Monday, August 26, 2013

New Schools...

Well, we all survived our new schools. 

When we moved to Conway we discovered that Allie would be in Middle School in 5th grade at Simon Middle school. This school has about 800 students for 5th, 6th, & 7th grade! She managed to have her schedule memorized by the 3rd day and made it on time to all 8 of her classes. We went to her open house on Thursday and met all her teachers. How sweet is this?? Allie showed me her "mean dean of students" at open house last night!  I said "oh! That is what Neil does!" Allie said "no mom that guy is in charge of discipline! Neil helps people!" Then the next day, she came home and told me this. "Mom I started making friends with the Dean today. I figured you were friends with Neil and you never got in trouble so I should be friends Mr. Smith!"

As always Allie has made friends quickly and she informed me Friday that she has joined the "Stomp Club!" HA!

Chloe attends the junior high in town which has 1500 kids in 8th & 9th grade! The size of the school has been a little overwhelming to her. The first day she got to ride with Alex from church but it wasn't a great day after that. Tuesday it started to turn around and her friends from church made sure they found her and ate lunch with her. I love that she can go to school with her church friends! By Friday, she said she likes school and likes it here! 

I began classes at UCA. When I went to my second class and he starts the class with 
"I don't do slides! I teach with Wtsd style. Write that s*** down! I like to use adult language so get used to it!" It is very strange to be in a classroom where no matter the subject the bible is not the foundation. I did find it interesting that me professor this morning said that people who have not explored and defined their spirituality are not as successful in recovery. I do love the information and the topics of class and I am already learning A LOT & because I know it is what I want to do with my life I am very excited and eager to learn! 

So, we all had some ups and downs but we survived our first week! Most importantly God has continued to reveal more and more blessings that have come from moving here! 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Best Summer Ever...

Well, today was the last day of summer vacation! I asked the girls if they liked their summer and the agreed (which is rare these days) that it was the best summer ever! 
A lot has happened in the last 3 months:
-We moved & got settled in our lovely home!
-We fell in love with pineapple whip!
-Chloe and Allie went to QMCC.

-Chloe went to impact @ Lipscomb!

-Chloe & Allie went on a little trip with Meme and Punkie to Memphis.
-Allie's legs grew!
-Oscar and Buster have enjoyed the wildlife here!
-Allie went to Magic Springs with her new friend Ava! 
-The girls had a great time at Sunday Supper, Sidewalk, helping out with Mondays for Moms, Girls night, & service week with their new forever family at UCC!

-Misa and I went camping in a tent in the Ozarks.
-The whole Bell crew went to Houston for the 3rd annual "Bell Birthday Bash"!
-Mami came from Honduras and we had the best adventure with her to Michigan and Oklahoma!
-Chloe wore a flower on her head for 10 days!
-Misa turned 29!
-Misa and I celebrated 5 years of marriage!
-We went on a family Off-Roading Adventure!
-Alyssa came and stayed for a week!
-Chloe started to learn how to drive!

-The Berges Babes came for a weekend.
We do really love it here and God truly answered our prayers and quieted our "worries"! Tomorrow we will not have any elementary kids anymore. 😂
Our minister/bible class teacher challenged us to write a blessing for the school year over our children! I loved doing this and even picked a verse that will be our "School Year" verse! 

God has truly made His presence and blessings known! How many kids do you know that have to move to another state and away from their home, friends, family, and church family would say 3.5 months later that they had the best summer of their lives! That is God my friends! 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

When I grow up I want to be...

Well, it is official I have my parking permit, my student ID, & my class schedule! 
Lord willing, on August 23rd, I will be working on my degree to become an addiction counselor. At 35 years old I finally know what I want to be when I grow up! HA!
Recovery has truly change ever fiber of my being! I feel like I have found my calling and another way to work step 12 in my life. (12 Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and practice these principles in all our affairs. Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore them gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.Galatians 6:1) 
And Prinicple 8:
I also think that we will be able to finish this degree without taking on any more debt! I am only going to be taking 6 hours a semester so that I will be able to balance life and school. This is my schedule this semester. 

I am excited for the all the courses in the degree. 
If you are reading this and are a praying person please pray that God will led me to a part-time job so that I can contribute financially to my schooling! 
Now if I can just bring myself to remove my OC faculty/staff parking permit so I can put my UCA permit on. Oc will always be home and I do like being an eagle over a scary purple bear! 

Friday, August 2, 2013

Mami's Visit!

I honestly thought I would never see Misa's grandmother "Mami" come for a visit to the States but on July 14th she arrived. Communication with her has always been difficult for me but I noticed a huge difference this time because I didn't feel so insecure about myself and I would just try to speak whether it was right or not! 90% of the time we were able to get our point across and understood each other!

 Erlinda Salinas is 77 years old and stands just under 5 feet tall. She has lived in the Olancho region of Honduras most of her life. She quit school at 3rd grade. She single handedly supported and raised 3 children. She grew coffee in the mountains and during harvest she would walk 2.5 hours up the mountain one way. She went into labor with her oldest son Javier while picking coffee and walked down by herself to her house, had him without assistance, & then went back to picking coffee the next day with the little one strapped to her. When her daughter Flor Maria died of MS she took on the responsibility of her children Misa who was 7 years old and Claudia was 1. It was Flor's wish that they come to the States and live with Pete and Janine Brazle but Mami could not give up the only thing she had left of her beloved Flor. However, when Misa was 16 and Claudia was 10 she decided to let them go. She is an amazing woman who literally ends and begins her day on her knees in prayer. She is now raising her great-grandson who is 10. She cooks out over and open fire. I say all of this so that you can get a picture of the strength and life of this woman. 

We were concerned about her adjustment here but she did amazing! Before she came here the longest she had ever been in a car was 4 hours and in the 2 weeks she was here we spent 53 hours in the car. She LOVES flowers and we spent a lot of time looking, smelling, and talking about flowers. She loved to hear and see planes fly overhead and we all would stop and look when there was one! She had also only seen a train on television so seeing trains was very exciting! 

I feel like I really got to know her this trip. We are both early risers so we got to spend a lot of time alone in the mornings together. After her breakfast she always found work to do even if that included sweeping Pete and Janine's entire yard or chopping firewood with a machete. 

We laughed a lot and we cried when she went back! I am beyond thankful for this amazing, spite-fire, stubborn, godly woman! I am forever changed and have made a bigger effort to stop and appreciate the flowers. I have been thinking a lot about the story of Ruth and Naomi since her visit and I feel like I truly know what Ruth felt when she said "Your people will be my people and your God will be my God." We truly come from two different worlds but God brought us together and made us family and I am forever grateful!