Monthly Archives: December 2015

Work Work Work

Three 12 hour shifts one day off spent at Williamsburg then three more twelves and an eight hour shift… I do love my work, but I was definately dragging by the end.  I had my first labor patient go to C-section this week and it was a really positive experience for both of us (me and the patient). I don’t know that I could go into much detail with out violating HIPPA, but we both felt like everything possible was done to give her a chance at a natural delivery and when we noted the size of the baby and how literally tied up in the cord the little one was all we could do is be so thankful for how things had gone.  The patient was very fearful that it would be a traumatic experience and it absolutely wasn’t.  The baby breasted in the OR while she was skin to skin.  With the current C/S rate in the United States today I feel like this is a major victory to celebrate.  Now it doesn’t mean more won’t happen, but to be two thirds of the way through my assignment before having my first c/s is deffinately cause for celebration. 

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Colonial Williamsburg

12/26/15 was the perfect day to visit Colonial Williamsburg.  It was a warm 60 something degrees.  We had read on the website that they would be closing most of the attractions after the new year for maintainence and updating so it was now or never since I worked the rest of the shifts until the new year.  We chose not to purchase the tickets ($25 for kids $50 for adults) that would get us into some of the special demonstrations that would definately be worth it if you had two or three days to spend there.  As it was we had just enough time to see most of the free stuff.  We let the kids each pick a historic book from the book store on the area to make up for not getting to take the tour.  



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Christmas 2015

Work is the name of the game this Christmas, and really I don’t mind at all.  Most of the time I don’t mind working holidays.  We made the rule that the kids could not open their stockings until I got home from work.  Chad had made gluten free pumpkin pancakes and bacon for breakfast that was a special gift in it’s self.  The kids opened their stockings and the few gifts they had each been given.  Caleb recieved a camera and quadracopter, Hannah got a kindle and little birdie, Eve also got a camera and clothes as well as they all recieved socks and a few other things they had saved up and bought each other.  Not a lot, but it still sometimes feels like too much.  The girls declared that it was “the best Christmas ever!!!” And that they now have had everything they have ever wanted.  I crashed to get rest for work again that night getting up around 4:30pm to descover that Chad had gotten the kids all set up and tought them hoe to use their new toys.  It sounded like they had enjoyed the down day to just be together.  Chad had made a ham for Christmas dinner.  I left for work full and content.  There is so much joy in this season especially.  We are so thank ful to serve a God who loves and values each one of us and for the many moments, things, memories, experiences he has blessed us with this year.  


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Christmas Eve 2015

I could hear Chad and the kids having a Christmas movie marathon from my bed, I was having trouble sleeping but felt like it was a little too late to take melatonin.  For a little while I got up and watched White Christmas with them then back to bed to try to get a little more sleep.  Chad had planned to make Swiss Steak his Grandma Owen’s recipe but was unable to find cube steak at the grocery stores and the roads were such a mad house he only stopped a couple places to look.  Instead he picked philly cheese steak sandwiches which were a special treat.   


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Thank you Lord for your protection

We had our fist fender bender in Conecticut on our way “home” from Maine 12/22.  It was raining and pooring and the person in front of us stopped really quickly…we stopped quickly too.  The person behind us did not stop quite as quickly.  If feld like a big jolt and I could imagine that the back end was probably crunched up a bit.  Chad got out and checked it out and to our suprise our car did not appear to even have a scratch on it.  The little rental sedan had hit just the hitch.  Not their bumper was cracked in several places but even that always not too noticeable unless you were looking for it.  The couple was from California and seemed nice we exchanged information and went on our merry way so thankful that we have spent so many hours and miles on the road and this is our first incident… a very minor bump that didn’t even make a scratch.  Thank you Lord for your protection and traveling mercies.  we made it all the way from Chelsea Maine to Charlottesville Virginia in one day.  Leaving me a morning to get a little Christmas shopping done and time for a nap before starting a big run of shifts at work.

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To Build A Farm

Now I was raised on a dairy farm, but we didn’t really have to build it.  Sure we were there for the building of the calf barn and the up keep of the many other buildings, but most of it was there.  The cows, the equipment, the buildings, the general and for the most part efficient layout was already there.  It didn’t seem like there was much to it.  As I have gotten older I have learned to appreciate all the work that goes into farming (and I mean all that I knew about).  Since then I have married a city boy and moved to a <1/4 acher lot in the middle of suburbia with one dog and two outside cats.  Farming and the dedication it takes are far from my everyday reality.  

