Thursday, March 20, 2008

Two Years Later

Okay, so I'm not all that faithful a blogger. I just noticed that my most recent blog entry was at the beginning of 2006, and it is now mid-March of 2008. Has my life changed a bit? Have surprising things happened in the past two years?

Well, let's summarize.

Since Jan 1, 2006:

Work: I was hired and began working at Reach for Resources in Hopkins about February 13, 2006. In October of 2006, I began looking for a new job, closer to home, because the drive was killing me! The cost of gas was ridiculous, and sometimes it took a full two hours to get to work or to get home. Hugo to Hopkins was like three commutes - into the city, across the cities, out of the city. Blah! So I got hired by The Wilder Foundation, gave six weeks notice, and began work there on December 4, 2006. My bosses were Linda Bohlig and Mary Heisermann. Within a couple of months, Linda had quit (replaced by Megan Kettunen) and Mary had retired (replaced by MayKao Hang), and I had all new bosses. Then in October, 2007, I was given the news that my position had been eliminated. Admittedly, this was because I didn't have enough to do. I was lazy about looking for a new position because I figured somebody at Wilder would hire me for one of the many positions I applied for, but they didn't. So...I was out of work from November 2 until I finally signed up with Jeane Thorne Temp Agency in February of 2008. Couldn't have survived if my lovely daughter Lisha hadn't moved in and gotten a job just before I was fired, because I wasn't eligible for Unemployment because THEY had made a mistake and overpaid me a couple of years back, and wouldn't give me the benefits until I paid them back - which I obviously could not do since I didn't have A JOB!!! So now I am in my 4th week working for Jeane Thorne, and my last week, because I got hired by St Stephen's Lutheran Church in White Bear Lake. I begin work there next Tuesday. That WILL be the job I have for the rest of my life! God willing. Sadly, the guy who did most of my interviewing and stuff just died this past Sunday - car accident. His name was Skip Bresin, and I'm really sorry he died, as he was a very VERY sweet guy and I was looking forward to getting to know him and work with him.

Living Situation: When I first began working for Reach, I stayed during the week at my Aunt Phyllis' basement apartment until June 15 or so, when I moved into my brother's house, which I rent. Still living there. Loving it, but not the yard work, so I hire a guy when Meech is not available to do yard work. Hoping I will live there forever. Though the stairs from first to second floor are pretty steep - I'm used to them, though.

Car: Did I mention I was driving the 1989 Subaru station wagon made of rust held together by a bit of white metal? That was in 2006 - near the end of 2006, just before I left Reach, my parents bought me a 2001 Pontiac Montana mini-van. Got better mileage than the Subaru, just. Best of all, I didn't get splashed with water when going through puddles because the Subaru's door was rusting out. I can actually drive the Montana through a car wash - and stay dry on the inside! I pay for the van, the parents just bought it because they have better credit and were sick of fearing for me as I drove around in the Subaru. Once, the door closing mechanism broke or something, and I had to spend one week driving to and from work (Hugo to Hopkins) using bungee cords to hold the driver-side door shut. That was fun. haha

Family: So much. Amaria and Lisha stayed with the grandparents when I first worked. Meech was in a group home. Then for the summer, Amaria still spent the week at the grandparents, frequently the weekends, too. Lisha stayed with them as well, and when fall came around, Meech was sent home, Amaria moved home, and Lisha moved in with a family so she could spend her senior year at Sauk Rapids High School and graduate from the school she was used to. That didn't work out, and she moved home over Christmas break in 2007. She lived at home until spring of 2007, when she moved into an apartment in Sauk Rapids with two friends (Ashley and Marcus) and signed a 6-month lease. Meech, meanwhile, in and out of jail and breaking his probation left and right. When I switched to working for Wilder, Amaria switched from Eisenhower in Hopkins to Oneka in Hugo. Still there, now she is in 2nd grade. Meech went to White Bear Lake High (north campus) for awhile, but then was switched to a Level 5 probation school - only 10 boys go there, all of whom are on probation and the teachers are probation officers. What a place for such a brilliant boy with such high potential to end up, eh? So, Lisha got pregnant, moved back home after I paid 4 of her 6 months' rent, and God really did send her home just in time because I lost my job just after she got her job at e-funds, and now we are awaiting the birth of Taia Marie McGinnis any day now - yep, I'm gonna be a grandma!! Meech just got back home from another month at Lino Lakes for probation violation (running away for two weeks, and positive UA for cocaine - Lord help him), and we are hoping he will move out to live with a friend's dad in about a month. Well, and the friend, too. He's just very hard to live with, for us.

More indirect family stuff - Leah and Gene had a baby boy, Levi, just about two months ago. Ben and Layna moved back up here from Washington, DC. They live in a HUGE mansion in North Oaks. Nobody has died. Probably a few other kids have been born. Oh, early December of 2006 John and Amber had Trevor. Jake and Lisa had Nicholas a little over a year ago, and are pregnant with their third child due this spring sometime. Or maybe June?

Spiritual: I began going to a small-group Bible study at Phyllis' house when I was living there and ended up joining New Life Church Lutheran (right in Hugo, where my uncle John's funeral was, where Phyllis and Leah and Gene all go) and Amaria was baptized on September 13, 2006, by Pastor John Schildewachter - her Godparents are Leah and Gene Hageman, and her Godgrandma is Phyllis. Pastor John finally retired (he had donated 5 years as the FT pastor with no pay) last October or so, and we have a new, young, awesome pastor named Peter Nafzger, who came to us with his wife Katie and their children Olivia and Johann. I have done the Children's Christmas Program for two years in a row, and I did the 2007 VBS (by "done" I mean I was the director) and am working on the same for 2008, as well as the 2008 Christmas program. I am also in the last stages of taking over as Sunday School Superintendent for Kathy Brevig - which means I choose curriculum (with input from others), train teachers, plan lessons, basically run the Sunday School program, along with being one of the few Sunday School teachers we have. We are working on that. Getting more teachers. My faith has been fully restored and I am learning daily about God's grace and what true Christianity (as opposed to Church of Christ Christianity) is about, and loving it.

Health: I was in the hospital once because my back went out, and now I have to be really careful of it. I haven't died, so there you go. What more could I ask?

Hobbies: I am still knitting like crazy, reading like crazy with audible books as my favorite with my awesome Creative Zen 2GB MP3 player, I pretty much constantly have books going.

Pets: Right after I moved into David's house, I got a second dog, an Australian/German Shepherd mix, named Humphrey (with plans to get another dog and name him Bogart - though I haven't done that yet). My goal was to have him help with Zeke, because Zeke had gone deaf. But then, on October 5, 2006, Zeke, my beautiful beloved old beagle, died. The DAY BEFORE my road was closed off to create a cul-de-sac, he got out, got hit by a car, came home, and died that evening. Good ol' Zeke. Puppychow. We miss him still. He is buried in the back yard under the grape arbor, and what more could I ask for a beautiful tribute to this most wonderfully sweet of all dogs. Now, we also have a cat - a black cat - named Snowball. haha. Lisha's cat, she is very funny, no?

So there you go - my past two years in a nut shell.