Monthly Archives: February 2016

Riding Horses With Marisa

I am loosing track of my days, I think this was the Friday before last.  We finally had a paycheck, after driving across the country and being off a week, we were so very glad about that.  We did some necessary shopping and celebrated with a little Mediterranean food at a Lebanese place reminiscent of the food from our trip to Israel this time of year in 2010.  The kids weren’t a huge fan, but with enough exposure they might develope a taste for it.       
  After lunch we drove by an Adian market and were sad to discover that they were not open.  Oh well, we headed to Uncle Richards as we had made plans to meet up there in the afternoon.  He and Grandpa were at a Dr. appointment, Marisa was home and asked if we wanted to come out to see her horses as the kids had been asking and the timing had not yet been good.   We were definately game for that.  I think I imagined it would be a quick visit, but no.  Marisa is a very excellent teacher.  She taught the kids about the horse, how to approach it, how to walk around it, about brushing and caring for the horse, as well as anatomy and physiology of the horse.  (Really there were three horses, but we spent most of our time with Moose.)  
  We each had a turn to ride with Hannah being first since she had been the first one to ask and the most anticipating this special field trip.   
   She was a little fearful of the unknown so Marisa rose with her at first and then she rode on her own.  
    The pictures are not in order, Caleb rode second and did really well.  We were not really dressed for riding as both Caleb and I were wearing flip flops.   Good thing Moose was such a chill girl. 
     Eve was the most fearful but even she took a turn being lead around solo in the saddle. 

  She loved it most holding the reins with Marisa on the horse with her.   
  I rode next, I think the pictures are down the way a bit.  I haven’t ridden a horse since I was thrown off in June of 2000 and seriously injured my right hip.  I know you are supposed to get back on the horse when you fall off, but it was about a year before I could walk after riding in a car for more than an hour and sleeping laying in that side took several years.  I don’t find that I’m all that afraid of horses but as I get older and bigger as the case may be I get more scared of permanent injury if I were to land on the ground from so high up.  It was good to be back on a horse although it made me feel ginormous 😟.  Chad made Moode look like a little horse.  I don’t think he has ridden too much but he does well.    

 The kids then took turns on another hors, that for some reason I can not remember the name of.  He is only six years old but also very chill and very good with the kids. 

  Grandpa and Uncle Richard caught up with us.  They are quite a pair with Grandpa having three stents placed in his heart the day before and Uncle Richard getting a skin cancer removed from his lip that day.  It was fun to have them join us after their appointments.   

 Thank you Marisa you are amazingly patient and a good teacher we appreciate everything! 

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1st Sick Day

I have been so thankful each week, month, assignment for health.  The whole (almost two years) time we have been traveling I have had a few upset stomaches, and half colds that lingered for a few days, but they have all completely missed my work week due to divine providence I’m sure.  This week Sunday night we had some awesome taco soup cooked all day in the crockpot.  However the beans were a little crunchy…I think I forgot how undercooked beans affect my stomache… Chad and I both were up all night.  Chad had it coming out both ends at once I felt like I was going to throw up but diarrhea was my only real consequence.   My alarm went off at 0415.  And between 0415 and 0440 when I got out of the house 10 minutes late.  I had had to stop to use the restroom 5 times.  It wasn’t looking good.  No sleep, nausea, and there’s-no-way-I-can-stop-it diarrhea.  I was sure that I wasn’t contagious though so I continued on to work.  The diarrhea did not stop though and once I was moving around at work it continued to be a problem.  At around 0800 we called the next person on call to come and take over for me.  She arived at 0845 and I quickly clocked out and drove home.  I slept most of my nausea off waking up around 1500 feeling much better.  Chad decided on a bland pancake dinner which settled pretty well.  I woke up today feeling nearly all better.  Yes I have had to go home sick for the first time since being a traveler, but it makes me still so thankful that my health is in God’s hands and that he has seen fit to hold all disease and sickness at bay.  Thank you Lord for your provision. 

