Well, I’ve officially started hearing grumbling from family members that Kyle is saying too many high thinky things on the website and that there is not enough content in the way of what’s going on lifewise for us. I just want you to know up front that I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth and that I had planned to do more writing and haven’t had the chance to clean the apartment properly let alone post real life stuff on the website or write real letters. It has been an extremely busy semester for both me and for Kyle, but hopefully I can take a short break and send a note to you all.
Since I have no idea where the grandparent letters stopped and I’m too lazy to look up the last time I actually wrote anything on the website, I’m going to do an overview of things that we’ve done since Thanksgiving. Please excuse anything you’ve already read….
I guess I will touch on the high-lights starting with Thanksgiving. Because Kyle did not have the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off, we did not travel to Maryland like we had originally intended. Instead, we were invited by one of the elders of our church to eat supper with them. I had a marvelous time cooking and chatting. I made all of the desserts, the stuffing, candied yams, and turkey soup for afterwards and had a blast doing it. I didn’t realize how much I missed having a real sized kitchen to work in.
Finals came next and they almost completely wiped me out. I had my first final a week early and then the last three finals in two days. I did well on them and my grades for the semester were good. My last exam was on a Wednesday evening and we had our flight out to Oklahoma City the next morning at 5:30am. The airport recommended that we arrive and hour and a half before our flight and since it takes an hour and a half to get to the airport we were flying out of, Kyle decided not to sleep after my exam. I took a brief nap because we thought that we could get the rest of our sleep on the flight into OKC. Boy were we wrong. We did get some sleep in the terminal but our original flight was canceled due to maintenance issues. They shuffled us onto the 8:00am flight to Atlanta instead of Cincinnati. We had a layover of 3-4 hours and finally arrived in OKC ~10 hours after we were supposed to and our luggage was still on a plane behind us because the airport people didn’t have enough time to put it on the plane we got shuffled onto. Momma French, the two foster girls, Kyle and I went to get something to eat while we waited for the luggage to show itself and finally headed off to Tulsa after another 2 hour wait. It was late when we got in and all I wanted to do was take a shower and go to bed (which I did).
Christmas break was enjoyable. We spent three weeks in and around Tulsa up to our kneecaps in babies. Ces has two youngun’s, Josiah (18mo) and Adam (2mo) and Jennifer, who is one of the foster kids, has a 4mo old named Noah. Lots of diapers, wanting to be held and “bites” (one of Josiah’s favorite words to say). We took a day trip to go see Bartlesville and visited with friends while we were there.
The trip back was early also so we went down to Guthrie to visit with Gma French for the day before our flight. We enjoyed wandering around the town and I found a wonderful yarn shop there. They had some crochet books for making sweaters and things that I am going to look up now that I’m back home.
The first weekend back we went on a church retreat to Brookwoods up in New Hampshire. I had a wonderful time getting to know the church members who were on the trip with us. I also went downhill skiing for the first time and managed not to break anything, thank the Lord. I was sore from top to bottom for two days and I have some odd shaped bruises but it was a lot of fun and I’d like to do it again. On the last day, the church surprised me with a cake and a birthday card since Monday was my birthday. It was really sweet.
On my actual birthday, it snowed all day. We probably got between 6 and 8 inches up here and it’s still pretty white out there. Kyle took me out to dinner at Bertucci’s, and I decided not to go into town for class because I didn’t want to possibly miss busses that need to time just right so I can catch the right train home.
In February, we started up the youth group at Pigeon Cove Chapel, which is probably where a good chunk of our time went. We’re averaging between three and five kids. Considering the fact that there hasn’t been a youth group at PCC in three or four years and the skepticism on the part of the kids that it’s going to be cool, I’m actually really excited that we have as many show up as we do. PCC is also a very small church and there is a lot of room for evangelism within the community so we’re both pretty excited about possible growth. Since Kyle is terrible about organizing events and things, I’ve taken over the administrative end of the group activities and events. We’ve had a couple of events now including ice skating, candle pin bowling and hiking and at the end of April we are working towards a church lock-in for the youth. In August we’re looking towards taking the kids to Soul Fest in New Hampshire. Soul Fest is five days of camping and going to Christian music concerts and listening to speakers all day and into the evening. I’m excited and hope that I might be able to go.
At the end of March, I started to get involved with the younger children at the church and helping with the older grade school/middle school Sunday school class. I’m not teaching at this time but I am helping with class activities and I’m thinking of helping with the children’s choir and setting up some outside events for the younger kids like picnics, painting pottery, making candles, etc. They’re sweet kids and I like working with them and the other older ladies.
