Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Family Visit Review

Rather than try to attempt to make this into a few posts I decided to make a summary post.  A couple weeks ago I mentioned that my in-laws were going to visit for Christmas and that I would most likely be otherwise occupied during that time.  Well, I was.  So here is a summary of what's happened with my family over the last couple weeks:

My in-laws visited for 10 days.  During that time:
  • The kids went to the beach multiple times with Oma and Opa. Daughter got wet and sandy and son played with his trick kite.  They both had a blast and Mommy got some work done.
  • My son went to his first sleep over (I think Mommy had a harder time with that than my son).
  • I did lots of baking mostly as gifts but for us also.
  • I had a few showings, inspections, etc.
  • My in-laws were able to find a renter for the house they bought the last time they were down here (they bought it before prices went up even more, planning to retire in a few more years).
  • Hubby started his night shift schedule.  It's really worked out well so far (even with family visiting).
Around 2AM the night / morning before my in-laws left town, my little brother got to our house for a 5 day visit.  So that meant we had 9 people, 5 cats, and 1 dog at my house for that night.  Hubby and I were in the camper along with my brother and everyone else (and all the animals) was in the house.  The more the merrier right?  While my brother was in town:
  • My son played extensively with the small parachute my brother gave him.  My brother is a parachute rigger which means he packs and fixes parachutes so to make one wasn't too hard.
  • One of my first cousins and his family came and visited for a few hours.  It was a great way for them to see all my family at once since they hadn't seen my brother in over 15 years.  In fact my cousin's wife had never met my brother.
  • My parents, brother, and my family of 4 went to Busch Gardens 2 days before the New Year.  Yes, it was crowded but it was still fun.  My dad and brother hadn't been in close to 20 years so they were able to enjoy a couple of the new rides as well as our favorite from the last time they'd been there. My mom and daughter were able to see a couple of the shows too.  I must admit, I'd never been when it was that crowded before.  We got one of the last parking spaces in the farthest parking lot  (it was about 1.5 miles from the entrance of the park).  The good news though... it was so crowded they didn't charge parking because they didn't want to hold up the line taking money from people.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Very Family Christmas

This year we are going to experience a first.  We are going to have my parents and hubby's parents staying at our house for Christmas this year.  Hubby's parents arrive tomorrow after dinner so I just wanted to warn you all that as sporadic as my posts have been lately, they may get worse.  Then again, I may have fun things we've done with ALL the grandparents to share, so we shall see.

For now, I must get some cleaning done and dinner cooked.  I just wanted to let you know before I got busy again.  If I don't get a chance to post before then, I wish you all a wonderful Christmas!

Friday, December 13, 2013

When It Rains, It Pours. But then Comes the Rainbow

As my regular readers are aware, we recently had to replace our dryer.  Others may know that one of the elements in our oven died a couple months before that.  Rather than bore you with the details, let's just say that since then, it seems like every large piece of equipment in our house is dying or has died.  Needless to say, dealing with these issues during the slow time in real estate around here is hard on our already-tight budget to say the least.

All of that changed this week though.  How's that?  Well, today hubby finished a week of paid training for a new job.  A regular paying job.  A job where he is eligible for benefits in a few months.  As a family that has been self-insured for 9+ years this is a big thing.  As a family that has been dependent upon contractor pay (can you say irregular) for those same 9+ years, it's an even bigger deal.  To know that we will have money each month is an answer to prayer.  And what's even better, next week he's set to switch to a "night shift" that will still allow for me to homeschool and work in real estate.

Not only will his work schedule not impede on our current lives (much) it will mean I don't have to work quite as hard and will mean we have the ability to fix those things that are broken or breaking around the house.  God it good!

Oh, and a big shout out to hubby's new boss.  He's the friend that recommended hubby for the job.

Hubby gets to work on this beast (plus many other large pieces of mechanical equipment).  Anyone who knows my hubby knows he loves to tinker.  I think he's going to like his new job.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

An Inspiration

Everyone has someone they look up to.  Someone who they respect for their skill (athletes), their knowledge (a teacher growing up), or their ability and willingness to help people in need. 

Well, today I want to take time to honor someone (two someones actually) who inspire me.  I've known them for about 15 years now, but each year that passes, I get to know a little more about their heart and passions.

Gan taking pics of my kids
 They have a love for their family that is wonderful to behold.  I know for a fact that they pray for everyone in their family each day.  They pray for missionaries (who they've never met) on a regular basis (probably daily as well).  They participate in functions at their church as much as their health and time allows.  They are a bundle of love and affection and are always on the go.  In fact, I don't think I have a single picture of the two of them together.  Because they are always doing something.  And considering they are in their 90's that's pretty amazing if you ask me.
Gramps watching the festivities

That love extends to each other too.

Today is the 70th anniversary of my husband's grandparents.  Not only are they a wonderful example of Godly people, they are a wonderful example of a Godly marriage.

We love you Gan and Gramps!  Wish we could be there to help you celebrate.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Back In My Element

Before my son was born, I had various office jobs (think administrative assistant type work).  For each job, I was responsible for managing at least one project and the way I did that was through a database.  It was simple enough for me to create the database (wizzards make it particularly simple these days), but what I really enjoyed was creating reports and queries.  It was fun being able to figure out what information I (or my boss) wanted to see on a regular basis and then to create the documentation.  When I had to create a formula to do some math it was even more fun. 

Over the last couple months I've been thinking about how I could better manage my time.  I want to spend less time working and make the same if not more money (who doesn't want that, right?).  There are numerous ways I think I can accomplish that.  The one I am focused on the most right now is to make it so I have access to my notes no matter where I am.  And guess how I've decided to do that?  Yep, a database.

Right now I write everything down in a large notebook.  That means when I'm away from my desk (meeting with clients, taking my kids to the dentist, or even grocery shopping) I don't have access to my notes.  I can't begin to tell you how many times I've been in the car and gotten a phone call.  I always intend to write it down when I get back to my desk but more often than not, I forget till days later.  Now I will be able to make those notes even when I'm out (don't worry, I will not text and drive).

After spending a couple weeks researching which database will work best for me, I'm about to start the fun part... setting up the database, queries, and reports.

Pray for my family.  There's a really good chance I'm about to become very distracted.