Friday, August 31, 2007

Adoption Update

I received a call from the bank today, and we've been approved for the Family First Adoption loan! We're excited but were a little taken back by the interest rate. It is a low interest (interest only) loan, but we forgot that it is low interest for an unsecured loan, not a regular loan. Still, it is a really good program that the bank offers.

Our goal is still to turn in all the paperwork by Tuesday, which means that I have a lot of work to do. I haven't really been working on it much recently because of school and other stuff going on, but I will have to change that starting tomorrow!

Please keep praying for both the adoption and the job situation. We have a lot of big decisions to make right now, and we really appreciate your prayers.

As always, I will keep you posted on the situations!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Confusion!

Okay, this is an update of my previous update. I had the interview yesterday afternoon and it went pretty well. If I want the job, I basically have it. The problem is, I don't know if I really want it.

Here's the situation:

  • Before you can teach at this school, you have to be "certified" by them. This involves a 7 week process of workshops and presentations (that I would have to give and seem to be part of the interview process or something--still confused on that one). The training sessions starting next week are on Friday nights from 6:00-10:00. The best part is that these sessions are all unpaid, or as the guy put it "you don't have to pay for the workshops or anything--they're free!" At my current job, we get paid $25/hr. for all workshops/meetings/training sessions. The idea of 7 unpaid Friday nights really doesn't sit well. This would also mean that I probably wouldn't get to go out to see my sister for homecoming in October.

  • All the classes are accelerated classes, meaning that they meet one night a week for 5 weeks. I currently teach in 10 week blocks, and it is hard to fit all the material into that time frame. However, they have standardized curriculum which means that I wouldn't have to write a syllabus or make a ton of handouts. They provide all that for you, but you can also add some stuff of your own/personalize it a bit. I haven't figured out is this is a plus or a minus.

  • They do not run on a traditional time table. Every 5 weeks new classes start, and there are classes almost year round (50 weeks). That means that I could take a session off without it being a huge cut in pay.

  • Tutoring pays REALLY well. I'm still a bit confused on the process (see a recurring theme??), but from what I understand, you can be an e-tutor which pays $100/week for 10 weeks. On top of that, you can do "on-ground" tutoring with the students for an additional $50/hr. This is definitely where the money is, and tutoring is my passion. I kind of wish that I could just tutor for them, but I didn't ask if this were an option.

  • My interviewer is really really excited about my background, esp. my master's in literature. He wants me to teach a comparative literature class which sounds really fun. At my current job, I won't teach a lit. class because we are not a liberal arts school, so the only lit. classes are for education majors, and the teachers with the highest seniority always pick those classes.

  • The pay is nothing to brag about. It is slightly higher than what I currently get considering the classes are 5 weeks instead of 10. The main differences are all the unpaid training and the huge increase in tutoring pay. Eventually that will add up in my favor, but I'm having a really hard time swallowing close to 30 unpaid hours upfront, esp. when it doesn't sound like fun at all.

Obviously this is a lot to think and pray about. I came home from the interview so overloaded that I didn't feel up to calling anyone with updates (although I did have Mark call my parents so that they would have a basic idea of the situation). I ended up going to bed at 8:00 because my brain/body had pretty much shut down.

It had been a very busy/draining day since I had to get up early for training for a grading job at my current school (at $35/hour plus lunch!), which was over an hour away, and then the interview in the afternoon with just enough time to fix up my cv/resume and change into even more dressy clothes and head on out. This helps explain why I am up at 2:00 in the morning updating my blog!

So if you could pray about all this, I would really appreciate it. I have to be careful to not overload myself, especially since I am only allowed to work part time due to a medical condition, so I'm just not sure what to do.

One option (at least I think that it's an option) that I think I'm going to explore is holding off until the next training session. I think that it runs from November to October and is on Saturday mornings at the campus where I interviewed (10 mins. away) instead of the one that it is for this round (30+ minutes away). That means I wouldn't be able to teach until January, but it gives me a bit more time to think things over. Plus I think my friend Marie might be doing the training then.

