Saturday, 8 October 2011

The Cuteness of Kids

School is officially in swing and off to a busy but good start.  My class this year is well behaved and general make me happy with no major behavior issues thus far.  In Sepemteber we have been studying 'Authors and Letters' in English.  We have read two books by Roald Dahl, The Twits and Esio Trot.  The students then wrote a letter to the author about The Twits and then wrote a letter to a character in Esio Trot.  One of my students really cracked me up with his letter...its not the content but his spelling...its just too cute!  You can at least make out what he was trying to spell (which is better than some kids) and I just had to share.  I have changed the name to keep it confidental but I hope it brings a smile to your face as it did mine!!  :)  The words in italics is the word he means in case you cannot make the word out. 

His first letter was to Roald Dahl about The Twits which we read in class.
Dear Mr Dahl,

I apslootlie (absolutely) love yore books  theay ure (are) brilonte. but wote (what) is yore favrote book.  wen you wose (was) lite ole (little) wote was a nice book you read.

I read the twits  I fote (thought) it wose good.  Spashaly the bit wen the boys gote sduck (stuck) in the big ded tree.  And thay tock ov ter tralses (took off their trousers).  I dont like mise is twit (Mrs Twit) baseae she keeps plaine tricks on a chuver (each other).

yore sinsily

Age 7

His second letter was to a character in Esio Trot another Roald Dahl book.
Dear Mr Hoppy.

I am ritine because we just red your book Esio Trot.  I like flowors  a rose is my farote  wote us youres?  Bie (By) the way hall (how) wase the wedin.  I am shore it wase brilont?

I rill wont a totes (tortoise)  please can you get me wane (one).  Hall is youre with (wife).  I shore she is grate.

your sincerely.


Monday, 15 August 2011

A Dorset Holiday

The day after school finished Matthew, Pat (mum-in-law), Solomon (the dog) and myself traveled to the area of Dorset (south England) for a week's holiday.  Matthew was quite under the weather the week before and was still feeling poorly so I drove all the way there.  This was just two weeks after getting my driving license and first time to drive on the motorways here in England.  The drive there went smooth.  We had rented a lovely little cottage in the country only a few miles from Dorchester.
 Hardy's Cottage
Lovely view of the country from our deck

Due to Matthew's ill health, he spent several days in bed while Pat and I did a bit of sight seeing.  Pat and I went to a lovely stately home called Athelhampton House on Sunday afternoon.  It was a lovely house with a beautiful garden....and the best bit it wasn't busy.
 Althenhampton House
Exploring the beautiful gardens

On Monday, Pat and I explored the area of Weymouth (home to the 2012 Olympic sailing) and had a nice morning walking around the beach side and harbor.  We visited Fort Nothe and that made for an interesting visit. 
 Waiting for the boats in Weymouth Harbour
Nothe Fort

Tuesday Matthew and Solomon got out of the house and joined us for a day on the Isle of Portland.  We got to go to Portland Bill and see the lighthouse at the tip of the island and then went to a Henry VIII castle.  This was also Solomon's first time in the ocean (and castle) so it was fun to see him act like a puppy!  :)
 Portland Bill Lighthouse
A beautiful view over the town of Portland and overlooking the famous Chesil Beach
Solomon enjoying his first time in the ocean!

On Wednesday Pat and I traveled to Sherborne.  This was a cute little village and well worth a visit.  Lots of cute shops, a cathedral and even a castle.  All in all it was a great day out.  As a bonus we got to see a cute little place called Cerne Abbas and got to see the ancient giant drawn into the hill....I wouldn't exactly call the giant cute as he is a bit rude!
Sherborne Cathedral
Sherborne Castle - home of Sir Walter Raleigh
The Cerne Abbas Giant

On Thursday Matthew joined us for another fun day out.  We caught a steam train to Corfe Castle.  I felt like I was in a Harry Potter film aboard the Hogwarts Express on the steam train...we were even in a carriage like the ones in Harry Potter!  :)  Corfe Castle was beautiful sitting atop of a hill and had some very interesting history.  We then carried on the steam train to Swanage and had a walk along the beach front eating fish and chips.  We then headed back on the steam train to our car.  On the way home we decided to make a stop at Monkey World.  Monkey World is a centre to care for and rehabilitate monkes from all over.  It was fun getting to see all the different monkeys.  This was the longest day but it was a lot of fun and got to see a lot of cool things.
All aboard!!
Corfe Castle
Chimp in Monkey World - lost his right arm from humans