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Saturday Morning Walk/Old Town Temecula 

The tradition when visiting my grandparents in the past was to go to the donut shop while grandma was working next door.  She would take her break and have a donut or coffee with us then go back to work.  Even when it wasn’t tax season we would go to the donut shop at least once..more often usually.  We had not yet made a visit to the donut shop so today was the day.  Saturday is the perfect day for a morning walk to the donut shop.  We figured if we were walking we might as well bring Bart, she would like the walk and we would like the company.   

   After walking around Falbrook most of the morning we took Bart home and headed to Old Town Temecula to walk some more. We enjoyed the shops, the kids favorite things were the antique shops and the highschool ROTC group’s pet rescue.  The liked the cute puppies and holding the snakes.  


 So fun.  After walking around for a couple of hours we headed over to Uncle Richards to visit with Grandpa who had just flown in from Sacramento.  The kids did laps in the pool and we all visited for a while. Before heading back to Fallbrook.

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Coronado Beach

  The day started off with the kids showing me how they like to get Bart, my grandpa’s dog, to sing.  Bart is a bit camera shy so everytime I would try to record the beautiful singing she would stop.  After singing and breakfast of oatmeal we took Bart on a walk through an abandoned lot while discussing what we should do for the day.  Chad and the kids had not left the house in three days since I had the car all day and were eager to go do something.  I, on the other hand, had been gone all day for the last three days and didn’t really want to do anything.  Chad is a pretty social guy and didn’t want to go out by himself as a break from the kids he wanted us all to go.  We enjoyed the abandoned lot, discovering a grapefruit tree, tangerines, a few comquat trees as well as a few very orange looking lemons that kind of baffled us.  The kids proudly packed they’re pockets full of a variety of citrus fruit.  The lot has an old grove with many of the trees all dried up and dead due to lack of water but the few living trees are loaded.  We let Bart off leash a bit.  It really was a fun family jaunt.  





 After our walk we thought we might run to the store as there was a few things we needed to get.  We all piled into the car…shopping wasn’t really the kind of outing we wanted to do…visiting Coronado Beach was.  I had heard several seeks ago about the ship wreck remains uncovered by the recent El Niño storms on the beach of Coronado island.  We decided to take the slow scenic route through Carlsbad avoiding I-5.  It was lunchtime and we were in the process of making dinner plans with our travel nurse friends who just happened to be in San Diego today as well.  Chad parked the car and we walked up the sidewalk to descover the place he had chosen was a sushi place. The first two weeks at an assignment we have to pay everything out of savings.  There is no paycheck and generally a lot of cost involved.  Traveling across the country, setting up housing, hotels and food.  We are lucky here to be staying with family (a first for us.) but still it was a long trip across the country and with the mission trip to Honduras the week before we have had half log out normal income this last month.  Chad and I both had some cash we had saved up.  Chad bought lunch out of his cash and I bought dinner out of my cash it worked out pretty well.  Chad picked out a few kind that looked good and we all shared.  It was the perfect amount.  

 The drive was gorgeous.  We people watched and enjoyed the sun.  I just love the plants in this area too. So beautiful. We arived at the beach an hour after low tide and you could see bits of the ship remains, but with out a bathing suit it was too deep of surf to go out exploring.   

 Hannah sticking her hands through our hug to photo bomb us.

   Eve enjoyed climbing on all the rocks.  


 The kids played for 3-4 hours making ropes out of seaweed, burying eachother and climbing on the piles of rocks, sand, and cement.  

    Family picture in from of the historic Hotel Del Coronado built in 1888 and visited by many presidents, and other famous people in it’s 125 years. 
   We left the beach just befor sunset to meet up with Greg and Belinda Luther at Slater 50/50 for dinner.  Belinda will always hold a special place in my heart as I met her when she was a travel nurse working at Silverton Family Birth Center…my home hospital/unit.  She has been there the whole time to answer many of my questions and point me in the direction of people who could answer my questions.  Dinner was lovely.  It is hard to go wrong with the bacon everything me up at Slater 50/50.  It was a little too loud for visiting, but we managed.    Eve was over tired and unable to control her body.  The fun grandparents that Greg and Belinda are, Eve made quick friends and sat with them for the last little bit.  With her it is a struggle mosttimes.  Are we too strict, or too lenient?  It is hard to know.

