Kids! They create laughable moments while learning to master the english language in connection with their thoughts. T, 5yrs, was telling his mum about how each day after school he was checking the progress of a seed they'd planted.
Host mum--Are you learning about the life cycle of a pumpkin plant at school?
T--Yeah. I'm stupid, that's why I'm learning.
I simply had to laugh.
10 August 2007
I've booked my courses to study to fulfill my visa requirements. I will be studying Elementary Spanish 1 all semester (Sept to Christmas) and Elements of Creative Writing for six weeks (late Oct to Dec). Spanish I get to study during the day, Monday and Wednesday mornings, while the boys are at school and Monday nights for creative writing. It's nice to know what is happening now and having got it all sorted.
05 August 2007
Last Friday SuhRa invited me to go with her and her three kids to the San Francisco Zoo since I had the day off. I haven't been yet so I accepted. We got in for free since her family has a membership card. SuhRa's charges are 9yo J, 6yo M and 1.5yo K. They know me pretty well since I go to SuhRa's place often. It was a fun adventure--funny to see the kangaroos and koalas and emus in an enclosure as a spectacle. The bears were cool. Aparantly their area is new and while we were watching them the two of them started fighting/playing right on the other side of the glass where we were standing. Quite entertaining. There's heaps to see there. We didn't see it all. K got too tired and we were hungry so we went to a nearby restaurant for a late lunch. It was good to join them and see the zoo.
03 August 2007
I just finished working my longest stretch ever...so far at least.With my host dad (camp doctor) and B away at camp and my host mum away overnight to join her sister in greeting her new baby through surrogacy, I just worked 33hrs straight caring for the two younger boys. But it went pretty well. We played at parks and they ate well for me. We went swimming in our pool yesterday arvo and that was fun. Their grandparents took us out to McDonalds for tea. They were tired and went to bed fairly easily. It took a little while to get them to sleep. Y went to sleep without his binky (dummy) for the first time I've known of. I was concerned about T waking up in the night as he can get paranoid about being alone. I thought he might freak if he went into his parents room in the middle of the night and found they weren't there. But he was ok. He did wake up and get up but he also went back to his bed. And it took him a while to get back to sleep. Meanwhile I trudged up the stairs three times to check on him and reassured him. We had a nice casual day today. T and I caught little butterflies to feed to Croaker and he enjoyed them. We played hide n' seek and Y napped and we read books and stuff like that. They mostly behaved well. Even used their manners more today. Now I have a few days off.
27 July 2007
T (5yrs) caught a little frog the other day and he's typically insisted on keeping it. He's a creature fanatic. Unfortunately he doesn't quite grasp the idea of CARING for an animal. He's so interested in it that he always wants to hold it and play with it and almost experiment with it. The interest is nice but I sometimes feel sorry for the critters. His latest little critter, Croaker the frog, was probably an easy catch since he has only one eye. He has a nice new habitat (though it's all plastic except the water) and so far he's survived about three days.
26 July 2007
And some paint as well. I've just completed a four week course in watercolour painting (which I found out in the middle of it that it doesn't count toward my visa requirements....d'oh). Anyhoo, it was more challenging than I realised. I did enjoy it though. I like the texture of watercolour. This here pic is my first completed scenery painting. And the one below is one of the first paintings I did learning to control the water and colours.
23 July 2007
Maria leaves today. She's flying down to meet her new family near Los Angelos. It didn't work out with her last family. She used to live just 2hrs away and so visited often (she knows SuhRa from Germany). She hung out with us quite a bit so it's sad to see her leave...but I'm glad she's found a new family. On Friday night we had a party for her with mostly her AuPair friends and on Sunday we had a cake for her at church in our Women's Ministry group after church. But we'll see her again. Apparently quite a few from church regularly drive down there so we could catch a ride. I'll most likely see her in October for her birthday anyway as we are planning a trip to Hawaii. Ü Good luck Maria. Hope it works out wonderfully and you have a great time down south.
Women's Ministry from church. Great bunch!
