Hubster Work Update

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Look at that guy.

Jonathan is wonderful. He is truly the most amazing man. When I imagine the type of man  I want my daughters to marry some day, I hope and pray they marry someone who is just like their father. When I imagine the type of husband and father my son will become, it is my strongest wish that he will be a chip off the ol’ block. Jonathan loves God first and pursues biblical excellence in every part of his life. He fills his heart and our home with God’s grace and he gives us all such a beautiful picture of gentle servanthood cloaked in a powerful figure. This might be silly, but he reminds me of Aslan from the Chronicles of Narnia: he is physically very strong, he can be roused to powerful righteous anger, and he is always bent toward kindness and gentleness with me and our children. I am truly blessed to have Jonathan as my best friend and life partner. He leads our family in a way that makes us proud to call him ours.

Work is going well for Jonathan, too. Jonathan’s application process and our moving process was 100% done in faith that God was bringing us here for his purposes. We weren’t going to just pack up and leave everything and everyone we knew for nothing. God has not disappointed. Jonathan has had so many opportunities open up in his field, both at work and in the larger HT community. It is exciting for him to be at the forefront of a new movement in mental health. I’m enjoying watching him grow into a super confident, extremely talented expert! He has joined the American Horticultural Therapy Association’s Board of Directors. He has an article published in the next issue of AHTA Magazine. He is working on a research proposal. He is talking with some other HT organizations about work he can do to help further their scope and get HT integrated as a mainstream form of therapy. He is developing a company-wide HT curriculum to be used at Rogers, where he works. It’s all very exciting.

With all that excitement and with all the irons in the fire, Jonathan remains incredibly steady and focused as a husband and father. Part of that, not to toot my own horn, is that I support him by doing an enormous amount of organizing and editing for him. Jonathan really is a big-picture kind of guy, and I’m super detail-oriented. We work so well together. But where I’m going with this: Jonathan is doing a lot within his field, and he has a lot more big ideas. We’ve brainstormed about where he wants to go in his career and how he can and wants to make the most impact as he progresses on. God has given him the perfect jumping-off place here at Rogers: truly, they are extremely supportive of his work and his pursuit of his passions and goals both within the scope of his employment and beyond. But now we have the daunting task of how, where, and how much to market Jonathan. We’re trying to look way into the future and determine how his future goals should shape the types of work and pursuits he should follow right now. What baby steps should we be taking, and what sorts of connections should we be making in order for him to achieve his dreams? It’s a big overwhelming, and although we have a lot of moral support, we are somewhat lacking in practical guidance. I mean, there is always the common-sense stuff like starting small and really define what you’re wanting to achieve, and we are putting a lot of time and energy into those areas for sure. But beyond that… we are at a loss. So if you are someone who has experience or advice in this vein, we’d love to hear from you.

 

Movin’ on Up…

…to the Midwest.

Yep, silence around here for the past few months because we have officially moved! The last time I posted, I was only vaguely aware of what this move might mean for our family, but I knew it was time to focus on everything else and move the blog to the back burner, as I have done many times over the past few years. Now that we are pseudo-settled, I’ll be catching up… kind of.

This post is going to focus on the overall move- who, what, when, where, why, and how?There is so much to say about it, but I’ll try to keep it condensed.

So, we never loved where we were living. It wasn’t a matter of not liking the people or even Jonathan’s job. It was a matter of simply not enjoying the environment. We did not like living in the hot, dry, windy, tumbleweedy, lizardy desert. Keep in mind Jonathan is a horticultural therapist. Plants don’t tend to do very well in that type of environment without insane water bills. We want green, lush, seasons, and water. So we’ve always kept an eye out for other opportunities elsewhere.

In April I found a job listing for a horticultural therapist position at an inpatient mental health hospital in Wisconsin. It intrigued Jonathan and he decided to apply. At first he was told that he wouldn’t be moving on in the application process because he had asked for too much money on his application. I encouraged him to call back and speak with the director for the position. We are certainly glad he did!

After speaking with the director, it was decided to go ahead and give Jonathan an interview. He completed a Skype interview with a few key members of the staff as well as a horticultural therapy consultant for the company. Jonathan blew them away. They were originally looking for a therapist to fit into the program they’d begun previously, but after the interview they went back and designed the much more in-depth, administrative position of horticultural therapy coordinator. This position requires a bit of travel between their different locations, and a much more thorough implementation of the horticultural therapy program in their hospitals. It took them until July before they made the official offer.

