I’ve been out of the loop!

So much has been happening as of lately that I have had little to no time to blog. At first I was not missing it because it does take a good amount of time to do, but as time has gone by, I have realized that blogging gives me an entirely different perspective of my past, whether it is good or bad.

The last entry I did, it was mostly about my new job and being in the initial phase of a new career. I was very skeptical about going into a commission paying sales job which revolves on how well you do you job. Now that I am working on my fourth week of training, already have sold my first sale, and started to see the ups and downs of the job, I think that I have made the right decision in taking this position.

I originally went to school to get into law enforcement so that I can provide that safety and security to the community but it was not until the last month that I realized providing families with home security systems is exactly what that is! Yes, it will be tough from time to time making those sales but at the same time, there will be times where I am having a good stretch of success, and make up for it. I also didn’t realize how much training goes into a job like this. There is a lot of variety when it comes to the products as well as specific promos to remember that change regularly. Not only learning all the different kind of systems, but the add-ons that go with them and their prices. Another thing that we are learning is the proper sales pitch so that we stand out from every other alarm security company. There is just so much to remember and it really makes me understand why they say that six months is the average training time until someone is 100% comfortable with the job to be able to do it solo. The company even sends us to Florida/Dallas (one or the other) for a five day training spurt to help us learn sales at a different perspective. This is actually happening to me next week, and I am going to Jacksonville Florida.

On other news, besides the job, family life is going great but we are currently looking for apartments and I got to give credit to my girlfriend because while I am doing this, she continues to look around town for the best offers. We are hoping to only have to be in an apartment for a year where we can begin to look for a house but that is a decision that is to be made at a later date.

Over the last few weekends, we have done nothing but adventure, hikes, fairs, and anything that has been available to us in the local area. Two weekends ago, Olivia and I talked a hike known has Saddle Mountain, named by Louis and Clark because of the shape of it. The total hike was five miles and it was to the top of the mountain and back down. It was a climb of 1400 ft in elevation and had a rewarding view at the top where you could see the entire northwest Oregon coastal range. The next weekend, Labor Day, after the kids went back to their mom’s, Olivia and I took a break from home life and did a short mini trip up to the Lower Lewis River Falls which was not to far from our house. This was a beautiful waterfall that you could river walk up to the falls to about 30 feet from the actual fall where the water would get much deeper very rapidly. This made it perfect for those that are thrill seekers at which they could jump off it (47′ high). I am not the biggest thrill seeker, so this was not something I was even thinking about doing, but it was fun watching others do it (I put the video on Facebook blog page http://www.facebook.com/rc3.blog). The water also was a few degrees above freezing temperature which probably made the experience a lot worse then what it looked like. Then the most recent weekend, Olivia and I took the kids on a great adventure to a local Renaissance Fair. While we were there, we met up with some friends and walked around. I got the chance to try my skills in knife throwing at which I realized I may not be able to stick a knife but I will knock out the enemy int he process. After that we took all the kids to a children’s knighting event so that the kids can become knights of that realm. After that we continued to walk around a little where we got to watch Andrew sword fight an elf pirate(which is also on my Facebook page). This was what he would say was his most favorite part of the fair. The next event that we attended was something that we came for, and that was the the jousting tournament. Nothing gets better then seeing real people joust and get thrown from their horses. This was the most exciting thing and the event that everyone came to watch. The knight that was representing our seating area of fans won, which made us become the loudest.

This has been the excitement of our last month while working during the week. I plan to continue to get to blog as time becomes free from work and family. Thank you to everyone that continues to read and until next time! Again, make sure to check out my Facebook page for pictures and videos of my adventures.

ADT

Just started my new job this past week as a sales rep for ADT! So far I’ve been learning a lot and can not wait to get out there to help provide security for those in need. I was shocked to learn the vast amount of devices that ADT offers to protect you and your family from anything!
If you live in the Oregon or southwest Washington area and you are interested, get in touch with me and let’s get something working for you! Every family has their own customized security system!
I’m excited to see where this new job leads me in the future and can not wait to go out and meet some great people and get them what they want.

