Sunday, November 12, 2006


so... i was just moseying (word?) about the internet this morning, procrastinating the inevitable paper-writing (not that i really have time to procrastinate any more, but for real... who wants to work on a paper within minutes of waking up? and since i had no emails to give me a "warm-up," random surfing will have to do), when what do i come across, but a club that i had never heard of. it's called World RPS and has its headquarters in Toronto, Canada (although previously they were in London). actually, when the group reached 10,000 members in 1925, they also changed the name from "club" to the World RPS Society, because it sounded more mature. haha...

so, to what does this "society" dedicate itself, you might be asking, and it would be a good question. the answer? Rock, Paper, Scissors. and yes, i mean the game that we've been playing since we were 5. nothing fancy about it. all i can say, is that it takes all kinds to make the world go round...

if you don't believe me (or even if you do), check it out at

that's enough surfing for me... i'm gonna go get ready.

Soli Deo Gloria...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

in the midst of the mire

hey guys! life has been crazy and i know i haven't written much lately, so i figured i'd take a few minutes before heading off to class to update you on what's been going on lately.


ok, that's all i really need to say.

what? that's not exciting enough? tell me about it! i'm the one who's been living it!

alright, fine. my grandparents came to visit one Sunday afternoon about 2 weeks ago. it's not normal for g'rents who live in New Jersey to come visit their g'kids in North Carolina just for the afternoon, but they did. it was fun to see them.

i also had Homecoming at Furman. have i told y'all about that yet? it was so much fun to catch up with people again, even though i stilled missed seeing quite a few. Homecoming is one of those times where you just have to make sure that your expectations are reasonable and you'll have a great time. since time on the FU Mall is invitably made up of interrupting someone's "catch-up" time with someone else so that you can hear their update, only to be promptly interrupted yourself by someone who either wants to talk to you or your conversation partner. thus, one rarely finishes a sentence, let alone a complete thought process. but, like i said, as long as you realize that going in... you're bound to have a blast.

since then, i've pretty much made myself crack down on work. as you fellow students can relate (and even you recently graduated folk), the end of the semester tends to be rather miserable. everything is due at the same time, and it's all stuff that either you were procrastinating or couldn't actually do until the last few days/weeks. this is made even more exciting when you are teaching (meaning you have to try to cram the last chapter into 2 days, write exams/compositions and then grade them) as well as studying (involving term papers, lots of reading). thankfully (the Lord is good, so thanks for your prayers and keep them up!), i have been able to nearly finish 1 of my 3 term papers. i'm still relying on Him to pull me through the last 2, but at least i've got one class that i'm fairly guaranteed not to fail!

part of the pressure, of course, is brought on by the fact that my beloved Isaac is coming to visit me in precisely 1 week :) i'm thrilled! maybe it's just the excitement that's somehow getting me through paper-writing madness. who knows. his time here will be short (just under 2 weeks, and lots of travelling), but we're gonna live it up.

ok, it's time for class. a bit of business translation craziness... let's see if we get our last exam back?!?!

Soli Deo Gloria...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

movie "review"

i am most certainly not going to consider myself a movie critic, not even by a long stretch of the imagination. however, i went to see a movie last night with my family, thoroughly enjoyed it, and would recommend it to everyone i know (in fact, that's precisely what i'm doing). it's called "Facing the Giants" and is a wonderful portrayal of the Gospel. it's "about" football, but focuses on faith and glorifying God, something that we don't see much of (or at all) in movie theaters these days -- quite the breath of fresh air. besides, it happened to fit right in with what i'm studying in my small group... faith, remember? i'm too tired from paper writing right now or i'd probably begin to wax theological on you.

here's the link for the movie: it's still showing in some theaters, so please go see it. it's worth the $6, $7 or even $8 it'll cost you, and above all, it will make a statement that this is the kind of movie we want to see.

Soli Deo Gloria...

