Happy Thanksgiving from the Grand Canyon!

I hope you’re planning a fun Thanksgiving with your family!  Preschool is out for a week for Thanksgiving, so we’re spending it with my hubby’s family in Texas!

Now remember, we live in Boise, ID.  So you’re probably guessing that we flew, right?  Oh no, that would be too boring!  Instead, we set off on a 30-hr. road trip (one-way!) with 2 adults, 4 kids, and 1 baby!

Now we could have driven non-stop for 2 days, with only one destination in mind, but where’s the fun in that?  So instead, we decided to take 10 days off and really enjoy ourselves while showing off America’s beautiful landmarks to our children!

Preparing for the 10-Day Trip

The week before the road trip came in a whirl-wind with pre-Thanksgiving activities at preschool which included Parent Teacher Conferences and a most delicious Favorite Food Feast!

And the entire time I was continually reminded how lucky I was to be able to take off 10 days with my family.

I mean, really, who does that!?!

Seriously, every day I am so thankful that we own our own preschool business and are in control of our own schedule so we can take time off for our family whenever we want.

So on Friday at 1 a.m. we packed 5 sleeping kids intour white Honda Odyssey and drove off into the star-liblack night, ready for the adventure of our lives!

My sweet hubby took the very long first shift of driving, and when we awoke the next morning, the first thing we saw was white-tipped blue mountains and a faint hint of snow on the ground.  As the fog settled at the base of the majestic mountains in Utah, I heard several Oooh’s and Aaah’s from the backseat.

Utah in November

“Wow,” I thought to myself.  “What a perfect start to our trip.”

Out of habit, I checked my phone for messages.  There were none.  Then I remembered that I had set everything up before I left so I wouldn’t have to work at all for those 10 days.

“This is going to be a great vacation!” I thought as I happily sighed and then turned around to play “Store” with the kids.

As we headed South towards Arizona, the scenery changed slowly into stunning orange and red rocks.  I don’t know if they’re called buttes, plateaus, or mountains, but whatever they are: they’re breath-taking.  The older 3 snapped picture after picture with their DS’s, and my son’s voice was repeatedly heard yelling from the backseat:  “Take a picture of THAT!”

Canyons Near Arizona

The kids knew we were going to Texas, but they were oblivious to how we got there, or what we would see on the way.  As the saying goes, they were there for the ride.

And I must say, since starting our own preschool, we’ve noticed that our children are a lot more relaxed and content because we’ve been able to spend more quality time with them.

Heading to the Grand Canyon

Playing on their “la-la-ness” (yes, that is a word, and it means they’re in their own la-la world) my hubby decided it would be fun to surprise them with a visit to the Grand Canyon!  After all, the kids had no idea we were just minutes away!

We had them close their eyes tight (our 2-year-old couldn’t help but peek!) and we drove up the windy road.  It was a bit of a struggle getting all the kids out of the car when they couldn’t see, but finally we were ready with our 2-year-old in an umbrella stroller, one child holding onto each of the handles, me pushing the stroller, my hubby holding my oldest daughter’s hand while lugging a very heavy baby carseat in his other arm.  Oh yes, we were ready!

We strolled along in the brisk November air among the sea of foreigners, being pushed forward with the hint of anticipation.

Our children had no idea what the surprise was, as was evidenced by their guesses along the way, still with eyes closed tight:  “Maybe we’re going on a roller coaster!”  “Maybe we’re going to a hotel!”  “Maybe we’re going to a pool!”

I can’t really blame them, though, for having such fun-filled guesses, as we’ve taken quite a few exciting vacations over the years since we started our preschool.  Now don’t get me wrong, we’re not rich by any stretch of the imagination; we’re just able to live comfortably without having to stress out about money.

As we drew closer to our destination, I imagined walking our children up to the edge of the Grand Canyon and on the count of 3, letting them open their eyes to the sight of their life!  But perhaps we should have prepped them with WHAT they were going to see, because as we counted to 3 and they opened their eyes, I will admit…

I think they were a bit disappointed that we hadn’t taken them on a roller coaster, or to a hotel, or to a pool.

But after the initial shock wore off, and as they took in the panoramic beauty before them, we saw their eyes open a little wider as wonder trickled in and they finally realized what they were looking at: one of the 7 Wonders of the World –

The Grand Canyon

And in that moment, I wished that every day was as beautiful, as rewarding, and as fulfilling as spending that moment with my family.

So here’s to running your own preschool business… being in charge of your own schedule to be able to spend quality time with your family, and having enough money to be able to live comfortably and enjoy some fun times with your family.

We’re off to our next adventure, so wish us well!


Be sure to share below all the fun experiences and benefits you’ve had because of your own preschool business!  (Or share all the hopes and dreams you’ll achieve once you start your own preschool!)