On Friday we had a smaller day of traveling out to Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door.  This was another opportunity for Solomon to get in the sea and we even got Matthew out in it (well his ankels at least).  We then rested up at home and packed up preparing for our journey back home the next day. 
Solomon playing in the sea with 'daddy'
Durdle Door

Saturday Matthew was feeling better and decided to drive back.  Pat and Matthew humored me and stopped by Stonehedge on the way home as it was only 30 minutes extra to our journey home.  I'm glad I got to see Stonehedge as it was quite interesting but at the same time its a a bunch of rocks and quite expensive to get into for what it is.  It was fun and another thing to check off the list.  We were making good time home....that is until our car decided to completely die on the M25 (motorway that goes around the whole of London).  This was really scary sitting there (middle lane) and unable to do anything about it.  We called the RAC (motor help company that we are members of) and got towed to a local recovery center where they looked at the car for over an hour.  We knew what the problem was (electrical problem with shorting out brake lights which affected our car switching gears) but not the source of the problem.  Luckily, we were able to get towed back with our car to Bury St Edmunds and home safely.  What was a good journey and should have only been five hours turned into over nine hours.  I have to say Solomon was a trooper through it all and was very proud of him. 
At Stonehedge with true British weather
The wonderful RAC man trying to fix our car at the recovery centre

Overall we had a great trip.  We got to see lots of interesting things but still plenty of time to rest and not do much at the same time.  We had great food at local pubs almost every evening.  It was great going with Pat as it gave me someone to sight see with while Matthew was resting or staying back at the cottage.  I feel very blessed with all that we got to see and with the family I have.  It was a great holiday and I look forward to the next one.  :)
 (: Some of my favorite people :)

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Driving on the wrong side

Well...good news!  I am have officially passed my driving test.  Last Wednesday 6th July at 9:37am I began my half hour driving exam.  My manoeuver was reverse around a corner.  In the English system you are allowed up to 15 minor faults before failing your test and I managed to get 8 minor faults.  It was a bit nerve racking as I was driving and I could see the examiner making ticks on his board.  But it was good news in the end as I can now officially drive on my own as I now have my own English driving license. 

 No longer a loser....I mean 'L'earner driving anymore!!
It's official....I passed!  :)  I have a certificate to prove it!!

My two months of super busyness is now over.  I should get my science test results back in August and then we will know if all the stress over the past two months was worth it all.  Now I  have one more week of school left and will continue to unpack and settle into our new house.  Then it is the summer holidays....which I will now be able to help with the driving especially when my parents are here visiting.  Matt is already thankful for me being able to drive to school instead of him having to take me!!  Until next out England....American woman on the roads!!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Oi! What a mess!

Well good news!  We are ALL moved in now!  :)  Everything went really well Thursday night with the move.  Matthew and I were very blessed with such a wonderful church family pitching in to help us with the move.  We had about 12 people from the church helping with the move including moving furniture, building some furniture (Thanks Luke and John Mark), and cleaning the old house from top to bottom.  Some of the ladies have even provided some meals for the next few days to help us out.  What a blessing the church can be to its people!!

Anyway now begins the BIG job of unpacking ALL the boxes and getting furniture moved to its right spot.  Here are some pictures of the job ahead when it comes to unpacking...
 Matt's office - probably the best looking room so far
but he has lots of books still needing a home!!
 Sitting/TV room...probably one of the easier rooms to sort out!
 What will be the dining room but not for awhile!!
The kitchen - the other side of the kitchen looks just the same!  Where to even start??

I hope to post againsoon with some more updated pictures of the new house!  :)  After next week things will start to slow down again.  It has been one of the busiest months ever!  With work, science exam, unexpected school inspection, writing end of year reports, moving house and my upcoming driving test next week.....I'm tired!  Only three more weeks of school and then six weeks will be a good six weeks and very busy but hopefully a good rest and getting the house pretty much perfect.  Thanks again to all you continue to remember us in prayer and all those that helped us with the moving!!  Reporting from our new home on Woodside Close....over and out!

