Building Legos with a Bear

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I never knew bears built Legos, but recently this was true in our little town of Erfurt.

One of the amazing ministries in Erfurt that we (as a Student ministry) support is Bärenstark, a Christian initiative to impact kids who come from rough social backgrounds in the “inner city” areas of Erfurt. Besides offering big brother, big sister relationships to the kids, they also put on monthly kids programs.

That’s where the Legos come in. Bärenstark brought in a couple along with their over 200,000 Lego pieces to build a Lego city in the ministry center. Every day kids, and even local school classes, came in to build legos and to hear a little about how God loves them. The boys and I went as well, as something for for the boys to do, and for me to help the kids who came. By the end of the week we stood in amazement at the Lego city that had been built (sorry, I don’t have a picture of it all), as well as the hundreds of kids who had come through the door, many of them for the first time.

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Time keeps on marching…

Here are a few pictures I have been taking (or my hubby) over the last month for you to enjoy.

I have been thinking of you all (hence the pictures)… just haven’t made it to my blog to let you know.

Winter bike rides!
Winter bike rides!

 

Playing peek-a-boo. Peek! I see you! :)
Playing peek-a-boo. Peek! I see you! 🙂

 

Soup galore!!
Soup galore!!

Students for Christ had a “Run and Dine” event to celebrate the end of the semester. We hosted the “Vorspeise” part of dinner. (That comes before the main course… soup or salad anyone?)

Valentine surprise from Gram and Papa B.
Valentine surprise from Gram and Papa B.

 

A rose from each of my boys for Valentine's day. :)
A rose from each of my boys for Valentine’s day. 🙂

 

First munch on a baby cracker. Yum!
First munch on a baby cracker. Yum!

 

A J & M wrap!
A J & M wrap!

 

Riding home from Kindergarten on the tram. Daddy was following us on his bike.
Riding home from Kindergarten on the tram. Daddy was following us on his bike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My first service – part 2

We’re back and I’m alive and well. 😉

What a great weekend. We left our sweet little home Saturday morning, because we wanted to make time to visit my love’s Grandma. Our plan was to get to our destination in time to eat lunch, play a wee bit, and then put the boys down for a nap. After nap time, we would visit Grandma.

Lunch time we decided to select a restaurant using our navigator. After trying 3 different restaurants, and all 3 were out of business or closed, we decided to stop at a grocery store instead. Fun enough, the grocery store we chose had a fundraiser going on, and they were selling brats hot off the grill! Sold!

Don't ask me what I am doing... weird!

We took our brats (bratwurst, that is) to a park, with a picnic and play area, and then let the boys run around a bit. They were so excited to be out of their car seats, they could hardly eat, and soon found their way to the toys.

We all enjoyed the sunshine for a while, and then drove on to our host’s home to unpack and let the boys sleep.

On to Grandmas. We found her awake and in good spirits. She even suggested we go outside, so the boys could run around. The fall weather was pleasant, and the company delightful.

After leaving Grandma’s, we grabbed Subway to go, and headed to the church. There the boys and I ate our dinner. (Daddy had his later, once we got home; he was too busy getting things ready.)

We took our boys to the nursery, and then the church service began. I was supposed to leave with the kids when they were dismissed. All 3 services (the Saturday evening and the 2 Sunday services) went like this.

There was a bit of technical difficulties with my PowerPoint, so I had to run to the car to get my computer so they could retrieve it from there. So there was some stalling…

But after that it was smooth sailing. The kids were responsive, and I actually had fun. Each time I did my presentation, it got easier and more enjoyable. I especially loved the kids comments and questions (some having nothing to do with Germany at all…) 😀

“How do you say ‘McDonalds’ in German?”

“I speak Spanish.”

“I have twin sisters who are 2.”

“I hear Germans spit a lot when they talk.” (I couldn’t help but laugh with this one!)

 

I forgot to time myself the first time I spoke (well, actually, make that every time… oops!) to see if I needed to make my talk longer. After I spoke Saturday night, and the youth leaders had finished giving all the announcements for the evening, the adult’s service was still going. It seemed like the youth leaders had to stall for quite awhile until the service was finally done. So I tried to take longer the next two times I spoke. I took more time with questions at the end, and I embellished a bit more when looking at the pictures of Germany. I also added a story about a student. There is still lots of room for improvement, but I do look forward to sharing with kids again. The next opportunity, that I know of, will be in January.

Looking back on this weekend, I am reminded about what I read in the Bible today. It said,

“God is faithful.”

That is so true. As I said “yes” to share with these kids about what God is doing in students’ lives, He was faithful to provide me with the words, so I could connect with the kids and have fun. And He also took care of my boys. The nursery, which was provided, was such a blessing. Every time I went to pick up my boys, they were happy and well taken care of. I had no need to worry. Thank you, Lord.

