Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Rambling post about employment.

I'm going to have to find a job. I wanted to wait until The Boy was in First Grade to start looking for a full time job, but with the economy the way it is right now I'm not going to be able to wait. They are cutting Howard's hours at work, and the promises they made him about a management position were just so much fluff as far as I can tell. Everything costs so much these days, even with the pay check we were expecting to be getting by now things would be tight. So I'm looking for some thing that will not only pay for child care, my student loans, but also be able to add something to our account. Howard is looking for something in town, something that will pay what he is making now. He has several skill areas, forklift driver, cook/prep cook, dishwasher, as well as computer skills. There are nearly 3 times the jobs, right now on the Employment Department website, for him as there are for me.

My experience is old, the last job I had was in California driving and doing paperwork for a Mobile Tire Repair business. Working in Schools, well it's been something like 20 years since I did a practicum in a school. (I did have a little bit of substitute work a year or so after the practicum but that's still a long time ago.) Day care doesn't pay much, but if I found one or two kids to babysit I wouldn't have to pay for Day care for Aidan so it might work out okay.

So anyway, I'm looking for a day shift job, or any shift babysitting, here in town that I can get to on the bus and pays well. If Howard stays where he is I won't need insurance, because he has it and we are all covered. But if he changes jobs, we will have to manage insurance somehow.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Graduating to Orange Belt.

The Boy got his Orange Belt today. At his level it's given for improvement, not skill. He has learned quite a bit, but he has a way to go before he is ready to go into the black belt academy where he will be tested on his skill level. Here are a few pictures of him with his belt and medal.

Chah Reot (Sounds like Chariot and means Attention)

Kyeong Nae (sounds like coonyea and means bow)

A punch.
These pictures were taken with a camera phone so the quality is not very good, plus there was a smudge on the lens.

5 and 6 year olds who "tested" or graduated to the next belt.
(The Boy is third from the left including the lady in black)

The Boy with Master Lyon, and two instructors.
The Boy is in the middle.


High Block!


Sitting in line watching others test.
He's fourth from the left.

The Boy did really well, he only got distracted a couple of times. He kept wanting to see what the other kids were doing, but tried to keep on track. He still needs to work on his form, looking people in the eye when they are talking to him, and not talking in class. He's really proud of himself and is enjoying the classes.
I'm really proud of him, he has learned quite a bit, and is working on the things he needs to work on. He even spontaneously remembers to say "Yes Mom!" or "Yes Dad!" several times a week!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Baking bread.

I've been baking bread lately. I'm trying to save a little money, however I'm not sure how much I'm actually saving. I know that the cost of flour, yeast, salt, sugar, milk and butter is less per loaf than the cost of a loaf of bread at the store. But I'm not sure how much electricity I use baking bread. It is very yummy bread, H and The Boy seem to really like it. I enjoy making it, and eating it, so maybe that in itself makes it worth the time and electricity it takes to bake bread every two or three days. I'm trying recipes, looking for one that makes a good amount of bread (2 or 3 nice loaves), and has good flavor.

I've tried 2 so far, the first didn't rise very well, I'm not sure why, maybe I miss read the amount of yeast, or the milk was too hot. The second make 2 really huge loaves, they are so big over the top of the bread pan that they tend to crush the bottom portion if left in the normal upright position too long. Next time I'll make 2 smaller loaves and some dinner rolls, or try for 3 loaves.

I have a couple of other recipes I'm going to try eventually, I may have to take the best of the different recipes and make up one that works best for us. I want to make some potato bread, and get some quality whole wheat flour.

I wish that my stand mixer wasn't so old. It was made in the late 1960's into the middle of the 1970's, it's a Kitchen aide model 4-c. I could really use a dough hook for it, and a bowl that is actually made for it would be nice. But it's old enough that the company has no idea where I can get replacement parts. I called them about it last year. Maybe one day I'll have the money to get a new one, or get lucky enough to find the parts on freecycle or at a garage sale or something.

If you have any good recipes for bread, or ideas that might be helpful, I'd love to hear them. Thanks.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Update, and summer plans.

Our computer has been in Texas for the last 3 weeks or so. It had a bit of a break down, and needed a new motherboard. We thought that it would be gone until the 21st of this month, but they got it done faster than expected and it arrived Monday morning! We are all very excited to have our computer back. We didn't know how much we each used it until we couldn't use it any more. Howard has some maintenance to do before all is well again, but it's getting there. I'll be able to do pictures in a few days so you can expect a picture post soon.

The Boy started Taekwondo classes today. We are paying for them with out economic stimulus check, I'm not sure that we would have been able to pay the $595 for 6 months of classes, 2 uniforms, membership in the ATA (American Taekwondo Association) and some other paperwork kind of stuff. He's loving it! We are hoping that he will learn self control, respect, and confidence as well as self defense. I like the school and the teachers there, they are willing to give him some personal help as he learns what he needs to learn in his classes. There are 2 other boys in the class, both are about 5 or 6, they are at different levels in the training. The teacher doesn't stop the class to show The Boy what to do, he asked an other teacher to stand by The Boy and help him with the form, standing still, all the things the other boys know already. It was good, he is learning quickly, and didn't disrupt class any more than the other boys did. In January we will look at how The Boy is doing, what he does best and if he is ready to go into the Black Belt Program, which is a specific program aimed at getting the student trained to Black Belt and beyond. It involves more discipline and has a stricter set of rules. There are different degrees of Black Belt, and once a student reaches a certain degree and is old enough they can teach lower levels to pay for their further training. The Boy may or may not be ready to do that in January, (if he is ready before January we will do what we need to do to change him over to the program) if he isn't he can still continue with the Basic Program as long as he wants to and as long as we can pay for it. In February we usually get our Tax return so we will be able then to pay for the next 6 months or whatever. (The Black Belt program is a 2 or 3 year commitment from what I understand from our introduction class.) Maybe someday we will have enough money to take a family class, although with Howard's schedule it would most likely be just The Boy and me.

I'm planning for August. Christopher is getting married on the 8th, and my Dad turns 70 on the 10th. I need to figure out what to get as a wedding present, and decide if The Boy and I will stay at my parents after the birthday party and help Mom do some canning before The Boy has to start Kindergarten. I'm excited about all of it, my FIRST baby is getting married! My soon to be daughter-in-law is a sweet woman, I'm very happy to welcome her to our family. I wish I had a little bit more time and money to help out with the birthday bash, but I'll do what I can. It's going to be great fun. If all of the FAMILY members who have said that they would like to come to the party actually make it, there will be something like 27 adults and 12 children, 3 of the children are teens, I think the oldest of the other children is 8 or 9, and the youngest will be 1 year old. Of course some of them won't be able to make it, I think that 6 of the adults have cancelled taking 2 of the teens with them. Even if it's only my Dad, Mom, my brothers, their wives, children and grandchildren, Jessica and her boyfriend, Me, Howard and my 3 boys it will be wonderful! I love family!

The weather has been kind of hot, and very muggy. I overheat quickly these days, so I keep water close, and stop at the store to get sports drinks if we are out and about too long. We are enjoying summer so far, and are looking forward to The Boy starting Kindergarten in September.