Thursday, August 31, 2006

Crappy morning

Jason got a note from his boss today denying him from working at home during my training, and saying that he was probably going to get a pay cut and might even lose his job altogether. Really just awful stuff.

I went to Bible study feeling just miserable. Sat and cried with Megan and Sharon for a while, and they helped me get a little perspective. I'm still nervous about Jason losing his job, but I know he'll get another one, and we'll get by. I also know that the church will help us if he loses his job and isn't able to find one right away. I expect he'll be okay through the end of September, then we'll just see after that. But it was a really horrible morning.

So far I haven't run to the fridge/cupboard under the stress. I certainly want to, but I know it's not a good choice and it doesn't honor God or myself. So I guess I'm not entirely hopeless! ;-D

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Good news!

Not long after I posted my last message, I got a call from PV saying that they had an openning for James!! So I was able to pick him up and take him over to the school. I was so happy!

When he came home today, he was pretty upset about leaving one school to go to another, but I think that was primarily because he's very tired. He was up really early this morning (and a couple times last night), so I'm sure he just needs some rest. After a special dinner (pizza and cake), he seems to be doing just fine.

The kindergarten teacher at the first school took me aside before we left and said that she thinks we should look into getting James promoted to 1st grade. Right now, I don't know if that's the best choice for him, given his emotional immaturity. But my MIL suggested that we ask the school about having him do part of his day in 1st grade and the rest in Kindergarten. If they're open to that idea, I think we'll suggest it. He really is a bright little guy!

Got a note from Rich today basically telling me to chill out and wait til we know what's going on with a schedule before giving up the praise team. Ahhhh... balance. Yeah, I'll get that one of these days! ;-D He also gave me a really nice compliment, which was a good feeling.

Okay, for an add-on, this is getting long. Later!

School days

Well, my oldest two are both off at school now. I took James down to the bus stop this morning and he got on all by himself and was whisked away to the exciting world of Kindergarten. I'm excited for him as he begins this great new adventure, and a little sad for me, as it means my kids are needing me less and less. I know that's a good thing (!), but it's still a little hard. We're still hoping that by tomorrow or the next day he'll be over at PV with Deborah, but for now, he's going to be fine. But I miss my smart little guy!

I went to Aegis for the interview yesterday and I did get hired. I've got mixed feelings about that too! I can't wait to contribute financially to the house. I've never been a very good housekeeper, so I've always felt like a bit of a slacker (and sometimes I am, but not all the time!), and whenever it's gift-giving time, I hate not having any money. And it will be so awesome to be able to help our family dig out of some debt from all the hospitalizations and meds and all that stuff. Plus, I'm looking forward to doing something to contribute back (by way of my taxes) to all of those programs we've used in the past 8 years.

OTOH, this might end up with me giving up two very important ministries I'm involved with. Because I hope to work the day shift (because I want to be home in the evenings with my family and not end up never seeing James, Deborah & Jason), I'm not going to be anywhere near as involved with TMB as I have been for a long time. I really, really believe in this ministry, and those have been my friends for a long time. I'll miss PM'ing some of my friends there and just being a part of that community.

Even worse, I might have to drop off of the praise team altogether. Forget about leading -- I might have to just outright quit. That absolutely terrifies me. I really, really thought that this was the right time to move into the role of music director, and the potential of losing that is just really awful to me. I'm hoping we'll be able to move practice to an evening, but I hate to ask them to accommodate me. But, after years of accommodating other people's work schedules, that might just be how it is. It's hard, because when I finally got to the place where I was able to admit that I really love playing and love doing it, it might be going away again. Have I turned it into an idol? I don't think so, but I will most definitely pray about that in the next few weeks.

Anyway, I start training next Tuesday. I do 3 weeks of training, and then will make my shift bid. I'm praying for an optimal bid so I'm still able to be in the women's Bible study. And I'm praying that the praise team will move rehearsals so I can still participate.

May Your will be done, Lord!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Big changes

I think I need to go back to work.

We're having some trouble meeting all of our financial obligations and with higher costs in gas, natural gas & electricity, we just aren't making it on Jason's income alone. It's no indictment against him -- costs are just increasing and his income isn't keeping up.

