Tuesday, October 26, 2010

*Princess Party!*

The advantage of having 7 students who are ALL GIRLS is that we get to do things like have princess parties when we have a celebration. :) Last week for the first time my students filled up their "team jar" with marbles so we got to eat ice cream and have a party. It just so happened that we were reading and studying fairytales in English class... so appropriately we had a Princess Party! All the girls got crowns and lip gloss and we had a little tea party with cookies. Then we watched what I think of as the original princess story... Cinderella. They still talk about it and keep their crowns by their bed to remind them that they are God's princesses.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Nanki!!!

My dear baby Nanki turned ONE YEAR OLD on October 5th. I am so thankful for him in my life and what a happy, healthy baby he is! He loved having a party to celebrate just HIM but getting his fingers all messy in the cake was a little too much for him... he wanted me to get dirty so he could laugh and get finger fed. Thats ok though, it was HIS birthday :).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New and Beautiful!

Its a new year with new beautiful roomies, a new beautiful house, and new beautiful students! It feels so great to be back "where everybody knows your name" :) We are still in our old building for the time being, but soon and very soon we will be in our new and beautiful house and school at the property!

The pictures you see are of my classroom (notice the brightly painted desks!), one of my new students- Gabriela (a total sweetheart), my roommates (Dallas, Bethany, and Aleta), and my precious and beautiful baby Nanki. Isn't he big now?! He's got 4 new teeth too. He fell asleep in my arms while I was singing to him at the restaurant on Sunday after church. It is so great being near him again and seeing him fat and happy :).

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fat, Happy Nanki :)

I took Nanki out for a walk today around town and I realized that he is getting SO BIG and I haven't posted any new pictures of him lately. When my mom was here with me, we kept him at our house and the whole time he was really sick and puny and she hardly got to see the real Nanki. So, I promised my mom "fat, happy Nanki pictures" and I thought I would share them with all of you. I wish I could take him with me this summer... I don't want him getting bigger without me!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Zoo

So when my whole class is working together as a team, they get a scoop of rice in their rice jar. When the rice jar is full... its party time :). Last time we had a party we went to the ZOO! I made no-bake cookies (which they were scared of at first bc of the appearance but then they fell in love with them once they tasted the yummy goodness) and we jumped on the bus and went to the military zoo. They did a great job of asking the guide interesting questions and they had such a blast getting to hold the animals and play with them. The zoo here is no normal zoo... none of the birds or monkeys are in cages so they were the kids' constant companion.. especially the little 9 month old monkey, Blade. After seeing all the animals the kids played on the zip line, the rope swing, and canoed over to see a waterfall. It was so much fun seeing them explore, and they still talk about it all the time. Be sure to pay special attention to the picture of me, Thalia, and Maribel with the boa. Maribel's face is priceless.

Friday, March 19, 2010

St. Patrick's Day

Even though they don't celebrate St. Patrick's Day here in Ecuador, we thought it would be fun to teach the kids about a holiday other people celebrate around the world. So of course we told all the kids to be sure and wear something green (or there would be pinching).. and I tried to somehow incorporate some fun facts into our lessons of the day. In Bible class, I decided to tell them about the three leaf clover and how St. Patrick used it to tell others about Jesus. Our verse this week is John 14:6 "I am the way and the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except THROUGH ME." So we talked about how you must go through Jesus to get to God and then God will give you His Spirit... the Holy Spirit. So we made three-leaf clovers and labelled them Jesus, God, Holy Spirit. I guess we haven't talked as much about the Holy Spirit before because they had lots of questions (which I love) so we talked about the Holy Spirit and what He means to us. After Bible class we moved on to English class and Reading and then come 10:30 it was time for snack time. I had everyone get in line to go downstairs but two girls stayed in their seats, Jeniffer and Thalia. When I asked them what was wrong they each said, "I want the Holy Spirit inside me." So I sent the others downstairs and Thalia, Jeni, and I sat down and prayed. I told them it was important for them to do it in their own words and in their own language because its a personal decision between them and God... and WOW.. you should've heard their prayers. I definitely could not have given them any better words to "repeat after me". They were so honest and genuine and ready. I am so proud of these girls and their desire to have the Holy Spirit guide them to be like Jesus.

The next day we were studying "cause and effect" in English class and everyone had to come up with one on their own. I took a picture of Jeniffer's notebook...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Jesus had the Heart of a Servant.... So de We.

