Monthly Archives: October 2015

Helping Uncle David and Aunt LaVeta Pack For Their Move

With all this rush we needed some balance.  Getting a chance to serve someone else is just what we needed.  Stepping  outside of our needs for a morning and focusing on getting Uncle David and Aunt LaVeta packed up was a blessing for sure.  First of all we have not yet been able to see them this trip home and tomorrow is their actual move date so they were going to be unable to come to our Christmas/Thanksgiving party.  Second of all moves can be stressful everyone who has ever moved knows that.  We are gone so much that we really have to take any oportunity we can to be there for our family while we are here.  They had told us that Uncle David would be needing back surgery so they needed to be moved from their upstairs apartment to a downstairs apartment.  Do to availability this new downstairs apartment was in a different location.  It was apparent that the hurting back was a bigger factor than he let on.  I am surprised and not surprised that he was able to help as much as he was.  Surprised in that I would have been a whiney monster if I had been in that much pain.  Not surprised because he was raised in the same household as my father.  A household of hard hard workers, not allowed to complain and thinking of others first, a need to contribute and work as long as anyone else is working even if physically you can’t or shouldn’t and independent to the point that it’s not only hard to ask for help, but it’s hard to receive help even when it is needed.  I appreciate these things about him.  Maybe because they remind me of my own father whom I respect so much. Maybe it is because I have spent years observing this family as I have grown and can appreciate those values as well as see what makes my father, uncle and other members of this sibling group do some of the things that they do.  It makes me love them even more.  I don’t always agree with it but because I was raised with it I know where their heart is coming from and it melts mine.  I could use a bigger dose of selflessness at times.  

A group from their church was to be coming to actually move them tomorrow.  So, we were there to hopefully take some weight off of LaVeta and have everything ready to move.  I was suprised by how far they had gotten on their own.  One room was full of boxes and most of the rooms had been for the most part packed up.  We helped get the furniture ready for the hardwood floors of the next place, packed up the bathroom and the storage unit on the back patio.  Pretty much everything was in boxes for easy moving when their church group arived.  Our other job was to move the fragile stuff so they would not have to stress about it getting broken tomorrow.   We had many hands so it didn’t take but a few hours to get all of that accomplished and we had a lot of fun doing it.  All the little kids worked pretty much the whole time and did well too.   
   Working side by side with my cousin Ann is my favorite way to connect with her.  That and sit on her, got both of those fit into our day 😋.  Thank you Uncle David and Aunt LaVeta for letting us come and help you pack.  We love you guys.

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We love you to the moon and back, you know that right?

Chad woke me up with a cup of coffe this morning.  He had already been to the Dr.’s office for labs and was back home.  I crawled out of bed and into the shower, not a good day for sleeping in.  Chad took Myra to the groomer so that I could clean out my home away from home this last week, my mother-in-law’s car.  Hannah was the furthest on her school work so she accompanied me on a coffee date with one of my favorite friends, Jesse.  We had planned donuts, but had a last minute change of heart and decided on more coffee.  Gotta love coffee!  I enjoyed the pictures from her recent birthday party as we talked story.  The ins and outs of life, family, experiences.  Chad texted me at 11:00 asking about meeting at his parents as we were trying to fit in a date lunch to tide us over for the next 6 months of no childcare.  Jesse and I could not believe the time had passed so quickly.  We finished up our visit, and I took her home.  Hannah had finished her math and was excited to go to Grandma’s.  We called Chad so Hannah could tell him where she had hidden her Christmas presents for Grandma and Grandpa Owens so he could bring them as we were going to have dinner and a little Christmas celebration with them tonight.  A month ago when we told the kids that we would not be staying the extra three months that we had originally planned they were upset, yes they wanted to see the rest of the states that isn’t what they were upset about.  They were upset about missing another Christmas with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

They had a valad point, Christmas just isn’t the same with out all your family.  (We loved our Christmas with Great Grandma and Grandpa Lawhead last year doesn’t make not being home easier this year.)  Well why not have Christmas a little early?  The kids had already started planning what they wanted to get each of their family members and Hannah had already purchased a few gifts…there was no reason why they couldn’t give those gifts to their grandparents before we leave.  We had planned to have our Thanksgiving/Christmas party on Saturday, but Grandma Owens has to work so we will celebrate twice this week.  

