My Advice to Moms When a Child Goes Off To College

As a mom you are always offered advice as your kids are growing up. People tell you how to pack a diaper bag. They share with you when to start your child on solid foods. They give you advice for your teenager. Then you hear the best way to put a chart together to make sure homework is completed and their room is kept clean. The advice goes on and on and almost all of it is very helpful!

 Then they grow up and one thing no one ever told me was how life changing it is when one of your children go off to college. You work so hard to raise them and have them ready to go off to college as strong faith based young adult. You hope that they are not to home sick. You pray that they always seek the Lord in their choices. You want them to be able to make decisions on their own and that they are good ones. Their safety is always on your mind.

The one item that I didn't realize and that no one shared with me is how REAL it is when they go. I had the wonderful opportunity for Dallas to come home this past weekend after being away at college for 3 months and to hear the chatter between her and Trey was the sweetest sound. Hearing her feet in her room because its above ours was a sound I had not heard for the past 3 months.

Moms.....my advice is simple. Just know that you feel like the everyday duty of waking kids up and getting them ready for school, picking them up after, homework in the evenings, cooking dinner, and getting them ready for bed all so you can start over does not last forever. Never take a minute of it for granted. Treasure every second!

When they come to you to tell you about anything take the time to give them 100% of your attention. I am so thankful I always worked so hard to set a peaceful environment for my son and daughter to grow up in. By no means am I a perfect parent but I wanted my kids to grow up and have the chance to look back at their childhood and light up with a smile when they think of the memories. I wanted them to always have respect for their mother and father but also have childhood memories that were sweet and positive.

Tell them how proud you are of them. Help them know they can achieve anything they set their mind to. Keep God's word in front of them so they always understand he has their path prepared and it is up to them to seek him. Be the parent but have a relationship with them. Pray over their future daily! There is nothing more special than to hear the word, Mom!

Treasure everyday with your sweet angels!

I am so very blessed to have these two angels in my life!!


Excursion With our Cruise and How to Save for Them!

Here's an idea to help you pay for those vacations. I signed up for a separate savings account that is connected to my checking account and every time I write a check, use my debit card, or make an online payment they move $1.00 into my savings account. I was able to pay for all of our shore excursions with this account. Many times people just don't realize how fast a $1.00 adds up when you start saving. Get creative and think how you can save.

 I know people that every time they save at the grocery store that take the savings and move over into their savings account. I have also seen people cut out fast food and I am shocked with how much they save. The other day Trey and I picked up a chicken sandwich, soda, with fries and spent almost $14.00! Point is just save "fun money" and have FUN!

I am so excited about our upcoming cruise excursions. Our first stop we will be in Jamaica and we are taking part in the Croydon Plantation - The Spirit of Jamaica. Details:

Excursion Description

Visit Croydon, one of the most beautiful mountain plantations exuding the true spirit of Jamaica.
On this excursion you will:
  • Take a 1½ -hour drive westward towards Reading, up Long Hill to Montpelier.
  • Pass the farming villages of Bickerstein, Seven Rivers, Cambridge, Retrieve and Marchmont.
  • Enjoy the spectacular views as you pass one of the largest coffee and banana plantations on the island.
  • Tour a lush coffee and pineapple farm, nestled in the foothills of the Catadupa Mountains.
  • Learn all about the cultivating and processing of coffee, bee keeping and the production of honey.
  • Sample the various fruits and juices that the plantation has to offer.
  • Enjoy a delicious lunch served at the plantation restaurant prior to your return to Montego Bay.

On day 5, we will be stopping in the Grand Cayman Islands. Our excursion for that day will be: Cayman Kayak & Snorkel Safari.

Excursion Description

This is a golden opportunity to explore the tranquil beauty of Cayman’s coastal environment by kayak.
  • Take a short scenic ride to the kayak staging area to meet your guides and participate in a short orientation.
  • Set off in a shallow, protected area and explore secluded shorelines, inlets, bird-nesting areas, sea grass, and mangrove communities.
  • Learn from your guide about scenes of interest and the importance of these fragile ecosystems and surrounding coral reefs
  • Enjoy the opportunity of jumping into the water for a refreshing swim or snorkel for 30 minutes before returning to shore.
  • Drive through one of Cayman’s most attractive residential communities on your return trip.

The final stop on day 6 will be in Cozumel Mexico and we will be taking part in the Amazing Secret River.

Excursion Description

Be a 21st-century Indiana Jones on an exploration of ancient Mayan caves and an underground river during the Amazing Secret River shore excursion. Join other Carnival cruisers and enter a fascinating subterranean world that has remained untouched for thousands of years.
After a 30-minute ferry ride from Cozumel to Playa del Carmen on the Mexican Riviera, hop in an air-conditioned van to travel to Río Secreto Natural Reserve. Walk with your guide on a short path through the tropical jungle of birdsong and butterflies to the Mayan Secret River (Río Secreto).
With the help of your expert guides, you and your Carnival cruise mates are outfitted in wetsuits, water shoes, life vests, and helmets with headlamps to navigate the dark spaces of the caverns. Inside the nearly 11½-mile Pool Tunich complex are winding waterways and amphitheaters filled with an array of stalactites and stalagmites formed from limestone and quartz crystals. Gaze at your stunning surroundings as the guide explains how ancient Mayans used these caves as a sacred space for rituals, meditations and ceremonies.
Float in the cool, crystal-clear water, a foot deep at its shallowest and 12 feet at its deepest. Feel the sandy, rock-strewn cave bottom beneath your water shoes. Get ready for “the moment of silence”—when your guides ask you to turn off your headlamps and everyone listens closely to the natural rhythms of the underground world.
Take a break with a delicious lunch of tamales, fried tacos, soup, rice mashed potatoes, salad, and fruit. Then towel off and head to downtown Playa del Carmen for a shopping expedition before returning to your Carnival ship.
Book the Amazing Secret River shore excursion to see the stunning sights of a subterranean river and cave system. This Cozumel shore excursion is an exciting way to add fun ashore to your fun afloat.

We are really looking forward to having an amazing time and I will share a full report on all. This will be my 4th cruise so I really feel I can bring back several helpful tips!

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