I hope you will visit my ministry website: http://ajourneyoffaith.net .
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Last September, we got our Adoption Tax Credit.
Last September, Papa was laid off from his job.
We knew that if we budgeted very carefully,
the tax credit could last us about 5 months.
We never dreamed that Papa wouldn't be
able to find a job in 5 months' time.
Papa has been unemployed for 5 full months.
Today ... we have $1700 in the bank.
Friday ... our $1400 mortgage is due.
Our 2011 tax refund has been approved.
(It's not an especially large refund, due to
the fact that our income was quite small.)
However, we have not received it yet.
Please pray with us that we would receive our tax
refund before our other March bills are due.
Papa was able to substitute teach 9 times this month.
However, he won't get paid until the end of March.
Papa was supposed to start work at the refinery on Monday.
However, they "forgot" to do a new kind of background
check on him that they hadn't done last year.
So, he is awaiting the results of the background check
before he can start work. A bit frustrating, to say the least.
Papa was able to line up 4 days to substitute this week.
However, as I said earlier, he won't get paid for another month.
A month or so ago, I told you that it is
"Easy to TRUST GOD when you have $20,000 in the bank;
and not quite so easy when you only have $2,000."
... We are still TRUSTING.
... We are BELIEVING for His Provision.
... We have FAITH that the LORD is Our Provider.
... We are PRAYING that we will receive our
tax refund before our bills become due.
Thank you for your continued Prayers!!!
I have so many blog posts swirling in my head ... so many blog posts waiting to be written ... so many blog posts already written and scheduled to post in the upcoming week ...
But ... sometimes I need to stop thinking about the deep stuff ... the heavy stuff ... the "important" topics to discuss ...
And ... take just a moment to be THANKFUL for the daily "stuff" of life ...
This past weekend ... I was BLESSED by a Girlfriend Scrapbooking Weekend. Yes.I.Was. My 2nd Scrapbooking Weekend in 2 months. Amazing! A 30-year friend of mine asked if I wanted to come to her place (200 miles away) to Scrapbook and visit for 3 days. You bet! Her girls were out of town for the weekend, and her husband had a project to work on, so the two of us had a LOT of uninterrupted Girlfriend Time. So good. So important. So fun. And ... we got a LOT of Scrapbooking done, too. Bonus! I am THANKFUL for my dear, sweet husband who joyfully covered the kids and the household duties so that I could get away for a few days. Thanks, Papa!!!
On Sunday ... on the way home from my Scrapbooking Weekend, I stopped by Gregg & Kayla's to see the newly painted nursery and new furniture. (Kayla was so excited to show me.) Then, the 3 of us went out to dinner. Driving home LATE on Sunday night, I was so THANKFUL that a few of my Big Kids don't live out-of-state ... and THANKFUL that I could stay out late because I didn't have to get up early for work (which I would have had to do if I had taken the jobs I was considering last month).
Yesterday ... I was so VERY THANKFUL that the LORD showed me NOT to get a job ... and that He told me to stay HOME to take care of my family. Oh.Yes.I.Was. My dear daughter-in-love Hannah (Josh's wife) had oral surgery (4 wisdom teeth removed). Hannah's mama had to work. Hannah's sisters are in school. Josh has a new job. So ... Hannah asked Mama D. if I could take her to surgery in the morning ... wait for her ... bring her home ... and take care of her for the day. Oh yes! So. Very. Thankful. that I am HOME to take care of my family.
Today ... I was, again, THANKFUL to be HOME with my children. I picked up Hannah after breakfast, and brought her back to our place for the day (since she is on heavy duty pain meds from yesterday's surgery). We visited. We played games with the kids. It was GOOD.
Then ... tonight, Josh & Hannah came over after dinner, to play with the 4 Young Ones so that Papa & Mama could take Ben & Hosanna out to dinner. No reason. No holiday. No birthday. No agenda. Nope. We just wanted to have a couple of hours to hang out with our teens. And ... it was GOOD. We talked. We laughed. We ate. We just plain had FUN with our teens. Yes. We. Did.
Tonight ... Mama is THANKFUL ... for friends ... for family ... for God's direction ... for God's provision.
What are YOU thankful for today???
Don't Miss Yesterday's Post On ...
