Friday, March 23, 2012

What a week! What a month!

If anyone would have told me three months ago – heck, even one month ago – that I’d be voluntarily leaving my current position, I wouldn’t have believed it. No way. The only way I thought I would be leaving this place is if they carried me out on a stretcher or I was laid off or otherwise let go. To leave voluntarily for a better position is a Godsend. A blessing. Remarkable. Fantastic. Amazing.

I had a nice luncheon yesterday that my group hosted. Several of my friends from other departments came to share in it. It was very nice. I have a lot of great memories – birthdays, Christmas celebrations, Tax Season parties, and many more. Even though I’m also leaving some sad memories behind, I will also definitely be leaving many friends behind.

Ron is definitely looking forward to my new job and the breathing space it will give us. Since it’s so much closer to home, it will save at least an hour of driving time every day and my gas should last nearly twice as long. That will be a relief! The drive now doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the cost of filling my tank every four days. Yikes! Hopefully, I’ll be able to get 8-9 days worth of driving out of a tank. With the increased cost of gas, it won’t seem like as much of a savings but it is definitely better than the cost of gas going up and still having to fill up every 4th day.

Speaking of Ron… He’s OK – not great, but OK. When he fell in December he hurt something in his new knee and it has been bothering him since. He’s having trouble getting out of the chairs again. We don’t have a lift chair any longer (the one we had died) and bought a sofa instead of a new lift chair ($400 instead of $1500). I’ve about decided that I need to sell one of my recliners and purchase a new lift chair for him. I just don’t know when exactly I’m going to be able to do that. I keep hoping that the pain will go away and that he’ll be able to get around easier. I could be delusional, too. He no longer has a visiting nurse and I can tell that he’s gone downhill some since the last visit. At least Charles (the nurse) was seeing 2-3 times a week any changes in his weight, blood pressure, etc. Ron doesn’t really get up and around during the day except to move from bed to sofa. Of course, he goes to the bathroom on his own and gets himself water, but meals on wheels delivery puts his food on a tray right in front of him. I clean the tray up when I get home from work.

We’ve actually talked about assisted living for him. There are times when I think it would be best but other times when I’m sure it would not. He says he wants to make it easier on me, but I know that he’d want me to come sit with him every night and, quite frankly, that’s not making things easier. I’d still have to come home to laundry and housework. The only benefit I see is that he’d have nursing staff to see to changes and he’d have assistance during the day when he needs it. But, is that really a reason to move someone to assisted living? I don’t know.

Anna is growing like babies do. LOL – she’s a little chunky monkey. Love living so close to them so I can watch her changes. I miss that part of the lives of Alexander, Katy, and Zachary. The new baby will be here on (or before) April 9. I’m excited to see if it’s a boy or a girl. I’m expecting another boy. His name will be Tristan Scott Williams. If it does happen to be a girl, her name will be Bailey Suzanne Williams. I was hoping for an “Abigail” but looks as if I’ll have to hope that Keith and Lindsay make that happen (hint, hint!). The girl name might have been Bailey Abigail. I can’t complain about the baby names because I actually have provided the names that have been chosen for all of the kids. They would have used Abigail (my middle name is Gayle) if I had insisted, but I told them both they needed to pick something THEY loved because long after everyone’s opinions died away, they still have to love their child’s name. Not many grandparents can say they’ve had a hand (or two) in picking their grandchildren’s names. That’s a blessing all in itself.

Isaiah continues to do well this year and he loves his official new name. He’s quick to tell people, too what his whole name is. He loves walking down the street to our house to see his “Crampa” whenever he wants to. It’s good for Ron to have him spend time together and I know that Isaiah will have many fond memories as he grows up.

Amy is still looking for a job. I’m confident that she’ll get the perfect job – all in God’s time – and that it will be a blessing to her family. She’s trying to keep a positive attitude and I know that is a tough thing to do. Been down that road myself.

Keith and Lindsay have set July 6, 2013 as their wedding date. In New Jersey. I’ve never been to New Jersey so this will be fun. That’s a Saturday so I think we might be able to go out on the 1st or 2nd and enjoy some of the sights before the wedding and then fly back home on Sunday. Definitely something to look forward to.

I know this has been a really long update but I’ve been told that inquiring minds want to know…. So… here it is in all its glory! I’m heading to KCMO this afternoon to help my sister with her moving sale, visit my mom, and help her take care of some stuff. I’m taking Ron but we’re boarding Maisey. It should be a very busy weekend!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thursdays things in a row

I know I'm remiss about keeping up with blogs, but life has been very busy. I promise I'll catch up next week.

I took this picture the other day and decided it would fit wonderfully as a "Thursdays thing in a row" post.

This is looking out the door of the entrance to my current (soon to be "ex") employer. It has rained all week and I was really surprised that this picture turned out as nice as it did.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Oh My! What a Monday!!!

I am truly blessed.

Before I get there, let me recap my weekend. Saturday, Amy came over and we went for a nice walk. It was really nice out, but very cold. She bundled Anna up and fixed the hood of her stroller so it kept the wind out of her face while we walked. I pulled it up so I could get a picture of her. She's 4 months old (as of yesterday) and has grown so much!

