Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Lutheran Carnival XVI

Make sure to visit my husband's blog and the latest edition of the Lutheran Carnival! Lots of great posts to read, all written by compelling authors – at least in my opinion.

Monday, January 23, 2006

I'm teaching again, and have some great students!

I recently started teaching American Sign Language classes again at my church. Most of the students who attended in the fall semester have returned to continue their studies in the same book, and I've got a few people who've decided to begin their studies with me in a beginning class.

Of course, the second-level class wouldn't be a challenge unless I actually gave them assignments that forced them to utilize what they've learned. So, Thursday, I had them pair up, ask questions of their partners (in sign language), and introduce their partners to the rest of the class (in sign language). They had to use a combination of fingerspelling, signed-word recollection, expressive and receptive skills to complete the assignment. And they all did very well!

I'm really proud of the students I have had and have now. They're learning so well! I'm just hoping they increase their practice time and dedication, because without practice, recall is more difficult, and therefore, it is more difficult to know how to get out the words and phrases they want to use.

Also, an older deaf man who's visited our church several times returned yesterday, just in time for a pot-luck lunch. I spent some time talking with him, and I know he enjoys that because there aren't too many people he socializes with who know how to talk with him. He just turned 82, and walks everywhere he goes. I don't think he goes too far.

Anyway, I'm enjoying these students, and enjoying the opportunity I'm getting to use the sign language I've learned over the last decade.

[Note: Edited for content.]

Thursday, January 19, 2006

What ever happened to self respect?

I know that this world is full of sin and sinners, and that temptations haunt us at every turn, but we don't always do a very good job of avoiding those temptations. In fact, there are some people who willingly seek out those sinful deeds. In my opinion, the worst of those are (and sometime start with) those which hurt their own bodies, and can consequently hurt those around them.

I'm sure most people had those talks in school about sex and sexually transmitted diseases and how important it is not to smoke, drink or do drugs, but the reality is that a lot of people purposely seek out those vices without thought as to how to protect themselves.

I had long decided that I was going to save myself for whomever I married, because I believed that to give my husband my untouched body was the greatest wedding present I could possibly give him. And it was. It was also the best gift he gave me.

When I was in eighth grade, a friend of mine started dating a young man whom she said was a gang member from California. One day, she called me up asking about what our science teacher told us about using condoms. I warned her not to sleep with this guy, but she was insistent, so I told her to make sure she used a condom. Well, she did . . . a couple of times, but not every time. She got an STD.

I've always been very sensitive to cigarette smoke, to the point that if it's in the air around me, I start coughing, choking, and my eyes water and sting, and the only think I can do is get out where the air is fresher. So when some of my friends started smoking, I couldn't hang out with them anymore because the smell of the smoke on their clothes would trigger my reaction.

In high school, I wasn't popular because I didn't smoke, drink or do drugs. Only those who did were popular, and those like me who didn't were disrespected. I wasn't invited to any party that wasn't a birthday party thrown by the parents of one of my friends, but I didn't care because I didn't want to be one of those people. I cared more about myself than that.

Do I regret not experimenting with those worldly vices? No. And you know why? Because I know that God wants us to treat our bodies with respect. They aren't ours; they belong to Him. We're only "renting" them for the duration of our lives on this Earth.

In church last Sunday, our Epistle came from Corinthians 6:12-20 (from the ESV):
"All things are lawful for me," but not all things are helpful. "All things are lawful for me," but I will not be enslaved by anything. "Food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food" – and God will destroy both one and the other. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, "The two will become one flesh." But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with Him.

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

I am continually surprised at how corrupt the youth of our country have become. When I was a freshman in high school, I remember a girl on my bus talking about how she slept with a boy and knew before she did that he wouldn't call her afterwards, but she didn't care. And I know that kids younger than high school-age are sleeping around, smoking, doing drugs, drinking . . . What else are they doing, and why?

Here is my opinion, taken from my own observations: It is becoming more common for both parents to work all day long, or for children to live with only one parent because of a divorce, and that parent has to work all the time. Parents don't spend enough time with their children to know what they're doing, and they don't have the guts to take a stand against their bad behavior.

