Monday, December 31, 2007

Last post

This will be my last post here. I am now located at http://amberella148.vox.com/

That is all.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Oh, my job.

Well, AOK is officially over and I find myself searching desperately around the office for things to do on days like today. I finally gave up and decided to write a blog update. Right now I'm waiting for a call from a client so that I can go pick her and her kids up from her appointment and take her to another one. That's mostly what I've been doing the past few weeks, transporting clients around. Oh, and there have been a few moments of delivering verbal and written warnings to the rule breakers. It's not that exciting, but sometimes I get an eye roll or a flat out denial. Sometimes I feel like a mother of teenagers. Some of the women who come here are teenagers, most of them have small children too. It's sad to see these women who can barely take care of themselves trying to take care of their kids. They're so stressed out and going through huge life changes (leaving boyfriends/husbands, looking for new housing, going to counseling, paying debts, etc...). It's really not that surprising when a child gets neglected or abused. I'm not saying that I don't think it's awful and that I don't try to stop it or confront mom's about it, I just think that if I were in their situation I'm not sure I'd be much different. These women need support and lots of it. I'm glad that I can provide some of what they need, but I can't be there for them after their 45 days are up. Happily most women continue to come to support group after they move out so we can still provide them with support. And there are just enough success stories to make what I do feel worth while.

On to other things: I found out yesterday that 1) Amy who runs Northside Middle School's AOK program will be leaving and 2) that I will be taking over for her! Yikes, middle schoolers! I'm a little disapointed that I won't be going back to the same school I was at before. I felt like I was just getting to know the principle and teachers. And I looooove my kids! It'll be sad not to see them anymore. The middle school programs have twice as many kids and goes all week (elementary doesn't meet on fridays). Which means that I'll not longer have a catch-up day for paperwork. And I'll be planning Dad's Night Out, which is a program for kids and their Dad's that meets once a month in the evening. On top of all that I'll be in charge of EZ Reports which is our computer program that we use to keep track of kids, their grades and attendence. Which also means that I will be in charge of communicating with 21st Century (the people who give us our grant for the program) and making sure the we're doing everything we need to. And I'll be in charge of making sure that all of the other AOK Coordinators have all their paper work done correctly and turned in at the end of the year. AHHH! It sounds like I'm getting a promotion, which I kind of am, but I work for a non-profit shelter so there will most likely not be a raise involved. So over the next two weeks I'll be working with Amy to learn how to do all of those things and meet all of the people I need to know.

More later, right now I have to pick up my client!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Birthday post!

Yup that's right today's my birthday! I've had a pretty low key day though. I worked from 8a-4:30p so that I could get Friday off and be in Goshen for Jezra's graduation. I'm looking forward to being home agian and seeing the kitchen that I helped paint over mother's day weekend finished.

It's been a really long time since I've last posted so I'll just try to hit the highlights (or lowlights as the case may be).

My job has been going alright. After three months I am no longer in the honeymoon phase and the real work of getting up every morning and going to work is setting in. I still like my job most of the time, but there tends to be a lot of last minute work/planning/ect...that makes it a little stressful. AOK (my after school program) is over as of last week. I still have a few end of the year things to finish up, mostly entering grades and ISTEP scores and cleaning out my cabnet at my school and bring all the stuff back to the shelter. I still don't know if I'll be going back to the same school next year or not. We are starting 3 more AOK sites and will be hiring on new people over the summer. My boss hasn't decided yet if she'd rather keep me at my school or have me start up a new program. I would much rather stay at my school. I know the school and the staff there and my kids have already switched teachers this year I don't want them to have to get used to someone else, plus I really like them all! Most days anyway :-).

In other news I was diagnosed about a month ago with fibromyalgia. What the heck is that you ask? Ahh, that is the question. The dictionary definition is: A chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and multiple tender points that occurs in precise, localized areas, particularly in the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips; also may cause sleep disturbances, morning stiffness, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and other symptoms. Yeah, it's quite the syndrome. For those of you who don't know I have been having a lot of problems with anxiety, fatigue and muscle pain for a few years now and in talking with my counselor about my anxiety problems he told me that it sounded like I might have more going on then just anxiety. So I went to the doctor and sure enough I have a bunch of symptoms of fibromyalgia and nothing else is wrong with me which means that that's what I have! Fibro is a pretty new diagnosis and not a lot is known about it and there isn't a cure. I really just have to figure out what I can do to make myself more comfortable. Things like buying a memory foam pad for our bed so that I sleep better (which has been AMAZING!), slowing down when my body hurts instead of pushing through the pain because I felt like a wuss all the time and learning how to relax. There are medications that I can take for it, but I'd like to try and go all natural if I possibly can. If you're interested in learning more about the fibromyalgia this website is pretty helpful: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fibromyalgia/DS00079 if you want to know what it's doing to me and how I'm dealing you can just ask.