"The Do's and Don'ts of Having a Baby"
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
I was chatting with Kayla, my new daughter-in-love, this past weekend, and sharing funny birth-day stories, as she is preparing for the birth of our first grandchild. I told her that I would write a list for her and Gregg of the Do's & Don'ts of your child's birth-day. And, since I was reminded of some funny stories ... I thought I would share with you, as well.
Gregg, since you are so very much like your father, I thought I had better write you a short list of "What-To-D0" and, therefore, "What-Not-To-Do".
#1 When Kayla says, "Please call the nurse." ... she wants you to push the bedside button which will "call" the nurse. She does NOT want you to leave the room to find the nurse, leaving her all alone during a hard contraction.
When Gregg (baby #1) was born, I asked Jim to "call the nurse" and he disappeared on me for what seemed like a very long time (probably only a few short minutes). I was not too happy that he wasn't with me to hold my hand to calm me while I had a hard contraction.
#2 When Kayla says, "This is it. I think this is real." Don't just shrug your shoulders and head to bed. I know. I know. There can be many false contractions before the actual day ... but your wife needs to know that you believe her.
When Cassie (baby #2) was born, I came home from work at 6:00 ... made dinner ... put Gregg (age 14 months) to bed ... sat down on the couch ... and said, "I REALLY think this is it." Jim went to bed ... only to be awoken an hour or two later with, "Please call the babysitter for Gregg. We should go to the hospital." I got to the hospital about midnight and Cassie was born at about 1:30 a.m.
I will share ... though ... that Jim was a full-time student at Pacific Lutheran University, and his first day of fall classes was the next morning. So, in reality, he did need to get some sleep. I do believe that he went to class in the morning, after a couple of hours sleep.
#3 When it is time to go to the hospital ... take the most direct route.
For a couple of months prior to Jeremiah's birth (baby #3), Jim was in an "I don't like to take the freeway" mode. So, I had him promise me that he would take the freeway to the hospital when it was time. He complied with my request.
#4 Even if Kayla is not in a lot of pain during labor ... stay by her side. You don't want to miss the birth of your son.
When Carissa & Lindsey were born (babies #4 & 5), the room was FULL of doctors and nurses, "just in case": My Doc., 2 Baby Docs (1 for each baby), 1 Anesthesiologist (just in case a c-section was needed), and who knows how many nurses.
I have a very high pain tolerance, so it isn't always obvious that I am having contractions. Jim and all of the docs were looking out the window at something (new construction? the weather?). My Doc casually walked over to the bed and said, "Let's check you." When ... all of a sudden ... Little Miss Carissa seriously FELL out of my body. I guess Lindsey was ready to get out, so she pushed Carissa out first. Anyway ... since no one was staying by my side, Carissa could have ended up landing on the ground.
#5 When Kayla says, "It's time to go to the hospital." Do NOT ask, "What's for dinner?"
When Josh (baby #6) was born, Jim really wanted to eat before heading to the hospital, whereas cooking dinner was the last thing on my mind.
#6 Even if Kayla does not make you dinner before going to the hospital, do NOT leave the hospital while she is in labor, to go buy something to eat. (That's what hospital cafeteria's are for ... and intercom systems, to page you if needed.)
After getting me settled into the Labor & Delivery area (see #5 above), Jim disappeared. When the nurse checked me and I was dilating quickly and ready to go to the Birthing Room, I told the nurse, "I think I lost my husband." After paging Jim on the intercom system, he arrived in my room carrying a McDonald's cup. Seriously?!?!
#7 Make sure a name is agreed upon before heading to the hospital. Do not ask the nurses to commiserate with you over your wife's choice of name.
Just kidding ... kind of ... We had not agreed upon a name for Baby #7. A friend of mine was my nurse for this delivery, and she agreed with Jim's choice of name. Of course, I cannot imagine anything besides "Ben" for this awesome young man. But, it was funny to have my friend "choose" my baby's name.
#8 If dear Kayla
Yes.I.Did. By Baby #8, you would think that I would be totally calm and collect ... which I was ... until the nurse told me, "Don't push. You need to wait for the doctor to get here." Really?!?! Wait for the doctor? I think not. I
And, when Jim mentioned that he was a bit embarrassed that I had yelled at the nice nurse, I calmly told him, "If someone stuck a football up your bu** and told you to hold it there ... you might yell, as well." Yes.I.Did. That is exactly what I told my dear husband.