Russell Cross III
—Follow me below—
Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/rc3.blog
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rc3blazers
Instagram: http://www.Instagram.com/rc3.blogger

Geocaching – A Must Do!

Many of you all probably have never heard of this word and the ones that have, probably are not entirely sure what it means, and this was me a week ago. I first saw this on Saturday morning on Facebook when a friend of mine stated that he was going to do it with his family. I immediately asked, “What is it?”. The response I got was very vague which directed to me to basically write it off as I never asked. He stated it was a world-wide treasure hunt, and to me, it sounded very complicated and something I did not have time for. I will be the first one to tell you that Geocaching is much more then that. I then took my kids and girlfriend to a zoo about two hours away. There was this show that they performed there that ironically was about Geocaching. They taught the entire crowd what it was all about and how to get started. They showed that it was a very simple thing and it only required a smart phone with GPS capability.

All you have to do is go to your iTunes or Google store, download the app called Geocaching (I recommend the free one so you can see for yourself what it exactly is first). After you have done that, go to their website and watch their video, learn what it is by this short clip and then try the app yourself. https://www.geocaching.com/

Once you got the app, turn your GPS on and open the app. It starts working immediately showing you were the nearest Geocaches are to your location. Geocaches are locations with a logbook and maybe trinkets for you to find, and sometimes they are not easy. The GPS will lead you to the cache but will only bring you within 30ft of it. It is then up to you to find the item that you are looking for by using the hints (if there is any) on the app. The item you are looking for will most likely be well hidden as you will see later on as I share my experiences on my first two finds.

Olivia and I first tried this with just us because we were not entirely sure how safe it was but after we did our first two Geocaches, we realized that it was family friendly, you just might need some tools to help find some things.

Geocache 1: Once we turned on our app, we immediately saw that there was one only a 1/3 of a mile from us so we decided to walk to it and it happened to be in the middle of a cemetery. At first it was very odd, creepy, and weird to be looking around a cemetery for a hidden item but after reading reviews, it is an actual common place to find these at. We spent roughly 30 minutes looking for this item to end up finding a business size laminated card under the bark around a V shaped tree. This was all that was there since it was a tight location but thankfully we did end up finding it. It was so exciting that we reopened the app, logged in our experience and decided to go get another, which was an additional half mile away.

Geocache 2: As we walked to this geocache, I realized that the distance to the cache is as the crow flies and not by the route you will take. It took us about 15-20 minutes to get to the next one and once we got there, this one was a larger box containing trinkets and a logbook. This is also when I realized that safety is key when participating in geocaching. You never know what you are digging up and being careful is paramount. This is why tools come in handy so that you are as safe as possible. Once we opened this box, we signed the logbook, left our own trinket behind and decided to not take one out ourselves. 

This is basically what it is and it can be quite exciting if you give it a chance. I urge everyone to give it a chance and if not for you, for your kids. It is a free and fun activity that can take up a good portion of your day and remain entertaining the entire time. I hope you all enjoyed this entry and I also hope that you reblog this to pass on to your followers so that they too can learn about this fun activity.

 download (1) download Geocache geocache-label Geocaches-hidden-by-country-graphic images

Demo Derby & Zoo/Aquarium

This weekend was very exciting for the family. Friday night we decided to go check out the local fair in the late evening. Our main purpose for this trip was to check out the demolition derby that was taking place but we had no idea what this particular demo derby had in stock for us. There were three events taking place that night, first two events were the normal style of derby of cars crashing, parts flying, and loads of excitement. This was Andrews first time to this kind of event so he was not sure what to think of it at first until he say the other 5,000 people cheering when cars crashed together. The fun was just about to begin when they announced they were going to have an RV demolition derby. This is something that I have not even seen myself and it was so exciting to watch. One RV even turned itself into, what looked like, a flatbed trailer with just the cab remaining intact. I guess the best part of this style of entertainment was that my four year old got to scream at the top of his lungs to assist on wearing him out. After this was over, we went on to play a couple of those expensive games for those cheap prizes. The good part is that it was Andrew’s birthday money and I let him spend a small portion of it so that he could enjoy it and have fun. By the end of the night, he had won a few inflatable swords and we were sword fighting all the way to the car, while dodging horse manure on the walkways.

