Friday, January 31, 2020

After It's All Over, Still Breathing

I had a 90 minute meeting with my boss Wednesday morning. I asked him if we could meet; I asked him questions about leadership and how to streamline my department. I feel like I'm constantly 2 steps behind, always dropping the ball but he assured me I was doing a good job and I was the right person for the job. 

After our meeting I went down to the water and walked out onto the pier. It was actually a little mild out so I was surprised that there were so few people out there. Usually it's always busy down by the water front. It was so nice. Even now, remembering how calm and quiet everything was makes me smile.

As I was walking back to my car a guy who had been taking pictures told me that his camera wasn't doing it justice. I told him mine wasn't either! The sky was just spectacular!

On Thursday I had to fire someone. This has been brewing for months: disrespect, anger, fabrication... Our Senior Pastor and Executive Pastor made the call to dismiss this person but I agreed with the decision and being this person's supervisor - and the target of their behavior - I was the one who needed to do it. My biggest fear was that they wouldn't give up their work keys. After asking 3 times, they finally handed them to me. I've spent days going over this, rehearsing what I needed to say, and for all the scenarios I played over and over in my head it went better than I expected. But they did leave very angry, threatening to call the police and file a report. I had two witnesses in the room with me and when it was over I shook for about an hour! I literally couldn't sit down, the adrenaline was pumping! I hope and pray they get the help they need and that this is the end of the situation.

Beth has been doing extra work the last couple of weeks: emptying all the trash as well as vacuuming the 8 preschool classrooms, setting up chairs, stocking storage areas... she's really been working hard!

Taking the trash out to the dumpster

Today when we left work I asked her if she wanted to stop at Starbucks. She got a hot chocolate and a brownie and I got a white chocolate mocha with banana bread. It was a nice way to end a long, stressful week.

 How was your week?
Have you ever had to fire someone?
Have you ever been fired or let go?
(I have. Back in 1996 I was trying to learn the computer and after 3 months I was brought into the office and told "it wasn't a good fit.") 😬

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Just Breathe

I left work at 3:00 yesterday afternoon and haven't been back since. I think this is the longest I've been away in the last 3 weeks. I've got 3 people working today so I know things are in good hands.

I've been listening to a song by Jonny Diaz called Breathe. I keep hitting the repeat button:

Ready set go, it's another wild day
When the stress is on the rise
In my heart I hear you say
"Just breathe. Just breathe.
Chaos calls but all you really need is to
just breathe."

That's what I've been doing today. I spent some time with the Lord this morning, remembering His faithfulness to me over the years and I'm beginning to feel like a human again. I did a load of laundry, emptied the dishwasher, mailed a card to a friend, filled the dishwasher... real human stuff! 😊 

I've still got some difficult things ahead of me at work but yesterday I trained two new people and I think they're going to be great! Two young guys who are strong and eager to work. Plus I've got two more applications on my desk from people who have applied so I'll talk to my boss when he gets back from vacation on Monday and get his thoughts on hiring them.

Until then I'm just going to breathe.
Whew. It feels good to breathe. 

Now on to other things ~

Sharaya gave me this card for Christmas:

When I opened it I heard my dad say, "Well hi sweety!" And of course I lost it. To hear his voice again was indescribable. She found a company that inserts a recording into a card or lets you insert the recording into a device that you can then put in a card, I'm not sure how it works to be honest but oh my goodness what a phenomenal gift for someone who's just lost a loved one!

We got Beth a bowling ball for Christmas. She's had two others but after a while they begin to crack and break apart. The guy at the sports shop told me that those were probably made of plastic and we needed urethane or resin. And this time she chose purple!

Measuring her fingers so they can drill the holes

Of course we had to bowl a couple of games when we picked up her bag and ball. I mean, what kind of parent would I be if I denied the family a good game of bowling, right?!

I honestly don't remember who won but I'm sure Sharaya or Diana could tell you. There's no competition in our family! Oh no, none at all! 😉

Have you ever been bowling?

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Just Random Stuff

Chuck, Beth and I went to see Dr. Dolittle the other day. It was pretty good, there were some funny parts. The best part for me was just getting out of the house for a while. Being able to do something different.

Honestly I'm writing this at 1:30 in the afternoon and I'm still in my pajamas. I worked from 8:30am to 11pm yesterday and will do it again tomorrow. Supervisor by day and Custodian at night. I think there's a light at the end of the tunnel though because I hired one person yesterday and I'm meeting with someone else tomorrow. Plus one of my night crew comes back from his missions trip the end of this week... this has been a very difficult start to the new year. But the miracle is my attitude. God is doing such a work in me, changing me to think differently and my 'self talk' is more positive.

God is good.

We've got rain today. And tomorrow. And the next day. Hey, this is Seattle after all! 😊

I haven't taken too many pictures lately. Well, except at work of course. Room set ups, broken chairs, etc. Okay, enough about work. Moving right along...

I'm in the middle of a couple of books. One is Home by Julie Andrews. It's the autobiography of her growing up years. (I've already read Homework of her Hollywood years.) I love reading about people in the spotlight from their own point of view. In the end they're just regular people like you and me, with the same doubts, fears and concerns. The other book hasn't been published yet. My high school biology teacher began writing books when he retired from teaching and he asked a few of us to read it and write a review. (The power of Facebook!) It's a law enforcement mystery novel and it's been really good. I get into it and can't put it down.

