A World without walls
everyday life while homeschooling overseas
Mmmm...Now doesn't THAT look appetizing? :/
I don't think the word 'carcass' should be on a grocery ad.
My favorite quote from the other day:
At Peter's swim lesson--
Mr. Ali (his teacher): Peter! Go under the water!
Peter: Did you know that water is actually a liquid?
Has anyone ever seen this book?? We found it at a bookstore in Israel and the little boys LOVE it. It came with a cd that reads the book to you, so they can often be found listening to it in their room while creating lego masterpieces. Or listening to it as they drift off to sleep.
Well, last night, the book went a bit too far. Andrew woke up this morning proudly announcing that last night, he ate his first book. What??!? I thought he was kidding, but no, he literally ate a page out of a book. I asked him what we're going to do now that the page is missing, and he told me that by eating it, all the information went straight to his brain, so now he'll always remember it!
When Devin heard, he said, "Andrew, that book is supposed to be fiction--not a true story or a textbook on how to properly eat books!"
Ha ha ha ha!
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.
Meet 'LDS Panda'.
My boys are SO silly! Today is the Sabbath--and this is what they did in their room. They dressed up their stuffed animals as if they were going to church, and took pictures.
And in other silly news--the kids are getting ready for bed. That's not silly in and of itself, but as I'm sitting here typing, Devin is 'helping' them brush their teeth: He's humming "If I Were a Rich Man" (Fiddler on the Roof) and chasing the kids around the back room. These things do a mom's heart good.
Well, there's not a whole lot going on at our house right now. We finished another week of school with lots of little and big successes, funny moments, and frustrating times...which is really what life is made up of, right?
This week is a holiday week. Yesterday, Devin had the day off, since we were celebrating Columbus day. Hooray! We've been discovered! :) We spent the morning doing some cleaning and organizing (I can't help it--it's what I like to do!!!!!)--I was getting out the winter clothes and swapping the summer clothes out. I know it's still in the upper 70's, but it's getting cooler, and it's nice to have long sleeves. However, as we were doing this, I noticed that one of the shirts Josh put on was like 3/4 sleeves. So, I made him put on another one with the same result. In the end, we found that only 3 of his shirts remotely fit. What??!? I just bought these last fall! They're size 10-12--it should fit for awhile! Then, in a panic, I did the unthinkable: I wrote on the walls! Yes, I measured the kids against a wall. I haven't done it before because I know we'll be moving always, but I decided it's time. I'll take a picture before we magic eraser it off. I found that Josh is only 2 inches shorter than me. He wears the same shoe size AND the same shirt size as me. I don't know how I feel about this.
Devin was tinkering around with the computer, so I decided to take Josh and Devika down to a local market to find some second hand clothes for Josh and for Claire (who is wearing all size 7-8 clothes right now, and while they sort of mostly fit, she's growing like a weed, too, and won't fit these clothes next year). We had a great time and found Josh some fun shirts. We also found a few for Claire and some pj pants for me. I spent less than 20JD ($30) for 6 new shirts and a nice hoodie jacket for Josh, 2 shirts for me, 2 shirts for Claire, a wool sweater for Claire, and 2 pair of pj pants for me. Not bad for an hour in a 2km long garage sale! :) It was a fun place and one that I will go back to, and bring friends!! Way better than ordering online! :) (Cheaper, too...clothes are so expendable)
After shopping at the market, we took the kids swimming at the pool, then we went to the Burger Shack (aka Fatty Dabs)--BEST place to eat in Jordan! :) On Sundays, their 'small' meal is only 3JD! WOW! I like this place because not only are all the guys who work there super friendly (and speak English without any accent! It's impressive!), but their hamburgers are made from actual hamburger meat that they make while you watch...plus the french fries are actual potatoes that, again, they make while you watch! AND they do lettuce wraps and it's really good. :) We like them.
It was a good Columbus Day.
Today, well, this morning I got up to Peter who came in to tell me that his turtle smiled at him. He was so happy. He said, "Mommy, My turtle smiled at me! I looked at him like this (*scowly face here*), and he did this (*huge cheesy smile with dimples here*)!" It cracked me up. The silliness didn't end, though, as I came into the kitchen and Andrew was very focused on the rail where the sliding glass door to the back patio is. He was looking very hard, then saw me come in, and said, "Hi Mom! I'm hypnotizing an ant! He just keeps walking back and forth because I hypnotized him! Isn't that funny?" Boy, that kid cracks me up!
Claire notified us today that she's NEVER going to move away. We told her that once she turns 24, the government won't see her as a dependent any more, so she'll have to go to work to pay her plane ticket so she can move to different posts with us, and she was very upset by that. Ha! We shall see.
