Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Last year they sang for you, this year they decided they wanted to talk to you... but most of them still started to sing... :)

Love you!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Halloween 2009

Halloween came late this year, which made it awfully awkward to walk to school in full escaped convict get-up, including scary face paint... but it was still a great time! This year my classroom theme was Spiders, so here are some of my decorations:

My "Momma Spider"

My baby spiders - this web took about two hours to make. I can now sympathize with actual spiders :)

My classroom door - another labor of love :)

Our bulletin board:

And our giant black widow with scary-face eyes:

Here's our Jack-O-Lantern, the same one of the earlier post about cutting my hand:

There was a decoration contest, but we don't know the results yet... I'm not really counting on winning. At all. :)

I was in the haunted house again this year. I think we broke last year's record of crying... There were at least two kids in each class that cried, and quite a few kids wouldn't even go through. I call that a win.

My kids, of course, were adorable.

The boys (Philip, Sun Q, Andrew, Andy):

Sun Q's costume was probably the best one in the whole school. He even did his nails :)

The girls (Becky, Laura, Sally, Evelyn, Eileen):

Our whole class, scary and swine-flu-free!

And all of the LCI teachers:

As we did last year, we had a song contest as well. If you remember, last year's was a joke, and we bombed it. This year... well, see for yourself: (please forgive the talking at the beginning - We were ready to go but Evelyn HAD to tell me her story, which was cute...then we got interrupted right at the end because it was time for the judging)

And I found out at the end of the day... FIRST PLACE!!! My kids still don't know, but they're gonna flip when they find out. They were serious about practicing this year, and it paid off!

All in all, Halloween, even when celebrated four days late, is still my favorite holiday!

Though this post is ridiculously photo-filled, I had to include these two bonus pictures. First is the shirt Philip was wearing under his Taekwondo uniform the other day:

And today was yearbook photo day for the 7-year-olds who will be moving out of LCI in February. The kids all dressed up today (We didn't know about it, and Tyler and I were sent home to change, haha) and I just had to get a photo of Ben's class... I had to have a permanent image of Eric (one of my favorites, I teach his older brother) in his bright yellow bowtie and cummerbund!!!

Love you all! Leave comments!

The Philippines

Gosh, this was a great decision. The weather was beautiful, the food was incredible, and the company was fantastic. It was exactly the mini-break I needed to bust my fall funk!

The front of my room:

Our view for every amazing meal we ate there:

The resort, as seen from this big concrete peninsula they constructed:

My awesome travel buddies, Ben and Emily (It's always a bit of a risk, being the third wheel to a married couple on an amazing vacation, but I couldn't have asked for better company!)

Me and Em, relaxed and happy:

This maybe added to the "relaxed" part:

And the whole vacation cost me way less than you'd imagine. If you get to the Philippines and need a great (cheap!) place to stay, check out the Cebu Marine Beach Resort... they were fantastic!

ps - I stopped taking pictures after the first night, and Emily hasn't posted theirs on facebook yet, so you may get a "part 2" once she decides to get them up there!

Love you all!

Catching up

What a wild couple of weeks it's been! The last time I updated, we were about to head off for Tricia's big surprise. Well, unfortunately, she surprised us. With Swine Flu...

...or not. Tricia came to work on Friday feeling horrible and running a temperature of 101.8. They decided this was high enough to send her to the hospital to be checked out (our school is extremely concerned about swine flu - it's been popping up quite a bit in Korea). After arriving at the hospital in the morning, she was told she had to wait until 1:30 to even be checked for the Flu. When that time finally rolled around, the doctor decided to not even test her, because she had so many symptoms (cough and fever. That was it). He told her she had H1N1, gave her some Tamiflu, and sent her on her way.

She recovered quite quickly, so we're still not convinced it was The Pig Bug, but the school didn't want her to return until Tuesday, just in case. So we didn't get to go apple picking (which was her suprise) and when she came back Tuesday she had a wicked bad case of cabin fever and just wanted to work. Well, she got one day.

Also on Tuesday, I was pulled out of class around 11:15. Rachel told me that all my Kinders' parents were gathering in the first floor and were coming up to take their kids home. Apparently Philip was diagnosed with Swine Flu and the parents were extremely concerned and wanted to test and quarantine their kids (understandable, after Rachel also explained that lately quite a few children have been dying in Korea from this unmanageable virus). So my Kindergarten was shutting down until the following Monday. My first concern was that my kids were all going to miss Halloween on Friday, and I was so heartbroken for them!

Just after Kindergarten on Tuesday, we had a teachers' meeting in the office. Rachel told us that since the parents found out at least one LCI student had swine flu, they were yanking their kids out in droves. She said the best option for LCI was to just shut down the school until Monday. It was a shock, but probably the best business decision for them. The most reassuring part was that we would have Halloween the next Wednesday, so no students had to miss it!

After school I realized, "Holy Cow! A 5-day weekend!" Ben, Emily2 and I, after much discussion, reserved tickets and a beach resort in the Philippines, to leave the next day :) We spent this surprise vacation basking in the sun on a beautiful white sand beach... it was fantastic. We called it our "voluntary quarantine."

On our return Monday, we got the update that the Korean Government is discussing shutting down all schools for at least a week. Rachel told us that the schools are doing their best to prevent this, but she wanted us to be prepared, just in case. I'm really impressed with how forthcoming she's been with us about everything, considering before now the business culture at LCI has been one of secrecy and misinformation.

Tuesday night we stayed late to get the school ready for Halloween. Wednesday was a blast, and multiple children cried in the haunted house again! So far the school is still open, and I have one of the only Kindergarten classes where everyone is showing up every day. I'm going to call that a good sign :)

Ok, this has ran long - picture posts to follow of the Philippines and Halloween!

Love you all!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

...but I have to quickly add...

...this funny story from today:

We were carving pumpkins for Halloween after lunch today with the Kinders. Actually, I was carving the pumpkin, and sternly reminding them to stay far away from me since I had a sharp knife... They were fascinated and kept telling me how strong I was, and that I needed to be careful...

Of course, I sliced my palm open with the blade.

After making sure that I was genuinely OK, my boys started pretend-sobbing about my injury. They were crying, "Why, Teacher?? You cut your hand!! I think Teacher's not OK!!" One boy in particular was hilarious:

In his most hysterical sob-voice, he wailed "TEEEEEEECHEERRRR!!!! Every day I say to you 'BE CAREFUL TEACHER! STAY AWAY FROM KNIVES TEACHER!' and every day you don't listen! Now you cut your hand teacher! Why you do that when I say 'BE CAREFUL' Teacher???"

I almost cut myself again because I was laughing so hard. I love these kids!

Love you all!

So much to say!

...but no time to say it!

Suffice it to say, it's been a wild couple of weeks. Swine flu has reared it's ugly head and is keeping us all in suspense as to the status of our jobs... Halloween got canceled and rescheduled, and I took an extremely last minute trip to the Philippines!

More details soon, I promise!