My Flying Story Part 8: A Dented Wing & the FAA

My Flying Story Part 8: A Dented Wing & the FAA

Part 1 || Part 2 || Part 3 || Part 4 || Part 5 || Part 6 || Part 7

 

It’s been a while since I’ve updated my flying story…and SO MUCH has happened since then 😀  One thing is…I GOT MY PRIVATE PILOT’S LICENSE!  Oh joy and gladness!  You probably can’t tell that I’m excited by the picture, can you? God gave me the most perfect weather for it, too…it was absolutely beautiful :)

 

There’s a whole story behind that, including eight check ride cancellations, but I’ll save all of the details for later when I get to that part of the story.  For now, I’ll catch you up on what happened after I soloed :)

 

FAA_Seal

 

First I’ll start with how I got to meet with the FAA.  If you don’t know this already…meeting with the Federal Aviation Administration is NOT on the top of any pilot’s wish list.  Usually that means you’ve done something bad.  It’s like the law enforcement of the skies. Worse than being pulled over on the road by a state trooper.

However, my instructor handled everything and prepared me so well for each part of it, that I never felt scared or really all that nervous with meeting with the FAA investigators, or our club’s board members later on.

 

But first let me tell you what happened :)

 

It was a pretty, sunny day on August 8th…I had gotten the mowing done, the tomatoes weeded, and some errands done.  The tomatoes really needed attention, and didn’t get much of it this past summer.  Each of us girls picks a part of the garden to care for, and the tomatoes was my part this year. I once told Leah, “By the looks of the tomatoes, I think I’ve been spending too much time in the sky, and not enough on the ground!”

 

So anyway, after I finished all of that, I started thinking about going flying…because isn’t that what you should do on a pretty sunny day?!

 

The flight was great.  I took up my favorite airplane, 12874, and I practiced S turns and some other ground reference maneuvers, and even did some crosswind landings.

 

My favorite airplane, 12874

My Flying Story Part 8-A Dented Wing & the FAA

 

Jim was right after me with the plane, so he was there at the hangar when I came back.  I was taxiing towards the hangar, when another larger airplane was coming off of the grass ‘taxiway’ that they use to go to and from a restaurant, onto the taxiway I was using…toward me!

I got a little nervous, and was thinking, “I need to get off of the taxiway” and “I hope they see me!”.    Thankfully, they did see me, and they stopped so I had plenty of room.  But I was so fixated on them that I didn’t watch my right wing as I swung around in front of our hangar like we usually do to park it.

 

Bang!

 

At first it didn’t register what had happened. It didn’t really jolt me, and I just thought I was stuck in the grass (ha!)…then I saw Jim signalling to me to shut off the engine, and I looked over and realized that I had hit the hangar with my right wing.

“No!”  I thought, “Nononononono!!!”  Things like this happen to other people.  Not me.  I’ve never even dented a car.  How could I have dented an airplane wing?  OH BROTHER!  Now what?!

 

The dented wing.  It might seem like a lot of bother for such a little dent, but they had to check out the whole wing to make sure other parts of the wing weren’t damaged.

My Flying Story Part 8-A Dented Wing & the FAA

Jim was very, very kind and assured me that “things happen”, and he helped me pull it out of the grass and put it into the hangar and put it out of service on the scheduler.  I tried calling Ted to tell him what had happened, but he was flying, so I texted him so he would know when he landed.  Thankfully, we have two Cessnas, so Jim got the other one ready for the ride he was supposed to be giving.

 

I knew that “things happen”, but I still felt really bad that I had done that to the airplane.

After every flight, I tried to write down the good things from the flight, and the things that I needed to work on.  So when I got home, I really needed to remember some good things!  I wrote down:

“Good parts:  the ground reference maneuvers and crosswind landings went well.  I remembered to put up the flaps and carburetor heat as I was about to taxi back (I kept forgetting this and would taxi all the way back to the hangar with the flaps down, lol!)

Need to work on: watching wingtips (you don’t say!), staying on altitude on ground reference maneuvers, and putting flaps UP and carb heat IN after landing.”

 

Jim encouraged me later when he texted me,

“Don’t let this bum you out.  Not the end of the world.  We can get it fixed.  I switched you over to 78Quebec so you can keep flying.  Ok? Keep flying.”

 

I still wanted to go flying, but there was something in me that felt a bit nervous about it.  Even though the incident didn’t happen in the air or really had anything to do with actually flying…just taxiing 😀

So it was perfect that the next time I flew was with Ted, for my dual cross country.  It helped get the ‘jitters’ out :)

I’ll come back to the dual cross country trip later (it was aMAZEing!).

 

They took off the wing completely and sent if off to get repaired.

My Flying Story Part 8-A Dented Wing & the FAA

 

Like I said before, Ted did a great job of preparing me and keeping me updated on what was happening with the plane, and what to expect when we met with the FAA inspectors.

 

I am immensely grateful (and terribly sorry), for all of the work that the board members did because of my wing incident.  They had insurance to deal with, the FAA to deal with, and a lot of paperwork and decisions I know nothing about, I’m sure!  And all of them were very kind through the whole thing, encouraging me to keep flying, and telling me not to worry about it.

 

When Ted and I were planning my dual cross country, he had a phone call from one of the members, and apparently they asked if I was okay, and if I was still flying.  He told them, “Well, we’re planning a cross country right now, so it must not have deterred her too much!”, then when he got off of the phone he teased me, “Everybody is asking, ‘Is Jessica okay? How is she feeling? Is she still flying?!'”  It’s like having a bunch of extra uncles and grandpas looking out for you! Lol!

 

My Flying Story Part 8: A Dented Wing & the FAA

 

On August 19th, Ted and I met with two inspectors who drove up from Indy to the Rochester airport.  I was glad that my first meeting with the FAA was with Ted.  Although they were both very kind as well and also assured me that “things happen”, it was still nice to have someone there that I knew!

I had to describe what happened, draw a diagram of what happened, then sign and date the diagram.  The ‘diagram’ was not the best artwork ever (you know ‘stick people’?  I drew ‘stick airplanes’!), but I guess it gave them an idea of the incident…and so somewhere in their files they have my original copy of stick-airplane artwork, lol!

Then he asked me what I would have done differently, and went over my logbook and some other things, then we walked out to the hangar so that they could see where it happened, and I could explain the incident again.

 

With the FAA there are accidents and incidents.  Incidents are the lesser of the two…so I was grateful that my wing dent was in that category.

 

Aviation is so funny in that everything is so very carefully evaluated.  Which is very understandable, but it still struck me funny when I compared it to driving.  If I ran the end of my car into my garage, and an inspector from the DOT came and counseled me on how not to do that again, and I drew a diagram of my car and the garage, and he measured the driveway, we would have a LOT less crazy drivers.  Maybe. 😀

 

Some of the things we’re required to do in aviation would be rather helpful in driving.  Like if you were tested in your ability to use a map…you know, the paper kind?! 😀  I’m a lot more comfortable using a sectional (aviation map) than I am a road atlas. I guess they figure if you get lost on the ground and your GPS quits working, you can get out and ask someone for directions.  If you get lost in the air, it’s not quite that easy!

 

Shiny new wing!

My Flying Story Part 8-A Dented Wing & the FAA

After meeting with the FAA, I helped Ted change the oil in 78Quebec, then we practiced some crosswind landings in some strong gusting winds.

 

When I was getting ready to go home, Ted told me, “If anyone asks what you did today, you can tell them, ‘Well, I met with the Feds, then I flew in a hurricane, and changed airplane oil…what’d you do?!”

 

78Quebec

My Flying Story Part 8: A Dented Wing & the FAA

 

Later, I was telling Daddy about meeting with the FAA, and he told me, “You’re making memories I never did!”  I replied, “But this wasn’t a memory I WANTED to make!!!”  Nevertheless, for having to meet with the FAA, it was a good experience.  And Ted told me, “If denting a wing is the worst you ever do in your flying career, you’re doing pretty good!”

 

Part of our club’s rules is that we have to meet with the board if we have an incident or accident like this.  Once again, they were all very kind…even though I did put one of our airplanes out of commission for more than a month during our busiest flying season, and caused a bunch of paperwork and trouble. :)  I so love my flying club…they’re the best!  Tom, our club’s president, said that he rather liked the shiny aluminum look…couldn’t we just strip the paint off of the rest of the airplane?  Lol!

 

I also learned from this, that you have to, have to, have to be careful and PAY ATTENTION. Because those bad things you read about in others’ accident reports CAN happen to you, and you have nobody to blame but yourself :)

 

Next time, I’ll tell you about my first cross country…it was so. much. fun!

