Monthly Archives: January 2009

Costa Rica!!

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Alright, good people – I am back safe and sound!  And what a fabulous week it was!  I know you all are just dying for details – or is it just me anxious to get up the pictures?!  We got to experience some pretty sweet things down in Central America…and I’m particularly grateful for the extended time with my dad and sister!  Without further adieu, here you go!  (See extended version on facebook…I’m going to try to keep this down to ten!)

1This is my farewell crew.  They all came over to Casa Schneple (ok, let’s be honest…most of them belong there anyways!) to watch me pack, catch up, and send me off!  I’m blessed with amazing friends (who stay friends with me even though I’ve been gone so much!)

2Thurdsday, January 22nd – This is me, my dad, and sister at the airport.  Ok, in the parking lot!  This is us arriving 7.5 hours ahead of time because my dad’s worried about missing flights 😉  It was a pretty short and uneventful flight over!  We got through customs with no problems and the Marriott shuttle was waiting right outside!

4Friday, January 23rd.  This is the view from our hotel room – beautiful!  We spent all day at the pool (thankfully didn’t get TOO burned…but did take in a little too much sun) reading, relaxing, eating, napping, etc.

8After our day of r&r, we got cleaned up and headed into the city (San Jose) to wander around and get some dinner.  We got to the city center and immediately ran into a street evangelist (of course I took a picture of this too) and were constantly getting stared at by all the locals.  We found our way to a restaurant our taxi driver suggested (my dad and sister forced me to speak in Spanish)…and other than the slug we found on our avocado salad, it was great!

14Saturday, January 24th.  We got up early and rented a car to head to Miguel Antonio beach on the Pacific side (about a three hour drive).  We made a view sight-seeing stops and then arrived at the HOT, HOT beach.  Becca really wanted to horse back ride…so we found a place where we could, swam in the ocean until it was time to go riding, and then ended up on a wild goose chase with some ‘tour guide’ (we’re thinking he might have been on a drug run and used us for transportation).  Thankfully, we were safe and did end up riding horses – through the jungle and then on the beach at sunset!!!  Surprisingly, I had no incidences with the horse, Chipita, this time around (I will use another post to discuss all the ‘incidences’ I have experienced with these creatures!)  It was an awesome day!  Followed by a somewhat crazy drive home in the dark through the curvy roads and all the locals that act like the freeway is a sidewalk!  Glad I wasn’t driving!

18Sunday, January 25th.  We were up REALLY early to catch a tour bus to Tortuga Island….absolutely breathtaking!  Our guide, Mariella, was adorable and we had a great time on the boat ride (I napped, dad drank coke, and Becca laid out) and a fabulous time on the island – including snorkeling, eating a live-music filled lunch, laying out on the beach, and taking in the scenery)

221This is a picture of Isla Tortuga as we arrived on the boat!

26This is the amazing sunset we got to see on the way home.

28Monday, January 26th.  Another tour!~ This time off to the rainforest for some ziplining!  This picture is just about as far as Becca got – she couldn’t bring herself to get off the stable ground.  So, just dad and I went flying through the forest – on 18 different ziplines, over 3 miles worth, and even a tarzan swing!  At one point, we were on a tree 60 meters above the ground and we were glad Becca opted to stay on the dry land where she took in the scenery and enjoyed a restful day!

31Every evening was full of cardplaying (both liverpool and demon)…while my sister and I usually came out victorious, this was my dad’s victory dance on the rare occassion that he did win!  😉

33Tuesday, January 27th.  We spend the last day lounging around the hotel again – we laid out by the pool, we read some more, slept some more, ate some more (we took full advantage of the free snack lounge in the hotel, frequenting it up to six times daily!).  We really became a staple around the joint…this is the three of us at the hotel gift shop where we also spent much time and money (sunscreen was $20!!)

Wednesday, January 28th – it was back to the United States!  We had an awesome time full of laughter, relaxation, adventure, and fun!  I’m ready to move back there to really work on my Spanish and actually become fluent!  One day, one day… (Lord willing and prompting, of course!)

THANKS, DAD, FOR AN AMAZING TRIP!  I LOVE YOU 🙂

My Travels Thus Far

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1me-and-christineThe trip began the early morning of Saturday, January 3rd.  I grabbed some coffee with Christine, my friend who I have been tutoring and is going back to Korea.  I then swung by the Boyd’s and got some time with Jess and her kiddos.

