09 May 2009

Bob the Builder comes to Gainesville!

Well, not quite, but for a long time Bob the Builder fan this morning was just as good. Our neighbor is having his driveway paved. I opened the front door to get the mail (waiting on the appointment packet from STC) and I told Elizabeth "Come look!, Is that Scoop?"



She ran outside, and after watching in amazement for a few minutes, she ran inside and got her "guys", the toys she has named for the machines on Bob the Builder. She started with Scoop and Muck, because she couldn't decide which one she was seeing. Amelia brought the other two when she came out to see what was going on.



They played for a while until I saw the mosquitoes were out very thick. It has rained a lot lately and our back yard looks like Dagobah right now. I hurried them in, then started working on mowing the lawn while getting eaten alive. But that's beside the point...

Elizabeth had a good morning: first,, she got to watch the Bob the Builder Movie from Netflix, then she saw a real Scoop (or Muck!)

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Fasting and Prayer works!

Back in December we found out that I would probably lose my job at WTSS. We knew from prayers and blessings that we would know when it was time to leave TYC, and this was a clear answer (the topic of leaving had been discussed for a while as the agency slowly imploded around us).

We had been considering North Carolina's juvenile system for a while, but the pay increase wouldn't have covered the housing cost increase. But, just as I was getting RIF'ed, I started with Axia College of University of Phoenix, so that would make up the difference. I started applying everywhere I could. I started interviewing in February and finished in March. So far I haven't heard back on the second round of interviews. The NC Juvenile system is notoriously slow on the hiring process.

In the middle of shotgunning NC, I saw a posting for a full time Criminal Justice instructor at South Texas College in McAllen. I asked Christie how her Spanish was holding up and she shot me a look that probably knocked a few weeks off my life. I sent it in anyway just to leave no stone unturned. It would be a good opportunity, and one of my mentors (my "other parents in McAllen") was on the search committee, so I had an outside shot at it. But we pushed ahead with plans for NC. I owed it to Christie after 3+ years in Pyote.

In the meantime, I got transferred to Gainesville with TYC. It sounded like a good place to mark time while waiting on the other applications, and it could be a doable place if they didn't pan out. The job situation turned out far worse than I originally thought, but there were blessings buried in it. However, it still remained very stressful. We prayed and fasted and prayed that we would soon find out about a job. I interviewed at South Texas College and got the feeling that this was where the Lord wanted us to go next. Even Christie was starting to accept the idea and come to peace with it. But the interview had been the beginning of April, and we were getting into May with a quickly deteriorating job situation in Gainesville. More fasting and prayer.

This past week started horrible. I couldn't bear the thought of going to work anymore and started trying to figure out options for quitting. Wednesday morning I got a call that made it more bearable: STC human resources wanted to offer me the job! I was suddenly awake and couldn't say "Yes!" fast enough.



The offered salary is currently $39347 for 9 months. I currently make $40176 in 12 months at TYC. The starting offer will get better, though. July 1st will mark 4 years with TYC, which will translate into 2 years experience for STC. This will increase the 9 month pay to $40330. But it will get better than that. I have 27 graduate (PhD) hours post Master's. If I can get 3 more graduate hours, I will jump up to the Master's +30 bracket for $42686 for 9 months. I'm planning to sign up for a class at University of Phoenix and use my employee 50% discount. I'll spend about $1100 to take a class that will pay for itself in about 4 months, plus I'll take something that is in demand (CSI and Forensic Psychology maybe) so I'll be able to teach classes to help satisfy the demand for the current academic flavor of the month.

But there's more! STC is rapidly expanding, so each instructor is doing at least one overload class, which means roughly an extra $500 per month. If I teach summer classes, that's about $2400 per session (two summer sessions available) if I have my info right. I even know my class schedule already! It's at a campus about an hour drive away from the main campus, but depending on office hour requirements I may only need to be there as little as two days a week. I'm teaching all but one of the classes at this campus (the other is TBA, so probably an adjunct unless they think I'm gung ho enough to take a seventh class).

Schedule breakdown:

M: 8:30-9:50AM, 10:00-11:20AM, 6:00-8:50 PM
W: 8:30-9:50AM, 10:00-11:20AM, 5:30-8:20 PM

plus two sections of an internet class. 4 different courses all together, in 6 sections. STC only has 5 CJ classes available. The one class I'm the closest match to (Correctional Systems and Practices) is the one I'm not teaching this semester. It's all good, though.

So the pay is going to be pretty decent, and I can get more if I want to work summers. Plus, I can maybe get away with staying with my Axia teaching (probably just one class, maybe two).

The job starts August 20th, so I might even be able to use it as Christie's Birthday present (except it's also kinda her Mother's Day present).

The way I'm accumulating overtime and other leave, I should be able to sign out of TYC at the beginning of July and be on terminal leave status all the way to my STC start date. Insurance is by the same state system, so I'll be able to keep the same insurance without skipping a beat, which is good because Baby Blair #3 (gender still unknown, I'll let Christie tell that story) is due in September.




So.....

We'll be moving to southern Texas this summer. We're hoping to find a place in McAllen if possible; rough guess on budget is that we can probably do monthly housing costs of about $800-1000 for a 3/2 or 4/2 (depending on other features and stuff, but the lower the cost the better if possible). If anybody knows of anything in that area, please let us know. The MacIntosh's (my "other parents" mentioned above) have already offered to keep an eye out for places to live within their ward. Um, yeah, they didn't just help because they love me; there are callings that need filling which Christie and I happen to have the training, experience, expertise, and love. Doesn't mean we'll get them, but if the Lord has a different plan for us down there, I haven't figured it out yet. I'm sure that will come in due time, though.

03 May 2009

Is this the face of Swine Flu?


No, this is the face of a little girl who can't possibly understand why she didn't get to go to Sunbeams today.



After enduring Sacrament Meeting, to come straight home was pure torture, especially since Mommy and Daddy had been saying all morning that she was going to get to go to Sunbeams today!

We got to Church this morning only to find out that all the meetings for the week have been cancelled after Sacrament Meeting today. Can you believe it? The decision was made by the Stake President late last night. Our Relief Society President said he was getting tons of phone calls from worried members. I know him (he was my singles' ward Bishop when I was first teaching) and he's not the kind of person to panic, so I guess he really must have been hearing from a lot of hysterical members. I also have to remember that the stake stretches down much closer to DFW so probably most of the worry came from those areas.

We let the girls run around a little outside once Elizabeth finally got out of the van (she insisted we rebuckle her carseat and shut the door!). Her tights are probably ruined, but oh well.





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