Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Ayron and I went to Mom's house last night to open the package. CJ (his name is Clarence Josiah, hence Taylor's middle name) sent us a baby blanket that my late Great Aunt Mae had knitted. It is perfect! It is square and not overly large. It is a pale yellow, almost cream color. Aunt Mae passed away this summer. I am not sure she had me in mind when she was knitting, in fact I'm pretty sure she didn't. I don't think she knew I was pregnant. It touched me that Uncle CJ thought of me. The card was touching and it made me realize that we "stole" Taylor's middle name from a great guy.
CJ has an interesting story that he will never tell. He was a POW for a length of time. It kills me that I don't know a lot about my family history, but one day I will get my hands on his book and read it for myself. I know that his story involves a Tiger's Eye stone that he was able to hide and I'm pretty sure that is the stone that Grandpa had made into a ring that my mom now has. Correct me if I am wrong, I probably am. Anyway, meanwhile back at the family house. CJ's mother never gave up hope, even after the service told her he was lost and probably would never be heard from again. I think I remember a part about her leaving the Christmas tree up until he got home. One day he just came walking up the drive way, and walked in the house like nothing had ever happened. To this day, he still won't talk about it. I am sure he would make an excellent speaker for Veteran's day or a history class. I do know that he wrote his story down at one point and somewhere along the line his daughter got a hold of it and made copies for the family. I am pretty sure my mom has one, so maybe I'll stop by there tonight and see if I can find it.
Just goes to show you, you may think your family is boring and has never done a thing, but who knows what has happened in the past that no one talks about. Yep, we chose a great middle name.
Ok, so I had some stuff wrong. Apparently the Tiger's Eye part never happend. Opps on my part. Here is some correct information I got my aunt.
"Just a clarification, and your mom knows more -- I had some facts mixed up about the POW story, and was glad to read it again....
Uncle CJ and Aunt Mae never had children. I believe Aunt Mae was past 40 when they met and married. (She had been divorced, and didn't have any kids the first time, either...)
Our distant cousin the bag-pipe player got his to write the story out a few years ago -- and she copied it and passed it to us cousins. He does NOT know she did that, nor is he to ever know. She did it for the family archives. The whole experience caused many, many years of severe flashbacks from time to time -- and may still, for all we know.
Yep, you picked a great middle name!!! He lives on in 1 great nephew, and now a great-great nephew!! :-) Good going, dear!!"
My boss called and asked where I was at. When I told him, he laughed. He told me he would meet me there and we'd do my evaluation. I panicked. I didn't know I had an evaluation. I immediately started thinking of everything I have done in the past year. Would he view me as successful? I silently laughed when I read his eval. I scored a 95% on the whole part. I was happy. All of his comments were nice and it seems he realizes that I need verbal recognition every once and awhile. He is now meeting with the judges concerning our (my whole offices) evaluations. Yikes! Hopefully the judges agree with him.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I guess I could go finish unpacking all of my new computers, but then I wouldn't be able to chat with my friends. Hehehe.
A friend of mine asked me a similar question yesterday in an email. His situation isn't as extreme as those I created, but still. How do we know if it is God trying to nudge us or if it is merely a coincidence? I don't know how much faith I put into coincidences. I do know how much faith I put in Him. I think He provides us with learning opportunities or moments of reflection to realize how important He is in our lives. We often put Him on the back burner and then take credit for everything good that happens to us and find a way to blame anyone else when bad stuff happens.
So what do you think? How do we know when it is Him or a coincidence?
Monday, October 29, 2007
I do find myself fighting the calm. I'm not used to being at peace like this. It is new to me. I find myself trying to dwell on the past. Then a gentle voice reminds me how destructive and unproductive that can be. Hopefully my long list of things to do for this week will keep me occupied.
Friday, October 26, 2007
To which my boss asked, "Do you like the truck?"
"Does it matter if I like the truck? It is parked odd and is taking up two spaces."
My boss laughed, "So move it."
"Yeah, sure, I'll just hot wire the beast and move it."
"No need, here's the key."
Turns out I got a truck while I was gone and didn't know it! Yeah for me! We have been looking for a used 4 door truck to be used by my program during the week and juvenile work crew on the weekends. This way the garbage can be thrown into the bed of the truck. Best of all, it is a chick truck. Let me explain what a chick truck is. A friend of mine calls dually trucks where the wheel well sticks out on each side a chick truck because it has hips. My truck sure does have hips. While it is a chick truck, I have decided to name it Herbie. Herbie is a lovely shade of green and sparkles nicely thanks to the inmates who gave him a bath this morning. There is one problem with Herbie, he has an ugly tattoo. His tattoo reads "Harold Chevrolet." (I threw that in there for my friend Todd who works for Harold). I am afraid that they are going to take my lovely Herbie and give him another tattoo on each front door. Hopefully we can just get some large magnets to put on the side when I let work crew borrow him.
