Monday, April 25, 2011

How to Prepare for a Move...

Just a disclaimer here...we are not moving this year!  We, however, have moved many times in our 9 years as officers so I wanted to share some of our experience with you.

6-8 weeks before move
You got the call.  Start working on your brief now.  I now keep the brief up every year so this is not a chore to do when we actually should be packing and taking care of stuff in the corps. 

Go ahead and check about schools and day care facilities in the area.   Many times preschool registration has already begun and it would be wise to get your children in before the move.  If you live close enough to make a visit do that as well. 

Request records for all doctors.  It sometimes takes a few weeks to get this from them so it is better to start early.  I keep a binder with dividers for each member of the family (don't forget your pets!)  I have every record from birth.  That way when I go to the next community I copy every record I have and hand them an entire folder.  More than likely they won't look through it, but they will have the complete case there.  Especially, if you or your child has to go to a specialist.  I do this for dental records, as well as pediatrician. 

Some divisions require you to submit a moving plan to them prior to your move.  This would include all costs associated with your move.  Get quotes from several moving companies/or trucks, and estimate how much you will spend for food and hotel as well as gas on your way to your new appointment.  Submit this to the DC and stick to it!  The farther your new appointment is the more expensive a truck will be, because you pay by mileage.

Reserve Truck or Moving Company

5 weeks
Finish up any doctors visits before you leave and get a copy of any final paper work.  That way you don't have to immediately search for a phsyician and make a hasty decision.  I don't usually take the previous officers word for doctors, until I have thoroughly researched them all.  If you need specialists, then you can go ahead and research those as well.  I go to websites like momapedia because they will have local reviews on phsycians/dentists and even schools and daycare facilities.

Start packing up wall decorations, picture frames, and all non-essentials.  Pack up out of season clothes and coats. 

Finish your brief if you haven't already.

Make a punch list of all repairs/ painting/ and maintenance that needs to be done and make calls.  Schedule with local companies.  This would include:  Carpet cleaning
painting, air duct cleaning, chimney sweep, air conditioner/heater maintenance,  etc.  If you have pets you will want to have apholstry cleaned as well.

Start decluttering, if you haven't used it in this house, you won't use it in the next.

If you haven't already contacted your successor, make sure you do so.  Get some personal information that would be helpful in introducing them to your board, employees and corps members.  Get a picture to help put a face to the name.  Schedule a visit with them if you feel comfortable.

Email copy of brief to DC and incoming officer

4 Weeks
Any rooms that aren't used, go ahead and clean them from top to bottom.  Pack up everything and shut the door.  If you have a garage, use that as your staging area. 

If you are going to paint, I would suggest going muted colors.  Sometimes those that follow you will want to come and pick paint colors themselves.  Have that conversation with them to find out.  There is no reason to pay for something that they be will changed anyway.

Buy new linens (1 set for each bed) white or something nutral that matches the room.  Buy White towels but only one per person.  They will buy what they want when they arrive.  The key is to have necessaties available, but not to go over board so they can buy what they want.  If you need to replace any pots and pans/dishes ect., do that now as well.

Start thinking about your farewell sermon.  Make plans for your farewell (nine times out of ten you plan it anyway.)  We have often times made it on another day besides Sunday, so that the last Sunday is not too long of a day.   Go ahead and make program for farewell.

3 Weeks
Start packing up everything else.  Keep out a few movies and board games to keep the kids busy when you are working.  But now you should only have out the bare minimum.  The less stuff you have makes it easier to clean.  If you are going to have a company come and clean your house, make sure you make that appointment now. 

Contact the officer you are following to work out when you will arrive at the house.  Do the same for the family that is following you. 

Find out what food the family would like to have waiting for them.  Buy a small welcome gift for kids and maybe a nice plant and card for the officers moving in. 

Plan or appoint people in corps to plan and execute the welcome.  Order any food/catering/or cake and arrange for the pick up on the date.

Make arrangements for Local Newspaper to run a story on the new corps officers so that they can be introduced to the community.

Plan welcome Sunday program for new officers.  Sometimes DHQ will invite themselves to come speak at the welcome.  Coordinate that with DHQ.

