Just a place for soaking up iced-tea in the summer, coffee in the winter, and the Word of God all year through! We are a homeschooling family that takes one day at a time in the will and strength of our mighty king- with some ahead planning, knowing that it is God who directs our steps!
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Our Adventures in Unemployment
HUGE DISCLAIMER-- the paragraph and sentence formatting on this is wacked out and I don't know how to fix it. I have no idea what I did to make it look like this! Please excuse and offer help to avoid in the future! Thanks!
Our adventure starts with Hubby losing his job in August, which I believe I posted about back then
somewhere. The first challenge was that due to the nature of the job loss, we were facing not having
any unemployment benefits as it was a termination. Hubby decided that because the Dept of labor
offered an appeals path, he would take it, well, guess what! They gave him an opportunity for a hearing
before a judge ( actually a 3 way conference call between him, the judge, and the former employer. )
The employer never called in so Hubby spoke to the judge alone and was granted not just benefits but
retro-active benefits going back to August. I believe this was in mid September. (Right here, I have inserted a page break on accident and have no idea how to undo it in blogworld, so excuse me if it looks odd)
We started using foodbanks and learning how to live "differently" -- I had been used to making a
menu list weekly and it was very difficult to make if I didn't know what would be in the box and
sometimes, the stuff in the box would be already waaay past date. It would be easy to get upset and
say, " forget this", but God wants us to have a spirit of gratitude: "Okay, what CAN I use from here?"
I have to admit--- I am not the most creative of people in the kitchen, but after 12 years of marriage,I
can now touch most raw meats without squirming at all! woo hoo! The thing is that mostly, you are not
given chicken and beef in your boxes. I found that different food banks offered different things as well.
Some prepack your boxes and others let you choose what you like,meaning it's okay to pass up
somethings. One of our foodbanks here serves lunch!
In addition to the blessings of the foodbanks, we were given a giftcard by a family at church for a
local grocery store that let us buy those few things that we could not get at the foodbank-the meats. This
was followed by my parents taking us to Costco where they simply told us to fill a couple of baskets.
We tried to think of those things which would not be doubled at a food bank, so we chose items like
coffee, toothpaste, deodorant,and other paper goods like toilet paper, etc.Then shortly after that ran out,
another family showed up with 3 bags of groceries!! Every so often, we are asked what we need. That
is so difficult to answer without being picky, yet it is also difficult to answer because of what I have
seen on videos of little kids lining up to eat what is basically mush and so how do I ask for peanut
butter??? I feel like a demanding queen of something. Yuck! Yet, I know these brothers and sisters
want to bless, so the usual answer is "whatever meat you find on sale".
In the meantime, Hubby decided to go back to school. He found out about a veteran's program that
pays living expenses while you are in school and took out a small-ish school loan to pay for books and
other necessities. He was sick and tired working contract positions with the constant fear and fret of
being "off shored". Since large engines ( Semi -truck types) are fixed where they are, it is a field that
stays right here! That is what he has decided to do and wishes that he had done it twenty years ago.
He started school in January and his program continues through December. he will be needing to be
employed immediately next January (2014) as well as a couple of temporary jobs this summer in June
and in August. He has a truck driving class in July for 3 weeks and we will get the Veteran program $$
for that month only in the summer.
How has this affected homeschool? Well, the kids LOVE having their papa around, and that did
create a bit of a distraction. I have to be honest. It was a juggle to determine, Yes, it is more important
that they spend time with him at this time, but they also needed structure. He used the internet a lot to
do job searches and they were frequently distracted by our conversations, as well as our schooling
interrupted by him---coming in and speaking to me while a child was in the middle of reading aloud.
Then we disconnected the internet in November. This led to trips to the library to use internet and then
emails would pile up because someone would get sick. We also had special family errands to do that
were announced an hour before we had to them. I had a quick hard lesson from God to show me that
I am not quite as flexible as I thought I was!!! (and the song, Refiner's Fire, slowly plays in the back of
brain as I type this newfound epiphany of myself, although it was probably obvious to the rest of the
world that knows me.
Today, Hubby is at school. The kids are here with me and we are sort of back on schedule.
The 'net is hooked up again because Hubby uses it for school and quite frankly, I do too! I can put
library books on hold, renew them online, and say hello to friends through email/facebook without
calling their homes and messing up their school days! I can also look up recipes when I realize that I
have been given an interesting combination of food.
So, that has been our adventure. I know that so many are dealing with the same! And YES, you can
stay home with your children when your primary wage earner is out of work. We have experienced
nothing but blessings through this. It has allowed us to develop compassion for others and has given us
ideas on how we can help through donations when we are able to do so. It has allowed us to learn
humility and flexibility as well.
From the multi-tasking cranium of