Thursday, November 30, 2006

new pics....

click on the link for "My Photos" and check out the new pics....

snow, snow, snow.....

i walked out of my apartment this morning and looked up to realize that it had snowed that fun! i instantly put down my bag and coffee, dug out my camera, and started snapping photos. i am so cheesy, but i have never actually lived somewhere where it snowed. i giggled and smiled my whol trip to school. i rounded the corner by the field to walk up to a soccer field that is normally green with perfect turf that had a blanket of white on it. the kids were running, shuffling their feet to make designs, and playing soccer. it was a wonderful sight to see. the kids were having just as much fun as i was. i again took out my camera and took more pictures. :) what a great way to start the day!

the morning went well. math lesson was good and productive after have to chat with my kids about having negative attitudes. then i glanced outside to see little white snow flurries dancing down from the sky.....yes, it was snowing!!! as i taught i was able to watch the flurries dance to the ground. how amazing! the kids were excited too as i was teaching and looked over and stopped mid-sentence to say, "it's snowing!" of course they instantly ran to the window to have a look for themselves. we all stood there completely mystified by the flakes. good fun! it doesn't stick to the ground long at this point, but hey it was snowing!

there are 11 more days of school until the holiday so i made a deal with my kids today. i let them choose where they sit for the next 11 days. there are 2 tables of all girls and 2 tables of all boys. you would think the genders think that they each have some serious plague! tomorrow i am adding a new spin by letting them come up with a table name and banner. then we will starting earning table points for all sorts of things---homework, parent signatures, cleanliness, chairs being pushed in, group work, etc. it should make for some excitement for the 11 days before break. i felt i needed to do something to "shake things up". they were really being unruly. i am also hoping to implement a fun number game that i am "borrowing" from a great teacher at martin that he uses every year at december time. it should be a real scene to see how it all unfolds, but we are all kind of at the point of shatteredness. we all need a change.

today after school i had discipleship and it went really well. i have three 9th grade girls in my group and they are all friends. they are great! i am really enjoying getting to know them and sharing our hearts about life as a follower of Jesus. they have the same issues i had when i was there age, which makes me seem really old to say that.

tonight i am just hanging out taking it easy. i have worked on a bit of school work, snuggled with the kitties, and sent some emails. fun night at D21!! it is 37 degrees right now and i am wondering if it will snow tonight while i am asleep. it would be a real treat to wake up to snow again. :)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

wednesday......that means the week is half over...

this morning was tough to get moving. i have had a hard time sleeping lately and i am trying to remedy the issue by not consuming caffeine. so far there is no change, but i am hoping it will get better soon. tonight i am trying to have some sleepytime tea.........maybe that will do the trick!

i taught a great math lesson today although some of my kids are pushing my buttons. they are all about just knowing the answer. this can be frustrating for sure. oh well, the rest went well and i just prayed for more patience. :) i found out recently that i am going to get an LCD projector and a SMART white board over the christmas holiday! woo hoo! although i have no idea how to use the smart board i am willing to give it a go. suzy has used one for a few years now and she has one in her classroom here. she says that it is a great teaching tool and one that automatically integrates technology. there are so many options when you use it. so that is great news for me!!! i am hoping to learn more so i can make full use of it. the afternoon crepted by and we worked on language arts and science. we have been focusing on genre in reading which is a tough idea for the kids. not so much to get it, but to understand so that they can sort books is a chore. we were trying to organize and sort out the classroom library today and it was much more challenging than i thought. the kids agreed that it was not as easy as it sounds. we had some great conversation and thinking so it made it all worth while. i am hoping that they will get the hang of it soon. i am going to give them an independent reading project that focuses on the different genres to work on.

after school i tutorerd the student i have been working with from the bristish school. i also had one of my students, katrina, and lucy help me sort some things out. they worked on finishing up the classroom library and then made up the book order packets that i am going to send home tomorrow. then the three of us went over to the gym for the basketball games. katrina older sister and brother both play and so we watched from the lobby while they munched on the snacks i treated them to.

i came home to mrs. han finishing up two more pieces of clothing for me and also working on the skirts for suzy. she works really hard. we ordered chinese for dinner which was the first time i have done that at my house. fun! suzy ordered and when they come they bring it in and serve you the dishes. they give you real dishes and then when you are done you leave them outside the front door.....dirty. they come back later and pick them up. no cleaning or anything! it is great and super cheap! i took pics of the experience b/c i was astonished. they never do anything like that in texas. :)

i am compiling my lists for home------places to eat, places to go, things to do............
i am getting more and more excited!!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

18 more days.........