The next day, after we woke up and had breakfast, I asked Andrew what else he wanted to do for his birthday and gave him the option of driving the two hours to Tacoma Washington to check out the zoo and aquarium. He was not too thrilled about it at first until I told him that there was a beach right next to it that we could visit after we were done. The very first thing we did at the zoo, which was Andrew’s idea, was got his face painted (like a pirate). We continued on through the zoo checking out the animals from all over the world but the ones that Andrew would say stood out to him the most was the aquarium portion where they had ten foot sharks swimming around and the part where he got to ride a camel. This has actually been something I have always wanted to do. I have sat on one in the past but never got to ride one and when he told me that he wanted to go with me, it made it for an amazing experience. I sat on the front while he sat right behind me. Even though we were riding this camel, whose name was Hank, he still refused to pet his hump but did state that he had a great time. After we did the camel ride, we went to a show that was strictly based around geocaching and what it entailed. I was skeptical of this during the show and for the rest of the day but we did enjoy the show and got to see some very interesting animals perform for the crowd.

We continued to mingle around the zoo until it was close to closing time where we departed and drove around the corner to the beach. Sadly there was no sand on this beach but there was fine gravel and the kids got to play in the ice cold water. We remained there for about an hour and on the way back to the car, Andrew got a spike of courage and wanted to tackle a few 50-100 foot hills of sand. He decided to climb to the top of each hill, slid down on his bottom and got very dirty. At first I was not happy because I knew he had to get back in the car, but noticed the huge smile on his face and thought it was going to be fine, as long as he was having fun, wearing himself out, and making himself some great memories with his dad, Olivia, and his little sister.

Earlier, I said that I was skeptical of geocaching for the remained of the day because it was not until the next day that we gave it a try our self. Sadly Andrew was not present to experience it but it was fun to get to learn about it, test it out, and I am sure when we get to go with Andrew, he will love it! I would go more into detail about geocaching but I intend to write an entire entry about it so please stay tuned for that so that you can learn about it yourself and take your friends and family on this great experience.

image

image

image

image

Local Jungle Gym

I would like to start off about saying that I had a great weekend with my family (my two kids and my girlfriend). It started off with me picking the kids up from their mom Friday morning and from that point, we went to the local “Kids Club”. This is a place full of entertainment for kids from a large jungle gym to a swimming pool, to gymnastics and dance classes. We just hung out at in the large

jungle gym area where Abby (18mos old now) played in the toddler area with other kids her age and Andrew (4 as of July 30th) played in the large portion with kids of all ages and sizes. I would say we spent about two hours in there which only cost roughly $15.00, a great price for kids to get their social skills. After that we went home and got food. Abby was ready for a nap, obviously after a busy  day. Andrew and I hung out for a few minutes until the next door neighbor girls wanted to play in the back yard and they enjoyed the outside getting dirty and running around for 3 hours until their mom came to pick them up (from their grandmother). During this entire time, after Abby woke up, we hung out and played around the house together with her toys. We had so much fun together and she loved nothing more than having the complete attention of her daddy. It was about six in the evening when Andrew came back inside and just when you think that the night was started to calm down, it was just starting to pick up. The Kids Club that we were at earlier has the Kids night out thing for kids 4-12 where they go a watch movies, do arts and crafts, play in the jungle gym and have a party without the adults and Andrew really wanted to go (They split up the kids in age groups so that they could do age appropriate things). This was only $20.00 for this, which again, was a great price for some fun and entertainment for your child that likes to get out and enjoy a good time with other kids his age. I dropped him off at 630 and had to be there to pick him up anywhere from 930-1030. I figured this is set up for parents so that they could have a date night or something but still hard for me because I had Abby still. I went home and, had dinner with Abby and Olivia, played around for a while until Abby was ready for bed. She usually goes to bed around eight, which gave Olivia and I a few hours to enjoy few hours to our self before it was time to pick up Andrew, which I did about 10pm. When I picked him up, he was so sad to leave and said that he had so much fun, even though he was about an hour past his normal bedtime. We went home, and got in bed and the was the conclusion of our wonderful and fun filled day.