3I headed straight up to Los Angeles where I met Rosalyn, a girl I mentored last year, and went with her family to dinner. 

5After the birthday festivities, I headed to Orange County to spend the night at Bekah’s and a group of us went to breakfast and church inte morning.  I spent the rest of the weekend at Acosta’s cleaning his apartment and hanging out with friends.

7Tuesday morning I was Detroit-bound.  En route, I met Hanna (pictured here) and had a fabulous conversation!  I look forward to meeting up once I get back in town.

11The snow was waiting for me in Detroit!  I spent five days here running around with my family.  Here is a picture of me and my grandma.  Yes, I am really that tall.

151This is me with my mom’s best friend from middle school, Brenda, and her husband, Jim.  Essentially another aunt and uncle 🙂

161A lovely photo of my cousin, Liz, and I.  She’s amazing!

201The snow-covered front yard at my aunt and uncle’s home.  Beautiful to visit…glad I don’t live there!

211I spent my last night in the Detroit area with Trisha, a friend I met in Spain four summers ago.

231On Sunday, off to the DFW area it was!  Monica met me at the airport and I spent the evening with the Snell crew….this is the newest additon, Alyssa.

22The family 🙂

29Monday, I visited with my former college coach and spent the evening with my first roommate, Jenn and her fiance, Jonathon (I didn’t take pictures of any of them…dang it!).  Tuesday, it was off to visit Heather, my friend who led me to the Lord 8 years ago and then off t Ginny and Kingsley’s to enjoy some food, conversation, and good times 🙂

30Wednesday was my ‘Denton Day’.  I spent the day driving through town and reminiscing.  I went by the Super Pit (pictured here) aka my second home for 4 years.  I met up with Jean and Rachel from The Women’s Program for lunch.  Afterwards, it was off to Deanna’s to spend time catching up with her, her kids, and her hubby.  Afterwards, it was off to the UNT basketball game where I saw old friends, fans, and coaches!

412Thursday, I drove up to Denison to visit Kisha’s grave.  I then met up with Angel and her two beautiful girls!  Afterwards, it was off to Dallas to go to the Cheesecake Factory with Charlene, Matt,and Natalie.

421Friday I got to spend all day with my little sister, Alisha.  We went and saw Twilight, walked around the mall, played at Dave & Buster’s, and perused Barnes and Noble.

431Natalie then picked me up from Frisco and it was off to Fort Worth!  We caught the end of Shannan’s bball game and met up with Heather and Jen for drinks.

441Saturday, Natalie and I headed down to Austin – we stopped to visit Jenn Hernandez and her two beautiful girls (their dad, Andre, was just deployed to Iraq – be praying for them).

45Saturday evening, we stayed at Jenny and Jason’s.  She was my Bible Study Leader my sophomore year of college (poor girl) and they gave us the grand tour of the town!

461After church on Sunday,Natalie and I met up with Sarah at HEB for some gelato.  Natalie headed home and Sarah and I enjoyed hours of talk time, wii time, sleep time, and just an all around good time!

48I flew to Los Angeles on Mondy morning.  Acosta and I went to El Segundo for breakfast and catch up time.  Much appreciated!

49Then it was off to Orange County!  I spent Monday afternoon with Heather and Stacey and then went to Roy’s with my mom and Jim (I couldn’t get a good picture of them) to celebrate my mom’s 5*th birthday!  We enjoyed great food and some R&R. 

Tuesday, I was off to give Stacey a massage, ran some errands, met my mom to work out at LA Fitness,gave her a massage, and had a relaxing evening at her home.

This morning, it was off to massage Jessina, wake up Stephanie to catch up, work out, surprise Bekah at work and eat lunch, then a quick drive back to San Diego!  WHEW!!  Tomorrow, it’s off to Costa Rica via Phoenix and then a few more stops before getting back to San Diego.  I’m grateful for this time but kind miss this place!

To Grandma’s Home I Went!

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Earlier I wrote about my visit to my Grandparents’ home in the lovely El Paso, Texas and promised a taste of what it’s like back in good ol’ Detroit, MI!

I had the opportunity to go back and visit all of my mom’s family a few weeks ago. Yes, right in the middle of what seemed like a winter blizzard. Maybe it wasn’t the extreme, but having lived in California and Arizona the vast majority of my life, it was much more than experienced in QUITE awhile (possibly back to my days in Indiana).