 

jessica

 

 

 

Happy 2016!!!

Our favorite way to bring in the New Year…is to make lots of noise, and have our own ‘ball drop’ 😉

May Twenty-Sixteen be full of Jesus’ blessings in your life, and may you have new and fresh revelations of His love for you!

 

Happy New Year! ( Warning! You might need earplugs! :-) )

Posted by Trisch Richardson on Thursday, December 31, 2015

 

 

Christmas Day 2015

Christmas Day 2015

 

On Christmas Day…we all slept in!  Even the boys. Susannah said she got up at 7:30 and no one else was awake.  After a yummy Christmas breakfast (above), we fed the animals, did dishes, and were ready to open presents by 11:30 :)

 

One of my favorite Christmas memories is laying in bed trying to go to sleep on Christmas Eve, and hearing Daddy and Mommy downstairs by the stairway, rustling through sacks to fill our stockings 😉  Now in addition to our parents filling them, we fill each others’.

Mine is the huge one at the top of the steps…because the hospital put me in one after I was born on Christmas Eve.  Leah’s is the white one right next to it.  When we were little, I always thought Leah got more things in her stocking, because hers would be overflowing, and you couldn’t see anything out of the top of mine, lol!  It didn’t occur to me that it was because my stocking was big enough to put a baby in it!

Christmas Day 2015

 

Handing out presents (Susannah is rattling hers to see if she can guess what’s in it!)

Christmas Day 2015

 

 

Selfie!

Christmas Day 2015

 

Noah made Daddy this little wooden airplane without a pattern or a kit!   My brothers are incredibly amazing with their building skills :)

Christmas Festivities

 

Charissa…super happy that she got the ‘toboggan hat’ that she’s been wanting 😀

Christmas Day 2015

 

Christmas Day 2015

 

Christmas Day 2015

We take almost all day to open presents, because we come up with as many convoluted ways as we possibly can to decide who opens their gift next.  We all open them one at a time, too, because we want to see what everyone is getting, and what their reaction is 😀  Once we did oldest to youngest.  Then youngest to oldest.  Then our names in alphabetical order.  Then our favorite colors in alphabetical order.  Then Daddy picked someone to start, then they picked the next person, until everyone was picked :)

Christmas Day 2015

 

Noah and Isaiah were SO happy to get a new drill 😀

Christmas Day 2015

Figuring out their new tool…

Christmas Day 2015

Noah was equally excited to get his own (orange) toboggan hat.

Christmas Day 2015

 

 

Anna, super excited over her present (which I think were new earbuds) 😀

Christmas Day 2015

Funny faces…

Christmas Day 2015

Christmas Day 2015

 

Susannah, with a new wallet made by Leah

Christmas Day 2015

Susannah and Cassia both love learning about anything medical.  Susannah asked for a coloring book on the anatomy of the body, so now she gets to color muscles, and eyeballs, and blood vessels, and who-knows-what-all-else.  You can tell that Noah just does not ‘get it’ why Susannah is so excited about her gift 😀  Not his kind of coloring book!

Christmas Day 2015

More funny faces…not sure what about!

Christmas Day 2015

 

Christmas Day 2015

 

Anna really wanted an essential oils diffuser for Christmas, so several of us went together to get it for her.  Cassia is helpfully looking up the directions for Anna :)

Christmas Day 2015

Leah excited about her gift (only I don’t remember what it is!)

Christmas Day 2015

You may notice a pattern here…Charissa is really into pink camo.  She has pink camo shoes, and a pink camo hat, a pink camo jacket, and now a pink camo comforter…she was SO happy!

Christmas Day 2015

Waiting for our turn…no wait…it must be my turn, because I’m tearing into that paper 😀

Christmas Day 2015

Susannah with a new planner she got this year.  She and I LOVE planners, notebooks, pens, papers, sticky notes and all of that ‘office-y stuff’ 😀  She was super excited about her new planner.

Christmas Day 2015

A funny, random picture.

Christmas Day 2015

Isaiah surprised me with a little wooden airplane that HE made (without a pattern or a kit)!  The main body of the airplane (the fuselage), is made from several individually cut pieces of wood.  He cut every single one of them. And sanded them down.  And glued them together.  At this rate, he’ll be able to build me a real airplane by the time he’s sixteen, lol!

Christmas Day 2015

 

The boys’ last present involved a treasure hunt…Mommy is helping them out with one of the clues here.

Christmas Day 2015

The hunt took them all over the house, and finally outside to the shop…

Christmas Day 2015

 

Isaiah’s face is hilarious.  In the anvil was the clue, along with the key to our storage closet where their gifts were.  Noah is getting the clue out of the anvil, and Isaiah has the key, with a look on his face like, “Why is this here?!”

Christmas Day 2015

 

They were getting really excited (once they figured out what the key was for!), and Noah was telling Isaiah, “Hurry, hurry!”

Christmas Day 2015

 

THIS is what was in the storage closet!  They are oh-so-happy to have these new bikes!  They’ve been ‘fixing’ theirs off an on throughout the summer, borrowing pieces from other old bikes that we have, lol!  Did I tell you my brothers are amazing?  It’s rather cute to see them be ‘little men’ and build and fix things.  We didn’t see the boys for a while after they found their bikes…they rode them around for quite a while :)

Christmas Day 2015

 

This was kind of a “two-for-one” deal…because Mommy didn’t know that Daddy had bought her a bookshelf, assembled it, and set it up in the shop where she would see it when the boys were on their treasure hunt 😀  Mommy loves books, and therefore has more books than she has bookshelves.  Something she has passed on to several of her daughters :)

 

Christmas Day 2015

Mommy after she saw the bookshelf :)

Christmas Day 2015

 

At about 5:30, we were completely done opening gifts and going on treasure hunts :)  We cleaned up all of the trash and got all of the food out of the oven and had a huge feast of ham, sweet potato casserole, apple marshmallow salad, rolls, green beans, and “gourmet potatoes” (potatoes with sour cream and butter and all kinds of goodness!).

 

Christmas Day 2015

 

Several years ago we girls got tired of cooking all afternoon on Christmas Day, so now we have it down to a science to where all we have to do is put casseroles in the oven, and maybe throw together a salad.  It is also very helpful that there are seven of us.  Everybody picks two or three things to make, we make the casseroles the day before, and it’s DONE! :)

 

Unfortunately, we didn’t get a picture of it all done…we were so hungry, we just ate it! 😀

 

To finish off an amazing Christmas, we watched a family favorite…The Muppets Christmas Carol :)   Okay, it’s almost a family favorite.  Some of the girls don’t like it, lol!

 

“It’s in the singing of a street corner choir…it’s going home and getting warm by the fire…it is wherever you find love, it feels like Chriiissttmmaaasss!” 

 

Anna got a picture of the Christmas moon.  The boys informed me that I would be 59 the next time we had a full moon on Christmas.  This was comforting news, haha!

Christmas Moon

 

And that was the end of Christmas Twenty-Fifteen :)

 

 

Susannah and Cassia have been working up the Piano Guys arrangement of O Come, O Come Emmanuel for this Christmas season, and so Anna went with the two of them yesterday to a local chapel to record it for you…enjoy (and be sure to watch to the end)!!! 😀

Merry Christmas from all of us!!!

 

jessica

 

 

 

 

Christmas Festivities

Every year around Christmas, our blog gets quiet.  However, our house is NOT quiet 😀  We’re practicing music, baking, sewing, decorating, and trying to do everyday chores around the house, plus our working jobs far and near 😉  Often we have vehicle discussions.  “Where are you going tomorrow?”  “Can I take this car?”  “What time will you be back?”  Lol!

 

To start with…we went Christmas tree shopping at Hensler’s this year, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  We discovered after last year’s trouble finding a tall tree (and we do love tall trees), that Hensler’s is the best when it comes to tall trees (or any trees for that matter!).  Plus the whole atmosphere is quite fun…they have hot chocolate, horse drawn wagon rides, a petting zoo, etc, etc.  Last year when we went, it was later than we usually get our tree, so hardly anyone was around.  This year, EVERYONE was there.  We girls laughed in amazement at how many people there were…”This is like the 4H fair…only for Christmas time!”

