24 May 2011

2 Year Anniversary

So today marks the two year mark in Ben's and my marriage.  :-)  For many people this seems like no big deal, you can say that you've been married for 10, 20, 30 or even up to 60 years!  That is something I think is fantastic!  Unfortunately in today's world where divorce is so common, staying married for long becomes more and more a struggle as statistics I am sure would tell you.

Ben and I are not normal however.  We love each other and we choose to love each other every day, even when we do things that irritate the other...  Divorce was never intended to be part of creation and as we share our faith in Christ it will never be an option!  We have shared 2 great years and I look forward to that number just simply going up and up and up!  I still wake up some mornings and think, "How did I get married to such a wonderful man?"

Looking back over the last year of marriage there have been some really good times (though some tough ones mixed in too).  Ben started his new position as the called DCE at Zion and that has been wonderful.  I have been privileged to support him in his ministry there.  One thing that he is working on that I get to be involved with is growing small group ministry at the Church.  We have started 2 groups so far, what happens is that after one gets up and going we invite a new group of people to be involved in the next group!

I ran my first 5K and 10K and now I am training for a marathon.  Now this does require a lot of support and encouragement from the husband.  I just started running just over a year ago and without him encouraging me and dealing with slightly less time with me at times, I would never have gotten as far as I have with running.  It is a bit of a sacrifice on our parts as, especially with the marathon, I am spending hours on the trails running.

We painted our house together at the end of last summer!  The exterior of our house looked pretty terrible, but last August/September we took care of that!  That require us both doing our share of painting.  The porch was mainly my doing (as it has lots of edges and corners it took a long time) and the high up stuff was mainly Ben's doing.  We both have somewhat of a hesitation towards heights, but Ben seems to have a bit less of one!

Ben supported me during my student teaching.  This really did require a lot of support.  I got sick all the time from being around all those kids spreading their germs...  I was also struggling with whether I really wanted to go into teaching or not.  At the end of the time I decided against applying for teaching jobs at this time and for building my own business as a private tutor out of my home.  This means he gets to be supportive of me as I grow my business that includes working a lot of evenings.

Also I get to continually support Ben with his guard stuff.  It hasn't worked out very well this past year to go with him on many drills, but that's ok.  I still get to talk to him as he is driving the last few miles there and generally I stay up for him when he comes home.  I make sure he has clean uniforms as soon as I can after he gets back.  I also get to spend a whole week without him at times while he is on annual training.  Which that is a funny thing, separation from family and friends never used to bother me, but now when he leaves for a while, even just a week, I can't wait to have him home again!  I am thankful he hasn't been deployed since we've been married, but I know we would get through that as well.  :-)

Basically, I love my husband and I can't imagine life without him.  He helps me be a better person and makes sure that I don't get too serious about life!  I love you Ben!

10 May 2011

Cinco de Mayo

One of my jobs is being a private tutor of Spanish and German students.  Currently I have 6 Spanish students.  For a while I have wanted to host some language nights for my students and last Thursday I finally did just that.  I hosted a dinner at my house for my students and had a friend come over and make authentic Mexican enchiladas.

It was a lot of fun, I invited my students over and they could each bring one friend.  Three were able to come and one brought a friend.  So we were a group of 6 (4 students, my friend and myself).

Going into the evening I was kind of nervous that my students would get nervous and not want to talk much.  I had asked them to prepare a few questions in Spanish to ask my friend that evening.  They were also going to be required to speak in Spanish some with my friend and each other.  In preparation for the evening, I made copies of different pages out of the 50 Most Beautiful People edition of People en EspaƱol.  I was going to have the girls look through them and choose one, then "introduce" their person in Spanish to the group.

It turned out I was nervous for no reason.  After we dished up my friend gave them a brief outline of what Cinco de Mayo is all about in Spanish and the girls followed her very well.  I think they impressed themselves at how well they did understand.  Then they commented on the food (which was very well received) to my friend in Spanish.  They started in English, but after asking them to say it in Spanish they were quick to try their hand at it.  After a while I had them go around the table and "introduce" the person on the picture they chose.  Throughout the evening I made sure that each of them had asked at least one question in Spanish.

The whole evening was a great learning experience for them.  They were able to to see that they can make mistakes and still be understood.  During our tutoring sessions I tend to be somewhat picky with their Spanish, so this opportunity to show them mistakes are not bad was great.

It even seems that the evening inspired some of my students with their Spanish.  It's only natural to be more motivated after having an opportunity to use Spanish in a more real situation.

02 May 2011

Palm Sunday, Easter and Les Miserables

Now that it is a week after Easter, I am finally getting around to writing about it.  :-)  It has been busy and I have been sick again...  This time I did go to my Doctor and got some meds to get over it more quickly and hopefully not get sick right away again.  We'll see how that goes!

