Thursday, April 29, 2010

Youth Conference

Yes I am a little old to be still going to Youth Conference. But I'm not still going, I'm going again. It has been weird to reach the age where I can be a leader for the youth. Sometimes I forget that I'm supposed to be an adult. This past weekend was our stake's Youth Conference. My roommate and one of my good friends are both in the stake Young Women's presidency so I got lucky enough to be invited to take place in Youth Conference this year. The theme was Be Strong and of a Good Courage.
After work on Friday I headed up to Camp Josepho with Emily and Nick to start our youth conference adventure. We met up with Martha, Jonathan, Jessica, Christy, Whitney, Wen-Chia and Shaun who were also youth group leaders. The kids started getting there and we all ate dinner together and came up with a group name. Wen-Chia and I were group leaders together and we had 10 kids (4 girls, 6 boys). I have to say that we had amazing kids. I never had any problem with my girls and they were just fun to be around and meshed well as a group. The kids came up with the name Neon Cheese for our group name because we technically were the gold group, but our wristbands were more of a neon yellow/green color.
After dinner we had a speaker, the illustrious Eric Smith, and then had a dance. I was full of energy for about the first half of the dance, and then the energy just died. I think all the group leaders felt about the same.

My girls were tired too by the end of the night so we all went to sleep pretty quickly. No one tried to sneak out of the cabin and everyone slept as well as we could in a cabin. Judging from other group leaders I had really great kids.
Saturday we had a great day of service projects and Youth Courage Olympics. We tied some quilts, made stress balls, and cards for kids in hospitals.

EZ showing her quilting skills

It was also Martha's birthday on Saturday so we celebrated with her.

After the service project it was time for the Youth Courage Olympics. We had a giant Twister game, capture the flag, balloon relay, and sponge relay. I had been talking up my group all day, especially to Whitney and Nick, so I'm glad we ended up pulling off a win. The sponge relay was the last event and it was Whitney and Nick's team versus my team and we pulled it off.

By the end of Saturday I was exhausted. Emily, Nick and I left early because we didn't have to stay for the testimony meeting. I came home and slept for 11 hours. I guess I really needed it. It was a great weekend though. It was nice just to get to know some of the youth in our stake.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pismo Beach

Last week was crazy busy at work. We had a new therapist start who is more experienced in the therapy part of the job, but I've been at the school for longer than she has so I felt like I was trying to do all my work and show her around and figure out scheduling and try and stay sane in the midst of it all. So all week I debated about whether or not I should go up to Pismo Beach for the weekend to a beach house with some friends. I really wanted to go but was just exhausted from work and stress and the rest. But I decided that if I didn't go I would just sit at home and get some stuff done but wish I had gone. So I decided just to do it.
Friday night I got home from work about 5:15 and met Autumn and Caitlin to drive up there. Traffic was horrible leaving LA. I think it took us a good 15 minutes to get from my house to the 405 freeway which is a total of 6 blocks. But once we got out of LA it wasn't too bad. It was pretty windy about sunset, at least that's what Autumn says to make us think it wasn't her driving! We got up to the beach house about 9:15 and met up with Whitney, Karen and Christy. Sadly Karen had to leave that night to come home to work. For it being a girls weekend we went to bed relatively early that night. But it might have been because we were getting up at 6:00 to hit the tide pools at low tide. But we did stay up late enough to watch a fascinating documentary, Black Hair. Who knew people spent so much money on their hair?
We had fun watching the sea anemones, starfish, crabs, dogs, and birds at the beach. There were only two falls and none of them resulted in people getting too wet. Caitlin decided that sleep was more fun than tide pools so it was just the four of us that went. It was such a peaceful morning with the sun rising that I think I should get up for beach sunrises more often. Probably won't happen though.
Another highlight of the weekend was candy salad. Yes it's just what it sounds like. You take all different kinds of candy (M&Ms, Reese's Pieces, Sour Patch Kids, Swedish Fish, etc.) and put them together in a bowl and just feast. Orange M&Ms, orange skittles, and orange reese's pieces look very similar.
Saturday we hit up three beaches and a farm and I fell in love with the Central Coast. I loved the little farm and farmer's market we stopped at. They had some amazing blueberries and cute little goats. Beach one was in the morning at the tide pools. Beach two was the farthest away. We packed up a picnic lunch and drove out to this beach I forget the name of. We hiked in to the beach and then had our picnic lunch quickly because it was super windy (our footprints were disappearing as we walked because it was so windy). But the coast was beautiful, the water was just so clean and frothy. But we decided that the wind was just too much. So we spent the afternoon at the beach house and walked out to the beach right by there for sunset. Jumping pictures (just like you love them Shana), cartwheels, sand fight were some of the highlights.
Sunday morning we had to make the drive back to LA. As we left and I got to see all the beautiful coastline and the farms and vineyards I thought to myself, why do I live in LA? If only I could settle down in a beautiful Central Coast town and have my land and my house and everything I want. But since it's never been my plan to settle down somewhere like that all alone, I guess I'll have to stay where the people are for now. But some day...

