Thursday, September 30, 2010

School Walk-A-Thon

Yesterday, in attempts to raise money for our school, we held what we believe will be our first annual Walk-a-Thon.

In recent years, our school has done Walk-a-Thons for such disasters as Hurricane Katrina victims, where as a school we raised $24,000. And last year, we did a Walk-A-Thon for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti and raised almost $12,000.

This year, our Walk-a-Thon will be benefiting the victims of recent State budget cuts to education. This year, the money raised from the Walk-a-Thon will benefit our school directly and the 700+ kids we have in attendance.

In years past, we’ve done catalog fundraisers, and candy sales. Both in which over half of the money brought in, is paid back to the company that organizes the event. But this year, because of the State of Emergency in our school, we need every cent to stay at our school. So our Ways and Means Coordinator came up with the idea for this Walk-A-Thon.

Wednesdays are our usual minimum day, so the event was held after school from 1:00-2:00. Our principal arranged for late buses to be available to the students who stayed and participated. On Tuesday afternoon, we had permission slips signed for over half of our students to participate, with another 100 or more permission slips being turned in yesterday morning as well as right up to the start of the Walk-A-Thon.

Each grade level had a booth of some sort. The money brought in from those individual booths stayed with that grade level and they'll use the money to help off set the cost for upcoming field trips, etc. We had booths that sold nachos, cotton candy and popcorn, water bottles and flavored water packets, sno cones, juice boxes, Krispy Kreme donuts, Silly Bandz Bracelets, collecting the recycling, as well as a booth that allowed you to toss wet sponges at the teachers face that was sticking out the cut out. At the conclusion of the Walk-A-Thon, our principal stepped in and let the kids cool him off. A good majority of the teachers dawned their tennis shoes and walked right along side their classes. Our principal did the same! He'd changed from his dress pants and long shirt and tie into comfortable walking clothes and he walked right along side his students, making several laps on each of our three roped off walking tracks. I was so impressed by this, our principal is awesome and really cares about the kids at his school and is always so appreciative of the parent volunteers and the PTA and he expresses it. The kids loved seeing him out there walking as well. It was a VERY LONG day yesterday and I came home worn out, exhausted, and with a headache. I arrived to the school about 7:20am and worked until after 3:00. We spent the day preparing by cutting ribbon for balloons, last minuted registrations, setting up the three different areas, the booths, blowing up balloons, making three balloon arches, and tons of other little detailed things that made the event a success! This picture is just some of us who'd put hours into the day.And now we wait...for all the money and pledges to be brought in and accounted for, to determine just how successful our fundraiser was. Here's hoping we don't have to do any little fundraisers in the remaining school year...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Lots Going On

I've got so much going on in the next few weeks that the other day, I was feeling a little overwhelmed. I knew it'd all work out and get accomplished, I just had to sit down, make some lists, and tackle some of the tasks one thing at a time.

The girls' school is having a Walk-a-Thon tomorrow. The PTA is hoping we bring in enough money that this will be the only big fundraiser we'll have to do this year. It's the PTA that supplies the monies for a lot of the things that our State budget has cut, so it's important that we raise funds. A lot of work has gone into tomorrow's event. There will be grade level booths selling concessions, mom's with squirt bottles squirting kids as they walk by, and prize raffles for pledges and monies brought in. The first graders are collecting the recycling and a week or two ago, Rachel's teacher put me in charge of taking care of it. She'd been away for an entire week at training, and I'm sure was just feeling overwhelmed with it all and just handed it over to me. With the help of some friends, I obtained a huge box from the local TV store and I've covered it in yellow paper and painted it so that it stands out on the playground. I think it will, what do you think?? LOL. So tomorrow, I'll be at the school most of the day helping set up, mark the kids lap cards as they walk past the starting point, squirting kids with water bottles, etc, etc, etc.

The next thing I have on my plate is the upcoming Harvest Party I'm organizing for the kids of our church. I hadn't gotten much planned on paper and was feeling rather stressed about it. But I had a meeting with the women who'll help me this past Sunday after church, and I'm feeling pretty good about it and now that I've had my meeting, and have delegated things out, I'm feeling less stressed about that.

