Archive for the ‘ narratives ’ Category

Monthly budgeting and such…

It’s that time again…  luckily it falls on a weekend where we didn’t have much going on church-wise. I’ve been trying to keep on top of all the payments, budgeting, and finding ways to make things stretch. So far so good, and I must say that Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover has made a big difference. There’s still a long way to go, but at least now we have a plan and are spending with a purpose. And the nice tax return that’s coming has already been spent… Now all I need to do is figure out a way to spend my share of the upcoming Mega Millions jackpot.  :-)

Made our big Sam’s Club run for the bulk items and Sarah got the menu together. This month is gonna be a little tight cause we’re visiting Benji & Liz for the first time since Christmas. Really looking forward to seeing little Eli and actually getting to hold him this time (I was sick this past winter when he was a newborn)!

Got some yummy recipes picked out for the coming week(s) — one I’m really looking forward to is the Goat Cheese & Grilled Corn Quesadillas that Sarah found in her Cooking Light magazine… my mouth is watering already!

Sarah and I are going to start videotaping Ethan again… she’s been reading a great book designed for parents of gifted kids, and we’re thinking that since Ethan’s already well on his way, maybe we should start documenting some of the things he’s doing now so that if we have the opportunity to get him enrolled in a gifted school or program, we’ll already have the ammunition/proof. Look for videos coming soon… I’m gonna try to figure out how to get them in this little side-bar over here to the right. If not, you can always go on YouTube and do a search on “rezerfam“.


Sarah, Debbie, Ethan and I witnessed a horrible accident the other night. I’m not going to mention any specifics because I don’t want the thousands of people Googling the incident to come across this page… I think it would in some way sensationalize the incident and I don’t want that. This is really just a way for me to journal my thoughts. To be honest, what we had to deal with was MINISCULE compared to those more closely associated with the tragedy, and I hope that those reading this don’t mistake this as a “Woe is me” kind of entry.

We’d never experienced anything like this before, and were utterly shocked. Luckily Ethan was too young to really understand what happened. It was difficult to process, and we found ourselves looking for answers, but there were none.

We thank everyone who has sent us a quick note, Email or call to let us know they were thinking about us after having been through this. I guess when crises happen, people tend to gravitate towards the actions — no matter how small they may seem — that may make a difference to the people around them. A kind word. A smile. An offer of help. A simple prayer.  They are appreciated. Sarah and I hope that everyone involved finds comfort and is able to move forward. We pray that God’s will is done and that this serves His purpose whatever that might be.

If you want to send me a note, please Email rather than comment here.

Nothing up my sleeve… PRESTO!

As quickly as it disappeared, the table has now been found (see previous post). Should be delivered by the end of the week. I’m sure there are other things that never made it to us, but nothing that seems so important that I’m going to lose sleep over at this point.

Spent the evening over at the house by myself the other night working in the basement… “Why the basement?” you ask? Cause that’s where the TV is! Can you say “Monday Night Football”???

Yes folks, I got to experience not one but.. count ‘em… TWO Monday Night Games. I could only hope for this to continue throughout the season, but I doubt it will. And it will be tough to keep up with those West Coast games if they don’t start till 10:30pm.

So my FF teams are 1-1. I won in the JC League, but lost by ONE POINT in my work league. Can I jsut say how much I really hate Dallas? I should have known better selecting their stupid defense… I lost a point when they allowed the Giants offense to run rampant and score a bazillion points. And in the end, I was undone by Tony Robo-QB hooking up with TO for 2 scores, throwing for 2 more and running for a 5th TD. Can you say MEGA-POINTS scored against Jeff? Oh well… at least the league is free. :-)

House, Job and PotterMania

OK, we finally closed on the house last Friday, July 13. Yes, that’s right — Friday the 13th. We didn’t have much of a choice. After a long arduous process of fixing it up, cleaning, painting, renovating, etc… it’s OVER. You can check out the pix on the Photo Gallery. Honestly, I didn’t know if I had it in me when I started, but since we didn’t really have a choice, we were able to get it done with A LOT of help from our friends. We’ve received our settlement check (A LOT lower than we wanted) and now are just waiting for our final escrow amounts to come back. Goodbye MD. We’ll miss you.

I was potentially interviewing for the Online Advertising position last Friday (the 20th) but it got postponed to this week because the department head was out of the office. Hopefully I’ll hear early this week. Heard back about the CSR job in Dayton and although I passed the interview with flying colors, there are no open positions at this time, although from the sound of it they are expecting more openings as soon as the parent company authorizes the hiring process for the department. This is still a fallback, but I’m holding on for a better opportunity. Also a possibility of working for a company called PowerNet Global as a helpdesk specialist. That one is pending approval from the company, and I’m not the only one being interviewed.