 

A funny picture Anna made us pose for

Christmas Festivities

 

Hensler’s has these nice Christmas tree ‘carts’ to haul your tree back to your vehicle.  Cassia hitched a ride on our way to find our tree 😀  There were so many people there that they were out of hand saws.  Daddy went to get a saw out of his truck, but then we ran into some friends who had just cut down their tree, so they kindly gave us their saw 😀

Christmas Festivities

 

We have the tree!

Christmas Festivities

While we were waiting for Daddy to pay for the tree, we saw this really cute little Volkswagen ‘Bug’ with a little tiny tree on top.  I told Anna, “Take a picture of that…it is so ‘Pinteresty’.”  😀

Christmas Festivities

 

This year, for the first time ever, we put the tree out in the sun room.  Some of us had a hard time liking that.  Like me.  I am a fuddy-duddy-who-doesn’t-like-change! 😀  However, it grew on me, and I ended up liking it after about a week!  Especially when I saw how the lights reflected in the windows!

 

Every year, Daddy and Mommy line up all of the ornaments.  We get a new ornament each year that has something to do with what happened that year, so after all of the ornaments are lined up, they tell the story behind each ornament :)

 

Christmas Festivities

 

They bought this little house ornament the year they bought the house we live in.  The ornament even has a small window seat upstairs…just like our house!

Christmas Festivities

 

We had a hard time trying to decide what this year’s ornament should be.  Susannah went to Haiti, but not everyone went to Haiti.  Cassia got into EMS, but not everyone is in EMS.  Jessica is flying airplanes, but not everyone is flying.  So our parents went out on a date one night, and found this.  We thought it was perfect, because no matter where we go or what we do…we’re going to stay close :)

Christmas Festivities

 

Christmas Festivities

December 5th, all seven of us girls went to see the Piano Guys in Fort Wayne!  When we found out that they were going to be so close, we just knew we had to go!  We love their YouTube videos 😀

 

Us at the Embassy Theater, to see The Piano Guys

Christmas Festivities

 

Here’s a video Anna took of their performance…it isn’t the best quality, but hey!  It proves we saw them for real and in person! 😀

 

The view from the ‘sky bridge’ from the Hilton to the parking garage. It was much more amazing looking than this blurry picture really shows.

Christmas Festivities

Another night, Charissa and Rebekah baked a TON of cookies, and we all got into our pajamas and drove around, looking at Christmas lights while eating cookies and drinking hot chocolate.  That sounds so cozy (and it was!), but it was SO warm that night that the hot chocolate was really making us warm, and so we opened our windows to cool off.  Who looks at Christmas lights in Indiana with their windows rolled down?!!

Mommy found out about this eight-minute light show in Warsaw, which was rather amazing :)

Went out with the family to look at Christmas lights!! So fun :)

Posted by Seven Farmgirls on Saturday, December 12, 2015

 

 

On December 12th, Leah, Susannah and I played in the Symphony of the Lake’s Christmas concert!  That was amazing!  The Warsaw high school and middle school choirs sang while we played…The Candlelight Carol by John Rutter, For Unto Us A Child is Born, And the Glory of the Lord, and several more amazing songs :)

 

Christmas Festivitiesphoto via Symphony of the Lakes Facebook page

 

 

The next thing on our December calendar was the Bremen Holy Walk!  We so love doing this!  There’s a more detailed post about it here from a previous year.  But basically it’s a live nativity…you get to walk through Bethlehem and experience a little of what Mary and Joseph may have experienced :)

 

This year we sewed about sixteen new costumes for the Holy Walk.   The committee gave us several bolts of material to sew them for last year, but we got busy and didn’t get to do it.  This year, in true Richardson style, we waited until the week before to decide that we really should sew these up! 😀  So one night Leah made us yummy peppermint chocolate cookies, turned on Christmas music, and we cut out and seeeewwwweeeddddd costumes!  I was the ‘costume-cutter-outer’ and the rest of the girls set up their sewing machines and sewed them all up.

Christmas Festivities

 

All sixteen costumes…FINISHED!

Christmas Festivities

This is most of us on Friday night…crammed into the bathroom, all trying to adjust our costumes 😀

Christmas Festivities

Mommy, Anna, and I were guides (this was Anna’s first year, and she LOVED it!).  Here all of the other guides are listening to Barb give instructions before we headed out to guide our ‘families’ (groups).

Christmas Festivities

This year, 4,000 people went through the Holy Walk over the course of the two nights.  Mommy guided eight groups, and Anna and I guided seven groups each.  A group usually averages around 20 people.

 

Mommy got some pictures of some of the tents before it got dark.  This was the “tax collector’s”  tent.  The tax collector always gives me a hard time when I come through with my ‘families’.  He’s supposed to be this ‘stern Roman’, but he can’t seem to keep a straight face.  When I came through with my fourth group on Saturday, he turned his head toward me and held up four fingers, “Is this number four?!”

 

I always sit on the straw when I’m in the Roman tents…partly because I’m tired and need a rest, and partly to get the Romans going 😀  He always told me, “Get up old woman (they call you ‘old woman’ or ‘old man’, no matter what your age!),  why are you sitting on my straw!”  At my last group when it was 12:30 a.m. he let me sit down…I think he felt sorry for the guides who really were tired by this time!

 

He put me in the stocks for the first time ever…Mommy had the very last group at about 1:30 a.m., so I snuck in at the end of her group, and when he saw me again he started laughing.  Which made me laugh.  Then he told Mommy, “What’s the matter with this one down here?”

 

Christmas Festivities

Then he hit the board in front of his ‘throne’ with his staff and said, “Come here!” and made me kneel in front of him.

“What’s the name of your family?”

“Hadassah”, I said…I knew what name Mommy always went by.

“What does your family do for a living?”

“We’re shipbuilders,” I answered.  That was close…I had only heard a couple of minutes before what ‘our family did for a living’.

“How many people are in your family?” he asked.

I thought,  oh no!  I don’t know this one!, so I guessed “Twenty!”

I was right!

But then he asked, “How many men are in your family?”

Oh brother!  I had no idea…I guessed fifteen.

“Wrong!” he said, “put her in the stocks and she can count them as they walk by!”

Lol!

 

Christmas Festivities

 

More guides, plus ‘Marys’ and ‘Josephs’ getting ready :)

Christmas Festivities

 

Roman soldiers, waiting on the villagers to arrive.

Christmas Festivities

 

“Bethlehem” is coming alive

Christmas Festivities

 

 

Christmas Festivities

The Romans always tried to rob me of my ‘money’, and it was fun to see how some of my ‘families’ would try to protect me.  The innkeeper asked who carried the money, and one tall guy said that he did.  “Good,” said the innkeeper, “because there’s some soldiers who would try to steal it from your mother here. And some of them make you look like a midget!”

Which was true, because we have a ‘Roman soldier’ who is 6′ 8″ without his Roman helmet on, so he makes a pretty intimidating soldier!

My tall ‘son’ told the innkeeper, “We’ll see!” 😀

 

The rest of the family was down in the village, ‘selling’ produce!

Christmas Festivities

 

We came home extremely tired that weekend, but it was completely worth it…tons of fun and a huge blessing :)

 

 

 

During the first part of December, Cassia had the idea that all of us girls should go out and get a manicure or pedicure.  None of us ever have before (except for me, but that was ten years ago when my friend who was going to cosmetology school gave me a manicure for free :)).  We decided we would, and called ahead to make a reservation, because we figured they didn’t want to be surprised by seven girls all at once, especially only a few days before Christmas (it was one of the few days we weren’t doing anything!).

 

Well…they forgot we made a reservation, so they were surprised.  It was hilarious, and I had to try to not laugh too hard.  Seven of us girls come traipsing in to the nail salon, and the customers are looking at us like they can’t believe their eyeballs.  Others just smiled. One lady…the look on her face was somewhere between horrified and confused.  She was probably very glad she wasn’t waiting behind all of us!

The guy in charge was confused, because he didn’t remember us calling to make a reservation, but he was very gracious and worked us in without any problem, and the ladies who did our mani/pedicures were very nice :)  The guy picked Charissa to go first, then had her give him one of our names.  When it was their turn, he called out the name.

Guy: “Anna!”

Anna: stands up totally confused at how he knew her name

Anna went and sat down and asked “How…how did you know my name? did one of my sisters tell you?”

Guy: “Eh, just a good guess” 😉

 

At first we were a bit confused…how did he know our names?!  Then we figured out what he was doing as each sister got done and gave him the next sister’s name 😀

 

 

He asked us, “Is this a wedding party?”

“No, just a sisters outing!”

“Ohhhhhhh!” he replied.

 

One of the ladies asked us, “Is this a wedding party?”

