Cassia’s Adventures in EMS

I’m in a deep sleep when I’m jerked awake by the sound of my pager “beep beep”. I attempt to lace up my boots while I’m still half asleep and listen to Dispatch  “60-year-old male complaining of chest pain, 1215 Spring Street, your cross streets are Laketon and Southshore.” I roughly know where that is…

 

I finally manage to get my boots tied, grab my radio and head to the car. I simultaneously turn the car on and look in my rearview mirror, to make sure my hair doesn’t look like I’m related to Einstein, KLOVE starts playing on the radio. What time is it even? As I pull out I tell dispatch I’m en route to the station and glance at the clock “What? It’s only 01:15! I thought I had been sleeping for longer than that…oh well, at least this early in the morning traffic isn’t in my way.”  Stopped at the stop sign I look right, I look left, I start to go and look right again Yikes!!! Where did that big trash truck come from, *slam on breaks*…wake up, Cassia!  I finally make it to the station after the trash truck slowly turns (I really need to get myself a green light, it would be helpful)  my partner is waiting for me in the truck.

 

“You know where we’re going he asks?”

 

“Yep,” I try to mumble directions but don’t think I was making much sense because we almost drove past Spring street. “Turn here! Turn here! Okay, the number was 1215…” I peer into the dark to try and help look for house numbers, “1008…two more blocks.” All the while I have our protocols running through my head. “Code 1 routine which translates airway, oxygen if needed, vitals. Give 324 mg baby Aspirin if no allergy to it, assist with their nitro if no contraindications, and place on the heart monitor.” …1211…1213…1215! Oh wait, I know this person.”

 

We’ve been given instructions from Dispatch on how to get in the house, thankfully the son showed up and unlocked things for us. “Hi there (rats, I can’t remember his name, I’m better with faces than names), what’s going on?  I notice he’s having some difficulty breathing as he tries to explain how and when his pain started, he’s already taken his own nitro. I put him on some oxygen and continue to ask questions and get an idea of what’s going on, my partner gets a set of vitals and puts him on the monitor as I pull out the aspirin. We finish our assessment and as we get him loaded, my paramedics arrive on scene.  “Good morning” I cheerily say to the Medic, obviously feeling more awake now. I tell her what’s going on and what I’ve done so far,  we then work together to get an IV established, run a 12 lead and ask more of the never ending-questions. After we accomplish that we head to the hospital where he can continue to get the medical care he needs, and hopefully resolve the issue.

 

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I’ve been told you guys wanted an update on where I am at in EMS. To give you a small glimpse of what I do, I started out with an actual call I’ve been on but tweaked to meet HIPPA’s rules. 🙂  Not all calls are like this and come in at 01:15 in the morning. In our small rural Volunteer EMS community, we can go several days without any calls, and then slammed one day with 4 calls in 12 hrs! (that’s busy for us!). When you are on call, you have to be ready to go at any time of the day/night regardless of what you’re doing, you could deal with anything from someone having chest pain, to an outright heart attack, small fender bender car accident or the kind where you are requesting for the medical helicopter, to caring for a small infant who just had a febrile seizure. One thing for sure, each call is unique in itself. They will all have similarities, but each will be different.

 

I really enjoy working with the public, and I love the medical field, so EMS is a perfect fit for me! Some have suggested that I go on to get my nursing, and while I do plan in the far future to do that after getting my paramedic certification, as of now I don’t plan on using it like I do my Medic. Because being stuck in the confines of a cement building is not appealing to me…I love being out on the road, and in and out of the hospitals. However I’ve learned to not say never, you just never know where life will take you!

 

Last September I made the decision to further my education and go for my Advanced EMT certification, and it is a decision I do not regret one bit! Even though the state of Indiana is making changes the end of this year to where AEMTs can not be utilized like we once were, making our certification more or less almost useless, I still do not regret my decision. I learned so much and expanded my knowledge immensely that even if I cannot use it on the truck, it has made me a better Basic EMT. 🙂

 

However, with this new certification does open new doors for working in other places than just on the truck. Earlier, I stated that I did not want to be a nurse because being confined to a cement building was not appealing. However, due to my current circumstances, I would be willing to do it for a period of time. Especially since the position I have applied for is phlebotomist which is a new skill I learned and absolutely love, not in a creepy way, but I just enjoy drawing blood. 🙂

 

I’d love to work for a local paid EMS service but as I stated earlier my current circumstances are keeping me from that. Last year I was having some back issues, to make a long story short, the doctor said I had sacroiliitis (fancy word for inflammation in the SI joint, where the spine and pelvis connect). I was given specific exercises to do and was getting better until I fell at work (grocery store I use to work at but has since closed). That jolted my SI joint majorly and was a ginormous setback. I tried multiple things and was in so much constant pain. While they helped some with my symptoms I felt that it was not taking care of the underlying problem.  I have now been going to a clinic out of Chicago every month that does specialized physical therapy since March, finally found someone that understands what is going on and can actually help me with the underlying problem. While I am making progress, it is painfully slow, much to my dismay since it is holding me back from so much! But I am learning to take each moment and live it instead of waiting to arrive at a certain point in life. No, I would not have preferred this detour and setback, but life is in no way perfect and free from problems. I do however believe that we can change our outlook on our problems, and when we give them to God He can use even the bad things and turn them into good, which I have already seen Him do.