Monday, October 16, 2006


i've recently discovered that i'm scared of believing God. don't get me wrong -- not believing IN God, just believing Him.

let me back up. i started a small group Bible study a few weeks ago. it's by Beth Moore and is entitled, surprisingly enough, Believing God. in essence, it's really about faith, and i'm learning a lot. that opening statement is just the beginning.

i believe in Him alright... i know He exists, and trust Him for salvation... but i don't think that truth always carries out into my life; i don't always live as if it i believed it. as Beth says, my theology doesn't always meet with my reality.

a few big things are going on in my life right now. in theory, i've been praying about them for a while. in reality, they've sloshed around my muggy prayer life from time to time as i've thought about praying for them, but haven't carried it out. yes, i know God can read my thoughts, but there's still something to be said, i believe, for officially laying them before His throne in humble adoration. i begin to digress.

the issue at hand is why i haven't been praying for these things. i've come to the realization that i'm fearful. fearful that, if i give them over to Him, He'll say "no," and i'll have a reason to be mad/angry/bitter. i'm afraid that if i ask Him to do something, then i'll expect Him to "come through" because of my extremely amazing faith or something. if i don't actually pray about them, then it's not His "fault" if things don't go my way, and i can only blame myself for the mess. i think this stems from 2 issues: 1) a lack of faith that He is capable of doing these things (i.e. performing miracles), and 2) a lack of trust that He will do what's best for me, even if it's not what i ask.

long story made slightly not-as-long, i've committed to truly praying daily for a few things:
1) that the way would be made clear for Isaac to live in the States come January,
2) for his brother, Pablo, who is in the military in Spain and is being sent to Afganistan on Oct 25th for at least 2 months,
3) for my mom's good friend, my "Aunt" Cindy, whose breast cancer from 10 years ago has returned and is now vigorously attacking her bones (and possibly her brain, we found out tonight), and
4) for the ability and wisdom to write my term papers well and in a timely manner.

overall, i'm praying for God to be BIG. according to Psalm 77:14, He is "the God who works wonders (or performs miracles, depending on the version)." i'm praying to see them. i'm also crying out, as a father did many years ago "I believe; help my unbelief!" (Mark 9:24).

if the Lord tugs on your heart to join me in prayer for these things, or for my own unbelief, i'd greatly appreciate it. and whether or not that's the case, thanks for tracking with me.

may my life continue to echo "Soli Deo Gloria..."

Saturday, October 14, 2006

today is a big day

how many posts have i put up today? and one yesterday too! wow. y'all should feel special.

just wanted to let you know that i got back from the theater just now. saw "Shear Madness" at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. it's a murder mystery where the audience gets involved. tons of fun. and the $15 student ticket was pretty cool too. i think i'll just be a student forever -- that's $10 off the regular price! if you live in Charlotte i recommend it. it'll be there until the end of the year, and it shows nearly every day of the week.

it was also fun to see LA. it's not every day that one gets to hang out with friends that they studied abroad with!

now i'm gonna try to work a bit more on my paper before hitting the haysack... haha. good thing i don't have allergies.

Soli Deo Gloria...

why new posts are suddenly appearing

quick note... i decided to "convert" my old blog into this new one, so i am (slowly but surely) moving over my old posts so that nothing is lost.

that's it! enjoy some "historical" reading, if it suits you.

oh, p.s. now that i'm in the blogger beta, things are much cooler but i can't use my fun new widget anymore! bummer. i'm sure they'll update it soon enough though.

Friday, October 13, 2006

trying out my new widget

apparently, i can post to my blogs now without even leaving the comfort of my own dashboard. and i most certainly do like my dashboard, so this should be nice. for those of you who are not familiar with macs, a dashboard is a really cool function. you add widgets to the dashboard, and the do all kinds of neat things. i have one, for example, that's a world clock -- i have it set to Madrid time. another one can convert currency, measurements, etc. i have a calculator, a thesaurus, the Spanish dictionary, my new Gmail messages, and a countdown to when my baby comes to visit me for Thanksgiving (currently it sits at 34 days!).

so anyway, it's been one of those lazy days. i did actually get some work done, and will have to do some more before going to bed (the joys of getting a Master's, i guess). my parents are out of town, so i made dinner for my sis and i, and i'm getting ready to try to make some Spanish potato salad so we can eat it tomorrow (tastes better if it's been sitting overnight in the fridge).

