Friday, November 30, 2007

COLD trip home

The purpose of these photos are to remind us:
  • How COLD it gets in Iowa during the winter
  • How pretty the snow looks
  • and how COLD it gets in Iowa during the winter
This is Madison walking Macey at a gas station somewhere in Southern Iowa.

My "cubby"

My cubicle.



Thursday, November 29, 2007

New job

Well, I am at the new job.
I have a cubicle. With a phone (obviously a computer too). No window.

I haven't quite figured out how I will be conducting my job? The first day I sat with a fellow analyst but then he was gone sick on Tues & Wed with no back-up plan for me. So I've spent much of my time setting up my preferences on the computer & reading LOTS of instruction manuals for the software our customers use. *yawn* But I gotta start somewhere!

I brought the camera today so I could take pictures of my 'cubby'. I'll post them later!

The hours are very flexible (maybe only while I'm in training?) as long as I work 8 hours per day. The dress code is business casual, which I like. The people are very nice & helpful... sometimes I feel a little over-my-head in conversations about programming languages, codes, fixes, etc... but I'm confident I'll catch on, I've only been here 4 days!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

If you have a cold

This stuff is amazing. I definately had a cold coming on last night & this morning. I put this gel-stuff in my nose and WHA-LAA... I feel GREAT!

Okay, it costs about NINE bucks, but it's worth it!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

What a difference 48 hours makes

This house next door has gone up SO fast! They actually poured the foundation on Monday & did this much framing yesterday. I bet they do the roof today? Wow!
Maybe we'll have neighbors by the end of the month! haha I doubt it.
If you can see in the distance they have formed up for another foundation to go next to this house.

The house across the street is almost done. We see the new people come to look at the progress of the house almost everynight. Sounds familiar.

This is is the view out the dining room window. Bummer. We knew it wouldn't last forever. We were accustomed to watching out this window for the bus to come each morning (it's gotten better about being on time).
I'm working on window treatments for this room, but I haven't found exactly what I want yet. Madison wants to paint the wall in here red, so I'm sorta waiting until we get that done. Oh, and we need a table too. Afterall, this is a dining room. :)

Okay... who borrowed my camera?

Sometimes this is what I find on my camera when I go to upload pictures, leaving me wondering who borrowed my camera. Usually they give themselves away... DILLON!

Is that kid's shirt wild, or what? I had to do a zoom for a closer look. Weird.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thanksgiving lunch

I was invited by my new employer, Manatron Inc., to attend the employee Thanksgiving Lunch pot luck today. It was a great way to meet people & get introduced as the 'newbie'.... I mean, ahem, "Support Analyst II". There are about 40 people in this location.

One of the advantages to being self-employed is that you are not intimidated by supervisors or managers... because you don't have any!! Uh Oh... I need to practice my 'respect for my superiors' frame of mind. That's going to be a tough pill to swallow because I hate it when people are full of themselves. Maybe there won't be anyone like that here! (I hope...)

I interviewed with 5 managers on Monday & since they're the only people I've met so far (and I really liked all of them) I sat with them at lunch today. Workplace attitudes can be so trite, so I hope I haven't started people talking.

I am really praying for a team-environment where there isn't workplace politics and everyone likes each other & respects the person, not what their title is.

I'm already nervous. Can you tell? Geez, it's been 8 years since I worked for someone else! Can you blame me?

Dillon looks like who?

Jared looks like who?

Madison looks like who?

This is a nice compliment, but everyone KNOWS she looks more like her dad.

It's contagious

I know... because I caught it from my sister-in-law, Jill.
It's this BLOG-ing thing.
Madison & her best friend from Iowa, Lauren, have set up their own blogs.
Check them out.
I guess it's better than MySpace.
Maybe they'll figure cool features out & teach me how to put it on my blog, you know how kids are... they can figure about anything out.
I'm just worried about how much time Madison will be on the computer now. Hmm....

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Scott's test results

The results from Scott's myelogram are bitter-sweet....
The sweet part is that we are able to pin-point the reason he is having so much pain & there IS a solution! No more pain!!
The bitter part of the story is that the solution involves more surgery for Scott; another fusion of the next 2 vertebrae up his back from the last surgery. His lumbar vertebrae will all be fused together, no future bending, twisting, or curling of his back.

We will visit with his doctor on Friday to pursue an appointment with a neurosurgeon.