It's been a long day already and Ayron is at home sick. Don't worry, party is still on for Sunday. I should get out of here and go check on him.
I think this statement is misleading. Here is why. I feel he does. He gives us more than we can handle ON OUR OWN. That is the kicker. I believe that when we lose our focus on Him and try to do everything ourself He steps in and reminds us that He is still there and we can call on Him. I am stubborn, so it often takes a huge messy week like this week to remind me that I am not in this alone and that I need to ask Him for help, for my own sanity as well as those around me.
Today is also the funeral for my student. For those of you that don't know, last Monday (10/15) I had a student (who was also on home detention) commit suicide. All of us at the office have spent this past two weeks in a daze. We all felt like we worked through it and then we realized that we have the funeral today. All of those emotions are going to come back. All of us carry feelings of guilt. We all feel like if we looked harder we would have seen some warning signs. I keep reminding myself that she had talked with her family about death several times. She had cried wolf so many times to them that they "ignored" it. She never mentioned anything to me or while in my program about it. I do wish I would have recognized something in her. She was good at compartmentalizing her life. We only saw the happy goth chick who was more than willing to help. Today will be tough.
"Dear God, help me to realize that I can't do this on my own. I need Your help to get me back on track. Help me to realize when I am in over my head. Humble me. Allow me to allow You to work in my life. Give me the strength to get through today. "
Friday, October 19, 2007
Thursday, October 18, 2007
For those of you who don't know, last December my sister-in-law was T-boned by a semi going close to 50mph. She had a 10 percent chance of living and a 1% chance of not being paralyzed. After a month in the hospital and several months of rehab. She is back to her old self. Well, not exactly her old self. Her speech is still a little off, but it get's better every week. She is skinnier than ever!! Her eye sight is better than before the accident. I have spent some time talking to her lately about the whole thing. She was in a coma for around 8 days. I knew she didn't/won't remember that. During the last two weeks in the hospital she became very coherent, although defiant (she ripped out her feeding tube and broke her neck brace out of anger). We thought she would remember those times. She doesn't. She is constantly amazed to hear how she threatened her roommate during week two. Her roommate had just had a stroke and would make moaning noises. Nikki, very calmly, moved the curtain and asked "Can I help you?" When the woman moaned Nikki replied, "Well then shut up will ya?!" She doesn't remember Christmas at the hospital either. She barely remembers having her husbands birthday in the hospital or watching the movie "Cars" three times a day. It just astounds me what the mind can and will not remember. It protects us. It controls so much of our movements. It's astounding.
I don't know how people can think about topics like this and not believe in a higher power. Even as I sit and look out my office window, I am amazed. Someone cared enough for me to create all of this. Not only create it, but sent His son to die for me so that I could enjoy it. How can people not believe?
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I know that addressing someone through a blog is a cowardly way to doing things, but I think what was said is an issue that should be addressed by all. I had told a friend about yesterday and their comment revolved around how they thought suicide is selfish. That comment stung me. It still bugs me, and while I can't put my finger on exactly why, I have an idea. Yes, suicide can be viewed as selfish. I think in most cases, the focus needs to be on the person, not on the act. Every person goes through so much in their life, and some people can't or don't learn the proper ways to cope. They see suicide as the only way out. Sometimes drugs are involved. Drugs can alter a persons thinking process. The person may have the most sound judgement but the instant drugs hit their system, they become a different person and do things they never would do if they were in their right mind. I think that the focus needs to be on the person and the people left by that person. We should not focus on the details of the death, but on the family and friends left behind to cope.
A local counselor that works with my program (usually doing drug education) came last night and met with me, two of my staff, and the two girls to discuss the emotions everyone was feeling. It was a great session. It was hard and emotionally trying on all of us. All of us cried at one point. Adam even put on her favorite shirt not realizing what he would learn as the day went on. What killed me was seeing a girl that we know break down and fall on the floor. We know she doesn't have a strong family and she was going to go home and have no one to talk to about this whole thing. I hope she spends some time today talking to her teacher. The counselor is coming back again tonight (she usually does her program on Tuesdays) and they are going to draw, write, create, their favorite things about the student who has passed. Adam left a note he wrote to her last night on my desk this morning. I will contribute my prayer drawing I did yesterday, and each of the girls said they would work on something last night.
