Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Who's this beardless man?

Yep, he's beautiful with or without that big ol' beard:)This was taken today after lunch right by his PA program building. We got to have lunch together-yippie!! Need to get some data entry done, more soon! Jen

Monday, May 29, 2006

Another Interview

Last Thursday I had my interview for the National Health Service Corps Scholarship, so Wednesday I decided was when I was going to get my hair cut and beard trimmed. So after class I cruised down to the barber shop called $4.00 Haircut, took a number and a seat, and waited for my number to be called. Finally it was called and I sat down to my fate.

The lady asked me what I wanted and I told her I was not sure, just some kind of trim that would look good for an interview, because I had one the next day. So we decided on a little off here and there and she started in on my hair. Then, her interest piqued, she could not help but ask what job I was interviewing for. I told it was for a scholarship for school and she of course asked me what I was going to school for, to which I replied physician assistant school. She asked me if I was a nurse in a manner that assumed that I already was one, and I told her I was not.

Let me break to give the setting. Basically, I’m in a small town barbershop, right out of Mayberry off the Andy Griffith show. Same deal. It was packed; almost all the customer-waiting seats were taken waiting for their turn in the haircut dissembly line. And, of course, the barber chairs are facing the customer-waiting seats so there is no place else to look but at the customers who are looking at you and it makes for a bit of an awkward setting, simply based on the seating arrangement. It was pretty dead quiet in the shop besides the buzzing of the clippers and an occasional exchange of pleasantries between customers. And so that is the scene.

After I told her that I was not a nurse, she stopped cutting my hair, turned the clippers off, stood just in front and to left of me and said rather loudly, “You mean to tell me that you are not a nurse and they’re just going to let you become a physician assistant? I am never letting another physician assistant ever touch me again! How are you supposed to know anything about the body? You were an operating room technician? They just let anybody off the street become one of those. Hmmp.” So now every set of eyes and ears were turned and tuned on me and the lady who just completed the belittling rant of my past and future occupations. Now that is awkward.

With a sense of regal loyalty and dedication to the occupation to which I have chosen to affix myself, I set out to defend it in a manner that may leave it and me with some dignity. I took a second to make sure that what happened really happened and I had not just dozed off during class in a lecture about buffering systems, and when I realized that I was unfortunately not dozing I told my assailant that I was sorry to hear that. I assured her that from my experience, operating room technicians were not allowed to work in the operating room straight off the street and that PA school was a graduate program with a rather intense curriculum, very similar to that of medical school. In fact, only one semester short, as semesters go. I also gave her some background history on the making of the PA and its model from World War II Fast Track Physicians. She seemed to hear what I was saying and went back to cutting my hair.

It was quiet for a while and then the next thing I know she’s telling me her mother was manic-depressive and her father had depression and was an alcoholic and that she thinks she too has manic-depression. She started unfolding her medical history to me right there in the barber chair with all these people around and telling me her medications she was on and how they were affecting her and asking me for advice and if I had taken this or that course. I had to keep reminding her that I only started the program a week and a half earlier and did not have the classes she was assuming I had taken. It was something else. She went from berating me to being a patient in a matter of a few awkward moments. I was stunned to say the least.

Well, she set in on trimming my beard and I basically at that point I just wanted out of the chair and on my bike rolling quickly away from there. So she trimmed on my beard, asked me if I liked it, I said yes, and that was it. Actually the trim was bad but I could take care of that at home, I just wanted to leave. And so I left.

When I got home I got the clippers out, put on the guard and started trimming my beard, only to find out that I had put on the wrong guard and was basically all but shaving. So, long story short, I ended up shaving off my beard. It wasn’t so bad because I was threatening to do it anyway, but the way it happened was rather unfortunate.

The next day at school people did not even recognize me, I mean had no clue who I was, to the point that the girl that sat next to me was going to introduce herself to me because she did not know who I was. People thought I was a new student or something. It was pretty funny. People would just stare at me trying to figure out who I was, or once they knew who I was, if they liked what they saw or if they wished I could put the beard back on to cover up my radio face.

Not only did I have the whole clean face to deal with I had a wonderful moment that was classic. During the quiz I went up to ask Leroy a question and came back to my seat at the very front of the classroom and when I sat down I snapped the chair in half and ended up on the floor. Nice. Great move. The funny thing is that it happened when a lot people still did not know who I was so the look on their faces was pretty funny.

At lunch I went home to change into my suit so I could leave early from class and head directly over to my interview, and when I showed up in that it really threw people off. One girl asked if I was in the witness protection program.

The interview was in a hotel room, in an actual hotel room, with two people sitting behind a table reading me questions from a government standardized test booklet and writing down my answers. The questions were about my past and future and consisted of enormously broad, undefined questions that I was expected to answer in about two sentences. It felt more like some kind of psychological evaluation than an interview for a scholarship, who knows, maybe it was. I was so tired and sleepy that I had a hard time concentrating but managed to make it through. I have no idea how I did, none whatsoever. I find out some time in mid-July to August if I got awarded it or not. We shall see.