random... (my Gmail inbox widget just popped up with a new email from Mastercard saying that my payment is due soon) has anyone seen the new Mastercard commercial? with an international couple... it goes something like "engagement ring - $9,000. plane ticket from Japan - $15,000." and then it goes into this impossible-to-reproduce introduction of Japanese and American family members... it feels particularly like my life (although, minus the whole engagement ring part so far) and really makes me laugh. i tried to find it on YouTube this morning, but couldn't. otherwise i'd share the link.

ok... off to peel potatoes. g'night!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Ready to start another week

It's interesting to consider the cyclical pattern that is our life. Each week starts and ends, and oftentimes I find myself subconciously viewing each week as a "mini-life" and forgetting that they are all a part of a grander plan. "If I can just make it through this week," I think to myself, "then everything will be just fine." But that's so bogus. There is nothing that intrinsically separates Sunday from Monday, Monday from Tuesday, the weekend from the week, and on down the line. The mistakes I make today may very possibly have effects far into next week. On the flip side, the things I do right this week are very likely to carry forth into the weeks to come as well.

This applies to our spiritual life as well, without a doubt. When I trust God for His provision, I'm going to see the ripple effect of that beyond flipping the calendar. And I'm not only talking about "big" things... any minute detail of my life can (and ought to be) entrusted to God's care. When I begin to truly lean on Him and not only believe IN Him, but also BELIEVE Him, perhaps He'll show me how to step back and see the trees for the forest they are a part of. And maybe, just maybe, He'll allow me a small peak into how my forest is a small corner of His world.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

on the move again

I think I should be traumatized. Every time I write in this blog, I either have nothing interesting to say... or way too much interesting to say. Interesting, of course, being a very subjective word.

Interesting news for this week: I was (more or less) kicked out of the house with the family this past weekend. Long story made somewhat less long, the mom got Salmonella(sp?) Poisoning, and after discovering that her 14-yr-old had failed 3 classes, was in quite a bad mood. It was at this point that she decided to come into my room and tell me that she didn't need me anymore and that I "could" leave as soon as possible.

That was Tuesday. On Thursday, I came home from my last day of school to find that she had been admitted into the hospital at least until Sunday. On Saturday, Isaac and I went to get my bags. This morning I went by to, theoretically, say goodbye to the whole family. However, the mom is still in the hospital and only 1 daughter was there. Oh well... I turned in my key and I'll send them all emails later.

Isaac's wonderful parents have been kind enough to let me stay here, facilitated by the unfortunate delayed arrival from the U.S. of Miriam's best friend. Hopefully Jessica will be able to join us later this week, at which point I will likely go stay with some other friends who live close to the church.

In the meantime, I'm here trying to help out as much as possible, while tying up loose ends and saying goodbyes here in Spain. I leave for home early next Wednesday morning, July 5, and (Lord willing) will make it there by early that afternoon. I'll get my cell phone number to y'all as soon as I have it (although I'll send it by email, so if you don't get it, let me know).

Soli Deo Gloria...

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

making up for lost time

A day... right.

The last week that Mom was here, my Aunt Nora came also. I took a day off of work to take them to Salamanca, and we got together for dinner every night they were here. We also spent a ton of time over at Isaac's house with his family... they are so sweet and giving!

Mom and Aunt Nora left early on Friday morning, April 28, and I left later that afternoon for a car trip with Isaac and some other friends from church. We headed up to a small town in Galicia (northwestern Spain) where we visited some friends of ours. We had a great time, just relaxing and catching up with them (and hanging out with their 2-yr-old twin girls!), and came back on Tues evening (since Mon and Tues were holidays).

The following week was also short, because then we left on Friday afternoon to go down south for Isaac's cousin's wedding on Saturday. Pics are up on my dotPhoto page. We had a lot of fun at the wedding and seeing his family again, and it was also my birthday... it was nice to have something different to do.

Monday the 15th was also a holiday (the last one while I'm still here, in fact), but we decided to just stay at home and chill instead of trying to take another trip.

Things here at the house and at school have been fairly calm and uneventful. We had Cultural Week at school, which was honestly more of a headache than anything, between trying to teach the kids skits in English, and changing schedules all week and such, but at least it was something different.

