Thursday, December 28, 2017

Best Vacation Ever

It took me awhile to make this trip happen. I should have made it happen long ago. But I let a lot of things stop me. And truth be told, I wish we had gone many times over the years as the kids were growing up. That didn't happen. I let the ages of my kids at the time stop me, along with the fact that the trip would cost a lot of money. My kids are very spread out, except for the last two. It always seemed when my older child or children were at a good age to go I would have a little one that wasn't. Then as they got older my husband became more against going than he was at the beginning because of the money. He couldn't see why we should spend that amount of money to go to a fancy theme park when we had one right here. There is really no comparison. At. All...

I heard so many families talk about how wonderful their trips were. Many families had gone multiple times and talked about going back again. I finally decided that I would plan it and make it happen. I would PROVE to my husband, who loves all of the vacations that I plan, that it was worth it. I'm pretty confident that I succeeded in doing it. He enjoyed himself very much. 

I didn't plan this trip on my own. I had the help of the BEST Disney planner around. The great thing about this is that Disney pays her, I didn't have to. I got all of her expertise for free. She even helped me while we were at the parks. If you are even curious about prices or anything, check out her fb page and tell her I sent you. I don't get anything for it, but I like for her to know that I appreciate her enough to share the info with others.

My husband and I took our two grandchildren, ages 1 and 3, we took our 16 year old daughter, our college freshman son and his girl friend. We could not afford plane fair for 5 adult tickets and two littles. We rented a van and drove! More on that later. 

I learned a lot from this trip and experienced so much. I want to share it with others so they can use what I learned to make their trip even better. It may take me a few blog posts to get it all on here. I'm going to review the entire trip, rate the hotel we stayed at, tell you what I feel are MUST do's at each park, give you tips that I learned to make things go more smoothly, suggestions on what you shouldn't do in certain situations, and things you shouldn't miss out on, plus a few more things. 

I hope you will come back and read each post about our grand trip. Feel free to tell us about your trip and what you loved most at each park as I write about them. 



Friday, December 15, 2017

Hit The Reset Button

Ever feel like you need a reset button? That is about how I feel RIGHT now! I am so out of sync that I just want to push reset and start over. 

The deal is...I was ON TRACK and rockin' my fitness and feeling really GREAT about myself. Then all of a sudden...I wasn't. My weight started creeping back up. My food habits started to get "not so healthy". Then the BIG one happened...I STOPPED working out! 

And THAT is where I am RIGHT NOW! I honestly don't know what happened. I don't know what got me so far off track that now I am right back at the beginning with every pound to lose all over again, all the bad habits to break AGAIN, and the mind set to change AGAIN. 

But it is what it is. I have a choice to make. I can believe the lies. The lie that it's not worth it. The lie that I can't do it. The lie that I'll never be good enough, for myself or anyone else. The lie that life can never be different, never be the way I want it to be. 

It is NOT true! I CAN and I WILL make the changes that I need to and I will reach my goals. I will take it one day at a time and I will celebrate my successes and learn from my mistakes. 

It has been several months since I have allowed myself the time to sit down and write. I'm not sure why because writing is something that keeps my mind healthy. I've been struggling with some things and I'm doing my best to get back on track in each area. 

It is so easy to lose your way and get off track. There are so many distractions; the internet, our phones which have internet, TV, movies, and just the every day things that get in your way.

I am going to be making some major changes in my eating and my exercise in January. I can't wait to share those with you. So stay tuned! If you are interested in joining a challenge group to stay motivated, let me know! I am here to help you while I help myself get back on track. It is never too late.

~Terri @Transforming Lives One Day At A Time

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

An Open Door

I often pray that if I am not supposed to walk through a door, that God will slam it shut, not just close it. I want it to be crystal clear that I'm not to do it. God knows my future and where each and every choice I make will take me. If we had a blue print that told us EXACTLY what we were supposed to do and not supposed to do then we would never have to worry about choosing the wrong path. Doesn't that sound amazing?! 

Oh, if life worked that way! But God guides us while giving US a choice of paths to choose all through life. It is up to us to make those decisions, right or wrong. 

I've made PLENTY of wrong choices in my 51 years. Haven't we all? When I am not spending time with Him, it isn't as easy to hear that still small voice of guidance. BUT, I can honestly say, I have learned some of my most valuable life lessons from those wrong choices. My goal is to use what I have learned to make better ones in the future and to allow them to shape me into a stronger, better person. That isn't to say I shouldn't be listening closer. It just means that God can use my mistakes to grow me as a person and shape me into who HE wants me to be, in spite of myself. 

