Monday, February 28

Day 12 - Something I am OCD About

I couldn't blog on Saturday, so I'm posting twice today. I don't know if I will be able to post tomorrow either. I'm moving.

I could go with the same thing that my siblings all said, but I'm not anal about the closet doors. For one thing, I can't ever leave the closet doors open since the closets are in the entrance and I can't get out if the closet doors are open. I always close the doors as soon as I am finished taking something out.

Something I am OCD about though is fluffing my pillow. Joyce always mocked me. I always fluff my pillow before I go to bed. It's more comfortable that way. And more fluffy.

I also always knock four times. I think three times is unfinished and more than four is just superfluous. Four is sufficient. I always count knocks. When someone knocks on the door, or an a table or something on television or on a movie I always count. They often knock three times. That's really annoying.

Day 11- A Photo of Me Recently

I took this picture of myself on October 30. It was our Halloween party at school. I wore a big clown wig. It was pretty awesome. The kids kept asking me if I dyed my hair. I almost had them convinced.

Sunday, February 27

Day 9 - A Photo That I Took

I bought myself flowers one day. They were pretty so I took a picture.

Friday, February 25

Day 10 - A Photo of Me Taken More Than 10 Years Ago

I'm skipping Day 9 for now. I'm at work and the picture I want is at home. I'll do it later.

Sorry that these pictures are small. Let's blame Roy. He scanned them and sent them to me. I don't know how to make them bigger and keep the quality. Again, blame Roy.
I like this picture of me and Joyce. I think it's funny that Joyce is smiling and I'm trying to be a grouch. We can't both of us be good. We can both be really cute though.

This was taken the day of graduation. Mom made my dress and Aunt Alice made my corsage. Grandma Taylor said that I looked like her mother. She said that Joyce looked like Great-Grandma Taylor. That day seems like a very long time ago.

Thursday, February 24

Day 8 - A Photo That Makes Me Sad

I'm posting this at work and so I don't have any pictures to add, but I wasn't going to post one picture anyway. This is more of a theme of pictures that makes me sad.

I love my family and nieces and nephews and I miss them all. I like pictures of them, but seeing the pictures makes me sad. I don't get to see them grow up. I used to babysit Xavier and Niles every day. I lived with Gloria. Now I don't see them at all. All nine of my nieces and nephews are growing up without me. It makes me sad that I don't get to see it. Living in Korea is nice. I really like it, but sometimes it would be nice if life on the other side of the world would wait for me.

Wednesday, February 23

Day 7 - A Photo That Makes Me Happy

I know, you were expecting a wedding picture, weren't you? I'm saving that for the wedding blog.

I took this picture one summer day when we went for a walk in the park. We got to spend the whole day doing nothing except what we wanted to do. It was a good day, and we look good together.

Tuesday, February 22

Day 6 - 20 of My Favorite Things

In no particular order;

1. new notebooks
2. colouring books
3. going to the movies and eating popcorn
4. fresh strawberries
5. coming home after a long day of work to discover that Samuel had washed the dishes
6. spending hours in a coffee shop
7. being able to sleep until I'm finished; I get to do that sometimes.
8. big, fluffy clouds
9. band; I really miss it.
10. singing; I joined a choir.
11. knitting
12. traveling to new places and seeing new things
13. reading
14. cooking for other people, but not for me
15. the smell on spring mornings when you know that it really is spring because it smells like it
16. crunchy leaves in the fall
17. sitting around and giggling with my sisters
18. days off of work
19. teaching
20. realizing that I actually taught my students something

And, since I don't seem to be able to only blog about what I'm supposed to blog about, here is a list of things that aren't my favorite things, but might as well be because I am totally craving them;

1. tacos
2. Chinese food. Not the kind I can get here. That's real Chinese food. I want Chinese food from home.
3. Slurpees
4. Food Network
5. driving
6. Co-op breakfast
7. I really want tacos, okay, really I want a bean burrito from Taco Time. I crave that all the time.
I can't think of anything else at the moment. I'm sure I will think of more later.

Monday, February 21

My Kids a Year Later

This is not part of the 30-day blog challenge, but I have other things to talk about.

