4 years ago, our daughter, Gabriella, joined the team at Schinkels’. Starting as all newbies do at Schinkels’, she alternated between dishes and kabobs, as well as anything anyone asked her to do during a shift. As she gained experience, and enough height to see the customers, Ella began to learn customer service. Eventually, Gabriella joined the elite and esteemed ranks of cashiers when we upgraded our system and Oma refused to touch the complicated computer and there was suddenly an opening. She is the Kabob Queen Extrodinare and takes that job very seriously.

Always a Joy

She has been a joy. Always happy, ever cheerful, constantly willing to go the extra mile, whether it be helping with the annual inventory count or any other “after hours” jobs that needed assistance. Since I started in September, I have received countless compliments on my daughter from customers. And, even though I know them to be true, I admit that I took her joy for granted.

Now that she leaving, I’m realizing what a gem we have in her. She will not be easy to replace this summer, either at the store or in our home. Gabriella has been an invaluable asset to our family. Ella is my right-hand woman when it came to childcare when we fostered. She helps with drives to school. More recently, she’s been the one helping me cope with the home chores as I’ve been transitioning to working outside of the home full time.

Although, truthfully, the three boys all started fighting over her room this morning, so apparently they aren’t having the same difficulties her parents are having letting her go.

Time to Leave the Nest

Yes, Gabriella is leaving us this summer. She’s spreading her very capable wings and leaving our nest to go on adventures of her own devising.

About a year and a half ago, she traveled with her grade 12 class on a two week mission trip to Guatemala through Global Shore Opportunities.

While there, Gabriella discovered that they offer a Summer Program. Well, that planted a seed in her mind that just grew and grew over the following year. She investigated, and truly felt that that was what she was being called to do. So she and another friend Josie signed up for the program this spring and she leaves tomorrow. (insert Mom tears here) She’s ready to do her part to change some of the stats she learned the first time she was there.


Farm Girl

Basically, for the first two months Ella will be working at an asparagus farm that works with Global Shore to provide the opportunity for the volunteers to earn the money needed to pay for the mission portion of the summer, as well as put some away for their own personal life needs.


World Traveler

At the beginning of July, she will leave for 7 weeks of service in a small town called El Tizate. Ella will be immersed in another culture and language while participating in on-the-ground ministry activities. Everything from teaching English to construction to learning Spanish and other outreach activities. There will also be team building activities and sightseeing opportunities.

Woman Called by God

All, in all, I’m pretty confident this will be a fabulous experience. I believe that this will be the basis for many of Gabriella’s future life choices. I’m proud beyond believe of her. Even though my summer will be emptier and quieter, hers will be one to remember.