Tuesday, February 27, 2007

missing home....

lately i have been missing home. not in a sobby kind of homesick way, but just little things about houston and texas that make me smile and miss it.

here are the things i miss:

  • kolaches from the bakery on bingle in spring branch---the kolache bakery
  • my family
  • my mom's banana bread
  • my mom's homemade biscuits
  • hamburger steak with lots of brown gravy
  • hanging out with friends and having good conversation
  • small group
  • diedrich's
  • my close friends
  • my "tree house" garage apartment in the cool, artsy part of town
  • the ecclecticness of inside the loop
  • the warm weather for flip flops and sitting outside
  • hanging out with josh
  • being with friends during big moments---having babies, loss, rough times
  • the mad potter & girls nite out
  • sending evites :)
  • crocheting
  • halo night
  • sunday mornings
  • onion creek--yummy mochas and tasty sandwiches
  • my friend's kids :)
  • sharing meals
  • the black lab
  • being able to find a fun craft store for artsy stuff
  • listening to friends play their music

paul is moving to....

san francisco at the moment. he will be there until roughly the middle of june when he comes back to texas to get married. yeah! only 137 more days!!!

his visit here in seoul was great! he was able to meet my kids, hang out, and meet other folks too. i loved it when he was here and it was great to do "nothing" together.

school has been really busy these days. last friday the 4th grade went on a field trip to the national folk museum of korea. it was good and i think the kids enjoyed it. this week we have lots going on and we start the big fundraising efforts for year. each year SFS raises something like 12 million won for a TB care center in north korea. it is really amazing. there are many events and things planned to get the money. i have been helping to organize it all which has been fun, challenging, and time consuming.

my kids are finishing up reading The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis. it has been great to read it with them and i am becoming a fan of the book more so than the movie. don't get me wrong the movie is great, but i think i prefer the book.

life has been ok for me lately. i have been a bit down since paul left on saturday which is to be expected. i am currently trying to sort out my life..............i need to get motivated to get in shape and better health is #1 on the list. this has been one of the most difficult adjustments for me in korea. the fact that watching what i eat is much more difficult than in the states. i know that some of you may think i making more of this than it is, but it is true. i am not the only one that claims these kind of feelings about it. i am hoping that on march 14th to kick off my "getting healthy" campaign for myself. this is 4 months prior to the wedding and i am hoping to make a change.

next week i am headed to hong kong for a teaching class on braingym. it is using motor acitivites to activate different part of a child's brain before working. it has been proven to work for lots of kids and so i am going to learn more. this will also be my first official trip around asia and i am really excited about it.

i am completely addicted to grey's anatomy. it is really the best show. i finished watching the dvds for season 1 & 2. then i logged into itunes where i get the new episode downloaded each week with a season pass. wow! i don't get to see it until the wee hours of the morning on saturday, but i get to see it. i do have to say that last week's show was a bit odd and unrealistic. i am hoping this week brings us back to normality. :)

in addition, my kids have clued me into the "thing" to do as a fourth grader. last week they all kept talking about this online game called "club penguin". so being the person i am, i wanted to know more and check out what all their rave was about. friday night i went to the site: http://www.clubpenguin.com. i soon found myself creating a penguin and playing the game. it is quite fun. since friday i have met some of my kids "in" the game online and played connect four and mancala with them. good times! i know can talk the lingo with them which has been fun to share with them.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

paul has arrived......

he has been here since thursday night and things have been great since he arrived. the night he got here was a bit wild, but we finally made it home. the last airport bus to yonhi-dong left the airport at 10:30pm and we saw it pull away. i did not realize at the time of seeing the bus it was the last one, but soon after did when the guy said "finished, no more bus". then i kind of internally got a bit nervous as i was not sure how we were going to get home. a taxi all the way to the school is almost 50,000 and i did not have that much cash on me. so i thought quickly and realized that there was another bus leaving for itaewon, which is area close to the base. a taxi from there is only 10,000 or so. we got on the last bus to itaewon at five until eleven. it took us a while but we finally made it home. whew!!!!

friday we went back to itaewon for lunch. we had dolsot bebimbap which is rice, veg, and some meat with an egg on top in a very hot stone bowl that cooks it all when you get it. it is super yummy and one of paul's favorites. then we walked all around itaewon. i showed him all my favorite places---koreana furniture, eden pottery, joy jewelry. then we made our way to sinchon where we had a starbucks and made a quick trip to grand mart (the grocery store).

saturday we were kind of bums and ordered pizza in. paul had to work and i needed to complete some school work as well. we just hung out at my apartment and then later in the evening when down to sinchon for dinner. we ate at omuto tomato which is a fusion kind of place that serves omurice. it is like a giant egg omelette shell filled with rice and then topped with all kinds of stuff on top. i had one with a tomatoey sauce with a pork cutlet on it. it was tasty. paul had one with cream sauce, sweet potatoes and pumpkin on it. he was not a huge fan and neither was i after tasting it. after dinner we went to starbucks again.....surprise, surprise! it was good although i quickly figured out that i was drinking too much caffeine as i was not sleeping well.

