Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas at HOME!

Hello! I'm safely in the States and had a WONDERFUL Christmas with Isaac and the family.

It is soo good to be home, and it's great to be surrounded by not only immediate family, but also extended family this Christmas. In October, my Dad's twin brother and his family moved to Charlotte. Obviously I hadn't seen them here since they moved because I was gone already, but we've spent tons of time with them in the last few days, which I love. Also, yesterday my parents celebrated 25 years of marriage, so all 3 of my grandparents made the extra effort to come down to help celebrate. We went out for an excellent dinner last night and gave thanks to the Lord for that wonderful blessing.

Unless he's just a really good liar, Isaac is enjoying his time here as well. Everything is different, of course, including the meal schedule, but he's being a good sport.

I got a new digital camera for Christmas. It doesn't have quite the awesome zoom that my other one did, but it is MUCH smaller, so hopefully I'll take more pictures. Besides, since it's so small, there shouldn't be any problems keeping it attached to my body like another limb so it doesn't get stolen. Haha...

My sister pretty much still has control of my cell phone, but she's pretty much obligated to pass it to me if I'm around when you call, so go for it! And if not, she can at least give you the house number, where you're almost guaranteed to get me.

Hope this holiday season is giving you an opportunity to reflect on family as well as the Reason we are celebrating.

Soli Deo Gloria...

Monday, December 19, 2005


Here we are... another Monday morning, another entry in the good ol' blog. The difference this week, however, is that you're probably not gonna get another one next Monday morning! And no, it's not because I'm being stubborn. The simple fact is that I will BE AT HOME! and therefore won't be following the same routine.

In case you were wondering, I'm very excited about said opportunity. I'm trying not to wish Friday here already, because I know that as soon as I arrive it will be time to return (12 days is not enough). However, the thought of seeing family and friends really excites me.

Isaac is excited too. I would assume he's a little nervous too. He says he's not, but every time I get off the phone with my mom and tell him about another person who's waiting to meet him, he makes some joke about staying here and sending someone else in his place. Hahah...

Back to life here for a quick minute, things are going fine in the house. I pretty much co-exist there, but that's OK. Alina (the housekeeper) and I spend lots of time talking, which I enjoy and like to think that it keeps her from being so lonely. They did actually get internet hooked up this week, so that has potential to allow for more communication, but probably not 'til after Christmas since this week is so busy.

Speaking of busy... I have to get dressed for work. Feliz Navidad to you, and I hope to see lots of you while I'm home!

Soli Deo Gloria...

This is a P.S. I was so excited about going home that I forgot some importantish things! Tradition here is to put up a nice plastic tree (they tell me there aren't enough trees to cut down/throw away every year). The Jimenezs have had the same one for several years, but apparently now it's broken. So on Saturday, after seeing the largest Nativity Scene in Europe (please note... largest as in most buildings, not as in life-size... I was slightly disappointed by that) with Christie (my other American co-worker), Isaac and I went to the local Wal-Mart-type store to buy a 180cm fiber optic tree. My favorite part was when Isaac pulled out a box, held it out to look at it, and said "I think this is the best one!" I mean, the box HAS to be good... it's got to uphold the next 15 or so years of storage! But it reminded me of my dad in Home Depot looking at TREES instead of BOXES. I laughed. There are a few select pictures of Miriam and I decorating said Christmas wonder on my pics page. Check it out.

Monday, December 12, 2005


I don't know why it's always so hard for me to sit down and type here. It's probably because I want to take like an hour to do it, so I try to wait until I have an hour but I never have that much time.

Oh well... this past week, super fast.

Monday -- received my student residence card here, so I feel official (even though I already was). Besides, now I don't have to carry my passport to be able to use my debit card. Also used it to get a library card so I can read books in the metro without buying them.

Tuesday -- holiday. Enjoyed sleeping in, had my English class with Feli in the afternoon, and hung out with Isaac and fam in the afternoon.

Wednesday -- back to work, to Aravaca in the afternoon, and back to Isaac's house at night.

