Whew! Friends, my life is a blur right now… but I cannot complain! God is amazing and I give Him all the honor and glory!!
WARNING: The following post includes long periods of prolonged storytelling, ranting, and praising. Read at your own risk!
It was over a year ago that the Hubby got the wonderful idea to invite the Rhett Walker Band to come and perform as a fundraiser for new (and desperately needed) A/V equipment for our church. We had a quote for the cost of the project (divided into 3 parts that could stand alone while raising funds for the next part) and our goal was to reach the first third of the project. God was good and we exceeded that expectation. But with many well-laid plans, things did not quite go as we wished.
Despite the fact that we had a good portion of the funding that was needed, and that we SHOULD have been able to begin the first leg of the project, roadblocks were set in place. We were beyond aggravated. Anyone who knows anything about today’s technology knows that you need only to blink before it is outdated or the cost goes up. We knew our window was closing, and we were anxious to see the project started. But not everyone at our church felt the same and we found ourselves grudgingly placed on the back burner.
Our Witness Team is amazing and no one would let the project get pushed under the rug without a fight! So plans were made to host a steak supper and show to help raise additional money. This was a huge project and Hubby was the spearhead. We planned for rib eyes, baked potatoes, salads, and desserts; Valentines decorations; tables to seat 126 people; and entertainment that would draw crowds. We set the date, started advertising, had to reschedule the date, and began selling tickets. We were a committee of 12 but we had the heart and passion of a team of 1000… and we would make the money!
In the meantime, I also had to teach 118 fifth graders (if you are keeping up, 5 new kids have enrolled in the last few weeks!) and begin benchmark testing to
prove how effective I am as a teacher show how much the kids have learned. Testing 118 students 3 tests in 2 computer labs in a school with 5 other grade levels waiting for their turn to test can be stressful in itself… add to it 2 major snow and ice storms in the south and you have a nightmare. What would have taken just 3 or 4 days to teach has taken more than 3 weeks and I still have 3 weeks in this unit and another unit to teach before the next set of testing… which they just announced is in less than one month!
Snow doesn’t just shut everything down in NC… it means we have make up days to schedule and a lot of reteaching to do. Teachers in my county had 18 hours to make up after the first storm. I planned to only make up six of those hours and use leave for the rest. During this current snow/ice event, I braved conditions to come in 2 hours ahead of schedule on snow days. I had 5 of the 6 hours made up before they announced that we could not use any of that time as make up time. Sigh.
Back to the steak supper… it consumed most of the two weeks before the event. I had several different honey-do lists from the Hubby and spent a lot of time and gas running different errands in addition to printing tickets and programs for the event. Our kids were part of the entertainment, so there was also some planning and practice time allotted to them. We didn’t rest at all that weekend. But it was worth it.
The fellowship hall was packed! We were sold out before the event and having to deny people tickets right up until the start of the meal. The steaks were amazing and our wonderful team had prepared pound cake with vanilla ice cream, homemade chocolate sauce, and a cherry on top. YUM! Our youth were all in attendance VOLUNTEERING their time as servers with the only payment being hot pizza at the end of the night. We raised a good amount of money and are now prepared to pay for at least two parts of the project… enough to get the ball rolling. Hubby has a meeting this week! Yay, God!
Our youth and children’s choirs sing this Sunday, so that has also taken up a good portion of my time. Add to that making videos and PowerPoints to share with the praise and worship and you have quite a busy lady! I haven’t even mentioned the meetings, Scoring for Christ weekly sessions, and hosting 25 people at our house for Super Bowl Sunday! Whew! It has me tired all over again!
As stressed as I have felt at work, I could praise the Lord with great test results, energized students, and fun activities… but then the governor of our great state hit us in the gut. NC ranks near the bottom when compared to the rest of the country in teacher pay. We haven’t had a raise in years. YEARS. We don’t even have step raises for years of experience anymore. The governor has been talking for a while about how he could help boost morale and raise salaries. He announced his bright idea this week: raise beginning teacher salaries $5000.
Nothing about experienced teachers. Nothing about keeping good teachers in the classroom. Let’s just pay the young ones a lot of money (nearly as much money as this 19 year veteran makes) and reevaluate the situation later… much later. Insert slapped face here.
And, folks, today is my birthday. I am 41. I haven’t enjoyed or looked forward to my birthday in 2 years. I don’t want to celebrate in any way… it is way too depressing. And I could go on… but it wouldn’t change anything…
But I choose not to focus on all the negative. I’ve ranted. I’m done. Instead, I want to look at the fluffy white stuff outside my window, feel the warmth from the fire, drink lots of hot coffee, enjoy the fact that all four of us are home due to dangerous road conditions, and praise the Lord for His many blessings. God is good to me! I am thankful for a wonderful, loving family; a warm home during this cold weather; a good job that I am really good at; a church family that bands together to get jobs done; and for all of you… the ones who held on through all the words. Thanks! You’re the best!!