Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I got home on Thursday and since then I have:

  • picked up and taken Grandma back to the airport

  • spent time with the crazy Christmas shoppers at the Tulsa mall, so I can buy 2 years worth of some essentials

  • hung out with Jennifer and Amanda

  • spoke at my home group

  • cried while speaking at my home group, cause they have really been a family for me that last 20 years.

  • Had Sam & Ellas Pizza

  • played with my dog, Oscar

  • played 42 with Grandma and family

  • laughed lots!

One of the best times we had was teaching Grandma how to play Wii. She really did enjoy it. I thought I would share some laughs with you, too. So, here is Grandma playing Wii. (Before you laugh to hard, do you think your Grandma could do this? We have taught both my Mema and Grandma how to play!)

*The sound is not that great, so make sure to turn up your volume.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas, and enjoy your time with your family and friends as much as I am! May it be full of laughs!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

"I'll be home for Christmas..."

"If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together" African proverb. Thank you for going along with me on this adventure. I know that I could not go far without you.

This week has been good (if you could not tell by my previous post). We got "kicked in the behind" about important things that we honestly needed to be reminded of. We had a finance speaker about the finances of the company, and I am pretty sure that there was only one other person in the whole auditorium as interested as I. And I can only wait to share with you more about what I learned on Saturday.

This week concludes training and I head home on Thursday. So, as the song goes, "I'll be home for Christmas." Wow, I can hardly believe that Christmas is already here. Reflecting this week, I realized that it was this time last year that I began the application process. And trying to decide if this was really what I was supposed to do after college. I am thankful that I did step out on faith. I have learned alot this year. I know that I will learn even more this next year. It will be full of some high, highs, and some low lows, but "I can do hard things," especially knowing everyone is supporting me at home. Thank you all. I would not be here, or go nearly as far without you all!

I know it is still early but I want to miss you all a Merry Christmas. I'll be home for Christmas, so let's get together and celebrate!

Saturday School

I am still processing and in awe of our speaker today! (yes, we had class on Saturday) When was the last time that you had a speaker so good that you intentionally did not tell him that class ended at 3:00, when he thought 5:00, even on a Saturday? He spoke earlier this week and did not give us our hourly break and went past 5:00, but no one cared at all. Today's session was optional, but even on our last Saturday here, there were over 100 of us that did not sleep in, but came to hear him. Are you intrigued yet?

You will have to ask me about what he taught that was so good. And he showed me how to share it too, so remind me when I see you and I will share it with you.

I can't think of much else right now, so I will have to just make a new post later.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thank you Kids!

First, I need to give a shout out to all the kids that sent me cards this week! Thank you to all the girls in Oklahoma and the kids in Texas. It made my day each day this week, and of course I had to share them with my friends here. All the kids from Texas wrote on their cards that they were from Texas, they must start working on them when they are really young!

This has been a long week, so I needed those extra cards. We had training through Saturday, although today was just in the morning and we went out for ethnic food together for lunch. This week has been specific to the area of the world we will be going. Most of it has all been about security, which is not a fun topic, but now I should be prepared for just about anything. Also, I worked on a strategy plan for my first year, which at first seemed Boring (note the capital B), just more paperwork. But it was really nice to take the time and think, focus, and ask yourself where you want to be at the end of the year, and what you want to see that has happened. I guess I will be making LOTS of New Year's Resolutions this year!

Looking forward, I will be here less than two more weeks. I found out that my overseas arrival has been delayed for almost a week-which is not a big deal, but it gives me more time at home, so if you are in the area, call me so we can do something, or you can call my mom as I found out some of you have already done. It is kinda nice having a "social secretary." just kidding! Hope you had a good week. Thank you for remembering me and checking in!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Travels

What a week! For Thanksgiving, a group of us were invited over to a friends house on the coast. It was nice to get a change of scenery; we saw the ocean, a harbor that was sending coal to Japan, and lots of cranes. It was also nice to get to hang out with people, while not having to work. Of course the food was good, and it was good to meet my friend's family.

Friday, we all loaded charter buses and headed to DC. We spent several hours there trying to meet internationals. I got to go to an ethnic restaurant that served the type of foods I will eat overseas. We took time to walk around the embassies of several countries where many of us will be working. I definitely felt like a small town Okie girl in DC! Just getting through Union Station seemed like an international city to me! We did not have time for any of the tourist sites, so it felt surreal to see the Washington Memorial from the bus. Now I can at least say that I have been to my capitol city. I did feel a little weird before, in that every other country I have been to I had been to their capitol city, but had not been to mine yet.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Give Thanks

I have to confess that Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love the sweets, decorations, parties, The Christmas Story, Christmas movies, giving and receiving gifts, the whole bit. Ironically though, I think this is going to be a really good Thanksgiving.

Training has reminded me how much I really do have to be thankful for. Even though I will not spend this Thanksgiving with family, I think I will definitely be more in the Thanksgiving mindset this year. I would like to share my thankful list with you. Please share what you are thankful for by commenting on the blog. (Just click comment link below, type what you are thankful for, and if you don't have a google account, select anonymous.)

