Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Entomologist

Nadja officially graduated from the University of Utah in May with a BS in Biology.  Last summer she interned with Salt Lake Mosquito Abatement, and this season she was hired as the lab supervisor.  Recently Olivia and I were given a tour of the facility, and I could see the definite pride Nadja took in the lab and the work she does there.  She showed us the mosquito colonies she has so painstakingly raised, even feeding them on her own blood.  Her bosses genuinely like her and it is evident she is a very hard worker.  She is still unsure if this is the path she will continue to take, especially since the position is seasonal and she has bills to pay, but it is a great place for her to build her resume.

Recently, we've had a several cases of Zika appear in Utah and one Zika related death.  All have been cases contracted while traveling to Zika prone areas, with the exception of one case in which a family caretaker contracted the virus from the man he was caring for.  Nonetheless, this has sent Salt Lake Mosquito Abatement into alert mode and they are diligently collecting data and searching for potential Zika carrying mosquitos.

Of course the local news agencies have been frequent visitors to the lab, doing their best to get the inside scoop.  Nadja has been featured in several stories and a photograph of her hand holding tweezers with a mosquito has been picked up and used several times by the AP.  I think it
is all so interesting and cool and we are so proud of the work Nadja has been doing.

If you are interested in reading or seeing some of the stories in which she's been photographed click on the following links:

Utah Zika Case raising new questions about how virus spreads

Pregnant Mother with Zika Virus in Utah County

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

What Does One Do When One Leaves the Postulancy?

Many occasions Olivia's superiors mentioned how stubbornly she stuck to her desire for the religious life.  There was only one period, during her formation years at the school, in which she doubted this was the vocation she was being called to, but then she put her nose to the grindstone and stuck with it.  Her perseverance was remarkable.  In the end, it really came as no real surprise to any of us that she discerned was being called to something else.  Right now, she's determined it is a call to something in the medical field.  We are ever grateful for the amazing opportunities and solid formation Olivia received.  Everything she learned and the graces she received will continue to be blessings in her daily life, I am sure of it. I honestly cannot wait to see what God has planned for her.

Ollie wasted no time applying to our local university and was quickly accepted into Weber State University's EMT program.  She's pursuing her bachelor's in Emergency Healthcare Services, possibly followed by post graduate studies in Physical Therapy.  That's the current plan and she is excited. I'm excited. We're all excited.  She had orientation at WSU yesterday and begins classes at the end of August.

We've also needed to create a space for Olivia in our home.  She's roomed with at least one roommate her entire life.  It was about time she got a room of her own, which meant a reevaluating and renovation of our downstairs area.  Chris moved his workout room to the room in which I've been storing all of our homeschooling materials and Olivia has repainted the former workout room and moved some furniture in to it.  Olivia plans on building a platform bed and has a particular decorating scheme in mind. When she's finished building, decorating, and moving in, I'll post some before and after pictures.

Olivia has her room. Chris has his workout room.  Now, what to do with my bins of books? Today they sit stacked in the media room as Chris frames in and builds a storage closet for me in the main family room.  It's going to have tons of shelving, a hanging bar for clothing, and floor area for storage  of some of the boys' construction type toys.  So far the closest is framed, sheet-rocked, mudded, taped, interior painted, and the French doors are hung.  Tomorrow we hope to finish installing the shelves and then I'll need to paint those.  Then I can move my books in and begin planning our new school year in earnest.  Once we are all rearranged, I'll have the girls repaint the main family room. Finally, we'll focus on the flooring.  Chris and I want to attempt putting in tile ourselves by the basement doorway and around the new storage closet.  That will be our next DIY project. We've also needed new carpet in the basement since moving here four years ago.  I've been holding off for various reasons, but once we've painted and tiled (and paid for all the schooling for the coming year), I think I can give the carpet a green light.  Once we've finished I'll post before and after pictures.

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