Sarah is a little sad these last few days because the final Harry Potter book was released and she has already read it (within 24 hours, I might add). She and I went to Borders for the midnight release party and picked up the book, then we went home (after a McDonald’s stop for “brain food”) and started reading around 1am. She read for about 4 hours and took a short nap, got up at 9:30 and read the rest of the day, stopping only to eat for about 5 minutes each time. She finished shortly before 7pm… insane! She sure does love Harry Potter. I consoled her by mentioning that there would still be 2 more movies coming out, but she said “honey, it’s not the same…” I agree. But at least it’s something…

More to come

Last day at Tom Raper

Well, maybe. It was supposed to be yesterday, but I came back for a few the morning to make another $.99. Whoopee. Well, at least it gives me some time to write in my blog. It doesn’t get busy till later in the day.

Sarah and Big E come back today from Illi-no-ah. I’m SO ready for them to be back. You can only watch so many episodes of Flip This House before it starts to get old. I almost put in a Veggie Tales DVD the other day cause in a weird way I almost missed watching it. ALMOST.

We’re getting excited about the new release of the Harry Potter movie. I can only imagine that Sarah is going out of her mind. And not only does the movie come out this weekend, the 7th and final book is not far behind. She’s already got her reserved copy ordered and will most likely polish the entire book off in a night or two. Seriously.

Looks like Momma R is now in the land of Gmail and IM. Got her hooked up yesterday and upgraded her from her old JUNO acct. There’s no need for that old dialup acct anymore since she’s on the church’s LAN. It will be nice to chat with her on a regular basis without needing to be near a phone. And I’m sure Dad is not far behind in the IM world… I can almost hear Sting now…

“I want my, I want my, I want my Instant Chat…”

OH to IL and back again

After a whirlwind weekend, I’m back in OH sans Sarah and Big E, who have stayed behind in IL with Uncle “Bubba” and Aunt “Yi” (Benji and Liz). I picked up Debbie (Sarah’s mom) at the Indy airport on Friday night at 11:55pm… since she was 1:30 late, we decided to get a room in Indy instead ov driving the addtl 3hr to Decatur IL for a wedding the next day. Let me tell you– I now know why they “leave the light on for you” at Motel 6 — it’s so all the cockroaches scatter before you open the door. :-)

After a rather uneventful evening (except for the fact that the fan made it sound like a semi was idling in our bathroom), we hit the road and arrived in Decatur to meet Sarah and Ethan who had gone ahead of us. We did a little running around and exploring, had lunch at La Gondola (home of the slightly strange sweet bread) and got a little snack at Del’s Popcorn Shop(YUMM-O). Some of the best caramel corn and definitely the best kettle corn I have EVER had. The wedding was later that evening in Clinton — nice service, lots of Sarah’s family involved… her brother and cousin sang and her uncle did the marryin’… Ethan behaved VERY well and kept announcing to everyone that he knew the people up there… at one quiet point during the minister’s message, he proudly exclaimed “Pa-paw” (Sarah’s uncle) — needless to say, that was Papaw’s favorite part of the entire wedding! One thing that I thought was cool that I had never seen before — Nick and Jessica (bride and groom) actually came back in again after the recessional and dismissed the guests. Quite a nice touch. Wish I would have thought of that… :-)

Back again to Decatur for the reception — fairly uneventful, but there were some items of note…

  1. It was held in a Masonic Temple. Nice place, but I had never been to one before. It’s a little more interesting to me after the whole DaVinci Code thing lately…
  2. Food was quite good
  3. Beer was quite not
  4. Neither was the wine
  5. During the reception, one of the centerpieces (a bottle of some sort of cherry infused wine) spontaneously exploded, drenching the entire table of 60+’s with red liquid. We think it got too close to the candles on the table, which heated the air inside the bottle and then “PRESTO” — instant entertainment!

Afterwards, we headed to Benji and Liz’s place in Tuscola IL. We went to church outside in the park the next morning as part of the 150th Anniverary celebration for the town (otherwise known as the ‘Sesqicentennial’). Benji’s band sounded great despite the heat out there, and we enjoyed a great message. We then headed home for a short rest, returning at 2pm for a set of original music by Benji and the band… now known as Taking Refuge (although some of the promotional items out there heralded them as Taking REFUSE)… ! The played well, and we stuck around to hear the headliner, Building 429. Great band. Check them out online. Very cool.

Went out to dinner that evening with Liz’s parents and I began the uneventful trek home around 7:30 — which was 8:30 EST. Got back at midnight, yutzed around for a while and went to bed. All in all, I probably logged 600 miles and ate my share of Del’s popcorn. Not a bad weekend. Can’t wait till Sarah gets home. :-(

closing is being pushed…

Just found out… probably July 13. Friday the 13th. Don’t know if I’m happy about that, for more reasons than the obvious… :-)

Good news is that it gives us a few more days to get the trash out. Bad news is that it delays our payoff, so we get less money, so we have less money to work with NOW…which is the major problem. Prayers are appreciated.

