It's About Me, Odds and Ends

Kristy’s Career Retrospective

Since my blog posts are made into yearly books, which hopefully our children and grandchildren will one day enjoy reading, I thought it would be fun to add my career history as well just for posterity sake, starting with my marriage to Carl in 1986.

June, 1986 to September, 1986: K-Mart, Wichita, KS

Just out of college with my Bachelor’s Degree in Speech-and Hearing Science, which at this point is useless in my field without a Master’s Degree, I go to the local K-Mart for a job where they give me a pricing gun and a list of products to update each day and I spend hours placing new price labels on products all. day. long.

September, 1986 to sometime in 1987: Vollrath, Memphis, TN

My mother-in-law, Sue, who was working outside of the home for the only time in her life since I’ve known her, got me a job as a secretary at the company where she worked. I don’t really remember anything about that job except that the company had to do with medical supplies.

1986 Vollrath

1987: Bob Blow’s Office, Memphis, TN

I don’t know why I changed jobs but I do know that it was right across the street from the apartment that we were living, which was very convenient. Bob Blow (I’ll never forget his name) was a technological early adapter and was involved in buying cell phone towers in cities across the county. He had a giant, corded cell phone in his yellow Mercedes that I would get to drive around to run his errands (pick up his dry-cleaning, go to the bank) and I would call Carl from the car because it was so cool! New job...Bob Blow 1987

Bob frequently traveled to Washington DC for the cell phone tower lotteries and then I could forward the phone calls to our apartment and just stay home those days. I remember it being a relatively boring job since there was just not much to keep me busy. I think I only worked there about 6 months until I started graduate school.

August, 1987 to May, 1989: Memphis State University (now called University of Memphis)

I attended a two-year graduate program in Speech-Language Pathology. Since all graduate students in the program perform therapy throughout their training, I actually went to graduate school for free and was paid a monthly stipend of $400. Sweet!

Betsy, Ann, Robin, Me, Val, Amy, Beth
My fellow speech-language clinicians

May, 1989 to December, 1990: DeSoto County School District, Southhaven, Mississippi

(Southhaven is just across the border from Memphis and so that is why I worked there for those of you that are clever enough to realize we’ve never lived in Mississippi.) My first professional job was as a public school speech-language clinician at an Elementary School making a whopping $19,000 per year. I love this photo from when all my family came down for my graduation and I pasted in Gale from a similar photo so that I’d have all of us in one photo (that’s old school Photoshop!).

My First Job! (2)

I actually worked during the month of May after graduating, then had the summer off and returned to work in August. One of my biggest memories from that job is that the public schools in Mississippi still paddled children at that time. It was quite traumatic for me to be walking down the hall and seeing a child bent over getting paddled on the backside for bad behavior.

Another memory is the fact that there were still many families living with dirt floors and no running water or indoor bathrooms in this school district. The social worker and I would have to go to the homes of some of my students to obtain signatures (because they would never return the forms on their own) and I was amazed at the conditions of some of the homes. Again, another very traumatic experience for middle-class me.

5.89 - Kristy's 1st job at Southhaven Elementary School

I love the fact that after getting hired in my first professional job, I immediately got pregnant. I wouldn’t even make it through my first full year before having Kelly in April. After having Kelly, I had the rest of the school year off and then the summer off, giving me over 4 months home with her before returning the following school year just 2-1/2 days per week, which is what I worked for most of my career.

January, 1991 to June, 1991: Memphis/Shelby County Health Department, Memphis, TN

A former supervisor in graduate school hired me to complete preschooler speech and language evaluations and write reports a few days a week.

August, 1991 to August, 1993: Excellcare Rehabilitation, Prospect Heights, IL

After moving to the Chicago area, I got a great job with a Rehabilitation contract company that offered me full benefits and guaranteed me 30 hours per week. My first year, I traveled around the suburbs, serving in nursing homes, hospitals and a Head Start program. I was definitely not a fan of my time working with the elderly in nursing homes and hospitals and this was the only time I did so in my career.

