Tag Archive for celebration

How to LIVE Your PASSION!-and a celebration of 20 years of doing just that!

 

I am very fortunate to have found my passion and what I am supposed to do with my life at a very early age. I started doing daycare at the age of 24 and I have never wavered from knowing that I know it’s what I’m supposed to do with my life. The majority of people flounder around looking for their purpose in life and trying to find what they are meant to do. When you are not doing something you love and care about, burnout is always on the horizon. Do you dread Mondays? Do you hate getting up each day when you think about what faces you at your job? We are not meant to live that way. You should look forward to your work, at least some of the time.

passion for loving kids

How do you go about figuring it out? Well, first of all, I believe we were not just meant to do one thing only. There could be many variations of what we were meant for that could all fit into God’s plan. I also think when you are reaching for your goals in life, you need to focus on an area of meaning and try to make what you spend your time doing, further that goal. In addition, many times we are meant to do certain things for a season and then meant to do something else at another time. And, I don’t think our calling is always our main 9-5 job. It could be something you participate in outside of work.

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When I was a girl, I wanted to be, well, first, Wonder Woman. I would put on my skates and go down in the basement in my bathing suit (as a third grader, I thought that’s what Lynda Carter was wearing in the show) and put on my homemade bullet deflecting bracelets and tiara, get my little gold belt from my fairy costume mom made me for Halloween for my lasso of truth, and skate around pretending to be her catching all the bad guys.

I also had a passion for writing. My first grade teacher encouraged me to pursue that dream because I was good at it. I lost touch with it when it was discouraged later, but I always loved writing.

Later in my growing up years, when my career goals as a super hero fell through, I wanted to run a big company and be a strong, powerful, woman CEO. I wanted to make lots of money and have lots of power. So I went to business school to learn all I could about business.

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Your life will not go as planned, no one’s does! You don’t just map out all your goals and just check them off one by one, you have to take a path to get there. It’s never a straight one. Have you heard the expression life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans? It is true. I never dreamed in a million years that I would work with children, but here I am having done it for 20 years!

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When I think back on my life, dreams, and passions, I can see every single thing I have been through in my life has prepared me for where I am today. Think about the course of your life and see if you can see it too. I believe God brings us on a path that is best for us, but not always what we expect. Being a childcare provider IS a lot like being a super hero. There is so much expected of this position and not a lot of resources to get you there. Believe me, to do this job, you HAVE to be born to do it. It takes a unique individual to work very long hours for very little profit, balance a family with a business in the same space, open your home to complete strangers and trust them there, run the business side with professionalism and the daycare side with heart, and be rigorously dependable. You also have to support parents and guide them while being their partner in caring for their child, and be able to give the kids what they need for success as well.

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Going to business school was immensely helpful to owning my own business from everything to accounting principles to typing and computer skills. This job involves A LOT of paperwork! The computer is an invaluable tool for that.

celebrating 20 years of childcare

 

Video produced by Ever Change Productions. To check them out, click here.
If you are struggling to find your meaning in life, how do you find YOUR calling?

Step 1-Think about your passions.

What do you LOVE doing? What did you always love as a child that you have given up enjoying now? When you look forward to something, what is it? If it’s traveling, why? What about it do you love? If it’s gardening, is there a way you could turn that into more of a full time part of your life? Do you love being with children? Could you incorporate that into a career? Do you love helping people? There are so many jobs where you can do that. Do you love to create things? Organize? What do you wish you were spending your time on? What do you long to do? What makes you feel complete or relaxes you?

Step 2-Think about what steps you would need to get there.

Do you need to take some classes or get a higher degree to reach your goals? Do you just need to spend more of your free time doing what you love on the side? Do you need to adjust your lifestyle and pay off your debt so you can take a lower paying job? Don’t worry about the big picture and fret about how far away you are from your goals, focus on the tiny steps you need to take to get there, what can you do TODAY to change your future?

Step 3-Take the first step.

Put the first step into action, have faith in yourself and the dreams God placed in your heart and trust Him to help you get there. Pray about what needs to happen. Trust Him to lead you on the path you need to take and let Him ignite the passion for it even more in you.