Jonathan happily accepted their offer, and we began the process of packing up, selling our house, and saying goodbye to the people who’ve been there for us throughout the entirety of most of our childrens’ lives. Honestly, packing up and selling the house were much easier to do than saying goodbye. We had started to develop some meaningful and vital relationships with amazing friends; fortunately in our world, moving across the country doesn’t mean goodbye, it just means we will start keeping closer tabs on our friends’ Facebook pages.

The hardest people to leave were my parents, obviously. As an only child, I am their one and only source of fun and happiness. (Haha, j/k Mom and Dad!) Seriously, though, the kids have always had Grammy and Grampy just an hour or so away, and we’ve seen them at least once a week for the past year and a half. That adjustment has been the most difficult for me– going from being able to see my parents and have a bit of help at least once weekly to being totally alone in a new state where I know no one all day every day while Jonathan works has been challenging. We’ve stayed in very close contact, but it will be wonderful when they can come visit us. We have so much to show them!

Ok, back to the move. Jonathan accepted the offer in July, and his start date was in the middle of August. Our plan was to move the kids and me to my parents’ house until our house in Colorado sold. In the interim, Jonathan was planning to rent something here in Wisconsin. Once our house sold, Jonathan would go house hunting in Wisconsin, and I would fly out one weekend and help make the final decision. We are SO thankful it did not end up working that way.

Jonathan’s company owns a house that borders the hospital grounds. The board members agreed to turn this house into a temporary residence for employees who are moving their families in from out of state. They offered this house to us, so that our entire family could move at the same time. What a blessing! We are the first family that gets to take advantage of this resource, and let me tell you… it has been absolutely AMAZING. The house is right on a lake. The kids have spent the latter part of the summer swimming in the lake, canoeing, kayaking, and collecting snail shells. They’ve played outside in the grass with sandhill cranes nearby, hunting for frogs. Monkey Man has learned to imitate a male cardinal’s call; Hula Girl whistles the female’s response. There is an apple tree out back where the two of them spend half their time, clambering up in the branches and reading books by the hour. Deer walk through our yard and nibble on the forest that surrounds the property on three sides. Wild turkeys scurry across the road and squirrels chase each other stealing acorns all day long. It is lush and green and beautiful.

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This is the view from our dining room. See? We’re not suffering. 

The night before we started our three-day drive to get to Wisconsin, we accepted an offer on our house in Colorado. (We closed on that house yesterday.) The drive itself was wonderfully uneventful. I had the three kids in the car with me, and Jonathan towed the other car behind the moving truck with the cat for company. We stopped every 2-3 hours to nurse the baby and stretch the big kids’ legs. We stayed overnight in cabins at different campgrounds, which was probably the best choice we could have made. (Thanks, Mom!) Staying in cabins meant more space for less money and much better amenities for the kids, as the campgrounds included more than just a pool. There were games, bounce pads, showers, picnic tables, bathrooms where the baby wouldn’t wake every time we flushed, and so on. Seriously, if you’re traveling across country with kids, consider campground cabins.  I now know of one in Lincoln, NE, that is absolutely outstanding, in case you’re looking for recommendations!

Since our arrival in Wisconsin, we’ve been able to drive around and learn the area a bit. Honestly, every part of the area is beautiful- so green and lush and quiet. We are in quite a small town, and the surrounding area is just gorgeous. We’ve worked with an incredible realtor here. She has been wonderful with our family and I would totally pick her as a friend even if we hadn’t met in this particular way. I actually called her somewhat out of the blue after a quick google search for realtors in our town; I was trying to find out whether chickens are allowed here, and who else knows better than real estate agents, right? It was not a wasted call; our agent has been a true friend to our family and has helped us with everything from finding grocery stores to arranging meetings with other professionals in order to get our living situation in both Colorado and Wisconsin squared away. If you ever move to this area, I know who you should call.

We’ve made an offer on a house here after searching for a few weeks. Finding something in our price range that meets our minimum criteria has been tough, but we have found a house that seems just right for our family. As long as the contract continues on (we are waiting to hear back after submitting our inspection objections), we are set to close in October. Then we will need to add a couple egress windows to the basement and eventually put in a bathroom down there, but it’s a very clean and well-kept ranch-style home on a property with trees… and chickens are allowed! Hula Girl can’t wait to get some new feathered friends.

