Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Should Things Be Open 24/7 (Blog Posts by 3rd Graders)

These blog posts were all written and then typed out by my 3rd graders. We were studying blog posts in their spelling class, so I figured I might as well let them actually create a blog post. The topic was supposed to be an opinion piece on whether or not we should have either stores, restaurants, or offices open 24/7, but a few of them got a little off topic. Enjoy!

my name is juan jose I have 8 years old I stay in the school of eagles christian academy I am in 3grade.

I talk only for the nature.
my opinion is we need to help the nature for are good for the planet.
my question is are you stay recycle

my name is angeles i am 8 years old i am in the school of eagle christian academy i am 3 grade

i talk only of offices open 24/7 it is bad because the animals has to much light my opinion is bad for the animals question for reader do you thing that the animals like the light 24/7 if you were a animal you dont like it and love the animals i have 4 dogs,4 cats,4 turtle,4 hamsters.

donovan you the 9

the police have more monkey. the police have more prisioner. i think offices open 24/7 is a good/idea. do police work at niht?

my name is astrid  i love go to scool.

the  people have  jungre 7:00 the  restaurant  make more mone. i think it a good idea to have restaurant  24/7. wy restaurat open ol the time?

My name is Miss Melody. I am 100 years old. I am the teacher of 3rd grade and 4th grade.

When stores are open 24/7, it uses a LOT of electricity. That is bad for the environment. I think stores should close at night. Do you think people need to go shopping in the middle of the night?

my name is jahir I eat hamburger and baleadas andpizza is delicions

good the store 24/7day eat 30/percent hours go store yes money. ISgood have things incredible.

what things do you use for video
you eatin the video
what is your productor

my name ios jose. a lake baketol

 the stores have 30 persentu hours i think stores open 24/7 is a good idea do you think it good to have storer open 24/7

Thanks for reading! Please be praying for these precious ones as they continue to learn and grow

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

School Stories: Thanksgiving, the Secret Garden, and Animal Friends

The past (insert however long it's been since my last post) have been filled with a lot of activities. We're still getting ready for our Christmas show which is now LESS THAN TWO WEEKS AWAY, and we also had Thanksgiving, and finished preparing and planting (for now) our "secret garden." Here are some more school stories for you.

Since Thanksgiving is primarily an American holiday, not that many people actually celebrate it here, except for the bilingual schools. After doing the smoothie challenge with my kids (which you can see here), they had some time to play and then we all sat down together as a gigantic crazy family to eat Popeye's chicken, fruit, and various snack foods. It was a lot of fun despite the natural insanity that comes from trying to feed 60 kids and 15 adults in such a small space...

Normally we have everything in the church so there's a bit more space to work with. Last year, I actually had a dance battle with a couple of the boys while we waited for the food to arrive, but there was only enough room for a turkey sound-alike contest this year... I should have won, but the kids were too excited about our very reserved director making some turkey noises, so they all cheered for her instead of me... But I'm not bitter about that at all... Mostly because there wasn't a prize involved... Anyway, the reason why we weren't able to have it in the church is that we are expanding the church to double its size, so there's currently a very large hole in one of the walls. Here is the empty church right before they took out the wall.

The whole wall by the stage up to the first air conditioner is now just a tarp.

The garden has been a big project that both third and fourth grade have been helping with immensely. I definitely wouldn't have been able to do it all myself. It started as a science project about how plants grow, but then when they actually started growing I wanted to plant them somewhere, and then I also solved the problem of where to plant my own growing tomato and pepper plants after getting permission to plant a garden in the gated-off area between the school and the wall of the soccer field. So, after a lot of weed-pulling, digging, and finding bugs, we've got plants in the ground and they're doing GREAT!

Fourth grade working hard at pulling weeds and digging.

Third grade working on digging to loosen up the soil and get out the big rocks before planting.

We found some wildlife while we were at it, and these two worms were just the tip of the iceberg.

The miniature rock wall that we built with all the rocks we found in the ground.

The tomatoes and bell peppers I've been growing at home ready to go into the ground.

5 of my tomatoes from home and the 3 that sprouted at school in the ground!

We set up an old gate as a trellis for the tomatoes and to hold the seedlings that are still growing. I made sure to rope off the area to prevent accidents.

Little sunflowers planted in a row. :D

This is some type of flowering plant that one of the girls brought. My policy with the garden is: if you bring it, we will plant it.

