Sunday, May 31, 2009

Spring Party 09

Spring Party was viking themed this year. Food, games, music, and fun.
Tug of War. The rope snapped after 3 good pulls during the juniors v. seniors

These boys found a loop hole to the 6-legged race


With two of my FAVORITE girls!

Gettin ready to hop


Cara practicing Dog Whisperer

Dancing away from the students to not embarrass their daughters

Aww, we're gonna miss Hawkins and Joni at Maug!

The giant dance party

Boys and Fire...

Guzik showing his skills

My dance circle :)

So intimidating in their braids

Ready to rap

Winding down

And then we celebrated Timmy's birthday back at the dorm...
"You think these knives will work?"

Ready to get their RA

About 45 seconds later. Double whip cream pied in the face
Tradition is just one from your roommate...guess Timmy got special treatment for being staff
I told the guys I'm glad that my birthday falls in the summer. Their reaction?
"Don't worry. We celebrate half birthdays"

More tradition: carrying him to the trough

Drop him and RUN before he can hug/tackle you!!
I thought I was safe as the photographer (and female), but then someone had to yell "GET SARAH!"

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Like a Candy Cane

Saturday I watched 4 soccer games and have the sunburned face, chest, and funny criss-crossed patterns on my shoulders and back to prove it. Most entertaining is that my hair was apparently across my face for the entire day... and never moved. Because there's a diagonal line across my face, bright red with leprous peeling on one side, ghost white on the other. I'm pretty :)

I tried taking several pictures, but it's not capturing the dramatic contrast. Do you know how many times I've heard "you got some sun!" in the last few days? I thought about posting a sign on my office door that says something like "Service can be refused to those who make obvious and/or dumb comments."

So instead I'll post a couple pictures of the early stages of the BIG Maugenhard dorm move (moving everything in a dorm for 30+ guys) and a couple ones from my last trip to see Denton (and the flat tire fiasco). Please note his why-are-you-taking-a-picture-of-me face, haha.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Still awake at 2:30am and thinking about Titus 2.

1But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. 2 Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.

3Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, 4so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.

6Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; 7in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, 8sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.

I find it slightly amusing that of the four categories of people listed here (older & younger men & women), the younger men have a considerably shorter list of things to learn. To be sensible. Although it could be argued that the "likewise" at the start of verse 6 means ditto for the dudes.

Titus 2:3-5 has been one of my favorite passages for a long time. One of my favorite small group book studies, "A Woman's High Calling" by Elizabeth George, is based on this passage.

I'm pondering which younger women I am pouring into and what I am doing to teach what is good and encourage them to love. I'm also thinking about who are the older women in my life from whom I can learn what is good and be encouraged by to love. Honestly, I feel unbalanced right now. I'm pouring out my 23+ years of wisdom (which is a lot of learn-from-my-mistakes) on these high school girls but not getting much of the more versed and aged wisdom instilled in me. Hm... think I'll have to do something about that. Anyone interested in being an older woman to me? :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May for Memories

I am still ecstatic for all the things about which I've recently been reeling- people expressing a common desire for real community, getting to live with students, and hopefully being able to drive again soon (although I put 800km on my car driving to Frankfurt today, shh!)

But for me, May is a month of remembrance. There are lots of wonderful things to remember this month. Nana & Jenny's birthdays. Graduations and proms. Big soccer games. But there are also tough things. I've known 8 people who have committed suicide, and all but one have been in April or May. I always kind of feel like I'm holding my breath during the Spring, not just because of allergies, but also hoping that I'll make it through the season without going to a funeral of a friend. Sunday night I pulled out their fading obituaries to remind myself of the importance of relationships.

God designed us for relationships. It is not good to be indefinitely alone. A quote from my friend Amy's obit from 2002 reads "All Amy wanted was to succeed. And she did. She succeeded in touching all of us." But she didn't know that. She used to send me the most random emails. I didn't even think we were particularly close, but she would write emails just telling me about her day as if it were commonplace for us to share even the inconsequential things in life. And I could probably count on one hand how many times I wrote her back.

I know none of these were my fault, and I'm not looking for anyone to remind me of that. I want to encourage you all to really really love the people in your life. Tell them what they mean to you even if it means making you vulnerable. Stop being so busy and make time to shoot the breeze together. Return emails, even if they seem insignificant. Drive friends to the airport at 3:30am. Don't be afraid to show affection or say the word LOVE. And most importantly, share the reason for the hope that you have.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Who Loves Driving? I Do!

Is there a cloud above cloud nine? Because that's where I am :)

Another miracle! I should have a German driver's license in a few weeks!!!!

Here's how it works: I needed to get the mayor's office to stamp my application as proof that I actually reside here. Then the German version of the BMV known as the Fuehrersteinstelle at the Landratsamt for Landkreis Loerrach approves the application. I pay and then wait three weeks or so until I get a card in the mail telling me my German license (valid for life) is ready to be picked up.

Last time I got all the way through the stamping, initial approval, and payment. And then got a phone call saying it wouldn't work because of the seizure medical restriction I had on my Indiana license. So I'm not totally convinced that this will work until I actually have the license in hand, but I'd say it's about 95% certain because the guy that did the work today is the rule stickler who looked everything over three times and asked questions for clarification while I was still there.

