Monday, December 29, 2008

Please Pray for a Baby

PLEASE pray NOW for a little baby named Stellan. He is a newborn and is in the hospital NICU after contracting RSV (respiratory virus). They are holding off a little longer before they put him on a ventilator - so PLEASE pray that he turns the corner tonight! He has been through so much in his short little life, and this is a hard one for their family. You can read their story through the link on my sidebar: "My Charming Kids."


Saturday, December 27, 2008


Papa and Nana's house!

Papa and Nana at the park

Christmas Cacti singing "O Holy Night"

Desert beauties

Kids enjoying the sun....

Our first night in Arizona - Christmas dinner!

Present time!

Mom took a nap in the sunshine. Ahhhhhh....

The kids took a ride to the community center. The neighborhood Papa and Nana live in is part of a master planned community with lots of amenities.....

The kids at the neighborhood park. Ben begged Papa to drive him over in the golf cart to to play. :)

The kids at a prehistoric ruins site called "Casa Grande."

Ben in his "room" (Nana and Papa's walk-in closet) with Toby

The fam on Papa's golf cart again - probably the highlight for Ben. Mel even got to drive it!

What we came home to - a Christmas we won't forget!!

BBQ anyone?

Friday, December 26, 2008

We Made It

After a flight delay on Christmas Eve, we made it home. Yay! We arrived too late to attend our church's Christmas Eve service, but we were just so glad to be back. After a quick trip to Taco Bell to fill our tummies we made it home. What a great feeling to walk into our warm home with our Christmas presents waiting under the tree. Our kitty was so happy to see us (she has hardly left my side since we got back).

Ben developed a skin staff infection that we had to see a doctor for in Arizona. We think he had it before we left, so our first task was to disinfect all of our bathrooms and wash all our bedding,just to make sure. Once we had the house cleaned up, I stuffed our stockings. One of our Christmas traditions is to open our stockings on Christmas Eve. Papa and Nana had given us a DVD of a fire in a fireplace, so we put that on as well as some Christmas music and opened our stockings together.

The kids woke up about 7:00 am on Christmas morning. Santa had left a remote control car for Ben and some lighted make-up mirrors for each of the girls. After they messed around downstairs with their gifts, all three kids came and got us up. What a great day of opening gifts and being together! Joe put a pork roast in the crock pot, and we had a yummy Christmas dinner that evening.

We picked up Diego today. After more than a week at the kennel, he was sure glad to see us! I have two little shadows now, who seem a little worried that I'm going to leave them again. If Macy gets left alone at all, she starts meowing this forlorn little meow until we answer her. Poor kitty and doggy!

All in all, it was kind of nice to have missed all of the snow drama here in the Northwest. We had a couple of days of temperatures in the 60's in Arizona, which was fun sitting out on Nana and Papa's patio soaking in the sun. I'm thankful we weren't stranded in an airport with nowhere to go, and had a warm comfy bed at Joe's parents. It's great to have some time off period - and even better to have made it home for Christmas. :)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Adventure

After two days in a row of flights cancelled into Seattle, we are back at Joe's parents in Arizona. The airline is saying we might be able to get home on Christmas Eve morning, but I'm not going to get my hopes up too much because the weather is still bad there. It was a sad thought that we might not be waking up in our own home on Christmas morning to open presents. Amanda and Ben were teary, and I was fighting mine back for their sake. Melanie is happy-go-lucky, and is perfectly happy coming back to Nana and Papa's. I told the kids that whenever we get back, we'll still have our Christmas. I tried to keep them cheered up, and asked each of them if they would like to know what one of their presents are. They thought it was pretty funny, so I told them each one present. Their dad was down at the ticket counter, so I told them it was our secret, and not to tell dad that they knew. :)
I enjoyed the lifted expressions I saw on their faces, and decided to make sure we continue to have fun as long as we're here.

When Papa and Nana came back to the airport to get us, I encouraged the kids to pretend that we were just getting to AZ, and to act like we were just seeing them for the first time. They had fun with that, too.

I told Joe that we should just continue to enjoy the kids and spend time with them just like we would have done at home. The bonus is the wonderful sunshine here, that we can also enjoy! Today, I am taking the girls to see a movie while Joe takes Ben to play at the park. Papa and Nana have a golf cart, and Ben just LOVES taking it out for a ride. Papa even lets him drive. Papa and Nana also have a little Lhasa Apso named Toby who is fun for Ben and all of us. I'm getting to miss my kitty and doggy, though!

Diego is hanging out at the kennel, so he will be taken care of. Our neighbors are taking care of Macy, too......We're doing laundry at Nana and Papa's today, since we ran out of undies! We'll probably get some groceries to help out, since they weren't expecting us to be here this long.....All in all, it's all working out, and we're thankful we're not stranded in an airport like many people are right now. We got to come back to Papa and Nana's, we're all together safe and everybody's OK.

As one blogger reminded me, this time of year is about "Christ"mas. It's about Jesus. And, like I told the kids: the Lord wasn't surprised about what is happening. He knew this was going to take place, and He will take care of us. Everything will be OK.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I'll Be Home for Christmas?

Flight cancelled again. Trying for Christmas Eve morning. Kids sad. Mom sad. Dad sad. Dog in the kennel sad. Kitty home alone sad.

Pray for us.

