Friday, February 1, 2013

Pictures - Set 2

Winter break came and went with a full 4 weeks in the US.  We made it back to K-town a few weeks ago with a 2 day stop in Dubai along the way.  We haven't seen the snow that came last year but we still have 4 weeks of February left before real winter passes.  School is back in session and going strong, cold classrooms and all.  


HS English Classroom

Winter Break

Ohio Winter
Afternoon in Washington DC


The tallest building in the world

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Pictures - Set 1

I've noticed that I haven't been taking many pictures this year while we are here.  I'm going to try and post pictures regularly in hopes that the need for new pictures to post will remind me to use our camera a little more often.  We post a lot of pictures on facebook, but sometimes it's hard to sit and sift through 50 pictures at a time from one trip or event.  My goal here is just to grab 1 or 2 pictures from events or from travels around the city and put a handful up semi regularly.  If nothing else it will be good to look back on later.   


Roses from our backyard

A shepherd with his goats on the edge of Kabul

The ever present helicopters over dusty Kabul

Fall Break in Goa, India

Monday, November 26, 2012

Recent Days

I keep starting to write a blog, and then I never know where to start. How much do you need to know? What actually matters to tell you, and how many details do I give? These are all questions that run through my head as I type.

It’s been a while, but you should know that the school year is going well. I really enjoy teaching high school English. I teach 8-12 grade students. It’s a wide range but I like it. They’re all so different, and I love relating to them in different ways. I have had the opportunity to start getting to know some beautiful young women – some truly great senior girls. I can’t wait to see how God works in their lives. I am confident some of them are going to do some incredible things for this country and the women in this country. I also have been the sponsor/teacher for 4th-7th grade Girls Club.  These 15 (ish) sweet faces each Monday afternoon help make my Mondays better. I feel so lucky to get to spend time with some girls and young women that will surely do great things. I wish you could meet them. They would surely change the image of A-stan in your mind.

Levi and I celebrated our birthdays last week. Some of my classes brought cake and doughnuts. They definitely know the ways to their teacher’s heart. My friends do too…I have more white chocolate than I know what to do with.

Thursday, we also celebrated Thanksgiving. There was the annual flag football game (I couldn’t play this year – too much going on in the kitchen). We feasted. After we came close to gluttony, we had a “guest speaker.” I’ll be honest, when I heard we were having a speaker I was a little skeptical. I just wanted to eat, eat, and watch movies with friends. My attitude shifted very quickly. We have a lovely couple that work at our school and send their children here, and they are from this land. This brother and sister joined us for our meal. They told us their story. It was one full of miracles, grace, and unending love. Through their story, we shared laughter and tears together. The hope that they have for our family in A-stan is great, and the aching yearning for freedom for the national “family” is even greater. We had a time of pr*yer for them and our family members here, and it was a very powerful thing. It was a reminder that our Father has His children, even here, in His arms. He holds them dear to Him. This will definitely be a Thanksgiving that stands out in my memories for a long time.
I keep remembering that we live in such a unique community, and I try to enjoy every moment of it – and every friendship. I am thankful for this place. With that being said, Levi and I are still both counting down until winter break. 3 more weekends!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


I feel like I'm in preseason for volleyball all over again. We have a bunch of new teammates, I sweat a lot during the day, I'm working (in a different way), I can't get enough water, and my legs ache by the end of the day. Yep, sounds like preseason.

It was strange as we got off the plane, left the airport, and drove through the was so familiar. It didn't seem like such a new place. It was weird to recognize roads that were being worked on, and changes in surroundings. I never thought A-stan would become my familiar. At the same time, this summer felt so familiar. I almost feel as if it is somewhere in the middle of these two countries that I would call home now. We're settling into our new house...two doors down from our house last year. It feels so much more like a home this year. We knew the things we needed to bring to make it that way, and we collected so much over last year to help. Pictures and wall decals are on the walls, and our speakers are constantly playing our new music. It's nice. Of course, a home in A-stan doesn't come without it's challenges. Our upstairs shower had a short in the water heater, so we began to shower downstairs. We started to notice water pooling up in our kitchen (right next to the bathroom) whenever we showered. Yesterday was the worst, and we woke up this morning with water coming from under our kitchen cabinets. Needless to say, our kitchen will be turned into a big project one day this week. I'm so thankful for the friends and family we have made here. Our water is turned off, but three different houses of friends have offered up their showers and washing machines. Being here truly teaches and introduces a new sense of community.

The community here is so refreshing to be back and be apart of again. On our first night back, we were invited over for homemade pizza for dinner by a family involved in our school. This family also made us muffins for the next days breakfast. A few night later, we shared dessert with leaders in the community, and we're heading to someone's home for dinner tonight. I'm so thankful that God provides us with community to help remind us of His love.

Today, I was reminded again. As I was walking down the street, a national staff worker stopped me on the street. He pulled out an envelope and said he was told to give it to me from his daughter. His daughter will be in fourth grade this year. She is precious. She wrote me a welcome back to A-stan note (in beautiful handwriting might I add!), and put in a beaded bracelet also. :) She is so excited to start school and see all the teachers. It was a perfect reminder of why we came back. It erased the frustrations from our house, and the dust and heat didn't feel so bad.