These are the strawberries that have sprouted at my house from strawberries that I bought at the store... They're tiny little guys, but are getting bigger slowly but surely every day! (Yes, you have to squint a little to see them, but there are about a dozen there.)

The other morning, I saw something adorable happening outside, so I went out to take a picture. It's hard to see, but this is a little poodle-y dog and a cat hanging out. The dog is actually somebody's pet, because they came around the corner and were looking for him/her right after I took the picture, and I'm assuming the cat is a stray. But, they were hanging out together for a bit and I thought it was cute so I snapped a picture. The distance was pushing the limits of my phone's zooming capabilities, but I'm glad I was able to get some sort of picture before they both slipped into a hole in the wall that's below the half-wall they're both sitting on.

Best friends. :)

Thanks for reading!

Please be praying:
- That the construction on the church is completed before our Christmas show.
- That everyone comes together to make our Christmas show amazing.
- That I continue to seek God in everything I do and put Him first in my life.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

School Stories - Pinatas, Rainbows, and Poems

This week, I decided to focus more on my third grade class since last week was all about fourth grade... Quite on accident, I assure you. Sometimes, one grade is just more interesting than the other. As crazy as things are already getting as I have to leave my kids to work on their own while I practice for Christmas with the older grades, we're still finding plenty of time to have fun and keep things interesting.

Here is the saga of the 3rd Grade piñata... Which I documented through the daily vlog I'm doing over on my YouTube channel.

First, you see my kids begging me to do a piñata because they apparently hate the Lion King... Who hates the Lion King? It's the best movie EVER!

Then, when it came to actual piñata-making day, none of them had brought the balloons they were supposed to, so I sort of rant about that and describe the version of a piñata we did that I wasn't sure would actually turn out....

Then, I managed to use masking tape and pure magic (I guess) to keep it all together, and somehow we had an actual piñata that actually survived a few blows....

They're all smiles (and rabbit ears) so they must be happy about how it turned out!

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We're also doing a unit on poetry in third grade, so part of their homework involves them writing poems. Although I only require 4 lines, I sometimes get more, like this masterpiece about cooking, done as a shape poem (which we did in Spelling class).

I am cooking
If I don't cook I don't eat.
My mom don't cook because
she don't lik and my brother to
is not in the house. I love
cook because I can do pizza
cake and spagety.

(by Angeles)

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This picture I took from right outside my bedroom one morning. It was raining as I was getting ready, and then as I was rushing to go downstairs where my ride was waiting, I caught sight of this beauty and decided there was always time to take a picture of a rainbow.

Sidenote, the easy access to other rooftops often makes me think of Aladdin....

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My third graders have also been working hard on a science project in their own homes about the needs of plants. Unfortunately, I only got pictures of two of their finished projects which they brought to present to the class, but here they are:

Angeles bought two similarly-sized flowers and put one in a bag and didn't water it...
She determined that plants need sunlight and water.

Juan Jose chose to grow plants from seeds, one of which was placed in a plastic bag. This gave me a good opportunity to talk about how seeds hold nutrients so that plants grown from seeds don't actually need sunlight at the beginning. I further showed that with Jahir's project, which was basically the same as this one. But, his plant that had sunlight was bright green whereas the other was much more dull in color.

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Last Monday, it was the director's birthday, so they had a surprise party here at the house. I decided to spend most of the afternoon painting my nails rather than doing any writing work, so here is the result of that.....

Yes. That's a feather on my ring finger.
No, it actually wasn't that hard to do.

That's it for this week. I'm expecting this next week to be just as exciting, because when you're working with kids, you just never know what's going to happen next!

Please be praying:
- That God continue to move in the hearts of the kids as we have daily worship and prayer times.
- That everything continue to come together smoothly for the Christmas show, which is in less than 4 weeks already!
- That I continue to seek God first in everything.
Also, quick praise report: Last week, I was suffering from some pretty intense lower back pain, but thanks to a chiropractor friend in my Bible study, I am now completely pain-free once again! :D

Sunday, November 8, 2015

School Stories - Science Project, Twins, and More!

I meant to start updating this weekly, but totally forgot last Sunday, so here's two weeks worth of fun school stories, with pictures!

