Wednesday, July 23, 2008

She's Gone

Sunday night Yulia left to return to Russia=~( We are all sad. Now that both foreign exchange students have gone our house seems really, really empty with only the 5 of us, the dog and the two kitties. It is so hard to believe that four weeks have gone by so quickly. It is almost frightening how it flew by. Sometimes I feel like my life is flying by as days turn into weeks, which then turn into months and then years. I mean, wasn't it just New Years 2000?

The day before Yulia left, we took her minature golfing. It is something that she had never done before and she really enjoyed it. Then we took her to some outlet stores so that she could shop some more. Let me tell you...this girl really likes to shop! So much so, that as she was packing her suitcase to go home, she ran out of room and ended up leaving 2 bags (like purses) and a whole bunch of bathroom stuff which has labels in Russian, so we have no idea what they are for =(

We have already received an email from Yulia and she has arrived home safely. We've been receiving emails pretty regularly from Indonesia which is really nice. It's strange though...the emails all come from the future...sometimes, we even respond to the emails before they were written...boy is that weird!

I have seven more days of summer school, and then I will be off until September. I am so not looking forward to school starting, both for Elle and Sport, and for me. Yet, I know that it will be here in the blink of an eye...I guess that means that I better try to enjoy every moment...breathe in...breathe out.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

He's Gone

This weekend our foreign exchange students went to San Francisco, and we went camping with three other families up in Bass Lake, California. We camped at a beautiful campsite right on the lake...well not exactly ON the lake but the lake touched our's a photo from our campsite.

We had some visitors in the morning...

Beautiful you say????? Let me tell you these geese must never sleep! Starting at 9pm both nights they started honking...and they honked all night long. Now if they would have honked in a rhythmic way, that might have lulled me to sleep...but no!!!! All night long we heard "honk, honk, honk, honk, honk...pause for 12 seconds, then 5 honks with an 8 second pause. The pattern continually changed and kept us awake the first night...sigh.

On Sunday the four families rented a boat and we also rented a big thing (like an innertube without the hole in the center) and took turns taking rides on it. It was so much fun! Sorry, no pictures of me in a bathing suit. I have the pictures, but there is no way that I would post them! lol

Monday night Surya left to go back to Indonesia:~( Words cannot express how sad we all feel. He was such a great kid, saying goodbye to him was really difficult. Needless to say, there were many tears (mine) and lots of hugs and promises to keep in touch. His leaving definitely took some sunshine from our home. Saying goodbye, especially since we don't know if we will ever see him again is tough.

We have Yulia until this coming Sunday. I am trying not to think about her leaving. In the meantime, there is so much to do...breathe in...breathe out

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Why Won't Some People Accept An Apology?

I am sooooo tired! Yesterday, Yulia and Surya went to Six Fl.ags Mag.ic Moun.tain and didn't get back to their school pick up point until midnight. That meant that we got home about 12:20am and they didn't settle down until about 1am.

The good news is that they both had a terrific time and were so excited and animated in their retellings of the day. The bad news is that even though we got home at 12:20am, they didn't settle down and get to bed until 1am...which meant that I didn't get to sleep until about 1:30am...and I had to wake up at 6am.

I used to be able to function on four and 1/2 hours sleep...not anymore. I was totally wiped out today at work. Fortunately, it was a day filled with paperwork...and my lack of being 100% didn't affect the kids I work with. Of course, when I review my paperwork tomorrow, chances are it won't make a lot of sense and I will have to redo everything tomorrow...sigh.

On a different note, I hate when someone yells at me, I apologize, and then they continue to yell at me as if I never apologized. Here's what happened. I was at one of my schools today. I was given a room to work in that had recently had the floors waxed, so all of the desks, chairs, computers were stacked on one side of the room. I mentioned this to the Asst. Principal when I arrived at the school this morning, and asked her if it would be alright if I moved a table and chairs to the other side of the room so that I could work with some students. She said that would be fine.

So...I was busy working on my laptop...minding my own business...trying to stay focused enough to get some paperwork done and this maintenance worker (we'll call him MW) walked by my door. He looked in and started yelling at me, telling me that I scratched the floors and that I shouldn't have done that. Being so tired this morning when I moved the furniture, it did not register that I was scratching the newly waxed floors. Sure enough, I looked where the man was looking and yep, my dragging the heavy table across the floor definitely scratched it.

I apologized to him telling him that I was very sorry that I scratched the floor. Instead of accepting my apology, he continued ranting and raving about how I should never have moved the furniture and that his supervisor would be really mad about it. I explained that I had asked permission before I moved the furniture and that I was really sorry that the floor had gotten scratched and that if his supervisor was mad, he could come and talk with me and I would explain what happened. Still MW yelled at me. By that point I had had enough of his yelling and I stood my very tired body up and yelled back at him. In fact, at that point I wasn't even sorry anymore...just angry that he wouldn't accept my apology. MW walked away in a huff and I sat down and just wanted to cry. What a wimp I am!