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Matthew's First Baptism

Last Sunday, Matthew was blessed as a minister and got the opportunity to baptise his first baby!  Avelyn Joy was two weeks old (born on the same day as our anniversay)!  It was a very special day celebrating with the Park family on this joyous occassion.  The whole church was invited back to their home for a lovely Korean lunch (I even ate some!). 

                                      Welcome to the family baby Avelyn!!
                                                             Annointing with water.
Praying over Avelyn!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

A Busy Month Ahead

It is very hard to believe that May has already come and gone.  It seems like yesterday it was Easter and now its already June.  Where does the time go?  May was a good month in which we kept quite busy.  I took my science practial exams in all three subjects (biology, physics, chemistry) and my written exam for driving on top of school and church stuff.  Matthew was busy preparing for the American Mission trip in which 35 students from Alabama arrived on May 28th.  This past half-term was very quick at school (only 4 weeks instead of the normal 6) and even took my students on a field trip to London to visit the Olympic Park.  It was interesting seeing the Olympic sites and stadiums but still stressful being responsible for 42 children in London. 

 The new Olympic Stadium which will become the home of
West Ham football club after the Olympics.
Called 'the pringle' - this is the Velodrome for the cycle races.

The one thing in May that we did do was visit a local castle.  I had been wanting to visit Framlingham Castle since we moved here and finally managed to go and see it!  It is a 12th-century castle and it was at this place where Mary Tudor gathered her troops to storm London and take her crown and where she officially became the first Queen of England.  Very exciting.  The town of Framlingham was very cute and it was just a lovely day walking around the town and the castle and spending time together.  :)  It was a fun day out and just what Matthew and I needed. 

 Interesting sign about Mary Tudor! She was the first Queen of England.
 Outside Framlingham Castle
Inside Framlingham Castle

This past week has been busy with the mission trip happening from America (will post about it later). June is shaping to be a VERY busy month and I am ready for it to be mid-July.  Why so busy you ask?  First, I  have my BIG science exam in less than two weeks from now on June 17th.  I'm getting a bit nervous as I haven't studied for it as much as I should and the fact I REALLY need to pass it and science isn't my strongest subject.  I will be busy studying for that on top of all my normal teaching work.  There is a good chance that we will have a government inspection at my school sometime in June which adds extra stress and a bit more work to an already busy work load.  Also, at some point I have to write a report over each child and how they are doing in every subject.  Again, this will take quite a bit of time being thorough about each child and what they demonstrate in the classroom. 

So if all this wasn't busy enough Matthew and I are moving to a new house this month as well.  Yes you read correctly....we are moving (AGAIN!).  At least it is in the same town but does involving packing a whole house (AGAiN!) and getting resettled in a new place.  It will be much better for us as a place to live than where we currently are but it is just the hassle of it all. 

Our new home!  :)

At the beginning of July I take my driving exam (I passed my written (theory) exam earlier in May).  It could be July 7th and ALL of this will be done.  Needless to say it is going to be a very busy month in every way and could most certainly use prayer during this time especially with my upcoming science exam and driving test and with moving house.  Thanks and if I survive the coming month, I'll see you in July!  :) 

Friday, 3 June 2011

A Birthday Surprise

This past Wednesday was Matthew's 30th birthday!  We currently have 35 people on a mission trip visiting Bury St Edmunds from Alabama in which Matt has been busy heading up.  He kept saying that we weren't going to celebrate his birthday until next week but did he have a surprise waiting for him.  :)

Wednesday evenings we usually have our bible study/prayer meeting.  Since we have these visitors over for the mission trip, we had a joint prayer meeting with two other local churches.  We had over 100 in attendence to come together for prayer as one of God's people.  I organized to have a special suprising waiting for Matthew at the end of the prayer meeting.  Without his knowledge, I had organized for different people to bring cupcakes to celebrate his birthday.  Also arranged for everyone to sing Happy Birthday to Matthew.  He was truly surprised and did not expect it so it was really great to suprise him and make this day truly rememorable.  :) 

Thanks to everyone in the church that helped to make this such a success!  I look foward to seeing what God does with Matthew in the next 30 years!  Happy Birthday my love!

 Singing Happy Birthday to Matthew and giving him is cupcakes with a BIG 3-0 on it!!
Matthew wearing his cool 'Happy 30th' thanks to his mum!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Easter Break

Now that school has started back I thought it would be time to update on all we did on my two-week Easter break.  Matthew and I did not get up to much and did a few things locally but mostly just had time for each other and visiting with family/friends.

