A whirlwind of events

I think we must have finished with one of the busiest two weeks we've ever had! We're back from Dallas after two hiring conferences, a visit with Stephen & Paige, a visit with Neal & Janice, and a short-notice trip to east Texas for a second interview! Whew! It's so nice to be back home, although we're still getting shockwaves from all the job stuff - not that we're complaining! Here's a rather lengthy update, but it's sprinkled with pictures, so hopefully that'll make it bearable.
We left last Wednesday afternoon for Stephen and Paige's house in Howe, which is just north of Dallas. Collin dropped me and the kids off and headed back to his hotel for the first hiring conference. The kids and I got a chance to visit with Paige and Stephen, when he was home, and we really enjoyed our time with them. It's so hard to be hours away from family that you miss so much, be we're so glad that it's not days and that we get to visit together every so often!
Me and Hope getting some time together while Daddy grills some hamburgers for dinner and Mommy makes the most incredible Chocolate Cobbler ever - yum!

Meanwhile Hope's cousins work on their mad bubble skilz!

While we were enjoying some family time, Collin was off in Dallas faced with the hard task of impressing multiple employers in an attempt to get some job leads. He would come back and join us on Friday evening, but not before we got these pictures in the rather unimpressive bluebonnet fields (it's just too late in the season) near Howe.

Ian was just thrilled to be forced to pose in a field of flowers with his girly sister. (Isn't his little face just hilarious? I couldn't help but post it.)

Collin drove up to be with us later that evening and we enjoyed our last night with Stephen and Paige. Unfortunately, Collin didn't get to spend a whole lot of time with them, since he was a the conference, but their hospitality to me and the kids was such a god-send. Without us having a place to stay during that first conference, we just wouldn't have been able to make the trip with him - thank you again, Wilhite family!

Saturday morning we set out for Norman, Oklahoma and the Judisch household. We were so excited to see my brother Neal and his wife Janice! This is the first trip we've all made up to visit them, and our first time meeting the newest member of their family, Lillian Jeanette!

Isn't she adorable?! I just love it when they're this tiny!

Moira was especially taken with her new cousin.

One of my favorite parts of this whole trip was watching my sweet nephew Aidan with his new baby sister. Doesn't this picture say it all? What love.

We were treated to some very yummy BBQ pulled-pork sandwiches, cucumber-tomato-feta salad, Outback recipe mac-n-cheese (working at a restaurant has it's benefits!) and wonderful company. Neal and Collin had a chance to catch up for the first time in quite a while, Janice and I talked baby stuff and the big kids spent the afternoon in their mini-bouncy castle. We all enjoyed it so much - Moira is still asking everyday if she can go back to her cousin's house and play!

Can you see I'm still working on Collin and the whole baby thing?

Later in the evening we all went up to OU to see the University and where Neal works. It's a beautiful school, and it still blows me away that my brother is Dr. Judisch of the OU Philosophy Department!! The kids enjoyed running around the beautiful campus for a bit, and then we went to BJ's, a really cool pizza place up there, for dinner together before pulling out of town. We had to get back to Dallas that night for the start of the next hiring conference early Sunday morning.

You didn't really think I'd forget to post a picture of me and little Lillian? It's hard living so far away from these precious little children, I have to enjoy every minute I have with them all.

I was able to snap this (rather silly - or shall I say joyful) picture of all 6 kids before they wouldn't hold still anymore! This picture really warms my heart - the ties that bind.

Sunday and Monday consisted of Collin spending most of his days at the conference while the kids, and I hung out in the hotel room, spent a little time at the pool, made the cutest little pom-pom animals (I totally recommend this book if you have toddlers of the crafty variety), and checked out the Galleria.

In the end, there were two companies that Collin interviewed with where there was mutual interest from us and the company, which is not too shabby! In fact, about 30 minutes after his initial interview with Covidien (a medical supplies manufacturer) they asked if he could come to their plant for a follow-on tour, get this, TOMORROW! Ugh, poor guy. He just hasn't had a break - again, not that we're complaining. So we loaded up the van and headed East for his 10am meeting in Commerce, TX the next day. After 5 1/2 days of being on the road, I was out of ideas on what to do to entertain the kids during yet another undetermined amount of time that we'd be waiting. Much to my relief, our hotel ended up being located right next to the Northeast Texas Children's Museum, where we spent our afternoon waiting for Collin.

