April's Life Adventures


Experiences in my life that hopefully always lead to happiness. My joys, my sorrows, my kids, my world.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Stolen from Sariah

The other day Sariah wrote a post about her previous job experiences along with her current position as a wife and mother. I had to steal the idea so here we go on April's journey through employment.

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At the ripe age of 11, I became a paper delivery specialist. I had to arise at 4:30 each morning to fold horrible papers that turned my hands completely black. An hour after beginning to fold my papers, I would be headed out the door on my trusty bike to deliver these horrible things to people's homes. One man whom I actually liked, gave me a $20 tip every month if I would put the paper between his storm door and front door. So worth the time. I was lucky that my mom would drive me on Sundays because lets face it people, Sunday papers have WAY too many adds for the poor paper delivery service!
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In the 9th grade, some of the students in orchestra noticed that I could play better than they could. They asked me to teach them what I had learned from my private teachers. I was happy to oblige and thus I began to teach. I charged $5 for a half hour lesson. Not bad for a 14 year old kid.
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At the age of 16, I decided to go get a real job. McDonalds here we come! I walked in and was hired on the spot. I worked every Friday and Saturday night till 2 am. I worked every day after school. I worked during most dances because my boss would "forget" to schedule me off as I requested. I hated every second of my 9 months there.
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Because I was so turned off by the food service profession, a friend of mine got me a job at a place called "Unabase Technologies". To this day, I have no idea what they really did. All I know is that I had a little pass to hang around my neck, which allowed me inside the building, and into my little cubicle. Do any of you remember when Snapple had that national campaign to give a friend a free snaple. All you had to do was call this 1-800 number and leave your friend's address. They would get a coupon for a free snapple. Ever wonder who had to listen to all of those messages? ME. That's right folks, I had to listen to all of you giving your addresses far to fast and sometimes just leaving obscenities. Occasionally however, I would have a "hang up" at which point I would input my own address into the blank form for that file. Heh, I had quite the collection of free snapples.
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One of my all time favorite jobs was dropped into my lap by yet another friend. You see, my school district lost some funding and had to cut the elementary school music program. The parents were outraged. Thus the district made a compromise. They hired high school seniors like myself to teach elementary school music classes before and after school. They paid $13.00 an hour. I took on two schools, one before and one after. Not to mention the district would pay me for an hour of prep time per school. I wonder if they realized that I would use the same lesson plan for each school and thus get paid for two prep hours when I only needed one. So, I got paid for four hours a day when I was only doing the work of three hours. I made a lot of money that year and at the end of it all, I traded in my old viola and put all the rest of my hard earned money towards my new beautiful viola which was exactly what I needed as a music major! Unfortunately that job ended with the school year, and I was forced to find other employment for the summer.
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I knew that the change in my employment would come, so I planned ahead. My sister was involved in cosmetology school and the owner had been complaining for a while that she needed a personal assistant. Knowing that my teaching would end soon, I applied for the position in March. Therefore I worked two jobs for a while, loving every minute of each. I did all of the computer work and answered phones on occasion. I shared my office with the owner and became friends with her. She would come to me for advice on things that a high school senior really shouldn't have known. Things about life in general. The funny thing was that I usually seemed to be able to answer her questions fully and to her satisfaction. I loved my job again.
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The first year of college I did not look for a job. My parents did their best to support me, but I found that my bank account was often empty. It never even occurred to me to look for work... I was having way too much fun! I was on a scholarship and the remains of my summer employment covered much of my rent. Food was the only problem... And I would "home shop" whenever I visited so my kitchen was usually stocked.
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As I returned home for the summer months, I knew that I needed to find a job again. I decided to look within retail. A large department store in the mall called ZCMI was looking for makeup artists to work their counters. I told them of my limited experience in this area, but they took me on anyway. The line I worked was called "Roberto Bejon". This crazy Italian guy (Roberto himself) came into the store to train me on his product line. He worked with me for weeks to learn the techniques in make up application. I enjoyed most of my time there, but the main problem was that I had to be on my feet all day long. Man I was always in pain by the end of my shift!
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The second year I decided to find a job. The first week of school, I found out that the music department was putting together a MIDI lab (computers and keyboards together). I happened to take several courses in High School that used the exact programs that the college was using. I volunteered my services in the setting up of the lab because he looked stressed out and frustrated with trying to figure out the process that I already knew. The professor hired me to be the MIDI lab specialist and one of three tutors available for drop in tutoring... (the other two were my dear friends Dana and Heather).... I loved that job...
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The summer following my second year I was engaged to Sultry Husband. I knew that I needed to earn as much as I possibly could before our marriage in late July. I pulled some strings with the former employer at the hair school. She suggested I look up the high manager of Hair Cuts Plus, whom my sisters all knew anyway so there was another angle to get the job. As soon as I mentioned my last name on the phone to the high manager she hired me. Without knowing which location I would even go into. She found two locations that needed a receptionist. Between the two places I ended up working 6 days a week. It was insane, but great money! Not to mention free acrylic nails for my wedding ;-)
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Since our marriage, I have worked in some weird places, and some not so weird places. My favorite is in my home, working as a mom. Followed closely by teaching students out of my home. Right now I have enough students that I will be putting any others onto a waiting list. My schedule is just too full! What a fantastic problem!
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Last night at symphony practice, my director mentioned that we are having issues because of our size. We need a cello section, yet the only person who plays has not shown up for the past two concerts. He asked our Bass clarinet if she could read a cello part... To which she said absolutely not. She does not know how to transpose for her instrument. I do. Therefore, my latest position is that of Official Symphony Orchestrator. I will be changing parts around from time to time to fit our instrumentation. I am so excited! I finally get to use some of my orchestration skills that I learned in school! Yay for jobs falling in your lap... They have definitely been my favorite.

