Monday, August 11, 2014

15 Years, 100 DAYS & STILL COUNTING!

July & the beginning of August have been extremely busy (but I think I say that every month:)!  Going in reverse order...I'm still on a celebratory high from my 100s (all) day party with my Kindergarten class this past Friday.  After building up to this day all year my class was beyond excited to celebrate this special day.  For me, it was an extremely rewarding day to see how much my students have learned on so many different levels.  In our stations we built with 100 cups, made a snack with 100 food items, made glitter 100 crowns, painted 100 dots, and made a 100 fruit loop necklace.  In PE we did as many exercises we could think of 100 times (I had to fill in for Mike who unfortunately was home with a sick Kai).  In math we played hide & seek with numbered sticky notes, and finished the day off with story time.  All in all it was a fantastic example of learning through meaningful, engaging, & fun activities.  A great lesson for other teachers as well as my students' parents.  Just to give you an idea of how different my class is, the typical Nicaraguan Kindergarten class is just now starting to learn the numbers 1-10 & vowels!

August 3rd, Mackenzie celebrated her 13th birthday!  Having a teenager makes me feel older than turning 40 did!  But we are so proud of her and actually looking forward to these teen years.  She has been trying to convince me to let her sit in the front seat, which at home I could possibly see but with the crazy driving here...not so much.  We were supposed to have a sleep over birthday party last weekend (on her birthday) but unfortunately had to postpone it to this weekend because we were stuck in Managua for the second weekend in a row trying to deal with our never ending car troubles.  Which is how we spent July 31st, our 15th anniversary!  Driving in Managua traffic with our car spewing out white smoke, after!, it was supposed to have been fixed:).  Wasn't a high point, but thankfully we eventually did get it fixed.  So, now we are hoping to sell it & find a cheaper, more reliable vehicle!

Fortunately we had already celebrated our anniversary the previous weekend (when we were also in Managua because of the car).  We are so extremely thankful for a group of missionary families we have met there who graciously open their homes & hearts to us!  We went to a movie & had some delicious gelatto (which are both special treats for us & found only in Managua).  It was fun celebrating as a family, & in Nicaragua, one we will be sure to remember!

We also had our two week winter break in July.  We were able to visit the ethereal Ometepe Islands for a few days & had a great time exploring around two more volcanoes, Concepci√≥n & Maderas.  Then we took the bus down to Costa Rica to renew our visas and met Mike's family there!  It was amazing to get to spend a week with family, & relax in a first world country.  We felt truly spoiled to have hot showers, drinkable water, toilet paper flushing toilets, and most of all lots of hugs from Grandma & Grandpa Mueller & Uncle Mark.  I was worried it would be too hard to say goodbye, but it actually gave us all the 'pick me up' we needed to get us to December when we get to come home to visit.

Which leads to our huge focus right now, planning for next year!  We have committed to teaching for another year, which means mostly fundraising!!  We are so thankful we have had the opportunity to serve this year at NCA in Nicaragua and can now clearly see how much more we could accomplish with a second year here.  I have been gradually mentoring my aid Karla who will eventually take over as the Kindergarten teacher.  Working with her and seeing how she is beginning to understand the teaching methods I use has been just as rewarding as watching my students learn & grow.  Next year I hope to continue to mentor her and work with her as a student teacher.  I am so excited about this opportunity and know that after another year, Karla will be able to continue the Kindergarten program I have initiated this year as well as continue to mentor future teachers.

We will be emailing out a Newsletter explaining a bit more about our plans and our needs, if you are able to help in any way we would so greatly appreciate it.  Please consider printing out or forwarding our Newsletter to someone, a church, or an organization you know who might be interested in supporting our teaching mission.  OR you could always choose to donate or pledge now using the link above to RCE.  I also plan to post a list of materials I'd like to bring back next year for my & other classrooms at our school, if you could start saving those items for us to pick up in December that would be fabulous.

As always we are SO Thankful for so many of you who are praying for us!  We are so thankful to be here, to be serving, to be safe & healthy, & to know we have so many people sending us love.  We also always love to hear from you!  Please let us know how you are doing, how we can pray for you, and if you have any questions about our mission or about making a financial contribution.

Peace & Love!

The Muellers

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