Monday, August 3, 2009

...from the missionary's blog

What can a person do in 6 weeks of teaching in a Thai school?

After her shock of sleeping on a pallet on the floor each night, “squatty potties” (toilets), and cold dip baths, Katie adjusted well. Living at the school in one of the houses provided for teachers has been good for Katie. She has learned to eat a variety of Thai foods daily with the teachers . Many times trying to smile while eating foods she didn’t like. In the evening she exercised with them.

At her desk, Katie had her Bible, Christian tracts, and an Evangi-Cube. During long breaks, she read her Bible and did a Bible Study. When students and teachers asked her about what she was doing, Katie had an opportunity to tell them about God. During her English classes, Katie taught songs like “My God is so big” to her students too. Before leaving to return to America, her students lined the way out of the school to say “Goodbye” to her.

During her time here, Katie has had opportunity to get close to two teachers, A. Nit and A. Biap. As she got closer to these teachers, they opened up and told her about their struggles in life. Her housemate, Nit, wanted a Bible to read and has been asking questions about what she has read. Nit was impressed by the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew chapter one because of her Chinese background. Once back in America, Katie will keep in contact with her new Thai friends and will be emailing some favorite scripture verses for A. Nit to read. Another teacher, who was closed, has begun asking questions, as well. Two students have shown interest in God and asked for a visit and more Christian literature.

Before leaving a teacher told Katie, “Thank you for coming and bringing so much good to our school.”

What can a person do in 6 weeks in a Thai school? They can be a good friend and share the love Jesus with others.

Monday, July 6, 2009

A typical day at Blai Praya Wittyacomb School

6:30 AM - Wake up to the sound of a Thai news radio station being broadcasted throughout the school grounds. Wish they would turn it off so I can sleep more :) Roll off my pallet and head downstairs for a dip bath and brush my teeth. Read my Bible, pray, eat a granola bar, and get dressed.

7:50 - Walk to morning ceremony on school grounds with my roommate, P'Nid (Her first name is Suphanee, but her nickname is Nid. P stands for big sister.) Observe morning ceremony: a teacher lectures the students while they stand in straight lines (in the sun!), a student leads the other students in the Thai National Song, then the school song, then they say the 5 tenants (??) of Buddhism and wai to Buddha. I keep my hands by my sides.

8:10 - Walk to school, climb 4 floors to the English department. Sit at my desk and receive my schedule for the day. (Turn the fan on HIGH!) There are 8 periods in a day and I usually have 3 or 4 classes. In between classes I do a Bible study called "A Woman's Heart: God's Dwelling Place" by Beth Moore. It is great and I usually am able to finish 2 "days" in one day. I also check papers sometimes or work on my next lesson. There is a computer in the room, and when the power is working I can check the internet!

I am also blessed with many visitors to my desk! Teachers come and offer me food and fruit and sit down to talk and practice their English. Students stop by and look at my pictures or just smile at me. They all marvel over my white skin. I tell them, "In America white skin isn't popular! Dark skin is!" They can't believe that white people would actually lay in the sun to get darker. When they go to the beach they wear a hat, pants, and long sleeve shirt so they won't get darker!

A typical class - I walk into the room and am greeted enthusiastically and happily! "Hello teacher!" "Hello Katie!" Then the class leader says loudly, "Stand up, please." All the students stand up and say, "Good morning teacher Katie." I say, "Good morning! How are you?" They say, "I'm fine and you?" I usually throw them off my saying "Excellent!" or "Great!" (They only know fine!!) And then I tell them to sit down.

Sometimes the teacher will give me a topic to teach and sometimes they will say it's up to me. So I do songs: "Hokey Pokey," "This is the way" and so on. We play games to practice their English. I also do a lot of vocabulary practice by showing my pictures. I can show them pictures of my sisters and they learn the word. Pictures of my dog, my church, so on. They LOVE to see my pictures, especially of my sister Karlie! They say "suay mak mak mak!" Which means, very very very beautiful! (I agree, by the way!)

I also get a chance to share my faith with them. I usually draw a cross on the board and say, I'm Christian. Or in Thai - Chris-te-an. I tell them that I love Projow (God) and Preyesus (Jesus). I tell them about my boat (church). Some students know what I'm talking about but for many I am the first Christian they have ever met.