About the Author

Joy Anderson

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Preschool expert Joy Anderson is the creator of Preschool In A Box, the complete business kit to help women start preschools in their homes. She is the founder of the home preschool model and has helped thousands of women create a supplemental or full-time income by simply teaching preschool classes to 3- to 5-year-olds for a few hours each day. She still runs her own wildly successful preschool and can often be found running after her five children and husband in Boise, Idaho.

Comments 15

  1. Rebecca S.

    Beautiful post Joy! I’m incredibly grateful for my preschool too – now I get to be off for multiple days duing holidays instead of having to work right up until the holiday! Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Jeanise

    Happy Thanksgiving Joy! Thanks for a fun look into your life! I can’t wait to start my own preschool too! (Definitely looking forward to more peace in my life!)

  3. irene

    i wish you more fun,i havent started my preschool though i hope to start in 2013.All my luv to your beautiful family

  4. Peter King

    Looks awesome Joy! My family has scheduled a similar trip for this next summer…

    Saw your post on your new baby boy, too – How sweet 😉

    All the best,


  5. LaJune

    OMG Joy!!! what a reality check. I haven’t actually started my preschool yet, as I run a childcare business and always feel like I need to keep an income until I get enough to fill a class so my efforts are not what they should be. You know, just doing what I can to make ends meet. Your post has given me an awakening to the possibilities not just for me but for my family. Being an example for my kids and making my husband proud. Thanks so much for sharing. I am thankful for you, for giving me a push. It is full steam ahead without hesitation. My dream is to be able to take my little girls and husband to Disneyland without money restraints. You have already given me the key, I just need to open the door. Thanks Joy, you are truly a blessing to me.

    LaJune Davidson

  6. Keyana Williams

    I am in the process of planning my preschool. I am going to have it at my church. Since I found your website I have hope and I am excited about the opportunity to spend more time with my two small girls. The free training videos were a tremendous help.

  7. Esther Sorenson

    I loved your post. We’re not quite there with being able to spend vacations, we are able to pay for things like clothes for the kids and Christmas gifts coming up. Before, we were strapped, now we are able to breathe a little more. Next school year, I’m raising my tuition, because in my area, with the quality I provide, my rates are stupidly low! I have too many people wanting to get in that the supply does not meet the demand. I’m excited about that and the thought of being able to breath a little more.

  8. Cheryl H.

    Wishing you and your family a truly blessed Thanksgiving. All your inspirational storiesgive me all the motivation needed to start my own preschool. Im so excited. I thank God for people like you Joy. Well Done!!

  9. Idella Gonsoulin

    I know GOD has been listening to my prayers! I’ve been asking for guidance for starting my own head start/ pre-k center. I think you are doing a great job. Your post is heart touching. I would like for you to be my mentor. Thanks for sharing your blessing with us and keep up the great work!

  10. Lenore

    Hello Mrs. Joy this is wonderful, I pray you and your family have a safe,happy, and bless thanks giving and vacation.:-) 

  11. Kim Molapo

    Joy Thank you for sharing your life. God will double those blessings
    for helping the world.
    I am sure you are not aware what difference you have made to many of

    My school is 3 months old with 10 children. I feel so blessed with
    this achievement. One big company has spotted the school and would
    like to send all its staff children to the school. I am so thankful.
    Tomorrow we are finalizing the deal.

  12. Kathy Kelliher

    Hi Joy,
    I am just sitting here with my family after a Big Thanksgiving dinner pondering what could be in the future. Me and my husband just finished a looooong discussion in regards to starting a preschool and I am still trying to convince him that this is a great idea and you are a genius with this concept. I want to let you know that the information you have shared with me up to this point about starting a preschool and your life past and current has made me reflect on many aspects of my life. You are very easy to understand and I have many similarities in my past as you did. Since it is Thanksgiving I would just like say Thank You for sharing with me the vision of what could be. I want very bad for this vision I see to become a reality but there is many obstacles right now, mainly space in my home and financial obligations. When my family can save enough money to purchase the Preschool in a Kit and also the online coursework I am going to dive into this again. I work at the community YMCA as the Preschool Director and they do not pay much money for a very valued program in the community. I hope to take all the information gained from my current job and implement it in my home in the near future using your program. I can’t wait to hear from you again and I will stay in touch. Have a great trip and great holiday. God Bless.

  13. Kim Molapo

    Joy Thank you for sharing your life. God will double those blessings for helping the world. I am sure you are not aware what difference you have made to many of us.

    My school is 3 months old with 10 children. I feel so blessed with this achievement. One big company has spotted the school and would like to send all its staff children to the school. I am so thankful. Tomorrow we are finalizing the deal.
    Happy thanks giving.

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