Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Workin' At The Car Wash

Seriously where does the time go? Tomorrow we start the grand ol’ month of October (oh and believe me it is GRAND- I get to see Nathan and Sallee, it’s Erin’s Birthday, it’s Jamie’s Birthday, and best of all it’s my birthday :D), I look back at the two months that I have already been here and I see so many adventures that I have been on, so many things that I have learned, and I look forward to the next two and half months for the adventures and learning that I will have. I guess among my excitement I should also say thanks, to those of you who have come along with me on my journey, you have all been a huge support to me, more than you will probably ever know.

I went to bed pretty early last night; it wasn’t even midnight- which I was quite proud of myself for doing. That was an extremely good thing especially considering that I don’t normally get to bed until after 1am. I woke up this morning feeling so refreshed, amazing what a little bit more of sleep can do. I didn’t exactly jump out of my bed but I was ready to face the day, with a smile on my face (oh yeah I forgot to add, I had even showered before I went to bed which makes it an even bigger deal).

In my morning class this morning we did something called a car wash. Basically the kids moved their hands in circles in front of their body a lot, pretending to be a car wash. Once they had figured that part out (yeah like that took a long time) we got into two lines, one at a time the kids would walk down between the two lines and be “washed.” Basically during this activity there was a lot of tickling, giggling, and a bunch of everything else that is generally involved with 3, 4, 5 year olds. The 4 and 5 year olds got it pretty well, but when I tried getting the 3 year olds to line up in two lines and it didn’t happen I figured that I was going to have to come up with a different plan really fast. So different plan I did, I showed the kids how to pretend to be a wash and then I would just yell out randomly that someone was a car and everyone would rush over and “wash” the person (meanwhile the person was trying to run away from their washers). All in all I think that the activity went pretty well and that the kids seemed to enjoy it, which in my book makes it a pass.

I think that I mentioned before that they absolutely love Christmas here, when I first got here it seemed like I was always hearing Christmas carols, but lately I haven’t been hearing any, but Natalie and I have been talking about different plans for the rest of the semester and Christmas keeps on coming up. So lately I have been getting excited and wanted to hear Christmas music, but it seemed that the only song that they seemed to know is Jingle Bells (which isn’t a bad song), so I decided that for today’s music class I would teach them a new Christmas carol, we started and it didn’t take me very long to figure out that the 4 and 5 year olds know more than just Jingle Bells. Every time though I would move onto a different song I would hear from several people that they wanted to sing Jingle Bells, so we went back to that song often- Natalie is going to teach them Frosty the Snow Man later this week, we will see how that goes.

Lunch was pretty unproductive, no peeing children (well I am sure that there were many children peeing, but luckily I didn’t see any of it :D) and all the kids that normally are the last ones eating finished first and everyone was done a lot earlier than normal, yippee! As I was going upstairs after lunch though Natalie was coming back down the stairs and stopped to tell me some bad/sad news. I guess because it is the national holiday the tickets for the whole weekend of the 10th have been sold out for a long time, so it looks like we won’t be going to Taipei, but while we were talking I thought that since we couldn’t go to Taipei maybe there would be a weird chance that we could go to Green Island instead. Natalie liked the idea and so I said that I would talk to Yuling about it later (which I did). Again during my break I was just kind of internet cruising, not doing much that was productive, though for once I didn’t feel tired and like I needed a nap. I went down early to talk to Yuling, I told her how Natalie and I were planning on going to Taipei for the long weekend, and she was like “Oh, you had better get your tickets” I told her that we weren’t able to go anymore but were wondering at this late of date would it be possible to get tickets to Green Island. She said that since Green Island is to the south and not to the north it will not be as bad and it is also not the season where everyone wants to go, she also told me that Natalie and I could probably each go for about $1600-$1800NT (so about $48-$54), that would include the ferry to the island, a bike rental, hotel for one night, breakfast in the morning, and a session of snorkeling. I think that, that is a pretty good deal and talked to Natalie about it, she thought so too, so I am pretty sure that now Natalie and I will be headed to Green Island week from Friday (sorry Nate and Sallee).

My afternoon lesson went really well, we were talking about our favorite flowers and shapes (ok more about our favorite shapes). I started with showing them some pictures of different shapes and then we went through and had each person say what their favorite shape was. Once that was all through each person was given a piece of paper to draw their favorite shape all over (see blog post Mommy, Look What I Did!). When they had finished drawing their favorite shape they were supposed to flip the paper over and draw their favorite flower, the shapes went pretty well but a lot of the kids didn’t get the flowers done, it is ok though. When everyone had finished drawing they handed back in their papers (it was kind of funny, when we were done Leslee came up to me and said something along the lines of “is this we take home,” I can’t quite remember the exact sentence but I do know that it was a jumble of words but I knew what she was trying to ask) and I showed a couple of them asking them what they thought was that person’s favorite shape.

*I don’t remember if I have mentioned (and I am too lazy to go back and look :D), but at the beginning of my afternoon class I let the kids pick two songs for us to sing, anyway last week when I asked my first afternoon class what song they wanted to sing they responded that they wanted to sing Teacher Beth’s song, so I made this song up on the spot- now they ask for this at least once a day during the afternoon class. So here is my song, it is sung to the tune of “I am 16 going on 17” from “Sound of Music”:

I am Teacher, Teacher Beth, I teach you every day. I teach you to be silly, and happy in every way.

