Thursday, August 01, 2013

Staying on our toes...

WOW!! Lifes' been keeping us on our toes. So many changes in such a short period of time. Kory hasn't worked for the Mine now for 7 weeks. Despite the lack of the paycheck it has been so nice. I have had several people come up to me and say how much happier we seem to be. I'm sorry we appeared to be miserable but Kory and I both feel happier and I'm glad it show's.  

Kory started school Monday, July 1st. He has classes Mon.-Fri. from 8am- noon. Up until this week he's been home almost every afternoon. I don't know what to do with him sometimes. The kids and I are loving having him around so much.  He helps do dishes, helps with dinner and laundry. We'll sit and watch a movie in the middle of the afternoon. He help's the kids with their show animals. He gives the kids quad rides around town almost on a daily basis. He'll sit down and play the Wii or board games with the kids. It's almost like having a new dad around. It's something we haven't had in a very very long time and we've never had it this good. It's been awesome to have this past month. This week started his clinical. Kory has been assigned Tues afternoons, 1-5pm and Sat. mornings 8-12.  This past tuesday was his very 1st time working on the public. He said he felt a little anxious but also knew that with the practice he's had thus far working on fellow classmates he was confident that he could do it. He had rehearsed everything in his head and was ready to start when his first client walked in. She and her daughter were getting a 50 minute massage done together. He was disapointed to learn she didn't speak English. This was also her very 1st massage and he could tell she was a bit uncomfortable with the "get naked and climb under the sheet". He said despite the language barrier and her uncomfortablness it all turned out all right. His second client for the day went better and he was more pleased. It was an older lady on vacation from California. She has had many massages in the past and was quite comfortable with a "man" working on her. Kory was quite thrilled to "feel" knots in the muscles around her neck and upper back. He was pleased that he was able to massage most of them out but was a bit frusurated that he couldn't get them all out despite his efforts. He knows that if Jared had been there he would have been able to get them all to release. She gave him a $5 tip in the end. Woo Hoo!!  I'm glad he's loving school. He feel's a bit overwhelmed sometimes with as fast as they cover information. He feel's he isn't really able to soak up all the information. He's had a few final's already and just recently started on some of the 2nd courses. He got a high B on one of the finals and was a bit discouraged about that. Being how fast these classes go and the fact he hasn't attended "school" and had test's and homework for 9 years I thought he did pretty good. He doesn't care for the time's when he receive's the massages but doesn't mind giving them. From personal experience they get better and better each time! He's looking forward to January when he hopes he can learn more from Jared.

Our plan's have been to stay in Alton at least until next summer. Kory does travel 2 hours each day but the shop he works out of is just down the street with very little overhead. We can't beat that!  We've had a few unexpected expenses pop up that we've had to take care of and Kory is on the search of a few cabinet jobs. We're all hoping that he get's another hotel job that is coming up in the next month or two. If we get it we should be set until the end of his school year. The kids are happy here. They enjoy being so close to their cousins. They like their school and the friends they have there. They would like to stay one more school year too. Being this is our 3rd elementary school we've attended in hte past 6 years I'm content to stick around one more year too. Hunter's going to be in 5th grade this year. If we end up moving next summer he will attend 6th grade in Middle School. I can't believe how fast our kids are growing.

Despite our plans things have a way of changing. Our landlord, Kathy, and her daughter in-law showed up about 2 weeks ago out of the blue. They took pictures of the house and was making a list of things that needed to be fixed outside and out in the barn. They let me know they are going to list the house for sale as soon as possible. We weren't sure if they really meant it because they haven't followed through in the past but last tuesday a contractor showed up and was working out in the barn. When they built the barn they converted part of the top portion into a little 1 bedroom apartment. It was never finished. It's got a workable bathroom but no kitchen. Since tuesday we haven't seen the contractor back. We learned that the contractor does that on the side as he works full time elsewhere so once again we wondered how serious our landords were. Last night Kory got a phone call from our lanlord. Apparently the contractor contacted him to let him know that there was more work that needed to be done in the barn than what was told to him by his wife, Kathy. Von says the house is a pain in the but. He want's it gone! He's decided to not worry about the barn but to focus more on the actual house. He's asked for a list of things that need to be fixed in the house. He'll than decided what he's willing to fix and pay for and have Kory do it if he has the time. Some of the things are quite obvious like the holes behind every door upstairs and the other holes in the walls that who only knows how they came to be. The girls bathroom is missing all 3 drawer's in the cabinet. It's our opinion to replace the entire bathroom cabinet. Not only are the 3 drawers missing but the cabinet doors are cracked and the bottom of the cabinets are warped do to a terrible plumbing job using pvc pipe and duct tape. One of the sinks we don't use becuase it leaks a lot every single time which is why the bottoms are warped so bad and probably what caused the drawers to break many years ago. If it was up to us the whole thing would be trashed and be done over, this time the right way. When Kory mentioned this to Von he said that it would cost to much and asked him to only replace the drawers.  Apparently the new owner's will have to find out on their own what a crummy piece of cabinet and plubing issues it really has. So tonight Kory and I will walk around the house and make a "fix-it" list of our landlord's. We don't know how much they want for the house but in the past it's been a ridiculous price, over $400,000. A few months ago they were offered $175,000 by Kory's brother in law Dustin... they really didn't like that. Our landlords called around trying to get someone local to offer more. In the end no one would offer more and so he accepted the $175. However, by then Dustin had come by and asked Kory to give him a tour of the house. Kory poined out the things that were broken, are about to break because they were done wrong, against code and just down right dumb! Needless to say Dustin took his offer back. There's just too much to do to fix it up the right way and at that price for the income level Alton has to offer. Von mentioned to Kory that he's tired of hearing the locals say they can't afford the house. He's going to fix the cosmetics and try to sale it to someone from California. I'm not sure what that's suppose to mean! 

