Friday, December 26, 2008

The Lights

Riding around the neighborhood to see the lights
(The convertable isn't quite made for 6 people and 2 dogs but, we make it work)

Christmas stockings
We opened gifts on Chrsitmas Eve b/c Big Brother had to work Christmas :-(
Heidi (my cousin dog) preoccupied with her purple Hippo, just out of reach

Daddy's "ShamWOW"

Momma's funny reaction, not recognizing the picture of Big Brother at first, lol

One of my FAVORITE gifts!
No more writing them out by hand!

And Big Brother's new stethoscope, arriving just an hour or two before we opened them
Better late then never ;-)

The dogs pretty excited for the popcorn gift

Trying out Daddy's new outdoor couch mattress

And, Finally, a little pre-Christmas Ice skating with friends
Christmas was great at our house, with so much to be thankful for. Please continue to keep those not with their family's this holiday season in your speaking as we do. Those out and serving Him and our country on various battle fields. We hope you all had a great Christmas and are looking forward to a great new year!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Love Is Here

Love is a mom rearranging her schedule and waiting until the last minute so she can go Christmas shopping with her very busy daughter

Love is a young single woman staying in West Africa when all her teammates have returned to the States because her friends there still need to hear more about Him

Love is a mother of two teenage sons and a set of 7 year old triplets still decorating her disabled daughter's wheelchair with her favorite colors every month even while her other sons have school projects, trips, friends, parties, and the other autistic son never sits still

Love is a grown grandson informing his grandmother where he's going every time he goes out, because he knows how she loves to know what to ask him about when he gets home

Love is a classmate that bangs on her friends door at 5:45 am until she wakes up because clinical starts in 30 min, and she knows she can't afford to be late again

Love is accepting a gift of leftover fruit from a man in a nursing home, because he has nothing else to give to show his gratitude

Love is holding onto a crying child as she hits you because you can't explain to her where her mom went because of her cognitive disability

Love is holding the hand of the hurt and dying on the way to the hospital over and over again each night

Love is Him coming to a world He created, to save people He created, who didn't want Him in the first place, killed Him while He was here, and may still reject Him till the end.

Love is here

Love is Him

He is with us

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

My "Kids"

So, as you may or may not know, I work at a special needs school for kids with motor disabilities. I love my job. I pretty much hang out and work one on one with a child as they go through their school day. It's a great school. So, names excluded, here's a quick peek at, who I like to call "my kids". (Taken mostly at our Halloween party this year.)

Several of our kids working on a fun Halloween craft with their assistants (like me!)

Getting ready to work on walking skills, getting faster, smoother, and safer for keeping up with the other kids :-)

Bobbing for apples. It's ok to get a little wet, as long as you end up with the apple!

More craft time with pumpkins!
Hugs at the end of the day

Taking a break, chillin on the floor.

Lol, someone likes to snuggle with friends.
The kids are in classes with other children with similar cognitive skills. The day focuses on combining fine motor skills, self-care skills, social skills, communication skills, and walking skills into one cumulative learning experience for them. My kids are awesome! They are all really different, but work really hard every day, and can usually be seen with a great big smile on their face! If you get a chance, I would encourage all of you to spend some time to get to know a special needs child, because they can teach you more than you will ever know. They may have big challenges, but they have even bigger hearts. A day at work hardly ever goes by with out several smiles, lots of laughs, and at least one giant, unexpected hug.

Most of our kids have a disorder that affects their brains ability to control their muscles properly, called cerebral palsy. However, some have different genetic or chromosomal disorders, all of which interfere with physical functioning and/or cognitive ability. We have kids of all different ages, sizes, and cognitive abilities. Feel free to comment with any questions you may have.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


A quick "Thriller" break while studying in Panera
(Yes, with gloves on ;-)

Practicing catheters in a cup in my nursing buddy, A's apartment

Sneezing into my sterile gloves, that took sooo long to get on without touching them/contaminating them :-(

The sad "crap, now my gloves are unsterile" face

And a quick study break on the "grassy knoll" outside of our classroom with my two good friends, A and L
And that, my friend, is a little glimpse of finals in nursing school

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas is sneaking up on us!

It's time to start decorating the tree!

Little Brother's baby hand, aww...

eggnog, Christmas music, Ornaments, and pretending exam week is not lurking around the corner...
and finally...the angel on top!

...and Little Brother eating a seal ;-)
The finished tree...oh, and some other people I kinda like ;-)

Friday, November 28, 2008

I Am Thankful...

