Merry Christmas 2012

From the Haiders


If we had to pick one word to describe our year "CHANGES" would definitely be it! Dustin and I both have different jobs, we moved, we added a member to the family, and those are just a few of the many changes that have happened.

We hope this e-card finds you well and full of life and love during this Christmas season. The time got away from us to mail a paper letter, so I'm using some of the fun tools I've learned as part of my new job to let you in on a little of what has happened to us over the last year. So, sit back, relax and enjoy my snow day musings!

After 30 attempts, Merry Christmas!

Dustin's Changes

In mid-February Dustin was notified that his position as Concordia's graduate assistant for speech and debate was no longer going to be available in the capacity that he had previously held it. It was a rough couple of months, knowing he needed a new job, but not really being able to look for one yet because employers wanted someone who could start right away.

Luckily, Dustin was able to take about a month off after the position at Concordia ended in May. This gave us time to go see his folks in Idaho and meet our new nephew Max. He was hired at Verizon Wireless (yes Dustin and Rachel did switch roles, see below) to start in the middle of July.

Dustin excelled through the classroom training and the 3 months as a new representative on the phones, so much so that they promoted him a week after he "graduated" from the training period. He is now in the tech support representative training and will start in his new role just after the first of the year. Dustin is starting over on his master's degree for a 3rd time, this time in education, in hopes of getting into the training department or work as a supervisor if he stays at Verizon.

Rachel's Changes

With Dustin's change in job status, no longer were we committed to staying in Nebraska. Rachel continued to look for teaching jobs in the spring and even opened her name up for a call to a Lutheran school anywhere in the country. Her name went out all over and soon she was phone or skype interviewing with schools in Cleaveland, Milwaukee, Chicago, and almost in Dallas.

Just when she thought she wouldn't get a job, a school here in Nebraska let her know they were hiring for a position she had interviewed for a couple of years ago. Within a week she submitted an application, interviewed, and had a job! She is now teaching 9-12th grade English and speech classes at Exeter-Milligan High school as well as coaching drama and speech.

It has been a learning experience in more ways than one. The district is very technology oriented; all students have a laptop to do work on which is an English teacher's dream! And the district is giving her lots of opportunities to attend seminars and workshops to learn about different ways to incorporate technology into the classroom and school. She is part of a technology integration cohort group that will last for 2 years and will get to attend a statewide technology conference in the spring as well as attend a Google Apps for education summit each summer. Rachel put her masters classes on hold to figure out this new teacher thing, but plans to pick them back up later next year.

Family Changes

Other than employment changes, many other aspects of our lives have changed as well.

In late August, we moved to Lincoln, NE. It only added a few minutes to Rachel's drive to work and got Dustin a lot closer to his work. Our house has a bigger kitchen with much more counter and cabinet space. We have a full basement and an extra bedroom, so if you're ever in Nebraska and need a place to stay let us know!

We are loving our new house, it is nice being closer to more of our friends and more of the things we do on a regular basis anyway. It was great being able to host Rachel's parents and Grandma Schroeder as well as friends for Thanksgiving in a space where we could all fit!

In October our lives changed drastically with the addition of Mocha, our new beagle puppy! Neither of us really knew how much it would change things. She has been a lot of work, but a lot of fun. She is changing every day and teaching us new things. She is fun to play with and have around the house, she even helped write the letter, meaning she sat on my lap licking my ear or sleeping underneath my arms!

Lots of love and Christmas blessings,

Dustin and Rachel