Send out new address and phone numbers to friends and family

2 Weeks

Clean and pack your office.  Try to start a file on your desk for projects that will be waiting the corps officer when they come.  Copy new officer on any new email correspondance that they would need to be aware of.

If you need to stay in a hotel on your way to your new appointment, or to make the cleaning stick (with kids it would not do me any good to clean if the kids were still around), go ahead and make those reservations.  We usually stay in a hotel on Saturday night.  The kids play in the pool, and I do my last minute walk through with the board or corps member.

Send letter announcing arrival of new corps officer to all pertinant contacts like United Way/ Store Managers for Kettles/ Civic Clubs/ Community Partners

1 Week
Enjoy the last week with your corps people.  Let your kids have final playdates with friends.

Clean and pack up last of the house.  Load onto Truck.  Take unwanted things to thrift store or have yard sale (if you are bold)

Have farewell party and or Sunday.

The important thing is to do things ahead of time so you are not rushed at the end!   I will probably add to this list, so check for updates!  Add you own ideas in comments!

Friday, April 15, 2011

It All Happens At Once...Always

That is what it feels like this week.  I wasn't even here for half of the week, but it has been the hardest we have had in a while.  Thankfully the kids have been great and they don't usually act up until Mommy gets home!  The hubs called on Thursday to tell me he had to fill out a police report.  Why you ask?  Someone decided to steal the catalytic converters (who knew there were two?) off the bus.  Thankfully, we still have the 15-passenger van to transport our congregation.  However, it just adds to the financial burden that we all feel this time of year.  We have had many sick in our congregation, family members not doing well, and my own dad has been admitted to the hospital for the 5th time in 2 months.  All this in addition to the community meeting we had in our building last night.  While 50 people were expected, over 250 came!  They had many concerns about a Salvation Army Program that is looking to build in their community and it was a very long night.  After driving 6 hours, and going straight into that meeting I was dog tired!!!!  And we get to do it all over again today as we take our corps kids to camp for music rehearsals! 

Do You Ever Feel Like That?

On the days that I just feel worn down, I try to keep this verse handy: "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people" Galatioans 6:9-10 NIV

Keep fighting the fight!  I know that when God is at work in our congregations and even in our lives, Satan works harder to keep the good from happening!  Don't let him get you down!  Don't Give Up!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Living for God

Today I read this and I just had to share.
"The end of all things is near.  Therefore be clear minded and selfcontrolled so that you can pray.  Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.  Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks, he should do it as on speaking the very words of God.  If anyone serves he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.  To him be the glory and power for ever and ever. Amen."  1 Peter 4:7-11

Friday, April 8, 2011

When They Start to Ask: Where Are You Going This Time...You Know You Have Been Gone Too Much!!!

For whatever reason, this year has been the traveling year for me.  I didn't plan it that way.  Are you any of you in the same boat?  On Wednesday night, during Women's Fellowship, I told them I wouldn't be there next week.  They didn't flip out, they just rolled their eyes and said those words, "where are you going this time?"  That's when I knew, I've been gone too much.

Some of it cannot be helped.  Those lovely weekends fill up fast with Youth Councils, Men's Camp, and Women's Camp.  But those other elective conferences that look like good opportunities in October and November, add up quick when they come around in March and April.  I just got back from the "Come to the Water Conference."  This conference is sponsored by the Weslyan Holiness Women's Clergy.  It was a good conference filled with women from many other denominations that preach Holiness!  What a blessing!

This week I am going to Territorial Officers Advisory Council.  Ladies (and gentlemen who stop by) if you have recommendations and haven't turned them in is you last opportunity.  Message me for a form.  This is our chance to voice concerns (legitimate concerns) involving programming and policy.  Many things have been changed because of TOAC and I am proud to serve.  (Although my husband is not quite pleased that I will be gone for four days!!!)

All of this to say, it is so important to have our calendars with us when we commit to conferences.  It is also important to be able to say no.  As I am looking at my calendar I am thinking, I might have over committed my self.  Are you feeling the same way!  What are ways that help you to say no?  How do you handle your family when there is no way around being a way for a short time?