Sunday, December 10, 2017

Two Weeks In Penang

Everything happens for a reason, right?  I guess getting booted of "The Island" and out of Tembagapura for the time being, has its good parts too.  (If you don't know the "why" of our temporary exile, read a newspaper...)

Well the good part for me, was being able to spend the last two week hanging out in Penang and being able to watch some of the kids events that I would not have otherwise seen.  As I boarded the plane from Penang to Singapore today, I wondered where on earth the two weeks went!  Well, chasing after three teenagers definitely takes up a lot of time and the pictures below prove it... And believe me, I will not even come close to posting them all!! ;)

Here we go...

The kids and I left Singapore the Saturday after Thanksgiving and returned to Penang.  Sunday was the start of the official Christmas season at the dorms.  The kids decorated the dorm while I helped bake sugar cookies.  I promise there was more flour in the cookies than I had on my shirt! ;)

Because I didn't know how long I was going to be in Penang, I told the kids that they still had to live and act like boarding kids and that they couldn't hang around their mommy all the time, even though they were begging me! LOL!  Right... 
My view from the hotel's gym in the morning... kid less. :D  Sometime exile can be ok... ;)

Then it didn't take long for me to have to find something to do with myself.  Since I was in civilization and there were stores around, I went in search of a Christmas tree.  I always decorate for Christmas and was a little bummed that I couldn't this year...  I really didn't have any luck right away, so I got a wild hair and went to the 5 RM store.  It's the equivalent of a Dollar store in the US.  Instantly my creative juices started to flow.  This is what I walked away with....

This was the final product... :D  Yah, it's pretty sweet.

And then of course, the very next day... I found this... for a third of the cost!!! LOL!!

My other two exile buddies...  Of course we had to get the cards out!  I think it's in our blood... Or maybe I'm just a bad influence... ;)

And then there was basketball...

Coffee again...

And then.... We found a store with Christmas Decorations!!!  And sooooo much more!!  Jen and I spent a few hours bumming around.  It was great!!  And I actually walked away with five Christmas night lights and a pillow! ;) Oh, and a Santa hat....

Trying out the beds...  I'm telling you, these jungle girls were in a real store!  I think we looked at every available item!

And we filled Milo... Well, not me.  Remember I only bought those few items... ;)

Then after school that day, my mini me had a basketball game.  It was so surreal to walk in the gym and see her playing.  It was like watching a younger version of me...  If she keeps up her practicing, she may just get better than her momma was and that isn't an easy thing to do. ;)

And then we went to eat... again.  Teddy and Gavin were on their last few days of No Shave November.  Sorry Gavin, I don't have a close up of you... :(

More basketball... Teddy had a tournament Friday and Saturday.  His team ended up with 3rd.

And more food... clean shaven this time.

Saturday, was more basketball and Jane brought her two boys to watch Ted play and hang out with Gabby.  They had all been going to school in Tembagapura for the last 7 years. Still great friends!  We did a remake of Gabby and Liam from their first year on site.  Soooo cute!!

Gavin and Tristin

After basketball, I had to feed the herd.  This time I brought two other girls from Tembagapura, who go to school at Dalat with the kids.  It was a pre-birthday celebration for Megan. The three girls ended up staying with me that night at the hotel.

Oh goodness, I almost forgot about this!!  You know when your brain experiences trauma, it tends to block events from your memory.  Well that night, after dinner, I had to take those two cavemen shopping for DRESS clothes for their Christmas Banquet.  Shopping with them for most things is painful, but this... extremely!!  LOL!  Actually, it wasn't that horrible... we had so many laughs! I'm pretty sure the guy in the store helping us out was traumatized most of all!! LOL!!

Sunday morning.  Meg's birthday.  We started with breakfast from Starbucks.

Took a pic for Cindi, but I'm sure haven't sent it to her yet!  I'm good like that... ;)

After church, a proper birthday lunch at TGI Fridays.

Gabby stayed with me Sunday afternoon to nap and do homework, then I took her back to school, to dorm life.

Are we done yet???  That was only my first week!! And like I said, I haven't included everything!!  This "normal" life is exhausting!! ;)

Monday morning started off right away at 8:30 with a presentation from Teddy.

Tuesday, more Christmas shopping... No, I did not buy the items in my hands!  I really really wanted to... but then I had to think of shipping or packing for a plane, and it wasn't worth it... Marz, you called it! ;)

Tuesday night, Gabby's band concert.  I didn't know 8th graders could play so well!  They sounded amazing!  

Wednesday, was more cards and more feeding the herd.

Thursday, I DID NOTHING!!  I didn't even see the kids!

Friday, Breakfast with Tembagapura refugees.

Christmas Banquet... The event that was talked about all week finally has arrived!

Gabby stayed with me Friday night since everyone else was busy with CB.  It's a high school event only.  This was Saturday morning while we were waiting for an Uber to take us to... Yup, you guessed it!  Feed the herd! ;)

Our last breakfast together for seven days!

And then one last ride in Milo...  Jen was the best Uber driver EVER!! ;)

Last night, Saturday night was the dorm Christmas party (previous post) and then I was back at the hotel getting my stuff packed up to catch my flight today to Singapore.

So I now sit here at Starbucks, waiting for Chris to get here, but thanks to a late afternoon thunderstorm and down pour, he will be late...  Oh well... I'm sure I can find something to keep me entertained.  I have become a professional at entertaining myself. ;)

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Ziemer Dorm's Christmas Dinner

Every year the dorm parents, who are called Aunts and Uncles, put on a dinner, the last Saturday before the first semester break begins.  This year, the temporary dorm parents had another function to attend, so Uncle Scott (assistant dorm parent) and Aunt Jan (school nurse) were in charge of the night.  They also asked for Jen's and my assistance in cooking.  So Aunt Jan, Jen and I were in charge of the cooking and Uncle Scott was in charge of the rest of the party... Dorm presents and Secret Santa.  They really do try to make things special for all the kids who are away from their families at this time of year.

The lovely cooks.

Jen brought Stormy's fudge recipe all the way from Tembagapura.  You can't have a Christmas party without Stormy's fudge! ;)  

While we were preparing everything, Aunt Mary (dorm mom in a different dorm) brought the three of us Christmas cards.  She knows me sooooo well!!  I love my shoe ornament!  Let me just say here, that Aunt Mary is one of the most beautiful people I know in this world!  She just makes life better for all those she touches! xoxo

Uncle Scott leading the Secret Santa and gift opening.  He is a true blessing for our kids!  He has stepped up and put in a lot of extra time and energy,  since the dorm parent transition. 

What do you even say here??? ;)  You're such a cutie Gavin!  :D

Ted showing off his gifts. :D

Hey Ted, how about you take the tags off the glasses and try again... lol!

The boys volunteered to model their presents... It only took FOUR tries to get a "good" pic...

I gave up... LOL!!  Knuckle heads!

Then dinner was ready and we all sat down to eat.  There are 12 dorm kids, 3 "Aunts", 1 Uncle, and 1 little sister. 

The ladies were first up...

Because the boys were being gentlemen waiting for their turn... ;)

These are only a few of the desserts!

I just had to make these... They are soooooo naughty!!

My place card and table decoration.

I had to squeeze in one pic with the kiddos!

And then the night was over... For me anyway.  All three dorms were heading out for a late night movie starting at 9.  I was invited, but I knew if I went, I would just pay to sleep. lol!  So I opted to just go back to my hotel room and finish up my packing.  My two weeks in Penang have flown by and now I'm off to Singapore... again!

Counting the days down until all the kids are together with us...