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I just decided to quit the Army last June to stay at home with the kids (9, 5). Two mothers came to me and offered their kids for me to watch before and after school. I wasn't too enthused but then again I did not have anything to fall back on. For a safety net, I applied for a license and put a little ad in the church bulletin board and our community paper. I did the research and went to the orientation. In the meantime, I enjoyed the summer (while still getting paid through August) and even took them to Europe on a military hop for two weeks.

The county allowed me to watch up to 5 kids at any one time. By the start of the school year, I had three signed up. In another month I had another and now I have an additional two part timers. The children love it. I average $800 a month (1 hour in the morning and 2 1/2 hours in the afternoon). The ages range from 6-10. My kids love coming home and play games they made up (after homework is done of course). Disciplining was a struggle at first for me since I am strict but I learned not to stress myself out and adjust. So far, I will be able to have a free summer again. I budgeted to the penny and now I am able to put away a few dollars to keep us afloat through the summer.

The children won't have it any other way. I am involved with school, and know their teachers and friends. I am now starting to sew (this I love to do) and have more time cross stitching. I gave up a take home pay of $3000 and it is all worth it. Just one more year of scrimping and all will be well. I am even able to pay off the one and only card we have------life is grand. I have not been ill since June - not even a cold nor a headache and the children are healthy as well.

I won't be doing this forever but for now it works. I want to concentrate on sewing and get really good at it. My goal is to sew children's clothes (easy and carefree ). Yes, it can be done. After 14 years in the Army, working crazy hours and traveling, I don't miss it a bit. I am now 40 and happy. Yes, I did it too.

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