Saturday, June 2, 2012

Love Your Neighbors..

The other day in English, we were discussing our neighbors. It gave me pause for a moment of internal reflection and I've realized we are blessed with some really fabulous people living nearby.

Almost every house in our court has been lived in by the same people for as long as I can remember, except one. The house on our left has had many families, some fabulous and some less than fabulous, who have moved in and out. I sometimes think of it as the cursed house, except that there's nothing wrong when they move, they just get a new job or find somewhere else to go.

Neighbors Past:
The first family that I remember living there was the Ables. I'm not sure if that's how you spell their name, I just know I've met them since then and they are some of the nicest people I know. Ms Able (used to?/still does?) work at the elementary school that my little sisters go to. She always greats us with love and happy hugs. Next was Brian and Katerina, well those were the kids at least. I don't really remember them except that we would play outside with them every single day and I think they had an older brother. Also, I am pretty sure they had an older brother and that at my age I was the annoying little sister, not an active participant when we would play. haha Then the Hansen's moved in. I was really good friends with Brittany and was pretty heartbroken when they moved. However, I was pretty happy when the Ortiz family moved into the neighborhood. They are an El Salvadorian family and were very kind and welcoming. I probably ate more authentic hispanic food in their house than I have the rest of my life.  Their home always smelled like fresh tortillas, now I wish I had asked how to make them, wouldn't it be awesome to make tortillas? Next was OT's family. They were kinda ghetto and we didn't really know them. After them was Vic and Katie who were some of the best neighbors we've ever had. They are always kind and looking for ways to serve. They had their first baby while they were here, and recently brought him back for a visit. Can I just say, what a cutie pie! They still own the house but have since rented it to our current neighbors and the neighbors just before our current neighbors. The last neighbors of neighbors past were the Harpers. I feel like we never got to know them as well as we know our neighbors now, but they were really kind. They had a girl my age who was really nice. They also had a daughter who was Callie's age, but I will reserve my opinion of her until a later date, most likely forever. If you can't say something nice... don't say nothing at all (;

Neighbor's Present:
Our current neighbors are really great, and I'm grateful that we get to know them. Not only are they good kind people with cute, playful, and friendly kids, but they have done a lot to help us and provide small acts of service since moving in! Shana (the mom) has made both Chiko and Bella dresses that were adorable, and Pedro helped Jessica to change her oil and taught me how to do it so I can get my licence soon! They are just so friendly and fun to talk to. I'm glad we have them around and I'll be grateful for whatever time we have with them (:

Neighbor's Future:
Hopefully, the next time I'll get new neighbors will be when I go to college, but when that happens I'm excited to find out what types of people I will get to meet (: I love meeting people and having good neighbors is like a built in support system.

**please note that this post didn't even touch on all the wonderful neighbors we have that just live nearby not necessarily next door. They are all so great! :D

The Dollar Sign Dilema.

So as you may already know I am continually applying for scholarships and financial aid to pay for college because (to be honest) college is expensive, and I'm paying for it. Anyways, today I was working on some scholarship applications and one came up. The only prompt was, Why should you get this scholarship in 250 words or less. This is what I wrote...

Throughout my life, I've worked hard to be the best I can, knowing that I am the only one who can choose to make my life something great. From an early age, my parents have made it clear to me that my education is my responsibility. They taught me that I alone determine what level of success I will seek to achieve. I want to do something great in the world, to make a difference in the lives of those in need. The first step towards this goal is attaining a high level of education. My parents have also made it clear that if I go to college, I will be the one to pay for it. This is understandable, it’s my education and I accept that I am responsible for it. However, despite having a job since the age of fourteen, and continually working to improve my financial situation, I know if I am to obtain my goal of graduating from college, I need the help of others, especially because I hope to not graduate with unmanageable debt. For this reason, I continually seek out and apply for scholarships and financial aid. Although some of these applications require a lot of work, I know that it is a worthwhile effort. Success requires hard work and dedication. These are two characteristics I emulate as I pursue goals to continue my education. I will go far; I just need help to get off the ground before I can soar.

Ta-dah! I hope this sounds alright. I do really need money so I can make it through college. Especially because I'm hoping not to end with a ton of debt. 

On an somewhat related note, it frustrates me when kids win scholarships and say things like "my mom and dad will be so happy they don't have to pay as much now." First of all, your parents don't "have to" pay anything for your education, that should be you. Second, don't I deserve a scholarship if I am paying for my education on my own? I'm only 17, money is hard to come by especially if I'm being expected to keep up my grades and activities, so I can even get accepted to college. I hope this doesn't sound like I'm whining. I'm really grateful for how I was raised and for the financial responsibility that I have. I just hope all the work I've been doing pays off. I really don't want to be in debt, and I want to go on a mission one day, which also isn't cheap.

Regardless of these frustrations, I know that I'm going to be okay and my Heavenly Father will guide me through what I should do to be most successful.

Going forward with faith.