Monthly Archives: December 2014

Hobby Lobby Run

Thank you Aunt Vicki and Uncle John. Since Christmas the kids have had Hobby Lobby gift cards burning holes in their pockets. When I woke up today they were very eager to show me what they picked out.

Caleb is super excited about this how to draw book and he finally got to get the sketch book he has been eyeing for a while.

Hannah is the most excited about her new boa and showed me this painting she made with the new paints she purchased. Also knowing that it wouldn’t take her too long to run out of bands for the loom she got for Christmas from Caleb she bought extras of those.

I think Eve got this learn to draw pets book because she liked the pictures of all the pets. I’m not sure if she will actually try drawing any of them or not. When they got home she ran into my room with her new tattoos wanting to share them with me and got herself in trouble with daddy for waking me up. Needless to say she is fully enjoying them with two already that she is proudly showing off here. Thank you for the bit of joy and happiness and thank you even more for being who you are. We love you guys and miss you.

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Day three of four gave me the consistency of an early in the shift delivery as has been the story for me for maybe a couple of weeks now, every shift. Supposedly the provider asked that I be the nurse for her pt which did make me feel pretty good. I’m reminded that pride goes before a fault and with as good as the last couple of shifts have been I am kind of waiting for the hammer to drop. The team work here on night shift is amazing though so that does help.
One more shift and we will be on our way to visit family in Northern California which I am so excited about. It has been since May 2013 that I have seen that side of my family and they are always good company and fun to be with. When I came out of work this morning instead of a clear sky with budding sunrise the sky was filled with dark storm clouds, I know snow is predicted for Wednesday but was totally caught off guard with the storm clouds today. We are hoping and praying for safe traveling conditions tomorrow as we head north around the mountains and into Nevada.

Chad discovered that the valentines candy was out before Christmas. He said he had been tempted to get some conversation hearts for me but decided against it because it was before Christmas and that stuff really shouldn’t be out yet. Needless to say I was surprised when I discovered the lunch he packed for me contained a little treat.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/03e/32120513/files/2014/12/img_1141.jpg I don’t know how I was so blessed with such a wonderful husband, he finds little ways to show me everyday that he loves me and we are in this together to double team every problem and share our victories and burdens.
Happy Birthday to my beautiful mother-in-law too today. Donna Jean I wish we could be stopping by the shop to surprise you with Starbucks today or maybe a walk at riverfront park with the kids circling ahead of us on their scooters. We love you!

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Nursing is one of those professions that is a team sport. You are not in the trenches but in a sense we are. Together. In life and death situations, in surprise census fluctuations that makes zone defense the only way to survive with everyone happy and healthy and best of all alive. Last night was a great night! A beautiful baby was born we had things to do but it wasn’t crazy. It allowed for one of my favorite parts of travel nursing and that is getting to know my new coworkers and learning so much in the process. I talked for almost my entire lunch break with a Persian provider about wold view, culture and religion as well as getting to know more about her family and history it was great! Then in the more quiet hours of early morning I got to learn from a messianic Jewish coworker. It is amazing how much getting to know the people around me charges my batteries. And still even more awesome is the expanded world view and perspective that comes along with these new found diverse friendships. But probably the most cool thing of all is maybe possibly being used by God to share his love with the people around me.

So thankful for my L&D comrades in Silverton Oregon, Shiprock New Mexico, Neenah Wisconsin, and now Victorville California. Never be strangers. I miss our meaningful conversations.

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Beautiful Sunrise

This is what greeted me on my way out of work this morning.



/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/03e/32120513/files/2014/12/img_1126.jpg The sun rise was toward my back as I headed home. So beautiful.



/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/03e/32120513/files/2014/12/img_1129.jpg What an amazing sight. So far this assignment the timing has been perfect. I get to see the sun rise most mornings as I get off work.