I called another "co-worker" this morning to discuss some things that were said last night and when I hung up, I was mad. It seems like everyone is numb to this whole thing. Not numb like they have pushed their emotions away, but numb like this is an everyday thing and they are sick of dealing with it. It upset me. How can we be like that? Where has the compassion and concern gone? Does no one really care what this girl was dealing with? All of the files are already closed and it is like she never existed. Why aren't "we" looking at this and thinking of ways to prevent this from happening again? I hope I never get so used to my job or get so set in my emotions that something like this doesn't jar me. I think that's how you know you've been doing something far to long. Sure, the shock of dirty drug screens is slowly lessening, but every time, I am still upset. I still feel hurt every time someone does a new crime or lies to my face about something. These people have dealt with this crowd for so long they expect it. That just gets me. They act like since they left the office door yesterday at five that it was done. I took it home with me. I talked to my mother in law about it. I prayed about the whole thing. I am still so upset about it all. Maybe it's because I know more than I should and more than I can legally share.
Well, I should get back to work. Yesterday put me a day behind schedule so I need to bust my butt this morning to get everything done before my two big meetings tomorrow.
Monday, October 15, 2007
At 3am this morning, one of my after school students who was also on home detention committed suicide. No one saw any signs. This person meets with several counselors, therapists, and professionals a day, and no one saw it. My secretary is beside herself because her house backs up against the students and she didn't hear a thing last night. No lights, no sirens, nothing. What we are trying to figure out now is why and how did the student get a gun. When someone is put on home detention the house is checked and any type of "weapon" is removed. So now the questions remain and answers seem far away.
Pray for this family. They already had a ton of problems and now this. Apparently it is already in the paper. One of my staff just called me and she is a wreck. I don't know how to face the kids tonight. I have already put a call into the Counseling Center that we use for drug counseling and I know probation did the same. It's going to be a long rough day. Pray, that's all any of us can do.
Friday, October 12, 2007
I'm grateful this week is over. It has been crazy at work since everyone had Monday off. Screwed up our court schedule, and from there, it all went downhill. I did volunteer to help by offering to be placed on Home Detention. Our office is currently exploring other GPS units. My boss is currently wearing two anklets. One is our old system, and the other one is a newer version. He is not impressed. I know he has been throwing a fit about wearing them (secretly I think he likes it) so this morning I offered to test a third unit that we are hearing about today. I figured, sure, I'll wear it all weekend, no one will ever know and I can help my boss out. Oh what I didn't know. Apparently this new unit (the salesperson is an hour late, so far we are not impressed) has a built in extra feature. It detects when someone drinks. I'm guessing it is similar to the one that Lyndsy Lohan sported as a fashion accessory a while back. Needless to say, my boss plans on truly testing it this weekend. I offered to take him out to lunch for an early bosses day. I figured a few margaritas at Las Limas. He thought about it, but then he would run into the problem of "drinking at work." I told him that if he gets picked up this weekend for drinking the excuse, "I'm working. Seriously, I'm testing a new anklet." Probably wouldn't fly with the cops.
Well, I have two more computers to hook up (I was able to buy 5 new desktops for my program) and them I'm out of here!!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
This container is self-heating. They are intended for camping. I bought it because it was so flipping cold out. I intended to drink it during my meeting this morning, but our new heating/cooling system in my other office is having issues and decided to keep the office at a balmy 82 degrees. It was roasting. Anyways, back to this new product. Here are the instructions off the "can."
1.) Turn container upside down. Pull off metal tamper-proof bottom.
2.) Place on a flat surface. With thumb, firmly push button downwards until green water drains (I read this and freaking, green freaking water in my hot cocoa? I'll explain later). After 10 seconds, turn container right side up.
3.) This spot changes color from pink to white (5-8 minutes) when beverage is hot. After spot is white, twist lid to align opening. Shake, open enjoy!
The green water had me freaked out, until I read the other side of the can, then my simple and tired mind got it. This is how the website explains it.
"Revolutionary hot stuff! Individual container actually HEATS itself. Pressing the bottom breaks a foil seal and allows water to enter the internal heating chamber containing quicklime. The mixture generates heat but does not touch the beverage. Great for outdoor sports, hunting, camping, etc. Each Drink is 2 3/4 x 6"h., weighs 19 ozs. Contains 10 fl. ozs. "
I am currently full from lunch but I can't wait to try this stuff and see if it gets hot and how hot it does get.
1:16 - I just did steps 1 and 2. I am currently focused on the pink dot, wondering when it will turn white.
1:17 - I just touched the container and everything is still cold. Hmmm.
1:19 - Another touch test. Getting warm. Pink dot is not fading, not a bit.