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Three on the Floor

My instructions were to report to work at 0545 at the House Supervisor’s office.  GPS said one hour and 10 minutes as the estimated time of my commute, but it was a road I had not yet driven.  I left the house at 0415 the drive was nice, but all in the dark.  Even with the anticipation I found myself feeling sleepy.  I found the House Supervisor easy enough and made it back to my floor in plenty of time for report.  It looks like the base staffing is two nurses at a time and a lot of the nurses do postpartum/nursery only so chances are that most of my days will be filled with labor and outpatients.  The best suprise of the day was to find out I would actually be on day shift.  I do like night shift, but I had no idea how I was going to do the commute on night shift, so this was a major answer to prayer.  My head was pounding most of the day.  Ibuprofen was not cutting it at all.  After work I stopped at Wendy’s and grabbed a frosty and fries before heading west.  I pulled into the driveway at 1959. Threw off my clothes and dove into bed.  The next two days were better, I both packed more food and carried more ibuprofen.  I’m sure my stress level was also less as well as feeling more used to the early hours.  I got in a few outpatients and one postpartum discharge, but no deliveries or baby admissions so I’m sure I will be asking a lot of questions of my buddy for weeks to come.  

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Getting Settled and Valentine’s Day 2016

Getting settled this time has mostly consisted of spending time with family, no need to look up churches or figure out where the closest grocery stores are most of those things we were already oriented to.  The kids already had made friends with the neighbor kids last time we lived in the area.  I had a name badge being overnighted to me as well as a n Amazon order of the correct color of uniforms otherwise a few days of family and rest were in order.  Below Hannah, Marissa and I made hotchocolate with peeps marshmallows one night.  Uncle Richard, Grandpa and Marissa made carne asada tacos for dinner. After which we enjoyed the minion movie together.  
    Grandpa told the kids they could have all the lemons they want off of the lemon tree which has lead to glass after glass of lemonade followed by a lemonade stand.


   During the lemonade stand Eve decided to slip through the gate and managed to pick the skinniest spot (she fits easily through most of the gaps) and got her head stuck.  Poor thing was balling and crying out for help. This happens to be the part where the FedEx delivery girl showed up with my name badge, go figure. I tried many times to get either her head back through the opening or the rest of her body through to the outside neither of which was working at all.  I sent a picture to Chad who was thirty miles away at the store.  He promptly called me back thinking he was going to have to rush home to rescue Eve.  I was starting to think that we weren’t going to be able to get her out with out cutting the bars.  Then, Chad had the brilliant idea of wrapping a rope around the bar entrapping Eve and the bar next to it then sticking a stick in it and twisting the bar until there was enough leverage to open up the bars enough to get her out.  Getting a rope and pipe out of the garage I had Eve out in just a few minutes, it totally worked.  She was a little stunned and relieved to still have her ears after all of those attempts to free her.   

    Sunday was Valentine’s Day so after church we decided to celebrate by going to the beach in Oceanside not too far away.  There were a few dining options all expensive, we decided on Joe’s Crab Shack all five sharing two crab boil pots.  It was good, and that made it within our budget.
   The building above is Joe’s Crab Shack it had a lovely view.  
  After lunch we played at the beach for a short time.  I was being cautious about the time as I wanted quiet time to mentally prepare for this first week of work.  

