Well, today has been a busy day...and it's only half over! I've probably driven my car 100 miles today already. I babysit to help with the cash flow around here. I always thought it would be something that I would dread. I never enjoyed being around kids before I had any, and I didn't know how to interact with them. And even since I had my own kids, it's taken real effort and lots of time to come around to being someone that enjoys little kids. I wish it was something I was born with, but alas, I was not. This experience has turned out to be an enormous blessing. Turns out I enjoy growing to love a child that isn't my own. who knew! I'm grateful for these life lessons, because whether we enjoy it or not....caring for little children is essential to our society and has to be done...and done with love and care and consideration for how that child will turn out, because they are our future...whether they are our own child or not. I'm happy that I have grown so much in this area. We have one little girl that I watch full time. She is the roughly the same age as my youngest daughter, and they share the same name. It's pretty funny sometimes. People get confused about who I'm referring to. She is the sweetest child and has so much fun with my daughters. Her personality is very much like my oldest daughter....so it hasn't been too much of a stretch for me. I also watch a second little girl occasionally. She comes once or twice a week and I only keep her half days and then we run her to her 4 year old kindergarten class, which her parents then pick her up from. Ever since I quit my full-time job back in 2006 to be a stay at home mom, it has been a struggle. We gave up half of our income at that time for me to do this. A leap of faith, if you will. We have always come out on top, though. I have done so many different things to try to make money from home. I got a medical transcription certificate, which it turns out that nobody would hire you to work from home unless you had two years of experience. I looked for a job doing that for years....and never found one. I made beaded earrings for a company that you purchase the supplies from them, make the earrings by their specifications, and then send them back to get paid. That was a bust....I attempted a similar variation of that, in the doll furniture making arena....another bust....I worked for a court reporting agency. Where you listen to court transcripts and then type what you hear. That actually wasn't so bad....except you didn't really make very much money and they paid you per line...and I was staying up all night working to meet a deadline. It got to the point that my fingers were starting to pop out of joint from so much typing, so I quit it. I went from there to waiting tables. I did that for about 3 and a half years. I went in as late as I could, so that I could be home with the kids as long as possible before they went to bed. I only worked three nights per week, but it was still too much time to be away from my family. I did what I had to, but it wasn't good for us as a family. Plus, and no offense to anybody in the service industry, where I was, was not a good environment for me to be in. It turned into a pretty dark time for us....and I'm grateful to be out of it. I went from that to owning a marketing distribution business....I know...huh? I ran a business for one whole year. It was pretty profitable too. I would get work from a company that I had connections to. Usually one big job per month....and then I would find crew leaders in the city where the job was and subcontract out the work to them, with the stipulation that they had to hire a crew of workers that were a certain size, and follow certain rules, etc. The company paid me by the piece for the marketing material that got delivered and I would pay the crew leader the same way (only reserving a paycheck for myself off of the top) and they would in turn pay their crews how they saw fit. I had to oversee the crews by checking in with them daily and reporting statsback to the company that hired us. We did work for all kinds of huge companies. It was a good experience, and I made good money, but it was THE most stressful thing I have ever done in my life. I still would have continued doing it, if it weren't for the fact that my connection with that company was severed and they quit giving me jobs. I had several opportunities to expand my business in other directions, and go to different companies for work, and I alllllmost did it....but something inside of me told me just not to. And I'm so glad. I've always prayed for direction in my life and I have been given it unequivocally. Looking back, when I seem to be veering off to the left or the right, I can always see God's hand reaching in and steering me back in the direction I need to be going. So, after that my hubby got a special assignment for his job that lasted three years (I wish I could tell y'all all about that and brag on him, but I'm not allowed for safety reasons.....but what he accomplished was AMAZING and on the national level...national news folks!) Anyways, when he was working that, we got extra money and I didn't have to do a thing. It was SO nice! That assignment just ended in June...and this year has been such a struggle...but one that I'm so very grateful. I could write a book with the lessons I've learned on living by faith and the miraculous things that can happen. That's when babysitting fell into my lap. It was the one thing I always said I'd never do.....and now I watch a little girl full time. What was I so afraid of? This has been wonderful. Not only do I get to make exactly the amount of money I need....I get to keep my lifestyle. She fits right in with my daughter's schedule and everything we do, is what we were already going to do, even if she wasn't here. Granted, it's still harder work than if I just had my own kids...and there's fighting and jealousy issues to contend with....and let's not forget to mention the fact that I now have an extra child to potty train (can I get a collective ugggggghhhhh!)....but all in all, it has been great! So, today I took them all to a preschool that we go to once a week that is a mommy and me kind of preschool for all ages. I had both of the girls that I babysit and I picked up my friend's daughter who usually goes with us, but she just had a new baby this week....and it struck me so funny when I looked into my rear-view mirror and saw that I had five little girls in the back of my car. If you would have asked me ten years ago, if I would be who I am now....I would have told you NO WAY! But...you know....I could not be happier. Life definitely is good!
today in the car
at the preschool
yesterday with some new dress ups on
yesterday at a basketball game
at a restaurant waiting for me to stop talking....ha!