#9 Help your dear wife prepare for the baby, several weeks before the due date ... as in: buy the car seat, new baby clothes to bring baby home in, etc ...
Well ... this one actually was a bit tricky to plan around, as Baby #9 was due the weekend after we closed on the sale of our home and moved 150 miles away. I was planning to come back the next weekend and induce the baby. However ... the move just might have created a bit of stress for Mama, which might have contributed to a bit of high blood pressure. While Jim and friends loaded the moving van, I popped over to the Dr's Office for my last appt. ... at which Dr. said, "You aren't going anywhere. We are inducing today or tomorrow." After getting the dear doc to agree to wait one day, and spending a bit of time at the hospital to monitor the baby, I rushed back to the sold house to tell you. A friend agreed to drive the #2 moving van (that I was supposed to drive) up to the new house, and another friend agreed to drive both moving van drivers back that night. I somehow found friends to watch the other 8 children, as I rushed to Wal-Mart to buy all of the aforementioned baby items (car seat, clothes, etc ...). Jim arrived back from the new house, and we both headed to the hospital early the next morning to induce Josiah. Then, while I spent 2 days in the hospital with new baby ... Jim and the other kids stayed in the completely empty house (no furniture, no food, no kitchen items ... just sleeping bags and an extra pair of clothes). Yes. Josiah's "ride home from the hospital" was a 150 mile ride.
#10 Okay ... Baby #10 ... do you think it was smooth and easy? Oh. My. No.
Gregg ... if Kayla is going to be induced, Go To The Hospital With Her. Do NOT tell her to go by herself and call you when she is actually in labor. Do NOT go to work an hour away ... on a snowy winter day ... when the hospital will not allow your wife to make a long distance call (without cell phones available).
We were in our new house ... with a new doctor ... with a new hospital. I had had 5 other inductions, and this new doc and new hospital didn't care at all about my history. They insisted that I do a "gel" induction on Day #1 and if it didn't work come back on Day #2 for pitocin. Since gel had never worked for me, we didn't have much hope that we would actually have a baby that day. And, since Jim really does not like hospitals (due to spending many weeks in a burn unit as a young boy), I agreed that he could go to work that morning.
As I drove myself the 30 minutes to the hospital, from our blueberry farm out in the country, I went into labor. Yes. I. Did. I was in full labor by the time I arrived ... with bleeding and complications. I couldn't call Jim at work. I had to call the kids at home, to have them call their daddy. The roads were horrible from the snow storm. My complications were getting worse. I was all alone at the hospital. I finally called a friend to come be with me. Thankfully, Jim arrived in time to welcome Elijah ... but I would not drive myself to the hospital again, to be induced.
Now ... I am not at ALL making my husband out to be a "bad guy". Certainly not! These are all stories that we love to laugh about ... crazy, fun memories of our crazy, fun family. You know ... probably everyone can come up with one story from their child's birth about something that wasn't done quite right. We just happen to have 10 stories to go along with our 10 bio. babies.
* * * * * Someone commented, thinking that my babies must just "fall out" of me because I don't feel them due to an epidural. Nope. Every one of my babes was born without any meds (except the pitocin to get things started). No pain meds at all ... just a very high pain tolerance. * * * * *
Gregg ... since you are so much like your dear father, I am certain that you will also do so many things RIGHT. Here are just a few reminders of the RIGHT things to do.
#1. LOVE your wife ... no matter how she acts during labor (remember what it would feel like to have a football shoved up your bu**).
#2. Be EXCITED with your wife ... about each and every step of labor and delivery (even all of the false labor, which WILL turn into the "real thing").
#3 Be PATIENT with your wife ... even if Noah decides to take a loooong time to arrive. (Mama had 10 hours of HARD labor with you, after being induced.)
#4 Let your sweet wife choose the atmosphere of the labor/delivery room ... lights low? soft music? kick the moms out? (even if your favorite show is on t.v. or talk radio).
Gregg ... I know you are a WONDERFUL husband, and are going to be an AMAZING daddy. We are so excited for you and Kayla and Noah ... and ALL that the LORD has planned for your new family.
Do any of you Blog Readers have any great Birth-Day advice for Gregg & Kayla? We'd love to hear your stories.
I told you last week about my lunch date with my Daddy (age 93) a couple of months ago. He was so excited to tell me what the Lord had done in his life ... shown him how to forgive his own Daddy after 70 years.
