Monthly Archives: October 2014

Here a CC family, There a CC family, everywhere a CC family

I don’t think Neenah is the Classical Conversations (CC) Capitol of the world but we have run into several families in this area that are part of a CC group (homeschool co-op) there was the family at the library a month or so ago, the family at the Oshkosh Saturday market a while back, and last night I had an Abecedarian tutor as a patient, and the director of their program as a visitor.  She was telling me how many CC groups they had in a 60 mile radius, I don’t remember the number but it was huge.  There is four groups in Neenah alone and Neenah is a fairly small town. It was super fun to have her.  We had a running conversation that continued every time I was in her room to check on her or help her about CC, homeschooling, Ken Ham, serving God in this fallen world, and life in general. I feel like I was at work all night getting blessed by my patients.  Is that backwards?  My cup overflows!

Categories: CC, Travel Nursing, wisconsin | Leave a comment

Okay, that didn’t work.

I’m never quite sure what to do with the one on one off one on shift schedule with night shift hours.  If you are able to only rest a short time before your first shift, you can’t exactly stay up all day after you have worked all night and been awake the whole day before, but if you sleep you waste your one day off, and if you don’t sleep you will feel terrible all day.  I have never really tried to just stay on my night shift hours on a day I was not working but it seemed like an option worth trying.  So I got home from work, stayed up for a few hours had breakfast with the kids and walked the dog.  Then I crashed hard, waking up around 3:00pm making it down stairs to join the party about a half hour later. We had planned to carve our pumpkin so we did that after dinner and after the kids went to bed and our blog was typed up and posted I settled down with a book.  I had planned to go to bed around 12:00 or 1:00 but was still wide awake at those times, but by 3:00 I thought it best to get some rest.  I fell asleep quickly but was awake with back pain by 8:00 am and was wide awake after that.  I wanted to feel rested going to work but I couldn’t get back to sleep and didn’t want to have to pull another all nighter on five hours of sleep.  I took melatonin.  I talked with two recruiters and a friend off and on trying to get things lined up for our next assignment, which didn’t help me fall asleep but was necessary.  I did get a little more sleep between1:30 and 3:45.  Hopefully that will carry me.  Maybe I should have stayed up until 6:00, I don’t know, I hate to miss a whole day with my family when it is a day off.  Hmmm, not sure that it helped at all maybe I will stick to sleeping all day getting up for a few hours then sleeping all night, being awake the next 24 hours (all day and all night.)  I wish I could figure out a way that worked well.

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Fall Traditions and Halloween

I have had a general dislike for Halloween as long as I can remember.  I remember the fear I felt as an elementary school aged child in the presence of adults I trusted dressed as creatures and characters that invoked fear.  Seeing my authority figures and heroes causing fear gave me a sence of distrust and betrayal.  Aren’t we supposed to love all others and treat other people the way we would want to be treated, not causing fear or nightmares that even knowing there was no harm intended could take away.  Maybe my parents were being over protective but I have been so thankful my whole life for the safety and refuge they provided me during this time of year by creating other family traditions that were fun and fear free.
As a child we tried several different versions of the harvest party and they were pretty fun, but it still felt like participating in a holiday that served as an antagonistic reminder of the reality of hell that not enough people in the world today live with or take seriously.
I’m not sure when or whom had the brilliant idea to check out of school on Halloween and travel to the nearby town of New Meadows. We would swim all day in their out door hot springs warmed pool with a short break to laugh, tell stories, eat crockpot lasagna, and just be together.  Awwwe finally, a halloween alternative that was truly an alternative.

As a non-parent adult I could pretty much just ignore the holiday, but as soon as Caleb came along Chad and I had to figure out what we were going to do about this fall elephant in our lives.  Chad had been raised going to the kids country fun fair at his families church.  We went when Caleb was a baby, it seemed harmless enough and there was no scary costumes. After a few years the country fun fair had evolved to another Halloween alternative the kind that made me physically ill, so on to plan B.  Chad is a movie guy and there are so many good older movies that we wanted to watch as a family.  “My Fair Lady,” “the Cat from Outer space,” “Family Band,” and “The Sound of Music.”  That combined with fond memory producing homemade carmel popcorn has made for several years now of a fun new tradition.  The one thing we do participate in is pumpkin carving.  I loved carving over grown zucchinis as a child and the part of me that loves all kinds of art and the fun you have making it still wants to participate in that part of fall activities. We don’t do anything scary, and this year we wanted to do something related to the adventure we are on. After several ideas we decided on a globe.
Chad dug out the seeds and prepped the pumpkin for carving, Hannah, Eve, and I separated and cleaned the seeds so they could be roasted. Then Caleb and I worked on the carving while Eve and Hannah popped out the pieces and collected them for disposal. Chad roasted the seeds and by the time the pumpkin was done and lit, the seeds were toasty and tasty.  I love watching the kids enjoy and admire the pumpkin. We may or may not have eaten almost all of the seeds already, only a handful is left and that is because Hannah asked us to save some more for her for the morning.









