October 2008

Just a couple things I wanted to share as I realized today that I have not been faithful to blog since moving down to SoCal …

Birthday Party

Today was such a blessing, as I got to help the Stanisci family give a birthday party for their daughter Rebecca. She had a tea party with her friends and their moms. I had a blast helping with setting things up, serving tea, prepping food, and cleaning up. This family is very dear to my heart and any time I get to spend with them is a privilege. 

A little background for those of you who don’t know … the Staniscis were very instrumental in my going to Italy. Really, God used them to continue and grow the burden in my heart for Italy. They are from Rome and have been here at the Seminary and Grace Community Church for a few years. They will be heading back to Italy this summer. Here are a couple pictures of me and their kids.

Hannah and Rebecca with the beautiful birthday cake

Hannah and Rebecca with the beautiful birthday cake


Davide and Hannah – the kids painted fans, so this is his masterpiece 🙂


Here is Mattia - the youngest. I thought it was so cute when I looked over and saw him with his handful of cookies 🙂

“Cheap” Gas
I bought gas tonight for $2.95 a gallon!! I was amazed when my total for filling up my car only came to $30.
Pumpkin Pie
I don’t know about you, but I (and several of my friends) love anything and everything pumpkin! Whether it’s pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin cookies … we’re all over it! Well tomorrow morning, I am making my very first pumpkin pie! I’m pretty excited. 🙂 I actually will not be eating it (and neither will my friends who love pumpkin). It is for the Spitale family. Monday night, this family will arrive in Los Angeles from Italy. They are moving here for him to attend seminary. The Staniscis have been busily preparing for their arrival, and we are all so excited! The Spitales do not know this, but the house the Staniscis found for them has been fully furnished and stocked with food, bathroom supplies, linens, kitchen items, etc. (and all in the last week and a half)! My contribution … helping with some last minute preparations Monday evening … and a pumpkin pie and a can of whip cream. Nothing says welcome to the U.S. in fall like pumpkin pie (hopefully it will turn out … I’ll let you know). 🙂

I am back in Santa Clarita … which feels very different than it did when I was in college, that’s for sure. I am all moved into my apartment and unpacked (thanks to Michelle!). The last few days have been spent organizing things in the apartment, running errands, and starting at a new Starbucks. I can definitely say I am tired of spending money! You forget about all the little things you need or are used to until all of a sudden you don’t have them anymore … like a laundry basket, salt and pepper, a desk with many drawers, a dresser. So I have been shopping and discerning what things are necessities and what things are just nice to have. I have concluded that at least one Cutco knife is a necessity. I learned that in Italy too … and now it’s just being reaffirmed. But anyways … the Lord has provided (well, not a Cutco knife, but other things). Quick story of a cool provision … a dresser, exactly like I pictured, for the price I wanted. I am now a believer in Craig’s List. 🙂

Today the Lord provided some free gas. I went to my normal ghetto gas station, which honestly I hate. I go there because it’s the cheapest gas around, but I think I’m willing to pay $1 more to go to another gas station. There are just some creepy and sketchy people who hang out at this one … but nevertheless, it’s where I go because it’s cheaper (it was $3.39 today)! So first off, I select the wrong kind of gas – super instead of regular. So I hit the cancel button, but then went inside to make sure it was cancelled and I could start again. So I go back out and start to put my ATM card in again, but it’s telling me to select a gas type and pump the gas. I’m like, well I guess the cashier hit something so that it would be ready for me to go again. So I’m pumping my regular gas and all of a sudden it stops at $3. I’m like, what’s going on … this is not my day. Then I see the cashier come outside and talk to a guy on the pump across from me. Turns out, the other customer told the cashier the wrong pump number and I was pumping my gas on that guy’s money. The cashier said I could pay the guy or not, but he knew it was his mistake. So I tried to pay the guy his $3, but he wouldn’t let me. So … I got 39 cents short of a gallon of gas today for free! 🙂

This Fall is once again bringing change for me. Tomorrow (Friday, October 3rd) I am moving to Southern CA. This has been a desire of my heart for some time now, and the Lord has worked it out for me to go down there at this time. I am transferring to a Starbucks there, and I will be looking for a full-time job. I plan to get involved with the Italian Fellowship Group at Grace Community, as well as Generations, the Bible Study I attended during college. I have an apartment waiting for me, where I will be rooming with my good friend, Karrie. (Praise the Lord for her patience in waiting for my arrival!)

Last night I said good-bye to the Youth Group at my home church, where I have been serving. They made me a “cake” and gave me balloons. One of the balloons said, “Sorry You’re Leaving.” We were joking about packing them into my car and someone said I should give them to my parents. I said I would take a marker and make it say “Sorry I’m Leaving” and give it to them … makes for a cheap going away present. 🙂

This week has been rough (for several reasons), as those at home know. But the Lord is so faithful. It has been a blessing to have many people want to hang out and say bye before I leave. Yesterday was my last day of work at my Starbucks, which was quite sad. I’m so sad to leave the people I work with and the regular customers who faithfully come in every day and get their favorite drink … like a tall mocha. 🙂 I had several visitors come in at the end of my shift to say bye which was such a blessing. My pastors’ wives (that’s two pastors, not one with plural wives …. just to clarify) came in to encourage me as I’m headed out.  

I am excited for this change in my life. I look forward to seeing the next phase the Lord will take me through. I have no clue what’s in store now … but I am choosing to walk by faith. I know the Lord will provide and continue to show Himself faithful. I will once again, try to get back in the habit of blogging more frequently. 🙂