Thursday, September 8, 2016

Wow, it has been a long time.  Almost three years... A lot has happened--I now have 4 kids are now in High School.  We have become those parents who are at sports several evenings a week.  Have really enjoyed watching the kids grow in their abilities.  The girls play volleyball and basketball.  The boys play soccer.  Z plays basketball and T manages the team.  We've been to Washington DC for a family trip, Florida and TN for sports tournaments, The Badlands, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and Kentucky for family vacations.  We've also made several trips back to Duluth.  Duluth still feels like home in a lot of ways, but we are happy here in Rockford.  I will probably always miss Lake Superior and the easy to get to beauty of the light houses and water falls.  So far, we've been blessed to be able to go back at least once a year so I get my battery recharge. 

On the job front, I started a new position at my employer--I have left management behind and I am now a Process Improvement Specialist.  Our job is to find areas that can be improved to save time and money.  The concept is called Lean and started in manufacturing, but it catching on in Health Care (long overdue!).  We also teach classes that are aimed at creating a culture of frontline staff up to the top of the organization looking at Process Improvement.  I am enjoying it.  I get to teach and be a cheer leader for making Healthcare better for patients, staff and physicians!

We are involved in our church.  We work a lot with the teens and have enjoyed seeing them grow spiritually. 

We also ventured out and bought a house.  God worked in many ways to make this happen.   It was a short sale which are notorious for taking over a year.  We closed within two months of our offer!  It is 4 bedrooms and three bathrooms.  Definitely the biggest house I've lived in at 3200 square feet.  It is a bit of a project but we are enjoying making it our own. 

My latest project...Process Improvement meets Craft Room...

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Proof I am not the meanest mom in the world!

Today I had to go shopping for "floaties."  You know, those things that kids put on their arms to keep them from drowning in the pool.  "Z" my 11 year old needed them for the Christmas program.  Interestingly enough, the same list that called for him to bring floaties, sunglasses and a Hawaiin shirt to school for his costume said that he is a shepherd.  Not quite sure which version of the the Christmas story they are using at our school...

Anyway, I was a little perplexed as to where exactly you find floaties in December in Northern IL!!!!  We had looked at Wal-Mart without success.  I had prayed about this and had gone to Salvation Army--where I did find a Hawaiin shirt and a cute skirt for me! There were no floaties there and the clerk looked at me like I was crazy when I asked...  The Lord suddenly brought to mind a pool shop I had seen, so I decided to go there.  I asked if they had floaties and she pointed to the wall.  I went over-excited about my success and this is what I saw!
These floaties are black and have "mom" tattoos on them.  This was all they had!  I admit that on the inside I was giggling at the thought of "Z" wearing these in the Christmas program everyone would laugh.  It would be hilarious!  Then I thought of all the teasing he would endure for years to come.  I could see them on the senior trip--"Hey, "Z" remember when you wore the mom floaties in the Christmas program!  "Z" would laugh with everyone else, but probably still be a little mortified on the inside.  I asked the clerk if they had any others.  She scrounged around and found a pink pair, I asked if there was any possibility she had anything else.  She came up with a blue pair.  I bought the blue pair...  Thanking her profusely!  I showed "Z" the pic and one of his friends overheard and saw the picture and insisted I should have bought them.  I said, "why so you could make fun of him the rest of his school life..."  The kid agreed this is exactly what would have happened...  How little kids have changed since I was a kid!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Call Back
(From *Rosalind Goforth’s book, Climbing)
If you have gone a little way ahead of me, call back ­,
‘Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track;
And if, perchance, Faith’s light is dim, because the oil is low,
Your call will guide my lagging course as wearily I go.
Call back, and tell me that He went with you into the storm;
Call back, and say He kept you when the forest’s roots were torn;
That when the heavens thundered and the earthquake shook the hill,
He bore you up and held you where the very air was still.
O friend, call back and tell me, for I cannot see your face;
They say it glows with triumph and your feet bound in the race;
But there are mists between us, and my spirit eyes are dim,
And I cannot see the glory, though I long for word of Him.
But if you’ll say He heard you when your prayer was but a cry,
And if you’ll say He saw you through the night’s sin ­darkened sky,
If you have gone a little way ahead, O friend, call back,
‘Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track.
*Rosalind Goforth and her husband were missionaries to China about 100 years ago.

