Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008: An Amazing Year!

Wow! What can I say about 2008? For me, it was a year of great growth.

Tyler was added to my family.

A MBA was added to my list of degrees.

A new job was added to my life.

A new home in the city I want to live in.

A WONDERFUL new church where I am growing spiritual.

I think back on the year and it's all positive. The "up" moments definitely out weigh the "down" times.

All day, I have had a great sense of joy and excitement. I just know that even better things are coming in 2009. Dreams becoming realities. Prayers being answered. Exponential growth in my career.

2009 will be absoulutely FABULOUS! I encourage you to take some time to reflect on all the blessings that God has bestowed on your life. Everything may not have followed your exact plan, but trust and believe in God's plan for your life.

So as we wait for the bells to ring and confetti to fall, lift your hands and voices to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and thank Him for His goodness and mercy which have brought you this far.

Hallelujah! Praise God in his holy house of worship,
praise him under the open skies;
Praise him for his acts of power,
praise him for his magnificent greatness;
Praise with a blast on the trumpet,
praise by strumming soft strings;
Praise him with castanets and dance,
praise him with banjo and flute;
Praise him with cymbals and a big bass drum,
praise him with fiddles and mandolin.
Let every living, breathing creature praise God!

Psalm 150 (The Message)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Photo with Santa

Instead of taking NyCee and Tyler to the mall for a picture with Santa, I was able to take them to my job. It was a very nice event because only the children of HR employees were allowed in the event.

Prior to talking to Santa, NyCee attempted to have a tantrum because she was told to "wait her turn." Well, she didn't take that news kindly and that resulted in a trip to the bathroom. (I am sure you can deduce what happened next.)

Once we returned to the room, NyCee was on her best behavior. Co-worker commented about how cute she was and well-behaved. She grew more and more excited as "her turn" to see Santa approached.

Finally the big moment arrived.

"Mommy, Santa! Santa."

"Yes, pumpkin cake. It is Santa. Say Hi."

After all of that, she sat on Santa's lap and cried her head off. Go figure!

(Sorry the pictures are so small. I haven't quite figured out all the bells and whistles of my scanner. Heck, I just figured out how to scan the picture.)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Best Christmas Ever!...So Far....

This morning around 1:30a NyCee came into my room holding a box of crayons. (As a child, my parents used to leave the Christmas tree illuminated. I did the same thing so I am sure it drew NyCee's attention. I did not get her initial reaction as I was sound asleep.) But once in my room,

She said, "Mommy, look."

I replied, "What's that baby?"

"Come here. Come see, Mommy." As she proceeded into the living room.

When I followed behind her, she said, "Ta-dah! Christmas."

She began to jump up and down saying, "Dora. Dora." So we sat down and opened a few of the gifts and I let her play for about 30 or 40 minutes. Then, we went back to bed. I had to let her sleep in my bed with her new Dora pillow as a bribe to get some sleep.

Almost simultaneously, NyCee tapped me on the head asking if she could play while Tarisa was sending a text message asking if we were awake. The time was around 715a. I managed to get myself out of the bed, wash my face, brush my teeth and lead NyCee to the living room. Tyler was still sleeping soundly. (He woke up around 530a but I quickly changed his diaper and gave him a bottle so that he would go back to sleep.)

Around 800a, both kids were up and playing. Although NyCee played with Tyler's toys, she brought them over to him saying, "Here buddy. Play with this one."

By 1130a, she was pooped. So, I laid her down for a nap as we were invited over to Lorie and Dan's (a couple from my church) for dinner. Lorie and Dan have agreed to serve as a mentor family for NyCee and Tyler. To me, it is important they see a Christian family unit. In turn, I will serve as a mentor to their 12 year old daughter Kayla.

We enjoyed dinner at Lorie's and then returned home around 630p. I was even blessed with several gifts from friends who were single moms in the past and wanted me to have gifts to open today as well. I am constantly amazed at how God shows his love for me.

Our night ended with Tyler pooping all up his back and on the bed sheets--sweet! But thankfully, it was before his bath. Then, I popped a big bowl of popcorn and the kids and I watched a Care Bear Movie NyCee received as a Christmas gift.

It was cold and rainy here today. (Temps in the low 50s) But it was truly the best Christmas Ever--so far.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Sky is the Limit

While sitting here preparing to be Santa Claus, I was thinking about how far I have come in just one year. But as I deleted the link for my school from my favorites section, I thought of my parents.

My father completed his Master's degree about 3 or 4 years ago. I believe he started this drive for education in my family. While it took him, literally 20 years, to complete his undergraduate studies, he completed it nonetheless. Given the fact that he had a family to support, he could not just attend school on a regular basis. Somehow, my mother always "found" the money to aid in his educational pursuit and now today, he is living off the harvest of his investment.

