Sunday, September 21, 2008

Summer Update

Soooooooo, I guess I haven't updated since before Africa! :)
It was an amazing trip and I really don't have time to explain everything, but definately check out the video posted here to get a little taste. I saw that in an earlier blog I wrote about the fact that we were worried about receiving the support we needed to go on the trip. We've gone on other mission trips before to other countries, so we didn't want to bombard our family yet again with requests for money and support. We sent out letters and it seemed like the word leaked on it's own. To our suprise, we received beyond what was needed for the trip from family and friends to complete strangers. It was amazing!! We used the extra money to pay for our bills for the time we would be gone and not earning income. Our prayers were definately answered. Andy quit his job at the time to travel on the trip and I had OT fieldwork right after (and am still on it) so we now are trying to look for opportunities & jobs for both of us. Andy has been working crazy hard to earn the income we need these last couple months so I'm super thankful for that. Anyway, here's a short video of our trip.....more to come!!! :)

Political Campaigns

I'm getting super sick of seeing political ads on every other commercial. I know they want/need publicity to have a better chance of getting into whatever offices they'd like to get into, but seriously, I'm waiting on some true substance. I'm mainly talking about the Minnesota Senate commercials & the Presidential candidate commercials. It's just as trashy as some of the shows on TV if not worse. It's basically two people telling the world what the other person doesn't do right and why they don't deserve a chance, and a lot of times it's also what they WILL do that either the other candidate won't do or the current person in office hasn't done. It's just annoying. Why would I want to vote for ANYONE that can't even show that they respect the other candidate or sometimes even political party? I'm neither a democrat or a republican, I'm just looking for who I believe would be the best person for the job. There is just SO much that goes around that is untrue, wrong, and/or hurtful that it gives a horrible representation of the elections anyway. The Minnesota campaigns talk about how much money the other has wasted on trips or how much the other swears or is rude and ONLY use that content. I'm sick of people debating to the death if it's OK that Obama may be a Christian or a Muslim, and sick of hearing if the fact that Palin's daughter is pregnant is wrong or not. It's all so tiring. Let's see what they're best interests are for the US instead. OK I'm done venting but here's a really applicable quote to the situation....

"A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." ~Theodore Roosevelt~

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


So I am sitting at work once again. :) But it's good. I really like my job a lot. I work at a shelter for abused women and children. Working here has really changed me and will really help me in future practice. I have learned to be a great listener, have a ton of empathy, to not let others and myself be manipulated, how to handle certain crises, etc. It's been a great all around thing. I'm so glad Kristie told me about it. It's so sad to hear the stories of these women, but also great to see them finding strength to keep going.

That would be so great if there were two more days in the week where you could volunteer instead of work. I was looking in the paper last week at the different volunteer opportunities here and there is delivering meals, adopting a pet, the soup kitchen, being a big brother or sister, and so much more. I was surprised to see so many things for how small our area is.

Wow, it's late. That's it for today.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

great quotes from great girls

Sooo, I have been leading a small group of high school girls for a church in town over the past four years. I started when they were freshmen, and now they are almost done being seniors. They have grown in numbers, strength, and passion. They have kept me going through all of OT school and almost all of my college career. Yes, the girls are 5 or more years younger than me, but I have learned innumerable things from them. They have shown me so much and helped me to keep staying young......which I always plan to feel. I love them as strongly as I love my sisters, and that is what they truely are. My sisters, and some of the best friends I could ask for. We have all had victories and all have fallen, but we can do it knowing that the others will be there to cheer us on or pick us up. We all try to stay as rooted in faith as possible, and help each other do it.
This year, we've been passing around a traveling journal where the girls can write whatever they'd like inside. There are a lot of amazing things inside, but I'll only pull out some phrases that they have quoted others on.