It’s not very long, but I would also say not too bad considering that I made it up on the spot, words kind of just tumbled out of my mouth and they made sense.

When class was over I played with Wendy for awhile, while I was sitting on the ground she had climbed on my shoulders (she has gotten quite good at it) and wanted me to walk around, so I did the scary thing of standing up with her on my shoulders. We walked around the playground for awhile but then my shoulders/neck were getting tired so I took her off, but before I could walk away she grabbed my hand and just started walking around with me. I did that for awhile but then needed to go plug my laptop back in and so extracted my finger from her hand (yes I said extracted, it was a little difficult to get her to let go—not that I am really complaining :D). I came back upstairs and did a couple of things but then decided to run to the grocery store before it got any later or darker.

When I got home from the grocery store I didn’t have much time before tutoring (this week and last week I had my 5 o’clock tutoring canceled- it has been rather nice not having to rush up to that), so during my short little time I looked up some stuff on Green Island to show Natalie when we had time. Tutoring went really well, I think that this was the most that I have ever heard Mark talk, he really opened up tonight- which makes the tutoring session so much more interesting for me.

As soon as both Natalie and I were done with our tutoring we worked on a letter for Yuling, I am a little disappointed with it, it is not as professional as I think that it should be, but Natalie thinks that it should be more understandable than professional. It is done though and I sent it to Yuling so we will see what she says. Ever since I have been working on this journal and doing some other stuff (I am really good at multi-tasking, ok probably not as generally I don’t get very far on either :D). Now I am done and have some other stuff to work on, so I think that I am going to sign off, I hope that you all have a wonderful Tuesday. Love you all lots! ~Betherd~

P.S. I might be going to Hong Kong in 3 weeks!! Stay tuned as more details are learned! ;D


Official Countdown

10 Days Until They Leave

12 Days Until They Land in Taiwan

14 Days Until I See Them in Hualien!!!! (Yep that is still the best one :D)

Loves again!

Mommy, Look What I Did!

So I figured that I haven't posted my projects in awhile and decided that since I have quite a bit from the past few weeks that I would share, these are not all but I just thought that i would give you a little sample of what we have been up to lately at Owl Preschool in Teacher Beth's class!

Today in my afternoon class we were drawing pictures of our favorite shapes, so here are several examples of my favorite shapes (actually I don't really know what my favorite shape is though I do like stars and triangles a lot)

Another example (notice how good I am at remembering to write my name :D)

My favorite flower (mine is Gerber Daisy though I'm not sure if that really looks like one)

Another example, triangles.

This is my name sign from yesterday that is going to go at the top of my mobile, I am quite excited for when we finish those to see how cool they look.

A circle picture, I think that it is cute and turned out pretty good :D

Yeah this is one of my constellations, it was my 1st one and I am not quite sure what it is- not even sure why I am putting it up.

Another personal constellation, I do have to be honest and say that I did know what I was making this time and purposely put the stars where they were so that they would form the fish.

My shimmery stars that I made last week in the afternoon class.

We had extra glitter out when we were done with the shimmery stars so I took the glue and made a couple of pretty pictures- I gave one to Natalie and one to Rebecca after she had helped me a bunch without me asking.

This was not drawn by me, this is another circle picture and it was drawn by Leslee, it is her dear friend Jimmy.

This one is another picture that was not drawn by me (though still circle picture). In the 5 year old class I showed a couple of examples that people had given me from the 4 year old class, two of the ones that I had shown was the picture that Jimmy drew of Leslee and vice-versa. At the end of the class Joy came back and gave me this, from one direction it is Jimmy and from the other direction it is Leslee- now that just has to make your day :D

Another circle picture- a snowman

Yep, another circle picture- candy, yum, yum!

Last week in one of my afternoon classes we were supposed to draw a bunch of stars on our paper and then make them into a picture (our own constellation). I just placed a whole bunch of stars on my paper and then looked at it and saw this (not bad considering I was doing this in front of the class as an example)

Last week in one of my classes we did pictures using a circle, many of these are my drawings from the different classes- I was really happy with the original of this that I did, but when a cute 3 year old asks if they can have it, you just can't say no. So this was me trying to reproduce it and at some point it became my paper for trying other markers on.

Two weeks ago we did worked on numbers 1-5 in one of my classes, these are the different papers that we did in each class. This is the one that we did in the 4 year old class.

5 year old class.

3 year old class ( notice the black dots, that is what we did on most of the kids papers so that they could understand and follow)

I didn't actually draw this one, but it was given to me and it makes me laugh. This is another one of the circle pictures, it was drawn by Jimmy and it is Leslee (refer to the picture of Jimmy drawn by Leslee :D)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Heading To Bed

The movies are taking forever to upload, it is 11:39, I think that I am going to head to bed and finish them in the morning. Love You All! ~Betherd~

A Happy Monday

Ok I am not starting this as early as I had planned on, but I am at least starting it on the day of and hopefully will get it done quite quickly. I am happy that I am getting back into the swing of things (blogging that is).