After we all woke up on Saturday morning, we gathered our things to head out to the Firstenberg Center (a place that had a pool, gym, and many other things for families to enjoy together). I got to spend some good quality time to Andrew today while Abby went to the day care that they offered here. Andrew and I hung out in the pool for an hour and a half and he insisted on going down a water slide around two dozen times. A normal kid his age would have no thrill of going on this slide since it was so big and did loops and what not, but not Andrew. I also got in my exercise that day because it was like forty steps up to the top of the slide. After we were done there and picked up Abby, we went to the library, checked out some kid books and movies, and some parenting books for Olivia and I so that we could learn more about the skill of parenting. By the time we were done with this, it was about 1pm and Abby was ready for a nap. We went home and she slept for a few hours while Andrew and I continue to play inside the house and enjoy each other’s company. Once Abby woke up, I took both of them on an hour drive to my parent’s house where they would stay that night so I can begin to organize and prepare for Andrew’s birthday party that would be the next day, at Klineline Park.

The day that Andrew has been waiting for, for weeks now has arrived and it was time for us to kick it into high gear so that we can make sure to get this party set up properly. We had to build one of his presents, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) bike. We also organized it so that the entire party was TMNT themed from the wrapping paper, to the presents, to the piñata. Even the clothes he wore were TMNT, as well as the cake! He got about twenty turtle action figures and one bad guy (I have a feeling that bad guy will be out numbered, slightly). There were eight kids there and after the presents, they took turns taking one swing and the piñata, which was a Ninja Turtle. The only down side to this was Andrew decided to act like a Ninja Turtle himself and he full on punched another girl that was at the party, which looked like in the chest from my angle. At that point, I had to sit him down and make sure he understood the difference of a show and reality. After that was clear I made him go apologize to the other child and make sure that she was ok. Nonetheless, he was quite traumatized by what he did and he understood pretty quickly that what he did was not right. Unfortunately, after the party was over, I had to take him home to his mom’s house. This made it not possible for him to get to play with his toys and was very hard for him to understand but I told him he would be back with Daddy and Olivia before he knew it.

Overall we had a great weekend and very little complaints. We had some great help from friends and family to throw this party and to make it as best as we could. I am very thankful for everyone that came out to enjoy this experience and could not ask for a better turnout.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Rollercoaster of a Life

It sure has been awhile since I have gotten the chance to get a blog in but it has been a rollercoaster type of month. For anyone that has been following my blog so far, knows that I have been getting very close to getting this job in law enforcement that would change my family’s life forever. I was looking at a 3x pay increase from my current job and benefits that could not be beaten.

To give a quick rundown for anyone that is not familiar with application and hiring process when going through law enforcement, and as most would know, they will not hire anyone. They have a very long extensive hiring process to make sure that they are hiring the right people for the job. You have to go through a number of interview, tests, physical and written, before they even consider offering you a job. Then you have to go through an actual physical with a doctor and psychological with another doctor to see if you have the right kind of personality for the job.

