Saturday, November 29, 2008

Our Christmas Tree

We set up our Christmas tree today!! Thank you to our friends Jennifer, Becky, and Bonnie who supplied us with a beautiful tree and all the trimmings! The tree is about 12 inches tall and fits quite nicely on top of our TV! It is a wonderful addition to our home and adds a nice touch of the Christmas spirit! Thank you dear friends!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

White Sweet Potatoes

Thanksgiving was wonderful! We went to another teacher's house for Thanksgiving. We has a lot of fun eating, fellowshipping, and singing Christmas Carols. Carrie and I contributed Strawberry Apple Pie and Sweet Potatoes. Well, those sound like easy things to contribute but it is a little more difficult here! Sweet Potatoes we the hardest. We finally found some at the open air market. We had to look for the best deal and we finally found a vendor that was selling huge sweet potatoes at a lower/more fair price than the others. We only needed to purchase two since they were so large! When we got home and cut them open to boil them they were white inside. After doing a quick google search we found out that there are white flesh sweet potatoes. They taste just the same as the orange or yellow ones but they are white! What an adventure!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thank you for the Nerds!

So, my kids love American candy. They keep asking me for "the really good sweets." When they say this they are asking for American candy. Well, my sister sent me some American "sweets" for my kiddos. They loved the Nerds and here is a picture to prove it!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent Teacher Conferences went very well today. I always get nervous for them but then realize that I am doing my job and I am doing it well. It was very reassuring to hear almost everyone tell me that their child looks forward to coming to school each day. They were so encouraging it is kind of hard to describe! Please pray for the few students who are struggling either academically, socially, or both! Thank you for your prayers about conferences. I could tell that many of you were praying and for that I am thankful. Conferences were mostly uneventful and went very smoothly. Thank you, again, for your prayers!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The things I've learned. . .

  • The snow here is like a spring snow in Colorado. It is wet!! The wind doesn't help anything either. If we get enough snow I am hoping to build a snowman as this type of snow is wonderful for that.
  • When you have short legs it always feels like you are running to keep up with others!
  • A bandaid is often called a plaster by my kiddos.
  • An eraser is often referred to as a rubber by some kids.
  • When your destination is the fabric store don't get on the train that comes at 12:35. It will lead you to exactly the wrong place with not very many stops in between! Don't bother to ask the ticket taker either. He will just shake his head at you and walk away! Wait the three minutes and catch the 12:38 train! You will be happier and warmer if you do! You might even find the fabric store and get the fabric you desire!
  • Dressing in layers is the key to keeping warm here!
  • The sun is rising around 7 am and setting around 4 pm. It is strange to leave school when it is pitch black!
  • I have wonderful friends and coworkers here. People who will support me in prayer and simply be my friend!
  • My students call candy, "sweets."
  • My hair does look cute short and it is easy to style! Who would have thought??!
  • Mistletoe is an actual thing! It grows high in trees and it looks like huge nests or balls. I was told that it is a fungus.
  • Chestnuts roasting on an open fire is a real thing here. I bet you thought they were just in a song as well!! I think they are a bit on the gross side but Carrie thinks they are good. Maybe a second try will be better. I don't know, we'll see!
  • This isn't something I've learned but rather remembered . . I am loved by an almighty God who cares so much for me and who supplies for all of my needs. I hope I am making him proud!

This is just a current picture of Carrie and me just to prove that we are still alive and smiling!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A day in 1st Grade . .

So several things have been happening in 1st Grade these last few weeks. We have been learning a lot and enjoying ourselves immensely. Today we went on a field trip to the UN. We were invited to sing at the Light of the World Children's concert. We sang two songs. Here are a few pictures. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Baby Jesus was in a crate??!

Everyday my kids write in their journals and the other day I asked them to write about their favorite song in Music class. One of my students surprised me with her answers. She wrote that her favorite song is the Christmas song where Jesus is in a crate! Here's the picture of the crate!

Friday, November 14, 2008

More 3rd Grade laughter. . .