In science, we were learning about plant reproduction, so they were all asked to bring in two flowers so that in case some of them forgot, there would potentially be enough for everyone to do one.... One girl remembered and showed up with two roses... They're lucky I love them and wasn't actually giving points for it. So, it turned into a group project and competition (boys verses girls, of course) to find as many different parts of the flower as possible.

Opening up the rose to prepare to tear it apart.....

..... And the rose has been destroyed in the name of science.

If you couldn't figure it out, the girls' project is on the left and the boys' is on the right. :)

The boys technically one with more parts labeled......

But I also considered the girls winners for pure artistic work.

In reading class this past week, we were reading about weird jobs, including line waiters, egg smellers, chocolate engineers, and.... zombies. Since the beginning of the year, a couple of the kids have been stumbling across this picture randomly and insisting that it was my boyfriend, so at their request, I sent it to my actual boyfriend and said that it was my real boyfriend. He responded with a series of angry faces and guns, then said my boyfriend was disgusting.... And then a few hours later sent me a picture that said "I'm so glad I know you" so I'm pretty sure he was over it by then.... :D

Probably no reason for real jealousy here......

This precious young lady is Gissel. Her and I apparently are twins or at least psychically coordinate our accessories before coming to school...

Matching pink headbands....

.... and it's hard to see, but we're both sporting butterfly earrings.
(that's Kyle photobombing our twin selfie)

If I've learned anything teaching, it's that kids are crazy, and they have some pretty interesting thoughts on the way things work. This masterpiece was done by Dennisito. It's apparently me, accidentally pooping out a baby.... As much as I wish it were that easy right now, I can imagine a future me will wish it even more.....

Also, I'm a little concerned because it appears that the baby is going down the drain....

That's all I got for you this week. Hopefully I'll have some more fun stories and pictures for you next week.

Please be praying:
- That everything goes well with organizing, planning, and practicing the Christmas program.
- That the construction on the church continues to move forward so we can be in our bigger sanctuary very soon.
- That God continue to fill me with Him and everything that I need to pour out more of Him onto the kids.
- For the school, that everything works out with the math teacher position.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Back to School!

Ok... Yes, it's nearing the end of October and actually we've just finished up the first semester so we're already 1/4 of the way through the school year.... But close enough, right?

In my last "real" blog post, I talked about a really cool opportunity that I had to teach at a school in a poor area where I could really make a big impact. However, that opportunity fell through for several reasons that were not related to me. It was devastating at the time, though.

I spent a nice 6 weeks visiting family and friends in Michigan during the summer. I was also working during that time which sort of sucked, but I feel like I also would have gone crazy if I wasn't doing anything productive while I was there. It was mostly the online writing jobs that I normally do, so it was only a couple hours a day.

Anyway... I also spent a lot of the summer just feeling like I was adrift and had no real direction or plan for what I was going to do upon my return to Honduras. I had several more opportunities with other ministry groups, but there was always something that just didn't allow it to work out, so I just met more and more disappointment... It was a little rough.

Finally, after much praying, I realized that God had me right where He wanted me, so I have returned to the same school, though I have been given different grade levels. I'm now teaching 3rd and 4th grade, which is a million times easier than the little ones. We've been having a lot of fun, and if you haven't seen some of the videos we've made, then you should check out my YouTube channel...

Right now I'm doing daily vlogs throughout October, so that's been fun. I may continue through November, but we'll see. I'm also planning the whole Christmas production for the school, so there's a lot that I have to do for that... Including choreographing a LOT of songs.... Which is my fault for picking songs that aren't super popular, but I'm trying to get a point across and need songs that go with the skit, so.... I've already choreographed 5 or so, but need another 3 or 4...

So, that's pretty much what's going on with me right now. I am going to be updating my blog on a weekly basis with weekly highlights. The posts will be shorter and will hopefully have more pictures in them, but I want to get better about keeping people updated on my life here in Honduras.

Please be praying:
- For preparations for the Christmas show to go well.
- For a member of the church/school staff who just lost his son.
- For missionary friends that are moving back to the States after 9 years of serving in Honduras.
- For my relationship with my boyfriend to be honoring to God and continuing to grow.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

I'm Officially Honduran Now!

Well, it's official. I am a Resident of Honduras! My paperwork finally went through after months of waiting, and I went to Immigration on Tuesday where I paid the final fee, handed over my paperwork, got fingerprinted, and then was handed my official paper that says that I am a Honduran Resident. Eventually I'll get an actual ID card that I can more easily carry with me, but in the meantime, this paper means that I don't have to leave the country every 90 days and that I don't need to have a "return" ticket when flying out from the United States.

