Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Applying for jobs.

Today was a day for applying for jobs. I got a lot of them done today, mostly in Nebraska. One of the things I love and hate about applying for jobs is looking at schools' home pages. Some of them are awesomely simple to navigate, but most of them look like they were written by students, with things in haphazard places and sometimes impossible to find. I love it because I get a chance to look at schools' organization, and sometimes lack thereof. I get a chance to glimpse a school's soul. A people watcher like me has fun with those kinds of things.

That said, I am there with a purpose. I'm trying to figure out if my teaching style works out well with the school's educational philosophy. If I can find said philosophy. I am a very technology-focused teacher. I love using clips from current TV shows and computer games and the internet to drive study. I hope to use Twitter during class. Sometimes, the web pages for some of these schools drive a technology nut like me crazy because I can't find what I'm looking for! Alas, maybe I'll be able to help a school system to improve its use of the internet.

A couple of days ago, I shared one of my favorite things with my kids. I shared my love of root beer floats with them. I picked up this love of RBF's from a friend of mine in California, and just have kept it here. I haven't downloaded pictures, but I took some of the kids and woman drinking/eating them. RBF's are my catch-all food, but one only used occasionally. Having a bad day? A root beer float is a pick-me-up. Having a good day? It's a celebration. While I was a missionary, I used ice cream as my catch-all, but it wasn't as good as a root beer float.

Sadly, my girl doesn't like root beer. She doesn't like carbonation, in fact. I think she's like her mom in that way. Our boys, though, love root beer, and would drink it all of the time if I would buy it more often. I just want it to be for special occasions. If our boy ever gets used to being a Sunbeam, for example, we'll drink/eat root beer floats to celebrate. If I get a job, we'll drink root beer floats. That sort of thing.

My little girl has been saying that she wants to live near "Grandma and Grampa," who live in Nebraska. In fact, she wants to live with them. I'm not willing to live that close. I think my wife would go mad if she were subjected to the hustle and bustle of their life. We can hardly handle our own, in fact! That said, I want to live close to them. I love family. I love the idea of it, and I love the love that we have for it. I want my kids to be close to both my California family (though I don't talk nearly enough to my sister) and my (yes, I claim them!) Nebraska family. I also want them to keep in touch with friends from Virginia (though many of them have moved on). One of the toughest thing about being a parent is the fear that your kids won't get enough family and can't get close enough to friends to develop lasting ties.

It's not just about good enough. It's about giving them the world.

Root beer floats are my way of doing that. I can bring them closer to the people and places that have made me the man I am today, and hopefully the man that will give them a better tomorrow.

That's my goal.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Our family is relatively resistant to sickness. I've been more susceptible since I let my weight climb, but I am relatively sickness free. My kids get the occasional cold, but really don't get sick very often.

Today must be not very often. Three of our four boys (me, Bub, and Duck) are sick today. We've gotten a lot of use out of that steam cleaner, as Bub and Duck have taken turns decorating our floor. Isn't it funny that you don't appreciate something until it's gone? I love having a family that doesn't get sick. Usually.

It's Tuesday, and I have to drive to Lynchburg on Friday and Saturday. If I can't get better soon, I just don't think I'll make it to my class. If I don't make it to my class, who knows what will happen? I'm so close to being done with my master's degree, and I've just lost all love of jumping through hoops. I want to end this section of my journey and start another.

I guess I can only take life one minute at a time. Right now, that means focusing on getting healthy. Let's hope!

Saturday, March 3, 2012


My wife and I are very different. She is from a big family (she's 3rd of 7 kids), while my sister and I are so far apart that we're basically two only children that happened to share a mother. She is as disorganized as they come, and I like things to have their spots in the house. She is the daughter of staunch conservatives, while my mom went to Berkeley. In the 60's. I like for certain chores to be done every day, such as cleaning dishes and laundry. She's got a big project sort of mentality, and when she picks her project, that"s all she wants to do.

Our differences work together, too. Tonight, our Duck is sick. He's sent numerous sheets, blankets, pillows, etc. to the wash. Because of our differences, though, she took the boy, and I took all of his dirty stuff.

Another example:
I got called a couple of days ago to fill a Nursery assignment at church. Yet for some reason I wasn't inclined to find out what the lesson entailed. That's odd for me. I like to know way in advance. My wife, who is in the presidency of our church's young people, was livid with me. "How can you do this to the kids?" I honestly didn't know, made up some excuse, and went on my way. Now that Duck is sick, it looks like I won't be going to church. My good wife probably would have prepared until the cows came home. I spent time doing dishes. Either way, we both got what we wanted in the end: our prayers were answered, and while it's not the answer either of us wanted, we're becoming more and more at ease with the path that the Lord is opening for us. Even for just one day.

I wouldn't have picked my wife when I met her. She didn't meet my plan. Luckily, the Lord had a better plan for me. He led me to a woman that is so different that she fills my needs. I can't imagine a better place to be.

It's so useful!

So leadership meeting was fun. We had group instruction from our stake leadership, and then broke out into sessions specifically for certain groups. Since I'm a financial clerk, I went to the clerk part of the meeting, and it wasn't bad, though it was aimed more at main clerks than assistant clerks in charge of finance. That said, our main clerk was unable to attend, so I took notes for him.

A couple of years ago, I decided to remodel our kitchen. (Long story, but it's still not done. I've learned a lot about construction in that time!) While our kitchen was being remodeled, I sent the rest of our family to visit Anika's parents so I could have the house to myself. While I did, I had plenty of time to clean, and I went out and bought a steam cleaner to clean our floors. Holy cow, has that thing been useful since then! Having kids is a great reason to either have hardwood floors or a steam cleaner. We went with the latter, and with the rate at which our family is growing, it's been a great investment for us.

Below is a picture of Anika using it.

...and let's be honest, is there anyone I'd rather see with tools I buy than my wife? Heck, is there anybody I'd rather see doing just about anything? I think not.