Monday, November 25, 2013

The Chicken or the Egg

That is my current question, and isnt the first time either. Im going to go back over a year ago in June of 2012. Wow that seems like forever ago. I wrote a blog about the reasons I felt it was necessary to move from Mexico to Canada.
Suprisingly after reading this blog post I feel the same today. I love Mexico but God is surely pushing us toward Canada. 
Then again in June I posted this And again still today we are doing the step by step thing. Taking the process as it comes, not looking behind nor to far ahead. 
The follwoing month in July of 2012 I posted this Basically saying if anyone wanted to help with our fees and such  there is a Donate button. A huge change in what immigraiton process we will be doing has occured which I will explain in a bit but the need for assistance for fees hasnt. Button is still there hint hint. hahahah ;)
After almost 6 months of not hearing much from me about Canada I posted this Which was my acceptance letter from the Canadian board of Nursing saying I could take the test. I was excited and scared to death at the same time. 
Well what happened next you may be wanting to know... if not dont read on. 

Well in April of this year I recived an email that almost shook me up. (Had God not been constanly reasuring me that this was his path I would have given up on the idea all together.)

Here is what the email said:
CARNA previously referred you to a Substantially Equivalent Competence (SEC) assessment with Mount Royal University (MRU) at one of their Internationally Educated Nurse (IEN) assessment centres in Edmonton or Calgary.

Recently, MRU confirmed that it is no longer accepting bookings and that both Alberta IEN assessment centres will be closed as of June 30, 2013.

We are sorry that at this time it is not clear how this will impact your application for registration withCARNA. We understand that becoming a nurse in Alberta is important to you, and that you may be worried about how this will affect your application or feel frustrated by this uncertainty.

CARNA is also very concerned by the loss of SEC assessment services in Alberta and how the closure affects applicants like you. We are working with the Alberta government to address this serious situation as quickly as possible.

We will keep you informed by email as we receive more information.

Well they held true to their word and have kept me well informed and have stayed in contact. This last September they notified me that they would be accepting the exam from other providences. But that they  now had a new option which as they said in their email was to:

 Skip the step of SEC assessment and

·   Complete the full Bridging education program satisfactory to the Registrar.
Bridging education, which includes theory and skills lab courses and a supervised clinical experience will provide you with opportunities to learn about nursing in Canada and help you acquire the knowledge and skills needed for practice in the Canadian health care system.  Mount Royal University (MRU) in Calgary, Alberta offers a full Bridging program in nursing

So I chose the bridge program. I have been informed that I  have been conditionally accepted pending the arrival of my language requirement, which CARNA has assured me is on its way to the university. 

So why the Chicken or the egg question???????
Our current plan is for all of us to go to Canada when I go for school. The Canadian immigration system allows the spouse of a student visa holder to get an automatic work permit and the children can go and enter the school system. It all sounds pretty strait forward and the only thing we are seeing that may be a complication is highlited in yellow. . 

Who is eligible to study in Canada?

These requirements apply to everyone who wishes to study in Canada, whether or not you need a study permit. To study in Canada, you must:
  • Have been accepted to a school, college, university or other educational institution in Canada,
  • Have proof that you have enough money to pay for your:

    • tuition fees,
    • living expenses for yourself and any family members (spouse or common-law partner and/or dependent children) who come with you to Canada (According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada guidelines in addition to the cost of tuition fees, you will require approximately $10 000 per year to cover your living expenses. If your dependants are planning to accompany or join you, you will require an additional $4 000 for the first dependant, and $3 000 for each subsequent dependant), and
    • return transportation for yourself and any family members who come with you to Canada.
  • Be a law-abiding citizen with no criminal record and not be a risk to the security of Canada,
  • Be in good health and willing to complete a medical examination, if necessary, and
  • Satisfy an immigration officer that you will leave Canada when you have completed your studies.

The thing is we are planning on Issac working and acourding to these amounts and how much the school costs we can make it if he can get a job making at least 3,000 a month. But here is the chicken or egg situation. Right now we cant prove we have this income in order to get the visa until he gets a job offer. But will they give him the job offer without the visa? 
This is our next step... Any sugestions, or even better anyone close to Calgary area want to give my hubby a job offer????
In all seriousness what we need most from our loved ones at this point is prayer for guidance and prayers of thanksgiving for the things God is going to do in order to flatten this speed bump or help us over it. 
Thanks for keeping up with our journey through life. I love sharing with you all and most of all I love getting your feed back. Please give me your ideas, comments, ext. 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Gluten Free Life

