Saturday, December 27, 2008

Life at Home

I've been neglecting my blog for a little too long. For that, I apologize.

To fill you in on what's been happening, I am now at home. And what an adventure that turned out to be. I ended up being stuck overnight in the Omaha Airport the night I was supposed to fly home because of freezing rain. Luckily I had a friend with whom to pass away the long hours. I finally got home Friday morning, around 10:45, and headed straight to my chiropractor (a night on a concrete floor doesn't do my back much good). From there, we headed home to drop off my luggage (which I had to pay for twice...grrrr) and then off to the oral surgeon to have all 4 of my wisdom teeth removed. Welcome home Tammy!!! I really can't complain though. I healed very quickly, and was off of the pain meds after only a day and a half (and I didn't turn into a swollen chipmunk).

Since then, I've worked a couple days, and served my jury duty without having to report :D

We had our family Christmas party this past Monday, which is always a ton of fun. Josh and grandpa entertained again this year with their tradition of giving each other wacky, maybe inappropriate, and very funny gifts. I got to see little Cooper, who isn't so little as I had remembered. I can't believe he's almost a year already!! And Carson and Brianna are growing like mad as well. I'm so glad that I get to be home to watch them grow and to spend time with them.

Christmas Eve brought 3 services for me...yes, 3. I'm used to 5, so it was a little strange, but it was nice at the same time.

Christmas day was really good. We opened presents in the morning, and then just spent the day hanging out as a family. It was really relaxing. Then my mom, brother and I headed to my fiance's house to spend some time and have Christmas dinner with them.

I finally finished unpacking and putting my clothes away yesterday. I can only handle complete chaos in my room for so long. Oh...and I finished reading 2:20 this morning. I was reading in my bed, getting ready to settle in for the night, and then the book took a very exciting turn (April, I know you know which part I'm talking about) and there was NO WAY I could put it down until I was done. I tried to pretend like it wasn't that great when I started the book, but I will admit, I am totally hooked!!!

And with that, I must leave you. I'll fill you in again soon.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Going Home

The semester is nearly final today, and then a couple assignments due tomorrow. I cannot believe this semester went by so quickly. And now I'm almost done with being graded...'cause you don't get grades as a student just have to do the work.

It is so weird to think that it has been 3 1/2 years since I started here. Time really does fly right by.

I have so much to do so that I can leave tomorrow. I haven't even started packing my suitcases yet...though I did do my laundry :) I have four boxes of books packed to send home and there are still more books :|

Right now, I'm trying to focus on getting my work finished...and PRAYING that I will be able to fly out tomorrow night (there is snow and ice predicted for Omaha tomorrow) And I'm praying that my surgery goes well Friday morning. I really don't have any time for complications, so let's all pray that everything goes smoothly and recovery is quick.

And now, I must study some more for my final, which is in 2 hours.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

One Awesome Evening

Last night was great. Eric made some amazing chicken noodle soup from scratch (with homemade egg noodles) and Mary made some delicious chili and biscuits for dinner. Maria and Tyler came over to join us. What a fun time hanging out with friends and talking about life...lots of laughs.

Then I headed downstairs and got my paper written. Hallelujah for being done with that. Now I can focus on my Working with Parents homework for the rest of the week.

After completing my paper, I headed back upstairs for a break. As the snow gently fell to the ground, Mary and Eric imparted some wonderful wisdom and advice. We talked about how I'm feeling, with a big transition, moving home, quickly approaching, and another transition, getting married, coming up in a few months. It is so beneficial to me to get little nuggets of wisdom from people who mean so much to me.

I just want to say thank you to Mary and Eric for everything you have done for me these last couple years. I have so appreciated being able to live with you and be a part of your family these last few months. I always knew I could call you if I needed anything, and that has been such a blessing for me. I love you guys!!!!!


Monday, December 1, 2008

Still Here

I am still here...promise!!

