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The Power of One

12 Dec

This morning, thanks to a link sent to me by my friend and colleague, Tina Bui, our class departed from their essay writing for a wee while to check out something special going on in the world; kids their age making a difference.
We went to the Huffington Post where the students spent twenty minutes looking through the short snapshots about 11 kids who made a difference in 2011. Students then followed more links to read about children who raised money, gave of their time, and inspired change in others and then wrote about who they thought was the most inspirational and why, on their own blogs. Take some time to read who your child admires; it is always inspiring reading about other people who do good; something all of us could learn from.

It was interesting to see who the kids chose; did they choose the person who raised the most money, the one who was the youngest… what about the 11 kids on screen really affected your child? Was it the issue? Have a conversation with your child, about the Power of One.

 
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Go Go Go

30 Aug

Two weeks in to a brand new year
Heaps of meetings, plenty of cheer
Kids from last year saying hello
Can’t chat for too long, Go Go Go

Fun in the fifth grade, coupla new staff
Dropping by to say hello, ready for a laugh
Daughter in the 5th grade, Daughter down below
Love to go and see ‘em but it’s Go Go Go

Learning in the morning, learning late at night
Blogging in the afternoon, gotta get it right
Teaching kids the routine, get into the flow
So much stuff they kinda need to Know Know Know

Catching up with old friends, sharing new ideas
Making many new friends, time to have some beers
Party on a Friday, brunch down town you know
Busy little socialite Go Go Go

 
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Posted in Family

 

Snapshots of an Aussie ‘Summer’

02 Aug

 
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Posted in Australia

 

Hannah turns ten

22 Apr

I wonder if Hannah feels at all like this about turning ten…

On Turning Ten, by Billy Collins

The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I’m coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in bad light–
a kind of measles of the spirit,
a mumps of the psyche,
a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.

You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
but that is because you have forgotten
the perfect simplicity of being one
and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.
At four I was an Arabian wizard.
I could make myself invisible
by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.

But now I am mostly at the window
watching the late afternoon light.
Back then it never fell so solemnly
against the side of my tree house,
and my bicycle never leaned against the garage
as it does today,
all the dark blue speed drained out of it.

This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,
as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.
It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,
time to turn the first big number.

It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.

I know I feel a little more like this…

Slipping through my fingers by Abba

Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well-known sadness
And I have to sit down for a while
The feeling that I’m losing her forever
And without really entering her world
I’m glad whenever I can share her laughter
That funny little girl
Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see whats in her mind
Each time I think I’m close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake, I let precious time go by
Then when shes gone there’s that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I can’t deny
What happened to the wonderful adventures
The places I had planned for us to go
(slipping through my fingers all the time)
Well, some of that we did but most we didn’t
And why I just don’t know
Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see whats in her mind
Each time I think I’m close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time
Slipping through my fingers…
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Schoolbag in hand she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile…

Happy Tenth Birthday Hannah

 
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Hannah takes on Barbie!

04 Dec

I have struck gold!

My new colleague and friend, 5th grade teacher Tina Bui, likes my children and wants to play with them and take them places!!! So instead of ME having to take the girls (again I might add, once was enough) to wonderful exciting places like Barbie World Shanghai!!! now Tina gets to do it…

Here are some (many) snaps of Hannah striking a pose on her midweek adventure this week. Only relatives need click play… and close relatives at that (read – Nanna Gay) as they are all very, very Hannah! with some Hannah, and then a few of Hannah!

December is here by the way, which is super exciting. In two weeks from now we hope to be sitting in the Donald’s kitchen eating vegemite on toast and drinking coffee watching kangaroos in the paddock and seeing the kids reunite, not to mention Andrew and Simon’s reunion of course… ah, brings a tear to my eye!

 
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Spot the Mimster….

29 Nov

November… A month I’d rather forget.

It seems like we’re all pretty run down this month, Mimi’s got the cough that never goes away, Simon feels like he is an old man with aches and pains everywhere and I’ve had a little bit of just about everything! Luckily Han is only tired with a bit of a head cold; we need someone to hold the fort!

I returned last night from a three day trip to Hong Kong for an assessment conference and think Hong Kong would be a fine place to live; such a bustling hub, the flights are more direct, the air was certainly clearer for this trip than what I left behind and there was water or mountain views at every turn…

In three weeks we will be back in Australia for our Christmas holiday and so we need to recharge now and get ourselves fit and healthy to enjoy the longest break there we’ve had since June 2008.

 
 

October… the countdown to Christmas begins…

16 Oct

Wow, there must be some hormone that kicks in around mid-month that causes me to try and post something here.

