Monday, January 16, 2017

The New Year at Hand

The new year has come, and a different season has approached in the lives of Minichs. 2016 was a year filled with many events, both horrific and amazing. Many trials approached our lives at the beginning of the year, faster than any of us ever anticipated. We have been tested, tried, pushed to our very core, and brought to our knees with heads bowed in prayer. Yet, we have also leaped and danced with happiness, at even the smallest of joys. Our hearts have felt great sorrow of loss, and our eyes have cried the tears of much pain. Our hearts have also rejoiced with the many blessings all around us and the treasuring of every heartbeat we come in contact with, has greatly increased. 2017 is at hand, and has brought with it a fresh new start. It is a new year, with new opportunities, new experiences, new places, and the chance to do better than we did last year.
Happy New Year to all and cheers for the many adventures to come!

Erika M.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Goodbye to Friends

       It seems as if this the season to be saying goodbye to the people I know and love. Heaven must be in need of some amazing people. First, to my Friend Corbyn Lowe who I shared a small childhood friendship at the camps we'd see each other at. Corbyn was full of energy, kind of like my sister Sarah. He wore a smile that lit anyone's face up and played as hard as any boy could. He never took it easy one me when we were kids, challenged me to do things, and made sure I knew he liked me. Corbyn became an actor as he got older and was really good. He recently got in touch with me on Facebook and we talked a little bit about our lives and the changes that have taken place sense we had last seen each other. To say the least of his last days on earth, it was to my knowledge that he was bullied and has been bullied most of his childhood. There is only so much abuse one can take from another, before it becomes so unbearable that you can't even live with yourself. So to all those reading this post, please remember that words have meaning, they have power, they effect those around you who hear them, words can build us up and encourage us, but they can also tear us apart. Do not let your words tear a person apart, and the next time you speak, think twice about what you are saying to the human in front of you. There is never an appropriate reason to take your own life, no matter how hard it is, but this young man with so much potential, saw no more use of his life. Fair well to you my friend and thank you for being apart of my life for a short time.
       To the man who thankfully had a longer life on this earth, however died of sickness. He battled sickness for most of his life. I first met this man and his wife at my church, Community Bible Chapel. Although I was not too close to this man, he had a major impact on my life in ways I cannot explain in a blog post. Without him, I would not be where I am today. Fair well and thanks you sir for playing such a huge role in my life. May you rest in peace, without suffering or pain at the right hand of your Lord and Savoir.
        To my distant young friend who died in a car accident. Although I did not know you in person, I heard much about you, and our parents love each other. I heard of all the things you had been successful in and all the goals you had still yet to achieve. You are now with God, enjoying piece and comfort from your Creator.
         To My Ski trip instructor and friend who lived a fairly long and active life, in the mountains of Colorado. I met Clint at Winter Park Colorado, where I quickly got know him and spend lots of time with him, as he and another man were my Ski instructors. For 4 days of skiing down mountains and doing things I was always told I couldn't, Clint was apart of my great accomplishment! I learned that even after leaving Colorado, he took interest in my life and all the many other accomplishments I had yet to do, as did many other instructors at Winter Park. He would truly enjoy receiving emails from me, as I would try to send him updates on a monthly basis. In return, he'd send me images of the beautiful mountains in Colorado and update me on the things him and his wife had done. By the grace of God I was invited back again to the ski trip, where I got to have Clint again as my ski instructor. Emails have continued to be sent back and forth on updates of each others lives. However, it was the last email I sent which he never saw. I was informed that two months prior, Clint passed away due to cardiac arrest after on of his biking trips, where as his wife said it best, "surrounded by gorgeous fall colors and outstanding temperatures." I'm grieved to know that I will not see this man on earth again and he will not have the pleasure of reading my emails. I am put to ease knowing that he is with his Creator, with no pains of this world, and enjoying the beauty that Heaven holds, which is greater than here on earth. I will continue to send updates to his email, knowing that his wife will be there to read every word I write, as she truly enjoyed hearing the updates Clint use to share with her! Thank you for being apart of my life for a short time and my condolences to your family.
Clint and I.
So to all those out there, who have or about to spend time with family over the holidays, please treasure every moment you have with them, hold them tight and "make every Heartbeat count!!"-Clint's Wife Julie.