12:20 - Lunchtime! P'Beab (Niyom) usually cooks lunch for me and it's pretty good! We sit at my desk and eat together. Sometimes, teachers will make "appointment" with me and take me to a restaurant for lunch. Every Thursday I meet with the Blounts (missionaries) for our weekly meeting. It is such a blessing and encouragement.

4:00 - School is out! By this time I'm HOT and yucky, so I go home and take another bath and change clothes. Sometimes I watch a little TV (ER on DVD) or read my book. Take a break!

5:30 - My roommate P'Nid and I go to the market on her motorcycle. They sell raw meat, fruit, and vegetables. And don't forget insects to eat! We buy some meat and vegetables and go back home and prepare dinner. It's been fun learning how to cook Thai!

6:30 - Go walking around the school with P'Beab! Sometimes I watch her play basketball first.

7:30 - Time for another bath and get ready for bed! Do my Bible study "Lies Women Believe" and write in my journal. Talk to Grandma or Mom. Go to sleep around 9:30!

Well, I hope this gives you an idea of my typical day! There are always surprises and different things that happen, but this can give you a good idea! Leave a comment!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thailand! (part 1)

So, by now, I'm into my second week of my missions trip to Thailand. And the theme so far? God is good! He has been my Everything this week. So much has happened that I have no clue how to start blogging about it! My internet access has been shaky to say the least. But, I will give it a shot!!

Tuesday, June 16: Began my journey to Thailand! Charleston to Atlanta, first. Spent a few hours walking around the Atlanta airport. Got lost once and ended up having to go through security again. Yes, I am that ditzy sometimes!

Finally got on the flight to Japan. Once I am sitting there, the pilot announces that there has been a volcanic eruption in Russia! The ash is covering the path that we were going to take over the Pacific, so we have to take a longer, alternate route. As a result, we have to stop in San Fran to fuel up. Great news! :)

The flight is uneventful! I sleep, listen to music, and read. Watch a little tv on the screen way in front of me. I try to ignore the couple next to me who show way too much PDA. I think it was about 14 hours. Finally arrive in Tokyo, where they have held my next flight! Yay! I was afraid I would have to wait for another plane. The next flight took 8 hours. More sleeping and eating weird airplane food. At least I have a seat between me and the person by the window! I can move my legs! Yes!

Arrive in Bangkok. Can't keep the smile off my face. No problem getting my baggage and finding my taxi. Went to stay in the nicest hotel I've ever experienced! Slept more, took a nice long shower, and went back to the airport for my last leg of the journey. It took about an hour and we were in Krabi!

Linda and Richard were there to pick me up and they took me to their house not far from the airport. They successfully kept me up for a few more hours before I went to bed.

Friday, June 18: Time to begin work! I went with Linda and Richard to the Thai countryside. We visited people who said they were interested in learning more about God. We had a Bible study. Same on Saturday, except that the group on Saturday is mostly young girls and they are so excited to learn about God! And excited to see me, a foreigner! They call foreigners "farangs," and I hear it whispered whereever I go! Also "cow" which means white! The girls touched my hair and legs and were so interested in me. It was too cute. Two twin girls, Not and Nan, were especially smart and answered all the questions correctly! (I was told-the whole thing was is in Thai.)

Also, on Friday, we went to my school: Blai Prayawittyacom! It is WAAAAY in the country and not like my other Thai school. I finally met Niyom, the teacher who I had been in contact with before my trip. She is so welcoming and invites us to eat lunch at her house. Before lunch, she ushers me into an English classroom and leaves me there to talk to the kids! This was when those pictures were taken that are on my facebook account. I spent about 20 minutes there but it felt like a long time because I wasn't sure what to do!

Then, we go to my new house. This is where culture shock hit me! I thought that I was prepared but I definitely wasn't. It is a 2 story house. On the bottom floor it has a small living area and kitchen and bathroom. Upstairs are 3 bedrooms: mine, Suphanee's, and an empty one. There's no AC, and in my room there is no bed. The bathroom consists of a Thai style toilet (I won't get too graphic here!) and a tank of water. You use the tank of water to both flush the toilet and dip a bowl in to a take a bath. Whew! This shook me up! I wasn't ready for that!

Anyway... (it gets better! I promise!)