Then we hit the month of June, and things got even more crazy/calm... if it's possible to have both at the same time. School now ends for me at 1:30 every day -- it gets so hot here, and the schools don't have AC, so the months of Sept and June they have a shorter school day! It's kinda nice, but it's also kinda a race against the clock to finish the work in class periods that are suddenly much shorter.

It has given me a bit more freedom in the afternoons though. One day I went up to have lunch with Isaac at work, tomorrow I'm planning to give my class here at the house a little earlier than usual so he and I can go to the gym together afterwards, and I also want to have lunch with some friends one day this week. On days when I do come straight home, it gives me time to relax (and sometimes even nap!) before starting class at home.

Other than that, I'm down to the last countdown. 3 weeks and a day or so until I'm home. I'm super excited, but obviously there is a part of me that is hesitant also... and it's not only the part that realizes my boyfriend and I will be a bajillion miles apart! This year has been great, and I feel like it's not fair that I have to end another "chapter" of my life already... I mean, I feel like I just said goodbye to Furman!

But hey... I'm planning on being at UNC Charlotte next year for a Master's, which should be fun. And besides, God is in control and will work things out for His glory. Speaking of which...

Soli Deo Gloria...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

family time!

My goodness, my goodness. It has been a looong time. Sorry about that. Life has been absolutely CRAZY for about the last month -- in a very good way, don't get me wrong -- but unfortunately it hasn't left much time for things like emailing and blog or picture updating.

Quite certainly there is NO way I can do justice to these last few weeks, primarily because I was not blessed with enough patience to sit down and thoroughly describe 4 weeks of (almost) vacation in one sitting. The good news is, I suppose that very few of you were blessed with the patience to read it all anyway, so I kinda get off the hook. Anyway... on with the story.

It all began on Palm Sunday (which happened to be April 9, to admit just how long it has been) when my family (i.e. dad, mom and sister since brother had exam prep) arrived in Madrid. We (+ boyfriend)left the following day for Barcelona and spent the week there. We stayed in quite a nice hotel, which was fun. We walked a lot, saw quite a bit of the city and sampled lots of restaurants, but the best part was just being together. A few highlights: the bike tour through the city, Gaudí day (we saw the Sagrada Familia cathedral, Parque Güell and Casa Milá, all designed by Antonio Gaudí... look him up, he's interesting), and our hike/tour through the mountain village of Rupit (which sits about 1.5 hours outside of the city... it was gorgeous and the meal we ate there was by far the best!).

Upon returning to Madrid on Saturday, we were swept away to Barcience to show my parents where the house will be, and at the same time for us to see the progress on the neighborhood. It's slow going, but some changes can be noticed. Keep an eye out for new photos in the "Barcience" album. This trip was followed by a delightful dinner and conversation at Pastor Hanna's house. Easter Sunday my family and I spent at church, Monday we putzed about the city, and Tuesday my sister came to work with me while my parents toured the city on their own. Wednesday am early, Janelle and Dad headed back to the States.

Mom and I spent the next 2 nights at Isaac's house (she came to work with me on Thursday... remind me to tell you how we got locked in) and had a great time just hanging out with his family and doing a bit of shopping.

Unfortunately, you'll have to wait at least another day for the continuation of this saga, because between slow internet and a phone call, I've spent over 1.5 hours writing this, and I'm really tired.

Soli Deo Gloria...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

overcoming the "reluctance"

You're getting a two-for-the-price-of-one this week, and since I know you aren't expecting it I'll go ahead and warn you -- if you missed out on yesterday's posting, read it before you continue with this one or you'll be a bit lost.

So, I didn't want to go to the doctor, but I knew I needed to. The doctor that is covered under my insurance here is only open from 11:30-12:30 M-F and I couldn't decide if I should ask off one job (at the school) to go there, or ask off the other (at home) to go to an emergency clinic and beg Isaac to come with me so I wouldn't be alone.

When I got to school this morning, I decided I would ask what I needed to do if I wanted to go to the doctor (i.e. get permission from the Principal, sign a form... who knows). However (I'll admit the weakness), I was so stressed and worried about it that I started bawling. My coworker/supervisor, Sandra, pulled me aside and was like "are you OK?" I explained that I was nervous about going to the doctor... and she offered to go with me!! I felt really bad, but she said she didn't mind.

