Thursday, November 04, 2010

The short(er) version....part uno.

My last real post was written June 28th. Over 4 months ago. It would be really overwhelming to try to catch you up on what has happened over the last 4 months of our lives so I'm not going to do that. (It would be semi-boring. Ok, really boring.)

What I will tell you is why I left the blog world, the events that surrounded that and why I'm back.

First, I have to say that it wasn't intentional. I didn't mean to just stop blogging. There wasn't a moral soap box under my feet or anything like that. I just couldn't.

A little background for those of you (like, 2 of you) who read this unsolicited by friendship or family obligation:

(you are a special group. yes, you are.)

My husband, Josh, is a 7th grade math teacher. He has been for about 7 years and is very gifted at what he does....and I don't just say that as his wife. I say that as someone who has taught in the public and private school setting for awhile myself. He is a gentle, compassionate soul who carries the weight of his student's worlds on his shoulders. It's not about math for him (though he's incredible with numbers). It's about having a platform to effectively reach kids where they are and love them the best he can. He's not bound by the title of "counselor" or "principal" or "pastor"....he likes the back door approach of "math teacher" best. He has students come back every year to see him. He gets letters from them, emails, pictures they've drawn, notes on his board. I often hear from parents how he is some kid's favorite teacher the grocery store, walgreens, etc.

He has reached kids no other teacher wanted to reach (and taught with teachers no one else wanted to teach with, for that matter) so his classroom is usually "lively." They like to give him the hard cases and, though they ask him every year to teach the gifted students, he turns them down and instead requests the challenged students. God has just given him a special love for those kids, and it's clear that's where God wants him right now.

Having said that, this profession has been incredibly hard on us. The main reason is that teachers do not get paid very well. Sure. Lots of teachers do fine for themselves, but it's a different story when the teacher is head of household and wants his wife to be able to be home with their children. I have grumbled and complained and begged God to please put Josh in a different that pays a little more. It, in many ways, feels like a thorn in my flesh. There is not a day that goes by that I don't struggle with contentment in this area. I wish that weren't true.

So, back to the story. To make a little more income, I was teaching music at a private Christian school a couple of days a week. They paid me well, Josh's mom kept our boys, I loved the students, it was a great blessing to us.

Then, last spring, we bought a mini-van. (Actually, we traded our truck for it.) It was great. We were officially grown ups. The guy we bought it from had had no issues with it whatsoever. Nope. None.

(you see where this is going, right?)

3 weeks later it basically starts to disintegrate. There was a slight transmission slip. No problem. We had a big tax refund and, while we save that for the lean summer months, we could get the van looked at. Just a wiring big deal. Then the AC goes out. Back to the shop... coolant recharged. Works a few days, goes out again. To the shop....still the wiring issue. Weird toggle switch thingy installed. The battery dies approximately one million times because we forget to flip the weird little switch.

Oh. And in the middle of all of this, a certain unnamed driver in our family has, not one, but two wrecks in 3 months. Both HIS/her fault. One involved 2 other cars and a lady who wanted, like $700 for the SCRATCH on her bumper...which she got.

Then, something else happened with the van that I don't remember because my one remaining nerve blocked it out.

So, needless to say, ALL of our savings was wiped out fixing %$#@ cars. Thankfully, the last several summers Josh has worked for a friend's company that hasn't really been affected by the economy. Josh called him to see if he could work over spring break. He says "great!" We wait it out. Spring break is close. Josh calls. They don't have the work for Josh that week, but can't wait to get him back on board for the summer.

School lets out in June, we go on vacation with Josh's family and Josh is promised that this job is waiting for him when he gets back. We get back. I post all the beach pictures. He calls the guy. Things are slower than expected. Will call back next week. Never calls. Josh calls him. He says there's no back mid-July. We panic. Josh calls lots of different places looking for work. Some empty promises. Nothing pans out.

We panic.

To be continued....