Friday, January 28, 2011

January 28th - Weekly Rewind

Wow! January is almost over. I can't believe it. As predicted, it was another busy week, but a good week. Here's a glimpse of our week:

  • Friday night and Saturday we had our tax prep training for VITA. Clint and I were feeling a little overwhelmed because there just seems to be endless possible scenarios. However, we have books and people to turn to. We worked Monday evening on passing the basic certification exam (must have it to do tax prep). We'll need to take the intermediate exam next as we will also periodically be reviewers at the site as well. Tuesday was show time! I did three returns and they were all pretty straight forward and I enjoyed working with the people, all of them very nice. Poor Clint had a couple of difficult returns to do, but he survived. So, tax prep will be our weekly ritual on Tuesday nights for awhile.
  • I finally jumped into choir on Sunday and got to sing in the 9:30 morning service and the evening Family Worship Service. I loved it! It's great to be back in choir. Sunday was just a great day at church, Clint and I both are excited about our new church home. I love how Mobberly wants you to be connected and puts the info out there. And as soon as we joined, the volunteer coordinator quickly got us working a church event. At our previous church, this was something we didn't see. I just love being engaged, active, meeting other Christians, being able to help others and know that others have my back as well.
  • I had to miss choir this Wednesday to go to Tyler so that I could be with my fellow East Texas Triathletes officers to present a check to The Hospice of East Texas and the Whitehouse Fire Department who are the beneficiaries of our Rose City Triathlon. Then, we had a meeting to discuss our upcoming race. It's going to be BIG this year as we will be hosting the regional championship. John Cobb wants to get a bid in to host the NATIONAL championship someday too. Wow! Anyway, I honestly don't have much involvement with the planning of the race, but we are looking into adding a youth race this year and I'm going to be looking into that.
  • I had a lunch meeting with my Leadership Longview class on Thursday and we're still trucking along on our project. We have some serious fundraisers in the group! I can't believe how much money our class has already raised! We had an additive alternate for our projet and I'm really thinking we'll be able to do it too. Amazing!
  • We submitted our formal application to Buckner on Thursday too!! I am a little concerned because it asks for birth certificate numbers and mine is missing! I mean I have my certificate...even the tattered original, but the location for the number was never filled in! I took a copy and hopefully that will suffice. I didn't have any issues with my certificate when getting my passport.

And here we are! Going to the Merge Conference at church tonight, working the Boat, RV, and Camping exp on Saturday, and then church/small group activities on Sunday. Oh, and hopefully some workouts in there somewhere...this week was pretty light on the workout activity, sigh.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Hi! Bye!

That's about the extent of words spoken to my husband this week. It's definitely been a crazy one where everything seems to be going on at once and I feel like I'm about to drop all of the balls I'm juggling. My planner has become a permanent accessory to my daily attire. Poor Clint has had to work lots of late nights at work and will most likely be working this weekend too because they have so much to do (and are THREE engineers short). We also have training for the VITA program tonight and tomorrow so we're missing out on a lot of weekend. Looking through my planner, I have something going on every weekend until April! Although, most of it is good stuff that I'm looking forward to, but sometimes I wish I could just sleep away on a Saturday. Of course, not that my dogs would let me. I get till 6:30...maybe 7:00 am if I'm extra lucky before they can't take it anymore and are ready to get moving! My best friend was quick to remind me that I need to slow down because once kids come along, it's all over. Sigh! I know she's right and I know I am horrible at saying 'No.' I'm a people pleaser to a fault. That, and I truly do want to do all of these things that we have going on. But in reality, I have to understand my limits and prioritize. Otherwise, I'll just end up miserable and hating all of it.

A few notes from my week (perhaps I should at least shoot for a weekly recap so that I can keep this blog somewhat up to date on a regular basis):
  • I met with my girls on Tuesday (no school on Monday for MLK day). They had a not-so-great week. All THREE of them had their notebooks taken away for using them at inappropriate times. I'm glad they like them, but they need to understand that school comes first! So, the teacher and I agreed that I should keep their books for a week and then give them back next week. They were pretty upset by it and I hated having to do it. Hmm, perhaps I'm not going to be the disciplinarian I thought I would be. It's HARD! We did however have a good lunch and played 'BrainQuest'. It's fascinating to see each of their strengths. Miss N is a whiz at math, while Miss M is great at English. Poor Miss A, I can tell she isn't as smart as the other two, but she does have a lot of common, know-how sense (if that makes any sense, ha!). One thing that really glares at me is Miss A's horrible spelling! I really think she is behind the curve and could use some extra help in this area. Of course, I'm not a teacher, so I may be out of line. However, she really seems to struggle with 'c' and 's'. For example, the word solar system she spelled coler cistem. I need to think on this. I'd like to be able to help her in some way.
  • Wednesday night I had a special child care class. They offer them every third Wednesday of the month. This week's topic was ADHD and how to work with kids who have it. There was a lot of discussion on the different types of ADHD and symptoms of each. I REALLY don't know how they figure it out because 99% of the symptoms sound like 'kid' issues to me. I'm glad I'm not the one having to do the diagnosing, that's for sure! However, the tips on how to help ADHD kids really could be applied to all kids and I was thankful for the tips. The biggest keys were structure and letting kids know what to expect, which provides them security and lets them know they are loved.
  • After class I made it to choir a little late. I'm already in the system and have a book. I'm all set! So, I'm jumping in this Sunday and I love the anthem for this week. The choir is also singing at the Family Worship Service Sunday night so I'll sing there too...again, another great song. What's not so great: the Easter music. I mean, it's good, but HARD. Definitely not with Alto's in mind! Lots of high notes for us in there. I'm glad Easter comes super late this year because I'm going to need all the practice I can get (not that I ever really sing stuff correct, but I like to think I at least get within a three-note ballpark :) ).
  • Still trying to finalize our adoption application, but we're close. Really, still just working on that pesky financial table. I shouldn't stress over it so much because honestly, it's going to totally change in a couple of months and then will be different again next year. I'm sure we'll get to explain ourselves in the home study :) I know without a doubt though that we can sufficiently provide for a child, which is the bottom line.
  • Fundraising, fundraising, fundraising! Okay not so much me because I despise asking people for money. However, our Leaership Longview group is in the fundraising phase of our project and man do we have some go-getters in the group! I at least put together the power point presentation for everyone to use when going to organizations to share about our project and solicit funds, but other than that, I'm just not good at asking for money. Especially when everyone seems to be living on tighter budgets these days. Next month we will begin the deomolition of the existing facility. It's all coming together nicely.
  • I had a WEAT (Water Environment Association of Texas) meeting and an ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) meeting this week too. WEAT was on TCEQ regulation changes/updates, which equals boring. But ASCE's presentation was about the proposed Lake Columbia, which would be in Cherokee county. So far, it's not really getting anywhere. It's hard to imagine creating an entire new lake and displacing people, animals, etc. However, water is becoming quite the hot commodity so who knows what will happen!

