What a week

18 09 2011

So, this has been one strange week.

Sunday I stayed home from church because my cough had just worn me out. Did the same on Monday and Tuesday. So, I didn’t go outside for like 3 whole days.

Then, Tuesday night I went to stay with some friends until today because Monica and Alvaro were out of the country on a pastor’s trip. Fortunately, I really like the family I stayed with so it wasn’t unpleasant at all.

Wednesday I finally went back to school but was ridiculously ill-prepared. I even forgot my class schedule so I just tried to wing it. I will never do that again! Ever!!

Thursday I went to visit another school and I loved it there too. One of the students there was so impressed by me that she sent a gift for me with her teacher today. Toblerone chocolate 🙂

Also, on Thursday, when I got back to where I was staying, I learned the my Grandpa had died that morning. It is very difficult not getting to be there with my family during this time. It makes you re-evaluate things. And my family has been so understanding of why I can’t be there for the funeral. Their support has made it easier to be so far away. I need to see them more, and before the next funeral.

Friday was the school’s celebration of Love and Friendship Day (Colombian Valentine’s, basically), so the kids were distracted by their excitement and the classes were having parties so it was another weird day.

Today (Saturday), Monica and Alvaro got back. I really missed them. I was glad to have my Colombian mom and dad back.

But then Monica asked for my passport. We were planning on going to the immigration people this week to extend my stay. Well we discovered that I was only given 30 days….I’m on day 66. We may have some issues with that extension. I’m praying everything works out because I’m just not ready to come home, despite the homesickness. If it doesn’t, it looks like I may be deported, or worse: fined.


Oh, how things change.

9 06 2011

It’s weird to think about how things have changed in my life in the last year. And how happy I am that they have, even though I fought the process every step of the way.  Let’s go back to 2010.

January 2010 was the first time I ever met my brother, sister (in-law), nieces, and nephew.  It seems strange that it hasn’t even been 2 years since we made contact.  It is like we didn’t miss out on anything.  They are my family and I’m constantly amazed at how unforced the developing of our relationships have been.  God really did know the timing for us to meet. 

Then in February I started dating this guy (for the sake of this blog, let’s call him Monty).  Monty and I had a long distance relationship and it had its ups and downs, but, overall, it was a great experience for me.  I don’t regret dating him and I look back on our time together with fondness.  Monty is a good man.  But our lives were going in different directions.  He has a daughter and what’s best for her trumped what’s best for “us” any day of the week – and rightfully so.  I could never ask him to choose between us.  Finishing my education is non-negotiable.  And that could take me anywhere.  One of us would have had to give up on something  that is very important to us – and we both felt like that was only going to breed resentment if we tried to continue our relationship.  So we ended it, on good terms.   I don’t talk to Monty much anymore.  He’s seeing someone else now and they seem very happy together.  And I’m moving to South America – something that couldn’t have happened if we had stayed together.

In August, my youngest nephew was born.  Landon Rhone 🙂  Oh, how I love that baby.  I was totally shocked when my sister said she was pregnant, but this precious little boy has definitely brought us closer as sisters.  I do hope I get to see him before I move since I’ll be in South America on his first birthday.  I guess I’ll just have to get him something awesome from Colombia as a gift.

In October, I was unemployed for a month.  That was actually not that scary.  My bills were all paid and I saw people being generous with me all the time.  Unemployment, though seemingly scary, ended up being a time of prosperity and encouragement for me.  I’m so glad I went through that.

Last November, I had to move. I was living in a townhouse owned by some friends of mine.  I had told them when I moved in that if they ever found a buyer to just sell the place.  The sold it in November.  So, I moved to the highlands – where I currently reside. 

