29 December 2006

Respite from Respite...

I've been working like a crazy woman these past few days, doing respite for HH. I'm working because I know they need it, but it's exhausting. I've already worked 27 hours in 3 days (20 of those were straight) and have about that many left to work by the end of Saturday.

So I'm appreciating the break that was scheduled in for me today. Yesterday was an endless day. I go back from 3-3:30, 5-8, and then sleep over starting at 11pm.

In other news...Sarah comes back tomorrow! I'm excited, although sad she had such a short break at home. We leave in just a few days for Connecticut, a trip I'm really excited about.

Life here has pretty much gone back to normal. Work, killing time, thinking about books for next semester....except now I'm dreading the classes, worried I'll be "bored out of my gourd."

It will be good. At least it's only one more semester. And I have people to talk to :) That helps tons.

25 December 2006

I'm dreaming of a White Christmas...

Merry Christmas!

¡Feliz Navidad!

Although the scenery outside remains brownish-green with no snow in sight, (that's only in my dreams, I suppose...), may you have a blessed Christmas wherever you are. Enjoy the day, the people, the food, and everything good about it... Jesus was born today!

22 December 2006

Popping the Bubble

It's the new title of my blog. And I think it deserves some explaining. I realize that I haven't posted in a week, more or less.

I'm home. I ran across an airport to get home, but I got home, all in one piece. And as I look back on my semester and answer the "How Was it?" question, I've come to a conclusion for myself. I'm popping the bubble I live in.

Popping the bubble? You ask. The world is large, my friends, and my world got bigger by visiting Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and even Miami. My world is bigger by knowing people around the US and around Central America. My world is bigger knowing different perspectives.

And I want my bubble popped. I want to expand the way I understand things. And so I'm going to be 'popping the bubble' from now on. And my blog has moved from "La Vida Costarricense" to "Popping the Bubble." That's my mission.

15 December 2006


time to say goodbye.
change of scenery.

14 December 2006

Trying to leave Central America...and they won't let me leave!

Okay, so it's not as scary as it sounds on the title.

I'm in Guatemala City, hanging out in the airport, using free wireless, and waiting impatiently because the connection is slow and flaky. But it works, so I'm not going to complain too much. And it's free, which is rare now in US airports. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 2:55, but it is now leaving at 4:04, putting our arrival into Miami about 45 minutes late. Ultimately, it's not that big of a deal. We're spending Friday and Saturday in Miami for re-entry, beach visits, and a isit to Little Havana, but it would be nice to get there instead of just sitting around in the airport.

My trip to Guatemala was amazing. For 4 1/2 days I worked at a center for malnourished children, playing with them, loving on them, and just plain helping out. It was amazing. I've never seen more malnourished kids in my life, but they were also amazingly happy. Go here
for some amazing pictures!

Tomorow we go to South Beach for the day and have a talent show at night. On Saturday we're having "re-entry" orientation as well as a visit to LIttle Havana. Sunday I fly home, hopefully getting in at 6pm if stand-by works out well!

You can call me cell phone anytime after 8pm tonight, if you're one of "those" people. If I don't answer, I'm busy. But leave me a message and I'll get it!

Jehovah Jaira and much blessings.

01 December 2006

One more blog for the road...

Hello my Friends,

I realize that it’s been an eternity since I’ve last blogged. To be perfectly honest, I’ve been swamped with so much to do that I haven’t even had time to go to the internet café. Last night was one of my favorite times all semester - I cooked for my family, we hung out, and I got to give them a scrapbook I made. This week was filled with projects and meetings and tests and all sorts of “end of the semester” type stuff.

Why? You ask. Yes, I do have two more weeks. But on Sunday, we leave for Guatemala. We’ll be there for ten days and then we’ll be spending the last three days of the semester in Miami, doing a “re-entry retreat.” Hopefully the experience will be hurricane-free this time!

Looking back, I’d say it was a good semester. Yesterday someone asked me that if I was given the opportunity to repeat this semester, would I do it? The truth is, this semester was great for the culture experience, for the friendships gained, for the family gained. But I’m not sure I would do the rest of the experience. I ended up having some struggles along the way these past few weeks in reference to differing opinions and frustrations with grading.

So, if it were everything but the way class is conducted, I would do it again. I would do the language school, the trips, the host families, and all of that. I wouldn’t do class where I’m left trying to form my own opinions and feel like I’m drowning or forced to believe (or say) something I don’t believe.

But, I would do the rest again. And I won’t look back negatively on this experience. My host family was such a huge blessing.

In other news, I went to the beach last weekend. Go here for pictures. There are also pictures of “Flat Stanley,” which some of you might understand what that’s all about. If not, you can always ask me later. Oh, and my Thanksgiving pictures are on there too. It was a beautiful (and tasty!) turkey.

Blessings to you all. Until Guatemala, or Miami, or Iowa (or whenever I get to the internet).

Jehovah Jaira

24 November 2006

Crazy Weather

Well, I'm sitting in the LASP office, checking my e-mail in between class activities. It's FRIDAY, hallelujah!

Hopefully you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Mine was celebrated with 2 Americans, a Canadian, and a Costa Rican. We had turkey, cranberry jelly, stuffing, mashed potatoes, rolls, salad, apple pie, and ice cream. It was amazing. It was a nice way to spend time together and relax.

In other news, the weather has been cold, windy, and just as unpredictable as if I were in Iowa. On Wednesday, the temperature was 53 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the coldes it's been in over 12 years here. With no heat and temperatures over 65 on a regular basis, the cold and wind combination was a shock to everyone. Costa Ricans walked around wearing winter coats, gloves, and scarves.

In other wonderful weather news, I'm headed to the beach tomorrow for a day and a half, which I'm very excited about.

There will be more pictures posted on Flickr soon - pictures from Thanksgiving, Flat Stanley, the Beach and other fun stuff (including my host family). More on that later. There are just over three weeks left, I can hardly believe it.

Hope you're doing well. The barage of homework threatens.

20 November 2006

Seeing my Mom and other wonderfulness...

This weekend I saw my mom... :)
You all know it, you heard me say it, but let me just say that I had an AMAZING trip, even if it was really short! I spent the weekend doing secretarial stuff and translating, which was SUPER fun! I was excited.
Now I just have to get through some grueling weeks of class and stuff. 2 weeks of class, which have gotten to be quite mundane...and then 10 days of Guatemala and 3 days of Miami. I can't wait until that time comes.
But it will be okay. I have a good support, a lot of us are feeling ground down to the mundane, so at least we can sympathize with each other.
I hope you're all doing well, as always. I don't have much to say, other than an AMAZING trip to Nicaragua and wonderful time with my mom (you can see our smiling faces...!) Everyone there said we look alike...imagine that!
Jehovah Jaira

17 November 2006

And then we went on a zipline...

Just wanted to share this...

11 November 2006


Hello Friends!

It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me. Things have been wild over here, moving from one thing to another. Last week Tuesday we left for Panama and came back early yesterday morning, just before 5 in the morning.

My trip to Panama was amazing. After a day in Panama City, we went to two different indigenous islands off the Northeastern coast of Panama. I went to the island of Goetupu, where I stayed with an amazing host family and learned a lot about love and community and giving. There aren’t enough words to describe my experience, but you can always look at the pictures here. The first 18 pictures of the album are of Panama.

Not much else is new here besides coming back from my trip to Panama. It felt great to be back in San José and hang out at the house yesterday, washing clothes, getting things done, and hanging out with my family.

Next week I travel to Nicaragua to hang out with my mom for a weekend. I’m really excited for the trip and can’t wait for Thursday again.

Hope you’re all doing well. I’ll be home in just over a month.

30 October 2006

From one trip to another...

Hello friends. I'm back from my Fall Break, resting a bit and reflecting. It was a wonderful break and a wonderful change of pace.

On Thursday, we headed out to "Volcán Arenal," translated "Sandy Volcano". There, we saw the volcano at night with some cool orange lava rock action, then we went to some hot springs, which ranged from 93 - 156 degrees (F). It was an amazing experience.

On Friday, we began making our way to Monteverde, a rustic, green, and beautiful area of Costa Rica. Once there, we found our hotel, a lovely, out of the way hotel run by a German couple. We hung out for a while and then headed to supper, finding a great Pizza place in town.

On Saturday morning, we were picked up by a van and we headed out to do a Canopy tour. A canopy tour is a system of cables and platforms above the cloud forest (a forest that naturally has loads of clouds at the top). We went on 15 ziplines, 19 platforms, and a tarzan swing (I'm sure you can imagine what that entails). It was an amazing experience, and we felt like we were flying over the top of the forest!

After the canopy tour, we explored a suspended bridge system in the same park. That afernoon we hung out for a while and then found supper in town.

On Sunday morning, I decided to go horseback riding. After hearing that it was an option, I decided I would go, even if no one else went. So, I did, and it ended up being a tour with just me and my guide. I went on a 2 and a half hour horseback ride!

Afterwards, we ate at the "Treehouse Café" and then headed back to San José.

Tomorrow, we leave for Panama, including an 18-hour bus trip! So, next time you hear, you'll get to see Panama pictures and hear more. To see my Fall Break pictures, check it out here

So, until next weekend when I return from Panama, enjoy some picture viewing!

24 October 2006

Change of Pace

Sweet Bliss.

Last night I didn't have any homework. I don't have any tonight either. On Thursday afternoon, I'm leaving until Sunday night, having a fall break. On Monday, I don't have anything except laundry, unpacking, and re-packing. On Tuesday, I leave for 11 days for Panama!

It's a change of pace. Yesterday morning I turned in an 8 1/2 page paper entitled "Misioneros en Una Época Nueva" (Missionaries in a New Era). Today, I worked 3 hours on a group project, and tomorrow we present our 15 minute project plus 10 minutes for questions. It feels like a "it's all down here from here" feeling.

