Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Good Samaritan in Joplin

Man, it sure has been a long time since I've blogged :) Here I sit at McDonald's soaking up the free WiFi. You see I've been on medical leave for 3 weeks and am getting sick of seeing the walls of my own house so I'll just prop my leg up on a booth seat :) Other than a small blood clot I'm recovering rather quickly.

I can't believe how fast this summer has gone! I've had the good fortune to spend time with family and friends, have a vacation in Arizona, was in a wedding in July (gosh, I looked pretty stellar), worked on my tan, and simply enjoyed the summer; however, the best and most fortunate experience I can say that I had was helping with the disaster relief in Joplin.

My big brother and myself packed up on a Friday night not knowing what we were going to do but knew we were going to help somewhere. My Dad has gone down several days before us but due to our work schedules were were unable to get off work. Our old youth pastor and his family lead a ministry at their church to assist those in need. The first night we arrived we simply organized tables of donated items. All sorts of things! The sanctuary was packed of items and we organized the tables so families could quickly come in and obtain the items they needed. It was so amazing to me with so much sadness and despair that people were so friendly when it was evident they were aching, it was so nice to be a part of this ministry. It also amazed me how different men and women's minds are organized. I had to work at a different table from my brother because his organization techniques weren't the same as mine. Call this control or whatever you have but I just couldn't handle it!

The next day we ventured back to the church to determine how they could use us. We met up with some people that had driven in from Wisconsin, Kentucky, all over the U.S. to show their support-truly amazing! We got our waters and dirty clothes on and were off to find an adventure. The people we rode with let us know that it would be an emotional day and that things really look worse in person than TV. They told us to be ready that we would probably cry throughout the day at times and to open yourself and allow yourself to know that's okay (I couldn't cry, I was with my big bro). It's true, words can't explain the total destruction that Joplin residences faced and continue to face. There were too many people helping at the nursing home so we randomly went up to a house and asked if they needed our help. Here's where the adventure begins!

We met an 80 year old man that was on medicine, walked with a cane, and has lost his wife a month prior to the tornado. Losing a wife and then totally losing a house the next month-wow! His two daughters had come in town one from Oklahoma and one from Washington in order to help their father find items they needed. His house had literally been flipped upside, spun into a few jumping jacks, and then laid randomly in the backyard. There's just no other way to explain it. The only thing the man wanted was paperwork about his wife (I assume social security paperwork), his medicine, his steel canes, and trophies. Not many things at all considering he'd lived in the house over 30 years.

We used chain saws, cleaned out rooms, removed layers of debri, and literally sawed into the house to find these items. It was amazing to find pictures of himself and his wife left untouched while somethings were completely destroyed. His daughters found join in small things such as a picture left untouched which they had drawn in middle school and a stain glassed creation one of the made.

We were at this house for the entire day, probably over 6 hours, trying to help him find these items. Many of the people we were with were ready to stop but there was one man that was determined to continue in order to find these few things the 80 year old man wanted. This good Samaritan continued to dig, put himself under items that could easily fall, and was filthy while doing so but was determined to help this man-what a good guy. He communicated several times, "This is the only thing the man wants and I want to help him find it."

Not going to lie, I was ready to go. I had to pee so bad! After being out in the field for 6+ hours, I'm pretty certain my eyes were yellow. This good samaritan just wouldn't stop. My sensation to urinate finally depleted, as I started helping again (Okay, I hid in a garage and used the restroom!). It was neat to see items finally being found piece by piece and the smile on the 80 year old man when seeing the things we brought him was priceless as he told us many memories (he was very unsteady, used a cane, and watched from the road while sitting in his car because he wasn't healthy enough to be assisting) of the items we obtained.

We heard all about his past with his wife, his two daughters, about his gas company he used to run, and many other fun things. Once we found both the canes he wanted, his will/wife's paperwork, some medicine (not all of it unfortunately), and the trophies he wanted it was time to depart. This man was ever so thankful for complete strangers showing up to his house and especially thankful for the good Samaritan that didn't quit and marched forward in finding the items he wanted. When it was time to depart it was an emotional moment as the 80 year old gentleman thanked us for our help.