So that’s a very general overview… with maybe too much detail in some areas. Sugar Plum has just woken from her nap, and I have a list of other things I want to tell you about… so keep an eye out for some other posts coming soon.

I Want to Blog Again.

This morning, my very favorite bloggers, whose blog I’ve followed for the past five years, announced they’re calling it quits on their blog. At least for now. I was pretty sad about it. After five years of almost daily updates, it’s a shock, to say the least. It feels like I’m losing touch with part of my family!

Somehow that experience awakened the beast in my heart again. I want to write about our life. I miss being able to document cute things the kids do, random thoughts, family updates, and my feelings about everything. I know I don’t have a huge following, and likely never will because I don’t plan to specialize in anything outside my own personal interests (i.e., my family). But it was nice to know at least a couple friends and family members could keep up with us.

So. Here we are. Hula Girl is four years and four months old. Gelato is two years and two months old. Jonathan is turning 32 this month, and I’m turning 29 in a few days. We’ve been living in our first house for a year and two months. Riley, our cat, is six years old. Jonathan is working at the same place, but his job is changing in January. I am staying at home with the kids and teaching Sunday school. So much is the same as the last time I posted. And yet so much is different!

Jonathan’s upcoming job is the biggest change in our situation. He’ll still be working for the same company. However, he has recently been trained as a horticultural therapist. Since he has received that training (to be completed in November), the decision-makers at his company have decided to purchase a house for him to use as the location to provide horticultural therapy services. They are remodeling the house right now to include office space, seed storage space, a greenhouse, indoor and outdoor garden areas, storage sheds, etc. Jonathan will be creating the entire program for his company and will serve as the therapist on-site. There will be a recreational therapist on-site as well.

To say Jonathan is excited would be an understatement for sure. Yes, it’s a large undertaking. Oh my, is it. Coordinating with his loan repayment program, current supervisors, the health department, his horticultural therapy instructors, the business office, administrators, and so forth, is a huge endeavor. On top of that, he’s building an entire program! But this is totally up his alley. It’s funny because he never had any gardening inclinations until we were married and I introduced him to it. Better half? You’d better believe it. 😉 I’m just so proud of all he’s learning, and the attitude with which he’s facing this challenge. He just keeps putting one foot in front of the other, without getting overly anxious about things.

The kids are great. Challenging, but great.

Hula Girl is taking dance again, and she’s loving it. She has such beautiful straight legs and pointy pointy toes. She picks things up quickly, and she’s still extremely obedient. Dance is one of her favorite things. She also loves playing with her Elsa and Anna dolls, jumping and skipping around, climbing really high up on play structures, and swimming. She can read, but we don’t push it. She’s a baker at heart- she is awesome at measuring out ingredients and mixing them up. She is still not very interested in sitting still and coloring or doing any kids of crafty activities. Therefore, writing is not something we’re stressing at this time in her life. She HAS grown out of putting everything in her mouth. Oh my goodness, people, when she was three and a half, I thought she was going to die because she was putting anything and everything she could find in her mouth. Soap, lotion, toothpicks, rocks, sticks, leaves, bugs, hair ties, etc. You name it, she mouthed it. And then… she stopped. Whew.

Gelato is… two. 🙂 He is the exact age now that Hula Girl was when he was born. Man, I am so glad Gelato is my SECOND child. He is into everything, but not in a destructive way. I frequently find him pulling a chair over to the fridge so he can get himself a glass of ice water or standing up on a chair near the stove so he can see what’s boiling in the pot. He is always so careful not to spill his water or touch the hot stove. I am so glad we’ve followed the RIE principles with him; he knows that I trust him to know his body’s limits, and he rarely tests them except in safe situations. Other than these situations, though, he is really quite rambunctious. He’s the kid tumbling pell-mell to plant his face into the couch cushions. He’s the kid climbing into the swings and trying to pump his own legs (at two). He’s the kid splashing and screaming in the pirate pool… just because he can. He’s also the kid who is mischievous and will try to get away with… everything. He knows the limits, and he tests them. Not the same ones over and over again. Just all of them.

