Thursday, February 23, 2006

Spring


I want to apologize for not being a bit more faithful to keeping this blog up to date...that being said, at least I am trying!!

As you can see, the title for this entry does not match with the picture. The picture was taken last week when it snowed a LOT!! Fortunately, the very next day it began to melt off. Spring is on its way...but with some days warmer with a blue sky and sun, and other days with grey skies and more of a nip in the air. Today is one of the grey days!!

Please keep me in your prayers as I have been having headaches and migraines more frequently. I bought some homeopathic stuff the other day..hoping it will help. I'm also gonna see about having my parents send me some more Excedrine migraine medicine. If they continue I may need to go to the doctor here. Please pray that the headaches clear up soon.

I am keeping busy with English classes. I now have a regular schedule...requiring me to be at the English school on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9am to 1pm and on Tuesdays from around 11am to 1pm. We will be having a bowling night with all the students this Saturday...a chance for us to get to know our students better and open up opportunities to share Christ in a non-threatening environment. Many of our students are white-collar workers, mostly middle-aged, who have been raised as nominal Orthodox, so we have to tread carefully as we share our beliefs.

I also have been continuing with the two programs for orphans with Livada Orphan Care...Saturdays at the girls home in Zau and Mondays at the boys home in Petelea. These children are so fun and sweet!! Last Saturday at Zau when some of the older girls were playing a game I was able to take 3-4 younger ones off to the side and color with them and had so much fun talking and laughing with them. Monday we played "hot balloon" at the boys home in Petelea...hilarious!!

I haven't had a youth night in a while, but hope to really get started with things once I move at the end of March. My roommate Meg is heading back home to the US, so I am taking this opportunity to search for a better apartment. I am willing to pay what we are paying now for a two bedroom apartment and pay that for a one bedroom...as long as it is a better apartment and better furnished. Going six months with no refrigerator, no stove except a gas hotplate, and no way to wash clothes is a long time!! I really want to find a place a little more centrally located that's furnished at least with a stove, fridge, couch bed, carpets, and a wardrobe...and hopefully a washer too!! If the apartment doesn't have a washer, then I may have to buy one...but I at least want the apartment to have a stove and fridge!!

Once the apartment situation is resolved then I will be having the youth nights once a week, and will be starting a girls club and a beginning English class...both to meet once a week. I have some materials for the girls club and the English class and am really looking forward to getting them started.

Well, I'm gonna close this entry out...my head is hurting and I think I will take a nap...thank the Lord for days off!! God bless!!

Monday, February 20, 2006

I Corinthians 13--A Guide To Culture

If I speak with the tongue of a national, but have not love,I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

If I wear the national dress and understand the culture and all forms of etiquette,And, if I copy all mannerisms so that I could pass for a national but have not love..I am nothing.

If I give all I possess to the poor,And if I spend my energy without reserve,But have not love, I gain nothing.

Love endures long hours of language study, And is kind to those who mock his accent;Love does not envy those who stayed home;

Love does not exalt his home culture, is not proud of his national superiority,Does not boast about the way we do it back home, does not seek his own ways,

Is not easily provoked into telling about the beauty of his home country,Does not think evil about this culture.

Love bears all criticism about his home culture,Believes all good things about this new culture,Confidently anticipates being at home in this place, endures all inconveniences.

Love never fails: but where there is cultural anthropology, it will fail;Where there is contextualization, it will lead to syncretism;Where there is linguistics, it will change.

For we know only part of the culture and we minister to only part.But when Christ is reproduced in this culture,Then our inadequacies will be insignificant.

When I was in America I spoke as an American, I understood as an American,I thought as an American;But when I left America I put away American things.

Now we adapt to this culture awkwardly;But He will live in it intimately;Now I speak with a strange accent, but He will speak to the heart.

And now these three remain:Cultural adaptation, language study, and love.But the greatest of these is love.

Currently Listening To: Shine by The Newsboys

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Blogging...

SO FUNNY!! This sounds like something my dad might say...if I hadn't already explained blogging to him!!

Currently Listening To: Only Hope by Mandy Moore

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Wishful Thinking...

Currently Listening To: When The Sun Goes Down by Kenny Chesney (Don't I wish I was on an island right now!!)

Snow, Snow--GO AWAY!!

Okay, winter was fun...for the most part...for the Christmas and New Year and winter camp part...and even for January....but it is now halfway through February and...IT'S STILL SNOWING!!

I went outside this morning and I swear we got at least an inch just since yesterday!! What's up with that? It's SO bitterly cold when you have to be out in it for more than a couple minutes. Plus I have to wear my ugly, warm winter boots if I wanna keep both my toes toasty and my butt safe...since otherwise I'd be slip-sliding all over the sidewalks!! I can't wait for warm weather....shorts and flip-flops...oh yeah!! It's been so long of a winter for this Texas girl that it seems a lifetime since I have worn my flip-flops for anything other than going from the shower to my room!!

