Saturday, May 08, 2004

D's new job

D finally managed to find time to phone and tell me the details of his job interview. He said it was a five minute walk from the hotel to the campus of the National Institute of Health. He said 15,000 people work there--I had no idea! His building, the National Cancer Institute, is three years old and six stories high. He said the building has eight electron microscopes in it, three in the section he will work in. He said the interview started with a cup of tea! I didn't even know D drank tea, but he informed he he learned to drink it during that semester in Ireland. The director's first question was, "If we offer you this job, are you going to take it?" Looks like they really want him. Amazing.

He said they showed him the projects they are working on, gave him papers produced there, and showed off all the cool equipment. I'm going to have to look up and learn about "electron tomography." The computer he will work on is some kind of graphics computer with 16 gigabytes of RAM. And there is also a room (?) of processors to do "parallel cluster processing"--I'm not sure if I got that right. He would spend 60-70% of his time with these imaging computers, and the rest in the "wet lab" to get experience with real chemical and biological samples.

He said money did not seem to be a problem, they have lots of it and get more when that runs out. They offered him $4000/yr more than he was expecting, but the total isn't a huge amount considering the high cost of living for the DC area.

Logistics--looks like he won't need a car because of the good metro system. They don't offer any help with housing, but they've directed him to a website for government workers looking for housing, and they told him if he shares with someone else, he shouldn't have to spend more than $700/mo on rent. They do offer health insurance as part of the deal. He starts right after Labor Day.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Cat hair

White kitty has been laying on top of a pile of floppy disks all afternoon. Probably not a good idea.

Another blog

I had an idea today to make another blog specifically for my family members. This way, I can tell my chitchat news but not have to write separate emails to everyone. I don't know if this will turn out to be a good idea or not, but I'll try it for a few days. If not, there is a nice DELETE BLOG button here somewhere.

When I tried to set the new blog up, I completely messed up the template. Then I had the idea to copy and paste from this one. That worked, then I removed a few things, but basically left the titles and commenting thing in place.

When an author writes, he or she usually has an audience in mind; with this blog, I'm still trying to figure out who I am writing to. I thought I was just talking to myself, but...

I also just discovered that Blogger works differently in Opera than it does in IE. Hmm, I'll have to investigate that a bit more.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Last payment, travel plans

Yay, today we made the last payment for Rachel 4th year at college. Two months without payments before we start them again for her last year. Next year will include her student teaching semester, and she has already been awarded a nice scholarship for that semester. Lord, thank you for helping her to get this far!

I also made hotel bookings for two rooms in scenic Marion, Indiana for the night before David's graduation. My sister and her family, along with my brother, will drive down from Michigan and join us for David's graduation. It will be a hectic time, but we will all get to be together briefly. My mom is also coming with us in our van and bringing along boxes of grandma's stuff to give to relatives in Michigan. Andrew is flying in from Boston, Gary is flying in from North Carolina. David's HS friend Caleb will drive up with me, Rachel and mom and he can help me with the driving--yay (since I hate driving).

And speaking of travel, D. flies to Washington DC tomorrow to interview for a job in Bethesda, MD at the National Cancer Institute. Wouldn't that be the coolest research job for a little punk like him? Lord, show him if this is the direction you have for him. And take care of him while he travels.

Monday, May 03, 2004


MK stands for missionary kid, if anyone reading this doesn't know. MKs are a great bunch of kids. And they grow up to be great adults too. (Of course, not all of them, but...)

There is a very active MK youth group here, one for Jr. High, and another for Sr. High. They meet together every Monday night with official leaders for accountability groups, singing, teaching, and fellowship.

Tonight was a special MK meeting to honor the MKs who will be graduating from high school in the next few weeks. It was a large group of seniors, over 12, I think. One of the staff members made a video featuring photos of these seniors from baby to now--it was a lot of fun.

Our exchange daughter was quickly accepted by this group last August, and her (considerable) social life revolves around this group. She fits in because she is a Christian, and because she is foreign, and because she accepts everybody (at least initially) without first deciding if they are cool or not. Of course, it also helps that she is the most outgoing person I have ever met in my life.

I have a lot of admiration for the staff who work with this group. It is a big organizational job just to keep all the activities going, but more to the point, they really love and care for these kids. Most of the staff are grown MKs themselves, or else are married to MKs. One of the younger staff members tonight told me he liked working with this group because he didn't have to explain himself--they already know what it is like to grow up in an exotic country and then to the USA. We weren't at all surprised about his desire to become ambassador to X one day.

Lord, thank you for this group of MKs. Draw the close to yourself as they transition into a new phase of life.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Broken hearts

No, not mine. My heart is fine. But one of my kids has just broken up and now has a hurting heart. I guess that makes it unanimous: all three kids have now had an official broken heart from a failed romance. Broken hearts hurt, I know that. But they have value too. They are a time to learn about oneself and about others. Lord, help my kids to trust you, to turn to you when they hurt. Help them not to lose hope in your care for them, nor lose hope that you will one day bring them into happy marriages.