Archive for June, 2008

The big news!

I figured that it was time that I share our news on my blog.  We’ve known about it for a couple of months, but it’s only been for sure for a few days.  Brian has found a full time job in Atlanta.  We will be moving at the end of July.  I have accepted a job as an ER nurse working 3PM to 3AM.  We’re really excited and everything has been working out a little too easily.  It’s kind of scary how things work out sometimes and other times nothing goes as planned.  I guess God has a purpose for everything.

We’re really excited, Brian has been looking for a job for a long time now.  Basically waiting and praying since before we got married over five years ago.  But seriously searching for over a year now.

We’re also freaking out a little bit too.  Next month is going to FLY and we still need to pack up all of our junk and find somewhere to live.  We’re hoping that even in this awful market with banks being super picky that we might be able to get qualified for a mortgage and buy our first house.  Right now we’re both waiting to get actual contracts from our employers so we can get the paperwork turned in to finalize the loan.  The broker we have talked to thinks that it looks like a good possibility.  We’re planning on buying an already completed house from a builder.  There were several houses we liked, but the communities were EMPTY and the amenities like pool and such not finished.  That just scares me that the community will never be completed with the market the way it is.  And lead to us not being able to sell down the road.  We did find a few communities that are pretty much full or the builder is a big company that is still building.  I’m trying to trust God that he is going to work everything out.

So, our prayer requests right now….

1. That our landlord will find someone to rent our apartment so we can get out of our lease.  He’s showing it to two different people tomorrow, just 2 days after posting the add.  If he finds someone to sign a lease starting August first, then we won’t have to pay any fees or anything.  Awesomeness, considering we still have 6 months left in our lease!!!

2.  That we can find a house and have all of the paperwork go through quickly and easily.

3.  That we can get all of the many things on our to do list done in the next few weeks.  Unfortunatly with us both working full time the days we have off to get work done are few and far between.

PRAISES…

1.  That God has blessed us with two great jobs with raises for both of us, both pretty significant.  I know we needed them right now.  The hospital called to offer me the job the same day that I interviewed.  The hospital seems great and I think I’m going to feel spoiled there!

2.  That our landlord and bosses have been sooooo supportive of us leaving.  My boss isn’t thrilled, but she knew that Brian was looking for a job from the day that I started.

3.  That the hospital and church are going to cover our moving expenses.  The church had planned to all along, but the fact that the hospital is going to pay most of what we plan to spend makes me feel less guilty about paying someone else to move our junk down 3 flights of stairs!!

We’re going to see Brian’s parents over the 4th of July.  We haven’t seen them in over a year, so we really needed to visit before we’re farther away.  Two days after we get back from his parents’ we leave to go back to Atlanta to try to find a house.  We’ll only have one full day down there.  Unfortunatly it’s the longest break from work I have between now and the end of July.

Anyway, please keep us in your prayers over the next month or so.

Oh, and I have pics to post from the two Reds’ games we’ve been to in  Cincinnati and the Braves game we went to while we were in Atlanta.  I think that will have to wait until I have more time!

June 27, 2008 at 8:36 pm Leave a comment

What we’ve been up to

I have a ton of pictures that I’ve taken over the past week. Since I’ve been trying to keep all of my pictures on the desk top I have to come to the 3rd floor of our apartment to work on them. The problem is that it’s been so hot that even with the air conditioning running almost non stop the 3rd floor is always like a sauna. Thank goodness our bedroom isn’t up here. So, I thought I would come up and do some work and post to my blog while it raining and still early in the morning. I can always post to my blog from my laptop down stairs, but with out any pics stored on it anymore they would be awfully boring posts. Anyway, here’s a little of what we’ve been up to.

While we were home visiting my parents over Memorial Day weekend I snuck outside early one morning and took pictures of my mom’s gardening.

Isn’t this swing and little pillow cute?

Not long after I went outside my mom woke up and came out too. She let me know that she got these from my grandma’s yard. Actually, quite a few of her plants were ones that someone “gave” her from their yard. I think she took them with out them knowing, but she wouldn’t admit to anything. Pretty soon she’ll probably be stealing plants from people she doesn’t even know.