After a life of digestive issues a resident physician from our hospital decided he thought I should try to cut gluten out of my diet. He suggested studies and what not but at the point I was talking to him I was so fed up with tests and exams that I refused. He was great with me really. I was at the point of tears at work and was asking around for a naturalist who could help me. As we were talking he was suggesting all the normal stuff that Iv had over and over throughout the years. When I said to him, "look I'm not trying to be rude and I appreciate your help but Iv had IBS since I was like 8 years old, as a kid the doctors all said I was faking it or that it was PMS and as an adult they enjoyed sticking tubes in me and finding nothing. I'm pretty much done with you guys at this point." He took it in stride and reminded me of a very important medical point. IBS is caused by stress and children at the age of 8 usually dont have the amount of stress to cause it. He said, "I can tell your fed up so I suggest you investigate Crones and gluten allergies and change your diet. See what happens." He also gave me a medication that basically lays a coat over your entire digestive track in order to help the healing process.
That was almost three months ago. Almost immediately I had more energy, could think clearer, and NO DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS. I was very surprised to find that the brain fog and extreme sleepiness had nothing to do with stress or my history of being a not so great teenager. These are things I have delt with since I was a kid. One of my sisters recently joked about how I could fall asleep at any time and any place. Now I realize in reality it was from having a life of malnutrition. Basically if you are constantly irritating your digestive system with something that damages it you can not receive the nutrients your need from your food. If you struggle with digestive issues please look into different diet and eating styles and not just medication. I cant express enough how much this has changed my life. I feel like a new person. Mind you I'm still a klutz and forgetful as all get out but I don't have to drag myself up the stairs to my house each day after work (I skip up them) and I don't HAVE TO take a nap each day, now its only if I want to and more of a power nap and I actually feel good afterwards and not worse. Oh and I also droped 5kilos in the first couple weeks of the diet and didnt really even feel like I was dieting. I recently lost 2 more and again dont feel like Im dieting. Im currently at my highschool size.... crazy!!!!
 Well Iv had a couple mishaps and am learning and experimenting with my level of sensitivity. For example there is a preservative that has gluten in it, some foods have more than others and because the Ingredients on foods don't have amounts sometimes its a coin toss. Of course its a good idea to avoid it all together but I'm trying to figure out my sensitivity. For example chicken broth and Zuco both make me sick but eating Frijoles chips doesn't. Although here in Mexico you can live quite happy with things made of corn I missed bread. So I started looking for gluten free recipes. There are a ton out ther but if you are in Mexico and are broke buying all the glutten free flour is not an option. All of this to say after many trials with different bread recipes I have finally found one that works in my bread machine. Let me warn you I had to do a lot of tweaking and if you are not in Mexico you may need to tweak this also. Altitude makes a huge difference in recipes.  Also one problem we have found is the storage of the bread. I use to make home made yeast bread with regular flour and never had this issue. The oatmeal breat always perfect the first day but would start breaking down and getting gooey in just one day if we put it in a plastic bag for storage. If we leave it out completely it gets stale. Right now we just make sure we eat it within a couple days while we find the best method. My most recent effort was to slice it right away and put it back into the bread machine. This worked pretty good. It went three days and on the fourth it started breaking down a bit. I decided the next trial will be wrapping it in a tortilla napkin and putting it in the fridge. Ill let you know how it goes and if you have any suggestions or experience with this let me know. Here it is folks, in this pic it looks a little dry but actually it sticks together nicely and I can even make sandwiches with it.

1 lg egg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 tsp honey (sometimes I add a little more)
1 Tbs butter
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups oatmeal flour (all i do is grind up oats in our coffee grinder)
1/2 cup whole oats
1 tsp instant yeast

Using the bread machine you always put the liquid in first and make sure its at least room temp. You then pile up all the dry material and make a little hole in the top so it look like a volcano. Last you put the yeast in the volcano.

In a couple hours Enjoy! Ok now I gotta go make another loaf. Iv been making at least 2 a week. lol

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Oh That..whatever.

Oh yes readers I am posting after only a one month laps. Is this a come back? I don't know. lol

So in my last post I mentioned that there were many things that use to bother me and no longer do. Now when its mentioned I think "oh that.. whatever". I must say there are still many things that get under my skin but just from being on facebook I see that would be the same if I were living in the states. And maybe even worse.
Something that use to really get to me was when Mexicans would speak in Spanish "like a gringa". If you haven't ever heard it you wont get this, but those who have well, you know what I'm talking about. Basically the draw out the words and don't put the accents in the right place and they say the r like errr instead of rolling it. For a long time (were talking years here) I felt like they were making fun of me. Then one day I decided to spend some time with the Abuela and sat down to watch one of her old black and white films. Every single white person in the movie spoke like that, and it was hilarious. They were always some rich dude coming to take advantage of the Mexicans. I found myself laughing so hard at the movie and it was one of those days that I really connected with Abuela. After that I realized they were not making fun of me but more so laughing at an age old joke that came from the films. Many of my family members here have expressed the respect they have for me for being able to learn and communicate in Spanish and the same family members will do gringa speak at me. Writing about this gives me a since of peace and happiness that I cant really express on paper. So many times we get offended or hurt when we don't really understand the intentions behind an action. I was letting something upset me when really my family was trying to let me in on a type of inside joke. They think its hilarious when I do gringa speak.
As I'm sure many of you know the Time Space Continuum actually slows down in Mexico. When someone invites you to a party at 2pm you should plan on going at 3, they are not expecting you at 2.  This also extends into the workplace. If a meeting is at 10am do not show up at 945 because you will be waiting at the least 30 min before the meeting starts. I wasted many precious hours this way my first year or so. I have adjusted well, I'm still responsible in the fact that I always show up a little early or at the least right on time, but I also always bring with me something to do while I wait. Therefore I don't get disgruntled about my time being waisted and I don't have to feel anxious about being late. Oh and as for the parties depending on if its someone who knows me well I ask if the time they gave me was Mexican time. I always ask because we showed up after the time on the invitation once and the person told me they had put the actually time only on my invitation because they knew I always show up when its stated on the invitation. hahahaha That memory still makes me laugh really hard. And on the flip side once we invited some friends from work over for a barbq and put 2pm thinking they wouldn't show up till 3. When they showed up we were not ready and I actually mentioned I had planned on them being late. My friends fiance told me she rushed them out of the house saying that I was American and would expect them to be on time. To be honest I'm sitting here laughing really hard as I write this because I love the quirkiness of what my life has become.

