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...


Sunday, July 6, 2014

The lost Havaiana and other traveling adventures...

This is a very late story about my trip home.... 

I really don't mind 30+ hours of travel....but I feel like I was really losing it by the end of the trip :) 
Actually I think I started to lose it after 5 hours of traveling.

After the close to 5 hours flight to Korea I was going to try to go on a free bus tour. My friends happily walked with me to get more information about the tour. I was told that I did have to go through immigration and then the guy gave me forms to fill out for immigration....He quickly filled out one form and had me fill out the other. He was talking to me the whole time and I was tired, so I started to write my home address as the one we had over 11 years ago! Of course it is where I lived for the first 21 years of my life....but still! 

In between my two one hour tours around the airport my backpack started to break. It was a fairly cheap (aka knock-off) Northface backpack. It was packed pretty heavy with books, etc. I had my flip-flops in both side pockets. Now you must know that I LOVE my Havaianas and my friend got them for me from Brasil after I ran my other pair to nothingness. 

Well, I got all the way to LAX for my last flight which was a full flight so they wanted people to check their bags if possible. I had my two 50lbs already checked and dreamed of not having to carry this backpack through another airport...but it was breaking and my black Havaiana kept falling out. In my sleepy state I decided to check the backpack. 

When I arrived at my final destination I went to baggage claim and grabbed my two suitcase and then my backpack. Unfortunately I only had 3 of my 4 flip flops. I waited to see if it would come, but the belt was empty. I sheepishly went to the Delta man and asked if they could see if they could find my flip flop. He was slightly confused when I said I was missing a Brasilian flip flop, but had just come from Thailand. He talked to the guy who was driving the carts and he said he hadn't seen a flip flop anywhere. The man kindly said that I could go to their website and give a description of it and if they found it they would mail it to me.

I got home and was telling the very sad story of my flip flop to my parents. I was planning on filling out the lost item claim with Delta just in case it would show up. Right before heading to bed I opened my backpack and there was my HAVAIANA! 
To this day I still can't remember if I put it in there knowing that it might fall out or if the baggage people in LAX did it for me. Either way I was so happy to have found my lost flip flop!

I hope you can rejoice with me as well! My lost havaiana was found! 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


I feel like I am slowly getting adjusted to my summer "schedule" which really is no schedule at all! 

I got back to the US less then 3 weeks ago and I have...
been in 4 states,
attended a family reunion,
a funeral,
3 graduation open houses,
a wedding,
many little league games,
helped pick over 40lbs of strawberries,
helped make 12 batches of Strawberry jam,
finished my photo album from the 2012-2013 school year,
spent time with friends and family,
attended continuing ed workshops,
gotten lost driving....

Things I have not done....

cleaned my room,
updated my blog,
figured out what to do with my life,
run for more than 10 minutes at a time,

In the meantime....if you would like to learn a little about my family's trip go to my sister's blog- 
The Antics of the Three 22nds and their sisters she has put up two posts so far about our trip!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Finished things in May?!

May Goals?! 
I actually have no idea how I did on most of my May goals... it was a crazy month and I pretty much just tried to survive. I don't think I will write any official goals for June because it is again a crazy month! Maybe July will be more normal.

Run/walk for 40k I know I did even more than 40k...just not sure how many....
300 push-ups??? I was close to 300 push-ups and sit-ups but in the midst of packing that paper got thrown away so I am not sure if I actually finished or not...
300 sit-ups???

 Devos daily
 Read 4 books- I don't think I read for books... but I did read some...just can't remember the names!
 Review Thai vocab/letters daily (5-10 min)- failed this one....

Photo books- work on one of them - nope :)
Newsletter/Prayer letter- I did send an update or two, but no "official" letter...
10 blog posts  
Atlas finished (school related)
Go through room and throw stuff out- got to get pretty far on this- only have about 140lbs I can keep
Library organized and ready for the summer and next year (school related)
Cards for Seniors
Cards to middle schoolers

Roommate "date"
Overnight trip with friends
Skype calls to friends back home (3)
End of the year dinners, breakfasts, etc
Curly Girl night... I am excited to plan this and see who comes :)

I think that I did everything I NEEDED to do or were planned events...but all the extras didn't get done. There is always next month...after I finish traveling, packing and unpacking :)

Saturday, May 31, 2014


Let's start with this "happy" picture of how I have finished cleaning the library and all my stuff is out of it... Ok, so maybe not happy, but at least I can check one thing off my list.

This is what my room looks like at home... 