I have been living my purpose for the past 20 years. It has nothing to do with any of my career goals as a child, but I could not have found a more perfect fit for my life. I love giving kids a great place to be. Growing their self-esteem and helping them succeed is so satisfying to me. Is there anything better than catching the eye of a child and watching their face light up and that big smile come over them as they realize you SEE them? Not to me. No, I don’t love cleaning up poopy diapers and barf, and I don’t love when parents pick up late or forget to pay, but I DO love being someone a child can trust as they learn to care for themselves and encouraging them along the way that they can do it. I also love giving parents a chance to work without worry and being a person they can trust and count on.

Today is my 20th anniversary in childcare. A couple of weeks ago we had a party to celebrate it. I invited all 75 of my past kids and their families to come and spend some time remembering things we had done. Many didn’t come, of course. People are busy and have lives to live, but the ones that came were a blessing and I really enjoyed seeing them. I have learned so much over the past 20 years about myself, children, relationships, and people. People always say, you teach the kids so much and give them so much, but I always say, they’re the ones that teach and give to me. My heart is blessed when I pour it into children. My life is changed. My soul is complete.

Here are a few things we did to celebrate and the reasons why we did them. It was a very special day. I hope you enjoy taking a peek into our celebration, and I hope you can take steps toward living the life you were meant to live. If you are there, GREAT! If you need to get there, take one step today in the right direction. We were meant to flourish in our life not just survive every day!

20 years of childcare celebration

We had a greeting table set up with seeds to take home the kids had harvested from our garden last year, some pens for the parents, and Easter eggs for the kids to take home. Those were a nod to one of the favorite family activities we have annually. If you want to check out our garden story, click here.

Over to the left, you can see the poster from our 10 year anniversary party along side our new growth chart for the second ten years. I have a chart in my closet that I have measured all the children on and even teenagers and young adults ask to measure first thing when they come in my house to visit. It’s a lifetime memory for a lot of them. Since our first one was full and overflowing onto the door in the closet, I bought this new one and we broke it in at the party. The kid’s faces lit up when they saw it there.

20 year childcare celebration

childcare celebration 20 years

We had yummy snacks and some fun door prizes to give away. People won lunch boxes, loaves of homemade bread, and packages of cookies from the cookie bar. I have several “world famous” cookie recipes that have been favorites over the years, so I baked some of each of them up for the occasion. To see the recipe for Monster cookies, click here.

gingerbread at childcare celebration

gingerbread

reliving old memories in childcare passion for loving kids

Decorating gingerbread is another parent involvement activity we do annually. Parents come and hang out with their kids and spend time getting to know each other and being creative. Many kids tell me years later how much fun this was and it’s one of my daughter’s favorites. That’s her at 22 in the last gingerbread picture. We’ve been doing this since she was 4. To see more about our gingerbread parties, click here.

memory table, passion for your job

scrapbooks childcare reunion, finding your passion

The memory book table was a favorite among the parents and the kids. We recreated a few of our old photos with the kids now. I had a scrapbook for the first 10 years and one for the second as well as yearly cookbooks we’ve made, garden journals and newspaper clippings. To check out what the cookbooks are all about, click here. I also had the photos from the scrapbooks printed up so families could take a copy of whatever photo they loved.

childcare celebration refreshments

childcare reunion refreshments

kids who still come to childcare

kids who are not so little anymore

Yummy snacks were enjoyed by everyone and people had a great time catching up or meeting other families.

childcare trivia game

The Little Sprouts trivia game was a big hit, here is a family working hard to win. The prize was 20 flowers made of dollar bills for 20 years of fun and learning. We had a tie, so each person got 10 flowers to keep. Some of the answers were a real hoot, but I think everyone had fun trying to figure them out.

So for 20 years, 75 kids, 36 families served, I have been growing and learning along side these kids. I am blessed beyond measure. I am grateful to have been a part of each memory we celebrated. I don’t know what I did to deserve this life, but I do know I am unique, special, and loved. I was born for this. I couldn’t be happier to be staring down the chance at more years like these. My gifts, my talents and my passions are being developed even still as I celebrate my life. I am praying that YOU would find your passion if you aren’t already living it too.