  • Family around the table
  • stuffing
  • my awesome new friends, helping me get through this semester
  • beautiful sunsets
  • the opportunity to know all the diverse people and places I do
  • a family that supports me as I go and meet
  • juice boxes
  • an awesome meeting place
  • my school (as much grief as it causes me, I've gotta say it!)
  • hand sanitizer
  • my awesome, super amazing job
  • all my old friends, who've stood by me even when it seems I have so little time for them
  • Senegal, and all He's given me from it
  • dancing
  • coffee


first, last, and farthest from least:

My personal, all-powerful, never failing, amazing, beyond belief, everything...HIM

He is with us!

Thanskgiving table (pre-food)

Momma teaching Grant how to "make" cranberrys (from a can ;-)

Making thanksgiving feast w/momma.

In the Kitchen

Daddy carving the turkey... Leah supervising

The whole family :-)

Love them <3>

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fall Flies!

Fall is flying by! I'm spending my time mostly with sorority activities, work, and lots and lots of nursing! I've gotten to do some neat things in clinical and am starting to actually feel like i'm headed towards being an nurse. I'm starting to get that end-of-the-semester-cramming/papers/assignments-are-due-soon! panic going on, but am taking it day by day.

Embracing and trusting Him with the fact that, regardless of how I voted or how I feel, we have a new president and new things are coming. But, in the midst of it all, being ever reminded that He is Him and I am to be seeking Him, His plan, and how I fit into it.

Also, some of the Ms I worked with in Senegal this summer are leaving the field for the time being and have just returned to the states. Please be praying for Tim and Kate as they readjust to American life and catch up on their family and friends and keep in mind how hard it is sometimes to leave the field to a very different place of work for the Him.

Here's a look at what I've been up to!

Some of the awesome new (and old) girls from my sorority. I love these girls!

One of my nursing friends, A, demonstrating how pressed for time we are sometimes as we scramble to be ready for clinical on the interstate.

Some more of my sorority sisters at our habitat for humanity service project, cleaning up the yard.

And painting trim...

and checking out our painting "battle scars" ;-) my now extended sorority family (minus rachel, my "niece") complete with me (the "grandbig/grandaunt"), my little, her two littles, and my grand nieces. I feel so old now with these titles!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Beauty in the Body

"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to Him, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."

America, Brazil, Canada, Kenya, Senegal, Iraq, China, Russia... a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation. With a bond, a unity, a responsibility. In the old book, the royal priesthood were members of the tribe of Levi, something you had to be born into, and something with great responsibility, great honor. They were the priests, the ones who connected their people to Him. This is the priesthood that we are born into when we are born into His family. And our responsibility? to be Him to those who don't know Him, to connect the world to HIM. Our honor? to be children of the King, the one, the creator of the universe.
This was our theme at our sorority retreat this weekend. The emphasis on our unity to each other, but I can't help but stretch, stretch to the ones all across the world, stretch to my whole family, to my fellow priests, to my holy nation.

Friday, October 3, 2008

By Your Side

"Why are you striving these days?
Why are you trying to earn grace?
Why are you crying?
Let me lift up your face
Just don't turn away

Why are you looking for love?
Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough?
To where will you go child?
Tell me where will you run?
To where will you run?

And I'll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you

Look at these hands and my side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world's sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life

Cause I, I love you
I want you to know
That I, I love you
I'll never let you go

And I'll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you"

He wants to carry you. He will carry you. His hands hold his child wherever, whenever, forever.

Sometimes I forget.

How could I forget?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Life is short

“Since America has only about 5% of the world’s population, then only about 5% of the followers would really be called to stay in this country to tell (that's only about l out of 20) while the rest of us should go into the parts of the world where there are almost 0% followers."
- K.G.
Who thinks that this is true?
95% of followers will remain in the United States. All their lives.

“A tiny group of followers who have the story keep mumbling it over and over to themselves. Meanwhile, millions who have never heard it once fall into the flames of eternal hell without ever hearing the... story.”

- K.P.Y.

"There's a cry in my heart, I can feel it
There's a song in my soul, I can sing it
And there's a whisper inside telling me I should go
And there's a place I can hide, Because I'm not yet home

And it's shaking me, breaking me, taking me over
And it's pushing me, shoving me, dragging me home."
- me

There's a teenager I met in Senegal. He's a follower who had to leave his family, his village when they found out; one of the wisest kids I know. He loves to dig into The Book, loves talking about it, loves learning, loves Him. He wants to tell his family about Him. They don't want to hear it. Yet. He went to hang out with some of the Ms one day; relaxing, joking around, hanging out, a good time. He got quite. When asked what he was thinking about he replied simply, "Life is short".
What am I doing? What are you doing? I agree with D. Life is short. Eternity is long.