On the first weekend of the break, Matthew and I traveled to Long Melford (20 minutes) away to visit a stately home called Kentwell Hall.  The weather was lovely so we took a picnic and then wandered around the tudor house and still working farm.
Welcome to Kentwell Hall!
Hedge in the garden....I want this for my backyard!

Matthew then left for several days to attend a conference so I was on doggy duty watching and walking Solomon.  This gave me some time to catch up on some school work and to also visit with some ladies from the church.  I had lunch at a lovely vineyard with a group of ladies for a birthday celebration, went out with a group of 12 to have afternoon tea at Harriet's (tea shop in town), and then I got to attend the Women's Bible Study that our church hosts.  Also, on Thursday evening 10 of us (9 ladies and 1 male) went to see our local community theatre production of Beauty and the Beast.  It was a lot of fun and really enjoyed it.  For being a local production I thought it was very professional and all the singing and acting was really great.

Out for a lovely lunch celebrating Erica's birthday at the vineyard!
Off to the theatre to see Beauty and the Beast!

On the Thursday and Friday of my first week of break I went to school to work in my classroom.  Normally I would not have done this but my class just moved classrooms and the class was a complete disaster and I knew I needed some time to sort out the furniture and get things moved and items up on the walls before school would start back.  It was a productive two days and it looked like a classroom by the end of it.  My thinking was to spend the first week getting school work accomplished and the second week having a complete break.  I didn't get as much done in the first week as I would have liked but I felt like I had a good balance of time visiting with others and resting while also getting some work done.

At the beginning of the second week Matthew and I traveled up to Birmingham to visit Cadbury World.  I had heard many things about Cadbury world and had wanted to visit it for almost a year.  Overall I enjoyed it but it wasn't quite as special or good as I was hoping.  The most interesting part was learning about the history of the Cadbury family and how the company began.  Also all the work and processes the cocoa beans go through to become my chocolate bar was interesting.  We got to see the package part of the factory which was interesting but I would have preferred it if we got to see more of the factory.  The whole thing felt like one big advertisement for Cadbury and talking about how special Cadbury chocolate is.  Some parts felt as if England was trying to attempt something cute like a Disney ride but ended up failing.  We had a nice day and got lots of chocolate out of it (2 cups of melted chocolate to eat and three candy bars each by the end of the tour). 
Welcome to the wonderful world of chocolate!

Mmmm....melted chocolate!  SO good!  :)
Cadbury is the official supporter of London 2012 Summer Olympics. 
I was very impressed with this chocolate design.
Matthew eating his cup of melted chocolate with jelly babies!  Not so sure about that.

On Wednesday Matthew's mum arrived with her dog Sweep for the long Easter weekend.  We didn't get up to much other than spending time together and going for picnics because the weather was so lovely.  On the Saturday before Easter we went to a place called Wimpole Hall (just south of Cambridge) and had a look around the house, gardens and farm.  Again the weather was lovely and it was a beautiful place to look around.  What I really enjoyed about this stately home was that it showed the rooms upstairs and some of the rooms downstairs where the servant and butler would have worked.  That is normally something you don't get the chance to see.

 Solomon and Sweep enjoying the picnic in the Abbey Gardens.
 Matthew and Pat walking the dogs through the gardens.
 Welcome to Wimpole Hall.
Hungry pig waiting to be fed.  You would not believe the noise he made.

We had a lovely Easter with Matt's mum and had a family from the seminary in London visiting for the day.  On Easter Monday, we went to Thetford Forest for a picnic and some more time to visit with the family from the seminary.  It was great catching up with friends and enjoyed the last day of the break having time with Matthew and for myself.
 Matthew relaxing in the warm sun getting ready to enjoy our picnic.
We had a lovely day visiting with our friends from the seminary - Anna and myself

Well that was my Easter holiday from school.  It is amazing how quick the two weeks go but it was an enjoyable two weeks that gave me time to get things done around the house and a chance to visit with those that I don't always get the chance to do.  I hope you had a lovely Easter and most importantly remember what makes Easter so special.  Easter is the day we remember that Jesus Christ conquered death and rose from his grave and walked out of the tomb.  Death no longer holds any fear on me!  Rejoice...for Christ the Lord has risen indeed!!