Thursday, January 21, 2016

Easy Chocolate Chip Brownie Cheesecake

I have been receiving notifications from  a facebook page called "Tasty".   Tried a couple dishes from it as well.  Life has been a little hectic these past couples months so I haven't been really taking much pictures, let alone blogging.  I had hope of rectifying that situation.

As you can see, my version is not as pretty.  I did not take the time to really pick the prettiest and most equal in size and shape strawberries.  The kids and the hubby loves it.  I used a favorite gluten free brownie mix. 
Here is another link to the site with yummy pictures and video.

- 1 box of brownie mix, and ingredients needed to make them
- 16 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 8 oz whipped cream or whipped topping
- 1 cup chocolate chips

Prepare the brownie mix according to package instructions, and pour the batter into a springform pan. Bake according to package instructions, and cool completely. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Fold in vanilla and whipped cream, then fold in the chocolate chips. Spread over the cooled brownie in the springform pan. Decorate with toppings of your choice, or just leave it plain! Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

DIY Marbled Paper

From Meaningful Mama.  Found this project in my facebook feed and just had to try it.  The kids both still love art.  So here is our version:
Squirting of shaving cream on an aluminum foil.

Dropping food colors.

Making patterns

Paper placed on top of the swirled colored shaving cream.

Kids were like:  MOOOOMMMM you destroyed the design.  This was the paper side once you removed it from the foil.

Scraping the excess shaving cream.

Each had to take a turn.

Last scraping.

Voila!  Our own marbled paper.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Cross Country 2015

Vyn decided to join the middle school cross country team this year 2015.  He waited till the last minute to decide and since I started work this year and had already given the list of days I can work for September last month, I missed and was not able to watch his first 2 meets in September.

Participant ribbon he got on his first cross country meet.
School cross country team.

Received one of the medals in his second meet.

CRIM Run 2015

Both the hubby and Vyn ran the 2015 CRIM Run.  The hubby did the 10 Mile Race and ran the 5K with Vyn after the 10M.  This was Vyn's first Crim run. 

This year we invited my mother in law to come and watched the race with Lyn and I.

Picking up both our runners running packet.
10M runners divided into their different pace. 

Off they went.

This year we decided to watch the runners come back a little farther but with a clear view -without the fence.

Hubby's 2nd race for the day - Vyn's first Crim run

5K medal fits into the 10M medal - the hubby's  second set.  Vyn's first Crim medal.

Pre-employment/Health Screening

Monday, June 15, 2015 at 2:30 was my appointment to have my pre-employment and health screening. 
This was also our last day of camping, so we decided to just leave early so I can be home early enough to get freshen up and go to the hospital on time. 
I got there a few minutes earlier.  I had thought for it to be an easy in and out.  But the appointment took all afternoon.  I had forms to fill out, an impromptu test I was not expecting, picture taken, got my urine tested, my blood drawn and a chest x-ray done. 
Hoping that everything is how it should be. 

Hospital Orientation

I haven't work for eleven years now but I remembered when I was single I have transferred jobs a few times and this was the first time that I had to do a full day of orientation.  Some of the people I was with also have to go back for a few more days for more orientation.  I wonder if this was a new thing or my hospital now is just more transparent with their employees than the others I had worked for.
Monday, June 22  from 745 to 5 was spent at the hospital for new hire orientation. Learned a lot about the hospital, patient safety, hospital policies, infection control and so much more.

The kids also had camps scheduled for this week.  The only camps they were scheduled for this year also falls on my orientation.   Luckily a friend at church was able to do the driving around for me.
Orientation was interesting, there was a room full of people in the hospital conference room and we had a few presenters, got our picture taken, there were a few games, few breaks, free lunch and an interesting new hire who sat beside me who can't keep her eyes off from facebook.
All together a very long, interesting day.

Reviewing My Interview

The hubby and I discussed my interviews from both hospitals.   I mentioned the questions that particularly stood out for me.  These are not verbatim, but these were what goes on my mind when the questions were asked:

1. "How do you feel about being responsible for an instrument?"

As a medical technologist, I was a little startled to be asked that.  I have always assumed that being responsible for instruments is part of the job.  But the interviewer mentioned that some candidates don't want to be responsible for any instruments.

My hubby who helps in the hiring process for his team said that sometimes, he would fight for a candidate with C's who are willing to work hard and be responsible in their job without arrogance, than a candidate with all A's but with big Arrogance and a Know-It-All attitude.  Some workers will not do or accept extra work, don't want extra responsibility, yet still they want a fast track promotion.  If something goes wrong, it is always something or someone else's fault, accountability from some people are non-existent at all. 

2. "Am I willing to teach new technologists?" 