Well I have been applying for these kinds of positions for five years now, ever since I got discharged from the Marine Corps in 2009. You’d think that was enough experience to do such a job, but it was not. So I decided to go to school to help me possibly get a job, but continued to apply for these positions while I did my studies. In the summer of 2013, I graduated college with a Bachelors of Science in Criminology from Portland State University. I knew at this point I should have it easy but that was quickly proven wrong. I still was not getting any further in the hiring process for agencies within a hundred miles of my residence. Finally I applied to go work at Multnomah County Corrections, a jail position for the most populated county in Oregon, in February of 2014. Immediately I was cruising through this hiring process, getting the best interview and testing scores out of the hundreds that applied. I landed myself second on their eligibility list that they were hiring off of. From this point, my background started, and was completed quickly. I have very few skeletons in the closet which made this process go by much faster than the average person. During the background process, they check everything from your social media to your family to what you have done in the past. I was sure to pass this process due to knowing that I have nothing to hide and I am completely honest about everything. I know lying to someone about your past is just lying to yourself. Something I picked up while working in the drug rehab field (which is what I currently do). After the background process was completed, I was offered a chance to meet with the chief deputy of the corrections department for an interview, where if he liked my character, he would give me a conditional job offer (stating that I would work there if I passed my psych evaluation and medical physical). I went in for the interview and it was a great experience and he loved my background, telling me that I was the perfect fit that they are looking for and he gave me that job offer. This is where the rollercoaster of emotions started because I know, from what I have been told, that the psych evaluation was by far the most stressful part.

A few days later I was scheduled to go in and do my medical physical. This I had no doubt I would pass, and I was right. Went in, was there for about an hour and a half, and out with no issues that I was not aware of. Those issues were very minor and nothing that needed to be addressed. This took place on July 11th of this year and my psychological evaluation would take place four days later, on Tuesday. When that day came I tried to remain as most relaxed as possible but it was very hard. When I got into the office, they got me started on a series of written tests that equaled out to be about 800 questions in total. Nothing hard, just a basic IQ and a personality test. After that, they would process your answers, give them to the doctor who would then review them and call you in for an interview. When I got called in and the entire time I was in that office, I felt that the interview went well. I noticed some points that he, the doctor, was trying to get me flustered to see my reaction but I remained calm the entire time. He asked questions about my past which was no issue at all. At first when I left the office I felt good knowing that I was going to start my new career, my new life in just a few weeks, until I got a call from the county human resources a few days later telling me that the psychologist recommended me unfit for the job. I have no idea where he got his findings from or his belief that I would not be capable of doing this job but it was quite upsetting news. I had got my mind set on how my new life was going to be and prepared for the training that was to come but there was nothing I could do, no one I could talk to, just had to take the news and move on to the next chapter of my life, which was getting ready for unemployment for the first time in my life.

This time has yet to come; in fact I have about thirty days until unemployment takes effect, unless I can land myself a new job in the time being. I am losing my current job because of a lack of grant funding, which states that it is obviously not something that was caused by me. I am not sure what I will be doing in a month but I am hoping that it is something that I enjoy. I plan on continuing to apply for law enforcement jobs and keep interviewing because it takes a lot to knock me down and keep me down. I am dedicated to make a better life for me and my family and that is something I give a lot of credit to my girlfriend for. If it wasn’t for her standing by my side, I would not be in the state of mind that I am today. I would no doubt been still on the ground from being knocked down by that devastating news last week.

Thanks again for everyone that enjoys reading about my life, I am more than enjoy writing about my life, even the down parts, which helps me get things off my chest. If you enjoy what you are reading, please feel free to check out my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/rc3.blog for continuous posts and even short posts that do not make it on the blog post. Thank to you all for your support!

I challenge you to the Officer Down Memorial Fund – Ice Water Challenge

Have you heard this yet? No? You have to check this out and it is making its way across the country. They have a website were you can donate or you can start the ice water challenge yourself and see who of your friends and family you can get to do it as well. What the challenge is, is you either accept the challenge and dump a bucket of ice water on your head and donate $10 to the fund or you chicken out and donate a $100. I know most people will blow this off and not do anything, that is just how these things end up working out. Just keep in mind that this is for the people that protect us everyday by putting their lives on the line. Some have paid the ultimate sacrifice and have been killed in the line of duty. Even if you do not wish to donate, please take the time to learn about the program/fund.

If you are still unsure what I am talking about you can check out my YouTube video of me doing it earlier this evening by going to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLsOk6PQzp8. They also have a webpage for people that want to make a general donation http://www.odmp.org. I encourage everyone to take their time out and check out the video and/or their website.

A Blog about a father and his two kids

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,498 other followers