It's more than OK to walk through those doors that you aren't 100% sure about. No, really, it is. You might find out it wasn't the path you were supposed to be on and you need to turn around and walk back OUT that door. If that happens, go ahead! But don't wait around refusing to LIVE each day because you aren't sure if it is the perfect choice. And don't give up just because everything isn't perfect. The RIGHT choices aren't going to be the EASY road. That isn't what makes them RIGHT. The RIGHT choices usually take MORE work.

My Open Door...

Earlier this year, I walked through a "door" that was one of MANY similar doors that I have chosen. All of those OTHER doors did not work out for me the way I had hoped. I gave some of them YEARS before I decided it wasn't for me. One of them I even tried more than once because I loved the company so much and the values behind it. My love for it didn't make it right for me. THIS door is different in many ways. It FEELS different. And more doors have been opening up as I have jumped in and gotten busy. 

Within a week of starting this new adventure, an opportunity to host a booth at a small childcare conference presented itself. Actually, I inquired about it not knowing if it was an option or not. I had never done a booth of any kind. I decided to run through that door when I found out it was available. It was a success because I met some great people and new friends. I've met MORE people from those people and it continues to grow.

I have enjoyed every aspect of my new business and I'm watching it grow daily. I attended the yearly conference in June. I went back and forth about making that happen. I just didn't see how I could do it. Let me share a secret with you...if it is IMPORTANT to you, you will find a way! After thinking it through many times, I decided to RUN through another open door! I had earned my entire start up cost back so I put that towards my conference fees. It was a smart business decision. I gained so much from attending. 

My advice...if something is important to you and you are serious about making it work, attend the events that come along with that, whatever they may be. It makes a shift in your thinking and believing that you will succeed. That doesn't mean that if you do that, it will make something that isn't right for you work. Trust me, I've been there, done that, too. I went because I wanted it to work. I gave it my best efforts. I encourage you to do that if you walk through a door, give it your best. 

Back to my new "open door"...

Yesterday, I was contacted by a friend of mine that I met early on in my kidcare days, I have been in the childcare business for 18 years. She wanted me to know that the childcare association that I used to be a member of, which is how we met, didn't have a vendor for my products. I hadn't even given it any thought because I just ASSUMED they had one. NEVER ASSUME! I looked into it and talked to the person in charge of it. After thinking about it for a couple of hours, listing the pros and cons, I decided to run through that door, too. 

I will be hosting a booth at a huge childcare conference next month. Along with this conference, I will be able to set up a booth at their small training events all over Texas, that they have at different times of the year (usually in the spring, if I am remembering correctly) at no extra charge. There are around 15 of them. Some of the providers do not attend conference but they do attend some of the free training in their area. I will be able to meet even more new people. People I have a LOT in common with. I know what they need in the business they are in. My business can help make theirs even better! 

That is my BIG opportunity. I can see it for what it could be because of what the small one I did brought me. I am so thankful for these open doors. I am thankful that I decided to take this leap of faith. I thought about it for a whole year. Yep! I waited almost 12 months to the day before I decided this was what I needed to do. I let FEAR stop me from running through this door. I was afraid of what people would say. I was afraid my past business ventures would make this one seem less real for other people. I decided to feel that fear and DO IT ANYWAY! 

I am so glad I did. THIS is THE ONE for me! I love everything about it. I love the parties. I love getting to talk to other people about my product and learning about their families. I love making REAL friends through the parties and my VIP page. I love bringing joy to others through my business. I am so thankful that this came into my life and I was brave enough to walk through the door regardless of the past. 

One more thing I want you to know...I actually use a LOT of what I learned from those OTHER opportunities that didn't work for me. The business skills I learned carry over. The people skills I learned carry over. The contacts I made carry over. DON'T snub your nose at your past experiences thinking there was nothing there for you. You didn't come through it with nothing to show for it. You gained more than you think. Take a moment and pick out some jewels from that time in your life. And be thankful for them. I know I am.

Open Doors are everywhere. Don't spend your life sitting on the couch scrolling while life passes you by. Get out there and find your passion and live it! Use it to bring joy into other people's lives. Bringing others joy causes you to feel joy, too. 

Have you been afraid to walk through some open doors that have come your way? 

Are you waiting for the "right" time to make a change? 

Are you just so set in your ways, stuck in a rut, that you just can't see yourself changing anything? 

Are you enjoying the life you lead right now? 

If you could change something what would it be? 

Dare to dream with me. Share something you wish you could make a reality within the next few years. I would love to hear about it.


Transforming Lives One BOOK At A Time

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Hello Weekend

Hello Weekend! You are here again! Can you stay a little longer this time? It seems like you are here and gone so quickly each time. We don't get much of a chance to relax and just hang out. I am always trying to catch up on everything I didn't get done during the week. I blink a couple of times and you are gone...again. 

