Saturday, June 20, 2009

Summer Plans

Well, summer is officially underway whether the weather agrees or not. The season is shaping up to be quite different than we are generally used to.

The biggest difference is the city pool. Our kids, at least until they have turned 15 or 16, have always been big users of the pool. We always purchase a family pass & you can usually find them there almost every sunny day of the summer. This has always been of great benefit to us as I work all year & even though Mike works at the school his job is also year round (although 4 10-hour days in the summer). This year, however, due to new safety legislation the pool will not be open until late July because of upgrades that need to be done.

Kaittlin completed her CNA course through Lewis Clark State College this spring. The course consisted of one semester of a college level health course, followed by a one semester nurses assistant course. The CNA course was fairly extensive, requiring a two hour block of classroom work each morning at school with the obligatory assignments, quizzes, & tests. In addition she had to complete a specified number of "skills" hours. These were classes held at the local nursing home, taught by a registered nurse. She was also required to completed "clinical" hours where she worked a specified number of hours before & after school and on weekend, also at the local nursing home, basically practicing the practical skills she was learning, under supervision, at the nursing home. She also had the opportunity to shadow CNAs at the local hospital during this time. After completing all of her coursework & hours and passing her test to complete her course through LCSC, she then had to test through the State of Idaho to received her certification. She did that during the last two weeks of school & did very well, passing with an 85%.

In early May Kaittlin had applied at Valley Vista (nursing home) and the local hospital hoping to get a summer job as a CNA. In previous years, students completing this program had no problem getting on a Valley Vista, so a couple weeks before school was out Kaittlin was a little dismayed to hear that Valley Vista was not going to be hiring any CNAs this summer. We had heard a rumor that the hospital would not hire anyone under age 18 & she feared she had failed to make a Plan B & she would be without a job for the summer. She was just getting ready to enter panic mode on the day that she went to Post Falls to take her state certification test. About 1/2 hour before she was to take her test she noticed that she had a voicemail on her phone, so she called it back. It was the hospital, calling to schedule an interview with her!

So, the week after Kaittlin got out of school she interviewed at the hospital, found out she got the job!!! & took her ACTs. She is currently finishing up her first week at the hospital. She has worked swing swift all this week & spent a considerable amount of time in the emergency room. I think she has already learned a lot. This next week she will also work swing, then she will leave for Ironwood Thrower's Camp at Whitworth College in Spokane. She went to this camp last year on a scholarship & it was amazing. She is going as a commuter this year to save money. When she returns her shift at the hospital will change to graveyard about 4 days a week.

Her plans for the summer are work as much as possible, Ironwood, & she will also be attending church camp for one week at the end of July.

This spring Cassidy tried out for high school cheerleader & made the squad. She attended about 6 practices & came home one day & said, "Mom, I think I made a big mistake." Cassidy has always been a reluctant cheerleader, anyway. She was starting to feel like maybe she had bitten off more than she could chew. She had recently been to high school orientation & heard about the clubs she could join (two in particular really picqued her interest) & really took to heart the talks by the principal & counselor about your grades really mattering now. We made her wait a couple days before she told her cheer coach just to make sure SHE was sure, but she didn't change her mind.

Cassidy wanted a job this summer in the worst way, but no one hires kids under 16 in St. Maries. Idaho law limits the number of hours & which hours 14 & 15 year-olds can work, so most employers just don't like to mess with them for fear they will make a mistake in scheduling & inadvertantly break the law. Babysitting is so hit & miss and we did a lot of brainstorming, but finally came up with an idea that so far is paying off. St. Maries has a farmers' market every Friday night from 3pm to 6pm downtown. Cassidy has secured a booth & sells homemade baked items...pies, breads, cinnamon rolls, etc. Her first week she made about $40, this week she cleared about $95 (in the rain!). The booth costs her $10 a week, but after 4 weeks she is a member of the market & no longer has to pay. She also pays me for the ingredients. She is keeping track of her costs & sales so that she knows what she does & pays herself $10 per week to use as spending money, the rest goes in her savings account. Her early projections have her putting about $800 in savings this summer, not too bad! She will also be attending church camp at the end of July.

Ike just completed baseball season & was chosen to be on the All-Star team. That means practices for another several weeks & games the first two weekends in July. He has also become a regular "groupie" in the dugout of the local American Legion baseball team. They put him to work fetching balls & picking up bats & he likes to hang out with the big boys. Everyone is a winner! :) He will be attending church camp the third week in July. He also mows our lawn once a week & has a once weekly lawn mowing job for one of our neighbors.

Neither Mike or I have any work travel plans for the summer & vacation will likely not be financially possible this year, although I do think that we plan on a Spokane Indians game or two. We also would like to work a little on our yard, possibly moving in some river rock which we may have to make some trips to get.

We are looking forward to a visit from Sonny Schulz & her family next week and to watching her plan in Hoop Fest...can't wait for that! And, before we know it the end of the summer will be upon us. The kids plan on picking huckleberries again this year for school clothes money, it's crazy how fast it goes!

For our friends & family who read this, near & far, if you find yourself in the area please give us a call. We would love to have you stop by & see us...the house might not always be clean, but we can throw some hamburgers on the BBQ & build a fire in the pit on the patio & roast some marshmallows!

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