And finally, as the Box Tops Coordinator for our school, the current contest is winding down and coming to an end on October 21st. Last week, I made a flyer. I then took the flyer and printed, cut, and counted enough flyers to go home with our 700+ students alerting to the upcoming contest ending. I've been working on getting the 17,000 Box Tops I have here at home organized and grouped together to make sending them off to the company in a month a little easier. I'm also responsible for rewarding the contest winners and then presenting the awards in an assembly the end of next month. I'm making some changes to how things have been done in the past and it just takes time and organization.

Add these few major things to my every day life and it's just a lot right now...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Red Box

Red Boxes have been popping up all over the place. Have you noticed them?? If not, you will now that I've pointed out that they are popping up all over the place. LOL. Renting movies from the Red Box is SO easy. DVD's are a $1.00 for a one night rental, Blue Ray's are $1.50. And they only offer the latest releases.

You can rent them anywhere and return them to ANY location. We have a couple of Circle K's within a mile of our house and it makes it very convenient for renting a movie on Friday afternoons on the way home from school!

Tinkerbell's new movie was released this week on DVD therefore it's a strong possibility that'll be our movie for this weekend. Although Hannah's lobbying for Prince of Persia or Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief...AGAIN!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The New Season of Survivor

The new season of Survivor started last Wednesday. Hard to believe it's the 21st season, Hannah was just a few months old when we first started watching.

This season, the tribes are divided into the "Young" and the "Old". The Young are between 20 and 30 years of age, and the Old are over 40. Seeing how I'll be 37 next month (WHOA!) I don't fit into either of those tribes. And when I mentioned that to my Mom, she pointed out that I'm middle aged. LOL. Um, yeah, thanks.

First Day of Fall 2010

The leaves on the trees don't show signs of Fall...

The projected forecast for the weekend weather doesn't show temperatures resembling that of Fall...

But the calendar says today is the First Day of Fall! And our house shows signs of the season too...
I LOVE this season and time of the year! Time to break out the soup recipes and get ingredients for apple cake!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shifts Cancelled

Last week, I had one of my closing (10-6:30pm) shifts get cancelled at the local grocery store.

After reading the message board of the nurses working for the same agency, I found I wasn't the only one to have shifts cancelled. At that time, one of the nurses was told that only the closing shifts were affected. Therefore, I was feeling pretty good as the remainder of my shifts were the opening shift of 9-3.

But yesterday morning, I received an email that my remaining five shifts at the local area grocery stores had been cancelled. There simply wasn't enough people seeking out flu shots in these venues. This leaves me with only two shifts left - one is at a senior apartment complex, the other at a corporation.

I was kinda bummed. I was looking forward to bringing in some extra money. But on the bright side, I'm ahead of the game for next season if they rehire me, then I'll have an earlier chance at other clinics. And, if nothing else, like my Mom said, going through the process and getting hired and getting 'back out there' has shown me that I can do it!

Family Beach Day

Our church had a "Family Beach Day" this last Saturday. It didn't quite turn out as successful as you'd think it would have, it was us and the ministry coordinators that showed up. That's all.

We arrived to the beach at 8:00 am to secure a fire pit thinking people come during the day, come and go, stay into the evening, etc. But such is the life of Saturdays filled with soccer games, unexpected work days, and just life in general happened.

We however, had a very relaxing time. The other couple that organized the event are good family friends whom we always enjoy spending time, in fact, we camp with a lot of the time. The sun didn't come out til close to noon, but once it did, it was absolutely beautiful!!

The six of us ended up packing it up and leaving around 3:00pm. Someone sure lucked out on scoring a fire pit that time of day!!

Here are a couple of pictures of the girls taken on Steven's iPhone. And with that, we've said goodbye to the last weekend of Summer 2010!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Book Turns into Movie

I've mentioned before of my like for Christian fiction author, Karen Kingsbury. I've even met her once, almost three years ago.Over the last year, her fans have been watching the progress of one of her books being turned into a movie, a full pledged movie at the movie theaters!