Both children are snuggle bugs. They enjoy sitting on my lap for hours listening to me read. They’ve recently convinced the cat, Riley, that he should actually like them and sit on their laps. He tolerates them well enough, and hasn’t tried to scratch or bite them at all in months! Hula Girl keeps trying to convince us to keep her door open at night so she can cuddle with Riley in her bed. Santa may or may not be bringing her a kitten this year. (Seriously, may or may not. Jury is out. But it is highly likely that Santa will be bringing a kitten.)

I still attend my ladies’ Bible study group on Monday nights. It’s been so much fun to get to know the ladies in my group. One of the ladies even has two little girls and we trade babysitting services every now and then. We tried to get all scheduled about it last month, but then there was sickness and life, and this month I forgot. So we’ll see how that goes. 🙂

We’ve also joined a Bible study with a group of older people from our church. They are all into the grandparent days, so they are willing to travel to our house on Thursday nights. This saves us the hassle (and $$$) of having to hire a babysitter, and we so appreciate it! It also means my house has to be spotless at least one day a week. You win some, you lose some.

So that’s that. Hi. I hope to reconnect with some friends and family, so leave me a comment to let me know you were here! 🙂

Huzzah for the State!

Once upon a time, there was a handsome young lad named Jonathan. He dreamed of becoming a therapist so he could make a small difference in this hurting world. Young Jonathan had a little wifey, who worked hard as a teacher. Neither Jonathan nor his wife had a lot of money; they lived a very small life so they could stay out of debt as much as possible. In fact, due to all their scrimping and careful planning, they were able to pay off his wife’s student loans during their first two years of marriage, on a teacher’s salary and Starbucks hourly wages.

Jonathan decided to pursue his dream by attending Denver Seminary and earning his master’s degree. In order to do so, he set out to borrow quite a bit more money. Two years later, he graduated. It was just after the birth of their baby girl, so Jonathan quickly found a job where he could use his degree and support his family on just one salary. His wife’s dream of being a stay-at-home-mom came true.

However, due to his relatively small salary and their relatively large student loans, Jonathan and his little family continued to live small. They drove old cars, they didn’t buy new clothes, they never splurged on anything. Jonathan and his wife cut their own hair and learned to live on $80 per week for groceries. Mind you, they did not really mind this lifestyle- simplicity suited them. How much more enjoyable their lives had become because they were able to focus on the things they truly loved- reading, spending time together, gardening, and so forth. Every little “extra” seemed like a big deal to them and they were able to enjoy small gifts that much more. They were not in want.

Then one day Jonathan learned about a special program run through the government of his state. He learned that he worked in an under-served area, and that he was eligible to apply for a student loan repayment program which would possibly pay off all his student loans given he agreed to work in an under-served area for three years. He applied and he and his wife waited and prayed and asked their family and friends for prayers as well.

And then on December 7, 2012, the 4-month mark in their son’s little life, they learned that Jonathan’s student loans will be paid in their entirety by the state government program. Jonathan and his wife have that entire chunk of change that they have been putting into loan repayment every month to spend elsewhere. Effective immediately. And all the people in the household rejoiced, singing, “Huzzah! Huzzah for the State!”

We’re gonna start looking for a new car this weekend.

Don’t worry, we’re not rushing into things with the car. We’re not absolutely desperate, but if you looked at the cars we do own, you might think we kind of are. But we know what we’re looking for, and a ballpark figure of what we want to spend. We’ve been planning since, oh, June or so, so we’ve done a little bit of research. Now the fun begins!

If you know of anyone looking to get rid of a 2011 or newer Toyota Highlander, or you know where to get a good deal on one, please let me know. 🙂

Hula Girl’s First Career Goal

Well, Hula Girl has decided what she wants to be when she grows up. She wants to be a doctor, like “Dr. E.”, our pediatrician.

We were doing baths for the kiddos, and Jonathan had Gelato over in his baby tub on the sink while I had my feet in Hula Girl’s tub (gotta get that nice spa feeling where you can, right?!). She was washing my arm with her washcloth, and she told me she was being extra gentle. She was barely touching my skin. Ha! I commented and told her, “Wow, you’re so gentle that you could be a nurse someday!”

She said, “No, I don’t want to be a nurse. I want to be a doctor. I want to be a gentle doctor and I will be very careful when I check your eyes and your ears and your nose. I will be very careful when I put you on the scale. I will be gentle when I listen to your heart. I will be a careful doctor like ‘Dr. E.'”

