A World without walls
everyday life while homeschooling overseas
Bunch of sickos!
I'm sure EVERYONE is wondering why I haven't posted for awhile. Well, the problem is, mostly, that there hasn't been TONS to post about...AND there's been too much going on! How does that work, you might ask?
Well, first of all, there's the picture...that sums up the entire last week of our stay in Israel. Josh got sick while we were in Tel Aviv. A few days later, the other three all got it. :( They were down with fevers and colds, aches and pains. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday had all of them sitting on the couches in comas while watching movies. This time, however, their eyes weren't glazed over by the 'movie monster'--it was glazed with fever. I felt so bad for the poor little munchkins! They were little lumps for days on end! They didn't even get crazy with cabin fever after staying still for so long. Yes, they were sick.
Friday and Saturday, we took advantage of the sickness and spent most of the time cleaning up the apartment in order to leave. I just hate the final cleaning. It gives me nightmares. I feel like nothing is ever clean enough and I start obsessing over it. Not a healthy thing. But, we managed it, and no one was the worse for wear (I think).
Sunday morning, with two little boys still getting over the fever, we started our journey homeward. We only stopped to find some Jerusalem magnets (we collect magnets for the fridge from everywhere we've lived or stayed for longer than 2 days) and a gas station. The car was loaded and we were hoping fervently for a quick and easy border crossing so we could be home by lunchtime!
Nope. To make a LONG story short: Apparently the person who took Devin through the border crossing INTO Israel, forgot to take him to the place to get the car registered in Israel and pay the Israeli car insurance! That's a BIG whoops!! It took almost 2 hours to sort that one out, and after Peter finally screamed himself to sleep in my lap (poor kid with his high fever) I think the people took pity on us and let us go. They threatened that they wouldn't let us go home, though! They said that, "No Hebrew papers, you don't go home!" I almost fell into a little purple puddle right then. Home. That's what I wanted. A place where we could rest and get over being sick!
We made it, though. We got through and back to our home. We hit a little roadblock when we opened our front door, though. Devin walked in and noticed that the main circuit breaker was tripped. I didn't think much about it. So what? We don't need electricity when we're not here! And then... (**dum dum dum--scary theme music placed here***) we opened the freezers. Oh gross. Dead and decomposing livestock lived in them along with a colony of fruit flies...and I don't know what else. It was the most horrendous smell I've ever encountered. The insides of the freezers were almost black, everything had oozed down the doors and out and onto the floors and was dried up. We spent hours cleaning with bleach and any other disinfectant we could get our hands on. No good. They looked alright, but when we plugged them in, it would start to heat up...and our house would smell like a dead cow all over again! UGH!!! So, spoiled people that we are, we asked for replacements and got them...now we are the proud owners of a new fridge and upright freezer. They're lovely and wonderful and I will never leave anything in them when we go on an extended stay trip ever again. I think this happened partly because we've never left home that long before. When we leave for that long, it's usually homeleave. Anyway, lesson learned.
Other than that, we're back to 'normal' life. We do school here and there. We're doing a unit study on oceans. And we're studying Greek myths...because I love them! The kids take tennis and swimming lessons for the summer. Josh and I are starting training to become certified scuba divers. I decided this would be a great 4th grade oceans unit immersion project! :) We're hoping that all works out.
I'm deep cleaning my house. I've gotten rid of SO much stuff already, it's ridiculous! We have to much, and it's making me crazy. Time to simplify! The kids have been really helpful in this process...especially when I told the older two that if they brought me 27 things that they wanted to get rid of, I'd pay them 50 cents. He he he... AND if they want to sell anything, they get the money for it. It's been working thus far. We'll see how far I can push them!
Now that we're back, I thought I'd post a few random tidbits of things that haven't gone into any one post, but are noteworthy, or just funny, and need to be addressed for history sake! :) So, here are some random things for your enjoyment:
Hurrah for Israel...! However, we like Jordan. It's so good to be home.
Oh what fun allergies are. Yesterday, after a lovely outing to the park with friends, the kids and I went to pick up Devin at work because he had done a little shopping at a local market and picked up a whole lot of fruit for us. He also bought some bread, and the kids were ecstatic! So, we started down the road wondering if we should head home or look for somewhere to find a little more food for the weekend, and the kids were passing out bread to each other. A few minutes later, we hear a scream from Claire and she yells, "MOM! DAD! I think there are cashews in this bread!! My throat is closing up!!" Oh boy. I searched through my bag and strangely enough, I had no benadryll. I did, however, have the Epi Pen. I have actually never had to use the Epi Pen on her, so this was a first. Devin was driving, so I climbed back to the back seat where she was freaking out, opened up the Epi Pen, flipped off the safety, and followed the directions to the letter. It was interesting. I've never given a shot to anyone in my whole life. Within less than a minute, she was totally fine again! No swollen lips, rashes on the skin, or closing throats. Except now she was limping because she said her leg hurt. Ha ha. I made her soak in a hot jacuzzi bath (always helps, of course), then we had movie night. She's all better this morning.
