Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My 6Yr Old!!

So it was  6 yrs ago today that I was in the hospital waiting for my little guy to make his appearance... he actually wasn't born till 2:39am on the 27th, but it was at this point 6 yrs ago that I was about to become a mom!  I still remember thinking about what he would look like, what his personality would be, and thinking about all the unknowns of motherhood.

Now, 6 short years later, here I am, the proud mom of a Kindergartener!

I have learned so much in this short time and I can't imagine my life without my favorite little man in it.  I'm feeling nostalgic, but I only have a little bit before I have to go pick him up from school... his last day as a 5 yr old!

So here are some random thoughts (in no order) that I have as I think about the last 6 yrs:

  • I'm so lucky to have been blessed w such a sweet natured baby.  He has always been so good natured and people compliment me on him wherever we go. 
  • Nate is an independent little kiddo.  If he wants water - he goes to the kitchen, gets his cup out of the (low) drawer and fills it up!  He's super resourceful too!  If he wants something on the top shelf, he WILL figure out how to get to it!
  • He has the BEST laugh!  Another thing folks have always commented on.  When he gets going, everyone around has a smile because of my little guys' laugh.
  • He's very mechanical - he LOVES building and creating.  I love watching his little mind work - esp when it comes to elaborate creations involving train tracks, or legos, or Trio blocks.
  • He is creative! He loves to dress up! He loves to color and make cards for people and is super meticulous. 
  • He is super smart - loves to learn!  He is one of the top 3 readers in his class and the teacher is impressed he reads and writes really well (usually if kids read well, they need help writing, etc)
  • He may not love dogs, but he pays attention to babies - he loves interacting with kids that are smaller than him! I love watching him with 1 yr olds!
  • He is highly relational.  Love that he loves our neighbors and is happy playing from the minute we get home till its dark!  
  • He loves Jesus! I love that he has already asked Jesus into his heart (last yr) and loves to jump up and do our devotional in the morning.  I love that when he sees people at church worship, he wants to imitate them - whether it be by lifting his hands or kneeling on the ground.  So sweet. I love that he has faith that God will heal when I tell him I have a headache and that he'll pray for me (and others) in such a sweet way. 
  • He loves music! He would be happy if his playlist on the ipod was on ALL DAY LONG!  He also loves to listen to cd's and I'm pretty sure he would have one on all the time if he could!  He also always comes home from church singing the new songs he's heard.. one time and he has them memorized! So sweet!
Ok Thats about all I can think of at the moment about my kiddo... he's pretty spectacular!!  I'm so blessed God chose me to be his mommy! He is truly my little GIFT!! (which is what his name means in Hebrews)

Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!!

Love you!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Why Use a Travel Agent? -- Part 3

Again -I DID NOT WRITE THIS - but thought it was good.  Find the original article here.
Why Use a Travel Professional? 

Let's finish with a little story...
No different than most of the rest of us, Bill wanted a fantastic vacation at a fantastically low price. Bill is pretty web savvy, and he had spent hours searching for the vacation he wanted. Our agent went to work and coordinated the entire trip: Airfare, rental car, the resort, and all the excursions. When all was said and done, Bill was presented with anincredible value.

However, Bill was convinced that he could get a better price. So he went back out to the web in search of a better deal. And indeed he found it-airfare that was $20 per seat lower than what our agent had found for him. So he booked it.

Problems:On the way there...
•  Bill's flight arrived at the airport in the middle of the night (after several delays and connections)
•  By the time he landed, the car rental company was closed for the night
•  Bill's bags didn't make it to his destination

On the way home...
•  His flight left very early in the morning
•  Due to the distance from the airport, he had to leave the resort at 3:00 am
•  The car rental company was not open yet

Physical Results:•  Bill had to spend the first night near the airport
•  Bill had to spend the last night near the airport
•  Bill had to rent his car from a more expensive company
•  The web site that Bill booked his travel through didn't offer travel insurance to pay for replacing his missing items
•  Bill's 7-night stay at the resort was now a 5-night stay

Monetary Results:Bill saved $40 on the airfare by booking it himself
Bill spent an additional $300 on:
•  The two nights near the airport
•  The rental car
•  Replacing clothes and other personal items that never made it to his destination

Net Result:
•  Bill's vacation was $260 more than it would have been if he had just booked the package that our agent had coordinated.

Travel agents know what it takes to coordinate a great vacation that is the best value for you. We live by the motto "you get what you pay for" so, do you want to spend a little more for a great trip or waste a couple thousand on the cheapest option?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Why Use a Travel Agent? -- Part 2

This is a continuation.  If you missed Part 1, click HERE.

I found this on another agent's website (here)- but thought it'd be good to share w my friends:

Why Use a Travel Professional?

3. Show me the Money (I saved)
Saving money is not just about price. It is more about value. If the hotel was not the right location, if the cruise line was not the right cruise line, if the golf course was not the right golf does not matter how much you saved. One can save a ton of money and be miserable or spend a little more to be in heaven. A travel agent can recommend relevant offerings and also provide cost saving strategies. Moving a date, changing the location of a room/cabin, being open to flight options, etc., all can save money. Nobody wants to pay more than necessary so an agent will help you find the best value without the sacrifices of a cheap trip.