“No, just a sisters outing!”

“Ohhhhhhhh!” she replied.

 

A customer asked us, “Is this a wedding party?”

“No, just a sisters outing!”

“Ohhhhhhh!” she replied.

 

One of the ladies who was doing the pedicures asked, “Are you all related?”

“Yes, we’re all sisters!”

“Wow!”

The other Asian lady helping her asked in their language, “From more than one mother?”

The first lady told her, “No, I don’t think they do that in their culture!” 😀

 

After the nail salon, we went to Starbucks!

Christmas Festivities

Then we noticed other people giving tips.  Having never been to a nail salon before, we didn’t know this was customary…and we started to wonder what the proper percentage was.  So Cassia asked another customer 😀

Later, the lady who had looked horrified and confused earlier, left with her granddaughter.  I was sitting next to the door and she stopped and said very seriously and in accented English, “I hope you have a…happy…holiday.”  :)

We were all finished, except Cassia, whose toenails still needed to dry a bit, so the rest of us decided we would go out to the van so that there would be more room in the waiting area for more customers that were coming in.  Cassia decided to just walk outside with us in her pedicure flip-flops.  I said, “What?!  You’re walking outside in those?!”  and then we started laughing.

I’m quite sure by the time we all left they were all smiling at each other and laughing, “Those girls…had no idea what they were doing did they?”

And they would be perfectly right!

This just may become a new Christmas tradition 😀

 

This picture is quite random and hilarious…we’re trying to pose for a picture, but Anna’s making a funny face, Bekah is wiping her eyes because she’s been laughing so hard she’s crying, and apparently Susannah didn’t know we were taking a picture, so she was ‘spying’ on her coffee, and eating her cinnamon roll.  She let me post this picture as long as I made it clear that she was NOT blowing her nose…that was her cinnamon roll!

Christmas Festivities

 

Cassia, giving Bekah lessons on how to snoop.  “First you see who it’s to, and who it’s from, and then think about what that person would have asked for on their Christmas list.”  I told her she was going to get switches and coal in her stocking if she kept it up 😀

 

Anna is terribly thrilled that I got her sleeping in the background of this picture.  I thought I cut her out, but I guess not! 😀

Christmas Festivities

 

Santa came on December 23rd 😀  We’ve blogged about it before, but the Mentone Fire Department visits the homes in and around Mentone, and one of them dresses up as Santa and he arrives in the fire truck with lights flashing and sirens blaring.  Then he gives everyone candy.  It’s a fun tradition and we love seeing the firetruck light up our driveway :)

Christmas Festivities

 

And now for the last part of our post…the decorations!  We have a Rubbermaid tote system where we number the totes, and have a index card file with corresponding numbered cards with a list of everything that is in that tote.  That sounds like we are very organized.  However, those lists haven’t been updated in years, so you kind of take a guess at what is REALLY in that tote, lol!  But at any rate, we know that all of the totes labeled with the number ’25’ are for Christmas.  And we have ’25A, 25B, 25C’…all the way to ’25H’ full of Christmas decorations 😀  Usually we all get together and get the house decorated in a couple of hours, but this year we couldn’t seem to get together and just DO it, so Leah came to the rescue and made everything beautiful :)

I mentioned in a previous post that the boys like to decorate their room, too :)  You can’t really see it, because the blankets are covering it, but they built their own bed frame :)

Christmas Festivities

 

Reflection in the mirror…

Christmas Festivities

 

The ‘stairway’

Christmas Festivities

The entryway

Christmas Festivities

 

Leah’s handiwork…she made the ‘faux chalkboard’ out of black paper last year :)

Christmas Festivities

 

The other wall in the entry way.  The sign at the top is one Charissa made for Mommy that says, “Never a Dull Moment”. Nothing could be more true.

Christmas Festivities

 

A tiny Christmas tree and Nativity scene.

Christmas Festivities

 

 

 

A larger nativity scene that our grandma made and gave to us :)

Christmas Festivities

The kitchen with all of the ‘village houses’ on top of the cupboards.

Christmas Festivities

Christmas teapots

Christmas Festivities

Lotsa aprons

Christmas Festivities

Looking at the kitchen from the other direction :)

Christmas Festivities

Leah was making ‘Kiss’ Cookies :)

Christmas Festivities

 

Christmas Festivities

My favorite!  Remember how I said that the lights looked so pretty reflecting in the windows?

Christmas Festivities

A rare moment when the sun room, our main living area, is actually picked up and clean!  There aren’t any towels on the couch that need to be folded! 😀

Christmas Festivities

 

Christmas Festivities

Christmas presents…stacking up behind the tree :)

Christmas Festivities

 

Christmas Festivities

So cozy!

Christmas Festivities

 

Christmas Festivities

 

On the night before Christmas Eve,  it was extremely windy and I heard a crash.  We just recently had some wind tear off the carport roof out by the shop, so I thought it might have blown the metal somewhere, or blown a tree branch down.  I went outside, and I never did find out what the crash was because the sky was soooooo beautiful!

You could see a full moon, and a starry sky, then white fluffy clouds were racing across the sky….zooming!  I found out later that we were having winds of about 40 miles per hour.  Standing out there looking up at that beautiful sky, and the wind trying to blow you over was just exhilarating!  I loved it!  I love how God sends us little gifts of things He knows that we like…this was a like a birthday gift from Him to me :)

 

Christmas Eve was my birthday…and it was nice enough for a few hours in the morning that I was able to go flying!!!  I’ve been rescheduling my checkride to get my license since the 5th of December, and the weather has NOT cooperated, so the fact that we actually had a sunny day made me very, very happy! 😀

Christmas Festivities

 

Now that most of the Christmas busyness is over, I do plan on starting up my ‘flying story’ again 😀   I took this picture when I went flying on the 24th…there were a few little fluffy clouds around me, and zipping by me.  I was headed for one, and I thought to myself, “Oh cool!”  Then I remembered, I’m not supposed to fly into one of those!, so I changed course to get out of the way 😀

 

Christmas Festivities

Tomorrow…we’ll show you pictures of Christmas Day :)

Christmas Festivities

 

 

jessica

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Prettiest Sight To See…

…is the holly that will be on your own front door.”

I love that Christmas song!

The Prettiest Sight to See...

 

 

You know that we have this little tradition that we girls do every year, shutting up our rooms and rearranging and redecorating it :)

(You can see previous years here.) Hopefully Anna, Bekah and Charissa will be able to do a post soon of their room, and Susannah and Cassia of theirs. We also  have lots of creative signs letting people know where they are and are not allowed in the house while Christmas gifts are being worked on :)

 

This year, Leah and I didn’t finish ours until December 23rd, which is unheard of for us!  Usually we have it done way earlier in the month.  But partly because we’ve been busy, and partly because we were having trouble coming up with a ‘new’ way to do it, we didn’t get it done until just a couple of days before Christmas!

 

Leah and I always have this joke, or this ‘fun argument’.  She always says, “But it’s so perfect the way it is…we should just leave the furniture!”  and I always reply, “But there’s a new perfect way out there…we just need to find it!”  She is always so kind to go with my reasoning, and we put the whole room in an upheaval trying to find that “new perfect way”.   At one point, we had all of our books and our desk completely blocking the door.  We were stuck in our room until we cleaned it up :)  I like what Pauline commented, “You’ll just have to read your way out.”

 

The Prettiest Sight to See...

 

It took a while, but we finally got it moved around and redecorated for Christmas.  Then we called the whole family upstairs, turned on Christmas music (this year it was the Candlelight Carol by John Rutter), and opened the door to show them all :)  It is really cute how the boys (who are nine and eleven years old now)  have gotten into this little tradition as well.  They had their own room showing a few weeks ago, and not only did they have Christmas lights strung throughout their room, but they built themselves a new bed frame, and a chair for their desk!

 

We so liked having the extra floor space from stacking our beehive bookshelves on top of our vanity like we did last year, that we decided to keep it that way for this year.

The Prettiest Sight to See...

 

The Prettiest Sight to See...

 Leah made tiny snowflakes hanging from burlap threads on our mirror ♥

The Prettiest Sight to See...

 

We have all kinds of junk…I mean stuff…under our bed.  So to move it all is quite interesting.  We take the box spring and mattress off of the bed frame, take everything out, move the bed, organize all of the stuff under the bed how we want it, and put the mattress back on :)  Since the bed is up by the wall, this is the easiest way to do it 😀

The Prettiest Sight to See...

 

Leah made the Christmas pillows last year, and she did our chalkboard art again this year.

