Monday, October 15, 2007

My Private Jet

My Private Jet
8:59 a.m.

My biggest fear about my day on the private jet was whether I would have enough to eat. I get grumpy when I’m hungry.

That fear was immediately relieved by my pilot, Tony Harmon.

“We have a fruit tray ready for you,” he said, pointing to the party-sized tray of melons, grapes, oranges, blueberries and kiwi. “That’s the smallest one they had,” he laughed.

“We will have some veggies ready for you when you get to New Orleans and then we’ll have salads and shrimp and stuff in Oak City.”

Harmon gave me a quick tour of the 7-passenger jet, opening drawers full of granola bars, candy bars, soda, alcohol and snacks. “You should have plenty to eat,” he said.

Whew! Now I’m regretting that I downed those two bottles of my kids’ drinkable yogurt on the two-hour car ride. MY driver showed up about 25 minutes early to make sure we would make it on time to MY private jet. It was a 2-hour ride in Chicago traffic to get to the airport hangar in Kenosha, Wisc.

We arrived at 8:28 a.m., with just two minutes to spare before our scheduled take-off. No big deal. We drove right into the hangar and then were signaled out to the plane and right up to the open door of the jet.

“Wow! You really are special,” my limo driver said with amazement.

And all of this because I sell toys.

I have never dreamed of riding on a private jet. Not because I wouldn’t want to. The thought simply never entered my mind.

I’m on the plane because I’m a consultant for Discovery Toys. They had a recruiting challenge in September and I was one of seven women in the United States and Canada to earn the reward — a flight on a private jet to Berkeley, Calif., and three nights at the luxurious Claremont Spa.

It took a major scheduling effort to find a way to actually make the trip. I needed a nanny to care for my three children, ages 6, 5 and 3, along with lists of car pooling schedules and meal plans and baskets full of clean clothes to help my husband. It was a short night after pulling everything together so I could leave.

Now, I’m sitting here on board, thinking this is just too much fun. Instead of taking a nap after getting up at 5 a.m., I don’t want to miss one minute by falling asleep. I have the first two hours of the journey to myself and I can’t make up my mind where to sit.

Should I stay in the big, cushy leather recliner seats? Or should I move back to the long sofa? Do I want to sit facing forward, so I can see right into the cockpit and out the front window? Or should I sit the other way where I have an AC plug for my laptop.

How long should I wait before diving into the drawer full of candy bars?

Oh, and then there are the two newspapers. Should I read the Tribune first or USA Today? I want to make sure I grab the crossword puzzle before we stop for the other passengers.

Amazing how a tray of fruit, two newspapers and solitude seem like complete luxury to a mother of three young children.

I usually dread take-off. But this morning it felt like all of my stress was lifting off as we smoothly left the ground and began soaring over Lake Michigan. We are heading to New Orleans, then Texas and finally Oklahoma to pick up the other achievers before flying to California.

It’s going to be a long flight. But I’m planning to enjoy the day on MY jet. MY private jet.

9:24 a.m.

How did I get here?

I owe it to a bottle nail polish. Really.

On the first of September, the president of Discovery Toys issued a challenge. The top team recruiters in the United States and Canada would get to enjoy a trip on a private jet to the exclusive Claremont Resort and Spa in Berkeley.

I had been treated to a day at the spa over the summer and I promised myself that I would do whatever it took to go back there again.

I studied the details. And, like most every challenge, I decided I would at least go for it. My month got off to a great start. At my first party, I recruited three people and another woman had contacted me asking for information about the business. Why wouldn’t I make this happen?

Well, the trip was right in the middle of October, the busiest month of the year for my Discovery Toys business. And my husband was on a three-week trip to China and would be leaving the same week of the scheduled incentive for his own trip to Idaho.

I wasn’t sure who could watch our kids since our parents live far away and have jobs of their own.

But just by chance, my Diamond Sales Director had scheduled a “spa day” long before this challenge was announced. Managers from across the country met for a day of pampering. I had chosen a hot stone massage and a pedicure.

I knew I wanted a dark nail color that I had seen so many women wearing lately.

I debated about the dark, smoky gray nail polish, but was convinced when the woman sitting next to me and her nail technician were both wearing the same color that I had picked from the long row of polish choices.

It wasn’t until after my nails were done that I fully realized the name of the polish was “My Private Jet”.

Now, I knew there was no choice. I was going for it. I was going to do all I could to earn this trip and pray the details would all fall into place.

