Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Job

My employment history is pathetic at best:

Joann Fabric associate--10 months
BYU paint crew--1.5 years
lifeguard and swim instructor--6 months
independent painter--1 year
mom--7 years

I went back to school in 2010 at the local community college to finish out my drafting/autocad certificate that I had started in Washington right after my mission. (My art history bachelor's degree is worthless to me.) But when I finished last December, I wasn't able to seriously look for a job because I knew we were moving in 8 months or less.

And when I got here, I thought for sure no one would hire me, based on my pathetic employment history and huge gap of no employment, even after getting my certificate.

But then there was a craigslist post from a contractor seeking a drafter for some of his projects. I applied, and he responded immediately. We had a phone interview (which, if any of you know about how much I despise talking on the phone to strangers, you can imagine how well that went). He said he probably wouldn't be able to pay me even the minimum of what he posted, and that he'd get back with me the next week when he was back in town.

I got off the phone feeling like absolute crap, and feeling quite sure I'd never hear from him again. The next week passed. I gave up hope about the job. Another week passed. And then this past Monday, I come home to a message from him, asking if I'm still looking for work. I called back, and he told me to come in that day, and he'd start me working.

Here's the great thing about it--he wanted me to work on his computer in his office, but it turns out that his autocad subscription has expired (it's thousands of dollars), but I still have the student version on my computer at home. So I get to work from home, designing in my own time (it's only part time). Which means that Mea gets to be with me all day still. I report back to him daily, and when I complete a project (I finished my first today!), then I have to take the plans into downtown Chicago to the building department to get them approved. And he's paying me more than he said on the phone a few weeks back.

So it all works out beautifully. I don't know how long he'll be able to employ me--he's a licensed contractor, but he also owns a mailing/printing company, which is what he spends most of his time doing. So I just have a few projects lined up right now, but he said it may expand to more. But at least I'm getting real experience and will have something substantial to put on my resume. And maybe we won't have to take out as many student loans to get us through these four years. We'll see.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Two Birds With One Stone

Problem A: Spencer is required to practice his reading every night for homework, but doesn't like to do it. He does, however, insist on a bedtime story to be read to him every night.

Problem B: Since school started, Spencer decided that he was too cool to play with his little sister, and has been quite condescending of late.

Solution: In order for Spencer to have a story read to him, he has to read a story to Waimea--one of her choosing, too.

Brilliant! (Evan gets all the credit.)

Evan's Birthday

Evan's birthday was Monday. He requested a cookie cake, once again. Thick and yummy!
Now that we have a backyard, I was finally able to give him the gift I've been wanting to for years:
Our neighbors here have one, and we smell the campfires every weekend, with envy. Now there's no more need to covet our neighbor's stuff. Happy Birthday, Evan!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

School Days and Birth Days

Spencer started first grade soon after we arrived. He's into his third week, and is already making friends and settling right in. Here he is on the first day (he's really into making faces for pictures right now):
Evan started school on the 29th. The semester hasn't technically started yet, but he is attending a mandatory "math review" for the next few weeks. Here he is on his first day:
The 29th was also my birthday. Ugh, I'm getting old. My parents drove into town a few days prior, so I got a yummy, homemade dinner, and a scrumptious Finnish cake:
The kids were really cute on my birthday--they really wanted to wrap up presents to give to me, so they kept wrapping up their toys for me to unwrap. They also created a few things out of Legos, just for me. One of them was Quack, from the show Peep and the Big Wide World. He's this quirky, blue, self-centered duck, and I can't get enough of him. It's the one show that I will happily watch, anytime. If you have never seen the show, click on the link above, or YouTube it. Here's Spencer's Lego rendition of him:
I don't know if I can ever break it. I may have to super glue it together.