I have no doubt in my mind we were lead to this man. His name is Douglas and that just happens to be my brothers name. He had a dog that was stuck in the house for two days and was finally rescued with minor damage. My dog's name is Jazzy which is exactly what this special creatures name is as well! Some may think it's crazy but there's no doubt in my mind God sent us to this man.

As we told our new friend "Doug" good bye, I looked at the good Samaritan as he said his goodbye's while holding back tears and almost sounded like a teenager going through puberty with his cracky voice! Yes, I made fun of the good Samaritan because it was evident he was trying to hold back his tears and emotions. If you haven't determined the good Samaritan is my brother, Douglas, I know it sounds better that I made fun of him now, huh?

Although I made fun of my brother (and continue to do so), I have to admit I was proud to call him my brother and was proud of the accomplishments he helped the team make. Without Douglas, this man may never have seen his trophies, will, and most importantly his two canes ever again. I would like to think we all made a difference in this man's life but nothing compared to my big bro, Douglas! To this day, I think of how thankful I am for my brother as he comes to me in times of need (helping me house hunt, giving me a lawn mower, visiting me while in the hospital, and buying me diet pepsi when a girl's in real need) and although I am not good at expressing how proud I am to be his little sister, I hope he knows.

*The American flag picture above is of the man's house we assisted with cleaning up and finding items. The only thing remaining in his house standing was the stairwell behind the flag.

*Below is my brother, Douglas, searching for items in the man's house. He's actually in the kitchen in this picture which landed up in the backyard.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dinner at Beky's, 5 pm

I have decided that I love cooking! I've really been trying to try a variety of food while cleaning out my kitchen cabinets :) I'm going to start writing about some awesome meals that I've made; heck, if you're lucky...maybe I will make my own show-I see it now--Bekah and Beky (get it rather than Julie and Julia-okay, I think it's funny):

Weight watcher cookies:
-1 can of pumpkin
-1 box of yellow cake mix

Generally this recipe calls for Spice cake mix but I only had yellow cake mix so I spiced it up with some cinnamon to make it taste the same (better, I think).

Stir the ingredients together, bake on 350 about 10-12 minutes or until they seem done. You can make them into balls or just slab them onto the pan (that's what I often do!). Taste, love, and know that each cookies only 1 weight watcher point. Yumo.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Curly, Straight, Frizzy, Pony Tail.

Welp, tomorrow is my 29th birthday. I remember when I thought that age was so old-I guess 30 is the new 20 so really I'm only 19? Being my last year before I turn 30 I've decided that big things are going to happen for me this year. :) I will be writing about my bucket list in upcoming blogs (stay tuned). The fist thing I decided to do was make myself look hot prior to my birthday by trying different things with my hair as I often wear my hair in a pony tail, and so it goes...

Three days before my birthday: I decided I wanted to curl my hair. I youtubed how to curl your hair with a straightener and then just thought I would put my hair in curlers before I went to bed. When I was younger we used scraps of fabric and then tied it at the end...this made our hair look so curly while my parents really used their resources. The entire time I was putting my hair in curlers, I shot back to my Dad putting my hair in the fabric rollers...he yelled at me...I yelled at him...he yelled at me and so on while he was trying to make his daughter beautiful! Hey, it was worth the try :) Back to the here and now-I woke up the next morning and I looked like Curly Sue. My hair looked wild so I ended up using my straightener and my hair was straight as can be. Strike 1 on making myself look hot prior to my birthday. My hair ended up in a pony tail and my Dad's curling of my hair as I was a child was more successful than mine as an adult, Go Gregor!

