Thursday, December 20, 2007

SOLD! (Almost....)

Well--here we are again.....
Exciting news--we sold our house for the second time last night!
We excepted an offer after just one hour of negotiating. It literally was a new counter offer every 10 minutes for little over an hour. Hopefully, this time, things will stick! Our excepted offer is slightly more than last time, which is good news, too. :0) Of course, the difference is mostly being spent on improvements we are making (we scheduled these before the offer) to make sure the new inspection doesn't bring up some of the same issues it did before.

Today, an electrician is coming to move our outside power lines over a couple of feet where they connect to our house, so they are farther away from our deck--so that they are now within current code guidelines. (When our deck was built, the guidelines did not exist). Also, on Friday, the electrician is coming back to change our fuse box over to circuit breakers. This is not a safety issue--it is more or less something that just makes our house more livable. (Is that spelled right?) Fun stuff.

We leave for Colorado on Saturday. I feel so not prepared for us to leave. I have so much laundry to do. (With the electricity off for a lot of the day on Friday....this makes things difficult!) I haven't finished Christmas shopping either--I still have a few things to get, and all of the stocking stuff to buy. It will happen somehow.

Well-I better stop typing and go help jacob straighten his hair. He discovered this option a few days ago--and we have been doing it ever since. It looks cute with his blond highlights.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Well, it is the middle of the night, and I am awake. I slept for two hours 10:30-12:30 and then I woke up--decided to check on Ben, (who was working on an English project when I went to sleep....a Power Point presentation on a poet--but thankfully, he was in bed already)--took some more cold medicine because I couldn't breathe well.....and never could fall back to sleep. i hate that. Between my mind not shutting off, and the fact that the "night-time" medicine seemed to have the opposite effect, I am awake, alert, and mad that I am! So, here I am.

I had a nice birthday overall. I had some moments that were good, and some that were not so any other day. The "not so good moments" were when the students were trying to guess how old I was--and all guessing older than I actually am--that is depressing! (the average was about 43....the oldest someone guessed was 46--UGH.) Maybe it is time for Botox?? :0) AND, another moment was when I found out that I will be having huge competition for the sub job come interview time....

Apparently, Mr. Adkins has pulled about 5 applicants he wants to interview. While I am justly concerned someone will be more qualified for the position...I also kept trying to tell myself that I still had a real good chance, because I was a "known". He knows me, he knows my character, he has teachers in the school vouching for me, etc. But, today, he got one more application. It was from the student teacher that was in one of the 5th grade teacher's classrooms for the beginning of the year. I forgot about her, because she left at the beginning of November to go do another part of her practicum in a Special Education room, due to her double major. She was sent to another school for that. Anyway--apparently, she has now graduated, and is looking for a job. This applicant concerns me the most. She too is a "known". She also is fresh out of a classroom practicing teaching full-time, AND if she is hired, instead of me....Mr. Adkins would not have another job vacancy to fill....unlike if he hired me. (My current position would be open, and would need a replacement.)

Sooooo.....that has been on my mind today, too. I know it is in God's hands--I know He is in control of these things, and ultimately, He knows what is best for me and the class of children needing a teacher. While I know these things, I can't help but be hopeful that I am the one chosen....and that this was His plan for me all along. The deal is....I may NOT be the one right for this job....and possibly, He may be orchestrating things differently for me. I can see why taking this job now might not be good timing....considering i have two classes to take between now and July, and also, we have a move coming at some point, too. BUT-I also see how this would be the perfect opportunity for me to "babystep" my way back into the teaching role. I need to trust Him. I can't help thinking about it, though.....and wondering how this all is going to turn out.

To end my blog tonight (this morning, I mean)--I will leave you with two "quotes" from my birthday cards from the kids....things that particularly made me smile:

--"Happy Birthday, Mrs. Sterling....I hope you have a Funny Bunny Birthday!" (this was from a very serious boy in Mrs. Smith's class. He is the kid that raises his hand to tell her when she has calculated something wrong, spelled something wrong, or if her definition of a word is not complete enough, in his opinion. :0) (Anyway, I was not expecting a lighthearted wish from him!)

