It’s my first post and should probably therefore be called my first post

And I think for my first post, I’ll post my weekend activities. I went to DC and did and saw some great things, like the Great Hall in the Library of Congress.


And those stairs go up to the observation deck of the reading room in this pic:

But the pics don’t do it justice.

And then saw this Saturday afternoon:
http://www.u23dmovie.com/
At this IMAX theatre:
http://www.si.edu/imax/shows.htm#nhb

And then ate here Saturday evening:

It’s called the Lebanese Taverna. We ordered 6 or 7 small dishes of wonderful food, like some lamb kabob. So tender. And we had a dish that included yogurt and mint leaves and nuts. And it was exotically wonderful.

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February Update Letter 2008

Hello Friends and Family!

It has been awhile since I’ve sent you an update on the happenings of my life. You will notice it is coming from a new email address and there is the possibility I am sending it to you twice or to different email addresses. Please help me out by letting me know if you would like your email removed from my update list and which email address to use if I’ve used two.

Well, let’s see… November was eventful: Mom, Dad, Garrett, Kalene and I all celebrated Thanksgiving here in Lynchburg… all 5 of us were together for 5 days straight… what a wonderful adventure. We went to see Appomattox Court House and learned about Lee’s surrender to Grant… that was amazing! We drove up to Charlottesville and poked around UVA’s campus. We went out to Bedford to see the Natural Bridge- and enjoy God’s amazing creation!

I closed my first whole case, as in I worked with the client from start to finish. That was a tough day, but a beautiful day, she was so excited to have worked with me. The session where we talked about how soon I would be going to help another child, my client looked up at me and said, “yeah, other kids need you more than I do.”

That’s all I can remember from November!

December: I closed my second case, this one was very very hard because it meant officially saying goodbye to the family (from November). I made it through! At this point I also opened up a new case so I was working with two children.

Garrett and I went to Grand Rapids for Christmas! I got to see many of you, it was a wonderfully refreshing time!

January 1 I got my winter cold, and it stuck around for almost two weeks, bleuch. Then I took two intensives which means I was in class from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m for two weeks solid. I’m still working on assignments from those two weeks. God used several instances in my classes to continue healing me from what I experienced down in Florida, so praise God! I learned a lot in those two weeks and I got to meet some amazing men and women.

One of my clients “fired” me. And I started working with a now second client again. So now I have two clients and I will be doing my first intake next week to see about starting up a third client.

I’ve been reading through Ephesians and 1 Chronicles. Interesting mix but it’s working well. I’ve been considering the prayer Paul prayed for Timothy and how that applies to myself and the people around me. I’ve also been “watching” Solomon build the temple and his house.

I’ve started attending a Sunday School class called G.A.P (Graduates and Professionals), great group of people that I’m already having fun getting to know.

I have one more class this spring that starts in March as a distance class, then I will be “technically” half way done with my degree!!!

I’ve been helping my friend Tracy coach the LCA (Liberty Christian Academy- High school) Track team and I have been having a blast!

That’s all of the highlights at the moment!

How’s life for you?

October 2007 Update

Sent: Sunday, November 04, 2007 7:38 AM
Subject: FW: October Update from Nicole Humphrey

Happy Holidays!

I have been so excited this year to once again enjoy Fall! And what a vivid explosion of color! I hope Michigan fall was as beautiful as Virginia fall. Reds, magentas, oranges, yellows, browns, greens… wow! And the crunching noises of fall leaves! Yay! I have been driving with my windows down and my sunglasses on… ahh!

Well, I have acquired a new client, a little boy who is 5. He’s staffed at 10 hours a week (which means I spend 10 hours a week with him/his family), so I’m working about 24 billable hours each week and then my paperwork and meetings on top of that. I feel like it is a very full schedule. I am set to close out one of the little girls in about two weeks, and then her older sister a month later. I’ve been working this job for almost 5 months now. I feel as though I have grown and learned a lot in this time. I want to say thank you again to all of the incredible parents reading this email. You work a tough job daily. I admire your grace!

I finished my 5th class here at LU, in the middle of October and started on the next one! I am now 1/4th of the way finished with my degree! 15 classes to go… or something like that.

I was able to spend the weekend with Garrett in Charleston, SC recently, and we had a blast together!

My times of meditation and contemplation have lately included a study on wisdom, knowledge and understanding. I’ve noticed that the three words are usually linked. I’d love to hear your thoughts and perspectives on the three words. The two places I’ve been seriously chewing on are Job 38-40 and Proverbs.

As thanksgiving approaches, I’ve been pondering all that I have to be thankful for, and the list keeps growing. I hope the Lord is reminding you daily of all the blessings, he as a loving heavenly Father bestows upon us!

Until He comes! (or next month)

Nicole Elise
P.S. Christmas music is here!

Jeremy’s GrandCentral #

(434) ***-**** is my new GrandCentral phone number. It rings whatever phone number I’m using, whether home, voip or cell. It’s very cool. Talk to you soon, jjm.

September 2007 Update Letter

Sent: Mon, 24 Sep 2007 6:36 pm
Subject: September update from Nicole

September started out… still warm! It’s so beautiful watching fall come in slowly… I have some incredible drives I get to make multiple times a week, through all of these beautiful parkways… I love fall colors! and that crisp air feeling… yummy… one of my favorite fall activities is still… (blushing) crunching leaves! I love the sound! Crazy, oh well! In fact, my roommates and I on the first day of fall went to the bank of the James River up near the Blue Ridge Parkway to play in the warm sunshine!