I am a great packer. I threw a bunch of things in a suitcase today. I am sure that will help, ha. Actually it is good cause I put things in that I am 100% sure I am taking with me. 

Got somethings to go through still....

How in the world is this going to fit in my two 50lbs suitcases?

Why is there stuff everywhere and why am I writing this blog post instead of cleaning/packing?

Didn't take a picture of the wardrobe full of clothes... I think I have too much stuff, but I am terrible at getting rid of stuff. 

Alright off to packing/sorting/cleaning/throwing -3 years of my life.

Friday, May 30, 2014

staff dinner in pictures...

Those of us who are leaving...

Most of the singles....can you tell why :)

My roommates and a cute baby

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Thoughts from 10:30pm-2:30am

Just talking to myself for a few hours- awake from 10:30pm-2:30am
* without power

  • Wow, my fan really does cool down the room at night! 
  • I am so hot right now.
  • You shouldn't complain in a few months you are going to be freezing in Minnesota.
  • I am sweating and I am just laying here on the bed.
  • Maybe if I open the outside door it will be cooler.
  • Ok, that didn't help at all. I can just hear the dogs barking...
  • Some people never have power- so stop complaining
  • Close your eyes and try to sleep....hmmm maybe it is almost morning- nope only a half an hour has past.
  • I am dripping with sweat....
  • You should really not complain others in the neighborhood were without power for over twelve hours last night. It has only been one hour.
  • Oh, I hope school isn't canceled because of no power- I want to see my students and get things done.
  • When will it come on...there is curfew so probably no one is working on it.
  • Maybe if I lay on my side it will be better...not as much of me will be touching the mattress. 
  • I feel like I am on a heated mattress. 
  • A mattress like this would be nice in the cold weather, so stop complaining.
  • I should probably get a drink of water, because I have been sweating for the last couple of hours.
  • Ok it is a little cooler downstairs...
  • I should sleep on the tile floor and not the couch because it would be cooler.
  • (after laying down on a sheet on the floor) This is SO nice! I can't believe how comfortable I am on this tile floor.

The power came back on at 2:30am and we got to go to school. 

I feel so bad about complaining when I know so many go without power all the time or at least most of the time. It just goes to show how much we take for granted. In my defense it was probably in the high 90s in my upstairs room. I thought it wouldn't be that bad because I only use one little fan....but that makes a world of difference ( I learned:)).

Saturday, May 24, 2014

So much fun in Pai....

The group! 
Yes, I think those helmets will help when we go flying up and down hills on motorbikes. ha

Loved the owl house... the Thai letter on the top is the letter for owl.

This picture says it all...we didn't go in...

Another group photo...can you find the other two?

If you look carefully you can see us...

Sweet Memories @ Pai
jumping photo...

Look at those crazy people behind me...

The fruit factory was closed- so we couldn't learn why there is an ice cream cone on their sign....

The restaurant where we at lunch...

Pai is such a cute town...worth the trip that included about 763 curves. 
Yes, I had to take some dramamine :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Roommate Photo Scavenger Hunt

Last year my roommates and I went to every 7- Eleven in the downtown part of the city that we live in. It might not sound that amazing to you unless you know Thailand....there are 7s EVERYWHERE! I can't remember the grand total, but it took us around 107 minutes and we had to buy something in every store. 

This year we decided to do a photo scavenger hunt in another part of the town...together! We came up with some crazy are a few of them.

The standing in a giant shoe was not something we had to take a picture of...cause who would have thought there would be a huge shoe in the mall?

Our faithful tuk-tuk driver who was SO glad that this year we didn't have a time limit. Apparently last year he was very nervous that we wouldn't get to all the 7s in the time allowed :)

I look just like this statue...right?

Standing in the middle of the road...that is how we cross the streets in Thailand. 

Sit-ups and push-ups outside of PowerHouse Gym!

Making a human 7- 11 outside of 7-11! Our poor tuk-tuk driver didn't get what we were trying to do until we explained it to him. I think he thought I was just being crazy with my hands sticking out...but I clearly look like a "7" right?

Eating toast...yes it is actually green and good :)

Taking a picture with Chinese tourists...the poor couple was so confused :)

We were supposed to take a picture of a soi (street) dog, but for some reason they were hard to find. This man was VERY excited to tell us all about his dog.

I have a big head....

There are many more photos, but you get the idea! Fun with the roommates yet again.
 I will miss those two...

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Fun signs and flavors of ice cream

Our neighborhood loves dogs...we got this note in our mailbox. 
Too bad we don't have a dog- so it could get a vacation.

