So I got an email a couple of days ago from the IRS. They said that my background check and past three years taxes were clean and the job offer is now official. So when I go to work on Wednesday I will ask for the 21st off because I have dentist appointments with the family. Then on the following Monday (I think it is the 7th) I will give my two week notice and let them know that I am off on my last day. I can't lose my dental coverage. I fly out to Phoenix on Monday to start my training on Tuesday the 22nd, that is my birthday for all of those that have forgotten. It is a bummer that I will be out of town on Adam's birthday but I will live. I am so excited to start this new position in my life.
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper! I love to take the time to make art out of wrapping a gift.
2. Real tree or artificial? We have artificial, which is great because it is prelit. I do miss the smell of a real tree, though.
3. When do you put the tree up? Thanksgiving morning.
4. When do you take the tree down? New Year's Day -- ish.
5. Do you like eggnog? Nope.
6. What about fruitcake? Nope.
7. Favorite gift received as a child? One Christmas, Jack gave me a tiny porcelin doll. He had purchased it at the little store at school. No one had helped him decide what to get for me, and it was really special to me that he knew I would love a porcelin doll.
8. Do you have a nativity scene. Yes, I have one. I'm pretty sure we inherited it from the people who owned our old condo before we did. I would love to buy (or be given) a nice nativity scene that would really be mine.
9. Hardest person to buy for? Kirk's dad, hands down!
10. Easiest person to buy for? Kirk. And Adam.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I like all my gifts.
12. Mail or email cards? I didn't do either this year, but I love to get letters about people's year at Christmas time.
13. Favorite Christmas movie? I'm really not sure. I like the Santa Clause.
14. When do you start shopping for Christmas? June-ish. I'm always thinking about what I'm going to get people for Christmas next year. I just LOVE buying gifts.
15. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Only as a white elephant gift.
16. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Yummy Bars.
17. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Anyone who knows me at all knows this answer. CLEAR!
18. Favorite Christmas song? I don't have one, but I love to sing all the Christmas hymns and songs.
19. Travel for Christmas or stay at home? A bit of both -- Christmas morning at home, then off to visit the Grandparents.
20. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Yep!
21. Angel on the tree top or a star? I like a star.
22. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? The jury's still out. Kirk and I like to argue about an appropriate Christmas Eve tradition involving opening one gift that night. I grew up always receiving PJ's on Christmas Eve. We'd wear them to bed and have nice jammies to wear Christmas morning. Kirk got to choose which present he'd open. He thinks it would be dumb to know your present would have pajamas every year. I think I wouldn't want to open one of the gifts that was really intended for Christmas on Christmas Eve. So we save everything for Christmas morning.
23. What is the one present you want most this year? I really don't know. Anything I get will be something I didn't already have, and I will be grateful.
24. Most annoying thing about this time of year? The Christmas Shoes song.
25. What I love most about Christmas? Finding the perfect gift for someone and watching them open it. I also love acting out the Christmas Story at Aunt Enid's house.
So I just got my next email from the IRS in the hiring process. It was pretty much just to tell me what to expect, mostly, for travel. I know what day I will be leaving and what day I will be returning. I also found out what I need to wear while I am there in Phoenix. So now I have my hotel reservations done. A few things I found interesting is they will not pay for a car rental. That's okay though cause the training place is only two blocks from the hotel. Plus if I really wanted or needed a car I can always see if Andrea's grandparents will let me borrow a car. I may see if they will have me over for diner while I am there. Another surprising thing is they said I will get a computer and roll away back that I will take with me. I take that to mean they are giving me a laptop for work, nice. The last thing that was interesting was that they will just give me a check for the hotel, per diem, and money for random expenses.
Today was Adam's "Winter Sing" at preschool. It was absolutely adorable. Some of the older kids knew most of the words and did most of the actions, but a lot of the kids (Adam included) mostly just stared. Adam knew the last word of most phrases and participated in about 1/4 of the actions. The rest of the time he alternated between staring blankly ahead and doing really strange things with his face. During a "tra-la-la" section of one song, Adam just flicked his tongue repeatedly. I'm pretty sure no sound was actually coming out.
The best part (as featured in the picture above) was a dance to a rock'n'roll version of "Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer." In the picture, Adam is boogie-ing down. He did a really good job during the dance.
He may not have been the best performer on stage, but at least he wasn't the little girl who wouldn't stop crying and had to be removed by one of the teachers.
So to bring people up to speed on what has happened let me recap past events. The IRS emailed me in August to see if I was still interested in a positions. I replied with yes I am. Then In October they called to see if I was interested in an interview. Unfortunately, I am not able to bring my phone into my work so they left a message. I called them back and said that I would be interested and to call back and let me know when to schedule for the interview. About a week later I hadn't heard anything so I called again, a week later nothing so I called again. A couple of weeks later I still hadn't heard anything so I called again. After another week or so I still had not heard anything so I contacted a friend of mine that works there to see what is happening. He emailed me back and let me know that there are 6 positions that they are hiring for and 12 people on the list. My name was on the list of 12. So I left it at that.
