A World without walls
everyday life while homeschooling overseas
Christmas Day is here! One of the few days of the year that I don't really know what to do with myself...Ha! We had a VERY early morning (5am), finished opening presents by like 6:30, then spent the rest of the day wandering about and playing with all our new toys! I'm still a little in shock over what Devin got me this year:
Pretty sweet, eh? Is that Super Mario Bros., you ask? Yes. Yes it is. I opened up a DVD player as my 'big gift', thinking that that was good since our old one has sort of kicked the bucket (even thought Josh sort of got it going again)...then he pulled out the 'other part': A giant tv! THEN we had some friends giving away their Wii with all of the games! So, in one fell swoop, we ended up with an entirely new entertainment system! We've had a good time playing video games off and on throughout the day. It's a good thing, too, because as we gave Peter his 'big' gift this morning, he opened up his super cool big Lego box to find ONLY the instructions!! What???!?!? Who would send a giant Lego set without ANY Legos inside???!? I was TICKED. Peter was so sad! I immediately sat down and wrote an email to Amazon. Amazingly, an hour later, the responded saying they were terribly sorry, and that they were giving us a full refund and offering free overnight shipping on a replacement order! Neat! Within another hour, the refund was there. I was SO impressed. Yes, Peter keeps saying it was his 'worstest' Christmas ever, but I was grateful for some real customer service that actually had the customer in mind. I am a die-hard fan of Amazon.
So, overall, it was a lovely day. The kids stayed in their pajamas all day. I almost did. Lots of laziness. We're now enjoying watching a movie on our new tv. I can't wait to go to sleep.
This semester, I've had the supremely enjoyable opportunity to teach a group clarinet class. I have loved every minute of it! The girls I teach are SO much fun, and we have a great time together. They learn REALLY fast, and I've loved every week when they come in saying, "Miss Emily! Look what I learned to play!" It fills my soul with joy to teach...especially music! :)
We just had our very first recital! Marking the end of the semester, we decided to put on a little concert for our family and friends. It was a great experience for the girls to show off what they've learned. They did a marvelous job! It was the best they've played! I loved the fact that they had a chance to perform in front of an audience.
One of the best parts: Andrew and Peter decided to 'greet' everyone. That's pretty normal for them. However, this time they used some of Josh's spy equipment and set themselves up as the guards. Everyone was questioned and scanned as they entered. I guess I'm glad I had my secret service on the job so we all felt extra safe.
It was a special experience for everyone, I think. I can't wait to start in on the next semester!! I wish I would have started this earlier! :)
For a few days now, Devin's been complaining about this nasty "dirty diaper" smell that's been inside the car. It really has been gross. I kept chalking it up to either the fact that our car is super dirty (who has time to clean the car, really?) or that the spot where Peter threw up on our trip to Madaba a few weeks ago never quite cleared up.
Today, though, it was extra bad. I noticed on the way home that the smell got much worse with the air on. That made me think about all those cats wandering around the area (I think you know where I'm headed now)--and how every time we park the car, lots of cats come running to lie down near the nice warm engine. What if a cat didn't quite get out before we started going, got caught, and died? We could have a rotting carcass in our car!!
So, we lifted the hood:
Yep. That's exactly what we had. Disgusting. Poor little guy. He was just trying to get warm. I heard some statistic from someone about how a million cats die in Jordan every year during the winter because of the cold. Maybe it's not because of the cold, though. Maybe they just get a little stuck. :/ So sad.
I love those 'homeschool moments'. Like tonight: We were trying to get the kids into bed, and Josh finally surfaced from working on his 'Hour of Code', to show us how the model of a combustion engine that he had built wasn't working quite right--so he was trouble shooting it and trying to think of how he could fix what he knew was wrong. Andrew bounced up and asked what 5x60. I told him it was 300. Then he said, "Oh, so 5 minutes is 300 seconds!" Then he bounced off and began counting. Peter was hard at work taping a 'ladder' (a DNA model, actually) to his bed for his lego guys and small stuffed animals to climb up and jump off of, and Claire was busily organizing her books into piles: To read NOW, am reading, and will read soon. And while Devin read stories to the little boys, and the big kids were listening to radio dramas or reading books for their literature units, I got to work on my herbal studies. This is what happens at our house at 7:30 at night. So much fun! It's the little things...
Today was a mosaics day! We went down to a city called Madaba which is famous for mosaics and visited our friend Osama who has a couple of mosaic shops down there. We were scheduled for the kids to make mosaics, but instead it sort of turned into them giving us a little tour and then turning everyone loose on the store so we could all shop...which was fine and dandy, except my kids LOVE to shop. Drives me bonkers. They wheel and deal and get stuff for free and buy everything that catches their eye with whatever allowance money they have left. Sheesh.
After shopping for like 2 hours (GAH!!) Osama took all of us (we were in a group of more than 30 people!) to lunch at a local restaurant! It was yummy and loud and there was way too much food. Then he showed us where/how they cooked the food and it was fascinating!
Osama gave us a guided tour of some old churches in the area, then we were again turned loose on the shops. Funnily enough, I was hoping to have been totally done with the day by noon and have some kiddie mosaics to show for it. We didn't get home until almost 5pm...and there were no kiddie mosaics. However, he did give a couple of my kids some rocks, and they decided that it would be a good idea to make their own! It was fun to see them sitting at their desks and working hard on projects of their own choosing. Does this count as school? I don't see why not. They made mosaics in the middle ages, too. Hands-on learning. That's the way to go!
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!
by Dan Brown
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