Monday, March 24, 2014

Another great weekend

Hello everyone!  I hope you had or well having a tremendous weekend as I have had another good one!

This weekend my step son came down to visit for the weekend.  Like most families the month is winding down and so is our monthly spending funds.  The last weekend before payday is usually pretty boring, staying inside and trying to entertain ourselves with tv or movies.  Which we, like most families, watched the ever so loved Disney film Frozen!  I just love love love Olaf!  Anyway what I thought was going to be a boring last weekend before payday ended up being pretty awesome!

Saturday we went to the war memorial and toured just about everything we possibly could.  We had been to the outside before but I had never gone through the inside to see all the short films and the museum.  I cannot get over the how high tech they made the museum.  I found myself saying several times this is nothing like a museum back in the states!  They even have a short 4D film you can watch, unless you have a baby with you then you cannot watch it.  They had a picture of a canteen in a photo box and the glass actually had moving images.  Now maybe they have some of this stuff back in the states but I have never seen anything like it.  They had a box with images that seemed to come to life... (the best example I have is the Cleveland rain forest when they have that big box and it shows a rain forest slowly being cut down).... anyway it was kind of like that but it was like a mini play being acted out right in front of you.  And yes they had an English button so I knew what they were saying. It was pretty pathetic acting but......... entertaining! Here is a short clip of the moving images on glass..........
The big canteen in the middle was a still picture then the soldier getting water was actually etched in the glass.  It was seriously pretty awesome!

Sunday we went to Bukhansan (san means mountain ) to hike.  It was nice.  I have been pretty sick with a sinus infection but it mostly only really knocks me down in the evening.  However today it kicked in on the subway.  I have been feeling pretty sluggish and icky all week with it but it is manageable during the day.... up until today.  Once we started our hike I found it difficult to breath as my sinus' decided to start draining.  LOVELY I know!  I explained to Collin that I was having a hard time breathing and he said ok let's get up to this small village and take a break. So I made it to the village and was contemplating our return home.  Then my loving husband said, "ohhhh a water fall, let's go there!"  So we went, and it seemed the further we went the more I started to clear up.  No arguments here.  We passed another giant Buddha and prayer buildings although much smaller than last week.  We of course rested and took pictures and had a monk walk right between us dividing our family on his way to another building.  I know this is where ignorance comes in but I honestly did not realize so many Buddhist were still active in Korea.  There where pile of shoes outside one of the prayer buildings and like last week many people where there to pay their respects to Buddha.  I just didn't realize the magnitude  in which this religion was still carried out.
 It is tiny but you can see a monk walking towards the giant Buddha.
 A prayer building
 Once we were beginning to head on with the trail to the waterfall I saw steps leading up to the same giant bell that is found in all of the Temple area's.  It is a big bell in a very decorative structure with a huge log dangling down that a few select people would gather around to ring in a slow steady pattern.  I walked up the steps to get a better picture as most of these bells are not accessible to get a good photo of them.  I almost wish I hadn't as when coming down from the bell an Ajumma was sitting a cross the path giving me a nasty stare.  I looked at Collin and asked him if maybe I missed something.  Maybe I wasn't supposed to go up there.  He agreed that there were not any signs and it seemed OK and that maybe she was just afraid that I was going to attempt to ring the bell or something.  Here is the picture of the bell.........
We were getting closer to where we believed the waterfall was and to more Ajumma were headed our way.  Collin nicely inquired if we were headed near the waterfall as I heard him say, "Pokpo?"  The ladies quickly replied and I heard only 1 word I recognized "eggie" (Please know that I have no clue how to really spell these words)  When they passed Collin explained that they said there was no waterfall and that it is too dangerous for the baby (eggie). 
Last week during our hike many Koreans feared we were putting our daughters health and life at risk walking the trails.  As everyone who knows us knows we would never do anything to cause harm or sickness on purpose.  
Collin and I pretty much laughed it off as we figured it was nothing to be concerned with and we were right.  Very soon we reached the waterfall....... or what should have been the waterfall......
 Mike standing OFF the trail where the waterfall should have been.

The waterfall would have made this view breath taking as you can see the mountains already do a pretty fantastic job of that on their own.

We soon found our way back down and ready to start the mile or so back to a cab.  I was very sad when our journey ended and mentioned to Collin my sadness as I was hoping for more.  I knew we took it slow because I wasn't feeling good but I told him that, that was just my warm up.  Then I couldn't stop chuckling to myself as I realized that 2 months ago that would have put me threw the ringer and this month it was a warm up!  I felt great and was ready to take on the world after that.  
So after words to try and keep me content we at least got off the subway at Itewan and walked home the rest of the way. 
Once home I had home work to finish and now I am sitting here and realizing my legs are hurting!  I might have felt at the time it was a warm up but my body is thanking me for not taking another step!
I hope you enjoy a few pictures including a couple from last weekend!

