Monthly Archives: February 2015

Ash Wednesday

I so wanted to go to an Ash Wednesday mass today. But I would either have to stay up way late or miss work neither one is going to work. I can’t really miss work and since I work tonight it wouldn’t be too smart to stay up too late. So I have been trying to educate myself a bit on Ash Wednesday and Lent season which might make up in the smallest bit not making it to mass today.

IMG_2782 this is the Catholic Church closest to us that the girls at work recommended. I may see if Chad can look up other mass times for me. Here is a YouTube video on Ash Wednesday and Lent ( Here is another video. It is a cartoon of Jesus’s temptation and fasting in the desert. I love the song that goes with it (
You are my strength when I am weak you are the treasure that I seek you are my all in all.

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We may have created a MONSTER

Eve always has to get in the shower with me, if by chance I take one while she is outside playing she gets very sad and upset…such is life. She got some coconut fizzy bath balls for Christmas and we plug the drain so really it is me taking a shower and she is taking a bath.
Today we showered with the lights off and he door just cracked for a little light, coconut bath fizz ball and Hawaiian music playing in the background. It was so fun and relaxing to take a shower in the almost dark with the Hawaiian set the tone music playing in the background. I just love my little fish… These are going to be the moments I’m going to be reliving in my reflective time when the kids are grown and gone.

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Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary

On a friends recommendation we checked out the local animal sanctuary.



The kids favorite animal was the sloth.




The snakes were pretty cool too although the mambas give me the creeps.


This picture of the green mamba shows the wide open mouth this is one of the most venomous snakes in the world.














This little guy is determined to get out. The volunteer said he has been trying to dig that hole for weeks. They keep filling it in and putting rocks in the hole and he is undeterred.
















We loved seeing the animals. Each of these animals have been removed from homes or turned in by owners who could no longer care for them.



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The first of our Victorville goodbyes

We must have gotten up extra early because we ended up having a lot of down time after we got ready and before church. It was a pot luck day at church and we were going to pick up something on the way to church since There wasn’t much in the house and nothing pot luck worthy. We drove a different route to church, we had talked about stopping at the Walmart on Bear Valley, but I think Chad was thinking we could find a grocery store that was right on our way we drove and drove, made it all the way to a sign that said “Old Victorville” through a part of town with bars on every window and still no grocery store. We circled back around and did see a restaurant that probably would sell whole pies, now it was too late to go to Walmart and get back in time. We headed into service kind of early with a plan that Chad would dart out after service and get a pie from that restaurant we saw. This is only the second time I have not been working and been able to attend Victorville Church of the Nazarene. ( Chad and he kids have loved it and the two times I have now been have been great as well. The people are really welcoming and there is really a message. It is more like a bible study than the feel good phrases and short 15 minute words to live by that we have found to be the main offerings at larger churches we have attended. Having to interview for a new assignment every three months has brought to my attention that really we are always in an interview. This life is an interview for the next one. The sermon today was along the same lines. 1 Peter 1:17 talks about how He (God) will judge or reward you according to what you do. And 1 Peter 2:19 states that God is pleased with us when we do what we know is right and patiently endure unfair treatment.
We have received more than fair treatment here in Victorville which will make these next two weeks hard. Service neared a close and just as Chad was getting geared to run out the pastor made an announcement that no one was to leave that they were confiscating our keys (joking) if we didn’t bring food that was of no consequence the church had provided food and we were all to come and enjoy. Feeling a little guilty having not brought food (and I have never partaken in a potluck that I have not helped with provisions my parents will be cringing when they read this and find out how irresponsible I was, sorry mom and dad we planned on contributing) we made our way over to the gym and got in line. The kids took some of the extra time to play with their friends and say goodbye. Several people stated that they had enjoyed the kids and our family as part of the church and told us to come back any time. That is the hardest part of this job-leaving all the new friends we have made, every three months. I would love to promise that we will come back, we just never know where we will be. The hardest goodbye was for Eve. She has grown quite attached to her Sunday school teacher Miss Brittany. We took a picture of the two of them and promised that we would help Eve send her a post card from Hawaii.

