30 June, 2009
29 June, 2009
27 June, 2009
Our youngest was asleep amidst the noise and light at 5pm, we roused him for a banana for dinner and he was in bed by 6pm. He slept until about 7.30, as we all did. Our middle son had a good nap after lunch yesterday, so was very late to bed. David and I got about 10 hours of most welcome sleep. I was so tired last night that when I washed my hair I forgot to put conditioner in and today I feels like straw. Nice!
Today we went down to central Cairns, which is almost on the beach. There is a great pool-like area just off the beach called The Lagoon. For those from Brisbane, it is somewhat comparable to South Bank, but with more grass (!!!!) and trees.
Culture shock? I could show you a photo of all the shoes at the front door - we can hardly bear to walk inside with shoes on! There is no rubbish sorting, all in the one bin - that is a hard one. Australians come in such different colours and shades AND sizes. Some big people out there in bikinis who just shouldn't be! I'm not sure how formal to be in my speech sometimes and find myself apologising perhaps too much. That is the Japanese side of me coming out. Sometimes we're sprouting Japanese words too, even my 10 y.o., who for all appearances, hates the language.
Other than that we're doing okay, although we had to work hard to persuade our boys before we left to swim, that Australians don't wear swimming caps and goggles if they are just swimming recreationally. The grocery store this afternoon was full of so much stuff, food I've dreamed about for years, and some I've never heard about. Couldn't find my youngest's preference for a calcium drink. He doesn't like milk, so we've been buying drinking yoghurt. Doesn't seem to be much of that around.
For all those agonizing (is this the Australian or US spelling?) over yesterday's post, I did bring myself to decide on some chocolate, buying some Mars Bars. Decided we couldn't delay any long in introducing our boys to those. I also brought home Minties!
At the same time as all this frivolity, our friend is still looking for and applying for a house for us to rent in Brisbane. We're praying we'll be able to take out a lease by the 4th of July so that we can move in on the 9th when we finally arrive there.
My biggest encouragement these last two days has come from our 6 y.o. He is the one who has the most difficulty adjusting to new experiences. He like to stand back and check things out first. However, he is so excited to be in Australia. He is taking the new things in his stride. As we walked back yesterday, after sampling Australian ice cream (I had a White Magnum, for all those worried about my problem with chocolate yesterday morning), he declared that this could be our "Australian Adventure!" Obviously that mentality makes all the new experiences much more fun.
26 June, 2009
25 June, 2009
24 June, 2009
23 June, 2009
22 June, 2009
21 June, 2009
I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. Psalm 61:4If you've been following this blog for a while you've probably figured out that I hate moving. Many aspects of it, the disassembling of my life, the changes in routine, the actually packing of boxes, the good-byes, the stress of change. When reading this verse this morning, the words 'dwelling forever' seemed like a perfect antidote to the pain of moving. Imagine dwelling somewhere forever. Somewhere perfect, somewhere you are always satisfied with. Imagine not having to pick up your roots and drag them elsewhere ever again! Imagine not being tied down by earthly goods, having to sort through them and make decisions about them. Imagine never having to be sure you still have your passport on your person. Ohhhh, the imaginings I could do on this image.
20 June, 2009
- shower cap - snatched off its hook at the last minute before piling out the door to our new acoomodation
- dried apricots - for snacking on in the car
- alcohol hand cleanser
- Sudoku electronic game - great for passing the time in the park while supervising your children while your husband finishes packing up the house
- bandaids and tissues
- a list of all the boxes packed over the last 6 months. Tremendously long list!
- paper cars for boys to construct and play with later in the week when they're bored
- two old magazines for reading at odd moments before throwing away (I recycle magazines, I read them twice before I toss them and then sometimes they also get used for cutting and pasting with the boys too).
- insect repellant - for all that park sitting (it is summer here - my eldest was pondering ponderously out-loud the other day about how much better it would be if mozzies would be around in winter and not summer, when we have our legs and arms all covered up!)
- a banana (at the bottom, of course)
- travel chinese checkers
- laregly blank 2008 diary for use for children who want to draw
- laptop powercord
- iPod, mobile phone and camera
"Are you having fun yet?" No, actually, we're not really having fun this morning. Yesterday my husband and I worked hard all day trying to finish up at our 'old' house and then late into the evening trying to finalise our luggage for Australia. While we had some help with childcare, in between these 'less-than-fun' tasks, we had a challenge of looking after three boys who are struggling with their own emotions. From despair to practical hysterical hyperactivity, it was a roller-coaster with an unpleasant aftertaste.
Today isn't much better. We're leaving again. This time from our temporary abode to another one on the other side of Tokyo. The guest house that belongs to our mission. First sighting of our my eldest boy told me he was not coping with yet another transition. Melancholic and irritable. To add to that we discovered as we packed the second-hand game boy, which we were given on Sunday, is missing one of the games. It happened during our absence yesterday morning, when anarchy basically reigned. A high schooler was looking after our boys, but she didn't exercise much authority and they didn't show much respect. Now the boys cannot find the missing game and it looks like we'll have to leave without it. Best of all, our eldest seems to be blaming us. Not logical, but works for him, apparently.