Erika M.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Blessings Everywhere

Sarah and I are coming up on 1 year of working as pizza ladies at Little Caesars. It's been real fun, but also real hard. I have seen so many good workers and leaders either let go or quiet. The dude in this picture was one of the greatest team leaders and workers, in my opinion, and has taught me how to deal with hungry and sometimes angry customers. He also knew how to have fun in the midst of great stress and often times made me and Sarah laugh so hard we'd mess up on pizzas. He was a blessing to both of us at a most stressful place you could be!!.

A picture of me and these fun ladies. (only taken because the majority workers at LC were guys!)

I wrote about this wonderful lady on Facebook not too long ago about how absolutely wonderful she is: "
Thankful for this amazing mama. She is filled with so much love, kindness, and tenderness."
She is all that and so much more. She is like an angel to me, which God placed in my crazy life. She represents everything that is good and portrays kindness and love like no other human being on this earth. She is everything I want to be! She is my blessing. 
She laid on my bed on the first day of school, praying for Sarah and I to have a safe and great day at College. When I came in she was sound asleep, peacefully dreaming in the comfort of a daughters bed. It was a great ending to my first day of College!!
This picture represents another huge blessing in my life. As a lot of you know, I received a scholarship which will be paying for my college education. What I didn't know was that I would be receiving a car package filled with small gifts to help me through the 1st semester. After about already two weeks of school already in motion and stress building up, I received a bundle of small precious gifts, which brightened up my whole day. 
On a Thursday afternoon, after a morning class at Collin, I headed over to UTD (a possible school I may choose long term) to go visit my older brother who studies and works there. It was a real joy walking through the very same halls that my genius brother Mark got his Masters in Accounting and my brother Tim who worked for years getting a Teaching certificate for special ed. And now my brother Joseph who is working hard to get his Masters in History. It was so quiet and peaceful, filled with students who were committed to homework and learning the things they were there for. It was really cool to be walking with my brother and having so many students and other employees coming up and asking him permission to do something, or asking him for help. We had lunch together and talked for 2 hours about almost everything. It was very much needed and I loved it. Another sweet blessing.
Sarah and I got together with a group of friends and spent hours out on the boat the day before the new semester started. I love being in the boat on the water, feeling the wind against my face, hearing the laughter of my friends, and seeing the determination of those who were willing enough to push themselves past what they think they can do.
Speaking of friends, this guy is perty cool too. After a night of youth group at our house, we got to hang out with this guy, singing, sharing movies with this guy and enjoying favorite songs.
So Sarah and I can be a bit crazy when it comes to late nights. She was doing laundry and made a statement about playing hide and seek in the dryer when she was younger. I replied by stating she couldn't fit in there anymore and she decided to prove me wrong. So here's the proof.
I got the pleasure of training this girl in the sound booth at out church to make slides and adjust microphones. It was a fun night filled with uncontrollable laughter and so much sarcasm.
And then there's this gal. My sister, who brings me so much joy and laughs at the most stupid things I do or say. We have so much fun together, from getting gas for my car together, to going shopping for our mother,  and to driving up to college looking like the coolest girls alive!!!!. I am soon to move out to a college campus and start a new phase of life, and boy will I miss these precious small memories with this gal.
I'm trying to remember if I've written about this crazy guy. He is the one person at Collin College who has brought out the most crazy and wild side of my life. We have this game we play at college, where the first to spot the other takes a picture and sends it to him or her saying "I see you". This guy makes my college life so much fun and has given me a great friendship.
