Friday, December 29, 2006

Hiking Multnomah Falls

Bethany and I went hiking to the top of Multomah Falls today, a feat I haven't done probably since high school...or a long time anyways. It was absolutely freezing, lots of cold wind to start, but by the time we got to the top we were taking off gloves and unzipping jackets. It was such a fun day to reminisce and spend time together, catching up on life and talking about our futures. Old friends are amazing!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Salem getaway

I spent the last two nights at my brother's house in Salem and got to play with the kids which is always fantastic. This morning we went on a walk while Josh scootered (that's a verb, right?) and Emily rode her new bike with handlebar brakes and gears...they are getting so big! John even tried out the scooter and looked all grown-up too! Lots of cuddling and playing and shopping and some more cuddling! It was foggy and freezing most of the morning and apparently snow is on its way for the is cold! Hard to believe I will be back in warm weather in 1.5 weeks, this time has gone so fast!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Chirstmas Day

We had a fun Christmas Day. It started with oatmeal pancakes, pepper bacon, cinnamon rolls, and hashbrowns...the best way to start any day! We followed that with a lovely run while it wasn't raining, then came back and played with toys and napped for awhile. Later in the afternoon we went to my grandparents for more fun and eating and present opening. We were entertained by always-tear-producing sword fighting, snowball decorating, a family game by Emily and me, and catching up with family.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Dixon Christmas

We did Christmas at my parents house tonight and had a really nice time. My mom made a huge dinner with a whole chicken each, well, it really was a little hen but it was big enough to be a chicken! We opened lots of presents and the kids got to play and try out all the new things. Christmas is so fun with kids, to see their excitement and smiles. Basil also enjoyed Christmas and got some new kitty treats, but still prefers poundcake!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Basil's treasures

It's so fun coming home to surprises like this...

The Map

If you've put your pin on my map, add your name and a photo so I can see who you are...all I get is a little yellow dot and don't know who anyone is apart from myself and Dennis. I want to know who is where, so add some details! Thanks.

Happy, Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to both sisters-in-law Abby and Hannah, I hope you both have a really specail day!

Basil nursing on his favorite blanket

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


(Emily flashing her gang signs for the self-portrait)
So after a great extended weekend with the kids, we took them back to Salem last night. John and Rachel celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary at the beach while we got to play. It was such a fun weekend filled with skating, movies, hottubbing at Great Grandmas, shopping, and cuddling...what more could you ask for?

The little Dixon crew

Visiting friends

I got to have dinner with Brandon and Alison and their little baby Jack on Monday and it was so nice. It really is hard to believe we've all grown up so much, I mean really, Brandon...with a baby!!! They seem to be doing amazingly well though and it was so nice to chat and catch up and, of course, cuddle on their baby! Their blog is to the right to see even more pictures of their cute Jack.

Emily and Josh skating/falling

Check out Josh's amazing skating technique

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Just wondering...

Was it always this cold in Oregon??!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Josh at the Christmas concert

The hunter

Basil continues to kill all sorts of things...and bring them inside. Most recently was a cute little snow bird. The problem seems to be that he is too excited to bring the thing in and hasn't quite finished it off yet. So feathers of all sorts were flying around as Basil toyed with the little one. Finally my mom put the bird, now dead, outside along with all his feathers. He's a good cat, really, and he's great when he kills mice...but cute birds??!!

Mt. Hood

This is one of the great things about being back in Oregon...Mt. Hood. It is so beautiful. All the photos were taking from my parent's deck in the morning.

My mom's the coolest

So my mom volunteers on the disaster team for Red Cross and has been on call all week. It's been fun to see her work and how the whole program functions. She spent all day Saturday on the phone with people who didn't have electricity due to the storm and others worried about family members. I got to go to a fire call with her one night and see her in action. It was fun to see her work with the family and how efficient she is at getting everything together.


Friday after getting back from Salem with the snowed!! It was very exciting to see all the snow, even if there wasn't that much. Along with the wind and cold weather, it's caused a few problems with electricity (and internet) for quite a few people. I feel like I've warped into another world...just a few weeks ago I was in tank tops and excited the weather was cooling in the DR, now I'm FREEZING and hoping it'll warm up soon! I put on my running shoes shortly after to take advantage of the change in climate...and who can turn down a run in the snow?

The kids had fun catching the snow/hail in their mouths

Emily attempting to ice skate on the front porch.

Preschool Christmas

We were treated on Friday to the Christmas ABC's and a few Christmas songs by Josh and his preschool class. They were all so cute, I haven't seen that many cameras in a long time as every kid had at least one, if not more, people taking pictues. It was fun to be around and get to be a part of it all!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Girls Night

(Jessi, mom, Aunt Lindy with steam from the fondue pots; Jessi and mom; Grandma and Aunt Cyndi; The group outside the theater)

My mom, aunts, and grandma took me out last night for such a fun night. We started for dinner at The Melting Pot, which was amazing. I cannot honestly remember when I have ever laughed so hard in all of my life. My stomach is hurting today from it, that's how good it was! And who ever thought you could make a whole dinner of fondue??!! Then we headed around the corner to the musical Menopause...I guess they were wanting to prepare me for the future, but it was another fun time with more laughing. We then ended up at The Melting Pot again for dessert fondue, which I wish we could have had for dinner, as it was SO good! I've just been reminded again what an incredible and loving family I have.