Over the past few years, I’ve made it somewhat of a tradition to get back to the Detroit area during the Christmas season; I typically avoid the snow by going sooner, but grandma rewarded me with an award based on me choosing the best time to visit 🙂 Although it became a joke that I would choose to go at that time, I quite enjoyed it all!

Some of my favorite memories from Grandma’s home in times past:

  • Oreos in her duck cookie holder (now filled with receipts and such, probably better for the waistline)
  • Her soft toilet seat cover that squished down when you sat on it (now hard, but proably more sanitary)
  • The black and white bedroom – yes, the carpet was shag.  And a mix of black and white.  (After her fire last year, this has recently been changed…possibly just because shag carpet is now hard to come by.  Hmm?)
  • Visiting Aunt Edna in the nursing home and listening to her crazy fun stories (she has since passed on at 100 years old, and currently my Aunt Ruby is residing in a nursing home)
  • Aunt Ruby’s Cottage (I always enjoyed visiting here for some family functions.  As you see from the previous statement, Aunt Ruby no longer resides at this home, but her son does)
  • Walking around grandma’s ‘hood and the track across the street (not something I was able to do this time with all of the snow getting in the way)
  • Playing in the basement (there was always something to discover down in those closets and this is where my Papa taught me how to play poker at one point in my life)
  • Going to visit my Papa and Uncle Henry at the shop (my Papa has since passed away, but the shop is still at ’em with lots of cars always in and out…I’m amazed by the work done there at the Body Shop…although, when I was younger I thought ‘a body shop’ was something inappropriate)
  • Looking at my grandma’s teacups (Such a cute collection we all stake our claim on, but I’m sure they’ve moved around quite a few times…I’m in no hurry to get my tea cups)
  • Sleeping with my grandma (usually my sister and I would both crawl up to bed with grandma….a great reminder of how much growing I’ve done the last 27 years.  However, this time we did snooze together but Becca didn’t make the trip…two fit better than three these days)
  • Going to my Aunt and Uncle’s ‘farm’ (Always full of chickens, dogs, cats, horses, cows, goats, birds, etc.  A super FUN place to visit growing up watching my cousins on their motorized things – bikes, snow mobiles, 4 wheelers, etc.  And, yes there were quite a few incidents involving myself and this motorized things such as running into their pool on a motorcycle thing and having my leg run over by the 4 wheeler.  Me + motorized vehicles = not a good choice)

Anyways, yes, some things have changed.  But, what remains the same is all of my mom’s family still resides in the Detroit area and I absolutely love getting to go and visit!  This time entailed a lot of talk time with grandma….getting to sit on her couch and listen to a multitude of stories about our family’s past.  Quite entertaining to say the least! 

How were your holiday travels?

Schneple Schelter

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If any of you have the opportunity to visit Casa Schneple. you are aware that it is one bustlin’ happenin’ place that we are fortunate to call home. I have since gotten word we will be referring to Casa Schneple as ‘Schneple Schelter…where animals and people are welcome’. Very fitting, we all agree.

I’ve been told by a few people that living with me would not be their cup o’ tea…and that’s fine; however, I am ever so grateful for my dear roomies who dealt with, grew to love, and even somewhat encouraged my ‘stray ways’…I was always inviting home what we’ve come to lovingly refer to as ‘our strays’.

The story began with Erin – bright eyed and bushy tailed, right off the drive from Montana with nowhere to go. We happily housed her at the beginning of the school year until she could find a place…then we had a week long visitor, Jen V – who briefly called Casa Schneple her home while awaiting the beginning of her exciting little traveling gig. She hooked us up with lots of random things – including good friendship and a un-bouncy trampoline (sp?). Next, it was yet another Jen – straight off a red eye drive from Phoenix and ready to start a new adventure…where better to begin than right at home in Casa Schneple?! Jamie came to refer to her as ‘Homeless’ and the name stuck – and of course it’s used as an endearing nickname 🙂 She’s currently doing bigger and better things in Hawaii, but we had a great time and formed wonderful memories during our carpool rides to school, our one-on-one games after school, and our tetris battles. In the meantime, Erin has made her way back home to Casa Schneple…and so has a good friend of hers, Rachel, who has since became a good friend of all of ours as well. Along with her fabulous self, she has brought her little mutt, the under-bitten, cute, cuddly guy we know as ‘Chaco’…hence why we are now a place where both people AND animals are welcome.

