A World without walls
everyday life while homeschooling overseas
Devin has decided that our date night need to be more cultural. That's fine with me! So we went on a search for a famous mosque: King Abdullah al Hussein Mosque. When we found it, I thought it was the coolest thing to note that right across the street from this gorgeous, elegant mosque is a large Christian church! I loved the juxtaposition of the two--the minaret contrasted with the cross and the bell tower! So cool!
We walked all around the mosque to see if from different angles, then saw a little 'entrance' and 'tickets' sign. We figured it was closed, since it's Eid, but we wanted to see the hours so we could come back again. It was open! I got to wear a cool robe with a hood so I could go inside the mosque. It was so pretty and quiet! Normally, they have 2 museums there, too: Islamic History, and Islam Museum. They were closed for Eid. Plus, they have a little gift shop, and the prices were the lowest I have EVER seen!!!! I'm definitely going back--I'm going to take my kids (incidentally, part of our Middle Ages studies includes a little section on Islam, so this will be PERFECT), and I'm going to take every single visitor that comes to see us here in Amman! :) So awesome!
And just to add to the juxtaposition, after having this lovely cultural experience, this is what we found when we got home:
I have 3 daughters! Oh dear.
This week has been a busy one. I had the opportunity to help out with the summer camp at the embassy. We did lots of crafty things and science experiments (tornadoes in a jar, volcanoes, sensory activities, etc.), and we wore ourselves out swimming. It was fun, and I definitely have MUCH more respect for Jessica--my friend who's running the thing this year! Kudos to you, my friend! What an undertaking! I only did part of the day, and I wasn't even in charge--and I was WORN OUT! Maybe I'm just getting lazy, since I only watch 4 kids all day long.
Anyway, an interesting side note to this, was the fact that my boys suffered. They were totally worn out. They became aggressive and grumpy and totally uncooperative. Yes, all of them. Poor Josh. He was down in the dumps and angry at everyone. I didn't know what to do!! THEN, Thursday came. That afternoon, right after the afternoon craft for summer camp, Josh and I ran over to the first Lego Robotics class. Wow. THIS is what the kid needed. He smiled the whole time. He was kind, helpful, thoughtful, and polite. He was focused (and it wasn't on the book he was listening to on his ipod)! He was transformed! Look at his happy face! :)
So, his new addiction is his little Lego robot. He's been playing with the software, finding problems, trying to fix them, and generally enjoying himself doing something that seems just second nature to him. Anything robotic, electronic or computer related he is taking to like it's a second skin. I love watching it! I don't understand anything he talks about, but he does. He's doing robotics, plus I'm having him do these workbooks on electronic circuit boards. It's fascinating to watch, since I give him reading assignments before he puts stuff together. I quiz him on all of his reading, and he knows it backwards and forwards...and I STILL have no idea what he's talking about! Oh well. I am not mechanically minded. I don't know much about electronics, robotics, computers, etc., but that's ok. I'm happy that he's found a niche, and I love to watch him delve in and learn about it. This is my joy.
Tonight, Devin and I have been looking over our newest edition of our blog book saga. For Christmas last year (or the year before), Devin put my entire section of blog posts from Cameroon onto a book. Now he's working on Finland. It's almost done. I'm reading through the posts and looking at the pictures and it brings back such fun memories! I'm so glad I was so good at blogging! I realized that I haven't been quite so good here. I need to do better. Part of that is that I'm homeschooling and MUCH busier than I used to be, but really, that's not quite it. In all honestly, part of the problem is that every evening for the past year or two, Devin and I have sat down and watched tv together. We watched all of the Cosby show (8 seasons), the first 7 seasons of Psych, and we recently finished watching Monk. While they're very fun, and it's nice to 'unwind', there are quite a few other VERY good things we could be doing with our time. Like I could spend a few minutes writing about my day...or week... So, that's our new goal. Movies/tv only once a week or so, and instead, so good things, like read, study, write in my blog, or play games. I have no idea how we got pulled into tv in the first place. Neither one of us are people I would consider media addicts...
Anyway, today was our first day back at church here in Jordan after our vacation. It was so fun to see everyone again. I loved playing the organ again. I enjoyed being in primary--I just wish my kids would be a little more respectful. I got to go to relief society! I enjoyed all the talks and lessons today, as they really answered some questions that I've had.
For a few years now, I've felt this anxious little itch deep down that I've really wanted to go back to school. I've even sat down and started filling out applications to do degrees online!! However, after starting, I would start to feel very frustrated and than I'd stop. No one ever had what I REALLY wanted to study. I didn't want to have to reapply to colleges I've already attended or have to go scouting around for my transcripts. It just wasn't right yet. Besides, I can't really do deadlines right now, since I have ALL of my kids at home and I'm committed as their full time teacher. I LOVE doing that, but I've just felt like I need to do something that empowers me and pursue something that will be beneficial for the future.