Have a great week!

 These ones starting with the water are a few from last weekend.
Audrey's first bite with chopsticks

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Getting lost in life

Well hello friends and family.

It has been a very long time since I have written.  Too long.  I thought about it many times but I never seem to have the time.

School has been a cruel joke.  I had no idea it would consume so much of my time.   While Collin was gone I would find myself up at all hours of the night just trying to get everything done for that week by Saturday morning so on Sunday it could be family day with my sweet little girl.  Then Sunday night I would begin my reading for the upcoming week and the business returned.  One thing is for sure it made my weeks go by quickly and before I knew it Collin was home.

So much has happened these past 4--5 weeks.  Audrey began walking and she is saying more and more words.  My favorite this far is teeth.  Once she starts you better just brush her teeth or it won't stop.  Although if you don't sing the Bubble Guppies brush song she won't cooperate as my dear husband found out yesterday.

Our gangster car keeps dying on me.  We either leave the lights on, since we are so used to today's cars where the lights are automatic, or don't get a door shut completely.  Twice while Collin was gone I found myself with a dead battery.  I finally went out to get one of those boosters and for some reason we can't get the thing to charge.  I believe that will be going back to the store this upcoming week.

The USO is going great.  I am doing more work than I thought I would but is what I love.  It is the important stuff and it makes me remember why I loved my job so much back in CO. The only thing I don't have is the staff under me, but with my busy life right now, that is probably best!  This Sunday we are having a program that I kind of put together.  I say kind of because it exists already in many locations around the world, but Sunday afternoon will be the first time it has been at our USO.  The program is United Through Reading and basically we do all the work for the troops.  A soldier can come in and pick out a book and in front of a video camera read that book to their little one back home.  After they are done we will mail a copy of the book home, the dvd and maybe even some other little items home to the child child. The child can then remember what its like to have their hero read to them.  Oh and the soldiers get home baked goods while they wait or before they leave. (Don't worry I am not baking)
I am so excited to be a part of this but I fear it will be very emotional as well.  Audrey and I are so blessed to be here with daddy and some families are not as fortunate.

This July I am going to be a part of the VBS here for our south post Chapel which I am ecstatic about!  I meet with one of the ladies in charge next week to go over area's in which I can best fit in.  Although I will probably take off the entire week from the USO because VBS and school and mommy hood is enough for this gal!  Who knows maybe this can open up other doors!

Next week I am also meeting up with a friend to go to Itewan to have a dress custom made.  The military ball is late April and well I am in Korea.... What I most recent enjoy calling the land of the little people.  Many people think that in Korea everyone is short. Well I have news for you... they are not.  Most of the females are indeed shorter than me but the males are all about my height if not a little taller and it is not overly strange to find a female my height.  Now for the little.  They are the size of My calf.  Therefore everywhere I have gone dressing shopping at I am reminded that need "really big, big, big size"  Koreans have no issues in letting you know how they feel about fat Westerners.  By the way a fat westerner can be 20lbs smaller than me but we are built different.  Our bone structure and the way our weight settles.  It is inevitable that if you are a size 8 and higher you will probably be in the same category as me.  Heck a size 6 might be pushing it.  So to save the frustrations of being called BIG, BIG, BIG every time I go looking for a dress I have chosen to just have one made and be done with it.

I could probably add in some more fun facts from the past month about my awesome weight loss and not so awesome weight gain, or how I have gotten a nanny now, or how I bought a second 9.00 Molly doll for Audrey because I lost the first one and then Collin found it the first day he was back home.  Although I am not feeling to comfortable as I am sitting on the bathroom floor of the hotel room typing this at (now) 606am so I do not disturb the rest of my family.

Between Collin being gone and my stress levels hitting the highest of levels I figured why not take a little getaway weekend vacation.  Yesterday around 4pm I decided that we would pack up and head out to Seoraksan for the weekend.  A beautiful masterpiece  of God's work.  Amazing beaches (yes way too cold still) and refreshing waterfalls running down mountain sides that I so desperately miss seeing.  If you have the time you should seriously google this place.  I figured this would be a great getaway to regroup the family, take a breather, and although I will still have some school work to do, shift my priorities more on the family this week than on my studies.  As we got tucked into our queen size bed last night (although the hotel staff is positive it is a king... again it must be due to the land of the tiny) Collin and I both agree this was the best idea since we have been here.  Although lesson learned is too always make sure you have enough gas in the car prior to the post gas station closing.... what should have cost us 60.00 in fuel ran us 125,000 Won (about 100.00) on the economy.  Oh well we live and learn. Hoping the family wakes soon, I am so ready to get my hike on!

Have a great day!
Our little road trip trooper!