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Diamonds in the Roughness

If you couldn't tell from the work update the past few weeks have been kinda rough. Getting up early is not my friend and doing it every day just stinks. Plus by the time I get home from work I have several hours of daylight and no energy to enjoy it. But I've made myself work out a couple of times a week. And it hasn't been all drudgery the past month.

Last week my siblings had their Spring Break and my dad, Laura, and David made the trek from Oregon down here to visit. Well they really visited the extended family more than me because I was working. But Thursday night after work I drove down to Orange County to get together with everyone for a traditional dinner at Yen Ching. Yen Ching has to be one of the best Chinese places around. All the aunts and uncles and cousins who could make it were there plus my grandparents. It was a fun night. Being with my family somehow makes everything better. They're just great to hang out with, talk about medicine, politics and religion (the three Evans family staple topics of discussion) with and a lot of fun. After the festivities we all went back to the grandparents' house and did what we do best, talk about leaving while continue to talk for several hours. About the middle of the leaving process my grandma took me aside and told me that she had been cleaning out her closet and that she had come across a pamphlet she thought might be useful. She then handed me "Dear Abby: How To Be Popular" printed in 1983. The entire pamphlet is basically a how to be popular so people will date you booklet. It contains some of the following gems: Grooming and Healthy Habits, How Do You Dress?, The Friendly Personality, The Overly Friendly Personality, The Art of Conversation, Be an Upper Not a Downer, Shyness: The Number One Problem. And the wonderful summary at the end of the pamphlet which says

The key to being popular with both sexes is: Be kind. Be honest. Be tactful.

If you can't be beautiful be well-groomed, tastefully attired, and KEEP A SMILE ON YOUR FACE.

Be clean in body and mind.

If you're not a "brain", try harder. If you're not a great athlete, be a good sport.

Try to be a stand-out in something. If you can't dance, sing or play an instrument, be good company--a pleasure to have around.

Think for yourself, but respect the rules.

Be generous with kind words and affectionate gestures.

If you need help, ask God. If you don't need anything, thank God."

So from the mouth of Dear Abby you have it--all you need to be popular.

Long Awaited Work Update

Ok so I promised a couple of weeks ago that I would update on the first week of work. Well I'm approaching the end of week four and that update has been long awaited (that is if anyone actually reads this). But due to the massive amount of work at work, I come home exhausted. Day one on the job I seriously wanted to never go back. I was completely overwhelmed because I was the only OT there, I have never worked in the school setting before and the OT office/gym was a disaster. I literally spent the first week organizing the department. I did not see any kids that first week. In hindsight this was a good way to ease me in because I got to know some of the kids from seeing them around the school and started to feel less freaked out by the whole experience. Plus now I everything that we have in the office. I'm still yet to really have good files on the kids because all the paperwork was strewn around the office in random boxes and files with no rhyme or reason. Hopefully my system of organization will do better than the previous one, if there was one.
Well week two came and I started seeing the little kiddos. For the most part I have just been seeing kids that are funded through the school district. I see them individually and in groups depending on the services they have been allotted. The individual sessions are usually pretty good. The group session tend to be a half an hour of me trying to corral 3-5 three-five year olds who do not want to/don't have the capacity to listen to my directions or complete some/any of the activities I have planned. By the end I feel exhausted and like I'm accomplishing nothing. Thankfully I usually only have 1-2 groups a day, except on Wednesday when I have 4. Wednesday tends to be a bad day. After seeing 8-15 little cherubs a day I then get to do what turns in to several hours of paperwork. Plus I get to do things like plan for the next day, try and learn about the kids I have, set up new goals for IEPs, and e-mail parents. I think I'm averaging 45-50 hours at work each week. No wonder when I get home I can't bring myself to try and learn more about the actual OT I'm supposed to be doing with them. I have all the good intentions of opening my books and learning, but it just doesn't happen. Maybe during Spring Break, oh wait I'm doing make-ups during the week of Spring Break.
I can't wait until after Spring Break when the other OT is starting and hopefully I'll have someone to ask questions to and someone who can take some of my kids! Hopefully she doesn't figure out that at least half the time I'm just making stuff up as I go!


My wonderful 2003 Chevy Malibu has finally received a name. I've been trying to give her a name for several years, but finally a couple of weekends ago the name came while Martha, McKenzie and I were driving to a mini golf place in Sherman Oaks. Somehow out popped the name Red Velvet and I knew at once that her name had come. All the other names, none of which I currently remember, have stuck. But after 2 weeks Red Velvet is still going strong. Hopefully she'll continue to her strength for a good long while.

Sister Susie

My little sister is all grown up. She had her first date to Winter Formal (yes I know that was a long time ago and this is old news but I just got the pictures). She got to experience Lebanon High School dances at their finest, which isn't too fine. But she had a good time and looked fabulous. Can't believe she'll be 17 in a few months. It seems like I was just 17.