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Feels Good To Be Back In California

  Thursday 2/11/16 we crossed the boarder into California stopping shortly at Joshua Tree National Park to stretch our legs.  We would have liked to look around more (and we will go back), but the kids were chomping at the bit to see Grandpa and didn’t want us to stop for any reason.  We would be passing my new hospital so we got off the freeway and took that detour.  Finding the maternity ward entry and checking out the view from there…awesome.  
 San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital. It took some practice to say it right and luckily I did get it down before my first day at work.  Grandpa texted that he was at Uncle Richards house so we adjusted our destination on GPS and updated him with our estimated time of arrival.  He let us know that he was standing out in the street awaiting our coming. Seriously, you’ve gotta love this guy.  We were over ten minutes out and who knows how long he had been out there.  Way to make us feel loved.  Sure enough when we arived he was out front standing in the street leaning on his car watching down the road.  I am such a lucky girl to have him as my grandfather, so so blessed.  It was about 1:00pm out car was thrashed from a weeks worth of driving and let’s face it…we practically live in our car.  The kids needed to get some energy out so with in the hour they had found their swimming suites and despite the not so warm temperatures in the pool (the temperature outside was fabulous but the pool temp was probably in the low 70’s) the kids were in swimming and playing with the dogs.  We visited and watched them play.  Sending a picture to Uncle Richard to encourage him to come home to us sooner.  


 We went for a short walk after the kids got out of the pool.  The kids ran ahead of us.  Uncle Richard had a meeting and would be in later, so we talked about heading to Grandpa’s house and unloading the car.  Grandpa who had committed to staying and having dinner with Richard was sad that we would leave, hopeful that we would stay with him to wait so we abliged him in that request.  Really I was only thinking about leaving because I though the kids still restlessness was possibly bothering him, but obviously it was not.  We made pizza dinner plans and had our order already filled out to submit online the minute we got the text that Uncle Richard was headed home from work (45 minutes- one hour away).  We submitted it and the pizza beat him to the house by maybe five minutes probably less.  Marissa joined us for dinner and we visited.  It was getting late Eve fell asleep in my arms.  We decided there was no way the car would get unloaded today.  Getting into Grandpa’s house around 10:00pm after getting up at 05:40 and such a long journey.  We were tired and all just found beds and crashed. 


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Saguaro National Park and Heidi’s Birthday

I love Saguaro cacti!  They are so unique and so ginormous. Besides that they make me feel like I’m finally in Arizona.


 After the park we enjoyed miles of awesome old retired military planes. Even one Guppy!  

   I wish I could just go walk around in their and check out all the planes. 
We scored a sweet deal on lemonade and needed up going back and getting more.  I think we bought 9 of them.  

 We got into Phoenix at rush hour of course because that is how we roll.  But, still we made pretty good time.  It is my cousin Heidi Marie’s birthday, we were excited to see them and celebrate together.  We loved dinner at Applebees and just happened to be there on their kids $.99 day. Yay.  She isn’t a fan of people singing to her so we didn’t do the restaurant singing and bringing cake thing and we were pretty much all too full for dessert.  We stood outside and talked while the kids played.   




 After dinner we put the kids to bed.  Hannah got to sleep with Crystal as long as they both didn’t make a peep since it was a school night and it was kind of late.  Eve was crushed to not get to have a sleep over with the girls but she generally lasts about .2 seconds before she just can’t help but to talk, so she had to sleep in the room with us.  It appears to take so much more work for her to control her body and actions than the older two ever.  When the kids were asleep we visited down stairs.  Heidi pulled out a box and handed a photo album to me.  I immediately recognized that the photos were from our Erope trip in August of 2000.  I was a sophomore in college (we are only 7 months apart in age) at the time and already planning to marry Chad so I was surprised at how young we looked.      


