Friday, January 2, 2015

Books read in 2014

Here are most of the books I read in 2014. My goal was 50 and I made it thanks to audio books. I think I will keep the goal at 50 books for 2015 and try to get all the rest of the Newbery award winners read as well. 

  1. Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver 
  2. Lord of the Rings-Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
  3. Lord of the Rings- Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
  4. Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis
  5. Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
  6. Midnight for Charlie Bone by Jenny Nimmo
  7. Redwall by Brian Jacques 
  8. The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman
  9. A Gathering of Days by Joan W. Blos
  10. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming
  11. Crispin by Avi
  12. M.C. Higgins, The Great by Virginia Hamilton
  13. The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson
  14. Dreams and Visions: Muslims' Miraculous Journey to JESUS by Rick Kronk
  15. The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
  16. The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
  17. Loser by Jerry Spinelli
  18. Ida B.  Katherine Hannigan
  19. The Doll People by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin
  20. A Single Shard by  Linda Sue Park
  21. Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan
  22. Jotham's Journey by Arnold Ytreeide
  23. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
  24. Penny from Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm
  25. If you want to Walk on Water, you've got to get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg
  26. The Fault in Our Stars John Green
  27. Know Fear by Ed Young Jr
  28. The Spiderwick Chronicles: The Seeing Stone by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
  29. Traveling Light by Max Lucado
  30. Anne of Green Gables  by Lucy Maud Montgomery 
  31. Anna of Avonlea by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  32. Frindle by Andrew Clements
  33. Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff
  34. Anne of the Island by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  35. Anne of Windy Poplars by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  36. Reliving the Passion: Meditations on the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus as recorded in Mark by Alter Wangerin
  37. The Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Lord
  38. Anne's House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery
  39. Radical  by David Platt
  40. Follow Me by David Platt
  41. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
  42. Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski
  43. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
  44. Just Grace by Charise Mericle Harper
  45. Accommodating and Educating Somali Students in MN Schools by Mohamed Farid and Don McMahan
  46. Rules by Cynthia Lord
  47. Anne of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery
  48. Bird in a Box by Andrea Davis Pinkney
  49. Rainbow Valley by L.M. Montgomery
  50. The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Jolly Rancher

What is a single Jolly Rancher worth? 

not much....maybe a few pennies

Yet, it depends on how you come to get that Jolly Rancher...

Walking down the hallway of a school crowded with children...

A 5th grade boy giving you a hug and handing you a Jolly Rancher out of his coat pocket. 

"Why are you giving me this Jolly Rancher"

"Cause you are the best"

"Oh thank you, I think you are the best."

Not sure why or when he decided to give me that Jolly Rancher- probably just popped into his head at that moment, but....

This is a boy with emotional problems.

This is a boy whose family lives with others with no place to call their own.

This is a boy who gets picked on daily. 

This is why I wanted to teach...

This what makes the hard days worth it....

So this one Jolly Rancher-  it is priceless

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Break my heart...

"Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God." 
Bob Pierce, World Vision founder

I love this quote and really want to be able to say it honestly, but oh it hurts so much!

There is so much hurt in the can my heart not be broken by things happening not just across the world, but in my own backyard:

kids with no home to call their own

kids who yell, kick, and hit as their way to cope with abuse

kids who swear and threaten others because of  ????

kids who have no one to love them

kids that are bullied 

kids that feel like that they will never succeed

kids who don't get a good meal at night

kids with disabilities that struggle to learn each day

It is reality and it is not just far away in another country. I don't want to believe it. I don't know how to deal with it and make it better. 

I feel like I am not enough...I am weak...I am unable...I am overwhelmed...

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


So many things to be thankful for....

Being able to celebrate birthdays with family for the 1st time in 3 years!

A 9 year old birthday party for a nephew and a 90th party for my Grandma

Meeting college students from Brasil!

Fall leaves pretty on the trees and fun to kick on the ground...

Books on CD.....

Family in the same time zone

Hugs from students....especially on the rough days

Co-workers who understand and take the time to give good advice, etc

People making decisions to follow the Lord

New and old friends in St. Cloud and the Cities

Voting in person for the first time in 3 years

Saturday, October 4, 2014


I haven't posted much since get back to the US. 

I think it is a mixture of a few things:

no interesting photos

no different culture stories to tell

not sure how to explain what it is like to come back to your "home culture" to live after 3 years

not sure who would read my blog now


poor internet connection

These are the reasons, but hopefully soon I will figure out the direction of the blog. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer photos....

I haven't disappeared and I still hope to use my blog to update everyone on my life, share stories, and hopefully challenge myself as well as others. 

Of course applying for jobs, washing dishes, and babysitting doesn't make for that exciting of posts....but here are a few fun snapshots of my summer...

we have had some water....making rivers into lakes...

touring a fort on the 4th

the zoo

a farm and some poor sheep....

Chalk Art

More Chalk Art

More and more chalk art

Monday, July 14, 2014

About 10 hours of Strawberries...

Way back in June...we got up early, went to pick about 40 lbs of strawberries and then brought them home...

Some quick cleaning.....

Cutting and smashing...and the sugar :)


The leftovers....

The Strawberry Jam...