We ended up having another lovely day, though. The kids and I did some basic school this morning...math, spelling, handwriting, etc. Then we went off to the embassy to get some ice cream with Devin (two of the kids got free ice cream, so we wanted to redeem that). We picked up the mail, then met some friends at the park so we could all play together. We played for a few hours, then went to their house to make homemade donuts and watch a movie. Another fun and successful 'best day ever'.
In other news, Josh has shown a surprising increase in personal responsibility. I've been very impressed as I've begun placing more of his schooling, etc., on his shoulders, that he has really risen to the task. As I've talked with Devin about this, we have felt like he's shown enough of that personal discipline that we can let him take the music lessons that he's wanted to take for so long! So, starting Saturday, he'll be the newest violin student in the family! I feel really good about the place where he'll be taking lessons. I really like the owners. They are a family business and are very warm and friendly and welcoming. I think Josh will do well there.
And along those lines, I may be teaching clarinet again! I mentioned that I play, and they asked if I'd be willing to teach! It's not a very common instrument, but now that they have me, they're going to advertise that they have a teacher, and I get to pick my hours! I'm excited! We shall see!
So, Columbus Day was yesterday, today Devin was back to work...and the rest of this week is Eid, so no more work! :) We get a 5 day
So, it seems we are back in the swing of things...or as much as you can be when you're homeschooling 4 kids! :) Our first official day went really well--in actuality, we've been doing school now for quite awhile, but since it was all during our vacation time, we had to have a 'beginning' at home, too. That makes it feel more like we can be official, and the kids don't get too upset about it. I gave them a few days off when we got home, then on our 'first' day, we all sat down and had a planning meeting together. I had them tell me what our days should comprise of and when those subjects should happen. I was pleasantly surprised at their answers and reactions. They noted all the major and minor subjects, gave them days and time slots, and haven't moaned about it since! As a matter of fact, THEY remind ME sometimes! :) Claire and Josh have decided to take on Peter's preschool education, so they have 'Peter Preschool' every afternoon. Peter LOVES his time with his big brother and sister. They're doing the letter 'A' this week, and today, Josh took it upon himself to help Peter make applesauce because that starts with 'A'! They peeled and cut all the apples. I was impressed! :) It was really yummy, too! :)
Yesterday, I took the kids to the pool for the afternoon. It was a glorious sunshiny day! I also got my iPhone up and running! Hooray! It works! I love seeing that little Zain JO up in the corner and knowing that I can use it as an actual phone now! Woohoo! I was SO worried about that the whole time we were in the states, especially after the whole fiasco with the first one. Whew. So, that's happy.
In other news, Devin got a haircut today:
No, I didn't let him leave the house like that. Sometimes the poor guy gets really desperate for a haircut. There's a decent barber at the embassy and he's pretty cheap, but I think Devin still prefers that I do it. Anyway, he was getting a little annoyed at the hair on his neck, and it looks like he decided to just keep going a little further. Ugh!! I couldn't help it, I laughed like crazy. I was tempted to let him go to his branch presidency meeting and subsequently to work tomorrow like that, but, well, I sort of like the guy, so I had to help him out. Ha!
Now it looks a little better:
and he's a little happier. So silly. What lengths he won't go to to get me to cut his hair...
Today, I discovered two mysteries as I went through my day. The first I discovered as I was taking Peter over to a friend's house for a playdate: I think that left is the new right here. There were at LEAST four people who were driving in the left lane WITH their left-hand blinkers on, who turned right. Huh??? *sigh* Welcome to Jordan.
The other mystery happened when I got home from dropping Peter off at his friend's: I went over to say hi to M'Shell and see how she was faring. As I walked over, I saw her along the side of the house and passed a stray cat sunning itself in the yard. I scared that guy off. Then, behind M'Shell, I heard a strange sound. It was a rustling in the leaves behind some of the bushed, and I thought sure it was another stray cat. They like to come and torment our poor tortoise and sit on her and stuff. Not sure if they think they can hitch a ride or something, but M'Shell is sufficiently ornery that she wouldn't go anywhere with them on top. Well, it wasn't a cat. Imagine my surprise when I see ANOTHER Tortoise!! And not only that, it's a BOY. So, apparently, M'Shell found herself a boyfriend. I have no idea where he came from or how he got in the yard, but, well, there he is! So, we now have two tortoises roaming the wilds of our front sidewalk. I wonder if we'll have more soon? He he he...
