Monday, October 27, 2008

New Creations

Here are some of my recent creations. It was nice having the last week off and getting a chance to do some more card making. Tomorrow is my first day on the new job, wish me luck! My Mom asked me tonight how I feel...nervous, excited, both? I told her I didn't know and I still don't know. I guess I'll figure that out on the drive to Buellton in the morning :).

A Halloween card I made for Kendall using the great stamps my friend Leslie gave me a few months ago.

A thank you card I made for Grandma Willett. She sent us a belated Christmas check, which came at the perfect time for us. We were able to use it to go out for a very nice dinner Saturday night to celebrate Jay completing his Master's degree final in Space Studies.

A congratulations card I made for Jay for completing his final. It's not champagne, but he prefers coffee!

Birthday card for my Dad

A get well card I made for my friend and neighbor and stamping buddy Michelle. She had her gall bladder removed. She also inspires me by her beautiful cards and so I wanted to make her something very special.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Job Change (again)

Ok, so here goes....this all has been stirring up for quite some time now, but I didn't want to post anything until I knew more. There is still a lot up in the air, but I feel like it's time to share what's been going on with my job situation. It's been a lot to deal with and there have been A LOT of emotions going on through the whole process. I have cried a lot of tears, spent a lot of time worrying, and have fought with God at times, but I'm finally in a place of acceptance and am optimistic about the future.

Back in July, Jay went to Colorado Springs for a few days for some meetings. When he came home, that Friday night he told me that the wing commander for his group had offered him a position back in the Springs that was starting on October 1. The timing was out of the question for us because a) Kendall was going to be starting 8th grade and we promised her we would not move while she was in Junior High School b) the housing market is a mess right now and we were not ready to either sell or rent our house c) the position would require a great deal of travel and Jay would have to spend too much time away from the family. He told me he was going to decline the offer, however, in all likelihood, the chances are good that we will be moving to the Springs next summer. He has been with the same squadron for 8 years now and is getting really burnt out, and he is up for a big promotion next summer. Additionally, if we are going to make the move, next summer would be ideal because then Kendall could start out High School there and complete all 4 years at the same school. Kendall (like myself) is not fond of change and likes to set her roots and stay in one place.

Unfortunately, I was in a very tough position with my employer. It took them close to 6 months to find me to fill the Office Manager position and I was about 6 months into a one year (+) training program. It is a bit insane that any position has a training period for more than one year, but after having undergone extensive training, I can safely say that the timeline they depicted is accurate. I felt a great deal of guilt in continuing to train knowing full well that the chances were more than 50% that we would be moving next summer. Jay and I talked about it all weekend and I spent a couple of sleepless nights and I was feeling like the right thing to do would be to tell C&D about our situation. I received confirmation when that Sunday night, Jay suggested I tell them the following week. We both felt that it was the right thing to do and that God would honor our integrity and obedience.

I went in on Monday and scheduled a meeting with one of the Partners. My hopes (of course) were that even if they could not continue the training process, they would find other work for me to do and would be willing to keep me on in some capacity. About two weeks after that meeting, my boss and one of the Partners told me that they would be interviewing for my position and that they could only guarantee that I could stay through September 1. I was heartbroken. They expressed their gratitude for my honesty and thanked me profusely, but the bottom line was that I was going to be unemployed as of 09/01 and in a tough situation to explain to a prospective employer why I had left a position I loved with a company that I loved, with people that loved my work and did not want to replace me. The Partners offered a glowing recommendation, but I still was in a very difficult situation.

I continued to give my all, even continued training to fill in for some upcoming vacations in the admin department. We had a new employee starting on 09/03 and some additional upcoming vacations and the final tax deadline coming up on 10/15, so I was able to secure work until October 15. Hallelujah! All along, I kept hoping something would change and they would need me longer, but as the date kept approaching, I was finding that my hope was dwindling.

Around the beginning of October, my friend Emily at C&D told me that she thought I would be a good fit to work for her husband. He is a civil engineer, and he just started his own company in October of 2007. He has been overwhelmed and has had to focus so much on Accounting, Marketing, and office administration that he hasn't had the time he needs to go out and secure additional projects. She said that due to my organizational skills and work experience, she thought I would be a really good fit for him. The whole thing sounded too good to be true, so I tried not to get my hopes up. That night, I updated my Resume and brought it in the next day and Emily said that she would give it to her husband, but he had a really busy week so he probably wouldn't be able to talk to me until the following week.

At the end of that same week, I got a phone call from Dennis, asking me to come in for an interview. The next week, I went to his office after work and me with he and his dad and the interview went really well. I liked them both and got a really good feeling about the way they run the business and got excited about the work that I would be exposed to. I got a call Thursday and he said that on Friday, he and his dad were going to sit down and do some financial forecasting and ensure that they could afford to hire someone right now (he was not looking at getting someone immediately, but the interview went so well that he decided to look at the timing more carefully.) He said he would call me the following week. Monday morning he called and asked me to lunch. I met him for lunch and had a second interview and he told me he would draw up an offer letter!

