Sunday, January 20, 2013


One of the many challenging things about moving overseas with kids is finding the right school.  For most families there are great international English speaking school where they can send their children (ICSV being one of them).  Unfortunately, for a small handful of kids, the type of school that provide additional help isn't available.  In the US it wouldn't be a problem for them to get extra services such as speech, physical therapy, occupational therapy, reading services, academic help, etc.  Overseas is an entirely different story.  ICSV has been working on providing some of these services to our students, but without additional funding we can only offer a minimal amount.  This year alone we've had to turn away several students and families simply because we couldn't provide the for the extra needs that they had.  In order to fix this problem, we've begun a fundraising campaign called "You Matter!"  If you'd like to find out more, please click here.  To find out how to donate, you can click here.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Mad Dash to Fall

The weather has just recently begin to change into Fall temperatures.  This means lots of things: wearing jackets and scarves, keeping the windows closed, getting excited for the upcoming Fall Break, and...FALL FESTIVAL!  Each year we have our annual Fall Festival at ICSV.  This year was packed!  I had the privilege of officiating the Chocolate Mess station and announcing the winners of the pumpkin seed spiting contest and M&M guess during our choir performances.  Just to be clear, the word "Mess" in the title is an understatement!  These kids had chocolate EVERYWHERE.  They even got it on me.  :p  Elementary came out as the big winner of the M&M guess contest with a lovely 1st grade guessing only 7 M&Ms away from the actual amount.  :)  I was about 60 away.  :p  Enjoy some of the photos from the evening!

Face Painting Station

M&M Guess

Pumpkin Seed Spitting Contest...the Elementary Winner is in this picture :)

Ping Pong Race


Primary-Second Grade Singing

Third-Fifth Grade Singing

The result of the Pie in the Face Contest

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Laughing on the Playground

Friday is my day for recess duty.  It is so much fun being on the playground and watching the kids play.  Occasionally we have hurt feelings and bruised knees, but it is usually a fun time for all!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Kitchen Experiences

Before moving to Vienna I had little to no kitchen experience.  My idea of cooking dinner involved going to the freezer, taking a frozen dinner out, sticking it in the microwave, and then eating.  Unfortunately in Vienna I don't have that luxury, so I was forced to begin to learn how to cook.  I'm not exactly sure what I ate my first year and a half here, but I have since become "adventurous" in my kitchen experiences.  Some turned out well,'s not talk about those.  :)  Sadly I didn't think about documenting all of my exciting experiences until recently, so you'll have to settle with only a few pictures to prove my cooking talents (at least talents for me).  My favorite meal to make (not pictured) is chicken with Laury's seasoning salt, boiled potatoes, and broccoli.  Yummy!!  Enjoy!

Cheese Sausage Twists-Before Pic
Final Product-Yumminess!

Frozen Pizza with fresh onions, red peppers, salami (pepperoni), and cheese added...Not too bad :)

Egg, Onion, Red Pepper, and Cheese Pie...Sadly undercooked :(

Quesadilla-Easy...Guacamole-2nd Time Ever :)

Muffin Sized Egg Pies- Before Picture

After Picture-Very Yummy!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Just in Time for Fun

This year instead of going away for a Staff Retreat Weekend, we have decided to have several events throughout the school year.  Our first event was an afternoon with a Photo Scavenger Hunt around the city of Vienna and an evening at the yummy restaurant, Centimetre.  I had the privilege of planning this fun day with the help of Jess and Becca (Secondary teachers).  :)  The pictures that came out of the scavenger hunt show just how fun our staff can be.  Instead of participating in the scavenger hunt (since I knew all the answers) I spent the afternoon with some of the staff kids at the zoo.  This allowed their parents to enjoy an afternoon off.  :)

Fun at the Zoo! 

Yes, that is food on a sword and in a wheelbarrow!  :)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It's Time for the First Day of School!

The first day of school is always full of emotions...excitement, nervousness, happiness, terror, joyfulness, trepidation...I could go on and on, but it's clear to see that the first day of school is always a day to be remembered.  :)  This year it was my first day as Elementary Principal.  I was very strange not having a classroom to set up and beginning to lesson plan.  Instead I spent that time helping my staff with whatever they needed.  Looking back I think it was a VERY successful first day of school.  My staff did a FANTASTIC job and the kids responded well to the change in administration.  :)  Enjoy some of the pictures from this exciting day!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Hopping Back Over the Pond

Returning to Vienna for my third year was a bitter sweet experience.  I had a GREAT time with my family, but by the end I was homesick for Vienna.  At the same time, I was excited for the new school year, but I knew I'd miss my family.  If you had asked me two years ago if I would have been homesick for Vienna I probably would have told you, "No way.  California is my home."  Well...obviously I was wrong!  I am blessed to have two homes...Vienna, Austria and Santa Clarita, CA.  Reflecting on this makes me remember one of the sessions from my PFO (pre-field orientation) training that I went to before I left for Vienna.

In the session they talked about the challenges of being from multiple places.  You'll feel torn between the place you used to be from and place where you are living now.  Thankfully, it ultimately doesn't matter.  My "home" on this earth is temporary.  I am a citizen of heaven and instead of being homesick for my earthly dwellings I need to always remember that God has a special place prepared for me.  It is that home that I should desire the most.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Going Home for the Summer

This past summer was spent resting after a challenging school year, catching up with friends and family, and beginning to prepare for the new year as Elementary Principal.  It was a great time full of many memories!

Trip to Visit Amy

Sister Road Trip
At the State Fair

Fun at Six Flags

Fun with Family and Friends

At a Barry Manilow concert for Mother's Day and Mom's Birthday

Dinner with the Millers

Birthday Dinner with Grandma and Grandpa

Dodger Game for the 29th Birthday :)

A special "friend" from my bedroom :p  (Potato Bug)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Final Chapel

Chapel is a special time at ICSV and our final chapel for the 2011-2012 school year was no exception.  Take a look at what some of the students have learned about this school year!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Enjoying Girl's Night

Part of my classroom structure involves earning tickets for various things...turning in homework, being in class on time, good behavior, etc.  One of the rewards you can earn from these tickets is a dinner at Miss Howard's house.  In June many of my students turned in their tickets for various prizes...small toys, visits to McDonalds, evening at the Kino (movies), etc.  These girls decided they wanted to come over to my apartment and have dinner.  We made pizza and enjoyed a fun (and crazy) time together!