1:21 - the dot is white, now on to step 3.
1:22 - shaking is done, proceeding to opening.
1:23 - WOW! It really worked! I don't think I'd spend $2 a day for one, but it was a fun experiment. They have other flavors too. Mine is hot cocoa with marshmallows!!
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
I came into work today to discover I had two positive drug screens to report. Blech. That will ruin your day right there. So I spent an hour doing those reports. It's frustrating. These kids don't get it. You can't cheat the drug screen. They pay people to try to come up ways to cheat it, then change the test. I don't know why they act so surprised when I tell them that they came back positive. If I have to say, "Don't tell me you didn't smoke any pot because the test shows that you did, and quite a lot too." one more time....Geez kids. Oh, my favorite excuse, "Well, I was in a car with someone who was smoking it."
Comeback # 1: That was not a wise decision on your part. If the car would have gotten pulled over everyone would have been in trouble."
Comeback #2: Hmm. That's interesting because your levels were so high that you must have been sucking on the same joint."
Comeback #3: I'm hoping you have a better excuse because that one will not fly with the judge.
I know, I'm cynical. Maybe I've done this for too long. I want be believe that they are good kids who mess up, but after repeated mess ups, I lose hope. The school has already given up on them, so has probation, so I feel really bad losing hope too.
Monday, October 08, 2007
I managed to find my grandmothers two shadow boxes and the items she kept in them. They are going to go in my office at home. We also brought home some crystal and china. My grandmother collected the stuff like it was going out of style. We now have her monogrammed crystal, which includes shrimp cups. Those are cool! We brought home the milk glass china. I don't any place to put this stuff yet, but I want it to stay in the family. Eventually we might bring home the big bell and put it on a post in our yard. My dad loves that bell and that is one thing I want to make sure stays in the family. Another cool find we brought home is a wooden tea set that is hand painted. My grandfather brought it back for his mother when he was in the war. It is gorgeous and so light. It's amazing to look at it and think that it is wood.
I do want to get the things appraised. I WILL NOT SELL THEM! I am just curious what they are worth so that I know how much to insure them for. I told my dad to go on Antique Road Show and he said with his luck he'd haul it all there and they'd tell him it crap. I don't believe it is crap, but I am curious how much it is worth. I don't know much about appraisals. Can you have them done fairly cheap or free? Where is a good place to go in DeKalb? Just looking for suggestions.
Also, my dad is looking for someone who would be interested in buying some old records. His grandparents used to own a music/pinball store in downtown Garrett back in the day. It used to be THE place to go (or so I have been told by some teachers I worked with at Garrett). He has a ton of old records as well as some old punch boards in their original wrapper. If anyone has any ideas, again, let me know.
Friday, October 05, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
I know that violence is wrong. But I do respect the fact that J stood up for my friend. He didn't throw the punch right away. He asked D to stop. The old J would have beat the crap out of him without thinking.
This made me think. How come some people change so much after high school and other's don't? I have recently reconnected with an old classmate via facebook. This person in high school was your typical jock, but he knew his limits and he was very smart. He is not married to his high school sweetheart, etc. I messaged him the other day and I got back the sweetest reply. I told him flat out, "Wow, that was not the reply I expected from you, you have really changed." He said, "I married a good woman. She keeps me on track even when I want to stray."
So why has this person grown and changed and matured so much with D still remains in 9th grade?
Last month I was flipping through an old Today's Christian Woman and I saw an ad for Praying in Color. I ended up buying two copies. I had one shipped to me, and one to my sister. My sister is very creative and we are both right brained people.
I got my book last night, I love it. I sat and read the whole thing, then went and got my supplies to start "praying in color."
The book focuses on using quiet time drawing as prayer. You can focus on one person, idea, location, etc. It works very well! I have been struggling with how to pray for a friend of mine who is going through a rough time. I shut myself in the nursery with my sketch paper and new markers and went at it. It worked wonders. I found myself praying for someone (a person causing my friend pain) that I never thought I would pray for. I realized that as much as my friend needs prayer, the other person needs more. There is even a section in the book that gives you ideas on how to pray for your enemies. It is very interesting.
On my drive to wal-mart I found myself thinking of tons of ways to "pray" and things to pray for. I should write them all down, but I decided against it. I want God to lead me in prayer for the 1/2 an hour I have devoted each day.
I highly encourage anyone to try this, strong or weak prayer life. I am totally amazed by it and I've only done one session. It works for me because I am very visual. Every time I think of my friend I can picture what I drew and the words I wrote and I can spend a moment praying and thinking about what each person needs.
I just can't say enough about this book!
