Triple Threat

Last week was a big week for Sam.  It began with the school awards assembly where he was recognized as Best Male Performer for the Spring semester.


Mr. Turner and Sam

It ended with the school’s “Monologue and Songs Competition”…


where he danced, and he monologued, and he sang.  He was so good!

We knew about the dancing, it was a group thing, everyone had to do it.  Sam’s on the right side of the screen front row.


We also knew about the monologue.  He wrote his own monologue this year and I’d heard him rehearsing it through his bedroom door, but this was the first time I saw it performed.


We did not know about the singing.  And when I say we didn’t know about the singing I mean we didn’t know Sam sang.  We knew he was able to sing, but we didn’t know he sang in public.  We also didn’t know he wrote lyrics.  So we were as surprised as everyone else when he got up on stage to sing an original song.  His friend who accompanied him on guitar wrote the music.


Seeing how this was a competition there were trophies.  Sam came home with second place for his monologue.


Mr. Turner and Sam



all the world’s a stage…

tonight was the last performance of the last play sam will do at cmis.   he’s sort of a loner when it comes to running lines and practicing, so while i’d heard bits and pieces of his lines through his bedroom door, i’d never heard him actually run his lines.  he did an amazing job and it was a lot of fun to watch him totally transform in to the character.

sam came on stage and if i hadn’t known which character he was playing i wouldn’t have known it was sam.  voice was different, mannerisms were different, everything was different.


pretty quickly he took a turn for the worse and was in his death bed.


from his death bed he had a heart to heart with his son he hadn’t seen in 10 years.


and he just kept on in his death bed.


he shared another moment with his son.  from his death bed.


he was so committed to this death bed thing that he stayed there during intermission.


for all of intermission.


as the cast performed stage right (or maybe it was stage left) he stayed in his death bed


yep, still in his death bed.


yep, still there.


from his death bed he confessed his love to his estranged life.  and then he died.


he pulls old man off pretty well.


Bike Riding along the Tiber

It was our last day in Rome. Everyone elses’ flights left about 4 hours before ours so Sam and I opted to be responsible for getting ourselves to the airport so we could enjoy one last morning.

We decided to rent bikes and ride along the Tiber River.  We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful morning or a better way to end our trip.

Plus, I got one more opportunity to hone my selfie skills.

Pretty sure that selfies while bicycle riding is like pro level.

There was also time for one last gelato before turning in our bicycles.

We grabbed sandwiches for the road and began our journey back to Thailand.

The Coliseum and The Forum

Sam and I just returned from 10 days in Rome.  We were there to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.  The first day in Rome was a bit of a wash.  It was a travel, find the apartment and just get situated kind of day.

The start of day 2 – dad, Mike (my twin brother), mom, Sam, and me. Behind the camera is Esther, my brother’s girlfriend.

Day 2 in Rome involved walking to the Vatican Museum, St. Peters, and the Bridge of Angels before heading to the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument.  I also managed to fit in a bit of selfie practice.  Sam appreciated it.

When we got to the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument we rode this elevator up to the roof.

From the roof you have an amazing view of the city of Rome.  It’s an excellent place to practice your panoramic photo taking skills.

Our next stop was lunch and then off to the Coliseum and the Forum.  The Coliseum was amazing.  We put in our earbuds and listened to Rick Steves’ guide us through the Coliseum (my dad had strongly suggested that we download all of Rick Steves’ Rome podcasts).

After the Coliseum we regrouped at the Arc de Triomphe.  You might notice my selfie skills are improving while Sam’s tolerance of selfies seems to be flagging.

Next up the Forum.  The Forum was probably my favorite site.  It helped that the weather was cool and there were no crowds.  We were guided through by Rick Steves.

Days 1 & 2 in Rome done and we only thought we were exhausted.

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.


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.

plan b

the family returns tomorrow morning (aly and michael) so tonight is the last night for our scheduled food blog.  we decided on italian and made our way to boutique della pasta.  it had good reviews on trip advisor so i thought we should give it a try.  i checked out their facebook page, found their hours (we weren’t going to make the mistake of arriving early again) and we made our way there.  when we arrived we discovered they were closed today.  this was not disclosed on their facebook page.  i found that slightly annoying because it seems to me that a quick status update letting folks know you are closed seems sort of an easy thing to do.  but what do i know other than they aren’t the only italian restaurant in the game.  so we headed to pulcinella da stefano.


we went ahead with the appetizer to share routine that we’ve gotten so good at.  we ordered the panzerotti.


it was puff pastry, stuffed with cheese and mushrooms and fried.  not sure you could mess that one up.  we both agreed it was good and that it was a pretty substantial appetizer, even when shared.  sam thought it would make a great entree.

for my meal i ordered the gnocchi alla crema di asparagi e ricotta (gnocchi with asparagus mousse and ricotta cheese).


it was a nice dish.  very much what was described.  it would probably fall in the comfort food category.

sam had the calzone.


he said it was good, but it was a little heavy on the spinach and mushroom for his liking.  we probably could have made two perfect calzones out of this one.  i would have taken all the spinach and mushroom and he could have had the meats.

i think we would both say this was a good meal from a restaurant that is probably pretty reliable when it comes to serving good food.

i think it’s possible we will continue our food blogging, but we’ll have to see where our commitment levels fall before we know that for sure.

a lazy saturday lunch

butternut was recommended to me more than once when folks heard i was looking for new places to eat.  i figured it was a good option for a lazy saturday lunch – since it’s not too far from our house.

it’s a cute little restaurant located on a soi on the outside of the east side of the moat.  (just like having a map, i know.)

i went with the mediterranean plate – hummus, falafel, two kinds of tahini, and a tomato salad served along with some soft pita bread.  all the flavors were fresh and bright.  i’d definitely go back just for this.


sam had the grilled cheese.  it was a panini with cheese, bacon, and tomato salsa.  it was as good as it sounds.


we’d also ordered an appetizer.  it came out last, but that’s not uncommon here.  potato croquette.  fried balls of mashed potatoes?  nothing wrong with that.