Scott is faced with the choice:
  • Live with back pain but retain movement (albeit painful) -or-
  • No bending the lower part of his back (translation: no more tying shoes or reach to the floor) but live in SUBSTANTIALLY less pain

The more sugery Scott has, the more mobility he sacrifices. Tough choice. Please pray about this for him. He's down in the dumps about it all.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Stony Point football is undefeated!!!

Check out this awesome photo of Dillon's football team. He's holding the banner on the right side of the photo (#41). Cool!

"and the winner is..."

The conclusion to the ongoing saga of "Will Shelly stay at Michaels" or "Will Shelly take a job elsewhere" has reached a grand finale today...
I have accepted a position with Manatron, Inc. I will start on Monday, Nov. 26 as a full-time Support Analyst II! Basically I will provide customer support to County Recorders throughout the U.S. who use Manatron's imaging software for their public records. Sounds sorta complicated as I write it this, but I think I'll be a great asset to Manatron since my background is in public records. I'm looking forward to joining their team. Plus... the benefits are fantastic.... okay Jill, maybe not as sensational as Michaels employee discount... but for almost triple the pay I was making at Michaels, I decided Manatron is a good choice! Yay! Plus I don't have to deal with the Christmas Retail Season... I hear that can by awful... Right Dad?
We're going out tonight to celebrate. Sorry Scott... we're not waiting on ya. :(

Scott's party

This is what's left of Scott's brownie-cake. We had Jeannetta, Kurt & Margaux over for supper... mmmmm.... roast beef & potatoes....The kids & I got him a chair-massager, like the one at Walgreen's pharmacy. Since we're at Walgreen's so much getting Scott's prescriptions filled, Scott has taken a liking to the display chair massager... now he has his own!! Now if we could just get the kids to quit using it so Scott can...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Where's Dillon?

Okay, the previous post had school pictures of Jared & Madison. I bet you're wondering where's Dillon's picture?
Well.... Dillon & I were confused as to which day was his 'picture day' since there are 2 high school campuses here. So we neglected to send money for his picture. They took it... we just didn't get any. I guess. I might look into a package from WalMart or something. Poor kid. No school pic.


Tomorrow Scott will have a procedure done called a Myelogram. This is to find out why he is still having so much pain in his back & if he needs more surgery. The Dr. will inject dye into his spinal cord & he'll have extensive x-rays & CT scans. He'll have this done as an outpatient procedure.

This injection is similar to an Epidural puncture or a Spinal Block puncture in his back. Because he'll run the risk of losing spinal fluid from the site & causing the dreadful 'spinal headache', he has to remain flat on his back for 24 hours after the procedure. I'll be back to playing 'nurse maid' again... :)

Shelly got a job!

Yay! I accepted a part-time position with Michaels as their Cash Accountant. I will work 7am - 1pm each day (and some weekends) to do the store deposit, prepare cash drawers for the cashiers & perform internal audits.
I really struggled with accepting this position because I came to Texas with the intention of working with Scott on our own business venture, Cole Lining, LLC. But, as God would remind me... my timing & God's timing are not always the same...
I have peace that someday soon we'll be able to get the business off the ground & I'll be able to work independently again. For right now I simply need to get a life... I mean, bring home a paycheck.
I am also struggling with my loyalty to this part-time position. It has been YEARS since I had to 'clock-in' or had a 'boss', luckily this is a non-supervised position. Also... I have applied for many other positions with other companies that would probably challenge me more than this one... I just interviewed with one of them yesterday. Hmmm.... what if one of them offers me a job? Do I stay? Do I go? Any of you who have recently gone through job-hunting knows what I'm talking about.

Dum-Dum-Dum.... Stay tuned to find out "Will Shelly like working at Michaels" .... or.... "Will Shelly move along to something else".... ???
Needless to say... you're all getting crafty-things for Christmas this year. :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Do you see a resemblance?

This little guy was truckin' along my front porch yesterday.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Lazy Days of Summer

We have enjoyed a most beautiful day today, feels almost like summer, or at least the temperatures of a late summer/early fall day. We reached 88 degrees, but the breeze kept us feeling like it was more like 70's. Tomorrow we are expecting a cold front & the high is supposed to be 65 degrees. I guess we'll have to get the jackets back out. Crazy when you can wear shorts & tanks one day & jeans with jackets the next.