4. I already have a Job! 

If you have an agent that you trust, then you don't need to spend what little free time you have, scouring the web, trying to piece everything together-- flights, cars, rooms, etc. In addition, your agent might be working with transfer and car rental companies that you simply don't have access to, and in many cases, even hotels and airlines that you don't have access to. An agent is someone who has taken the time and made the commitment to be the best so you don't have to make planning your vacation a second job!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Why Use a Travel Agent? -- Part 1

I found this on another agent's website (here)- but thought it'd be good to share w my friends:

Why Use a Travel Professional?
In the technology age of find it quick and easy on-line, you may be thinking, why should I use a travel agent? So to help you answer that question here are our favorite reasons:

1. Who Ya Gonna Call?
What would you do if the hotel has lost your reservation? What would you do if the car rental agency has run out of cars? Specifically, who are you going to call? Who's going to help you? The hotel? The car rental company? They don't care. You're just one person. Losing you as a guest or a customer is no big deal. Basically, you're on your own. About all you can do is hit the streets and hope that something comes up...
If you book through a travel agent, all you have to do is make one simple phone call. And everything will be taken care of. Will the hotel assist your agent? Will the car rental company assist your agent? Of course they will, because now they're dealing with someone who has the potential to send either hundreds of guests, or no guests at all. From a purely business perspective, a travel agency can send thousands of dollars (or even tens of thousands of dollars), or no dollars at all...

2. It is not just about price 
You look to travel agents to provide the best overall solution to your individual travel needs.  By asking tons of questions up front, an agent can provide a relevant needs assessment. This can include dates, quality or location of accommodation or stateroom, cancellation policy, recreational amenities, the ease of doing business, etc.  No two customers are alike. What works for one may not work for another. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

My New Job(s)!!

Introducing:: Tiffany Hines - 
Photographer, Travel Agent, & Sign Salesperson

So most of my friends know that I've recently quit a great job at a local church to pursue more of the passions God has placed on my heart.   

I had another BHAP (big hairy audacious prayer) that I could:: do something that I loved, be creative, help people, make more money than I did before in less hours, be able to pursue volunteer opportunities, be able to pick Nate up every day so he didn't have to goto an afterschool program, and be able to invest in people! 

At first, this was really scary! I didn't know what I'd be doing or where I'd make my money - but HE IS FAITHFUL!! 

So - what am I doing now?
Well - a LOT of things!!  I'm juggling all sorts of hats these days and I LOVE it! I'm going to fill you in!

Tiffany Dawn Photography - Photographer
First, I'm working on growing my photography skills and clientele - as well as my portfolio/web presence.  This one is going to be a slow process as I have felt like its something I will enjoy doing (hopefully as a job & ministry to families) for years to come!   I've talked to a few people that have really encouraged me to pursue all that God has for me in this area and I'm excited to see what he wants to do w that!  If you know anyone in the DFW area that would like to do either Fall Pictures w their families or Christmas Card pictures, I'm booking now!!

Send Me Out Travel - Travel Agent
Second, I'm now getting to work in one of the coolest industries - TRAVEL!  So far I've booked trips to Mexico, Iraq, China and can't wait to book many many more! I'm going to be blogging about why you would use a travel agent in the future - just so you know more abut what I do and why, because I had many questions before I got started of why anyone in my generation would want/need a travel agent!  Obviously, I saw the "why" and joined up w my good friend David Gladney as an agent in his company.  And now from honeymoons to weekend getaways;  hotel stays to flights to car rentals;  to cruises and all-inclusive resorts - I can help you with your next trip!

Amplify Designs - Banners/Signs Sales
Third, I am working with another good friend, Kenten Waldrum, doing sales for his sign company.  He specializes in Church Banners & Signs and does great work!  I used this company all the time when I was at Shiloh and now get to help other churches get banners and things for their congregation.  So if you know any churches or ministries that are looking to do some banners, let me know - or have them go online to see some of our stock banners.  We customize all our banners (sizing, adding logos, changing text or background, etc) at no extra charge to the customer and I've been surprised at how fast our turnaround time is!

So as you can see, I'm staying busy - and if you know me, you know I LOVE that!!  I'm also picking up Nate from school every day at 3:15 from Kindergarten which is something I was LONGING to do but did not see any way that would EVER be possible as a Single Working Mom!  BUT my God is bigger than my circumstances! God made a way for me to do this and to have that sweet time w Nate after school as we play on the playground or go get a treat & I get to hear about his day, help with his homework (yes Kinder has homework!?), and play w my little man!  God is SO good!  I am so thankful!

After a month of this, I am LOVING this change.  I feel like I'm exactly where the Lord wants me and its so fun and freeing! AND on top of that - last month I made $45 more than I would have at my old job!  Its just $45, but still- I felt like it was God's assurance that His hand is in this and HE is my provider! 
1 Chronicles 29:11-12 says:    for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, LORD, is the kingdom;    you are exalted as head over all. 12 Wealth and honor come from you;    you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power    to exalt and give strength to all. 

IF you would keep me in mind as you hear about people planning trips, needing pictures, or displays for their ministries - I'd appreciate referrals!