These are a few of the kids who came to the party, some of them had already left when we got a group shot, but there are so many blessings in these faces. I’m amazed every day that I have the privilege of doing this job.

How to Live Your PASSION!

I am blessed!

 

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CELEBRATING a Social Media Milestone.

Thanks to all who entered.  The contest is now over.  🙂

celebrate

Today is a celebration of YOU, our readers!  We appreciate you taking your time to stop by Little Sprouts Learning and see what we’re up to and for all of your encouragement.  My Little Sprouts and I have harvested over 800 POUNDS of chemical free, healthy food from our little garden this year and we are so excited!  This month I posted my 100th post to the blog AND yesterday we reached our 2014 goal of 1,000 likes on facebook!  We couldn’t be more excited!  We want to celebrate by giving 4 of YOU, our readers, something special.  Keep reading to find out what you can win and how.  Enter by Wednesday, November 19th!

If you are new to the blog and you want to see what we’ve grown this year, you can check in the archives for the garden glory posts.  Each one tells what we harvested that week.  If you want to see how we got started, or why we’re growing our own food, click on one of these links:

Why Garden with Kids?


How We Got Started

What We’re Growing

If you’re interested in what we’ve been up to, take a look around.  And please leave comments on anything you have thoughts about.  We love to hear from you!

This week’s garden glory is all about broccoli.  We had 20 degree temps in the forecast, so we harvested the broccoli we had growing in case the plants don’t survive the cold snap.  It’s been 20’s and 30’s for the past four days, so I’m glad we did that. 

We harvested 2 pounds of food this week including some swiss chard, 1/2 pound of dried beans and 1 1/2 pounds of the most beautiful broccoli I’ve ever seen.  I mean, isn’t it gorgeous?  We’re so proud!

beautiful broccoli

These boys think so.

These boys think so.

november harvest

Here’s our harvest, looking all tasty and healthy!

Now onto our celebration news:

We are having an awesome giveaway of some great products I know will give your garden dreams a big ole boost!

How can you win?

1.  Like the Little Sprouts facebook page so you can keep up with what we’re learning. 

2.  Sign up for our newsletter on the homepage to get each post delivered to your mailbox.

3.  Leave a comment on this post telling me something you have learned from gardening or something you would like to learn.  Or you can tell me something you enjoy about what the kids are learning at Little Sprouts. 

If my 1-6 year olds can grow their own food, you can too.  I hope if you’ve been thinking of growing something yourself, you’ll get right in there and get planning for the spring.

So let’s get down to the prizes, what can you win?

1.  A three pack of Annie Haven’s amazing moo poo tea!  This is what we use to fertilize our garden plants with, nothing else!  It makes the garden roots grow deep and strong for better production in our garden.  I won our first moo poo tea in a giveaway and I have never looked back!  You will get three tea bags of manure tea you can brew into your own moo poo tea to water your plants with. 

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2.  A copy of Dee Nash’s 20/30 Something Garden Guide.  A great book for getting started in the garden or learning even more to take your garden to the next level.  This is a wonderful book full of great information.

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3.  A 3 pack of homegrown luffa sponges grown by my Little Sprouts here at the daycare.  They are great for exfoliating, scrubbing dishes, or washing the car.  The uses for them are unending and they are super cool. 

luffa sponges

4.  A 6 month membership to the Seeds of the Month Club.  You will receive 100% non-GMO seeds.  8 packs your first month, and 4 packs per month every month after.  What’s more exciting than FREE SEEDS?

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Now for the rules:

United States addresses only due to shipping prices.

Names will be drawn randomly and winners notified by e-mail.  If your name is chosen, you will have 24 hours to respond before I move to the next winner and your prize will be given to them.

There will be four separate winners for the four separate prizes.

The giveaway will end Wednesday, November 19th, 2014.

That’s it, that’s all the rules.

Please share share share this giveaway anywhere you can!  And thank you so much for all the support, comments, interest, and help.  🙂  I am truly blessed!