Recently a few of our college friends from NNU have had a dream of having a sustaining farm, raising their own food both animals and produce, reconnecting with the simpler life.  They bought a blank slate, 87 achers with a house, one smaller shed/barn, and one out building shop that would work as a store front.  They moved 2000 miles from their family and friends to do so. As crazy as all of this sounds neither of them were raised on a farm or have any farm experience.  We have witnessed the amount of daily work and research that they are putting in to try to get their farm up and running.   This totally blows my mind but I can relate to the dream and wanting a different life for my family.  For us, our trip, we felt like it was a nudging by the Holy Spirit.  Something we could not not do.  For Pam and Kelby Olde Haven Farm is the same thing.  A nudging = full on push to step out of their comfort zone to this “simpler” life.  They have accomplished a lot in the time they have been in Maine so far (it will be two years in April) with two pig paddocks, goats and sheep in pasture, a whole host of free range turkeys, chickens, ducks, and guinies.  As well as a large chicken house and another for the chickens raised for meat or “meat birds” the bones are up for a hay barn infact we stacked 4 months supply of hay in the top of the hay barn yesterday.  It is far from finished but will still serve it’s main purpose for the farm this winter.  

 The learning curve has been steep, expensive, and will continue to be steep for some years to come.  They have recently started a social campaign to raise awareness of farming and it’s future. From a recent FaceBook post by Olde Haven Farm, 

“Why you should care about farming:

The number of farmers in America keeps declining and the farmers that are left are getting older. The average age for a farmer in the US is 58.3 (2012 Census statistics). That number has continually risen over the past 30 years. While it may seem like farming is trendy right now, the statistics show that the number of new farmers dropped 20% from 2007. It’s not clear what contributes most to the lack of younger farmers. Perhaps it’s the notion of hard work that scares people, or how difficult it seems to be to make a profit off a farm, or maybe it has more to do with the big farming corporations that exist today. But unless younger people get involved in farming, we risk losing farms all together.”  
You can read more about their farm and efforts on their website or follow them on FaceBook.  If you are interests in helping them build their farm visit them at project Olde Haven Farm

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Christmas Letter 2015

Dearest Friends and Family,
I can’t believe it is Christmas time again! I guess twelve months have passed since the last time I sat down and wrote to all of you. We were nestled in the mountains of Southern California enjoying being so close to Grandma and Grandpa Lawhead. Since that time we have been on assignment at Hilo Medical Center on the big island of Hawaii, near home in Newport Oregon, and now after a whopping 4,761 mile drive from our driveway across the United States (the long way) to the Atlantic Ocean at Virginia Beach we find ourselves in the Appalachian mountains in the college town of Charlottesville Virginia. We have seen several states really well and several have just been driven through, but we now can see the finish line with only five states unvisited; Tennessee (which is on the calendar for January), North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Alaska. We are expecting to be done travel nursing this year sometime, but things don’t always go as planned. Now as we travel we are not only missing our family back home, but missing each of the new friends we have met at each assignment. After close to two years of travel nursing I’m sure now that all the amazing places we have visited have not changed us nearly as much as the people we have met along the way.  
Chad, my balance, is amazing at juggling our crazy life. He has picked up some amazing new skills this year including but not limited to thread injecting (masculine form of sewing) some pretty nice looking, sturdy, and comfortable hammocks, speaking some pigeon, and making sushi and spam musubi. And we can’t forget the whole assignment we lived in a hotel that necessitated major crockpot cooking mastery. I thank God every day for Chad. 
Caleb will be eleven next month, I don’t see how that can even be possible. His favorite things in life are Minecraft, Legos, and reading. He is quite excited about the new Star Wars movie coming out soon, growing his own Padiwan braid in preparation for the primer. So far it has been pretty fun having a Jr. Higher in the house. We will keep him, as he is still good for at least two hugs a day although I have to bribe him to get to kiss his cheeks that I used to kiss hundreds of times a day when he was a sweet little baby.
Hannah is eight this year. She is growing up right before our eyes. She is much more studious than her big brother. Getting her ears pierced this last year, cutting off her long hair and starting to carry a purse makes her look so grown up, really, she does act it too. This mama is not ready for her to grow up. She likes to pick out outfits that she thinks are cute, and I am enjoying her girliness. 
Eve, is now a vivacious five year old. She continues to have personality to spare, a big smile for everyone, and a way of becoming instant best friends with each new person we meet. She is eagerly learning to read, maybe a little too eager for me. I suppose it is an exercise in patients and remaining calm. If everyone saw their cup as full as Eve does this world would be one happy place.  
As for me, if you have kept up with our blog there are no secrets. Perhaps I am too open. I don’t really know. I know this adventure has matured me, but has made me perhaps a little too self focused. I wonder if home will ever feel like home again, I wonder what will become of the friendships we have made in our travels. Our travels have not been easy, and have had their “not fun” moments. But I think now and as we look back on the memories we will all agree it has been/was worth it.  
Merry Christmas friends and family we miss each and every one of you. 
Much Love, 