Since my unemployment and my move, my budget has been getting steadily more restrictive.  I have felt like every time I pay a bill, I was using borrowed money.  I have felt trapped by my financial obligations and I have been praying for months for a way out of them.  I didn’t expect it to be Colombia as the answer, but I’ll take it 🙂

Then, sometime in the fall, we found out my oldest neice was pregnant.  She was very young – very.  It was world shattering at the time.  I had no idea how to respond.  I remember adamantly refusing to call it a “mistake.”  I never want to think of my precious little Addilynn coming into this world as a mistake.  She was a surprise, for sure, but no mistake.  Our family had a hard time adjusting to this new development, and an even harder time learning how to respond to it.  But, despite Kendra’s age, she’s handled this parenting thing like a pro.  Addilynn is the best thing to happen to our family in a long time.  If she’s not one way that God intends to restore and heal my family from the things that try to destroy us, then I don’t know what is.  She is redemption. Period.

she is fat, also.

And through all of that, there was the thesis.  That nagging little assignment that was the difference between a degree or wasted energy.  I was convinced that God had good things in store for me when I finished.  Not because he was holding out on me, but because the thesis writing process was making me who I needed to be to receive the good things.  I was right.

A lot of other stuff took place last year, a lot of really painful things, a lot of really great things, a lot of really personal things that are just none of your business. 

When 2010 was over, I was ready for 2011.  I ended 2010 exhausted, broke, and very unhappy.  After the break up with Monty, the moving out, and the budget crisis, I felt hopeless and faithless.  Good thing my faithfulness has nothing to do with God’s faithfulness to me.  I remember talking to my pastor Chris and telling him I thought that my faith in breaking it off with Monty, quitting my job, and moving to a new place was going to be rewarded with a season of good things.  I was so mad at God for me being in a worse financial situation than before, by being alone, and by not giving me a job in a school like I had prayed for.  I was so sick of 2010 by the end of it! 

The first couple of months of 2011 didn’t really start out much better.  My budget didn’t change, my anxiety of doing it “alone” only increased, and I was still working insurance – not teaching, which is the dream. Where were my good things?  I’m glad I didn’t know then what I know now. 

I had to learn to trust others with my money.  I had to learn that living alone and being single does not mean I’m living this life “alone.”  I had to finish my thesis.  I had to learn the value of my family.  I had to recognize the things God has called me to and be willing to pursue them no matter the cost (i.e. ending things with Monty).  I had to learn to live on very little, trusting that God will provide for my needs – and trusting that if it’s not provided, it’s not a need. 

In short, I had to grow up.  Yes, there is a lot more growing to do.  But I am convinced that those lessons must be learned the hard way – only this time in Colombia.  Hopefully, I won’t fight them as much this time.  Hopefully, I will trust that God is in control even when I don’t understand the way it’s happening.

So, I’m moving to Colombia.  I’m excited, terrified, nervous, exhausted, happy, sad, and invigorated all at once.  It’s a weird place to be in.

Until next time…

more lists. I really REALLY like lists.

12 04 2011

Duh! Whining!

I think I have the beginnings of a sinus infection again.  This would be the second one for the year.  Awesome.  NOT!  My nose burns, I have one tooth that has become overly sensitive to cold in the last three days, a cough that won’t stop, and a pounding headache caused by said cough.  I’m a tad bit miserable and I feel like whining.  So I will.  I really want to be resting, but I can’t.  I have to work and I have to write a paper. I think the stress of the paper is the instigator of all my health problems right now.  boo.

30 Day Push Goal Challenge:

On Sunday, I had to rewrite my 10 goals for the year.  I decided I would share with you.  I didn’t look back at last weeks so this is all fresh from my head:

1. pay off credit card
2. apply for PhD
3. successful VBS for Divine Life
4. $500 in savings/emergency fund
5. send out resume to schools so I can teach
6. buy a bed
7. visit my dad in Phoenix
8. improve my Mary Kay sales
9. lose the weight!
10. Save up $300 for Christmas

I love goals.  They make me happy, especially when I knock them off the list because they are complete!!

Top Ten Lists:

Because I love lists, I have two more to share with you:

Top 10 cities in US that I must visit:

1. NYC – check!  went in Dec 09
2. Boston – check! went in July 09
3. D.C.
4. Miami
5. Vegas – went once as a kid, would like to go as an adult
6. Orlando
7. San Diego
8. Los Angeles
9. Seattle
10. San Francisco

Top 10 Non-US places to visit:

1. Ireland
2. Russia
3. Greece
4. Egypt
5. Italy
6. New Zealand
7. Australia
8. France
9. Germany
10. Spain

I love to travel.  I need to travel!