Posted by April_Mommy :: 10:36 PM :: 7 comments

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Shenay-nay Returns

When I was a kid, my older siblings loved to watch a show called "In Living Color". In actuality it was a pretty racy show, I would never allow my kids to watch it, but there was one sketch that has stayed with me from those early years. Shenay-nay was a "lady" who had these HUGE lips. I mean, they looked like she kissed a curling iron they were so big. Her line was "I'll rock your world" which always made everyone laugh because she looked so stupid at the same time.

Anyway, I have a problem. I have chronic cold sores. Usually I can avoid them with constant chap stick and lots of water consumption, but occasionally they come back no matter what I do. Yesterday I felt the tingle and ran for my campho phenique and abreva tubes to no avail. They are here. When I say they, I mean four huge sores on my lips! I don't usually get them this bad, perhaps one at a time, but it has been over a year since I have had a sore, so I suppose my body is making up for lost time.

When Sultry Husband got home last night, he took one look at my face and kissed my forehead. I then looked at him and said "I'll rock your world" at which point we both dissolved into fits of giggles. At least I can still laugh, even if I do look stupid and swollen. I hope my poor violin students are half as forgiving as my dear husband.

Posted by April_Mommy :: 10:03 AM :: 3 comments

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

New Member? I think not.

When we moved down here so Sultry Husband could work at an animal sanctuary, my brother teased me that I would be getting five new animals. Namely dogs. I swore to myself and to him that this would not be the case. Two dogs and a parrot are enough for anyone right?

I have been told that the sanctuary has a new dog. Well they have more than 150 new dogs this week but that is a different much longer story. The one in particular is named "Belle". She is a two year old pembroke welsh corgi. The caregivers up there know my dogs (including Phnarph my corgi), and istantly contacted my husband to see if we wanted to adopt her. My heart completely sank. I have an insane draw to the corgi family. They are playfull, fun, and most of all they are great with kids. I never have to fear my kids being around a corgi.

We discussed adopting her for about 10 minuites. I don't want to run a farm so we are passing on her. It breaks my heart to see such a beautiful and perfect animal without a home... anyone want to adopt a fabulous sweetheart?