Hannah and I managed to beat Chad, Caleb, and Eve to grandma’s house by maybe a car length it was perfect.  Hannah and I had just finished talking about how important it is to be on time, so we wouldn’t send the message to daddy that other things in our lives mean more to us than the time we have set aside to spend together.  I went to hug the kids goodbye since I can never get too many hugs and noticed when Caleb winced that his arm was huge, red, and hot to the touch with a bit of a rash on top. Whoa what is that from!  Caleb explained that it was from his chickenpox booster to which he added I thought it was normal so I didn’t say anything.  

Chad and I headed out on our date, he drove and I called Salem Pediatric for an appointment for Caleb’s arm to be seen.  Chad has been to O’ Sushi several times these last three months and has been trying to work out a time when we could go as a date.  With only two days left in Oregon our time was quickly running out it was now or not for 6 more months at least.   I like sushi to begin with but with coffee as the only thing on my stomache for the whole day I was worried that sushi might tip me over to not feeling well.  I was wrong.  It was some of the best sushi I have ever eaten so good, a good blend of textures as well as flavors and nothing soggy like the sushi you get at grocery stores.  Delicious!  



 Lunch was quite filling and we practically had to roll out of there.  I thought I was being conservative, and I guess I was.  Deffinately I was full, but not uncomfortable.  Thank you Chad for the date, he opens car doors for me and everything… Such a gentleman.  I love him, his company, and the way he makes me feel.  I am a lucky women that is for sure.  

After our date we stopped and picked up wrapping paper, bags and tissue paper for the kids to wrap their presents.  The kids eagerly wrapped their gifts when we arived with the supplies then we took Caleb and headed to the Dr. while Donna took the girls and headed to pick up Grandma-mama (Great Grandma Brown) for our Christmas party.  

Caleb’s arm was of concern to the provider on call.  She measured the swelling and noted his 99.8 degree temp.  She didn’t want to be too quick to jump to antibiotics so we are supposed to go back tomorrow for follow up.  

Taco bar was the perfect dinner not really Christmassy but easy, low key, and so yummy.  Aunt Jan surprised us and showed up.  It was so good to hang out with her too.  

After opening gifts we watched Seseme Street Christmas.  One of the favorite Christmas movies when Daddy (Chad) was growing up.  

Being in a place we are comfortable and can be completely at home with our gaurd down then in the very next moment saying goodbye for what could be 6-9 months can definitely tear your heart out.  How do we survive away from these people?  Sometimes it hurts so much, but in the same stride we know that this is what we are supposed to be doing at this time.  May are eyes always be fixed on you Lord.  You are our strength, our joy, our comfort, our purpose, our salvation.  Chuck, Donna, Grandma-Mama, and  Aunt Jan we love you to the moon and back, thanks for taking the time to just be with us tonight! Merry Early Christmas! 

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Last Day/Night at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital… Plus

Jessica, my crocheting partner in crime, was on with me for this last shift.  Liz knowing she would be on with the yarn brigade brought her own embroidery project.  She started it a few weeks ago and admitted that she had had this project since her daughter was little (now in her late 40s early 50s) and had never finished it.  When Jessica had asked me to teach her to crochet and we spent our down parts of the night being domestically productive.  Liz thought she might join in on the sewing fun and pick back up her 40+ year old project.  Now after just three weeks she is over half done and promised to send a picture of the kitty when it was finished.  We focused on our triage and checked all of our rooms.  I just love it… Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today.  We made sure all of our ducks were in a row then due to decreased census and being at core staffing we were able to sit and talk and crochet while we waited for the emergency department to call with new patients for us.  Jessica is an amazing crochet student and picked it up in hours I am honestly amazed. The first few projects you make as a crocheter should be unrecognizable but no Jessica is starting with an afghan and the sides are perfectly strait. It does not at all look amature.  I was working on crocheting washrags for a Christmas  show per request from another coworker.  Jessica had been watching pretty closely what I was doing so I gave her an extra ball of cotton yarn so she could give it a try.  I should have photographed it.  It is square and you can see the pattern pop.  She gave it to me and I love it. It will deffinately be going to Virginia with us.  

