Wednesday, September 26, 2007

4 weeks of blessing

About 4 weeks ago I began teaching an intensive ESL class - this means that I taught M-F, 4 hours per day. Yes, 20 hours of English per week for one month is what we offer refugees who have just arrived in America! It's pretty rigorous, but they have so much to learn! So, for the past four weeks I've been teaching vocabulary about household items - from appliances to furniture to rooms in the house, food, health, jobs, action verbs; how to count money and make change; how to tell time and I'm sure more that I can't remember just now! My class was 11 students - 2 Kunama Eritreans and 9 Karen(this is a group who live in Burma). To read more about the plight of the Karen from Burma to the refugee camp in Thailand, you can click on this link. To read more about the life of the Kunama people, you can click on this link.
After a 4 week intensive class, the students then begin attending a regular ESL class, which meets twice a week, 2 hours/day. So, they go from 20 hours a week to 4 hours a week after just one month. Of course, there is still so much to learn!

I said goodbye to my students yesterday because they will be joining an already established class that meets in their apartment complex. Saying goodbye is never easy, especially after spending 20 hours a week with these precious people! They walked me downstairs and out to the parking lot where I would get in my car. They hugged me or shook my hand goodbye, then they stood there, waving and looking at me as I got into my car. It was like they were still in their refugee camp in their country, and I was leaving their country to return to America, never to see them again. It was so sad! They stood there with tears in their eyes as I drove off. They definitely stole a part of my heart! I think I'll visit them soon!

10 years ago...

I graduated from Ruston High School. This past weekend I got to see several people I graduated with, meet their spouses, catch up with them, introduce my Daniel to was really a great weekend. And, strangely enough, it really seemed like just yesterday that we were all sitting in Mrs. Gay's senior English class. The past 10 years sure have flown by!

We began the day with BBQ in the park

Daniel enjoyed playing "bearcat" for a brief moment

the committee and our spouses minus Molly and Brandon

Kim, Miranda, Jamie, Suzanne, April, Sarah, Shannon

Heather, Miranda, Angie, Mary Catherine, Kim


Heather, Karen, Miranda, Kim, Molly

Erin, Kim, Sara

this one's for you, Anna Banana - we missed you!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

for those of you who love Jeremy Annillo...

Daniel and I went to Seattle this weekend for Daniel to stand beside Jeremy as a groomsman in his wedding. Jeremy and Daniel were roommates at the Cornerstone. Jeremy married a sweet, fun-loving, Jesus-loving, great-laughing, girl named Sarah. I met her for the first time this weekend and can see what it is in her that has Jeremy so smitten - she's great!

We're a bit sleep-deprived from our long weekend in Seattle, but are so grateful to have been there. We arrived Friday and went to bed around 3 a.m. Fort Worth time. We stayed with Anna, my best friend from high school. We slept about 6 hours that night, then went to the rehearsal and brunch. Jeremy and his dad own a restaurant, Sorci's Italian Cafe & Market. The wedding was in the garden behind the cafe and the restaurant catered the brunc and the reception. Great food! Absolutely fantastic! We ran into Kelly Aldrich, another guy who had lived at the Cornerstone with Daniel and Jeremy and who was the best man in the wedding.

After the rehearsal and brunch, we headed to downtown Seattle for a litte sight-seeing.

Anna showed us around Pike's Place, a well-known open market in Seattle.

Look, Daniel found a "little person" :-)

The fresh fruits and veges looked delicious!

We checked out the original Starbucks across the street from the market.


The wedding was outside in the garden behind the restaurant. It was lovely. Washington isn't like the South, with a bunch of church-goers running around everywhere. Instead, there are many there who don't really know much about Christianity. I'm sure their wedding will bring about many questions, and maybe, just maybe, the Lord will allow several to come into His kingdom through the testimony of their wedding ceremony as well as the testimony they will have in marriage. They washed each other's feet during the ceremony and took com-
munion. They wrote the sweetest vows to each other and the wedding was really beautiful! Hot, but beautiful! :-) They sealed the ceremony with a fun kiss...and they were glowing as they walked away from the ceremony as Mr. and Mrs. Jeremy Annillo!

The reception was much fun and we really enjoyed hearing more about Sarah as her family and friends said such sweet, sweet things about her as they made toasts to Jeremy and Sarah. It is obvious that she is a good friend, a good sister, a good daughter who loves deeply those in her life! Jeremy's mom said that Jeremy had once told her he wanted to marry someone who was fun-loving, adven-
turous, and who loved God. She said that when she met Sarah, she knew this was the girl for Jeremy! Everyone said that after meeting the other one, they knew this was right. They knew it was from God and that Jeremy and Sarah were perfect for each other!!

Thursday, September 06, 2007


We spent Labor Day weekend with our family in Ruston. 'Twas a great time!!! Jenny, Brian, and Meredith came too! Meredith can do so many things now that she couldn't do 2 months ago when we last saw her. She's actually 10 months old today! She can sit up on her own, crawl, pull up to stand up (but not stand on her own yet), wave 'bye bye,' give kisses, and shake her head 'no.' I'll brag...she's sooo smart!! And her beautiful big brown eyes'll make ya melt!!!

We went to a LA TECH game while we were there, too, and saw lots of my extended family - Annie, Laura, Liz, Sydney, and Garson! Go Dawgs!

One last picture for your viewing pleasure... and I hope my sister doesn't kill me for posting this, but I thought this face Meredith is making was priceless!!!