Friday, November 26, 2010

Confection = Reflection

I actually have some time alone- no interruptions- nothing but background noise of the washing machine hitting it's spin cycle. My cat is curled up on a pillow sleeping. My dog is sleeping by the door waiting for the rest of his flock to return from shopping.
I took this alone time to bake some chocolate chip cookies. And this is not to be repeated because no one is to know the cookies will be stashed in my favorite hiding place!
As I'm baking I decided to pick up a book that was sent to us last Christmas season by our Alpha facilitators. I wasn't able to completely read through The Purpose Driven Life last year at this time. I guess one could say I wasn't a "stable believer".
As I'm reading chapter 18, there was this need to re-read again and again.
Life together. Fellowship. Experiencing life together in fellowship.
To me this was powerful. This is what kept my family attending Living Word. It was a community. It was our birth church. I miss LW. I miss my LW family.
We will be visiting China Doll's choice of church this Sunday- which we understand is very similar to LW.

"In real fellowship people experience authenticity".
"In real fellowship people experience mutuality".
"In real fellowship people experience sympathy and mercy".

If only everyone could experience such fellowship.
It's time to get back to baking..... I just felt the need to share my thought.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Two Weeks Down

It's been two weeks exactly today that we have lived here in Virginia.
At times it seems we have been here longer..... some days usually while trying to figure out my way around it seems like only a day or two.

We are meeting more neighbors. Apple Cheeks met a new friend- "C". "C" is 5 years old and loves everything dinosaur! "C" likes to hike, run hard and talks a lot! something they have in common Yep, "C" is a boy! It was very cute how "C" would wait for Apple Cheeks to catch up while hiking. After all.... a ballerina always tip toes her way through a good hike!
We met "C" and his mommy while hiking around the Potomac River last Sunday. Apple Cheeks and "C" instantly became friends. "C"'s mommy and I hit it off too. We are looking forward to more play dates with "C".

China Doll.... for our teenager who was so worried about meeting new friends...there is a social calendar growing. During her first week of school- 3 days in she was invited to attend a BR's Theater Art presentation. Friday night football game.
And the big moment was her decision to join BR's gymnastic team! so much for not adjusting!

It's an adjustment not having Freckle Boy here weekly..... however we will see him on the weekends and with technology we can chat via cam. It still doesn't feel complete without him.
But he is doing well at Central....and is hoping to be scouted out by his favorite college football team.

Football Superstar and I are doing just fine too.
I have been attending corporate trainings these past few days. I had my first class this Thursday evening. It wasn't the best subject to begin with- child abuse. The Academy was finally turned over to our director....and next week I get to go in and prepare my classroom!
We officially open our doors to students November 29th- which is my first full day of teaching.
Apple Cheeks will attend the Academy with mommy- and will be in one of the two 4 year old programs. She too is looking forward to "big girl school".

As I sit here typing, I can look out from my computer desk with a view as beautiful as one of my father's paintings. It's amazing. What a gift.
While walking Sam we met some pretty friendly deer. They seem to be accustomed to people and their fur balls on leashes. Sam was giving them a deep woof at first....he now just greets them like any other neighbor.
For Sam, adjusting was better than we expected for him. Sadly, the week before our move we needed to make a decision to have our Football Superstars baby Heidi to sleep. Health issues occurred and it wasn't going to be fair to Heidi in this adjustment. Football Superstar took this much harder.....I however was not ready for this either, but I have been through this decision before with my other furbabies. It's never matter how prepared you are.
I'm stopping on this subject..... it still hurts to talk about.

And September..... she adjusted just fine. As long as she has one of many beds to snuggle on, a nice view of the outside and Fancy Feast to eat- life is grand!

Thanksgiving~ a time to be thankful~ a time to feel His grace~ a time for family&friends~
So much to be thankful here in Virginia!

Life Lesson: Count your blessings


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Scrap Book

*Huge shopping mall where China Doll wants to work
*Dulles Town Center/Dulles Airport

Scrap Book

*Love these roads!
*View from our back balcony
*Taking a break from unpacking China Doll & Apple Cheeks
*Two tired puppies Apple Cheeks & Sam

Scrap Book- Meet Virginia

* Grove of trees that line Redskins Park entrance
*Football Superstar gave a "2 minute warning" to snap this! He is not a Redskin fan
*George Washington University
*Our complex
*Welcome Home

Friday, November 12, 2010

All in a day in VA

Well....make that week in VA.

I'm having trouble convincing myself that we have actually lived here in Virginia for one full week. Time flies when your moving!

