Thursday, March 8, 2012

in language there is life, and in language there is death

not too much to write, so this will be a quick update.

mostly it has been training classes all week.  i was assigned my new temp team and temp team leader with kyleigh. i was worried, but i love my team.

prior to coming, i read a lot about the wildfire fire team.  that is, one-two teams at each region were to be trained wildfire firefighters.  to even be eligible for the team, you had to submit a letter of intent and pass a pack text.  the pack test consists of walking 3 miles in under 45 minutes with a 45 pound pack on. many do not pass because it is so difficult.  i came into this experience wanting to get the most out of it i could and not regret anything.  i signed up to take the pack test...and last night, i completed it in 44 minutes and 11 seconds.  i was so pround of myself i teared up.  i have never pushed myself so hard phycially and it was such an amazing accomplishment.  it was the hardest and most strenuous thing i have done to date.  there were even some guys who did not make it!

there are only 20 spots and about 37 of us have passed.  i should find out tomorrow if i made it onto a team.  after the pack test last night i overheard many people saying they only came here to be a part of the fire team, others that they plan on going back home to join their fire department.  hearing all these things made me feel guilty. not because i don't want to be on the fire team, because i do.  but i don't want it as bad as some others and i would be so perfectly happy if i didn't make it (especially if i was put back on tims team for my permanent one!) i pulled aside my temp team leader and let her know all this. not that i was resigning, just that if it came down to me and someone who wants nothing more than to be on the team than i wouldnt be upset if i didnt make it.  either way...i am so proud of myself :) i have no pics to upload today, and the lights keep flickering with an approaching storm so i am going to save this before my computer dies! sorry, so spell check!

love you all!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

yeaaah buddy

funny story, but apparently last night at this bar in town the rapper who sings ice cream paint job was having an after party there. its funny because this town is smaller than cape!

don't judge, but i sort of forget where i left off last blog!  i will start by saying that the plumbing has been fixed...yes! i would go day by day but the days have all blended together.

i have bonded with each of my team members, and my team leader.  we had a lot of training this week. some fun, some not so much.  one of the highlights was the diversity training where we went through how to work with people of different disabilities (this-ability).  we had a safety class which thoroughly freaked me out.  did you know the amount of poisonous snakes and spiders and stray animals with rabies? ugh...needless to say i felt like i was jonesin during the glass cause i kept scratching.
the team in its entirety

on friday nccc as a whole went to the Buelah National Cemetery.  this is the oldest african american cemetery in vicksburg, with tombstones dating back to WWI.  The city does not have funds to keep up with the land, so for years the southern region has been doing their tool training at the location while also helping clear and beautify the land.  i learned how to use a jblade, ax, saw thingy, clippers, machete, and a few other tools.  it was so nice to finally get out and do something!  it was hot but still fun!

on saturday i got up at 5 to get ready for an independent service project hours (need 80 of them to graduate).  basically all of nccc went to this isp. we went to a race vicksburg was having called the race through history and basically acted as cheerleaders. sidenote, the weather is bipolar and it was freezing!! anyways, two highlights from this, one was the last person to finish the 10k run part of the race was this lady named annita and we saw her nearing the end. all 100 something of us ran the last half to threeforths of a mile with her cheering her on...amazing!! the other highlight was watching the kids one mile fun frickin cute!!!

jamie and i running the last stretch of the race with a runner

haha, this is the kid i had a pillow fight with...kyle
after that, my team went on a scavenger hunt around vicksburg and it was so neat to finally see the town! my favorite place was this little shack on the side of the road called the tomato place.  they sell fresh vegetables, homemade smoothies and some amazing southern food.  i had a peaches and cream smoothie and fried green tomatoes for the first time...i am in love.
team leader time (aka michael b. jordan, aka tiger woods), myself, and sharaud (aka nelly)

i have been cooking dinner for my team each night, and let me tell you how hard it is to cook for 7 grown men! haha. the week caught up with me and after dinner i passed out. i fell asleep before 6, and by 1230 i was up and not tired at all! most of the people 21 and up went out the bars, but i was lame...obviously..and slept. (don't regret that at all either!) i ended up going down to the lounge and hung out with some of the younger folk and had such a good time having a pillow fight with one of the guys! haha, i was crackin  up.