This afternoon we're going to see a movie, solely for the reason that we can and we don't have anything else hanging over our heads. Wonderful.

This weekend I'm going to Volcan Arenal, the most well-known Volcano in Costa Rica. Then we're going to the region of Monteverde, which has Canopy Tours, Botannical Gardens, Hanging Bridges, Horse Riding, and all kinds of wonderful stuff. I can't wait!

I hope you're all doing well. As always, I'd love to hear from you, I check my e-mail once to twice a week, depending on how the week is going. Blessings for you all.

Jehovah Jaira

20 October 2006

Papers, Readings, and Better Things to Do

I forgot what it's like to have a paper due and want to do everything else but that.

I have a 7-10 page paper due at 8am on Monday morning. Also a two-page non-related paper due at that time. Also some readings due at that time. By 5pm that day, I have to have a revised thesis and outline for a group presentation. By Wednesday at 8am, we have to have our group presentation ready to go.

It's been a busy few days. I spend 4 hours on and off yesterday trying to tackle my paper. It's currently at 5 1/2 pages and I need to write some more. Oh, and did I mention that all of this is in Spanish?

I find myself wanting to go places with people, wanting to buy things, wanting to go to the internet, wanting to hang out with my family, spend time with classmates...anything to not do my paper. It doesn't matter what country you're in, you still want to do everything but...!

In other news, my shirt is soaked. I lost the art of umbrella dodging and got soaked!

Tomorrow I get to go to a wedding with my family. I'm excited about that and will be interested to see how it is and what it's like. Apparently it will include crazy dancing. This I like.

Side note, the people on either side of me at the internet café are looking at wedding information and wedding dresses...

17 October 2006


Home. It’s amazing how a place can feel like home once you’ve been away from it. On the bus ride back to Costa Rica, we all marveled at the fact that we felt like we were coming home – we’d been gone for two weeks and all we wanted was to see our family, sleep in our own beds, and feel at home.

I’ve been gone now for over six weeks, and it’s amazing to me how the time has flown by. At the beginning I was dubious when the staff told us to savor each moment because it was going to be gone before we knew it. I was doubtful all of September. But now I’ve done a month of language school and a two-week trip to Nicaragua and lived here, really lived here, and feel at home. And I recognize now that the rest of the semester is going to literally fly by.

For the next two weeks, I have scattered classes and work on papers and presentations. Next weekend I’ll be going to a wedding with my family, which will be wonderful experience, and then the week after that we have Fall Break. Immediately following Fall Break, I leave for Panama for two weeks. A week after my return from Panama, I’ll be spending the weekend in Nicaragua to see my mom (my real mom!). After that, it’s two more weeks in Costa Rica followed by a two week trip to Guatemala. Straight from Guatemala we’ll fly to Miami for 3 days of debrief and then I’ll be home. It’s a lot going on in a short two months that we have left.

Now that I’ve looked forward, I might as well look back a little bit. My trip to Nicaragua was wonderful. Not everything went perfectly, but now I know I wouldn’t have wanted it that way. Although I got a cold, ended up dehydrated, hurt my foot, and lost a contact, better things outweigh the bad: Nicaragua is a beautiful, beautiful country, with amazing and loving people, I got to cross over to Honduras (without a passport!), I saw Ciudad Antigua (a city Captain Morgan pirated), I got to know more of the LASP students better, and I got to see the diverse reality of Nicaragua, the 2nd poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

So, check out my pictures here. The album is kind of scattered between pre-home stay and home stay periods, but i didn't really have time to do more than that. Good luck deciphering... The titles of the pictures might help a bit (side note: finca = farm).

As always, I hope you’re doing well. Forgive me if this blog was a bit long – it’s bee a long time since I’ve put my thoughts together to put together a blog, and I tried to be as short as possible. Hopefully the pictures say plenty.

11 October 2006


Well, here I am again...writing to you this time from Granada, Nicaragua.

My host stay is over and we're hanging out in a Hostel until tomorrow. It seems that everyone had good stays in their town. Mine was pretty mediocre, but I'm trying to be positive about the experience. I had a wonderful host grandma who had nothing but love to give, along with a few home remedies (who knows what she gave me?!)

Tomorrow we have a debrief on our stay, a trip to managua, and our last meal. Friday morning bright and early, we drive back to Costa Rica.

More pictures later. This is all I can make myself write right now.

05 October 2006

Call me a Liar

No one told us there might be internet cafés in this country too. Okay, so I guess that's not rocket science, but here I am.

I'm in the northern region of Nicaragua in a small town called Condega. Tomorrow I'll be picked up with three other girls by a church leader and taken to a small town a little more north called Ocotal, where I'll be staying with a family by myself for 5 days. Then, on Wednesday, I'll be traveling to Granada for the day, on Thursday we'll go to Managua, and then on Friday we go back to Costa Rica.

It's really a whirlwind of a trip when I think about it, and this trip has made me realize that Costa Rica has started to become home for me while I'm gone for the semester. I think about going "home" to see my family, who even said they would miss me while I was gone. Nicole, Michelle, or whatever they want to call me, I felt loved.

It's been a good, eye-opening trip so far. So much has happened in the four short days since I've been out of Costa Rica, I wouldn't even know where to begin. The best way is to probably wait until I get back, post some pictures online with captions, and let the pictures be worth a thousand words, as they say.

It's hot in Nicaragua, if you didn't know. Sticky and hot and humid, I haven't sweat so much since it was hot at camp this summer. I know I'll appreciate Costa Rica weather even more.

Healthy stomach so far. More on how that turns out later. I think I mean it this time when I say that I won't post again until I get back, but who knows?

Please be doing well. For those of you at Dordt, enjoy tri-state!

30 September 2006

Dancing, Graduation, and Nicaragua


Well, dear readers, this will be my last post for the next two weeks, at the very least. On Monday morning, bright and early, we leave for Nicaragua for about 12 days. We’ll be gone until the next Friday.

What will we do there? Well, we’ll start off in Managua with some orientation as well as some “conferencias” (chats) with some locals concerning Nicaragua. Then we’ll spend 6 nights with host families. After that, we’ll reconvene in Granada for some debrief and more conferencias, then we’ll ride a bus back to San José. Rumor has it that, depending on customs, the bus ride will be 8-10 hours long!

So, I’m pretty excited to be going. A lot of the students on the program are worried about the food or about the living conditions and things similar to that, but I’m just excited for something new, something different, something educational, and something enriching. I’m not too worried about the food and conditions (although when I told some girls they might have to take ‘bucket showers’ if they don’t have running out, their eyes about doubled in size!).

Yesterday marked our last day of language school. We ended with a graduation ceremony, graduation certificates, and some amazing cake! I can hardly believe we're done with language school - that means that I've been here for over a month, which is incomprehensible to me, but also really exciting.

This morning I went with 5 other girls to dance class! It turns out that I'll be going to a wedding with my host family in October, and there will be dancing. I was worried at first, because I dance like an awkward white girl! But, this morning I went to a 2-hour dance class with some of the girls and we had an amazing time! I'm not an expert, but I definitely feel more comfortable and more excited to be dancing! Watch out, I'll be a dancing fool by the time I get home!

So, life here has been good since I last posted. A lot of my extra activities have been focused on finding some of the basic things I need before I leave for Nicaragua, ranging in anything from medicine to a longer skirt to a Spanish Bible with 4 translations (the 4 translations was my decision…)

I hope you’re all doing well. I’ll post again when I get back from Nicaragua – if you’re lucky, you’ll get pictures!

25 September 2006

I've Been Renamed!

There’s an old spiritual song… “I’ve been redeemed.” Except the song in my head is more to the tune of “I’ve Been Renamed.”

How? Three times this weekend, my host family called me “Michelle” instead of Nicole. At first I thought it was just a slip of the tongue – after all, they’ve had countless students in their home. But then, I finally asked, “Who’s Michelle?” To which my family replied “We don’t even know anyone named Michelle!” Even funnier, both my host mom and dad did it separately without realizing the other had done it.

So, now my family calls me Michelle just for the fun of it. But it’s still Nicole a lot of the time. And sometimes, it’s Nicole Maria!

If anything, it’s a great sign to me that I’m starting to fit in with the family and things are going well. That makes me smile.

I hope you have things that can make you smile.

22 September 2006

Comfort Zone?

Everyone has a comfort zone. Everyone has a line that makes them uncomfortable if they cross it. This week I found my line.

This program is fond of interviews. Of people you don't know. Out on the streets. Last weekend we had to do 3 while in Limón. This Monday, we had to do 3 in San José. For my conversation class today, I had to do a minimum of two. For next week, I have to do 2 with Nicaraguan immigrants.

I don't like interviews. I don't like approaching people I don't know and asking questions they may or may not want to answer.

That's my vent. You'll probably hear more from me on Monday, when I've done all the required interviews and maybe feeling a bit more optimistic. At the moment, I'm not feeling it!

(but I do feel the need to tell you that I had fresh pineapple for breakfast this morning, which totally made my day, because it was DELICIOUS)

18 September 2006


Hello Again Friends

A weekend has passed, which means we had our first group trip away from San José. This weekend we traveled to the province of Limón, located on the Caribbean coast. Limón province is the poorest province in Costa Rica and has been a neglected province for almost all of its history, for reasons that are long in explanation!

The purpose of our trip was mainly culture exposure as well as hearing the opinions of people from Limón itself about their opinions of the country, the government, and how they’re treated. It was an eye-opener, including Independence Day craziness, interesting interviews, and a lively English-speaking Baptist church.

