Work Stuff

Striving to Be Quietly Awesome


I’m feeling cocky and my ego has grown two heads today.

I’m feeling more confident about my job. I’m getting faster and more efficient and I’ve been asked (okay fine, I just sort of took it over because I’m one of those annoying leader-type people) to train the new girl.

(And I’m not okay with her just sitting there and watching me – who learns that way? I have to explain what I’m doing and WHY I’m doing something, so I’m talking a lot. And I’m sick of listening to my voice, quite frankly).

The nurse’s secretary is also new. And she’s a little freaked out when it comes to precerting testing through insurance companies. Granted, it’s not fun. And a pain. BUT, there’s a … trick to it. You just have to know what the insurance companies want to hear.

Granted, I’M NOT LYING. But when you precert tests, you sort of have to think outside the box and read between the lines on the doctor’s notes because they don’t often come right out and say what they’re looking for or trying to rule out.

Anyway. I found out that this girl came out of the nurse’s area crying on Friday, after I left early, because she was frustrated. And no one wanted to help her.

Enter Super Karen.

I know. I know. But dad gum it, how is anyone supposed to learn anything if no one takes the bull by the horns and freaking SHOWS them?!?

She gushed all over me. And told me, once again, that the nurses loved me and thought I was the best scheduler, hands down.

Even though it was really cool to hear that, I was beyond mortified. Okay. Let’s all agree I’m awesome quietly, shall we?? No need to broadcast that all over the clinic.


Anyway. I’m afraid it’s gone a teensy bit to my head. I found myself strutting around the clinic today and I was, erhm, a little more vocal than I have been. And more opinionated.

And I know where that usually leads me – Hello Trouble.

It’s time to rein it in and shut my mouth. And mind my P’s and Q’s.

And continue to be QUIETLY awesome.



Earning Ones All Around

Congratulations to the Kickapoo Jazz Band on an outstanding performance at the Parkview Jazz Festival!! The group earned 1 ratings across the board & received numerous compliments from the judges!


So. I left work early Friday to attend Jazz’s Jazz festival at a local high school.

First of all, may I just say, I need to do that more often!! It felt WONDERFUL to leave work three hours early. I seriously need to do that more often – it does wonder for my morale.

Kevin met me at work and we drove over to the high school together. The whole performance only lasted about fifteen minutes, but we stayed to hear the judges critique the kids, which was interesting.

The judge hammered the group before Jazz’s group so we were pleasantly surprised when the judge that nearly embarrassed the last group merely clapped and said, “good job guys.” I don’t think the kids can truly appreciate how awesome that compliment was, especially since they didn’t see him with the kids before them.

The other two judges mostly picked on the drummer and the bass player – said they were too loud. And listening to the recordings, I can see why they thought that.

The videos below are actually in reverse order – the first one was played third, the second one second and the last one first. I put them in the order that I thought were the best – the last being the best, in my opinion.

I felt so sorry for their teacher, who you can see is VERY pregnant. In fact, I’m certain that’s why the kids aren’t traveling to their normal competitions this year because the teacher likely doesn’t want to be far from home when she has the baby.

Which, judging by these videos, should be any time! (Poor woman. In fact, after they performed, one of the judges tried to make her sit down. LOL).

You can’t hear the girl singing very well, but at first, I was like, “What the …??” but somehow, they made it work. Her voice really blends well with the song and I thought it was a neat touch.

I was a little annoyed that the teacher stood in front of Jazz as he played his solo, and the video really doesn’t do him justice as he played really well, but that’s okay – I’m just happy he has the confidence TO stand up and be the center of attention for a short time. That takes guts.

I’m not sure I’ll have very many more jazz band videos. Like I said, they really don’t have a lot planned this season. I think they’re planning on playing at our local Art Walk, so we might show up and take some pictures/videos that day.

I’m really disappointed considering this is Jazz’s favorite part of band – playing in the Jazz band. And since this is his senior year, I was really hoping for a fun, exciting season, but that’s life, I guess.

I’m just grateful for band as that has made his middle school / high school years fun and tolerable.

(And my apologizes over the video quality – I took it with my phone).

100-Word Thought

Forget the Fine, Go to Driving School

Jazz went to court this past Friday.

He pled guilty to rear-ending someone.

He was wearing his jazz ensemble – all in black save for one skinny white tie. I bet the judge was amused.

The judge waived the fine and ordered him to go to defensive driving school.

We would have preferred the fine.

But that’s okay, this might be a good thing. It will teach Jazz the importance of keeping his eyes on the road, and to watch out for crazy drivers.

Because they’re out there in droves.

And they’re distracted, rude and inconsiderate.

You know it’s true.

Dear Diary, Parenting

Dear Diary: A Father’s Connection

Dear Diary:

All he ever wanted was to connect with them.

When we found out we were going to have sons, Kevin did what most fathers do: he fantasized about doing guy things with his sons someday. He would teach them things, he would grow close to them, he would have little buddies to hang out with.

That hasn’t really happened. Oh sure. Our sons love their father (probably more than me since he’s so much more rational with them than I am and plus – I’m a girl), but I don’t think Kevin feels like they are as close as he would like them to be. It’s taken him years to really find common ground with them. Kevin is a fix-it sort of personality. He enjoys challenges. He likes puzzles. He takes a hold of a problem and doesn’t let go until he figures it out and then conquers it.

I call him my bulldog because he simply doesn’t let anything go. (Which, on one hand, is a good trait to have because stubborn people are generally more successful simply because they don’t give up. But on the other hand, you have to learn when to quit because after you’ve reached a certain point, that point where you know in your heart it’s not going to work, it just becomes a waste of time and life is too short to beat dead horses).

But our boys aren’t interested in the same things as Kevin – not really. They could care less how to monkey rig a problem, or make something last longer than it was intended to last. They don’t care about creative maintenance solutions – they would rather just go out and buy something new than figure out what the problem is.

(They come by that mentality honestly. *ahem*)

They aren’t fascinated with problems or problem solving. (Kevin is an accountant and enjoys figuring out logical solutions to messy presentations).

They could care less about cars.

Or cooking.

Or music. (Though Jazz does love his saxophone, he’s not really interested in the type of music that Kevin loves – grungy guitar rock-type songs).

They don’t give a rat’s behind about yard work. Or house maintenance. (Though they should and will whenever they get to the homeowners stage one day).

Our sons are spoiled, entitled and have never really had a tough day in their life. And we take total blame for that. We molded them. We protected them. And they will have a rude awakening one day, I’m sure.

Reality is not all about rainbows and unicorns. Am I right?

So, when the boys saved up enough money to upgrade their computers (they both work with Kevin and Kevin pays them minimum wage and swears that he couldn’t run his business without them because he’s getting more and more clients) and bought customized parts to build bigger and better gaming computers and asked for Kevin’s advice on what to buy and then spent hours in the kitchen together putting those parts back together again, Kevin was in absolute heaven.

Finally. He found common ground. Finally. He found something they were all interested in and could bond over together.

He was happy. He told me he was happy. His actions spelled happiness. And it warmed my heart to see all three of them grow that much closer.

I have reached a point in motherhood where I am no longer inside their world: I’m outside looking in. It’s a weird position to be in considering I was one of those helicopter moms who wouldn’t allow their boys to say “BOO” unless I gave them permission to say “BOO.” In some ways, I miss those days. I miss my little boys who looked to me for guidance and relied on me to take care of them.

But mostly, I glad those days are over. I’m ready for them to take the reins of their lives and ride their choices into the sunset. I’m ready for them to meet adulthood without me hovering in the background. I will always be there for them if they need me, but I no longer wish to be the first person who they turn to if they have problems.

They are no longer boys, they are men. And they need their father now more than ever to teach them HOW to become men. It’s Kevin’s turn to take the parental reins and though one small part of me is sad, most of me is fascinated by the changes I see almost on a daily basis. I find myself in an interesting situation now: I’m the parent on the other side of the looking glass now. Though my job as their mother will never be complete, I think I’ve played my last mothering card – we’re using a new deck now and it’s Kevin’s turn to deal them a new hand.

It warms my heart to see Kevin so happy to take over. He eagerly took on that responsibility yesterday when he helped Jazz put his newly built computer back together again and their father/son conversation left me feeling warm, safe and secure inside – they are both in such good hands. Kevin is an excellent father – I couldn’t have prayed for a better father to my sons. He’s patient, kind, and considerate. He openly tells them he loves them, and is not embarrassed about the admission.

I think Kevin has solidified that father/son connection he craved.

Book Corner

Free E-Books I Downloaded This Week

HURRY! THEY WON’T BE FREE FOR VERY MUCH LONGER! (click on the book to download)

Maternal Harbor
by Marie F Martin
4.2 stars on 108 reviews. Contemporary fiction.
Dead Man’s Hand
by Luke Murphy
4.5 stars on 55 reviews. Mystery. Thriller
Chihuahua Karma
by Debby Rice
4.5 stars on 44 reviews. Contemporary fiction. Humor
by Lenore Skomal
4.3 stars on 101 reviews. Literary Fiction/Suspense
WICK (Wick Series)
by Michael Bunker, Chris Awalt
4.6 stars on 105 reviews. Thriller
There are many, many, MANY more free books to choose from at this site. Happy Reading!
Abundant Life

Teaching: Do Not Become Hardened by Sin (Hebrew 3:12 & 13)

Every Sunday I provide videos and valuable links to the Truth or Tradition teachings. We’ve been following the Truth or Tradition teachings for many years now and they have truly blessed our family. We have found peace and happiness through our beliefs and we walk confidently for God. My hope, by passing on this information to you, is that what you find here, or on the Truth or Tradition website, will guide you to a better, more blessed and abundant life.

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*exhortation = encouraging / move to action

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Audio Teaching: New Life in Christ: Foundations for Powerful Christian Living: Session Eight

This class covers all the topics necessary to give a beginning student the tools needed to understand and apply biblical truth in everyday life. The class is a family collaboration of John Schoenheit and his sister, Sue Carlson. The blend of their two voices, manners, and teaching styles is an extremely logical and winning presentation that you can give to your friends and acquaintances who want to know why you are so jazzed about life and the Lord Jesus Christ.

This class is available online for free or for purchase on cassette tape or CD through the Truth or Tradition online store.

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A New BFF? Going to Court. A New Job Opportunity?

I think I could easily become BFF’s with one of the nurses. We just seem to … hit it off. Our sense of humors are in sync and trust me when I say, there aren’t many people who truly “get” my sense of humor.

Just sayin’.

I was feeling goofy and pretty good the day this nurse started. And she happens to work for one of my favorite doctors, AND, one of the doctors that I routinely schedule for. So when I met her, I laughed and said, “You’re gonna love me, I’m pretty awesome.”

Luckily, she laughed. “I’m sure you’re right.”

I was pretty horrified at my audacity but yo, I am who I am. Take it or leave it.

Lucky for me, she took it. She’s been coming up to my window the last few days to talk about patients, but I get the feeling she just wants to talk to me and uses the patients as an excuse. It’s pretty cute, actually. I think she likes me. And I think she’s trying to get to know me better. She’s young. And pretty. And has a great personality. And she’s married to a pretty hot man, who she made a point of introducing me to when he came to the clinic several weeks back.

Funny. She didn’t introduce him to the other girls, now that I think about it.

I think we could be BFF’s. If I were looking for a BFF.

I took my Mr. Coffee Keurig coffee maker to work Friday; I was a barista for a day. The girls seemed to like it, but they only had one cup. I think they were afraid to drink any more. It might have had something to do with my “and these little cups are freaking expensive” comment.

Dude bought this … interesting figurine the other day.