Come on, Spring...hurry up and get here!! I'm getting impatient!!

Currently Listening To: Survivor by Destiny's Child (I will survive winter!!)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Single Awareness Day

First off...I know I am a lousy blogger...so let's just move on past that!! How many people out there in the wide world just got done celebrating that evil holiday of Valentine's Day? I personally prefer to call it (at least till I am head over heels and sappy in love) Single Awareness Day!!

I didn't do a whole lot on the 14th--got up, took some clothes over to Sharla and Norma's for washing, went to the school and taught my English class, came home and took a nap, and then went to the youth meeting at church. It was cool cause even though the fact that Valentine's Day was acknowledged...it was't the emphasis at the youth night.

Right now, I am laying on my very uncomfortably lumpy couch and am half asleep with my kitten sound asleep on my leg. I lay here with my headphones on, listening to my easy listening list on Media Player...which is mostly love songs...and I wonder when I will truly be able to relate to the sentiments expressed in these songs!!

I am sooooo anxious to have winter be over and done with!! If I don't have a special someone to cuddle with and if I'm stuck in my freezing cold apartment until the end of March anyway...then I'd rather it be warmer outside--with the sun shining, no less!!

Okay, now I am noticing that this entry is getting a bit TOO random...so I'm gonna close this one out and get some much needed sleep!! YAY!! SLEEP!!

Yours till Niagara Falls,
JULIE

Currently Listening To: Miss Independent by Kelly Clarkson

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Random Stuff


I love this...I am SO not a morning person!!
I will blog more tomorrow...when I don't feel like such a zombie!!
Yours till the cookie crumbles!!
JULIE
PS...take a look at what I'm listening to...see what a cheesy mood I'm in?

Currently Listening To: Valentine Girl by The New Kids On The Block

Saturday, February 4, 2006

Big Blog Entry!!

Okay, so I haven't really posted much substance on here yet....I didn't have "chef" to bother with all of that until now. BTW..."chef" is Romanian for "the want to." It's been a week!! I didn't have my regular English class with the gas company people this week and my other class doesn't start till next Tuesday, I did not have a youth night on Friday, and I didn't go to Petelea on Monday....so why in the world was it such a crazy week...this I cannot figure out!! I really only had two responsibilities....teaching Steven's English class twice (since he STILL hasn't arrived and we are already going into the fifth week of classes) and going to Zau this morning!!

I really think it must have something to do with the fact that since getting internet at home...and especially since getting the bright idea to really start blogging.....I really haven't gone to bed at a decent time...at least till last night...when I was actually in bed with the light out and classical music on by 11:15!!

Now you may say that I really have not done much blogging even so...which is true. However, I felt this crazy need to check out several sites before choosing which ones to start blogging on.....and wanting to totally explore the available options is a major time-waster!! However, I think I have resolved how to do this blogging business now.

My Yahoo 360 site will be my "official" site....the one that will have all my newsletters and pictures posted...the one that I give out to friends, family, church family, and random relatives and strangers who wanna know what I am up to over here in Romania.

My Xanga site will basically be my online journal...the one with all the "word-vomit" that spills out of my mouth and onto the net!! Here I will be myself...without worrying that someone somewhere at some super-legalistic church will think that I am unspiritual...because, after all, missionaries are supposed to be super-hero type people who pray literally without ceasing, fast 3 days a week, get by on 4 hours of sleep a night (hey, wait a minute...I actually do that!), heal the sick, raise the dead, never think ill of anyone, lead 100 people a week to the Lord....all without breaking a sweat...and of course, being a girl...doing it all in a floor length skirt!!

Then, I decided, based on comments by many of my messenger buddies....who told me it wasn't fair that they couldn't understand my blog cause it was in English...I will actually attempt to start a bi-lingual blog for all my Romanian and Spanish speaking friends. Yup, you heard me right...no English at all on that one!! This will be more of a challenge and I probably won't have time to start that one till I get through this next week!! My Spanish is rusty as I really only use it for talking to my bro-in-law and my sis-in-law mostly. I will probably have to use one of those hilarious free translations sites...and then make corrections to the translations!!

But before I do any more on my Yahoo site or my bi-lingual one...which will probably be on my Blogger account...I have to get through this next week!!

I will not only have my gas company class this next week, but will be starting another class of my own, will STILL be teaching Steven's class, will be going to both Petelea on Monday and Zau on Saturday, and will be tutoring one of STEVEN'S students who is behind and wants to catch up with the class!! This is not counting Sunday with church, of course...plus the Sunday afternoon lunch with the other single missionary girls that has become a tradition...plus, most likely, the Sunday night hanging out at McD's or a coffee shop with Romanian friends from church!!

