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I can’t even believe that it has been over a month since my last post!  I’ve thought about many posts since the last one but just haven’t gotten them drafted.  So much has happened in the last month…Zeal, school, work, garden, church, friends…life!  I would love to take the time to do an individual post for each category but I just really don’t have time for that these days so this will be a compact post to cover some ground for those of you who are really wanting to know what’s going on in my life (yep, you family members). 🙂

School has started back and my children are in public school for the first time ever now that I’m staying home with them instead of working to pay for private school. My two oldest children are going to school in a neighboring town since they were accepted as transfers.  Unfortunately my youngest is in Pre-K and he couldn’t go out of our district so I’m making an hour trip every morning to get the three of them to the proper locations on time.  My Pre-K’er only goes to school from 8-10:30 so it’s a short kid-free time.  I’m grateful for it though because it gives me time to go to the park to exercise and get a shower before I pick him back up.  I’ll take it!!  My kids are all very excited about school and have had so many positive stories each day.  They are all excited to meet so many new people and even to be in a larger school with more children.  I’m so relieved!  However, homework has already begun and that’s not fun for any of us.  :/

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Speaking of ‘not working to pay for private school,’ I did actually start working again yesterday.  I am blessed to have been well trained in a technical field which is currently in high demand and I’m also blessed to know many people still working in the field who remember me as a good co-worker and employee.  I was asked by a good friend of mine to do some sub-contract work just to help out with some special projects in my own timing.  So, two days a week, I’m going into an office to work after dropping the kids off and leaving in time to pick them up.  My supportive father-in-law is picking up my four-year old at 10:30 on those days for me.  I’m excited about this opportunity because I’m getting to work with people I’ve always enjoyed working with, I still get to be with my kids and I’m earning a little extra cash to help out the family.  Win-Win!

On the Zeal front there’s much I could say…an entire post’s worth…but I don’t have time right now to write it all out.  Here’s the summary version:

I didn’t end up getting to go to the Zeal Champion’s weekend due to a death in the family that occurred the day I was supposed to leave.  As it turns out, the conference really was very good and would definitely have been worth the time and money.  However, since I didn’t go, I also didn’t get the money I won from that contest so I did end up being out the $194 for the conference tickets.  The prize was a package deal so I knew I had to attend the conference to get the money. However, due to the circumstances of my cancellation, I was hoping I could still get the cash portion of the prize so I wouldn’t be out the registration fee.   I contacted the prize giver about my cancellation but I never got a response to my request.  I understand the prize giver has been pretty busy over the last month so it’s possible my message to him got lost in the crowd.  I’m not really upset about it but I am a little disappointed, especially since the company always talks about helping others above helping yourself.  I’ve heard great things about this particular person that I won the prize from though so I’m assuming this experience of mine is just a fluke and I look forward to meeting him in person one day.  🙂

My 90 day challenge was technically over on the 18th (two days ago).  I can’t say I really followed the challenge after the first 30 days though.  I feel good and I still really enjoy the Wellness and the protein shakes.  I take the Cleanse still when I think about it but the Burn isn’t a part of my regular routine.  I have stayed the same weight since my last post but I haven’t remeasured so I’m not sure about fat vs. muscle weight.  I do know that my clothes are still fitting looser overall and my belts are getting fastened on a tighter notch than usual so I’m happy with that progress.  I’m still doing regular cardio exercise and I’ve been trying to fit in toning at least twice a week.  I know I need to get more serious about my diet and more consistent with toning but, considering the efforts I have invested, I’m happy with my current results.  I haven’t taken any pictures since the Day 30 pictures so I guess I’m just a slacker.  Oh well, there’s always another day. 😉

On the business front things are well.  I really haven’t been focused on signing new consultants with big starter packs as I said in my previous post but I have had one customer switch over to consultant and she is the only one actually selling under me.  It’s nice to have someone else on my team helping in that respect and she happens to be my neighbor so we also get to talk and visit regularly which I enjoy even more than the sales!  My team of consultants and customers is growing steadily and it’s always exciting to hear new testimonies of how Zeal is helping those who use it.  With the growth of my team also comes a growth in my residual income based on their regular orders.  I’m still not bringing home a large Zeal check but it’s enough to help me buy extra product to keep the kids on the Wellness.  I have remained G4 (get four, pay no more…free product) since the first full month of selling Zeal but my husband lost his G4 this month (based on July sales).  He still has four purchasers under him but last month one of his consultants put his regular autoshipment on hold while he uses up all his extra product so that put my husband one auto-order shy of a free Wellness canister this month.  We’ll get it back though as others continue to order. 🙂

Car qualified!