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‘Twas the day after Christmas

‘Twas the day after Christmas and we had one gift to make good on. Hannah Banana has wanted to get her ears pierced for quite some years now and today was the day. I guess a lot of little girls got ear piercings for Christmas because there was quite a line and the employee doing the piercings said that she had been doing only that her whole shift, one right after another. Hannah had asked how bad it would hurt and I had explained that it felt like a brief pinch but that when Aunt Stephanie went to get her ears pierced I had told her it was like shooting pains that start at your ear and goes throughout your whole body. I think she liked the story and did not appear to be too nervous. She got a second opinion from Samantha on what to expect that set her at ease she watched the girls ahead of us in line who didn’t even flinch and were about her age. They had about 50 choices of earrings for piercing studs way more than the five options they had when it had been my turn. She picked Elsa and is very pleased with how it turned out.





We ate lunch at the mall with Samantha then walked around a bit.


I had to take Eve out to the car because that girl would not stop singing at the top of her voice. It was practically yelling. We were encouraged on the way out to the car to let her continue to sing in hopes to clear some of the bagillion people out of the mall. She wasn’t too fazed buy the change in local or lack of audience. I don’t know where that girl gets it. After a loop around the mall we headed back to Fallbrook. Grandma and Grandpa’s friend Lin came over to meet the kids. She has a few grown (teenage) granddaughters and loves kids. The kids had her on the floor playing a made up duck game with them in no time and all seemed to be having a ball.

Chad and I snuck back out for a date night of dinner and a movie.


The kids watched some movies and I believe had cereal for dinner. There was a lot to discuss, on the top of the list was our time line and where we think we would like to go next. I know, it feels like we just got here. But, we have one month until we need to be nailing down our next job and giving our thirty days notice on our current apartment. This month has flown by.

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California Christmas

Our first Christmas away from home if you can call it that since we do have family in the area whom we spent Christmas with. I got off work thirty minutes late which I didn’t think was too bad considering the three deliveries I had last night. The only thing that kept me going besides the appreciative patients were my kind co-workers and some amazing chicken enchiladas. The last couple hours it was harder to give myself completely to the task at hand. I was ready to be done so I could go home to my family and just be with them making some special Christmas memories.
Chad and the kids still in their pjs picked me up in front of the hospital at 7:00am. I told the kids that I was so excited that there was only two days left until Christmas to which they quickly corrected me that it WAS Christmas. We talked to my mom on the way home from work. We then opened stockings. The kids were so cute with their stocking stuffers, exclaiming their joy with each gift. We normally wait until after breakfast to open any gifts and go about it slowly, but we were to have lunch in Fallbrook and I had to take a shower to wake back up and freshen up before our 1.5 ( due to traffic >2) hour trek down the hill, out of the mountains, so we opened the presents after stockings. The kids were so cute in their eagerness to see their siblings open the gifts they had picked out for them. We have been blessed with such cute and thoughtful kids.





/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/03e/32120513/files/2014/12/img_0886.jpg Chad made a special breakfast for us and we talked on the phone with Grandma and Grandpa Owens. Eve showing off her make up she got in her stocking. She was so hilarious. We did miss our traditional family gatherings and celebrations, long talks with most of our family on the phone today were a special treat and made for a reasonable substitution for getting to rub shoulders. I don’t remember any of the drive besides the two times I woke up with drool running down my cheek to my shoulder. Feeling pretty ruff by the time we arrived I was glad that Uncle Richard was running late and grandma had some jobs in the kitchen for me to do that helped me wake the rest of the way up.
We had tamales for our Christmas dinner, some enchiladas, and taquitos too. Probably the best tamales I’ve had although they in no way compared in size to the ones you can buy between Shiprock and Farmington NM. As the food settled most of the grown ups fell asleep in the living room. I escaped to a back room to call Suzanne. We had a good long heart to hart discussion the kind that makes you feel like you have truly connected and leaves your heart feeling full. You know the kind you are lucky to have maybe once a year or less. After a while I felt a little guilty secluding myself to talk, so we ended our conversation and I made my way back to the living room to join the rest of the gang. I was surprised that the only ones awake were the kids and great grandma and grandpa. I joked with grandpa saying, “What am I doing awake when all these guys who slept all night last night are sound asleep?” We gave our family gift (the whole extended Lawhead family gift included) to Grandma and Grandpa. It was a compilation of favorite Grandma and Grandpa memories from each of the kids and grandkids. Grandma read the first two but then the adults started stirring and waking up. She was eager to make sure that she was tending to all the hostess things she does so well, but stated that it was probably the very best Christmas card they had ever received. We played some Hand and Foot and then enjoyed banana splits for dessert.