Wow I am lame

Lot going on – let’s try to break it down into personal stuff, house stuff and job stuff

First – Job Stuff

Still working at the RV through next Friday. My interview with LexisNexs went well but apparently not well enough. They wanted someone with more coding experience. Understandable I guess… I’ve never really considered myself a coder, and I had really been out of it for 2 years or so while working at JC. Unfortunately for me, it’s not like the whole “riding a bike” thing… I definitely do forget a lot of it. But I have a follow-up phone interview for another position with the same company — less money, but a job none-the-less. Let’s see how it works out. I also have an interview with another recruiter sometime this week or next — I applied for a number of positions online for this same company, so I’m not sure exactly what they are interested in me for… but hopefully it’s something good. (duh!)

Next – House Stuff

Had to go back to Maryland last week to finish packing up… left on a Tuesday and came back on a Friday. Lots of box-packing with Mom in the meantime. She came down to help out and ended up staying way later than originally anticipated CAUSE SHE ROCKS. The best Mom ever! I don’t care what the rest of you say! :-)

We packed a ton of boxes and unfortunately I had to give in about 4pm on Friday without finishing CAU… and because I have the best friends in the world, I had 4 people volunteer to come by and help finish packing while I was back in OH. I need to mention them here because they are SUPER AWESOME. Thanks to Jen C, April A, April R and Angie F. You are the bestest ever!

Had to find a moving company while I was there to handle the move – we were originally planning on having someone come while we were there, but since there was no way to get it done in time, we decided to get a company to come in for us and move the items without us being there (apparently this is done often enough that they didn’t sound surprised when I asked). The original company we wanted to do it for us quoted us one rate and then said it would be about $2500 more when they did a walk through. UNACCEPTABLE. We found another company and they gave us a NTE price, plus they’re storing items for 1 month for free. This is superb since we don’t have a place to put things yet — there’s no way it’s fitting in Sarah’s mom’s place that’s for sure! Closing is still scheduled for Monday the 9th, and it’s on track. There’s still a lot to do by then, but we are praying and hopeful that everything will happen as it should and we will be done with the MD house. Hurray!

Finally – Personal Stuff…

There’s a wedding this weekend in Illinois — looking forward to meeting more of Sarah’s family and catching up with my brother and sister in law, Benji and Liz. Besides the wedding, we’re supposed to attend a church service in the park (Benji is leading worship) and afterwards we’ll be going to a concert. Benji’s band is opening up for a band called Building 426 (?) or something like that and it should be a good time. Sarah, Debbie and Ethan are staying through Thursday, although I’llbe leaving to heard back around dinnertime Sunday cause I have to work. Gotta pay the bills ya know.

I’m feeling slightly anxious yet also invigorated these past few days seeing things line up in anticipation of Friday (job) and Mon (house). Mom and Dad have been a great shoulder to lean on as have other family members (Debbie and Aunt Robin) and have kept me encouraged. It’s difficult to be struggling so much right now — I’ve never had to really worry about finding a job before (they’ve always found me), and honestly it’s been a bit of a blow to my self-ego. I know there’s a job out there for me, but I feel like I don’t even have the time to wait for it cause I need money NOW. We have been blessed by financial gifts from friends and family, have had some unexpected windfalls in the way of tax returns, etc., plus I had some client billings that came in… so we have had money to live on. I know that God will provide… but it’s been a trying time to say the least.

Church out here is way cool. Sarah and I are meeting with the Creative Arts pastor of Vineyard Cincinnati next Friday and hopefully can start to get plugged in — either band, tech or something. We really feel comfortable here and seems to be a natural extension of our time at JC without the pressure. It’s a great place to worship and is really outreach focused… check their site and learn all about the recent Sumnmer of Service they hosted for teens!

Ok — that’s all for now…

“Our house… in the middle of our street…”

To that, I say "Neigh"

As promised in an earlier post (I think), I’ve got some Ethan pix from his day playing with the horsies. They are included below… along with a picture of Ethan sporting his on-the-jobsite headgear along with the construction manager (Sarah’s aunt).

So we think the kid may have chickenpox. He started breaking out in all these little red dots that became bigger and more widespread by the end of the day. At first, we thought it might be flea bites or something, so we washed all of his bedding… but as the day wore on, they got more and more pronounced. Before you ask — it’s most likely not an kind of allergic reaction (cause it’s not localized) and we don’t think it’s anything to do with medication, bug bites or anything else… we’re checking with doctor’s office today to see what they have to say. More to come…
“And we’ll have fun, fun fun…”

Things still churning…

Still at the RV place. Churn.

Still looking for permanent work. Churn.

Moving forward with the house sale scheduled to close July 9. Double-Churn.

I’ve had a few leads and possibilities — nothing great — but nothing horrible. I have 2 followups on possible CSR-type work. One is with LexisNexis (sp?) which is more like what I am looking for (tech-related), however the other seems like it may have better pay and benefits. The second job found my resume online, so it might be a longshot, but it’s worth hoping for.

Also have my resume out to a few recruiters and am hoping I can shake something up there. Planning on going to a networking meeting next Wed night to shake loose a few more leads.

If you or anyone you know if a member of LinkedIn, check me out there:

“That’s all, folks…”