Posted by April_Mommy :: 8:43 AM :: 6 comments

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Philosophy

I am feeling rather philosophical this morning, so I decided that I would look for a quote to match my mood... here is the first one I came across that struck me:

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul.
And sings the tune
Without the words,
and never stops at all.

-Emily Dickenson


Yup that works.

Posted by April_Mommy :: 9:39 AM :: 3 comments

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Sultry Husband


One of my favorite pictures of Sultry Husband. He is leading L down a path in Zion's National Park (our favorite local park at the moment).

Posted by April_Mommy :: 9:09 AM :: 3 comments

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Friday, September 22, 2006

Fun with fire

Sometimes parenting is a tough gig. It’s not always easy to know ahead of time what your kids will find sad or upsetting. Consider a family campfire we had a couple days back. Up in the mountains, enjoying the crisp near-autumn air and gorgeous fall colors, roasting marshmallows over the flames. The kind of moments that make the rest of the week fade into the background.

So then, for extra laughs and to add to the magic of the memory, I tossed M’s favorite toy on the fire so we could all cackle gleefully while it burst into flames. And for some strange reason (hard to believe, I know) M had a problem with this! She even cried. I felt terrible. Who knew that kids liked their toys so much?

Okay, okay. Lest you hire a brute squad to send me to sleep with the fishes in the east river, I’ll explain that the cherished toy happened to be a piece of firewood. Yes, firewood. Our neighbor builds log beds and had given us some of the scrap pieces to burn. Some of these logs had worm tunnels in the wood, or “squiggly patterns” as M called them. And NO, we didn’t know she valued that particular chunk of squiggly patterned firewood as a playpiece until it was already in the fire going up in smoke. All kidding aside, we truly did feel bad. In her imaginitive child’s mind, Daddy had just torched what might have been the rocketship that carries her ponies to the moon for lunar picnics. Sigh. At least there was chocolate. That always helps. A little.

Posted by Sultry Husband :: 11:51 AM :: 4 comments

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Desperate for change

I have been disenchanted with my blog for a while now but I couldn't figure out why. Then today I started looking through other's blogs and realized that it was all because I was bored with my format. I think that the puke yellow was getting to me. I never liked that color but I loved the picture at the top. I decided to go with colors that make me happy and a format that I like, so here is my new attempt. The site will be changing over time to fit my personality more but for now this is what I have come up with... I know what I want to do with the site, now all that is left is to figure out how to do it :-)

Posted by April_Mommy :: 11:42 AM :: 7 comments

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Saturday, September 09, 2006

New

It seems that every time I turn around these days something new is happening. From kindergarten to birthdays. We have known for some time that M needed glasses. We held off for a while because we thought she wouldn't take good care of them.

I have memories of my first pair of glasses, I hated them. They were big, they were thick, and most of all they were heavy. I was determined to help M choose a pair of glasses that she could enjoy and look adorable in.

As we looked through the rows of glasses together, I kept picking them out and encouraging her to try them on. After some time, we both agreed upon a pair. We had to wait a week for the lenses to be placed within the new frames. I also purchased a new set for myself as it had been several years since my last pair. This time I chose red...

I placed them side by side for a picture when I realized that I basically bought her a small version of my own glasses. We do have similar face shapes but I still find the fact a bit amusing.

Posted by April_Mommy :: 3:04 PM :: 5 comments

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

M's life in pictures continued

This is my all time favorite picture of M. At this time in her life, we called her "The Shnook" which was short for "Shnookums". This picture was taken at 8 months old, the very first time she pushed up on her own.
Always smiling and clowning around. Shnook loved to play with us. Sultry Husband was making faces at her, so she made faces back at him.


Once she learned about grass, we couldn't keep her out of it.