Car qualified!

On my way to a Zeal party.

On my way to a Zeal party.

My garden is still producing and has really been a full-time job.  Of course, some plants are doing better than others.  My pole beans have never really produced. The vines have grown and flowered, but many of the leaves have been turning black (like mold) and falling off ever since they’ve been forming.  We’ve gotten a total of five beans from the plants and even those weren’t at one time where we could eat them.  My tomato plants look really brittle and frail but they are still producing so I haven’t put very much effort into plumping them up.  All the peppers (bell, cayenne, jalapeno, and banana) are finally taking off so that I need to harvest them daily.  The carrot tops are really getting thick but the carrots aren’t ready yet.  I actually pulled one this past week to check them.  It was really little but cute.  However within days on the counter, it was soft and shriveled so we didn’t get to eat it.   Our onions are still vital but don’t seem to be getting any bigger (they are about the size of a golf ball).  In an attempt to keep them edible, I’m waiting to pick them until we’re ready to eat them…just a couple at a time.  My one and only brussels sprout plant is still alive but not producing yet.  I’m hoping there’s still hope as we get closer to Fall.  The summer squash and zucchini plants have gotten huge (although they aren’t the vining type).  They actually got so bushy that I couldn’t effectively keep the squash beetles at bay so I had to prune about half of the stalks off of each plant.  I still regularly kill several adult beetles and remove 3-5 egg patches every day!  I have four winter squash plants growing now so the squash beetle battle will continue to wage on!  My winter squashes are vining…everywhere.  I knew they would get rather big and I have been training them to grow up poles but they are still going everywhere.  It’s exciting to see the growth yet overwhelming to search for eggs.  The squash are so big and heavy that they are weighing the poles down so I definitely need a different support structure next year.  We’ve had an inordinate amount of rain in July and August so that has led to some unique problems.  Many of the squash blossoms are molding and causing rot on the vegetables if I don’t remove them fast enough.  Also, the water has made the ground really moist so that the structure poles aren’t staying stable with the weight of the plants anchored to them.  All in all, I’m really impressed with my first garden and I’m making mental notes for changes next year. 😉

Garden in full bloom.

Garden in full bloom.

Peppers

Peppers

Pole beans...kindof...

Pole beans…kindof…

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Onions

Onions

Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts
Vines growing out of the compst bin. Fail!

Vines growing out of the compost bin. Fail!

Pole beans

Pole beans

Winter squash growing vertically.

Winter squash growing vertically.

Winter squash. Buttercup?

Winter squash. Buttercup?
Winter squash. Delicata?

Winter squash. Delicata?

Winter squash. Delicata?

Winter squash. Delicata?

Winter squash. Delicata?

Winter squash. Delicata?

Winter squash. Delicata?

Winter squash. Delicata?

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Carrot tops

Carrot tops

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Summer squash and zucchini...bushy!

Summer squash and zucchini…bushy!

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On the church and friend front (covering both topics together since our friends are mainly from our church), we are on a journey.  I would’ve never thought we would, but we have started attending a new church.  I have grown up spiritually in one church and my friends and family and life have all been there.  It’s an odd thing to go to a new church but we didn’t leave our former church on bad terms.  I still very much love my original church and we have decided to continue going there on Sunday nights for friends and fellowship. However, we are following God on a new journey to a new location.  I’m not sure what is in store but it almost feels like a local mission trip, like we’ve left home but for a purpose.  It’s somewhat like walking in the dark while holding onto a guide wire…I’m not really sure where we’re going, how or when we’ll get there but I do know we are well led and it will not be in vain.  My husband and I are on the same page and that alone is worth the unknown and the discomfort of change.  I do really like our new church as far as the Word but my church family still feels like my former church.  Oh transition! I’m excited to see what all God works from this and we have already seen some really positive occurences from our stepping out.  Life is a journey and I have to keep remembering that it’s not about me.  Stay tuned on that one…I know I am!

I guess that’s about it for now.  Wasn’t that enough for one sitting anyway?! 😉

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