The Carpenter's Girl

Friday, September 18, 2009

Andrew Peterson has long been one of my favorite singer/songwriters. His thoughtful, soulful, honest lyrics and diverse, catchy tunes combine to create wonderful music that has enriched my life, helped me through some tough times, and brought me closer to God.
So when I found out that he had written a book, "On The Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness", I jumped at the opportunity to read it. His writing fits with his songs - witty and enjoyable, and filled with true struggles and triumphs. Now this second book in the Wingfeather Saga, "North or Be Eaten!", which was just released, continues along the same lines. His humor shows up on every page, with funny plays-on-words that somehow work together with the exciting, action-packed plot line and creative characters in his novels. I would highly recommend reading these books when you get a chance - they are totally worth it! I will happily lend you my copies it you like. :)
Below is a summary of the second book, as well as a little info on Andrew Peterson.


Janner, Tink, and Leeli Igiby thought they were normal children with normal lives and a normal past. But now they know they’re really the Lost Jewels of Anniera, heirs to a legendary kingdom across the sea, and suddenly everyone wants to kill them.

Their escape brings readers to the very brink of Fingap Falls, over the Stony Mountains, and across the Ice Prairies, while villains galore try to stop the Igibys permanently. Fearsome toothy cows and horned hounds return, along with new dangers: a mad man running a fork factory, a den of rockroaches, and majestic talking sea dragons.

Andrew Peterson’s lovable characters create what says made Book One “one of the best fantasy novels in a very long time,” and Book Two contains even more thrills, exploring “themes universal in nature, ranging from the classic good versus evil, to the importance of family, and burdens of responsibility.”

Andrew Peterson is the author of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, Book One in the Wingfeather Saga, and The Ballad of Matthew’s Begats. He’s also the critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter and recording artist of ten albums, including Resurrection Letters II. He and his wife, Jamie, live with their two sons and one daughter in a little house they call The Warren near Nashville, Tennessee. Visit his websites: and

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Gettin' my stuff...

Well, here I am, back in the US for good! At least, for now. :) Among a myriad of other details related to my transition back to the states, I had to make a plan for shipping all my things from Vienna to Chicago....not a cheap endeavor, let me tell you!
I looked into many options, and the direct shipping prices were, in short, through the roof. I was overwhelmed with the potential cost, and considered just selling all my books, clothes, etc. and buying new ones in the states! Thankfully, a missionary family that has their kids at VCS put me in contact with a couple who was moving back to the states from Austria after many years of church planting. To make a long story short, I was able to share the container they were using to ship their belongings back, for much less than any other option. Praise the Lord!
The only problem was that they lived two hours south of Vienna and were moving to Colorado. Hmmm...
God continued to provide what I needed: the parents of one of my students lent me their minivan to drive my boxes to the container, and wouldn't even take money for the gas!
Then one of my good friends from Vienna, Becca, has moved back to the states and grew up in Colorado. So I drove down to her place in Missouri and we drove my parents' van out to Colorado together. It was such a blessing to have that time with her to catch up after a year!
Plus, we got to see a couple other VCS teachers, Amanda and Carrie, who live in the area. We went hiking at the Garden of the Gods outside Colorado Springs. Lots
of red rocks around there!

It was a wonderful trip, even though I had to drive so far. :) And no
w all my possessions are in one place! (Well, at least in one state.....)

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Last Days in Wien....

Leaving Vienna has got to be one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. When I think about everything I'm leaving behind: my school with its incredible ministry, my students, the deep friendships I've developed with staff; my Austrian church, where I was finally starting to understand the sermons!; the German language, which despite myself I have come to love; this amazing city that has become home to me, along with my apartment that is awesome in so many ways.
So many times, I've felt that I don't have the strength to say goodbye. But I know that God is greater than my emotions, and that He is leading me in His perfect will. He will provide the strength I need for this time, and will enable to me to enjoy
my last days here and say goodbye well.

Friends hanging out at Ursula's house on the Donau (Danube river)

My home: apartment building entrance, the Hof, and our front door

At Schloss Schönbrunn (with Judie) and the Riesenrad in Prater Park with Amanda and Carrie

Volksgarten with the Burgtheaterbehind it, and on the Graben

In my other favorite park, Stadpark: Mozart's statue and garden

In Eisenstadt with my roomie Rachel :)

Playing cards with freinds at Ursula's house; a one-way street sign

Some of my precious 2nd grade students - I will miss them so much!

God willing, I will be visiting this place that is now part of my heart many times in the years to come!

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Obama Budget Cuts Visualization

This is especially interesting because it highlights the problem we humans have understaning the HUGE numbers our government deals with in the federal budget. Plus, it's crazy to think that our President is looking at going THIS far into debt! Take a look....


Sunday, May 03, 2009


I took my class to the Schmetterlinghaus Wien (The Vienna Butterfly House) last week to further our learning about insects. It was WAY cooler than I thought it would be! There were literally butterflies everywhere we looked; we saw them flying around, eating fruit, sipping nectar from flowers, even hatching from their cocoons! One newly-hatched butterfly was still waiting for his wings to dry out...amazing. Needless to say, my class and I had a blast, and learned even more about the beauty and intricacies of God's creation.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Read Read Read!

The Annual VCS Elementary Book Month just finished - it's my favorite month of the school year. The kids are SO excited to read because of the great incentives that our wonderfully creative librarian comes up with: Battle of the Books, The P-3 Reading Race, and Book Character Costume Day, for starters. My class won the Reading Race this year, for the second year in a row! They were so excited and received the delicious prize of a class pizza party!

The whole elementary school participates in the Book Character Costume Day, and it's amazing to see all the crazy, creative, often over-the-top costumes they and their parents come up with! My class trumped the rest of the school yet again with this competition - kids from my class won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prize for best costume!

Here are the winners and their costumes. I love my kiddos!

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Luther's Life

When my best friend Jamie came to visit me in Vienna over Christmas break, we took an incredible road trip throughout Germany, retracing the steps of one of the great heroes of the faith, Martin Muther. We got to see most of the places that he spent time, studied, lived, and taught. We went to his birthplace and place of his death, to Erfurt where he studied to become a monk, to Wartburg Castle where he translated the Bible into German, to Wittenberg where he lived most of his life as a monk, teacher and preacher, and where he nailed the 95 Theses to the door of the church. What in incredible life he lived, defending the truth of the gospel in the face of incredible persecution. If us Christians today had even a crumb of the same zeal and love for the gospel, our entire world would be turned upside-down.

Luther Stadt Wittenberg, and one of the thousands of books Luther wrote and translated

95 Theses door, and Luther's Statue in Wittenberg

Luther's birthplace, and his death house, were in the same town. The strange thing about it is that he only lived there as a baby! He was stopping there for a visit when he fell ill and died.

Main street of Wittenberg, and sign for Luther's place in Eisenstadt

Die Wartburg, the castle where Luther hid from the catholic church and translated the Bible into German. This was his writing table in his room at the castle.

Portraits of Luther and his wife Catherine. Really big books in the Wartburg!

Me in the hallway of the Wartburg, and Jamie and I in front of the Cathedral in Erfurt, where Luther studied to become a monk.

This was an amazing trip, and I'm so glad we had the opportunity to do it!

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