Friday, February 25, 2011

coming true!

[a tiger and her cub playing hide and pounce at the zoo-it was crazy cute!]

so guess what? 

I think God places dreams and desires in the hearts of people; cuz for as long as aI can remember, I've wanted to get involved in orphaned kids. This past week, we applied for our first foster license. A long strenuous journey of classes and training is ahead of us, but we are really looking forward to it! 

Thursday, February 24, 2011


president's day was spent in Omaha at the zoo. We brought two of our favorite peoples with us!
there are SO many pics that i have from the entire day, i'll have to break it up into two blog posts.

these pics are from only ONE part of the zoo. this is the jungle was really really sweet. really felt like you were in a jungle!

we found this boy lost in the woods-isn't he cute?;)
this is like the one pic that my husband and i took together the entire day. I don't trust too many people with my camera.

 the animals could actually land on you if you were at the right spot at the right time.  like this kid on the vine. 

the butterfly room was the place i was dreading. these butterflys were flying around freely, eating fruit, and looking delicate. i felt like i was going to step on them. and their creepy little legs were nasty on my hand.


well, more pics to come. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

cake boss

some of the 5th and 6th grade girls came over today to bake with me.
we mixed. we tasted. we decorated. we wrapped. we danced. we laughed.

here's to an afternoon with jr. high gals!:)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Zao kids in February

hello, February!
Zaokids is growing...kinda rapidly too. So much so, that if you are free on thursday night, we would love to have YOU join us. We're in need of lifeblock teachers for March as we have close to 60 kids in this program and are in need of more teachers for lifeskills...something to think about:)

here are only a FEW of the Life Blocks that we are offering this month! We're missing pictures from our really sweet Buena Vista University Science Lifeblock, Wrestling, and Pottery life blocks. 

Here is our BAKING lifeblock, taught by Ms. Tammy. This week they baked 90 cupcakes last zao to share with everyone.

 the 5th and 6th grade girls have been making shirts for their upcoming dance performance.:)

the lego life block is challenging their minds to think creatively. It's really cool seeing the things that they come up with. You can find these guys also playing Hide and Seek in their spare time:)

This new dance group is a Praise and Worship team. they are SOOOO cute when they are practicing. Especially with our new friends from Burma. Sweet, sweet kids.

 Here is a really neat life block that is challenging the kids in their reading. Reading ALIVE gives the kids a way to enhance their reading and act it out. 

and of course, dinner time. SUCH a blessing watching people from different churches and places coming in and preparing, providing, and serving food to our Zaokids. It's a blessing to see them blessed but also to see these kids blessed by going home with a full tummy.

God is great in how he provides. We do need prayer for the kids as we try to invest in each one individually, as well as food provision and life block help. We're trying to incorporate more homework time, but it can be difficult with limited help. 

Please serve with us by praying or emailing me at krisacg{at}gmail{dot}com. 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


i had such a treat today that i thought i would share it with you. 
I got to spend some time after work with this special lil girl!
this is gracie

we went out for a special girls day for burger king (her choice!:) ) and some games. 
we played Guess who...

ate some chicken goodies... (which I asked her if she wanted to play and eat at the same time, and by golly, what a cool kid. she wanted to eat first and TALK...and then play! wow! so we proceeded to talk about what we liked to watch and which clifford and arthur characters we liked best.

 we played both guess who and memory...we each one a game. this girl has GREAT memory...i proved myself old once i played memory again.

it was such fun and oh so special. I can see the values her parents have instilled in her. I love how she just giggled the entire afternoon through. She was a great sport, even when I teased her saying that if i beat her in Memory, she would have to run through burger king, waving her hands above her hand saying, "SHEEEEE WONNNNN!!!!!" 
She just laughed at my request. 
she had no worries though. I didn't beat her.

Jay and Anne, you are raising such a lovely young lady here. 
 Thanks for sharing her with me for the afternoon! I had a blast with her!

p.s. dear gracie, I need a rematch of memory;) I think I can beat you next time!!! 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

i love 'em snowdays

Snow days are the best.
They're like those days that God gives you the gift to stop, cancel all your plans, and spend the day resting with those you love:). 

feet up. cuddle blanket in tow. reading whole books.
watching movies. playing video games. grading papers on my own time and enjoying reading the board games. drinking coffee
laying on many pillows. snuggling with my man
kissing him lots of times throughout the day. praying over many things-and taking my time doing it.

wearing snow boots and jumping in the snow. reading devotionals. planning ahead.

Ah. snow days are my favorites.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

living in a land of luxury...

One of the highlights of each day is teaching 4th grade reading. I have one hour each day teaching the highest level readers in the whole elementary school and I get the privilege of challenging them with reading and writing that is beyond what most of the other 4th graders are doing.
It's usually so fun.

We're going through the book A Single Share by Linda Sue Park.
We're going through this book the next few weeks and to be honest, it has alot of things in it that kinda grips my heart.
It's about this Korean boy, an orphan, that lives underneath a bridge with an elderly man who is taking care of him.
They eat the bare minimum, unless they are able to find something else in the piles of rubbish they dig through.

Now, you're probably thinking, "a book review? really, Kristine??" 
hang on, I'm getting to my point of why I'm telling you about this:) 

There was a part in the 1st chapter about this little boy and older man "feasting" on a little bowl of rice and some chicken bones.

To my disappointment, the 4th graders exploded into a round of giggles.
"Chicken bones?!"
"What kind of FEAST is that?!"
"Who eats Chicken bones???"
"that's disgusting!!!!"

They looked at me, and I'm guessing I showed very little amusement to their insensitive outburst. They giggled and laughed a little longer and all the while, my heart was hurting...their reaction saddened me.

After they were finished, I quietly told them how so many people around this world are experiencing what this little boy is going through. I told them of some of the kids I had encountered in the different places I have been too...and that although this book is a fiction book; people today are still suffering from hunger and homelessness even today. 

They later burst into laughter once more, when we read that in this story, the little boy was wearing rags.

it hurt. 

They didn't know it, but their reaction made me realize what so many are unaware of what goes on around this world. 
So many are unaware or do not want to acknowledge how so many people are suffering in this world today. People in this world, from across the ocean to across this town, are cold, hungry, and lacking the resources they need. Needs from food to clothing to a bed to sleep in is common is our day and age. Some places is worse than others, but all around us, people are suffering.

What is result of all this? What are we to do? 
Yes, we can provide food for them.
Yes, we can clothe them,
Yes, we can help them in so many ways.

But guess what? It's not enough.
It's not enough, because as much as we help them, our help is conditional and not always readily available for them. We are also fallen people in this world, because we have all been affected by sin; Helpless and hopeless.

And now, as depressing this all sounds,
 there is a hope
That hope is Jesus Christ and His love. God's Love is unconditional. The best thing is that He is always there and readily available. He hears our prayers and knows our hearts. He knows us and knows our needs. 
And that is what we need to be doing. Beyond all the help and love and care we give others in our lives; we can't forget the reason of why we are ABLE to do these things. For God's glory. To Worship Him. Sharing that love not from ourselves, but from God's supply of love. So that many may know Him personally. 
So that hearts will be changed and lives will be saved.