Thank you for your prayers. I really appreciate them!

P.S. I DID apply for the job! I just completely forgot since it was an online thing--it was really pathetic, just a 5 question survey or something.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

God is good. As always.

Two quick updates:

1. I got a second class at school. It's a day class which means that I will have to go in three days a week, but that does increase my chance of good Writing Center hours.

2. I have a job interview in 1 1/2 hours at a LOCAL university. I didn't apply at this school (though I intended to), but a friend put my name in, and I got called for an interview. From the brief discussion I had, it sounds like I would be able to teach literature classes, something that probably won't ever be able to do at my current school because of seniority (or, more accurately, my lack thereof).

Stay tuned for an update on this update!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Done with School (at least for a few days!)

I have FINALLY finished all my grading for my summer classes and turned in the grades today (about 10 hours late, but still today!). It feels really nice to not have to worry about that anymore.

On Wednesday, I start a project for the school. I'm grading associate degree portfolios (or something like that). The training is at our main campus in Flint (which is pretty far away), but I just found out today that we can do the grading at home. That is a real blessing because I won't be wasting gas and time driving up there. This job is definitely a God-thing--I don't get paid between quarters, and we have 4 weeks off right now. The e-mail I got today estimated the final pay at $380 (about 11 hours at $35/hour!).

We're still praying about other sources of income. My job/hours are very unpredictable, especially since so many students are starting to take classes online. Right now I only have one class for fall, and I really need two. I also tutor in the Writing Center, but my hours depend on the number of instructors who want to work.

I know that God will continue to provide. He always has.

God is good. All the time.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Mad-dog Mattie!

My parents' dog, Mattie, is staying with us for a few days while my parents and Katie take Lauren to BBC. Sadie and Mattie are best friends, so they have enjoyed playing together.
They roughhouse, take a nap, roughhouse, take another nap, bark at the neighbor's dog, take a nap. Right now they are napping. Mattie's in the office with me, and Sadie is probably still in the living rom. Sadie always enjoys having Mattie over to play!
Mattie, the Christmas dog
Mattie and Sadie, playing in the sprinkler
(the early years)

A Birthday Party

(the early years)


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A Scary Night!

Last night, Mark and I did something we rarely do--we went to bed early. We were both out before 11:00. However, at 11:30, someone started pounding on our door. I slept through it, but Mark got up to investigate it. He found a man walking around our house into our backyard.

I had woken up by this time and when I called for Mark, he told me that a man had been pounding on our door and was now in our backyard. Needless to say, I was completely freaked out! Mark told me that he had called the police and that they were on their way.

Now you need to know we live in a pretty quiet little neighborhood. Most of the time, nothing really goes on. However, two years ago, there was a string of break-ins, and we started a neighborhood watch. The responsible people were caught and dealt with. Things were then quiet again.

This month, there once again has been a string of incidents, mostly things like damaged mailboxes and knocked over garbage cans (only one street seems to be targeted, and thankfully, it isn't ours). The only scary incident was when a man just knocked and walked into someone's house. The homeowner demanded that he leave, and he did. The man walked around the neighborhood and creeped out a few other people but then was gone.

So that is the context of this situation. I stayed in bed, praying, scared out of my mind while Mark tried to keep an eye on the guy. Next thing he knows, the guy sits down on our porch swing and makes himself at home! Mark called the police again to give them this update. Meanwhile, I am wondering how long the police would take; it felt like ages, and I was really really scared.

Finally, the police came and found the guy passed out on our porch swing. They had Mark come out to see if he knew the guy, and Mark was afraid that the guy had died on our swing. Fortunately, he hadn't! Mark had never seen the guy, but we were nervous that maybe he was one of our neighbor's drunken friends.

The police woke the guy up and found out that he wasn't from our area. He had been out drinking and had gone home with some woman. She decided to get rid of him, so she had opened the door and pushed him out. So there he was, wandering around our neighborhood, completely drunk. (and all this was BEFORE 11:30 p.m.!)

