It’s been ONE Month at NWC

On Monday it will be officially one month since I moved here to Northwestern. So much has happened in just this one month that it has felt much longer than that! I have seen my mom twice since they dropped me off πŸ™‚ and I’ve seen the rest of my family once. Here are some serious (and some silly) Pros and Cons from the past month!
Some Pros:

  • I’ve met more music nerds here than I’ve ever met before! πŸ˜€
  • I can walk everywhere I need to go! No more driving 20 minutes!
  • There is a more even number of guys to girls here than at Schaeffer. πŸ˜‰
  • I have listened to all of Bach’s Goldberg Variations for Counterpoint class.
  • By the end of Honors OT, I will have written my own summary book of all of the OT!
  • I can earn MONEY helping people with music theory!! πŸ˜€
  • I now have friends from Wisconsin, Hungary, Colorado, Illinois, more from MN, and lots of other places!

Some Cons:

  • I miss sharing a room with Jenna!!
  • It can sometimes be hard to find time (or places) to be alone.
  • I don’t have a piano in my room (though there is one in my building… otherwise there are ~20 practice rooms in Totino!).
  • I do homework ALL weekend and EVERY Β afternoon/evening… except for last evening! Maybe I’m getting back into the swing of school and getting faster at writing all these papers and reading all of these books and articles. πŸ™‚
  • Some of my new friends are struggling with difficult things.
  • I am struggling with past things that I never expected would come back up.
  • Too much cleaning! I HATE the strong smells of cleaner in our dorm every Saturday morning. πŸ˜› haha
  • SO many people go home on the weekends! Good for getting homework done, but sad if you want to hang out or goof off with people who left.

Well, I’d better get back to those papers that I mentioned needing to write… πŸ™‚ Adios for now, my friends!

Colorado — THE Petersen Vacation of 2012 — Pictures!

Sitting on Balanced Rock

In the Rockies

Mom & Dad on top of Pike’s Peak

On top of Pike’s Peak!

The stained glass inside was absolutely gorgeous!

At the Air Force Academy Chapel in Colorado Springs

Colorado — THE Petersen Vacation of 2012 (#2)

(Sorry this is kind of a long post because we’ve done a lot in the past two days!)

Yesterday we took it a little easy. I have to say I was a little relieved because I’ve been quite tired during this trip. I don’t sleep well in new places or in the car, thus I haven’t gotten a lot of rest. God blessed me last night with 9 blessed hours, however, and today I had plenty of energy for the fun things that entailed.

Yesterday we went to see Pike’s Peak. I LOVED the drive up as we kept going higher and higher. The drive to the top takes almost an hour, but it seemed to go very quickly because there were so many new views to ooh and ah at. The hairpin turns were a little nerve-wracking, but the views were absolutely spectacular. I couldn’t get enough pictures, though none of them do justice to the great cliffs and depth of the shadows from the clouds. You can see for miles and miles at the top; I can only imagine what early explorers like Lewis and Clark thought of views like that after climbing the treacherous, wearying clefts. At the top it was 52 degrees, so I should have brought my sweatshirt! Silly me; oh well. πŸ™‚ There were SO many rocks at the top, so I guess I know where the Rockies got their name.

When we came down from the mountain we returned to our cabin and chilled for the evening, which I loved. I finished a book that I started the day before and began a new one. I also watched more TV last night than I have all year! Reed, Jenna, and I watched Storage Wars for over an hour before I went to take a shower and read some more. I fell asleep thinking about how God can change me through what I am reading (definitely a good way to doze off!).