Today in History:

1633: Galileo is convicted of heresy

Anyone want to guess his heresy?????  Heliocentrism.

Galileo believed the earth revolved around the sun. What a wingnut!  The church, under Pope Urban VIII, believed that it was scriptural fact that the earth was the center of the universe.  Galileo was condemned, his book of Dialogues was prohibited, and he spent the rest of his life under house arrest.  Around 300 years later, the church cleared his name – turns out, he was right!

click here for more details.

Today’s blog is brought to you by the letter J – for baby Jack.  GET HERE ALREADY!!!

I love a good list

6 04 2011

 I enjoy a good list. So my blog today is going to be a list of random things I’m thinking:

  • I bought some dang good honey peanut butter at the farmer’s market.
  • The Arts Festival is this month!!  I’m excited about listening to the music.  It’s times like this I wish I had someone to dance with.
  • That last line sounded sappy and pathetic.  I’m keeping it.
  • I am taking Friday off work to have a whole day for my thesis. 
  • I’m considering a visit to my dad’s in October.  It’s been a few years since I’ve seen him and I like Phoenix.  Anyone want to join me?  Free food and lodging.  Just have to get there.
  • Today I began looking at schools for my PhD in Biblical Studies. I’m excited.  Maybe next year I’ll be starting 🙂
  • I’m craving a snow cone like crazy!  yummy.
  • Started my first to-do list for the 30day Push Goal Challenge.  I’m super excited.  Hopefully I’ll accomplish what I set out to accomplish!
  • I cannot wait for the state fair.  Why can’t it come twice a year?
  • Maybe I’ll hit the strawberry festival in Stilwell this year. 
  • I want to go overseas again.  MUST. TRAVEL.
  • The thesis will be done in 25 days.  PRAISE JESUS!!!!
  • I love my puppy.
  • I am hitting the hot tub tonight or tomorrow night.  my back needs it.

Today in History:

1930:  Twinkies are introduced.  Ew. 

Sorry, wrong “Twinkie.”

Years later, the state fair would up the ante with the abomination “deep-fried Twinkie.”

On Eye doctors and Charlie Sheen

30 03 2011

Eye Doctors:

I went to the eye doctor yesterday.  I felt like a hypochondriac with all the troubles I had to share with him. 

First – crazy allergy eyes!  Itchy and watery.  HATE IT.  Turns out, I did have some irritation and some swelling on the cornea of my right eye.  He said that could be allergies, but it also might not be.  He did give me some eye drops and they really did seem to help this morning. 

Second – my left eye twitches somethin’ awful!   It’s been driving me absolutely batty the last couple of weeks.   After my exam was all said and done, I learned the my left eye had actually improved.  The reason for the twitching was strain caused by looking through too strong a lens.  I didn’t know that was possible.  That was about the only good news to come from the appointment, though.

Finally: darkness surrounds me in the dark!  That makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?  This is what really happens – Occasionally when I am going to sleep, if I open my eyes, I cannot see hardly a thing out of my right eye.  It’s like looking through really dark sunglasses.  I can see more light around the peripheral than in the center.  So, I tell the eye doc this and he said he’s never heard of it before.  He does a really thorough eye check and there’s nothing wrong.  My eye is perfectly healthy.  I guess there’s nothing that can be done about it unless it gets worse. 

The worst news of all: my eye dr. is not in my insurance network.  Wish I would have known that!!  Appointment alone: $117.  Contacts for one year: $180.  Knowing Charlie Sheen still thinks he’s winning even when he’s not: priceless.

Charlie Sheen:

I seriously cannot get enough of him right now. You know what they say: one person’s mental breakdown is another person’s sanity sustainer. 

This is Charlie Winning - for real

 But really, who is encouraging this megalomania behaviour (besides, like, you know, me and every other american just waiting for his next ridiculous interview)?  It’s even more entertaining than when Tom Cruise derailed the Scientology train a few years back.  At least we could kinda, sorta, if we really stretched our imaginations, blame Tom’s insanity on zeal for his beliefs.  But come on, Charlie.  The best you’ve got is some sort of goddess-worship (basically the beginnings of the Sheen cult) and a ridiculous claim at having tiger’s blood.  Let me tell you something about tigers, Charlie:

1. They are great swimmers
2. They can walk on their toes
3. They have retractable claws
4. They are not easy to catch
5. They are human hunters

….I guess this pretty much does describe you.

