Sunday, September 28, 2008

A New Pursuit and New Pets

I've been thinking a lot lately about how to bring in more income. I'm enjoying the bookkeeping, but I only have a couple of clients, and I don't have time for "pounding the pavement" trying to find new clients. Also, every client's situation is so different from everyone else's, and while I want to do bookkeeping only and no taxes (in spite of the fact I took a tax class), the two are so interwoven it's crazy. So, while I hope to keep my "couple of clients", let's see what else I can do...

That brought me to considering medical transcription. I've seen so many ads for medical transcription, that I begain to think it must be a scam or something. And some of the ads could have been. But the field itself is legit. I've talked with a few people with medical jobs and done a lot of research on the Internet. Now I have signed up for a course, and I'm very optimistic about pursing this. I'll let you know how it goes. If you have any personal insights, please pass them along.

Onto the pets. You'll remember that we recently named a hummingbird who has adopted our yard. Kylene is still doing well, but I expect her to head south soon. Last Friday night, though, was the Fall Festival at Tim's former school. Since this was the first year he didn't have to work it, we took the boys and simply attended. Colton arrived intent on winning fish. We found the booth that was giving fish away as prizes. He got 5 balls to throw at a bucket. For every shot he made, he would win a fish. But he missed all 5 shots. Naturally, Eli wanted to play since his brother did. Being smaller, he got to stand behind a piece tape that was closer to the bucket. He made 2 of his shots! Colton seemed to take it well from the very beginning, and Eli generously agreed that Colton could have one of them. So now we have 2 goldfish: a gray one named Nemo and an orange one named Yoda. The boys were spending the night with Memaw that night anyway, but Tim and I were up quite late as we headed for the pet store and Wal-Mart to buy a fish tank, fish food, and all the accessories we would need. We had already decided that if these two went belly-up, we would let the boys just go pick out some more fish. So far they are doing very well and actually seem happy in their new home.

Don't forget:
  • I still have bracelets for $8.
  • We have cut the price of the pizza card from $10 to $5. (Remember, you could easily save over $200 with these cards.)

Friday, September 19, 2008

One Step at a Time

The other day I was watching Adoption Stories. Colton came in, mentioned Keely and Maggie, and asked me who gave them their names. I said that we had chosen them. He said, "Well, what are their real names?" I told him I didn't know. As he left the room, he said, "Who knows? Maybe they're twins." I sat looking after him a moment and thought, "I hadn't really thought of that. Could be."

You know, I realize that the current economic situation in our country has affected probably everyone. Sometimes I think we really picked a bad time to try to raise or even save the money to do this, but I figure there is a reason that this is our time. After all, all of those kids around the world aren't going to just stop being orphans until there are more families adopting again.

On a deeper note, as much as I feel the need to adopt, I often find myself caught in a neverending list of questions that are supposed to pass as my prayer time. Why is fundraising being so difficult? Do you really think we can do this? Now or maybe later? Bulgaria or maybe you meant somewhere else? I felt confident with each decision when we made it, but when those decisions don't lead to a bunch of open doors, I start second guessing myself. Maybe I missed something. Maybe I misunderstood the details. Maybe we've got some part of this heading down the wrong path. I start asking God for answers. "Just tell me...clearly...without question what you want me to do." I think the problem is that I'm wanting the big picture, and God wants me to focus on the next step only and trust Him for the rest.

Let me illustrate this from my own day (any day) with Colton. We sit down to do a math lesson. (It could be any subject.) I open the book to today's worksheet. Colton starts flipping the pages to see what is on the next page...10 pages later. "Colton, don't worry about what's next. Just focus on what's in front of you." We sit down to read science. He asks, "What are we going to after science?" "Um. Math I guess." "Are we going to Memaw's after lunch?" "Honey! Please just focus on science right now. Don't worry about what we are doing later."

