Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Good Read

The Elevator, by Angela Hunt. It's not even her newest book, but I just read this book and really enjoyed it. I would put the picture here, but bloggers being difficult... If you enjoy fiction at all, here's one for you to check out. Your totally hooked by the end of the first chapter and don't want to put it down until the last page. It's about 3 women who are trapped in an elevator in Tampa Florida during a hurricane. They don't know it, but they're somehow connected. It's one of those books I'll be thinking about for a long time to come.

On an unrelated note, I've quit moping about next year's schedule. There's actually a decent chance I'll be able to get thursday and friday off after all. We had 3 trainees finish training Monday, after that whole thing happened. All of the spots on the schedule were filled, so they'll have to open up new spots for the employees who finished training. One of the ones they can open is the one I want. And even if I don't get it, at least I have a job that I usually like that meets the needs of my family. Sorry for the bad attitude.

Friday, October 26, 2007

A real nailbiter

This weekend is the rebid at work - it's where they set the schedule for next year according to seniority. We have almost 300 employees on the floor between 911 and dispatch, so what they do is give each employee an assigned time to call in to choose what spot they want for next year - which shift with which days off. I'm somewhere in the middle of that list of employees, and my assigned time to call is tomorrow at 1:50pm. There are currently 4 spots open that have the days off I want. Just 4, they've gotten through maybe 40 employees. I would love so much to keep my current schedule - 3rd shift with Thursday/Friday off, but it's iffy! Of course, there are always changes mid-year, but if I can get it this year on the rebid, I won't stress out so much in future years :P Think TF for me please!

Update: Ok, maybe it wasn't such a nailbiter after all. I knew the spot I wanted was doomed this morning shortly after I got home from work, and by the time I got up shortly after noon, they were all gone. It kind of irritates me, because people who are radio trained can work either four ten hour days or five 8 hour days, but 911 people can only work the five 8's. There were a grand total of 5 spots with weekend days that were five 8's, but several more available for radio trained people. There ended up being one 911 person on 3rd shift with a weekend day off. I'm really disappointed, for several reasons. Thursday/Friday off was working so well for us, because when DQ has a play, it's a lot easier to be able to attend, and it was easier for her to have a social life with me having Fridays off. But I'll confess that the biggest reason I wanted those days off is because weekends at 911 can be awful, and I was rather enjoying having to only work one of the crazy nights. I really hate weekends at my job, I actually dread weekends during the summer (20 calls on hold until 4:30am is not fun.) I'm really not looking forward to having to deal with that again 2 nights a week on a regular basis. I'll put in my request for a change, but who knows when that would happen. So with not getting what I wanted, it came down to did I want Sunday/Monday off, or Tuesday/Wednesday. I figured with either of those two, I'd have more opportunity to go to church, which I rarely do now. I could go Wednesday nights, or just not go to sleep after work on Sunday knowing I didn't have to work that night and go Sunday morning. I could have easily chosen first shift, but that wouldn't work for us, because then I'd have to have someone else take the kids to school. In the end, the thing that decided it was - if I'm off Sunday/Monday, I have two days to recover from the weekend before I have to go back to that place. Now I'm going to go mope for a while.

One hundred bits o' junk challenge

Lisa Samson's one hundred bits o' junk challenge Lisa writes:

Anybody up for it?

I'm going to get rid of 100 things I don't need or use in the coming month. So how 'bout it? Anybody want to join me in getting rid of some clutter? Take a picture of your stuff and send it to me and I'll post it just before Thanksgiving. Who'll join me?

I'm in! Join us!
(pics to follow)

What's it worth to you?

I dunno that this is going to make much sense. It's 2:10am, early Friday morning. I'm awake because I'm usually awake at this time. Yes, it's a night off, but I have to work tomorrow night (overtime, yay!) so it's kind of pointless to mess everything up by sleeping tonight, don't you think? So what to do at 2:10am when everybody else in the house is sleeping? Well, not everybody else. The cats are being totally obnoxious, as cats are wont to do at 2am. This little one (the gray and white one of whom I'm not terribly fond) is skating on thin ice at the moment, and if she knocks anything else down, she may lose one of her nine lives.

But anyway, what to do? Why, what any normal person would do of course - blog! I've had several posts swirling around this little brain of mine for some time now, but they aren't quite sure how to come out yet. It would be boring to tell you about how things are going, because it's really SOSDD, which is not a bad thing (that's same old stuff, different day) I mean, there are mundane things like Snugglebutt (7) got straight A's on his report card, and made principals list, but brought home a note that said they're concerned about his academic progress. Had a hard time figuring that one out, but it turns out, his penmanship is pretty atrocious, so that's all it was. Ok, and Allison (22) is talking about moving back to Ohio, but I try not to think about it much because I don't want it to happen. But, everything else - eh, you don't want to hear about that. I haven't even made any purple sauce lately. My children are grateful.