By the way, it wasn't cashews in the bread. When we got home, we looked at the bread, and it was chock full of walnuts! It was really thoughtless of us to not check out the bread beforehand (although it's not something that is usually a problem), but now we know that walnuts are just as fast acting as cashews...and Epi Pens are invaluable to have on hand.
And on another totally unrelated point: Andrew just came out ready to go to church...wearing an old t-shirt and jeans. When we asked him if he thought that was appropriate for church, he said yes, and pointing to the giant holes in the knees of the jeans, "They're Holy!!" Oh boy.
Another Andrew funny: At the zoo the other day, we were playing at the zoo park, and there were a LOT of kids...and they weren't very nice. Andrew came over in tears and said, "Mom, I wish we weren't here! There are too many kids and they are very inappropriate!" Ha!
Sometimes, you just need a day off. You can usually feel it in the air. Today was one of those days. I have a large and vigorous list of things to do and see here...but it had to take a back seat today. The kids needed some down time to play. As soon as breakfast was over this morning, we had a story time. We read 6 or 7 books about plants and they enjoyed that. Then, they started in to play, and they played so nicely and happily! They were pretending to be veterinarians--they had their animal hospital all set up! All their stuffed animals had little beds, and Dr. Josh was checking on them with his 'stethoscope' (his ipod earbuds). They took everyone's temperatures, gave out medicine, and administered vaccines. How could I stop that? It was so adorable! Their minds were hard at work imagining and learning from each other.
So, they played at being vets most of the day. We went to the park near our house for an hour or so in the afternoon, then decided to go pick up Devin today, because we can. It was a nice, laid-back, cozy day, on the whole.
When you stop at a stop light here, you know that invariably, someone is going to try to sell you something. As soon as the light turns red, these guys (sometimes girls--but usually guys--the girls are usually just begging) will walk around all the waiting cars and try to get you to buy whatever it is they happen to have that day. They often have flowers, gum, or other random trinkets. Today, there was this guy walking around selling glasses with the funny noses/mustaches. Nothing new, really, until he blew through the mouthpiece and made the party blowers blow out of both sides! I laughed SO HARD! I had to roll down the window and use up my loose change to get a bunch for the kids to wear in the car. We giggled a lot. It was worth it for the car ride, since it gave them something new to do while we waited in a lot of traffic. So silly.
I don't know how they do it, but my kids are hilarious...pretty much all the time.
Today, I took Claire out on a mommy-daughter date. We do this fairly often. It's a good thing. The kid is funny, though. I've never met anyone who likes to shop as much as she does. I suppose that's not really saying much, though, as I don't really like to shop. Anyway, we were at the mall, and we walked into a toy store because there were Barbies on display. Anyone who knows Claire knows that she is a Barbie fanatic. She was reverently looking at them and asking the cashier/worker guys how much each one was (another thing Claire does--she'll ask you how much EVERYTHING you own cost you...) and she would sigh every time because she only had 10JD saved up and most of the Barbies were 20JD or more. The guy finally said that he had some 'smaller' ones in the back. He brought back a simple Barbie in a box and Claire was so excited. She asked how much it was, and he told her it was 12JD. Her little face fell. She held the Barbie in the box and just stared at it. This girl can bring tears on cue, so I was a little concerned that she was going to start into a crying fit right then and there... Instead, she looked up at the guy and said, "I only have 10JD. I'm 2JD short. I can't get it." She handed the box back to him. The guy ran over to the cashier at the counter and talked to him in Arabic, then came over to Claire and said, "For you, 10JD today only!" She beamed at him and giggled as she paid for her new Barbie doll. What a silly head. So, today we learned that you can even do some haggling in the mall here in Jordan. Especially if you're a little blond girl with big blue eyes... :D
No, she did NOT get a haircut! She slept in curlers and this is what happened! Ha! She looked at herself in the mirror after the curlers came out and said, "Huh. So now I know what it's like to have short hair! I like long hair, though. But now I can have short hair whenever I want without getting a haircut!" Smart kid. :) What a cutie!
When I was growing up, there was a commercial about legos that sang a song about Zach the Lego Maniac (those of you who remember this are singing this song in your heads right now...sorry). In our house, Andrew is the Lego Maniac! He only builds one thing, though: A storm chaser car (also known as the 'TIV'--but this vehicle he's holding is the 'TIV 2'). He builds a super heavy-duty vehicle complete with satellites and drivers and he plays with it for hours, chasing tornadoes. I think he's watched too many documentaries...he's on a first name basis with all the guys who do storm chasing! He's decided that for his 6th grade trip, he wants to go to Texas and see a tornado. He's planning to save his allowance for the rest of his life so that he (and Josh) can buy a motorhome and a storm chaser car and become storm chasers. Oh boy. At least he's dedicated.
