Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

School visit

Yesterday was one of those days I loved being a teacher. I took my class to a nearby elementary school where they told second, third, and fourth grade students about their home country. My students were nervous about speaking with the children, but by the end of the hour I could barely drag a couple of them away. They had a blast and asked to go to the high school next week. 

Monday, November 28, 2011


Sometimes the wise man does build his shop upon the sand. Though, in this case, the wise man plans to pour rock (concrete) on top of the sand. 

The boys continue with their preparations to erect a pole building. They have big plans for the building, which will serve as a machine shop. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. James 5:7 NIV

Patience is a difficult virtue to practice when a nine-hour car ride stretches to twelve.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

7:08 AM

Betsy and I slipped over to the Cookie house (Julie and my house) around 6:30 Wednesday morning. We applied the last coat of finish to the kitchen and dining room floors before our family headed south to visit relatives in Bowling Green, Kentucky for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


No hose today. We're on holiday.

(For you teachers who have a half-day today, I recommend knee highs)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011


Roses from my birthday

Sunday, November 20, 2011

TESOL reminder

If I can speak Arabic, Chinese and Korean,
and can teach indefinite and definite articles,   
but am not motivated by love
my communication is as effective 
as a beeping fax machine 
or the vibration of a forgotten cell phone.

(see 1 Corinthians 13.1)
TESOL stands for teaching English to speakers of other languages

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Tea party

Soon I will play tea party with friends at my house.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Food festival

In celebration of International Education Week, students from around the globe took over the cooking for Saginaw Valley State University's International Food Festival. Cuban music blared from a CD player and a Saudi Arabian flag adorned the buffet in SVSU's cafeteria during lunch on Tuesday. Faculty, students and guests sampled cuisine from fourteen different countries. Many of SVSU's 500 international students, who hail from thirty-five countries, participated in the annual event, which was expected to attract 2,000 diners. 









Tuesday, November 15, 2011


My favorite part of the Old Country Buffet is the soft-serve ice cream machine. I love twirling the ice cream in the bowl.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Raking leaves

Naomi and I tried one of my birthday gifts Saturday afternoon. Mom gave me a rake, a shovel and a snow shovel. We didn't need the snow shovel yet, but we did put the rake to use. I raked the leaves into piles and Naomi hauled them to a heap near the edge of the field. 

(My staunchest admirers and severest critics object to all black and white November photos)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Prayer for our church

Lord Jesus,

I pray for your children, my brothers and sisters, all around the world.

May we who are hungry be filled,
that we might offer others the Bread of Life.

May we who are hurting be healed,
that we might lead others to the Great Physician.

May we who are lonely be comforted,
that we might introduce others to the Friend of sinners.

May we who are imprisoned be freed,
that we might convey others to the Victor over death.

May we who are inadequate be filled,
that we might reveal to others the Almighty God.

May your Name receive the glory.
May your kingdom come and your will be done.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My day

Thursday, November 10
4:59 AM Calling my first student in Korea

9:16 AM Braiding my hair

10:23 AM Writing lesson plans
12:26 PM Driving to the university
1:39 PM Studying with students

4:20 PM Waiting for the copy machine

4:52 PM Mailing a package

5:05 PM Watching the sunset

5:36 PM Grading quizzes

6:32 PM Sharing dinner

8:07 PM Removing my contacts

Friday, November 11, 2011


Even if it's not the best birthday of my life, today's date is the best birthday of my life. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011


My Mom finds it ironic that I am teaching grammar. During college, I embraced the theory that the formal study of grammar is unnecessary. This semester I have been immersed in grammar. My students may not think grammar is fun, but at least my Mom finds my class (or the fact that I am teaching grammar) amusing. 

Here are a few of the exit outcomes that we have achieved already this semester:

I can use affirmative and negative sentences in the Past Progressive. 

I can use some basic separable and non-separable phrasal verbs. 

I can use modal verbs and phrasal modal verbs (have to, had better, ought to, be supposed to, etc.). 

I can use many noncount nouns. 

I can form basic tag questions from affirmative sentences.

I can ask and answer questions about the subject and questions about the direct object in a sentence. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Yes, so far it's black and white week. November might be black and white months. The colors haven't been inspiring and with the time change it's increasingly difficult to find good light when I return home from the university.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


As I was sorting pictures, I noticed that these photos from two consecutive nights complemented each other.  

Monday, November 7, 2011

Playing house

"Where are the toys?" Samantha asked the minute she walked in my house. She spent hours playing with the dollhouse while her parents played with the life-size house. Her dad painted the kitchen ceiling and her mom patched holes in the lathe and plaster. 

"Do you want to play with me? Samantha would ask anybody nearby, and so most of us played house, at least for a few minutes, on Saturday. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Letter from a friend

Like cold water to a weary soul
is good news from a distant land.
Proverbs 25:25 NIV

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Kitchen table

 My kitchen table is pleasing, as long as you ignore the mess around it. 

We sisters painted the kitchen walls last Saturday. Unlike some of our other choices, we were both happy with the color. 

I bought the table and four chairs at a garage sale for $20. I swapped a couple of the garage sale chairs for a couple from Mom's front porch collection, since I wanted an assortment of chairs. Then we painted the table and chairs "Artisan White."

Betsy painted the inside of the cupboard white. Julie washed our dishes (most of our treasures were from Grandpa's auction finds) and arranged them on the shelves. 

Aaron removed the broken glass from the door to the sunroom and we replaced two of the panes with plexiglass.

If you stand in the right place our kitchen looks inviting. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Our first project, after we signed the final papers, was to change the locks on our house. Julie removed the locks and took them to the hardware store to have them re-keyed. Then she began installing them and I finished up the job. I was so proud of our accomplishment!

The doors still needed work. The sunroom door wouldn't shut properly (we found it blowing in the wind one day after I thought I shut and locked it) and the kitchen door stuck so badly that Julie pulled the doorknob completely off the door one day in her attempt to open it. Aaron came over the other day and adjusted our doors. Now we have doors that open, close and lock.