--"It's your birthday! Wake-up and have some cake! That way you'll be the first to get a peace. I hope you have a great birthday!" (Now there is an idea for all of us! Just get up and eat your cake first thing! Then you don't have to worry that someone will get to it before you! Ha ha.....Too funny!)

They really do crack me up. I never go a day without something funny being said, or done by one of the kids. I hope I never lose appreciation for the innocent or quirky things the children say and do. :0)

Monday, December 17, 2007

this could have been BAD!

Okay-so today I was running late getting ready for work. Nathan was running behind (as usual), and I was focusing on getting him out the door, while also running around trying to straighten the house in case of a showing. No one had made their beds, so I was going room to room, making beds, picking up anything left out, etc. etc. Then I remembered I had to bring my Secret Santa gift today, since I wouldn't be able to attend the "reveal yourself" breakfast in the morning tomorrow. It hadn't been wrapped yet, and the card still needed to be written......and long story short, I left the house at 9:02am, when I am supposed to be there at 9 o'clock! So, I frantically grab all my things; the gift, card, mail for the mailbox, my purse, keys, my lunch, and a pop, and ran out the door.

As I was driving home today, I had this eerie feeling that I may have forgotten to blow out the candle I lit in our bedroom. Then I questioned whether I had even lit it this morning, because I always light it for about 15 minutes each day, while I am getting ready (so our house will smell fresh for any showings that day), but I didn't really remember doing that this morning. So, I decided I must have NOT lit it, because #1, with all of the back and forth into the rooms this morning, I should have noticed it....AND I didn't get called at school about our house being on fire. I made a mental note to be extra careful about that. I couldn't live with myself if I had burned our home down....especially with Emmy in it! The thought of it just makes me sick to my stomach.

ANYWAY--I got home, checked the mail, let out Emmy, and answered the phone when Matt called to wish me a Happy Birthday. Then I realized I smelled the candle. I quickly walked to my room, hoping to prove to myself that I only thought I smelled it.....but no---IT WAS STILL LIT!! I was amazed and sooooo very thankful that in the 6 1/2 hours I had been gone from my house, that a fire didn't start! There was a black sooty ring around the jar opening, (thankfully it was a jar type), and the wax was all liquid......but it hadn't set the room on fire.....and believe me, I was soooo thankful!

I have decided that it just isn't worth the risk to light candles in the morning---I am too absent minded apparently--especially when running late! We will have to settle on just the air fresheners from now on!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Finally--officially submitted

Whew! I am done with all of my paperwork--and all materials have been submitted to the Kane County Consortium. I have officially just applied for the Long Tem Substitute position at Ferson Creek Elementary. What a relief to be done with that part of things!

I still don't know when interviewing will take place. Not sure if I'd like it to happen before or after break. I do know that a lot of applications are coming in. I am trying to not let that get me anxious.

I think I am coming down with something. I have had a sore throat all day, on and off earaches, headache, and occasional nausea. UGH. I have been taking echinacea, drinking tea with lemon, and pushing water. Here's hoping the smptoms never turn into anything worse.

Ben is mad at me for not letting him go to the park today---at dinnertime, in the dark, in the freezing cold, to meet a girl (which I just found out is a "girlfriend".) Call me crazy--but there was no way I was letting him leave the house!! He thought I was being completely unreasonable, and wouldn't talk to me or look at me for at least a good two hours. Ahhhhh....the joys of mothering a teenager.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Too busy--when can I think of Christmas?

I feel like there is always too much going on.

christmas is less than two weeks away, and I haven't started shopping yet. I am sooooooo behind. I haven't thought about christmas cards. I hope we get a great picture in colorado I can use for New year's Greetings, instead. Matt and I haven't decided what we are doing for the boys for christmas.....since originally we thought we were moving that week, so they thought they were just getting a new house for Christmas. Now that that isn't happening---we have to talk presents, for sure.

the house is on the market....and it is hard to keep up with the cleaning in the whirl wind of Christmas stuff. Just keeping up with mail and school papers is a task within itself. And then there is the dog hair...and dishes, and laundry, etc.!!