Stuck in Arizona

Hey from the sun! We are packing up to leave Joe's parents in Arizona, and I would like to ask for your prayers for our return flight. Our flight home yesterday was cancelled due to the severe winter storm in Washington. We will be coming home to several inches of snow I hear, plus freezing rain. We have a 35 mile drive from the airport to home once we get there. So, please pray that #1: we get to fly into Seattle today; #2: safe driving once we get there.

Thanks so much my blog friends!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Got 'Em

I got 'em. My final grades. My little heart is pounding out of my chest.

Abdominal Sonography: 95% A
Abdominal Lab: 89.5% B
Pathophysiology: 89% B


Oh. Here comes the tears....

Christmas In The Northwest

If you haven't watched the video located below this post, I urge you to do so! It's AWESOME. My favorite part is when he says the "people you're supposed to love." HAHAHA! Perfect!

Anyway, Joe and I had a picture-perfect outing to downtown Seattle on Saturday night. It was SUPER cold, so we bundled up in our scarves and gloves, and headed over to the Cheesecake Factory for a delicious dinner. I was in the mood for Famous Dave's grilled salmon, however (I get these things stuck in my head sometimes) - but lo, and behold, the Cheesecake Factory presented their new menu with grilled salmon! They even had onion strings just like Famous Dave's! Mmmmmmmm......Joe and I shared a slice of heavenly Tiramisu cheesecake afterwards. Mmmmmmm again......

After dinner, we walked off some calories shopping a bit downtown. There were so many PEOPLE! And, there were lights everywhere, and a carousel, too. Inside one of the malls, there were choirs singing Christmas music and it was even snowing INSIDE. I got excited, because I bought a memory foam seat cushion at Brookstone. My rear end get so SORE sitting in class all day, and I've been looking for something to sit on. HA! The weird things that make me happy....

Finally, we walked up to the Fifth Avenue Theatre and saw "Seven Brides For Seven Brothers!" We had FANTASTIC seats, and WHAT an awesome show!! We LOVED it.

As we walked out of the theater, it was SNOWING - HUGE, slowly falling flakes. It was a true Christmasy moment, surrounded by all these people, coming out of the theatre, downtown amongst all the lights. So COOL.


A couple of weeks ago, we attended Amanda's concert at the college. She joined the college orchestra this year, and was given a solo part. They performed with the choir, too. OH! It was SO good! They sang REAL, Christian-themed music, which was so wonderful. Some opera singers were invited to come as well, and blessed us with their beautiful voices. I was so pleased to be at a public college's community event, and listen to music with the true spirit of Christmas....


The day after Amanda's concert, we went to our church's Christmas production. It was SO great! Ben was in the service with us, and I loved having my whole family together to worship and share in some more Christmas warmth.....


It has been very cold since Saturday's snowfall, and it's supposed to stay this way for a while. Ben and Melanie played in the snow, and were hoping to get out of going to school today, but nope, it was on schedule. I was kind of hoping they got to stay home too. I'm kind of a kid when it comes to snow and Christmas, can you tell?


I finally made out my Christmas letters and got a picture taken of the kids, so I'm going to be mailing those out today. I've been receiving cards and letters in the mail, and I read every one. We used to post each picture on our refrigerator, but this year, we have a stainless steel fridge, and magnets don't stick to it (and I don't want to stick tape to it, either). So, I put a pretty Christmas plate on my coffee table and put the pics and cards there. My Nana used to do that, and I think it's kind of fancy and special.....


We're going to go to our church's Christmas Eve service, so I'm hoping to have some friends over for cookies afterwards. There's nothing like a Christmas Eve service. I am so moved by it, and enjoy the magic of the night. It's when my heart gets quite still and reflective about God and the awesomeness of His plan when He sent Jesus as that little baby. I don't really have the words, but the Lord and I connect on a special level at a Christmas Eve's very special to me...

I do hope we can make it to the Live Nativity again this year. That would be the icing on the cake......

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Quick Break

I'm taking a quick break from studying to ask for your prayers as I embark on my last four finals. I am most nervous about my Thursday final, so pray for skilled hands and quick thinking will you please?

Amazingly, I am finished with my Christmas shopping. I have done most of my shopping online, plus quick stops on the way home from class. Amazon, Avon, Best Buy and were my friends this year. If I were to have an addiction, it would be to receive packages in the mail. It is so FUN! I proclaim "Santa's elves came!" when a package arrives. And, did you know that a lot of stores have a set-up where you buy stuff online, and then pick it up at the store? I kinda like that idea for the fact that you don't have to fight any crowds to shop - you get to shop at home in your jammies and have the item waiting for you at the front of the store when you're ready to pick it up. It also means no shipping costs - yay!

Another "almost addiction" I have is receiving Christmas cards in the mail. Oh, I LOVE IT!! My favorites are the long letters including pictures. Truly, I live for it at this time of year. I've heard that some people hate reading Christmas letters, but I guess I'm weird that way....

Well, my quick break is over.

Friday, December 5, 2008

One Down

One final down, four more to go....I took my Pathophysiology final on Tuesday and I felt very, very good about it. I think I only missed a few, but then I'm pretty sure I got all of the extra credit correct, so that might make up for what I missed.

Next week I have finals in Abdominal Sonography, Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation, Cross-Sectional Anatomy and Abdominal Sonography Lab.

I'm quite nervous about my Lab final. We will given six images to scan, and fifteen minutes to do it. We will not know who we will scan ahead of time, which means no practice time on that person. I will have a teacher sitting there watching my scanning techniques, and then judging my images afterwards for their clarity, etc. I'm scared!

So, again, if you think of me, I could use your prayers!