Learn the dance.. Live the dance.. Teach, talk and dance the dance!

"I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." 3 John 1:4

Saturday, December 18, 2010

We have a new van! :)

I cannot express to you how happy I am to say that! 


The tricky part is that the van is a diesel, and is a manual transmission.  I haven't driven a manual for oh, 8 years?  (Tiffany, if you or Mihailo are reading this, stop laughing)! Last night, we piled the kids in the van after watching kids for the BN social, and headed home.  Took me a few minutes to remember how to reverse without stalling. :P  (In my own defense, the gear shift isn't marked at all).  Oh, and it snowed yesterday, so it was a tiny bit slick.  Anyhow, I proceeded to make it about halfway home, and was doing fine until I came to a hill.  With a stop sign at the top of it.  Oh goody.  (Yes, Tiff, it was exactly like the one we got stuck at all those years ago).  :D  Topping it off, there are cabs behind me and buses driving to the intersection I was at.. lol.. I am laughing so hard, trying to wave all these people through the intersection while attempting to find the hazard lights. I wish the van had a sign that said STUDENT DRIVER.  Then at least they would understand.. :)

Anyhow, we made it home with no further incidents (ok, except for when it slid into 3rd instead of 1st and when I downshifted it shuddered really bad), and I have just realized that now I have to figure out how to get up and out of the parking garage the next time I drive! 

Anyhow, that's all for now.  Sorry, no pictures yet of the newest addition to our house.  The kids have friends over, and now that they've finally decided to stop arguing and leave me alone, I need to capitalize on it. :)  Dishes, laundry, recycling oh my!  I also have to lug car seats down to the van, now that we don't have to lug them in and out of taxis. :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I can't believe its almost Christmas!

Well, here we are almost to the end of another year.  This one has been a great adventure so far.  We have been stretched in ways I never could have imagined, and we are so much the better for it. 

I am on the fence about my decision to put Jacob in school.  At the time, it sounded like a good fit for him, but now I'm not sure.  Petty problems with the school are not what I'm talking about, I'm more worried about the part that makes him say, " Mom, I don't like school anymore."  When I asked him why, he said, " Because I already know everything!"

How's that for honesty? 

I understand that kindergarten is not supposed to be a whole heck of a hard time.. but I keep circling back to feeling like I failed him because we were already breezing through his first grade work with no problem, and now he's stuck going over the alphabet and colors and shapes.  The only writing they do is journal time in the morning, and I can't really tell if they do much with math.  I'm sure they do, since even small things have to do with math, but he was used to the worksheets he did here at home, and they definitely don't do that. 

Part of me wants to say, to heck with it all, and pull him back out.  Part of me wonders if it will set a really bad example for him if I do that.  Part of me says, oh, he'll get used to any routine that a school uses, if we put him in school a couple of years from now.  He can adapt, he's a child. 

I want him to like school, and always want to learn new things.  Right now, I'm afraid that he's coasting, because there isn't much expected of him.  Maybe I should ask to come to school for a day, and see what all they do on a normal day.  Maybe they do more than I think they do, based on what I hear from him at the end of the day, and what little bit of information the teacher sends home.  I don't want his love of learning to be extinguished because they don't challenge him.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that at home, I said, ok, we are going to do this, and we did it.  I dont want him to conform to the school system and only do the minimum.  He didn't know that he was going to do new things, I just presented them as normal work each day.  lol. Im having a hard time expressing what I want to say for some reason.  I'll come back to it another time.

We only really have a couple more Christmas gifts to purchase, and then we are finished.  Except for each other.  Its always hard to shop for Jon. :P  The things he wants, he will notice if I buy them, because of the emails or bank statements. Cait has asked for the Fur Real Friends white cat.... that has a huge price tag.  I'm still trying to decide if its worth it to get it for her, since its really the only thing she's asked for over and over and over.  The other things we have gotten her are from the Christmas money that Grandma and Papa sent.  Jacob is getting his DSi XL, because I found a bundle pack here at the PX and jumped all over it before it got snapped up.  Maybe this will keep them off my iphone.  I have my doubts.  I wondered if getting him this system would be a bad idea, but really, with all the time we spend on trains going places, its nice to have a way to distract him.  And he's been very good at choosing to turn off the games lately.  He's pretty limited in time to play, so he only gets to go hog wild on the weekends. 

3 more days til holiday break!  Jon and I are going to pray about it, research some different curriculums and decide for good whether or not Jacob will return to school after the break.  We may possibly just let him finish the year, while simultaneously doing a couple of his first grade things in the afternoons and on weekends.  Pray for us, will you?  We want to make the right decision for our family, and for Jacob in particular. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Picture post

We got our first snowfall!  :P  The kids were sooo happy, even though Jacob didn't want to go out and play in it at all.