Noise... ahhhh the noise. So I remember being in the states and being like what is the deal with all the hooting and horrible singing as loud as you possible can and laughing so loud the whole freaking world can hear you. Now after countless Christmas parties, weddings, holidays, birthdays ext. I love it. Its really fun to just let loose and let out a typical Mexican yelp or to sing even if you don't have a beautiful voice. Its funny just yesterday there was a party going on at 5pm next door to my house and they were all Aheee Aheee Aheee Aheee... (not sure if that's how you would spell it but you know when they are dancing and someone gets in the middle of the circle to do some funky move) and hearing it made me want to dance and spin around. These people really know how to have fun. It makes you feel like a kid again.
Speaking of the noise something else that doesn't bother me any more and actually I hardly notice is all the gas trucks, bread vendors, junk vendors, water vendors, the sweet potatoes whistle at 9pm... on and on and on that drive up and down the street all day and evening. I remember when I first moved here being like, gees how can these people stand that crap. And why don't they just call the companies when they want something. But there has been plenty of times when we are out of water or itching for some sweetbread where the truck happens to roll around and I'm like man I'm glad they are so loud so I knew they were coming.

So what have you adjusted to, or are hoping to adjust to?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Almost a Mexican

Uhggg...(Im writing on my work computer which has the spellchecker in Spanish... so good luck hope you can translate bad spelling and grammer. hahaha) so I always feel so bad when I go to write a post and realize its been a few months since my last one. The good thing is I constantly have new readers and some of the old stuff I put up before is still giving good therapy to those who need it. That was of course the original point of this blog. To help out people who were hurting or confused. My heart breaks for all you mommys, papis, wifes, husbands, and children out there who are not together as a unit. Or who are together and are in the weird state right before or after the big more out of  or into a new country. Or those who are still not sure what to do to keep there families together. There are so many stressfull stages to the whole stupid immigration game but when we decided to spend our lives with that one special person its something we agreed to. So cheers to all you ladies and men of steal. Keep on keepen on. You can do this and you will come out shining on the other side.

Why am I so sure of that you may wonder. Well I made it and Im a small town girl from Missour for goodness sakes. I came to Mexico and left much behind (you can read past blogs to find out what) in order to keep my family together and to be with a man who has been more of a blessing to me than I ever thought possible. When I came here 5 years ago... (Oh yes crappy blogger didnt even post a 5 year anniversery blog, it was June 29th). I knew no Spanish... wwhhhewww glad that stage is over. I knew nothing about Mexican culture... I actually got ofended by things that now make me laugh histarically. I was almost always uncomfortable... for the first time in my life I was not sefl confident. Since those days... and they were long and sometimes dark... I have grown in  my walk with Christ, as a women, as mother, as a wife, and as a friend. I am a better person than I would have ever been had I stayed in the states. My mind is opened to so many things that would have never made any sense to me before. I may still have a weak gringa stomach but by golly my skin sure is tougher.

So in June I went and picked up my official Perminant Resident Card. Oh yes its a real card not some laminated crap and its official. Im Perminant. What that means is no more renewing or paying every year. It also means I can get more benifits such as cheaper schooling and such. (which is still in the plans but were broke and cant afford the freaking translation of my transcripts, all in good time). I didnt even have a party. I think we still need to plan that one. On the day of my 5 year Mexico anniversery I was actually in the US at a wedding for a couple of the best friends we have down here in Mexico.