Thursday -- another holiday, and the beginning of a long weekend. We left at 9am (Isaac, his parents and I) to visit their hometowns in southern Spain. We were able to borrow Jonathan's camera, so I did post some pictures (the link is below, if you forgot). You'll have to read the captions for more details since I don't have time here (although, now that I think about it, I didn't even finish the last few captions. oh well.) We returned on Sunday afternoon. Let's suffice it to say that it was a great time, very relaxing, meeting his family and eating lots of home-grown food. And that, even though the weather was nice outside, the lack of heat makes the houses supercold inside. I've never been so cold in my life!

Hopefully next weekend I'll get around to writing more, and the weekend after that is Christmas and I'm home! Wow, does time fly...

Soli Deo Gloria...

Monday, December 05, 2005

new house!

Here we are, another Monday morning.

First, I would like to apologize to those of you who actually read this on a regular basis for not writing last Monday. I didn't wake up early enough to write... haha.

Plenty has happened in the last 2 weeks, including a lack of Thanksgiving celebration, which ended up to be harder than I had thought it would be. However, the most important event is that we finally moved last Monday afternoon! Having never been to the new house before -- and considering that boss-lady doesn't ever have to use public transportation so she was clueless for giving instructions -- it took me quite a while to arrive the first time. Now, however, it only takes me 1 hour and 15 mins to get to work (as opposed to 2+ in the other house), and without traffic I'm only a 5 min bus ride from the metro, which is significantly closer to civilization than I've been thus far.

I have my own room (which is not anyone else's office, like it was before), and the bathroom that the housekeeper and I share is in the hallway, instead of inside her room. My room is quite small, but sufficient, and at least I have closet space now so I'm not still living out of suitcases!

Things at the school are still going great, and we're starting to teach the kids Christmas carols in English to sing for their parents. The 5-yr-olds are doing a simplified version of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas", and the first graders are singing "When Santa Got Stuck Up The Chimney", which unfortunately I had never heard before. I don't think we realize how complicated Christmas carols really are until you teach them to little kids who don't really speak English. I mean, for real... what ARE "bobtails" anyway?

This week is holiday madness here, as Tuesday AND Thursday are holidays, and in the schools we have Friday off too. We've worked it that Isaac and his parents have Friday off too, and we're leaving early Thursday morning to drive down south, hang out in his parents' hometowns, and meet some extended family. Should be a good time.

Now, before I get dressed, I'll leave you with one fun anecdote. It'll make me look like an idiot, but the few of you that read this certainly already know that, so why shouldn't I give you a good laugh?

On Friday I decided to take advantage of my new close-ness to civilization, and Isaac and I were going to see a movie with some friends after I taught class at the house. He waited for me, thoroughly exploring the shops around said civilized metro station (I keep repeating this, but I wish I could more thoroughly explain the joy that it gives me to be so close to stores and restaurants!). I arrived at 9ish, and we wandered around, waiting for them to pick us up, until at 9:45ish they called to say there was too much traffic and that we should take a bus. Long story, but the bus to get to that theater would take an hour, and Isaac had to work on Saturday morning, so we bagged the idea and just headed home. On the way, while changing metro lines, I decided it would be fun to fall DOWN the escalator. Yup, you read that right. I mean, I've fallen UP them before (just once). It kinda sucks 'cuz you feel like everyone around is laughing at you and you get escalator marks and grease on your hands, but falling DOWN is much worse. Thankfully, Isaac was only a few stairs in front of me, and even more thankfully he didn't fall over when I grabbed onto him on the way down, definitely saving me from smashing my teeth in. There is a small tear in one knee of my jeans, and each leg has 2 or 3 bruises from where I hit the edges of the stairs, but otherwise I'm unharmed. And I can laugh about it now... haha.

Hope you have a good week. I am super-excited about being home in less than 3 weeks. Which reminds me, if you didn't get an email invite to my New Year's Eve party, it wasn't on purpose, so just let me know and I'll send you the info.

Soli Deo Gloria...