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They eventually found me a contract at a private, special education school which was not far from our home, which was so much better although this was my first experience with children with significant needs, including autism, Tourette’s syndrome and Down’s syndrome.

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One of my favorite memories of this job is that they had a few condos that employees could borrow for a $50 cleaning fee. We were able to use this amazing 3-bedroom condo in Beaver Creek, CO with Carl’s parents during the week of Carl’s brother’s wedding in Vail.

August, 1993 to August, 1995: Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic, Naperville, IL

In a  move that still blows my mind, after seeing a classified ad in the Speech-Language professional magazine, Carl and I bought an established private practice near us. The business came with a part-time administrative assistant and contracted with several therapists. The leased space included a reception area and three offices. I eventually had to let the administrative assistant and the other therapists go and I handled all the business myself because I couldn’t afford to keep them.

Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic, LTD., Director

The business needed someone with a lot more business knowledge and a lot more drive/desire to market and build the business. At that time, I didn’t even want to work full-time and we were going through infertility treatments trying to get pregnant again. I should have never given up a well-paying, steady job to try to run my own business. Luckily, we were able to sell the business and recoup most of our money, although I didn’t really make any money for the two years that we owned the clinic.

August, 1995 to April, 1996: West Chicago School District, West Chicago, IL

I returned to the school system as an elementary school speech-language clinician. My two main memories of that job are 1) there was a huge Hispanic population and I had to try and do speech-language therapy with many students using an interpreter and 2) they threatened to sue me for leaving the job before the end of the school year after we had moved out of state.

April, 1996 to April, 1999: Fairfax County Schools, Fairfax, VA

I worked as a speech-language clinician two and a half days each week at Forestville Elementary School.

1997 Forestville Elementary

April, 1999 to late 2000: Stay-at-home mom

After moving to Minnesota and with Zack’s impending adoption and subsequent arrival, I took some time off of work to be home with our two young sons. Keeping them in line was definitely a full-time job!

Late 2000 to Feb, 2001: Target, Chanhassen, MN

After staying home full-time for over a year, I had a desire to get out of the house without children so I got a job in the evenings at Target as a cashier. I remember working over the holiday season but don’t remember when I started working there.

August, 2001 to August, 2002: Edina Public Schools, Edina, MN

I finally decide that if I’m going to work outside of the home, I’d like to make more than minimum wage and decide to go back to speech-language therapy in the public school system. I worked at a high school a few days a week in a nearby district.

August, 2002 to June, 2007: Chaska Public Schools, Chaska, MN

Our local school district had a part-time opening and I’m was able to move to our home district. In a unique position, I’m a public school speech-language clinician placed in the large Catholic elementary school. In all other states that we’ve lived, if private school students need special services, the parents are responsible for transporting them to the public school for services. In Chaska, they actually place clinicians within the larger private schools. For the 2006-07 school year, I only worked two afternoons a week doing evaluations for the school district while Anthony and I tried out homeschooling for the first year.

August, 2006 to March, 2013: Homeschool Teacher, Chaska, MN

Anthony is homeschooled from fifth grade (8/2006) until halfway through ninth grade (1/2011) and Zack is homeschooled from halfway through second grade (12/2006) until two-thirds through eighth grade (3/2013).

9.3.08 1st Day of School (2)

For the first few years of homeschooling, I kept up my Speech-Language licensing. But by the second year when things were going well with homeschooling and we were in it for the long-haul, I decided that when I ever went back to work, I would be ready for something different. I think by this point I was just tired of working with children and the paperwork necessary to do the job.  So I let my licensing lapse and I retired from Speech-Language Pathology.

July, 2011 to present: KLM Bookkeeping

Carl was a member of the Chaska Rotary Club Board of Directors and their long-term bookkeeper decided to retire. Carl suggested me, since he knew that I was good on the computer and managed our family finances on Quicken. Plus, this was a job that I could do at home. After starting with the Rotary Club, members started calling to hire me to do their bookkeeping. And thus my bookkeeping business was born!