The police took him, Mark came back to bed, and we prayed and then eventually fell back to sleep. I am so thankful for a God who listens and protects us. I don't know if I have ever been so scared in my life, and I just kept praying "God keep us safe" over and over again. It was all I could get out.

God is so good. All the time.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Happy Birthday, Lauren!!

Happy 19th birthday, Lauren!!



Playing Princess


Costa Rica with Brooke and the Puppet

Harry Potter!!



Spirit Week??

This is Lauren's last week at home before heading off to BBC. Some of you haven't seen her since we moved and she was in 5th grade or at our wedding (when I was still taller than her!). Hard to believe she's off to college, isn't it??

Congratulations Chris and Nancy!!

Carson Christopher was born on Friday, August 17th at 4:19 p.m.! He weighed 6 lbs. 12 oz. and is 18 1/2 inches long. He is tiny and has a full head of hair. Big brother Jason doesn't know what to think of him! Carson and Nancy came home from the hospital on Sunday.

Please pray for Nancy as she recovers from the C-section and for Carson. He only passed one of the three hearing tests given to him, so he will return to the doctor in two weeks to be tested again. It is likely that he failed because he was three weeks premature and had a build up of fluid in his ears. Regardless, please pray for them.

**Pictures will be posted as soon as I get them!**

Monday, August 13, 2007

It's Official!!!!

Mark and I have started the adoption process with Bethany Christian Services!!! We have about 90% of the paperwork done, and our goal is to have all our paperwork turned in by the day after Labor Day.

After that, we will have our homestudy interviews and visits, and once that is finished, we will be on the waiting list. The average wait at our agency is less than a year. However, since we are open to any race, the wait could be significantly less. There's just no real way to know how long it will be.

I am working on putting together our family profile--a scrapbook of us and our life for birthparents to look at. I've already written our "Dear Birthfamily" letter that goes in the cover of the book and gets put on Bethany's website (http://www.bethany.org/). It have been a bit stressful putting them together since that is what birthparents will see and choose us based on.

Obviously, this costs a lot of money. Bethany works on a sliding scale (only place we've found that does that), so that has helped with the costs. We are having a fundraising garage sale in September and are considering other fundraising options. If you have any great fundraising ideas (or any donations for a garage sale!), let me know.

Please pray for us--it is easy to get overwhelmed and, at times, even discouraged by all the paperwork, tests, and other things that we have to do. We really appreciate your prayers!

I will keep you updated on our progress!

Rebekah

Saturday, August 11, 2007

My Husband is Amazing!!

Today Mark has a lot of energy (despite an incredibly busy week at work) and has been getting a ton of stuff done around the house. Right now, he is standing on the railing above the basement stairs hanging a picture that we took down when we started painting several months ago. He also rehung the blinds in the dining room, cleaned the kitchen, vaccuumed the house, carried all the basement stuff downstairs, cleaned the bathroom, AND did laundry!

Our house is starting to look like a normal house again (well, except for my scrapbooking stuff on the kitchen table and in the living room--but I am working on a really important project, so that can't be packed up just yet!). My mom made us new curtains for our kitchen, dining room, and bathroom (thanks Mom!!!), and once those are hung, our latest remodeling project will be finished!!!!

You are probably wondering where I was this whole time, and the unfortunate answer is in bed sick as a dog! But Mark came in to check on me constantly and even put socks on my feet when they were cold since I was too sick to move! (I am feeling considerably better right now, but who knows how long that will last.)

What an awesome husband I have!!

P.S. I'll post pictures of everything soon!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Congratulations Nikki and Jonathan!

Yesterday, my cousin and her husband had their first baby--Josiah Daniel. Congratulations!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Bible Verses

**Edit** Thanks for the comments. They are great verses! If you still have more, please, keep posting them! They will be a great encouragement to my friend (and already have been to me!).**

I'm working on a project for a friend, and I am collecting Bible verses that have to do with hope and encouragement. I then thought that I would see what you all might come up with, so please, share any verses that have to do with hope or encouragement or one that you just really like!

Thanks!!

Rebekah