We had a very blessed Thanksgiving, a couple of friends, and a couple of the soldiers that Jon works with came to eat with us.  We managed to rotisserie the turkey for 3 hours instead of bake it, but it all worked out in the end.  Sorry, no pics of the dinner.  I made creamed corn, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie, turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes and apple cider.  Yum!

Our Christmas tree is up, and the total ornament loss so far is 3- 1 by Caitlynn, 2 by Tiger.  Surprisingly, James hasn't broken one yet!  Although, he did manage to break a coffee mug and break the second leaf off of my porcelain rose that I've had since I was little.  Good thing it didn't shatter. 

We had planned to buy a car from a soldier that is leaving, but just found out that it got sold out from under us, so oh well.  We have to start Christmas shopping anyhow, the kids have the wooden food and accessories for their play kitchen (the big gift from Santa to all three of them), but the kitchen itself isn't even shipped yet!  :(  It says it won't be here til after Dec. 25, so I might just have to buy the plastic Step 2 one, instead of the wooden one we wanted.  Other than that, we have 3 or so gifts to get for each kid, and some stocking stuffers. 

Here are some pictures from our snow play earlier- hope you enjoy!

Look!  I'm actually IN a picture this time!

 Our attempt at a snowman!  LOL
And, two minutes later, the death of our snowman, death by consumption.. :D

And a picture of both of us- woohoo!  :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I heart Shutterfly!

Ok, I have to make this really short and simple, cause I'm WAY behind, and the craft fair starts tomorrow!!  EEEK!

Shutterfly is doing a promotion for bloggers- get 50 free Christmas cards for posting a 150word (or longer) post on your blog.  Go here to check it out!   http://bit.ly/sfly2010 

I <3 Shutterfly.  We got an amazing photo book last year, right around Christmas, and my kids still look through it.  They have great service and it hardly takes any time at all to receive your order. 

I'm really liking this one for multiple shots of our family, especially since we are overseas this year.  I know it hasn't really been that long since we have seen everyone, but still, a great way to send a small piece of us to everyone.

I also like this one, for a whole family shot- or possibly just the kids.
Last, but definitely not least, I love the cheerfulness of this one.  The colors jump out at me, and since I LOVE color, I chose this one- probably a picture of the kiddos, instead of all of us.
I've gotta say, this year's card are AMAZING!  I had a hard time narrowing it down to just three items. 
We also got a free 11x14 collage poster back when Jon was here in Korea the first time.  I love it, I put a bunch of pictures of each kid on there, and titled it, We love you, Daddy!  with the month and year written underneath.  Good memories from a time that was a bit stressful and lonely, for both of us.  Go here- http://www.shutterfly.com/prints/collage-posters to check it out.  (Sorry, I don't know how to do cut-tags on blogger)! :)
These looked like a fun way to celebrate, too!  Only 39.99 to be in a book with your favorite character! :)

Anyhow, I hear my sewing machine calling- gotta get back to the grindstone!  I will post pictures once things slow down, hopefully the craft fair does well tomorrow!  :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Riding the fence... the homeschooling fence, at least.

 Found out today that I could put J in school (kindergarten) for a couple hours a day, for only the subjects I want him to study, like pe, music, math, etc... and homeschool him the rest of the time.. Now Im wondering if I shouldnt just get over it and put him in, period.  No point in sending him for 3-4 hours a day only to come home and do more when he gets home.... But, also, if I finish homeschooling him through this year, he can go straight to second grade next year, since Sonlight is an accredited program.  I would just have to provide a portfolio, and he would have to take the second grade placement exam.  Soooo.. yeah.  I don't want to be selfish and put him in just so I would have one less kid at home, but I don't want to keep him out on the off chance that they can do a better job that me, even with 30 kids and one aide.  We can still do devotionals at home, over dinner, and talk about the memory verses in the mornings before I take him downstairs to the bus stop.. which was a major reason I homeschooled.  Theres a verse that says to teach the Bible to your children, when you walk along the road, and when you wake up and when you go to sleep... basically, teach them as much as you can as often as you can.. And if he's in school more than he's home and awake, how am I supposed to have the time to teach him about stuff like that?  I know I probably sound like a crazed loon.. lol.. but I'm really struggling with putting him in.  Am I some kind of control freak?  Jon was teasing me, and said, what, having a hard time letting go??  Srsly!!  Is that what I'm doing???

There are pros and cons to each side, and I DON'T want to be selfish and put him in just to go with the flow of everyone else.  I don't want him to have a negative experience with school, and I don't want him to constantly be in trouble like he was last year in the beginning of pre-k.  Yes, he will probably throw fits because school is more regimented than we are, and there will be another adult in charge... and I know there will be days that I have to literally drag him out of bed because he 'doesn't wanna go to school!'