I got the letter on Friday afternoon, printed it out, signed it, and dropped it in the mail. The position is for Office Manager. Right now, it's for 3 days per week starting out, at least until business picks up. It's quite a large pay cut, but it's better than not working at all and I am going to get exposed to a lot of new tasks and I think I am going to learn a tremendous amount. I will be doing all the AP/AR (in Quickbooks, which I am excited to learn), payroll, learn their timing and billing software, advertising, working on the website, recruiting, researching company benefits for the future, event planning, going out to job sites and taking photographs and doing some note taking, putting together an employee manual, ordering office supplies, assisting him and his dad in whatever capacity necessary, getting the office organized, and whatever else comes up along the way. The best part is that they are an extremely nice family and I think I am really going to enjoy going to work every day, just as I did at C&D. We will have to cut corners and things will be tight for a while, but I'm still grateful for the opportunity and am thankful to God for providing, as He always has.

My first day is October 28th. Wish me luck!

Halloween Decorations Are Up

Since Jay is studying for his Master's final (which he takes on Thursday, keep him in your prayers), I don't think we'll be putting up any outside decorations this year. We normally have Marcus the Carcus in the front yard, along with a tombstone and some black flowers and last year we bought a light-up spider web. Nothing spectacular, but just a few things because we love to decorate! I don't have much for the inside either, but I put everything out on Friday. I got a couple of new inexpensive items from Michael's this year. We like to get one new decoration every year for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. We're always gone on Halloween anyway, but it's just fun to put out different decorations and make the house look festive. Nothing too scary though!!!!

I got this cute realty sign at Michael's for like $4 this year

I got this foam kit for Kendall last year, she made this cute pirate "castle" and it actually made it the entire year up in the attic!

This is the other decoration I got at Michael's, I think this one cost around $5

This is a candy dish I got at Kohl's (for 65% off) - I love it because we can keep it up for Thanksgiving also!

Cut for a Cause

I chopped off all of my long hair! Jay had mentioned a couple of months back that he missed my dark hair and since it is fall, I thought now would be a good time to go back to a darker color. I figured since I'm coloring my hair anyway, I should go ahead and cut it off and donate it. Locks of Love requires 10 inches, but my friend Kiml told me about Pantene Beautiful Lengths. They only require 8 inches and my hairdresser cut my hair into two separate ponytails to get the most length out of my hair. My "old" hair will be used to make free wigs for women who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy. To find out more about Pantene Beautiful Lengths, visit

My hair after Andrea cut it all off

The new me

Friday, October 17, 2008

Funny Little Story

Sometimes God asks us to do some pretty weird stuff! I am only sharing this because it was an act of obedience, no matter how odd it seemed at the time and I am so glad (as I usually am) that I did what He asked me to.
One of the ways I find relaxation is to sit and stamp and make cards. This is not odd, nor is it shocking to those of you that follow this blog. So one Friday night a couple of weeks ago, I felt like sitting down in my little craft corner (which I am loving, by the way) and I didn't have anything specific in mind, but I felt like making a card. I had just received my Unity September Kit of the Month kit and and was anxious to use some of the stamps in it. I started making my card and was pleased with the results and was trying to think of the right person to give it to. I realized that it ended up being a card of encouragement and I was trying to think of someone that really needed encouragement and I discovered that I am the one that was needing encouragement and God had me make that card for myself! I know, I know how this sounds, but I meditated on it for a while and the next night I was going to Pam's for our monthly Stampin' Up workshop and I decided to bring the card to Pam for her to write some words of encouragement for me. She has become a treasured friend and is always able to bring me comfort when I need it most. So, I gave her the card with a self-addressed, stamped envelope and asked her if she would encourage me. After she finished laughing (and sharing how special she thought it was as well) she said she would be glad to. Unfortunately, she felt all of this pressure to say just the right thing and I told her she need not worry. This was definitely from God, so all she had to do was just write, and He would take care of the rest.
So, a few days later, I got this lovely card in the mail with some beautiful words of encouragement, which I would like to share with you. They were just the right words, at just the right time. Thank you Pam, and thank you Lord!

Jesus says, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest...For My yoke is easy and my burden is light." We all become weary and burdened as we walk through this world, but my prayer for you is that you will cast your cards upon the one and only who will give you rest. Psalm 34:17 says, "when the righteous cry out to Him, He hears and delivers them from all their troubles." Cry out to Him Shannon, He cars and He is always there for you!
And I am so glad that He is.....

Seventh Day Slumber

Santa Ynez Valley Presbyterian Church in Santa Ynez just completed construction on their new building and to celebrate the grand opening, they had a series of summer concerts. On October 5th, Seventh Day Slumber headlined a free concert at the church. I happened to be listening to Klife on the way home from work one day and I heard the announcement. I drive right by the church on my way home every day, but there were no signs up yet. I went online to look up the details and discovered that Storyside B was opening for them. Those of you that know Kendall well know that Storyside B is her absolutely all time favorite number one band! She must be their biggest fan (not counting their Moms). I told Jay about it and we agreed that we would keep the concert a secret. Jay had to work that weekend and we didn't want to let Kendall know and have her get all excited and then have something happen and our plans fall through. So, I told her that we were going to SYV for a special service for their grand opening and somehow, she did not press me for more information. Jay got home in the nick of time and we ran through McDonald's and ate in the truck on our way to the show. We got there and everyone was standing in line and Kendall was already suspicious. She said, "I have a feeling there are going to be some bands here tonight." Jay and I just nodded and smiled. Then, someone behind us mentioned Storyside B and her eyes lit up! Jay played dumb, but I couldn't play along very well, I just smiled and kept quiet.