I was really surprised the first day we had snow. Imagine my surprise when we had a SECOND day of snow!! We even ended up with a good 6 inches on the ground! The kids loved it--and even though we are definitely NOT equipped for it anymore, they insisted on playing in it as much as possible. It was so pretty, but made driving not so fun. They closed the embassy and pretty much every store in the city (sort of like Washington D.C. in the snow), which made our planned outings impossible. Sad. But, we enjoyed some quiet family time at home.
Most of these pictures were taken last night. It was so quiet and peaceful with a light blanket of snow!
What do we do during a snow day stuck inside? Play basketball, of course! :) Love these guys!!!
It's POURING...Silly Kids...
Why is it that when it's a beautiful day, the kids just want to stay inside and do nothing...but when it's raining cats and dogs and hailing all over the place, they have to bundle up and run outside as fast as they can? Just wondering...
This morning, I whipped out the new 'weather station' that I got for school--so now we have a classroom weather station! It's a barometer, hydrometer, and thermometer--and we are so excited to be able to predict the weather every day! :)
It's been raining cats and dogs all day. Wow. This is reminiscent of our time in Africa! Wow. Again. Yes, it needs to be repeated. In a country that is the 4th poorest in water in the WORLD, that was a LOT of rain. And due to the fact that it hardly ever rains here, the drainage is BAD, so when it rains, it floods like mad everywhere! We made an appointment to go to an Animal Hospital today to go see some of the animals and just getting there and around town was a supreme adventure in and of itself! Ha! The boys in the back (who are storm-aholics) kept yelling out that it was a class one hurricane and any moment there was going to be a tornado and look at the flood and the hail! A multipurpose field trip, if you ask me! The kids LOVED zooming through the huge 'puddles' and battling the winds and rains that pounded us! So fun to have some weather! (And I'm SO glad it doesn't last long
Doing a rain dance!
The Animal hospital was interesting--we saw lots of dogs and cats (of course), bunnies, hamsters, chickens, horses, a donkey, a cow, a vulture, some falcons and eagles, an owl--they had a little of everything! It was sort of like a miniature zoo! The smell was pretty terrible, and the kids walked around with their jackets on over their noses--Claire would put hand sanitizer on her hands then hold them up to her face until the scent wore off and do it again. Not sure that was the smartest thing to do, but she didn't appear to be getting drunk off of the fumes or anything, so I let her. :D
After the Animals Hospital, we went on a long explore! (Did I mention it took us an hour to get to the place in the first place because I got lost and couldn't figure out how to put the name into the GPS so I could find it? I had to call and ask for directions twice--and their directions took me about 10km off-course! Doh!! When we got near to the airport, I stopped and did some experimenting with the GPS to see if I could find it and finally found the right combination! I NEVER would have found the place without the GPS. That was money well-spent. Why can't I get that reimbursed as homeschool fieldtrip fodder? Seriously people!) We found a really cool BIG park by the Animal Hospital that is all trees and big boulders! The kids can't wait to go back when it's dry and climb all the boulders! We wanted to find a library, too. So, I put in Library on the GPS and found one semi-close to home. We followed the directions to where it was supposed to be and could not find it. We drove up and down between 1st and 2nd circle a few times, then we just parked so we could get out and walk to see if walking slowly down the road could help us find it. It was SUPER windy and really cold, but the rain was only down to a slight drizzle as we walked down the sidewalk (and sometimes the road...), but we couldn't find it!! As we were walking back to the car, the rain started to POUR again! Yikes! So the wind was blowing our hoods off and the rain was pouring down--by the time we got back to the car we were all soaked and frozen! ha! Luckily, we weren't far from home. On our way home, we FINALLY saw the library--but didn't notice it because the signs are only in Arabic. I wonder if that means that it's only an Arabic library? I still want to find out. But we didn't then, because we were soaking wet. As we drove home, we were close to 4th circle where we turn off to go home, and about 4 cars ahead of us, and HUGE tree was blown down by the wind and blocked the ENTIRE road!!!! Yikes!!! Luckily, I knew right where we were, so I made a quick U-Turn before everyone else did, too, and headed back one block to a back way that runs by the church. Whew! So, we made it home without any other incident! Hooray!
We came home to a clean house (LOVE the days Devika is there!!) and so I made dough and for Family Home Evening, we made pizzas! (I made this creamy shrimp bisque for myself--and it was divine!!) Overall, a good day for finding new things!
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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