Sunday, July 20, 2014

23 Pictures

Today is my birthday. I am now 23 years old. Crazy, eh? In honor of becoming this outstanding age, here are 23 lovely little photographs from my past year. They are not organized according to how things happened and I apologize for repeats from past posts. 

1. Trotting around Europe with these lovely people. It was indescribably amazing. 
2. I love wild and crazy friends. It adds a certain spice to my life. 
 3. I went skiing. Twice. And caught cold and was sick for a good long time. 
 4. Drove my beloved 'Melvin' around. That car. The cause of a lot of stress in my life because of certain random breakdowns. But I'm quite attached. 
5. My church moved into a new building. This is from the dedication. Something I love about Cornerstone is that there is a lot of prayer. This year I saw so many different prayers answered. It's changed my life. 
6. Shopping with the coworkers. Truly love these girls!!!
7. One of my best friends ever. Jess is an inspiration to me and I trust her with my deepest darkest secrets. 
8. I went to New York for a wedding and got to see old friends and make new ones. My favorite thing to do. 
9. I had a lot of ice cream and coffee and work de-stressing with this pal. We are actually 6 years apart, but our hearts are the same age. =) Sherri is one of a kind.
10. Jamming after church. Because my church is cool like that. 
 11. I can't tell you how much I love my friends. Beka is one I couldn't live without.
12. Sylvia...we've known each other for probably the longest of all my friends. And Sophia and Sarah are perfect baby size, aren't they???
13. A snowy afternoon picture. Believe me, there was a LOT of snowy afternoons this winter. 
14. There were a few evenings in which we all got together and played volley ball. 

15. Shopping with my little friends. Both of them. =) 
16. I worked. A lot. Still doing that. Some days are good. Some days are bad. 
17. Out with the pals. Some of my best memories are with these girls. 
 18. My sister got married. We all got dressed up. Here are the results. 
 
 19. A quick weekend visit to these folks. 
 20. My friend and her baby. Both adorable.
21. I spent a lot of time with these people. Especially my sister-in-law. My brother was incredibly smart to have married her. 
22. My family. We laugh a lot. Over inappropriate things. We fight a lot too. But then we start laughing again. 
I don't know what this year will be like. No idea, in fact. But there are amazing possibilities out there. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Independence Day

I know, it's been over a week since the 4th of July, but here are a few pictures of my day. 
In the forenoon my siblings and I went to a small town parade. My brother had one of the 'floats' with his diesel repair shop. 
 A couple of us kids.
I had to work the dinner shift. Because people still want to eat, even on holidays. Afterwards my fellow coworker friend and I went to Walmart, bought a quart of ice cream and some plastic spoons and ate it out in the parking lot. Yay for freedom!!! =) 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

In Which I Sing

This past week there was a Christian music camp going on at a local church. I was working and couldn't make it to classes, but I joined the mass choir that practiced in the evenings. My voice is nothing great, trust me, but I love singing. 
There was a dress code. You had to wear a dress to practices. Not having any, I borrowed a couple from some Amish coworkers. It was incredibly...interesting wearing amish dresses. For one thing, they can't have zippers. I had to have help several times to get those things on and off. My head had the hardest time getting through the little neck hole. 
I added the belt to make it look a little dressier. Plus I wear belts whenever possible.
I have very few pictures from the week. We sang and sang and sang. But, after the practices, there was always something fun to do. 
The one night a bunch of us coworkers had a sleepover. Since I was already wearing the dress, one of them lent me her cap and I became all the way Amish. =) (That's Leah, my good friend, next to me.)
Another night there was a volley ball game with old friends. This is Sharla and Sue.
One evening my friend Jess and I went shopping after practice and found this little guy. He looks slightly freaked out. Minions!!!
I stole this off her face book page, but here is Jess and Rosanna. A bunch of us choir members went out for coffee one evening. I love these girls. Aren't they gorgeous?!
This was the night of the concert. Sherri was very supportive and came to hear me/us!!! The concert itself was SO MUCH fun. I'll always be glad I joined. And always wish I had some more pictures to show for it.
Jess. Truly an amazing human being. She was also the one who convinced me to give the choir a try. 
Two more lovely people...Katrina and Bekah; they keep me laughing.
 As well as keeping me young. (Acting it, anyway.)
And that's all the pictures I have to show for such and amazing week.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

5 Friends and a Bug

This was from a few weeks ago when one of our friends was leaving for a two month mission trip. 
 I love these girls. We have so many laughs together.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

In Honor of The Mother

Here is my Mom with all 13 of her kids. Yup...we all (mostly) inherited her gorgeousness, wit and spunk.
Here is basically the same photo, but with the significant others stuck in it.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014

Foster Care

It's been 3-4 years now that I've been a babysitter for a foster mother. (Since I began a full time job as waitress, it's been less often.) This Mother has 2 of her own children and a big heart. So she and her husband have been doing foster care for several years. 
You wouldn't believe the sad stories of some of these children. From starvation to sexual abuse to abandonment, they all have stories that make you want to cry. The look in the eyes of a 2 year old who is confused about where she is and to whom she belongs breaks your heart.

The kids who stayed the longest were Kylie and Kayden; half siblings. They were very attached to each other and were very trusting to anyone who was nice to them. They had their foster mom and their real mom and didn't seem to have a clear idea of which one was which. I took care of them for over a year, until they were returned to their birth Mother.
I was blessed to watch them grow and change in that time.
Kylie, soon after she arrived and the month she left.
 
Kayden, who barely could hold his head up after having been kept in a car seat for the first 9 months of his life. As you can tell by his older picture, he was extremely mischievous.








Look how much they changed in 2 years!!

My friend, Sylvia, also helped babysit and was, in fact, better at it then me. =) We got a Christmas picture with them in 2012. The boys second from left and on the far right are the children of the foster mom. The baby is Kaya, sister of the Kylie and Kayden.

Occasionally the pair would spend the night at my house and play with the little brothers, much to the delight of  all.  
They went back to their birth mom and baby sister last year. Sadly, that didn't turn out and they were taken away again. So, they are back with the foster family for an undetermined amount of time. Glad as I am to see them again and watch them grow up, it's so sad to know their story and realize they have never known a stable life.

Imagine never knowing if you will be in the same home a week from now. And being passed from family to family and made to adapt. It's no wonder that they are confused about who is family and who isn't.

It IS hard to do foster care. Not just all the paperwork involved, but the fact that you get attached to the children and they can be taken away at a moments notice and you might never see them again. There is also the needs that they all have. The emotional damage as well as health problems from their former lives don't just go away with the loving care you give them. 

 Still, I believe that whether you have the children for a week or a year, you can touch their lives. And you never know, it may be the only safe and bright time in their lives. 
So, to whoever is doing foster care or adopting a child, you are my heroes!!!

"See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven."
Matthew 18:10