Friday, September 28, 2012

What is Different? (Part 6)

This picture is from our Pack Meeting on Tuesday. Josh received his Wolf patch.

A Day in My Life

For lack of anything else to write about today, here is a generic model of what my days are like these days.

6:30am The alarm clock goes off. I roll over and attempt to catch a few more zzzzs, but usually get up within a few minutes, collect my clothes and head for the shower. Steven gets up, wakes up the kids and gets them moving.

7:00 Ideally, everyone is up and dressed. We gather for family prayer and scripture reading.

7:15 John puts the bowls on the table, Josh gets the spoons. Hannah pulls the cereal boxes down from the top pantry shelf and hands them to Peter, who brings them to the table. We gather at the table to eat.

7:30 Time to finish getting ready for school. Shoes are found, planners are signed, backpacks are double checked for homework. I try to get the dishwasher emptied and loaded with the breakfast dishes, and get a load of laundry into the washer. I remind the kids to make sure their dirty laundry is in their hampers.

7:45 Hannah leaves for her bus stop

7:55 The boys and I leave for school. We walk the half mile to school, usually passing Hannah as she gets on her bus. I walk Peter to where his class meets, then say goodbye and walk back home.

8:20 Home again, I usually go straight to the computer to check email, Facebook, and Blogger. That done, I start on the day's chores. This varies from day to day, but usually includes sorting and folding laundry, cleaning the cat's litter, cleaning the kitchen, and picking up clutter in the rest of the house. Some days I clean out a closet or a drawer, or do a detailed cleaning of some part of a room. For the most part, I try to ignore that Steven is at home so I don't interrupt his job search.

Later... Chores done, I have time to relax. Sometimes I find a book to read. Sometimes I play the piano or guitar. Sometimes I sew or knit or crochet. Sometimes I bake something or make yogurt or granola. Frequently, I'm back on the computer playing on Photoshop, preparing a blog or doing whatever. Some days I have Primary presidency meetings. Other days I go visiting teaching. Often, Steven and I go to the temple. I go shopping when necessary.

3:15 I leave home to head for the boys school. I collect Peter and Josh and we start for home, usually to be joined by John before we get halfway home.

3:40 We arrive at home. The boys get drinks, change clothes, and start on their homework and chores - theoretically, anyway. I usually have to check their backpacks for homework, and then encourage them (repeatedly) to get their homework done. Chores generally only get done if someone wants to be on the computer or watch a movie.

4:25 Hannah arrives home from school. I start working on dinner.

5:00-6:00 We eat dinner. After dinner, the kids do their meal jobs.

6:30 Frequently we prepare for whatever activity we have going on that night, whether it is Family Home Evening, Relief Society, Pack Meeting, Scouts, Young Women, or just staying home. 

8:00 Bedtime. The boys get pajamas on, brush teeth, and prepare for bed. When they are ready, they can read a book quietly.

9:00 Lights out, no more talking for the boys. Steven and I prepare for bed, read our scriptures and put ourselves to bed. Hannah gets herself to bed eventually; I don't mind how late how she stays up as long as she is quiet and manages to get up in time for family prayer the next morning.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

What is Different? (Part 5)

Some of the changes in this one are pretty subtle. I guess I'm practicing my photo touch-up skills as much as just having fun. Good luck!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What is Different? (Part 4)

I was almost late to pick up the boys from school today because I was working on this one. This one was fun because it seemed like there was more going on; there was more to play with.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

What is Different? (Part 2)

How many differences can you find here?

What is Different?

I was inspired by a "funstuf" in the October Friend (pg 10) called Spot the differences. Several things had been changed in a photograph, and it asked if you could find the differences. So, I made my own. Can you find 13 differences between the two pictures? (I think you can click on the picture to see it larger)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Then again... Maybe not...

Early Monday morning, I drove Steven to the airport, and he flew to Virginia to meet with the CFO of the company there. He interviewed with him and several others in the office, spent the night in a hotel and flew home Tuesday morning. He liked the office, he liked the people, and he felt that it had gone well. That evening he received an email from the company saying that they would like to interview other candidates before they make a final decision.

Our first thought was, "What?! Didn't you already offer Steven the job?" Apparently that was a preliminary job offer, contingent on their liking him when they met him in person... and I guess, for whatever reason that hasn't been made clear to us, they decided they wanted to keep looking.