(A tree in Senegal, forever proclaiming, (In wolof) "Him, His Son, D")

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Sunglasses and Blind spots

So, If you have ever been in my car with me you probably have noticed two things; 1) I like to get where I'm going, to say the least, which means I do a lot of lane changing and 2) I like to ride with the windows down (now, this is may not be something you've noticed because, due to strange/scary events in the past, I used to, as a rule, never put them down, (which is another story entirely) but since spending some time in Africa where you always have your windows down for fear of dying of heat stroke ;-), I've become quite fond of it).
So, with that background in mind...I got new sunglasses the other day! My old ones were cracked, (presumably from the most recent travel across the ocean judging from how crazy my suitcase looked upon my return to the states and the fact that I found them, not in the shoe I put them in for "safe keeping" but in a broken" fanta cocktai"l (african cola) bottle that I have no recollection of packing especially because I don't even like the drink). I admit, they are kinda on the big side, a fad I swore I'd never give into, but, in my opinion, all sunglasses look strange on me anyway, so I just go with whatever's on sale. And, I really like them. They keep the wind out of my eyes since my windows are always down, also they keep the hair out of my eyes which used to find their way in through the gaps in the side. And they, of course, keep the sun out of my eyes which not only prevents wrinkles from squinting ;-) but prevents vision problems that actually do occur from the sun in the eyes of fair skinned people(hello! me!) (both are true! in case you don't wear sunglasses) So, I love them! They meet all the purposes I bought them for, right?

However, I do have a problem....remember I mentioned the switching lanes often thing? well, I noticed the other day that they seem to create a "blind spot" when I turn to check my actual "blind spot" when changing lanes, so I end up having to take them off to change lanes, which is pretty darn often. *sigh...

So why am I telling you about my sunglasses problems? Because I find it being pretty representative of my life these days. I love nursing school so far. I enjoy what I'm doing and am happy to be learning things that I'll actually be using in life. I'm having a great time with my sorority this year, this week is rush week and I'm loving meeting all the new girls. I've even started working with a high school organization leading a group of students interested in traveling, which I, not surprisingly, am super excited about! But, like my new sunglasses, haha, one thing seems to be slacking in my new schedule.

Only one thing though, I mean, I've got all these other great things I love about it really a big deal? Well, is it really a big deal if I can't see who's coming up behind me while I change lanes? If you plan on riding with me any time soon you'd better shout: YES!! If I can't see them, I'll smack into them, ripping off my mirror, damaging their cars, and quite likely hurting myself or other people...duh. This one thing in my life is a big deal...the biggest; with such a hectic schedule of things I love and are great to do, I've been slacking on time spent in The Book, speaking, and just talking with Him.

Having a life that's 95% good things you like to do is still 100% wrong if you're missing the one thing that holds that 95% together.

So, will I get new sunglasses? Probably not, I'll just have to turn more than I normally do to check my blind spot and lift my glasses every now and then. Will I fix the thing slacking in my life? You bet, or it's not a life at all.

Me and L doing some Starbucks advertising in our Nursing scrubs :-)
Some of the girls rushing my sorority and some of the guys from our brother fraternity

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


It's always hard coming home after a trip. Don't get me wrong, It's great seeing family, friends, and enjoying American things like widely spoken English, Taco Bell, and the always under appreciated AC and toilet ;-), but people, including myself, always seem to feel like they are, in some way, leaving behind what He is doing overseas. I had been thinking about this as I got back into my routine and started school when I went for a run and listened to one of the "Passion" podcasts. They were in Asia, talking about their time in the Philippines and Malaysia. As the main speaker talked about how their current location was a gathering point for followers of restricted countries and heard the followers from other nations shouting from the audience to make their voices heard, it hit me; I hadn't left any of His work behind, I had just changed job sites for a while. Just as these national followers from all over Asia were stepping up to make their voices heard in their nations, this is where He has me now, and it is simply arrogant of me or anyone else to think that them leaving the field will have detrimental effects on His work. He is building up His people to reach their countries in a way any foreigners on a trip never could. Again, don't misunderstand, I'm still excited that, one day, He may place me overseas on a longer-term basis; It's still plain and simple to me, the distribution of followers around the world is still drastically unbalanced, but it is, once again, refreshing to know He doesn't need me and, at the same time, amazing to find that He wants me. :-)

In the mean time, I've officially started the nursing program at my school. It's been a slightly overwhelming first week and a half, but I'm falling into the routine. We've started clinicals working with the community downtown twice a week, as well as two days of classes, and a day of labs which means lots of time spent in scrubs and studying!

Our clinical group riding the city bus to our clinical site to better understand our clients' difficulties in accessing health care

Our group is called "little Egypt" thus... the "little Egyptians"