I woke up this morning pretty tired, for some reason last night I was having several dreams about bugs being all over my room and that they were crawling all over me, needless to say when you are imagining lots of bugs crawling all over you and your room you don’t get lots of sleep.

Thankfully I had planned pretty easy things for my classes today. In my morning class I started with the good old classic “Who Stole the Cookie From the Cookie Jar,” in the 4 year old class they really got into it, after we had gone through everyone in the class they started accusing non-people objects in the room (different chairs, the white board, the paper Santa Clause on the wall, etc.), but these non-people objects still had to answer so I of course had to make up voices for each item, they thought that, that was pretty funny. The 5 year olds came into class and told me that Teacher Yuling had taught them that song (though of course they couldn’t really remember it and Yuling said that when she had taught them they didn’t really get it), it took them a little bit but they eventually got into the song, for some reason they liked to say that I stole the cookies a lot (I think that sometimes I was going every other person in the class). 3 year olds I of course have to do a lot simpler, I would clap (they of course would get into that part) and then sing the song, I would also prompt them with what to say. It was about when we had done every person in the room that the 3 year olds started to get the idea and when I asked them who stole the cookies they would start pointing to someone, it was kind of funny because I would ask whoever had been pointed at if they had stolen the cookies, they would tell me no and then point at someone else- it kind of made me laugh. It was so weird, at the very end of class I had asked the 3 year olds to be quiet for a little bit, I think that they were completely silent for almost one minute (you could hear a pin drop, except for the sound coming through the windows from the other classrooms), both Stephanie and I were surprised that they did it, but as soon as the silence was done it was definitely done (the boys went straight to yelling and climbing on top of each other).

I had remembered about the family call but had forgotten at the same time, it wasn’t until I sat down at my desk that I really remembered so I called in quickly. I enjoyed getting to talk to everyone, but particularly Sonia as I haven’t really been able to talk to her since I left Utah.

I think that I have mentioned before but I find it really funny that I can walk into the classroom and not really have any plans about what I am going to do, but it comes really fast as I start the class and then by the 2nd and 3rd class it is even better and planned. My middle class today was one of those, I knew that I was going to be talking about buddy systems but didn’t really know what I was going to do and particularly how I was going to make it last for 30 minutes. I walked into the classroom and the 3 year olds were of course running around crazy, strangely though today they got calmed down quickly and sat down faster than usual (I wonder how many of them are sick?). I was just about ready to start the class when Meggy walked in, of course all the kids wanted to run over and say hello (what kind of 3 year old would they be if they didn’t want to greet whoever was walking in?), luckily they again settled down pretty quickly. Since the kids were doing so well (and it helps to take up time :D) when they started talking about Yogi Bear I asked them if they would like to sing it, and of course they did. The kids love this song, particularly the last verse (Yogi has an enemy, Ranger, Ranger. Yogi has an enemy, Ranger, Ranger Smith, Bang, Bang. Ranger, Ranger Smith, Bang, Bang. Ranger, Ranger Smith, Bang, Bang. Yogi has an enemy, Ranger, Ranger Smith, Bang, Bang), they always pretend to shoot me and then I fall down at the last verse because they got me. When I fall down they like to climb on top of me like a jungle gym, I let them sit there for a little bit but then have them get off and go back to their seats.

When we were done with the song I asked the 3 year olds if they had remembered when we had talked about strangers, they didn’t really at first so we reviewed. We talked about how one way that we can work to prevent getting kidnapped by strangers is to always go with a buddy; we then took a “walk” around the classroom, everyone with buddies. It took a little bit to get the kids separated and to stand in a line but they actually did really well when we were walking, I was so proud of them. When we had finished our walk there was about 5 minutes left so I let the 3 year olds go and play for the few minutes that there were left. For the 4 and 5 year olds I knew that the taking a walk would not last the whole 30 minutes so with the 4 year olds I added a part after we went on our walk where I would ask someone to go and find something for me on the other side of the room where I couldn’t really see them, they were supposed to pick a partner to go with them and stay together the whole time. it went really well, I think my favorite part was with Yukai and Eric, I had asked them to take something back and to remember to go with a partner, Yukai walked up to Eric, grabbed his hand and then they walked and put it back- it made me feel good because they were listening to what I had been saying and remembered about the holding hands part.

When I walked towards the lunch classroom I looked to the left towards the other classroom and saw that Annie (3 year old) was crying, I have never seen Annie crying, I don’t even remember her crying when she first started (though I am sure that she did), she is always laughing, screaming and creating havoc. So seeing her cry was quite strange, I asked Stephanie what had happened, I guess that Annie had made a mess and she had been asked to clean it up, hence the crying. Anyway during lunch I looked over at Annie and saw that she was having trouble keeping her eyes open, I told Stephanie that she wouldn’t be having any trouble with her when it came time for nap time (I am beginning to think that, that might be why she flipped out so bad about having to clean up a mess- she was tired). Not long later Stephanie all of a sudden gasped and looked over at Annie, she had fallen asleep at the table, Kristy shook her awake and I had Annie come over and sit next to me in hopes that she wouldn’t fall asleep again, no such luck- we were cleaning when Kristy said something and pointed over at Annie. She was just sitting at a chair with an apple in her hand, again with her chin down and asleep. Stephanie woke her up and had her stand-up until the beds were laid out and it was nap time, in hopes that she would not fall asleep again. That was adventure 1 of lunch time, adventure 2: as I was walking towards the door to take lunch stuff back to the kitchen I looked up to see Yukai peeing his pants on the sidewalk right outside the door (yippee---NOT!), luckily I just had to carefully get out of there and then Stephanie cleaned it up.