I kept my fingers and toes painted all month long. And when I started to doubt or just felt lazy, I would look at my nail color for motivation.

My Private Jet. OPI B59.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


"Mom, you know how God really cares about us?" my 6-year-old son said, choking back tears.

We were driving home from church, just me and the three kids, with all three of them stuffed close together in the backseat of my husband's car. My husband is in China, and the minivan mysteriously won't start. So, the kids had to stretch and bend to get the seat belts buckled around all three car seats smooshed together in the back of the car.

Like me, my oldest son lets his emotions build up until one little thing can open the floodgates. Moments earlier, he had found himself desperately "lost" at church because I had walked down the hallway to get his sister a cookie and he hadn't noticed.

"God really cares about me mom because when I was lost, he sent that man to find me and lead me back to you."

It's true, buddy. I feel the same way.

During the last year, we made the tough decision to leave our mega-church about three suburbs away to find a local community of believers. We KNEW this was what we were supposed to do. But this weekend it became real life.

God cares about me enough that he sent three different people to my house to try to start my van. I got to know three families from my church who live less than a mile away.

And he told many others to call just to make sure we were OK when word went out that my trusty form of transportation was sitting idly in the driveway.

He cared enough to convince a woman in my neighborhood to send her son to the same private school my son attends even though it's a 20-minute drive. Now, I have a carpooling buddy, too!

And he even gave me a friend with a traveling husband to go bowling with on a Friday night.

God really does care about us, buddy. It's true.

pee pee on the patio

"F'llow me, Mom. F'llow me!"
"What is it, sweetie?" I said to my daughter, who is 3 years and two days old.
She waved her little arm and waddled to the sliding glass door. "I went pee pee right here," she said, pointing outside.
"Yes, you did." Indeed, a puddle on the patio marked the spot.
"Now, I don't have to go pee pee in the potty."
How could I argue?

Monday, June 18, 2007

building sand castles

The kids and I have been spending a lot of time lately building sand castles.

In addition to my job as everdayMOM, I also have a home business selling a line of educational products, called Discovery Toys. We have a fantastic sand castle building set in our line right now and the children and I take seriously our job of thoroughly testing our toys.

We especially love the enormous sand pit at our local park district, which gives the opportunity to really test our skills at building large creations.

One thing we are learning is that building a sand castle is a lot like life. It takes hard work and perseverance, but if you stick with it, the results can be amazing.

Now our sand castle set isn't your average dollar store find. The main castle has detailed sides, roof and doors. The set also has a tower where the princesses are often held hostage. And it has molds to make brick sides and stair cases.

As we mix our sand each day to make our creations, I'm always surprised at how the sand has to be just the right consistency. We have to pour in the water and mold the main castle several times before we can find a mixture that isn't too dry, causing it to crumble, or too wet, preventing it from releasing from the mold.

We mix and pound the sand, then bang the sides of the mold and hope for the best. If we didn't take our work so seriously (and if a couple of us weren't such perfectionists), I always think we would give up and declare the sand castle set a dud.

But we always stick with it, no matter how hot the sun, until we release a nearly perfect castle from the mold. Then we stand back and admire our work for a few minutes before marching toy knights, guards and dinosaurs (we have a dragon shortage at our house) all over it.

I love these moments working together for a common goal. And we're learning some lessons this summer about science, not to mention teamwork, determination and perseverance that the kids would never find in a textbook.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

My Discovery Toys business

If you are interested in purchasing Discovery Toys, just head on over to my web site.

If you would like to know more about my business, here's my story:

When I became a Discovery Toys consultant in April 2003, I never imagined how the decision would impact my life. I had no idea that less than three years later, I would be earning a full-time income for working a few hours a day, as well as vacations to fabulous locations. And I wouldn’t have guessed my business would see such tremendous growth, I would be named Woman of the Year for 2005, 2006 and 2007, as well as Quantum Leap Achiever for 2007!

To be honest, I wanted to become a consultant mainly to get a discount on the toys when I needed to purchase gifts for my family, friends and relatives. With two young boys at home and another home-based business, I wasn't looking for one more activity to add to my agenda.

But I began showing the toys to my friends and relatives and the response was overwhelming. I started demonstrating the toys at parties and each time I showed them, more people wanted to book parties.

I love the personal satisfaction of having my own business. As a stay-at-home mom, Discovery Toys has given me an opportunity to meet hundreds of great women. The company helps me set goals for myself and rewards me for achieving them with promotions, bonuses, free toys and incentive trips.

