Friday, December 28, 2007
In lieu of the Writer's Guild strike, all of us here at VCS have been deprived of our favorite American TV show, The Office. This video was the idea of Salil and David, two of my soccer players. They are currently in a video editing class taught by my friend Matt and so this is the first of a series that we will be working on.
All of the "stars" of the episode happen to have a break during the video class block so it enables us to shoot all of the footage. You may not get some of it because it's VCS humor but I think there are enough Office parallels that you should enjoy things.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Christmas Eve our friends the Pachecos brought us a Christmas basket full of American goodies. It was an amazing gift that included things we don't usually get to enjoy like Dr. Pepper, Mountain Dew, Rice Crispy Treats and various other things. Before he left I made delivery boy Oscar take a picture with his buddy Thad.
Finally, we came across this video as we were loading Christmas pictures on to the computer. This is Thad's first major film production and it was accomplished all while no adults were present. We aren't sure how he got the camera in the first place much less how he got it to the video setting and actually took footage. However he did it, here is a small glimpse in the world of Thad. He starts off by looking at all of his Christmas presents, then moves to looking at his reflection in the TV, and finishes looking at Ian and telling everyone what he's doing although apparently no one was listening.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Thad can't wait to see Granddaddy & KK..... especially since his chocolate number 18 can be eaten that day! He has this advent calendar which has doors that hold chocolates. One for each day leading up to christmas and my parents come the 18th...which is the magic number and special chocolate we've been waiting for. :)
Also, Thomas finally shaved his head, which we are all thankful for. It will be funny though as it continues to grow out with blond tips!
So, we have been doing something every night this week! It is such fun going to parties, having cookie exchanges, entertaining students, Christmas concerts & of course the famous markets here during the holidays. It is beautiful here this time of year with decor on every window and chandeliers hung along the Graben downtown. We love it!
Sunday, December 09, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Well, suffice it to say while Thomas was gone for 2 weeks to the U.S., I stayed in survival mode and did not have a moment to post. Today as I was trying to do the dishes, I had a little T-rex attached to my leg pretending to bite me and slobbering all over me. It was then that I realized, "Oh yeah, that's why I accomplished nothing while Thomas was away!" :)
Sunday, November 04, 2007
This was a series that kind was a ton of fun. We kind of made it up as we went and filmed most the day that they had to be shown in Chapel so plot wasn't the main focus. Hopefully you'll find them as funny as we did.
Side Note: Video 3 was filmed the day after the VCS Boys beat the Staff in our annual Faculty/Student Soccer game.
Let me give you some advice born out of experience: Never book a trans-Atlantic flight the week after your VCS soccer season ends. This past week was insane. It began Monday with a trip to Budapest. We definately drove 2 1/2 hours to play soccer for 1 hour as our opponent had only rented the field from 4:00-5:00. That was just a bit frustrating. On top of that, we tried out a few new players and only managed a 2-2 draw against a team that we always beat.
That has kind of been the story of our season. We have had games cancelled, moved, teams not show up, and all kinds of other things that are about to drive my Athletic Director crazy. The poor guy has done an awesome job but just can't seem to catch a break. We have also only played 3 games with our full compliment of players as we have had a few key injuries and odd illnesses. We finished this portion of our year 4-4-1. Had we had all our players at our disposal I feel sure we would've had a much better record.
On Tuesday we had our second game of the week. The team came from Bratislava and didn't arrive until about 1:15 later than they were supposed to. Our field doesn't have "real" lights, only two large flood lights. Rather than cancel the game for darkness, our boys decided to play in the dark. It was hilarious for me to see our team play our best game of the year up to that point in the dark. We managed a 5-0 victory that gave us momentum going into our last game.
Friaday night we went back to Budapest to play the American International School of Budapest. It is the most beautiful high school I have ever seen. I you ever live in Budapest and have large amounts of money, I suggest you send your kids there.
The AIS schools are all 5-7 times larger than our school so anytime we can beat them is always great. We went into this game with our entire team and managed to completely outplay them. The final score of 2-0 did not reflect how well we played and how comprehensively we dominated them. Several of the parents from their school asked who we were and how big our school was. When we told them they were very suprised. It felt good to finally see my team play to their potential. We are really hoping to have a small spring season where we play some clubs and hopefully Black Forest Academy. It would be nice to add a large Christian school to our list of conquests.
Side Note: One of our players, Oscar, really likes to sing cheesy songs to get pumped up. This is where the Final Countdown comes in. Last year after our last game Oscar gave us his rendition of The Eye of the Tiger. This year it was the Final Countdown. If you've never heard the Final Countdown sung by a hispanic person I highly suggest it.
When not chasing his dream of becoming a Latino pop star, Oscar likes ot play soccer.