Is it because those parents were not disciplined when they were young, and therefore don't know how to discipline their own kids? I suppose that's entirely possible. Being a parent means that you have a young life to guide and shape and mold into a responsible, self-sufficient adult. But there are a lot of adults out there having kids who aren't responsible or self-sufficient, themselves! What are they doing having kids? Oh, yeah. I forgot. Promiscuity is an acceptable thing nowadays, and birth control is taken with a grain of salt, with no regard for the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease or getting pregnant.

You know what, though? This is totally unacceptable! Especially for Christians. We as Christians need to take a stand against this kind of behavior. We need to find a way to keep our children so busy they don't have time to get into trouble. We need to make sure they have positive role models who will steer them away from the evil vices such as sex, drugs, smoking and drinking, and will teach them to respect themselves. Of course, parents should be the ones to do this, but if they're working all the time and don't have the time to get to know their own kids (isn't that a sad situation!), they need to find someone who does and will.

There's something to be said for stay-at-home moms (and dads, as the case may be). When kids know that they have a parent who's always there for them and who isn't afraid to set boundaries to guide, mold and shape them, they're less likely to act out. The possibility drops more when those same kids are involved in after-school activities. Try martial arts, scouting, dance, sports, anything that allows them to interact with other youth their age and expend energy. The more active they are in positive environments, the better their attitudes will be and the less likely they will be to get involved with people who turn to those evil vices mentioned before.

It's just like getting a puppy who isn't totally housebroken. You have to be there to make sure you can train that puppy to do his business outside, make sure he doesn't chew up your brand new shoes or paper or trash, and you have to make sure he's fed. You wouldn't get a non-housebroken puppy and leave him alone in your house all day everyday unsupervised, would you? Well, if you don't plan to be around to take care of your children to make sure they're guided and molded in the right way, why would you assume they'll turn out just fine? Aren't you afraid they'll end up messing up their minds and bodies because you weren't there to show them how to respect themselves and others? It's the same thing.

And we wonder why our country's youth are acting so stupid and disrespectful and get into trouble all the time. Do we really have to wonder?

Now, I'm not saying I'm perfect. I'm not by a long shot. But I plan to be there for our kids when we have them. I may even decide to homeschool them if I get the courage to do so. That way I can keep a better eye on their growth and development without worrying that they're going to be doing things behind my back that I know will harm them in the long run. Kids will be kids, but a watchful parent is better than a nonobservant one.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

"Thanks, but no thanks."

In yesterday's mail, I received a letter from the place I'd interviewed where I thought I'd done really well. A letter in the mail is never a really good sign. It read as follows:

"Thank you for interviewing with us for the position of Communications Health Coordinator for ___ County. We appreciated the opportunity to meet with you and learn about your career goals.

"While we had a number of applicants for the County Relations position, your skills and abilities were impressive and made you one of our finalists. As well, you presented yourself very well in the interview. We have, however, offered the position to another candidate who has more direct experience relative to this position. . ."

I'm going to try tomorrow to get in touch with the main lady who was conducting my interview to see how close I came to getting the job, and to see what I could have done better or what kind of experience I was lacking, or whatever. I think she'd be honest enough to tell me. I also want to ask her if she would recommend me to whomever may have an opening that I might be qualified for. Who knows? She might.

I was really hoping for this one. I guess it just wasn't meant to be, otherwise God would have allowed it to happen.

I'm not giving up until I find the position I'm meant for. I know God will lead me there. It's just a matter of being patient enough and of listening to Him. And also praying continually for it.

No Heresy Here! :)

You scored as Chalcedon compliant. You are Chalcedon compliant. Congratulations, you're not a heretic. You believe that Jesus is truly God and truly man and like us in every respect, apart from sin. Officially approved in 451.

Chalcedon compliant




























Are you a heretic?
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Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Well, today's interview didn't go as well as it should have in order to get me a second interview, I'm sure. There are several people interviewing for this position, and I think they're interviewing them back-to-back almost, because I interviewed right after another young lady.

I'm not too excited about this job anyway because it pays thousands less per year than the job I interviewed for yesterday, and I felt really, really good about my interview yesterday.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Interview went really well!

Except for arriving a few minutes late to my interview (I didn't realize I'd have to hunt for a parking space in a parking garage), I believe my interview went really well this afternoon.