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El Paso Movistar and James

I didn’t think too much about cellular service when we chose our driving routes. As we neared El Paso yesterday the little connection/service indicator in the upper left corner of my iPhone that usually says LTE, 4G, or AT&T all of the sudden said Movistar. What is Movistar? I am handicaped when looking up things on Chad’s phone and I couldn’t use mine so we hot spotted off of his phone which didn’t say Movistar so I could look it up on google. It is an internet/wifi server for Mexico. It was about that time when I recieved this text.   
 Nice, I do not want to have to pay international rates for anything when I am not out of the country. We let Chuck and Donna know (we share a cellular plan) and once we were all the way in El Paso the LTE came back. Chuck called AT&T and just incase they added Mexico to our plan for this month for free. In El Paso we stayed with a friend who lived with our family for about two years between life into drugs and Teen Challenge. Things have not been strait or easy in James’ walk with Christ.  We have not seen him since 2002 and in that time he has struggled with Meth use, homelessness, then reinlistment and deployment to Iraq followed by PTSD, anxiety and depression.  A slew of hard things that took him to a place of calling on God and finally relinquishing control followed by perfectly timed provision, strength, and the companionship that comes with a relationship with Christ.  About two weeks ago we let Him and his wife Patti know that we would be coming through El Paso and would love to have dinner with them.  (They had been inviting us to come visit) We had planned on getting a hotel no matter what, but they kept insisting that we stay with them and save ourselves the expense of the hotel.  It became apparent that this was a trust issue.  James wanted us to trust him, and we needed to trust God.  This was important to James, and we did trust God to protect us and our family.  We agreed to stay the night with them.  

As we drove across Texas we updated them with our location and ETA you could tell in the response that James was nurvous he wanted everything perfect from having the snacks on hand that the kids would like, to what we would eat for dinner and the sleeping arrangements.  I told him to stop stressing or I would through walnuts over the book shelf at him which is something my sisters and I resorted to to get him out of bed the first Christmas he lived with us.  We found his place no problem with the help of GPS.  We spent all of dinner time until about 10:30pm reminiscing a lot of funny stories from those to years with a lot of laughter a few not so funny memories mixed in.  It was funny to hear an (at the time) outsider’s interpretation of our family and a lot of the things that were not out of the ordinary for us were very fascinating to them.  He remembers us shutting off the hot water when he was showering (the guy took the longest hot showers ever 😋), we all ganged up on him and tried to give him a swirly and broke the toilet seat (we were really just going to get him there and not really out his head in the water I promise and yeah we went through a few toilet seats for this reason),  hiding all the flavors of twin pops except the purple ones which he didn’t like, taking the bowl of ice cream he dished up as he put the container back in the freezer, he would dish up another and the next person would take that one until there was no one left that wanted ice cream.  The list goes on and on and on.  We all slept well and comfortable, there was a sweet little snack bar in each of the rooms  as well as bottled water…I do not have the hostess gene I do wish I did but I don’t think like this. 

 Of course the kids were up at 6:00am but stayed in their room until 7:00am although they were not quiet.  We were able to visit with Patti more in the morning.  She only speaks Spanish so we were able to practice our Spanish a bit.  The eggs and potatoes for breakfast were wonderful.  We visited, laughed, talked story and watched the kids perform “Let It Go” until we had to leave.  

   Silly pick with the wig.  We are so glad we visited and so glad we stayed.  It was so nice to meet you Patti, Thank you both for everything. 

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Few Texas is a BIG State

Ok, I know Alaska is bigger but having driven from one corner to the next today I can tell you it is a long ways across the state of Texas.  

This morning we were up and on our way early.  Ok we weren’t really on our way.  I was so blessed to have coffee with a fellow nurse that I went to school with at NNU.  We were a small class and practically lived together the last two years of college (nursing is a pretty intense program, you get to know your classmates well).  With similar interests in labor and delivery as well as midwifery It was good to meet up for coffee this morning in Houston before getting on the road.  After our coffee date we got on the freeway and turned our noses west.  We had friends who we were visiting in El Paso and we didn’t want to get into town too late. The scenery gradually changed throughout the day.  I was waiting for the ugly, boring desert, but it never came.  I loved seeing the trees slow to a stop, the Yucca start up.  The prickly pear a pleantiful as well as the change in altitude and topography.  The flat forever/slow rise in altitude gave way to buttes and plateaus.  It all made me miss Monument valley.  I love that place. San Antonio was nice, it appeared nice at least.  We would have loved to check out the Alamo and look around some, but if we have learned anything on this trip it is that the people we visit are way more important than the places we see.  The kids did well and we made good time, Texas was amazing and yes I thought it all was beautiful.  We are getting so much closer to California.

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