Tuesday, February 19, 2013

It's February Already!!!

Psalm 19:14 - Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer.

Wow, I can hardly believe it is February and we are in the second semester of the school year already!  We enjoyed our Christmas Break, especially getting to visit with my Mom (aka Nonnie/Peggy). While my Mom was here, Taru, our former exchange student from Finland also visited us.  She lived with us in Orlando when I was in high school. We did some site seeing around Vienna and also spent a few days in Prague after Christmas.  Prague was beautiful and only a 4 hour train ride from Vienna.  We were able to apartment swap with a family who teaches at the international Christian school in Prague.  It worked great, they got to visit Vienna and we got to visit Prague.  Following a wonderful Christmas Break, we returned to school to finish the first semester with semester exams, grading tests and projects and report cards to complete.

Fireworks display just out our windows on New Years

With the start of the second semester, we have had a few schedule changes.  I am now teaching 2 health classes each day.  Health is only a 1 semester class.  I had half of the 9th graders the first semester and now I have the other half of the 9th graders (Mitchell included) this semester.  In addition, I have a class of 10th, 11th, and/or 12th graders who need the class to graduate.  These are students who entered the school after 9th grade.  It's nice to be repeating the class I taught last semester.  I don't have to spend as much time on lesson planning, but I am teaching an additional hour each day.  I'm enjoying getting to know more of the students and experiencing teaching my own son!:)  I continue to ask God for ways to integrate the Bible into the class.  Recently as we discussed character and its relationship to health, the students were asked to define "good" and "bad" character.  One student then asked how you define "good"?  This lead perfectly into a conversation about God being good and that He sets the standard for good.  Otherwise, if man defines "good" it is all relative.

At the Prague Castle
Billy's schedule is full this semester.  He continues to teach 10th and 11th grade Bible, Physics, and monitoring an online Spanish class.  In addition, he now has a ELL (English Language Learner) Science class with only one student and a high school Current Events class.  His day is quite full with 5 classes per day.  He is especially enjoying the Current Events class, but it does take some time to lesson plan as there is limited curriculum.  This class has allowed him to discuss sensitive and current topics such as "human trafficking" plus ways that God is active in the world.  For instance, he discussed the Elysee Treaty and how grace and forgiveness overcame past hatreds and allowed France and Germany to reconcile.  From there they discussed how God works thorough grace and forgiveness and how that matters to us.  He is challenged with questions from students such as "why does God allow human trafficking or evil in the world?".

Mitchell has transitioned well to Vienna!  He said just the other day that it is hard to believe that we are actually living here.  He has made friends and enjoys hanging out or talking with them via Oovoo!  What is Oovoo you ask?  It is a way to talk to multiple friends at one time and also see them via the internet/computer.  The picture below is Mitchell (lower left corner) chatting one Friday night with 4 other friends.   He is quite the social teenager.  It's not unusual to have 4 teenage boys sleeping in our family room on a weekend night.  He is especially grateful to have the German A1 exam completed.  This means getting to have study hall with his class two days a week, no extra German classes, no missing normal school classes, and no extra homework! 

Cooking breakfast for the boys!

Lydia is growing into a beautiful young lady before our eyes!  She regularly helps out with children's church at our home church here.  The children love her and she is a great help to the teachers.  She was recently in the Middle School musical, Seussical Jr.  She had lots of fun and did a great job as a "Who".  The entire production was wonderful!   Following the last performance, the cast members enjoyed a fun cast party of food, drinks and games!  The parents at the school were wonderful in helping create a fun party for the children!   She is learning lots living here in Vienna and is a great help to me at home.  For Valentines Day, she cooked dinner (grilled cheese sandwiches) for the family, she also helps by going to the grocery store for me and helping with the laundry!  What a blessing!

For my "foodie" friends out there,  I must share what's cooking in my Vienna kitchen.  I have learned to make Italian meatballs from scratch and found a recipe that my family really enjoys and works well with ground pork.  Ground pork is readily available and reasonably priced.  Ground beef on the other hand can be quite expensive.  I did venture out to a Turkish market/grocery store the other day and bought ground beef.  As I approached the store, I prayed God would help me find what I needed.  This may sound silly, but going to a Turkish store means that I can't read most of the food labels/names which are in Turkish, not German or English.  Also I appear very out of place from the other women in the store with my light colored skin and uncovered head.  My main purpose for going to the market was to buy beef and chicken which is much less expensive there than in my local grocery store.  I approached the meat counter and found what I wanted to buy, now to communicate this to the person behind the counter.  The first gentleman I approached did not know English, but thankfully directed me to a kind young woman.  She spoke broken English and I spoke broken German.  While she helped me get the chicken and beef I wanted, she engaged in conversation which is not always common here.  She asked where I was from and I shared that we were here teaching in Vienna and discovered she had a mechanical engineering degree like Billy.  The conversation was limited, but it made me wonder about her and I hope to get to see her again.  By the way, we enjoyed hamburgers made with real ground beef that night!

Well I have rambled on, but hope this gives you a glimpse into our life here and what God is doing.  We are ever grateful for the love, prayers, and support we get from everyone!  If you are new to the blog, you can view previous posts by clicking on the "blog archive" to the right.

Love and blessing from Vienna,
Ada (aka "Miss" Clair)