Friday, May 22, 2015

Times are Changin'

For 33 years I've been a stay-at-home mom, giving up the working world the moment they placed that first sweet baby girl in my arms after her birth. My dear husband worked hard and we were frugal for many years so that I could be home. It hasn't always been easy, but God has blessed, and what a great group of adults we've put out into the world!

Now all seven of the kids are adults and there are new opportunities to explore.

Last summer I was approached with the opportunity to volunteer with a group that helps our local refugee population learn English. I was hesitant. Sure, I homeschooled for over 25 years, but those people spoke English. How do you teach English to people who speak Arabic, Karen, Chin, Burmese, and other languages? So I said I'd like to observe for awhile before making a decision.

The first month, I went down to the apartment that World Relief rents in the heart of the area of Kennewick where the refugees live and observed all the levels of English classes they teach in the morning. These people soon captured my heart, and by the second month I had taken a couple of classes for myself. I chose Level C as the students can already read, and communicating with them is a little easier.

Tuesday was the last class for the school year. The experience working with the refugees was so good and I learned quite a bit about different cultures and the process it takes to immigrate to the U.S. I'm looking forward to continuing to teach a couple of mornings this fall.

Besides volunteer teaching, a position has opened up in our family insurance business and as of this month, I'm going in to work every day, mostly doing some bookkeeping and payroll. Some days I leave the office with my head about to explode from trying to understand all the new information I'm trying to take in. I'm sure it'll get better and the whole process will be second nature, I sure hope it's soon!!

Not being home much during the day takes some getting used to for this homebody! The garden isn't getting as much attention, the deadheading is going to be a constant evening activity for me. But I can't think of a better stress reliever than deadheading and weeding!

This weekend we're heading up to Spokane as daughter Kirsten qualified for Regionals in discus. And on Monday all the kids are coming over for our annual Birthday Bash where we celebrate the birthdays all at once.

I hope all my U.S. friends have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, and all the rest of you a great weekend!



Samplings from Spring Creek said...

I so understand, being a working "boomer" in the age of technology I often leave work thinking my head has exploded! Such a worthy endeavor teaching ESL

Vickie said...

Wow! That is awesome. Good for you!
I hope your job gets easier and easier.

Barb said...

Best of luck in all your new endeavors Von. I deadhead in the evening and it is very relaxing. One of my favorite teaching jobs was with children who did not speak English. It was extremely rewarding.

Melissa said...

Von, I have to congratulate you first for having raised seven kids (who are now great adults). What a feat that must've been!

Your volunteer teaching sounds very intriguing to me. I am not at the point I want to do that yet. I am the reverse of you. I had only one child and I worked while he was growing up so now it's me-time. I want to enjoy a bit of that time before I venture out again.

Good luck with your new job as well!

Kath said...

Wow Von a new chapter in your life. Sounds really great on all counts, even the deadheading and weeding! And yes, it does het easier.

Brigitte said...

A new job, that sounds very intersting. All the best of luck with it. And I'm sure it will go easier with the time.

viv said...

I'm in awe. What a great opportunity to help and encourage others. So like you.