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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Two Letters

I've received two letters as of late, one welcoming me to the bank that I'm working at starting Monday and my acceptance letter to Florida Institute of Technology. I'm a matriculated student now.

A friend voiced concern on whether or not I'll be able to handle working full-time, college work and taking care of myself and the kids. I've weighed all the pros and cons long before the conversation but my confidence faltered for a minute because I know I'm not just working on those things but trying to become financially healthy and working out at the gym to become physically healthy. Add finding church to the mix and yes it seems like a lot but it's all part of the new life for us.

Working- absolutely essential.

College- not absolutely essential but needed in order to advance at work and give me something to do because I always have to have a project. (Really, I do.)

Gym- provides a constructive activity for both the kids and myself with positive results- I consider this absolutely essential. Scheduling the time to GO is what is a little tricky but working out daily is essential even if I do some at home and only go to the gym 2-3x a week. The kids have activities to do at the gym when we all go.

Financial goals- This requires the most sacrifice but also the largest payoff, essential for being able to provide more stability and security later.

Church- Need for spiritual nourishment and socialization for all of us.

Work and college are about to start, my new job starts Monday and college will officially start in July but I'll be able to work a little ahead, at least by reading the textbooks for my classes. They are starting me in Art Appreciation and Physical Science. I'm thrilled! For two years I've been thinking about going back to college but I couldn't decide what I wanted to do. Now that I know, it's freeing.

With everything it will be a juggle, no doubt. It'll be worth it...right? Lol. I'll need to come back and reread this when I'm ready to pull my hair out a few months from now.



Sunday, May 24, 2009

Big Church

Big churches just aren’t my style. I realized that today as I sat in a Sunday School for 30-40 year olds with younger children. There were two elevators in the church! Amongst the hundreds of faces I saw today only the kids’ Sunday School teachers introduced themselves to me.

Ideally, I would like a medium size church, 150-250 people, with children’s programs and a Wednesday night fellowship supper. A weeknight Bible study with childcare provided would be icing on the cake.

Another thought I had while I was there is what can I give? I don’t have time or money and I cringed when I thought about tithing. They were asking for donations of time and money and I sat there realizing that I have very little of either. I was hoping to meet new people and find a new community but I’m not sure the BIG church is where I’ll find it at. The search is on…


Friday, May 22, 2009

It had to be done.

I just updated my 2009 goal list and lo and behold, I changed the post and backslid! I had to get a new computer, after assessing the computer I have, it doesn't meet the minimum requirements of my college. Something about running PC programs on a 2004 Mac just won't work and Microsoft Word is required. Sigh. I created new debt. (Whispering-Sorry Dave!)

When I told my mother of my disappointment (one- being having to use a PC over a Mac, two- acquiring new debt) she laughed and said, "You'll be in debt anyways with the student loans!" Bigger SIGH. Technically I don't have a student loan yet but it looks like it will be a necessary evil.

The length of time until I shout 'I'm Debt-Free!' just became a little longer, esp. with student loans on the horizon. Optimal situation is to pay off all the consumer debt and then pay off the student loans BEFORE graduation.

It'll work out. I have faith.



Thursday, May 21, 2009

2009 Goals

Updating what I wrote at the beginning of the year, again.


1. Start college for Summer 2009 session, working towards a Bachelor's in Business Administration.
Status: Done, enrolled at Florida Institute of Technology for Summer 2 Term!

2. Study college level math to help with placement test. Life of Fred?
In the process of doing...

1. Reduce, reuse and recycle! Declutter our home and be ruthless about what to keep, sell or donate.
(Done but still in progress)

2. Pay off my personal debt by December 2009 via The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey- no new debt!
On track, two bills paid off, one to go!

3. Take time off, from everything at least every two weeks if unable to do it weekly.
Still working on this, just switched jobs and have taken two weeks in between jobs to spend quality time with the kids.

4. Exercise for good health. Joined a gym and going every week.
5. Eat better, smaller portions. Done, only eating minimal bread which has helped.

1. Train for higher positions but maintain a healthy viewpoint of my current position.
2. Work on calming my body while in confrontations. My face turns red even though I'm not mentally stressed and I have my composure.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Fun Day

We went to Charles Towne Landing yesterday and had a blast. It's the first real field trip we've had in months and the kids and I enjoyed it immensely. We watched the otter for over 30 minutes, what a playful animal! We saw bison, white-tailed deer, a puma and a few other indigenous animals- at the elk habitat, a raccoon was eating the elk's food while the elk sat in the shade without a care in the world. The kids kept yelling to the elk, "A raccoon is eating your food!" The elk just sat there and stared.

Today is Danny's 5th birthday and we're heading out to the South Carolina Aquarium so that the kids can touch stingrays and we're going to explore downtown Charleston.

We started out yesterday going to the aquarium but we passed the sign for Charles Towne Landing on the way and I figured since the weatherman predicted rain all week, we'd better take advantage of the no-rain day. We really felt like our old selves, together exploring a new place and learning about what we saw.