On our way to Limón, we stopped at three interesting places: a coffee plantation, a banana plantation, and a pineapple field. So, I thought I’d throw in a picture of each of those for your entertainment. Unfortunately, I didn't get blogger to upload the pictures, so I'm using Flickr instead. Go here

So, there’s your cultural education for the day. I had a decent time in Limón, including a visit to the Caribbean sea, which was amazing!

Hope you are all doing well. More later on life in general. Two weeks from today I head to Nicaragua!

14 September 2006

Two Hydrogens, One Oxygen

There’s an old saying for Morton salt, (maybe they still have it): “When it rains, it pours.” There’s even a pretty picture of a girl with a yellow umbrella on the container. I can picture it perfectly in my mind, because we bought a lot of Morton salt when I was younger.

Yesterday, I altered that saying to make it my own: “When it pours, it POURS.”

As I’m in my third week here in Costa Rica, let me impart this knowledge to you: Costa Rica has two seasons: winter and summer. In the summer, there’s moderate weather with little rain. That’s during our spring time. Then there’s the ‘winter.’ That’s what’s going on right now. In the winter, temperatures are in the low to mid 70s, and the forecast is quite predictable: Sunny in the morning, rain likely in the afternoon. A ten-day forecast could look like that for every single day.

So, here people know how to deal with the rain. Some days it doesn’t rain. Sometimes it only rains in certain areas or barrios of San José. For example, one day it rained at home while I was gone and I managed to avoid rain completely. Then there are days like yesterday. The rain started when we arrived from language school into San José. From this bus stop, I have to walk about 9 blocks to my next bus stop to get home. These are 9 city blocks, not blocks like in Sioux Center.

So, as we walked the wind picked up, it rained tremendously and my umbrella even inverted. We’ve learned quickly that you need a sturdy umbrella to survive in Costa Rica. I already had to invest in a better one than the umbrella I’d brought. So, two blocks down, a group of us stopped under a building’s overhang to wait for the rain to let up. We didn’t wait for it to pass, because we knew it wouldn’t actually stop. But, about ten minutes later, it let up enough to be deemed slow enough to walk in.

Let me tell you, there were rivers in the streets. It’s not like the streets were flooded, but in Costa Rica, the distance from the street to the sidewalk can sometimes be large, and sometimes there can be a bit of a gap…which means rivers. By the time I got home, my socks and shoes were so soaked that they were squishing around and I felt the water in them. My pants were wet from the bottom to somewhere above my knee. The sleeves on my shirt were soaked. The rest of me was dry only due to the help of an umbrella.

The lesson that I’ve learned? Umbrellas actually are useful! At home, I don’t use an umbrella. If it rains, I’ll run through it. Here, if it rains, you can’t just run through it. There’s too far to go. And the other lesson? No matter how sunny, how beautiful, or how warm you are in the morning, always remember two things: your umbrella and a sweater or rain jacket of some kind. You won’t regret it.

12 September 2006

So Check Me Out!


Being sick is no fun. Being away from home, speaking a different language, AND being sick is less fun. Don´t worry, Mom, Dad, everyone else, I´m doing okay :) But, I procured myself a nasty cold that I´m famous for acquiring. Through this, I discovered how pharmacies in Costa Rica work: you visit a "doctor" where you tell them your problem, they "prescribe" you medication, you take it to a different counter in the same building, they give it to you, you pay at a different place. Basically, besides just basic vitamins, you can´t get any medicine without telling someone what exactly your problem is. So try, to tell someone in broken spanish that you´ve had a sore throat for the last day and that you´re stuffy and this is how your colds always start...

But things are getting better. Whatever it was they gave me, I think it´s working. I´ve been trying to rest as much as I can, provided all of the work that we currently have going on. Tonight will be interesting, to say the least.

I dare say that I´m pretty much accustomed to life here. There are little quirks, no doubt, but so far so good. We have a weekend trip for class this weekend, so that will be a good experience.

My biggest "project" right now is trying to figure out what language class I could be in. Out of 10 groups, I was placed in group number 8 (10 being highest). I soon found out it was going too slow and my teacher suggested I move (which is no problem), so today I moved to group 9, where I discovered they were moving slower than we were in group 8, and there´s no room in group 10 for me. So, I´m not exactly sure what I´m going to do about that. We have about two and a half weeks of language school left and I don´t want to feel like that time was wasted with stuff I already know. So, tomorrow I´ll be talking to teachers again and trying to get a feel for what I should do...

So, let me repeat: (especially for Mom, Dad, and all other concerned ones): I´m okay. I´m dealing with being sick. You don´t need to call the National Guard to come get me ;) That´s our running joke here in Costa Rica, because some people worry a lot.

Okay. As always, I hope you´re doing well. If you go to Dordt and want my snailmail address, it´s on DENIS. If not, you can always ask my parents - they know it, I don´t know it off hand because it goes to LASP and I pick it up. Mail will take up to 2 weeks to get here, so I also readily welcome e-mails.

Dios los Bendiga

08 September 2006

another day, another post!

Hello Again dear friends ~

It’s been merely two days and I’m writing to you again. Can you handle it??

Things are still going well here. We talk about how when we’re learning, we should be “paddling to keep our heads above water.” Our director keeps remind us that this means that we shouldn’t be drowning, nor should we be floating on our backs drinking a piña colada.

Well, then, following that analogy, I’m treading water quite rapidly. But it’s a good water tread, I think. I’m not quite sure how to describe it. If I were at Dordt, my class load and homework would be considered “light.” For yesterday, I had to read about 30 pages of articles, write a 2 ½ page summary in Spanish, and do 2 exercises in Spanish. But here in Costa Rica, I end up with about 3 hours or less of working time each day.

The rushed schedule in terms of homework is worth it, though. Getting to know my Costa Rican family has already been a wonderful experience, and I’ve only been with them just over a week. The experience of culture, learning, and living is definitely one that I won’t ever forget.

Communicating with my family has been going fairly well. I´d wager a guess that I can probably communicate with them about 60% of the time. Intense conversations and Spanish TV are the hardest to understand, but they´re pretty good about explaining things if I get a "I have no idea what´s going on" look on my face!

Yesterday we had our first guest speaker in class and he presented in Spanish and a staff member translated. My notes were written in mostly Spanish, but some English. I’m probably the only one who can understand what I meant by everything I wrote, but at least I probably know what it meant!

My days are long, usually starting between 5:30 and 7:00 every morning and ending around 9:30 each night. It’s been an education in getting everything done. But it’s been good. A few things are unpredictable, like arriving anywhere between 5 and 30 minutes early for class depending on the buses, but having a traveling partner is a great blessing!

As always, I hope that you’re all doing well, staying safe and blessed.

Hasta pronto…

06 September 2006


Hello Dear Readers:

It’s been a busy few days since I posted last. It seems like when the days are packed like they have been, then it seems like so much more time has passed. As of today, I’ve officially been in the country for a week. It feels like so much longer, except that we’re still in the very beginning of our classes!

Yesterday we began our “Core Seminar” of classes. It’s going to be full of history, discussion, opinion formation, and so much more. It seems to me that in a month of Core Seminar classes, I’ll be forced to think much more critically than I’m used to doing in a semester or even a year. This is probably good for me!

This week also marks the beginning of our Spanish language studies. I was placed in a group 8 class (group 1 being the basic class and 10 the most advanced), which I feel to be appropriate so far. We’re jumping right into dealing with issues that I know that I struggle with, so that’s definitely a good sign. We have grammar classes and conversation classes every afternoon, which is definitely a good thing – it keeps things mixed up and going. I’m in these classes with 4 other people, so it’s a nice size for the class.

As we’ve been going through this week, the most common feel is that we feel like kindergartners. We sit eating our lunch together, asking questions like “What did your mom pack you for lunch today?” and saying things like, “That looks good, I wish I had that in my lunch!” When I came home on Monday after traveling “by myself” (with one other student) for the first time, everyone in the family had to ask “Did you get lost?”

You may laugh, and I do laugh at that as well, but I was scared to death last week when I saw the buses I had to take. To get to my Core Seminar class, it’s about 1 hour and 15 mins. to get there (in the morning). If I need to go to Spanish class from my house, it’s about an hour. When we go from Core Seminar to Spanish class, we take taxis because it saves time!

So, it’s been an adventure in transportation, to say the least. But, I feel like I’m making the transition from small town to huge city fairly well. I’ve navigated my way through Central San Jose and even bought a few things in stores (after figuring out my size shoe in Costa Rican sizing instead of US sizing!).

So, it’s been a great few days. I pray that you are all doing well with classes, work, or the like. You are always welcome to send me e-mails and I’ll try to respond to you individually. When I’m on the internet, it’s plenty fast, and I’m hoping to check at least 1-2 times a week.

Que Dios le bendiga

02 September 2006

¡por fin!

Well, let me just begin this blog with a triumphant: “I’m Here!!”

It’s been a busy few days and there’s no way that I could begin to describe to all of you what’s been going on. We’ve had orientation, activities, new foods, new families, lots of travel, and so much more. So, I’m going to list for you what I call my “victories” of my first 4 days here:

1. I made it through customs fine, with all of my luggage
2. I almost know all the names of the 47 other participants
3. Nothing has been stolen yet (trust me, that’s huge)
4. I love my host family
5. I think I can make it on my own on the buses next week
6. I’ve slept really well in my new bed!
7. My hair looks really good, even without a brush (I know, superficial, but it means a lot to me, somehow)
8. I’ve been healthy so far
9. The food has been really wonderful
10. I’m excited to see the next 3 months develop!

So, that’s a few things that have been going on, in a nutshell. I’ve also discovered more of what my classes are going to be like, which is a nice feeling.