The long term sub job posting was listed on Monday. I am in a rush to finish uploading my "stuff".....I finished writing my resume tonight--got to still do my letter of application, though. the principal has, who knows when interviewng will be. I still think he will be determined to fit it in before break.....we will see.

I subbed for a kindergarten class yesterday. that was an experience. it had its great moments, and it's moments of panic. (like when I arrived and found out there were no sub plans left for me!) Yikes! I got through it fine, with the help of the PIR woman (Partners in Reading) that helps out with the class. Thankfully she was familiar with their routine. i was thankful that when the assistant principal stopped in, he was pleased with the "flow" of the class. Two points for me! :0)

Let's see, what else. I have been keeping up with the Secret Santa thing. Yesterday, I had to bring in something yummy for the person to make, with the recipe. Today, i brought in a handmade card, and poem with clues of who I was. All of these things are "assigned" tasks for the week. Tomorrow, it is bring something that smells good day. I will be bringing vanilla handcream and vanilla scented antibacterial wipes, packaged up pretty. Friday--is "appropriate beverage day". :0)

We found out this weekend that one of the dads from nathan's soccer team was diagnosed with kidney cancer. He is 37. they will have to remove his kidney, and when they are "in there" they will look to see if it has spread anywhere else. Please pray for him.....I am sure it is a very scary thing for his family. It is a really hard time of year for bad news.

We think we discovered a tumor on Emmy yesterday. she has got a marble (or bigger) sized "knot" behind her right front leg. She is due for her rabies shot this month, so when we bring her in for that, we will need to ask about it. Pray it is nothing to worry about.

I need to squeeze in a visit to the DMV before Monday (my birthday!) license expries then. I will finally get rid of the ugly picture that was taken in 1999 (?)....the last time I had to renew my license, I just got an updated expiration sticker. I don't really have time for this, though.

I also STILL have to register for two college classes to earn my 5 credit hours before July 2008. I don't want to lose my certification after all of this!! I am hoping to take a class in January and I better take care of this! Like NOW!

And finally--I need to locate my high school diploma somewhere. I am thinking of my friend deanna who talked of having to do this to be a lunch recess volunteer. Since I also need to give me transcript from college....why may I ask do they need a HS diploma?? Since when do they let non HS graduates into college? (I have to submit this stuff to the County Dept. of Education so I have all my paperwork to be an ENROLLMENT AIDE, which I have been doing for a year and a half.....and NOW they discover I am missing pieces needed for my file???? Hello?? Why didn't I get told this sooner?) Very sad. they must be a bit behind over there.

I am sure I am forgetting other things on my list. I feel every time I turn around there is something else.....and it needs to get done beofre Christmas. Can we celebrate Christmas a month from now instead???? :0(

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Two to Go...

Well, it seems like I have completed a gazillion steps in getting my application complete--and now I just have two more steps to go. All that is left for me to do is my resume' (in which I planned the format already, I just have to figure out what my "bullets" are going to say), and finally, my letter of application (or cover letter)....which I don't think will be too difficult. Of course, i haven't worked on my portfolio yet.....but I am feeling like that is going to have to be something I work on slowly, and hopefully develop over time. Whatever is ready for the interview, I will bring. Thankfully, the portfolio is mainly used to give more insight into what kind of person/teacher I am and will be. I have an advantage, in that, the people interviewing me, already know me. So at least, I will not be relying entirely on my portfolio to make an impression. I would like to eventually have one--I just don't know how I will get it done before THIS interview.

Ben is going to weight training for diving tomorrow morning. He will be leaving the house at 5:15am! UGH. Then he has practice in the afternoon, which ends a 5pm. Talk about a long day!