After everyone had left we (Chad, Grandma, Grandpa and I) sat around the table talking. Grandma and Grandpa sat together looking through the updated family pictures that had been sent with the memories. Their laugh lines well defined as they smiled and shared each picture between them. Then Grandma read the memories out loud to Grandpa. They smiled and laughed and reminisced about the memories that were being surfaced by the loving words of appreciation, funny moments and occasionally serious ones that added depth. Then they stayed with us sharing memories of their own, early memories of their marriage when less than a month into it they, non Christians at the time from rough home lives not even out of high school yet, decided that they would get a divorce just as soon as they could save up enough money. When just two months later still married they had been invited to a Christian rally where they met Jesus for the first time and determined that they wanted what they saw in the lives of another young couple they met. We talked in all for 4-5 hours. Yes we missed our family in Oregon so much! But all in all it was one of the best Christmases. Thank you to all the Lawhead kids, and grandkids who took time to write down their favorite memories. I wish you all could have been here to see how much your loving words meant to grandma and grandpa. It would not have been a good gift at all if you had not taken the time to write down a few of your favorite memories.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts
Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas From the Owens Family

Dear Family and Friends,
I thought in one of my tired moments that I could get away without putting together some kind of summary of our year. Really, can I have any more to say than the daily ramblings already posted on our blog? But, no, I need to do it. A lot has happened this year and in the middle of managing/experiencing one wave at a time it is important to take a step back and see the whole ocean. All that “doing” we have done this year has it accomplished anything?

We are living our dream is it all we thought it would be? Are we seeing personal growth or is this just a joy-ride of the most carnal nature? Have we learned anything? Have we answered the daily call to give ourselves to Christ?

Our year in a nutshell started with a mission trip to Honduras then the world-wind effort of getting the house, kids, and all of our other affairs squared away for this new adventure of roadschooling and travel nursing. So many goodbyes and we know things will never be the same as they were but risk is a necessary part of growth and we feel like we are doing what Gad called us to do.

New Mexico and the Navajo Indian reservation was a good first assignment. There is a lot of history in the four corners area and we didn’t have to drive too far to see lakes, mountains and even snow. The other great things were we had the perfect dose of extended family and being close enough to Oregon that we were able to share our new lives with Paul and Debbie in one occasion and Suzanne, her family and little Cyrus on another. If only they could come to everyplace with us as we have longed to show them in person the amazing parts of each state we have visited.

Wisconsin brought a completely different landscape, different work experiences, and different educational offerings. Again we were able to get together with friends and extended family, but missed sharing our experiences in person with those we care most about.

California, the landscape here is different again, we have loved the mountain eye candy, and the closeness to the beach, but what we have enjoyed the most has been being close enough to Grandma and Grandpa Lawhead to enjoy being with them in a larger portion than 1-3 days/couple of years.

Do we feel like we are elbow deep in missions, that every decision we have made was a self sacrifice for the good of others. We would have to answer no to that. We do however feel that we have been blessed to see this nation sized piece of God’s awe inspiring diverse creation. Our blog has allowed us to share it to some degree as well as our growing moments, and failures. It, as a year, has had ups and downs. Thank you for all your prayers, support, and for loving us despite our absenteeism we miss every single one of you.
Love the Owens Family,
Chad, Sarah, Caleb, Hannah, Eve, and Myra

P.S. You are always welcome to check out our blog,, to see what we’re up to.

Have a Very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!!!

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Christmas Ornaments

I made an ornament for each of the kids and one for Chad and I to remember our Christmas in California by.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/03e/32120513/files/2014/12/img_08601.jpg From left to right is ours, Eve’s, Hannah’s, and Caleb’s the kids kind of told me what they wanted so we will see how they like these little stocking stuffers come tomorrow morning.

