About Me

My photo
Keller, TX, United States
I grew up on a farm in Indiana, attended Purdue and Concordia Universities (undergraduate and graduate, respectively), served in the Peace Corps in Ecuador, and as a missionary with LCMS World Mission for 20 years in Thailand (15) and Guatemala (5). More recently, I've attained teacher certifications (Bilingual and Regular Ed Generalist EC-6, Bilingual and Regular Ed Generalist 4-8, and ESL). My heart is still in that of being a missionary and my first full-time post as an elementary/middle school teacher is that of English Language Specialist at Buena Vista International School (BCIS) in Shenzhen, China on the mainland just across the border from Hong Kong. I teach ESL to all grades at this new school under Lutheran Church-Hong Kong Synod. The school is not a part of the LCMS though the school has been granted LCMS World Mission educational consultants and an interim principal for its first year of operation.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Dad's Last Letter To Us - Upon His Death, June 15, 1986 / written March 30, 1981

Dear kids, 

These are your letters, one for each of you.  Mom and Erik said their feelings in words.

As of this moment, I have never been happier to have our family together once again.  

Don't shed any tears for me.  Cry happiness for Dad will be with our Lord.

Care for each other till the end.

At the end only three things matter


I love you all,

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Theme Quote for My Life

Our lives move with lightening speed.  But in the end, when we reflect back, it won't be the days we remember... It will be the moments with those we love.
                                                              ~ author unknown

I am going to miss teaching English at BCIS!

It's been an amazing three years of wonderful relationships with teachers,  students, their families, BCIS administrators and consultants, as well as all the Chinese staff and friends.

My life since returning stateside from deaconess missionary service in Thailand has been more transient, but it is as I believe the Lord, for good reason, would have it. He always has our best interest in mind!  Amen!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Lessons from Stories with Lessons

The Giving Tree
by Shel Silverstein

Lessons We Can Learn

Grade 2
1.   When you help others, be happy. (Emily)
2.   Be a friend and help people who help you. (Yuna)
3.   Help others and be kind. (Emily)
4.   Share with others. (Darren)
5.   When you help others, they should help you, too. (Sam)
6.   When you help others, they will help you back. (Juliet)
7.   Take care of the people who take care of you. (Henry)

Grade 3
1.   Help people who need it. (Tiffany)
2.   Help people. (Bob)
3.  Be happy to help people. (Nemo)

Grade 4
1.   Have a heart of thanksgiving. Don’t be selfish. (Bill)
2.   Be happy with what you have. (William)

Miss Nelson
1.   Love willingly sacrifices all. 
2.   Sacrificing everything produces joy and sadness.
·      Example: Jesus Christ, moms, dads

My students are such sweet kids.  It's a joy to come in to school to teach and work with, and learn from them every day!  God bless my students... each and every one!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween Stories - Written by my Students 2013

Halloween stories by my students:

After School Class (Grades 4-6)

This group of 5 students are among the more advanced reading students in their classrooms.  Their writing reflects their reading levels to a large degree.  I have not corrected their mistakes, and these represent their first drafts.

Faked Halloween by Sam

     SCR-EE-CH!  There was that eerie noise again!  I just had to see what it was.  I opened the door and gasped!  A car crashed on a haunted house!  There is a red liquid coming out of the broken car.  A Vampire drank it all and none was left.  A green Zombie walked out of the car, followed by two Frankensteins.  I screamed: "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" As I slamed closed the door.
     After one year......
     I find out that the car was actally bumping the house very slowly.  And the red 'blood' was just tomato sauce.  The Zombie and the Frankensteins was people covered with green painted mud.  Yuck!
     Don't let the fake things fool you.

Haunted House by Susan

     Sally and Tom were playing basketball.  Then, Sally missed a shot and it bounced off into the old haunted house which was Miss and Mr. Hin's house, but they passed away.  Tom and Sally knocked on the big, ugly door.  Their legs shook and they had a lump in their throat.  They almost ran away, but the door creaked open.  The looked around, but saw nothing.  
     Suddenly, Sally shrieked and was pulled inside the house.  Tom shivered as he creeped into the house.  Suddenly, his foot stepped on a creaky toy and froze as it made a silly sound.  
     "Sally?" Tom whispered as he started moving again.  Suddenly, he saw it, the basketball.  It was lying in the hands of a asleep ghost mummy.
     Tom crept deeper into the house, hoping that the ghost mummy wouldn't wake up.  When he touched the ball, it suddenly bounced out of the house!  Then, he crept closer to the mummy and spotted Sally!  She was chained near the mummy. 
     Tom freed her and they both ran out of the house, and int their house.  Luckily, the ball had bounced into Tom's bedroom so he didn't worry. 
     From that day, they never played near the old house, and lived happily ever after.  Sally also appreciated Tom's rescue.  She could not have escaped without him.