Saturday, June 19: Worked again with Linda and Richard. The most memorable moment from this day was the Thai funeral we attended that night. One of Richard's friend's mother died. When you get to the funeral, you go to this area that looks like a restarant or a family reunion set up. You eat dinner and there are hired cooks and waitresses. One of the dinners was chicken inards! Mmm! After you eat, you go up front and sit in the chairs for the audience. Monks are seated up front. The coffin is there, and in front of it is an image of Buddha that people go kneel in front of and light insense. Off to the side there is a platform where the monks will chant. There is a white string that is hanging down to the platform. It goes up to the ceiling and then back down into the coffin. That is so the chants that the monks say go right into the coffin.

On the platform there are these big paper fans that have a picture of Buddha on one side. The monks hold them in front of them while they chant. Linda said that they do this because they don't want to be distracted or think bad thoughts while they are chanting. On the other side, writen in Thai, it says: "You are born. You grow old. You have pain. You die." How sad. What kind of hope is that?

While the monks are chanting (which is the strangest sound), everyone in the audience wais (holds their hands in front of them in a prayer-like gesture) to show respect to Buddha. We don't wai, because we are Christians. No one even pays any attention to us. Linda told me that there is a lot of pressure on the monks because if they make one mistake during the chants, the person who died is doomed.

After the monks chant, people go up and give money to the monks. This is one way to make merit for your next life (I think). And, people have to bring money in a white envelope to give to the family. Richard had to give money for all of us.

Well, this is long enough for part 1! I'll add more later! Sorry I can't post pictures!

If you managed to make it through this whole post, leave a comment!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

1:10 AM

I thought I'd stop in and say hello since I can't sleep! Only 2 days until I leave for Thailand! I'm leaving Tuesday morning and flying to Atlanta, then Tokyo, then Bangkok. I'll spend the night there and then fly to Krabi the next day. (Click on that link to see some pictures of beautiful Krabi!) So, all together, there will be about 23 hours of flying!

And I'm pretty much ready. But my brain won't settle! At about midnight I got up and packed some of my bathroom stuff, then made up my guest bed, washed the dishes in my sink, and here I am still not tired. I guess I'll go try to sleep again!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

His love

It's truly hard to understand His love for us. These passages make it so real...

From a woman who wrote about her husband's response to her double mastectomy:

As we wept and trembled when he took my bandages off the first time, I was so ugly, scarred, and bald. I was in intense grief that I could never be a whole wife to him again. Steve held me tightly and with tears in his eyes said, "Melana, I love you because that is who I am."

I instantly recognized Christ in my husband...No comeliness in us draws Christ's attention; it is only His essence that draws Him to us.
And this one...

Put together all the tenderest love you know of, the deepest you have ever felt, and the strongest that has ever been poured out upon you, and heap upon it all the love of all the loving human hearts in the world, and then multiply it by infinity, and you will begin, perhaps, to have some faint glimpse of what the love of God is.
from Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Oh Lord, give me the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how high, how long, and how deep your love really is. And help me experience your love, though it is so great I may never fully understand it.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Every last detail

I'm sitting here near tears because of God's goodness. He has taken care of everything regarding this trip. I'm just writing this because I don't want to forget how He cares for the smallest details in my life. He is SO good. My most recent example - I just got off the phone with a friend from church. Yesterday, I mentioned that I wanted to find 8 little gifts for the English teachers at the Thai school. I wanted to take them a little something American or South Carolinian! She went out and bought 8 mini Charleston baskets for me to take. What??? I mean, how sweet is that.

And yesterday, my church went above and beyond when they gave me more money for my trip. And promised their prayers over and over.

I just can't get over His goodness. And the goodness of His people. Oh Lord make me worthy of serving you!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

This is one of those posts...

...where I have to be real! I'd like to be all, "I'm fine! I'm brave! I'm excited! God's in control!" But the truth is, I'm scared! I'm anxious! I'm nervous!

Ok, enough with all the exclamation marks. But you get the point. These 2 pictures below represent my biggest sources of anxiety. The first picture is of the Suvarnabhumi Airport, and it represents the flight to Thailand. It's going to be long. I've done it before, and I was miserable. Unless you've been on one of these excruciatingly long flights, you just don't get it.

Second, the whole airport thing. If you know me, you know that I'm quite prone to getting lost. I have no sense of direction, and these huge airports frighten me.

Last, the hotel picture represents the night I have to stay in Bangkok alone. I'm staying in the airport hotel, so I won't have to take a taxi or anything. But I've never spent the night alone in a hotel! Really, I've never spent the night alone in any situation like this.