For the month September, we’ll be having Spanish classes in the afternoon. I don’t know what class I’m in yet (I’ll know Monday), but those will be M-F every afternoon. Some mornings we’ll have a “Core Seminar” that focuses on History and Issues in Latin America. It sounds a lot like a Gen300 class to me, but more focused on Latin America.

In October, I’ll first travel to Nicaragua for 10 days and then we’ll have the Core Seminar full time in order to work on papers and presentations. At the end of October, we’ll have our Fall Break for 4 days.

In November, we move into our concentrations. I chose “Advanced Language and Literature,” which means that I’ll be spending more time with the Spanish language and we’ll also be talking about cultural issues “through the lenses of literature” (as it was explained to me yesterday!).

On December 3rd, we’ll leave for Guatemala, where we’ll spend 10 days there. Then we’ll travel straight to Miami for some debrief/re-entry type information/class stuff. Then, on the 17th (Sunday), I’ll come home!

So, there’s my life the next few months in a nutshell. I’m sure you’ll hear more details as time goes on. Everything is going well, I hope you’re all doing well, also 

30 August 2006


Hello All, and welcome to COSTA RICA!

Ha. Just kidding. Actually, we're stuck in Miami. Heard about the little hurricane named Ernesto? Downgraded to a Tropical Storm, then down to a Tropical Depression. But, either way, our flight was cancelled. So, we leave tonight instead. But just over half of us still flew into Miami.

When I landed in Miami at about 3:00, there was little wind and no rain. It's been raining on and off and a bit windy, but nothing major. We slept in a church last night, which was a great chance to get to know each other and hang out. Tonight we're supposed to fly out and land in San Jose around 8:00pm (Mountain Time-ish). Tonight I think the plans are to stay in a retreat center and tomorrow we'll meet our host families.

So, that's what's been going on lately. Weather looks good, so we're pretty optimistic that we're going to be able to make it out of the country tonight. DEPORTATION :)

28 August 2006


tomorrow is the day.

i'm not sure what else to say. i leave tomorrow for costa rica, jump on a few planes and get on over there. i'm basically ready, except for a few packing things yet. it's been a good past few days, so i feel like it was worth being around for peoples' re-arrival at Dordt.

tuesday night included a fun sleepover in sioux city, hammock and all. thursday included an airport pickup in omaha, overnight in a shady hotel, shopping, another airport pickup (friday). Friday included a wonderful girls' night, leaving my friends in style! the weekend included a lot of hanging out, movie watching, mcdonald's run, and everything that equals college.

sunday was a great service, hangout with the fam, singing in praiseteam, playing in the offertory, and hanging out with the family again. today is a lot of things to make me feel better: clean my apartment so I come home to a clean place, finish packing, visit people galore I promised I would see before I left, and all sorts of good stuff.

tomorrow at 5am, I wake up to prepare to leave, then I leave by 5:45. so, while you're sleeping soundly in your beds, dream of my, flying on a plane!

you'll hear more from me when i'm there. i'm sure i'll have internet access, so I plan on keeping all ya'll updated.

Until then...

22 August 2006

one week to go


as you can see from the appropriate title, there's one week before I leave. At this time next week Tuesday, I'll be flying! Yay!

It's a good week and I'm looking forward to it. Last night was a wonderful spontaneous night of hanging out, Lion King, and being scared by Hjelle, which hasn't happened in months (all of the above, mostly!). Today involves a trip to Sioux City and overnight in a hammock. To steal a phrase..."w00t."

There's more to come this week. I just typed it all out and deleted it, realizing you probably don't want to read that. I'll probably post about it later, so we'll save it for after the fact.

In other news. I just bought a James Blunt CD, "Back to Bedlam," which I absolutely love. It's got some great music.

Okay. I go now.

15 August 2006

should I start this blog off with a question?

does anyone have the song "Princes and Frogs" by Superchick? Because I like it a lot and have been attempting and failing to download it. So, if you have it and can somehow get it to me, you would really make me happy.

I realize I just posted, but I feel like it was such a superficial post that I need to post again. Today (Wed), I go to Sioux Falls! I get to pick up luggage that was repaired months ago so that I have stuff to pack in to go away for three months. I'm really excited, because that means I get to hang out with a good friend I haven't seen in months.

I keep saying that I want to hang out with Dordt people before I leave, but I'm horrible at making it happen. I've even called people to be like, "Hey, what's up?" and then proceeded to stay at home. I've been hanging out with the family a lot, which has been good. I've been getting in my fair share of baseball games, which is also good, but I'm also realizing how close my departure is (13 days!) and how much I want to see people. I'll have to get on that.

In just over a week, the myriad of people will indeed start to arrive. Hooray, sleepover in Omaha! I'm super excited for next week and all of the goodness it holds - sleepover in Sioux City, sleepover in Omaha, girls' night, packing, and everything in between.

There. Substantial post.

Oh, and extra special points to you if you can link my blog title to a song...

it's the little things

it's the little things that make my day, lately, like:

- my newly discovered hilarious song, "banana phone"
- having a packing list
- downloading a new version of mozilla
- getting to work today for hh
- drinking coffee (i'm not addicted...)
- sending e-cards!

12 August 2006

a weird state of mind

I'm leaving in 2 1/2 weeks for Costa Rica. I'll be there for 16 weeks, basically. 10 days in Nicaragua, 10 days in Guatemala, a few days in Miami, maybe a trip to Panama, lots of host family time, classes, language, culture.

I'm doing what? It seems like I've barely finished with camp. I've been home, unpacking, re-orienting to home life, enjoying the change of pace. But now it's real. Now I've met with my friend who went last semester, and suddenly she's giving me concrete advice "do this, don't do this.." type stuff. I'm leaving! Hooray! Oh no! Right now I feel like there's a clash of sheer excitement and sheer anxiety running through my system. And I can't help but feel like it's going to be like that until I actually leave and get there.

So there you have it, my brain in a nutshell for the moment. I'm thankful for lunch dates and well-timed work projects to keep me occupied.

09 August 2006


productivity feels good. like:

unpacked from camp.
windows washed.
laundry for whole family done.
plans for tomorrow's dinner done.
translations done.
babysitting done.
wal-mart run done.
gas gotten.
three cars washed.
bike ridden to church.
phone calls made.
haircut appointment made.
lists made.
evaluation filled out.
dining room cleaned.
rooms ready for vacuum.

06 August 2006

changing gears

well, I'm home from camp.

It was a wonderful experience. I met a lot of wonderful people, some of whom who go to Northwestern. I got to know some Dordt people better. I got to know other people well, too. In general, it was a great, great time. Day camp this last week was great - a perfect combination of camper interaction and bonding time with some of our staff who had nights off. good stuff.

now i'm home. i have piles of stuff in the basement, waiting to be unpacked. coming home on saturday, i was exhausted and decided things would wait. now that time has come. tomorrow, i start working on my massive list of things that i want to get done before i leave again, in just over three weeks. the biggest on that list is figuring out what i need to take with me to costa rica (corpus christi...). i'll think about that after i unpack from camp, organize/clean everything, and have my head back on straight!

so, a good summmer/11 weeks spent at camp. so good. God is good.

30 July 2006

one last "home for the weekend" blog

Well, it's Sunday afternoon. After taking a lovely nap, I decided it's time for my final "I'm home from camp for the weekend"-type blog.

This week marks our last week of camp. I'll be working at day camp with 1-4th graders. This means that the same kids will come Mon-Fri, but only from 8-3:30ish, not staying overnight. That's pretty nice, because that means that I'll have some of my nights free (not all, sometimes we have to help out) and be able to start packing up.

On Saturday, we need to be out of our rooms by noon. I'll officially have spent 11 weeks at Inspiration Hills. It's been a really good experience. I'm glad I did it.

That's what's going on over here. When I get home on Saturday, I'll be home for just over three weeks, and then I leave for Costa Rica!

21 July 2006

life is good

I'm hanging out at my house with two other counselors. We're having a baseball party. Hooray. A much needed hang out time. Life is good with baseball.

I worked with junior high this week. It was good. A nice change of pace.

I go back to 4-6th grade next week, at lodge. Good ole faithful. It will be good.

I only have 2 weeks left at camp. Hypothetically, they'll be at lodge and then at day camp. Then I go home.

I'm working the weekend at camp, but we always have Fridays off. I'll be busy cleaning/setting tables for the rest of the weekend.

Laundry at home and not waiting in line is good.

I'm studying in Costa Rica. (That's for you, Kunnari).

14 July 2006

another one down.

some tidbits of thoughts from the last couple of days...

another high school/childhood friend got married today.

while there, i realized a good high school friend has now been married for two years!

my camper thought i was 27 years old this week.

campers see a ring on your left ring finger and immediately assume you're married.

when you tell them you're not, they ask if you're trying to make people think you are.

camp food is like eating in grade school lunchrooms all over again.

some songs never grow old... like "Pharaoh, Pharaoh."

in three weeks, i'm done with camp.

in six weeks, i'm leaving the country.

i'm not ready to leave the country.

i'm home for the first time in a month.

when you spend a lot of time with the same people, you think you see them all over, even when you know they're not even remotely close to where you are...

it's hot outside.

i like my house.

i like my family.

i feel disconnected, in "almost no reception or internet" land.

i'm going to bed now.

08 July 2006

weekend at camp

hi all. it's another weekend at camp. i spent the week working around the camp and being sick. i slept the 4th of july away and then went to the doctor this week where they said "yep, you're sick" and gave me medicine. so, the good news is that i'm starting to feel better.

it's staff development weekend here at camp. that means that yesterday we all went out to eat at Panera and then went to Wal-Mart/Barnes and Noble for the night. Today we're doing evaluations with the coordinators and with our boss. My evaluations were fine - both were "yep, you're good, keep up the good work" sort of stuff.

the other interesting thing going on this weekend is that a bunch of the boys are getting mohawks. crazy and impulsive, it's actually sort of hilarious.

i bought a spanish book at barnes and noble last night. short stories by Sandra Cisneros. Hard to read (takes a lot of time), but it's good.

k, here i go.

