Friday, December 26, 2008

The Next: New Kids on the Block

So...I was never a real big fan of the band: New Kids on the Block, but I was shockingly amused the other day when I was flipping through the channels on the tube and saw this music video. These are the prettiest Asian boys that I have ever seen, they are so pretty that they look like girls. I needed a good laugh and this video definitely sufficed! Skip past the first 30 seconds to see these pretty boys.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Life or Something Like It...

The past two weeks have been filled with great joy, relief, healing, and deep pain. 

Grant had his surgery and everything went swimmingly well. Grant's Korean doctor described the surgery as "excellent." In addition, the surgery cost almost half of what we were originally told that it would cost. What an answered prayer! I had been praying about that the previous week. Grant's tingling in his leg and back pain have completely diminished and gone away. He just has a little vertigo when he gets up to walk around but that is also starting to decrease as well. Thank you so very much for all of your prayers.  Here is a picture of Grant looking up the results of the world of college football. As you can see, he is already feeling much better.
 On a most somber and grave note, just the other day, my family was shocked to lose one of our dear family members: my cousin Kevin. He was one of the most individualistic and unique people I
 have ever known. He was creative, funny, very intelligent, amazingly wonderful with kids, and an exceptional writer.  He will be greatly missed!
Please be praying for my family and his immediate family as we try to sort
through everything during this tumultuous time. 

Life is so precious and often times unexpectedly short. We don't know when our day is to go home. May we live each day as if it were our last... Blessings to you all. 

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Small Things

The longer I live my life, the more often I notice how much the small things, that seem so trivial sometimes, hurt us or bless us the most. For example, the other day while I was running an older Korean man told me good morning. It just about made my day considering the fact that a lot of Koreans, outside of our school, seem fearful to speak to us. Also, while in class the other day, Sally, one of our kindergarteners, answered one of the questions correctly so I was going to give her a sticker, instead of walking up to me to receive her sticker she gleefully smiled and jubilantly skipped to where I was. Or while I was running, I felt the purest joy just from watching snowflakes flutter down and get stuck in my eyelashes (I'm pretty sure people were laughing at me on this day because it was frigidly cold, snowing and I was smiling like I had never seen snow before). In addition, a small piece of Grant's disc has been extruding into his sciatic nerve. It's a small part of the body that can cause a terrible amount of pain if everything is not in place. Moreover, the preciousness of getting to hold Grant's hand and how it reminds me of how dumb some of our arguments and disagreements are, especially since they are usually about small things that don't even matter. Also, this past month Grant and I received a package from his parents full of goodies that we don't get the privilege of having while over here. It included a very sweet note, pancake mix, syrup(which is suprisingly hard to find over here), nutella(which I pretty much died out of pure exhilaration when I saw it), oatmeal, and many other things. We felt like it was Christmas when we opened the box. Sorry, one more thing that has just melted my heart this month is getting to see my almost one-year old niece blow kisses to me through Skype. These small things don't seem like much to others, but they mean the world to me. The small things make the big difference, just like the small things we do to help others can effect other's lives in monumental ways.

Speaking of Grant, he is having surgery on his back on 12/09/08, around 12 am your time. The doctors are going to be using a laser to eliminate the part of the disc that is basically pinching his sciatic nerve and causing him great pain. Please be praying for guidance and wisdom as the doctors perform this surgery. It is a non-invasive surgery that requires only 5 days of recovery as opposed to open back surgery which had been suggested to us at the onset of Grant's back pain. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind considering the fact that we have been to at least 5 different hospitals and conversed with 6 or more doctors about Grant's predicament. Through much prayer, many advisers, and much thought we decided to go with the laser surgery. Plus, the cost to do the surgery over here is a third of how much it would cost to have it done in the US. God is in control, and we have faith that this is the right choice to make.

We have thoroughly enjoyed our teaching and the kids even more than before. I feel as if we finally got in the right groove of things at our jobs. Our students feel much more comfortable and open to us, and we are continually striving to find new, creative ways to teach them.

Our November was a busy one filled with going to Cheonon once and Seoul twice. We met up with a
married couple that Grant had met at A&M, in Seoul. It was my first time to meet them. They are both from Texas and are teaching in South Korea. It was such a wonderful delight and a very refreshing experience to get to talk to fellow Texans of like-mindedness. We also discovered that I went to high school with their brother-in-law. It is truly a small world. Too bad they are both leaving in February.

