Archive for March, 2015

A bittersweet day

March 31, 2015

Today was my last day. Yes, I knew it was coming but even so I find that I am a little sad at this day ending. I have worked for the last 8 winters at Arizona Christian University, although it was called Southwestern College when I started there. ACU is located in Phoenix, Arizona and it a small Christian University. They have expanded a ton over the past years and now offer all kinds of degree programs.

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8 years ago when I started working here I had no idea what the job would eventually entail. Here’s the “rest of my story” about this job.

First of all, I was actually a volunteer here for these past 8 winters. That started when my husband Kent and I parked our RV house on the campus along with several other volunteer couples. That first year Kent was to teach a course at the college and then take some students to Africa for a true missions experience, Even though never happened. Kent helped out at several events that first winter as well as being part of a missions conference that the school held for several years.

I started out by walking around the campus and seeing flower boxes that need tending. I asked if I could “dead head” the flowers. “I was told, ” Yes, anything you want to do , go ahead.” I also added some flowers that first year as the other flowers looked so pitiful. Well, that was the way I got my job. People started calling me the “Flower Lady” and the name and the job kind of fit.

The college allowed us volunteers to stay on the campus for certain hours of work for them.

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When the baseball field was put in we had to move as we were sitting on the place where the field was going to be built. So those that wanted to stay working for the school moved to a Mobile home community nearby and we were still able to volunteer at the college.

I have enjoyed the work of beautifying this campus. ACU is situated on about 9 acres. But when the flowers didn’t need attention I would look for bushes to trim and other jobs. I helped with painting projects or cleaning up the shop area etc.

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But my love was always for the flowers. Each winter as I returned I had to replant the flowers as they had died in the summer heat.

The pots when I returned looked like this.

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But I would get out my tools, my wheelbarrow and my bucket and go to work and plant new little plants.

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Then I would tend those little plants and make sure they got enough water and fertilizing when needed. You can see they were happy plants.

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And they would grow

 
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Here they were especially pretty

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Even when I was away from ACU, I would be studying how to make it more beautiful. This winter I was particularly excited to help get this herb garden put in for the kitchen. The managers of the kitchen Mary and Keith were also excited about it and so they actually did the planting. I am sure they will care for it.

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I have enjoyed the relationships that I have made over the years, with students, staff and other volunteers. I will try to keep in touch but I know that when we make a move it changes these relationships. Here a pic of some of the volunteers that have worked together for most of these 8 years. It has been a joy to know these wonderful Christian friends and co-workers

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I am happiest when I can work in the flowers and see them flourish. Over the years I have added many bushes that are doing well and that also gives me pleasure. Almost every day would find me by these planters in front of the dining hall as they needed the most care.

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So after 8 winters, I am leaving as we will be locating in another part of Phoenix next winter to get more involved in a church that we have started attending there. I am not sure what God has in mind for me to do next winter but I have known that He has wanted me to move on to something else. So it is with mixed emotions that I said goodbye today. I will miss the relationships with those I have come to love.

May God Bless all of you that I have come to know and love at ACU. And may God bless ACU.

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With Love and gratitude,

Jan “The Flower Lady”

for the Roaming Reimers

Our baby grandson comes for a visit!

March 29, 2015

Oh yes, and he brought along his mom, our daughter Kara. Ivan and Kara came last week for a short but very sweet visit to our house.  Ivan at 4 months old was smiling and laughing and very much responding to anyone who looked his way.

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Someone asked us what we did, we so enjoyed Ivan and Kara.

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We did go to a train park and model train museum. Ivan slept through it but we adults enjoyed it.

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Ivan slept on our bed for naps…Kara swaddles him and it helps him to sleep better.IMG_2130IMG_2131

We did get to take Ivan and Kara to our nice pool. I think Ivan liked it as he didn’t cry.

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We are so grateful for this great visit. We got lots of visiting done and lots of holding Ivan.

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Thanks for coming Kara and Ivan…and Nick thanks for letting them come! We love you all.

Love,

Jan for the Roaming Reimers

Our daughter’s birthday

March 26, 2015

A few days ago our only daughter turned 33. When I think of that I can hardly believe that many years have gone by already.

Wasn’t it only yesterday that I held that dear sweet little girl in my arms? or she played with her big brother?

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Or when I asked her to watch the laundry at 3 years old, she literally watched the washer go through the entire cycle.

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And hearing her run into the house saying that her brother Joshua, two years older had told her how to accept Jesus, and she had.

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Seeing her so very excited to start school and learning so much so fast.

At age 10 she heard a pastor challenging the people to read through the entire Bible…that year was the first time she did, and many more years since.

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I think of her as a preteen and all the friends and the outings that we did. I remember her telling me that I didn’t have to go on all her school field trips. I told her Yes I did, that is what a good mother did. But I didn’t have to be in her group…then when my girls were having such fun, her group joined in with ours. (Hah).

As a teen when she chose basketball over playing the piano..I was saddened, not her.

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She and her brother have always been very close
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Her graduation from high school was special and we all celebrated with her. She looked very adult here with her dad

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Off to college and me holding back my tears as I knew she was so excited to go..and I with mixed emotions.

College years, she grew up way too fast for me. But I was so proud of her. Here she is with roommates and other friends.

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College graduation

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Then years of working as a teacher and eventually with the severe Special Needs students.

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At her brother’s wedding
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One day she asked me if I wanted to meet her “friend” Nick? Of course I said YES… and before long Nick was coming around a lot more.

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She was very proud and happy to become an aunt to Silas.

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Then we got a call while we were in Uganda, Africa to say “I’m engaged!”

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Your wedding day…Kara, we couldn’t have been happier for you and proud of you.

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Good times as they enjoyed married life:

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Kara went on to graduate with her Masters Degree in Special Needs Education:

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Now she has been married to Nick for 8 years, and along comes a pregnancy and little Ivan has joined our family.

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And how fast he is growing..

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Happy birthday Kara..we are so glad that God saw fit to put you into our family. We love you so much and are more proud of you than words can express.

Love Mom for the Roaming Reimers