Halloween Scare by Nicol

I knocked on the big, ugly door.  My legs shook and I had a lump in my throat.  I almost ran away, but then the door creaked opened.  I saw many ghost flying in the house.  Then I step foward a little bit I want to see what is in there.  

Suddenly, the door closed.  I want to get out.  But the door locked.  "Help!" I shout.  But no one answered.  Then I saw a pumpkin with a size of a key.  I know that I need to find the key.  But it is a big house.  And I don't have clue.  Then a paper drop from the roof.  I pick it up.  And I saw a sign.  It said ghost are coming!  If you want to find the key turn right.  And go into a room with a black door.  Then I thought I can't stay here forever!  So I followed the direction.  And I go into the room I saw the ghost are having party.  Then I saw saw the key.  It was hidden under a table.  I ran to pick it up.  And many people follow me.  I ran more faster.  Then I use the key to get out of there.  "Finally!" I said.  Then I'm back.

Scared By a Ghost by Christina

     A full moon loomed over the leafless branches.  Their spiny limbs reached out as if to grab Sam and William.  But they kept walking... (from a sample intro)
     They see a old house.  then walk in. inside they step on creaky flood (floor).  next they see many skeleton, and bat fly all around the house.  Sam and William have many goose bumps, now.  Wait!  Who is in that room?  Yellow lights sprit out.  the ghost come out with many spider house.  When ghost saw Sam and William, ghost sprit out the spider house to Sam and William.  good thing is they ran out the scared (scary), old, ugly house...

More Halloween After School Class writing to continue...
Intensive English - Grade 3-4 Combined

This group of 6 students are the least advanced reading students in their classrooms.  Their writing reflects their reading levels to a large degree.  I have not corrected their mistakes, and these represent their first drafts.

Halloween by William

yesterday is Halloween!  At 1'o cadk eveay body, go to beasroom (bathroom) cogs (?) clst (?) and grate 4 and grate 3 go to see muze (movie).  bet the computre is burks (broken) os (so) we can't see muze.  And we play one game.  and we go to take pick, and we go to trickortreat!  First we go to miss Nelon roon, she gate we a ? (William's question mark - he wanted to write "pencil sharpener" but he didn't know the vocabulary).  and we go to art room.  And we go to libilly.  And we go to music room.  And we go to I (abbr) - This is William's parentheses.  And we go to dagke baeber (Dr. Brockberg's) room.  And we go house. (Finally, we went home.)

Haunted House by Tiffany

Today is Halloween, I see many ghost, monster, skeleton, mumy and vampipe, I am afried!  But they are afried to me too!  I am a ghost.
We going to trick or treat.  I thing we are very happy but is not happy.  my friends has many candy, but I not has many candy, they has 10 candy, I not has 10 candy, I has 2 candy.  I am very sad.  Barbie walk to me.  she side you not sad but I can give to you 3 candy and I have five candy, you have five candy.  
Thank you!

Halloween by Kiki

Halloween is on October last day, is thursday.  I like Halloween. 
On Halloween I and my classmate make a jacko'lantern.  My jacko'lantern has triangle eyes.  circle nose and big open mouth.
We finished jacko'lantern then go to bathroom wear costume (to put on the costumes).  Some studens look like vampire.  some studens look like witch.  some studens look like mummy.  some students look like monster and ghost.
I like Halloween very much because Halloween is funny and scare!  (scary)

As a side note: What Kiki shares about the various costumes is not true to fact.  There were no vampires, mummies, monsters, or ghosts.  There were a couple of witches but they were not scary ones.  In fact, our Halloween at BCIS was not scary at all though that is part of the reason that Kiki likes Halloween.