This morning we tried to find the Royal Gorge but instead ended up driving in an hour-long circle. πŸ˜› Whoops! At least the scenery was very beautiful! Since we couldn’t find it we turned around and went to Colorado Springs again.
In Colorado Springs today we ate lunch at Chic-fil-A. Then we found the Compassion International USA office and toured there. They have beautiful statues in the lobby depicting their Christ-centered, child-focused mission, as well as showing how Compassion’s work with children can influence a whole community. Then Sean (our tour guide) showed us the history of Compassion and how it all started back in 1952 in South Korea. I knew that Compassion really built up the economic, social, and spiritual stability of South Korea, but I never realized that S. Korea is now a partner country with the USA and 11 other countries to sponsor children themselves! How COOL is that?! Amen, Jesus!!!
All along the walls was artwork done by various sponsored children. When Sean was talking about the 3 programs: child sponsorship, leadership development, and survival, my heart was drawn to the survival program for mothers and their babies (from conception to age 3). Abba, do You want me to sponsor a survival program center??
Then we got to see where they process all of the letters!! That was my favorite part. πŸ˜€ Sean said that over 5 million letters from sponsors are processed each year, and that doesn’t even include the letters from the children! How crazy!! I left postcards for Andrea, Blinzler, and Tumpesia (my sponsored children) there. πŸ™‚ Finally we got to see a replica of a child development center (basically like a small, one-room schoolhouse). They had toys, books, shoes, crayons, hygiene stations, and lost more, though it surprisingly didn’t look crowded. Sean said that each child is put in a group with a few others in their age category (3-5, 6-9, 10-12) with one or two other tutors that give them specifically the attention they need to succeed.
I’m SO glad we got to visit Compassion!!

After leaving Colorado Springs we drove around Denver to Estes Park (which includes Rocky Mountain State Park). Dad was testing my patience because we spent 2 hours driving past all of these different lodges and motels looking for one to stay in, but not stopping at any of them. Weird, I agree, but we finally stopped at one by 8 p.m. and were able to get a little cabin, which is nice. πŸ™‚ We walked downtown to look in little stores and find some food (finally!) before coming back to rest. It’s surprising how tiring traveling can be! But Abba has sustained me, especially through Psalm 23. Amen, LORD Jesus.

Colorado — THE Petersen Vacation of 2012

I can’t believe that we are taking a road trip as a family that is (get this!) 10 DAYS long! I’m in shock!! It has been so fun (even though there have been interestingly annoying times too in the car with a brother who still finds reason and chance to poke and pester… πŸ˜‰ ) to spend time with my parents and siblings. I am taking in every quirk and -ism of each person because I know that I will be missing all of these very shortly.

On Saturday night we stayed at my Nelson Grandparents’ house before leaving early to head West. We traveled through corn-filled Iowa, dry and brown Nebraska, and finally arrived in desert-like Colorado! We stayed in Castle Rock, CO the first night before traveling to Colorado Springs to see the Air Force Academy, Focus on the Family, and Garden of the Gods (or, more accurately, of GOD).

The Air Force Academy was SO interesting to visit. The chapel was by far my favorite part. It was gorgeous inside, with beautiful rainbow stained glass and purple colors. It also had a grand organ in the upper balcony of the chapel which reminded me of the organ at Bethel Lutheran in Rochester (only it wasn’t QUITE that big). We toured the exhibit that talked about cadet life and other interesting things about the Air Force. Their gift shop was huge – I guess they take memorabilia pretty seriously. πŸ˜›

Focus on the Family had a beautiful bookstore — perfect place to hide away for a few minutes! They also had a very fun-looking Whit’s End replica with tons of things that kids would LOVE to play with and explore.

The Garden of the Gods had great red rock formations of sandstone. They had named the different rocks; my favorite has to be the Kissing Camels (because yes, it does look like two camels kissing!!). The Balanced Rock was pretty cool, too, though because we got to take pictures of us pretending to hold the giant, 7-ton rock up. πŸ™‚

Tonight we got to our “cabin” in Woodland Park which Jenna said is really close to where the mission team was when they were here a month ago! Pretty sweet if you ask me. Reed and I “went hot-tubbing” (according to him) and then we watched the Olympics for the second time this year. I love watching those gymnastics girls on the bars twirl and flip. They’re so graceful and lovely to watch; I thank God for the beauty and splendor of the human body He has made every time I see it.

Well, time for some much-needed rest! Tomorrow we will get to tour Compassion International!! SO excited! I have postcards to send to my three wonderful sponsored children. πŸ˜€ I want to learn more about their internship program and see how they translate and organize Β ALL of those letters!