Monday, August 30, 2010

First day of school

We had an interesting turn of events this week. We had planned to fully homeschool O for kindergarten, but an opening came up at a charter school for homeschool families. We got a last minute call that there was a space for her, so O will be attending a full day kindergarten two days each week and be home with Jenetta for the other three.

I drove her this morning and Jenetta took L to preschool. I was stressed because traffic was really bad and we didn't take the optimal route, so we missed all the opening events with all the kids at the flagpole. I had to call Jenetta to figure out what class to take O to, but we found it ok and got h
er all settled in. The teacher called her by name and asked her to sit near her on the floor. All the parents had their cameras out, and I found a comfortable place against the back wall to watch. I was there probably for 30 seconds when the teacher said "Alright, time to say goodbye to the parents!" Immediately O yells out "goodbye,daddy!" She was certainly ready to jump in!

We've had a lot of firsts in the past 17 months. I know every parent feels that their kids grow up so quickly. But cut me some slack -
we've been on a slightly accelerated pace! :)

It has surprised me how emotional I am about this today. One day at a time, right? It's not like she's learning to drive or graduating college or walking down the aisle. But I feel as though I can see those things coming! O is ready to take on the world!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Jenetta's New Vlogging Experiment

So as most of you know Jenetta runs Frugal Freebies and Deals. Well in addition to the blog she is experimenting with vlogging and we would love for all of you to check out her you tube channel.

One of the latest is on making homemade vanilla. Let us know if there are any topics you would like her to record a video on.

Friday, August 6, 2010

New Job

Some of you already know this, but for those who do not, August 16 will be my last day at Innovative Body Science. I like the people there, and the work was tolerable (if not always interesting to me), but I will be moving to a new position on the 17th that I am very excited about.

I did probably 40 interviews during my period of unemployment. One of the companies I interviewed with was more of a "courtesy interview." The CEO of this company is the father of one of my friends, and he knew I was struggling. He was actually assisting me in getting an interview at a company where he used to work. When it became apparent that this wasn't going to happen, he suggested that I come in to talk with him personally. I was shown around, and they were all very polite, but it was pretty clear at the time that there really wasn't a place for me there.

I was very upfront with my current employer that although I wasn't actively looking for another job, if something came up from one of my past interviews that paid better, I would have to go for it. Well, in late June, I was contacted again, and after a lengthy phone interview and 5 hours of interviewing with 4 people, I was offered a position. My current employer has been understanding and supportive (but understandably disappointed) through all this. I actually could have made the switch last week, but I wanted to stay on and cover for my supervisor who leaves on vacation this weekend. I felt that doing something in their best interest and asking my new employer to be patient was warranted under the circumstances.

Even though my time at Innovative Body Science was short (just over three months), and they paid me a salary about in line with what I was earning 10 years ago, I am very grateful to them for two key things. First, they gave me a job when we really needed it. Our retirement was cashed out, we were in serious debt, and we were faced with having no money available to pay our mortgage. We were planning on skipping upcoming mortgage payments. But just in time, I got hired and we were able to make it. I know God is behind this, and we thank Him for it over and over. He provided for all our needs and helped to relieve our stress when it seemed too much to bear.

They also gave me an emotional boost by hiring me when it seemed that no one else would. I must have put out 400+ applications, and the constant rejection and stress was really weighing on me. What seemed to be the worst was when I would interview and be told "we'll get back to you..." and then NOTHING!!! This happened a lot, and surprisingly, even after multiple interviews with other staff members at a business, I would still not hear anything back. That just seems so foreign to me! I can understand when I am one of 1000 online applications, but when I am one of 2 or 3 to be called back in for a second interview, you think they would have the courtesy to at least email or text me saying "No thanks..."

I was starting to doubt whether or not I would ever be able to provide for my family. I was wondering if maybe my background was so weird and scattered that I would never be worth anything more than an entry-level job. My confidence was at an all-time low. But then I got hired and was asked to produce immediately in a field I had zero experience in. There are a few things I do not appreciate about my current job, but I am grateful for it all the same.

My new job is with a company called TrellisWare. They make communications equipment for military and emergency services applications. Their engineers have designed hardware and software for streaming voice, data, and video in applications that some do not feel is possible to even achieve. I am very excited about the opportunity ahead of me. Everyone I've met there has been very welcoming and encouraging. You can definitely tell that they have assembled a winning team, and I'm honored to be a part of it.

I will be supporting the development of a logistics/operations department. The company is growing and the need for this type of support is becoming more apparent. That being said, the company is small enough that there really isn't an upper management position directly over me, so if I am successful there, it is clear that there will be substantial opportunities for me to grow with the company.

There are other perks that go along with this job. The company is located next door to where I used to work at Sony, so it will be much easier for me to meet for lunch with my buddies from church again. They would like me to take an hour lunch, and the building has a full locker room, so I will be able to run and exercise on my my lunch break a few days a week (there is a great exercise course I used to run when I worked at Sony). I'd like to get back into half-marathon running shape again, so this schedule looks to help accommodate that.

But probably the best thing about it all is that instead of being a bit short each month to make our budget, we will be several hundred dollars ahead each month. So accelerating our debt payoff plan will be a huge blessing! The company benefits are also incredible. They gave me a "benefits at a glance" sheet. It is a 3 page spreadsheet with 10 point font. There are a lot of really good benefits offered to TrellisWare employees.

Anyway, I am super-excited about this new possibility, and I eagerly anticipate being at TrellisWare for a long, long time!

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