This was our favorite house from the outside. I love the wood, stone, and brick mixture.

On Saturday Brian and I went to Homearama here in Cincinnati. We really enjoy going and walking through the multi million dollar homes and seeing the decorations and ideas. We hadn’t been in a few years, so it was nice to go again.

This was our favorite house as far as decorating goes. I also loved the copper accents on the outside of the house. Even the drain pipes were made of copper.

We were scared about going on a weekend that it would be really busy, but because it was rainy there weren’t many people there. The weather was perfect, it was cloudy, so not too tearibly hot, and it never rained on us. It did get more muggy as the day went on.

At the end of the show you get to cast your vote for best house, best decorating, and best landscape. Here are my winners for the things I wish we could voted on.

BEST ROOM:

The dog room in the basement of one of the houses. This was probably one of our least favorite houses as far as decorating because everything was so dark and gloomy, but we loved this room. It had the two beds, a dog sized sectional sofa, a plazma tv playing animal planet, and other doggy goodies. This would be the perfect place to put Maggie while we were gone instead of in her crate. The only thing it was missing was a drain in the floor to wash down the floors really well. But I guess multi million dollar dogs must not ever have accidents.

Best Basement:

Not a great pic, I took a ton of pics in this basement, but with the low lighting none of them are great. But the entire basement was amazing! It had a movie theme with old cameras and lights around. Statues like these from different movies. The bar was amazing, it looked like something straight out of a restaurant. They also had a cigar room, wine room tasting room, a huge restaurant booth, and an exercise room down there. Well, and the movie theater. The 1/2 bath down there was even picture worthy. I’ll take one of everything please.

This subdivision is really neat because there is a canal that was built to go through it. I think that Homearama has been in the same subdivision for the past 4 or 5 years as they build more and more homes there. The last time that we went it was nicer out and there were a lot more people out on their little boats on the canal.

One of our friends can get free tickets to the Red’s game tonight and asked us to go. But, I’m totally bummed that Jr hit his 600th home run last night. I was hoping we would get to see it tonight. Oh, well, it will still be nice to get to a game. I’ll post pics from it later.

June 10, 2008 at 7:51 am Leave a comment

How I passed the NCLEX-RN

The two most popular posts on my blog have been one about Hillary Clinton and another about my experience taking the NCLEX.  Well, since the one thing the world doesn’t need more of is one more person blogging about politics, especially someone who hates politics.  I thought I would make another post about the NCLEX.  Sorry to those of you who could care less.

My first tip is for people trying to pick a nursing school.  Get on-line and look up their passing average for the NCLEX.  I think how well your school prepares you for the ultimate test has a lot to do with you passing.  I believe my school did an excellent job preparing me for the NCLEX.  In 2006 my school’s average rate was 93%.  I would love to know what it is now because they now require all students to take a practice HESI exam every 9 weeks.  I work with several girls who all went to the same school and none of them have passed boards after several tries.  They are all REALLY smart, but the school just did not prepare them for the NCLEX.

For those who are not required to take the HESI, let me clue you in.  It’s basicly a longer harder version of the NCLEX.  If you can pass the HESI you are supposed to be able to pass the NCLEX.  It is also on a computer and the questions are just as hard, if not harder.  I believe a full length HESI is around 300 questions.  We took a short version every 9 weeks at the end of each term.  We also had a full length HESI before graduation that we were required to pass before graduation.

My second tip is to practice, Practice, PRACTICE!!  We were required to buy this book for school.  It comes with a computer disk with practice questions on it.  We were required to do a certain number of practice questions while we were in school, and we had to get over 80% correct or we had to keep doing them over and over again.  The book is not broken down by subject, the point is to get your brain used to jumping from subject to subject.

This is the only book I studied from for the NCLEX.  After graduation I took this book everywhere.  To the dog park, training classes for work, on my lunch break from work.  Every spare minute I had I was doing practice questions.  At home I would put the CD in my laptop and do practice questions on commercial breaks while watching TV.  I would mute the TV and do questions until my show came back on.