John 1:1-13 (NIV)
The Word Became Flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  2 He was with God in the beginning.  3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men.  5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.  6 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John.  7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.  8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.  9 The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.  10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.  11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.  12 Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God– 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

Categories: bible, holiday, wisconsin | Leave a comment


I am kind of relieved to be on nights even if it is only for a week and a half.
On the way to work as usual, I hoped for the best and braced for the worst, asking God for strength.   I won the assignment lottery again.  Not because I had the easiest patient, but I had one where I felt like I could make a big difference.  It was a natural (no epidural) induction with a very hands on patient.  Baby was really feeling the pressure and the provider rushed in with barely enough time to get a gown and gloves on as the baby delivered in the hands and knees position.  So awesome! The patient was up quickly and after breastfeeding twice showered with a full bed change by two hours out.  But as I was sitting down to finish all of my charting I got a call from the lead nurse telling me that as soon as my patient was all recovered I needed to report off to another nurse and go help at AMC.  I had parked the car far away and again I was left wondering what lay ahead for me at AMC.  Switching hospitals in the middle of the night is some how creepier than in the day.  Following GPS through dark deserted streets knowing full well that I really had no clue where I was.
I was pleasantly surprised when I got to AMC and had a lite load.  The time passed quickly and before too long I was headed home again.

This week we start doing all the leg work for our next assignment …I am eager to find out where we will be headed next.

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Need in Africa, in Uganda

(Try to imagine if you were them…)
Click on the above link to read a recent blog posted by a family whom we got to know through our homeschool group now living in Uganda.  Please take some time to read it.  It is good to get this kind of perspective into the lives of people in other countries and continents.  Let it effect your perspective on what you “need” and don’t need, and what we could do without in order to better be God’s hands and feet to those in need.

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Just chilaxin

Church was good, the orchestra and choir both were present for praise and worship and the beauty of the music sank in deep.  I can feel God’s hand in our lives and some kind of metamorphosis occurring in my heart.  I feel so blessed and want my life to be a praise offering.  In my head and heart I have been mulling over the difference between knowing what is right and doing it.  As we continue on this path which we have been called how can we honor God in our daily lives, and serve those around us.

On the way out of service we stopped by the library and picked out some more videos.  We had watched all of the missionary videos available so we picked out some Ken Ham ones and Hermie and friends, we are going to miss the church library.

We ate a later lunch and then took turns playing songs on the tin whistle, the kids pulled out the felt and did some sewing, trying to make a case for Hannah’s new harmonica that she bought with tracker tickets from the church store. Eve and Caleb did some sword fighting out side. We all went on a family walk and then Chad read to the kids.  After bed time we watched Already Gone, A message by Ken Ham, based off of his book with the same title about why he believes record numbers of children from Christian homes are leaving the church.  There are so many thoughts in my head and on my heart….

In a completely different direction, I have an aunt who has fought a long fight with cancer and will be meeting her maker soon.  We would appreciate prayers for her grown kids and grandkids as well as her parents.  May they find peace and be comforted in the arms of their Father God.