Well ... my sweet Daddy keeps teaching me more about walking with Jesus. Yes. Even at age 93, I see such a desire in him to learn and grow and serve the Lord. Truly amazing.
In a phone conversation with him a couple of weeks ago, he told me that he has 3 priorities for his life:
#1 To serve God
#2 To serve his wife
(who is in very poor health)
#3 To take care of himself
#3 Take Care of Himself: Though nearly blind (from macular degeneration), he is always searching for ways to keep his body healthy ... always seeking treatment for his ills ... always communicating his wishes with his doctors ... never just sitting down and saying, "I can't do it. I'm too old."
#2 Serve His Wife: He is also always desiring to do all he can for his wife. (They got married when he was 81 and she was 74.) While her 11 children and 42 grandchildren do much of her care, my Daddy always wants to be involved ... always wants to be "in the know" ... and spends many hours sitting in his recliner next to hers, as she sleeps much of the day. He loves her dearly, and will do anything for her.
#1 Serve God? You may be wondering what, exactly, a 93 year old nearly-blind retired pastor is going to do to serve God. Let me tell you ...
Last summer, he joined a Small Group at his church. He absolutely loves the bi-weekly meetings. He tells me that he thinks he talks too much, but that the others in the group assure him that they enjoy what he has to say.
Last month, he volunteered to be the Committee Chairman for a new committee at church. He is very excited about his work with the new "Fellowship Committee". He has gathered a few leaders in the church to be on his committee, and they meet monthly to plan fellowship opportunities for their small congregation. Go, Daddy!
And, two weeks ago, he gave the sermon at church. He used to give the sermon every couple of months, but it's been 3 or 4 years, I think, since he has done the message. But ... as I said ... there is a new spiritual spark in his life that is exciting to see. While he pretty much had to memorize the sermon (because of his blindness), he was excited to share with the congregation what the Lord had laid on his heart. I am so very thankful that his pastor allows him to be so involved ... that his pastor doesn't just tell him "No. You're too old."
I just love how my Daddy keeps life simple.
Serve his wife.
Take care of himself.
These sound like pretty good priorities to me.
I think we can get so caught up in the STUFF
of life ... that we sometimes fail to
get back to the basics.
How about you?
What are your priorities?
Is it time to simplify your life?
Monday, February 27, 2012
Maybe not ...
but the kids have been enjoying their new
Fine Art Studio Painting kit.
Last week, the kids used Acrylic Paints
for the very first time, and I was quite
impressed with their work.
We learned a bit about Impressionist painting,
so they all tried their hand at some
Landscape Painting ... Monet Style.
This is Elijah's first painting.
He doesn't get nearly as excited about Art
as the other kids, but he was willing to
give it a try.
The "style" of Impressionist painting is to
purposely use short quick strokes, with
lots of difference shades of each color,
that don't "fill in" every bit of space.
Elijah told me that the 4 pinkish corners are the "Frame".
Elijah (10) definitely gets an "A" for Creativity on this one.
When in the vertical position,
this painting is the Seattle Space Needle,
with a dark sky around the top,
and flower gardens at the bottom.
when this painting is in the horizontal position,
it is a Flashlight, shining into the dark night.
When Josiah (11) told me that he was going to
paint the Eiffel Tower, I asked if he needed
to find a picture of it ... to which he responded,
"No. I have a picture in my head."
Wow! I was impressed!
Josiah definitely understood the Impressionist Style.
Josiah's first painting was this snow-capped mountain.
I love the sky, and all of the shades of
greens and browns of the forested hillside.
Sarah (13) started out with an Apple Tree.
Wow! This girl has some talent!
She, too, picked right up on the Impressionist Style.
Sarah's second project was this butterfly.
All of the kids' work was done free-hand;
they didn't even look at any pictures while they painted.
Not bad for their first time using Acrylic Paints.
Much better than this Mama could do. Seriously.
I am so looking forward to doing more
Art Projects with the kids this Spring.
We have more freedom to do activities, and a lot
less stress, now that Rachel is in school.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
I had an interesting conversation with Rachel's school teacher a few days ago. It was good ... but hard.
Here are a few of her comments ...
Rachel is so sweet.
Rachel is so respectful.
Rachel is so smart.
Rachel smiles all the time;
she seems happy.
Rachel works so hard.
