This is the new Marina Bay Sands Casino. There is an observation deck at the top and an endless pool (but you have to be a hotel guest for that!)
The tracks in the air are the lights for the F1 race as it is run at night!
We started out with a birthday party at church. This went really well considering how excited Ana was. She was pretty well behaved. We went straight home, ate, and napped.
Then we headed out to watch our ICS middle school students race in a soap box derby. This was held on the actual F1 track. Everything is so safe here. The hill was probably about 1/5 of the size of the hills in the States. The kids still had fun--even if they were going pretty slowly!
From there we headed over to the kite festival. A large group of the single teachers were going over so we had a lot of help carrying/entertaining Ana. (To be fair it was quite a long walk!) The kites were very interesting--esp. the traditional ones from Japan. If you were willing to stand in line you could even make one to fly! The view was breathtaking, but as with all things in Singapore it was CROWDED! We stood in one line for a balloon animal and then decided to head home to eat.
This was a fun day. I'm really thankful that there are so many interesting things to do here. It really gives Ana a depth of experience that few kids have!
-an EXTREME extrovert. You'll talk to anyone and LOVE going out to see people.
-a helper. I was proud to see you picking up the trays and trash in Sunday School (even though you should have been in your seat.) Thanks for helping hang up the socks, etc when I do the laundry. And I'll never forget when you mopped half of the floor with SOAP, but it was a good try!
-FAST. You run fast, talk quickly without breathing, and do your work speedily. The only thing you don't do quickly is eat--which is usually not of much interest to you.
-strong willed. We try to give you a choice in many things which helps. But sometimes you just have to obey! -happy. We love all your smiles and laughter. This is not to say that you're never whiny or angry! But generally you are a cheerful girl!
-a lover of anything horses. All your horses are named after grandpa Fred's horses. What you really like to do is go fast. You take my exercise strap, use the handles for stirrups, place this over a bench or daddy's leg and gallop away--too funny!
-imaginative. Long after you've been put to bed we'll hear you in there talking to baby and friends. So many interesting things happen to you in your imaginary world. We hear all the time about your purple house, car, and horse. And I've never heard of another three year old that loves to travel like you do. The other day you told me you were going to Malaysia (although you've never actually been there).
-YOU. I'm glad you don't want to do what everybody else is doing and are a leader in many circumstances. We hope to help you grow these capabilities and allow you to be who God made you (not how we want you to be).
So, Happy Birthday--can't wait to see what the next year will reveal about you!
We've been enjoying lots of mooncakes. The traditional ones (pictured) are usually filled with white lotus and egg yolk. But we also like the non traditional ones called snowskin (it isn't baked).
After eating birthday cake the kids went downstairs and walked around with their lanterns (after the adults finally got them lit.) They soon lost interest and we hung them up on the playground. (Most Singaporeans I've talked to tell me they usually just burnt up the lanterns or played with candles!)
Once the sparklers came out they were very attentive. I think we went through 4 or 5 boxes!
I strongly believe in adoption--obviously. Even though the wait has been draining and beyond what I thought I could handle, I do believe that these boys were meant to be part of our little family. As I have watched others around us have biological children, I have often asked myself why do I have to take this more difficult road? Perhaps this road is filled with more blessings, more insight into the heart of God, or perhaps He knew I was determined enough to stick with it. Even now in the midst of a LONG wait, I'm glad I'm on this road less travled! (And I can't wait to see this Veggie Tale!)
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveller, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference...Robert Frost
We haven't been keeping you updated-sorry. Our agency now has a very important letter stamped by two Ethiopian government offices. This is great! We figured it would be held up by the second office, but it wasn't.
Please pray with us that we can get a court date SOON!
One important skill is being observant. We see thousands of objects everyday, but often don't really look at them! So today, Ana and I looked for circles around our house. I'd like to do the next shape outside. I was amazed at the beauty of some of the little circular objects around our house. This was a great activity for me too!
It's not often that we have out of country visitors. But last week we were blessed to have a short visit from two of our Indian friends. They were in Singapore attending a Navigator's conference and managed to squeeze in a visit to our home. Ana was delighted and talked their ears off!
As I am a teacher it would stand to reason that I would have some strong views on education. Therefore, I've been really angry/annoyed when someone says to me, "Why she not in school?" (this usually happens 3 to 5 times a week!!!)
First of all I am a rebel. I don't believe children really need kindergarten AS LONG AS the parents are willing to teach at home. I also am not eager to turn my child's education over to another person (even if it would give me some much needed free time.) God gave us the child--it's our responsibility to see that he/she achieves--not some teacher (esp. non-Christian). Also I believe children should have a childhood full of play and free time. There will be plenty of time for work later--at least 50 years of school/work! I think I can let her play for 4 or 5 years! Though she is definitely behind her Asian peers in the fact area, Ana's imagination has blossomed. I often find her riding a horse, cooking lunch, packing for a trip, fixing her car, or teaching her baby. She has imaginary friends and pets. Imagination can not be taught. It has to be awakened through varied experiences and free time to think!
Secondly, my philosophy of education is VERY different from the Asian philosophy. (I do have to say I appreciate how involved the parents are in their child's education AND the emphasis on excellence. American education would do well to adopt this!) It seems to include a lot of rote memorization and PRESSURE from parents and teachers. I believe children should enjoy learning (though not all subjects will be "fun")and have some freedom in choosing what they like. Therefore, as long as Analia does her best at what God calls her to do, I don't care what her job may be. Education will not make you successful, discovering what God has called you to be will!
I love this quote by Martin Luther King Jr.: "If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music.... Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well."
Sorry if I've offended anyone--just had to get that off my chest!