Monday, October 29, 2012


A very warm 'Hello' to you.

We are so pleased you dropped in. A special welcome to those from our own home country of New Zealand - although we live in Tennessee.

We trust you will enjoy our blogs and tell others to come and also check us out. We are really looking forward to chatting with you and/or meeting you at one of our seminar/sessions whether here in the US or elsewhere in the world.

To find out more about bookings or product, follow the link to our website. Thanks so much - Sally and Brian Burgess

Friday, October 26, 2012


Today, while traveling home from Chattanooga I heard a most inspiring story. It was about an 11 year-old boy named Ben who runs triathlons. Although he doesn’t like to practice much, his mother says he is always inspired by the competition and really gets into it once he is in the race.

On this particular day, Ben had completed the swimming and cycling sections of the race and was half way through the running section when his right leg felt ‘wobbly’. The screws in his prosthetic leg had come loose and before he knew it, he hit the asphalt with a thud. A young man named Matt, a youth volunteer for the event, saw what happened and ran to Ben’s aid. He asked the boy if he needed help. When Ben said, “Yes,” the young man hoisted Ben onto his back and started running. Ben held on to him with one arm round his helper's neck while grasping his prosthetic leg in the other. Ben’s parents realized something was wrong when the commentator of the race announced that one of the competitors, a disabled boy, had fallen.

It certainly was a sight to behold when, amidst tears and cheers, Ben crossed the finish line aided by his new found friend Matt, flanked by some of Matt’s Marine friends who ran in formation alongside.

It only took a moment for that volunteer to step out and help a young boy fulfill a dream. Sometimes it takes more time than a simple step. It might even take some real sacrifice, but the effort on our part means an immeasurable amount to the recipient. We can make all the difference to those around us by offering simple acts of kindness. We can teach our kids to be like-minded by showing them how the little things make a huge difference to others.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


When you think your eyeballs are going to fall out from lack of sleep; when you you think your kids have jumped on your last nerve; when you think your teen will never 'get it', when you think you are losing your sanity - it is hard to imagine the words of the great country music song, "You're gonna miss this!" could possibly be true.

Believe me, when you look back, it is truly amazing how easy it is to forget the frustrations and remember the great times you had as a young family growing together.  You will remember the excitement of holidays, the pride in your children's achievements, the hugs and cuddles that came so naturally from your little miracles.

Monday, October 22, 2012


No matter how old our kids are they are still our precious babies.  I don't think we can ever tell one another enough, as families, just how much we love and appreciate them. 

I sang at a show last night at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and the compare of the show couldn't say enough about his family.  He was so proud of them.  A smile, a call, a kiss, a hug, a little card - everything counts.  Here is a pic of Brian and I with our daughter Kristy who did a fabulous job of my make up for the show last night at the Ryman.  I love you dearly, Kristee.  You are a wonderful Mom, a caring thoughtful person, a fabulous graphic designer (just look at this blog site) and my best girlfriend.  We also have a very dear son but will add a photo of him soon - he lives in New Zealand.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Before you can create boundaries, kids need to know exactly what behavior you expect from them.  It is just like making a cake.  You put in all the ingredients and as long as you follow the instructions, the cake should turn out well.  If you throw the mixture on a flat sheet, it will run all over the sides and there will be a terrible mess to clean up.  The sides of the pan equate to the boundaries.  The consequences (overflow) will occur without fail, if you don't make your boundaries clear.

So what do you do?
  • Model the behaviors you want your children to follow
  • Explain and train them on how to achieve your expectations e.g. "respect in our house means ...."
  • Praise them well for exhibiting great behavior
  • Clearly state the boundaries for each requirement e.g. "disrespect is saying hurtful things to one another" 
  • Create consequences for overstepping boundaries and tell your children what they will be PRIOR to issuing them.
  • Be consistent in your praise as well as your consequences.
Knowing your expectations, where the boundaries are and the consequences of breaching those boundaries, causes children to make choices.  They know your response to positive behavior and also your response to negative behavior.  They choose obedience or disobedience.  An invaluable lesson throughout life.

Monday, October 15, 2012


I was listening to Dave Ramsey on Radio today and he said there are several absolutes to encouraging a great marriage -
  • Financial savvy - both have similar commitment to in managing finances well
  • Family savvy - Both commit and agree on how to successfully manage your family - great values and a home where kids to not rule - parents do
  • Crazies savvy - the inlaws and outlaws - avoid arguments about where the Christmas dinner will be.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Great news!  This article of mine has just appeared in the Tots to Teens magazine in New Zealand.
Check out the link and once there, scroll down the article titles until you come to "Choosing Your Battles"

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Polynesian (Maori and Pacific Island) people are famous for the way relationships are developed over food.  No meeting is held or decision made without sharing food.

Actually, this is true to some extent for most cultures, although the demands of contemporary life (especially in the city) seem to rob many of us of the joy and other benefits that come from the simple sharing of meals times together.

Often, helping families to turn off the TV to prepare and eat a meal together is a turning point for better communication and improved relationships.

Quote from Te Kahu Kura Community Trust e-news 10/6/12

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012


Most parents experience their toddlers throwing tantrums, pre-teens slamming doors or teenagers exploding with anger. Tantrums, fits and rages are a child’s way of saying, “This is not happening!” “ I will NOT do as you say.”  "I want it and I want it NOW!” They do not have adult rationale, and therefore want to force the situation their way, with explosive anger, to manipulate their parent or caregiver.

Ø      Toddlers often throw tantrums because they cannot express themselves other than to scream in frustration.  Distract them if possible rather than crate a ‘head on collision’.

Ø      Tantrums need to be discouraged immediately so they don’t become a habit.

Ø      Tantrums only work where there is an audience.

Ø      Never give in to a tantrum for the sake of peace.

Ø      It is possible to reason with tweens and teens – as long as you catch them before they pass ‘orange’ on their gasket.  Good, open communication with your kids can often encourage them to talk through their frustrations and fears and help them make wise choices.