Four people were present with a list of intense questions with which to interview me for this "newly created" position. Each one of them works in a different area of the communications division of the County office building, so they all had various questions that related this position to the work they do. Many of the questions were introduced by two or three sentences to give the "set up". I think they were impressed with my answers. I know I was. At times, I was wondering who was talking while my mouth was flapping! :)

Anyway, at one point, the discussion was light enough that I got my interviewers lauging. Actually, that happened a couple of times! (I think they liked me.)

My next interview is tomorrow morning at 10:00. If I get that position, the pay won't be nearly as good as the position for which I interviewed today, but we could live with it. The work will be pretty similar, which is good because I liked the job descriptions!

As always, I'll let you know if I actually get a job offer. Thank you for your prayers.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Some work would be a blessing...

Today, I got phone calls from two different companies who set up appointments for me to interview for new positions! That means I've got a total of three interviews this month so far, two of which are this week! I've got one tomorrow at 2:25 p.m. and another Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. My third interview is on Wed, Jan. 25.

A former employer of mine, for whom I interned in 2001-2, told me that for the places I scored interviews, a lot of people don't get interviews. She told me they must have been impressed with the information they saw in my online applications and on my resumes. She is also writing a letter of recommendation for me. Since she's a pillar of the community, her recommendation will go a long way.

As a contrast to the title of this post, my husband has been at work since 7:30 this morning and is still there at 7:45 p.m., with no idea of when he will get off and be able to come home. He and his co-workers are trying to finish a 600-page report for the FAA, and they are only about half-way done. The good thing is that since he hasn't already turned in his hours for the week, he can make sure he gets time off to make up for the extra time he's spending at work, something that doesn't always happen.

Oooh! Maybe he can take off early on Friday (or have enough extra hours to take the day off altogether)!

Anyway, I'll post again after my respective interviews to let you know how I think they went. One of these positions that I scored an interview for is one that I applied for online about two months ago. I really didn't think they'd call me. They get thousands of applicants for various positions every week, I'm sure. It's a huge company, and if I get the job, I'll be one of probably a hundred people or more who do the same kind of work in different departments throughout the company.

Okay. I'll stop blabbing now. I'll start again after my interview tomorrow.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Congratulations are in order!

You absolutely must visit Rob, Devona and Olivia at their blog! THEY'RE EXPECTING ANOTHER BABY! Congratulations to the Braziers! This wonderful family of three is soon to be four. God is very good.

Blessings to you all! We look forward to seeing this pregnancy documented on your blog like your last one was with Olivia. Oh! Congratulations to Olivia, too! She's going to be a big sister!

Here we go again!

Before I can even find out if I got a second interview with the last place I interviewed, I got a call this morning from a county employee who said they want to interview me for a position I'd applied online for!

This interview is Tuesday at 2:25 p.m. (CST) in the County Manager's office. Hopefully one of these positions will work out for me. Please pray for me!

I'll let you know what happens.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Judge Judy

I like to watch court shows, especially Judge Judy. The reason I love Judge Judy so much is because she likes to yell at people and call them out on their BS. She likes to say things like "On your best day, you're not as smart as I am on my worst day," and "You're an idiot!" She's also been known to ask people if they have any kids and then tell them they'd better never have any because they're too stupid.

There have been a few times when people from my city have appeared on her show to settle disputes, too. Only once have I even seen a preview of a case in which I recognized one of the people in the suit. I never did see the actual case.

Recently, someone I know (who shall remain nameless) was contacted by one of Judge Judy's producers to appear on her court show. The case, however, is one that requires some level of sensitivity, so they will not be on her show. That's fine with me. More than fine, actually.

I don't think I'd want to be on her court show either... unless I was so much in the right that I could be assured that the other person would be the object of Judge Judy's wrath. But that's not the right attitude anyway.

When my husband is home at a time when Judge Judy is on, he likes to watch it with me for the sheer thrill of watching stupid people being called out on their inability to think rationally. Why else would the Terrible Swede watch a court show? Afterall, his favorite shirt is one that says "I see dumb people." (I got it for him for his birthday one year!)

I'm going to try something different.