Thus ends the VCS Soccer season and now I can spend more time with my family.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
T-Rex attack is without a doubt the best title for what's happening lately in the world of Thad. Apparently the interests of children are genetic as my son appears to have the same fascination with dinosaurs that I had when I was a little boy. The interesting thing is finding materials that can help feed his interests without introducing world-view elements that we personally disagree with. Mollie has been looking on the Answers in Genesis website for some good dino videos for Thad. Maybe we are raising the future pioneer in the field of biblical paleontology. Until then we'll just have to deal with our little T-Rex ambushing us and eating us whenever he feels the need.
Funny Story: Thad "roars" when he does his T-Rex. Most people find this hilarious that a little boy comes up to them and growls and does his T-Rex hands. The kids at school all play along and run away from him, providing him with prey to chase. The unfortunate side effect of this has been that the T-Rex is now Thad's defense mechanism when he is embarrassed.
The other day I took Thad to Merkur (our local grocery store) to buy some things for Mollie. While we were in line checking out, a girl probably around my age or a bit younger got in line behind us. She of course noticed how cute That was (he is my son after all) and began to speak to him auf Deutsch (in German). As he didn't really understand her, he became embarrassed and T-Rex made his first "public" appearance. I guess I, forgetting she was Austrian, half expected her to be amused like everyone else is. I guess that T-Rex gets lost in translation some where because she seemed way more offended than amused. So we are now working on when and where T-Rex is ok and where he needs to stay locked inside our little boy's head. It may seem silly, but we want Thad to be himself but not offend people so please remember to pray for us as parents with this little guy.
Also, Mollie is having some real knee troubles. It has even gotten to the point that we are going to go to see a doctor. Please pray that this will not be serious and no surgery will be required. As you can imagine there is a real temptation to be anxious about this, especially with me leaving Mollie with the boys for 12 days.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
This is our first video of many that we hope will give you an idea of what life is like around here in Vienna. This one is just kind of a site seeing tour that we did a few weeks ago. Others will be random things that strike our fancy or other ideas that we come up with. Send us whatever feedback you have, just don't be too upset about the camera work. We're still learning after all.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
We can say with confidence that God has always been faithful to us. Time and time again we can see His beautiful and good hand in all things. Whatever trial or triumph we've had to face, He has been our strength. We can say, "You are the One that we praise, You are the One we adore, You give the healing and grace our hearts always hunger for..." He is truly a Wonderful, Merciful Savior.
We need your prayers as we need to make an important decision about our future here at VCS. It is our heart's desire to stay and minister and yet we lack the funds to stay.....we are really lacking the funds to stay here. God has been so good to let us be here for one year and to stay through this school year as well. Everyday we have the beautiful privilege of sharing our Wonderful, Merciful Savior with the students at VCS. AND............
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Saturday, October 06, 2007
This video is for Emotion Water (flavored carbonated water). Kind of odd I know.
These videos are the creation of the Seniors that are in my friend Matt Klein's Video Editing class. The kids are super creative and hilarious as well. Occasionally they hunt me down to be in a video or give them some ideas.
I get to make a guest appearence in this one.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Nationality: Costa Rican
Speaks 2 Languages (English & Spanish) fluently and is decent in German.
Parents: Father works in International Relations and Mother works at VCS.
Christian's family are all believers. He has an older brother and sister as well as a younger sister.
Christian plays soccer and basketball and is in all Honors classes at VCS.
-Christian's older brother is getting ready to graduate this year and possibly go to the States for school. They are very close and this will be hard on the family.
-Christian is in a position to be a real leader in his class. Pray that God will use people to affirm those leadership qualities and that Christian will show Christ to those in his grade.
-Pray that God will begin to show Christian how he wants to use him in the future. Christian is only a 10th grader but is beginning to think about what he will do for college and in his future.
From Left: Kristen (USA), Paola (Mexico), Mariam (Pakistan), Cate (USA), Keziah (Kenya)
The guys piling on the trampoline.
As most of you know we are sponsoring the Sophomore class here at VCS. One of the cool things we get to do is to have activities that promote class unity. We are really excited about this because we are attempting to do something a bit different then how things have been in the past.
Historically, VCS classes have raised money throughout their high school years for a Senior trip. Usually the classes have gone to beaches or into the mountains. We have decided to see if our kids would like to do a service trip. It would still be a relaxing time spent with friends, but would focus on serving others and much as enjoying things ourselves.
We have decided that we as the 10th Grade class will try and set a new standard for class unity and service and all of this starts with the community that we can create among each other.
Last night was the first of many gatherings that we will have. It was exclusively a fellowship time that involved among other things, the kids telling Mr. Gardner that his hamburgers were burning and other kids running as they were chased by Thad the little T-Rex. It was great to spend time with the kids outside of school and see how they interact with one another. The kids ate 23 burgers and 18 pieces of chicken. They like Thomas' cooking.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Well, we've been doing so many things since school started we haven't even taken time to update the blog! ooops! So, here's a little wrap of what's been going on.....
Ready, set, GO!
First off, we had a wonderful start to school and seeing all the students was super fun. Some of them were taller and some looked sooo different and of course there were new students entering the 2007-2008 school year.