I have been wanting to write about Palm Sunday weekend for a few weeks now because of what we did at our Church that weekend.  We had a travel team from OAFC come to our Church to help us with some outreach into the community.  OAFC is something my husband was involved in for around 10 years, until working full time in a Church.  Now he is trying to find ways to get the youth involved in it and I think that weekend did perk the interest of several of our Church's youth.

An OAFC weekend goes something like this:
Friday evening:  Bible Study, songs, skits with the members of the congregation that attend.
Saturday morning:  Canvassing does and don'ts, form canvassing teams and head out for round 1.
Saturday afternoon:  Come back from lunch, talk about the canvassing, then head out for round 2.
Saturday evening:  Write prospect letters to people who seemed interested in coming to the Church, tally up the results of the canvassing, supper, more skits and songs.  Or in our case, run off to the Saturday evening Church service...  Things were kind of short on time for us because of the Saturday evening service.
Sunday morning:  Participate in all services and talk to the congregation about what happened during the weekend.

Canvassing is actually pretty cool.  Basically you go door to door and ask if they'd like to take a short religious survey.  If they say no, you ask to leave some information with them and simply leave.  Nothing too annoying.  If they say yes, then the main information that you try to find out is if they are currently go to Church or previously went to Church and if yes, where.  The big question we then get to is if they know where they will go when they die.  Now as the Lutherans we are, we are all about Faith Alone, Scripture Alone, Grace Alone, so we love hearing people say they are going to heaven because of what Christ Jesus did for them.  Many people do not see it this way.  Often people haven't even thought of it, or think they will go to heaven because of the good deeds they have done.  This gives us an opportunity to share our Christ centered faith.

This is just a brief description of what OAFC does, but it is a worthwhile ministry to be involved with, even just very occasionally.  It is equipping our youth with confidence to tell people the Good News of Christ, which is something we need more of in our youth these days.  Keep your eyes open for an OAFC travel team near you!

This Easter was not a good one for me.  Saturday I woke up just feeling terrible once again.  I have had so many colds this year, it is terribly frustrating...  In fact on Saturday night, though I took cough syrup and a nose spray, I didn't hardly get a wink of sleep.  Sunday morning rolled around, my favorite holiday, and I had no desire to even leave the house.  All I wanted to do was snuggle up in a blanket and finally get some sleep.

Well, I did go, mainly because I was involved in Choir, Flute Ensemble and Handbells that morning.  Though I don't really remember what happened, I think I would have been more sad to miss the services completely.  Easter is truly the most important holiday for Christians.  Some people like Easter more because it is less commercialized than Christmas.  I like it more because it gives the reason for Christmas.  Christmas was never a holiday to be by itself.  The Bible points us to Jesus' death and resurrection for our salvation, it was never meant to stop at his birth.  Easter is the reason for our faith and if Easter were to be proven wrong, our faith would be nothing.

So this year was sort of a miserable Easter for me, but that's ok, Easter is just another day that happens to be set aside to remember what happened years ago on the cross.  :-)

Les Miserables
Barely was I starting to feel better when Ben and I jumped in the car to go to Nebraska.  My brother had asked us if we'd like to go to this showing of Les Mis months ago and the weekend was finally here.  Only he bailed for the last and final shuttle launch, which now doesn't seem to be happening until next Sunday anyways.  Oh well, how was he to know?

We were able to make a nice visit of it.  On our way to Nebraska we stopped at some some friends in Iowa and had a good visit with them.  Then on Friday we went and had lunch in Nebraska with some college friends of mine.  I miss my days at Concordia and relish any chance I get to hang out with my friends from my time there.  Then we spent some time with Ben's Grandma.  It had been 6 months since Ben had seen her and probably a year since I have!  That afternoon we went golfing with one of Ben's aunts.  It was not the most ideal weather...  The wind was crazy and there were a few times we went to hit the ball and we almost got blown over....  We still had fun and Ben's Aunt gave me lots of pointers (very welcome, as it was only my second time golfing).  That evening we had supper with another one of Ben's Aunts and Uncle.

Then, that Saturday after sleeping at one of his Aunts' houses, we drove to Omaha to meet up with my family for the show.  After having lunch and driving downtown we ran into some End of the World people.  They are the ones from the California group that believes May 21st, 2011 is Judgement Day and October 21st, 2011 is the End of the World.  They are running around the country trying to spread this news to everyone.  I was reading up on them online and it seems there are many people who have left their families to join this movement, which I think is sad.  Reading through how they decided on these dates showed that their thinking is rather flawed and we need to pray for these people and their families that they will be able to get their lives back together when this is all over.  Though I am curious to see what will happen after May 21st when they don't see all the dead raised to life...

The show was good.  It had been probably 10 years since I had seen it, and I was glad for the short synopsis in the program.  Les Miserbales by Victor Hugo is on my list of books to read, which I think will be good because the musical is definitely a very abbreviated version of the story.  Ben did not really know much about the show and was also thankful for the synopsis.  All in all it was good to go to the show and see lots of family.  We don't get many opportunities to do that, so we are glad to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself!