You read that right... we in the South now! Have been for just over a year. We (my wife and I) have embarked on a new career adventure and are absolutely loving it!
--Blessed, you can rest assured that my wife is still involved and loving her Mary Kay business--
We now work, together, at a home for children. It is similar (in some respects) to an orphanage. The key difference is that this particular organization aims to create a family style home setting. The campus we work on has about a hundred kids, but the home we live and work in has 6 girls. 5 of them are in middle school and are 12, the 6th is 8 years old. We work with another couple (they have 2 kids of their own) and trade shifts with them every other week. We work 9 days "on" and 5 days "off" with 2 overlap or "transition" days at the beginning and end of each shift.
We are the direct care providers for the girls when we are on. We live in the home, eat in the home, sleep in the home and are essentially parents to these kids. When we are off, the organization (a non-profit, funded by churches and individuals) provides an "off duty" apartment or house for us to live in. We don't pay rent, utilities or maintenance.
We get to take care of these girls just like we would our own kids. We take them out to dinner occasionally, teach them how to prepare meals, work on homework with them, get them involved with sports at school and the local Y, take them to doctors visits and every summer we go on a family vacation.
The campus has a learning center where all the kids can go for tutoring, a gym, a pool, an activity center, a farm, ballfields and more. With 12 fully staffed cottages (we call the homes we live in 'cottages', though they are more like mansions as they accommodate 12+ people) and an impressive support staff to make sure we have everything we need to care for the kids it really is its own community. A great community! A lot of the other family teachers (that is our job title) are also imports from other parts of the country. There are a lot of other young, married couples, but there are older couples and singles as well.
As I type this we are filling in for another cottage (H.S. girls) and are watching a movie with them. As my wife's dad said the other day, we are essentially getting paid to live! That is a bit of a misrepresentation because there IS a lot of work involved. Documentation, transportation and constantly correcting and teaching to the inappropriate behaviors of a house full of girls is most definitely work! It is GOOD work though! Rewarding work. We absolutely love it.
It has been a great year learning how to do what we do. Earlier this month we had our one year evaluation and achieved certification... which means we must be doing something right! We are certainly not expecting to become millionaires with this, but I think we both can imagine retiring from this job.
Although I am not often vocal on this blog, I do love watching the conversations develop. I can't say often enough, "Thank you SOOO much to mk4me and miranda particularly and everyone else generally for continuing to make this a great environment to discuss Mary Kay. Now that I am in more of a rhythm here at work, I hope to put a little more time into developing this blog. Maybe even create an accompanying website and I think a message board would be very beneficial.
Right now we are planning our summer vacation and we REALLY want to be able to take the girls to L.A. this year. We have a lot of really good friends there that MAY be able to help us out with that. We do still need quite a bit of money though, so if anyone want to help us out, send me an email and I'll let you know how.
That's about everything. Thanks for letting me take a moment to share.