Ever seen the movie 'Signs'? That movie is one of the reasons why I could never use a baby monitor. However, it appears that that wouldn't really matter at our house. Apparently, when we say, 'Please take your dishes to the table," that doesn't include cups. And then, when you come back for the next meal, you have to get a new cup. By the end of the day, we've got around 20+ cups on the table, the cupboard is empty, and the kids think they're thirsty and wonder why there aren't any cups left. As you can see, there are quite a few cups on this table--but not THAT many. I would like to draw your attention, though, to the fact that all the cups on the right side of the table are Claire's. Just thought I'd throw that out there. I leave them on the table, though. Since I don't have a baby monitor, you never know when the aliens will come. We are prepared with all the water we need to overcome them. I wonder if I should invest in a baseball bat, too?
I honestly detest posting pictures of myself. I'm not photogenic. However, I'll make an exception in this case, since this is funny. This is me right out of surgery with my beautiful space-age goggles. I had to wear these outside AND all night while sleeping to keep dust/debris out of my eyes, to protect them from light, and to keep me from rubbing my eyes while sleeping. I no longer have to wear them, and they are now in the dress-up box. The kids are enjoying them as an addition to their myriad costumes, so at least they will continue to get some use. Ha!
I suppose I'm beating a dead horse, but since I really don't have anything else to do but type with my eyes mostly closed, I may as well continue to wax eloquent about my PRK recovery. Now, at day 6, I DO see some improvement. I was standing in my kitchen this afternoon and looked into the hallway (about 6 feet away) and could almost read the words on my picture frames! That's pretty good to me! Not perfect by any means, but it's daily improving, and that's happy. I woke up this morning and my first sight was pretty clear! It of course started to fuzz up a bit, but those moments of clarity sure give me hope! And my eyes always see better after a dose of eye drops. I just keep those coming!
It's still hard to read or focus. I can do it for about 10 minutes before I start to feel like I have motion sickness. If I stop and close my eyes for awhile, the nausea goes away. Hopefully that will all be a happy memory some day. I'm still not planning to drive any time soon. If I were in the states, I might consider it, but here you never know what these people are going to do, so you should probably be able to see in order to keep yourself and your passengers safe. Which reminds me...I need to put in a request to my driver (Devin) for a ride to tennis lessons tomorrow.
Today, I made it through the day with only a 15 minute quiet break. It wasn't a normal day, so I couldn't do more, but I am ok. I don't feel thoroughly exhausted. I did a fast walk on the treadmill for 20 minutes while lifting light weights and it felt so nice to do even a little exercise. I didn't want to overdo it, so I kept it low-key, but a little is better than none. I went out with a friend for a long lunch and really enjoyed myself.
I was thinking this afternoon about the biggest benefit of being contacts/glasses free--even now when I can't really see or focus: I don't have eye irritation or headaches. It's been something I've always quietly dealt with. Contacts have always irritated my eyes if I wear them for longer than a few hours (and lately, it's been ALL the time). Glasses tend to give me headaches after awhile. It's a sad conundrum--I can wear my glasses all day and have a headache and feel super tired...or I can wear my contacts and my eyes will be super irritated...which will eventually give me a headache and make me super tired. Now, I've not worn glasses or contacts for 6 days. I haven't had any eye irritation for 4 days now, and no headaches. Wow. Now, it was never severe, mind you. It would only be really bad if I wore my contacts from, say, 6 am until 9pm. Then I would want to rip out my eyes. It was, however, never very comfortable. I never liked to sit and chat for super long periods of time with people because my eyes would start to hurt...or my head would. I noticed this afternoon as I was talking with my housekeeper, that I didn't feel that need to cut off the conversation because my eyes were tired or my head was hurting. It was a happy realization for me. I am happily looking forward to more outings with friends where my time spent isn't dictated by how irritated my contacts have made my eyes!!!
Speaking of my housekeeper, she just celebrated her birthday, so I thought I'd put some pictures up for everyone to see her...and to see the celebration we enjoyed with her and our friends whom she also works for. She is the cutest lady, and calls all of the kids 'her children'. Good times. We love Devika...and we'll miss the Bangerters when they leave in a few weeks! :(
And in closing...Josh's feet are now bigger than mine. Oh well. I knew this day would come. I just hoped that he'd be older than 10 when it happened....
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
I like that the plot twists and turns a lot...and it makes you think. However, I don't appreciate Dan Brown's endings in his books. I find the endings incongruent with the rest of his stories--why make it a romance for the last chapter...
I loved this book. I'm a sucker for fairy tales/fantasy. This was so well written! I can't wait to read all the rest of her books!
I'm reading this one again. I liked it the first time I read it. I'm still liking it for the second time around. I like all of Shannon Hales' books. **Still lots of fun the second time around! I do like this book for a comfortable...