The movie is called "Like Dandelion Dust" and it's the story about a young boy who lives with his adoptive parents. It's a perfect childhood until the parents receive the phone call one day that the birth parents want him back and the decision of the judge to take him out of the only home he's ever known and place him back with his birth parents. The trailer looks like it's going to be an excellent movie.

The movie premieres in a neighboring city near us on October 1st, and I can't wait to go and support Karen and this movie!

To see the trailer and check your city for showtimes, visit the website here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Picking and Choosing

It seems like we are living in a society where people are doing an awful lot of 'picking and choosing' in all sorts of areas.

For example, some people choose to follow the "no texting while you're driving law", and some people choose to follow the "hands free law" in accordance to using a cell phone while driving here in the State of California. I know I'm guilty of picking and choosing in these two areas. :X This San Bernardino County Sheriff was showing the public what she chose! Or how about when people pick and choose which rules of etiquette to follow and which ones not to? For example, being obsessive about people RSVPing to a party, but then choosing not send out thank you notes for a gift received?And the list could go on and on and on.

The "picking and choosing" mentality could also apply to our spiritual lives as well. Are we guilty of picking and choosing which of God's commandments we will follow? Guilty of picking and choosing which things you'll pray about, seek guidance from the Lord on?? Guilty of picking and choosing which area of our lives we'll allow the Lord to work? To have a precedence over?

Truth be told, we're always going to 'pick and choose' when it comes to everyday rules and laws.

But our lives would be a lot easier if we picked and chose the things of the Lord and let Him have reign in our entire life and not just the areas we choose.


"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

~ Jeremiah 29:11

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Divine Work Day

After the initial rough start of last week's first day, I really did love the whole giving injection thing and didn't really mind the paperwork. My next shift wasn't scheduled until the 24th. But I check several times a day for more shifts.

Last night, a shift opened up in a city about thirty miles away. Before the possibility of it being taken, I've learned to grab it, and then look at the details. Um, yeah, so the date of the clinic...TODAY!! I tried to cancel the shift online, but because it was less than three days from the clinic date, I would have had to have called in and had a really good excuse. And the fact that I didn't look at the date wasn't going to sound really good. LOL. So I rearranged the dinner menu to accommodate me getting home after 4:00 and laid out after school snacks, etc. And I worked today!

I dropped the girls off at school and then hit the freeway and started my thirty mile commute. I made it there in about 35 minutes, not bad for "rush hour". Had no problems clocking in, but my supplies were no where to be found. After a few phone calls, I found where they'd been delivered and got set up. A lot less stressful than last week. There are usually two nurses scheduled. One that works 9-3, and the other that works 10-6:30 and closes the clinic. The second nurse didn't come and she didn't come. I didn't mind, I'd only had four injections, and it was slow. I figured by mid afternoon, if the other nurse didn't show, I'd call the company and see if they wanted me to just pack it up or stay until 6:30. I was fine either way, especially if it meant an extra 3 1/2 hours!! But shortly before noon, the other nurse arrived.

The other nurse introduced herself to me, and before she even sat down, I recognized something familiar about her face. I was 99.9% sure she had been born with a cleft lip. I couldn't help but stare at her. I had to ask, but how do you ask? So we chatted, she asked if I was a new nurse, I explained I was a nurse coming out of Stay at Home retirement for the season. LOL. She told me she was a new grad, having worked a few months in home health before she quit and had to have surgery because she'd been born with a cleft lip and palate. And there it was...the door was WIDE open for conversation. I told her I had a hunch, simply because my daughter had been born with a cleft.

I was overcome with emotion. I tried to hold it together, but there was no accident in me getting this shift today. The Lord knew I'd be paired up with this nurse. He knew I needed to meet her and see her and how far she's come. To ask her questions. HE KNEW!! And I'm so grateful for how the Lord pays attention to every single little detail, details we may not even know about. But I KNOW it was Him who orchestrated this shift today. And I'm so thankful.

