Thursday, August 14, 2008

A lot on my mind

Well, there still hasn't been any word from any school districts in the area. Not sure what's up with that. But Brian does have an interview next week with Lone Star. Yay? Eek? I waffle between really hoping it works out and thinking, "oh, crap, what will we do if it works out?!" He'll go down there next Wednesday night and go out to Lone Star for his five-day interview/training on Thursday morning. It's my understanding that once he's done with the five days, if he likes them and they like him, they'll hammer out the details and settle on a start date right then. If he gets it, there will definitely be some adjustments to be made and some changes to get used to. But Brian and I talked, and we think that him finding something that brings in some income, to get our finances more secure, is essential right now. If it makes for some weird logistics, so be it. I just hope that, if he does get the job, my work will work with me to figure out a schedule for Brian's "on" days that allows me to get J to and from school on time and still take the bus. If I have to go back to driving on days Brian isn't here, 1) I won't like going back to driving because taking the bus is so much less stressful, and 2) I'll be really annoyed that I'll have paid for a bus pass and still end up paying for parking half the time. But we're not there yet, so I won't waste energy getting annoyed right now.

The timing of the interview could be better. Brian had asked about the possibility of going this week, but that wouldn't have given Lone Star time to get his background check done. So, next Thursday through the following Monday it is. Brian will miss Meet the Teacher night and the first day of school, but it is what it is. The more I think about it, the more I really hope this does work out, inconvenient logistics notwithstanding. If it doesn't, we really don't have any other options right now. And that just won't do.

And on a somewhat related note - the topic of having kids. Brian has no kids of his own, and had previously said he'd really like to try to have at least one. We went out to dinner on Friday - it had been a bit of a discouraging week, and we figured a beer (for him) and a margarita (for me) were in order. We had a good talk, specifically on the topic of having kids. He said that while yes, he'd like to have one, he's kind of the school of thought that if it happens, it happens. He said that on one hand, he wanted us to try as much for a child as K and I did to get J here, to make it fair, but he said he knew that wouldn't be any way to go into it if I were only going through it to be "fair". I told him how I felt about not being sure that I could go through all the poking and prodding and testing again, not having any guarantee of success, and that I already knew I wouldn't go any farther than I'd done with J - I'm not going the route of injectables and IVF, I just can't. I told him that I worry, too, about the higher potential for problems, either for me or for a baby, now that I'm 40. I also pointed out the likely difficulties I'd have with getting any kind of understanding from my work for appointments - if I'm pregnant, sure, they'll likely be understanding of that, but fertility treatments/trying to get pregnant? There'd be a lot of appointments for testing, and I can see work saying that that was a voluntary thing and not cut me much slack at all. So there's that to consider, too. I think at this point, we're both of the opinion that if it happens, it happens and we'll be glad, but we're not taking any extraordinary measures to make it happen. Once Brian is working and we might have a little extra money for out of pocket expenses, that may change. But right now, we're not doing anything in terms of medical intervention, and we're good with that.

Tying that in to the Lone Star interview - how funny would it be (and I don't mean funny ha-ha) if God, in His infinite wisdom, decided that now would be a perfect time for me to get pregnant? I think I'd pull my hair out. I'd be excited, and scared, and all that good stuff, but I'd pull my hair out in absolute frustration at the timing, especially if Brian gets the job. But again, I'll jump off that bridge if I get to it. I'm not there yet.

J went to Six Flags with K and A and his four stepsiblings yesterday. Given his reluctance to try things most kids would consider great fun, I was a little worried about how it might turn out. I wasted a good worry. He did whine initially that he didn't want to try this, that or the other thing, but once he got on the bumper cars, that was all it took. He was hooked. J told me last night that he was tall enough to ride the Texas Giant. I asked him if he rode it, and he said, "No, but I'm tall enough to ride it if I want to." LOL I'm glad he had a good time, and I'm glad that he seems to be realizing it's OK for him to do that, to spend time with his dad and enjoy himself and come home and tell me what he did. K loves J and wants very much to be part of his life, and I want to encourage that, and it makes things so much easier on both of us if J can go with his dad without crying and getting upset over leaving me.

And now for something completely different: Bright Blessings has an Etsy shop! If you're unfamiliar with Etsy, it's a super online marketplace where you can find all sorts of handmade goodies for sale. Clothes, bath and body, candles, paper goods, jewelry, artwork, Etsy's got it. All the items listed in Bright Blessings' shop are in stock and ready for immediate shipment. I'll be putting up more goodies in the next couple of weeks, including bubble bars, scrubs, wax tarts, and all sorts of things in fall and holiday preview scents. Go take a look around - feel free to buy, or just send me a convo and say hi and tell me you saw the link on my blog! :-) I'm pretty excited about it.

