Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2 Interesting Articles

I recently read two interesting articles about Korea and I thought I'd share them with anyone interested in learning a little more about our new home.  

You can read about the "Top Ten Misconceptions about South Korea" here.  I found number 4 about the ajumma's particularly humorous.  It is so true.

You can read about Ed Stetzer's Call to Prayer here .  Please keep Korea in your prayers.  It is a pivotal time in the history of Korea right now.  We are living in a historical moment in Korea and we pray for peaceful and God honoring change.  We are also praying for safety at this time.  No one seems overly concerned but it is just the great unknown as to what will happen right now, so everyone is on alert.  We would appreciate your prayers.

Enjoy the articles!  I hope it brings Korea to life for you a little bit more.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Rambling Blog Update for December

Hi my faithful readers who are 'oft disappointed these days!  Here I will attempt to give you a rambling update using the pictures I've taken on my phone the past few weeks.

 Let me back up.  I lost my phone about a month ago (really disappointing) but it ended up being a blessing in disguise because when we went to the phone store to get a new one, we were told we could get Android Smart phones for less than we were paying on the BASIC cheap phones we had before.  Go figure how that makes sense because it doesn't, but I'm not going to complain.  I enjoy my new phone (in case Steve reads this I better say - he was right....I didn't think I'd like it at first but I do now).

Anyway, I've been taking pictures on it but didn't know how to download them and Steve showed me tonight, which gave me the idea to just share many of them with you as a way of walking through some of the past few weeks (for you mom and dad   those of you who have missed the updates the past few weeks).

And since Steve and some of the young men in his youth group have been obsessing  enjoying the xbox we had shipped from storage in the States and Caleb is asleep and the dishes are washed, I thought it would be a good time to play some catch up.


Okay so here we go, I'm just going to post pics and tell you anything that might be of interest about them.

Ready?  Go.

The first 4 days of December Steve was gone on a retreat up in Seoul.  Of course, Caleb would fall, hit his face on the baseboard of our bed, gash his upper lip and get his first nosebleed while there was no daddy home to help comfort the two of us.  Thankfully, Dr. Shell was just a phone call away and assured us everything was fine.  But Caleb is left with his first official scar, smack dab in the middle of his face and only his mama to blame!  I feel A-W-F-U-L!


I know it might seem heartless that I took a picture while he was screaming but I was holding him AND this was about 30 minutes and all I could possibly do for him later....he screamed for a long time.  It was awful.  And this is by far one of the saddest pictures I've ever seen, makes me sad every time I look at it!  But I figure he'll enjoy it when he's older and asks about the story behind the scar!


We also went to an ICS basket ball game that same week, here we are in our matching ICS gear and Caleb's "Hitler Mustache" as a certain Pastor we know liked to tease.....


Speaking of ICS, while Daddy was gone we also were invited to the ICS Christmas Staff dinner.  Steve is practically staff, right?  He likes to think so anyway....(that's the Christian School that he subs and speaks at)


Above is Caleb and his friend Sadie - they are truly buds of the bestest kind.  She was born a week before him, so they are pretty much exactly the same in every way (except that she keeps gaining inches on him and he can't quite catch her!).

Below are a few other pics from the evening (they weren't taken on my phone though, Laurie took them and edited them too - thanks Laurie!).


And since my true date couldn't be there, Gail (my partner in all things birth support and babies) took a picture with me instead:


Let's see...what else...?


We had our first dusting of snow....it's all gone now, lasted all of several hours but it was beautiful.




Gail and I taught our first ever Natural Birth Skills Childbirth Education class, pictured above parents-to-be prioritizing birth choices.  We really enjoyed teaching it together and look forward to our upcoming class in January. In other doula news, we're on twitter now (@McDoula).  We're not wildly popular yet - all of 2 followers, one of which is Steve.  But we also haven't been twittering much.....maybe I just haven't played around enough or don't have enough of an online presence yet but it just doesn't intrigue me as much as everyone has made it seem.  We'll see.


Went to a Women's Cookie exchange for Church.  Made a bunch of Russian Tea Cakes and Gingersnaps....the two cookies that scream "Christmas" to me the most.....or at least conjure up Christmas memories in my mind.  Pictured above are some beautiful candy cane cookies Renee (Sadie and Tristan's mom) made - impressive!


Although we don't get to enjoy  much snow, the temps have dropped and it is downright cold here these days.  Our heat is definitely on and we are bundled when we go out.  Above is Caleb on our walk to church, he can hardly move!  He likes to say "brr....it's COLD out there!"


Part of our worship team at church Sunday morning, love that David is an elderly man rocking a guitar in his choir robe!  Also love that at a small church in Korea you can have actual fire and real candles burning for advent!