The Prettiest Sight to See...

It’s from a Christmas carol, Thou Who Wast Rich Beyond All Splendor by Frank Houghton

The Prettiest Sight to See...

 

 Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour,
All for love’s sake becamest poor;
Thrones for a manger didst surrender,
Sapphire-paved courts for stable floor.
Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour,
All for love’s sake becomes poor.

 

The Prettiest Sight to See...

 

 Thou who art God beyond all praising,
All for love’s sake becamest man;
Stooping so low, but sinners raising
Heavenwards by thine eternal plan.
Thou who art God beyond all praising,
All for love’s sake becamest man.

 

 

The Prettiest Sight to See...

 

Thou who art love beyond all telling,
Saviour and King, we worship thee.
Emmanuel, within us dwelling,
Make us what thou wouldst have us be.
Thou who art love beyond all telling,
Saviour and King, we worship thee.

The Prettiest Sight to See...

 

The Prettiest Sight to See...

 

  Leah and I LOVE putting lights in the curtains :)  We also bought a new garland that we cut up and used throughout the room, especially over the window.

The Prettiest Sight to See...

The Prettiest Sight to See...

Leah made us a new decoration by putting together a ‘Merry Christmas’ sign I had, a burlap bow, red berries, and little snowflakes that she cut out.  Our room wouldn’t be half so pretty if it weren’t for her amazing attention to detail and making everything look so nice!

The Prettiest Sight to See...

The Prettiest Sight to See...

Thank you for joining us and taking a tour of our room 😉

 

Merry Christmas!

 

jessica

 

 

 

 

My Flying Story Part 7: Flying Solo & Oil Changes

My Flying Story Part 7: Flying Solo & Oil Changes

Part 1 || Part 2 || Part 3 || Part 4 || Part 5 || Part 6

 

 

The evening after I soloed I texted Ted to see if I could go flying again :)

 

My Flying Story Part 7: Flying Solo & Oil Changes

 

He got out of the plane after the first few landings, then I did 6 or 7 by myself.  When I finally came in from practicing the landings, he said, “I thought I was going to have to shoot you down!”  Later he mentioned signing me off at other airports so that I wouldn’t be bored at Rochester, “But maybe you wouldn’t get bored, it didn’t seem like it tonight!”  Lol!

 

Just a couple of days later, I went flying again.   After the first landing, Ted said, “Okay, I just can’t take it anymore!  Go drop me off now!” 😀   Then he went home and didn’t stick around the airport.  That was a weird feeling to know that not only was my instructor not in the plane…but not even on the airport!  Not that he could do much if I got in trouble, lol!

 

After I dropped Ted off, I flew over to our house and circled it a couple of times, and ‘waved’ at my siblings :)  Then I flew back and did 3 or 4 more take offs and landings.  My next to last landing was when another pilot came into the traffic pattern and I had to talk to him over the radio (horrors!), and I got completely flustered and reported that I was in the opposite part of the traffic pattern 😀  But as I said before, we got it worked out.  He was fueling up when I taxied to put the plane away and I sheepishly waved.  “Sorry…I’m the student-pilot-who’s-scared-to-talk-on-the-radio.” 😀

Since Ted wasn’t there that time, I had to put the airplane away by myself.  Pushing the plane is harder than pulling it, and I discovered that there is the tiniest bit of incline to get into the hangar 😀  After pushing and pushing and PUSHING and throwing all of my weight against it, I finally got it in.   I sure hope nobody was watching, because I’m sure I looked ridiculous! We always have to text our instructors to let them know when we’re flying, and when we’ve landed, so that they know we’re okay.  So I texted Ted this picture of the airplane in the hangar and said, “I may be more proud of the fact that I parked it by myself than that I landed it!”

I’ve finally worked out a system for pushing it in…and I’ve learned you don’t stop on the incline! 😀

My Flying Story Part 7: Flying Solo & Oil Changes

 

Kristina, the other lady who is learning to fly right now as well, soloed not too long after me.  One day we were both getting ready to fly, and we were talking about our solos.  We both agreed that it was fun that we could fly by ourselves, but we missed having our instructors in the plane with us.  It’s just not quite as fun by yourself!

 

On the 24th, I flew again. I told Mommy, “I think I’m addicted to flying.”  and she replied, “You think?!”  Hehe!

That time, I met Matt, who also works at the airport.  I was taxiing back to the hangar after I was done flying, and I saw someone come over in the golf cart to the hangar and open the hangar door.   He introduced himself and said that Ted had asked him to help me push the airplane in 😀   It goes in a lot easier with two people!

 

Almost every time I come home from flying I do my own version of Dory’s song, “Oh, oh, I love to flyyyyy!”  and my siblings say, “Yes Jessica, we know!”

However they have no room to talk…especially Cassia when she gets home from driving the ambulance…she acts the same way 😀

 

The next time I went flying, I practiced some of the maneuvers Ted had taught me.  Slow flight is one that simulates being able to land at a slow speed.  Only you practice it 3,500 ft MSL (mean sea level) which would be about 2,800 ft. AGL (above ground level).  You get it flying so slow that the stall horn comes on, then you add enough power to keep it from sinking.  You want to stay right on 3,500 ft, as well as keep it on a certain heading (like 360°/North), and keep that stall horn whining 😀  You can fly the airplane as slow as 49 miles an hour or so that way :)

 

Some other maneuvers you have to practice up high are steep turns where you bank your wings 45°, AND keep it on altitude (right at 3,500 ft.), AND at a certain airspeed AND turn out at a certain heading. Those are fun!

 

Also, there’s stalls, which I like!  At least I like the power off stalls (simulating a stall while you were landing).  The power on stalls, which simulate a stall during takeoff,  are a little more ‘exciting’ 😀

 

The ground reference maneuvers are fun to do as well.  Those you do lower, at 800 feet AGL (or 1,600 MSL).

There are turns about a point.  You pick out a point, and my instructor taught me that crossroads make a good ‘point’ :)  You have to evenly fly around the circle (and make sure you stay on your altitude…right on 1,600 ft.).  This is a good maneuver for flying over your house 😉

My Flying Story Part 7: Flying Solo & Oil Changesimage via the Airplane Flying Handbook

 

Then there are rectangular patterns.   On these you usually pick out a country block, and fly around it.  You have to correct for the wind, which means your airplane’s nose might be pointed sideways a bit, but you’re still flying straight :)  This is called ‘crabbing’:

My Flying Story Part 7: Flying Solo & Oil Changesimage via the Airplane Flying Handbook

 

 

Then there are S turns :)  Whenever you’re about to cross the road, your wings should be level and parallel to the road.  With all of these maneuvers you have to correct for the wind, and with the S turns, you work at making the points at the top of the arcs evenly spaced from the road.  For example, the ‘2’ and the ‘4’ on the picture should be about the same distance from the road.  Depending on the wind, you’re pattern might not look like such a perfect ‘S’, but you should have those two places evenly spaced, and your wings level when you cross the road :)

My Flying Story Part 7: Flying Solo & Oil Changesimage via the Airplane Flying Handbook

 

Around the first part of August, Jim put out an email saying that they were getting ready to change the oil in 12874.  I thought it would be interesting to see how to do that, so I asked if I could come ‘help’…errrr watch!

I’ve never had much of a desire to learn how the spaghetti of wires and pipes and things under the car hood work.  I’m just glad that they work!  I can add air, oil, or gas, but that’s about it.

 

At first I felt the same way about the airplane, but one of the things I have to know for my oral test is about a few of the things inside of my airplane.  Like it has 4 cylinders, 2 magnetos, and 2 spark plugs for each cylinder…that it’s a normally aspirated engine, etc 😀   I wanted to see what all this stuff was that they were talking about, and I kind of wanted to know how it worked.  Once Ted had the cowling off of the Cherokee, and I got to see the cylinders, magnetos and spark plugs on it, and since I am a visual learner, that really helped cement it better :)

 

Jim said that I definitely could help/watch, so I went over one evening to help him and some other club members change the oil and clean the spark plugs.  I didn’t expect to help much, because I didn’t have a clue what to do, and I didn’t want to get in the way, but Jim was good about including me and showing me what to do.  I got to unscrew the oil filter,  screw on the new one, pour in the new oil, and wash up the plane.  There’s a certain tool that tells you exactly how tight to screw on the filter and the spark plugs, so Jim showed me how to use that as well.

