Friday, November 18, 2011

Pitiful Pup

T-pot is at work with me today.  I'm working at my computer, and he thinks if he positions himself in just the right spot then I'll pay attention to him.  This pitiful face is just too much for me sometimes! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Roller Coaster Weeks

A roller coaster is really the only way I can think to describe the last few weeks around here.  We've had ups and downs.  There's been joy and then scary moments too.  I'll just do a quick summary and try to spare you too many details.
The downs: 
1.  The ACU bus accident- if you haven't heard, 16 precious lives from Ag department were involved in a horrible bus accident on November 4th.  We lost 1 student and others have very serious injuries.  There were 12 students, 3 faculty and a spouse on board.  ACU is a tight-knit family, and this has affected all of us.  We knew most of the students and all of the faculty involved.  Josh's uncle is head of the Ag department and has spent a great deal of time ministering to families and students.  Please continue to pray for healing and quick recoveries for all involved.  We still have 3 in various hospitals in TX.
2.  The ACU budget- ACU has fallen on hard times and has had to make some budget adjustments.  This involves cutting positions, reducing salaries, and reorganizing departments across campus.  For a while we were quite unsure how we would be affected and how safe our jobs would be.  At this point, we think Josh is safe, and I'll be taking a 20% cut in salary and time worked. 
3.  The holidays are coming- yes, this can be a down sometimes.  We're about 4 weeks away from the 3rd anniversary of my Dad's passing.  Some days are still really, really tough- especially this time of year. 

The ups (let's end on a happy note):
1.  We have 2 nieces or nephews (or one of each) on the way!  Josh's brother and his wife are expecting in May, and 1 of Josh's sisters is expecting in July.  Both couples live in Abilene, so it will be fun to be around for these pregnancies and births!  It will also be fun to watch these cousins grow up together.
2.  We have jobs and are so thankful for God's provision.  This 20% cutback will actually be a blessing to us (other than the decreased income.)  Basically, starting June 1, I'll have a more flexible schedule and will be able to take more time off (unpaid of course).  This means Josh and I will hopefully have more time together between semesters, and I'll have more time at home to work on projects and pursue other goals.  
2.  The holidays are coming!  This means we get to spend a lot of time with family.  Family has come to be more precious to me than I could ever imagine.  Every minute we get to spend together is such a blessing.  In the last few weeks, I have spent some time with my Mom, brother, aunt and uncle from WA, and my grandpa.  In the coming weeks, we will spend a weekend with Josh's family, see my Mom and brother 2 more times, and hopefully get to see my cousin's family (including a new baby!)  

So that's what is on my heart today.  I am trying to be more thankful during this season and focus on all the blessings in my life. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Lab Quote Friday: Word of the Week- Flocculent

This week in lab, the students did an experiment where they made alum (see picture) from coke cans and then tested it as a flocculent.  Aaah- spell check doesn't know the word flocculent!  Well, neither do the students.  Do you know what it means?  I'm betting a lot of people have never heard this word much less know its definition.  So today we are going to expand our vocabulary!
Here's what Wikipedia has to say:
1.  "Flocculation, in the field of chemistry, is a process wherein colloids come out of suspension in the form of floc or flakes by the addition of a clarifying agent."
In our case, the clarifying agent (or flocculent) was alum.
2.  "Water treatment-  Flocculation and sedimentation are widely employed in the purification of drinking water as well as sewage treatment, stormwater treatment and treatment of other industrial wastewater streams."
We used our alum to purify some simulated dirty water in the lab.  Students got to see the impurities come out of suspension and settle to the bottom of their test tubes.  Cool!

So, there you have it.  See if you can use flocculent in your conversations today :)  Oh, you need an actual lab quote today too?  OK!  

Lab girl:  Is flocculent even a word?