I've been away from the internet since last week Tuesday, as I was in Minnesota with my uncle and aunt and cousins (and a complete surprise to my cousins) for the Thanksgiving holiday. We had a great time, though it was a bit sad as this was the last of my 4 years in a row celebrating with them. Since I'm graduating and moving back home, I will be able to spend Thanksgiving with my family at home next year. So, we made the most of our time together this year. I spent hours making jewelery with Amanda, playing the wii with Kenny, quoting The Princess Bride with Uncle Jim, and enjoying good conversation with Aunt Kristi.

I just got back to Orange City last night at 9...just in time for Brothers & Sisters...and then it was homework, sleeping, work, class, work again, class again, cleaning, homework, dinner, some more homework, etc, etc.

And now I'm blogging to please a certain cousin of mine, and to put off homework for just a bit.

I'm down to two weeks of classes and then finals, and then I'm heading home!! I am soooooo ready to back home...even though unpleasantness awaits me. The day after I get home, I'm having all 4 wisdom teeth taken out, and then I have jury duty Christmas week. But I am absolutely definitely looking forward to being back home.

I should probably get back to my homework now. I hope this satisfies some of need of information/updates for some of you. This week is gonna be quite I can't promise much else will go up this week, but I will do better keeping everyone updated.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Ready to Go Home!!

Today, in Orange City, Iowa, the temperature was 30 degrees outside all day long. That wouldn't be completely terrible...except that it felt like 17 DEGREES...17 degrees people...and that is officially what it felt like (completely accurate as stated by My grandpa called, asked if it was cold, and laughed when I reported the stats to him...he laughed! It has been consistently in the 80's and 90's at home the last several weeks. Though I will miss being here, I am oh so ready to go home where I can wear my sandals year round :D

That is all.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Father Knows Best

So...two posts in one day...crazy...I know.

This is a post that I put up on my myspace last year. I'm seriously considering getting rid of my myspace, but I didn't want to lose this post. So I thought I'd put it up here and share it with all of you.

Originally written 2-24-08

Original Title: The Father Knows Best

God never ceases to amaze me!!!! He knows exactly what you need in every aspect of your life, exactly when you need it.

This week has been incredible for me, despite being insanely busy with school work. Let me share with you.

1) Due to situations that meant that I didn't have to work on Wednesday, I was able to do some much needed preparation for a test, as well as go to chapel for the second time all semester. The president of my school was the speaker for the day, and he talked about listening for God's call in your life, and choosing to follow His call rather than trying to follow your own plan for life. I felt as though he was speaking directly to me. I am in a place of truly looking for God's call on my life, and this message was an incredible encouragement. We ended the chapel service singing the hymn Here I Am, Lord. Here are the lyrics:

I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard My people cry.
All who dwell in dark and sin,
My hand will save.
I who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear My light to them?
Whom shall I send?

Here I am Lord, Is it I Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go Lord, if You lead me.
I will hold Your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have born my peoples pain.
I have wept for love of them, They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone,
Give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak My word to them,
Whom shall I send?

Here I am Lord, Is it I Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go Lord, if You lead me.
I will hold Your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of wind and flame,
I will tend the poor and lame.
I will set a feast for them,
My hand will save
Finest bread I will provide,
Till their hearts be satisfied.
I will give My life to them,
Whom shall I send?

Here I am Lord, Is it I Lord?
I have heard You calling in the night.
I will go Lord, if You lead me.
I will hold Your people in my heart.

The chorus of this song is my life right now. I'm looking at the future, and leaving it all to God to take me where he wants and needs to use me to further His kindgom.

2) Sometimes, you need a health dose of drama to strengthen a relationship. I got that this week, and I am so thankful for it.

3) Today has been incredibly stressful, because I have two huge projects due tomorrow. Being that it is technically still winter, and I am in the artic tundra that is Northwest Iowa, one of my projects got moved back from tomorrow to Wednesday because one of my group members is a commuter and, due to horrible weather and road conditions forcasted for tomorrow, she may not be able to make it. So, as much as I HATE when the weather is gross, it is a huge blessing for me right now. Because the one project got moved back, I've been able to focus more on my other project and be a bit less stressed.