I'm able to work flexible hours, set my own schedule and earn extra income for my family. By doing about one party a week, I have developed a team that works with me, and in April 2004, I promoted to Group Manager. In July 2007, I promoted to National Sales Director.

My Discovery Toys business also has had a major influence on my family. My children now have access to high-quality toys, which are their tools for learning. I feel like I can "see" their brains develop as they are exposed to toys that challenge their thinking, logic and creative skills. They have become more coordinated, independent and imaginative as they use the construction and outdoor toys.

Most importantly, it has become a personal "mission" to introduce Discovery Toys into the lives of other families. I love challenging other women to spend time playing with their children in a meaningful, fun and educational way.

If you would like to see a demonstration of Discovery Toys, host a party to show them to your friends, purchase the toys at a discount or start your own business, let me know! I would love to help you.

My Links

My Discovery Toys business

My 2009 planners: everydayMOM and the Brain Book

My personal web site

Monday, June 11, 2007

world of holidays

For most people, going on vacation with three young children doesn't sound like, well, a vacation.

But with my husband traveling and school coming to an end, the kids and I were care free for a week! So we decided to pack up and head to Holiday World! You know... Holiday World? OK. It might not be the most famous amusement park in the midwest, but I have to say, we LOVED it!

Holiday World is an amusement park where each section of the park has a holiday theme. It has lots of roller coasters and water rides, but our favorite parts were the little kid rides that are small enough even a 2-year-old has lots of thrilling options. The little canoe ride was my personal favorite.

But the BEST thing about Holiday World is how the owners have gone out of their way to make it so family friendly. All of the drinks are free! Visitors just stop off in one of the drink stations, grab a cup and fill it with a fountain drink. The food is not ridiculously overpriced, like at many similar attractions. And they even have big pump bottles full of FREE sunscreen! We especially appreciated this in the water park section.

We also loved how Holiday World is planted smack in the middle of southern Indiana fields and farms with almost nothing around it. The little town of Santa Claus, Indiana, boasts little more than a couple of hotels, a "Holiday Foods" grocery store and a couple of restaurants, most of which have a Christmas-inspired name.

Up until recently, our two boys have been afraid to go on any rides much larger than those found on a swingset. So, it was great to see them run from little airplanes to bumper boats to the carousel. And for me, a few days with no telephone to answer, no mail to open, no dishwasher to load and no beds to make is a great vacation!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

pool day

Today was a very special day in our family. It was the day we went to Target and picked out the big, inflatable pool that will create hours of fun and endless play opportunities for our children throughout the rest of the summer. Or at least that's how I thought it should go.

I realize and admit that purchasing a new inflatable pool every year is a complete waste of money, especially since we buy the exact same Swim Center Family Pool each June. The manufacturer clearly states that the user should not use an air compressor to inflate the pool because it could rupture the seams. And that is exactly what happens to ours every year by the end of the summer.

But sometimes, it's just worth $29.99 to make life simpler. I mean, seriously, how long would it take to blow up a 120-inch pool? And I think it gives my husband great joy to roll up the pool that he has been avoiding with the lawnmower and the object that has been killing his grass all summer and place it by the curb at the end of August.

So, the kids and I bought the pool today and we reviewed our plan to keep the pool clean and fun all summer long. "Wipe the grass off your feet before you get in. Don't throw rocks in the pool. And absolutely no sand. None. Got it?"

The afternoon started off with cries of laughter from the backyard. But not long into it, I was inside for a few minutes and as I walked by the family room window, I distinctly saw the hands of my middle son wrapped around a red bucket and pouring sand into the pool.

No. This can't be. All of those long winter days trapped inside, we have been dreaming of this pool. When we were so cold from the ice and snow we couldn't stand it anymore, we would fantasize about New Pool Day. And now reality had set in.

They were actually carrying buckets of sand from the sandbox and pouring them into the bright green pool with it's crystal clean water. And I had to be the mom.

"SHE MADE me do it!" Middle M insisted, pointing to his 2-year-old sister. "It's all her fault!"

So, the children were sent to their rooms. The pool was emptied. The sand toys returned to their sandbox. Until tomorrow.

Post script: After we all recovered from the failed attempt at fun on New Pool Day, the kids asked if they could pick the cherries from our tree. "Cherries? Really?" The previous owners of this house planted quite a variety of fruit trees on our little postage stamp lot in the middle of suburbia. I knew we had a cherry tree, but we had been on vacation for the past week, so I hadn't been paying attention to its progress. I looked up to see the tree bursting with bright, red cherries! With New Pool Day a distant memory, we all laughed and filled our tummies full on our new holiday, First Cherry Picking Day!

first post

It all started so innocently.