*You don't get to choose how you're going to die, or when. You can only decide how you're going to live. Now.* Joan Baez
*Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of the mind, than on outward circumstances.* Benjamin Franklin
*You've got so much love in you. You've got so much love in you. I'm amazed that I'm talking to you.* Rocket Summer
*Just because everyone's doing it doesn't mean it's right. Just because it's right doesn't mean everyone's doing it* Sarah
*I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. I believe in God even when he is silent. I believe.* Barlow Girl
*My grace is sufficient for you! For my power is made perfect in weakness. That is why for Christ's sake, I delight in weakness, in insults, in hardships, in persecution, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.* 2 Corinthians 2:8&10
*Love all you can. It's a mistake not to. It doesn't so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven't had that, what have you had?* Henry James
*A ship in the harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are built for*
*An archaeologist is the best husband any woman can have: the older she gets the more interested he is.* Anon
*Don't forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels withought knowing it.* Ephesians 13:2
*For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.* 2 Timothy 1:7
*So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks, or the church of God-even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.* 1 Corinthians 10:31-33
*Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God.* Phillipians 4:6
*Oh no, you never let go! Through the calm and through the storm. Oh no, you never let go. Lord you never let go of me!* Song by ??
*God never gives you more than you can handle*
*The Lord is merciful, compassionate, patient, and always ready to forgive.* Psalms 145:8
*I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble.* Proverbs 4:11-12
*When there's no where else to turn, all your bridges have been burned. Feels like you've hit rock bottom. Don't give up it's not the end, open up your heart again. Someone loves you even when you don't think so. Don't you know that you've got me and Jesus.* Song
*It's taken so long but now I know. I had to find out on my own. When nothing could convince me, your love it convinced me that it's gonna be ok.* Song

I love how much these girls have to offer. I just wish that they'd all be able to see it in themselves. I think that's a huge problem in today's world....especially for girls. That's why we're reading Captivating. It's a great book, but I hope it sinks in to them. Good night, I'm @ work and just trying to lazy this night shift along. :)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Me + Traveling = Love

I haven't been on here for quite some time.....

My goal is to get better at it over the summer. So grad was last weekend and it was fun to walk and get hooded. I'm not really sure where to put my hood, but it's fun to have it! :)

This month I'll be working full time at the shelter so that'll be awesome. We (Andy & I) are going to Africa this summer and need to do some major fundraising. I'm super pumped to go but there is a LOT to do before that I really hope all comes together. I have always wanted to go to Africa and would really like to go back and travel and serve in other countries. We're going to Cameroon but other countries I REALLY would like to go to are Kenya and Uganda too.

My dream job would be either something where I could travel with Andy to these other countries and places of need in the states and we could work together to help however: I could do the medical part and he could do the business part....or something that would allow us both to take at least a few weeks off every year so we could go on a short term mission trip. I know that I may not find these things right off the bat, but everyone needs a dream right?

We're also trying to save up money for my trip to Guatemala for some of my fieldwork. There's almost 10 of us going that are made up of mostly students and one or two faculty. That's in November so I'm lucky to have a little time before I do that. :) It will be great though.

So I guess if you could just send a little prayer this way that we'd raise all of the support that we would be MUCH appreciated. :)

Ya bye!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I love......

I love different things about each and every day. Today has been a realllly good day. I didn't wake up feeling the best, so I slept in which is always great. When I got up I actually got quite a bit accomplished. Did some laundry and cleaning, studied, and worked on my resume. I really don't think it's that great, but it needs to be done. I chopped my hair off last week and I'm not the biggest the fact that I had a good hair day today made me happier than it would make most. lol. I took a test in Assistive Tech class today and it was so much easier than the last. YES! We got out really early and then taught my cousin piano lessons instead of trying to stuff it into Thursday. Now the Biggest Loser is on---my favorite show! It's great like usual, but a little weird cuz it seems like there's a little spark between Mark & Alli. Not that you all know who I'm talking about so you'll have to watch it and see. I love seeing how far people can push themselves and grow in those experiences. Anyway, I'll write more about school a little later. :)

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Wow, I need to get better at blogging more often. Today we had our final class session of Therapeutic Use of Self. It's a class where we really sum up everything that we've really learned about ourselves from OT school. We talk about spirituality in practice, using humor in practice, we've done some conflict management, and have completed many surveys and papers about ourselves. In today's class, we did a presentation on ourselves. Everyone's was a little different, but I talked about my family and life situations and how they've shaped who I will be as an OT. I also talked about my attitudes, values, beliefs, perceptions, actions, convictions, and my integration to OT practice. It really explains who I am, so if I ever figure out how to post a ppt on this I'll go ahead and do it. I am not the most computer savvy person, so if you really want to see it, you may just want to let me know. lol. Another part of it was which model of practice I use in my daily life. I'd have to say I use PEOP the most. Person-->Environment-->Occupation-->Participation. It takes into consideration both extrinsic and intrinsic factors (which cover A LOT), so those along with participation and occupation gives you occupational performance and participation. It's goal is to have ppl live a satisfying and productive life, which is exactly what I want. It's completely different when you apply the models and frames of reference to yourself rather than our supposed clients. It's almost a little like being a patient of yourself. This is super random, but I compared myself to a tree towards the end. I talked about it's strong roots and how it can be used in so many ways and situations. Here is a little part from the end:

Right now I’m an entry level tree with both strong and weak branches. I will need to mend and prune those weak branches to make them stronger along the way. Some of them will die and break off, but it will make room for new branches to start growing. I may never grow to be the strongest and tallest tree in the forest, but I will continually try to reach new heights.

That's all for tonight. I'm falling alseep at the keys and Andy went to bed over an hour ago. :S Whoopsies! lol.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

We put the OT in HOT!!!

So we're getting closer and closer to the annual AOTA national conference. Last year was in St. Louis and it was GREAT so I am very excited to go this Long Beach! We talked a little about this years motions to the RA in SOTA today, and some of them are definately interesting. Maybe I'll put them up here later, we'll see. :) Here's a few pics from last year's conference:

Me getting some major sensory input! :)

Sweet pins that were handed out at conference.
OTs are HOT!

All of the ND students at conference. We were the ASD reps for UND and UMary.
Marcie, Shell, Amber, and Me

I'm really excited about this years conference because there are a lot more students coming from ND. Last year it was only us four, and this year there are four different ASD reps, along with 8+ more Mary students and at least 4 more UND students. (I'm not sure exactly.) It's really encouraging to see how much we're growing.

Another exciting thing was how many ppl were recruited to NDOTA at the conference. There were over 30 students who joined NDOTA for the first time. There were 65 students there and that's encouraging for a first annual conference. :) That's all for now.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Level 1 Fieldwork

So I'm done with fieldwork and back to school. It was a lot of fun but I was ready to get back home and stop living out of my suitcase. :) On Thursday and Friday I administered the CAM on a patient and watched the MVPT with her too. I'm glad the therapist was in the room with me. I went in the room pretty confident, but made a few simple mistakes that I'm glad she caught. I watched three therapists administer it that week and they all did it a little different but the same. Wednesday we went on a community outing to a local grocery store. There were three patients, along with and OT, SLP and Rec Therapist. Each patient had three goals for the trip involving ordering their lunch, ambulating ____ft, finding the items in the aisles, etc. They each got a grocery list that they decided for the next day's lunch and each therapist had one patient. The next day, they came to the OT kitchen and had to prepare, eat, and clean-up their lunch they had planned and their families could come. The whole experience was definately in a setting where I could see myself working in the future. Good stuff! :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I know I'm a year three student, but our school does things a little different. We do one level one fieldwork our second year and one our third year. After our third year we have two different 12 week fieldworks and a choice to do an additional fieldwork experience in Guatemala...which im doing of course. :) We also have different things that we do throughout OT school that count as another level 1 FW. Right now I'm doing a Level 1 FW doing Inpatient Rehab and Transitional Care. So far things are going really well and I'm really enjoying it. It's definately something I could see myself doing in the future, but not forever. :)There are a lot of pts with TKAs and THAs, but also a lot of variety with tumor removal where different parts of the brain are affected, CVAs, TBIs, along with some really interesting secondary diagnoses. I thought it would feel longer and redundant, but I really like it. They have so much fun equipment and really great programs. There is a lot more variety there than at home. I've gotten to work with a few therapists and a couple students. At first I was nervous about having more than one educator but I've found that I really like it. I get to see a bigger variety of treatment methods and diagnoses. One of our assignments for school with this FW is to do the COPM on a pt. Since my site doesn't really use the COPM, we have decided that I will be doing the CAM along with ADL history. So tomorrow I'm observing a student who will be completing the CAM with one of her pts and I will do it on Thursday. It will be nice to get a refresher before I do it on my own. Everyone has been great to me and I've enjoyed working with everyone so far, my main educator is really amazing. She has great interactions with her clients and coworkers. She is always optimistic, compassionate, and considerate. I definately have learned a lot (it's only the second day) and am really glad I was placed at this site.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

