Sunday, June 26, 2011

Stateside!!


We made it!  Caleb did wonderfully on the flight - I think he thought it was one of the best days of his LIFE!  He got to ride on a bus for 2 hours, a train for 30 min, an airplane for 13 hours and then another one for an hour and half.  He LOVED watching the planes on the ground and watching them takeoff, he loved socializing (or trying to) with everyone on the plane, he loved the little computer screen with buttons on the back of the seat in front of us (including calling the stewardess several times by mistake!) and he loved watching the clouds outside the window.

Taking the bus to the "airpot"
Waiting for the bus, leaving Songtan
Steve took 4 hours out of his day to get us to the airport
On the bus with daddy
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A clip from the bus ride, Caleb naming all the bus stops we frequent among other things.

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Caleb loving watching the airplanes!

He slept a good chunk of the trip too, all spread out on my seat plus the empty seat next to us (don't worry, there was room for me on the floor!).



It was so much fun to land in MN and be greeted by our families!  A special treat - his cousins were at the airport too waiting for him!  It was so much fun to see Audrey, Luke and  Natalie and watch Caleb get to interact with them for a bit (thanks for making the drive during bedtimes Chris and Jeni, and everyone else too!).

Audrey ~ So grown up!

High Fives for Natalie!

Loving Lukie

Excited to see Abby and Byzz, Grandparents, Renee and Chris!

I think (hope!) we are all adjusted to the time change - Caleb slept through the night last night and had a normal nap schedule yesterday.  We've been having a blast seeing family, Caleb is getting royally spoiled, we've loved running and playing in wide open green spaces, going to the park, enjoying the quiet and clean air, having the option to drive our car again (although I still haven't braved it yet!), seeing friends that we haven't seen in 9 months and worshiping at BBC again!  I've missed this place and missed these people!  It's so good to be back and to watch Caleb enjoy everyone.

Uncle Micah showing C the "kintens"


Jammin' with Uncle Micah



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Perkins breakfast with Grandma Houser - Nummy Fun!

Grandma took him to the park - he loved it

Reading with Oma

Couch time and more reading

Rough housing with Micah, loving it



I loved watching my brother be an uncle! So much fun.

Couch time with Oma and Opa

Auntie Abby and Mama


Picnic in the park with Oma and Opa

Wide Open Spaces + laughter + running


"one, two, three!"




Sooooo Excited to finally meet baby Charlie!

Auntie Shell!!!
Lots more fun to come, I'm sure!  Really been enjoying these past few days....Missing Steve though and excited to have him join us in a few weeks.

Monday, June 20, 2011

To say I'm behind on blogging would be a huge understatement, I still have things that happened (and pictures that were taken) over a month ago that have not been blogged about....I missed our anniversary, I missed several big events, I missed cute little Caleb-isms and now I'm tired and would really rather go to bed than play blog catch up....hopefully one of these days I can catch up (since I am hoping to turn this blog into a scrapbook by the end of the year). 

If you want some "bonus material"  you can check out my friend Gail's blog....she's posted here about a recipe exchange we did with the women's ministry at church and she posted here with some pictures of Caleb and Isaac (they are pretty much best buds, Caleb loves Isaac).  Her blog in general is really fun to read and would give you another perspective on Korea.  Her and her husband (Jason) are some of our really good friends here and they work with an International Christian School (ICS) that I've posted about before.

Also, if you "like" Songtan Central Baptist Church on Facebook (that's our church that Steve works for), they have photo albums with some pictures of us (and some of the youth as well).

For tonight, I'll leave you with two recent pictures that are special to me:

On our anniversary - we went hiking during the day and then out for fancy dinner that night.
Have I mentioned that this boy is absolutely precious to me?!?
On an update front - It is looking like Caleb and I will try to fly out of Korea (Lord willing) on standby Wednesday evening this week.  Crazy, I know!  So keep us in your prayers AND put us on your calendar - WE WANT TO SEE YOU!  That's why we're coming, after all.  We are planning to be Stateside until the end of July (about 5 weeks).

It's funny because I have been dreaming about and looking forward to coming "home" to the States since about November 19 of last year....and now, in the face of it actually happening, I'm feeling really nervous about it!  I'm feeling sad to be leaving Steve, unsure of traveling alone with Caleb for the first time, wondering how he'll do adjusting (he has afterall lived in Korea as long as he lived in the States at this point!), wondering how it will be for him to be away from Steve for so long, wondering how it will feel to be back in the States, nervous for reverse culture shock, etc etc etc.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Children's Grand Park, Seoul Korea

As my "teaser" post a few days ago said, we had a really fun family date last week at Children's Grand park in Seoul.  We had heard about it but didn't know anyone who had actually been. We looked it up online and it was listed as #47 of Lonely Planet's 500 "must see/do" in Seoul.  It took us about an hour and half to get there - we walked, rode the bus, rode the subway and switched trains once - but it was worth it.  I would have to agree - it is a "must see/do" in Seoul!  It's like the MN Zoo plus Valleyfair plus nature trails plus botanical gardens plus cultural center.  It's clean, it's huge, it's a lot of fun and best part?  Free.

On the bus...with friends Mario and Jeanine




He loved it. 







 
There was a huge sand play area and Caleb went running up to the first kid who had sand toys and just started playing with them.  We don't know this kid...check out his face.  It's like "dude!  what are you doing?!?"









I've never been at a zoo where the animals came up so close or where the animals were so active....almost all of them were up playing, walking around, interacting etc.  Maybe we just came on a good day?  But we got really close to a lot of them and Caleb really enjoyed "roaring" at them!






Q:  Why are there puppies painted on the background of the exotic bird display?
A:  Because we live in Korea.....



Seoul surrounding the park



No, this was not a petting zoo area...pretty sure we weren't supposed to be sticking our hands through the fence and touching/feeding the wild animals!





* He looks undeniably like Steve BUT I do have to say, he reminds me of my brother a lot at times too...this picture especially looks like Micah to me.  Micah was a blondie for a long time too. If there are two men to want to look like, Steve and Micah would be it!  ;-)  Handsome boy.






Caleb has this thing he does when he gets over-the-top excited about something and it is (somewhat) captured here - I love it.  He stops, tenses almost every muscle, clenches his fists out, smiles real big, and does a little squeal of excitement. It's like he is so excited he doesn't know what to do and does everything all at once.  It's dear to me and so I like this picture.  I love you Caleb-boo.




He enjoyed trying his hand at picking water up and trying to fill the boat with water - one fistful at a time.




Have I mentioned that Koreans love flowers and do a fabulous job landscaping?!?  Love it.




Practicing being Korean...they use umbrellas to shade themselves from the sun.  They use umbrellas, hats, long sleeves, facemasks, and sunscreen when they go out. Then for the random ray they may catch, they use whitening cream.  Tan is not "in" here!