This week was ok, but the kids were complete nightmares on Wednesday, fighting with each other, not listening to me or anyone, poking the bird outside with rulers, etc, etc. So frustrating! I have the feeling that even if I could speak perfect Thai, they still would not be obeying. It’s utter chaos! So, I had Ning come in on Thursday and of course, then they were perfect, so it’s hard for me to show her what I am talking about when they are in utter chaos. However, they did do their dramas and it was great! They all know their lines almost perfectly. Four still needs some help with some of her words, but the others know their little lines so well! I think we will rock the competition at drama day next week. Now the exam is another story…
We got two new kids this week: Bradley, who it turns out is Willow’s little brother, and Bonnie (I picked this pseudonym because she reminds me of the little girl in Toy Story 3). They are so adorable and the first day, Bradley came up and just gave me a hug at the end of the day. I hadn’t even spent much time with him. But, now that I know he is Willow’s brother, maybe she told him that he can get hugs from me, haha. Little Bonnie is so adorable and is now our youngest kid at 3 years old. She is so cute, I just want to cuddle her all the time! The older girls in the Dolphin class tend to look out for her, but on her 3rd day, she just came over to me and wanted me to read her stories all afternoon. Such a cutie! At the end of the day Friday, we were waiting for someone to come pick her up, and Ning’s nephew (who is about as old as we are) came to take her home because he lives near her mom, which is also near Ning’s sister’s hair salon.
Well, Bonnie didn’t know Ning’s nephew very well, so she was crying and wanted to go with Ning on her motorbike, but NIng is so nervous about driving anyway, she did not want the added responsiblility, so I was planning to get my hair cut anyway, so she ended up riding with me. I had to laugh because I am driving progressively younger kids on my motorbike. First Sophie, then I drove Bastian home the other night, and now a 3-year-old. Next thing you know, I’ll be strapping a baby to my back and driving through traffic. Needless to say, I was terrified of having some motorbike accident while driving this precious cargo, and I had no idea where I was going, so it was a good thing that Ning drives really slowly so I didn’t have to worry about losing her, just keeping my balance with the little one. Luckily, she is used to riding on her mom’s motorbike, so she hung onto the mirrors like a pro.
Once we got to the salon, her mom was there, but she just wanted to sit on my lap and tell her mom about her day, while tying a blue sparkly pipe cleaner around my wrist. When she left, she was so cute, waving and saying “See you again!” in cute little Thai accented English.
Saturday, Sophie and the rest of her stuff finally moved in to the house. I went to meet her at 8am, (ugh) and we loaded up her fridge and the last of her clothes onto a Tuk Tuk owned by the family who bought her house. We caravanned to our house and unloaded. Then, we had some breakfast and I went to Taw Saeng to meet the rest of the peeps and go do home visits. I thought it would take much longer and I thought Ning had called ahead to the families so we could pray with them, but not so! We did meet with several of my kids’ families: Faith and Penny, Willow, Peyton. We also met with Naya’s family, as well as Aaron, Nat and Buddy’s dad and grandma and Ewan’s family (including baby brother). We saw but didn’t meet with Yvonne, Nell, Gabby, and Molly and Matty.
It was cool to see where all the kids lived, they are all so close and I drive past most of their houses on my way to work every day.
After we were done there, Ning and I took Sophie and Winnie out for ice cream and tried to go see Harry Potter, but it was sold out and we didn’t want to wait for a late show. We had a fun time hanging out at the mall and eating yummy Swensen’s ice cream and did a little bit of shopping too. We finally ate dinner and headed home.For those of you who have been waiting for photos of me on a motorbike, here you go!
Last week was a big week for us at Taw Saeng. It was the end of our first quarter teaching the new curriculum, so we all had tests and we got to see everyone perform their drama! My Penguins were awesome at the drama but less so on the written test. I think I made it too hard for them. We went over it for a full week in preparation for the test and I gave them a copy to take home and study but clearly they did not. Even the best kids did not do well, so I think I just had too high expectations for them. However, in the Thai school system, 50% is a passing grade, so at least most of them passed! Haha
We had the test on Tuesday and did a dress rehearsal of our dramas on Wednesday to perform them on Thursday. The kids were so excited to do their stuff in front of everyone. We did three skits, one for each Bible verse the kids had studied. The first skit was everyone about how everyone is a part of a bigger whole in Jesus’ body and everyone is important, so each kid was a body part and told what they could do and what they couldn’t do. Then, Jesus comes at the end to tell them they are all important. I was very proud that they all remembered their lines. They were great!