OT School Projects

I'm going to write a little about our current projects in school so if I blog about them ppl know what I'm actually talking about. It will probably get quite wordy, so if you aren't interested, I'd recommend skipping it. :)
One project we're working on right now is our Slagle House project. There actually is a Slagle House in California, and our projected is somewhat designed from it. In our program, we really don't cover a lot of 'business class' info, so Slagle House is a great way to get some practice. My understanding is that we have the floor plans of the house in California, and we create our own clinic from that. We are split into groups of three and each serve a different population. Some include women who are abused, at risk youth....sorry youth at risk (people first!!) :), adults with chronic mental health issues, well elderly with depression, one more child population, and another adult/elderly population dealing with substance abuse. Sorry, I can't remember them all off hand. Since there are so many groups, we're split into two houses and each group of three has a floor of the house for their clinic. (there are three floors in each house.) My group's clientele are adults with chronic mental health issues and we're on the second floor of the house. We're given a 3 year budget and are put to work. We 'shop' online for everything possible we'd need in our clinic from office supplies to furniture to assessments to appliances. We 'hire' however many people we need in whatever professions would benefit our clients the most. We take into account demo and construction costs, utilities, transportation, groceries, marketing, insurance, etc., and inflation is calculated in for each year. We have a daily schedule that includes all of our services. Areas we will work with our clients are social skills, community integration, home management, meal planning & preparation, job skills, & stress management. We stick to our budget, write a business plan, and create a floor plan that fits our needs. When the project is completed, we have 40 minutes to present on what makes our program unique. I have REALLY enjoyed working on this project. I don't feel like I could go open my own practice tomorrow or anything, but I have a better handle on what it would all involve. Does anyone else do anything like this in their programs? Or even anything like this that has to deal with the business side of OT?
Another project that we're working on is our Community Partners in Service Project aka our theses. We start working on this our first year in OT school and it becomes our thesis our second and third year. We have a list of places available to us and can pick our top three choices. I am with a segment of our local Parks and Rec program called B.L.A.S.T. (Bismarck Life After School Time). It includes the vast majority of after-school programs in Bismarck. I started this project working with two other classmates and we were assigned to a specific school. Our needs assessment showed two main areas of need. The other two group members were pretty passionate about working with discipline and I was passionate about working with structured activities and job satisfaction so we decided to split and cover them both. Once that was decided, the administration of the program thought that since we were covering two areas, we should be put into two different schools (which makes sense, but doesn't necessarily deal with our needs assessment). So I was switched to a different elementary school in town. They actually have great structure and play great games. So my quantitative study on job satisfaction and certain structured activities (in a small nutshell) has been changed a few times and now is looking like it will be a qualitative study on what it is like to lead an after-school program as high school and college students.....i hope!! I have to make quite a few changes to what I've already written so we'll see how it goes. The results of my study have to be presented the first week of May, but my actual thesis doesn't have to be completely written up and bound until December. I definitely don't plan on waiting that long, but knowing that I have some extra time know eases my mind a bit. This week is actually spring break so I'll be spending quite a bit of my time on it. The week after is a one week fieldwork experience so that'll be exciting.
Yet another project we are working on this semester is at a retirement home within the community. We are partnered with Physical Therapy students and a client from the retirement home. Every week one of the groups leads an exercise activity for the ppl living in the retirement home. After the exercise group we spend time with our client. We do an eval, get to know them a little, and assess things like their strength, ROM, ADLs, some IADLs, etc. We then give them ideas and make recommendations, etc. I've really enjoyed this experience, but our client has been pretty sick the last couple weeks with pneumonia. If they're not better by tomorrow we'll have to bring them a get well package. I really hope they're feeling better very soon!
Ok, that's enough for now............don't want to bore you too much!! :)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Quick n Dirty Fundraising Ideas

Ok, so here are a couple free money fundraising ideas if anyone is looking for any. :)

Some are for a trip this summer to Africa that Andy and I are planning on going on with the youth group for three weeks in July. = $3000
Others are for one of my fieldworks to Guatemala with some of my classmates in November. = $1800

