Monthly Archives: January 2015

Ephesians 6:12

First 2 of 5 shifts have been heaven sent for sure. I got to have post partums last night, it was only the second time since I have been here and I do love post partums so I enjoyed it to the fullest.
I was reminded before I headed into work by my memory verse for the day that this is not my fight, this battle is already won I just need to show up and be obedient.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Ephesians 6:12 NIV

We are on a count down until Grandma and Grandpa Owens visit us in 6 days!!!! May God Bless you and keep you, and may you all have a blessed and wonderful day.

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Time to pull up my big girl panties and go to work

I love travel nursing for allowing me to visit my family, for the things we get to see and learn, for the growing bonds in our immediate family. I love the people we’ve met, and the growing moments as well as the confidence it has given us. But today, after spending the last week being with our loved ones, I just want to be back there with all of them not here in Victorville gearing up to go back to the drudgery of work outside of the home. It makes me wonder what in the heck I am doing, what are we doing, is it really best for our family, best for our kids? Are we thinking of them and not only ourselves? These are all questions that make me question everything in life, but when I go to spell it all out on paper I know the answer. Work is life, and since we have to work this really is a dream job. It’s time to buck up.


2015/01/img_1396.jpg I found this reminder on Facebook today.

2015/01/img_1383.jpg It’s time to crash. Maybe some solid sleep before work tomorrow will go a long way towards making me feel ready for the work week.

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Yeah, we didn’t make it too far today!

We had plans to get to Victorville tonight after a quick visit with Gerrit this morning. Our quick visit went long and we ended up getting lunch, lunch went long until school was getting out.



Gerrit, Terri and the kids had a few errands to run after school. We said our good byes and headed to the car. Chad and I didn’t want to promise we would come by to see the kids until we had a chance to talk to each other and make a plan. We discussed our schedule and some options and decided to take the Jelly Belly factory tour while our family was tied up then go back so we would have a chance to see Terri and the kids. The Jelly Belly factory is about 45 minutes out of Sacramento, Chad and I have been there a couple times pre kids but had never taken the kids they were pretty excited.








They don’t let you take any photos on the tour but it is very interesting as they walk you through the history and all the stages to making the Jelly Belly with several taste testers at each stage. Eve would always talk the guide into an extra Jelly Belly. At the end of the tour we got a bag of belly flops and a small bag of chocolate covered Jelly Bellies and we each tried a sample of chocolate covered bacon which was a big hit. Then we headed back to Sacramento.
The house was a bustle with Gerrit and Terries 5 kids so our extra three hopped up in Jelly Bellies made for lots of energy. The kids played really well together and we continued to talk and talk (my favorite part). About 7:00pm we decided we should think of something easy to feed the kids because it was well past dinner time. Having pizza two nights in a row seemed like an easy and affordable solution to feed 8 kids and 5 adults and it was. The kids watched Aladdin which they had never previously seen while us adults visited some more. What good kids! It was so fun. They were all asking (including mine) when we would get together again. Soon, hopefully soon!




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Nevada Governor Inauguration

The second attempt at getting to tour the Nevada Capitol building met with another surprise. The streets surrounding the capitol were blocked off with uniformed officers directing traffic. The mounted police, fire trucks, and bomb squad were visible from the public parking structure. I quickly searched the web to find out what all the commotion was about I was sure the news would provide me with some answers. I found that the Nevada Governor was to be inaugurated this afternoon at 12:30. No problem, it was 10:30 we could go in another entrance to tour the Capitol. The police guards said that the capitol would be open at 11:00 so we took the kids to the bathroom and hung out at the state library where it was warm. At 11:00 we wondered out. They had a line of important looking people at the east entrance that was moving slowly we stood in it for a while but the people weren’t going inside they were walking around the outside of the building so we figured we must be in the wrong place. We then walked around to the main entrance that was all set up with banners for the inaugural speech. The sun was shining so even though the kids were finding plenty of snow to stomp in we were warm. We walked up and down the street thinking maybe we could stick around for the speech and take advantage of the learning opportunity that was being presented. We didn’t make it that long. I wonder if it was the right decision to leave but we did. It was still cool to see the set up for it and all the news crews there even if we didn’t get to tour the Capitol or see the inauguration.

















