Wednesday, April 30, 2008
By MSN Money staff
What's a mom worth?
According to one new report, $138,095 a year.
That's the figure in a report by Salary.com, which calculates the wages that would have been paid a stay-at-home mom in 2007 if she were compensated for all the elements of her "job." That total is up 3% from 2006's salary of $134,121.
Moms who have jobs outside the house would earn another $85,939 for their mothering work, beyond what they bring home in existing salary.
Talk back: What's your "mom work" worth?
The job descriptions that Salary.com used to determine a mom's salary includes 10 jobs that moms do on an average day: housekeeper, day care center teacher, cook, computer operator, laundry machine operator, janitor, facilities manager, van driver, CEO and psychologist.
Plenty of overtime In calculating a mom's wages, Salary.com looked at the "overtime" that both working and stay-at-home moms put in each week.
"Mom works multiple jobs and rarely gets a break from the action, working an average of 52 hours of overtime," said Bill Coleman, senior vice president at Salary.com, in a statement.
According to the Salary.com survey, stay-at-home moms work a 92-hour week, with more than half the workweek spent in overtime.
Working moms, meanwhile, logged more than nine hours of "overtime," with an average 49-hour "mom" work week -- on top of their full-time paying jobs.
For the Salary.com survey, more than 40,000 moms quantified their hours per job description; Salary.com benchmarked the median salaries for each job to the national median salary for each position as reported by employers.
The final salary was calculated by weighting the salaries and hours worked in each role.
According to this info, someone owes me 1,726,187.50
I'll be gracious and wave the interest. Just give me the principal. Go ahead. Right now please.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Day one of our praise team retreat in Crystal Beach Texas:
Our rental house is steps from the beach. You can smell and hear the ocean. It is so peaceful and calming and exciting all at the same time!
We arrived around 5pm and Alto immediately got to making dinner for us while we explored the house and the beach.
I sat down on the deck with the ocean breeze and the sounds and smells of the ocean surrounding me and got out my guitar for the first time in many weeks. I flipped through my book and praised and praised while waiting for dinner to finish. Alto prepared us an amazing dinner and Flautist and Tenor set a beautiful table complete with disposable tablecloth and bubbly non-alcoholic juices. During dinner we had 5 Minutes Of Fame. I positively adore the seven other women I serve with on the Praise Team, but it occurred to me that I really don’t know that much about them so I asked them to be thinking about sharing with the group about their days. It was such a touching and amazing time of sharing and hearing about these incredible women and their incredible stories. It really deepened my affection and respect for each of them. We toasted to being here and we toasted to the 2 girls who could not make it on the trip(Pianist and Violinist).
After dinner we cleared the table and some of the ladies cleaned up the dishes. Then it was off to the beach! The beach. At night. Water about 70 degrees. Ahhh. It was still pretty windy so we decided not to build a fire for S’mores – maybe tomorrow. We walked up and down and discovered crabs! No, not the little handfuls of sand crabs that you find in the beaches in California, and no not the kind that they catch from the Bering Sea on Deadliest Catch. I guess they are somewhere in the middle. As the ladies slowly petered out and made their way back to the house, it was just Guitarist and I left – she with her flashlight and me with my camera. We were trying to capture pictures of the crabs which didn't work so then we decided we just needed to capture the crabs themselves. Picture two grown women in the dark on the beach squealing and jumping and running around. Alto came back from the house and asked if I had the key….oops! The poor girls had been sitting outside the whole time waiting for someone to come and let them in. After about 15 minutes of trying to brave up and actually grab a crab Guitarist says, “We should get the net from the house!” DUH! I said, “You’re so dumb! Why didn’t you think of that 10 hours ago??” *giggling childishly* So we came back, got the key, grabbed the fishing net and a bucket from the outdoor bathroom/storage room and went back with a purpose and a mission; to catch crabs! And we DID! We caught 5! That was such a fun and adventurous time, and also exhausting and possibly too much because now my throat hurts and I am exhausted. I caught crabs! Ha!
I am awakened by conversation and think, "How can this be? I feel like I just went to sleep an hour ago." I looked over at the clock - 6 a.m. - I HAD just gone to sleep an hour ago! UGH. Not because we were up all night goofing off and chatting like teenagers, no. I was with a group of early to bed, early to rise'rs. I tried to go to sleep at a reasonable hour. I really really did. I just did not sleep. And did not sleep. And did not sleep. The last time I looked at the clock it was 5 a.m.
