonely, and having a laptop to 'link' back home would help him trememdously. It is, in fact, on our items to purchase list... only I have yet to take the time to search out the best deal. With us having to stretch our budgets to cover his living expenses as well as ours, winning the contest would allow us to save that laptop money for other things while we stretch our dollars.

With as many children as we have, we are probably one of few families that *could* actually use all the giveaway ourselves. However, we aren't in need of another printer. I am perfectly happy with the HP we currently have, so I would donate it to the local Pregnancy Center, or the Care Cottage (which is a liason for children who are in the DFACS system.) The mini would be perfect for my younger children to do their school work on and would help me keep my sanity when we pack the caravan to drive thousands of miles across the country. I am sure it would help to eliminate the incessant "are we there yet" questions that will no doubt test my last nerve without a portable DVD player to distract them.

Even after I have written all this, there were so many contestants who are far more deserving, and had much loftier plans in place were they to be the lucky winner. I think the neatest thing about this contest is that it doesn't matter who wins. Just by participating, we have stimulated our thoughts (and hopefully our actions) about how to pay it forward and make the world a better place. So, by all means, check out Sugar's blog (follow the title link) and share what you are doing to make a difference. Entertain the idea of winning, and how you would share the Majic.

The Pursuit of Dreams

Helping my children pursue their dreams gives me immense satisfaction. I encourage lofty goals. I want them to reach for the stars, and see where the path leads them. I hope you'll take a moment to visit Hannah's website. Pamper yourself while your there, and help a little girl as she tries to find her place in this world.