Yep. Today is my birthday. Having your birthday on a school day is the best when you’re an elementary teacher. Today my students planned a surprise party for me. It was actually quite amazing. They plotted with Matt to have him come down at 10:30 and say he needed to talk to me. They even made him plan what he was going to talk to me about so he wouldn’t mess up. :) While he was talking to me, the kids decorated the room with balloons, banners, and cake. They got it completely decorated in about 10 minutes. Then when I walked back in the room, they crowned me with a tiara and sang “Happy Birthday!” I tell you, fourth graders know how to throw a party!
Goodness! Time goes so quickly around the holidays. I can’t believe we’re already in the middle of January!
Christmas in Vienna was great. We hung out with friends, relaxed, and enjoyed the city. I even survived having Christmas without my family. That is definitely not my ideal, but like I said, I survived. :)
Last Monday we had our first middle school girls’ basketball game. We lost 21-38, but for a team of girls who have never played basketball before, 21 points was an amazing victory! We have two girls on our team who have played league basketball for several years (Americans, of course), but the rest of our team consists mostly of girls who hadn’t touched a basketball before December. I was so proud of them!
Anne Redner is the head coach and as we were discussing our goals for the team, we decided that we want them to play their absolute best and to learn to love being a part of a team. If they win games we’ll consider that icing on the cake. Knowing that those were our goals made watching our first game that much better. After the game one of the girls, who begged us not to put her in, told Anne that she wasn’t afraid anymore and that she had a lot of fun. Yay! Mission accomplished!
The cold molecules cuddle together. That is why cold water is more dense.
It’s true. Something strange has indeed happened. I am now the Assistant Coach for our middle school girls’ basketball team. Yikes! I don’t know if my dad is going to be proud or very, very afraid for the world of basketball. As for me, I just think it means the world is a little topsy-turvy.
I’m excited, though, to try this new area of ministry. The girls are all very sweet. One of the great benefits is that I’m getting to spend time with some of the students who have moved on from elementary. I miss them when they head upstairs to the middle school!
The other really exciting part is that I get to spend some extra time with my dear friend Anne who is leaving at the end of this year to head back to the States. She is the head coach, and it’s out of love for her that I agreed to take on this little challenge.
Please feel free to pray for all of us. :)
Today one of the students presented what was possibly the most creative book report I’ve ever seen. She and her mom baked and decorated sugar cookies to look like all of the characters from her book as well as a variety of other cookies to represent the setting and other important elements from the story. She used these cookies like you would use flannel pieces on a flannel board to share her summary of the book. The rest of class loved her book report because when she was finished sharing, they got to eat her work! Super fun!
Student A: Why do you want to be a doctor when you grow up?
Student B: Because I want to see people’s insides.
This is turning out to be a multiple post day!
I just had another amazing conference. I spoke with a mom who is a Christian, but her husband is not. Her son became a Christian when he was in first grade. She spoke with me about how much this school means to her and her son because her son is not allowed to attend church with her, but that Jesus has allowed him to be in this school. She shared with me about how excited her son is to have Chapel here each week because that is church for him.
She asked that we pray for her family, for her husband’s salvation, for God’s continued grace to allow her son to attend our school, and for her son to continue to love God with all his heart. I can’t wait to pray for them!
Today is parent/teacher conference day. I actually love this day because it’s the one time during the year that I get to really have a focused conversation with each of the parents. Today I was reminded, in the best possible way, of the impact we are having on our students.
One of the parents I met with today said that she wanted to thank me for doing something special for her daughter. They have been talking to their daughter about what she wants to do when she grows up. Her answer is that she wants to grow up and be a missionary teacher! Her parents are so excited.
Here’s the amazing part of the story, though. This family is from Vietnam. However, their daughter has never lived there. She was born in Holland, has Australian (yes, the one with kangaroos) citizenship, and lives in Austria. She is fluent in German and English and understands quite a bit of Vietnamese. She often talks about not being sure who she is or where she’s from. But – and this is the amazing part – she feels now like she has found Vietnam in her heart. She wants to be missionary teacher in Vietnam so she can tell the people about Jesus!
Her mom and I were crying and getting so excited. Please join us in praying for her that the Lord will continue to grow in her a love for Jesus and desire to share him with the world.
Our high school video class has been doing a tremendous job this year. If you have some time to spare, you can check out their videos here:
Scroll down a little and click on the link that says, “See all videos.”
My favorites are Mountain Dew VCS, 2V Emotion, and Dodgeball – Teachers vs. Students. Although, the appearance of the high school track uniforms in the Dodgeball video is a little disconcerting.
There are some ongoing jokes that run throughout the videos. If you watch them all in order (Mountain Dew VCS is first) you’ll see a pattern or two. Enjoy!
For the past few weeks we’ve been learning about the attributes of Jesus: He is divine, He is human, He is our substitute. This week as we discussed what it means for Jesus to be our substitute we talked about why He had to be divine and human in order to take our place. I asked the students who know Jesus to tell me about when they accepted Christ, and those who don’t to tell me about questions or doubts they have. Here are some highlights from what they said.
When I was small I got baptised with floaties on. After that hapened I was so proud of my self! We got to go to KFC to celebrate Jesus.——————————————–When I prayed for Jesus to enter my heart I never dreamt bad dreams any more starting from September up till today.——————————————–
I accepted Jesus in my heart when Jerry Jecoby was haear when I did it I felt so so so happy.——————————————–
I think jesus is my savior and my superhero because his better than superman spiderman….., Before my aunt tell that jesus is with me because I was scared that time when I’m sleeping so I pray to jesus after I pray I dream jesus is with me.——————————————–
I have asked Jesus into my heart and I believe that he is going to be with me forever. Jesus is only one that can help us. He never sin because he is the perfect man. I asked Jesus into my heart when I was in third grade.