 

So back to the phlebotomist job, it would be a good in-between for me while I wait for my back to heal. I will have interaction with the public, I’d be all over the hospital including the ER (yay! and I love to walk), I’d be using the newly acquired skill of drawing blood, and I would continue to learn stuff that will be helpful in my medical field career. I’ve had an interview but have not heard back from them yet.

 

I think in a nutshell, without writing a book, that gives you a glimpse of what I’m up to, in the medical field anyways…but before I go, I must share with you a couple of the highlights from my class because it was such a positive experience! This is not going to do it any justice to show you the extent of everything that we did and learned, but it gives you at least a glimpse of some of my favorite parts.

 

Holding a deer heart! We cut it open, and also was ventilating the deer lungs…a cool experience to see how it works on the inside!

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Learning how to give medications, here we were simulating giving nitro, only we were using breath fresher instead of the real thing.


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Oh my goodness! IVs were so so much fun to learn, we often practiced on each other which definitely helped when I went to do them on patients.

 

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One of my classmates and I decided to try starting one on our self, then our teacher had us do it with our non-dominant hand…we were both successful! 🙂

 

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Practicing ventilating, and I’m getting an IV at the same time.

 

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He and I both didn’t mind the needles too much, so we often practiced on each other after the lectures.

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This was a fun night, extrication! We sat in the car as the firemen tore it apart so we could see what it is like for our patients.

 

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Then we simulated taking a patient out correctly.

 

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I went to an EMS conference with my teacher, we got to do a moulage class, this was my work. 😀

 

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Our teacher gave us the opportunity to do a presentation for extra credit. I chose Acid/Base.

 

 

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When studying looked like this, trying to make sense of it all, I questioned my choice of topic…

 

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…But when my finished notes looked like this, it was worth all that time, effort, and brain power I put into it.

 

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And I enjoyed presenting it to my classmates. 🙂

 

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Clinical ride time on the ambulance, and man oh man did I do countless hours! It was a challenge to get the skills in because we were skilled based, not by the number of hours you put in. So it didn’t matter how many hours I put in if I did not get my skills in I could not complete the course. At times it was frustrating because I had the “white cloud” syndrome. I’d show up for my clinical and nothing happened, or nothing that I could get my skills in, then when I left they would start to get busy again. They liked it, I didn’t. 😀

 

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Another challenge was our drug cards. There were around 30 of them and we had to have this list of information on each drug.

Medication name: Generic, Trade, and Official.

Classification

Mechanism of action

Pharmacokinetics

Indications

Contraindications

How supplied

Dosages

Special Considerations.

I spent several months on mine. :O But the end result was worth it!

 

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Studying is always better when you have ice cream! 🙂

 

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This was a common occurrence. Come home late at night from class and still got chores to do. It wasn’t my favorite, but at this point and time I was not helping out hardly at all around the house due to trying to balance work, class, clinicals and studying, so it was only fair to the family that I help. And I gotta say, they often didn’t leave me with very much. 😉  Helping with dinner dishes is one of my specific chores. When we were a few years younger, we had a rule that if someone wasn’t there for dinner, we went ahead and did their dishes. Well, as we have grown up and started to branch out, it was not uncommon for one person to be stuck with all the dishes, which in a large family after the biggest meal is just not fair to anyone. We changed the rule to no matter how late you’ve been out, either arrange to swap chores with someone or do them when you get home. 🙂

This particular night, we had been practicing IVs again, and I love my MudLove bracelet. I wear it every day because this whole detour with my back has challenged me in many ways!


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This particular clinical shift, we were posting and got just a little bored. 😉


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Skill testing day!!!! I was SO nervous, but we all made it through and were all smiles at the end of the day, and all breathing a little bit easier.

Here are all the classmates (minus one), with our fabulous and amazing teacher!!!