He's 5 now. My little boy is not so little anymore, well to tell the truth he's never been little because he's always been in the 90% percentile of height but he's getting OLDER. He's grown so much in the last year, matured. While living with my parents is not ideal, he's changed so much since we've been here, having a support in parenting makes a huge difference!

I will say that being a divorced mom is not easy, especially when your ex-partner doesn't share the same values as you do. It's an uphill battle that I pray will pay off in the end but in the meantime I get to be the 'pain in the butt'. It is especially hard when one is considering what is best for the child and the other is considering what is best for their wallet. Everything from health insurance to school is a disagreement waiting to happen filled with tension and blame. The only reassuring factor is that we have a legal agreement that outlines what is required. Enforcing the legal agreement is where the 'difficult' part comes in, especially when you're just dealing with the other person's actions or non-actions.

I'm just keeping my eye on our goals and moving forward as positively as I can. Today we're going celebrate Danny's birthday and enjoy being together. We are very blessed and we're going to focus on that.



Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm a college student.

I enrolled in college today, I finally picked one and pulled the trigger. I'm on my way to starting my Associates in Art: Business Administration degree. I also walked out of a hostile work environment tonight and quit one day short of my planned exit. Oh well. It felt good to stand up for myself.

Hee, hee. I'm back in school.



Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Fits of Laughter and Progress.

There was such an outburst of laughter at the dinner table last night...

Danny: "Mom, I want to ride my bike with sissy around the neighborhood."
Me: "Danny, you're not old enough. When you turn 6 or 7 maybe but you're only 5. Sissy is turning 9." (I even showed him on my fingers)
Grandpa: "Danny, you can ride WITH your sister but not by yourself."
Danny sits there looking at me.
Me: "Danny, I DO NOT want you to ride your bike through the neighborhood with your sister and you won't while I'm home but I can't control what happens when I'm not here!"

My dad burst out in uncontrollable laughter which spurred me and my mom into fits of laughter too. Poor Danny and Camille, they didn't have a clue why we were laughing so much but this little scenario is exactly why I struggle a little at home.

I've been looking at colleges and it's hard to choose. Money is a major factor but I don't want to spend less money on college and actually get less education. It seems that some colleges offer cheaper distance learning because they just facilitate your learning- give you the assignments and it's up to you to learn the material without much teacher guidance or even lectures. It's sort of homeschooling for college. On the opposite end there are colleges that want you to spend ungodly amounts of money to attend their prestigious college for just a year and you don't know if you're paying for the name or the education. It's like shopping Goodwill or Saks 5th Avenue- either way you'll have clothes in the end.
The search continues...

I'm on the 3 day countdown at work, this is day 3 and I have two more to go. What a freeing thought! We're going to church this Sunday. We CAN!

Camille is going to a Girl Scout camp this summer for a week, she's thrilled. It'll be her first time away from her parents at all for that long and I think it's going to be such a milestone in her life.

I have to get ready for work so I'll end here...



Friday, May 8, 2009

I got it!

I got the job!

And I told my current employer today, next week is my last and then I'll have two weeks with the kids before starting the new job.
Big Smiles Here.



Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wednesday in May

I'm sitting here willing my phone to ring to hear back from a job interview I went to yesterday. Ring ALREADY! Lol. A teller position at a local bank, I'll be working in the town I live in instead of driving 30-40 minutes away to my current job. Plus, I would be working stable, steady hours. I have my letter of resignation ready to turn in. I'm just waiting to hear, "We'd love for you to come join our team," or "I'm sorry, we've decided not to bring aboard at this time." Ring phone, ring.

Camille is working on Math-U-See while I type, once she's done she will read 10 more pages of Homer Price and then I'll allow her to finish watching the movie, That Darn Cat starring Hayley Mills. We started it last night but it became too late to finish. I treated her to a girls' night out, including dinner at one of my favorite restaurants- a Greek restaurant. Delish!

I'm planning on taking a week or two off in-between jobs if I get the teller position. It starts June 1st and if I turn in my two weeks' notice this week, I'll have time to take the kids to the beach and enjoy some time off. I've been stressed and go, go, go for the last 6 months, not really taking any time off. Even when I'm not working, I'm working or doing errands. Time has buzzed by me as I've rushed to take care of this or that. I miss homeschooling, I miss being home with the kids everyday and exploring at our leisure. I feel like I instantly changed lives with someone and I know I cannot go back to what we were doing but some balance would be nice. This new job would give us that instead of having to work 2-10pm one day and 8am-4pm the next.

Living with my parents has its perks but it also has it cons. It's hard feeling like you're 15 years old again while you have adult responsibilities and concerns! Lol. My main problem is that I don't have a social outlet as of yet other than going to the gym and I'm not at the gym to socialize anyways. I don't want to take away anymore time from the kids or make my parents responsible for the kids when I'm off work. The guilt. Oh man, the guilt. For 6 years, I've been a pastor's wife- now I'm not. For 3 years, I was a homeschooling mother. Now I'm not.

What am I now? A divorced, working mother. I'm still getting used to that. Especially when strangers want to tell me about Jesus. I used to say, "thank you, I'm pastor's wife" and we'd move on from the good news to chatting but now I can't say that. I guess I'm having identity issues, lol.

Come on phone....RING!