Onward and upward! We have a day ahead of us! I plugged in my earbuds, cranked up the Ipod for God and had my morning worship. About 3 songs into it, I came under attack! I opened my eyes and there on my bed is Alto!! She is singing harmony to Oh Lord, To You. Does it GET any better than this? She stayed with me for a minute then went on her merry way. I lifted my voice a bit longer then said thank You to God. NOW I can begin my day. Someone borrowed my camera and had gotten a picture of the sunrise. I will admit here and now that there may have been one or two times in my life when I was up and coherent enough to view the sunrise live and in person; this was not one of them, so it's good that I have this visual to help me out.
We had originally planned to make a trip to IKEA in Houston, have lunch there, and then have a nice dinner out together before coming home. When we discussed the fact that it was a 2 hour ride to get to IKEA from where we were and that Galveston was just a 20 minute drive and a ferry ride away - we voted for that instead! My first ferry ride! I did not get out of the car (it was cold and raining) and I did not take pictures (we were on the inside row and could only take pictures of other cars). Poor Tenor had anxiety over being on the boat and so she was very quiet and rather miserable until we got onto solid land again. Where we are stationed is not what you would call a mecca, so I am sure you will not be surprised that our first stop after crossing the channel was STARBUCKS. I ordered a Venti Blended Vanilla Chai with Whipped Cream. $4.65.
Then we decided that since the rain had stopped and the sun was attempting to come out, we would leave the car parked and venture around downtown Galveston, with the plan of visiting Target before we headed out for dinner. Like I said - we don't live in a Mecca. I really enjoyed the architecture downtown, and mostly took pictures of that. There were a couple of interesting shops; even one where you can get Mo Bettah Threadz.
My favorite shop though was a whimsical gift shop called the Funky Monkey
where I found the most perfect souvenir. It made me cry. And it made me buy it. I haven't taken a picture of it yet - I probably will for another "Small, Deliberate Acts Of Nurturing" post, but I WILL tell you what it says........
"All my love....
...All my life"
Dreamy. *thinks of brave husband overseas* *tears up* *again.*
We had lunch at Fuddruckers - which I had never been to before and was made fun of because I needed instructions from the cashier. Whatever. All in good fun and another good meal with great friends. Of course I suggested we use the bathroom before we head on - Tenor was already in there. When I walked into the bathroom I hear in the lovely Tenor voice, coming from a stall, "How great is our God, sing with me, how Great is our God." And as I was searching for a stall, Guitarist was also. She happened to test the door to the stall Tenor was in which had no lock. Imagine the exchange there! Then Tenor started singing, "I've got sunshine..." followed by, "Blue moon....you saw me sitting alone...." Of course I had to join in. You need a good Soprano sometimes.
Off to more shopping....
Another teary moment....
"Hold on child, I've got you. Love, God"
Geesh. Ovaries working OVERTIME today!! The girls sampled the chocolate shop. Alto bought a chocolate/caramel covered apple and shared it (I didn't have any. I am offended that they ruined perfectly good chocolate by touching it with fruit.) Also, Flautist (who is being such a trooper after having just been released from the hospital the day before after being radiated!) introduced Tenor to saltwater taffy. They were so cute going through the streets of Galveston, rummaging through their brown paper bags for their next try of taffy. All right. We finished up in downtown Galveston - here is some of the architecture....