In my opinion, some people are at the top of their pedestals that teaching people they consider beneath them are a huge waste of their time.   If you can't be bothered to teach or boost confidence for new comers then what is your intelligence and greatness for?

Some people are just naturally intelligent that getting an A in exams are easy.  But being in a work force that need team work, hard work, camaraderie is something some people still need to learn.  They can't understand that not all people are as intelligent and capable as they are.  That even with their greatness in paper credentials, they still need to be able to work with mostly average people on a daily basis.  Unless of course your goal is to own a huge company or open your own practice right away.  Employees will just have to tolerate your Arrogant Greatness if they are lucky enough to be employed by these high and mighty people.

3. "Am I willing to learn from other techs?"

Of course!  Sometimes though when school is too easy, you get out of school thinking you know it all and don't need to learn anything anymore.  Life is not a textbook and so are jobs.  The textbooks and schools teach us most of what we need to know about our jobs.  Yet it is our experiences that really is the best teacher both in life and in work.  Willingness to learn from others will refrain us from repeating the same mistakes others already experienced. 

Interview 2

Banner from my alma mater: Velez College Website

Thursday, May 28, 2015

I received an email from another hospital I applied for and it goes like this:

Thank you for applying with ------------. After reviewing your application, I would like to schedule an interview. Would you be available 6/3 or 6/4 at 1 pm? Please confirm or propose an alternate time.
Of course I scheduled for the earliest one.  Why delay, right?
June 3 at 1 pm was yesterday and I had a great time talking with the manager and another technologist/manager.  They gave me a tour of the laboratory and I met some of the technologists, phlebotomists and other laboratory staff.  They were great and I thought we had a great rapport as well.
Questions asked were mostly about how I will react to situations and how I feel about things.  I think they approved of my answers.  Then the technical questions came.  Although I tried to read a reviewer, I still am not finish so I was not prepared for these questions.  The ten year gap of employment was only mentioned once.  ASCP is the required certification, they just asked if I am willing to take the exam. within six months of employment if I do get hired.

This time I left a copy of my written references from previous employers,  a list of current friends who are willing to be my references and a copy of my certification scores from the Philippines (PAMET), Canada (OSMT) and United States (AMT).

After the interview, I received a phone message from yet another hospital willing to give me a chance and would like to set up an interview.
Anyways, today Thursday, June 4, 2015 I was out most of the day.  When I got home I have a phone message from the human resources of the hospital.  I WAS OFFERED THE JOB!!!  Doing the happy dance....

Friday, June 5, I called the second hospital and cancelled my interview date.  It would have been a good way for me to get more interview experience and if hired I could negotiate for the hospital  willing to pay more.  But this hospital is almost an hour drive away and the one that offered the job is just a few minutes away.  

Hoping for everything to go smooth with this hospital that just hired me.

Interview 1

Banner from: American Medical Technologists

The day is here.  I actually just got home from my first job interview after more than ten years of staying home.  I got there 15 minutes earlier so I  texted my hubby and called him just to ask  him to send some "good luck" vibes my way.

A friend told me to be ready with some interview questions commonly asked.  I got my mind to think of answers but don't want to sound too scripted.  So I did not compile great answers to common interview questions.  I told her I will just go with the flow.  Thank you friend "M" for helping me and being one of my reference.

After the tour of the hospital laboratory, all three of us seated in the laboratory office.  Questions asked were mostly about me as a person.  They want to know how I handle stress, what was the most challenging event that happened when I was working and follow up questions to any answers I may have given.  They asked for instruments I used while working.  Luckily I got a copy of an old resume with me that included the list.

I think we had a good interaction, lots of good vibes going around.  But there was always the shadow about my not being at work for 10 years that always comes back.  "C"  mentioned it a couple times and it was what concerns her the most.  She is not familiar with AMT and prefers ASCP as well which I told her is an exam I will gladly take once I qualify for it.   "S" on the other hand, seems to be satisfied with me.

I left a copy of my list of  references and left the laboratory with a good feeling.  Hoping it was mutual all around.

Waiting for another email or phone call with GOOD NEWs...Hopefully.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 was the day I received an email from the human resources of the hospital I had an interview with.

It was a big blow.  They had chosen a better candidate.  I know that the chances are slim but still I had hoped for it to be a positive outcome.  Friends have been very encouraging, telling me to just keep on applying. 

Friday, May 29 2015, I got an email from the laboratory manager:

Unfortunately, the recently posted 3rd shift position has already been filled.  We will soon be posting an occasional position: I think that this may be a better way for you to get back into the laboratory.  It would allow you to get to a comfort level appropriate for a tech without the pressure of having to quickly move into a full time position.

I hope that this position will be of interest to you.