Jonathan and I just stopped and gave each other amazed looks, ‘cuz, um, we haven’t really ever talked about what doctors do. Hula Girl is getting a doctor dress-up outfit for Christmas, so I thought maybe we would start there. But out of the blue, she astounds us with her memory.

She went on to say, “I will be like Darla (Dr. E’s NP) and I will put you on the scale. Like Gelato goes on the scale on his back. But I will go on the scale standing up. And I will be very gentle and careful.”

I told her that being a doctor is a great goal. My parents always encouraged me to be a doctor… thing is, I had no desire to be one. But now that I see her expressing an interest, I may as well foster it… we all know she’s gonna have to take care of us someday, and she may as well be able to afford it! 😉

On a related note, Gelato showed his first career yearning this evening, too. Perhaps it was inspired by his sister’s declaration. As Jonathan was getting him all diapered and jammied up, Gelato decided he’d like to be a firefighter. Only his declaration was less talk, more action. If you know what I mean. 😉

Surgery Week Update- Thursday

Well, we had a fun day today. Hula Girl spent the day with Grammy and Grampy, who took her to the playground. She loved this playground. There was a nice small area for her with “eedee ides” (little slides) so she could do it all by herself. She liked that. She also spent an inordinate amount of time in the swing. Go figure. 🙂

I got to go visit a lot of my old teacher friends and former students at VCS. It was a great day and I loved spending time with them. The school has matured, the students have matured, and I am so proud of everyone involved . Y’all are doing awesome!

Okay, now I’m going to do a different post for the actual surgery stuff.

Confession Time and why Teenagers should not use Facebook

This post is written for my former students at VCS. It is written for the sole purpose of speaking to them, from my heart. It is not a blanket statement, nor is it meant to judge anyone else’s students or children. Also, I should say, there are exactly two notable exceptions to this post, and those two students make me prouder than I could ever imagine. 

A funny little trend keeps popping up on my News Feed on Facebook. It is something I only see coming from the teenagers I used to teach. They’ll post a list of questions about themselves, and then say something like, “5 likes for confessions” or something. The list of questions is a really ridiculous list, things that only other self-absorbed teenagers would really care about, and are only meant as gossip fodder. For example:

  1. Am I single?
  2. Am I crushing? (Dad, this question means, “Do I have a crush on someone?”)
  3. Who?
  4. What’s my favorite color?
  5. What food did I eat for breakfast today?
  6. Who is my best friend?
  7. What am I going to do this weekend?
  8. Who am I mad at right now?
  9. What’s my favorite song?
  10. What am I scared of?

I remember when I was their age, and email was the hippest form of communication outside of passing notes in class. (Yeah, teenagers, we all passed notes and thought the teachers had no clue. Guess what- teachers know. And guess what else- for the most part, teachers don’t really care. <gasp!>) Back in the good ol’ days of emailing and possibly even IM-ing (thanks, AOL, lol), we used to send around “surveys” that were quite similar to your little Facebook confessionals. But there was one key difference. Our surveys were not a popularity contest/useless fact combo- they were purely for entertainment and sent only to those friends who we knew would read them and respond. We never requested that someone first do something for us before we revealed “deep” secrets about ourselves and our personal lives.

I get so frustrated when I see all of you, my former students, requesting your friends’ “likes” on these little “confessionals.” On one hand, I understand it perfectly: you think you’re all that, and that everyone else wants to know every little detail about your life because you are, in fact, the center of the universe. So it is reasonable to follow through on that  logic and assume that since you’re obviously so mysterious and wonderful, you can use that to your advantage and gather popularity votes, a.k.a. “likes”, just to ensure that you are, in fact, as cool as you thought you were. On the other hand, I wish you were reading your own posts, comments, and status updates with your 25-year-old brain. I bet your older, less self-obsessed self would have a thing or two to say.