Next stop: Target! As we were pulling into the parking lot, a fighter jet flew overhead. real. low. It was cool and gave us conversation into the building that is Target. We huddled together - synchronized our cell phones and agreed to meet back at that spot at 5 p.m. - 3 of us were there to purchase a new swimsuit. Although I despise this task, mostly because the body I am trying to suit up is not the body it was when I enjoyed suiting up. But I needed a suit that fits the now body so that modesty can be a consideration in front of my family and the general public. And, I wanted to go in the ocean. I love that swimming costumes are coming back into style. The mo coverage the bettah. So I pick the tanks with the skirts! Alto convinced me to try replacing the skirt with the regular bottoms, and although I am not a fan of myself in a suit, I do have to admit that the regular bottoms were less offensive than the skirt. Thanks be to Alto! After I finally found a suitable suit *wink* (Which happened to be the one Soprano discarded in lieu of a different one)I made quick work of the rest of the store and even had time to use the restroom before meeting back at the rendezvous spot where we waited for Alto. Hey - 5 out of 6 aint bad. We discussed what to do about dinner and headed out to load up into the car. We chose a Mexican restaurant on the coast. We had Superwaitress who took all six of our orders randomly around the table without writing a single thing down. Do you know, she got every single order correct? Amazing. We sang her praises up and down, to the left and right. I enjoyed a frozen spirit with chocolate and whipped cream with my dinner. However, I did NOT enjoy the bill. Pft. Just as well. It was yummy. After dinner it was time to head home. We got in line for the ferry. There are signs there that tell you not to verbally abuse the screeners and that if you choose to do so it could result in you being denied boarding. We discussed how sad it was that they had to have a sign to tell people not be abusive. What could possibly be so bad a problem that it would regularly cause people to be abusive. As we talked about this, we sat. And sat. And sat. I was so excited when we left the restaurant because it was still nice and bright outside. I figured I would be able to take pictures on the ferry back, and catch the sunset on the beach. No. I watched the sun go right on by, except out of range for any good picture taking, and finally all the way down while we sat waiting for the ferry. Alto had to go the bathroom. With the cost of gas, it isn't prudent to run the engine while waiting for the ferry, so we also were getting hot. And bored. It was at this point that it became apparent why they might need a sign reminding us not to get abusive. Finally we got loaded onto the ferry and it was just such a lovely time(aside from Tenor being nervous and sick to her stomache) I got out of the car and went up to the observation deck. The weather was warm and it was dark. Just good stuff. When we got home, we suited up and went down to the beach. Man, God makes some cool stuff! The ocean being one of them. Soprano and Guitarist and I stayed outside for quite a while. Soprano was looking for good shells to take home. Guitarist and I were wading in the water and enjoying each other's company. When we came in, we watched a silly silly movie with the other girls and then it was time for the earlies to turn in. Guitarist stayed up with me a little longer and then we went off to bed. Another great day.
At some point, I caught sight of a vehicle out of the corner of my eye. right. behind. me. I didn't even hear it drive up, or stop, or idle. So, I turn around to see what it is. It's the Sheriff. I look at him like, oh darn. He's going to tell me I'm disturbing someone and I have to stop. He said, "I was just listening. Pretty good. Carry on." *sigh* geesh. Flautist came along with a plastic chair and joined me in worshiping our Lord (she sings too!). We stayed there until the rain started coming down.
Katfish or Catfish? We'll never know. We had a lovely drive the rest of the way home, chatting some, mostly just singing and listening to music. It was a great trip. I want to do it again. With 2 more girls.
Monday, April 28, 2008
I am blessed!
Still sick, but functioning at full capacity now. Praise God! I will post about my adventures this weekend and the Casting Crowns concert and Me And My Girl Problems, but I'm trying to get caught up on life from being sick. Patience. Patience.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Don't be bad and order things online!!!
On a side note, I watched Evan Almighty today, and it made me realize something about you. The wife on the movie was not initially supportive of the husband as he began to build the ark. I think if I were to start building an ark, you would bring me water for when I got thirsty.
I love you
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
The first one is the first Point Of Grace song I ever heard and the second one I actually had the privilege of singing with Mel and some other really missed and cherished friends a couple of years ago. Tra la la la. *update* There was no video for the second one on YouTube. I guess I will have to make one myself and post it later. FOILED.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Hamper Scamper: Pick a window with mini-blinds and wipe them, vacuum them, dust them - or throw them away! GO!!
Monday, April 21, 2008
Now, I've been a very good girl - doing all the things I am supposed to do, so every one can quit picking at me about taking medicine and going to the doctor and blah blah blah. I am going back to bed now.
But here's some fun: Hubby has weighed in on the telling of Me And My Girl Problems and hopefully pretty soon, I will be posting part quatre with Hubby and HisGirl chiming in!
God's blessings to you all in the mean-time!
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
*Waves* Hi all! It’s Amber from His Girl’s Blog! S4J asked me to chime in on this story… you’ll see my additions in pink… this should be fun!!!
It has been bothering me the last several days why I am having such a hard time remembering the details of the time around my surgery, and I think I figured out at least part of it today....I WAS UNCONSCIOUS for a good deal of it. The time that I wasn't unconscious I was heavily medicated. Of COURSE I'm not going to remember it all. I didn't EXPERIENCE it all. Of course, those of us who were not drugged (That’d be Mr.S4J and myself) won’t soon forget. It was QUITE a time, that’s for sure.