Day 2 Before my birthday: I got a gift card to Beauty Brands so I thought it would be fun to buy myself one of those curling irons that makes your hair look wavy. I'd never tried it so I thought it would be great. On my way to buy it, I was talking to my sister on the phone and we decided that it would be good if I put my hair in braids after I showered before I went to bed so it would be more wavy. Being the good sister that I have, she even called me back to make sure that my hair was a little dry before I put the braids in so I took her good advice to work and braided away (Hair partly dry). I woke up the next day with about 12 braids all throughout my head. I was so excited..I was going to be looking stunning that day in preparation for my birthday. I took the braids out. WOAH. I looked like I crimped my hair and walked straight out of an 80's band. I tried to use the new curling iron I bought to settle those crimps and make it look more wavy; however, I ended up with a FRO. Turns out, I straightened my hair AGAIN after trying to look stunning. I thought I had tamed my hair a little bit until someone at work asked me, "Uhhh, did you crimp your hair?" That's when I got the clue that my hair was a frizz ball and I pulled it back into a pony tail.

Day 1 before my birthday (Today): I didn't do a darn thing to my hair. I had a snow day so relaxed in my Northwest sweat pants (GO Bearcats!) and one of my Dad's old t-shirts (Not certain he knows I have it, but once he finds out he will be calling me or texting me to bring it back to him).

Tomorrow's my birthday: You may be thinking to yourself...well, she tried to curl her hair, she tried to make her hair wavy, so what's she going to do for her hair on her actual birthday? NOT A DANG THING! If you see me, plan on seeing my usual pony tail but I'll have a smile on my face knowing I'm proud to be me, don't know how to do my hair, need a new hair do, and most importantly comfortable in my skin-- frizzy, wavy, straight hair or even in a pony tail.

Here's to being 29! On a side note, if you wanna do my hair I'm open to it :)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Black Friday Characters

I had the opportunity to go shopping on Black Friday and boy was it fun. I really didn't have anything to get, anything that I wanted, but simply couldn't miss out on the fun. My sister and I have gone twice to get items we wanted and stayed the night at Best Buy and Wal-Mart on two separate occasions to get a new computer and TV so we couldn't pass up the opportunity to shop till we drop. We went with one of our friends, Lacey, and we all turned into different characters in the mad rush...

Me, like I said earlier I didn't want anything or need anything-just simply there for the good times. We first started out at Toys R US and waited in the cold for an hour and a half talking about everyone else (most likely and not realizing how crazy we looked). I was told by my partners in crime, Stacey and Lacey, to run in and get items for them. I did run in, get items, but of course they weren't the right items! I didn't buy anything at Toy R Us so this is when I got my character, when I heard Lacey say, "Bekah, will you go pull up the car?" as I then had keys in my hand before I knew it! You got it...I was just like Morgan Freeman on Driving Ms Daisy. I picked the gals up and you better believe it they BOTH sat in the back of this small SUV and we were off to our next destination.

We went to Wal-Mart and the store was already open, but we had to wait until midnight to get the good deals as everyone waited around pallets of merchandise for the clock to strike midnight. I didn't lose my glass slipper when it struck midnight; however, I did lose my clutch! I had a paniac attack for a minute and then went back and found it---luckily it has just fallen off my arm not too far from me and wasn't touched by anyone :)

Lacey and Stacey were both shopping around Wal-Mart and had me plotted out to find certain items. Thus, Stacey's personality came out, she was ready to fight just like Sylvester Stalon in Rocky for any items that she or Lacey wanted. Put your dukes up, she did get one of the 4 trampolines that were sold at Toys R Us that she wanted to get for my mom but was even more ready to fight for the things she wanted at Wal-Mart. (Being sisters, I'm sure we fought several times throughout the night as well but she started it all!)

My big purchase of the night/morning was a 45 peice Rubbermaid container set for 9.00 yahoo...so as you can imagine it didn't take me long to go through the cashiers. (On a side note--I do feel bad for the Wal-Mart stalkers as I piled up on things that I thought my sister or Lacey would want and by the time I got to the cashier, I had 3 bags full but after talking to them on the phone, about 2.5 of the bags were left in the checkout line...my bad!) Back to the check outline and not taking long-you guessed it Morgan Freeman came out again and drove Ms. Lacey and Rocky to Target. I picked them up outside of Wal-Mart and AGAIN they both got in the back.