Scott is working in Houston still. He has been putting in 4-day work weeks lately. Seems like he needs to come home on Fridays or Mondays for one reason or another. I like it that he's only gone 4 days but he really needs to focus on the job deadline coming up (Dec. 15)! He'll probably have to stay in Houston to work a few weekends soon. Bummer.

This is the last week of football for Dillon & volleyball for Madison. I think they are both ready for the season to be over. Dillon might try out for basketball, but he's also interested in looking for a local wrestling club. Madison thought she might do basketball.... she's never played on the team before... so she'll have to 'try out' to see if she's good enough to make the team. I think she should at least try. Don't you think?

Dillon just found out his choir will be going to Branson, Missouri for a few days in April to sing at a concert hall. He'll get to go to Silver Dollar City and do some other fun things. Now... if we could muster up $590.... ?!!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

More fun at the Safari

This zebra obviously had been fed before...

I am VERY glad the giraffe didn't get ahold of her arm... ewwww....

Fun at the drive-through Wilderness Park

Jared kept feeding the ostriches so they kept following us & pecking into the truck!

This zebra decided he REALLY liked our car & he REALLY liked the kids feeing him.

I Love This Man!!

Happy Birthday to Scott (WARNING: Rated R)

We went to San Antonio to enjoy the Riverwalk yesterday & decided to celebrate Scott's birthday at "Dick's Last Resort" restaurant. For those of you who have never been to a "Dick's" you have to be prepared for rude & obnoxious waiters and poor service... all of which makes the experience at "Dick'" much more memorable... Here are the hats our waiter made for us: Scott: It's my b-day and all I'm gett'n is erectile dysfunction.
Jared: Little Dicks need love too
Dillon: I'm a crappy fisherman but a great master baiter
Madison: I came to S.A. (san antonio) and all I got was my period
Shelly: My thong has skid marks (see our lovely waiter who made these nice hats for us?)

Ingrid: Hot girls fart too

Friday, November 2, 2007

! ! ! Hallelujah ! ! !

hal·le·lu·jah /ˌhæləˈluyə/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[hal-uh-loo-yuh] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
1. Praise ye the Lord! –noun
2. an exclamation of “hallelujah!”
3. a shout of joy, praise, or gratitude.
4. a musical composition wholly or principally based upon the word “hallelujah.”
Also, hal·le·lu·iah.
© Random House, Inc. 2006.

I hope I have caught your attention! The pathology report came back from my Mom's surgery. The surgeon feels like the removal of this tumor... (was closer to 4" diameter) has been a COMPLETE success! He feels like the recurrence of this tumor is such a small threat that a monthly injection of a prevention medicine will keep the cancer away! Of course Mom will meet with another cancer specialist in 2 weeks to verify this, but... Halleluja!!

My Dad called me this morning while I was taking the boys to school to tell me results of the pathology report & the surgeon's opinion. I had to try really hard to keep my composure... but as soon as the boys got out of the car I shouted for joy and cried, and cried... and still crying at the great news that Mom is going to be okay and that GOD IS SO, SO GOOD. Prayer works, she's living, breathing proof. Love you Mom! Thank you God!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween excitement

We all went our separate ways last night... Dillon went to Halloween party with several friends, Madison went trick-or-treating with a couple of friends in another neighborhood, Jared & Ingrid went to a huge Haunted House that took an hour to get through the line, and I went to our bible study group.

At 9:45 Madison & I arrived home to a crowd of teenagers hanging out at the end of our street (dead-end) in the new park & pool area. When I say crowd, I'm talking about 50 high schoolers with beer bottles and the likes.

This is a little un-settling since Madison & I are the only ones home in this area of the neighborhood & if things were to get out-of-hand... I immediately called the police when an obviously intoxicated young man approach the house & yelled to Madison through a window that she could come join the party... Jared & Ingrid showed up @ 10:30.

About 10:45 the police showed up & busted up the party. It was quite entiertaining to watch from our darkened 2nd story window. Girls in bunny costumes & guys in royal king outfits were running through the brush carrying beer bottles.

Despite the entertaining bust the policeman said that those kids had started a small bon-fire in the new pool. Some of the kids will be charged with criminal mischief. Uhhhh.... yeah! Twits! I was looking forward to the pool being opened later this month. Maybe not now. Grrr.....