But, and that word is key, I KNOW this is God's will for me. I KNOW He wants me to do this. I KNOW He will protect me. And I KNOW that although it may be tough, it's really not that big of a deal. And it will totally be worth it, when I get to meet all those sweet Thai students and teachers. That is the part I can't wait for!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

This may be a sign that I am ready for summer

There is a certain student that I have to "talk" to several times every day. Let's call him Alex. He generally a good kid, he is just ALWAYS out of his seat and ALWAYS talking. So, during my day, I say "Alex" about 100 times.

The other day I was taking a little afternoon nap. Through my sleep, I heard Toby barking obnoxiously in the backyard. It finally woke me up...and I sat up and yelled, "ALEX! BE QUIET!"

Oops! Wrong name!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Toby went to school

On Friday, Toby came to school! My class is pretty much awesome, and we earned the opportunity for me to bring my dog to school. We were allowed to have him for the entire day, but I didn't think Toby could handle it! So, my grandparents came at lunch and brought him along. Toby actually did very well! He was a bit nervous, and I had to hold him for most of the afternoon, but he let everyone pet him and he was a hit! It was a great surprise for my class!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Girls' Weekend!

I am one blessed girl! I just spent the last 3 days with my girlfriends from college: Audra-Kelly, Denee, Erin, and Melody! (One friend was missing - Kelly.) We went to Asheville and had a wonderful time...including 12 hours of shopping on Saturday! Erin and I were so tired we actually stayed in the car and had a nap while the others went in the last store.

One of the highlights of the weekend was the feeling in the air. It was one of total acceptance. With these girls, I can say whatever I want, and they accept me. Actually, they LOVE me! What a feeling! It was good for my soul to be there with them, and get some things off my chest. It was good to share some stuff that's going on with me, and not feel judged or looked down upon.

Most of the girls don't know this, but I've conquered something big this weekend. Well, maybe it's too soon to say conquered, but on my way there! (Hey Erin, did you notice my correct use of it's? That's just for you, girl!) Anyway, it's due to my girls and their love and support. So thanks, girls, for being you.

I've got a big week coming up. I've got to finish report cards (actually, starting them would be good too!), start packing up my classroom, create a DVD for each student of class pictures, and get a presentation together to share at church on Sunday. But, I feel energized from this weekend! Plus, it definitely helps to know that in 2 weeks from today I will be done with the 2008-09 school year and one week away from Thailand!

Monday, May 4, 2009

another funny moment

Every morning at school we watch the morning news. This morning during the part about school lunch, they announced that we will be having peach cobbler for dessert. One little boy piped up. "Peach cob? What's that??" And another boy answered, "Fruit on a cob, or maybe fruit on a bob! You know, like corn!"

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

funny moment

I was at the post office today mailing my visa application when the clerk sees that the address is The Royal Thai Embassy.

"Are you Thai?"


Ah, no. I'm the whitest white girl you can imagine!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spring Break Project

This china cabinet is older than me, and it was in every house I lived in as I grew up. I have "fond" memories of dusting it when I was little! So ever since its been mine, I have wanted to paint it. I painted my kitchen cabinets white soon after I moved in, and later bought a white kitchen table. So, this needed to happen! It was a pain to paint but it is so worth it! I love how it turned out. I don't know if you can tell from the pictures but I painted the back wall of the cabinet yellow to match the kitchen walls. And I changed the cabinet pulls to something a little more modern. Yay!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spring Break!

Oh my...I am SO thankful for Spring Break! Melody is here and we are having such a great time! We have been able to do stuff with Kelly and just hang out. We've been pretty busy, actually, trying to fit in all the things we want to do. Tonight we are going to get pizza and watch "Saving Sarah Cain." I'm so thankful for good friends. Here's what happens when you don't have a fourth person to take the pictures!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Holding my breath

I feel like I'm holding my breath lately, just waiting for Spring Break! School has been a bit on the stressful side. This is one of those times I wish I could go into details and let it all out on the blog. But I don't need a lawsuit either! Anyway, I am simply looking forward to a week with little to do and a chance to recoup from a couple of crazy weeks.