Our extended family has a reunion back in Iowa every summer and we're hoping - planning - to go this year. It's my grandma's family, (my dad's mom) her siblings and their kids, grandchildren and great grandchildren. My dad went a few times, he didn't realize they had it until he was older and now that he's gone, we want to make it a priority to go. When we visited a couple years ago they showed me the Family Book that they have spent decades putting together of each sibling and their families. How my grandma and her brothers and sisters lived in a children's home, there are pictures of them and of the house. Their story is incredible! Then as we were leaving Aunt Betty's she gave me my own copy of the book! I've been working on pages of our family and I hope to take them back to help fill in some gaps in my grandma's life. (She moved to CA when everyone else stayed in Iowa.) I'm excited to meet more of our family members!

Well I guess that's all from around here. It's been a pretty slow day, which is exactly what I've needed!

Does your family have a reunion every year? 

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Day To Day

 Go over to Rebecca Jo's blog to read more things to be thankful for
I'm thankful for snow!
We've had a lot of it the last few days
I'm thankful for a good car that does well in the snow
I'm thankful for hot chocolate on a cold day
For marshmallows in that hot chocolate!
For a clean refrigerator (Finally got it done!)
For a soft blanket to curl up with on the couch
For the hope of new employees
I'm thankful for my boss and co-workers
I'm extremely thankful for the end of a very long day

I'm thankful for friends and family who check in to read about my day and what's going on in my life

I'm thankful for all of you!!

Saturday, January 11, 2020

An Elf, A Scavenger Hunt and Traditions

(Thank you for your prayers and comments on my last post. I know the Lord hears our prayers because when I got to work the next day, I had an email from someone requiring about a job. I got another email today from someone else who is interested!)
Thank you Lord!


We flew Diana out for Christmas and she was able to stay for 2 weeks. For the first time in 5 years we had a 'typical' Christmas at our house and Sharaya and Allie even spent the night with us! We all woke up together Christmas morning. I absolutely loved it!

Our Christmas Eve tradition is Allie opens one gift, pj's and a stuffed animal. Chuck's mom started doing that when our girls were little and Sharaya asked me to do it for Allie. I love shopping for her and trying to find just the right pj's. This year I shopped late and there wasn't a huge selection but we all loved the ones I found!

After Allie went to bed, Sharaya and Diana put together the bike Sharaya bought for her. Then Christmas morning Sharaya had her go on a scavenger hunt to find it!

 I know this summer they're going to ride all over Seattle!

The rest of the day was spent playing games and having chips and dip. Another Anderson tradition!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020


Today was my day off and I spent part of it, to be honest, on my knees crying over my job. I had no idea just how much it would change my life and how time consuming it would be. (For many years I was the Admin for our Facilities department but a little over a year ago I became the Custodial Supervisor.)

I went through my camera to see what recent pictures I had that I could post here and they're all from work! 

Beverage containers
Room set ups
A Maintenance code on one of our copiers


(So I know how many beverages to bring to this event each week.)

(Trying to see where on the floor the tables are to be placed.)

(You have to know the code when you call for maintenance.)

I won't post the pictures of the bathrooms that desperately needed attention. (I work at a large church and we serve a lot of homeless and people with addictions. During flu season you expect bathrooms to look... well you know, but let's just say these were bad enough it looks like they were sabotaged so I took photos just in case.)

I've had one custodian give notice, another is leaving on a two week missions trip and still another is going home (out of country) for two and a half months. I'm trying to hire more people but for now I'm working as Supervisor during the day and as a custodian a few nights a week. Needless to say, I'm exhausted. I spoke to my boss yesterday and he's helping me with the hiring process. But today I just broke down and cried out to the Lord. Honestly, I feel better. Tears for me are a way to relieve stress. What do you do when you feel overwhelmed? How do you relieve stress?

I promise I'll post some fun Christmas pictures soon. The whole family was together again!

Friday, January 3, 2020

We Tried So Hard To Be Prim and Proper!

A couple weeks before Christmas I took Allie to tea for her birthday and we had such a great time! I've gone before with friends but was always just invited, this time I chose the place and made the reservation... 

It was about 30 minutes from our house and if you know me, you know I don't venture far from home very often. Not by myself and when I'm driving! I'm so grateful for Google Maps and Street Scene. I've driven so many places on-line before I ever go there for real!  

We arrived in plenty of time and got to look around the little shop before we were seated. It was a cute little place and we oohed and aahed at all the tea sets.

Our table was decorated so cute. We loved how the napkins were rolled inside the cup to look like roses

After we placed our order we went into the Royal Gown Room which was filled with crowns and hats and boas... Allie tried a few on and found a beautiful tiara to wear while we had lunch.

 I wish I'd captured the look on her face when they brought out our lunch on the tiered trays. Her mouth dropped open, she was so surprised! It was priceless!

When I bit into my scone I expected it to be cool and a little bit hard but it was warm and so soft! My eyes got big, I looked at her and covered my mouth with my napkin so I could tell her how good it was when all of the sudden the background music began to play The Hallelujah Chorus! Oh my gosh we both laughed so hard!!

Have you ever had Tea in a Tea Room?