Sure, no problem. I'm a systems consultant for the seminary I attended. I did systems development while I lived there, but in a student employee capacity. They didn't have the ability to hire me full time permanently, so I left and moved my family back to the PNW to be near my wife's family. Just after getting here, my former supervisor and mentor figure died unexpectedly. Given that he was it for the systems people, the seminary suddenly had great need, and I was one of two people who worked with him in a capacity that would make covering duties possible. They asked me if I would come back to take the job, but we declined since family was still a thing (and we wanted our son to grow up around family). In the year since, I've steadily been helping them keep things going as a remote consultant. I was effectively "the guy" for over half a year. They finally found a new permanent hire, but they hired him based on sensed work culture compatibility and capacity to learn the job. Until he's ready to fly solo, I still help them keep moving along. And I get to work from home, whenever I can, by removing in. It's a good, even if ultimately temporary, arrangement. Extremely helpful when my wife has had a somewhat more difficult pregnancy this time around, and the property we're on has many upleep needs.
Work was much, much busier than previous weeks thanks to project go live dates at 4 of my sites. The go lives were crammed in to 2 days so it was interesting, to say the least.
Kids are still on summer break, but the heat has us staying indoors more often than we would. We are all very eagerly anticipating more moderate temperatures. As soon as it cools off, I plan to take the kids to a park so they can burn off some excess energy. Also hoping to make use of some summer activity passes (e.g. bowling, zoo, museum, aquarium, etc.) before summer ends.
BUT IT'S JUST SO STINKING HOT.
Got to go on a date night with @Ember at our church this last Friday. We both drove straight from work, but it still counts as a date night! There was food, a comedian, and other couples (most of whom we already knew) at our table at the dinner. A fun time was had by all (or, at least, by us).
im alive, God is growing me, though it is getting a little old at this rate XD
ive been running like crazy and just really tired.
Thinking of changing my business model slightly but still trying to pray through it all.
its hard just waiting on things...... i just want things to work and spend time with HeavyArms. To me, and I might be crazy, but I don't think work is a total curse, we were meant to create as a part of our image. That and total amount of hours worked doesn't always equal the value we believe it should.
Its been pretty discouraging, lost a bid where I should have won by default, websites feel like a race to the bottom of the price barrel now-days, and I've had a few bigger leads.... but admittedly.... they are.... trying to phrase nicely.... blind to their own businesses because they sit too close and can't see the struggles that consulting could fix and make them more profitable...
So that being said, we're looking at a few different things while maintaining our current contracts.
Its been weird too, there have been about 5 local deaths in the last couple of months and its starting to wear a bit. One had even come to our small group a few times, but committed suicide two months ago. Another was a kid who crashed his bike in a way that his handle bar impaled himself on his bike and passed away yesterday in a neighborhood a couple blocks down. among other things, its hard to see past that stuff sometimes ya know?
Don't mean to be a total downer on stuff, but just sharing where we're at. I know the yoke is "easy" but it doesn't mean it can't get heavy from time to time.
This week at work was relatively quiet with periods of focused project work.
Summer is quickly drawing to a close and it takes mental discipline to take deep breaths and not hyperventilate when I consider how crammed my and @Ember's schedule is going to be this fall. I'm confident God will see us through it; I just need to work through my own high-strung-ness.
Kids are in good health. Our little keeps getting bigger and our big is so very ready for school to start (unlike me and her mama).
Ember and I built a bunk bed for the kids this week and they're super-hyped. Plans long (LONG) in the works are finally seeing fruition and it's both rewarding and nerve-wracking (because what are we going to do with this old furniture?).
All in all, doing well, but, being real, also somewhat stressed. Feeling tested in terms of trusting God to order our days and found lacking, but praying and working to do better. Your prayers, as always, are appreciated.
Oy, this work week was super duper busy. Got a lot done, but still a lot to do next week. Project work took priority over the ticket queue and will continue to do so Monday, but I'm hoping I'll be done with project stuff by mid-week and I can catch up on tickets.
Family is doing well. Older child started school on Wednesday. Younger child starts preschool tomorrow. They grow so fast! <3
Didn't have an opportunity to work out this week due to one-time events and I'm feeling it. X| Planning to get back to a regular schedule this week.
Had an extremely rare opportunity to enjoy a few hours of quiet at home yesterday when @Ember brought our girls to a baby shower. Relaxed for about 1/3 of the time and worked on the house (with loud music, yeah buddy) the rest of the time.
Life remains very busy and will get busier still once we add in dance and Wednesday night church for both girls. We're very excited about new Wednesday night programs for the kids this fall. I'm just bracing for having less time each week to work on the house. Stuff piles up fast when both parents work outside the home. :/
Please keep praying for wisdom regarding time, peace, and clear leading on where God would have us apply the gifts He's given us. In the limitations of my perspective, I don't see where or how God would have us get more involved in our local church, but I trust He has a plan for us on that front.
Late to the party. Spectre-6 came on the 10th. He's doing really well! Spent a little over 48 hours in the hospital from check-in to discharge. Working on adjusting to/finding a new normal. Super helpful that my mother-in-law has been staying with us for the first two weeks. But that also means that whatever normal we try to establish now isn't actually a new normal, just a temporary one.