Basically, I don't know what I would do without God and His omnicient timing. I am so blessed to be a daughter of the King!!


I Carry Your Heart With Me

So...I'm feeling a bit sad today. My best friend, Stacey, who was here visiting for the week, left this afternoon. We had a great time just relaxing and hanging out, but I am definitely sad to see her go. I have just another month before I will be heading home for Christmas break and for the whole second semester of this year to student teach. While right now I am so deeply missing those I love at home, I'm starting to realize that it is going to be a difficult transition. I've spent the majority of my time the last four years building relationships with people I have grown to love. So while I'm missing everyone at home right now, I am going to sooo miss all of my friends here while I'm home next semester. I found this poem and thought it was appropriate both for now, while I'm missing home, and for a month from now, when I'm missing my great friends.

Read and know that I carry your heart with me wherever I go. I love you all!!!!

i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

ee cummings


Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hilarious and Super Adorable!!!

One of my friends found and posted this video on facebook.  I know the election is done now, but I still think it's great.

Sooo...turn up your volume and enjoy
p.s. Listen closely for indivisible :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Fun

I didn't dress up this year...and I haven't for the last couple years...but Halloween was a blast!!!

My awesome dad decided to send a Halloween cookie decorating kit for Mary and I to do with Izzo and Truby. We got the package and Iz was soooo excited to see a picture of a kittie cookie. "Are the kittie cookies for me??" (said with wide open eyes and a look of pure excitement) Here are a couple pictures from our decorating experience.

Excited to get started

Mom has applied the frosting, and now Isabel is in charge of the decorating.

During the process of decorating the cookies, Isabel decides we should call my dad to say thank you for the cookies. I call him up on and put the phone to her ear. She says thank you and tells him she's having fun...and then shoves a handful of black sprinkles into her mouth. The next picture is what resulted.

For Halloween night, Isabel was dressed as a kitten, but if you asked her what she was, she would quickly respond, actions and all, "I'm a scary kitty". Truman was an adorable ducky.

Here's the "scary Izzo kitten"

The adorable Truman ducky

Me and the kiddos

Cookies, costumes, and candy...what more could a kid ask for?!?


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Charlie the Sock Puppet

I've finally figured out how to get the pictures put into posts...YAY!!!! Now the fun can truly begin. I've had this post written for quite some time...and now you can all read it in it's completed and all.

I know...I know. You've all been waiting somewhat impatiently to hear all about this sock puppet named Charlie. Well...ladies and gentlemen...I would like to introduce you to.....


Little Miss Izzo was having a bit of a rough day, so I had the bright idea of distracting her with this sock puppet. I made him my sophomore year at Northwestern for a Theology group project (we did a puppet show). I wasn't using him, so I wasn't worried about him getting dirty or having pieces torn off or even getting lost. He was a HUGE hit!!!! Later I asked Izzo if she thought he needed a name. She said yes and then proudly declared, "His name is Charlie! That's a silly name!" This was followed with lots of giggling.

Here is Izzo...

The Puppet Master!!

A couple days later, she acquired a small plastic and fabric bouquet of purple flowers. They slowly transformed from being a "birthday present" for "Mimi Hoppy Bull Frog" to being Charlie's food. One by one, she pulled each flower off of it's stem and placed it with an excited grin into Charlie's mouth. Charlie, who is normally brought to life by my hand and silly voice, chews it up and promptly and loudly spits the flower back out. The cycle continues.

Oh the joys of being a child, when the simplest things can bring hours of entertainment.


Friday, October 24, 2008


I get to see her tomorrow in Sioux City...and I'm just a bit excited!! I was talking to my friend Jill in class today and she told me she and our other friend Sarah are going to see Palin tomorrow. Then she asked if I wanted to go...of course I she checked with Sarah...and they had an EXTRA TICKET!!!! Oh, this is exciting.