 

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After passing our skills we have one more step: taking the written test. August 9th I took mine, I was hopeful but a little nervous and had to keep blocking out the nerves! 🙂 However, during the test (you have to go to a professional testing center), I do not sit still well due to my back issues, sitting increases my pain, so I fidget! Well during my test I was like on question #125 of #135, and because I was fidgeting, my foot hit the power button on the computer…I watched the words “system is shutting down” flash across the screen, I. Was. Horrified.  Much to my relief, because it was a testing center they have everything backed up, so they were able to bring it right back to where I had left off! *huge sigh of relief*

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This class was so much fun, I love love love learning how the human body all works together, it’s incredible how we are made! While it was fun, it was also challenging, but I definitely grew through those challenges and with time I will face the next challenge of Paramedic and onto nursing!

For now, I need to focus on getting my back better. But there is one thing is for sure…whatever you are facing, pursuing, and trying to achieve, but everything possible that could go wrong is going wrong…You have a calling to walk into…Don’t. Ever. Ever give up!

 

~Cassia

|| 6 months back in Guatemala ||

Life has been so busy, as always. But even so more that I’ve started school, and I am finally finding time to sit down and write about my 6 month mission trip to Guatemala the beginning of this year.

 

To start out with, I never thought I would be going back to Guatemala in the first place. I didn’t know something could take so much room in your heart without you even realizing it!

But Guatemala did. And I know it is there for life!

I left January 2. First time flying all by myself. Traveling by myself, and it was awesome! I stayed at the same orphanage I was with 4 years ago. And when we pulled into the driveway at 3 in the morning, the familiarity of it all, I knew I was where I belonged.

Guatemala.

 

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13 acres, and a place where children are loved and cared for. Where they have families, where they area able to get an education in the school, where other people believe in them. In their dreams. In their future. And where they are brought up in the love of Christ. Their maker.

It was truly an amazing time to get to serve those lives.

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Within the first 10 minutes of talking to me, you will learn one thing. And that is how much I love Guatemala! Maybe I talk about it too much, but the culture, the people, the land. It feels like home, and deep inside I know this is where I belong!! I’ve not had culture shock going there, but it is always coming back to North America.

I love the simplicity of life, the relaxed style, but one thing I had a bit of trouble with at first was the time. Okay, we are leaving at 8:30. So, like an American, I’m there at 8:30 on the dot. By the time we actually leave, it’s 9! One time I got to an event half an hour late, that started half an hour late! ^_^ So now that I am back home, my sisters ask me how long I’ll be and I’ll reply “give me 5 minutes” and they ask, is that a Guatemalan 5 minutes?!

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Guatemala, where you see some of the most interesting ways to transport your things. Once I saw a couple of big cattle in the back of a tiny pickup struggling up the hill!!

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What all American’s call the chicken bus. But it is just the city transportation. To ride it, you have to be quick to get on and off, and as soon as your on, hang on to something now because they are going to step on the gas really hard, then slam the breaks for the next stop! Oh, and there usually is not room to sit. and barely to stand!

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I got to go into the market with my friend, and I loved the experience! All the diversity, how people display their goods, their hard work. Going about life, trying to make a living. There is the open market, then the “inside” market. Two story building, kind of like our 2 story parking garages. open air. We went to one shop where he has a hog up on a meat hook. We order our cut, it has probably been hanging there all day. But it is a huge privilege to be able to buy the meat!

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The lower part was the home I stayed in. The upper level was another home. My main reasoning to go to Guatemala was to serve in the home with the babies/toddlers.  How can one end up taking so much room in your heart? We normally had around 11 kiddos. 4 on bottles. one 15 days old. Another 6 days old.

 

Such tiny and vibrant life i’m holding in my hands. Such a tiny and beautiful miracle…wow.

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The daily walk up the stairs…110 to be exact! I counted up that I walked about 500 steps a day. And that was on the lower side!

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With First Grade as their teacher for part of the day.
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One of my other jobs, one that I was not intending to have was helping in the school in the mornings. On my first day as I was walking to school, I was reminding God how I was not fit or cut out to help the teachers. Hardly anyone spoke English there, and I knew only a little bit of Spanish.

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But He knew (like always!) exactly what He was doing. It fit right into His plan and didn’t surprise Him a bit! Through working at the school I made so many friends. With the teachers. With the kids. I came to know them as individuals, not just a group of kids. I saw the personalities. And, that is where my Spanish vocabulary grew from 70-a lot of words!

And not only this, but He was awakening something inside of me. A dream, a passion to see more education availability for those who can’t access school. Or can not afford it. It was apart of His plan all along and I am so thankful!

 

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24And with Pre-K. I got the opportunity to sub for both of these classes. It is such a beautiful thing to watch them learn.

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Playing with my ‘family’. Or rather, watching them play! I can’t tell anyone just how much I love these little humans. Their nature, tiny little personalities blossoming and growing. The way they go about their play and the imagination! wow!