I asked her if she cared if I asked her questions in regards to her cleft and all her surgeries, and she said "No, she'd love to answer any questions".

She was twenty five years old and has had at least nine surgeries regarding her cleft. She said she'd had so many she really couldn't remember how many, but she was pretty sure it was nine.

She had the surgery that Rachel will have in two months when she was twelve. She's never received any speech therapy, and there were some things she said that I could tell she'd had no speech. It promoted me to write an email to our speech therapist once again thanking her for all her work with Rachel.

When my shift ended, I sincerely thanked her for answering my questions. And as I got on the freeway for my journey home, I prayed and thanked the Lord for opening the door to today's shift and for my nurse co-worker.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Minimum Day Wednesdays

The girls have minimum days on Wednesdays. Every Wednesday, which is new for our school.

It works out great for scheduling Rachel's speech in the early afternoon, opposed to later in the afternoon on full school days, after she's sat and paid attention in school for six hours.

I think it also helps break up the week. We have two long days of school, and then a short day, followed by two long days and then wallah! The weekend is here!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remember Our Heroes

Today, as everyone in the United States is aware of, was the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the New York World Trade Centers. We spent the afternoon and evening at the local park "Remembering Our Heroes".

My brothers band, The Riverside Blues Club, played three sets through the afternoon. There were booths, and games for the kids, and free snow cones, etc.

And then about 6:00 the ceremony began.

Jericho, my brother's band that does worship music, then took over and opened the evening with a worship song. The evening then proceeded with the pledge of allegiance, our national anthem, and the recognition by the local fire department, police department, and the CHP (California Highway Patrol) of the 'Heroes' each of those departments had lost through the years, and recently.

And then Moms of the Military presented five families with banners that will hang from our city's light poles down one of our major streets each acknowledging a Hero. Hero's that have given their lives since 9/11 in the war against terrorism. Each soldier represented by a wife, mothers and fathers, children, numerous siblings, even a foster mom and dad. Each story was different, but the same. They'd all lost their life for OUR freedom.

As Jericho played another worship song, candles were being lit amongst the hundreds of people in attendance. It was amazing to see, and hard to capture by camera.

A twenty one gun salute then ended the ceremony.

It was a tearful evening. So many lives were touched on this day nine years ago. And we are a nation forever changed by the events of that day, but let us never forget who holds our future...


"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

Progressive Dinner

Last night, our church had a progressive dinner. About thirty seven people participated and it was a lot of fun.

There were five houses involved if you had kids. LOL. One of the houses was the drop off for the kids to be babysat by the Youth ministry. The church projector was set up on the patio for movies and another TV was set up for games and pizza was ordered. Once the girls were dropped off, it was off to the houses with food for us! :)

We went to four different houses, all within a mile radius. The first house was appetizers. Second house was salad and soup. Third house was the main course (chicken enchiladas, beans, sweet corn bread, chips and salsa). And the fourth house was dessert.

It was a beautiful evening weather wise. We were outside at all the houses. Dinner was served at tables that were set up poolside, as was dessert at the last house. It was fun going house to house and sitting and fellowshipping with different people at each stop.

It would be fun to do it again in a few months, but with different host families, assuming we could stay within the city and have short traveling bouts.

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For many, many years, my Dad's side of the family used to do a progressive dinner in the early month of December, so that everyone could see how everyone decorated for the holidays. It was a yearly tradition for many, many years when I was growing up. And then there was a break for a few years in my late teenager years and then we did it again the first year or two we were married. I remember doing appetizers when we lived in the condo. Soon after, the family progressive dinners stopped, as the family was just getting larger and larger and the changing family dynamics and underlying disputes.

Friday, September 10, 2010

First Day of Work - Outside the Home

Today I stepped out of my comfort zone and into something new.

Today, I dawned my nursing uniform for the first time in almost eleven years and worked outside the home as a nurse. Out of my comfort zone of being a Stay at Home Wife, out of my comfort zone of being a Stay at Home Mom.