The disk has several options.  You can break the questions down into subjects, or have them mixed together.  You can do one question at a time, meaning it tells you the correct answer as soon as you pick your answer.  You can take 10 question quizes and then get the answers at the end.  Or you can take 100 question tests.

I did a little bit of each.  I liked getting the answer as soon as I answered the questions because I would still be thinking about why I answered the question the way I did when the correct answer came up.  However, the 100 question test builds up your endurance.  After doing several of these 100 questions will fly by in no time.

For the most part I did tests with the subjects all mixed together.  But I also  did tests with questions from each section individually.  You can also choose to do every single practice question from each subject.  The most important one for this option is the prioritizing section.  There aren’t that many questions in that section on the disk, but it will teach you to think like the NCLEX people think.  Do them ALL!!  I promise it will help on test day.

That is what you need to pass the boards.  You don’t need to know everything word for word out of the text book.  You need to be able to pick out the most important part of the question and figure out what answer it is pointing too.

Almost EVERY SINGLE  QUESTION on the NCLEX exam was about something I had never even HEARD of before, let alone knew anything about.  It was all about knowing what they were looking for,, and what the question was trying to get me to think about.

Some big things that I and others have been tested on very strongly:

1. Stages of isolation.  I had a question wanting to know what kind of isolation I would put a patient with some plague I had never heard of before in.  Well, obviously if it has the word PLAGUE in it, it is bad.  They are in the strongest isolation possible.

2.  I had a TON of those mark all answers that are correct questions.  ICKKK!!  MAJOR ICCCKKK!!  I SUCK at these because I can always talk myself into marking them all.  You can pick all of the questions like these from the disk and do just them.  DO THEM ALL!!!  Out of the 75 quesitons I got on the NCLEX I had at least 7 of those dumb things.  My other advice on these, don’t spend too much time on them.  Just pick the answers that pop out at you as correct and move on.  That way you don’t talk yourself into marking them all.

3.  And of course, the lovely priority questions.  Yes, it’s true, there are tons of these.  Remember  your ABC’s, but also remember that sometimes ABC’s aren’t always what they are looking for.  If all of your patients are stable who do you see first??

4.  Oh, something else I had a lot of.  Study the Black, Red, Yellow, Green triage system.  I couldn’t find a great website about this, so hopefully you can find something better in your nursing books.

Three or Four days before boards cut back on studying and try to relax and take some time to let your brain rest.  Spend some time with your family, go see a funny movie, get out of the house.  I still did a few questions a day, but not hundreds a day like the weeks before.   Drive by the testing center the day before so you aren’t stressed about finding it the next morning.  Get a good nights sleep.  Wake up early so you don’t have to rush to get there.  The Sunday before my NCLEX I went to church and had an amazing experience.  I had been so stressed before then that I would almost retch every time I thought about the test.  At church this amazing peace swept over me and I just KNEW I was going to pass.  I hope you can have this feeling going into boards.

In the front of the book are tips on studying for boards and tips on what to look for in the questions.  I read through the tips on what to look for chapter the day before, just as a refresher.

Oh, and our school told us to take snacks and water to the test.  Don’t, you will have to lock everything up and can’t get back in your locker until the test is over.  Take the ear plugs they offer even if you think you won’t need them.  There were others in the room taking court recording tests, so people were typing a mile a minute all around me and it was distracting.

Let me know if you have any questions.  And GOOD LUCK!!!  I hope you will have the letters RN (or LPN) after your name soon!

June 4, 2008 at 10:48 pm 37 comments

Stolen

So, remember Brian’s new grill that we bought for his birthday? It was stolen today.

In broad day light. While we were home.

That sucker is heavy too. They must have had their eyes on it for awhile, pulled their truck up in front of the house and hauled it off. I will refrain from posting the first words out of my mouth when I walked out the door and discovered it gone.

June 1, 2008 at 10:28 am Leave a comment


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