As most of you know, we’re also down one cuddly critter…Ollie has been missing since September, and while we have not yet given up hope of one day finding the schpecial little schnauzer, Jojo decided it was time to get another little one around the house. While I have yet to meet her in person – or even to see pictures of her, for that matter – I would like to introduce you to our newest arrival, Ryder (and Ryder, I know it’s not your fault that your mommy hasn’t yet taken the time to share you to the rest of the world…I’m going to hope she’s just too busy playing with you!)

Scho, there you have it, folks – bios of all of our Schtrays that have momentarily referred to the Schneple Schelter as Home, Schweet Home 🙂

Up in the Air

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For some reason, flights on planes are often where I feel closest to the Lord (I suppose this is a good thing as I spend so much time up there!), and this trip to Detroit continued to show that to me. First, almost immediately upon sitting down, the girl in the seat ahead of me realized we were headed to the same place (Detroit by way of Kansas City and Chicago) so we struck up a conversation and decided we would make our way to sit next to each other on one of the next legs. Turns out Miss Hanna was in her first year at SDSU, has lived in Los Angeles her entire life up until then, and absolutely loves the Lord! We had a fabulous time laughing, listenening, sharing, encouraging, and fellowshiping up there in the friendly skies! (And look forward to reuniting once we both make it back to San Diego)

As we were about to land in Kansas City, I was staring down at the ground and noticed all of the crops below. From the sky, I could notice all the details in their harvests and the intricacies (sp?) of which it had been – harvested? mowed? cut? (I’m not a farmer here so don’t know the appropriate terminology). I started thinking about how interesting it was that the people mowing probably had no idea that anybody would be able to see the details – some were done perfectly all around, but most, you could see the areas where the turns weren’t exactly perfect and in some cases they were just plain messy looking! I started thinking about how this is much like our lives as Christians. I have not realized more than this year how closely our lives our looked at and inspected by the outside world, that we truly are surrounded by a cloud of witnesses watching our actions, thoughts, and words that we sometimes do so carelessly without realizing the impact. This was yet another gentle reminder for me to continuously live a life of integrity so that I can walk securely. I am working on the continuously and consistently part 🙂 But I am so grateful for His grace and mercy!

-Hebrews 12:1
-Proverbs 10:9

A Little Somethin’

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Because I have often been checking ‘bloglines’ lately to see if anyone had updated their post and have come up disappointed, I decided maybe it’s about that time to blog myself – for the benefit those of you also finding yourselves seeking for new blogs. Not that this is anything noteworthy, because I literally have nothing substantial on my mind to particularly blog about…so we’ll see what happens!

I spent ten hours yesterday cleaning, scrubbing, and organizing this home we so lovingly call ‘Casa Schneple’ – and although it doesn’t happen often, I do love a clean house! I spent the latter part of the evening in a beach chair in front of my burning fire place reading. Absolutely lovely! At about 10pm, I heard a car park and the honking sound of someone locking it..and I just knew it had to be some of the missing roommates!! (I feel like I could make a poem here that followed the lines of that Christmas poem about Santa being downstairs…you all know what I’m talking about even though I’m drawing a blank). Jojo and Marlena came in first and greeted me with huge hugs! We started chatting about their days up at Mt. High (not enough time as of this point for them to start embellishing stories…) and a few minutes later hobbled J-Jax (after sending a text asking for us to come carry her in from the car…a text we didn’t read until after she’d made her way in). It was quite a sight to be seen…and I was soooo happy part of the Schneple Schister crew was back before I begin all my travels!

I have been reading a book entitled Discipline by Elisabeth Elliott and it’s been – not necessarily eye-opening – but definitely a nice reminder of this life of Discipline we are called to lead. Something I have failed at drastically in the past, and am quite certain will fail at more in the future (why I’m also so grateful for a little thing called grace that will help me through!)…but just a neat perspective and encouraging words on this journey we’re on – not of perfection, but of progress. So, although, I’m not one for resolutions at this point in my life (aka I’m sick of not following through on things on my own accord), I do desire to be more disciplined in all aspects of life (food, health, possessions, time, money, etc). And, thankfully, by His power and strength, I know I can do just that 🙂 Or rather, He can do just that through me!

What are you praying He does in and through you this year?