After a 4 hour wait, we got the call to come pick Collin up. I was shocked to hear that he'd had FOUR more interviews with different members of management and a tour of the facility. Needless to say he was beyond exhaustion, but also felt really good about the interviews and the possible job opportunity. We were told there are 4 or 5 people interviewing for 2 positions, and that we wouldn't get any feedback until the others have had their second interviews sometime next week. We'll just have to see what God has in store for us.
The second company of interest is Bell Helicopter located in Hurst, a suburb of Fort Worth. They, too, seemed to really like Collin and he's really interested in seeing what they have to offer as well. During his interview with them, they told him they'd like to have him come out for a tour of the facilities and a second interview, so we're supposed to find out a tentative schedule for that trip today. It looks like he might end up back on the road (this time without the whole family in tow) next week. We're praying over this opportunity as well.

Finally, we were contacted by L-3 Communications, a government contractor, about a BMDS Flight Test Engineer position they're interested in him for. He had a phone interview with them yesterday, which also went very well, and they'd like to present his package to the government on Monday! That all sounds very encouraging, and Collin mentioned that it was a nice change of pace to be pursued by a company instead of trying to sell himself. The only down-side? The position is at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. We're doing some research into the area and position, and should be receiving a contingency offer sometime today. Yet another thing to be in prayer over.

Well, that about sums up the craziness that has been our last couple of weeks. We'll be sure to update everyone if anything big happens. Please pray that God would make His will very clear to us in what path we should take. Thanks for caring in the first place!


DW Hobbs said...

Wow, wow, and WOW! I'll say it again, that's some update! But it's all GOOD and I'm praying these are all opportunities that might be THE ONE!

As for the pictures, my heart is with you on all of them. All the kids such beauties. My fave is the one of Aiden and Lillian and then the group photo. I just love how Moira and Madeline have their arms linked! Oh and Ian, sheesh what a little Collin he's turning into! ;-)

Miss you much!!

E said...

Wow! Phew! I'm exhausted just reading it all! I'll be praying about these opportunities.

Something interesting - Kevin's uncle works for L3 in Salt Lake City. He's worked their forever and really likes the company.

I loved the pictures & even all of those words. I was just going to email you yesterday demanding (nicely...if that's possible) some details of the last couple of weeks! :)

What a wonderful update! Thank you so much for sharing!!!

Missing you guys seeing all of the pictures & can't wait to see you all in person (whenever).

Lots of love, prayers & blessings to you all!

Suzann said...

All great news! Thanks for sharing it all with us. We can't wait to hear which wonderful company will get the priviledge of working with Collin :0) We are praying.

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a busy week!! Thanks for the update - I was just thinking and praying about it today.

Lillian is absolutely beautiful! I love how your dad and brother joke with each other on your dad's post of Cambria. Family is such a blessing, and I'm so happy for you guys! I'm glad you guys get to visit and see your family so often.

Neal Judisch & Family said...

Tell Moira she can come to her cousins' house anytime. (She'll just need to provide transportation...) And you should know, Janelle, that when I was putting the kids to bed on the night you left, Madeline's last words were, "Daddy, I wish Aunt Janelle could stay for a month or two."


The Jackson Family said...

First of all, let me just say that you are the most awesome wife and mother-- going to support your husband and working your tail off to keep your kids entertained!

We are praying for Collin's job ops. Travis interned at Bell Helicopter for two of his summers in college, and whenever we drive by there, he always tells me lots of stories about working there. He'll be very interested to know Collin interviewed there (his dad also worked there before he was born!).

SOOO glad you got to spend time with your family and see the new little Lillian Jeanette (adorable). I'll bet Paige, Stephen, Neal and Janice were thrilled to have you visit.

Wanda said...

This is great info to know.