Blake’s last day of swimming today. He had a blast.
About 48 hours til we’re home. Woo Hoo !
Blake’s Winter Performance is tomorrow. The dress rehearsal was today and it knocked me off my feet AGAIN. Our music teachers are incredible!
First up, this is the poster that has been advertised all over our community – hallways, blogs.. everyplace. That little superman is my boy! Super star in the making!
All the kids from Kindergarten to Grade 4 dressed up like super heroes (or some just dressed up) and it looked so great!
I sometimes forget just how pale he is til I see him up on stage.
Then they sang a rainbow song that brought tears to my eyes. While they were singing their art work was displayed on the big screens. After that, the grade 2s, 3s and 4s dazzled us with their bits and then the entire school came together for one last incredible song. Blake is near the front of the stage at the far left. I Here’s a short movie from the final song. The theme of the whole performance was Character Strengths which we’ve been talking about in all our classrooms. Throughout the performance kids spoke, acted, sang about traits such as bravery, kindness, love, creativity. At the end they all got together and sang “It’s All About the Strengths!” You may recognize the tune.
Blake’s swim unit in PE began again.
I arrived in time to see him jumping in.
What on earth is he wearing on his face?! I was quite sure that those were not the goggles I had packed with his swimmers.
We had a three day weekend, so we joined two other families and headed for the Great Wall of China.
We jumped in the overnight train on Thursday night. The kids were buzzing with excitement. Me, not so much. The dinglenuts at C-Trip booked Scott, Blake and I in different rooms. We bunked in together, of course, but it took a lot of explaining. More than explaining, we had to get all ex-pat-ty and borderline rude, before anyone would listen to us. I hate that! And Scott had to stay up late telling people that this wasn’t their room and they would have to find another.
The train was good though and we arrived to an absolutely gorgeous day in Beijing. It was a two hour ride to the Wall so we set off. About 20 minutes into our trip we had a little fender bender. Pretty small scratches on both vehicles, but the police got involved and it took a long time. An hour later we set off again and with in 20 minutes Blake got motion sick and through up into a bag with a hole in the bottom. MESSY! As I was tidying up that debacle, we got in another accident! A big one this time. Some big bruises came out of this one. Eventually we switched vans and made our way north to the Wall.
We took the Cable Car up because we were short on time and spent some glorious time in the late afternoon sun exploring the Great Wall. We were practically the only ones there! Gorgeous!
We took the Slide Ride down the hill, which the kids LOVED and ran into these fellows charging $1 each for a photo.
Doesn’t Blake look fierce?I panicked a bit when the dude on the left put his hat on Blake’s head, but there don’t seem to be any lasting effects. Fingers crossed. Every good elementary teacher knows you don’t share hats!
The next morning, Saturday, the air was toxic. We stayed in all day playing games, chatting, relaxing and chilling out. That night we had a Thanksgiving feast. It was wonderful.
Sunday morning was fine, the weather cleared and the air as well. We packed up and headed back into town. We boarded the high speed train to head back to Shanghai. It was awesome. I liked that train a lot. At times it reached 34okm per hour. Tons of leg room, big windows, good snacks and great company.
We had a wonderful break and the best bit is, there are only three weeks til we head home!
Blake and his peeps are what we call TCKs. It stands for Third Culture Kids. It’s a term that is used to refer to children who are raised in a culture outside of their parents’ culture for a significant part of their development years. Being a TCK isn’t any better or any worse than growing up in your home country, but it is different. It has some enormous perks and some huge draw backs. For example, this weekend we are planning to hang out on the Great Wall of China, in three weeks we jump on an international flight to Canada and we’re heading to Vietnam in Feb. Those are cool things. In addition to visiting cool places, he is surrounded every day by different cultures, different beliefs, different differences and he is sympathetic and empathetic to those because that is his normal. There are some real sucky bits too. A big one is that we only get to see grandparents, and other friends and family twice a year. Another is that people come and go. Every June is full of goodbyes, and every August is full of new faces. It’s our life and we like it a lot.
This year’s Santa Claus had an Aussie accent. I guess the big guy has helpers all over the world. He asked Blake what he would like for Christmas and Blake asked him what other kids had asked for. Santa told him that kids had asked for lots of different toys and Blake told him one of those would be fine. A few people have asked, but I have no idea what Blake wants for Christmas.
Our students in Gr 3-5 run the Turkey Trot each November. It’s a short cross country run for fun and fitness. This year our Gr 1 & 2s ran one in their own classes. Blake ran a super, if unconventional, race.
Look what arrived in the mail from Grandma!
It’s a lego advent calendar! We’ll begin next Tuesday and countdown til the day we leave for Christmas, which is exactly one month today. Woo hoo!Blake looks really sad in this picture. Poor wee thing has a pounding headache and a raging fever.
He’s much better now. In fact he was 100% better the next morning, but our school policy is 24 hours fever free before returning to school, so he had a super fun day off. He taught Ling Ling to play Uno.
Check out his blog entries on Brenda’s blog http://sites.saschina.org/1bestudents/
He sings Old MacDonald had a farm. Cutie!