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Each night the girls I worked along side with as well as my house family took turns each night. Sunday night was  my ‘night shift’. When you get about 3 hours of sleep in between 4 bottle feeding schedules, when you get to pray over the tiny yet strong life in your arms. Hearing them breath, watching them sleep!

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I love these guys so much! All of our little mini dance parties, tickle fights, snuggles, tears, laughter, sleepless nights, 5 of them piling on top of me and thinking it was the greatest thing ever to jump on me. And even the most simplest of things like chasing the ball around the soccer field for an hour, brushing teeth or taking the time to persuade one that their food really was delicious!

It’s those moments that make the memories you remember later. The times of bonding and loving. Even when it’s hard. so.hard. God gives grace in those moments to keep your love on!

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‘my’ girls! I would sit down and they’d all come and sit in my lap…and it became a thing that every time Anna sat down, they’d all come and plop down!!  And when one got a piggy back ride “horse” as they called it, the rest wanted one too!

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Jumping rope with my beautiful friends! We would try and beat the amount the other person could jump the rope.

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During my time in Guatemala, I got to meet one of my mom’s friends who lives and does mission work there. I got the privilege to spend a few Saturday’s with them, and one of those times, we went to the zoo. Where, for Q.10 (a little over $1) I got to feed the Giraffe!

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I don’t know…I made friends every where I went 😉

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My last day there, at the school, all 4 grades that I had helped in got together with the School Principle and the teachers and had a little ‘despedida’ (farwell) for me. They completely made leaving 20 harder.

I miss my work there. Going to school and having little hands take yours, little random hugs, (sometimes big group hugs!!) They taught me such a small but huge lesson well. To give. Just give! Selflessly. With no gain in mind. for pure love for that person. And with joy in your heart….give!

 

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I know there are so many other stories I could tell you, it’d be even longer of a blog post and you might get bored;) But I wanted to share a little bit of this time and adventure with God. So many times, over and over, He has reminded me of how good He is, and how FAITHFUL! It is so overwhelming to me looking back and seeing all the times He was right there. Holding me through the tears, rejoicing in the laughter and the triumphs in life.

His plans are beautiful.

 

-Anna Christina

 

Haiti (again?)

Yes, again. Seriously, you can’t keep me away from there 🙂 I went for my third time a month ago and regret nothing (meaning one of my classes suffered because of it). I have been eager to return to Haiti since my two trips in 2015, but midwifery school has prevented that. Due to other circumstances, I took the summer off from school and decided to take this opportunity to go back to Haiti!

I flew out of Indy with Whitney, one of our 10 team members. We were all scheduled to fly out of Atlanta together to Port Au Prince. I had been up since 3 that morning for us to catch our flight and when we were all boarded and ready to go, they announced that there would be a delay due to mechanical issues which was a button that was “required to work to fly the plane” wasn’t working so they glued it but then informed us that wasn’t FAA approved so they had to fly a part in from Atlanta. Super glue, people! They told us they used super glue. *gulp*

Our flight ended up being two hours late which caused us to miss our connecting flight. To say I was freaking out would be an understatement! 3 hours of sleep + miss a connecting flight = disaster 🙂

But, it turned out to be okay (imagine that?!). The day turned out to be a fun adventurous day! We met two guys who were also flying to Haiti and ended up spending the rest of the day in Atlanta, GA with them exploring, eating, and just having fun! Our flight out of Atlanta was the next day and we met the rest of our team in Port Au Prince and the week went on as scheduled. I was bummed that we missed going to church on Sunday in Haiti since that turned out to be the day we did most of our traveling, but I’m glad we had that “cushion” day do we didn’t miss any of the week’s activities.

 

{exploring downtown Atlanta, GA}

 

{Whitney, Bobby, Jeff (aka “Dad”… he introduced himself as dad because he was basically babysitting us 😀 ), and me}

 

 

So once we finally arrived in Port Au Prince and survived getting through the airport (which is no picnic!), we boarded the bus…

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…and finally got to meet the rest of the team that we would be spending the week with!

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The bus broke down which caused us to arrive at our final destination really late that night. (I think it is time to start scheduling in time to allow the bus to break down, cause it seems to happen every time 😀 )

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Monday was our first full day in Haiti which was VBS day 1 for the kids!

It was awesome having so many eager helpers to carry all our heavy bags!

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We had two days of VBS for the kids that consisted of coloring, snacks, bubbles, outdoor games, and a Bible lesson and craft.

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On the first VBS day I was on coloring duty. And on day 2, Whitney and I were on lesson and craft duty 🙂

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We took turns giving the lesson, teaching through a translator, talking to them about the Fruits of the Spirit.