Love Mango and Sticky Rice... I guess I could get it as a blizzard. 

Warning at a temple.... not sure if I shared this already- but good advice if you are a tourist in Thailand.

At the grocery store you can get a "cooling bag" to put your ice cream in. How many mistakes can you see?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Aloe Vera plant

I forgot sunscreen on Saturday.... we had just gotten off of a minibus and I wasn't thinking when I left the hotel to go and eat and see the town...but it didn't take long to remember that I was going to burn! We were out in the middle of nowhere with the sun beating down on my WHITE face :( 

Actually it was not as bad as I thought it might be...and it is slowly fading. Nevertheless I did need to put some aloe on it, so when I got home on Sunday night I went out to the Aloe Vera plant and got some aloe! My roommate told me that there are Aloe Vera plants in the US, but I had never even thought of where aloe come from before coming to Thailand. 
The plant

Ready to put some aloe on my face...

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


I experienced my first earthquake on Monday night. It was probably just under 5.8 where I live, but it was still a little too much for me. My roommates and I were busy having a fun adventure on a day off of school (Thai holiday) when we felt the ground move. I was so thankful I wasn't in the Tuk-tuk at the time as our driver/friend said it was rocking back and forth! 

I felt 2 of the 180+ aftershocks very well over these last two days. I am wondering if the dizzy/ lightheaded feeling is from the earth moving or something else?! 

Please be praying for those who have lost their homes and are still having to sleep outside because of the aftershocks.

Friday, May 2, 2014

May Goals

May 2014
My last month in Thailand for I don't know how long. This will be a busy month with lots of hard goodbyes, but also lots of opportunities for memories to be made! 
Run/walk for 40k
300 push-ups
300 sit-ups

 Devos daily
 Read 4 books
 Review Thai vocab/letters daily (5-10 min)

Photo books- work on one of them 
Newsletter/Prayer letter
10 blog posts  
Atlas finished (school related)
Go through room and throw stuff out- got to get pretty far on this- only have about 140lbs I can keep
Library organized and ready for the summer and next year (school related)
Cards for Seniors
Cards to middle schoolers

Roommate "date"
Overnight trip with friends
Skype calls to friends back home (3)
End of the year dinners, breakfasts, etc
Curly Girl night... I am excited to plan this and see who comes :)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

April Goals...finished?

This actually really does motivate me to get things done each month. Of course, there are things that just never seem to get done. I also don't think I will put "eat less sweets," because I would hate to have to actually do that...just exercise more right?!
Run/walk for 40k I only kept track of 31k but I know that I walked a lot more than I counted in Australia. Still it wasn't as much as I had hoped. There is always next month :)
200 push-ups I still need to keep on working on these...I still can only do girl ones :(
200 sit-ups  I don't know if I am actually getting stronger or if it is getting easier but I did it! 

 Devos daily
 Read 4 books Just got three books read this month
 Review Thai vocab/letters daily (5-10 min) I failed at this in April :( I have studied, but I didn't study as much as I should have on my vacation. 

Finish 20 pages of my photo-book for 2nd year in Thailand (school year 2012-2013) I should just remove this goal because it never gets done!
Newsletter/Prayer letter I am doing some other things this month as far as newsletters...I am still working on them.
8 blog posts I got this done! I didn't even have to use this as the 8th one...of course they weren't that exciting...have to work more on that...
Atlas up-to-date for all grades- K-6th (school related) Woohoo finished this one on the 30th! Now I just have to update it as I finish the lessons I am teaching in May. 
Application to a school finished and emailed I finished this one and I also updated other applications
File Cabinet- organized for lesson materials (school related) still needs some work but getting better
Notes to supporters (you might not get them in April...but they will have been sent) sending the last ones out on May 1st...but finished writing them all in April.
Trip to visit friends/ former co-workers in Australia! This was such a fun trip! We got to visit 3 different friends (families) and also get a lot of sighting seeing in at the same time! I love traveling to places where I know people! 
Roommate "date" Got nails done before I left and then dinner together at the end of April. 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Happy Birthday to me?!

I am feeling so blessed today!

Happy Birthday sign outside the library. A cake in the office along with everyone singing to me.

A card/book full of pictures of yummy sweets and notes from co-workers. Chocolate brought to me throughout the day by students and friends. The day finished with my 3rd grade class singing me happy birthday again.
My roommate sure knows how to make "birthdays" special!

Don't worry friends my birthday is still in June :)