Our Thanksgiving was delightful. We had a Thanksgiving dinner with our fellow American teachers from Florida. We had chicken(since Turkey is around $80 here) sweet potatoes(I'm typically not a big fan of sweet potatoes, but their sweet potatoes here are downright amazing), mashed potatoes, broccoli and cheese casserole(which I made), butter rolls, and some cranberry dressing. It was definitely not the same as home, but it was as close as we could get. We really missed everyone. When I got home the night of Thanksgiving, I tried to call some friends and family, but too much sadness, I could not reach anyone. I definitely shed some tears at not being able to reach anybody.

The colors of fall were quite vivid and gorgeous here! No wonder they consider fall to be one of their most beautiful seasons! Winter, on the other hand, has been quite an experience for a Texas girl like me. I've never been so cold in my life. Grant was so sweet that he bought me the best jacket I could have ever asked for. It is a very warm, bright green North Face jacket. He does a good job of taking care of me.

We love y'all so very much!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Tricky Treats

On Friday, our kindergarteners dressed up for Halloween. We took two buses to their houses where our students got the chance to practice using their English in front of some of their parents and grandparents.

It was downright precious. I've never been a big fan of Halloween, and my family never celebrated it growing up, however, I do enjoy dressing up. It was a blast to see our kiddos so excited and dressed so cutely. It was probably one of my favorite days thus far with the kids.

Well, Grant and I didn't exactly bring costumes with us to South Korea so we improvised and used what he had. Grant decided to be Indiana Jones with the amazing hat that Autumn got for him in Australia. I didn't bring a cool hat, so I dug through my suitcases and decided I would be a pirate. I used my bathing suit sarong as my hairpiece. Hey, it worked, didn't it?

We are still enjoying Korea but are becoming more accustomed and aware of cultural differences. It has been a learning experience. I went to E-Mart today and finally discovered and accrued all of the food products I need to make some Korean dishes. I'm really excited about making some Jap Chae tomorrow! I hope Grant enjoys it! We haven't been able to really cook since we've been here because we can't read Korean, and it has been hard to distinguish what is what. I'll let you all know how the cooking goes... Sa Rang Hae Yo

Zany 80's Video

I hope some of you can appreciate how ridiculously corny this video is. It's on the edge of being retarded...ok....some might consider it to be so.

I promise it gets better...or cheesier. Make sure you watch after the credits for a surprise ending.
This is what Grant and I practice every morning before we go to school...just in case...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What in the World?

Guess what it is...?

Upon seeing my friend Jua eat this unsightly snack, I nearly lost my stomach, and politely asked what in the world she was eating. It's an insect, that's pretty apparent, and it is in a certain cycle of it's life(that you learn about in elementary school: big hint).

We went to Asan this last weekend to one of the bays of the Yellow Sea. It was a fun and interesting experience. The food was not my favorite part, but I survived.

Here's a taste of some things we saw:

Saturday, October 18, 2008

6 Month Anniversary!

"Whatever souls are made of
his and mine are the same."
-Emily Bronte

Grant and I celebrated our 6 month anniversary this last weekend! We had a blast dressing-up and going out on the town for our first big anniversary. I know a lot of older married couples are probably laughing at us celebrating such a small time of being married, but we think it's important to celebrate the blissful time that God has blessed us with thus far. Life is short, we don't know how much time God will bless us with...

It was wonderful reminiscing over when we first met, when Grant was at Heartlight, funny quarky things we both do, how much God has blessed us, our engagement, and just having a few laughs with each other!

We went to a delightful little Italian restaurant that just opened in downtown Pyeongtaek. We both shared some Gorgonzola Pasta, that makes your mouth water because it's so good, and a plate of fruit and cheese. It was so good to have some tasty cheese. We have been without cheese for almost two months now. Then our waiter brought out a decadently decorated dish of Tiramasu and raspberry ice. It was as delicious as it looks.

Then we went and watched our first movie in a Korean movie theater. We saw the movie "Eagle Eye," it was pretty good. It was a lot better than I expected. I would recommend it, it is very fast-paced and entertaining!

We also got haircuts the day before. I love the way they cut Grant's hair! We both paid about $10 for our haircuts each. That is incredible, especially for my hair! You couldn't get a deal like that in the US! Also, their hairstylists here are more like artists. They are very talented! When we arrived, they offered us some kettle corn and a beverage of our choice. Grant even got a massage with his haircut, I was not as fortunate!

