Thursday, August 30, 2012

Back to School, 2012

Yesterday marked the first day back to school for Evan and Sierra, starting even earlier this year than we have in any years past I can remember!  Apparently, summer and Labor Day weekend just don't mean much to the Nooksack School District.  But alas, our summer is at an end, and fall is right around the corner...... and school is once again back in session!

Our recently turned eleven year old, Evan, has hit a new milestone this year, as he is now a middle school student!!!  His first day went well, and I think he is really going to like it there.  He loves the bus ride, as it is a full 45 minutes shorter this year!!!!!  :-)  He is most excited so far about band and PE.  He has chosen to learn the trumpet for band class, although he most really wants to eventually become a drummer!  And PE this year is a full three days a week, for nearly 2 full hours each session!!!  He is very excited for this, and today will be his first day of PE.

Sierra is now in third grade, and it was like a social homecoming upon her arrival back to Sumas Elementary yesterday!  She was with her "peeps" once again, finally, at last!!!  She loves school, and is very excited about this year ahead.  :-)

This is our first year having our kids at two different schools, with two different times.  We have a learning curve ahead to figure everything out, but already, I believe it is going to be a very good thing!!!  :-)

Also, while on the topic of school..... Tracie will be attending Sumas Elementary this year as well, as she has been given the job as assistant cook, working the lunch time hours in the cafeteria!!!  It is only a couple of hours each day, but it is regular and consistent, and has her now as a regular employee of the school district....not just a sub anymore!!!  this is awesome, as she already knows the job very well from helping out the past couple of years.  It is also great, because she can still pick up other sub jobs as they come along, and she will still have time at home to work on her medical transcription studies!!!  :-)  We are very pleased that this worked out so well for her..... she will have a great year at school now as well.

Football season is in full swing...... final week and a half of practices and conditioning to get ready for our season opener on Saturday, September 8th, in Ferndale.  Evan is very excited to start playing, and he has been practicing very hard, working at 100% and more for each practice he is able to attend.  He missed last week, as we were in Oregon, and he will miss today, as he and I are heading down to Seattle to watch the Seahawks take on the Raiders in the 4th week of pre-season football!!!!!

So, here we are, looking at September to arrive in less than a week now.  Summer has been fast, and fun for the most part... and we finally got our summer weather in August.  As of this week, the days are most certainly beginning to feel and look a lot more like Fall.  And of course, I love riding on Fall days...... great weather, great temps, great scenery, great smells..... love it.  :-)

So, here we go....... leaving Summer behind, and heading full swing on into the Fall.  I sure hope it turns out to be as great as I want it to be!!!  :-)

Saturday, August 11, 2012

21 years with the BFD!!!

Well, it is August 11th, 2012 today.  I have just enjoyed having the last two weeks off from work, using vacation time to spend with my family, and to work on a whole lot of yard work and clean-up around the place.  We even managed to squeak in a fun weekend of camping at Silver Lake last Friday through Monday!  :-)

This morning, I head back to work again.  And on this day, 21 years ago, I started working as a firefighter for the City of Bellingham!!!  Yes, today is my BFD 21 year anniversary!  :-)

That's the great news..... 21 years have come and gone so very quickly, it is hard to imagine.  I can still remember very vividly, receiving the phone call to offer me the job.  It has been a fantastic career so far for me, and I am truly blessed to do what I do for a living.

The not so great news is..... after crunching numbers for retirement, and looking ahead at pension dollars and retirement savings through 401k, it doesn't look good for me to be able to retire at age 53 with 30 years in, as I have been planning for some time now!  :-( 

Staying an extra 5 years does huge things financially for me that I simply can't ignore!!!  A pension of 60% goes up to 70%, and the 401k money will easily have more than another $150k in it over those 5 years.  And, for all of that, I will still only be 58 years old.

So, my 9 year count down has just changed to be my 14 year count down..... unless something changes.  Oh well.... the first 21 years went by so fast, I can only imagine that the next 14 will be just as fast.....probably faster.

For now, time to get ready to head back to work again..... I really did enjoy my time off, but I am looking forward to getting back in the driver's seat of my fire engine once again as well.  :-)