You know, I have a tendency to think in metaphors sometimes. Its really a strange characteristic, I think. Does anyone else do this? For example, the whole poem I wrote about my tulips was obviously a metaphor for something else. And I was thinking about my current feelings about school, I thought of a roller coaster. Some people get on a roller coaster and scream, throw their hands in the air, and thrill with each scary turn. Other people grip the bar as hard as they can, take a deep breath, and grit their teeth. Right now, I'm definitely the latter. I am getting through this time and bearing it, but I can't wait for it to be over! Just being honest.

Time for me to get busy with my chores, I have a guest coming for Spring Break!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Procrastinating on my report cards...

Okay, since I really don't want to start the monumental task of report cards, here are some things that make me happy...

This tree! It has the prettiest white blossoms on it right now. Its my favorite thing about this tree.

I love looking out my door, seeing the blue wreath with the white blossoms in the background. Hoping for green grass soon!
My tulips have started to bloom!

And this little boy is the best!
How could you say no to this face?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

He really wanted to get outside...

Toby was fresh from a bath and he wasn't allowed to go outside...

But I guess he found a way to break the rules!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


A few months ago
I worked in the dirt
digging holes and
planting bulbs
pulling weeds and watering.

Then I waited.
I walked by the flowerbed
as I got home from work
to see if the bulbs had sprouted.

Week after week
Just mulch and maybe some weeds.

One day
A green sprout
I rejoiced!
The next day,
even more.

And now...

My grandma warns me
"They may not bloom this year"
But I can wait
Because I know
they will come at the right time

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I promise I DO teach grammar...

Friday was my grandpa's birthday, and since my grandparents come on Friday to volunteer in my classroom, we made a card.

I had all the kids sign it. See if you can read this note...
"You ant old! you young!"And this one that was added later: "you not young you old"

Well, if they don't have grammar skills at least they have a sense of humor!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Weather questions

Today I invited a meteorologist to my classroom to culminate our weather unit. At the end of his presentation, he asked the class if they had any questions. I cringed inwardly because my students aren't always the best at asking questions. When I ask them if they have any questions, once in a while I will get an actual question. But most of the time I get these kinds of responses:

  1. "Um, um, um..." (long pause) "I forgot."

    Or (here's my favorite)

  2. "One time, when I was visiting my grandma we saw snow and then we put on our jackets except for Austin who couldn't go outside because he was in trouble and then we made snow angels and played in the snow and we tried to make snow balls but the snow melted and then we went inside and made a fort from my grandma's sheets and we hid from my mom but she found us!"
So you can understand why I cringed. But, my kids did a pretty good job asking actual questions (we practiced before he got there!)

But the best was when one little boy asked, "Why does the weather change?"

And without skipping a beat, another little boy turned around and said, "Jesus, boy!!"

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Shoulda been a nurse

My mom's a nurse, and I think she secretly wishes that at least one of her daughters will follow in her footsteps. Now they are great footsteps, don't get me wrong. I have no doubt that my mom is the best nurse to her patients and I definitely call her with any of my aches or pains. She always has the answer.

However...I am the biggest wimp when it comes to medical stuff. I can't talk about IV's or veins and honestly just typing those two words makes me uncomfortable. And blood. Forget it. Needles. Yuck. I can't even walk into a hospital without feeling nauseous. I was invited to a party in my mom's honor at the hospital. They were EATING FOOD in the hospital. Mere yards away from VEINS and IV'S. Needless to say I couldn't eat a bite. I had trouble swallowing my diet coke.

Well all this rambling does have a point. I should have gotten over my phobia and been a nurse, because I feel like one at school.

I'm a softy, and the kids know it. Last year, the school nurse told me that my class had the most nurse visits! So this year, I decided to toughen up. My kids were going to have to be seriously sick or bleeding profusely in order to have to go. Even so, I have constant complaints all day long. "My stomach hurts." "I have a headache." "My throat hurts." "I have a paper cut." "I think I sprained my ankle." "I bumped my head on my cubby." I'm telling you, its NEVER - ENDING!

Most of the time, I try to muster up a sympathetic smile and say, "I'm sorry. You'll be ok." Sometimes I give some medical advice. "Try going to the bathroom." "Get some water." "Did you eat breakfast?"

But then the kids have the nerve to actually be SICK sometimes! Last Thursday, a boy looked queasy and didn't even ask to go to the nurse. He wanted to stay in class. Finally, I sent him to the nurse and he had a temperature of 104.7!

So, I'm at a loss. Do I act tough and basically tell the kids to get over it, or do I send them to the clinic? If only I had a bit of my mom's medical knowledge.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


There are certain memories that you want to store up in your heart and never forget, like precious treasures. Today I had one of those moments.