01 July 2006



it's a work weekend for me. 2 weekends this summer, I hang out and clean, set tables, clean bathrooms, etc. lifeguard a bit at the pool. not such a rough life, but no sleeping in. sad.

it was another good week at lodge camp. we had a lot of sickness, but the week got better after wednesday.

i think i'm getting sick. i have a sore throat that hasn't gone away since i woke up four hours ago. i'll keeping drinking liquids.

next week i'll be doing "buildings and grounds" duties instead of counselor, since we have less kids than we initially anticipated. part of my time i'll also be "counselor backup". it will be a different change of pace, but probably a well-needed change of pace.

next weekened we have a "staff development" weekend. not sure what it all entails, but I know that means we all have to hang out here for the weekend.

so, that's what's up. i'm over halfway through my stint here at camp. 5 weeks to go. it's been a wonderful experience so far. keep writing me those letters - they help tremendously.


24 June 2006


Well, hello.

I know it's been a while since I've posted. Last weekend was a lovely weekend, filled with a trip to Sioux Falls, mass Sunday Dinner Celebration, and a lot of good sleep that I needed. We celebrated my birthday, and it was great. A good birthday, although a bit more disjointed than normal.

This past week I was at wilderness camp, camp with framed structures and tarps over top of them (we call them "tenabins"), cooking over the fire, sleeping practically outside, hearing thunderstorms, and lots of hiking. It was a week of no showers, smelling horrible, but having a good time. I spent the week with 4-6th graders again, which was mostly good once again.

Last night we went to one of the counselor's houses to hang out for a while and just chill, which was really great to just let go for a while. Now, it's parents' weekend at camp and we're getting ready for all sorts of people to come and hang out and see the camp.

So, that's my life at the moment. I'm "in the swing of things" at camp now, which doesn't necessarily mean a whole lot (I move around a lot... :s) Next week, Lodge camp again, 4-6th grade again.

Until next time...

I bid thee adieu and adios.

09 June 2006

another week, another post

well hello again to all my friends.

it's another week gone, and we've officially finished staff training. which also means we got our first paycheck. which also means we know each other as a staff REALLY well and are ready for this weekend.

next week will be our first week with campers - I'll be at "lodge camp," which means that I'll be at the regular camp, as opposed to day camp or wilderness camp. i'm pretty excited - we have 4-6th graders next week.

other than that, not a whole lot is happening - the pool was finally open this week, which meant a lot of swimming and whatnot. and it's been a lot of loose ends this week, as well as getting the camp ready for camp. it was a different week from last week, but still good. it went really fast!

so, this is about it from me again until next weekend, when I go home for various reasons: fathers' day, my birthday, and a celebration of dave and shannon's wedding! (while they're actually in california....).

So, until then...

signing off.

03 June 2006

week in review

it's been a week.

i'm sitting at home by my laptop, although my computer is being ridiculously slow. i think it's been suffering from not being used much lately. i'll restart after this.

it's been a full week of getting to know each other as a staff as well as getting used what will be going on when we finally get campers. amazingly enough, we actually don't get our first group of campers until June 12th. Next week is more staff training, video-ing, physical preparation for camp, as well as hopefully a few jumps into the pool.

i'm home for just over 24 hours. home for things i forgot, home to watch the final episode of alias, home to hang out with my family, home to go to church for pentecost. that wasn't in order of priority by the way...

anyway, that's about all i can think of to tell you. nothing has been too amazingly exciting that you need to know. a few jokes about mock dating and blindfold weddings, but those will just have to stay with the staff....

27 May 2006

26k internet equals:

Nikki won't be posting much. Slow dial-up internet pretty much decided that. That, and I found out that weekends are pretty much the only times that I'll be able to get on the internet. So, this is a rare occasion (a guess. i'll probably prove myself wrong...)

So, anyway, here I sit in my boss's office working on the internet. it's a weekend and that's how it goes, they say.

I came to camp on Monday for some lifeguard training. the first day of class, they tell us that we're going to do a swim test that's required for certification. 10 laps (a lap is "there and back") in an olympic sized pool. front crawl and breast stroke only. i get through two laps and discover there's no way that i'm going to be able to do this.

so another girl and I have been hanging out at camp without much of anything to do, since we can't be lifeguards. but, it's been a really good time to get to know the people that are here, to establish a relationship, and get a head-start on some of the basic rules for camp (music, attire, internet, cleaning, living, etc). We're also only 30-40 min away from Sioux Falls, so we've trekked out there a few times. Last night we went to SF to go to someone's house and Wal-Mart. Tonight we might go over there to watch a movie.

So, it's definitely been good so far. All of the summer staff will be here on Sunday night, when we have a picnic and begin orientation stuff. We have two weeks of orientation and our first week of campers starts on June 12th. I'm pretty excited to get started with all of this stuff!

So, you might not hear from me for a while - if anything, you'll hear from me on the weekend of June 17th, when I know I'm going home. Birthday celebration, baby!!

Hope you're all doing well.

22 May 2006

this is it

hello friends, enemies, readers alike.

today i leave for camp. no idea if i'll be able to post or update or what. if anything, you'll hear from me on my weekends home.

buh bye now.

19 May 2006

a small picture sampling...

here's a small sampling of the va-cay-shun. (in no particular order, include jack and jazz with herman, herman, and me at san juan capistrano..i have no idea what order they're actually in, but you can figure it out. I'm not the dog!)

18 May 2006

world traveler.

my brother says he thinks i cut my hair so that i don't have to wash it as much now that i'll be traveling all over the place. that wasn't the purpose, but he's got a good point...

i leave for home today. i had a wonderful visit to pasadena. hiking on Sunday was spectacular. my legs hurt for a while, but it was definitely worth it. monday was another hang-out kind of day, but good. i got to cook supper on monday, so that was fun.

tuesday, jazz and i took herman along to the farmer's market. it was small but interesting. got some good cherries. then we went shopping for jack's b-day, which was quite successful. went out to lunch and then rented some movies and watched some movies.

yesterday, jazz and i went to the mall for shopping, that was fun also. we ate at california pizza kitchen, which is good stuff. then we got home and ate supper and gave jack a few b-day presents (early). then we watched movies again.

all in all, a wonderful vacation, i must say. and with that...i must stuff everything back into my suitcase and sit on it and zip it shut.

14 May 2006

fun-filled funness


i'm hanging out in good 'ol Pasadena on a Sunday morning, drinkin' my coffee and feeling satisfied after some lovely french toast.

it's day 4 of my visit to jack and jazz. it's been a wonderful visit so far. went and ate greek food on the night i came, which was really nice. then on thursday just kind of hung out and went shopping a bit with jack and ate supper. and crashed. my jet lag hit kind of late.

on friday, hung out again while the kids worked. then jack and i took herman to the dog park and went grocery shopping. went to the barrio where jazz has been working. i have to say that i totally loved the barrio. it was really awesome. i felt transplanted into another country for most of the night. we went to a furniture store, where the guy spoke so-so english and was disappointed that jazz didn't speak any spanish. then, we tried to find a tiny mexican restaurant that a friend of jazz's owns. purely by accident, we finally found it. and the food? it was awesome. so good - i had tacos al pastor, very good. i would definitely go back there. yum. after supper, we went and saw the new movie "Goal!", which was also a splendid movie. You should go see it. it's good.

saturday, we lazed around for a while, slept in and whatnot. then we got ready for our excursion. decided to eat at in n out, which was harder than we first thought it would be - finding one on our way and then getting off the interstate and actually finding it was kind of hilarious. but we found it. then, we went to mission san juan capistrano. which was amazing. absolutely amazing. i don't think my words can describe how wonderful it was. there was a church there that used to be the biggest church in california, but suffered an earthquake in 1811. they excavated what they could and we got to see a bunch of the original walls. we saw a lot of other stuff, too. i'll post pictures of it when i get home, i'm sure. totally inspired me. i want to visit every mission in the US. eventually.

anyway, so after sjc, we went to the beach. we went to the laguna beach area and found a nice beach and took little naps on the beach. after that, we started our drive back home. we stopped and ate at applebee's, which was also excellent. then we came home, played a round of scene it, and then just kind of hung out and whatever and then went to bed.

which brings me to this morning, the "halfway" point through our trip. french toast this morning. herman woke me up. again. :) he's a funny dog. i'm sure i'll have lots of herman stories to tell. what a hilarious dog.

we're going hiking today, taking herman along. that's exciting. good plans for today.

so, a good vacation so far. i'll probably post pictures when i get home (i didn't take my camera cord along, so i can't take them off...silly me). Hope you're having a good day/week/summer or whatever you're having.

09 May 2006

like a child on Christmas morning...

It's like it's Christmas Eve...and on Christmas morning, the good stuff comes.

Tomorrow I leave for California to visit Jack and Jazz. I'm there for a week. (You might hear from me while I'm there). Plans include San Juan Capistrano, the beach, hiking, some shopping, maybe a little Jay Leno, probably some other stuff. I get to see Herman, the three-legged wonder!!

Today is my last day of work with Hope Haven for a while. I'm excited to see my last kid for a while, maybe do some hammock fun, go to the park, just hang out a lot. I love this kid. I'm going to miss him. I won't see him until December probably. Sigh.

