Monday, August 24, 2009

Miscellaneous Happenings . . .

Just a quick update of what we've been up to here on Belly Acre Farm.

1. We're officially sick of zucchini. Need some? It's yours!

2. Sweet corn is on and at its prime. Hubby has sold some at work, we've given some away, and most of the family (all but me) have been eating it.

3. I'm doing low-carb (South Beach) again. And it's working. In four weeks I've lost over 6 pounds. For me, that's amazing. And now I know where my near-constant water retention was coming from -- carbs. No carbs, no puffiness. Aaaah! (P.S. I've cheated a time or two, but I'm not going to quit what works.)

4. I'm reading "Build your own web site the right way using HTML and CSS." When I'm finished I'll create a website to market "Don't Let the Stuff You Leave Behind Destroy Your Family," an amazing estate booklet written by Hubby's uncle, Ken Hansen.

5. I've canned 21 pints of baby dill pickles.

6. School started. After the shortest summer on record. (Where DID the time go?!)

7. By this time next week I'll have climbed the Wellsville mountains, or I'll have died trying.

8. Lou is playing competitive soccer.

9. Beans has started ice skating lessons.

10. I've got all my paperwork ready for submitting when I go for my substituting teaching interview with Kelly Education Services on Tuesday next week.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Back to School -- Back on the golf team

Just a little note about how much I've enjoyed school shopping with my kids this year. Actually, I haven't gone with my son yet. Probably because he's been consumed with making his high school golf team. Try-outs were Monday and Wednesday with the team posting listed Wednesday after 6 PM. Bug made the team! The coach also posted the eight players who would play in their first tournament TODAY. Bug made the 7th place tourney cut. He was stoked, as he was the only Sophomore to make it to the tourney.

But the big news is ... of the 32 players entered in the tourney, Bug took 5th! And his team placed first! There was only one other teammate who scored better than Bug. He hopes that means that he'll also be attending another golf tournament on Monday. (Only 5 players per team.) What a great start to the golf season.

In back-to-school shopping news, I've decided that going to multiple stores looking for shoes, capris, shirts, binders, markers, etc. is actually fun. It's a great chance to spend time with my daughters, to get to find out what their interests and tastes are. To get to reminisce about the good-old-days of my youth. (Dinosaur era.) And to catch their excitement about another year of school.

Bug and Lou successfully went through their schools' registration processes. Bug wanted me to go with him (as he was registering on the Junior's day due to golf try-outs), but Loula Belle just went with her friend from next door. After Bug and I were done and back to the car, he said, "I don't really like all the crowds and people."

"Well, I do," I replied.

"I know. I could tell," he said. "You get all chatty and hyper, talking with everyone and smiling your head off."

I guess he has me figured out. I really do get a kick being around lots of people. Plus I think that part of it is being in the school environment. It just gives me a buzz. Which means that I'll probably enjoy my foray into substitute teaching. And as of this moment, I'm planning to get my certificate current this year (maybe take a class Spring semester) and possibly apply to teach school. That's the plan, anyway.

I did a little quick calculating and figured out that we only have 3 more summers until Bug goes on a two-year mission. And in another eight years all my children will be through high school. Time doesn't march on so much as it goes at a dead sprint. I'm going to try to enjoy each little joy while I've still got my kids at home!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Letter of Recommendation . . .

I'm applying to be a substitute teacher and as part of the application process, I need two letters of recommendation. One came from the editor who I freelance for at my local newspaper, and another came from a past co-work who also happens to be a close friend. I got such a boost from reading these letters that I decided that it would be fun to return the favor for my friend and write her one. She might be a bit embarrassed to see her fine qualities blatantly praised on this blog, so I'm going to call her Tricia Brown.

Letter of Recommendation for Tricia Brown

To Whom it May Concern:

I would like to recommend Tricia Brown to you as the ideal candidate to fill any position. She is the full package. Not only is she a gifted listener, but she’s also adept at applying her experiences and knowledge to the information she’s heard and then coming up with realistic and successful solutions. She’s a caring and compassionate problem solver. Her plans for action are always well-conceived and practical. She considers all sides of an issue and always seems to find the ideal solution.

Work should be Tricia’s middle name. As a past co-worker, I noticed that Tricia was always busy with the task at hand. No loafing. No lally-gagging. Just honest, cheerful work. Her children have even noticed her work ethic. On a Mother’s Day survey it asked what their mother’s favorite thing to do was. One of her sons wrote, “Work.” Meaning, work around the house and yard.

Tricia knows how to get along well with others. She’s a people person extraordinaire! Her background in psychology has no doubt added to her people skills, but I believe that her native qualities of friendliness and compassion play an important role as well. She is a natural leader. Because she holds herself to high standards, her example encourages those around her to do their very best. She leads with cheerful encouragement and a can-do attitude.

As a manager, Tricia runs a tight ship. This can be seen in how she fulfills her duties as the Brown Family Manager. Despite the many financial demands of raising five children on one income, she keeps the balance sheet in the black. She recognizes her children as individuals and works with their unique personalities to help them learn and achieve their potential. Tricia is proactive. If she notices something needs to be done, be it big or small, she sees that it gets done. She delegates age-appropriate duties to children to help them develop life skills that will serve them well into adulthood. She supports her husband in his ecclesiastical duties and scholarly advancement. Tricia is the glue that holds her family together.

In addition to the abilities and gifts listed above, Tricia also has a talent for making and keeping friends. Somehow the circle of her influence always seems to have room for one more friend. She has an infinite capacity for loyalty, sharing and fun. I’ve enjoyed my association with Tricia as a past co-worker and neighbor, but I’m most proud to call her my friend.


Christie Hansen
Hansen Family Manager