today was a good day! i had a white chocolate mocha from starbucks at 8:15am......what more can you want from life???!!?!? :) today was pretty normal. i taught my kids some math games which was great fun and so much fun we were running late to PE because we all lost track of time. i love those moments in teaching! i got a lot of stuff done during my planning time today which was also nice. after lunch my kids made homemade cards for the middle school craft bazaar. all the proceeds from the sale are going to be donated to the river of grace orphanage to help them pay for the heat. it is a great way for my kids do serve others. they got to cut construction paper and then use stamps (birthday and christmas) to create a design. they each created a set of 4 to be sold. tomorrow we have to create bands to hold them together. it should be fun! the kids really enjoyed making the cards and were smiling during the whole thing. after school i had swim squad which was good......although i ended up pretty wet today. i am trying to teach my kids how to dive off the blocks. after many flops they are betting better. it was good fun though! for the evening i went to hang out with my friends lucy and george.....they are the greatest kids! we ate pizza and then played whoonu, uno, and skipbo!!! we had fun and many laughs! we also talked about where we wanted to go most over the christmas holiday at home. they are from edina, minnesota and are going back for the holiday too!!! it was great conversation and lots of good laughs. yes, i have started a list of food places i want to make sure and eat at over the holiday. i will publish it later as i need to get to bed. i am tired and hope to get some better sleep tonight. i have been drinking more leaded coffee here in korea as decaf does not really exist here. the consumption has really interrupted my sleeping, so i am not drinking it anymore except for on tuesday mornings when starbucks comes to school. that is more! i must just say no. anyhow, 18 more days until i am back in town..........looking forward to seeing you ALL!!! :)

Monday, November 27, 2006

19 more days....

left until i will be in texas for the christmas holiday!!! wooooo hooooo!!!! i cannot wait!

today was good......a light day of teaching which is what i needed b/c it is always hard to get back in the groove after a long weekend holiday. we got to experience a little bit of another culture today which was good fun! the british school and grade 5s from the elementary had a "mini" st. andrew's scottish ball. it is a celebration in scotland each year to honor st. andrew, i think. there is a ball at the embassy each year and it happened over the past weekend. the kids learned many different scottish dances and got to dress up today and dance to a proper live scottish band from edinburgh, scotland. the band was flown over for the big ball at the embassy but also performed today at the school for the kids. my class went over to watch the dancing. it was fun to see the 5th grade dancing and learning. one of the cool things at being at an international school is getting to learn so much about other places, people, and cultures. it was fun!

today after school i went to get a hair cut and to get more blonde highlights. i am not sharing anymore details will have to wait and see. :)

this evening after i got home i just have been hanging out. i have a headache that i am trying to get rid of. i plan on getting to bed early tonight. i need my rest. the last few nights i have not been sleeping very well.........not sure why. might be the caffeine that i have been drinking lately. there is no such thing as decaf in this country. i did grind the beans my mom sent me this morning and have a giant cup of hawaiian grog coffee from central market. that was lovely!!!

until next time which should be tomorrow..................

much needed update....

i know that it has been a long time since i have posted anything.......there are a few reasons. first that paul had major server issues and the whole thing crashed. this is the reason why the pictures i posted do not work anymore. the other reason is that i have just not had the discipline to sit down and update which is a really lame excuse but i am trying to be honest about the whole deal. please forgive me. i recently did some thinking and realized that i need to make sure to keep updating and take the time to do it. so here it goes.........

the end of october i was sick....i was out on halloween which was sad for me. i felt completely awful and needed the rest. i had the good ol' sinus crud. i did not even answer the door for trick-or-treaters which stunk. i had prepared and everything with candy, but did not think it was a smart move to share my germs. it was tough sitting here listening and not having fun too. :) later that same week i had parent conferences. i managed my way through those with no hiccups. they actually went really well. i had mentally prepared myself for the worst. on the 4th of november i went with suzy to meet one of my students and her mom to go to insadong. the student's name is sydney and she is a sweetie! we all went to make hanji paper crafts. it was great! i made a dark green tray! fun fun is the Korean version of the mad potter. it was good fun! we ate lunch at this great Italian restaurant.....yummy!!! the rest of the day we just walked around insadong. later that day suzy and i made our way to itaewon for some shopping and to meet jeff. that night we celebrated BONFIRE NIGHT. i had mentioned this before. it was awesome! helen and i were hosting this event. we had a great bonfire, the mills' boys made the "Guy" to burn, helen made pumpkin soup, and jeff and i shared the smores! it was a great night. then we shot off fireworks. woo hoo!