After the Capitol we met my cousin Jon and his wife Shawna and little Kadence at McDonalds for lunch. It was good to visit with them for a while.



After checking all the road advisor sites we decided to take the road we had been warned not to take by Boyd. It was sunny and warm and all the snow appeared to be on the sides of the road not on it. It was winding up with no shoulder so it was easy to see why it was not advisable in inclement weather. The scenery was AWESOME and I was quite sentimental as we drove the rim of Lake Tahoe and even past the hotel we stayed in when Suzanne and I rode in the America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride century in 2011. Some how climbing the eight miles in the car was not nearly as tear inducing as it was on our bikes.





We made it to Sacramento for dinner with another cousin, William, and his two kids Trystan and Trinity. We may not see a lot of historical sites or National Parks here in CA, but being able to visit with our family has been priceless.


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Exposure to Farm Life

(Warning: contains some graphic food preparation pictures)
Boyd and Rae had cut and wrapped their own goat and had been asked by a neighbor to do four more, so after church we set about getting started on the afternoon long project.
Wanting to miss out on the actual killing of the goats I stayed inside and quickly made Pb&j sandwiches for the whole crew for lunch. Then made the beds of the two rooms we had been staying in and packed all of our things out to the car. Chad was elbow deep in the goat project which is the first of it’s kind that he has ever been involved in.


The kids helped, then played, then helped some more.




Dakota and Cosette fried up the first liver with onions.

( here is a cute picture of Eve and Dakota making an enchilada casserole yesterday)

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/03e/32120513/files/2015/01/img_1254.jpg we snacked on the liver while we continued our cutting and wrapping progress.



The kids loved the liver, they loved the ribs we roasted, they loved being able to help, they loved the whole thing. I hadn’t touched raw meet in a few years and was surprisingly squeamish about it at first, it did bring back a lot of fond childhood memories living on a dairy farm in Idaho with a professional butcher father. Just about the time my frozen fingers and full bladder decided it was time to go inside Aunt Susan had come by. We made some hot chocolate and hot tea for the workers outside and visited some more. There were tears when it was time to say goodbye. We could probably stay for a week or two or three, but we have to head south again.



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Susanville, CA

Susanville will always hold a special place in my heart. We lived here when I was young 1-5 years of age and I do remember bits and pieces of that but it is not for that reason that it is so endeared to me. It was years later: the summer after eighth grade when it all started.
The activities and educational offerings of a junior college was the big draw. Cambridge was beautiful in the summer but it was limited on educational opportunities and summer teen activities. I had a cousin close to my age that I adored and an aunt who was like a second mother to me here in Susanville so starting after eighth grade graduation it was my yearly summer plans to voyage to California, live with my aunt, attend Lassen Community College and work. I’m sure that having another teenage girl around all summer every summer was not easy on anyone. Aunt Susan had an extra charge, Liz had to share her time, space and often things with me. Clifford put me to work doing odd jobs and making me work on my birthday which I thought at the time was practically child abuse but it was good for me and taught me responsibility. Four summers in a row Susanville was my home. New summer traditions were made and I feel like I was made to grow up and be responsible for myself and make sure that I was as little of a burden as possible and as big of help as possible. The summer I turned 16 Aunt Susan and Elizabeth each in their different ways went out of their way to show their love to me. I already had my drivers license because in Idaho at the time you got your license at 15 but you can’t drive at night until you were 16. Aunt Susan woke me up at Midnight on my 16th birthday saying she needed me to run to the store for bread. She came with me, we ran to the store and then to Denny’s ordering a hot chocolate for me and orange juice for her just so we could celebrate that I was old enough to drive at night. Later after a day of school work and painting for Clifford, Elizabeth came home from her Safeway job with 16 roses just for me. They made me feel special, like part of the family.
The last summer, the one after high school graduation I pitched a tent in the pasture out back and lived there for the whole summer. With my battery operated alarm clock I woke up early, trekked to the house showered and went to work. That summer I worked as a CNA at a nursing home in town. The laundry list of responsibilities that rested on my shoulders and the trust that they had in me to get myself up and to work were invaluable growing opportunities I feel like those experiences and being treated like and expected to act like an adult have affected greatly who I am today. Being here with Susan and Clifford, Boyd, Rae, and the girls reminds me of the many memories made over those four summers so long ago that I am so thankful for and how much I love this portion of my family and appreciate all they have done for me.