 Photo Credit to John.
This gal is soon to be home, has worked hard to get back to family life, and will soon be given the chance to do so. This is a selfie we took at our church, when she got to spend a weekend with us.
Lastly, I want to end with two blessings that have been in my life. The last few weeks have been extremely rough and demanding. I lost a friend to suicide, another to old age, and another distant friend to a car accident. Classes have been really demanding and many due dates have been keeping me endlessly busy. I have spent many late nights studying at College, and thankfully with a friend who also stays late and normally studies alone. Never would I have imagined how amazing this dude is and that he would be the one to remind something I tend to remind those around me. He had time to breath, time to do things spontaneously, he had no one to answer to career wise, not stressing, and was totally sailing through life. I envied that and was totally curious as to how he got so far ahead. He talked with me and explained how he managed to do so. He told me that life is too short to be rushing from one thing to the other. When one of my long and stressful day of studying ended, this friend walked me out to my car, but stopped me half way. He told me to close my eyes, breath slowly and open them gazing at the sky. "Slow down, and don't forget to enjoy the little things around you." In doing this, he was trying to show me the beauty of what God had put in place right before me. The beauty I have missed throughout this whole semester right before me, all because I was trying to meet the demands of this world. It was a great reminder and a great ending to my very stressful day. There have been many more reminders like these during late night studies and the most recent was when it rained. I have never been a big fan of rain, because the rain always brought clouds which covered the brightness of the sun. It was depressing to me, but this guy reminded me of the beauty of it. We both sat on the ground, outside the library waiting for the rain to calm down and he had me close my eyes, stop thinking about everything going on in my life, and listen to the sound of the rain. I closed my eyes, listened and then asked him to describe the scene as if I was a blind person. He did, and it was beautiful. It was right there, I could see it with my own eyes, but was so caught up in my own thoughts and tasks, that I missed it all. It was a great reminder that even in the cloudier and darker days, there is still beauty....we just have to look deeper.
The last wonderful blessing I will end this post with is my sweet, and oh so energetic mother. I have recently been extremely busy with many duties, and have lost a lot of the time I use to spend with fun lady. She is so spontaneous and loves to do random things. Last Saturday, I had a full day of not having to be everywhere and was able to stay home doing small chores. When mama took my baby sis to work, I tagged along to spend some time with her. She looked at me with the face of, "I finally have time with you!" She took me out to a late lunch and we both got to talk. It was great cause I had so much on my mind and hadn't talked to her like this for a while. She then took me to Hobby Lobby to get my Christmas ornament early. This is a tradition in our family. Every year, we buy a new one to add to our tree, so that when we grew up and became adults, living on our own, we had these ornaments to remind us of the many wonderful Christmas's spent in the Minich house. Each ornament told a different story and we were apart of it. We both came home and got back to life in the home. I sat down to study in the kitchen, and she had two laundry baskets to fold. Now normally, when mama finishes baskets, there is always a sock left without a matching other. This time, she finished both and all socks had matchings. She was so excited she nearly started dancing with joy. It was such a sweet moment, a small moment, a moment that put absolute happiness in my heart and a smile on my face.
 Needless to say, I am beyond blessed with family and friends. It is so easy to get caught up in this chaotic and stressful world, forgetting the small things that we are often given! :)

