Christmas, National Lutheran Schools Week and Funny Kids

Hi Friends! I know I apologize every time for the length of time that it has been since my last post. I am sorry. I had planned to update the blog about a week and a half ago and then some unexpected business came up, as it usually does.

To start off this, what I'm certain is to be a long post, we have to go back to December. December is a busy month for all people. It is especially busy for us. We have birthdays everywhere in December, Nate's, my mom's, Nate's brother Alex and mine. Oh yeah, and there's that small holiday, Christmas. Pastor's aren't busy at Christmas at all...note my sarcasm.

We had a lovely Christmas. My mom, dad and sister, Victoria, were able to come visit for a week over Christmas break. It was so nice to have them here. We hadn't seen them since we moved and I miss them a great deal. We had a nice time showing them around Texas or as I like to call it sometimes, MexiTexas. We spent Christmas day with our friends from church who couldn't make it home for Christmas. It was nice to have our McAllen family and my family here to celebrate together. We made it out to South Padre Island one day and had fun walking on the beach. When they were here it was actually pretty warm, but the day we went to the beach it was colder. You will notice in the pictures below, we are wearing sweatshirts. That is a rare occurrence down here. Nate and I were so glad to be able to spend time with them, even though it was a very busy week at church.

For Christmas for our church/school staff I channeled my inner craftiness and put homemade decals on candles. They turned out like this:

My friend, Carrie, and I walk mostly every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at 4:30 or 5 a.m. This may come as a shock to most of you because it is very widely known that I am NOT a morning person. I have been known to say on a fairly regular basis, “I hate the morning”. I know however though, if I don’t get up and do this, I will not exercise at all. Why not go after work? I live in what is practically Mexico and it is 75 degrees at 4 p.m. in February, on a cool day. Anyway, one morning Carrie and I are walking. We realize that this tow truck is very slowly following us around the corner on to a side street. We are mildly creeped out but we keep walking. The tow truck passes us and drives slowly down the street and shines flashlights on cars. At that moment I realize we are going to witness a car repossession. Carrie and I go from suspicious to overly excited in seconds. We watched as the tow truck drove up and down the street looking for the car desired. We then see the tow truck stop, someone get out and then the tow truck started to back up to take a SUV. We were so excited. We are thinking, you only see these things on TV. These guys were nowhere near as fast as the people who do this on TV. We were surprised that the owner of the car didn't hear anything and come outside. They certainly had ample time to do so. Anyway, it was something we had never seen and it was really an interesting thing to watch.

January is far less hectic when it comes to how busy things are at church. The first two weeks are especially dead. The highlight of January for me was National Lutheran Schools Week. As a kid, I LOVED this week. Dressing up funny and special events are always a great time when you are a kid. I have to be honest that I was kind of dreading it this year because dressing out of uniform and special events usually make students crazy. The first graders actually did really well that week despite the changes. The reason why it was so great this year was because the theme was "Baptized for this Moment" and Nate ended up baptizing two school children at the closing chapel for the week. What a great blessing!

Speaking of baptisms, there has been an overwhelming interest from the school children lately about getting baptized. We have a baptism happening this Sunday morning for a third grader. One of the first graders is getting baptized next week in chapel. The first grader who is getting baptized asked me about it back in October and it is finally happening. I love how excited he is to enter the family of Christ.
Nate started a new Bible study after the new year about world religions for the Winter Texans. Our young adult Bible study is doing this study as well because when Nate mentioned that he was doing this for the Winter Texans we all expressed interest. He is really enjoying both groups with this study. It is really popular with the Winter Texans, so much so that he has had as many as 40 people and for a mid-week study that is a really great turn out.

Last week, I was able to substitute for the first grade class because Emilie’s (my partner in crime) grandfather died. The first graders and I had a very interesting week. It just so happened to be the worst week for sickness in our school that week. The first graders, who are very affectionate, gave me a version of the cold that I am still fighting. They are a very huggy group. This illness outbreak lead to about 5 kids throwing up over the course of the week. Luckily, they all are very good about making it to the trash can. I also had two students poop their pants. Apparently, I was scaring the poop right out of them. We had a fun week. It also gave me a chance to brush up on lesson planning and actual teaching. It was refreshing in that way.

To finish off this post, I thought I might share some quotes from my school kids:

We were talking about how everyone is sinful in first grade for religion one day. When I said this, one of the girls says, "Even Pastor Wollenberg?!?"

Background info on this story: It was the first day of Lutheran Schools Week. The students were allowed to white white this day and to be out of uniform.
Me: What's wrong?
First grade girl dressed in her uniform with her white uniform shirt: I wanted to wear something white and fabulous today but my mom said I had to wear my uniform.
Me: It's okay you're still wearing white.
Girl: I just really wanted to wear something fancy today.

First Grade Girl: (in a moment of frustration shouts) AW SUMMER SQUASH!

Girl: Boy kicked me in the face with a ball.
Boy: I didn't mean to.
Me: Okay, please apologize to girl.
Boy: I'm sorry.
Me (to Girl): Are you okay? Is your face going to fall off?
Girl: That's not even possible.
Boy: If her face does fall off, maybe it will turn into a fossil.

First Grade Girl: Who goes to H-E-B (grocery store) before school? It takes me an hour to get in and out of that place.

First Grade Girl: Miss Schultz, is snowball a squished word? (She means compound word.)

My favorite: "Mrs. Wollenberg, thank you for teaching us about Jesus."

Well that’s all for now! God is good!