fried green tomatoes!
anyways, tonight i have my last dinner with my team delta 7 and i find out my new temp team and leader for the next week.  this week i will have my baseline test, get chainsaw training, and (i think) learn to drive the 15 passenger van. eek! love you all XOXOXO

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

'wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle...yeah! i work out....

i'm sexy and i know it!'

shesh, so much has happened since i last updated. let's see, sunday night my aunt linda cooked me an amazing going away dinner.  she made my oma's chicken and favorite things in the world!  she also made a turkey and green beans and broccoli and cheese and party potatoes.  so amazingly good. oh and cheesecake for dessert.  it was such a good time! i almost cried...but i held myself together!  saying good bye to my nieces was the hardest, especially my little isabel! she was my little buddy during the day!

okay, fast forward to monday and 4am, my wonderful momma took me to the airport and dropped me off. i had every intention of having to pay for my checked luggage, but nope! airport did not make me. amazing. so jamie and i met up and we got ourselves some coffee (of course) and then boarded a plane for orlando, florida.  let me tell you, the flight was bumpy! we then caught our flight to vicksburg, mississippi and ran into a bunch of people also headed for americorps nccc. once i found all my luggage we got in a van from jackson, ms to the campus in vicksburg about 45 minutes away.  the campus is so amazingly beautiful! postcard-like southern forsure.

i went through all the not so fun logistics stuff and then met my roommates.  my room in a three person dorm with a suite style bath shared with three other girls. my roommates are tenaya and stayci. the girls are both awesome and i was pleasantly  surprised that i get along with them so well.  we are all on the same temporary team as well...DELTA 7!

okay, so delta 7.  LOVE! wish we didnt have to switch teams.  our leaders name is tim.  he is this adorable 22 year old from north carolina doing his first year with americorps.  tenaya is from orange county, cali stayci is from the east coast and the other girl ren is from georgia.  as for the guys, there is sharaud who is from north carolina and sort of resembles nelly.  then there is jesse and patrick. there is also this super loud, but really funny 'brother' slater from baltimore.  steve is also from baltimore and another cool guy, so funny.  then the youngest guy on our team is little 18 year old victor from wisconsin. i am so in love with my team and do not want to share them with others!
this is steve in his lovely little outfit..haha

okay, so each morning jamie and i have been getting up and running...well more like she runs and i attempt. haha.

jamie and i on the first day
eh, i have met some truly amazing people. this is going to be such a personal growth experience. the weather is amazing and already hot and humid. and last thing, my first night here the plumbing in my dorm busted. fun oh fun.  i will be sure to keep this updates as much as possible but there is only wifi in this one building and either it...or my super slow.

love you all!

mail me stuff if you want!

amanda gschaar-Class 18 Winter
AmeriCorps NCCC
2715 Confederate Ave
Vicksburg, MS 39180

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

'the best is yet to come'

frank sinatra.

getting so close, less than a week! I am pretty excited about it too!  I feel as though each day lessens mhy anticipation a bit more.  I have spoken to Jamie just about every day, discussing our flight (620AM!!) or what we are packing and so on.

Packing is proving to be a bit of a nightmare.  I have that night little list, as well as a plan in my head to check one suitcase.  Let me tell you just how impossible that proved to be!  I am fairly certain I could have gotten all of everything in my one large suitcase, yet there is NO way it would be under 50pounds.  Once I realized that I did a little research on American Airlines and there requirements and rules and such and found that the first piece of luggage under 50lbs is $25, and the second piece is $35.  If I were to stuff all my stuff in just one, and it went over 50, it is going to cost me $100!  As a result I chatted with a few fellow Americorps NCCC folks, and they too are bringing two.

someone wants to come with me!

truly grateful for the space-savers! even my comforter and sheets are
in one of those bags!
Now that that is settled, I am freaking out about the airline losing my luggage!! Eek, lets hope that doesn't happen...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

"Side by side or miles apart friends are forever close to your heart."

