Saturday, June 27, 2009

Happy Birthday to ME!!!

Even though turning 27 isn't a commemorative age, I'm still celebrating! We have plans for breakfast at Waffle House (I just love cheap, ghetto food), painting pottery, & then a BBQ at a friend's house. When Eric came back from Seattle he brought my MIL's gift for me, 2 scrub tops which are adorable & she sent the sweetest card...I actually teared up when I read it, and it was just what I needed to hear. Thanks Annette, Thora, Nicole & Peter for the birthday cards because even though I'm an adult, I still get giddy when I see card shaped envelopes addressed to me :o)

I finally got my letters in order and am officially a Graduate Nurse. I am scheduled to take the state licensing exam (NCLEX) on July 10th, so keep me in your prayers that day!!!

And for your viewing pleasure, here is a picture of me @ the shooting range last weekend with an AR-15 (civilian version of the military's M-4) sporting my new favorite TAMN t-shirt that reads "My life is a kick-a fairy tale."

Have a wonderful weekend!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Keep your fingers crossed!!!

They always say, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade...but that is going to be some seriously crappy lemonade without a little sugar!!

This month has been filled with quite a few set backs. To be able to work as a Graduate Nurse (GN, someone that has graduated but hasn't passed the NCLEX) you have to be approved by the Dept. of Health(DOH) and Pearson (the testing company). Since I was receiving assistance from the Military Career Advancement Account, which is managed by JobsPlus, they were going to send a $200 check to Pearson & the $204 check to DOH. I started working on the 1st of June thinking that it would only be a few short days until I received my letters and would be bumped up to GN status along with the bump in pay since I had to work as a Patient Care Tech until that time (it's like a step up from a CNA). So, June 5th I get a letter from the DOH with a returned check that is made out to Pearson...and I blew up! JobsPlus switched the envelopes and my checks went to the wrong places....and the DOH endorsed the check so another one would have to be made out, which takes an average of 10 days. I immediately went online and paid Pearson myself, and then the following day got a money order and sent it overnight-express delivery to the DOH with signature verification because I wasn't taking any chances!

So the past few weeks have been a waiting game. Waiting for letters that weren't coming, waiting for verification, waiting to start making better money...

I wouldn't have been so mad at JobsPlus but I wasn't the only person they messed up. One girl in my class had her check sent to the Radiography program in another state, and another one they decided to wait 2 1/2 weeks to even send the check, so because it had been so long since she registered, all her information had to be re-reviewed. I was also told that there were even more incidences this my question is...who is getting fired?

But, there is hope, and keep your fingers crossed, because today my status was updated to "approved" on the DOH website, so I should be receiving my letters within a week or so. The hospital has been so patient and allowed me to do orientation as a PCT so I can at least get a paycheck, and be that much closer to my tuition for fall semester.

I have been quite sparse lately because of all of the drama & working...but I am thankful for the few of you that have stuck with me!! Also, my birthday is coming up and I want to do something really fun, but with limited funds & spare time, I just don't for see it happening. That being said, I am thankful that my husband will be home in a few days (after spending some much needed time with his family in Seattle) and I hope things will finally get back to some shade of "normal."

So, sorry about the crappy lemonade, but I finally found some sugar!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Just what I needed to hear

As many of you know, I have the privilege of teaching Sunday School to the 14-18 yr olds in my ward. The great thing is that the lessons are the same as adult Sunday School so I never feel like I'm missing out!

Today's lesson really touched me, and the subject matter is very close to my after death. I remember vividly talking with a guy in my Intro to Fiction class in college and how sad I felt when he said that all you have is the here and now. One of my LDS friends had the class with me, so we proceeded to talk with him about how we believe that there is life after death, and we will be able to see our loved ones again.

While we were discussing what we can do NOW to prepare, the lesson had a beautiful (although very long) quote about the importance of having a strong testimony of Christ, and I want to share with you, by Elder Bruce R. McConkie:

“What does it mean to be valiant in the testimony of Jesus?