sunday we went to church and then went to insadong for lunch and to piddle around. jen came with which was fun! we had lunch at a korean place and we all had dolsot bebimbap again. this place was not as good as the place in itaewon, but it was ok. paul tried some korean taffy like stuff and also a sausage like thing on a stick. we just looked in the shops and watched the people. it was good. we ended up at the starbucks in insadong. this is the only one in the world that has starbucks written in korean on the outside of the building. we sat for hours just talking and visiting. we had three young korean ladies about our age ask us to read a page and a half of questions to them in english. they are interviewing to become flight attendants for asiana airlines and needed to listen to the english for practice. it was fun and we enjoyed helping. after they treated us to muffins. so sweet! we then went back to the apartment and jen came with. we had quesadillas for dinner and jen and i faced off at scrabble while paul kind of worked. it was fun! jen and i thought the game was over a hundred times it seemed and then all of a sudden we would work out a word to build more off of. we were really kind of playing together versus against each other. we had fun and laughed lots. i think we were even entertaining paul at some points. :)

monday paul was all about walking around and seeing what we would see. to be honest, i wasn't really thrilled with the idea, but went along. we walked down the front hill into yonhi-dong and walked around. then we took a taxi to sinchon. paul had his computer with him so he could work. the mission was to a find a coffee place with free internet. we tried the coffee bean, but no luck. walked a bit further to a new place called caribou coffee. yes......free internet! i have had coffee from this place in an airport in the states so i was excited. it just opened in the last week or two. then we went to order and paul says, "look they have decaf." i instantly was like where?!?!?! i was beside myself. then i asked if they had decaf espresso.....yes! oh my goodness, i felt as if i had hit the jackpot! crazy! so i ordered a latte that was decaf! so exciting! paul and i sat for hours---he working and i was reading. i was reading the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe, the bible, and the marriage book that paul and i got for christmas. he worked and i read. it was a great afternoon. later i got another coffee and this time i got a marshmalllow latte......YUMMY! i am in heaven! paul and i ate sushi at niko niko for a late afternoon snack and then took a taxi home. we went to the mills' for dinner and had a fun time. we played rummikub with the kids. then we ate dinner and after dinner we played my new game, rat-a-tat cat, that i got for christmas. the kids loved it! they went to bed and we played a game called articulate for kids with david (dad), arthur, paul and i. the funny part is that it is like catchphrase, but it is in made in england. so some of the phrases we did not get. it was fun though and we laughed a lot. after arthu went to sleep, paul and i stayed and visited with jane and david for hours. it was really wonderful!

today paul and i went to lunch at kraze burger and are back at caribou coffee. he is working and i am blogging. i am enjoying another DECAF marshmallow latte which is just lovely! the weather has been absolutely fantastic since paul got here! it is sunny and currently the temperature is 52 degrees. paul and i are really enjoying the weather. :)

Friday, February 16, 2007

yes, i am ok.........

i know many of you have thought i have fallen in a deep Korean hole since i have not posted in nearly a month. i am sorry.........things here with school have been really crazy, stressful and non-stop. i think about posting, but somehow in the craziness of the day it gets overlooked. by the time i get home i am usually shattered tired and do nothing more than lay on my couch. exciting, eh? moving 7,047 miles away from friends and family leads me to laying on my couch more?!?!?!? anyhow, here i am again...........resurfacing to the blog. thanks for the thoughts and emails asking where in the heck i am............i am glad to know that people wonder and are curious about my life here. thanks!

so the most thought provoking thing i have done since last blogging was see the movie, Blood Diamond. it is about the conflict in sierra leone in the 90's which is western africa. the movie is intense and from the people who i know who know africa pretty realistic. i was completely moved by this movie in many ways. for the first time i found myself praying for the continent of africa. it is hard to wrap my wee head around the idea that an entire continent is riddled with instability, disease, crime, AIDS, and poverty. i have never been there so to some degree i feel like i should not be allowed to draw such conclusions having no such real first-hand experience. part of me though is moved enough to wonder how the entire world can stand by and watch africa's issues get to the magnitude they have. in the past few years i have met people who are making issues more public with the save darfur campaign, one campaign, and then most recently the invisible children. it amazes me how as one of the world's super powers (the US) that people can be ok with letting things just happen or looking the other way thinking that someone else will solve and/or help the problem. recently i had to help my kids create a chapel for the elementary school. we chose the theme of compassion as it was the Christ-like attitude of the month. in doing this my kids learned verses, songs, and skits that all had to do with compassion. in sitting here writing this email one of their readings comes to mind. it was titled "Excuses, Excuses". the reading was about the excuses that people use for not helping others such as "Someone else will help....", "I will be ridiculed for helping them....", "I don't have the time...." to list a few. In response to the excuses some of my kids read verses from the Bible to justify why we should help. so i have to wonder why we just sit and go about our daily lives without even thinking about what is going on in the rest of the world around us. when i first decided to write this email i knew what all of you would say, "Here she goes again on her 'save the world idealist' kick". i know it is a movie, but i have to wonder what i can do, as a Christian, to help or contribute to the bigger picture of helping others. God specifically says that we should help each other and love our neighbors and Jesus even gives the good samaritan story (Luke 10:30-37) as an example of how to live our lives. so i ask myself........am i going to be the samaritan that helps the other or the pharisee that moves to other side of the road?