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{showing off her bracelet that she made during craft time}

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They thought it was great fun to have me read all their name badges. I imagine it was great entertainment hearing me try to pronounce their names 😀

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Monday evening was a graduation for the moms in the in level 1 literacy class:

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Wednesday (day 4) was a topsy turvy day that didn’t go as planned. It was supposed to be a vaccine clinic day, but we weren’t brought the right amounts and kinds of vaccines. So it turned into a mini clinic/check out the moms and babies kind of day.

 

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That afternoon we took a motorcycle ride and got to enjoy some beautiful views of the mountains!

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My motorcycle ride partner, Emmalee 🙂

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Thursday (day 5) was teaching classes to two groups of women. Morning classes were for the moms of newborns/infants/toddlers, and the afternoon classes were for the currently pregnant moms (I taught some of the morning classes):

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{teaching them how to care for their new cloth diapers}

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We had a little bit of an obsession with climbing up on the roof 😀

 

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Several of us were afraid of this ladder, but climbed up anyways 🙂

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The view from the roof was stunning!! view 3sunrise

{the cooks “kitchen” in the background}

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{our bathroom which is basically a cement hole 🙂 }

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{the house we stayed at to the left}

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The view of the back of the church. This building has come a long way since I was last here when it was just a roof on poles!!

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Common view of transportation…

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This was our shower, which is quite the upgrade from last time I was in Haiti! This shower was INSIDE (vs. last time it was outside in the same little “building” as the “toilet”)! But we still had to dip water out of the bucket…

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How adorable is this baby?

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SERIOUSLY?!?! <3 <3

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{LOVE ’em babies!!!}

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This guy was just outside my bedroom. We also had one in the shower, and another by the head of my bed. Yikes! We also had cockroaches in the house, but I’ve dealt with those before. But scorpions? This was a first.

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{the walk back to the house from the church}

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{the walk to the church}

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{one of our 3 translators…church bathroom in the back 😀 }

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{the front porch}

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{during down time I loved sitting on the porch with the Haitians just talking and getting to know them, or attempting to talk because there wasn’t always a translator there!}

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{I’d often catch the kids feeling my skin 🙂 }

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{food!!}

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{I loved all of the food!}

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{my boys}

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{we had an AWESOME team!! I love every one of these girls!}

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We spent a night at a resort on the way back to Port Au Prince…that was a refreshing time for reflecting on the week!

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And that, my friends, concludes my Haiti story. If you would like to learn more about the organization I went with, you can check them out here: Breath of Life Haiti. They also have a Facebook page, Breath of Life Haiti where you can check out the new design of the birthing center that they are fundraising to build down in Haiti!!

 

I will no doubt jump at the next opportunity to return! I love this country and these people!! <3

 

 

 

 

 

(Congratulations! You just read the Seven Sister’s first post in 6 months! But this is to say that I promise that you didn’t die and go to heaven, you are very much still on earth wishing for more fabulous content. Comment what specifically you’d like us to post about and I’ll try to bribe the sisters to write a little something…) 😀

Adventures With A Pilot

(This post was actually from about a year ago…Anna wrote it all up, and then for one reason or another, we never posted it.  Enjoy 😉 )

So since Jessica has her pilots license, she’s taken a few of the family members for a ride, and this past Saturday, she took Bekah, Charissa and I 🙂

Jessica was getting a few things, so I had Charissa pose for me

 

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And while we were still waiting…Samaritan Helicopter took off 🙂 That was pretty cool!

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Charissa asked Jessica how heavy the plane was, and if she took it out of the hanger all by herself. So once we got there, we three tried very unsuccessfully to move the plane a tad. It didn’t work out to well, so we just let her do it lol.

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I absolutely love takeoff. The flip in your stomach as the plane lifts off the ground. It’s a pretty cool feeling! ^_^

 

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We flew to a town about half and hour from us (probably like, 10-15 min flying!) landed at their airport then took off again.

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Our pilot 😉

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Love the reflection of the trees on the ice.

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The crew. Can you tell we were happy to be in the air? 😉

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That white barn down in the lower right corner? That’s our property! It’s so fun seeing everything so tiny 🙂 Esp. our town, I knew it was small, but when I saw it from the air…I realized just how small it was.

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And once we landed, and taxied and all that other good stuff I don’t know what it’s called 😉 She had us help put the plane back in. Bekah and Charissa went to either side, so I asked her “what do you want me to hold?” She was like “just hold your camera” 😉 hehe!

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..and me 😉 Jessica got this cool picture.