I didn't realize just how comfortable I was in those two positions until I was up and getting ready to go to work today as a professional nurse. I was nervous. As anyone would be the first day of any new job, but I haven't worked outside the home since I was three months pregnant with Hannah, since October 1999.

I've been staying informed and gleaning information from a message board I found online specifically for nurses who work with this agency. The last several nights, I've reviewed setting up, reviewed all the paperwork, reviewed how these new syringes work via a video.

I took Rachel to school. And then off to a Sam's Club in a neighboring city. I got there early, checked ini with the RUDE manager, and went and sat and waited for the pharmacy to open so that I could get my supplies and get to work. Upon trying to clock in via my cell phone, it didn't recognize my ID number or the clinic. To make a long story short, I had to call and speak to an actual person and she was able to clock me in. I spent over twenty minutes trying to clock in. After that, I went to town setting up all the consents, etc. The other nurse joined me at 10:00 and it was me and her until I was off at 3:00.
This was before I got my supplies and had everything set up.


After the rough start of the morning, the rest of the day went great. I learned the ropes of all the consents, the insurance and Medicare stuff and I gave my first injection in over ten years. And the patient didn't even flinch. LOL. It was a slow day, and I only gave 8 Flu Shots today. But it was a great day of learning from the other nurse and getting things down pat for when I work again. Which if I don't obtain any more shifts, I don't work until the 24th.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Venting

Let me just start off this post by saying I am extremely thankful for our health insurance. I know things could be worse, and will become worse if Obamacare continues to work it's way through California. But right now, I need to seriously vent about Loma Linda University's billing.

In recent months, I have spent countless HOURS on the phone with the Loma Linda billing offices and with our health insurance trying to straighten out several different problem claims, all related to Rachel.

And rather than go into all the long and drawn out details, I'll just say this and move on.....

Loma Linda University Medical Center and their billing offices are incompetent and can't even do the simplest of things right!!!!


There. I feel a little bit better.....

Sunday, September 5, 2010

This and That

September already. Where has the last eight months gone since the start of the new year? Did time really go this quickly when I was a kid? It always seemed like it was F-O-R-E-V-E-R between Christmases. LOL.

We've been in school for just over a month now and the girls are doing so well with getting up and dressed, beds made, and out the door by 7:30. We've been arriving to school with plenty of time to spare, except for one day when my van broke down on the way to school and Steven had to pick us up and take us to school, we walked in that day as the bell was ringing. LOL.
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I've found that it's become quite an adjustment to having both the girls gone all day. Despite having things I could do around the house, etc, I spent a day or two this week wasting away on the computer. What I need to do is sit down and write a list of all the things I'd like to get done and then start working on that list.
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Rachel's birthday has come and gone. And the next event I'm working on is planning our church Harvest Party. We did a Harvest Party last year and I'm hoping this year will prove to be a great time once again.
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As for the job situation, I continue to check the scheduling website. After checking for the last week and a half, I finally managed to pick up one more shift today, It's for the beginning of October and it won't be at Stater Bros., it'll be at the local Waste Management Facility giving flu shots to the employees. I check the site several times a day for more shifts. I wish I had gone ahead and taken some of the shifts that were a little driving distance when they were first available and then decided later if I really wanted them. Oh well, I'll just keep checking.
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The 5th grade field trip to Washington DC that was proposed, has been officially cancelled due to the lack of interest. It was for that very reason that I looked into a part time job to bring in money so that I could go. But since it's been cancelled, I'm excited to bring in some extra money to help with some major expenses(termites, van repair, Rachel's speech) we've had in recent months...

Edited to Add: Within the last half an hour, I was able to score a shift for THIS WEEK!!! I'll be working at a local Sam's Club. I'm a little nervous now that I'm faced with a shift THIS week. LOL.

Guess I'll be spending some time this week reviewing how to set up the clinic and all the paperwork, etc.

And it's time to get out the scrubs and find one that fits eleven years later, and polish up my shoes!