December 2007


I got into blogging around the end of September 2007 and LOVE IT!  However I don’t know, personally, anyone else who blogs.  For my New Years Resolution I would like to get the most of my experience so I am calling on all experienced bloggers to help me, if you choose to except the mission.

Things I would like to know about:

– What kind of tracking and follow-up to comments do you do?

– Recommendations on going to a paid from a free service.

– Using all the blog services.

– WordPress and advertising

– Contests

– Just about anything you can think of I will love your advise.

If you would love to help me out, please put your comment below. 

To all those who have read my blog in 2007 thanks!!!  I am so grateful to have read so many wonderful posts from you this past year and look forward to reading many more this year as well!

Happy New Year 2008!

Debbie aka The Real World Martha (S)

When I was younger I loved selling.  I would say whatever the customer wanted to hear and was pretty good at it.  I always had high commissions and was usually one of the top salespeople. 

 I have moved away from “retail” sales for many years (although there is selling in almost every job).  I disliked the hours and MY methods to obtain being a top salesperson.  I learned that it was hard for me to do this job anymore so I no longer connected with this type of position.

I had been out of the retail sales for about 10 years when I needed to stay home with my youngest.   I ended up deciding to do direct sales.  I believed in the products and company that I represent.  If I was going back to retail sales this would be the only company I would want to do it with. 

Now with sales comes the joys of customer service.  Over the holidays, it brings out the best in people doesn’t it?  I had two individuals order one item each.  One person who ordered wanted an additional discount and they both wanted to combine their shipping charges. 

There is a shipping charge for each order no matter how much you purchase and the receipt is your warranty.  I think it’s a pretty reasonable charge considering the cost of shipping right now.  I paid $5 to send a $7 calendar via the mail.  I thought we came to the understanding about why it’s charged so I put the order in.  When I went to collect the money (I have to first collect the money, then pick up the items for the host that it was under, then drop it off with them) I was advised that they would have never ordered it if they would have known that they had to pay the extra $2.  I ended up taking it off and didn’t make a dime off the sale and actually lost money if you consider time involved.  Now I know sometimes has to be done just to retain the customer but this was a bit crazy to me.  One of the individuals would not choose to live in my neighborhood not to mention my house, our vehicles (like my hubby’s 1988 vehicle) would not be even close to a car of choice, has no kids, and lives very large to my standards (this is not a casual acquaintance).  I love a good bargain but not off the back of someone else.  There comes a point in time where you have to ask is this bargain really worth this?  At least she got the extra $2 to buy ??????

I know it just goes with the territory.  But at least I get to rant about it!  It’s also provided me with a valuable lesson when bargain shopping make sure I don’t take advantage of the situation or the person just to save a buck or two.  Sometimes it’s worth it and sometimes it’s not.  Maybe that extra dollar or two is helping that person with groceries that week.

God provides all sorts of ways to learn valuable lessons.  I am really glad I experienced this so that I will watch how I conduct myself.  Without this situation I don’t believe I would have given it much thought other than what it was saving me.

As we get to the close of the year many of us are making the end of the year contributions to our favorite ministries and charities.  Many times people can be afraid to donate to an organization because they are afraid their money will not be well spent. 

First, I believe that prayer must be apart of any donation.  Giving is an act of faith and it will never be full proof but bring it in prayer and allow God to tell you where to use His money. 

Second, there is an organization that checks out ministries finances…EFCA.  They are an outside organization that monitors the organizations and it’s finances to help ensure they are fiscally responsible.  Check out all the organizations that you want to give to.  God gives us a mind to to use so we use all resources available to ensure the money is being used wisely.

Finally, as stated above, there are risks with giving but giving changes us.  We release what we think is ours to give to others.  When we act in faith we must give it over to the Lord for him to do what His will is.  Many people are using ministry scandals to not give financially.  Many ministries and organizations use this money for lots of people in need.  Many organizations use the money appropriately and if someone does mishandle God’s funds I am sure He will take care of that.

Happy Giving (The Lord loves a Cheerful Giver)

Today’s question:

Before Christmas I read an article regarding decorating for the holidays.  The article was describing a simple way to decorate your home-wrap all the presents in the same type of wrapping paper.  They advised to use the same type of colors as a cheap way to decorate.  Now is it just me or….????

I don’t know about you but most of the presents I wrap I give to others and ship them off.  Should I tell all those who give us presents what color to wrap them in or do I re-wrap them?  So I am not seeing this as a simple answer.