So I went to the bottom of the hill on Friday and applied at a local call center. It's not a great job or anything, but it pays well enough ($8.25/hour) and it's simple stuff. They're always hiring (lots of turn-over there), so I'm sure I'll be hired. I'm going back on Tuesday to take a typing test and what have you. I expect to be working on the soon side.

I have very mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I love the idea of helping out financially around the house. I've never been a great house keeper, so when I don't contribute monetarily to the house, it can feel a little crummy. I especially hate not having a job when holidays/birthdays roll around and I have no money to buy Jason a gift. I know it's "our" money, but it's still tough in those instances. Plus, getting out of the house and being with other adults isn't all bad.

That said, I'm terrified of leaving my babies behind! Okay, so Faith and Bubba aren't so wee any more, but still! I've done the SAHM thing a long time now (8 years), and seeing that end is a little frightening. Plus, it's a little intimidating trying to figure out how I'll work and still get everything done around here that needs to be done. I know Jason will help pick up the slack for me, and the kids will definitely have to pitch in more, but it's still a little nerve-wracking to imagine working 40 hours and then coming home and having all of my "regular" work left to do.

Practically, I still need to find someone to help watch the youngest two. I have a friend who I hope will be able to do that for me (and another one who might be able to do it later, if my first friend is unable to do it long-term -- both could use the extra money, I'm sure!). And ultimately, if it's just awful, I don't have to keep working. A good friend of mine encouraged me to keep at it for a month or so, to get a true evaluation of how it is. So I will at least do that.

In other news, Deborah starts 3rd grade tomorrow. And James starts on Wednesday (somewhere -- still don't have that figured out!). WOW! I can't believe my kids are getting ready to go to school! It's hard for me to believe that they're actually going. But I'm sure they're both going to have a great year.

Jason and I are going to take the Dave Ramsey class starting in a couple of weeks at church. With additional income coming in, we definitely need to be smart about our finances. I don't think we'll end up like we did back in Cleveland, where we just spent every cent we made, but I think having accountability in that will be good for us. We've been living on a super-tight budget for a long time, so we need to be careful that we don't end up being stupid once we have some breathing room.

Diet is going pretty well. I had a bit of a binge last night (bored, I'm sure -- Jason took Deborah down to the blues festival, and I ate more than I should have), but I'm doing better again today. I try to give myself some grace on weekends. I'm sure when I'm working, it'll be even easier, because I won't have food lying around, tempting me!

Ack! When I'm working! Oh my!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

New blog

Started a second blog today.

I've been going off and on with trying to diet for the past ??? (far too long!). Started in earnest yesterday. So I've created a second blog to keep track of my progress.

Today in our Bible study, we agreed to start memorizing Bible verses. Our verse for this week is Hebrews 12:10:
10Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God
disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness.

We're also going to hold one another accountable for other areas where we're not being the women God has called us to be. So they're going to help me out with food choices as well. I'm going to give them a link to my second blog, and hopefully between them, and my sister and anyone here who wants to encourage me, I'll be able to actually do this for real now.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Funny aside

I'm just entertained at how perspective is so different.

On the Worship Matters site, someone was looking for a version of "A Mighty Fortress" that is both traditional but passionate. I think that Tommy Walker has a version that really fits the bill and posted a comment recommending that one.

Then I read the other comments and saw someone saying how much they thought it wouldn't fly with a traditional crowd (at least, I'm going to assume that it's the same version -- the description was pretty similar).

It just makes me giggle to see how one person thinks that a given piece is a good blend of traditional and contemporary and another thinks it's just no good!

Preparing for school

I had a meeting today at school to get Deborah's IEP all figured out. She's got 20 minutes a week of speech therapy (still have to figure out those pesky "s" sounds!), and 90 minutes a week in the gifted class.

