My apologies to all you out there who asked specifically about me, my new jobs, and Xan. The end of the crazy working summer is in sight and hopefully I can get back to some semblance of being good at getting back to people. :)
This is a long post so if you are not family or people who really like reading my blog, you can scroll down to where I have pictures towards the bottom. I won't be offended. :)
Where to begin. We'll start with work since that is what is currently consuming the most of my time. Yes, I have found a new job. I work with the Franziska Racker Center who specialize in helping individuals with developmental disabilities. To protect the rights of the individuals I work with, I'm not allowed to share specific stories, display photos of any of our activities, or stuff like that. But, I LOVE the job. I work in their residential program. They have 20 houses where adult individuals live and 24/7 staff support is available to them. Some houses are high functioning where the staff is really just there to make sure they eat balanced meals, don't forget to turn the stove off, and to drive them places. Other houses are low-functioning where staff assists them spoon feeding pureed food, changing attends, bathing, and moving them from one place to another. My house is somewhere in the middle.
I was hired on as part-time relief staff in the middle of May. As a relief staff, I pick which shifts I want to work out of what is available, like on days when extra staff is needed or a regular staff needs the day off. I was just offered a full-time position a week ago and I will start full-time in the middle of August.
Since then, I've been juggling both jobs. I often work 45-56 hours a week. It's been crazy but with Xan out of school and able to help around the house more, its been doable. The extra money will help since we are going to Israel for the whole month of January! His parents are currently living there and his brother, Tony and his new bride, Shanda, will also be there. We'll miss his sister Kressyda and her family by a month or two. :(
Sadly, going full-time with Rackers means that I'll be leaving Wegmans at the start of August. When I first started working there, I never expected to actually feel sad that I was going to leave. I've made so many friends there and really like the work. It's not an office job where I stare at the computer, but an active job where I get to move around and stay busy. But, all good things must come to an end and I still get to go grocery shopping after I leave. :)
Xan's parents are coming from August 6-11 so I'll be taking a week and a half off of work (my last "vacation" before I'm committed to a full-time schedule). I have today and tomorrow off, then work 15 days straight between the two jobs, ending with my last day at Wegmans on August 3.
Now for the picture update!
Here are the lovely ladies of our branch (church group) here in Ithaca. Thank you, Maxwells! The food was delicious! And we're going to miss all of you who moved... :(
I attempted to make my ponytail shorter (hair boredom, I guess) and while it stayed in all day, it didn't work quite as well as I hoped. But it was fun anyway.
Xan and I missed the Hill Cumorah Pageant last year since we were in Utah visiting family, but we made it out this year! It's in Palmyra, NY among other famous church sites. We ran into the Andersons, who also went that night. From left to right, Matt, Trisha, me, Xan, Roxy (Matt and Trisha's daughter), and Trisha's brother (visiting for the week).
Xan and I opted to sit in the back by the middle aisle. The people in front of us were already there and were short... so we knew we'd be able to see the show despite being further away. We went the same night as the Harry Potter opening midnight showing so there were fewer people. I'd say there were still a couple thousand in the audience, though.
Here's the stage in the daylight.
Getting pictures with the cast members seemed to be the thing to do since everyone else was doing it. I decided I should join in and got a picture with one of the villains. Here is King Noah.
The cast was big, with over 700 members. I didn't have a great camera, but you get the drift.
Here is Lehi's family crossing the ocean to the America's. This was taken as Laman and Lemuel were tying Nephi to the mast of the boat.
I only took those pictures as it got darker and harder to see through the camera. The special effects were fantastic with the water, lighting, fire, and explosions. It was a really well-done production! I encourage anyone who is able to go see it, LDS or not. It is a story of Christ's dealings with the people of America and I know that Joseph Smith translated the book and that the Book of Mormon is the true word of God, and adds to the knowledge and truth found in the Bible.
The lovely protesters with their megaphones standing out by the road were kind enough to stay quiet through-out the show, although they promptly picked up their rantings as soon as we all said amen to the closing prayer. While I found it rude behavior, I have to admit that it was entertaining to listen to their words as we walked back to the car. They clearly did not watch the performance since they were STILL crying out that we Mormons don't believe in Jesus Christ and all sorts of other things. We are called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints, after all. "Mormons" is just a nickname.
The parking was phenomenal! Xan and I almost didn't go because we really didn't want to sit in the parking lot forever after the show and get home really late. I had to work at 8am the next morning and just wanted to go to bed. We went anyway and were delighted that Mormon efficiency had us out from our seats after the show, into the car, and out into regular moving traffic in 15 minutes tops. INCREDIBLE!
And lastly, I got my birthday present a little early this year. Our neighbors are moving to London and are trying to get rid of most of their stuff. A keyboard was on the list. I couldn't resist and now it sits in my house ready for me to play whenever I have the time. LOVE it! My piano music is no longer collecting dust!
And yes, I shot that picture to highlight the length of my hair. Rumor has it that my eldest sister, Kim, cut her hair and while it still falls to her elbows (so my mother says), even Kim has admitted that I now probably have the longest hair in the family. A title I have been hoping to have since I've always envied my sister and her long hair. :) Guess that means I can't cut it for a while. Especially since its still a "probably." LOL!
I probably shouldn't procrastinate making dinner anymore. Until next time...