Now back to the story...At the moment that the doctor's office said they did not have the approval yet and the Doctor really wants to wait so as not to cause you financial harm, I think there was an audible crack. I hung up the phone. Hung my head. And sobbed. Amber was immediately at my side. Saying words of comfort and strength; God's timing is perfect. We don't want to step outside of His will and go too soon. Don’t I sound like a saint here? That’s not how I remember it at all. I remember thinking… I don’t know what to say! I don’t know what to do! Father! Help me! And if anything was said after that, it was not me but Christ in me. I think at that moment, my husband was equally as glad as I was that she was there. I don't think the poor man knew what to do with me and I KNOW I didn't know what to do with me. She prayed over me and things were quickly back under control. If that was the only moment that she could have been there for - it would have been enough. THIS however, was just the beginning of the fun. My husband was a rock. He drove way far to get her from the airport and take her back, he worked so hard to take care of the children and take care of me and he was so gracious to also allow me to have fun times with my Chica. I haven't really heard this from his perspective, but I think she helped keep him afloat too. It’s true, Mr. S4J was a wonderful comfort to me, and he behaved very bravely even though he was scared to death. Amber thinks I am gross (her word)True.. I laugh at the vile (her word) I have a slightly twisted sense of humor, and generally, she would prefer life to be more...er...delicate. Just slightly, sweetie… and you know I love you for your macabre, dark, disturbing funny bone. However, she indulged me in all things grossly funny and even took some pictures for me. We decided that we were going to approach this with humor. Or, maybe it wasn't a conscious decision, maybe it was just what we did. We like themes. We work well with themes. They give direction to our creative energies. Our Theme for Hysterectomy 2005? Proverbs 17:22, "A merry heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones." We decided that we would make name-tags for all the people that cared for me. We got little wooden hearts, painted them with a bandaid and the Proverbs reference, hot-glued a pin to the back and whenever someone new came in who was responsible for caring for me, they got a name-tag. Custom printed by none other than the queen of fonts - HisGirl. We shopped for things that would help my scrapbooking of the whole event and found a whole page of pregnancy stickers that could be interchanged with the alien pod condition I was in.
I guess this is where I am picking up the story. After all the fun and business of getting ready for the big surgery day, we had to face a certain reality. S4J was truly going to actually have to go through with the surgery. Though that was a sobering realization, Judi was brave and funny and inspiring as usual.
At some point, we got the go-ahead from the insurance for the surgery, and packed up the vehicle to head out to the hospital. Before the procedure, we had some serious tasks to undertake. In order to clean out her system, S4J had a prescription for something called Go-Lytley. which is the most ironic thing because, as the lady at the counter of the pharmacy so delicately pointed out… “Oh you’ll be going alright, but there won’t be nothin’ lyte about it!” The poor people in the pharmacy just didn’t know what to make of our hysterical laughter… but their dirty looks did nothing to calm us down. Neither did the pharmacist’s confidentiality vow to S4J- “we promise not to tell anyone you’ll be going lytley tonight!”
The next part of the story is graphic, personal, and gross. Just up S4J’s alley- Ball’s in your court, my friend! *bows* I’m out for now!
Ahhh Go-Lytely.... This is a lie. A complete and total lie. For this particular abdominal surgery, my doctor required me to clear my bowels of anything toxic that could poison me should something accidentally get nicked during surgery. This product comes in a convenient gallon jug. All you do is fill it with water. to the top. all the way. to the top of the gallon. Shake well and get to drinkin'. I had to begin drinking it at a certain time in the evening and had to drink it all within 2 hours. The goal is to have completely clear movements. HEY - I warned you this would be gross! Hubby prepared each 'cocktail' for me and patiently told me to drink up. Amber's job was to capture a picture as I came out of the bathroom for that moment when I yelled, "CLEAR!!"
People... I have to tell you that there are a few situations that stand out as the absolute worst parts of this whole ordeal, and the Go-Lytely is one of those. For me it became like drinking weak lemonade tainted with charcoal. A whole gallon of it. It made me feel really ill with nausea, shivers, and of course - diarrhea. Having my cheering section there helped get me through it and I was finally able to declare "CLEAR!!"
I have been ill since Wednesday, *with a gripping fever hot enough to make me feel sorry for myself - 99.9* and I am now worn out. I will post this installment, and pick up again the morning of the surgery.
Friday, April 11, 2008
I hope everything is going good when you get this. If it isn't, I hope this letter at least brings you a smile.