I was thinking tonight that maybe I should listen to myself a little more closely. "Lord, do You want us to do this or that? If this, do You want it this way or that way. You know, it would be cool if we blah, blah, blah." "Libby, honey, quit worrying about what to do next. Just take care of the task I have placed in front of you. You can't get to the next step without this task anyway. Trust me."

On to new "stuff"...I am looking into taking a course in medical transcription. I've done some research into it, and I've talked with a few people in the medical field. So far, everything sounds promising. I'm not looking for "get rich working from home," but I would love to get beyond thinking about gas and food prices. Besides, as I've probably mentioned before, we fall short of qualifying to adopt 2 children since I stopped baby-sitting. The added income would not only qualify us for both girls, but it would help us save for expenses as well. If you know someone who is a transcriptionist or uses a transcriptionist, ask them to send me all the info they know.

Current efforts to raise money...
  • Throw a party
  • Bracelets ($8)
  • Pizza cards ($5 now)
  • Bookkeeping job for Libby
  • Transcription of any kind for Libby

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We're still here

Wow. Has it really been that long since I updated my blog? I guess things just got busy. Let's see, we are all working hard being back at school. That keeps us all plenty busy. School is going well for Colton and me. As I mentioned before, it takes up a lot more time for 1st grade than it did for kindergarten...but it is time very well spent. We went to the library last week, and the kids loved it. Eli got his own library card. As we were leaving, he was holding and admiring his new card and said, "I never thought you'd get me a liberry card." I guess he's been waiting all 3 years of his life for this moment. Tim is liking his new school and situation for the most part. (It is still school, after all.)

We also had major issues with our 18 month-old water heater. Tim decided to take a few minutes to drain it so he could replace the drain valve at the bottom. (See, it came with no threads to attach a hose for draining, and we didn't notice until it was installed and filled. Who'd think you had to check something like that!) Anyway, the old valve refused to come off. Tim spent all day trying to drain it (it had filled with sediment again), and finally had to have a plumber come out on a Saturday (of Labor Day weekend) to remove the valve. After a LOT of effort, he gave up as well. With the water heater drained and the valve partially off, we had to leave the water turned off to the house and move to my in-laws' until Tim could call the company on Tuesday (Labor Day weekend, remember?). He finally got us all fixed up by late Tuesday night with yet another brand new water heater.

Colton almost has a pet. Since we have been studying birds in science, I bought 2 bird feeders. I put one with seed in the front yard, and a hummingbird feeder with sugar water in the back yard. Almost immediately we had hummingbirds. One little female in particular has staked claim to our feeder. She spends most of the day perched on the wire around Tim's tomato plants or in a nearby tree. Anytime another hummingbird heads for the feeder, she chases it off. Colton has named her Kyleen (Kylene?), and we've all had a lot of fun watching her.

Oh, a note about the pizza cards. Since they do have a 1 year expiration date (and we are a little less than that now), we're selling them for $5 each. This is a good time to get some cheap stocking stuffers.

On the adoption topic, we don't have a lot new. We're still working on paperwork. I've got to schedule our physicals soon and gather some official documents. We haven't been in a super huge hurry because we are still waiting for a little more money to come in first. Once we have the home study complete, though, we can start applying for grants. I do have a few fundraisers in the planning stages, so stay tuned. I understand that a lot of people still do not understand why we want to adopt, especially since we already have kids. On the one hand, I'd like to argue that no one questioned why we had Eli when we already had Colton. Had we chosen to get pregnant again, would we be facing resistance? Why is this any different? Just because we have chosen to combine our desire for a larger family with the need of two children without a home. Is that so terrible? Anyway, stepping down from my soapbox, let me recommend the show Adoption Stories. I don't think it comes on regularly but rather in spurts, and I think it comes on Discovery Health. It has been so cool seeing families united with their children. Sometimes it has been sad to see the conditions at the orphanages. I think of Keely and Maggie, and I pray that they are in comfortable conditions with caretakers who actually care about them, not just for them. Then I still pray that they won't have to stay there much longer.