15 days...oh man.

I got an email on Friday saying my flight information will be emailed to me in the next week and a half or so.  The email went on to give me a list of the paperwork I will need copies of upon arrival. I love lists.

Aside from that, I have been slowing but surely spending time with friends for the last time before I leave. On Monday I went to dinner with a dear friend from high school, Rachel.
from a few seasons ago, but you can still see our love for the BIRDS!
She is a couple years older than me, so when I was a sophomore in high school she graduated and my last two years in high school were so not as fun!  Our thing is cardinal baseball, we go to at least 3-4 games a summer.  Our dinner made me realize I will not go to a single cards game this next season, waaah :( She recently graduated with her masters in accounting and moved in with her boyfriend of like, five years, this past weekend.  It was an awesome dinner and I cannot wait to see where she is in life when I get back (maybe there will be a wedding to plan! hah, hint hint Jeff!)!

On Friday I went to lunch with my amazing, amazing, AMAZINGGGG friend Jason and his wife. I wasn't able to make it to there wedding over the summer so this was actually the first time I met her.  I was a little nervous at first, I mean, what if I didn't like her? Hah, I should have known if Jason liked her, I would like her.  She welcomed me with a big hug and is so sweet and I am pretty sure I would not have been able to pick him out a better person myself!  Good pick Jason, I if you needed my approval. Haha
this is from the summer, I should have put one of
him in his uniform. every time I see him in it it reminds me
how proud I am of him!
Jason and I met when I was fifteen and he was 21ish.  Sounds like it could have been a messed up situation, huh? Hah, no...I was a teen mentor at a conference and he was there working with the air national guard.  I continued to do various volunteer work with programs he supported through his work and some how he and his sometimes tasteless sense of humor won me over and we became and stayed friends.  We hardly get to see each other anymore because he moved to Kansas City and I have been away at school. We saw each other at least once a year when he came to Cape for a conference, and we always had a great time...ain't that right aquafina! Anyways, on a serious note, this guy is amazing and is such a great friend.  It doesn't matter how long it is between when I see or talk to him, when I finally do it is like no time has passed.  He is such a loyal and dedicated friend and I am so blessed to have him in my life!  I am so glad I got to see him before I left, and the lunch he treated me to was an amazing plus...I owe you! Can't wait till Danielle's wedding so I can see you again! And Laura, I can't wait to get to know you better! Maybe there will be a little Jason on the way when I return? Hah!

Okay, Friday night I headed down to Cape Girardeau to see all my college loves one last time.  Man-o-man did I have a good time :)
obviously had a great time! hah, and no I was not driving...
i was honking the horn trying to get our shuttle guy to come back!
I stayed with my friend Janelle.  She is basically my other half and I loooooove her! I was ecstatic to see her.  We went to dinner and my favorite Mexican place and then got matching shirts and looked like twinsies while we went out on the town!
don't want to leave you!!
Janelle and I were randomly roomed together our freshman year, along with Jamie, whom she went to high school with.  Janelle and I pretty much hit it off right away and were connected at the hip.  We did some rock star quality partying that year.  Sophomore year we lived together again, and man was that an adventure.  We had tons of lists that we crossed through...oh good times. Junior year we lived together again, but we had a falling out mainly because I am stubborn and find it hard to bite my tongue when I have an opinion...such a downfall of mine.  Anyways, is after a year...I came to my senses and got back what I was missing in my life, my Janelley! My senior semester was complete again and we picked right back up.  We have such an amazing time when I with her and is nothing but laughs.  I cannot believe I have to go 10 months without herrrrrrr! The plan is when we get our lives together we will find houses next store to one another so our kids will be friends too. Love! Good luck your last semester of college baby girllllll.