I got to translate for a head start program last night. It was really quite exciting. Parents came in for the parent meetings and I translated what the teacher say to update them on their child. I was excited to have some real-life Spanish action and they were excited to be able to communicate with the hispanic parents. Ah, how I love the Spanish language. And I love Hispanics, because they are usually nice and help me with my Spanish proficiency, as well. Top that off with a bunch of mom-translating in Spanish for her work, and I've been swamped in thoughts about California and Spanish. Hooray. Huzzah.

Being unlike Xanga (which is a good thing generally), Blogger doesn't have the "Currently Reading/Listening to" option. Which I don't mind, except right now I'm going to share with you.

Currently Reading: Wicked: The LIfe and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
By: Gregory Maguire

Wow. Crazy book. It's all starting to come together. 80 pages out of 406 to go.

Hooray for summer reading. Hurray for summer vacations! Hurray for no homework, no tests, no papers, no exams! Hurray for visits to the public library! Hooray for sleeping until 8 in the morning. Hooray for spelling hurray differently!

06 May 2006

gradumatation and other milestones

so, it's been somewhat of a whirlwind week over here in iowa. full of exams, there seemed to be a million other things going on as well.

as probably obvious from previous posts, my knee has been bothering me. after two doctor's appointments and an MRI, I received a cortisone shot for the pain this week and it seems that it just may be working. that's a happy news right there.

in other news, i found out my information about costa rica...when i have to fly and all that. that's good info. so if you're moving back to dordt on the monday, i'll be here...i leave on tuesday, registration day.

the final most recent event was graduation day. becca and i sat way up in the bleachers together and i managed to get some tiny pictures of a few important people...i don't know if they'll be useful, but they're good for posterity, i suppose. so, here are a few exciting pictures after the fact. #1: laura, me, and phil. #2 our coffee girls' group, me, sarah, and mel

02 May 2006

the rumors are true...

well, in light of a crazy week and a half past, a not so upbeat me, and myself looking for some change, here is what resulted:

Hair Chopped!

30 April 2006

things that suck (in no particular order)

**if you're involved in one of these...please understand I'm not attacking you, but the situation**

- knowing that you're the world's worst roommate
- knowing the above and seeing how well the room gets along without you
- not knowing what's wrong with your knee
- having everyone but you forget about how much your knee hurts
- stairs
- feeling like bawling because life is no fun
- telling someone you're worried and having them reply "i'm worried, too, I don't know how to comfort you."
- feeling like an event you plan is more of a pain than a joy
- wanting to tell someone how you really feel, but afraid you'll sound selfish and bitter and weak and insecure
- being absolutely scared to receive no answers whatsoever on Thursday about my knee
- knowing that Jesus will take care of things, but being completely unable to just let it go
- feeling like everyone's nice and no one's "close" at this time of year
Life is funny, life's a mess
Sometimes a curse sometimes a blessing
Don't worry about a thing
Life is sticky, life can bruise
Sometimes you win sometimes you're losing
No matter what it brings
Don't worry about a thing

27 April 2006


my knee hurts. and i'm a whiner. and it hurts, and i'm making sure that's clear to all of you.

on another note, i think leann rimes must know me personally. her newest song, something's gotta give, must actually be about me. she just doesn't know it yet. "jennie's got a job, a cat named jake, 31 candles on her birthday cake next year. she thought by now she'd have a man, two car seats and a mini-van, but she's still layin' here."

Okay, so I know I'm not 31, I'll have dog...but I swear, 10 years from now, this will be me.

okay, enough whining, back to talking about other religions.

24 April 2006

Putting it all into numbers...

28 days until I leave for camp
16 days until I leave for LA
6 average hours of sleep each night (until vacation!!)
5 days of classes
4 exams
4 new pairs of jeans!
3 m/w/f classes left
2 days of exams
2 conversation classes left
2 t/th classes left
1 take-home exam

21 April 2006

victory is mine!

Done, done, done. Cross the 2nd big end-of-the-semester paper. 10 pages on Jainism. Everything you wanted to know about the obscure religion and some you didn't want to know.

Next on the list: transcribe 2 spanish interviews phonetically. Research a Latin American poet. Write 2 5-page papers in Spanish. Learn some Greek real quick-like.


18 April 2006

i know i just posted...but this is worth it, i promise

You are a Black Coffee

At your best, you are: low maintenance, friendly, and adaptable

At your worst, you are: cheap and angsty

You drink coffee when: you can get your hands on it

Your caffeine addiction level: high

an ode to billie joe.

oh, summer, how you are approaching near. you tempt us with your warm weather, the wind, the desires for air conditioning (yet you know you shouldn't). Then you flee away, leaving the cold and bitter remains of 45 degree weather with slowly falling rain.

I'm so excited for summer, you probably don't even realize. I'm excited for what promises to be a wonderful combination of activities over the summer:
1. Go to LA and visit brother and sister-in-law
2. Start working at camp
3. Spend a few weekends back home, hanging out with "The Core"/"The Corps" (whenever they decide on spelling)
4. Have a great birthday/fathers' day weekend
5. Go to Briana/Kyle's wedding July
6. Spend my August hanging out, catching up, and packing
7. Spend precious days with friends
8. Leave for Costa Rica!

Every summer, I think it can't be like it was last summer. Last summer was wonderful. Can it really be like that again? But then I had two wonderful "summer-at-dordt" experiences in a row. Now I'm overly hopeful that something good will come out of this summer, just like it always has.

The thoughts of summer have been filled with promises to come back and visit a few wonderful people. Excited to hear who's sticking around (yeah for you, if that's you!)

I've also been reminiscing about summers past. Summers full of nintendo playing, Spanglish, 4-square, 9-square, visits to the park and swimming pool, cell phone calls, and singing crazy songs down the highway, having all the "cruise night" kiddies look at us like crazy. Yeah, that's right.

So, if you're around this summer, watch out, it's gonna be a good one!
You Are Scary

You even scare scary people sometimes!
Today is monday and I'm thinking that it's going to be a really long week. I have orchestra today, something I don't normally have on Mondays, but we have a concert next Tuesday, so we have practice tonight.

Something good and bad happened today. My professor delayed a paper that we have to write. We were going to have to turn it in this Friday, but he delayed it to next Friday. This is good because I have a lot to do and it will be a little easier to write it...but, it's also hard because I have two other papers that i have to write next week. So, I"m thinking that I want to write the paper this week anyway. But if this actually happens...probably not, becaus I'm horrible at doing my homework early.

I found out today that the other girl that had applied to the Costa Rica program is going to go! She was waiting because they said they wanted to wait until all the applications had come in and then they were going to decide. Well, they decided and accepted her. I'm going to have anothe rperson that I know in Costa Rica next semester! Yay!

Well, I think I"m done for today. I have to study my Greek tonight because I have a huge test tomorrow and it will be hard even if I study, so I should study a lot!

15 April 2006

how I miss them..

did you ever watch Carmen Sandiego on the PBS channels? Or Ghostwriter? Saved by the Bell, when it was good? Hangin' with Mr. Cooper, Picture Perfect.

Sometimes I think they don't make awesome shows like they used to. Even some awesome ones before I was born. M*A*S*H, Petticoat Junction, Family Affair, Welcome Back Kotter...they used to show these on TVLand all the time, before they decided it wasn't cool to show them. I love them. There were so cool. M*A*S*H is the only one that I see on air anymore, so sad.

What shows did you grow up with, that you miss? What shows have you seen that you think should still be showing? Any show that was short-lived that you thought should have made it? I have my list of modern shows that should have made it, too:

Dark Angel
John Doe
Now & Again
...so many more

Maybe I'm a TV addict. It's been said before. But there's something about a well-made show with an amazing knack for humor that really lifts your spirits at time. MASH is like that, good humor, basically clean, actually sends a message/opinion, and seemingly timeless. Can't go wrong with that.

Mm. Hook me up with some more of that good, classic tv.

11 April 2006

song re-write!

if your allergies make you sneeze, clap your hands
clap, clap
if your allergies make you sneeze, clap your hands
clap, clap
if your allergies make you sneeze, then your nose will surely feel it, if your allergies make you sneeze, clap your hands
clap, clap

if you love the springy weather, stomp your feet
stomp, stomp
if you love the springy weather, stomp your feet
stomp, stomp
if you love the springy weather, then your clothes will surely show it, if you love the springy weather, stomp your feet
stomp, stomp

if you have a lot to do, shout amen!
if you have a lot to do, shout amen!
if you have a lot to do, then i doubt you want to do it, if you have a lot to do, shout amen!

(thanks to Shannon for the idea!)

07 April 2006

letting go...

It's done. Our massive fundraiser for the public library is officially done. We had massive amounts of people, more than we expected, even after raising our numbers. Our estimates are somewhere around 250-300 people. We used almost 72 pounds of meat. More tomatoes than I can count on my ten fingers. I cut two fingers and burned my thumb. Thought my legs would fall out when I finally went home. We made more than we expected and are excited to give the library a lovely donation.

In other news, when I came home from the church, my body decided that now it was okay to get sick. Luckily, it wasn't this bad during the meal. But, my sore throat from that morning came back in full swing, along with a stuff nose and a bit of the chills.

So, hello vitamin c, echinacea, and dimetapp. I slept good, I tell you. I should sleep for 9 hours more often. Don't tell my prof I didn't get my homework done. I'm planning on explaining everything to him and I think he'll understand...he was there last night.

So, for those of you who came to the dinner, thanks, I love you! Things went so well...although I don't think I want to do a massive fundraiser for a few years....:)

04 April 2006

if you see me...