This leaves us at Target. We arrived there at 1:00 in the morning and it didn't open until 4:00 a.m. Lacey then turned into her two personalities, a mixture of June Cleaver and Madea.

Lacey was the most prepared throughout the entire night. She had a great idea to take reusable bags to use in the stores rather than having to push a cart (because this takes too much time) and I would highly recommend doing this if you plan to shop on Black Friday, had hand sanitizer in her purse because you get so dirty when shopping, had a list of all items she wanted at each store (written out in an organized manner), mapped the night out so we could get the best deals, and sure didn't mind showing me on the map where to go to ensure she got the items she needed. Don't let her fool you though, although she is part June Cleaver she turned Madea a couple of times when she talked about inappropriate things while waiting in line. (For anyone that knows Lacey her talking inappropriately comes as no surprise here) Yes, Lacey would've fought someone for the Leapsters that she got for only 25.00 and probably would've pulled a gun if need be so her little kids could get the Leapsters for Christmas! I can just picture Lacey taking her purse and smacking someone in the head while saying, "Hellllooooo."

The night finally ended around 6 in the morning when we couldn't walk, talk, or think anymore. Lacey's friend, Nicole, came around 3 and meant all business. She was ready to still go shopping by 6 but we were simply too pooped out!

It sure was fun spending time with Rocky and June/Madea combo and am really enjoying my rubbermaid containers. Gosh, I got a good deal :)

Another day, another dollar!

I've always been someone that likes to save money and yet still try to stretch it for all it's worth. My sister recently shared some web sites that I thought were pretty stinking cool to help save money which includes:
Hiptosave.com and pennypinchinmom.com as they have some cool deals.

My favorite thing was a subscription to ESPN for only 3.99 for a year which was found on hiptosave.com

Check some of them out and happy saving :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Google stalking

Wow, life goes fast and sometimes you don't even realize how fast it goes. I use to (hear the word, use to) work out at the North Kansas City Community Center and was there so often I met several people. There was one guy that was really nice, Todd, and he often talked to my roommates and I about ways to help us get healthier and always had a tip how to do something better. He gave me several work out plans of which I was always excited to get started. The last time I saw Todd he didn't look very good and I was actually in awe that it was him because he looked about 15 years older than what I'd last seen him; however, he was playing basketball so I didn't go and talk to him.

Well, every once in a while I like to google search people (I know I'm weird but you can find out a lot about someone from the internet), to see what their up to and as I googled Todd I found that he passed away two years ago from pancreatic cancer and I had no idea. I wondered why I hadn't seen him around town as I often saw him out at clubs, grocery stores, and other places besides the gym. Thinking about it in my head, I'm sure when I saw him and thought he didn't look good he was probably going through chemo, radiation, or simply couldn't figure out why he wasn't feel well. Looking back, I wish I would've gone and talked to him and maybe given him that little bit of encouragement he may have needed for the day.

I know he impacted several individuals lives as he was an AAU coach for young girls basketball and no doubt in my mind those girls had a tough time saying bye to him. I pray his family is doing okay and maybe just maybe Todd was on my mind because he was trying to tell me to work out! Rest in peace Todd and thanks for showing me how precious life really is...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

We are FAMILY...

"Family traditions counter alienation and confusion. They help us define who we are; they provide something steady, reliable and safe in a confusing world."

Family traditions are something that doesn't lack in my family! Some of our traditions are probably rather boring to some but some are pretty creative and fun so I decided to share a few of them, feel free to let me know some of your traditions (heck, I might steal one of them if it sounds good!)

First and foremost we will start with January. Mark it on your calendars my birthday is the 21st, no we don't do anything outrageous for my birthday but I do enjoy presents and can give you my address if you need it. This actually does start off a family tradition--BIRTHDAYS. My "Mema," has a birthday dinner for everyone's birthday in the same month (lucky me, I'm the only one in January so it's all about Bekah-but I think it should always be that way!) Mema is an awesome cook and she lets the birthday people pick what they want to eat, she does all the cooking, and then it's time for the party. Prior to eating my Pa prays and blesses the food and the birthday person gets to go first. Yippie!