 

Jim had me put some cloths underneath the filter before I unscrewed it to help catch any oil that would come out, but then I accidentally dropped the filter, and caught it again underneath the airplane with the cloths.  Tim, who they call ‘Doc’ said, “It’s a boy!” and we all started laughing. Oil was all over my hands, and the filter was all wrapped up in it’s ‘blankets’.  Then Jim told me, “Go take care of your newborn now!”

Anna likes to change the oil in the cars at home, and she’s said how happy she gets when her hands are all oily and messy.  After getting my hands all oily and messy, I knew what she meant, lol!

 

After getting more interested in the ‘insides’ of the plane, it’s made me a little more interested in the ‘insides’ of the car.  The plane is heaps more interesting to me, but I would like to learn how to change the oil in the car now 😀

 

A week or two later, I went to go flying, but when I got to the airport there were gusts of 14 knots going across the runway.  I hadn’t had much experience with that kind of wind yet, so I texted Ted saying that I guessed that I shouldn’t fly?

 

He said that I probably shouldn’t, but did I want him to help me practice crosswind landings?  I said of course!  😀

 

So once he got there, we taxied to the runway, but when we checked the magnetos during the engine run-up, one of them ran really rough, so we had to take it back to the hangar.  Ted cleaned the spark plugs, to see if that was the problem, and I got to help.  He showed me out to clean out the lead, sandblast them, clean them with a wire brush, and then put them back on.  It was so interesting to see how it all worked and went together :)

 

Once he had them all back on, he asked if I wanted to test it out.  Is that a question?!  Of course I said yes!!! So we got to practice some crosswind landings after all :)

 

jessica

 

→to be continued :)

My Flying Story Part 6: SOLO!

My Flying Story Part 6: SOLO!I love to fly!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

 

Flying was coming along pretty well.  Ted said that my radio communications and cockpit work was becoming more confident.  And I noticed as well that I wasn’t as afraid to talk on the radio :)   I asked Ted about my turns, because they felt sloppy to me.  When you turn a car on the ground, you have trees and houses and things whizzing by, and the turn feels very definitive.  But up in the air, you don’t have that immediate feedback.  So I wasn’t sure if that was why it felt sloppy, or if I needed to do something to fix them.  He said that my turns were good, “Actually, I was thinking they were about as smooth as a commercial pilot.”  That made me happy!

 

I decided to buy my own headset. I ended up buying two to see which I liked more, then I resold the other one.  I was so excited when they came in the mail…I later told Ted it was like Christmas.  He laughed and said, “You are so pathetic!  How many girls would be so happy to get a headset in the mail?!”

 

My Flying Story Part 6: SOLO!

 

Landings were the most challenging part.   Several of our lessons were just going around and around the pattern, practicing landings :)  Ted told me that when he wasn’t saying anything to me during the whole landing, that meant I was doing it by myself.  At first he had to remind me to do just about everything, then he started getting quieter, and quieter.  It was a little spooky, and I almost wanted him to tell me what to do, but I knew that wouldn’t help anything.  At the same time it was also encouraging to know that I was starting to get this by myself.  I even looked outside, just because I had time to, not because I was supposed to 😀

There’s a certain part of the landing where you have to ‘flare’ the airplane, which means you’re bringing the airplane level with the runway, right before touchdown, like in the picture below:

 

My Flying Story Part 6: SOLO!image via FAA

Ted told me that it’s hard to explain, but that one day I would ‘see’ it and know when to flare the airplane.  Eventually, the only part that Ted was talking was when I needed to flare.  We went around and around the pattern, but I still wasn’t able to recognize that point.

Then on June 26th,  Ted said ‘the light bulb came on’.  He was right!  I can’t explain it, but I ‘saw’ it!  He even drew a light bulb in my logbook to remember it by, lol!

 

My Flying Story Part 6: SOLO!

Then the next lesson, I couldn’t ‘see’ it anymore and felt like that light bulb hadn’t come on at all!  That time we went around the pattern 11 times.

When we got back, we needed to refuel, but first we had to wait on another guy named Jim, while he filled his twin engine airplane.  I’m not sure what kind it is…I’m not very good (yet!) with seeing an airplane and recognizing it’s name :)  But at any rate, it was a bigger one, so we had to wait a bit.  Ted knew Jim, and we got out of the airplane while we were waiting, and Ted teased him, “Would you get your airplane out of the way?!”

 

Sharon, a lady who works at the airport,  came out and joined us, and so I got to meet her for the first time, and I found out that I liked her a lot, too 😀  We talked for a bit, then when she left, she was razzing Ted, “You be nicer to her!  She told me! She told me!”

And he teased her right back, “Oh, just ’cause she acts all sweet and nice doesn’t mean anything!  She’s terrible!”

Lol!

 

After that lesson he told me that I had learned and done everything I needed to solo…I just needed to be able to solo (a.k.a. land the airplane!).

 
 
We had a pancake breakfast fly-in at at the club hangars on July 11th.  I went and helped and got to visit with the club members and other pilots,  and see all of the neat airplanes they brought in.  There was a Piper Cub and a home-built airplane, plus several other Cessnas and other airplanes I don’t remember.  I hadn’t seen Ted for a week because he had been gone for his job.  When he came to the breakfast he said, “I think I know you…you look kind of familiar.”  He was teasing because I was flying 2 or 3 times a week if I could, and a whole week seemed like a very long time to not fly!  We got to fly again that day and practice some more landings.  That was a good thing, because the 4H fair was coming up the next week, which meant another whole week of not flying 😀

 

The club also gives airplane rides at the pancake breakfast to raise money for Operation Quiet Comfort which is headed up by one of the pilot’s wives (have I told you that we have lots of neat people in this club?) :)  I told Ted, “Hey, can’t I give some airplane rides??”  And he laughed and said, “Maybe next year you’ll have your license, then you can.”  I said that I might be more excited to fly the airplane than the people were were going for the ride.  The kids might be saying, “Moooommm?  This girl is too excited…I’m not sure I want to fly with her!”

 

the fly-in

My Flying Story Part 6: SOLO!

We had another flying club meeting on July 17th, and Andy asked me again, “Have you soloed yet kiddo?”  😀

I haven’t told you about ‘Captain Andy’ yet.   I first met Andy while going to ground school, and Jim told me that Andy and his wife took a ten year trip, sailing around the world in their own boat!  They’d sail for a while, then stop and open a restaurant and run it long enough to create enough money to keep sailing.  Then off they’d go again.  Two of their children were born on that trip, and I asked him if they were born on the boat. But he said no, they were born in a hospital at one of the places they had stopped :)  When I first heard about this, I thought, “His wife must be a pretty neat lady!”  And I was right!  I got to meet her at a club dinner and she is a neat lady!

Andy already has his license, but he came to ground school as a refresher course.  He’s a part of our club, so at every meeting he’d ask me, “Have you soloed yet?” or asked how flying was going.  He’s always been an encouragement to me.

 

 

 

July 20th…I SOLOED! It was a nice calm evening.  We did several landings, a couple of which felt so smooth!  My landings often felt like a ‘thud’ to me 😀  Whenever they were smooth, I’d be bracing myself for the ‘thud’ and then be pleasantly surprised.

He said that my pattern work was perfect, and that he was checking emails on his phone because he had nothing to do, lol!  After several landings he asked me, “Are you ready to do this by yourself?”

“I don’t know…maybe!”  I replied.

“Drop me of by the office, and go do three take offs and landings to a full stop.”

 

I was excited that the time had come to solo, AND I wasn’t too sure about him leaving the airplane!

I dropped him off, he waved, and away I went.

As I was taxiing to the runway, I was thinking, “I can’t believe I’m doing this!  I’m gonna take off and land by myself!  I’m soloing!”  then my next thought was, “Okay, pay attention, Jessica–what are you supposed to be doing here?  If you don’t pay attention you won’t solo!  Oh I can’t believe I’m soloing!!!” 😀

 

The plane felt lighter without another person in there, and it was so quiet.  The trip around the pattern seemed a lot longer.

The first time I landed I thought, “I just landed the plane BY MYSELF!”  I was so happy.

I did exactly what Ted warned me about…I left the flaps down (you use flaps to land, but they need to be back up before you take off), but thankfully he reminded me over the radio.

 

It was a pretty, pretty sunset about that time, too.  Sunsets are pretty enough, but in the air…they’re even better!

I taxied up to the fuel pump and Ted met me there and congratulated me and shook my hand, and said that he’d pump the gas since I soloed 😀  He asked me if I noticed that the plane took off quicker without him in it.  I said that it did, and that the turns felt different, too.  He said, “Are you trying to tell me that I need to lose weight?!”