About the perminant resident busness it took me a long time to get here but the laws have changed. Aparently if you are married to a Mexican you should be able to just bring in you marriage lic (if from the states appostleed and translated.), birth cirts and ID´s and can apply right off the bat. It costs close to 400usd. Which is nothing compaired to almost 200 every year for four years. I have heard of a few people having trouble getting this done and others who got it done right away. Here is the thing about the immigration system here in Mexico... well the government realy. They make changes for the better and it takes people and offices a while to get on the wagon. Im not sure why its ok and why it happens but its true. So if the office closest to you gives you trouble it may be a good idea to take a weekend to trip to the next closest one and see how things go. Just always have more than one copy of every document you have. Here is there website which clearly states that this process is now faster and can be done without an FM2 or waiting for 2 years. I would also recomend printing pages from the website to show at the office when you go. Im gona post here the link to the website the part thats in English is extreamly limited so if you dont read spanish well find someone that does to help you.  Again if I were you I would make print outs of the scren shots so if the office gives you trouble you can show them you got it off their site.
Home page:

For those who have family who are mexican, click on the second pdf, Im gona try to attach it to this post.

Heres the link for the pdf. ( when it talks about the payments you have to go to the office to get a paper that has all the info. all you do is put your name and personal data and go to a bank and pay it, make a few copies of the recipt when your done.)

I think thats all for today I hope you all have a great day and Im sending hugs to all of you who need them.

From the Almost Mexican.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Entering the age of friends and sleepovers

Over the past few months we have been blessed to get to know a few more families who have kids the age of our girls. Awhile back I started doing English Playdate with one of my students children. They have been close aquantainces for over a year but thanks to these classes are even closer now. Then another student who actually works with me in the hospital started bringing her kids to the play date. And our pastor has three little girls who are the same age as my youngest two.

This has been a whole new experience for me as a mommy.

I always loved having a ton of kids around all the time growing up and knew someday I wanted to give my girls the same experience. I have three sisters and one brother and we basically all were allowed to invite a friend or two over on the weekends. You can only imagine our house when we all did, and it did happen. Last weekend we got our first taste of having friends over who had kids and it was a blast. They have three boys, 13, 6, and 2. Seriously the cutest little boys ever and really good kids as well. We put our brand new kiddy pool up on the roof (any of you not from Mexico roofs here are just flat and most of them have barriers or walls so you cant fall off). Us parents grilled, drank a few beers and just hung out while the kids had a blast in the pool. Then this weekend we baby sat for the couple that has three little girls (4yr old, and twins that are 2). They stayed the night and it was so fun to watch them all play. They did great and Issac and I were not as wore out as everyone expected. Actually it didnt seem like that much more work. Thankfully my hubby is an awesome papi and helped me out a lot, I was far from alone with the six kids. And now next weekend my girls are going to stay the night with the other couple who has an 7 yr old girl and a 6 year old boy. Seems to me that we have entered into a new phase of parenting. I mean my girls have stayed whole weeks with grandma, nights with our good friends but they are like an Aunt and Uncle to them, and even once with the same friends where they are going next weekend, but still I feel like this is going to be happening more often. Im actually good with it as long as my husband keeps up the awesomeness that is him. We actually make a great team and I love when that is put to work. Plus this means sending our kids for sleepovers and rest time or date night for us.

Funny thing is I feel like all this is so "normal." Why is that funny you might ask. Well even after five years and feeling that I have reached the "official acceptance phase." of my so called culture shock, I still have my moments. Just last week I drove home crying over the fact that a coworker basically had to slap me in the face to get me to accept something that is just so deep in the culture here that its not changing tomorrow or in the next few years for that matter. (the coworker was being helpful but it was a hard blow for me.) Anyway the point is after going through those random reminders that I'm not where I grew up and that things and people are way different here, its nice to be reminded that some things are still "normal."

Three cheers from good friends, spring, and changes.

How about any of you parents out there, do you agree that this is sort of a new phase in our lives as parents. I think another point to add is that the baby is now potty trained so life is already a lot different and smother. Hope to hear from you, I am really trying to do better on my blogging and now that I gave up a lot of my teaching hours to my hubby I will be able to do just that. So those who were dedicated followers before I hope I didn't lose you and those who are new please stay tuned.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A fish out of water

So I was recently teaching one of my English students and we are doing a lesson called fish out of water. She read an article to me out loud and then we discussed it. She then asked me about my experience moving to Mexico. It was the first time in a while that I had thought about it. The article talks about phases. I wanted to post the article and say thanks to all you bloggers out there who were there for me during the regression stage. My student asked if I cried a lot during that stage and I said yes, but I also laughed a lot to. I was still happy to be here with my husband and my friends online were an excellent outlet  I especially want to thank Leslie from You helped me move from the regression to acceptance phase. Thank you for helping me see the light and helping me to see the good in Mexico and remember that everything back home wasn't perfect.  Here is the article its actually quiet interesting, I would love to hear some of your experiences in the different phases. I can say Im a citizen of the world. (yes I know that sounds cheesy but after reading the article you'll get it. lol)

Culture Shock: A Fish Out Of Water by Duncan Mason

1. Kalvero Oberg was one of the first writers to identify five distinct stages of culture shock. He found that all human beings experience the same feelings when they travel to or live in a different country or culture. He found that culture shock is almost like a disease: it has a cause, symptoms, and a cure.
2. Whenever someone travels overseas they are like "a fish out of water." Like the fish, they have been swimming in their own culture all their lives. A fish doesn't know what water is. Likewise, we often do not think too much about the culture we are raised in. Our culture helps to shape our identity. Many of the cues of interpersonal communication (body language, words, facial expressions, tone of voice, idioms, slang) are different in different cultures. One of the reasons that we feel like a fish out of water when we enter a new culture, is that we do not know all of the cues that are used in the new culture.