I am knee deep in course work for my library certificate. It is stimulating and interesting but there just aren’t enough hours in the day are there folks… I actually just managed to skype with the rest of the students who are meeting today in New Hampshire, that was exciting, it is strange to be doing such intimate thinking with people so far away but that is the way things go these days.

Mum has been here for nearly three weeks and we are trying to make her time her as exciting as possible. She is out at Tommy Emmanuel now, went to the tennis masters last week and had a day at Suzhou with our friend Sandra too.

We have begun thinking more about Christmas and are really looking forward to catching up with a lot of different friends and family while we are back there for three weeks. Our week in Apollo Bay will be a highlight and we hope to actually have a bit of a holiday down there, that would be nice! I hope the weather agrees with us and we just get to spend some time doing not much at all…

Thanks to Mum for many of the photos below. I know the first one isn’t of October, but I really love it and as (for a change) Mimi doesn’t feature so much in this album, I thought it was only fair!

 
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August and September in the Power House

16 Sep

I can’t believe we’ve been back in Shanghai for eight weeks… every day brings us one step closer to the next holiday!!! Roll on October break… roll on Thanksgiving…roll on Christmas…I’ll stop there, the aging process and all!!!

Simon and I went to Bangkok last weekend and spent two nights in a great hotel with our friends Jenny and Tom who were there for a week. It was our first flight together without the kids, our first time overseas together without the kids and we all survived and thrived! School has been hectic this September however the happy group of students I have and the great teachers Hannah and Mimi have this year make it all worthwhile.

Last night we got to go to Mimi’s Open House at the Wonder Center… I love that place almost as much as my friend Amy Hossack loves living at the Links… We were amazed by the school’s set up as always and loved meeting with the four teachers who get to spend 5 days a week hearing our talkative child tell stories and make jokes; apparently her favourite things. We were saddened and surprised by how seriously some parents take the education of their 2-5 year old and it has given me a real insight into the mindset of many of the parents we have here at S.A.S. later on who are so concerned about pushing their child and keeping them busy-busy; that pressure sure starts early. We are just happy Mimi has a lovely safe place to play, be engaged, be stimulated and is learning to love to learn… isn’t that the most important thing? There are some great photos on Sue’s site and heaps of solid information about the Reggio Emilia approach to learning.

Hannah has her first swim meet this Saturday and will be competing in the 50m breast-stroke and free-style. We are excited to be there to cheer her on and then celebrate the day with a b.b.q. after wards. We have a day off next Wednesday for a Chinese National Holiday which will break up the week nicely and then we get to hear Jane Goodall speak on Friday which should be amazing, I am so excited I get to meet this amazing woman, it is her second time here but the first time I will see her at a small lunch and book signing event for 60 people…

Simon is continuing to look amazing and fade away…(not necessarily at the same time) and we celebrate 12 years of wedded bliss this Sunday…Yeah for us. Enjoy 20 short and sweet shots of the girls from the last month or so, no pics of Simmo, he won’t be photographed until he is in the B.M.I. normal range!!!

This week I started my course to become a librarian/media specialist through the same University I completed my Masters in last year, Plymouth State University. I have some work to do this weekend, and every weekend for a couple of month to complete the first course for three credits but it is something I’ve toyed with for awhile, so, onward and upward!

 
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Mimi’s about to start school…Hannah began today!

17 Aug

Mimi has her two orientation days at the end of this week and begins school at The Wonder Center from 8-2 on the 24th of August. We are so excited she has the opportunity to experience an amazing bi-lingual experience at a location so close to home. Here are some snapshots my friend Jenny took at Mimi’s last day of school in June. Thanks Jenny, I know it was hard work for you with the children climbing all over you, not to mention the temptation of all of those cakes!!!

Meanwhile it was Hannah’s first day in Grade 4 today; also the first day of work with the students for Simon and I, it is great to have kids back in the classroom and see what you are in for for the rest of the year. It looks like my class are going to get along famously but the thrill I get from seeing how happy Hannah is in her new class is so exciting… She has a new teacher, Ms Lau and I think her year is going to be her best yet. Check out what Hannah is up to on her teacher’s class blog.

 
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Posted in Travel, Uncategorized

 

Mimi and the Big Blue Hat

12 Jul

What else does one do when one is watching the World Cup and NO GOAL HAS BEEN SCORED at the 89 minute mark!!!

These photos of Mimi were taken by me in Savitaipale, Finland at our friend Raija’s place in July 2010.

Just for fun…

 
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Posted in Mimi