Sunday, May 25, 2008

Life's About Changes

I have to admit.....I'm a creature of habit. I don't like change, never have. I fel like if it's not broke why fix it. I have a hard time even re-arranging furniture or painting a room because it's different. The idea of getting a different car freaks me out---sure mine's 23 and looks like junk, but it's mine and I'm used to its quirks.

So it's almost the end of May and I'm feeling depressed......not any one thing caused it just lots of things changing. Another assistant at pre-school got a new job, which I was expecting....but it's a big change after working with someone for nearly 2 years. Then May 16th rolled around, which was the 10th anniversary of my college graduation..........but I can't be old enough to have been out of college for 10 years! Last night, I had the priviledge to see my favorite group of students (some more favorite than others ) graduate high school. How can that be? It seems like only yesterday that they were graduating 8th grade and a week or so ago that they were 5th graders. They grew up on me....which sadly has to mean I'M *gasp* GETTING OLDER! But I don't want to!! You have no idea how badly I'd like to go back to being 21 again....that year was THE BEST (and no....alcohol had nothing to do with it). Oh, more depressing things......I turn 33 (uh oh..make that 25 again) in two days. But I don't feel like I should be that old. Then the 30th will be the 15th anniversary of MY high school graduation....uuugghhh.....sometimes I don't even feel like I've been alive 15 years, much less a high school graduate (and an ADULT) that long! Add to all this stuff it the fact that my mom's in ill health and it will continue to get worse..Her doctor told me a year and a half ago that she could have a fatal heart attack at any time. I'm grateful to God for each and every day with her, because losing her will be life-altering to say the least.

Changes aren't always bad, but almost always a little scary because none of us knows what the future holds. However, God does and I'm just going to have to trust Him to take care of me. Some of the best things that have ever happened to me weren't my plans, but His plans for me. I need to start living in the here and now and stop remembering the past and dreaming about tomorrow.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Graduation Gifts......

On Saturday, I will be attending the graduation at a school district where I used to teach. When I began working there as a permanent substitute, these "kids" were fifth graders. I was lucky enough to watch them grow into middle schoolers and see them graduate from 8th grade. In a few short days they will be high school graduates! Wow, time flies so fast! Well, there were be about 100 graduating and I will probably remember (by face, maybe not name) 30 or 40 of them. Of course I can not give graduation presents to each of them..........or can I?

I've decided that the most important gift that I (or anyone) can give them is to introduce them to Jesus as their Saviour. I'm not the best witness, I will admit. I get flustered, talk too fast, and very shy. However, if I can be prepared ahead of time.....I can get the message across with a million dollar bill!

This tract has the Gospel message written around the border on the back of the bill.

The million dollar question: Will you go to Heaven? Here's a quick test. Have you ever told a lie, stolen anything, or used God's name in vain? Jesus said, "Whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already with her in his heart." Have you looked with lust? Will you be guilty on Judgment Day? If you have done those things God sees you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart. The Bible warns that if you are guilty you will end up in Hell. That's not God's will. He sent His Son to suffer and die on the cross for you. Jesus took your punishment upon Himself -"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Then He rose from the dead and defeated death. Please, repent (turn from sin) today and trust in Jesus, and God will grant you everlasting life. Then read your Bible daily and obey it.

What better way to get the attention of an 18-19 year old than with money----or what looks like money! I'm also going to give a copy to each of this poem I just found on the Internet Tuesday.

The Lord Will Lead You

Now that you're celebrating
Your graduation day,
Your whole life is ahead of you,
And the Lord will lead the way.
Just trust in Him to guide you
In His divine and perfect will.
If you'll pray and read His Holy Word,
His plan you will fulfill.
Whatever happens in your life,
On the Lord you can depend.
There's nothing you can't handle
With Jesus as your best friend.
Congratulations, and may the Lord bless you always!

By Joanna Fuchs

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Ten Years Ago..............

I graduated from college with a B.S. in Elementary Education on May 16, 1998. The previous year was the worst year in my life. In the six short months between March of '97 and September '97, I lost the love of my life (he decided he couldn't be what I needed), my dog had to be put to sleep and my dad died. It was horrible! So in May 1998, not having a teaching job lined up and honestly not feeling prepared to teach, I went back to the familiar..........back home to live with my mother and back to my summer job cashiering at Wal-Mart. This was supposed to be temporary, a year tops! Well, ten years later here I am.. :( Once I found an actual teaching position nearby in 2001 (instead of being an aid or a sub), it was only considered 7/10ths. That means I went home at 1:30 instead of 2:40 and made $12,000 less because of it. So I keep the cashiering job, but I went to Saturdays only. My plan was to quit as soon as I got tenure (which means jobs security in teaching). Tenure was supposed to arrive in October 2006.....the pink slip arrived in April 2005. I was very glad I kept the cashier job because I could not find another teaching job for the next year so I worked at Wal-Mart full-time. Finally after deciding to go back to part time and sub 30 miles away where I would be paid for my Master's degree ($95 a day instead of $45), I received a call about a teaching assistant position open four blocks from my house. Needless to say, I took it. But health insurance is not provided and there's no regularity in the paychecks (no pay in summer, small checks in December and during Spring Break), so I'm still stuck at Wal-Mart!

I'm tired of working six days a week! I can't count how many things I've missed because I spend nearly every Saturday of my life at Wal-Mart. In order to get the day off, I have to put in for it at least 4 weeks in advance. I could switch with someone, but no one wants to give up a Saturday off. I'd like to have a normal weekend, but I can't stand the thought of going in to work there after 6 1/2 hours with pre-schoolers either! I tried to change my availablity to 6 am until 8 pm. I was told I had to be available 16 hours a week. Ok, I changed it back to 6 am to 10 pm. I've been there nearly 10 years and they still schedule me nights?? That is so wrong when the people that just start get 8-5 shifts! Plus, I'm starting to get carpel tunnel from constant scanning and I'm bored out of my mind......I could do this job in my sleep, and sometimes I do when I have to work until 11 pm!

At the school where I work, a teacher will be retireing in 2009. I've heard that the pre-k teacher I work for want to take her position. I'd like to have the pre-k position. With my years of experience and Master's degree, I would make twice as much teaching as I made last year working both jobs (and that includes teaching summer school and covering a maternity leave). I just don't know if I can tolerate Wal-Mart for another year. Maybe I'll start using my personal hours and schedule a Saturday off a month. I'm just pray for the day when I can walk away from there and have my Saturdays back!

Friday, May 2, 2008

$3.04......For All This!

Such a great deal that even Salem, my mom's cat, was impressed!

I used a $1.50 Q for each lint roller, 2 $3/2 Q for the Post-Its, a B1G1 for the bonus packs of Neutra Air (thanks for the Q, Miche!), my $4/$20 and rolled my 5 ECBs into 5 more.

I'm so glad that I found the Grocery Challenge!