Unfortunately, and this is my biggest concern for many of you, your 25-year-old self will not be any less self-obsessed. Facebook, Twitter, and the world of social media has forced you into a world fueled by selfishness like no one has ever seen. You get up in the morning, and the first thing you do is log in to the virtual world, where all of your “friends” are ready to greet you. You send out a random complaint, just hoping that someone will wake up early enough to log in and notice that you were the first person to make a statement today. Then, when you get to school, it’s an all-out battle for attention. Girls calling each other names, spreading rumors behind each other’s backs, being cruel to other girls…just because you can. Guys treating girls with disrespect, putting each other down through “funny” one-liners, doing the least amount of work required to just barely pass…just because you can. You even take time during your breaks (and during class, don’t think I don’t see your status updates all day long) to post rude, critical, crass, and disagreeable things on your social media outlets! And then when you get home, it’s an all-out frenzy to discuss the day’s events, rehashing all the gossip and drama, calling each other out (yet again) in a public forum, and generally hurting each other’s feelings. And all of this done on the stage of Middle School (which will become the even bigger stage of High School in just a few months or years). See, you’re just being set up to live in a way that is totally self-absorbed (I mean, really, as if the rest of the world cares what you had for breakfast?!?!) and will eventually create and fuel some of the biggest rumors, gossip, and drama the world has ever seen.

And the bullying! You are bullies! Students of mine, I have seen your status updates and comments. And let me tell you, I have been absolutely appalled at some of the things you are writing to and about each other. I know you all personally, and when my sweet girls start posting racist slurs about other sweet girls of mine, it makes me very sad. When the guys I knew before their voices changed suddenly start referring to girls using offensive names, it makes me feel like we, as adults in your lives, are really messing up somehow and setting a terrible example for you.

But the thing that makes me feel the worst is when I read posts from some of you who have been hurt by this self-absorption and cruelty that is displayed by the vast majority of my former students. A girl comes home from school and posts things about other students being mean to her at recess. A guy comes home and writes about his new board, only to have others belittle him and mock him in the comments section.

Students, this is not you. This is not who you are. And this is not who you were meant to be. When you turn 25, I want you to be able to look back on yourself and realize, “Wow, I was really self-centered back then. I am so glad I was able to see that and move on.” See, you all have the capability of changing this world. Each and every one of you has unique talents and gifts that no other person has. Many of you were gifted academically. Others musically. Some artistically. Most of you have a talent for humor, unique to you, and definitely the highlight of my years spent with you.

Students, I absolutely loved spending time with you back then. But I’m not really fond of you now. That’s not to say that I would not be there for you, 100%, no matter what. Because you know I would. I am always here for you. The thing is, I kind of expected you to be there for each other. And you’re not really living up to my expectations. Why not, guys? What’s the deal?

My Best Friends’ Weddings

The kitchen is scrubbed, top to bottom. The laundry is *almost* done, including all the diapers. The carpets are vacuumed. The meals are planned, the grocery list is made, and we’re headed to the grocery store during Hula Girl’s next awake time.

It has been a productive day so far.

I have begun the process of looking for a place to rent in the new town, just in case Jonathan gets the job and it offers a decent salary. We are going through some major issues with our current place of residence, and we really want to move out. It is really frustrating to be dealing with everything we are dealing with, since we really are great tenants- we’re clean, quiet, respectful. I don’t think our land lady really understands how much we’re doing and how she should be treating us. Sigh.

I’m going to try out some new recipes this week. I’ve decided that since I’m going to be doing this whole “Mommy” thing for quite some time, I may as well learn to cook something other than our normal rotation. So this week, we’re going to have some new dishes, and we’ll be evaluating the likelihood of repeats. Here’s the menu for the week (dinners):

  • Monday: Fettuccine with Zucchini Sauce and Meatballs; Salad on the Side
  • Tuesday: Drunken Chicken over Rice with Broccoli
  • Wednesday: Herb-Roasted Chicken with Shallots; New Potatoes and Corn on the Side
  • Thursday: Turkey Burgers  and Savory Brussels Sprouts

Jonathan is cooking on Thursday. I don’t grill. I should clarify that turkey burgers are not a new dish for us. They’re just less frequent. Also, we don’t eat much red meat; the meatballs mentioned on Monday will be turkey meatballs.

