Aug 31, 2007

The Waiting Game

I'm stealing this title from my friend Esther's blog because it's totally appropriate. Sooo, Jason will apparently be accepted into the masters program that he wants, but the latest glitch is that they are not sure if there are any assistantships left. The assistantship is what pays for the tuition and gives him a small salary. Because it is Labor Day weekend and all the professors have run away from campus to avoid the crazy freshman arrival and savor their last few days of solace before chasing over sized children around for another school year, Jason is unable to find out if he's going to get an assistantship until Tuesday probably. He's been calling and calling and visiting offices but getting no answers and so he waits. It's a hard thing to do, but we know it will all work out. He's signed up for at least one class to start him down his teaching path so that's exciting! Pray for an assistantship!

On the job front....week three is done. It's definitely on the upswing for now. I think I'm begining to hit my stride. I pretty much know what people mean when they talk about documents and procedures. I know how to do most of the paperwork, and let me tell you...there's A LOT! I think I'm even ahead on my training and orientation reading and such. And I'm just one case away from a full caseload. Now that the techincal details are falling into place I feel more free to begin focusing more energy on planning theraputic activities for when I'm in the homes. I do believe my supervisor has told me at least 3 times how impressed she is with me and that I really know my stuff and that I'm catching on quite quickly. Not gonna lie, that kind of positive feedback is music to my ears and does quite well for my self esteem!

Oh, and last but not least.... last friday I took Hunter to work with me and everyone loved him! (How could you not!?) He did really well. He only barked once...when he got really excited about one of the two guys that work in our office walking by and he also begged for a piece of my partner's candy bar but I think she was okay with it. Good boy Hunter!

Aug 26, 2007

The Announcement You've All Been Waiting For...

Okay, listen up. If you're a punk kid that thinks you can take the bathroom pass and just roam the halls freely instead of walking your bum directly to the bathroom and back to class, think again. If you're a drama queen girl that thinks you can throw a milk carton at the chick who kissed your guy at last weeks school dance and get away with it, you better watch out. And if you're the dude who cuts class to go smoke a joint out back, consider yourself warned! Cause you're gonna have my husband to deal with MmmHmmm that's right!

If you haven't figured it out already I'll let you in on the secret that is Jason's new job. Jason is going to be...Drum roll please.........A HALL MONITOR! Well, technically they call it an Ed Tech position. But it's totally not. It's a hall monitor. So it's not exactly what he thought he'd be doing with his 40,000 dollar degree in Mechanical Engineering, but it's all about baby steps. Stepping stones, if you will, on the path to his new career in's all about stepping stones.

So funny how God always seems to answer our prayers, but never in the way WE imagined. I swear He's got quite the sense of humor. If were a contestant on Last Comic Standing I know He'd win...and not JUST because He's God...but because He's darn funny! Let me outline all the ways that this Hall Monitor Job is a specific answer to prayer:

1.) IF Jason gets into the masters program this fall, he will not feel badly about quitting this job. They basically already told him that it would be fine to do so.

2.) If he does not get into the masters program this fall, he will need to take 2 classes at the university and get above a 3.0 in order to get into the program in the Spring. This job ends at 2:30 every day. All classes for the masters program start at 3pm or later!

3.) The Job is one where he will never have anywork or preparation to do at home so he can spend plenty of time studying to get good grades.

4.) The Job will actually reimburse tuition for one college course per semester!

5.) My job pays all my benefits but it's way to expensive to add my spouse. CCC insurance runs out super duper soon and Jason was just going to go without. BUT...his new job gives him full benefits for a very, very low cost!

6.) The Job is at the best public high school in the area, and it is great to have your name anywhere on the payroll. There are others who have started as hall monitors, gotten their teaching degree and moved up the ranks to be a teacher there.

7.) It pays stinkin' well! WAY more than you'd ever, EVER expect a hall monitor position to pay! With his income and mine combined it will meet all of our financial needs!

So there you have it. Specifically answered prayer...not as we would have imagined it...but once again, fully sufficient and then some! Thank-you God!

Aug 25, 2007

Miracle in a Bottle Gets me Free Stuff!

I was going to post about Jason's new job, but something much more fun has come up so I'll keep the anticipation building for a little while longer on that one.

I love comments! (So please, load me up with those comments. Build up my self esteem. Give me hope that it's not just my mom, my husband and my friend Amy reading my blog over and over!)