21 July 2007
Ah sweet USA! For all it's images of being a candy country, I was surprised at the limited selection of candy in the supermarkets here. Where in Australia you will often find one long aisle filled with all sorts of lollies and chocolates, at least along one side if not both, here you're lucky to get a third of one side of an aisle in selection choice. Apparently Germany has a selection more like Australia too. And you can't really go buy a block of chocolate either. They do have some but they are small. Less than our 150g ones. And come to think of it, their ice cream choices only come in up to one gallon tubs. I can't go buy a 4lt tub of vanilla ice cream here. Oh well. They do have some delicious flavours...like Ben & Jerry's Turtle Soup. Delicious! Their bread is sweet too (a little strange having vegemite on toast) and they have lots of cookies and such.
Thursday for dinner we ate buffalo burgers. Homemade (and delicious) but made with buffalo mince. An interesting thought. Didn't really taste any different though.Friday I survived my first earthquake. It apparently happened at around 4:30am. I didn't feel it but it's possible that it may have been why I woke up so early. I just went back to sleep. A 4.2 quake apparently. Saturday eight of us went into San Francisco to see Harry Potter 5 -- Order of the Phoenix at the Imax theatre. Unfortunately we didn't estimate travel time well enough and with no previews we missed the first 15 minutes. Oh well, now I'll just have to watch it again some time. Not knowing the story I found it interesting and enjoyed the story. We caught one section of 3D imagary and it was pretty cool.
13 July 2007
I came back Saturday night from Lake Tahoe so I could go to the church picnic on Sunday. We had our service at 10am that Sunday so we'd be done to join the whole church for a picnic. See, I go with SuhRa to the San Francisco Full Gospel Korean church. We go to the smaller English Ministry service which is at 1:30pm. But last Sunday we needed to have it earlier. We came back to Marin County for the picnic. There were heaps of Koreans there...naturally. But the EM had their own food and we sat at a table together. We played talked and enjoyed good food. Some Korean food too. Some that looked like a leaf off a tree that normal people wouldn't eat...ha ha! Obviously it's a popular food around the right people. We also played some games. And watched the kids play pinata. We hung out for ages and it was fun. Very family like. It's a nice part of "THE family" to be with.
Is that really food? and Maria, SuhRa, Maria, Grace and Liz
The area reserved for us and SuhRa involved in the balloon game
The area reserved for us and SuhRa involved in the balloon game
09 July 2007
I made a road trip to Lake Tahoe, CA to meet my host family last Wednesday. It was a nice drive...apart from being tired and feeling sick by the time I got there probably due to a mixture of dehydration after a strong coffee and a coke and a different altitude. I laid down and rested most of the afternoon. When my family came home from the beach, we all went out for dinner at a restaurant in Tahoe City. After a play at the park we sat ourselves down for the fireworks spectacular to celebrate fourth of July, American Independence Day.
Thursday we spent the whole day at the "beach". It's a little sand laid area that people treat like a beach. (But is it really a "beach" without the sea??) I spent a good part of the morning sitting on my towel reading a book. My host dad took the boys to a nearby creek to fish for crawdads (yabbies) and minnows and guppies. I sat with the boys while we ate lunch and then my host dad bought us all ice creams. Then I watched one kid or another throughout the rest of the day. We all went to the pool near the beach for a swim. Mostly B and T climbed all over me, and I threw them up so they'd land with a splash or I would chase them and other such play. T went off fishing again with his dad and my host mum and Y napped. The bottom of the lake is very rocky and B and I spent quite a bit of time looking for interesting rocks. We found some too. Then B and I walked up the beach a bit and out a pier to watch some jet skis. On our way back we stopped and skipped stones on the still water where the creek is about to meet the lake. Then we went and found T and my host dad at the creek and hung out there for a while. Eventually we all went home after some time on the main pier having a drink and chatting and mostly fishing.