My mother decided to return to school when Tarisa was about 16 years old. She realized that in two years she would no longer be just a mom and decided to pursue a career. She graduated from Wayne County Community College with a 4.0 gpa which earned her a presidential scholarship to complete her undergraduate work. Few people know that was the second full scholarship my mother received from Wayne State University. But because of Talisha's illness, she was unable to take advantage of the opportunity the first time. But when we are faithful to God, He always restores the sacrifices we make. This past summer, my mother completed her Master's degree and is now working on her Education Specialist degree which will propel her into the administrative aspect of education.

In June 2006, I began working on my undergraduate degree-again. I completed 1/2 of the program when I lived in Chicago, IL. But I needed 90 credits to finish the degree. My undergraduate degree was conferred in September 2007. As of Monday, December 22, 2008, all final grades have been posted and I will receive my Master of Business Administration Degree in Human Resources Management. Again, I completed the degree in 15 months. My final g.p.a is a 3.8. Initially, I was slightly disappointed with the "B" but I am not defined by my grades. And given all that I have endured over the past year, I am pretty darn proud of myself! Praise God for His strength and joy which helped me to stay the course with my eyes on Him.

Tarisa completed her Associate of Arts degree in San Francisco, CA and is now in school to complete her Bachelor's degree.

Boonie has completed several certification courses over that past few years and holds various certificates. Recently, she has enrolled in a cosmetology program to upgrade her certifications.

Since completing my degrees, I have truly come to understand that ABSOLUTELY ANY THING is possible. If I can think it, with God, I can achieve it!

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
Mark 9:23 (New King James Version)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"Merry Christmas Lights"

NyCee saw the dentist today and am I pleased to report she did not damage her permanent teeth or nerves. Praise God!

Every day on the drive home, NyCee exclaims, "Mommy, Merry Christmas Lights!" I have attempted to explain the difference but then she just responds with "Why?" I am not sure when this "why" phase began but it needs to come to an abrupt halt.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday Madness

I must re-iterate to my children the importance of not participating in sickness and drama. Last Monday, I had to leave work because Tyler had a fever of 102 degrees. After waiting at the doctor's office for 2 hours, which we never do, she prescribed Amoxicillin for a "slight" ear infection. He is much better.

Today, I had to leave work to take him to see the surgeon. The surgeon is very nice and that visit lasted less than 1 hour. His surgery will be scheduled after the New Year.

Okay, he is situated.

NyCee was able to go to daycare today. She spent most of the time showing off the injury rather than feeling the effects of it. She has an appointment with the dentist in the morning.

I could literally sleep for a week as I am so tired. Thankfully, her appointment is at 940a so we can sleep in for an extra hour or so in the morning.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday Smackdown

Well, this morning we got up and got dressed for church. Ate breakfast and out the door--no problems there.

We arrived at church and both kids were checked into King's Castle.--No problem there.

I proceeded to the sanctuary, grabbed a seat and waited for praise and worship to begin--no problems there.

I enjoyed praise and worship and just as the offering receptacles were passing by, I received a text message to report to King's Castle--problem there.

I reported to NyCee's room and learned she had fallen and busted her lip. But one of my weekend co-workers told me, "her tooth is pushed back." And sure enough.

My co-worker told me NyCee didn't cry but she (the co-worker) noticed NyCee holding the ice to her tooth versus her lip.

So, I left Tyler at church and went one block up the road to the Urgent Care Center. NyCee is fine and the tooth is not loose. But I have to find a pediatric dentist to ensure the root was not damaged.

Looking at the positive side: It is a baby tooth and would have fallen out anyway. So she will not have any damage to her permanent teeth or smile.

And, Christmas photos where already taken.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Up He Sits

Tyler has been practing sitting up. While he is still cannot lift himself to the sitting position, he has grown fond of being upright. Usually, I just put him on the floor on a blanket and let him play. Lately, he has been rolling all over the place. For example, last night, I placed him on the blanket while I decorated the Christmas Tree. When I turned around, he was nearly under the tree!

NyCee seems to like the fact that he can sit up as well. She enjoys plays with him and often invites him to watch Dora or Blue's Clues with her. The picture below lacks sharpness and precision. (I need a new camera. The one I have is cheap so pictures rarely turn out nice. But it was free-so I do not complain.)But, I tried to capture this kiss to freeze the moment in time.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Step 1

Saturday, I took the night off from my weekend job to grocery shop and pick up the kids' Christmas items. Everything went very smoothly and I did not wait in any long lines.