When we were in the states, I started chatting with my mom about essential oils. She sells them for a company and I started looking through some of her books and things and realized how much I could learn from this and enjoy it! So I decided to join up and sell them, too. I don't do it actively--I don't go door to door, or even solicit people to buy from me, but I think essential oils are good and useful and I'd like to get the word out.
So that was one thing that started me thinking...
Another was, this summer I decided to do a little unit on edible and medicinal plants for the kids. We did an herb walk with my mom, and played some herb games and I read some books... In one of the books, an herbal book for kids, the appendix mentioned taking continuing ed courses on herbs. That really struck my fancy!! So I looked it up!
Holy cow. It is AMAZING! And EXACTLY what I've been looking for! I can take courses to become a professional herbalist! I can become a certified, registered aromatherapist! These are vocational, online schools that offer these classes that you can do on your own time and gain some serious, focused knowledge on things that completely fascinate me! I'm SOOOOO excited! I'm excited to further my knowledge on these things and use them for the benefit of my family and friends! Hopefully, someday, my kids will call me what I called my mom: "Dr. Mom, Medicine Woman"! :) I'm really looking forward to this process and the opportunity to study alternative, holistic medicine. Who knew that one day I'd be excited to study chemistry, botany, and anatomy and physiology???? I know, though, that I've been led to this point and to this decision, and I'm very grateful for that.
So, we're home now. It wasn't so bad, really... Our first flight from SLC to Paris was pretty fun since we all just sat and watched movies, however, we all paid for it! We got to Paris at 11am our time, and had stayed up for like 30 hours. DOH! The layover in Paris wasn't so bad, since they have playstations set up for the kids to play video games, and a little play area for the smaller kids to play in...but the flight from Paris to Amman was pretty grueling. Claire slept the ENTIRE time, and I could not get her to wake up. So did Andrew...until he woke up SCREAMING because he had to go to the bathroom. Funny thing, though--apparently, I had fallen asleep, too, because I remember dreaming that I was looking around, wondering whose poor kid was crying and if I could help, only to find out it was mine. :/ Devin had gone to the bathroom with Peter, so Andrew was all by his lonesome (I was sitting between Josh and Claire). He was still mostly asleep, so he couldn't get his seat belt off to get out of his chair. I finally woke up and realized it was Andrew, jumped up over Josh (who was sleeping), and dragged him out of his seat. Sadly, there was quite the line and the people in the bathrooms took a loooooong time (Devin and Peter being one of them). I finally got Andrew in, and he was in there forever. I kept peeking in, and he was just standing there, saying he was ok. Then, I finally poked my head in and asked if I could help, and found out that he had messed his pants while waiting in line. *sigh* So, now WE were one of THOSE people who take a really looooong time in the bathroom. :/ I helped him our of his pants and just chucked the underwear in the trashcan (sorry airplane people) and wiped him off as best I could with wet paper towels. Ah, well. Another bad thing about the last flight--the food was TERRIBLE. We're talking BAD. Ugh. AND there was no inflight movie! What?? It's a 5 hour flight, people! They would sometimes put some random tv show on. But good grief, even the scrolling map of where you are is better than a blank screen.
Even with all of that, it was a good trip. No other incidents. And it could have been much worse. The lady behind me had an 18 month old, a 7 month old, and she was 5 months pregnant. The 7 month old baby screamed the entire 5 hours. My heart ached for her. She was very nice. I'm glad for all the horrible kid experiences I've had on airplane trips, as it makes me not annoyed at all when kids are loud or screaming on airplanes. I empathize and remember and shiver at the memory, so I never want to be those horrible ignorant people who made my life more miserable than it already was when I was having those problems. :/
But, we made it. It's nice to be home, be mom again, and to get into a regular routine. The kids are doing 'homeschool lite' (meaning we're reviewing and drilling in the mornings), we're spending lots of time at the pool, and we're just enjoying playing. It's nice and warm again, and I'm actually turning on the A/C, so for those of you who know how cold I get, this is a big step for me! :) I'm looking forward to getting some more groups started and getting the kids back into music lessons and easing us back into our rigorous school schedule. Schedules are just better for us all around. The kids function better and I can think better. It's funny how even as a homeschool mom, I can't wait for school to start again! :)
Who Am I?
As a Stay At Home Mom of 4 wonderful children, I have the amazing opportunity not only to home school them, but to do so in many different places! I am married to the most amazingly wonderful (and handsome) man in the whole world! Together, we seek out, every day, that Joy in the Journey that makes life exciting!
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