 

 

 

My first service…

I’ve been working on getting my children’s presentation on Berlin ready these last few days. I pretty much scrapped my first talk I wrote after I had my hubby look over it. He kindly suggested I try adding a quiz show into my talk, making it more fun and interactive. And then he mentioned a slide show.

I guess he caught me on a bad day, because I just crumbled. No, no, I didn’t cry. I was like a balloon that got all its air let out of it. I had no energy. Didn’t want to think about the presentation. Didn’t even want to think about technology, let alone searching for pictures that I wasn’t even sure what they would be representing, because by that point I felt like my previous write up was *blah*. Saturday was looming; I could feel it breathing down my neck. I was suffocated.

Yah. Pretty pathetic, I know. My poor hubby, see what he has to live with. 😉

Anyway, he was all chipper, confident (in me), and full of positive enthusiasm, that while I lay flopped on the couch next to him, he began putting a power point together. He started with the fun bit – the quiz, and then moved on from there, asking me questions about what I thought was important to share. I really owe it all to him. We got a 15 slide presentation down in no time, and I felt a wee bit better.

Today I typed up a new document to go along with the slide show. Once the boys were in bed, I began practicing. I found out that I have about 20 minutes to share with the kids. I also found out today that I get to present this 3 times. Yikes! Well, on the bright side, I should have it down after the third time. 😀

Anyway, back to practicing. I ran it through a couple times, and then I decided I should time it. I knew I was going faster than it would go with kids participating. But when I looked at the clock, it had only been 6 minutes.

Aaack! I need 20 minutes. Will children interaction really add a whole 14 minutes more?! Oh dear.

To be continued…

From apples to turkeys to public speaking and back again

Currently I am sitting here munching on Honeycrisp apple slices with a caramel chocolate dip, or rather paste, I made. Very tasty, although I don’t think I could serve it to a guest.

“Here, have some paste, er… dip I mean.” <embarrassed giggle>

No, it is more of an indulge-yourself-because-it-isn’t-pretty-but-it-hits-that-sweet-spot-like-a-bulls-eye-after-dinner-snack than a dessert you share with other people.

Know what I’m talking about? Do you have any foods like this?

Anywho, I can sit here and enjoy this snack, peacefully, because my boys are in bed. 🙂

If you happened to read yesterdays post, you will understand the significance of this last statement.

My hubby is gone speaking at another banquet, but should be driving home late tonight. I’m praying the deer off the road. Driving through Wisconsin, I see way too many deer on the side of the road… and I don’t mean live deer. Oh dear.

We already had a wild turkey fly into the side of our car. Lord, may that be enough. I don’t think the turkey fared so well. Our car has a little scar to prove that it wasn’t some wacky dream. I mean, wild turkeys flying into cars?? Sounds a bit crazy to me.

Anyway, back to speaking, my hubby has been doing a lot of it. And me. None. Well, that is up front speaking. I do speak to people. 😉 My opportunity is coming, though. (Whether I feel ready or not.) I get to speak to children about what we do. We have been invited to speak at a missions convention in Port Edwards, and I have been asked to share with the kids. So far, that is all the information I know. I am assuming these are grade school kids I am talking to, so as I am preparing, I have that age group in mind. There is a lot I don’t know, like how much time do I have, how many kids will be there, where will my babies be, etc. But, I’m not getting lost in the details… For now, it is far enough away where I don’t have to stress out. 😀

I’m sure I will be telling you how it all turns out. I’m just trusting the Lord will give me great insight in how to communicate with these young’uns – how to be creative, fun, and inspiring.

Well, my apples are gone now, and so is the chocolate caramel wad. That’s what it was by the end. I had to press it onto the apple before bringing it to my mouth. But still very tasty… all the way to the very last crumb.

And now, I must bid you all good night.

Good night!

On the road again…

Today after the boys’ nap we left Gram and Papa for the great town of Liberty Lake, WA, named after ‘famed’ mail carrier and homesteader, Etienne Edward Laliberte aka “Steve Liberty.” We’re staying at the home of some wonderful friends and tomorrow we book out of here right after breakfast.

Next stop — Laurel, MT, another ‘famous’ town along our route. Of course, with two-year-old twins in the car, we will have a number of stops to ease numb bums, let them run hog-wild, and of course, change diapers.

We appreciate your thoughts and prayers as we travel oh these many miles. We have Jamestown, ND, in our sites!

The Texans ride into Erfurt

When the Texans ride, they come in posses of eight. 😀 That’s the number of team members I picked up from Berlin Tegel (airport) at 7:30 PM Monday night. We packed into our wonderful Speed the Light ministry van, took a pit-stop at Burger King for their first German meal, and made our way to Erfurt. Serving alongside the SfC group this week, they’ll be handing out coffee, meeting many new people, and inviting them to come to their “Experience Texas! Night.” Yehaw!

Stay tuned for more…