Thursday, December 29, 2005

My Dad (the lawyer)... so much for professional courtesy. Posted by Picasa

My Dad got too close to Bruce when we were at Disneyland... Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Deanne's mom took us out to dinner (Thai--yummy!)... this was the night that we found out what our next project is going to be... Fun times! (David, me and Whitney) Posted by Picasa

Naomi, Mrs. Liz and I -- our last night at Eagle Harbor... She was awesome and I miss her! Posted by Picasa

Josh and I made some Christmas cookies... and we had a little fun doing it. :) Posted by Picasa

Heading Home

Christmas break has finally come! During training it seemed like it was too good to be true and now it is finally here! :)

Unfortunely, I know that break is going to go by so quickly and part of that knowledge makes me sad because I know that there are people that I won't get to see or spend time with. A week and a half is too short a time!
I've enjoyed my experience so far in AmeriCorps and I am looking forward to the next 7 months. I hope that we get a project not in Florida--that's definetly not my favorite state, but I put up with it. I'll probably never lose my tan this entire year.

We had a memorial service for Amanda on Tuesday morning and it was very nice. It brought some closure to everything that happened. She was a wonderful person and that was very evident by everyone's remembrance of her life. She served others with a passion that was exhibited in every touch, in every word spoken. She will be dearly missed by everyone who knew her.

I received an email from my aunt a couple of days ago with a little Christmas Story... I want to share it with everyone else because I thought it was a beautiful reminder of the Christmas season.

The "W" in Christmas

Each December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience. I had cut back on nonessential obligations - extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating and even overspending. Yet, still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments and of course, the true meaning of Christmas.

My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six year old. For weeks, he'd been memorizing songs for his school's "Winter Pageant". I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be working the night of the production. Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She assured me there'd be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation. All Parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise.

So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats. As I waited, the students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song. Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as "Christmas", I didn't expect anything other than fun commercial entertainment - songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer.

So, when my son's class rose to sing, "Christmas Love," I was slightly taken aback by its bold title. Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters and bright snowcaps upon their heads.

Those in the front row - center stage - held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song As the class would sing "C is for Christmas, " a child would hold up the letter C. Then, "H is for Happy," and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message, "Christmas Love."

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her. A small, quiet girl in the front row holding the letter "M" upside down - totally unaware her letter "M" appeared as a "W".

The audience of the 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one's mistake, but she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her "W".

Although many teachers tried to hush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together. A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen. In an instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities.

For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:

"C H R I S T W A S L O V E"

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


So, one of my teammates started calling me Reese... and that evolved into Buttercup. Most of the team still calls me Reese, which is cool, but it kinda reminds me of 4th grade when I went by that name. Buttercup is an original and I'm not going to lie, I like it. So, I was playing around on google and I found this image of this little girl and I was wondering what she was from...PowerPuff girls. Who knew? :)
So, I wanted to find out a little more about her and what she's all about:

Buttercup is at tough, hotheaded tomboy. Buttercup doesn't have time for plans; she's all action. And don't try getting in her way! She fights hard and has a pile of victims to prove it. Buttercup takes her super strength super seriously. When evil emerges, Buttercup is toned and ready to fight fast and furiously.

Interestingly enough, some of this fits my AmeriCorps year so far... I am tough, and I am a bit of a tomboy, especially when in uniform--it can't be helped, it turns you into a boy. yuck. I'm also all about getting things done--heck, it's part of the pledge! And I take my job seriously...very seriously! :)

If nothing else, I'll have a cool nickname to look back on fondly when I'm 80.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

View Finder

Something cool for you to try the next time you're stressed out:

"In Learning By Heart Corita Kent suggests a simple exercise to help us be more attentive to our surroundings. Find an empty 35mm slide holder, or make one by cutting a rectangular hole in a small piece of heavy cardboard. Carry it in your pocket or purse and take it out when you go to the farmers market or a park and look through it for half an hour at the things and people around you. You'll find yourself focusing in on details you would normally have overlooked. You can do the same thing with a camera view finder, but the temptation is to snap a photo. The point of this finder is simply to 'see for the sake of seeing.'"