Well, that's the highlights from the week. Next week doesn't look like it plans to slow down any for us!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Item 1 - Check!

Our 'pre' application to Buckner was approved! We are also cleared to take the PRIDE classes starting on February 5th.

Now, for Item 2 which is the 'formal' application. We have to get this in by the first day of PRIDE. The application really isn't that big of a deal. I'm having to look up some things and call family members on a few questions, but for the most part, nothing too brutal yet. My biggest beef is the financial table they have at the end...we have a budget that we keep up with and it's a bit more detailed than their form so I need to work on how to simplify ours to work with their form to make sense out of it all.

I'm so glad to finally be making some forward progress and am super anxious about the PRIDE classes. I am ready to learn!

Oh, and change of subject, I worked the 3 yr old class (with another girl, Kellie) yesterday and things went fairly well. We had a big class and with us being new, we probably got ran over a little bit more than the other teachers, but we'll learn. For the most part the kids were really good, but there were a couple that are definitely a couple of stinkers! Ha! Cute, but trouble! We had a new girl to the class who cried over missing her mom. Broke my heart. She eventually settled down and was the absolute sweetest. We were trying to clean up towards the end and she quickly started helping with no prompting. In the end, Kellie and I definitely felt like we got our workout in for the day! There was no sitting still! I can't wait until next time, though!

Friday, January 14, 2011


I am always quickly falling behind and I actually have lots to talk about. So, I'll try to break it up into a few posts over the new few days so as not to be too overwhelming.

Today, I wanted to talk about my most recent volunteer opportunities! And once again, I am having to stretch outside of my comfort zone with these, but know that it is good for me. :)

Remember about the church nursery fiasco I spoke of a few months ago? Okay, so it wasn't a fiasco, but I honestly didn't think I would ever hear from them. Well, I did! I received an e-mail asking if I'd like to help out in the 3 year olds class. Perfect! This was exactly what I was looking for. I met last week with the preschool director to get the scoop. I will be working with another young lady and we are going to work during the 11:00 am church service hour every other Sunday (switching off with another couple so that they can go to their small group who meets at 11 am). In the e-mail, I was told that I would be 'helper'. Helper I was fine with, I'm a great helper. Tell me what to do and I'm on it! Well, with meeting with the preschool director, I quickly realized this wasn't so much helping as it was leading/teaching...meaning, I (and the other girl) am in charge! Yikes! She handed me the curriculum book to look over, but assured me that all materials would be provided in class. I then was able to observe this past Sunday. Talk about precious children! I could just eat them up! There were only 8 there, when there are normally 15-20 due to the weather though. The new girl and I are up this Sunday! My original excitement has quickly turned to scared and anxious. I'm now responsible for these children during this hour. Yes, I realize it's only an hour every couple of weeks, but I'm terrified about being the positive, spiritual role model these kids need. Can I do it...gracefully, that is, ha ha.

Next, I was asked to be a volunteer for the VITA program. VITA stands for volunteer income tax assistance. From the end of January through April 15th, this program offers free income tax preparation to low income families. Our options were greeter, screener, interpreter, and preparer. I was going for greeter. I could share my time and smile to those coming in. However, I was told that they REALLY needed more tax preparers and so I stretched outside my shell and said I could be a preparer. Once again, the butterflies are swarming! We will be trained though, so it's not like I'm going to be handling people's taxes all willy-nilly. Oh, but one comfort is that Clint decided to sign up as well so at least we will be doing it together. Our training is online and next weekend in the classroom and then we start on January 25th. We shall see how it goes.

Third, back to church...and really not so much a volunteer thing, but I joined the choir. I loved singing in the choir at First Baptist. I can't carry a tune in a bucket, but I just love music! I so wish I still played the violin and could be a member of the orchestra there. Anyway, the choir at Mobberly is just slightly...okay GREATLY larger than the choir at FBCL! It's definitely a bit overwhelming! But I did my best to jump in and had no problem following along. I hope to be singing in the service (9:30 service) by next Sunday after I've had a couple of rehearsals under my belt.

So, lots of new, exciting, and even scary things coming my way. Stretching beyond my comfort zone is necessary for my personal growth and I'm embracing it the best I can.