At change of shift we visited with the oncoming shift for a little while then Jessica and I walked out to our cars.  Some times when you are going through the motions you know what is happening to you but you still don’t believe it,  it just wasn’t right that we were clocking out and walking out together for the last time.  

After work I bee lined it straight to Shedd Oregon to drop off my cache of washrags for the Christmas show and pick up some beef organ meet that was gifted to us by a friend.  We are looking forward to eating the cow tongue in the next couple days as part of our early Thanksgiving Christmas party on Saturday.  After visiting for a little while I headed to Albany Family Medicine (occupational health) for a respiratory fit test.  Seriously these things are one of the biggest pains of travel nursing.  I got there to descover they would not actually have a doctor in house until 11/3!  That would just not work.  We hopefully will be half way across the country by then.  My recruiter is still trying to work out this detail. 

The tiredness of no sleep all night was fading away and I was feeling cold and a little cloudy in the brain but over all good getting home to Salem around 10:30am to Chad hard at work going through our room and getting rid of the things we didn’t need, packing what we did, and organizing the shelves with what we do need but not with us for this assignment.  We grabbed a gift I had for Silverton FBC and the dog and headed out. We had a short time to visit with the Silverton FBC staff before our vet appointment.  Everytime I’m there it is not the same kind of fulfilling to say high and catch up for a few minutes as it is to work shoulder to shoulder.  I would be so nice to work a hand full of shifts to actually be with my Silverton family.  We are so thankful for their support, enthusiasm, and encouragement.  You are not my whole foundation but definitely a big part of my grounding.  

Myra was diagnosed with a yeast infection of her ears with the vet wanting to see her back in a week…well that can’t happen.  That opened the door to talk to the vet about what we are doing and she opened right up.  It was actually quite amazing.  We chose a care plan that would work for our up coming plans and bade our fairwells to the vet. 

Lunch must have been good because I don’t remember too much  after that, just waking up around three with a kid crawling on me on the couch which was when I groggily chose to head to bed.  My alarm was set for 5:30pm and I had a 6:00pm coffee date.  I wasn’t thinking that clearly and didn’t change the time hoping I would be able to get ready quick.  I woke with my alarm which I suppose is a miracle in and of itself and  jumped in the shower. When I got out of the shower I got distracted talking to my recruiter about the plan for housing and the fit test and knew I would get to coffee late.  I sent off a message to to let my friend know.  I fumbled through the freezer trying to find one of the beef hearts we had been gifted so my friend, a fellow homeschooler, would be able to dissect it and have a fun learning experience.  It ended up being in the bottom of the second part of the bag.  Now running 7 min. behind I attempted to get a hold of my friend by calling.  She is notorious for being hard to get a hold of by phone, but really this was my fault for not changing my alarm.  I prayed she would still be there or maybe even also running late.  I made it to Starbucks about 10 min. late with no sign of Angelina.  Hmmm I ordered my coffee and sat on a high stool keeping one eye out for her.  Had she been there and left? Was she running late too?  Instant messenger, texting, and phone calls were not helping me and the coffee was yummy so I waited.  Focussing on getting some of my blog posts from this week rolling.  Hmmmm still no Angelina.  I do love to people watch and had noticed a red car in the parking lot that had the lights on and people in it.  But the last car I knew she had was blue.  That car pulled out and it was nearing 7:00.  I finished my coffee and used the restroom and decided well at least I need to get this cow heart to her.  I did not have her current address as she has moved since we started traveling, but I had been there once or twice.   Chad would know but he wasn’t answering his phone.  I thought maybe I could find it on my own. I had an idea of the general area and the general look of the house although it was dark and that wasn’t going to be helpful at all.  Voila, it happened, the first corner house was too close to State, the second was not the right color, but the third was just right.  I was not sure that I was in the right place so despite the thoughts that flashed through my mind that if this isn’t the right house it might belong to some crazy person who would grab me and I would be a goner so I said a quick prayer and made my life right with God first just in case then went up and rang the doorbell.  Score, it was the right place, they were home, and despite me holding a huge cows heart (frozen and in a bag) they let me in.  They had been at Starbucks in the red car that I had been watching. Oh well.  We found each other and it was way more fun visiting in the comfort of their home than Starbucks anyway.    

 Few.  To bed. Finally. Goodnight.