I said I would never, ever do this. Never.

How could I possibly have time? Most days it seems that I don't even have time to sit down. It's hard enough to juggle three children, all of my everydayMOM duties, a home business and a traveling husband. How could I work one more thing into my life without losing my children in a mountain of dirty laundry or letting their daily diet slip even one notch below corn dogs with a side dish of tater tots?

Then, my friend, A Musing Mom, told me about hers. I would peek just once in a while. And I mean once in a WHILE. We're talking months would go by before I would remember to take another look.

Soon, I noticed all sorts of people all around me were doing it. Most of them attended my church. I was starting to feel a bit like an outcast when I would overhear tidbits of conversations that everyone else seemed to know all about.

Well, everything changed when my new MacBook came into my life. I spend lots of time eating dinner alone. Not exactly alone. I mean, my three kids, ages 2, 4 and 6, are usually with me. But my husband travels a lot and when he's not traveling, his commute doesn't put him home at a very kid-friendly dinner hour. So, as far as adult conversation goes, I'm usually just talking to myself.

Don't get me wrong. I do talk to my kids. I even try to spark conversations about their favorite memory or their goals in life or how they could improve in certain character traits. And I try my best to join in on their conversations, which usually seem to involve a riveting discussion of which SuperHero is most powerful.

But now with MacBook in my life, I was starting to notice the multi-tasking potential of a previously lone activity -- eating! What a great chance to catch up on my e-mail... or maybe read someone's blog? And I started to get a little addicted.

Hmmm. I wonder what So-And-So has been up to? Hmmm. I wonder what her friend is doing?

It got worse. I started writing my own blog in my mind as I went about my daily routine. "Oh, that was so funny. I should write it down!" I was becoming so preoccupied with what I WOULD blog if I DID blog that it was taking more time NOT to blog than it would to just BLOG!

So, here I am. Joining the crowd. One of the people who do this.

If you happen to see one of my children roaming around with dirty feet searching for a green vegetable to eat, could you please send him or her home right away? I'll put the MacBook away, I promise!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

my planners

The 2010 everydayMOM planner is here!

How to order:

If you are local, for a limited time only (while supplies last) get your planner for only $15 (no tax or shipping if you live close enough I can hand deliver). Just e-mail me to let me know I should save you one!

If you live in the United States, you also can get in on the $15 special, but it will cost an extra $4 to mail. Just e-mail me. This option is checks only and features the new darker colors on the cover. Click here for a full preview of the inside pages!

If you live outside of the United States or would like to use a credit card, you can order directly from my online storefront. Click here. Two cover styles available, plus my everydayKIDS planner!

What's in the planner?

Calendar is a weekly spread.
Each day includes room to track all that a MOM does everyday.

  • remembers: Appointments, holidays, events
  • plans: Things to do
  • shines: Housecleaning chores
  • cooks: What’s for dinner
  • grows: Personal growth
At the back of the book, I have included my personal planning sheets, plus blank sheets for:
  • Meal planning
  • Grocery shopping
  • House cleaning
  • Ideas to add Moments of Meaning

What past customers are saying:

I love your planners. I have both the everyday MOM and Brain book. I actually panicked this morning because I could not find my planner. I did find it, thank goodness! I refer to the everydayMOM planner every morning to see if my children have hot lunch, sports or special things going on at school. I love my Brain book too. If I did not have it, I would have lots of little pieces of paper all over the place with peoples names on them. I can refer to my book to see who I need to call and keep track of my hostesses and potential recruits. Love it!! I also gave the everydayMom planner to my friend after she had her third child and she loves hers too. She told me the night I gave it to her she stayed up late filling in all her dates and info. I am so glad you have created these planners! Thank you! ~ Christy

I LOVE the inclusion of "coaching" topics for consultants to have on hand to review for themselves when they are starting out and then to use with their new recruits. ~ Traci

I am addicted to my planner. I have it out in plain view all day long and refer to it, write in it, and check things off my list all day, every day! I'm so glad I have one! ~ Michele

I really liked the idea of the tip sheets right inside your Brain Books... seems that to run a business successfully, the calendar is always there.. so why not have some inspiration every time you open it up! I also loved the inspirational messages at the top of each page. ~ Dawn

Here's my feedback after one full week of using the planner (sorry it's only one - I'm a newbie): I love that I can look over my week and easily see what I got done and what I have left to do. Very helpful! ~ Lara

