Sunday, November 20, 2011

Potlucks, Preparations and Pure blessings!

After weeks of looking for a new carseat (it's so much easier to have my own for the little guy i nanny and my nephew), i was totally blessed with one this week! Tuesday night I was looking at them online and started telling a friend about it when she speaks up and says "I have one that has been sitting in my car for a year cause i don't need it anymore. do you want it?!" what a blessing!! Isn't it awesome how in the body of Christ we all take care of one another?! I just love it!
Today was our international potluck at church!!! So much good food! I must say though, I'm kinda fooded (yes i just made up a word!) out! It seems like every time i turn around i am making something new to bring to a party, gathering or potluck! I love cooking and baking but I am ready to take a break! I guess it just comes with the season!
I leave in 4 days for Oklahoma so yesterday I went shopping to get some warm clothes. Today I did all 5 loads of laundry that i've needed to do for a while. Tomorrow I only work half day and then I go visit a friend and start packing. Tuesday I'm working another half day then going to Trader Joes to get some requested items for the Walker family and then get to PACKING PACKING PACKING (and hopefully finish)!!!! I'm sooooo excited! I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Many things are happening today on 11-11-11..... Birthdays, weddings, expectant mothers hoping for their babies to arrive on such a cool date as this and so on. But the most important thing that this date brings to my mind is Veterans day! My entire life some part of my small world has revolved around an army life style. My daddy has been in the Army National Guard for as long as I can remember and my brother followed in his footsteps joining the United States Army as an infantry man. This brings some good memories, some bad ones and some sad ones. My favorite memories are the ones of time spent on the base in San Luis Obispo. Many a time we went with my dad while he was serving on that base. I have very clear memories of running through empty fields finding crazy treasures, playing on tall tree stumps, sleepless nights in very small rooms, many different accommodations including camping, single person rooms, houses, condos...etc (the houses being my favorite of course), meeting a lot of loud and scary (to a small child) army men, playing in the rock stream in town, going to the COOLEST kids museum EVER and wandering around down town. The ones that stick out the most though are when my dad got promoted in rank. I don't ever remember being as proud of my dad as the handful of occasions when I got to watch this happen. I honestly have no idea what's going on half the time when it happens but the sense of pride beaming on my father's face is a site worth seeing no matter how young or old I was!
Now, when my brother joined the army, a whole new ball park of emotions came along. I was just about to turn 16. After 15 years of seeing the world through VERY different eyes, we were finally starting to get along. I liked having a big brother around who could protect me if I ever needed. The day he told me he was leaving I was very angry but i knew there was a job to be done so off he went to boot camp. A few months later we found ourselves in the miserably hot and humid state of Georgia to celebrate his graduation. This was an interesting experience to say the least! Shortly there after he made his way to Washington. We were secretly praying that he would not fall into the category of people that would be sent to relieve the groups of men who had been serving in Iraq since that awful day back in 2001. Of course, He was. So I rushed in to In-N-Out (where I was employed at the time) with tears streaming down my cheeks to ask for a few VERY last minute days off so I can go visit him before He was deployed. My boss was very kind and I still remember the words he said to me. He said, "Who am I to tell you that you are not allowed to go visit your brother whom you may never see again after this day? GO!" My mom, Dad, Twin sister and "sissy" got in my grandparents 7 passenger van and off we went! The 24 hour drive was just as long as the 24 hour visit that ended in a 24 hour drive back home. What a whirlwind! I would not have exchanged that visit for ANYTHING in the world though! Next thing we knew we didn't know where he was (other then "in Iraq") or how he was doing because war is not pretty and you can't call home whenever you feel like it. I spent many nights lying in bed praying for him and crying myself to sleep only to hope that one day I would get to see him again. I still remember the day I got "the call" like it was yesterday. I was babysitting and playing hard with 2 very rowdy little boys when my cell phone rang. It was my mom. I don't really remember what she said. She told me not to worry and then proceeded to tell me that my brother had been injured in combat. They got a call from someone saying he was in the hospital but it wasn't very bad so not to worry. Little did we know, that was not the case at all! He was very badly injured and would spend a lot more time in the hospital then we thought because he was hit by shrapnel from a hand grenade. His knee was a mess and his leg was full of the tiny little shards. They kept him at war anyways. So after a visit home, which only people who obtained purple hearts could take, and a very long end to his "tour" he was home safe. Shortly there after they discharged him honorably for his injuries and PTSD which to this day haunts him.
I am very proud to call both these people my family! As much as my brother and I don't get along and my dad and I butt heads when I was growing up, I can honestly say that I respect their willingness to give up their lives to protect mine.
My dad is not only an amazing worrier in this world but also a warrior for the kingdom of God. He has taught me more about a genuine love for Jesus then anyone else in this world has. I have never seen someone so humbly admit to their mistakes like he does and daily admit to needing more of Jesus. He is a leader, a comforter, a warrior, a teacher and a friend. I love my daddy!

