Sunday, February 26, 2012


Hey faithful blog readers...if there are any!  Sorry that we seem to have disappeared!  We have been busy, busy, busy in recent months!  I guess that is what happens we you start to prepare to move continents!  Here's a quick recap...

  • Christmas was good.  We stayed here and rested, wrote resumes, made some baby quilts, and spent some time at and around Vienna.  It was good but we wished we could have been in Colorado with family.  
  • January came and went fairly uneventfully.  We both got new kids in our classrooms (1 in 2nd grade and 3 in 3rd grade) they are a lot of fun and two of them are beginning ELL students.  
  • February is flying by as well.  We have currently applied for 7 teaching positions across Colorado and have heard back from not a single one of them.  We keep reassuring ourselves that it is still early in the game!  
  • We took our kids to the Praterstern Planetarium to conclude our science study of the solar system, constellations, and phases of the moon.  That was a blast and so fun to hear all of the kids ohh and ahh.  
  • We had a Greek day to end our study of the Greeks in history.  That was fun as well and they all decided that figs are gross.  :)  There is still a debate going on with the students about olives, love or hate, but that is for another day. 
  • We have almost concluded our annual ice skating with the elementary school.  This Friday will be the last adventure for our ice skating pros. :)
Prayer Requests:
  1. Pray for Carrie and I to have peace about the job searches.  It is stressful under normal circumstances but extremely stressful trying to do it overseas!
  2. Pray for our kiddos as we have SEW week this week and our students will be presented with the saving knowledge of Jesus on a daily basis.  Pray for hearts to be changed.
  3. Pray for us to continue to find joy and peace as we continue to minister here.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The reason for smiles...

Here are two cuties that put smiles on our faces daily.  The 2nd and 3rd graders are hilarious and sometimes we capture them on camera haming it up!  Enjoy!
She reminds me of Popeye!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Greek Olympics

In 2nd and 3rd grade history we have been studying Ancient Greece.  They are learning so much and are having a blast!  The other day they had their official Greek Olympic games.  All 30 students competed in 5 events.  They were wrestling (arm wrestling), the javelin throw (performed with chopsticks), the discus throw (the frisbee throw), a sprint, and the long jump (8 and 9 year old style).  They competed with all they had and then the judges conferred (Carrie and Amanda) to decide the overall winners in each grade.  We then had an official medal ceremony consisting of medals, flowers, and cash winnings (chocolate Euro coins).  The Olympians had to, of course, wear their hand made olive wreaths on their heads and carry their torches to the ceremony!  It was so much fun!!!

So precious!
I am not sure what the gold medal winner is doing here but it makes me giggle!

So proud!

Pure cuteness!

Classic grade 3 boy pose.  This one makes me laugh because it captures each of their personalities so well!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Grade 3 Family Fellowship Night

We recently had a Grade 3 Family Fellowship evening.  It was fun to have an international potluck with the families of my students.  It was also a lot of fun to simply sit and chat with the parents.  We don't get to do that a lot.  My students also performed a skit for the parents.  It was called 'The Foolish Little Hare'. I am so glad we did this because, while it was a lot of work, I don't think I have ever laughed so hard at my students' antics!  Haha!  I am giggling just thinking about all the fun we had getting ready and presenting it!  Here are some pics taken by Carrie!  Thank you Carrie for being my photographer for the evening!
The Foolish Little Hare was HILARIOUS as evidenced by the Narrator's smiling face!

A very cute little brown hare #2!

My characters and me!  They bring me so much joy!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Space Race

In Grades 2 and 3 science we are studying space, the planets, the moon, and the stars.  It is sooo much fun!  To help the kids remember the order of the planets we made space headbands.  They loved them!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Bananagram Fridays

It has kind of become a tradition with my class this year to take the last hour of school on Friday afternoon and play Bananagrams.  I initially started it so these kiddos could gain an understanding of all the words they knew in English as well as remember how to spell them.  It has turned into a most favorite Friday afternoon activity for all of the kids.  They say, "I cannot wait until Friday for Bananas!"  I love it!  I put them in teams of 3 and we play and play and play!  It is so much fun and I love all of the progress I have seen them make throughout the year so far!  They are becoming a lot more confident in the English words they know.  