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Jessica & Leah’s Christmas Room Reveal

You know that we have this tradition of decorating our rooms each Christmas with our “roommates”, and then having a “showing” for the rest of the family to see…usually at night to show off the Christmas lights and candles 😉

 

Jessica & Leah's Room Reveal

 

Leah and I have both been super busy with working, and Leah was practicing for her Christmas concert, and then just getting ready for Christmas, that we didn’t get our room redecorated until the week before Christmas!  BUT we got it done in record time…only taking ONE afternoon instead of several 😀

 

If you follow us on Facebook, you know that Leah is a master decorator…and over the past few years our decorating sessions have had her “fixing” my attempts, lol!  I was quite proud of myself for sneaking some airplane things in there…more on that later!

 

Part One of our room redecorating is the rearranging and cleaning part.  I had no idea we had that much dust in our room!  Usually Leah doesn’t want to rearrange, and I do.  She always says, “But this way is so PERFECT!”  And I respond with, “But there is a new perfect way out there we need to discover!!!”  This year I actually toyed with the idea of not rearranging, and Leah actually disagreed with me and said we needed to do it anyway! 😀

 

Jessica & Leah's Christmas Room Reveal

 

Our room becomes a topsy-turvy mess while we’re rearranging 🙂

Jessica & Leah's Christmas Room Reveal

Charissa’s chocolate chip cookies gave us the sustenance and energy we needed for this project 😉  Books were unearthed.  Dust flew everywhere.

Jessica & Leah's Christmas Room Reveal

 

And now comes the fun part…the decorations!!!

(If you want the full room-show experience, you can listen to the music we played for everyone when we showed them ours 😉 )

Our Christmas tree 🙂

(like how I snuck in my Ninety-Nines scarf?)

Jessica & Leah's Christmas Room Reveal

Our beehive bookcase sitting atop our vanity. We love this thing…it’s so old fashioned and pretty looking and useful at the same time. And we dug them out of our dad’s shop 😀  You can still smell beeswax on them….yummmm!

Jessica & Leah's Christmas Room Reveal

 

Jessica & Leah's Christmas Room Reveal

 

Jessica & Leah's Christmas Room Reveal

 

Notice the snowflakes drawn on the window?  Both Rebekah and Leah have these chalk marker pens, and they’ve been experimenting with drawing on our windows and mirrors…and it looks so cool!

Jessica & Leah's Christmas Room Reveal

 

I was proud of myself for finding the holes in the wall from previous years and screwing the shelf to the wall all by myself 😀  It’s important the shelf is screwed to the studs in the wall so that it doesn’t come crashing down on our heads some night 😉  Leah of course did the lovely lettering on the chalkboard like she always does!  I snuck in my little red Christmas horse like I always do (with Leah giving me “the look”, lol!).

Jessica & Leah's Christmas Room Reveal

Close up of Leah’s work.

Jessica & Leah's Christmas Room Reveal

This is probably my favorite part of the whole room for obvious reasons.  A pilot friend of mine gave me this old sectional (aviation map) a few months ago and I was itching to display it SOMEHOW. Leah was working on the bookshelf when I started trying to tack the old sectional up on the wall and she turned around and saw me and gave me “the look”  that says, “Um…what do you think you’re doing?!”  Haha!  I told her, “You just turn around and keep working over there…I’m not done yet!” and she laughed and did as I told her as all good younger sisters should do 😀  After I started on it, she admitted that she did like it, and she suggested we add the star…then we added the burlap…and when she was turned the other way I tacked up the wooden airplane that Isaiah made for me last year 😀

Jessica & Leah's Christmas Room Reveal

 

We also added Christmas colored books and journals, and I put the little metal spark plug airplane on top, given to me by my friend Sharon, the airport manager at my home airport 🙂  And so that’s how I snuck my airplanes in 😉

Jessica & Leah's Christmas Room Reveal

 

Leah told me that she had an idea for something, but she wouldn’t tell me what!  I was gone that evening at my flying club meeting, and when I came home I walked into our room and saw that Leah had decorated more glass….SO cool!

Jessica & Leah's Christmas Room Reveal

 

Jessica & Leah's Christmas Room Reveal

 

And that concludes our Christmas Room Reveal for 2016 😉    Merry Christmas!!!

 

 

 

 

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Anna Christina’s Graduation

I graduated high school in June, and celebrated in August. Just because summer is super busy for us!

Being graduated is nice, but then also kind of scary because hey, it’s time to grow up!! ; ) I’ve said a lot of times that adult ‘hood’ should come with an instruction manual. But really, it’s just another learning curve, and no instruction manual makes it exciting…right?!

The amazing Lauren Carns  did my senior pictures at St. Mary’s college which is about an hour from us. (No that’s not where I’m planning on going to college.) In fact, at the moment, I’m not planning on going at all. The college was such a beautiful place with a pond and soft weeping willows (my favorite tree!)