Hello Weekend! One of our two days is already gone! The guilt of sleeping in and not getting right to work on the house pains me as I sit here and type these words. I could have gotten so much more done had I gotten up. I beat myself up for the things I didn't do yet fail to see the things I was able to get done. I only see what is still on my to-do list and think how much bigger that list will be the next time you are here. 

...NO! Not this time! I will not beat myself up for spending some of my time resting and just sitting in the peace and quiet. Quiet is a rare commodity in my life. I need to learn to cherish it. I will jump for joy that I was able to get four cabinets and one drawer cleaned out and organized. I will be glad that I did the dishes and put them away. I only have two cabinets plus under the sink left to clean out. That is major! My teen cleaned the bathroom, playroom, kids library and craft area. So we are ready for Monday morning and YOU are still here. That is something rare these days, too. Granted, our sweet grands are not here this weekend so those rooms will stay cleaned up for once. Which reminds me, we miss them.

Hello Weekend! They say you should find a job you don't need a vacation from. But in reality, we all need a vacation from whatever kind of life we choose. My husband and I LOVE to go to the mountains. That is something we haven't been able to do in a long time. We went 3 times a year for a couple of years so I have tried to plan trips to other places so we can see more of the USA and not just one state. This year we are headed to Disney World for the very first time. I am super excited. It will be Christmas for everyone that goes but not all of my kids get to go this time. It is my hope that they can join us another time. Next year we will celebrate 38 years together and 35 years of marriage. We are planning a trip to Punta Cana with the company I started my new business with. It is their incentive trip for this year. Even though it's tropical instead of mountains, I know it will be beautiful and relaxing. As long as we are together, it will be amazing.

Hello Weekend! I'm getting rid of clutter and downsizing to make our house feel more like a home. To be able to keep it cleaner, easier. I'm vowing to STOP being the pack-rat that I used to be because it just makes things feel junkie instead of comfortable. I'll have to spend just a bit more of our time together working on that. I have more closets and a few more rooms to clean out. But when it is done we will be FREE to enjoy our time together. Oh, won't that be grand? 

Hello Weekend! We have a bright future to look forward to. We will do fun, family and couple things when you are here each week. I can't wait to put some on the calendar. THAT is the key to getting things done, even fun things. We will spend our time with you doing things that FEEL like a vacation instead of work. We will get the rooms cleaned and keep the dishes done daily. We will do major cleaning one room at a time during the week. Laundry will be done Monday through Friday and not be left for the weekend. Meal planning and grocery shopping will be done late Friday afternoon followed by meal prep BEFORE it becomes our family game night. We will not use all of our time with you to play catch up and run errands. We will spend it doing some type of family activity and each have some time to ourselves. My first and foremost favorite alone activity is to read and my list of to-be-read grows daily. I look forward to being able to do that again.

Hello Weekend! Let's make our last day together this week something special. No negative thoughts to drown out the good. No judgement for that afternoon nap I know I will want to take after church and lunch. We can do a bit more planning for the weeks ahead, making sure our summer is one we will look back on and smile. Fill our FB with pictures of fun things each time we are together. Then each year on that date they will pop up and we can smile about them. 


Transforming Lives One BOOK At A Time

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Find Your Adventure In Each New Day

Time passes. No, really, it does. Quickly. When we aren't "looking" is flies swiftly by. We get wrapped up in work or our problems or just the crazy things that are going on IN the world. Some people live their whole lives this way. They wake up one day and realize that they forgot to live their lives with a purpose in the day to day and just focused on the distant future.

I'm not saying it is wrong to plan for the future. I love to plan! But if we forget that we have a purpose TODAY then we miss out on what God has for us right now. We were put here for a purpose. God has a plan for our lives, for each day that makes up that life. As a follower of the Jesus Way, I know that purpose is to bring God glory in all I say and do. Sadly, that doesn't always happen. I want it to. I really do. The sermon this morning was about that very thing, finding purpose in our lives. I have been working on that concept and thinking about this blog post since mid June. I thought I had "my plan" figured out earlier this year. I only had part of it figured out. God began to show me new things in the last few months and weeks that I hadn't thought about. I would like to share those with you and ask that you lift me up in the coming months and years as I strive to bring Him glory in all of my actions and decisions. That others will see HIM and not me and will be encouraged through my actions.

I have been married since I was seventeen and a half years old. I went from living with my parents to living with my husband. That was over thirty-four years ago. For the past thirty years I have been a mom of at least one child under the age of 18. I have four children. My third child just graduated high school and is headed off to a big university in August. My youngest child will turn 16 this year. After she graduates in two years, her goal is to dance with a professional school or mission that travels. Those two things have shifted my thoughts about my life the past several months.