I love this poem.  It reminds us to be an encouragement to others.  It also gives us some insight into why we at times go through difficult times.  Our difficulties give us a testimony and a way to encourage others going through a difficult time!  

It reminds me of this passage in Hebrews:  

Hebrews 10:24-25- And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Springing the dog from jail!

Our naughty boxer escaped last night due to a couple of inattentive kids who did not close the door behind, them.  It doesn't help that our door does not latch...  We spent quite awhile looking for him last night and calling for him, but could not find him.  He didn't have on a collar because he was in the house, so this added to my concern for him being found.  Last night was a long night and I didn't sleep well listening for him to come home and praying he was okay and not freezing to death!  Boxers don't have much hair! No Duke this morning.  :( 

I had a job interview today--90 minutes of What do you do if this happens?  Tell us about a time you handled a tough situation... How could you have handled it better, etc.  Difficult for an exhausted brain, I must say!

After the job interview, I drove around our neighborhood several times and stopped by home to make posters to put up.  I was going to go to the nearby strip malls to see if any stores would let me hang up posters.  I pulled into a parking space and didn't have peace about going in.  I decided to wait until after I went to the Animal Shelter. 

GOOD NEWS--He was there.  I went up to the counter and asked if I could fill out a missing pet report.  They asked what kind of pet, I said a boxer.  They said, Is he well behaved and knows sit and down?  I agreed he knows sit and down, the well behaved was in question since I was there!!!  They walked me through the kennels--LOTS of pit bull--makes me sad to see so many dogs waiting for homes.  Anyway, HE WAS THERE.  VERY happy to see me.  Springing him from jail cost almost as much as we paid for him, but he is microchipped and current on all vaccinations and licensed.  Since he didn't have on a collar, they gave him all vaccines-- and put some kind of flee killer on him...  I don't have to take him to the vet for a year and the vaccines would probably cost more at the vet.  We've had several good talks with the kids about responsibility and also how to handle sad situations and leaving God in charge.

Hoping for a little less adventure!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Decking the Halls

We went on Saturday to cut our own tree at a nearby tree farm.  We enjoyed the trek outdoors through the woods.  Our tree is a little on the chubby side, so was a bit of a challenge to find room for and took a lot more ribbon and lights to decorate than usual!!!  We are enjoying it immensely, however.

After we arrived home, we then went and picked up our new dining room set that we bought on Craig's list for $275.  People can laugh at those of us who drive a mini van, but we were able to get all the pieces in our mini van.  :)  Below are pic of our living room and dining room all decked out for Christmas.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas Humor--Rewind

I post this every year because it continues to make me smile.  :)

The wife was on my case to get the Christmas lights up for a couple of weeks. They're up now, and for some reason she won't talk to me...

 If you haven't already decked your halls, remember to have fun decking them---don't stress.  If you are done--congrats.  We are decorating tomorrow.  I thought I should get my house in order before trying to decorate for Christmas.  We are planning to go cut down our own tree.  :)  I'm supposing this time will much less adventurous than our last time!  We usually try to cut our own tree every other year--we don't buy a tree on the years we travel to be with family.  In 2010, they had already sold out that years trees to cut, so we were unable to cut one down!  We had waited until my sister could come... We were even too late to buy a cut one!  We ended up with a snowman outdoor decoration for our "tree".  :)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Big Move

Our family recently moved from Northern Minnesota to Northern Illinois due to my husband's job.  We prayed about this and know this is God's will.  This moves allows our children to go to a good Christian School that believes as we do. 

What I've learned along the way:

Warning--Ramblings ahead!!!!