I vacillated between wanting to cry and being angry. Turned out I didn't cry, instead I called one of my friends, who usually works at that school, and proceeded to tell her what happened. She totally understood, knew MW, told me not to take it personally... that was exactly what I needed to hear. However, I am left wondering what motivates people to be unwilling or unable to accept someone's apology. Is it a power trip? Stupidity? Innate nastiness?

I need to get to bed...and soon. The kids are heading up to San Francisco tomorrow for the weekend and they will be picked up at 5:30am. One wants me to wake them at 4:30am and the other at 4:50am...sigh...breathe in...breathe out.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

They Made Fun of Me

Last night the kids and I were sitting in the living room talking about Russian money, Indonesian money and American money...and comparing/contrasting them.

I was showing the kids some coins that I've gotten during my travels, and we were discussing how pretty and colorful the Russian and Indonesian paper money is, and how the U.S. money...even the new bills...aren't as colorful.

During this whole money discussion, the kids were trying to get me to say "rupia" and "ruble". Rupia being the name for the Indonesian currency, and Ruble being the name for the Russian currency.

The kids were saying the words which I will not repeat since I cannot seem to say them correctly. Evidently, both of the words start with a "trilled r" which no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't seem to pronounce. Elle was able to say the sound...but not me. Needless to say, I was quite frustrated and my inability to get my tongue tip to vibrate up and down. (I felt like a clumsy oaf!)

Yulia let me know that it took her about 2 weeks of practice (when she was little) to learn to say this sound, and Surya told me that he had to teach his older sister how to say it. (I think that they were just trying to make me feel better). However, each time I tried to say either word with the "trilled r" in it, they both cracked up. Not a good sign.

Given my profession, I pride myself on being able to correctly produce all sounds (at least the sounds which are present in the English language)... and I've always prided myself on my ability to hear subtleties within different languages/accents. But try as I might, I was not able to correctly produce the sound last night...I think that I came close...but still they cracked up. Even though I will be working today...I will spend the entire car ride to and from work trying to get that sound! sigh

Monday, July 7, 2008

There Were Fireworks

This weekend we took the kids to see Fireworks. On the 4th of July, we had a BBQ with some firends, and then went to a nearby mall to watch a fireworks show. (Actually we parked on a street about 1 mile from the mall). Not only did we get to see the fireworks...we also saw a fire on a hill, that was started by the fireworks...yikes. Fortunately, the firefighters were stationed on the hill where the fireworks were being lit, and the fire was put out quickly...whew!

Last night, a local park held an outdoor concert, and another fireworks display. This time we were up close to where the fireworks were being set off. It was loud, bright, and quite impressive! All the kids really had a good time!

Today everyone is off to various activities. Sport is off to camp from 8-3, Elle will be a Senior Program Aide at a different Girl Scout Camp in the afternoon, Yulia will have class this morning and then take a tour of UCLA, Surya will have a class this morning and then head off to Universal Studios, and I head off to work summer school.

We are all starting to feel sad that our time with our foreign exchange students is drawing to a close. Both kids will go to San Francisco next weekend (we will be camping with some friends), and then next Monday, Surya will leave :~( He is an awesomely funny, polite, and helpful kid and none of us are looking forward to his leaving. Yulia will be with us for one additional week.

I am trying to take one day at a time...but the days seem to be flying by...sigh.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Can't Anyone Get Some Sleep Around Here?

The meeting between Elle and the foreign exchange students went well. We spent the day walking around the town of Big Bear and then ate lunch there. Afterwards, we drove home. Everyone fell asleep in the car, including DH...everyone except me that is. Since I was the one driving, that was a very good thing.

That night we had 4 tickets to the Dodger game. DH took Sport and Surya, and I took the girls shopping. Turned out the Dodger game was an historic game (Dodgers won 1-0, without getting any hits, only the 5th time this has happened in baseball history). Surya loved the game, the stadium, participating in "the wave"...and came home singing "Lets go Dodgers!".

The girls loved shopping. Of course...what's not to love:~) Both were successful and purchased some items...lucky for them.

Elle is finding it strange that she needs to knock on her bedroom door before she enters. (the reason that the door is closed is to keep the kitties inside her room...for now). Elle chose to give Yulia her bed and instead to sleep on a mat on the floor...she is finding that very comfortable.

We took the kids to the beach on Sunday and they went "boogie boarding". They all had a blast. Today Surya and Yulia are going to Disneyland and won't return to the "pick-up" point until midnight...sigh. Tomorrow we will all (hopefully) sleep in for the 4th and then swim and BBQ with some friends. In the evening we are hoping to be able to watch some fireworks.

The kids have been really busy and are tired. Maybe they'll catch-up on some much needed sleep tomorrow morning. Maybe. I need to catch up on some much needed sleep as well. I return to work next week...having chosen to work summer school. Fortunately it will only be for four weeks and then I will still have about three weeks off before the next school year. This summer feels like it is already flying by...sigh...

Gotta run and drop Yulia and Surya off so that they can catch their bus to Disneyland. I forgot to post this in the is now 11:20pm and I just received a phone call that they left Disneyland 1/2 hour late...that means that I won't be picking them up until 12:30am...yawn...I will definitely be sleeping in on the 4th!