Standing in Lake Tahoe and T attempting to catch minnows and fishing on the main pier
Friday morning they went for a bike ride and I went for a walk. I walked up hill a way taking photos of the american nature...different trees, bluejays and chipmunks. Still don't have a photo of a squirrel yet. The chipmunks were pretty cute. I went home and slept for a couple of hours since I'd woken so early. Then when my family came back we went to the beach again. T and his dad went off fishing again. I think that was T's favourite thing to do as he was always asking to go and spent most of the day doing it. And I don't think his dad minded going along with him. I played in the water with B and Y. When T and his dad went to the main pier to fish some more, Y went with them. B was busy building a sandcastle. Actually, he was building an evil fortress and I sat with him to line the protective wall with rocks I dug up. It looked pretty good until the waves got a little bigger and washed it all away. We went home pretty late that day and after feeding the hungry mob the boys played air guitar to music until it was time for bed.
Hiking in the CA bushland and love the texure of these tall trees and B busy building with Y playing in the water
Saturday they headed off to a Hyatt hotel. My host dad, being a doctor, had done a favour for the General Manager's kid last time (or something like that) and he offered them free use of the pools for a day. So that's what we did. And it just so happened that the Hyatt was further around the lake and across the border in the state of Nevada. I was very excited about that. Now I've been to Nevada as well!! It was a hot day, though I didn't go in. The boys enjoyed the swim. I ducked into the shop inside and bought some keepsakes and some postcards. Then we ate lunch which was ordered from the restaurant inside. After a bit more swim we went inside to the arcade and played games and the boys won some toys. We got back to the house and then I left to drive home. I drove straight through; 3.5hrs. It was a nice drive--much more pleasant than the trip there. It was fun to be able to make the roadtrip.
Me in Nevada!! and Y shooting the bad guys (he thought he was but he'd put no quarters in) and the scenery on the trip home
03 July 2007
I had the boys to myself most of the day yesterday. We played at the park near our house in the morning and then we went home and I put together a picnic lunch. We took it to a community park nearby and found a great picnic table under some vine shade. We just hung out, ate, chatted, played around and then went to the playground area. We went home mid afternoon and Y napped while the older two watched cartoons. Then they all went for a quick swim before I took them all to go get In & Out burgers for everyone. Very casual and easy going day. I worked a 10hr day but it was one of those ones that didn't feel that long. It's nice not being in a rush to get to a certain place on time.
Today they left for Lake Tahoe. I have an Expressive Watercolour course this afternoon so I'm driving myself up tomorrow morning to join them. We are staying at my host mum's mum's holiday house which is about half way up the left side of the huge lake. We'll be there for about four days...and over the Fourth of July! Apparantly they have a huge firework show. Should be good but I'll be offline until I come back.
30 June 2007
God, it's as if I'm thirsty for you but don't really know it. Like I kinda want you but I don't want to make much effort. Silly humanness. Sometimes I think I'm just so lazy. I guess if something is interesting it's easier to pay attention or give effort to. That's probably why I sook about lack of feeling. "Capture my heart, God. Renew my passion." You know? It would make it easier. Pure obedience is much more challenging. It takes a lot more effort to obey when you don't feel like it.
27 June 2007
He's so cute! I've even got to see baby Byron as live as I possibly can thanks to webcams. I like these two photos from the bunch Tammy sent me. The second one is showing his facination with the zebra dummy strap I bought for him before I left. This is about as good as it gets for me until I can get back home for a real hold and play.
20 June 2007
My friends love karaoke. So that means that I've tagged along at times when they've gone to the korean karaoke near our church. I'm not a fan of the entertainment choice but I still joined in. We went for the first time two weekends ago and some friends from church came too. That was the weekend that Maria and her Aussie friend, Lauren, came. (I find it hilarious that we have the same good friend mix in both cities--a korean german and an aussie.) We also went to the karaoke place last weekend when Mel came with us. I did find a song or two I actually knew to sing along with but I still hold to the belief that those karaoke machines are designed to make everyone sound bad. At least we are in a booth of our own, shut away from other people.