You see, it's mostly just my mom commenting on my blog right now, (Love you mom!) but yesterday a total stranger commented! Wahoo! Who you ask? The Liquid Fence company! At first I thought it was a gag comment from my friend Amy, (who by the way has a super hilarious blog that you just HAVE to check out here) but's real! Somehow they found my blog and want to thank me for the kind words I wrote (see previous post) about their all natural deer repellent spray. They want to send me a free "Just pump & spray combo pack". Umm, yes please!

And I'm not just writing about them again so that I get something else free. Anyone who gives me free stuff is automatically fantabulous in my book. So I now think that, not only their product, but their company and anything associated with them is super duper! I went and checked out their website and apparently they also sell all natural bug spray and growth accelerator and stuff to repel just about everything! So check 'em out here, they rock!

Aug 23, 2007

I Don't Want to Talk About It

Had I posted on Tuesday I probably would have told you all I was quitting. But yesterday was what I called "a shining ray of hope amidst the darkness" and so I maintain a slight grasp on optimism that things might work out after all. Can't go into details, just pray for me at work, and other than that...I really don't want to talk about it! I want to talk about happy things!
Hmmm, happy things....Jason took his GRE's and got a 730 out of 800 on the math!!! He's so smart! He didn't do quite as well as he had hoped on the verbal but he thinks he did really well on the essay which he has to wait for his results too. He submitted his grad school application the day he took his GRE's and no word yet on that.

Other happy things: Jason got a job! Wahooo! Not quite what he was expecting but it seems to be a huge answer to prayer. More details on that later as it is quite funny and will make a good post!

And other happy things: Deer. Yes that's right. Deer. You see, techinically we live on an island. There is a river that splits and goes around a big chunk of land and we are somewhere on that chunk. This results in a very high deer population because they are all essentially stuck on the "island". I enjoy this because it means that pretty much every day we have deer walking through our yard. (And we don't live in the country. We live on a dead end street in the middle of town.) I didn't enjoy this so much when they were eating my plants, but now I've found a little miracle in a bottle called "Liquid Fence" that solves that problem and now I love my little deer. Jason wants to be able to shoot them, but I love them. I look forward to the pleasent suprise of looking out my back window and seeing them strolling through the yard or eating at my bird feeders. I like seeing them walk in single file right down the middle of the road. It's comforting to be able to wave to them each morning as they graze on my neighbors lawn. It's fun to see a glowing set of eyes in my headlights when I pull in the driveway. It's not creepy at all when they sniff around our windows at night. It's envigorating to be jumped out of my skin when I lay down in my hammock and two deer jump up from laying in the woods and bound away. So in honor of my little deer friends I thought I'd post some pictures I've snapped of them. Enjoy!

Aug 17, 2007

Week One...Done!

Yup, week one of my new job is finished. Verdict is still out. There's good and there's bad, as with everything. The quantity of good things far outweighs the bad. But I'm not sure yet if the severity of the bad outweighs the good. We'll wait and see. But one thing I am sure of is that God always comes through for me just when I need it.

Remember my post about my first day at work? (If not, then you can scroll down and read it again.) How chaotic and rushed and frantic it was? And how the things that got left out in my hurry were my time in prayer and the Word? Well, things were much better the rest of the week. The next day (when I managed my time much more efficiently and didn't stress out about my hair and dress so much) I did fit in that time for devotions. And let me quote part of the prayer at the end, which will give you a good idea about what the devotion and scriptures were about, "...Help me to turn from hectic, frantic activity that often makes even my time with you so hurried..." And remember how I said I thought it might be God trying to teach me it's okay not to be perfect and that I can move forward in His grace? Well, here's one of the scriptures that went along with the devotion... "But you oh Lord are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth." ~Psalm 86:15.

To finish out the week, this morning I was anxious about going into work and having to deal with certain things. My attitude was negative and I was focused very much on this world. Driving the truck (which I don't normally do and only am because the car is broken) comes with the perk of satatlite radio. And just in the nick of time a song came on that I had never heard. It is BEAUTIFUL!!! It is by Jeremy Camp and it is called "Give me Jesus". Esentially the song says over and over, "You can have this World, Give me Jesus." It brought an unspeakable peace to my resltelss soul! I won't go on and on with the details, but suffice it to say that He has met my needs and given me His truths just as I need them, each step of this week! Isn't He Amazing!

