Sorry I have been MIA or rather MIS (missing in school). I have taken a long term sub position in the South Whittier School District. It is where I completed my student teaching and I am glad to be back. I had one crossover day (when the regular teacher and I are both there) which is not enough time when you could be potentially taking over for the rest of the year or close to it. So I have been stressed out a bit and on information overload which makes me shut down a bit and not want to explain what happened during the day and I am just constantly thinking about all the things I need to do. I love the school, and it is great to be back. The teacher has been helpful calling on both Wednesday and today to see if I had any questions and to give me a bit more information. I feel as if on Wednesday and Thursday I was coming out of a fog and I realized that I can handle this and do more than just survive. My goal is to thrive we will see how close I get to that. This weekend I have a lot of work to do for the next two weeks.
I will try in the very near future to get some updates from a mini vacation Paul and I took and a snow day that we went on with the Askews. I hope all is well with everyone else.
When I watched the first episode of Lost I thought it was stupid. I started watching when season 2 started just to see what was in the hatch and now I can't get enough. Is season 1 worth going back and watching? I know I didn't see much but it was really dragging.
It never ceases to amaze me how fast things can change here at the group home. Staff and kids come and go. It's the nature of the business. I had been spoiled for quite a while. The staff stayed the same for the most part and we had several kids who had been with us for a year or more. Other houses complained about all their problems, but for all my worrying, things were pretty good.
Now it seems like I can barely keep my head above water. Back in late October we began to lose staff. Most by their own choice and for legitimate reasons (moving, going back to school). Soon we got to a point where we were losing staff faster than we could replace them. And the new staff we were getting either couldn't handle the job or didn't even bother to try. Two weeks ago I had a full staff and a full house of kids. Today I have 2 staff besides myself (lost 3) and 3 kids (also lost 3). We also had the first 2 kids run away since October 2004 which was by far a record for this house.
My senior staff has been here just about a month which is the same for the kid who has been here the longest. The house has been unstable for so long with either a kid or a staff leaving every other week since October. I don't even get my Friday/Saturday off anymore and my schedule seems to change daily.
I'm really starting to doubt my abilities as a manager. It doesn't come naturally to me. I'm not the Great and Powerful Oz; I'm better at being the man behind the curtain. If I was better at this could I have trained the staff better and held onto them? Or were they all really that clueless and unable to handle the job? I don't think it's that hard, but maybe that's just me.
On Saturday we were going to meet up with Moe and the kids and go to Disneyland but our passes were blocked so we decided to go to Tom's Farm. We ate lunch, walked around the shops and had a great time hanging out.
We rode on a mini train they had which passed by some deer, buffalo, a bear and an elephant. The train also went through a tunnel and over a "river" before entering the depo again.
Moe and James on the trainWhen we got off the train Abby, Drew and Cyndi pet the local wildlife also known as a plastic cow. They also had a little gocart track which they had tractors on that you could ride around (to bad it was only for young kids) and they also had a tractor you could sit on and scoop dirt and move it around. So we gathered up some quarters so that Cyndi, Abby and Drew could take turns. It was a funtastic day!
We went up to Paul's folks house on St. Patricks Day. Paul went back to Bradley's room and they played poker online, Bradley enters tournaments on there that last hours and hours. Amy and I hung out watching parts of "girly movies" that were on tv and then decided to go get Shamrock shakes from Mc Donalds and brought them back for everyone. We waited till like 11pm or so and then went bowling once all the leagues were done for the day. We bowled two games. We had a lot of fun and as a bounus I beat Paul and Amy both times! =)
We headed up to Alhambra after briefly stopping at home to change to meet up with Paul's family. We all went out to dinner with Hutchie's Aunt and Uncle from Boston. We had dinner at the hotel they were staying at. We had good conversation and a delightful time. After dinner with the family. The siblings decided to go find a karaoke place.
Paul took James out to Riverside while Cyndi picked up Abby and Drew from Nick's parents on Sunday. Paul had James fed, changed (clothes and diaper), and in bed before Cyndi got there with Abby and Drew. Then it was time to get blankies, binkies and milk so everyone could get in bed. Paul helped out again by changing Drew (clothes and diaper) while Cyndi helped Abby get ready for bed. After everyone was in bed we watched the Oscar's (thank goodness for Tivo). Paul had to head home since he had to work in the morning. Cyndi stayed over night and watched the kids on Monday. Cyndi took them to the park so they could run around and play. Then it was home for nap time. Paul met up with everyone again after he got done with work. We played some more, fed the little ones and then got ready for bedtime. Cyndi took off around 10pm since she had to work early the next morning and Paul stayed at the Askews until Moe and Nick got home.
Drew on the slide. They insisted a couple times that Cyndi go down the slide with both Abby and Drew on her lap. It was lots of fun, Cyndi hadn't been on a slide in a long while.
Abby smiling for the camera, and Drew peeking out from behind the railing.
James decided to take a nap while his brother and sister played.
We picked up James from Casa de Askew, hung out at our apartment and got everything set up for the youngsters weekend with us. Then we headed up to the ALH to see Amy sing. For the most part the solos, duets, and trios sounded good and some even great. There was however the occasional singer who should not ever think about trying out for Am. Idol. We had fun and the desserts were tasty too.
We are beginning to get our computer up and running again but we have to reinstall everything. So hopefully in the next day or so I can get photos and updates from the weekend posted. Thank You for your patience while we had our techincal difficulties.
It's been a while since we posted anything, partly because of the computer issues, partly because of being slackers. I figure I should at least post a rundown of what's been going on...maybe we'll get some real posts done soon.
I managed to get the computer fixed. Sherida was right...the geeksquad was a waste of time. We ended up losing everything though. I still can't get the audio to work at all.
Work has been busy. I got 3 new kids this week. We haven't had the full 6 in the house for quite a while. I also got 2 new staff last week to add to the 2 other new ones I've had since January. It's been tough since there is so much to know, and I'm the only one left who can teach them anything. It's been a rough transition, and getting 3 new kids at once didn't help at all.
We managed to see 3 of the Best Picture nominees before the Oscars: Crash, Munich, and Brokeback Mountain. Munich was my favorite of those, but none were what I would consider great movies. I was glad to see the awards spread out so much instead of a movie that was just ok dominating the whole thing like in other years.
We babysat James for the Askews while they were checking out Oregon this weekend. Except for the constant barfing due to acid reflux, he was really easy to deal with...not much fussing, goes to sleep easy and lets you sleep in a bit, and is cute and silly enough to even make you forgive all the barf. Cyndi, being the brave woman she is, tackled having all 3 Askew kids by herself for the last day. Talk about a crash course in mommying.
The Amazing Race is on. I think I should be able to watch it all this season.
Arrested Development is still not on. That makes Franklin cry.
I saw an Oingo Boingo tribute band a few weeks ago. They rocked!
We went to see my sister Amy sing at a fundraiser event for her high school choir trip. Her trio sounded good, and there were a few other girls that did too. There was also a good number of people who shouldn't have been singing solo or with the whole choir.
I'm still continuing my job search even though O.C. probation didn't work out for me this time around. This should be a full post so I'm not going to say much more on it until I can do it justice.
My Uncle Ron had surgery to remove a growth in his lungs, it was cancerous and they are doing further testing to make sure that it has not spread. Right now they are making sure that there is no cancer in his lymph nodes. The good news is he is recovering and will hopefully not have to undergo any radiation.
The bad news is a long time neighbor Mr. Beurskens passed away late last week. He was a kind man and will be missed by many. The good news is he is in heaven and is no longer in any pain. Many neighbors, and members of both Vista Grande Church and College Ave. attended services to celebrate his life.