Monday, September 24, 2012

Guten Tag

Wie ist dein Name?
Woher kommen Sie?
Wo wohnst du?
Our handy German-English dictionary.

If you can't tell, we have entered the land of German language learning.  These were a few of the questions we had to answer last week during our first class.  Not sure what the question is?  We weren't sure either last week.  Fortunately the teacher has slowed down a little and thrown in a few English words to help.  Needless to say, this is a new challenge.  We (Billy and Ada) have German class after school on Monday and Tuesday each week for the next 10-13 weeks depending on how fast we learn.  Mitchell and Lydia are taking German classes in school and Mitchell also has German tutoring to help accelerate his learning.  This is part of the requirements for our visas.

Yummy sweets that came in the mail!

We are settling into a routine now that school is underway.  Our days are full of lesson plans, teaching, meetings, preparing tests,  and grading with helping Lydia and Mitchell with their homework.  We still have lots to learn, but are grateful for the Lord's equipping each day.

 Ada's learning to bake in Vienna. 

Billy and the children head out to the school each morning around 0700.  Ada does not have to teach until 1:30pm, so she usually stays home until about noon or so.  Her morning is filled with lesson planning, grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, and various other errands.  They are enjoying Ada's experimental cooking.  Our meals are actually starting to look like meals!  She has made bread, snicker-doodles, chocolate chip cookies, and cinnamon rolls to name a few.  Cooking takes a little more planning without some of the convince foods we used at home.   Also our refrigerator is about half the size of what we are used to so we have to shop more often instead of stocking up.

 Things are not always as they might seem.  She bought these thinking they were blueberries to make cobbler only to find they are tiny grapes with seeds :)  Thankfully the corner grocery store had frozen blueberries and she was able to make the cobbler.

Lydia and a friend heading to a birthday party.  No car so we carry everything on the Ubahn.

We continue to be amazed at the city we live in!  Vienna is beautiful!  We are trying little be little to get to know our city.  Everywhere we go there is something new to see.

Just outside the building where our church meets.

Near the museum quarter.

Just outside the Hofburg Palace.  

We came upon a "sports exhibit" on Saturday!  It was funny to see the blow-up football player with the historic building in the background.  It was advertising the Austrian Team for the International American  Football League (not sure that is exactly what it is called, but you get the picture).  We do miss football at our house this fall.  We have listened to some games, but most start after midnight our time so we are often asleep.  Oh well, we just wake up and check Facebook and easily get caught up on the games! :) LOL

Well I hope this catches you up a bit on The Wiisanens in Vienna!  Thank you for your love and support!!  

Love and blessings,
Ada (aka "Miss" Clair)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

First week of school!!

Joshua 1:9 - Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Sorry we haven't blogged in a while.  As you can imagine, the last 2 weeks have been quite hectic.  I'll try to catch you up on the happenings with the Wiisanens in Vienna!  We just completed our first week of school at ICSV!  It was a really good week.  We had some ups and downs, but overall a good week.  Prior to school starting we had a week of staff orientation/pre-planning week.  We had lots of meetings, learned about school policies and procedures, learned how to write lesson plans, wrote lesson plans, set up classrooms, made copies, made class syllabus, learned how to take attendance.  Well you get it, a lot of the behind the scenes, technical stuff that goes on at school.  Because Billy and I are teaching for the first time, we had lots to learn.  We have received so much help and encouragement from the ICSV staff and our friends here in Vienna.   We are grateful to God placing us here and providing the support we need to accomplish the His work.

Fun at all staff picnic before school started.

In addition to preparing to teach, I continue to learn how to cook, clean, do laundry, etc here in Vienna.  If you saw my Facebook post this week, you already know about my school supplies shopping adventure.  I successfully bought the supplies my children needed (woohoo!), but it was a challenge.  School supplies like many other things here are just "different".  So you go into the store with an idea about what you need and are looking for and it may or may not exist.  Then you must figure out what does exist and what will work in place of what you were hoping to buy!  That seems to be how most of our shopping trips have gone early on.  However, as I have become more familiar with things here, it is getting easier to shop!

School started on Tuesday, August 28th.  Billy and I were so excited to meet our students.  Our classes have gone well this first week and we have enjoyed getting to know the students.  The students in my 9th grade Health class are interactive and fun to talk with.  God continues to stretch me and grow me and cause me to rely on Him as I prepare to teach each day.  He has faithfully equipped me for each class!  Billy has a diverse cultural cross section of students in his Bible classes.  He loves the challenge of studying the Bible with his students.  He began by showing a video to his classes discussing New Testament manuscripts and why we could be confident in the Bible not just being a 'religious' document but also an accurate historical document.  Billy is also teaching a Physics class and administering a computer lab.

Family time at the Prater
 (amusement park near our apartment)

Mitchell and Lydia had a good first week of school too.  While they would always rather have vacation than school, I think they were glad to finally start so they could meet some other students.  Mitchell has had several opportunities to play soccer after school and is getting to know some of the other players.  He is also hoping to play in the praise band for High School chapel.  He has had a great attitude!  His biggest challenge right now is to learn German to satisfy his visa requirement.  Thankfully, along with his school German class, he will be getting German tutoring during his study hall (we thought he was going to have to attend a 3 hour class every evening for 8 weeks).  We are praying that this will meet with the approval of the visa office.

Lydia is making lots of friends and enjoying her classes.  She is excited to have "musical" as one of her electives!  I can't wait to see what they do for that class.  She is also taking German in school, but does not have the same visa requirements as Mitchell.

Last night (8/31/12) was the first "coffee house" at the school.  It is a time for the High School students to come hang out together, drink coffee, and play games.  For the kick off we also had hamburgers (yum!).  It was a great opportunity to interact with the students and get to know them outside of class.  I enjoyed watching Mitchell interact with the other kids.  Lydia stayed home with the daughters of another staff family and watched movies.  It made my heart smile when we came home and found the family room piled with blankets, pillows and sweet girls (6 total including our neighbor who is in Lydia's class and a friend) watching The Sound of Music!  God is good!

 Thankfully it's rainy and therefore cooler today!  Perfect weather to go hang out later with our friends, the Hooks, eat chili, and watch some college football!   Hope you have a great weekend!

Love and blessings,
Ada (aka "Miss" Clair)