Aug 15, 2007

Do YOU have an EAO workplace? I DO!

Look at that face! Wouldn't it make you happy to see that face when you walked into work in the morning? Well, at Families United that could very well happen! What was I greeted by today as I walked into work? The lovable face of a 7 month old chocolate lab. "Dogs are allowed here!?" I exclaimed. Yup, they sure are. Aparantly my office is "very dog friendly". They weren't kidding. Later, as I sat reading more policies in my office, I heard the jingle of a dog collar, thinking it was my little chocolate friend, but no! It was another adorable pup named Rusty. And still later, one ginormous long haired grey hound (I don't know what they're called) went trotting by as well. I mentioned I didn't know how well my dog would do because he loves people so much I think he'd be too excited. At which point two people piped in and told me I should at least try it and see how it goes. That's very very exciting. So I'm thinking that Hunter might be coming to chill at the office on paperwork fridays!

What's that? You feline friends want to know if my social work agency is descriminating against the kitties? Of course not! Aparently one woman brings her cat to work, and he keeps her company sitting right on her desk as she types away. We're an EAO (Equal Animal Opportunity) workplace. I think it's very progressive...should catch on like wildfire!

Aug 13, 2007

You'd Think an Hour and a Half Would be Enough Time to Get Ready...

...But no. Apparently for me it is not. You see, I had a plan for my first day at my new job. I laid out my clothes the night before, packed everything I would need in my bag and even went grocery shopping to stock up on all the food I would need stay fit and save money by bringing a well balanced lunch to work each day. Ideal me was going to get up, shower and do my hair, pack my lunch, have a bite to eat and spend some time in the Word and prayer, then kiss my husband goodbye and happily jaunt out the door. Too bad the world is not still in it's ideal, before the fall, state! The real me got up without even hitting the snooze button once (a miracle in and of itself and a for sure lifetime first) but reveled a wee bit too long in my nice hot shower. Then went all perfectionist on my hair, eventually using three different styling tools to acheive the final product. And by the time I stumbled out of the bathroom I was shocked to find out that I had already used up ONE WHOLE HOUR of my precious time! Then, in my nervous wreck state, I didn't help matters by deciding to diverge from the already laid out clothes and change my outfit. I barely had time to make my lunch, leaving a mess in the sink as I tornadoed (it's a word!) through the house. So what got left out? Yup, breakfast, and time in the Word and prayer. As I drove I reasoned that my prayer time with Jason last night totally counts and singing at the top of my lungs to 105.7 in the car on the way there is definitely communing with God! (Actually, I think He's just answering the prayer that I prayed to allow myself to not be perfect, and still move forward in His grace and not give up. So tomorrows a new day!)

All that anxiousness for nothing. Even after my chaotic morning I managed to head out the door on time and looking like this. (Yes, I did ask my husband to take my picture as I left for my first day of work and yes, it IS reminiscent of your "first day at kindergarden" picture in your baby book and no, I'm not ashamed!) I arrived to find out that my new work place is actually quite laid back and casual. The people were friendly and inviting and super helpful. I spent my day very relaxed, getting to know some co-workers, signing lots of papers, reading policies, and watching orientation videos. Oh, what is my job you ask? I am a Family Specialist. Along with a partner, I will be going into homes of families that are at low to moderate risk for abuse or neglect with the goal of helping the families function better so that they can stay together. I am excited about this work and will get the oportunity to meet with clients as early as tomorrow!

And Jason, what is he spending his days doing? You're lookin at it. No, he's not laying around on the couch. He's literally studying all day long in preparation to take his GRE's on Friday. He only takes breaks to go out in the driveway and work on fixing our car, that sounds like a souped up Harley with all of it's exhaust issues. Please pray that he does well on his exams, particularly the vocabulary and essays, (not his strong points) so that he will get into the masters program for teaching!

Aug 10, 2007

3 1/2 Hour Drive? Umm, Scratch That...

It was more like a 4 1/2 hour drive...and fifty miles of it was on dirt roads. THAT was a blazin' good time! You see, aparently mostly rich people use these camps and they charter float planes @ a cool $250/hour to land them right at the docks I see why. The drive in wasn't bad at all actually. (I think the anticipation and excitement sufficiently numbed our brains and helped us to lose all sense of reasoning.) The ride back was something else though! Let's just say I went a little stir crazy and I'm lucky that Jason didn't drop me on the side of the road somewhere and make me walk home. "Praise the Lord!" We didn't get a single flat tire and we didn't get lost once! It was worth it and I'll count us as blessed for getting to have the experience...float plane or not! (Although I'm seriously considering trying to convince my mom to get her bush pilot's liscence back so she can drop us at our future getaways. Wouldya mom? Pretty please!)