The main thing on my mind lately really, is divorce. Kind of. When I filed for divorce in April of 06, I joined an email list for people who were going through divorce. It is aimed at Christians but is open to anybody, and it's all about recovering from divorce. The group owner needed some help, so I agreed to become moderator, oh, probably about a year ago. It's really become to me one of those things which I feel called to do. There are some hurting people, and every now and then, I'm able to help them see something in a way they weren't able to before. I hope I'm not coming across as tooting my own horn, because really I've never been good at musical instruments, I'm just so pleased that I can be of help once in a while. Because I've been where they are.

Oh there are several situations, several reasons, obviously. Infidelity, abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction, sex addiction... I'm not even the only person who has an ex in prison for crimes against children. But 99 percent of the people there have the same basic issues, and the biggest one is that they don't truly understand their worth to their creator. I confess sometimes I have this problem too, but I understand much better now than I ever have. It took a lot to get there. It took figuring out why I didn't have self worth to begin with. That looks different (but probably amazingly similar) for everyone, and I can't tell anybody how to go about getting self worth for themselves - you can't just go buy it at Stuffmart! But when I know who I am, when I remember what God says about me, it's a lot easier to have hope for healing.

So with that in mind, I thought it was a good time to repeat this:

I am accepted---
I am God's child - John 1:12
As a disciple, I am a friend of Jesus Christ - John 15:15
I have been justified - Romans 5:1
I am united with the Lord, I am one with Him in spirit - 1 Cor. 6:17
I have been bought with a price and I belong to God - 1 Cor. 6:19,20
I am a member of Christ's body - 1 Cor. 12:27
I have been chosen by God and adopted as His child - Eph. 1:3-8
I have been redeemed and forgiven of all my sins - Col. 1:13-14
I am complete in Christ - Col 2:9-10

I am secure --
I am free from condemnation - Romans 8:1-2
I am assured that ALL things work together for good - Romans 8:28
I am free from any condemning charges against me - Romans 8:31-34
I cannot be separated from the love of God - Romans 8:35-39
I have been established, anointed and sealed by God - 2 Cor 1:21-22
I am hidden with Christ in God - Col 3:1-4
I am confident that God will complete His work in me - Phil 1:6
I am a citizen of Heaven - Phil 3:20
I have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind - 2 Tim 1:7
I can find grace and mercy to help in time of need - Heb 4:16
I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me - 1 John :18

I am significant --
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit - John 15:16
I am God's temple - 1 Cor 3:16
I am a minister of reconciliation for God - 2 Cor 5:17-21
I am God's co-worker - 2 Cor 6:1
I am seated with Jesus Christ in the heavenly realm - Eph 2:6
I am God's workmanship - Eph 2:10
I may approach God with freedom and confidence - Eph 3:12
I can do ALL things through Christ, who strengthens me - Phil 4:13

So what are YOU worth? Only the blood of God's own son, who died FOR YOU. That's a lot.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Picture of the day

Can you guess what it is?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Favorite cat picture in a while

But it's not of my favorite cat. We affectionately call her the ball of evil wrapped in fur. She's very lucky she's cute.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Lost and Found

A few years ago for my birthday my sister gave me a beautiful ring. It's a very unusual ring, with a large center stone which is my birthstone, a peridot, and 5 small diamonds on each side. I'm sure it was a very expensive ring. She was born in August also, her birthday is 10 days after mine. This ring was one that she bought a long time ago, and decided that it represented a time in her life that she had moved on from, so she didn't feel the need to hang on to it anymore. So she gave it to me. I have no problem at all with hand-me-down diamonds :P But really, I'm not much of a jewelry wearer. I have a diamond pendant that my mother gave me, and this ring my sister gave me, and that's pretty much it as far as high quality jewelry goes. I don't know why, I just forget to wear it. But I was wearing this ring for a while. Then one day I took it off, probably while I was sleeping but I really don't remember, and a few days later, I realized I wasn't wearing the ring. I looked for it without results, but figured it would turn up one of these days, and was probably under my bed somewhere. I'm not even sure how long it's been since I took it off, but I know I haven't had it for a while. With my niece in town (this sister's daughter) I've been thinking about that ring, and hoping and praying I would find it. The other day, I got a new mattress set, so while pulling the old out, I looked for that ring. And I didn't find it. I have wondered on and off if I took it off at work and left it at one of the stations and someone picked it up. So I kind of gave up hope after it wasn't there when I moved the bed.