We left after my first class and she was very understanding. The doctor was a very nice, older gentleman. He explained that the normal cold virus has been accompanied by a bacteria this year, making it harder to fight. He prescribed me an antibiotic (thanks to Sandra I explained that I am allergic to Penicillin) and Paracetamol, which apparently is Tylenol (yeah for doing internet research). He also recommended some "home remedies" like eating a spoonful of honey with a few drops of lemon, gargling salt water, and boiling Eucalyptus leaves to breathe the air better or something.

Overall, I am glad Sandra came with me, although I probably could have handled it by myself. She served as a "mom-figure" for a scared little girl who was apparently so nervous that she turned to her right when the doctor said to make a left at the end of the hall :) It was nice to have an extra set of ears, and to have her be able to explain some things to me better after we left. Apparently she had warned their teacher that we would miss English class due to a doctor visit, so when we went in to Science this afternoon, all my cute kiddos asked if I felt better. It was precious.

The best part is that I ended the day having spent less than 8€... amazing difference from all the co-pays I would've been charged in the States. Of course, that doesn't include all the money I dropped shopping to celebrate my victory, but that's a story for another day...

Soli Deo Gloria..

Monday, March 27, 2006

post-Sevilla snot

I was gently reminded by a faithful friend that I forgot to post last week. For anyone who happened to be worried... relax! I'm fine :) It just so happens that Isaac and I spent last weekend in Sevilla with his brother's family and we didn't arrive back to Madrid until very late Monday night (otherwise known as Tuesday morning). I usually write from his house and I didn't have time on Tuesday morning before heading off to work.

We had a good time in Sevilla, although it rained most of the weekend and Isaac's adorably niece had a sore throat and was fairly fussy all weekend. Oh well, at least we got to breathe air that wasn't from Madrid, get to know his family better, and get to experience long-distance bus travel. Of those 3 things, the only one I'm NOT interested in doing again is the part about the bus travel. We left at 4pm on Monday. The "6-hour" bus trip didn't get us home until 1am on Tuesday morning due to incredible traffic on the highway. At least I wasn't alone...

Last week went fast, since it was short. And then I didn't even have to work at the house on Friday afternoon because the family left town to celebrate their grandfather's 90th birthday. A bunch of us went to Hard Rock on Friday night to celebrate Kelley, Joy and Virginia's birthdays. We had fun, but remind me not to go there again... the music is too loud :)

Saturday was relaxing... around the house cleaning and such. Saturday evening, we got to see our friend Liz for a few short hours after Bible study. I wasn't feeling so hot, but seeing her at least distracted me. Sunday evening I started feeling pooey again and had a low-grade fever. This morning I woke up with no fever, but a super-congested nose. I went to work, and really have felt fine all day... except for that raw-nose feeling you get after blowing it so much.

Isaac keeps telling me I should go to the doctor, but I really dread the idea. I haven't been to the doctor for anything other than a regular check-up in years, and this one won't even speak my language! The irrational fear that most people have of dentists, I think I have of doctors. Although I prefer the term "reluctance" -- it's just not practical to go. I mean, I have to get time off work and everything. Skipping class was so much easier... you didn't have to ask for favors from anyone but yourself. So anyway, he's practically threatened me to go tomorrow, so we'll see what happens.

Soli Deo Gloria...

Thursday, March 09, 2006

internet at home!

I realize that I'm writing at an odd time and on an odd day. You probably think it's just another holiday that us crazy spaniards have (and I can say "us" because I live here and because I'm dating one), but it's not. The fact of the matter is that I have internet in my house now! Thanks to my wonderful spaniard of a boyfriend, who has graciously lent me his laptop and has come to the house to install the router. Unfortunately, it appears the family bought a rather cheap router so I get cut off quite frequently, but it's still an improvement from before.

These last two weeks have gone well and smoothly, both here at home and at school. I have recently been tied up with a few tasks (which certainly make me appreciate even more the internet access) which include applying to UNC Charlotte's MA in Spanish program, and planning part of the trip for us when my parents come to visit over Spring Break/ Easter.