Before we can go to our next place, we need to finish up totally at our 'old' house because the removalists are coming early on Monday and we're not working here tomorrow. This means that I need to take the boys to the park for a few hours while David works at the house, because it really isn't inhabitable by children.
Ah, good news, the cartridge was found! AND by the boys. Yay. I can only hope they might have learnt a lesson? Luckily I'm an optimist!
18 June, 2009
17 June, 2009
16 June, 2009
14 June, 2009
- We are trying to find childcare options for the boys on Friday. Lots of people are busy with various things and the one person who is not, is a high school student (who is great with our boys) but whose house we cannot use. The forecast is for 30% chance of rain.
- A car situation. We have been offered a van in Australia. The complicating factors are: it is in Brisbane and we will land in Cairns, needing a car from the start. One option for getting ourselves to Brisbane (about 2000km away) via family is to rent a car, but it is very expensive. The owner of the van has offered to send it up to Cairns on the train (cheaper than renting), but the train berths are very limited in number. Please pray we'll get the van in time.
12 June, 2009
11 June, 2009
10 June, 2009
09 June, 2009
The Left-Brain Teacher Teachers with left-brain strengths generally prefer to teach using lecture and discussion. To incorporate sequence, they put outlines on the board or overhead, and they like to adhere to prepared time schedules. They give problems to the students to solve independently. Teachers with left-brain preferences assign more research and writing than their right-brain peers. A reasonably quiet, structured classroom is preferred. The classroom tends to be clean, with items in their place
The Right-Brain Teacher Teachers with right-brain strengths generally prefer to use hands-on activities over a lecture format. In concert with the right-brain preference of seeing the whole picture, these teachers incorporate more art, manipulatives, visuals, and music into their lessons. They tend to embrace Howard Gardner's multiple intelligences. They like to assign more group projects and activities, and prefer a busy, active, noisy classroom environment. The classroom of a strong right-brain teacher will typically have materials and books scattered all over.
Right brain individual: Right brain individuals are intuitive, creative and imaginative. They are flexible and are concerned with the bigger picture rather than details. They are impulsive and spontaneous and do not like time limits. They have difficulty explaining ideas verbally and prefer illustrations to verbal instructions. Careers: Architects, Artists, Salespeople, Psychiatrists, Musicians, Politicians, Teachers.
08 June, 2009
07 June, 2009
06 June, 2009
Some stuff was weird, some of the terminology particularly for example:
- valedictorian: dux for Aussies
- salutatorian: runner-up dux
- invocation: not sure what this was
- commencement exercises: graduation
- Alma Mater: school song
- diplomas: graduation certificates
- recessional: the graduates and teachers leaving the hall.
One disappointment was not being able to understand much of the Senior address, given by the young man who received the Public Speaking Award. We've concluded he probably mumbled a little, the mike was possibly a bit distant and possibly it wasn't his best-ever speech. Pity.
Another disappointment was that many of the announcers of receipients of prizes seemed to swallow the names - they were hard to hear. But for the most part it was quite a satisfactory experience. Nice to have an opportunity to dress-up and act like a child-less adult for a change.
Overall the ceremony was like a combination between an Australian high school speech night and a university graduation. At least my experience of these two events. Certainly it dredged up memories of Speech Nights. For those who aren't Aussie, this amounts to lots of awards given, teachers dressing up in academic gowns (not the students) and speeches from various individuals. Thankfully we had no politicians last night!
Our boys watched a video during the ceremony, but were very pleased to be released from that and allowed to partake in the after-ceremony 'refreshments'. Cake, punch, fruit etc. And at 9.30 they were pretty hungry, again!
From a different perspective, we had three OMF (our mission) kids graduating last night. They received so many awards, it was exciting to be there to see that! Their parents are colleagues, so in OMF circles we are considered pseudo aunties and uncles. A bit strange, but it works, especially in the absence of other extended family. We were a proud family last night. Had a 'family' photo taken too!
One last impression of the evening is how much energy these kids have. The amount they've achieved in the last year or four is impressive. And, by comparison, how old I am! I once had that level of energy. Ran myself ragged in senior, I did. Maybe I'm more sensible (and boring) now?
05 June, 2009
You see, today is CAJ's American-style year 12 graduation. At breakfast we managed to dredge up the memories (or non-memories) of our own Australian-style high school graduations.
My husband didn't even get to parade across a stage and receive his certificate, let alone receive his dux award (the highest acaedemic award of a school, for my international readers) in front of an audience. It was announced when the Tertiary Entrance scores came out a few weeks later.
Both schools had Speech nights, but David's was very low key (non-elitist). Mine was big; lots of awards and speeches, but weeks and weeks before graduation, so not a real comparison.
The biggest thing for both of us was the formal, getting dressed up (partners - grimmace), dinner and dancing (more grimmace). The boys were impressed with our after-party stories - that I stayed up all night watching videos and eating. In comparison their dad went home to bed!
The difference between our own experiences and CAJ's graduation is vast. Or so I believe. I've only seen photos of CAJ's graduation (like the one here from a previous year) and they look grander than even my university graduation! But tonight I'm going to end the trail of speculation and witness one for myself. Usually it is impossible for me to go because anyone who is even remotely connected with CAJ seems to go (and that includes the total field of my after-hours babysitters).