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Car Camping or Experimenting With Homelessness

I can share these pictures now that it’s over.  This is the first time I have ever planned to day camp in my car.  I call it day camping since I was working at night and sleeping in the day, but I was glad to enjoy the sound of the surf and the walks on the beach in one of the many day use parks with a bathroom.  After the first day I had a bit of a headache so washing my hair in the cold faucet water was the perfect remedy.  I was relieved to not have to deal with the hotel, and over all I slept really well.  On the flip side of that I’m glad that this was a chosen adventure and that we have a sticks and bricks home. 

    Yesterday afternoon before work I took my post car sleep stroll enjoying the cool very soft sand on my feet.  Feeling contemplative I realized that this was the last time in a long time that I would feel the Oregon beach sand between my toes and revel in the sound of it’s surf and feel it’s reviving breeze.  Pacific coast you are amazing! Although am excited to see and experience the Atlantic coast, I will be missing you the whole time. 
 I had to make one last stop at the Gluten Free place for a pineapple upside down cake.  I saved it for morning.  Hannah picked it out for me for surviving my first shift so I thought it suiting to celebrate the completion of my last shift of this assignment.  

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Elasto Pants 

It might be my age, but formerly I have not been a fan of elastic waist tapered leg nursing scrub pants.  That may have all changed this week!  The scrub bin on our unit is usually stocked half and half with tie waist pants and elastic pants.  When laundry gets scarce you usually can pick through and find one if you are persistent. Persistence did not pay off Monday night….If you get stuck with the old lady elastic waist pants at work, you gotta make lemonade out of those lemons.  Doing my best (mid thirties out of shape and never a cheerleader) jump split I announced, ” Elasto Pants!!!”  In my best superhero voice!  It was the perfect way to start the day!  We were all rolling with laughter before we even got out of report.  We tended to our triage patient and room checks making random Elasto Waist to the rescue quips.  We nurses know how to make work fun!  

   Nearly every shift here has been a blast.  We have had patients comment, “you sure love your job!” to me and my companion nurses to which we answered,  “yes, that is true.  You wouldn’t want a nurse who didn’t though right!?” They agreed.  There was no wasted time on my last shift with Rhiannon we had laughs pretty much every minute of it with Liz jumping in with two feet, literally.  I will not forget this night and the joy it has brought to me will be front in my memory as I face this next most likely difficult month of adjusting to a new work environment, new coworkers and providers, and different culture.  Having to re-prove my competence and trustworthyness again.  I saw a saying in a FaceBook travel nurse sight and it is true.  
 I conclude after two days of wearing elastic waisted pants do to necessity that although you risk looking silly the benefits of spontaneous laughter and the really good (up to my bra line) crack coverage was amazing!  

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Ok, So Maybe My Fears Are Irrational

Oh yeah, facing my fears tonight! That’s right…I just walked past a big raccoon in the hospital courtyard… It turns out that it wasn’t mad or rabid and DID NOT ATTACK ME!   Ok maybe it sounds like small beans but seriously it got my heart pumping.  I saw it shuffle away from the door when I went to open it then I realized what it was and ducked back inside the glass door.  The house supervisor and I checked him out as he did likewise.  Just then the sprinklers turned on spraying him right in the face and he dodged behind a small tree.  I showed him my hands and said, “Sorry dude, I didn’t do it.”  I turned to the house supervisor and said, “do you think it’s safe? I’m going!” In my imagination he was waiting until my back was turned then he would jump and claw me, but no.  I’m glad to report I walked as confidently as a second grader walks into a group of big third grade and fourth graders 😋 past the fierce masked little bugger and he did not scratch my eyes out.  

 Image found online not the actual raccoon I encountered, I do not take photo credit. 

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Sick Girl

Going to church one last time didn’t work out quite as planned.  Eve was so winy when she woke up.  She found a comfortable spot on the couch and didn’t move all morning.  We couldn’t take our sick girl so I stayed home with her.  Bye to all of our Salem Naz friends that we had planned to say goodbye to today.  We will miss all of you.   

 Hannah went to Hannah C.’s house for a play date after church so hopefully that brings some closure to her an will help tide her over on best friend time until we can return.  These two besties are so cute.  

 Chad and I went through three of our four cargo tubs and minimized them down to one of must go items.  We found our USA map in one of the tubs and stuck Hawaii in its place.   We are getting closer to being ready.  

