Friday, December 31, 2010

European Boots

Look at these boots. Aren't they wonderful? All warm and water proof.

One day last year I decided to wear them to work and then change into my nice shoes once I was at school. We take public transportation and have to walk a few blocks to get to school. So, I thought it would be nice to keep my feet warm.

Well, once I was on the U-Bahn (subway), I noticed people were staring at me. Now, usually this happens when I'm speaking English to someone I'm riding with but not today. They were staring at my boots. You see, in Europe, most women wear nice looking leather boots with a heal (maybe not the most practical but definitely the most fashionable). As I started to think about it, I've never seen a pair of boots like mine since I've moved to Austria. My bright blue plastic boots really stuck out!

However, I refused to let this bother me. I wanted to be warm. So, I continued to wear them. During the month of January, we take the elementary kids out ice skating. One day, when we were all getting bundled up I pulled these boots out of my locker and one little boy said, "Oh no, Miss Braun, please do not wear those!" Another said, "What are those, ski boots?" Another just pointed and laughed. But I proceeded to wear them, recess duty would not have been the same without them!

The style here is to wear your boots with leggings and a skirt, or over your skinny jeans. So, the first time I wore boots with my skirt one of my little boys said, "You know Miss Braun, you used to be a pretty bad dresser. But, now you're starting to do better." Oh good grief, I thought, everyone's a critic (even the first graders). :-)

So, when my uncle asked what I wanted for Christmas I asked for a pair of nice boots. I'm so blessed! No more stares on the U-Bahn and a much more fashionable wardrobe! Thanks Uncle Curt and Aunt Deb!!!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010

Reesa and I bought stockings this year! I don't want to take them down, they are so cute!
On Christmas Eve, Reesa and I had Green Monster smoothies and opened our presents to each other. I got a new place setting for the table, some expresso mugs, and a new purse.

In the evening, I went to a lovely dinner at the Hamms, a sweet family that works for the school. Jan Hamm helps out in my classroom! They have a lovely home and are great hosts. If I couldn't be with my family, they were the next best thing.
After dinner with the Hamms, a few teachers and I went to the midnight mass at the famous Stephansdom.

On Christmas day, my friend RheaAnne and I made cinnamon rolls and took them to a brunch with 3 other teachers that were here for the holidays.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Stocking Up

Normally, in Europe, you buy groceries for one or maybe two days. The food here has less preservatives and our fridge is the size of a dorm fridge. So, storing food isn’t really an option. However, our grocery store is practically in the same building we live in which is very convenient. The stores here close at 7pm and are closed on Sundays and holidays.

With all the holidays coming up we weren’t sure when we would be able to grocery shop. So, we stocked up. There aren’t baggers here in Austria and you bring your own bags. I shop with this roller cart. However, we filled that cart up so we had to bring the grocery cart home with us.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Cookies

Before we made cookies we read the Christmas story from the Bible. It's amazing that I get to share that Christ came to save us from our sins to a class of half believers and half non-believers!

My 5th grader and my 10th grader adding the butter.

My first math class: 2 sixth graders, a 5th grader and a 10th grader.
Getting our hands dirty.
My other math class. A 10th grader, an 8th grader, and two 7th graders.

First time rolling out cookies for all my students.

Finished product.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

This young lady is from Africa. She came to ICSV last year in the middle of the year. She could not read or write very well. We worked on forming her letters and learned the sounds of the letters. Now we are reading 1st grade books and writing stories!

How sweet is that?