Throughout the semester we have been studying what it looks like to have the heart of Jesus. What did his heart look like? Even though he was the Son of God and the king of the world... he washed FEET! Dirty feet. So thats just what we did in Bible class. :) We washed each other's feet. You should've seen the look of horror in my kids eyes when thats what they were going to do. But it was incredible how much they got into it.... they washed, dried, and changed out the water for each person without me having to say anything after the first time. And, after each person went, I always heard a "thank you". Of course they pointed out that Jesus probably used warm water with his friends (the water we had was quite chilly)... but I think they really grasped that Jesus served others.. gladly. I pray that this activity will be one that they will always remember!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Esteven Setpember 11, 2009 - January 26, 2010

Today was a hard day. I woke up to a phone call from Patti Sue telling me that baby Esteven passed away last night. Esteven was brought to us in September as a newborn because he had so many health problems. His 4 1/2 months of life were filled with oxygen tanks, pulse monitors, and hospital runs. But this little kid was such a trooper. He fought harder for his life than I've ever seen anyone do. We called him "el buen luchador"... or the good fighter. Somehow though, in all of his pain, Esteven had such a peace about him. As Patti Sue said in his obituary, when he looked at you it was like he was looking at your soul. I think its because to him, thats all he knew- his soul. A body that worked was a foreign concept to him.

So when I got to school this morning I had to tell my kids the news. Jeniffer and Jessica, the two girls who live with Patti Sue, already knew because they had been living with him. The other kids never really saw Esteven, but they had been praying for him since he was born. When I told them this morning that he passed away, they all kinda looked disappointed and then one of them said, "why?". The kids could tell that Jeniffer and Jessica were hurting and they all looked at me with this puzzling question of... "but why???"

So I told them this: When I was getting ready this morning I asked God the same question... "why God? why this precious little baby that was fighting so hard? why couldn't you have healed him.. given him a miracle?" I wanted so badly to talk to Esteven 10 years from now and tell him how he spent his first year of life in a little bed with tubes hooked up to him. But God quickly reminded me of this... He said, "Alison, I have healed him. I did give him a miracle. He's with me now. I sent him to this world to give you all joy. To teach you the beauty of someone's soul. But I am ready for him... I've missed him.. and its time for us to be together." Now Esteven gets to be a normal baby. One who breathes on his own, laughs and crawls and runs and talks and plays games with Jesus.

Some of the kids started crying when I told them this (I was tearing up too) and then they started asking questions about heaven. I asked them if they were 100% sure that they too would go to heaven when they die and many of them said "mmm yea".. and others shrugged. So we talked about how you get to heaven.. about how you cant do anything good enough to get there... its not by your actions. But by.... (and Maribel said) "Grace, Miss Alison". What a beautiful heart that girl has... she was totally right. So we talked about grace, and about having Jesus in our hearts. Then the kids decided we should pray together to ask for Jesus' grace.

At Esteven's burial, Patti Sue had Tia Heidi read Isaiah 55:8-13. I started crying when I heard it because it could not have been more appropriate. I already know one of the reasons why God sent Esteven to this earth... his life was a witness to seven precious little students in my class. They learned of God's grace and how to invite Jesus into their lives.

I praise Jesus for the little life of Esteven. And as my mom just wrote to me, maybe my Nanny is up there rocking him right now....

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Baby..... Nanki.

Hi Everyone! Today is a good day because the internet is fixed and I am sitting at home in my pajamas able to connect to the outside world. :) What a great feeling!

Christmas break was such a great time with family and friends. It was so refreshing and rejuvenating. It also made me realize how MUCH I love these kids and missed them. Especially Nanki... who I like to call "my baby". I had so much fun with my Mom and Grammy over break going down the baby aisles at all the stores and looking for baby clothes for Nanki. One of these pictures is of what we ended up buying. :)

Nanki grew so much during the 3 weeks I was gone! He's getting nice and chubby and learning how to smile and make funny faces. He is also exploring his sounds and loves saying "goo". He is SO precious.

One day after school when I went over to play with Nankipoo, I had the opportunity to meet his dad. His dad came in from his village in the jungle to visit him and see how his foot and hip were doing. It was nice to meet him and learn more about Nanki's family out in the jungle. By the end of the visit, he had taken a picture of me with him and Nanki and asked me to be his "madrina", or godmother.

Please pray for precious baby Nanki, that God will provide the surgery he needs for his hip and his foot and that He will grow him into a strong man of God. And for the 5 years he is with Casa de Fe, that he will learn how high and deep and wide the love of God is for him.