So, everyday I have one student or another tell me some interesting or funny thing. I usually forget the funny stories since I do not write them down immediately. Today, however, I am posting them so I do not forget them! I hope it makes you laugh as hard as my students and I laughed!

1. Today in German class (my kid's German class) they were talking about Stephansdom (a really big Gothic looking church here in Vienna). Frau Deisenberger was telling the kids (in German) that there are statues of Jesus and the 12 Disciples around the main entrance (which is interestingly enough called the Giant's door but I'll tell you that story later). One of my students gasped and said, "The 12 Disciples made the church?" We calmly explained that no the church is over 800 years old and the Disciples were not alive when the church was being built so the Disciples did not build the church!

After this was said, this same student asked if the statues were actual photographs. We said no and then another student piped up and said, "Of course they are not photos! They didn't have batteries back then so they couldn't take a picture!" I laughed pretty hard at this and then told him that he's right they could not take a picture but only because they didn't have cameras back then either! He said, "Oh" and then laughed pretty hard!

2. Sometimes I pretend that I have forgotten how to do something solely for the purpose of making my students completely explain how to do it. Today I did that with adding and subtracting four digit numbers. One of my students was explaining to me that I needed to carry the one to the tens column and I asked why I had to do this. We had been working on this one problem for a while since we all were laughing about how hard it was to completely explain (it didn't help that I was being completely silly!). Another student decided to answer this question. He said (very seriously), "Miss Brunker, you have to do it because it makes you beautiful!" He wasn't joking but he wasn't paying attention either! We laughed pretty hard and then finished the problem.

It was a fun day in third grade! You'll have to come visit us sometime and experience it for yourself! I love how much we laugh together!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ready to slip and slide

So we found out that as part of Austrian law all children in grades Primary (Kindergarten) through 4th grade are required to have five weeks of ice skating. Now you may say, "Gosh, that is a lot of ice skating." Well we only go once a week. The entire Elementary school will load up on the U-bahn and travel to the ice rink where we will spend a lot of time getting ready and then falling on the ice! We will do all of this in February. (Aren't you excited to read about those stories to come!)

I am excited for this as I love to ice skate. Carrie and I decided that if we are going to rent skates every time we go then we are going to waste money. So we've been on the hunt for ice skates recently. Carrie found some in her size and she is so excited. Apparently it is a bit harder to find my small size here. We'll keep our eyes open but at least one of us has their own skates!! Here's what they look like!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Our First European Castle!!!

Since we arrived in August we have been longing to see a castle. Having a castle around the corner seems impossible but it is true and we would like to see as many as possible while we are here! So, here is our first European Castle. . .

The trail leading to the castle and the Alps.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What did you just say?!

Here are some fun quotes from our students recently:

"Rock Obama is going to be President because he has A LOT of electric boats." (Stated very matter of factly.)

"Hey guys where is Frau Gangl today?" (She is one of the Elementary German Teachers and she was gone for the day) Response: "Oh, she is in the grave." Just to clarify for all of you. . . Frau Gangl went to the funeral of a missionary, here in Vienna, who died of a sudden heart attack. My student just got the English words confused but it certainly shocked me and then made us all laugh!

When we were talking about the upcoming VCS Open House one of my students piped up and said, "So, we are going to be the museum and all of the people are coming to view us." This is an interesting way to look at it but it also made us laugh.

When we remember more we'll let you know! Keep smiling!

Friday, November 7, 2008

This is what happens when you let Leslie borrow your camera!

I let Leslie (the Elementary ELL teacher) borrow my camera recently. I found this image when I downloaded my photos. We'll see how long it takes her to notice her picture on my blog! Danke for the photo Leslie. I giggle every time I see it!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Two tired teachers . .

I happened to glance in the hallway while my students were taking a math time test and I saw two tired teachers. They didn't know I was taking the picture. I am glad they were leaning on each other for support!

Monday, November 3, 2008

A little boy having a rather rough day. . .

Isn't he cute?! This vest ended up on backwards, inside out, and upside down! He was having a bit of a rough morning!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Carrie and I recently found this in the grocery store and couldn't stop laughing. It is actually tea (green tea, we think) but the name simply caught us by surprise!