I generally take a nap myself during the 1st hour of my break but lately I have been getting distracted doing other personal stuff (mostly just web cruising) for the 1st hour and then realize that it is the last hour and I need to make sure that everything is ready for my afternoon class. Today was again one of those cases. So no nap, I definitely think that I will be going to bed early tonight, as no nap and not sleeping very well last night do not add up well.

In our afternoon classes this week our lesson is “About Me,” when I first got here and I was researching for lesson ideas and themes I kept seeing ideas for this theme and I always thought that it sounded kind of weird, but as Natalie and I have started planning it I have actually gotten pretty excited about them. So we decided that we are going to make mobiles this week and each day we will make a piece for it (like we did with the passports), so today I had the kids make the titles for their mobiles (a piece of paper with their name on it- they got to color and decorate the paper that is going to go at the top), I also took pictures of each of the kids. In Natalie’s class she had the kids draw a self portrait of themselves, we are going to print a copy of their picture and then we will glue the actual picture and the self portrait back-to-back later when we make the actual mobiles. I am pretty excited about making these mobiles, I think that they are going to turn out really cool- the part that makes me laugh the most is that we of course have to make this with a Taiwanese twist…we had asked Yuling for a hanger for each child to be the base (I guess?) of the mobiles, this afternoon instead of hangers she gave us a whole bunch of cheap wooden chopsticks, I guess we are either going to glue them like a cross or something and use them. It is not something that I would ever have thought of but it makes sense, but it does make me laugh at the same time.

When class was over I took my stuff back upstairs and then went back down to walk around and record my school/apartment tour. Let me tell you something, the tour maybe took me 10 minutes tops to walk around and record but putting it up on the blog has taken me more than 4 hours, with our really slow connection it takes a long time to upload each video and I have several---so family you had better appreciate it (:D). When I was done with my tour I came back to my room and started uploading the movies to my blog and that was what I was doing until I had tutoring at 7 with Sarah. Sarah is so cute and really easy to tutor, she works hard and I never have to remind her to work, I did feel kind of bad though because I was having trouble staying awake while I was tutoring her- luckily I don’t think that she noticed. When we were done she left and I got myself some dinner and ever since I have been still working on uploading videos, writing up this, and doing more internet cruising.

I am proud of myself, it is 10:40 and I am done. I think that as soon as I am done with uploading the videos I am going to actually head to bed (early I know). Hopefully now the movies won’t take too long to upload. I love you all lots and hope that you have a wonderful Monday. ~Betherd~

P.S. Oh my goodness I can’t believe that I almost forgot to mention it, actually I think that I probably already did but I am really excited about it, yesterday while I was sitting in the office with not much to do I got my lesson plans ready for the next 4 weeks, now I all have to do is add my afternoon classes after talking to Natalie and I am set- that is just amazing to me! :D

P.P.S. I bet you thought that I had forgotten.

Official Countdown:

11 Days Until They Leave

13 Days Until They Land in Taiwan

15 Days Until I See Them in Hualien!!!! (That is the best one :D)

Loves again!

Video Tour

So here is my video tour of my apartment finally! I am a little irritated with how long it has taken to upload it all, but it is done with and I don't have to do it again, yippee!! Sorry for it being a little shaky, I am not the most steady camera person. I do also narrate the whole thing, you don't have to listen to that part if you don't want to (I hate hearing my voice on camera- ick!). Sorry about there being so many different videos, but it would have been worse to try and do bigger recordings, they go in order, left to right, down left to right, etc. Loves to all! ~Betherd~

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Looking Into the Wind

I took a short little clip of outside this morning, the sound that you hear is the wind hitting against me and everything else that was in sight- sorry it isn't very stable, it is a little hard to do in the wind. I hope that you can see how much the trees and bushes are swaying and moving. It was kind of interesting to think that the typhoon hadn't hit when it had been doing that and worse all night long.