I love your planner! I purchased one last year & didn’t really start using it til right after Convention when I found my motivation again!! I really like being able to see the whole month at a glance! I plan on doing more with my business in 2009 so will utilize the other pages more so next year – ie the recruiting pages & hostess pages. ~ Lauren

I HAVE YOUR EVERYDAYMOM PLANNER. I think it's great! I like the shopping list too! ~ Deanna

Love the section on "grows".... this is the first calendar in which I have EVER seen this incorporated... and it is so crucial to be intentional about our growth... otherwise life and the demands of it... will crowd that out quickly! ~ Ginger

I bought your Brain Book last year and your MOM calendar this year. I'm trying to "merge" them in my brain! I love the meal planner and shopping list blank pages ... and I really like it that you even gave us your list. I know, it's something that we should all just DO, because there are standard things that I buy and it sure is nice to have them on a list. I've even shown it to 2 of my non-DT friends and they think it's very cool. Nice colors too! ~ Kari

Finally, after years of searching. A planner that fits my life. Really. I love the design. ~ anonymous

To all everydayMom’s: As the everydayHusband I just want to take the opportunity along with all of you to talk about the success of this planner from someone that is on the receiving end of an organized home and the sharing of "Moments Of Meaning”. There are times like the present that work takes me out of the country not for a few days, but weeks at a time. I can tell you that it’s not easy leaving knowing the burden that is left on the everydayMom at home to get through the long list of daily tasks that are required of family. One thing that gives me a real peace of mind is knowing of Emily’s ability to keep on task in a God honoring away and meet the needs of our children while I’m away. I cannot tell you what a blessing this is to me! I would encourage each of you to continue to share your success with others and try to find someone this Christmas to pass this planner onto as a wonderful gift to them, but consider the blessing it could bring to their spouse and children by them having the means of organizing their home and making their day meaningful. ~ my husband, Kent =]


Preview or order my 2009 planners:


Brain Book weekly

Brain Book monthly

about me

Hello. I'm Emily, known here in BloggyLand as everydayMOM.

I'm a stay-at-home mom to three kids who get their good looks from their dad and their creativity from moi. Fortunately, they are all really cute, since they sometimes use their creativity in ways that aren't super productive.

The boys are 8 and 6, and our daughter is 4.

My wonderful husband and I are both in the toy business. He makes sure the little freebie toys that you get at restaurants or in cereal boxes are safe. I know... I know... you thought there was a factory of elves making those little toys, but it's really him. In fact, he spends a good chunk of the year traveling the world to find the best factories to make little toys that children love and then, well... how do I say this? ... discard.

I, on the other hand, sell high-quality educational toys, which many people refuse to throw away even when their children have gone to college. I sort of stumbled into my business, and I'm glad I did. It pays for our kids to go to private school and has also earned us some amazing vacations around the world.

The idea of the everydayMOM came after I created a planner for the ladies I work with selling Discovery Toys. I had searched and searched for the perfect planner to organize my business and, when I couldn't find one, I decided to make one myself.

In the process, I realized that organizing one's time to run a home based business is hard, but many women also felt very disorganized and out of control of their No 1 job of being a mom.

Life at home can get kind of mundane, what with all of the poop, puke, dirty dishes and mac n cheese. Early on in my stay-at-home mom days I was ready to dismantle the dishwasher because it seemed that no matter how many times I emptied it, hours later, it was full again.

A friend encouraged me to empty that dishwasher with a happy heart because it was the job God gave me to do. He was right! And since then, I remember his words every time I stack those sippy cup lids or pile the plastic bowls in the cabinet. The fancy dishes will get their day on the table soon enough.

I believe God gave me the idea for the everydayMOM planner as a way to encourage other moms to take their job seriously! The planner is meant to help moms organize all of the tasks they have to do everyday to give them more time for what really matters -- those Moments Of Meaning with their kids, spouse, friends or growing, either in their faith or as a person. So often, as moms, we don't make a PLAN for our personal growth and development. My planner even includes a spot to think about how we want to grow each day.

In my previous life, aka Before Kids, I earned a master's degree in Public Affairs Reporting and spent about 10 years as a reporter and editor. Most of that time, I covered Illinois government and politics.

Writing my blog is a way for me to channel some of my creative energy, and I don't have to worry about a deadline! But my favorite part is connecting with anyone who stops by! So, feel free to say hi. I love it when you do!

Make it a great everyday!

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