Right before we went out my friend Chloe met up with us.. Chloe and I lived together my junior year and we hit it off completely!  She was going to hair school, and let me tell you I loved being her 'hair model'.  She gave me the bangs that I am still rockin because I love them so much! She is a total sweetheart, and there is never a dull moment when I hang out with her.  We had a great dance that night didn't we CHLO-AYYY :)

After the three of us called out taxi (smartest way to get around safe and make smart decisions and plan ahead!!) Hah, anyways...from there we went to Buckners, the bar I worked at in school to see my favorite bartender Mr. Marcellus Jones!! He is the one who hired me at the bar, and taught me all I know :) I am completely and utterly unable to have a bad time when I am around this guy.  He treats me so good and always makes sure I have the best drink in hand!  He probably currently hates me because my last semester of school was frickin  nonstop work and internship that I never got to go out and hang out with him :( So since he had to work that night the plan was for me to take it easy and make it across the river where the bars stay open longer than the ones we work at.  Well I made it to 330AM and then went home and he got there like right after.  I swear I tried to stay up Cellus, I even avoided a tilt!! I love you baby new year!!!  Oh, and allow me to miss one more float trip and I swear I will be at the next one!

At the bar, I also got to see my favorite mexican love...Jaime.  Only thing that could have made that better would have been if he were in gym shorts ;) I met this kid working at Buckners and he is so awesome! He is so adorable and...just so you know...I will get you in that cooler before I die...HAHA!
myself, Janelle, Nicole, and bathroom pics
too bad its blurry!
Then, I met up my friend Nicole who I also worked with at Buckners.  She and I have a way with the bars downtown.  What I mean, is we typically make it to a whole bunch but only remeber a few!  Haha, she also has some amazing skills, I mean, who else can smuggle a full gin bucket out of one bar and into another? PRICELESS! She is such a sweatheart, and as much as I am going to miss her, I know she will be just fine because she has one sexy Dominique Thomas to help keep her busy! Haha. I love you :) Oh, and the best part of her, she understands my horrible jokes that I find hilarious but no one else does. Thanks for laughing!!

I ran into a bunch of other friends that night, though I didn't see all the ones I wanted to.  Nonetheless, it was a fantastic last night in Cape...and one my first weekends after Americorps, I will be back!  Oh...I also ran into my friend from Logans, Cody, that night and we had a pretty amazing time! Haha love me some healthy Cody!
my barbie and ken for the night!

The next day before I left I went to lunch with Meghan (aka bestie) and Cody (another Cody, aka BFC aka Codyliscious).  Meghan and I lived together on the same floor our freshman year and hit it off.  She started dating Cody that year, and he and I also hit it off.  I can pretty much say I have never hit it off so well with a friends boyfriend as I have with Cody.  Both he and Meghan are two of my very best friends.  She is one of those friends that anytime I talk to her I prepare myself, because she doesn't tell me what I want to hear, she tells me what I need to hear.  Such a perfect quality in a friend.  Cody is super laid back and someone I can always count on to just hang out with and not stress!  I am so thrilled to see how far these two go in the 10 months I am gone.  We all graduated in December, he with a criminal justice degree and is currently in the police academy.  She with a teaching degree.  Hopefully there will be another fun wedding in the future there, right Cody?!
apparently I love the kisses on the cheek pictures, but not as
much as I love these two :)

So that is it so far.  I know it is not like I am leaving for a super long time, and there's no way to know how often I would have seen some of this people if I were to be in STL these next 10 months rather than down south, but still...who doesn't love an excuse to see your friends and tell them how much you love them!  I love you all and will miss you so FRICKIN much!  I need all of your addresses so I can send you fun stuff :) Can't wait to see some more of my friends!!

Friday, February 3, 2012

"Enjoy the little things in life...

...for you'll one day look back and realize they were the big things."

24 days and counting.