Maybe someday, I’ll post something of substance again, but for now this will have to do.  I’m enjoying being funny right now.

Today In History:

I’m starting this new section to my blog, just for miss Alicia Henson!

1974: John Denver has his first #1 hit with “Sunshine On My Shoulders.”  

He has sunshine and a frog on his shoulder

Congratulations, John. I wasn’t alive to tell you that in 1974.

On Viviana, funny nephews, and, duh! WINNING!

27 03 2011


So, Vivi and I work together, work out together, go to church together, and sometimes just hang out.  We are together a whole heck of a lot.  I warned her this morning that I was going to blog about her and tell the TRUTH!

She’s hateful.  I mean really.  She tells me to hush when I call Chalene (on the work out video) names.  She reminds me that Abelard is insane.  She sasses me at work and threatens to punch me when I dare speak before spoken to.  She criticizes my driving (she calls me “bob-and-weave”).  It’s unbearable!!

Ok. That’s not ALL true.  I love Vivi.  She has helped keep me motivated to work out.  That motivation is hard to come by for me.  I’d rather sleep.  She invites me over for delicious mexican food.  We split carpooling to work to save on expenses.  She is patient with my inability to admit being wrong (not because I know I’m wrong and I’m too stubborn to admit it; but because I honestly think I’m right).


She looks amazing in her little dress 🙂  TurboFire, baby. It works.

Funny Nephews:

My sister Tiff called me last night to tell me about the pure “genius” of my nephews.   My step-dad, Billy, took four of my nephews, along with three of their friends, camping the other night.  God bless Billy, because I would never take 7 boys (ages 13-15) camping. No way, no how.  Well, Brenden talked David into going into a cave he found with him.  Brenden then decided he was going to barricade David in.  So he starts piling up rocks and tree branches in a hurry.  I mean, the kid is focused!  But, being the oh so bright child that he is, he doesn’t realize that David isn’t in the cave – he’s right behind him, cheering him on.  Brenden got nice and worn out before he realized that David wasn’t in there.  Silly boy.

Brenden (left) and Trenton (right)

This next little story is one of my favorites.  A few months back, I told David and Nathan (twins) that a study was done that proved one twin is significantly dumber than the other.  David’s response was, “Nathan’s dumber.”  Nathan’s response, “they really proved that?”  Haha!  Oh, Nathan.  “They” didn’t prove anything, but you sure did!

Nathan (left) and David (right)

Oh, my nephews!  I sure do love them 🙂


As I mentioned in a previous post, I never win anything. Ever.  Until today.

That’s right, I won something!  Michaela Dawn makes and sells beautiful jewelry.  I mean, I love her jewelry.  It’s ever so beautiful.  You can look on her Enchanté website for more items or her blog, but this is what I won:

The stunning Chloe necklace

Gorgeous planting seed earrings

She just added a fantastic “fly above it all” necklace that is stamped with her custom-made wings insignia.  I cannot wait until I can buy it!   Please, please, please, check out her store and her blog.  She’s a true crafts(wo)man.  It’s quality, it’s handmade, and it’s beautiful.  It really doesn’t get much better!

Now, how did I win it?  That’s a great question. By taking the time to post a comment. Check out my friend Vanessa’s blog: Wearing My Big Girl Pants.  She is chronicling her year of dressing like a woman, and, in an effort to help the rest of us poor souls who don’t know how to dress, she offers giveaways!  And to get entries, all you have to do is follow the blog (duh, how else you gonna know there’s a giveaway???) and share the good news of the giveaway with your friends.  The rules and guidelines are listed on every Giveaway post.

So, GO!  READ! COMMENT! SHARE! WIN!   If I can win, there’s a good chance you can, too!

PS – the photos of my winnings are property of Michaela and I used them with her permission.