We are disappointed, to say the least. Frustrated and confused are also major emotions, especially because we felt like this was what the Lord wanted us to do, and now we haven't a clue where to go from here. It has been weeks since Steven has heard from any companies here in Denver, despite sending out resumes to anything and everything that he seems qualified for. After thinking--for just one week--that we were almost out of this stressful quagmire of unemployment, and then to find ourselves back in the midst of it with no leads at all just feels like someone is playing a cruel game with us. When will this end?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Hannah is a teenager!

Yesterday was Hannah's 13th birthday!!!

 Her gifts included a duffel bag, clothes, socks, a watch, a webcam, a notebook, a pencil sharpener, stencils, and a sock purse.
Hannah made the chocolate cake herself!

Happy Birthday Hannah!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Winds of Change

As I've mentioned before, Steven has been searching for a job for the last couple months. Over the last couple weeks, he has interviewed with a company called MC Dean, located in Dulles, Virginia. Yesterday morning, Steven received a phone call from them with a preliminary job offer. Steven accepted the offer, and now he is working to complete the drug tests, background checks, etc, after which the company will fly him out to Virginia to meet the big-wigs. (His interviews with this company were done via video chat.) After that, if there are no hiccups, we will move our family there and he will begin work.

Life has suddenly become a whirlwind of thoughts, emotions, to-do lists, and wonder.

I am tremendously grateful that Steven has found a job. He feels less stressed and worried, I feel less stressed and worried. Soon, we will have money coming in again. This is a very, very good thing.

I wonder why it had to be Virginia. I'm a California girl who has spent the last ten years in Colorado. I wonder if we will fit in there, or if we will stand out - weird accents, weird clothes, weird perspective in life. At the same time,I trust that the Lord has some reason for wanting us to be in Virginia. I believe that there is something the Lord wants us to do there, and I kind of feel like we've been called on some kind of mission. I wonder what the ward will be like there, and what callings we will receive.

For myself, I am excited for a change. We've lived in the same area for ten years - which is the second longest I have lived anywhere.  (I lived in Goleta, CA for my first twelve years, so that is still my record.) One thing I like about moving is going through the stuff I've accumulated and deciding what I need to keep and what I can get rid of. I find that it helps to keep my home uncluttered, and it shows me how my interests have changed over time. Moving lets me look at my family and life from a little different perspective. It introduces me to new experiences, lets me meet new people and make new friends. I firmly believe that a shake-up is very good now and then, and we were overdue.

At the same time, I wonder how this move will affect my children. The home we are in now is the only home that Joshua and Peter have ever known, and the only one Hannah and John really remember. I worry more specifically about Peter. He does not like change. When he heard we were going to move, he started to cry. It was hard enough for him to start a brand new school this year, but to have to switch schools again - this time in the middle of the school year - will be particularly difficult for him. Hannah expressed some concern that the things she is learning in her 8th grade honors math class now are either beyond or behind what would be taught at a different school.

I am a little disappointed to be leaving my calling as Primary President right now. We have so many things in progress that wont come to fruition until we will (probably) have already left, including the Halloween Trunk-or-Treat (the Primary is in charge of planning this year) and the Primary Program, which won't be until mid November. Last week our stake was visited by members of the General Relief Society, Young Women's and Primary Boards, and we were inspired and given so many ideas of how we could improve our Primary, and now I don't know if we'll have time to make much of a difference. It will help when I have a definite date for moving, so I will know how much time I have. Until then, I can only try to do as much as possible to make the transition smooth when it happens.

Meanwhile the preparations for a move begin. Can we find a place to live there? What do we do with our condo here? (We're thinking of hiring a property management company to rent it out for us.) What things do we want to take with us, and what would be better thrown away or given away? Will we be able to take our cats with us or do we need to find another home for them? (And yes, we would miss them if we had to leave them behind.) Will the moving allowance the company is giving us cover the cost of the moving van, gas for the trip, hotel for at least one night of travel (Maybe we could stay with Kristy the first night out?), deposits on a new home, AND the cost of replacing the disgusting carpet in our condo here?

As always, I trust that the Lord is watching out for us. Somehow everything will work out according to His plan. So Virginia, better watch out because here we come!