So that was my couple days leading up to and involving my interview, and the loss of my beard. What an experience.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Interesting folks around here...

So, I keep seeing this purple VW van around town and it just cracks me up. It has this huuuge meteor looking thing tide to the top of the van and I was so curious about the driver. Well,it's is now parking right across the street from our house, so i guess maybe he's living there for a while. I walked by the van and saw a website and it's pretty funny so i thought I'd share it with ya.....
That's all for now as I'm supposed to be working and keep getting distracted! Jen

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Standing in the rain
in your cowboy hat and jeans
You are alone in a field of grass
Understanding what God means

Sitting in a crowded restaurant
Your head bowed before your father
Others rushing by
To them details are only a bother

You are different though,
You're a rugged, cowboy poet
I believe in you
Though I may not always show it

So promise me my love
No matter what this world brings
You'll keep standing in the rain
In your cowboy hat and jeans

--Written for Joel when I was 16 and googly eyed over this unique, kind, full of life boy that has been my husband now for seven wonderful years! Happy anniversary to my adventurous, full of life and laughter, compassionate and strong Joel. You are the color in my life and no words could ever express my love for you.Jen

Friday, May 19, 2006

Hours we keep

Well, Joelie has now been an official PA student for one full week! You can check out his blog for details ( ), but I can say for sure that the week went well for both of us. Joel thrives in intensity and fast-pacedness(I think I just created a new word:), so I think this PA school schedule is going to suit him just fine. He stays up until about 1:30am studying and then wakes up at 6:15 to ride his bike up the enormous hill to the program!!! He gets home around 5:30pm, we eat dinner together and I get all the juicy details of his day, and then he starts the studying all over again...crazy.The long classroom hours of sitting are hard for him, but his biochem professor seems to understand that and gives them 20 minute breaks--smart man.
I start my day a little later:), usually head to one of the libraries to do some data entry and catch up on e-mails, go home and do some house work, run errands, make sure I'm home for my brief time with Joelie, go to bed with a book......
Dreamy schedule for me for sure until I find another part time job:)

I'm actually sitting at the Sugarhouse Library right now. I'm in the "reading room" with lots of mahogany furniture and quiet people reading the newspaper or studying. It has big windows where I can see the mountains and the dark, heavy clouds. Please rain!! How wonderful to sit in a library and watch it rain!

I went on a job interview two days ago at the college ESL program. Afterwards I went by the grocery store to get a fountain coke and heard this conversation between two of the deli workers:

Employee 1: " So you two did okay by yourselves yesterday?"
E2: "Yeah we did. Kari was just so willing to do whatever I asked of her.She has such a great attitude."
E1: "that's great. Did you teach her how to cut the meat?"
E2: " Yes, we worked on that a bit. She was so positive and wanted to learn how to do everything."
E1: "She's really nice too isn't she?"
E2: "She is a very sweet person."

Now, this may sound ridiculous, but after being in such a formal atmosphere hearing this kind conversation between the deli workers just warmed my heart. It was comforting to my soul. Like mom always says, " I just love when I meet nice people". Me too, mom. Guess that's all for now. Jen

Monday, May 15, 2006

Curious Joel Goes to PA School !!

Fueling up for his big day...

Drinking his morning brew of soy milk/chai tea...

So long life of leisure!

Over the hill to follow his dream, his mission, his passion…’s with a proud heart that I watch him go.

Well, we had such a great time last night with Erik. He took us to a place called One World Café. Basically, it’s a café that serves organic, healthy food buffet style served by interesting looking folks. You choose your portion size and what foods you want and then pay what you think is a fair price (8-12 dollars for a full meal is suggested). Its such an interesting concept and you can read more about it at this link .... I had a tofu-meatball soup, Quinoa, quiche, black bean coconut rice, and greens. It was delightful and eaten in a back room that felt like a living room chatting away with joelie and erik. Good times—wish you all could have been there with us-- especially John Mike and Tara—you guys just belong in places like that. Missing everyone more than usual today with Joel gone—hope you’re doing well and enjoying life each day.Much love, Jen

Sunday, May 14, 2006

"The mother's heart is the child's schoolroom."

For our precious mommas for which no words can express our love and gratitude:

From my mom's heart I have learned of grace, forgiveness, unconditional love, creativity, child-like faith,eternal hope, endurance.... Thank you mom for being such an example of God's love to your kids and to your husband.

From mom Shari I have learned the art of hospitality, to see the best in everyone, the joy of genuine faith, the goodness of order, and in this moment I am learning from her the joy found in obedience as she has followed her husband to the far off land of the Ukraine!

Thanks to the Lord for these amazing women and for creating the role of "mother"-- I know of know greater love other than His than that of a mother for her child.

