the beginning of the end of an era

today is the first day aly’s last year of high school.  and – if no one in my family changes their mind – it’s also the first day of our family’s last year of traditional school.  i’m finding dealing with both has me feeling all kerfuffle-y.  it hasn’t been all that long since chan went through his last year of high school and i still remember how raw it was.  how all year long the coming change felt so close to the surface.  i’m trying to not protect myself from those feelings this year.  i want to fully experience this whole year with aly (appropriately, of course, i have no plans to go to prom).  i don’t want to fall into a been there done that attitude, either.  this is her experience and while it will have its similarities to chan’s it won’t be the same at all.

aly

at the end of the last first day of high school.

she and michael were in the states this summer and she toured college campuses.  she even found one she wants to apply to.  she also wants to apply to a college in japan.  so much change to come.  so little time to savor and no way to stop the clock.  i wouldn’t really want to.  she’s gonna have an awesome year.

along with her last year of school is our family’s decision to not send sam back to school this year.  over the past few years it has become more and more apparent that traditional school is not the best for sam.  we’re taking the road less traveled (so to speak).  he’ll come out of it with a high school certification and he won’t be shutting any doors he might want to walk through in the future, but for his well being – and the well being of our family – this is the best path we can find.  we are very thankful that the school will allow him to audit drama this year and that they have left the door open should he decide the classroom really is where he wants to be.  it’s scary for me.  i’m a rule follower and this isn’t how high school is supposed to be done.  (this is a little funny because we homeschooled our oldest two for several years, and that’s not how elementary school is supposed to be done.  even better?  it was my choice to do it.)  i also think it’s good that we live abroad as we are making this decision.  not that there aren’t plenty of people who support homeschooling in the states (i think that’s what you would consider what we are doing).  at this age it feels like it’s more sam schooling with a some parental oversight.  many of the non-american westerners around us have been very encouraging of our decision.  they’ve told us it’s not uncommon in their countries for how a kid is educated to change at this age.  it seems only us americans have a one size fits all attitude when it comes to education.

so big changes ahead for us and i’m just holding on to the knowledge that we’ll come out okay on the other side of all this.

what are wii doing with no wii?

since the wii fried what have wii been up to?? for me pretty much the same thing. you know. being the mom. but the kids have been busy swimming. a lot. 5 hours a day is probably not a bad estimate. and who can blame them.

and no one else uses this pool. it’s been just them. until… a few days ago. s8 came running into the house dripping wet yelling at me to bring the camera. there was something at the pool they wanted a picture of.

(i got photo shop skillz)

turns out this fellow has been hanging around watching them swim. isn’t he cool??

and yes, this is the same pool that this happened at.

life – sometimes it gets in the way

what great things have we shown my mom today? well, the hospital – at least the outside of it – when we dropped bh off to have his infected ear (ouch) looked at. and the drug store – where we attempted to pick up bh’s over the counter prescription drugs, but weren’t able to. the kids’ school – she got to wait with the kids’ while bh and i had a meeting with c14’s math teacher, whom i would love to tell you all about, but my mom’s here and she always said, “if you can’t say something nice, then shut your pie hole.” or something like that. and then she got to stay at home while bh and i went to teach our english classes. and i know i said y’all at least 5 times during my class. but i have yet to say tumpt, but i’ll figure how to work it in winey.

about the best we’ve done today, as far as giving my mom a taste of thailand goes, is bringing home dinner from the market. a veritable thai feast.

oh, and we had another tokay spotting. she’s thinking she might like one if she could get it leash trained!