Sunday, December 4, 2011

This Is Not A Pipe

My students took an art field trip this week to the Albertina art museum to see the René Magritte exhibit.  I had, honestly, never heard of this artist but was pleasantly surprised to recognize many of the works that were displayed.  He was a very good artist.  Here are three things I learned about my students during this trip...

  1. They like to look at art and explain why the artist did what he did.  They will argue their point.  I am not surprised about this fact but the tour guide was.  She even mentioned once that she did not need to teach them anything about interpreting Magritte's works because they already think they know it all!  It was pretty funny to listen to them.  She was shocked that the kids seemed to get it and actually participated with their own ideas.
  2. This one made me laugh out loud and in a museum that is not good.  Here is the piece we were looking at...

       After she gave the kids significant time to look at the piece she asked them if it was a pipe.  They said no.  She asked why?  They read it to her, kind of loudly which didn't surprise me.  Then she asked them again if it was a pipe.  They said no.  At this point I heard one of the other kids tell another student that maybe it blows bubbles.  I was laughing pretty hard at this point.  The guide then asked the kids if she covered up the words would it be a pipe.  They said, well, yes of course.  So she uncovered the words and said... is this a pipe?  They then said no and she said that maybe we should move to another piece!  HAHA!!

3.  While coming out of the ubahn station one of my students suddenly stopped at the top of the escalator and wouldn't move so all of the kids behind her kind of fell into her. I heard her say "Miss Brunker!!" in a panicked voice and then I heard her say it again more loudly.  It was then that I jumped out of the way so I wouldn't run into her at the top of the escalator!  I suddenly saw the problem.  Her shoelace was stuck in the escalator.  My initial response was to ask her if she was okay and then try to get the boot off of her but people were going to cram into us so I yanked as hard as I could and then I did it again and finally we both went tumbling as the shoe lace broke free and an old lady yelled at us in German because we were in her way!  Man that scared me but I was thankful that neither my student or I are screamers under stress.  I am just quiet and try to act as quickly as I can to solve the problem.  She was fine but scared and now makes sure her shoes are tied tight when she gets on escalators!  Thank you Lord she wasn't hurt and I was able to free her.  :)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 27

The theme is 'daily routine'.  I enjoy when my classroom runs smoothly but really like to spice up a routine on occasion.  Here is part of my daily routine today...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 26

Today's theme is transportation.  I am so very thankful for transportation here in Vienna because it gives me a sense of freedom to explore!  We have the u-bahn, straßenbahn, train, car, plane, and my most used form of transportation.....

My feet

Friday, November 25, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 25

Today's theme is artwork.  I do not have a lot of artwork hanging around my apartment but I do have quilted wall hangings.  I consider them artwork so here is a picture of one of them...

Can you find the mistake?  We only realized it after we were completely finished.  I like the 'mistake' because it reminds me that things do not need to be perfect to be beautiful and cherished by God.  It also reminds me that others may not see the mistakes or imperfections that we do.  As children of God He loves us and doesn't see our imperfections.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 24

Today's theme is 'gratitude'.  The sun came out today and I am so thankful for it.  Colorado usually has over 300 days of sunshine each year.  I miss the sun greatly living here in Vienna because it hardly ever comes out from November to March.  Here is the picture taken from our apartment.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 23

Today's theme is 'in your closet'.  I do not have a closet here but this is where I hang my clothes.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 22

Today's theme is clothing.  This is the clothing I wear daily from this point until about late March.