Rachel really knows her Bible.
I'm sure that Rachel REALLY
loves her large family.
While I very casually tried to explain that things are a bit more challenging at home ... and even went so far as to say, "This is not how she acts at home", her teacher responded to anything I said with, "I understand."
Basically ... I wanted to scream ...
"You do NOT understand. You have NO idea."
But, I stayed calm.
When the teacher asked if I might be able to work on flashcards with Rachel to increase her speed on multiplication, I nearly busted up laughing. Prior to going to school ... Rachel absolutely refused to do multiplication. "I don't know how" was a daily complaint. (And, YES, we had taught her. Jim is a certified Math Teacher. We do know how to teach multiplication.) She told us she could not do 7 x 3 or 5 x 6 or any basic multiplication. Nope. Couldn't do it. However ... within a week after she started at school, she could suddenly do multiplication problems like:
$7.99 x 6 =
$17.40 x 9 =
5,033 x 9 =
2,886 x 8 =
Oh. Yes. She. Could.
I explained to the teacher that I could certainly try to work on Rachel's multiplication with her. Then I explained that sometimes adopted children like to "play games" with their parents, and pretend that they can't do any of the work asked of them ... because they like to control their parents time. The teacher responded, "I understand." Really?!?!
So. I AM glad that Rachel knows how to behave at school. This IS a good thing. I don't want her to have problems at school, and I certainly don't want them to kick her out and send her home (which, as a private school, is their prerogative if they don't think she "fits" well).
But ... it is HARD to hear someone tell you how absolutely WONDERFUL your child is ... when this same child works VERY hard to make our lives miserable. Sorry for the honesty ... but she really does. She works hard to control the atmosphere of our home almost every day. She works hard to control our time and energy. She does her best to control our emotions.
Please ... any of you who send your challenging adopted kids (with RAD, PTSD, FASD, ODD, ???) to school ... do you have these conversations? Are they frustrating for you? Do you even try to explain to the teacher that this is NOT the child that you see at home every day. Or, do you just let them believe that your child really is the sweetest, most lovable child around?
Saturday, February 25, 2012
... To Forgive
A couple of months ago, we took my sweet Daddy (age 93) out to lunch, and he was so excited to tell me what the Lord had done in his life.
After 70 years, my Daddy had finally been able to forgive his father for a decision that his father had made for him when my Daddy was a young adult.
While my sweet Daddy is the most loving, kind, forgiving person I know ... and I had absolutely no idea that he had ever held any unforgiveness against his father ... he told me, while sitting in a little Mexican restaurant, that he had "a freedom I've never known".
My Grandaddy died when I was about 2 years old, so I never knew the man. And, my Daddy never talked about his Daddy. He loved his Mama fiercely; and though I rarely saw her, I loved her, too. But, I really know very little about My Daddy's Daddy.
While I am sad that my Daddy has lived for 70 years with such unforgiveness in his heart, I am so very glad that he now knows this new freedom, that comes with forgiveness. So glad.
I have known people that are very bitter ... those that have chosen to never forgive ... and it is a very sad life that they live. Sad, indeed.
As I look at my life and ask the Lord to show me if there are any unresolved issues of unforgiveness ... I hope that you, too, will seek His wisdom in this area. I know that He wants us all to walk in the freedom that only He can bring ... through true forgiveness.
Friday, February 24, 2012
Hosanna had her first performance of her first high school musical tonight. It was WONDERFUL! She was in the chorus, and she played the part of the Nightingale, in Once Upon A Mattress (which is a rendition of the fairytale, "The Princess and the Pea").
Here are just a few of the 91 pictures that Mama took tonight ...
Such great expressions.
Oh So Dramatic!
She "sang" a whole song, by chirping, as the Nightingale bird.
Oh My! Our Little Girl has grown up.
GREAT job, Hosanna!!!
Thursday, February 23, 2012
... For Jim To Get A Job
Yes. It. Is.
Some of you are going to laugh at me.
Some of you are going to want to scold me for complaining.
Some of you are going to be a bit envious.
Why is it TIME for Jim to get a job?
Because he is TOO GOOD around the house.
He is TOO COMPETENT.
He is TOO "in control" of each and every area.
He homeschools the children.
He cooks most of the meals.
He organizes the kids' chores.
He does the grocery shopping.
He does the laundry.
He even makes the homemade laundry soap.