For those of you who may not know what took place with my family..... we made a decision to relocate to Virginia. Football Superstar made a decision to change careers. Amen!
His new career choice; technology. Fantastic. Now where? PA? For someone who has been in the same career for almost 21 years this would be a little challenging. But not impossible.
But pretty much impossible in Pennsylvania. Especially the tech field he was targeting. Football Superstar decides to look into the federal government. With help huge help from a friend in the human resource department, resumes and letters of interest were created.
As job postings began to surface- as well as his interest..... the location(s) were mostly pointing South. As far south as Georgia.
We discussed options. If he should land a job in DC, he could always live with his brother who works in VA. Perfect. A week later we discussed this option again. Football Superstar knew in his mind he needed to make this career change...... and if it took relocation to do so then fine....but he couldn't be separated weeks at a time from his family.
Step two: We focus on a move after the new year. He lives during the week in VA or DC. By spring of 2011 we then make the plan to move our family.
Step three. there was no step three
During this time, I decided to check out career opportunities for myself. After's been 6 years since I've worked out of the home. I was up against those young college grads with high spirits and chic career accessories. My chic career accessories where packed away in no-where-land. By convincing myself jumping back in the career field will take months...possibly a year to sign, seal and deliver I better start now. So I began typing and tweaking. with the help of our dear friend in the human service field I had the resumes of resumes!

I also decided to return to school. My goal is to teach art therapy for children in crisis.
So again, I begin to contact schools. And contact I did! I now have at least 7 different colleges contacting me bi-weekly. If not weekly. If I wouldn't know any better I would put money on it that my mother is behind the college contacts
At the same time I had two contacts from children's academy's. First Maryland. Second Virginia. Along came the third. Fourth. Now an art school called. What is going on?!
Young Rembrandt's from the Washington DC area contacted me by phone one afternoon while I was giving myself a facial. Try having an interview while your mud pack is cracking!
I wanted this position for the art teacher so badly I could taste it. Things began to sound way too good..... the salary {sweet}.....the hours {perfect} ..... paid tuition for my classes {can you say AWESOME}...... when do I begin?....... they needed me November 8th. What?!
Where do I live? What happened to spring 2011? What happened to "I'm too old to compete with chic career accessories"?

Things began to snowball from there. I was getting job hits, school offers or is that job offers and school hits(?).
My head was spinning. Football Superstar was not only supporting my offers he was looking for "housing" for me to live during the week. WHAT? Did I say that? Oh, yeah at some point I "vomited" the words; " I'll live down in DC for the week and come home on the weekends".

All this and that began to take over. We needed to have yet another talk. Discussions and prayers. Enough said. We wait until 2011.
* * * * * * *
It happened again. I get an e-mail from two other teaching positions. One in a preschool and the other in a private academy. Football Superstar takes me for the interviews in VA.
I go with the "we'll see what happens" attitude.
An hour after my first interview I'm offered the job. I kindly turn down this particular offer.
A day later I'm offered the other position for teacher/group supervisor. I'm offered full paid tuition for my education and 1/2 price tuition for Apple Cheeks to attend the preschool.
Sweet. However I kindly turn this job offer down too. Philosophical differences
It isn't until my last interview at a Starbucks in Leesburg, VA.
This academy is new. Ground breakin' new as of July 2010. The building will not be completed/inspected until 11/22/10. So with an interview at Starbucks with the principal/director..... this is probably going to be a........ Jackpot!
I was offered a position 4 days after my interview. Talk about nerves completely frazzled.
Once again the benefits were very inviting. Like the other schools I'm offered a pretty nice package. The big incentive.....fully paid college tuition!

Life decisions came to the board table. Our family board table
Football Superstar and I made a list of pro's and con's. We reviewed not only schools but areas narrowed down to live. Where would we be able to find an apartment, condo or townhouse to rent asap? We took 15+ hours no exaggeration the eve of my job offer to narrow down each priority on our list. Did I say list..... try 5 separate list for each priority!
Long story short..... I know this post is getting longer Football Superstar and I were able to get all the above accomplished.
We are living in a beautiful apartment complex. The back view of our balcony overlooks a line of colorful mountains that run parallel with the Potomac River, which borders Maryland.
The front of our complex you can see metropolitan lights dancing east and west. In the evening it's a beautiful sight.
Our apartment is spacious and open. Bright, cheery and cozy.
A lot of planning came together smoothly. A lot of decisions we needed to make were made with not only our own career changes in mind, but our children. Schools rate high nationally. Diversity for China Doll. very important! Culture and arts.
Speaking of China Doll she has already made three decisions on her own; (1) she is returning to the sport of gymnastics (2) she wants a job at the Dulles Town Center of course she does and (3) she chose the church for us - she liked what the teen center had to offer

We also are happy to have Uncle D. living with us during the week. Uncle D. Eva's husband
works very close to where we live. Perfect for him. Now he no longer needs to "live" weekly in a one room facility.....he is able to live with family until he returns home PA to his lovely wife on Fridays.

Our first week was filled with enough stuff that our minds felt like over cooked spaghetti.
But we are surviving- getting from point A to point B pretty well. GPS, maps, notes and landmarks are working just fine. Let's hope they never remove the "WELCOME" sign that directs us into Ashburn Village. Important area- bank, Harris Teeter, Zazu's, gas station (one of a 1,000) high school

I'm sure I'll have more to post...... one day I'll even post photos. But for now I'm back to unpacking..... catching up on laundry...... and enjoying my last few days as a stay at home momma! Apple Cheeks is excited to begin preschool.
Looking forward to catching up on your blogs as well!! Missed you all!

New Life Lesson: Changes may be hard- yet we all need to make them. And now was the time.
{Our Time}