So we really don't know how long we will stay in Alton. If money wasn't an issue I'd be gone now. I'd love to get into a neighborhood full of kids, something we don't have right now. Our area has been in a drought for quite some time now. For several weeks now we've had rain almost every day. The older locals are telling us this is a sign that this winter we will be once again be slammed with snow. The two winter's we've been here we haven't had half the snow they usually get. It's not uncommon for the snow to be higher than the fences and street signs. Kory's got pictures showing them as kids sledding off the roof tops. Apparently this is the norm. If what they are saying is true I don't want to be here!  Kory wouldn't have to commute, we'd be closer to stores and doctors, etc. 

This week the DI has brought a trailor up for us to use. Each day the kids and I have picked a room and we have completly gone through everything. We throw broken and unusable things away and have taken things we don't want anymore but still in good condition to the trailor. Our downstairs is clean! When we moved in there were 2 couches that had been left behind. Talking to our landlords last night these couches don't belong to them so they will be taken to the DI trailor tonight! We did the girls room upsairs a few days ago. Yesterday we picked the upstairs family room. We went through every puzzle, every game, every book. We got rid of the broken VHS player and all it's video's. We donated the DVD's we haven't watched in years. My family room looks so good! Today we'll do the boy's room. It makes me feel good to dejunk and get rid of so much. I guess if we end up moving earlier than we'd like I can just pack and not feel like I need to go through everything first. 

I'm so glad we made the decision for Kory to quit the Mine and go back to school for these next few months. I don't know where we are going or where we will end up but I do know we will be O.K. We'll have each other and we can make anything work.        

Life's About Changes.....

I wrote this about 9 weeks ago and afterwards decided I wasn't going to blog it. However, this an important part to our lives, a major change and I decided I want this entry in our family book when I eventually print it out.

I'm scared. I'm nervous. I'm anxious. I'm second guessing myself.  My head's telling me we are crazy, what were we thinking, how are we going to manage? My heart on the other hand tells me everything's going to be all right. We're doing what is best for our family! Kory just gave his 2 weeks notice to the Mine. A place that we have received a steady, predictable pay check for the past 2 1/2 years. In 2 weeks we will officially be jobless. AWWWWWWW!

Since January of this year Kory has been frusturated at work. He HATES the 6 days a week, 12 hour shifts that he has been on now since January. This work schedule was suppose to be temporary, just a few weeks. Almost 20 weeks later he's still on the crappy schedule with no end in sight. Being we thought this was suppose to be temporary Kory accepted several small cabinet jobs. These small cabinet jobs take him away even more and is taking much longer than anticipated due to his 12 hour shifts that won't seem to go away. Work and the extra work he's doing is really affecting our family. It's very common for Kory to go to the shop at 3-4 am, return home for breakfast at 6 and than leave for the Mine by 6:30 am. He then return's home that night about 6:30 pm for dinner and to read scriptures with the kids. By 7:30 at the latest he's usually left for the shop again and doesn't return home until after 10pm. This crazy schedule of his is affecting our marriage and the relationship with our kids. We are both trying to be patient with each other but's it's very difficult. I know it's hard on him to feel so stretched out as he is. To have so little sleep day after day. I know he's not happy that he's very seldom around. He know I'm not happy with our current situation. We both know this is not good for our family.

