Friday, December 30, 2011

Tis the Season





































































If Jamie had her way we would be on the go every day and night...which we pretty much have been.

The beginning of the month was crazy with studying for my state real estate exam...I studied most of Nov and beginning of Dec but managed to pass my test on my first try and then got to do more classes courtesy of my new company.

I wrote my first listing last week with the help of my broker, but it goes live next week as they wanted to wait until after the holidays. It is a neighbor who cooincidently wanted to sell his house the week I passed my test. I happened to stop by to inquire about his new baby and mentioned passing my exam and wow this could be fun...


Anyway, lots of Jamie's friends have birthdays in December (three of her best friends!) and her birthday is next week. Poor baby would love a party but I have convinced her to wait until summer for a pool party again.


Our Christmas was awesome, Jamie got her coveted Monster High dolls (thanks Uncle Larry) a Hello Kitty scooter from Grandma Judy, a bike from Grandma Fifi and a Android tablet and zhuzhe universe from her Grandpa and Grandma Char and her new Aunt Jen Ron and Uncle Bruce sent her a handmade Chinese princess dress. Everyone was extra generous this year which was great because our income is down this season.

Mike and I got candy and the pleasure of seeing our little girls pleasure. Life is good.


Now to get busy.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Jamie's Fifth Christmas
























Wonderful Christmas morning, Merry Christmas everyone!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Crazy busy but loving life

I am a licensed Real Estate associate! I passed my state test and have signed with a local broker here in town that I used to be the rep for when I was at the paper.

I feel like this is a good fit for me and my skill set and it's my passion. I hope I excel at it and make a good living for my family.

We went out to eat the night I passed my state test for the first time in four months. Jamie picked Fridays.

And I think I may have my first listing!

WIsh me luck, I will try to post more now that I am done with the crush of studying!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tee shirt rug using Hula Hoop




From this site:



This looks so cool! Hoping to try it sometime. This pattern says it works best with boys size large tee shirts with a 33" hoop. So I am guessing that you could use a smaller hoop, say 28 for girls 4t.


Cool idea huh? Love this magazine and thanks Tara for the FB post about this great idea to recycle favored tees.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Destructive Sleepovers




Jamie has a BFF who when she sleeps over there is always some sort of horrendous mess and most recently destruction has become the norm.

They have learned to be quiet after they are put to bed and to do a real number on her room while we think they are sleeping.


Friday night they went to bed and proceeded to take all her books out, most of her dolls and toys. They also used magic markers on the Hello Kitty bed sheets (they colored in the clouds) and also on furniture and the hand painted waistbasket.

Last time they dumped all her toys out and the Moon Sand all over everything.

On a regular play date last summer they climbed the walls in the bathroom tearing the porcelain double towel bar down off the wall. (Which is of course no longer being sold at Home Depot - I found it on Ebay for $400!)


They love each other so much but I just can't handle this mess and destruction! I had the girls do over an hour cleaning up the room Saturday morning, and Jamie and I still worked for another 2 hours that afternoon to get it back in shape.

I really do love their friendship and both sets of parents enjoy the Adult time when the kiddies are at their friends, but really!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Our country isn't really number one anymore

Ok as someone who has recently become unemployed I have given some thoughts to the state of employment and unemployment in our country today.

One of my former colleagues, let's call him 'Ray' who normally was not very outspoken with the management team told our managers last year that 'they could treat us as badly as they wanted as they knew we couldn't easily find another job'. (this didn't go over well, in fact another colleague who spouted off in that meeting was fired a week later).

Ray was really was so succinctly true in that statement. Think about it. Most of the folks I know who are employed are pretty miserable in their job. I mean from all different sectors.

First of all the corporate sector:

I recently worked for corporation in a failing industry. The newspaper industry once enjoyed HUGE revenues and profits for producing a product most consumers in the market bought and invited into their home. A trusted source for news and information. And yes the newspaper is still trusted and purchased. But by fewer and fewer people each year. There is just so much competition out there for information, they are struggling to maintain any sort of healthy market share and although there is still revenue coming in it is nowhere near what they were used to before the housing bubble burst.

This is also happening in manufacturing, telecommunications and even the health care industry. Profit has become number one and since the profits are down the employees seem to bear the brunt of it. Ok so that is the corporate sector.

Then there is the education sector (which is really part of government/state services). Working for either is no longer a stable job you can count on being in for the rest of your life. I have a friend who was 'downsized' from her job with the state, (and is now on government paid disability) and a husband who teaches high school in a failing school. He is contantly struggling to keep up with the myriad of demands from his school administration, the county, school board and the state. He is at school Mon-Friday from 6:30 am to 6pm every day and works on grading papers and tests, lesson plans, rubrics and countless other tasks that seem never-ending. There is rarely a time when he can take more than 20 minutes to be with his family. He has been to church with us 2 times since school started back. He is constantly told he needs to work smarter, better and faster and provide more with less. He has aged five years in 10 weeks.

We have all heard of pensions being repealed and retired folks losing benefits they thougth were theirs for a lifetime. Nothing is a sure thing these days.

I am not sure about the military sector but do know of several folks in the service who are getting out this year.

The retail/service industry seems to be thriving. I have asked those who work for Rent A Car, Cable, Pool Stores etc how they like their jobs. The answers have varied but usually are along "It's a job and it's ok until the economy shifts."

Will it shift? Or the optimistic way to say it is when will it shift?

As someone who is now unemployed after almost 19 years with the same company I have a different outlook now. Our country needs help and it needs it soon. Why must health insurance be either unattainable or $500/month?

And why is it so hard for any family to live on one income? My parents did it, lots of folks did it, but it just isn't done anymore.

I just think it's crazy.

We live in the so called best country in the world.

I think we are slipping.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The deal was...

Ok so this is one of Jamie's new sayings...I can't believe it...It just seems so adult...

She said "The deal was.." when explaining a twist in the Barbie Mermaid movie. I asked her what that meant and she responded, "That means if you don't follow the directions that you stay a mermaid forever"

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Great day!

Not just because it's my Birthday. Life is just grand for some reason.

Yes still no job.

I am thinking of becoming a realtor and am exploring options and next steps to see if this is realistic.

Some say because of the economy that it isn't a good option.

But it's my passion. When given the choice I have on House Hunting or Flipping Out on the television and have spent countless hours on zillow and realtor dot com. What can I say, I just love looking at houses for sale.

I spent the last 6 years of my recent tenure as an ad representative working with the real estate sector, mainly agents and brokers so I have some background.

Now I just need to go through Real estate school, pass the test, get licenced and get more training and mentoring to become what I have always wanted to be.

It's my passion and you know what they say about passion...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Busy Busy Busy!

Wow not much time to post, but life is good. This is the first time in over 20 years that I don't report to someone else to carry out their agenda.

My and my family's agenda every day all the time.

And there still isn't enough time.

Or enough money.

Wish there was more of both.

This is what has been filling my days lately:

Garage sale prep, Sunday school prep, Getting my health taken care of (Using up health benefits, getting new insurance etc. Trying to get over cold or seasonal allergies), getting this house in order, enjoying my pool now that the water is finally under 90 degrees and refreshing to swim in, Working with my new school age child on homework and behavior issues, Reading a bit...

Miraculously NOT worrying about finding a new job or that the money won't stretch enough, or feeling any bitterness or resentment about my recent job loss.

Wow.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Unemployed

Well I don't want to say too much on here but I lost my job this week.

I worked for that company for over 18 years.

I am still in a bit of a state of shock, but I think I am going to be fine.

I feel fine, really Almost relieved.

What does life have for me next?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

My Baby is in REAL School!











The first week was a bit rocky. Jamie wasn't at all ready to be dropped off at the front door as is their policy. Luckily Kindergarteners are allowed special treatment. So each day I would park the car and walk her into the school and then down the long narrow Kindergarten/First & Second grade hallway.




On Friday they changed the rule, no more walking her down the hallway.

We will see how it goes on Monday when I can't get out of the car anymore!




Saturday, August 13, 2011

Love the thunder

Listening to the thunderstorm rolling in on a Saturday afternoon is one of my favorite things to do on a day off.

Earlier I went to a workshop at church to take part in being a teacher for our Religious exploration program for the young 'Spirit Play' class. I hope I have what it takes, but I am willing to give it a try.

Jamie will be in the classroom I teach. We will see how that goes. The teacher from last year has had some issues with Jamie and he spelled some of them out today during the workshop.

Yes he pointedly brought up two occasions where Jamie hasn't gone along with the group.

He has done this before most recently at a church pool party where he shouted at me about Jamie climbing 'UP' the waterslide. And his child tried it and got hurt.

Yup, my child is challenging. She is very strong willed and wants to do what she wants to do.

His complaints this time were that Jamie won't always sit in the circle during Circle Time, (She prefers to sit in a bean bag chair instead of with the group.

And Jamie wears jewelry or clothes (like High Heels or a tiara) that are a distraction.

I got a little defensive. I really don't like being told my child isn't a good girl. I really felt like he was basically telling me he didn't like her.

And maybe he doesn't. That is part of life I guess. Not everyone is goiing to like my child or me for that matter.

So now I am sitting listening to the thunder.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Summer trip

Wow the summer is almost gone and so is our vacation. I know they say not to post that you are on vacation, so as not to let the friends of friends know your house is unattended but we have someone staying there.

And I let it out on FB already.

We have been up to Michigan to stay for a full week where I visited cousins, stepsisters and nieces/nephews and uncles and my Dad. We stayed with Dad the whole time, it was hard for him, he is 80 and not used to his routine being upset. Not that he changed his routine all that much but the rugs got out of place a bit (After I cleaned all the floors), lights were left on, his bathroom was used by a five year old who left the fan on and the door ajar, etc etc.

We visited my Cousin Kris who is my best friend/cousin. She is the one I must never miss seeing while up there, and we never do miss it. She lives across the street from the lake but we didn't make it out to the lake any of the days we were there. We mainly visited and taught them 'the game' (Settlers of Catan which I am addicted to and am trying to pass my addiction on to as many loved ones as possible)

I also went to a small family gathering and saw cousins and children of cousins and grandchildren of cousins that I barely know anymore. But it was great...everyone we visited had a bit of a rural flavor to their home.

We are now in North Carolina after a 14.5 hour trip that should have taken 11.5 hours, staying at my brother in law Bruce's. Bruce lives on a large lot (over an acre) and is so far from town that my cell doesn't work out here. Kind of nice, no phone but internet.

Jamie is now eagerly awaiting going to the movies to see Zookeeper for a matinee on our last day here. We haven't done alot for Jamie here in N. Carolina, as we mainly just hang in the house visiting. I would rather take her somewhere to run off some energy but it is 100 degrees out there already and it isn't noon yet.

They have bowling and roller skating there too, but she picked the movies. Maybe we can find an inside play place.

We brought the dog and I don't think Mike really wanted to. But Samson has been great. He is so mellow and great on trips. Mike has even said what a great decision it was to bring him. This vacation has been mostly about visiting rather than going to attractions as money is a bit tight this year. So no Cedar Point (which I love) No Hershey Park (Which Jamie Loves) and no Museums or Presidential Burial grounds (which Mike loves).

Just sitting and resting. Which is really what a vacation should be. I know I needed it.

When is the last time you went on a sitting and resting vacation? I think this was my first.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer time Life - Kittens & Sleepovers



































Jamie's BFF is Emmie, the blond in the photos. She also goes to our church. We make sure there is alot of 'Emmie time' as it is really important to Jamie to see her often. Emily's mom recently informed me they may move back to the Northwest next year when she is done with college. I hope this doesn't happen - it will be so sad for Jamie and for Emmie.


These kittens are at a neighbors down the street from us. Jamie and I were going by there a couple/few times a week to pick up and handle the kittens to help domesticate them.


Did you know if a kitten isn't handled by a human between 4 & 8 wks old they will prbably never become a good house pet? They need that imprinting at that very crucial time. Apparently we didn't over often enough as they are both running from everyone now.

Destined to be yard cats just like their parents.













Summer time Life - more baseball




Summer time Life - Part 1 Ballgames










I didn't post the photo of Jamie crying because of the scary Ronald McDonald the next section over. We have gone to a couple of games already this year and will probably go to a few more.

One of the benefits of where I work is Season tickets right behind home plate. Our home baseball team is a Minor league team and the park allows usage of unused tickets any Sunday - Thursday. And since Jamie is very much enamored of being in crowds in any capacity she loves going to the Baseball game!





Friday, June 3, 2011

Finally photos

Jamie loves her teacher Ms Pearl. I don't think she realizes she is about to not see her and be with her anymore!

Cutting up at Dance class







Playing guitar at Ms Michelles (Samson's first mommy)












So she really seems to love her dog, except when he eats her shoes or dolls which happens alot still. Good thing I buy most of her shoes at the thrift and consinment stores. The dolls that were ate were new though. It really doesn't bother me a whole lot for some reason. I guess I am really taken with this dog. He is a sweetheart. No more potty accidents - at least not for about 3-4 weeks so that is good. I just make sure my shoes are put up, especially my Birks.


Jamie will be leaving the school/daycare that she has been going to every day since she was 2 in 2 weeks. I am afraid that there will be some meltdowns when we get closer. Just this morning she was shouting she wanted her Dad to come to the Dads day party they will be having later in the month. She won't be there so no Dads day for her and Daddy. Hope she handles it well.


I have her signed up for Arts camp at the magnet school she will be attending this fall. The arts camp runs 3 wks after school ends. Then she will stay home with daddy most of the summer. We will go on vacation or stay on staycation during that time. Then right before school starts we are putting her in the local YMCA camp for a couple of weeks. That will give her another opportunity to be with new kids and also to swim every day and have some fun before school starts.

Then back to Pine Forest. This magnet school has won 'Best elementary Magnet school in the country'. It is the only dedicated arts Magnet school here in this county and is really sought after. More than 200 kids tried to get in and Jamie made it! She is in for the duration of her elementary school career. Then if she is good at dance or art or writing she can go to the Middle & High magnet schools but she will have to audition to make it there.


So it starts...My baby is becoming a child, a person of her own right.


Wah!