(The lights through the streets of Portland and Pioneer Courthouse Square with the big Christmas tree)

Christmas Candy

Josh and Emily were here this weekend and got to make all sorts of Christmas candy with my mom. These two are so, so, so special to me and I love having time with them. They're coming all of next week to stay as it is John and Rachel's 10th anniversary!!! I can't wait.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Basil the Lion

So Basil was always an inside cat until he moved to Oregon, he stayed in a mostly climate-control environment all day, everyday. But now a whole new world of mice and birds has opened to him and he has grown himself a winter coat. I cannot believe how fluffy this cat is, I once thought he was fluffy, but that was only the beginning. I tried capturing it in a photo, but it just didn't work...he has like 10 inches of fluff all around his neck like a little lion's mane. He's a champ at catching things now too, and has brought home-in the house no less-all sorts of birds (bluejays seem to be his favorite) and numerous mice and shrews, nearly one each day. He's very proud of his kill, and I'm sure his new coat too!

Old friends

I've been able to catch up with old friends in the last week which has been great. It's been nice to see Jenny's little baby, Maddie, and just share in their lives and know what has been going on. I've been friends with Jenny since 3rd grade, which I now realize is a very long time! I've been friends with Bethany since freshman year, which is quite a few years too. I went to dance team practice with coach Bethany last night and now feel okay saying that there is still a deep desire within me to, well, be on dance team again. It's fun seeing Bethany in the coach role and Jenny in the mommy role...makes me understand that we have actually grown up along the way somewhere! (Maddie playing in her saucer, Jenny-Bethany-Jessi)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Home again, home again

(Attempting to fit in my suitcase and come to the States: Luke, Micah, Chase, and Sam-who was at AWANAS and didn't get to try)

Well I've made it to Oregon. It is great to be back, although it is COLD! I thought the Dominican Republic was cooling down...and then I stepped off the plane in Oregon! It's nice to be here with my family and to catch up with old friends. I already got to play with my niece and nephew which is especially nice. My first morning back I went on a wet, cold, rainy Oregon run and it was great, but today I decided to opt for the treadmill! I'm looking forward to the weeks ahead, to continue seeing more family and my friends and prepare for the things that are ahead.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Reflection: A thought occurring in consideration or meditation.

As I reflect, consider, and meditate on my past three months in the Dominican Republic, growth is the word to most correctly sum up what has taken place. It has truly been a journey of ups and downs and daily renewal. I have learned that there is a strength and peace that is found in no other than God alone. I have grown in faith, in trust, in the person that I am.

I am so thankful for this life, this work that I get to be a part of. I feel honored at the privilege to serve these children, to come alongside such incredible people all striving for the same things. To see others who have opened their absolute hearts touches me so deeply. Relationships that can be formed instantly, bonds that will last more than a lifetime.

What a joy it is to follow after Jesus and serve the poor, the needy, the children, each other. What an example He left, what a support He is down this path. To use the gifts I have as a nurse to help others medically but also to love as He loved, to shower these kids with hugs, attention, kind words, support, prayers.

Yes, there is pain. Yes, there are trials-tribulations even, but who am I to focus on my problems when I have the promise of plans to give me a hope and a future? What are my struggles compared to the abused child, poverty beyond undestanding, and lost hope? I have hope. I have a future. I have a promise that wherever I go and whatever I do, I will be taken care of.

So with reflection, I can truly say that I have grown and am stronger each day, but only by the grace and love and strength of my God. The friends I have made, the family that I have, the friends that continue to encourage me in this path, I am so grateful for.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Caraballo Day Trip

I went to Caraballo for the day today and along the way we came across the most beautiful rainbow I have ever seen. It was a full rainbow crossing over the road and then became a double, so pretty.

It was exciting to be back at the care center again and to see the continued growth and development of the school. Even in the 3 months I have been here there has been so much that has changed within the program and classes. I have such a heart for the school and love being there, beyond what words can say. It is incredible to work with the kids, be in the village, hug and love on the kids and teachers, and spend time with such special people. I look forward to being a part of all the changes that are happening and to see growth and love and the lives of these children change, giving them a bit of hope and chance at a better future.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Cookie day

Ever made 374 sugar cookies before...???

We did!!!

Saturday, December 02, 2006


The Trautwein's neighbor found this in his yard this morning...friendly??

Dressed and ready for the day, right?

We went to visit the Jarabacoa dump today to see what the needs are. Many people come to the dump daily to look for food, items to sell, and anything salvagable; in some dumps people set up houses and live there. The church the Trautweins go to is looking around to see about helping in different areas, the dump being one. It was interesting to have a look around and talk to a few of the people who were there.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Rub a dub dub

I need soap! I keep meaning to post this, but I want everyone to raid their hall and bathroom closets for those little hotel soaps, shampoos, conditioners, toothpastes, toothbrushes, and lotions that you've had for years and send them to me! Most of the problems I see are related to hygiene and the inability to really get clean, which leads to numerous skin and scalp problems. I can treat a kid at school and send them home, but unless they're really washing and able to follow-up, my little treatments become redundant. So, get in touch with me if you want an address to send them too as I'll be at my parents for December and can easily bring them back here with me. It'd be so great though to treat a kid and send him home with a little bar of soap to clean with! Thanks so much.

Jarabacoa week

(Jessi girl and Jesse boy-dog; Luke, Jessi, and Chase reading; Luke and Jessi cooking dinner, Jessi and Leslie...all in blue somehow!)
It's been a good week in Jarabacoa. I was mainly working in the school this week, helping sort out some nursing things and get charts in order, helping with another lady as school nurses. I got to help with some Trautwein homeschool, but am learning just how much I have forgotten over the years, as Sam's algebra puts fear in me!