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!  :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 14

Today's theme is movement.  It is really hard to get good pictures of the little monkeys on the move!  They move so quickly after all!  So, I chose this funny picture instead!

I was thinking about movement today while watching my fast moving kiddos run around.  I realized that I cherish all movement from breathing to walking.  The Lord has blessed me with being able to live a normal life and has chosen me to tell the world about Him.  I am honored but also realize that every small movement from breathing to laughing to walking to the Ubahn is a precious miracle.  I was also thinking about my siblings who are physically disabled and how they longed to run and play with us.  We always tried to include them in our baseball games and life in general but I am sure it had to be hard for them.  Due to these experiences, I am ever so grateful for movement in my life.  Thank you Lord for such a precious gift of life, movement, and a family to remind me of your gifts.  

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 13

Today's theme is 'the written word'.  I love words.  They speak deeply to me.  Here is my picture of 'the written word' or 'love notes' as I like to call them...
This is a picture of some of the cards that have been sent to Carrie and me while we have been in Vienna. When I think about them they warm my heart.  They remind me that I am not forgotten, I am loved, and they make me feel special.  Thank you to those of you who send written words of encouragement, or love notes.  You are certainly showing God's love to others that you touch with your notes!  :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 12

Today's theme is 'hands'.  I love hands.  They remind me of love, age, tenderness.  Here are the hands that make me laugh a lot these days...
This picture makes me smile.  It reminds me of the fun we have in our classroom.  I love all of these personalities that belong to these hands.  They work hard and have fun at the same time!  I also love how they all felt free to put their hand in the shot however they felt like it should be in there.  I enjoy seeing their personalities come out even in photos of their hands!  Thank you Lord for such precious children that I get the opportunity to minister to!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 11

Today's theme is 'something old'.  I walk past this something old several times a day.

 I am not sure what this statue represents but it reminds me of safety in that if a fire breaks out this giant Roman soldier will come put it out and rescue all of us!  There is not a plaque to aid in the understanding of this statue thing but I find it interesting nonetheless.

Sorry for the grainy picture but this plaque is close to the exit of the path we walk to get to the ubahn or many stores.  The sign says Czernin - Passage built 1898.  I think that counts as old.  :)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 10

Today's challenge theme is 'nature'.  It didn't get a chance to take a picture today.  I was hardly outside so taking pictures of nature was out of the question unless I was walking to and from school or the U-bahn.  So, I cheated a bit and am using a picture from the summer.

This is a picture I took after a long hike into Rocky Mountain National Park.  I love this picture because I reminds me of peace, God's wonderful creativity, and my beloved Colorado.  I sat on the large rock after a long hard hike for an asthmatic and was just at peace within God's presence.  It was quite an accomplishment for me to make it here and I was proud of myself but I also realized that God is always looking out for me and knew that I would one day accomplish this feat even when I didn't think I could ever do it!  I am thankful for nature and that I was able to grow up in Colorado to be surrounded by amazing views of God's beautiful artistic eye.  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 9

Today's gratitude photo challenge's theme is 'an inspiring person'.  I had a hard time with this one as it made me even more homesick than I already was!  I initially thought of my parents and then realized that I am not in Colorado and cannot take their picture.  Then I wanted to play the Jesus card but, well you cannot take a picture of Jesus!  So, I thought long and hard and realized that there are MANY people here I admire which made this task even harder.  Then three specific people stood out.  Here they are...

These three cuties are students at ICSV.  I had two of them last year and really, truly miss having them in my class.  These three inspire me because they struggle with school.  They struggle in reading just like I did as a child.  Regardless of how much they struggle or how hard life here in Vienna is for them one thing about these cuties is that they NEVER lose their joy, their tenderheartedness, or their love for God.  I always stand back and watch these cuties and realize that I aspire to have their joy on a daily basis.  Not that fake kind of joy that some adults have mastered but that child-like joy that comes from deep within a person.  That joy that knows that the Lord is ever-present and always guiding our steps.  That joy that allows a person to look past their current struggle or worry to see the need in others and remember that they might be encouraged by my friendship or joy today!  These three inspire me to be a better teacher and person on a daily basis.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Photo Challenge - Day 8

Today's theme is 'favorite color'.  I wasn't sure if this meant my favorite color or what so I chose mine.  :)

Purple is my favorite color.  Sometimes I flop between blue and purple but I think, deep down, purple is my favorite.  I like blue because I love the color of my eyes.  Purple is fantastic.  Nothing on me is purple, well except for the time the nurse blew my vein with an IV and the next day my entire arm was purple!  Ha!  That was special.  I like purple because it is a girly color but not overly used.  It is the color of royalty in the Bible and purple lilacs are my absolute favorite flower.  Purple seems to make me think of strength and deep love.  It is a calming, refreshing color to me.  So, that is my favorite color!  

Monday, November 7, 2011

Gratitude Photo Challenge - Something Funny

A friend challenged encouraged me to try the 30 day Photo gratitude challenge.  There is a list of themes to capture a picture of each day.  It sounds like fun but I was hesitant because I am not the best photographer but I do enjoy a new way to see God's blessings within my life no matter how small.  So, here is today's theme: Something Funny.  I didn't have to look far to find something funny within my classroom.  Here are two funny things from today...

My boys were eating lunch in my classroom today.  This funny one chose to eat on the stool rather than at a desk or table.  We all laughed pretty hard as he looked like a little old man while trying to eat at his stool!  Ha!

We are doing a circle story unit.  We read "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie" by Laura Numeroff and then made the character to hang around our classroom.  Here is a pretty good likeness of the main character in the book.

Here is an intrepretation of that same character!  At least he did it and felt free enough to add his own style to it!  Ha!  I giggle everytime I see it! :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Taking the animals to see the wild animals!

Carrie and I took our 30 animals to see the wild animals at the zoo.  We did this to enhance our study of animal habitats!  It was a fun trip despite the cooler weather!  They had a grand time on their scavenger hunt through the zoo to locate which animals lived in which of the 6 habitats we had been studying!  So fun!  These kids are so cute and fun to hang out with.  We had marvelous parent volunteers that made this field trip go smoothly!

Some cuties! 
Posing for their teacher!

Facinated by the Hippos!

So cute!

Quite regal

Watching the Seal feeding

The most handsome 3rd graders at ICSV

More cute ones!