I found this short article in a magazine called Skirt that is local to the Charleston area. It's a pretty awesome magazine.
Something else that they recommended was a website that you can write yourself a letter that will be sent to you at a later date. Their inspiration behind this was that they believe that "we all need ... encouragement, especially from ourselves." The website is

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Walk the Line

We were able to go and see the movie last night... It's SO AWESOME! Please, if you haven't seen this movie already, do yourself a favor and go see it! You won't regret it, I promise. It's a very moving story and Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon were amazing!

Funny thing happened though--towards the end of the movie a green line appeared on screen. Luckily it was only for the last 5 mins., so it didn't really bother too bad. It's just funny that something else would happen. Why do I have such bad luck with AMC movie theaters? :)

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Next Project

The past Friday we found out where our next project will be...

We are headed back to Florida! Fort Myers this time...which is pretty much on the opposite side of the penisuila from Miami. We will be working with another team (we don't yet know which) and we will be there for six weeks. Our project is with Habitat for Humanity. Since it is still a ways off, we don't have too much more information at this time. Hopefully we will kinow more before break, but we will have 8 days when we get back from break to do project prep.

So, I'll be turning 24 in Florida. Crazy.

We are hoping that this time, Florida will be good to us! Unfortunetly, we already had a stroke of bad luck. Friday night after dinner a few of us went to see Walk the Line. About 30 mins. in, the volume went out. It's the curse of Florida on our team. Hopefully, it will be broken before we go back! :)

This is our last week at Eagle Harbor. This has been another unusual project in that we don't have a good way to quatify what we have done during our time there. Not that we have to give numbers in order to have an impact, but it's more difficult to explain what we have been up to for a month. I hate getting attached to the boys because I know that after this week, we won't really see them. We plan to try and stop by when we are back in Charleston between projects, but it's hard to know if that will happen. They are super cute boys though and I really have enjoyed my time with them.

We made the boys and Danny and Liz breakfast one time. They really enjoyed our cooking! :)

In other news, I am looking forward to Christmas break. I hope that I get to see some of your lovely faces while I'm at home. If you're going to be around, give me a call!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

At home, downtown San Clemente, with my two little brothers, Brian & Miky, during my trip home for Thanksgiving. How cute are we? :) Posted by Picasa

Wednesday night is skate night! Ladies get in for free! :) I've perfected most of my moves--I'm trying to tell the place that I can't compete in the Olympics because I already have other commitments that would interfere with further training. They were pretty disappointed.  Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Just call me Horse Whisperer... Spending time with Bolt at Eagle Harbor. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Things I'm Thankful For

Just like last year, I'm a little late on my things I'm thankful for list. Work has been pretty crazy and I haven't really had much of a chance to get on a computer.
So, here it is:

Things I'm Thankful For, 2005:

1. Going home for Thanksgiving--that was the coolest thing ever. It was such a nice surprise and all the family was totally shocked. I think that I almost gave Aunt Rebeca a heart attack. :)It was super nice to breathe some nice So. Cal air, even if it was for just a couple of days.
2. All my family and friends--I think I have the best family and the most wonderful friends in the world. I think it's a fact.
3. Having a pretty cool job. I get to travel, meet new people, hang out in cool places and have tons of adventures.
4. My health--last sunday, our pastor was talking about taking things for granted, like our family, our body and our health. I'm pretty well off compared to so many people in the world and I am very thankful for that.

Short and simple. I'm so blessed. :)

Work has been going very well. Eagle Harbor is a pretty awesome place and we have been getting a lot done. The boys are all really sweet--most of the time. Boys will be boys, as they say. :) I'm glad I had a brother to prepare me for this project. That's all I'm going to say about that.

All for now. Sorry there's not much more to say! :)
Love you all. Grace and Peace.