I have found that there is a difference between training and gifting…I was trained as Speech-Language Pathologist but I am gifted as a bookkeeper/computer geek. So I find a lot more enjoyment with what I do now and feel that I am better suited for it. But speech therapy was a good career while raising a family since it very flexible, had school hours and summers off and it was always in demand throughout our moves…there was never difficulty finding a job quickly. But I am certainly grateful for the second career that God presented to me and have enjoyed working with so many different clients over the years.

Odds and Ends, Praises, Traveling

Anthony and Kameko’s Wedding Decor

I just wanted to share some more photos of the beautiful wedding decor and setting for the festivities. This gives you an idea of the set up, with the vertical lines on the left where the chairs were set up for the ceremony and the tables for the reception on the larger lawn to the right.

Backyard

When I ordered the white paper lanterns, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them but the tree near where the guests sat was the perfect backdrop for them.

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They look so pretty in the photos of people walking down the aisle!

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After the ceremony, the chairs were moved around the tables that were already set up underneath the icicle lights.

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As the wind kept knocking down the table centerpieces, we just ended up laying the greenery in the center of the tables (they are still standing in the photo below).

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Under the lanai, we set up the drink station, guest book station, favor table and appetizer/dessert table. (The dinner buffet was set up inside the house.)

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6. Reception (1)

Instead of a guest book, there were wooden hearts for the guest to sign and place into a frame. So cute!

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Kameko made little pots of succulents from her grandma’s garden for take-home gifts for locals and Hawaiian honey pots for those that were traveling.

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This photo from later in the week shows the pretty lights that Carl hung around the lanai. The pool fence and patio tables/chairs had been moved to open it up. I also bought a box of floating candles to place in the pool during the reception.

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Everything was really so beautiful and we couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out.

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I have to admit that when Anthony and Kameko were still transplanting succulent pots on the morning of the wedding or when they were shopping for her wedding ring on Saturday morning one-hour before picking the grandparents up from the airport or when they were having her wedding dress altered on the Friday before the wedding, I had my doubts. When Carl and I were driving those 10 and 12-foot cemented posts sticking out of our rental van at 8pm at night down the winding, country road out to the wedding house on Friday night before the wedding, I had my doubts. When we placed the first bucket with the post on the ground and it promptly fell over due to the uneven ground, I had my doubts. When Carl was out there for hours and hours trying to get the lights just right and prevent them from toppling onto the heads of our guests, I had my doubts.

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But in the end, everything came together perfectly. It turned out beyond our expectations and was the most beautiful, lovely wedding we could imagine.

Congratulations on a job well done, Anthony and Kameko!

Florida Life, Odds and Ends, The Family

Summer Fun

Hello? Are you there?  I thought that I’d take a break from floating around my swimming pool with my Kindle and a cool cocktail to share some random summer tidbits.

We have been enjoying a lot of time in the pool this season. We have been trying to invite various friends over each weekend, including hosting about 20 friends from our church home group this past weekend. I failed to get any photos then but this was our home group after we won our church’s “Summer Spiritual Olympics” by completing various tasks to earn points during the month of June (such as listening to sermons, reading the Bible, volunteering as a home group, sharing the gospel, etc). IMG_8992

Those two girls in the red and black shirts were carrying our team, earning about 500 points each week, determined to win the Gold Medal. I’m glad for their sake that we did because they definitely earned it!

I love my husband’s servant heart. Carl spent one whole Saturday helping friends move into their new house and he even dragged Zack along.

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Carl even took another day off of work to help at Youth Camp one day. Part of youth camp including hosting a Vacation Bible School for inner city kids for three afternoons.

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Don’t worry, he has found time to enjoy himself when he’s not serving others. He enjoyed a day excursion to Pompano Beach for some scuba diving and saw some ship wrecks and lots of sea life.