In other news: Joelie starts school tomorrow! We are excited, sad, thankful, emotional...well, I'm emotional. Joel says I've been more emotional about him starting school than when he went to Colombia and was in real danger of death! I must admit that he may be right. I think it's because he and I have gotten to spend soooo much time together this past year and four months since he got out of the military and I'm just really going to miss it. My love language is time and so this has been heavenly for me to have him to myself so often. We've been dreaming of this day for so long though, and I really am thrilled that it's actually happening.

Nothing too exciting happened this week after the road trip. Just working on the house, working on my data entry....We did have our friend Tonga over twice.He is this huuuuuge guy, from Tonga (his really name is Uaisele), that Joel'll be in school with and we had him over the last two nights for dinner and to play cards. He's great and reminds me of a Tongan David Zapp(hi Dave and Becca if you're reading this!!)Tonight we're having dinner with Erick, who is in the class ahead of Joel. He's an interesting guy and fun conversationalist, so we're looking forward to that.

Oh, I've been meaning to tell you that Joel has a blog documenting his journey to, and now through, PA school. It's appropriately titled , so check it out if you have time. I'm hoping one day he'll get it published into a book for people interested in the PA profession. He has worked on it diligently and think it'll be a great venting place for him during these next 27 months. Gotta run, coffee shop closing. Jen

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

On the road again...

We decided to go on a weekend road trip before the madness of school begins for Joelie in less than a week now! We left Friday morning and returned on Monday night having visited Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, Flagstaff AZ, and the Grand Canyon!!! It was a wonderful time to say the least.Here is a little pictoral journal of the weekend, and you can click on the Flickr link to see many more pictures.

Here we are...Sammy all packed up and ready to head out on his first big adventure! We took full advantage of having our first in-car CD player and were accompanied on our trip by wonderful folks like Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, Jack Johnson, the Dixie Chicks,Roger Miller and lots of others--we love having good tunes along for the ride!

Our first stop was Bryce Canyon. We were amazed at this beautiful national park in southern Utah. It is famous for its "Hoodoos", which are those tall rock formations you see everywhere.

We went on a great 3 mile hike down into the canyon. By the time we got back up we were starving and devoured a 2 slices/1.00 pizza special the Camper Store was having as it had been sitting there all day long and it was now 8:00! It tasted delightful and we headed back to our campsite to settle in for the night.

The weather was getting a little chilly as we set up the tent-- I think it was about 39 degrees when we got into our sleeping bags. We warmed our bodies with hot chocolate and I snuggled in to read my People magazine(hey, have I ever claimed to be a hard core outdoorsman?!). We turned out the lantern and I begged my body to stop having to use the bathroom and stop shivering. No luck. Then I heard Joel start to snore!! Amazing:) It was a long night for me, and yet still I woke up invigorated by the fresh air and was ready to get on the road to our next destination. After breakfast, finally going to the bathroom and getting warm in snuggly Sammy, I quickly passed out until we reached Zion:)

Zion was really crowded and we decided not to stay long. It was amazingly beautiful,though, the canyon was majestic. We will definitely go back, hopefully on a weekday.

We then made our way to Kanab, Utah. Joel may be doing a rotation there in his second year of school and so we were curious to see what it was like. It was a small, touristy town with a lot of potential. The employees in every place we went in the town were exceedingly grumpy,but we're hoping it was just a really bad day for everyone and not always like that. The town was having a greyhound dog parade and so greyhounds were Everywhere-- that was fun to see. We were happy for all of those dogs that they were saved from death after their racing career was over.

After spending Sat. night in Kanab we drove to Flagstaff, AZ. What a fun town! I wish I would have taken more pictures but I didn't:( Sometimes you just get so into an experience that pictures almost take away from it. That was the case in Flagstaff. We didn't have long there and wanted to soak it up. We went on a hike right outside of town and then enjoyed all of the cool, earthy shops and art galleries and then spent the night in a very clean and comfortable Super 8.

On to the Grand Canyon we flew!This was Joel's first trip and it was fun to see him see the canyon for the first time. You get to see it too...

Walking up to the edge...

Peering over...

Disbelief at the enormity:)

After our time at the Grand Canyon, we started the long trip back up to SLC. We were entertained by Aron Ralston book on CD called "Between a rock and a hard place", the story of his climbing trip to southern Utah that ended with him being trapped by a boulder and having to amputate his own arm to get out of the canyon! Thankfully, our trip to the canyons wasn't nearly as dramatic.This weekend was one of those times where all you can see in life is the sun, no darkness looming. Being a realist, I know that these times in life are pretty rare and so I'm thankful each time I experience one. This weekend I was thankful for a healthy body to enjoy the outdoors with, an adventurous soulmate to explore with, and the sun shining down on our faces. Oh, we were also thankful to get to see all of these little guys...,so cute!

That's all for now guys!