Matt is doing well. He finished his semester of English classes with flying colors and is work at Olive Garden for the summer. He has been accepted into the teaching program at Anderson Univerity and will be starting the 2nd week of August. Next year at this time he will be a bonafide teacher and will hopefully be employed! He's excited about getting started.

I'll try post more regularly, but our summer is pretty full this far so no promises. That's all for now...

Friday, March 23, 2007

One Month

I've offically been at my job for one month. Wow. Times flies when most of your day is filled. I've really been enjoying myself here at A Better Way. I've almost completely taken over AOK (the after school program) at my school. That has been a challange, but it's been fun also. Last week I had 2 days of having all 25 kids by myself for an hour. The first day was amazing, the kids were so good I couldn't believe it. And after the second day I wanted to quit! They were crazy bad. I am slowly but surely learning to role with the punches and how not to expect anything because you never know with kids.

I've also been getting more aclimated to the shelter part of my job. I didn't have AOK this week and next because of half days and spring break. So I've been at the shelter this week all day and the same next week. It's interesting. I wasn't sure I was going to like it as much as AOK and I don't, but it's nice for a change of pace. I can now opperate the front desk on my own. Which entitles answering the phone (we answer 6 different lines), transfering calls, taking crisis calls (we answer a crisis hotline, taking calls from women wanting to enter shelter and answering a red cross hotline. I also moniter all the exterior cameras and have to push the buttons that unlock the doors when they ring. The front desk is also where the clients sign in and out, take their meds and come to chat. Plus I have to make Telecare calls (we call elderly people in the area who live alone, but might fall and hurt themselves. We call everyday to make sure they're alright and chat with them because a lot of people are lonely). So all in all it can be pretty stressful. But right now I am sitting at the front desk writting on my blog so it's not so bad all the time ;-).

I've also been getting more comfortable helping the clients out. I'm getting to know what kinds of resources are around and the rules of the shelter and all that so I can actually answer questions now. I enjoy feeling helpful.

Matt is doing very well in school. He's pretty much gotten A's on everything he's turned in and all his profs love him. One even strongly encoraged him to go to grad school because otherwise he would be wasted. I'm glad that he's getting all this affirmation, I always new he'd be an amazing English teacher, but I'm his wife so it doesn't count as much when I say it :-).

That's about it for the Blooms at the moment and I have to make a telecare call!

The end.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Please Pray

Today a Kim, friend of our family and the mother of Dustin (the teenager who lived with my parents for a while), died in a house fire along with her two young children (1 and 3). Please remember the surviving 4 children in your prayers. Kim was a single mom so the children are on their own now. They are staying with a family from my parents church for a few days, but more perminate arrangements will have to be made soon. Please pray for everyone invovled it's a really sad situation.

The is the link to the news story: http://www.wsbt.com/news/local/5851156.html

Updates

Well we have gotten snow, snow and more snow is coming this weekend (only it shouldn't very much). I was supposed to have my last two days at the Library's after school program this week, but school was canceled yesterday and today so I don't have to work there. I also didn't have to go to A Better Way yesterday because the roads were so bad. I will be there this evening though. I won't normally work evenings, but they wanted me to work one evening in case I ever fill in for anyone.

The two days that I've worked at A Better Way have been interesting. I was excited about a more hands on training before I went, but now I wish that it was a little more structured. I spend most of my time trying to find people who have time to show me anything! People are really busy and no one is really in charge of making sure that I get trained so if I don't make a fuss I don't get trained. So far I've been able to get trained on a few things, but I still don't have a time card or know how to use one or really even know if I need one. I need to figure that out tonight!

The women that I'm going to work with seem really nice and there are even some people more my age so that's fun too. On Tuesday I spent a lot of time making Valentine gifts for the residents and their children. I worked on it with 3 ladies who were really nice and a lot of fun. I was glad that I had the opportunity to get to know people.

Monday I found out what school I will be working at. I will be the AOK Coordinator at Sutton Elementary. Tracy, the lady who works there now, is going to finish out the school year with me (we think anyway, but things can always change). Which would be awesome because that would give me plenty of time to get to know the position and the teachers I'll work with and all the jazz. I was so overwhelmed Monday morning after staff meeting I was wondering what the heck I was thinking! We had staff meeting for two and a half hours! It was a little crazy and it was my first introduction to how things work at the shelter. I was scared out of my mind. But that afternoon I went to Sutton to check out AOK and that was a blast. The program has a really relaxed atmosphere and the kids have issues, but for the most part they were really sweet and I bonded with some of the right away. Being there made me feel more relaxed and like I'll be able to do my job! Most of what I'll be doing will be at the school until the summer. I'll take on more responsibilities at the shelter then. Some of those responsibilities will carry over to the next school year, but mostly I will be working on AOK.