My health has been a little sketchy... I think I already told you about the Monday evening that I spent completely in bed? I have definitely improved since then, but still have a bit of a cough and a stuffy nose. Hasn't really limited me in any way (I'm back to going to the gym, and haven't missed any work), but I'm not gonna lie that it's starting to get on my nerves.

The weather is improving a bit, although they say that Spring here is a bit wacky and practically means some nice days mixed in with really cold days which eventually turns into a blooming-hot summer by May. Maybe I'll complain later, but for now I'm very happy to have been able to leave my heavy coat at home for the last two days.

Isaac is doing well, although he did end up staying home on Monday 'cuz he was really congested and his eyes were red from sneezing quite a bit. But he was back to routine by Tuesday and is almost back to 100% by now. He and I are hoping to go to Sevilla next weekend to see Pablo and family, but we'll have to see about that.

I think that's all I've got for you now. Prayers are greatly appreciated as I'm attempting not to stress about things. Oh yeah - and I just put up a few pics that you may (or may not) enjoy checking out. Not exactly current, but the new house is included, and some of Isaac's niece from when they visited a few weekends ago.

Soli Deo Gloria...

Monday, February 27, 2006

a city snowfall

Nothing too terribly exciting to share this week.

Monday afternoon I had a fever, I think, and the family was nice enough to let me go to bed at 6pm without giving any class. I slept all night (and took some meds they gave me), woke up fever-free Tuesday morning, showered, went to work... and have been getting better ever since. The congestion and a bit of a cough has been hanging on hard, but I think (hope!) that I've about shaken it. The worst part about the whole thing is that I couldn't go to the gym... and since I finally found one two weeks ago, to not be able to go during the whole second week of my membership really irked me. Oh well.

It snowed a bit on Saturday night. Started as rain. Isaac and I turned off the TV around 1am so we could listen to it (it's kinda rare that there's a good rain to listen to here in Madrid so we took advantage of the opportunity). As we sat there watching/listening/talking, it turned into a freezing rain, and eventually snow. It was a very relaxing evening, but due to the late hour at which we finally left the snow to fall by itself, we were once again thankful that church here doesn't start until noon!

Yesterday Isi and Rachel and their almost 2-yr-old twins were at church. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures, but we enjoyed a good time with them. Take my word that the girls are precious:) Hopefully Isaac and I will be able to go up to visit them in Galicia on our long weekend at the beginning of May. We'll see.

I always ending up coming up with more to say than I thought I would. Perhaps that means I share some not-so-interesting things with you. Not going to apologize though -- no one makes you read this :) Have a great week.

Soli Deo Gloria...

Monday, February 20, 2006

movie madness

Same time, same place... here we are.

Nothing too super-crucial or new to tell you about today. Things are still going well with the new family and at school. I joined a gym last weekend (can't remember if I mentioned that before) and I was able to go 3 times this past week, which makes me happy.

I s'pose I could also point out that we took advantage of the "special day" this week as an excuse to go out for a nice dinner on Tuesday night. While neither of us are big Valentine's Day people, we don't get to do that kind of thing very often (or even see eachother midweek), so it was a nice treat.

I spent the weekend here at Isaac's house again (surprise! haha) and we pretty much just took it easy. We (or rather I, since he fell asleep after the first 1/2 hour) watched Sahara on Friday night, and we both slept in late on Saturday. Saturday night after Bible study we went over to some friends house to watch another movie (An Unfinished Life with JLo and Willie Freeman... I'd never heard of it) and eat pizza. And last night, after church, he watched The Rock with his parents while I spent all night on the phone with my parents and Jessica, who called. I think we need to work on our movie-watching timing.

Since there's not much exciting to talk about, I think I'll take my stuffed-up nose to get dressed and ready for work so I'm not late. Until next week!

Soli Deo Gloria...