Returning to Work

Clinical Laboratory Technologist
Photo from: Best Medical Careers

I am very ecstatic right now as I write this.  I just received a call for an interview at a hospital for a job.  Don't get me wrong, I love being a stay at home mom and would gladly be one until retirement.  This period of my life has been fun and I thank God and the hubby for making it possible for me to be with the kids.   I love the women I have become friends with too.

Working outside the home will bring a huge change in our family dynamics.  Although it will come with its perks,  it will also come with its own stress.  But the need to get back to the medical world outweigh the cons.  Fortunately,  medical technologists can work different shifts.  So we shall see.
The journey started in February 2015.  I wanted to try out other paths in this life journey.  Whatever the reason is, I realized that it was now time for me to decide and check out other options available for me.  I know a lot of women who went back to school once their kids were in school.   I already have the education and the licenses/certifications.  But with over 10 year gap in work experience,  I was hopeful yet unsure how my resume will be received.     I tried searching job openings in my field and sent out applications, just to see if my resume will still get noticed. 

I sent out resumes and online applications where you fill out questionnaires for hours starting in late February.  One of the questions asked was: when did you finished high school?   Yeah, right!  That question will really tell the human resource personnel how old I am.   Some local hospitals don't accept my certification which made it a little disappointing as well.  I applied to a few hospitals in the area, applied for available positions ranging from entry level phlebotomists, medical laboratory technicians to medical technologists.  I just wanted to see if I can get my "foot in" back to the medical field.

More on disappointments.  A month into the job search and I started receiving "declines" and "sorry but we found a better candidate" emails from some of the hospitals.  If you are a medical technologist, take the exam for ASCP, they are much more preferable than AMT nowadays, at least here in Michigan. 
I was beginning to think that maybe I should consider going back to school.  Or maybe try out to be a jazzercise instructor instead.  If only being on the stage is not a frightening thought, it would be a no brainer.  Concentrating in my soap making and growing the handmade business - against all odds - is another option I was contemplating. 
Fortunately, I got the most awaited phone call.   Today, April 2, 2015 more than one month after sending out applications, I received my first phone call for an interview. 

Next week on Wednesday, April 8 at 10 in the morning, I am meeting two hospital laboratory managers and who knows who else will be there.   Hoping that I would give them a good impression.  That we will get a good rapport out of each other.  That they would give me a chance to get back in to the work force helping patients and doctors.
Crossing fingers and Praying for a very favorable outcome.

July 2015 Camping

The hubby scheduled to run the Grand Island Trail Marathon on Saturday.  We decided to make it into a camping and vacation as well.

Bandit excited to go on a drive.  Not knowing he is going to be left at the kennel.

We started our drive with a great weather.  On our way, we stopped for lunch at St. Ignace where we witnessed a car that hit another which was backing out of the parking lot.  Otherwise, it was a great drive going up north.
The kids wanted to know if the elephant tree is still around.

It was a beautiful day for a swim.


The next day, we went to Kitch-Iti-Kipi and drove to Munising to pick up the running packet and stopped by the Wagner Falls on our way.  The afternoon was perfect for swimming which was a great way to end the day.  We had a rainy night.


Woke up at 4 am the next day to be on time for the ferry that would take us to the Grand Island.  We fortunately remembered to bring our mosquito spray this time.

The running trail this year was changed a little bit but we were able to meet our runner at around mile 8 or 9 and rode back with the bus to watched the hubby finished strong as ever.

While eating watermelon:
Me:  I will wait for leftovers
Lyn: There is always no leftovers for watermelon.

The tooth fairy came for Lyn's front tooth even at camp.

We slept in the next day and spent the day just lounging and swimming.

The next day we went on a pictured rocks boat tour.  This was our second boat tour and both Vyn and Lyn also remembered the time when we hiked to most of the water falls. 

On our way home the next day we visited Garlyn zoo.

The finishers of the half marathon all got this hand made medal.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Hartwick Pines 2015

Saw this butterfly on our yard before we left our driveway.
This time we decided to bring Bandit with us.  This was his first time to join us on a long drive and he was just a perfect 3rd row passenger.
He loves walking/running on the trails.   It rained a lot but we were able to squeezed in long walks in between the rain which goes on and off all the days we were there.
One of the trails have a little hill that everybody enjoyed a lot.  We also got a surprise visit from the grandma and grandpa one day and the kids were just thrilled.
These wild flowers were just every where and they looked pretty along the path.
Every time it was not raining, we tried to stay out as much as we can and this was how Bandit usually was.  He was a good camper, he only barked at kids who were running and screaming along.  But usually he just watched at people and pets around.
One of the activity that kept us occupied when it rained.  This year was the first time Hartwick Pines don't have any events going on the amphitheater.  Don't know if the program is being cut off or cancelled.  The girl watching the entrance does not seem to even know of any programs.  We shall see...
On our way home.