I am really looking forward to the end of this summer when we can start harvesting yummy vegetables from our garden. We’re really going to enjoy the bounty! Today, I came across a lot of really tasty-sounding recipes utilizing the veggies we’re going to grow. I can’t wait to use the recipes and share them with our neighbors and friends! I sure hope we can actually grow some stuff…

Next weekend, Hula Girl and I will be taking a short trip to my parent’s house, just an hour and a half away. Jonathan has a mandatory work training on Friday and Saturday, so we will be missing him. However, it will be a lot of fun to see Grammy and Grampy, and to play with Hula Girl’s new toys! My mom purchased a little walking/riding toy for Hula Girl recently, and we’re so excited for her to try it out. She’s good at walking while she pushes the laundry basket around the living room. She’ll be walking all on her own very soon. It will be a good opportunity for her to practice her balancing skills!

The next weekend is when we leave for our trip to California, to attend my good friend’s wedding and to see the other grandparents, Ama and Papa. We’ll also get to see Jonathan’s sister (who is going to LOSE in the Easter Egg Competition), his aunt (who made the delightful quilt I mentioned in this post), and some other fun folks. I really hope we get to the beach one day, even though it is somewhat far from where we’re staying.  At least Ama and Papa’s house is a lot closer than ours is to the beach!

We will be spending 10 days in California, so two weekends. Then I will be spending the next weekend with my best friend and all of her closest friends as we celebrate her upcoming marriage by throwing her a bridal shower! I am really looking forward to treating my friend a bit, as she just really really deserves it. We got to have coffee together last night, and I really enjoyed our time together. We’ve never had one of those best friend relationships where every little detail is important. I don’t really care what kind of music she listens to. But we do know each other well, and we can discuss the bigger picture. I also noticed that our friendship has not suffered from lack of time spent together- in fact, our friendship is enhanced even more because it is well-seasoned with prayers and words exchanged in hard times and in glad times. I am grateful that God has placed my best friend in my life, even if I’m not the only friend “of honor.” 🙂

What is your favorite memory with your closest friend?

10 in 10

Well, I’ve done it. I have sent my letters of intent to enroll Hula Girl in Kindergarten in 2015.

Yes, I know it’s a bit early. I also know that I’ve spoken with many of you and have told you that I think homeschooling is the best idea for us. However, that will just not be possible.

As I mentioned previously, I viewed the film Waiting for Superman the other night. If you’re not an educator, it’s probably not the choicest film for you. But as a teacher, it really struck a chord. It rekindled a fire in me and reminded me that I have to be in a classroom. That’s where I am meant to be. I don’t feel like I reached my full potential in the short three years of teaching that I was able to do before Hula Girl came along. In fact, I am 100% positive that I can do so much better, so much more.

Therefore, I sent in the paperwork and emailed the directors of the two schools I would consider sending Hula Girl to in the future. (I will admit there might be other schools I’d consider; however, this was all done on a whim and without much time to research, these schools are the only two I could identify off the top of my head.) One is the school where I was employed for those three years; the other is in a college town north of where we used to live, where Jonathan is currently applying to work as a counselor for the university.

Yep, he’s applying. I found this really awesome counseling job the other day while I was doing a short search online. I am always looking around for potential job opportunities for Jonathan. We do not want to stay where we are forever. In fact, Jonathan will be eligible to apply for his license in December; we’ll probably try to move away from here around that time. It all depends on jobs, cost of living, and just how quickly paperwork can be processed.

This job seemed really great, and when I showed it to Jonathan, he got really excited about it. He thinks college-aged kids would be great to work with. (I feel really old after writing that sentence.) He knows there is so much change happening in their lives, and he can see himself in a supportive role for people going through those types of changes. The application is due April 1, so we’ll have to really work hard on getting it in on time. I did just find the job the other day, and Jonathan is working a bit extra this week because of the training he’s part of at work. It will be a mad rush tomorrow night to make sure everything is filled out properly and all references are listed correctly. But it could be a really good opportunity!

I would be pretty excited to move to the town where the university is located. Anything is better than where we are. Anything with a Target, at least. I am really tired of having to go to WalMart for all our household needs. It’s fine if it’s a choice. But when it’s the only option, the excitement really fades.

Speaking of WalMart, Hula Girl and I have to visit this afternoon to get some cabinet and drawer latches. She’s getting really adept at pulling them open, and I’m getting slow at catching her. It will be a much greater problem when she starts walking, which is just over the horizon.

I also had a minor freak-out earlier today when I realized she will be one year old in 10 weeks and 1 day. That is far too soon. She’ll be 10 months old in 10 days. That, too, is far too soon. I am not ready for this.

Given the choice, do you choose to shop at WalMart or Target?

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