3. Psychologists tell us that there are five distinct phases (or stages) of culture shock. It is important to understand that culture shock happens to all people who travel abroad, but some people have much stronger reactions than others.

4. During the first few days of a person's stay in a new country, everything usually goes fairly smoothly. The newcomer is excited about being in a new place where there are new sights and sounds, new smells and tastes. The newcomer may have some problems, but usually accepts them as just part of the newness. They may find themselves staying in hotels or be with a homestay family that is excited to meet the foreign stranger. The newcomer may find that "the red carpet" has been rolled out and they may be taken to restaurants, movies and tours of the sights. The new acquaintances may want to take the newcomer out to many places and "show them off." This first stage of culture shock is called the "honeymoon phase."

5. Unfortunately, this honeymoon phase often comes to an end fairly soon. The newcomer has to deal with transportation problems (buses that don't come on time), shopping problems (can't buy favorite foods) or communication problems (just what does "Chill out, dude." mean?). It may start to seem like people no longer care about your problems. They may help, but they don't seem to understand your concern over what they see as small problems. You might even start to think that the people in the host country don't like foreigners.

6. This may lead to the second stage of culture shock, known as the "rejection phase." The newcomer may begin to feel aggressive and start to complain about the host culture/country. However, it is important to recognize that these feelings are real and can become serious. This phase is a kind of crisis in the 'disease' of culture shock. It is called the "rejection" phase because it is at this point that the newcomer starts to reject the host country, complaining about and noticing only the bad things that bother them. At this stage the newcomer either gets stronger and stays, or gets weaker and goes home (physically, or only mentally).

7. If you don't survive stage two successfully, you may find yourself moving into stage three: the "regression phase." The word "regression" means moving backward, and in this phase of culture shock, you spend much of your time speaking your own language, watching videos from your home country, eating food from home. You may also notice that you are moving around campus or around town with a group of students who speak your own language. You may spend most of this time complaining about the host country/culture.

8. Also in the regression phase, you may only remember the good things about your home country. Your homeland may suddenly seem marvelously wonderful; all the difficulties that you had there are forgotten and you may find yourself wondering why you ever left (hint: you left to learn English!). You may now only remember your home country as a wonderful place in which nothing ever went wrong for you. Of course, this is not true, but an illusion created by your culture shock 'disease.'

9. If you survive the third stage successfully (or miss it completely) you will move into the fourth stage of culture shock called the "recovery phase" or the "at-ease-at-last phase." In this stage you become more comfortable with the language and you also feel more comfortable with the customs of the host country. You can now move around without a feeling of anxiety. You still have problems with some of the social cues and you may still not understand everything people say (especially idioms). However, you are now 90% adjusted to the new culture and you start to realize that no country is that much better than another - it is just different lifestyles and different ways to deal with the problems of life.

10. With this complete adjustment, you accept the food, drinks, habits and customs of the host country, and you may even find yourself preferring some things in the host country to things at home. You have now understood that there are different ways to live your life and that no way is really better than another, just different. Finally you have become comfortable in the new place.

11. It is important to remember that not everyone experiences all the phases of culture shock. It is also important to know that you can experience all of them at different times: you might experience the regression phase before the rejection phase, etc. You might even experience the regression phase on Monday, the at ease phase on Tuesday, the honeymoon phase on Wednesday, and the rejection phase again on Thursday. "What will Friday be like?"

12. Much later, you may find yourself returning to your homeland and - guess what? - you may find yourself entering the fifth phase of culture shock. This is called "reverse culture shock" or "return culture shock" and occurs when you return home. You have been away for a long time, becoming comfortable with the habits and customs of a new lifestyle and you may find that you are no longer completely comfortable in your home country. Many things may have changed while you were away and - surprise! surprise! - it may take a little while to become at ease with the cues and signs and symbols of your home culture.
13. Reverse culture shock can be very difficult. There is a risk of sickness or emotional problems in many of the phases of culture shock. Remember to be kind to yourself all the time that you are overseas, and when you get home, give yourself time to adjust. Be your own best friend. If you do these things you will be a much stronger person. If you do these things, congratulations, you will be a citizen of the world!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Clearing the air about Canada

Since my last couple posts I have gotten a lot of questions regarding my plans for Canada. I think its because it appears I'm making longer term plans for down here. Which I am but without giving up completely on Canada  The thing is this road to Canada isn't going to be a short one nor an easy one. In the mean time I plan to spend my time wisely and "work as unto the Lord". This means help my work to make changes for a long term betterment, get some schooling, invest in my future of my children, get a perminant residency so I don't have to pay immigration every year,  and use my infonavit to buy a house in Mexico,

Last week I received my letter from CARNA that says they accepted my application and I need to go take my test. CARNA is the collage (board) of nursing in Alberta. To be exact here is the email minus personal details.