Friday, October 17, 2008


I've been majorly slacking on writing in the blog. The last two weeks have zoomed by. We got our first paycheck, spent a wonderful weekend in Seoul with our friends Chris and Jua, learned some cultural differences, went to E-mart(similar to a Wal-Mart and a JcPenneys put together), celebrated our 6-month anniversary, and have continued to try and find new ways to teach our little students.

Going to Seoul was quite an experience in itself to write about. It is the most populated city I have ever been in. It is a city booming with industry, business, trade, and ironically encompassing the vigorous city is a spread of quaint but beautiful mountains. Which we hope to explore a little bit while we are here. The city has over 10 million people as its inhabitants. It is the largest city in South Korea and the fourth largest city in Asia. It is also the fifth most expensive city in the world next to Oslo, London, Tokyo, and Moscow (I'm really glad our school is not in Seoul). Surprisingly, cities like Paris, Rome, Milan, big tourist attractions were not in the top 10. The Hans River flows rapidly through the bustling city and floods major highways consistently every year, you would think that they would try to fix this hazard(we have been told that not much has been done to change this problem). The North Korean border lies about 100 miles north of Seoul. We plan on making a trip to the DMZ to check out the border one of these days.

While in Seoul, we went to the popular, coveted tourist destination: The Seoul Tower. It was quite a sight! It kind of blows your mind to see a visual of how many people live in Seoul. Unlike Reunion Tower, in Dallas, where you can see where the city ends; in Seoul, you cannot see the end of the city. It looks like it just keeps going infinitely. In the picture to the top right is a flying man that was right next to the Tower. I think it is a beautiful structure.

The weekend we went to Seoul was an extremely busy weekend for Koreans. It was the celebration of their independence and their formation as a country. Therefore, when we finally reached Seoul Tower, we waited at least an hour and a half(maybe more) just to get on the elevator. I think it was well worth the wait with the sights that we got to see!

Chris and Jua were amazing at showing us around the big city. We all stayed in the Red Dragon Hotel on the military base in Seoul, thanks to Chris being in the military. It was a pretty extravagant hotel, and we only paid $40 per night because of Chris's military discount. We shopped a little. I bought a light jacket, which I was in dire need of because I only brought heavy coats, and some fun sunglasses. The prices by the base were very good! We also ate out at an Outback Steakhouse, which Grant loved of course! I had a very large, yet delicious Apple Chicken Salad(it had an apple dressing, hence the name).

While in Seoul, we went to the 2nd largest church in Seoul. The worship was INCREDIBLE! The spirit of God was definitely moving! They sang my favorite worship song: "Blessed Be Your Name" which is by far my most favorite song! It reminds me that no matter what happens, God has something extravagantly better planned, that He alone can see the BIG painting of life, that sometimes He shows us some of the beautiful strokes but sometimes we are blinded or jaded to it and how that is okay because He has our VERY best in mind(I know that is probably one of the longest run-ons ever, oh well)! The message was about Daniel and how, through his struggles, God formed and molded his character. The youth pastor who was speaking said "Life is the crucible of spiritual and character formation" and that "Character formation happens through struggles." We also talked about how struggles are God's favor, and that God uses them to strengthen and grow our walk with Him. I completely agree with what the youth pastor said, she hit the nail on the head, I have grown the most in my walk through struggles. Even while being in South Korea, I have grown more because of the struggles and new things we have faced being in a different country. The message was very powerful, to say the least.

While at church, we also got the chance to help Chris make some connections. He is a talented Christian rapper who has a real heart for the youth. It will be exciting to see what happens next for his ministry!
His wife Jua is wonderful! She has been a huge blessing as well. They are both a blast to be around and have helped us become more acclimated to the Korean way!

Here are some pictures of the hotel we stayed at. They had a beautiful garden, including a pagoda, in the back of the hotel. Chris is very artsy is volunteered to take some pictures of Grant and I! I think some of them turned out well.

Here is one of the pagoda's at the Seoul Tower.

In front of the pagoda.

In the gardens at the hotel.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Let the Children Come...

"Let the children come to me, do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14

Yesterday we went on a field trip to a sweet potato farm. We had a blast with the kids. They got to pick pears, sweet potatoes, and radishes! Here are some of the pictures of our little darlings!

Polly and her precious findings!

Blake found a ginormous radish! Radishes are pretty much eaten with every meal in Korea!

The Dolphin kindergarten class! There are four different kindergarten classes: Giraffe, Tiger, Koala, and Dolphin. Dolphin, is by far, the biggest kindergarten class.

Ed being his typical mischievous and silly self.

Grant's little buddy: Noah!

More pictures to come...