I'll try to get some good shots and post them up here if I can.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Taking the Plunge

This weekend, I am going on and Urban Plunge mission trip to Omaha with a group of students from my school. (We're leaving in just under an hour!!!) I am really excited about this weekend.
We will be spending time working with 8 or 9 different ministries which make an impact on different urban issues (i.e. the homeless, those in prison, children coming from single-parent or poor households, etc.) So it will be a very packed weekend for me. My hope is that through this trip I will learn to see things, people and issues in particular, through God's eyes. That I would be transformed and become truly passionate about the things that God is passionate about, and that my heart would be stirred. I'm excited to be out of my comfort zone, even for such a short period of time. I plan on keeping a journal of sorts for the weekend, whenever I get a chance to jot down a thing or I'll let you know how it all goes.

It is our midterm break this weekend, so we won't be back until Monday afternoon. And then Tuesday, I'm spending all day in and ESL (English as a Second Language) Kindergarten classroom in Sioux City. I am super excited about that too. I get to spend the whole day with children, and I get to glean information and teaching strategies, and maybe a few resources, from an amazing teacher.

I hope you are all blessed in whatever you have going on for the weekend. I'll update you after I get back and debrief a bit.


P.S. There is still a blog coming about the amazing and incredible Charlie the Sock Puppet. I really want to include pictures for you, but I'm having some trouble. So once that is all figured out, it will be here for your reading enjoyment.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

An Irish Blessing for YOU!!!

My grandpa sent me an e-mail this morning. In it, I was instructed to click on the link and make sure my volume was turned up. When I followed these very simple instructions, I was blessed. This was probably one of the most beautiful things I have seen, heard, and read for quite some time now. It made me cry...happy tears of course. And it's something that I believe should be spread around to all those I love. I figured blogging about it was the easiest way to get it to all of you.

Here's the link:

I hope you are blessed by this as much as I was.


P.S. Soon to come...a blog about Charlie the sock puppet. :D

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Life at Home

Sorry it's been a few days since the last post. MY BAD!! back home in California doesn't seem to be going terribly well for my family lately.

Monday afternoon, my dad let me know that my grandpa was being admitted into the hospital because he had a low blood count. A count of 8.6 to be exact. That's not good when a person's blood count should be at about 13. So, he had to stay overnight and received three blood transfusions. He's home and feeling better now, but this is something he will have to deal with constantly. They know he has bleeding somewhere (they think the small intestines) that is causing the blood loss, but there isn't anything they can do for it. So now he has to evaluate how he's feeling and go in to get transfusions when he starts to see the signs that he's a lost some blood.

Since the middle of this summer, my dad has been dealing with some major major back pain. It is so bad that for the last two and a half months he has been living on pain pills, and not getting anywhere near enough sleep. We found out a few weeks ago that every single disk in his back is bulging by 5 mm. Great...send him to the orthopedic surgeon and get it fixed right. Wrong!! The surgeon told him that he wouldn't operate until the disks were bulging 8mm or more. So what's the solution?? See a pain management specialist and get epidural shots in his back. Sweet...make the appointment and get it done right. Wrong again!! The pain management doesn't have an appointment available for another 3 weeks. In the meantime, my dad is still going to work for a full 8 hour day, and then going to the college to work on recruiting, and STILL not getting any sleep. How he keeps going, I'm not sure.

Both of these men are incredible inspirations to me. My grandpa has been through a TON over the last few years, yet keeps his eyes trained on God and trusts that His plan is for the good. My dad is in so much pain, and still keeps working to provide for the family and take care of his athletes at the college.

If you feel so inclined to keep these two men in your prayers it would be oh so much appreciated.


Friday, September 12, 2008

Finally a Night with the Girls!!!

Soooooo...I haven't gotten to spend too much time with my girlfriends since I've been back in Iowa. So sad! But tonight was a ton of fun with Haley and Heidi.

We start with some delicious Chinese cuisine for Haley and I at the fantabulous Scheshwan Inn. (Yes, we do have Chinese restaurants...that's right, restaurants, plural, two to be our small Dutch town. We got there just in time to be seated before the rush made its way in.