This just reminds me of all the articles and TV segments that just put an unrealistic view of life.  Between a “Simple” magazine that shows many items at unrealistic prices, for me and those I know, to a picture enhanced model.  There is, of course, nothing wrong with this as long as people have balance in their lives and realize these are-at times, just a capture of one point in time and may not be the full story.  They know models have been touched up and don’t compare themselves.  They know that the pictures in magazines of peoples homes are ones that no one has touched for days to prepare for the pictures.  And articles written from one point of view (like this) may NOT represent you, and you don’t try to live up to someones else view point.

I had this point hit home for me several years ago.  I was apart of a church that had MANY issues.  One time they had an article in a paper featuring a ministry they did.  It had wonderful pictures and a glowing report because no one was featuring the issues that were pervasive in the church!  Why would they? 

Everyone puts their best foot forward.  We don’t want others to see our problems.  Our “unmatched wrapping paper”.  We don’t want to be vulnerable.  We show a picture perfect image.  Of course we need to be careful who we share our problems with but we do need to show them as they are more relate-able than a picture perfect life.  It also allows us freedom to be ourselves.

Look at any person’s closet, garage, drawers, heart, ornament box, toolbox, fridge, medicine cabinet, wallet, makeup box, life, budget, bank account, files, work in-box, car, church, gingerbread house, waistband, kitchen cabinets, workout schedule, last years New Year’s resolution, relationships, to do list, and wrapping paper and you will find, somewhere, that we are all just human after all. 

Blessings from the Imperfect Debbie aka The Real World Martha (S)

We used this menu board for a Christmas countdown.  Here is what my oldest now started:

                                      img_4100.jpg    

It’s going to be a long year -for him. 🙂

Merry (almost) Christmas.

Jen from mythbusterbeauty just tagged me for the Holiday Hoopla, so here goes…1. List 12 random things about yourself that have to do with Christmas

2. Please refer to it as a ‘hoopla’ and not the dreaded ‘m’-word (Josi doesn’t even know what the m-word is but she’s trying really hard to think of all the dirty words that start with M that she’s ever heard. Tristi thinks the “m” word is Meme.)

3. You have to specifically tag people when you’re done. None of this “if you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged” stuff is allowed…then nobody ends up actually doing it. The number of people who you tag is really up to you — but the more, the merrier to get this ‘hoopla’ circulating through the blogosphere.

4. Please try and do it as quickly as possible. The Christmas season will be over before we know it and I’d like to get as many people involved as possible.

As a child…

1. I have 4 older brothers so when I was really small there were tons of people at my house on Christmas!

2. I have opened packages and re-wrapped them 😦
3. I always wanted a Barbie Dream House for Christmas but never got one.  But I did get a Barbie Convertible.

4. I don’t remember any of the food from Christmas.

5. My father was a Pastor so we went to Church every Wednesday and I remember missing many of the cartoon specials that were on.  Much counseling has been needed to correct this 🙂
As a Teen:

6. As my brothers got older, and we moved, Christmases got smaller.  But we always past the phone around to talk to those not with us on Christmas.

7.  Christmas was not as much fun as a teen.

8. We now lived in California from Illinois so Christmas was much warmer.

As an “adult”:

9. I love Christmas!!! I love Christmas carols and baking!

10. I love to snuggle up with a blanket and fall asleep with the Christmas lights on and the music playing (hubby shuts it all off for me that night).

11. Operation 12 days of Christmas is our thing now.
12. The tree and music start the weekend after Thanksgiving and don’t come down/stop until New Years (or after).  And we have to watch Jingle All The Way every year.
I would like to thank Jen for passing on this m— I mean “Hoopla” to me. Please  http://clewsblues.blogspot.com/, http://agracioushome.com/ and http://mommiedaze.wordpress.com/, would you honor us with your own random Christmas Memories?

May many new wonderful memories be created this year and always!

Day 12

Christmas Eve will take us to a local police station to take by treats and a big thank you/Merry Christmas poster. 

We came upon this as we thought about all the professions in which you have to work on Christmas.  Also, of course, Police put their lives on the line each and everyday to protect and serve.

(Note- If you ever want to do something like this it’s best to call ahead to arrange this as some stations do not let you provide goodies. )

UPDATE

This is the last update on our “Operation 12 Days of Christmas” :(.  I’m sure you can tell what a wonderful time we have had.

Last night we took the package to my friend’s house late at night.  The plan ended up to be a  very sloppy note with a name that is not legible.  Hopefully this will have them guessing for awhile.

Our oldest already asked about doing this next year :).  I can’t wait!!!!!

Hope you and your family have a blessed Christmas.

Debbie aka The Real World Martha(S)

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