The cabin was beautiful and the scenery was breathtaking! The first night we hiked into another little pond to look for moose. Paddling out, we breathed deep cleansing breaths, sat silently, took it all in and then remarked at how utterly peaceful and quiet it was. Apparently the wildlife thought it was peaceful and quiet too...until we got there. As soon as we launched our canoe a moose swam from the island to shore and hightailed his big bum into the woods. Almost immediately after that, a beaver that had been far away, popped up right next to us and shot us an evil glare and smacked it's tail loudly on the water to declare that this was HIS pond and we were disturbing the peace. Cute little bugger though. And lastly, one caa-razy daddy loon separated himself from his lovely wife and two babies to come up on the other side of our canoe and start making the loudest loon ruccus I've ever heard in my life! It was not that pretty loon call sound you hear on those nature CD's you buy to help you relax. There was nothing natural OR relaxing about the sounds coming out of that black and white winged thing. Gotta hand it to the brave little guy though for protecting the fam. It was quite the show.

It rained all day Wednesday but that was fine by us. It was cozy inside the cabin and we both finished an entire book, ate, played games and napped the day away. Thursday it was sunny and brisk and gorgeous. It was too windy to canoe out to where we wanted to fish so we just lazed around and cleaned up and headed out.
And may I just take this moment, to recognize my amazing husband? Of course I may! It's my blog! (Other men may want to grab a piece of paper and jot down some notes at this time.) Jason planned this WHOLE thing! He packed everything and told me the only thing I needed to pack was my own personal bag. He even went and grocery shopped and planned all the meals out for the time that we were there. Yup, Amazing. Thanks babe!

Now, if there's one thing you'll learn about me real quick, it's that I LOVE ready or not, here they come! (And if you're wondering where we stayed...check out their website here.)

The perfect porch

The cozy camp.

The rain and the reading.

The picturesque pond and my handsome hubby!

Aug 7, 2007

4 years and counting!

Tomorrow is our 4 year anniversary! I'm posting today because we're headin' out. We decided at the very beginning that we would always try to make a big deal out of our anniversary and do something special. So we're going on a little getaway this year. Where you ask? To a lovely hotel or perhaps a quaint B&B? Not quite...we're going to a cabin in the woods that has no plumbing, no electricity and is a 3 1/2 hour drive into the Northern Maine woods over roads that we're pretty sure are gonna give us a flat tire (don't worry, we're bringin' a full size spare!). You see that's how we do thangs. It may not sound like a good anniversary spot to many of you, but it's our dream come true. Let me paint the picture the way we see it. Spend the days lounging away as you please in a cozy log cabin. Kick back on the porch, paddle around the crystal clear lake, hike to the next pond over, gaze at the gorgeous views, and look for wildlife without ever hearing or seeing another human soul. That's the way we like it...just us, our dog and nature for 3 days. Stupendous! (In honor of our anniversary I thought I'd post a few of our wedding pictures for your viewing pleasure. Gosh we were gorgeous 4 years ago! Enjoy!)

Aug 6, 2007

It's Official...but where does this trail go?

Well, it's official. Jason and I will no longer be on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ. Although it's a decision a long time in the making and one that we've been praying about for a year, it's still a little hard to wrap our heads around. However, the fact that we sent out 25o letters to our ministry partners to let them know about the decision and I just emailed off all of our contacts to our other staff friends, makes it a little easier to grasp the concreteness (if it wasn't a word before, it is now!) of the situation! Scary? You betcha! There is no sign in sight of a teaching job for Jason, which is where he truly believes the Lord is leading him. And the whole professional work world runs very differently than a family oriented Christian missions organization and we often find ourselves wondering where this new trail goes and if we're gonna like it! But is it exciting? Yeppers! There's something great about heading out down a new path and waiting with anticipation to see what new things it will bring. God has already provided a great career opportunity for me that I start in one week and even if things are crazy for a little while, we believe that we will be provided for and that the details will be worked out! So if you want to know what happens next and where God takes us as we embark on this new trail...stay tuned...we'll let you know as it unfolds!