How many months? Five? Dude! Sorry about that! I've been crazy busy. Rather than just telling you everything that I've done in the last five, I'll give you the quick rundown and the current update.
The PTA, while a TON of work, has turned out to really kick some major ass. We did a cool Harvest Day thing complete with hay rides, pumpkin carving, face painting, cake walking and career day things like firefighters, karate masters, things like that. Then, we had a cool Winter Pajama Story Night which was so well-attended we had to go out and buy more cookies. We did an amazing Breakfast with Santa fundraiser complete with train rides, pics with Santa and donuts!!! Then after the New Year, we did a Zumba fundraiser that got so much response that we decided to do it monthly (though people are calling to have it weekly *grin*). Then, because the fourth and fifth grade classes were supposed to perform at our December business meeting but because of weather, it got cancelled. So, to give them their chance to perform, we had a talent show we called RES' Got Talent which ROCKED the whole gym. There were people standing up in the back of the gym it was so full! This week, we're doing a free "Kids & Nutrition" program where after a presentation by someone from the YMCA, I'll do a demo of how to make hummus that everyone can sample. Next month, we're doing a Spring Carnival fundraiser where we hope to raise $4000 to replace our delapidated playground equipment... So far, our secretary has gotten 600 hotdogs and 600 buns DONATED as well as 300 bags of single-serving chips, Little Debbie snacks at cost, and enough money to buy all the bottled water we need. The P.E. teacher has TONS of stuff we needed for the actual carnival games and all the teachers are making signs and rounding up volunteers to help man the games. It's really coming together and we are super excited. With that, the Zumba program and the Bingo night we're planning on doing, we should be able to really make some headway on our playground project. Other than that, we've already paid for all kinds of things teachers and kids need and have enough allotted to pay for more. Things that both parents and teachers indicated on our survey they wanted to see. Plus, we have all kinds of kick ass idea for next year!
So, you'll remember that I was working hard to start a website for mommies in the area. I thought about it when I first moved here, but it took me awhile to get things going. We launched and I was super optimistic and excited about it but though we had a few members join here and there, there was essentially just like six or seven of us who actually talked to each other on the site. Recently, my support team (from The Mommies Network) helped to do some promotional stuff (put us on Craig's List and stuff) and now we have people joining and interacting every single day. We have a cool weekly playdate, monthly Moms Night Out, a craft group, trips to Lynchburg Grows, to museums, trips to apple orchards, etc. It's a lot of "work" (read: time committment), but it's worth it. I've made some awesome friends and have heard from a few first time moms that it has really helped them.
In December, several different places contacted me to see if I'd like to teach Zumba. I had just had a hernia repair surgery (long story short: because I jumped out into the yard too soon after my gall bladder removal, my surgery site got herniated *eye roll* so I had to have it fixed), I tried to say no, but they were very convincing. So, since the beginning of January, I've been teaching Zumba several times a week. It's a BLAST. I also teach the Zumba fundraiser for the PTA. I'd like to eventually teach at the Y and maybe I will but right now I have SO MUCH going on.
Which brings me to Subway.
But let me back up and tell you about the Big Change. You've heard me bitch and moan about my marriage. I don't think you really knew or understood entirely what was going on. It wasn't just bitching. I was really very unhappy. For years I've been asking Sam to go to counseling but he just wouldn't. I stayed with him for the kids, but then, I started finding that I was taking out my frustration with him on the kids. Why stay with him for the kids when staying with him means screwing up the kids? So, I decided to leave. I told him. He ignored me as was his usual practice. I looked for apartments and I even responded to an ad to be an assistant manager in a resto on nights and weekends. I sat Sam down and asked him to help me with my car payments and insurance just until I could get on my feet. I told him that not much would change but geography. After a three hour conversation where we essentially divvied up furniture and dishes, he broke down and cried and said he didn't want to "do this" and would I give him a chance to change. I said yes but that I wanted a deadline because he'd made that speech before. He asked me to give him a year. I figured that was reasonable.
We went to our first counseling appointment the next day and honestly, BOTH of us had a few small breakthroughs. I won't go into great detail, but we'll just say that I'm no longer ONLY staying for the kids. I love him again and I'm falling back in love with him. We've both really changed. And are still changing. Actually, our marriage counseling time lately has been to talk about our parenting partnership which is something we REALLY need.
ANYHOO, so, AFTER we had reconciled, Subway (the resto, if you haven't figured that out) called and talked to me. They were stealthy. They just asked why I was interested. I told them that I believe in Subway. And I do. It's the one fast food place that serves FRESH vegetables. I mean, it's a staple for them. They bake their own bread, they have vegetarian and vegan options, etc. etc. Okay, I'm not a HUGE fan of processed meats, but I feel better about them than I do deep fried stuff and feed lot beef patties. AND, you know that some day I'd like to have a farm-to-table restaurant, right? So, I was like, Heeeeey, I can work for Subway, become an assistant manager, then maybe a manager and then eventually, I'll know how to run the business side of the whole deal.
So, I went in, filled out a thingy and did an "interview"--which pretty much ended up being a casual conversation. During the conversation, she said that I would need to start at 3:30 or 4pm. At the end of the "interview" she told me she'd like for "Tim" to meet me. I went home and told Sam about everything and ultimately decided that though I wouldn't be doing the job purely for the money, I wasn't going to spend 40 hours away from my family to take home less than $150 a week. So, I went in there to tell them no. But I got there and Tim said, "We like you and want you to work for us, so, tell us what you CAN do." I went out on a limb with nothing to lose and told them, honestly, what I could do--without giving up PTA, LM or Zumba--and he said, "done>' He said they'd talk about it and see what they could work out and call me back in a few days.
I'm working there now. I started out just being a sandwich maker so I could slide back into the habit of making sandwiches but after a week of working, they asked if I'd mind a promotion to Shift Leader. I'm training to do that. In the fall, if Lolo gets to go to Pre-K, I'm hoping to make assistant manager and then hopefully eventually manager. I love the job and though the money isn't what Sam's making, it HAS helped with the projects around the homestead.
So, let's talk about that one real quick.
We just added 15 new boxes to the garden. The guest room and pantry are almost done. We've ordered $250 worth of seeds. We've started all of our early spring veggies indoors. We've read all about guinea fowl and are starting to work on building a house for them. We bought a chain saw for Christmas and are selectively clearing some of the woods in front of the house to eventually have a pasture-esque place for the goats next year and for the guineas to free-range this year. So, things are moving along. We're making connections with people down at the market and throughout the community.
So, that's the update. The kids are growing and changing. Ryan's still a genius in school and has been nominated for Odyssey of the Mind and now has an advanced reading level. He still has behavioral quirks, but we're talking to our counselor about that. Lily loves her teacher and her school but now is a little jealous of Lolo since she gets to "play all day" and go to playgroup and whatnot. Lolo is awesome but is a pain in my ass (half kidding) so I can't WAIT for her to go to Pre-K (half kidding). She's SO freakin' cute and funny.
Oh, yeah, and we traded the Brute (you know, Brutus, our red Jeep Liberty) in this week on a Toyota Highlander Hybrid!!!!! So, now we BOTH drive used Toyota Hybrids. It's AWESOME!!!
Okay, that's enough. I'll come back as soon as I can but not to talk... just to show you pix.
BTW... I've missed talking to you. I wish I had more time.