 The. On the way to work I missed my exit and it was 11 miles before there was an overpass to turn around on.  I made it just in time and I get to work with one of my favorites for a pleasantly slow night.


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No phone and not home

Well, I did have my phone….but no charger.  From 11-6:45 today I had only myself.  I had no phone charger so I couldn’t use my phone more than minimally because I was not going to be near another charger until work or home at 2:00am if I ended up being on call.  I sent a few necessary messages but couldn’t waste my whole day staring at it.  Suzanne would be so proud of me…I read instead.  Read/crochet/watch the waves and take a beach walk.  I read six of the smaller books in the Old Testament leaving only two books, a whopping 12 pages, until I have read the entire Old Testament and am on to the New Teatament.  One of those forced relaxation days where you really do have a lot to do, but none of it can be done while you are away from home. I’m sure I needed it.  

Bring it on….four more hours +3 12hour shifts, packing up and trecking all the way across the continent.  I might be a little more ready for this now.  


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Lincoln City with Grandma Owens

You don’t have to tell me, I know.  Our family has been bless beyond anything we could ever deserve in the realm of family.  Aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents all who are family oriented and love Christ.  I know this is a rare thing and I cherish it so.  This week I found out that the two extra shifts I signed up for were actually 4hr evening shifts instead of 12hr nights.  Oh no! What to do now!  Chad also needed to work Friday night.  The kids could stay home with Aunt Stephanie which would have been fun, but to ease the stress on Chad and give him a break I asked my mother-in-law, Donna, who just so happened to not be working Friday, if she would like to come with us to the beach.  We stayed in Lincoln City instead of Newport for somethin different for the kids.  Chad had reserved a nice room for us. We had most of the day Friday at the beach and for my 4 hour shift Friday night I ended up being on call.  It was perfect.  We had lunch at the Tiki Lounge which I love their GF food and I don’t think Donna had been there before.  Then we checked out the glass blowing place, went grocery shopping, checked out our hotel grounds looking for mermaids, Donna and the big kids walked the beach.  We ate pizza for dinner and pomegranates for dessert.  Donna took the kids swimming, I took my phone and crocheting and watched with enjoyment.  Eve was loving the practically one on one grandma swim time (she is always such a fish).  Hannah must have picked up some stroke tips from watching Chloe and Cuinten at swim team Thursday because she was racing another little girl and swimming better than I have ever seen her swim before, and Caleb was being a big brother, spending way too much energy trying to get a reaction out of Hannah.  My phone only rang once which was Chad calling to check on us not the hospital thank goodness.  After swimming we enjoyed the new Cinderella movie and some popcorn.  The kids were so cute, I know they appreciated the mini vacation.  I was sad to see them leave today as grandma took them home to Chad so I could go to work tonight.   


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Preparation week 

We were so blessed Wednesday night to get to visit and dine with Dan and Robyn, our Sunday school teachers for the last 14 years.  They have known us well enough and long enough that they can ask hard and deep questions of us, some we do not know the answers to.  As we head back out on the road in just one week we re-ponder… What is this journey all about.  Are the kids getting all the things out of it that we had hoped they would?  How has this changed us individually, as a couple, as a family?  

The kids are actually half excited to go back out, I anticipate some tears heck I may shed a few, but even our preteen who thinks his life is so rough admitted Thursday that he is excited for our up coming road trip it seems like it wouldn’t hurt him to show it.  I guess that is asking too much.

 I am not too excited about the grueling schedule we have chosen to get us over to Oklahoma, keeping our wagon wheels running and taking shifts in the drivers seat is a new one for us.  We are hoping that driving hard through the states we have seen before will give us more time to enjoy our drive through the states we have not yet been to.  We have tentative plans that will have to be flexible depending on how good of time we are getting.  We are making a few last minute play dates, but really can’t squeeze too much into our last week as work has already claimed the first four days and the last three are reserved for family and packing, maybe even a little rest. 

We are looking forward to our Caramel popcorn fall movie night (Halloween), Thanksgiving dinner, and Christmas party all wrapped in one Holiday party for our last night here.  All the kids have been talking about for a couple of weeks now is the Christmas gifts they have picked out for their cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.  

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