Hope you all enjoyed. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

At PKRC as a Volunteer, instead of a Camper

    This year I had the pleasure of going to Peaceable Kingdom as volunteer instead of a camper. Sarah, two weeks before attended Out on a Limb Camp alone this year, without me and danced on the stage for the first time, without me and graduated. Two weeks later I went to PKRC without her, and this time to help and to be apart of the behind the scenes of the next camp. It was weird driving myself to the Kingdom, as we like to call it. It was weird pulling in to those welcoming gates without having my mom or sister in the car as we did for so many years of my camp life. It was welcoming getting out of the car and smelling the air that PKRC always had. So many memories came out of no where, as I remembered each year of being a camper getting out of our white car and smelling the same air and hearing the familiar laugh of one man, who I swear was always laughing. Although I didn't hear this laugh when I got out of the car as a volunteer, the memory of this man and his joyful laugh was very much alive in my head. Scott Simmonds, the former owner of PKRC had a huge impact on me while I was a camper, him and his beautiful family. Perhaps it was this that made me think of him every time I entered the Kingdom.
     I was greeted by a new staff member who was literally the only one there because the other staff members were gone at dinner or at the theaters. I talked with Dylan, who was two years new and showed up 10 minutes after I arrived, about previous summers and great memories. The staff started showing and up and all greeted me with hugs, even the new ones!!
     Camp Teen Challenge is a camp for kids who have vision impairment. They have a hard time seeing things, or their eyes are in constant motion, or they are fully blind. 
I had the pleasure of making these two kiddos laugh the whole week as I attempted to take picture.
 I was given the chance to show campers how to do archery...
 and then see the joy on their faces when they, after many attempts of archery, finally make the bulls eye. I think I may have been more excited then they were.
 I got the pleasure to talk with this young lady and hear about all the goals she plans to accomplish, hear her guitar skills and talk photography with her.
 This kid had the pleasure of messing with my braid and thinking it was the coolest thing he'd seen. He was always smiling which caused me to smile!
 This young lady was a true leader. You know the phrase "it's like the blind leading the blind"? Well, I can no longer use it the way I use to because of this courageous lady. She is almost fully blind, but the whole week of camp she spent time helping other campers with their meals and leading them to their seats, feeling her way through crowds and seeing with the little sight she has. Way to go girl.
 I had an absolute blast that week hanging out with wonderful inspiring kids, being apart of behind the scenes activities, and reuniting with the PK staff.
 I got to be a judge for the talent show with Michelle, Cody and Laura. Michelle and i were conjoined twins. 
 We are a crazy bunch!!
So after having a great week getting to know cool kids, Cody (the guy in the hat) decided to stay another week, which then made me want to stay another week. I didn't think it would be possible due to work and other things but I decided to give it a shot. I called my boss and she actually let me off for another week if I came in on Saturday night to work. To which I gladly said yes almost dropping my phone with excitement. After coming home for the weekend, working, and driving back to PKRC I had the pleasure of staying another week for Camp HD2. 
HD2 is a Camp for kids/teens with hand differences. It is one week of their lives where they spend at PK feeling free to not cover their differences, feeling free to joke and be as crazy as they can. And that they were. These teens were so much fun and energetic, filled with so much life and joy!! They were literally like a family.  They watched each others back during the week and made sure the person not dancing is dancing.
 Dance parties were the best. They released their never ending energy and put huge smiles on their face.
One of the campers spent her weekend making these for the first day of camp and was super excited to share them. It was the year for Olympics so why not these colors.
The campers split up into 4 teams and boy were they competitive.
Each day, different teams flags would hang in the lodge as the teams progressed.

I once again got to teach archery and see the joy of their faces when they made it on the target.
 I think talent show night was my favorite night. This kid was super creative and funny that he decided to imitate how a rain drop reacts when it falls from the sky. The audience couldn't stop laughing.
 These teens reenacted all the staff members to the crazy game called Poky Mon. The most creative thing ever seen at PK.
 This young lady has been going for years and this was her last. For talent show night she sang a song called "The Climb" by Miley Sires. A song which has always made me cry, a song that was song on  my best camp friends last year. There were no dry eyes in that theater. 
 These are all the graduates for HD2.
 Baby Charlie award given to this awesome camper!!
 Overall, these two weeks spent at PK were worth every minute, every hour, every day out in the sun, every walk or hike, every picture, and so much more. I can't wait to do it again. 

There are no words to express how wonderful it was to spend time with the staff.  Tommy (on the right) has been at PK for I believe 20 years. Michelle was a PK staff for a long time, left and now has come back for good. Laura has also been here a long time and has done a fabulous job running it. And she so funny.
 I can't remember this guys name, but he's a new grounds keeper and was super fun to talk to!
 This crazy bunch dressed up on the night we performed live clue. I was on Camera duty.
 I had the pleasure of getting to knew this guy and teasing him like crazy. Once the first camp ended we all as staff headed out to get dinner after cleaning up. I got to drive him and Melissa to Chedders and got to know both of them better.
  Yes, I fell asleep with two lovely dogs.
 This is how the Staff act behind the scenes.

 Yup, love these guys.

And that's a wrap folks. Hope you enjoyed.