Please continue to pr*ay for us as we start school meetings tomorrow, as we still look to fill a few positions, and as we continue to settle in.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Summer and What Comes Next

Sorry we've been out of touch on here for a while. The spring and the end of the school year we're very chaotic. It seemed like every weekend and weeknight were filled with activities and end of the year events. As I'm sure you've figured out via the facebook world, we're back in the states. We flew into Ohio at the end of June. We've been in Ohio, Maryland, and a little time in Tennessee (too short of a time!). We're heading to Florida with my family next week, and then we'll have about a week in Ohio to close out our summer. We just wanted to let you know where we were, and update you on our plan for next year.

We'll be flying back to Dubai on the 6th, and we'll get into A-stan on the 9th. Yes, that means we're going back for another school year! There are (as always) uncertainties still with the country and even the school, but we feel reassured in our call and our decision to go back. We are really excited about another year with the students and staff at the school. Thank you for your prayers and support up until this point, and thank you for continuing to pray for us through the rest of the summer and this next school year.

We're making it our goal to do a better job at blogging, for our family's sake and for our memory's sake.  Feel free to e-mail us at any time at, and we'll do our best to show you our year through pictures on facebook and our thoughts on here.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

"Normal" Life

In February, we sent out an e-mail updating everyone on the current situation and struggles of our school. Every time a major deadline has occurred, we have managed to make it. Situations still arise, but we're in an OK place as a school right now. We wanted to thank everyone for praying for the school in these situations, and ask for continued prayer as we close out the school year (less than 2 months left).

In other news, we got to escape for a little while for our spring break. We took a one-flight trip this time, instead a 30 plus hour trip like Thailand. We went to Abu Dhabi and truly got to relax. We rode a camel, did some sand surfing, went four wheeling in the dessert, ate too many donuts, saw a movie, swam in the Arabian Gulf, and lounged by a pool. I’m so thankful for that escape. It came at a good time, and seems just enough to help get me to the end of the school year. Things like going out to a restaurant for a date with Levi is something I will never take for granted again. It was so nice to be able to walk around freely together, and have hints of western life every once and a while. It’s funny to me that I consider Dubai and Abu Dhabi a “western escape.” Coming from the US it doesn’t seem like one, but going there from here sure does! Of course…coming back to K-town with blooming trees and warmer weather made things a little easier. Our house finally thawed.
We didn't take many videos in Abu Dhabi, but we put what we had together to show a little glimpse. Feel free to check out some other pictures on our facebooks.

On a not as positive note about life here, I’m sure you saw the news this week or saw one of our facebook statuses. I spent about three and a half hours in my classroom with my class and third grade. We had our safe-room gates locked, curtains closed, and children silent (mostly). It’s hard being the mother hen in a situation like that. Trying to stay calm and not show any fear, while hearing gunfire and explosions in the distance, is not an easy task. I’m thankful for a God who lets me call on him at any moment. There was thankfully a slight lull in the action, and we got all of our students back with their families. We locked ourselves into our house on Sunday night, and went to bed around 10:15. By midnight we were up again because of the “sounds in the night.” We moved downstairs to the couch, and attempted sleeping. It was a rough and loud night. Psalm 91 has been a great passage for this entire year, but especially that night. Some of my favorite verses from it: vs. 4 and 5 “He will cover you with his feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day…” Talk about relevant!

Needless to say, we didn’t have school the next day. The fighting stopped around eight in the morning, and we were eventually cleared to leave our houses. We were blessed to share a pancake breakfast at another family’s house (on campus). It was a nice reminder of community, and a nice debriefing time.

It’s hard to explain, but I still do not fear living here. Yes, fear began to creep in through the loud booms, but there was still a reassuring peace in the morning. 

Thank you for your continued prayers for us, the students, school, the teachers, and this land.
Love you,

Thursday, March 8, 2012

little things

Well, we made it to March. It seems kind of hard to believe. This winter has been really harsh, and the closer we get to spring the better I feel. Today it got up to fifty degrees! This is quite an accomplishment. K-town has turned into one giant mud puddle, but I guess that's just an ugly side affect to the melting. It does say that there are chances we will have some snow/rain showers in the middle of our week, but for now I'm pretending that's not true.

We have 3 weeks until spring break. We're planning on taking only a 3 hour flight to a much closer destination than we did over fall break. The airline we take out of A-stan just started flying to Abu Dhabi. We're excited to just go see a movie (hopefully The Hunger Games!!!), walk around the beach, ride a camel, and be WARM! Oh, and of course eat some good food. No, don't worry, no crickets this time.

As far as school stuff goes...We got our proposed schedule for next year. I'm so excited because I'll be teaching middle and high school next year. As of now, it's looking like 7th grade Oral Comm. (my students from this year), 8th grade Writing, 9th grade English, 10th grade Eng., and 11/12 Honors Eng. :) Excuse my nerdy-ness as I get really excited about this!

Other recent things...we finally got off lockdown. That's a plus. We've driven to the store...and we've walked to the store once. These are good things...good, good things.

We had a talent show. "Michael Jackson" won. :)


Positive - Everything is melting. Negative - Water damage is all over our campus. This is some of our damage, and we've been pretty lucky.
Our school is putting in a full size basketball court. Levi is really excited to get to play on it. 
Our girl's basketball team played in the National Women's Day tournament this week and got 3rd in the country! 

Overall, we're making it one day at a time on our side of the world. Please keep praying for A-stan and some of the challenges that teaching in this country can bring. Please pray for our students, their families, and the staff of our school. We're thankful to be here each and every day.