I found a Christmas tree at Kmart for $40. So last night after church, I put the kids to bed and put the tree together. I thought it would be a nice surprise for NyCee when she woke up this morning. And it was. (Side thought: She was in my room yesterday looking for her house slippers and discovered her Dora table and chairs set under my bed. She bounced up and exclaimed, "Mommy, Dora. Dora. Can I play with Dora?" Of course, I had to play it off as if I didn't know what she was talking about. Thankfully, she has forgotten about it.)

Anyway, returning to the story. NyCee has made a couple of Christmas Tree ornaments at church and has been asking to put them on the tree for days. So I told her we would decorate the tree when she came home from "school." I even remembered to call my father this morning and ask how to put the lights on the tree.

We arrived home and sat down to dinner. Before receiving her after dinner treat, NyCee decided she would have a tantrum. As the consequence for that decision, she did not recieve her treat and we were unable to decorate the tree as I will not reward or tolerate bad behavior. So, we will try to get the tree decorated on Thursday. I managed to complete the first two tasks: out of the box and assembled.

I think it a really cute tree for $40. It's nice and full. You can not see the stick in the middle. I am sure it will be fabulous when it's decorated.

Monday, December 08, 2008

A Simple Prayer Answered

Today, a new guy started at work whose name is Greg. He secured the position due to a vacancy which resulted from a resignation. From a simple resignation, many prayers were answered.

Unbeknownst to each of us, Greg and I interviewed for the position that I have at the same time. Of course, I was selected for the initial opening. Since my arrival, three (3) openings have become available.

I did not like working 8-5p. Today, my manager offered me the 730a-430p time slot. Of course, I jumped at it. So my prayer was answered. Yes, it is only a 30 minute time difference but that 30 minutes makes a BIG difference.

Due to the vacancy, Greg was offered the position that he really wanted but was offered to me. Both prayers were answered. I work an earlier shift and Greg got the position he really wanted. God's timing is impeccable.

I am constantly amazed by God. He always takes care of everything.

"Aren't five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God's sight. Indeed, the hairs of your head are all counted. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows!"

Luke 12:6-7(Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Friday, December 05, 2008

A Full Week Completed

This was my first FULL week of working full-time. I started the job on a Tuesday and my second week was Thanksgiving week. Wednesday the schedule caught up with my body. I sat down on the couch for a moment to try and get some energy and woke up to the sound of my phone alerting.

I told myself that I would lay down for about 2 hours to re-charge and then wake up to complete my schoolwork. When I woke up it was 500a--time to rise and shine. So needless to say, I was pretty pooped.

Work is progressing well. I really like the job. The atmosphere is very comfortable and my VP even commented that I fit right in as if I had been there all the time. I think the way cases are processed is a little odd but hey, I just go with it. For example, when I conclude an investigation, I have to get VP approval before I can issue discipline. That is strange to me. Discharge, yes. Discipline, I should have the authority to execute. But again, whatever!

I have been working for 12 days and have managed to close 4 cases, administer one discharge, process 3 written warnings and 1 termination warning. WOW! It's like riding a bicycle. Once you learn, you never forget how to do it.

As for the kids, NyCee is talking more and more everyday. She is a funny little girl with the comments she makes. She has learned a new phrase, "Good stuff Mommy!" (I wonder where she picked up that statement.-HA!)

Tyler is getting big and finally sleeping in his own bed all night. When he goes to sleep at 730p, he is in his bed. But when he wakes up around 1230p or so, I would just put him in the bed with me so that I could go back to sleep. BAD! BAD! I know but hey, I am doing the best I can.

The pile of laundry was finally ironed and put away. Of course, a new pile is in it's place. Only 2 weeks of school remaining. Of course, my Internet has been hit or miss this week. I am so far behind on my school work this week because I can't log into class. The work will be completed, the final grades posted, and my degree conferred. So, as I like to say, "no worries."

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

15 days and counting....

There are 15 days remaining until I am finish with my graduate program. And I am really counting the days. I am so tired of school work! Good Gravy! But I can see the finish line ahead.

My Internet services sucks and works when it wants to. Thus, it is making it challenging for me to complete my final two projects. One professor granted an extension. I have not received a response from the other yet.

You know what? I will complete all that I can by Friday for submission. I can not stress myself out over it.

I constantly pray for strength. Working two jobs, completing two classes, raising two children alone is no joke! But God gives me the grace to run my race and thankfully He holds everything together for me.

The blog postings will be few over the next couple of weeks as I try to focus my energy on completing school. Hang in there with me.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Phillipians 4:13