Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Ok, final update...me!!!

I continue to work at Archie's IGA here in St. Maries as the office manager, where I have worked for at least 100 years! :) Over the past several years the family I work for has acquired two other grocery stores...one in Orofino, Idaho and one in Pullman, Washington.

Our store is the home office for all three businesses. I currently oversee the office staff and customer service booth staff at the St. Maries store, and the office managers of the other two stores. It is a very busy office with much to do, is extremely challenging, and quite interesting. Although sometimes I wish I did not work as many hours as I do, I truly believe that I am here for a reason and enjoy the job most of the time.

Prior to moving to St. Maries Mike was very involved in our community, serving as a volunteer firefighter & EMT, among other things. I simply did not have the time between working full-time, commuting, and taking care of the kids and home. When we moved Mike decided that he was going to scale back a bit, so I said, "my turn".

Shortly after moving here I was asked to tabulate scores at our local Junior Miss program. I was hooked!!! For those of you who are not familiar with Junior Miss, I will try to give you the short description. America's Junior Miss is a national scholarship program aimed at promoting and rewarding excellence among high school aged girls. The competitions begin at the local level when the contestants are juniors in high school. Each local winner advances to a state competition (Idaho's is in the fall of their Senior year), then the state winners advance to the national competition in Mobile, Alabama in June of each year.

The participants are judged in five categories at all levels of the competition: scholastics, talent, fitness, interview, and self-expression. The scholastics and interview portions of the competitions are held privately, outside of the public view. The other three categories take place on-stage before an audience and follow the format that you would expect to see at a beauty pageant. But Junior Miss is not a pageant, it is a scholarship program.

From that first exposure I was so impressed at the integrity of the program and what it did for the high school girls who participated that I couldn't stay away. By the next year I was on the committee. Our committee of eight women, led until recently by a wonderfully commited woman, has really grown our local program in the past several years...we have established a board of directors, adopted by-laws by which to govern our group, raised the amount of scholarship dollars that we give away each year, recruited an increasing number of girls, and won several state awards.

After being named to the charter board of directors, I was elected Secretary/Treasurer of the program and have served in that capacity until this past year. Last summer, our co-chairman and all-around leader Karen Ebert, passed away after a long battle with breast cancer. In addition, our other co-chairman stepped down from her position of leadership, although she remains on the board. Myself and another board member were elected as the new co-charimen of the program. It has been a learning year as we try to figure out our new jobs, but I cannot express how much I enjoy the opportunity to work with the young women of our community, create relationships with them, and attempt to be a good role model.

Junior Miss takes up the majority of my "me" time. We are very busy from December until April which is the preparation time for our program. During this time we meet weekly with the participants in addition to board meetings and other things that need to be taken care of. The rest of the year we meet at least monthly for business meetings, community service activities, etc.

So, in addition to work, Junior Miss, home, family, and children's activities I keep PLENTY busy. I also am involved in different things we do at our church and I keep the books for the wrestling club.

I really enjoy attending the kids' activities at school, particularly sports. I have come to love wrestling and really have fun watching track and field. I also like to cook and read when I have time and enjoy doing projects on our house, although I have no patience and a short attention span, so prefer projects that move quickly where you can see your progress. :)

That's it!!! You are all caught up on our family. I will attempt to make regular posts to help everyone stay updated.

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