Blah.  Need prayer.  Advice would be great. :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I think I was bitten by a bug

The crafting bug!!

I have been working on several things lately.  So, here goes nothing!  :)


These are some of the items that I will be selling at the craft bazaar next month.  I actually had someone ask whether or not they would be there cause she thought they were really cute!  :) 

Anywho.. off to watch a little more Eureka and attempt to finish sewing my fall table runner. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Busy as bees

Well, the man has been on convalescent leave for two weeks now, and my house definitely shows it! :)

I find it really hard to get motivated when he is sitting on the computer playing a game, or browsing the internet.  I find that I get all my work done when he takes the kids outside for an hour or so- peace and quiet!  :P

Lately, we have been running around getting errands done, and going to meetings.  We recently started attending West Casey Chapel for Sunday service (by recent I mean we have gone twice now).  Yesterday, I volunteered to be the outreach coordinator (what the heck was I thinking)???  I have had a couple of moments where my gut clenched and I thought, oh no, I've bitten off more than I can chew, I have no clue what I'm doing!!! 
Today I made a detailed list of what I need to do for each thing that I have either volunteered for, or decided to do.  Just for my own accountability, here's what's on my plate for the next month or two:

Partylite- I have started selling as a consultant again.  My first show will be this next Sunday, and the other 5 shows will quickly follow.  After that, it will just depend on how many people will host for me as to how busy I will be. 

Haunted House for Jon's unit- I am helping to decorate, plus setting up a photograph station for the families.  We will sell each pic for a small amount, to help in fundraising.

Church- As stated before, I am the outreach coordinator.  This means that each monthly fellowship time is mine to organize, as well as any get togethers during the month.  I decide what the chapel will offer (main dish or a meat, plus plates, cups, etc) each month, food-wise.  I also have to send out emails asking for volunteers to bring sides and desserts. 

Craft bazaar-  There will be a craft bazaar in a little over a month.  Wives can rent a booth to sell their homemade items.  So far, my list of things to display is a photography collage, Family Rules Canvas, Boo blocks, Thankful blocks, name blocks, decoupaged picture frames, and a couple of different banners.  Some of these things I already have made, some things are on my list to do soon.  Tonights craft will be getting started on the name blocks.  I will post pics when I get them done. 

Phew.  If you made it to the end of this, thanks!  This was more of a empty-my-brain type of post than an interesting one, but hey, I feel MUCH better now.  :D
Thanks for listening!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Sing, sing, sing!

Or at least, that's what I'm doing right now.  There are tons of other little things that I should be doing.. like

folding the massive loads of laundry that are taking over my bed...washing dishes... finding my desk underneath the paper and bills and books and random items that are hiding it.. I think they're planning to ask a ransom for it!

Its a cool and rainy day outside, which effectively has cancelled my shoot for this afternoon.  And I don't have the motivation to get up and DO anything.. until I put on my music.  I listen to a great mix of some of the latest Christian artists, and its just uplifting enough to get me off my rear.  :)

In other news, Jon came through his surgery with flying colors.  We left Monday night to travel down to Yongsan, and stayed at the Dragon Hill Lodge.  It was a nice little room, very reasonably priced($79), with CABLE TV!!  :D  More channels than we get with AFN at home
Nice chandeliers!

You have to stick the key card in this in order to turn on the lights and air for the room.  When you leave and take it out, they automatically turn off.  Neat!

View from our room.

Lobby area.

So, the night before, Jon called and was told to report at 0930 for prep.  Well, they called us at 0620, wanting to know why we weren't there yet!  Apparently there was a huge miscommunication somewhere.  We got there a few minutes after 7am, and they immediately converged on Jon, getting him changed, Id'd and asking all the routine questions. 

Then they took him back and got his IV started, and the pressure cuffs on.

This is about an hour after his surgery, immediately after he got out of recovery.  This is when they called me and said I could come back and see him.  He had a slighly hard time shaking off the anesthesia, he kept forgetting to breathe!  The O2 monitor would flat line and stay that way for three cycles or more and hit 0, and I'd have to touch his arm and wake him up to get him to breathe.  The nurses didn't seem too concerned, although one did tell me that in recovery they were joking him that they'd already taken the tube out of his throat, and HE was the one supposed to be breathing now. :)

Pasty white!  His blood pressure kept going down, I think the lowest was 116/53 or something like that. 

