It’s Halloween Time, ya’ll!

Yesterday I made Halloween cookies inspired by this recipe! They turned out really cute! It was my first time making royal icing and I would say that I prefer the taste of buttercream; however, decorating the cookies was easier with royal.

I didn’t realize how hilarious putting eyes on pumpkins would be, but I love it! I ran out of black gel food coloring, so I used brown and blue and I think it came out just fine. I put purple sprinkles on top of that to give them a little more sparkle! I have to be careful about when I choose to eat some of these, because they will stain your teeth! Luckily, with most stores requiring masks, no one actually sees my mouth!

I am actually quite proud of my Frankenstein cookie. He is one of a kind and I don’t think that I will be making any more of him. I am not the best free-hander when it comes to cookie shapes, so next time I will make sure to have a Frankenstein shaped cookie cutter.

So, my owl friend was created because I am participating in a bake-off at work and one of the categories was “Spooky in the woods/Forest creatures”, so I thought an owl would be a good options. Unfortunately for me, owls are a little more difficult to make and I am not too proud of what happened with the icing colors. All in all, for my first time making an owl, I guess it wasn’t too bad.

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It has been raining since yesterday afternoon and it was finally cold enough to truly snuggle into my sleeping back last night! I turned off the window unit for A/C in the lodge for the first time since arriving, too.

I have written over 20 letters at this point in the past 24 hours to various friends and family back in Georgia and elsewhere. I will send those out tomorrow. I also sent an email to a stranger asking to be pen pals, so I’ll keep everyone posted on that.


My unit leader is currently 3.5 hours away; he is coming to spend the day tomorrow working with us and checking up on the general health of the team. We cleaned the lodge and made sure to plan a filling meal at least for tomorrow night- I doubt that he will be eating with us tonight seeing as they probably won’t arrive until 9pm.

Tomorrow, we’ll be continuing painting the dining hall if the weather holds up, but if it does not, then we will be cleaning the inside of the dining hall and the recreation hall.

The rest of my night will consist of getting dinner and watching the Golden Girls!

July 16, 2018

First of all, happy 19th birthday to my sister!!

I have been on two adventures since the last time I wrote. On July 13th, we had chainsaw training in Canton, MS. We learned basic maintenance, operation skills, and general safety concerning chainsaws.

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This past weekend, all the team leaders (myself included) took a mini trip to New Orleans. We stayed in India House Hostel; it was super close to the trolley and the overall vibe of the place was very welcoming, communal, and open.

Today, we helped clean and move materials at a Habitat for Humanity house location here in Vicksburg. I thought we would do more building, but I guess there wasn’t enough time.



We still had training today, and we learned how to input our hours as well as our future corps members’ hours. We went over all the forms we are responsible for, and holy mess, it is A LOT.

We only have one week until the members get here. We move dorms on Friday; I am assuming we will be organized by unit. I hope we find out where our possible projects could be this week as well… a teammate said their unit leader revealed the Virgin Islands, Connecticut, and 2 local Vicksburg projects as options for us all. I’m definitely excited!

July 11, 2018

Today, we had Diversity Training ALL DAY. But, it was super informational and a positive experience. We didn’t disclose as much personal information as we did previously while doing the Hands of Peace exercise, but it was still a good discussion.

We began with introductions and getting into small groups to discuss each others names, the history of our names/how we came to be named, and any nicknames we have/had had.

We moved to different exercises, such as a revised version of the Privilege Walk and acting out group scenarios we may encounter on or off Spike. For example, something we may encounter is a sponsor who likes to assign jobs according to gender; men do heavy lifting and outside work and women may be assigned to keep tools organized or fill out forms and other paperwork. Additionally, we may come across corps members who have not been exposed to certain things that they may find as a shock to them; it is up to us to facilitate a healthy group discussion about anything like that.

The only time we got a little personal was with our units; we shared some aspects of ourselves that were below the surface/things no one can see just by looking at you such as your religious beliefs, your role within your family, your education level, or what have you.

Overall, I enjoyed the exercise, and I think it’s a great start to an open discussion with people who want to learn more about other different types of people.

July 1, 2018

Happy first of the month! Today is Sunday, and my schedule is looking pretty bleak, but I don’t mind. The highlight of my day will be going to Walmart to purchase a pillowcase.

Some people have left for church this morning and the rest of us are either huddled in our rooms, eating breakfast in the lounge, or doing laundry.

On a personal note, I think I have a new career idea: project management. I know that it’s a very broad area, but so is my Managerial Sciences major. I like having options.

When we had our trainings on the two speciality teams (Fire Team and Construction Team), the presenter for the Construction Team mentioned that majority of those projects would be with Habitat for Humanity. This prompted me to some research on internships with them for when I return next year. If I enjoy working with them this year, and I do an internship with them, then I could be looking at a possible career with them… it’s just a thought.

We have three more weeks until the Corps Members arrive, and there is much to do. We’ve had trainings on how to have difficult conversations with our teams and members. We’ve had trainings on how to deal with accidents that happen with the van or with project sponsors. We’ve had so. many. trainings. And we are nowhere near done. They are definitely preparing us for the worst, so I feel that most of us will be able to handle anything that happens with some ease.

Tomorrow is a busy day. Let me run it down for you:

  1. Make sure everyone is packed for the trip later that evening.
  2. Final room and dorm check for inspection later.
  3. Class at 9am. (Hands of Peace; team building exercise/discussion)
  4. Room and entire dorm inspection while we are in class.
  5. Make lunch and return to class.
  6. Class ends at 5pm.
  7. Load vans with coolers, backpacks, and humans.
  8. Depart for Pineville, LA for the LRC
  9. Eat dinner before arriving at the base
  10. Be in bed *hopefully* by 10pm