Wednesday, January 30, 2008


At the beginning of this month, I got a near-panicked email from my mission because they were concerned about my level of support. It was surprisingly low at the time, and we considered having to cut my pay in half this month, which naturally I didn't want to do. Thankfully, I didn't have to, as this month ended up being my third highest month of support raising ever! The Lord is definitely trying to teach me about faith. :) I am so very, very grateful for your generosity.

You probably remember that last year we moved into a new school building. We finished all the basic requirements, but we were waiting to finish some of the smaller details, like the intercom system. Well, yesterday we learned that because we have so many Embassy children attending the school, we've been approved for federal anti-terrorism funds. We got a grant from the US government to install a new fence, intercom, and updated security measures. This is worth around $270,000, so that's a huge praise.

Singing went really well on Sunday; I got a ton of compliments, which is always nice, and two people I don't know correctly pegged me as being from NC based on the way I sing. :) The song is sung by one of my favorites, Sandra McCracken, off an Indelible Grace CD. Fortunately, I didn't get sick until after I sang... I don't feel like doing anything. so I probably could use your prayers, as this is a big weekend. Friday, the 5th grade girls' Bible study Heather leads is having a sleepover at our house. Then Saturday, the Seniors are having a dinner and auction, which is their biggest fund-raiser for the senior gift and trip. And this week LOST returns, so Heather, Parker and I will have to make time to watch our favorite show. Woohoo for itunes! :)

Saturday, January 26, 2008


Over Christmas I learned that our landlord's son-in-law is a bluegrass/country fan. This kind of surprised me, as that is the one thing you are guaranteed never to hear on Hungarian radio. Apparently, he fell in love with it during a trip to the South a few years ago and has people bring him cds from the States. Today when they were doing some work at the house, he brought me some cds of Johnny Cash and Ricky Skaggs.

Yes, that's right. A Central/Eastern European felt the need to educate an American girl from the South about her own musical heritage. :)

I'm helping with worship again at Danube tomorrow -- and this time some of my ELL students might come to hear me!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I know....

It's been a long, long time since I wrote. Things have just been a little crazy -- we haven't even taken down our Christmas decorations yet!

So here's what you've missed in the hiatus...
  • unit plans. lots and lots of unit plans. We're going through re-accreditation right now, so everything for the year has to be completed and turned in by the end of this month. not the most exciting of things! but the end is mercifully nigh
  • worship. I helped sing at Danube on Sunday, which I always enjoy.
  • ELL. We started a new session last week! This time we had a new guy who spoke very little English. I couldn't explain things to him in Hungarian, but I could, for the first time, understand everything when the other Hungarians explained them to him! This was a big breakthrough for me, and really showed me how far I've come. although I was completely humbled when I tried to order Chinese food over the phone last night. I'm amazed we actually got our food delivered to us.
  • conversations. I don't know what it is, but I've spent some truly meaningful time with a lot of people in the last couple weeks -- deep conversation about life, religion, politics... it occurred to me how much I love living and working in a strong community.
  • future plans. Really, this is why I was waiting to post -- because I wanted to be able to officially announce I'm staying in Budapest for another year! I know many of you already know, but I'll be coming home in June to catch up with people, make some money, and raise support. I had to wait to meet with people from my mission and clear up some budget issues before I felt comfortable announcing everything. But now it's out! So this means you have another year in which to plan your fabulous vacation to Budapest with me as your personalized tour guide. :)
and now back to unit plans....

Sunday, January 13, 2008

let's try this again, shall we?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

singing at the coffeehouse!

Thought you might like to hear a little bit from our performance last night... It went really, really well - the place was packed, and I think I counted 25 people from ICSB who came to hear us. We got lots of compliments and an invitation to return!
So here are some brief clips from two of the songs we did. Minkee is the violinist on Free Fallin', and the missionary who runs the place filled in with percussion on a song Austin wrote. Lots and lots of fun.

EDIT: Well, apparently the files are too big for me to post here. Boo, Picasa. I'll see if I can figure out another way. In the meantime, just imagine awesome songwriting, stellar violin playing, masterful percussion, and superb harmonies. :)
Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 11, 2008

moving at the speed of molasses

So we agreed to buy a car six months ago.
We paid for it in August.
And today, I thought I would actually own it.

I should've known better.
I went to get my insurance straight, so we could get the engine tested, and while we were there we realized yet another important card had expired during this ridiculously long process!

So hopefully by this time next week, I'll be the proud co-owner of a 1990 VW Golf with peeling paint, a broken sunroof, a door that won't open from the outside, and power windows that work occasionally. I'm not sure if it's worth all this :)

I know it's a long way for you to travel, but I wish you could make it tonight to my debut performance in Budapest! Austin, Minkee, and I are singing at a coffeehouse run by a missionary family here at the school. I wasn't nervous about it, since I figured most of the people there are Hungarian. They can't understand what we're singing, and if they don't like it, we can't understand what they're saying! :) But word has gotten out, so we have a number of people from the school -- including students -- coming to our "concert." This should be interesting!

Monday, January 07, 2008

back to work (although slightly delayed)

Ah, -- you called for 4 inches of snow, yet all we had was freezing rain. I'm going to start relying on instead.
Oh well -- at least we had a two hour delay this morning!

Two highly encouraging things from today:
a) My AP students took an old exam for their semester final -- and everyone single one of them scored a 4 out of 5. That's amazing. I'm trying really hard not to get my hopes up too high, though :)
b) one of my students accused me of ruining him, because on vacation he found himself pondering the symbolic significance of a single crow overlooking a scenic landscape. Haha -- they'll never be analysis-free again!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

We have the best landlords ever.

So a lot of people have asked me if I'm nervous being in the house by myself. I'm really not. I don't scare easily, even after that crackhead guy came into my apartment a couple years ago!

That's why it was odd for me to be a little...uneasy. I kept hearing things. It's not unusual; this house has crazy acoustics, and if I could actually understand more Hungarian, I'm fairly certain I could interpret conversations from across the street at the bus stop. [Actually, I did understand the drunk guys sliding on the ice a couple nights ago...but that was not edifying conversation! :)] Tonight was different, though -- much louder and closer.

I kept the lights off and went to the kitchen window, where I could peek through undetected...and saw our landlord shoveling snow. We had several inches fall today, and he came by at 8:00 to make sure our stairs were cleared. He also shoveled around each door and gate, and he cleared off our car.

Yeah, I'm not at all scared. With landlords like this, I have no fear! :)