January 18, 2009

Retreat . . .

Today Liz and I spent the entire morning praying and seeking God for guidance in regards to our future. We are in a pivotal time because the decisions for the coming year need to be made, so if any of you make a habit of praying for us down here, we would appreciate your prayers now.

The new semester has been going well. The new class load is starting to feel more natural, and the extra work hasn't killed me yet. We have even managed to get out of the house the last few weekends and enjoy the outdoors. It has become especially beautiful this January, and so we have been climbing mountains and taking picnics whenever possible. The latest mountain we climbed is pictured below: (a more detailed account of this trip is in Liz's blog)

And this is us from the top: (alt. 1902 meters, 400+ meter ascent)

And finally, today, after an entire morning of personal retreat, we decided to have a picnic downtown. As it turned out, the park we visited had an ice-skating rink set up, and it was hilarious watching people who have likely NEVER ice-skated giving it a try. (side-note: the outside temperature today was 70 degrees, so an ice-rink was an odd sight)

January 12, 2009

What we do. . .

If anyone is wondering what exactly we do down here, this is your chance to get an accurate picture.Our school is small, as you can tell by the picture above. Binimea only has 84 kids from k-12, and Liz and I only deal with the 5th-12th graders. Liz's classes range from 5th-10th, while mine range from 9th-12th.

We've been known to host our students over for dinner, host their parties, lead their Bible studies, entertain their parents for evenings of fun and games, train with them for half marathons, take them on camping trips, and if there is time left, teach them a few classes. We are so blessed that our ministries reach beyond simply educating them in their core classes. We get to share life with them, teach them what it means to live for God every day, and even inspire them to do the same. They're a fun bunch, and they are why we are here.

January 10, 2009


First off, watch this video. . . Sunto Core. Have you clicked on the link yet? Ok, now look at our fun pictures.

Last night we finalized plans for climbing some mountains that surround Chihuahua. Our neighbors, the Meissners, are outdoorsy types, so they were involved. If you look in ANY direction from our house, you'll see mountains; we decided to climb the closest one today. So we woke up at 6:00am, beat the sun out of bed, strapped on the trusty old Sunto Core wristwatch (this makes more sense if you watch the video), and made our way to the base. It looked impressive from far away, but at the base, it started losing it's luster. As we drove closer, it seemed to shrink, mostly due to the roads leading right up to 850ft from the summit. However, it was a TECHNICAL 850 feet, involving lots of loose rock, steep crags, and high winds:

You can see me taking an altitude reading on my watch in this picture:

And finally, we have reached the summit,

. . . and the view was amazing.

January 7, 2009

New year, new thang. . .

Well, we are into a new year, and the changes are evident! I have been gifted two more classes, and our friend-base has been cut in half. When you do the math, it all works out. (With more work, who has time for friends?) :(

A family that we were becoming really fond of recently left the mission due to various reasons, and in one fateful day I found out I was loosing some valuable friends, and gaining their work-load. A few short days later another friend said she was leaving as well, and her classes were offered to Liz, who declined. It would be a lie to say it hasn't been difficult to adjust to life without them, but at least I'm now kept busy enough that I don't have time to notice. (seven classes, six of them are different, with only one prep-period a day)

Things to look forward to:

1) Having all the students who have scored 100% on exams over for dinner. (Thursday)
2) Movie/games/food night with friends. (Friday)
3) Trying out my new altimeter watch. (every day)
4) Flying back to Nebraska (yet again) for two friends' wedding. (Jan 23)
5) Writing/sending a new update for Dec/Jan to all of our supporters. (Before Jan 23)

Two pictures to finish things off... and don't forget to check out my latest poll.

My favorite spot over the holidays.The gang, and their attitude.

January 1, 2009

. . . and a happy new year!

The only sad part about traveling over the holidays is the inability to update your blog over the holidays. I LOVE reading other people's posts about their new years resolutions, Christmas traditions, naughty/nice stories, etc... but I don't get to take part in the fun. (Well, not until January 4th.) I make sure to emphasize that this is the ONLY sad part, because traveling over the holidays is pretty awesome!

So it's 2009, well it's about stinkin time!! 2008 was great, don't get me wrong, but I was really getting antsy to turn a new page. To give a recap in 25 words or less:

Basement, dead snake, live snake, Liz's first lasagna, YMCA, graduation & baby Davy simultaneously, Spring Hill, Jetta vs. fox (fox wins), Mexico, violence, best friends ever.

Everyone always appreciates a good set of new year's resolutions, and though I know people who think they are pointless or a waste of time, here I go:

1) Wake up earlier - there is so much good that can be done in the early morning.

2) Go somewhere new - not to live, but just to experience, learn from, and love.

3) Read more - fiction, theology, historical, you name it...

4) Take retreats - daily, monthly, and yearly ones. (Secret Life of Kat)

5) Learn to play the piano - I can't wait!

Ok, more details on our trip to come. (Liz might actually beat me to that.) Happy new year to all of you.