If you see me between now and Thursday night after 8pm...
1. it's only because I'm looking for my head that must be cut off and rolling around somewhere...
2. it's only because i'm avoiding my real responsibilities
3. you are a part of my real responsibilities
4. give me a hug, i'm going to need it

02 April 2006

You Are Diet Coke

You are energy in its purest form. No need to complicate things with sweetness.
And while people may hate your aftertaste, you are seen as a necessary evil.

Your best soda match: 7 Up

Stay away from: Coke

30 March 2006


I need to do that in real life.

I have a mid-term due tomorrow by the "end of the day." I have spent the last two hours working on it and have 4 of 6 pages "done." I put that in quotatio marks because I don't know if I'm happy with it, but it is done.

In happy news, I ate supper at my old apartment today. I told them, effectively, that I haven't laughed and had company at the dinner table like that in a long time. The conversation included things I don't remember anymore, but I do remember smiling and laughing and thinking I would like it to last.

Tomorrow is Friday. Dinner party #3 of the semester. At 8pm, come watch Spanglish in S101 with Club Hispano. Chips and Salsa and Apple pop :)

Okay, back to write about one more page of info and conclude my midterm. Tomorrow I'll decide I don't like it and change half of it.

29 March 2006

anything as a distraction....

both my foot and knee hurt today, so here's a re-do of the band game in order to distract me.

1. Choose an artist/band.
Chris Rice

2. Are you male or female?
Questions for heaven

3. Describe yourself.

4. What do some people think you are like?
Smellin' Coffee

5. How do you feel about yourself?

6. Desribe where you want to be.
O Little Town of Bethlehem

7. Describe how you live.
Everything's OK

8. Describe how you love.

9. What would you ask for if you had one wish?

10. Share a few words of wisdom.
Smell the Color 9

11. Where do you live?
Welcome to our World

12. Say goodbye.
The Final Move

28 March 2006

Assess This!

Assessment day was today. Sophomores rejoiced because they had basically nothing they had to do. I, on the other hand, got the short end of the stick.

Dordt chose half of the juniors to participate in assessment. This is the 4th time in my college career I've had to do the general assessment (math that one out!)

Let me line out my assessed day for you:
9:00 Am - go to Spanish department, participate in 10-minute oral proficiency interview with Spanish professor, attempting to convince her that higher education is good, especially at my college. Then trying to convince her to take back the shoes I just bought and give me a refund.
9:30 am - proceed to the massive classrom, C255. Squeeze into tiny desk, be surrounded by Calvin, Beth, Ninny, Jon, Julia, Becca, and more. Be handed a very Iowa Test of Basic Skills-like test. Take 2 60-minute tests, full of rudimentary algebra, annoying reading comprehension questions, and horribly written sentences. Between tests, try to complete crossword puzzles (4, to be exact) between Nate, Calvin, Jon, and me. Switch them up. Feel smarter by doing crossword than the actual test.
11:30 am Finish testing for the morning. Do Greek homework, eat lunch.
1:00pm - Proceed to the Spanish classroom. Take an listening comprehension test, identical to the one I took the year before. After which, take a 75 question, multiple choice test in Spanish covering grammar and reading comprehension. Use only 20 minutes of the allotted 60 to take the test.

2:30 pm Finish being assessed.

Prior to assessment day: The Spanish department politely demanding that all of its majors do the following: 1. Write one (1) 1-2 page essay in Spanish on why you're studying Spanish and if you think you chose the right language (why didn't you tell me you'd assess me like this?) 2. In addition to the standardized test on the actual assessment day, take an online proficiency test that you have taken at least four times before.

So, I had a lot to do today. More so than a normal Tuesday. I am officially assesesed. Let me just say to Dordt:

Assess This!

27 March 2006


I did something that I have never done before. Something that I never understood until now. Something that most people had done by their Junior year in college.

I overslept and missed 2 classes.

26 March 2006

...from Andrea

1. Choose an artist/band.
Rascal Flatts

2. Are you male or female?
Dry County Girl

3. Describe yourself.
Like I Am

4. What do some people think you are like?
Falling Upside Down

5. How do you feel about yourself?
Fast Cars and Freedom

6. Desribe where you want to be.

7. Describe how you live.
Feels like Today

8. Describe how you love.
My Worst Fear

9. What would you ask for if you had one wish?
Prayin' for Daylight

10. Share a few words of wisdom.
Some Say

11. Where do you live?
It's not just me

12. Say goodbye.
I'm movin' on

24 March 2006

For Justine

Justine asked today if anyone ever just felt like venting, even if there was nothing in particular to vent about. So, Justine, the answer is yes, and this one's for you:

While I love being back at Dordt, I can't seem to get myself to study. Maybe because it feels like I've been doing ridiculously annoying homework. For one class, we had a test on material we never covered in class (eek). And in another, we're starting a secion on gender issues. A topic I hate to talk/debate (whatever it turns into). And I'm feeling like my Greek skills are going all down hill and it really is "all Greek to me" lately.

Could we just slow down the good parts of the day? I love the times I've been spending with my dear, dear friends as of late. There's an excitement in the air that seems to be a combination of old and new: reminiscence and a high from spring break and also an air of excitement that the end now seems in sight and just possible achievable (after all of the mass projects).

And, to end with another vent/rant. I'm sick of the Dordt/CRC mentality that you must be married. No matter where I go, there's always the feel of marriage in the air. People are getting married left and right. Getting engaged. "hookin up" over spring break (that happens a lot!). So, I've decided to give in. I'm marrying Trevor, dating Jon, and dating Mason. I'm marrying Trevor so he can win a bet (with me!) and I can satisfy onlookers. I'm takin Jon and Mason to all important events from now on. They're going to alternate events and play mock boyfriends from now on.

I guess I can say that I'm really thankful for the friends that I have that I can laugh with and joke with and also know will really be there for me when I need it (like a fake date!). In about two weeks, it will be a year since I dislocated my knee. I think back and see so many people that helped me out in that crazy month at the end of the year, packed with projects and the Jubilee tour. So, no, I won't be dislocating any time soon if I can help it. But there is talk about a modified version of Red Rover with crutches, if we can pull it off. If not, I'm just going to have a lot of people over for the fun of it.

21 March 2006

____________ of Spring Break

Nate, if you read this, sorry, I stole this general idea from you.

Spring Break in generalizations:

Best moment of Spring Break: Spending hours at a wedding dance, feeling like my legs would fall off, and not wanting to stop.

Lowest moment of Spring Break: Having some plans for the wedding reception falling apart and hitting a card and feeling exhausted all at the same time.

Biggest Spring Break accomplishment: Finishing all of my financial aid stuff in under two hours.

Biggest downfall of Spring Break: Not starting on some projects like I said I would.

Song of the break: Dancing with Dreams by Phil Vassar (props to Debby for introducing it to me)

Latest sleep-in time: 11am (completely unintentional, might I add)

Overall feel of the break: Productive, got me ready to finish out the semester, I'm glad to see people again!!

16 March 2006

Baseball's a comin'

Oh, wait, it's actually here. We're sitting and watching the World Baseball Classic - Mexico vs. Team USA. A deciding game toward the semi-finals.

Ah, yes, the smell, cough, the sound of baseball. The sound of angry fans, arguing a call. Announcers talking about inadequate umpires. Controversy. How I love it.

In just a few short weeks, Major League Baseball will begin its regular season games. I'm planning on enjoying every game I can. I know that once my Camp and then Costa Rican stint begin, baseball will be far off my radar. So, I'm going to enjoy it. The runs, the hits, the strikes, the balls, the umpires, the mis-calls, and everything else that comes along with it.

Take that as exciting news or as a warning, whatever you will. Crazy baseball girl has returned!

12 March 2006

esposo/a:spanish - wife or husband.

Esposo y Esposa!

That's my brother and my brand new sister-in-law. On Saturday, Jack and Jazz got themselves married to each other at a rockin' ceremony. (Especially once the door was opened for ventillation).

It was an awesome ceremony, excellent food, wonderful emcees, an awesome program, including a song about eelye, the vw bus, as well as a kickin dance that was a great time (even if there was no country music!)

So, it was a wonderfully event-filled weekend of rehearsals and flower arranging and hair-doing and pictures and weddingness.

Pictures to come I'm sure.

I have a sister! Woot.

06 March 2006

04 March 2006

drumroll please....

I've been officially accepted into the Latin American Studies Program in Costa Rica, which will run from August 29th to December 17th.

28 February 2006

why am I here?

No, not on this earth. No, not even sitting here in the library.

Why am I posting on this, when I should be doing everything but this? I don't know. Honestly, I should be studying for a test, writing a take-home test, studying for 2 quizzes, and ready a 30-page chapter. But here I am, writing on the good 'ol blog instead. It's been a good amount of days and it was about time for another post.

Besides, I'm in a really good mood, so I thought I'd post a happy post. So, I really don't have much to say. Jack comes home in 2 days and my grandparents come in 4. I have a lot to do before then, but I'm at least not as busy as I thought I would be.

I was sick last night - not nice. But I feel better - lots better - so I'm glad that it wasn't the nasty flu or something like that.

I'll leave you with some words of comparison, courtesy of a fun e-mail from a friend:

"From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you're on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30."

23 February 2006


I'm inspired to post, thanks to some great posts from others, but I don't have anything inspiring to say.

But...I have been wondering, who reads this, anyway? Seems few and far between...so if you're a reader, faithful, new, or delinquent, tell me! I'd love to know who actually reads!!

22 February 2006

time for a real post

Today, is the list of things that I miss:

1. Sleeping in a hammock
2. Having random people say random things constantly
3. Having Jack around (that will be remedied soon!)
4. Getting enough sleep
5. having free time to do the things I'd like to do
6. Rachel, who's in Costa Rica (who I won't see until December...??!!)
7. 65 degree weather

Here's the list of things I am so thankful for:

1. An awesome bed to sleep in (when I get there)
2. A fun, funky, random apartment
3. Friends who sit down and talk with me
4. Time to complete my homework (even if I don't have free time...)
5. Haircuts to make me feel better
6. Time for devotions
7. My lovely kids at work

21 February 2006

The dark side

So, here's the other side of Johari...try this one, too...