So here's what happened today. I took my application to the mayor's office. The man that does the stamping, who knows me (and therefore might remember that I've already done this once) was not in. A woman unfamiliar with all the steps was. She wrote the thing I knew would be the hangup at the next place big and clearly- the date I moved to Germany. For a moment I thought about how I could write over the date to make it work... you know like adding an extra leg to an F to make it an A. But of course I wouldn't do that.... and there's no good way to turn 25.07.2008 into 25.04.2009.

The drive to Loerrach is about 20 minutes. It was 20 minutes of intermingled prayer and practicing how I would try to explain (in German) how it was that I got an Alabama driver's license while living in Germany while still maintaining my permanent home in Indiana- offering an Indiana license that expired in 2006 as proof.

The Fuehrersteinstelle lines are normally worse than an American BMV because there is no check in procedure. Your name or number doesn't get called. Everyone just stands in a clump in a hallway trying to remember who was there before them. Also, normally, there have been just two people working: one woman who denied my application the first time who knows the ins and outs of my whole license fiasco and the man in the corner office with a really thick accent. So, normally, the herd stands in the hallway waiting for one of these two people to flip the switch that turns on a green light above their door, meaning “next victim.”

Today there was no line. And there were five doors lit up- four red and one green. I took a deep breath, switched my mind to thinking in German and walked in to the thick accent guy's office. I've worked with him before but usually tried to steer clear when possible because he is so difficult for me to understand! But yet again, today was different. I understood him, and he understood me. I was using words that I haven't used since high school vocabulary tests- words I don't even remember.

He poured over the application, his computer screen and two different books. He called someone in and mumbled something to her too low for me to articulate. I practiced how I would break the bad news to Lane and Michelle. And then he hit me with it...

“I'm sorry Miss Haymond. The problem is that your license was issued since you've been living here in Germany. So we unfortunately have to follow the reciprocity law for your previous license. I see this Indiana one expired in 2006, do you have a newer one?”

I did not give him a copy of the 2006-2009 Indiana license with the medical restriction on it because I figured it would bring up extra questions. “Yes I had another, but it was also Indiana.”

“Ok, I don't need to see it then. But that means you will have to take the written test, an eye examination and pay an extra 8 Euros.”

“That's the bad news?”

“Yes, I'm sorry.”

“No! No! That's great! That's fine! I'll take the test!” I might have been a little too enthusiastic at this point.

I signed the form for the test and license and payed (again). He said he'd see me in a few weeks when it's ready.

Yay!!!! The next step is studying and taking the written test. We had 5 staff members who also had to do this earlier in the year, and none of them passed the first time. But I think I can. Thanks so much for your prayers! I was told many times that this wouldn't work, but here's proof that God is bigger than laws. And sometimes laws are worth fighting.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Tuesday Blurb

Today was fun. The cat's out of the bag that I'll be an RA at Maugenhard, although for the record, until I'm in with the Maug Men, the Sonne Knights are still my boys. I will always love my Sonne boys but given my current lack of driving privileges with the loving German government, it just made sense for me to be at the only boys' dorm in town. D told me today that he thinks I should hang my Sonne sweatshirt in my room in Maug to show my loyalty :) That's a good way to start pranks! I doubt the shirt would come back the same color or in one piece.

So now that students know, I'm taking the opportunity to ask them for advice... things they wish they could tell new RAs. I'm taking notes; so students, bring on the advice while you have the opportunity.

There was a home track meet this weekend, and I got to help out with long jump. Man, I love coaching! I was cheering for and yelling at all the teams. Hopefully next year I'll get to help coach track or soccer. That would be so much fun!!!!!!!

I got my Alabama driver's license in the mail today. Thanks Ashley! Thursday I'll take it to the German version of the BMV to see if I can drive again here. JOIN ME IN PRAYING FOR A MIRACLE. By German law, this won't work... but stranger things have happened. It's worth trying and fighting.

And I told you about losing money to the evil gas machine last week. My friend who speaks Swiss German called the station and they said they found the overage and would give it to me whenever I come back in with my receipt. How great would it be to hear a YES from the German government about my license and then drive into beautiful Switzerland and pick up some money to celebrate?

Since multiple people have said something about my blog name change, I changed it back. Ta dah! It was nice to know that at least a few people actually read this :) On that note, if anyone would like to join the list of folks I send emails to every few weeks updating what's going in my ministry, send me an email There are many things I don't write on here because I don't know who reads this... so if you want the real heart matters and to know how to pray for me and what's going on in this unique place, that's the way to do it.

Life is hard but good. Some have asked how they can encourage me. Here are some sure fire ways:

1. Send me an email just telling me the everyday stuff about your life that you might think boring. It isn't to me. Although I sometimes am slow at responding (right Nate?), I really appreciate feeling like a part of people's lives and getting to grow friendships even while apart.
2. Music! I listen to music a lot now but will be doing so even more as an RA. I'll be spending hours every day in the kitchen cooking and cleaning up after 30 high school boys- some new music once in a while would be such a nice treat.
3. When you pray for me, tell me. It makes all the difference to KNOW people are behind me.