During my pastor's sermon, he was talking about Paul's journey to Jerusalem and how the people around him tried to discourage him from going. They knew - accurately - that Paul would face suffering in Jerusalem.

Then pastor referred to my trip to Thailand, and how important it is not to discourage me but to encourage me. He said, "We need to be saying, Katie, we are proud of you. We are behind you. We support you, and we will be praying for you." Oh and the best part of the moment was the church saying, "Amen!"

That is a moment I will be sure to remember this summer when I feel a little homesick and missing my friends and family.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


My bribery is working so well! Last week I went shopping and spent an insane amount of money on toys for my students in order to "motivate" them to behave. Really its just bribery but I don't care! It's working!

At this point, my two high-flyers are competing for a semi-truck full of Hot Wheels. There are about 20 Hot Wheel cars in it, and I seriously saw these boys go speechless when I showed it to them. Their mouths actually fell open. Its like the equivalent of showing me a box set of ER and Beverly Hills 90210.

These two boys are working to earn points, and the one who has the most will get the truck at the end of the week. Thinking ahead to next week, I went to the store today and bought two Bakugans. These are the strangest boy toys that I have been exposed to but they are the coolest things for 8 year old boys right now. Believe me I know.

I'm such a softy though, I already feel sorry for the one that isn't going to win. But, he is aware of the rules and chooses not to follow them, so I guess I need to toughen up.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Great things

You know when someone does something great, loving, sweet, and unexpected for you? You can't help grinning from ear to ear, laughing, and telling everyone about it! That's how I'm feeling right now!

When the Lord brought back the captive ones from Zion,
We were like those who dream.

Then our mouths were filled with laughter,
Our tongues with joyful shouting...

The Lord has done great things for us;
We are glad.

Psalm 126:1 - 3

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Won't take much to beat me

I've seen this game on two blogs now so I went ahead and gave it a shot. I'm a little ashamed of my score! There were some states that I had no clue where to put! So I challenge you to beat my score and come back and tell me what you got!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Its never been so obvious...

...that I am supposed to be a mother of girls. Maybe even teach only girls. I am a girly-girl to the extreme.

Today I had to go shopping to find some toys to (bribe) motivate my boys to behave. I have three boys in particular that make me want to pull my hair out and run screaming through the hallways.

So as I wander through the toy aisles I'm just shaking my head. I mean, who can find these things fun?

Luckily, Wal-Mart had a sale on all kinds of boy's toys, so I racked up. I have a Hot Wheels semi-truck, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures, and some other stuff that I have no idea how to pronounce.

I have a feeling the boys are going to be drooling tomorrow!

PS - Don't feel bad for the girls. I got some cute art kits for a dollar each for the girls.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Deep thought for today

- Beth Moore

So many of my issues stem from pride. I'm too prideful to admit when I'm wrong. I'm too prideful to show weakness. I'm too prideful to share my pain...

So, Beth Moore is right. When you can let go of that pride, it is a blessed relief!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Toby's 2nd star appearance

Welcome to Toby's 2nd Video Debut. Well I guess its not a debut if its the second but oh well. A few notes before you watch the video:

  1. I apologize for the high-pitched baby talk. My poor future children.
  2. This is my first attempt at trying to edit two videos together so forgive the amateur-ness.
  3. Romeo is my mom's dog that Toby pretends not to like but secretly they are best friends.
Now prepare to see the cutest little doggy ever.

Toby 2009 from Katie B on Vimeo.

Here's Toby's first video.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Details about my Thailand Trip

Photo by Paknam Web

As my summer in Thailand is getting closer and closer, I've been interested in getting as much information as I can about the place I'll live.

This website shows pictures of Krabi. If you have a second just scroll down and look at the pictures. I can hardly believe I'll be living there!

And here are some pages that describe what teaching in Thailand is like. It is exactly as I remember it from my last trip.

Average Day in a Thai School

Thai School Part Two

Finally, here is my "official" job description. I cannot tell you how excited I am. I was eating my oatmeal yesterday morning when I opened it up and I actually started jumping up and down. Toby was really confused.

