It's About Me, Praises, The Husband

CAM Consulting/KLM Bookkeeping

So a month ago, I told you about Carl’s job search. At that time, he had turned down a full-time position with SMG and was going to begin working with them as an independent contractor. After doing so, the Finance Director kept after Carl about working with them full-time and Carl kept saying “then come up with more money.” Well, last week, SMG came up with more money! This morning, he begins his permanent, full-time position with them as Accounting Manager. We do lose our NFL retiree medical insurance but SMG actually has even better insurance. So now Carl just has to work with them for 9 years until he reaches 65 :). In case you were wondering, it seems like doors were closing with the other position that he was interested in which was another factor in him accepting this job. Congratulations Carl on your new position!

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Occasionally, when I am having a slow week of work, I will look at ads on Craigslist for a one-day a week bookkeeper to add a regular client to my repertoire. I have found two new clients in the past that way (one who was one full day once a week – although it is now down to every other week usually – and one who is one full day once a month). I recently responded to one of those ads and after talking with the owner of a bookkeeping company last week, I have accepted a part-time position with her firm. It will actually be 15-20 hours a week or more! But the pay was too good to pass up and she is my spirit twin…we are both bookkeepers, we are close in age, she has three kids, she was born and raised in Arizona and loves Tucson, she is a professional organizer, etc, etc. Plus, most of the work will still be done from my home, with only the occasional necessity to go to a client’s office. I am going to do that in addition to keeping the 10 clients that I work with on my own, so I’ll be approaching full-time work some/most weeks. So yay for me (I think)!

Side note: When I was discussing the potential new client with my husband, unsure of if I wanted to take on that much more work, he said “what do I have to give you for you to take it? A new used car?” I immediately jumped on the offer (seeing as I’m driving a 16 year old Lexus). So I’m documenting it here. After working for 4-6 months, my husband has promised to replace my vehicle. There’s no going back now, Carl! These are my witnesses.

 

 

The Family, The Friends, Traveling

Other Celebrations

While Carl was watching 260 dance numbers all weekend, the rest of us spent the weekend partying. On Saturday evening, Kelly and Avram hosted a BBQ at their house with Avram’s parents and grandparents. It was so nice to get to meet Avram’s grandparents and visit with his parents again (Carl and I  met Avram’s parents before if you remember).

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Avram’s brother, Dan, also came for a short while, as did Ollie and his family, the boy that Kelly has been a nanny for for many years, although none of them were around for the photo. We all really enjoyed them all and were happy to give Kelly and Avram  BBQ hosting experience!

On Sunday, we invited our friends, Steve, Kathy, Ron and Deb to visit at the Airbnb for another BBQ. Unfortunately, Ron wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t make it. Booo.

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Steve and Kathy brought their son, Joey with them.

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Both evenings, Carl returned home in time to visit with some of the guests for a short time.

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On Monday morning, after saying goodbye to the grandparents and Bryanna, Carl and I took a drive through our former city, Chaska. We stopped by for a short visit with our old neighbors, Lou and Neil. We also stopped for a quick lunch with our friends, Julie and Kent at their lake home. Unfortunately no photos were taken of those two groups.

It was a short and sweet weekend spent celebrating and catching up with family and friends. We are grateful for those moments and wish they could happen more often. The weather was also unbelievably beautiful….after 95 plus degrees in Florida already, the 70 degree temperatures were glorious! Minnesota really is a beautiful place with lots of rolling hills and lush green vegetation. Sigh, almost makes me want to move back. If it weren’t for all that darn snow!!

Until next time, Minnesota!

 

 

 

Just for Laughs, The Family

First and Last Graduations

In the past year, I gave Kelly most of her plastic totes (at least a dozen of them!) full of memorabilia that I had saved from her childhood….everything from school papers, toys, artwork she made, cards and all sorts of other treasures. I think she had a good time going through them and reliving lots of memories. In one, she found her Tweety bird from her preschool graduation that Grandma Sandy has given her so we decided to recreate photos from her first graduation (preschool – 1995) during her last (Master’s degree) graduation party.

1995 versus 2019

Ha! I think everyone has changed just a little…some for the much better!

CONGRATULATIONS KELLY!

Education, Praises, The Kids, Traveling

Kelly’s Graduation Celebration

Since Carl was busy all day Saturday and Sunday, we planned Kelly’s Graduation Celebration for Friday.

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Since it turned out that the Airbnb that we rented for the grandparents was adorable, with a beautiful backyard, we decided to hold the party there. It had a cool spiral staircase in the backyard that was a lovely place for some photos of the graduate.

We spent the afternoon talking, laughing, eating and playing games in the backyard.

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We ordered Chipotle catering for dinner, just like we did for Anthony’s graduation.

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Kelly’s best friend, Jill, came by to visit after work.

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It was a great day celebrating Kelly!

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We are grateful that Sue and Karl drove all the way from Memphis for the celebration.

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We are equally grateful that my mom and niece, Bryanna drove from Chicago.

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Congratulations Kelly!! We are all so proud. Your clinic and clients are going to be blessed to have you as their therapist.

Side Story: Carl spent all day Saturday and Sunday videotaping dance recitals as the videographer for KC Video Productions. This is our 15th year taping for this particular dance studio, our biggest client. In a terrible coincidence, this is the first time in 15 years that all three of the dance studios that we were currently working with (one also in Minnesota for 12 years and one in FL for the past 3 years), all had their recitals on the same weekend! So we were only able to work with the one studio this year. Hopefully the other two studios will have us back again next year but chances are they will just continue on with whoever they worked with this year, unless they were really bad….so here’s hoping that our replacements were lousy!! Ha!

Education, Praises, The Kids, Traveling

Kelly’s Master’s Graduation

Kelly has completed her Master’s degree coursework and year-long internship and just as soon as she finishes her thesis (which she says in going to happen in the next few weeks, hopefully), she will officially receive her Master’s Degree in Counseling and Psychological Services.

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Her company is apparently trusting that she finishes soon!

Kelly decided that it wasn’t important to her to “walk” in the formal graduation ceremony (and we all were very happy to hear that, as anyone that has sat through a college graduation ceremony can relate to) but did not want to miss out on a celebration of her achievement.

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Since Carl was flying to MSP already for our yearly dance recital videotaping job, we coordinated with the grandparents to meet up in Minneapolis at that time to celebrate Kelly. Carl and I stayed with Kelly and Avram and I found the grandparents and my niece, Bryanna, an Airbnb just a few blocks from Kelly.

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Carl and I were able to visit Kelly at her place of employment last Friday. She gave us a tour of the facility, including her very own office. I love that the company even gave her $200 to decorate her office.

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After Avram completes his school year, they are going to celebrate her achievement with an amazing one-month trip to South Africa to visit many AuPair friends that Kelly has met over the years that have returned to their homes in South Africa. It’s going to be an amazing trip and we can’t wait to hear all about it.

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One of the group therapy rooms with posters showing the skills that Kelly teaches to her clients.

Congratulations Kelly! Your clients are lucky to have you and too bad we didn’t have enough time for your to work out all of your father’s issues.

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 😦

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!