But a temporary one that is enabling more sleep than if she weren't here, and that alone is a huge perk for transition. It's good to have her here even beyond the simple fact of sleep, of course.
Beyond that, trying to get my work hours in since I'm an hourly contractor, and expenses don't care that I've just had a kid. haha
And also sold some gaming gear of the last month to fund a Switch with no outta pocket expense. Once I spot a deal I'm ready to bite on, I'll be ordering/picking one up.
Work calmer than it was during my last check-in, but that's likely to change in late September/early October.
Took a family trip with @Ember and the kiddos for Labor Day weekend. Was much fun, but traveling with two young children is exhausting. Pulling a muscle in my lower back 2 days before we drove 2 hours to our destination didn't help.
Speaking of the pulled muscle, it's healing nicely and I FINALLY got back to working out today. (Don't worry. I was careful.) It was good to be back, but, wow, I definitely felt the effects of going 2 weeks without a workout.
Wednesday night church started for our older child this last week, which means we are fully back in the swing of our fall schedule. Oof. No rest for the wicked parents.
Grateful for what I got, but wouldn't mind a legit break (I feel like weekends don't count when you have young kids) now and then. But, by the grace of God, I shall soldier on!
I guess it's been a while since I've given any updates -- not really from a lack of things going on but being more issues of psychological endurance that are gainful to go through but not immediately apparent how to easily or constructively talk about.
Basic summary, going through preparations for incorporation leads to the need to realistically contemplate and deal with the transition to following the Holy Spirit in a place of public visibility versus in private. Sober reality is that this will probably involve some things that are very unfun. And it's not a fear of unfun things that are the primary difficulty to contend with, but being saddened at the nature of humanity in having to acknowledge and fortify against the honest reality that serious, sincere attempts to do good works in the will of God are more likely to result in strife and setbacks than respect and positivity. And having to realistically acknowledge that case without letting it descend into demoralization is an incredibly difficult tightrope to tread.
But overall, things are going pretty well. The uncomfortableness I'm going through isn't a result of any adverse things going on now. I'm just going through some natural pain and fatigue that comes along with the process of strengthening oneself for greater capability in the future rather than staying comfortable with my current levels of mastery.
@Ember and I have more or less settled in to the school year routine, though we're both feeling the weight of keeping so many plates spinning (Ember moreso). It would be nice to get a break and catch our breath, but I don't see one on the calendar in the near future.
Work has been relatively quiet this month, staying busy enough to keep me occupied but not overwhelmed. That will very likely change next week as we just received word that a project that was halted earlier this year will resume and with a tighter deadline than originally planned. I am not looking forward to Monday. -_-
Kids are healthy and happy. Younger daughter is loving preschool. Older daughter is doing well, also.
Still wishing I had more time (and larger chunks of time) to dedicate to a hobby. I've been thinking about making good on that threat to start writing a children's book with my wife. (She would help rein in my propensity to go full-on Grimm in a culture that still favors Disney-style sanitization in children's stories.)
All in all, things are stretched thin but stable, but work life is about to get much, much busier and that tends to affect other areas of life. Your prayers, as always, are greatly appreciated!
I wanted to clarify a bit but also share kind of what we do.
We were talking the other night about college ministry. And admittedly I asked when was the last time he had been to a party house to pull a drunk people out of it, etc. and that is a bit a horror story and or like a badge of honor of ministry if you want to call it that. A lot of what we work isn't quite that crowd anymore.
We live in one of the least churched states in the America and so even when we have "christian" good home raised students, we still have to explain why going to Disneyland and sharing a room with the boyfriend/girlfriend is a bad idea.
At least half of our students come from broken homes, occasionally we get a kid where on the way to college, the parents tell them they are getting a divorce. And then parents wonder why the kid flunks out the first year.
What we end up doing a lot more than evangelism and outreach, we do have a college leadership program focused on that, is something my pastor's pointed out and we didn't really realize what we were doing. We end up fathering and mothering the students more than anything else over the years. I realized it even more this last week when one of my favorites (yes i have favorites), she and a few others want to take me to all of the Father's Weekend events and be honored as her father. (Quick note, her dad has never once visited her at school in all 4 years she has been here and is barely getting use to talking to him again)
Looking towards May graduation, i think the most difficult part of our ministry is having our students leave after 4 years of investing relationship into them, and then in three months (fall semester start), reach out and find "new" son's and daughters to invest in for 4 more years into....
A tie for difficulty in our ministry, is watching sons and daughters making poor decisions. Pornography, fornication, depression, lying, cheating, under-aged drinking and even last year a suicide (to clarify, there were deep mental health issues and all measures were taken to help him)...and some of these are the "good" kids, a couple even in the leadership program. The pastor's are aware of it, and ultimately we operate as extensions of them since they only have so much time.