Thank you Miss Brittany for showing God’s love to all the students in your class and especially for being so welcoming to Eve!
My little ding-a-lings 1:
My little ding-a-lings 2:

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Valentines 2015

Cake pops from Starbucks and a slow night at work was a good way to start off one of my favorite days of the year. A Walmart run on the way home from work to get some sparkling cider was unsuccessful on that standpoint, but I found blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries that looked delicious. A small jar of Nutella and three $1 heart shaped boxes of chocolates for my kiddos and I was ready to go wake up everyone at the house. The kids woke up immediately (they were probably already awake just staying in their room) so enlisted their help in waking up Chad. He loves to cook so the sight of the fresh berries was all it took to get him out of bed and working on breakfast. He decided on Nutella pancakes topped with the berries which were very yummy despite it being winter. We FaceTime called Aunt Stephanie and Aunt Judy to tell them happy birthday.




Then we took a family drive up to Big Bear. We were surprised at what we found. The curvy roads up the hill were nice but we felt like we had driven back in time at least twenty years. I expected an over developed ski resort like Tahoe or Mt. Hood. It was so hot I wished I had a tank top instead of long sleeves and the only places there was snow was on the runs. It had to be melting super quick, I wonder how much snow they make each day to keep the doors open! I wish I knew the exact temp, but it felt at least 50 degrees probably more. Chad thinks it was about 70 degrees.


The kids have jackets on because we sat in the shade for lunch outside and drank an iced mango juice drink which made us all feel a little cold. We walked around to all the shops which took a few hours. Chad made a special crab cake eggs Benedict for dinner and I crashed. For some reason I am way more tired working nights this assignment than usual. Happy valentines to all of you!!! Here are a few of my favorite cards from this season most are from Dave Ramsey!





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Death Valley

With only one planned stop and the kids being so short on swim time lately we took the later check out time and decided on a morning swim before leaving Las Vegas.

We stayed well off the strip last night so on our way out of town we drove down South Las Vegas blvd. The kids really wanted to go in a casino or the arcade at Circus Circus, but we are not doing that this trip.

Then we turned tail towards Death Valley. There were a few small towns in desolate areas that made me wonder why anyone would choose to move out there. It must be for a job, but what industry would this area provide? We came very close to Area 51.



Slowly the scenery was turning gorgeous! Not at all what I imagined Death Valley would look like.



We passed sea level (the valley goes to a depth of 190 feet below sea level)



We liked the visitor center it was in a little oasis looking campground. Campers come to hike and star gaze.






The highest recorded temperature ever recorded in Death Valley is 134 degrees.






We all got out at the sand dunes








We loved the up and down parts of the road that made our tummies tickle and the kids giggle with laughter. Such beautiful views all day, I wish we could have done some hiking. We were sad to say good bye to the park and see the sun disappear behind the mountains.


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Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and Las Vegas

Ibuprofen wasn’t enough to kick my headache this morning so after work instead of leaving right away I dove into bed for an 1.5 hour nap. Giving us a bit of a late start today. We saw Hoover Dam first. We pulled into the parking structure where they questioned us on weather we had any pets and of course we answered honestly that we did. We were informed that we couldn’t park in the cool parking structure with a pet but we could cross the dam and park in the sun (it wasn’t that hot but still it’s the concept) as long as one of us stayed with Myra. I was a little bit steamed, but it worked out ok because I had been there before and was really tired so I just stayed in the car and people watched, rested, and enjoyed the view. While Chad and the kids got a closer look.













Lake Mead is the lake that was created when the Colorado River was dammed up at the Hoover Dam. It was a beautiful rest




We got out and enjoyed the water s bit before visiting the visitor center.









The visitor center was very kid friendly, we had a lot of fun doing the Jr. Ranger program. It has been a little while since we have done that.















We closed up the visitor center then headed to our hotel. Swimming and pizza to close out the night. It’s definitely time for bed.

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Tell No One Who You Are

Tell No One Who You Are: The hidden childhood of Régine Miller
a true story by Walter Buchignani

This is the last book from our pile of free books we scored from the Neenah Wisconsin Library book sale. I’m not sure why it got saved for the last. Caleb read it first and told me it was a good book so on his recommendation and a resolution to read more books I dug in. With a lot of interruptions mind you and I am a slooooow reader, it took 6-8 hours. Caleb probably read it in two he is such a fast reader.