 

I said, “Hey, you were the one who suggested it!”

 

When we taxied back to the hangar, I forgot to put the brake on when I started up the plane, and Ted pretended to roll his eyes and teased me that we needed to get the plane put away before he changed his mind or I messed up some more 😀

Solo!!!

 

My Flying Story Part 6: SOLO!

We got the plane put away (after I asked Ted to take my picture next to the plane, lol!), and filled out the logbook.  I started my first column of solo time!

My Flying Story Part 6: SOLO!

After everything was filled out, I put all my stuff away, then when I stood up and turned around, Ted had scissors in his hand and a big smile on his face and he said, “Here comes my favorite part!”  Lol!  It’s tradition to cut out the back of the t-shirt and write your name and the date you soloed, then you hang it up as a trophy 😀

 

I looked it up once, curious how that tradition got started.  I found several things that said that ‘in the old days’, an instructor sat behind his student (there wasn’t a seat next to the student like there are in a lot of airplanes now).  There was also no intercom, so the instructor couldn’t just talk to the student, it’s too loud in the airplane.  So apparently the instructor would tug on the the student’s shirt, about which way he was supposed to go, etc.

So to cut off the shirt tail was kind of like ‘cutting off the apron strings’…you didn’t need your instructor to tell you how to do every little thing anymore 😀

 

My Flying Story Part 6: SOLO!

I wore it over my jumper, so I told him to make sure he didn’t cut off the ties of my jumper and he said, “Hey!  I’m a wild man with scissors!”  Lol!   We then had to hunt around for a marker, and finally found one.  He wrote on the shirt and tacked it up on the bulletin board.

As we were getting ready to leave, Ted was putting the hangar door down, and he said, “Heads up!  It’d be a shame to drop the door on you right after you soloed!” 😀

 

I was oh so happy as I drove home, and I skipped into the house, dropped my bags, turned around to show my family that the back of my shirt was gone and said, “I SOLOED!” 😀  Then we all hugged each other, and they congratulated me, and I was on cloud nine for the next few hours.  Actually for the next SEVERAL hours…I couldn’t even try to sleep until after midnight…and then I think I still wasn’t asleep until 2 a.m. because I was so wired, lol!

 

My Flying Story Part 6: SOLO!

When I got home, I saw an email from Ted that he had sent out to our club email list,

Huge congratulations to Jessica (Amelia) Richardson for her 1st solo tonight (7-20-15)!!!  Great job, Jessica!

And one from Jim, who lives right under the downwind leg of the traffic pattern,

Congratulations!!  I knew you were soloing.  I was watching you fly, then there was a lapse in the cycles, which told me Ted was getting out and you were going by yourself….I am so proud and happy for you…

 

Other club members also emailed to congratulate me as well :)  They’re all so encouraging and supportive :)  There are two other student pilots in the club right now that were in ground school the same time I was, and we all soloed within a month of each other, I think, and it’s been so neat to see the rest of the club encourage and cheer us on :)

#ilovemyflyingclub

 

jessica

 

 

→to be continued :)

My Flying Story Part 5: First Lessons

My Flying Story Part 5: First Lessons

One of my favorite views…sunshine over the cornfields

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

When people found out I was interested in taking flying lessons, they’d ask me, “So are you going to do it?  are you going to get your license?”.  For several months I’d just say, “Well, maybe… I’m hoping to!”  Finally, sometime in March or April I decided I wasn’t going to hope anymore…I was GOING to!

 

I didn’t see how it was all going to work out, but in so many ways God kept confirming to me to move forward, and that He would provide.

 

I wanted to have all of my ducks in a row, and have every dollar saved up that I needed, but then I realized that I just needed to begin.  I told a friend that I think God gave me enough money to go forward, but not all of it at once so that I’d still depend on Him 😉

 

The verses God gave me to study this year is Isaiah 66:9-14.  I like to take verses ‘apart’ by seeing what each of the words mean, and then put them ‘back together’ again with my own ‘paraphrase’.   Through studying these verses, I’ve been discovering how rich God is in toward us…spiritually, materially, emotionally…He has everything we need and is eager to give it to us :)

 

 “That you might be able, and have the liberty to draw from and ‘suck’ in the goodness and richness of Jesus, and to become and remain FULLY satisfied, gratified to the utmost, furnished to the fullest extent of your desires.  And may you be comforted, and strengthened and refreshed by His love.

That you may drink deeply, to the last drop, and remain continuously delighted, enjoying and excited by the promise and expectation of His goodness. (I like that, expectation of His goodness!)

For His goodness and richness and love and glory towards you is easy to be seen, easy to find, more than enough, heavier than you can carry away, abounding and overflowing.  It sparkles and flashes like a magnificent diamond.

 

“Right now the Lord is promising, “Look this way!  pay attention to what I’m about to do!  for I have the power and resources  to carry this out! and of a surety I absolutely will!  I will deliver, and purposefully bend the river of My Peace to flow over you.  It will be spread out all around you. ”

Is. 66:11-12, my paraphrase

 

These verses, along with so many more things, have shown me, and keep showing me that He is for me :)

 

I think it was my second or third lesson, I was up in the air, learning how to fly the airplane, and I thought, “I can’t believe that I’m actually taking flying lessons!”  Then my next thought was, “Snap out of it Jessica, Ted’s trying to tell you something…pay attention!”  Lol!

 

My Flying Story Part 5: First Lessons

“78Quebec” with the tow bar

 

I was very proud of myself the first time I pre-flighted the airplane and pulled it out of the hangar by myself.  You have to pull it out by hand with a tow bar, and when I do it by myself, I have to tug a few times to get it rolling 😀  You definitely don’t ‘drive’ it out of the hangar like you drive your car out of the garage.

 

I started keeping a journal specifically for my flying.  It started out as a notebook to write down things I needed to remember from each lesson, but it grew into a journal.  I know it’ll be fun to go back and read it someday :)

 

This most perfect journal was given to me by my friend Allison :)

My Flying Story Part 5: First Lessons

 

June 7th 2015

I’m ‘on top of the world’ right now 😀  I got to fly two days in a row.  I learned basic maneuvers (turns, descents, climbs, taxiing),  slow flight, takes offs and landings, and steep turns <<I like those!

 

June 13th, 2015

I had fun today :)  We did power-off stalls and power-on stalls.  It was weird to feel the plane buffet and shake :) The power-on stall was especially exciting-my left wing dropped and it seemed to be more shaky.

Today was the first time he didn’t say anything to me about pulling the nose up on takeoff.  I did it by myself!  That one time, that is! 😀

 

A stall is when the airplane doesn’t have enough air going over the wing properly to create lift.  First you hear this annoying sound which is the stall warning horn, then the airplane shakes a little, and if you would let it go long enough, it would start dropping.  To recover, the first thing you do is lower the nose. At about the same time you push in the throttle all of the way.  Ted told me that when he taught Daddy stalls, Daddy pushed the nose down a lot farther than he needed to, which made it rather exciting, and he said, “I don’t know if your dad remembers that, but I do!”

So when it was time for me to learn how to recover from a stall, Ted teased me and asked if I was going to do the same thing 😀  I didn’t, but later, I pulled the knob for the carburetor heat and it was stiff, so my hand slipped and jerked off of it.  Ted teased, “Don’t go pulling controls out of the plane or you really will freak me out!”  Lol!

 

I remember it was a struggle for a while to be able to ‘feel’ where I was in relation to the airport as we went around and around the pattern practicing take offs and landings.  I kept wanting to ‘hug’ the airport 😀

 

June 19th, 2015

Feel better about landings :) Have a better feel for where I am in relation to the airport :)

 

June 20th, 2015

Flares!  Knowing how close to the ground I am.  Need to look up and down runway, not just stare at one place.

He said that I did a couple of more landings by myself.

I bounced one landing 😛

 

 

Sometime in June we had an ‘airplane wash day’ to get the airplanes all cleaned up for our pancake breakfast fly-in.  My sisters teased when they saw I had written “airplane wash day” on the calendar, but then I pointed to the “llama wash day” just a few Saturdays before that, lol! 😀   It’s fun being with the club members whether we’re washing planes, flipping pancakes, or just together for the monthly meetings…they’re always having fun, teasing, and joking.  And they did plenty while we washed the airplanes.

