Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Jamaica, Florida, and Snow!!

It seems like it's been ages since I last made a post here.
A lot has been going on (is that new?) but, as always, I'm enjoying the challenges and joys that every new day brings.

Just a few days after my last post, in mid-December, I submitted the first of two applications for major national study abroad grants. I submitted the second yesterday, which was a big relief because I'd been working on it constantly for over a month and have been under a lot of pressure to make it competitive. Trying to juggle that along with the workload for my 20 credit hours this semester has been challenging at times!
I should find out which scholarships I've been awarded in mid- to late-March, so I'll keep you posted.

Winter Break was great - although it did go by pretty fast. I got to spend a lot of quality time with family-- in Sacramento, Chico, and Medford. It's hard to believe how fast time flies...every time I see my siblings they've grown another foot! Quite literally, too. I'm now the shortest in the family, besides nine-year-old Raam.

The kids are all doing great. Chason turned 18 last September and was recently accepted to Northwest Lineman College in Boise, Idaho, where he'll complete a three-four month academic program before embarking on a three year apprenticeship.

My thirteen-year-old sister, Tori, tried out for the Olympic Development Program in soccer, and made the team! So this was a very exciting time for her right after Christmas. Hopefully I'll get to see her play in one of this season's last tournaments at the end of May.

Cole is a freshman at North Medford High School this year and was quickly promoted from the Freshman to the Varsity Wrestling Team after the season started this winter. I've seen some video footage of a few matches and must confess, I probably wouldn't attend them even if I was close enough -- it's just too stressful to see these guys going after my little brother. Of course he's pretty good at defending himself, but's too painful. Cole's also in the DECA program at his high school (an association for marketing students) and has had a great time exploring fields like economics. (It's funny because I joined the college division of the same organization this year - Delta Epsilon Chi - without even knowing they were associated!)

Raam is homeschooling this year and taking a French class at the community college with my mom. I like to joke that he's so smart he got into college at the age of nine! He's a budding entrepreneur and is constantly coming up with new business ideas....along with the way he's going to spend the millions he's confident he'll make. We'll be watching TV or something, a commercial will come on about a local shelter, and Raam will say, "You know what, when my such and such business makes a lot of money, I'm going to give those people a million dollars so they can build a house for homeless kids." The generosity of this little guy just warms my heart :)

My brother Jared is in Jamaica right now, helping out with a medical mission trip. My aunt is a nurse and has made an annual trip there for the last seven years, and wanted to sponsor Jared this year. Jared is helping with a lot of the administrative work, but I know that he had to learn to diagnose some of the most common diseases since he'll be working in reception. I can't imagine how crazy it gets in those clinics.
It's a really neat opportunity for Jared; I know he's going to have a great time and be a big blessing to the Jamaican people. I'm pretty sure that this trip is affiliated with the Doctors Without Borders organization. They do great work! Please keep Jared and my Aunt Pamela in your prayers this week.

I only got to spend three of the five weeks I had off school at home. Since I'm working as a Resident Assistant I had to stay late and come back early to get the Residence Hall up and running before the girls got back. But it wasn't long before I was back out to California again.
My great-grandmother, Eleanor Fowler, passed away in late January, so I flew out for a four-day weekend to attend the service and spend some time with family.
They held a beautiful service for her, and the sun came out for the first time during the rainy weekend, so it was really nice. Even though it was just a few days, that trip was really important -- I've been gone from so many family functions that I really felt the need to go back to comfort my relatives and be comforted as well.

I can't believe how fast January went by and the rapidity with which Spring Break is approaching. Only three more weeks! Belmont does have a pretty early Spring Break (March 8-15), while most of the West Coast schools take off the week before or after Easter.
Even though it might still be a little chilly in March, I'm really excited about this year's break because some friends and I have plans to drive down to Daytona Beach, Florida, to spend a week at the family home of a good friend. The house is situated in the middle of a retirement community, so I'm relieved we won't have to deal with any of the usual Spring Break college craziness!

Oh, and Nashville has snow!! The weekend I was gone in California we got a good six inches, and then we got an inch Friday night as well. It's stuck to the ground pretty well, because even though there hasn't been much precipitation since then, temperatures haven't gotten much higher than 30, even during the day. With the wind chill factor, it often seems like it's below 20!! BRRRRRR....

I hope your 2010 has gotten off to a great start!


  1. I had no idea you had a blog! (This is Danielle by the way.) I can't believe how old all of your siblings are already! Last time I saw Raam I think he was just learning how to walk! And Tori wasn't even in school yet! Crazy how fast time flies. And lineman is a good career path! Alex got accepted into the Lineman college in Spokane Washington last may and started the 4 month program in June, however, he messed up his knee playing soccer and ended up having knee surgery so he had to drop out. He was offered a spot in the class for this past October but declined due to his knee still healing. So for now we don't really know where we are gonna end up but we are totally fine with it =)


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