Sunday, April 21, 2013

Rainy Days

Craig seems to like how ridiculous I look in my ponchos, so I thought you guys might too. Enjoy.


Saturday, February 9, 2013

I'm In The Army Now

While waiting for our train home from Hsinchu, the army stopped by the station.

t was cool to see all the different vehicles, and it made me wonder where they were all going.

Christmas Show

Each year, Stanford puts on a Christmas and Graduation show. This year's Christmas show was written by the foreign teachers, Craig, Riaan, and myself. It was based on How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

The school went all out on decorations. It really should have been called "How Stanford Killed Christmas" as they had lights and trees up my November 8th.

I played Cindy-Lou Who and Riaan was the Grinch, and Craig got to be Santa Claus, They had to rent him a special suit as the one they had was meant for small Asians, which Craig is not.

I had a good, if not chaotic day. Immediately following the show, Craig and I took a taxi to the train station and then on to a hotel in Taoyuan to prepare for our flights the next morning. Craig's to Japan, and mine back to America to surprise my family for Christmas.

The woman in blue is Miss Winni and is my co-teacher in K3A. She is great and also funny. We like to commiserate about all the stupid things we have to do at school. The other teacher is Miss Jane and she is also sweet. I taught her and Miss Grace (pictured below) how to fishtail braid their hair.

Miss Grace speaks very little English. but is very sweet and manages to make herself understood.

They had a whole set-up for Craig to pose and take pics with the Children. I caught him in action and it was super fun to watch.

The school photographer wanted a shot of both of us so here it is. It would have made a nice Christmas card, don't you think?

Do My Eyes Decieve Me?

A day after returning from my Christmas holiday in America, I was informed that I was in charge of the morning assembly. My topic was vision care.

So I taught all the kidlets not to read in the dark, or to sit too close to the tv when watching. My supervisor also told me that I should say that reading while lying down is bad for your eyes as well. Huh??

I have no idea but I demonstrated it as a bad behavior and I hope they caught my drift.

I'm pictured here, reading the "right" way, sitting up.

Craig helped me out in acting out good vision care by reading while sitting up with the light on.The assemblies here are kind of a joke, but we all help each other out and have a good laugh. This was my last assembly of the semester. I have next semester's dengue fever assembly to look forward to. Joy.

Teacher Photo

We found this gem of a picture on the school computer in the office. It's a staff photo and it was taken last June.

Our school has a high turn-over rate. I counted 12 people in this picture that no longer work at the school!

I think my favorite part is that Craig looks like he's 12. It cracks me up!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

A House is Not a Home

We interrupt this previously uninterrupted streak of no posts with news from the home front.

July 1996

I met Shelby and the Wenzel family when I was 6 years old. Shelby and I were in the same kindergarten class at Fammatre Elementary. I was in the group that came early and left at lunch, she was in the group that came at lunch and left in the afternoon.

July 1995

She quickly became my best friend, her in her cow-print cow girl outfit and me in my denim with pink and white lace one. We played dolls, read books and even got put on time out for playing with the dinette station when we were supposed to be outside.

Half-way through the year, I was playing in my backyard when I heard a familiar voice coming from over the fence. I said, "Hello? Is anyone there?" I waited. A minute later I heard the rustling of a tree, and a small head popped up. It was Shelby.

We discovered that day that our backyards shared a fence, our houses were right behind one another. You could imagine our little girl giggles and big smiles upon this discovery. Sleepovers commenced, play dates were planned and memories were made.

December 2007
If she wasn't at my house, I was at hers. I would ride to school with her some days, and some days she would ride with me. Her mother was listed as one of my emergency contacts at school, as my mom was one of hers.

I have fond memories of the Wenzel casa. Lots of photos and moose and Mary Poppins memorabilia (Sally is a huge fan) to make things cozy. The Wenzels invited me into their family. Taking me shopping with them, and to the movies, and letting me hang at their home all day, only to climb up a tree, at the end of the night, and over the fence to reach my backyard and thus my bed. We half-joked for years about putting in a gate between our two houses.

Shelby told me a couple of weeks ago that her family is moving, that their house had sold, and that they'd be out soon. I was momentarily gutted. For my friend, at the loss of her childhood home, I know the sadness that comes with this, having left mine. Gutted for her family. And selfishly, a little gutted for myself.

TheWenzel home saw my crew through many dances, hang outs and sleepovers.We swam there every summer and watched movies inside every winter. It was my second home. I knew where all the bowls and cereal were, and felt absolutely comfortable taking anything I wanted from the fridge, or a treat from the garage.

Senior Prom May 5, 2007

Senior Homecoming October 2006

Senior Prom May 5, 2007

Her dad is a big, tall man that used to intimidate me. Shelby told me he liked to be called Mr. Wenzel. So that's what I called him. Until over the years he became less of a Mr.Wenzel and more of a Frank. To this day, I'm not sure if I've ever called him Frank to his face, but he's been Frank in my mind since I was a little girl.

The Wenzel house was our spot.

If he likes you, you know he likes you. He always made me feel like it was a treat, me being over at their house. I'll never forget that.

Her mom calls me "Miss Kristi" and is the nicest lady you'll ever meet. She sewed my costume for Much Ado About Nothing my senior year of high school and I don't think I ever paid her for it. And it had a corset. A corset! She's the best.

I know this is long and rambling, but I wanted to say thank you to the Wenzel family for making my life blessed enough to not have only one great home, but two. You made a young girl feel loved, special, and funny throughout her childhood. I can't tell you the effect that had on the person I've become.

The Wenzel children: Shelby (tall, gray sweatshirt), Paige (middle, pink sweatshirt), and Shane (right, gray sweatshirt)

A house is just a house. A pile of wood and nails and concrete. It's nothing special. Houses are everywhere. Homes are a little more rare. It's the people that make a home. The Wenzel's are good people, and I know their next house will be a just as lovely home as their first, and when I get back in July, I'll be stopping by, saying hello, scoping out where the cereal is, and inviting myself to Thursday Chinese Take-out Night. I love you guys, and thank you for loving me.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Face Time

Sometimes Katie and I get a little frustrated when our Face Time calls aren't answered...