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Ice Age National Trail

A 1200 mile trail that zig zags around the state tracing what is believed to be the edge of a large glacier in a time when the climate was much colder (The Ice Age) all with in the state of Wisconsin.  I think that we may have hiked small sections of this trail in Door County but this section was south and east of Neenah to a distance of one hours travel. Today we got to go to the visitors center, attend a presentation, and take a pretty long hike, for us at least, 3-5 mile.  (All the distances were marked from different starting points and we walked a loop made up of parts of five different trails.) the sun was out, a slight breeze made the leaves trickle down on us and the tops of the trees swayed peacefully.  The birds were out in full chorus, and we were kind of wishing we had put a tin whistle in our pack.  It was fall weather perfection and we drank it in with all of our senses: the beautiful colors and rays of sunlight, the feel of the breeze and warmth of the direct sun with no clouds to intercept, the crunch of the ankle deep leaves with every step, the smell of earth and sweet wet leaves that laced the fresh air, and if you are Eve the taste of the leaves and acorns that she kept putting in her mouth pretending that they were pickles and catsup.







































Caleb and his grappling hook


The kids did such a good job and we all had a lot of fun.  Now I’m sitting.  At the kitchen table listening to Chad read to the kids up stairs, and Dave Ramsey’s saying comes to mind, we are definitely better than we deserve and so thankful for the many ways God has blessed us today.

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“A Plan of Conduct”

A Plan of Conduct
Posted by Benjamin Franklin on 1 January 1726, 9:47 pm
“Those who write of the art of poetry teach us that if we would write what may be worth the reading, we ought always, before we begin, to form a regular plan and design of our piece: otherwise, we shall be in danger of incongruity.  I am apt to think it is the same as to life.  I have never fixed a regular design in life; by which means it has been a confused variety of different scenes.  I am now entering upon a new one: let me, therefore, make some resolutions, and form some scheme of action, that, henceforth, I may live in all respects like a rational creature.

1. It is necessary for me to be extremely frugal for some time, till I have paid what I owe.

2. To endeavour to speak truth in every instance; to give nobody expectations that are not likely to be answered, but aim at sincerity in every word and action — the most amiable excellence in a rational being.

3. To apply myself industriously to whatever business I take in hand, and not divert my mind from my business by any foolish project of growing suddenly rich; for industry and patience are the surest means of plenty.

4. I resolve to speak ill of no man whatever, not even in a matter of truth; but rather by some means excuse the faults I hear charged upon others, and upon proper occasions speak all the good I know of every body.”

This idea of writing a plan of conduct had my wheels turning.  I have been reading about Benjamin Franklin most of the day, I feel like more reading is necessary (maybe a book from the grown up section of the library might help ;0) ).  I just wanted to share this small part of my reading today that piqued my interest and convicted me all at the same time.

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Pre Civil War (Missouri Compromise)-Caleb

Before the Civil war began slaves were very cheap.  They were shipped in ships that stuck as many slaves as possible in the below-decks where they put storage.  Once they were at the docks of a colony they either marched across land and into a slave auction house or went to one on the harbor.  There were so many slaves bought and so many slaves born into slavery, that some plantation owners thought of freeing their slaves, but all thought of that was abandoned when the cotton gin was invented.  Before it had been invented it was hard, unsuccessful work that didn’t pay very well.  With the invention of the cotton gin, the machine separated the tangled fibers for you!  Before, the slaves had to do that themselves with their hands, it was hot sticky work, and not very fast.  Slaves were suddenly in demand again.  Slave merchants got back their jobs, and everybody tried to get a cotton gin and plantation.  The Underground Railroad started up, and began helping slaves to the free states.  Most stayed in the free states, but some went back and helped more slaves back to the free states.  People had been trying to stop slavery for some time, mostly people who did not own slaves.  Finally someone figured it out, Henry Clay, he negotiated the Missouri Compromise.  A treaty saying that any states past Missouri’s boarder would be a free state.  Soon after that two territories became states, Kansas and Nebraska. Everybody assumed that Kansas would become a slave state, but the Missouri Compromise was still in place, so they held a council about it.  They decided to repeal the Missouri Compromise.  The free states were furious!  They elected Abraham Lincoln as president, South Carolina was so angry that they attacked Fort Sumter which marked the beginning of the Civil war.  The free states had most of the advantages.  The biggest battle of the war was the battle of Gettysburg.  After the battle General Lee surrendered at Appomattox court house in Virginia.  After Lee surrendered Lincoln was assassinated at a theater when he was making a surprise appearance.

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Hannah’s Civil War Paper

These are girls jobs: spying on Civil War and taking letters to different areas, doctors-there was a big line of doctors. The men said that is not a job for girls.  Before the Civil War there were a lot of slaves.  The Americas were fighting about slaves.  The End.

Notice the girl spies in the tree and the slave and his owner in the lower left corner.  I both love it and find it interesting that she did not use color to indicate the person who was a slave in this picture.

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