It is quite obvious, not only because I have said it time and time again, that I am a planner.  Even now I am planning for what I am going to do after my AmeriCorps adventure.  I used to say this was one of my strongest qualities, and while I still find strength in that, I can also see how it is a hindrance.  I plan so much so that I lose sight of what is going on right now.  In high school I was planning for college, and looking back now I find myself wishing I had been more involved within the school.  In college I was again planning for my life after, so much so that I feel like my last semester in Cape Girardeau was spent doing nothing but work and I wish that I would have lived more in the moment.  Don't get me wrong, I loved every moment I spent in Cape, but my last few months there could have been a little more enjoyable in the way of hanging out with my friends and doing things I always wanted to do. (Jamie and I even created a type of leap list of things and places we wanted to do before we left, and while we accomplished some, the majority of the list was left uncrossed).

This is coming off a little whine-y, so let me clarify.  I don't want to sound like I am living with regrets, because I do not regret anything my life has handed me, because it was all of those experiences that has made me who I am today.  And not to toot my own horn or anything, but I am pretty proud of who I am.  What I am trying to get across is that I need to challenge myself to learn from my past and make my future better.  I can do that in the way of taking a breath and slowing down.  I need to stop counting down, stop planning, stop worrying, and blah blah blah. (Okay, maybe not stop, but slow down a bit).

 Slow in the moment!

I wanted so much to say I would start that once I leave for MS, but I think know it is something I need to start now.  I have spent many nights since graduation talking to my mom about how I am bored and ready for AmeriCorps to start so that I am doing more than just sitting around.  Sitting around watching television with my mom, talking with my dad, playing with the kids, sleeping on the couch, and babysitting seem like such little things to me right now, but I know these two months are times I will never get back and these small moments are going to turn out to be big memories for me.  As crazy as it is having 9 people crammed into a story and a half house, when will I ever be living will my entire family again?  When I think about it that way I want to cry and I see these times as something to cherish.

all of us, plus 3 more all livign under one roof, shesh!
As independent as I am always claiming to be, and as much as my mom and I butt heads living in the same house, I am going to be so homesick once I leave!  My family may seem a little dysfunctional, but that is all the more reason why I love them and will miss them!

What I am going to miss about my mom when I am with AmeriCorps is our daily bickering, because though it may seem all we do is fight, I know that we both take our frustrations out on each other because we know the other understands.  For example, when our nerves are short dealing with the little ones all day!  I am going to miss laying on the couch attempting to sleep while she is in her chair laughing at the stupidest shows...big foot exists my ass. I am going to miss arguing about having to go to get the kids just to be arguing, because in all honestly, its not that big of a deal.  I am going to miss her bed and sharing nap times with the kids so that we both get a nap in!

What I am going to miss about my dad is waiting up for him at night to see how his day was. I am going to miss those nights I try to fall asleep before he gets home but can't until I know he is home safe.  I am going to miss listening to him make his coffee, play solitaire, and watch the morning news.  I am going to miss laughing at him as he stumbles half asleep to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  I am going to miss being able to see him daily, even if only for a few minutes, because I know how much and how hard he works for this family.  I am even going to miss, as strange as it sounds, falling asleep to his snoring (because when were not on the same floor, and through the sound of my moms fan,  it is not as deafening!)
if PawPaw is home, Isabel isn't far behind!

What I am going to miss about Cherie is the constant surprise of what the hell she will be wearing next.  I will miss her strange obsession with following a schedule.  I will miss the strange characters she goes into (Hazel).  I will miss watching Glee with her and I will miss not being able to see her in her school play. I am even going to miss her 'Cherie speed' of doing things!

What I am going to miss about Rachel is attempting to pawn her children back on her when she gets home from work.  I will miss finding delicious looking recipes on pinterest, getting the stuff to make it, and never making it.  I will miss arguing with her over trivial things that we only argue about because we live together.  I will miss hearing her yell 'go to sleep!' from upstairs when the kids don't want to listen. I will miss sitting in the living room with her and my mom talking about, well, nothing really!
with four kids, someone is always picking on her!