After this semester I will have all of my CORE courses finished for my Masters of Public Health. This summer I hope to take MC810 – Community Needs Assessment and a public health practicum. As I mentioned earlier in a prayer request email, the practicum is a graduation requirement. I had been looking through the available practicums that the school had to offer and was not finding anything in my field of interest, maternal and child healthcare, or even anything that I found remotely interesting to do for an extended period of time. I met with someone from the practice office, and she suggested that I send out cold letters to organizations that I would be interested in working with and introduce myself. It was the best advice I had gotten so far and I didn’t see how I could lose, so I started looking for organizations and possible places that were a bit closer to where Kyle and I are living in Cape Ann.
While I was researching for things closer to Cape Ann, I came across a position for a Patient Advocate at Beverly Hospital. The position was basically for the applicant to be a liaison between the patient/visitor/staff and the hospital. It has a bit of everything that I’m interested in: patient advocacy, care ethics, educational programming, etc., and Beverly Hospital is about fifteen minutes from where we live in Magnolia. So I was really excited about the possibility of a job like that out there. Since I wrote that email, the position has been removed from the employment site but I’m still excited that there are jobs out there like that. I did send an email and called the director of patient relations at Beverly Hospital to see if I could get some more detailed information about the Patient Relations department as a whole and about patient advocacy in general. I never got a response but that’s ok at this point because I’m still a full time student and won’t need to be seriously looking for employment until later this year.
I went to a meeting on the practicum experience shortly after I had sent out that email and while there I was told about another opportunity. This one was calling for Local Public Health Interns to work in different counties around Massachusetts. Essex County, where Kyle and I live, was listed and I sent my resume and cover letter for four different possible internship sites in Essex County March 20-something. The cover letter and resume deadline isn’t until April 14th so I haven’t heard anything yet on that front. Please keep this situation in your prayers. I would love to work at any of these sites, and they had some interesting programs that I could work with as well.
In the fall I actually have a fairly light semester and only one night class! I’m so excited. I would be going into town Monday through Wednesday, and Wednesday would be my only late class night. This means that I will have time to actually go to some of the bible studies and prayer sessions being led at the church that I would like to go to as well as being able to do interviewing for job opportunities.
Kyle is doing much better this semester now that he’s dropped down to just nine hours, which is the minimum requirement for full time status. It’s given him much more time to actually work with the youth and papers for different classes. One of the things that he was really excited about is being able to take the rest of his Greek and Hebrew classes as pass/fail instead of for a grade. He reasoned that they were the only classes most likely to actually hurt his grade instead of helping it. I’m glad he did it because it means there is a lot less stress on Tuesdays and Thursdays when he has Greek quizzes. As you can see from the content that has been popping up on the website, he’s thinking about a lot of things related to theology. He is starting to feel a really strong pull towards youth evangelism in the Cape Ann area as well as pastoring. There are a lot of unsaved kids just walking around Gloucester and Rockport completely clueless about God and his love for them.
We’re trying to get an apartment on campus for this coming fall. I’d really like to get one because it would be nice to be closer to other young couples who are going through the same thing that we are. Also, it will be good for when I have a job and will need to take the car to work – all Kyle would have to do is walk up the hill to class. We are still open to other living arrangement options because we really want to keep our rent and utilities expenses down as much as possible so I won’t have so much debt to pay down when I get finished before Kyle this winter. We might move onto campus for the fall and then move to another apartment with cheaper rent when the spring semester comes around.
I’m really excited that my mom, dad and youngest brother, Alex, will be coming up for a week this summer. I haven’t seen my side of the family since the wedding and when they come to visit it will be almost exactly a year. They’re planning on driving up to MD and then taking the AmTrak up to Boston. Kyle and I would meet them at South Station and use public transit to get all the way back up to Rockport. Mom and dad are staying at a place called Latana House and Alex will be crashing on our floor on the air mattress. We’re planning on going to Plimoth Plantation, the Mayflower II, a downtown tour of Boston, touring around Salem, Gloucester and Rockport and a tour of Hammond Castle if I can pull a couple of strings and get a large enough group together to go with us. They’ll be going back to MD right before our anniversary. Kyle says he has some “plans,” which has me a bit worried. I guess I’ll just have to get him back by having some “plans” of my own. Mwhahaha.
Well, I think that’s all I’ve got to say for the time being. Now the grumbling can stop for at least a month or two now. I’m hoping to have a bit of free time between the end of this semester and my summer class to do some more writing and website updating.