I was sitting cross legged underneath the tail of one of the planes, washing the elevator, and someone started spraying the plane with the hose, which was starting to get me wet!  I looked behind me and saw Jim (my ground instructor) and Bob (the club secretary) laughing.  😀

 

The meeting that the club voted me in, they were especially ornery!  There were more members in attendance that night than usual, and there was a lot of teasing going on, from laughing about Bob’s reading glasses breaking in the middle of the meeting, to teasing people about going in the wrong door when someone went into the closet where we keep the chairs.  At one point Jim turned to me and said, “Are you sure you want to join this club?!”

I was sure!  It was just another version of the joking and teasing my sisters and I do to each other 😀

 

If learning how to fly isn’t fun enough, Ted’s sense of humor and teasing make it even more fun 😀  Like I said before, my sisters and I tease each other all of the time, plus we tease and joke around with our parents, too, so if there wasn’t any teasing going on, it would be kind of boring!

 

My Flying Story Part 5: First Lessons

Once another instructor, Tom, was teaching his student at the same time Ted was giving me a lesson.  We followed each other around the pattern several times, practicing take offs and landings :)   Tom was looking at the airspeeds in our airplane to compare them with the airplane they were using.  He was trying to write in a notebook, and it made me laugh when he suddenly said, “Here, let me go to my desk!”  and he walked to the back and set his notebook on the horizontal stabilizer (the flat horizontal part of the tail).  It’s perfect desk height when you’re standing 😀

I started my airplane just a few seconds before they started theirs, and Ted teased, “Your start was better than his!  I’m so proud of you!”  Lol!

 

I flew…no wait…I DO fly…every chance that I get!  After the club finished washing the airplanes, Ted asked if I wanted to go up for a lesson.  I think he knew the answer already, because when I said that I did, he laughed and replied, “Of course you do!”  That was a windy, cloudy day, and we literally went bumping around the pattern and just barely kept out of the clouds 😀  At one point it was so bumpy my head hit the ceiling of the airplane, lol!

One time a lady told me, “From someone who gets nervous when I hit the tiniest bit of turbulence in a big jet, what is it about flying that you enjoy so much?”  I thought a little bit and said, “Well, I like turbulence…”  Lol!   However, I have discovered that when I’m the one responsible for the airplane, I don’t like the turbulence quite as much as when I know there is another capable pilot in charge :)

 

 

My Flying Story Part 5: First Lessons

 

There were lots of times that all of the information that I was trying to assimilate seemed overwhelming, but never so much that I wasn’t still having fun!  I tried to remind myself, “You felt just like this when you started driving, and now you can drive almost without thinking.” :)  I also reminded myself to not worry too much about ‘everything I still had to learn’, but just focus on the ‘bite sized pieces’ that Ted was giving me at that time.

 

I really like Ted’s teaching style…he never lets me get by with just ‘good enough’, teaches me how to do it ‘like the professionals do’,  and is always encouraging (and teasing) me along the way :)

 

Learning how to fly has been SO. MUCH. FUN!

 

It has become so normal to go sailing through the sky twice or three times a week…seeing the fields and houses and roads from that perspective has become so regular.   Then every once in a while I stop and think, “Am I actually FLYING?! Is this really my life?!  Do I really get to do this?!!!”

Yes!  Yes I do!  And I am thoroughly enjoying it!

 

jessica

 

 

-to be continued!-

 

Haiti (part 2) Traveling and the Medical Clinic

—–To read part one, click HERE.——

 

 

June 14th the 7 of us left at 5am for Chicago O’Hare Airport!!!!!  All of our checked bags were supplies for the trip and our carry-ons had our personal stuff.  Somehow, although I really don’t know how, I fit everything I personally needed for two weeks (Space Compressible Bags are a wonderful invention!!!!).  I pretty much rotated 4 outfits the entire time…but it worked fine!!

 

 

Haiti 2015
A group “selfie” (or is that called a “groupie”?) at the airport in Florida :)

 

We arrived in Port au Prince, Haiti late afternoon.  It was mighty warm!!!! Ok, it was hot.  After unsuccessfully waving off any help to carry our bags (you must tip if they help so we were going to just try to carry all the bags on our own….but they wouldn’t listen) we got to our bus that would take us to the town we were staying at.

 

I guess you could say I had a little bit of culture shock.  Seeing the real thing. Not pictures from somebody else’s trip, but I was ACTUALLY THERE!!!!  It was kind of a deep down heart wrenching feeling that people really do live like this.  It isn’t some fiction story someone told….it’s real.  It’s something I couldn’t really understand until I saw it in person.  Pictures just don’t do it justice.

 

Haiti 2015

 

I was also quite shocked amused astonished at the way people drive down there! They sure do use their car horns!  If you see somebody you know, you honk. If you are going around a corner, you honk.  If somebody is in your way, you honk. If you see somebody who might be in your way, you honk. If you see somebody who probably won’t be in your way, you honk. :)  Several times I caught myself gripping the seat because we almost ran into another vehicle (or they almost ran into us)….relax!!!! I kept trying to remind myself.  By the time it was time to come home, I was used to it. You know that you probably maybe won’t actually hit someone….maybe.

 

Haiti 2015
That white “box” is a chest freezer (not plugged in…no electricity). Those are common to see. They put ice in them to keep the drinks cold to sell.

 

After the bus broke down for an hour, and driving on extremely bumpy rocky roads, we arrived at Dèsarmes (the town that we were staying at) at about 11pm.  We were so tired and I could barely think about where we were…I just wanted to go to bed!!!!   But the introduction to the bathroom quickly woke me up.  I mean, how could it not?

 

 

Haiti 2015

Yes. That was our bathroom. You go in through the curtain (right behind the tree) and behind another curtain is the toilet:

 

Haiti 2015

After the first several times of using it, it almost seemed like old hat. Just get used to it and move on.  I mean, you don’t really have any other options!!  (but make sure you remember to always carry toilet paper with you!)

That’s the same shed we took showers washed off ourselves in too.  There is a bucket with a scoop just inside the door.  It’s almost bath temperature if you take your bath at the right time of the day from the sun warming it :)  We would just use the scoop to pour water over ourselves to wash up.  Our hair was a different story. Three of us girls would help each other wash our hair (I especially needed help with my hair length!).  We would sit in a chair and lean back giving tips on how we wash our own hair and hand the shampoo back when they were ready for it. :)

 

Haiti 2015

We set up our beds and found places for our bags by flashlight (no electricity….but they did have one bulb in that house that was solar powered….and attracted all the bugs from a mile around :)  ) and they had supper waiting for us.  I honestly can’t remembered what I ate. I think I might have slept-ate. Is there such a thing?

We got some much needed rest that night (I actually woke up cold at one point in the night) and the next day, Monday,  was day 1 of our medical clinic!!

 

Haiti 2015

We had the medical clinic 2 days in a row.  And we saw about 250 people!!  We spent some time setting up, figuring out who was going to do what, and splitting up vitamins and medicines into one or two dose baggies.

Haiti 2015

 

Two nurses came with us to help with the medical clinic.  Three of us girls (Jamie, Heidi and I) manned the “pharmacy”, as we called it, and Heidi was the main prayer-person. We prayed with everybody after their check up and before we handed them their vitamins.

 

Haiti 2015

 

 

 

Haiti 2015
Our “pharmacy” :)

 

 

Haiti 2015

 

Haiti 2015

 

Those chickens? I think they thought their home was right there at the church.  They were pretty much always there :)

Haiti 2015

 

I hung out with the kids for awhile.  Someone from the team brought a coloring book. Those kids LOVED coloring!!! As soon as I pulled it out kids came out of the woodwork wanting to color!!! And they colored every single page!! :)

Haiti 2015

I had fun trying to communicate with them….which was actually next to impossible.  It’s amazing how much you can “talk” with facial expressions and hand motions!!

Haiti 2015

They loved getting their pictures taken!! I showed them how to take pictures…so then I came home with 600 pictures on my camera 😀  Oh well!!  They got lots of good candid photos for me :)

They loved looking at my watch, bracelet, touching my hair and skin :)

 

Haiti 2015

 

Oh yes, and I got to hold babies.  One of the absolute best things in life in my opinion :)

 

Haiti 2015

 

We finished up at 3:30ish that afternoon.  We had our only meal of that day then. Chicken, rice, fried plantain, fresh bananas, potatoes and eggs. It. Was. Delicious!!  I love bananas!!!!  And those bananas were really good!!!!!

That was the only day we only had one meal.  The rest of the time we were there we had two meals a day. Breakfast and “lunch” (between 12 and 2).

 

We pretty much relaxed for the rest of the day, and enjoyed the rain in the late afternoon which cooled it off a bit.

 

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–to be continued–