Friday, July 10, 2015

I'm Still Here. I Think.

Greetings, lonely blog. Insert here whatever acceptable excuse is going these days for putting the blog updates on the back burner for almost a year.

Highlights of the 11 months that have passed since I last posted:
We moved from Korea to Virginia. Lee did some military school. We visited Arizona and Utah. Lee did more school. I pulled the kids out of public school to homeschool them. We moved from Virginia to Washington.

That pretty much brings us up to speed! Gee, I feel better and more accomplished already. *Oh, the sarcasm.*

Since I don't want this post to be a complete drag, here's a picture of the baby eating a giant muffin.
Maybe I'll see you soon, or maybe it will be next year if my current track record holds!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Wanna see a TON of pictures?

It's just easier to narrate life through pictures, so if you don't want to wade through about 50 of them, run away now while you still can! No hard feelings.

I love to take pictures of the rice paddies as the season progresses.

The kids and I were test-driving the zoom on the camera. Never have nailed down if these are cranes or egrets...

Not sure if this is called a crane either. But the kids laughed SO hard that we could take a picture of it so far away. Go figure.

I love when I can get genuine smiling faces for a picture. I think I said "underpants" or the like to get them to laugh.

We all giggled at this one, wondering what Jana's evil intent is.

My favorite weather is gray, overcast skies. Perfect.

I realized I don't have any Grant bath pictures, had to get a few!


Oh, dear. I had a lady give me a whole bunch of clothes for when Jana grew into them, but randomly among all the size 6 things there was this youth 14 dress. Which Wyatt assumed was for him. These two crack me up.

As the rice gets ripe, the birds go after it in full force. I was out at about 6 am taking pictures of the beautiful sunrise, when the morning calm is suddenly shattered by loud clanging sounds accompanied by shouts and yelling. This guy and his friend were out trying to scare any birds away by virtue of obnoxious sound. Awesome.

There's his friend. And one of the many scarecrows.

Still a beautiful morning, regardless of the background cacophony. (I deserve a cookie for using that word in context!)

We had some friends send us some cute Korean children's clothing. I love how Wyatt looks like a little K-Pop boy. 

Grant's face in this one is possibly my most favorite thing ever.

My kids are so silly.

"Mom, STOP taking pictures!"

My beautiful Jana.

She gets this from her Dad, I'm sure.

My Wyatt is growing up too fast!

He is such a sweet boy.

Little Grantopotomus

The ceiling fan was hilarious, evidently.

It cracks me up when he needs both hands to play, but wants to keep chewing on whatever he's currently got in his mouth. Don't worry, that snot-sucker was clean.

Now I have TWO teeth, huzzah!

Again, can't be bothered to remove thing from mouth. Hands are otherwise occupied.

Where's Granty?


It rained hard all afternoon this day. While we were inside waiting for the rain to slow enough that we could take the dog out to go potty, suddenly the clouds broke, the sun began to shine though, and there it was: the first Korean rainbow we've seen. I grabbed the camera and dashed outside, dog in tow, and set him loose in the dog run so I could start clicking pictures! I had already pressed the shutter button when I realized, a split second too late, that Skeeter was addressing the more pressing matter. When I uploaded these later, I decided this was the money shot of the night. I may frame this one.

Growing up out west, I only ever saw a rainbow until it hit the mountains. I have never in my life seen a rainbow reach ground level, so it was really exciting to me.

It was uninterrupted from one end to the other. Jana couldn't understand why I was so enthralled.

This one shows the faint little double rainbow.

And this was the sunlight on the other side that allowed that rainbow to occur. With rain on my lens. Time to go in.

Living on the Army post has its fun moments. Like how the helicopter pilots occasionally do practice evacuations in the field next to our building. There's a Chinook just coming in to land.

Lowering the door...

Waiting for the guys participating in the exercise to leg it across the field and board so they can get evacuated. And they took off.

Here's the next group waiting to be airlifted out...they got picked up by a Blackhawk. This went on several more times. Really fun to watch.

We bought a Christmas tree and decorations off our Flea Market Facebook page. Jana insisted we set them up to make sure we liked it. We did. 

So much so that we left it up with the lights on for a couple of days.

I like to zoom.

If Jana gets her way, this tree will go in her bedroom. We'll see. (That's Mom for "nope.")

And what's a blog post without a random picture of the beast?

I'm tired, Mom.

I'll patiently wait while you try to make me smile. 

I don't want to smile. How about if I make my "snuffy face?"

Ok, fine. Here's ONE smile.


Ok, that's all for now. We finally have official orders, and we are officially going back to Fort Lee, Virginia in mid-October. Yay! Just have to survive another international move. Then we'll likely leave Ft. Lee next May, because staying in one place for very long isn't our thing any more. We are yet awaiting orders to know what comes after that. I thought I'd hate how often we move in the Army, but surprise! Turns out I don't mind it too much, it's actually kind of fun. Who knew?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Busan and Some Other Stuff

Check this out.

I made a big ol' list of the things that need to be done regularly, made a master schedule, and stuck it to my fridge. Wednesday is the day for washing sheets and cleaning bedrooms, and doing my computer work (uploading pictures, blog update, clean out my inbox, pay bills, that sort of thing).