This was the first time I've met the gifted teacher and he seems like he's really going to be good. We had to wait a fair amount of time for the speech teacher to get there, so I was able to share a little more about Deborah than I probably would have been able to if everyone had shown up on time. ;-D But really, I was able to let him know about Deborah's difficulty with taking any kind of criticism. I expect this class to challenge her, and while that's awesome, I want him to be aware that she has a rough time figuring out how to deal with any kind of criticism. I've noticed some maturity in that over the summer (especially after one really good talk we had after a break-down during a piano lesson), but I want him to be aware. Not that I expect him to coddle her -- just letting him know!

Right now we still don't know where James is going to school. *sigh* It won't be a huge deal if he ends up at the other school, but I'd really prefer to have him in school with Deborah. When I talked to the principal today, she said that we might not even know until kindergarten has been in session for a few days! So then I have to decide if we even want to bother moving him, once he's acclimated to a different class and teacher. Jason and I will have to do some serious praying about that.

Beyond that, I'm pretty much good to go. I've got most of their school supplies and quite frankly, I'm ready to have the house a little bit more quiet! Does that make me a bad mom? If so, I'll take it! It's pretty crazy around here in the summers, and having only two kids around has a certain appeal. Of course, I'll miss having the older kids around, but even so, it will be kinda' nice to spend a little more time with the younger two.

Dance practice at church is going well. I'm not particularly graceful at all, but it really is fun to get together with the other women and dance. I think when it's all put together, it should look really nice. I hope one of these days to do something with some dancers and the praise team. Live music with dance is just so energetic and alive -- I'd love to do it!

Our trip to Idlewild was really fun. Deborah was a little more afraid of some of the "big" rides than I thought she would be, but it was still fun. The kids all enjoyed Storybook Forest, and all six of us loved the Trolley ride into the Neighborhood of Make Believe. I've always loved Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, and it was nice to see all of the characters from Make Believe. I would have enjoyed doing a few more roller coasters or rides. It certainly made Jason and I want to take a trip to Kennywood! However, all of the kids were really well-behaved, and it was a fun trip. I look forward to doing it again.

Hmmmm... I think that's it. We had to have a quick rehearsal on Saturday (it was a work day at church), so I didn't get to practice my music as much as I would have liked. But we did practice HIOK to the full Reason loop, and it went pretty well. I hope we'll be able to do that on Sunday. It will be the first full loop that we've ever done (we've done drum loops a few times, but this one has all of the beeps and extra music and everything), so it will certainly be different. We'll run it a few more times on Saturday, and hopefully we'll be able to do it. And even more, hopefully it won't make anyone in the congregation be upset! I want us to be able to use all kinds of different music to worship, including electronic music. This will certainly be a huge step!

Okay, now THAT'S it.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


On Thursday, I had the opportunity to babysit my 1-year-old niece. Now, I've been able to do this a few times, but this time I got to watch her at bedtime.

What a joy! This was the first time someone other than her mom or dad put her to bed, so I won't say that she wasn't a little upset at not having a very familiar person laying her down (she wanted nothing to do with the bottle or stories Megan had left out for her). But she was willing to sit in the rocker with me, cuddle up to me and eventually trust me enough to fall asleep.

I had forgotten just how incredibly precious it is to have a little one fall asleep in your arms. It's been a while since I've rocked/held a little one to sleep, and it was just so beautiful and peaceful. Feeling her little body relax, having her perfect little fingers clasp mine, feeling her breath on my arm -- what bliss!

Still no baby pangs (I truly am thrilled with my family and don't really miss the baby days all that much!), but it was quite an enjoyable evening. If Deborah hadn't been at the house with me, I probably would have just brought her out to the couch with me and just held her all night!

This afternoon is the Praise Fest here in town. South Ridge is playing there, so we're going to watch our niece again while Megan & Justin sing/play. I hope that in the future, our praise team will be able to participate as well, but it should be fun to see other local teams.

Alright, time for me to start getting ready for our team's practice this morning. Rich picked for this week, but I'm doing next week. He said we'll do an every other week thing for a season, which is at least something! I admit that I'm still pretty impatient (he has expressed interest in being off the team altogether and I'm quite interested in stepping up my involvement), but I know that it will all work together in good time. For now, I will do all that I can with what I am given and offer up my own gifts.

