Dustin went back to work last week after a too short xmas break. Work is good, though. He is liking the school and is making good connections there. Unfortunately, some of the kids are still testing him everyday. In his construction class students have now pulled the handle on the emergency safety shower twice (leaving water all over the wood floor) so Dustin has about had it with them. He is working hard to be a visible member of the school community and is now working with a student and the principal to draft a plan for making dugouts for the baseball fields.
He's also keeping busy with side work. He recently completed a rustic mantle for a local campground and he might be putting wood flooring in his colleague's home over his next vacation. Even though it's work, Dustin gets to work in his shop, which he mostly enjoys, and he learns a few new things from each project he takes on.
I was recently hired by Professional Tutors of America (sounds important, huh?) to tutor elementary students. Each student gets two hours of tutoring per week and I can take on as many students as my schedule allows. I haven't started this job yet because I have to get fingerprinted first. I also put an ad on Craigslist and have been working with a 16-year-old boy for over a week now. He doesn't really need academic tutoring, but he doesn't do any school work and is failing all his classes. His dad said that even if I'm just reading the newspaper while his son works it's better than he was doing before. The kid really just needs personal motivation and now I'm another adult in his life trying to get him to do things he doesn't want to do. It's a little awkward, but since the dad is willing to pay me $30/hr I figure it's worth my time.
We try to get out as a family whenever possible. Recently we took a short walk in the woods behind our house to try out the backpack carrier that Matt bought us for Christmas. McKenzie loves being outside and we look forward to warmer days when we can really get some use out of the pack.