Friday, May 22, 2009

A blog about Eric

I blog so much about us and myself, that sometimes I need to blog about one of the boys.

Now, don't get me wrong, I am so very proud of both of my blessings. But every-once-in-a-while, I have to brag on either one of them. Today is Eric's turn.

Yesterday he got home from school and handed me a piece of paper, "you don't have to go if you don't want to."

"You are cordially invited to the 7th Grade Honors Program recognizing the academic acheivement of your CMS student"

What, what, what???? Eric is recognized for his academic acheivement? Are you talking about my son? Are you sure you have the right Eric Hall?

In all fairness, I am kidding about the above statement, but he is being recognized for his academic achievement.

Now, most of you are family or friends and you all know what we have been through with Eric in school.

He was held back in Kindergarten, we decided this was the best thing for him. His fine motor skills leaved little to be desired, he couldn't cut with scissors the right way, he couldn't cut with a knife for the longest time, he had problems with his printing skills.

He also struggled through 3rd grade, he ended in Summer school that year. He barely made it through 4th and 5th grades. He was in Resource because they thought he was slow.

Chuck and I argued back and forth that he was ADHD. Chuck thought it was a behavioral problem, a discipline problem. We tried everything with Eric in elementary school for him to do well. We offered him money, camps, games, whatever it took, we tried it. The teacher in 5th grade mentioned that he was ADHD, but Chuck didn't want him on medicine to help him out.

Eric would get distracted in school so easily. Tear papers, tell jokes for answers, make a mess, fool around with his desk. He did it all, and it was still a battle to get Chuck to realize that Eric needed something to help him out.

This time last year, I decided that I was tired of the bad grades, C's and D's and F's was all Eric could produce. He tried and still missed work, forgot to hand things in, sloppy work, didn't have enough time to distract the class and distract himself. I convinced Chuck that he needed to be seen by a pedatrician. And I did just that.

Eric's last progress report was C - F. He was going to fail a few classes if we didn't do something about it. I took him to the Dr's about 3 weeks before the end of school. He got started on medicine right away. That was a Wednesday, Saturday he was sitting at the table doing school work that wasn't due for another week.

Eric's last report card in 6th grade consisted of B's and C's. No F's, no D's.

This year, every progress report and report card that Eric has brought home has been mostly A's. First report card, 6 A's, 1 C, second report card, 6 A's, 1 B (Silver Honor Roll), third report card, 6 A's, 1 C. His last progress report, 6 A's, 1 C.

I am so proud of him. I am so proud of how far he has come. From the little boy that could not figure out how to hold his scissors to this. From that little boy that struggled to walk down the stairs the right way, to receiving an academic achievement award. From that little boy that had to be in Resource all through elementary school, to someone that will be in Advanced Engineering Tech.

Yep, I am so proud of him. He has worked so very hard to get to this point.

When we were at his cousin's HS graduation, he asked about the gold sash that some of the students were wearing. I explained to him that it was honor's sash. The students that graduated with honors, the students that had A's throughout HS. He looked at me and said, "I am gonna get that. I am gonna be the one up there giving a speech." What a goal to reach!

Yep, that is my son! He is winning an award! Not for helping his teacher every morning, not for being a pleasant student, it is for an academic achievement!

Wow! He has come so far!

I love you Eric, I am SO PROUD OF YOU!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

New Mattress

Oh what a day we had before Mother's Day!

We bought a new mattress after 10 years. It was about time, and although I didn't want to spend the money, we had to. It was time.

We bought our last mattress when I was pregnant with PJ. It had been moved 2 times since and it was starting to show funky little signs of being worn out. Sagging in some areas, lumps in others, oh wait, that sounds like me. Ha Ha! Nope, that was the mattress.

We decided to buy a newer foam type mattress, it is not a Temperpedic, but it is a nice foam mattress. And it isn't too bad either.

We went ahead and purchased the mattress and then the fun began. We moved the bunk beds out of PJ's room and we ended up taking apart the bottom bunk apart because we couldn't get down the hall and into the living room. That went to a friend of ours that wanted bunks for her daughter. Moved our old mattress in PJ's room, which that filled it up, and then got ours.

Now let me explain something here, we have a 4 post cherry bed and itself is way off the floor. But when you add a new mattress to it, well, it comes up to my waist, and I am 5'5". NOT GOOD !

I looked at it and thought on how was I going to make this bed and how am I going to get in this bed. It wasn't easy and of course getting out and then back in after going to the bathroom isn't easy, but oh, it sleeps so nicely.

Life isn't all that bad when it comes right down to it.....