And the weather is acting like it's gonna get worse before it gets better...I swear I am freezing my tushie off!! For a girl from Texas....this is freakin' cold!! I thought I was gonna die last summer when I was living on the top floor of my apartment building on the sunny side and with not even a fan...the heat was a killer!! However, after several months of huddling under blankets to keep warm...even in my apartment...I am really beginning to miss the warmer weather!!

Anyway...current prayer requests...Just pray I make it through the week without too many problems and that I can be a good testimony to all around me..especially my new class who I will be meeting for the first time on Tuesday morning at 7:30 am!! Also, pray that I can keep to a decent schedule so that I will actually be able to get up in the mornings and get to my class early enough to be prepared when my students show up!!

Okay....now that it is almost 1am and I have to be up no later than 8am to get ready for church tomorrow...and now that I have another doozy of a long blog ready to post...I will close this out!!

God bless and keep on smiling...it's contagious!!

Currently Listening To: Who I Am by Jessica Andrews

Friday, February 3, 2006

My Xanga Blog

Okay....here I am...starting another blog on another blog site!! I wanted to try several sites out and see which one worked out the best for me...for what I wanted to include on my site for all my friends and fam to see...plus anyone else who is curious to see what I'm up to!! What I am thinking that I will do is keep my Yahoo 360 site as my "normal" page...and use my Xanga site for "spilling my guts"!! So....let's see how this works out!!

I have now been in Romania as a missionary for almost eight months...where has the time gone? I kept pretty busy last summer with working at Kiwi House and working at a couple day camps with Livada Orphan Care. I also went to a couple of away camps during the summer (at Lunca Bradului and Roica) and one away camp this winter (at Vlahita)...lots of fun!! I kept working at Kiwi House regularly until the beginning of January...when I started teaching English classes at another foundation. I have also been working since the fall with Livada...going every week to two different homes for orphans (Zau and Petelea) to do programs with them....such an adventure!!

Okay....so here goes the various ramblings of a single missionary girl!! God Bless!!

Julie

Currently Listening To: Good Little Girls by Blue Country

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Funny Cat Escapades

My roommate and I have a couple of kittens. Mine is named Hayley and she was a little bundle of tiger-striped fluff when she was tiny. She is going through an awkward stage right now though as she is growing up...her fur is getting sleeker...it's just not there yet...so it kinda sticks out all over!!

Meg's kitten is named Starbucks and she is a white and black spotted cat with very large expressive ears. We actually looked up what she is online and she is what they call a "cow cat"...with maybe some abyssynian characteristics. Her ears let us know if she is mad, embarrassed, happy, etc. It's actually quite funny!! She loves to ride on shoulders, poke her head around the shower curtain when someone is showering, and hide under blankets. Some of these characteristics are common to her breed...but she is rubbing off on Hayley!!

Hayley is a more gentle cat...she loves to sit still and cuddle forever and is always striking a cute pose. Starbucks, on the other hand has a lot more energy and is always trying to rile Hayley up. They have been known to have mad chases through the house and "discussions" as to whose toy who has!!

The two of them have weird food addictions. They LOVE popcorn!! We buy it pre-popped and flavored and we can't even walk through the door with a bag before they are weaving around legs and meowing for some!! Whenever I have young people over they get a big kick out of throwing popcorn kernels down just to see the kittens go nuts!! They also love this instant pudding that Meg and I found at a store over here...last night Meg let Starbucks have at her almost empty mug of pudding and it was so funny cause that little cat kept getting pudding on her face and sneezing...but still kept on eating it!!

These silly little kittens will also beg for or get into any other people food they can get their little paws on...pizza, mandarine orange slices, sweet bread, regular bread, pasta of any type, chocolate cake, you name it...they love it!! About the only things that we have discovered they don't care for is pickles and olives...and that is only because they already begged for and tasted them and didn't like them!!

They also have some other strange things they love to do. We had a basket in the bathroom, right by the radiator pipes, that we kept extra rolls of toilet paper in...not anymore!! They decided they wanted that basket for their naps and now anytime we forget and leave a roll or two of toilet paper in there....they shred it to pieces!! They also have a weird fixation on Q-tips and twisty ties and would rather fight over and play with them than with the toys we bought them at the pet shop!! Once, Meg forgot to close her Q-tip container in the bathroom and we came home to find about 12-15 Q-tips scattered around the hall...in various stages of destruction!!

Anyway...we sure do have some strange kitties...and now you know just HOW weird!! And now, of course, I sound like a total old maid...talking about her cats!! Oh, well...I get my entertainment where I can!!

Operation Christmas Child: A Rebuttal to Unsolicited Advice

Since that blog post (of what one person thinks you should and shouldn't send) is making the rounds AGAIN, I thought I might sha...