AOK is a character and social skill building program. We try to teach the kids how to effectively interact with each other and adults. We also spend time working on homework each day and journaling. Their journals don't get graded they journal to learn to express themselves through writing. We do read the journals, but they are not graded. There are teachers each day that help the kids with their homework I met two of them on Monday and they were really nice and very supportive of the program. I think I am really going to enjoy working at AOK, but the shelter part might be very overwhelming for about 6 months! There is so much to know!

In other news, we found out what was wrong with the Tempo. The fire was caused by the fact that the aghast pipe was broken off back past the catalitic converter and almost none existant. So oils were spewing out onto the engine block and got so hot that they started on fire. So all we had to do was to get a new aghast pipe and muffler put on. So now our car works and it's quiet (and it cost less then $200 to fix). That was a very nice surprise because we thought we were going to be stuck with one car for a few months.

Matt is still very much enjoying school, especially now that he no longer has to work most evenings. It has been nice to be able to spend some of our evenings with friends and each other.

Next week is my first full week working 9-5:30, wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

New job and burning cars

That's right I have a new job and this time it's a real one. I just became employed at A Better Way which is an emergency shelter for women who are leaving abusive partners. It all happened very quickly! One week ago I had an interview and I start there part time on Monday, crazy! The reason I start there part time is because I have to do my last two weeks at the Library before I can go full-time. It is nice that I am able to start part time right away partly because we need the money and partly because I'm too impatient to wait for things to happen.

My position there will consist of half case management for women at the shelter and half coordinating their after school program which is under the prevention part of what the shelter does. I don't know more then that yet, but I should have a better idea of my duties next week. I am really excited about finally using my degree and being able to support Matt while he's in school. But I"m also freaked out!! I haven't work more then a few hours a week since May of last year and it's a little intimidating to think of having a full-time job. Maybe I'll feel more like an adult once I start.

The other big news is that on Monday when Matt went out to start the Tempo on Monday to go to class it wouldn't start. So he got a neighbor to help him jump it and then went to buy a new battery at Wal-Mart (we've been having lots of problems with the battery lately). When he got to Wal-Mart he needed to check under the hood for what type of battery was in the car and when he looked under the hood much to his surprise there was a fire!! First he tired to blow it out, but soon rational thought kicked in and he ran inside the auto place and got someone to put it out with a fire extinguisher! So he was ok, but he obviously wasn't able to drive the car home. He was able to get the car towed to a car place, but we haven't heard yet what the problem was or how much it will cost to fix. My dad thinks that most likely the fire was electrical and that it will cost a lot to fix. So needless to say we only have one car now. Which is workable at the moment, we just drop each other off places and share, but when I start at A Better Way next week Matt is going to have to take the city bus to school. We're hoping that will work out since the buses are rarely on time.

Other than that there haven't been any serious issues at the Bloom house. I'll write more next week about my new job.

Friday, January 12, 2007



Amber and Stance just chillin'



Our lovely niece Constance and her lovely mother Amanda!

DSL!!!

Matt and I finally got DSL, hurray! So now hopefully it won't take so long to post my blogs and I will be able to post pictures.

My new job at the after school thing is going well. Last week the kids were not back in school yet so I spent my time creating fun bulliten boards and learning the ropes. So this week was a lot crazier because it was my first time with the kids. I was a little overwelmed. They're a great bunch of kids, but they have a lot of energy and most are pretty stubborn. They were also having a good time testing their boundaries with me. On Wednesday one of the kids said "you're mean!" and I said "I wouldn't have to be mean if you were behaving" and to that he said "how do you know I'm not behaving?" I thought it was pretty funny. Did he think that no one told me that rules? Adrianne, the lead teacher, is great. She is really amazing with the kids and Adam, the other aid, is also really good with the kids, so it's been a pretty smooth transition in. I'm just waiting for the kids to adjust to me being an authority figure.

I just found out today that there is another job opening at the library so hopefully they'll hire me for that one so that I can quit baby-sitting (which is getting crazier) and work full time.

Matt started classes at Ball State this week. He's a little overwelmed with all the reading he'll have to do this semester, but he's looking forward to discussing them. He set up his classes so he only has one Mon, Wed, Fri, so those days he works at the Olive Garden in the evening. On Tues, Thurs he has class all. I have a hard time not bugging him while he's going homework, but I'm getting used to that too. Next year at this time Matt will hopefully be starting his student teaching. We're both looking forward to that.

Well, I think that's all for now. I'm going to try and post some pictures again (I know I've said that before, but I'm hoping that will DSL it will actually work this time!)