Posted in Corona, Family

Waving From Quarantine

Hi to all my people! A “I hope you are staying healthy and sane” welcome to my little corner of the internet.

We’re….doing ok. Bennett works at Wawa, which is a convenience store/gas station and is considered essential-to-life. So he goes out many times per week and works many hours, interacting with his co-workers and strangers. I feel like if any of us is going to get it, it will be him.

Ethan has literally not left our home since March 13th. We’ve had a lot of yucky weather, and even on the nice days he isn’t the kind of kid that just wants to sit outside. But the next time we have a nice day, which please God be soon, I am forcing him outside to take a short walk and get some natural vitamin D! His teacher emails him lessons each day and he listens to the occasional zoom room lesson on social skills.

Laura and Catie are both doing virtual school. Laura has her college bedroom all set up in the basement. If the door is closed school is in session and we are to leave her alone. So far, it’s mostly working. Catie’s 3rd marking period ends tomorrow. And her school is still having spring break, which I SO DO NOT UNDERSTAND.

Jim is working from home full time. He has his office in the garage and we’ve mostly gotten used to it.

I’m…home. *shrug*. I check my work email because I can, and respond where I need to. I’ve gone in once to place some orders (only seeing my boss and one other coworker and we kept well away from each other). I’m not going in this week at all. I grocery shop, and drive Bennett to work, and have been to my allergist appointments (weekly) and to Home Depot a couple of times. I’m going a little stir crazy from bingeing NCIS again and playing computer games and reading, but I’m good. It’s good. We’re good.

Mostly.

Our dearest friends from our old neighborhood lost the husband’s father today from Coronavirus. That’s the first death that’s actually touched someone I know. This virus has been so removed from our everyday lives–we don’t see the deaths (or even really hear about them). This family can’t have much of a funeral, or a memorial service. They have to wait to have their closure.

Please stay safe and healthy. Wash your hands, practice physical distancing and pray. Pray hard.

Posted in Christian, Corona, Family, Money

Timing is Everything

Point A) My husband’s company gives out bonuses. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but each of the six years he’s been there he’s received something. This year was a good year.

Point B) As a family we have chosen to tithe. Sometimes it’s been hard–sometimes it’s not happened, but overall we give back to the Lord as He has blessed us. And as much as we argue about all sorts of different stupid things, we pretty much agree about our giving amounts.

Point C) We are tithing on the bonus, but weren’t sure where it should go to. God usually–not ALWAYS–but usually makes it apparent where our gift should go, so we decided to wait and see.

Point D) Laura originally had planned on doing a summer mission trip with Campus Crusade for Christ (now called Cru) and that’s what we were kind of thinking, but then their whole summer missions program got canceled this year due to Corona.

Point E) As of today, the governor closed all businesses that weren’t “life sustaining” (Jim’s job is part of that type of company, so we are good). People are going to really start struggling.

As I sat at my desk just now, a thought popped into my head that I knew immediately was the right choice. “Hey Jim! How about we give our tithe to the Chester County Food Bank?” He agreed right away.

Timing is everything.

Posted in Corona, Family, Job, School

Getting Whiplash Over Here

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock, or maybe on a spiritual retreat in the deepest part of the Amazon, you’ve heard of Coronavirus. In fact, if you are anything like me, you’re probably UP TO HERE with hearing about it! Like many, many families, we have been impacted by it.

  1. Laura is home from West Chester University. She came home for her scheduled spring break and then they extended it until March 30, when she will restart all her classes, except everything will be cyber. You know, like the past 6 years of her schooling.
  2. Jim’s company is doing mandatory work-from-home Fridays, except his boss warned him that he might not be working in the building as of Monday either. Thankfully, Jim’s job is one that can be done from home (unlike mine).
  3. Our area stores are out of TP. And water. And OJ. It’s stupid, y’all.

So, yeah. Wash your hands (sing the Happy Birthday song 2x and you’ll be good) and stay sane! And healthy.

Posted in Church, God, Me

A Quiet Monday Morning

This Monday morning it’s 6:45. One hour ago I took Bennett to work (since he still doesn’t drive, but that’s another post). Laura is most likely still asleep at college, because she doesn’t have any early classes this semester. Ethan is just getting up because his bus comes in an hour. Catie might be asleep with both dogs on her bed, or she might be awake scrolling through Instagram or whatever teenage girls look at when it’s 6:45 in the morning. Jim is in the shower, so I should probably start his coffee because he’ll be leaving for work soon.

At 6:45 on this Monday morning, life is….unsettled, I guess is the best word. And that’s actually different from what it was 24 hours ago. 24 hours ago I was getting up on a Sunday morning, getting ready for church, and processing the evening before, which was “newcomer dinner” for the newer folks at our church (that being me and Laura). Yesterday at church, though, the pastor talked about ITM (Intentionality, Transformation and Missional), which are three Peak Priorities within the vision that our church is doing for three years (this being the 2nd year). Within the Missional part there is a leader, and a staff consultant, but there is an opening in “admin”. I felt a pinprick. For the first time in YEARS, I felt a pinprick–the Holy Spirit poking me and saying HEY, PAY ATTENTION.

But people, I’m scared. I’m not even a member of this church…yet. I pretty much made that decision to become a member, which is rather huge for me. So, yes pinprick, but I kind of shoved it aside.