It makes me feel like an official Honduran.

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Door is Open...

The door is open, but whether or not I will be able to walk through it is still up in the air.

I currently have an opportunity to work at a different school that is in the works by a missionary friend of mine. They have a sponsorship program in a poor community where they get kids into schools that wouldn't otherwise have a chance to go. They now have so many kids enrolled in the public schools that the schools are refusing to take more of these sponsored kids, so they have decided to open their own school.

When they approached me about it, I had already been seriously considering a move to another amazing ministry far outside of the city. There, I would be primarily in charge of the animals and help create a sustainability program with the local community, and would also be able to help with the trade school where women make jewelry among other things.

I visited them over Easter break and LOVED it because it was a lot of working with my hands and the animals and great people, but something just didn't quite feel right about it. I honestly can't explain it, but I just didn't have an absolute peace about going there. But I was still thinking about it and wrestling with my decision when J offered me a teaching position at their school.

Of course I then spent several weeks going back and forth and not being completely sure about either, and frequently joked about just tossing a coin to decide. As it would turn out, there were a couple of seemingly minor events that confirmed my direction.

One night, I did actually pull out a coin and flipped it. While it was in the air, I knew I wanted it to land on the school, on staying here in San Pedro Sula and working with the kids that I love, the ones that don't have another chance to go to school, the ones that I've already been working with on the street.

There's a large Coca Cola sign on the side of the mountain that can be seen from a number of places around San Pedro, and there's also a trail that goes up the mountain so that you can go behind the sign. My roomie and I conquered said mountain trail one Saturday morning and as I took in the breath-taking view of the city beneath me, the thought that bubbled up along with a strong sense of belonging was: "This is my city."

I've never considered myself a city girl, despite the fact that I spent the majority of my life in the suburbs of Detroit, but there's something about this city that just makes it feel like my city. My heart is here. I don't know how this big city stole my heart, and I certainly don't know when, but somewhere along the way, it happened.

And so... If all goes well with the paperwork process involved in starting a school here, I will be taking a teaching position starting in February. The school year here goes from February to November, although a lot of bilingual schools are on the American schedule of September to June.

Here's the catch: I will be teaching Spanish reading and writing.

This is slightly terrifying. In a recent blog post, I talk about Corner School, where I have been teaching the street kids Spanish reading and writing. So, I know it's something I can do, but on the street corner with 2 - 3 kids that have no expectations and are not going to be tested on anything is a heck of a lot different from being in a class of 10+ kids that do have to learn everything and will be tested on it. And it's something I will be getting paid for and have to prepare for and all that jazz.

So, after I head up to Michigan to visit family and friends for the summer, I will be returning in August to begin one-on-one Spanish tutoring. My original plan was to attend a Spanish school, but after much asking around, I found a friend who is a great Spanish tutor (she's tutored several missionary friends of mine who all recommend her) who's going to charge me less than half that I would pay in an actual school.

So, since I won't be getting paid (except in online work if I can keep getting it) during that time, I'm looking for donations and any assistance that I can. Here is a breakdown of my anticipated expenses during that time. I don't yet know where I'll be living, so that is estimated, but here is my budget during that time:

Tutoring - $6.50/hour for 10 hours/week - $65/week - $260/month
Housing/Utilities - $150/month
Food/Etc. - $100/month
Misc. - $100/month

Total: $610/month
For 3 months: $1830

If you are interested in helping, here are some ways that you can help:

Donate directly to me though PayPal:

Donate through my GoFundMe campaign:

Buy some of the jewelry I have for sale:

Hire me over the summer!
   - Babysitting
   - Painting
   - Yard work / Gardening
   - House Sitting / Pet Watching (possibly my house with pets)
   - Summer tutoring
   - Spanish lessons
   - House / Garage cleaning (I'll even haul away the junk you don't want.)
   - Pretty much anything else you could possibly need help with!

More than anything, though, please continue to pray for me as I step out in faith every day and try to follow God's plan for my life. Pray for the legal process involved in starting the school, that they would have favor and that everything would fall into place. Pray for me as I transition to being back in the States for longer than I've been in over a year and for transition back to Honduras after that. Pray for every student that God has already planned on placing in the school that they would get sponsors and be able to come and learn and be loved.