I'm going to try to give the set lists for the weeks that I'm choosing. If anyone reads who is interested in musical worship wants to make comments or suggestions, please do! I'm very open to ideas!

For Sunday, August 27th:
  • Come, Now is the Time to Worship (Brian Doerkson)
  • Here Is Our King (David Crowder Band)
  • All Creatures of our God and King (David Crowder Band, Illuminate version)
  • Worthy, You are Worthy (Matt Redman/Chris Tomlin)
  • Holy, Holy, Holy (as performed by Vineyard on "I Believe in Jesus")

I probably won't get back to post again til after our little trip to Idlewild. Have a blessed weekend!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Stinky kids

My kids are so gross! They've been playing outside non-stop, since the weather is finally decent, and they look like it. I'm sure with school coming up just around the corner, it's an extra incentive to live in the yard, but wow. They're pretty nasty tonight. We'll be popping in the tub in just a minute to get cleaned up!

I'm very excited -- we're taking the kids to Idlewild Park on Monday. It's a very kid-friendly amusement park in the area. They have a Neighborhood of Make Believe (ala Mr. Rogers), a kiddie area, a water park, and a "regular" amusement area, not to mention their most famous attraction, which is Storybook Forest. I think my grandparents have a picture of my mom there, not long after it opened. I can't wait to take the kids there. I love amusement parks, and I've been waiting for them to be old enough to go to one. We still can't go to the bigger one nearby (Kennywood), but it's still fun to be able to make it to one around here!

The set went okay on Sunday. I need to remind myself that people aren't used to being expected to practice at home and actually being prepared for Sunday mornings. *sigh* I haven't had a chance to debrief with Rich yet -- I hope to do that in the next day or so and find out when my next Sunday will be. I'm just afraid that if I don't have a few weeks in a row pretty soon, the team isn't going to get used to having direction and all of that, and the changes aren't going to stick. It's a little frustrating, but I'm trying to be patient. Of course, it's a little difficult, given that I feel like I've been patient for a long time already! ;-D

Monday, August 07, 2006

Yeah, I'm still here

Yikes! I can't believe how long it's been since I wrote! School starts soon, and hopefully then I'll be better at keeping up with my blogging.

Hmmm... so what's new? The biggest thing is the oppressive heat we've had here lately! Okay, so I know that lots of people deal with stuff far worse than this, but it's still really brutal for those of us here in WV. The dewpoint has been around 70-72 degrees, which, according to Jason, is officially "oppressive" to most westerners. Anyway, it's certainly awful as far as I'm concerned.

Saturday was the first time I lead rehearsal for the praise team. Everything went really well. We were able to make some changes without anyone feeling particularly put out (at least, if they were, it was well hidden!). We're passing the leading around the group, so everyone has an opportunity to grow in that area (or see if it's something that can be done). And when people were asked to back off singing, it was well received. We were also able to add some more dynamic change into the songs. There is certainly more to do, but it was a good start. I'll talk to Rich next week after the service to see what he thinks, but his comments yesterday after church were very positive (didn't have a chance to talk to him after practice on Saturday). I think the changes will stick, even if I don't end up leading practice full time (not that I expect that to happen).

Beyond that, not much going on. I've talked to Megan a lot lately, which is great. I love having my sister/friend back! It's very good!

Oh yeah, I got an email from the pastor I grew up with. He was a really excellent pastor, and molded a lot of my thinking in my early years. Granted, I disagree with some stuff now, but he gave me a really solid foundation. I sent him an email a little while ago thanking him for my early instruction (I'd been intending to do it since Easter, and just finally got around to it after one of the sections in our Bible study), and got a lovely response back. Something that took me 10 minutes one morning before the kids woke up was a light to someone who said he was feeling a little overwhelmed. How often do I skip doing something easy because I'm "too busy"? Definitely a reminder to me to get off my butt and let people who have been a blessing to me know that!
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I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mom to four incredible kids. I'm a Christian woman who sometimes struggles with doubt. I'm a musician and a writer who is sometimes afraid to play and write. I'm trying to be more authentic every day.
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