All to say, its extremely painful sometimes and extremely rewarding all the time. If you do have the opportunity, even if its mentoring 1 student on a weekly/monthly basis, these kids need help becoming adults and so far nobody has taught them how to be Godly men and women (and college sure won't teach them that either).
all that has been swirling in my head a for the last week/couple-days. otherwise its okay. we're starting to get sick I think so we'll need to work through that. played some Megaman X7 and realized how terribly 2.5D/3D megaman is when it isn't megaman legends XD
Whoof. Not the right day, but here goes the speed version:
Wednesday noon, my internet died for 24 hours, effectively blocking me out of the better part of two days of work. Couldn't make up for it when it came back on because...
Thursday afternoon, my parents came in from Florida. They were here for a four day weekend, their first chance to meet Spectre-6 and be here for the double dedication at church for both sons.
Also Thursday afternoon, got a call to set up a four hour interview for a tech job at a state school. Interview is tomorrow morning. Giving myself a full two hours for the drive, though. Will require relocation if I get it.
Sunday, child dedication at church. Both boys. Both our sets of parents came, along with more family. Then we had a barbecue celebration afterward. Then parents went home.
Now, back to trying to get on top of work while prepping for a major interview that would definitely change our lives if I get the job.
I am very pleased to announce that I received a promotion yesterday! I had learned about it earlier this month, but it wasn't official until yesterday (which is a Sunday, which still seems odd to me, but no complaints here). Celebrated with Indian food after church.
Kids are still healthy, though the little one has woken up at odd hours a few times recently and the older one complained of a scratchy throat (though that didn't seem to amount to anything).
As expected, work has ramped up as our team is replacing computers at a frenzied pace for hardware refresh. Things aren't as stressful as they might have been because I was recently assigned to a new zone with fewer computers to replace and fewer sites to visit. The reassignment is a big deal as my new zone (which is actually the first zone that I covered) and my new office (which is my old office) is much closer to home. The move is bittersweet, though, because my new office is significantly smaller (gotta maximize that space!) and the first department I worked with closely will be shutting down before the end of the year. Overall, it's a positive move and a timely one at that. I worked with the tech who took over my now-old area as best I could, but workload and project demands didn't give me the time to tidy things up like I would have liked before he took over.
Still wishing I had more time for gaming, but grateful for the recent promotion, the shorter commute, and the (at least for now) reduced workload.
Also late! Celebrated my wife's birthday over the course of the last week. Mother-in-law watched our boys so we could go out shoe shopping for her gift without their hastening us...then actually eat a meal unrushed and at a restaurant to boot! (Best restaurant we've been to in the city, so that was a nice double surprise.) Then took her actual birthday mostly off. Helped ensure she got to do some craft stuff she wanted to do... during the day! haha
Two kids definitely affects the way you think about doing things and when you do them.
Yesterday, I got a call about a job I was feeling pretty sure I was gonna get, only to get turned down. That sucked. Trusting God has something better suited to us because of this, but still a bummer to get turned down.
Oops. Late again. Small update: Got a call from another university to set up an interview for a tech job. Similar to the one I got turned down for, but closer to where we've looked into wanting to buy a home and property, and the job pays better to boot. My interview is Thursday.
Working on winter-readying the property we're at, but been busy...even if it's just the normal stuff. haha
So work this week went from full throttle to coasting. :|
We got the word last Thursday to halt the hardware refresh that we were previously instructed to make our primary focus. So work slowed down considerably once I made my way through the tickets that had sat in the queue while I was focused on the refresh.
Kids are healthy and happy. Had a school event on Thursday night, a breakfast at my older daughter's school yesterday, and a breakfast at my younger daughter's school this morning. We'll be up early-ish for church tomorrow, which means that daylight savings "fall back" couldn't have come at a better time. (Seriously, I just want to sleep in one day a week. T_T)
I've been wanting to get back to at least a little bit of multiplayer PC gaming (beyond Tribe of Judah's weekly TF2sday event, that is), but first I have to figure out what games I can load up to play with my CGA peeps. I'm open to suggestions, everyone!
There was discussion about Path of Exile on the CGA Discord server, but Diablo 2 never clicked for me back in the day and I don't think any game is worth the wrist pain that follows clickfest games like D2 and PoE. Truth be told, I think I just want another Dungeon Siege game with controller support (sorry, DS1 and DS2 fans, but my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our playthrough of DS3 years ago) or a sequel to Soma Bringer on the 3DS or Switch.
Work is picking back up, though we still haven't resumed our hardware refresh. The latest orders to come down are to audit payment devices in our area, which shouldn't be too bad for my zone but it's going to be an exhausting effort for the dude who took over my previous zone. If I think about it too long, I almost start feeling guilty.
Kids are healthy except the little one has a cough. Poor thing. She's still in good spirits, but she's usually A-OK...until she's not and she turns in to a pumpkin.
As always, I'm trying to sort out how gaming fits in to the life of a full-time worker bee with a wife and two kids. Some recent and very insightful discussions on the CGA Discord server with @Kendrik and @Neirai the Forgiven have me thinking it's time to make peace with my "much more narrow than 20 years ago when I was a single dude" genre preferences and fire up another Metroidvania instead of feeling obligated to play a wider variety of games. I never did crack open Shadow Complex on Steam and I do have a Steam Link and some excellent gamepads...