Now I will tell you that I am a very disorganized person, a bit messy, and I lose things on a regular basis. In fact, right now, I'm not sure what I did with a check I got in the mail the other day for $250. Ok, I REALLY need to be more organized and careful. I know this. So, it's really not all that surprising that I lost this ring.

Yesterday I spent the day with my niece, and we went to Sedona, my very favorite place on earth. I've not been feeling too well lately, I've had a cold, but she wanted to get together anyway. It was great seeing her! But on our little trip, I had forgotten my chap stick, which is absolutely necessary even when I don't have a cold. With a cold, I was suffering without it. I stopped at a little shop in Tlaquepaque, a very beautiful arts and crafts village in Sedona (it's pronounced talakapakie, in case you are wondering) and bought some lip balm. It was darned expensive lip balm too! $3.50!! But it was very nice, very soothing lip balm, and I liked it very much. When I got home I put the lip balm on my night stand so it would be close by in the middle of the night when I woke up all stuffed up and dried out as I knew I would. But sometime during the night, I knocked the precious lip balm off of my night stand. And you got, now I can't find it.

But guess what I found while looking for the lip balm? My ring! It was right there on the floor by the night stand, I'm not sure how I missed it the thousands of times I looked there! I'm so thrilled to have the ring back!

Isn't that just like God though? Sometimes when you give up the hope of being able to do it on your own, that's when God gives you what you desire most.


Sassy and my niece at Tlaquepaque, Sedona Arizona

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Almost over

Anybody know a way to slow down time so that Saturday doesn't come so fast? I have to go back to work Saturday night. So how did I do on my list?

I wanted to:
Clean up my yard - well, it's not perfect, but it's wayyyy better than it was.

Declutter my house - a work in progress, but some progress has been made.

Go somewhere - CHECK!

Make caramel apples - CHECK! and YUM!

Visit with my niece from Ohio - I'm spending Friday with her, and taking her to Sedona. Yes, I definitely can handle that place twice in two weeks (plus I wasn't there long last week.) Then I'm making her fettucine alfredo. yum.

Go clothes shopping with DQ - nope didn't do that. She is presently in Ohio until Saturday visiting her dad. So if they haven't bought her some clothes there (which they usually do) I'll take her next week.

Cook stuff put in the freezer - yeah, no.

Sleep - CHECK! I feel somewhat human again. And it's amazing how my outlook changes when I'm well rested.

Overall, this vacation has been just what I needed, and I'm thankful to God for that.

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Awards

My dear friend Janean thinks I'm worthy of another award. This one is called the Mathetes award, and according to her website, it says "Mathetes is the Greek word for disciple, and the role of the disciple (per the Great Commission) is to make more disciples. I'd like to take the opportunity to award five other bloggers with this award and badge for acting in the role of a disciple of Christ." I'm truly humbled that someone thinks I deserve an award like this. But to be honest with you, I'm just not sure about these bloggy awards. I mean, I like recognition as well as the next person, but I like the idea better of just letting your fellow bloggers know you appreciate them. Part of it is how many of these are linked back to someone else's site, and it's a way for the creator of the award to generate traffic. Not that I'm against generating traffic, but if I pick 5 people, and they each pick 5 people, and then those people pick 5 people... Well, I'd rather just write a post linking to blogs that inspire me to get closer to God, and have that be the end of it. Or let people know by commenting that they have made a difference in my life. I guess I'm a stick in the mud, I don't play well with others, or something, but I can't accept this award, even though I really REALLY appreciate the thought behind it. The other thing is that in school I was always the last to be picked for the kickball team, and that wasn't fun. I don't want anybody to be left out or last to be picked!

There are several blogs out there that encourage me to look at God and my faith in ways I haven't before, so I'll just say a blanket thank you, and please, keep blogging!

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Church quandry revisited

Last November, I posted about church, and how I was in a dilemma whether or not to find a different church. Almost a year has passed and not a whole lot has changed really. I've just basically been coasting along, because to be honest, I don't get to church often. Working nights and being off Thursday and Friday nights makes it really really hard stay awake after working all night Saturday night after sleeping Friday night. I've cut down how much I work in the church nursery and now only work once a month. It's also really hard to get there because even if I do stay awake at church, then I have to sleep the rest of the day to go to work Sunday night. So I'm not with my kids during church, they're off in their own classes, and then I don't get to see them the rest of the day because I'm sleeping. It becomes a choice - church, or time with my kids. Which would you choose? Because of my schedule, I haven't put much effort into finding a new church. But being on vacation, last week I did visit a new one, and I fell in love. It was spiritually refreshing and I really want to go back. Today though, was my week to work in the nursery, so we went to the old church. My two younger kids really want to stay at the old church, and one of them told me he "hated" being at the new church. I'm sure it's because he doesn't know anybody, but he also is very resistant to giving it a chance. I felt so torn today. First I dropped off the kids in their classes and found that my 7 year old isn't even on the roster anymore, at this church we've been at since before he was born! because we haven't been there in a month. He had to sign in as a visitor. That kind of broke my heart. But still, he knows people, and he's comfortable there. Then after I worked in the nursery, I went to my adult enrichment class(Sunday school) and it was like I haven't been away (because even when I make it there to work in the nursery, I rarely make it to class, I'm just too tired.) So even after a year, I'm still waffling about what to do about churches, somehow I think that's not a good thing.