haiku friday – culture shock

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

are we adjusting
is ev-e-ry-thing normal
today we find out

no joke culture shock
thailand’s not america
that’s not suprising

kids are still having
occasional crying jags
don’t know how to help

think that it’s best to
look to the professionals
help us get through this

~~~~~~~~~~

today we, the kids and i that is, head off for a head check. the kids are going to meet with someone while i’m meeting with someone else. and then i get to meet with both of these someones to see what’s next.

so far c14 really seems to be doing great. my only concern about him is that he seems to have developed some sort of funky accent. i have a tendency to mimic the accents around me, not intentionally, sometimes i don’t even realize i’m doing it and i think he might do the same. it seems that c14 apparently is turning japanese, i think he’s turning japanese, i really think so… okay, well, maybe not japanese, but you get the idea. however, i am worried that maybe there is something hovering just under the surface, waiting to break or crack or whatever it’s gonna do.

a11 is doing okay at this moment. but that might not be true for the exact moment we walk into the counselor’s office or even the exact next moment from this exact moment. things change quickly with her.

s8 hated thailand before he got here and this hasn’t really improved at all. he has good moments, but when he’s having a bad moment – it’s bad. it’s heartbreaking.

hopefully today we will get a bit of help. really, i think for the kids someone other than their parents saying this is normal will be very helpful, but also some tools to help process all of this.

bh isn’t left out of all this because we think he’s doing all that great, he’s left out of this fun because he isn’t here to participate. he gets back saturday from a two week jaunt to india and singapore. and this time his being gone has been so much better than mongolia. no freak-outs on my part. it has helped that i have had some contact from him, but i think the biggest difference has been that i have been so very busy informing the whole of thailand that i farted.

that hurt

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

i am addicted
to sharing it all with blog
don’t be embarrased

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

him: “you know your mom blogged about our conversation the other day?”

her: “she did? why’d she do that?”

him: “sweetheart, your mother blogs about everything, nothing is sacred.”

her: “you need to stop talking to her, daddy.”

chiang mai knows mexican

spending the first 32 years of my life – you know, the formative years – in texas i feel pretty comfortable saying, “i know a teensy bit about mexican food.” and the 5 years i spent in colorado allow me to be fairly comfortable in saying, “colorado don’t know mexican.” great mexican food was the one thing i never found while in colorado. after 6 weeks in chiang mai i have found some good mexican food. made my day.

miquels.jpg

the kids and i are doing the weekend alone, no bh, he’s at a retreat. and my original plans were to do nothing. get plenty of sleep, read, never leave my new bff, the interwebnet. but we did have to get out. i’d scheduled an appointment with the lady who will be a11’s harp teacher and since we had to get out of the house i figured we might as well do something. that way the kids couldn’t yammer on and on to their dad about what a dud they got stuck with for a mom. so we went to miquel’s and had some lovely mexican food. then we went to mike’s for some rich, thick milk shakes (2 chocolate, one strawberry and an oreo, please). made a stop by a used book store and then detoured into a wicker shop.

 

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maybe not as good as being head butted by an elephant, but i didn’t hear any complaints. (not that i was listening for them in the wicker shop)

 

mom, get off my facebook account…

i have a facebook account. i have no idea how to use it and for a long time it just sat there. until i recently discovered c13 also has a facebook acount. and i did what any good mom would do – changed his password and locked him out of it. he’s not old enough to have a facebook account. he’s supposed to be over 18 or at least 13 and in high school. well, he is 13, but he’s in the 7th grade. what to do… what to do? hmmm… delete it? yeah, i should do that. punish him? oh, yeah, i’m definitely gonna do that. get mad? well, i did sort of do that, but got over it really quickly. i ended up doing something very out of character for me. i asked him about it. his answer, it’s for a school project, for a history project. which explains why he’s friends with the likes of kublai khan, toyotomi hideyoshi, and yuan shikai. and then he reminded me that he is in high school. at the kids’ school if you’re 6th grade grade 6 or below you’re in primary school and 7th grade 7 and above is considered high school. i also added myself to his friends list, so i could keep tabs. and a few days later this appeared on my wall… (that’s facebook talk for he left me a message)

mom, get off my face book account…”

he doesn’t want to be friends – like a knife through the heart. now i know how the whole of england must have felt when prince harry said “but i generally don’t like england that much…”