I just got off the phone with you. I'm so thankful for the phones here. I can barely imagine how it was without them. I know I call you a lot. I just want you to know that I'm okay. I'm just sorry that I keep waking you up.
It's rainy here today. It was windy this morning, thankfully no dust storms today.
My work is going good. As much as I despise the slow and boring days, I know they are a good thing. The more peace the better.
I don't really have much to write about. Just know that I love you and I will come home to you. I will do all that I can to be the same man (or better) as when I left home.
Mar 2, 08
Not much new to write about tonight. It's Sunday, the day you're recording your album, and I am really excited about that.
I think the hot weather is starting up already, well warm anyways. For sure isn't cold.
The work days drag on and on.
Mar 12, 08
I am a negligent writer. Sorry it's taking me so long.
Today wasn't too bad. A soldier was badly wounded today and I felt so sad about it. This war was a lot easier to deal with from home. There, you only read the news or watch it on TV. Here you see it firsthand. I see the pictures hanging on the wall of heroes everyday. I pray that will never fill up.
I love you.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Monday, April 7, 2008
Thank you all for coming tonight - I want you to know that some of the things you may hear and see (as I am feeling inclined to post pictures) this evening may be way more than you would ever want to know about me and so now would be the time to get up out of your seat and seek your refund at customer service.
All righty then? Where was I? Let me check my notes.....Ah yes, my gynecological oncologist shutting down any hopes of a lovely tummy or a natural hormone-free existence. Some people are so selfish. I would like to apologize for leaving you all hanging during the intermission. It didn't occur to me until people started protesting that I had done such a thing.
We will do the surgery sometime in June. It will take some amount of hours to do the surgery as it is very delicate, I have to be extremely careful, and this thing is MAD INVASIVE (okay...maybe he didn't say MAD), when we get it out we will send it to pathology to see if it is benign or malignant. You will need to be in the hospital for 5 days and will require 8 weeks off of work. Eh hem... can I sing? 8 weeks off of work. Once again, notice my priorities here...do I ask who is going to take care of my family? No. Do I ask him if he is sure that I could die from this surgery? No. I ask him, can I sing? Yep. Special.
And then I say - so, 8 weeks off of work. Does that also mean that other activities have to wait 8 weeks as well? Yes. I will clear you for other activities at your checkup. Super! Can you take pictures of the thing? Yes. There is a camera in the surgical suite and I will take pictures of it. *why is he tilting his head that way? do people not ask this? why is my husband looking green?*
I'm sure I asked him a thousand more questions but I can't remember them at this moment. We tentatively scheduled the surgery for June 23rd, 2005. HisGirl and I discuss when would be the best time for her to come because we have to wait for Tricare approval before we can even go in for the pre-op stuff and it is possible that the approval may not come in in time for that date. Och. Where is my journal???
*I need to point out here that my Mom asked me if I wanted her to come, but she and my Dad were scheduled to come out at Thanksgiving ~ which was going to be after hubby left for Korea for a year ~ so I said, I would rather have them for Thanksgiving. *
Um, okay - we decide that the bulk of her time should be spent being here for the surgery and after. I remember asking the Chaplain who was in charge of the Praise Team that I served with at the time if he would please pray for us, most specifically for my husband because I was worried about his well-being should he lose me. And that he pray for God's timing and that I would be able to accept it however it went down. Little did I know how spot on the prayer request would be. Cousin Amber left her family behind and came to us. When she got on the plane, my approval had not yet come through. Here's the thing about me, when I know what the problem is, what has to be done to fix it, and when...I can totally deal. Jack up one of those features and I have been known to crack. The afternoon before I was scheduled to go up to Shreveport with my husband and my BFF (aka HisGirl, aka CousinAmber) to begin the overnight pre-op process, I called the doctor's office to confirm that they had received the approval and we were good to go. No. We have not received it.
*I need to point out here, that we are now in the 6th month of this process and countless people have gotten involved on my behalf to include very high ranking Air Force people in my husband's chain of command. They have confirmed that this doctor is the BEST doctor for this job and he is hard to get into and have done whatever was in their power to help expedite the process*
Och. I have to go make dinner now. Looks like there will be a part three.
[I have asked HisGirl to help me finish telling this story because she's so good at remembering stuff and because I am nowhere near as good at remembering timelines as Jenster. (or maybe she keeps a journal)]
I have been given permission by my 15 year old daughter to share with you the devotion she wrote today. *sigh...my God is the God of hope*