I am thankful for:
(in no particular order)
Clean water, that I do not have to boil or treat to drink
That all my food, clothes, and shelter needs have been met
That I have a job, especially one that pays my bills
Dark Chocolate
Chick flicks
My family
Time spent playing with my family
My p. partners
All the technological help from my brother
The really cool place that I will move to in January
That I can carry the Word as I travel
That I don’t have to change my appearance or the clothes I normally wear in my new culture
Your support
Airplanes, so I can travel fast
(still working on being thankful for airports)
Wonderful Friends!
That all my needs are met by the only one who can meet all my needs, before I even know what they are!
The Orientation experience
Lunches at Red Lobster with mom!
My personal relationship with Him
My dad's lap

Friday, November 14, 2008

Who are you and who am I?

This week, we spent on anthropology, worldviews, and finally who we were as individuals. I learned a lot about the people I will be working with and how they think and process information and their environment. There really is a reason why they do what they do, even if it seems weird at first to us Westerns!

We all took the Myers-Briggs test and I am an ISTJ, as I predicted, although I am not extreme in any area. This stands for Introvert, Sensing, Thinking, and Judging (as opposed to extrovert, intuition, feeling, perceiving). This means I am responsible, dependable, practical, realistic (I get that from mom), and objective and logical, calm, orderly, prefer facts over ideas, detailed, accurate, and an organizer (agendas-though I get from dad!). I can relate to the president of the company--if I get something done today that was not on my list, I have to write it on the list so that I can mark it off! They had a list off all the prayers for the people of the different categories, and mine is "Lord, help me to relax about insignificant details beginning tomorrow at 11:41:23 AM EST." LOL :)

So, I am learning who I am and who the people are that I will be working with all so that we can communicate and work together better. One tip I got today was to take advantage of the first 2 weeks I am in country to make mistakes and be the tourist, the people are more lenient in the beginning. In the past, I think I have been too afraid that I would do something offensive in new cultures, so I was afraid to do much. But now I know that my first week I need to do everything! That way I can get all my mistakes over with, or at least several while the people are more forgiving! So, I need to overcome my introversion and DIVE IN!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Nature Walk

This week was also really good. I continue to learn more each day at training. However, I was very thankful that today was a day off. TGIweekends! After sleeping in to 9, which is much later than the normal 5:30AM alarm clock Monday through Friday, I spent some time reading and then decided to go on a walk. I wanted to post pictures of the beautiful landscape around campus, but I had left my camera at home, so my parents graciously sent me a little package this week with my camera, and some warmer clothes. Thank you!

So this morning I went on a little nature walk, to take pictures to share with you. Although it was probably not really great exercise cause I kept stopping to take pictures, I am still counting it towards for as apart of my fitness report for the week! Yep, that right we have weekly fitness reports, it is not anything too difficult, and it is a good thing, but still I have never had to report my weekly fitness activities to my employer before! Anyways, just click the link and you can take a little walk with me around the campus! The one below is just a little preview. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Eye Opener

So, this week has been really eye opening in training. I have learned alot, and can see things that I thought I already knew in a different light.

I made it off campus with different groups to the VP's house for ice cream and one of our director's houses for dinner. We had 98 people at our dinner, and that was just the singles under 30!

Tomorrow I will go to a tea for the ladies going to the same region as me, and we are all going to where cultural clothes which will be fun. (For my job in my city though, I will not wear cultural clothes-pretty much normal business clothes.)

I can't really think of anything special to report right now, but I wanted to let you know that I had not forgotten. I will update ya tomorrow if I think of anything else.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

First few days of training

Currently, I am drinking from a fire hydrant of information at training, and getting soaked, but not drowning! Things are good here. It is so refreshing to be apart of a community that all has the same passion. I am living in a dorm with a beautiful view out of my window, I would post a picture, but I forgot my camera. The trees are all changing colors and there is a creek down the hill from my window that flows into a pond on the property.

It is hard to find a balance between meeting and hanging out with people, studying, and resting. Breakfast is only from 7-8 everyday, so that means you have to get up early, and go to bed early, which is hard. There are really cool people with lots of stories, but then there are really good resources to study here that we will not have overseas too! I am thankful that today is Saturday and I can get ahead on some assignments, take a nap, and then a bunch of girls and I are going into town for dinner and a Walmart run tonight, so I guess today is pretty balanced! :)

Don't let me get too far from the outside world--email me and let me know what is going on in your world!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Its as easy as Alif, baa, taa...

It is really not as easy as ABC, for me yet, anyway. Just thought I would share the Arabic alphabet with you. Note that it starts in the top RIGHT and reads to the LEFT, and that at least 5 letters sound like a version of the English "T." Oh, and the letters change forms depending on their position in the word (beginning, middle, or end). But as mom always says, "you can do hard things, " and I am trying! Although I did not work, this week was very productive. I spent Monday at OBU and in OKC getting to visit old professors and people in Campus Min. that I worked with. I also got to meet with a business contact that hopefully, the training company that I will work for will be able gain additional training resources from. I had a lovely dinner with Emily at Cheesecake Factory (yum!) and then got to have a sleepover with Amanda at OSU (fun!). Oh, and I decided to get my hair cut too, while I was there. (It is below my sholders when it is straight, which I will get to do more often, because it is easier to straighten now that it is short, and now that I bought a quality straightener!)