I have been in Korea for a little more than a year now. This is the last week of our school year. Next week I will get a new class of 6-year olds. I have to blog about my kids and how they have changed over the year.
Starting at the top left there is Cathy. Cathy has always been a smart girl. Over the last few months she has shown herself to be very determined and opinionated. She loves to dance. Every time I play a song she gets up to dance. I think she likes to show off in front of her friends. I also teach her older brother. They are a lot alike. Thomas doesn't dance, but he likes to show off.
Beside Cathy is Daniel. Daniel has always been slow. It took him a very long time to learn the alphabet and what sounds each letter says. He has improved so much lately. He can spell some words, and he can read a little now. He has the alphabet down.
Next is Clara. She started out strong and then seemed to take a mental break for a bit. She was definately one of the lowest in the class for a long time. Nothing seemed to click for her. In the last two months everything has started to click. She read me a book in the library the other day. She is definately the most improved student this year.
Beside Clara is Alice. Alice is the perfect student. She is always happy and smiling. She listens to everything and is always nice to the other students. She is perfect, but somehow it's the ones who aren't perfect who are our favorites.
Next is Amy. Oh, Amy. She is so smart. I think she's bored a lot of the time and so she makes up things to do. She does things like pulling apart her hair ribbons or ripping pages in her book. Of course, she doesn't like to do the things that I have planned. She likes to do everything her own way and when she wants to do it.
Jamie has amazed me. When I started teaching her she wouldn't ever talk. She would only go to the bathroom if I told her to. If I didn't tell her to she would hold it all day because she would never ask to go. She did everything very slowly and never, ever said a word. Now she is incredibly different. I have to tell her to be quiet sometimes. It makes me very happy every time I have to do that. She asks to go the bathroom. She answers questions. She plays with the other kids. I love seeing it.
Sienna is very sweet. She is also pretty slow, but she is getting it at her own pace. She read part of a book today with only a little help. Her diary today said, "I ate pork. Pork comes from pig. I will enjoy. Sorry pig." I thought it was really funny.
Wyatt is still one of my favorites. He is one of the smartest kids I have ever seen. He is five years old and he is reading at a grade three level. He is always very worried to get everything done quickly. He loves reading, but hates writing and drawing. He doesn't say hi as much as he used to. I kind of miss that.
Molly is still as determined as ever that she is big. She can do everything. She told me today that she wants to be a dentist when she grows up. Molly is the one who told me that I have big nostrils. She is very curious and wants to know how to say everything. She's a great kid.
Brian is new. He came when a space opened up after Rex left. Rex moved to Japan in November. Brian is not the smartest kid. He is very happy but doesn't ever seem to know what is going on. Ask that kid about dinosaurs though, and he will talk your ear off.
The last picture is of Eric and Roy. When I started teaching here Eric was probably my least favorite student. He didn't listen to anything I said and liked to make me mad. Now he has decided that I'm okay and he can listen to me. He knows so much and he tries to talk all the time. He doesn't know enough English words to say everything, so he stops and thinks for a minute and then uses the words he knows to explain the word he doesn't know and then he tells me what he wants. He is one of my favorites. I think I will miss teaching him. Roy has had some challenges lately. He was diagnosed with diabetes in January. He just turned five in November, and so he doesn't understand at all what is going on. He know that he has to leave class three times every day so someone can poke his finger and write a number in his book. He has gotten used to it now. He reminds me when it is time for him to go. He's doing really well now. He looks much healthier than he did in January.
That was my Blue Jay Class. Next week they will move up into the kindergarten classes and I won't teach them anymore. I will get a new class. I named then Flamingo Class. I will miss my blue jays though.

Day 5 - Quote

"I would rather regret the things I have done than the things that I haven't." Lucille Ball

Sunday, February 20

Day 4 - My Favorite Book

Well, this is an easy one. My favorite book is The Blue Castle By L.M. Montgomery. I blogged about it a long time ago, but I will tell you about it again. It's about a girl who decides that she doesn't like her life. She is unhappy and is tired of it. She decides that she wants to be happy so she stops living for other people and starts living for herself. She stops hiding who she really is, starts saying what she really thinks, and starts doing what she wants to do instead of what her family expects her to do. She starts to love life and she is finally happy. Every time I read this book I thought, "maybe someday I can do that too." I use the past tense because I haven't read this book in a few years. I don't need to anymore. I somehow found the courage to live my life and be the real me, and now I found my blue castle. I don't need to read the book to give me the hope of someday anymore. I am sure that I will read it again someday, but just for fun, not for inspiration.

When I moved to Korea the first time I brought two books with me, The Blue Castle and As the Crow Flies by Jeffrey Archer. Both are books that I can read over and over and over again and never get tired of. If you haven't read As the Crow Flies you really should. Every time I read it I discover something new. As the Crow Flies tells the life story of a man starting from when he was a child until he retires. Sometimes the story is told from his perspective and sometimes it is told from the perspectives of other people involved in his life. It is interesting to see the thoughts of the other people. The characters in the story are all well developed and you feel like you really know them. As in any life there are trials, sorrow, joy, and everything else that goes with life. It is a truly excellent book. You really should read it.

Saturday, February 19

Day 3 - Favorite Television Show

Okay, I have to do this by category.

Favorite drama; NCIS. I haven't seen the new version of it yet. I have heard it's good so I will have to start watching it.

Favorite comedy; The Big Bang Theory. If you haven't seen it you really need to. It will make your life better.

Favorite talk show; Ellen. She is so funny. It is always a good show to watch. There are times when you laugh so much it hurts. Ellen gets so much joy out of life. It's great.

Favorite game show; The Price is Right.

Favorite reality show; I really like Top Chef. I used to like Hell's Kitchen but now I'm tired of Gordon Ramsey. I think he yells too much. That is one man who doesn't get much joy out of life. I always thinks that he's about a second away from a coronary. Top Chef is better. Much less yelling. I also like Project Runway.