I loved what the author spent detail on. It is very matter of fact and not dramatized. It is a re telling of the life of Régine Miller a young (8 at the start of WWII) Jewish girl living in Brussels Belgium. After her older brother was taken by the Germans she was hidden in various ways through the war. As months of lists of survivors were announced on the radio she came to realize that she was the lone survivor of her family who had all been sent to Auschwitz.

Be prepared for a few tears, but I loved the opportunity to be allowed to experience her grief to a small degree through reading this book. Also to give Caleb a bigger world view and prospective of the blessings in his life. Being around the age of Régine I’m sure helped.

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We did our time at the police station today

I so enjoyed my bili baby and attentive parents last night. I then took a much needed morning nap before dragging myself out of bed, shower to wake up, and coffee to turn my brain on. We had made big plans with Uncle Richard to tour his work the San Bernardino Police Station.

I didn’t take too many pictures mostly because I didn’t want to photograph something I wasn’t supposed to. We met long time co-workers from the office (He has worked there for 24 years) saw his office where I found this gem of a picture.

It is a picture of Samantha (his daughter now 20) in the years when she would come to live with our family in the summer in Cambridge Idaho here showing a sheep for 4H. She was (still is) so darn cute. He gave each of the kids a goody bag of SBPD information, pencils and other gifts. We then toured each room as he told us about the department and how it ran. I particularly liked the 911 call center as the lady who was telling us about her department handled several calls while we were there talking to her so we really could get a feel for how it all worked. She was telling us the longevity of employment as a dispatcher is, on average, five years but she had been working there for a long time. I got the impression that she had been there close to as long as Uncle Richard. It is not surprising to me due to the amount of stress and trauma one could experience in a job like that especially in a big city with a high volume of calls and incidences. The interview rooms had a different feel about them, the kids one was warm and comfortable, but it is so sad that they even have to have one of those. The kids favorite part of the tour was the SWAT truck and van (looks like a motor home).




IMG_2320 the doors were soooooo heavy due to the thick bullet proof metal and three inch thick bullet proof glass. The battering ram, stretchers and multi launcher were very interesting to see in person. I liked the incidence management brief case (not really it folded out flat) that had a white board and other brainstorming and planning resources. It looked much like the one my basketball coach carried around in high school that spelled out the logistics of our plays, so everyone was on the same page. The -you go here, you go here, we will be moving in these directions and pull it off in an orchestrated fashion- board. Team work is a beautiful thing. Often after those crazy crazy days where we nurses truly feel the fragility of life and the weight of its balance in our hands I wish there was a way to truly explain what it is like to be the nurse. I believe being a police officer (fire fighter or paramedic) is much similar— if only you really knew what my day was like. Well it wasn’t the same as being the officer on “those days” but all the same we learned a lot and have more of an understanding. Police have had a lot of bad press lately, I have my own theories as to why that is, but daily they put their lives on the line for us. Often they have to defend their every action and endure being spit at, called names and other such disgraces yet they still continue to show up to help when we call 911.

From the police station we made our way to Moreno Valley which was incredibly green and Beautiful. The sun coming in the window was hot even with the window down. Tank top and shorts would have been more appropriate clothes for the weather but my long sleeves and jeans would have to do. In Moreno Valley we visited a new friend we met at this assignment named Hiedi. She has four little dogs and a kitty that the kids took turns petting and kissing. The poor cat wasn’t sure what to do with all these little kids and so she/he tried her/his best to hide. We got back into town (San Bernardino) in time to have dinner with Uncle Richard before heading back up the hill. The kids have been talking about how much they liked learning what a police officer does and the police station. Hannah thinks she might consider it as a career some day. Caleb would be sold on it if he could drive the SWAT rig as his patrol car. Thank you Uncle Richard for the tour and fun educational day and thank you Hiedi for letting us come out and meet your doggies.
This is the day that the Lord had made let us rejoice and be glad in it!!!

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I just realized on my way home from work this morning that I didn’t ever get around to going to the lab and getting the UDS done that I was supposed to do last week eek. Better let my recruiter know that I dropped the ball and get it rescheduled. So many little things to think about.

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