Friday, December 12, 2008


What's Been Making Me Smile

  • Being invited to represent my school in volleyball and basketball tournaments tomorrow. (We won our practice game today! My right wrist is swollen and blue but I don't care!)
  • Watching Tom and Jerry with the kids
  • Advent
  • My hubby fixing the computer
  • Alone time with Nate
  • Sewing days at Mom's
  • Abi and her new skirts (thanks mom for making skirts in the middle of winter just because Abi asked you to)
  • Chocolate cake
  • Sled rides (although I'm usually on the pulling end)
  • Molly's purring
  • More snow. Beautiful, whiter than white snow!
What's been making you smile?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Oooo, Classy! (And Kind Of Weird)

You Are a Katharine!

You are a Katharine -- "I am happy and open to new things"

Katharines are energetic, lively, and optimistic. They want to contribute to the world.

How to Get Along with Me
  • * Give me companionship, affection, and freedom.
  • * Engage with me in stimulating conversation and laughter.
  • * Appreciate my grand visions and listen to my stories.
  • * Don't try to change my style. Accept me the way I am.
  • * Be responsible for youself. I dislike clingy or needy people.
  • * Don't tell me what to do.

What I Like About Being a Katharine
  • * being optimistic and not letting life's troubles get me down
  • * being spontaneous and free-spirited
  • * being outspoken and outrageous. It's part of the fun.
  • * being generous and trying to make the world a better place
  • * having the guts to take risks and to try exciting adventures
  • * having such varied interests and abilities

What's Hard About Being a Katharine
  • * not having enough time to do all the things I want
  • * not completing things I start
  • * not being able to profit from the benefits that come from specializing; not making a commitment to a career
  • * having a tendency to be ungrounded; getting lost in plans or fantasies
  • * feeling confined when I'm in a one-to-one relationship

Katharines as Children Often
  • * are action oriented and adventuresome
  • * drum up excitement
  • * prefer being with other children to being alone
  • * finesse their way around adults
  • * dream of the freedom they'll have when they grow up

Katharines as Parents
  • * are often enthusiastic and generous
  • * want their children to be exposed to many adventures in life
  • * may be too busy with their own activities to be attentive

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

School Days

Nate is finishing up his 3rd month of first grade. He's started going for the full day, which is from 9:00 am until 3:40 pm. Up until about a month ago he was only going half a day but with Hetee and I both working more (more about that later), the full day schedule and having the bus bring him home works out better for all of us.

At first, it took Nate a while to get accustomed to the food they served at lunch--all Mongolian fare which he wasn't very accustomed to before. A snack from home helps tide him over when he absolutely cannot eat. He's doing much better now, and a few of the teachers told me that he's eating more and more. Other than the food, he seems to be enjoying the afternoon schedule of art, sports, computer, music and dance.

I was curious to see how his language would evolve after being in a Mongolian environment for most of the day. His Mongolian has improved and he recently passed his first reading test. His Mongolian "j", "ch" and "z" all sound the same though. No big deal. One thing I've noticed is that he switches back and forth from English to Mongolian when talking to me or Hetee. He never used to do that. It doesn't bother me. After living here for 10 years I switch back and forth, too!

Nate's English reading has picked up, even though we have not been formally studying English due to the longer days at school. Last night he and Hetee went grocery shopping and Nate read the entire list-- about 20 words-- and found the items himself. It's amazing to me to see how he pushes himself to read and spell. He truly is a determined boy!

Abi and I are doing preschool every other day or so. She goes with me practically everywhere, even to my English classes sometimes. She's super smart and catches on very quickly. She loves to color and is always coloring something to give to someone. She memorizes things easily and is always quoting some silly line to a silly movie. I really want to focus on more Bible verse memorization with her (somebody hold me accountable!)

I am still teaching once a week, grades 2-5, all in one day. It's a challenge but I find that if I'm well prepared, they won't eat my alive. The second graders are a real challenge. Lively songs and games go a long way with them. Third grade is a little better. Fourth and 5th grades are my favorite because I feel like I am making progress with them.

I talked to my director the other day and asked him for some feedback. Most Mongolians are not good at positive feedback and I was feeling like I wasn't doing a good job. He told me that I was doing great and that the parents of my students were very satisfied with my work. That was nice to hear after 3 months of wondering and feeling like I wasn't making much of a difference.

The other English teacher, a Mongolian woman named Uyangaa, and I have started putting together an English library for the students. I have donated several books and she has bought some, too. We could still use more books if anyone out there wants to help. Even just a few books would make a huge difference and open up a new world for these kids. Let me know!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Mama's Back Online!

The kids linger longer in the bathtub and the kitchen floor needs to be swept. Bedtime is pushed up 30 minutes 'cause MAMA'S BACK ONLINE!!!

Yes, Hetee finally got a few hours to take the computer apart and get the things he needed to fix it. We "borrowed" the motherboard from an unused computer that was at our church office and it works! The computer is working! And my husband is my HERO, once again.

Thanks for praying, y'all!

Now I have got to go get Abi out of the tub. She's turning into a prune!