Work- I had a pretty easy first two weeks of the month, not really by choice… one of my client’s parents decided to discontinue services w/ myself and the other therapist in the home… so I had an unplanned ‘vacation’? er? It was an interesting journey, learning about a discharge almost before I’d gotten the groove of working a case… but oh well… on to the next one. My next client seems to be as difficult as the last as far as problems (maybe worse) but his parents are more on board… wh/ is half the battle anyway. I tried a technique called a Sand Tray the other day, and I am so excited to use it with my clients. It feels silly when you first think about it, but it really allows the therapist using it to get a perspective on what is going on inside a client’s mind and emotions.

School- crazy, first huge paper 8-12 on my cultural background and my first quiz in my residential class. I’m beginning to wonder if this was a bigger bite to chew on than I originally planned.. but I’m almost at a loss on how to handle this, because one of the reasons I moved back to Lynchburg is to attend classes in the classroom, but… I don’t know if two residential classes, instead of my current route of one residential (16 wk) and two dlp (8 wk each, one at a time) would be easier or the same level of difficulty.

House- four girls in one home… equals… many opportunities to improve communication skills! Wow, I’m appreciating the passages in Scripture that talk about the home, the necessity for a head of the household, and I’m being challenged in the areas of loving my ‘neighbor’ and servant-leadership… so fun, but… WOW!

Churches- I am still actively looking, I’ve been bouncing around at a few different ones, I’m now in the process of trying different Sunday school classes/community/small groups at some of the ones I feel more drawn to, to determine what will be a good fit.

Friends/Relationships- I am having a blast spending time w/ the people God has placed in my life here in VA, breakfast, dinner, coffee, running, walking, tea, shopping, dropping by… etc… a different take on community than I’ve had before, but still a wonderful blessing.

I finished the book “Community 101” recently, good read, good questions, challenging concept, truly striving to be the body/bride/church of Christ… rather than a hubub of Christian activities.

I’m still leisurely reading through “The Hobbit”. I finished “Smart Women Finish Rich” a definite must read for all of the women who receive my updates! πŸ™‚ I haven’t even thought about what book to start next because my counseling classes have 3 books each!

Sad news: my desktop computer died, I might have mentioned this last month (?), and I’m in the market for a new laptop, but I’m trying to make sure I’m making good financial decisions these days, so I’m not in a rush…

Speaking of financial decisions, the company I work for just set up a retirement plan, so… I opened a retirement account! Whoa, but in the “Smart Women” book… they say you’re never too young to establish a retirement account. All of this is new territory for me, but I’m having a blast learning it all. Not sure what the next step will be… but on to the next part of the journey!

Interesting praise of the month…
my car has been squealing for awhile, and I’ve been putting off getting it fixed b/c of the potential cost… well I finally made the appointment, took it to the dealer and they said it was a belt problem, well my belt had been fixed w/in 10,000 miles… so I was ‘sure’ it wasn’t that… they offered to fix it for… $50, I asked to wait on it, when I went back to the dealership to pick up my car, they told me they had cut off the belt to look at it, so they replaced it w/ a new belt, for FREE! So, no squeal, it cost way less than I was expecting (duh! free is good!) and my car is fixed!

My mom is coming on Thursday and I am mega excited about that!

Further up and further in!

Nicole Elise

August 2007 Update Letter

“Humphrey, Nicole Elise” wrote:

What a month!

Should I start w/ the good? yes, lets! I started my first residential graduate class on the 21st, I started my 5th DLP course on the 20th… My roommates are incredible women. My parents have been incredibly supportive to me in so many ways, all of my life. My God is bigger and more amazing, and more comforting, and more than willing. The staff at The Madeline Centre have been and are incredible. Every time I mess up or something… I hear, ‘alright, lesson learned for next time’ and we move on. They are so giving and compassionate.

Okay, to be honest, this has been a hard month for me… I’ve encountered a lot of frustrating things… my car needs to be fixed and it looks like it’ll be an expensive fix, it’s drivable, but… it squeals… my desktop computer crashed… my friend is working on data recovery for me… but… looks like I’ll be buying a new laptop beginning of September… I almost had to close a case w/ one of my clients because of resistance (got that resolved! YAY!)… I experienced my first attempt at an ECO (Emergency Confinement Order) where I or my supervisors believe my client’s condition is severe enough to possibly need admittance to the hospital… I locked my keys on the front seat of my car out in Charlotte County… an hour and fifteen minutes away from my spare key…. I got a summer cold or allergies… and probably more πŸ™‚

But I’ve learned a lot through all of this and I’ve been stretched in ways… whoa!
1) My frustrations stem not only from my unmet expectations, but also when I’m doing something that goes against what I value.
2) I’m not in control or responsible for the ‘what if’s’
3) I’m not responsible for anyone else’s growth, choices or responses
4) Community and friendships of all walks are valuable to my health and sanity
5) I prefer a schedule (who is surprised by this great revelation?)

I’m still looking for a church body to join, you’d think, being here in the bible belt… it’d be easy… maybe I’m too picky ?

I’ve been reading 1 Samuel lately, and amazed by my God over and over and over…

I’m still reading The Hobbit… geez you think I have free time? I’m also reading Community 101.

I’ve toured a museum in Danville, VA and learned more about the Civil War.

I’ve been able to do some interesting counseling techniques w/ my clients.

That’s about it for the high lights.