Dear Amanda                                                                            This e-mail is to advise you on the status of your application for assessment with the College & Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA). Please keep this email for your records, as it is the only notice you will receive. Under Alberta legislation and regulation an internationally educated applicant is assessed for substantially equivalent competence at the level expected of the Alberta graduate and the registered nurse (RN) in Alberta. On review of your file, it could not be determined that you currently possess the knowledge and skills (competencies) expected of an RN in Alberta. As part of the assessment of your application, you must complete a Substantially Equivalent Competency (SEC) assessment.  Your application cannot proceed until after you have completed the following SEC assessment(s):
General Nursing, Maternal/Newborn Health Nursing, Child Health Nursing, Mental Health Nursing

 The SEC assessment takes place in Alberta, Canada, at one of the IEN Assessment Centres of Mount Royal University, located in the city of Edmonton or the city of Calgary. Your English language proficiency has been met at this time. You have two years from the date of this e-mail to complete the SEC assessment(s)CARNA recommends that you contact the Mount Royal University IEN Assessment Centre as soon as possible to book your assessment(s), as dates are booked well in advance.
 An application is considered lapsed if there is no evidence of progress toward meeting application and/or registration requirements for two (2) years. Applicants with lapsed files must apply for re-assessment by submitting a new application and fee for re-assessment and updated documentation.  Application files will be securely destroyed after six (6) years of inactivity, (four (4) years after the date they are considered lapsed).

 This email is exactly what we were expecting and Im glad I have two years to make it up there. Basically there is no way we can afford to go there and I refuse to let my wonderful sister pay my whole way. (Yes she offered the day I got the email). First I need to study and get myself ready, but that is not the only issue. Also I cant let someone pay a ton of money on something which totally rides on how well I do on this test. Just to show you what Im looking at this is how it is explained on their website. 
What is the SEC Assessment?The SEC assessment uses a variety of methods to assess professional nursing knowledge, skills, values, judgment and critical thinking, and the ability to apply these safely, competently, and ethically in the practice setting. The applicant will be assessed in areas such as:

  • medical, surgical and specialty nursing knowledge and skills across the lifespan
  • anatomy and physiology and pathophysiology knowledge
  • pharmacology and medication administration
  • health history and health assessment knowledge and skills
  • basic and advanced clinical skills as well as use of current technology in nursing practice
  • clinical judgment, problem solving, and critical thinking skills and evidence informed practice
  • knowledge of the Canadian health-care system and current nursing practices
  • professional responsibility and accountability
  • therapeutic communication practices; nurse client interactions and relationships
  • cultural competencies
  • ethical decision making skills
  • regulation of the profession
  • CARNA Nursing Practice Standards and CNA Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses

The different assessment methods utilized in the SEC assessment identify whether an applicant currently possesses the competencies that are required to fulfill the roles and responsibilities of the RN in the Canadian health care system, or if competency gaps exist, and to what extent.
Where can you find more information about the Alberta RN competencies?The expected competencies are found in the CARNA document: Entry to Practice Competencies for the Registered Nurses ProfessionWhat is involved in the SEC Assessment?
The email you received from CARNA identified the type (areas) of SEC assessment you are required to complete.
The SEC assessment will take from two (2) to five (5) days to complete, depending on the areas of assessment required. It involves examinations, clinical judgment interviews, and lab and case management situations designed to provide you opportunities to demonstrate your knowledge, skills and ability to meet the entry to practice competencies expected of RNs in Alberta.

Again to put this in perspective we are not talking about coming strait out of school and  taking a boards exam which is on a computer and lasts 3-6 hours. This is 8 years after nursing school, 2 years without working, and 2 years working as a nurse in Mexico (which is way behind on a lot in nursing.). This assessment consist of having a written test, interviews and skill lab tests. I know after studying I will do ok but again I'm not going to let my sister spend a ton of money and risk that. My current plan is to not stress first of all. I have learned a lot about the benefits of not stressing since I moved down here. Next I am going to get in touch with the place to schedule the appointment and find out how far in advance I can make it. I feel like in about a year we may be in a place where we can save up enough if added to the possible donations from my donate for Canada button to send me up there. Also I'm starting to look more in detail about how much this thing will cost. I think I'm looking at around 3000usd. 
Yikes that is a ton of money for us. What I do know is God is amazing and if he wants us to be in Canada the money will come in at the right time and the appointment will be made at the right time. 

My focus this year is to stay focused and on the things that really matter. Which is what my inspiration board is all about. And just as a reminder the first thing on my board says:" Brothers I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind an straining toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heaven ward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things and if on some point you think differently, that to God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained."
The second and third are my family. These things are my focus. 

