It's been a busy two weeks or so since I posted some current news, and our lives have been full of happenings, big and small. So it's catch-up time! I'll share a few highlights of late.
Yesterday was my mom's birthday, following right behind my own birthday. It couldn't have been much fun for her to have her birthday in the hospital after giving birth to me, since our special days are just 3 days apart. But, she's never complained and maybe she was just glad to have 11 pound, 1 ounce me on the outside! We chatted a bit through webcam this morning and I was glad to sing happy birthday to her "in person." I am so thankful for technology that makes the thousands of miles seem minimal. I am thankful for my mom's years of life and pray that the Lord would sustain her for many more! She has struggled with diabetes and other physical difficulties for many years now, but she continues to trust the Lord and take things a day at a time. We are so grateful that the Lord has spared her life on many occasions! My mom's musical and creative gifts are a treasure and in recent years, her hobby of scrapbooking has become a ministry to our whole family. What a blessing! We love you, Mom! Happy Birthday!
Clara Anne had her first ballet class yesterday. This is something she's been interested in for a while and we found a place which looked like they teach real ballet. We observed a class last week and then this was her first time to participate. I was so incredibly proud of her. She did her very best, trying to copy exactly what the teacher was doing, and though the other students were much more flexible and able to perform the movements more easily, Clara Anne stuck with it and responded quickly to the teacher's instructions. PTL, the language barrier didn't seem to be much of a problem! We are going to be going twice a week for awhile, since I think she'll make faster progress that way, then at the end of six weeks we'll look at the situation again and see how she's doing, and whether we want to sign her up for another round. She's so excited about it! I was really so thankful that her first class went so smoothly, especially since the teachers promised me it would be all beginners in the class and it clearly wasn't--several girls had a year or two of experience. But there were only 5 girls and two teachers, so that was a great ratio! The teachers spent a lot of time with Clara specifically, showing her how to move and stretch her body.
In other news, we are reading "Heidi" as a family and thoroughly enjoying it! There was an evening last week where we were all on the edge of our seats with suspense, and then I happened to bump something which startled everyone because we were so into the story! Last night as John read, we were moved to tears as the story took a very significant turn. All four of us were really touched! (Christin didn't seem to understand what was going on, not surprisingly.) The girls each get to draw on a special artist pad as they listen to the story--they are "illustrating" the story as they hear it, and each night as the chapter finishes they get to show us what they drew from that chapter. It's a fun method--keeps them engaged and yet they have something to do with their hands as they listen. Even Christin today asked me multiple times, "Mama, read Heidi? Read Heidi?" She loves it too!
So, it wouldn't be a week in this country without something breaking down and needing fixing. Last week we had a repairman here twice to fix our bedroom A/C, and also we pulled out the cheap bathtub in the master bath which had developed a crack and was leaking badly. We had a guy come and build a little tile wall instead to keep the water in, and now there's no more water all over the floor, whew! This week it's the child's seat on my bike--it's metal, and one side where the seat of the child's seat attaches to the base of it, which is attached to my bike, has rusted through and is completely loose. I need to get it fixed very soon!
I've had opportunities galore to have guests over in the past two weeks. It's been fun but also tiring, since I'm trying to fit home schooling into our daily schedule as well! We've been getting creative and working things in where they fit. . . and sometimes things don't happen because I completely lack the motivation (like when my guests finally left last week after about two days together and I just wanted to crash, not do school!). Thankfully this is still only kindergarten and I don't feel pressed to accomplish a certain amount in a certain amount of time. I also feel a bit like my Asian friends don't understand the idea of me teaching Clara Anne--like it doesn't really count as school or something. They see that I am home all day and assume that I'm not busy! But that's life in this situation. At some point I will probably just need to not answer my phone or tell people directly that I'm doing school and can't get together and play right at that moment!
I had a lovely birthday over the weekend. John asked me what I wanted, and I requested things like: eating out, no birthday cake, a foot massage, a bubble bath, and a nap! Wow, my priorities surely have changed from when I was younger! John made possible all those things by taking care of the girls, and even bought me 34 roses for my 34 years as well as took me out to dinner at our favorite Korean restaurant. Yum! I haven't had a lazy afternoon like that in . . . I don't know how long! . . .and eating out for supper was wonderful. No dishes!
We are getting ready to welcome a group of friends from the States who will be here for the next 10 days or so. So excited for their visit, and hopeful for success in what they will be doing. Most of them have been to this country before so it shouldn't be too shocking for them. We're looking forward to having them here!
And that about wraps it up! I do plan to finish my "Diary of a Friendship" series as well as finish up posting photos from our time in the States. But that shall have to wait for another evening. Good Night!