BNI Networking

A few weeks ago we picked up a job to clean the windows in the house of a realor. She and the family were living in a show home and it was sold right under their feet.

Now her and her husband were building a house to sell, you know owner/realtor type home. Nothing special, really it wasn't. But since they needed a home, they were going to move in there for a while until either something else came along or if they sold this house.

Let me start off by saying that I am not impressed with these newer homes. It seems like there is one style and that it is. Like people say, Cookie Cutter homes. Especially in subdivisions. I prefer the older homes. The ones that were built, like our home, in the 50's. Granted things need to be updated here and there are things that are going to fall apart, but it doesn't look anything like the neighbor's home or the house that is around the corner. It is different.

Chuck spoke to the realtor and said that she needed her windows cleaned and if we do a good job, she would refer us to other people.

We did the job, cleaned the windows perfectly, her husband was very pleased with the job. She was pleased with it too. We gave her some brochures and business cards and she said she would definately refer us to people.

The next day we received a phone call from one of her fellow brokers. She is involved in BNI and asked us to come to the next meeting to see if we would like to join this networking. We got to the one meeting and talked about it, and decided that we would join.

To explain this in a nutshell, they only take one of each type company. One realtor, one insurance agent, one electrician, and so on. This will be good for us because we cover so much, carpets, gutters, basic lawn care, windows, general cleaning,and pressure washing. If they accept our application, like our references and we get in, then they cannot take anyone that does any of the stuff that we covered on the application. So, if someone in the group needs a something that we do, done. Or if they know of someone that needs it done, then we get first chance at it. We had our first 2 free breakfasts and got 2 referrals on the 2nd time out there.

Hopefully there will be more to come out of this. We are actually are hoping for work for the fall and winter months so that way we won't have to worry about finding outside work and this to keep the money coming in.

Either way, we are on the right track with this. Getting into groups that will be beneficial to us, and hopefully we can be beneficial to them too.

My first full week of Self Employment

I am so behind on my reading and writing of blogs, that I figured today I would do some catch up on things. Since it is so wet here, we really can't get out and mow today. Hopefully tomorrow will be better for mowing.

Our first full week of both of us working was full, ok, full enough for me. I am not going to go through the entire week with you, but for me, it was profitable and a workout.

We picked up a job to where we have to clean the carpets, clean the kitchen, scrub the bathroom and wash windows in someone's home. Not too bad, while Chuck runs the shampooer, I will clean the other rooms and wash the inside of the windows. And when he is done, we can get the outside of the windows. There were several other things that we saw that he will have to get done in the next few months. And if he wants us to come back out once a month to clean the house, well, that is not a problem. We can take care of that for him too. I don't mind doing this stuff, as long as it pays the bills and gives us money left over, I am fine with that.

We cleaned my dad's windows in the sunroom, 18 windows inside and out. It took me nearly 6 hours to get them done. Yes, 6 hours, I want them clean. Meanwhile, Chuck pressure washed the porches and concrete around the house. That was a job.

I cleaned my first set of gutters on Wednesday. If you know me at all, I hate having gooey stuff on my hands. And even with gloves, it didn't help much. I got the gutters around the house all cleaned out, a few shots of roof gravel was swallowed, gutter goo bounced back in my face from using the pressure washer in the gutters, washed the entire house with the pressure washer, climbed about 20 feet up to clean a gutter, an uneventful day all around!

We joined a networking group. I will blog about that in another blog to explain it more. But it was a good thing for us, hopefully it will get our name out there and money coming in.

We got the job to a local furniture store to clean their windows 9 times a year. Yep all 42 windows. This is another good thing for us. It helps us get our name into the business community and if they like the work we have done, who knows what is behind that.

Friday finally came, it may have been somewhat of a day off, because of the 7 + inches of rain we have had in the month of May, the ground is pretty much saturated. So, Friday gave me a chance to make my first major cake (another blog with pictures). That was enough for me that day.

Finding different things to help us stay out of the work force is the key. I love to bake and do different things, so maybe that will be a plus. Chuck is working hard in different areas to see where we can fit in too. It is hard work, and being 42 and starting this now in life is rough. But who knows where we will be in a few years. We work 6 hours a day, hard work, but there are days like today, that we can't do anything much. And weeks where we don't have a chance to do as much, we catch up the following week. We may work really hard that one week, but we had more than enough time off with the rain and the ground saturation the week before.

In April, we looked at each other and said that the month of May doesn't look good for us at all. We started the month out having to get a planner and when Chuck wrote everything down, it was then we realized that we were nearly full. The first of the month looked as if we only had about 10 days to fill. And with rain, that has put us back a little. But now we are looking that we only have about 3 more days left to fill. Our days aren't always 6 hour days, some are more, some are less. But it all works out in the end.