My pastor said something that struck me as wonderful the other day. He mentioned helping someone push a car. If you have every pushed a car you know it gets easier as the car gets moving and although its almost impossible to push a car around a corner when its stopped its not to hard if you are already moving. He compared this to how it is with God and doing things with our lives. The moment he said it I felt like its how Im going about things right now. Im just running and waiting on god to push me to one side or the other when its time. I don't plan on sitting still, meaning I'm going to start studying and looking to where the money will come from, and in this I hope God will push me in the direction he wishes. On the other hand its also important to say I also know my hope and strength are in God alone. Meaning if we go or if we stay will not determine my happiness. 

I do request prayers for God to give us wisdom,  peace, and understanding. He has been very plentiful in this with me in the past and I know he will continue. Your prayers and thoughts always help. 

Thanks for reading. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Good bye tienda

I was just cleaning out the drafts on my blog site and came across this little Joy. Made me laugh and also glad Im in a totally different place in life. This was written only a year after I moved to Mexico.


So the owner of my building is aparently off to the states to try and make some money for his family. Aparently he went broke building this place. He had to close his store and we will be paying rent directly to his wife. So they cleaned out the store yesterday. I watched from my window as they halled everything to their van. Yesterday evening when my husband came home he went in to chat with them a bit. He wishes he hadnt. Ok we all know these litle tiendas have to be crawling with roaches. But we buy what we need and move on, its not like we are living there. This particual tienda was one of the cleanest and neatest Iv ever seen. There was no product on the floor everything was up on shelves and the floor was mopped with bleach more than once a day. My husband said when he went in to chat he was so grossed out. The owner was even taking the curtains down and had to shake them out and bugs were falling off of them. My husband shuddered as he was telling me which made me glad I didnt see it. Like I said we all know but who wants to actually see it. So we sprayed our door and window frames

Bienvenido 2013

Quick Spanish up date:
Out of curiosity how many of you read the title Bienbenido Dos Mil t(d)ece   and how many read it Bienvendio two thousand thirteen. I'm finding it more natural to read and think in Spanish. My goal this year is to grow my vocabulary and stop making stupid conjugation mistakes. Often times I try to speak faster than my brain can keep up and I make mistakes, when I logically know better. Not sure if that makes sense to you but that is the case.

FM2 renewal vs Residency
So this year our plan is to get my Permanent Residency here in Mexico. To apply for this instead of an FM2 renewal is basically the same. Every year there is a different basic procedure at the immigration office. This year they no longer let just anyone enter and and get a number (ficha) Now you have to wait in a line which trails down three flights of stairs. Once you reach the desk they tell you if you are missing any documents and which area you will be going to when you reconcile those documents. If you have to return to the same desk that day you do not have to wait in line again. Although waiting in line on stairs for 40 min sucks it actually all moves a lot faster than before. So even though they haven't reached customer service they are at least reaching efficiency. I filled out my form, got pictures taken and wrote my letters at the little office on the corner which does all things necessary for documents. While I did all this with my two oldest girls my husband was waiting in the line on the stairs with the youngest. He came back with a form saying we needed to pay 1,000 pesos. They told us this was going to be the only fee and as you can imagine it was not. We paid the fee at the bank and went back to turn in the papers at the desk. The webpaged showed I needed to show at the window one day before they took their holiday breaks so needless to say I didn't make it until after Jan 6th to go see what the trouble was. This is when they gave me the form to pay 3,850 pesos in order to receive my documents. Sadly enough we believed them the first time they said we would not have to pay more and didn't have enough to pay for it. Now we are waiting to save up the money so we can go pay the fee and turn in the receipt  Ill let you know once that happens to see if I get my card that day or if I have to wait for them to process everything. 

Im loving it, we are making great improvements at the hospital. My English classes are taking off and as always I have a lot of fun doing them. Our schedules are still pretty packed but its in a good way where none of us including the girls are overly stressed but also are not sitting at home boared. To be honest Im loving life. God has provided left and right and any dreams I thought were ruined because we had to move have been exceeded. My girls are growing up bilingual and bicultural. I am becoming bilingual. My husband is at home with my girls so they are getting a strong base of knowing how wonderful they are and getting daily time with Papi. I am working as a nurse and making a difference in a small way. I also still have plenty of time to have fun, play games and excessive with my girls in the evenings. Some evenings papis gone and we have girl nights, those are lots of fun. As always I still miss my family and hate that my girls wont know them better but skype helps us a lot in that aspect and Im hoping one of my little sister is planning on making a yearly trip down to see us. Also my mom should be coming again within the next year. 

Over my birthday I got to explore Lake Chapala for the first time and I can assure it will not be the last.