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My friend from CT, Allison, and I had been talking, and I mentioned that she should come out for my open house! She said she had to work, and I completely bought it, thinking that yeah, sometimes it hard to get off of work!

And so I didn’t think anything of it. Then the Wednesday before my open house, I came home from work and went into my mom’s room to say hey and chat, and there was Allison! She had flown out to surprise me, and lets just say, I screamed 😉


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The day of my open house, it rained most of the day, but I’m super thankful it did let up a least twice and the sun came out : )

I loved all the little pictures hanging in the window! Either pictures I took, or pictures from younger years/with friends.

 

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Jessica was so kind as to make the sheet cake, and Charissa was super happy to make all the cupcakes!

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We didn’t really get any pictures with everyone there. We seem to forget that part of parties 😉 But these couple that we DID get, I love!

With a friend’s littlest.

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And with these special people I get to see every week.

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anna

2016 Summer & Fall Update

It has been quite a while since we’ve done an update on our everyday lives and what’s happening!

I know this isn’t a part of summer, but I got my permit in January, and am pretty close to getting all of my driving time! (happy dance!) And all of my siblings have been kind enough to let me take the drivers seat on  a lot of occasions (there are 5 of us who like driving!).

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Our very dear Texan friends, the Bradleys, came up to Indiana, and we got to get together and have a lot of fun!

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Jessica has taken us on many of her fun flying adventures, and even though it seems like it takes for ever to pre-flight the plane, it’s so worth the wait when you’re up in the air watching the world pass by under you, watching the sun set, or the mist still clearing from the sunrise! She has come so far in her flying, and I’m super proud of her!

I must say we’ve all learned a lot about flight, like the aviation alphabet. A few of the girls have it down pretty well. When they see a license plate on a car, they’ll start reading it in aviation speak, “459 Tango Charlie Alpha”!

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Jessica and Leah were once again in the Symphony Of The Lakes orchestra, and Leah is going to be in the Christmas concert next week, which I’m quite excited to go and hear, because Christmas concerts make it all the more Christmas feeling! ^_^

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We had at least 8 baby goats this year, including two that decided to come on the morning of one of our animals shows at the fair!!

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Bekah, Charissa, Isaiah and I all participated in the county fashion revue, then they  had all the 10 year members go up on stage, then they called out the top 10 4-Her’s, and I was super surprised when they called my name! It made my year!

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Our friend Clara, Me and Bekah with our Fashion Revue awards.

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Then I went on to the State Fair Fashion Revue which was a huge stretch for me, just because sometimes I don’t like being in huge crowds. But God was stretching me and preparing me for something bigger..which is coming in the last part of this post. Bekah and Leah came with me, and it was super fun to have them by my side walking all over the State Fair grounds and eating a lot of ice cream! When we went to order our ice cream, it was either 2 or 3 scoops. Well it ends up 2 scoops was actually 4 scoops and 3 was like 4 scoops!

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Back at our county fair…

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Monday was our goat show. It started at 4 p.m. and went till at least 10 p.m. We didn’t show until 8-9. So it was a long wait, but very worth it!

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Then we had to go home, wash show clothes, get everything ready for Tuesday which was our Llama show that started at 9 a.m.

Costume class is always a lot of fun (as long as the llama is cooperating with the costume!)

Here I was the pirate that doesn’t do anything (Veggie Tales) , Bekah was a nerd, Charissa was Dorothy, Noah was Luke Skywalker,  and Isaiah was Woody!

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Every year everyone always asks us how many ice cream milkshakes we are trying to get that week. This year we didn’t get near as many as we have in the past, due to not all of us being there all the time, and a few of us were trying to stay off of sugar. Boring, I know 😉 But we got a total of  53 milkshakes

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Friday is our livestock auction where you stand in long lines to sell your milk bucket (with goat milk products) or your poultry duck. But I must say, it’s worth it.  And it’s fun getting to chat with the other 4-Her’s in line : )

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Mommy is on the goat committee, so she announces each 4-Her in the goat project as they go through the ring.

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Now into August, we celebrated my High School Graduation Open House. My friend from Connecticut flew in with her sister and mom to surprise me on the Thursday before. One of the best surprises of my life! 

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I’ve been doing a little more with my photography, and have tried it again with my favorite thing…stars! I have by no way mastered it, but I’d love to take it further.

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I love this one how it caught the earth moving!

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Bekah graduates next year, and so we went out and took a few of her senior pictures this fall. Plus, she was able to get her braces off right before the pictures!!

