26 August 2012

I'm still alive and kicking

I guess it is my turn to add something to this blog, since it is supposed to be a journal of our happenings.  Since it has been so long since I last posted, it’s hard to sum up everything that has been happening, but I’ll try to hit the highlights.

The biggest are that I finished dermatology residency on June 29th, we sold our house in Fairport, and we’ve moved cross-country to live with Steph’s parents in beautiful San Diego, CA.  My kids will tell you that I was not to be found for the most part during the first few weeks after we moved here while I studied for and then flew to Tampa, FL to take my board exam.  It was the hardest test that I’ve ever taken in my life.  I’m grateful to all who were praying for me and thinking about me, as I could really feel help and comfort as I was taking the test.  The results should be released in the next 2-6 weeks, so as you can imagine, I’ve been on pins and needles waiting to see if I passed.

Regardless, I get to start my new job tomorrow and am so excited.  I joined a practice based out of Oceanside, CA, called Dermatology Specialists, Inc.  They have 5 offices in Oceanside, Solana Beach, Escondido, Fallbrook, and Murrieta.  I will be their 7th dermatologist and will be working out of the Oceanside, Murrieta, and Escondido offices.  Here is a link to my profile if you are interested: http://www.dermspec.com/about/dr-bradshaw.cfm.  I am currently scheduled to work from 7am to 4pm Monday-Friday, with lunch from 11-12 noon.  It is earlier hours, but I’m a morning person anyways, and I am hoping to draw people who want to see the doctor before work or during their lunch hour.  I am excited and nervous – I’ll keep you updated on how it goes.  I met with some of the other doctors and support staff this past week and am looking forward to working with them.

The time from when I took my boards the end of July until now has been spent playing with the kids, and we have had so much fun, including: rotating to different pools in the ward weekly to swim with other kids; meeting with ward members weekly to swim at Del Mar beach; meeting with friends from Steph’s ward that she grew up in at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas; getting together with my sister Jennie and her husband Dalin and kids to swim and play; swimming frequently in the backyard; enjoying a free day at the natural history museum; playing lots of board games; and spending time with extended family.

During the past month we also had to do all the things you do with any move to a new state: spending all day at the DMV for licenses and car registration, and then spending over $1,000 for the cars to pass emission testing; switching car insurance; changing bank and updating credit card addresses; etc.

We have had quite an adventure with our minivan the past few weeks.  I mentioned earlier that we were at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas (about 30 miles away) visiting with some of Steph’s old friends from when she grew up here.  We left the parking lot around 9pm and the car died just before an intersection and wouldn’t start.  We said a prayer asking Heavenly Father for help.  As I got out to put up the hood, a girl drove by and asked if we needed help.  I told her we needed a car to try and jump us.  She was just leaving from a Bible study at the beach and called 2 of her friends over.  They attempted to jump the car, but it wouldn’t stay on after jumping.  Another family from their group stopped to help.  We even had 6 different police cars stop by to make sure we were ok.  The van had to be towed to a local garage and the alternator ended up having to be replaced.  The family that stopped were from Oceanside (about 15-20 minutes north).  They were there in 2 cars, so they offered to put their kids in one and the wife drove us home (about 30 miles) with our kids in the back.  I can’t even remember the names of those who helped us, but they were answers to our prayer and helped us to get home safely that night.

The alternator was fixed and the van seemed to be doing ok for the next few weeks.  However, about 2 weeks ago it started acting up.  After turning off the ignition, the motor and fuse box area would click intermittently and randomly.  Sometimes we would go out and the lights would be flashing, or the radio or air conditioning would be on (without the key in).  A few times the alarm went off for no reason, and then the next morning the battery would be dead and we would have to jump the car.  We ended up taking the van to an electrical mechanic.  He found massive corrosion on and in the main fuse harness that travels below the battery from the main computers to the engine, transmission, and other parts of the car.  He said the job would probably cost at least $3,000, most likely more, to fix and recommended we start looking for a new car.  We were not expecting this, but we sort of had no choice, so we started looking.  I’m really grateful this happened while I was still home with Steph and not after I started work.

We went into this thinking we would buy a used vehicle, since that was all we had every done.  Long story short, we ended up leasing (this postpones paying off the vehicle for ownership, but it made it so the payments are more manageable) a dark red 2012 Honda Odyssey EX-L minivan and picked it up yesterday.  It is so quiet and fun to drive, and it is nice to know that Steph is in a reliable vehicle for the next several years.  Pictures will be posted hopefully soon.

School has also led to some fun new adventures.  Camden started about 3 weeks ago at Valley elementary in a dual language Spanish immersion kindergarten class.  The students are about 50% native English and 50% native Spanish, and the teacher speakers Spanish 100% of the time for right now.  Camden seemed a little scared during the first week or so, but now he seems to have adjusted and is really enjoying his class.  He has made a few friends and we’ve even done a play date with Jaron, whose family is in the Sabre Springs ward.  We met with them at Lake Poway park last week and then they came to swim and have dinner with us the next day.  Steph went and played volleyball with Teresa, Jaron’s mom, last week and had a blast.  Kolby started 3rd grade, Elijah started 2nd grade, and Isaac started PEPP (a transitional kindergarten/pre-school class) this past week at Del Sur and all seem to really like their teachers and school work.  The PTA put on a fun party Friday night at Del Sur, with food carts, face painting, and games.  We are trying this year to be a little more supportive financially of programs at the boys’ schools, so we bought dinner from the vendors, got the boys school t-shirts, and joined the PTA.

We are also keeping busy with our church activities.  We are in the Del Sur ward and Steph is teaching Isaac’s class (which has 7 four-year-old boys!) and I am helping out in the nursery (the roster has 30 children ages 18 months to 3 years).  We had 23 kids there today and it was crazy fun!  I spoke in sacrament meeting 2 weeks ago on the topic of “I know my Heavenly Father loves me because…” and Steph spoke today on ways we can promote love in our home.  This ward had lots of activities, and we were able to go to one at the park yesterday where the kids had a water balloon fight and then ate homemade ice cream.  The kids are making lots of friends at church and had a blast.

We are so happy to be here in San Diego.  It is fun to live with Steph’s parents and her youngest brother, Aaron.  We feel so blessed to be here at this stage in our life and look forward to more fun adventures.

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