I have no idea what this thing is, or what character it is from what game but … *shrug* Dude absolutely loves it. In fact, he gushed all over it when he showed me. “Just look at this shield, mom. They did such a great job painting it.” (It’s hand painted).

I won’t even tell you how much he spent on it – actually, I wish Kevin hadn’t told me how much it cost because DUDE, WHOA. But hey, spend it right now because when he turns 21? He’s gonna have to start paying for his car insurance, schooling, monthly phone bill, and saving up to move out … someday.

Reality is gonna bite this boy REAL soon.

Jazz’s court date is Friday. He’ll have to miss his 1st period class in order to stand before the judge, take responsibility for rear ending someone, and get slapped with a fine.

Boy #2 is about to get a spoonful of reality.

We’re becoming a family of realists.

Jazz also has a Jazz festival at a local high school next Friday, too. So, between his court appearance and getting out early for the festival, he’s pretty much going to miss school on Friday.

I plan on leaving work at 2:00 on Friday so that I can go watch him play.

Work can stick it.

Family first, always.

I’ll post a video and some pictures.

Of course.

The kids aren’t wearing their normal jazz band polos and khaki slacks this year – instead, they’re wearing all black: black slacks, black dress shirt, black dress shoes and a white accent. I bought Jazz a skinny white tie as his white accent. In fact, the kids played some sort of charity gig last night and he looked uber sharp. I tried to talk him into wearing his fedora, but he chickened out. I meant to take a picture, but we had to leave the house so quickly that I didn’t have time.

I’ll definitely take some pictures at the festival on Friday. And according to the band schedule, I think he has to play at a home basketball game Friday night, too. If so, that means he’ll have court Friday morning, a jazz performance in the afternoon and a pep-rally-sort-of-gig Friday night.

Why does everything have to happen all in one day?

And speaking of court dates: Kevin has been subpoenaed. He has to testify in court on March 18th in the trial against the woman who hit him, head on, on his motorcycle in April 2010.

Finally, after three years, this woman is finally answering to the felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident. Because not only did this … woman … hit him head on, she took off afterward.

Coward. Idiot. Loser.

I could go on, but I won’t.

I plan on taking off work that morning and going with him for support. Also. This will be the first time that Kevin has faced this woman, he’s never even seen her, so I’m sure it will bring up all sorts of emotional anguish for him.

And finally … there may be a job opportunity soon. The schools are converting all of their websites into some sort of universal Blackboard program where parents can make personalized accounts and access various customized documents for their kid. I’m supposed to be invited to attend some training sessions on how to access/manipulate the program. At first, I thought, no way, I can’t take on any more responsibility right now, but then I got to thinking … what if I can somehow talk the school district into hiring me full time to maintain these school websites? For security reasons, they no longer allow non-district employees to maintain their websites and I’m only allowed to continue because I’ve been “grandfathered” in and they trust me. I mean, I love doing the websites. L.O.V.E them. I would rather maintain the websites, as a full-time job, than doing what I’m doing now. And I would “hopefully” make more money.

So. I’ve held off saying anything to the schools and I’m sort of strategizing my plan of attack here. Nothing may come of it, but then again, it’s worth a shot – you never know until you ask, right? If they shoot me down, then my plan B is to drop most of the schools and maintain two – one high school and one middle school – because honestly, it just takes too much energy and I can’t keep up with it all and work 40 hours.

Abundant Life

Teaching: Drawing Near to God

Every Sunday I provide videos and valuable links to the Truth or Tradition teachings. We’ve been following the Truth or Tradition teachings for many years now and they have truly blessed our family. We have found peace and happiness through our beliefs and we walk confidently for God. My hope, by passing on this information to you, is that what you find here, or on the Truth or Tradition website, will guide you to a better, more blessed and abundant life.

Let’s get started:

Thanks for watching.

(Comments have been turned off. The information is here to inform and bless you).

Check out Truth or Tradition teachings on:

Online Store

More from Write From Karen