We need an adventurous person willing to teach English on a high school campus located in Blaypraya district of Krabi Province. You will work in a school of about 2000 students located about 40 kilometers outside of the city of Krabi. You would be expected to teach English, do class planning, and cooperate with the department head for English. The school will provide the curriculum but your imagination will be the ticket to fun with the Southern Thai. Use music, songs, games, or drama in teaching English. As the Thais are curious about customs in foreign countries, you can present a Christian viewpoint on the holidays celebrated in America. Inside the classroom, evangelistic opportunity maybe limited. But outside the classroom, share your testimony and Christian beliefs during leisure hours with students and fellow teachers. Extend your influence with students by being involved with after school activities such as sports, drama or special interest clubs. As friendships develop, you will be invited to visit the students in their homes during school breaks thus offering you a chance to get to know them on a more personal level. As you get to know the personality of your students & teachers, develop a way to clearly explain your faith and the basic tenants of Christianity in simple terms. As God leads, interest the Thais in wanting to know more about God & possibly start a cell group. The missionaries will follow-up. You will provide a detailed list of names & addresses.
The only part I'm worried about is the "adventurous" part. I'm not exactly adventurous but I guess if I wasn't at least a little bit crazy I wouldn't be going on this trip anyway!

Here's a couple more details about the trip (I'm posting this for myself, too, because I want to be able to look back on this!)

From the missionaries I'll be working with:'ll be doing, very similar to your days in Trang. The difference being that you'll be in a much smaller town and with very, very few Christians. But what an opportunity to share and begin leading a few students and teachers on the journey to salvation!

You will live in the town of Blai Praya, a town that we work in 2 days a week. No, the city is not like Trang. It is a small town. We asked the school to provide you with a place to stay and lunch meal. If they give you more it will be a bonus. I think that housing will be teacher's housing. It has internet at the school. The teachers are excited about your coming. There are about 5-7 teachers who teach English. The high school has about 2,000 students. Teachers and students may want to invite to their homes or on tours. This may be to your advantage and promote good relationships for the Gospel. We will go to the school and make sure what all was agreed upon in their committee meeting and let you know more later.

You will want to bring some money for food. Food costs from about 50B to 200B a meal depending on whether you eat Thai or Western food. So that will be about $30-40 a week depending on what you eat and how much you eat. For example a Whooper Meal is about 200B. (The baht is running about 34 baht to a dollar right now.)

On the weekends you will want to come visit us. Our province is a tourist destination. It has a river, with caves where prehistoric artifacts were found, Muslim island, and fish farming in the river. About 18 kilometers from where we live is Ao PraNang which is a beach town. There you can swim, get boats to go snorkeling, and eat western food (Burger King, McDonalds, Subway, Pizza Co., & Swenson's Ice Cream). It will be more quiet while you are here because it is low season, but there will still be European tourists here.

Like I said, jumping up and down!!!

Valentine's Day

I can say that you've never truly experienced Valentine's Day until you celebrate it with 24 seven year olds. It was the most glorious, romantic, and thrilling day.


But, on the other hand, I was told I love you in so many ways. I got TWO bouquets of tulips (which happen to be my favorite flower) and one was actually purple (which is my favorite color). I got tons of candy which I promptly passed on to my grandpa who doesn't have to worry about his hips. I got a pickle jar filled with candy and crystal light?! I got 24 carnations to represent my 24 students. My grandparents bought me this cool bamboo plant thing. (I love plants!)

And this morning I got an actual Valentine's delivery!

This was from my dear mum. I feel like pretending I'm British because I'm watching Notting Hill.

So cute and yummy too.

And if you think I'm feeling sorry for myself on this Singles Awareness Day you'd be wrong. I've got too many loves in my life.

Here are some awesome posts that challenge me today about Valentines.
A Huge Perk of Singleness
The Bewitching Day

Friday, February 13, 2009

Lunch Conversations

"Ms. B, my nose is bleeding a little bit!" little girl says.

"Okay, just get a tissue and hold it on your nose. You'll be fine."

"I think its because I've been picking it a lot right here," she says, putting her finger up her nose.


Said in a sing-songy voice with a huge grin: "I'm drinking milk and eating cheese!!!! And I'm lactose intolerant!"

"Doesn't that mean your stomach is going to hurt?" I ask innocently.

"No! It means I'm going to be farting A LOT!!!"


"Ms. B, I had really bad diarrhea last night."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I'm Back!!!

OK, I finally got my computer back! Best Buy had it for about 3 weeks. Then I got it back and was so excited. 1 day later the motherboard died. So I had to give it back to them for another 2 weeks. So now I'm back and will hopefully get back into the blogging habit! I have missed it.

