Tuesday, January 31, 2012

London Pictures

I haven't been in London long.  However, before starting two weeks of orientation (followed after two weeks of training before arriving), our team had the day off yesterday after a "Welcome Breakfast" and we went out and saw a little part of London.  We took the Tube and saw a museum that is currently holding the picture of "The Last Supper".  (We didn't go see it as it would of cost us 16 pounds each - which is about $30 - to see the full gallery and the part we actually looked at was free.  But I did see the painting from afar.)  We then went and saw the Big Ben.  My British friend says this is a super American thing to say, but because of the photos I had seen of the Big Ben before arriving, I always imagined it to be taller. While walking to the Big Ben we even passed by where the Prime Minister lives.

Here are some of my favorite photos that I took yesterday...

If you click on the photos they should get bigger for better viewing.

London is a beautiful city full of years and years of amazing history.  In all honesty, I don't know as much about England or the UK as I would like to.  While I am here I hope to further my knowledge in not just the culture but in the history and stories of London.

Today we started training and orientation.  From 9:30 in the morning to about 5:30 in the evening, we are in classrooms learning what we need to learn.  It's a lot of information.  After two weeks of information in Germany, I'm very thankful we had two days to rest before receiving more information here in London.  Otherwise I think there would of been a brain overload issue happening.  Ha.

Tonight I've started laundry for the first time since leaving.  That's 2 1/2 weeks worth of clothes and two loads.  To get to the laundry machines I have to go up and down three flights of stairs each time I need to change the loads.  Tonight I went down to change one load, getting all the way down the stairs to realize that I took the wrong coins to pay the machine!  Oops!  I won't make that mistake again!  At least I know I'll be getting good exercise while here, especially on laundry day. ;-)

Throughout the last few weeks I feel my ankle and leg getting stronger.  While it does get weary and sore, the muscles are slowly returning and the strength is growing.  It feels good to be moving again and to be getting exercise - even if it's just stairs.  I think today alone I've gone up and down close to 20 flights of stairs, which is way more than what I was doing before coming to Europe as I had just started walking again after spending a few months on crutches and in bed.  If you remember, please keep my ankle in your prayers.  While it is getting stronger in some ways, it still hurts and gets sore.  I know I shouldn't stress about my ankle but it is often a daily stressor, wondering if my ankle will be strong enough for the day or be able to walk quick enough to keep up with others.  Pray that it'll continue to grow stronger and will bother me and swell less and less, being able to walk more each day (and more quickly!!  That is a work in process!  I walk like a turtle, or so it seems to me...).  Pray I'll be able to keep it as safe as possible without hurting it again in anyway while I am gone and away from my fabulous podiatrist I have at home.

Oh!  Also...After about three nights of being in London (total of about 2 1/2 weeks of traveling) I am able to unpack my suitcases into my new room!  When arriving there was someone who was still in the process of arriving.  I'm not completely unpacked, but boy does it feel good to have some of my stuff out and in its rightful places!  Can you guess what I did first?  Before I even actually unpacked or did my first load of laundry while being away, I decorated my bulletin board with my photos from home.  While, yes, my clothes being put in their proper places, shoes being neatly stored under my bed, and all of that makes a place more like home...Photos of my family and friends are what make a home my home.  It's a board I can look with a smile on my face, seeing those that I love and that I know love me in return and that I know are praying for me as I am on this journey.  It's a board of memories I can reflect on when feeling homesick, or even when I miss other friends who live in random places of the world.  It's a board of encouragement.  I'll try to post a photo of my board and the room soon!

The Travelin' Chick,

Sunday, January 29, 2012

In my Flat

After about 12 days in Germany, I am now officially sitting in my flat in London!  What an odd sentence that is to write.  I've never lived in an apartment within my own home country, let alone a flat in another.

The end of the conference was really wonderful.  There is a lot that I hope to post about in the coming days as there is a lot to take in and to process.  I'm really glad I went as I found it to be very helpful, educational, inspiring, and as a transitional stage that I really needed to have before heading to London.

I know, this entry is really short...but I promise longer ones are to come.  Today we had the option to have the day off and I literally slept the whole day away.  The last twelve days, and even the few weeks before heading to Europe were "go, go, go" and "busy, busy, busy" - nonstop.  So for now, I am going to eat some dinner and reflect on the last 12 days in my personal journal as I prepare what to blog about, and then get some more rest before we start the week.

I hope all of you are doing well,
The Travelin' Chick,

Thursday, January 19, 2012

GO Confrence #1

Alright! This is my first entry overseas with OM. I am currently in Germany for the GO Confrence. Currently I am on my iPad so this entry probably won't be long. I am taking notes so i can fully update you all later while in London. There are people here from all over. Two girls I have talked to the most are from Ireland and Australia. There are others here from England, Switzerland, Portugal, and so many other places. It is so amazing that we are all from different countries. We are from different cultures, backgrounds, languages, and stories...and etc...and yet, we all are here for one purpose and for one God. We all heard the call to serve Him in some way and we all answered. It is inspiring hear each others stories and how God led them to OM and missions. It is exciting to here where they are from and to see where God is sending them. Wow. I can't help but wonder how God will use all of us. What kind of stories will we gain? What lessons do we have to learn? How can we grow and mature? How will God use these experiences for future ministry? Questions and thoughts run through my head. However, I am living in the present. I am living the moments I have now I the country God has me in right now in this second. What an adventure thing has been and will continue to be!

Until next time,
The Travelin' Chick,

PS...thanks for the prayers! Keep them coming!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Jamba Juice, Wheels on the Bus, and Eskimo Kisses

Just making more memories with my family before I leave...(This time captured on video to go along with my previous blog entry!)

Rayna has been asking for Jamba Juice all day. What a smart child. (Seriously. She and I should be their spokeswomen.)

The first part is suppose to say, "The Crystal on the bus says..." That's where she says, "Rock on!"
The Rayna on the bus says..."Yeah babyyy!"
The horn on the bus says..."Beep beep beep!"
The mommy on the bus says..."I love you!"

Some of our favorite verses!

The Travelin' Chick,

Saturday, January 7, 2012


This was a couple of weeks ago. Sweetest kid ever. I've got to give my baby cousin props for learning the word at 15 months old, as well as attempting at stealing my phone straight out of my hands...(She can also say London, if you can recall back to last months post "London")

Teaching her crazy random words and phrases is something I'll miss during my time away! Recently I've taught her about how to "psych!" someone. As she goes to hand you an item she will instantly pull it away as you reach out for it as she yells, "PSYCH!!" Apparently she did that the other night with her daddy's keys while in Lowes. She had the whole staff laughing. She also now understands what Jamba Juice is, as her eyes literally light up as she says, "Jamba Juice? More please?!?" (She knew the phrase before but tried their smoothies for the first time this week.  A new addict in the making! Yesssss....)

Also, one of our favorite songs we sing together is, "The Wheels on the Bus".

"The mommy on the bus says..." - Me
"I love you!!" - Rayna
"The Rayna on the bus says..." - Me
"YEAAAA Babbbby...YEAAAA babbby..." - Rayna (Her daddy taught her that one!)
"The Crystal on the bus says..." - Me
"Rock ONNNNNNNN..." - Rayna

There are many other verse but these are our favorites! (Okay, they are my favorites!)

The Travelin' Chick,