Inspiration board
So This year instead of writing resolutions I decided to take a good idea from my sister and make an Inspiration board. As I was telling my husband about it he asked if I could put his goals on half of it. I was so excited about that idea that of course I would do it. As we talked we realized we had the same goals for the year. With that in mind I decided we should just make a family board. I used a picture divider that came in a frame, it had six  5x7 spaces. The first space we put a verse that we decided would be or spiritual focus this year it reads, " Brothers I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind an straining toward the gal to win the prize for which God has called me heaven ward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things and if on some point you think differently, that to God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained."
Our second goal is to strengthen or relationship as a couple and parents. It has romantic words and sticker and a big number 2. Next comes a picture of the girls with a sticker that says everyday life. We want to remember every day to pay attention to them and talk to them. If you don't have kids this may seem obvious, but those of you who do know that sometimes parents can get caught up in their own lives and forget to slow down enough to sit and really listen to their kids. Especially when hey are still so little, but I truly believe this is very important. Our fourth goal is to become better stewards of the resources and money God give us. We are trying to pray more about our finances. Also we have goals to start savings bonds for each girls for collage this year. Next is that my husband and I both want to further our education in some form.  Last is our Health and dieting. We are both hoping to eat better and exercise  This is a necessity. For example today on our walk to church we tried to race and I didn't run far and was so out of breath it was sad.
The best part about all this was that the Sunday morning I got it done our paster was talking about priorities and I felt like God was letting us know quite clearly that he liked the goals we had made. Its amazing how God speaks to us and so clearly if we only keep our hearts and minds open to him.
We are also doing a "good things Jar" Anytime something good happens this year we are going to save it in this Jar. Every year we talk about our favorite thing from the year before but I feel that we leave a lot out. Also my girls are going to be in on it so if they say its something that needs to be put in the Jar it will go in.
Well I wanted to put a pic of both the board and the Jar but its not letting me send it from my phone. Maybe on the next post

God is good, always has been and always will be.

Its been awhile, there has been some changes

Hey there trustee readers. I apologise for how long its been since I wrote. A lot has happened and for the better. My family has been continuously blessed since the last time I wrote.
I had in the past wrote quite a few posts about how my job in the hospital was not going quite as planned. To be honest there was one or two people constantly trying to block any efforts I made to help make the hospital a better place. In October I became so feed up with it that I decided I must leave the hospital. I looked for other jobs and when nothing was forth coming we made the decision for my husband to go back to work full time and me stay home with the girls and focus on growing my English students. I wasn't supper excited about the prospect but I figured if it was what God had for our lives I would roll with it. What I was sure of is that God did not expect me to live in constant frustration and under the thumb of someone else. The Quality team at our hospital got wind of my plans and the next thing I knew I was in their office being asked some strange questions. I didnt realize until later but my answers were part of a "study" they were doing on me and the coworker who was hasseling me. They used our answers as evidence that I should be moved to the Quality care team and seperated, as far as chain of comand goes, from those people who were blocking me. They offered me the option and I jumped on it. My hours are not changed therefore I am able to keep all the English Classes I had before and my husband was able to keep all his Spanish evening classes he was giving. So instead of making a change that would lower our income a bit we made a change that didnt change our income at all. On top of it all I still have job security, and am happier about what I am doing with in the hospital. I love working as a nurse an it has always been so much a part of me that I feel imensly blessed that God has provided me this oportunity. Also I think I need to add that my husband is a saint for staying home with my girls so I can work. We relaized its just not worth it for both of us to work because the second income goes strait to day care. Pluss its so much better for the girls to be home if its possible. He is amazing and doing an excellent job as a stay at home dad. He does do classes in the evening but my house is (almost) always clean and dinner is (almost) always made at home. At the hospital its only two months later and i have already been able to implement some of the change that I had been trying to do for the past year. 

Currently we are pretty busy but in a good way. We actually have some really good friends who are like family to us. They love my girls and help us with them. This is a huge change for us and we love it, not sure what Im gonna do when they have to leave us in a year or so. My schedual is that I go to work in the office from 7am to 230pm Monday through Friday, during the week I have English classses every evening until about 6 or 7 depending on the day but the classes after 5 are at my house so Im still with my girls. I then do Nursng supervisor work on Sunday evenings which is great because Im still getting to practice the application side of nursing and not just theory. My husband has about four steady spanish students that keeps him buys most evenings but he is always home in time for us to have a couple hours together before bed. I honestly couldnt be happier about the way things are going for us. 
After the accident we had to sell our truck to pay for our debts so we are now with only one car. Really it doesnt affect us to much but as far as going to the church we were going to, it wasnt possible anymore. We recently found a small church (which is the way we like it) within walking distance of the house. So on Sunday mornings I walk with the girls to church. About halfway through my hubby strolls in from his Spanish class and I leave close to the closing to get ready for work. He then walks home with the girls. Its funny how things seem so imposible until you actually have to do them. 
In novemember my sister came down for vacation and I applied for my Perminent Resedency which are both for other posts. Now that I have caught you up I need to go do some reading and get caught up on all of you. 

These are happy and exciting times for our family and I am thankfull for any prayers that have been made for us. My God is always good even when times are hard and in times like these I can reflect on the harder times and see more clearly how he pulled us through.