You might be wondering what I mean by shifted. Here's the deal. We will be what people call "empty nesters" in a little over two years, despite the fact that my youngest promised me she would give me an extra year before moving out. I am sure she doesn't remember those words spoken over a year or two ago as I cried that I couldn't stand thinking of her moving away from home. She has fallen in love with dance and now has a vision and direction for her life, one she didn't have when she made that promise. No, I will not hold her to it. That isn't the kind of mom I am or ever want to be. I never want to hold my children back from following the path they feel life is leading them down. heart aches when I think about it.

My oldest daughter is so wise. I was sharing some of these thoughts with her earlier this month. She gave me some very good advice, beyond good actually. She said, "You are going to have to find your way and enjoy some freedom" That really got me to thinking about "Finding My Way". At first, I shook it off and told myself I didn't want to "find my way". I don't know how to do that anymore. I wanted to dwell on how lonely I was going to be. Since I'm not really one to dwell on negative things for very long, I began to slowly start thinking about how I saw my life after none of my children lived at home full time. What did I want it to look like? That is a complicated question, one I am still sifting through. I'm working on a list of things I want to do and accomplish along with a list of things I feel would need to change for those to happen. There are a few challenges ahead, but I am going to pray my way through them and seek His direction.

I can share ONE change that will be coming in the next FIVE years. I have had a home kidcare and preschool for the past 18 years. I have enjoyed teaching the children and building relationships with the children and the families. It is bitter sweet when they go off to Kindergarten or move away. I keep in touch with many of them. Two of them just graduated high school. I feel that season in my life is coming to a end. I will complete the work I started with the children in my school right now. But when the time comes that I send them off to kindergarten, it will be the ending of that chapter in my life and continuing on with the new one that has just begun.

In two years, I will lose the best assistant my kidcare has ever had, as she goes off to bless others through her talent. That alone changes things. At least, the youngest children will be two by then and I will no longer be taking any under the age they are. The youngest now will be the last of that age I will teach. (There are two babies that will start at some point later this year and the beginning of next year.) The younger the children are the more challenging it can be without a great assistant. I don't want to turn away siblings to the kids that are in my care now, but we will have to play it by ear depending on when they are born.

I am by no means planning on doing less as a teacher. I am writing new curriculum that will carry me through the rest of the years I will be teaching. I am pleased with how it is coming along. I've been able to find many new resources that will make it even better than I had hoped. I am even considering putting that curriculum into a format that I can share it with other kidcare teachers. I just have to figure out all of the copy write issues if I mention the names of the books I use. That would be a way for me to pass on what I have learned in the past 18 plus years of teaching young children.

I know what you may be thinking. "How are you going to make a living?" "How can you retire when that is your main income?" I know that God has a plan because He is sharing it with me a glimpse at a time. I saw that change awhile back but didn't understand how it was going to be possible. It started to become clearer earlier this year. A seed was planted a year ago about a company and a product that I really liked a lot. I was reluctant to let that seed grow in my heart because of the things I had tried that didn't produce the results I wanted. I do have to say that I learned so much every time I took a step forward and tried something new. I will use all that I have learned to succeed in this one and to help others succeed by sharing what I have learned.

In February of this year, I took that leap of faith again and found what feels like my dream job, my perfect fit, if you will. I am having such a great time working this business. After all, I am a self proclaimed bookaholic! THIS is the career I plan on being in for this half of my life. I can work it when I am at home or when I am traveling with my family or friends. That is a great plus for me because one of the things on my list is to travel, a LOT. I will be working hard to grow my business and that means sharing these wonderful products with as many people as I can and helping others do the same. I am already succeeding in this venture. I am also using the products in my preschool, to homeschool my teen and with my grandchildren.

I have a lot of work to do. I have let work and the every day take over a bit of my joy in each day. I have also let things get in the way of my relationship with my husband. Sometimes, as moms, we can do that. Life gets to be too much and we don't feel like we have the mental energy left for anything or anyone else at the end of the day. But with our children gone and my time freed up, I personally will have more time on my hands and I want to spend a lot of it doing fun things with him. We need to spend some time figuring out what things we want as a couple in the years ahead since things are changing.

My mission in life really hasn't changed. I'm continuing to work on several things; making my home chemical free, my body as fit as it can become for a long and productive life, memories with my family and friends and doing ALL of that while living life on the Jesus Way. Sharing His love in all that I do and to all that I meet along the way.

My goal for this blog is to document those things much better than I have in the past few years. I hope you will stick around and share this journey with me. It's going to be an exciting ride here on out! Not that it hasn't been the first 51 1/2 years! Thanks for dropping by!


Helping Transform Lives One BOOK At A Time!