Praises, The Husband

CAM Consulting

During his last month with the Jacksonville Jaguars, a coworker referred him to an Accounting Manager job with SMG, the organization that manages the stadium where the Jaguars play, as well as many other venues in the Jacksonville area. SMG is actually a nationwide company that manages venues in most major cities. Their Jacksonville office is at Veteran’s Arena, just down the block from the Jaguar Stadium.

After three interviews with SMG, he was offered the position last week. However, Carl did not feel that the salary was commensurate with his experience so he turned it down.

Plus there are two extenuating circumstances…

  1. Due to an NFL regulation, since Carl worked for the NFL for over 15 years and is currently over 55 years of age, we are eligible for the NFL “early retiree” health insurance plan. What that means is that we can continue to have health insurance at the current rate offered to employees until Carl is eligible for Medicare at 65 as long as he does not become a full-time employee with another company. Our current rate is $260/month for our family (it will go down after Zack ages out of our plan at 26 years)! That’s a hard rate to beat and we hate to give it up. Because if Carl takes a full-time job with another corporation and decides to only work 5-6 more years, we would then have to get private insurance to cover us until Medicare kicked in, which is typically over a thousand dollars a month. We’d really like to find a way to keep our NFL plan until Medicare!
  2. Carl has a lead on an independent contractor position for a job that he is very interested in and thinks he would like very much. However, it will most likely be at least a month before they are ready to start talking specifics and Carl knows more about that job.

And then earlier this week, SMG contacted Carl to see if he would like to work for them as an independent contractor for a few months on a project they have. It was a perfect solution! So Carl is now working full-time for SMG for a few months, which will buy him some time to figure out what he wants to do after that….he’s hoping that he will have more information on that other job or SMG may continue to utilize his services on other projects as well. In any case, we get to continue with our NFL health insurance for now, Carl is working full-time and he has more time to figure out what’s next.

We love the way God answered our prayers and provided for our family in just the way that we needed. God is so good!

 

 

Florida Life, The Family, The Relatives

Mom’s Visit 2019

Last week, after bringing mom back to Jacksonville, our friends, Cathy and Bruce, invited us all over for appetizers and cocktails while watching the sunset from their beautiful home on the St. John’s River.

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Cathy didn’t want to be in any photos ūüė¶

Cathy and Bruce are amazing hosts who open their home twice a month for our church home group of up to 25 people each time, since they are the only ones with space to accommodate that sized crowd! And Cathy is always so considerate to prepare special keto (low-carb) snacks for us….how sweet to have friends like that!

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It was a beautiful, relaxing evening with good friends and God’s glory on display.

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We are grateful for such great friends!

We also were able to take mom down to Flagler Beach on Saturday to visit our former next-door neighbors at their beach house.

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Susan and Bill Dailey

After meeting them at their home, along with our current across-the-street neighbors, Bill and Dedie, we all walked up to the bar on the pier for Happy Hour.

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While enjoying our cocktails, we were visited by dolphins swimming by, so that was very exciting for mom.

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After walking to a local restaurant for dinner outside with live music playing, we returned to Bill and Susan’s house for some karaoke fun! The Bills and Carl did most of the singing but Susan and I had fun being back-up dancers for many songs. It was another great time with fun friends, although we sure wore Bill and Dedie out.

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Some other things during mom’s visit, included a few games nights with Zack,

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…a rainy afternoon spent watching an Iron Man marathon with Margaritas for Cinco De Mayo,

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…an afternoon matinee to watch Avengers: End Game,

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….and lots of floating around the pool!

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Mom is a low-key, easy guest who is grateful to just enjoy the Miklas Resort! We are happy to have her with us and wish that she would move down to Jacksonville. For somebody that enjoys the sun as much as mom, it seems like the perfect fit. If it wasn’t for those sweet little grandbabies back in Illinois, it would be a sure thing! Oh well. Until next time…thanks for coming, mom!