What I will miss about Hailey is seeing the baby I fell so in love with nine years ago every day.  I will miss seeing her in the same uniform I would wear everyday when I walked home from school to see a baby Hailey standing in the door waiting for me.  I will miss seeing the same face she made as an excited toddler when she saw me as I do when I now pick her up from school.  I will miss watching her read.  I will miss helping her with her homework.  I will miss rare moments when she and the kids are playing nicely together.  I will miss her crazy stories and poses.  I will missing getting a hug, kiss, and 'good night Amanda' every night.

such a diva!
What I will miss about Jayda is watching MawMaw attempt to dress her in the morning.  I will miss the sweet little Jay that curls up next me and says the sweetest things.  I will miss the cocky little Jayda that gets an attitude worse than Hailey!  I will miss watching how good she is with Isabel.  I will miss her crazy stories.  I will miss her cackling laugh. I will miss her completely irrational fear of a stuffed rabbit.  I will miss seeing her in her Joan of Arc uniform.  I will miss seeing how shy she is at school.  I will miss picking her up from school and having her get so excited and come running to me.  I will miss cooking with her.  I will miss her wanting to stay in the same pair of pajama's for a week straight.  I will miss how apologetic she gets after being bad.  I will miss her saying 'night Amanda, love you' every night before bed.
sweet but sassy

What I will miss about Jorge is his constant energy!  I will miss him running from room to room playing in his own little world.  I will miss watching his, at least, 3 wardrobe changes a day.  I will miss nap time with him.  I will miss his sweet little voice when he is trying to get something from Isabel.  I will miss his never ending hunger.  I will miss his inability to lie.  I will miss how helpful he is during the day. I will miss watching him become attached to Rachel when she gets home. I will miss his silly fear of bugs, animals, dogs, or anything else that moves or makes noise. I will miss those moments when he decides he just wants some lovin and curls up on my lap.

sweetest boy in my life <3
What I will miss about Isabel is having a shadow during the day.  I will miss her saying 'MawMaw said' when she wants something. I will miss her ability to entertain herself.  I will miss seeing her crazy eyebrows every day.  I will miss listening to her sing 'need you now' and yelling if anyone else tries to sing her song.  I will miss her announcements and pure excitement every time someone comes home.  I will miss her being my little buddy and sneaking down in the middle of the night because she wants to sleep with me.  I will miss her silly stories.  I will miss hearing her say my name over and over and over when trying to get my attention.
crazy eyes! hah love them :)

Waaah, I am homesick already and I am in the same house as all these people right now!

I know I still have 24 days with these people before I leave, and I also know that I will get to spend all the time in the world with them once I graduate AmeriCorps, but my inspiration for this blog and realizing how much I need to live for the moment and appreciate each one came from my Opa.

One of the reasons I have been hesitant about accepting my position in AmeriCorps was the fear of something happening to my Grandpa while I was gone or he not remembering me when I returned.  On January 22 he passed away from a massive stroke.  It was very unexpected and so hard for the family to deal with.  My Grandma passed away in 2009, and my memories of the two from when she was alive are mainly dominated by her.  In the past two years I have been able to get to know my Opa and see firsthand what an amazing man he was.  As hard as it was/is to have lost him, I cherish the time I got to spend with him and I know he would be proud of the journey I am about to begin.  Having lost him also showed me just how mortal we are.  As a result to him, I realize how much I need to cherish these small moments with the people I love more than anything/one else in the world.

i love you Opa! thank for all that you did for me
When I get home from AmeriCorps I will again be able to spend all the time I want with my family, but I know those moments will never replicate these, so I need to embrace and cherish the next 24 days with my family instead of counting down to when I leave them.

can't wait to see how much they will have grown when i return!
<3 Love you Mom, Dad, Rachel, Cherie, Hailey, Jayda, Jorge, and Isabel!! <3

Thursday, January 5, 2012

'making a list, checking it twice!'

I am so happy to have cable again, and tonight was the season premiere of two shows I love!  One thanks to Jamie, (Grey's Anatomy) and the other a guilty pleasure (Jersey Shore).  I was out tonight and missed them both,  but lucky for me, there is a rerun of tonight's JS at 1am.  Looks like I will be killing time blogging!