I started it 3 weeks ago, and finally this is the Wednesday where I am getting to the computer work. Didn't get to the sheets, still doing laundry from Tuesday after our weekend vacation. Meh, I'm a work in progress. Happy Wednesday nonetheless!

Here's our recent goings-on.

I love when spring turns to summer here, and all the rice paddies start to get really green. This is the view I see out my living room window every day, and I'm going to miss it!

 I can't help matching Wyatt and Grant's outfits when I get the chance. They are so stinkin' cute.

 Sweet brothers. Wyatt and Grant love each other so much, it amazes me how fast they became best buddies

 One tooth. Just one.

 Skeeter watching the movers from our balcony. We're in what is called PCS season, most military moves occur in the summer months to minimize school disruptions. 3 months from now, one of those moving vans will be for us.

Interesting Korean tidbit: this country is small. So to make the most of the available space, buildings don't spread out wide, they grow up tall. These are all apartment buildings. Even our little church building has 4 floors.

 We took a trip to Busan (southeastern coast) last weekend. This was the view from our hotel room.

 We went for a walk that evening to get all our long-drive-wiggles out. We were surprised to find that ALL the hotels in the area were lit up with flashing, colorful lights.

 We woke up to rain and a temp of only about 72 degrees. Wyatt and Jana were adamant that we hit the beach anyway. I had them stay in their clothes assuming they would be too cold to want to get wet in the ocean. I was wrong. 

 Wyatt on Haeundae beach.

 Jana found this, and at first glance I thought she picked up a goldfish cracker. Nope, that seashell was really orange!

 A little wind and rain won't slow us down!

 Grant and Daddy under the beach umbrella. Out of the rain. 

 It's odd to me to think that the first body of ocean water Grant dipped his toes in was the East China Sea. 

 Building a sand...mountain.

Our hotel room- they provided standard Korean floor mats for the kids to sleep on, and Daddy and I took the bed. Which was exactly as soft as the floor. I have NO idea how Koreans can sleep on these beds!

It's the Korean way.

 At the Busan aquarium. They had spots over some of the tanks with thick glass to stand on. Grant was fascinated.

 Wyatt playing with a starfish.

 A shark egg!

 I swear, these two goons were smiling for my camera.

 Wyatt and a shark.

 Grant and a shark.

 Jana and a shark.

 Mommy and Grant and a shark. They had a lot of sharks, can you tell?!

 I just love this shot.

 YES! First time we have had T.G.I. Fridays in over 3 years. It was only slightly Korean-tasting. Yum! (We thought about trying Mad for Garlic, but chickened out when we saw the menu pictures. Whole hairy, unpeeled garlic bulbs on a burger...not my thing.)

 On our way out of Busan Monday morning, we stopped by the Haedong Yonggungsa temple. Unbeknownst to us, there are 108 stairs to get to the main temple. We had the double stroller and a big, heavy diaper bag packed for our 6 hour drive home. Lee collapsed and CARRIED the stroller down and back up all those steps, while I handled Grant and the diaper backpack. My calves are still sore. Totally worth it, though.

 Lee and a Dol Harubang. These are ALL OVER this country. He's the fertility god, as his shape may lead you to surmise. ...I'll leave it at that.

 The Traffic Safety Prayer Pagoda was a ceramic tire. Awesome.

 Wyatt and some happy, golden pigs.

 The sights were breathtaking there. These kinds of temples are very rarely built on a shoreline, so that was neat to see. This particular temple was originally built in 1376. More than 100 years BEFORE Columbus sailed to the Americas. Mind blown. 

 The two little mats in front of Buddha are for praying. We saw lots of Koreans kneel on them and touch their forehead to the ground three times. So interesting to see.

 Funny story- Lee and the kids were looking at another shrine while I was trying to get Grant to smile for the camera. He wasn't complying, which an old Korean man nearby noticed. He came over and started making funny noises to make Grant laugh. Which he didn't, but I did. Grant's sporting more of a what-in-the-world-are-you-doing look.

Koreans love love love children, and view them as the nation's treasure. They especially get excited over American kids with unusual (read: not black) colored hair. They often stare at and touch Wyatt's hair, and in the hour or so we were at this temple, I had SO many Koreans stop to admire and play with Grant, including two different ladies who took him right out of my arms so they could walk around with him. Totally the norm here. Mi bebe es tu bebe, right?

 Wyatt and the East China Sea

 I don't know what it says- probably something like "Please remember to stretch legs thoroughly before and after going through this gate, or else you'll be hurting for days." Maybe.

 And of course, the entire pathway toward the temple was lined with vendors. Lee and the kids had to stop for a couple of smoothies and what turned out to be some kind of cinnamon/sunflower seed pastry. Later that day at a rest stop they got what they thought were donuts. They were actually more like glazed bagels stuffed with sweetened black beans. Yum...?

So that's us. We are anxiously awaiting to hear the outcome of Captain boards and get our next set of orders so we can start prepping for the next chapter of our adventure!