Monday, February 25, 2013


Kurt and I have been visiting our Karen family about twice a week to practice English and stuff. Today I went and worked with the 2 women of the family, one a mom the other a young woman. I had SUCH a lovely time with them. First, I put up labels on various household items, like stove, phone, sink, freezer, mirror, toilet, sofa, chair, TV, and others. Then I took out the Bananagram game that I have begun to use for alphabet practice with the mom, and we spelled the words together. I spent some time with them practicing the letters "F" vs. "V" and "S" vs "Z" (vocalized and non-vocalized letters). Mom really caught on to the word "freezer" and said it several times as I was leaving. I think it may one of the first English words to really stick in her mind.

I am enjoying helping this refugee family quite a lot! I also have volunteered twice with VITA, the tax preparation program that helps people who make 57,000 or less per year. It's strange, but my meager understanding of taxes and how the tax system works is more than a lot of people understand. I typically think of myself as terrible at math, but most of the VITA volunteering is just knowing what tax form to enter into what part of the tax software, and the computer does the rest.

Friday I went to a class at my gym called "N-10sive F-I-R-E". The class names there are hilariously silly (as I may have mentioned before), but they are excellent classes. This class supposedly sets your muscles on fire, and it certainly did that for me. I couldn't do much with my limbs Friday night, felt sore on Saturday, then on Sunday when I was feeling a little better, I thought I could handle a yoga class at night. That was a mistake, because I was still weak and sore from Friday. Today my arms are almost worse than they were on Friday. I took ibuprofen this morning. Crazy as it sounds, I might go back to this terrible class, because it appears to be a very effective way to tone and gain strength.

I recently finished reading A Storm of Swords, the 3rd book in the Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones series. I started reading A Passage to India a few days ago, a book I had bought at a retired teacher's book sale at the mall one random weekend. Kurt isn't watching TV for Lent, so we are both getting a lot of reading in these days, which I really enjoy.

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