Sunday, February 27, 2011


It is my brother, James, birthday today. Happy birthday James!

As a present, I know he would love it if you checked out his new website:
It is a place where fans come together to talk sports- chat live, read articles, etc.

End of February

Well, Valentine's day was lovely.

This was from our delish homemade dinner over the weekend.
I am kind of obsessed with how cute our mis-matched fiestaware looks.

On Monday I left Jon some sweet notes and chocolate. That evening his tutoring was canceled and he took me out to Chinese food! A rare treat since it isn't his favorite. We shared everything and couldn't even finish half of it. It was so yummy and I got left overs for the rest of the week. I also got a lovely rose, a sweet note, and my favorite ice cream in the refrigerator! Jon sure has made an effort to realize my favorite holiday and that means so much to me, he is such a sweetie. I am a lucky gal.

(Do you love our vase- yummm berry lemonade!)

This week has been exciting.

Jon: Jon had his last week of his phlebotomy course. Hasn't it gone by so quickly? There was a midterm and a final and Jon got the high score of the class in both. On their last day of class they have to "check out." This means that they go through the entire phlebotomy procedure (with a classmate as the patient) in front of the class and teacher. They have to do everything perfectly or else they get a "re-try." Sometimes people do everything perfectly but they don't get blood, they can still pass but it can feel kind of discouraging.

Jon was the only person to get blood and PASS on the first try! Go Jon! Jon was so relieved after. He had been nervous about not getting blood or not passing off.

Now, this week, Jon takes a national exam to certify him as a phlebotomist. After that he does a one week externship with a local lab. A lot of the time people can get jobs through their externship, we sure hope this is the case.

Jon is being very successful in his studying for the MCAT. He takes the test in April, so whenever he hears that his birthday is coming up (March 15th) he gets nervous. I think we should give him a "congratulations its not April, you still have time to study!" party. He does feel like he has gone over all the information they can test him on, but now it is a matter of getting the answers right and perfecting his test taking. Jon has relied on the Lord so much in this experience, I am proud of him. He used to get really anxious and obsessed about his scores, but he knows now that he is studying the best he can and relying on God for the rest. He knows this is what he is supposed to be doing right now. That takes a lot of faith but I know he will be blessed for it.

Rachel: After 3 scheduled clients and lots of nerves/anxiety, all three of my clients have canceled. Yup. Still haven't seen a client. At least I am no longer nervous when I am assigned someone, I just don't really believe that they will show up (ha). I do have another one scheduled this Wednesday, so maybe that will be the day! If not, its not a big deal, but I would like to get my "first" out of the way.

I have been staying busy with my group homes and I am getting another home next week (teenage girls, it will be so different than my little boys!). The group homes, while very chaotic and tiring, have started to feel rewarding. I love the looks on the faces of the kids when things finally start to click, or they really begin to understand something.
One of the projects we did was decorating shoe boxes with the labels people give us on the outside of the box, and decorating who we really are on the inside of the box. After they had decorated the outside my partner and I went around to each kid one-by-one and told them we wanted to do something strange- we wanted them to tear off the outside labels. We explained that it might leave a mark or it might hurt, but it would be worth it. Our kids faces were priceless as they tore off the negative labels they had received in their short lives. One kid totally got it, and he took the positive things about himself from the inside and put them on the outside. He told me that now that his negative labels were gone he could act the way that he truly is inside. I was cheering and doing cartwheels inside myself- he totally got it! I walked away from the day feeling really energized.

I have also been co-facilitating parenting groups for court mandated parents. This week I am presenting the meat of the material, I am fairly nervous. We have people who have teenagers, people who have been in prison and have just met their children for the first time, people who have had their kids taken away for child endangerment, people who were not parented well themselves... it is overwhelming. Most of the time I sit their and wonder why I am allowed to teach these folks. But I feel very privileged and honored to hear their stories, I am so thankful they let me into their lives. It takes a lot of courage to come to those classes and open up.

So- lots has been going on. These last couple of days we have stayed out of the rain, tried to make a fire in the fire place, and watched movies. We like hanging out with each other and are soo glad to have so much time together right now.

February was a good month, lets hope March is even better...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day! My very favorite holiday, a day to appreciate and express the love you have for those you love! Growing up Valentine's was always a family-affair, I would always make treats for my friends and I saw the holiday as a friendly one. Saturday Jon and I made a yummy dinner, what a treat. I even have a couple surprises up my sleeve for tomorrow (shh!).

As for our last week, things have been moving along. I didn't end up seeing my first client, they cancelled. But I have been to the group homes for two weeks now. It is nerve-racking, exciting, sad, enlightening, over-whelming, chaotic and inspiring job. These kids have been through more than I can explain but they are so funny and cute. At least, most of the time. They are definitely love-able.

Jon is already half way through his phlebotomy program (woohoo!). He is taking blood every class day now and is always practicing trying to find my veins. Lucky for me I have a little more fat on my arms (ahem) so it is a bit more challenging to find veins on me rather than on him. Also, I think Jon looks really cute in his scrubs.

This week is a new week and I am looking forward to it. Have a fantastic Valentine's day, spread the love, no matter your relationship status!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Well here is what you need to know...

Jon: He is loving his phlebotomy class and looks forward to going every single class day. He is volunteering at a blood bank where he gets to give people snacks and make sure they don't faint.

Rachel: Went to my first group home last Monday for therapy/education for the kids. It was an adventure, the kids make me laugh. I have my first client this week. Oh boy. After Wednesday I might need therapy of my own.

Us: We are soo excited to go to cousin Kaitlin's wedding in Seattle this August. We can't wait to visit the beautiful city again, have fun with the family and celebrate such a happy occasion!