 Our families vacation to Nauvoo in March really helped us see that we needed to make changes for our family. However that's easier said than done sometimes. How do you change jobs living in Alton, Ut. Our current home's population is around 100 people. The people that work here and in the surrounding area are farmers/ranchers, school teachers or work for the county road.  Kory's dad does own 1/3 of a very large ranch with thousands of acres of property. Kory could work for the family ranch, it was an option that we knew we had. Being there has already been one fall out between two brothers over this family ranch that has really caused some contention between the siblings and parents we really didn't want to put our family in a similar situation.  Besides that Kory HATES cattle and horses. If he could run just the farm part of the business he'd be happy with that. But due to our more cold than warm weather season's the farm part of the ranch is only in operation 3-4 months out of the year. The rest of the year it would be expected that he would work with the cattle. Kory contemplated going back to school and getting a teaching degree. He wouldn't want to teach elementary but secondary eventually ending up in a college setting. Kory's about to turn 34 though and I'm 33. We know we're not that old but it would take a few years for Kory to earn that teaching degree. So we feel we are to old for this option. Where would he work during school? He'd want to attend school full time so the part time jobs available to us don't pay very much. How would we support our family of 7? Me going back to work full time to put him through school was an option but we felt we couldn't afford child care for 5! Working for the county road was another option we looked into but they paid quite a bit less than the mine did and worked simialr hours. Kory didn't/doesn't want to be a Miner for the rest of his life or work for the County. We knew we needed to make some changes but weren't sure how go about it. We started searching the internet for job openings in the surrounding towns, Kory talked to a few cabinet shops in St. George and Cedar just to see how their business were doing. The economy seems to be picking up but we didn't feel like it was enough to open our cabinet business up full time again. So we continued to do what we were doing while praying, sometimes begging, that something would come up to allow us to make the changes we needed.

About two weeks ago I was talking to my mom on the phone. After I vented to her once again about our job situation she mentioned her Massage Therapist. This guy, Jared, has been helping my mom's sciatic nerve issue she has had since last summer.  Last summer she was told by a few Chiropractic's that they had each done everything they could do to help her and the next step would be surgery. Trying to avoid surgery a neighbor talked her into making an appt. with Jared. At this point she didn't know if a massage therapist could really help or not but she felt it was worth a try. In the end he was able to help her, no surgery! Since than he has been able to help my mom and my dad with other issues relating to the muscles.  Jared does not work in a spa atmosphere. He does not give "come relax, feel good" massage's. He has his own office in St. George, Ut.  His clients are those that are in pain. He try's to issolate the muscle causing the grieviance and than massage the knots out of the muscle. We have talked to several of his clients and all we hear are praises about him. Once he is able to relax the paticular muscle, the extreme pain in gone. These people can once again walk without being hunched over. They can stretch their muscles and not be in pain. They many times are sore, very sore after seeing Jared somtimes they are brought to tears it can hurt so bad while he is working on them but by the end of the appointment the actuall pain is gone. Back to my conversation with my mom. She mentioned that she had just had a visit with Jared. He mentioned to her that he is very busy. So busy that he's booked 6 weeks out. He is currently seeking out other massage therapists to train in what he specifically does to help expand his practice and clientel. People call him in pain and they can't wait 6 weeks to see him so they end up going back to their medical doctor or back to the chiropractor. He know's he could probably help them in ways these other proffesion's aren't able to but because he is so busy he's loosing them. During my conversation I asked my mom to get a few more details from Jared. Kory has always had a desire to learn massage therapy but he has no desire to work in a spa atmosphere and so has done nothing with it. Could this be our answer?  Several day's later my mom called me back. Sounds like Kory does have a chance at this. He just needs his massage therapy license. Kory has talked to Jared once on the phone. He is going to go down next week and watch what exactly he does. We have prayed about this numerous times and feel we are making the right choice. So Kory has enrolled in Massage Therapy School. He starts July 1. He will be attending full time, 5 days a week, 8am to 5pm. We live an hour away and he will commute when school starts until school ends, the end of January. He will than need to take the state license test. After he has his license he will do a short internship with Jared and than he will be working on his own. At the moment Kory would like to work with Jared in his office, sometime of a partnership for at least a year or two. At that time if we feel it's right maybe we will branch out on our own.   

I feel like everything has happened so so fast! Within a week we have made this major, life altering decesion for our family. We have made enough money over the past few months that we were hoping to buy property with. Instead we will live on this for the next 6 months. Kory and I both feel like this is what's right for our family. The next 6 months aren't going to be easy. But we hope that this future job will give us what we want; the income needed to pay off student loans, a flexible job that will allow Kory to coach the kids baskettball team if he wants, go on field trips, to be around and available to our kids when they need him. If money get's tight during the next several months he can take on another cabinet job or two. I know we'll be O.K. It's when I sit down and really think about what we've done and focus on the "what if's" that I start to panick! I know Heavenly Father has answered our prayer. I know we have made the right decision.