It has gotten cold here and my coat, hat (made by my friend Melissa M.), and scarf are happy companions to keep me warm as I walk around Vienna to and from the U-bahn, school, and Christmas markets.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 21

The theme today is where you sleep.  I sleep here:
On my bed, almost always, you will find my purple quilt.  It is my favorite blanket ever because Carrie's family all got together and surprised me with it as a college graduation gift!  Each block was made by one of her family members and I LOVE IT!  It make me happy and reminds me that I am loved!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 20

Today's theme is 'seasonal'.  I thought there is nothing more seasonal than the Christmas markets.  Here is one that is open and on the way to our church.  I hope to get a night shot of some of my favorite Christmas markets sometime soon.  I am thankful for Christmas markets because they make being away from family and friends in America during the holidays easier.  They are unique and a fun new tradition to my Christmas celebration.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 19

Today's theme is 'best friend'.  I have never been one to have a lot of friends but the ones I have I cherish.  My two closest or best friends are Carrie and my littlest sister Chante.

This is the best picture I could find of the three of us.  Chante and Carrie get me and love me unconditionally.  They are also not afraid to tell me to be quiet and remember to trust.  It actually goes both ways.  We learn a lot from each other.  We laugh a lot.  We encourage one another along this road of life.  We pray for each other, cry with each other, but most importantly we remind one another to continually turn to the Lord and strengthen each of our relationships with Him.  

Friday, November 18, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 18

Today's theme is 'something new'.
I have two things that are new.
One makes me laugh a lot.  The other makes me excited about the possibilities!

Meet my newest student who is from Africa and my new math curriculum which I truly enjoy teaching from!  Thank you Lord for new things which add spice to life and interesting ways to challenge my students!  :)  

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 17

Today's theme is memories.  I had a rough time with this one due to the fact I am already pretty homesick!  While thinking about what to take a picture of I remembered that I, for some reason, have some of my ballet stuff here from when I was a child.  I did ballet for many years starting around 8 years old.  I loved it!  I loved learning the new routines, practicing, even tap dancing!  It was so fun and I miss it some days.

Recital costume and a tiny ballet shoe.  I cannot believe my feet were that small when I was 8!  Ha!

I am thankful for memories.  Even the ones that don't always put a huge smile on my face like my ballet stuff does!  I am thankful for parents that loved me so much and we willing to let me try ballet and tap just because I thought I would like it.  It was such a blessing!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 16

Today's theme is animals.  This was an easy one only because Carrie and I are cat-sitting two lovely kitties this year.  Here they are in their loveliness!  

Newton is the orange kitty and Marille is the calico
I have always owned a cat.  I was shocked to discover, when I was in college, that I am allergic to cats.  My allergist told me to keep the cat, as it will build up my tolerance.  I gladly said okay!  He then said that when I have kids I should let them roll around in the dirt and get dirty then let them stay that way for a few hours before I wash them!  Ha!  That makes me laugh but makes sense because, as he said, since I have allergies my children are more likely to have allergies so I need to allow them to build up tolerances as well.  I guess this means that my children will have pets.  They bring happiness and help children learn responsibility, hopefully!  I am thankful for cats today because I am still allergic to them but not nearly as badly as I could be!  Thank you Lord for animals and all of the beauty and lessons they bring!   :)  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 15

I have been pleasantly surprised at how I have come to love doing these posts.  Normally blogging can go either way for me.  Either I am in the right mind frame to clearly write about an experience or I am not.  With this photo challenge I think most days about what I will take a picture of to fully capture the theme and then I sit down to write and the words just flow.  It has been very good for me to find moments of thankfulness throughout my days even if it is within the strange concept of a photo challenge.

Here is technology for the day...
In this picture you will find three things I am grateful for thanks to technology.  Number 1 is my computer and the internet connected to it!  As a missionary I ever so grateful for the internet that makes connecting with beloved family members so easy.  Number 2 is the beautiful picture of my littlest sister.  I love her to pieces and without a digital camera I wouldn't have her picture as my desktop pic on my computer.  The third one is MagicJack.  I am so thankful that I have Magic, as I call it.  I am able to call anywhere in America and connect with my other world fairly effortlessly.  This is all assuming the internet is working correctly.  So, today I am thankful for technology and the knowledge of how to use it.  I am also thankful that the Lord allowed me to be a missionary during this time of technological advances!  :)