Friday, May 31, 2013

This Is The Life!

My little girl is having her first ever, non-family, friend sleepover. It's with a little Ecuadorian Embassy friend...who has 2 live-in maids. My daughter brought home this information yesterday..."We just get to choose whatever we want for breakfast." She's also concerned that she won't be able to speak Spanish to the maids. I said, "Whatever they offer you, just say the one word you know...Si!" 

Enjoy it while you can, little Sweet Cheeks, breakfast isn't so much made-to-order at our house!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves

Miss Middler landed a leading role in the Elementary Drama Club's play Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. She was Tabitha, Ali's wife. She learned her lines entirely on her own, created her own costume, enunciated loudly and clearly, and rocked the play!
 Way to go, Tabitha!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mother's Day Treats!

My Mother's Day was wonderful! My son made me a paper jet airplane, which he just knew I would love. Sweet Cheeks made me a pile of homemade gifts. I regret not getting a photo of the sign on top of them, hiding them. It had a giant YES with a picture of me not looking at the gifts and a giant NO with a picture of me peeking at the gifts.

Firstborn found a recipe for Raspberry Cinnamon French Toast, which (because she lives in Turkey) she creatively turned into Strawberry-French-Toast-With-a-Mixture-of-Spices-That-Made-It-Awesome. She also made me a boiled egg, which I asked for.

I got to pick the lunch restaurant, and I chose Quick China. Thankfully, the 25-year-old waiter that handed his email address to Firstborn (then 13) last year was not working this Mother's Day.

Sweet Cheeks and Big Ben proudly announced they wanted to order sushi. What?

My kids are wonderful and beautiful. They just are.

It was a fun day, and I am proud to be their mom.

In the evening, Miss Middler and Firstborn made me a German dish called Spaetzle. They said they were disappointed it didn't turn out like they wanted. I said I would have never even tried to make a German dish called Spaetlze in a million years, and it was perfect to me.

Happy Mother's Day to me!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

International Day

We love our diverse student body, and one way to celebrate it is to devote a day to showing off our home countries. We let the kids dress in native dress, then in the afternoon the moms send in food from their home countries (the best part!), and we play some international games.

Here were my students that went all out on costumes! (that's the Statue of Liberty up front!)
Here's our entire upper elementary, grades 3-6.
Here's my own little Tennessee girl between her beautiful Korean friends.
And I have no idea who is in the left corner with the Tennessee shirt on!


Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Bicycle Built For Two

One day a couple of weeks ago, CC asked me if I wanted to ride bikes with him. I was slightly stunned, as riding bikes with him would mean rugged mountain trails, rocks, snakes/lizards/jack rabbits, and scary stuff. But I agreed to try it. We got in the van, but there were no bikes. Classic CC. I just had to wait to see what he was up to. He then took me to a bike trail and rented us a tandem bike. We had so much fun! He made it very clear that I was not to steer. I replied, "Don't worry, I can't see anything but the back of your neck!" It was extremely difficult to move the bike while riding, so we really had to work as a team not to plow it into the many people out riding and walking on the trail. We had a great time and topped it off with some fresh squeezed orange juice. It could not have come at a better time. May is stressful for us!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Little Scientists

I am so happy to have my computer back! Ol' Faithful crashed on us last week. I suppose it was time. We'd had it since Sweet Cheeks was a babe. Our computer teacher was able to rebuild it into a much better computer. And I can catch up on my blog now!

The third graders were allowed to participate in the Science Fair this year, but in order to keep the skill levels incremental, we decided to have them build a model rather than work through the entire scientific process with a hypothesis, experiment, etc. They honestly blew us all away with their projects! Mom and Dad helped, of course, and that was fine with me. The point is learning how to choose a project that aligned with something we've studied, stay on schedule in building it, spend time with Mom and Dad, learn more about science, and proudly share the results.

It can't be a Science Fair without some active volcanoes! Here's my volcano group. (from Jordan/Palestine, USA, and Slovenia). My Slovenian student took 2nd place overall for her volcano. It was so realistic artistically. And then there's the fact that she spoke not a word of English when she came to me in February, and she's worked so hard. She deserved a ribbon!
 Here's the solar system gang, from South Korea, Russia, Malaysia, and Kazakhstan.
This South Korean guy took one of the first place ribbons. He built a solar powered bus. Its wheels move when you flip a light on it. Yea, he may very well build a real one at some point. (At any point when I could not find Big Ben at the Science Fair, I just came back to this solar bus. He was busy clicking the light off and on to get it to move.)
 These dolls from South Korea and Turkey built spider webs/habitats. If only I had space to store them, I'd love to display them when we study insects.
 These girls from the USA and Iran built various arctic tundra, an electric switch to light a house made of wood, and a clay model of the human brain.
 My Italian student took another first place ribbon, as I was certain he made this entirely himself. He created a 3D model of land, with a dead lizard (real), and a fossil of that same lizard, with signs and changes in the land to indicate the passage of time. You could actually open the "lid" to find the fossil of his lizard buried in the earth. It blew me away. And I just loved the phone call from his dad at one point, "Do you have any objections to letting him bring a dead lizard for part of his project?" No, sir, bring it on!
 My Ecuadorean student is not even in Science, as he goes to special English classes during that time, but he wanted to make an African safari.
 These kids, from the USA, Romania, and Spain each made creative models of windmills, egg dropping gadgets, and a simple machine (wedge).
I was beyond proud of all of them!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

What We've Been Doing

I miss my blog. My time is so limited. But I refuse to give it up. It's my family record! Here's what we've been doing....

Last Sunday we took a picnic lunch to a nearby park. They've recently renovated it and added these rides. Soon a group of 4 village boys joined us. They were very entertaining. They jumped on the merry-go-round and got it spinning faster and faster. Soon, Sweet Cheeks wanted off. When the one boy saw his brother (or buddy) had made it go too fast for her, he started fighting his brother. Soon, a 4 person brawl began. Later, the boys (from about 7-10 years old) stripped down (all the way) and jumped into the fountains there. They'd play in the water, then hop back on the swings. Yes, they provided us with a bit of entertainment that day.
 CC went for a bike ride on the anniversary of his big crash last Spring. He decided to take a picture of the very spot where he crashed. On that spot, he found this big turtle...with a big crack. He came back telling us he must have hit the turtle rather than a rock!
 I took my students to an University here that does a little presentation on space. Then the kids got to look through the giant telescope (with a filter) and see the sun and its spots.

 We then had a little picnic on the grounds.
 We finished up a little early, so we had the buses bring us back to our neighborhood. I stopped at a little market and let them all choose an ice cream and play at the park behind our school. I got lots of hugs and thank you's. Field trips wear me out, but it was fun.
 CC has been getting some great bike rides on the weekends. It literally went from being in the 30's at night to the 80's in the daytime. I think we skipped Spring! This week he rode 38km, to this lake, around it, and back.
 And finally, my little doll accomplished something big. Her teacher challenged them to read 100 books this year. She read her 100th book yesterday, and is the first to turn in her completed list in her class. Way to go, Sweet Cheeks!

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