Today I get out to my car after I got off work and found I had a message on my cell from the HR department in the IRS with a 215 area code. I called them back ready and excited to find out when I get to interview so I can get this whole thing done with. Much to my surprise the HR person said we would like to offer you a position in the Salt Lake branch as an IRS agent. Talk about a surprise! I always thought you would interview for a position before hired. I mean I took an assessment test back in May and interview with two people at the same time after the test. Being that it was a long time ago I thought it would mean I interview again to help narrow down the field. Fortunately I was wrong. I was also expecting to be offered the Grade 7 that would be about 35K a year since I applied for the grade 7. So I was totally prepared to negotiate pay so I didn't lose money since I make more than that. To my surprise they offered me a grade 9 position which would start at 43 something. Well that was the 07 rates. The HR rep said I would actually start at the 08 rates which would be hire. So that means instead of switching jobs and making less I am going to switch jobs and make a little more. Now keep in mind that his is a tentative job offer. My finger print analysis and previous 3 years taxes must come back before it is an official offer. That should be no problem since I file every year on time. Plus I have not criminal record.
My start date will be January 22nd, on my birthday, how cool is that. I will be in Phoenix that week for my training and then I don't know where I go for training after that. Anyway I am super excited about this. I just can not wait until it is an official offer so I can put in my notice at work.
Check out this adorable kid. The girl taking the photos seemed to make him a little nervous, and he absolutely refused to smile. After a lot of effort, we finally got a few pleasant expressions out of him, but never really a great smile. Enjoy the pictures.
You are all invited to our New Year's Eve Wii Tennis Tournament. Come at 6:00 to chat, to eat, and to set up your Mii. The tournament will start at 7:00. Even if you think you don't like video games, you have to give this one a try!! Bring treats to share -- chips, cookies, soda, whatever. Kids are welcom, but only those who understand the "taking turns" concept will be able to play.
If you've ever wondered what a ride in the car with a two-year-old might sound like, wonder no more. If you'd like to subject yourself to this hilarity with your own kids, the song is found on the Muppet Movie soundtrack. Enjoy!
About 6 months ago, Adam took a real interest in taking pictures with our digital camera. He has always been really careful with it, so I let him take pictures whenever he wants. These are just a sample of the 98 pictures I have saved on my computer that he has taken over the last few months. I love to see what he finds interesting enough to be worth a picture.
I can't wait until Christmas morning when Adam gets to unwrap his very own digital camera. Sounds crazy, I know, but I checked into the kids cameras and couldn't find a single camera worth buying. So I did some checking on the Internet, and I found him a "real people" digital camera for $35. I look forward to seeing what he and his camera can capture.
When Adam was born, we were forced to become ear infection experts, and this training has paid off with Alex. While it took over 2 years to come to the conclusion that Adam needed tubes, we have identified this need with Alex already. For his 9 month birthday, he gets to finally start getting over the ear infection he's had since the beginning of the school year. Hooray for Ear, Nose and Throat doctors. I'm really excited that he'll be able to get the surgery done so soon; hopefully this means we'll have a happy and healthy baby for the holidays.
Please keep baby Alex in your thoughts and prayers on December 12th. It's a pretty easy and low-risk surgery, so we're confident everything will go smoothly.
On Saturday night, our family did our first Christmas performance of the season. Christopher and Kris Vassel had invited us to their ward Christmas party, and we had a blast. According to Dad, he "didn't mess up the choreography nearly as much as he usually does," and none of us were terribly sick. That alone counts as a successful performance. For those of you slackers who didn't invite us to come perform for you, here are some pictures. (Thanks again, Vassels).
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This was not a hard read, but it was a good read. A story of determination, blessings, and a little bit of personal controversy, it was one of those books that you feel better for having read.
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"So many people enter and leave your life! Hundreds of thousands of people! You have to keep the door open so they can come in! But it also means you have to let them go!" -- EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE
"This self-respect and sense of self-worth, the innermost armament of the soul, lies at the heart of humanness; to be deprived of it is to be dehumanized, to be cleaved from, and cast below, mankind." -- UNBROKEN
"Louie and Phil's optimism, and Mac's hopelessness, were becoming self-fulfilling." -- UNBROKEN
"It remains a mystery why these three young men, veterans of the same training and the same crash, differed so radically in their perceptions of their plight. Maybe the difference was biological; some men may be wired for optimism, others for doubt. Perhaps the men's histories had given them opposing convictions about their capacity to overcome adversity." -- UNBROKEN
- The proud mother of three adorable boys
- One half of a great marriage to Kirk Fife
- An avid digiscrapper trying to capture her family's memories
- A primary teacher to a class of 4 and 5 year olds
- The bookkeeper for her dad's business
- A 2nd thru 5th grade music teacher
- A singer/dancer/actress whenever she finds the time
- A book lover who tries to balance reading and family
- An active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints
- Politically undecided because she can always see the logic (or lack of it) behind both arguments