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For Independence Day, we drove down to our neighbor’s beach house for the day for lots of relaxing by the pool and catching up. We even made Zack come and hang out with us all day and rewarded him with a cocktail or two.

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Afterwards, we were able to watch some fireworks on our friend’s, John and Michelle, dock on the river.

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After having Zack drive around without a door handle for the past 6 months, Carl finally went to a junk yard and found a replacement and taught Zack how to install it. Way to go guys!

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I hope that you all are enjoying your summer. Back to the pool now!

Florida Life, It's About Me, Odds and Ends, The Husband

The Socialites

We’re famous….we made the newspaper!

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Granted, it was just the local Resident Community News but we’ll take any press we can get!

Scan2It was interesting to see the 100-year old Casa Marina Hotel and all the cool, old photos lining the hallways but the event itself was kind of lame. Mainly because there was hardly any food and what they did have was eaten in a matter of minutes. But we are always happy for a night out together checking out new places (to us) in Jacksonville. Thanks Jaguars for these fun experiences!

 

 

It's About Me, Odds and Ends

Chatbooks

Recently, I kept seeing an ad that caught my eye on Facebook for a company called Chatbooks.

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Chatbooks will automatically upload all of your photos from your targeted social media account and create full-color 6-inch square books with 60 photos each for just $8 each.

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The covers of my books.

It even includes the captions and dates for each photo if you want (or you can exclude them if you don’t want them).

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First you create and order your Chatbooks Series using Facebook, Instagram, or your Favorites from your Camera Roll. Then every time 60 new photos load to that photo source, a new Volume in your Series Subscription is created. You’ll get an email notifying you when you have three days left to edit your new Chatbook before it gets printed and shipped. You pay only $8 and the shipping options are: Slow & Free, Quick & Trackable, or Fast & Spendy.

This is another fun way to document our family life. My new books look great on the shelf with my other blog books and special books that I have created.

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I’m so grateful to have all of these special ways to collect my photos and stories for my family.

It's About Me, Odds and Ends, The Husband

Dance Recital Season

  • It’s that time of year again! For those that don’t know…my husband and I have been videotaping dance recitals for the past 11 years. We used to tape weddings and funerals/memorial services and create celebratory photo slideshows as well but we’ve gotten away from those events since we get more bang for our buck with dance recitals.
  • When living in MN, we did the annual recital for three different studios. After our move to Florida, last year Carl flew back to MN for all three dance recitals. However, since one studio was always difficult to work with, we decided to drop it after last year so we are down to two MN studios.
  • Last fall, I sent out promotional information to dance studios in the Jacksonville area and picked up a new studio to replace the one we dropped. Yay…God is good!
  • Carl went to MN on Mother’s Day weekend for the first recital. Since he was returning the first weekend of June for the other MN recital and the last recital in JAX wasn’t scheduled until Father’s Day, he left all of our equipment there. And then Friday, I got a call for a second recital in JAX…and it’s next Monday. Great!! God is good again. However, I suddenly realized we have no equipment. Kelly was gracious enough to pick it up for us and is sending it via Fed Ex this week. Crisis adverted.
  • For the past four years, I have suffered with horrible computer issues that have made me hate video editing. So three years ago, I bought a new computer for personal/bookkeeping use, reformatted the hard drive and reinstalled the operating system and video editing software on the powerhouse editing computer that I had. And I still had the same issues. Arghhhhh! This year, after again trying to reformat the hard drive and reinstall the operating system, the computer finally told me that there was a problem with the hard drive. After a quick trip to Best Buy for two new hard drives (one for operating system and one for the video data) for a mere $100 total, my system is finally running like the champ it was always meant to be. I am so relieved. I had considered dropping $3,000-4,000 on a new Mac computer system to finally be done with these issues and for $100 my problems have all been resolved. God is extremely good!! I just wish I had known it was a hard drive issue 4 years ago to save me years of aggravation but I really am just grateful that things are finally working again.
  • If you need me, I’ll be sitting in front of the computer working on dance recitals for the next month :).