Tomorrow is the first day of our Secret Santa program at school. We were supposed to get our person some kind of candy that represented them or the job they do. That is not as easy as it sounds. The person I got is a teacher in the Early Childhood Department. I ended up getting her Miniature Chocolate Bars, to represent her helping the "mini's" at our school. I know, I was stretching just a bit. I couldn't get something that represented her necessarily, because I really don't know her well. All I know is that she seems nice, and she is a bit (actually a lot) overweight. Not very helpful in helping me find candy to represent her!

Today we put up our Christmas tree, but decided not to take out all of our Christmas boxes that contained all of our decorations and "stuff". Mainly, because there is a lot of them, and we already have boxes mounting up around us. So, after a short discussion, and figuring next year we will most likely have TWO trees in our house (one in the front bay window-more for outside effect) and the regular family one in the family room.....we decided to just get a new tree skirt, and some general/basic Christmas balls to hang on the tree. (The we can use the stuff again next year on the LR tree.) I ended up going with a "snowflake" theme.....and bought things very different than we are used to. Our tree has white lights on it already. The tree skirt has white chenille hooked snowflakes on a felted light tan (?) skirt. Then I bought different size and shape glass ornaments. Mostly in silver, some frosted white, some with frosted snowflakes on silver or white. It is going to be different for sure......but, I think it will be pretty. Next year we will be back to putting all of our personal family ornaments on the tree. This year, it will feel good to not unpack all of them, and only enjoy them for a short time before we leave for Colorado.....and then have to pack them all back up again. This pared down look fits with the simplified theme we got going over here for showing the house, anyway. :0)

I haven't started shopping for Christmas presents yet. I am a bit worried! We haven't even talked about our budget for Christmas this year. Now that we aren't moving on Jan. 4th.....we will have a little more $$ to work with-but not much! It will have to be a pared down Christmas for gifts, too. I do need to get going on this, though. I am running our of time! There has been so much going on over here.....I just haven't gotten to the stores to concentrate on this. Soon......I hope!

Friday, December 7, 2007

something new

I thought I'd share what Ben has decided to do. It totally cracks me up and surprises me. He has decided to join the school diving team! WHAT? (That's what I said!) The answer is......No, he has never attempted diving before. It is a BRAND NEW venture. I give him credit for doing something unknown. I suppose, if you can't do that as a Freshman, when can you do it?

Basically, the state champion swim team cannot compete unless they have a diving team, too. (or something like that.....) They do not have enough guys on the diving team apparently. Ben's PE teacher approached him last week and asked him if he would think about joining. He said "you are athletic--I think you could do this". Next thing you know.....he attends a practice, and is diving off the diving board, being coached on form! Can you believe that? I am just glad he is doing something else with his time that doesn't involve the computer or video games. You never know, maybe he will actually come to like it. Maybe he will even be good! In the meantime, I will try and not laugh at him wearing a Speedo. Ha! (Although, he informed me after practice today that there was a bit more coverage than the typical Speedo we were thinking of....thank god!)

Tomorrow he attends his first swim meet--he will not be competing....he will just be going for support. I just think this whole thing is very funny. I can't imagine he will score very well when he starts competing himself--like I said, he has never even gone off a diving board! (with the exception of a few cannonballs and bellyflops!).....I hope he has fun anyway. :0)

Wanna know something even funnier? One of the biggest reasons he thinks he'll like it is because there is no conditioning involved! After a year on Campton, he was done with conditioning for a while. All there is involved is repeated practice on form, and voluntary weight training before school 3 days a week. That is a huge difference than the exhausting conditioning he put in for Campton United Soccer!! It does seem like a fairly large time commitment though......hope he realizes that. ben has a habit of thinking something sounds good until he realizes the reality of it. I hope this isn't just one more thing he has us pay money for, and then wants to quit. I am waiting for him to find his niche. I hope he finds it soon. Maybe this is it, who knows?

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Boy, I am tired!

I think that I will go to sleep now. It is early....but it has been a long and hard day. My eyes are sleepy, even though the last time I cried was at about 4pm.
Matt took me out to dinner tonight, so I wouldn't have to cook. We just went to Bennigans. I was craving a loaded baked potato. You know, comfort food. :0)
Maybe I will go to bed and look at a magazine until I fall asleep. That sounds carefree and relaxing, doesn't it?
We told our realtor that we needed tomorrow to get our house back in showing order. We'll be ready again by Saturday.