Love you all ~Betherd~

A Look Around

It has been kind of strange since I have come here, it seems that many of our weekends they are warning us that there will be a typhoon, this weekend was another one of those. Yuling had mentioned Friday that a typhoon might hit Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday time period so I wasn't too worried for this weekend. Yesterday morning it had been windy and rainy but it is like that generally so again I wasn't worried, but when I was in the kitchen I heard a noise outside, I looked out the window and could see Yuling, Joseph, and Yuling's dad- they were taking things inside the buildings and tying things down. Natalie came home soon and then we heard someone outside, it was Yuling coming upstairs; she told us that the typhoon was going to be pretty bad and that we needed to take everything inside the kitchen and do a major lock down on all of our windows and apartment. So we quickly moved everything into the kitchen and then helped tie down our tables together.
Through this typhoon Natalie and I have been realizing more and more how many people we have here that care for us and help to make sure that we are aware of what is going on. We had dinner plans last night with Amy and some of her classmates, as we were pulling up to the restaurant Grace called Natalie and suggested that we should go home as there was a typhoon coming. Also while we were eating Stephanie called Natalie and told her that church was canceled for the next day and that we would be smart to head home soon. As we were heading out Amy and all of her friends told us to get home soon and be safe. We stopped at the grocery store and stalked up with things on our way home. Right after we had gotten home the Sister Missionaries called us to check and make sure that we had gotten home from the restaurant (they didn't trust that I remembered the way home) and to tell us that church was canceled. Then this morning Yuling called to tell us that church was canceled and that she felt that it might be better/safer for us to move downstairs. As we have realized how many people we have that are looking out for us we have felt very blessed the last couple of days.
Our day today was a little long, the worst of the storm actually came before we even got downstairs, by the time we were all moved it was actually starting to calm down. I am pretty excited though because I had time to sit down and just look through all the resources that there are for us to use I have planned my next 4 weeks of lessons, except for the afternoon classes where I have to do that with Natalie. It feels so good to have all that done, especially with Nathan and Sallee coming (for those who are interested: they leave in 11 days, arrive in Taiwan in 13 days, and I will see them in 15 days--no I'm not counting down, I would never do that ;D) I will not want to take the time and plan my lessons. A couple of hours ago Yuling called us in the office and asked if we would like to come back upstairs, we said yes as we didn't really feel like getting up at 6 or so to get out of the office before kids arrived. I guess that the typhoon has changed its course and it will not be hitting Hualien at all (originally we were supposed to be getting the eye), we are a little dissapointed as school and work has been cancelled for all of Taiwan tomorrow, except Hualien that is (Yuling was pretty disappointed also). So good thing that I got all of my lessons and evaluations done earlier.

Here I am in the office modeling the flooded field outside.

Natalie chowing down on our lunch of frozen pizza.

A close-up of our lunch (yeah it tasted about as good as it looks- NOT GOOD!), Natalie ended up getting sick from it later in the day.

This just makes me sad, this is the garden that is right beside the school, I took this picture this morning- they had just planted these a couple of weeks ago.

So this morning we got a call from Yuling telling us that church was canceled and that the typhoon hadn't even hit yet, she felt that we should move downstairs to the office and that she would be by in an hour to open it up for us, these next few pictures are of all our stuff that we brought down with us (we really didn't know how long we were going to be there so we brought probably close to our whole kitchen of food :D)

Natalie eating her frosted flakes (she was super excited to have gotten them)

Part of the food that we brought down.

Our towels- they were both wet (funny story Natalie dropped hers when we were going downstairs and I dropped mine when we were coming back up)

A picture of the sky from last night.

Our group shots that we took before we raced home after dinner, Amy's friends were so nice and fun to hang out with (Note: Amy is the one in the front with the red shirt on and white jacket)

A picture that I took this morning of our deck- look how far the water came in.

The poor plants outside had all fallen down.

This sign is normally at the end of the street, Saturday afternoon they took it down and brought inside the gate- when Natalie came home later she and the Chu's missed the street because they didn't see the sign.

I took several pictures of the sky Saturday mid-afternoon, these are them (notice how pink the sky is)

This is our porch after Yuling came through and had us move everything, I think that it kind of looks really sad.

Our kitchen/living room (where everything was placed)

A closer view of everything in the kitchen (notice my clothes drying- I had just done my laundry when Yuling came upstairs)

One of the play structures all tied up.

The other play structure tied up also, it is a little harder to see this one.

Natalie and I are pretty excited about our lesson ideas for this week. I am sorry that I didn't write at all last week but I am thinking that I got so far behind that I probably wont catch up, it is probably better if I just start from here and go forward (every time I try and sit down and start writing I can't concentrate because there is so much to write about). I am hoping that as I get more used to my schedule that I will be able to plan better my writing. I love you lots and hope that you are having a wonderful Sunday (calmer at that). Loves to all, this is ~Betherd~, signing off!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Wait For It...

I know, I know- it has been a week since I have posted. I am going to bed really early tonight, but wait for it and tomorrow I will post a nice long letter from the week.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Weekend Ups and Downs

Ok, so I am soooo proud of myself- it is not even 7pm and I already have my evaluations done, my lesson plans done (except the part that I have to do with Natalie), and a load of laundry (yeah I had to do one on Sunday- we were gone all day yesterday), not bad if I do say so myself. But it is ok, because once again I have much to catch up on in my journal and I am sure that it will take much of my time tonight.

Wow I got really distracted, it has been over an hour since I last wrote something, now I really got to hurry to get caught up, as I was hoping to have this all done by the time that Natalie got home so that we could do our lesson plan and then maybe I could go to bed early. So I guess that, that means that I had better get typing.