As is typical of all first birthdays, we gave her a cake to demolish. There she was with her trademark huge smile and big shiny eyes just loving life.
At 14 months, she decided that it was time to walk. For those of you who know her story, this was a huge milestone in all of our lives, that she walked this early.
We are so grateful that our Shnook is part of our family. She is a bright star shining in our family. She has a love for life that can't be matched. I can't believe that she is 6 years old, it seems like yesterday that we were living with this little one. The years have flown by.


Posted by April_Mommy :: 5:14 PM :: 12 comments

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M, six years later

Today is my beautiful daughter M's birthday. She is six years old! I wanted to do the typical post for her birthday sharing some of my favorite photo's of her as a little one, so I hope you will all enjoy some of my favorites.



The first time we were allowed to take her outside, we tried to put her in the swing... she didn't like it very much.


This has to be one of my favorite early pictures of M. I thought I was being all fancy with the basket and my plants...


She did finally learn to like the swings, although we never pushed her very high till she was much bigger.


I played around with black and whites on this one, a new way to look at my gorgeous baby. 10 months old here...



Of course we had to take her camping early. I attempted to keep her on that blue tarp and away from the dirt, but I bet you can guess how long that one lasted.

Alas blogger has decided that the picture uploading is at an end... I shall make a second post I think.


Posted by April_Mommy :: 9:35 AM :: 4 comments

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Missed Opportunity

The evenings here have become very pleasant. The breeze picks up and the temperatures fall to a comfortable level. We have started walking after dinner and we have all enjoyed our time together. M picks flowers while L hugs her favorite stuffed animal and they both look for as many horses as we can find on our way. (There are actually quite a few horse corrals in the area so there are always plenty to find).

Today there was a small storm moving through the area, but we headed out for our walk anyway. It was a comfortable warm wind. After walking for about five minutes, we looked to the sky. Typically we find a hawk or two gliding through the skies searching for dinner, but this evening was different. My best guess is that there were some nice thermals caused by the storm, but we first saw five or six hawks. Then we kept looking, and suddenly there were ten soaring above our heads. As we opened our eyes further and really searched the sky's we noticed that there had to be more than fifty beautiful hawks soaring in the wind. Not one dove for the ground in search of the elusive field mouse, they were up in the sky to enjoy flight.

I turned around to get my camera to capture this amazing moment. Alas, when I arrived at home, I realized that the keys were still within Sultry Husband's pockets. By the time he returned home with the kids in tow, the hawks were well beyond the scope of my camera and the moment was lost. It reminded me of a post on Proud Mum's site recently. The moment is in my memory, I only wish I could share it with others... Frustration makes me want to carry my camera wherever I go. Perhaps the next time we have a storm rolling into the area, I will be prepared to capture these graceful animals.


Posted by April_Mommy :: 7:15 PM :: 3 comments

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Saturday, September 02, 2006

New Car

The Galloping Goose has devoured another alternator. This last week, she decided that two in a year were not nearly enough, so the third was replaced. We are tired of this little habit of our beloved goose, and therefore we have decided that it is time to replace her. We will still keep her around (mostly for Sultry Husband to drive to work), but I will be driving the new car.

Yup, that's right, we are researching new vehicles. Well, new to us anyway. We found some fabulous deals and were quite excited about what a nice car we could still find for under $10,000. That is when my bubble burst. I went to look into financing for our new wheels, when I was told of an obscure law that only exists within this state I live in. You see, Arizona decided somewhere along the line that if someone wanted to finance a car, it had to be worth more than $10,000. That's right, we have to spend more than that or we will not be able to get a loan. What is up with that?! It seems like they want to keep their pockets lined with our tax dollars, and therefore no one can buy a cheap car. Even if it is a cheap car located in Florida, Texas, or Georgia. Because we live 4 miles into this state, we are stuck living by their dumb old law.

Now more than ever, I wish we could afford to live across the border in Utah. We may look more into this before we buy a car that is more expensive than we need. Perhaps there is a great House waiting for us where the politicians don't decide what kind of car I can drive.

Posted by April_Mommy :: 8:03 PM :: 6 comments

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