Monday, February 13, 2006

Pablo and fam visit

I am happy to share that things are still going well with my new family (and, less surprising but also positive, at school too). I actually thought that I wasn't gonna have to work at all on Friday, and was slightly disappointed when I ended up having to work from 6:30-8:30, but it turned out to not be a problem. Isaac was at home all day with his face a little swollen from having a tooth pulled on Wednesday, so I got to hang out with him in the afternoon for a few hours to keep him company before heading back to work. In the evening, I was able to sit on the sun-porch to catch some wireless internet and talk to him and my mom over the computer. Yeah for having some technology! In theory, they are going to install a wireless router in the next week or 10 days, which should mean that I can sit in the comfort of my own room and send emails ;)

On Saturday morning I headed over to Isaac's house again, but took a different route to the metro and ran into a gym, which I ended up joining. I'm excited about the opportunity... now I just have to take the time to take advantage of it!

Around 3 o'clock, after having some car trouble en route, Isaac's brother Pablo, along with his wife Sara and daughter Marta, arrived. We all had lunch and hung out for what was left of the afternoon. Marta turns 2 next month. She's still a little unsure about me, but she's adorable as she wanders around the house calling for her grandparents and her "tito" and "tita" (i.e. uncle and auntie -- Miriam and Isaac).

I had planned to sleep at my house so as to give them more room, but they refused to let me, so after Bible study Isaac and I took the metro to my house to grab my stuff and then back to theirs. We had a good time talking to his parents and Pablo and Sara for an hour or so before it was time to play musical beds.

Sunday was great -- the afternoon always is a bit crazy when there are extra people around, but I love it. After church in the evening we had Pastor Hanna and his family over, along with Kelley and Angel to celebrate Sara's 31st birthday, which is on Tuesday. More great time of laughter and fellowship, and besides, when asked "where's Justine?" Marta actually pointed at me! I was thrilled to be recognized... haha.

You should also be glad to know that no one stole my camera this weekend (which is what happened last time Pablo and Sara came) so I will eventually be able to post some pictures of the weekend, hopefully this week.

Ok, off to get ready for work.

Soli Deo Gloria...

Monday, February 06, 2006

good news about the new house

Gonna keep this short, but just wanted to let y'all know that things are going well in the new house! The girls are older and more mature, and understand why I'm there. I say it's time, and they immediately begin discussing who goes first. We sit down, do homework, and when we finish, play games (with the 8-yr-old) or talk (with the 13- and 16-yr-olds). After an hour with one, I move on to the next. They are nice, the food is good, and I already have a key (which I never had in the other house!).

In addition to all this, it takes me less than an hour to get to work, when before I was averaging 1 hour and 10 mins. And not only do I have weekends free, but it seems as though I'll be able to leave early (I usually work 5-8) on Fridays -- this weekend I left just before 6!

Isaac's brother, sister-in-law and niece were supposed to come up from Sevilla this weekend, but in the end they weren't able to. We missed them, but with all the craziness of 9 visitors from Northern Ireland on Sunday to celebrate Jonathan's ordination as Deacon, it maybe is better if they come on a more calm weekend.

Ok, gotta get dressed, make the bed and head off to work. Have a great week!

Soli Deo Gloria...

Monday, January 30, 2006

I've left!

I'm posting a little bit later today due to the fact that we don't have school. Not that anyone will notice, since it's still really early in the States, but hey...

This week has been great. A week ago today I told the lady I was living with that I was leaving, and she told me to head out on Tuesday, so I did. I've been at Isaac's house with his family since then and it's been sooo relaxing! I moved my stuff into the new house on Friday, but they are out of town for this weekend, so I'll head there tomorrow afternoon after school and actually start working/living there then. I'm excited about the change, but I have been a bit spoiled this week so it might be a bit hard to adjust.

Wednesday night I had a 3-hour meeting for my job at the school, which was less boring than I thought it would be (and happened to run into the woman who was sitting next to me on the plane in December... small world!). Thursday night we got together with two of Isaac's friends, which was fun. I had met Dani before (you may remember him from pics of Segovia in the Fall), but the other I was convinced didn't even exist because he was never able to get together. But! have no fear... Manolo does exist, and he's a nice guy too! Saturday, Dani took us to Toledo and Barcience (the small town outside Toledo where Isaac's house is being built) and we took a bunch of pictures, which are being uploaded as I type, so check them out. There are also some pics from Christmas, etc. if you're interested -- the link is at the bottom of this page still (where it says "about me - read my profile").