 

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Another big happening…Susannah moved to Anderson to be closer to the midwife that she is helping.  She has to attend a certain number of births, and driving two hours every time a baby was coming does not work very well!  We miss her lots…and she misses us lots…but she is doing very well and we’re excited for her 🙂  Around the elections, Susannah came home from Indy so she could vote, so we all met at Culvers to  get ice cream and hang out for a bit! It was really good to see her because she can’t always come and visit depending on how many babies are due around that time.

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Then Mommy, Jessica, Leah, Cassia and I (Anna) worked at the election polls, Cassia was at another county. Needless to say, we all had a great time, and we all had quite a few good laughs!

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We are so grateful for the several people who have blessed us with great bit loads of wood for us this winter. Because Daddy doesn’t have quite all his strength back from his surgery, he can’t go and cut wood yet and that is how we mainly heat our house.

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For Noah and Isaiah’s birthday’s, Jessica took them flying to a town near us and went out to breakfast at Bob Evans! (yes I joined!) So then after breakfast we flew around our town and house.

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Home sweet home!

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At Bob Evan’s

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Then Susannah came home to celebrate hers and Leah’s birthday’s, and she brought along needles! I finally let her take my blood (she only draws a tiny bit) and several other siblings let her as well. Then we would put it under the microscope which was super fascinating! (I’ll spare you and not post any blood pictures!)

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Cassia is taking an Advance EMT class at the moment, and she always comes home with stories on how they drew each other’s blood! But she’s learning so much, and I’m proud of her!


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Remember in the first part how I said God has been stretching me? Well this goes along with that. He’s opened the doors for me to return to Guatemala, only for 5 1/2 months this time! It’s been amazing to see how Faithful He says He is, and the way’s He’s provided, stretched and grown me.

I’ll be at the same orphanage I was last time, helping in the baby home!

And will be updating more about it here.

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Daddy bought a cross bow this spring, and shot a deer this fall! We pitched in to process the meat, and even though my face doesn’t show it, I didn’t think it was that gross ; )

Noah and Isaiah have done some target shooting with it (and are quite good!), and have gotten to go with him on his hunting days!

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And some of our dear friends, the Forsters were in the area, and it was so good to get to see a few of them for a day! We took a super long walk, ate good food, had uplifting conversations, and ended the night with a bunch of laughter and games!! It was so good to see you guys!

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Daddy got an inside stove from a friend, and put it in our sunroom, which is super nice in the winter, because gets really cold out there with all the windows!

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Several of us were able to be a part of the ‘Giant Cow’ children’s ministry and went down with friends from our church to watch and entertain 130 kids for the evening!

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The whole family was home for Thanksgiving, which is super rare for all of us to be together at the same time!  It was a nice relaxing day, playing LIFE, eating good food, and sleeping in!

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And then the next day we got our nine-foot Christmas tree, and decorated it!  Susannah wasn’t feeling well, so she couldn’t come with us to get the tree, but she did get to stay through the weekend and help us decorate it 🙂   We felt bad that she didn’t feel well, but we were happy to have her with us longer!

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And since we were all together, we got a new family picture!! ♥ I love these people so much!

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Christmas Room One

Every year we kids shut our bedroom door and decorate it, then have music and have a ‘showing the room’ for the family to see. (and yes, this does get competitive!) We’ve been doing this ever since I can remember, and when I was little, I was pretty proud of the string of hot pepper Christmas lights I used for my room ^_^ Thankfully we’ve come a long way from that string of hot pepper lights!

And if you want the whole experience, you can play THIS music. We always play music while we ‘show’ our room!!

 

Bekah, Charissa and I were the first to get ours done, and in the middle of decorating, I suddenly didn’t feel in the Christmas spirit and almost didn’t finish it! We did little paper cut out snowflakes for the large window. Rephrase. Charissa made the cut out snowflakes! I quickly realized how much I couldn’t make a decent looking one, so I just stuck to hanging them up ; )

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Bekah has been learning quite a lot with chalk board art, and is getting really good at it. (this is hung on the outside of our door)

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She also used a white erase marker and drew these snowflakes on the little window!

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I love our big wall mirror. It makes the room feel a lot more open and roomy.

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What is one of your favorite Christmas traditions?

anna

My Flying Story Part 10: Night Cross Country Flight

My Flying Story: Night Cross Country Flight

Part 1 || Part 2 || Part 3 || Part 4 || Part 5 || Part 6 || Part 7 || Part 8 ||Part 9

 

It has been much, much, MUCH too long since I’ve written about my journey to getting my Private Pilot’s certificate!  And so much has happened since then that I can’t wait to tell you about.  Life’s been busy and I haven’t been making the time to blog like I want to.  I’ll finish catching you up where we left off.

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