The Owens Family

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Sunday morning and all is well. We followed Bonnie and Lester (Kelby’s parents) to church.  Being the Sunday before Christmas we loved singing the Christmas hymns Eve is amazingly loud and loves to sing.  The problem is she doesn’t know the words to any songs except “Let it Go” she sings all of the time and 99%of the time it is a completely made up first time rendition.  Being quiet through church is also a skill in progress.  I only had to take her out twice for talking in service.  It was cold enough outside that we would go out and I would say I could take her in when she was ready to be quiet and let the pastor do the talking.  The cold weather did all the motivating.  The second time we walked back in to service quietly hoping not to make a scene like we had when I carried her out screaming.  Just then Eve let out a giant belch.  People stifled their laughter and I ducked back in my seat red faced.  After church we enjoyed family dinner at Kelby’s parents house.  The kids were good and the conversation circled to all kinds of topics.  After dinner we helped clean up then headed back out to Old Haven Farm.  We played hand and foot.  The boys spent hours outside in the below freezing weather.  I loved seeing them stay out and get all that fresh air.  I finished our felt Christmas ornaments for this year.  


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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

After a sleep over, the girls with us and they boys with Pam and Kelby, the main thing on the agenda today was the Star Wars movie in the theater 3D.   

 The boys, Pam and Kelby sat in the row in front of us and the girls behind.  Before the movie was over Hannah and Erin shared a seat and Eve was in my lap.  I think the popcorn was gone before the previews were over.  After the movie was over, we braved the craft store and then went back to the farm to have ham and turkey sandwiches and made some brownies.  There was some light flecks of snow but otherwise just cold and sunny.  The kids played out side quite a bit until they couldn’t feel their toes then they came back in.  I worked on the felt Christmas ornaments that I make for the kids each year.  I think the kids must have been over tired from their sleep overs as they argued a bit more than the previous days so we made sure all the kids made it to bed by their bed times today.  

  Beaker was so cute watching the kids play.  

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How Long Until They Are Home

Chad headed to a men’s prayer breakfast with Kelby first thing this morning.  The kids and I managed to find our way back to Olde Haven Farm with out GPS since I had accidently left my phone there the day before.  The kids played as they waited not quite so patiently for the kids to get home from school.  They were watching the clock like a hawk.  After school they helped a bit with the chores and played out side before it was just too dark for that.  Chad and I made lasagna for dinner which was a hit.  The boys wanted to watch the most recent Star Wars movie to get prepared for watching the new release tomorrow so they stayed up late and had a sleep over.  Eryn came with us back to her grandma’s house where the girls were able to stay up until 9:00pm playing dress up.  It is so fun to watch them play together.  We have the perfect combination of kids with all the older ones being boys and the younger ones being girls all close to the same age.   

  The girls painting in the shop.   
  Chad and Kelby on the tractor.  
  Loving on the goats.  
  We fed the pigs three 5 gallon buckets full of apples.  They loved them.    
  Chad and Kelby fell a tree that was dead and starting to rot.  Caleb took the opportunity to play with the axe he chopped all the way through.  The wood was really soft in some places because of the rot.   
  Apple gathering to feed the pigs.  
  These boots Pam let me borrow were so adorable I could hardly handle it.  I think I would love some like this.   

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