Saturday evening we had Youth Group/Bible Study again for the first time since before Christmas, and enjoyed the opportunity to introduce a new topic for this semester, and then go out for dinner with everyone afterwards.

I think that's all I've got for this week. Hope all is going well with you!

Soli Deo Gloria...

Monday, January 23, 2006

Homefront Changes

Good morning! I think I skipped last week, so I'm sorry to the few of you faithful travelers who were disappointed last Monday morning.

This week has been rather crazy, actually. Calm and normal at the school, but things on the homefront are changing around a bit. At the beginning of the week I realized that I'm still not happy with the family I live with, even now that we've been in the new house over a month. "Grin and bear it" wasn't seeming like a good option either, since I still have over 1/2 my trip left. So... I emailed the agency that placed me with the family and asked if it would be possible to change. Friday I met with a new family, and by next Monday I should be settled into a new context.

This family also has 3 girls, but they are 8, 13 and 16 so my job will be less playing games and disciplining, and more teaching English. They have had other Language Assistants before (many of whom they still keep in touch with), so they know the drill. Their house should cut about 15 minutes each way off my commute to work, and it's right near where I lived 2 years ago, so I'm familiar with and like the neighborhood. I'll work 5-8ish instead of 6-9ish, so it will be possible to go out for dinner, hang out, or see a movie afterwards if/when I want to.

Overall, I'm very excited about the change, and am praying that it will be as good as it sounds.

In other news, this weekend was the annual church dinner, so we all went to a nice restaurant on Saturday and had a great time enjoying fellowship among fellow brothers and sisters and good food. The meal was followed by a congregational meeting to give reports on the different goings-on in the church over the last year, including Youth Group, Sunday School, Budget, etc. Yesterday was Efraín's profession of faith, so a bunch of his extended family was visiting in the morning.

Well, off to school I go... it is Monday morning here, after all. Talk at you when I get a chance!

Soli Deo Gloria...

Monday, January 09, 2006

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I am (we are, I should say) safely back in Spain as of Thursday afternoon. They left our bags in Philadelphia again, which kinda stunk because it means the gifts in them were not given until later, but that's ok. January 6 is Three Kings Day (more commonly known in the States as Epiphany) and here in Spain they give gifts on the 6th instead of on the 25th.

Due to a random and somewhat frustrating, but eventually good, turn of events (which included me taking a different route back than was expected, and arriving 3 hours earlier), we were able to see the big parade that they always do through Madrid the evening of the 5th. We got some pictures, and I'll put them up for you next weekend perhaps.

Having not slept much on the plane, by 9:30pm the night of our arrival, we went to bed, simply to wake up around 12:30, hungry and not at all tired any more. I must be getting old, because jet lag has definitely affected me more on this trip than I ever remember before. After finally going to sleep again around 4, Three Kings day started when we were unwillingly dragged out of bed at 9:30am. After opening gifts, we all got ready before our Pastor and his family (who also happen to be good friends of ours, if you're just tuning in) came over for lunch.

On Saturday, we went to the mountains and played in the snow. Yeah for my new, super-warm Columbia coat! And to everyone here who provided me with good and rather water-proof clothing, since I certainly don't have any of that here. They made my day not only survivable, but quite enjoyable to boot!

Today was Sunday. It was good to be back in church again and see everyone else. This evening we dropped my suitcases off at the house in Aravaca (Alicia actually let Isaac in the door this time... maybe because he was still in his suit from church, instead of in jeans!) and then went out to dinner with a few other friends for one last good time before work starts again tomorrow. (Which reminds me... up until today, I hadn't even spoken to the family that I live with... this whole time I've been with Isaac and his family... it's been sooo relaxing!)

Anyway... this is getting long and is probably incomprehensible, so even though I'm not really tired yet -- body clock still doesn't realize it's 1:20am -- I'm gonna head out. Getting up around 8 tomorrow will come earlier than it should.

Much love, and it was great to see those of you who I saw over the break! Those of you who I didn't see... just let me know when you're coming and I'll work on which museums we should go see ,)

Soli Deo Gloria...