When we got into the church, she saw the Seventh Day Slumber merchandise Table and to her left was Storyside B's merchandise table and everything was confirmed! She hugged us and thanked us and was so excited, I was really glad we kept it a surprise.

We were able to get seats in the 2nd row and Chasen started off the evening. We had never heard of them and they are a little raw, but they were entertaining and we enjoyed listening to them.After Chasen finished up, Storyside B came out and Kendall went CRAZY! She immediately went up to the stage and stayed there the entire time they played. They put on a really good show and honestly, no matter what they played it was wonderful just to watch Kendall having such a great time. They are a very talented group of guys with a heart for kids and a heart for God. They really were a pleasure to watch. The only complaint is that the sound guy in the church had the music up WAY too loud (and no, it is not because I am old, even the teeny-boppers in the front were holding their ears!) I had to stand in the back at times and hold my ears because they were physically burning. I tried not to let it ruin the concert, but it sure was a distraction.

Finally, Seventh Day Slumber came out. They are the band that I was excited about seeing. I love their music and not only are they talented, but they have such an incredible ministry. The lead singer Joseph had an amazing testimony and as he was sharing, all of these teens were completely engaged. He shared about his years of drug use, time in jail, his strained relationship with his father, his suicide attempt, and the deepest darkest places that he lived before he called out to Jesus. He was so passionate and so engaging that you could have heard a pin drop. I saw teens with their heads bowed, kids and adults wiping away tears as we heard this beautiful account of what God can do in our lives if we will only ask him. After Joseph gave his testimony, he shared about I had heard Dawson McAlister on Sunday evenings on Klife taking calls from kids who are desperate for help, who feel that they cannot talk to their parents and who feel like they don't even want to face another day. Joseph and Dawson are partners and they started this teen hopeline to help kids who are contemplating suicide.I wanted to include the information about the hopeline in my blog. If you know someone who is feeling like there is no hope or know a parent of a child that is struggling to get through to their child and is concerned I want to make this information available. The counselors undergo a very long, very thorough training process and they want to let kids know that they are not alone. That they are loved by their heavenly Father and that they do have a reason to hope for a better tomorrow.


Who We Are: Provide a safe place where teens can interact, find scriptural answers and direction.Train up a generation of leaders with a passion to impact the yough culture.PRovide a means of assimilation into local bodies of the glogal church.Facilitate the education of parents and church leadership, world-wide.

Tis a Fact: has reached out to hundreds of thousands of students since it first started in 2001. In 2007 alone, we talked to 55,000 students preventing upwards of 10,000 suicides and seeing approximately 7,000 students come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ through the one-on-one chat and the alter ministry of Seventh Day Slumber.

Reach Us: The Hopeline 1-800-394-HOPE Chat:

After the show was over and we all caught our breath after the tears and the amazing testimony and seeing all these teens go up and bow their heads and get on their knees, we went back out to the lobby to meet the bands. Not only did Kendall get to meet EVERY member of Storyside B, but we got to have a really nice visit with all the guys in the band AND, they all took their picture individually with Kendall and signed autographs for her. I still don't think she has slept a night through since that concert! They were all so kind and Jay and I were equally impressed with them. Although, our feelings were a little different than Kendall's. We were impressed with their hearts and their minds and Kendall....well....she is a healthy, very typical 13 year-old girl :>).

I'm Back! Starting with Some Cards....

Sorry it's been so long since I posted. There has been a lot going on! I am going to try to get you all caught up this weekend, but I thought I would just start with a few cards, since posting pictures doesn't require as much typing! I promise I will post more interesting information about our lives over the next couple of days. I hope everyone is well, and healthy, and happy.

This is a just because card for a friend. I don't know who I am going to send it to yet, but I just had the idea and started creating and it will be there just when I need it.

This a birthday card with no intended recipient (yet!) This is another card that started with an idea. I have to create when the moment strikes me!

This is a thank you card for the Partners at C&D. They sent me a beautiful orchid plant on my last day (more on that in a post this weekend). I purchased an embossing gun with a 50% off coupon at Michael's and was so excited with the way the gold in "good times" turned out.

This is a Thank You card for Verva, one of the Partners at C&D. She gave me a beautiful Lladro figurine and a very touching card. I cannot say enough good things about this woman, she is so kind and generous of spirit. I will miss her very much.

This is a Halloween card I made for Nicole. Sorry for the blurry photo.

This is a friendship card for my new friend Coleen at C&D. She just started on September 3rd and we pretty much became instant friends. We have so much in common and we are very much alike. She has also been so supportive and given me great wisdom.

This is a birthday card for Nicole. I could not find a Tinker Bell stamp, but I found these precious applique's at Michael's. I think it turned out really cute. I hope she loves it!


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