Moving on to another tangent, have you ever checked out Craigslist? If not, give it a look and see if there's one specific to your area. We've found some really good things on there lately. Brian got something like 150 board feet of nice cedar wood for free, all he had to do was go get it, and a big load of dirt for our front yard for free, again just for the going to get it. He got a new Ryobi circular saw, in the box, for $50 and a fabulous leather jacket for $30. I've sold a few things on there myself. Check it out, you never know what you might find!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

And still we wait.

New teacher training is less than two weeks away. The start of school is less than three weeks away. And still Brian has heard nothing. To say we're getting a little bit frustrated and a little bit nervous is putting it mildly. We aren't even seeing any more openings showing up on websites, much less is Brian getting any interviews. I'm trying not to wig, honestly, I am. But when new teacher training is right around the corner and Brian hasn't even found much to apply for, hasn't had one single interview or even a phone call, that doesn't exactly give me any sort of peace of mind that something will work out. He's got online applications in at all the districts he's interested in, and a couple of them just have general listings for elementary teachers, with a note that you have to have an online application so that principals can search. His application is there, but he's not getting any calls. Does this mean people see his application and don't think he's worth talking to, or that they just aren't ready to look yet, or what?! One of the elementary schools in Mansfield has a fourth-grade opening. Brian interviewed with them at their job fair, and felt like it went well. He's applied for that position, and the principal is one of the people who interviewed Brian back in the spring. No phone call. Did it not go as well as he thought? The listing doesn't have a closing date, so I'm not sure it's a situation where they're waiting until X time to start interviewing, but I could be wrong. Patience is not my strong suit, and this is just about to do me in.

Brian is sending his "last ditch" letter, basically saying he's aware of the fact that schools often have last-minute openings and giving the principals a summary of the high points of his experience. He's sending it to all the elementary schools in the four districts we've been focusing on, and he's applying to Fort Worth, Arlington, and Grand Prairie school districts as well. That would mean a good bit more of a drive for him, and I'd have to shift my work schedule to where I could drop J off at school, which would mean I'd get here later and have to work later, which sucks. But if that's what he's got to do to get in teaching somewhere, then I guess we'll take it and work out the logistics.

And now for something completely different on the job search front. The other day, Brian and I were e-mailing back and forth about his looking for jobs, and he was debating whether Fort Worth ISD would be too far of a drive to make it worthwhile to apply. I got to looking on Craigslist, and found an ad for the position of beer barn manager (one of the perks being that you get to work with sexy beer barn girls! LOL For the princely wage of $7.00 an hour! I guess the sexy girls are supposed to make up for the low pay). I sent it to him with the subject line of, "That's it, the search is over." He got a good laugh out of it, and then decided to do his own looking on Craigslist, where he found this:

It would REALLY make the logistics challenging if he were on for eight days, off for six - I'd be back to single parenting those eight days he was gone. Groveton is 177 miles from Midlothian per Google maps, so the round trip drive would be like a trip to my dad's house in Louisiana every other week. The salary isn't great starting out, but the website says that depending on experience, some people may advance through the guide levels more quickly (and earn more money more quickly), and I'd imagine the ones that stick with it are the ones with the potential to do well. All he'd really have to pay for is gas to and from, as room and board would be covered while he was on his eight-day shift. It sounds really interesting, and he'd be great at it, and he'd enjoy it. He's good with kids, and he likes being outdoors and has done a lot of camping and hiking in the past. But damn, the logistics would be a bitch, and just trying to wrap my brain around how we'd handle everything makes my head hurt. But, we may have to think outside of the teaching arena and do something that we think is outside our comfort zone, I don't know. I told him it can't hurt to apply and see what kind of response he gets. Then we'll go from there.

And boy, does God have a sense of humor. We thought Fort Worth would be too far of a drive. How about Groveton, then? LOL

Saturday, August 02, 2008

And the winner is....

And #77 was Alyce! Congratulations, Alyce, and let me hear from you so I can get your gift voucher sent to you.

Thank you so much to everyone who participated! This has been fun - I can't wait to do it again next quarter.

Bloggy Carnival Giveaways!

It's Bloggy Carnival Giveaway time again, and this time I decided to get in on the fun. My giveaway runs from today, July 30, through midnight Central time on Saturday, August 2. The winner will be announced here on Sunday, August 3. EDITED TO ADD: The winner will be announced on Sunday, August 3, once I have gotten a response from them. If there's no response within three days, I'll choose another winner.

Up for grabs: a $50.00 gift certificate to Bright Blessings Candles! Anyone who's read my blog before probably knows Bright Blessings is my labor of love. I make votives, wax tarts, and a variety of bath goodies in a host of different scents.

To enter, just visit my site and leave me a comment with your favorite scent from my scent list. You don't have to have a blog to win, but please include a valid e-mail address with your comment so that I'll have a way to get in touch with you should you be chosen as the winner.

Be sure to check out the Bloggy Carnival site to see all the other fabulous prizes that are being offered - right now I think they're up to 832 or thereabouts!