Yes, after a day of pressure washing, climbing ladders and cleaning windows, we are very tired. But I can't complain at all. After a shower and dinner I don't feel too bad, until I fall asleep in my chair.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day to Grandma Letty

Sunday, May 3, 2009

It finally hit me today

I was at work today and a realization came over me that made me cry.

Can you imagine being at school and you hear over the intercom that a place where your parent works had just been robbed?

What would go through your head?

This happened to Eric on Friday. He heard that the Pizza Hut where I was working that day, was robbed at gunpoint. He stayed as calm as he could through the day, never said a word to anyone, didn't show any fear at all, just went on through the day like any other day.

I don't know what I would have done in his position. He maintained calm and collectiveness until he got home. It was then he showned some emotion and concern.

I really didn't think about calling school to let him know that I was alright. I didn't think that the school would announce something like that either.

I was at work today explaining the the manager on duty, that although I wasn't there at the time, I still was scared. I started to cry when I realized the pain that my son must have felt when he heard the announcement. I cried because I would hate to see their life without me in it. It finally hit me today when I had to talk to someone, other than Chuck and the boys, about this.

In all the years that I worked front desk in offices, I have never been put in a position like that. And in 16 years that the store has been open, my boss had never been robbed, ever.

The world is changing so fast. The amount of robberies have quadrupled since the first of the year. People have no money, they have no jobs, they have nothing left. So, they turn to this. Why? Because maybe they want to provide for a family, maybe they need food, maybe they don't know any better.

All I know is this, I am getting out at the right time. I have to provide for my family and I will be glad to work as hard as I can to do that.

Friday was an eye-opener for me. My family comes first, a job is not worth being killed over.

Friday, May 1, 2009

I knew this was gonna happen sooner or later

What a day I have had!

First of all, I am so thankful that a Higher power was watching out for me. Because I don't know what kind of frame of mind I would be right now.

As you all know I have turned in my notice and next Friday is my last day, it can't come soon enough. Especially after what happened today.

My Pizza Hut where I work was robbed at gun point in broad daylight. I was on a double run, so I was out. Thank God!

I got back to the store and the door was locked, and I was greeted with this, "We just got robbed Patti." Great! I just missed all of this by 2 or 3 minutes.

The guy came into the store, only an hour after it opened, there was nothing in the register at that time of day. But he demanded that the register got opened and the safe too. The other guy there today, which he usually isn't, was training for a manager's position. It was a good thing he was there, I would be scared to think what I would have walked in on.

But I got my stuff, and the police came in, and I left. When I got back, the store was full with people. And I spoke with the one guy as to what happened.

The robber put a gun in my bosses face and demanded that the safe was to be opened because there wasn't enough in the register for him. They parked their car in front of the store, so manager could identify the car, and he took off to the car and out of the parking lot.

The police were called and they had already apprehended the criminal. But it wasn't an easy fight, the police were shot at, and they returned fire. They also caught another person involved in this too. On the interstate with spike strips.

The other 2 employees went home. I finished out the day. I got a little rattled, but I was fine enough to work. I knew they were caught, I knew they were in jail, and I knew that most of the time, they don't hit the same place twice if they weren't caught.

I received a call from school. Eric's school was in lockdown. They announced during a small party that all students needed to go back to the classroom. And then when they got back, they announced that the local Pizza Hut was held up by and armed man. Eric said that he didn't get shaken up too badly, but he is day was pretty much shot. He got off the bus and immediately questioned his daddy, "Mommy ok?" Chuck told him that I was, but he told him that if I was involved, he would have been taken out of school. Better self control than me!

My boss is shaken up badly, and the other employee is taking a day or two off. The other employees of the store are really shaken up too. They weren't there, neither was I, but they have no reason to be afraid. This is only the second robbery in a matter of 6 years in this area.

I called Chuck as soon as I heard and told him that I wasn't there. He was relieved that I wasn't there. And if I was there, I would have been home shortly after I had the chance to leave. I told the one guy, I would have left the uniform behind and told them that I was going home and not coming back.

It isn't safe to work in places like that anymore. We don't have video cameras hooked up, we don't have alarms set up, we don't have any of that stuff. You would figure in this day and time that Pizza Hut and all their money would try to have a safer work environment. But they don't, and it is too bad.

I am so thankful that His eye is on the sparrow and He watches over me.

I have had other things happen to me working there, it is time that I get out of there.

I can only pray that Chuck and I get enough business to keep us busy, to provide for the rest of the year, that way if we want to work in the Fall and Winter we will. If not, something will come along.