On a side note: …don’t go into Walmart in a blue scrub top with black scrub pants. A customer wanted to know when the customer service counter opened and wasn’t taking I don’t know for an answer. When I said I don’t know he would ask me another question. 3 or 4 Walmart customer service questions later with me gesturing at my stethoscope the whole time and still he wasn’t getting the clue. When I gave up and started for the door he said “you don’t work here?” I said “No. I’m a nurse.” That is some tunnel vision. I guess I’ll know better next time.

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Chill day

We slept in a little bit. Caleb got his math done and we still aren’t sure what happened to Hannah’s math book. We couldn’t find it at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s and I had stacked it on top of the kindles which had made it to the car so we assumed the math book had to but we have not been able to find it. We had breakfast and coffee then I cut Chads hair. We slowly cycled through the shower. Then took my time card by the hospital and talked to the manager. She was cheery, I must be doing an ok job. Walmart was our next stop. The kids and I picked out stocking stuffers for Chad while he picked out their Christmas presents and went grocery shopping. Then we combined the carts and I continued shopping for the kids stocking stuffers while Chad took the kids to get some lunch. It took a good chunk of the middle of the day. We got home just before three so the kids headed out to meet friends and play and Chad and I worked on our Christmas puzzle. He got a 1000 piece jelly bean puzzle it isn’t as enjoyable as one with a picture on it, but we are getting somewhere at least. When it got dark the kids came in and we ate potato tacos and watched tiny house building documentaries and YouTube videos. I am feeling more recouped although I didn’t get anything very productive done today. Only two more night shifts until Christmas.

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Maybe I can still be a nurse

Yesterday 12/20 the kids decorated Grandma and Grandpa’s Christmas tree pretty much all by themselves.







I snuck in a nap recovering a little still from Legoland and gearing up for a work all nighter, so the the kids decorated a few cookies with Grandma to use up the candy she had left from making gingerbread houses.



At lunch time we headed out, back to Victorville. Still feeling so tired, I found myself sleeping most of the way. I slept again an hour before work. An hour here and an hour there seems like maybe too much sleep but truly I just felt wiped. As I was walking into work I thought to myself, “Why do I do this to myself? There are other things I could do. Like be a stay at home mom. I don’t want to be a nurse anymore.” That is not a good way to start the shift. A delivery in the first 5 minutes of the shift usually makes me forget how miserable I feel and it might have if I hadn’t been up for triages and they just kept walking in by twos all night with no breaks. We had another delivery and since I haven’t been the baby nurse yet they had me take over the labor and her nurse be the baby nurse trading back at the end of recovery. My last triage was discharged then with just enough time to catch up on charting and vitals on my couplet. It was one of those shifts that just rubs in your face how tired you feel. My head was throbbing so bad I couldn’t wear my stethoscope and I had to squint my way home or throw up from the nausea caused by letting in that little bit more light. I dove into bed telling Chad not to try to wake me up for church. I feel bad about missing church again too. I haven’t even made it one Sunday yet. I am working every weekend except one in January when we will be gone, so I’m not sure it will happen. I woke up at noon and took Ibuprofen my head still pounding away. When my 4:00pm alarm went off I was feeling much better, but now I had slept my whole day off away. I made a few family phone calls as the kids played with friends in the playground out in front of our apartment. Chad reminded me that it was time for our annual Red Lobster trip so I showered and got ready for our family Christmas date. We ordered an appetizer, crab legs and a lobster tail and split it all. The kids working busily on the crab legs serious about their work. We made a bit of a mess but it was very fun. Eve only stood on her chair to belt out in song twice maybe we are making progress in this area. It was a whole family effort, the kids thanked the crab for giving his life for them to have such a yummy meal. Having shared two dishes between all of us we were still slightly hungry when we were done. We decided to walk the mall and find something fun for dessert. We opted for the coffee shop at Barnes and Nobles with us each picking a different treat. An Izzy for Chad and Caleb, coffee for me, a scone for Hannah and a brownie for Eve. The kids traded tastes of each others treats we talked too. It was getting late and the mall was starting to close down, it was past the kids bed time by at least an hour so the timing was good. Hannah declared on our way back to the car that this day was the best. I talked to my cousin a bit after getting home and getting the kids in bed. The world looks different after some solid sleep and a rejuvenating family date. Maybe I can still be a nurse good thing I have another day to rest before I have to test the theory.


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