-Mother's Day-My Aunt Kelly often has us all over to her house and we celebrate our Mother's, Grandmothers, and Aunts for blessing us in so many ways. Yes, we eat eat eat.

-Easter--Sunday dinner is great. (Again, Mema is an awesome cook). We of course eat the ever tasty Easter meal after going to church and then the big and fun part comes in (which I think is very creative on my Mema's part). She gets tree limbs from outside, makes a tree, and somehow bright colored eggs appear on the tree. Inside the eggs someone gets to find the GOLD, all of the eggs have money in them but one certain egg has more than everyone else along with candy. (Don't worry, I tried to cheat on this game and find out what egg had the most and they switched it up because I was eying the egg with the GOLD in it!). It's a big competition to see who can find the egg with the most money!

Throughout the summer months, we go camping (often in at the same campground-same camping spot) where lots of memories and good times are made. The kids have a blast getting dirty, spending time doing outdoors things, and getting to spend time with one another.

The Fourth of July-for many years has consisted of going to my Aunt and Uncle's house where we BBQ and watch fireworks by their pond; however, lately has been going to Smithville Lake while camping to watch the display there. Either way-time spent with Family.

September is a big birthday month for our family- My Pa, My cousin, -sister in law, and aunt. You better believe we are partying fools, and yes, by "partying fools," I mean eating a lot, playing cards/games, and taking naps.

The Fall time is one of my favorite times of the year as I feel like so much time is spent with the family. October-Carving pumpkins at my Aunt and Uncles house has been a long tradition since I was a child and continues until this day! My Aunt and Uncle's house burnt down several years ago but we didn't let that stop us; we carved with barely any lights, tables we brought in just to carve pumpkins, and no furniture.

A few weeks before Thanksgiving we pack up the car (we're leaving in the morning) and head to Branson. We enjoy times of shopping, eating tasty food, family fun, and of course seeing the fun things at Silver Dollar City related to Christmas including the thousands of Christmas lights. I tell stores to the kids and even had one of my nieces looking for her imaginary friend all over Branson (Her name was Kalita and I still get in trouble for this) This is a fun outing and many memories have been made-

Thanksgiving-Yum, we will eat lots of food, taking naps, eat lots of food, and take more naps. My Mema always had us look through JcPenny's catalogs as children and circle what we wanted for Christmas. Although we're a little older we still look through the adds and see what store we are going to stay the night at. Best Buy was two years ago, Wal Mart last year to get the latest steal. From standing in line all night to my sister in law being in the basement buying stuff online at her house-this really is a team effort. :)

Christmas-Christmas Eve we always go to my Mema and Pa's house and spend the day with them-again eating (seems like we do a lot of that), opening gifts, taking naps (yes, a lot of that too), and enjoying time with the family. For many years the three of us "Turner," kids always stayed the night at our mom and dad's house that night and got to open one present before Christmas---since my brother and sister are both so "grown up," now they come up that day. You better believe I still stay the night at my mom and dad's house that night (which is the same house they've been in since I was 18 months old) and even got snowed in for a couple of days last year. My brother and sister bring their families to my mom and dads, the "big kids" get a BINGO lottery ticket in their stockings to play before opening presents (My sister in law wins every single year), and then the kids pass out the gifts. I am still selected to help pass out the gifts but with my nieces and nephews getting so big I'm sure they will be taking my job soon---they did learn from the best.

You are probably wondering what these crazy pictures have to do with traditions-Yep, you brought me to my last one. Anytime we get a family picture taken we end up being goofy and calling it the "Simpson Pose." We aren't normal, never will be, and don't want to be...we are the TURNER's (and I'm luck to be one!).

(This is my brother, sister, and I being as "normal," as we can be---but what's normal anyway?)