Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Flying Over the Pond

We flew out the next morning. Three kids came with me. Two kids waited and flew with Campbell Clansman later in the week. We got to fly our first leg with a set of school grandparents who had come to visit their family. It was so much fun to have a buddy to fly to Germany with!

 In the Germany airport, we found some decent reclining seats.

The backpacks chock full of coloring books and markers came out.

Big Ben was my traveling buddy, while Sweet Cheeks sat with Firstborn. My kids are super at travelling! I appreciate so much their flexibility to fly 24 hours, even when they are tired.

We were very tired, but made it safely home to family. There's nothing like that first hug and the hope of a whole summer ahead!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Awards and Last Day of School and Yucky Goodbyes

The last day of school came. I got to sneak a peek at the secondary awards since my classroom is right next to the atrium, where we have our ceremonies. Here's Twinkle Toes getting her Honor Roll certificate.
Our sweet Turkish teacher chose Firstborn for the Turkish 1 award.

And Firstborn was always nominated and chosen by her teachers for the 9th and 10th grade character award. We were so proud of her. She has shown good character.
After secondary came elementary awards. Big Ben's class recited an A to Z poem.
Miss Middler took an Honor Roll certificate, too. She only made 1 B all year. I wasn't nearly as concerned about my grades in 6th grade as she is.
I awarded Honor Roll to my class. Sweet Cheeks worked hard this year and got all A's.
And then when it was all said and done, the inevitable goodbyes came. Miss Middler will miss this sweet Egyptian friend.
We had some teachers to say goodbye to, also.
It's a day we anticipate and dread. It's so good to complete a year, but it means hugging the necks of people we may never see again. We are thankful for such good friends, and our prayers go with them.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Field Day 2014

Just gotta catch up on my blog! We are in the USA now, but my blog is stuck in Turkey! We had a great field day this year. It's a day of organized fun for the kids. We always match them up with multiple grade levels. I find this to be such a great way of keeping it less competitive and letting the older kids mentor the younger ones. I had an awesome team. Here we are waiting for the games to begin.
 Sweet Cheeks in one of the events.
Big Ben in competition.
This was Miss Middler's last year to do field day! Where has the time gone?
Each team created a team name and cheer.
And that last Monday began the painful realization that some of the goodbyes were just a day away. This kiddo came to me this year with no English. To even say no, he made an "X" with his arms at me. It was a big adjustment to an all-English world. He acted out and tried some cuss words in his own language the first weeks of school. After a chat with Mr. Campbell, things changed. He began showing me respect, and we became good buddies. He began learning English like a sponge and wanted to make no mistakes. We just connected. I liked him, and he liked me. When he took his end-of-the-year achievement test, he had gone form the 0% to the 20% in English in just 8 months. And then, the very last week of school, he found out he was being transferred away. So, yes, it was hard to see him go. But I am thankful he came. He learned the true Easter and Christmas story while at our school, made friends, and developed a strong foundation in English. I am certain he will go far.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sports Banquet

The girls had their end-of-the-year ECA Banquet (extra curricular activities). Both my older girls played volleyball, basketball, and soccer this year. Firstborn was also in the musical this Spring. It's sounds like a lot, maybe even overloaded, but I honestly have found they do better when they stay involved. They are in the best shape of their lives, and they seem to organize their time better when they have sports practice to take into account. And then there's the thrill of getting to scream for them at games!!!

Here's Twinkle. We had to laugh. The one photo I got has her fixing her hair. That came as no surprise to us!

There coaches were dedicated and taught them so much!

Well done, girls! You're going to have enough bars on your letter jackets to look like a 5 star general!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Staff Banquet 2014

Our annual Staff Banquet was last Saturday night. We got al gussied-up and went to Mezaluna, a nice Italian restaurant. It's a time for folks to share thanks or a word about what God has done in their life for the last year. It's a time of goodbyes, too.

Now I get that whole thing about how they look better than the day you married's true. He does!

Here's my long time friend, B. We both celebrated the 10 year mark of working for Oasis. She was my prayer partner that first year and has loved me through thick and thin all the rest of the years.

This is Big Ben's teacher, a dear friend with whom I have a history. Her grandparents served with us during year 1. Her grandma took my two little girls (when I only had a kids) each morning so I could be the Kindergarten teacher, when I taught Firstborn. Now 10 years later, she taught my son Kindergarten. God's irony is not lost on me. I'll miss her.

This is my wallmate B, the 2nd grade teacher and a sweet friend. I also had to say goodbye to her, but she had the good sense to relocate to middle Tennessee, so it will be a "See you later!"

And here's a couple of my buddies, L and H. L is from middle Tennessee and there is a very interesting connection. Ready for it? Her much older cousin is the husband of one of my mom's very good friends from her teaching days. Somehow we made that connection. Beyond that, she's become a good friend. H was the 4th grade teacher. This year we had many great conversations and got to know each other. She'll be Sweet Cheeks' teacher next year!

The banquet was one of the best I remember.

Spring 2014 Piano Concert

My three piano girls performed at the Spring Piano Concert last week. I was so proud of them! Sweet Cheeks performed Fur Elise by Beethovan. Miss Middler played Maiden's Prayer. Twinkle Toes played the 1970's theme song Love Story. They all played beautifully!!! I am proud of their hard work. Two of these girls were given the free ticket this year to stop, but they chose to continue.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Sunday Picnic

We found ourselves free to take a family picnic one Sunday afternoon recently. We had no school on Monday due to a Turkish holiday, so thought it might be fun to enjoy some time outside. We called in some pide and off we went.

Have I ever mentioned how proud I am of my kids?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Singapore Project

Firstborn is in Geography this year. She got to choose a country about which to prepare a presentation. Any guesses why she chose this one?

She and her partner did such a creative, cute project. They drew themselves as Asians draw cartoons (her Korean friend with dark hair, Firstborn with light hair), she added several of the 'fines' so famous in Singapore, and she used all her Singaporean money and explained the denominations and what it would amount to in USD's. A beautiful project that represented her birth country!

I had my third graders "grade" each project as we study World Geography in third grade, too. They had to write their favorite parts of each. One wrote, "I love the Mermaid Lions." ha! I hope Firstborn can go back to see the Merlions again one day.

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