Florida Life, The Family, The Relatives, Traveling

Bradenton Trip

A few months ago, my mom asked me if I would be willing to pick her up in the Tampa area and bring her back to our house for a week’s visit. She was thinking of helping my brother’s wife, Lisa, fly to Tampa with her three young children, who was going to visit her parents, who have a home in Bradenton, FL, for a few weeks. Since I don’t get to see Lisa and the kids often and I haven’t even met my youngest niece (last time we visited them was July, 2018 when Lisa was pregnant with the youngest), who is now 9 months old, Carl and I decided we’d make a night of it and spend some time with them while they were generally in the area before bringing mom back to our house.

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Lisa’s parent’s house

After arriving at Lisa’s parent’s house and visiting for a while, we decided to head over to the pool to try and wear the kids out.

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Then Lisa’s parents made us all a great dinner and we were able to visit some more.

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Carl got to sharpen those grand-parenting skills by playing play-doh with the boys.

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After retreating to a hotel with mom for some peace and quiet and resting up for the night, we met up with Lisa, the kids, Lisa’s parents and Lisa’s aunt and uncle at the beach the next morning.

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We were able to get more time with the kids while we played in the sand and water.

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4-3/4 year old Robby
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2-year old, Max
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9-month old, Charlie (Charlotte)

All three of the kids were so cute, lovable and social. It was so nice to have some aunt and uncle time¬†since visits are few and far between.¬†We are grateful for the hospitality of Lisa’s family, who provided chairs, beach towels and a picnic lunch for us. It was a great visit!

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After lunch, Carl, mom and I headed out for the 4-hour drive back to Jacksonville. Thanks to traffic in the Orlando area, we actually got home about 5-1/2 hours later. Not fun! But it was worth it to see Lisa and the kids. We love them all and miss spending more time with them. Thank goodness for Facebook!

*This little road trip was how Carl spent his first two days of unemployment! He is officially unemployed now and waiting for just the right position. He did receive his first job offer this week (after three interviews with the same company) but declined it since it wasn’t what he really wanted to do. With three months of severance from the Jaguars, he is going to take his time and wait for just the right thing. It was a little nerve-raking for him to pass on an offer but we are trusting in the Lord and excited to see what He is going to provide!

 

Praises, The Kids

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!

No, not Carl…at least not yet! The search is still early though and positive things are happening. Carl has already gone on one interview, met with a headhunter and consulted with several other people with job leads. We are sure that something good is going to come.

It’s all the kids that have new jobs!

Zack:¬†After more than a year at the lumber yard, Zack is beginning an electrician apprenticeship with our friend from church, Russ (Russ is Carl’s diving buddy). Zack will be working alongside several electricians and learning the business and working on getting certified. It’s a long process that is expected to take several years¬†at least,¬†at minimum wage, but we are pleased with the positive direction that this career path can take Zack. Yay, Zack!

Anthony: Anthony accepted a 20-hour a week position as a Program Supervisor for Child & Family Service of O’ahu. According to the job description…

The Program Supervisor is responsible for managing the daily operations of the programs. Plans, organizes, coordinates, monitors, and evaluates the delivery of services and contracts assigned. Provides supervision to staff and assists in public relations.

Anthony will be in charge of anywhere from 3-12 program workers. Wow! 

Although this is only a 20-hour position (due to funding issues), there is tremendous potential for growth and other positions that Anthony will be able to move into with more experience. The pay is good and he will receive health insurance benefits. Since he and Kameko live with grandma Jane and don’t have mortgage/rent to pay, this position is doable. Plus it leaves them time to help care for grandma and get her to her appointments and do other things necessary for her care. Yay, Anthony!

Kelly: Kelly accepted a full-time position as a mental health therapist with Mental Health Systems in Minnesota, the clinic that she is interning with, beginning in May when her internship is complete. She will continue facilitating adolescent and adult DBT groups  (DBT is a specific therapy program utilized at her clinic) and providing individual psychotherapy. She will be making a good salary and receiving full benefits, including health insurance and 401k. The clinic will provide free supervision for the 4,000 required hours needed to become fully licensed in the state of MN (a big plus because some new therapists have to pay for supervision).  Kelly also plans on continuing her work as AuPair coordinator because she really enjoys it. Yay, Kelly!