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Ride Along

The day of the first was filled with lots of conversation as well as a tour of the new house and property Chad went on a ride along with Boyd and Susan made it back from Liz’s and visited with us for several hours. Rae and I talked late into the night as we waited for the guys to get home. The day of the second it took four ibuprofen and another half hour of sleep to coax me out of bed. Of course I knew that the lack of sleep would catch up with me but I always think maybe I can get away with it this time. This time I took the opportunity to go to work with Boyd knowing that a 10 hour patrol car ride would give us plenty of time to discuss all kinds of matters of the heart. Boyd lived with our family for five years growing up so he feels much more like a sibling than a cousin and his priorities in life are a lot similar to mine which means there are hours and hours of meaningful conversation to be had. Here are a few pictures from our drive.





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Kids first new year countdown




I couldn’t believe all the kids made it well past midnight with out any wining or yawns.

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Good Bye 2014

The three biggest things I have learned this year…
1. First impressions are over rated! That unit or person that completely rubbed you the wrong way the first two weeks that you knew them has something they can teach you. They are a person or a group of people if you take the time to learn why they act the way they do, pretty much everyone has their own awesomeness and something to teach you if you really want to learn. Pretty much everyone I have not been fond of the first day has not at all personified my first impression.

2. There is always more than one way to skin a cat. And the golden rule of traveling is when in Rome do as the Romans do with in the boundaries of do no harm and always do good.

3. I am far from a finished product, but I will work hard and I love my job and patients. Those things alone can carry you a long way.

2014 has been one of our families biggest years to date I really can’t believe it has all happened in one year. We cannot wait to find out what 2015 holds.


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Remembering Manzanar

“Manzanar National Historic Site was established to preserve the stories of the nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II and to serve as a reminder to this and future generations of the fragility of American civil liberties.”
Manzanar the Spanish word for apple orchard is located in the Owens Valley in California on highway 395. In 1942 the U.S. Army leased 6,200 acres for the camp. A total of 10 relocation centers were built in remote locations across the United States. About two-thirds of all Japanese Americans interned at Manzanar were American citizens by birth. The barracks were surrounded by barbed wire and eight guard towers this used only 500 acres the rest was agriculture fields sewage treatment plant, guard housing and a reservoir. 10,000 Japanese Americans lived in 504 barracks organized into 36 blocks. A single 20′ x 25′ room was home to any combination of 8 individuals and contained an oil stove, a single hanging light bulb, cots, blankets, and mattresses filled with straw. For work internees worked digging irrigation canals and ditches, tended acres of fruits and vegetables, and raised chickens, hogs, and cattle. They made clothes and furniture for themselves and netting and experimental rubber for the military. From September 1942 to November 1945. All that suspicion and yet no Japanese Americans were ever charged with espionage. (Information included is from Manzanar National Monument pamphlet.). My grandparents had child hood friends that were sent to Japanese internment camps, they remember when they were taken away and are still friends with some of them now.
After work this morning we packed the car and headed north. Up 395 toward family it has been a while since we have had an educational stop so when Manzanar was recommended by my grandparents we made it a priority.



















After we looked around the exhibits, watched a documentary on the life of the Japanese during WWII, and perused the book store we drove around the historic site.







They must have disassembled the camp at the end of the war. The only buildings standing are two replica barracks and an original mess hall. The cemetery and a few of the gardens are still standing although the gardens are all dried up and desolate like the all of the surrounding area. Now we have ducked into Nevada with the the last hours of 2014 ticking away.




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