He stabilized pretty well by lunch time, so we headed out.  Only to have him dash for the nearest bathroom to get sick.  that happened a couple more times while he tried to get out from under the anesthesia effects.  It was a long day. :)  We took the bus home, though, and he was able to sleep.  We stopped at Hovey and turned in his paperwork (he's on convalescent leave for 30 days, and a dead man's profile til 17 December). 
He's doing pretty well, even though its killing him that he can't take off this cast, and pretty much can't do alot of things he could do with the other cast.  He goes back on October 6 for a checkup and to get the stitches removed if they are ready. 

I have been being crafty lately!  There are tons of projects swimming around in my head, so stay tuned, and hopefully I will have some of them featured soon.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Translation Tuesday

One of the best phrases I have learned so far is, "Do you speak English?"

Yongorul hashimnikka?  *yon gah rule hah sheem neeka*

I said this to a Korean lady last week, and she actually understood me!  It was great.  :)  You probably would have had to have been there, though, to be all excited like I was.  :P

We also learned last week that using the words Adashi and Adjuma is NOT polite and respectful, like we were taught when we first got here.  We were told that its like saying sir and ma'am, because it means uncle or aunt.  But its not.  Its basically the equivalent of saying, hey you, idiot! 
We spent awhile with a lovely Korean couple, and he explained that its only used when talking to someone whom you know for certain is a lower rank than you (miitary wise), or basically the hired help in your house.  And its also reserved for someone you know very well, kind of like saying hey bro! to a friend, I guess. 

Anyhow, I definitely won't be flagging anymore taxi's down by yelling that!  Ooops.  :_ 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Happy birthday to my babies!

I'm such a bad blogger.  I always forget to post updates on how things are going.  I guess I should attempt to schedule some posts, that way I don't look at the dashboard every morning and think, hmmm its been awhile since I posted!  :) 

Anyhow.  Cait's birthday was Friday- she's 4 now!  So big!  Jacob's birthday is this coming Saturday, and he will be 6.   We decided this year to have one party, at home, since its probably the last year that we can really get away with having the same party for both of them.  We had a slight crisis (our renters are moving out and the company held our rent check with no notice this month), so we made a pinata, instead of buying on.  It turned out cute!  They are pretty easy to make, just mix up some flour and water into a thick paste, get some newspaper strips wet with it, and stick it on a balloon.  :)  (ok, so there's a little more to it, but that's the short version)!

Don't you just love the look on Caitlynn's face, in the first pic with me and Jacob?  :D  I didn't realize she'd done that until I uploaded the pictures.  All in all, it was a great day today.  I got alot of sewing done before the party, most of my Strawberry Shortcake rag quilt is put together.  Now, I have to finish the last strip, and then sew all the strips together, and fringe it all.   I will try to post pictures of that. 

Its the time of year that makes me want to craft... FALL!!  It has started cooling down sooo much in the last week.  We have had our A/C off since yesterday afternoon, and it didn't get too hot, finally.  With our electric bill being over 500,000 won (for the month of August), we are grateful that it is going to be our last ridiculously high bill.  Ayaka and I spent an hour and a half downstairs at the market, talking with a Korean couple that spoke English, learning some of their customs and also that we shouldn't use our Korean dryer!  :P  It seems that it is partly why our electric bill is so high. 

Anyhow, back to crafting.. Blogland has had so many creative posts and tutorials that I'm going insane trying to figure out which ones I can do!  :)  First on my agenda is to make 3 burp cloths, 3 stuffed balls, and a tooth fairy pillow. The cloths and balls are for baby showers I am going to this next week, and the tooth fairy pillow is for Jacob, who is currently working on his 2nd loose tooth!  Who knows, maybe I could sell them, too (the pillow, that is, not Jacob's teeth)!  There seem to be an awful lot of wives around here who are making and selling things.  :) 

We are so blessed to be living over here, it has definitely been a great experience so far!  While a friend and I were out last week, I actually asked a Korean lady if she spoke English (I asked in Korean), and she understood me and answered me!!  I was so excited.. lol..

In other news, our first week of school went great!  We are moving right along, and doing well with our new schedule.  It had a couple of kinks in it, just because of when payday fell (I had to go to Yongsan to get some last minute birthday stuff, and its a 2.5 hour trip there, and another 2.5 hours back, so we were gone all day), and then the next day Jon was home sleeping for an hour or two after CQ and then at the TMC (troop medical center) for xrays of his wrist.  Friday, they sent Jon to Yongsan, to the 121 hospital on base to see an orthopedic doc, because his staphoid bone is broken in half.  He will be having surgery on the 28th to place a pin in it, because not only is it broken, but one half of it is twisted and up away from where it should be. 

Whew.  I think that's about all I can type for now.  Oh, James has all 4 molars coming in at once.. Makes for a cheery household, don't ya think??  :O     Other than that, life is great!  :D