i had a ticket to the opera but did not end up going b/c i was exhausted the following week. i am sure my body was still fighting off the sinus yuck!!! i received an invitation from the sultanate ambassdor of oman to celebrate the 36th national day at a reception. i felt very honored to be invited. so saturday suzy, jeff, and i went to dongdaemun market for some fabric. i got lots of fabric for mrs. han to make me clothes. i needed something a bit nicer to wear to the party. good fun there at the market.

sunday i went to church and met jen who is a girl that is teaching english here in korea. we met on skype. yes i know that sounds crazy, but it is not. she is the only person i have actually talked to you on there other than friends and family. she is nice and from maine. she is only here for a year and since we have spent more time together and she is great fun to hang out with!

tuesday jeff took helen and i to the korean senior symphony orchestra. it was nice! jeff treated to pizza hut and then we were off to see the show. they played 3 different composer's work. two of them being mendolsohn and beethoven. it was nice. the 4 star general in charge of all military operations here in korea was there as well as the admiral in charge of the navy here. that was cool to see them. the last piece that the symphony played was the army song---stars and stripes, i think. it was cool! it was nice to get out and do something different.

that next day mrs. han, the seamstress, came over to my house for the day. she measured me up and then made me two skirts, two pants, and a nice shirt. it was wild! she was amazing! i could not believe how much she was able to make in one day. she is coming again on this wednesday.

the end of the month was topped off with a real treat-----katie came to visit me!!! woo hoo........she arrived on friday evening. i rode the airport bus out to inchon airport to meet here and even made a "welcome" sign written in Korean! it was great! it was sooooo awesome to see her and be able to hug her. we made our way back to my house then to leave out again for dinner at dak-galbi and then dessert at the red mango. she is not a fan of Korean food at all. her visit was awesome! we did a lot of hanging out and catching up. it was really nice! saturday we went to dongdaemun, edae, sinchon and ended up at watts on tap for some live music by guys that work at SFS. good times! sunday we went to church and then to insadong with jen. we had fun walking around. we also went to one of the grocery stores i always go to which is grand mart. it is a very lively place and it was an experience for katie! jeff made dinner at my apartment that night. yummy! he made jambalaya which was great! buffie, my neighbor, made an amazing lemon cake that i finished off over the next few days. monday i had taken a personal day off and katie and i took the day off. we were in our PJs until 3pm and were going to go to seoul tower when we got sidetracked by picture taking and ended up at outback steakhouse for dinner instead. tuesday katie came to school with me all day....what a trooper! we had our thanksgiving party in the afternoon where there was no shortage on food. it was all over the place. Korean parents like to make sure there is LOTS of food. it was fun and the kids had a great time! wednesday i had an inservice all day and then katie and i again just hung out and had good conversation.

thursday was thanksgiving and it was nice. a day of relaxing and resting. jeff came over early and ended up napping on my couch. katie napped in bed. i just straightened up my house and piddled while they took rest. then the festivities got underway about 2ish when katie started preparing the sweet potatoes. then suzy made stuffing and jeff helped as needed. we ate at 4:30 and there were about 10 of us total. after dinner we had dessert and then answered silly questions out of a "would you rather....?" book that i had borrowed. then we finished off the night with a few rounds of taboo before calling it a night. it was a nice day!

friday we got out to go to the cable cars at seoul tower. it was an adventure to find them but we did after many, many, many steps UP! whew! crazy amounts of steps. we rode up the cable cars, looked around seoul tower, and then rode the cable cars back down. we then meadered our way to namdaemun market which is THE market in seoul. very traditional open air market. very interesting colors and liveliness in the market. we both took lots of pics and had some good laughs. when it started to get dark we made our way back to sinchon near my house. we made some purchases and katie found some last minute things she wanted to buy. then we made a trip to grand mart again and headed home to have some down time. we made apple pie when we arrived at home. we had fun, laughed, reflected on the visit.

saturday we woke up and got moving. we had to be on the airport bus at 11am to make it in time to get some lunch. buffie took us down the hill and we waited for the bus to arrive. once at the airport katie checked in her bags and we ate lunch----burger king!!! yummyyyy!!!! then we had baskin robbins ice cream. they have a flavor here called shooting star and it has pop rocks in it. weird, but really good. then we watched people while waiting for the time to pass. it was fun to do.......this place is great for people watching. then at 1:30 katie proposed she should make her way to the plane and so the time had come that i had to say good bye............that was hard. yes, i cried. then i walked out to catch the bus.......made the trip home, walked up the hill, and then took a 4 hour nap. it felt really awesome!!! i stayed in that night to feed my new addiction of watching FELICITY on DVDs. good times! i watched the rest of season 1 and i have now started season 2. yeah for DVDs.

yesterday i went to church and then hung out at home the rest of the day. i was being a bit mopey and just wanted to stay in so i did. i watched more felicity which was fun!