Trick-or-Treat by Young

At school, we have a Hollaween party.  first, we go to office, they give pentor our for me and clasroom.   we go to liberay, artroom, grade 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, we are so happy!
Ms. Fisher said we can use candy corn make a hand of candy corn, and if you finish, you can use the sticker make a funny jack-o-lantern, I make a big nose and a small mouse (mouth).   now I finish!  I can glue on my candy box.  I drawing so many cany and jack-o-lantern on me candy box too.  now Ms. Fisher said we can go to music room to see a movie above Hollaween, but Ms. Fisher said First we play a game.  the game callled "under the ground", is like we under the ground, is you running aroun the classroom, you shold under the log, but don't touch the log, if you touch the log, you can't play.  the cici and tiffany is can't play, becouse they touch the log.   now some one said "broed! I wan't see movie!"   the teacher said "but the computer is not work.  you shold wait, you can't said AAaa!" but the computer is not work, but we happy, is no sad, we like Holllaween party!
The end

To be continued...

Oh, the joys of teaching my students!
How did you like their stories?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Earth Day at BCIS 2013


Monday, April 22, our school is observing a special day to give the children opportunity to learn about maintaining and saving our earth... Earth Day will be a day in which our kids will participate in many activities to give them a picture of what it means to save the earth and what they can do on a daily basis to that pursuit.  It should be a wonderful day!  One of the things classroom teachers will do is read the book "The Great Kapok Tree."  I think it has a great lesson for all to learn.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Grade 1 Prewriting

These are stories written by my Intensive English 1st graders.  While they make a ton of errors, I must give them accolades for their creativity and accolades for their attempts at writing.  Remember, English is their second language.  They work very hard at developing their English skills.  The children read in an online reading program called Raz-Kids for 30 minutes every day at home in addition to the 30 minutes English Language Learning Lab work they do at our school.  That program is called Imagine Learning and our school is the first to use this program in China!  The students also spend 1.5 hours each day with me in an Intensive English program where we learn phonics, spelling, sight words, Grade 1 vocabulary, grammar, and how to read the calendar.  We also are actively engaged in Guided Reading and Writer's Workshop together with the 6 +1 traits of writing.  There is never a dull day and rarely is there enough time to complete everything as scheduled for the period!  Rome wasn't built in 3 days yet over time, it was built!  I can see the fruit of these children's hard work and I am so very proud of them!  Please pray for them and be proud of them, too!

There stories... not written in any specific order:

1.  The Magic Pot by Ariel

One day a bear haf a Magic pot and the little bear came home.  The little bear said Dad what are you dowing
Dad said I have a Magic pot and little bear said I want a popcorn
the Magic pot give the little bear lots of popcorn.  The dad said I want a candy  (to be continued)

2.  The Little Turtle by You-Cheng

One day the boy go out sigd.  But the boy see the little turtle.  The turtle slool   walk anany.  But the boy to walk to turtle back .  The turtle see the boy is his back.  The boy said turtle what are you do.  The turtle said I like to walk.

3.  A Rainy Day by Moon

Long long a go there, was a seet girl.  She was, going to her mom office.  But going rain.  So she, put on her raing coat, so she can't get wet.  Them she go to mom office and she sees her mom.  She is so happy and her, mom also happ too.  Her mom, put on her raining coot and, they live happily.

4.  I Go With Grandpa by Harry C.

Long long ago have a, Grandpa and boy is leve in, the magic house 
one day, they go to the magic, Forest 
boy see a magic pot, boy see unicorn fly to, 
cach boy say Grandpa, 
Grandpa Grandpa is gone 
jesus help the, boy.  thunk jesus, 
jesus happy 
jesus, say this unicorn is, good 
I give you

5.  No Snacks by Winnie

One day a boy have a dog and his dog name is Jack.  And the dog.  
Evday the is eat and eat.  so the boy is said plesae doat eat.  And the dog is not eat and he evday is not eat
And the boy is eat and eat so the boy is fat and the dog said doat eat sasd the dog and the boy is doat eat.
And his mom is eat so his mom is fat.  And the boy said doat eat so his mom is not eat
And his friengs is eat and eat and eat so.  He say to his friengs doat eat but his friengs is not listen to he so he is sad and his teacher said doat be sad.

6.  After School Fun by Jiankun

Atter school I go to home I play in My home and home is Fun.
and I look Mokie is to good to see and I play game.
and look ras-kie and is Fun
I like to jump in the dad.
and My lEgo is Fun to home and I go dad

I'd love comments from anyone reading these!  
Let me know if you understand what they are trying to say in their stories and if you have questions, please ask them!
Have a great day!

"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement, nothing can be done without hope and confidence." -- Helen Keller