The last time that I wrote was Wednesday night, and so I need to get started with Thursday. In my morning class we played a game that was supposed to be called “Hot Hoops,” what you were supposed to do is get hula hoops of different colors and set them on the ground. I was supposed to then have each kid stand in one hoop, then I was supposed to say “Red Hoop is Hot” or something like that and then all the kids were supposed to run to the red hoops, there was also supposed to be a rule that only like 3 people could be in each hoop. We didn’t have enough hoops, so I ended up just setting out different colored chairs around the room. I thought that it might be a little confusing for the kids if I said that only like 3 people could be a chair, so I would just say a color chair and all the kids would go running to the chair (they wouldn’t sit on the chair, they just had to be touching it). The kids seemed to enjoy it and we got to work on our colors.

In my middle class we were talking about insects. I started with reading a book about what insects do, where they live, and a book where it had two pictures of animals, one of an insect and one not- the kids had to identify which one was the insect and which one was not. Once we finished reading the books we got to go outside and explore the playground trying to find insects. I was really happy with the 5 year olds, the last couple of times that I have tried taking them outside for an activity they have ended up having to come back inside, but before we went outside we talked about what my expectations were and what would happen if they didn’t follow them, they followed it perfectly and didn’t have to come back inside.

For my afternoon class we were talking about mermaids, I tried finding pictures of mermaids. It made me quite sad how hard it was to find a decent, appropriate picture of a mermaid, most of them were disgusting and not appropriate for me to look at, let alone for me to show preschool kids. I decided that the best thing to show if we were talking about mermaids was to watch Little Mermaid. In my 1st class the kids were half asleep and watched the movie, it didn’t seem like they were very excited to watch it, but I guess they must have been because they told the next class that we had watched the movie in my class. When I announced to the 2nd class that we were going to be watching the movie they all got really excited and said Yeah!! When class was over I heard several groans, and so I continued to play the movie until I had to leave to go and tutor someone. It was funny to see them get so excited to watch the movie (I even had some kids from the 1st class come back in and watch more after the class was over). Because I had gotten the movie off of youtube the movie came in chunks of 10 minutes and so I had several different tabs open, Thursday night I finished off the movie :D it has been a long time since I have seen Little Mermaid.

I don’t really remember what happened Thursday night, which means that not much that much exciting stuff happened. So I guess I will continue onto Friday. Friday morning for my class we worked on our kicking, I didn’t really have any concrete plans when I went into class except that I had 3 semi-soft balls with me and that we were going to work on kicking. It didn’t take me very long to figure out that it was not a good idea to work on our kicking inside, the room is really small and the ceiling is really low (especially with the fans), so we moved our activity to outside. It was pretty hot outside on Friday so the kids were all searching for shade in the 4 year old class. For the 5 year old class we did it back inside but we tried it a little different, we stood in a circle and worked on our small kicks on the ground, on a scale I am not quite sure what score I would give that class.

Middle class: we worked on numbers 0-5. In the 3 year old class I had a sheet where it said a number and then you were supposed to color in that many of the picture beside it, I first did the whole sheet in front of the class so that they could get it. I then handed the papers to the class, Teacher Stephanie and I went around and dotted the pictures with a black marker to help the kids a little bit more. I was so impressed with Annie, before Stephanie and I had gotten to Annie’s paper she had already done 2 of them, the correct way. Annie likes to pretend that she is not smart sometimes I think and so when I saw her paper I was so impressed. For the 4 year old class their sheet had little pictures and then underneath them it had two numbers, one with the correct number and one of them not, the kids had to circle which one was the correct number. Then at the bottom of the sheet there was a mini color by number, basically just a square with mini squares with numbers in them, we worked as a class and colored in our “picture.” For the 5 year old class we did a color by number. This was one of the 1st times that I have tried doing different activities and I think that it went quite well, I think that I chose pretty well for the levels of each age group (though when the 4 year olds saw what the 5 year olds did they assured me that they could have done it too :D).

For my afternoon class we were talking about ocean, just as a general subject. I started by reading a book about saving dolphins (yeah it didn’t really apply, but oh well), the kids laughed and then enjoyed it. When we were finished we made a ocean bottle thing, it is where you start with a plastic bottle and fill it about 1/3 with water, then you food color the water blue, next fill the rest of the bottle with oil, close lid and then move the bottle up and down, it looks really cool. I came to class with the bottle full of the water, I asked the kids what I had (a bottle full of water, a water bottle!), next I put in the blue food coloring and shook it up and asked the kids what color it was (blue water!). I had got a package of plastic bead from Yuling and then one at a time I called each kid up to come and pick a bead to put in the bottle (to be our shells, of course!). It was kind of funny, the first person that I called up didn’t quite understand and they dumped their bead in with the oil rather than in with the water, I got a good laugh out of that, though I felt kind of bad for laughing because she didn’t really understand what was wrong with what she had done. Once every child had put a bead in the bottle I filled the rest of the bottle with oil. I closed it and showed the kids a little bit how to do it and then passed it around and let each kid play with it for a little bit, for some reason they all really liked to shake it up and down really fast so the oil bubbled up and the colors mixed together for a little bit. At the end of the class we had a few minutes remaining so we played a little game.