Other good shows; Sex and the City, Star Gate (any of them), House, Glee, Lingo, and anything on Food Network. I sure miss that station. It would be nice to get it here. Oh well. I already watch too much television without it.

Friday, February 18

Day 2 - My Favorite Movie

Hmmmm. I like movies, but I find it hard to narrow it down. I like Dave. It's great. It's funny and not in a crude way. I actually like the characters. If you haven't seen it you really should. It's about a man who impersonates the president and then has to be the president after the real president has a stroke. I also like The Italian Job. It has a great car-chase scene and the characters are funny. Lately I watch Sister Act, either of them, when I want to watch a movie but not really pay attention. I like the music. Ooooh. I just thought of A League of Their Own. That movie is so good. It always makes me cry. Ya, I like movies.

Now to give you the flip side, movies I don't like. I don't like the Harry Potter movies. I have watched all of them but the newest one. Maybe I would have like them if I hadn't read the books, but I have read the books, and I actually liked the books. The movie strays from the book too much. It just annoys me. I understand that they can't include everything, but they don't have to change things, they could just leave out things. I will watch the newest movie since I have watched all of the other ones, but I can't see how that movie will be good. The last book wasn't the most interesting. They spent most of it not doing anything. There were good parts in the book, but there was a lot of nothing too. Oh well. I also didn't like The Matrix. I think I just don't get it.

I want to go watch movies now. It's too bad that I have to work instead.

Thursday, February 17

30 Day Blog Challenge

So Joyce decided that we needed to do the 30 day blog thingie. Maybe because she thinks people don't update their blogs enough. She nags me all the time. Now that she has made it a competition I have to update my blog everyday. I want to win the bragging rights.

Day 1- Favorite song

Well, I can't really say that I have a favorite song. It depends on my mood. A few years ago in one of my education classes my professor decided that we should make a mixer CD of everyone's favorite songs as a kind of bonding exercise or something. I couldn't decide what my favorite song was then either. I looked in my CD player and chose a song off of the CD that was in there. I think it may have been The Penny Merchants. That's a good group. This time I am going to look on my iPod and chose the song that I have listened to the most.

And it is . . .

"Words of Love" by the Beatles. Okay, that's not mine. Samuel loves that song and he plays it over and over again. I never actually play that song. The next song is "Quando, Quando, Quando" by Michael Buble. How do you make the little accent thingie over the e? There should be one on the e in 'Buble'. Pretend it's there. Samuel also chooses that song frequently, but so do I. It's pretty good. The next song is "Nobody" by The Wonder Girls, a Korean girl band. I learned it so I could sing it for a Norae Bang competition. That's like karaoke, but with a private room. It's a good song. If you want to watch me sing it there is a video on my facebook. I can't believe I just told you that. Don't watch it. It's not that good.

I still don't have a favorite song. Right now I have an alphabet song stuck in my head. I teach kindergarten. It happens. You should hear the song. It's pretty great, but not when it's been stuck in my head all day. Enjoy.

Sunday, February 6

Getting Married in Korea

So the next step after getting engaged was to go get married. We couldn't leave it for long since we thought it would be better if we were married when Samuel applied for his visa to Canada. The Canadian government doesn't care if you're engaged. The previous times Samuel had applied for a visa the consulate people told him that it would be so much easier if we were married. Okay, we'll get married then.

At that time at work we were short a teacher which made it rather difficult to take a day off to go to Seoul. I asked my boss and he said it would be better to wait until October when we would have another teacher and it would be easier to fill in for me. I wanted to have the visa paperwork done by then. We decided that I could take the next Thursday off since it was a field trip day to watch a musical so it would be easier to have someone else supervise my kids. But, I couldn't have the whole day off, just the kindergarden part. I would still have to come back to teach my afternoon classes if possible. Okay then.

Thursday, September 9 came around and I got up really early so I could be at the embassy when it opened. I met Samuel at the subway station closest to the embassy and we walked over. When we got there we were given two different forms to fill out in triplicate. An hour later, once we had finished filling out the forms, we were given a number so we could wait. So we waited. Eventually our number was called and we went into this little closet-sized room with a woman sitting behind bullet-proof glass. We gave her our paper work, passports, and the forms Samuel needed from Tanzania. She stamped the forms, asked for money, and then told us to go to the Korean government office. We eventually found the Korean Government office which is not as easy as it could be. There are no street addresses in Korea. Usually there are maps, but they aren't always very easy to follow. The Canadian embassy is really difficult to find. Anyway, we found the government office. We took our number so we could wait. We waited. When our number was called we went to the desk and gave the woman there our paper work. She gave us another form to fill out. We filled it out and gave it back to her. She stamped everything and said, "You're done here." Um, that's it? Apparently it was. We were now married. It was not the most exciting event in my life.

After getting married you have to have some sort of reception, so Samuel and I went out for lunch at an Indian restaurant. Then Samuel had to go to class and I had to go to work. We didn't even see each other again until the next evening.