Okay, for anyone who knows me, they know I live for my lists.  They provide comfort to me, even though I hardly follow them!  Don't get me wrong, I use it as a base, but not to a tee. With that said, this entry is dedicated to the list I have been provided with by Americorps as well as my list of things I need/need to do before I leave.

Let's start with what I will be provided with by NCCC:

  • pair of black BDU pants
  • 2 pair of tan BDU pants
  • 2 pair of khaki shorts
  • long sleeve polo
  • short sleeve polo
  • black fleece vest
  • 2 short sleeve gray t-shirts with emblem
  • 2 long sleeved gray t-shirts with emblem
  • hoodie
  • winter parka
  • steel toed work boots (sexy, I know)
  • black belt
  • coveralls (oh my...)
  • rain suit
  • black wool scull cap
  • tan fisherman's cap
  • baseball cap
  • cold weather coat
  • green short sleeve performance tee
  • red backpack
These items are what I will be wearing 90% of the time.  Not my first pick, but I will defiantly be channeling my dad and grandpa! Maybe I will borrow one of his flannel shirts and be just like him!
my dad and my grandpa! you can't see the steel toed boots, but believe me they are there!

Now for the rest of my cloths packing list, Americorps gave a template of things we would need but I got a little more specific (crossed out items I have, others, I need):
  • 3 pair of jeans
  • 3 pair of shorts
  • 4 solid colored tanks
  • 2 fitted tee's
  • dress sweater
  • sports bras (would like to purchase 2 more)
  • 3 regular bra's (you have no idea how hard this will be for me to only chose 3!)
  • underwear (Americorps suggests to also bring along a few pair of thermal underwear, and seeing as I do not know what those are I need those as well!)
  • my northface
  • 2 fleece jacket's
  • 2 pair of winter gloves
  • ear covers
  • 5 pair of workout shorts (need 3 more pair)
  • 5 pair of workout pants (need 3 more)
  • 2 pair of black leggings
  • 5 sweat absorbing workout tanks (need them all!)
  • 2 lightweight workout jackets (need one more!)
  • 8 t-shirts (eek! which ones do I chose...)
  • my tennis shoes
  • black flats
  • brown flats
  • flip flops (for the shower)
  • rain shoes (Below)
love these :)
  • 6 pair of below ankle socks (need)
  • 5 pair of knee high socks for boots
  • 3 pair of thick wool socks (need)
  • 5 pair thick socks (need)
  • 2 pair dress socks (black and brown- need)
  • one pair black tights
  • 3 towels
  • 3 long sleeved t-shirts for under uniform (thermal in black, white, gray- need)
  • black dress
  • white pencil skirt
  • 3 nice shirts
  • leather work gloves (requirement, and need!)
  • twin sized comforter
  • twin size sheets
  • pillow
On to the non-clothing item needs:
  • Midol
  • aspirin
  • tampons
  • panty liners
  • pads
  • deodorant
  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • body wash
  • razors
  • toothbrush
  • toothpaste
  • blow dryer
  • straightner
  • make up
  • contact solution
  • contacts
  • eye glasses
  • sunglasses
  • hangers
  • collapsible clothes hamper
  • chap-stick
  • water bottle
  • laptop and charger
  • camera and charger
  • cell phone and charger
  • earphones
  • sun block
  • bug spray
  • lotion
  • eczema cream
  • aloe (because where there is sun, I will get burnt!)
  • gum
  • juice plus
Odds and ends:
  • driver's license copy
  • copy of driving record over last 3 years
  • copy of SS card
  • checks
  • copy of birth certificate
  • immunization record
  • TB gold blood test result copy
  • high school transcript
  • college transcript
  • book or two
  • planner
And to think all this needs to fit in one carry on and one check on bag! Haha.  I read on an alums blog to use the air tight space saver bags.  Already got them, just hope they work! Needless to say, once my bills are paid, I will be using any remaining money to finish getting what I need! And hopefully a fantastic Sam's run sponsored by my dad, but he does't know that yet!

no clue who these people are, but you get an idea of what my sexy uniform will look like...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"Be still, God is in control."