Because of the typhoon last weekend the BBQ had been cancelled, or so I had thought- but fear not I was wrong, it was only postponed to Friday! At first I had thought that Natalie and I were going to go to the church at 6:30 and we would catch a ride to the house it was going to be at, but then a couple of days ago the Sister Missionaries asked Natalie if she would be willing to go on splits with them Friday night, so that cancelled out our plans. At one point Yuling had said that Stephanie would be willing to give us a ride, so Friday morning I asked her about that, she hadn’t been planning on having to give us a ride (Yuling had told her that we would be going earlier) and so she had brought her scooter instead of her car, she asked if I would be willing to ride to her house afterschool to pick up her car, I have never rode a scooter and so was a little nervous but said that yes I would (obviously—she was doing me a service), so we had it all planned, later in the day though she told me that I was going to go with Yuling and Allie instead when they went, as they would be going straight to the BBQ once they were done cleaning up everything. I had considered not going to the BBQ as I am supposed to tutor the Chou family Friday night, but when I told that to Yuling she was like,” no I will cancel, they cancel anytime that they have something they want to do, it is no problem.” So it was kind of weird to be going out and doing stuff on a Friday night rather than preparing to leave to go and tutor.

It was kind of nice to go with Yuling to the BBQ, on the way we talked about lots of different things, particularly how I would like to go to different places while I am here, she told me that I should be able to go to Hong Kong for $200-$300, for three days and two nights, it should include the flight, the hotel, at two breakfasts, and they will pick me up at the airport and drive me to the hotel. That would be amazing so I think that I will look more into it, I still am not sure if I will be able to convince Natalie to come with me but it really is something that I want to do. I also asked her about where I could maybe get some plus-size clothes as my shorts are falling down more and more each day and some of my shirts are getting destroyed in the washing machine. It was funny when we were on our way to the house where the BBQ was (which I found out is actually Yuling’s Parents-in-Law) we had stopped at a red light and were just talking when all of a sudden we heard a bang and something had hit the back of the car, we both jumped and then realized that it was the bar that comes down when a train is coming. It didn’t do any damage to the car but it scared us both pretty bad, luckily between the lanes and the bar there is a lot of space so we were safe from getting hit, but Yuling and I talked about it and we decided that, that was a terrible place to have a light as it is on either side of the railroad tracks, and sometimes people will race through it or they will stop too far in like we did and it could be rather dangerous.

We finally got to the BBQ safely without any more “accident,” the BBQ was interesting. The food was delicious; people were so friendly and kept on offering me more and more food- I don’t think that I had even been there for 5 minutes when I already had food in my hands ( I asked the Missionaries how to get it to stop- Elder Christiansen told me how to say no thank you but I forgot, he also said just keep pointing at your stomach and shaking your hand or something like that). It was kind of funny I would be talking to someone and then all of a sudden I would hear Yuling yelling Beth from the other end and I would go over and she would be telling me to try some other kind of food. We were there for over 3 hours, and it amazed me how people were eating for those 3 hours. It seemed like most people just kept on going the whole time and never stopped (I thought of you Erick while I was there, it looked like your kind of feast and how you can just keep on eating :D). Most things that I tried I really liked, but there were a couple of things that I didn’t like, it amazed me how food there actually was and how it just kept on coming what seemed out of nowhere. Natalie ended up getting to come for a little bit, the Sisters had pushed their appointments back a little bit so they could at least come and stop by, pretty soon after I got there Natalie and Sister Hill left, Sister Wood stayed all night as they had a couple of investigators there. One thing that I tried that I did not like was wheat tea, Sister Wood was drinking it and seemed to really like it, it sounded suspicious to me and I didn’t really want to try it. While I was considering trying it Elder Christiansen came up and was talking to us, he described it as a mixture of cigarettes and water (doesn’t that just sound lovely?), stupidly I tried it (just to say that I had-see how I am getting better at that, at least I will try it once), it was disgusting and I totally agree with his description of it.

When the BBQ was over I was more than ready to go home, I haven’t gone to bed early at all this week and so I was ready to get into bed, sadly though Yuling wasn’t quite ready to leave yet and so I was just standing around doing nothing. Finally she was ready and we all started walking towards the car, we got distracted and stopped several times but we did eventually make it to the car. When we got there I found out that Yuling would not actually be driving me home, she doesn’t see the best at night and so she was going to drive the scooter home (don’t ask me how that is better) and Joseph was going to drive me home in the car, we got home very quickly with no accidents, I was very happy to get home. Oh I almost forgot, on our way to the BBQ Yuling told me how she used to be able to balance with her feet on the pedals for a whole red light on her bike (which is like 60 seconds), I was quite impressed because I can only balance as long as I am moving (and sometimes not even then :D). She also told me that I should go to Thailand, but she said that it takes about a week for Thailand, I don’t really have a week open so I don’t think that, that will be happening L.