What a let down!.....sigh

Okay-I am just going to say it. Our house sale fell through. The contract on our house, that is. The guy flaked out on us, and decided to "walk away". He says it is over the inspection--but we don't have details yet about what it was that threw him over the edge. He mentioned the furnace being older, but he knew its age before he made the offer. Something about our washer and dryer being plugged into the wrong power outlet....easy fix on that. Something else about the wiring to an outlet being backwards (???).....the electricity works in all our outlets--so I am not sure what is up with that. We are hoping we will get a full report of what they found. Because right now, it seems the guy just had buyers remorse and used the inspection as an excuse to change his mind.

It is very disappointing. I feel deflated. BUT--I am trying to remember and trust that this was not a surprise to God, and that He is in control. Obviously, this was not the right buyer. This has been a hard thing to accept, though. I won't lie. I have cried many tears over the whole thing. When Matt told me the news, I was in disbelief. Then came the tears and nausea.

Now I am concentrating on moving on, and accepting what I cannot change.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I need to focus

With all of this house stuff, I have gotten a little behind with getting myself ready for interviewing. I have been counting my blessings that so far, the position has not been posted yet! I have GOT to get focused!

I had a giggle today when a little girl in one of my classes told me that she FINALLY made a Santa hat for her pet hamster. A hat for a hamster?? LOL! I tried to keep a straight face when she described how she attached a rubberband to a little hat that had previously been on an ornament, and carefully slipped that hat onto her hamster's head! I asked if the hamster tried getting it off--or if it acted funny when it was on....and she said no. Since I must have looked surprised over that answer...she quickly explained that "actually, the hamster was sleeping when I put it on!" Okay, does anyone else think this is an odd story? :0)

Monday, December 3, 2007

miracle! :0)

Last night, we accepted an offer after 5 hours of negotiations on our house! We actually sold it in less than a week....which in this market, is a miracle, as far as I am concerned! We are very excited, as you can imagine.
Our closing date is set for January 4th.

The only downside to this is that with this closing date, we will be packing and moving the week we were originally supposed to go to Colorado to visit my family for Christmas. It is very disappointing, as we would have loved to be all together for Christmas.....but, we also know that this would be the ideal time to get ourselves moved as it is the only time we both have two weeks off. We will be getting a POD to be filling on our own all month (we might need two PODs!)--so I suppose if we get ourselves all packed up BEFORE the end of December, we might have a chance of going.....but I don't see how that could happen. We would need to be completely packed with the exception of the bare essentials and furniture, all by December 21st. (We are leaving the furniture to the professionals.)

This whole packing thing is overwhelming to me. I don't even know how to approach it. Not to mention, we will need to get ourselves a gazillion boxes, and appropriate packing materials.

My guess is once we finally move in, it will take completely until the summer until we are fully unpacked. Working will slow down the rate of unpacking, I am sure. Especially if I am trying to swing my first teaching job, and dealing with preparations everday for the following day.

Even with all my concerns about packing and unpacking, and my small sadness about leaving our first home, I am VERY excited about moving into our beautiful new home! WOO HOO!! I am still in shock, and amazed at the swiftness of our home sale!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

house update

We had a home inspector over at the new house today. Things looked good, with the exception of a hornet's nest in the crawl space, and some white residue in another spot of the crawl space that we need to ask about. I took a bunch more pictures (of the things I wanted to remember, like light fixtures ,and general room shots, floors, etc. Matt took photos of all the pipes, furnace, roof, water heater, etc. :0)
We had another walk through today at our house. It was another young guy. Then we have a 3rd showing with the original guy tomorrow. (That is a good sign, wouldn't you say?) Then another walk through with a new person after that. Not bad, huh?

These are exciting times!! I will post a link to the pictures once they are up somewhere I can share.