Next we headed back to campus and Heidi joined us to go to a concert...for FREE!!! The free part was good...but the band was what made it so much fun. AG Silver is a rock band made up of four guys from Holland, MI. Let's just say they aren't lacking in the personality department...AT ALL!!! We got to enjoy lots of interesting facial expressions, and an awesome new version of the theme song to "Fresh Prince". Oh, and I can't forget to mention their opener, Josh Schicker. This was the second time I'd seen him (he was on campus a couple years ago). He sang some new songs, and a few off the cd I have of his. Pretty sure I was the only one singing along...but I enjoyed every minute of it :)

After the amazing concert, we headed back to Haley's house to watch Vantage Point, which we all wanted to see when it came out in theaters, but none of us actually saw it. So we figured tonight was the perfect night. Good Movie!!! But you have to pay attention to all the little details...not a movie to watch if you're tired or you don't want to think.

Now I'm home, and it's just a bit late, so I'm thinking I should maybe head to bed. Otherwise, I may not be such good company for Mary at the Farmer's Market tomorrow morning. So goodnight all.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Live, Laugh, Love

Over used phrase...I know, I know. But if you think about it, it's really a good motto for life. You have to live the life you have, and things aren't always going to go as you thought they were. They may go terribly wrong. But I've realized that it is so much easier to find something to laugh at in the situation than it is to pout and complain and stress. Once you're in a better mind frame, you can probably come up with a solution to whatever problem you may have. Then, when you have your new plan, you can go on living life again.

And love, I don't think life is really worth living if you don't have love. Love from God, love from family, love from friends, love from that special someone :) Love from anyone, and for anyone. I think the Beatles got it right when they said, "all you need is love" :D

On a fun note, wedding plans may begin to progress soon (sooooo exciting). A date could be decided on in the very near keep your eyes and ears open.

The third week of school is half way done!!! And I only have 5 more class periods of Art for Elementary Education (a 3 hour class on Wednesday nights...ick!!!!!) Super-duper excited for that one, for sure. All of this means I am that much closer to going home.

I know it's hard to imagine for all my family and friends in big cities...but life is never dull in small town of Orange City. There's always school work, and my two campus jobs to keep me busy...And then there's living in a house with two small children whom I love as if they were my niece and nephew...oh so entertaining :D I'll dedicate a blog sometime in the future to stories about my Izzo and Truby...they're lots of fun.

Sleep is now calling my name...class at 7:45 in the morning kinda puts a dent in what most people would call the normal sleep patterns of a college student. But I guess, in reality, I should be transitioning out of that sleep pattern anyways (not that I ever really conformed to it in the first place). And now I'm going to cease my ramblings and put an end to this post. Hope it finds you all doing well.


Monday, September 8, 2008

It's More Reflective of Me Now makes me happy :) I like this background much better than the old template. (Thanks bunches Mary & April) So today has been another normal Monday. Work, chapel, class x2, work again, and head home. I can't believe I'm already starting the third week of classes...the time is flying by.

We (the Arteche's and me) enjoyed an adventure filled weekend with Doug and Jody (Mary's parental units) YAY for freezing cold Farmer's Market, Pumpkinland visit x2, and delicious birthday carrot cake for Doug.

Well...seeing as it is a school night...and I have a meeting to go to in an hour...I'm thinking I should get a start on some homework.

Thanks for visiting!!


Friday, September 5, 2008

New to the Game

So....I have broken down and started a blog of my own after much encouragement from a certain cousin, and seeing how much fun it can be from a few friends. I can't guarantee how consistent I'll be with posting...but I'll make an honest effort. Hopefully sometime soon...after some exploring...I will be able to customize the blog and make it a bit more exciting and reflective of me. So...for those of you who actually read this...I will hope to fill you in a bit on my life in my next posting.

P.S. In case you don't know Spanish...or you do, but aren't quite sure why my url is in Spanish...the url of "adventuresofmylife" was already I opted for the Spanish version of the same phrase :)