We are so proud of each of the kids and how hard they have worked to get where they are. It is so exciting to see them being rewarded for their efforts. Good job, kiddos! We love you and are proud of you!

We are excited to see what God is going to bring Carl next!

Praises, Traveling

Sea Island Resort

You may remember a few years ago when Carl and I were blessed with a weekend getaway at the beautiful Sea Island Resort in Georgia, courtesy of the Jaguars. Before they gave him his notice, the Jaguars again offered us a weekend at this amazing resort so we of course took them up on it. Last time I stated that it was definitely the most expensive hotel that I have ever stayed in. And the one-room suite that we were gifted with this weekend was definitely the most expensive room I’ve ever stayed in, going for $899 per night.

I was really bad at taking photos this trip but I borrowed this from last time and marked our room that we were given this time. Our bedroom windows are to the left of the arrow tip and our balcony is to the right of the arrow tip.

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This was the view walking into our suite. It even had a powder room (not shown) to the right when you walked into the hallway.

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This was the living room.

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This was the bedroom.

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And this was the master bathroom and the deep soaker tub that I enjoyed each evening.

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This is the view from our balcony.

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Just like last time, they turned down the bed each night and gave chocolates and water bottles on the nightstand. They provided robes and slippers for use during the stay. Everyone called you by your name with a warm smile.

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We spent the weekend walking around St. Simons and nearby Brunswick, walking on the beach, and mostly just relaxing by the pool and reading. It was heavenly!

We are grateful for these blessings from the Lord and will miss the fun perks like this from the Jaguar organization. We are glad we got one last getaway while we could! Thanks Jaguars.

 

The Husband

April Fool’s Day Non-Joke!

After 15 years with the MN Vikings and not quite 5 years with the Jacksonville Jaguars, Carl’s 20-Year NFL career is coming to a close. Ironically, on April 1st, the Jaguars notified Carl that they will be terminating his position. Finances for the Jaguar Foundation will be absorbed into the team finance department and he is being eliminated.¬† When I texted our children and my mother on April 1st, all but Kelly (who forgot what day it was) thought that I was pulling an April Fool’s prank on them and didn’t want to believe that it was true.¬†Oh how we wish it were a joke!

He will continue to work until May 1st. And then they will give him 8 weeks severance pay. And then he is out of a job.

It is not a total surprise that this has happened. We have joked that Carl is “semi-retired” and gets a full-time salary for a part-time job. The responsibilities have been minimal and the hours needed to complete the job have been way less than full-time. So despite asking for other responsibilities to assist with the Foundation and trying to get involved in other areas, they have gone in a different direction. It is a bummer but it has been too good to last.

We are trusting in God to bring a new and exciting position to Carl. We are praying that He will open doors and bring new possibilities our way quickly. For now, we are keeping our search in the Jacksonville area. We are not feeling led to explore possibilities in other areas for now but that could always change over time. Please be in prayer for us as Carl begins a job search and figures out what he is going to do next!

Traveling

Wednesday: Beach Day in Maui

Carl and I were originally scheduled to fly out of Maui for home on Wednesday at 6pm. Early in the day, I received a text notifying us that our flight was delayed 2 hours. A little while later, it was pushed back two more hours, now scheduled for 10pm (we didn’t actually end up leaving until 11:30pm that evening). Having the whole day free (we loved having the advanced notice), we decided to explore some of the westside Maui beaches with Debye.

First she took us to the southernmost tip of Maui to see the extensive lava fields.

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Although it looks like black dirt, it is actually miles of hardened lava rocks from the lava flow down the mountain.

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We found a little cove where Carl was able to do some snorkeling.

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Debye and I opted to sit in the shade and watch.

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We snagged one last Poke bowl for lunch and ate it on the beach.

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After packing up our things at home and enjoying one last dinner together, we headed for the airport. But not before stopping for one last Shave Ice.

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It was a fantastic two weeks in Hawaii with lots of memories made. We look forward to returning in the future (we know we will be back thanks to Anthony and Kameko making Hawaii their home). Aloha for now, Hawaii!