Why is this a PROBLEM?
Mama is LOST.
I don't know my ROLE.
I don't feel NEEDED at home.
I've lost my place in my home.
THAT is why Mama has been focused on finding a job.
now that the LORD has told Mama
that she needs to stay HOME,
then she needs to re-find her role,
she needs to know where she fits,
she needs to be needed.
Seriously, friends, this is not a laughing matter.
It has been nearly 3 years since we have lived a "normal" family life ... since Papa went to work every day while Mama stayed home with the kids (cooking, cleaning, homeschooling).
Okay. I know.
We haven't been "normal" in 25 years ...
but you know what I mean.
3 years of "not-normal"
3 years of transitions
3 years of financial struggle
3 years = FAR too long
June 2009 * Papa walked away from his classroom
August 2009 * Papa moved to the island to pastor
Sept./Oct. 2009 * Mama & Kids took a 5 week road trip
November 2009 * Mama & Kids moved to the island
April 2010 * Mama & Kids moved home without Papa
Aug/Sept 2010 * Mama & Kids took a 6 week road trip
December 2010 * Marriage Crisis
December 2010 * Papa quit his job and moved home
Now ... just so you know ... I am NOT complaining about Papa being home a lot this year (after him living on the island for 16 months). It has been GOOD. It has been IMPORTANT. But ... I do believe it is TIME for us to try to figure out "normal" again.
We were totally BLESSED that Papa was unemployed for 3 months last winter (even though the financial stress was not fun). It was IMPERATIVE that we had TIME to work through our Marriage Crisis (see archives). God not only gave us 3 months to FOCUS on our marriage, but He had Adopted Big Kid Vicky come live with us, to homeschool the children.
Then ... we were BLESSED by Papa's temporary job at the refinery (April-May) ... BLESSED again by Papa's temporary job with a painting contractor (July-September) ... BLESSED again by the independent painting jobs that Papa had (August-September) ... BLESSED again by the Adoption Tax Credit (which saw us through a winter of unemployment).
Then ... we were once again BLESSED by more months of unemployment. We had a WONDERFUL 2 months (October-November) of Re-Organizing and Re-Decorating (see "Decorating" in the archives). We were focused. We had a project to work on together (which was very good for the marriage). We had FUN together. Our house can be ready to sell quickly, if the Lord leads us to a job somewhere else.
Then ... came the last 3 months (December-February) ...
Not in any way meaning to diminish my role ... not in any way trying to be "controlling" or "domineering" ... Papa simply started doing EVERYTHING. His intent was to be a "helper" to me ... which I ... Oh.So.Appreciate.
Not in any way meaning to diminish my role ... not in any way trying to be "controlling" or "domineering" ... Papa simply started doing EVERYTHING. His intent was to be a "helper" to me ... which I ... Oh.So.Appreciate.
I know that many men really struggle with depression during extended times of unemployment. I know that many unemployed men spend hours on the couch watching t.v., not necessarily helping their wives. I know that many unemployed men can get grouchy and uncommunicative. So ... what am I complaining about?!?!
I really am THANKFUL for ALL that Jim has done. I APPRECIATE it immensely. He has always been a VERY involved Daddy; and he knows how hard things were for me when he lived on the island for 16 months (and I did the "single mom thing" at home, without his support).
It. Is. Time.
Papa needs to go to work.
Mama needs to be able to "run the show" at home.
Mama wants to have a schedule again.
Mama wants to homeschool the kids again.
Mama wants to use her treadmill again.
Mama wants to be able to plan fun activities with the kids.
Mama wants to plan field trips.
And, when the kids come to Mama with a question,
Mama wants to be able to answer the question,
and not always say, "You need to ask Dad."
Praying that the LORD will bring a
full-time permanent position to Jim very soon.
full-time permanent position to Jim very soon.
We are ready for some stability.
We are ready to find our "new normal".
Mama is so ready to "Be The Mom" again.
Thank you, Jesus, for such a confident, capable,
willing, and helpful husband and daddy ...
but please bring him a
full-time non-temporary job soon.
I want my Mommy job back.
Update: After writing this, Jim found out that he will
start work at the refinery next Monday morning.
While it is not a long-term career position, we are
REJOICING that Jim will be working for the next 8-10 weeks
(and I get to be the full-time Mommy again). Thank you, Jesus!