I fly out to VA on Tuesday for training. I will be in VA for 2 months, studying and preparing to go. I'm spending the next two days getting things in order, cause the next time I will be back in OK will be for just 2 weeks around Christmas. I will be sending an email newsletter out to my update group before I go, so let me know if you don't get it and I will add you to my list.
Thanks for reading!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Things are coming along...

Things are coming along. My car is now on the market! I need to spec it all out, but for now, I have detailed it and have a sign in it. So if you know anyone wanting a reliable, good condition, 25 mpg in town car in the area, send them to me! It is a 99 Saturn SL2.

I said a lot of "see-ya-laters," this week. Friday was my last day at work. I was really blessed to work with great people and friends since graduation in a good flexible job. I was so surprised, they even gave me a 5-piece luggage set, which will come in very handy as I pack to go overseas. (little shout out to everyone at BOCC! thanks for reading!)

My cards should come in on Tuesday, so be sure to ask me for one. I don't want to miss anyone, and I should have more than enough-I ordered 1000.

When you think of me,
-P. that I will accomplish all that is needed before training in VA
-P. that I will quickly learn Arabic (it was pointed out this week that even the numbers are different!)
-P. that my way be prepared overseas. That I will meet people and build good friendships, and that all the purposes of going will be met.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

It's getting closer...

Wow! I can't believe it is already October. I head to VA Oct 20. I have known that since May, but yet it still seemed soo far into the future that now it is weird that Oct 20 is getting even closer!

This week will be my last week of work at the bank. Working at the bank has definitly been a blessing. The bank has not been anything really challenging (mom says challenging is overrated anyway!), but it has been nice to have a good, flexible job. Even though it was just a transitional job, I have learned alot about people, working environments, the value of a small town bank, and the FDIC! The people there make the work more enjoyable too--even when you are cleaning out an attic, making parade floats, or calling customers that need to update their financial files! There are perks there too--Terris' lunch everyday, Relay for Life, and Girls Night Out just to name a few.

Then I will have one week to dot all my I's and cross all my T's before heading off to VA. I will be making a trip to OBU/OKC on Oct 13th, to meet with some people about the work I will be doing overseas, and to get a much needed haircut. (As a sidenote, let me know if you think I should keep my hair long or cut it to my chin/sholders let me know) I will also be having a garage sale on the 18th to get rid of some stuff that I will not need for 2 years-so if you are in the area you should come buy my stuff! :)

I started out to update you, thinkin' there was much to tell, but I guess I found some things, and hope I didn't ramble!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fun with family!

So, I finally figured out how to post pictures! Yay!! I am happy to report that the trip was great. It was good to see family, explain better what I will be doing, and get to spend time together before I leave.

I am also happy to report that now I can say all the letters of the Arabic alphabet with my flashcards, even out of order, and I can put them in alphabetical order! I got lots of rest in the car and started on some reading, but will need some help getting through these thick books!

Teresa, Mema, and I outside Teresa's new house. Why dad decided to take our picture right here, I don't know.

Quick grap the camera! Chloe and Rachel had a blast showing us all their new things. And of course we loved hearing all about them! Aren't we all so cute!

Chloe and mini-me, aka Rachel! I braided Rachel's hair so that she could have hair-just like Laura's! She even got to put mouse and hair spray in it!
Sunday afternoon in the park--Fun times. Note the curly hair on Rachel! So fun!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Headed South

This week I am headed South to visit grandmas, aunts, uncles and cousins, from both sides of the family that I will most likely not get to see for another 2 years. They will all just need to get passports to come visit me overseas! My parents and I hope this will be a week of quality time that we can all spend together. I hope to gather support from fellowships of my family as well.

I enjoy road trips, because it is a time of guilt free reading, napping, or just staring aimlessly out the window, cause there is nothing else that I should be doing (or could be doing) right then. So, I will be practicing Arabic with my alphabet flashcards, reading some books about the region I am headed to, relaxing, and sleeping. Just felt like I should get in the habit of updating the blog for those of you who check for updates!

Monday, September 1, 2008


Welcome! My goal for this blog is to record "at the end of the day" what happened that day, at least for the next couple of years. (although, I admit that I may go several days without posting, so don't worry mom) This blog will be a great way to stay in contact with family and friends as I head overseas for the adventure of a lifetime. I will do my best to post photos and journal entries.

I just found out last week that I will be headed to North Africa and the Middle East (NAME) in January 2009. In NAME, I will be studying language and interning with a business training company. I am excited at the opportunity to use my new business degree overseas as a way to meet new people and experience new cultures! Thank you friends and family; your support is imperative as I take this step.