Tuesday, May 20, 2014

International Day

One of my favorite events of the year is International Day. We have nearly 40 nations represented at our school. The students have taught me much about living in a world where all kinds of people are friends and respect and love each other. International Day celebrates our rich diversity.

This year Miss Middler blew me away with her American costume. She wanted to be a Native American. I had no costume for her, but since she is 12 years old now, I just told her if she could pull it off with what we had, she could go for it!

Here is what she ended up with! She had a hand-me-down African wrap skirt, which happened to have a water buffalo on the front...looked just like a bison to me. She donned her leather boots, which looked very moccasin-y! She braided her blonde hair, painted some war paint on, and strapped a papoose on her back. Here she is with her Ecuadorian friend.

Here are some of her beautiful friends from around the world...the Somalian president's daughter, a Korean friend (since childhood), a Sudanese friend, and an Indonesian friend.

And my darling Sweet a miracle, I spotted this cowgirl suit at our rummage sale...for $2.50!!! We added a Cappadocian cowboy hat and some boots.

The kids bring food from their home countries. It is absolutely NO sacrifice to be here on days like this!!! (mmmm...I even spotted a coconut Asian dessert I had not had since 2003!)

Here's the entire upper elementary.

And here's my sweet third grade class.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Seussical, Jr. Musical

Our Spring play was Seussical, Jr the Musical. It was so so cute and fun! Firstborn tried out and got the part of a bird back-up singer for Mayzie, the bird who took off for Miami and left poor Horton the Elephant to sit on her egg. Miss Middler didn't get to try out because she is not yet in Secondary. To her absolute joy, the director began recruiting some younger kids to fill in as Whos, and she landed a part!

Here's Firstborn. She was to be a bit sassy, and she was.

It was a wonderful play, and the entire cast did a super job!

This director is one special gal. She pours her heart into everything she does, loves on our kids, and has been a real encouragement to me. She's from Middle Tennessee, what else should I expect?

My daughter is going to kill me when she reads this blog post. Har har. Gotcha.

I am super proud of them. They practiced every Tuesday afternoon, cheerfully gave up their school holiday to do an all-day drama workshop, learned all their songs and lines, and performed a super show!
Cutest Who and Bird I've ever seen!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

First Communion and Celebration

We had the joy of being part of a celebration for one of my students. She is a dear friend to Sweet Cheeks, and the entire family is special to us. C's father is the ambassador to Turkey from Ecuador, and they placed their girls in our school nearly 3 years ago when their term in Turkey began.

It was time for C to take her first Holy Communion in the Catholic Church. We were able to go to her church and watch her special ceremony. Then we were invited for a beautiful lunch afterwards. Her older sister D is a special friend to my older girls, pictured below.

Her mom, who is perhaps one of the classiest ladies I have ever known, rented a huge tent for her backyard and the luncheon.

There were several dignitaries there, the Ambassador from Columbia, a diplomat from Spain, and a few special family friends (us!).
My son made me laugh harder than I have in a long time. We got there and right away the kids enjoyed the trampoline and having fun. There are full time nannies living at this home, so I could sort of mentally check out for a little bit. They kept an eye on the kids and helped them get their food when it was time. When Big Ben saw the servers dressed in uniforms and the big tent, and then waited for his lunch while the trays of appetizers and drinks were served, he started to get a little hungry. He assumed we were at some kind of restaurant, so he made his way over to me and said, "Can you just order me a pide?" We laughed and laughed. Pide is pretty much the most common Turkish food you can buy, but he was hungry and ready to "order." Soon his food was served, and I am sure he liked it more than his weekly pide.

I wish I had a picture of our meal. It was the finest, best-tasting meal I have had in a very long time. The mushroom covered beef, the pineapple-baked ham, the scalloped potatoes. I can't even begin to tell you how good that food was.