After our walk, Amy helped me hang photos and "stuff" on the wall. I did the easy part by hanging Ron's clock (large clock that he can read) where he can see it and she did the rest. Amy and I laid out all the family photos on the floor and measured how much space we had to use. I had some really old pictures of kids and we decided that we needed to snag some updated photos from Facebook and print them here. Amy had a lot of frames that she was no longer using, so we did some switching around and this is what we came up with. Some of the pictures aren't too great but we snagged the best we could find:

The picture of the three children sitting together (2 boys; 1 girl) are my three oldest siblings. The black and white photo to the bottom left (as you're looking at it) is my grandmother and was taken in 1922 when she was 18. She had a beautiful voice and sang opera. My parents are in the gold ornate frame in the top row. Ron and I are in the other gold frame. The other pictures are our kids and grandkids. I took this picture before I found and hung Ron's mom and stepdad.

Years ago, Shaun gave us our family crests and I had the perfect place to hang them:

The open door goes to our bedroom and the closed door is the bathroom. She hung the primitive signs that my sister made (I have two of them) above the front door and the patio slider. One says "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." The other says "Our God is an Awesome God."

In our bedroom, I hung another clock and the picture of me that was taken in the 90s - one of those "nice" boudoir photos (very dated looking but it's the best picture I've ever had taken). The other items that I really wanted to hang were my crosses. They ended up here:

Sunday was a great day, too. We had Keith and Lindsay and Amy, Rex, and the kids over for dinner after church. I grilled out on my electric Patio Chef grill (it worked great!) and everyone had a great time. Rex and Keith attached the headboard to the bed for me. Yay! It really looks like a home now instead of someone just passing through.

Now... for the Monday news... Last year when I was having meetings with my supervisor and manager, the manager said that as far as she was concerned, everyone should have their resumes updated and have feelers out for positions that would benefit their careers. Since I was in the mindset that I was going to get laid off (sooner rather than later), I started sending out my resume. Today, that has paid off.

I was offered a fabulous position with a company that is half the distance from home (save some $$ on gasoline) and 1.5x what I currently make. Great benefits, salaried position, eligible for bonuses, and wonderful 401k matching opportunity. I am on the low-down because I haven't officially given notice yet. I am planning on starting April 2nd but my current company has been known to cut people loose when they give notice. If that happens, I need to be ready for that by having my personal files (pictures and music) off the computer and have my projects at a place where someone could pick them up and roll with them. I don't want to leave anything hanging. I'm planning on tendering my resignation this Friday.

Now, we just need for Amy to have a job offered to her. She's interviewed for several and we're believing that her job offer is just around the corner.

Yes, I am blessed...


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Welcome Home, Sailor Boy!

The USS John C Stennis returned home yesterday after 7+ months on deployment. They were in the Strait of Hormuz when Iran threatened to shut it down. They flew the last missions into Iraq and they rescued Iraqi fishermen from pirates who had boarded their vessel. Needless to say, they had a very active deployment period.

I was not able to fly to WA to experience the homecoming this time, but Navy News did a live video feed so those of us "out of towners" could feel like we were there. I got special permission at work to pop in and out of the live video stream (because of bandwidth issues at my work) so that I could hopefully see Shaun. It wouldn't have been even remotely possible to see him if Jenny hadn't won one of the "first hug" raffles that the Family Readiness Support Group holds. During the whole deployment, they did raffle tickets for attending meetings, buying tickets, guessing how many pieces of candy were in a jar, etc. There are several thousand sailors stationed on board the Stennis and Jenny won one of only FIVE "first hug" tickets!

She got preferential parking (good thing with three little ones and being 8 months pregnant) and got to wait inside one of the special tents set up (they also had one for the new babies). The "first kiss" and "first hug" winners would be the first ones to get off the ship. Even though the weather wasn't supposed to be too great, Jenny decided to go ahead and take the kids because she'd have these extra perks.

I told Ron about the link and he was able to watch from home. While he was watching, he took "videos" of the video stream. In this first one, Shaun is the tall guy with his left shoulder toward the camera and he's holding a rose for Jenny in his left hand. As you see him looking down at something in his right hand, I'm texting him and he's replying. He waves at the camera with his rose. The picture isn't great but not too shabby considering it was taken with Ron's phone.

In this video, Shaun appears at 1:15 and he's down on his knees with Katy and Alexander. You'll see Jenny with Zachary just briefly before the camera moves on. I was so glad to get to be able to see this. It warmed my heart so much - the next best thing to being there!

You might want to expand the video a bit so you can see it easier.

Thirty-One Gifts tab

I added a tab for my Thirty-One Gifts business. I've posted a little bit about the history of the company and about a new initiative for raising money for women and girls, called Thirty-One Gives. Each month, I'll be updating that page with the special for the month.

For March, spend $31 and get an adorable Mini Utility Tote for only $8 (a $22 value). The Mini Utility Tote can also be personalized with up to 12 characters on one line. It would make an adorable Easter basket to be used year after year.

The special for April is spend $31 and get any purse for 1/2 price. That is a fabulous deal!

Please check it out...


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Isaiah and Anna got baptized

Amy and Rex belong to the local Methodist church and a couple of weeks ago, Isaiah and Anna got baptized. It was a really nice service and we were very blessed to be able to attend the service.

I had to include this sweet picture of sleepy Anna...



The two old farts with the kids (had to prop Ron up so we could get the picture):

Rex, Amy, Isaiah, and Anna with the nurse who was there when Anna was born:

Hope you all have a great weekend...