The second skit was just Willow and Miriam talking about how we should give thanks in everything. They did a great job, even though they had to read off their scripts.
The third skit was based on the verse “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” Each kid was a different animal that we had studied the name of and they each said “Dogs (or Cats, frogs, etc) praise the Lord like this: bark bark” or whatever noise their animal makes. It was so cute! The girls had all learned how to play the song for the Bible verse so we pulled the piano down and they all got to sing the song for everyone. It was super cute and we won the prize for best drama.
Overall we got third place between the test, behavior points and the drama, but to be fair, the other two classes have twice as many students so the lower students’ grades get boosted by the better students’ grades when you average them out. Also, Bastian literally missed every single class in this section and only came back for the test, but his score was still counted in the average, so that didn’t help matters any. Anyway, the point is that all the classes scored over 80% so they all get to do something special that Field has to decide on.
Friday night I only had one kid for piano so that was nice to get to just practice with her the whole time. Yvonne decided she didn’t really like piano as much as she thought she would, so she switched with Miriam because Miriam really wanted to learn. This week Amelie was doing school stuff, so it was just Miriam and I. She is really good at it and has a great memory too, plus she really enjoys it.
Saturday was quite the day. This week was the first week that Sophie stayed with Maiko and I the whole week, and it went great. It has been a while since I had the schedule of going to bed at 11pm and getting up at 6:30am so it took some adjusting for me, but I discovered that it lets me have so much time to go running, do errands and prep for class. Plus, it’s been nice to have some one-on-one time with Sophie to talk about her day and her friends and just life stuff. Sophie wanted Winnie to spend the weekend this week, and we were fine with it because we love Winnie too. Both girls had school events early on Saturday morning, so we were all up at 6:30am, drove Winnie to dance practice at her school, then went to Sophie’s school for a parent meeting and to get the kids’ first quarter grades. Sophie is doing ok, considering the year that she has had. She is getting the top score in three of her classes, so I am very proud of her.
Sophie had a school project due for Social Studies on Monday, so her friend Ying came over to work on it. First, we went to the mall to buy tickets for Harry Potter for that night! Ning and I were taking Lucy, Fiona, Winnie and Sophie to see it, but it keeps being sold out, so we wanted to get advanced tickets. Then the three of us had lunch at the food court and went back to the house. As soon as I got home, Winnie called and was done with dance, so I ran over to pick her up so the girls could stay at the house to work on their project. I dropped Winnie back at the house and raced over to Taw Saeng where almost all the kids were there and ready for swimming at Rob and Judy’s house!
I had the forethought to organize the swimsuits for all the kids earlier that week, so I had a list of every suit and every kid it went to and they were separated by class, so handing them out went fast. They were all suited up before we left, which was perfect because every time we go, it takes about 40 minutes to get everyone in clothes that fit and into the pool. This way it maximized their swim time. The day was way less of a disaster than I had feared it would be. First of all, we had Elizabeth, Kyla and Marie-Clare as lifeguards on the side, then we had Em, Rob and I in the pool and Judy came in for a bit too. We made all the little kids start in the lap pool, which is shallow, but deep enough for the kids to have fun in. Eventually, they split and started going into the big pool, but I played lifeguard in the water and kept dragging them back to shallow water if they started swimming into the deep end. They all had such a blast, and it was fun to see them enjoying the freedom of a big clean pool, since most had only ever swum in the moat before.
After we dried off and cleaned up, we headed back to Taw Saeng and Ning and I ran to the house to get Sophie and Winnie and go to the theater, where Lucy and Fiona met us. We all loved Harry Potter, and I loved seeing it for the second time. Haha. Of course, as soon as we got out of the show, Winnie had a text message saying that she had to go back to school at 7:30am for more dance practice! Ugh. It was almost 11:30pm when we got home, so I was not looking forward to getting up early to take her. And of course, the girls wanted pancakes for breakfast, so how could I say no to that?
Up early again on Sunday, I drove Winnie to school and came home to eat some of the pancakes I had made for all of us. Sophie had a bunch of stuff to do for school and things to buy, so I decided we would skip church this one time since we were both exhausted. It was a really nice day taking it easy. I got to nap in the afternoon, helped Sophie finish her homework, did a bit of writing, and just chilled out before I went to pick up Winnie from dance practice.
In the evening, Maiko had some friends over for dinner, so I helped prep stuff for sushi and Japanese pancakes, which was fun. Dinner was delicious and I ate SO much! We had shrimp sushi and egg sushi which was great because I am still not sold on the whole raw fish sushi idea.
Finally, I dropped Winnie back at her house and came home and crashed!An exhausting but exciting couple of weeks!