And then they brought out this darling cake. C is in the center. It was covered with butterflies, her favorite.
Her mom bought Christian-themed ornaments and had the bakery here make these.
This is a South American dessert. It's made to look like fruit, but they are little sweets.
Here's my friend M and my sweet student C.
My children are blessed with good, good friends. And this friend of Sweet Cheeks truly has a heart for the Lord and loves to learn more about Him and participate in Bible classes at school. Just yesterday I watched her bow to thank God for her treats at International Day. It will be a hard goodbye come next Spring, but something tells me Sweet Cheeks will make her way down to Ecuador to see her one day.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Oasis Expo 2014

We host an Expo at school each year, technically a Science Fair, but we also have Psychology projects and others, so we call it an Expo. This was Sweet Cheeks' first year to participate. The third graders make a science model rather than using the scientific process. Sweet Cheeks immediately knew what she wanted to make...a hot air balloon. Her awesome dad helped her channel that into making a paper lantern that would actually work like a hot air balloon! They ("they" because I know full well this is a parent-child-together project and that is what I am hoping for) worked hard to build a wire and tissue paper lantern, create a fuel cell out of old candle wax and paper towels, and put the whole thing together. They made 2, one to light and one to show at the Expo.

We all went up to the terrace for the big event. I was in charge of video. Papa lit it. Soon the lantern began to fill. Big Ben was mesmerized. Twinkle Toes was giggling and very conscious that she would appear on the video at the Expo in front of her junior high friends, CC was wondering how "lit" it was actually going to become. It was fun.
And then it filled, they let go, and it took off. It was awesome. Then the unthinkable happened. It burst into flames. It was a massive, burning torch flying through the sky, right over a clump of trees and bushes in a lot near us. The way CC took off through the house and down the stairs of our building reminded me of one of those new electric trains Turkey has. He was worried we might torch the neighborhood. It's sort of fun to have the freedom to pretty much do anything you want without a permit here, but it can have its challenges. All was ok, no forest fires. And the really, really funny thing is that the next day, my darling Italian student Maria said, "Mrs. Campbell. I see something very strange in the sky last night." "Oh," I replied, "Was it a rainbow?" "No, it was a fire." I then told her it was Sweet Cheeks' science fair project, and we laughed until we cried.
Way to go on your first project, Sweet Cheeks!
And though this girl did not place, she worked so hard on determining how mental visualization affects basketball shooting performance. She determined we should think about making it if we want to make more baskets. I did not even see this board or project before it was completed. I think it looks amazing!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Soccer Mom, Again!

I am so happy to report that I survived another weekend of being a soccer mom! I absolutely love watching my girls play! Our seasons are different in that we practice and practice (every M-W-F), but then just have 1 or 2 tournaments. This was our final tournament, and it was a big one. The girls had school on Thursday, then played a game right after school. Then they came back to school on Friday and played 3 games that night! We also had another 2 games on Saturday. They were WORN OUT! Here are some pictures from the weekend.

Twinkles Toes is a defender and man, she kicks it hard for a little girl who got her nickname because she used to walk on her tiptoes!
 Look at this shot!

 Firstborn played goalie again. I had no idea how stressful this game could be. They tied several times and had a "penalty kick" tie-breaker. Firstborn tackled the balls like a pro. I laughed with my mom who described the exact scenario to me. My nephew had to block for the tie-breaker. My mom couldn't watch!

 I like to watch her on the field, much better for my heart. My friends laughed as I watched her block...I ducked, I tapped, I clinched my hands, then I flew out of my seat when she caught it! I've named it Post Soccer Stress Syndrome.
 Here's one shot with the girls together. It was a great season, and this soccer mom not only survived it, she loved it!

Easter 2014

Easter was very special this year. Normally it is linked to our Spring Break, but this year it was not. We enjoyed a beautiful worship service. Our church is nothing much to look at, but it's not the building, is it? It's the people. And the hearts of the people we go to church with are beautiful.

Here are the Easter morn shots.

CC bought me this lovely hat. It's what he remembers of me, way back when I was in 7th and 8th grade...the girl at church who wore hats.

There's always a kiss involved. He can't escape it.

I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Easter, the day of our risen Lord!

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