Our first big event was HOT LUNCH. Each class gets to make the hot lunch for the day in the cafeteria at least once a month. This is a fund raiser for the class. OUR class we sponser is 10th grade. Thomas and I had such fun helping to make black eyed peas, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy in the kitchen. We call it country vittles! :) The students help out and then serve during their lunch time! It's a big job and we definitely have to clean up the industrial kitchen but we get to use the super dishwasher!.... so it's a pretty big job.
Next, Thomas had his first soccer game and the boys won 4-0 against ICSB.... they are the christian school from Budapest. ( i'm sure he'd post more... but you know...)
Mollie has taken over the middle school praise band this year and they lead the singing time during the worship hour on Fridays. This is called CHAPEL :) The students love it and she's had such fun singing and practicing with these middle schoolers to prepare for Fridays.
Also, this past Friday was back to school night and Thomas had the privilege of meeting several of the parents who were able to come. Some of the parents are such an encouragement to us as we are affirmed over and over that we need to be here so they can do the work God has called them to do. We are support missionaries to those who still pastor churches, work with refugees, work undercover in countries that don't allow missionaries, and those that serve in the international government offices. What a blessing to meet these incredible people who have given up so much to allow God to use them as He pleases.
Our home bible study has also started up again! We have been privileged to host a group of about 16 people in our home for an inductive study on the book of Mark. Last night was such a blessing as we discussed the first chapter. WOW! Jesus is incredible and the example He leaves us is so beautiful.....
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
The above picture is the Rathaus. I know that doesn't sound like a place you'd want to hang out but auf deutsch (in German) it's city hall. It is without a doubt my favorite building in Vienna. When I look at it I see beauty...elegance...it literally puts me in awe. I realize that someone designed it and that many people spent time building it. Tour guides have to be very observant.
I'm reading a book right now called The Velvet Elvis by a guy named Rob Bell. You should all read this book. I don't agree with everything in it, but it has been a breath of fresh air in terms of "Christian" books. One of the things he talks about is the kavod of God. Kavod in Hebrew means glory but actually denotes weight or significance. Isaiah says, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty. The Earth is filled with His glory."
We can see the glory of the Lord all around us. David said, "The Earth is the Lord's and everything in it." And later he prayed, "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence."
Rob Bell points out in his book that some people think missions is "taking God somewhere." While I somewhat see what people are saying, if we have truly understood the scriptures we realize that God is all around us. Not in some pantheistic way, but to quote Steven Curtis Chapman, the "fingerprints of God" are all around us. And not just for us believers, but unbelievers as well. The Earth is literally FILLED with His glory. Look for it.
Paul understood this. He brought the truth and the Word of God, but he also pointed out everyday things. He was a tour guide. If you read Acts 17, Paul observes that the Athenians had many gods they worshipped and thanked for all of the good things in their lives. Paul tells them that there is one God and He is the source of all of these things. He even goes on to quote one of their poets in sharing the truth with them. Paul meets the Athenians where they are and speaks to them in a way they can relate to. He infuses all of the life experience and practice of their reality with meaning by linking it to God, the most real thing.
I'm learning that I'm not taking God anywhere. He's really big and doesn't need a ride from me. He is already intimately involved in what is going on in the lives of my kids. In Colossians it says that in Christ all things hold together. In a sense, anything we do or experience involves God's active presence.
As Christians maybe we need to stop trying to "take" God and start to "observe" what God is already doing. In Romans it talks about all people having a knowledge of God from what has been made. Let's start relating to people from the good things God has placed in their lives. The things that surround them that they can't deny. Let's speak the truth to them in love and make ourselves available to God for His use in other people's lives.
So this weekend I was a tour guide. I think I'll keep trying to be one the rest of this year.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Thomas showing Marson some grilling secrets. Marson is an MK from the Philippines and his father is the Pastor of a Phillipino church that meets in the VCS building.
Jannica, Paola, and Mariam enjoy their picnic time together. Jannica is from Taiwon and her parents work with Chinese Christians in Vienna. Paola is from Mexico and her father works with OPEC. Marian is from Pakistan and her dad works at the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The more time we spend with these kids, the more we see what an impact VCS has on the nations. Everyday we share the love of Christ with kids from every continent and they in return bring that love back to their home nations. What a blessing to be part of this ministry!
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
This is my buddy Brian. He was the one who made me go running a few times a week in preparation. He finished ahead of me because he worked a bit harder in training. The whole thing was a pretty cool experience because we ran with over 25,000 other people.
This is me at about kilometer 8 when I was feeling pretty good about life. Fast forward another 8 kilometers and I was not a happy camper. Something happened with my right Achilles tendon and so I pretty much ran 4-5 minutes and then walked 1 minute for the last 4k. Mollie and Thad were waiting for me towards the end but I was too tired and in pain to notice. Afterwards, one of the teachers who lived near the finish line had all of us runners over for pasta. It was a good experience that I will take part in as long as we stay here in Vienna...but I will definitely train harder next time.