Then yesterday evening I read a sobering, sickening and completely horrifying article on sex trafficking, the descriptions and stories within I will likely never forget. And I prayed that, while I often feel like one of the few things I have to give at this season of my life is only money, that God would use me within this need.  Because, O GOD, this world is horrific and dying and evil and there is so much need. And once your eyes are opened, how can you go back?

And hello pinprick, remember me? So I told God last night in the midst of agonized prayer that I would follow up with the admin in Missional. What was involved? Was it even something I COULD do? Etc. And I just this moment emailed the church to ask those questions.

So here I am on a Monday morning. Unsettled. Having “regular” life to deal with–always, always–but feeling a call to do more. To use my gifts, which was my “word for the year”. I thought it would be musically. We’ll see.

Posted in Change

Cutting the Cord…Sort of

Ever since Jim and I were married we had some sort of paid TV service. At first, it was “basic cable”, which was basically cheap good reception of network TV. Then we got Comcast and a regular TV package plus Internet (hey, who here remembers before the internet was a thing?! I DO!). Then Dish TV, then DirecTV and finally FIOS, where we had  “triple play” of TV, Phone and Internet.

Fast forward to the move two years ago, where we never really installed a phone in the house, so I got used to not having it. FIOS makes it such that it makes more sense to have a triple play than a double play, so I researched ways to cut the cord. Sort of. I mean, we have Amazon Prime for the shipping, but we can watch their stuff too. We have Netflix, for both the great movies via mail and the fun shows online.

We finally settled on Sling, but kept FIOS for the two month trial period. It ended up being a mostly painless switchover. Yes, we ended up buying an antenna, because we are avid fans of NCIS and Sling doesn’t do CBS, but that’s really been it.

About six months ago we got rid of both our landline and FIOS TV. I don’t miss either one. Honestly. Having the ability to watch something on my PC or phone or the TV has been great. (although Bennett literally just asked me why we can tape NCIS and I had to explain to his completely-not-understanding-brain-because-he’s-18 that we just can’t do that. (unless we got a TiVo, but No, I’m not going to). Anyway, BESIDES not being able to tape live television, I like our current entertainment set up and love that we are no longer slaves to Verizon (or Comcast etc). If you continue to pay big bucks to the big companies, I encourage you to try something new (like Sling or Hulu or whatever).

Posted in Change, Family, Job, Me

The End of the Year of Change…or is it?

364 days ago I posted that 2019 was going to be The Year of Change. I was so nervous, which was completely understandable. Standing on the other side of 2019, though, it’s been a crazy roller coaster like I thought it would be, but man, was it a good year!

I took a class on restarting my career

One of the girls did an intensive counseling day program followed by a less-intensive group program.

Laura was diagnosed with Generalized Epilepsy and had three seizures.

Laura and Bennett graduated high school

Ethan did a one week at camp and a three week summer program, all away from home

Catie worked a summer job every day

Catie applied for and got into CPFA, which cemented her career plan to become an actor.

Bennett got his first job and works full time now at Wawa (a regional convenience store)

Laura moved out into my sister’s house and attended her first semester at college, which went better than any of us could have hoped for. She also (ahem, ahem) made DEANS LIST!

I went to counseling for myself, which definitely helped with addiction and other things.

I got a part time job after 18 years away from the corporate world

I started going back to church and am going to attend a “welcome new people, find out more about us” dinner in January with the idea of becoming a member of this church.

Jim and I did marriage counseling, which we are now finishing up. It was tremendous and I highly recommend it.

Jim is changing positions within his company after being in the same department for three years. It will start in January.

Whew! That’s so much change in one year! Especially for me!

But you know what? It really has been SO GOOD! (well, except for the epilepsy!)

As I look into 2020, there’s so much more change ahead–Bennett going to college, Ethan attending the “school to work” program at Overbrook where he’ll leave our house on Monday morning and come home Friday afternoon. Catie being a senior and doing the whole college search and application rigamarole. But where I faced 2019 with fear and trepidation, I am embracing 2020 with wide open arms. I hope you can face your uncertainties the same way!

Joyous New Year, Dear Readers! See you on the flip side!

Posted in Job

Three Month Work Anniversary

Remember high school where you would celebrate a “one month anniversary” or “6 weeks dating”? Well, I’m “three month’s at my new job” today. I walked in knowing I could be helpful, but full of trepidation because I hadn’t done it for 18 long years.

So far, yeah, I like it! It’s still sometimes a pain scheduling stuff around it, and I’m grocery shopping sometimes on Sunday nights instead of Mondays, but it’s totally doable. I like my coworkers, and my boss has been nothing but nice. My last boss, well, let’s just say he’s the main reason I quit my old job and leave it at that. Whenever I make a mistake (and there have been a few, let me tell you!), he’s like “it’s no big deal” and moves on.

It’s fun (and I mean that) to see exercise equipment for sale on Facebook and recognize the good names (Cybex, Life Fitness, Core, Precor). It’s great to actually start to recognize part numbers that I’m ordering, catch mistakes before they happen, and have Don trust me enough to give me more and more things to do. Let’s also not discount the money! While I make not even 1/8 of what Jim does, it’s still a nice amount to add to our budget and has allowed for extras like driving school for Bennett (because Jim or me teaching was NOT a good fit!) and some counseling for Laura. I’m hoping to put some towards our car payment to bring that down more quickly.

In this season of thankfulness, I am just so thankful for a job that I like, that allows us some financial freedom, and gives me some adult interaction!