20 February 2006

GO here. I blame too many people to count for this one.

19 February 2006

don't want to do, would like to do instead

Ever find yourself doing all the things you don't want to do?

Here's what I don't want to do:

1. Read about some crazy religion
2. Record myself in Spanish
3. Deal with 8th graders with attitude
4. Find myself frustrated [with myself]
5. Wait another week and a half until fun people come to Iowa
6. Be jealous of people who have good rooming situations

Here's what I'd like to do:

1. Make wedding gift (sorry, can't be any more specific...)
2. Read books
3. Write
4. Travel
5. Be able to get along with people
6. Be on top of things in terms of school
7. Enjoy my classes more than I do.

That's my story and I'm

16 February 2006

mush mush mushity mush

somewhere between 1:00 this morning and 6:00 this morning, I slept. After taking the test, my first thought, was "Crap! I should have slept less and studied more." That's never a good sign.

Also not a good sign: When one classmate says "3 hours? You only studied three hours? I studied 12."

That's right. And she wasn't kidding. That's 2 days in a row that I've studied like crazy for a test and only felt so-so about the test. What have I gotten myself into this semester?

The good news is, this week is on a downhill roll now. The rest of my day is consumed with high school string festival events. I had hoped it would get cancelled due to snow, but, alas, it was not.

Tomorrow, I only have a one class's worth of homework due...it's a beautiful things when profs feel sympathetic.

I'm thinking about changing my blog title. Anyone got anything good? I want something intelligent, lasting, profound, and "me-like".

15 February 2006


my head has turned into mush. 3 hours of studying for a Greek test. Still some things I didn't know. That's what happens when you're effectively tested of 20 chapters worth of material.

now to focus on another mammoth test: hispanic literature. I have no idea how I'm even going to start to study, much less study enough to get to where I feel ready for the test. study enough? if only I had the time.

I am spending my time right now doing nothing useful. You may frown upon it if you so desire, but the main reason is in order not to feel like a crazy person. i've done it every day this week, and so far I feel successful. I don't feel as stressed today as I did a week ago at this point in the week.

My World Religions class is possible cancelled today. That would provide effective study time...maybe.

that's my week. one test to another.

14 February 2006

news in brief

It's official: I will be a camp counselor at Inspiration Hills this summer. I was offered the job on Friday and accepted yesterday.

In other news, selling the candy went bastante bien - pretty well. We sold all of our suckers plus some that we discovered in the SAC closet (that we didn't know about!!). We also sold most of our chocolate bars - especially helpful that we marked the bars down last night.

I have a Greek test tomorrow. I had better study - there's a lot of Greek grammar terms that I don't know. Also have to read 30 pages in a grad-school level book, do a phonology assignment, and read and write some more about Buddhism. Eek!!

10-4 good buddy.

How much have you lived?

(ripped from Dave's Xanga)

How much have you LIVED?

[x] I have eaten more than 5 meals in a day.
[x] I have read a lot of books.
[ ] I have been on some sort of varsity team.
[ ] I have run 2 miles without stopping.

[x] I have been to Canada.
[x] I have been to Europe.
[x] I have watched cartoons for hours.
[x] I have tripped UP the stairs.
[ ] I have fallen down an entire flight of stairs.
[x] I have been snowboarding/skiing.

[x] I have played ping pong.
[x] I have swam in the ocean.
[ ] I have been on a whale-watch.
[x] I have seen fireworks.
[x] I have seen a shooting star.

[x] I have seen a meteor shower.
[ ] I have almost drowned.
[x]I have peed my bed/pants when I was younger.
[x] I have been so embarrassed I wanted to disappear.
[x] I have listened to one CD over & over & over again.

[ ] I have had stitches.
[x] I have been on the honor roll.
[ ] I have had frostbite.
[ ] I have licked a frozen pole and got stuck there.
[x] I have stayed up til 2 doing homework/projects.

[x] I have had a job before/currently have a job.
[x] I have been ice skating.
[x] I have been rollerblading.
[x] I have fall en flat on my face.
[x] I have tripped over my own two feet.

[ ] I have been in a fist fight.
[x] I have played videogames for more than 3 hours straight.
[ ] I have passed out from being drunk.
[ ] I have watched the power rangers.
[x] I have/I do attend Church regularly.

[x] I have played truth or dare.
[x] I have already had my 16th birthday.
[x] I have already had my 17th birthday.
[ ] I have gained weight since one year ago.
[x] I have lost weight since one year ago.

[x] I have called someone stupid, and meant it.
[x] I have been in a verbal argument.
[x] I have cried in school.
[ ] I have played basketball on a team.
[ ] I have played baseball on a team.

[ ] I have played football on a team.
[ ] I have played soccer on a team.
[ ] I have been on a cheerleading/dance team.
[ ] I have played softball on a team.
[ ] I have played tennis on a team.

[ ] I have been on a swim team.
[ ] I have been on a track team.
[x] I have been swimming more than 20 times in my life.
[ ] I have bungee jumped/been sky diving.

[ ] I have climbed a rock wall.
[ ] I have lost more than $20.

[x] I have called myself an idiot.
[x] I have called someone else an idiot.
[x] I have cried myself to sleep.
[x] I have had pets.

[ ] I have owned a Spice Girls CD.
[ ] I have owned a Britney Spears CD.
[ ] I have owned an N*Sync CD.
[ ] I have owned a Backstreet Boys CD.
[ ] I have mooned someone.

[x] I have been in the newspaper.
[x] I have been on TV.
[ ] I have been to Hawaii.
[ ] I have eaten sushi.
[x] I have been on the other side of a waterfall.

[ ] I have watched all of the Lord of the Rings movies.
[ ] I have watched all of the Harry Potter movies.
[ ] I have watched all of the Rocky movie(s).

[x] I have watched the 3 stooges.
[x] I have watched "Newly Weds" Nick & Jessica.

[x] I have watched Looney Tunes.
[ ] I've been stuffed into a locker.

[x] I have been called a geek.
[x] I have studied hard for a test and got a bad grade.
[x] I have not studied at all for a test and aced it.

[x] I have hugged my mom within in the past 24 hours.
[x] I have hugged my dad within the past 24 hours.
[ ] I have met a celebrity/music artist.
[x] I have written poetry.
[ ] I have been arrested.

[x] I have been attracted to someone older than me.
[x] I have been tickled till I've cried.
[ ] I have tickled someone else until they cried.
[x] I have had/have siblings.
[ ] I have been to a rock concert.

[x] I have listened to classical music and enjoyed it.
[ ] I have been in a play.
[x] I have been picked last in gym class.
[ ] I have been picked first in gym class.
[x] I have been picked in that middle-range in gym class.

[x] I have cried in front of my friends.
[ ] I have read a book longer than 1,000 pages.
[ ] I have played Halo 2.
[x] I have freaked out over a sports game.
[ ] I have been to Alaska.

[ ] I have been to China.
[ ] I have been to Spain.
[ ] I have been to Japan.
[ ] I have had a fight with someone on AIM.
[x] I have had a fight with someone face-to-face.

[x] I have forgiven someone who has done something wrong to me.
[x] I have been forgiven.
[x] I have screamed at a scary movie.
[x] I have cried/teared up at a chick flick.
[x] I have watched a lot of action movies.

[ ] I have cried at a commercial.
[ ] I have told someone to fuck off.

[x] I have screamed at the top of my lungs.
[ ] I have been to a rap concert.
[ ] I have been to a hip hop concert.

[ ] I have lived in more than 2 houses.
[x] I have driven on the highway.
[x] I have driven more than 40 miles in a day.
[x] I have been in a car accident.
[ ] I have done drugs.

[x] I have been homesick.
[x] I have thrown up
[x] I have puked all over someone.
[x] I have been horseback riding.
[ ] I have filled out more than 10 myspace surveys.

[x] I have spoken my mind in public.
[x] I have proved someone wrong.
[x] I have been proved wrong by someone.
[ ] I have broken a leg.
[ ] I have broken an arm.

[x] I have fallen off a swing.
[x] I have swung on a swing for more than 30 mins straight.
[x] I have watched Winnie the Pooh movies.
[x] I have forgotten my backpack when I've gone to school.
[x] I have lost my backpack.

[ ] I have come close to dying.
[ ] I have seen someone die.
[x] I have known someone who has died.
[ ] I have wanted to be an actor/actress at some point. (yes)
[ ] I have done modeling.

[x] I have forgotten to brush my teeth some mornings.
[x] I have taken something/someone for granted.
[x] I have realized how good my life is.
[x] I have counted my blessings.
[x] I have been made fun of by classmates.
[x] I have made fun of a classmate.
[x] I have been on a date.

[ ] I have been asked on a date and said no.
[ ] I have asked someone on a date and been turned down.
[x] I have slapped someone in the face.

[ ] I have been skateboarding.
[x] I have been backstabbed by someone I thought was a friend.

[x] I have lied to someone to their face.

[x] I have told a little white lie.
[ ] I have taken a day off from school just so I don't go insane.

[ ] I have blacked out.
[x] I have had an argument with someone about whether cheerleading is a sport or not.
[x] I have pushed someone into a pool.
[x] I have been pushed into a pool.

[ ] I have had/have a broken nose.

[x] I have had a black eye.
[ ] I have lost a tooth.
[ ] I have chipped a tooth.
[ ] I have been called an under achiever.
[x] I have been called an over achiever