I have been thinking about what to write about, because I am not wanting to go too long without posting.  It came to me when I took another look at my blog design.  Why not explain why I chose that picture to be in my header?

Okay, so first thing first.  The girl in the picture with me is Jamie Litteken.  Jamie and I met freshman year at SEMO.  The summer prior to going off to my first year of college, I was anxiously awaiting to get my roommate assignment. When I finally got the packet in the mail, I was so surprised to find two names listed as my roommate, not one.  It turned out I was one of the lucky ones placed in a three person suite.  I immediately started to facebook creep on who these two girls were. I soon discovered that they went to high school together and were friends.  This made me so nervous!  The day I moved into the dorm, my uneasyness was put at ease.  These girls were(are) amazing.

Jamie, myself, Janelle (freshman year)

me, Jamie, Janelle (freshman year)
me, Janelle, Jamie (senior year)

me, Janelle, Jamie- (senior year)

I could go on about these girls for days, I love them both so much and they are definitely the type of friends I will have in my wedding(well, I have to find a guy first!)  Back to Jamie.  When I very first started at SEMO, I was a psychology major and social work minor.  Jamie, was a social work major.  Thanks to her, within the first week I dropped my major and made my minor my major.  Jamie also added a second major of Spanish (smartie).  Jamie and I did not live together our sophomore or junior year, yet we were still basically in all the same classes.  She kept me sane in many of the classes, served as a saving grace in others, and lit a healthy competitive spark in me for all.  Jamie and I realized our junior year that we would both be graduating a semester early.  That is when we began discussing our senior year and what would come next.  We soon came to the conclusion that it would be a good idea to live together our senior semester in a month to month apartment.  Once that was settled we began talking about what we wanted to do after graduation.  We both wanted to take some time off before getting our masters.  Jamie first introduced me to Americorps.  She and I found out we were both accepted and in the same region.  I feel nothing but blessed to be going to the same location as her.  It will be so nice to have that home base when needed.  I do hope that once we are split into the smaller teams, that Jamie and I will not be on the same one.  This is because for so long we have done everything together, and I would like for each of us to have our own experience and also not have the opportunity to use the other as a crutch (something I would probably do more than her!)

Jamie and I freshman year

Jamie and I sophomore year

Jamie and I junior year

Jamie and I senior year
All honestly, Jamie has been a Godsend to me.  First, she convinced me to go social work.  Secondly, she told me about Americorps.  She is so inspiring to me.  This girl is so dedicated to her faith, and that is something I have always been envious of.  She goes to church, retreats, classes, reads books and so on.  She has her belief system and sticks to them.  I am not sure what to say about that aspect of her, but it is so awesome to have a friend like that, she keeps me grounded!  Jamie is also one of the only other person I have met who values her alone time as much as I do!  I mean, sometimes you just need to get away from all people and just be with your thoughts, and she never thought I was being a bitch when I just wanted to be alone in my room!  Last thing I am going to say to brag about Jamie.  She is truly one of the only females I have met that there is no bit of anger or jealously.  What I mean by this is so often a girl will get upset if they were to tell you about something (like Americorps) and then you also want to do it.  Jamie (I don't think) has even been upset by me being so similar in my endeavors.  Rather, she has also been so selfless and helped me accomplish what I wanted to do. Oh, and she understands the whole fellow social worker language and values thingy.

I am rambling but hopefully you get the picture.

Picture, that reminds me.  I was talking about the picture!  I first explained who is in that picture with me.  Now let me explain where that picture is taken.  This past summer, Jamie again informed me of an opportunity that I had been wanting to do.  Helping in Joplin, MO after the devastating spring 2011 tornadoes.  We went there with her church and helped with relief efforts.  By the time we went, we still did not know if we had been accepted into Americorps NCCC, yet the experience made me yearn to be accepted into the program even more.  

Joplin, MO August 2011

Joplin High School August 2011

Found this on a wall in Joplin

Thanks for all you have done for me, Jamie!