So all of that to say...HAPPY VETERANS DAY EVERYONE! Honor a Vet today!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Third times the charm?!

So for reals this time! Unless something happens to my friends computer (which i now have access to twice a week) then i can actually blog again! YAY!
So to catch you all up on life:
At the end of the summer came many changes for me. I decided that Starbucks and I needed a break up! So, as I was driving to work one morning at the hour only God knows exists, I began to pray. I asked Him for direction and to PLEASE (!) give me a job that did NOT involve getting up at 3am! I was tired and VERY done with WEE hours of the morning after 5 years of on again off again relationship with the coffee cup. I had shared my desire to not work at Starbucks anymore with a friend a few days prior to that prayer. Little did I know God would answer so quickly! Out of the blue my friend called me and said "Hey one of my friends from high school and his wife who i am still friends with on facebook just posted they are looking for a babysitter. Would you like me to pass on your information?" I said "YES PLEASE!" and on we went with our day. That night I was with my Nephew, Caleb and about to drop him off back at home when my phone rang. I didn't answer because it was a number i did not recognize. I listened to the message and was shocked to realize it was Katie's friends (Kimberly and Stephen) calling me already! I called back a few minutes later and we agreed that i would come meet them in a couple of days. During our time of meeting Kimberly and I hit it off! We became fast friends when we realized that this was all a part of God's plan! They are Jesus loving believers who had been praying for months for someone to come take care of their precious baby boy (also named Caleb) two days a week! There were a few bumps along the way trying to figure out scheduling but we figured it out and I started with them a few days later! God is good and the rest if history!
Back to Starbucks, Our breakup was messy and I miss it a lot but it needed to happen! I still try to stay in touch with my friends whom i have known and grown to love for the time i was there but change is always hard.
In other news, I also found out that I am going to be an auntie for the second and third time in March! My other non related "sissy" and "brother" and my biological brother are expecting their first born children! Kristin and Jonathon ("sissy" and "brother") are due on my birthday!! I told her she has no choice now and MUST have the baby on her due date because I want a "triplet" on my 25th birthday! lol!
For those of you still reading I give you props because this is the post of randomness!
Since quitting Starbucks i have been quite the busy lady with the weekend trips! My last day of work (friday of labor day weekend) I rushed to my parents house and we were on the road minutes later headed for lake tahoe. My cousin was being deployed for six months so we were going to see her off. It was so nice to spend so much time with my family and not have to worry about missing out on work and money!
2 weeks later was the all church campout! This is one of my favorite events every year! There is nothing better then sitting around, playing games and doing nothing with the people from your church family!
My mom, dad, myself and good friend Amber added in a day trip to apple country for my mom's bday a few weeks later. We didn't get to pick apples sadly enough but we found a little quilt show, shopped around in the adorable stores and had our traditional stops at the farm and apple annie's restaurant!
Missions week at my church was awesome and lit my fire for missions once more! It makes me sad that I did not end up on the field like I thought i was supposed to but I HIGHLY doubt God's reason for me being trained to go is over yet!
This last weekend I went with the jr high group from my church to iddlywild! We go every year for their retreat but this year it SNOWED! This was the first time in 15 years of visiting that particular camp that we have had snow during our weekend! The kids has a blast and I'm not gonna lie, I DID TOO! Snow is seriously one of those things that makes my heart skip a beat! I think my favorite quote of the weekend (Which i didn't actually hear but was told about later) was "It smells like shampoo!" while passing the cow farms on the way up! I would sure like to know what kind of shampoo you are using drake!
Anyways, Fall is most definitely my favorite time of year! The weather is changing and the rains have started to fall! My cousin and I have been using these chilly nights to learn how to cook (more her learning and me teaching ;) lol) and expand our gluten free horizons. Oh yes, that was also a change that occurred this fall. After major discussions with both our doctors we agreed to try going gluten free if we could do it together. We have what they label as "gluten intolerance." The diet has made an intense difference in both of us and we are so glad we are doing it! Our "suzy homemaker" nights have been a blast! Pioneer women is teaching us a lot! ;)
Soon enough it will be Thanksgiving! I am going to OK to visit the Walker family! I think from the countdown I have been randomly posting on her facebook wall, Julie can tell I am excited!
I can't believe it is almost Christmas! This year is extra exciting because I get to see my Twister (=twin sister)! I miss her so much!
Wow, I should have a prize for those of you who got to the end of this! I am sure it was way more information about my life then you needed to know but it felt good to get it all out!
So for now I'll leave you with this thought which was formed from reading the book of Hosea:
If God tells you to do something, DO IT! Even if that means marrying a prostitute, leaving the life you have always known to chance an unknown dream, or cutting up your credit cards in a time of financial hardship! God has a plan that only He can see sometimes and it's best to just take the hand He is holding out to you and follow then try to run away. Anytime you want to run just think about the possibility of being swallowed by a big fish! Jonah thought twice after that experience! His plans are always going to turn out better then ours! Can I get an AMEN?!