The Zangers lighting the advent candle, Emma tried to eat the microphone.


Shell with Caleb and Sadie, going out to lunch after church.  I love Michelle's love for children - please continue to join us in prayer for her and Pastor Nelson as they seek to adopt.


Caleb and Sadie ordering together and Lana's - one of our favorite Thai restaurants.


Isaac learned to crawl!  And Emma did too (I just don't have a pic on my phone of her sweet scoot). Good job you two! Go, go go!


Tried our hands at taking three kiddos to a play area at a mall near by - got a lot of crazy looks from Korean onlookers (3 American children!) and 3 is a lot of kids in Korea, regardless.



Steve enjoyed himself too....I took this picture from the second floor looking down at him trying to jump out of the jumpy castle.....yeah, too much fun, not sure he was even supposed to be IN the castle jumping!


Steve and C at our favorite meat restaurant.


Weatherproofing our laundry room, daddy's little helper.


Conquered Costco in Seoul (a place you can get some more "American" foods, mostly from Denmark, New Z eland and Australia) and is supposedly the busiest Costco in the world!


Our Tree =)


Songtan in the morning.


Went with our Mom's group to a Kid's Cafe.



My Men!




If you have good eyes, that's Steve way out in the distance in front of Caleb who was running to greet him on his way home from work.


Caleb's been sick the past few days and super cuddly, we've read a lot of books.  Above Caleb was getting under the covers saying, "Nuggle, Mama!" (Snuggle).  Love!


He still smiles, even when he's sick.


We got a magicjack - which allows us to have a US area code (763) that we can call you on and you can call us on for a flat yearly fee!  So on your end, it would just be normal charges/minutes that your phone would charge you if you were calling any other 763 number, and for us we can call you for only the annual fee!  Above is Steve talking to his mom for the first time.


Caleb discovering the toy aisle at the store...he did surprisingly well when told he couldn't take any home!


Trying on his new boots - he calls them "moon boots, fly to da moon!"


Subway station Christmas pics




Bundled on the Subway.


Well there you have it, some of what we've been up to in December!

We miss you! We love you!

Sending "big squeezy hugs" as the little man likes to call them.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Advent

I love Advent, always have.  And it is just that much more fun with a toddler in the house...teaching Caleb the Christmas Story has been a lot of fun this year and watching precious little 22 month old self start to process it has been even more special.

Some friends of ours here in Korea (aka Emma's Parents), had an extra sturdy wood Nativity set that they gave us and it has served as a great visual for Caleb as we talk about Jesus being born and as we read the Bible and other Christmas stories to him.

Came out to our living room one morning to find he had taken the entire set down off the shelf and rearranged:


Well, I guess it would make sense that they would be housed in his Fisher Price barn set, instead of the open shelf, wouldn't it?  I asked him what he was doing and he said "Jesus born in manger in stable...."  Yes, I suppose that is how the story goes, isn't it?




Of course since I thought it was totally adorable and took a few pictures, he felt it was okay to regularly take them all down and rearrange....we've found him explaining the story in several settings to several of his stuffed animals:



He was explaining to Buddy the Bear, "Shepherds, wise men, sheep, all 'wined up to see baby Jesus"


video

Friday, December 16, 2011

Our first visitor in Korea!!!!

When I was a little girl, my parents were missionaries in West Africa.  I was born there and I grew up many of my growing up years there.  One special memory that sticks out in my mind is of the Decker family.  The Deckers were also missionaries in the same region as us and they were a special part of our lives.  I distinctly remember "Uncle Dave" (as we called him) coming to visit us from Liberia when we lived in Guinea.  I must have been 3 or 4 years old at the time and it was a BIG DEAL that Uncle Dave was coming to visit!  I still remember the excitement.  Of course, there are other special memories from the Decker family but that one sticks out as fun because two weeks ago Uncle Dave came to visit us in Korea!  Well, not really.  He came on business with SIM and I happened to hear from my mom that he would be in Korea so we got in contact and had dinner.  But it was still fun to now have him visiting in another country some 23-ish years later.

Unfortunately, he wasn't in our neck of the woods but we were able to travel by bus



and then by train


and several other trains




 to meet up with him.



 He was in an area we were totally unfamiliar with so we didn't have any great places to take him or fun things to show him but it was fun to introduce Caleb and spend some time walking around Korea. It was also really fun to have our first (kind of) visitor in Korea.  We've been longing for friends and family and familiar to come visit us in our new home and our new familiar, to be able to introduce so many of you who we love to a new part of who we are.  So it was fun to *kind of* have someone we know come visit us in Korea.  Thanks for taking the time to see us and for dinner, Uncle Dave! Next time Aunt Mary should come too.