#1. Go to your local Pizza Hut and pick a date that works with them. Print off flyers with that date and post them/leave them everywhere and with everyone. We're planning on putting them on cars on campus and off. Then on that date you get 20% of all profits from that night when ppl bring their flyers in.
#2. The website is set up for non-profit organizations. You can set up your own account and for every search ppl use on the site you get 10 cents. It's powered by Yahoo so you get pretty legit results. I Google daily, and if you have a big group/congregation/family that would change their homepage to Goodsearch, you could get some moola.
#3. This is my favorite. Go to Sam's Club and buy a 24 pack of mini M&Ms that are in the canisters/tubes. Type up these directions on address labels and hand them out:
1. Eat and enjoy the M&Ms
2. Fill the container with spare quarters
3. Pray for us as we prepare for the trip
4. Return to ________ by _________
Once you collect all of the containers, count up your money and that's all there is to it. Each container can hold $14 in quarters. So that's $1400 for 100 tubes. It's nice because you don't have to collect money and deliver something, or force ppl to buy something. Everyone has spare change laying around, so give them one or two tubes for two months and you'll have some much needed funds. :)

Does anyone else have any ideas?????

Saturday, February 23, 2008

1st ever ND student OT conference

So today was the first ever ND student OT conference. It went over really well. There were around 70 students there which is really good for a first time thing! There were OT students from UMary and UND and OTA students from LRC and NDSCS. We had the PTE advisors as the keynote talking some about the Centennial Vision (AOTA) and also the 'four i's' we need to approach our work with: Intellegence, Imagination, Integrity, and Inspiration. Then we had four break-out sessions throughout the day. One was on therapy dogs that are trained here in ND. They can be trained for most anything and are great working with ppl that have various disabilities. Some are used for mobility, some for hearing, some for seeing, some for sensing low blood sugar, others for early detection of seizures, and even more. It's amazing to see what they can do. The website of the company that talked to us today is: and is another site in Fargo that works with therapy dogs. We also were talked to about the recovery model. The OT and OTA from the State Hospital presented on this. They have they're programmed designed so it's set up more like a community than a controlling hospital environment. Recovery is a continuous process and we need to have our own choices in the medical setting in how our recovery will go since it's up to us when we get out. Another topic was benefits packages in our future jobs. There's so much out there to know when looking for jobs. I honestly felt like I needed to be there for another hour or so to really understand each individual thing, but oh well. Our last session was on Assistive Tech. The guy who talked about it was SOOOO knowledgable and passionate about what he did. He used a lot of websites as resources that were really great. One video he used to portray people of all types was , which was so right. There were quite a few tears shed after that one. talks about universal design for learning and . Another great video we watched was, which is about a man that was born with Spinal Muscle Atrophy and does everything with a switch with his thumb. He goes incredibly fast, I can't even imagine!!!!!!!!!! Anyway, that was pretty much the conference today. Happy Saturday!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Cool in School

BRRRRRRRRR!!! So it was 30 below without the windchill last night so I bet it was around 50 degrees below zero. It's been freezing here! Gotta love North Dakota! So since the beginning of the school year, there has been freezing air blowing into the OT lab. It's less than 50 degrees in there. Lol, we wear plenty of layers. Today I was sporting the sweatpants with tights underneath, along with a long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, and Northface vest. I was still a little cold with all that! Last night we had Assistive Tech and talked about the PECS system for teaching kids how to communicate. It works best with autistic children. It was really neat watching videos with children that have worked with it. There were also a lot of fun communication devices for kids with low vision or hearing along with developmental disorders. Today we did some excitatory & inhibitory exercises to use on clients. A lot of it was review, but it's nice to get some extra practice in, and to get it done to you. Anyway, I have to get going to youth group (Andy's getting a little inpatient) (:o). Afterwards I have to finish my part of the Slagle House project, and read the rest of the chapter for my small group girls. They're highschoolers that I help out with at church and we're reading Captivating together. Every Thursday morning we get together to eat breakfast and talk about it before school. These girls are amazing!!! Don't know what I'd ever do without them in my weeks! Goodnight!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Ok, I think this is super cool.
I've been running into different OT blogs since the beginning of the semester and I just spent the last two hours reading a few ppls. I know it's a little excessive, but it's one of those things that you just get lost in. I was experiencing some major 'flow'. I really like the idea of doing this as an OT thing. Putting what I had learned each day for the past 3 years of OT school would've been a great idea. It would be a great place for pics and review whenever I need it. So for now I'll just have to use other's OT blogspots for learning/review. :)