With five children in the Beauchamp household it required every cent Robert and I could scrape together to keep them clothed, fed and up with the Joneses. That took some doing when most of the families on our block had only two children and they were all constantly showing off the cool "stuff" their parents bought them. Then we discovered sweepstaking and our offspring no longer said "we never go anywhere/do anything!" As Mom and Dad learned the "ins" and "outs" of the sweepstaking hobby our children benefited greatly. No more did they just sit at home with nothing to do. Hardly a week went by that we didn't win tickets to area events, movies, concerts, sports games, festivals and so much more. Nothing seemed to be out of our reach.
The Beauchamp Family and Circus Friends - Gwen & Joy are on either side of the clown on the floor, Robby is behind Gwen and Amy is directly above him with Debbie on her left, Terri is in the red shirt next to the Ring Master and Robert (Dad) is taking the picture.
On several occasions we won suites at area events like Dallas Cowboys football, Texas Rangers baseball, Mesquite Rodeo and even a Brittney Spears concert. These were wonderful, because they made it possible for the entire family to attend. I even won a VIP circus experience of 10 tickets to not only see the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey circus, but go backstage to visit with the performers, clowns, animals and participate in some of their stunts. But most ticket prizes were distributed in 2's and 4's so we had to take turns with who got to go to what. Our son became especially good at passing on one event if he thought there might be something better coming up and he was usually right. That boy attended more sports games growing up than most kids dared to dream about.
Amy and Gwen boarding Premiere Cruise Lines Atlantic.
The trips were a bit more challenging to distribute among such a large family, but we used a seniority system whenever possible. Amy was oldest so she got to accompany Mom on a Disney cruise to the Bahamas. Terri was next, which was good, because none of the others could take her place on a trip from Parade magazine to France for ten days. Mom also won a trip to Cancun for Terri's senior trip, but when the sponsor offered a cash alternative Terri took the money and bought her first car. Robby didn't get a trip until his senior year of high school when Mom bowed out and let him take a friend to Cancun. It was many years later when the stories from that trip made it to my ears that I seriously questioned that decision!
Newspaper article announcing the junior high and high school winners of the Young Columbus trip to France.
Debbie earned her own first trip at age 14 when she made the mistake of telling Mom, "I'm bored". She was immediately presented with a stack of envelopes, papers and a list of sweeps for kids and told to "get busy". It paid off BIG TIME when she spent a week at Space Camp in Alabama that same summer. She also accompanied Mom on the Frito-Lay Ultimate Fan Sweepstakes where we sat on the front row of Reba McEntire's concert and met Reba afterwards. That was a 16th birthday to remember!
Debbie, Reba McEntire and Gwen
Joy is the youngest of our brood and has probably traveled the most. She has been on four trips to Disney Parks, two to Sea World, one to New York for the Garth Brooks concert in Central Park and at age 14 she was one of 15 U.S. kids selected to be a ball girl at the World Cup Soccer games in France. That trip was for three, so Mom and Dad got to accompany her on the flight to Paris, France where we stayed at the EuroDisney Resort and enjoyed the wonders of France courtesy of Coca-Cola.
Coca-Cola winners entering the Euro Disney theme park (Joy is second from the left wearing sunglasses)
What a difference sweepstaking has made in our lives and the lives of our children. And now Granny is scoring big with the grand-kids especially after Debbie and her daughter, Tapanga, were flown to the Houston Stock Show and Rodeo with tickets to the Miley Cyrus concert. I was personally told that I am the "coolest grandmother in the world" and it only took one postcard entry to be elevated to that status.
So what about you? What sweepstakes or contest prizes have you won for your kids? Leave a comment below and tell us about the sweepstaking experiences your children have had courtesy of a "Sweepstaking Mom"! We want to hear all about the fabulous mothers who enter sweepstakes and what they are winning for themselves and their families!
As for the rest of you, DO NOT FORGET your mother! Tomorrow is her special day and you have the best prize of all wrapped up in one very wonderful woman! Make sure she knows that!