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Here is what I have so far (so you can see just how wide spread my music tastes are)
Never Alone- Barlow Girl
The Last Night - Skillet
I Need You to Love Me - Barlow Girl
At the Foot of the Cross - Kathryn Scott
Welcome Home- Brian Litteral
In Christ Alone- Brian Litteral
I see Love- Thrid Day
Walking Her Home- Mark Schultz
Held- Natalie Grant
Homesick- Mercy Me
I am getting ready to head out ot my big every other month meeting. When I come back at 1:30 I hope to find a ton of comments with music suggestions.
I know what you ladies are thinking, the extra panel in the maternity pants allows for you belly to show, but when you wear "normal" jeans, it holds the tummy in. Not true. I've even tested my hypothesis wearing my jeans below my tummy. It's odd.
I am wearing maternity pants for the first time today. I must say it is an odd feeling to have your pants pulled halfway up your torso. If I don't pull them up that far the tummy panel hangs out below my shirt.
Apparently Taylor is enjoying the non squished home because he/she is constantly moving today. Only 15 more days till we find out the gender.......
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Yesterday I felt cruddy so I decided to go home early. I took my homework for the state (don't even ask, and no it's not done) with me. I got a phone call from one of our HD workers demanding to know where X was on Thursday. X was at the program. I saw X, I talked to X. I saw X's work on Friday morning. I know X was at the program. I told all of this to my co-worker to which she replied, "Well X's box didn't show X being there." Well, I'm telling ya, one of two things happened: the box's GPS needs to be looked at or X left her box at school and didn't realize it till later that night.
Then, I get up this morning feeling cruddier than yesterday, but knowing that I have a possible phone conference to Branch County Michigan and meetings the rest of the week, I drag myself to work. I get two emails from our office secretary. Apparently I didn't write the correct cause number on Q's drug screen form. I'm telling you, I only have one cause number for Q and that was the one probation gave me. Don't yell at me because it apparently isn't right. I politely sent an email to the secretary telling her that I obtained the number from probation and that I'd check on it this morning.
Then I got another email from the secretary telling me that drug screen results haven't been entered yet. No duh! I don't have the results yet. The urine just went out yesterday and it has to go California, be tested, then I get the results. The last line of the email said, "I just want to know if you are going to do it or not." That got me going. We have gone over this a thousand times. My boss told me that since the results go through the secretary first that she would enter them. She hasn't been, so for my own records I have been entering them in our data base. It's just frustrating. We spent so much time creating Standard Operating Procedures (I call them POS's) and no one uses them. Then I get yelled at/crapped on when I don't do things. Well, in the SOP, it says that someone else is supposed to do it. I do my job and I help other people by doing theirs so why am I always the one who feels like crap?
I am going to bring this up in our meeting next week. I'm going to point blankly ask my boss "Who is supposed to do A, B, C? Every time I ask, you give me a different answer and none of those answers match the SOP's so I want to know now. I am tired to getting yelled at for something I didn't do when it's not my job!"
It seems like one day I really like my job and then the next I'm done. It's really frustrating. I want to talk to my boss about it today but I don't even think he is in today.
Monday, October 01, 2007
I was supposed to have 2 out of the 4 girls for tonight's program. I was going to stay after to see how things were going. I wasn't looking forward to staying after, but it looks good to the boss man. Turns out, one of those two is sick. No need to try to do a group activity with one person. So I cancelled the program for tonight.
I looked at my calendar and realized that all of my beginning of the month reports are done. I was efficient last week and got them all done. Check that off the list of things to do today.
I realized that I scheduled our next OBGYN appointment on a day that I will be out of town for work training. Fudge. I called the office and got an early appointment. We will now know the sex of Taylor on October 18th! The lady wanted me to schedule for the following week and I told her that was a very busy time for me at work (I wasn't lying, I do have a lot that week) so I was able to get the appointment a week earlier instead of a week later. Yeah!! Now only 17 days till we know the sex of the baby!!
I called my boss to remind him that we have a presentation at 7am this Saturday. Turns out he forgot and over booked himself. His brother is coming home and they will be in Detroit for a concert. He asked me to call and cancel. He said, "Oh, just tell them you have some type of baby appointment." To which I replied, "I am not taking the fall for this. I have already turned down some friends so I could do this presentation so you are going to take the heat for us cancelling." I called the guy and told him, "My boss accidentally double booked himself with some family stuff, can we reschedule."' So that is done. That means I don't have to get up at 5 Saturday morning. Phew!
All I really have left to do today is buy a gallon of milk, make a house payment and pay the car insurance. Should be an easy Monday. Good thing I brought a book!