Monday, March 29, 2010

A Birthday and an experiment

This past February, was a busy month around here. Lots of birthdays and a science fair were just a few of the things going on. Chewey turned 11. We had a great time with family and friends. I didn't take a picture of the cake because it, well, it melted. At least, the middle layer did and it was very funny looking. After everyone got a piece I put the rest in a trifle bowl and I learned a valuable lesson. Martha Stewart, I am not!!!
He also had to work on a science fair project. He chose to do one on the subject of 'can you tell what something is just by touching it.' He discovered that he was wrong and people CAN tell what something is just by touching it. Some people can even tell you the color because they are so familiar with certain things. His guinea pigs were from various age groups, as young as six to older than 50.
He earned a superior on his efforts. We are so proud of him!
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Last night as I was tucking Grace into bed, Matt popped in the door and informed me that they needed nicknames. Okay. So without further ado, please meet Chewey. He was given that name many moons ago by his uncle. Short for Matt-chew, I guess!!
This is Songbird. She loves to sing . . . all the time . . . loudly. She even writes her own songs. It won't be too long and she and Dad will be creating songs together.
Hammy is his name. He picked it out some time ago, named after his favorite character in Over the Hedge. It fits him though. He is a ham! He could also be named Romeo, as one of his teachers calls him, he has at least two girls on each arm daily as they go to class. He is a charmer. He takes after his father!

Now that my children have been given nicknames, I will use them from now on (if I remember, I was never good at the nickname thing) as I write about the adventures they have.
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Thursday, March 11, 2010

A great opportunity

WASABI!!!! A few months ago, I applied to be a representative for EF Foundation for Foreign Study. I began this new adventure the first weekend of January. I am thoroughly excited to be a part of this company. At the same time I began working for them we took in an exchange student for the month of January while his host mom was overseas. He is from Thailand. He quickly became a part of our family and we were sad when the month was up and he returned to his host home. Thankfully, he does come and hang out with us occasionally. The kids loved the chance to have a big brother for a short time. Dave and Matt took him pheasant hunting one of the first weekends with us. I should clarify, he went along for the experience but did not actually carry a gun or hunt.
The family also went ice fishing. It was the first time Prem walked on 'water.' Another great experience for everyone. It was also the first time our kids were ice fishing. Dave has been meaning to do this for quite some time, but Prem provided the extra incentive to make it happen. Everyone had a ball and we had perch for supper that night!!

We have learned so much from having him in our home and I believe he has learned a few things from us, maybe...

Dave did teach him a little bit about playing guitar. We showed him how to make mashed potatoes, his favorite American food. He taught Gracie Chinese and some Thai. Matt & Aaron loved to play the Wii with Prem. They also enjoyed sledding. He shared with us about his life and we shared our lives with him. We are better people for knowing Prem. Recently he and another exchange student spent the day cooking Thai with me and we served several couples that they had invited over. I am posting about this event on my cooking/baking blog, so check it out. He also shared with us the mind-numbing taste of wasabi! One of the first weeks he was with us, he asked us if we had ever tried wasabi, which of course we hadn't. Prem shared with us the ability wasabi has to numb your brain for 30 seconds, kinda like brain freeze. I found some powdered green stuff at our local grocery store and proceeded to make it for him for our next meal. I must not have made it potent enough for him, but the next time I made it very strong. I must tell you, I didn't plan it that way. Prem scared us half to death when he took a spoonful of it thinking it was weak like the last batch. He could barely get out the word wasabi for us to understand that he was not choking like we thought. When he could speak again, he had us all laughing ... "Now, that's wasabi!!"

If you love to have people in your home or if you have a desire to travel the world, please consider hosting a foreign exchange student. EF Foundation works with over 30 countries, including Thailand, Italy, Spain, Germany, Australia, Japan, Norway, Chile, just to name a few. Also, a bonus in my eyes is that the company has been around since 1979. What a great opportunity to impact a young person's life, as well as, your family, your school, and your community!

***Please note that I am a representative for the company, EF Foundation for Foreign Study, but I do not receive monetary compensation for referring families.