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Thursday, October 04, 2007

More pictures

Here are some of the best pictures from yesterday. On Tuesday night despite being dead tired from walking all over northern Arizona, none of us slept very well, so we didn't have as much gumption to go sight-seeing before we left Flagstaff as we thought we'd have. On top of that, when we got up, Snugglebutt (the 7 year old) wasn't feeling well. He was complaining that his stomach hurt. It got the point where he was in tears after breakfast (which he didn't eat much of.) I had a sneaking suspicion that it was because he needed to go to the bathroom. The girls wanted to stop at Target before we left, so we went there and I made the child at least try to do his business. Well it worked, he felt better, and all was good with the world. We decided to save the Lowell Observatory for our next trip, and went to the Riordan Mansion. It's really just an enormous duplex - two brothers who were very successful in the logging business had houses built in 1904 that were connected by one big room that they called the ball room. It definitely is worth seeing. I was very impressed with how interested my 7 year old boy was with hearing about the mansion, the architecture, and story of these people's lives. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take pictures throughout most of the house. After the mansion, we started heading back to phx, but decided to take the scenic route. And let me tell you, it was breath taking. If I had my way, I would have stopped every 100 yards to take pictures. It was so beautiful. Instead of taking the interstate, we took AZ-89A. Not far out of Flagstaff, there was a scenic overlook area, so we decided to stop. There just happened to be an Indian arts fair there, so we enjoyed looking at all the different tables with the bead work, pottery and jewelry. After that we made our way down the mountain on windy roads. Words can't even come close to describing the scenery down that mountain road. I spent the whole way down praising God for the beauty of His creation. For me, it's easy to feel close to God on a mountain covered in pine trees. Everything else just melts away... The road lead us through Sedona, which is my favorite place in the whole wide world. If I could choose to live anywhere, right now it would be a toss-up between right next to the beach in San Diego and Sedona. If you ever get the chance to go there, GO. Don't hesitate, JUST GO. The sunset pictures were taken at a rest stop not all that far out of Phoenix. It's the only rest stop I've come across with a real name - Sunset Point, appropriately named I'd say. So now we're back to real life, but thankfully still on vacation!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

I like this one

Pictures

If you click on the slideshow, it will open up the album to see the pictures one at a time. I uploaded 42 of the 341. Some of them are pictures that DQ took. A lot of the ones she took are at odd angles - I always knew she had a different way of looking at things :) First we went to Walnut Canyon and saw the cliff dwellings of the Sinagua Indians. It was breathtakingly beautiful there, although it's hard for me to imagine living there. The walk down the canyon was great fun, the walk back up though, ummm, yeah. Then we went to the Meteor Crater, which at first seemed like "whoopee, a hole in the ground caused by a big rock..." but it really is interesting. They have a tour of the rim that lasts about an hour, and is very interesting. We enjoyed it very much, it was quite educational. Then we headed to The Petrified Forest, in which my kids kept saying "but there are no trees in this forest!" Well, we found one... The Painted Desert and Petrified Forest were beautiful, but by this time the 7 year old (along with everybody else) was pretty tired and didn't have the patience to stay long enough for me to get the sunset pictures I really wanted. But that just means I'll have to go back a different time! On our way back to the hotel, DQ insisted we get pictures of the Wigwam Motel on Route 66, which absolutely HAS to be the inspiration for that motel in the D!sney movie Cars. It was a really fun day, but to further prove that I am an airhead, I totally did not even think of sunscreen, and last night and today, I am paying for it. The kids for some reason didn't get sunburned. I however did. My face, the back of my neck and my arms. It was so bad I didn't sleep well. Today we may check out the Riordan Mansion and Lowell Observatory, both very close by here. Then it's back home.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

341

That's how many pictures are downloading from my camera to my computer at this very moment. We've had a great day! Very very tiring, but so much fun. Will post some pictures later.

some pics of our trip so far

Monday, October 01, 2007

I LOVE Flagstaff!!!!


We had to buy jackets...

Greetings from Flagstaff


The traditional hotel picture