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Lilypie Kids birthday Ticker
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
The Best Laid Plans
Sometimes I think we're the only family who is dealing with such a tight financial situation. I know it's not true, but it feels that way sometimes. We've been really fortunate to have family who can help us out, but we are definitely tapped out. Part of the reason that money is tight is that I had to take part of my leave as unpaid. Only six weeks were paid and there were 8 weeks left of school when we left for China. We planned on losing two weeks of pay. Not fun, but we were aware, so we planned.

My school corporation just paid out my contract. Our contracts are for 184 days. We can have the pay every two weeks for the school year, or we can stretch it out over a year. We always choose to have to have 26 checks because it's easier for budgeting purposes. The first pay day after the school year ends, we usually receive all our summer pays. They basically pay out the remainder of the contract. We know we won't receive another paycheck until approximately 3-4 weeks after school begins.

Even though school isn't out yet, my contract was paid out on Friday because I'm on leave. That's when we learned that the school counted the last three weeks as unpaid, not two. I contacted the school today because it appeared that they counted Spring Break as one of my six weeks. Of course, it hadn't been counted in any previous conversations so we didn't plan on it. We planned on six weeks paid leave. Not five weeks. It may not sound like much, but it's a big hit. Big enough that it is changing our summer plans.

Jim always works summer school. In the past, we had two sessions of summer school and a Jump Start session that took place. Jim would work the first session of summer school, and we'd both work Jump Start. Last year, Jump Start was eliminated, so Jim worked both summer school sessions. This year he was going to work the first one only. For the first time in 15 years, he was going to get a summer vacation, so he could head down to the beach with Sera and me to visit my family. We usually go during Spring Break, but this year we were in China. No one in my family has met Sera yet, so this trip is important to us. Jim especially wanted to see Sera's first trip to the beach.

Now, Jim is going to have to work both sessions. He will get the first 12 days in August off (including weekends), but that won't work to visit my family as some of them have plans in August. We've said all along we were coming in July. I can, and probably will, still go in July, but I feel terrible. Jim is going to miss seeing these firsts for Sera. More importantly, I'm not positive a separation is good for them. Sera adores her daddy, and he feels the same for her. I feel like it's my fault because I'm the one not working. On the other hand, Jim and I both agree that we think part of the reason Sera is doing so well is because I am home with her.

I just wish I knew some magical way to earn some "real" money while I'm home. As frustrating as all this is, it just takes one look at this face to know whatever we have to do is more than worth it.

Sera at the park on 5/29 for our playdate. Photo by Gretchen.



Blogger Jim McClain said...

I will gladly sacrifice anything for my little girl, even my first summer vacation in over 15 years. The school system we work for? Not so much.

Blogger thegreybullet said...

Oh Magi, I am so sorry the school district has added this extra stress to you and your family. I have followed your Blog for a very long time and love your writings. I thought what a disappointment for your summer plans and what a loving husband to make such a sacrifice. I then saw his comment and thought what a gem you have, he loves you and Sera so much! You are doing a fabulous job with Sera from what I see in the beautiful pictures you have shared. It is obvious she is very loved and cared for and has responded to your love. I hop things work out and you still have a memorable summer!

Blogger Tammie said...


I think that your hubby is an absolute doll. Occasionally I take a peek at his blog too, & I'm totally charmed by the love he has for both you & Sera.

The school board should have something in writing about your leave (paid & unpaid) that you can go to for answers. It seems like they're trying to get away with not paying you after the fact. That just bites - for lack of a word more descriptive but totally not suitable for a blog comment.

Have you thought perhaps of putting together a book of your recipes & selling them? That could probably earn you some much needed $$$. Also, what about ebaying all the things you bought for Sera pre-adoption that don't fit? Some of my friends are doing that & making $$$.

Best of luck! I sure hope that Jim can manage some time with Sera at the beach.

Blogger Kate said...

How fast can you type?

I worked as a transcriptionist (not medical, more general stuff) for many years - from shortly before my daughter's birth until about a year ago. I could pick it up again any time, my boss is begging - but I'm working full-time now and just can't fit it in. I can't offer you a job with her, but I can describe how I got that job and ask if she has any colleagues in your geographical area, if you want... email me and let me know if this is something you're interested in.

I worked from home, and earned by the page, instead of an hourly rate. But I kept track, and typically earned about $25 an hour. Couldn't do more than 6-8 hours a week on average, sometimes more but it was hard to find big chunks of time to work. It made a big difference, especially toward late summers when my husband was on a teacher's paycheck plan.


Blogger C.J. said...

I'm sorry you got that lousy surprise. Things always do find their way...it sounds like you have some suggestions above!

Blogger Kathleen Marie said...

It is funny but I stayed home with four kids and somehow everything always worked out. We didn't always have a savings, insurance and all the perks but we had our faith, our family, our health etc... Farming is a gambling...we had years of plenty and years of wondering how we were going to pay for the kids school shoes. Family vacations were rare but the kids remember every one.

She is such a doll! Hugs!

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