  1. God can provide just the skill you need for loading and unloading your moving truck.  We were so blessed to have several men from our church come out to help us load our truck.  We had several strong backs, a tall person for getting everything packed in to the ceiling--and a puzzle master--he was able to figure out how to put things in to maximize space so we could get everything we needed in!!!  When we got to Rockford, we had about 12 men come to help us unload.  I could barely keep up with telling them where to put things!  I had the kids show them where to go and the five of us didn't always keep up!  These kind people--all except one -had never even met us before.  Our truck was unloaded in about 1.5 hours!!!
  2. Putting styrofoam plates between your plates is a cheap and effective way to keep your plates safe!  Love this tip I read online!!!  No broken plates!!!
  3. Unpacking takes longer than I thought.  Upstairs done, craft/sewing/guest room almost--basement almost!!!  Will probably take a detour to decorate for Christmas this weekend!
  4. It is possible for your heart to be quite stubborn and refuse to catch up with your brain--or body for that matter.  My brain realizes this is all for the best and I really do think this move is part of God's plan for our family.  My heart however, misses much back in Minnesota.  Just when I think I have finally lectured my heart into compliance, I find myself crying again.  What a silly heart!!!  I keep telling it that we were incredibly blessed to have lived 14 years in such a beautiful area as Northern Minnesota and meet such great people, etc and many people never get an opportunity to be so blessed!!!  Thankfully, my heart is listening more and more each day.  :)
  5. Leaving the job you love IS hard--harder than I thought.  I really miss my coworkers.  They were a great group of people.  I think that being the manager makes me feel a bit like the mom, so I feel like I've left behind part of my family.  It would probably help if I had another job. I truly feel blessed to have worked with such a great group of people and am trying to remember that most people don't get the opportunity to work in a job they enjoy enough and have such great coworkers that they cry when they leave.  :)  I really miss each one of them...  It makes me sad to think about their day and wonder how things are going--need to stop thinking about it!!!  :)
  6. Finding a new job can be a challenge!!!  When someone calls from a company you have interviewed with 3 different people and have been told that they would like to hire you after the beginning of the year and tells you they are excited that the opportunity opened up sooner than expected and ask you how soon you can start--this does not mean you really have a job!  Apparently the local office and corporate offices had completely different ideas and plans.  I am relieved at this point to be done with the whole thing and know that God has something else in mind.  Just wish that something else did NOT require filling out more resumes and going to more interviews.  Alas, I'm sure this is building my character!  On the upside, I have a second interview tomorrow.  The first was for a supervisor position.  Today, I got a call from a director telling me they had a manager position coming open and wondered if I would like to come in for an interview--tomorrow!!! I know that there are no manager jobs posted--I keep looking... Didn't take me long to say YES!  ;)  She couldn't tell me what departments...  It sounds like may be thinking about doing a bit of shuffling around.  Glad I can trust God to sort it all out.  I have realized through all this that I really do miss being in a doctor's office and would like to continue to work in the office setting.  This organization also offers more paid time off than my last job--not counting holidays--will be about 4 weeks/year!!!  I really think I got spoiled in my last job hunt that required filling out 3 applications and one interview.  So far, this job hunt has required--5 applications; 4 in-person interviews and 3 phone interviews.  I really can't complain--there are people who has spent far more time trying to find a job than I have thus far!  I am thankful God has helped me to leave this all at His feet.  I'm sure God has a job out there for me and we are currently okay with my not working at this moment.  The moment doesn't last that long, but no one in danger of going hungry yet.  :)
  7. Home schooled kids can be successful in a regular school.  We are again so blessed to be able to have our kids in such a wonderful Christian school.  The kids at the school have embraced our kids--okay, so the two girls amongst the 6 boys in Z's class weren't so thrilled about another boy...  E and Z are playing basketball.  The girls have been invited to birthday parties.  T and E have been to a youth activity.   Our kids have commented over and over about how they enjoy going to school and are enjoying the friends they have made.  They are also learning a bit about both good and bad influences, which is good as well.  :)  The teachers and administrator have commented quite a few times about how happy they are with the way they have jumped right in and are participating in class, etc.  
  8. Last, but certainly not least, God can give you a new church home.  When you are part of God's family, you really have family all over the world.  People who aren't part of God's family are amazed by it.  You can walk into a new church and instantly feel a kinship with those at the church.  We are enjoying our new church.  In addition to men showing up to help us unload our van, we also had ladies bring us food that lasted us for several DAYS worth of meals.  The pastor has been such a blessing.  He exudes joy.  I have heard about people who make you smile then they walk into a room, but don't think I have ever met someone I could say this about until now.  He is also quite practical and I leave each service having learned something and having been challenged.
 If you know me personally and would detailed like more information about our move--address, church, etc, please e-mail me.  Since this is a public blog, I keep personal details generalized.