Bored or Busy?

It seems that every time there is a delay in my posting on this blog it is either because there is not much happening around here or there is just too much going on.  In this case, it is the latter rather than the former.  Things have been so busy that I can now barely believe that it is Friday.  What happened to this whole week?  Well, let’s start from the top and see where we go with this recap.

The “Greystone Gathering” at our house on Saturday went well.  We had a fairly good sized turnout (about 20-30 people), but unfortunately, there was only 1 new couple that attended from the gathering that we held at around the same time last year.  This when we likely have at least 10+ families that we have yet to meet.  The weather for the event was OK, for the first hour it was very humid and foggy, then it rained for about 5 minutes and everyone crammed into our garage (where the gathering was held), then the sun came out and the temperature seemed to shoot to 90 degrees almost instantly.  Everyone that was there seemed to have a good time which was great because that is what these gatherings are all about.

This entire work-week I have been just consumed with work at JSU.  I am a member of the Faculty Senate at JSU (like the government at JSU – members are elected by their departments) and I missed the last meeting of the year back in May because I was in Thailand.  Unfortunately for me, during that meeting I was elected to the Executive Committee.  Yikes!  This means more meetings and more responsibilities throughout the year.  Just what I needed.  Take that with all of the other projects that I am working on and spare time just seems to disappear.  Oh yeah, I have three classes this semester to teach as well – 2 of which that are taught entirely online in which I have students that seem to expect that I answer the questions that I get e-mailed to me immediately at all times of the day, 7 days a week.  Never mind the fact that I usually do – I have been going to work at JSU by 4:00 every morning this week, not because I love going into work, but just so that I can keep my head above water.  One of the exciting projects that I have been working on over the past two weeks is securing a contract for Sup to teach at JSU for this coming spring semester.  Everything that I hear has been positive so far, so both Sup and I are optimistic about this happening.  I will let you know how this progresses.

Jet has had a rough time this week with her allergies and job rejection letters.  Her allergies have started to flare up pretty good these past few days, but it was only yesterday (Thursday) that she was finally able to get an appointment with the doctor and get an allergy shot.  Jet has also been applying for several jobs, some that she was sure that she would at least get an interview for, but so far has only experienced rejection.  She is obviously frustrated and gives her just cause to resent living here.  I try to keep her thinking positive, to not look at it as having been rejected for jobs for well over a year now but instead look at it as only the start of a two-week process (since the time we arrived back home).  I also tried summoning some inspirational wisdom from Randy Pausch telling Jet to be thankful for “brick walls” as they are only there to prove how badly you want something.  (By the way, the Randy Pausch “Last Lecture” is perhaps one of the best I have ever watched … take an hour and view it yourself… it will make your week!)  Unfortunately, those inspirational words just made Jet angry (something likely lost in translation) and was only like adding gasoline to the fire.  I just keep telling Jet to have patience and perseverance … advice I am living every day.

Ben has been a wild one the past week, but has really been a joy to be around.  Donald and Linda (“paw paw” and “mee maw”) seem to keep buying new toys for Ben and he just loves them and the toys for it.  Ben loves running around, playing with toys, tossing the toys around, rolling around in the grass (some times with “paw paw” too!), and testing his limits (like going into “mee maw’s” flower bed when he knows that he shouldn’t).  Probably the best line I have heard since we have been back was Linda lamenting, “It’s funny how you don’t have to teach him how to be a boy.”  How true.  Oh, how so true.  But we are very thankful that Ben has been feeling great and has been eating great.  I love it when Ben gets the chance to play with our neighbor’s Chris and Lorie son Dax (who is two months younger than Ben) because it seems that is the one time I see Ben calm down – at least compared to Dax.  But both those boys have such a good time playing together.  Chris and Lorie brought out a “Power Wheels” VW Beetle that Ben could not get enough of.  Anytime Ben was in the car, he had his foot fully down on the “gas” and never took it off.  Jet is trying to talk us into getting a “Power Wheels” vehicle for Ben to have for himself.  Even though EVERY kid in Alabama seems to have one, I think Ben has plenty of toys to keep him busy as it is.  Besides, what kind of precedence would this set?  Getting Ben every toy imaginable.

So finally, a chance to look ahead.  Today we will be leaving for Nashville (3 hour drive) after lunch.  I have an Aussie Rules game against the Nashville Kangaroos (playing with the Atlanta Kookaburras) tomorrow at 2:00pm.  I talked Jet into coming along with Ben so that I wouldn’t be alone.  I don’t know if we will get much sightseeing in, well, at least as much as we did for our last trip to Nashville, but we surely will get plenty of shopping in.  Our hotel (again) is right next to the Grand Ole Opry and the Opry Mills shopping mall.  Hopefully this will be a lot of fun.  Also looking ahead, in just three weeks Dad will be here.  I don’t know if he has contacted anyone about being dropped off and/or picked up from the airport, but we will need some help there.  Dad has said that he will make a stop at Usinger’s and Karl’s Country Market before his flight, so we are very excited about this.  Dad’s annual trip to Alabama takes place once again during Oxfordfest and again this year, I will be helping out at the lodge selling whole Boston Butt slow-cooked BBQ.  This year I will buy a lot of extra BBQ so that Dad can bring a few ziploc bags full back to Milwaukee for you all to have.  If the BBQ is anything like it was last year, I can guarantee that you will not be disappointed!

Finally, Happy Birthday Kristin!  Good luck (Sandy too) with the firefighter challenge this weekend!

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One Response to “Bored or Busy?”

  1. Stephanie Says:

    Hello Andy, Jet, & Ben,
    I am finally 12 weeks today, but still struggling w/feeling sick. (Not actually being sick too much though.)
    Wow – the food at Kristin’s party was really good. Unfortunately between her party and the party for my niece Lydia – I definitely overate and paid for it last night. My tummy hurt, but I did not feel sick or get sick. But man, that food was good.
    So what classes are you teaching this semester? I keep wondering if I would ever take an on-line class from you. I still would like to get my masters in computer programming education, but that will be on hold for a bit now considering our growing family.
    Hi Jet. Trust me. In the end you will be thankful that you get the job that you are suppose to have. Obviously, the rough part is having the patience to endure and wait for the right job. In the mean time, enjoy Ben a bit more. They grow so fast.
    Love you all,
    Stephanie

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