As you can see, I'm a little out of touch with the bloggy world. I have almost 500 blogs to read to get caught up!

Thanks to my mom for keeping me updated with little Harper. I'm so happy and grateful that she is home and healthy. My mom copied and pasted Kelly's blog and emailed it to my work email so I could know what was going on!

I will be back soon!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

They are MINE

This is my second year as a classroom teacher. (My first 4 years I was a computer teacher.) And last year I absolutely fell in love with my first real class. So when I got back to school this year, I really missed them. It was hard not to constantly compare my current class to last year, and this class was seriously lacking!

But something has slowly occurred. I have fallen in love with this class. It happened so gradually, that I didn't even realize it. I started noticing a common theme in my thoughts about my class: "They are SO smart!" "Look how cute they are!" "These kids are cracking me up!" And stuff like that. And it took a while before I realized that I was proud of them! They are MINE and I love them!

It is such a good feeling to love the children you spend the entire day with. It feels more like a family instead of a job. It makes it easier to smile and laugh instead of get fed up and yell. It makes you want to work harder to design lessons that they will like. It makes you want to teach the same skill over. and. over. until they finally GET IT.

I'm usually a glass-half-full kind of person, so it pains me to think this... I'm going to lose them and start over again next year! At least I know what to expect for next year and I can prepare for my emotions. As for now, I'm going to focus on this connection with my kids and use it to help motivate me to do my best for them.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration + Snow

Today was a cool day at school. My kids were so pumped when they got to school. "Miss, do you know that we are going to get a new president today?" "Did you know its going to snow today?" "Obama is going to be our president!" "Can we build a snowman at recess?" This was my morning as I tried to maintain some sense of normalcy.

But around 11:30 we turned on the TV and they watched closely. The best part was when they announced, "President-elect Barack Obama!" The crowd in Washington went wild and so did my class! It was too cute! They clapped and cheered and one little boy pumped his arm in the air and shouted Oooobaaamma! Well, we had to go to lunch shortly after that. And in elementary school, you better not be late for lunch. But when we got to the cafeteria they had a TV in there and we were able to watch the actual swearing in. (Which was the part that I really wanted them to see.)

No matter who you voted for, today was an inspiring day.

As far as the snow day went, we didn't see one little flake during the school day. But the kids just couldn't understand why we couldn't build snowmen or throw snowballs. As kids who have never really seen snow in their life, all they can imagine are scenes from books and movies. I tried to explain that the ground was too warm for it to stick, but they didn't quite get it. Sure enough, about an hour after school was out, the snow started to fall. And it was beautiful! Not even one flake is on the ground, but still very pretty. This southern girl can appreciate it but I'm very thankful that we aren't dealing with it for months.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Kelly and Harper have been on my heart lately, and it seems like everyone else's in the blog world too.

I just wanted to post my support and prayers, and I want to say how much Kelly's attitude has impacted me. A lot of people would be angry at God, or question why, or even turn away from Him. I know its ok to ask questions of God and I know He would understand. But she hasn't. Her faith has been unmoved. Again it causes me to think on these verses...

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. "And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. "Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. "The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell--and great was its fall." Matthew 7:24-27

Kelly is definitely experiencing a storm but she has a firm foundation that cannot be shaken.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Where have I been?

My computer has been broken!

And it has been crazy...You don't really realize how much you use your computer until you don't have it. And you don't really realize how much time you spend on the computer. Then you are presented with at least an extra hour a day, which really isn't a bad thing!

Best Buy has been a huge disappointment by taking 7 days just to decide what was wrong with my computer. (If they would have listened to me they would have had a head start!) When I called on the 6th day they said they hadn't even looked at it yet.

Then they called and sweetly said, "We have to send your computer away to be repaired and it will be 3-4 weeks before we get it back. Is that OK with you?"

"Sure, that sounds GREAT! I look forward to not seeing my computer for the rest of the month!!"

Sorry, I'll behave now.

Anyway, my kind madre has lent me her computer for the week because I have to turn in report cards on Thursday and I don't want to spend hours after school every day. Instead I'll be comfy on my couch and watch TV while I work. Thanks Mom!

OK well, this isn't much but I just wanted to check in! My blogging will be sporadic for a while but hopefully I'll be back to normal soon.