I wasn’t as smart as I had hoped to be when I got home and didn’t go straight to bed, Natalie came home and we talked for awhile and then I talked to Mom for awhile. I ended going to bed about 1am, but I did get to sleep in until like 8:45, which was kind of nice. When I woke up yesterday morning Natalie was not up yet, we had talked about leaving at 10am, but I didn’t think that we would actually be leaving that early. I got on facebook and started talking to Erin, I don’t know if it is because I am in Taiwan or what but facebook chat has not been working very good lately so I suggested to Erin that we get on MSN instead (Jamie and I had gotten it for her last year so that we could talk via it), we got on and found out that they have added an option of using video and phone call, we tried that, they were so-so, so I suggested that Erin download skype. While we were talking on MSN Shalynn came into the room and so I got to talk with her also and then also we added Jamie on our MSN conversation, it was so nice to be able to hear my best friends voices and to see them “in person.” Finally skype finished downloading on Erin’s computer and so we switched over to it, it was so much better (*if you are doing video or phone call totally do Skype over MSN, the quality is sooo much better and Skype is free). A little after 10 I realized that Natalie was up so I ended our phone call soon after that so that she and I could get ready to leave. Before Natalie and I left we cleaned out our food cupboard (we have been taken over by ants lately), when we were done we were both like we should have taken before and after pictures, but sadly we didn’t so you don’t get to see the amazing work that we did.

Soon after we were finished cleaning we took off to Carrefour, I could totally feel that I have gained more strength; I wasn’t as tired this time on the way there (not to say that I wasn’t tired). We actually got there very quickly this time, it was kind of funny though on the way, at least 3 people on the other side of the road (4 lanes and a median over) yelled hello to us as we rode by, we are POPULAR! When we got to Carrefour our 1st stop was the laptop area, to look for a laptop for Natalie, we looked for quite awhile and talked about the pros and cons of each one, she had decided on one and then we went to look at other areas, while we were in the movie section Natalie got hold of her dad and so she went back and talked to him for awhile about the computers that there were. They had decided that one of them was a good deal and that she should get it, so we headed back downstairs to the ATM, we both pulled out money and then went straight back upstairs (Natalie was carrying a lot of money, strangely she didn’t really feel like walking around the store with all of it). We explained that we wanted to buy a computer and which one we wanted; the lady went and got it for us. The lady told us that if we signed up for a savings card we could get money back (it was a big purchase obviously), Natalie decided to do it, she had just finished filling out everything when the lady said that they were having a special right now with that certain company of laptops, she pointed out a poster and it said (obviously we couldn’t read it) that if you bought an acer computer then you could either get $1000NT off of a monitor, a free TV box, a free flash drive (I think that, that was what it was), or a free printer, Natalie got pretty excited about the free printer offer, and so she said that, that was what they wanted. They were out of the printers (luckily as I was kind of worried how we were going to get the computer back home), but they would be ordering them and when they came they would call Natalie.

Along with getting the free printer we also got these coupons for $2000NT off our next purchases (for signing up for the card), that is a lot of money ($60) and so Natalie is pretty excited about that. They also gave us this coin keychain thing that we can use over and over for getting our cart (at Carrefour you have to put in $10NT to get a cart, but then when you return your cart you get it back so I am not quite sure if I get the point, but Natalie was pretty excited).

*Because I keep getting distracted and it is getting pretty late I am going to omit part of the story from yesterday.

We were at Carrefour probably for like 4-5 more hours, just wandering around looking at everything tossing random stuff into the cart, checking off items on our list, etc. When we were finally done I was starting to get pretty tired of being on my feet all day and was more than ready to leave. We took our cart out with us as we figured that it would be easier to take the cart to our bikes and arrange the stuff. It didn’t take me very long to figure out that the box was not going to fit in either of our baskets or in our backpacks or anything, but Natalie was determined to try and fit it on somehow. We probably stood there for 20 minutes trying different ways, I finally suggested that she go and call someone and see if they could possibly come and get our stuff (ok I had been suggesting it several times but finally forced it as an idea), so she went inside and tried calling people, she couldn’t figure out the phone for awhile so finally probably an hour after I had been standing outside with our stuff, holding our bikes up (they didn’t really like balancing with all the stuff in them) Natalie came out and decided to open up the box and see what it was like inside. We quickly found out that it came with its own computer bag and that if Natalie put it in that she could fit it in her backpack and then we could break down the boxes. We felt kind of stupid for having stood there for so long not trying that, but its all part of the adventure. We were soon off after that.

When we finally got home I was quite tired, but we were both really hungry so Natalie offered to bike to the night market and get us some food, while she was gone I posted some pictures on my blog and got caught up on what had been happening all day. When Natalie got home we ate our dinner and then we turned her computer on, it didn’t take very long until we had figured out that it was in Chinese, we tried changing it to English but we couldn’t figure it out. (Today Natalie brought it to church and had some people look at it, they think that the only way to fix it is to take it back to the store and have them download the English version of Windows or something like that, so she has asked the Chu family and they are going to take her back to Carrefour on Friday afternoon) I felt kind of bad that it was in Chinese but there really wasn’t anything that I could do, so I went to my room to try and work on some stuff, instead I got distracted by Erin and we talked on skype for probably another hour (it’s ok, it was a good distraction…hehe, Erin that reminded me of something….. ;D), when she and I were done talking I went to bed and then got up this morning.

It is already 10:30 and I haven’t even talked about today at all. I think that I am going to sign off for tonight and then talk about today in tomorrow’s post. Natalie and I still need to finish our lesson plans also and this is starting to get pretty long. So this is ~Betherd~ signing off, I hope that everyone has a wonderful Sabbath. LOVES!!!