I went to my water aerobics class this morning (it meets from 6-7 a.m.), and I noticed that I'm always in a better mood after I've had a good workout, so I'm going to try to blog in the mornings after I have a good workout so maybe my posts will be more interesting and upbeat.

Maybe it's the kinds of things we do in the water that gets me into my daily smile. Exercises called the "backscratcher" and a young instructor who's always saying "I want to see those toes! Splash me in the nose with your toes!" She's funny. There's usually only about ten of us, most are senior citizens, but we got a couple of younger ladies in class this morning, closer to my age.

You know, at one time last year, there was a young man who was lifeguarding during our class, and he would always stare at me, probably because I was the only one in the pool who was even slightly close to his age. I know he wasn't thinking "Wow, she's gorgeous!" because I don't wear makeup in the pool (for obvious reasons). Let's face it, I don't look so good without makeup. I won't even leave my apartment without it unless I'm going to the YMCA to work out.

Anyway, at that time, I had another swimsuit that I wore, and the neckline was low enough that I could tell what he was looking at. Every time my instructor, Michelle, would have us jumping around, she'd say "Let me see those belly buttons!" I would always try to stay far back in the pool and not jump so high because that lifeguard would practically have his jaw on the floor looking at me!

I thought, you know what? I'm going to talk about my husband more. Maybe then he'll get the message that I'm not available. Nope. Didn't work. I couldn't believe it after a class when I was talking about my husband in about every other sentence, I got out to walk back to the locker room, and he smiled and waved at me in a flirty way! I couldn't believe it! What kind of moral person tries to hit on a married person!

Not that he wasn't cute or anything, but I was trying so hard to keep him from staring at me as if he was salivating over some delicious meal!

Finally, he mentioned his last name and what suburb of Wichita he lives in. I said, "Are you related to such-and-such person on that town's city council?" He said, "Yeah... That's my dad!" I said, "Really? I used to report on their city council meetings all the time. He's a nice guy." I think that threw him off enough that he wanted to be more careful because he knew that I knew who his dad was, and his dad knew who I was.

Although, he didn't calm down the staring too much, he ended up being asked to lifeguard at another YMCA in town. It was totally unrelated, though.

Sometimes I wonder what he would have done if he'd seen me with my husband there. Or what he would have said or done if he'd ever seen me with makeup on. My husband would have kicked his ass if he'd seen that lifeguard staring at me like that! Shoot, I wanted to kick his ass! There were actually times when I thought, "Can't he see that I'm short and overweight?" I mean, I'm not huge, but I'm not as thin as I was in high school, you know? Maybe he's one of those guys who likes that sort of thing. Either way, it frustrated the heck out of me.

Anyway, lately, we've had a female lifeguard, and fortunately, she's not the kind to stare at other women. Whew!

So, what do you think? Is my posting better in the mornings after my workout? More interesting and upbeat? Yeah, baby! Wahoo!! Let's go! I'm ready to rock! (*put on my Pink cd and rock out*) I oughta put a picture on my blog of me rocking out sometime... :D

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Whatever it takes

Yesterday, at my husband's suggesting, I contacted a former employer who invited me to a luncheon and meeting with the Wichita Professional Communicators. Fortunately, I was able to network with several people, and was given a membership application so I can continue to attend the meetings and events.

I proudly handed out a new resume to a few people I was lucky enough to catch, but a lady who's been helping me in my job search told me later that it may make my job history a little fuzzy and confusing. She said she'd help me, so I e-mailed her both versions of my resume to see if she can help me make it dazzle.

This WILL be the year for change. My job search is leaving me weary and frustrated. The job market is only good for those who can do retail and sales work on their feet, which eliminates me from the pool of possible hires.

If you have any suggestions for me, please let me know. I'm wearing thin with each inquiry that goes unanswered. One of the positions I sent my resume in for only responded with a letter in the mail saying they'd hired someone else. Others never responded at all.

I know I ask for prayers often, but believe me when I say I need them.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I should have done this earlier

THE LUTHERAN CARNIVAL IS UP AT INTOLERANT ELLE!!! Wahoooo!!! Thank you, Elle, for hosting this edition of the carnival. Hope your houseguest is enjoying Alaska, too!