“It is to be courageous and bold; to use all our strength, energy, and ability in the warfare with the world; to fight the good fight of faith. . . . The great cornerstone of valiance in the cause of righteousness is obedience to the whole law of the whole gospel.

“To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to ‘come unto Christ, and be perfected in him’; it is to deny ourselves ‘of all ungodliness,’ and ‘love God’ with all our ‘might, mind and strength.’ (Moro. 10:32.)

“To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to believe in Christ and his gospel with unshakable conviction. It is to know of the verity and divinity of the Lord’s work on earth.

“But this is not all. It is more than believing and knowing. We must be doers of the word and not hearers only. It is more than lip service; it is not simply confessing with the mouth the divine Sonship of the Savior. It is obedience and conformity and personal righteousness. . . .

“To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to ‘press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.’ It is to ‘endure to the end.’ (2 Ne. 31:20.) It is to live our religion, to practice what we preach, to keep the commandments. It is the manifestation of ‘pure religion’ in the lives of men; it is visiting ‘the fatherless and widows in their affliction’ and keeping ourselves ‘unspotted from the world.’ (James 1:27.)

“To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to bridle our passions, control our appetites, and rise above carnal and evil things. It is to overcome the world as did he who is our prototype and who himself was the most valiant of all our Father’s children. It is to be morally clean, to pay our tithes and offerings, to honor the Sabbath day, to pray with full purpose of heart, to lay our all upon the altar if called upon to do so.

“To be valiant in the testimony of Jesus is to take the Lord’s side on every issue. It is to vote as he would vote. It is to think what he thinks, to believe what he believes, to say what he would say and do what he would do in the same situation. It is to have the mind of Christ and be one with him as he is one with his Father” (in
Conference Report, Oct. 1974, 45–46; or Ensign, Nov. 1974, 35).

I also went to Relief Society today, and last week, and we talked about the importance of recognizing the blessings in your life, related to President Monson's talk "Be of Good Cheer." The person conducting went around the room and we all had to say what we were thankful for, and I am so thankful that my husband is my best friend! He is someone that I can confide in and that I enjoy just sitting in silence with. In less than a month we will have been married 8 years, and I don't think we would have ever survived all of the deployments & time apart if it wasn't for our friendship.

I know this isn't a normal post for me, but I felt compelled to share :o)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

2009 Annual Ranger Open House & 5/10K Trail Run

Every year we gear up for Open House which is the communities opportunity to come out and see what our tiny Army Battalion is doing on an Air Force Base. For the past 3 years Eric has been in charge of the weapons station which entail him loading ammo for people to shoot and signing weapons in and out...and is very very very boring. So, this year he was excited to get to participate in the spot jump. He really loves jumping out of airplanes, but he like helicopters even more.

Before Open House starts, they have a 5/10K trail run through the woods out at camp as a fundraiser for the Fisher House that is being built locally near Eglin AFB, and I have had the opportunity to participate every year since it began in 2007! This year I didn't train at all, but was able to find some of my nursing buddies to come and walk/run it with me. We had a great time & didn't see any copperheads like we did last year :o)

Here are some pix, enjoy!

I was teasing Eric by wearing a pair of his famous Ranger Panties one night & told him that he needed to get a pair in my size...well he did, and Kelsey said I should wear them to the 5K, so I got them embroidered to show my Army wife pride, and chose to wear some capris underneath b/c no one really needs to be exposed to that much cellulite!

Eric & I before the 5K

Nikki, Kelsey, Jake, Me, V, & Joey after the race. Jake came in 18th overall & Kelsey took 3rd place in her age group. Me, V, & Joey finished...which is all that really matters :o)

Eric checking his gear

Eric is getting checked out before the jump

I'm not quite sure what he's doing...I think he's helping...?

Eric was the 3rd jumper

another view

Bobbi & Josh came down from Ft. Rucker for the weekend before the move to their next duty station. It was a great excuse to go to Old Bay Steamer for their amazing seafood.

I had to show McKenna (Bobbi's daughter) my mad Ranger Wife skills on the Zodiac :o)